Thursday, December 30, 2010


Cool & Collected is recommending certain Superman collectibles about to go to auction, and the site also has suggestions for those who want to satisfy their Super-lust on a Super-budget.

I was flattered to see that, of the untold thousands of pieces of contemporary Superman memorabilia, one of those two suggestions is Boys of Steel: The Creators of Superman.

Monday, December 27, 2010

A familiar face, two reporters ace

On 11/19/10, I spoke at three schools, all lovely. The first was Redding Elementary in Redding, Connecticut. Even before stepping foot there, it had special meaning because I have known its principal, Stephanie Pierson Ugol, since 1996.

At that time, I worked in marketing for a publishing company called Abbeville Press in New York. At the same time, after hours, I was writing what would become my first published book (also Abbeville):

Having some nervousness about whether or not I was on target with my approach, I decided I wanted to “focus group” the book with kids who spanned the range of ages the book would be intended for. My colleague told me that her sister was a teacher at a Connecticut school (not RES). Her sister was Stephanie, and Stephanie generously got me cleared to visit various classes in her school, including hers.

My first field research! I wish I had documented it better—not even a single photo taken. But it remains a meaningful if hazy moment at the start of my path to doing what I love.

When I told the Redding students that it was because of this connection that I was now speaking at
their school, they turned to Stephanie and erupted in jubilant applause. It was one of the most thrilling moments I’ve yet experienced in doing author visits, and it wasn’t about me at all.

The middle school that day was John Read Middle School, also in Redding. Two dutiful reporters for the student newspaper sat up front. The school kindly sent me a copy of their article about my talk. It was intriguing to see what from my hourlong presentation they chose to address, and how.

Friday, December 24, 2010

DC Comics holiday cards 1986-present

I have not received any of these myself—mostly gathered them online and a few from The DC Vault (2008). 

Please let me know if you can supply any I don’t have. Please also check back every January as I will be updating this gallery with each new card.

1986 (but dont know if it was corporate or consumer)


1990 interior




1995 (by Bruce Timm and Ty Templeton!)















2012 (animated; full version here)












And related:

2000 holiday plate

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

“Secret Origin: The Story of DC Comics” documentary

Released in November, this authorized documentary does mention Bill Finger, but briefly and without much detail. No surprises in that treatment.

What was unexpected was learning that a photo that I helped get for the filmmakers made it into the film. It’s the first picture here and it shows up at roughly the 29:20 mark.

Monday, December 20, 2010

One we'll hear from in a decade

On 11/18/10, I ventured almost halfway across the wilds of Long Island for what turned out to be a most rewarding school visit. They’ve got solid security at Lindenhurst Middle School in Lindenhurst; I arrived early so I sat in the car in the parking lot doing a bit of work, and a guard came up to me to ask if I had business at the school. I wish all schools had protectors this attentive!

Before the presentations, I was treated to a bounty of art based on my books that the students had created. Some pictures were hung around what was labeled as “The World’s First Six Foot Celestial Sphere”:

(I would’ve assumed that distinction would belong to a lab somewhere, but I was never a strong science thinker.)

One drawing took inspiration from the cover of Vanished: True Stories of the Missing

I especially enjoyed the following pair, the first because it combines the subjects (Superman and ghosts) of two of my books and the second because it pits me against Superman villain Brainiac, which is sorry news for me:

They sold books, too, some of which I, post-signing, managed to stack without toppling:

Yet the most memorable aspect of the visit was a particular sixth grader and possible (likely) future author. In my years of visiting schools and blogging about it, I’ve never singled out a student. This one, however, made quite an impression on me. I’ll call him AM.

AM’s teacher allowed AM to miss some of his lunch so she could bring him to see me specially, in between sessions. AM was articulate and confident. He asked intelligent questions and knew a significant amount about comics history—in some cases, more than me. (Though, in my defense, while I know a thing or two about Siegel and Shuster and Finger, I never claimed to know extensively about comics history in general.)

I referred him (as I do all aspiring young writers) to I told him I will be eager to see where he ends up. And so I have already made a note in my calendar to Google his (luckily unusual) name—ten years from now. (Maybe he'll work with this one.)