JayJay here. Jim, co-writer J.C. Vaughn and Billy Tucci (in his own car) went on a signing tour of three comic book stores for the Free Comic Book Day event. Our friend John organized the tour and got a limo to drive us. A few friends came along to video and hang out. Here are a few of Jim’s anecdotes.
Greg, I wonder how many people are sending Priest links to this blog!
Between CP's edit of "Claremont" for 'Frank Miller' and JRJR's edit of "Naomie" for "Chloe" on the 'Forget Paris' post, I imagine Gary Groth et al are already preparing 'Shooter caught in LIES!!' posts…
Thanks for that, GM – I was curious if CP looked at this blog or had stuff to add. The supplementary reflections in the comments are some of my favorite parts to this blog.
Whoops, sorry — I spoke to Jim, meaning Christopher James Priest, formerly James Owsley, not Jim Shooter.
Jim v. Jim in a battle royale, and only one walks away with the name
I spoke to Jim, and he said:
[OK to circulate s you see fit]
This is a true story, but Jim is confusing the events. The event Jim is recalling is not when I met Frank Miller but when I met Chris Claremont. The quote is accurate, Claremont saying, "Hello, Shit For Brains." Jim also left out the part about my hugging Claremont. I was a huge fan. And, yes, I was on roller skates.
By the time Frank came anywhere near to being FRANK, I was no longer an intern.
I met Frank Miller when he was "Who is this guy?" drawing, I think, back-up stories for Denny O'Neil and, of course, later as he became the artist on Daredevil. Denny's office was directly across the hall from Larry Hama's where I worked as Larry's assistant.
I was not an intern at that time but was Larry's assistant. Larry and Denny were very close and, for awhile, Frank became kind of a staple in Denny's orbit. I do not claim to know him, but I did meet him several times and accompanied Frank and Denny on one of their treks to see cheesy martial arts films.
Memory is extremely selective as different people interpret events in different ways.
Please note new domain name: digitalpriest.com (no hyphen)
I bet lots of characters in comics are based on staffers and other industry hang-arounds! Would be cool if someone made a detailed list sometime… 🙂
"Jim's story about Jim Owsley reminds me of what a great guy he was. I enjoyed working with him when he was an editor at Marvel so much. He was so open and enthusiastic and fun. Really a pleasure to be around and to work for. We fell out of touch over the years, which is a shame. "
I've read some of what he's written about those days, and it's obvious he really holds Jim in high esteem. Just curious Jim, have you ever read this account of Jim Owsley's time as Spider-Man editor? Does it match your recollections?
It was probably Mike. I don't really know him, but he seemed very pleasant.
That's fascinating trivia. I certainly see the resemblance betwen JayJay and Josie. Transformers was one of the first Marvel comics I ever bought so I remember Circuit Breaker very fondly.
If you happen to be a fan of Marvel Transformers continuity, I urge you to sign the petition for IDW Publishing to restart the series from #81 with Simon Furman. It can be found at
Andrew Wildman is 100% on board drawing the original Transformers title once more so hopefully it gets green lit soon. At the moment, there are 2334 signatures and Chris Ryall has promised it will be published if the petition obtains 10,000 names or pre-orders.
I thought Circuit Breaker was the best of the comics-only Transformers characters. Now I know the reason why! LOL. Did you know Jim put you, er, her into Secret Wars II #3, a month before the character appeared in Transformers?
Was Mike Manley the artist who drew you? He drew the cover and the interior of the first Circuit Breaker issue of Transformers.
It is mere coincidence that I am wearing black in that photo. I wore colors sometimes!
Ooo! Now I have an anecdote! I was sitting at my desk in the Marvel bullpen one day when an artist came over and said Bob Budiansky told him to come and draw me. Knowing better than to ask questions, I carried on with my work while the guy sketched me and a month or so later Bob showed me a page of Transformers where they had used me as reference to create a character called Circuit Breaker. But I don't think I influenced Rogue… that I know of.
Here's the hairstyle that inspired Circuit Breaker:
I suppose the obvious question to ask here is did JayJay's '80s hairstyle perhaps influence Chris Claremont and Michael Golden to use it for Rogue? She first appeared in Avengers Annual #10 ("By Friends – Betrayed") which hit the stands on August 4th, 1981 so it sounds possible.
Jim's story about Jim Owsley reminds me of what a great guy he was. I enjoyed working with him when he was an editor at Marvel so much. He was so open and enthusiastic and fun. Really a pleasure to be around and to work for. We fell out of touch over the years, which is a shame.
I remember the issue where the nose appeared.
When Marvel Vision was launched in 1996, it included a recurring article called "Marvel's Silliest Moments". In issue 6, Barry Dutter focused on Iron Man's facial protrusion and the reaction fans had towards it. At the end, Barry wrote "Guess you could say that was one nose Tony never should have picked!" 🙂
By the way, my S.O. Freddy went along and shot these videos and asked Jim the questions.
I had a great time working at Marvel. It was a fun time. I've always gotten along well with Jim and it seemed to me like most people back then did. We all hung out and had fun. Even John Byrne. Jim and I were invited to his housewarming party when he bought the Singer family Civil War mansion in Connecticut. It was a great day and it seemed like everyone enjoyed it.
Other than a couple of Marvel editors who were unpleasant in various ways it seemed like we all got along pretty well. Now it seems like it's all been retconned by some folks to be like "We always hated that guy." I guess maybe because negative comments draw the most attention.
But Jim and I both made friendships with people we worked with at Marvel (and our other companies) that will last a lifetime. I'm looking at you James Fry! (Who I just got off the phone with. lol.) 😀
JayJay, it is so nice to hear the camaraderie between you and Jim. I interacted briefly with both Marvel, Valiant, and Broadway back during those days and I was never left feeling that Jim's years at the helm of those companies was anything but sincere and dedicated. I now know it was because of people, such as yourself. Thanks.