40 Years of Freelancing

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I was pulling the old tear sheets (pages pulled from a publication) from my files for a possible project and realized they weren’t in much of an order. I sifted through them and realized that my first freelance assignment was forty years ago this summer. As you may recall, I was briefly summer help at […]

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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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Happy Birthday, Star Trek

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Gene Roddenberry didn’t set out to create a phenomenon. He just wanted a hit television show after The Lieutenant was canceled. He had a handful of ideas but the one he managed to sell was a science fiction series. Not quite a fan of the genre, he received lessons from Samuel A. Peeples and adapted […]

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Report from the Writer

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This has been a challenging first five months of the year from the standpoint of being a writer. Much of that has to do with the lack of time for anything substantive as I rebuild the freshmen curriculum, constantly lesson planning new units for both the college prep and honors students. Some of my free […]

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Thoughts on Zack Snyder’s Justice League

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One can examine Zack Snyder’s work on DC Comics’ heroes and villains from a variety of vantage points. The just-released Zack Snyder’s Justice League has to stand apart as an anomaly. It is Snyder’s version and his final chapter after Man of Steel and Batman vs. Superman but only those two remain part of the […]

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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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What sort of year was it?

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It hasn’t been a bad year overall. Deb and I remained relativelyhealthy as we both hit 60, celebrating with our big trip to Scotland andIceland. We saw movies and plays, visited museums and libraries, and traveled to see family and friends. Throughout the year, we’ve upgraded portions of the townhouse, notably the Master Bathroom, but […]

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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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Some Thoughts on Turning 60

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Most of the time, I fervently subscribe to the notion that age is merely a number. I paused at fifty, though, since reaching the half-century milestone was worthy of pause and reflection.Here I am at sixty and am taking the time once more to see where I am.As the joke goes, at least I have […]

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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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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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Fangs for the Memories

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Earlier this week, word spread that Fangoria, the second greatest horror movie magazine of all time, was shutting down once and for all. Sadly, it seems current writers are getting stiffed on payments owed them. The current owners have done a fine job running the once-great franchise into the ground through a combination of arrogance […]

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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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Canon and Continuity

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I walked into my classroom the other day to see two students arguing whether or not Superboy Prime was still part of the DC Universe canon. At first I was amused then I paused to consider the question because up until then, I had never really focused much on what constituted DC Comics’ official canon.Deriving […]

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BvS: Overstuffed Plot vs. Underserved Themes

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Perhaps the biggest challenge Batman vs. Superman had was the same one plaguing Avengers: Age of Ultron. It had to service so many different agendas that things got muddled, especially for audiences not steeped in the lore. It certainly explains why the Blu-ray release will contain an additional 30 minutes of scenes, including more with […]

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I Appear to Have Been Reprinted

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I have been thrilled and delighted to see the work John Ostrander, Luke McDonnell and I did on the Suicide Squad is finally seeing some DC love. Last year a volume collecting the first eight issues of our run was released and then, just in time for Christmas, they released Suicide Squad Volume 2: The […]

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Saying Goodbye to Murphy Anderson

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I wish I could recall the first time I met Murphy Anderson. I’m fairly certain it was some time back in the 1970s but I do know I crossed paths with him during my brief 1980 summer tour of duty. He was unassuming, with a deep voice, and always in a suit.He left us yesterday […]

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Looking Back at the DC Offices Part 6

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After a tumultuous year at Marvel, I was out of work in January 2002 and after a few months got a call from Georg Brewer, DC’s design director and the man overseeing the company’s collected edition program. He took me to lunch and invited me home, offering me a Senior Editor post with the group. […]

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Looking Back at the DC Offices Part 4

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The summer of 1986 also saw me doing some Marketing work for DC. As the schedule had it, San Diego and Chicago shared the same weekend as the Atlanta Fantasy Fair and Dallas Comic Con. With the company’s resources dedicated to the bigger shows, I was asked to take a smaller version of the booth […]

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Looking Back at the DC Offices Part 3

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Looking back, I can clearly see how things peaked in 1986, one of the single most pivotal years in comic book history, but back then it was just a very busy year of really cool stuff happening. With my initial projects now history, I was deeply involved in a wide variety of things. There was […]

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Looking Back at the DC Offices Part 2

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I joined Starlog Press in September 1980 and within months had a notion for a new magazine, one to cover comic books, comic strips, and animation. It debuted a year later as Comics Scene and I’ll be reminiscing about that in a forthcoming issue of Back Issue! Once the magazine was canceled in 1983, I […]

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Looking Back at DC’s Offices, Part 1

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On Friday, DC Comics closes its doors in New York City, completing the lengthy relocation of core staff and operations to Burbank. I’ve been watching from afar, disappointed I couldn’t arrange a final trip north to make a final visit. Instead, I’ve been watching friends and former colleagues posting current pictures of the packing process […]

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When Worlds Collide

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It was a short week but a packed one as the kids returned all seeming to have memorized the countdown to the end of the school calendar. On Tuesday night, though, the state revealed our waiver request was granted forcing a readjustment of the countdown clock, shaving a day off so we finish on June […]

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DC’s Move West Brings Back Memories

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I have no recollection of who my father met while a salesman for IBM, but one day he announced that he arranged a tour of the DC Comics offices. I flashed back to that sense of wonder as the news spread across the Internet that after 75-plus years, the comic book publisher was going to […]

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Which is the Real DC Earth?

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Recently, DC Comics has made a big deal over the fact that the Earth where the New 52 comics have been telling stories is the Main Earth. This is to clearly separate it from the Earth-One seen in the hardcover graphic novels written by J. Michael Straczynski – the first of which, Superman came out […]

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Chatting with Jenette Kahn for Back Issue!

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I completely missed that my editor Michael Eury announced, just before Christmas the contents of the June issue of Back Issue! The cover story and bulk of the issue will be a career retrospective interview I conducted with Jenette Kahn. For those unfamiliar with Jenette, she arrived out of the blue to become DC’s publisher […]

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