Wednesday, October 12, 2011

BET Exclusive: DC Comics Announces Marc Bernardin as Static Shock Writer

Earlier this week, I was contacted by DC Comics with the offer to write an exclusive for BET before it was announced at Comic Con. Initially I was excited because it would be my first ever exclusive editorial. Once I found out which comic it was, I became ecstatic! Static Shock has been my favorite super hero since I was a teenager. Check out the interview below in it's original form and head over to to view it after it was edited.


BET EXCLUSIVE: DC Comics Announces Marc Bernardin As Static Shock Writer
By Terry Mcfly

New York-based writer Marc Bernardin will be announced as the new ongoing writer for STATIC SHOCK, the Harlem-based superhero in DC COMICS-THE NEW 52.
Bernardin is also known for his work on THE HIGHWAYMEN and THE AUTHORITY comic books and as a former writer for Entertainment Weekly. Bernardin’s debut as the writer of STATIC SHOCK will be issue #7, with Scott McDaniel remaining on the title as illustrator.
Marc Bernardin met with before Comic Con NYC for a brief interview about the upcoming series and what we should expect.

Terry Mcfly: When did you first discover Static Shock?
Bernardin: I’ve been familiar with Static as a character since the mid 90’s, when it was part of the Milestone line of comics that DC was publishing. It was run by Dwayne Mcduffie, who is a bit of a hero of mine. I followed Static through the Milestone books and I also followed him through the animated show that was on the WB for a couple of years. I was really intrigued to hear that Static was going to be a part of this rebranding New 52 initiative. When these new books started to come out, I picked up a few and I was actually pleasantly surprised by them.

Terry Mcfly: What does it mean to you, when you write about a character such as Static Shock?
Bernardin: As a black comic book fan and as a father of black children, it’s really important that people see themselves reflected in a media they like. I remember growing up and looking at the Cosby show for the first time and getting to look at people who were like me and doing things like I did, people who were my age going to college and studying for exams. I think for a long time, a black kid picking up a comic book never got the chance to see himself, so I think that characters like Static are incredibly important.

Terry Mcfly: Do you see any traits of yourself within Virgil Hawkins aka Static Shock?
Bernardin: I’m not nearly as heroic as Virgil Hawkins is, I’m just not the dude who’s gonna run into a burning building and pull people out of it. I’m not the dude who’s going to put his life on the line for strangers. There’s a sort of wide eye to do the right thing that I think is very aspirational, I’d like to think I’m a smart guy like Virgil. I relate to his love for family, his sort of passion for science and technology.  I like his selflessness when it comes to the people of his city, I can’t say that I can see myself in all of his traits but I think everyone can find a shade in there that they can relate to.

Terry Mcfly: How does Static Shock differ from your previous projects?
Bernardin: Most of the work I’ve done in comics so far hasn’t been overly heroic, most of the stuff I’ve done has been straight up action adventure and a lil bit of science fiction. I’m also a TV writer, I wrote for Syfy’s Alpha’s this year, which was about grown up people doing grown up things. I’ve never been able to really write about a kid like this before, Static  is 16 years old. It gives me the chance to tap into the stuff I enjoyed reading as a kid like Spider-Man and the X-Men, also gives me the chance to give it a sort of contemporary urban flare. Static is definitely a departure from the work I’ve done before but it gives me a chance to work with the stuff that I like.

Terry Mcfly: Where do you get inspiration from when you write for a character like Static Shock?
Bernardin: My inspiration comes from books like Spiderman and Invincible, books about teen heroes. Harry Potter to a large extent as well, which is sort of a mixture of children and teenage writing. Also things that I remember from watching movies, like the idea that heroes are all about choice, a hero is somebody that chooses to do the right thing when it’s not the easiest thing to do.

Terry Mcfly: How does it feel knowing that the characters you develop will be looked up to and portrayed by people as if they’re actual people?
Bernardin: It’s humbling, the work that we do comes with a great responsibility. Every comic book is somebody’s first comic book, every story is somebody’s first story. I think also when you’re dealing with a character that is a minority, it’s a rarity in today’s market so there’s  a huge responsibility that I feel I have to the characters, to the books, to the legacy that Dwayne Mcduffie left behind. I want to do this as well as I can do a thing, I want to make this the best book as I can possibly make it so that a parent will feel comfortable giving it to a kid and a kid will feel comfortable passing it off to another friend. I want to create something that has a sense of longevity to it.

Terry Mcfly: When can we expect to see an issue of Static Shock written by you at the local comic store?
Bernardin: That’s an excellent question! I believe the second issue is on stands this month and I start on issue number 7. I’m guessing it will be available sometime in April.

Terry Mcfly: Do you have any advice to share with future African American writers looking to write comics like you one day?
Bernardin: Write as much as you can and start writing as early as you can. Also read as much as you can, it’s all about learning how to do it. There’s a talent involved but there is also a craft to it. The more you read and write, the more you take in and start to find your voice. I am a black writer but I do not only want to be viewed as a black writer, I want to be a viewed as a writer who happens to be black. Do the best that you can and the world will do its own to pitch and hold you as much as it can.

Terry Mcfly: Where can we find more information about you and also where can we find more information about Static Shock?
Bernardin: will be the one-stop warehouse for all static shock information. As for me, I can be found on twitter @MarcBernardin. Twitter and Facebook are the places I spend most of my online life.

Contact or share your thoughts about this article with Terry Mcfly on twitter @Terry_Mcfly

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