ISN News: The Zocalo Today
ISN News: The Guide to Crusade
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Glitter News


HELL- Volume 1

“What the hell happened to

(We’ve been waiting months to tell you.) After the release of CRUSADE: BEHIND THE SCENES, the B5 Books team were in the final stretch of assembling J. Michael Straczynski’s CRUSADE: WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED? The three-volume set would be JMS’s final and definitive word on CRUSADE, the short-lived BABYLON 5 spin-off.

This led to a pilgrimage to a storage facility somewhere deep in a valley (the San Fernando Valley, but imagine somewhere more exotic and the following will read better). When Babylonian Productions abandoned the one-time hot-tub factory where BABYLON 5 and CRUSADE were filmed, it was to this locale that all the artifacts of that bygone era were consigned.

For these books to be definitive, this outpost would have to be explored. Thus, with the B5 books team in tow, senior editor Jason Davis donned a fedora, coiled his bullwhip, lit a torch (electric, mind doesn’t take an open flame into a room full of paper) and–with a golden-haired beauty and a native (Californian) bearer–they entered the long-sealed vault.

What they found was a slightly smaller version of the warehouse from the end of RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK. There were dust- encrusted boxes stacked floor to ceiling and shrouded in spider webs. And there were spiders... Two black widows had to be dispatched before the first box could be cut open.

But that first box yielded a treasure that justified the danger: JMS’s production notebooks for CRUSADE–concept art, set designs, shooting schedules, casting short, everything you ever wanted to know about CRUSADE, but were afraid to ask.

Box after box was opened, revealing one surprising find after another. It took days to get a vague sense of what was in the boxes; it took months to identify, inventory and scan the material within them. It may take a lifetime to stop imagining spiders crawling up legs in the darkness.

Arachnophobia aside, the discovery of so much hitherto-unknown material necessitated a re-examination of the publishing schedule as the then-three volume series was dismantled and recompiled with the new material while JMS, reminded of long- forgotten minutia, rewrote his introductions and episode commentaries.

That was the easy part.

CRUSADE, as most of you know, was not the most pleasant experience in the history of television. Wanting the fans to see everything, but needing to be sure he legally could, JMS recruited a team of attorneys (one copyright, one litigation and one corporate, for good measure) to vet the materials. Nothing could be published without their okay, so if you see a document with words blacked out, you’ll know why.

“Why,” you may be wondering, “were the fans not kept in the loop while all this was going on?”

We didn’t want to get you excited about something we might not be able to share with you. There’s no point in telling you, “There’s an eight-page script featuring Zathras selling CRUSADE to the network...”if that statement is followed by,”...but the lawyers say you can’t see it because ‘You are not the One.’” It just seemed cruel. Still, we do feel a bit culpable for the delay, as we never imagined the process would take this long.

“When,” you ask, “will these definitive and lawyer-approved books be available for purchase?”

The legal team just finished dotting I’s and crossing T’s...while some of them were evidently partaking in an activity called “summer vacation,”, but we’ve been told that we can release Volume 1 on Wednesday, August 25th at 10:00am Pacific time.

“Why,” you inquire, “is this a FOUR-volume series when we were promised THREE in the introduction to CRUSADE: BEHIND THE SCENES?”

It WAS three books...BEFORE the storage facility. It could have been six volumes if we’d taken a kitchen-sink approach, but–with the help of the BABYLON 5/CRUSADE fan panel–we whittled it down to the best of the best.

We believe every artifact reprinted within is worthy of its page count. If you don’t, remember that we offer a thirty-day money-back guarantee. We also refund your shipping charges both ways. This DOES apply to international orders, too. How can we make such an offer? We’re that sure you’ll love these books.

Any more questions?

You in the back...the one in the purple sash... “How do these books differ from the limited-edition BABYLON 5 script books?”

Good question, and you’ve unknowingly answered it yourself! The fifteen-volume BABYLON 5 series was a set of script books, while CRUSADE: WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED? would better be described as an archival tome in four parts. While the B5 books centered on the scripts, with the odd supplement thrown in as lagniappe, the scripts in WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED? are less than half the material gathered to once and for all close the book(s) on the adventures of the EXCALIBUR crew and their brief, but beloved, CRUSADE. in the green sash...last question...

“Will the books have purple or green covers and will the unproduced scripts be included?”

The covers are white and the design matches CRUSADE: BEHIND THE SCENES. The series includes all twelve of J. Michael Straczynski’s CRUSADE scripts (including two episodes that were never produced)–plus the TV movie A CALL TO ARMS.

We will send out an announcement to our email list the moment CRUSADE: What the Hell Happened, Volume 1 releases on Wednesday, August 25 at 10:00am. It will be on sale at $10 off for the first 7 days of release.