January's adventures in writing

An update on my work over the last month, dust collectors, folklore and your High Republic questions answered!

January's adventures in writing
A Nihil Mask from Star Wars: The High Republic

Hello there!

We’re in February so it’s time for my monthly lookback at the last 30 days or so! 

Man alive, did Jan feel loooooooooong! My attitude to the month was best summed up by this meme by Very British Problems

For me, January was all about editing past work and planning for the future. The first week back at work saw me editing issue one of my new comic for Vault, before taking a deep dive into a manuscript edit for a huge audio drama I wrote at the end of last year. 

Around that work, I headed up to London for a week to continue work on a TV series pitch with George Mann for a major streamer, our first for the broadcaster. The pitch is now in with them for review so we are keeping fingers, toes and just about everything else crossed. 

After what seemed an age, when the audio edits were in, I finally wrote something new! Phew! Last week saw me working for both Marvel and DC on two separate superhero projects, one a 30-page script for the first issue of a new mini-series and the other, a 10-page short story. 

There were also knockbacks, of course. A huge project I thought I would be writing this month was suddenly put back to 2025 and I didn’t receive news about another gig that has been on hiatus for a while. All par for the course in this business, but frustrating nonetheless. On the flip side, I signed a contract for two new children’s books, so that’s a big plus. Writing is always swings and roundabouts, but it’s easier to focus on the knocks and forget the good things. It’s one of the reasons I like writing these updates. It not only keeps me accountable, but it also forces me to appreciate the highs and the lows along the way. 

So, in an attempt to gamify things and engage the part of my brain that responds such things, let’s start a monthly tally for new things in 2024: 

  • TV series proposal: 1
  • Comic pages written: 40

February should see that comic page tally shoot up! 

Thanks, as always, for coming on this journey with me! 


  • I'm chuffed that my pal and Strange Matter partner George Mann has been honoured by his Star Wars: The High Republic audio drama The Battle of Jedha becoming an Audie finalist! For those who don't know, the Audie awards are the premier US awards recognising distinction in audiobooks and spoken-word entertainment, so this is well deserved by cast and crew alike! Go George! Go Penguin Random House! Go High Republic!


It's time for more of your questions. Keep them coming in!

Over on Instagram, bekindremind22 posted:

"Star Wars: The High Republic #3 was a good read! Question: what is the theme of book 3?"

Thanks for the kind words about the issue! That one was a lot of fun to write.
As for the theme, I'm assuming you mean the theme of the High Republic phase three comic as a whole. I think it's fair to say it's 'being true to who you are and who you want to be.'

Subscriber Sam Lewandowski asks:

"What was the thinking behind the Nihil using war clouds in Star Wars: The High Republic? Where did that come from?"

An interesting question, Sam! It came from an early conversation between the original five High Republic story architects. We'd decided early on that the Nihil would wear scary masks, not as regimented as stormtroopers but still as intimidating.

During the chat, Justina Ireland asked a simple question: 'why do they wear them?' She then immediately came up with a reason: 'Because they pump the ships they're raiding with poison gas' meaning the masks serve two purposes, they're intimidating, but they're also practical. While their victims are grasping for the rebreathers, the Nihil stride in unaffected by the toxic fumes. It was a great bit of world-building from Justina!

Subscriber Alice Muller asks:

"Can you recommend any books for anyone interested in writing comics?"

Yes, Alice, I can! I'd pick up:

How Comics Work by Dave Gibbons & Tim Pilcher

Make Comics Like the Pros by Greg Pak & Fed Van Lente

Words for Pictures: The Art and Business of Writing Comics by Brian Michael Bendis

Hope that helps!

Want to ask me a question to be answered in a future edition? Then leave it in the comments! You can also send in questions by using my ASK ME ANYTHING form!


Right, I need to get back to writing those new comic pages!

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Until next time, speak soon and stay safe!