Tuesday, May 10, 2011


My next episode of Batman:  The Brave and the Bold is coming up in a few weeks on Cartoon Network and you can watch a couple of preview clips here.   The episode, called "Scorn of the Star Sapphire," features one of my all-time favorite comic book characters, Green Lantern.  (As I've said before, GL's formula—will plus imagination equals manifestation—doesn't just make for cool stories, it's a wonderful recipe for living our lives.)  The episode, of course, is timed to help build anticipation for the new Green Lantern movie that's coming out in June—and that's also the reason why DC Comics is re-releasing a favorite project of mine, Green Lantern: Willworld:  a surreal, and  fairly whimsical, tale about about the multi-dimensional nature of reality.  (The link above will take you to the original edition, still available over at Amazon.  You can find the new edition here.) 

is one of those stories where, within the context of a cosmic fantasy—it's really more like a children's book than a super hero story—I was able to share my views on life, the universe and everything.  But, as happy as I am with the story, it's the art—by the late, great Seth Fisher—that steals the show.  Seth was a massive, major talent:  the kind of artist who would take the script, funnel it through his outsized imagination and create a visual world that was both completely true to the story's intentions and yet utterly unique—and constantly surprising. 

Seth's death, at the age of thirty-three, was a genuine tragedy:  I suspect that, had he lived, he would have become one of the most celebrated fantasy artists around.  If you're a connoisseur of great comic book artwork—and I know you are—check out Willworld.  It's astonishing what Seth manifested with pen, ink, will and imagination.

©copyright 2011 J.M. DeMatteis


  1. Sounds good, J.M. The still for the episode look cool--the clip won't play for me since I'm in Canada. I'll try and find "Will World" too. The cover looks totally surreal--in a good way. : ) Sorry to hear about Seth--and at such a young age, that's so sad. But as you said, his art is amazing, and that at least will live on. But the Star Sapphire--her costume looks some how different than in the current comics ... I wonder why ... : )

  2. Didn't realize the clip wouldn't play in Canada, A. Jaye. Sorry about that. You guys get the episodes at different times, too, don't you? Sometimes before we get them in the States?

    In any case, when you finally track down WILLWORLD, let me know what you think.

  3. Is the GN being recollected in one issue, or did they break it into chapters? It says Willworld #1, but I'm assuming the numbering is just a default setting.

    I'll give it a look either way, but $8 seems like an attractive price for the entire story.

  4. I'm pretty sure it's all in one volume, David; which makes it a bargain!

  5. Cool, thanks for clearing that up. I like that pricing.

  6. Great comic. I have a copy of the original printing. I think it's just under 100 pages, which makes it just right for DC's "DC Presents" line, which usually reprints 4-issues. (So about 88 pages, with a couple of ads.) I like how you phrased that GL's formula is will + imagination = manifestation. Totally makes sense after reading Willworld!

  7. That GL formula is the key to the character for me, Dru. As I said in the post, I really think it's a great formula for life, not just comics.

    A few years ago, when my daughter turned thirteen, we had a coming-of-age celebration and presented her with her own Green Lantern ring -- a beautiful piece, exquisitely made my a local jeweler -- as a way to encourage her to go out into the world and use her will and imagination to manifest her highest dreams.

  8. WILLWORLD is a great journey, I'm glad it's seeing a reprint. I'll give it a re-read to celebrate. My memory of it is quite fuzzy, and I'm not sure exactly what combination of my memory banks and the story's surrealistic process contributes to that. (And, I've re-read SHADE: THE CHANGING MAN and THE INVISIBLES in the meantime, so there's that too.)

    To take a page from the 'everything I encounter is about me personally' manual, June is my birth-month and last year brought IMAGINALIS, this year, GREEN LANTERN in the 'public eye' through the movie. Happy Birthday to me!

    Green Lantern has been one of my favorite characters since as far back as my memory goes. him and Aquaman. And while my Aquaman fix has grown weaker over the years, the Green Lantern attraction, and Hal Jordan especially has for sure grown and developed.

    Adding the stuff Geoff Johns has done lately to deepen the mythology, it's become a powerful 'life formula' for my own story, in addition to the stories on the page.

    Each color being an emotional manifestation. Green = Willpower, as you've discussed.
    Yellow = Fear, long story short explaining the yellow weakness as unconscious fears weakening the wielder's willpower. Consciously claiming and stepping through the fear leads to no weakness.
    Blue = Hope, mostly powerless alone, but when combined with willpower, amplifies the effects.
    Red = Rage, Violet = Love, the strongest emotions, at the far ends of the spectrum, which tend to overtake and 'use' the wielder, rather than them using the power.
    Orange = Avarice, there's only one, mine mine, mine!
    Indigo = Compassion, non-judgmental true understanding of another leads to the ability to mimic any power.

    All that to say the mythology of GREEN LANTERN is as deep and rich as one chooses to make it, and your choices in WILLWORLD showed a deep take on what it could mean to wield willpower.

  9. Thanks for the insights, Tim: well said. The colors of the GL spectrum that you lay out are pretty much identical to the colors identified with the seven chakras, although the interpretations are different.

    One of the things I tried to do in WILLWORLD was use GL's rich mythos to tell a story that was fun, magical (in the manner of a classic children's book) and had some depth; and do it without the typical hero vs. villain fight. Yes, there's a confrontation with The Whirlwind and its forces at the end, but even that plays out in an atypical way.

    Whether I succeeded or not is up for debate, but it was a wonderful creative journey for me, especially with Seth Fisher along for the ride.

  10. Ah...! Yes, it was, and remains, very cool. She wears it all the time.