Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Now You're Messing with a Son of a Witch!

Darth Maul: Son of Dathomir #1

Based on unaired episodes of the acclaimed Clone Wars animated series! Getting chopped in half and left to die was only the start of Darth Maul's problems. Now revived and restored, Maul goes after the one man responsible for ruining his life—Darth Sidious!

But Maul's about to learn the hard way that even with a mercenary army, the power of Dathomir's Witches, and his own endless rage backing him up, he's still no match the Dark Side of the Force.

Like that's going to stop him!

Those Battledroids have been going to this high school for seven and a half years.
They're no dummies.
This project presented some unique challenges. Randy Stradley hired me to take four episodes' worth of Clone Wars screenplays and make work as comics while still retaining as much of the material as possible.

Oh, and the first issue's script was due in two weeks.

Writing this series was an exercise in judicious reduction. Where television deals in time (and technical budgets), comics conform to physical space—you're talking roughly 100 panels in a 22 page comic, so you're balancing retaining the information against creating an exciting dramatic flow. So it's all about choosing what to keep and what to cut, and trusting your gut.

It's paid off so far. The first issue's reviews have come back overwhelmingly positive, making this one of the best reviewed books I've ever done. Now I know how a band feels when everyone loves their cover song more than their originals!

That, or I just might finally be getting the hang of this writing thing.

Don't take my word for it—you can buy a copy of Darth Maul #1 here (at a discount!) and you be the judge!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Worse Things Have Been Done By Better Men

Sneaking one in under the 2013 wire!

Two new original short stories have been added to the right sidebar over there—

"No Geographical Solution"
Script by Me - Art by Ben Dewey

"The Best Treatment Money Can Buy"
Script by Me - Art by Ron Chan


Sunday, May 5, 2013

I'm Far Away From Nowhere

…And so Vegas never lived up to my expectations.
Justice League of America #201 (April 1982)

This was one the first comics I remember wanting to save and keep in somewhat readable condition. All of my other comics were crumpled, stripped, torn, looked over, and packed around until they disintegrated, but this one punched my seven year old brain in the mush and told me to keep it around.

C'mon—look at that cover! How could that ginger just take Superman OUT? Why is the League on a spinning roulette wheel? Did they get shrunk?! That means the Atom was double shrunk! He can barely lift that metal ball! Ultraa spells his name with TWO As!! Oh my god!!!!

It's been thirty years since I've read it, but my memory of the plot was that it centered on Ultraa, who I thought was DC's version of Jan-Michael Vincent's "Nanu" in Disney's The World's Greatest Athlete (hey, I was seven, cut me some slack), living like a homeless guy with no memory (thus making him DC's version of Prince Namor), and being tricked into a life of crime.

Mom…what's a "swinger"?
The JLAers intervene. Hawkman's all depressed about something and the Flash has to talk him into joining the battle (making him seem even cooler for some seven year old reason). Ultraa beats the crap out of everyone until he realizes he's as bummed out as Hawkman and apologizes. Then the US Congress steps in and sends Ultraa to happily live a primitive life with some aborigines (just like Nanu). It didn't make sense, but I loved it. LOVED it.

Then the teaser for the next issue they ran in the letter column dug both its thumbs into my eyes—
Switching to decaf on the Satellite was a bad idea
Zombie Batman?! In Space?!?! Whaaaaaat?!?!?!

I've still never read or owned that next issue. My parents bought me comics off the grocery store spinner racks, and I was only allowed one per trip, so I must've either missed it or forgotten about it. You can't wait a month for anything when you're seven. I should track that down.

Anyway. Justice League of America #201 was pivotal. It kicked off my comics collecting habit. It made moody Hawkman my favorite character for a long time, which led to writing some letters to DC and seeing my name in print for the first time a couple years later.
Look, mom—I'm pre-Internet famous!
Boy, did I chase that feeling. Two decades on I'd be paid to write comics and I'd have a character in the Pre-52 Hawkman cast named after me.

Yep. Life will never be that good again!