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3.17.2006

Friday Update - GUEST BREAKDOWNS BY JAMIE S. RICH!

Christopher Allen here. You know, the fill-in has a long history in comics, and most people have ambivalent feelings about them. Everyone remembers those pleasant surprises when there was a fill-in in one of their regular series where someone great stepped in to do one special, one-off story, maybe it was someone who didn't even do monthly comics much anymore, because their work took more time to do than that, and/or they didn't have the financial need to work that fast. Sometimes those fill-ins are a fascinating glimpse into what could have been, a direction for a series better, or equally as interesting, as what was currently going in the hands of the regular team. And, okay, lots of times fill-ins are junk that's either been in a drawer or hacked out in short order to fill deadlines because the regular writer or artist is late.

Fortunately, that latter scenario is not the case with this week's BREAKDOWNS, which is guest-written by comics and prose writer and former Oni Press Editor-in-Chief, Jamie S. Rich. Last week, I dropped by Will Eisner Comic Industry Award Committee chairperson (whew!) Jackie Estrada's house to hand over a box of submitted books and comics and I was given another two big boxes to read. It finally hit me that, hmm, with the voting being done in just a couple weeks now, I really needed to get cracking, and would have to skip the column for that time. And normally, I would do that, but Alan David Doane suggested maybe someone would like to do a guest shot. Sounded like a fun idea, and though initially my thought was just to do it in-house with one of the other Galaxy writers, I realized it would be a little more fun to cast my net wider.

I didn't want to just ask another reviewer/columnist/blogger who everyone sees writing about comics every week anyway, so I started thinking of people I knew who a) could write; b) were known to my readers already; and c) good sports willing to do it. My first pick was Jamie, and it was a great relief he agreed, as I hadn't thought any further than him. I told him to feel free to do something totally different than what I would do in the column, and absolutely take the opportunity to promote his past and current work. Hell, this is a freelance writer dropping paying work to do my column for free, the least we can do is give him a platform to talk about that paying work. And he does, but in a really interesting, thoughtful way that I think will be of value to any comics reader, and especially to those considering or attempting to write in this medium, as Jamie tells of how he deals with some of the conventions of genre, and how to satisfy those who like the genre, while still trying to do something surprising and unique.

I think you'll like it, and a heartfelt thanks to Jamie for doing such a great job on such short notice, as well as to Derik A Badman and ADD for getting it up and looking so fine.

P.S. Obviously I can't stop writing, so even without a column I'm sure there will be more blather from me next week. Have a great weekend.

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