How Zeb Wells' Fan Films Got Him a Job Writing Amazing Spider-Man

Illustration for article titled How Zeb Wells Fan Films Got Him a Job Writing Amazing Spider-Man

What is the best way to get a job writing Marvel Comics? Apparently, the answer may be "Make a fan film where a drunken Supergirl complains about an anorexic Thor, who is responsible for bathing the Hulk, before they all learn to become a pop band." That was the route taken by Zeb Wells, former indie filmmaker turned one of the new writing staff of Amazing Spider-Man. View the video in question and find out what led from that to getting paid to write jokes for Spidey after the jump.


Real World Metropolis was the second fan movie in a row made by Wells that won Wizard Magazine's now defunct "Direct To Video" contest (Superhero Birthday Party having won the year before), and at a Wizard-sponsored convention that year, his acceptance speech caught the attention of Marvel editor Axel Alonso:

So they show it - a spoof episode of The Real World, with super heroes in the house. Not blisteringly original but my friends make up for it by being funny as hell. I got to give a little speech afterwards. I got up there and took some friendly jabs at [Marvel Editor In Chief] Joe Quesada and [star Marvel writer] Brian Michael Bendis, spending ample time addressing the timely subject of how worthless my friends and I are - one of the few subjects I'm an expert in.

The next day I heard that Axel was looking for me, almost threw up, then ran into him in a bar that night. He asked me to send him some ideas for [now-cancelled anthology title] Spider-Man's Tangled Web. We went back and forth a bit and eventually he told me to just write it. It was pretty rough, but he helped me tighten it up. I'm sure I don't need to say it, but he's a damn good editor. And then I was off and running, head still spinning.


From there, Wells bounced around the company, writing short runs on limited series or books about to be cancelled, until his announcement as one of the four writers on staff for the three-times-per-month relaunch of Amazing Spider-Man. A roundabout route, sure, but at least not one that involves writing three Back To The Future movies (Bob Gale is also part of the new Spider-Writing team, alongside Eli Stone creator Marc Guggenheim and former She-Hulk writer Dan Slott). Wells' first issues on the title ship in April, giving you just one more month to consider how dysfunctional he can get away with making the character when corporate bosses are watching.

Real World Metropolis []

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You linked to "Superhero Birthday Party" twice there, kids.

Besides, neither of them are half as funny as Superhero Top Guns:

+ Watch video"