April 4, 2018 - THE ORACLE YEAR & ASTONISHING X-MEN #10
This one might be a bit brief – I’m writing while I’m on a plane to Dallas for the first out-of-town leg of my book tour for my novel THE ORACLE YEAR, which was just released yesterday. Such a wonderful day… enormous support from all corners, great reviews, and I even had the unique pleasure of going to a bookstore, seeing my very own novel on the new releases table, and picking it up. It all culminated in a fantastic release party at Greenlight Books in Brooklyn with friends, family and fans (who are also friends and family!)
Things look really good for the book, but in many ways, the work’s just beginning. It’s out, people can buy it and read it… now the trick is getting folks to do that. If you haven’t given it a shot yet, please consider it. There are order links over at the Oracle Year page on this site, as well as at www.oracleyear.com. The novel was selected as an Amazon Best Book of the Month for April as well as their Spotlight Debut, an Indie Next pick and much more.
I’ll be traveling all around the country to support the book over the rest of the year – some of it’s at conventions, some of it’s at dedicated bookstore signings, or as part of the Wizard Van 2, The Vannening tour for Curse Words Ryan Browne and I are planning for this summer (details on that soon!) For now, here’s the list of tour stops I have planned. Up-to-date information will always be available at the Appearances page on this site, too.
So, that’s the Oracle Year, which is huge – but it’s not all I have out this week. There’s also Astonishing X-Men #10, with art by the incredible ACO.
Colors are by Rachelle Rosenberg and letters, as always, by Clayton Cowles. This is part four of Act II of my Astonishing storyline, “A Man Called X.” It advances the story of my team of X-Men fighting Proteus, and it’s an issue I’ve been looking forward to since the beginning of the series. If you don’t know the way AXM works, each issue has a different artist and colorist, so they all have their own vibe and feel. It’s all part of the same overarching story, but it’s given me a chance to (a) work with some incredible artists I love and (b) tailor scripts to the strengths of each individual team.
ACO, the artist for this issue, has an extremely unique style. It’s like pop art (I mean, all comics are pop art, but this is really pop art) – every page is a poster, almost. The compositions are always incredibly dynamic and powerful, full of motion and intensity and light. So, as a writer, how do you harness that to tell a story? Not just any story, either, but chapter 10 of a 12-part tale, with lots of things that have happened before this issue with which it should feel consistent, some crucial bits to be laid down here, and some major threads to be laid down before I wrap my story up in issues 11-12.
The answer? You don’t “harness” anything. You write a script that lets your incredible sparkling unicorn of an artist do what he does best, and buckle in to see what comes back pages-wise. In this case, I decided to follow the immortal advice laid down in many Godzilla films, and “let them fight.” AXM 10 is mostly a battle sequence, with all of the various team members getting their moments to shine as they try to take down Proteus. You wouldn’t use a Ferrari to push a snowplow, and you don’t use ACO for talking-head scenes.
What this means, as the writer, is that there’s still a bunch of work to be done once the pages come in, because while I gave ACO the thrust of the various things that were happening and dialogue, there was still a bunch of adjustment required to make it all work. It was interesting – it felt like a translation experience, seeing the story through his eyes as opposed to mine, how he saw it all unfolding. Really fun, and I think the results speak for themselves.
NEXT WEEK: Probably more nattering on from me about THE ORACLE YEAR, and also, DARTH VADER #14! That’s an awesome one. See you back here then!