Christopher Priest (comics)

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For other people named Christopher Priest, see Christopher Priest (disambiguation).
Christopher Priest
Born James Christopher Owsley
(1961-06-30) June 30, 1961 (age 54)
Queens, New York[1]
Nationality American
Area(s) Writer, Editor
Pseudonym(s) Priest

Christopher James Priest (born James Christopher Owsley June 30, 1961)[1][2] is a writer of comic books who is at times credited simply as Priest. He changed his name legally circa 1993.[1]


Priest (as "Jim Owsley") broke into the comics business as a Marvel Comics intern in 1978.[3] He made his professional debut as a writer in 1982 at the age of 21. He joined Marvel's editorial staff shortly thereafter, working as assistant editor for Larry Hama[4] on the Conan titles.[5] Starting in 1985, Owsley was for several years the editor of the Spider-Man comic books. Professional and personal disagreements eventually led to his removal as editor and his leaving Marvel.[6] Marvel's editor-in-chief, Jim Shooter, later recalled, "I fired Jim Owsley because his tenure as an editor was a train wreck. When I fired Jim Owsley, he thanked me. Seriously. He said, 'Thank you.' He admitted that he just wasn’t good at the administrative stuff (i.e., schedules). P.S.—there was plenty of work for him as a writer, so it was not such a big deal. In fact, it was like giving him a raise. He ... [was] meant to be a writer, not an expediter."[7] Owsley later edited several titles of DC Comics' Impact Comics imprint.[8] Owsley had a run as writer of Green Lantern when the character was exclusive to the short-lived anthology series Action Comics Weekly from 1988-1989. Owsley wrote the Green Lantern serial from issues #601-607, and left part way through a story arc (with writer Peter David succeeding him in the interim), and then returning from issues #621-635. He had worked with artists Gil Kane and Tod Smith during his first run, and then upon his return, with artist M. D. Bright. Owsley would also write two Green Lantern Specials, the second issue concluding the plots left off from the end of Action Comics Weekly, with artist Bright drawing the latter issue. They would work again on the first issue of Green Lantern: Emerald Dawn limited series before Owsley departed.

As writer, Owsley/Priest had runs on such series as Power Man and Iron Fist, Conan the Barbarian, The Ray, Steel, Deadpool, and Black Panther vol. 3. His run on Power Man and Iron Fist concluded with Iron Fist's controversial death.[9] He co-created the series Quantum and Woody, Xero, and The Crew, among others.

In 1993, he became part of the group of writers and artists that launched Milestone Media, a comic book publisher affiliated with DC Comics. He contributed to the development of the original Milestone story bible and designed the company logo.[citation needed] He has said he was intended to become the company's editor-in-chief, but personal problems forced him to scale down his involvement to liaison between DC and Milestone.[10]

Shortly afterward, he changed his name from "Jim Owsley" to "Christopher Priest" for reasons he has not discussed publicly other than in one interview's seemingly glib remark about becoming a priest if his marriage, which later ended in divorce, did not last.[11] During Owsley's Green Lantern run, prior to his name change, he introduced a character named Priest. He has stated he was unaware of the British science fiction novelist Christopher Priest; as an accommodation,[citation needed] comics-writer Christopher Priest refers to himself professionally as either the monomial "Priest" or "Christopher J. Priest".

Personal life[edit]

Priest is an ordained Baptist minister.[11]


Quantum & Woody: Director's Cut Trade by Acclaim Comics

Regular writer[edit]

Fill-in writer[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Christopher Priest at Accessed Feb. 7, 2009.
  2. ^ Miller, John Jackson. "Comics Industry Birthdays", Comics Buyer's Guide, June 10, 2005. Accessed December 21, 2010. WebCitation archive.
  3. ^ "About the Artists & Writers," African-American Classics, Graphic Classics vol. 22 (Eureka Productions, 2011).
  4. ^ Bullpen Bulletins," Marvel comics cover-dated February 1984
  5. ^ Shooter, Jim. "Bullpen Bulletins," Marvel comics cover-dated November 1983
  6. ^ Priest, Christopher J. (James Owsley) (May 2002). "Adventures in the Funny Book Game: Chapter Two — Why I Never Discuss Spider-Man: Barabbas". Archived from the original on July 11, 2011. 
  7. ^ Greenberg, Glenn (August 2009). "When Hobby Met Spidey". Back Issue! (TwoMorrows Publishing) (35): 20. 
  8. ^ Jim Owsley as editor at DC Comics at the Grand Comics Database
  9. ^ Callahan, Timothy (December 2010). "Power Man and Iron Fist". Back Issue! (TwoMorrows Publishing) (45): 3–11. 
  10. ^ "Interview: Christopher Priest Part 2",, March 3, 2010
  11. ^ a b Rossen, Jake and the Wizard Staff. "Craziest Moments from the World of Comics", Wizard Universe, May 8, 2008. Accessed Feb. 7, 2009

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Tony Isabella
Power Man and Iron Fist writer
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Michael Fleisher
Conan the Barbarian writer
(with Val Semeiks 1988)
Succeeded by
Charles Santino and Val Semeiks
Preceded by
Tom DeFalco
The Amazing Spider-Man writer
Succeeded by
David Michelinie
Preceded by
Steve Englehart
Green Lantern writer
(in Action Comics Weekly)
Succeeded by
Peter David
Preceded by
Peter David and
Richard Howell
Green Lantern writer
(with M. D. Bright)
(in Action Comics Weekly)
Succeeded by
Keith Giffen and Gerard Jones
Preceded by
Mark Waid
Justice League Task Force writer
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Pat McGreal
Hawkman writer
Succeeded by
Geoff Johns and James Robinson
Preceded by
Peter J. Tomasi
Steel writer
Succeeded by
Preceded by
John Byrne
Wonder Woman writer
Succeeded by
Eric Luke