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A message from JMS found on Usenet:

I know I've been absent for a while now, but there are reasons, especially in regards to B5:TMoS. In a project of this nature, and this size, there's stage one (let's do this) stage two (let's make everybody's deal) and stage three (making it). We're hip-deep in stage two just now, and it's taking a freaking long amount of time to get through it all. Stage two is also the most unnerving and nerve-wracking stage when there's a lot of money involved, as there is in this situation.

So every day is a case of "Are we there yet?" and being told yes...almost.

I swear, it's the kind of thing that could lead a monk to murder.

Thing of it is...there's a LOT happening right now in the B5 universe, on a multitude of fronts, some of it in response to TMoS, some of it coming up completely on its own. All I can say at this moment is that if you've been waiting for new stuff in the B5 universe, you may be getting your wish in spades very soon.

Soon, I promise, all will be made clear. I don't like being Mr. Mysterioso on this, but if I say too much, the-powers-that-be will use my head to make a 2.35:1 sized hole in the wall.

On other fronts....

Ibooks/Simon and Schuster just delivered the final production galleys on Straczynski Unplugged (originally called JMS Unplugged, which I recommended over Straczynski Unplugged because I couldn't imagine anyone Asking For It By Name without blowing out an incisor or two, but who listens to me). It includes some stories from my Twilight Zone anthology, plus "Say Hello, Mister Quigley," "Cold Type," "We Killed Them in the Ratings" and "The Salvation of Lyman Terrell," which have appeared in various publications but have never been gathered together before in one book, plus a new introduction. I think it should be hitting stores sometime in the coming month.

Ibooks/Simon and Schuster are going to be putting together a whole line of JMS books, including a shared universe series of novels and other stuff...more when I can talk about it.

For those who've been considering getting into the Supreme Power series, Marvel published a graphic novel containing the first 6 issues last month (it ended up at #3 out of the top 100 titles). It's a good jumping-on point for the series, which I'm eminently proud of. (I know, a dangling participle, what can I say?)

I'm doing two other books for Marvel, one of which I think they should be able to announce soon. The other is the Dream Police book, which I brought over from Top Cow. Mike Deodato is doing the art, and it's just beautiful. (Mike is also doing the art on Amazing Spider-Man during John Romita Jr's leave of absence, and it's very nice indeed.) The first scripts are in on both the new project, and for the Doc Strange miniseries, and artists have been selected, but it's up to Marvel to release that info.

Finally...for those who want to support a worthy cause...recently I heard about a high school in Hawthorne, New Jersey (not far from Paterson, where I was born) which was having a small comic convention to raise funds for its art program. The high school arts program for the coming year had to be cut entirely due to lack of funds, to the point where this past year people literally had to scrounge in junk yards for wire for sculpture classes.

Initially, I was going to just donate to the cause, but the more I looked into this, the more it became clear that I had to kind of do something. So I'm going to be flying out for the day to be at the fund-raiser convention for the school. (I know, I know...I pass all the big conventions that pay big bucks and I do this instead...I'm not wired up right, I admit it, but...sometimes you just gotta do what's right, you know?) It's not an alma mater for me or anything, but in hailing from Paterson (also Newark and Matawan) when I was a kid I probably got in fights with kids from Hawthorne, so I figure I owe something, right?

I got my real start as a writer in high school, through teachers who saw in me something more than a kid from the streets. Those teachers -- specifically Rochelle Terry and Joanne Massie at Chula Vista High -- gave me the support I needed to start following my dreams, so it's a crucial time for others as well, a time that needs our support, particularly at a time when so many schools are suffering from similar cuts.

The convention is May 8th, Saturday, and I'll be there to talk, answer questions, and sign autographs. Now, we usually try to limit signatures to 5 or so per person, but I'm taking the cap off...and in another break with tradition, in which I never ask for a fee to sign stuff, this time I'll be charging one buck per autograph, with all of the money going to the high school. So for those of you in the area with twenty copies of various comics or books or whatever...this is your chance to stock up. There will also be an auction to further help raise funds.

Details about the fund-raiser and the other fine guests can be found at:

This is the first appearance I've made at any kind of East Coast convention in years, and the first time I've been in New Jersey in over 30 years, so there's no way to know how long it'll be before I get into town again. And admission is only $3, so how can you go wrong?

It's a worthy cause. So if you're in the vicinity, stop by, step up, and do some good.

If you can't make it, and can't help, check into your local schools and see if they need help. Because odds are they do.


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