your source for everything titans

NTT #1: “You Can Come Home Again”

You Can Come Home Again
A flashback lettercol from New Teen Titans #1

It’s true! Despite everything you’ve ever read, you can. I know. I have!

A brief history. At 6:00 on a Monday evening sometime in 1951 I saw my first episode of the TV adventures of Superman. By 6:30, I was hooked for life. Cutting ahead now: While In high school I published several amateur comic magazines.

Fanzines If you would. And I met another fan, his name, Len Wein. Len and I became friends, published our magazines together, and eventually decided to break into the professional comic companies together. To this end we wrote and drew the adventures of a humorous super-hero somewhat in the style of PLASTIC MAN. We intended to bring it to Dick Glordano at Charlton Comics (not thinking we were ready for the blg tlme!), but by the time we finished our epic tale. Dick had become an editor at DC. Undaunted, portfolio in hand, we went to DC seeking fame and fortune, only to find that Dick wasn’t in. However, Joe Orlando looked at our samples, said that for artists we were really good writers, and that’s how careers are made,

You can come home again!

Our samples were for a Plastic Man kind of character, Today, Len edits PIas (as well as having written his first two stories), and my first job upon coming back to DC was writing a fill-in Plastic Man story.

You can come home again!

My first job at DC (bought Dec. 1967) was a story for Blackhawk. Upon coming back to DC. one of my first new assignments was a Batman/Blackhawk team-up.

You can come home again!

The first series Len and I worked on back in 1968 was The Teen Titans. Now, Len is editing the new version of the Titans, while I’m writing it. Nostalgia aside, I seem to remember Len and I wanting to write the old Titans. Both of us loved the book and we came in with three new ideas. They were, in order, the first Russian super hero, the first black super hero, end the origin of Wonder Girl. The first story appeared In TEEN TITANS #18. The second ran into some problems, and the third appeared as the beck feature In Issue #22.

After this, I sort of left comics for a year to teach art, and when I returned, it was as an assistant editor for Joe Kubert, then Joe Orlando, later ass story editor for Warren Magazines, and then onto Marvel Comics, where I learned my writing craft and wrote darn near everything over the next eight years.

You can come home again!

I returned to DC after a prolonged absence, only to find my first assignment was a brand new Teen Titans. Well. Len and I huddled together, decided we wanted a new group with new characters. We tossed dozens of ideas around, and between us we came up with the group present in this first issue.

Still, no matter how much potential any new character might have, that potential will remain only potential without the proper artist. And, man, did we find the proper artist in George PĂ©rez.

George is a pro with a capital P. While was editor at Marvel, he drew virtually every super hero group in the company- simultaneously. He was drawing five group books a month, and doing it magnificently. Now he’s trying to outdo that record by drawing the top super-hero groups at both companies: Marvels Avengers, and DC’s Justice League of America and the new Titans.

Len, George. and I got together. We discussed what the characters should look like, and then George went home. When he came back, it was with a batch of absolutely perfect character designs. So perfect that there wasn’t the slightest change in any of the costumes, a feat that is almost unheard of. Usually, we professional comic busy-bodies (especially a writer and an editor who are both artistically inclined) like to make constant changes here and there when an artist brings in the designs on a new character. We didn’t have to do anything to George’s drawings except xerox them immediately. As I said, they were perfect.

We immediately sat down to create the book, the feel, and the look we wanted I designed Titans Tower-seen in our special DC Presents preview. George came up with the design for Raven’s astral projection, plus the look of her hood (we knew we wanted a hood – George give It the bird feel which has made Raven one of my favorite Titans),We fiddled about, talked things over, then came up with the story you see here. After we completed the origin tale. Jenette Kahn (our moat lovely and talented publisher) approached us with the idea of doing a special preview story. We created the ‘dream story approach so as not to take away from this Issue’s ‘first meeting’, and since it was always my intention to hey Raven plant that dream into Robin’s mind anyway, the Titans’ special simply allowed me to elaborate on what I had considered a neat gimmick.

And so, we have a new book, a book Len, George, and I enjoy producing, and a book we hope you will enjoy reading. Launching a new comic these days is incredibly hard. We hope if you like what you see, you’ll tell others so check us out, and hopefully, word of mouth will make this new Titans book a successful and long running meg. For our pert we promise to do our best, to delve into our characters, to make them as real as we possibly can, to create stories that will keep you on the edge of your seats, stories that will grip you, thrill you, end entertain you. We’re out to make this the greatest comic map published anywhere, and that is where you come in.

If you like what we’re doing, please tell us. But tell us what you like and why you like it. If you don’t like something, help us make things better. Let’s be honest, if you don’t like the mag, you won’t buy it. And if you don’t buy it, that’s all she wrote You’re the ones in charge, you’re our real bosses, so let us know where we went wrong and whet you’d like to see to make the Titans a book we’ll all be proud to read. We’ll listen, believe us.

In the meantime, thanks for letting me come home again. It’s good to be back.

 


End of titanstower.com transmission. About this author:  Bill Walko is an author and artist and the man behind titanstower.com. He's been reading and drawing comics since he was 5 years old and hasn't stopped since. Read more from this author