Hey Kids, Comics

Midnight Sons Cover

Once upon a time, I was a B-Level actor in a comic book thriller-comedy. Here’s what’s left of those four-color, hand-lettered days of yore. If I was writing my origin-issue story I might say…

As one of the principal editors at Marvel’s landmark Epic Comics division, D.G. Chichester championed creator owned comics. Working with horror master Clive Barker, D.G. developed and unleashed the ferocious Clive Barker’s Hellraiser anthology. As a writer, he tore off body parts in Terror, Inc.; did the monster mash in Nightbreed; took down the fat man in Fall of the Kingpin; sent Daredevil and Elektra on a Fall From Grace; shed some firepower on the darkness in Nightstalkers; blew up SHIELD Central real good in Nick Fury, Agent of SHIELD. His disappearance from the comic book scene is blamed on a fall into the Negative Zone, where rumor has it he can be found snacking on antimatter with Annihilus.

Back in the day, as my comics career was “in transition,” I had the idea to leverage my knowledge of the heroic universe and my growing, hands-on experience developing what-was-at-that-time called “multimedia.” I knew Marvel was creating CyberComics — animated, slightly interactive online comics, created in the gee-whiz program of the moment, a beast called Director. Writing gigs were in short supply. But I figured I could use my character familiarity to get in front of the CyberComics editor and sell my skills as a coder. Imagine my surprise when the editor, a decent and fun human being named Suzanne Gaffney, said, “Hmm. That’s an option, I suppose. But why wouldn’t you want to write some of them?” Why not, indeed?

That led to a good few months of “click here” fun with Daredevil, Nick Fury, Cap, Iron Man, Blade, Spidey and some obligatory mutants thrown in for good measure. Although these weren’t “real” comics, they were terrific to work on and I was very pleased with the relatively solid story arcs. These had a limited exposure and short run. Since then, they’ve occupied a lonely corner on various hard drives I’ve cycled through. Before there’s a crash and I lose the whole collection to the digital graveyard, I figured I’d float ‘em back out to whomever would like a read. Either ‘cause of the super-types, or ‘cause of nostalgia for how I used to string word balloons together.

While they were originally available in an interactive format, the Director plug-in that drives that file type was, until recently, a no-show on Intel Macs. So I’m re-releasing these in a the video version: you get all the original motion and sound, but in a sit-back-and-let-it-hit-ya kind of way. Choose your poison, and I hope you get a kick.