Tuesday, October 22, 2013

GMX 2013: Marvel, Disney and DC comic writer Marv Wolfman

GMX welcomes the creator of some of the most popular comic book characters from DC and the Marvel Universe, Marvin Arthur “Marv” Wolfman!

Marvin Arthur “Marv” Wolfman (marvwolfman.com) is an American comic book writer. He is best known for lengthy runs on Marvel Comics The Tomb of Dracula, for which he and artist Gene Colan created the vampire-slayer Blade, and DC ComicsThe New Teen Titans.

Starting at DC
Wolfman was active in fandom before he broke into professional comics at DC in 1968. Wolfman was one of the first to publish Stephen King, with “In A Half-World of Terror” in Wolfman’s horror fanzine Stories of Suspense #2, 1965.

Wolfman’s first published work for DC Comics appeared in Blackhawk #242 (Aug.-Sept. 1968). He and longtime friend Len Wein created the character Jonny Double in Showcase #78 (Nov. 1968) scripted by Wolfman. The two co-wrote “Eye of the Beholder” in Teen Titans #18 (Dec. 1968), which would be Wein’s first professional comics credit. Neal Adams was called upon to rewrite and redraw a Teen Titans story which had been written by Wein and Wolfman. The story, titled “Titans Fit the Battle of Jericho!”, would have introduced DC’s first African American superhero, but was rejected by publisher Carmine Infantino. The revised story appeared in Teen Titans #20 (March-April 1969). Wolfman and Gil Kane created an origin for Wonder Girl in Teen Titans #22 (July-Aug. 1969) which introduced the character’s new costume.

He and artist Bernie Wrightson co-created Destiny in Weird Mystery Tales #1 (July-Aug. 1972), a character which would later be used in the work of Neil Gaiman.

At Marvel Comics
In 1972, Wolfman moved to Marvel Comics as a protege of then-editor Roy Thomas. When Thomas stepped down, Wolfman eventually took over as editor, initially in charge of the publisher’s black-and-white magazines, then finally the color line of comics. Wolfman said in 1981 that, “Marvel never gave [its] full commitment to” the black-and-white line. “No one wanted to commit themselves to the staff.” He added, “We used to farm the books out to Harry Chester Studios [sic] and whatever they pasted up, they pasted up. I formed the first production staff, hired the first layout people, paste-up people.” Wolfman stepped down as editor-in-chief in order to spend more time writing.

While at Marvel, Wolfman wrote runs of The Amazing Spider-Man (where he co-created the Black Cat); Daredevil (where he co-created Bullseye); Spider-Woman; Fantastic Four; and Doctor Strange. He created Nova in that character’s eponymous first issue. In 1978, Wolfman and artist Alan Kupperberg took over the Howard the Duck syndicated newspaper comic strip. As the first regular writer on Spider-Woman, he redesigned the character, giving her a human identity as Jessica Drew.

He and artist Gene Colan crafted The Tomb of Dracula, a horror comic that became “one of the most critically-acclaimed horror-themed comic books ever.”

In 1980, Wolfman returned to DC after a dispute with Marvel. Teaming with penciller George Perez, Wolfman relaunched DC’s Teen Titans in a special preview in DC Comics Presents #26 (October 1980). The New Teen Titans added the Wolfman-Perez creations Raven, Starfire and Cyborg to the old team’s Robin, Wonder Girl, Kid Flash and Beast Boy (renamed Changeling). The series became DC’s first new hit in years. In August 1984, a second series of The New Teen Titans was launched by Wolfman and Perez.

Other projects by Wolfman for DC during the early 1980s included collaborating with artist Gil Kane on a run on the Superman feature in Action Comics; a revival of Dial H for Hero with Carmine Infantino; launching Night Force a supernatural series drawn by Gene Colan and a nearly two-year run on Green Lantern with Joe Staton. During their collaboration on Green Lantern, Wolfman and Staton created the Omega Men in Green Lantern #141 (June 1981).

After Perez left The New Teen Titans in 1985, Wolfman continued for many years with other collaborators – including pencillers Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez, Eduardo Barreto and Tom Grummett. In December 1986, Wolfman was informed by Marvel writer Chris Claremont that a DC executive had approached Claremont at a holiday party and offered him the position of writer on The New Teen Titans. Claremont immediately declined the offer and told Wolfman that apparently the publisher was looking to replace him on the title. When Wolfman confronted DC executives about this, he was told it was “just a joke”, although Claremont reiterated that he took it to be a credible and official offer.

In 1985, Wolfman and Perez launched Crisis on Infinite Earths, a 12-issue limited series celebrating DC’s 50th anniversary. Featuring a cast of thousands and a timeline that ranged from the beginning of the universe to the end of time, it killed scores of characters, integrated a number of heroes from other companies to DC continuity, and re-wrote 50 years of DC universe history in order to streamline it. After finishing Crisis, Wolfman and Perez produced theHistory of the DC Universe limited series to summarize the company’s new history.

Wolfman was involved in the relaunch of the Superman line as well, reinventing nemesis Lex Luthor and initially scripting the Adventures of Superman title with Jerry Ordway as the Artist. During this period they Introduced Bibbo Bibbowski and Professor Emil Hamilton.

Wolfman had a brief run on Batman, creating Robin III Tim Drake and writing an anniversary adaptation of the first ever Batman story, which was printed along with two other adaptations and the original. He continued as The New Titans writer and revitalized the series with artist Tom Grummett. Wolfman wrote the series until the title’s last issue. However, in the 1990s Wolfman’s writing for comics decreased as he turned to animation and television, though he wrote the mid-1990s DC series The Man Called A-X.

Disney Career
In the early-1990s, Wolfman worked at the Disney Comics publishing. He wrote scripts for a seven parts DuckTales story (Scrooge’s Quest), as well as several others – with the characters from the Mickey Mouse universe – that appeared in Mickey Mouse Adventures. He was also editor of the comics section on the Disney Adventures magazine, at the first years of the publication.

Return to Comics
A decade later, Wolfman began writing in comics again, scripting Defex, the flagship title of Devil’s Due Productions’ Aftermath line. He also wrote an “Infinite Crisis” issue of DC’s “Secret Files”, and consulted with writer Geoff Johns on several issues of The Teen Titans. Wolfman also wrote a novel based on Crisis on Infinite Earths, but rather than following the original plot, he created a new story starring the Barry Allen Flash that takes place during the original Crisis story. Wolfman wrote the novelization of the film Superman Returns, and worked on a direct-to-video animated movie, Condor, for Stan Lee’s Pow Entertainment.

In 2006, Wolfman was editorial director of Impact Comics (no relation to the DC Comics imprint), publisher of educational manga-style comics for high school students. That same year, starting with issue #125, Wolfman began writing DC’s Nightwing series. Initially scheduled for a four-issue run, Wolfman’s run was expanded to a baker’s dozen issues, and finished with #137. During the course of his run, Wolfman introduced a new Vigilante character. Following Wolfman’s departure from the pages of Nightwing, Vigilante was spun off into his own short-lived title, which Wolfman wrote. He wrote a miniseries starring the Teen Titan Raven, a character he and Perez co-created during their run on The New Teen Titans, helping to revamp and update the character. He is working with Perez on a direct-to-DVD movie adaptation of the popular “Judas Contract” storyline from their tenure on Teen Titans. In 2011, he and Perez completed the New Teen Titans: Games graphic novel, which they had begun working on in the late 1980s. Wolfman revived his Night Force series with artist Tom Mandrake in 2012. He also served as one of the writers on the video game Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two.

See the list of guests at GMX! http://geekmediaexpo.com/guests/
Download the GMX guidebook app and schedule your day! http://guidebook.com/g/geekmediaexpo

Jedi Mouseketeer and Sorcerer Radio will be covering the 2013 Geek Media Expo (GMX). Sorcerer Radio DJ's Aljon Go, Kristen Hoetzel and Eric Allen will be reporting live from the event and bringing you interviews, pictures and video from this multi-fandom expo!

Follow the Twitter hashtag #SRLiveGMX13

Special thanks to our event coverage partners:
Halloween Express - Take 15% off site-wide with NO minimum purchase!
Jedi Mouseketeer - Geeky news from universe of DisneyMarvel and Star Wars!
Kristen Hoetzel of Magical Journeys Travel - Book your Disney vacation or cruise today!
WDW After Dark - Weekly Webcast for Adult Disney Fans!
Sorcerer Radio Network - All Disney Music, All Day Long!

What is GMX?
Geek: a person who has excessive enthusiasm for and some expertise about a specialized subject or activity.
Media: the means of communication, as radio and television, newspapers, and magazines, that reach or influence people widely.
Expo: a large-scale public exhibition or show.
The Geek Media Expo (“GMX”) is an annual exposition and social conference relating primarily to the popular arts, sciences, technology, engineering, mathematics, and relevant cultural/lifestyle themes, presented as an educational and multi-media entertainment showcase. The event serves as a major revenue driver for the ArtsCubed organization.

GMX’s growth has been explosive, setting the stage for GMX to become Tennessee’s largest celebration of geekdom.

GMX is presented by ArtsCubed, a Nashville-based not-for-profit corporation. The mission of ArtsCubed is to advance popular visual, performing and literary arts – along with related cultural experiences central to the lives of the community – through events, outreach, education and associated initiatives. ArtsCubed also presents GMX’s sister event MTAC – Middle Tennessee Anime ConventionArtsCubed is operated entirely by a volunteer staff.

About the Sorcerer Radio Network:
Sorcerer Radio is the award winning, premiere Disney-inspired, fan-run station reaching a world-wide audience via Live 365, web apps and mobile devices. Founded in 2001, Sorcerer Radio, an officially licensed ASCAP, BMI and SESAC station, began streaming Disney theme park music and attraction audio as a channel on Live 365. Sorcerer Radio Network features hosted programs (WDW Tiki Room, SorCom Review, DW: 60, Disneyland Magic, Disney Trip Tips, E-Ticket Time), websites, blogs as well as network podcasts ans webcasts that appeal to a wide variety of Disney fans. Sorcerer Radio is also a news outlet for the Walt Disney Company interviewing a number of celebrities, authors, Disney cast members and content creators as well as covering news from the Disney Parks, Disney Channel, Disney XD, Disney Junior, Marvel Entertainment, Lucasfilm, Pixar, ABC Family, Disney Publishing, Disney Games and a number of special events and conventions like the D23 ExpoStar Wars Celebration, C2E2, Geek Media Expo, MTAC and more. Visit SRSounds.com for free mobile apps and program listings.

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