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Even if you don't recognize the name of J. Michael Staczynski, you've probably heard of his work, or even enjoyed it yourself without knowing who wrote it.
He was an investigative reporter (and received death threats as a result), a university instructor, a magazine editor, a crisis counsellor (with degrees in Psychology and Sociology), and for five years was host of a two hour live weekly radio talk show in Los Angeles.
His written work consists of over 500 articles and short stories for both national and regional magazines, 200 episodes of television, five TV movies, two novels, and several short stories in magazines and collections (and had his short fiction anthologized), a dozen plays, and a bunch of radio dramas, which cross every genre boundary ... historical dramas and adaptations of famous works of literature (The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, nominated for Writer's Guild and Ace Awards), mystery series (Murder She Wrote), cop shows (Jake and the Fatman), anthology series (Twilight Zone), science fiction (Babylon 5, Crusade) and others.
Along the way, he has garnerd awards and nominations in every category, and is a sought-after speaker at seminars and conventions.
In his 40's now, Straczynski has become one of the most prolific and respected writers in TV. He writes 10 hours a day, 7 days a week, except for his birthday, New Year's, and Christmas. In '95 he was selected by Newsweek magazine as one of their "Fifty For the Future," described as "innovators who will shape our lives as we move into the 21st Century." In '96, he won the coveted Hugo award, the most important award in the Science Fiction community, and Buzz magazine named him one of the 100 coolest people in L.A. Cinefantastique lists the 100 most important people in science fiction each year, and in '97 Science Fiction Age called him "the Tolstoy of Science Fiction."
Born in New Jersey, he first started writing and selling in high school. After attending several colleges, he arrived in Los Angeles on April Fool's Day, 1981. Although already published in leading magazines and newspapers, he was without contacts, friends or family in the film industry. Nevertheless, he quickly worked his way up the ladder from freelancer to staff writer, story editor, co-producer, producer, supervising producer and finally, executive producer and creator of not one but two series of his own creation: Babylon 5, which ran successfully for five years in syndication, then on TNT, and his short run series, Crusade, which aired during the summer of 1999 on TNT.
In August, 1999, Top Cow, a division of Image Comics, released the first issue of Rising Stars, a 24 issue comic written by JMS. With the release of his second comic series called Midnight Nation (12 issues) in October, 2000, JMS created his own comic line under Top Cow, called Joe's Comics.
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