Mark Waid bought his first comic, Batman #180, at age four and has never once since entertained the notion of not buying comics. He lived all over the Deep South through his formative teenage years, though you couldn’t tell it by his accent, thank God.
In his early twenties, granted only the writing skills one absorbs by living life as a copious reader, Waid began freelance reporting for the comic book trade publications Amazing Heroes and Comic Buyer’s Guide. This led to a brief staff position in the mid-1980s as editor of Amazing Heroes, followed by a longer editorial tenure at DC Comics (1987-1989), where he edited Legion of Super-Heroes, Secret Origins, Doom Patrol and a host of one-shot titles. With writer Brian Augustyn, Waid co-created DC’s extremely successful franchise of “Elseworld” stories with Gotham By Gaslight, a tale of what Batman’s career might have been like had he been active during the days of Jack the Ripper.
Waid left staff in 1989 to pursue a full time freelance career. Since then, he has written stories for every major comics publisher, including Marvel Comics (X-Men, Captain America), Archie Comics (where he served briefly as their cover-gag editor), Dark Horse Comics and DC Comics, under whose banner Waid produces most of his work. In years past, he has written every major comics character from Superman to Batman to Spider-Man. Waid’s current credits include The Flash, whirlwind adventures of the Fastest Man Alive; Impulse, chronicling the exploits of Flash’s teenage cousin; Ka-Zar for Marvel Comics and Ash: Cinder and Smoke, a six-issue mini-series forthcoming from Event Comics.
Though he can name only 38 states, Waid possesses an encyclopedic knowledge of comics history and trivia and also serves as DC Comics’ unofficial historian. Each working day, he routinely fields phone calls from DC’s other writers and editors, all of whom ask questions as diverse (just to pick two from one day) as “What’s the date on the giant penny in the Batcave?” (1947) and “What are the names of Lois Lane’s parents?” (Sam and Ella).