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JMS announced on October 26, 1998 that he was writing a new series of comic books. Here're the announcements as sent to various online services, as well as some followup messages.

October 26, 1998
Just thought I'd get this thread moving, though it's still a bit early, since news has started to break in other places. Basically: I've always loved comics (no secret there), and have always wanted to do a title of my own, try to make it something special, as B5 was/is special.

I created the premise, went to Top Cow (my first and only choice on this one), we met, we agreed...and now RISING STARS is set to debut next April. I've already turned in the first script (for the preview issue), and will be getting down to writing issues 0 and 1 shortly.

The story follows the events after the small town of Pederson, Illinois, is struck by a mass of energy from an unknown, but non-terrestrial source. Everyone who was in utero at the time of the flash is affected, resulting in 113 individuals who develop abilities of a most unusual and highly individual form. (The power is to some degree shaped by who they are, just as they are shaped to some degree by the power.)

It is set in a realistic universe, timed to real-world events (it covers a span of about 60 years, starting in about 1969), where there have never been super-powered individuals before. It looks at how the world reacts to them, and how they react to the world. We follow these characters through their early years, into adulthood and to the ends of their lives, mapping all the changes they go through, and how they change the world.

It's an extremely ambitious 24 issue miniseries (with the potential to go back and further develop any of the stories presented earlier along the way).

October 27, 1998
I'd actually heard a lot of good things about Top Cow, and my understanding going into this was that I would have total creative freedom, and it would be a writer-driven book. The artist they've talked to is someone whose work I've admired, and this book is going to have a very different look from the rest of their titles. The folks over there seem to really have their act together. They only launch about 2 new titles a year, and that means they have to be special...and they want this to be that kind of project.

October 27, 1998
How closely do you plan on collaborating with your penciller--will he have much leeway in layouts/"camera" angles/etc. or do you script a page pretty tightly?

I script pretty damn tight...as much as a half-page to describe a panel, in great detail. I'm doing those pages the same as I do my B5 and Crusade scripts: hideous amounts of detail.

And yeah, we want to go for a much more realistic look to this book, because it's essential to making the story work. if you seriously plan on bucking the System and producing a book that operates on the assumption that dialogue and characters are *not* interchangeable, I can guarantee you at least one regular reader.

Done and done.

October 27, 1998
I'm not "tearing it down" as you put it. I am simply pointing out the fact that the idea is not original. In fact, it sounds like a direct copy from the films, although I'm sure JMS will make a LOT more interesting story of it than the films.

Sorry. Ain't the case. Damned was about a colonization effort by aliens, achieved by getting human female pregnant, and the kids were strictly telekinetic, and died at about age 7.

There is no alien colonization thing going on in the story, it only affects the women who are already pregnant, and it follows their whole lives. You may as well say that the Three Mile Island story is a Damned story because it charts the effect of outside forces on pregnant women and their offspring.

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Last update: October 29, 1998