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McFarlane’s Spider-Man: The reasons the series came to be was not to drive the speculator market, but was a combination of factors — the main thing being I really enjoyed working with Todd McFarlane. The fans were really appreciating his approach, and he was an incredibly professional guy. The more he learned about creating comics, the more he wanted to do on the books. Basically, he wanted to do everything himself.

When Todd was thinking about leaving Marvel, I wanted to try anything I could to keep him. So why not create another Spider-Man book for Todd, present it in six-issue stories and be able to repackage them into trade paperbacks, a new concept that was just starting to take off.

Why I became an editor:It seemed like the perfect fit for me. I had an interest in every aspect of comics and am still an incredible fan. I love working with the writer and artists and, as an editor, I am in a great position. Let’s say I was working with John Byrne on the Fantastic Four. It puts me in a dream position as a comics fan. I can tell him, ‘Why don’t you do this with Doctor Doom?’

I basically have the top creators in the industry creating comic books just for me, except we’re publishing them. Fortunately, others share my taste.

Can the comic survive? It’s like asking if music will still be around. I don’t think any society is a homogenous demographic. You will find people with all sorts of interests. If something is good, it can find a market.

When I was 15, some of the folks at Marvel were worried about hiring me because they thought I was entering a field that was truly doomed. They had no idea comic book stores would come along.

Dream project: I have clear memories of going to a drug store and reading Classics Illustrated off the stand and thinking I am seeing something from another world. To suddenly be heading up and publishing Classics Illustrated for Papercutz it still hard for me to wrap my brain around.

New projects for Papercutz: The next launch is an odd one and aimed directly at young boys. It’s called Bionicle. Over the last six years, since its start, a fan club has been offering a comic book for its member. Lego thought it was a fad, but they know it’s still appealing to young boys who are captivated by the legend and want to learn more. It’s hard for them to find the old comics, and we will be repackaging it in trade paperbacks.

Zadzooks! wants to know you exist. Call 202/636-3016; fax 202/269-1853; e-mail or write to Joseph Szadkowski, The Washington Times, 3600 New York Ave. NE, Washington, DC 20002.