• The new B5TV.COM is here. We've replaced our 16 year old software with flashy new XenForo install. Registration is open again. Password resets will work again. More info here.

State of the Straczynski-verse

Lyta

Moderator
Jan.6.2003
<font color="orange">On projects new and old...there's been a variety of happenings.

On Jeremiah, we're about to start on episode 7, "Voices in the Dark," and I just finished writing 8 and 9, "Crossing Jordan" and "Running on Empty." By the time we hit mid-week, we'll be halfway through shooting on the season, which should wrap around the first week of April, though post will take us through mid-May.

On Polaris...we got down to one of three projects of which one or two would be greenlighted for production. It went down to the wire, but finally SFC decided that the premise of Polaris was a little too science fictiony, when they were looking to go for ideas that had more immediate mainstream appeal. So even though they felt that Polaris was the best written of the projects they had in development, they went for a project about intergalactic (not interstellar, intergalactic) vampires called "Bloodsuckers." It is, to be fair, one of those concepts that, when you hear it, you get it, there isn't a lot of background needed.

It happens. Networks develop tons of shows but only green-light a handful every year. Showtime had something like 35 projects in development this past season, and picked 3. So at least we made it to the final cut, which is something.

We still feel strongly about Polaris, and once the turn-around period has expired, plan to bring it elsewhere.

But as one door closes, another opens. The thing about television is that you can only have x-number of projects in the works at one time as a show runner (as opposed to someone who EPs and just sells shows). For instance, on Jeremiah, I'm in first position, meaning MGM and Jeremiah have first call on my services. When Polaris was in development, it occupied second position, meaning that had it gone ahead, that show would've had call on me above any other projects, but second behind Jeremiah in case of any conflicts of priorities or schedules.

It's very difficult to sell or develop projects in third or fourth position, because it has the potential to compromise those productions if you get jammed up on shows with higher priority.

Which is a long way to say that, once Polaris went away, it cleared the decks to take on another television project in development, which is very new and I can't discuss it yet until we're further down the road.

On the comics front, I've turned in the first 2 issues of Supreme Power, and should have the third issue in sometime next week. I'm working with Gary Frank and Joe Quesada on the art and look of the book, which is very cool. Also working on issue 51 of Amazing Spider-Man, which I hope to turn in this week. (Issue 49 should be out in a couple weeks, I think.)

I've been told the writer/directors doing the dust-up on Rising Stars: The Movie are progressing well, and I keep hearing about this thing shooting sometime later this year, but that's strictly unofficial until somebody tells me on the record.

The text for the B5 Quote Book is nearly done, and I think that one will be outaround April.

I'm also doing an 80-minute audio drama called "The Adventures of Apocalypse Al," for a company that will put the show out later this year.

Bet you didn't take Christmas or New Year's off, did you?

No, couldn't, too many projects to write.</font color>

Jan.7.2003
<font color="orange">What and When is "Supreme Power"?

Supreme Power is an updating of the Squadron Supreme book done quite a while back by Mark Gruenwald. It was one of the first books, possibly the first book, to really examine the role of the superhero in society, and as such is generally considered to have paved the way for such later works as Watchmen, Dark Knight, Marvels, Kingdom Come and others.

Marvel said, basically, if you could take those characters, who were used at a time when comics were still quite a bit more restrictive than now, due to the comics code and other influences, and update them, recast them, free to do whatever you want...what would you do?

Hence, Supreme Power. While it has its moments of dark humor, it's a very intense, serious book. And because it's being done for the Marvel Max line -- which is aimed at mature readers -- there are very few limitations in terms of imagery and language. Marvel has said it wants me to take this book to the wall, and that's pretty much where I intend to go.

Interestingly, unlike the aforemtentioned titles, this isn't a limited series...it's intended to be an ongoing series, while trying to sustain the kind of intensity you get in that kind of limited edition. It's a massive writing challenge, though one of my main goals is to do right by Mark's original creation.

I think the first issue appears sometime in February or March.

So when can we expect RS:Bright? And do you plan any other spinoffs of Rising Stars?

This one, by Fiona Avery, is due out in February, I think. I know that Top Cow is planning other follow-ups to the Rising Stars story, but I'm not directly involved in the writing of them due to my contract with Marvel. One of them may follow the events of Laurel Darkhaven, the teek who ended up a CIA assassin.

Also, when is the next Midnight Nation slated?

There are no more MIdnight Nation single issues; it was intended as a 12 issue miniseries, and it's done. I just learned (on this newsgroup, as it happens) that the graphic novel is finally coming out and now available for pre-order on Amazon.com.

Folks, I don't generally hock my stuff around here, because I think it's rude. But in all honesty, in many respects, from a sheer writing perspective, Midnight Nation represents some of the best stuff I've ever done in the form. It's something that I poured a lot of emotion into, a lot of personal feelings and history and beliefs, covering life, death, religion, god, how we achieve meaning...all balanced against a cross-country quest by two people, one out to reclaim his soul, the other a woman sent to help him or kill him, depending on how the story ends up.

It is also, oddly enough, a love story.

It's one of the things I'm proudest of as a writer, and I commend it to anyonewho found the ideas in Babylon 5 of interest. And the art by Gary Frank is just gorgeous, and evocative, and full of emotion.

There's a great Cinescape review of the book at --

http://www.cinescape.com/0/Editorial.asp?aff_id=0&this_cat=Comics&action=page&obj_id=34965

-- which contains spoilers, however, so if you want to hold off on some of the surprises, you may want to just get it cold. The key part of the review, though, says:

"MIDNIGHT NATION offered a unique twist on some very old cosmological concepts, and managed to make the idea that "love conquers all" the very core of its resolution without resorting to smarmy melodrama. That's a rare accomplishment, and all the more reason why MIDNIGHT NATION will be remembered as one of the most absorbing and emotionally moving sagas in modern comics history."

It's a nifty little story. Honest.</font color>
 
Doesn't suprise me either, almost too good to be true. Too science-fictiony for the sci fi channel, that's like saying football is too much sport for ESPN.
 
Doesn't suprise me either, almost too good to be true. Too science-fictiony for the sci fi channel, that's like saying football is too much sport for ESPN.

/forums/images/graemlins/laugh.gif Well put, Glacophane.

They should really change their name to the "horror channel".

For more reasons than just the obvious one. /forums/images/graemlins/rolleyes.gif
 
Just a follow up on his thoughts on the Midnight Nation story:

Jan.8.2002
<font color="orange">It's really an incredible story, IMHO. I don't know how you continue to tell such powerful, moving, and insightful stories, but we're all clearly better for it. Do you ever get emotionally burnt out from all the passion you clearly put into your writing?

Yeah, I do. I tend to operate under the theory that unless you feel something while you're writing, it's impossible to make the audience feel something upon seeing it. So in the actual course of writing a scene, or a story, I wind myself up to whatever emotions I'm describing...usually by putting myself in a similar place, using past experiences from my own life.

There were times on B5 when I was so whipped from the emotional roller coaster of the show's story, not to mention the production requirements, that I was just staggering under it...they used to just sort of point me from one place where I was supposed to be, to the next.

I think it's necessary to burn brightly when you write. I also know it takes a whopping big chunk out of you in return. But I don't know any other way to do it.</font color>

Reading his comments about MN made me realize that I never actually finished reading this series. In fact, I had stopped reading all comics a few months back because it was getting too hard to keep track of them while updating everything for my Jeremiah site as well.

'Tis a shame really so I had my hubby dig out my comics and I just finished reading the last three issues. Wow. JMS was right. I had to wipe away the tears and blow my nose just to finish this post. I look forward to reading the entire series again when the TPB comes out (soon I hope!). I still can't believe I was so reluctant to try this title out in the beginning! /forums/images/graemlins/shocked.gif /forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif

Here is a link if anyone wants to pick up the TPB when it comes out:

http://abyss.hubbe.net/b5/comics/mn_misc.html#tpb

PS: I also updated most of my comics section which was really getting out of date. /forums/images/graemlins/blush.gif
 
News on the Midnight Nation TPB. Amazon.com says it's not available yet, but it will be released on December 31, 1969!!!
/forums/images/graemlins/confused.gif /forums/images/graemlins/confused.gif /forums/images/graemlins/confused.gif
What?????????? /forums/images/graemlins/confused.gif
 
Doesn't suprise me either, almost too good to be true. Too science-fictiony for the sci fi channel, that's like saying football is too much sport for ESPN.

Exactly. How can you be too ON-TOPIC? /forums/images/graemlins/rolleyes.gif /forums/images/graemlins/confused.gif And yet, others (in alt.tv.scifi.channel and rec.arts.sf.tv) are defending Sci-Fi on the basis that The Sci-Fi Channel can air whatever Sci-Fi Management wants as long as what they air generates the highest profit.

Oh, and these defenders of Sci-Fi's decisions are also under the impression that The Sci-Fi Channel need not change it's name to match it's programming unless the cost and effort of changing the name would result in a higher profit.
 
That is funny ... Dec.31.1969! I think there is a bug somewhere because everywhere else I have seen a publication date of Jan 2003.
 
It is not a matter of 'can' it is simply that they cheese off people like and kill off the audience attracted by the idea of a channel that shows science fiction.

They can change their format without announcing they are doing so but I can change the channel. Their is nothing wrong with voicing your concerns or a little bitching.
 
That is funny ... Dec.31.1969! I think there is a bug somewhere because everywhere else I have seen a publication date of Jan 2003.

Yeah, I know. And it was like this on amazon.com a few days ago.
 
But were off by one year? (1969?)

Off by a bit, at least.

/forums/images/graemlins/rolleyes.gif The M. bug. It turned out to be only a "bug" if you didn't take care of it.

I wonder what could have happened if no one had cared? Would the power have gone out, etc, etc? /forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif
 
The 6 bit field could have been a signed integer.

So 31 + 1 = -1

Or in binary b'011111' + b'000001' = b'100000'

Add on 1970 when printing.

Cure by declaring the field to be an unsigned integer. A field with more bits would also be useful. Similar problems can occur with binary coded decimal fields.
 
Similar mistakes can be made when your proofreader is sleeping on the job, too. /forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif
 
I asked when the MN TPB would be out on Top Cow's board and someone from the herd (an employee) said this:

Jan.11.2002
<font color="orange">Well we got our copies in the studio on Wednesday, so it should be in stores any time now. We usually do not get our copies until after the stores get theirs. /forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif</font color>

However, I don't see it on the shipping lists for next week so maybe the week after? Will be checking again Monday night to see. /forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif
 
Too science-fictiony for the sci fi channel, that's like saying football is too much sport for ESPN.
------------------------------------------------------------
Exactly. How can you be too ON-TOPIC? And yet, others (in alt.tv.scifi.channel and rec.arts.sf.tv) are defending Sci-Fi on the basis that The Sci-Fi Channel can air whatever Sci-Fi Management wants as long as what they air generates the highest profit.
Oh, and these defenders of Sci-Fi's decisions are also under the impression that The Sci-Fi Channel need not change it's name to match it's programming unless the cost and effort of changing the name would result in a higher profit.

Hmm... maybe we could sue them under the Trade Descriptions Act. /forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif
 
Now there's a thought! Just like the guy suing Nike for claiming they had solved their foreign child labor problems when they hadn't. Nike's defense is that a corporation has free speech rights just like an individual, and since individuals can lie legally, they can too. Wonder if Sci Fi Channel would make the same claim? /forums/images/graemlins/rolleyes.gif
 
Hmm, or I can just wait until JMS says when it is coming out:

Jan.13.2003
<font color="orange">I noticed with some amusement that the Midnight Nation graphic novel was released on 31st December 1969, according to Amazon. What astounding technological advances; to publish a book decades before it was written! Any idea when the *real* publication date is?

As I'll note in a post elsewhere, it comes out next Wednesday (January 15th).</font color>
 
If Nike is seriously making that argument then Nike is saying "our word means absolutely nothing ".

Then they'll complain that no one ever believes them anymore. /forums/images/graemlins/rolleyes.gif
 
I just find this whole situation with the Sci-Fi Channel very sad. I didn't think I could be disillusioned with TV anymore than I have been (& I have been disillusioned a long time), but I was wrong. It's sad that Sci-Fi won't listen to their core audience of SF fans & instead wants to go for the usual idiot-crowd. I hate the way American entertainment works. /forums/images/graemlins/mad.gif /forums/images/graemlins/mad.gif /forums/images/graemlins/mad.gif /forums/images/graemlins/mad.gif /forums/images/graemlins/mad.gif

Tammy
 

Members online

No members online now.
Back
Top