This is going to be one of those scattershot postings done because I feel like it's time to post something on the blog rather than any particular impetus.  So, buckle in, folks, and prepare yourselves for a number of small updates on various subjects! The biggest of the smallest is the release of the cover for the 27 trade, which will be available in stores this June.  The book just hit Previews (the monthly catalog listing everything coming out, used by shop owners to decide what they're going to stock).  If you're someone who preorders (tells your shop in advance that you want something), you'll need what's called the "Previews code," which is APR110417.  Here's the solicitation text: "The dark mysteries of rock and roll royalty's '27 Club' are revealed in this collection of the hit series. All the twists, all the action, all the weirdness, in one beautiful package! Full of extras, including an all-new 12-page backup story, it's the most exciting thing to hit since the Beatles at Budokan!"  Even better, though, here's the truly amazing cover, once again by Scott Forbes:

The thing that strikes me about that cover is that it's going to become the image associated with First Set going forward - each of the individual "homage" covers, even that killer cover for Issue 1 (my favorite) are going to sort of fade in the public's mind.  Unless there's some sort of omnibus collection at some point, or perhaps a reprint, that is what people are going to see when they think of 27.  (That, of course, makes the pretty large assumption that people will be thinking about it at all - but you can't go into these things with a negative attitude.)  I wanted something incredibly striking, that would sum up the book's themes perfectly, and I think this nails it.  Rock star striking a pose while his stage burns down around him?  Bingo.  I'm very happy with the way the trade's coming together, and I think people will like it.

Other news - Second Set is coming along well, although I'm a little surprised myself at where it's going.  One thing that's been interesting to me has been talking to people at conventions who enjoyed First Set (and believe me, that's been fantastic).  They seem to have taken some things from the book I wasn't necessarily expecting, and it's made me adjust my approach to Second Set.  Only slightly, though, and mostly I'm talking about slight adjustments to character beats here and there - the book will be what I planned it to be from the beginning.

Strongman 2: Oaxaca Tapout is all but complete.  Here's the exact status, as of this morning: all 148 pages have been penciled, and 129 of those have been inked.  119 have been lettered.  Cover is complete (and has been for a while).  I expect the entire book to be finished, top to bottom, within the next two to three weeks.  Based on the publishing schedule for SLG, the current release date is slated for early August.  It's not coming out as soon as I would have liked, but I am thrilled with the way it all came together, and I just can't wait for people to have it in their hands to read.  It's crucial that you preorder this one, so if you haven't yet, please click on the link at the beginning of this paragraph and give it a go! And if you only know my stuff from 27, the Strongman series is a set of action/crime OGNs revolving around the adventures of an over-the-hill, 65-year-old luchador (masked Mexican wrestler).  It reads like Sin City, but uplifting.

I've seen the first pencils from the unannounced OGN, currently scheduled for release in June 2012.  I think it's going to be very strong, but there's not much to say about it other than it's in progress, and I'll tell you more about it as soon as I can.

The other fun news is that a Strongman movie might be bubbling up again.  As longtime readers know, a script has been in existence for a Strongman movie for years, which I pull out and tinker with from time to time.  I try never to get too excited about things happening on that front (read Brian Michael Bendis' Fortune and Glory for a great distillation of why pinning your happiness to Hollywood dreams is a fool's game), but still, it would be nice if it happened.  This week, there was some interest from someone "real," who could actually get it done, if they chose to.  Like I said, it's still incredibly unlikely, but on the other hand, it's closer than it's ever been, and I have to admit, I'd love to see Tigre clomping his way across the silver screen someday (even it would be more likely that he would first clomp across a TV screen after going straight to DVD.  I'd take it.)

What else... I had a great time in Chicago at C2E2, although I really think I spent too much time chasing editors and other meetings and not enough at my table.  I did fine, but all the running around turned the con into more stress than fun.  Emerald City was much more relaxing.  Still, Chicago gave me a chance to run into some of the great creators I've become friendly with, talk to fans of my work, meet new people, and enjoy Chicago a bit (including, particularly, late-night ribs at the Twin Anchors with two of my favorite people in the world, Gari and Jack.  If you're ever in Chicago, don't miss that place.  Fabulous.)

MoCCA in about a week, here in NYC.  I'm looking forward to a con I can just take a subway to.  I'll be hanging out with my Strongman 2 inker and good buddy Robert Saywitz - if you're there, stop by and say hello!


A new thing.

Flying over Chicago