It's been good, if weird, to see David Mamet branch out lately. After the bizarreness that was the Disney/Anne Frank situation, I feel like we're getting to see more parts of his palette; first there was the leak of his awesome writers' room manifesto from The Unit a few months back, then the impressively off-the-wall FunnyOrDie sketch of a few weeks ago, and now... he's written and drawn a collection of superhero comics called The Trials of Roderick Spode: The Human Ant. Fun fact: It's actually his second graphic collection, after his previous compendium of editorial cartoons, "Tested on Orphans."

Comic Book Resources set up a conversation between Mamet and comic book creator Brian Michael Bendis. It's an apt fit--while Mamet branches beyond film, television, and stage into comics, Bendis cut his teeth writing and drawing indie comic books before attempting to sell his work to Hollywood--which led to his work at Marvel Comics and his burgeoning screenwriting career. Long story short: they're sort of learning to play in one another's sandboxes.

The conversation contains all sorts of fascinating tidbits and hints at the lives these writing giants lead outside the work for which their known. Some little nibbles: Mamet and Shel Silverstein were best friends (!), he credits "Calvin and Hobbes" for his son's huge vocabulary, and Bendis lauds Mamet's film directing handbook as a key primer in how to create comics.

It's sort of nice to see Mamet, who's known for being a little bit bombastic and didactic when he talks about the craft behind his work, open up and unwind a bit. Also, there's not a single f-bomb dropped, so hey--a rarity for Mamet in publishing. Check it out.

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