Thursday, March 27, 2008

The Hype of Reilly: Part X

I have a shorter update this week as I’m knee deep in putting the finishing touches on Phase One of the Life of Reilly book.

The process to convert and condense the old columns and weave them in with the new content is almost complete. My cutting down of the review pieces of each issue has almost been completed and soon I’ll have Glenn’s re-workings of his commentary. Don’t worry about losing commentary, though. Glenn (and I) thought it’d be good to go back and trim some of the moments that may have come off as inflammatory regarding other creators, but we’re making up for some cuts with a lot of new information from Glenn, too.

Tom Brevoort graciously offered to have his brain picked on his recollection of the story. While Tom wasn’t as knee deep into the story as some of the other people he is a human encyclopedia when it comes to all things Marvel Comics. I’ve said many times before that the editorial point of view on this story seems to be the crown jewel since there are some things that happened that even the writers were unaware of. Usually what ends up happening when I talk to one of the editors is that I get so much new information that I have to go back to an interview with someone else that I thought was wrapped up and follow up some more.

I was able to touch base with former EIC and current Spider-Girl writer, Tom DeFalco, as well. Tom helped out a great deal when Glenn and I were doing the series of columns years ago so it will be nice to have him back to comment on some of the newer material/revelations. A bit of an aside here: if you aren’t reading The Amazing Spider-Girl, you’re missing out on one of the true gems of the comic industry. The Spider-Girl book has the same feel as one of those classic books from the 70s and 80s but deals with a future Peter Parker and more specifically, his offspring May(day), who now wears the webs. For those of you who may be a bit ticked off at the un-marrying of Peter and MJ in the main books, The Amazing Spider-Girl is the book for you. There’s a reason it’s still going strong after more than ten years. It’s a perfect, all ages book that will appeal to both kids and adults who want to read comics the way they used to be written.

We have another artist coming on board for the discussion. Tom Lyle is going to be discussing his time as both an artist and a writer during the Clone Saga. Not only did Tom do a lot of the early design work on some of the major characters (including the Scarlet Spider), but he was one of the first artists to bring Ben Reilly and his alter ego to life on the pages of Spider-Man. I think his work (both on Spider-Man, as well as Robin and a few other series) went highly under-rated.

The biggest news of this week was that former Marvel EIC, Bob Harras has agreed to participate. The responsibility for ending the Clone Saga, tying up the loose ends and moving Spider-Man forward fell on Bob’s shoulders. For awhile it looked like we weren’t going to be able to get him, and I was being a bit vague when people have been asking about his involvement. I guess at this point I should stop being surprised when people agree to work on the book since it’s been happening so much, but it always gives me a smile when I can get one more person to relate their experiences on this story, especially someone who had a role to play like Harras’.

I’m still waiting on the Mackie/Kavanagh interview, which should happen within the next week or two. It’s always difficult to try and organize a get together with a bunch of different people, but we all agreed that it would be more fun and interesting to do this one in person and give off a vibe similar to the old group meetings during the actual storyline.

The delay has been a bit of a blessing because it’s enabled me to fine tune the work in progress and gather enough information so that I could ask them some interesting questions. These were two of the most requested creators from the old columns so I want to give the fans a segment that will live up to the hype. Based on some small chats with Howard, I think you’re all going to be quite pleased with what he and Terry have to say. I’ve said it before, but it will be worth the wait.

I hope to have Harras’ interview done within the week, be well underway with Lyle and Eric Fein and likely finished with Mackie and Kavanagh in the next two weeks or so. From there, I’ll be finishing up things with DeFalco and Dezago and Glenn and I will work on putting the thing together in a more seamless fashion. Then it will be Danny Fingeroth’s turn to take a look, work on the introduction and help bring it all together. At this rate, I’m looking to be finished writing and editing the book by the end of May. Then again, I’m still working on trying to get one or two more participants for the book (someone let John Romita Jr know to email me, please) so that may delay things a bit.

And since people have been asking, yes, I will be at the New York Comic Con, but I won’t have a table. You may see some sort of LoR propaganda floating around, but I don’t have all that much to show off at this point. Maybe I’ll have a LoR t-shirt to make it easier to spot me?

I’ll also be attending Wizard World Philly and it looks like I will have a table, or at least be sharing one. By that point I should have a lot more information about the books progress and scheduling and maybe I’ll be able to show off some new material to anyone who’s interested.

So if you’re going to the New York or Philly cons, find me and say ‘hi’…or give me a smack.

Oh well, that wasn't as short of an update as I thought it'd be.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

The Life of Reilly Archives are Up

Here's something to keep everyone busy until the book comes out.
In looking over the old columns as I posted them one thing stood out even more than the spelling mistakes...the book is going to have a hell of a lot more content.

Time to start trimming my review segments to make room for all the new Q&As and commentary.

Relive the magic here:

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

The Hype of Reilly: Part IX

This installment of ‘Hype’ is a little later than the bi-weekly schedule that I’ve tried to keep, but I’ve been a lot busier with the book lately so…

In the past couple of weeks I was able to get Fabian Nicieza to do a short interview for the book and got it completed, as well. Fabian had a small but pretty crucial role to play in the Clone Saga with The Final Adventure. Glenn Greenberg had previously written about how that mini-series almost didn’t come to pass with all of the revisions involved and I wanted to get Fabian’s take on the situation. His interview is a nice addition to the book.

I also touched base with former Spider-Man Editor, Eric Fein. Eric was working on the books with Danny Fingeroth before the Clone Saga even began and continued on Spider-Man well into the storyline. We’ve just started things rolling, but I really do enjoy getting editors on this storyline involved with the book. They have a perspective that reaches beyond the creation of the stories and are fleshing out these behind the scenes details even more.

Fans of the original columns were really interested in hearing what some of their favorite writers had to say about their time on this story and I think I’ve done a good job of capturing that, but the real behind the scenes stuff seems to come from the editorial side. Bob and Eric have had some interesting information that even surprised me and I anticipate more details when Danny Fingeroth gets his say.

The JM DeMatteis interview was also completed this past week. Currently the JMD segment is around 18 pages and just shy of 9000 words. It’s the longest interview I’ve ever done, but DeMatteis is a wealth of information and it’s fascinating to pick his brains on just about everything. In terms of the Life of Reilly, the DeMatteis segment is second only to Glenn’s in terms of content. We’ll see how things stand once everything’s wrapped up, though.

It looks like the big Howard Mackie/Terry Kavanagh mini-summit will occur in the next week or so. Coordinating schedules between people is difficult, but it’s going to be well worth the wait. Terry and Howard are two of the people that were most requested by fans of the original columns to be interviewed and I’m ecstatic to have them both on board.

New York Comic Convention is nearly here and that’s where the Life of Reilly hype machine will officially start. Due to my frequenting of a lot of Spider-Man related websites, as well as a few other mainstream comic sites, a lot of people are aware of the book, but the NYCC is where I will unleash to information to all. It’s actually part of a long term goal of getting out to a bunch of cons this season to promote the book and by this time next year there should actually be a book to show off/sell. I would like nothing more than to usher in a Clone Saga panel at the ’09 New York Con as a wrap up to the whole thing. We’ll see.

That’s it for now. Gotta go finalize the Budiansky piece.