Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The Long and Winding Road of Writing Comics

Okay, as some of you may know from my neverending tweets on Twitter, my first comic book story arrived in stores in the pages of DC Comics' Cartoon Network Action Pack #61.  Today, at long last, I am officially a comic book writer.  In the immortal words of that master thespian Keanu Reeves...Whoa.

Since I was able to announce this back in March, I've been trying to wrap my head around the notion that one of my stories was finally -- finally -- going to be published in a comic book.  You see, this is something I've wanted to do since I was about eighteen and hey, it only took twenty-four years to actually happen.

Oh sure, there were a number of reasons why I haven't been published in comics before now.  My own inexperience as a writer was my initial and toughest roadblock, followed by my lack of previously published work, my inability to truly network with others (Thanks for taking that whole first decade to get yourself established, Internets!), the lack of editors attending comic conventions in a "flyover" state like Ohio, and my personal favorite, my colon going toxic and needing to be surgically rebuilt.

Yeah, I know, life is what happens when you're busy making other plans, right?  So years after watching people I knew somehow executing their own game plans to get published in comics, I began to come to grips with the dreaded notion that hey, It May Not Happen After All.  I focused on my job as a Project Administrator -- the job that is kind enough to pay me on a regular basis -- and let various social networks, message boards and other strange little corners of the internet become my creative outlet.  That's how things like DAMN Good Coffee...and HOT, which continues to amaze me as The Little Blog That Could, came into being.

So imagine my stunned surprise months ago when my longtime friend Michael McCalister, now an editor for DC, invited me to pitch a few Generator Rex stories for Cartoon Network Action Pack.  I first thought that okay, Michael's just being his usual nice self with the offer and don't get your hopes up too high here because Cartoon Network could still shoot down the story ideas.  However, in a strange twist of the cosmos that I have yet to truly fathom, Michael told me that Cartoon Network approved my pitches and asked me when I could get the first script to him. 

My reaction to said news can be summed up like this...

Michael's put up with my nonsense for two decades now, so I owe him HUGE for that alone, but that debt has swelled to United States national levels after all this.  The story released today, "Night of the Living Movie," is the first of four planned Generator Rex stories for Cartoon Network Action Pack and shares my love of simply going to the movies and hanging with friends.  Each of the other stories pairs Rex with a different supporting cast member and also pays tribute to something I've loved for years.  I'll pass along more information about them as soon as they appear on DC's schedule.  My biggest hope, of course, is that these stories will lead to addtional comics work somewhere down the road.

And even though today's release fulfills one particular dream of mine, there are still other dreams that have remained horribly neglected over the years.  If this whole strange experience has taught me anything, it's that you should never give up wanting to do the things you love, no matter how unlikely they are or what life sees fit to throw at you.  As the legendary Yogi Berra once said, it ain't over till it's over.

Let's see what the future brings.


  1. Congratulations! A sweet, if delayed, victory.

  2. I couldn't get to the store today, but I am going to stop by tomorrow and pick up a couple of copies! For some reason I thought it was next week that it came out. I am sooooo proud of you!!!

  3. My many thanks for the kind words, Kathleen and Annika. I'm just glad that universe was enough in sync to release this story on Annika's birthday.