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!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

An update or two

And some notes for Knights of the Old Republic #46 are now online — and I am given to understand that the latest trade paperback, Vol. 7: Dueling Ambitions, has also arrived in stores. I'll put some notes together on that eventually, but I don't recall that we made any changes on that edition. We generally catch just about everything!

Speaking of trades, I still need to get a page online for Volume 8, which was recently solicited. February release, I think...

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

"Destroyer" concludes!

And Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic #46 releases today at your local comics shop — the second part of "Destroyer." It's a particularly emotional issue for our cast — with some wonderful art and one of the creepiest covers we've ever had.

Be sure to check it out... I'll have some thoughts posted on it in a few days.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Fun at Baltimore Comicon, Diamond Summit

Well, Baltimore Comicon has been over for a week, but the Diamond Retailer Summit has only been over for a few days, so hopefully a few notes on it now won't be too late. This was my first time at both events, and it was a lot of fun. I met some old friends and new ones, and got a good look at Baltimore's Inner Harbor area after years of seeing the city fron the expressway.

I even got to sneak out of the convention center now and again for some fresh air — including a tour of the U.S.S. Constellation, seen at right. The trick with it is to remember to duck your head — and debark before Commodore Decker flies it into any Doomsday Machines. (Wait, wrong Constellation...)

Anyway, the convention went really well, with a line on Saturday that went outside and around the building. It was good to see the Dark Horse Comics team at the comicon and the trade show. Star Wars artists Jan Duursema and Dan Parsons were signing at the con, and I got to catch up with a lot of folks in the business and in fandom that I don't always see. Saturday meant Little Italy with Mark McKenna, Mike McCone, Marc Patten and crew. Heidi MacDonald and I compared notes about the industry at the Summit reception at the mesmerizing Geppi Entertainment Museum. I also got to hang out with 24 comics writer Jeff Vaughn, who puts together the Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide. I don't get to have many head-spinningly technical discussions any more about the minutiae of comics collecting these days, but Jeff and I always seem able to pick up where we left off!

I also enjoyed meeting Walter Simonson, whose work I've enjoyed for years — we compared notes on our individual adaptations of Indiana Jones movies. I'd referred back to what he did in the original Raiders adapation plenty in working on the Indy IV graphic novel!

I hadn't seen Steve Ellis, artist on the first three issues of Crimson Dynamo, in a long time; we had a nice conversation about Winter Guard, his upcoming series at Marvel bringing together the most recent version of the Soviet Super Soldiers. It's great he's working in that corner of the Marvel universe again!

When you fly to a comics convention and don't intend to ship comics back, you have to be a lot more selective with what you buy — and when you have room for maybe five comics, it becomes Conversation Piece Time. Nothing I saw fit that description like the copy of Dell's Adlai Stevenson which I found lurking in a box — though pretty much only because of the thought balloon that one of the retailers had stuck to it. (Standing before the UN Building and looking puzzled, Stevenson thinks, "I swear it feels like a large landmark is following me...") I wasn't expecting it and it hit me funny — so the dialogue balloon stays. Yep, I'm an easy customer to amuse...

Having finished writing the last issue of Knights of the Old Republic before departing, last issues of series were on my mind — and seeing artist Dick Ayers at the convention, I spent part of Sunday afternoon finding a copy of the infamous Combat Kelly and His Deadly Dozen #9. Don Thompson had described the comic book to me years ago as one of the great final issues: when writer Mike Friedrich was informed of the series' end, Don said, he basically ran over the series cast with a tank — coining in Comics Buyer's Guide parlance the "Combat Kelly ending."

Anyway, after all these years, I found the issue and it didn't disappoint — not quite a tank, but everyone is wiped out. I was thrilled to get Mr. Ayers to sign my copy. (And, no, Zayne and company needn't worry about getting stepped on by an AT-AT. They have enough problems as it is!)

The Summit was my first retailer show since 2001's San Diego Comic Book Expo (ironically, another show during which I toured a ship, the Star of India) and it was gratifying to be remembered by the folks I met while signing. Dark Horse had the complete first issue of Mass Effect available for retailers to see — remember, that ships the first week of January, so you'll want to order it next month!

All in all, a great week — minus the cold I came back with. (In the depths of my fever, I suddenly remembered that paramedics had come for the guy citing flu symptoms across the hall in the hotel; hope that guy's all right. In any event, I seem to have survived with just a cold.) One of the nice things about attending the Summit was I'd always expected Dark Horse would announce the end of the Knights of the Old Republic comics series there; it was gratifying to hear retailers complimenting the series afterward. It was a very definite contrast from 2004, when the end of my Iron Man run was announced — back then I was fielding responses online, and had only non-fiction projects in the works. It was a lot nicer spending the week where the action was (and knowing I had a busy schedule in front of me)!

That's probably a wrap for shows this year; I'm in for the winter. Back to work...

Finally, a note that we've scared up a spare copy of the out-of-print Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic Campaign Guide, which the Intrepid One has posted on eBay this weekend. I've signed the copy. I'd love to get enough of these things in here to offer them in the shop, but as mentioned before, it's a hard book to price. Strange that my rarest work wouldn't be in a comic book, but a game book!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

JJM on Facebook and Twitter

My Baltimore trade show and con notes will have to wait until my head stops pounding — wouldn't be a convention if you didn't catch something — but for those looking for updates on my work, I'd note there are two ways to get them now: I have a Twitter feed for my fiction site, and after a trial period I'm opening up my Facebook page to visitors of this site.

I'd been hearing from people on the pros and cons of Facebook profile pages versus fan pages — and I finally figured I'd just go with what I had. (If you do friend me on Facebook, please message to the effect of what work you know me from; this isn't any kind of survey, but just a means of trying to cut down on spam. Thanks!)

Time for more Tylenol...

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic: Endings and beginnings

Greetings again from the Diamond Retailer Summit, where I'm appearing for Dark Horse promoting Mass Effect -- and where we finally made it public that, yes, the long run of Knights of the Old Republic is set to end with #50, the last issue of "Demon."

We've been working toward the series' climax for some time, getting pieces into place for the big finale -- where we really have pulled out all the stops. Every question posed in the series (at least to my way of thinking) is addressed. I turned in the last script recently and was very pleased with it -- it wraps things up for this incarnation pretty close to how I'd always imagined it. Dark Horse has given us marvelous support and creative freedom from Day 1 on this series -- and we did everything to make sure things went out with a bang!

For fans of the KOTOR series for its long run, I thank you -- and I can say I'm pretty sure you'll really like where things wrap up for your favorite characters. This has been only one chapter in the lives of these characters; in Star Wars, you never know what the future holds.

From the past to the future: Wrapping up KOTOR clears the decks for a major project I've been working on for some time; as was mentioned in the Summit presentation, it's just not quite ready to announce. There are several moving parts to this project, and there are waterfowl to get into their nice and orderly rows. I can't say more about it now -- but won't be long, I assure you. It really will be something readers haven't seen before! Stay tuned...

Monday, October 12, 2009

Mass Effect preview on CBR

Dark Horse has an exclusive preview online from the new Mass Effect comics title by Mac Walters, myself, and Omar Francia. Check it out by following this link to ComicBookResources!

Still in Baltimore for the Comicon and Diamond Retail Summit. There's a good deal of news in the pipeline on projects you'll be seeing from me in 2010 and beyond: not all can be said right now, but stay tuned on this channel for further news and information. 2010 is working out to be a pretty interesting year -- especially if you're a reader!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Baltimore Comicon this weekend!

I've never been to Baltimore Comicon before, so I'm looking forward to going this weekend. I'll be out and about on the convention floor, but I will be sure to spend some time at the Dark Horse booth, #1503. No set schedule — check with the booth for updates. Be sure to drop by!

I'm also Dark Horse's featured guest later at the Diamond Retailer Summit — I'll be appearing at their booth, #205-206, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Tuesday. My last Diamond event was its retailer roadshow back in late 1995 following all the distribution changes — and my last retailer event was probably the last San Diego Expo in 2001 (I think), so it'll be really good to see everyone again! If you're going to either, be sure to say hi!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

January 2010: Dual duels from Dark Horse

Dark Horse has released its solicitations for January 2010 — a month that includes two comic books from yours truly. First there's the premiere issue of Mass Effect: Redemption (my script on a Mac Walters plot, with art by Omar Francia and a cover by Daryl Mandryk); that should be in shops on January 6. Here's the first look at the cover with the logo...

And, why not, here's some solicitation copy:

"The eagerly anticipated sequel to the blockbuster science-fiction epic that named the #1 Xbox 360 game of all time, Mass Effect 2 begins with the disappearance of Commander Shepard. The story of what happens next-exclusive to these comics-will have the commander's companion Dr. Liara T'Soni undertake a deadly mission of extraordinary importance in the Milky Way's lawless Terminus Systems."

Then there's Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic #49, featuring the third part of "Demon" drawn by Brian Ching and sporting a spiffy cover by Benjamin CarrĂ©. Jarael and Chantique there on the cover — and it looks like trouble! Some more of that solicitation copy, as we call it...

"It is do or die for former Padawan Zayne Carrick as he desperately tries to save Jarael's life. He'll call in favors from the Senate, the Mandalorian Cassus Fett, and Admiral Karath of the Republic Navy -- but none can prepare him for what he's about to face!"

Plus, there's the news that Knights of the Old Republic #48 will feature a five-page preview of Mass Effect #1! Not exactly a crossover — but they both came from my word processor!

Finally, yes, I will be at Baltimore Comicon this weekend, at the Dark Horse booth — and at the Diamond Retailer Summit thereafter. Schedule details as I have them...
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