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Friday May 20, 2011 10:37 am

Steve Englehart: The Plain Man

Plain ManSummer's coming up and you know who's got a new book coming out? My old Ultraverse pal Steve Englehart, who's perhaps best known in comics for acclaimed runs on Batman, The Avengers, Captain America and dozens of other titles.

Years ago, he wrote a book called The Point Man. It was reprinted in 2010 by Tor Books and quickly followed by the sequel later that year called The Long Man.

He's got a new one coming out called The Plain Man – and the growing line is now called the Timeless Series - and it ships next month, June 21. There's a follow-up book already in the hopper called The Arena Man, so there appear to be plenty of stories left to tell.

Bonus for comic book fans, in The Plain Man Steve's bringing in some of his creator-owned characters, Coyote and Scorpio Rose to name just two, to join in the action. And they won't be the only ones popping up either.

Says Steve: "I created those guys and control them, unlike all the work-for-hire guys I created or re-created, so there’s no reason they have to atrophy now that I'm somewhere else. And because I'm outside any comics universe, I felt free to expand upon them as they moved to the big stage. They're the same characters, yet more fully explored than I was ever able to do with a limited page count. I plan on doing the same with others of my guys as this series unfolds."

For fans of his comics: "The structure of the story-telling is so different that I have to use different muscles, and I want to use different muscles, but I'm the same guy as I always was, and I tell my stories the way I tell them because that works for me."

On his comic book days: "When I was doing four series a month, I was running four different storylines simultaneously, but each had to stand alone. In the Timeless series, I'm essentially running twelve or more storylines and they all fit together to make one giant storyline. It's like getting a couple year's worth of all my comics all at once."

On The Plain Man: "An unfolding series is one of the particular charms of The Plain Man. A year and a half has passed since The Long Man, and Pam has moved forward on her path to becoming Timeless, and in her relationship with Max. But it's been just the two of them for almost all that time, so the introduction of another couple — a very bizarre couple, actually — changes things up quite a bit."

All quotes are pulled from Steve's somewhat-irregular email newsletter, which you can sign up for at his website.

If you'd like a chance to interact with Steve, ask him some questions and get some books signed, he'll be at the Texas ComiCon in San Antonio on June 24-26. Then he'll hop over to Miami for the Florida Supercon on July 1-3. If you're in the San Francisco area, he'll also be doing local bookstore appearances, so check with your favorite store and/or local listings.

Last year, Steve was a guest blogger at Tor's website and he wrote a bunch of fun installments about writing, comics, movies and more. You can start with the first one and work your way forward.

[Artwork: The Plain Man by Steve Englehart]



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