Astro City Lettercol – July 2013

AC_postmark_chesler

So if you’ve gotten ASTRO CITY 2, out this week, you’ll have seen that we’re doing the lettercolumn a little differently now. First off, since we have so little space, we’re just starting out the column in the comic, and continuing it here, on the blog.

Secondly, the letters we pick to run in the lettercol each month—which we’re imaginatively calling the Letter of the Month—will get the writer an autographed copy of that month’s issue. Autographed by me alone, because it’d be too much of a hassle to have it mailed around to Brent, Alex and the rest of the gang. So if you want a crack at a signed comic, write us letters.

[Note: I don’t know what the various laws are about contests, but this isn’t a contest. No purchase is necessary, and it’s not a competition or anything; we’re picking the LOTM basically by sheer whim. But write in anyway, we’d like to hear from you.]

And for those correspondents who don’t get their letter printed in the comic, well, I’ll try to run the rest of them here, so that way we can include more letters and more answers, without worrying about what needs to get cut to fit. I reserve the right not to run letters if they’re abusive, irrelevant or otherwise whatever-the-hell-it-might-take for me to say, “Dag, no, not running that!”

Letters about the new series will start next time, so what we’ve got this time is mail that came in during our publishing hiatus.

Let’s start with DAVID:

I just finished Astro City Special: Silver Agent #1 and I am intrigued at how this hero who I thought of as a Captain America type became somewhat of a Green Lantern type to boot with becoming a member of the Silver Centurions (neat name by the way, Kurt). I really liked the long vertical panels in the beginning of the book with their single take look at heroes down through the ages. Each panel delivered its own story to my imagination so kudos to everyone on that.

It is a shame that Alan couldn’t end up with Jane, his high school sweet heart and yet she ended up becoming a member of the Craig family by marrying his brother of all people. This is the stuff that most soap operas are made of. It says a lot about Alan’s character to be able to attend family functions and be around Jane, Pete, and their children knowing that had circumstances been different that it would have been him in his brother’s place.

And so we are left waiting eagerly for issue #2. I am looking forward to the monthly schedule for Astro City. How far along is the series now may I ask ? Thanks for the two issue spotlight on Silver Agent!

At the time you asked, we probably weren’t that far along. But we’ve got at least a year’s worth of stuff ready to go now, so we’re doing much better.

I honestly hadn’t thought of the Silver Centurions as a Green Lantern Corps type group, but I can see the resemblance. I first thought of them as kind of a Legion-type organization (heroes from different planets, inspired by the heroic deeds of he past), but didn’t want them all to be kids, or all super-powered, so I let them develop into something else.

But glad you liked them! More letters after the break…

Next up, from JASON:

I’m curious, have you ever been struck with an idea for a second story with Marta from Shadow Hill? The last time we saw her was way back in Vol. 1 issue 4. Her emotional arc seemed pretty well complete by the end of her story but some new avenue might have presented itself over the years.

Astro City is as good now as it’s always been, thank you for the comics!

I’ve thought about doing another story with Marta, just to check in and see what she’s been up to. Given where we left her, I’d like to come back to her, show readers how she’s doing. But I don’t have a story yet—I know what her life’s like, but finding a story in it hasn’t happened yet. But we’ll probably see her again in time, just as we recently saw the Pullam family again. We’ll probably see Steeljack again, too.

From IVAN:

I just finished reading both issues of the Silver Agent Special back-to-back. I didn’t intend to wait this long to read them, but I’m glad I read them together—after finishing #1, I don’t think I could have stood the wait for #2.

I’ve enjoyed Astro City ever since my local comic shop owner introduced it to me with issue #6 of the very first mini-series. While Dark Age wasn’t my favorite storyline ever, it was pretty good, and better than a lot of the other books out at the same time. It was the one-shot specials between each arc of Dark Age that were my favorites, so I knew that the Silver Agent issues were going to be very good. They were even better than anticipated.

Time travel stories are always a little tricky, in that there’s an extra hurdle to jump since the end of the story is already known. But like most good adventures, the journey is more important than the destination. And this journey was truly excellent!

The story in these two issues reminded me of the best parts of the mid-1990’s TV show, Quantum Leap. As the second issue approached its conclusion, I found myself wishing for just one thing. I was hoping that Alan Craig would spend considerably more years hopping backwards across time. I found myself wondering what might have happened if he had arrived back in his cell as a 70- or 80-year-old man. But that might have conflicted with past portrayals of the event, or caused some other unanticipated temporal changes. Even as it was left, though, there are still quite a few untold Silver Agent stories that could be told. Just knowing that is enough—they don’t ALL have to be told. (Of course, as a fan of this series, I’m not going to complain if another Silver Agent story comes through these pages in the future!)

I’m definitely looking forward to Astro City being on the shelves more regularly. Even though the book never truly went away, and has been seen much more frequently over the past year, now that Dark Age is completed, it feels like I should say “welcome back!”. See you again next issue.

Thanks, Ivan. And I hope you’ve enjoyed the return!

From TIM:

I apologize if there is another email I should write you at, Kurt. I am tempted to both praise and curse you here, so bear with me on this:

Silver Agent #2 is one of the most powerful comic books I’ve ever read. I envy your talent and applaud your skill. I must say that there are few media that have, on their own merits, ever moved me emotionally. Now, I’ve got to chalk up the second time a comic book has ever done so.

So many comic books trivialize death with their constant resurrections and continuity changes that rarely last long enough to notice, much less care about.

I knew when I picked up the Silver Agent story, I knew deeply, that he had to die to not betray the elements already built up and to make that shining memorial left for him in Astro City matter. Yet, in many ways, as I read more of what he’d done through time, I’d hoped just a little that he’d escape the fate which had already been decided. One couldn’t cheapen that. Not and give the story any real weight. It was a conundrum of heroism. The price to be paid and the willingness to pay it, and the simple desire to see the fiction tell a story with hope.

You did it well. You created both the weight…and the hope. So few writers of comic books “get it.” Twice in all my years of reading comics have I been seriously emotionally swept up upon the conclusion of a comic book story.

Both times you were the writer behind them. The first was “The Nearness of You” and now the Silver Agent story. Sacrifice and hope. I think there is an earnest tenderness in both stories behind the heroism displayed, behind the strength of the fictional characters you portrayed. It isn’t the flash of costumes and battle that made them so great.

In a few days I turn 38. I’ve been reading comic books for over 30 years. I’ve read thousands of them. Yet only these two times, despite knowing they are fiction–despite knowing how they would likely end, I have that praise and that curse for you. Despite all that…

I wept.

Thank you.

You’re more than welcome, Tim. And I think I might have said this elsewhere, but happy belated 40th birthday…

From BILL:

I’m really enjoying reading digital comics on the iPad. Any chance of Astro City being made available in digital format?

Why yes! DC started making digital Astro City issues available via Comixology when the new series debuted. As of when I’m writing this, Astro City vol. 1 #1-6, vol. 2 #1-6 and vol. 3 #1 are all available, and by the time you read this, vol. 3 #2 and a couple of more issues of vol. 2 should have gone up.

The idea is to release the new issues the same day they come out in print, and to add a couple of the older issues every week until they’re all online and available.

And as a bonus, vol. 1 #1 is free. I always want it to be as easy as possible for a new reader to try out the series and see if they’ll like it, and there ain’t much easier than free.

Next, from KEITH:

Hi, Kurt. I’m a big fan of your work (Astro City, The Avengers) and I’d like to know when we can expect to seeAstro City as an animated feature or series?

Thanks.

By the way: I love the “confirm that you are human” spam detector. However, you know that somewhere out there, some kid is perfecting a robot that can type the words “palact” and “stir.”

And the last few month, they’ve actually been getting through, with kindly offers to make various parts of my body larger or grow hair on other parts, and so on. But we’re about to migratebusiek.com to a new software platform, and hopefully it’ll do a better job of keeping out the spam. I suppose we’ll see; it’s an ongoing battle.

No plans for an Astro City animated feature or series, though. Almost all the discussions we’ve had so far are for some sort of live-action adaptation. But you never know what might come, in the fulness of time.

From DAVE:

I have literally just finished reading the Silver Agent two-parter again and decided afterwards I should write in. Not because of the great art and great storyline, but because of a bit of a grievence I have with not just this story but all comic book stories.

Silver Agent, when he started out, was a handicapped man and then became Silver Agent and all was well with him. Well what if it hadn’t? What if, some hero not even necessarily SA, some hero was handicapped, and then like always were given great powers, but still had this one thing about them that held them back. I always thought it would be cool to put Superman in a wheel chair. Paralyze his legs and make him unable to walk, but still give him that need to protect. How would that affect his life how would that make him feel, make him struggle? No special suit that cures him when he’s superman but actually have him try to save the world still in this new way.

Now I will be honest with you I don’t know if this idea has ever actually happened but from what I’ve read it hasn’t, not fully at least.

Do we have handicapped heroes? Yes. But are they truly dealing with the struggles that real people deal with every single day? I don’t think so.

Professor X was put in a wheelchair but has the most brilliant mind on the planet which makes him really powerful, not to mention he gets his legs back every few years. Daredevil was blinded but then given a power that essentially gives him better eyes.

I would like to see a hero who has a personal challenge that pushes them more than any villain. What if a cosmic being was deaf, or hearing-impaired? What if we read a story about a hero saving the world and the issue ends with a panel of him crying and there’s a dialogue box that reads something along the lines of:

“The world cheered for me, they cheered for the victory of our world, for the safety of our home. But despite how many times they clapped I could not hear the joy in their voices or the tears of laughter tickling their throats. Tomorrow I will return to work I will be the man in cubicle 8 that everyone passes by, that everyone is polite to because they have to be. Yes the world may be saved and it may be because of what I did, but it is not my victory.”

A little over the top, I know, but my point is that there is a lot of emotion and struggle that comes from being impaired in some way. I myself have two hearing aids and know that even if I had all the power in the world would still struggle with how people thought of me. I would still be paranoid that all eyes were on me and my disability. And I think that comics could truly benefit from something like this.
So why do I bring this to your attention? Well because Astro City is one of the most realistic cities in literature and you seem to know how to write the human persona, so my question/challenge for you sir, a truly handicapped superhero. Even if its just a single issue somewhere down the line.

One more thing before I go, on a completely different note. Thank you thank you thank you for not changing up the creative team during the long run of Dark Age. I would much rather wait a month or a year for a consistent well thought out story, then be handed a new rendition of a comic in someone else’s voice. To me the longer you can keep the same team on a single book the much better it will be (Madman, Bone, Astro City) so I truly applaud you all for sticking with it and not passing the torch.

Thanks for taking time to read this letter and answering my question.

It’s an interesting question, Dave—if the hero has superpowers, do they compensate for any disability they have, or can the disability stand alongside the powers? I tend to think of Professor X as a pretty good example, though you dismissed him. He may have a powerful mutant brain, but he still can’t walk (at least, when the writers aren’t giving him his legs back), just as Superman, if confined to a wheelchair, would have his vision powers and speed and all, which is pretty impressive.

Daredevil is sometimes written so that you get a sense that he’s blind and is compensating with his other senses, and sometimes it feels like the radar sense is a kind of substitute sight. I always liked it best when you couldn’t forget he was blind. Dr. Mid-Nite was blind in the day but could see in the dark, which was interesting. Jericho was, I think, deaf and unable to speak. Used to be, Hawkeye had 90% hearing loss in both ears, and wore hearing aids to compensate, but he got cured during the return from Onslaught (I wrote that bit, in fact, and it seemed logical to me that if the Wasp was cured of being a bug-woman and Tony Stark was cured of being an annoying teenager, Hawkeye’s hearing loss would be reversed), but even when he was deaf, it didn’t come up very often. He had “replacement hearing” due to the super-hi-tech hearing aids, so it didn’t really affect him in most stories.

You’re right, I think, that most disabled heroes are disabled in their private lives but have easy workarounds in their heroic identities. Finding a way to preserve the disability alongside the powers, so the two are very evident in the character, would be an interesting challenge. Finding a way to do it in Astro City, where the heroes tend to be background characters, might be tricky as well.

But it’s definitely worth thinking about.

And if anyone else has examples of disabled heroes for whom the disability doesn’t get handwaved away when they use their powers, feel free to write in. There’s Oracle, of course, though she’s been cured and is back to being Batgirl. There are various heroes who have super-disabilities that go along with their powers, like Rogue…

It’s worth some thought.

From LORIS:

I believe that I deserve a place in the Guinness book. I’m the most patient comic reader of the world.

I’ve read Astro City from the start and always loved it, so When Astro City: The Dark Age started to be published I started collecting it.

I read lots of comics and books, so don’t have much time for re-readings and I like to read a story from start to end without interruptions. With this habit It was natural for me to store all Dark Age issues and wait for the end…

… and I waited…

… and I waited…

… and a character special came out and I thought to wait reading it because it can be tied to the main story and I did not want to spoil it…

… and I waited…

… and finally the story is done!

I don’t speak of purchasing the collected editions, it will be easy. I speak of buying all single issues and resist reading them for years! This is my deed! Am I patient or not?

I read it with no hurry, a month or two more could not make a difference, and enjoyed it as I expected!
To be honest it’s not my favorite Astro City story, but it’s as always well above the average of other comics. If I have to tell what I don’t like in Dark Age it’s that it seems a little “dispersive.” I don’t know how to explain, but I have the feeling that too much is going on and I could not grasp it entirely.

On the other hand the character specials are really spectacular, with the exception of Astra’s I loved them a lot, and Beautie’s is in my opinion one of the best AC stories ever.

I thought a lot of what makes Astro City so great a comic, and for me it’s the endings. A lot of books, comics and movies have a great first half, a few have a good second half and just some of them have a great end.Astro City always delivers in the end department, giving a sense of completeness and fulfillment that’s really rare in any form of fiction.

Maybe this is one of the reasons that Dark Age is not my favorite, you made me wait to much for the end!

I have some questions too:

1 – With the end of Wildstorm imprint will Astro City still be published? I really really hope the answer is yes!

2 – I know you have already done a lot of Samaritan stories, but he’s the best. Could we expect to see him soon in the regular series?

3 – Will you ever be in Italy at some comic con? One of my dreams is to have a signed Astro City #1!

I definitely think buying the entire run of The Dark Age as it came out, plus the specials, and not reading it until you had it all shows enormous patience, Loris. I doubt I could have done it. We did try to make sure each “book” of the Dark Age was a satisfying read on its own, so people could read it in chunks, but then, Alex and I did that with each issue of Marvels, too, and there were people who let ’em stack up so they could read it all at once.

To address your questions:

1. As you can see, it took a while. But we’re back!

2. Samaritan’s been in both new issues so far, and you’ll see more of him going forward.

3. No plans to visit Italy—I did get invited to a con there once, and would have loved to go, but that would have meant I’d have been out of the country right when my wife was due to give birth, so I had to decline. I haven’t been invited back since, alas. But I’d like to get there someday!

From MIKE:

Hi Kurt. Haven’t written before. Been a fan of Astro City for well over a decade.

um…. is it ever going to be published again? Last issue came out in Sept (8 months ago) and there isn’t a listing on the DC Comics site for it (I check like once a week or so).

So sad…. :^(

We’re back! And this time (he said, knocking wood) we hope to stick around for a good long while…

From TORSTEN:

I finally got the Astro City Dark Age 2 TPB (since I got all the other volumes in softcover form, I wanted to wait out on this one instead of going for the hardcover, even though the long waiting was painful).

I’ll leave out the boring praises, because seriously, you have yet to try to disappoint me with this series.

Anyway, my question concerns Quarrel II. I was surprised to see her active as early as 1982. That would mean even if Jessica Darlene Taggart started out as a teenage superheroine, she’d already be in her mid-30s by the time of Tarnished Angel. Is she still active “today”? (I haven’t read any of the Shining Stars stories yet.) I’m sure you’ve thought this through considering the mapped out continuity Astro City has, I’d just like to make sure I’m looking at it the right way.

As I saw you mentioned Lost, I assume you’ve watched the show. The Dark Age saga actually reminded me of Lost, but unlike my frustration with unresolved plotlines and the overall unsatisfied resolution the show was ultimately riddled with, Dark Age reminded me of what Lost could have been, if Lindelof and Cuse had thought things through instead of just reassuring people that it would all make sense in the end, and then insisting that those who weren’t happy were watching the show for the wrong reasons anyway. Dark Ageshows that it’s perfectly possible to do a character-focused story while still resolving major mysteries in a satisfying manner.

I have a minor bit of criticism, too: I’ve always found dialogue to be one of your weaknesses. The plotting is excellent, but there’s rarely any memorable lines in your dialogue, it seems too much like by-the-numbers “getting info across,” without any real personality to it. The only instance that positively stood out to me was in Dark Age Book 3 #3, page 18 (page 82 in the TPB), first panel, first bubble. Have a look at that one, this is something I think you could really improve on.

I think I probably agree with you that dialogue, taken on its own, isn’t my strong suit, but I don’t think I want to make it snappier for the sake of being snappy. I want to make it true to whichever character I’m writing, more than anything else. But it’s always something I’m thinking about.

Quarrel was indeed in her 30s during Tarnished Angel, and she’s close to 50 now, which is definitely an issue for her, as someone who depends greatly on acrobatic skill. That’s going to come up in a story, once I have the chance to work it out.

And I only watched the first season of Lost; I drifted away from it early in Season Two.

From NATHAN:

Are you planning on doing any extended runs on Astro City as I find it a really enjoyable and well written book.

Thank you for your time.

I certainly hope so!

From TORSTEN again:

Another Astro City-related question:

DC’s The Kingdom: Planet Krypton feels very much like an Astro City story: The tale of an ordinary person who gets involved in a much larger superhero conflict, but the story is told entirely from said character’s person, who only catches a glimpse of the things going on in the background (and the only reason the reader would know more is because there are other, more “traditionally” written issues that tell the larger story), with the focus being on how these events affect the main character’s life. Taken by itself and isolated from the rest of the Kingdom event, Planet Krypton its written very much like an Astro City issue.

Now, do you know if Mark Waid wrote that issue like that on purpose? Was he trying to homage Astro Citywith it, or did he just have a very similar storytelling idea that just happens to be the underlying principle ofAstro City?

I honestly have no idea. The idea of telling a story from that kind of perspective isn’t unique toAstro City, certainly, so I don’t know if Mark was aiming for an AC-esque story or arrived at that perspective by some other path. You could probably ask him on Twitter. But either way, it was an excellent issue, I thought.

From J.B.:

Hi, Kurt. Love your work especially Astro City… with the new Life In the Big City HC coming up, can we expect more reprints of the HCs?

That’s the plan, J.B.

The idea is that as each book needs to be reprinted, we’ll do a new hardcover and trade paperback edition with the new, consistent cover design. That got put on hold when our hiatus dragged on so long, but we should be getting back to it as the book-collection side of things gets going again.

From BOB:

I have been reading Astro City since its inception and enjoy it very much. Will any new issues be published soon?

Well, that depends. From the perspective of when you sent this, in December 2011, it’ll be a while. From the perspective of when I’m answering it, though…you bet!

From STEVEN:

I want to thank you for your excellent work—not just for the enjoyment it has brought me over the years, but because it helped to save a friend’s life.

One of my favorite books is Confession, and one of the defining moments, in my mind, comes after Brian is rescued by the Crossbreed. Regarding the Confessor’s dark secret, one of them (Noah?) tells Brian that it doesn’t matter what cross a person bears, but rather how they bear it. I’ve quoted or paraphrased on occasion to people having challenges in their life.

Last week, I was called by one of my best friends, who I’ve known since elementary school (over 20 years). It would be inappropriate (and far too long) for me to tell you the personal details. But I learned that his childhood was far worse than I ever had even an inkling of, and that he was struggling with huge challenges in his life.

Kurt, my friend had been drinking, and was threatening to kill himself.

I was on the phone with him for three hours, trying to convince him that life was worth living. For awhile, nothing I said got through to him. Among other things, I felt inspired to tell him a bit about Confession. I summarized quickly, until I could paraphrase Noah’s words to Brian. I told my friend that we can’t choose our trials, but we can choose how to react to them, and that he could choose to fight his trials every day, and use his pain to help others.

That wasn’t all that it took, but I finally reached him, and he decided that he could make it another day. Almost a week later, he’s still here. His problems aren’t over, and he’ll struggle with them for the rest of his life. But I promised him that I would always be there to help him bear his cross as best I could.

Kurt, thank you so much for your inspiring words that played a small part to help my friend in his despair.

I’m very glad to have been some small assistance in this, Steven. And I hope your friend’s doing even better now, as time has passed.

From TORSTEN some more:

Hey Kurt, what’s going on with the Shining Stars softcover TPB? Up until a month or two ago, it was slated for March 2012, then it was suddenly rescheduled for 2013, and now Amazon suddenly states a ridiculous2035 release date. I’ve been collecting the series in softcover format thus far, so I’d like to buy this one as a softcover as well. Does this have anything to do with the restructuring going on at DC, even though the Dark Age 2 SC came out just fine late last year, barring a last-minute delay for two weeks or so?

2035? That’d be impressive, even for us.

I expect that’s simply code for “We don’t know when it’ll come out, but our computers demand a date of some sort.”

Here’s the story: The two books we had on the print schedule, the new edition of Family Albumand the softcover of Shining Stars, got taken off the schedule to wait for when the regular series was back on the stands. The thinking was that they’d do better when there were new stories coming out.

So now that there are new stories coming out, we’re ready to resume doing book collections, but as luck would have it, DC’s collections department is pretty jammed up. So the plan is for the first hardcover from the new series to come out in early 2014, and the Shining Stars TPB to come out along with it, and the others to come along as they can be fit in after that.

Hope that’s better than 2035!

From PAUL:

Huge fan of your work and a die-hard fan of the Astro City series. Keep up the great work, sir.

Thanks!

From J.R.:

Hi, Kurt.

I had the pleasure of meeting you at a Wizard World in Los Angeles (they still owe me money) and you did a sketch for my daughter (A very big thank you).

I have been a long time reader/collector since the early 1990s. Valiant brought me back (I collected in the 1970s, til price increase to 35 cents…stop laughing that was a lot of money to a broke kid). Anyway, I loved Valiant’s storytelling, as I was introduced to your (w/Brent Anderson) Astro City. It was being there in the early beginnings of creating an interesting and dynamic world.

I have purchased and have boxed away the original run. I have purchased and stored (awaiting construction on man-cave) the hard covers. Which leads to the purpose of this message. Are there any plans to releaseAstro City in digital format?

I am a convert to the digital format. Digital allows me easy access and storage. As I await the Valiant sale of the original run, I thought how I would also like to Astro City…anywhere anytime.

As mentioned above, J.R., digital editions are available now, and those issues that aren’t available yet will roll out over time.

From STEPHEN:

Have you ever consider trying to develop Astro City as an animated television series? I’m aware of the attempts of develop AC into a feature film but I always thought it would work so much better as a television series. I’ve been to film school and work in film/video production and am aware of how difficult the development process is.

With the amount of characters, locations and different story lines, I really think television is the best bet. For budgetary purposes and being able to adapt the more fantastic characters, I think animation is the ideal choice. Recent advances in computer animation could help keep the show within a reasonable cost and still deliver very high quality animation.

Have you ever considered this before? With the recent successes of other comic series adapting to film and television, I would like to believe there is a better chance now to sell the series than ever before.

Obviously it wouldn’t be a typical Saturday morning cartoon series but there are several cable networks defining themselves with intelligent, well produced adult material.

I’m such a big fan of Astro City, it’s really my favorite superhero comic series of all time. I would love to see it come to life. What are your thoughts?

To be honest, I don’t think Astro City needs to be adapted into film or TV to come to life, myself. It’s created to be comics, and if it’s never anything but comics, I’m fine with that.

Which doesn’t mean that I’m opposed to doing it in other media, just that we’re not chasing that as an option. If we make the right deal, terrific, but if the right deal isn’t out there, that’s not a problem.

I can see advantages and disadvantages to animation—the stories are so much about humanity that it’d be nice to have real faces, nuanced acting, for one. Much as I think cartoons like Batman the Animated Series and Justice League Unlimited were done well, I’m not sure that’s the best way to go with something like Astro City.

But what do I know? In the end, we’ll see what develops. But for the moment, at least, the deal we’re currently in the middle of is for live action.

From BILL:

I haven’t written to a comic book writer since I was, well, younger. A lot younger. Like “I think Jimmy Carter was President” younger. But I wanted to comment on a few things.

First, thanks for the Breaking In Without Rules article. I think the road map idea is appealing because it implies that if I do x and y, I will get result z. (I suck at math, so no complex formulas from me.) It’s daunting and disheartening to think that you can bust your butt and still not get anywhere. Of course, the same can be said of virtually every dream, whether to be an NBA player, a TV celebrity, or US President. I want to be a writer. No, check that, I am a writer. I am just a part-time, wedge-it-into-my-life-when-I-can writer. There are worse fates. At one point, I thought I could write comic books, but it’s a very different delivery medium from books and short stories.

Second, I love Astro City! I came to the comic fairly late, purely by accident. (I bought the comics, then had to buy the trade paperbacks because my ex-wife tossed the comics. Yeah, it’s a whole “thing.”) I most admire the way you captured what it feels like to be an average person around superheroes, but not in the “Tales of Jimmy Olsen” way. Whether Olsen, Lois Lane, Mary Jane Parker/Watson, etc., it’s always seemed that writers turn average people into archetypes (Hot Girlfriend, Devoted Pal, etc.) Your ordinary people feel ordinary, which is extraordinarily hard to do. (Okay, that made way more sense inside my head.)

Anyway, thanks for your work, and thanks for your time.

P.S. Having said all that, I have this killer idea for an Astro City book.

Just kidding.

Maybe.

Heh. Thanks for the very kind words, Bill. Hope you like what’s coming as much as you like what you’ve read so far!

And lastly, from ERIC:

Hi, Sir,

Any updates on Astro City?

Yep! #3 comes out in a month!

And when it does, we’ll have another column here, with comments on the new #1. And probably this’n’that in-between, so don’t be a stranger!

2 thoughts on “Astro City Lettercol – July 2013

  1. Jericho was only mute, not deaf; his disability was due to someone slashing his throat and damaging his vocal cords. His power somewhat overcame the disability, as bodies he possessed could talk, albeit in the style and vernacular of the host rather than Jericho (I think Jericho only controlled the content when the host was unconscious when possessed).

    The Chief, from the Doom Patrol, didn’t have any powers per se, but was in a (occasionally tricked out and armed) wheelchair. John Byrne’s explanation of Namor’s volatile mental state was tied into his powers; if he stayed on either land or in water for too long, an oxygen imbalance built up and affected his brain. Depending on how he’s being written, the Hulk is mentally handicapped and is an example of Banner’s multiple personality disorder. Cyborg is disabled but his parts appear to make up for disabilities other than appearance.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Prove you are human, mortal: * Time limit is exhausted. Please reload the CAPTCHA.