By Blake Garris
Comedian Bill Hader has been on a tear over the last five years. Between his regular gig as a cast member on "Saturday Night Live" and starring in the films "Knocked Up," "Tropic Thunder," "Superbad," "Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!," "Forgetting Sarah Marshall," "Adventureland" and tons of other movies and shows, he's been blowing up. The next logical step? Comics, of course!
Teaming with fellow "SNL" vet—and co-writer—Seth Meyers and artist Kevin Maguire, Hader makes his comic book debut with SPIDER-MAN: THE SHORT HALLOWEEN #1, on sale May 13! And if you had any doubts about Hader's geek cred, we're here to lay your fears to rest. Hader's a hardcore fan of Ed Brubaker, Neil Gaiman, Iron Fist and much more. Read on for all the details!
Marvel.com: Can you tell people about SPIDER-MAN: THE SHORT HALLOWEEN #1?
It's a story that finds Spider-Man tracking some bad guys on Halloween that turns into a case of mistaken identity. It's pretty funny (at least Seth Meyers and I hope it is) and does not mess with the current Spider-Man continuity.
Marvel.com: This is a one-shot issue, but are you guys itchin' to do more?
SHORT HALLOWEEN is a one-off, which is why I think Marvel liked the idea. We're just having fun. We're hoping that Marvel will let us do this with some of the other characters—let us write little silly stand-alone stories. That would be sweet!
Marvel.com: Have you ever fantasized about putting on the tights of any Marvel characters?
I guess Iron Fist or Daredevil because I wish I knew kung-fu. Which is sad because it's something, if I was disciplined at all, I could've learned on my own. It's not like flying or crawling up walls or turning huge and green, it's something I COULD DO if I wasn't so lazy.
Marvel.com: Being a TV star, I'm sure you've had your run-ins with some childhood heroes. Any stories you can tell us?
Oh man. I've been very lucky to meet some of my heroes. John Cleese, Michael Palin, Billy Murray, Dan Ackroyd, Sam Raimi, Neil Gaiman. Those were all big ones for me. I was introduced to Michael Palin by Lorne Michaels and I had such a crazy moment of overload, "Lorne Michaels just introduced me to Michael Palin!" I couldn't talk and came off like a total moron.
Marvel.com: What Marvel stories are you currently reading?
by Kevin Maguire
I was reading PLANET HULK, doing a bit of catch up. Loved that. And now I'm going between finishing up Garth Ennis's PUNISHER and Ed Brubaker's CAPTAIN AMERICA. This tends to be the way I read comics. It's only really during the summer, when there's no "SNL" that I have time to go to the comic book store. I'm always behind with my comics.
Marvel.com: What are your all-time favorite Marvel stories, writers or artists?
I really get stoked by writers. So anything that Ed Brubaker, Matt Fraction, Neil Gaiman, Alan Moore, Grant Morrison, Brain K. Vaughan, Jason Aaron do, I'm there. I also love Tim Sale, Kevin Maguire, Sean Phillips, R.M. Guera, Mike Mignola.
Marvel.com: Any favorite Marvel movies and upcoming ones you're most looking forward to?
I'm excited to see "Wolverine." That should be crazy.
Marvel.com: You're happily married, further destroying the "lonely comic book fan" stereotype. Can you give single comic book fans any advice for love?
Easy—marry a girl who is into comic books! My wife is a Brian K. Vaughan freak. She read all the RUNAWAYS last week.
Marvel.com: Do you think there are any parallels between comedy and comics?
by Kevin Maguire
It's similar in the people, I think. When I first met some comic book guys like Brubaker and Bendis (POWERS is the best) I was like, "These guys are like comedy writers." They are just fans. Not pretentious or anything. Just regular, hardworking fans, ya know? And there's a sense of economy when you're writing a comic that is like writing a sketch. You have to get information across in a limited amount of space, which usually makes you have to get more creative.
Marvel.com: What does the rest of the "SNL" cast think of your comic book addiction?
They don't know, I think. I share an office with [Jason] Sudeikis and he has a copy of Dark Knight Returns on his desk that I think Seth gave him. I don't know if he's read it yet.
Marvel.com: Where do you normally buy your comics?
Any place in NYC, I have no allegiances. I go to Golden Apple in LA.
Marvel.com: This doesn't particularly have anything to do with comics, but can you talk about your time as a production assistant on a "Star Wars" documentary?
It was awesome! I got to watch all of the dailies, which was crazy. Hearing David Prowse doing the Vader lines was hilarious. It's like the Black Knight in "Monty Python and the Holy Grail." And I got to watch all of the audition tapes. Robbie Benson reading for Luke, Kurt Russell reading for Han Solo. It was awesome.
Marvel.com: What upcoming films are you working on?
"Adventureland" [came] out April 3. "Night at the Museum 2" comes out around Memorial Day. And other than that, we shall see. I think I'm going to be in "Paul," the new Simon Pegg/Nick Frost movie, playing an FBI agent. I'm a crazy fan of those guys.
You can see Bill Hader every week on NBC's "Saturday Night Live." Also don't forget to catch the movies listed above and pick up SPIDER-MAN: THE SHORT HALLOWEEN #1, on sale May 13!
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