[B5JMS] 2003 Comic-Con International - JMS Review

Posts of Babylon 5's creator Joe M. Straczynski b5jms at fsl.cs.sunysb.edu
Fri Sep 20 00:41:40 EDT 2013

From: Scott <orclin at charter.net>
Date: Tue, 22 Jul 2003 00:00:16 +0000 (UTC)
Lines: 158

  Jan wrote:

>For those of you who are lucky enough to have gone to ComicCon today and seen
>JMS, could you write up a report of what was shown, told and filmed?

OK Jan, just for you,

I hope I got all the facts and quotes at least close to what was really 

This first panel was about Jeremiah.

I don't know if Joe arrived early and cruised the floor before his panel 
but at the appointed time of 1:30 he showed up for his first panel. 
 Entering the ring with him was Sara (Samm) Barnes.  She has penned a 
few scripts for the first season and a few for the second.  I believe 
Joe said she is now an Executive Procurer.  The was her first ever panel 
and only the second con she has attended, so she was a little nervous 
(but she hid it well) and Joe went easy on her, at first.

They both spoke about the upcoming season and Miss. Barnes blurted out a 
little spoiler, Joe was a little surprised by this faux pas but told her 
since the cat was out of the bag to just continue with the story.  (No 
I'm not going to give you the spoiler)  But is evolves the down fall of 
Valhalla Sector and is once again the type of unexpected twist that Joe 
is good at.

No answer on a third season of Jeremiah yet but Joe said he found out 
when it the second season starts by searching the net, not by any 
corporate channels.  And that the first season DVD of Jeremiah will be 
out in October.  A fan corrected him and said it will be January.  He 
wasn't involved in any commentary or anything else for this DVD.

They both talked about the new Mr. Smith character played by Sean Astin, 
and Joe described him as a sock puppet with the Hand of God stuck up his 
(As an aside note, I just did a spell check and my computer thinks I 
misspelled Astin.  It offered a few correct spellings, one of which is 
Satan).  Why is it whenever I read that word I hear it as if the Church 
Lady is saying it?  Is this one of Joe's foreshadowing's?

When Joe asked Samm the name of the episodes she wrote, she drew a 
blank, so Joe (being the nice guy he is) took full advantage of this and 
played it for a few laughs.  She finally remembered one name but the 
other Joe had to give her a hint.

Samm was a good sport about it all and did very well up there for her 
first time.  (She's also easy on the eyes ).  ;-)

Fiona Avery was there, in the back of the room, and Joe and her 
exchanged some dialog about his "going New Jersey" on certain industry 
execs.  He explained that term as a way to get back at the suits by 
sitting around the set not doing anything constructive and thus wasting 
money (or something like that).

Joe made a few announcements about this being the last time he was going 
to be selling the "Sleeping in Light" Script, and that a film crew from 
Warner Brothers was here to film the fans and do interviews with them. 
 They were filming the crowd and taping the Q&A session.  Then after the 
panels they would be doing the interviews with the fans.  This being 
filmed for inclusion in the fifth season B5 DVD's.

I can't remember any of the specific questions from this first panel but 
some guy was there asking questions and taking notes so maybe he will 
have an online report soon.

I wish I could remember more but that's about it for the first panel.

Joe thanked everyone for coming and took about a 10 minute break

For the second panel Joe was alone and talked about his comics and did a 
lot of Q&A's.

He also had in hand two hand drawn, proof issues of his new Supreme 
Powers comics and said he would give them out to the two best questions 
from this panel (no I don't remember these questions either) and the 
envelope the comics came in would be given to the stupidest question.  I 
remember this question as I was the one that asked the most stupid 
question.  My question had to do with proof reading his wife's work when 
she was writing the "To Dream" novel.  Although the guy who asked the 
question after me was even worse so I surrendered my prize to him.  His 
questions was something like "Out of all the characters you've written, 
which one would you most like to have sex with (or which one do you 
identify sexually most with)?  or some thing like that.  I was too busy 
feeling embarrassed about winning the envelope to pay must attention to 
the actual wording but when the crowd broke out laughing I knew that my 
question had been beat.

Someone else asked about Buddy so Joe gave a quick recap for the fans 
and finished with 'He is doing great...eating a lot...and still hasn't 
decided if I will keep him or not.'
Another question was about the delay with the last issues of Rising 
Stars, Joe answering with 'as soon as Top Cow stops screwing around I'll 
finish them', and went on to explain that.
Joe said Polaris is still being shopped around and hinted about a new 
project but wouldn't give details as nothing is signed yet.
He was asked about telling stories about Harlan but couldn't as there 
aren't any he wouldn't get in trouble for.

Back to Supreme Powers, Joe let two guys read the comic during his panel 
and both made a comment about the dog, and it didn't sound good for the 
dog.  No cat's we harmed during the penning of this novel but I can't 
say the same for dogs.  Joe reiterated that he is a cat person, not a 
dog person.

There were some B5 questions and this is what I remember about them.

Joe talked about the G'Kar/Londo elevator scene where G'Kar is laughing 
about dying beside Londo.  The scene was written to be serious yet when 
it came time to film Joe was in his office and kept hearing this 
laughter from down the hall.  He went to investigate and Andreas had 
improvised that it would be better if G'Kar thought it was ironically 
funny that he would be able to kill Londo by not doing anything to help 
him escape.
Someone asked about his ability to write such true words about religion 
yet be an Atheist so Joe shared his thoughts about the inherent, 
potential nobility of mankind (I hope I got that right).  Joe got a 
little serious at this question and you could tell he was choosing his 
words _very carefully_ as he didn't want to come across as 
'anti-religion' or offend anyone's beliefs.  And I must say he did it 
very eloquently.
He talked about how his characters are so thought out before he starts 
writing that they talk to him and tell him what to write.  As an 
example, it was Vir that told him it would be better if he killed 
Cartagia, if Londo did it it would be business as usual, but if he did 
it, it would be a bigger surprise and Joe would be able to milk it for a 
few more episodes.

I know there was more but that's all you're going to get out of me.

Once again Joe thanked everyone for coming and was off to do autographs.

When I got to the autograph line it was already overflowing the area 
that had been set aside.  The con staff had not expected the crowd Joe 
drew so some last minute line improvising was done.  Now, Joe did not 
draw as big a crown as Angelina Jolie , (as expected, it's a hair thing) 
but it was a healthy crowd that wanted his sig.

I do believe that this was all Joe was scheduled for on Saturday, so 
I'll conclude this by saying once again Joe did an excellent job of 
entertaining the fans, answering questions as thoroughly as possible and 
giving those that attended some further insight into his worlds and 
treating us to the much anticipated spoilers for upcoming shows, 
potential projects, other possible business directions, his feeling 
about suits and once more showing us how petty, self centered, insecure 
and selfish he truly is (just kidding on this last part, I wanted to see 
if you were still listening).

Thank Joe,


From: jmsatb5 at aol.com (Jms at B5)
Date: Tue, 22 Jul 2003 05:00:02 +0000 (UTC)
Lines: 23

Just one correction:

>Sara (Samm) Barnes...has penned a 
>few scripts for the first season and a few for the second.  I believe 
>Joe said she is now an Executive Procurer. 

Negative.  She is/was a co-producer on the show.

> Joe did not 
>draw as big a crown as Angelina Jolie , (as expected, it's a hair thing)

Yeah, maybe, sure, but I look much more fetching in chiffon any day.


(jmsatb5 at aol.com)
(all message content (c) 2003 by synthetic worlds, ltd., 
permission to reprint specifically denied to SFX Magazine 
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