Thursday, December 30, 2010

Research Notes #2-“Dick Giordano and Me”

The critical review of the first year of Break-Out Comic Book Experiment
If it happened to the late, great Dick Giordano, then I guess it’s good it happened to me.

On his first assignment for DC Comics, Dick’s editor sat him down and told him the work he submitted was not his best, and DC wanted his best. In early November, I took a new job as a pricer for an international travel company. It takes up almost sixty hours a week, and if I’m not there, I’m volunteering at a middle school as a yearbook advisor.

What does this have to do with Dick Giordano?

I’m glad you asked.

This month’s fiasco of False Dawn #12 ties us together. I posted without proofreading. It was not my best work, and everything I post, I want it to be the best quality (or at the very least the correct issue number *facepalm*).

Since then, I’ve corrected the post, and hopefully, you’ll see a difference. Every day, I’m learning new aspects of the comic book industry, but the original lesson still remains relevant—always be professional.

In the last year, the Break-Out Comic Book Experiment and I have evolved. My first pictures have been posted, and drawing—I never thought I’d take a crack at it. (Have you stopped laughing yet? I haven’t!) I actually have followers (*waves like a hockey fan at a Canadiens’ game*), and this blog has had more than 1, 500 views. This has occurred for two reasons. One, I’ve begun to post pictures, and let’s be honest. Words are just words. On a black screen, they become monotonous. Pictures give the words life. It’s the old question of who’s more important—the writer or the artist? (Well…considering my blog…) Two, “The Dark Olympians.” This story was my break-out in fanfiction with more than ninety reviews and almost double the favorites. People came here searching for more, and I hope my work has entertained them.

And I hope you’ll stick around. There’s lot of good things on the way, in my humble opinion. (I might be biased, though.)

In the last three months, I’ve begun the Kubert School corresponding course for penciling, but now that I’ve left Staples, I no longer have a scanner to share my artwork (or a printer to proofread my writing!). So, I’m making a list of things I didn’t ask Santa for.

*An A3-sized scanner


*A printer

*A lightbox

*Refills for my mechanical pencils

The most imperative item on that list is the last. I seriously need to pick those up, but within the next few months, you should see a drastic improvement in my work with the acquisition of these products.

Writing-wise—I’m looking to throw Ral and the Crew through the wringer this year when Agents Skylar and Towne come into the spotlight—that is, if the Crew can survive their vacation to Skadoia. Annual the First offers an in-depth look at how Lance, Casia, and Ral came together from the perspective of someone we met for the first time in False Dawn #12. Look for it this January!

I’m also tinkering with the idea of working on my (current) dream project –writing a sequel to “Runaways.” I stopped writing fanfiction back in June, only posting stories I had finished prior, but is from where most of my viewers originate. If I stop posting there, most of my marketing will disappear. SO! If you haven’t read “Runaways” yet, I’ll be posting it on soon; however, the sequel will be posted here. With “Baptism” (working title), I’m looking to do a maxiseries. Most of my Batman ideas I’ve written as novels or short stories. This one will be molded like False Dawn with each chapter written as a monthly issue. At this juncture, I don’t see formulating comic book scripts with each issue (even though I write False Dawn first as a script and then rework it for the short story), but viewers read the short stories more than the comic scripts. As soon as I finish the outline and start writing, it will be posted like False Dawn—an issue a month.

I’m also debating writing the sequel to “Prince of the Sea.” I don’t know if I’m daring enough to write three monthly comics AND learn how to draw. However, PJO is the fandom from where most of viewers originate, so I might decide to put the “Runaways” sequel on hold. However, all projects are in brainstorming—much like my life.

A year ago, I would have told you I thought I’d be working in the publishing industry by now. Two years ago, I would have told you I was only going to work for Staples a few months. Three years ago, I’d just finished my DC Comics internship.

I’ve had a plan most of my life, but life has never really followed it. I’m probably more uncertain of my future now than I was six months ago, but I know one thing for sure.

I want this.

Before he left DC Comics earlier this month, Alex Segura wrote that if “you work hard, respect the people around you and keep at it, you can do whatever you set your mind to,” and if there’s one thing I am—for better or worse—it’s stubborn (persistent in a good way!). I’m almost ready to send in my first assignment to the Kubert School. I’m entered in three writing contests, and I’ve already mapped out the next year of False Dawn. I’ve gotten some awesome feedback on “Joint Custody,” which I’ll implement late this winter. One day, maybe, if I work hard enough, I’ll break-in.

After all, if it happened to Dick Giordano, I guess it’s good if it happens to me.

Devin Leigh Michaels
December 29, 2010

P.S. The picture—Nightwing a la Tony Daniel, waaay back in October


  1. Hey there, thanks for the hat tip! Glad my words proved motivational. Keep at it.


  2. Hey, Dev! It's Fiction! S'been forever, hasn't it? Anyway, I keep getting emails from your 'breakoutcbe' addy, but it's not really you because they're just ads (also the writing is atrocious! XD!).

    I'd like to know what email addy I can use to reach you so I can send you arts and such! My email's still the same.



    How are you?! I thought of you over the holidays because last year we traded pictures and stories! I have a new job, but we will totally get into that later. I'm sorry you've been getting emails from my addy. It's not me. Is it through yahoo? My addy is still I'm currently at work, so I can't get onto it. However, I'll definitely look into it. That should not be happening, and no one--absolutely no one--has my password for that.

    Thanks for letting me know, and it's so good to hear from you! I'll write you back via email. We have SOOO much to talk about! XD!


    P.S. I still owe you stories! I haven't forgotten!

    1. Hello? It's Fiction. Remember me? I don't know if you still use this thing, but I thought I'd try. I attempted to send an email, but it got sent back to me.
      Anywho I hope you can reply. It would be so great to reconnect!

  4. Dear Mr. Segura:

    Thank you for checking out my blog! I appreciate it. Best of luck in your new position as executive director of publicity for Archie Comics, and your kind words encouraged me to continue to work toward my dream. With hard work, I hope to succeed.