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TALKING ABOUT TALKING
Starting this week’s edition from a cafe in Burbank. Just finished picketing over at Disney. Today, SAG/AFTRA members were encouraged not to picket at Disney or Warner Bros. in order to attend a picket at NBC Universal. I’m told 5,000 people showed up.
Today is also noteworthy insofar as the AMPTP’s lead negotiator will be sitting down with the WGA lead negotiator to talk about… negotiating? The agenda — talk about talking? — is unclear. But it’s better than the status quo which was, y’know, not talking.
My optimism remains cautious. As many know, I’m very moderate in my WGA politics. However, I haven’t been on strike for nearly 100 days for an incremental improvement in our current deal. Rather, I — like most of the membership, I suspect — am striking for systemic change and am willing to remain out longer than 100 days in order to achieve the kind of deal writers need and our sacrifices to date have been for. (Under the heading of “putting my money where my mouth is” I said as much to the Los Angeles Times.)
ARROW REUNION PICKET
For the past several weeks, my co-showrunners Wendy Mericle, Beth Schwartz and I have been organizing an ARROW REUNION PICKET for alums who are writers or actors, fans, and anyone else who would like to attend.
At the event, we’ll be selling 150 Arrow bucket hats with the proceeds (not profits) going to benefit the Union Solidarity Coalition to provide financial support to crew members who have lost health insurance.
And I’ll be bringing plenty of sharpies in case people want to collect autographs. (Is that still a thing?)
Anyways, it’ll be fun. If you’re local, it would be great to see you.
Final Order Cutoff (FOC) for the Torrent trade paperback is on Monday. For those unfamiliar with comics, FOC is when retailers need to submit their final order numbers for given comics and trades. It’s really important for sales, so if you’re inclined to support this book, please reach out to your local comic book shop (you can find it here) and tell ‘em you want a copy.
For Torrent, we’ve put together what I think is a pretty amazing package: The entire arc — whether it’s the first arc is up to you — plus all the covers, including variant covers, sketches and designs by artist/co-creator Justin Greenwood, and the limited edition 4-page preview we created for the series.
Torrent is one of the most acclaimed comics of my career and if you haven’t checked it out — particularly if you’re a fan of Arrow — I think you’ll really enjoy.
STAR TREK: THE MOTION PICTURE - ECHOES
In my effort to get better about giving you a heads up on upcoming releases, Star Trek: Echoes #4 drops this Wednesday (8/9).
A BIT OF PROCESS
I’m trying to include a bit of process discussion in each edition of this newsletter. This week, I want to talk a bit about something I’ve mentioned in various interviews before: The tuning fork.
Whenever I watch a professional tennis match, I want to go out and play tennis. Watching a cooking show makes me hungry. Watching a John Wick movie makes me want to kill people.
Well, maybe not so much that last example.
My point is that seeing something done well makes you want to try to do that thing. At least, that’s what “competency porn” brings out in me. Knowing this, before I sit down to write on something, I’ll spend 5-10 minutes either reading or watching something done well in a similar genre/tone. I call this my “tuning fork.” Like a tuning fork, it places my creative brain the right range for what I’m doing. For example, when I was writing my Deadpool story last week, I found it helpful to watch a few minutes of the Deadpool movie before I wrote. (And a good thing too, since I realized that a lot of jokes I’d had in my head were already done, in some version, in the movie.) When working on PROJECT FROST (my novel), I’ll read a few paragraphs of an author whose prose inspires me in order to place myself in the right frame of mind.
I says “tuning fork” as though I’m a singer trying to get his voice into the right vocal range. And while that’s as apt a metaphor as any, another is a hunting dog getting the scene of its prey.
Whatever metaphor works for you, the principle is generally the same: Writing is easier when you see someone else do it well.
Delivered the revised manuscript to my editors this past Wednesday! Line notes incoming…
Delivered the script for the first issue this past Tuesday. I’ve taken a bold and — I think — unique approach which utilizes material from a related comic from the 1970s. I hope the powers that be sign off on this idea, as I think it could make an already fun comic truly unique and special.
That’s it for this week.
Be good to each other.