Tuesday, August 30, 2011


Okay, so I know that I'm supposed to follow up my PART ONE with a second part. I apologize for not having a chance to tackle the follow up to my thoughts on social media and fan interaction. I will be posting my thoughts on that soon... but in honor of the fast approaching DCNew52 Midnight Launch, I wanted to post a quote from someone OTHER THAN MYSELF about Flash #1.

Chris Murphy @ ComicsAlliance had a chance to get a sneak peek at all of the new relaunch stuff. Now, while he didn't get a chance to actually read Flash #1 (since it's coming out in the second half of the month), he did get to see the art. And here is what he said...

"The other series that intrigued me most from visuals alone was Francis Manapul and Brian Buccellato's Flash. Manapul's work is gorgeous, and the fact that he's both co-writing and doing the art on the series seems to have given him the opportunity to do incredible page layouts to portray moments ranging from action scenes to the Flash's accelerated thought processes. I'll be paying a lot more attention to this one."

Read More:

As far as I know, this is the FIRST public impression of our book. And while I am not going to name names, I will mention that privately a few very prominent persons at DC have told us that our Flash #1 is among their favorites of the new52. Someone was even kind enough to say that it was "absolutely brilliant". And I gotta tell you, hearing that felt DAMNED GOOD.

Sorry if this is coming across as bragging. I just wanted to put it out there because... well, because I'm REALLY proud of what Francis and I are doing.

Of course, the true measure of our success will be the fan reaction (and how many of our little babies fly off the shelves). I think I'm gonna keep my fingers crossed from now until September 28th.

Friday, August 26, 2011


In the aftermath of my previous post about Wally West… and the interesting reactions to it, I figured now was a good a time as any to explore the notion of creators reading forums, blogs and fan sites that focus on the materials they’re working on. Furthermore, I want to share my thoughts about using social media as a means of connecting to the fans.


After it was announced that Francis and I would be writing Flash, I started to check out fan forums @ CBR, Comic Bloc, and DC. Why? Because I was curious… I wanted to gauge the reaction of the Flash fan base. Despite being cautioned NOT to do so (by a few writer friends), I went ahead and started rooting around to see what “the people” thought. Across the board their was skepticism and doubt… peppered with some genuine wrath that DC would think to hand over the keys to Flash to a pair of literary unknowns. Was I surprised?

Absolutely not.

The response is pretty much what I thought it would be. Sight unseen, how could anyone really be FOR us? Most were dubious… some folks took a wait and see attitude… and a few were even cautiously optimistic because they love Francis’ art. No matter what the opinion, we never took it personally –


-- I must say that I wasn’t fond of those knee-jerk reactions that trumpeted certain doomsday, claiming Francis was an unreliable artist and incapable of meeting deadlines. Why? Because that just ain’t true. He’s a fully invested and dedicated artist / writing partner that has put his EVERYTHING into this re-launch. I can tell you this because I have seen it first hand. It is a fact. And for those keeping score… he’s currently finishing up the art for issue three. Sorry for the digression, but I just wanted to put that out there.

Back to my point…

Anyway, I never took any of those negative reactions personally. And I don’t think I ever will. We are all different people, with different experiences, interests, tastes and expectations. It’s a great thing when those elements line up and the masses respond positively to what someone has created… but no matter how many people dig what you are doing, there will ALWAYS be those that don’t. Some people will even HATE the eff out of your most beloved creative babies – the ones you labor over, birth and nurture into what you think is your finest example of creative expression. People will metaphorically spit on it, point out every perceived flaw, and dismiss your work in a host of ways.

And you know what… they have every right to.

That’s kind of the whole point, isn’t it? Setting aside the commercial aspect, art is meant to entertain… it’s meant to provoke an emotional response… it’s meant to be judged. At least that is MY understanding of what art is. SO even if the reaction to issue #1 is overwhelmingly negative… even if every Flash fan out there calls for our heads… at the end of the day I WON’T take it personally. I’m not gonna lie and say that I will be happy about it. I’m not going to sit there and say it won’t sting like hell and make me want to (momentarily) lash out at all those, “Jerks that wouldn’t know good writing if it fell out of their asses!” Hey, that would be my normal and fair emotional response. But ultimately, it would be just that… an emotional response to being judged. In this hypothetical doomsday scenario (I say hypothetical because EVERYONE is gonna love our Flash), it wouldn’t take me that long to get down off the ledge. Why? Because I get it.

SO… that is why I am fine with reading blogs, fan sites, and forums. I really do get it. I understand that for every fan offering to kiss the ground you walk on, there is another dude that would just as soon gut you like a fish. That’s just the way it is, folks. And if I want to write commercially, I have to accept that.

And if I didn’t, I would just scrawl my thoughts into a diary and lock it up so that NO ONE could ever see it -- unless they were able to break the sophisticated and nearly impregnable dairy locking mechanism.

Anyway, after all this rambling, I haven’t yet talked about social media, connecting WITH the fans (not just reading their opinions), and my willingness to be accessible to people and be accountable for what I put out into the universe. Looks like there’s gonna be a part two to this, kids….

It’s late. Sorry to cut this off (not short… it’s definitely not short)…


Tuesday, August 23, 2011


First off, I want to apologize for NOT having done any new blog entries in a while. I intended to do 4-5 a week, but picked a REALLY hectic time to be so ambitious. On top of my normal coloring and writing work, I just finished a stint as my director pal Tim Story’s assistant for a movie he just shot for Screen Gems. It was a cool experience and I enjoyed being on set… but MAN, OH MAN did it eat up a ton of hours. We wrapped at 7:30am on Friday and I have been recovering/ playing catch-up ever since.

Now I am a LOT more rested and should be able to tackle this blog on a more regular basis. This leads me to the topic I wanted to discuss…


To those of you that don’t know who he is, here’s a primer…


In a nutshell, Wally was the teen speedster, KID FLASH, who mentored under BARRY ALLEN’S FLASH until the mid 80’s when Barry died during a major DC event called “Crisis On Infinite Earths”. After Barry died, Wally took the mantle of The Flash and held onto that role for a LONG time…

…until a few years ago when Barry Allen made his return.

Barry took over the role he possessed about twenty-five years ago, and supplanted Wally… who hasn’t been heard of since. This has created a divide between many Flash fans that fall into two camps – Pro-Wally or Pro-Barry (although sometimes it seems more like anti-Wally and anti-Barry). And these passionate Flash fans LOVE “their” guy and are not afraid to shout it from the rooftops. While I haven’t actually witnessed any Flash Fan rooftop shouting, I have read many forum threads across the world wide web that lead me to believe that this yelling does actually take place.

And one thing I can safely say is… Wally fans ain’t happy that their guy is MIA.


As most people know by now, Francis and I have the honor of writing THE FLASH for DC’s New52 re-launch. The Flash we are writing is BARRY ALLEN. What does this mean? DC Comics has served up plenty of ammunition for the pro-Wally set.

“Wait a second, are you telling me that NOT ONLY are we gonna have that old school, bowtie wearing chump, Barry, but it’s gonna be written by a freakin’ artist and a dude that I have never ever, EVER heard of (and whose last name I can’t pronounce).”

Hey, I get it.
Francis gets it.
We both get it.
And we are okay with it.

We accept the challenge and are looking forward to showing the fans that we know what we are doing. We are genuinely excited, proud and feel like we got it covered. We also believe that all it’s going to take is getting the book into the people’s hands for them to come around. We are either optimistic or deluded. But the good thing is we will find out soon enough.


That’s the part of the equation that remains unchanged. We often get asked that very fair question, and we wish we had an answer that would satisfy. But the simple truth is we don’t. Our book is about Barry. We are focusing on Barry. And there is nothing we can say to put Wally fans at peace.

Sorry, guys. I really am.

And we are not bothered when we are asked about Wally. It’s okay to ask us… I’m glad there are people out that that feel so strongly about The Flash. Unfortunately, there is no new information to impart. I can’t tell you why there is no Wally… but I CAN offer my speculation as to…


Obviously, he is the Flash that DC has chosen to continue the tradition of the Scarlet Speedster. That’s the easy answer. Why do I think HE was chosen instead of Wally? (DISCLAIMER - there is NO Insider Information at work here. This is just me giving my two cents)


1. As part of the re-launch, Barry makes more sense than Wally. Because, if you are trying to introduce The Flash to a whole new audience, Barry’s origin is straight forward and not dependant on Wally. Wally’s origin, on the other hand, IS completely dependant on Barry Allen’s run as the Flash. It’s just that simple. And if you removed Barry’s association with Wally and retconned a new origin for him, he WOULDN’T be Wally any more. He would just be a new flash with Wally’s hair color and name. Wally’s much beloved journey from Kid Flash to Flash (and the death of his mentor) DEFINE who Wally is. So I just don’t see how you can start with him.

2. Warner Brothers is going to make a FLASH MOVIE. It’s gonna happen. It’s in the works. And for the same reasons as stated above… it’s gonna be Barry. So EVEN if someone (smarter than I) were able to figure out how to solve those issues AND retain Wally’s essence… it wouldn’t make a lick of difference. Warner Brothers would NEVER buy into that. Wally was never an option for the movie.

However, that said… who is to say you couldn’t introduce Wally West as Kid Flash in a sequel and have him take over in a later sequel. Right?

You never know… it could happen.

Sunday, August 14, 2011


Hi all,

I've got a TON of work to do and am in the middle of several deadlines.

But I DO have a half-written blog entry that I'm going to post as soon as I get a chance to finish it (monday - i hope). Until then, I wanted to make a quick entry to mention that I booked my airfare for New York City today, which means I am DEFINITELY going to NEW YORK COMIC CON in October.

I'm REALLY excited to be going to New York for a number of reasons...

1. FLASH #1 will FINALLY be out and I can't wait to see what the fans think of it.
2. It's New York City in the fall (do I need to explain that?)
3. I get to return to my hometown and see relatives and my oldest friends
4. I'll get to visit the DC offices and see my editorial cronies
5. I get to see many of my comic pals from all across the globe.
6. Walking around in the city is one of my all-time favorite things to do
7. Jamaican Beef Patties and New York Pizza
8. Vanilla Egg Cream
9. Peter Luger Steakhouse (Frank Mastromauro and I vowed to go)
10. The ALCS will be going on and (hopefully) the Yanks will still be playing meaningful baseball.

As you can see, this Super Professional Blogger is Super excited to be going to New York! Now I gotta get back to work... See you Monday!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011


Today I want to talk about MY MEMORY...

I apologize in advance if this is not interesting to anyone beside myself, but this morning I was thinking about my own memory as it pertains to creativity. Anyone that knows me well, knows that I can be absent-minded and do stupid stuff -- like leave the house with my face half shaved, or get into my car with a bag of trash in my hand that I meant to take to the dumpster on the way to the car. I accept this about myself, and can even offer an injury-related justification for my spotty Short-Term Memory (STM). This is who I be. But that said, I also have a (perhaps not iron-clad, but) pretty good Long Term Memory (LTM). I remember a lot of things from my childhood that my older brothers don't. I have vivid memories of the early 70's and snapshots of interesting events from my life. My LTM is WAY MORE ROBUST than my STM.

Okay, sorry for the ponderous backstory, but I needed to get that info out there before moving on to this observation I had about my memory in relation to my writing. I don't know if it is unique, and I'm sure it's not special... but it's interesting TO ME.

While I am writing (a screenplay, a comic script, a treatment), I have the ability to keep the entire story in my head as I work the story out. I WON'T forget the story and I will be able to keep it in my head until the project is finished. However, because of my cautious nature, once I have figured the story out in my head I ALWAYS open a word document and spill it out all out on the page. Then I save the document so that I KNOW I have it. But here is the peculiar thing... I will almost NEVER open that document back up and refer to it. I think that typing it out cements the story in my brain and when I sit down to write the first draft of whatever it is that I am writing, I remember it all.

Now here is where I think it gets weird...

This creative information MUST be stored in my STM, because once I have completed the project, or if something keeps me from working on it for a while (months or longer)... I will forget the whole damned thing! And if I go back later on down the line and re-read what I have written, it feels like someone else wrote it because I can't really remember it.

I'm not saying that I go all "Memento" and have absolutely no recollection of it, but when I read old stuff, the words have a foreign feeling to me. I'm not sure what the point of no return is for me, but there comes a point when I am no longer "IN" the story and it becomes alien to me.

On the surface, all of this seems really odd, since my LTM is better than my STM. But in reality, it REALLY makes sense and explains why I do so much dumb crap in day-to-day life. As an innate writer, I am always inside my own head -- creating... editorializing... working out story problems... weaving experiences in my life into a narrative...

The fact is I am ALWAYS writing in my head and THAT is why I forget mundane things and do dumb stuff. It's THE REASON why I have been accused (on more than one occasion) of "having my head up my a$$".

It also clearly explains why, on a daily basis, I do something stupid and immediately ask myself.. "Why did I do that?"

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

NO FRILLS... and some thoughts about the WHY of it all

From a design perspective, this blog is pretty effin pedestrian.

I do have plans to make it look nicer and link it to my (currently not under construction) website -- which right now is nothing more than a domain name that my brother has been kind enough to host (and pay for) for the last five years. Yes, I have plans... but they're of the long term variety because I am already spread pretty thin with all that I have going on. Thanks in advance for tolerating this unsightly incarnation of my Super Professional Blog.

For those wondering why it's called my SUPER PROFESSIONAL BLOG...

I did a personal blog of inane rantings (and pictures of myself) a few years ago. This is not that. This blog is devoted to me as a writer and all that comes with trying to make it in this world by throwing words down on the page. My primary goal is to amuse those that are kind enough to give my blog a read. It's an absolute honor to have ANYONE take time from their busy lives to read what I have to say, and I don't take that for granted. My secondary goal is to share my experiences as someone that is trying to make a living through the thing he is most passionate about. Writing.

Okay... so why do this NOW?

Because I am fortunate to be co-writing THE FLASH, and have finally taken the first real step towards achieving what is now a fifteen-year-long ambition -- making a living as a writer. So now I have something positive to share and this blog doesn't have to be filled with frustration and rejection. Seriously, who wants to read whiny rants about NOT making it? At least now I can pepper my normal whiny rants with happy thoughts about writing the Flash with my pal, Francis Manapul.


Really, the only rules I have given myself are...

a) I am going to write honestly about my experiences.
b) I am NOT going to curse or be lewd or write anything that would be construed as inappropriate for those under 18.

Since I am writing a superhero book, it wouldn't be right to go blue. So, I will suppress my natural instincts... for the kids.

Lastly, I wanted to SHOUT OUT to Francis for believing in me enough to ask me to write The Flash with him. I owe the opportunity to him... Thanks, man!

Okay, one more thing... not to sound too arrogant (I'm trying to sound JUST arrogant enough)... We are totally killing it! This Super Professional Blogger is SUPER proud of what we are doing.

Oh, and THANKS, JACK... For hosting my imaginary website!

Monday, August 8, 2011


That title probably sounds too dramatic for what this is... but it's the first thing I thought of and as ALL writers know, the first thing we think of is ALWAYS the best.

Anyway, this is my first (and hopefully shortest) entry in my brand new super professional blog. Within the confines of this little piece of internety goodness, you will find my long-winded musings about what I'm working on, my process, the pitfalls of trying to be creative (for money) and whatever else just happens to pass through my brain matter while I am within typing distance of my computer, laptop or iphone.

I welcome any and all readers, encourage participation, and aim only to entertain. So please don't get offended by any of the bizarre or potentially inflammatory words I might throw down.

Stay Gold!