Comics vets will undoubtedly remember Marie Javins, the popular Marvel editor who worked on the
2099 line, Epic line, Hellstrom Akira, Earth X and so forth. She’s also worked as a colorist, and just spent three months in Kuwait editing for the Arabic publisher Teshkeel. Comics aside, since leaving Marvel, Marie has become something of a dedicated globetrotter, taking off to points known and unknown and having enough adventures to fill a book. In fact, they have filled a book, called STALKING THE WILD DIK-DIK, which tells of her journey from Cape Town to Cairo by land in 2005. Marie gave some more info on the tale.
“In Stalking the Wild Dik-Dik, I am chased by a hippo, stalked by a small antelope, survive a truck accident in Ethiopia, and vomit my way through Sudan with a cracked rib and walking pneumonia. Travel is fun.”
But why? Why would a nice girl like Marie give up a life of luxury for unknown dysentery? “It was either go around the world for a year or color X-Force and label trade paperback film the for rest of my life. Thirteen years of Marvel Comics was enough, though I’m now back in comics at Teshkeel. I spent three months at Teshkeel’s Kuwait office earlier this year, helping them reprint Marvel, DC, and Archie Comics in Arabic for the Middle East and North Africa. I edit their original material, “The 99″ (not out yet in the States). A girl’s gotta eat, and following your dreams doesn’t pay very well.”
The trip covered in the book is only one leg of Marie’s travel. In 2001 she went around the world for a year. “It isn’t the travel so much that I like. I don’t really spend a lot of time in museums or tourist attractions. It’s more the challenge of the unknown, the constant barrage of unexpected situations that makes me think on my feet. On the road, one minute you’re sitting in a safari truck among lions, and the next minute you’re matching wits with a bus company tout determined to sell you an overpriced ticket to somewhere you don’t want to go, while a kid in a knock-off Spider-man T-shirt tugs at your backpack and offers you a keychain and a pair of socks, and seven people discuss your request for directions. Then, ultimately, you negotiate with a teen on a scooter to give you a lift on the back. It’s more the thrill of the chase, not the actual destination.”
As for the future, “If this book has any success at all, I’m planning to go do a “MariesWorldTour.com” of West Africa,” she says, starting in mid-2007. “I’d keep an online daily diary at www.NoHurryInAfrica.com, same as I did on MariesWorldTour. I want to start in London and go to Cape Town without a plan, going from Spain to Morocco by sea and then by bus, taxi, and local transport through Mauritania, Senegal, Mali, and so on, all the way down to Angola and on to Nambiia, then Cape Town from there. This route wasn’t even open until recently, because of strife in Congo and Angola.”
DIK-DIK is also proof of the power of internet marketing and having friends whose internet readers hang on their every whim. “Last week, my book was at #800,000 on the Amazon charts. Then Warren Ellis recommended it on his site. It went to #13,000 within two hours. When I initially left for MariesWorldTour.com, Warren got all his fans from the Warren Ellis Forum to email me “Please don’t die.” It was hit-or-miss a few times, but I lived through it.”
Visit Marie’s blog for more updates and amazing pictrues from her vaults that truly capture the spirit of 90s Marvel. We stole the picture above, but it dates from just a few days ago, as Marie, Michael Kraiger and the man known only as Pond Scum got all dressed up for the wedding of former Marvel artist Yancy Labat. Marie was his best (Wo)Man. Is there anything this woman can’t do?