One of the finished projects I’m happiest about is the three-part Wildcat story that Ramon Perez and I collaborated on in JSA CLASSIFIED this year. Jann Jones and Dan Didio has approached me about doing some DC work , and given me some options. Dan mentioned a Batman story that sounded up my alley, but when the JSA came up, I decided I had to be true to myself. Ever since I first stumbled across the JSA in a slightly beat to hell copy of this book in a childhood friend’s collection:
I was hooked on the JSA. Partly because I was dying to know about all this existing history the story hinted at, and partly just because these characters all seemed both unique and familiar at the same time. I assume my next exposure to them was in one of the old JLA/JSA crossovers, although I can’t really remember. In any event, being asked to write a Wildcat story that would help define the character, and act as a potential launching pad into a new book, was more than I could ask for.
Ultimately, that new book never happened for this reason or that, but I’m still elated that I was able to bring Ramon in on the story (on pencils and inks), and that Dave McCaig was hauled in to color. Full credit to editor Mike Siglain for being so easy to work with. In the end, I think we told one of the best solo Wildcat stories in years, and the feedback from fans was phenomenal. Beau Smith wrote an insanely flattering review of the book in his Busted Knuckles column, that meant a lot because it was clear he completely got what we were going for. (http://www.comicsbulletin.com/busted/121341903078446.htm scroll down to the “Roundup”)
Ramon and I have been kicking around collaborating together for years. At one point we had discussed a superhero book, and he had worked up character designs, and I’d even scripted the first issue:
Scheduling conflicts never saw us get past that point, although some of the characters we developed for that book will pop up elsewhere. Later, I scripted a short Hawaiian Dick backup for Ramon, and I think there’s a chance that one’ll see the light of day sooner or later. Ramon did contribute this brilliant Dick pinup to one of our earlier issues:
In any event, if you haven’t read the Wildcat story, I’d encourage you to track it down. If for no other reason, than to see what I think is the definitive visual take on Wildcat (not to mention what Ramon did with Alan Scott and Catwoman):
For what it’s worth, I can’t say whether Ramon and I will ever get to collaborate on DCU characters again (we’d both be willing), but we are talking about putting something new together that might angle in a slightly different direction.