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Spider-Man Previews and Interview

You may not know his name yet, but if your kids love Spider-Man (like nearly every boy in my grade one class), you might want to get to know him. Patrick Scherberger, the artist for the more kid friendly version of the wildly popular web-slinger, Marvel Adventures Spider-Man , has agreed to answer a few questions for us here at CitC. Not only that, but he also sent along a preview for a few penciled covers for upcoming M.A. Spider-Man issues 21, 22, 27, 28. Thanks to Patrick and Marvel.

Let's get right to it.

CITC - Scott Tingley: Mr. Scherberger, tell us a bit about yourself and your career so far. How did you get into drawing comics?

Scherberger: A couple of years ago Comicbookresources.com and J Torres were running a competition called Comic Book Idol which gave comic hopefuls a chance to compete for the opportunity to work with several different comic companies. The interesting thing about the competition was that the judges themselves were working editors, artists and writers within the industry. So I tossed my portfolio into the ring, and was luckily among the 10 chosen to participate in the contest.

Each week for 5 weeks we were given a challenge to perform, and every week we would post our pieces to be reviewed and voted on by the judges and audience. At the end of the 5 weeks I managed to win against some incredibly talented artists.

It was during the competition that Joe Quesada asked me to try out for Marvel. So he put me in touch with CB Cebulski and they sent me over a 7 page script to work from, and not long after I received a call from Marvel asking me to work on Marvel Age Spider-Man #9. From there I've been with Marvel ever since, and it's been one of the greatest experiences I've ever had.

CITC: One thing that has changed over the years is that the stories in comics have gone from usually being one or two issues long to now often being four to six issues long. Why does your title choose to tell the shorter stories?

Scherberger: I think it's because of the audience we're going for. It's the idea that anyone can pick up an issue at any time and fall right into the story without worrying about years of continuity. I love continuity as much as the next guy, but we also have to keep in n mind that some people are casual readers. And this title affords them the opportunity to join the fun any time without worrying about being lost by what's come before.

And hopefully keep them reading once they've given us a shot.

CITC: Tell me about your title, Marvel Adventures Spider-Man and the other two Adventures titles from Marvel. What sets them apart from the rest of the titles Marvel puts out? Tell me why we should be reading your comic.

Scherberger: I think the biggest thing that sets us apart from most of the comics out there is our told in one or two format. We're here to have fun and entertain the reader. We want kids and adults alike to have the opportunity to pick up the issues, and just enjoy them. You read through an issue and you have a beginning, middle and end for your 3 dollars. So if we did our jobs right the reader has a good time, and hopefully comes back next month to join us again. And with Spider-man, the Fantastic Four, and the Avengers there's a nice cross-section of Marvel characters that will hopefully have a little something for everyone.

CITC: How much of the characters' back-story does the reader need to know to follow what is going on?

Scherberger: Not particularly. There's not much required to pick up any of these titles and enjoy them. Which I think is the best part of these books. You can walk in, pick one up, and get lost in the story without having to know anything that's come before it.

CITC: The series is rated by Marvel as being an All Ages title, but at about what age/grade level do you find that kids begin to read it independently (according to letters and emails the creative team gets from kids)?

Scherberger: Perhaps eight to twelve? I suppose it depends on the kid, but I would hope that as soon as a child starts to read our comic could be use to encourage them to continue to read and learn.

I've actually been in touch with a father in Canada who reads Marvel Adventures Spider-man with his six year old daughter, and I think that's fantastic. I really like the idea that we can also be used by adults to help kids become interested in reading. And anything that can get kids reading is a good thing.

CITC: Marvel Adventures Spider-Man sounds like the kind of comic that would be perfect for kids to pick up at the supermarket or local corner store. Unfortunately this is not possible in most places because most monthly comics can only be found in comic shops. Where can people find this title?

Scherberger: Interestingly Marvel recently began releasing Marvel Adventures Flip books in 7-11 stores which is great. Also, Target's been releasing a number of the Marvel Adventures titles as oversize trades in their stores. We're carried in Wal-Mart, Borders, Barnes and Noble, and a number of online retailers from Amazon to Overstock.

Marvel Adventures Spider-man is also Marvel's number one subscription title, and readers can subscribe over on Marvel's website as well as Amazon.com (which is through Marvel too.) Its $24 for 12 issues delivered every month. Not a bad deal if you ask me.

And I can't wait until next month when Marvel releases the hardcover for the first 8 issues of Marvel Adventures Spider-man. It's available for preorder over on Amazon.com as well, or you can wander into your local comic book store and pick it up.

Amazon also carries individual issues in hardcover format for libraries. They're collected by Spotlight and collect MASM, Spider-Man loves Mary Jane, Spider-Girl, and a number of other Marvel titles.

CITC: Final question. My five year old nephew loves the Vulture. He would want me to ask: any chance he'll be turning up in your book anytime soon?

Scherberger: He made an appearance in the Sinister Six story from issue 2 and 3, but unfortunately I don't believe he'll be making an appearance in the near future. But we do have appearances by Sandman, Green Goblin, Hobgoblin, Venom, and a host of other villains who will be making their way through the book in the coming months. So hopefully your nephew has a few favorites on that list too.

CITC: Thanks for doing this.

Scherberger: Thank you for having me.

October, 2006

Any questions or comments, contact me at comicsintheclassroom @ gmail.com


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