How did you get the job of writing
2099: World of Tomorrow?
Well it was my first on-going job, writing World of
Tomorrow. And my very first job in comics was writing script
on Fantastic Four 2099. I did dialogue over Karl Kesel. Karl
for whatever reason couldn't finish up and the editor, James
Felder, he ran the Stanhaten Project at NYU which is where
he met me brought me on. So I did a couple things there and
they offered me World of Tomorrow which I co-wrote with Ben
Raab. I got to work with Pasqual Ferry who I have been
friends with since. It was a great opportunity. We were
really excited. It was crazy double-sized issues. It was an
opportunity to work with really cool characters. Its funny I
haven't thought about those books obviously in a very long
time, but...female Dr. Strange....we loved her. So there
were a lot of concepts in that book that I enjoyed.
Did you know from the get-go that the
series had a certain number of issues? Or did you find out at a
certain point it was going to be cancelled?
We planned it as if it were going to be a full series. It
would probably had a year-long arc. But it got cancelled
I did talk to Jason Armstrong, one of
the artists , he mentioned that he talked to one of the writers,
he did not remember if it was you or Ben, and that you were planning
on introducing a Black Panther 2099.
I honestly don't remember. That's entirely possible. But
yeah, it was definitely cut short. It was not a high selling
book. It was a way to try some new writers, Ben and I. New
artists, I think it was Pasqual's first American work. Maybe
not, he might have done an issue or two of something else.
But he was already established in Spain.
I figured there must have been stories
planned, because Thing disappears after the first issue, and we
never find out what happened to him.
We assumed it was going to be on-going. I think
people....smarter people....know to plan for six issue arcs,
or eight or ten issue arcs. That way you have an ending, and
can be comfortable with it. If you get more, then great.
That's how people should plan things. We were young....
What do you remember about working with
the editor, James Felder?
Joe: Oh he's great. Him and I
are still friends. He gave me my first comic work. I gave
him his first animation work. Which was really wonderful, to
be able to pay that back. James took a chance on me. He was
awesome. Besides being very smart, he was trained by Marvel
editors, who were writers before they were editors, which is
actually kind of uncommon after that period. You kind of
start to lose the Denny O'Neil's, Archie Goodwin's....not
that any of the editors who came later were not any good,
but that they didn't have that background in either art or
writing. James was trained in all that. In fact there are
tools that I use when I teach in workshops that I was taught
by James who was taught by Mark Gruenwald. Its like
knowledge that has been passed on.