The Adventures of Augusta Wind: The Last Story has turned into one of the most creatively satisfying, and joyful, projects of my career. It's hard to break through the wall of Big Two Superheroes with personal projects like this, so I hope folks that have enjoyed my work (especially books like Moonshadow and Abadazad) will give Augusta a chance. Second issue is on sale now, so it's a good time to jump on. And you can find a preview of the third issue right here. (And, yes, I realize I hyped this a couple of posts back, but this series really mean a lot to me.)
Update: If you prefer digital to print, the fine folks at Comixology are having a 50% off sale on all IDW books, including Augusta.
I actually had issue 2 and three of Augusta waiting for me in my pull box yesterday. I will be reading them tonight. More thoughts to come.ReplyDelete
Hope you enjoy 'em, Douglas!Delete
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Any comparison to Steve Gerber is fine with me, Douglas. That said, I wasn't thinking of Gerber's work while working on this issue, just following the character where she (and Mr. Giffen) lead me and the result was, I think, our best issue so far.Delete
Very glad you're enjoying SCOOBY-DOO. We are, too!
Ididn't seem that many parallels with GFerber myself, maybe if Velma had been fat and killed or psychologically scared by it. Seriously, am I the only one that noticed that pattern in Gerber's work?Delete
The best part of Scoobs Apocs (the now official nickname)? Words. Lots and lots of words. You could ruin the series into the ground and make it unreadable, and I would still buy it to encourage the use of words.
If you guys do a 'nuff said issue (weirdest event, ever)I will be incredibly sad.
SCOOB APOCS? I like it, Jack!Delete
Lots of words? In one of my scripts? Really?! : )
Scoobs Apocs... making the world safe for words.Delete
It may be annoying that DC didn't drop all its books to $2.99, but at least the one at $3.99 takes more than 2 minutes to read.
I meant it to that there is a lot more leeway on the book for me, just to promote more words in comics. So you guys can start coasting any time. I would prefer ou didn't, but you can.
Coasting is never an option.Delete
Hopefully my last one made it through, or I'll come off as a babbling jackass.ReplyDelete
I don't think it is entirely possible for Dematteis to truly capture a Steve Gerber feel, unless he really tries. IN the end, the wold view (or at least as shown in their writing are polar opposites. Gerber as comic's ultimate cynic and Dematteis as one who likes to stress the goodness and punishes redemption.
Yes they both like exploring how the past shapes people and the psychology behind characters, but once they get to that fork in the road, they go far and beyond in opposite directions.
It is sort of like the relationship in art between Frank Miller and Will Eisner.
There was a cynical strain in Gerber's work to be sure, Jack. And it was magnified the more time went by. But, in the days when I was devouring Gerber's work (the 70's), I felt that the cynicism was balanced by genuine compassion and a very big heart.Delete
And I think you're right about the overlap being "exploration of the past and the psychology behind characters." Gerber's work pointed the way for me, showed me that you could do stories like that in mainstream comics.
I assume that was a typo when you wrote "punishes redemption." I assume you meant "promises redemption."
Well, there was that time you locked Kaine up and threw away the key after SPIDER-MAN: REDEMPTION...Delete
Hope to get around to reading latest AUGUST WIND soon. Has a great PETER PAN/ ALICE IN WONDERLAND vibe, but definitely its own thing.
That was Kaine's choice and his first step TOWARD redemption, (But you knew that, didn't you?)Delete
The AUGSTA story really breaks out, and defines itself, with the third issue (now on sale, he said repeatedly). And it just gets bigger and stranger from there. Enjoy!
Ha! Yeah, I knew. Just a play on words. Loved the backup story.Delete
As luck would have it, I like my cosmic adventures bigger and stranger.
One of the things I've loved about writing this new AUGUSTA series is that it's allowed me to fill it with my thoughts and feelings about life, the universe and everything. I really think it's one of the best things I've ever done and I hope that, down the line, we can collect the first and second series together in a big omnibus.Delete
Actually, I'm pretty sure the typo was to b e "pushes redemption." You know, like a drug dealer.Delete
An d of course I'm right about you and Gerber. That shouldn't really be a shock at this point. OF course, while it is always the goal to give antagonists (and protagonists) good motivation, I'm pretty sure the whole trend started with Lee's origin of Dr. Doom back in FF annual #whatever.
As for Gerber and compassion... No. Not even a little bit rarely if ever do I see that in his work. His weird contempt for fat kids (and yes, that is very real) put the kibosh on that.
The most I can give in that area is sympathy, sympathy for all the people dealing with the world.
Here's the good news, as we've already covered I am certainly not wrong, but teh good new i that you are not necessarily either.
Tehre is a literary theory that a creator's say on their work is no more valid than the audience. That as long as you can make a logical argument the opinion is valid.
One example we can take is from a comic called Spectacular Spider-man #200, the death of Harry Osborn.
The comic ends with a panel of Peter and Harry from the past. What does that supposed to mean? That the good old days are still as valid as ever? That they never were, and that they were only ever really posing? That Peter's memory will always preserve it? That what was has been forever destroyed?
It doesn't matter. All of those things can be inferred fairly from Spider-man's past and teh book itself. There are many right answers, but few wrong ones.
With characters that have lasted over decades in continuous print, it is only natural they would have multiple interpretations. Of course that can cause issues.
For instance,my view on Dan Slott. I genuinely liked his Thing series and Doc Samson one as well. However his Peter Parker rarely works for me, and I am no fan of his Silver Surfer. This is NOT because he is a bad writer.
I just don't like seeing Silver Surer so Dr Who inspired. At the same time I can't say it is out of character or done poorly, it just isn't what I want to read.
His view on Spider-man is fundamentally different from mine. He likes to have Peter being best buds with HArry, I always viewed Peter as a loner who's only real friend was MJ. He likes to think Peter id o longer angry at the world, I always sensed it was still there. Even our views on hoe Spidey's sense of humor should be is different.
That doesn't mean either of us is wrong. I can absolutely see where his ideas come from, I just don't think they are true to my ideas of the character. I wouldn't say that he's wrong, and he sure as Hell shouldn't say I am.
I won't lie and say that I don't have issues with the guy, but I can't say he doesn't get the characters. Only that he doesn't always get MY view of them.
Speaking of Spider-Man...
That video you put up of the panel got me thinking of something. Gerry Conway was only 19 when he started writing Spider-Man. I know he wasn't on teh panel. Stern was just shy of 30, Peter David just past it. When you started on MTU, you were around that age.
The Spider-MArriage was undone because they said he seemed old. Now, I never thought of Peter as old, remember that. But maybe, if he does to some people, its because Marvel hasn't had anyone start writing him that is within spitting distance of hi age since Todd McFarlane in 1990.
Just a thought,
It's amazing, in retrospect, just how young Conway was when he was writing Spidey. And he was so damn good at it, too.Delete
Yes, art is ultimately in the eye of the beholder. Once a story is out in the world, the reader can take from it whatever he or she needs/ There are, of course, rare exceptions: there will always be crazy people who will project their insanity onto whatever art they imbibe and use those interpretations as an excuse for destructive behavior.
Dan Slott is a hell of a writer and I'm glad you can disagree with his interpretation of a character and still respect his enormous talent.
I don't think that it is that odd. Stan Lee started writing at Timely when he was about that age, Ray Bradbury about that age when he first started to sell stories, Roy Thomas was pretty young, most of the 70s bullpen was right out of college... I think Claremont was IN college. Jerry Siegel was only 17 when he created Superman, and the first Marvel hero was published when his creator Bill Everett, was only 21, so probably first drawn when he was 20.Delete
For that matter, I've been blowing your mind since the Amazon days, and back then I was in High School, or just barely out of it.
I think its weird that Marvel and DC are doing everything that they can to cull that element out of comics. Talent is talent, skill can always be cultivated, but that youthful energy only lasts for so long.
It is just another one of the points on the long laundry list of why using indie books as there only pool for talent is a problem.
To change gears a it, would you have your job if that is how they used to do things? By your own admission, you can't rally draw didn't know anyone else who really read comics.
Anyway back to the point, the weird desire to capture youth makes it all the odder. After the Spider-marriage ended, it seemed like you had a bunch of guys in their 40s and 50s romanticizing their 20s. Which it probably was. And these were NOT bad writers.
conversely, I'm sure part of the reason Conway worked so well on the character was because he was that age and had no nostalgia goggles on. He and his girlfriend probably had some of the conversations that Peter and MJ did.
As for crazy people inferring strange things from works of art? John Lennon probably needed to get shot, certainly not killed, just enough to get a damn haircut. Too dark?
I was actually thinking about Charles Manson and his interpretation of songs on the White Album. Dark indeed.Delete
When I started in the business, most folks coming in were in their twenties—I think I was 24 when I sold my first HOUSE OF MYSTERY script—but teenagers were very rare.
And now 20s or even early 30s is rare. Isn't that the demographic they ant to hit? Weird.Delete
In further defense of Conway (and I know there is no need to defend his great writing)he, Roy Thomas and Denny O'Neil were the first people to really WANT to right comics. As in that was their dream, and not a consolation prize they could deal with. Okay, first since the 30s, cartooning was big back then.
I'm sure that went a long way, I mean here was someone Stan Lee never had to worry about leaving for greener pastures, and is willing to learn. That isn't even in comics anymore, another casualty of the indie pool.
To give Conway more praise, I really liked his late 80s/early 90s run on Spectacular Spider-Man. He is also currently writing Carnage, which is probably the best Marvel comics currently being published.
He also got me to buy the Punisher annual yesterday. I am not a huge fan of the publisher, but his name had me hooked.
How about John Hinkley and Taxi Driver? On a less dark note of strange interpretations, there is Michael Chabon's view that superheroes y their nature are fascistic. I like Michael Chabon's writing more or less, but to me that is ridiculous, and shows a lack of knowledge of what the word truly means. Of course, to be fair to Mr. Chabon, that is probably one of the least understood words in the dictionary.
A strange interpretation in comics now is the new vigilante series. Anyone who read the 80s series... be proud, its great, but it is also a borderline Charles Bronson movie. The current one, as I understand it, is bout a guy doing political activism in the name of his dead girlfriend. I'm not saying its wrong or right, and I certainly couldn't tell if its good or bad, I will say for someone wearing a costume so similar to Chase's... it is unusual.
Now admit it, you never realized a teenager was blowing your mind back in those halcyon Amazon days.
You're right. I had no idea. Which leaves me even more impressed with your intelligence and insight!Delete
Jack, I'd go so far as to argue that Conway's WEB OF SPIDER-MAN/SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN run in the late 80s-early 90s was better than his ASM run in the 70s.Delete
WEB OF SPIDER-MAN 52 is one of the best J Jonah Jameson stories that's ever been written. That's the one where the Chameleon kidnaps Jonah and poses as him, prompting Jonah to flashback to his early journalism days while trying to escape. Great stuff.
And I know I've already praised THE ADVENTURES OF AUGUSTA WIND: THE LAST STORY on twitter, but it bears repeating. For anyone who's thinking about giving it a look, it really could be JMD's best fantasy story. I mean, it's not over yet, but if he sticks the landing...
It dives into deep things that I can't really articulate, if that makes sense. I keep thinking of the biblical verse, "The Spirit speaks with groans we cannot utter" or, similarly, "the Tao that can be spoken is not the eternal Tao."
I know you reject the label, JMD, but I can't help but feel 'genius' applies. Or maybe, if you prefer...inspired? There's definitely something cosmic at work.
Can't thank you enough for the kind words re: AUGUSTA, David. Yes, I'll accept the word "inspired," because that's how I felt writing this mini-series. This series has allowed me to write about (here comes that phrase again) life, the universe and everything in a way few projects have and it means the world to me that you've taken the time to read, and appreciate, it.Delete
Never read that particular Conway-Spidey run, but it sounds great!
My view on those runs are a bit complicated. On one hand, I do think that there is a lot to prefer in those later Conway issues. It isn't surprising, Conway had and an extra two decades of skill under his belt, and comics were less "boxed" into what they could or couldn't do.
On the other hand, the energy and authenticity of those 70s issues can't be over looked. The plots may have been inferior to the later ones, but the characterization was as good, and better in how easily you buy into it.
Most importantly, The latter I read as hey came out, and remember those times, whereas the 70s stuff was before my time. In essence that creates two different experiences. In short, I can't pick a favorite between two. All I can say is that both are good,, both are worth reading, and I am very excited for the new series that starts this week. I am sorry if this seems wishy-washy, but it is how I feel.
If it makes you feel any better, I have not been a teenager since the Amazon days...I think. when did those end?
Its funny, I am in the demographic (18-34) DC and Marvel covet, and my opinions seem null in void just because I am a long time reader. Kooky.
Also, you missed your chance. You will now seem the johnny-come-lately when you write your Doc Strange pice. I knowm I know, other responsibilities. I get it. It is actually fitting. With this movie, and a ones with similarly known (or rather unknown) characters, all of us who saw the potential way back when are in that boat.
I wonder if the movie is any good. I have heard good things. I have a certain amount of faith, but when a fan watches something like this it is different, and this is a weird character. Who knows, but hope springs eternal.
As I noted to Douglas (see below), I saw DOCTOR STRANGE in a preview last week and enjoyed it. The director, Scott Derrickson, clearly knows, loves and understands the character. Much as I didn't like the Ancient One not being portrayed by an Asian actor (or actress), I thought Tilda Swinton did a fantastic job. My recommendation is to see it on the big screen, don't wait for DVD. In fact, the bigger the screen, the better. The visuals are really something.Delete
Dr. Strange was very good. If you haven't seen it yet you should. I think it will make you happy.ReplyDelete
Saw it in a preview last week. I thought Scott Derrickson's love for, and understanding of, the character saturated every frame. Still not crazy about a non-Asian playing the Ancient One, but I have to say that Tilda Swinton gave a fantastic performance.Delete
Tilda Swinton never fails to surprise me in whatever she does. She did the same thing in SNOWPIERCER where the character was male and she played it that way. I'm pretty sure she can tackle any part and come out of it looking pretty damned good.ReplyDelete
Swinton is a very interesting and unusual actress (to say the least). She brought subtlety, mystery and heart to the Ancient One. A superb performance. And, yes, she was excellent in SNOWPIERCER, too.Delete
I'M still not crazy about a non-ancient person playing the Ancient One. Why does that not bug anyone else? But, there have been far odder changes made in adaptions... so, whatever.ReplyDelete
I don't think I have ever seen a Tilda Swinton in a movie. So, when I see the film it will be a whole new experience.
Of course, with the comics currently having Doc be quipy, quirky, carrying an axe, using a shot gun, declaring Clea is no more than a mystical talisman to him, and forgetting the whole humble thing he was supposed to have learn, I'm not sure I could take a Dr. Strange film, good or bad.
Fact you probably don't care about:
I remember telling an associate of mine who reads comics and is quite the film buff, that I didn't think a Dr. Strange movie could ever really be done well.
Now this was at a time either before the MCU or when it was still in its infancy. I stand by it being accurate, then.
I told him that the best way to do a Dr. Strange movie would be to not. Rather, to have a character based on Doc who gives spiritual and philosophical advice. This advice would be based on a combination of legitimate philosipg (The Tao Ye Ching, Kant, Dharmapade, you feel me) and more popularized culture elements (a multitude of things, but a focus on comic books)
This all, after Dr. Strange had helped him turn his life around (making Doc the Ancient One in a way). The plot being centered around a girl who is having a very difficult time finding purpose or contentment (there were deeper reasons) and the faux-Doc helping through it.
It would also have a minor character who though Kerouac and Silver Surfer had been inspired to travel the country, and a supporting character who had who after his parents died in a car accident, dedicated much of his time to charitable work as a way to ease the pain, until it became a way of life. Obviously Batman played a hand in this. Both of whom had been previously counseled by our main character.
All in all, I'm just glad they made Doc an American.
Go see it, Jack. We could all use a distraction right now.Delete
Comics I'd love to see J.M. Dematteis write...ReplyDelete
-Patsy Walker (not Hellcat)
-Ben Urich story
Of course, characters you return too (unless they were on a team) are excluded
I think the most appealing one on the list is TWO GUN KID.Delete
I'm going on a social media fast for a few days, so if you post and don't get an answer, that's why.
And Green Arrow. How could I have forgotten Green Arrow?Delete
There are reasons for each of the choices. Don't worry, Dematteis. What's more, if I told you the reasons why, you would walk into the Marvel and DC offices, both in the same day (no easy task given DC's recent-ish move), and just declare you are writing them.
I have the mystic power to be in two places at once, Jack, so I could actually walk into Marvel and DC simultaneously.Delete
No, wait. That's the Spectre.
Never mind. : )
You could also do it (albeit less mystically) if you were Jamie Madrox.Delete
Anyway, each one of those has a purpose.
Green Arrow- a chance to embrace the fact that you are a hippie. How have you not written Ollie, yet? This is the ability to tap into what is and wrote about it with out ever worrying about being preachy. That's who Ollie is.
Hellblazer- A nice chance to stretch those wrting muscles. You love writing about redemption and inner light. But, what happens when you have to always get the character back to complete bastard by the end of teh story?
Invaders- Its a super hero comic? Its a War comic? Its kind of both. How does a pacifist write about super people in a war that even there most peace loving person agrees had to happen?
JSA- The purest group of heroes in comics. The best of the best. Every member f the DCU bows to them in the matter of heroics. But they also have the next generation, next two... next three on the team. I would love to see you write that character interaction
Two-Gun Kid- Imagine the freedom. No one cares about westerns. So if you gt the gig, there is very little you couldn't do. The big hook? What does the man who saw the future do in the past? A man has seen the scope of history decades in the future. What does he do in the past? FOr that matter. How does he put back together a life disrupted by that time travel.
Patsy Walker- You love talking head tales and deep character stories. Here there is no action to slow you down.
Ben Urich- Another great difference fro your norm. Yet in the wheel house of a very normal man's life, even if he is more extreme than others. I see you channeling its a wonderful life, but after the lesson was learned at the end. All in a story matched in tone by Spider-Man the Lost Years.
The Shadow- Maybe the most fundamentally un-Dematteis of characters. Yet he is an icon... and all that crazy psychology top play around with.
The Twilight Zone- Obvious.
All interesting suggestions, Jack.Delete
I'd forgotten about the time-travel aspect of Two-Gun Kid. Adds a whole other layer.
Loved writing Constantine in JL DARK (I've also contributed to the new JLD animated movie), so that would be an interesting challenge.
I've certainly written my share of Patsy Walker stories.
TWILIGHT ZONE? What's that?
No. You wrote Hellcat stories (unless I missed something). I'm talking the comic within the comic.Delete
And I still like weird war tales. I don't care what you or anybody says.
However, that is another reason to write JSA. Those WWII characters that are considered the bet of the best heroes would knowledge the Creature Commandos (as well as GI Robot and Unknown Soldier). You know, the Heroes who ACTUALLY served their country in its darkest hour.
Oh, Great idea. JSA: Weird War Tales. Of course, you would have to very clever to make it not just seem like another superhero comic.
Maybe with it told through the eyes of GIs with the supes coming in in the zero hour. Or, a look at the characters who enlisted and some of the bizarre things that happened when they weren't heroes.
Or, just an anthology with Weird War tales and JSA stories separately.
Oh, you mean the comics that Stan wrote before there was a Hellcat. Interesting.Delete
My first published story (not the first one I sold, but the first one that saw print) was in WEIRD WAR TALES, and I wrote quite a few WWT stories in the early days, so I have a great fondness for that book, despite the fact that I am in no way a fan of war stories. (Of course, as a kid I was obsessed with SGT. FURY and SGT. ROCK, so figure that one out!)
I would read a TWO GUN KID comic by you. I would also like to see a GODZILLA comic by you. That would be awesome.ReplyDelete
In recent years, I've rediscovered my childhood love of westerns. In fact, I've got an original western that I've been developing for a while now and I'd love to get it set up somewhere.Delete
Godzilla, huh? Well, that's out of the box!
IDW, a company you may be familiar with. :) has been putting out some fantastic series of Godzilla comics. Currently RAGE AGAINST TIME is simply fabulous. They recently concluded a longer series called RULERS OF THE EARTH. To a Godzilla super fan like myself it is really great stuff. You should check out GODZILLA IN HELL. I know you'd like that one.ReplyDelete
Sounds good, Douglas. Thanks!Delete
They also put out the always great Ragnarok by Walt Simonso. No, no, its true.Delete
I did a panel with Walt in Baltimore and he spoke about the Ragnarok book. Given Walt's huge talent, and his history with Thor, I'm sure it's fantastic.Delete
Its really cool, the real problem is that it is written for trades and is an indie book. Not surprising since Simonson wrote for trades before there were trades.Delete
I'm just not sure how many people stuck around for that ride once they realized it. I did, but what do I know.
Also that it takes at least 2 months to put out an issue. Its understandable since he writes, draws and inks them. It's just you know... the nature of the beast.