Through the Mail Slot


I’ve been neglecting the blog lately—I’ve been having persistent allergy symptoms, so I’ve spent what clearheaded time I have writing and dealing with the multiple contract negotiations that all seemed to hit at the same time, and as a result there hasn’t been much time to blog and hasn’t been much to say anyway.
But it feels like the allergies are finally getting under control, except that for some reason this morning my right eye is streaming tears. Probably a reaction to the allergy shot I had yesterday, and it’ll settle down over the day. But nobody wants me writing anything for publication right now (or more accurately, no one wants what I’d produce at the moment, peering through the bottom edge of my glasses through a bleary haze). So I figured I’d catch up on some e-mail. Pardon me if there are more typos than usual. And if there aren’t, it’s sheer happenstance.
First up, William Lukash…

I’ve been reading Astro City since day one, but I wouldn’t say I’m a follower of your work. If you write a title I read, then I’m happy you are on board.
I tend to be a comic book archeologist, and by that I mean I like to read the old stuff. I just finished reading Essential Power Man and Iron Fist volume 2 and was quite pleased with your stories in that volume. I thought the confrontation with Master Khan was well paced and fun. Fera was interesting. I liked how she would not fight Iron Fist until he recovered his soul, because without that, he was not truly Iron Fist.
Also, although I can’t recall the hero’s name off the top of my head, I really like the neon guy on the flying disc. Mister Anderson came up with a neat design for that one.
I’m not 100% sure right now, but I think Alex may have had a lot to do with the design of Mirage. But glad you liked it, either way.
And glad you like the Power/Fist stories. Those were some of my earliest professional writing, and I was mostly just imitating Jo Duffy’s excellent earlier run on the series for all I was worth. I figured out how to bring my own “voice” to the series somewhere along the way, and was going to start implementing it with #101, but alas, I got dropped from the book with #100, and only a few hints made it in to the issues I wrote (including the fill-in in #105, which would have been a building sub-plot, had I stayed on). I do recall that I wanted #100 to be a big event focused on Luke, since #75 had been a K’un-Lun/Master Khan story—but I couldn’t think of one in the time I had, so I went with the ideas at hand.
Had I stayed on, I’d have done a lot more with Fera. She was going to develop into a lot more than just an animalistic wolf-woman. Maybe someday, somewhere, I can do something with those idea.
Next up, Victoria Koldewyn…

I have to stop reading Superman: Secret Identity for just a moment to send my regards! This is the first graphic novel of yours that I’ve ever read and I am utterly hooked. I generally don’t crack open the superhero genre but as I was browsing the library shelves yesterday I found yours. Admittedly, it was Stuart Immonen’s stunning artwork that captured my attention at the outset. You two make a great team.
I love that I am totally engrossed by the novel. I feel so….invested! It’s fantastic. I feel so geeked out!
So, thank you.
I haven’t yet browsed your website much but I am already loving what little I’ve seen and read.
Stuart did a fantastic job on Superman: Secret Identity. After the first issue, I felt like my job was just to match up to the excellence of the art, and try not to look too bad by comparison. It all worked out pretty well, and I’m thrilled so many people liked it. But it was Stuart’s A-game, and me desperately trying not to look feeble next to his work.
Currently, I’m working on Batman: Creature of the Night, a thematic sequel (not set in the same ‘world,’ but a similar idea), drawn by John Paul Leon. And as of the latest batch of pages that came in from John Paul, I had the same reaction: “Uh-oh, I’d better rewrite all that dialogue, there, so it doesn’t come off as shabby next to this stunning artwork.” So maybe that bodes well for the series!
And last, I’ll leave this one anonymous…

Have an Idea for a new Superhero already have him drawn out. Need to get comic script written introducing him with an origin issue either a 22 page or maybe a novel 100 pages or more. Let me know if you would be interested in doing this for me and what would be your fee. Or send this to someone who could be interested in writing it. Thanks for your time.
Sorry, but no. I have so many ideas of my own that I’ll never get to them all, so I’m not in the market for other people’s ideas.
I think you’ll find this pretty consistent among writers—ideas are basically cheap, we come up with them left and right. It’s what you do with the ideas that matters. And I’m booked up doing things with my own ideas—character ideas, story ideas, plot ideas. All the writers I know are pretty much the same. If you were a publisher looking for someone to write scripts for you for pay, you could probably find people, but if you’ve just got an idea you want someone to write stories for so you can then try to find a market for it, I wouldn’t know where to send you.
If I were you, I’d write the script myself. Whatever you lack in experience, you are the person who understands your idea best, and is best positioned to realize it. So I’d say give it a shot. If nothing else, it’s fun.
And with that, I think I’d going to sack out on the couch for a while, see if the world gets any less smeary-looking…