Open thread! Got questions? I’ll try to answer!

Had a lot of fun with this last night, so I figured I’d try it again before plunging into the nightshift.

Ask me questions and I’ll try to answer ‘em!

I’ll just ask everyone to avoid spoilers and to please not pitch projects or stories – I can’t read or respond to those!

Also, life is short, so nastiness or personal attacks against anyone automatically get deleted. But y’all are cool, I know. 😉


16 thoughts on “Open thread! Got questions? I’ll try to answer!”

  1. What was your favorite part about working on the Battlestar Galactica series for Dynamite?

    1. Ooo! I loved working on that book. The guys at Dynamite were great — totally supportive. I got to actually have a phone conference with Ronald Moore, who was supersharp and gave one or two suggestions which were just perfect. And biggest of all, they let me do ALL THE CRAZY STUFF I PITCHED. It was an amazing experience.

      I also really loved working on those characters. They’d been so well conceived that you could put any two of ’em in a room and the scene would practically write itself. I felt a particular affinity for Adama. Something about his reticence combined with the hugely powerful emotions he kept just under the surface really made sense to me and was a total pleasure to write.

      1. You might need to explain the whole Starbuck thing from the series to some of my friends, as I can’t seem to do it and make any sense. 😀

        “Wait…where’d she go?”

  2. Where did you draw the inspiration from for Magneto: Testament? That is my all time favorite book of yours and it has been the only comic that I have come across that can always make me cry every time that I read it.

    1. Thanks so much! All credit has to be shared with then-Marvel editor Warren Simons, who was the person who had the idea for the book in the first place. I suppose the true inspiration for the story comes from Chris Claremont, who was the person who originally came up with the Holocaust-related backstory for Magneto. Chris had told a few stories over the years that provided a few key bits of information that informed “Magneto Testament” — including the implication that our hero was a Sonderkommando.

      And then I spent I think a year and a half researching the real world history behind all the events we were looking at covering. So all that testimony of real life victims and survivors was a huge part of our getting a grasp on the story we were trying to tell.

      It was the most harrowing creative project I’ve ever worked on. One of those projects that changes your life in certain ways. I’m hugely grateful for the chance to work on it and grateful to you for your kind words.

  3. I’m planning to use your Vision Machine graphic novel for my computer ethics lecture. Did some of your fans share their discussion notes for it or do you have a suggested discussion flow that I could refer to? Again, more power!

    1. Whoa! That’s fantastic! I don’t actually have a teachers’ guide for the book, although that’s something I want to put together at some point. If you end up putting together discussion notes and would be willing to share them, please do let me know!

      Incidentally, if you haven’t checked out the iPad app version of the book, I’d highly recommend it. There are a number of supplemental videos in there that have interviews with various experts and smart people about the subject matter that might be useful to you in the classroom.

      Here’s the link:

      All the best!

      1. I used your PDF on the site. I didn’t know this. I’ll check it out!

  4. How did you feel when Google Glass came out? Did you feel like a regular Nostradamus?

    1. I was kind of thrilled. And then I felt a little sick. Seriously, one day it kind of occurred to me that all the stuff that’s in “Vision Machine” really IS coming, in our lifetime. I mean, I knew that intellectually when I wrote the darn thing. But seeing it literally manifesting in physical form is something else altogether.

      1. It was Google Glass coming out that inspired me to use your Vision Machine story. The case I used to discuss was also Google related. But my students enjoyed the change of pace from my usual powerpoint lectures to having a comic book as discussion material.

  5. What is your writing process like? Do any drafts (if you do more than one, naturally) take longer than others?

    1. I outline like crazy. First a very barebones outline laying out the big beats for the big story. Then detailed page-by-page outlines for each issue. If that outline really works, writing the actual script tends to go pretty smoothly. But that outline can be HARD. Well, heck, every stage is hard, right? 😉

      I try to share that detailed page-by-page outline with my editors as soon as I can so I can get their notes at that stage — if there are big changes, it’s much less painful to change an outline than a finished script.

      And then when it’s been approved, I dive into the scripting. Depending on how much time we have, we can go through a few drafts here. Usually the first issue of a series goes through the most drafts as we work out the details and really figure out the characters.

      And then as a comic book writer, I’m lucky enough to get one more shot at making everything sing. After the art comes in, I do a dialogue pass before we send the script to the letterer. Sometimes the final little grace notes for a scene only come together at that point.

      1. I was planning on asking you this same question 🙂

        Roughly how many hours would you put in at each stage? (I’d like to know if I’m spending too long, or not enough time, at each point.)

        1. Hey, man. Sorry for missing this before. It totally varies from project to project. Sometimes the outlining stage takes forever and the scripting goes fast. Sometimes the outline goes quickly and the scripting gets bogged down. Sometimes it all takes forever. 😉

          The only think I really know is that if it all goes reeeeally fast, it’s probably not nearly as good as I think it is. 😉

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