Max Bemis on Writing Moon Knight #200 and Taking a Break From Marvel

Max Bemis, singer/songwriter of the band Say Anything was to have written this week's Infinity Wars: ArachKnight #1. He is still solicited as the writer. But he is not, Dennis Hopeless is writing the book.

Bemis is coming to the end of his Moon Knight run with #200 also out this week, but there seems to be no more comics work solicited to be published after this.

In a phone call, he spoke to Bleeding Cool about what was going on.

Firstly, he told me that this is not about going back to the band, and that he has retired from music (in general) to write comics. He has wrapped up his run on Moon Knight and involved in cleaning up his life, after suffering an emotional breakdown. He is engaged in what he calls "therapeutic living" and is just starting to write comics again. His first graphic novel, for which he is allowing himself to be naive as he was when first composing his music, is currently in production with Russian artist Maxim Mel.

He told me how the Marvel comic Moon Knight became his therapy in comic book form, though he believed Marvel pushed back on that. But it's why Moon Knight's family was a big one and Marc Spector's daughter was Bemis' own daughter. As a whole, his run on the book can be read as an encapsulation of his own life, including its unravelling. But apparently, as Bemis puts it, "a book written bŷ a mentally ill Jew about a mentally ill Jew" bordered on too "crazy" for its own good "in the opinion of some".

He tells me that the last couple of issues of Moon Knight should be enough to tell you that the writer is going through stuff, and he even found himself shivering and crying when editorial notes came in, and felt justified in fighting back against them. He's pretty sure he pushed far enough to ruffle a few feathers at Marvel and thinks they may need a breather from him.

He knows that he pissed some readers off with his work. Mental illness is a lot to put out on an established superhero, and he engaged in a lot of research into Moon Knight's nature, looking at the effects and influence of everything from childhood trauma and music into the condition, and he thinks he may have exhausted Marvel Comics with it all. Leaving Moon Knight was a mutual decision, as he was exhausted too.

He does, however stand by the work, and is proud of the final issue out this week. But no, after all that, he wasn't going to cap it off with a parody version in the Infinity Wars: Arachknight anymore.

He also reminisces that his last performances in the band Say Anything were his best shows ever…

Moon Knight #200 is published tomorrow.


(W) Max Bemis (A) Jacen Burrows, Paul Davidson, Bill Sienkiewicz, Jeff Lemire and others (CA) Becky Cloonan
•  MARC SPECTOR comes face-to-face with his demons!
•  Old enemies return!
•  It's a celebration of 200 issues of the multifaceted MOON KNIGHT with an oversized anniversary issue you'd be crazy to miss! Rated T+In Shops: Oct 24, 2018 SRP: $4.99

(W) Max Bemis Dennis Hopeless (A) Ale Garza (CA) Humberto Ramos
Chosen as the Avatar of the Spider-Totem, Peter Parker is the dark guardian of destiny doing the bidding of the great weaver of fate… a role that has shattered his mind into multiple personas: a tech genius, a photographer, a teacher…
Rated T+In Shops: Oct 24, 2018
SRP: $3.99


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About Rich Johnston

Founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world, since 1992. Author of The Flying Friar, Holed Up, The Avengefuls, Doctor Who: Room With A Deja Vu, The Many Murders Of Miss Cranbourne, Chase Variant. Lives in South-West London, works from Blacks on Dean Street, shops at Piranha Comics. Father of two. Political cartoonist.
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