Tag: Kyle Rayner

In Stores This Week

I’m going to endeavor to be a lot more regular about posting upcoming releases. Today, two books: the DC Retroactive Green Lantern 1990s issue, and the DC Comics Presents JLA: Heaven’s Ladder reprint.

I had a meeting with a DC exec this past weekend at the Baltimore Comic Con. One of the topics of conversation was what it was like writing Kyle again. The best comparison I could come up with was slipping into a comfortable, familiar sweatshirt again. It was pretty easy to slip back into the rhythms of writing Kyle in that era, especially since I was reuniting with my friends and artistic collaborators of Darryl Banks on pencils and Terry Austin on inks. The Retro GL issue includes a reprint of Green Lantern #78, which was one of my favorite issues of the run.

Heaven’s Ladder is a reprint as well, presenting the Treasury Edition-size story that began the Mark Waid and Bryan Hitch JLA run (featuring Kyle). My part of the book is a reprint of Green Lantern #1,000,000 issue, also drawn by Bryan Hitch. Crossover or tie-in chapters are not usually high on my list of favorites, but I’m fond of the way this way turned out, almost completely due to Bryan’s art.

Cheers,

Ron


Writing by Gaslight

So we’ve already established that on Wednesday you’re gonna run off to the comic shop and pick up Magdalena #2 and Witchblade TPB Vol. 7, right? But there’s something else you need to go pick up today: “American Slang,” the new album by The Gaslight Anthem, which is my favorite band in a long time. Should be your favorite band too.

I write with music on. Always. I’m actually writing this with music on. I need the background noise. For whatever reason, my concentration goes to hell when there’s silence; my mind fixates on the quiet, instead of drifting off to some creative place. So there’s always music, and I’m always searching for more music that will inspire.

Troy Peteri, who was a letterer at CrossGen and now letters everything from Top Cow, shares much the same musical taste that I have. We both worship at the shrine of Springsteen and the temple of U2, as well as the church of the Clash. I think we both ended up discovering The Gaslight Anthem at about the same time, and trading notes with each other. I think my first exposure was a short video of Gaslight’s Brian Fallon covering Springtseen’s “Backstreets.” Loved it. Had to find out more about this guy and his band, which led to picking up “The ’59 Sound,” the then-current album. It was like a record cut by the bastard sons of Springsteen and Petty and Joe Strummer, playing songs about real people living real lives. Songs about broken dreams and bittersweet memories and a glimmer of hope on a dark highway.


The songs tell stories, which has always been my favorite kind of music. The songs breathe life into characters who feel real, which is what any storyteller (me included) wants to do. I’m more interested in the lives of ordinary people, rather than extraordinary ones. That’s probably why Kyle Rayner held more interest for me than Hal Jordan. Not that I didn’t like Hal’s character; I did and I do. But I’m more drawn to the “regular guy,” not the fearless test pilot. There are a lot of regular guys populating The Gaslight Anthem’s songs.

The ’59 Sound” has taken its place among my favorite albums. “American Slang” will most likely do the same. But you don’t have to take my word for it. You can listen to “American Slang” in its entirety on NPR here.

You can also listen to The Gaslight Anthem’s terrific set at last weekend’s Bonnaroo Festival on NPR here.

Check ’em out. If you like what I do, I think you’ll like what they do.

Cheers,
Ron


Kyle Rayner by Georges Jeanty

For the next few days, some things from the art archives.

Prior to moving to Florida for CrossGen, I was started gathering the pieces to put together a website. That website never happened. Once I was on staff for CrossGen, I didn’t have the time, or maybe even the need, for a personal website. But in digging through my art drawer recently, I found the four pieces I intended to use on the site’s home page. All four pieces are by Georges Jeanty, best known now as the awesome artist for Dark Horse’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer comic.

Georges penciled and inked all four pieces as a favor to me, and I’m still appreciative. This, obviously, is the Green Lantern nearest and dearest to my heart, Kyle Rayner, in his original costume. As far as I know, this is the first time this piece has ever been seen (that goes for the rest of the pieces too). I’ll show off the remaining pieces over the next few days.


( KYLE RAYNER by Georges Jeanty )

I first saw Georges’ work when he was sharing studio space in Georgia with Dave Johnson, another buddy. Dave sent me some of the work Georges was doing on a few indy titles, I was impressed, and passed along his stuff to my editor at DC, urging him to try out Georges on a gig. That led to us doing some Green Lantern work together, followed by a few Superboy issues. Actually, my favorite issues of the year-long run I did on Superboy.

Now that I think about it, that’s the last time Georges and I worked together. I’d really like to remedy that in the future.

Georges Jeanty’s website

Cheers,
Ron

THE J-FILES are a series of images created by Georges Jeanty (BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER/DarkHorse) for my first pass at having a website.


Speed Reading

Velocity 1 CoverI’m working on the script for the Velocity four-issue series that will debut in May from Top Cow. It’s been a while since I’ve written a straight-up superhero story, which was what I wrote almost exclusively for the first decade of my career. In the years since, I’ve been able to explore a wider variety of genres, and I’m a big proponent of the comics industry offering a great deal more than capes and tights. But I still love a well-told superhero tale, just like everybody else. And that’s what Velocity is intended to be: a classic superhero adventure. No post-modern irony, no dark underbelly, just a straight-up story about a cute redhead who runs really fast.

Velocity 1 CoverOne of my favorite monthly reads was Mark Waid’s Flash. It was great superhero comics. To be honest, Mark’s take on Wally West’s adventures influenced how I approached Green Lantern when DC handed me the reins and asked me to create a new GL. There was a lot to like. Wally was a “legacy” hero, living in the shadow of his predecessor, trying to be worthy of inheriting the mantle. The first-person narration allowed the audience to identify with the hero, to relate to the man under the mask. There was an accessibility that wasn’t quite as present in most of DC’s Silver Age heroes.

Velocity 1 Cover Now, to be fair, there’s more Peter Parker than Wally West in Kyle Rayner’s pedigree. But I always liked the Wally-Kyle relationship, the next generation of the Barry Allen-Hal Jordan friendship. I liked that Wally wasn’t even very fond of Kyle, feeling that Kyle had won the lottery to take his heroic role, while Wally had earned his. I liked writing them together, which is where the Green Lantern-Flash: Faster Friends project came from. Where would “Lost” be without that issue, right?

Anyway, as far as I’m concerned, Mark and his artists – chief among them the great Mike Wieringo – set the standard for how to do a speedster in comics. Which brings us back to Velocity, winner of Top Cow’s first Pilot Season contest and therefore due a mini-series.The original creative team was excused from the project; we’ll say “creative differences” and leave it at that, since I don’t think it’s cool to air somebody else’s business in public.Velocity 1 Cover

So the project went on a backburner for a while, until last year when Top Cow Publisher Guy Filip Sablik asked me if I’d like to take on the series. He didn’t have to ask twice. Schedules matched up and artistic genius Kenneth Rocafort became available to draw the book. I couldn’t ask for anything more. Except a story idea.

Next time, a little more on Velocity, including how an aspect of the storyline dates back to a long-ago pitch by me and artist Cully Hamner for another character entirely.

Cheers,

Ron


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