Among the many stars of comic books and graphic novels to appear at C2E2 (Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo) this weekend will be DC Comics' Batman scribe Scott Snyder.  I first discovered Snyder after reading his breakthrough horror title “American Vampire” and have been a fan ever since.  He would achieve star status with his runs on “Detective Comics” and “Superman Unchained”, and is currently involved in planning for Batman’s 75th Anniversary.

Speaking with Snyder, you get a sense that the New York native and Eisner Award-winner is fully aware of how his work will be compared to previous Batman writers. “I was talking to my friend being like, I don’t know if I can pull this one off.” Snyder says. “I don’t know if it’s good enough and you always I think live in fear of not living up to the bar that has been set by so many writers and artists on Batman.”

“And that’s not to say that you can never surpass the great stories, you know. I don’t think that I’m capable of ever kind of vaulting over, even being beside some of the best of the best, but it’s just the challenge of doing your very best work, whatever you are capable of on the book.” Synder continues, ”I mean, it’s almost mercilessly in your head the whole time, just because so many people have done such a great job and brought their A-game to the character that you really feel like you have to write to the best of your ability on it. “

You would think that working on a book with best-selling author Stephen King in “American Vampire” would have prepared Snyder for the pressures of working on Batman, but Snyder would disagree with that notion. “Uh, I don’t know if you are ever ready to write Batman, man.” Snyder insists. “I think if you asked me back then, I mean I was terrified when Batman came along. You know I had a story I really wanted to do with the Black Mirror first and maybe it made it a little easier because it was with (Dick) Grayson, I think, at that time. 'Cuz Bruce is so intimidating.”

So how does Snyder tackle dealing with a character that he finds so formidable? “Well, I think at the end of the day, the only way to do it, at least for me is to try and figure out an aspect of Bruce’s psychology that I find really heroic and at the same time really tragic” Snyder says, “something that fascinates me about him and something I can relate to. It makes him both admirable but also makes him sort of vulnerable.”

For Snyder, he tries to put an intimate spin on his Batman stories, born of personal experience “With (the) ‘Court of Owls‘ (story arc), it was really born out of my growing up in the city, New York City. I’ve always loved…And that feeling that you can know your neighborhood as well as anyone. You can know every nook and  cranny of the geography of it, but you still won’t know all the lives that are being lived there, or have been lived there. That kind of crushed the layers of living history that happened there. For me it became this sort of feel for this story, the sense of well you know what with ‘Court of Owls’ it might be Batman thinks he knows Gotham but he can’t know everything that has happened over the years and the secrets that people have had.“

His follow up story arc, featuring Batman’s greatest nemesis was also informed by personal experience, “And similarly with Joker ("Death of the Family") we were pregnant with our second child when I made that one up.” Snyder recounts “You know, Batman has this family, he’s accumulated these allies. He must have these feelings of 'what if I never should have done this?' What if I’m putting them in harms way? What if I’m not meant to be a father figure in that way? And then having Joker come along and play off of those fears. It became really potent for me.”

Whatever the story may be, or challenges that the Dark Knight may face, there’s one thing about Batman that will never change. “Batman would win,” Snyder insists. “People ask questions at comic con where they’d be like ‘Who do you think would win a fight? Spiderman or the Hulk?’ And I’m always like, ‘Batman would win.’ The correct answer to every fight question is Batman. One of my favorite images of that, someone sent me an image of the Flash and Superman at the starting line of a race. Batman is there with them  and they’re looking at him and he’s like, “What? I’m Batman.”

SCOTT SNYDER WILL BE APPEARING AT C2E2. CLICK HERE FOR SCHEDULE INFORMATION

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