S is for Superman
I have not been a faithful correspondent because I’ve been devoting every waking hour; it feels, to two projects. As I mentioned recently, they arrived within 15 minutes of each other and they vie for my time and attention although clearly the short-term gig has to be getting the lion’s share of me for now.
Since my editor has been making references to it on my Facebook page, let me talk a bit about my stepping in to co-write The Essential Superman Encyclopedia. When DelRey contracted with DC, they wanted three books, one each for the Big Three. DC’s Licensed Publishing department thought of me for Batman, Marty Pasko for Superman, and Phil Jimenez for Wonder Woman. All perfectly logical choices.
Phil, being the madman that he is, started work within minutes of me although his was to be the final one printed. Marty saw what I was doing, grumbled at me, and began his own research. Time passed and I delivered my book, it got printed and people were happy. Marty and Phil continued to work.
For whatever reason, Marty chose to withdraw from the balance of the project and my editor, Chris Cerasi, immediately asked if I could step in and help out. After all, I know the character, style, resources and am something of a professional. I chatted with Marty at length and got to work.
The biggest difference between handling Batman and now doing superman is that I have just about two months to do better than half the book whereas I spent a year doing Batman on nights and weekends. See why I’m sounding crazed?
Thanks to the inexhaustible John Wells, I have able backup and Mark Waid has offered his guidance as well so I know there’s a safety net. To date, J is delivered to DC and K’s first draft was completed a few hours ago. L will be a bear then I can cruise until I hit S.
As for other work, yesterday I had one project fall apart for legal reasons which disappointed me. I had invested quite a few hours in trying to make it happen but the odds were stacked against me it seems. But, also yesterday, I spoke with a publisher about a multiple volume non-fiction project that won’t make me rich but won’t be embarrassing either. I have to write up a proposal and get rolling in May.
There remain many other irons in the fire so 2009 is looking a lot better than it did three weeks ago.