Joe Quesada has spent the better part of two decades as Marvel‘s Editor-In-Chief, also illustrating storylines like Daredevil: Guardian Devil. Now, he will launch a new documentary series, Marvel’s Storyboards. This series explores how storytelling impacts the professional and personal lives of others. More often than not, that impact takes place through the prism of Marvel Comics’ stories.
Quesada recently had a Comic-Con@Home panel where he held a conversation with Marvel VP of content Stephen Wacker. Quesada opened with a discussion of his history at San Diego Comic-Con, which began before he started in comics. He also discussed how the con has grown over the years.
Next up was the origin of the “Cup O’ Joe” panel. Quesada started with a letter page that evolved into an annual SDCC panel. Quesada said it was a “catch-all” for all news, comics or otherwise. “Cup O’ Joe” even had online editions at Newsarama and Comic Book Resources! Quesada said he was inspired by “Stan’s Soapbox”, the column by the late Stan Lee. “I don’t have that power that Stan has-it’s a real mutant power-but I have the internet.”
When asked what Storyboards was, Quesada discussed how Marvel announced a special interview with a special guest. When he arrived, the room was packed. The room went crazy when special guest Charlie Cox (Marvel’s Daredevil) was announced. When Cox discussed his athletic abilities, Quesada was struck with the idea to talk to people about their life stories. “Every single one of us is a storyteller. We do it all the time, even if you don’t do it for a living,” he said. “If you’re a figure skater, you’re telling a story on the ice with your body. If you’re a comedian, you’re clearly telling stories about your life or how you look at life.”
Quesada went further, saying that stories were “A salve to all the craziness” of life. He wanted a wide swath of guests on his show in order to get a wide range of stories. Guests include Captain Marvel writer Margaret Stohl; a clip was shown with Quesada and Stohl riding in a flight simulator. Another guest was Little Shop of Horrors’ Christian Borle, who is a massive Marvel fan and wrote several plays for the Marvel Spotlight program.
Another clip showed Quesada and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. actor Natalia Cordova-Buckley working through ballet stretches and martial arts moves; Cordova-Buckley is a prima ballerina. The talk also turned toward Cordova-Buckley’s childhood in Mexico and portraying a Latinx heroine in a comic book show. Finally, Quesada described his episode with figure skater Johnny Weir and how Weir looks at his skill through the prism of storytelling.
The panel wrapped up with Quesada and Wacker announcing guests for the first two seasons. These guests include the Black Eyed Peas’ Taboo, actress Gillian Jacobs (Community), and songwriter Robert Lopez (The Book of Mormon, Frozen). Taboo is currently scripting a Werewolf by Night revival for Marvel, and Jacobs directed an episode of the “Marvel 616” documentary series for Disney+.
Collier “CJ” Jennings is a freelance reporter and film critic living in Seattle. He uses his love of comics and film/TV to craft reviews and essays on genre projects. He is also a host on Into the Spider-Cast.