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  • J+m+s

    Since last week I've been introducing B5 to my dearest. After "Soul Mates" I mentioned her the "Ba-bear-lon 5" story as well as jms' way of "signing his work" with his main characters having the same initials (J.S.) just like Peter David did with the bear. Skip to the end of "Dust to Dust" where the smartest woman to grace the sofa beside me tells: "Did you notice that the initials of the command staff add up to 'jms': John (Jeffrey), Michael, Susan?"

    Cue face of amazement (of her) and disappointment (of myself for not noticing) in one on this fan of almost 20 years.

    I've read about "J.S." but never about "J+M+S"; perhaps missing it in the "newsgroup era" of jms? With him one can never be sure what is coincidence.

    (posted on jms' Facebook fan page as well)
    Babylon 5 Animations

  • #2
    Not sure about Susan standing in for S, but the name "Michael" was deliberate.

    http://jmsnews.com/msg.aspx?id=1-6961

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    • #3
      John, Michael, Susan - nope, didn't see it ether. Good catch!

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      • #4
        I have a vague memory of that coming up once but I think it was back on the old AOL boards and many of those posts are lost. I did find this from Volume 3 of the script books, though, when JMS was talking about his first character memo describing "John Strider", the holdin name for the character who would become John Sheridan:

        I chose Strider as a temporary name because IÆm a Lord of the Rings fan, and that image was a good one for me to hold in mind during the writing, but I always intended to change the name later, once weÆd cast the actor and I could figure out what name fit. The initials JS would remain, however, becauseàwell, thatÆs my way of signing my work.
        Which always left me wondering what Jeremiah's last name was a couple of TV shows later....

        ETA: I think you've got a keeper in your dearest, Zoltan.

        Jan
        "As empathy spreads, civilization spreads. As empathy contracts, civilization contracts...as we're seeing now.

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        • #5
          I too checked Volume 3 just to make sure it wasn't mentioned, as well as searching the archives on jmsnews (finding the old message JoeD80 linked to).

          Susan could be a coincidence though, as it's a name which is also found in Slavic nations but known in the English-speaking countries as well. Then again, to quote Peter David: "Londo's referring to his wives as three of the four horsemen seemed to be merely a throwaway joke. But that left "war" unaccounted for. "War" turned out to be Londo himself, as his actions set the Narn/Centauri conflict into motion. Trust Joe Straczynski to lace even the most casual comment with meaning".

          And yes she is Jan: nobody can bear with me more.
          Babylon 5 Animations

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Zoltan View Post
            And yes she is Jan: nobody can bear with me more.
            If she'd like to come and play with us, we can make her her own spoiler-free thread. We love first time viewers!!

            Jan
            "As empathy spreads, civilization spreads. As empathy contracts, civilization contracts...as we're seeing now.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Zoltan View Post
              ... just like Peter David did with the bear.
              I thought the bear itself was a gift from Mrs David to JMS as a thank you, and JMS (not being a fan of cute) decided to tag on the extra scene of the bear being spaced as a way of getting his own back.

              The JS on the bear genuinely stood for Joe Straczynski, and the fact that JMS had endowed his captain with the same initials gave him the ability to create a very funny scene out of it.

              Of course, my memory is not what it used to be.
              The Optimist: The glass is half full
              The Pessimist: The glass is half empty
              The Engineer: The glass is twice as big as it needs to be

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Garibaldi's Hair View Post
                I thought the bear itself was a gift from Mrs David to JMS as a thank you, and JMS (not being a fan of cute) decided to tag on the extra scene of the bear being spaced as a way of getting his own back.

                The JS on the bear genuinely stood for Joe Straczynski, and the fact that JMS had endowed his captain with the same initials gave him the ability to create a very funny scene out of it.

                Of course, my memory is not what it used to be.
                No, you're quite correct. It was indeed David's (then-)wife who was into plush bears. He then goes on to describe the dialogue between him and jms:
                "The bear was ordered, produced and sent off.

                I spoke to Joe about a week or so later. He sounded grave. 'Peter ... I got your "gift."'
                'Oh, good,' I said. 'Did you like it?'
                'I'm not into cute,' he said, sounding no less grave.
                Apparently he was of the impression that this was common knowledge. I didn't know. 'Uhm ... okay, well, if you don't want him, sent it back.'
                'No, no, I'm keeping it,' he replied. Then he paused a beat and added ominously, 'I'll get you for this.'
                'You're going to get me? For sending you a gift?'
                'Yes.'"

                So, even if it the original idea was from David's wife, from jms' point of view (and the above dialogue) it was from David himself; in the end, he did agree on the gift.

                Nonetheless, you are quite correct and your memory as well.
                Babylon 5 Animations

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                • #9
                  Then after the bear got spaced, Peter named an evil alien race the 'Staczyn'. They called a halt to any more shenanigans because word was getting around that they disliked each other when all they were doing is playing around.

                  And JMS replied to Zoltan's post on FB:

                  Originally posted by Fans of J. Michael Straczynski
                  Just more silliness; justifying my surname jokingly makes sense.
                  Jan
                  "As empathy spreads, civilization spreads. As empathy contracts, civilization contracts...as we're seeing now.

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