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, April 29, 2012

KOTOR War #4 notes now online

Gah! Where does the time go? Writing is time-travel, I always say — you start writing and look up and hours are gone, or the calendar's changed. That explains where the notes for Knights of the Old Republic - War #4 went this month — but they are now online here

There's also a preview online at Comics Book Resources for Knights of the Old Republic - War #5, which releases May 9.

I will be signing for Free Comic Book Day at Chimera in Appleton, Wis. next Saturday — more details coming this week. And I have added a Knoxville, Tennessee signing in before the Timegate convention appearance in Atlanta in late May. More details later!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Knight Errant issues available in library-binding hardcovers

This is kind of a cool thing — designed for a specialty trade, elementary school libraries. Dark Horse has teamed up with Abdo Publishing to release a number of individual comics in hardcover board-book format, a sturdy design intended for circulation in libraries — and Star Wars: Knight Errant - Aflame #1-5 are part of the pilot program.

Got my copies today and they're pretty cool. Again, they're priced for libraries that expect a high usage rate — individual comic books wouldn't last long — so it's very much a specialty item. But Abdo does offer them, and for the completist, I have also found individual volumes available on Amazon.

Of course, the issues are available in the trade paperback, which can also be found in libraries!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Mass Effect Invasion trade invades stores!

It's a big day at the comics shop tomorrow — Dark Horse has the first issue of Star Wars: Boba Fett is Dead out, as well as the climactic issues of Star Wars: Crimson Empire III and Star Wars: Dark Times: Out of the Wilderness out. (Plus there's that Bart Simpson's Pal, Milhouse one-shot that I've been looking forward to from Bongo! Gotta love Milhouse.)

So while you're there, be sure to pick up the newest trade paperback release: Mass Effect: Invasion!

Coplotted by Mac Walters of Bioware and yours truly, Invasion is the third comics storyline based on the award-winning game series. It tells the story of the invasion of Omega, Aria T'Loak's space station, first by the alien Reapers and then by those who came as friends. It's a key piece of the Mass Effect storyline, and leads into the third game. And there's more great art by Omar Francia!

There's also a hardcover edition available directly from Bioware; a large number of these are signed and numbered by me. These are very nice editions, perfect for your library shelf.

Dark Horse also launches a round of Mass Effect single-issue stories with Mass Effect: Homeworlds #1 out tomorrow, written by Mac. Be sure to check it out!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

R.I.P. Dick Clark

I post TV trivia and memorabilia on my Facebook page from time to time; after today's sad news about Dick Clark, I remembered where I had seen the first listing for American Bandstand's network edition in TV Guide.

Here's the listing for Monday afternoon, August 5, 1957:

Clark's first guests were the Chordettes and Billy Williams (no, not that Billy Williams). The show had previously begun in 1952 in Philadelphia as a local dance show; the 1957 network debut was so popular that ABC added a Monday-night prime time version for the autumn months.

R.I.P., Mr. Clark. I wasn't very heavily into music as a kid, but I enjoyed your game shows and Practical Jokes. He will be missed.

Friday, April 13, 2012

The world of Kesh gets bigger -- and maps!

Fun news! Del Rey announced today that the format had changed for the Star Wars: Lost Tribe of the Sith: The Collected Stories book. It's bigger — and it's coming sooner. And, I can now finally talk about one of the other things we've had under wraps: it's got maps!

Instead of being a mass-market paperback, the book will be a larger trade paperback (the same size as the Karen Miller Clone Wars novels Del Rey published), and it will be published a week earlier, on July 24. It's just a little more expensive, at $12 — but it will also include my maps of the places known to the Lost Tribe!

The maps include the continent of Keshtah, where the action occurs in the first eight e-books reprinted in this 432-page volume — and the map of a new, secret place that readers learned about in the eighth short story, Secrets. It's the location for the big new hundred-page plus novella, Pandemonium, appearing anywhere for the first time in this edition.

These are the maps I was working on while writing the books — my fun Tolkien/D&D moment while designing this fantasy world. I'm thrilled readers will be able to follow along — the designer-improved maps are pretty handy!

The book can be ordered from your local bookseller, from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and from Random House, among other online stores. It will also be available in ebook formats. Preorder both today!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

HarmonyCon, C2E2, and the morning show

And here's my TV piece from this morning's Good Morning Wisconsin, relating to this Sunday's HarmonyCon in Appleton...

The con runs Sunday from 1-6 at the Harmony Cafe in downtown Appleton as part of the Fox Cities Book Festival; more at the link. I also may go down to C2E2 just to walk the con on Saturday, weather permitting; media folks attending, please tweet me at @jjmfaraway to arrange any interviews.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Catch KOTOR War fever! Issue #4 on sale Wednesday

Zayne Carrick tries to pull off his wildest scheme yet in Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic - War #4, now on sale at your local comic book emporium!

Zayne's been struggling all along to get one step ahead of the Mandalorian Knights. With this issue — and some unlikely allies — our favorite Jedi washout puts his plan into action. He was always in the back of his class at school — does he stand any chance of saving his school now, years later? Includes a familiar face from the Knights of the Old Republic video game, seen only once thus far in the entire KOTOR series.

I'll have some notes online about the issue soon. In the meantime, I'll note that I'll be appearing on Fox 11's Good Morning Wisconsin this Thursday, in advance of HarmonyCon II, part of the Fox Cities Book Festival. I'll be signing on Sunday afternoon at the Harmony Cafe and presenting two panels on the history of comics and the role of Star Wars in popular culture. Click to see the schedule!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Childhood Star Wars confessions

The official Star Wars site is removing its blogs, soon. I've appreciated the platform over there, and while there wasn't a lot of content split between this blog and that one, I've been able to retrieve some of the more interesting pieces. Here's a fun one from 2006, dealing with some random mistakes of a youth spent in Star Wars fandom...

Kenner really messes with your mind...

Image from
For years and years, I swore that Luke's lightsaber was yellow. And for years and years, random passerby swore I was colorblind!

There was a fair stretch between when I saw Episode IV until it finally hit HBO — Feb. 1, 1983, I believe — and my family hadn't gotten a VCR yet. So my only resource was that first Luke Skywalker action figure — with the yellow lightsaber, naturally.

I was disabused of the notion far, far too late. But I won't deny it had a little something to do with how I outfitted Zayne Carrick in the early Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic comics. (It's OK -- I'll wait here while you go check...) 

Evil Doctor Yoda!

I went into The Empire Strikes Back half-expecting Yoda to be a creepy monster, and Darth Vader to commit suicide at the end. No, really!

A mere youngling, I couldn't wait to get into see Empire in the theater - and as luck would have it, the local 7-Eleven had the Donald F. Glut novelization right on the front counter days in advance. Half the school had copies, and we were all racing to get through the book first and learn the secrets before everyone else. (One of the kids blew the Vader-Luke connection for everybody just before English class. Grrr...)

Now, that sort of speed-reading doesn't exactly make for complete accuracy in comprehension. Thus, I came away not exactly knowing how big or nasty-looking Yoda was — I was imagining him to be Greedo-like before I hit the theater! It's hard to imagine that today, with all the preview images around — but back then I recall Yoda's appearance was a pretty well kept secret — at least from me. He wasn't in the first action figure wave, for example, so we didn't see him on the card backs... 

But he didn't seem that depressed... 

If that wasn't crazy enough, consider how half of us read Vader's last scene. Glut writes that on failing to catch the Falcon, Vader quietly "walks off the bridge." Now, none of us watched Star Trek or were otherwise conversant with naval jargon — so a "bridge" for us was, well, a bridge. Now, what the heck a bridge would be doing on a starship, I can't tell you. But evidently Vader gets upset at the end of the movie and jumps off one — or so one of our local interpretations went!

That's the danger with peeking in advance, at least when you're a kid!

Ironically, that didn't happen me with Episodes IV and VI — because while I did "peek at the story," in both cases I read the comics adaptation before seeing the movies. Score one for comics: You know what everyone looks like, and whether they're jumping off bridges or not...

"Bespin" is usually enough for the taxi driver...

Intellectually, I know Cloud City is called "Cloud City," but from the first moment I read about it (remember that novelization, again) I've thought of it as "City in the Clouds." It's never actually named in the film that I can recall, beyond what Luke calls it, which, again, is "a city in the clouds."

And now, even today, I have to catch myself not to say "City in the Clouds" half the time... 

Comedy was so much easier at age 12...

And on that same score, I can't see a Twin Pod Cloud Car without cracking up. Again back there in grade school, one of the kids (maybe trying to make up for ruining the secret of the movie earlier on) cracked us all up with a drawing of two completely goofy-looking idiots in a spaceship: the "Twin Pod Clod Car," new from Kenner. And once again, that's the first name that comes to mind whenever I see one today...

Well, you know what they say. You never get a second chance to get a first impression. Or something like that...

Friday, April 6, 2012

First look at Knight Errant: Escape #2

Dark Horse has posted on its Facebook page a slew of covers for its July comics, including Benjamin Carre's cover for Star Wars: Knight Errant - Escape #2.

Kerra's journey into the heart of darkness continues — and Odion's realm is no place to be having a crisis of conscience! This is, as mentioned before, a killer of a story, and it's a work I'm very proud of. I'm looking forward to it as much as anyone!

Issue #1 of Escape goes on sale in June and can be ordered from your retailer now. It's also available from Things From Another World.

Wednesday, Knights of the Old Republic - War #4 goes on sale: check out the preview here. And Mass Effect Invasion, the collected edition, arrives on April 18.

Pretty busy writing these days — sorry there haven't been more blog posts lately. But remember that you can also follow me on Twitter and Facebook.

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