Archive for the ‘Writing’ Category

Jim’s NYCC Schedule!

Wednesday, October 6th, 2010
NYCC is HERE!

NYCC is HERE!

After 18 months, it’s BA-AAAAACK!  New York Comic Con is this weekend & there’s tons to see!  If you’re looking to see me, here ya go!  A handy dandy guide!

It's here!!

It's here!!

THURSDAY, Oct 7

7-10 pm – RETURN OF THE DAPPER MEN Launch Party & Art Show
Where: Alice’s Tea Cup: http://alicesteacup.com/
102 West 73rd St (73rd & Columbus)
NY, NY, 10023
(212) 799-3006

archaia-logo

FRIDAY, Oct 8th

1:00 – 3:00, 5:00 – 7:00 pm: ARCHAIA Booth (#2031)
Selling & signing advanced copies of RETURN OF THE DAPPER MEN. These are limited to NYCC so get ’em while you can!

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SATURDAY, Oct 9th

10:00 am – 1:00 pm: ARCHAIA Booth (#2031)

2:30 – 3:30 pm: Marvel – AVENGERS Panel (Room 1A06)

4:00 – 7:00 pm: ARCHAIA Booth (#2031)

SUNDAY, Oct 10th

10:00 – 11:00 am: ARCHAIA Booth (#2031)

11:00 – 12:00 pm: WRITING COMICS Panel (Room 1A23)

12:00 – 1:00 pm: ARCHAIA – ALL AGES Panel (Room 1A17-18)

1:30 – 2:30 pm: MARVEL Booth signing (#1843)

3:00 – 5:00 pm: ARCHAIA Booth (#2031)

WSHEW! There you go!  Have fun, everyone, and be sure to come by and get your Dapper on!
Jim

Tim Gunn Dresses Up DAPPER MEN!

Monday, September 20th, 2010
The Very Dapper TIM GUNN as drawn by Janet Lee

The Very Dapper TIM GUNN as drawn by Janet Lee

I said we’d have some more announcements as the publication for RETURN OF THE DAPPER MEN gets closer, and here’s one that I am very proud and thrilled to announce: Tim Gunn has graciously agreed to contribute by writing the foreword to the book.  He was the first name that came to mind when thinking who would be the ideal person to introduce this book to the reader before they dive into the story, and he did a marvelous job of doing that very thing.  The mood his foreword sets is perfect and I couldn’t be happier.  Janet & I would like to thank Tim for his time, involvement, and amazing contribution.  Welcome to Team Dapper, the original Dapper Man!

Full info and Press Release after the jump

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HAWKEYE & MOCKINGBIRD – the Making of a Page!

Wednesday, June 9th, 2010
HAWKEYE & MOCKINGBIRD #2 cover

HAWKEYE & MOCKINGBIRD #2 cover

A lot of (well deserved) praise has gone to the art team for HAWKEYE & MOCKINGBIRD.  (Newsarama and Comic Book Resources have since posted their reviews praising the team as well since then).  To show you the sheer work these guys go through to bring a page to life, I wanted to give you a peak behind one of my favorite pages from HAWKEYE & MOCKINGBIRD #2, on sale 7/8. Sooooo, how do David Lopez, Alvaro Lopez (not brothers, by the way), and Nathan Fairbarin do it?  Find out after the jump!

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Movin’ Right A’Long…

Wednesday, May 5th, 2010

So, the news broke today, courtesy of The Beat, that after 6 incredible years at Marvel, I am moving on to pursue my dreams & goal of being a full-time writer.  I’ll keep this brief since I basically said every word in the English language in the interview, but thank you to everyone who has supported me & I hope you follow my journey here and in the pages of the comics and anything else I wind up finding myself writing.

Jim Henson summed it up far better than me:

Movin’ right along in search of good times and good news,
With good friends, you can’t lose,
This could become a habit.
Opportunity knocked once, let’s reach out and grab it,
Together we’ll nab it.
We’ll hitch-hike, bus, or yellow cab it.

Keep reading!
Jim

I always did have to be shown the door...

I always did have to be shown the door...

Thelma & Louise-ing It, Part 1

Thursday, August 14th, 2008

Hey all,

I have a subject I really want to talk a lot about, but I’m still trying to process things myself, so this really WILL be a (relatively) short entry. It’s about being inspired by two ladies from the silver screen. Thelma & Louise-ing it is my way of saying, just jump, full in, no net, with every chance that you will fall on your face…or every chance something amazing will happen.

This week, I did that, in two different situations. Right now, I can talk about one of them. It’s regarding The Project (the thing I can’t talk about that I am working my butt off on that I really want to talk about). Editor gave me 1 note and 1 suggestion. I took them both into consideration and stepped back. Sometimes, when you write something, you think, THIS IS IT! This is perfection. And then someone else reads it… Get out of your own way and listen, especially to your editor. I did this. It was the second draft that Editor was giving me notes on, and both versions were quite different from each other. Then came these ideas from Editor. The two things that had bugged me about the story, that I KNEW were off but tried to cover up with bells & whistles and shiny pretty things, were spotted by Editor. That’s when it hit me. And I jumped.

I took it down to basics and started over. I kept the core ideas and goals but EVERYTHING else changed. I also played with a structure I have never used before. I put it all on the line, didn’t hold back at all. And when I turned it in, it was the first time I actually thought that this is a story that if, God forbid, I couldn’t write it, I would still want to read it. I was able to feel confident that I was proud of every moment, and didn’t need to cover any weak spots. I went for it. And then I walked away to let Editor read & absorb it.

Met with Editor today, and the difference was instantly noticeable. Editor & I were on completely the same page! This story’s structure is completely unique for me but still something I feel passionately about writing, and that combination excited Editor, and me honestly. This is EXACTLY what I wanted to write when I first pitched it, but now I finally found THE way for me to best tell the story.

So what was the difference? I jumped. I Thelma & Louised it. And I didn’t crash. I hit the ground running. And I haven’t stopped smiling ever since.

More on all of this later.

Until next time,
KEEP READING!

– Jim

Research

Sunday, August 10th, 2008

Hello there! Why look, day two of the blog and I’m making my second entry. Nice start…

I’m not looking to post an incredibly long entry today (or at least right now), as I am eye-balls deep in research. But I wanted to talk a moment about that. One of the best bits of advice I ever got was to do all the research you can, but follow two rules – 1) know when to stop researching and start writing, and 2) never let your research show. Just because you learn a cool fact, don’t jam it in there because it’s so awesome you HAVE to show everyone how much you personally know or learned about a subject. If you are writing a thesis, fine, cite your references and write all about your findings. But if you are writing fiction, your research should be done to get to know your characters, not to brag that you did it.

Learn what you can about your characters. This doesn’t just mean to know where they are from, how many siblings they have, and their favorite ice cream flavor (although those things help establish well-rounded characters as well). You should also try to learn as much about what THEY know as possible. This way, what they say and do will ring true to their experiences and their knowledge. Learn what they they would know, and let their experience and your research come out in their actions and, where appropriate (and in their voices, not in long-winded exposition) their dialog.

People can say what they will about Wikipedia, but it is at least a good place to start your research. You can use it as the Cliff’s Notes version, but be sure to look at the related links or cited footnotes in the articles to get more info. Side note, if you are ever at a loss for ideas, check out the featured article of the day on their home page. If you are still stumped, look to the left at the Navigation tab and click on”Random Article” a few times. I guarantee that eventually SOMETHING will pop up that will make you stop and want to read more about it (within 3 clicks just now, I got to The Blasphemy Act of 1698)

Personal side note – LOOK! I figured out how to insert links! One web-challenge down, hundreds to go…

Right now I am reading as much as I can about a variety of subjects- from what it takes to get a PhD (which I did not realize stood for Doctor of Philosophy until I started – thank you Bachelor’s of Arts degree in Radio/TV/Film), certain scientific disciplines, Film Noir poster art, weapons used throughout the ages, and even the rules of centuries-old organizations. Talk about jumping around. My “Bookmark” section is getting a work out. As is my Moleskine notebook. I can’t stress this enough- when you read something, or hear something on TV or in a movie- write it down! You’ll be amazed at how quickly just writing down something will switch your mind on and you’ll find yourself writing that tidbit down from your character’s point of view or at least how it applies to your story.

As a gift last Christmas, Joe Quesada gave us all in publishing Marvel-embossed Moleskine notebooks. In it was an amazing inscription: Some of the greatest creative minds and thinkers in the modern era have used Moleskine notebooks like this one for jotting down their thoughts and ideas. This Moleskine is dedicated to you and your next great idea. Thank you for an amazing 2007! Well, Joe, thank YOU. I can only hope that what I am filling this with is worthy to be called a great idea, or at least a good one.

Until next time,
KEEP READING!

– Jim

PS – so much for not posting an incredibly long entry! Ha! Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to exercise Rule #1 of research and get some writing done!

Welcome Aboard!

Saturday, August 9th, 2008

Hello friends, family, acquaintances, fans, and reading-voyeurs,

Surprise, surprise, another blog enters the blogosphere. As you can see in my profile, I make no promises how updated this blog will be, but here’s hoping. “The best laid plans of mice and men oft go astray, and leave us not but grief and pain for promised joy. Well, hopefully my potential sporadic updates (or complete lack of them) won’t leave you with grief and pain, and I cannot promise you joy with every post. What I CAN offer you is that I will be *me* in these entries.

So, where to start? I’d rather not start off with the traditional “I was born in…” exposition. Zzzzz… Details of my youth, history, interests, etc will hopefully come out in more unique ways, organically, as I (hopefully) write new entries.

Brief aside here- just because I have a blog and a Twitter, by NO means should indicate that I am at all web-savvy when it comes to the bells and whistles of these here Interwebs. I will try to post pictures, art, etc where I can…when I can figure out how.

Second aside – this is intended more as my “professional” blog. You won’t find much in the way of personal info here as I tend to keep that stuff off the web. instead, this is to update my experiences in the world of comics, writing, and wherever this crazy path of life is taking me on professionally. That said, I’m not above raving or ranting about current novels, movies, or TV shows. But don’t look for too many rants, you never know who is reading and when/if you may meet them in person. I’d rather not get slapped by anyone from the “cast” of The Hills because I ranted about that show (for the record, never seen an episode).

Back on topic. Work. I work in Marketing/PR/Conventions/”other duties as assigned” at Marvel Comics. Yes, it is my dream company. No, cannot believe I work there (and I just celebrated my 4th year there– it still amazes me). Yes, I do know how lucky I am. Convention season is mostly over and it is sort of bittersweet. On one hand, I never sleep, eat, or stop moving when at a convention, so it is exhausting. But on the other (much bigger) hand, I absolutely love everything else about it. From the thrill of making a great announcement on a panel and hearing the crowd applaud, to meeting fans one-on-one (without them, no one in comics would have a job), to seeing friends from around the world who work in comics too. Thanks to FedEx and the Internet, people can work in this industry from anywhere in the world, which is great. But it means you really only see them a few times a year. One of the greatest things about this industry is that I have been lucky to make some true friends over the years. Anyone who has seen a Marvel panel should know that we are HUGE goof-offs; joking around with each other, snarky (in a good natured way), and genuinely happy to be together. That’s exactly how we are OFF the panel too. Some call me the happiest man in comics. I don’t know if I can claim that superlative (Dan Slott’s pretty darn jolly, too), but I can say that I am the happiest I have been BECAUSE I work in comics.

(Third aside – I had the Olympics on in the background on the USA network while writing this. At some point, they ended and “Psych” came on. I am convinced I just saw the same cave set used in Smallville and the same woods that Mulder and Scully trekked thru in X-Files. Makes me wish TV had a shared universe where all of these characters ran from place to place, encountering each other. I would never turn off the television…)

Obvious personal fact you should have gathered by now: I am very easily distracted. Another fact – I am obsessed with television.

I know I have far more to say, but this is the beginning. I have to leave something for people to come back to. And there’s plenty! From my history in soap operas, to my present job, to writing my first full comic script, to trying to dance between the raindrops of talking about my new project that I can’t really talk too much about. Speaking of, I should run spellcheck on this entry and publish it so I can stop procrastinating (which, truth be absolutely told, was the genesis of this blog- procrastination) and get back to a more necessary form of procrastinating: research!

Until next time, KEEP READING!

Jim