I was delighted to be revisiting the DC Universe, cataloging and chronicling the histories of the heroes and villains who made up the post-Infinite Crisis reality. Dan DiDio called me in 2009 and said, “I think it’s time.” I went in to visit him and we began talking what a new Who’s Who would be like. While they were figuring out page designs and the like, I began drafting character lists and breaking down issue by issue based on 48-page No Ad volumes.
Once we were clear on the parameters, and price, I set to work. I wrote, got feedback, wrote some more and ran everything by my Go To Guru, the amazing John Wells. Together we corrected contradictory information, streamlining and clarifying who these people were. I was surprised in December to see DC announcing the project, linking it to the company’s 75th anniversary.
In 2010, several things happened in rapid succession. Around the time I returned form speaking in Spain, DC changed its management in February and suddenly I was informed Who’s Who would be on hold until the dust settled. Then Apple introduced this newfangled device, the iPad.
While DC Comics morphed into DC Entertainment and reconfigured itself for a new era, the publishing world was rocked by the sudden reality of digital publishing. Mainstream presses of all sizes weren’t sure what this meant and how they could best profit.
By Easter, it was clear my on hold project was about to become a permanent non-project so I began scrambling to fill my freelance writing schedule with work. But, the iPad made it easier for scared publishers to say no to work or delay answering at all.
Summer arrived and I was scrambling, with little in the way of income. While we weren’t hurting financially, I was definitely feeling like I was not holding up my end of the marriage bargain, contributing to the household.
As summer turned to fall, work continued to prove elusive and despair began to creep in. This was my personal dark midnight of the soul. Crazy 8 Press was actually gestating during this period but there was no operation to write for as yet and the freedom of self-publishing was a concept that was exciting but remained a prospect.
I am thrilled to be a part of this collective, creating new works and helping my friends find new audiences. But this month we’re also looking back, looking at those bleak times when we thought we’ve lost it and should just get a job at Wal-Mart.
Thankfully, it never got that bad and it was slow process, which also included making the personal decision to go back to school and train to become a teacher. 2010 and 2011 proved very difficult and while I still love writing, I realize a steady income was going to be coming from the classroom not the laptop. I’ve accepted this and relish the times I can freely write.