Devin K. Grayson
|Devin Kalile Grayson|
|Born||New Haven, Connecticut|
|Nightwing, Gotham Knights, The Titans, User|
Devin Grayson was born in a hippie communal farmstead in New Haven, Connecticut. When her parents divorced two years later, she and her mother relocated to Berkeley, California. Deciding at a young age that she wanted to be an actress, Grayson studied the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco, the Drama Studio London at Berkeley, the Julia Morgan Bay Area Youth Theater Co., Cazadero Performing Arts Camp, the Berkeley Shakespeare Festival, Jean Shelton's and School of the Arts. She subsequently changed her focus to writing, enrolled in a local community college, and then at Bard College in Upstate New York. In her early 20s, she legally changed her named to the one by which she is professionally known to distance herself from abuse in her childhood.
At a young age, Grayson realized that she was bisexual, saying,
I was attracted to both girls and boys very early on, but, being a kid, I had no idea that had a name. I remember being about seven and having this crush on a girl in my summer camp, Nicole. When we went swimming, her eyelashes would clump together in the most bewitching away—just like a Vegas showgirl, not that I'd ever seen one at that time—and I just thought I'd never seen anything so beautiful. At the same time, I was "madly in love" with the camp counselor, George. He playfully asked me to marry him, and I said we'd have to marry Nicole, too, and being in his early twenties and joking in the certainty that I wouldn't understand him, George grinned wide, grabbed a giggling Nicole, and said, "Even better!".
Though most of the people in her life were accepting of her bisexuality, Grayson's father was initially troubled when he learned of it. He later explained to Grayson that he was worried about how it would make life difficult for her, though Grayson states that none of the problems she has ever faced in life stemmed from her sexuality, with the exception of her relationship with a girlfriend while in college that eventually ended because of her girlfriend's need to remain closeted.
Grayson picked up her first comic book in her mid-twenties, after seeing an episode of Batman: The Animated Series on television. Though she was ignorant of the comics medium until then, as comics were not a part of her upbringing, she said of The Animated Series, "The show very clearly illustrated that he had a relationship with this kid. He raised him. And that was just an amazing, funny, scary and weird thing to think about. We've all come in late for a curfew or done something our parents didn't approve of, and you get your dad frowning over you—but what if your dad was Batman? I just become completely obsessed with that relationship."
Grayson and her girlfriend at the time began watching the series "compulsively". Grayson also visited a friend who worked in a comic book store near her apartment in San Francisco and asked her friend about her namesake, Dick Grayson (aka Nightwing). Grayson left the store with a multitude of comics, including The Dark Knight Returns, Teen Titans, The Killing Joke, Watchmen, various issues of Sandman, and Scott McCloud's Understanding Comics. She then began cold-calling DC Comics and spoke to Batman editor Denny O'Neil, and sent writing samples to editor Scott Peterson. She was eventually offered a job by editor Darren Vincenzo. Grayson's first comic book script to see print was "Like Riding a Bike", a 10-page short that appeared in The Batman Chronicles in 1997. What followed was a number of writing jobs that featured members of the Batman family of characters, in particular Nightwing, in solo or group adventures, including a 1998 Nightwing/Huntress miniseries, a 20-issue run writing The Titans from issues 1–20 from 1999–2000 (including a number of issues co-written with Brian K. Vaughan and Jay Faerber), and a run on Batman: Gotham Knights, which the Chicago Daily Herald's Russell Lissau described as a "masterful psychological profile of the Dark Knight Detective" that Grayson co-created and wrote until mid-2002. In July 2002, Grayson was given the opportunity to take over the writing on the regular Nightwing solo series from Chuck Dixon, beginning with issue #71, staying on the title until 2006. Grayson stated that she is drawn to both reading and writing Nightwing because she considers him to be one of DC's more complex characters, explaining:
I think Dick Grayson has struggled with problems that are resonant to a lot of people: loss, grief, difficult and unyielding parent figures, the need to carve out an individual place for one's self in the world. I could gone on for hours - about Dick's complexities and the contradictions in his nature that make him so completely believable; about his amazing physical prowess and natural athleticism and how much he loves movement and fluidity and physical contact; about his intelligence and his compassion and his fierce romantic streak; about his fascinating vocational and ethnic background, and how different those things were from what he eventually grew up with in Wayne Manor; about his energy and resourcefulness and ability to be totally, stunningly present in any given moment...The character beat I find most interesting with Nightwing is how deeply he experiences frustration and pain, and then how totally done with that he is by the time he's making an actual decision or evaluation. He's not in denial about the darkness in his life the way Batman sometimes is, and in fact he's remarkably self-aware and conscientious, but he acts from a place of loyalty and gratitude and even joy.
In 2001, Grayson wrote User, a three-issue miniseries about a woman named Meg Chancellor, who explores her gender identity by role-playing as a male knight in an online role-playing game. The book was nominated for the 2001 GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Comic Book. Grayson names User as her most personal work, and described the nomination as a career high, saying, "I have never been more proud of any achievement, or had more fun at any party. I took my mom and aunt to the ceremony with me, and we had a blast. It's just a beautiful, exciting, elegant event, and a truly right-on organization, filled with brilliant people with pro-active ideas and a great sense of humor—an all-too rare combination. I enjoyed every second of it, from flirting with the Jaguar rep to sharing a joint in the hotel kitchen with one of my favorite TV stars. Oh, and Judd Nelson talked to his dogs from his cell phone on the elevator and then started flirting with my aunt. You just don't forget a night like that!"
In 2002, an interview with Grayson was among those published in the book Writers on Comic Scriptwriting.
In 2006 Grayson contributed an essay to the anthology She's Such a Geek, which focuses on women in traditionally male venues. That year saw the publication of Nightwing #117, her last original work to date for DC Comics, and "Head Cases", a story in the Marvel Comics anthology Girl Comics #1, her last original work to date for Marvel or DC.
In 2009 Grayson, an avid gamer, was hired by Perfect World Entertainment hired to work on Kung Foo!, a free-to-play, martial arts-themed MMORPG based on a popular Chinese TV show. Grayson was hired to take the Chinese version and write an original story that pokes fun at American pop culture and MMO conventions.
Awards and nominations
- 1999 Comics Buyer's Guide Award for Favorite Writer (nominated)
- 2000 Comics Buyer's Guide Award for Favorite Writer (nominated)
- 2001 GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Comic book (for User; Nominated)
Grayson has insulin-dependent Type I Diabetes. She lives with Cody, an assistance dog trained to alert her to severe drops in her blood glucose levels, and volunteers for Early Alert Canines. She has also suffered from chronic depression.
Grayson is an avid gamer, having spent much time playing Champions Online, Fallen Earth, World of Warcraft, Anarchy Online, EverQuest, EverQuest 2, Star Wars Galaxies, Dark Age of Camelot and City of Heroes.
- Batman Plus Arsenal #1 (1997)
- Batman Secret Files and Origins #1 (1997)
- The Batman Chronicles #7, 9, 12, 18, 20 (1997, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000)
- Arsenal #1–4 (1998)
- Catwoman #54–71, 1000000, Annual #4 (1998–1999)
- Batman Annual #22 (1998)
- Superman Adventures #18 (1998)
- Nightwing/Huntress #1–4 (1998)
- Batman 80 Page Giant #1 (1998)
- Batman Villains: Secret Files & Origins #1 (1998)
- JLA/Titans #1–#3 (1998–1999)
- DCU Holiday Bash II, III (1998, 1999)
- The Titans Secret Files #1 (1999)
- The Titans #1–20 (#14 co-written with Brian K. Vaughan; #13, 17–20 co-written with Jay Faerber) (1999–2000)
- Detective Comics#731, 741 (1999, 2000)
- Batman#564, 574 (1999, 2000)
- Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight#116, 126, 177–178 (1999, 2000, 2004)
- Shadow of the Bat #84, 92, 94 (1999, 1999, 2000)
- JLA #32 (co-written with Mark Waid) (1999)
- Nightwing Secret Files #1 (1999)
- Relative Heroes #1–6 (2000)
- Batman: Gotham City Secret Files #1 (2000)
- Batman: Gotham Knights #1–11, 14–18, 20–32 (2000–2002)
- Nightwing #53, 71–100, 107–117, Annual #1 (2001, 2002–2006)
- Batman/Joker: Switch (2003)
- Year One: Batman/Ra's Al Ghul #1–2 (2005)
- User #1–3 (2001)
- Everquest: Transformation (2002)
- Matador #1–6 (2005–2006)
- Legends of Red Sonja #1 - writer of La Sonja Rossa feature (2013)
- Vampirella; Feary Tales #1 - writer of Bluebeard's Blood feature (2014)
- Womanthology: Heroic - writer of Mook & Me feature (2012)
- Womanthology: Space #4 - writer of The Smell of Sunshine (2013)
- Black Widow Vol. 1 #1–3 (1999)
- Black Widow: Break Down #1–3 (co-written with Greg Rucka, 2001)
- Ghost Rider: The Hammer Lane #1–6 (Marvel Knight Imprint, 2001)
- X-Men: Evolution #1–8 (2001–2002)
- Girl Comics #1 (X-Men feature only, 2010)
- Batman: Rise of Sin Tzu (Published by Aspect, 2003)
- Smallville: City (Published by Aspect, 2004)
- DC Universe: Inheritance (Published by Warner Books, 2006)
- Furey, Emmett (July 16, 2007). "Homosexuality in Comics - Part I". Comic Book Resources.
- Burtis, Randy (August 9, 2004). "An Interview with Devin Grayson". Alvaro's ComicBoards.com. Quote: "Devin Kalile Grayson is my real and legal name. It's what's on my driver's license, passport, Social Security card, etc. I've never written under a pseudonym. I was born with a different name, but had it legally changed in my early twenties—well before I was working in comics or even thinking about such—in response to sexual abuse issues in my childhood that made me feel like I needed to distance myself from my past a little bit psychologically."
- Russell, Lissau (June 19, 2001). "Batwoman: Bisexual comics writer Devin Grayson (Batman, Ghost Rider) breaks through the comic book glass ceiling by fleshing out the human side of superheroes". The Advocate. pp. 90 - 92. Archived at Google Books. Retrieved May 31, 2015.
- Lissau, Russell (June 21, 2002). "Just 'winging it: Devin Grayson on 'Nightwing'". Comic Book Resources.
- Newitz, Annalee (December 15, 2006). "She’s Such a Geek!". Wired.
- John, Tracey (December 9, 2009). "Q&A: Comic Writer Devin Grayson on Writing for New MMO". Time.
- "17th Annual Comics Buyers Guide Fan Awards (1999)". Comic Book Awards Almanac, Hahn Library. Retrieved May 31, 2015.
- "18th Annual Comics Buyers Guide Fan Awards (2000)". Comic Book Awards Almanac, Hahn Library. Retrieved May 31, 2015.
- "About". Devin Grayson Central. Retrieved May 31, 2015.
- Kolodjeski, Laura (July 5, 2012). "Author Devin Grayson Shares Two of Her Passions: Comics and Cody". Discuss Diabetes. Sanofi. Archived from the original on July 17, 2012. Retrieved January 21, 2015.
|Teen Titans writer
|Batman: Gotham Knights writer