Joe Golem is dead — which is exactly the right place for his new comic book series to begin. The new series continues the comic book adaptation of the original Joe Golem novel, and starts from a suitably intriguing place: The title character of the series is dead.
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Is this an attempt to let newcomers know what to expect upfront from the series? Once upon a time, he was a golem brought to life in 15th century Europe to hunt and destroy ancient witches, but he was brought back to life in as a human being, with confusing memories of his original life. He became the sidekick of a famous occult detective, and eventually became one in his own right, fighting ghosts and demons and the undead.
One of the notes we keep hitting is what it means to be human, and how we define that. This is is the second Joe Golem comic series to adapt the Drowning City prose novel, but the sixth series overall. What made you — and Mike — decide that it was time to bring the two media together finally? What is it like for you, revisiting this story seven years after the novel? What was interesting to me is that I started off being fairly faithful to the original material, but over time I abandoned trying to replicate dialogue or trying to mimic certain scenes exactly.
With both Joe Golem and Baltimore , I see the comics and the novels as separate continuities. What is it about the two of you that brings you back to work together so often? I have a strong sense of plot, of story logic, character motivations, what makes things tick, but Mike brings a sense of wild creativity to every project that is incredibly freeing.
Like Simon Church from the Joe Golem series, Walker is very invested in making sense of weird shit, as he puts it, and the two series share mythological influences. It would, at least, make sense of your high level of output. It might contain all the blessings of the ancient world, or all of its curses. There are grand plans afoot. Is this your first TV work? Anderson, who had been asked to write an introduction for the trade-paperback edition of Dark Empire.
During the course of their introduction, the two authors began to communicate to each other about what each was currently writing in respects to Star Wars.
Veitch explained how he was currently working on another story arc for his Tales of the Jedi series, while Anderson described his Jedi Academy Trilogy series of novels, which he was writing for Bantam Spectra. During the course of their discussions, Veitch commented that he was planning an even larger run of comics for Tales of the Jedi , which would revolve around a big new story. Anderson, likewise, explained how his trilogy of novels hinged on the spirit of a long-dead Dark Lord of the Sith named Exar Kun, who had been killed thousands of years prior to the setting of the books.
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Through further discussions, the two authors realized that the character of Kun would fit well into the new story which Veitch had planned for Tales of the Jedi. Although Veitch had settled on the story of Ulic Qel-Droma as the focus of the early Tales of the Jedi issues, he realized that he would be unable to build the entire world on his own, and needed a team of artists that could meet this challenge. With the blessing of editor Barbara Kesel , Veitch put together a three-page sample Tales of the Jedi script that he handed out at conventions, hoping to find interested and capable artists.
In , Veitch met a young artist named Christian Gossett at the San Diego Comic-Con —Veitch handed Gossett his three-page script, and was extremely impressed with Gossett's sketches. Influenced by the work of Akira Kurosawa , Gossett, assigned to draw the first two Tales of the Jedi comics, set out to, in his words, "visually invent the Old Republic out of my own imagination. Working in conjunction with Lucy Wilson , a liaison for Lucasfilm Ltd. Wilson's job was to ensure that the team was working within the allowed boundaries established by Lucasfilm and see if they were on course with their expectations.
During this time, Veitch and others created various questionnaires which explained their intentions with regards to the storyline. These questionnaires were then given to George Lucas, who would either approve or disapprove of their contents. Veitch commented during an interview that "These were reviewed by George, because he wants to make sure, if you're going to tell about the ancient Jedi, he wants to have input on it.
We have to write very carefully detailed questionnaires and list the ideas we want to use.
This policy was something which he believed to be a good thing, as it helped enhance the quality of Tales of the Jedi. Christian Gossett, who worked with Tom Veitch as the artist for the first two comics, wanted to create a wide variety of beasts and creatures which both were terrifying and had never been seen in the history of Star Wars. In an interview for Star Wars Adventure Journal 2 , Gossett explained how as a small child he had always been terrified of pictures of insects, such as the flea, magnified to abnormal sizes. These, he explained, were the basis for the large number of different creatures that he had created for the planet of Onderon and its moon of Dxun.
Working in close communication with each other, both Veitch and Gossett wanted to constantly bounce ideas off one another, so that they could eventually get a unique feeling out of the comics. Veitch imagined that Tales of the Jedi would be an ongoing, anthological series, focusing on different stories and different characters rather than zeroing in on one specific narrative.
While Gossett drew the first two issues, Veitch turned to other artists to draw the next few issues: Janine Johnston , a rookie artist from Canada whom Veitch met at a convention in Glasgow , was chosen to draw Tales of the Jedi ' s third issue. Johnston was responsible for designing primary character Nomi Sunrider, whom she modeled after a friend, although her inexperienced attempts at drawing starships were eventually redone before the issue was published.
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David Roach , a veteran artist who had worked for Dark Horse Comics in the past, drew the last two issues of the Nomi Sunrider arc. As the artists were working simultaneously, Roach remained in the dark about the direction in which Johnston was going, and eventually some of his artwork had to be changed to match Johnston's portrayals. Following the release of the first five Tales of the Jedi comics, Veitch was asked by Dark Horse Comics if he could write a one-shot story arc which would act as a bridging comic for the characters initially created and the comics which would be produced in the following years.
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To this end, Veitch wrote the forty-eight page comic series, spaced over two issues, entitled The Freedon Nadd Uprising. The artist for this series was a newcomer to Tales of the Jedi by the name of Tony Akins , who had been found and contracted by editor Dan Thorsland to do the artwork. Likewise, Veitch brought in Denis Rodier —a friend of his with whom he had collaborated on other non— Star Wars projects—to ink the series. With the successful production of The Freedon Nadd Uprising , work began on the next story arc, which Veitch had initially envisioned as an enormous new storyline spanning twelve issues.
Bringing in fellow author Kevin J. Anderson to co-write the first arc, Veitch again invited Christian Gossett to do the artwork.
Working closely with Gossett, Anderson and Veitch made sure that their dialog fit with the artwork that he had produced. This was done through a series of rough sketches, mosaics, and stick figures so that the trio could get each page as close to their shared vision as possible. At other times, Gossett would work by himself to produce entire pages and scenes, especially the battle scenes, which, Anderson admitted, Gossett had such a "keen" eye for.
Likewise, Gossett tackled the portion of the story which centered on the death of Arca Jeth, and he was able to effectively portray this as both authors had jointly envisioned it. With he and Anderson planning on introducing Exar Kun in the Dark Lords of the Sith arc, Veitch and Lucasfilm were unsure what George Lucas would think about his plans to portray the Sith, but to their surprise Lucas loved the idea.
Despite the work which Gossett was able to produce, by the release of his fifth issue he had fallen behind due to the workload involved in that stage of production. According to Anderson, Wetherell's work seemed rushed, and he did a vastly less interesting job of portraying the climactic scenes than Gossett had done.
Nevertheless, Dark Lords of the Sith was completed on time, and a short rest was enjoyed by the production team before work began on the next story arc. When asked about this time, and why he decided to leave Tales of the Jedi , Veitch responded that it was a long story, but that, "As Star Wars once again became a cultural phenomenon, I felt my freedom begin to slip away, and so it was time to do other things.
After he and Veitch co-plotted the first two issues of The Sith War , Anderson was left to complete the remaining four issues of the original twelve. Anderson was also comfortable in the fact that he and Veitch had thoroughly mapped out the general storyline for all twelve issues, and that it was simply a matter of taking the basic points and fleshing them out into a detailed story.
Early in , Anderson and his crew were able to finish the remaining issues of The Sith War , thus clearing the way for another project. Following the conclusion of the events first started in Dark Lords of the Sith , Anderson and the other members of the Tales of the Jedi project wanted to take a short rest from the story of Ulic Qel-Droma.
Anderson and the others knew that there was still more to Qel-Droma's story, but they also knew it was going to be an intense and emotional journey to create and produce the final installment of it.
To this end, Anderson began work on the first of two prequel story arcs for Tales of the Jedi , set more than 1, years prior to the events which had already been written about. During this time, Anderson again worked with Carrasco, and the two worked closely with Lucasfilm on the storyline, submitting specific questions about the ancient Sith to George Lucas, which he would personally answer, thus providing a fair amount of material for use in the story. With the conclusion of The Golden Age of the Sith in , Anderson completed his ancient Sith project by writing the second installment of his prequel series, entitled The Fall of the Sith Empire.
For the artwork, Carrasco continued what he had begun in the first story arc, The Golden Age of the Sith. With the successful completion of the two story arcs about the ancient Sith, Anderson again turned his attention to the story of Ulic Qel-Droma, which he had left partially completed at the end of The Sith War. According to Anderson, "That was a very powerful experience, especially during the writing of what I consider to be the most emotionally intense piece of SW fiction I have ever written.
Likewise, Christian Gossett, whom Anderson had worked with on Dark Lords of the Sith and had brought in to do the artwork for Redemption , wanted to make Redemption a comic unlike any previously published Star Wars work.
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According to Gossett, his aim was to make the story arc as "visually character-driven as possible," a characteristic which he felt was severely lacking in Dark Lords of the Sith , which he claimed had turned into a "circus" by the third issue. Gossett explained that in Dark Lords of the Sith it was sometimes very hard for him to match a name to a face of a character, and he could only imagine what that must have been like for the readers and viewers of his work; likewise, he felt that that story had too many characters, and believed the story suffered from it.
So, with Redemption , Gossett wanted to make a handful of core characters that he could really marry to Anderson's writing, thus avoiding the mass-injection of persons experienced in his earlier work.