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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 Marvel.com: [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, Amazon.com (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...
Add a Comment:
 
:iconevil-urd:
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 -.-
Reply
:iconamazingameziane:
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.
Reply
:iconmuffinmachine:
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.
Reply
:iconsherberttcat:
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!
Reply
:iconcyberskull:
CyberSkull Featured By Owner Aug 7, 2008
I :love: LIVEWIRES! I got all 6 issues and then the book.
Reply
:icondaneiki:
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...
Reply
:iconocean-raven:
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.
Reply
:icondamondasaru:
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.
Reply
:iconlazarusreturns:
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.

WHY?!?!?!?!?!

Plus, I like the big lips on your manga gals. Some people just have no taste!
Reply
:iconnico6688:
Nico6688 Featured By Owner May 7, 2008  Hobbyist Digital Artist
LOL. Almost every man's fantasy.
Reply
:iconblcdude:
blcdude Featured By Owner May 5, 2008
After seeing this piece and reading the blog, I decided to give Livewires a shot, ordered it from Amazon.com. Really great comic, glad I purchased it, albeit a bit later than I should have. I really enjoyed it.
Reply
:iconbffg:
BFFG Featured By Owner May 1, 2008
I bought this a month or two back and I love it, the characters are so likable and it makes me sad to know that there's not much chance of a continuation. Hope you get a chance to do the sequel you planned.
Reply
:iconjohn-tannius:
John-Tannius Featured By Owner Apr 22, 2008  Professional Traditional Artist
This was probably my favorite work of yours after the Titans elsworld: Rock, paper, scissors and of course the old Dirty Pair books.

Hmmm, Of course you kinda continued livewires with the Iron Man: Hypervelocity at least in reference to the underground AI societies.

What's Up my Mecha!
Reply
:iconfinalsage:
FinalSage Featured By Owner Apr 12, 2008
Heh I actually own this page of livewire I think
Reply
:iconbdubb:
Bdubb Featured By Owner Apr 8, 2008
man I love Livewires and I was sad to see it end. I'm still itching, and waiting.... and praying to see a sequel one day to find out what happened to Stem Cell and Hallowpoint.

A one-shot perhaps to follow up the trade? Hmm, pitch the idea to Marvel man! lol!

Anyways, since we probably wont get to see anymore Livewires from Marvel, any chance any Hallowpoint or GothicLol inspired characters could pop up in Empowered? Heh, those two where my favorite characters in that book...
Reply
:icongalder-gunn:
Galder-Gunn Featured By Owner Apr 5, 2008
That layout is better drawn then some, even many, of the comics I read.
I am going to find and buy the trade paperback.
P.S.
I know it is not drawn by you.
Reply
:icondametaloakblacksmith:
DaMetalOakBlackSmith Featured By Owner Apr 1, 2008
EVEN!!! if livewires didnt sell well it was awesome!!! and all who think diffrently suck....it sits on my comic book shelf as one of my all time favs and i consistantly reffer back to it when drawing!!....and eventually ill post somthing to prove it XD
Reply
:iconpoulscath:
Poulscath Featured By Owner Mar 31, 2008
I got the graphic novel and I loved it. Pretty disappointing to learn there won't be more :(
Reply
:iconchachamaru-kun:
Chachamaru-kun Featured By Owner Mar 24, 2008
I totally remember seeing the cover of Livewires somewhere before, but I don't remember where. Either online or in the comic book store down the street.
Reply
:iconculdesackidz:
culdesackidz Featured By Owner Mar 22, 2008  Professional General Artist
nice panels good set up
Reply
:iconeddyhyde:
EddyHyde Featured By Owner Mar 21, 2008
I loved Livewires. I went as far as driving to Oregon just to get all of the issues. This desperately needs to be continued, if only to find out how everyone dies.
Reply
:iconseato:
seato Featured By Owner Mar 22, 2008
Are robots truly alive?

I missed out on the issues, but at least I got the collected-series anthology. :)

"WANNA SEE MY BABIES?"

Awesome scene. :P
Reply
:iconeddyhyde:
EddyHyde Featured By Owner Apr 8, 2008
And where she's deciding on a name? Or... Or... PINK BULLDOZERS!
Reply
:iconbuffalocheese:
BuffaloCheese Featured By Owner Mar 20, 2008
I find it rather amusing that I see this come up the day that I buy the Livewires collection.

I was rather happy to see a particularly amusing scene whose origin I had not realized after seeing it on the scans daily livejournal community (the sentinel attacking it's own body parts.) Scans daily is in fact the only reason that I even looked at the comic in the first place. I usually don't go for the mainstream stuff as I find it annoying to try to jump into a story midstream.

Come to think of it scans daily is probably the only reason i get the Empowered books as well.
Reply
:iconginwu:
ginwu Featured By Owner Mar 20, 2008
I loved LiveWires so much! Thank you for putting this up!
Reply
:iconvalstaples:
valstaples Featured By Owner Mar 20, 2008
Awesome!
Reply
:iconwataru2001:
Wataru2001 Featured By Owner Mar 20, 2008  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks for the wonderful background history on Livewires. I didn't know that. Also... interesting to see where X-23 came from. Didn't know that, either. (I'm a BAD comic book nerd. BAD!)
Reply
:iconfrankydavulture:
frankyDAvulture Featured By Owner Mar 20, 2008  Professional Traditional Artist
amazin....you did the page with pencils and sharpies......thats what i admire most about your work......you produce a lot of great pics with out the tech everyones usin today....you even didi the letterin by hand........i bow to the master
Reply
:iconzainaku:
Zainaku Featured By Owner Mar 19, 2008
wow it look very interesting ^^
Reply
:iconediprata:
ediprata Featured By Owner Mar 19, 2008  Professional General Artist
Beautiful girl. Very sensual lines. Congratulations.
Reply
:iconsomniculosus:
somniculosus Featured By Owner Mar 19, 2008  Hobbyist Artist
It's a shame the sales weren't there, Livewires was just getting warmed up by the end of the last issue. And it was full of nuanced details, and great characters :)

I only read it because I liked Empowered and wanted to see you're other work. But I gotta say that small format TPB is a pain when trying to read text close to the spine - and I hate bending a books spine.

I'm glad Emp's books are larger!
Reply
:iconmetro-cube:
Metro-Cube Featured By Owner Mar 19, 2008
I liked the series, even though it was incredibly short. :( I was very sad about how it left us at such an inconclusive point in the story, but oh well.
Reply
:icontwinsnake-coatl:
Twinsnake-Coatl Featured By Owner Mar 18, 2008
And yet it takes her one hour to get ready. :roll:
Reply
:iconidolhands:
idolhands Featured By Owner Mar 18, 2008
I enjoy looking at your work as much as I enjoy reading your comments and insight. Seriously, I'm not just sucking up. You reveal yourself somewhat in your storylines but I find your thoughts by themselves on the industry to be interesting ones.

It's great to see the layout design here, has a playful element that attracted me to your work when I was a young teenager but I know you also always work to combine serious sci-fi as well.

:star:
Reply
:iconidolhands:
idolhands Featured By Owner Mar 18, 2008
P.S. Cat people. Bowie. Rules. :headbang:
Reply
:iconescape1978:
escape1978 Featured By Owner Mar 18, 2008
I was saddened that the Livewires mini never rated a sequel; it was too much fun.

On the bright side, it was the first book of yours I bought.
Reply
:iconministan:
ministan Featured By Owner Mar 18, 2008
"My real hope was that I'd be able to convince him to illustrate the series as well as write it, but I simply could not move him on it."

When an artist's name is on a book, I expect that he'll be drawing it or, maybe writing/drawing it.

I suspect the book would've sold great guns had you drawn it. I know I woulda bought it, just like I get everything you do... well, draw.
Reply
:iconsubarashiproductions:
MARVEL HAET ACTUAL NEW CHARACTERS.

I enjoyed LIVEWIRES, of course, though I'd rather have had your artwork in it. It has always irritated me how the superhero fans and many manga fans don't appreciate your work at all. Your Empowered page about how your current series is too manga-y & too superhero-y really captures your unfortunate position.
Reply
:iconjdubb:
Jdubb Featured By Owner Mar 18, 2008  Professional Artist
how big are your layouts?
Reply
:iconadamwarren:
AdamWarren Featured By Owner Mar 22, 2008  Professional General Artist
This particular set of layouts is, IIRC, 8.5" by approximately 12.8"... I took a ream of legal-sized copy paper (8.5" by 14") and lopped a bit off one end, to make the sheets more proportional to the printed comics page.
Reply
:iconcheekymonkeysan:
CheekyMonkeySan Featured By Owner Mar 18, 2008  Student Traditional Artist
So cool, I love it, do you have an uploaded version of the new one? I really like how you can make a panel lead your eyes right across the page and even tho it's only one page keep you wanting more.
Reply
:iconmechabuu:
MechaBuu Featured By Owner Mar 18, 2008
Nice. I like the changes done to the model.
Reply
:iconreddragon162:
reddragon162 Featured By Owner Mar 18, 2008
Didn't know Livewires wasn't well liked. I bought the TP and enjoyed it throughout.
Reply
:iconnoughtyspankbottom:
NoughtySpankbottom Featured By Owner Mar 18, 2008
Nice I like the looseness of your pencils.
Reply
:iconferah11:
ferah11 Featured By Owner Mar 18, 2008  Professional General Artist
Well don't mean to ofend nobody but livewires was disapointing because we see your covers and wow!! and the interior art was sooo disapointing with Rick Mays, you can clearly see thru the pages where you worked, seriously!!! Full Pages made by you, your layouts and where he was left alone (the ugly ones). Friendship is one thing but bussines are bussines. I love your art man! If somebody want to clone your style tell em to do it right! Maybe I will. Congrats!!
Reply
:icongrumperpants:
grumperpants Featured By Owner Mar 18, 2008  Hobbyist General Artist
Oh Livewires! I loved it so much! I still love it, actually. It's what got me back into comics. I still have to order that TPB, though ; ;

Still lovin' it, Adam. Keep the concepts/sketches comin'!
Reply
:iconyuffie1972:
Yuffie1972 Featured By Owner Mar 18, 2008  Professional General Artist
The good ol' days the good ol' days Gotta love it Adam ... did you find that in your X-philes? :giggle: I have a few livewire series have you ever thought about making hardbacks with Adam Warren "livewire" anniversary adition :) I liked how Herge books became hardbacks and they down sized the stories like 3 volumes in one book :O

sorry I got bit carried away :P

Take Care :hug:
Reply
:iconteraissa:
teraissa Featured By Owner Mar 18, 2008
Is there any chance you could give us a quickie synopsis of what you had in mind for the sequel?

I actually bought the trade (way back) and It kinda left me hanging. (in a good way)
Reply
:icondynakor:
dynakor Featured By Owner Mar 18, 2008  Professional General Artist
I liked Livewires! It was a cool series, and Cornfed (was that his name? Did I remember right?) was a major hottie! Marvel needed to publish the all-nude, all-Cornfed edition! That said, it was an excellent series! I really enjoyed it!
Reply
:iconechidnajoe:
EchidnaJoe Featured By Owner Mar 18, 2008
Boob growth good, freckle loss bad.
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