Saturday, March 27, 2010


I glanced over at my book shelf the other day and my eye fell on a book my wife gave me many years ago,  If You Want to Write by Brenda Ueland:  probably the best work on the art and craft of writing it’s ever been my pleasure to read.   I grabbed IYWTW off the shelf and started flipping through it, instantly remembering the delight I felt when I first devoured it.  Ueland, who passed away in 1985, was the kind of teacher we all wish we’d had in school:  she didn’t teach through criticism or tearing down, but through inspiration, enthusiasm and encouragement.  Her belief was that “Everybody is talented, original and has something important to say.”  In short, anyone can be a writer—or an artist or an actor or whatever creative expression the heart cries for—if we'd just put aside fear and limitation (both society’s and our own) and embrace the naked joy of the creative act.  If You Want to Write is the kind of book that will inspire someone who’s never written a word and do the same for someone (like me) who’s been at this game for decades.  If you have any interest in following the Writer’s Path, do yourself a favor and buy this book.  I plan on re-reading it immediately. 


Google Alerts recently led me to a music site that, without my knowledge or permission, is offering one of the songs from my CD, How Many Lifetimes?, as a free download.  No, I’m not upset:  I’m delighted.  If you’re interested, click here and take a listen to “Baba Rain.”  If you like the song you might want to head over to the iTunes Store or CD Baby and check out the rest of the album.  And, no, I won’t complain if you buy it.


They say you can’t go home again, but, recently, I have.  Home to Justice League International:  the series Keith Giffen and I launched—with inestimable contributions from editorial genius Andy Helfer and the amazing Kevin Maguire—for DC Comics twenty-three years ago.  My first reunion with the JLI came a few weeks back when I was working on an episode of Batman:  The Brave and the Bold
that featured Bats and the DCAU (that’s DC Animated Universe, in case you don’t know) incarnation of our League.  Okay, so they’re not exactly our team—the new Blue Beetle has replaced Ted Kord—but they’re awfully close and it was tremendous fun writing that script, which also features one of my all-time favorite characters, Jack Kirby’s classic monster, the Demon.  

My second reunion with the old gang came this week, co-writing an upcoming issue of the monthly Booster Gold series that finds BG traveling back in time to the heyday of the JLI.  Giffen’s plot was pitch-perfect (so what else is new?) and I couldn’t believe how easy it was for me to slip into the old rhythms, filling up the pages with an endless stream of banter and (alleged) witticisms.  The good news is that there’ll be more JLI in upcoming BG stories—with a focus on Booster’s relationship with the Blue Beetle—and, frankly, I can’t wait.  Writing these characters is so much fun I’d do it for free.  But don’t tell DC, okay?


I’m going to be journeying through an Internet-free Zone for the next week, so if you post a comment here and don’t get a reply, be sure that I’ll catch up with everyone once I emerge from the I-F Z.  And in case I don’t get a chance to do that catching-up before next weekend, let me wish you all a happy Easter.  It's been my experience that a little resurrection—creative and spiritual, personal and cosmic—is very good for the soul. 

© copyright 2010 J.M. DeMatteis


  1. I don't supose you guys need someone to fetch you coffee or make you those little sandwhiches? =P

    Man, you got it good-you're living the life. I went to an Easter play 2 hours out of Brusbane today which recreated acts from the bible. What stood out to me was "Jesus" explained heaven as something inside each if us; a small seed that grows into the largest tree which birds of the sky can take shelter in and casts shade for the creatures of the Earth to take shelter in. I mention this because in your song Baba Rain you are using a metaphore for mercy, love, and kindness of a supremebeing showering down on each of us, and well, shadow/rain-the heart of this message is still the same.

    but wether youre spiritual or not Easter marks a day that marks in history a man who became a legend, a single man, who through compassion and love, live, loved, and lost everything (even his own life) so the course of human history would be forever changed; it's a day to remind us that greatness comes from deep within all of us in our willingness to change and grow, even in the face of insurmountable odds.

    I'll pick up that book first thing Monday, you've gotten me excited and all pumped up--I can't wait! Oh and I'm currently looking into University to help better educate myself.

  2. That was beautifully said, Liam. A very happy Easter to you.

  3. I'm glad to hear that you enjoy writing those JLI stories almost as much as I enjoy reading them (funny that you would write them for free - I'd be embarrassed to admit the ridiculous amount I'd be willing to pay per issue to read them - don't tell DC about THAT and I'm happy to keep your secret too!). I am thrilled about the upcoming Booster Gold run.

    There has always been a touch of magic in the writing when you do those characters. I would swear that they were living and breathing right there on the page.

    Did I miss this episode of Brave and The Bold? Do you know when it will be airing?

  4. It's a deal, Drew: neither one of us will spill the beans to DC!

    Those characters ARE living and breathing to me. I know they exist out there, in some parallel universe, bitching and bantering and having a great time.

    The B & B episode is for next season...and animation seasons are odd creatures...but I imagine it won't be on till the summer or fall. And I've got a second Batman-JLI ep coming up soon, as well. Can't wait!

  5. Slightly off topic but I just saw the Booster Gold cover for July. It just blew me away! The look in Booster Gold's eyes behind the goggles is amazing!


  6. We're having a blast with Booster so far, TCJ. Please let me know what you think once the first few issues come out.