Saturday, September 5, 2009

A Life of Reilly Update

Sorry for the link switch but I've opened up a new blog dedicated just for the Life of Reilly book and all the updates that go with it. I just finished the first draft today and sent it to Glenn so we're well on our way to getting this in your hands.

Please check out and bookmark/subscribe to or whatever the new Life of Reilly blog where all the information will be updated from now on

Monday, August 25, 2008

A Great New Blogger

I may not be objective about this, but my oldest son has decided to start a comic review blog. He's freely criticized a lot of what I read in private so as a joke I suggested that he do his own reviews about comics he likes. He loved the idea. After setting up a blogger account for him, he let loose into the most recent comics I bought, we read them together and he started reciting his reviews to me while I type them. Now he goes to the comic store each week and picks out his own comics in addition to what I buy that he may be interested in reading.

The response has been overwhelming so far. He's been doing this for a couple of weeks now and several other comic sites have linked to his blog or started conversations about what he's been doing. Each time there is a new comment on his blog or another email sent to him he is overjoyed. Some of the creators whose work he's reviewed have contacted him as well, which was an even bigger thrill. The whole project has amplified his love of reading and his ability to analyze what he's reading. He even decided to review a movie, too.

So if you or someone you know would like to read what a 7 year old thinks about today's comics or you want to remember what it was like to enjoy a comic for what it was in its most basic form, check out his blog, leave a comment and spread the word.

Life of Reilly Update

I've been getting more emails lately asking about the status of the book so I figured it was update time.

During the summer, I had to stop working on all of the fun stuff like fact gathering and interviews because between creators enjoying their summer vacations and participating in comic cons it was difficult to get the interviews done. I was able to make a lot of headway into the restructuring of the book (the not so fun stuff).

The most difficult part of the book was always going to be making it read like on sequential story instead of the journal updates as they were originally reposted. I also have to insert a lot of the new comments from creators into various chapters of the book where they apply. I didn't want the book to just be a collected version of the old columns in the beginning and then a series of new interviews at the end. I want it to read like there were 20 of us sitting in a room for a couple days talking about the Clone Saga. I think it will read much better that way.

To do all of that means I have to go back and rip the old stuff apart. I have to make sure that Glenn and I aren't repeating ourselves a dozen times. I have to go back and chop a lot of my descriptions of the story that came off more like a review and less like a synopsis. And Glenn is going back and touching up some of his old comments. Looking back on the columns after all these years let us see thing from a new perspective. I realized that I was very wordy and opinionated. Glenn felt he was a little harsher on some things than he needed to be. He wants to be the inside voice in the story, guiding the reader through the ins and outs of the story from the perspective of someone who was involved at the time. He doesn't want to come off as too opinionate on some of the creators and their methods, though and is trying to make it as factual as the accounts of one person can be.

All of that 'boring' stuff is what I've been working on through the summer. That was always going to be the hardest part of the book and I'm almost done with it so that's a relief.

By the end of September I want to have all of the new commentary and interviews completed. Howard and Terry are the only ones that I still need to do a lot of work on. The rest of the creators commentary/interviews are in various stages of completion and most of them are already done.

Sometime in late October or early November I want the book to be arranged in the way I'd like it to see press and it will be ready for Glenn to go over and add more info and the rest of the contributors will have a chance to have a look and correct any mistakes or offer last minute thoughts on the subject. It'll also get a pass by Danny Fingeroth who has been very helpful to the whole project.

By December the book should be in the hands of an editor. I'm fortunate that I know some professional editors who like the idea and will take a look at it as a personal favor.

This should put the completion of the book at the end of '08 or sometime in January of '09, which is only about a month off of what I was hoping for. I've been scouting some printers and some publishers so I could have things ready to go to print and have copies ready for the start of con season (New York in February, I believe).

There are two things which may delay the book. The first is if it gets picked up by a major publisher. Due to the fact that publishers work well in advance with the projects they have, there most definately wouldn't be any room for this book on next year's schedule. That's one of the deal makers or breakers that I'll have when it comes down to what to do with the publishing of the book. As much as I'd like the help and support of a big publisher to carry it, I also don't want the interference or delay to do so. If I can find the right mix, then I'm all for it but most likely this thing is going to be self published. Number crunching on that will be done around October when everyone else gets a look at the book.

The other possible delay could happen if freelancing goes well. I was fortunate this summer to be able to work on two very cool projects: The Star Wars Encyclopedia for Random House and the DC Superhero Collection Magazine for Eaglemoss. It took up some time, but I was still able to work on Life of Reilly. I'm looking forward to some more projects from Eaglemoss and I'm trying to get myself considered for a very, very big project from the editors I worked with on the Encyclopedia. It'd be a lot more involved than what I did for the Encyclopedia and it would have to take priority. Depending on how much work is involved, I would maybe have to push back my work on the Reilly book. Possibly, but not likely. I've been pretty good about balancing my schedule and can probably do it again, but it's still a possibility. And if that does happen, it wouldn't only push Reilly back about 6 weeks so it wouldn't be a huge disaster.

So that's the plan. That's what I've been doing and what I hope will be happening over the next 5 months. This book has taken up several years of my life with the initial columns, the planning stages and actual work of the book but the end is near and I am very optimistic about the final product.

More soon!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

A New Ben Reilly Story

Just a short update to let everyone know that for the first time in over 10 years (since the Clone Saga ended) Ben Reilly is going to be featured in a new story.

It's a flashback, so it's not exactly like they're bringing him back...yet, but the very idea that he'll be featured in a new comic and one with the exposure that a Spider-Man/X-Men story will have, is a good sign.

Ben Reilly will be in the 3rd issue of the series so if you want to send a message to Marvel that you want more Reilly then I would suggest going to your local comic shop and pre-ordering the 3rd issue. Maybe even get two.

Typically, sales go down on the second, third and subsequent issues of a miniseries so if there is a healthy bump for part 3 it'll be obvious that Ben Reilly's appearance is the reason why.

Also, the mini is written by the incredibly talented Christos Gage so I'm sure the character will be in great hands.

The full article can be found here:

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The Clone Wars

It officially began for me with the midnight madness sale at Toys R Us last Friday. At 12:01am, the new Star Wars toys featuring characters and vehicles from the new Clone Wars movie and television series went on sale and I was there in line with the entire family.

Not all of the stores were having the sale so we had to drive about 30 miles to our closest participating store. Any thoughts of how crazy 'I' was to do this were put to rest when we pulled into the parking lot and saw at least 150 people of all ages waiting patiently for the doors to open. Amidst the fans and the collectors were a couple dozen representative of the 501st who helped with things like crowd control and making sure that the smaller children could reach the items that were placed too high for them.

Being near the last in line of that many people meant that the pickings were slim for us, but my oldest boy (and the biggest fan) was able to scoop up a few of the new clone troopers, which are his favorite ones anyway. At least the store was smart enough to realize that there would probably be a lot of hording and limited the amount of items that one could purchase to 12. That made it a little more balanced unless some scoundrels came in packs to take advantage of the system. The only figure that was on the want list that we didn't get was the new Yoda, but I had a backup plan in mind.

There was a Walmart near our home that wasn't advertising the toys going on sale but it was open 24 hours. So with the kids asleep in the car and my wife with them, I went into Walmart and checked out the toy aisle to find 3 skids of toys all still in their cases. After asking a manager to open them for me I found, not only Yoda, but a few other clone troopers and commanders to surprise the kids with when they awoke the next day.

The older boy especially has been playing with the toys nonstop and earlier this week a 4 minute clip of the movie was released on the net. Look here:


I've been fortunate enough to see and read a lot of the behind the scenes stuff in regards to the Clone Wars due to working on the new Star Wars Encyclopedia. Buy here:

Excited as I was with what I had seen already, watching a full scene like that pulled it all together and got me even more hyped than I had already been. It's an amazing clip and if the rest of the film and series match that quality then Star Wars fans are going to be quite happy.

I'm not sure how aware the general public is about another Star Wars film coming out, or that it will be leading into a television series this Fall but I have a feeling a lot of people are going to be caught off guard by how great this thing is.

I know my family can't wait until August 15th.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Swimming in the DC Pool

Thankfully, the freelance assignments seem to keep coming.

While I'm still knee deep in working on the Star Wars Encyclopedia for Random House/Del Rey and The Life of Reilly, I've just taken on a very cool assignment with DC Comics and their licensing/marketing department.

Even more than the Reilly or Star Wars projects, the work with DC will allow me to stretch my writing muscles even more since it's exclusively writing. It will also give me the opportunity to familiarize myself even more with the various characters and worlds of the DC Universe. The first character that I'm going to be writing about is one of my favorite villains in comics, so that was a pleasant surprise. When it comes down to it, I get to participate in the comic company that's home to Batman and Superman so how can I not be excited about that?

The Star Wars Encyclopedia is almost finished (at least my involvement in it). It really is just a massive collection (3 book set at over 1200 pages on sale 11/18/08) that will contain more information than any Star Wars fan could possibly hope for.

As comic con season winds down after this week's San Diego con, the creative types will be free once again to partake in interviews and I'll be able to offer more information on how The Life of Reilly is doing. I've been able to do a lot of grunt work behind the scenes as I wait for the interviews to start up again so I think I'm still on track with my original publishing estimates.

I am just thrilled to be able to say that I've now done freelance for the two biggest comic companies with Marvel and DC and the biggest publishing company with Random House. I've waited years to have opportunities like this. Now I just have to make sure I don't blow it.

Friday, June 20, 2008

The Life of....Skywalker!?!

I mentioned a freelance project that I was juggling in between working on The Life of Reilly book and now I can finally reveal what that project is.

The Star Wars Encyclopedia

Yep, the Star Wars Encyclopedia. Like the first edition of the SWE, this one is also being written by the great Steve Sansweet but will feature a hell of a lot more content...about 1000 pages worth covering everything from the Old Republic to Star Wars: Legacy. There will be detailed entries for all of your favorites from the films, along with characters from the Marvel comics series through the Dark Horse comics and up to and including the new animated Clone Wars movie and television series.

This is going to be the most complete source for information on Star Wars that exists and I am honored to be a part of it. My role in this project has been to assist the production department with the art for this massive set. In a nutshell, I'm looking through the archives to select the pretty pictures that will be going along with the entries.

I thought that detailing the behind the scenes events of the Spider-Man Clone Saga was tough, but it's a cakewalk compared to searching through tens of thousands of images to select the best ones for the thousands of entries that will be contained in this definitive set. I am in awe of the work being put into this book from Steve and the other writers to the editors and production department, all of whom are determined to give Star Wars fans something that is absolutely spectacular. After having seen some of the finished pages, I was completely blown away with how amazing this looks already, and there are still several months to go to fine tune things even more.

This is a book for anyone who has ever been touched by the magic of Star Wars. For fans who remember as far back as Jaxxon and those who have just discovered Darth Caedus along with those who only care about the six films. This book will cover everything from the A-1 Deluxe Floater (catch it if you can in Mos Eisley during Episode IV) to Zzzanmxl of the Zanibar mercinaries.

The book should be hitting stores on Black Friday just in time for you to pick one up as a Christmas gift for yourself or any geek you care about. I'll have more information on the project as I learn it.

Oh, and things are still looking good for The Life of Reilly, too. I just finished up the new Tom DeFalco segments and Tom Lyle and I have started to get things ready for the big segment with him.