Michael Davis: Derek, Kitty, Static & The Dog – A Milestone Story
Milestone was the idea of Denys Cowan. Denys, Dwayne McDuffie, Derek Dingle, Christopher Priest and I sat in a room (a few rooms actually, sometimes at someone’s home, sometimes at a dive restaurant a lot of times in a dive diner) and we sat and planed for weeks creating the original universe of Milestone main characters Icon, Rocket, Static, Hardware and Blood Syndicate.
Priest left right before we signed our publishing & distribution deal with DC. For a very long time Priest was the Pete Best of Milestone. Pete Best’s claim to fame is that he was the original Beatles drummer before Ringo. Pete left to get a real job. That’s pretty much it. His music career amounts to little but a trivia question.
Christopher Priest, on the other hand…
That mofo did just fine without Milestone. He’s writing movies, novels and just about anything he else he wants to write. However, for a very long time Priest was our trivia question. Few people knew he had anything to do with the Dakota Universe.
Now, few people think the original Milestone partners were just four, most fans and all the industry know that Priest was there at the start.
Most people are aware that Derek Dingle was there from the start of Milestone, few people know and even fewer believe Derek Dingle was a major co-creator on the original universe of Milestone main characters.
Translation, Derek came up with many ideas that made it into the Milestone Bible his contribution was just as valued as anyone sitting at the creative table.
I remember how much Derek Dingle had to do with creating Static’s powers and costume. I remember that very clearly because I wrote the Static Bible (meaning I created his family, backstory, supporting characters, etc.) I ran many an idea passed Mr. Dingle for as long as I could.
It’s easy to understand how Derek was casted in non-creator role by the fans. As Milestone went from idea to business plan to universe bible to joint venture with DC Comics, Derek’s visibility as a creator became less and less.
We were all equal partners but we all had separate roles in the company. Derek’s role was President of Milestone. You wouldn’t call the President of Milestone at 4 in the morning to run possible names of Static’s dog sidekick pass him.
Well you wouldn’t… but you know me…
Oh, you didn’t know that Static had a dog sidekick? Well he did for about 35 seconds until the genius that thought it was a good idea was laughed out of the room.
Who’s bad Idea was it?
I’ll never tell, unless at SDCC I’m asked during the Q&A session of the Milestone panel, Friday July 19th Room 5AB (Shameless Plug!) 11:30-12:30!
Ask me then and I’ll spill like a drunken gossip columnist on TMZ.
Look, all of the Milestone partners had horrible ideas at one time or the other. Sometime a bad idea becomes a terrible idea when the person who’s idea it was starts to defend the idea. Trust me, that’s never pretty.
There were plenty of heated exchanges at Milestone but I’d have to say the one person who always kept his cool was Derek. In fact, the only time I ever saw Derek lose his cool was not over anything creative or corporate.
It was over a Kitty.
Kitty was her name and she was (is) one beautiful woman or as we say in the hood, she’s Super Fine. How fine is she? Stevie Wonder could see how fine Kitty is.
One day I was having lunch with Kitty so I had her meet me at Milestone. That was the only time I saw Derek a bit rattled. When I introduced Kitty I swear it took him a full hour before he could say ‘hi’ Kitty is that fine.
OK, it wasn’t an hour his hesitation was maybe 2-4 seconds and wasn’t really noticed by anyone but me, but a 2-4 second delay from Mr. Cool-As-Ice Dingle is rare and you know me, give me an inch…
So, to recap, Derek Dingle was just as involved, I’ll say it again, Derek Dingle was just as involved as anyone in the creation of the core Milestone Universe. Since the day Milestone began there has been reams of wrong information, misinformation and outright bullshit about our company. Believe it or not that continues to this day.
It’s Milestone’s 20th Anniversary and our fans, which I sincerely believe are the greatest and most loyal fans in the history of comics; deserve to celebrate with the truth.
I hope to see many of you in San Diego. As a guest this year I’ll have a space in Artists Alley thanks to the kind people at SDCC!
If you come by and I’m not there someone should be there to tell you when I’d be back. As much as I’d like to hang out there all day, I’ll be a weeeee bit busy expanding my media empire… and scoping out Asian girl cos players.
Come on by! I’ll be more than happy talk to you about my ComicMix columns and upcoming novels. Yeah, I’ll be talking about writing in Artists Alley.
That Michael Davis, what a rebel!
If you miss me at the booth you can catch me here:
The Black Panel Room 5AB 10-11:30 am Friday July 19th
The Milestone 20th Anniversary Panel 11:30-12:30 am Friday July 19th
*The Milestone 20th Anniversary Party Friday 9pm July 19th
*You need an invite for the party I’ll have a few on me during the Milestone Panel and if you mention ComicMix and hit me up before they are gone I’ll hook you up.
Lastly, Derek I’m keeping you to your promise. This is your moment my friend, enjoy it! No work! Have fun!
BTW… I still have Kitty’s cell…
WEDNESDAY MORNING: Mike Gold
THURSDAY MORNING: Dennis O’Neil