Production notes and trivia from my experiences on comic books, fiction, and games including
Star Wars: A New DawnStar Wars: Kenobi Star Wars: Knight Errant
Star Wars: Knights of the Old RepublicStar Wars: Lost Tribe of the Sith
Star TrekMass Effect Overdraft Iron Man & more!

Order the Star Trek Prey trilogy here!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Technical difficulties resolved

Google has resolved the technical difficulties affecting the site. Everything fine now — sorry for the inconvenience!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Behind the tentacles of terror

And there are now a few thoughts online on the ideas behind Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic #44. How were The Beagle Boys, the Star Frontiers role-playing game, and the United States Navy tangentially connected with this tentacle-covered comic book? Read on, Macduff, and learn how!

(Er... there are tentacles on the cover, that is. The comic book isn't tentacle-covered unless you're reading the issue while in the Pike Place Fish Market. In which case, get back to work throwing fish!)

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Yes, I can confirm I exist...

My little brush with historical unreality: I was interested to see the Associated Press had a feature today on Jayson Blair, the reporter who fabricated material in stories for The New York Times and resigned in 2003. His story is less familiar than that of Stephen Glass, who was portrayed by future Anakin Hayden Christensen in the excellent movie Shattered Glass, but it was no less a black eye for the newspaper at the time.

Blair is back as a life coach — good luck to him with that — but one of the things that came up back when all this broke in 2003 was that Blair was a comics fan, and had written at least two pieces on comics for the Times in 2002. I was, in fact, interviewed for one of them — ironically, a piece on reality in comics, inspired by Marvel's Call of Duty line — though as you might see in the article, he got both my name and the magazine we published wrong.

I remember The Beat saying at the time "all the folks quoted in the stories — Joe Quesada, Omar Billal, Prof. Jeffrey Brown and John Jackson Miller — are known to exist and seem to be in character" — probably the first time my existence has needed independent confirmation!

While the paraphrase and quote don't seem familiar, I can't say I didn't say what's in the article — it's been a long time, and it was one interview in hundreds over the years. All I remember about the interview was that he seemed genuinely enthusiastic about comics — and that the Times never contacted me to confirm the interview, which they spent a lot of time doing in the aftermath. Maybe they contacted "Jonathan Jackson Miller" instead! (The other comics story from the month earlier, incidentally, did have problems that the Times found — so it sounds like we were batting .500 there!)

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Knights of the Old Republic #44: Tentacle Wars!

And my latest issue of Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic hits stands this Wednesday — issue #44, the second part of "The Reaping," featuring one of the most unusual space combats we've presented. Surplus Republic warship over here; flying oil platform over there. But be careful which way you bet!

I'll have some notes up about the story as soon as I can catch my breath. It's been a busy few weeks here, and they're about to get busier still. But there's always time to read a fun comic book, huh...?

Star Wars Atlas

I understand the Star Wars Atlas by Daniel Wallace and Jason Fry releases this week; I got an early peek from publisher Del Rey and have to say it's an amazing book. They sought input from lots of people working in the Expanded Universe, and readers of my own work on Knights of the Old Republic and Lost Tribe of the Sith will find a number of places where we compared notes.

The big one touching on the comics, of course, is the Mandalorian Wars map, which inlcudes all the major settings for the comics series so far an some yet to come. But we also get locations for Kesh and a better look at how the Hyperspace War-era Sith Empire looked — including a pretty good cartographical reason for how such a sizable and active community would have been in Shangri-La territory as far as the Republic was concerned. Readers know that when it comes to source material in places like the Campaign Guide I contributed to, I'm a fan of explanations that don't close story doors unnecessarily — and the authors on the Atlas worked really hard in that regard to provide explanations that worked with everything.

Recommended — I know I'll be using this a lot. Maybe I should put mine in a three-ring binder?

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The trial of Demagol begins in November!

The victims of the diabolical Mandalorian doctor Demagol have waited long enough for justice. The trial begins in November in Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic #47, announced yesterday by Dark Horse on the official Star Wars site. Victim Malak is right there on the cover — but where's Zayne Carrick? It's part one of a four-issue story that's full of surprises, one after another.

And backtracking a bit, I've posted a belated page on the site for Knights of the Old Republic #46, the second part of "Destroyer." This one's special for me because I was able to put cover artist Jim Pavelec, an artist I'd hired years ago to do art for Comics Buyer's Guide and Scrye in touch with Dark Horse — and was delighted to see him get an assignment on my own title. Jim's fantasy and horror art has appeared in many games and in his art book for my old publisher, Hell Beasts — and this is easily the creepiest cover we've had on KOTOR!

Much more news to come. Stay tuned...

Monday, August 10, 2009

Chicago Comicon 2009: Back to the Past

This weekend was my eighth consecutive Chicago Comicon, although in a sense it was my first. Chicago Comicon is the name it was known by before its purchase by Wizard Entertainment in 1998, and Wizard changed the name back this year presumably to preserve its trademark against the new show arriving in town next year, or perhaps to capitalize on the increasing popular awareness of the name after San Diego. The new branding was evident in many places — and to a great degree the show increasingly resembles another Wizard acquisition, the Big Apple Comicon (also now with the same blue logo). Dealers, artists, and media celebrities were the main focus by far.

Which was fine by me, for, while none of my publishers set up, I got to spend that much more time visiting and scrounging the hall for unusual finds. At the cons on the coasts, there's not always time — and if you're not driving in, you don't want to buy a whole lot. At a show like Chicago, the Midwesterner can take that plunge on the Howard the Duck movie standee or whatever thing wouldn't fit in the overhead compartment.

There were plenty of Star Wars folk about, of course: the local 501st had a booth, where I signed a quilt for their Make-a-Wish auction. And immediately on entering the hall on Saturday, I ran into Sarah Hsi and Matthew Bidwill, dressed as Jarael and Zayne Carrick from my Knights of the Old Republic series. That's the first time I've seen them appear as a duo at a con!

Then there was the Comix4Sight auction for John Ostrander — which raised $13,000 on Saturday night in addition to the thousands in donations already raised. There were so many items donated many will continue to be auctioned on the site, so keep checking there.

Hero Initiative put together a T-shirt for John with lots of autographs — and John and I got a chance to catch up on Sunday.

Also talked with Jerry Lawler, wrestler and, now, comics artist who I used to see buying comics at Memphis Comics & Records years ago; he's running for mayor again, he says.

Con Minion Cathe was on hand to help out — I'm now restocked on KOTOR and Indiana Jones trades, thanks to her eleventh-hour find — and I also got to catch up with a lot of friends, ranging from Jim Johnson (whose con report is here) to Susan McNutt, a pal from my Daily Beacon days, who had come into town. Her first comics convention — it's always someone's first!

Four days meant it wasn't all time at the convention: there was a Friday-evening foray to Fado's Irish Pub downtown, amid trains hip-deep with kids going to Lollapalooza.

We later got out to Oak Park, to check out Frank Lloyd Wright's monumental (literally) Unity Temple, which is all about vertical lines rising to the heavenly skylights above. It's an interesting — if warm on an August afternoon — place and worth checking out if you're in Chicago. (But if this fellow at left shows up as your preacher, try the next service...)

Jim Johnson also has heaping gobs of photos from the show here, including all of us at Geno's Saturday night. You can also check out some of the wild costumes he took pix of, including these two...

They announced the show's a week later in 2010, putting it three weeks after San Diego. I would have thought this would have put it against GenCon (which I'm afraid I won't be making this week), but apparently GenCon's been pushed back a week because of the Brickyard race. So it and Chicago have flip-flopped...

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Support Comix4Sight! Auction this weekend!

Chicago Comicon — no longer Wizard World — is this weekend, and I am there but not signing — (Dark Horse is not exhibiting this year). Still, there's a chance for Star Wars comics fans to contribute to a good cause by supporting the Comix4Sight auction for fellow Star Wars creator John Ostrander.

As mentioned earlier, the benefit is to help defray the costs of John's successful glaucoma surgery, and a host of people have come forward to donate items for auction. My own contribution is a lot of Star Wars comics, including my personal copy of Purge, signed by John, and a complete run of Knights of the Old Republic, signed by me. The lot is as follows:

The popular and hard-to-find Star Wars Purge #0, written and signed by John Ostrander
Star Wars Legacy #0-15, written by Ostrander, unsigned
Star Wars Jedi: Aayla Secura, written by Ostrander, unsigned
• and a complete run of Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, written and signed by me; this is issues #0-43, including the rare Knights of the Old Republic Handbook.

That's 62 comics, 45 signed (by my count). And that pales before some of the amazing stuff on auction. Be sure to go to the Comix4Sight page to check out what's available — and be sure to bid!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

TV report from WasFen Con

Attended my first WasFEN Con yesterday — the convention of the Wausau Science Fiction Enthusiasts — and had a great time. A growing local convention, I got to meet a lot of readers and do a couple of panels, including with Tim Seeley from Wildcats and Hack/Slash.

Author Pat Rothfuss, organizer Evan Cass and I were interviewed by the local CBS affiliate — the report is here. No real sign of recession — it was actually pretty close to non-stop. Special thanks to Con-Minion Cathe for helping keep me organized!
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