Ed Brubaker has been interviewed at length by Tom Spurgeon about life, love and comic books. Here are three of the many highlights…
On leaving Cap (but staying on Winter Soldier)
SPURGEON: Now, you told me that you’re wrapping up on Captain America.
BRUBAKER: Yeah. By the time this interview comes out, I will have written my last issue.
SPURGEON: Congratulations. And that’s… eight years on Cap?
BRUBAKER: A little less than eight years. I think I started in August or September of 2004 writing my first issue, which came out in November of that year.
SPURGEON: So why now?
BRUBAKER: Partly, it’s the beginning a shift from work-for-hire to books I own, instead. I hit a point with the work-for-hire stuff where I was starting to feel burned out on it. Like my tank is nearing empty on superhero comics, basically. It’s been a great job, and I think I found ways to bring my voice to it, but I have a lot of other things I want to do as a writer, too, so I’m going to try that for a while instead.
Which, considering that Cullen started co-writing the comic with issue 15, means that Brubaker’s last issue will be #20.
On working with the Marvel system;
SPURGEON: Don’t they team you up with a writer to transition out of these titles? Like baton pass it to them?
BRUBAKER: That’s not on purpose for this one. That was a situation with scheduling. Marvel is trying to do this thing now that with some of their better-selling books they want to get out more copies per year than 12. They want to get out 15 or 18 issues.Amazing Spider-Man‘s been doing more than one a month for a while now; someone I know does Uncanny X-Men or one of those books, and that comes out 18 times a year.
I couldn’t keep up with that schedule, honestly. I knew I was getting to the end of my run. I wanted to wrap up my run earlier. And [Marvel Senior Vice President Of Publishing] Tom [Brevoort] was like, “Well, you’re going to leave a bunch of plot lines dangling… do you want to go out like that? It’ll seem like you threw up your hands and said ‘I can’t keep up with this schedule.’” I was like, “No, I don’t want to go out that way.” So we brought in Cullen Bunn to write an arc with me. I gave him a list of a bunch of stuff. “Here’s all the dangling plot threads and here’s where we need them all to be by the time I get to my last issue.” And then we figured out a storyline together.
It’s strange. I did all these issues as an uninterrupted run. Then there’s four issues co-written by someone. Then there’s a last issue. [laughs] It’s a little odd.