Beginning a Bold New Era!!

Not sure when I first started being obsessed with comics, but it was pretty early on:

Cut to some thirty-odd years later, and the little nerdling in Spidey’s lap is now a full-on adult of the species:

(Note I refrained from using the phrase ‘all grown up’.  That’s not particularly likely, not in this lifetime — or the next few in the queue. )

I just turned 40 a little over a month ago, and all those years and about seventeen long boxes stuffed full of comics later, you’ll still find me rocking some sort of superhero imagery on my person more often than not.  Sitting in Peter Parker’s lap?  Not so much . . . although Jessica Drew, now THAT arachnid photo op might be an entirely different story.


Anyway, like many unfortunate youth bitten the by the bug, I have tried my hand at making my own comics, and as a writer had my work published in several instances — for the most part, superbly illustrated by an amazing artist by the name of James E. ‘Doodle’ Lyle (  Our biggest claim to fame as a creative unit was the creation of five issues of DoorMan, which was published in the mid-90s by first Cult Press and then Caliber Comics.  I was starting to get published, even pitching to the big boys, sold a two part story I co-wrote with the talented now-novelist Jeff Mariotte to Jim Lee’s WildStorm Productions (which, sadly, never saw the light of day, but the checks cleared).  It looked, to the casual observer, that I might be on an upward track, and it was just going to be a matter of hard work, patience, and perserverence.

And then I just stopped writing comics.  Much of it had to do with a failed comics publishing start-up I was involved with, which really broke my resolve when it tanked and couldn’t get off the ground — had it gone through, I’d have been working not only as a writer but as the creative director and overseeing the entire company’s output.  To put it mildly, I was crushed when it didn’t come together.  The speculator-fueled market crash in comics nearing the end of the decade also provided another source of angst and laid a massive set of fresh obstacles in my career path.  I meant to take a few months off and lick my wounds a little, then get right back on the horse . . .

. . . and that was well over a decade ago.  I even stopped reading comics at all for several years.  I did continue to write as a semi-professional videogame journalist and reviewer for a trio of websites, the now-defunct,, and  I never quite gave up the idea of being a writer, and half-heartedly would start short stories, novels and treatments / scripts for comics, but none of it really gelled and I’d orphan them, frustrated.

Boo freakin’ hoo, I know.

About a year ago, I decided to pull myself up by the bootstraps and make a fresh start at it.  I’ll talk about that specific process in a later post, as I suspect this one may be getting well into ‘didn’t read, too long’ territory.

To cut to the chase, DoorMan will be returning, if all goes according to plan, in 2013 — Doodle and I will be representing our original material both online as a webcomic, and in our first collected edition, which we will likely be self-publishing.  Learning how to create and run a website (keeping in mind your sweet old grandmother was probably on Facebook well before I was), as well as self-publish dead tree books is a daunting task — not to mention trying to pick-up where I left off on my writing career as a whole– so I thought maybe I’d document it along the way, as well as share thoughts and observations on a wide spectrum of nerdery that I’m passionate about.

My point is, to mash-up Stan Lee and Steve Perry: don’t stop True Believin’.  Take it from an old-timey, pre-internet nerd: always Face Front.  Life in general might still kick your posterior, but you’ve got much better odds if you’re looking forward.

— mal


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