I had the privilege of interviewing Marvel Assistant Editor Heather Antos. It was a blast getting to know more about this awesome woman in the comic book industry!
Heather is assistant editor of Star Wars titles such as Kanaan, Princess Leia, and Darth Vader. She also edits various Deadpool titles. She is also super nerdy and was the producer of YouTube webseries Lagged Out.
Q: How did you get started in the comic book industry?
A: A lot of hard work and a little bit of luck! When I decided I wanted to be a comic book editor I started doing just that: edited comic books. I began working freelance and put together a giant anthology that did very well on the Kickstarter circuit. All the while I stayed in contact with professionals in the industry I had met while networking at conventions.
When an opening for an assistant editor position at Marvel came about, Editor Jordan D. White (my current boss) reached out and asked if I’d like to interview. Given the outcome I’d say the interview went well! [laughs]
Q: What comics did you read as a kid? Were there any particular titles or characters that stuck with you or inspired you?
A: As a kid my first introduction to comics were the Garfield, Dilbert, etc. comic strips that came in the Sunday newspaper – my brothers and I used to always argue who got to read them first. I didn’t really start reading actual comic books until high school, starting with Neil Gaiman’s Sandman and another Vertigo favorite – Hellblazer. And then I stumbled upon the Star Wars comics line and all hope was lost for me!
Q: What did you want to be when you were a kid? Did you always want to edit comic books?
A: Oh, goodness no. I don’t think I even knew what a comic editor’s job actually was until well into my university years! As a kid my biggest ambition was to become the next super-secret-spy. The next James Bond, if you will. Sadly, that never quite panned out.
Q: Since The Geek Initiative is all about celebrating women in geek culture, were there any strong female role models you had growing up? Do you have any now?
A: The biggest role models for me were always the characters in the books I was currently reading – whether it was going on adventures with Harry, Ron, and Hermione, traveling to Mount Doom with Frodo and Gandalf, or battling the undead with Sabriel.
Male or female, it didn’t matter – I wanted to grow up to be like the characters I would fall asleep reading to. The characters who found strength within themselves to fight battles that were way beyond them; or the characters who were never afraid to be themselves in worlds that always told them to play it safe and fit in. My favorite character as a child (and probably still even now) has always been Peter Pan. There’s just something so magical about the boy who never wanted to grow up that’s always stayed with me – and I like to think it shows!
Q: I’m sure you’ve been asked this a lot, but who is your favorite comic book character and why? Favorite villain and why?
A: I always hate getting asked this question because I can never give a straight answer [laughs]. I have favorite versions of characters depending on who’s writing them and what the story is. I also go through phases. Anyone who knows me, though, knows I love me a good villain. Especially a villain with good intentions (I’m looking at you, Magneto!). I think my tastes always tend to lean towards more morally gray characters like Batman, Magneto, Midnighter, and Deadpool. I find them much more relatable.
A: Hands down Gerry Duggan and Brian Posehn’s The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly from 2014. They reached a whole new level of depth that had yet to have been explored by Deadpool’s previous writers. Wade goes from being legitimately happy to completely heartbroken. You feel for the character, as a reader. The story truly brings out a visceral reaction, and that’s not always easy to do. It’s a brilliantly written story.
Q: Do you have a favorite Star Wars character and why?
A: Well it depends, are we counting EU characters? If so my favorite is Admiral Thrawn, easily. Again, the whole gray moral line villain thing…He’s just so interesting! But now he technically doesn’t exist. So I’ll have to go with Dr. Aphra from the Darth Vader comic. She’s basically who I imagine I would be if I lived in the Star Wars universe. She’s smart, resourceful, and knows how to toe the line with the galaxy’s most powerful Sith.
Q: What are your top five favorite comic book films?
A: Favorites: Captain America: Winter Soldier, Guardians of the Galaxy, V for Vendetta, Captain America, and Batman Begins.
Q: Do you have any advice for anyone who wants to get into the comic book industry?
A: If you want to make comics then make comics! You want to be a blogger, journalist, or reviewer? Then do that! The entire industry is built on self-starters, so there’s no better way to get started in the industry than by showing the pros that you can swim in the big pond right alongside them!
[Tweet “‘[Best] advice? Don’t be a douchebag….everyone knows EVERYONE.’ – @HeatherAntos #marvel”]
But my biggest word of advice? Don’t be a douchebag. The comic industry is tiny compared to most other industries. Everyone knows EVERYONE. And they’ve all worked together at some point. Whether it’s in person, online, or behind closed doors, word gets around. And no one wants to work with a douchebag…so why be one?
Q: If you could sum up your career in a movie quote what would it be?
A: “I am Groot.”