FaceBook Friend of The Week – Marvel Comic Writer Jim McCann

by Shannonn Kelly
06:58AM, EST, January 07, 2013

To my readers who didn’t celebrate over the last 2 weeks – Happy Orthodox Christmas!

"Lost Vegas", "Hawkeye and MockingBird", comic book writer Jim McCann
“Lost Vegas”, “Hawkeye and MockingBird”, comic book writer Jim McCann

Today is the birthday of writer James Andrew “Jim” McCann II, born in 19 and 74 in Nashville, Tennessee.

Even though he’s worked in film, on music videos and even spent time as a writer for the daytime soap, “One Life to Live” on ABC, he’s most noted as a writer for Marvel comics and other graphic novels.

McCann has a degree in Communications with minors in English and Theater, which he received from Cincinnati, Ohio, Xavier University in 1996.

In June 2010, McCann joined forces with DC and Marvel comic book artist David Lopez working on a re-boot of the Marvel Comic story that started in 1983 “Hawkeye and Mockingbird“.

McCann explained the fiery couple in a Marvel Smartass interview:

Smartass: Tease us on “Hawkeye & Mockingbird” in 15 words or less — not quite the “elevator speech.” More like the “falling down the elevator shaft speech.”

McCann: Ever wonder what it would be like to follow the coolest, most volatile and yet loving couple around who also happen to have the best weapons, sharpest wits, and get in the worst trouble ever? Add some super villains, espionage, car chases, secrets, and lies, and you have HAWKEYE & MOCKINGBIRD (I cheated & went over 15 words. Me no am math wiz. Me am writer.)

In 2011, McCann won the Eisner Award for Best Graphic Album: New (for Return of the Dapper Men with Janet Lee). This past October at the New York Comic Con, McCann was part of the “Image Experience Panel” where he talked about his new book, again working with artist Janet K. Lee, entitled “Lost Vegas”.

According to McCann, the story was originally about a daycare at a casino in outer space, but, “If I were Grant Morrison, I would do that,” said McCann, drawing laughter from the NYCC audience.

“Lost Vegas” is about a protagonist named “Roland”, an indentured servant on a floating casino where the highest rollers in the galaxy come to play – as well as people who have bet against the house and really lost. The latter group becomes indentured servants to pay off their debt. It’s a four-issue mini-series heist story.

In my usual film related blogs, I don’t really dispense a lot of personal information (exception: “My 9/11 Story” blog), but with my FaceBook Friend of the Week series, I’m starting to open up a little. And my readers are liking it, so I will continue until y’all say *stop* 🙂

I’m a big comic book fan. Always have been. I started to read at a very early age anything I could get my hands on. First it was stuff I could reach as a small child – but before the days of ‘child proofing the home’, so I would read household cleaning labels with big mind-boggling words and pet food labels and newspapers, flyers and letters. Anything a kid could reach that was in a low cupboard or came through the mail slot.

Then one day I noticed a comic book in the house. It was an “Archie Comic“. I remember being fascinated by the hat worn by Jughead Jones. I also thought his nose was weird.

Other than that, the Archie storylines (I’m maybe 4 at this time), bored me. Then I stumbled upon (probably literally) a Marvel Comic and my worldview changed. Ghost Rider on a fiery motorcycle! Awesome.

After finding more Marvel Comics around the house, I realized in my tiny brain the characters had so much more depth – The colors were amazing. Eventually I started having favorites The Fantastic Four, The X-Men and then ultimately Wolverine, the “gruff hard-drinking, heavy smoking loner” became my favorite character. To this day, I hold firm that my first-born child (boy or girl) will have the name “Logan”.

At some point later on I moved from Marvel to DC comics falling in love with a superhero even darker than Wolverine. The Batman. That’s where I started my comic book and merchandise collection.

What I love about comic book artists and writers is that they accomplished for me the same things movies did. Comics took me away to a world that alone in the dark it was just me and them. The characters, the exciting writing, the great artwork and inking and inventive story lines.

McCann has some inspirational words for writers:

“Read more & write more. Watch TV or movies, listen to music, visit museums, and learn about other things outside your comfort zone. You NEVER know where or when inspiration will hit, so be ready for it.”

McCann said that most writers come up with ideas in the shower or while driving and that he has a trick where he likes to put on film scores to help him write, particularly with silent pages.

To read another great article where Jim is featured as “Geek of the Week”, check out GoodGirlsGoneGeek right here. Enjoy!

If you like Jim’s work and want to see what he’s up to on FaceBook, you can find him Here.

 

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