The Haven: Pilgrim’s Progress

By Andrew Goletz

This column should be on time again barring any technical difficulties on the site. Dan is on the road for a special event that he’ll be writing about soon, but it may cause the delays of this column along with several others. The boss needs to get his ass out there and do some legwork, too, you know?

Well, if I ever learn how to do proper HTML and coding, I could help the poor bastard out and post new stuff myself, but then who would I get to blame???

I only have a handful of comments this week since most of my time was spent on all of the wonderful Life of Reilly details. (Big, big week for that little project.)

Green Lantern: Sinestro Corps

I’m not a big Green Lantern fan, but I kept up with all of the big events with the character and knew enough about it to not be lost while reading this one shot. I can’t believe that no one thought of giving the Lanterns an enemy of ring bearers before this. Sinestro always seemed to be the perfect villain for the character because he was the exact opposite (see Reverse Flash and Venom), but Sinestro was only one guy against an army of Lanterns. In this special, Sinestro evens the score. Not only does he create his own corps (and catchy oath), but he enlists some well-known villains (and heroes) to join his cause. Some of the issue’s surprises were leaked online but there was still a major revelation at the end that seemingly will have ramifications for not only the Green Lanterns, but for the entire DC Universe. Ethan Van Sciver’s art alone is worth picking this up.


I’m surprised the kids were able to stay throughout the whole film with only one bathroom break. It’s not that it’s a bad movie – I liked it quite a bit – but I didn’t think a six- and four-year-old would appreciate the Paris scenery, the concept taking place mainly inside a restaurant and the fact that most of the main characters were humans instead of the rats or some other creatures. The commercials do a lot to show off the various rats and their little idiosyncrasies, but aside from the main character we don’t spend all that much time with the rodents. Still, they stayed with it, didn’t fall asleep and were able to talk about it with some interest after the fact. For the record, I thought the Toy Story films and The Incredibles were okay; I enjoyed A Bug’s Life a great deal, didn’t care at all for Cars or Finding Nemo, and believe Monsters Inc is the best of the Pixar bunch. I’d put Ratatouille in at number three overall. Maybe it’s because I’ve worked in a restaurant almost half of my adult life, but the food-loving rat and his relationship to a kid who can’t cook worked for me. I bought into the passion of the characters and was only mildly grossed out during a scene in which hundreds of the critters pour out of the restaurant and onto the streets of Paris.


This was probably the biggest week for the ongoing saga of transforming The Life of Reilly from a series of online columns to a trade paperback.

Dan Jurgens did a short Q&A during the original column run, but last week we were able to get into a few more specifics about his short run on Sensational Spider-Man. Dan is known to most people as a big DC guy. He guided the Superman titles for years and was on the title when Superman was “killed.”

When he began his work on the Spider-Man title, he was able to launch an entirely new series. Sensational Spider-Man debuted Ben Reilly as Spider-Man for the first time. Up to this point in the series, readers had already discovered that Ben Reilly was the original Peter Parker but Ben was still going out in his Scarlet Spider costume. In Dan’s series, Ben Reilly accepted his responsibility to continue the legacy of Spider-Man but he didn’t take back the Parker name.

Dan was very generous with his answers and I think you’ll enjoy reading them.

The big news of the week was that I was finally able to be in contact with Howard Mackie. Howard wrote Ben Reilly for a long time, and his run included the finale to the Clone Saga with Peter Parker #75. I really wanted to get his insight into the whole story and I feel that his participation is an essential part of me doing the book version of LoR.

Since I had been having no luck in finding anyone who could provide contact information for Mr. Mackie, I tried to get creative and it worked out. I got in touch with John Byrne, the famous comic creator who had legendary runs on Fantastic Four, Uncanny X-Men and Superman and had his own series, Next Men. Byrne and Mackie had worked together on Spider-Man several years ago, and I figured that maybe he’d be able to help me out. It was a long shot, but less than a day after asking Byrne to help me out, Mackie had contacted me.

I’m still not sure whether Mackie is “in” or not, but I remain extremely optimistic about the situation. He was incredibly gracious about the whole thing (since I’m the guy whose been trying to hunt him down) but I could understand if he decides not to want to retread the same waters. I’m hoping that with him and all of the other creators that I’m in the process of talking to, that they feel the LoR book is an opportunity for them to set the record straight on a great many things. Mackie mentioned that he was going to pass my information along to yet another Clone Saga creator I’ve been having a hard time trying to reach. They’re all passing the messages along.

As big as finally getting to touch base with Howard Mackie was, I had some great feedback this week from Danny Fingeroth that completely blew me away. Fingeroth was the Spider-Man Group Editor at the time the Clone Saga began. He’s also the publisher of Write Now!, a magazine about writing. In between he published several books on comics, taught classes on writing and left an indelible mark on Marvel Comics during that period.

I originally contacted Fingeroth about doing something with the book because he was the head of the line when the story was first proposed, but I’m also a huge fan of his work. A strange result of our initial emails was that I started to get a feeling of what it must have been like to work under him. Quite simply, he asked me a couple questions in regard to the columns and the intent of some of the work and how I was going to format certain things. It was very basic stuff, but after I responded to him I started to realize that he just made me better. Here was a person whose work I respected so much and he was causing me to think about what I had included in the original columns and what I would be doing with the new format.

It wasn’t all about getting in touch with creators, though. Finishing the writing of the book is the first and easiest step in all of this. Sooner than later I’m going to be forced to figure out how this thing is going to get into the hands of the millions – no, billions – of people who want to read it.

Self-publishing is looking like it’s going to be the easiest way to get exactly what I want out of the deal, but I’m still needling away and trying to find some publishers out there who can help out. Hyperion Books published another “unauthorized” Spider-Man book a few years ago called Spider-Man Confidential, but they’ve been pretty good about insisting that I go through an agent to pitch The Life of Reilly to them. I have tried several times to go around their firewalls, but to no avail. On the plus side, I got word that some of my contacts will help me out in terms of getting the book properly edited (once we’re done) and may help out in the formatting and graphic design aspects, which is fantastic.

I’m hoping I can wrap up the interviews, commentary and overall writing part of this project by the end of this month. The end of July was always the final, final deadline I gave myself for the project and I’m going to be cutting it way too close. Whatever. I want it done right. I’ll be back for more next week.

And remember, if this column is late, it’s Dan’s fault!