After a couple of very enjoyable years as editor-in-chief of Ardden Entertainment—working on Flash Gordon, Casper and the Spectrals and the recently-announced Atlas Comics revival—I’ve decided to take my leave. It’s been a great ride building this new company with Ardden co-publishers Brendan Deneen and Rich Emms—both of whom, I hasten to add, are terrific guys—but, as we’ve all worked together to prep the Atlas material, co-creating the new versions of Grim Ghost, Phoenix and Wulf the Barbarian, it’s become clear that we have different visions of how to proceed. After pondering long and hard, I decided the best thing would be to put on my parachute and exit the Ardden Tower, leaving the Atlas revival in Brendan and Rich’s very capable hands. It was fun flexing my editorial muscles, seeing the comics world from the other side of the desk, and I may do it again one of these days.
I wish Brendan, Rich and Jason Goodman’s Atlas team great good luck with the new books.
Does this mean you'll have more time for writing????ReplyDelete
I guess it does, Jeff!ReplyDelete
Sorry to hear you leaving Ardden Ent., J.M. Best of luck to Arrden but it will not be the same without your visionary talent behind it. You know I'm always a supporter of your work and believe you know exactly what you are doing. I'm sure you have a project or two of your own up your sleeve, too. All the best, J.M.ReplyDelete
Deep thanks, A. Jaye. And, yes, I've always got a project or two up my sleeve.ReplyDelete
Sorry to hear that, JMD. Your sensibilities fall pretty much in line with mine, so I doubt I'll be as interested in Ardden with your departure. The good news for me is that wherever you go, there are you are, and I'll always follow with interest.ReplyDelete
Personally, I'd love to where you'd take Marvel Comics as EIC...though I'd hate to see the kind of toll that would take on your time for writing, so I'd be torn. But I have the utmost confidence that whatever you work on will be worthy of Mjolnir...
My best wishes to all involved. Any news on THE MERLIN PROPHECIES title that had been mentioned?ReplyDelete
Thanks, David. Much appreciated!ReplyDelete
I do want to add, David, that you shouldn't decide about the Atlas books till you see them!ReplyDelete
MERLIN's on hold, Tim -- but never far from my mind; so I suspect it will manifest in some form...sooner than later, I hope!ReplyDelete
Can't wait to see what the future has in store for you. I'm eventually going to read "Imaginalis" with my ten-year-old son, just waiting for the best time.ReplyDelete
Nothing beats reading with your child, Mike. Let me know what he thinks of it! Best -- JMDReplyDelete
I'll keep an eye out for the Atlas stuff, JMD. I'm not real familiar with the characters, so your involvement was the biggest factor in my interest, but Ardden's definitely on my radar now.ReplyDelete
Listening to the "stripped down" Double Fantasy tracks on YouTube and I'm amazed by the warmth in his voice. Wow-- it's of-a-piece with Plastic Ono Band in its intimacy while showing us what was ultimately inside of him once he'd finished screaming. I really wish he'd released it this way in 1980, but I can understand why he wouldn't feel ready to share himself to that extent- especially with his "comeback" effort. There's something so haunting and penetrating about it and I'm grateful that Yoko decided to let us really hear him this way. When I first bought and listened to Double Fantasy (November 20, 1980), it felt like something was missing..now I see it was there all along, underneath.ReplyDelete
P.S.-We're all the Doom Patrol!
I'm in the same boat now, David: an interested bystander who's curious to see how the Atlas universe evolves.ReplyDelete
I'm very fond of the original DOUBLE FANTASY, Jeff -- but you're right, the intimacy and emotional power of these tracks is amazing and, in some cases ("Beautiful Boy" for one), heartbreaking. The truth is, the more stripped-down Lennon's music is, the more we really hear that aching, honest voice, the better the music gets.ReplyDelete
Re: "We are all the Doom Patrol." I think that was my favorite moment in the whole episode. Hope you enjoyed it.
Well, I can't say I've ever read anything from Ardden, but I am looking forward to checking out the Atlas stuff. Sad to see you go, but good luck. Hope to see some more work from Marvel (whether it be Spider-Man or something else) and DC.ReplyDelete
I'm pretty busy right now, Joshua, with comics and animation work, promoting IMAGINALIS, developing new projects, so all's very well on this end.ReplyDelete
As previously noted, I, too, am looking forward to checking out the Atlas material, but now with the eyes of a reader instead of an editor.
Speaking of animation, JMD, the first season of the SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN cartoon is now available for instant streaming on Netflix (in four volumes). Good stuff, if you haven't seen it, and you ever feel so inclined.ReplyDelete
Here's hoping BATMAN: TBATB will follow suit!
I've seen some of the SPIDER-MAN episodes, David, and they were excellent. I hear there's yet another Spidey show in the works now...ReplyDelete
Yes, I believe it's ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN, which will draw inspiration from Bendis' series. I hated to see SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN go, but the good news is the new show will feature team-ups with characters from the larger Marvel Universe.ReplyDelete
Team-ups with other characters? Sounds like a Marvel spin on BRAVE AND THE BOLD...which is fine with me!ReplyDelete
The team-up thing got me thinking. Moon Knight has long been a favourite Marvel character of mine, J.M. And I know you've written him before for Marvel--I have some of them. Have you thought about tackling that character for Marvel again? He's a great character but they never seem to be able to keep his series going. I have my opinions why, but what are your thoughts? I can certainly see: Moon Knight, written by JM DeMatteis and art by Ed McGuinness. Now that would sell. Anyone else have thoughts?ReplyDelete
It's been years since I wrote MOON KNIGHT, A. Jaye, and -- although I found the character intriguing and enjoyed the stories I crafted -- I never really connected with him in a deep enough way. That said, any character is ripe for re-invention and I'd certainly consider it.ReplyDelete
I'm way cool with a Spider-Man team-up series. I'm not sure if that's the exclusive focus or not, but I know it was mentioned as a distinction from SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN. The purist in me would like to see a MARVEL TEAM-UP series about Peter in his college days!ReplyDelete
I'm pretty sure everyone knows what my dream JMD project is. Unfortunately, interviews would imply that it's not going to happen in the near future, because this character is dead. He's as dead as Buck--er, Norman and Harry Os--well, you know, as dead as Krav--
Good grief, Ben Reilly must be lonely up there. :)
As you know, David, I'd be delighted to do an ongoing Ben Reilly series...or a mini-series...or a few more short stories. Anything that has to do with Ben. But that's not my call. That said, I AM developing a new character named Sven Smiley, who's the clone of a superhero named Glider-Man and...ReplyDelete
Won't work, WILL it?
Ha ha! A name like Sven Smiley doesn't exactly scream "existential clone angst," does it?ReplyDelete
"I'm not smiling...I'm SMILE-Y!"
But hey, we all know that Ben's story will eventually come back around. Maybe in the interim you'll get to do something more with Kaine, who could hold a mini all his own.
He certainly could, David. I think there are plans afoot for Kaine, but I honestly have no clue what they are.ReplyDelete
I honestly have no clue what he even IS now! Can't say I'm enthused about his recent transformation, but who knows. Maybe there's a rabbit in the hat. I personally look forward to Kaine returning to his roots.ReplyDelete
Of course, it took me some time to truly appreciate Ben Reilly like I do now, so who knows?ReplyDelete
Wondering what's around the corner is part of the fun, and I'll definitely be along for the ride.
I have a lot of faith in the current Spider-team, David. I'm sure they'll come up with something good.ReplyDelete
Oh, me, too. I'm really excited to see where Dan Slott will take ASM with BIG TIME.ReplyDelete
Slott is a TERRIFIC writer.ReplyDelete
That he is. SPIDER-MAN AND THE HUMAN TORCH: I'M WITH STOOPID is one of the greatest Spider-Man comics ever written.ReplyDelete
The Spectacular Spider-Man cartoon was fantastic. The head writer (Greg Weisman), also wrote a pretty good Amazing Spider-man issue a year ago. It was about Flash Thompson recovering from losing his legs. It was great.ReplyDelete
Another good Spidey series is Marvel Adeventures Spider-man written by Paul Tobin. I really like the adventures being more youthful and light. I like to see Spidey without the weight of the world on his shoulders. Bearing the responsibility of Uncle Ben's death is enough burden. I like reading stories where Peter is happy too.
Light-heartedness is an important element of a great Spider-Man story, Quique. That's why I wrote that comical romp, KRAVEN'S LAST HUNT! :)ReplyDelete
I've heard good things about the MARVEL ADVENTURES line. I think it's very important to have accessible stories so that people new to the Marvel Universe -- especially younger readers -- can jump in without being totally confused by forty-plus years of continuity.
Yeah, that Kraven guy was quite the practical joker!ReplyDelete
You also wrote the Legion of Losers. I loved those stories. Very funny, very fun and the art by Luke Ross was perfect for Spider-man. I love Kraven's Last Hunt too, but I think it is better to have Spidey with mostly light-hearted stories and sprinkle some dramatic ones here and there, instead of the other way around. It makes the dramatic ones have more impact.ReplyDelete
KLH aside, Quique, I think the ideal Spider-story should have all those elements within the same story. High drama, deep emotion and a few good laughs. Wouldn't have worked with Kraven -- it was a real mood piece -- but overall it's the best way to go.ReplyDelete
And I loved the Legion of Losers, too!
It took me a few days but I've processed and really enjoyed your Doom Patrol episode "The Last Patrol!" on Batman: The Brave and The Bold. I have a couple questions, that I hoping you can answer for me.ReplyDelete
1) Did you pitch this episode to the producers or did they come to you and ask if you had time to write a DP script?
2) Was that group of Doom Patrol rogues always decided on from the start or were other villains like Madame Rogue, Garguax, Green-Headed League, The Claw, or King of Dinosaurs considered at one point while writing?
3) Why were Mento and Beast Boy excluded? Or was it just it would have been too much faces in a crowded episode? (I even thought it was cool that Osmun appeared with Elastigirl in what looks like the Dayton Estate)
4) Was the fight with Killer Moth and the scene with the Penguin supposed to take place years between each other, or both recently happening?
I enjoyed your second run on SSM also, though it isn't as good as your first with Sal. Still, it was the right tone at the right time. Like most fans, I was exhausted after the Clone Saga went on a bit too long. That first issue with MJ dealing with the loss of their child is a really gentle, poignant story (with a great cliffhanger, no less).ReplyDelete
The Chameleon arc is one of the best in the character's history. A nice mix of fun and psychological insight. I wouldn't mind seeing a DeMatteis/Giffen LEGION OF LOSERS one-shot or mini.
Okay, Yojimbo, here we go:ReplyDelete
1) The producers came to me with the idea, which is the way these things work most of the time. I end up expanding the plot in the form of a detailed outline, but it almost always starts with an idea they want to do and some kind of general framework/structure for those ideas.
2) The rogues were decided from the start.
3) The episode was dealing with the classic, earliest iteration of the Doom Patrol, so that's why the other characters were left out.
4) I'd say at least a couple of years apart, since the idea was that Batgirl was waxing nostalgic about her first meeting with Bats...and they were clearly pretty chummy during the Penguin scene.
Hope that helps! All the best -- JMD
There was some good stuff in that second run, David. Along with the stories you mentioned, there was the flashback about Peter and Flash Thompson when they were kids -- I'm very fond of that one -- and the Mad Jack stories.ReplyDelete
Luke Ross, who was just starting out when he took on SPECTACULAR, did a wonderful job. I just think I began to suffer from Spider-Man burn-out toward the end of the run...and the last group of stories didn't quite hold up (at least from my POV): my fault, not Luke's!
All that said, working with Sal on that first run was a highlight of my entire career. There was magic between us from the moment we started working together. We had a couple of so-so stories along the way -- again, my fault, not his -- but, overall, I'm incredibly proud of the work we did together.
It helped a lot. Thank you for answering my questions, Mr. DeMatteis!ReplyDelete
My pleasure, Yojimbo!ReplyDelete
Re: our conversation last week. It's like the creative team behind $#*! MY DAD SAYS read your mind--or at least half of it. Not the ex-wife, but certainly a woman who could hold her own with Ed. It worked well. Another solid episode.ReplyDelete
It's certainly getting there, David. I think they're missing the boat, though, if they don't make the Tim character at least a semi-regular. He's still the only one on the show who can really hold us own against Shatner.ReplyDelete
That said, they're really making improvements on a week-to-week basis. My daughter -- who's a teenager with sophisticated tastes for her age and very much NOT the audience for a show like this -- really enjoys it...so that says something.
You're absolutely right about Tim, JMD. It seems like they left that possibility open, so here's hoping...ReplyDelete
My wife enjoys the show, too, and she has absolutely no investment in William Shatner. All good signs.
Yep. I'm very curious to see how they develop this. If it fails in the end, Shatner should just jump ship to NBC and go one-on-one with Alec Baldwin on 30 ROCK. Now there's a match made in TV Heaven.ReplyDelete
That would be AMAZING!ReplyDelete
The guy who plays Sheldon from BIG BANG THEORY was on Letterman Monday. When he beat out Baldwin for an Emmy, Alec sent him a wine and cheese basket with a card that said YOU BASTARD! Ha!
Baldwin's Jack has always seemed -- to me, at least -- to be Denny Crane's illegitimate son. They're really cut from the same cloth. And both played brilliantly.ReplyDelete
Sounds like a great angle for an unofficial crossover!ReplyDelete