On Friday I returned to Manhattan for what will no doubt be a recurring pattern now that I seem to be doing this freelance thing fulltime. First, lunch with a pal, David Mack. Dave has been kind enough to hire me to write some things for him at scifi.com and we have known each other for some years. We had some great sandwiches and even better chitchat, which was terrific.I then threaded my way through the midtown crush, admiring some of the new Christmas decorations fronting the office buildings and stopped at DC Comics. There, I met with my editor Chris Cerasi to review the first section of copyedited pages from The Essential Batman Encyclopedia He initially thought I’d be given A-L but instead, only collected A-C, and even not all the C’s, it stopped with Circe. Even so, I walked out with over 340 pages of manuscript.Chris and I then went through the images selected to date, many my choice, many his idea. We discussed who we were light on and what the deadlines were going to be. I noted we were skewing a little heavy on Jim Lee and Tim Sale and need plenty more Jim Aparo, Dick Sprang and even Dick Giordano. There’s still time to balance those scales.Yesterday, I went through the pages and was pleasantly surprised at the copy editor’s diligence and light touch. The questions were good and in only two places was I asked to clarify my intent. It also gave me a chance to bring characters up to date so even though we cut things off officially with the September in store comics, I have managed to update info through books that came out this week. With luck, I will be able to continue this all through the process which won’t end until January.I also some sample design pages and was very, very happy with the clean, readable type and layout. Overall, I couldn’t be happier with how this is coming together.