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: