A&A The Official John Jackson Miller Thread

Discussion in 'Literature' started by Master_Keralys, May 14, 2008.

  1. Master_Keralys Sometime Technical Aide and Erstwhile Lit Mod

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Oct 8, 2003
    star 5
    The author of the forthcoming adaptation of Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull and a contributor to Star Wars: Empire, John Jackson Miller is a storyteller we've come to appreciate most for his work with the brilliant ongoing series, Knights of the Old Republic.

    You can find him at his online home, Faraway Press. You'll see him around the boards here as JohnJacksonMiller.

    And I'm guessing he might just drop in to say hello and chat, since he asked for the thread to be started!

    Please welcome John Jackson Miller to the Authors and Artists community!

    - Keralys
  2. JohnJacksonMiller Mastermind: KOTOR, LTotS, Knight Errant

    VIP
    Member Since:
    May 24, 2005
    star 3
    Thanks, Master Keralys! I had been asked about a thread here a long time ago but I never seemed to have time; I still can't get the day to go 25 hours, but I probably have better odds of checking a single thread here more often than multiple different ones (though I make the effort when I can).

    I'm happy to answer the questions I can about the comics and games I've worked on or have coming up -- though the accent is always on "the questions I can." I know I'm frequently guilty of coy responses, but that's because I'd rather find a more entertaining way of saying "I can't answer that" than "I can't answer that." ;)
  3. TNPredsFan Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 10, 2004
    star 4
    Congrats on the thread, John.

    I really enjoyed #28 today. I'm in the process of re-reading it a bit slower so that I can discuss it.
  4. Jedi Trace SouthEast RSA

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Dec 15, 1999
    star 6
    Glad to see you got your own thread here, John, and ditto what Nicki said re: # 28! :D
  5. JohnJacksonMiller Mastermind: KOTOR, LTotS, Knight Errant

    VIP
    Member Since:
    May 24, 2005
    star 3
    Thanks, ladies. Sorry I missed the big movie screening!
  6. TNPredsFan Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 10, 2004
    star 4
    We were forced to postpone due to monsoon season and some unexpected screen repairs, but we are trying again this weekend. Hopefully, the weather will cooperate this time around. We try and have several Drive-In nights a year, so maybe you will be able to attend one. :D

    How many issues will the upcoming Vindication arc be?
  7. JohnJacksonMiller Mastermind: KOTOR, LTotS, Knight Errant

    VIP
    Member Since:
    May 24, 2005
    star 3
    I do not know that that has been said publicly anywhere yet -- no big secret, but let me see what's been officially said.

    In many ways, "Turnabout" is a prologue to it, so add one to the number...
  8. Stanoje Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Sep 18, 2006
    Hi John

    Have you thought about adding a RSS feed to your website? I'm probably not the only one who'd like to be notified when you post news or the behind-the-scenes article for a new KOTOR issue.

  9. JohnJacksonMiller Mastermind: KOTOR, LTotS, Knight Errant

    VIP
    Member Since:
    May 24, 2005
    star 3
    There's a way to do it -- let me look at it when I have a chance. In the meantime, I do have some thoughts up there at last on the latest issue.
  10. _Kris_ Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Feb 6, 2006
    star 1
    Hey John! Thanks for coming on here. I'm a big fan of your work.

    I just want to ask you about how you felt Vector went for KotOR now your part of the arc has wrapped up. Are you happy with it? Anything you'd like to change?

    Cheers!
  11. Stanoje Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Sep 18, 2006
    Cool, thanks for the answer.

    I have some questions about KOTOR, if you don't mind:

    1) How did you decide when to set the comic? Did you ever play with the idea of setting it after the games?

    2) In an ideal world, for how many issues would KOTOR run?

    3) Zayne is supposed to be a Jedi Sentinel, right? Was that done so the series lead would have a trademark lightsaber color to set him apart, or are there thematic reasons for this choice? Any thoughts on why Zayne/Lucien would choose that path for him?

  12. JohnJacksonMiller Mastermind: KOTOR, LTotS, Knight Errant

    VIP
    Member Since:
    May 24, 2005
    star 3
    I wrote a bit about it here; overall I'd say it was a fun experiment to be involved in. I got to see how John and Jan and Randy and everyone else went about thinking up stories firsthand ? about as close to a musical "jam session" as you're likely to get in comics.

    As for changes, I don't remember many comic books when I didn't wish for an extra page or two here or there, either for art or to elaborate on something -- but then, you also want it to be frenetic sometimes, to convey the momentum of events. There was a stretch in "Reunion" and "Days of Fear" where I deliberately slowed down the tempo, just because it was a more peaceful time for the characters; "Vector" was clearly not intended to be a peaceful time!
  13. JohnJacksonMiller Mastermind: KOTOR, LTotS, Knight Errant

    VIP
    Member Since:
    May 24, 2005
    star 3
    I never considered putting it after the games. I liked what was going on in the galaxy at this stage of things -- and, as you can imagine, a series set after the games would require an inordinate amount of time in recap.

    As long as we've got stories to tell! I don't know any other way to answer that.

    I gave Zayne a yellow lightsaber in part because the Luke action figure I had as a kid had one, making me mistakenly think that was what color Luke' saber really was. (See my essay here for other mistaken notions!) And, yes, since I was making a plot point out of the seers being consulars, I wanted his to be a different color than theirs. As to Zayne's early days, keep reading -- there's more to come on that...
  14. Stanoje Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Sep 18, 2006
    Oh, tease-y.
  15. Master_Keralys Sometime Technical Aide and Erstwhile Lit Mod

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Oct 8, 2003
    star 5
    More to come on Zayne's early days?! Sweet...

    John - somebody finally started a Zayne fan club in the EU Community: Zayne's World. General consensus is that, without being even slightly annoying, Zayne is hands down the single best Jedi we've ever seen.

    #28 was made of a lot of win, especially the end. I'm really excited about #29, as well... and we're less than a week away. :D

    - Keralys
  16. JohnJacksonMiller Mastermind: KOTOR, LTotS, Knight Errant

    VIP
    Member Since:
    May 24, 2005
    star 3
    Thanks for the link! Yeah, we'll really get to see what the kid is made of in the next stretch...
  17. Master_Keralys Sometime Technical Aide and Erstwhile Lit Mod

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Oct 8, 2003
    star 5
    Blast it, why must you torment us so? :p I comfort myself with the knowledge that I'll get to start that stretch tomorrow.

    - Keralys
  18. dizfactor Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 12, 2002
    star 5
    When you started writing this series, were you already planning for Zayne to be this dare-I-say-saintly uber-compassionate Jedi? Did you set out with the idea in your head that you were going to write about a Jedi who doesn't kill, for example, or is so strongly defined by compassion towards his enemies?
  19. JohnJacksonMiller Mastermind: KOTOR, LTotS, Knight Errant

    VIP
    Member Since:
    May 24, 2005
    star 3
    The issue of Zayne's compassion and its role in what's happened to him is something we'll be getting into more in upcoming issues --

    --but if you look back, there are moments of despair where he doesn't act so compassionately. Reread Jarael's speech in "Commencement," at the end of #5 -- it really speaks to the challenge of character facing him. Once you know that getting punched hurts, throwing someone else in the way of the next punch is not the Jedi way. (Of course, just standing there and waiting for the next punch is not the Jedi way, either-- but that's a different lesson!) I figured he had been punched enough in life to build up some empathy -- but the ongoing test would be to see how much he had.
  20. Master_Keralys Sometime Technical Aide and Erstwhile Lit Mod

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Oct 8, 2003
    star 5
    And he torments us with more tantalizing tidbits! Bah! (Side note: you like that alliteration, and you know it. [face_mischief])

    I remember that speech vaguely, John, but now you've got me wishing I had my early KotOR issues here with me (they're at my parents house rather than here with me... lame). I'd especially like to see that in light of just how thoroughly Zayne has proven himself to this point. Of course, it's interesting that most of the people he's shown mercy to were not immediately known to him or involved in the tragedy: but certainly his decision at the end of #24 reflects well on him.

    What was your inspiration for the character of Zayne? You've mentioned the idea before of liking a non-superb Jedi, since those are who we're usually following, but were there any specific thoughts beyond that which you had initially? And how have your thoughts about Zayne evolved since the beginning?

    - Keralys
  21. JohnJacksonMiller Mastermind: KOTOR, LTotS, Knight Errant

    VIP
    Member Since:
    May 24, 2005
    star 3
    Not a direct inspiration, really, but look at the early issues of Spider-Man. He loses as many fights as he wins, and has plenty of reasons to be miserable -- because he's still puny Peter Parker under the mask. That was real and interesting, and I wanted to do something like that where the hero doesn't suddenly become competent because he decides to do something heroic. Who he was before influences his performance, but it also influences his decisions now that he's in a position to do something important.
  22. Stanoje Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Sep 18, 2006
    How do you see pre-existing continuity? Do you like to incorporate obscure bits of Star Wars lore? Any favorite elements you put into the comic?
  23. Gabri_Jade VIP

    VIP
    Member Since:
    Nov 9, 2002
    star 5
    Hello! No questions yet from me; I'm just here to fangirl. :p Traci and Nicki kept telling me that I needed to read KOTOR, so Vector seemed like a good opportunity to try it out. I really enjoyed the story, so I've been trying to catch up. So far I've read the Commencement trade, issue #29, and your Hyperspace story, Labor Pains, and I'm just loving it all so far. Zayne's definitely my favorite at the moment. It's such fun to read about someone who's so ordinary, but has such strength of character - and his flaws are all the more endearing because he's perfectly aware of them, but never lets them hold him back. I love his wry self-effacement in Commencement - I think my favorite line was when Shad said it was a shame Zayne's family lived offworld, and Zayne said, "It's okay. They've already seen me make a fool of myself. Might as well give your family a turn."

    Just wanted to let you know how much I'm enjoying the series and looking forward to catching up fully. Thanks for all the work you put into it. :D
  24. JohnJacksonMiller Mastermind: KOTOR, LTotS, Knight Errant

    VIP
    Member Since:
    May 24, 2005
    star 3
    Thanks, Gabri_Jade

    And Stanoje, as a guy with umpty-thousand comic books lying around, I consider continuity a pretty big deal. I try not to be overly limited by it ? there's almost always a way you can make something happen, if a story is made better by it, and not undo something else that previously existed. Sometimes, I see springboards in existing continuity ? like the Rakghouls, where it was clear that we didn't have the whole story of how they came to be. And I do drop easter eggs into comics from past continuity from time to time ? say, like Dathka Grausch and his hat ? just as the artists sometimes do. That said, we generally try not to do gratuitous cameos that don't mean anything when it would waste an opportunity to do something more with a character, though. We try to draw on the history without draining it of future opportunities.

    Favorite easter eggs? I'll have to think on that. There's a nod to action-figure Luke's saber in Zayne's saber color. The Exogorths were known as Project Black Harvest. The Adjudicator makes a joke about what kind of bounty hunter a Mandalorian would make. And so on...
  25. Gratulor Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 4, 2008
    star 2
    Greetings from 63° north! I've got a couple of questions if you can answer them.

    I like how you combined Coruscant's look with the movies and from the older comics, was that the direction you directed the artist to go? There are also scaffoldings in the background, like they are rebuilding after the other war. I'm very curious as to if this was the intention.

    I wonder if you're a fan of the Twilight Zone. The twists and hidden plotlines, you know. Very Rod Serling-esque.

    Do you think the Roleplaying guide will include some more information on the Mandalorian lifestyle of this era? I'm intrigued by the way they seem to be changing, and amazed by how realisticly you wrote that. The ranks also sound good - Field Marshal and Rally Master - if they are the rank names at all. ;)

    Thank you very much!