I thought it would be fun to take a peek behind the curtain and give you a sense of how an issue of Justice League 3000 takes shape. (And let's not forget that JL3K is ©copyright 2014 DC Comics.)
It all begins with the plot—and the formidable imagination of Keith Giffen. As you'll see below, Keith doesn't type up his plots, he, essentially, draws mini comics (of such quality that they can stand on their own as entertaining reads), complete with story and dialogue notes.
As far as I'm concerned, the hardest part of the job is the plotting and Keith is a master of the craft. He's also one of the best visual storytellers this medium has ever seen.
Keith's plot goes off to the amazing Howard Porter, who then translates Giffen's art breakdowns into the jaw-dropping pages JL3K fans marvel at month after month. The level of detail and emotion Howard gets into his pages never fails to astonish me—and the guy tops himself every single issue.
Once Howard is done, I sit down with Keith's plot on one side, Howard's art on the other and get the characters talking to each other.
There are times I hew so closely to Keith's plots that I feel guilty cashing the check (well, not that guilty), other times I veer wildly off into unexpected territory. This sequence lands somewhere in the middle.
The important thing is that Keith has always encouraged me to play, have fun, not be bound by the plot. Our collaboration is based on that sense of play. Keith's plots always surprise and entertain me and I want my scripts to do the same for him.
I can't underestimate the contributions of our letterer, Rob Leigh (who can fit all that damn dialogue on the page and do it with genuine style and grace) and the coloring team at Hi-Fi, who bring new levels of depth, excitement and reality to Howard's pages. And, of course, our editor, the wise and easy-going Harvey Richards, manages to work with all of us and stay sane, which is a masterful feat in itself! Just pick up the current issue of Justice League 3000 and you'll see how much these talented people add to our stories.
This concludes our peek behind the curtain. Any questions?