Wednesday night, at the New Moon restaurant in Montrose, California, twenty of the people who worked on X-Men:TAS came together to celebrate the publication of “Previously on X-Men” 25 years after the series premiered. Great fun was had by all. Below are 15 of us. Back Row, left-to-right: Bob Skir (writer), Scott Thomas (producer), Julia Lewald (writer), Stephanie Graziano (Graz Entertainment), Dave McDermott (writer), Margaret Loesch (Fox Children’s Network), Larry Houston (Producer/Director), Me, Marty Isenberg (writer), Jim Graziano (Graz Entertainment). Front row: Len Uhley (writer), Dean Stefan (writer), Avery Cobern (Fox Children’s Network), Steve Melching (writer), Brooks Wachtel (writer). All are interviewed in the book.
Jordan Gorfinkel (“Gorf”) of the LA Comic Con was nice enough to serve as host to Julia, Larry Houston, and me for a celebratory panel on the near-anniversary (coming Tuesday) of the first sneak preview of X-Men:TAS in 1992 (please see us all in the picture below). The standing-room-only crowd was great, as were the many cosplayers (see other photo) who reminded us how much the show still means to many fans. The book is on the way from the printer, so some time this week we will, after three years, have it in our hands. Can’t wait.
“It’s being printed!” What great words to hear all these months after starting work on the book in January of 2015. Reviewers, bookstores, and libraries will soon be receiving e-copies to let them evaluate our 450-page celebration of the show we all remember so fondly.
These are ESTIMATES, and there could be delays, but word is that presale payments for direct sales from the publisher will be taken, appropriately, on the 25th anniversary of the premier of the series (10/31/17).
Hardback books should ship to U.S. buyers within a couple of weeks (early November). They will be available directly from the publisher’s store (jacobsbrownmediagroup.com) and then from Amazon and from your local bookstores if they have stocked them. The advantage of buying from Jacobs Brown directly is that you will get a signed copy. Paperback copies will be available about 2 weeks after that (mid-November), then Kindle copies 2 weeks after that (end of November).
For international buyers, the affordable way to get the book is through your local Amazon site. This will be PAPERBACK AND KINDLE ONLY (same size book, 10″x7″) and printed locally based on demand. Look for them to be available late November. An expensive alternative for non-U.S. buyers is to buy directly from the publisher. This would get you early access to the book, and it would be a signed hardback — but shipping is so expensive for an over-two-pound package from the U.S., even to Canada, that the publisher will charge you a $50 fee for it. If you gotta be the first to have the book, it is an option.
So, happy days here! And after you get a chance to read it, please let us know what you think at email@example.com.
In the nearly 15 months since we started this site, there has not been a sadder day. Our dear friend Len Wein has died.
In the 55-year history of the X-Men, there is no more important name than Len Wein. Without Len, there might not have been an X-MEN:TAS. In 1975, he was entrusted with re-inventing a long-dormant, unsuccessful book. Thinking ahead, he created a Canadian mutant named Wolverine for a Hulk comic on the hunch that Logan might fit in the new X-Men book. Pretty good hunch. He created an African mistress of the elements. He created a haunted blue demon with an angel’s faith.
Len was a comics world superstar. When I screwed up the courage to give him notes on his X-MEN:TAS scripts, set within a world he help build, he was always as gracious (and inventive) as he was professional. In our weird business, Len was among the nicest people I ever met. His long, thoughtful interview in our upcoming book was an amazing gift.
Julia and I will miss Len terribly. Our hearts go out to his wife Christine.
That’s the new title! I handed in the second draft of the book yesterday, and the publisher and I and a dozen cast and crew that I asked all agreed it’s the best title.
Previously on X-MEN
The Making of an Animated Series
Current estimated publishing date is September 1, 2017.
In celebration, Julia and I are taking a short vacation back in Tennessee, where the co-writers of much of the series live. Mark and Michael Edens wrote “The Phoenix Saga” five-part episode with me, so it’s only right that we have Phoenix, below, helping us celebrate.
In two weeks, on Sunday, April 2, at 3:00, we will be at WonderCon, in Anaheim, California, as part of a panel that talks with fans about what goes on in our favorite mutants’ heads, along with those of other superheroes. Please come by to say hello and to flummox us with challenging questions. Our kind hosts are Dr. Andrea Letamendi and Shout Factory‘s Brian Ward, longtime co-hosts of The Arkham Sessions podcasts. While they have specialized in delving into the psyches of Batman: The Animated Series characters (writer David Wise will be there), they have expanded this panel to include experts on the animated X-Men (us), and Star War Rebels (writer Henry Gilroy). If you are curious about what makes your favorite superheroes tick, please join us.
As the X-MEN:TAS book races to its thrill-packed conclusion (late June?), I find that I am discovering more people who made major contributions (artists, voice actors) but with whom I never had a chance to work directly. Storyboard artist Keith Tucker has worked on possibly more series with me than any other artist: X-MEN:TAS, Exosquad, Streefighter, Iron Man, some Disney shows — all the way back to the long-forgotten Sky Commanders at Hanna-Barbera. We writers and artists so often work separately, that a memory of Keith stands out in my mind. Sky Commanders was the first series on which I supervised the writing (along with fellow Tennesseean John Loy). I distinctly remember getting a call from Keith, who I’d never met, about an action scene: he had ideas for expanding and complicating the choreography and wanted to run them by me. They sounded great. At H-B at the time the pressure was on the creative staff to rush through production. Here was a storyboard artist asking to take an extra few hours to make a scene I had signed off on more exciting. I remember seeing the board and seeing how good it looked. I wondered how often we would have to time push the stories like this. So it’s no surprise that Larry Houston used Keith a lot on X-MEN. The odder thing is that, while working for 4 years on the stories, I never knew who all of the artists were. Thanks to the book, I’m finding out.