Tuesday, November 06, 2007


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.


Homesick at space camp said...

That is really great Keith! I've loved your writing since that JSA 3-parter, so it's great to see more books bearing your name. I'm still waiting for my Robin Annual to arrive in the post, can't wait!


Jamal Igle said...

It was great seing the trade on the stands but the thing that pisses me off is we keep getting further and further away from working together on the follow up at this point.

SallyP said...

It is always a good idea to take the internet with a VERY large grain of salt.

I wanted to get "The Dark Side of the Green", but they didn't have it. I do have the regular issues, but what the heck? I loved it to death, and you did a fantastic job with Guy.

I did like WW III, and frankly was rather taken aback by all the hysteria, so pooh on them.

Looking forward to Arena!

keith champagne said...

Chris Yeowell, back in the house!

Jamal, I hear you loud and clear, amigo. There might be something else coming up for us to do together which, one the one hand is great but on the other, takes us even further in the other direction. I'm beyond frustrated.

Sally, I'll send you a copy of the trade if you want to leave me your address!

Homesick at space camp said...

Heh, close, but Yeoman is back in the Champagne house. :)

Now I get my comics online I'm going to be a bit late to the party, but I'll get there. I still haven't read WW3, so I'll get the trade.

Homesick at space camp said...

Keith, I thought the Robin book was brilliant, especially the first story!

SallyP said...

That is a VERY kind offer, sir, but it's ok. After pouting and actually stamping my daintily shod foot, my faithful Comic Book Store Owner faithfully promised to order it for me. Immediately!