Sunday, December 27, 2009

Bamf, bitches!

At last, after a couple of little stories here and there, we've hit the motherlode -- or, at least, the motherlode of one-shots. But still, 30 solid pages of X-Men action from me and Mr. Freeman. And we could not be happier. Not only was it a hoot to write, but the artist on the book is Cary Nord and he's just goddamn phenomenal.

Look for X-Men Origins: Nightcrawler #1 on March 3. And buy it, please. I am unemployed...

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Happy holidays, Everyone

I've never been a big Christmas guy: My parents put up lights until Santa regained his spot in the myth closet. But this year I bought the a wad of lights to decorate the outside of the house. For the first time in, literally, decades. Not sure what that means. Either I've got a touch of holiday cheer, or it's the cheesesteak I had for lunch.

Either way, enjoy yourselves, folks.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Well,'s been MORE than "a while"

It's been almost half a year. Since just after San Diego, actually. Almost six months. And a wee bit has happened since.

For starters, I've gone and lost my job. Actually, that's not accurate -- given that I know exactly where my job is. After 13 years at Entertainment Weekly, I've been relieved of my duties. "Laid off" is the official term. And, you know, I'm okay with it. I've spent most of my adult life at EW and, while I wouldn't trade the experience for anything -- especially the late '90s, the last of the halcyon days of magazine publishing -- it was time for me to spend some time running down the dream.

So that's what I'm gonna do for the next couple of months: write my ass off. There's a decent number of contracted comics that need finishing, a couple of ideas that need developing, a screenplay that needs to be juiced back to life, and a novel that I can not write because I'm scared of it.

On the bright side, before I left EW, I got Nathan Fillion to come and visit, purely through the power of Twitter. So I've got that going for me...

I'll be here a lot more often, given that I've, technically, no place else to be.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

San Diego Comic-Con '09: The Year it All Changed

Grandiose title, yes? But it's true. In more ways than one.

THE AUTHORITY. Adam and I are taking over The Book Warren Built for Wildstorm. It's been in the works for a couple of months, and it's a massive thing for us. We are being entrusted with, essentially, the jewel in the Wildstorm crown, and we hope to be equal to the task. Or, at the very least, to blow up enough shit that you won't notice that we aren't.

GENIUS. Top Cow reaffirmed their commitment to the book. We're looking at early '10 for Vol. 1.

CELL DIVISION. Also for Top Cow, a new science fiction thriller. Most likely summer '10.

UNTITLED AMERICAN ORIGINAL BOOK. I'm gonna follow Jeff Katz into the fire for a spell and see what the weather's like. It's an "urban" miniseries — which means it'll have mostly black people in it. But I'll see if I can throw in a Puerto Rican or two.

MONSTER ATTACK NETWORK. I signed a copy of the book for the fella that's gonna be the star. Can't say who, of course. But there is sweetness afoot.

THE CONVENTION ITSELF. Maddening/phenomenal as always. The way the SDCC organizers deal with the press continues to be imperfect at best, impossible at worst. Catching up with old comic-friends is always worth the trip. And there is business to be done amongst the chaos.

But the thing that crystallized how the Comic-Con experience has changed for me was the Wired Cafe. If you haven't heard of it, it only underlines my point. On a terrace bar at the Omni Hotel, Wired set up an oasis: free food, free top-shelf booze, working wifi, banging sounds, gift bags, celebrities, the whole nine yards. It ran from Thursday through Saturday, and it was terrific. Once granted admission, one could visit there as often as one wished.

But the only people who knew of this were the famous and those who covered them. The multitudes who stood on lines for hours, who slept in the open to see Robert Pattinson, who walked the miles of the floor carrying an infantryman's pack worth of merchandise while wearing a Time Lord's trench before hiking to their hotel where they slept five to a room...they were oblivious. The people who made Comic-Con what it was, the very people who needed such sanctuary the most couldn't get it. Sure, there have always been parties and events not for public participation, but this was the first time I'd seen the Comic-Con equivalent of a Sundance gifting suite.

And that marked for me the turning of Comic Con.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

My San Diego Comic-Con Schedule

Should anyone want to find me, here's where I'm supposed to be during the San Diego Comic-Con '09. Let the mania begin...

  • 12:00-1:00pm: Signing at the Top Cow booth
  • 2:00-3:00pm: Signing at the Wildstorm cove of the DC Booth

  • 8:40am: Fox 5 San Diego morning show
  • 2:00-3:00pm Signing at the Top Cow booth

  • 11:00-noon: Signing at the Top Cow booth
  • 1:00-2:00pm: Signing at the Wildstorm cove of the DC Booth
  • 3:30-4:30pm: Wildstorm panel
  • 4:30-5:30pm: Top Cow panel
  • 5:30-6:30pm: American Original panel

  • 10:30-11:30am: Signing at the Wildstorm cove of the DC Booth
  • 11:30-12:30pm: Comic-Con Independent Film Festival Awards ceremony

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Age and Innocence

When I first started reading comics, I always imagined that the people who created them were wizened old men who'd gathered the secrets of the universe — as it related to spandex superheroing — and doled them out on a monthly basis. (Okay, that's not entirely true: When I first started reading comics, I was 11, and I thought they just appeared — fully formed wads of coolness. It wasn't until later that I realized that people actually made them.) Those secrets seemed like the hard-won treasure of a long life lived to the fullest: These guys (and they were always, in my mind, guys) had been to the Well on the Edge and brought forth the Knowledge.

That image of comics creators has stuck with me, to this day. (Not the "guys" part: I know some great women going great work, and wish there were more of 'em. Hey, I like women.) People like Ed Brubaker, Warren Ellis, Brian Bendis, Neil Gaiman, Brian Vaughan, Kyle Baker, Geoff Johns — they all had such mastery of the craft, such surety of voice, I couldn't see them as anything else but Obi-Wan Kenobis.

Then I started meeting them. And so many of them were young.

Given the skill with which he spins those beautiful, knowing noir sagas, I figured Ed Brubaker to be a dude in his sixties. Nope. Half that, give or take a nickel. The regularity with which Warren Ellis complains about the weather, his need for a cane, his failing body and addled brain brings to mind a bloke minutes away from a nursing home (or an asylum). Instead, he's perhaps a few months older than I am.

I say all of this for myself, really. To put this into a bit of perspective. Every now and again, someone will comment on the speed with which we've climbed into the professional comics arena. It'll be five years, this San Diego, since I first pitched Monster Attack Network to Larry Young. And, yes, in that time lots of doors have opened for us, between The Highwaymen, Genius, Push, and the other assorted projects we can't talk about.

But every day, I read something that floors me, something that makes me wonder how someone using the same tools that I do — a keyboard, an artist, and paper — can create such rich magic.

You see, we're not going so fast to get ahead. We're going so fast to catch up.

Friday, June 19, 2009

So Here's the Thing...

...I realize that I haven't updated this blog in more than two months. Prolly because I'm a douche. Prolly. But I've been a busy douche. Not as busy as, say, John Rogers, who's running a bloody TV show and still has time to blog, but still busy. Here's a little rundown of what's been happening:

1. First ever Marvel work. Can't say what yet, but the first of three projects should be out this July. But the time crunch was crazy-times. Still, completely thrilled that we were asked to knock some stuff out of the park. And knock we did.

2. More Wildstorm goodness. Something awesome on the horizon that can't be spoken of, yet, but it's pants-fillingly huge for us. But it's required a whole mess of work in, again, not a whole lot of time. But we're rapidly laying tracks made of pure phenomenium.

3. Robin Banks. Is up and running. Artist locked in -- and this person is gonna blow the doors off of shit. Seriously, if you have any doors, be sure you buy some replacements, because they're gonna get blown. First script is in, beginning on the second. And if all goes according to plan, the cover artist is gonna knock off your socks, fill them with the same stuff that filled your pants, and then put 'em back on.

4. Assorted Hollywoodery. As usual, nothing firm, but a whole mess of irons in the fire, as well as some genuine interest in an unfinished spec script that'd been lying fallow for years.

All of this on top of the day job. So if I've been neglecting you -- and I have -- it's not because I don't love you. It's just...shit's been falling from the sky, and we've been running like mad to keep up.

I promise, more stretches like these. I've missed you terribly.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

If it's possible to have a least favorite road in all of creation, it's the road to hell. But 2nd, is the Belt Pkwy.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Friday, April 17, 2009


For a good part of my time here, I led a very charmed life. I always had good luck with friends; school was easy -- I was smart enough to afford to be lazy. Was never Col. Woodsman, but I did okay with the ladies. Fell into my job at Starlog, and then bounced pretty easily to Entertainment Weekly, where I was promoted early and often. I've never wanted for much. I was a good kid, so I figured that the relative ease of my life was reward for living righteously. But I started to wonder, as my wife was pregnant with our first kid, if Fate was going to pick the absolute wrong time to level the scales.

And it did. My first born was diagnosed with autism when she was two-and-a-half.

The karmic corrective applied, life went on. We realized early on how fortunate we were with Sophie, even in the face of such cold misfortune. She's a happy girl. She loves to laugh; to be hugged, tickled, wrestled. Her default expression is a smile. And, as we got involved in the autism community -- which, given that everyone we know has a niece/nephew/sibling/cousin/family friend on the spectrum, wasn't hard -- we came to see how rare that was. Each autistic kid is different, but one of the underlying threads is extreme social dysfunction. For our kid to love to interact with us as much as she did...well, fortune in the eye of misfortune.

Things are beginning to go well again. I've found incredible success in comics, first as a journalist, now as a creator. Monster Attack Network is set up at Disney. Genius won Top Cow's Pilot Season competition, and we're wrapping up the rest of that story, with lots of Hollywood nibbles. The Highwaymen is well on the way at another major studio; and Wildstorm was happy enough with that mini, as well as Push, to engage us for some really exciting things on the horizon. A couple of other out-of-the-blue opportunities will, if they come through, make this a potentially game-changing year.

But...I've been down this road with Fate. I can't help but think that a karmic nadshot already has my name on it.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Thora Birch

As in, what the hell ever happened to. Remember her?

As a kid, she was Jack Ryan's daughter in Patriot Games and Clear and Present Danger. Made quite the grown-up impression in American Beauty. Rocked the house in Ghost World. And then...not much. John Sayles' Silver City. Some TV stuff. Dungeons & Dragons. A whole mess of dire direct-to-DVD crap.

She's pretty, talented (or talented enough), doesn't seem overly fucked up for a grown-up child actress...why did she vanish off the face of the entertainment planet? Hollywood has a tendency to grind up its young actresses, but it's always interesting to ponder why one girl gets through and 10 others get left on the side of the road.

Here's hoping that, when Matthew Weiner goes looking to cast Christina Hendricks' younger sister on Mad Men, he takes a look at Miss Thora. Those two women are similarly endowed...with gorgeous auburn hair.

Friday, March 27, 2009

I Have Been Remiss

I've let weeds crop up around the corners, spider-webs breed in the rafters. Sorry. It's been that kind of March. Good busy, to be sure, but busy. Lots of great comic-booky stuff coming down the pike—can't talk about any of it yet, sadly. Hopefully, a decent chunk of it can be announced by San Diego, but the nights have certainly been full of stuff that happily kept me up late.

And as of a week ago, my long distance relationship with Battlestar Galactica has come to an end. I've been writing about that show, in one way or another, for the past four years. And while I can't think of another show as worthy of attention as BSG, I'm glad to get my Friday nights back. I've already written exhaustively on the finale, and where I thought it succeeded and failed, so I'm not gonna get into it here. I just wanna thank BSG for affording me the opportunity to hug Grace Park, swoon over Mary McDonnell, and call Lucy Lawless a man. I will miss it.

So, back to the word mines. See you soon.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Boom goes the dynamite!

From today's Variety:

New gig for 'Mountain' man
Fickman to direct 'Monster' movie for Disney

Looking to match its Race to Witch Mountain director Andy Fickman with another family adventure film, Walt Disney Studios has attached him to helm Monster Attack Network.

Scott Elder and Josh Harmon have been hired to adapt the AIT/Planet Lar graphic novel, which the studio bought last summer.

The 2007 graphic novel focuses on a team of first-responders who guard the citizens of Lapuatu, a Pacific island that would be a paradise except for frequent attacks by giant monsters that rise from the sea. Marc Bernardin and Adam Freeman wrote the graphic novel, illustrated by Nima Sorat.

Jason Netter is producing through his Kickstart banner. Disney views the film as a visual effects-heavy tentpole. built around an elite government agency's resolve to protect America's coasts from huge, rampaging monsters.

With Witch Mountain and The Game Plan, Fickman has now delivered two family-flavored hits for Disney, both with Dwayne Johnson in the starring role.

The studio is also high on Elder and Harmon, whose script Snow and the Seven was bought in a spec sale by Disney. Script reimagines the Snow White story by making her a British girl raised in 19th century Hong Kong who battles an evil force after she's trained to fight by seven Shaolin monks. Scott Rudin and Andrew Gunn are producing.

The scribes also wrote The Naked Jungle for Paramount.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009


Now that reviews are coming from every quarter—both "official" and non—I no longer feel I need to keep anything under wraps. More later, perhaps, but for now, lemme just say this: I find it both counterintuitive and eminently logical that the Greatest Comic Book Ever Made didn't translate into the Greatest Comic Book Movie Ever made.

There are parts that are very good, bits that just sit there, and elements that make you scratch your head with a "wha-huh?" (Especially the music. I mean, really, "The Sound of Silence" over a funeral scene? Martin Scorsese, Quentin Tarantino, and David Chase must've shared a silent shudder.)

Watchmen will not slice your bread, will not pleasure your significant other, and will not alter your views on life, the universe, and everything. Those who say it is the end-all-be-all don't have a firm grasp of the concept of "all."

Simmer down, everyone.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Robin Banks: UPDATE

So, since we last spoke about this project, a publisher has stepped up to the plate and signed on. I can't say yet who, but suffice it to say, they publish in full-color. With ads in the pages and everything.

I'll share what I can, when I can—but while contracts are being signed and character designs are being worked up and scripts are being, er, scripted, I'm gonna have to go dark on the subject for the time being.

But it was invaluable going through the development process here, getting to work out the early kinks in an open forum...and, yes, the blokes who agreed to hop on the Robin Banks train heard about it here first. So, proof of concept and all.

I guess there is something to this whole "internet" doowangle.

Entitled Pricks

It's funny, because it's true...

Watch more SpikedHumor videos on AOL Video

Monday, February 16, 2009

'Genius' + Glyph Awards = Awesome

Just found out, true believers, that Pilot Season: Genius has been nominated for six Glyph Comics Awards (recognizing the best in black comics and black creators). Me, Adam, Afua, and Top Cow have been recognized in the following categories:

Story of the Year
Bayou, Jeremy Love, writer and artist
Incognegro; Mat Johnson, writer, Warren Pleece, artist
Justice League of America: The Second Coming; Dwayne McDuffie, writer, Ed Benes, artist
Pilot Season: Genius, Marc Bernardin & Adam Freeman, writers, Afua Richardson, artist
Presidential Material: Barack Obama; Jeff Mariotte, writer, Tom Morgan, artist

Best Writer
Marc Bernardin & Adam Freeman, Genius
Mat Johnson, Incognegro
Jeremy Love, Bayou
Jeff Mariotte, Presidential Material: Barack Obama
Dwayne McDuffie, Justice League of America

Best Artist
Jamal Igle, Supergirl
Jeremy Love, Bayou
Warren Pleece, Incognegro
Afua Richardson, Pilot Season: Genius
Larry Stroman, Black Panther Annual #1

Best Female Character
Destiny Ajaye, Pilot Season: Genius; created by Marc Bernardin & Adam Freeman, writers, Afua Richardson, artist
Lee Wagstaff, Bayou; created by Jeremy Love, writer and artist
Storm, X-Men: Worlds Apart; Christopher Yost, writer, Diogenes Neves, artist; created by Len Wein & Dave Cockrum
Vielle, Fungus Grotto; created by Shatia Hamilton, writer and artist
Vixen, Vixen: Return of the Lion; G. Willow Wilson, writer, Cafu, artist; created by Gerry Conway & Bob Oksner

Best Cover
Final Crisis: Submit, Matthew Clark & Norm Rapmund, artists; Richard & Tonya Horie, colors
The Hole: Consumer Culture; John Jennings, illustrator
Pilot Season: Genius, Afua Richardson, illustrator
Unknown Soldier #1, Igor Kordey, illustrator
Vixen: Return of the Lion #1; Josh Middleton, illustrator

Fan Award for Best Comic
Iron Man: Director of SHIELD #33-35; Christos Gage, writer, Sean Chen & Sandu Florea, artists
Pilot Season: Genius; Marc Bernardin & Adam Freeman, writers, Afua Richardson, artist
Presidential Material: Barack Obama; Jeff Mariotte, writer, Tom Morgan, artist
Vixen: Return of the Lion; G. Willow Wilson, writer, Cafu, artist
Young Avengers Presents #1; Ed Brubaker, writer, Paco Medina, artist

Needless to say, I'm thrilled...even if I feel a little Don Cheadle, who found himself nominated for an Oscar the same year as Jamie Foxx for Ray. I'm really proud of the work we did, but I wish we didn't have to go up against Mat Johnson's Incognegro or Jeremy Love's Bayou. Because goddamn, those are great books.

Still, I'll be holding it down in Philly on May 15th, when the awards are given out. Gots to represent.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Nice 'Push' Review


"Reading Push seemed a little odd in the sense that it serves as a prequel to the movie of the same name and while I haven’t seen the movie yet, but I kept thinking that this story would’ve made a great film. Oh well, maybe some day they’ll film it."

And that, ladies and gentleman, is why we did it.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

My NYCC Schedule

Should anyone want to find me, here's where I'll be and when:

4:00-5:30pm: Signing at the Top Cow Booth
8:00-?: Drinking and, hopefully, eating

10:00-11:30am: Signing at the Top Cow booth
11:30-12:30pm: Signing at the DC/Wildstorm booth

1:00pm: Kicking it with the wee lad, who is very excited to see "all the crazy people."

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Kevin Smith Has Ruined My Soul

I like Kevin Smith. Some don't, but I do. I respect him as a writer and think he's got lots of room to grow as a director, but he'll get there. Beyond that, the dude just makes me laugh. As such, I've been a long-time listener to his SModcast, in which Smith and his cohorts—usually his producing partner, Scott Mosier—regale with stories ranging from Hollywood travails to the odds a serial killer will trade fellatio for lives. Anyone who's been to one of his Q&As, or seen him on a panel, or watched any of the An Evening With DVDs knows that the motherfucker can tell a good story. And I'm always willing to take the podcasty ride.

But his latest SModcast has damaged me. He and his buddy Malcolm Ingram hit the internet and describe, in excruciating detail, two video clips they came across. You know how there are some things you can't unsee? There are also things you can't unhear. Like the play-by-play on clips with names like "Glass Ass" and "Two Guys and a Horse."

Thanks, Kev. You've reminded me why I'm afraid of the internet. And people.

(Should you want to hear, download the podcast in question here. Don't say I didn't warn you. Because here I am. Warning you.)

This is just...thank you, internets!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

My Favorite Quote of the Year

From Adam McGovern at

"Wildstorm was roundly pilloried (here and elsewhere) for not renewing Marc Bernardin & Adam Freeman’s smart sci-fi spy thriller The Highwaymen, but luckily the criticism didn’t affect either the writing team’s attitude or Jim Lee’s judgment, since the boys are back for the smart sci-fi prequel comic to February’s film Push. Nobody in current comics is better at combining the wit and ensemble dynamics of heist films with the scary intensity of geopolitical conspiracy pulp than Bernardin & Freeman, and theirs is the *other* comeback of the year."

Friday, January 23, 2009

Bob Schreck... laid off today. In case you don't know who Bob Schreck is, he's one of the good guys.

One of the first feature stories I ever wrote for EW was about Frank Miller coming back to Batman for The Dark Knight Strikes Again. I interviewed a bunch of people about the project, one of them being then-Batman editorial overlord Bob Schreck. Great interview, lots of juiciness. A few months after the story had hit stands, I dropped Bob an email and asked him to lunch. He accepted. Maybe out of professional courtesy, maybe out of a back-of-his-mind bit of gamesmanship—I was still editing EW's comic coverage back them, so making nice with me might grease some wheels down the line—who knows? But he took the lunch and even allowed me to pitch a half-assed story idea, which we then talked about for 30 minutes. And then talked about again a few days later before he passed on it (and rightly so, as it was half-assed).

We stayed in touch over the years and when I finally gave up the comicss journalist ghost and started writing, he invited me in to talk about doing some Vertigo work. Pitched him a couple of things, developed them into proposals, talked through story arcs—they never went anywhere, but that's not the point. Most of them never do. But he took the time, time he probably didn't have.

I think, more than anything else, Bob Schreck enjoys the act of discovery: be it finding and nurturing new talent, or finding and nurturing new stories out of old talent. He genuinely likes the people, and getting the best work out of them.

The dude's a titan, and DC's loss will be someone else's massive gain.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Boobs, Push, and Adam Freeman

I swear, if every interview was as fun as this one, I'd do interviews up the ying-yang.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

STILL RELEVANT: The Secret Service's Super Bowl

I originally wrote this post back in December of 2006. Everything in it still applies now that Barack Obama is, officially, President Obama. We're now playing for all the marbles.


Or World Series, or U.S. Open. Take your pick. Whatever you wanna call it, that's what it's gonna be for the Secret Service if Barack Obama does, indeed, run for President.

Why? Because, for the first time, a black man has a legitimate (and, depending on who you talk to, likely) shot at winning the White House. (And Jesse Jackson's run, however well-intentioned it may have been, never really had a shot.) Even though it's been a scant 40-odd years since the Civil Rights movement, I'd like to think that we, as a society, are ready for that.

But there are still pockets of this country who won't stand for it, who aren't ready for a Negro in Chief. And those happen to be incredibly well-armed pockets.

So this is when we see, exactly, what the Secret Service is made of. Because those nuts are gonna come for Obama...whether the general public hears about it or not.

Put your game-face on, fellas. Show time.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Paul Blart: Mall Cop Makes $33 million

Jesus, America. Can you not just stay home and read a book? It seems like sometimes you fuckers will watch ANYTHING...