I don’t actually
believe in biographies. I think each of us is the record of our own experience
– a living story, still in progress, possible to interact with and even
influence, but impossible to encapsulate with any veracity. There is far
too much subtext in the human life, far too much written between the lines.
Still, we like
to know about one another, and
we’ve decided on conventional formats for this: we tell each other where
we were born, where we grew up, where we went to school, what we do in
the world to support ourselves… I suppose we’re trying to offer points
of reference, but the point of reference is already established the minute
we begin the conversation; we’re human, and we thrive on communication.
whatever it’s worth, I was born in New Haven, Connecticut (hippie communal
farmstead, father finishing up doctoral work at Yale, fish tank I watched
for hours on end), but moved across the country (divorce, the appearance
of a step-father, an early sense of expansive American geography) to Northern
California before I was two. My mother lived in Berkeley, my father lived
in Oakland, and I went back and forth between their houses and their lives
(fear of transitions, boasting two of everything, learning that rules and
expectations were unstable and also how to manipulate said fact), eventually
deciding (go figure) that I wanted to be an actress.
this very seriously until college, studying at ACT, The Drama Studio London
at Berkeley, The Julia Morgan Bay Area Youth Theater Co, Camp Cazedero,
The Berkeley Shakespeare Festival, Jean Shelton’s, and, when I lost the
ability to attend Berkeley High due to a district move on my mother’s part,
SOTA, the San Francisco School of the Arts. I mention this because I later
discovered that many writers – particularly in comics – have also had experience
with the theater, and I’ve come to view those exercises in character motivation
and scene beats an invaluable part of my training as a writer, maybe even
more so than the trunks full of journals and notebooks I began keeping
from the age of eleven on.
from high school early and began attending a local community college. It
was there that I first decided to hang up my comedy and tragedy masks in
favor of wielding the mighty pen (I wish I could say I came to this conclusion
in the midst of a fiction class, but, oh well…cheating on sociology papers
will have to do). I found out that novelist Mona Simpson was teaching at
Bard College in upstate New York (completely unaware, at the time, that
there even were X-Men,
let alone that they, too, schooled at Annandale-on-Hudson) and four days
after interviewing with a local alumni, was standing in the middle of Grand
Central Station, ecstatically working my way North.
college in the middle of a recession, and ended up heading back to California,
frustrated and unsure of how best to continue pursuing my dreams. With
a generous and well-timed gift from my step-mom, I was able to rent an
apartment in San Francisco with my girlfriend at the time, Alyssa. I found
a fairly normal nine-to-five job in the Research Division of a large HMO
while Alyssa worked in retail and stayed on my ass about finishing the
novel I’d started writing in college. I began taking graduate writing classes
at the University of California at Berkeley (most notably with novelist
Brian Bouldrey, who has earned my eternal gratitude with his unflagging
support and friendship), but being a creature of my age, it was, of course,
television that changed my life.
this part of the story many times now, but the gist of it is that Alyssa
and I were channel surfing one day when we caught an episode of the then
brand-new Batman: The Animated Series. It was love at first sight for both
of us, Alyssa immediately calling Warner Brothers stores to amass the finest
collection going of shirtless Bruce Wayne cels, and me running down to
a comic shop manned by a dear friend of mine to ask what he could tell
me about Robin.
lots to tell me (“which Robin? What do you MEAN, which Robin? How many
Robins ARE there?” – “oh, boy. Sit down…”), and it only took a few minutes
to hook me irrevocably on the fresh and fascinating medium of comics. I
had never read a single comic before that day, but I left Comics and Comix
that afternoon with a backpack full of Moore, Miller, and Gaiman, Scott
McCloud’s Understanding Comics already open in my right hand, and the Art
Thibert Nightwing poster rolled under my left arm.
And on the
way home, I was hit by a cable car.
really, but that would have been nearly as cool as what actually happened,
which is that, after rather boldly (one could argue naively) establishing
contact with the Bat-Office in New York via free work email and faxes (hey,
that’s what day jobs are for!), and studying more about the medium under
the two-year, long-distance tutelage of Scott Peterson, Darren Vincenzo,
Jordan Gorfinkel, and Denny O’Neil, Darren offered me the chance to write
a ten-page story for the Bat-office. I broke in to the industry (odd
phrase, that) in 1997 with “Like Riding a Bike,” in The Batman Chronicles
#7. That led to a Batman Plus special with Arsenal, the Catwoman and Nightwing
annuals for that year, and then a position as the monthly series writer
for Catwoman at DC.
I quit my
day job rather impetuously, and eventually even moved out to New York where
I spent four great years working on projects like Relative Heroes, a six-part
creator-owned limited series recounting the adventures of an original group
of teen heroes called The Weinbergs; USER, a three-part, prestige format,
creator-owned Vertigo miniseries about identity issues and online role-playing;
a two-year run on The Titans; several miniseries (including Nightwing/
Huntress and Arsenal for DC and Black Widow for Marvel Knights) and contributions
to the acclaimed No Man’s Land arc in the Batman books. I was lucky
enough to have my work profiled in mainstream media such as USA Today,
Working Woman, and Entertainment Weekly and also in alternative press such
as The Village Voice, The Advocate, and Curve, which brought me great pleasure.
More recently, I’ve
moved back to Northern California, where I completed a Ghost Rider miniseries
for Marvel and a two-year-plus run on Batman: Gotham Knights. Currently,
I’m thrilled to find myself working on X-Men: Evolution, the Marvel comic
book based on the hit TV series; Matador, a creator-owned project with
brilliant artist and all around prince Brian Stelfreeze due out from Wildstorm
later this year; and, also, this little monthly title called Nightwing
for the DC Bat-office (which Robin, my ass…).
live with three friends, one brilliant nineteen-month-old little girl,
one dog, two cats (one of which is mine), two tree frogs (also mine), one
fire-bellied newt, three fish, and, more often than not, a bucketful of
crickets ready to give their lives to the cause of the amphibian tank.
I love role playing games, spicy food, and damn near anything Japanese,
and like to consider my bisexual, bi-coastal, comic-book-writing, role-playing,
vegetarian, Buddhism practicing, cosmogony studying, 460-thread-count sheet
addicted, music-loving, botany-obsessed self a fairly typical representative
of my utterly unpredictable generation.
not least, if you’re really smart and you skipped over ninety-percent of
the ridiculously copious text on this page to see if there’re any good
links down here or anything, I’ll reward you by clarifying the moral of
the story above: learn anything anyone is willing to teach you, always
have people around who love and support you, and, most importantly, watch
lots of TV.