Comics Reviews

Zero Year’s Oversized Chapters Accidentally Overworked the Art Team

Batman writer Scott Snyder and artist Greg Capullo reveal that the scale of their Zero Year storyline pushed the limits of the entire art team.

The art team behind Batman was miserable during the making of “Zero Year.”

While promoting their new series We Have Demons at New York Comic Con, writer Scott Snyder and artist Greg Capullo were asked about their experience working on “Zero Year” at a panel attended by CBR. Capullo responded, “That was the book that Scott almost killed the entire art team on.” Snyder owned up to the claim, admitting that through an unfortunate series of circumstances, he did.

RELATED: Face-Ripping Halloween Mask Channels Snyder and Capullo’s Joker

Snyder and Capullo clarified that these problems were the unfortunate result of some simple miscommunications behind the scenes. As Snyder told it, “Basically, they kept giving me extra pages when I asked. They didn’t tell me they weren’t extending the deadline for them [the artists].” This resulted in each issue being 26 pages long, instead of the standard 22. On a monthly schedule, that means that Capullo, inker Danny Miki and colorist FCO Plascencia produced an average of six and a half pages every week, something that proved to be unsustainable. “Oh, it was murder,” Capullo said.

After creating the Court of Owls and successfully reinventing the Joker with “Death of the Family,” Snyder and Capullo were tasked with tackling Batman’s origin in “Zero Year.” The storyline unfolded over the course of 12 issues of Batman proper, with over a dozen additional tie-ins from the likes of Batgirl, Nightwing, Catwoman and even Action Comics. Instead of directly retreading the beloved Batman: Year One, “Zero Year” focused on the arrival of the Joker and the Riddler to Gotham City and reimagined Doctor Death, a classic Batman villain that was originally created in the 1930s.

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This insight into the creation of “Zero Year” is one of many experiences that Snyder shared over the last few months as the writer takes a hiatus from DC Comics. However, the “Zero Year” storyline almost never came to be. Snyder recently revealed that a conflict with his editors over the identity of Lincoln March in the “Court of Owls” storyline almost made him leave Batman long before “Zero Year” ever began. DC got cold feet about the ending to his first story, suggesting a change that Snyder believed “would have changed the entire story.” Luckily, cooler heads prevailed, and Snyder stayed on Batman for years to come.

Snyder finished off the segment by saying, “I always assumed they were giving you the extra time, you know? But they weren’t so I was like, murdering them, and they all hated me, and it took a while to win you [talking to Greg] guys back.” Of course, time heals all wounds, and the two are together again as part of Snyder’s new publishing deal with ComiXology and Dark Horse Comics.

KEEP READING: Scott Snyder Discusses Reuniting With Greg Capullo for We Have Demons

Source: New York Comic Con

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