GRAPHIC NOVEL CLUB: Brian Michael Bendis on the success of ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN

Plus, how Bendis made Hibbs eat a bug.


The Beat is a proud sponsor of Comix Experience’s Graphic Novel of the Month Clubs, which bring comics fans a curated mix of the best of new release graphic novels and conversations with the creators who make them. Each month, the staff of Comix Experience votes on three sets of upcoming books they are most excited about—one gets presented to adults, another to middle readers, and the third is a classic. Each club provides swag like original signed  custom bookplates for adults or buttons and magnets for the kids (in this case, the former, to support the featured Comics Masterpiece book, Ultimate Spider-Man).

ultimate spider-man

Most excitingly, the Graphic Novel Clubs bring in the creators of selected books to talk exclusively to GNC members in interviews conducted by Comix Experience owner Brian Hibbs, who brings 30 years of experience in comics to the table. These talks are livestreamed to members all over the country and are a fun and informative mix of conversation on craft and form, as well as on the business of making comics. The Graphic Novel Clubs make a point of being inclusive, inviting creators from a wide variety of age, race, sex, and cultural perspectives to speak to members.

Membership is what propels these conversations, so if you like what you see, please support these discussions of comics, and the creators who make them, by joining the club.

Today: Brian Hibbs talks to Ultimate Spider-Man writer Brian Michael Bendis about carving out his own place in the comics world at the Cleveland Institute of Art, and the struggles leading up to the launch of this book. Published from 2000-20011, the modernized re-imagining was hit with skepticism from the get-go, and Hibbs himself recalls writing a piece declaring that he’d eat a bug if the series made it to 100 issues. Spoiler alert: Hibbs ate that bug.

Make sure to check out the full interview on Comix Experience’s official YouTube page.

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  1. A very successful series until Marvel decided they had to kill off Ultimate Peter Parker to make room for the Miles Morales Spider-Man, whereupon sales plummeted and Marvel finally killed off the entire Ultimate universe and screw the fans! I expect a lot of people stopped buying Marvel comics entirely after that because how could they be trusted?

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