Alumnus Geoff Johns, Chief Creative Officer of DC Entertainment, will return to campus next week to serve as this year's Homecoming Grand Marshal. Johns, one of the most influential leaders in the comic industry, also will be the featured speaker at a Media Sandbox event on Thursday, Oct. 10, at 4 p.m. in CAS Room 147.
This year's Homecoming theme, "Creating Spartan Superheroes," is in honor of Johns, a 1995 telecommunication graduate.
Johns, who has quickly become one of the most popular and prolific contemporary comic book writers today, has written highly acclaimed stories starring Superman, Green Lantern, The Flash, Teen Titans and Justice Society of America. He is the author of five New York Times best-selling graphic novels, including "Green Lantern: Rage of the Red Lanterns," "Green Lantern: Sinestro Corps War," "Justice Society of America: Thy Kingdom Come," "Superman: Brainiac" and "Blackest Night."
He received the Wizard Fan Award for Breakout Talent of 2002 and Writer of the Year for 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008, as well as Comic Buyer's Guide (CBG) Writer of the Year 2003 through 2005 and 2007 and 2008, and CBG Best Comic Book Series for Justice Society of America 2001 through 2005.
Most recently, Johns has written comic books for Justice League, Aquaman and Justice League of America; the DC Comics TV special "Robot Chicken;" and consulted and wrote for the top-rated CW show, "Arrow," based on DC Comics character Green Arrow. The season premiere for "Arrow" is Wednesday, Oct. 9, at 8/7c on the CW network. Additionally, Johns and his team are working closely with Warner Bros. Interactive to create video games based on DC Comics characters including Batman: Arkham City.
"The best thing about my job is I work with the best creative people in the business in their respective fields," Johns said.
Johns was born in Detroit and grew up in Clarkston, Mich. He studied media arts, screenwriting, film production and film theory at MSU.
"MSU was a perfect fit for me," Johns was quoted in the Winter 2012 MSU Alumni Magazine. "It was a well known school, the campus is beautiful, and there was a comics shop on Grand River. The library has the largest comics collection in the country. I had a great experience."
Some of Johns mentors include Telecommunications, Information Studies and Media faculty members Carrie Heeter, professor, and Brian Winn, associate professor.
Johns moved to Los Angeles, Calif., after graduating from MSU in search of work within the film industry. He ended up working as an intern and later as the assistant to film director Richard Donner. During that time, he also began his comics career writing "Stars and S.T.R.I.P.E.," a comic book first published by DC Comics in July 1999 that ran for 14 issues.
After acclaimed runs on The Flash, Teen Titans and the best-selling Infinite Crisis miniseries, Johns co-wrote a run on Action Comics with his mentor Donner. In 2006, he co-wrote 52, an ambitious weekly comic book series set in real time. Johns also has written for various other media, including the acclaimed "Legion" episode of "Smallville" and the fourth season of "Robot Chicken." He is currently writing the story of the DC Universe Online, a massively multiplayer action game from Sony Online Entertainment LLC.
During the Media Sandbox-hosted event on Oct. 10, Johns will talk about his career and journey from CAS student to comic industry superstar. The event, which is free and open to the public, is first-come, first-served seating. All students in attendance will be entered into a drawing for signed memorabilia by Johns. You must be present to win. RSVP is requested at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Johns and several CAS alumni and students will participate in MSU's Homecoming Parade on Friday, Oct. 11, including "Current Sports" host Al Martin, 2012 journalism graduate, and four members of this year's Homecoming court: Communications majors Janisse Martinez and Lexis Zeidan, Journalism major Jessica Pedersen, and Media and Information major Elliot Zirulnik.
CAS alumni and friends are invited to watch the Homecoming Parade from the best view in town at 6 p.m. Oct. 11 at the CAS Homecoming Bash at Beggar's Banquet, 218 Abbott Road. Tickets to the Bash are $20, or $15 for MSU Alumni Association members. Children under 12 are free. Tickets can be purchased online at store.cas.msu.edu/ or at the door. For those who preregister, their names will be entered into a drawing for memorabilia signed by Johns. You must be present to win.
This year's Homecoming Week is Oct. 7-12. For more information on CAS Homecoming events, see the CAS Homecoming web page.