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Spider-Girl Fights Evil on Twitter With the Help of Paul Tobin [Interview]

On sale next week is the first issue of Spider-Girl, Marvel’s new ongoing series spun out (ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha) from the pages of Amazing Spider-Man. Written by Paul Tobin with art by Clayton Henry, the book depicts the adventures of Anya Corazon, the newly installed Spider-Girl of New York City. Already known for his endearing character work on a number of Marvel Adventures titles, Tobin is adding a cool and unusual dimension to Spider-Girl by personally writing a Twitter feed for Anya, which the writer confirmed is set firmly in mainstream Marvel Comics continuity, and even offers an advance look into the events of the next Spider-Girl issue.

After the jump, Paul Tobin tells us about superhero Tweeting, what has become of wayward Marvel editor Nate Cosby, and how to get Spider-Girl to follow you on Twitter. We’ve also got an advance look at next month’s Spider-Girl #2.CA: Paul, you’ve writing as masked superhero Spider-Girl on Twitter. What’s up with that?

Paul Tobin: It was something I’d been thinking about for some time. Twitter just seems like a part of the real world to me, a means for people to communicate quickly with friends, etc, and that led me to thinking that characters should do that in comics as well. I like to think of myself as a character writer, so the more human I can make the characters, the better. Beyond that… each comic (normally) has 22 pages, and believe me, a LOT of what we writers would LIKE to put into a comic falls to the mental cutting room floor. This was a way to work in more characterization and become more immersed in who Spider-Girl is.

CA: What was the response from your editors?

Paul Tobin: I began this project with editor Nate Cosby, who has recently quit Marvel to become (I believe) a full-time bulldog fancier. He was really supportive of the Twitter idea, and current editors Tom Brennan and Steve Wacker have been likewise supportive. It’s not hard to convince an editor to find ways to make a book more engaging.

CA: How do you intend to integrate Spider-Girl’s Twitter content into the comic book, and vice-versa?

Paul Tobin: One of the “problems” of writing a comic is how the protagonists convey information. There’s only so many times that Spider-Girl can say something out loud, or mention her plans to passing pigeons. So I’m using “Twitter” captions to help out that process. Each Twitter caption in the book will appear here in the real world on Spider-Girl’s Twitter account. Her name is @The_Spider_Girl.

In addition to that, though, I’m also doing extra tweets. Tweets that give some behind-the-scenes looks at what’s going on in Spider-Girl’s adventures, and Anya’s personal life. These tweets aren’t necessary to reading the comic by any means, though. I’m considering them as “DVD extras.” Incidentally, some of the tweets that have already gone up are a “preview” of her backup story in Amazing Spider-Man # 648, out this week. You can scan through her tweets and get somewhat of a feel for the upcoming story.

CA: How can I get Spider-Girl to follow me on Twitter?

Paul Tobin: Just add @The_Spider_Girl and she’ll almost for sure follow you back, unless you’re a spammer, someone with a protected account, or various members of the Kravinoff or Osborne families.

CA: What’s Spider-Girl’s policy on replying to her followers?

Paul Tobin: She’ll answer some questions, sure. She’s a busy girl, of course, and also I’ve already had some questions (we officially started on Sunday) that are too “real world” to answer. She can’t exactly talk about her relationship with Peter Parker, for instance, because she can’t say, “Oh, you mean Spider-Man?” Her tweets have to “live” in the Marvel 616 world.

CA: Who are some people Spider-Girl might suggest for #followfriday?

Paul Tobin: Oh. That’s a good one. I hadn’t thought about that too much, yet. Let’s see… @Ken_Hale for sure. Who doesn’t like the Gorilla Man?

CA: Most importantly, what’s Spider-Girl’s attitude about all the FourSquare auto tweets?

Paul Tobin: HATES them. Also, she makes sure to turn off the location notifier for her own tweets. Can’t have that!

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