Friday, April 26, 2019


Just a short one to let folks know that—for the first time in a couple of years—I'll be doing one of my three day Imagination 101 writing workshops.  The dates are November 8—10, 2019, and if this sounds like an early's not:  folks are already registering so, if you're interested in attending, it can't hurt to sign up ASAP.

Forewarned is forearmed.

For more info click on over to the workshops sections of this site.

And come join us!


  1. You know, I still pronounce it Dim-at-tis. I believe it was said both were acceptable. So.. I go for the obvious Ellis Island butchering.


    P.S. I was surprised there was no Starlin essay last week.

    1. Dee-Mat-tiss. NOT "dim"! (I'm a little brighter than that.)

      Saw that WATCHMAN thing yesterday. It's great.

    2. Interestingly, Alan MOore may have been inspired by a Stan Lee story to create Watchmen.

      There is a Spider-Man newspaper strip story from 1981, where Peter goes to Latveria to investigate a downed U.F.O., and the potential threat to the world it holds. in Doom's hands.

      Turns out it was all a hoax by Doom to ensure peace in the world.

      Seemed a tad familiar when I recently read it. I wonder if there was shared inspiration.


    3. And there's this...

    4. It's been a while since I've read WATCHMEN, but I feel like Ozzymandias' plot was intentionally modeled after sci-fi cliches. He's allegedly the most brilliant man alive, but he's still stuck in a story involving cycles of violence. For all his genius, he can't imagine a solution where mankind's violent impulses are truly addressed, only redirected--and the ending teases that the truth will come out and the cycle will begin again.

      So I think the idea being lifted from other sources is important to understanding Ozzymandias' limitations and why his plan is doomed to fail in the long run. He has all this imaginative power at his disposal, and he still can't conceive a new story.


    5. Interesting. But based on what I've read—and I could be wrong!!—I don't think Moore was consciously modeling that ending on what had come before. He thought it was original. But, as I said: I could be wrong. Heaven knows I've been wrong before! : )

    6. I trust you're correct. I didn't even know about the possible Kirby, Outer Limits or Spider-Man connection, so anything I say about the subject should be taken with more than a grain of salt!

      On another note, I do recall reading that when Roger Stern first conceived "The Kid Who Collects Spider-Man," he was convinced it must have been a Superman story he'd read as a kid, so he double-checked before proceeding.

      So it works both ways!


    7. I don't know how many times I thought I'd come up with a blazingly original idea and discovered someone else had already done it.

      Stories, and storytellers, are continuously tripping over each other, seeking inspiration, emulating, and, yes, flat out copying. The key, in the end, is how much of your own vision you bring to the table.

    8. As the person who started this, I would like to give my two cents.
      All I wanted to do was give Stan some praise, admittedly taking some pleasure in beating the man who spent 30+ years bad mouthing him to teh punch, as it were.

      Here goes...

      I think you are both wrong.

      Dematteis, I think you are projecting your own experiences. David... I think you are giving Moore a little too much credit of forethought.

      For starters, there are only so many plots, and sci-fi in some ways it is worse to try and find a unique idea. A genre built around exploring the human condition, through fantastical means, will inevitably keep hitting the same BASIC ideas.

      Humans have trouble shaking our more frail and less admirable qualities... at least as a species.

      Star Trek for instance never didn't bump into an established science fiction concept. But, the cobbled together something new.

      Back to the Future and A sound of Thunder are hardly the same story... yet they are the same story.

      All of that having been said, Moore is not teh most creative writer in comics

      WAIT DEMATTEIS, before you say how you don't want to badmouth creators, I am not. I didn't say he was a bad writer. Just not a very creative one.


      How many things can you really name that Alan Moore created?

      V for Vendetta? Well, that is basically The Shadow, but thrown into 1984 (the book). The even used the radio trick of having the female lead be the P.O.V. character, and the pulp style of making him very mysterious in his past.

      League of Extraordinary Gentlemen? Literally just characters fro literature.

      He even said Grey Shirt was a stand in for the Spirit.

      Watchmen's characters were all rehashes of Charlton characters. Many of the themes were published twenty years earlier in Super Folks. Others a year earlier in Squadron Supreme.

      Even his Swamp Thing (which I really like), is not so original. Yes, it is a departure from the Wein Swampy in many ways... but the backdoor anthologies... having to stop dark mystical forces...secondary character focus...he borrowed heavily from Gerber's Man-thing.

      This is all FINE. It opens not say he is a bad writer. Just that he needs something established to work on. Not everyone can use just inspiration from other work.

      Moore can't. Or... at least has trouble doing so most of the time.

      I think he borrowed the idea from someplace. Who knows where. Shades of the idea have been common in sci-fi since M.A.D. entered the public mind in the 50s.

      I think he borrowed a good idea. Not for any artistic reason, just because it was a good idea that was flexible to make something new-ish.

      It wasn't osmosis, or parallel thinking. It was a choice made.

      He knew a good idea... and he used it. Simple as that. No harm, no foul.


    9. Guess we'll have to track down Alan Moore and get the truth out of him, Jack!

      That said...has he ever done an interview where he discusses that aspect of the story?