I’ve got some good news for you all. This has probably been the busiest couple weeks of working on The Life of Reilly since I first made up my mind to actually do the book.
I’ve been in a very good rhythm lately and I’m trying to use it to my advantage and just keep working while I have the energy and the time to do so. This has involved a few very late nights and some early mornings, but there has been a great deal of progress, which pleases me to no end.
And based on the feedback that I’ve been getting over the past couple Hypes and the ‘One More Day’ piece, you’re all very anxious to have me getting this thing going. Actually, I was surprised by how many of you were mad that I took some time off of the project to work on the ‘One More Day’ piece. I know you all want this book to come out and I’m doing my best to stay focused. I only had two lazy days in the past few weeks and that’s because Cerebus creator Dave Sim was making the rounds on the net to promote his forthcoming Glamourpuss title. I would kick myself if I didn’t make the attempt to be online while he was taking time out to answer questions about his career, controversial beliefs and his new book.
But I digress.
I’m knee deep in the interview process with both JM DeMatteis and Bob Budiansky, and a lot of information going on with both of them. DeMatteis is one of the creators that fans of the old LoR column were dying to have feedback from and I don’t think that they’re going to be disappointed. My interview with him is actually growing much longer than I thought it would be because even when he answers a question that I thought was open and shut he sheds light on something that makes me want to follow up even more.
JM DeMatteis has long been one of my favorite writers and one of the top 3 Spider-Man writers in my opinion, but conversing with him about this story and how he constructs a scene and gets into a character’s head just gives me an entire other aspect to respect about him. I’m very pleased with this part of the book and how it’s going. Now, I’m not even sure when I’m going to be finished because there’s just so many new questions that I have with every segment of the interview that the thing has taken on a life of its own.
Bob Budiansky was an essential piece of the Clone Saga puzzle for me. Being the one who inherited the storyline in the middle of the run, it puts him in a very unique situation. While most of the people I’m interviewing for the book are being asked questions pertaining to their own work on the Clone Saga, I’ve found that a lot of what I’m discussing with Bob is more of a commentary on the original commentary. That’s not to say that we aren’t tackling new subjects and things from Bob’s individual perspective, but this is the first time (so far) that there are responses to Glenn’s original column commentary.
For those fans that preferred the parts of LoR that focused on the events surrounding the seemingly constant changes in direction to the storyline, Bob’s section is going to be your favorite.
Mind you, I’m not saying that the Budiansky material negates Glenn’s commentary, but there is another perspective involved now and new details that are filled out that explains things in much greater detail. Like the DeMatteis material, the Budiansky stuff has expanded further than I thought it would and there’s even more to go.
I also had a new addition to the book that I hadn’t planned on previously. George Khoury, writer of Image Comics: The Road to Independence from TwoMorrows Publishing, will be answering some questions of mine and helping me get some facts straight when it comes to a very important part of The Life of Reilly. George has done some great research on different facets of the industry and knows a great deal about the speculator bust of the 1990s.
Hopefully, he’ll be able to add to the evidence that the Clone Saga had nothing to do with the crash of Marvel and the industry. It’s been a popular misconception since the Clone Saga ended that everything bad in comics was a result of that storyline and it’s false. A lot of the creators that are contributing to the book will have ways to support that, but George will have a lot of facts on hands, too.
What all this means is that there is a slight danger of the book skyrocketing in page count. My latest estimate was pushing 300 pages. And remember, until we get a definite word back from licensing, this is 300 pages without art. This is also before we get to key commentary and interviews with Danny Fingeroth, Terry Kavanagh and Howard Mackie, which is probably going to be one of the biggest sections of the book.
Final editing of the original columns (particularly my synopsis of the issues) will have to be done once I’ve completed gathering new material. While I don’t think people would mind a thick phone book style trade paperback, I want to try and keep the price of the book as affordable as possible. That’s something that’s still months away from worrying about, so I won’t focus on it right now.
One important fact is that I’ve finally begun the transitioning of the columns to book form with the new material in place. That was the big hurdle that needed to be crossed. These aren’t going to finalized until all of the interviews are completed, but now the first few chapters are complete with ‘placeholders’ designed for ease of execution when it’s all wrapped up.
In the next couple weeks, I hope to finish up the DeMatteis, Dezago and Budiansky segments and start on the grand finale of new material with Mackie and Kavanaugh.
Another update in a couple weeks…give or take.