So this is the story of how I accidentally wrote the hottest comic of 2020.
In 2013, Dark Horse Comics published my first Star Wars comic, Star Wars: The Clone Wars – Defenders of the Lost Temple. It features incredible art by Ben Bates (my original S.H.O.O.T. First collaborator) and colors by Michael Atiyah, plus a badass cover by Mike Hawthorne.
Shortly after the publication of this book and my second Clone Wars graphic novel, The Smuggler’s Code, Disney bought Star Wars, Marvel got the license from Dark Horse and everything I wrote became “Legends.” As a result of the license changing hands, the books went out of print and they’re now virtually impossible to find.
And that’s a damn shame, because I love Defenders. It’s the only work of mine, to my knowledge, that has spawned Tumblr fandom and fan art. I’ve seen tweets from people saying the book saved their lives. My editor, the esteemed Dave Marshall, said that it had heart, and that’s the thing I love about it and that I think people connect to. I just wish it were easier to find to connect to it!
Aside from a cast of quirky Clone Troopers and a couple of Jedi, the main antagonists to the story are the Mandalorians known as the Death Watch. I’d seen them on the Clone Wars cartoon and thought they looked cool and would make a good foil for my characters. I always knew the book would end with a Clone Trooper wielding a lightsaber. Why not have him face off against a Mandalorian wielding a Darksaber? Made perfect sense to me!
You probably see where this is headed. In late 2020, Death Watch made the leap to live action when Katie Sackhoff portrayed Bo-Katan on The Mandalorian. Suddenly, everyone was Bo-Katan and Darksaber crazy! Only, it turned out that somehow I was the very first person to use them in a comic. Suddenly, the comic was getting recognition as the first comics appearance of Bo-Katan and the Darksaber (or, if you’re Bleeding Cool, as the first appearance in any medium, which would be a neat trick since I watched the cartoons when I was writing it). Copies of the book were selling for $1,000!
Unfortunately, I’m not sitting on a big crate of copies, so I didn’t see any money from having the hottest comic in the world. And it doesn’t help more people read it because…you can’t. But I did hear from one or two people who realized the book was in their local library system and checked it out after all the hoopla. Libraries are the best.
So if you’re reading this and you haven’t checked out Defenders of the Lost Temple, check your local library and see if they have it in circulation. Don’t try to sell it, though. It’s for the readers to enjoy!