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February 08, 2005


For the release of GrimJack last week, I did a store signing at Dewey's in Madison, NJ. The owner, Dan, sent out a press release and a reporter from the local paper, the DAILY RECORD, did a phone interview and then came out to the shop along with a photographer. Mike Gold also provided them with some art for the article. The reporter told me it would in the paper in the next few days so I started making sure I got it.

On Saturday, it appeared on the freakin' front page along with my smiling face. My first thought was, "Now there's a mug to curdle the cream in your morning coffee." It also conferred a slight celebrity on me that lasted, oh, maybe 36 hours and made me think of the semi-celebrity status of those of us working in comics.

It's actually kind of fun. I go to conventions or store signings and I am Somebody. I leave the Con or the store, take off my name tag, and the general public has no idea of who I am and couldn't care less. And that is ALSO very cool. I get to have a private life, unlike real celebrities.

Please understand -- I'm not putting the comic book fan down in any way. I'm a fan as well and anytime I get to meet some of MY heroes, I get horribly tongue-tied. I had to get Julie Schwartz, who I knew somewhat, to introduce me to Jack Kirby at a Con because I just COULDN'T walk up to him myself and do it, despite the fact that Jack was one of the most approachable people in comics. I'm also somewhat surprised that people actually want to meet me. I know they're sincere and I'm flattered but puzzled. The fact that I have fans actually does surprise me. The fact that I should have a weblog and anyone CARES what I think enough to read it amazes me. I keep forgetting I've been writing for awhile. I'm very pleased I have fans but it does surprise me. Just the way I am.

And it is a nice ego-boost. I've got to admit that. Knowing people are reading and LIKING what I do -- that makes me feel so good. And the fact I still have some privacy is also very cool. So I like my semi-celebrity status.

And I'm just shallow enough to admit it.

All the best

-- John

Posted by John Ostrander at February 8, 2005 11:43 AM

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Good to see you join the Blogoverse! I've often thought that if I were to be a celebrity, I'd prefer something relatively low-key like comic books. Go to cons, get praise and adoration, but don't have people looking for autographs in the grocery store.

And... um... I'm a fangirl. I loved your recent work on Aquaman.

Posted by: Laura Gjovaag [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 13, 2005 11:44 AM

Glad you like it. Glad also to see your work back on the shelves.

Out of idle curiosity, why write for Dr Who? I'm looking forwards to that, and I've seen next to no coverage of it.

Posted by: Nick Eden [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 13, 2005 05:48 PM

Dear Mr. Ostrander,

I just learned that you started a blog, and I'm happy to have the opportunity to drop you a note and tell you how much I enjoy your work.

I'm surprised that you're suprised to discover you have fans. "Suicide Squad" was one of my favorite books that I read in high school and college. Not only did you script thought-provoking stories incorporating the real-world events and politics of the times, but you also presented a team of mostly non-superpowered characters who held their own against their mostly superpowered counterparts--in a medium dominated by the latter.

And best of all, you gave us human stories. Amanda Waller, as far as I'm concerned, is the most fully-realized female character in comic books. The fact that she eventually led the Suicide Squad sans powers, spandex, and the typical super-heroine physique that defined (and still defines) super women in comics--and garnered her own fan base is an impressive achievement.

If it wasn't for your character development of Deadshot and Captain Boomerang, I doubt either character would have gone beyond their occasional battles against Batman and Flash. Now, Deadshot is seeing a resurge in popularity in an all new series, and Boomerang has met his end in "Idenity Crisis"--which affected me more than the deaths of Sue Dibny and Jack Drake. Sure, Boomerang was an unrepentant thug, but you made him likeable.

And based on Amanda Waller's appearance in "Justice League Unlimited" as well as a preview for a future episode with characters resembling Deadshot and Boomerang--I'd say other creators are aware of and appreciate your contributions to the DC Universe. The fact that Waller and the Squad are appearing in the cartoon at all--considering the book only ran for six or seven years (not including the doomed relaunch) is a testament to that fact.

You also wrote two of the best Batman stories I've read--"Seduction of the Gun" and "Penguin Triumphant,"--the former an anti-violence call as profound as Clint Eastwood's "Unforgiven" and the latter a dignified representation of one of my favorite Batman villians.

I've also loved your Western stories--"The Kents," "Blaze of Glory," and "Apache Skies". Comic books need more well-written westerns.

I'm also looking forward to reading your and Tim Truman's "Grimjack" stories, both the original run and new mini.

In essence, please don't sell yourself and your work short to those of us who appreciate it. You've also been an inspiration to me in my own writing, and for that I thank you.

Best regards,
Paul Wargelin

Posted by: Paul Wargelin at February 14, 2005 09:37 PM

Dear Laura

Thanks for writing! I DID recently get a request for an autograph from my pharmacist while picking up some meds but only because the local paper did an article on me that day that ran on the front page. I felt both appreciative and a little goofy. Glad you liked the Aquaman; had a lot of fun doing it.

-- John

Posted by: John Ostrander at February 16, 2005 05:43 PM


i'm an old time Dr. Who fan. It actually influenced me in creating GrimJack just a little; I loved the idea of being able to tell ANY kind of story and wanted that same opportunity. GrimJack does that for me. I also met my late wife, Kim Yale, at a Dr. Who Con as well.

The reason you haven't heard about my story for Big Audio is that it isn't done. I'm having some trouble with it and they are being VERY patient. I'll let you know when it will appear when we all know.

-- John

Posted by: John Ostrander at February 16, 2005 05:46 PM

Hey, John, guess who???

I'm really, really, REALLY happy about GrimJack.

How's Mary?

Call me, okay?

And yes, married life is DEFINITELY agreeing with me!

Much love,


P.S.: And you KNOW I'm a huge fan! And so is John! Yes, your *ahem* "semi-celebrity" crossed the pond years ago. Give it up, John-boy. You are loved! And respected!


Posted by: Mindy Newell at March 1, 2005 10:32 PM