I noticed to my surprise today that I have a couple of things hitting stores tomorrow, trade paperpacks collecting some of my writing work from Green Lantern Corps and World War III.
The two pieces (or is it bodies?) of work being collected got a very different reaction from the Internet comic readers which, surprisingly, was exactly the opposite of my own feelings. Funny how that often happens; I think one thing about my work and the rest of the world thinks another.
Green Lantern Corps (#7-9, collected in the Dark Side Of Green trade) was, from what I could gather, pretty warmly received by readers. At the time, I was very happy with the reception the story got, it did a lot to help the powers that be think of me as an actual writer (as opposed to an inker dabbling in scripts). I grew a lot as a writer, figured out some things about how comics workover and Pat Gleason drew the hell out of them but...they're far from perfect. There are nice bits in there but the pacing is a little weird at points and I ran out of room in the third issue (something that also happened to me on the JSA stuff I wrote).
World War III, on the other hand, got a quite chilly reception among the Internet crowd. I feel that if one were to read it now, separated from the hype surrounding the initial release of the book, they would enjoy it much more taken as what it is: A continuity patch for almost the entire DCU, as told through the eyes of The Martian Manhunter.
WWIII will always be the job that made me feel like I was an actual writer and not just an inker dabbling in scripts. It was demanding, full of constant behind-the-scenes mandates and changes, written under impossible deadlines, and tied together fifteen different plot points while finding ways to relate them to the actual war against Black Adam. The assignment taught me to write on demand as opposed to daydreaming leisurely about story beats and tying them together at my own pace (which is how I wrote the GLC stuff).
I loved working in conjunction with John Ostrander and got my first taste of how sharp Siglain is when it comes to story editing. You're only as good as your editor and between Tomasi, Siglain, and rising editorial star Gearline, I was in the best possible hands with World War III.
It wasn't too very long ago that I was ridiculously frustrated and unable to catch any sort of break as far as getting any writing work in comics. So having two things I've written released in collected form on one day is a nice reminder that, while every inch forward is still a battle, when I wasn't looking my career took a few steps in the direction I've been striving for.
And while I've learned to take the Internet with a grain of salt, I hope we have the same opinion about Arena.