I don't have one ready.
Last year, in desperation, I quickly threw together a combination, "How Am I Doing?/What would You Like To See" quickie that proved to be one of my most popular pieces, generating more mail than almost anything else I've written. Lucky? Sure, but that's not going to stop me from going back to the well again. So let's review.
But what I want right now, is some feedback.
Not that some of you aren't already on the ball. In the few, short weeks since the premiere of Brought To You By I've received almost 300 e-mails, from as close as my brother sitting in the living room playing with my PowerBook, and from as far away as Israel (where my step-children, Angel and Abshalom live -but the letter wasn't from them. Do they write?). Most of these are reader suggestions for which graphic novels I should buy on my upcoming shopping spree. I'll be doing several columns about this over the next few months, stay tuned. Or logged. Or whatever it is that one stays on the Internet. I've also started receiving some truly fine graft from publishers who want me to plug their stuff. Although, I note that Marvel and DC have remained, thus far, mysteriously silent on the matter. It couldn't be ethical standards, so what's the hold-up? Oh, right. My attitude. Look guys, I can easily be bought, just throw in the hardcovers. Anyway, as promised, I'll be plugging everything that you send me, heaping generous praise on the stuff I actually like, while remaining respectfully subdued in my comments on the crap. If you're a publisher, and you want in, e-mail me for details.
What I thought I'd do again today is list a bunch of my plans for future columns. Then based on your feedback, I'll make sure that the ones you most want to see will show up sooner, rather than later. Studious readers will note that many of the topics on this list last year have already been turned into columns, which proves that I'm not entirely full of it. So here you go, right from my notebook, in no particular order:
* A day in the life of a comic book editor. What do we do all day, besides piss off your favorite creators and make them quit?
* A personal profile of comics' legend Walter Simonson. He's outstanding as a writer, a genius as a penciller and an unaccountably nice guy who used to come over to the Milestone offices and teach anybody who asked everything there is to know about storytelling. Then he'd tell us entire continuities of old newspaper strips.
* More of my "Near-Miss Adventures in the Screen Trade," including my work on Static Shock, my lack of work on Damage Control and my contribution to a Wu-Tang Clan vs. Marilyn Manson movie that somehow ended up without either Wu-Tang or Marilyn Manson in it.
* I'll attempt to say something new about Alan Moore, probably focusing on his America's Best Comics line even though I'd rather talk about From Hell. Did you know he was going to co-write an Icon Annual? Oh, I guess that should go in the column.
* While I'm thinking about people I like, how about an appreciation of Steve Gerber? He was one of the first writers I followed from book to book and today, over 25 years later, I'll still pick up anything he writes sight-unseen.
* A discussion of the women in comics organization, Friends Of Lulu and why it is that they make some folks so nervous (but not us).
* Why web comics are cool and flash animation is cool, but flash animation isn't comics. I'll illustrate with examples from one of my own flash animation shows (probably Super Models).
* Kid's comics. Why don't we make more of them? I'm going to ask Harvey and Star Comics editor Sid Jacobson and Disney Adventures-turned-Cartoon Network editor Joan Hilty.
* An appreciation of the legendary Will Eisner and how I can love his stuff and still go nearly blind with rage whenever I see his drawings of The Spirit's humorous jigaboo sidekick, Ebony White.
* A discussion of certain trends in comic book art, including why I'm an old fogy who prefers storytellers to pin-up guys. Is there middle ground?
* Jim Shooter. Valiant. Defiant. Broadway. Valiant again? Why do people say such horrible things about him? He was nice to me.
* My Semi-Annual Name-Droppers Feast, in which I serially use up several of my best anecdotes including; accidentally insulting Frank Miller; "making" John Byrne quit She Hulk; meeting my childhood idol Harlan Ellison (and thrilling to him complimenting my work, then getting really torqued at him when he "tested" me on my knowledge of Bessie Smith); and as always, more death-threats from Pat Gabrielle and Rich Buckler.