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Hello — with apologies for the extended break.
When my oldest is asking me when the next LegalDispatch is coming out, you know it’s been a while since the last edition. I blame this delay on two things. First, last week was ComicCon down in San Diego — my first time attending since the pandemic — and despite my best efforts, I couldn’t find the time to write up a newsletter. But the far bigger distraction was turning around revisions to my upcoming novel, PROJECT FROST.
You might note that I’m reverting to the codename. That’s because the publisher and I have decided to abandon Infinitum in favor of a title that’s more character-based and (dare I say it) literary. Will announce when the time is right.
In the meantime, the editors’ notes have been wonderful and diving back into the manuscript has been immensely fulfilling. A few weeks ago, I wrote about creative doldrums brought on by the WGA strike (now a twin strike thanks to SAG). Working on PROJECT FROST, however, has really recharged my batteries. There are two potential reasons for this that I can locate.
First, there’s nothing like a deadline to focus the mind. I think a big part of why I was feeling so creatively apathetic is that much of the work I was trying to get done was of a speculative nature. I just couldn’t self-start for projects that were only theoretical. But now I’m actively thinking about writing a spec feature based on that idea I had while I was in Europe. (Though that work will have to wait as I clear my desk of a few other non-WGA deadlines.)
The second — and, I’d argue, more likely — reason is that, with PROJECT FROST, I’ve been working in a medium I don’t normally travel in. It’s like weightlifting: I’m working the same creative muscles but in a different way because I’m doing a different exercise. (Or so I’m told. I don’t know from weightlifting.)
All of which is to say that if you’re feeling creatively drained — as everyone I know is — then you might consider embarking on a form of creativity that’s outside your normal arena. Fingers crossed, it seems to be working for me.
(Oh, and I’m really excited about the novel. This is a story I’ve been working on, in one way or another, for nearly 11 years now. It’s already several orders of magnitude better than my first attempt at prose.)
STAR WARS: D-SQUAD
While at ComicCon, LucasFilm Publishing creative director Michael Siglain was kind enough to invite me up to the publishing panel to talk about D-Squad, my all-droids tie-in to the Dark Droids event.
As we speak, Issue 4 (of 4) is being illustrated and earlier this week, I did my first pass on the lettering for Issue 1 and turned around the lettering draft for Issue 3. I’m very excited about this one. If you love Star Wars for the droids, you’re going to want to pick up this book.
DEADPOOL: SEVEN SLAUGHTERS
ComicCon also saw the announcement of Deadpool: Seven Slaughters, an anthology one-shot featuring Ryan Reynolds’ alter ego. This one got announced before I could even tease it here, so there’s no project codename. I delivered my first draft of the script earlier this week. The artist is someone I’ve long, long, long been a fan of and working with him crosses a major item off my comic book career bucket list.
Deadpool: Seven Slaughters drops on November 15. You can read more about the project here.
X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST - DOOMSDAY
Also on the docket is X-Men: Days of Future Past - Doomsday. The fourth issue (of four) is being illustrated as we speak and I think we’re headed for a very strong finish. Here’s the solicitation cover for that issue:
AGAIN WITH THE A.I., SERIOUSLY?
Recently, I was invited to participate on a panel about artificial intelligence as part of Digital Hollywood’s “A.I. Summit.” This panel is notable for two reasons. First, its participants were mainly made up of people from the creative community (with one attorney — not counting me — thrown in for good measure).
Secondly, it got pretty… spirited. Earlier that day, Disney CEO Bob Iger had made some comments straight from a billionaire summer camp (not a joke) that really got me fired up. I admit to being particularly ornery as a result. You can check out my manic ramblings courtesy of YouTube.
RETURN OF THE CLICKBAIT
Since we last chatted, I was interviewed by my friend Sriram Krishnan and his wife Aarthi Ramamurthy for their wonderful podcast. This was a delightful conversation among three geeks that I absolutely adored taking part in.
At one point, Sriram asked me about what I’d do about the current state of the Marvel Cinematic Universe — of which I remain a huge fan — and I basically said I agreed with Iger’s recent statement that there was too much content and they should pull back. I also speculated that Avengers: Secret Wars could serve as a reboot for the MCU in much the same way that Jonathan Hickman’s mini-series did for the print universe.
All in all, nothing all that earth-shattering — or even original.
Of course, that didn’t stop a whole mess of websites from publishing articles like “ARROWVERSE CO-CREATOR WANTS MARVEL TO REBOOT THE MCU.”
Suffice it to say, I’m not in the business of telling other creators — particularly ones I’m a fan of — what to do.
And there you have it for this week. Next week, I’ll be delivering the revised manuscript for PROJECT FROST, the revised script for Deadpool, the script for the first issue of PROJECT PRIMAL, and lettering notes on Star Trek: Echoes #5. Until then…
Be good to each other.