With urging from my old pal Danny Fingeroth, I've signed on to do a class at Manhattan's Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art: a two hour symposium called "Oh, The Humanity: Writing Successfully Across Genres and Media." It's a slightly intimidating (to me, anyway) title for what I hope will be an enjoyable evening, talking about the art and craft of writing for comics, novels, television and film. Here's how MoCCA describes the class:
While it's not unusual to see comics writers also work on animation or prose in similar genres to their comics work, relatively few work in different genres and media at the same time. J.M. DeMatteis is one of the handful of authors who have worked simultaneously and successfully on popular corporate franchise characters, surreal tales of fantasy, hilariously funny satire, and intensely personal dramatic material, in comics, and also in animation, novels (the non-graphic kind), and screenplays. In this rare teaching appearance, DeMatteis (with kibitzing and inappropriate comments by his longtime editor, Danny Fingeroth), explains what stories in all genres and media have in common: universal human characters and situations (also known as “heart”), and how you can use that fact to be more than a “one-trick-pony” writer.
The class will be happening on Tuesday May 17th—from 7:00 to 9:00 pm—and you can register for it here. I've never done anything quite like this before, but I'm hoping it will be an enlightening, and entertaining, few hours spent discussing my more than thirty years of wrestling with that formidable beast called Story. Join us, if you can.
I'm SO there (I hope)!ReplyDelete
I hope so, too, Jeff!ReplyDelete
Hello Mr.DeMatteis.My name's Miguel Gonzalez. I reside in Milwaukee ,Wi. I just wanted to take the time to express my appreciation. I love your writing since I first read SOUL OF THE HUNTER at age seven.(I'm twenty four now)Amazed at your work published under VERTIGO; BLOOD:A TALE, MERCY or as I like to call it, lady mercy. I hope to read more of your astounding work.Especially MOONSHADOW. Yours is a mind that's channeled to the world soul. Thank you.ReplyDelete
Thanks for taking the time to post, Miguel...and thanks for your very kind words about my work. "A mind that's channeled to the world soul." High praise indeed...and genuinely, deeply, appreciated.ReplyDelete
You read SOUL OF THE HUNTER when you were only seven? Hope it wasn't too much for your young and impressionable mind!
All the best -- JMD
Wow, how cool! I'm no writer, but I might go just to hear you talk, JMD!ReplyDelete
You don't have to be a writer to attend the class, Rob. You just have to appreciate the art of storytelling. (And if you're a comic book geek, all the better.)ReplyDelete
And, hey, you're an editor and a blogger, which, in my book, makes you a part of the writing fraternity!
Hey, now we can call you the Prof.!ReplyDelete
"Come to me, my D-Men!"
Oh, wait. That sounds like you're summoning a creature from the underworld...
Can I summon a creature from the Heavenly Ethers instead, David?ReplyDelete
Just like you've been doing for thirty years now, JMD.ReplyDelete
Wish I could attend, but that's a bit of a commute!
Oh man, I'd love to attend but will be out of town then. FYI, I really enjoyed Greenberg the Vampire and LOVED Brooklyn Dreams!ReplyDelete
In this age of Skype, David, they should broadcast these things live, and interactive, on the web. Then distance wouldn't matter.ReplyDelete
Thanks, Zot: much appreciated. GREENBERG THE VAMPIRE remains near and dear to my heart, as does BROOKLYN DREAMS. (In an odd way, GREENBERG was the first tentative step toward BD.)ReplyDelete
Speaking of BROOKLYN DREAMS, we're in the process of setting up a deal with a new publisher; with a little luck, you'll see a brand new hardcover edition of the book before the end of the year.
Live online broadcast is definitely going to be a huge factor in education in the coming years.ReplyDelete
Glad to hear BD might be coming to hardcover. My copy is practically torn to shreds.
The BD deal is in process, David; as soon as it's official, you'll hear about it here.ReplyDelete
We've had some very nice foreign hardcovers of BROOKLYN DREAMS, but this will be the first hardback US edition. I'm keeping my fingers crossed!
Wow, cool beans on both the symposium & the BD HC! Really like BD, & my paperback is kinda falling apart from use. Will have to upgrade! & I really hope the symposium is either simulcast online, or recorded for future viewing, as living here in Las Vegas as I do, seriously doubt I'll be making it in for this; however,I may get a friend (also a fan of yours) to go...link already e-mailed!ReplyDelete
Currently writing a blog about part of a vacation to Florida last month, and this particular entry mentions you, as I went to dinner with Mike Zeck, so naturally your name came up! I'll post the link here when it's done, probably later today.
Hope all goes well with you JM, again, good news on both counts!
Hey, Ken: great to hear from you. I'm going to check with MoCCA to see if they have an online video library of these classes. If they don't, they really should.ReplyDelete
Dinner with Zeck, eh? It's been years since we've seen each other. I hope all's very well with him. Mike's a great guy and, as KLH testifies, a wonderful collaborator. I'd work with him again in a heartbeat.
Hope MoCCA has some sort of online library, I'll have to check, because there's bound to be other stuff I'd like to see as well.ReplyDelete
Yeah, was real nice to have dinner with Mike, and yes, he seems to be doing well. Finally finished the blog on that day (been a little busy here); http://robocreep.blogspot.com/2011/02/my-dinner-with-andreerr-mike-zeck.html
I really appreciate the use of your blog to plug mine, but turnabout being fair play, I linked to your blog a couple times in my post. Now to go put both of us up on Twitter!
Have fun JM
I'll pop over and read your blog right now, Ken.ReplyDelete
As for Twitter: I've considered it, but the idea of having one more thing to distract me from life and work is just too much for my brain to contain. So no tweeting for JMD in the foreseeable future.
Oh, I know you're never going to Tweet...that's why I put links to your blog occasionally on my Twitter account :)ReplyDelete
And I appreciate that, Ken!ReplyDelete
Enjoyed the blog post...but I can't believe you went to Epcot and skipped the Magic Kingdom!
Were any of your JLI episodes for Batman: The Brave and The Bold titled "Shadow of the Bat!" or "The Night of the Batmen!"?
The titles of these things almost always change between the script and the final version, Yojimbo, so the answer is no, neither of those titles is one of mine AS FAR AS I KNOW.ReplyDelete
That said, "Shadow of the Bat" sounds like a perfect fit for the first of my JLI scripts (which involves vampires). Guess we'll find out when there's more information about the episode.
And come to think of it, Yojimbo, "Night of the Batmen" might fit my other JLI episode...but, again, I can't swear to it.ReplyDelete
From day one I've always been a Warner animation fan over the Disney stuff, and it all had to do with the attitude. The Warner characters, when done by Chuck Jones especially, just seemed smarter and more real to me than the Disney ones. I liked the sarcasm and wit displayed in them before I was even old enough to understand that THAT was WHY I liked them. Wile E. Coyote was practically a hero to me; a frustrated genius, never able to get the one thing he REALLY wants. I think I identified with that (still do...). & I'm not much of a theme park person either.ReplyDelete
I asked Zeck over dinner if he knew when he was working on KLH whether or not it was going to be something special, and he seemed to think so. Being as familiar with your work as he was from 3 years on Cap, he could tell. I don't know if either of your schedules would ever permit it, and due to the bar being set so high from previous works, it would be very likely to disappoint on some level ("...your older stuff was better..."), but it would still be a great treat to see you 2 do one more project together someday.
Thanks for reading my blog JM.
I love the Warner Bros. cartoons, Ken -- especially Bugs and Daffy (there's just so much Road Runner I can take. It always felt, to me, like they were making the same short over and over) -- but, as I think you know, I'm also a total Disnoid. In fact, I'm having a sick day today -- nothing terrible, just a virus -- and I just got finished watching a terrific documentary about the revival of Disney Animation in the 80's called WAKING SLEEPING BEAUTY.ReplyDelete
I said it before, I'll say it again: I'd work with Mike in a heartbeat.
Wasn't there supposed to be a Captain America graphic novel by you guys after Mike left the monthly book? I seem to remember something in Marvel Age "magazine" along those lines.ReplyDelete
You're right, Jeff, there was. As I recall, the idea revolved around a recruit who was used in the Super Soldier experiment BEFORE Steve Rogers. The experiment went very badly and the recruit was locked away, all records expunged. Years later ("years later" being the early 80's, when we were going to do this project), the failed experiment was back, killing off the surviving members of the team that created Cap, with his final target being Cap himself. A great idea, now that I think about it. (In fact -- and, honestly, I never realized it before this moment -- the character of Savior 13 in THE LIFE AND TIMES OF SAVIOR 28 was clearly born out of this idea.)ReplyDelete
As for why that graphic novel never happened...I really don't know. I suspect that Mike and I just got busy with other projects and it fell by the wayside.
That would've been great to see- especially with Mike's art on original Graphic Novel size pages.ReplyDelete
By the way, the Back Issue interview you and Mike did last year regarding KLH was really interesting, especially your contrasting views on Kraven's suicide.
Dan Jurgens did a very enjoyable storyline in the 90s about a pre-Steve Rogers Captain America who went off the rails. Looks like you were ahead of the times again.ReplyDelete
I like the concept as it applies to both Cap and SAVIOR 28, because it illustrates the inherent decency that keeps both Steve and Jimmy from being swallowed alive by the masks they wear.
Thanks, Jeff. Feeling much better today...should be 100% by tomorrow.ReplyDelete
Well said, David.ReplyDelete
I'm sorry I never got to do the story with Zeck, but glad that it ended up in SAVIOR 28...which is clearly where the universe wanted it to be.
Just like it knew KLH wasn't a Wonder Man story! The universe has good judgment.ReplyDelete
Speaking of anti-Caps, my favorite Captain America storyline of all time is coming to TPB:
I agree, David: trusting the universe can be frustrating at times, but it really does know best.ReplyDelete
Aside from his formidable skills as a writer and editor, Mark Gruenwald was a wonderful guy. I'm very glad to have known him.
Found a copy today of House of Mystery #282 with a little story called "The Lady Killer Craves Blood", which I understand has a bit of significance to you...ReplyDelete
To say the least, Jeff! As I suspect you know. "Lady Killer..." was the first script I ever sold to DC. To Paul Levitz, to be precise.ReplyDelete
Strangely, just a few minutes ago, I was searching through some files, looking for an old contract, and came across the letter Paul wrote me in response to the first writing samples I submitted to him. As I've noted elsewhere, his comments were pretty blunt -- but, at the end, he added "Feel free to submit again." And I did...until I sold him the very story you found today.