04/27/03: X-Men Creator, by MaxxDamage

I found this on a web site for a local radio program. They broadcast on the internet too. Their web site is clydelewis.com but can also be heard at zeropointradio.com. It airs at 8pm PST.

This Sunday Ground Zero is proud to welcome back author Chris Claremont. Chris appeared on Ground Zero in 1995 and he gave us the inside story of characters that have now become a part of the mainstream Lexicon. Gone are the days where Professor X, Storm, and Wolverine are mentioned only by comic book geeks. Chris has encountered more success than most writers ever dream of. He wrote Marvel Comics' The Uncanny X-Men for over 17 years; during that time, he sold well over 100 million comic books.

To date, his world-wide total sales are over a billion copies. In August, 1991, the launch of a new series X-Men had first issue sales in excess of 7.6 million copies -- of a print run of better than eight million -- thereby making it the best-selling single-issue comic book in the history of the medium. Chris is the co-creator of several top-selling comic book series for Marvel, including Excalibur, Wolverine and the New Mutants. The characters and stories he created during his run on X-Men, as well as the sales on that title, are responsible for making the “X”-canon of books the keystone of the current Marvel line. After leaving Marvel in 1991, Chris wrote the Star Trek 25th Anniversary graphic novel, “Debt of Honor”, for DC Comics, as well as a four-issue prestige format limited series Elseworlds story starring Superman and Wonder Woman, entitled “Whom Gods destroy”.

Primarily, however, he’s focused on creator-owned work. In the past, that included the historical dark fantasy graphic novels, Marada the She-Wolf and Marada: Wizard’s Masque, and the six-issue limited series, The Black Dragon. All were collaborations with award-winning British artist John Bolton and were published by Marvel’s Epic Comics imprint.

In May, 1995, DC launched Sovereign Seven, the first super- hero series since William Moulton Marston’s Wonder Woman to be creator-owned yet fully integrated into and interactive with the mainstream DC Universe.

The summer of 1995 saw the conclusion of Chris’s twelve- part limited series for Dark Horse, Alien / Predator: The Deadliest of the Species. The protagonist of this riveting storyline -- with superlative art by Eduardo Baretto -- is Ash Parnall, a.k.a. Renegade, a character created and owned by Chris.

Besides his success in comics, Chris has a burgeoning career as a novelist. FirstFlight (Berkley / Ace), Chris’s science fiction novel of a young woman astronaut in the 21st century, is in its ninth printing, and has been continuously in print since its publication in December 1987. Two sequels, Grounded (1991) and Sundowner (1994) were also released from Berkley / Ace and are also in multiple printings.

In November 1994, Bantam Books published Dragon Moon, a dark fantasy novel by Chris and his wife, Beth Fleisher. The book, a thematic sequel to the Black Dragon, also contains interior paintings and line art illustrations by John Bolton. It was released as both a trade paperback and a limited edition hardcover. In the spring of 1996, Dark Horse Comics reprinted -- for the first time anywhere -- a trade paperback compilation of the original series, which was then followed by a deluxe hardcover limited edition. In 1998, Chris and John Bolton were awarded a Haxtur Award for their collaboration on the Black Dragon, by the Salon Internacional Del Comic Del Principado De Asturias in Gijon, Spain.

August 1995 saw the publication in hardcover of Shadow Moon, the first volume of a dark fantasy trilogy, The Saga of the Shadow War, also for Bantam, and written in collaboration with George Lucas, world-renowned creator of the Star Wars and Indiana Jones movies. It was released in paperback in the summer of 1996, along with the hardcover edition of the second novel in the series, Shadow Dawn. The concluding volume of the trilogy, Shadow Star, was published in hardcover by Bantam in November 1999, followed by the paperback edition in October 2000.

Chris returned to Marvel in the Fall of 1997 to assume the position of Vice President / Editorial Director, with oversight responsibilities for the entire Marvel Comics line as well as related properties, an executive position which he held until September, 2000, when he returned to freelancing.

In March 2000, with issue #100 of the new series, Chris returned to the titles he is best associated with, assuming once more writing responsibilities for the core titles of the X-Men Canon, X-Men and Uncanny X-Men. The summer of 2000 saw the release of X-Men, a full-length feature film from 20th-Century Fox. Largely based on material created by Chris, X-Men was a major success both domestically and abroad, with worldwide box office grosses in excess of $250 million, making it one of the top films of the year. A sequel is scheduled for release in 2003.

Chris has written the novelization of X2, the sequel to the movie X-Men, for Ballantine / Del Rey Books—You can win your own copy of the book by calling in and asking a good question of Chris this Sunday on Ground Zero.


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