Today, it gives me great pleasure to hand off this blog to Bryan Q. Miller, Executive Story Editor and staff writer on Smallville, and writer of DC’s Batgirl.  As most of you know, the first volume of Bryan’s run, Batgirl Rising, was our January Book of the Month Club selection.  In support of his book, Bryan has kindly agreed to swing by, answers your questions, and generally get raked over the coals.  To those of you who didn’t get a chance to read Batgirl Rising – well, you should pick up a copy.  As I’ve already said to various interested parties, it delivers a nice mix of action, intrigue, great character moments and humor in a series that, while built on established mythology, serves as a perfect jumping on point for new readers.

Over to Bryan…

GerryL writes: “1. How did you make the jump from writing for television to writing for comics? Do you prefer one over the other?”

BQM: Gerry – a very talented and affable gentleman by the name of Geoff Johns visited the Smallville offices for a week or two as we broke his first freelance episode (“Legion”).  I bent his ear over lunch one afternoon, and asked for some advice on how to break into writing for DC Comics. He recommended I meet a few people in person.  Shortly thereafter, during NYCC, I loitered after some panels and introduced myself to Ian Sattler and Dan Didio.  Ian and I had some phone tag for a little while after.  I took a swing and a miss at doing a short for a Superman anthology, but a few months later, Brian Cunningham (then editor of Teen Titans) contacted me, asking if I’d be interested in writing a few issues. I accepted.  No two people get “in the door” in quite the same way – this was mine.

As for which format I prefer, I approach them both with the same level of dedication and focus. Thanks for asking!

“2. Were there any fellow comic book writers that helped you out when you first started? Who were they and how did they help? And what were the biggest challenges you faced?”

BQM: I would refer you Gerry’s above question for the former part. As for the latter, I think the biggest challenge was learning that, in comics, there is no set format.  Television writing (generally) has a very standard, very strict set of practical guidelines. Comic book scripts very much do not.

“3. What are you plans for future projects in television and comics?

Thanks to Bryan Q. Miller for answering my questions.”

BQM: And thank YOU for asking them! As for future plans, there are a few things in the works that both contract and polite discourse prohibit me from speaking about in any detail whatsoever.  2011 was a quiet year for me so that 2012 can be substantially noisier. Will hopefully be able to share more VERY soon.

G-Man writes: “Hi, Bryan.  Great book.  I’d like to know why the change in Batgirl?  Why was Stephanie chosen to replace Cassie and do you know if there are future plans for Cassandra with Batman’s return?”

BQM: G-Man!  Stephanie was already in place when I came aboard the title… so I honestly have no idea why that direction was chosen.  And as for future plans with Cassandra, given DC’s New 52 re-launch… again, I have no idea. I am no longer “in the know” in that department.

TTobias writes: “How did you break into the business, both comics and television?  And what was it like working on Smallville?  Did you get to go on set a lot?”

BQM: TTobias – Smallville was wonderful, start to finish.  A lovely and talented group of people who heartily believed in apprenticeship and instruction.  I couldn’t have landed in a more welcoming place for my first gig. As for travel to set – production was in Vancouver, and our writing offices were in Los Angeles… so we didn’t get up there all that much. 

KellyK writes: “Hello Bryan! Have to say I loved Batgirl Rising and agree with all of Joe’s points especially about the humor of your writing. I have to admit to being kind of confused because, when the wheelchair-bound woman who Barbara befriends is first introduced, I thought she was Cassie the former Batgirl! Anyway, loved what I read and I have a few questions if you’d be so kind:

1. How long did the Batgirl series run and why, if you’re able to say, did it end? Do you miss writing for Stephanie?”

BQM: Looks like you snuck in a few questions between the question there, KellyK – I’ll do what I can to address them all!  Sorry about the confusion on Proxy/Wendy and Cassandra. Was never the intent!

The series ran for 24 issues (technically, 25 if you count the Bruce Wayne: The Road Home event issue… which I count!) As for why it ended, Steph wasn’t invited to the New 52 re-launch. I miss writing for her terribly.

“2. Why Batgirl? When you made the move to writing comic books, why start with this character? Was there an opening? Was she a character you wanted to write for?”

BQM: Steph was a character that I was familiar with and had affection for, so when then-editor Mike Siglain gave me a call and asked if I wanted to put together a pitch for a Steph as Batgirl book, I jumped at the chance.

“3. Someone has already asked about future comic book work but I want to know who your dream character or title would be to write for?”

BQM: As for “dream” characters to write for, that’s a tough one. There’s plenty of books I’d love to take a stab at, on both sides of the Marvel/DC fence… it’s hard to say, really.

“4. Were you a comic book fan before writing for Batgirl? If yes, then which titles did you follow and which writers/artists did you enjoy?”

BQM:  At the time I came aboard Batgirl, I was reading pretty much everything DC put out.  My favorite titles at the time (and to this day) were the (then-concluded) weekly 52 series and DC’s New Frontier. 

“5. Finally – if you could have one superpower what would it be and why?”

BQM: Flight. You know… cuz the flying.

Star77 writes: “1) What was the writing process like on Batgirl? How much direction were you given by the editors at DC and how free were you to create your own storylines? Were there specific dos and don’ts as you started work on the title?”

BQM: “Star77 – thanks for the questions!  With very few “mandates”, I had a fairly free run over my little corner of Gotham for Issues 1-14. If I recall, the only “this has to happen” bit was Steph sharing an issue of her title with Red Robin for Yost’s “Collision” event in that title. Once we passed 14, however, more boundaries and guidelines started cropping up that (while constructive) made things a bit less “free-form.”  It’s the nature of the beast.

“2) How would you describe your overall experience working for DC? How did you find it compared to working for television? What were the pros and cons?”

BQM: With DC as with any show you don’t create, you’re playing with other people’s toys.  It’s an honor to get to spend any time in the sandbox.

“3) What advice would you give to aspiring comic book writers looking to break into the business? Would you say its easier to get your foot in the door writing for an established character at a DC or Marvel or an original creator-owned character at somewhere like IDW or Image?”

BQM: Like I said in a question earlier, no two people get through the same door the same way. What would I recommend? Try as many ways as possible, if that’s something you truly want to do.  Creator-owned projects can often get tricky, as different publishers have different rules about how money works, with regards to payment and production. Create a great character. Put them in an interesting situation. Find someone to draw it. The more ducks you can have in a row before you start looking for outlets to produce and distribute, the better!

AvidReader writes: “It’s been a while since I’ve read a comic book and I have to admit to being pleasantly surprised by Batgirl Rising. A lot of thought went into the characters and they were all well-drawn and very believable. On the other hand, I thought that some of the story elements were given short shrift and I was left confused at various points where we seem to skip quickly over sections (ie. the whole attempt to drug the college street party) while Stephanie appears to make some big leaps in logic in arriving to her (albeit correct) conclusions. The whole kidnapping plot that concludes this volume, in the same way, felt like it could have used more time and detail in the telling. I wanted to learn more about Barbara and to see the writer explore more of the relationship between Stephanie and her mother, but I suppose that’s was volume 2′s are for!”

BQM: All fair points! Regarding “short shrifting”, keep in mind the drugging of the college party occurred in the second issue of an ongoing I had written ever (I’m not counting my fill in on Teen Titans in this category).  Not an excuse, mind you, but I was still finding my sea legs. With the kidnapping plot in issues 5-7, my intent was to spend more time on the Steph/Damian relationship as opposed to the nitty-gritty of the procedural. Plus my whole goal with the book was to tell stories in as few issues as possible.

“How did your writing approach for Batgirl (comic book) differ from your writing approach on Smallville (t.v.)?”

BQM: Shockingly similar. Monetary budget concerns (with television) were replaced with “paper” budget concerns. You only had so much room to tell the story the way you want to tell it.

“Was there anything you wanted to do with the character that you weren’t allowed to (stories you wanted to write but couldn’t)?”

BQM: If you (hopefully) make it through the other 2 trades to issue 24, I think you’ll find the answer to that very question! J

“How much and what kind of research did you have to do prior to writing for Batgirl?”

BQM: I was already very familiar with Stephanie Brown heading in, so research wound up being more incidental, rather than necessary.

“What do you think of the New 52 relaunch? What are you reading?”

BQM: I think it’s a bold initiative, to be sure.

Darken Rahl writes: “I enjoyed Miller’s Batgirl. She reminded me of the Peter Parker with the struggle of balancing school, home life, and being a superhero by night. The person behind the mask was a lot realer for me than the previous ersion. And speaking of the previous version, I hated the old weird mouthless mask and preferred this costume that was a classic throwback to the original.

Bryan, thank you for Batgirl. I miss Stephanie. Any plans to revisit the character in some future book?”

BQM: Thank you, Darken Rahl! And I would love to write Stephanie again (but no one’s asked… WAH-WAH!)

“What was it that inspired you to write Batgirl? What did you draw from?”

BQM: I think, more than anything, the writing of Steph as Batgirl was inspired by my very real want for her character to not only be “redeemed” in the eyes of readers, but to get her due and some respect from the DC Universe itself. As for what I “drew from”, I just tried to write Steph as a person first, vigilante second. 

“Going to Comic Con this year?”

BQM: Wonder-Con (probably); SDCC (yes); NYCC (project announcement-pending).

Anne writes: “Hi to Bryan Q. Millar and welcome to Joe’s blog.”

BQM: Thanks for having me, Anne!

“I’d like to know your list of top ten graphic novels/trade paperbacks.”

BQM: If you had asked me this six years ago when I was still working in a bookstore and was finishing off a trade from the GN section a week, I’d have had 20 for you. Now? Not sure.  Unfortunately, I don’t know that I can narrow it down. New Frontier will always had a place in my heart.

“What’s it like being married to the awesome Erika Kennair?  And where’s YOUR blog?”

BQM: Since I know she’ll read this, I’ll say being married to her is… fine. Seriously, it’s great. We’re very good for each other. And MY blog? Why… it’s here: It’s brand new and about nothing of any relevance to anything that I do, professionally… though one can only assume I’ll sneak a writing-related post in from time to time.

StarStacey writes: “Hello, Brian. Thanks for taking our questions and great work on Batgirl. I wanted to know what it felt like taking over writing duties on one of DC’s most iconic characters. Did the fact that you were a male writer writing for a female character make you in any way nervous? How did you approach writing for Batgirl? What did you take away from the experience?”

BQM: Thank you taking to the time to participate in Joe’s book club, StarStacey! Starting a title from issue 1 with a marginally controversial character under the cowl was daunting, to say the least. Being a guy writing for a girl didn’t really factor into the process, though – as I’ve said earlier, I approached Stephanie as a person. Not as a guy, not as a girl. But as a 19 year old college student who just wants to do right by everyone… including herself. What I took away from the experience, more than anything, is being humbled at how amazing the passion that fans have for their characters truly is.

Sparrow_hawk writes: “Hi Bryan! I’m kind of a newbie to the whole comic book scene but I loved Batgirl:Rising. What was your inspiration for bringing out another incarnation of Batgirl?”

BQM: Welcome to the party, Sparrow_hawk! Regarding inspiration for doing another incarnation of Batgirl, Steph had already been decided upon to wear the mantle before I pitched my take and ultimately joined the title. My goal with her was to prove that hope can exist in Gotham.

Continuing our preview of Dark Matter #2 (via  Comic Book Resources):


Lisa R. writes: “Have a good night, Joe. Hopefully, you can help Cookie Monster recover.”

Answer: I sent him a box of snickerdoodles with multi-colored valium bits baked right inside.  I think he’ll be fine for Hero at Large.  No promises for Superman II though.

Lewis writes: “Who do you think makes for a better Lex Luthor, Gene Hackman or Kevin Spacey?”

Answer: Cookie Monster has yet to see the Spacey version.  Having said that, after watching Superman: The Movie, he’s going with Spacey.

Michelle writes: “An too-convenient plot device that has to be dispensed with asap, sort of like the Asgard beam and the sub-cutaneous transmitters.”

Answer: Ah, thank goodness for ionic atmospheric disturbances…

antisocialbutterflie writes: “Milano cookies battered in Oxycodone and deep fried may do the trick.”

Answer: Cookie Monster wants the recipe!

for the love of Beckett writes: “Have been scarce on the blog because I’m trying to change my sleep schedule. It’s not easy, but totally worth it. Am switching shifts at work, from going in at 6 p.m. to going in 6 a.m. This night owl has to become an early bird, fast! :grin: Any pointers?”

Answer: Have you tried melatonin?  Just picked some up for my Tokyo trip.

DP writes: ““You’ll believe a man can fly”. Was that their poster?”

Answer: Yep.  Their second choice was “You won’t believe we actually made this movie!”

Migzy writes: “Ever thought about setting up a get together of blog regulars in Vancouver? Maybe with some world famous SG stars on the side as a bonus?”

Answer: Had a blog regular get-together a couple of years back.  I may make the effort to come out this year.

Migzy also writes: “Seeing as you keep talking about your home theatre system, any chance you might share some specs as I’m sure I’m not the only geek around here wondering what kind of system the Great Joe Mallozzi has installed…”

Answer: It was cool and new when I first installed it…six years ago.  I’ll dig up those specs for you…

Deni writes: “Funny, I’ve been waking up at night (20 x a night) because of Elway, too! Thank you for your prayers, they are very much appreciated! He’s doing better, although he seems to be having a few partial seizures now.”

Answer: Hey, Deni, how old did you say he is?

dasndanger writes: “Yes, that is correct. Instead of ‘dasNdanger writes:’, you referred to me as…JOE.”

Answer: Shows how highly I think of you.

dasndanger also writes: “So, by saying you’re not a fan of sour, does that mean (as I have long suspected) that you don’t like limes, lemons, and things flavored with such?”

Answer: I don’t mind limes and lemons for flavor, but don’t like the overpowering citric kick of, say, a ceviche.  Yech.

Michael Lutz writes: “Joe, have you seen Star Wars Uncut: Directors cut?”

Answer: Watching it now.  It’s great.

Gina writes: “Will you be doing the weird food purchase of the day from Japan this year?”

Answer: I may.  I suppose it’ll depend on what I come across.  Once you’ve mistakenly eaten codsperm, it’s all downhill from there.

Gina also writes: “Will we get to meet Akemi’s mom?”

Answer: Yep.  She’s a regular reader of this blog so I’m sure she’s very much looking forward to making an appearance.

Gina also writes: “What about Max while you are gone? I’m sure it is going to be hard to leave him behind.”

Answer: I’ve gone back and forth on Maximus.  Although he drinks water and shows signs of his old self, he is generally lethargic and hasn’t eaten in a week.  I’m faced with a tough decision and know that, no matter what I choose, there will be a certain amount of regret.  If I leave him with the dog-sitter and he passes away while I’m in Tokyo, then I won’t have been there for him in his time of need.  If, on the other hand, I make the decision to put him to sleep before I leave, I’ll forever wonder whether that decision was simply my taking the easy way out.  Like I said, I went back and forth on this, leaning one way, then the other – then, tonight, he ate something.  It wasn’t much, a half a golf ball-sized portion of raw dog food, but it was enough to restore some hope.  I’m now leaning toward leaving him at home, hoping he’ll be here when I get back so I can put off the decision a little while longer.

Max and penguin
Max and Lulu
Just Bubba

33 thoughts on “January 24, 2012: Writer Bryan Q. Miller answers your questions! Dark Matter #2 preview! Mailbag!

  1. I can tell by looking at the past pictures of Maximus, that he greatly appreciates the nice life you have given to him. 🙂

    Whether he stays at home or goes with you, and no matter what happens, you should realise that: even though he can not talk English, he’s most probably told you many times in other ways how much he appreciates all that you have been doing for him. 🙂

    Having regrets and second-guessing (third-guessing, fourth-guessing, etc.) yourself is futile and pointless. Best to remember all the fond times you have all had together throughout his life. 🙂

  2. Thanks, Bryan, for stopping by the blog and answering our questions!

    @Joe: I’m a big fan of melatonin for resetting that internal clock when I travel and occasional insomnia.

    Maximus and Lulu look so cute cuddled up together.

    @das and Joe (unless you are really the same person in which case just pick one): Two-Katana-san landed on his feet! I just knew he would. He’s that kind of guy.

  3. Ah I see so your home theatre is about the same age as my 40″ LCD 720p Sony XBR, which I’m thinking about upgrading soon. Those new 80″ LED LCD TV’s look great, although what I really want is a true LED TV, not just an LED backlit TV like most “LED” tvs on the market. The 8K panels at CES didn’t look to shabby either, at least on my 1K monitor 🙂 Just a general overview is more than plenty don’t want to be a pest asking for teeny tiny details. Seeing as its 6 years old, I’m guessing 720p projector with 5.1 sound on a fairly beefy stereo.

    Oh hey I found a great new food item for you to try, the $100 hot dog! Seeing as it is here in Vancouver you may have already seen the news, but in case you haven’t –
    Kobe beef, lobster, cognac and all. And it actually sounds pretty tasty too!

    All the best to Maximus!

  4. Who knows, Maximus might start eating for the babysitter. But whatever happens, you should know you have done everything humanly possible for him. He is well taken care of, no matter if you are there or not. Whatever happens, will happen.

  5. @ The Insomniacs – A recent study has found that tart cherry juice has high levels of melatonin and drinking it before bed aids in sleep. For reals.

    @ Sparrowhawk – I just hope that Two-Katana-san is legal age…I don’t wanna be gushing over a 16-year old! (Here that Joe…it’s bad enough that I’m a cougar, I don’t wanna be a creepy cougar on top of it!)

    @ Joe –

    Answer: Shows how highly I think of you.

    Awww…really? 🙂











    Heya, pops, can I borrow twenty bucks?! 😀


  6. Grrrr….HEAR…HEAR that, Joe…

    I can blame Mr. Das for that typo. He distracted me. See…he was doing a dance that involved light pens and…

    Ya know, it’s probably best that I stop right there. 😛


  7. Joe,

    Thanks for the dining suggestions. Visited Bonita tonight with my co-workers and enjoyed a wonderful meal. I guess we lucked out to be here during Dine-Out. Haven’t had a bum meal yet this week.

    Would have loved to have the weather a bit better, but at least the evenings have been rain free and we’ve been able to walk around and see some of the city. Have to figure a way to come back in the summer.


  8. Hi Joe,

    I see that you recently read the first volume of American Vampire. I am a huge fan of the series and Scott Snyder. At the moment American Vampire, The Unwritten, Chew, Sweet Tooth and oh yeah, Dark Matter are my top 5 favorite comics at the moment. I was just wondering what you though of American Vampire’s first volume and if you plan to continue reading the series? Thanks for taking the time to read my question.

  9. Joe, please! Open up your eyes! Max is suffering!

    You have taken care of him as well as humanly possible but please, don’t ruin it by letting him suffer like this! Letting him go when the poor guy is already almost dead is not taking the easy way out – not doing the hard thing even though you should have done it weeks ago IS! You are simply avoiding doing the necessary, and you are betraying Max too. It’s your DUTY not to let him suffer, but to let him go when he’s too ill.

    And now he is. “Not eaten in a week” – “then, tonight, he ate something. It wasn’t much, a half a golf ball-sized portion of raw dog food, but it was enough to restore some hope”. Hope for what? The cancer has spread all over, he won’t survive it, he is dying – and you are waiting for what? A miracle? That he suddenly recovers and starts eating again? Joe. Letting him go on too long with this kind of illness, seeing that he’s already doing very poorly… Even though “he shows signs of his old self” he is suffering still, do you really want to wait till he doesn’t show any signs of his old self? When that day comes you have waited too long by far! And you will have failed Max the big time. Being a good pet owner doesn’t mean you have to keep the pet alive as long as humanly possible but letting him go before his life turns into nothing but suffering!

    And you put the nonsense of “I want to be sure I’m not taking the easy way out” to where the sun don’t shine, and look at your dog! Ask the vet to answer truthfully what’s right for Max – if the vet says lets try vitamins/vaccins/yoga/praying/whatever and gives more painkillers, change the vet! He/she is either blind or just pulling money from you and doesn’t want to lose YOU! A good vet would say it’s time for Max to go, he’s lived a long and good life but his quality of life has suffered too greatly from the illness.

    I wonder if this is your first time you have to have a pet put to sleep. I waited too long with my 15-year-old cat 5 years ago. When I finally took her to the vet she was nothing but skin and bone, hadn’t been eaten hardly anything for days. But she was my first cat, it was the first time I had to do that, I just couldn’t do it earlier, I kept telling me that she still DOES eat SOMETHING, she’s lively and runs around the apartment and was no way lethargic even… But the cancer was in her lungs, liver, abdomen, wherever, and her kidneys were failing the big time – tha’s why she was so lively and running – she had to pee more than once in an hour… I’m sorry now.

    After her, I’ve lost 2 more cats, and my only (ever) dog. The dog – Emmi – looked quite fine but the cancer had spread to her lungs and it seems to her bones as well and painkillers didn’t help. She ate well and walked with a limp but was so her old self (she was 14). I loved her too dearly to let her live in pain. The quality of life is more important than the quantity of it.

    I tried to say nothing after the last time I begged you to let Max go (I had my 17,5 old cat put to sleep that next Monday), before Christmas. I have tried to stay quiet. And I promise I won’t write here again. I don’t know if I can read your blog anymore either, at least as long as Max is suffering. I simply cry everytime I see pics of him.

    I know you don’t like other people (strangers the least) to tell you what to do but this is too important! Joe, please, let him go!!!

  10. Hey Joe,

    I’m pretty sure the recipe would be something like 1) deep freeze milano cookie 2) prep funnel cake batter with 1/4 of the flour replaced by oxycodone 3) batter cookie and fry in appropriate oil with high smoke point until golden brown on all sides, approximately 2-3 minutes and 4) dust in a mix of one part powdered sugar, one part painkiller.

    I can’t believe I just typed that out. At this rate the DEA is going to break down my door. Either that or the food network is going to give me a show entitled “Diners, Drive-ins and Drug Dens.”

    That’s a tough choice with Max. There is no winning in a situation like that. In all scenarios you end up exercising the guilt organ. I’m sure Lawren (whom I’m assuming is house-sitting) will take good care of him in your absence.

    My dog is currently in the process of demonstrating that, while he feels bad physically, his mind is as devious as ever. We are now in our fifth iteration of e-collar since he has found ways to circumvent even the traditional varieties. I should have expected this from a dog who can open cans of microwavable soup and get on top of the refrigerator. He never did learn how to use his powers for good.

  11. Answer: Hey, Deni, how old did you say he is?

    Hi Joe, he’ll be 12 in March. Why do you ask? Things finally settled down again, although after this one, it’ll take me a few days to relax a bit. How’s Max today? Sent you a photo via email. 🙂

  12. Hugs to Maximus, Destroyer of Penguins. This has to be the longest January on record, seriously. I had a ton of vacation days, I saw Thor, Season 1 of Archer and of Portlandia, saw tons of friends and family, skyped with all and sundry, read three books, wrote four research proposals and yet still this frakkin’ month won’t end so I can get paid. We even survived the solar flare of the century and it’s still January. I think Superman may be out there spinning the world slower so that this month just crawls along, all because Cookie made a few valid critiques of his movie.

  13. Joe if I were in you’re situation I would look at whether I would myself want to be kept around suffering in pain because cancer is very painful if it were my friend I would put him to sleep knowing that he is not suffering anymore and that he is in a way better place that being doggy heaven its a tough choice I know God be with you.

  14. for the love of Beckett writes: “I’m trying to change my sleep schedule… Am switching shifts at work, from going in at 6 p.m. to going in 6 a.m. This night owl has to become an early bird, fast! 😀 Any pointers?”

    Answer: Have you tried melatonin? Just picked some up for my Tokyo trip.

    Thanks for the remedy, Joe. 🙂 And Sparrowhawk, too. How much do either of you take?

    I will have to get some melatonin quick! I’ve changed shifts, and have only gotten 3.5 – 5.5 hours of sleep a night. Now I’m fighting off a cold & runny nose, and making chicken soup with Chinese Ginger in it. (D’oh! Forgot the garlic.)

    Deirdre Joe Das, My Auntie did suggest cherry juice. The only kind I can get at Kroger’s is Ocean Spray. Not feeling spendy enough to pay $49 for tart cherry concentrate online. I did see that recent study, also. Unfortunately, it was funded by cherry growers. Pooh… I do think the cherry juice has helped me a little bit, though. 🙂

    Happy Chinese New Year! My brother, sister-in-law (who is Taiwanese), and little nephew are traveling to Taipei to visit her family and celebrate the new year. We call my nephew Tiger Cub, because he was born in the year of the tiger (almost 2 years ago). We’re especially happy because we just learned that they’re expecting another boy in May. Hah! So we’ll get to call him Dragon Cub since this is the year of the dragon. The new little one won’t be alone, because his American grandma and auntie (me) were born during the year of the dragon, too.

    my nephew:

    Happy Chinese New Year!

  15. So, I finally had the chance to read Dark Matter #1. It’s been a while since I have read comics but it didn’t take me too long to realize why I stopped. Dark Matter was such a page turner that by the time I got to the end I had that little moment of “extreme annoyance” when I realized I had to wait until next month to read part 2. I really enjoyed it and especially enjoyed the way each character was introduced and their particular talents identified. There is so much happening all at once that it made the story very exciting from the very first page and the pacing was so fast (and well executed) that I felt engaged as a reader from the first page.

    Of course there are a million questions I would l love to ask about the story line but I think it’s safe to say that part 2-4 will be on my pre-order list, so (in theory) at least some of those questions will be answered. I look forward to reading Dark Matter #2!

    PS, Good Luck with Max!! He is a tough little guy and I’m sure he will hang in there as long as he can. He clearly has a wonderful life and I’m sure he knows you would only do what is best for him.

  16. Joseph…

    When I get a chance (I’ve been sorta distracted lately, and can’t remember to talk about the really important things…only the nonsense 😛 ), I want to talk about the art on Dark Matter. I am liking it a lot, and when I get a chance I’ll explain why it’s working for me.

    Ta ta for now!


  17. @Leena: Oh, shut up. Inasmuch as it’s not my business to defend Joe (because he can defend himself), I will defend his personal right to manage his dog’s situation as he sees fit, whether I agree with it or not. Your inane diatribe only confirms what we all know: the world is filled with busybodies with nothing better to do with their time than to judge others. Whatever the case is with Max, it’s not your business to be hurtful (and ignorant) to Joe. I’m sure he’s well aware of the situation and doesn’t need your opinion during what is a terrible time for anybody. “And you put the nonsense of “I want to be sure I’m not taking the easy way out” to where the sun don’t shine,”? Why don’t you put your opinions in the same place?

  18. Wow! This blog has a lot of meat today. Thanks again Mr. M. for doing the blog.

    I’m wiped out today but getting my work done. Bedtime can’t come too soon!

    Good luck with Max. I pray it works out just like you planned. Max has had a wonderful life and you gave it to him. Believe me, I’ve seen what does happen to a pup without a good owner/friend. Sending hugs to you, Max, the pups..ah hell, sending hugs to everyone there! (that is how tired I am, I’m cursing 😉 )

    When is your trip?

  19. @ for the love of Beckett – My grocery store carries black cherry juice (about $5), and the health store carries tart cherry juice (same brand as the black – Knudsen Organic Tart Cherry Juice 32 oz- but pricey at $7.50). However, in the summer I like eating bing/black cherries with a little chocolate at night, and I DO think I sleep better. I was eating the cherries for their anti-inflammatory properties, but noticed that I also often had a good night sleep, too. So I wonder if the cheaper black cherry juice (check your store’s organic section) would help. It’s worth a try, at least for a week.


  20. Hi Joe, I’m addressing this to you since it seems Leena won’t be reading your blog anymore…

    You and your vet have the best and most relevant information on Maximus’ condition and how he is coping with it. No one following your blog (including myself) could realistically have a better view of this than you do. As such, I think (but cannot know for sure) that Leena may feel some guilt and pain over the loss of her pets and that is coloring her view of your situation

    One thing that is obvious from reading your blog; you love your dogs and will go to great expense to see to their welfare. Whatever happens, I know you’ll do what’s best.

    Good luck and I’m praying for you both.

  21. Terrific Q&A. I love the insights into the writing process and the breaking-in process in particular. As a struggling writer, these tidbits are greatly appreciated. Thank you, Bryan.

    And good luck to Maximus.

  22. Joe if I die and come back as a dog and end up at Leena’s house, come get me pleeease! Don’t leave me there! Pleeease come and get me! Okay?

    Thanks to Bryan Q. Miller for the awesome Q&A!! One thing Bryan said that I thought was interesting was, “Plus my whole goal with the book was to tell stories in as few issues as possible.” Comic books must be an entirely different breed. I always thought authors would want to sell more and more, and keep a story going for as long as possible.

  23. Wow. I don’t know Leena but I do know she has a right to an opinion & this IS a public blog. My own personal opinion is, if I left my loved companion behind, knowing she would probably die in the arms of someone else, then I would never forgive myself. She is my responsibility and I have to make the choices she can’t. I agree with Leena in that this is beyond the personal convenience argument. You are putting an unnecessary burden on your dog sitter. Either way, it’s going to hurt

  24. Hey Joe,

    I enjoyed reading the blog. It makes me realize how much I don’t know about comics. There is always a jumping off place…I’m focusing on the varried art right now. I find I am much more drawn in by the art than the story. If I get lost in the art…the story cements it for me.

    Love your pictures. Lulu is such a snugly pup for Maximus. I love seeing the two together.

    Best to you Joe,
    Cheryl 🙂

  25. I can’t stay awake any longer… :*(

    Wish you the best on your trip, Joe, and keeping you in my thoughts and prayers for all those things that are weighing heavy on your heart.



  26. I wasn’t convinced when I saw Batgirl as a book of the month club pick and although I didn’t take part in the discussion, I wanted you to know I read the tpb and am a recent convert. A great pick and an even great QandA with Mr. Miller.

  27. Hmm it looks like your blog ate my first comment (it was extremely long) so I guess I’ll just sum it up what I had written and say, I’m thoroughly enjoying your blog. I too am an aspiring blog writer but I’m still new to everything. Do you have any tips and hints for beginner blog writers? I’d definitely appreciate it.

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