More Qs and As coming soon! [Last updated 1/31/13]
Q: What’s your favorite kind of taco?
A: That’s tough. It’s a toss-up between an al pastor taco (really tasty pork with some pineapple and other good stuff) and a lengua taco (tongue tacos are terrific!).
Q: How did you get your job at Marvel?
A: In May of 2002, I was getting ready to graduate from SUNY Purchase, a small state college in Westchester, NY, with a Journalism degree. I’d been reading comics and Wizard Magazine since I was a kid and found a job listing for an assistant editor job at ToyFare Magazine—Wizard’s sister mag.
I applied for the job, but didn’t get it. Instead, the dude who got the job—Justin Aclin—got in touch and offered me some freelance work. I took it and for the next year, I’d write articles about weird military toys, the toy collector market and more. While doing that, I was also living at my mom’s house, working at Blockbuster video and trying to do more freelance writing.
About 6 months into my freelance time with ToyFare, and now living in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, Wizard called to ask if I wanted to interview for a job in the company’s research department. Boy, howdy! I got dressed in my finest (read: only) suit, complete with a swanky Venom tie, and headed up to Congers for the interview.
Oh wow, I bombed that interview. I was sweating and nervous and just not up to snuff. I remember research head Dan Reilly asking about my tie and what I liked about Venom. I had no idea. Venom? What was Venom? Who? Jeez, that was embarrassing. Oh, but it got worse! I forgot to turn my car’s headlights off before the interview. My car’s battery died while I was there and I needed a jump from one of the fellas who interviewed me.
So I didn’t get the job. But it was a great learning experience. I’d advise anyone who’s not done many job interviews to get a few really bad ones out of the way first. It really preps you for the good ones. Anyhow, for some reason, Wizard called me again a few months later and asked me to come back in for another interview.
This interview was for a Price Guide Assistant position. Honestly? I don’t remember a thing about the interview other than being totally on my shit and kicking ass. I nailed it. And, a week or two later, while walking down the street after getting a sandwich on my day off from Blockbuster, Wizard called and offered me the job. I took it. I took it so hard, you don’t even know.
So I was living in Brooklyn. The job at Wizard was in Rockland County, about an hour north of Manhattan. It was a rough commute. During one particularly bad snowstorm, it took me 8 hours—I swear I’m not exaggerating—to get home. Whatever; ya gotta do what ya gotta do.
Within a month of working there, I became Wizard Magazine’s Price Guide Editor. I changed things, came up with ideas, did all kinds of fun stuff. I worked hard, I got my inexperienced ass kicked and learned a TON thanks to the folks I worked with, thus becoming a much better writer and editor.
About a year into my time at Wizard, I moved closer to the office. I expanded my reach past the Price Guide and eventually became an Associate Editor. I did lots of video game stuff, some swag stuff, more features and bigger ideas stuff. All on top of my Price Guide stuff. Always do more, that’s my motto.
At around the 2-year mark at Wizard, I became the magazine’s contact for Marvel Comics. That meant that I would work closely with someone at Marvel—Jim McCann, at that time—to find out what Marvel had planned and to figure out the appropriate coverage needed. It was like a beat reporter, but with a really fun beat.
So, one day I was doing a regular visit to Marvel Comics HQ. I’d go talk to editors, see artwork and take notes at these visits. It was great! I was wearing camouflage shorts and a Most Precious Blood t-shirt that day (PRO-FESH-SHUN-UL). John Dokes, one of the VPs at Marvel whom I’d interacted with a ton asked me to come into his office to chat. Uh oh!
We started talking about mundane stuff and life and then Wizard and work and Marvel and…wait…this was kind of like a job interview! Dokes does that. He springs stuff on ya. Luckily, I adapted and rolled with it and even when he brought in Pete Olson, one of the few other dudes in Marvel’s tiny and new online department, I kept my cool. Nailed it!
A week or two later, Marvel offered me a job as Associate Editor of Marvel.com. They wanted me to join the team and head up the editorial vision for the site. I took the gig, and that’s how I got my job at Marvel! :)
Q: Who are your favorite comic book characters?
A: In no order: Cable, M.O.D.O.K., Etrigan, Jesse Custer, Deadpool.
Q: I am a fan and have an idea I would like to share with Marvel to turn it into a comic book/movie/property. How can I do that?
A: Unfortunately, you can’t. Pulling this directly from Marvel.com:
“Marvel does not accept or consider any ideas, creative suggestions, artwork, designs, game proposals, scripts, manuscripts, or similar material unless we have specifically requested it from you. Marvel is continuously developing and creating its own ideas and materials, and we don’t have the resources to review or respond to unsolicited material. Unfortunately, any unsolicited material you send will not be read or shared. It will be destroyed, and it will not be returned.
While we can’t accept your unsolicited submissions, please know that Marvel is always looking for new comic book artists and writers. We constantly read and review indie, self-published, creator-owned, and web-comics, review popular online art communities, ask other artists for opinions and recommendations, and host portfolio reviews at conventions from time to time. If you are an aspiring comic book artist or writer, we suggest you publish or publicly post your material, continue to create, and if you have the right stuff…we’ll find you.”