Thursday, September 19, 2019


Haven't posted in a while, so I thought I'd share some news updates from across the DeMatteisverse.

Both the Amazon Book Review and Barnes & Noble chose the collected edition of The Girl in the Bay as a top pick for the fall. Girl—with art by brilliant newcomer Corin Howell—is a supernatural murder mystery with a time travel twist, courtesy of Dark Horse/Berger Books.

June 12th saw the release of 
Moonshadow: The Definitive Editiona beautiful hardcover from Dark Horse, collecting the original twelve issue series and its sequel, Farewell, Moonshadow, along with a plethora of extras and a new introduction by yours truly. A review in the Library Journal called Moonshadow "a beloved masterpiece" and went on to say that "this new, definitive sure to enhance its reputation."

June 5th saw the release of the trade paperback of my recent IDW series Impossible Incorporatedwhich the Comic Crusaders website called "a head tripping tale of cosmic adventure and exciting adventure filled with big, bold ideas." Co-creator Mike Cavallaro and I are hoping to tell many more tales of teen genius Number Horowitz and her team as they continue their journeys across time and space.

November will bring Marvel's X-Factor Epic Collection: X-Aminations, which collects the first part of my run on the book (along with the finale of Peter David's run).

In December comes DC's Scooby Apocalypse Volume Six, the grand finale of our recently concluded reimagining of the Scooby-Doo universe.

The same month will see the release of The Defenders Epic Collection: The End of All Songs, which features the entirety of my 1980's Gargoyle mini-series, one of my absolute favorite Marvel projects.

I've got several new comics projects in the works, but they're top secret for now.

Warner Brothers just announced the animated adaptation of Superman: Red Son.  Directed and produced by Sam Liu and written by yours truly, this is the first animated treatment of Mark Millar's classic Elseworlds saga.  The voice cast is headed by the great Jason Isaacs as Superman and the equally-great Diedrich Bader as Lex Luthor.

Season Two of Marvel’s Spider-Man has just kicked off, so keep your eye out for my episode "Bring On The Bad Guys." Spring 2020 will bring my Season Three episode, which is part of the “Maximum Venom” arc.

October 22nd will see the release of Wonder Woman: Bloodlines, which features my DC Showcase: Death short. Produced and directed by Sam Liu, Death brings Neil Gaiman's classic Sandman character to animation for the first time.

Coming soon is my DC Showcase: Adam Strange short, produced and directed by Butch Lukic. It's an unconventional take on DC's classic space hero.


a three day writing workshop
with J.M. DeMatteis
My Imagination 101 writing workshop will be returning to Kingston, N.Y. November 8—10. It’s a fun, intimate weekend discussing the practicalities and metaphysics of writing comics, graphic novels and animation. The class is nearly full so, if you’re interested, email me at for more info.

It's been a busy, and very enjoyable, convention year, with Dallas's North Texas Comic Book Show, GalaxyCons in Raleigh and Richmond, Charlotte's HeroesCon and Atlanta's legendary DragonCon. Thanks to all the fans who took the time to stop by and say hello. It's always a genuine pleasure to meet the people who read, and enjoy, my work.

Just a couple of conventions left in 2019: September 28th and 29th I'll be at the MCM Comic Con in Glasgow, Scotland and November will bring my final convention of the year, the Louisville GalaxyCon, which runs from November 22—24.

And that's the latest news!  And now, here's Jimmy Olsen with the weather...


  1. And to think, I keep buying the individual issues like an idiot... AN IDIOT.

    Also, ROy Thomas will be temporarily returning to Conana next month, so if you don't mind, I would like to say some words about his run.

    I have never been a huge Conan fan, I come and go, usually enjoying them when I buy them, but never what one might call a collector.

    However, I think what is very important and overlooked about Thomas' time on the character was Savage Sword of Conan.

    He followed the Warren idea of older content, and for the most part lived up to the idea admirably.

    People nowadays overlook how popular Conan was in the 70s and 80s, so much of that is Roy Thomas. However, is willingness to be daring in the black and white magazines, and see the potential for older readers probably created a lot of fans that may have dropped it otherwise.

    Stan Lee has sadly passed, Roy Thomas is suddenly one of the older statesman of the industry. Just like Stan did with the Silver Surfer, Warren did with Creepy and Eerie, and later Berger did with Vertigo, he reached in the medium. Let's not wait until he passes to give him praise.

    I bought your individual issues like an idiot Dematteis... AN IDIOT!.

    Why do I bother,m the trades are all anyone cares about.


    1. As you know, Jack, I bow to none in my admiration for Roy Thomas. And I'm a huge fan of his groundbreaking CONAN run, especially his collaboration with Barry Smith. People that weren't around then can't imagine just how different. how game-changing, those books were when they came out.

      And can you imagine how intimidating, how terrifying, it was for me—a newbie—being asked TO REPLACE ROY THOMAS ON CONAN? And working with John Buscema, to boot? (And, later, Gil Kane!) But, of course, Roy was pretty much irreplaceable, wasn't he?

    2. While I certainly have nothing but respect for Mr. Thomas, as I said I am at most a casual Conan fan. I enjoy them when I read them... but rarely seek them out.

      That having been said, to see the effect he had, all one has to do is look at Marvel of the 70s.

      Admittedly, there was a lot at play. However, Howard the Duck started as a parody of Sword and Sorcery. Man-Thing frequently had barbarians and more fantastical than horror.

      Dr. Strange had a resurgence, which was probably at least partially because Conan opened that up. However, the stories had a different feel.

      Granted horror as a whole was on the rise, but the ready acceptance of Dracula (another hugely popular book) may have been because of Conan. Especially given how it was structured as fighters against supernatural forces. Or... at least maybe gave Marvel the courage to pull the trigger.

      Let's not forget that in the 80s, Dreadstar (by Starlin) had certain Conan vibes.

      OF course, don't forget how atypical many superheroes got at the time, COnan being a hit likely opened that door.

      I don't know if you have ever read many fanzines of the time, but many were barbarian/sword and sorcery tales. It almost seemed like they thought it was the new superhero.

      It all starts chronologically with Conan. Yes, I think any student of comics can see the influence.

      However, what blows people's minds... at least those who were not there... is hoe popular he was in teh 70s and 80s.

      He had a number of books that rivaled...maybe even at times surpassed... Spider-Man, Superman and Batman. His movie showed up BEFORE Spider-Man or Batman.

      In promotional material he was right along the Marvel heroes. Man-Thing even got his start in a book dedicated to Conan.

      It is also what caused DC to pick up the rights to The Shadow in the 70s.

      Then, by 1990, we wasn't gone... but scaled back considerably. By 2000 gone. The last issue of Marvel's Conan is worth a lot... because the print run was so small.

      I hope that the return of Conan ushers in Marvel (and DC copying) to branch out into other genres, Genres that could reach non-comic readers. Like int eh 70s.

      Personally, I think Thomas was brought back in part because it is the 80th anniversary of Marvel and because there was something special there.

      A lot of people have written Conan, and again I am no expert, any many have been good. However, none of them had the umph of Roy the Boy's run and even those that followed after he left.

      AGAIN, it isn't about talent, there are good writers who have taken up the task. The same thing has happened with countless comics... Defenders come to mind... when the momentum is lost it is hard to recapture the magic.


      P.S. Don't forget that Dungeons and Dragons came around in the early 80s. Conan clearly had some influence there.

    3. Roy's CONAN was really the book that broke the superhero grip of the 60s and opened the door on the wild experimentation of the 70s, one of the greatest decades in comics history, as far as I'm concerned.

    4. Looking at the moderns state of the big two, then at 1970 that had Sgt. Rock, Millie the Model, Kid Colt, Chamber of Darkness, Spoof, Harvey, Western Gunfighters, Chili, Jerry Lewis, Falling in Love, Heart Throbs, Hot Wheels, House of Mystery, Strange Adventures, Our Fighting Forces, Phantom Stranger, Young Love, and Three Mouseketeers all coming out from Marvel and DC it is hard to say THAT is when they had a stranglehold on the industry.

      Not to mention that competitors like Charlton and Gold Key with The Outer Limits, Real UFO Stories, the Twilight Zone, and more not being as far behind as the closest competitors are today.

      And as far as experimentation goes... Roy Thomas was important, but don't forget, that month Denny O'Neil's Green Lantern Green Arrow was already on its fifth issue.

      It would seem today is the day mainstream comics have become a bit... predictable.

      Hell, even Stan Lee and Kirby who were technically writing superhero comics were actually writing high fantasy (Thor), Spy thrillers (Captain America), High concept exploration tales (Fantastic Four), and epic questing fantasy (Sub-Mariner).

      FOr that matter, what is it that makes Conan NOT a suoerhero. He was a pulp character, just like Doc Savage, The Spider, and the Shadow all of whom are usually conflated as at least proto-superheroes.

      Conan is no less removed from the idea than Doc Savage.

      For that matter with Many of Thor and Namor's tales were closer to Conan than Superman or Batman.

      Conan is literally standing alongside the Marvel lot of superheroes in many promotional images of the 70s.

      What makes a superhero or not. If Conan is not, then should the Fantastic Four, Thor, Sub-Mariner, Dr. Strange, or the Silver Surfer be labeled as such?

      He has no powers? Neither does Batman, Green Arrow, or the Shadow. For that matter, is Green lantern using a ring and different than the use of talismans and other magical paraphernalia in Conan comics?

      I suppose that doesn't matter. However (continued)....


    5. ... experimentation is needed again Or at least variety.

      comics have developed a bad habit since the early 90s to pick a tone theu think sells and stress it.

      First it was the grim and gritty, then the back to basic heroics, then really dark, and now self-aware and/or quirky. None of this is bad on its own (no not even the grim and gritty days of 1992 was entirely bad on its own), but all that stressing and focusing can wear at least this reader out. Even if it is good stories.

      Personally, I think instead of constantly trying to find new wrinkles for the superhero genre, Marvel and DC should try to bring horror, fantasy, sci-fi, and even romance if possible, around again.

      Not sci-fi, horror, or fantasy infused superhero stories. Just the genres on their own.

      IF nothing else it would be a good talent search. Possibly, it could bring in fans of those genres who don;t usually read comics. Maybe even get the creative juices flowing to find new roads for those well worn characters to travel down.

      remember, Daredevil was saved because Frank Miller wanted to write a crime comic.


    6. I think you can find more of that diversity you're looking for in indie comics, Jack, but your point is still well taken.

      I sometimes wonder if there could be a modern equivalent of the Bob Hope and Jerry Lewis comics I read and loved as a kid. Is there a current comedian who could hold his own family friendly comic book series or are we well past that point?

    7. I very much disagree about that statement about indie comics, and would say it is more of an illusion of diversity.

      As for the second part, until a year or two again there were Simpsons comics. That was kind of similar in a way.

      R.I.P. Bongo comics.


    8. However, as much as I feel that is an illusion, if you want a mainstream book that is not superhero and pretty good, the current Lois Lane maxi-series has been pretty well done.


  2. As a kid, I never read the CONAN comics, though I enjoyed the films. I discovered Robert E. Howard's Conan stories much later in life and he's become one of my favorite authors. I've read two of Roy Thomas' adaptations--"The Tower of the Elephant" with Barry Windsor Smith and "Black Colossus" with John Buscema. The latter especially is as perfect an adaptation as you could ever ask for. You can tell Thomas just bleeds love for the source material.

    I'm not a Conan expert by any means and I've never read anything from your run, but there are philosophical points of interest that I'd love to see you run with. There are spaces in that world that would lend themselves nicely to your unique voice.

    In "Queen of the Black Coast," for instance, Conan has a brief discussion with his lover Belit on the nature of the universe. He concludes that even if the universe is an illusion, it's real to him, and all that matters is that he lives and loves and kills. Belit has a different perspective, especially about the afterlife, that comes into play at the story's conclusion.

    Really, I think any writer could have fun taking some of the different perspectives REH threw out there and crafting entire stories around them. Lots of room for different voices, something I don't think REH gets enough credit for.


    1. You're right, David. One of the things I loved most about REH's work, and the comics, as well, was the mystical aspects of the stories. The otherworldliness. (I think that's why I love Barry Smith above all other CONAN artists: his stories seemed to take place in a truly magical Otherland.)

      I think my approach to the material would be very different today than it was when I was just starting out, all those years ago...

  3. Speaking of Roy Thomas and Barry Smith, when I was a little kid I read and enjoyed a reprint of the issue of the Avengers that they did where Ultron defeated all of the Avengers with his new indestructible body. I didn't get the next issue, so I never saw what happened next. The Avengers did win in the end, right?