Comic Books

Damage aka Grant Emerson (art for trading card image)

I worked as a writer for DC Comics in the early 1990s as co-creator/scripter for three different series and individual issues of various titles, then was a scripter for Image Comics for several months before heading off to graduate school. It was a great experience. Still very proud of much of what my collaborators and I produced, a lot of which is sampled here.

My first big break was Hammerlocke, an ambitious science-fiction/adventure mini-epic plotted, planned and published as a nine-issue “mini-series” co-created by me and Keith S. “Kez” Wilson, with art by Kez and Chris Sprouse.

This was followed by Scarlett, another stand-alone series. It was planned as an ongoing, though it ran for only fourteen issues. I co-created this one with Kez again, and artist Jim Fern, and book featured art by Fern and Gray Morrow.

The story was built around Bly Pharis, a high-school cheerleader turned vampire hunter. “Excuse me?!” you say? Yes, yes, yes! I know that sounds familiar. <sigh>

The Buffy the Vampire Slayer movie, scripted by Joss Whedon, was released just before our first issue came out. None of us had ever heard of Whedon or Buffy when we were conceiving Scarlett. What can I say except, “Great minds . . . “? Anyway, by the time Whedon revived the Buffster as a TV show some years later, Scarlett was long gone from the comic book racks. Despite my reluctance to embrace Ms. Summers and the Scooby gang, I soon became a huge fan and have followed Whedon’s career closely ever since. (Browncoats Forever!) Should Joss ever come upon this page, I want him to know that I am available as script consultant on the next Avengers movie, the SHIELD television show . . . just whatever, dude. You owe me.

As a supplement to the first issue of Scarlett, Kez, Fern and I did one-shot issue of Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight (#41) with a vampire theme. You’ll find more about that on the Other Projects page, along with some info on my lone issue of Dr. Fate, my two-part Deathstroke the Terminator guest writer gig, and some other stuff.

Then, with much input from our editors Bill Kaplan and Jim Spivey, Bill Marimon and I created Damage, my first contribution to the DC Universe continuity. (To the non-comic book reader out there, the “DC Universe” or “DCU” is best explained as the “reality” in which Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman and all their compatriots, nemeses, fellow-travelers, and supporting casts exist).

Damage was planned as an ongoing series, but the title only ran for 20 issues with art by Marimon, Tom McWeeney, Don Hillsman, and Jason Armstrong. It was a straight up superhero book, the twist being that Damage’s superpower was hard to control (thus the name) and it was suspected that his natural parents may, themselves, have been long-time  players in the DCU pantheon of superbeings. The mystery of Damage’s origins sustained the series for a time, but ultimately, he was not able to break through in an extremely competitive marketplace. Apparently, the market has gotten even tougher since then, which might explain why I’m not writing comics anymore.

The links below include a couple of articles from what was then my local newspaper, reported at the time of the first publications of Hammerlocke and Damage, and links to pages referencing most of what I did back in the day.

As the original creators, the rights to Hammerlocke have reverted to Kez and me and, in the case of  Scarlett, to me, Kez, and Jim Fern. There are ongoing conversations among us about reprinting, reviving or adapting some of the material. Keep watching the skies! Or, more likely, the Internet.

DC Comics Wiki

Comic Book Database

Orlando Sentinel, “Whatever Happened to . . . ” April 1994

Orlando Sentinel, “Writer Gets a Lock on Success,” September 1992

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