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  • JMS Quitting Comics

    At his spotlight panel at SDCC on Friday, July 22, 2016, JMS made the surprising announcement that, barring a few things still in the works, he's decided to leave comics and concentrate on writing novels and plays in addition to his work on TV and feature films.

    He didn't mention the fates of any previously announced projects but from the sounds of things, he's been starting to wind things down for a year or so now, following some really major eye surgery.

    While I'm very much looking forward to seeing what comes in the future, I can't pretend that I'm not sad that we won't be seeing more of the 'Book of Lost Souls' or 'Apocalypse Al' or 'Dream Police' or 'Ten Grand' or even (because I had to peek between my fingers 'Sidekick'.

    At a guess, I'd say we'll probably see the 'Flash: Earth One' book since JMS mentioned that there was something from DC. But it looks like 'Alone' and 'Cemetery Cats' will ever see the light of day.

    Well, crud - I've just depressed myself. I don't think I'd realized how much I wanted to see all of those. Plus I'm selfishly aware that with Joe's Comics, JMS was entirely in charge of what we'd see of what he wrote. As with TV and Features, I have a sinking feeling that a lot more plays and novels will be written than we'll ever get to see. Sigh...Guess I got spoiled!

    Jan
    "Fascism always comes in quietly, holding a flag in one hand and a holy book in the other, inching its way in. The bugles and drums only sound after they've already taken over and believe it's too late to do anything about it." JMS Twitter Dec. 24, 2017

  • #2
    Who says that JMS cannot make his own publishing company for the novels etc, just like he did with Joe's Comics ?

    Cheer up, old friend ...
    Jan from Denmark

    My blog :

    http://www.babylonlurker.dk

    "Our thoughts form the Universe - they *always* matter"

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by babylonlurker View Post
      Who says that JMS cannot make his own publishing company for the novels etc, just like he did with Joe's Comics ?

      Cheer up, old friend ...
      True - and he might well even ask Publishing 180 if she's interested. A friend mentioned that self-publishing is the way to go these days (though if he refuses to do e-versions, I'll scream!).

      But plays? That's a far more rarefied market. And I think I've VERY much like to see a JMS play. Maybe with John Iacovelli sets?!?

      But it won't be the same as getting as many as 4-5 issues of JMS comics every month...

      Jan
      "Fascism always comes in quietly, holding a flag in one hand and a holy book in the other, inching its way in. The bugles and drums only sound after they've already taken over and believe it's too late to do anything about it." JMS Twitter Dec. 24, 2017

      Comment


      • #4
        I think you're right about plays, and yes, a steady stream of comics is nice to have, but I usually go for the compendium system/GN anyway.
        Jan from Denmark

        My blog :

        http://www.babylonlurker.dk

        "Our thoughts form the Universe - they *always* matter"

        Comment


        • #5
          Moving part of my comics related response from the SDCC thread to here:

          With all the TV interest of late and Sense8, it seems like a logical move. I haven't really followed many of JMS comics titles since Rising Stars, Midnight Nation and Supreme Power. I've dipped in and out, but nothing has grabbed me enough to pick up trades or single issues of any given series. Perhaps my tastes have just changed over the years but his Supes: Earth 1 stuff just left me really cold, like he was phoning it in without really trying too hard.

          I did want to see Alone because Bill Sienkiewicz is one hell of an artist. All in all, i think it's good he's trimming his workload to focus on pastures new.

          Self publishing is good, but only to an extent; I know first hand from semi-successful creators that it's a hard game and the revenue can be depressingly low. Better off to be with a reputable publisher who has good distribution and good press relations. Not saying JMS couldn't do it, but it's a hard slog.

          I hope he focuses on his strengths, which to me are TV and film. Would be interested to see him try a novel, or perhaps even something autobigraphical as I enjoyed reading Joe's intro and commentaries in the B5 script books, In fact, I enjoyed these far more than any of his fiction prose work.
          Last edited by Ubik; 07-25-2016, 07:27 AM.
          Captain John Sheridan: I really *hate* it when you do that.

          Kosh: Good!

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Ubik View Post
            I did want to see Alone because Bill Sienkiewicz is one hell of an artist.
            I second the motion.

            Comment


            • #7
              What bugs me the most about the announcement is that he made a point of the fact that once he left something behind, he never, ever looked back. I'd feel better (selfish, I know) if I thought that the door were still open for him to knock out a story if he came up with something really good but that doesn't appear to be the case.

              And...I really loved the Joe's Comics logo.
              "Fascism always comes in quietly, holding a flag in one hand and a holy book in the other, inching its way in. The bugles and drums only sound after they've already taken over and believe it's too late to do anything about it." JMS Twitter Dec. 24, 2017

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Jan View Post
                And...I really loved the Joe's Comics logo.
                I really liked it too.
                Susan Ivanova, "I'll be in the car."

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Jan View Post
                  What bugs me the most about the announcement is that he made a point of the fact that once he left something behind, he never, ever looked back. I'd feel better (selfish, I know) if I thought that the door were still open for him to knock out a story if he came up with something really good but that doesn't appear to be the case.

                  And...I really loved the Joe's Comics logo.
                  Yes, the statement had a strange finality to it. Of course, technically speaking, that door is always open if he chooses to use it; but stating very publicly that you're quitting a field entirely isn't conducive to more work in that area later on in the game. I think that historically speaking, his comics work has always taken a back seat to bigger things when they came along. I do kind of object to creating excitement around some of the forthcoming titles, e.g. 'Alone' and then zip, "I'm done with comics'. Ah well, it's a shame.

                  I do wonder if the eyesight issues he experienced were somewhat of an epiphany for him to focus on what was truly important to him? I always got the impression that the comics thing was more of a sideline earner for him. I am interested to see where he goes, and do hope it allows JMS the time to build that 'street cred' we need for the B5 film. Although, I am less hopeful as JMS seemed to downplay it a bit this year, and the earlier confident rhetoric around the B5 film has been ramped down significantly form what was said at SDCC 2015:

                  "So in 2015 I will write a Babylon 5 screenplay. I’ll be giving Warner Bros. the opportunity – if they want to step up, “Help yourself”. If they don’t, 2016: We make it. I’m not going to wait around for more of our cast members to die. So that’s the long term plan and those are the current updates on everything that’s going on right now'.

                  Thus far no screenplay appears to have been written and we're waiting an indefinite amount of time to create more goodwill amongst investors. I don't want to sound bitter or entitled, but I am finding it harder and harder to take any of these big Con announcements seriously. Apologies all, if I am getting a bit ranty here! The proper investment will be important to ensuring a good B5 film, so I guess we wait patiently. But, to have it put out there in no uncertain terms, and then have it pushed back... ah well... I guess this is just part of Joe's ambition to 'do it right' and not short change fans with a budget feature a la The Lost Tales.

                  We have Sense8, which I am thankful for. I guess B5 still occupies a special place in my heart and I'd just love the prospect of something new before 2020.
                  Last edited by Ubik; 07-27-2016, 01:58 AM.
                  Captain John Sheridan: I really *hate* it when you do that.

                  Kosh: Good!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Ubik View Post
                    I am interested to see where he goes, and do hope it allows JMS the time to build that 'street cred' we need for the B5 film. Although, I am less hopeful as JMS seemed to downplay it a bit this year, and the earlier confident rhetoric around the B5 film has been ramped down significantly form what was said at SDCC 2015:

                    "So in 2015 I will write a Babylon 5 screenplay. I’ll be giving Warner Bros. the opportunity – if they want to step up, “Help yourself”. If they don’t, 2016: We make it. I’m not going to wait around for more of our cast members to die. So that’s the long term plan and those are the current updates on everything that’s going on right now'.

                    Thus far no screenplay appears to have been written and we're waiting an indefinite amount of time to create more goodwill amongst investors. I don't want to sound bitter or entitled, but I am finding it harder and harder to take any of these big Con announcements seriously. Apologies all, if I am getting a bit ranty here! The proper investment will be important to ensuring a good B5 film, so I guess we wait patiently. But, to have it put out there in no uncertain terms, and then have it pushed back... ah well... I guess this is just part of Joe's ambition to 'do it right' and not short change fans with a budget feature a la The Lost Tales.
                    I understand the feeling and I can see why you might be thinking that way. But let's look at what JMS said when he made the announcement:

                    Originally posted by JMS
                    Here’s the plan: We’re going to have, through Studio JMS, at least two, maybe three TV series on the air next year. We’re going to have at least one or two movies going ahead. And we’ll use that to parlay serious investment in the studio. I’m not talking Kickstarter, I’m talking about one hundred million dollars, two hundred million dollars; we already have people who are lined up and interested in doing that.
                    Now take a look at Studio JMS' IMDb page. Do you see those two additional TV series in addition to Sense8? Do you see that one or two movies on there? Nope. Not there. So it boils down to JMS saying now exactly what he said in 2014; that he needs to build up credits for the studio in order to be able to attract investors.

                    But why haven't all those things appeared on JMS' IMDb page? Well, if JMS has a failing that I can see, it's being a bit too optimistic. Which is probably the only way to stay sane in that business. Things take the time they take and he's written far more things than we'll ever see. That's just the nature of the business. My feeling, and it's only that, is that JMS based his prediction on the number of meetings and assignments he had at the time.

                    What's also happened in the meantime? Oh, right...just two major eye surgeries. Don't you just hate how procedures that save your sight will interfere with what the fans are expecting of you? </sarcasm>

                    As for:
                    Thus far no screenplay appears to have been written
                    What's that based on? Because the last we saw is that JMS said in the Sept/Oct interview that he planned on finishing the script. And when it comes to
                    and we're waiting an indefinite amount of time to create more goodwill amongst investors.
                    ...well...yeah. People don't just hand you a hundred million dollars based on your good looks and best intentions, after all.

                    Sorry if this is a bit ranty in return but let's not allow disappointment to get in the way of thought. Nothing's changed except that it's taking longer than JMS originally expected.

                    Memo to self: Probably should write up some of this as a stand-alone post for the FB5 site & FAQ page...

                    ETA: For those interested, this looks to be a description of the surgeries that JMS had: http://mccarthyeye.com/dsaek-and-dmek/

                    Jan
                    Last edited by Jan; 07-27-2016, 04:53 AM.
                    "Fascism always comes in quietly, holding a flag in one hand and a holy book in the other, inching its way in. The bugles and drums only sound after they've already taken over and believe it's too late to do anything about it." JMS Twitter Dec. 24, 2017

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      All totally fair points Jan! An FAQ / Timeline around the B5 feature would be useful for sure.

                      I guess the build up to SDCC made me hopeful for some kind of big B5 related announcement, and it's a bit of a let down when the reality is that it'll be a few years off yet. This is all stuff outside of JMS control, but as fans, we have to stay hopeful! Too easy to get cynical where Hollywood is concerned, so pardon my little rant.
                      Captain John Sheridan: I really *hate* it when you do that.

                      Kosh: Good!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Ubik View Post
                        All totally fair points Jan! An FAQ / Timeline around the B5 feature would be useful for sure.
                        Actually, I was referring to the B5 FAQ and Urban Legends Facebook page a few of us put together a few months ago. It's nice to have those posts in one place since I/we have to refer back to them often (yeah, it's all about my convenience!)

                        Jan
                        "Fascism always comes in quietly, holding a flag in one hand and a holy book in the other, inching its way in. The bugles and drums only sound after they've already taken over and believe it's too late to do anything about it." JMS Twitter Dec. 24, 2017

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Just because I have this info and need to put it somewhere, Joe's comics output by year (I did count graphic novel as 1 issue which probably isn't fair, but this list is just for fun. Also only the issues that are scripted by jms; not including story by jms):

                          1987 - 1
                          1990 - 1
                          1991 - 1
                          1994 - 1
                          1998 - 1
                          1999 - 5
                          2000 - 14
                          2001 - 19
                          2002 - 20
                          2003 - 16
                          2004 - 24
                          2005 - 34
                          2006 - 32
                          2007 - 27
                          2008 - 15
                          2009 - 13
                          2010 - 16
                          2011 - 1
                          2012 - 14
                          2013 - 15
                          2014 - 47
                          2015 - 9

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Wow, that's really cool, Thanks!! You should post it on JMS' fan page. Bet it would trigger one of his 'lie down' moments.

                            Jan
                            "Fascism always comes in quietly, holding a flag in one hand and a holy book in the other, inching its way in. The bugles and drums only sound after they've already taken over and believe it's too late to do anything about it." JMS Twitter Dec. 24, 2017

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              A post from JMS last night:
                              Originally posted by JMS
                              The only current comic remaining to be finished is Dream Police, and that's finished. 11 is out in August, 12 shortly afterward. There are no other pending titles that were begun but are unfinished. And Protectors was finished, it's just a matter of trying to figure out at this date do we do a v2 or package as one book. So it's not like the book wasn't finished.
                              "Fascism always comes in quietly, holding a flag in one hand and a holy book in the other, inching its way in. The bugles and drums only sound after they've already taken over and believe it's too late to do anything about it." JMS Twitter Dec. 24, 2017

                              Comment

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