Warren Ellis, Will Eisner, Gaiman, Wrightson, Grayson & Me

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As I pack for my upcoming move from Florida to Colorado, I'm discovering gobs of dusty items from Years Gone By, including newspaper and magazine articles I wrote as a features reporter. I recently unearthed a stack of Wizard magazines from the late 90s, stuff I wrote as an intern and freelancer for the publication (which covers the comic book industry). I recycled the magazines, but scanned some noteworthy stories to share with you here. In this PDF, you'll find an interesting look at the state of comics in 1998 and '99. Regrettably, I couldn't find the issue featuring my interview with Alan Moore -- but I was blessed indeed to speak at length with influential creators such as Warren Ellis, Will Eisner, Neil GaimanBernie Wrightson and Devin Grayson, whose stories you'll find here.

Talking to these folks was so cool. Ellis was as wily, depraved and effing brilliant as he is now. Eisner was a gentleman, absolutely worthy of the stratospheric regard in which so many creators hold him. Gaiman shared his love for Eisner's work in sublime ways. Wrightson was as down-to-earth and real as it gets. Grayson's enthusiasm for the craft was infectious. All were supremely patient with this then-twentysomething reporter as he bumbled through the interviews.

Writing for Wizard was one of the highlights of my entertainment journalism career. The writers and artists with whom I spoke were a Who's Who of the biggest and brightest names in the business then and now. I occasionally miss being a reporter -- particularly interviewing creative folks I admire, which happened daily when I worked with Wizard -- but am grateful to have met so many cool and ultracreative people during those years.

I hope you enjoy this peek into the work from my past profession, and get a kick out of these interviews.

--J.C.