Beauology 101: Marvel Comics—The Last Stand

Your Host Who’s Known To Boast—Beau Smith

Your Host Who’s Known To Boast—Beau Smith


by Beau Smith

The last five years of my thirty years working in comic books and entertainment have been the most unpredictable and energizing of them all…so far.

 My Girl, Wynonna Earp. Art by Lora Innes, Melanie Scrofano, and Joyce Chin with Jim Lee


My Girl, Wynonna Earp. Art by Lora Innes, Melanie Scrofano, and Joyce Chin with Jim Lee


Things have happened that I never would’ve predicted or even dreamed. For the first twenty five years of my career as a writer, I have been known as “Beau Smith-The Last Real Man In Comics” as well as “The Titan Of Testosterone.” There are many stories, legends, and variations on how I came by those nicknames. That will be saved for a later column or perhaps an in-depth podcast in the near future. With Wynonna Earp, I have turned that table over. I am now known as the “Emperor Of Estrogen.” How’s that for beating the odds? My reader base for Wynonna Earp is 85% female and estimates are that 50% of that audience is LGBT. I’ve always written in diversity, it just took the outside world to let the world of comic books know that. My goal has always been to write compelling stories and characters, the rest will take care of itself.

In the last five years, I have focused solely on my writing, which is planned and fine by me, because in truth, that’s all I’ve ever wanted. My “curse” is that I’ve always been really good at marketing and promotions, so it’s been kinda hard to escape that arrow in my quiver of Hawkeye-like talents. The last five years have brought me an expansion of my work. I’ve reinvented my comic book creation Wynonna Earp and that has transitioned into a new ongoing series of comic books and graphic novels as well as a cult hit television series on The SyFy network of the same name that is filming its third season as you read this. I cannot begin to relay to you what it feels like to see and hear something you created take human form and broadcast to millions of homes all across the world…and to think…it started in a small town in West Virginia many years ago.

 Cobb: Off The Leash. Being Developed For Television. Art by Eduardo Baretto


Cobb: Off The Leash. Being Developed For Television. Art by Eduardo Baretto


Another one of my creations, Cobb, is in development for a major network television series as well. These are things I only dreamed of as a kid as I watched most everything that was transmitted on my TV screen..and trust me…I dreamed. I’m the kid that could tell you who the gaffer and cameramen on The Rat Patrol and The Wild Wild West were. I paid THAT much attention.

I didn’t just read comic books as a kid, I studied them, perhaps more than I studied my school books. (Awww, who am I trying to fool? There was no perhaps to it, comic books won out everytime.). I truly feel that I was destined to, born to, made for, writing comic books and making up stories. No comparison to Michael Jordan, but I feel that I know just how he felt the first time he picked up a basketball. It had to be the same feeling I got when I was four years old and discovered my first comic book. It was meant to be! There was a connection there that was so natural. I’ve always felt that way through the decades of ever changing comic books, it’s been the constant—Write The Story!

Batman #143 My First

Batman #143 My First


In the last five years I have finally experienced what it’s like to have your stories collected by DC Comics. Yes, I have many of my other comic book series and stories collected into trade paperbacks as well as other collections, by other publishers, but what you have to understand is that DC Comics were the first comic books I ever read/owned. Batman #143 was my first. It will always be remembered as my first and the most sentimental comic book memory for me, “Bat-Hound And The Creature.” So how fitting is it that the very first thing of mine that DC Comics ever collected last year was my Batman/Wildcat and Catwoman/Wildcat series! (I co-wrote these with my long-time friend, Chuck Dixon.) From Batman to Batman. I felt all the extra meaning in that when I received my copies in the mail. This was/is a BIG deal for me. That same passion I had as a kid reading Batman #143 is still in my much older body as I hold Batman/Wildcat in my hands. That’s so SPECIAL!

Green Lantern: Kyle Rayner Volume 2

Green Lantern: Kyle Rayner Volume 2


Recently in the new Diamond Previews as well as the Westfield Catalog and web site, DC Comics announced that, to my surprise, they are collecting a couple of issues, #27 and #28, of Guy Gardner: Warrior in the new trade paperback Green Lantern: Kyle Rayner Volume 2 . I was stoked when I saw this and immediately called some close retailer friends of mine to tell them. My two and a half year run of Guy Gardner: Warrior was a VERY special time for me. I got to reinvent the Guy Gardner character, but the biggest thrill of all was getting to use and place words in the mouths of some of the most iconic DC Comics characters ever—Wonder Woman, Batman, Superman, Hawkman, Wildcat, The Metal Men, Tiger-Man, and so many more. I will not lie or sugar coat any of this, this was and IS a HUGE thrill for me. In over thirty years of writing and creating comic books and over fifty years of reading them, I have NEVER lost my passion for the craft, the format, and the characters. In fact, I am more passionate today in 2018 than I was as a kid in 1960. I am blessed.

Guy Gardner Warrior #27 Art by Mitch Byrd & Dan Davis

Guy Gardner Warrior #27 Art by Mitch Byrd & Dan Davis


Just as DC Comics were the very first comics that I read, Marvel Comics became the first comic books that truly spoke to me as a reader. I discovered Marvel Comic as a very young kid, but they were hard to find in my area. I picked up Amazing Fantasy #15, Hulk #1, Avengers #1, and Fantastic Four #5, but it wasn’t until in a stoke of Drug Store luck that I found a spinner rack that had Daredevil #15, #16 and #17 all in the same wire holder. I bought all three and my comic book reading life was changed forever. These comic books and Stan Lee’s words in the Bullpen page, spoke to me. They hit a chord in me that needed to be hit. Stan Lee invited me into the clubhouse and I walked in and never left. I discovered who actually drew the comic books, something I didn’t always know with other comics. John Romita Sr. and Don Heck became my art heroes. I am so fortunate that later in life , as I began to work in comics, that Don Heck became a personal friend of mine, as did so many other artists and writers that I admired. They not only spoke to me like comics, but they knew of what I spoke about as well. What a gift!

But the gift giving isn’t over yet. I still haven’t gotten the last jewel for my crown. I stil haven’t written a Marvel Comic book.

The Sub-Mariner. High On My Marvel Wish List.

The Sub-Mariner. High On My Marvel Wish List.


You’d think after thirty years, knowing just about everyone in comic books, having written hundreds of comic books, and being a part of everything inbetween, that this achievement would’ve been taken care of years ago. Nope. Not yet. Key word being Yet.

Yes, I have submitted pitches. I have even come close to begging, but the time, the place, and the right people haven’t been there yet….YET.

Wolverine Vs. Shi. Art by Billy Tucci

Wolverine Vs. Shi. Art by Billy Tucci


It is true that I have written a Marvel character—Wolverine. I did a one-shot Battle Book drawn and published by Crusade Fine Arts/Billy Tucci a decade or so back, but let’s be honest, that was not a full-fledged Marvel Comic book. My personal dream has always been to write The Sub-Mariner, Skull The Slayer, Ka-Zar, Modock, Sgt, Fury and His Howling Commandos, Captain Savage And His Leatherneck Raiders, Red Wolf, The Juggernaught & Rhino, and of course Daredevil. To be honest, I would love to write any Marvel Comics character. I’m not gonna play coy here, I’ve been in this business too long to fool with that. Let the new guys play that game. I love comics and there’s not a character in the whole universe that I wouldn’t love to dance with at the comic book prom.

Modoc-Another on My Marvel Wish List.

Modoc-Another on My Marvel Wish List.


Are the odds that I’ll get to write any Marvel Comics very good? I guess 50/50 at best, but ya know what? There are a lot of things that have happened in the last five years that I never thought would have happened…the best is yet to come. I have to believe that.

I just wanted to take this week’s column and share some of my thoughts with you. You may have the same dreams and goals. If ya do, then know that they just may happen. I hope yours happen faster than mine, but if they don’t, hang in there. I did and continue to.

Your amigo,

Beau Smith

The Flying Fist Ranch

@BeauSmithRanch at Twitter and Instagram

 

USER COMMENTS3 Responses

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  1. Chuck Says:

    Considering that Marvel seems to gather its writing staff from TV and movie writers, you’d think they’d jump at the chance to work with the creator of the Sy-Fy hit show “Wynonna Earp!” (Well, if they had any sense.)

  2. Joe Tages Says:

    I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again: You did keep Wildcat safe for the fans at a time when DC was purging its rich stable of Golden Age characters. Much like Bob Haney had done in the 70s, you brought Wildcat into the Batman Family and kept him relevant. I got to read your Batman/Wildcat mini when it first came out and I got the trade collection last year. Thanks to you, Wildcat made it to our TV screens voiced by the late, great, Dennis Farina. I look forward to seeing your name on a Marvel comic so that you can work that same magic on the character of your choice, be it a major one or a cult favorite. I’m sure you’ll do it justice,

    (You remember the gaffer and cameramen on The Rat Patrol and The Wild Wild West? That’s awesome. I was the same with Combat!)

    Your compadre,

    Joe

  3. Jim Burdo Says:

    Tell Marvel about being the “Emperor Of Estrogen” but not a SJW. Do you think you could redeem America Chavez?