Introducing you to Above the Ground

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Now that it’s public, I am excited to talk about the novel I wrote last year. As you may recall, I was asked to step in and complete Paul Antony Jones’ This Alien Earth trilogy for Aethon Books. They were happy enough with the finished product that I was recommended to Matt Medney, CEO of […]

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A Year at Marvel – Final Days

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Returning to work on Tuesday, January 2 felt weird. There was a definite gloom in my corner of the offices. By then, I had used the holiday break to steel myself for getting fired. Deb was incredibly supportive, which helped tremendously. Given the pressure Bill Jemas had placed on Collected Editions, I stepped in and […]

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A Year at Marvel – December

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The days were growing shorter as December settled in. All was humming along nicely, or so it seemed. The growing sense that something was off between me and Bill Jemas was definitely growing. I was in his office less and less often; he rarely popped his head into my office, a floor below. Unlike some […]

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A Year at Marvel – November

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As November arrived, things continued to hum along although I was beginning to sense that it was soon my turn to be in Bill Jemas’ sights. The “issues” I spotted on a document months before had yet to be raised to me but as David Bogart settled in, Bill seemed to be involving him more […]

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A Year at Marvel – October

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Sometimes, change can be both slow and quick. After a few weeks, we landed David Bogart, coming over from Harris Comics. He settled in as my Number Two and we set him up in space just outside my office, initially relegated to a cube since there weren’t enough offices for the executive growth Bill Jemas […]

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My Baltimore Comic-Con Schedule

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After way too long, I will be attending a live, in-person convention this weekend. I’ll be returning to the Biltmore Comic-Con and with a slightly stripped down schedule, I will be honored to moderate five panels across the three days. Since the first quarter ends Thursday, we have Friday as a break so I get […]

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Xum’s Who

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Shagg Matthews, an online friend, reached out to me this week to tell me that the family of Xum Yukinori wanted me to have a copy of his privately printed Xum’s Who. Subtitled, Xum Yukinori’s Addendum to the Definitive Directory of the DC Universe. Xum had passed away last December leaving behind a legacy I […]

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A Year at Marvel – September

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SEPTEMBER Cons were over and it was back to getting the books out on time. My team settled in and were executing Bill Jemas’ plans. This meant Chet Krayewski was out securing deals, Fred Pagan was finding economies in the production and printing process, and Ben Abernathy and the collected editions team were scaling up […]

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A Year at Marvel – August

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Having survived the San Diego Comic-Con, planning was nearing completion for a stripped-down appearance at WizardWorld in Chicago. Bill “The Bullet” Rosemann would head up our presence there while I tended to matters at the new offices. The first real order of business was getting our new production director, Fred Pagan, up and running. Before […]

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A Year at Marvel – July

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As the second half of 2001 opened, Marvel had severed ties with the Comics Code Authority and relocated to new quarters. The company was enjoying superlative reviews and sales from the one-two punch of the revitalized Amazing Spider-Man and New X-Men. President Bill Jemas was having a ball. His outsized persona seemed to enjoy tweaking […]

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A Year at Marvel – June

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June was perhaps the craziest month I spent at Mighty Marvel. First, with every passing day, we were ramping up for the move. Packing had begun, the film was being gathered to be shipped to a warehouse in Yuma. Marvel was showing off its three-story booth at the Licensing Show and the convention planning was […]

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A Year at Marvel – May

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The spring definitely felt like things were gaining momentum. There was excitement in Editorial as we got to see what J. Michael Straczynski brought to Spider-Man and in May, Grant Morrison, Frank Quitely, and Tim Townsend brought fresh life to New X-Men. Joe was eager to begin promoting Mark Millar’s The Ultimates and was having […]

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A Year at Marvel – April

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April was a pause. We were on the cusp of releasing buzz-worthy books, the con season was being planned, we had a movie about to open, and anticipation filled the air. The pieces were all being moved on several fronts as the company prepared some figurative and literal moves. After the excitement over the previous […]

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A Year at Marvel – March

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By March, I had settled in to my new role at Marvel. Most days saw me wandering from office to office, checking in with editors or production or lettering or collected editions. I had become a familiar figure, especially in offices where things were running less than smoothly. That usually meant brainstorming with Mark Powers […]

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A Year at Marvel – February

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When I arrived at Marvel in early January 2001, the company was still recovering from the bankruptcy battle that left the company in the hands of ToyBiz owner Ike Perlmutter. In 1999, Marvel Knights, the imprint run by Joe Quesada and Jimmy Palmiotti, made more noise with their four titles than most of the line […]

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A Year at Marvel – January

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All of a sudden, I find myself looking back. The other day it was the 49th anniversary of my attending the first Star Trek Convention. This month marks 37 years since I joined DC Comics full-time and 20 since I had my less-than-marvelous year at Marvel Comics. It was late November, if I recall, that […]

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Saying Goodbye to Marty Pasko

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I think I first met Marty Pasko as the ubiquitous letter hack, nicknamed Pesky Pasko by editor Julie Schwartz. He was a familiar name to me for some time and then suddenly, he was compiling Julie’s letter pages. I still recall his tender editorial reply to the sister of one reader, James T. McCoy, who […]

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Me & Dreadstar

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In late 1981, just about the time Comics Scene was debuting, I got a call from Jim Shooter, inviting me to lunch. The Marvel Editor-in-Chief met me with Jim Starlin in tow to discuss the company’s new creator-owned contracts, which enticed Starlin back to the company. The first work to benefit from this would be […]

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So, What Kind of Year has it Been?

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As 2019 ends, and the final year of the decade begins (at least that’s how I count it), it’s time to take stock and judge the year as a whole. Deb and I had a relatively quiet, relatively good year. We saw plenty of television, a handful of plays and a bunch of movies, did […]

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The Flash: 100 Greatest Moments Cover Reveal

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I completed the manuscript for The Flash: 100 Greatest Moments in mid-July, ahead fo schedule, and DC Comics was quick to review the manuscript. Their comments, delivered by Andrew Martino, an assistant editor who I knew long before through two different mutual acquaintances, were cogent and helpful. The manuscript is off to copy editing while […]

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Flash: 100 Greatest Moments Announced

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As you know, I have been spent much of my writing time thelast year or so on the 100 Greatest Moments series for Chartwell Books, adivision of Quarto. I have been deeply gratified by the largely positive responsethey have received from reviewers and readers. The sales were better than Quarto anticipated so after thefirst three […]

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Three More 100 Greatest Moments Books

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Back in late November, I received a call from my publisher atChartwell Books. Apparently, sales have been so strong, and the reviews so superlative,on the first three 100 Greatest Momentsbooks, they negotiated a deal with DC Comics for three more books. She wantedto know if I was interested in writing them. What do you think? […]

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Saying Farewell to Stan Lee

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A parent didn’t show for a conference so I checked in with the rest of the world and discovered Stan the Man had left for Valhalla. I had wall to wall meetings until a little while ago and as I drove home, I finally had time to process his loss and his place in the […]

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My Packed Baltimore Comic-Con Schedule

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One reason I have come to love living in Maryland is because each year I get to attend the Baltimore Comic-Con, a large, wonderful show about comic books. I don’t book a table so I can wander freely and visit with old friends wherever they may scattered around the convention center.I’ve become a regular and my Westfield Comics […]

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What I did on my Summer Vacation

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My school year was done at the beginning of June and the students report tomorrow morning for the first classes of the new school year. I’ve been back in the building since last Wednesday and will admit that I was lesson planning in bits and pieces throughout the summer.But it was also a time to […]

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Ten Years of Marvel and Missed Opportunities

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There’s a lot being written about Marvel’s cinematic universe turning ten this summer. It’s a cause for celebration, especially considering their track record, and creative accomplishments. For a number of reasons, we couldn’t see Avengers: Infinity War opening weekend (6:40 p.m. this Friday), and we’re very excited to see a cinematic experience.However, this week, and […]

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Happy Birthday, Superman and Action Comics!

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I was six and stuck in bed, once again suffering from bronchitis. For whatever reason, my mother thought I would like a comic book for company and brought home a Superman comic. The year was 1964 and I wish I could remember which my first comic was.What I do know is that I was hooked.The […]

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Superman Soars at the Library of Congress

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 Sometime in April, the actual 80th anniversary of Action Comics #1 will arrive but the celebration is already underway. Last night at the Library of Congress, the Washington Post’s David Bettencourt interviewed Paul Levitz and Dan Jurgens before a few hundred interested people. Since this was nearby, I was invited to hang out with the […]

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Cover Reveal: Justice League: 100 Greatest Moments

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Work has been progressing on Justice League: 100 Greatest Moments, the first in a three volume set from Chartwell Books. Design work on the interiors has been continuing since I first announced the project, but now I have a DC-approved cover to show off.It’s a fine illustration of the current incarnation and should look just […]

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Year in Review: Writing and Editing

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With 2017 winding down, I am taking some time to look back and evaluate what sort of professional year it was.As the year began, I was out of work, seeking a school that wanted me fulltime and subbing most days at St. Vincent Pallotti. March saw me do a four-week stint at New Town High […]

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Announcing my Next Project: The JLA’s 100 Greatest Moments

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You can’t buy it yet, nor is there a final cover, but over at Amazon, my next project has been posted. The title they have is The 100 Greatest Moments From The Justice League, which has since been modified to Justice League: The 100 Greatest Moments. It’s a 304-page hardcover from Chartwell Books, showing a […]

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Captain America Novel Annotations

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As you know, my Captain America novel has been out a week. I haven’t heard any feedback yet but I wanted to have this available to those curious to the various shout outs, references, and details. I had fun mining the Marvel mythos for people, places, and events. Hopefully, it makes for a better read […]

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Anatomy of a Novel

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I first pitched a Captain America novel on October 31, 2016.  The first notion was considered too political and controversial, as was the tweaked second pitch. I finally tried something entirely different and that met with approval from Marvel. A revised outline was submitted for review in January and in February, an expanded outline was […]

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Remembering Adam West

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In January 1966, I was seven years old and thrilled beyond belief when Batman debuted on ABC. I was fairly new to comics but was already drawn to the Caped Crusader and bought every wacky thing about the live-action series.West had the right vocal tone, the right demeanor so his ultra-straight portrayal worked for my […]

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Finished the Captain America Novel

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Once the chapter by chapter outline for Captain America; The Never-Ending Battle was approved by both Marvel Comics and Joe Books, I set myself a schedule to ensure that I could have the book done in time for at least one beta reader and still meet the June 15 deadline.I allocated 20 writing days for […]

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I’m Writing a Captain America Novel

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Once I met the Marvel Super-Heroes as a series of animated adventures playing weeknights at 7 p.m. on channel 9, I quickly fell in love with them. Ever since, I have always had a soft spot in my heart for Captain America, Iron Man, and Thor, sticking with them through great stories and downright lousy […]

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I’ll be at Great Philadelphia Comic-Con This Weekend

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I’ve heard good things about the Great Philadelphia Comic-Con so when my pal Phil Guinta arranged for Crazy 8 Press to be invited as guests this year, I jumped at the chance.As it turns out, I will be joined this weekend by Peter David, Aaron, Rosenberg, and Russ Colchamiro instead of the full seven-member team. […]

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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 […]

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Many Irons in the Tiny Fire

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I like to be busy. There are some stretches where time hangs heavy without an active project, and I find that I procrastinate rather than really use the time for personal projects. That’s certainly one of the reasons I resolved to write a short story a month, something to keep me focused.Then there are days […]

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What Kind of Year has it Been?

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This wasn’t the year I was expecting nor am I in a place I ever imagined for myself at 58 but if I have proven anything over time it’s that I can roll with the punches and keep moving.EducationIn the first part of the year, I watched my hopes for staying at Owings Mills High […]

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Thinking About the CW DCU Crossover

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Last night I finished watching the final part of the CW’s DC Universe crossover event. I give the production team kudos for trying something so ambitious. The mainstream reviews fell all over themselves to praise the four-parter and the ratings were sky high so this can be seen a legitimate commercial success.It also means this […]

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A Look at Wealthy Comic Characters

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This was sent to me by Sarah at Personal Income, a financial management company that at least tries to talk in language most people understand. I thought it was fun and was willing to share it with the understanding that I do not endorse their services or have been paid to run this.  Anyone would […]

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The Suicide Squad Media Roundup

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This has been a nostalgic summer on a number of levels, starting with all the attention paid to the Suicide Squad. The comic has endured and been a highlight in many people’s memories. John Ostrander, Luke McDonnell, Karl Kesel, and I have previously talked about our work way back in Back Issue! #26.On his Facebook […]

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So, I saw Suicide Squad…

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When I proposed the title of Suicide Squad to John Ostrander, neither one of us knew what would happen. For all we knew, DC wouldn’t be interested. Instead, they were and it was rolled into the Legends miniseries so it would spinout, much as The Flash and Justice League would.And now, look, all three are […]

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