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Submitted on
March 18, 2008
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Old LIVEWIRES layout page by AdamWarren Old LIVEWIRES layout page by AdamWarren
Here's a bit of an oddity: I'm posting a low-res scan of a layout page from LIVEWIRES, the ill-fated and low-selling miniseries I wrote (and occasionally drew) for Marvel back in 2004/05. You may be asking, why do this now?

Answer #1: Because my editor on LIVEWIRES, Tom Brevoort, recently posted a very interesting piece about the miniseries on his blog at [link]

He details the somewhat bizarre process by which the project came about, and has some kind words to say about the doomed title. Sadly, he’s very much on-target about the fact that each issue was, for all intents and purposes, written and drawn TWICE. Ouch. Anyhoo, if you liked LIVEWIRES, be sure and check out the piece, as one almost never hears about such projects from the editor’s point of view.... which is one of several reasons why Tom’s fascinating blog entries are always worth a gander, even when the subject unaccountably fails to be my own work. (Yes, that was a joke, kids. I’m not quite THAT self-absorbed, I’m happy to say.)

Also, you can see that Marvel might well have wanted to continue LIVEWIRES, but the title’s sales figures were just so brutally low that this wasn’t really an option... and the wee, digest-sized trade paperback collection of the miniseries* failed to sell well enough on its own to warrant a continuation of the project (also known colloquially as “ pulling a RUNAWAYS,” as that book’s strong TPB sales managed to keep the title afloat until its individual-issue sales stabilized at viable levels). In fairness, the title was part of a whole LINE of new “Marvel Next” comics that tanked simultaneously... with the notable exception being the book that introduced X-23, the cloned “female teen Wolverine” who went on to bigger and better things elsewhere.

Anyhoo, for more of the LIVEWIRES experience, check out the various covers [link] and design pages [link] scattered throughout my DA gallery. Also, if you wanna read the actual book, (or possibly your local comics store?) does carry the collection at a reasonable price (only $7.99!)...

Answer #2: This particular layout page, from issue #2 of the LIVEWIRES miniseries, features the humanform combat mecha “Social Butterfly” altering her appearance to suit the tastes of a targeted scientist. After drawing the resulting, very long-haired version of “Social” throughout the issue (and on the issue’s cover as well), I said to myself, “Y’know, I really like this particular hairstyle a lot... Hmm.” Thus, two weeks later, while waiting for cover approval from Marvel over the weekend of July 4th, 2004, I incorporated said look into the character design for a bunch of commissioned “damsel in distress” sketches I was hastily finishing up... and, lo and behold, the future title character from EMPOWERED** was born! Huzzah!

*Note that, in my humble opinion, the LIVEWIRES trade-paperback collection should’ve been titled “LIVEWIRES: SEE THESE EYES SO RED” instead of “LIVEWIRES: CLOCKWORK THUGS, YO!” (both of which were individual-issue titles, BTW). Alas, I forgot to say anything to Marvel about this before the collection was solicited under the latter title... Not that this made any difference with the TPB’s sales, of course. And yep, in case you’re wondering, “SEE THESE EYES SO RED” is indeed a reference to lyrics from Bowie’s “Theme from CAT PEOPLE (Putting Out Fire),” which was a big influence (for reasons not easily explained) when I was creating the concept of the Livewires. Note also that the final issue’s title quotes the next line in the song, “RED LIKE JUNGLE BURNING BRIGHT”..

**EMPOWERED being my “sexy superhero comedy” published by Dark Horse Comics, of course. Volumes 1 through 3 are, at least in theory, available at your local comics retailer or bookstore...
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Evil-Urd Featured By Owner Mar 5, 2011
I just bought the whole series (my local shop had all! o.o) I really loved and I am really sorry I wasn't there for the series when they really needed the readers -.-
AMAZINGAMEZIANE Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2010  Professional Digital Artist
shame LIVEWIRES didn't take, the story & art (yours ans RICK's) was tremedous.
tonic and fluid. but TOM B. explain it a little... "no famous characters"... ach.

still a very good read.
MuffinMachine Featured By Owner May 6, 2009
I randomly bought an issue of this and wound up getting them all. I had no idea what I was even buying, it was just there and I liked the cover. I remember really vividly enjoying the books, i felt very taken along. Basically it was exciting to read. Anyway whatever thanks for posting this, your pencils are something else.
SherbertTCat Featured By Owner Sep 28, 2008  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I loved that comic mini-series, I wish that they would let you make a follow up!
CyberSkull Featured By Owner Aug 7, 2008
I :love: LIVEWIRES! I got all 6 issues and then the book.
daneiki Featured By Owner Aug 2, 2008
Honestly, I was rather surprised to hear it sold so badly. It was like a modern take on Blade Runner, but with a much better story flow. And, of course, a team member for nearly every widespread fetish. No accounting for taste, I guess. Still, Emp is my favorite, so it's an ill wind...
ocean-raven Featured By Owner Jul 18, 2008
I bought this a few days ago and I LOVED it, weird it didnt sell much, eh.
DamonDaSaru Featured By Owner Jun 28, 2008
Hmm..I wonder what Social Butterfly would do if said scientist taste is of the ""male beefcake" variety..LOL.
LazarusReturns Featured By Owner May 11, 2008
I don't think Livewires was ever really promoted. I didn't hear anything about it. But since I go to my comic store weekly for the most part, I saw it on the new comics shelf and was able to snap it up. It was a lot of fun.

Also, as someone else mentioned, I think your run with Ed Benes on Gen13 was the high point of that book. Lobdell made me groan and scream, and I actually gave up the book even though I love Benes' art. I heard you took it over about a year after you had, and scrambled to get all the back issues I missed, but in the end I did. When they canceled the book I was crushed.


Plus, I like the big lips on your manga gals. Some people just have no taste!
Nico6688 Featured By Owner May 7, 2008
LOL. Almost every man's fantasy.
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