Below are the 25 most recent journal entries.
As you know I'm stepping down as EiC of M2K this week but before I do, I've some things I want to say, specifically about the people I've worked with over the past few years. It's a long list in alphabetical order by first name. Here we go...
Adnan Khan – I’ve not worked with Adnan as much as I did with some of the other members of the M2K team, but he’s been around a very long time and his work has always been of good quality. It’s a shame he didn’t do more for the site, but he gives input from time to time and you never know, one day he’ll be back.
Alex Cook – Alex Cook… what you can you say about Alex? He’s been an asset to the site, long before he started writing Fallen Angels. When we were having problems with leeding he volunteered space on digi-mystic and he gave us an ad-free home that actually works. Well, most of the time, but when it doesn’t Alex is usually on hand to fix it, or phone someone who can. The upcoming Thunderbolts/Fallen Angels crossover will be a fine thing to see, because Alex is a great writer as well. He dots every ‘i’ and crosses every ‘t’ which is why they’re as infrequent as they are, but Alex is a perfectionist.
Brad Horton – Brad has been writing at M2K as long as I can remember. His work on Cable, Captain Marvel, Deadpool, and X-Men Omega/X-Corp has always been of a high level. He’s one of the more sensible members of the creative cast, is always willing to listen to ideas and rarely flies off the handle, which if you know M2K is quite a rarity. He’s a top guy and he’s been great to work with. At one point he was up for being the new EiC, but he didn’t have the time to commit to it as fully as Chris and Mike, though it would have been interesting to see what he did. If only he had a better idea of writing Psylocke…
Brent Lambert – Brent Lambert is one of the sites most hardworking members. He writes at least one or two issues a week, reviews issues and worked for me compiling the dibs, though I’ve been a hindrance to that by posting the wrong list and not telling him what I’m doing with my titles. However he works through that and if there’s one thing Brent has above everyone else it’s ideas. They may not always work, in fact sometimes they don’t make a great deal of sense, but he shrugs, learns from it and tries again. Brent’s a very good writer and one day he’ll be a great writer when he figures out how to make all the ideas work seamlessly, and I can see it happening very soon.
Chris Munn – Chris first came to my attention proper when Mike Exner had a very good go at me over his Thunderbolts series, having heard what Chris had in mind and he was pissed off that his ideas were being abused. I can respect that opinion, but Chris was open and honest and I was able to assure Mike that Chris was doing good work and he’s proven us right ever since, and now he’s working on Avengers West Coast with Russ Anderson, showing us his high quality skills in a whole new field. He’s a smart guy and as you may know, Chris is going to be one of the new EiCs at the site and I know that he has the talent to do so having worked for him at Marvel: Dark Design and M2K’s revolution will continue apace under his sage council.
Chris Oliva – One of the new writers on the block, Chris has proven his talent with Pathetix, which has taken M2K by storm. The cast has been amazing, the storylines bizarre but have been pulled off with great style and that style is being opened up further with a darker series in Hellcat. Now I have to admit I wasn’t sure about Hellcat at first, but Chris assured me of the plots and how it would work with the conclusion to Defenders and given the work on Pathetix, I know he’ll do the series and the continuity of M2K proud.
Cory Wiegel – Obnoxious, arrogant, combative. Those are words I can use to describe Cory. Then there are the other things – talented, creative, dedicated. Cory is a person of great depth and while he has a tendency to shoot his mouth off, it’s because he’s passionate about the things he does. His work on Iceman has been incredible and he has a real feel for the character, which gained him the best writer award at last year’s Tookies, but he has an inconsistency to his work, which can disappoint and I think it is down to his relatively young age. If he were a more regular writer and applied his passions that he uses in debates to the rest of his fanfic writing he could be one of the true greats of the site. I have no doubt it will come in time as he matures from being a teenager in to a responsible young man
David Ingram – I like David. He’s a great person to chat with and though we’ve had our differences in the last week or so, there’s nobody I can think of in a better place to take over Excalibur. His issues of Force Works and New Warriors have been bold and innovative, and his current mini-series In The Name of Science is an intriguing read. The only thing I hate about David’s issues is his writing style when it comes to speech. I’ve mentioned it to him before, but it’s something he must have been taught early on. “Blah blah blah.” He said. instead of “Blah blah blah,” he said and I try and get them all, but David writes very long issues. There are times when I’ve gone through them I’ve muttered to myself that if he wasn’t such a good writer I’d have him killed, but that’s frustration on my part. I tell you, it’s one of the things I won’t miss when it comes to standing down and Chris and Mike will have to pay attention though when it comes to his issues. Good luck fellas!
Derrick Ferguson – The guy thinks I’m a twat, and probably with good reason. His run on Hulk was a great run and it came to an abrupt end and it was a major disagreement between us, as he wanted the issues removing and I refused to and changed M2K editorial policy in doing so, saying that the removal of issues was at the discretion of the EiC. It wasn’t a popular idea, but it was something I felt needed to be done, and there were a few people who supported it. However Derrick was not happy with me and never really has been since. It is a shame because I found his work to be excellent and I am glad we had him participate in M2K. No matter our differences, I respect the work he does on other sites and his periodic reviews across the board have always been fair. I hope that now I’ve stood down that Chris and Mike can convince him to return as it would be good to see his name at M2K once more.
Dino Pollard – The founder of M2K, one of the most prolific authors on site, having more issues to his name than anyone else. I think he’s written more titles on site than anyone else as well, though I think I’m a close second. Dino has been EiC twice, sharing the post his second time with me, before stepping down, but he has left a legacy to live up to in every sense. The man created M2K, and everything that has been done so far has been down to him and he has been a pleasure to know and work with. Of late he’s not had as much respect as he should have done, and he’s also had a crisis of confidence in his writing, but I have no doubt he will be back to the site one day and I think most people are waiting for him to come back in one guise or another. A top bloke.
Douglas Ketcham – Douglas was a good man, who wasn’t the best of the writers for the site, but he had a very good go at it. His Namor stuff was what fanfic is about, a person writing something he wants to write and be damned what everyone else thinks of him and his writing. He wasn’t always well received but he enjoyed himself, there were some very good moments in his work and he brought Godzilla to M2K. It’s a shame he stopped writing for us a little while ago, because I liked what he was trying to do. Hopefully he’ll be back one day when he has more time because it doesn’t matter if you’re the best, the most talented or anything like that. If you’re having fun, doing what you want to do then that’s the most important thing. Douglas reminded me how much fun you could have.
Frank Bigoski – Frank was a nice bloke. I liked Frank. His ideas didn’t quite work the way they could have done, but he had a commitment to the site. His problem was/is the fact he keeps disappearing! It is very annoying as an EiC that he goes away for months on end and you don’t know why. He did it before with Iron Man, and he’s done it again with Ghost Rider and Solider X. If he could stick around and finish things off, he’d be a bit better thought of. Doing it to us twice is a little unfair and though it may not be his fault, it’s hard to know what to do. It’s a shame he’s done that, because it makes it harder for people to give another chance. Chris and Mike will make a call on that and if Frank gets another chance, hopefully he’ll be about a bit longer.
Gregg Esptein – The unsung hero of M2K for me. Gregg has been there writing the majority of the Heroes branch as long as I can remember. Alpha Flight, Iron Man, Captain America, Fantastic Four – the only thing he hasn’t written is Avengers, but he writes the solo series of two of them. Gregg keeps the Heroes branch going and while the two Avengers series gets more attention, and now the new Champions series, Gregg keeps on going, doing what he does. He doesn’t complain, he doesn’t say a great deal really, he just gets on with it. I think he knows he’s not a ‘name’ like some of the other writers, but to me he is with a consistent silver age style with no pretension, no ego, just a love of the characters. As long as Gregg is about, M2K will always be more than just a site based on the X-Titles.
Jason Bruss – Jason’s another name that’s only come to the site in the last few months, but in the process he’s made one hell of an impact with Fantastic Four. His ideas are revolutionary, and considering that he’s following some very good writers that’s a credit to him. I know he has some very big plans in the upcoming year and he is going to raise the roof of the Heroes line. He’s a talented writer and he’s only going to get better as he progresses. If he’s not Writer of the Year at the 2004 Tookies (maybe even this year’s, but I’m not so sure) I’d be surprised.
Jason Eberly – The other Jason of M2K, who’s had a good year as well as a bad one. He’s been ill a lot this year and it’s impeded his writing, which is a shame as his work on Black Widow has been great and now he’s working on Daredevil, which is well cool. Sadly because he’s been ill he’s not got much released this year which is a shame, because I think he’d have been a contender for Writer of the Year this year if he’d got a bit more out. I’d like to say he’d be a contender for next year, but the competition is going to be very intense but I know it will inspire Jason to raise his game and I hope he’ll be about for a long time to come.
Jay Corafa – Jay Corafa was the guy that introduced me to M2K and I will grateful to him for doing that. The group was looking for a Wolverine writer and he asked me and the rest is pretty much history. Jay is responsible for the shape of the X-Universe at the site, and though Dino’s done a lot, the groundwork was set by Jay and Brent, Dino, Cory, Brad, me and everyone else owes Jay a great debt. I would love to see him come back to M2K, after he left the site due to the 9/11 tragedy. He’s been seen here and there on the message board and maybe one day he’ll write for the site once again. Now that would be a great day.
Jeff Melton – Who is Jeff Melton, I hear you ask? He’s the writer for Thor, though you might not realise it. Jeff doesn’t get a great many issues out for us, which is a shame but he checks in every so often to make sure we knows he’s alive. He’s a gent and I have to mention him because he is. I’m glad I’ve worked with him and I hope to see a few more issue from him.
Logan Polk – The Daredevil writer, who did so much for DD at M2K, as well as sundry issues here and there. He’s got a passion for writing fanfic and he did so much for Daredevil it’d be great to see him do something else now. Ideally Cloak and Dagger, because he showed an understanding of the characters in Max 2000 but anything would be great to see. With the way he works with plot twists, he’d shake up any series and that would be great to see on one of the major titles.
Logan Trent Kuraishi – LTK hasn’t written a great deal for the site, but he has had an impact on things. He was originally slated to write X-Men Prime and it was all set up for him to go, but real life got in the way and he had to step down. There is a lot in Prime that was inspired by his works, but had to be different because the ideas he wanted to use, he’s using elsewhere. This in turn has inspired both myself and Dino to work with a basic concept and twist it so that his work isn’t copied. He’s provided me with some great advice on the series, asked for things, which I’ve done what I can to accommodate and he’s made me work for it, something that very few people at the site have actually done, so my hat is off to him for that. I hope I did him proud and it will be interesting to see what happens in Prime after I’ve gone. Wouldn’t it be cool if he came back to write it?
Michael Gordon – Here’s a man who has my respect for what he did with Ultimate X-Men. He took a very difficult plot from Dino and made it his own, which was impressive in itself but even more so when you see the quality of the issues he put out. He did a great deal of work for the series, keeping the Ultimate line going after Dino left. It is a shame he left the series, but kudos to him. He knew when it was time for him to go and instead of staying and forcing himself to write, he gave notice and stood down. He went up in my estimation for doing that and I hope to see his name on something else in the future.
Mike Exner III – Mike Exner. Here’s a man who altered the concept of superheroics at M2K. His work on Spider-Man is something of legend at M2K, as his stuff on Thunderbolts. He’s also worked on Avengers for a little while and now he’s working his magic on Champions. He is one of, if not the, best writers at the site. At very least I would put him in the top three. I know we had a disagreement over T-Bolts when Chris Munn took over, but it was sorted out to his satisfaction with no grievances on any side and I am very, very pleased that he came back to M2K. It feels right he’s working on the site again, there’s something comforting about it and I hope he sticks around for a long while to come.
Mike Shirley – The next EiC of M2K has been my deputy for a while now. He’s been a source of support and advice and has been invaluable to me. It’s true he’s not done a great deal of obvious work for the site, but behind the scenes he has been a gem. With he and Chris working together it will be a good sign of things to come at the site. I trust Mike implicitly and I know he will do what is best for the site and if he can give the site the same counsel he’s given he over the last few years, everyone will be better for it. Good luck to you, Mike, and I mean that most sincerely. Oh, and try and write something for the site. I know you don’t have a lot of time, but give it a shot. Everyone will thank you for it.
M o_o – It’s a shame that a man of M o_o’s talent has been driven away by controversy, especially one that called everything about him in to question. I liked him, I liked him a lot and his work on Fantastic Four, Invincibles and Moon Man have been a pleasure to host at M2K. I don’t give a damn about the whole Milx issue and whether he was the artist or not he was always welcome at M2K, and I hope that C&M will continue that. One day we will see him again, I have a gut feeling about it.
Nate Charles – Nate Charles may only have just started writing Spider-Man, but it’s something that’s been a long time in coming. There was a communication error a while back between me and Cory and Adnan who were writing the series and I thought they’d left and I let Nate take over the title. There was a disagreement and I tried to resolve it and Nate was going to write a second Spider-Man series, but it didn’t pan out and Nate went away for a bit. Now he’s back, writing the series as he originally wanted to and I’m glad he is. Not to say that Cory and Adnan’s stuff was bad, but Nate wanted this series and finally he’s got his wish. I understand he’s also going to be taking on X-Force/XSE or whatever it ends up becoming, so good luck to him. M2K is lucky to have him.
Patrick Moore – If there’s one person at M2K who has more enthusiasm than anyone else, it has to be Patrick. He proposes more series than anyone else, and sometimes his reach exceeds his grasp. It is truly a shame that he cannot do more than he does, that he cannot match his enthusiasm with his output. It’s also a shame that there’s not really a place at M2K for the Daria series he’s been wanting to do since… well forever. If Patrick could focus his enthusiasm on to one title, he could make it a great series, instead of spreading himself too thinly as he does right now. One day he’ll do it, but I never want him to lose the enthusiasm. It’s infectious.
Russ Anderson – Welcome back, Mr Anderson! Yes, while everyone else may think of the Matrix when they think of Mr Anderson, I will always think of Russ. He was the EiC of M2K before me and he did one hell of a job turning the site in to the thing it is now. I followed on from his work with Will Short. The redesign of the site, the issue layout – all their work. Okay, they used my design for the issue layout, but they did it anyway and there was a lot to do. Russ is also a talented writer and his work on Iron Man and Scarlet Spider were excellent and he’s continuing that with Avengers West Coast. Of my top three M2K writers, Russ is there and I was very pleased when he was made the first member of the M2K Hall of Fame at last year’s Tookies because there’s not many who’ve worked harder for M2K than he has.
Ryan Schmidt – Ryan’s a new kid on the block for M2K but he’s done some good work on the E-Force series over on Alternate and he’s been a an interested party for the site. He has been controversial at times and some people have doubted his commitment to the site, but I’ve always given him the benefit of the doubt. His writing style has flaws, but so do lots of people and he’s gotten better over time. He has good ideas and I think he’d do well on a mainstream title.
Steve Crosby – Steve worked with Dino on Ultimate Avengers and he helped Dino make the Ultimate series something special. When Dino left he was kind of stranded in a creative no man’s land, but the two of them made the Ultimate line something workable. Dino gets a lot of the credit for it, but I don’t think it’d have worked as well without Steve’s input.
Troy Bengal – Troy’s another writer who took on a hard task when he took over the Bishop series at the beginning of the year from Dino. He took on the plots Dino laid out and made them his own as Michael did with Ultimate X-Men and he’s written the series pretty consistently ever since. He has an enjoyment of the series and he’s done a lot to make the Hellfire Club more credible as well as working hard at giving a decent back story for the supporting cast. Troy is supposed to be taking on Gen X in the near future and it will be interesting to see what he does with that and I believe that he will make people sit up and take notice with what he brings to the title.
Will Short – And finally there’s Will. Will Short is an amazing writer and of the top three, he makes up the list. His work as a writer and editor has been incredible, and it is a shame and a half he felt his Marvel Girl series would work better at Avengers 2000, though we’ve still got #0 because he generously let us keep it. I’d have taken it down if he’d wanted, but he let us have it and kudos to him for that. His work on Defenders was excellent, and his finale for Avengers was an incredible finish. There’s not many people I respect more than Will and one day I hope he’ll do something else for the site.
There’s a lot of people I’ve not been able to mention like the rest for one reason or another, but they are in my mind and I’d like to thank the following people – Tom Cad, Scott Casper, Mike Rasbury, Mark Walsh, Al Ritter, Curtis J Fernlund, Matt Pierce, Mike Fitzgerald, and Gwyna. They have contributed to the site in their own ways and I’d like to thank them all for doing so. This has been a quite long Davimentary, but then there’s been a lot to say.
Thank you all for your support of me while I’ve been EiC of M2K. It’s been one hell of a ride and a lot of fun.
I hate it when things are delayed. It's been ages since I had a Saturday release for the site, but it's been one of those things. Satrudays have been busy of late and it's not going to be much different this week, but it's been a while since a Monday release. I don't like it when that happens, because I feel I've let people down, that I've late me down, especially when there's so much out at the moment.
The message board has been jumping with reviews and discussions and the site is coming to life, maybe in anticipation of Chris and Mike coming on board, who knows. Either way it's a fun time to be at M2K for readers and writers alike. Heck, it's been that kind of year all round.
There are days when it's easy to write, but it's not been that way this week. I had it at the start and it kind of pettered out. I hate it when that happens, but it's the way my head tells me it needs a break. Maybe a few days, but it needs a rest from writing and to be fair the batteries must need charging. The last few months have been an immense challenge as a writer, editor and co-ordinator. Son Rise and Shadow War have been some of the most fun I've had at M2K and a big big kudos to the people involved, because without them it wouldn't have been as much fun to do.
I've one month left to tie up loose ends and let people carry on the work I've been doing. Chris Munn and Mike Shirley are going to be the next EiCs, and there are one or two people who want to write my titles, but I won't be gone just like that. There's going to be the formality of the 2003 Tookies. Right now, sit back and enjoy the fruits of labours of others this week. There's some good stuff out, and some great stuff coming.
What a week
It's been one of those weeks, with distractions galore and it's always difficult to write when it's like that. Writing for M2K is something I enjoy doing and I always have and it's even better to see that everything is coming together. I've new plans all the time, but I'm going to leave them for the next writers who come along. It's always more fun to do, and next month is going to be kind of sad for me as a writer as I'll be ending some series that have been a mainstay of my life for some time.
You grow attached to things and working on Wolverine is always a pleasure, but X-Force too has been a joy to write. It's the most fun series I've done and it's come through as that in the way it reads. There's going to be an emptiness inside me when I stop writing them, as I suspect there will be for any of our longterm writers. Dino Pollard wrote a lot for us and he's taken a break now. I know that there are other writers who plan to step down from certain titles soon enough and it's something that you notice, especilly when you see 40+ issues of one series written by someone and then a different name added to it.
There's still seven weeks left to go of the year, and that's seven more weeks of writing. I'm going to savour every moment, though maybe not when it's being typed. The issue that writes itself isn't as easy to come by as it used to be.
Begun the Shadow War has
I'm not quite Yoda, but this is something special. This will be the very last thing I have wanted to do in fanfiction accomplished. The Son Rise event went some of the way to making that happen, but this is the finale to many years work by myself and I've got the rest of the X-Writers to help.
The Shadow War began a few years ago when I started writing Wolverine and I noticed a few continuity glitches. I've used fanfic as a way to fix those problems and at first I wasn't sure what it meant. Wolverine has conflicting memories of what happened in World War 2 and so I worked from that premise as to find out what had happened to him and somehow, the Shadow King came out in it as the villain.
Why the Shadow King? Not sure. Perhaps he's the first villain Wolverine's faced that he can't just claw and be done with it. Perhaps I wanted to make the Shadow King a force to be reckoned with and so I went to work, and it developed that the Shadow King had a plan and it involved making his own X-Men up. Why? Good question. I wasn't sure when I had the idea but I had a cast to make it happen. Ideally I'd have used others, such as Storm and Karma, but they were unavailable and the cast changed over time to the current line up, and along the way the Shaow King did some things to establish himself.
He's been a consumate villain since I started working with him. He's forced Logan to have sex with Viper and inhabited her body while it happened. He's stolen the child that came out of that for his new host body. He's used Nick Fury and made him betray SHIELD, tying him in to some of the worst terrorist events at M2K and he's not done yet. Then came Project Atlantis, the idea that would become Son Rise, but it had two parts and Son Rise was the first. The second idea was that I finish off the Shadow King storyline and I outlined what I wanted and people volunteered and now the Shadow War has begun from a basic idea some time back.
I never really knew where it was going at the time, and now look at it. This is going to be the finale to my career at M2K and I have to thank those involved for helping out both in this and the Shadow War. December will be a final tidy up, but things are going to come to a head. It's been one hell of ride and the best is yet to come.
And not the guitarists!
Yes, Son Rise came off last month and for my money the crossover was a success. The point of the crossover was to not only provide a basis for change, which it has, but to bring M2K together.
Never before has any group combined all aspects of the site to make one event. You could argue the case for Avnegers 2000's Stark Invasion, but as that doesn't include the other imprints of the group, I'd discount it. It's be nice to have seen that though. It brought together Alternate, Knights, Heroes and X-Men which hasn't been attempted since Ageless Fury. The crossover was done on time, with various writers all of whom have commitments other than M2K. We've had writers pull out, writers who have been seriously ill and yet it still came together. That's the point and it sets up the board for a new look M2K in terms of the Heroes section.
I know there are people who have their doubts as to what the crossover achieved and whether it was any good or not, but you cannot please everyone, and seeing as how one gentlemen sent me an email about it and I can't reply because he has some kind of spam filter, I'll answer him here. Mr Barry Witveen wrote:
Would it possible to get a list of the series that have already had a Son Rise tie in, and the issue numbers? Will you be doing a separate link to the Son Rise, as was done with last year's cross-over? I know it would help me tremendously in have one lol.
The tie in issues are:
X-Men 2099 #24 - http://www.digitallymystic.com/sites/fiction/m2k/xm2099/XM24.html
2099: World of Tomorrow #9 - http://www.digitallymystic.com/sites/fiction/m2k/wot/WOT9.html
X-Men 2099 #24 - http://www.digitallymystic.com/sites/fiction/m2k/xm2099/XM25.html
2099: World of Tomorrow #10 - http://www.digitallymystic.com/sites/fiction/m2k/wot/WOT10.html
Excalibur #22 - http://www.digitallymystic.com/sites/fiction/m2k/excalibur/EX22.html
Excalibur Annual 2003 - http://www.digitallymystic.com/sites/fiction/m2k/excalibur/EX2003.html
Excalibur #23 - http://www.digitallymystic.com/sites/fiction/m2k/excalibur/EX23.html
Now these are the main tie in issues, and there's been bits and pieces scattered across M2K for the last few years. There is a main page up on the Heroes site which should help, which links to all the main parts, the prologues and the epilogues.
So what next?
The Shadow War. If the Son Rise event was setting up, then the Shadow War is a conclusion as finally the Shadow King makes his big play. I was excited about Son Rise, this one makes me moreso because it is the finale to a lot of work at the site over the last three years and there's some good and talented people involved to give it some added gusto. Enjoy the next month's issues, I know I will.
Say what you want about this event, say it has no impact, that it's just a series of battles and nothing will come of it in the end, say it's not very good, say it's brilliant, say it was a failed experiment, say whatever - it's done what I set out to do.
It's told a story, it's united a branch of M2K that doesn't get the focus of the others and more than that it's given the people who write in that branch and other a chance to have a go. M2K has people out there who point to some of our writers and deride them and I pour scorn on these people. I value more the person who will step up and have a go than someone who says 'I am X and I know better than you because I am a better writer'.
That's not the point of fanfiction. It's fiction written by the fans and I will not deny anyone a chance to write. Yeah, it has to fit with the M2K ideology, but look at what we've got, what the potential is there for. We've had DC crossovers, Buffy/Angel crossovers, Dr Who has popped in... There's so much that can be done and is still to do.
That's why I like Son Rise. It's the unity behind it and that's what M2K is about, despite the squabbles and arguments. We're a team and that's that.
Son Rise is the Heroes led crossover event that I conceived of about eighteen months ago. It's actually been on my mind a lot longer than that, because this was always one of my great ambitions to see a sequel to What If Marvel Lost Atlantis Attacks, but in comics proper. That was never really going to happen and so my thoughts eventually turned to fanfic as the medium to express this idea. I had the idea and I worked on it and I knew it was going to be something special, but then my thoughts turned to what do we do becausae this is big, and surely more than me need to be involved in this.
Last year there was the Apocalypse 2000 event, and there was a bit of a fuss from the Heroes and Knights people that it was X orientated and that they didn't get to play. Which is a fair comment and I saw an opportunity to put things right and so I announced Project Atlantis, what would be Son Rise. There was mixed reaction because people weren't sure what value it would add and we'd just done th Apocalypse thing so were we pushing things? These were good comments, but I also had some interest as well and the Heroes angle was what convinced me it'd work as a crossover. So we went to work on the details with myself as the driving force setting things up in the 2099 series so it was a true crossover of all the branches of M2K - Alternate, Heroes, Knights and last week I threw X-Men in as well for good measure.
But the question has been raised by some critics already, who think the crossover will have no effects on the titles. My reaction to that is this. Wanna bet?
This is going to have effects on M2K. Major effects. The United Nations have been shocked by a strike at their heart and they've had their power usurped for evil ends. People are going to get hurt, maybe even die. Things are going to be shaken up, old faces will return and developments will occur, not to mention that Son Rise sets up Shadow War which had the Shadow King make his strike against the world, which will lead in to a finalisation, a reconciliation, a new generation of hero and more than that the series finales of Wolverine and X-Force. Series finales, yes. This is going to be my last big push in fanfiction because this is the last story I want to tell and I'm telling it. Because of the people we have here they will continue what this begins, and the shape of M2K will change because of it.
I'm standing down at the end of the year as EiC and writer. Frankly I need a rest as I've been doing this for two years now and editing, refereeing, writing and planning ahead like this has taken it's toll on me. I'm tired and the rest will be good to have but I am not going out quietly. Son Rise is my mark on M2K, uniting people, writers and readers alike and making something to remember. Whether you like it or not, that's your choice. I'm happy in the fact we did it and halfway through, it's going very well for my tastes.
Coulda, woulda, shoulda
Sometimes you take risks, and you know it may not work out as you plan. Sometimes you know who and where the weakest link is going to be and sometimes you have to work damned hard to fix things.
I don't mind the working hard part, but I do mind being let down. I'm disappointed more than anything else. If you make a promise, a commitment to something then you should see it through and if by some unlucky chance you're not going to be able to make it, it's a courtesy to let people know.
Still, it's partly my own fault. Knew this was going to happen, if I'm honest so I do what I have to do.
Just very... annoying.
Sometimes the magic doesn't work...
It's not often I say this but sometimes I don't have the goods.
There’s always times when inspiration fails me and I can usually shake it off, by taking a time out, but last week there wasn’t chance and I wrote X-Men Prime #3, which has been derided quite badly. Which is fair, I won’t make any bones about it. It was not a good issue, it didn’t have the magic that’s normally associated with me.
The characterisations weren’t as fluid as I wanted, the situation certainly not what I would have gone from and there was no spark to the issues. Simply put, I didn’t give a damn whether the Juggernaut trashed Washington, or how I got rid of the old Alpha team, and that’s not the attitude you need to have when writing. If you don’t care, it shows and it showed. I didn’t have the feel and I didn’t have time to get the feel, because I’m working to a deadline. I make certain promises to myself as a writer and as EiC and sometime the goals don’t match. This was one of those times.
X-Men Prime was not my finest hour and I know that and it has to be better, and I had hoped that people would trust me to make it happen. I’m not better than the other writers who’ve gone before, but I’ve a passion for this. X-Men is a dream assignment, because I’m still a comic geek at heart. The modern version of the X-Men, the one currently done is something that made me stop buying the titles, and now I’ve to show how things could be better, but in the M2K sense, with the continuity we have. I’ve written for X–Men Omega, now I’m writing X-Men Prime. Perhaps I’m taking advantage of my position as EiC, but I don’t think so. Circumstances have led me here.
However, there have also been some rather harsh assessments as well, and while I was prepared for a bad review I wasn’t really ready for some of the comments. I’ve had one of those weeks where it was of a lesser concern than other matters, but I’ve looked back at what’s been said and I’m a little dismayed at the reaction.
All X-Men Prime so far has been a pile of forced plot devices and lame excuses.
…there's no tangible effort here in trying to make his ideas come off as logical and well thought.
…it's like reading a Chuck Austen ish of UXM
It just leaves me (and I'm guessing many other readers) questioning the technique used in a bad way as it comes off a little sloppy and lazy.
David is not the guy for this title
These are comments from the public message board, and given the two reviewers involved, you have to wonder if they’ve swapped personalities. There’s also been some comments offlist as well, but you get the idea. And Chuck Austen remark was below the belt, I mean that was just spiteful.
In the last month I have written ten issues for M2K. More than that of those ten, nine have been for different series and four of those are not titles associated with me. I have my name on a great many series at M2K, one issue things for sure, but there’s still a lot of occurrences of my name. Of all of them, none has received the comments this one has. The magic didn’t work this time and how many times has the writing let me down before? One time out of how many? It happens, and I know I’ve got to do better. I know it will be. I have higher standards for myself than any of the other writing staff because I’m the EiC and I lead from the front.
The issue was written to get it out of the way, sledgehammer tactics certainly, and I know it wasn’t one of my best. It’s still better than the Gambit issue at Marvel X... I still can’t believe I wrote that. There were the same kind of thoughts then as well. Ideas only work if you care, and if you don’t then that’s that.
There are trademarks to what I do, tells that let you know it’s one of my titles. Continuity, introflection, surprises. I’ve been in discussion with writers offlist to see what can be done with some characters, and there are ideas. Three, four issues in, if people are condemning me then there’s a problem. From the basis of one issue, you have no way of telling. Is X-Men Prime a bad series? No, it’s just not been done right yet. The book is cursed I tell you, but I am not going to let it get me. It’s not going to happen on my watch as writer or as EiC.
The next issue of X-Men Prime has had me doing things I’ve not done for a while – research. Working on the ideas I do have, developing what’s going to happen in my head and making sure that what I want to do fits with what we have going on at the site. I am not going to let the comments get me down, and I’m not letting them put me off either.
Or to quote Al Jolson - ‘you ain’t seen nothing yet’.
It's Not Easy
M2K is a thriving group.
I like to say we're the best in the field, but I would and I know there's plenty of people who'll disagree, but there's been some talk at the site this week of what makes M2K what it is. Is it the weekly releases? No, it's impressive and it makes me happy to see new issues every week, and even happier when there are different names up on the main page but it's not what makes M2K great. It's not the layout, it's not one person in particular, it's the fact that M2K has commitment. I am the first to admit that there are problems at times, with backbiting, arguments, all round verbal attacks at times and it's an annoyance to me.
People say things and it gets out of hand and it doesn't do the image of any of us any good. Some of the people who've been on the message board of late have delighted in causing trouble and some of our more gregarious staff have risen to the baits. It's not good, and I know it isn't and I do my best, but being on a different continent to the staff isn't something that lets me deal with it properly. I'm 5-8 hours ahead of the staff timewise, so it's hard. But through it all there's commitment to the site. There are people who produce issues week on week, there are those who do them every few months, some go longer, some are in between.
But they swallow their prides and get on with what's needed - issues are written, issues are sent out and everyone works together towards a common goal and that's what makes M2K what it is. That's what brings old writers back, that's what keeps new writers coming to the site, that's what the readers enjoy and that's what I like about M2K. We work at it, no matter how good or how easy we find it. We work, we try and get better and sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't but we give it a go. We try new ideas, new ways of thinking, new directions for characters all with one thing in mind - to tell a story and make our universe worth reading about.
Next month is the start of a crossover. Next month there will be battles as the Sons of Set come to Marvel 2000. Names who don't normally participare in the M2K events will be up front and centre to tell the story, a story that has been a long time in the making. These are my colleagues, my friends and I am proud to have been EiC of M2K. I'm proud to have worked with the people here. I'm proud to have my name on issues, and I am even more proud that people have used my ideas in the same way I've used theirs. Son Rise will be a defining moment for the site because if it works or not (and I hope it does) we're a team, and I can't ask for anything more.
Never give up
That's the thought in my head for this week
Never give up doing what you want to do, your dreams, your passions. Everyone suffers from a crisis of confidence from time to time, be it a simple case of writer's block or a loss of confidence in themselves. It's a normal reaction that happens to everyone. I'm no different, I suffer from the same things from little things to major things, and it's what we do to resolve these things that tells us who we are.
Most of us have friends, colleagues, family who will be able to help out and resolve the issues, who can give a hand if you need a break. What's needed is to look after yourself, and if you need a little bit of time to refocus your efforts then do it and come back stronger than ever. I suffer from writer's block as my most regualr problem. Writing as much as I do as often as I do isn't easy, and I often need a little more time to come up with ideas to join things together. I give myself a few days to write issues, and I have to juggle things around it in real life, but I always find having a break helps.
Today was no different. I was working at a sports event and while standing at the entrance and the people were coming through I figured out what I needed to do to make the issue work, what the missing piece that eluded me was and I came back home after the event had finished and went to work and it took a bit of effort but I got the thing done. You can get too focused on the subject that you lose sight of what you were doing.
Dreams, ideas, imagination, these are the things we need to live, to grow, but these need resources to grow and to be maintained. Never give up, but it's okay to take a break.
I've been writing at M2K for quite some time now, and I was working on other things before I came here. I'm quite good at what I do, and there's a lot of people who seem to like it, but there's always been influences on me that inspire me to write the way I do. These are the things that I've seen, I've read, I've heard. These are the things that made me in to who I am, and the things you read and I want to share some of the main ones with you.
Indiana Jones. When I was little, Raiders influenced me. It had a rousing fanfare and it showed that heroes could be flawed. Indy was cool, he had no idea of what he was doing, but he was smart enough to put the pieces together. It was action adventure that's been duplicated, but never quite matched. He was the first real hero I ever considered, and as I grew older and understood more things, I realised how clever the films were. His life wasn't easy, he didn't always do the right thing, he made mistakes and he paid for them. That made seem more real as a character to me and I never forgot it.
James Bond. The films I grew up with were the later Moore ones, and the Dalton films. I loved the Dalton era because it had a darker edge to it and was more like the Bond I had read about in the books. The books were always inspirationally written and when you realise the Fleming was not a field agent himself, but based his works on what he read and imagined, then you get the feel for how talented a writer can be. You don't have to know everything, but as long as you can research and come up with plausible, logical reasoning for steps then it will work.
Dr Who. Cliffhanger endings are cool. They have the hook to get you to watch the next episode and they did it well. I always needed to know what happens next.
Farscape. More prominent now, as these guys raised the cliffhanger to an art form. It was amazing how they could use five minutes, or end a season itself. I will admit some of the resolutions were not always as satisfactory as the ending, but that's because they knew how to end something and it worked so very, very well.
In a literary sense, I've mentioned Fleming. I've also admiration for Terry Brooks, who is an amazing author, IMO. His feel for the worlds he's created, the way the stories link together from the series, Landover aside but it may fit in to the grand plan, are incredibler and he's not afraid to develop things, to do things that might not be what the old stories were, but that's because things need to grow, to change and become something else.
Tom Clancy is another, in the way he builds things up, puts them together has the pieces in place and then just unleashes them with a gusto. The finale's to his books are a crescendo of everything coming together and when it works well, it works very well indeed.
Larry Hama's Wolverine is a definite influence because he showed me how well Wolverine could be written, that there was more to him than claws. He has his critics, I know, and some of them don't like what he did with the series, and towards the end it did drag out a little, but he gave Wolverine an intensity and intelligence that was missed when he was gone. Still is, to be fair.
There are others I could cite, but these are the main ones. I love action, adventure and romance, but I also think these things all have consequences. Comic books heroes are heroes set in the real world, and yes they have amazing powers, but the things they do have effects on others, on themselves and they are not immune to the effects. As long as I keep that in mind, then I can keep writing.
Let's Talk Shop
Away from the business of identity crises and other matters, M2K is in need of writers. The X-Men titles not so much - go figure - but the other branches have a few titles that have a need for writers, and these are just the ones with actual issues, so here we go with an M2K recruitment drive:
Ultimate Avengers: The team of 'heroes' is on the run from SHIELD, and being hunted by various face that were once familiar. Loosley tied in to the continuity's of Ultimate X-Men and Ultimate Spider-Man, the series has great potential for an ambitious writer.
Mutant X: After the big battle between the High Evolutionary and a mish mash of heroes from the Marvel and DC universes, the Six have an uncertain future, as does the rest of the world. The future is up for grabs...
Captain America - The Sentinel of Liberty has resumed his affair with Sharon Carter, has an adopted daughter and now he's a reserve Avenger, he's finding his own feet in an ever changing America.
Captain Marvel - Titan's been transported to the Negative Zone, as a colder and darker Genis wanders the spaceways, finding time to do what he does as a member of the Avengers West.
Defenders - The Defenders have been to Hell and back, literally. The face of evil has been changed and the status quo altered, but whatever the problem the Defenders will be there.
Iron Man - Business man, hero and founder of the latest Avengers West Coast team, Tony Stark lives in a technological world, making things safe from those who would misuse technology and threaten the world.
Deadpool - The Merc With a Mouth has met almost everyone from Darth Maul to Jay and Silent Bob. Who can possibly be next...
Hulk - He's been hunted down, attacked by the original Human Torch and now Bruce Banner is a lovely shade of green even when he's not the Hulk. Can the scientist ever find peace?
Scarlet Spider - Ben Reilly has gone to Baltimore and has escaped from the shadow of Peter Parker and Spider-Man and has a life all his own, and his heroics will be as legendary as those of his 'brother'.
If you're interested in any of these series, let me know at the usual address and we'll sort something out. All the back issues can be found at the main site if you want to do a little light reading. Let's get back to writing fanfic and put the events of the last few weeks to rest.
Two months ago I wrote a triubte to M o_o in the Davimentary. For those who don't know, he was the writer of Fantastic Four, Moon Man and Invincibles here and he did some other stuff at other sites, but we don't care about them that much.
Anyway, M o_o stopped writing because he became an artist. Or he was an artist and got busy. Either way he ended up employed by several comic companies, working on Silver Surfer at Marvel and Wake the Dead for IDW as the artist called Milx. The guy had talent, and was in demand and fanfic wasn't important to him.
M o_o is proof that we can get in to the biz if we want to and so his final point has been disproved and that's good enough for me. M o_o left a hard act for people to follow and I hope - if he gets time - he'll write us something else.
With fanfic, you never know.
Colour me surprised when he contacted me last week and said he wanted to do some Moon Man for me, I was up for it. I'd be a fool not to and he was all for keeping it quiet until he came out, and posted some teasers to the messageboard and when people guessed who he was he came clean. Either way I didn't care - I had an actual comics person working on my group and more than that he was good at what he did as a writer and artist.
Now the story gets interesting. Newsarama reported this.
Just as hot artists are a tradition in comics, so is the occasional drop off the radar. In this case, the Malaysian artist who goes by the name “Milx.” A find from the Epic submission process, Milx was signed to illustrate the new
Silver Surfer series, as well as Wake the Dead from IDW.
According to Marvel, Silver Surfer #2 has been delayed from its original
shipping date of August 27th until October 22nd. According to various reports,
the lateness problem is due to the artist, Milx, virtually “going missing,” and
being extremely difficult, if not outright impossible to get a hold of.
Likewise, IDW has replaced Milx as the artist on the September-debuting Wake
the Dead bi-monthly miniseries written by Steve Niles beginning with the second
Attempts to contact the artist by Newsarama have been unsuccessful to date
Heroes is alight with the buzz, the pundits are after my boy M for comment and people don't seem to be able to get hold of him. My official position is this. I don't care what's gone down with the various compnaies and M o_o. That's between him and them. If Milx wants to comment he will do, but I'm not going to give him to people. I have an email address yes, but people won't get it from me. I turned down my friend Chris Partin who asked if he could get it try and get a comment, and Chris is a good friend of mine. Do I have theories? Yes, I do. Maybe he ditched them because he really wanted to work with me and the rest of the M2K team, but it's unlikely.
Bottom line. Their loss is our gain. I'm glad M is back in the fold, he's one of the writers I hoped would come back, along with Messrs Exner, Short and a couple of others. What's happened has happened, and while it'll be one of the great mysteries of the industry until and if we find out what went down, it's not our business. I have no diubt M has his reasons and until he chooses to tell us, back off. Yes, it's not the journalistic way, but give it time. Speculate all you want in the various columns, and if you want to add he's a fanfic writer at Marvel 2000 and give out our web address.
I still respect the guy, and if I'm in a minority, so be it.
It's been an interesting week. A guy called Aaron wrote to me in respect of Wolverine and how much he had enjoyed the series which is great but he also mentioned something which I found a surprise.
CFAN closed down.
CFAN - for those who don't know - was the resource for fanfic on the net. So many genres cataloged and posted so that whatever you wanted to read about, you could find it there. I've not visited it in a while myself, but I didn't think it was that long and I never thought it would be gone. It was something that was always there, y'know? When I first started out in fanfic I announced things there. I used to use it to publicise issues and things all over the place and now it's gone. Not abandonned, just gone.
It's a shame, and it's something I thought would always be there. It had a thriving community, it had a life of it's own and message boards like nothing else. It was an icon and a sign that fanfic has changed over the years. It makes you appreciate what we do even more, b ecause how many defunct sites are out there? How many sites are there with unfinished works? What happened to some of the people who wrote these series? It makes you think and it makes me wonder how long all this will be here. Everything has it's time, and time is finite.
What a week
One hell of a week, people. Things ahve got out of hand because I lost a lot of stuff this week. XP got corrupted and I had to reinstall and well, it wasn't pretty. I've recovered a lot of things, but stuff like emails were lost. This has meant me rebuilding things which hasn't been easy. Had to check in with Alex to relearn the ftp settings for the site, so I could download everything again so I could edit it all. It's not been too much fun.
However there's been a few bits and pieces going on behind the scenes. X-Men Prime has a new writing team in myself and Dino Pollard, Gen X is getting a new lease on life with Troy Bengal (who has an idea that alters Gen X in the same way my ideas altered X-Force a few years ago) and there's a few old friends on the way back to the group, so there's a lot happening, and I can guarentee that it's going to be good.
Get ready, because here we go!
Yes, it's a Saturday release at M2K, for the first time in a few weeks, but it's not been one of my favourite weeks as the EiC.
Some times you have to make hard choices and I've had to do that this week. I never like letting writers go, but if they cannot commit properly to a series without giving me any real reasons then I have to put the site first. I will never ask anything of anyone that I won't do myself. The way I see it is simple - if I can hold a full time job, have time for my social life and write an issue or two for the site and find the time to post it, then I don't see why people cannot write at least one issue a month. I know people have problems in their lives and that fanfic at the end of the day is a hobby to entertain readers and writers alike, but I like to be told what's going on because when promises are broken repeatedly it's no good for either the site or the morale of the writers, because the ones who do work feel put out.
So there will be some changes to the advertised programme in the next week or so, but that's the way it goes.
We've been gone a little while and there's been a bit of disquiet about it, and the fact that digitallymystic has a habit of going south in terms of ftp. It was even suggested we get our own domain. I posted this on the board, but I'm adding it here as well because it's important. We've had a number of locations over the years.
Redrival used to go down for weeks at a time and we couldn't read the issues.
Geocities had the file trasnfer limit which meant the first people got to see the issues and then the rest had to wait.
And there were times leeding wouldn't acknowlegde we ever existed. Forgot to add this one to the board post. Ah well...
DM means that at least we can read the issues and for all the issues with FTP, this is only the second time it's happened this seriously and it affects the other hosted groups. Digitallymystic is free, generously given to us by Alex Cook, and as aside from Heroes, I'd suspect we're the major user. I know how much we have in terms of file size! That and I was the one that brought it to Alex's attention that the ftp was down menas we're the most regular user. It's probably us that's broken it, but let's ignore that. A domain of our own would be nice but it's a case of expense and as much as I love you all, I'm not prepared to pay. Plus there's that whole legality thing because if I pay a provider are they making money from unlicenced characters? Let's not even go there...
Bottom line is Alex Cook is one person and he does a great job. Yes DM has gone down a few times this year, but it happens. We told Alex, he looked at it and fixed it and told me as soon as it was and that was good of him. Don't diss digimystic.
Something else that's come up is the use of profanity in fanfiction. It's a tough one. My opinion is that I don't mind it, but only if the situation calls for it. Is there at times an overload of it in some works? Possibly, but to each their own. If you are someone who is offended by such language, fair play to you. if it's not what you want to read then fine and I accept that. I'm not in to censorship like that. I watched South Park: Bigger, Longer, Uncut and that's got more swearing in ti than anything else and it's amazing how funny it was. It's all a matter of context and if that's wrong then maybe the writer ought to consider what's being said to them. Just a thought anyway.
Enjoy the week and with luck we'll be back this weekend.
Well, it was anyway and being British it's not something we celebrate like our cousin's over the pond. Me, I like any reason for a party and fireworks so I enjoy the day as well, even if I don't have the lights in the sky on the scale the USA does.
However there was something special this week where fanfic honoured one of it's own - Brent Lambert. He works hard for the group, with two or three releases a week on average which is good going and he was toasted by the good over on Heroes this week, prompted by his Editor's Choice award, but it got me thinking, thinking about the reasons I created the M2K Hall of Fame at last year's awards. There are people at the site who do a lot - besides me - and they don't often get mentioned. So now it's my turn. Brent's had his moment, so here's another five people who I think deserve the recongtion at M2K they may not generally get.
Dino Pollard - founder and sometime writer for the site, Dino's contributed a lot of time and effort in to running things and setting things up and it was his vision that got the group headed in the direction it is. Dino's taken a step back of late, because he has his RL issues, but he'll never go away. Not really, anway.
Mike Shirley - Mike's the AEiC, and people may wonder what he does but he keeps order, he promotes things behind the scenes and he works to try and get new blood to the site. He may not write a great deal, and I admit I'm reluctant to hand over the editing and posting of things but that doesn't mean he doesn't have an input to the site. He's a top bloke.
Russ Anderson - the first and lonely, sorry only, M2K Hall of Fame inductee, Russ took up the reigns of the group while I was just a writer and defined the site's look and feel. He made Iron Man a highlight of the group and his work on Scarlet Spider has been great. Hell he even came back for a little while because he could. Now he writes Avengers West Coast with Chris Munn. He's another ever present factor for the group.
Gregg Epstein - I like Gregg. He plugs and plugs and plugs away at his work. He's written the majority of Heroes issues with his work on Fantastic Four, Captain America, Alpha Flight and he's now writing Iron Man as well. He has his critics who don't like the simplistic nature his issues have, but there's something there. He's a fan writing fiction about the characters he likes and he's got the spirit of why we do what we do in every word he writes.
Douglas Ketcham - Much like Gregg, Douglas has his critics but he does things his way and it works for him. He's a writer that's progressed since he started work for us with a Godzilla run over at Marvel Fanfare, and you can see him getting better with every issue. It's something some of the other writers could do with noticing because Douglas uses the M2K Beta list, seeks advice on how to improve his work and does something about it. The guy still has a bit to learn but he's got heart and he uses it. That's all I can ask for as EiC.
So there you are. Five names, some familiar, some maybe not. They're part of the diverse talent pool that makes M2K great and it's that freedom of expression that Independance Day is really all about. Have a good week.
Yes, Saturday releases. I knoiw they've been missing a while in with the releases coming Sunday, and in some cases Monday, but I've had more free time on my hands this weekend (hurrah!) which has meant I've had the time to put in to M2K. Plus we're also in double figures for the releases for the month which is also good.
It's been fairly quiet at M2K this week, and at Heroes as well but there is one thing I want to mention, and with the release of Fantastic Four under a new writer, it's time to pay tribute to the former writer M o_o. M o_o was a great talent at M2K, his work on Invincibles, FF and Moon Man were greatly appreciated by writer and reader alike and he was able to work well with what he had in front of him, however his fate was not to be a writer, but an artist.
Marvel's Epic line had been rather maligned since it was announced, which is a little harsh as there's not been a great deal to go on. Yes the House of Ideas has been a little flat of late, but that's something that happens from time to time and M2K's loss has been their gain as M o_o has become Milx (what his strange cow fetish is, we'll probably never know, much like his real name) and he'll be working on the new Silver Surfer book and if he can draw half as well as he writes fanfic, we've got a good series to look forward to.
A little while ago we had someone come to the M2K messageboard and accuse of being sad, adolescent losers who were doing this hoping to get in to comics and we never would, or something like that. M o_o is proof that we can get in to the biz if we want to and so his final point has been disproved and that's good enough for me. M o_o left a hard act for people to follow and I hope - if he gets time - he'll write us something else.
With fanfic, you never know.
I just thought I'd take a moment to say sorry for the delay.
It's been one hell of a week, a week that I needed two days to recover from and I'm still not fully 100%, but the site's been updated and the emails have been answered and we're still in business. That's what happens when you have a life outside fanfic. Between working and my acting career I've not had a great deal of time to devote to the site this last week and it's just one of those things.
There will be a better Davimentary next week, as well as the issue of X-Men 2099 that I didn't get chance to finish, but right now I'm tired.
Succession and other stories
It had to happen, that the releases wouldn't match the previous week's output but there's still plenty to go at and I'm pleased that we still have an active writing staff, but this week's column is about something else - the new boss.
There's been some speculation on the part of the staff at M2K as to who will be taking over from me when I stand down at the end of the year. Who will be the new Editor in Chief, who will I appoint as the successor? Interesting thing is, I already know who I'll choose, but here's the thing - it's not my decision.
Marvel 2000 has a political edge to it at times which I admit concerns me, because don't like politics. My job is to do what is best for the site. A couple of months back I made a juedgement error with Max 2000, and there was a substantial amount of disquiet from readers and writers alike. So I stepped down as EiC and was instantly met with a chorus of 'don't do that' or words to that effect. Max 2000 #6 was removed and I was still 'da boss'. When it comes to the new EiC I'm going to go with the same principle.
You will decide. I know this may be a blow to those who may have thought it was a given, but it's not. I've been thinking about it this week, thinking about it a lot and stayed offline purpurosely to give this some thought and the only fair way to do this is for the prosective EiC (s) to make a pitch to the group and Heroes, natch, and say why they think they will be the person for the job, and then the people who enjoy M2K will say if they agree. And it also takes if off me if the new guy screws it up. I'm altruistic to a point.
My rule has been to lead by example. I write an issue a week and I review at least one issue a week, but people know I also read them all as well. That's my way of doing things, and whoever takes over may or may not do things the same. That's the thing - they won't be me, it won't be mine anymore, though I may do the next Tookies if the new boss wants me to, because with the chore of settling in to the role the annual awards might not the thing they want to do right away. There's going to be a lot of things going on over the next few months. To anyone who wants to take over - no campaigning until I give the say so. We can discuss things in private, but messageboards, groups, etc - no.
It will be the end of November when we do that, and the readership will have a few weeks to decide and then I will announce the results. Do I have my favourite? Yes. Am I telling you? No. I'm not going to influence the vote that way. The race isn't even close to sown up.
Yes, it's yet another major week of releases, and the trend set last month looks set to continue, but that's not the big news at M2K this week. The big news is that, in discussion with Logan Trent Kuraishi, we have decided to cancel X-Men Alpha. The title is no more, all gone.
Now I'm not fond of reboots of comic titles, nor am I fond of renaming titles, but in this case it seemed necessary. Why? Well, X-Men Alpha has always had it's problems. I consider it a cursed title. The problems. First of all, way back when M2K began it was called Uncanny X-Men, but during one of the many moves that took place, the back issues were all lost, including the one where Charles Xavier was killed. Not good.
Then Jay Corafa took over as the writer, but things got in the way, such as the Apocalypse: Ageless Fury crossover and he had to step down, and due to events of 9/11 eventually left the group. Then Gwyna cam back to script the series she had started as UXM, but her run was problematic as well and she too had to step away. Bearing in mind this is supposed to be the flagship title, it's sister at X-Men Omega was running away with issues while this series barely had 6. The came Cory who worked well on the series and it seemed as if we were making headway but the curse struck again and after the 12/Apocalypse 2000 storyline, Logan was supposed to start as writer, but Cory was in the middle of a storyline and it took him six months to finish it.
3 years since the start and there were a fifth of the issues of X-Men Omega, so a decision was made by me. Alpha had to go and Logan accepted it well. To boost it's back issue range I've added in the major crossovers mentioned and the Team X limited series which was a bridge between the crossovers and that's made the title line a lot healthier and at this month will see the launch of X-Men Prime, the new X-Men title. Plus there's stuff happening over at X-Men Omega as well. To get things ready for XMP, this week's Wolverine has a little bit of a set up to get continuity set and away we go.
With any luck the curse has been lifted and we can get to work again making the series the flagship title it was meant to be.
It's been a long week this week and there were points I wondered if I'd get anything written at all, but I've pulled all the stops out as have some of our staff and we have another bumper week of releases to go at this week.
There has been a lot of debate about things on the board this week, and some of it wasn't too great, and I had to put my foot down. Sometimes working at M2K is like being in a playground and it's not always going to go the way that people want. Shouting about it won't help either, because then there's an argument, people get upset and it makes the group atmosphere difficult, and the kind of work we do is difficult enough anyway. However I've called them all in, given them a stern word and told them not to do it again.
There's better things to do that fight amongst ourselves, so for those who witnessed it and were upset at all, I'm sorry and I will make sure that it doesn't happen again. Now that's done with, head over to M2K and check out this week's new stuff. We've two new series starting and they look to be winners so have a read.
That's all from me for today. Until the next time.