Thought Bubble 2022: CONversation ComiXology Panel

by Olly MacNamee

Panel: Scott Snyder and Jack Snyder, Jock, Richard Starkings, Tula Lotay, Mark Bernardin, Valeria Zevallosa and late arrival, Rafa Albuquerque.

From left to right: Marc Bernardin, Bryce Gold, Tula Lotay, Richard Starkings, Scott Snyder, Jack Snyder, Jock, Valeria Zevallosa, Rafa Albuquerque, Jock

Why creator owned comic?

MB: His first comic was Savage Sword of Conan (SSoC) “they were not for eleven year old’s eyes,” and other fantasy comics. 

SSoC was one of RS’s comics too! RS loved the eighties’ Love & Rockets and Cerebus. He used to play softball in Hyde Park, London as. Part of a Marvel Vs. DC Comics’ get-together and once talked with John Wagner, who even then insisted you should not sign your IPs away. “And that stuck with me.”

TL: Her first comics were X-Men, The Dark Knight Returns and the UK Star Wars weeklies. “You can’t beat the feeling of doing your own thing.”

Jock: For him, like many UK creators, it was 2000 AD, with its strong voices and individual styles.

JS: Jack enjoyed Manga titles such as Naruto and “some of my dad’s stuff.”

SS: The Dark Knight Returns a lot of indie comics, and Tim Vigil’s Faust, Which caused his dad to have the “birds and the bees” talk with him as a result of its graphic depiction of sex. Coming out of a ten year contract, Snyder admits he was “terrified” that his fans may not follow him. But, of course, we did. 

VZ: She read a lot of Italian comics, being Italian, of course she would. Working on Dark Horse’s Stranger Things comic, she says, it’s easier because the world and characters are already created. With her new comic she loved the challenge of developing her own characters and the world they live in.

Entry point into a career in comics:

RS: Starkings started by self-publishing Doctor Who cartoons for the Doctor Who Appreciation Society and cartoons for his university’s newspaper. Then on he worked in Marvel UK and the built Comic Craft, but always with the intention of self-publishing. And, he exclusively revealed, he’s going to draw the next comic he writes!  And, as a warm up, he has an exclusive comic con Blade Runner print at TB.

TL: Lotay worked in three different comic shops, set up TB, and therefore got to know people, like Starking, who held her get into comics. Comics are her life and blood.

Jock: He just wanted to make a living drawing.

SS: Scott always wanted to be a comic book artist, but never made it. He used to go to cons and ask artists t draw his characters, which, he confesses, were “awful.” (e.g. Blue Panther) Started in prose and them got into comics, his first love. “Comics is easiest the best.”

Jock: Scott really responds to the art – ie. Redrafting after the art comes in and adapt based on what the art is saying.

RA: Rafa loved the Batman TV show and the Super Powers animated show as a kid. When he saw Brazilian artists like Mike Deodato Jr. make it into comics he was inspired.


MB: Comics is the perfect version of collaboration. TV series have hundreds of people involved, while comics have a “maximum of five people” involved.  Easier to listen to viewpoints when it’s a limited number of people involved.

RS: Starkings loves being a mentor for others, i.e. Abigail Jill Harding after so many years in the business. Exclusive – Parliament of Rooks – coming to ComiXology soon.

Jock: You become friends with your collaborators. So, it’s like making something with your friends.

JS: Coming up with an idea and seeing others’ interpretations and how that makes you react and develop.

SS: You help each there evolve and grow when its a great collaboration. And, it makes you feel younger, alluding to working with his son.

Impostor Syndrome?

All admitted to having it at times, Scott regaled us with a story of meeting Neil Gaiman as he was just starting on Batman and Gaiman told him that one day, he’d only think of how good you once was, jokingly. Jock joked about not knowing how to write, and looked at impostor syndrome as a feeling you get, because you really know that you can do it. 

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