A FOTF exclusive Interview with Author Adam Bray discussing his contributions to DK’s new Marvel Encyclopedias
A FOTF exclusive Interview with Author Adam Bray discussing his contributions to DK’s two newly released Marvel Encyclopedia references, The Marvel Studios Character Encyclopedia and the Marvel Encyclopedia.
Welcome back Adam to Future Of The Force and thanks so much for taking the time to answer these questions about your contribution to The Marvel Studios Character Encyclopedia and the Marvel Encyclopedia (Comics).
Patty: What interested you most about working each of these projects in comparison to working on other Marvel projects?
Adam: In terms of licensed publishing, Marvel Studios is still an exciting new frontier. The Marvel Studios Character Encyclopedia is my third foray into the MCU, as well as the third MCU book for the publisher, DK. I adore the Marvel Studios films too—they have really been the spark that set my Marvel fandom ablaze. DK’s Marvel Encyclopedia is the cornerstone of their Marvel comics publishing line-up, so it’s also a great honor to add my name to the list of authors who have contributed to various editions.
Patty: Since these both reference two different aspects of the Marvel Universe, how different was your approach to each of these? What approach did you take when researching the content for these books?
Adam: Having written and researched Marvel Studios 101 and the Marvel Studios Visual Dictionary recently, my research for the Character Encyclopedia was a substantially lighter than most books I’ve written—simply because I still have all the source material floating around in my brain. However those books didn’t feature much content from Infinity War, Ant-Man & Wasp or Captain Marvel, so diving deeper into that material this time was a lot of fun. The Marvel Encyclopedia is a bit more difficult though—it was all new material to me. Fortunately, I’m not the only writer who was working on that—it would just be too much for one person—I don’t believe any one person is sitting down and reading every single Marvel comic cover to cover… well, I’m sure there are probably a few people, but it’s not easy to do that and get other things done day-to-day! That’s where a subscription to Marvel Unlimited (their digital comics library) and various online wikis help a lot to point me in the right direction.
Patty: What part took you the most time to work on and why?
Adam: With something like the Marvel Studios Visual Dictionary I focused on specific props and costumes, so it was easy to go down rabbit holes and get lost hunting for certain details that interest me. On these newer books, the work is more straightforward. I just take the number of entries I have to write and divide that between the number of days left until my deadlines. So everything pretty much comes out equally in terms of time I’ve spent.
Patty: What part is your favorite entry or section within each of these and why? What is your favorite character to work on and why?
Adam: Since both books are character-based, my answer to these two questions is really the same. In the Marvel Encyclopedia, it’s always interesting when I have a character that either appears in the Marvel Studios MCU, or in one of the Marvel Television series. It’s fun to see how character stories are different or the same compared to their comics versions. In the Marvel Studios Character Encyclopedia, Spider-Man is probably my favorite character because he’s the one I grew up with and know the most about, but also all the characters from Guardians of the Galaxy because I love those films, as well as the characters from the Thor movies. I fell in love with Thor: Ragnarok, so that movie really turned my interest toward the whole Thor series of movies. And who doesn’t love Chris Hemsworth and Cate Blanchett?
Patty: Did you learn anything new by working these projects you did not know before?
Adam: This goes back to your earlier question. The comics material was all new to me because all of the new entries that I wrote don’t actually pertain to the recent comics I’d been reading (like Spider-Man, Nova or the Champions). With Marvel Studios, it wasn’t so much about learning entirely new material, since I’d seen the movies a few times by then already, but more of picking out little nuggets that might have gone over my head with casual viewings.
Patty: Is there anything else you would like to share about yourself or your writing process?
Adam: My goal with each book is to both learn something new and impart something new for readers to explore and enjoy. In that regard, it’s always a huge help when the licensors provide me as much behind-the-scenes material and support as possible. The more unique material I have to work with, the better reading experience I can create for the readers. I try to use my knowledge and experience also to seed books with “Easter Eggs.” These are little gems that pay off for fans who have really put their time into reading, watching and learning the source material—and also the real-world inspirations for aspects of these universes. The books based on comics material are more straightforward, so there’s a little less of that. But I manage to slip things into the Marvel Studios and Star Wars books where appropriate. There is a surprise or two in the Marvel Studios Character Encyclopedia that fans don’t seem to have noticed yet…
Patty: What else have you worked on or is upcoming that you can share?
Adam: My next book is the newly updated and expanded Ultimate Star Wars, which will include everything new in Star Wars canon that has come about since the original 2015 edition. That will be out in October when The Rise of Skywalker is in the midst of intense promotion, I’m sure. So that should be exciting! The first book was a really big deal so I hope we can create at least as much buzz this time!
Patty: Where can fans find you?
Adam: I recently got my own website back online with newly-updated content, including lists and links to all my articles, books, interviews, podcast appearances, conventions and book signings, among other things. I’ll be adding more content soon, including previously unpublished and exclusive writings and artwork. Please visit www.AdamBray.com! Folks can also follow me on Twitter and Facebook: @AuthorAdamBray.
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