Michael Davis is an artist, writer, mentor, storyteller, entertainment executive, co-founder of Milestone Comics, co-creator of Static Shock, Hardware, Icon, and Blood Syndicate, and creator and host of San Diego Comic-Con's The Black Panel. He writes From The Edge for Bleeding Cool and ComicMix. This week, his essay on the late John Paul Leon ran in Batman/Catwoman Special #1, by Tom King and John Paul Leon, the first work of Davis that DC Comics has published in decades. In the light of this, Davis posted to his MD world page Facebook (which he has hardly used over the past decade) under the title "Michael Davis John Paul Leon's Last Gift."
From time to time, John Paul would send me a little something. A quick 'how ya doing' email, an update on a project or question. These would be spaced years apart but always felt like no time had passed. Showing up right around the time I'd written something that lacked my trademark humor. There was a time when 70% of what I wrote would be hilarious. Well, I thought so.
John commented once that my stuff bore a much darker tone than usual. It most certainly did. Man, I look at some of the things I wrote during that period and cringe. I was not in a good place, and my work reflected that.
He was concerned, and I was grateful for that. Unfortunately, my funk did not diminish for years, but I did notice that I was writing stuff better left for my tell-all book. That's not all a joke, just partly. What John and Jason Medley made me realize is I should step back from as much dark stuff as possible. So I stopped writing. You did notice the vast gaps in time for my 'weekly' Bleeding Cool and Comicmix columns, right? You did notice, didn't you? I know I did. I did not miss me either.
For the rest of my days, I will miss those little email or phone gifts from JP, that I know. John's last gift was something I had wanted for decades but was unable or unwilling to get for myself. I am officially working with DC Comics again. I know it sounds nuts, but it's true.
They finally admitted I was the most essential creator to ever grace their halls. Jim Lee called and begged me to help him run things, and…then I woke up. Seriously, I am working with DC again, and a John Paul Leon story was my first project since coming back. I owed John a chuckle, so the whole 'Jim Lee begged me thing' was for him. Although I don't think that's entirely far-fetched. I mean, why not? With that dream fresh in his head, Michael woke momentarily then returned to sleep, hoping his next dream would be writing and drawing Batman as his next DC project.
Thanks, JPL I'll try and not piss anyone off.
Batman/Catwoman Special #1 was published this week from DC Comics.
BATMAN CATWOMAN SPECIAL #1 (ONE SHOT)
Written by Tom King and others Art by John Paul Leon, Tommy Lee Edwards, Bernard Chang, Mitch Gerads and others Some great romances are destined to be. The Batman/Catwoman series shows readers the romance between Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle as it changed over their lives, but what about their connections from before they became costumed adventurers? This special, meticulously illustrated one-off issue by John Paul Leon (Batman: Creature of the Night) traces the life of Selina Kyle from its earliest days to her entry into the criminal underworld, and reveals that Bruce was actually a presence in her life all along. Whether fate or coincidence, this story gives even more reasons why Selina and Bruce's connection is one of the most enduring love affairs in comics. Now expanded to celebrate the legacy of iconic artist John Paul Leon, whose untimely passing after a long battle with cancer shocked the comics world, this special will feature his work completed for the original story and tributes created in his name by some of his closest friends and admirers.
In Shops: 1/25/2022