Hi! Sorry to be about a week and a half late with this online letter column. I’ve been traveling, and also working on 5 issues of ASTRO CITY at once, as we strive to get on time production-wise and (fingers crossed, knock wood) stay that way. We’ve just gotten one issue off to press, three others are being drawn, and I’m writing the next one after those. So busy busy busy.
But that’s not your concern. You want letters? I got some letters. First off, here’s what was printed in #24…
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So. What song do you think they’re playing? I keep thinking it’s “I Wanna Be Sedated,” but then, I’m hopped up on cold medicine, and it’s been running through my head all day.
I’m also caught in multiple-time—writing this lettercolumn about #22 as I balloon pages of #24, work on script for two other issues and get a cover rough in for yet another issue, all in the same day. I’m spread across at least six months (seven if you count yesterday, when we were lining up another terrific guest artist for an issue a little further out), and Even without the Delsym, I think my head would be spinning.
But soft. What Letter of the Month through yonder computer-window breaks? Hey, look—it’s everyone’s favorite guy named:
Issue 22 was another great issue in the long-running ASTRO CITY series! In just one issue we are introduced to Starfighter, his family, his world, his mythos, etc. It immediately feels so rich and detailed and fires up the imagination. Reminds me of that feeling when I was a kid looking through back issue bins at the comic store and some awesome covers making me wonder about the crazy adventures inside (the NEW TEEN TITANS Pérez covers I remember distinctly making an impression years before I could afford to read them. And sometimes (but not often—usually when Perez did not draw the issue) the cover evoked a better story in my head that what was found inside.
You manage to bring the same feeling with ASTRO CITY—so many cool references, background characters, etc.—sometimes it is better to leave some mysteries untold, or adventures unchronicled and to let readers fill in the blanks (James Robinson did this to great effect in his STARMAN series).
The one item in this issue that I feel may be interesting to follow up on is the threat Starfighter senses on the periphery of his awareness…could it be linked to the Broken Man?
Keep up the great work and we will keep on reading!
It certainly could be, John…but is it? Ah, that’s another question for another day.
Then again, the Broken Man did say the Oubor had “gotten to” Astro City’s major heroes in some way. And if Starfighter’s cosmic abilities sense something out there but can’t quite get a hold on it, well, could be. Could be indeed. If so, that’s a reference we’ll be following up on, you bet.
I’m glad you like all the side-references and mentions of adventures that have happened offstage, too. We want the world of ASTRO CITY to feel like it’s rich and complicated and full of all kinds of history, just as our world is, and following any one character—or two, or seven, or ninety—through their days will still leave a ton of events unseen. The story we’re telling at the moment should work as a story, but it should feel like it’s happening in a world that should feel bigger and more…ooh, cold medicine…
Anyway. Thanks for the letter, John. Hope you like what’s coming. Meanwhile, as ever, them what wrote the Letter of the Month gets a copy of the issue in which their letter appears, signed by me. So fire us off your mailing address, and a copy of “Apeman Blues” will be on its way to you.
And now I’m going to go buy new comics! Wish me luck!
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Just in case anyone was wondering, I safely bought comics and made it back home in one piece. I may have had dinner, too.
And now that your curiosity’s settled on that score, let’s see what’s in the e-mailbag.