11/08/13 @ 11:46 am EST
STRACZYNSKI TALKS RETURNING TO TWILIGHT ZONE AFTER 25 YEARS
J. Michael Straczynski is known for creating Babylon 5 and Joe’s Comics, but back in 1988 he was a writer on the Twilight Zone TV series. Now, 25 years later, he returns to the Rod Serling creation with Twlight Zone #1 from Dynamite Entertainment. Tony Lee chatted with Straczynski about the project. TONY LEE: Joe if I’m correct, this is a return for you – as you were one of the series writers when the TV show returned in the eighties. How do those 22 minute episodes affect the way you’re writing these 22 page ones?
J. MICHAEL STRACZYNSKI: Probably the main consequence of working on the ’88 Twilight Zone is that it really helped me to codify in my own head what is and isn’t a Zone story. When you sit down to actually work in that universe, there’s a certain amount of reinventing the wheel that goes on initially. Which is why when freelancers came in the pitches would almost always end with “…and we discover they’re robots!” or “they’re Adam and Eve!” or “they’re really dead!” Being immersed in that world helps you to avoid all the obvious stories and look for ones that are a bit more challenging and come at the characters from an oblique angle. TL: As a long term fan of the series, what’s your earliest or most stand-out memory of it?
JMS: I’ve been trying to remember the first Zone I ever saw, and I believe it was “Walking Distance,” though I wouldn’t swear to that under oath.
The thing that struck me about the show was the speed and strength with which it could establish a main character and pull you into the story. Strongly defined characters were at the very core of the show.
If there was any one element that kept drawing me back, it was the writing: punchy, sharp, incisive, brave enough to park the camera and let the character just talk for a while. Good writing. Amazing writing.
There were three key to the show: a tightly constructed character, who was b) often running from or to something, so he was already in motion, and c) in a situation that he could not explain to others or understand himself. TL: At San Diego, you stated that you wanted to write the series as stand alone arcs connected by theme, character and location. What made you decide to do it this way rather than as one shots or even two parters?
JMS: A 22 page comic doesn’t equate to 22 minutes of television. If you pull out a comic script and format it for TV, it’s actually only about 10 minutes of material, give or take. So you need roughly 3 issues to equal one half-hour episode, which is why some of those who suggest these should be all done in one issues are coming at this from the wrong side of the coin. A zone episode needs proper character and story development, and you can’t get that in 10 minutes…hence, the use of multiple issue arcs. TL: You’re on board for at least the first twelve issues, what can readers look forward to in this series? What surprises can we look forward to?
JMS: Probably the most interesting part, and certainly the most challenging from a writing perspective, is that these are three independent stories with overlapping characters that stand totally on their own…but which over time, in the aggregate, begin to comment upon and affect the other two stories.
It’s like writing three stories made of playing cards, which can be laid out in one way, then shuffled into a completely different order, layering one into the next, and it still works. Pulling that off has been very difficult in terms of maintaining the chronology…I have spread-sheets and calendars spread all over my desk to keep track of it all — but in the end, it should be very cool. TL: You’re one of the few writers out there who’s managed to successfully straddle multiple mediums and genres – what’s next for you, and what medium will it be in?
JMS: I’ve been ridiculously fortunate in my career. The average career for a TV writer is ten years; by the end of that time, the town has pretty seen what you have to offer, they’ve defined you, you’ve defined yourself, and the doors start to close. In a couple of years I will have been working in TV on and off for 30 years, and that’s damned improbable.
I think the key to survival in the business is doing just what you mention: work in multiples mediums and genres, learn from each one and apply those lessons elsewhere. Writing a comic hones your visual sensibilities, which you can use in a feature; a drama series gives you training in character moments you can use in a comic. It all feeds into everything else, and stops anyone from putting you in a box…because once you’re in that box, they bury you in it.
In terms of the future…I’m always looking for new challenges. In TV there’s nowhere to go within the structure of the form once you’ve been a show-runner. You can do more shows, better or different shows, but there’s noplace higher on the chart than show-runner. In film, once you’ve written movies that have hit half a billion dollars or earned Oscar or BAFTA nominations, you’ve gone as far as you can as a writer in that respect; more movies, yes, better and different movies, sure. But logistically, organizationally, you’ve gone about as far as you can.
So I’m moving a bit more into directing. I don’t want to direct full-time…hate getting up early…but for the occasional project, it’s worth it. I was going to be directing my first feature this fall, but we pushed it to winter ’14 to accommodate actors schedules and make room for Sense8, the series I’m doing for Netflix with the Wachowskis. But even there I’m slated to direct the episodes we’re doing in London. So yeah, directing is the next big challenge. TL: And finally – what’s your favourite Twilight Zone episode?
JMS: “The Obsolete Man” for reasons that would take pages and pages to explain. http://www.bleedingcool.com/2013/11/06/straczynski-talks-returning-to-twilight-zone-after-25-years/
01/28/15 @ 9:22 am EST
Dynamite; $3.99 According to Thomas Wolfe, “You can’t go home again.” But Mr. Wolfe didn’t mention anything about going home to your past. In the first issue of Twilight Zone a successful writer flies back to his hometown for a book signing. What he finds is more than he anticipated when he finds himself face to face with his younger self. Upon encountering his younger self, he must decide if he should help the troubled, abused boy or leave him to suffer knowing what the future holds after that suffering is endured. The story written by Mark Rahner is very interesting both for its philosophical and ethical quandary. The question posed to this man is one anybody would struggle to answer. On top of that is the eerie, unsettling feeling leading up to these moments. The weight of the title is enough to warn readers that this plane ride will not be the usual trip. Edu Menna’s art aides the story by drawing characters with haggard visages, setting the tone for a story both complicated and thought provoking. This first issue comes with covers by Guiu Vilanova, Francesco Francavilla, Jay Shaw, and Jonathan Lau.
01/20/15 @ 1:51 pm EST
Lots of Dynamite/Dynamic Forces news: Art sales, Reanimator returns, Looking for Group and Jungle Girl by Frank Cho 01/19/2015 by Heidi MacDonald Leave a Comment
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Dynamite and Dynamic Forces have been making a lot of announcements, and there isn’t even a con coming. Here’s the round-up: • Dynamic Forces CEO Nick Barrucci is selling art from his personal collection by Tom Raney, Mark Bagley, Scott Hanna, and Patrick Zircher from books like The Outsiders, The Punisher, Uncanny X-Men, Ultimate Spider-Man, The Order, Robin, and more. A portion of the proceeds will go to benefit the CBLDF. Barrucci owns hundreds of pages of art, and fans can order by artist: orders will be filled randomly for $75 a page. Here are the links to the pages: Part One Part Two Part Three
“Art collecting has been a passion of mine for years,” Barrucci explained. “For the past 30 years, I have been picking up pieces from my favorite artists whenever I can. I look at my collection on a regular basis, as I love to appreciate the form, ...
01/20/15 @ 11:04 am EST
is proud to announce that industry sensation Frank Cho
will return to Jungle Girl
, the comic book series that showcases Jana, a primal heroine in a prehistoric Lost World. Co-written by Doug Murray
) and illustrated by Jack Jadson
(The Savage Hawkman
), Jungle Girl: Season Three
will debut with a new #1 issue in April 2015, featuring an explosive cover by Frank Cho.Jungle Girl: Season Three
picks up where the previous series left off, following Jana's escape from an underwater city and a gigantic, otherworldly creature. However, her father soon reveals that those actions have doomed the Lost World in which they all live, as a wormhole appears in the sky and flaming debris begins to fall through. As the jungle burns, Jana and her friends must contend with stampeding behemoths and displaced, murderous natives. Furthermore, the rift presents a new, fearsome threat, for the fire from an alien dimension was not the only thing to come through.
"I'm delighted to be back with my co-creator, Doug Murray, and finish out the final story arc of Jungle Girl
," says Frank Cho, one of today's most recognizable names in comic book illustration. Cho began his career with a cartoon strip called University2
, published in the Diamondback
student newspaper at the University of Maryland, College Park. The series evolved into the nationally syndicated comic strip Liberty Meadows
, later published and expanded in monthly comic books. Cho became the go-to artist for high-profile comic book projects, including Mighty Avengers
, X-Men: Schism
, Savage Wolverine
, and many more. Over the years, he has garnered numerous awards including an Emmy Award for the Frank Cho's World
documentary, the National Cartoonists Society's Awards for Best Comic Book and Book Illustration, the Eagle Award, the Charles M. ...
01/20/15 @ 10:42 am EST
We have an exclusive first look at the solicitations and covers for Dynamite’s Legendery
comics, Legenderry: Green Hornet
#3, Legenderry: Red Sonja
#3 and Legenderry: Vampirella
#3. LEGENDERRY: GREEN HORNET #3 (OF 5)
Cover: Sergio Fernandez Davila Writer: Daryl Gregory Art: Brent Peeples
ON SALE DATE: April 22 Will our heroes escape from Tik-Tok’s clockwork deathtrap? (Probably. It’s only issue 3.) They should hurry, though, because waiting in the wings is the mastermind behind the gang war… The Brass Hornet! Catch an issue full of hot Hornet on Hornet action. LEGENDERRY: RED SONJA #3 (OF 5)
Cover: Sergio Fernandez Davila Writer: Marc Andreyko Art: Aneke
ON SALE DATE: April 15 Sonja always fancied herself a pirate extraordinaire… until now! As she and her newest ally sail the high seas in pursuit of a madman bent on defying death, Red comes face to face with one of the most, ahem, legendary pirates of all time! The question is: whose side is he on? The adventure exploring the outer reaches of the LEGENDERRY world continues! LEGENDERRY: VAMPIRELLA #3 (OF 5)
Cover: Sergio Fernandez Davila Writer: David Avallone Art: David Cabrera
ON SALE DATE: April 8 Alliterative action, as Vampirella faces and fights corruption with Kurtz, romance with Rassendyll and violence with Van Helsing. Hentzau’s plot is in motion, Vampirella’s secrets are revealed and the moral of the story is never let Dr. Moreau give you a haircut.
08/13/14 @ 4:10 pm EST
“We Were Part Of An Email Tree, So I Always Knew Who Was Writing What” – Nancy A Collins On Collaborating For Legends Of Red Sonja
Posted on August 13, 2014 by Dan Wickline
With this week’s release of Legends Of Red Sonja trade, we get to see the She-Devil with a Sword written by some of the top talent in the industry. Nancy A. Collins (Vampirella) had a story in the first issue of the series and she talks to Kevin Pearl about her involvement in the project.
KEVIN PEARL: What about the Red Sonja character most appeals to you?
NANCY A COLLINS: That she’s a no-nonsense kind of gal who knows how to get things done, and ...