Wed 14 Aug 2013
Thu 19 Jul 2012
I’ve been playing this game based on the Apprentice television show over at the Brian M. Bendis forum on Jinxworld. (For non-comic readers, Bendis is likely Marvel’s more prolific writer. Avengers and all that.)
I’ve never watched the show but the game I’m playing basically consists of writing prompts. Coming up with story arcs, coming up with alternate takes on heroes, plotting out an entire Marvel line reboot and even plotting an entire year of an animated series.
It’s been great for generating ideas and characters, especially with all the plot bunnies. But it also is giving me a taste of what it would be like to write these characters, which is absolutely a blast.
Our last big assignment as a team was to come up with a #1,000 anniversary issue. Either Spider-Man or Action Comics (Superman) or Detective Comics (Batman.)
Naturally, I insisted on Batman. And then I got stuck for what I thought might be a big game changer. After all, sidekicks have all been killed before, Batman’s been defeated before, he’s even been considered dead fairly recently. Can’t really marry him off, he’s Batman and it wouldn’t stick. So then I looked at the villains and thought, well, the #1,000 issue demands the most iconic Bat villain.
So here’s our take on Detective #1,000, which might occur ten years down the line, if DC goes back to the regular number system. (They swapped all numbers back to #1 with the reboot.) This is not solely my own creation, I had the help of Kedd & Gary Sloan from the Bendis board.
I’ll give you a hint. Something very bad happens to the Joker. Second hint: Batman doesn’t do it to him.
Third hint? Look to the image.
Also, a certain redhead who’s been missing from the Gothamverse for a while makes a re-appearance.
Batman started fighting crime in a corrupt system back during the Great Depression, a problem that remains today in places like Detroit, New Orleans, and Camden, New Jersey. Batman still stands for the common person who gets back up off the ground and not only survives but vows to make certain that others never again suffer the same kind of pain. He is the guardian of the night whose quest is endless as no one person can eliminate the horrors of life.
Still, Batman will always try.
Over the years, Batman has trained a number of exceptional young men who have suffered similar losses, gained an ally in a thief whose life taught her that the ‘law’ is often a tool for the unjust, and made perhaps his truest friend in a man who, many times, provides his strongest link to the law.
As Batman: Year One was the parallel story of two men searching to serve justice, one outside the law, one inside the law, Detective #1,000 is meant to be a bookend to Year One, the story of the parallel tracks the actions of Batman and JIm Gordon and where those tracks have taken them.
This issue contains the story that allows the Batman mythos to move into the future with a somewhat altered status quo both for the Batman characters and for the city at large. Along with that, the back-up stories will showcase the best of the characters in Gotham and the work of the creators who’ve had such an impact on them.
Gotham’s Last Laugh
Fri 22 Jun 2012
I got the first review in yesterday for Luminous. It’s a coup to get reviewed by The Library Journal at all, nevermind receive a positive one, so I’m very pleased.
Quoting my favorite part:
“Verdict Quick reading with a superhero vibe, Luminous is a good start on the beachy book season.”
Link to the full review. The Library Journal. You have to scroll down a bit, since they are capsule reviews.
Tue 29 May 2012
And with the release of the novella, Luminous, I’m now officially a superhero series writer.
So far, that makes three books in the Seneca series and two in the Phoenix Institute series. Phoenix is catching up, as I have a third book coming in November.
But today is all about Luminous.
Okay, BSP over.
The creation of this story is unique because it was basically the result of a thread on Gail Simone’s forums at the Jinxworld website. I started, “Want to Write a Superhero Story?”, to encourage all the talented people on the forum to put their creative energy to work with the goal in mind to submit a story to Samhain Publishing’s call-out for superhero romance novellas.
I admit, when it came time to submit, I cheated.
I found a way to tie it into the Phoenix series and so I sent it to my regular Samhain editor instead of to the superhero romance anthology. Thankfully, Jennifer Miller liked it enough to buy it and, with the help of her editing, the story turned out great.
Yet the help of those on Gail’s forum was invaluable and I wanted to recognize them. So here’s the dedication:
To the posters of the Want to Write a Superhero Story? thread on the Gail Simone forums at Jinxworld. Thanks for your support and help and for keeping me going. You were an inspiration.
What’s the story about?
Well, there’s an official blurb and excerpt on my books page here (along with links to buy) and more at Samhain but I can tell you the desire to write this mainly came from my desire to write a Batman-type story. I’m pretty sure DC Comics is about to hand me a chance to do that.(If you’re read my criticism of how DC has handle outreach to the female audience, you probably know why. And there’s the fact I still have a lot to learn about comic scripting.
But I can write.
And just as it felt great to start my steampunk story and do a riff on Sherlock Holmes, it felt awesome to be creating my own urban landscape peopled with my own heroes. Noir seemed a perfect name for my heroine, a mysterious figure who is literally invisible and so decided to make dramatic use of black in her wardrobe. I picture her very much in the mold of the Shadow.
Lieutenant Aloysius James was inspired, naturally, by Gotham’s truest cop, Jim Gordon.
Al isn’t the same guy, however, though they both share a need to do the right thing, no matter what. For one, Al’s a lot less eloquent and more alone in the world.
Until Noir shows up and he’s not sure whether she needs to be arrested, helped or protected. He also finds the way she fills out the black leather more than a bit distracting.
Luckily, Al isn’t easily phased by Noir’s invisibility because he’s generally unflappable. It makes their eventual lovemaking a bit challenging but as Al says “who says all men need a visual?”
So I hope you’ll give Luminous a try. I’m very tempted, when I finish the full-length novels in the Phoenix Institute series, to return to their home in Charlton City and set the pair after corrupt cops, mutant bad guys and the occasional ordinary villains who can make life so difficult.
I’m not sure what to call that series yet. Noir doesn’t seem quite right. Crime and Shadows, perhaps.
Note: for those looking for the cast of Phoenix Rising, they’re mentioned at the end of Luminous. And they’ll return in full force in Phoenix Legacy in November.
Thu 15 Mar 2012
Hell yeah, Jim Gordon. By an artist called doubleleaf on devtart.
Wed 14 Mar 2012
Sitting on my downstairs desk. I like to imagine them chatting together.
Nora: Why do you have a gun?
Jim: To protect Gotham City. Why do you have such a big head?
Nora: To contain all the stories I need to tell.
Wed 29 Feb 2012
Been crazy lately.
In the last month:
1. The GeekMom Book was submitted to our editor, hitting the February 1st deadline. Hopefully, publication this winter.
2. I sold Phoenix Legacy, the direct sequel to Phoenix Rising, to Samhain. That will be out in November. It’s stars Philip, from PR as the hero who’s having a little trouble coping with immortality and a little more trouble coping with the people trying to kill him and someone from his mysterious past.
3. I got the finished pages of my first comic book script. More to come on that in another post but for those who read PR, it’s a four-page story of how Philip rescued Beth from the bad guys when she was a little girl. It has AWESOME art. I will post a page soon.
4. I finished the final edits on Luminous (see above) an urban crimefighter superhero novella that will be out in May. It’s set tangentially in the Phoenix Institute universe but has all-original characters, including a hero inspired by the Batman: Year One version of Jim Gordon, my favorite cop.
5. Got the final edits for the *print* version of Phoenix Rising, coming out in October.
That’s just my book publishing life.
And now that I’m back from dropping the minion off at school, here’s the first page to a four-page comic story called “Promise.” It will be in released in May as part of an all-women issue of The Gathering from Greyhaven Comics. The art is by Cassandra James of Australia, who is absolutely awesome.