My love of comic books has waxed and waned over the course of my life.  I’ll go years without reading a single issue and then, one day, pick up a copy of every title on the racks.  I’ll continue to follow the books that appeal while dropping those that fail to hold my interest, whittling that lofty initial pile down a scant few titles before shifting my focus elsewhere…only to renew my interest months, perhaps years later.  Interestingly enough, there is one title, one hero, who always seems to hold my interest longer than any other: Batman.  Partly because he is an atypical hero, a mere mortal blessed with a keen mind and sharp, but not superhuman, fighting skills, partly because of his colorful rogue’s gallery, and partly because his stories have always been a little darker, a little grittier, than the adventures of other costumed crusaders.  And it was while reading author Mark Chadbourn’s “By My Works You Shall Know Me” in the Masked anthology of original superhero fiction that I was reminded of those very best elements of the dark knight’s tales.  So it’s not surprising to learn that Mark, like me, is a fan of the bat.

Mark Chadbourn is a former journalist who presently straddles the television and literary worlds.  The author of sixteen novels (The Age of Misrule and Dark Age trilogies among them), a non-fiction book, and several comic-related works including The Book of Shadows, Hellboy: The Ice Wolves, and Hellboy: The Oddest Jobs – Straight No Chaser, he is currently a scriptwriter for BBC.  He also blogs.  Here:

I asked Mark if he wouldn’t mind offering up some thoughts on “By My Works You Shall Know Me”, his dark and canny contribution to the Masked anthology.  He was kind enough to respond with the following…

‘Masked’ editor Lou Anders also happens to be my editor on my recently-launched historical-fantasy-espionage-adventure sequence (yep, I’m invading all genres…) Swords of Albion, which concerns Elizabethan spy Will Swyfte fighting a brutal cold war against the forces of Faerie.  It’s amazing I ever hit my deadlines because Lou and I seem to spend more time talking about all sorts of interesting stuff rather than working.  One particular point of interest happens to be our shared love of comics, especially Batman.  And my involvement with ‘Masked’ spun out of that.

I’ve never wholly enjoyed Superman, preferring my heroes human and flawed, so my story in this anthology was pretty much a love letter to the ‘masked vigilante of the night’ trope. I had fun, pure and simple.  Fight sequences, screwy psychology, mad science and an arch arch-enemy.  As others have mentioned, the aim was not to parody superheroes or even to deconstruct in the manner of Watchmen.  It was simply finding a superhero story that resonated in today’s world.  For me, modern society is very much about how we attempt to assimilate runaway technology while coping with the many stresses battering our individual psychology.  The struggles of the supermen seem a perfect metaphor for that.

There was a pleasant surprise waiting for me on my return to the production offices today.  Well, not exactly waiting for me.  More hanging outside John Lenic’s office when I happened to walk by.  Richard Dean Anderson, General Jack O’Neill himself, was back in his old stomping grounds.  While he awaited the arrival of the trio of lucky fans he’d be hosting that day, we caught up, chatting about his conversion to twitter (his daughter’s doing), his tireless charity work ( and, and my pug Jelly’s recent stem cell procedure –

Anyway, Rick is in town shooting a new series (Facing Kate), he looks great, and is in even greater spirits.  But then, Rick has always been the affable sort, remembered fondly by all who worked with him on SG-1 those many years.  And it was obvious later, when the grand tour passed through my office, that his three guests were thoroughly delighted with his company.  Just a great, big-hearted guy.

On set today for Day 1 of Visitation, and it was a good thing too.  My episode-saving contributions included a suggestion that the actor not smile while delivering a certain line and a request to emphasize the word “they”.  I also spent some time in post with my editor, Mike Banas P.I., locking my producer’s cut of Resurgence.  As it turns out, the network didn’t think it was perfect after all.  We got their notes this morning.

Set pics…

Alex and Will.


Chaddington, just standing around.

Craft service dinner is served!

34 thoughts on “August 9, 2010: Author Mark Chadbourn drops in! An old friend visits the production offices! Back on set! With pics!

  1. Okay, Mr. Chadbourn just needs a sword and a Musketeers hat! 😀 (That’s a compliment, btw…)

    I’m really pooped tonight, Joe, so gonna call it a night. Have a good evening, sir!


  2. Lol… I was hoping it had something to do with Stargate Revolution. Hope to hear Rick is back at the bridge sometime soon to shoot Revolution. 🙂

    And thanks for the set pics. Please keep them coming. 🙂

    Thanks so much,
    Major D. Davis

  3. OOOOOOO Thanks for the set pix! And more set pix please? We’d love you even moreeeee! 😉

    Is Chad single? He looks nice with this haircut! Can he do a guest blog? I for one would LOOOOOOVE to hear more about the production offices (and, um, him)!!! #justasking #notastalkerIswear 😉 8) 😉

  4. G’day Joe

    Great that RDA is working in Vancouver again. No photo makes me sad though.

    Heroes was on today, I bawled and sobbed all through the episode. Well done to all involved.

    @ DP – it is the other way round here, my hubby wanted to name our son Indiana, now can you guess what our last name is? I put my foot down over that one!


  5. I’ve been a fan of RDA since he was on General Hospital. 🙂
    Thanks for the warm, fuzzy feeling of those years just mentioning his name.

  6. I love RDA’s new TV ads for Zaxby’s. In one he says he is going to make this (a straw) into a blowgun. He puts a french fry into it and blows. View of a board with Zaxby’s 20th anniversary spelled out with french fries. Then RDA just smiles. LOVE IT! he is just a class act.

  7. Hi Joe!

    I think I tired Das out and I didn’t think anyone could do that!

    @Das – glad to talk Wraith anytime – I have these random thoughts and questions about stuff I see all the time – it’s so nice to find a forum where people don’t stare, smile a little too big and back away slooowwwwly.

    @PBMom – *happy hamster dance for Patrick!* I read your Patrick Page and I’m SOOOO glad he’s going to get the education he deserves and to heck (yes, I know; I’m probably the last person in the world who says “heck,” but I work with CHILDREN) with the district bozos – everybody wins here: Patrick gets a true education (WIN!), you and hubby get some peace of mind (WIN!), and the district gets to continue sticking their heads in the sand just like they want (WIN!) Only question I have is, who is paying for the tuition in the meantime? Are you having to scrape it up somehow? And if you are, is there any way we can help? Very serious here – I sell PartyLite candles and we have a fabulous Fundraiser program, I could get a whole lot of teachers up in arms to support your banner – they would be shocked at what you and your family have endured – just say the word!

    Oh, and I never watched General Hospital (GASP!), but I’ve watched RDA from Facts of Life and Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, NTM falling absolutely in love with him in McG – ah, the memories! However, does anyone understand the man’s tweets? HaHA!

    Smiles for miles, Julie

  8. Is that TJ with… Caine?… on one of the set pics? It looks like someone with similar clothes. Iiiiinteresting.

  9. I’ve never read any superhero comics. I don’t like superheroes – except: Batman. For the same reasons you listed.

    That’s why I’m unsure about ‘Masked’. Yes, I’d like a darker approach. Still, superheroes?

    Maybe I’ll just wait for the BOMC discussion. What the others will say about the stories. Except you have a conclusive argument for me? But keep in mind, then I would blame you if I don’t like most of the stories. 😉

  10. The powers of nox were even very evolved more than those of the ancients
    Was it a natural gift ?
    Have they decided not to make the ascent given their convictions ?

  11. Hello=), la forme? moi oui ça peut aller!

    Dans une semaine je passe mon permis de conduire, je suis stressé, j’espere que tout se passera bien 🙂

    Merci pour ces nombreuses photos de tournage =)!

    Gros gros bisou!!!

  12. Batman is just a human with no special superhero powers and I like that about him. He’s not put up on the pedestal of perfection like many others are which makes him more accessible as a character. He does make mistakes, but he also gets the bad guy.

    I bet it was a bit hectic on set, first day and all. Hope everything went well and Jelly looks great (small pic though)

  13. Enjoyed the mention of RDA and the set pics. Next time, pics of RDA, pretty please???

    Have a great day.

  14. Please tell Mr. Chadourn that I received Lord of Silence as a gift from a friend and simply devoured it. I will be starting on his Kingdom of the Serpent series this weekend and cannot wait. And I’ll try to squeeze in Masked before the discussion. Thanks.

  15. Hi Joe!,

    1) Loved the RDA mention! Is he still on for the 3rd SG-1 movie?

    2) Can we please have some more teaser pics from Season 1 for Season 2?

    3) Do you have a backup plan for ”Gauntlet” in the (hopefully) unlikely event that SGU isn’t picked up for a 3rd Season?

    4) Are ”Blockade” and ”Gauntlet” two parters?

    5) REALLY looking forward to S2, are there any noteable storylines or character developments we should be on the look out for?

  16. The cheesy spiral macaroni looks yummy. I have been hunting for good mac n cheese for weeks without success. Ordered some at dinner the other night and it was the “kids” kind, watery with fake cheese, bleh.

    I’m gonna trek over to hospital cafeteria near me at lunch to hunt some up. After spending weeks in hospital when my sis was sick I am addicted to institutional comfort food.

  17. Joe, what would happen to the Stargate franchise if MGM is forced to declare bankruptcy in the next couple months?

  18. Hey Joe,

    On the assumption that you still monitor the comments before okay’ing them for posting, I just wanted to mention that I sent an email to the moorsyum account (I hope you still monitor that…) and I really hope you don’t mind.

    Thank you!

  19. Hey Joe,

    How does someone get lucky enough to get a tour from RDA? Are they friends he was just showing around or did someone when a contest?

  20. Yeah what Deni said!

    It’s Carl’s birthday??? Happy Birthday, Carl – All the best !

    So how is Miss Jelly doing??? I think a vacation here in S. Fla would do her wonders. I have a queen size bed just for her and she can even have her own bathroom, there’s a beach about 5 min away that allows dogs, what more could she want???

  21. Couple questions if that’s cool.

    1. Is Martin Wood still directing Revolution?

    2. Any more rumblings on updates on either movie?

    3. Do you know how the DVD market is doing? Has it gotten better or worse lately?

    Thanks so much,
    Major D. Davis

  22. Daym that dinner looks quite good actually.
    So, Naquadah. How is it and Naquadria spelled? Nahqahdah? Nahqahdriah? qahqahqahdahqadhadhah I feel sick… Going to lay down now…

  23. Just wanted to take this oppertunity to congratulate frequent blog picture guest / funny dude… The one, The only… Carl P. Binder with his 29th birthday… Congratulations dude! I hope you have an awesome day and an equally as awesome birthday cake to go with.

    Many happy returns!

    Kind regards,

  24. *sings*
    Happy Birthday to you!
    Happy Birthday to you!
    Happy Birthday dear Carl!
    Happy Birthday to you!
    *blows noisemakers*

    You don’t look a day over 29! 😀 Hope you had an excellent day and a particularily epic birthday cake!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.