Tuesday, December 31, 2019


Happy New Year, Creation Pointers!  May the year ahead bring health, happiness, abundance, prosperity, magic, miracles...and, above all else, love.

Friday, December 20, 2019


Here at Creation Point we have an annual Yuletide offering, a short Christmas tale of mine called "The Truth About Santa Claus": offered annually as a kind of cyber Christmas present. My way of wishing all of you the happiest of holidays and the most magical of Christmases. I offer it again this year—along with three wonderful illustrations by my friend and Augusta Wind collaborator Vassilis Gogtzilas. So grab a plate of Christmas cookies, pull a chair up close to the fireplace and enjoy.



He’d been thinking about it for days—ever since he heard Big Mouth Jenny Rizzo announce it on the school bus—and he didn’t believe a word of it, not one word.  (Well, maybe ONE.)  But Cody had to be sure, absolutely, positively sure—

—and that’s why he was hiding behind the couch at midnight on Christmas Eve.

His mother was there, asleep in his dad’s old easy chair, the reds and blues of the Christmas tree lights making her look peaceful and happy and impossibly young.

The tree, by the way, had not ONE SINGLE PRESENT underneath it.

That didn’t make sense.  If there WAS no Santa Claus, if his mother was the one who bought the presents, wrapped the presents, stacked them under the tree, then how come she hadn’t done it?  How come she wasn’t awake RIGHT NOW arranging them all?

He got scared.  Maybe there wasn’t going to BE a Christmas this year.  Maybe Mom had lost her job and they didn’t have any money and so she COULDN’T buy him any presents and—

And then Cody glanced over at the windows and noticed that it was snowing.

Or was it?

If that was snow, it was the WHITEST snow he’d ever seen.  It was snow as bright as moonbeams, as bright as sunlight, as bright as...


Quickly, but quietly (he didn’t want to wake his mother), he scurried to the window and looked out.

It was coming down and coming down and COMING DOWN all across town, whirling and whipping, spinning and gyrating, out of the night sky.  Glowing so brightly that it almost hurt his eyes to look at it.  And Cody saw that it certainly wasn’t snow, and it absolutely wasn’t rain, it wasn’t ANYTHING he’d ever seen before.  But each drop, no...each flake, no... each BALL of glowing WHATEVER IT WAS, seemed to pulse and spin, soar and vibrate, as if it were alive.

And the stuff, the magical WHATEVER IT WAS (and he knew now that it was magic.  He just KNEW), wasn’t collecting on the streets, wasn’t piling up on the rooftops.  It was MELTING INTO (that’s the only way he could put it:  MELTING INTO) every house (no matter how small) and apartment building (no matter how big).

EVERY house and apartment building.


He looked up.

And there it was:  coming RIGHT THROUGH THE CEILING of Apartment 3F, HIS apartment, swirling, like a tornado of light, around the chandelier and then down, down, down—


At first he almost yelled out a warning, “Mom!  Wake up!  MOM!”  But something made him stop.

Instead of yelling he ducked back behind the couch and watched, eyes peering over the top.

Watched as the light-tornado wheeled around his mother, so fast, so bright, that he could hardly even SEE her.  But he COULD see her.  Most of her, anyway.

And what he SAW...

The light poured in through the top of her head, through her eyes, through her chest, through her toes.  It lifted her up—still sleeping!—and carried her out of her chair and across the room.  And as she floated—

—she started to change:

Her hair became white, her nose became red, her belly ballooned like the most pregnant woman in the history of the world.  Her feet grew boots, her head grew a hat, her nightgown grew fur.  An overstuffed sack sprouted, like a lumpy angel’s wing, from her shoulder.  And then—

AndthenandthenandTHEN, it wasn’t his mother there at all, it was him, it was SANTA CLAUS!  STANDING RIGHT THERE IN CODY’S LIVING ROOM!  Santa Claus who, with a laugh (exactly like the laugh Cody always knew he had, only better) and a twinkle in his eyes (exactly like the twinkle he’d always imagined, ONLY BETTER) reached into his sack and pulled out package after package, present after present, and placed them, carefully, like some  Great Artist contemplating his masterpiece, under the tree.

When he was done, Santa Claus stood there, grinning and shaking his head, as if he couldn’t BELIEVE what a beautiful tree this was, how wonderful the presents looked beneath it.  As if this moment was the greatest moment in the history of Christmas, as if this apartment was the only place in all the universes that such a Christmas could ever POSSIBLY happen.

And then the MOST amazing thing happened:

Santa Claus turned.

He turned slowly.  So slowly Cody couldn’t even tell at first that he was moving at all.  And—slowly, SLOWLY—those twinkling eyes, that Smile of smiles, fixed itself on the two boy-eyes peering, in wonder, over the top of the couch.

And what Cody felt then he could never really say:  only that it was better than any present anyone could ever get.  Only that it made his heart so warm it melted like magical WHATEVER IT WAS, trickling down through his whole body.  Only that it made him want to reach out his arms and hug Santa Claus, hug his mother, hug his father (and FORGIVE him too, for running out on them) and his aunts and uncles and cousins (even his Cousin Erskine who was SUCH a pain) and Big Mouth Jenny Rizzo (who really wasn’t so bad most of the time) and all his  friends and teachers and the kid in his karate class who always smelled SO BAD and, embarrassing as it sounds, it made him want to hug everyone and everything in the whole world including rabbits and snakes and trees and lizards and grass and lions and mountains and, yes, the EARTH HERSELF.

Cody wanted to hold that gaze, to keep his eyes locked on Santa’s, forever. (Or longer, if he could.)  Wanted to swim in that incredible feeling, drown in it, till GOD HIMSELF came down to say:  “Enough!”

Except that he blinked.  Just once.  But in that wink of an eye, Santa was gone.  Cody’s mother was asleep in the chair again and, for one terrible moment, the boy thought that the whole thing must have been a dream.

Except, under the tree:  THERE WERE THE PRESENTS.

Except, out the window:  THERE WAS THE SNOW, the rain, the magical WHATEVER IT WAS, shooting up, like a blizzard in reverse, from every house, every apartment building.  Shooting up into the heavens, gathering together like a fireball, like a white-hot comet—

—and fading away into the night:  going, going...


Without so much as a tinkling sleigh-bell or a “Ho-ho-ho.”

Not that it mattered.

Cody looked at his mom.

Cody kissed her.

“I love you,” he said.  And he was crying.  Happy tears.  Christmas tears.  Like moonbeams, like sunlight.  Like stardust.

Mom stirred in the chair, smiled the softest sweetest smile Cody had ever seen. “I love you, too,” she said.

And then she drifted back to sleep.

Cody sat at her feet, warming himself, warming his SOUL, by the lights of the tree.

And soon, he, too, was drifting off to sleep.  And as he drifted, a wonderful thought rose up, like a balloon, inside him.  Rose, then POPPED—spreading the thought to every corner of his mind.  Giving him great comfort.  Great delight:

“One day,” the thought whispered, “when you’re all grown-up, when you have children of your own.  ONE DAY,” the thought went on...

“It will be YOUR TURN.”

Merry Christmas.

Story ©copyright 2019 J.M. DeMatteis
Art ©copyright 2019 Vassilis Gogtzilas

Wednesday, December 18, 2019


Long-time readers of this blog know that a) I love Christmas and b) there's no Christmas story—in some ways, there's no story for any time of the year—that I love more than Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol" and c) my favorite filmed version of that tale is the 1951 classic starring the extraordinary Alastair Sim, in one of the screen's great performances, as Scrooge.  So, as we sail our sleds down a snowy hill toward Christmas, I present the movie in full.  May your heart be warmed, your soul uplifted, by a story that only grows more relevant with time.

Tuesday, December 17, 2019


Coming soon to a streaming platform/DVD-Blu-ray player near you:  Superman: Red Son—produced by Bruce Timm and Jim Krieg, directed by Sam Liu, and written by yours truly.  Here's the first trailer.  Enjoy!

Thursday, December 12, 2019


My mother used to tell me tales of cutting school and going to see Sinatra at the Paramount in New York, when Frank was at the height of his crooner phase:  a one-man Beatles, thousands of girls screaming and fainting at the sound of his voice.  Mom passed her love of Sinatra on to me and it's never abated. 

His music is pure heart, pure soul, pure sorrow, pure joy.

Sunday, December 8, 2019

Saturday, November 30, 2019


In honor of Keith Giffen's birthday—he turns 39 today—I urge you to click here and read a post from a few years back, singing the praises of the guy I like to call the Jack Kirby of my generation of comics creators.  Enjoy!

And Happy Birthday Keith!

Wednesday, October 30, 2019


Here's an interview I just did with the Off The Books podcast.  We talk about many things, but the main focus is the Joker—specifically my Legends of the Dark Knight Batman story, "Going Sane."  Enjoy! 

Tuesday, October 29, 2019


Halloween's almost here.  How about a spooky story, courtesy of Orson Welles, Lucille Fletcher and Bernard Herrmann?  Enjoy the radio classic, "The Hitchhiker."

(Twilight Zone fans might recognize this story, because Rod Serling adapted it years after this broadcast, with Inger Stevens in the starring role.)

Wednesday, October 16, 2019


Insight Books has just released Matt Singer's Spider-Man: From Amazing to Spectacular, an oversized art book that takes a detailed tour through Spidey's entire history.  I wrote the introduction and you can read it below.  Enjoy!

I was eight or nine years old when someone—I don’t recall who—showed me an early  issue of Amazing Spider-Man by the now-legendary team of Stan Lee and Steve Ditko.  I was a massive comic book fan—I became addicted to comics as soon as I could read—but my focus was primarily on the pristine, shiny heroes of DC Comics.  One look at Ditko’s art and I knew that this book wasn’t for me:  To my young eyes the style was weird, dark, disturbing—and the alleged hero of the book, with his eerie mask and bizarre, insectoid postures, seemed more like a monster than a man.  In the name of my own mental health, I avoided Spider-Man, and Marvel Comics, for a few more years.

(Contemporary comic book readers can’t possibly understand how different the Marvel books were in the 1960’s.
  DC’s comics—for all their imagination and artistic flair—were squeaky clean:  no rough edges, no raw emotions, nothing messy at all.  If you looked at the early Marvels—spearheaded by Lee, Ditko and the brilliant Jack Kirby—it was all mess:  lurid colors.  Captions screaming for your attention.  Artwork so powerful and primitive it was frightening.  Marvel Comics were dangerous.)

In Junior High School, as Marvel exploded across the newsstands—and as my friends began to rave about this new company that was changing the face of comics—I took my first tentative steps into the Marvel Universe.
  I remember standing in the local Brooklyn candy store where I bought all my comics and seeing the cover of Amazing Spider-Man #39, which featured the Green Goblin dragging a bound Peter Parker through the skies above New York:  not the costumed hero but his alter ego, his Spider-Man costume exposed beneath his torn street clothes.  I’d never seen anything like it.

I resisted picking it up then—perhaps some residual fear from my first encounter with Spidey stayed my hand—but jumped in the following month for the story’s conclusion:
  I was floored.  Stan Lee’s story was so exciting, so nakedly emotional.  And John Romita, Sr’s art—with his dynamic layouts and impeccable storytelling—was irresistible.

Peter Parker entered my life then and, I’m happy to say, he’s never left.

As much as I loved Spider-Man as a reader—those Lee-Romita days
—it was as a writer that I really fell in love with the character.  Peter Parker, as I’ve said many times before, is perhaps the most emotionally and psychologically authentic protagonist in any superhero universe.  Underneath that mask, he’s as confused, as flawed, as touchingly human, as the people who read, and write, about him.  The book may be called Spider-Man, but, mask on or off, it’s all about Peter Parker.  Most of us who have written the character for any length of time completely identify with Peter:  He’s just a regular guy who happens to have these extraordinary powers.  He’s always struggling to do the right thing—and sometimes failing spectacularly.  Take away the wall-crawling and you have a pretty good description of what it is to be human.

In my experience, the vast majority of people are decent and compassionate at heart:
  we want to be kind, to do what’s right, to treat others fairly and be treated fairly in return.  And, like Spider-Man, we do our share of failing, of not living up to our own ideals. What’s wonderful about Peter Parker is that, no matter how discouraged he may be, he always picks himself up and tries again; and every time Peter triumphs, it’s a triumph for the human spirit, because he’s such a wonderful example of that spirit at its best.  Spider-Man both mirrors our human weaknesses and inspires us to reach for our highest ideals—and that makes for a truly timeless character.

If I could travel back to the 1960s and tell the kid standing in that Brooklyn candy store that one day he’d be writing Spider-Man in both comic books and animation, building on the classic stories created by Lee, Ditko and Romita, Sr., I’m pretty sure that twelve year old boy would faint dead away from sheer delight.

It’s a delight I think you’ll share as you read this book and take a journey through the web-head’s amazing history.

©copyright 2019 J.M. DeMatteis

Tuesday, October 15, 2019


In honor of The Twilight Zone's 60th anniversary month (it premiered October 2, 1959), I once again offer up my list—first presented here back in 2011—of ten favorite Zone episodes.  By the time I was done, I’d included sixteen episodes, but let’s all pretend it’s a top ten list.  It sounds better that way.

“Time Enough At Last” which is first on the list, is probably my all-time favorite, perhaps because it’s the first one I remember seeing; but, really, the numbering doesn't matter:  they all hold an equal place in my heart, continuing—even after all these years—to echo on in the deeps of my psyche and soul.

1)  “Time Enough At Last”
Written by Rod Serling.  As noted, the first episode I remember seeing—I think I was five or six—and one that’s never let me go.  Burgess Meredith is brilliant as the bookish Henry Bemis:  a man, abused by the world, who’s never happy unless he’s reading.  The ending is the most tragic, and unfair, in all the Zone; but what touched me as a child, and still does to this day, is Bemis’s love of literature and the strange charms of being the only person left alone in the world.  By becoming a professional writer—someone who spends a good part of his life alone with his own imagination—you could say I became a Henry Bemis myself.

2)  “Nightmare at 20,000 Feet”/”Nick of Time”
Written by Richard Matheson.  Two classic episodes starring the incomparable William Shatner.  In “Nightmare...”, Shatner gives a career-defining performance as a passenger fighting for both his life and his sanity on an airplane.  It’s a tribute to Shatner, Matheson and director Richard Donner that the first time I ever got on a plane, the first thing I did was look out the window to check and see if there was anything...strange out there on the wing.  In “Nick of Time,” Shatner is equally terrific in another Matheson story, this one delicately, and brilliantly, walking a fine line between the supernatural and the psychological.  And who could forget that bobbing devil-head?

3)  “Walking Distance”
Written by Rod Serling.  “Walking Distance” owes something to the work of Ray Bradbury—filled as it is with a longing for a simpler age of childhood innocence and merry-go-rounds—but the bittersweet soul of the story is pure Serling.  Gig Young gives a heartfelt—and heartbreaking—performance as a desperate man seeking solace in his own fragile past.  As perfect a TZ as was ever filmed, this is Serling at the very top of his game, using the show’s format to explore the human condition with a power and eloquence rarely seen on television, then or now.

4)  “A Stop At Willoughby”
Written by Rod Serling.  A companion piece to “Walking Distance,” this wonderful episode features James Daley—who went on to appear in one of my favorite Star Trek episodes, “Requiem for Methuselah”—giving a superb performance as a businessman longing for escape from the pressures of his life.  He finds it in a place called Willoughby—which may very well be Heaven itself.  Despite hints of misogyny—there are one too many harpy wives in Serling’s work—this is a deeply moving, and deeply magical story, that manages to transform tragic death into eternal triumph.  Many a time I’ve been on an Amtrak train wondering if the conductor would shout out, “Willoughby!  This stop is Willoughby!”  If he did, would I get off?  Would you?

5)  “A World of Difference”
Written by Richard Matheson.  Another Matheson gem, one of the very best of the Zones that question both personal identity and the nature of reality.  
Howard Duff is perfectly cast as a man trying desperately to escape an existence he believes is a lie and return to a life that everyone else claims is a madman’s delusion.   The moment when Duff is sitting in his office at work and an offscreen voice yells, "Cut!"—revealing the world we've been watching to be a movie set—is one of the most thrilling and disturbing in the series.   

6)  “The After Hours”
Written by Rod Serling.  Another challenge to personal identity, perhaps to our humanity itself.  “The After Hours” terrified and fascinated me as a kid.  It also had me wondering, every time I passed a department store mannequin, if there was more to them, and to the universe, than met the eye.  That, to me, was the greatest gift of The Twilight Zone:  it exploded safe assumptions and challenged you to look, really look, and discover the miracles hidden just beneath the skin of the world.

7)  “The Purple Testament”/”A Quality of Mercy”
Written by Rod Serling.  This pair of superb episodes, both inspired by Serling’s experiences fighting in the Pacific during World War II, always seemed of a piece to me.  Both are resonant with sorrow, outrage and compassion—and could only have been created by a man who’d witnessed the horrors of war first hand.  “Mercy’s” ability to shift perspective, to let us see war from the enemy’s POV, was a real eye opener to me as a kid.  It broke apart the simplistic good guy/bad guy paradigm that mass media, and our political culture, had been feeding my young, impressionable mind and helped me to understand that all of us—so-called heroes and so-called villains alike—are united by our humanity.

8)  “King Nine Will Not Return”
Written by Rod Serling.  Only Twilight Zone could give you thirty minutes of Robert Cummings staggering around in the desert alone, speaking primarily through interior monologue, and make it a classic.  Cummings, who learned his craft in movies but became a household name as the star of amiable, unchallenging sitcoms, proved that his dramatic chops were still intact with this wonderful portrayal of a man caught between past and future, guilt and madness.  The sand in the shoe at the end was the icing on the cake.

9)  “The Eye of the Beholder”
Written by Rod Serling.  Okay, go to the mirror, pull down your bottom eyelids, push up your nose and scare the hell out of yourself the same way those doctors and nurses scared the hell of you the first time you saw this episode.  A perfect mix of the aural and the visual, “The Eye of the Beholder” is skillfully directed by Douglas Heyes and beautifully acted by Maxine Stewart, who, hidden as she is beneath bandages, gives what is essentially the greatest radio performance in the history of television.  (When the bandages come off at the end, it’s a little disconcerting to find Elly May Clampett underneath.)  Serling loved to rail against conformity and totalitarianism (among other things)—and sometimes the railing overwhelmed the writing.  Here everything is in perfect balance.  Yes, there’s a point to be made, but it’s the humanity of the story that stays with you. 

10) “The Odyssey of Flight 33”
Written by Rod Serling.  A simple, brilliant premise:  a passenger jet lost in time.  What’s amazing about the show is that—despite a few briefly-seen effects shots, some equally brief stock footage and a handful of passenger reactions—the bulk of the story takes place in the cockpit of the plane.  It’s all talk.  And yet Serling manages to make us believe that we’re trapped on that plane along with the crew and passengers, adrift in the timestream—and that we may never return.  That’s called great writing, folks.

11) “Night of the Meek”
Written by Rod Serling.  The great Art Carney as a down-on-his-luck boozer who, on a snowy December night, finds himself transformed into Santa Claus.  Be forewarned:  this is no Tim Allen Disney comedy.  It’s a genuinely moving tale of redemption:  Serling at his sweetest, but not losing his edge, either.  A show that demands re-watching every 25th of December.

12)  “It’s a Good Life”

Written by Rod Serling.  Billy Mumy wishing people into the cornfield.  What more needs to be said?  Just this:  the moment when Mumy’s six year old terror Anthony Fremont turns Don Keefer’s character, Dan Hollis, into a human jack-in-the-box is one of the most chilling moments ever broadcast on television.  And what makes it work is how little we actually see.  Most of what we get is shadow and suggestion, letting our imaginations fill in the horrifying details. 

13) “To Serve Man”
Written by Rod Serling.  Three little words:  “It’s a cookbook!”  Yes, it’s all a little goofy, and there are some obvious plot holes, but, c’mon, “It’s a cookbook!”

14) “Death Ship”
Written by Richard Matheson.  The best of the hour long episodes, “Death Ship” is another Matheson gem that—as Marc Scott Zicree points out in his wonderful book, The Twilight Zone Companion (still the best TZ book out there, if you ask me)—skillfully straddles the line between science fiction and horror.  The performances by Ross Martin, Fred Beir and Zone repeat offender Jack Klugman are uniformly excellent.  This one sends a chill down your spine and pierces your heart at the same time:  an uncommon feat.  But, then, Matheson is an uncommon writer.

There are so many other episodes I could write about—”A World of His Own, “ “Nothing in the Dark,” “The Midnight Sun, “ “The Trade Ins” and “Number Twelve Looks Just Like You” spring immediately to mind—but I’ve got to stop somewhere.  And, since the entire series is available on DVD, Blu-Ray and a number of streaming platforms, you should have no trouble tracking any of them down and losing yourself in the wonders and terrors of The Twilight Zone.

All that said, I’m compelled to mention one more extraordinary episode that was part of the 1980’s reboot of the series.  (I sold my first television script to the 80’s Zone and I really should blog about that memorable experience one of these days.)  The episode, “Her Pilgrim Soul,” written by the brilliant Alan Brennert, isn’t just one of the finest episodes of any incarnation of the Zone—right up there with the best of Serling, Matheson and Charles Beaumont—it’s one of the finest pieces I’ve ever seen on television.  In fact, it’s so good, you’ve got to click on this link and watch it right now.

©copyright 2019 J.M. DeMatteis

Monday, October 7, 2019


Warner Brothers just announced a project I've been working on since last year:  Deathstroke: Knights and Dragons features the DC Comics mercenary created by Marv Wolfman and George Perez and will, like Constantine: City of Demons before it, premiere as a twelve episode series on CW Seed in the first quarter of 2020.  (There will eventually be a DVD/Blu-ray feature-length release with fifteen or twenty minutes of extra story.)

The series stars The Shield's Michael Chiklis (who also made a memorable Ben Grimm in the Fantastic Four movies) as Deathstroke and is directed by Sung Jin Ahn.  You can watch the teaser trailer below:

Wednesday, October 2, 2019


I just returned from the MCM Comic Con in Glasgow, Scotland where I was one of four U.S. guests (the others were Ron Marz, Bart Sears and Rick Leonardi).  We all had a great time and I can't say enough nice things about the warm and open-hearted Glaswegians we met.  My wife and I also had a chance to tour the gorgeous Scottish countryside and get a sense of the heart and history of a wonderful country.

Rick and I did a panel together, discussing the creative process from both the writer's and artist's POV.  You can hear the audio of our talk below.  Enjoy!

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 edition...is 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 exploration...an 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 imaginationworkshops@gmail.com 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...

Wednesday, August 28, 2019


As I've said before, if it wasn't for Jack Kirby—who was born on August 28, 1917—there might not even be a comic book business today.  Kirby's groundbreaking work with Joe Simon, Stan Lee and on his own continually defined, and redefined, what the medium could be.

Those of us working in this business today stand on the shoulders of giants—and Jack was the tallest of them all. 

Happy Birthday to the King!

Thursday, August 22, 2019


Today would have been Ray Bradbury's 99th birthday.  (Read this post if you don't already know how exalted a place Ray B holds in my literary pantheon.)  To celebrate, here's one of my absolute favorite audio adaptations of a Bradbury story:  "Kaleidoscope"—from the brilliant public radio series Bradbury 13.

Happy birthday, Ray!  Your art continues to inspire and the strong beat of your open heart echoes on.

Wednesday, August 14, 2019


Here are a couple of video clips from the recent GalaxyCon I attended in Raleigh.  In the first I talk about working with editors...

...and in the second I discuss writing for animation.

There are many more videos available on my YouTube channel, so click on over and subscribe!

Monday, August 5, 2019


I talk to the Geek Vibe Nations podcast about...lots of things.  Embedded below.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, July 10, 2019


"Things that are real are given and received in silence."—Avatar Meher Baba


A gentle reminder that the collected edition of The Girl in the Bay will be on sale in August.  Here's an interview—from October's New York ComicCon—where my talented collaborator, Corin Howell, and I talk about our twisty tale of time travel, doppelgängers and murder.

Tuesday, June 11, 2019


Moonshadow: The Definitive Edition
hits comic book shops tomorrow, courtesy of Dark Horse and our devoted editor, Philip Simon.  The book is a beautiful hardcover, with lots of extras that showcase the development of the series.  I also wrote a new introduction for the collection and you can read it below.  Enjoy!


In my early years in comics I blundered along, trying desperately to find my own voice as a writer and ending up sounding like a damaged clone, created from the mixed DNA of Stan Lee, Steve Gerber, Len Wein, Roy Thomas and half-a-dozen other comic book writers I admired.  It’s not that my work was bad—I poured heart and soul into those stories and I’m gratified that my runs on Defenders and Captain America are still held in high regard—it’s just that I hadn’t found the way to fully express myself in the form.  Looking back, I think I was trapped by the super-hero genre itself; unconsciously—and sometimes consciously—parroting stories and styles I’d been absorbing all my life.

changed that—and changed the course of my creative life in the process.

Someone (and for the life of me, I can’t remember who!) once said that whatever story you’re working on should be written as if it’s the only one you’ll ever tell:  pouring all your thoughts, feelings, ideas, ideals, passions, philosophies, hopes and dreams—every iota of Who You Are—into it.  That’s what I did with Moonshadow.  It allowed me to step outside the Marvel-DC mindset and discover my own voice. Over the course of those twelve issues I stopped being a “comic book writer” and became a writer.

Of course it didn’t hurt that I was working with Jon J Muth, as brilliant an artist as the medium has ever seen.  The magic of our collaboration became evident to me at our first face-to-face meeting.  A mutual friend had given Jon a copy of my original Moonshadow proposal and the two of us met to discuss the project.  He arrived at my house with some preliminary sketches based on what he’d read and, as I looked them over, profoundly impressed, I observed: “These are very Dickensian.” “Well,” Jon responded, as if it was the most obvious thing in the world, “that’s what you wrote.”  And, of course, it was—but the truth is that, despite the many Dickens-like touches in my outline, I never consciously realized the influence until Jon pointed it out!  (Moon evolved into a series that allowed me to pay tribute to just about all of my literary heroes—from Dickens to Vonnegut, J.D. Salinger to William Blake, Dostoyevsky to Bradbury to L. Frank Baum.  They were all standing over my shoulder as I wrote, encouraging me to find my own unique way of telling a story.) 

Muth and I worked very closely:  I have warm memories of going out to breakfast at a local diner, discussing the outline I’d just written; Jon doing layouts as we spoke, sometimes on napkins!  We worked in a variety of ways over the next two years—Moonshadow was an untraditional story that required an untraditional approach—but always with a mutual respect, and mutual enthusiasm, that I think suffused the project.  Jon’s painted pages—which ranged from brooding romanticism to delightful whimsy and back again—always challenged me, dared me to reach beyond my comfort zone and be better than I’d ever been.  I hope my scripts did the same for him. 

Some necessary acknowledgements:  Jon and I had three wonderful editors watching our backs on the original Epic Comics series—Laurie Sutton, Margaret Clark and the late, great Archie Goodwin—all of whom allowed us to tell our story in exactly the way we wanted, providing tremendous support and encouragement throughout our entire run. (And let’s not forget Marvel Comics’ then editor-in-chief, Jim Shooter, who gave my oddball pitch his approval, then sent me over to Archie G.) We also have to tip our hats to our extraordinary letterer, Kevin Nowlan, and two equally-extraordinary artists, Kent Williams and George Pratt, who pitched in to help Jon on the original series when deadlines got tight.

When, a decade later, we jumped ship to my old friend Karen Berger’s DC imprint, Vertigo, we worked with incomparable editor Shelly Bond on our sequel story, Farewell, Moonshadow:  a challenging blend of comics and prose—we didn’t want to go back to the same well and tell our story in the same way—that featured some of the most breathtaking art of Jon’s career.
The first issue of Moonshadow came out in January of 1985, which means that Moon, “Sunflower,” Ira, Frodo, the G’l-Doses, the Unkshuss family and all the rest are nearly thirty-five years old now.  I thank them, the amazing Mr. Muth and all the readers who took that magical journey with us. Moonshadow transformed me as a writer, changing the course of my career, opening new doors of opportunity, and I am forever grateful.
Pop!  Poof!  Ping!

©copyright 2019 J.M. DeMatteis

Wednesday, June 5, 2019


The collected edition of Impossible Incorporated is on sale today.  A friend described this as "Fantastic Four meets Doctor Who meets Doc Savage"—and I'll take that as a huge compliment.  I hope you'll join seventeen year old girl genius Number Horowitz and her team as they journey through time, space, dimensions—and the depths of the human heart. 

Here's hoping the great Mike Cavallaro and I get to tell many more tales of Number and Company in the future.


This past weekend was the Richmond, Virginia GalaxyCon and I had a very nice time meeting the fans and hanging out with fellow pros like Jim Salicrup, Mark Bagley and, of course, The Great Giffen (among many others).  Some photos and video below.  (You can find more videos over at my Youtube Channel.)

In the photos below:  The "Writing For Comics" panel with Gary Cohn and Jim Salicrup, the "Spiderverse" panel with Robbi Rodriguez, Mark Bagley and Salicrup, and the Giffen-DeMatteis panel with...whatsisname.

Next stop:  HeroesCon!