The M Word Part 2

Okay, I likely got out a bit ahead of my skis. I was aware of Milestone’s SDCC announcement but did not know what details had been announced (although my name did come up in a very flattering way 🙂 There are exciting things to come out of their shop, and I’m happy to report we’re putting the band back together and that I will be in the mix somewhere, but at this point can only offer this lame non-announcement as to what exactly I’ll be doing 🙂 I’ll be working with Milestone Media on several projects. Some of them are comics, some of them are not, hence the term “Media” in their name; they work in a lot of platforms. I’ll keep you posted as things shape up and get scheduled.


  1. TJ Anderson says:

    I’m actually really excited to hear that you are going to be writing more comics. I was introduced to your writing through “Fanged” in the Deadpool wedding issue. The wolf calling Melville’s work derivative is one of my all time favorite Deadpool panels, and that’s saying a lot. I have read your post “The New Mambo” several times since then and have shared it with a lot of people when similar conversations come up. I have also really enjoyed a lot of your posts on race, I could go on about that but perhaps it’s better saved for the comments sections of those posts. I’m looking forward to what’s to come. P.S. if you ever decide to join twitter (I know there are plenty of reasons for not joining) be sure to let us know.

    • Priest Priest says:

      LOL! You’re likely the only reader who even “got” that. 🙂 I actually don’t consider either the Deadpool short or the Quantum & Woody mini as some of my best work. The DP story was, of course, severely limited by space, and the colorist (who did an otherwise terrific job) drenched the flashback sequences in red–which I asked him not to do both in the script and via an email to the editor. As a result, DP’s wife was colored bright red, so it’s easy to miss that she was African American. Additionally, the best ‘Pool line was cut because white liberals (gentlemen all, and this isn’t a knock against them) considered the line racist. “Let me ask you,” I said, “while you were ‘going around the room,’ inviting opinions… were there any *actual black people* in that room?” Answer: no. So, I’m a black guy, most everyone who’d likely buy that comic knows that. Not that it should matter– the line wasn’t racist, and it was hilarious. But you cut it because you think black people might be offended, and you’re overruling me–an actual black people–because you know better than my 36 years doing that job or my 54 years of being an actual black people. ‘Pool insults EVERYBODY, but he suddenly pulls his punches where it comes to ethnicity? And it kind of peeves me when (no offense to anyone here) whites insist they know better than us and make these choices for our own good. Those kinds of choices are condescending and insulting. I’m telling you, the line was not racist, and it violated ‘Pool’s character to have him NOT crack wise.

      Joel McHale said worse about Victor Espinoza (at beginning) and Bill Cosby (at end) in his opening monologue of the 2015 ESPY Awards.

      Meanwhile, the Q&W story was badly damaged by several factors, including my artist ignoring important script and character details, and the (apparent) failure to send the colorist a script (he colored the day scenes as night and the night scenes as day). So, I’m perfectly willing to again wave “so long” to comics; it’s incredibly frustrating to work as hard as you can on something and then have system failures along the production line go unaddressed and uncorrected. It just raises my blood pressure and leads to fits of bitching. As of this writing, I have no immediate plans to write comics for Milestone, though that’s a distinct possibility. I’ll leave it to them and their timing to announce details of our new working relationship.

  2. Thad says:

    I missed most of the original run — caught bits and pieces of it later; I’ve got a copy of Hardware #1 around here somewhere and got acquainted with Static, Icon, and Rocket through their animated appearances.

    Looking forward to the new stuff — comics, Web series, whatever comes — and hoping to see some of the old stuff back in print too.

  3. afowlerart says:

    Definitely looking forward to this. Hopefully there’ll be an initiative for new talent to coincide with the relaunch, but I guess that’s just my wishful thinking. I’ve built a small amount of rapport with a group editor at DC; I’ll try to ask him about it when he has the time.

  4. In any case, wishing you all the best with this! I was very happy to see that particular announcement.

  5. ireactions says:

    I’d be interested to hear more about the behind-the-scenes issues with Q2: THE RETURN OF QUANTUM AND WOODY. There *were* issues with the art — which really surprised me, because I thought you (Priest) and MD Bright were the sort of people in constant communication over the phone when working on comics.

    The elements that mostly confused me: Eric and the antagonist were drawn to look too similar. Woody and Quantum2.0 were also drawn to look too similar. This was *very* disorienting and I would frequently lose track of who was who.

    You remarked years ago that your attitude to comics was to submit a script and let it go through the process. A poster asked if you would ever engage in what some writers do: getting the art and doing dialogue placement / rewrites in order to explain anything that isn’t conveyed clearly or remove exposition that the art has rendered unnecessary.

    I was under the impression that you and MD Bright were so close that this step wasn’t necessary when the two of you were working together. I’m also shocked that the issues you’ve had with first-time artists and rushed fill-in artists occurred with Mark when Mark has proven to be such a brilliant creator and fellow collaborator in the past.

    • Priest Priest says:

      There will be a “Director’s Commentary” by Doc in the hardcover collected edition, shipping toward the end of this month. I’ve also provided a behind-the-scenes text piece, and I plan a more extensive post for this site but that’ll likely be in September. Usually Doc and I are very tight on the process. Bright is an excellent storyteller and a brilliant artist. He also usually hates every idea I come up with and, try as I might, I can never seem to please him 🙂

      On this job, Doc took a more independent route, and there were some apparent lost communication between writer-artist-colorist; Woody II’s hair is brown, not blond. If you look closely at the inking, you’ll see lots of black in Woody II’s hair. That’s because it’s supposed to be dark brown so 14-year old Woody II wouldn’t be confused with 13-year old Classic Woody in the flashbacks. I let a neighbor’s kid read it and he was completely lost.

      Most of the daylight scenes were colored as night, most of the night scenes were colored as day, Woody II should be wearing a red dress, but is wearing a blue dress and then it’s red… little continuity things like that.

      Jonathan “Q2’s” costume is supposed to change from issue #1 where he is wearing a facsimile of Quantum’s costume; the uniform is shredded over the course of the story arc and he ends up wearing a red body suit with an emblem Woody II made for him–a stylized “Q2”–on his chest. But the costume stays blue and the emblem is immediately forgotten.

      Yes, Eric and Koroglu look way too much alike. Eric is supposed to be in his mid-fifties and thus have grey hair and perhaps a receding hairline. Classic Woody was supposed to literally be Mark Waid; in fact he was using the alias “Mark Waid” to travel w/out the press noticing, but Valiant was concerned the actual Mark Waid might be offended–despite my assurances (mind you, at the old Acclaim, we actually literally made Marvel Editor Ruben Diaz an ongoing character in the series–with both Ruben and Marvel’s blessing). At no point does Classic Woody appear to be anywhere near fifty years old.

      A lot of this is simple missed communication, some of it is quality control. Everybody’s really busy. Our editor is putting out, like, 10,000 books practically by himself, so I understand things get missed, and Doc is a bigshot Hollywood storyboard artist with deadline crunches of his own. I’m certainly not interested in pointing fingers, as I’d need to point at least three at myself. But lots of little things here and there made the story more confusing than it should have been. I did not include captions explaining things because I relied on the visual storytelling to be more obvious than it ended up being–so my bad as well.

      Still and all, I think it’s a fun read that will get funner when you can read it all at once, as it was intended to be read (the decision to chop it into parts came after the fact, adding to the possible confusion). Doc’s art is still gorgeous and the coloring is great–seriously, nice work–just I’m sure the colorist didn’t realize these continuity problems, possibly because he may not have been provided a script.

      I plan to post some of the voluminous outtakes and a completely alternate issue #1. About 30 pages were cut from the story, which ran a lot longer than we had space for. Stay tuned.

  6. ireactions says:

    Oh my goodness. This all sounds crushing and disappointing. I noticed a lot of these issues reading the book, but I stuck with it. I never confused Woody II with the flashback Woody — that was always totally clear to me. I enjoyed the story. But yeah, there were problems. Some minor. Some major.

    I figured Woody was 50 the way Tom Cruise is 50.

    I’m sad to hear there won’t be any corrections or redraws. I’m never pleased with modern DC Comics releasing unfinished/uncorrected art and then finishing it for the trade paperback (INFINITE CRISIS, BATMAN INC). But this sounds like a situation where perhaps Valiant editorial should have pushed back the release to do some recolouring and pencilling corrections.

    A real shame; some mistakes are inevitable, but for the original Quantum and Woody’s last hurrah, characters should look distinguishable and time of day should be handled correctly. Maybe someday, you and Bright can give the material another pass. *sigh*

    • ireactions says:

      I hope you’ll someday release *all* the scripts. And you could link to the Comixology site for your blog readers to buy the issues.

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