22 pages are
due out today
15 are finished
7 aren't written
2 aren't colored
machine is out."
machine is out?!
The clock ticks
problem with page 4--
correction is needed
More news: a
call--specs are needed
memo? Get the memo!
But now the
page is missing
Who had it last?
They found the
please find page 4?"
arrives, color separation
We cannot check
without original art!
A call to the
have the art. Sorry.
You'll have it
by 7 PM."
Ok, there go my
When I was 14
years old, I had a conversation
with a friend of mine. We were discussing careers, what we wanted to
We were teenagers; we had gone beyond cop, fireman, and astronaut. Now
we were talking rock star, spy, or head of an architectural firm on
Avenue. So my friend asked me what my plans were. I said "Comic
going to work in comic books."
I might as
well have said "arms dealer"
for the look he gave me.
books?" he replied. "That's no
work, that's no work at all."
supposed that comics came out
of a big machine. Which they do, in a way. A printer is a very big
Huge. But he thought that there was little or no human effort involved.
He was wrong. It's all human effort. From the
freelancers to the
editors to the financial people to the production crew to the interns
Fred the cleaning guy. It's all human effort, and it's all work.
there are 12- to 13-hour days
involved. There are days when we get to FedEx with only minutes to
On occasion, very long days turn into "all nighters," and those turn
mornings. Once, I remember seeing our office manager Debbie Fix, leave
for the night and come back early the next day. Upon sight of her, I
we'd been working too long. There are days when we are all working on
or three things at once: pasteup on DARK DOMINION,
a promo piece... But our crack production crew cuts through the jobs
And all in
all, things are still pretty
festive. How can they not be? Our production crew specializes in smart
comebacks, Beavis and Butthead imitations, and being helpful. Yes it's
difficult at times, yes it's chaotic, yes it's work. But it's exactly
we've wanted to do... comic books. So we here at DEFIANT hope you enjoy
reading them as much as we enjoy putting them together.
found page 4 in the Kitchen?"
OK. I can live
Commentary: This is a fun
look at the inside of a publishing company. In an "end justifies the
kind of way, there is always a deeper emotional reward for
a task when the schedule and obstacles say it can't be done. I find it
easy to empathize with both the pains and rewards of getting the job
and getting it done on time.
There are so
many people to thank.
First of all,
thank you for picking up
this book. I hope you've enjoyed it. Let me be the first person to
you to the DEFIANT Universe, and if you are one of the family, Hello
Some of you
may have noticed that P&C
#1 has been released in two languages, Spanish and English. For those
you who speak French, Byzantine, and Old Gaelic we apologize, we'll get
around to you soon enough. Translating comics is common in this
my roommate has a Superman™ comic in Arabic. Nothing
translating of a comic usually
occurs after it's published in the language of the country of it's
The lettering is taken out and English words are replaced with German,
Chinese...Not so with P&C.
and Spanish versions were
done pretty much at the same time and released at once. Which made it
the work, double the effort. Everyone involved was extremely
Which means that there are a lot of people to thank.
The list goes as follows:
Jim Shooter for the
Chris Claremont for a great
Fern for working through pneumonia, his art speaks for itself. Mike
Bob Wiacek, and Keith Wilson for making their Windsor & Newton
sing. Lovern at Digital, for jumping into the fray, and George Roberts,
who lettered about 60 pages in a week. I think he's
under the impression
that we'll let him sleep now.
I don't think so...
Rodriguez for his faithful
translation, Mr. Andrès Ibañez and Carmen Nieves for their
help with the proofing and making sure we stayed away from "anglicisms".
My Mom and
Sister whom I'd call up daily
and ask "Does this sound right to you"? There was one line in Spanish
was slightly different from it's English counterpart because it
a romantic overtone. The line in Spanish read like.
most wonderful and endearing
thing that anyone has ever said
to me in my entire life!" the original
English read, "That's
really sweet!"" I read the Spanish line to my Mom and she thought it
the most romantic thing she'd heard.
say, I changed the line.
Digital Chameleon, Joalene Thomas,
Susan Lepine, and George Freeman. And to the behind-the-scenes folk, a
tip of the hat. This may be the start of a beautiful thing.
thanks to artists Janet Jackson,
Grey, Adam Polina, Lee Moder, Roy Cover, and Don Heck. And to our
staff for their near fanatical devotion to getting
this stuff out,
God for support, and once again you, the reader.
All of the
above people helped produce
a comic that even my dear old Granddad in Puerto Rico can read!
Be back next
month as our crew weaves
it's web with "One Hand Clapping"
So, like I'm 3 stories
below Grand Central Station
with a camera man, an interviewer and a production guy named Hector.
place is full of pipes, thin twisting corridors, and steam,
Commentary: This is evidence
that a strong effort was being made to make their comics more
to readers even in the last few months of publication.
blankets below some of the bigger
pipes. Blankets, beer bottles, clothes, and some baseball caps. "Who's
been sleeping here?" Im wonder? We were down here to shoot an interview
about the Dark Dominion series which I was
penciling at the time.
The film makers thought the ambience down there
would make a nice
back drop as we discussed Michael Alexander and his cohorts--Chasm,
easy, though. We had to get
permission from Dan Brucker at Grand Central's Station Master's office.
We made an appointment, geared up, and with a guide, we entered the Bowels.
And what a
place it was! Here I'd spent
the last couple of months drawing this place, yet I'd never been there.
I'd only seen it through photographs. But still, pictures don't let you
feel the heat emanating from the pipes, the musty smells, the stale
on concrete. Pictures don't let you hear the hum of hidden generators.
It was quite
And it's on
Inside the Tower" video
features a bunch of our own DEFIANT creators doing what they do
Jim Shooter, David Lapham, Adam Pollina, and Alan Weiss discuss
from Charlemagne to War Dancer. There's
coloring live! And
as for me, I'm the frightened-looking
one jabbering to himself in the murky catacombs of Manhattan's Grand
Station. It's a fun video, I think you'll like it.
You can catch
glimpses of the video at
DEFIANT's Booth during the conventions this summer; which by the way,
be the perfect opportunity for we lovers of the
comics medium to
meet face to face. Conventions are almost always intense and always
Come visit our table, let us know what you think about our product.
us what you want to see more of, or less of... more or less. We'll give
you the update on what's in store for the summer; our Schism
and our new titles Prudence and Caution, The Great
and Glory. We're backing up the
summer with a tough
fall season. Look for it.
See You Then,
I have this younger
sister. She's a woman now, but
when I was younger, she was the dreaded "kid sister." This meant she
to do as I did... all the time. We went to the same school, so I had to
walk her there everyday. But I was a pre-teen and she cramped my style.
I also had to watch out for her during recess, make sure she got home
I'm sure you all know what it's like.
Commentary: Hmmm! I forgot
about the video. One of my goals will be to get a VHS copy of this
I can record it over to a DVD or .mpg if I get a copy. I've never seen
The fact was
this--I could be mean
to my younger sister and treat her anyway I wanted to. I was her older
brother, it was my right.
anyone--ANYONE dared to make fun of,
mistreat, mock, bother, or kick around my kid sister, I'd have it out
them then and there. No questions asked, no quarter given.... Why?
Well, she was
my sister, kin-folk, blood
of my blood, family. Any problems I had with her were put away when
messed with the family.
thought about those days when
I attended a convention. I was blown away by how crazy it all was; The
lights, music, video screens, smoke machines, spaceships, Vampirella™,
the talent, and the comics. It was big. But I was
also taken by
how relatively small our business is...
when I was a kid. The idea
of getting a job in comics was like... no way, too cool.
of my buds and I getting to work on all of our favorite characters or
up new ones and drawing, coloring, writing was just...heavenly. I
the questions--What kind of paper, what size, what kind of pens do you
use to ink, why is it when you look at a comic book panel real close
colors turn into color dots, how many pages should you draw a day,
pencils do I use? I remember how much there was to learn! To do! And it
was all fun.
A I looked
around the hall, It occurred
to me then. It's amazing how we've turned our crazy dreams into this
business! It's astounding how far we've managed to stretch this
between ourselves, fans, and creators alike. Think about it, just how
people on Earth actually make a living producing
comics? Now I'm
talking creative teams alone, not the machinery that moves this stuff.
We write about heroics, ideals, courage, power, and passion. We draw
men and women in tight underwear and armor fighting above great cities.
They fight with or without a thought for the consequences and without a
bill to pay.
to be made at this.
How lucky we are. All the couple of thousand of us, not including the
end, live off of this business. This business that
was the "red-headed-stepchild" of the entertainment medium. We are a
business and lately we're being recognized by the real world. But yet
still, we're in this small boat called "comics." It amazes me that
is as much mud-slinging as there is. It is after
all, one giant
dollar we're sharing. It's as if all of us are rowing the same boat,
a few guys are using their paddles to beat their
neighbors. Is this
how we're to make progress?
I was talking
to a friend, a certain editor-in-chief
of a certain milestone in the business. I was using
to cry on It was an editorial-woes sort of thing). And I expressed to
how there weren't many people you could talk to about this 'stuff' and
he told me;" Yeah, why do you think so many editors hang out
editors from the competition? You gotta talk to somebody..."
sense. Especially about the competition part. It didn't stop me from
to him or him from talking to me. Small boat, One-Giant-Dollar, Love
Neighbor, sound familiar?
When I was a
kid, it occurred to me why
I got so mad at people when they said mean or hurtful things to my kid
sister. She seemed so helpless and defenseless, and I knew it was
It made me not want to be mean to her again. I see some of this in our
business, we go out of our way to take public potshots at each other
angry brothers and sisters. Yet, when you consider all that we share in
our small and unique industry, does it make sense to do this? I mean
was my kid sister, kin-folk, blood of my blood, family... but more
she was a fellow human being and that was enough.
Small world, sound
Commentary: This editorial
assumes that the small comics creating community was ever a family. A
analogy would be to define the tools of the trade... the pens, the
the paper, even a company logo as the boat. The dollars are the food
the boat trip. The creators are just people on the boat.
Profit is the
unfortunate measure of success
in life. Comics of the 60's--the one's many older creators grew up
of values greater than money. The real world of business never really
Those evil real
world people always step in when
they see someone else doing better than them. They want their food
for now, and your food (profits) for later.
is the attitude of anyone
unsure about the future and anyone lacking confidence. Fear indeed is
evil in life.
It seems at a some
point that the only way to
guarantee food or money in this industry is to focus on what you do, do
it better than the others, and work to always do the best. In the early
years, Valiant Comics did that under Jim Shooter's leadership. Valiant
was actually learning to walk on water and since there were few people
talking about them they didn't care. At some point however, Jim Shooter
was gone and Valiant was sitting on top of the water and they didn't
how they got there.
Success is a
byproduct of making right decisions.
Defiant made a few bad decisions despite their boat full of very good
They focused on the stormy seas around them, and neglected to focus on
the faith in what they were building.
It becomes clear
in retrospect that Defiant did
not equate Valiant's early years of struggle with the planting and
of seeds. Instead, they equated Valiant's success with the moment a
burst through the ground. This fundamental flaw in their creative focus
hurt Defiant's ability to survive. A year full of promotion centered
the Schism crossover because that was where they saw they visualized
That is what they felt would clinch their sucess and profitability.
spent all their energies trying to keep the ground soft for Schism to
out as a hit, and they did not nurture the individual issues along to
them their best. A great deal of time and planning was going into
yet readers were not drawn emotionally to Schism--some mysteious event
a year away-- because they just wanted to understand what they were
buying. Several key issues which needed to feature Defiant's best
their best stories, and their most stable creative teams did not
those elements. The sales drop was a reflection of some quality drops.
The sales drops were a byproduct of overall consumer perception.... not
the reality of what was being produced.
appears Defiant did not believe
in itself, it only believed in the sales numbers. Progress is never
by believing in numbers unless you understand how the numbers became
you see. Progress is made by creating the numbers yourself...and it is
a byproduct of making right choices.
Success is rarely
created by simply giving people
what they already know they want or expect. Success is created by
concepts the reader did not know they wanted.