Doctor Fate

Doorway to Mystery

Justin Newberry sent me the following e-mail…

I know it’s been a week since it came out, so you may have already been inundated with emails about this, but do you think you could add a post on Steve’s site for people to comment on the latest issue of Countdown to Mystery? I think a number of his fans would appreciate it, myself included.

Also, does anyone know if Steve managed to finish the remaining two issues of the book?

Steve wrote six of what were always planned as eight Doctor Fate stories. He plotted the seventh from a hospital bed and it was scripted (and scripted well) by Adam Beechen.

For the eighth and final issue, the sixteen pages have been divided up and four different writers have written short (four page) endings to the tale. They are Adam Beechen, Gail Simone, Mark Waid and myself. I haven’t read what the others wrote but I’m told they’re all interesting and different approaches.

Most of the sources that have already reported this have said we were writing how we think Steve would have ended the series. I didn’t think that and I doubt my colleagues did, either. Steve had a unique way of thinking and could well have been planning an utterly unexpected, outta left field finale…so I wouldn’t presume that I could predict what was on that wonderful mind of his. I just wrote an ending that seemed to flow logically from what had gone before. I think, if you read over a lot of Steve’s past work, you can see that on his own work, he often did not write an ending that flowed logically from what had gone before.

If he’d lived to write it, he might have done something quite unexpected. He also wouldn’t have had to cram it into four pages…which was not easy.

As requested, we’ll designate comments to this message as being about Steve’s work on Doctor Fate for DC.

Even Quicker Update

Nothing new to report medically. I’m up in the middle of the night, working on Doctor Fate. Will let all of you know what’s going on with that in a day or so.


Finding it difficult to concentrate.

Wonder why…

Just started reading Revolution in the Head: The Beatles’ Records and the Sixties by the late Ian MacDonald. I may be raving about this book for some time.

Finally received one of those infamous Obama-spams that are making their noxious, defamatory way across the net. I wish I could just ignore it, but there are reasons I can’t. We’ll talk about it later, hopefully after I get some work done.

Still Breathing…with Effort

Hello, all.

I’m still in the hospital and am likely to stay here at least until Friday, They’re trying to decide what to do with me after that — send me home or to some rehab facility where they’ll try to teach me to use what little lung power I’ve got left more efficiently. I’m hoping for some sort of compromise between the two, outpatient therapy or in-home visits from a respiratory specialist, something like that.

Dr. Tu is telling me not even to think about wheelchairs or scooters yet. I need to be better-conditioned, not more fragile, to undergo the lung transplant. Fine with me.

I’ve written a brief introduction to Marvel’s Howard the Duck Omnibus volume and sent it off just moments ago to editor Mark Beazley. It was late (naturally), so I can only hope it arrived at Marvel in time to be included in the book.

I’m working on Doctor Fate, as well, of course, and hoping against hope that we’ll be able to avoid an awkward fill-in story in COUNTDOWN TO MYSTERY. Dan Didio and Joey Cavalieri have been very gracious so far and are trying their best to accommodate the situation. I’m very grateful to both of them.

As for my health, well, I am improving, but slowly. They’re about to wheel me back upstairs, so no time to go into details now.

More to follow, eventually.

Sympathy Ploy

Greetings from Mountain View Hospital, Observation Unit, Room 2, in Las Vegas.

Mary drove me to the emergency room yesterday, and I was admitted pretty much immediately. My oxygen saturation percentage was in the 70s. (Ninety and above is considered normal.) It had reached the point that walking across a room was leaving me winded.

It’s pneumonia.

So now I’m on IV antibiotics, IV steroids, 10 liters of oxygen per minute, a hurricane-force bi-PAP machine at night — and a beautiful laptop afflicted with Windows Vista. There’s pain, and then there’s pain.

They expect I’ll be in here through the weekend. I’m in an accepting mood. If it takes that long to get me functional again, fine. In the meantime, maybe I can actually get caught up on Doctor Fate and that Omnibus introduction. (I know, I know — my health comes first, but my spirits improved mightily when I got my hands on this machine this afternoon.)

I’ll keep you informed as my recuperation progresses.


…for not posting more regularly.

I’ve been sick again, damn it, and very little work is getting done.

This may mean that COUNTDOWN TO MYSTERY #6 will be late, and that, for scheduling reasons, I won’t be able to write the introduction to Marvel’s Howard the Duck Omnibus edition.

I have seldom been so thoroughly pissed off.

And saying so just depleted the last of my energy.


Interview on PULSE

Click here.

Regular readers of this blog will already be familiar with most of the ideas and opinions expressed, but Jen’s questions did elicit a couple of responses you haven’t heard before.

Take a look — and if you’re enjoying COUNTDOWN TO MYSTERY, please comment on the article and let Jen’s readers know.

Good grief. It’s Christmas eve day already?

How the hell did that happen?

What with continuing health annoyances and worsening computer catastrophes, I’ve just been through one of the most aggravating months of my life.

Another week and we can put this year out of its misery. About time.

Happy holidays, all.

Ode to Joy

Sorry it’s been so long since I’ve posted here.

It’s the usual litany of excuses. A little illness. A big deadline (still not met). Not enough sleep. Too much aggravation. Not very different from what goes on in anybody’s life, I’d imagine.

There’s been progress on the UCLA front toward getting me on the transplant list. I may have more to report tomorrow.

I’m working on Doctor Fate, of course, and doing some preliminary thinking on another project I can’t discuss quite yet. (Soon, though.)

I had a dream last night about the ex. I don’t think she reads this blog anymore, but on the off-chance she does, she’ll be happy to hear the dream was rather coldly realistic about the nature of past relationships. Sometimes my mind knows what it should be thinking, even if I don’t.

There’s cat vomit on the rug again.

Oh, well. Back to the relentlessly upbeat life of Dr. Kent V. Nelson. I’ll check in again later if there’s news.

THE PULSE on Doctor Fate

Sorry I didn’t find these sooner:

  • Bruce MacIntosh summarizes the Doctor Fate continuity and offers commentary on the new series on THE PULSE in an article entitled “WHO COUNTS IN COUNTDOWN to Infinite Crisis? – Episode 22 – DR. FATE”. (Feel free to comment on the commentary — politely. Lots of discussion on major news sites like PULSE can only help the book.)
  • There’s also a nice interview on the site with Doctor Fate inker extraordinaire Walden Wong, including some gorgeous black-and-white sample pages from CtM #4.

I’ve also done an interview with Jen Contino that should be appearing soon.

Back to Work, Finally…

I seem to have a working computer again.

I definitely have an extremely urgent deadline to contend with.

Don’t expect much in the way of posts the rest of this week. Justiniano is waiting for something to draw, and providing that material takes precedence over just about anything else. Since this will also contribute mightily to keeping COUNTDOWN TO MYSTERY on schedule, I think most of you will understand.

Besides, after all this time restoring the computer, I’m eager to actually use it for something again. And I’m very anxious to get back to Doctor Fate.

See you again when I can resurface.