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Pursuing a career in comic books

In addition to comic books, Waupaca author John Jackson Miller has published novels on Star Wars. Emily Conroy Photo

Waupaca author explores Star Trek, Star Wars

By Emily Conroy

A childhood hobby of writing and drawing comic books became a career for a Waupaca area author.

John Jackson Miller released his fifth Star Wars book and 13th Batman book this fall.

Miller said he was always very interested in science and space growing up, his mother was his grade school librarian and he would read about and research space.

He soon decided being a scientist would not be the right fit and choose writing instead, starting with writing and drawing comic books at 6 years old.

“I really found that my imagination went a lot faster then what reality could do,” Miller said. “That was the appeal to all of that, to be able to build worlds around these things. I had my own story worlds that were science fiction related.”

Miller, originally from Tennessee, wrote for and was the editor of his high school newspaper, he went on to college and settled on a major in print journalism.

After college he got a job editing magazines for the lumber business. Then he heard about a job opportunity to run a magazine he had been a long-time subscriber to, the Comic Book Buyers Guide, at Krause Publications in 1993, he said.

Work at Krause Publications

He made his way to the Waupaca area after being hired for the position, and has been in the area ever since.

Through his work with the Comic Book Buyers Guide he said he was able to get to know many people in the comic book business and after Krause Publications sold in 2002, he decided to start freelance fiction writing.

His freelance career started with comic book writing, with his first work being for Marvel comics with a comic series called Crimson Dynamo in 2003. It was about an Iron Man villain.

Miller said this led him into writing Iron Man for a year, which then led him to a turning point in his career when he started writing comic books for Star Wars.

“After that it was off to the races,” he said.

He began writing not just the comics, but the novels as well for things like “Lost Tribe of the Sith” and “Night of the Old Republic.”

Branching out

His first New York Times best seller was in 2013, with a book named Star Wars: Kenobi. He also branched out into working on writing novels for Star Trek.

Outside of Lucas Films and Marvel Comics, Miller said, he has also worked on prose fiction for Battlestar Galactica, Halo, Mass Effect, The Simpsons, Conan and a variety of video games. His books include a graphic novel for the game Skull and Bones which he wrote for Ubisoft with James Mischler.

In all, he said he has written four Star Wars novels in prose form, eight Star Trek and 13 Batman books, along with many other side projects and re-releases of comics as novels.

Most recently he released “Star Trek: Strange New Worlds: The High Country” and last month he released “Star Wars: The Living Force.”
He said this fall he will be releasing “Batman: Resurrection,” which is the first novel that ties in directly to the 1989 and 1992 Tim Burton Batman movies.

Miller attends comic conventions around the country, book store appearances and book signings, as well as continues to write science fiction novels.

“It’s a strange way to make a living, but I enjoy it,” Miller said.

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