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!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Disney buys Lucasfilm -- and Star Wars: Episode VII to come!

Robert Iger and George Lucas (Disney publicity photo)
Along with a storm, an earthquake — at least judging from my Twitter feed — in the science-fantasy firmament. As you've probably already read, Disney has agree to purchase Lucasfilm for $4.05 billion. And with this announcement, Disney also announced that Star Wars: Episode VII is targeted for release in 2015!

It's a big deal, and not just financially. (Coincidentally, that's almost exactly the figure Disney announced it was purchasing Marvel for three years ago). The notion of episodes VII-IX, many may recall, first came from a 1980 Time magazine interview with Lucas — and even then were described very vaguely. But 2015 is just three years away!

I don't know more than anyone else — I'm just the piano player! — but you should definitely check out the post of Pablo Hidalgo, on the official Star Wars blog!

Star Wars is George Lucas' creation, and across the years, those of us who've produced licensed publications have worked hard to take good care of the cultural treasure he created. I'm sure the same will be true of Disney, as the stewards of his creation going forward; they're a class act. I'm as interested as everyone else in seeing the cool things they have planned!

Update: There is also Steve Sansweet's piece on the official blog — and Jonathan Rinzler's look into the history of Episodes VII-IX.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Hit the beach with Zayne as KOTOR Vol. 10 hits shelves

Here's an October surprise of the apolitical nature! Originally slated for a Thanksgiving release, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic Vol. 10 - War hits shelves today.

Drafted into his homeworld's militia, former padawan Zayne Carrick must survive on his own — which isn't easy, when the Mandalorians seize his unit and force him to fight as one of them. But there's another rogue Jedi with a plan who's running the show — a much different plan than the one cooked up by Zayne's corrupt former master. And this time, Zayne's not going to let him get away with it!

This page has links to the production notes for all the individual issues of the series. You can get the book from your favorite retailer, or from Amazon or TFAW.

I also have my first Simpsons story in many years, Bart Simpson #76, out today. Be sure to check it out!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

JJM returns to Springfield Wednesday in Bart Simpson #76

The website's still reverberating from the Kenobi novel news (the most-read post on the blog ever, in just a little over a week) — but the publishing schedule continues. And my third comic book of the month is much different from the others: Bart Simpson #76 from Bongo Comics!

As mentioned some time ago, my first Simpsons story was in #27 of that title, nearly eight years ago. I had intended to do more, but got busy in a galaxy far, far away. And while I'm still working in that realm, I'm pleased to have some more Simpsons stories coming up. John Delaney, Andrew Pepoy, and I have the lead story in #76, which also includes pieces by Eric Shanower, Peter Kuper, and Evan Dorkin.

As with most of my Simpsons stories, there's a real-life inspiration to "Fund-Razing." I was in an interminable fund-raising assembly in high school where a speaker was ticking off all the lame prizes that could be won for sales — and one of the guys in the audience yelled out "Ten thousand dollars in cash!" at the appropriate time, causing the assembly to collapse into laughter. That kid was likely punished — but his efforts go rewarded years later, as Bart pulls the same stunt with chaotic results!

Another story coming next month in Bart Simpson #77. Look for it!

Friday, October 12, 2012

My new hardcover for 2013: Star Wars: Kenobi!

With the conclusion of the latest round of Star Wars: Knight Errant comics on Wednesday, people have been asking for months what I had coming next. People have also been asking, after my long association with the Expanded Universe, when I would get around to writing heroes from the movies. I thank readers for their patience. I can say, that time is now!

At New York Comic-Con, Random House/Del Rey announced my next novel — and it’s big: Star Wars: Kenobi! It’s a hardcover release tentatively scheduled for late 2013. Check out the promo artwork here, by Chris Scalf!

Kenobi is a sweeping story that’s part epic western, part high-stakes drama, part romance — but it’s all Star Wars, taking place in the early days of Obi-Wan’s exile to Tatooine. I shouldn’t expand too much beyond what Random House said on its panel and Facebook page, but I can say this. I’ve been working on this concept for years — I’ll talk more about that process later on — and the basics are pretty simple. The greatest hero in the galaxy faces his toughest challenge yet: He must stop being Obi-Wan — and learn to live as Ben.

My other works are still in development, including my own novel and a fiction series — but as my first hardcover, this is a pretty big deal, and I thank everyone who helped make it come together. I have a landing page for the book now up here at the site, and will list preorder information when it’s available. (2013 update: And the book has been scheduled. Click to preorder!)

If you haven’t visited my website before, click the links above and around to find production notes and trivia on my other books, including the Star Wars: Knight Errant and Lost Tribe of the Sith books from Del Rey. And visit my Amazon Author page for more books.

That’s it! More news as I can share it -- be sure to follow me on Facebook and Twitter.

UPDATE: I have added Iowa's SF convention, I-CON, to my schedule next month, Nov. 2-4.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Production note extravaganza! Lost Tribe: Collected Stories and more

Regular readers of this site know I keep production notes and trivia on just about everything I write. I've been posting them since I launched the site in 2003, not long after my first professional comic book was released. Normally, I like to get them done the same week a book comes out — but then I also like to wait until I get feedback and hear what questions people have. And...

...and then some years I get really, really busy — as was the case this year. I'd been meaning to take a day to get to everything — and finally, today was that day. So now there are, at long last, notes up for Star Wars: Lost Tribe of the Sith - The Collected Stories — and a bunch more issues:

The Gathering #8
Mass Effect: Evolution #3
Mass Effect: Evolution #4
Mass Effect: Invasion #1
Mass Effect: Invasion #2
Mass Effect: Invasion #3
Mass Effect: Invasion #4
Star Wars: Lost Tribe of the Sith - Spiral #1
Star Wars: Lost Tribe of the Sith - Spiral #2

Star Wars: Lost Tribe of the Sith - Spiral #3
Star Wars: Knight Errant - Escape #5

And those last two bring us up to the present day! Happy reading.

So that gets the site cleaned up. Hmm. Makes one wonder if I'm expecting visitors, or something...

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Lost Tribe #3 on sale -- and Knight Errant - Escape concludes!

Three comics out this month — and the first two arrive tomorrow!

Star Wars: Lost Tribe of the Sith #3 features Lord Dreypa going to town — and going to town on the Sith of Kesh, who he sees as far beneath the example of his time. It's a blast from the past — setting fire to the present! Click the link for a preview.

And the latest arc for Kerra Holt wraps up in Star Wars: Knight Errant - Escape #5. It's the biggest showdown of the series, and the sector will never be the same again. As if you couldn't tell from the cover! Click the link for a preview.

On top of that, in preparation for the final issue, I've finally gotten production notes online for Knight Errant Escape #2, #3, and #4. I hope to get caught up on the other books soon — and I'll try to get the #5 notes up quickly.

While there isn't another Knight Errant arc exactly five months down the road from this one (as there were the last couple of times), it is not necessarily the last of the era — as we saw with the new Wraith Squadron book, things happen in their own time. (No,  I'm not telegraphing a 14-year gap as in that case — but it's a great example that in this realm, there are always possibilities.) In the meantime, I encourage readers to enjoy the book at hand. I always have something cooking, somewhere — and what I have coming up next will definitely surprise you!
And before I forget, my thanks to the Roseville, Minn. Barnes & Noble for their great Star Wars Reads Day event. We had a huge crowd and it was great being able to answer folks' questions along with Daniel Wallace and Troy Denning. Thanks to everyone who came out!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Star Wars Reads Day event in Twin Cities

Saturday is the first Star Wars Reads day, a literacy event with participating locations all over. I'll be appearing in Minneapolis/St. Paul — my first signing there in several years — with fellow authors Troy Denning and Daniel Wallace. There'll be a panel, signings, drawings, you name it:

Roseville Barnes & Noble
HarMar Mall
2100 North Snelling Ave.
Roseville, MN 55113 651-639-9256

Here's the store page. That's 2 p.m. on Saturday.

You can also find out about more Del Rey author appearances here — and here to check out a map of all events. The main site is here.

Also, there's a lot of video interviews about Reads Day that were recorded at Celebration that are just now going online; mine hasn't been posted yet, but you can see interviews with Troy Denning, James Luceno, Jason Fry, Randy Stradley, and more at the Star Wars Youtube Channel. I'll post my video link when it's uploaded.

See you there!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

KOTOR Labor Pains, other Star Wars short stories again available!

Today sees the release of Pablo Hidalgo's excellent Star Wars: The Essential Reader's Companion from Random House/Del Rey. It's a massive tome which starts a long time ago with a certain group of location-challenged Sith and goes on from there, covering all the Star Wars fiction in print.

And now, some of that fiction is back in print, thanks to Del Rey, on its Suvudu site — including my very first Star Wars prose!

Star Wars: Labor Pains is a Knights of the Old Republic story that I had originally conceived of as a story for Star Wars Insider; Pablo bought the story for the Hyperspace service on instead. Set between issues #12-13 (or Volumes 2 and 3), it's told from Gryph's point of view and remains one of my favorites.

Read the story here — and then check out my notes on the story here.

My second story originally for Hyperspace, Star Wars: Interference, is an offbeat tale of a dialogue between — believe it or not — Gryph (and at one point, his brother) and Ko Sornell, from Knights of the Old Republic - War. Only neither knows it at the time, and neither did the readers of this story back when it was released almost exactly four years ago. It's a fun little tale of wartime propaganda — falling on really deaf ears.

Read the story here — and then check out my notes on the story here.

The coda to the Knights of the Old Republic comics series — The Secret Journal of Doctor Demagol tells you what was going on behind the mask at a lot of different moments in the series. Major spoiler warnings are obviously in order.

Read the story here. And finally, some endnotes are now available on it here.

Star Wars: Knight Errant - Influx is the prequel story to Knight Errant: Aflame, and it appeared just before the release of the first issue of the comics series.

Read the story here — and then check out my notes for the story, posted for the first time, here.

And with Daniel Wallace and Jason Fry, I did a Knight Errant Essential Atlas Gazetteer, detailing some of what was to be found in the Grumani sector in the voice of Kerra's teacher, Vannar Treece. The text is now online again (though not the maps, yet).

Read the piece here. The version with maps can still be found on here. And when you're done, you can check out my notes on the piece here, just written.

Speaking of Daniel, I'll be appearing with him and Troy Denning this Saturday for Star Wars Reads Day in the Twin Cities. We'll be at the Barnes & Noble in Roseville, Minn., at 2 p.m. See you there!

UPDATE #4! The production notes for Influx, the Atlas Update, and the Secret Journal have been added, at long last — and Interference has been posted.
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