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Micah Ian War Dog Wright
Born1969
Area(s)Writer, director, producer
Notable works
Stormwatch: Team Achilles
http://www.micahwright.com/

Micah Ian War Dog Wright[1] (born 1969) is an American writer who has worked in film, television, animation, video games and comic books. He is an enrolled member of the Muscogee Creek Nation.[1]

Early life

Wright was born in Lubbock, Texas. He graduated from the University of Arizona with degrees in political science and creative writing.[2] While in college, Wright was involved in a weekly sketch comedy show where he started out as a writer and eventually became a performer.[3]

Career

Animation and comics

After graduating and moving to Los Angeles, Wright started interning at Nickelodeon,[3] before becoming script supervisor and eventually a staff writer on The Angry Beavers.[4][3] In early 2000, a number of writers working on Nickelodeon cartoons contacted the Writers Guild of America to renegotiate the contracts on their behalf and organize a union.[5] At the time, Wright, who also took part in the union drive, was writing and producing the pilot for his own show, Constant Payne, a steampunk science fiction series following a family of adventurers co-produced with Madhouse, with an aesthetic inspired by anime, pulp magazines and early Soviet propaganda posters.[6][7][8] The show, which would have been Nickelodeon's first action adventure offering, was not ordered to series due to the network's fears of violent programming in the wake of the September 11 attacks as well as Nickelodeon's suspicions that Wright was one of the figureheads in the union organizing effort.[9][10][11] Wright has since tried pitching Constant Payne to Warner Bros. Animation[12] and to foreign studios as an animated feature-length film[13] but the project remains uncompleted.[8] During his time at Nickelodeon, Wright became friends with Jay Lender, with whom he would collaborate as a writing partner on numerous projects across various media.[14]

At San Diego Comic Con in 2001, Wright, who has been a fan of comics since childhood,[15] was introduced to some of the editors of DC Comics' Wildstorm imprint through his friend, artist John Cassaday.[3] Wright pitched his idea for a creator-owned G.I. Joe-type series, hoping to publish it through the Homage sub-imprint.[16] The editors liked the concept but asked Wright to rework it to fit into the Wildstorm Universe,[17] and the project was eventually developed into a new version of one of the imprint's founding titles, Stormwatch.[16] Stormwatch: Team Achilles with art by Whilce Portacio,[18] debuting in July 2002 under the "mature readers" sub-imprint Eye of the Storm,[19] featured a UN-sanctioned team that consisted primarily of human soldiers and was created in response to the growing superhuman presence in the political areas of the Wildstorm Universe, particularly the events depicted in Mark Millar's run on The Authority.[20] Despite consistent critical acclaim throughout its run,[21][22][23][24][25][26] Stormwatch, like other Eye of the Storm titles, suffered from low sales[27][28] and was ultimately cancelled few issues shy of Wright's planned 26-issue storyline.[29][30] Shortly before the cancellation, the series took part in the line-wide crossover "Coup d'Etat" which saw The Authority take over the United States, forcing Team Achilles to go on the run.[31]

Soon after the launch of Stormwatch: Team Achilles, Wright and artist Mark Robinson created a pitch for the revival of another Wildstorm property, DV8, which was rejected due to the low sales of the series' previous iteration and the creators' relatively unknown status.[32] In 2003, Wright teamed up with artist Rick Remender to pitch a series focusing on the exploits of a low-ranking member of Advanced Idea Mechanics, a villainous organization operating within the Marvel Universe. The proposal, titled Joe A.I.M. and submitted for publication under Marvel's briefly revived Epic imprint, was rejected, prompting Wright to share his dissatisfaction with the Epic editorial on his Delphi message board,[33] which resulted in a public dispute between him and Marvel's then-Editor-in-Chief Joe Quesada.[34] In an interview later that year, Wright expressed regret for making the issue public.[35] Other unproduced projects include American Cross with artist Niko Henrichon, a revenge story that takes place during the American Revolution,[16][36] Lifer with artist Steve Pugh, a four-issue military sci-fi series described by Wright as "Starship Troopers meets Catch-22",[16][37] Los Diablos with art by Taesoo Kim, a rejected weird western anime pitch repurposed into a comic book series.[38] and Thunderhead!, an adult-oriented animated series co-created by Wright and Jay Lender.[39]

Controversy and fallout

Outside of his work in animation and comics, Wright gained online popularity with a series of satirical military propaganda posters that combined the imagery of the World War II-era propaganda posters and the modern anti-war messages as slogans.[40][41][42] Shortly after the 2003 invasion of Iraq, some of the posters were collected into a book, You Back the Attack, We'll Bomb Who We Want, with a foreword by Kurt Vonnegut and an introduction by Howard Zinn.[43] Early printings of the book featured another introduction, where Wright described his experiences as a sergeant in the United States Army Rangers who had seen active combat in the 1989 invasion of Panama, a claim he had previously made discussing his military-themed series Stormwatch: Team Achilles in various interviews[16][19][20][3] as well as responding to the criticism of his poster work online,[44][45] and further elaborated upon while promoting You Back the Attack with a radio interview on Democracy Now![2] and a profile in The Washington Post.[46] Wright's credentials were then questioned by actual Rangers, prompting them to contact The Post profile's author Richard Leiby, who began researching Wright's background.[47] In April 2004, after Wright learned that Leiby was writing an exposé questioning his military service,[48][49] he confessed that he had never been a Ranger, having only participated in the Reserve Officers' Training Corps, and apologized online.[50][51]

The revelation resonated across the comic book industry, attracting responses from a number of industry figures including writers Steven Grant,[52] Jeff Parker,[53] Kurt Busiek[54][14] and Mark Millar,[55] as well as journalists Tom Spurgeon[56] and Rich Johnston.[57] According to Johnston, the mini-series Vigilante, which was supposed to be Wright's writing debut in the DC Universe,[58] was already causing internal concern at the company due to the direction and tone of the title, as the titular character eschewed taking down street criminals or organized crime in favor of corporate criminals, and the controversy made it easier to take Wright off the book.[59][60] Wright responded by stating that the quality of his work was not an issue.[56] Meanwhile, Seven Stories Press, the publisher of You Back the Attack, removed Wright's introduction from the subsequent printings of the book[44] and cancelled its follow-up volume, If You're Not a Terrorist... Then Stop Asking Questions,[61][62] but eventually published the third collection of his poster work in 2006.[63] That same year, the Vigilante mini-series, which was never officially confirmed as cancelled,[64] was published with a new creative team and plotline.[65][66] In a 2012 interview, Wright stated that following the controversy, he was privately told by the representatives of Marvel and DC that he has been blacklisted at both companies.[14]

Video games and WGA

Since 2004, Wright has worked primarily in the field of video game writing, often with his long-time writing partner Jay Lender.[3] The pair's shared credits include Looney Tunes: Back in Action for Electronic Arts, The Dukes of Hazzard: Return of the General Lee for Ubisoft, Destroy All Humans! Path of the Furon and its sequel for THQ, as well as Robocalypse for Vogster.[67][68] Wright is a member of the Writers Guild of America West, where he is the chair of the Video Game Writers Caucus. In 2007, Wright and Lender were cited as being "instrumental" in creating the WGA's first ever Video Game Writing Award as part of the traditional film and television Writers Guild Awards.[69][70] In 2011, the Video Game Writng Award attracted criticism from various video game websites for being too exclusive,[71][72] prompting Wright to address the issue online.[73][74]

In addition to his work at WGA's Video Game Writers Caucus, Wright co-founded the Native American and World Indigenous Writers Committee[1] and was elected to be a part of the Guild Negotiating Committee for 2014.[75]

2010s

In 2012, Wright returned to comics with the launch of a Kickstarter campaign for Duster, a graphic novel he co-created with Jay Lender.[76][77] The story, initially developed as a film script,[78] depicts the life of a recently-widowed female cropduster pilot at the end of World War II and her battle against a group of Nazi soldiers who crash-landed near her farm in West Texas.[14] The graphic novel was eventually published in 2015. That same year, Wright worked as a consultant on HTC Vive's virtual reality game TheBlu, which led to his interest in VR technology and eventually a position as a teacher of the virtual reality filmmaking course at the Los Angeles branch of Emerson College.[79][80] In 2016, Wright and Lender made their directorial debut with the feature film They're Watching, a found footage horror comedy distributed by Amplify.[81][82]

Between 2017 and 2019, Wright served as the Chief Content Manager of the Native American broadcast television network First Nations Experience, overseeing the creation of first original programming in the network's history.[83][84]

Filmography

Television

Film

Bibliography

Comics

Poster books

Work in video games

References

  1. ^ a b c Haring, Bruce (April 4, 2009). "Native American TV Writers Lab Selects 2019 Participants". Deadline. Archived from the original on April 5, 2019.
  2. ^ a b "You Back the Attack, We'll Bomb Who We Want! - A Collection of Remixed War Posters". Democracy Now!. May 28, 2003. Archived from the original on June 5, 2003.
  3. ^ a b c d e f Keller, Katherine. "The Wright Man for the Job". Sequential Tart. Archived from the original on August 3, 2003.
  4. ^ Wright, Micah. "The World of Micah Ian Wright: Angry Beavers". micahwright.com. Archived from the original on November 5, 2002.
  5. ^ Gagliano, Rico (December 28, 2001). "Naughty Nick". LA Weekly. Archived from the original on June 12, 2002.
  6. ^ Wright, Micah. "The World of Micah Ian Wright: Constant Payne". micahwright.com. Archived from the original on October 3, 2002.
  7. ^ Aliev, Nick (June 11, 2020). "Before Avatar: The Last Airbender, Nick Rejected the Action Pilot Constant Payne". CBR. Archived from the original on January 21, 2022. Retrieved August 27, 2022.
  8. ^ a b Lampkin, William (June 2002). "An animated Doc". ThePulp.Net. Archived from the original on August 27, 2022. Retrieved August 27, 2022.
  9. ^ "Nick no longer in Constant Payne". Toon Zone. January 12, 2002. Archived from the original on July 14, 2007.
  10. ^ Wright, Micah. "Constant Payne Pilot". .Mac. Archived from the original on November 6, 2007.
  11. ^ Hopkins, Ethan (March 17, 2018). "15 Failed Cartoon Pilots Too Weird For TV". CBR. Archived from the original on August 19, 2022. Retrieved August 27, 2022.
  12. ^ Kustes, Jimmy (June 18, 2002). "Micah Wright on Constant Payne, Invader Zim, and Batman's producers". Toon Zone. Archived from the original on May 2, 2003.
  13. ^ Kustes, Jimmy (June 18, 2002). "'Constant Payne': The Motion Picture?". Toon Zone. Archived from the original on August 21, 2002.
  14. ^ a b c d Wessel, Geoffrey (July 17, 2012). "Micah Ian Wright: Returning to the Medium he Loves". Comics Bulletin. Archived from the original on April 10, 2013.
  15. ^ Wright, Micah. "Rants". micahwright.com. Archived from the original on December 11, 2003.
  16. ^ a b c d e Weiland, Jonah (March 1, 2002). "'STORMWATCH' RETURNS THIS JULY". Comic Book Resources. Archived from the original on March 6, 2002.
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Preceded byWarren Ellis(Stormwatch vol. 2) Stormwatch writer 2002–2004 Succeeded byChristos Gage(Stormwatch PHD)