Thursday, March 22, 2007

Questions, questions...

Morten wanted to see the pencils to #11 so here they are...notice that true to form our guys in gold walk into this locale muddying up the floor with let us say Wetworks matter. Oh and that's the whole team except for Dane. In gold its Dozer, Clay, Jester, and Pilgrim. Grail in human form (this is before he gets the "blue"). With Mother in her spiked look at bottom. Notice Dozer has white spikey hair. The real Dozer (Joseph Mendoza...my brother-in-law) is now a vice Principal in Sun City, California and if he had more hair it probable would all be white pretty soon. Clay is still bald and with today's fashions he will be sporting lots of different headgear and eye gear. With two pretty ladies (Mother and Red) I thought I'd go meek with this incarnation of Pilgrim, it'll go better with her shy character and how she blends into any background.

Lots of questions from the comments sections so thought I'd try to get to them here in one post...

Yup, my contract is up and for insurance reasons hope to sign up again with DC and of course the chance to do Wetworks because like I've been saying there are zillions of things I still want to say with the characters BUT...

...we have to be real (a fact made clear to me again before 2006 ended) I created the book but the book is not mine to do with what I would want. If there was a possibility for me to get the copyright back I would jump thru whatever hoops there need be to get my baby back, we can't take back the past, its gone, its been done, all we can do is the best we can with whatever we have to play with now. Wildstorm has been great in giving me the leeway to do what I want but there are realities to deal with. My page rate demands the book sells a certain amount, we all know that sales all around ain't what it use to be so sales are now a priority 'cuz it cost money to put these books out. In that light of course a company that holds my exclusive needs me to sell books, that's totally understandable and part of the game, so when push came to shove and my output dropped last year because I had to go on insulin I had to temporarily go off of Wetworks and finish Batman (which will end for me the end of this month). We had originally planned to finish Batman by December and then go full throttle to finish the first WW's story arc but my body just couldn't do the load last year and so instead of postphoning the series we opted to go on with fill-ins to keep the series going forward of course with me peeking over everyones shoulders... the same decision being made with Rich Friends the inker. We are both contract guys and the company makes the decisions. I am not a young and lone wolf anymore I have a family of three growing kids to feed and body that is medically failing so health insurance is my top priority. I mean lets face it if my doctors can't help me keep me in the best shape I can be in with diabetees then I can't draw. So I need the insurance to stay healthy and to draw.

So to the point, with all those reasons running around I have to make the decisions I have to make. If Wetworks was mine I would implement immediately everything I have been talking about and a million more things to boot. But it is not, I am a contract player, I can only do what they will allow me to do. Now if zillions of people were buying Wetworks then the company would let me do anything I wanted. For that I thank you all for the support you've been giving this book and its stalwart characters. You guys have made this book thru the years survive and grow. I mean who would a thought we would be here with a brand new series now in 2007. No one thought in their wildest dreams (well I did in my dreams) that we would ever see our guys in gold dance again. So please, like life my friends, enjoy what you have in front of you with no reservations, enjoy it and your loved ones as they are and for what they are, while you have them. No one knows what the future has in store for us. If faith is pre-written for more Wetworks or if it isn't enjoy what you have now, don't muddy your enjoyment with what might happen, as I've found out with my health the future is something you have very little if any control of. you can only do your best, with best intentions, and be happy with that...

So on to news...in the next few weeks I will know for sure what will happen in my drawing future. I have been given assurances that it will still be with the DC family, but the details as to what is still up in the air, again in the next week or two should be definite news. One thing that I can almost be sure of is we have been talking for awhile of a new Wetworks mini/maxi series. I handed in the synopsis a few weeks ago and the editor is gung-ho about that, that most likely will be what I will immediately be working on after I finish my last page of Batman. DC wants me to do something for DC being that if we renew they will be the ones holding my contract so I naturally should do something for them but I do still want to do Wetworks so I think we are leaning towards me doing a DC mini and a Wetworks mini annually. Or a DC mini and work on Wetworks the series with built in breaks to do the DC mini but I control the breaks.

As to what the DC thing would be it would be cool to have your suggestions as to what DC character you think I could do something with...suggestions?

As you know with solicitations WW's #5 and #6 were my pencils with Brian Haberlin's digital inks (Thanx to 'da Almighty Francis Takenaga for overseeing...an ole WW's alumnai) , then we have #7 thru #9 the ending of the first arc with fill-ins by Peter Gross a great guy who really cares about the book and his work on it. That will take us up to the re-introduction of the old team. Then #10 has J.M. DeMatteis writing a special short arc about Ab-death. I felt before we could get into the real mayhem that follows the reintroduction of the old team we needed to fill the void somewhat with one of our new characters...namely Ab-death. If we didn't take this time I think he might have gotten lost in the excitement of so many characters in one book, so we needed a short break.

The arc is touched off by the image in my mind of the new team checking out their new digs and they see Ab-death walking down the hallway and they wonder who and what he is. For our military guys in gold this is a macho challenge seeings how Ab-death is well over six feet in height and maybe close to four hundred pounds or at least he looks it. So especially for Dozer he would want to see where this Ab-death guy fits in. Is he another strong guy to challenge Dozers position or what? What skills does this guy have? He looks the part but does he walk the walk? Lots of questions that the team would want answered before they could accept him. So we went about thinking about who Ab-death really is, then someone mentioned (I forget who) that since he is part of the Dead world where souls are could it be he has more than a fleeting connection with souls. Then our fearless editor Scott Peterson had the audacity to approach a veteran writer like J.M. Dematteis, who to my shameless surprise was intrigued by the character of Ab-death. After a couple of bouts of e-mail conferencing Marc (as he is called) came up with a self-contained story that takes us for a ride because it heavily employs Mother and Dane and more importantly gives us glimpse into the reality of what Ab-death has become.

After having these short conferences with Marc I was honored to have him write a few issues of Wetworks. Marc has a well known spiritual side to him that makes him emminently qualified to see the sides of Ab-death that us less inclined to would be able to witness.

First we had Mike Carey a modern vertigo and now Marvel wiz who wrote the beginnings of our humble new series who who would have thought was a Wetworks fan of the old series and then now to have a writer like JMD be inerested in one of our new characters. A great sign that Wetworks is still working and it is definitely growing...

The mini that I have planned that is going thru the approval process deals strictly with the aftermath of the first story arc. That and specifically being how Dane deals with the new horrific status quo that ends up in his lap. He makes a monumental decision that men in his position are from time to time and forced to make. The story then deals with how the team takes that decision and what it means to mankinds future in dealing with the Night Tribes. With three full mission scenarios within the arc we get to see how this new setup of a two team Wetworks can and will work. Mission scenarios was an idea I had with the first series that we never got around to do. I've always wanted to take you readers thru a full mission from start prep to target acquisition and green lighted battle to mission debriefing, the full nine yards. That we will do in this arc because it is the best way to show how the new team configuration works. It also then reveals a dark and frankly bloody side to the Dane. We start on the path to remind you all that our fearless leader is truely alone. In other words the price he makes himself pay for the leadership role he plays. That will hopefully trigger a future mini I have in mind that shows how Dane is able to keep his sanity intact. The let us say virtual solution he comes up with to solve his sanity problem. In that we make clear his words in the Wetworks preview where he intimates that mother is the key to everything. We will learn that she is the key to not Wetworks direct future but to Danes sanity...then third on the list for story arcs is after the aftermath of the first arc is given its proper time to "incubate" (let's see if anyone can figure out that clue) the result is a war with the night tribes we have never witnessed before...so maybe then we'll need yet a third Wetworks strike team...hhhhhmmmmmmmm

15 comments:

Russ Sheath said...

Whilce,
what awesome plans you have for Wetworks. If I can help, Joann has the email address. It's great to have an insight into the book and the politics behind it. DC wise, hmmm, I would love to see you work on something Dark and maybe re-vamp a team book or something. What would be at the top of your wish list?

Challangers of the Unknown?

Something featuring the Bat-Villains would be cool too.

Damon_Zero said...

Thanks for bringing back Claymore and dozer as well. Do they have the same powers they had in the other series or are they just revamped, meaning their deaths and powers did not happen?

Soren said...

I hope you can stay with Wetworks but if DC decides otherwise it would be awesome too see you draw The Authority again after Gene Ha finishes his four issues...
You penciled a Midnighter splash on the last page of the Authority: Coup d`etat and that was just amazing and left me wanting more.

doc savage said...

Awesome news. I am glad to hear you have plenty in store for the title and I am glad there will be two teams now. Question for you, is the mini going to be a separate thing along with the series or instead of a on-going series?

Keep up the good work.

j cruz said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
j cruz said...

this may be way out to left field but, how about doing jonah hex? kinda like a homage to tony de zuniga's work with a twist? or maybe green lantern, if you want to go cosmic?
as for your contract, all the best on that and to your health, whilce!

Morten Pedersen said...

First, damn that is a long post.
Second, its okey with fill in artist and writers, as long as you are drawing the covers. Getting JM to do a issue, is really great, JM has done alot of amazing work over the years and when a guy like him is interrested in Wetworks, it's indeed a good sign.

Nice to see gold Gail again, he is still much cooler when he is blue.

What about doing a miniseries with your own character, own idea and then maybe get Carey to write the scripts, while you plot the book.

and thanks for the pencil scan.

Anonymous said...

Whilce, why not show DC the finger...?

I'm sure

A. you have some great ideas for a new creator owned book.

B. Image would welcome you with open arms..

why work for the man when you don't have to?

Anonymous said...

Whilce, would DC have applied the same preasure to JL to get involved in this MMO (aka look how much money World of Warcraft earns $!)

hence why Wildcats has 1 issue so far...

Dances With Zombies said...

Totally out of left field (and totally non DC) but I would love to see you do an arc on Hellboy!!!

Dspose and the Zoek said...

Good call Dances.
Hey Whilce, i'm a little confused - does this mean you will still be penciling Wetworks for the upcoming stories?

Rafa said...

I know that fantasy is your preferrred genre so I'd suggest an arc on Aquaman

Anonymous said...

pLEASE CONTINUE WETWORKS ... oR ATLEAST DO A STORY OUT OF THE nORMAL ARC LIKE THAT LAST BATTLE BETWEEN DANE AND THE bLOODqUEEN pLEASE... BUT CONTINUE TO DO THE COVERS I BUY JUST FOR THEM BUT WE COULD SEE SOME MORE OF THE vAMPIRE CULTURE... LIKE WERE DO THEY GET THERE FOOD??? bUT pLEASE STAY OBN WETWORKS... dO THE oUT lINE OR THE dANE PAGES OR jUST THE rED STUFF BUT PLEASE STAY ON WETWORKS ... i DONT FEEL IT COULD SURVIVE WITHOUT YOU

Daniel said...

I'd like you to do a dark and brooding Phantom Stranger book.

Anonymous said...

Phantom Stranger! Allright! That, or an updated KAMANDI crossover with OMAC? tHAT WOULD BE COOL. :)