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Harsh Realm and Espers Creator, James Hudnall, Passes Away

Longtime comic book writer, James Hudnall, whose miniseries for Harris Comics, Harsh Realm, was adapted into a TV series on Fox by X-Files creator, Chris Carter, passed away this week at the age of 61.

The news was announced on Facebook by Matt Cossin, who was working on a new comic book written by Hudnall.

It is with great sadness that I make this post. But James’ sister, Susan, has informed me that my good friend, writer...

Posted by Matt Cossin on Tuesday, April 9, 2019

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Hudnall started his comic book career at Eclipse Comics in the mid-1980s, working in the marketing department, following service in the United States Air Force. Hudnall was a big proponent of Japanese comics and while he was at Eclipse, Hudnall suggested that the company translate some notable manga works. In 1986, Hudnall wrote his first creator-owned series, ESPers, a series about a group of people with psychic powers which he wrote for Eclipse along with artist David Lloyd (the artist of V for Vendetta with Alan Moore).

ESPers drew the attention of Marvel and DC. Hudnall soon had a gig on Strikeforce: Morituri, finishing up the Peter B. Gillis-created series along with Mark Bagley, in one of Bagley's earliest regular art gigs. His work on that series then got him the regular writing assignment on Alpha Flight after Bill Mantlo left the book.

For DC, Hudnall wrote the acclaimed graphic novel, Lex Luthor: The Unauthorized Biography, with artist Eduardo Barreto....

Hudnall did a number of projects for Marvel's Epic imprint, including bringing back ESPers for a brief run (he would later bring ESPers back at a number of different companies, including Image Comics).

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Hudnall was one of the original architects for Malibu Comics' shared superhero universe known as the Ultraverse. Hudnall wrote one of the original premiere series for the Ultraverse, Hardcase...

In 1994, Hudnall created the virtual reality miniseries, Harsh Realm, for Harris Comics with artist Andrew Paquette. The series was adapted by Chris Carter into a short-lived TV series on Fox in 1998. Hudnall and Paquette sued the show's producers after not receiving credit on the series. They reached a settlement and the last few episodes of the series included the credit, "Inspired by the Harsh Realm comic book series, Created by James D. Hudnall and Andrew Paquette, Published by Harris Publications, Inc."

Hudnall worked for Viz Comics for a number of years as a translator of Japanese comics.

In recent years, Hudnall had been doing some digital comics while also releasing a novel, Hell’s Reward, and a book about writing called, appropriately enough, The Secrets of Writing.

In 2017, Hudnall received the Inkpot Award from San Diego Comic Con International.

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