Co-Writing with a Colleague

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Once upon a time, I was DC Comics’ Editorial Coordinator, responsible for overseeing lots of things including getting all the work copied and materials shipped to our talent around the world. During my tenure, I had the good fortune for having a reasonably good eye for talent and hired quite a number of people who went on to roles within DC’s editorial department. Some are still there, which I consider remarkable. Not everyone I hired worked out and I wince at the thought of some, asking myself, “What were you thinking?”One of the excellent hires was a tall, well-spoken young man named Lateef Ade Williams. Lateef aspired to more than just comics so actually chose not to rise through the ranks to editorial power but instead put his efforts behind cultural activities in Harlem. He’s currently a marketing whiz for the legendary Apollo Theater and an occasional writer.Recently, he’s done short pieces in the form of written conversations with a colleague about some comics-related aspect of pop culture, explaining complicated or interesting concepts for a mass audience. Back in December, he reached out to say hello and invited me to participate in a piece exploring the first industrialist to become President of the United States: Lex Luthor. It sounded like fun so I wrote my piece, he wrote his, then married the two into the conversation.The New York Amsterdam News ran it in their paper January 25 while the Amherst Bulletin ran it on their website a day later.This was fun and easy, so he offered me three other opportunities and I seized on trying to explain Logan to the masses. After all, for comics fans, we understand Old Man Logan and X-23, but mashing them up and setting them in a film future can easily confuse people still trying to sort out the X-Men film reset. That effort ran at the Amsterdam News website on March 2.These are fun, quick in and out writing assignments and it’s nice to see my name back on newsprint. Working with an old colleague and friend certainly made it even that much more enjoyable.

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