Last month my Avengers Little Golden Book The Threat of Thanos (illustrated by Shane Clester) appeared in a Barnes & Noble ad in celebration of the film Avengers: Endgame! (Click on the thumbnail to see the whole ad)
Star Wars Adventures: Recently I wrote a Tales from Wild Space comic book story called “Majordomo, Major Problems,” which was illustrated by Drew Moss. “Majordomo” is an 8-page backup tale in Star Wars Adventures #23, which comes out on June 26th, 2019 from IDW Publishing.
Now that that’s out of the way, I believe you’re owed a humiliating anecdote about my writing career. And you shall have it:
As a writer, often I really try to get into the heads of my characters. For example, when I was a staff writer on the television series TruTV Presents: World’s Dumbest, I found that in order to write jokes for Gilbert Gottfried (who was one of the cast members), you had to yell the jokes out loud AS Gilbert Gottfried. In other words, you had to do an impression of Gilbert Gottfried, to figure out how he would say a particular joke.
And that’s something I’ve done quite a few times in my career. When I was writing the scripts for the House M.D. video game, I did an impression of Hugh Laurie, in his “Gregory House” voice. As “Hugh Laurie,” I acted out each scene, talking into a digital recorder. Then I played it back in order to see if it sounded like something the character would actually say.
When I used to write Bart Simpson comic book stories for Bongo Comics, whenever Krusty the Clown was in a story, I found that it was really helpful to brainstorm one-liners for Krusty by doing a terrible Krusty impression and ad-lib some jokes while talking into the digital recorder. More recently, when I wrote my LEGO Star Warsbooks for Scholastic, I liked to put a few Emperor Palpatine jokes in each book. And sometimes the jokes were written IN Palpatine’s voice, especially if Palpatine was narrating a section of the book. That meant doing a really terrible, over-the-top Ian McDiarmid impression, and it really helped make the Palpatine jokes and Palpatine narration even funnier.
But what I’m really getting at is that – as I type this – there’s a digital recorder right next to my laptop. On that digital recorder’s files there’s hours and hours of audio of me doing the absolute WORST Hugh Laurie, Krusty the Clown, and Ian McDiarmid impressions. And when I was writing the House scripts, I was also doing impressions of the OTHER House cast members. So there’s audio of me doing awful Omar Epps impressions, awful Lisa Edelstein impressions, awful Robert Sean Leonard impressions. Oh, you have no idea. And you WILL CONTINUE TO have no idea. Because nobody will ever hear those audio files. I guess this isn’t really a humiliating anecdote as much as it’s a POTENTIALLY humiliating anecdote.
But if you ever need something to blackmail me with, just steal the digital recorder, okay?
Happy holidays! I wanted to share a few new developments with you:
* Recently, I wrote a Superman short story for the DC HOLIDAY SPECIAL 2009, which is in stores now; The story is called “Man of Snow,” and it’s penciled by the incredible Nick Runge and inked by the amazing Gabe Eltaeb. Here’s a look at the HOLIDAY SPECIAL cover art, by Dustin Nguyen. Via that link (if you click on “Download Preview”), you can also see the Batman story “Silent Knight,” by Jay Faerber (writer) and Peter Nguyen (artist), followed by the first page of “Man of Snow.” Here’s the link: http://www.dccomics.com/dcu/comics/?cm=13615
* I’m also the script consultant for the Devils Due/Fantasy Prone comic book series UNITED FREE WORLDS, written & created by the supercool Blake Leibel. The first issue I worked on, #6, is out now. Here’s a link to some of the pulse-pounding art pages, drawn by Patrick Blaine: http://www.fantasyprone.com/comic6.html
* And last but not least, I wrote a story for Archie Comics called “MoCCA Madness,” which will appear in ARCHIE DIGEST #260, on sale this Wednesday, December 30th. The story was illustrated by the fantastic Fernando Ruiz, and it ties in to “The Art of Archie Comics” exhibit at MoCCA (the Museum of Comic & Cartoon Art) that I co-curated here in NYC. A few pages from the “MoCCA Madness” story are in the exhibit itself. Here’s a recent NEW YORK TIMES article about “The Art of Archie Comics”: http://archie-blogs.archiecomics.com/archie_news/2009/11/the-art-of-archie-comics.html