|Occupation Author and librarian|
Name Jess Nevins
Genre Victoriana, Pulp
|Born July 30, 1966 (age 49)
Boston, Massachusetts, U.S. (1966-07-30) |
Books The Encyclopedia of Fantastic Victoriana
Nominations Sidewise Award for Best Short-Form Alternate History
John J. Nevins (born July 30, 1966), better known as Jess Nevins, is an American author. He was born and raised in Boston, Massachusetts. Nevins is the author of the World Fantasy Award-nominated Encyclopedia of Fantastic Victoriana (MonkeyBrain Books, 2005), and other works on Victoriana and pulp fiction. He is also well known for his extensive comic book annotations, especially The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. He is a reference librarian at Lone Star College-Tomball.
Comic book annotations
Nevins has annotated dozens of comics, starting primarily with a number of Elseworlds published by DC, most notably Kingdom Come and JLA: The Nail, covering in great detail the comic book, literary, popular cultural, and other sources of various plot points and featured characters. In the case of Kingdom Come, Nevins (and his irregular "divers hands" - his annotations are in large part a collaborative effort, inviting comment, correction and constructive critique) identifies most of the many featured characters from the future of the DCU, noting their predecessors and origins.
Nevins' later annotations have focused almost entirely on works by Alan Moore for Moore's America's Best Comics imprint, starting with the Victoriana/Steampunk/Alternate history/literary mashup The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. Moore said of Nevins' work, "It was only when someone finally conveyed these internet postings to me... that I began to understand the invaluable asset that Jess represented... I realised that if we had [him] tracking down all of the references for the readers, then we could be as obscure and far-reaching as we wanted...", Moore later said Nevins' work helped inform The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Volume II: "The New Traveller's Almanac": "The patient work contained within this current volume [Heroes & Monsters] has played an important part in the construction of this vast, imaginary global edifice that we're constructing... [the Almanac]", Moore sees "these companion volumes as having a necessary organic place in the body of the work itself."
In-between volumes of LoEG, Nevins has tackled Moore and Gene Ha's Top Ten, a superhero-police comic in which a powerful police precinct in Neopolis has to deal with various superhuman crimes. Nevins' interest in, and knowledge of the "Golden Age" of Superheroes (and subsequent eras) aids him considerably in noting, as in his Kingdom Come annotations, the precedents and inspirations behind many of the characters featured. Nevins has subsequently provided annotations on Moore and Ha's 2005 Top Ten graphic novel The Forty-Niners, filling in some of the early history of the series, and Paul Di Filippo and Jerry Ordway's 2005 sequel miniseries Beyond the Farthest Precinct. Nevins also began to annotate Neil Gaiman and Andy Kubert's 2003 mini-series 1602 from Marvel Comics.
Nevins has also published Impossible Territories a book of annotations for the 2007 LoEG graphic novel The Black Dossier.
For several years, Nevins has compiled – and made freely available – reference works on a number of inter-related subjects, including "The Timely Comics Story" (covering the company that would become Marvel Comics), originally posted at the Avengers Assemble site of Van Allen Plexico, and various guides to early Marvel Characters. He has also compiled a more general reference guide which includes other companies' creations, entitled simply "The Golden Age Heroes Directory," his "Pulp and Adventure Heroes" Directory, and a guide to "Fantastic, Mysterious, and Adventurous Victoriana."
Nevins is also a contributor to/collaborator on the ever-expanding Wold Newton Universe, under the guidance of Win Scott Eckert at the Wold Newton Universe webpage. He has also written stories appearing in the Tales of the Shadowmen anthology series: "A Jest, To Pass The Time" from volume 2, "Red in Tooth and Claw" in volume 4, and "A Root That Beareth Gall and Worms" in volume 5.
Alongside his volumes of annotations on The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (Heroes & Monsters and A Blazing World, respectively), Nevins has much expanded some of his online resources for print, authoring the World Fantasy Award-nominated The Encyclopedia of Fantastic Victoriana (left), the definitive guide on the strange and wonderful of that period. In May 2007, critically praised publisher of multiple popular-culture reference works McFarland published his Pulp Holdings Index, a listing of which issues of which pulp magazines are held in which American, Canadian, British, and European libraries. He revised his annotations for The Black Dossier into Impossible Territories, (MonkeyBrain Books in July 2008), which will be the third companion to The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen by Alan Moore and Kevin O'Neill.
Nevins has also been published in Steve Jackson Games' Pyramid, and more recently, has written a series of essays, one for each issue of Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips' comic Criminal
He is also working on adapting his "Pulp Heroes" resource into the Encyclopedia of Pulp Heroes, which should be published sometime during 2012/2013, as well as his companion superhero reference work, the Encyclopedia of Golden Age Superheroes, a descriptive listing of every superhero published between 1935 and 1949. He is also writing Strange Tales of the Century, for Evil Hat Productions, a supplement to Evil Hat's RPG Spirit of the Century. It will deal with pulp fiction from around the world and outline the various archetypes and the historical setting.