"Walking Dead" showrunner Glen Mazzara is a comic book addict in the midst of a relapse — just in time for Comic-Con.
Mazzara, who grew up loving comics — especially Chris Claremont's run on "The Uncanny X-Men" and Frank Miller's on "Daredevil" — now adapts one of the best books of the last decade. He and his writers, including "Walking Dead" creator Robert Kirkman, will be at Comic-Con on Friday to preview the third season of the AMC hit based on Kirkman's stories.
Since taking on the showrunner job last year, Mazzara has fallen in love with comics again. He plans to spend Comic-Con seeking out some of his favorite writers, just as legions of undead fans swarm after him.
We talked previously with Mazzara about his plans for "Walking Dead" — including how he wants to end the show. So this time, we're focusing on Comic-Con, including what panels he plans to see and what he's reading now.
We also talked about Mazzara's plans post-"Walking Dead" and learned that he retains a fascination with Daredevil, a blind lawyer by day whose other senses are dramatically amplified. Ben Affleck played him in one of Marvel's less successful big screen adaptations, but Mazzara thinks he might play better on TV.
Who knows? He might even be interested in writing it, if someone can work out the rights.
TheWrap: What should people expect at the 'Walking Dead' panel?
They should expect a very lively panel. We shut down production, so we're bringing the cast and all of the producers. Comic-Con is really the central event for our year. We're really, really excited. It's going to feel fresh, exciting, epic. And I really think that fans will feel like the entire world of the 'Walking Dead' has exploded and opened up in a very, very exciting way. … We're coming heavy.
What panels do you hope to attend, and who do you hope to see?
"Breaking Bad," and one of our writers, Scott Gimple, will be sitting on an interesting TV panel about serialized shows that got canceled too soon. What the writers would have done. I love Scott and that will be interesting. Mark Waid – I'm a big fan of his. He's currently writing "Daredevil." That will be exciting.
Circle of Confusion is doing a Walking Dead obstacle course I think will be fun if I don't get killed. Robert's throwing a party for "The Walking Dead" issue 100. Meeting Ed Brubaker, he's a friend of Robert's, and I'm a big Brubaker fan. J. Michael Straczynski is currently writing "Before Watchment" – he's writing some of those.
You're obviously a comics guy.
I grew up reading comics, and I moved away from it, and over the past year I've really gotten back into it. I'm currently reading "Morning Glories," which I think is terrific, I love "Locke and Key." I've been reading a lot. I've been catching up with Grant Morrison's stuff, and Alan Moore of course. There's a lot of great stuff that I've missed over the past few years that I've been able to read in the collected editions. I've been reading comic books nonstop now since the beginning of the year. They know me well at Earth 2 on Ventura Boulevard.
What did you read as a kid?
I really loved Chris Claremont's "X-Men" run, the Dark Phoenix saga. And Frank Miller's "Daredevil" run was just instrumental for how I tell a story.
What did you think of "The Avengers"?
I really loved 'Avengers.' I took my family to it. I've never met Joss Whedon, I thought he did an incredible job. What I really loved about it is each character had stuff to do. I though he had a brilliant sequence when Captain America throws Black Widow onto one of the alien ships and she takes it down. The fact that he kept everybody engaged, he was really a master at making sure everybody had an individual point of view. It had heart, it was funny. I really loved it.
When you next have free time, are there any comic adaptions that you'd really like to do?
That's interesting. I've thought about that, but I'm actually interested in developing my own material. I've done adaptations and worked on other people's shows, and I'm really interested in bringing to life some stories that I have sitting in notebooks. And hopefully "The Walking Dead" will be a good healthy run, but there's stuff I'm feeling around on the side.
Is it more fantastical, or rooted in a world like ours?
It's interesting. "The Walking Dead" is fantastic, but it's also gritty and grounded and feels realistic. I think that is the perfect zone for me. If something becomes too fantastic I may not be the writer for that. I think any genre piece I do would need to feel grounded like "The Walking Dead."
I've dreamed of seeing a "Daredevil: Born Again" movie based on the Frank Miller storyline – and that may be the next Daredevil movie. It seems like that would be perfect for you.
I think they're reinventing – I love Daredevil. I would actually argue that Daredevil could be a great TV series. If you could do it, I really think Daredevil is one of those long-running arcs that you could really push in and develop that character. That's something I would consider adapting.
He's a superhero, but he's not a flying superhero who can lift 10 tons.
It's a believable world. It's a world we all recognize: It's a gritty New York world from the late '70s-early '80s. The idea of that hero in an urban blight is kind of interesting. I have thought about a Daredevil TV [show]. I would watch that.
And you grew up in Queens in early '80s, exactly when Frank Miller was writing Daredevil. Not in Hell's Kitchen but close.
It feels like home to me.