Comic fans have a love-hate relationship with Kevin Smith. They love it when he bends his attention to writing comics, as he knows them as well as anyone, has a genuine love for them, and turns out damned interesting reads. They hate it because, on occasion, Smith has been known to let a deadline slip…sometimes for years.

But after his recent Batman miniseries, Cacophony, shipped on time — much to the delight of both DC Comics and Bat-buffs everywhere — Smith is climbing back into the saddle for two more comics projects. One is a new Batman miniseries called The Widening Gyre, in which Smith is also creating a new hero for the DC Universe, and the other is a Green Hornet miniseries for Dynamite Entertainment– based on the screenplay he wrote back in 2004 for a scuttled GH film.

According to Smith, “The Widening Gyre is a 12-issue Batman mini-seriessplit into two volumes, with a half year break between each. Issues onethrough six (Book I) will ship monthly. Then, the story goes on holdfor six months. Then, issues seven through 12 (Book II) will once againship monthly. Yes, I built in the break to insure we don’t run into myusual problems with lateness. But I’m trying to improve, folks: firstsix scripts and first issue’s art — by Cacophony artist Walt Flanagan– were already done before we took this public. But here’s the kicker:three weeks after the last issue of The Widening Gyre, we’ll launch asolo series featuring the new character, which I’ll be writingbi-monthly.”

And then there’s Green Hornet. “Dynamite honcho Nick Barrucci hit mewith an email, saying he’d locked up the license [for masked crimefighter Brit Reid and his nimble sidekick, Kato], and asking ifI wanted to write an arc,” says Smith. “But had to decline because Iwas in the middle of the Batman scripts. But then I thought ‘I alreadywrote a Hornet story once…’ It’s the Hornet movie I’d make if I wasmaking it today. And there’s no better time to do that than before SethRogen and Michel Gondry’s version defines the character for themainstream. We haven’t picked an interior artist yet, but we’ve gotsome stellar cover talent on board already: Alex Ross, John Cassaday,Jae Lee, and David Finch.”

All of this while Smith preps to shoot A Couple of Dicks — a surely-to-be-retitled NYPDdetective comedy with Bruce Willis and Tracy Morgan — this June. “Youknow me: plates, plates, plates, spin, spin, spin.” The Widening Gyrehits stands in August, with Green Hornet following soon after.