Interviews

Author Greg Weisman Discusses “Rain Of The Ghosts” Novel, Upcoming Signing Events

The World’s Finest caught up with Greg Weisman, co-producer of the recent fan-favorite Young Justice animated series, to discuss his new novel Rain of the Ghosts. Rain of the Ghosts is the first in Weisman’s new book series about an adventurous young girl, Rain Cacique, who discovers she has a mystery to solve, a mission to complete, and the ability to see ghosts. In the following interview, Weisman discusses the origin of his new book series, why fans of his animated work should check it out, and where readers can have the opportunity to meet him and receive a signed copy of Rain of the Ghosts. Continue below for more from Weisman…

The World’s Finest: To start things off, can you give us a spoiler-free rundown of your new book Rain of the Ghosts, and maybe toss in some back-story on what inspired you to write this tale?

Greg Weisman: Rain Cacique is a thirteen-year-old girl, who lives on San Próspero, the largest island of the Prospero Keys – known to locals as the Ghost Keys, or more simply, The Ghosts. Rain’s mother runs the Nitaino Inn, a bed & breakfast; her father, a charter boat service. And Rain, who works for them both, believes her life is destined to remain an endless cycle of making beds and cutting bait for tourists. She feels trapped. The one person who gives her hope is her maternal grandfather Sebastian Bohique, who gives her a precious family heirloom: a golden armband comprised of two intertwined serpents. Unfortunately, ’Bastian passes away shortly after giving Rain the armband, and Rain’s grief is overwhelming… which may explain why she’s starting to see dead people. But soon enough Rain learns (with the help of her best friend Charlie Dauphin) that the armband has granted her the power to communicate with ghosts. She has a destiny and a larger purpose. Not to mention two mysterious new enemies: the Australian mercenary Callahan and the Hurricane-Goddess Hura-Hupia. The former wants Rain’s armband at any cost. The latter wants to put an end to Rain’s quest, specifically at the cost of Rain’s life.

Rain of the Ghosts is a project I originally developed at DreamWorks, right after doing Gargoyles for Disney. It was chockfull of all the ingredients that I love about a concept: a rich, largely unknown mythology; engaging protagonists; dangerous, smart villains; a unique semi-exotic setting, and a driving story. We never got to do it as an animated series, but I couldn’t get the story and characters out of my head. Jeffrey Katzenberg at DreamWorks kindly sold the rights back to me, and over a decade ago I wrote a novel, which failed to sell. But after finishing Young Justice, I revisited the story, did a rewrite and sent it off to St. Martin’s Press. The result is the novel that just came out.

WF: This is the first installment of a planned multiple book series. How far along are you in the development of the ongoing story? Do you know how it’s going to end? And how does that present a challenge in approaching each book, especially when any installment could conceivably be someone’s first?

GW: I know the entire story in rough form for all nine books, and even for the start of a second series of nine books set in the same universe. Having said that, I don’t pretend to have every single detail worked out for books three through nine, and I like to leave myself open to discovering things along the way. I’ve completed the second book, Spirits of Ash and Foam, which comes out in July of 2014, and as I was writing it, two very minor characters began to take on much more important roles. In essence, they were telling me they weren’t going to be minor players anymore. And those kinds of voices – manifesting from the writing process or from my gut instinct or from some kind of parallel-world-telepathy or from wherever and whatever – are voices I always listen to.

It can be a challenge to have to set things up all over again. It’s much easier in a visual medium, where I don’t have to physically re-describe things like characters and settings: they’re just there on screen or on the comic book page for the audience to see. It never feels repetitive, for example, to see Superboy or Spider-Man or Goliath again. But in a prose novel, I have to make sure that someone who hasn’t read the previous book or hasn’t read it recently can get up to speed quickly. And yet I don’t want it to feel repetitive or boring for someone who has just put down Rain and picked up Spirits and doesn’t necessarily want to hear me describe Rain or Charlie using the exact same language from the previous book. But I like to think I found a path to walk that should satisfy all readers.

WF: Can you run us through how you came up with Rain of the Ghosts‘s main character – Rain – and why you thought a young protagonist was key to the story. Do you find it easy to write these young teen characters? Why?

GW: Well, I’ve been writing teen characters for quite a few years now. But Rain’s younger than most of the sixteen and seventeen-year-olds that I’ve been writing in The Spectacular Spider-Man and Young Justice. For Rain, I wanted a character who had all the drama of a teenager, but less of the cynicism. Someone who wouldn’t always feel the need to pretend that the amazing stuff she was seeing wasn’t amazing. In addition, I truly like writing female characters, and I’m a fan of diversity. You don’t see a lot of thirteen-year-old female Native Americans as leads in stories set in the present. This was a chance to try something that felt new to me.

WF: Rain finds herself in very specific, very intriguing surroundings. Care to walk us through why you chose this setting? It definitely falls along the works you’ve done before, a mix of realism and mysticism.

GW: One reviewer referred to the book as magical realism, which I take as a high compliment. The Caribbean is a melting pot in microcosm. So many cultures – dating back to before the Taíno people that were there when Columbus “discovered” America – make up its modern landscape. And much of the mythology of the region hasn’t really been explored in popular culture. Add in the fact that a kid who grows up in an inn, with strangers (i.e. tourists) constantly coming to stay at her home, also felt fresh to me, and the Ghost Keys seemed like a no-brainer.

WF: Whether it’s with Rain of the Ghosts or your assorted projects, how much planning goes into creating the world and its rules. Is it something you’re always conscious of when writing (so and so can’t do this because of this rule, etc.)? Does it help keep you in check and perhaps keep the story as grounded as possible, even with some of the otherworldly elements?

GW: As most folks familiar with my writing know, I’m big on both planning and rules. I have timelines for almost every television series I’ve ever developed (for example, the timeline for Young Justice is nearly three hundred pages long). The world of Rain of the Ghosts is no different. A document that I created for Rain and originally labeled “Cheat Sheet” because it was a single page of “reminders,” is now – after writing Spirits a whopping 169 pages long. It’s loaded with facts about the eight islands that make up the Ghost Keys, details about all the characters (major and minor, living and dead), and rules for how the universe works. Not all of this stuff is revealed in Rain or even Spirits, but, in success, the onion will be peeled away in layers across all nine volumes of Rain’s story.

As for writing each individual book, I plot everything out meticulously on many, many colored index cards. (Spirits of Ash and Foam required 693 cards.) But, again, I leave myself open to serendipity and discovery once I actually sit down to write. You never know…

WF: You stated plenty of times that kids aren’t given enough credit when it comes to understanding and accepting ideas some might see as complex. How does that drive your writing? And does that allow you the opportunity to explore more weighty issues – such as loss here in Rain, for example?

GW: Well, the main thing this belief does is free me up to write about what I want to write about and not worry whether or not my potential readership is going to “get” it. I do write on layers, so I believe that kids get as much as they need to get. And basically, I just don’t censor myself or my characters’ emotions. Death is a biggie, of course, and so are age-appropriate romantic entanglements – both of which can sometimes be difficult to explore in network cartoons. So it’s great to have the freedom to do that here. And even said age-appropriateness is set by the age of my characters, not by any arbitrary Standards and Practices idea of what’s appropriate for my readers.

WF: Rain of the Ghosts‘s narrator provides a genuine mystery to the reader, and is definitely an interesting take on how to tell Rain’s story. Without giving anything away, why did you choose this approach to the narration?

GW: The book is narrated using a First Person Omniscient (or nearly Omniscient) Narrator. That’s fairly atypical, but it seemed like the best way to tell the story. The narrator, whom the other characters know as Opie, has his own point of view, agenda, attitude and interests, all of which gain in clarity with each succeeding book in the series. Yet even here in this first book, the reader gets a few major revelations about him, including the fact that he’s omniscient about the present – the now – with that omniscience extending even to being able to read the thoughts of others. (In contrast, Opie cannot foretell the future, and his knowledge of the past, while extensive, is not encyclopedic.)

As for the why… part of the reason, admittedly, was the novelty of it. But Opie-as-Narrator plays into the mythology of the region and of the series. And he seemed like a perfect vehicle for exploring this new world I was trying to create in all its various facets.

WF: Can you drop any last teases for Rain, and where we could possibly see this story going to with the release of the second installment?

GW: As Spirits of Ash and Foam begins, Rain is on a quest in nine parts. She knows she’s completed the first step, but she has eight more steps to take. The second book begins to explain the rules of the world in more detail, introduces and/or develops more characters, and has a couple of new and dangerous opponents: a child-stealing Taíno mermaid and a murderous Taíno vampire that isn’t like any vampire you’ve seen before.

WF: For fans of your work on Young Justice, The Spectacular Spider-Man, Gargoyles, and even your upcoming Star Wars Rebels show, why do you think they’ll enjoy Rain of the Ghosts?

GW: I think for my fans, the things they’ve enjoyed about my past work includes the world-building of a cohesive and dynamic universe with its own mythology, populated by well-drawn characters that come in all shapes, sizes, races, ethnicities, genders, orientations, etc. Rain of the Ghosts – the book and the series it launches – has all of that and more.

WF: To wrap things up, can you fill us in on all the details for the signings/appearances you’ll be doing for Rain of the Ghosts? When, where – the whole nine yards!

GW: I have two signings coming up in the next few days:

On Saturday, February 15, 2014, I’ll be selling and signing copies of Rain of the Ghosts at Gallifrey One. For $10 you get a signed copy of the book and (while supplies last) signed copies of the original inspirational character designs (drawn by artist Kuni Tomita) for the animated series version of Rain that we developed but never made back at DreamWorks in 1997-98. Gallifrey One is at the Marriott Los Angeles Airport Hotel, 
5855 West Century Blvd., 
Los Angeles, CA 90045. And I’ll be signing at Christopher Jones’ table from 2pm-3pm, then again after our Young Justice panel from 6pm-6:30pm in Program Room B. And finally in the Lobby of the hotel from 6:30pm until I’m out of books or folks stop showing up. The 6:30pm signing is open to everyone, even folks who have not paid to attend the convention. For more information, go to http://www.s8.org/gargoyles/askgreg/search.php?rid=1132 or http://www.gallifreyone.com/.

Then on Tuesday, February 18, 2014, I’ll be doing a reading, discussion and signing of Rain at 7:00pm at Vroman’s Bookstore: 695 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena, California 91101. For more information, check out: http://www.vromansbookstore.com/greg-weisman2014.

Thanks!

Rain of the Ghosts, the first installment of Weisman’s new book series, is now available at retail and digital outlets everywhere. Check out Ask Greg! for more details on Rain of the Ghosts.

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Exclusive Interview With “Justice League: War” Composer Kevin Kliesch

The World’s Finest caught up with Kevin Kliesch, who provides the music for the upcoming DC Universe Animated Original Movie Justice League: War, to discuss his work on the highly-anticipated animated feature.

Heavily involved in music from an early age, musician Kliesch has worked on a vast assortment of projects during his career. Composer for the DC Universe Animated Original Movie 2013 title Superman: Unbound, a small sampling of his recent assignments include ThunderCats, Tangled Ever After, TMNT, X-Men: The Last Stand, and The Muppets, among a host of others. Kliesch’s latest work can be heard in the new DC Universe Animated Original Movie title Justice League: War, the soundtrack of which is available to own February 4th, 2014 as a digital download and Amazon-exclusive compact disc. The soundtrack to the film Justice League: War features music produced, engineered, orchestrated and performed by Kliesch.

Click on the image below for a new interview with Kliesch as he discusses his thought on the Justice League: War animated feature and more.

Justice League: War – Original Motion Picture Soundtrack will be available to own February 4th, 2014 on compact disc or through digital download from WaterTower Music.

Want to purchase “Justice League: War – Original Motion Picture Soundtrack?” Check out Amazon and WaterTower Music to get your copy!

Check out the The World’s Finest review of Justice League: War. Additional details on Justice League: War are available at the The World’s Finest Justice League: War subsite.

Justice League: War hits Blu-ray, single-disc DVD, and Digital Download on February 4th, 2014 as part of the DC Universe Animated Original Movie line from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment, in co-production with Warner Bros. Animation and DC Entertainment. Additionally, the Justice League: War – Two-Disc Special Edition DVD streets on March 18th, 2014. Stay tuned for further updates and more here soon at The World’s Finest.

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The World’s Finest Interviews “Beware The Batman” Artist Luciano Vecchio

The World’s Finest caught up with artist Luciano Vecchio to discuss his work on the monthly comic book series Beware The Batman, published by DC Comics. Vecchio is part of the rotating art team for the title, the fourth issue of which hits shelves this Wednesday, January 29th, 2014.

Beware The Batman, based on the Cartoon Network animated series of the same name, features stories based on the cartoon’s continuity. Vecchio has worked on a host of different projects over the past decade, including his own original works and comics inspired by popular DC Comics-based animated shows, such as Young Justice and Green Lantern: The Animated Series.

To find out more about Vecchio, his work, and Beware The Batman #4, continue on to the interview below…

The World’s Finest: So, off the bat, please tell us a little about yourself and your past work.

Luciano Vecchio: My name is Luciano Vecchio, 31 years old and I’m based in Buenos Aires, Argentina. I’ve worked as illustrator and comic book artist for almost 12 years now, and most of my past work is comprised of original graphic novels for different publishers. My major works include the independent superhero saga Sentinels (by New York-based publisher Drumfish Productions); Cruel Thing, a trilogy of gothic horror and adventure for mature readers (by Norma Editorial, Spain); and The Interactives, about British fantasy in the Internet Era (by Markosia, UK). After that, Ben 10: Ultimate Alien was my fist assignment for DC Comics, and it was followed by many other animation-based books.

WF: Can you run us through Beware The Batman #4, your third issue on the comic series, and perhaps give us a rundown on the story and what you enjoyed about drawing it.

LV: This was my favorite issue to draw so far. It is very action-packed, fast and fun. Besides Batman and Katana, it features two of my favorite characters in the Bat-Family – Man-Bat and Barbara Gordon. In the story there is a second person turned into a Man-Bat, and that character I got to fully design. I love doing character and costume design, so developing this character in a way that fits the Beware aesthetic, and is unique and different from Kirk Langstrom (the first Man-Bat) at the same time, was what I enjoyed the most.

WF: Now, Beware The Batman isn’t your first “animated title.” You’ve worked on Green Lantern: The Animated Series and Young Justice for DC, and worked on a few Marvel Universe titles. How close are these “animated” styles to your own?

LV: Well, I grew up consuming mainly American superhero comics and Japanese anime, and my style developed as an eclectic mix of such divergent influences. I love the aesthetic of anime – the consistent lines, the minimalist details, the cell shading coloring, the expressionism in characterization. At the same time I’m passionate about the superhero genre – its characters, its myths. I think that a merging of both styles has become a trend in animation over the last decade. I remember when I saw the first episode of Young Justice, I was like “this looks exactly like what I aim to achieve with my own style!”. Little did I know then that I would end up drawing two issues of the series, but if I compare those issues to my earlier work like Sentinels or Cruel Thing, the essence was always there and I barely had to adapt my style at all.

WF: As a follow-up to the last question, do you find there’s enough familiarity between all these different “animated styles” that makes your work easier to do? For example, you can jump from Young Justice to Beware The Batman, two shows with very difference styles, with ease. Is this a benefit?

LV: Actually, in the cartoons and their spin-off comics, not only does the general style differ from one license to the other, but each character is uniquely different on its own and has to remain on model. And while that is a challenge, they were specifically designed by animation professionals to be easily interpreted and reproduced by many, many different artists. So while there is some familiarity between the different series, I think it is the quality of the designs and my training to reproduce them and make them “act” that makes the style-jumps natural.

WF: How has your work on the “animated” comics translated to other work? What other titles do you work on? Has there been an increase in demand for your work thanks to working on these books?

LV: I think the traits that could translate from these animated styles to my own style were always already there in essence: minimalism, expressiveness, dynamic narrative and a focus on “acting” and characterization.

Besides being one of the rotating artists on Beware The Batman, I’m working on Ultimate Spider-Man Infinite Comics for Marvel. So yes, so far there has been a constant increase in demand for my work, mostly in such animation-based comics, which I’m enjoying very much at the moment.

WF: When working on these comics, what type of reference materials do you receive? How much of a insight into the given show are you provided to make sure your work matches what’s on screen?

LV: It varies from series to series. I mostly get character model sheets and occasionally props and backgrounds references.

Young Justice was the most ‘close-to-the-show’ experience I had and I thoroughly loved it. The writer was one of the show producers and he made sure every little detail fitted and complemented the show’s continuity. I got references for everything – characters, weapons, technology, etc. Everything that had already been designed for the show and appeared in the comic script was meticulously planned out. It felt like I was part of the TV show and I really enjoyed it, and Young Justice still remains my favorite take on the DC characters.

On other series, artists are given more liberty as long as the characters are drawn in model and the comic reflects the cartoon. But I still like to do my homework, take lots of screen captures from the TV shows, study the tones, aesthetics, body languages and such, to properly translate them to the comics.

WF: Beware The Batman #4 – your next issue – spotlights Man-Bat, who has yet to appear on the series to date. Is there some intimidation knowing that your version of the character will appear under your pencil before the same character hits the cartoon?

LV: When I was drawing this issue, several months in advance, I didn’t know the airing of the episode would be delayed and the release order inverted, so there was not such intimidation involved.

WF: As somewhat of a follow-up, when it came to Beware to Batman and Green Lantern: The Animated Series, was it difficult to translate the CG designs into 2D models? Was there any difficulty in making sure your work still looked like the CG-animated versions?

LV: It was exciting and challenging. It required studying the 3D models and breaking them down to their structure and logic, to then be able to recreate and draw them in my own style. And doing my own translation from CGI images to 2D artwork inevitably led to a more personal take on the characters. The final result reflects the look of the show, but with my own style choices.

WF: To go off-topic for a moment, can you fill us in on where we’ll be seeing your artwork (outside of Beware The Batman) in the coming months?

LV: I just finished drawing issue six of Beware The Batman, which ships in March. Beyond that, Infinite Comics: Ultimate Spider-Man starts serializing on digital devices somewhere in the near future, with a very different and fun reading format, and in this case I get to color my own artwork too. Also, 2014 marks the 10th anniversary of my first published work, Sentinels (Drumfish Productions), which will be relaunched in a revised, colorized and digital version.

WF: Lastly, as we wrap this up, can you tell us why we should rush out and pick up Beware The Batman #4 on Wednesday?

LV: On top of the excitement, action, adventure, and Men-Bats, this issue reveals an important development for one of the supporting characters that we didn’t get to see yet on the show, and left me happily surprised as a longtime DC fan. I can’t wait to see what everybody else think about it.

A selection of Vecchio’s artwork can be found below, with more posted at the The World’s Finest Beware The Batman subsite.

Beware The Batman #4 hits comic book stores and hobby shops, in addition to digital outlets, on Wednesday, January 29th, 2014. DC Entertainment confirmed for The World’s Finest last week that Beware The Batman issue #6, drawn by Vecchio, is the final issue of the comic book. A statement from the publisher can be found here.

Stay tuned for further coverage on Beware The Batman right here at The World’s Finest.

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Writer Matthew K. Manning Discusses “Beware The Batman” And “The Superman Files”

The World’s Finest caught up with writer Matthew K. Manning to discuss his upcoming issue of the ongoing Beware The Batman comic series, based on the animated series of the same name, and his current major book project The Superman Files. Manning has a long history with DC Comics, particularly when it comes to the animated adventures of the World’s Greatest Superheroes. And now, hitting comic book outlets shelves on Wednesday, Manning pits Batman against the trouble Professor Pyg in Beware The Batman #2, the latest issue of the new all-ages DC Comics title. To find out more about Manning’s work, past and present, just continue on to the Q & A below…

The World’s Finest: First off, for those coming into Batman all-ages comics with Beware The Batman, care to give us a quick rundown of your work past and present?

Matthew K. Manning: I got my start in mainstream comics by writing Justice League Adventures for DC before becoming one of the regular rotating writers on The Batman Strikes. During that time I wrote for a few other titles for both DC and Marvel, including Spider-Man Unlimited and Legion of Super-Heroes in the 31st Century, before I started working for DK Publishing on some of their superhero guide books and the like. Since then, I’ve written or co-written over 20 books, including The Batman Files and The Superman Files for Andrews McMeel, The Spider-Man Chronicle and the Marvel and DC: Year by Year books for DK Publishing, The Batman Vault for Running Press, and the Art of Thor and The Art of Captain America for Marvel, among other titles. My first love is writing comics, though, so I’ve been trying to get back into that a bit, writing some issues of Beware the Batman, and a couple other upcoming DC all-ages books.

WF: Jumping right into it, your issue (Beware The Batman #2) brings back Professor Pyg. Care to tell us why you opted to use this villain, and how will your story place in the overall continuity of Beware The Batman?

MM: I absolutely love Grant Morrison’s work on the Batman titles these last few years, and feel like Pyg has “classic Batman villain” written all over him. While the animated version is a bit toned down, he was my first choice of characters when I pitched for the series. As for how he fits in continuity-wise, this issue takes place some time after Pyg’s first appearance, as Katana is in full costume in our issue. And interestingly enough, Pyg is flying solo this time. His partner Mr. Toad is sitting this fight out.

WF: What are your thoughts on Beware The Batman in general? Does its premise allow for some unique opportunities in story-telling?

MM: Two of my favorite things in comics are obscure Batman villains and the Outsiders. So Beware the Batman is right up my alley. While I wish they’d given Gotham a bit more character, I like the look of Batman and the Batmobile especially. And there’s just something great about introducing the mainstream audience to characters like Katana, Pyg, Magpie and the rest. It certainly allows for writers like me to tell stories that haven’t been told before.

WF: This isn’t the first animated Batman comic (or DC Comics titles) you’ve written for. Are these animated cartoon-based titles a good bridge for new readers? How do you approach them, both in terms of who may be buying these comics for the first time, and for the fans of the cartoons looking for new stories set in that universe?

MM: I don’t believe in dumbing down stories for a younger audience, so I always try to write for me, even when working on all-ages books. I try to emulate some of the great self-contained stories of the 1970s where a new reader could pick up any issue and follow along, but where the storytelling is often innovative, and there’s a bit of subtly to the violence, rather than in-your-face blood and gore. My main goal is finding a new way to tell a Batman story, to keep it exciting for old fans yet fun and memorable for new readers as well.

WF: This isn’t your only super-hero based project hitting shelves this month. The Superman Files – a massive hardcover tome dedicated to Superman’s mythology and history – hit shelves earlier this month. Can you give us a quick rundown of this project?

MM: The idea behind The Superman Files is essentially asking the question, “What if someone kept a scrapbook about Superman’s life?” It’s compiled from the perspective of Brainiac 5 from the 31st Century, as he tries to piece together all the facts about the life and times of Clark Kent, using things like old “photographs,” newspaper articles, journal entries and the like. We did a similar book called The Batman Files a few year ago, and fans really seemed to like the approach. I know I always have a blast writing in these characters’ voices.

WF: What attracts you to such projects as The Superman Files – or even your previous similar works, such as The Batman Files, The Batman Vault or DC Comics Year by Year?

MM: Like nearly every single comic book writer and artist working today, I’m first and foremost a comic book fan. I grew up loving this stuff, and love the idea of researching it even more and learning facts I wasn’t aware of previously. It’s fun to have an excuse to get the comics out and read through them every now and then. It’s even better to get paid for it.

WF: What kind of work goes into these large Files-type projects? I assume endless months of research, fact-checking,and so forth, to ensure not one thing is skipped?

MM: The outline is the toughest part. I literally flip through every comic from the era we’re discussing and then figure out what we need to include and what we need to skip over. I grew up a Batman fan, so that one was a bit easier to write, but staying in Batman’s head for too long can get depressing. It’s not a happy place. So each book has its challenges. But in every case, it always means a lot of comic book reading. Which is great, but after 400 issues or so, it does start to feel like work. Fun work, but work nonetheless.

WF: As a follow-up to the last question – and a bit of a poor segueway – how does working on a Files-type project compare to writing a comic book story? And, save from the length, what would be the major differences?

MM: The good thing about comics is that I get to make it all up. Sure, I’m a stickler for continuity, but the story is mine, and I don’t have to worry about having any facts wrong in that respect. So things on the research side are pretty limited. For the Files books, I do get to write “in character,” so that’s a nice creative outlet as well, but more times than not, I’m telling someone else’s story. It may be a story I love, but it’s still one that needs to accurately reflect the source material. That does make it a bit more labor intensive. There’s also the format itself. I actually prefer writing prose, as you’re not constantly breaking up the flow of the story with panel descriptions and the like, but I absolutely love the format of comics, so that sacrifice is worth it. There’s something really interesting about pacing a story and adding visual input and cool page turn moments that you just can’t do in any other type of writing.

WF: Moving back to comics, outside of Beware The Batman, where will we be seeing your name in the coming months on the comic racks?

MM: I have a creator-owned series in development at DC Comics, but that seems to be paused at the moment. In the immediate future, I’ve just seen the first ten pages for my next Beware the Batman story, and they look amazing. I can’t wait to share it with everyone, as we’re trying something that I’m pretty sure has never been attempted in a Batman story yet. I’ve also just turned in two scripts for two other DC all-ages books, so keep checking my website, as I’ll be sure to plug them as soon as I can. In the book world, I’m currently writing another massive Batman hardcover called Batman: Year by Year for DK Publishing. It chronicles the entire history of Batman, filling readers in on the month by month developments of his life, both in the real world and in the fictional world, from 1939 to the present. I’ve also recently finished a book for Insight Editions called The World According to Wolverine, and I have a few other children’s books and young reader books in the works.

WF: Now – can you give us one last reason to check out Beware The Batman #2 – hitting selves on Wednesday? And why should we also snatch up The Superman Files at the same time? (Have fun with this one…it’s more of a light question)

MM: Our issue of Beware the Batman is a pretty great jumping-on point for new readers, as I originally pitched it as the first issue of the series. Not only do you get to see Batman, Alfred, and Katana in action, there’s a fun little mystery involved, and everything’s wrapped up nicely in 20 pages. There’s even a hidden theme that sharp-eyed readers may be able to pick up on. As for The Superman Files, it’s easily one of the best books I’ve ever written, and probably one of the most thorough life stories of the modern adventures of the Man of Steel ever attempted. The book includes hundreds of images from the comics, as well as plenty of newly commissioned artwork and “artifacts” from Superman’s life. Plus, it even has a crossover entry with The Batman Files as we include a page from Batman’s own journal, as well as bits about the Justice League and Legion of Super-Heroes. So there’s pretty much a little something for every DC fan. If nothing else, it makes a great blunt object to fend off intruders and/or solicitors. So that’s worth the price tag right there.

Beware the Batman #2 hits shelves Wednesday, November 27th, 2013, from DC Comics and is available at comic book shops and through digital outlets. The issue, written by Manning, features artwork by Dario Brizuela. Additionally, The Superman Files hardcover book title is available at all retail and online book outlets.

Check out the The World’s Finest Beware The Batman subsite for more details and content on the animated series. Stay tuned for further updates right here at The World’s Finest.

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Dynamic Music Partners Discuss Creating The Soundtrack For “Young Justice”

The World’s Finest caught up with Dynamic Music Partners, who provided the score to the recent Cartoon Network animated series Young Justice, to discuss the new Young Justice: Music from the DC Comics Animated Television Series soundtrack release from La-La Land Records. The soundtrack collects an assortment of music from the two-season run of the acclaimed animated series, and is available to purchase both directly from La-La Land Records and from other major retailers. The soundtrack is currently available on compact disc and will be available soon as a digital download. Dynamic Music Partners, consisting of Emmy Award-winning composers Michael McCuistion, Lolita Ritmanis and Kristopher Carter, have created hundreds of hours of music for a variety of different genres, including TV series, independent films, video games and live performance events. Click on the image below for more with Dynamic Music Partner’s Michael McCuistion, Lolita Ritmanis and Kristopher Carter.

Young Justice: Music from the DC Comics Animated Television Series is now available La-La Land Records, and can be purchased both directly from the label and other major retailers. A digital release for this soundtrack is expected to be issued shortly.

Complete details for the Young Justice: Music from the DC Comics Animated Television Series soundtrack release can be found at the The World’s Finest Young Justice subsite. Stay tuned for further updates here soon at The World’s Finest.

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