Where do you get your ideas from?
No one wishes that I had a definitive answer to this question more than me. I tried my best to explain the process in this blog post.
I want to work in the comics industry. How did you get your start?
I started out by volunteering to pack boxes in the mailroom at Top Shelf Productions. I showed Top Shelf’s editor the script for The Surrogates, and he decided to publish it. That may not be the most glamorous origin story, but it’s the truth.
Did you always want to write comics?
No. I didn’t start reading comic books until around the year 2000, when a friend of mine introduced me to Kurt Busiek’s Astro City. I enjoyed the “Confession” story arc so much that I decided to try writing comics myself.
Can I send you my story ideas/art samples?
Unfortunately, I cannot review unsolicited writing or art submissions of any kind. All submissions emailed to me, mailed to me, or given to me at conventions will be discarded without being opened. I’d be happy to talk to you about the craft of writing or getting published, just not about your specific character or story ideas.
Your email address isn’t on your website. How can I contact you?
The best way to reach me is through Twitter (@robertvenditti). You can also leave a comment at my blog. Your comment won’t post unless I approve it, which I won’t do if you state clearly that the comment is intended to be a private communication.
Are you going to write more stories set in the world of The Surrogates?
That’s the plan. I always envisioned the main storyline as a trilogy, with the third graphic novel taking place fifteen years after the first book. There are other stories I’d like to do as well, but when I’ll get around to doing them is difficult to say.
Speaking of The Surrogates, isn’t it kind of hypocritical that you wrote a cautionary tale about the perils of a future devoid of human-to-human interaction, but the only way you allow people to contact you is through Twitter and your blog?
How involved were you with the Surrogates feature film?
Not very. I was a consultant on the screenplay, but I didn’t try to control the adaptation process. I’d already told the story my way, so I wanted the film’s creative team to have the freedom to tell it their way.
Were you happy with the result?
Absolutely. From the beginning, I felt it was an enormous compliment that so many people wanted to devote their time, energy, and resources to the story. I still do.
Was that really your grandmother who I met at [insert location here]?
Probably. She’s prone to handing out my business card to just about everyone she crosses paths with. She’s awfully proud of her grandson.
To hear more about how I got my start in comics, how The Surrogates came into being, or my experience with the film adaptation, you can listen to these podcasts:
To hear more about my experiences writing X-O Manowar: