Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Some Favorite Interviews, Pt 1

I did a lot of comics-related journalism back in my day. It started in 1988, with an offer from COMICS SCENE magazine (well, from editor Dan Dickholtz, my best buddy from college) to write a short article on the comic adaptation of Harold Coyle's WWIII-themed book TEAM YANKEE. The comic was to be written by David Drake, who became a star with combat sf titles (primarily the HAMMER'S SLAMMERS series).

Getting the assignment sheet, I interviewed Drake, wrote up the review... and what do you know, it got published--my first article for a national magazine. Mom was very proud.

A whole lot of interviews followed after that. I think the single best one was interviewing Archie Goodwin about his Wolverine arc with John Byrne. He was one of the nicest guys I've ever interviewed. We met in his office, chatted about a few things and wrapped up the interview very handily. It was a great piece and Marvel's Steve Saffel (hey, Steve!) provided us with terrific Byrne art to accompany the article. (Steve is now a freelance editor and one heck of a guy as well.)

A great interview that led to getting work was with Steve Jackson. I wrote an article about roleplaying games for STARLOG, having been a roleplayer since about 1978, and Steve was one of the subjects of the interview. He was generous with his time and followed up my mentioning an interest in writing by sending me a copy of a GURPS supplement, which he had inscribed "Now start writing!" I wrote GURPS: Magic Items 2 for him in 1990, earning a professional credit that helped me get work with TSR, but my work showed a lot of rookie mistakes (and some rushed lack-of-polish), which left Steve disinclined to work with me again. I don't believe there's any ill will on any part, and who knows? If I get my act together as a writer, I may end up writing for him again one day.

In the next installment, I'll describe how I made a total fool of myself when I first met Isaac Asimov.

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