Where things are - July 2017
It's pretty clear that this blog has moved on out of my ordinary workflow at this point - I think that's partly because I'm a pretty busy little typer, and if it's a choice between typing up a post or working on an upcoming project/deadline or... not writing, one of the latter two has been more appealing. But I also think the world has moved past blogs as a way to get information - writing one of these is like shouting into an empty room in comparison with, say, tweeting something. I still think there's some value here, though - although I bet the same thing could be accomplished by a newsletter, as a number of my writerly colleagues in and out of comics have already discovered. So - looking into that, as well as a better web presence in general. I had a nice little site hosted by the fine folks at Flavors.me, but as they've moved on to Internet Heaven I'll have to find another answer. As with everything else, it's just about finding time and headspace to make all the creative decisions involved - two zones which are already pretty well-occupied for me. So let's talk about that a little - I'm lucky to be able to say that I'm writing quite a bit at the moment. Here's the list, with little updates on projects current, past and future:
- CURSE WORDS: This is my big Image Comics project with co-creator Ryan Browne, who is the absolute best, and a guy I've been hoping to work with for years. It's about a wizard from a very bad place, like an evil dark dimension, who arrives in NYC with orders to destroy the world. But once he gets here, he starts hanging out and decides he has too much fun in our world to end it. Things go straight to hell from there. The series began in January, is published in single issues every month, and the first collection - of the first story arc "The Devil's Devil" - hits on July 19! Here's the cover to that collection: Beautiful, no? Ryan and I are going on tour to support this book from July 21 through August 14. We're getting a van, decorating it up all wizard-like, and driving all around the US to visit stores and cities everywhere to promote the book. This all started as sort of a dumb idea some months back to make sure people would keep thinking and talking about Curse Words even after its initial launch (not always an easy thing to pull off.) It's turned into something real - all too real - and it's crazy to think that in ten days we're headed out to see this great land of ours. We're pretty excited about it, though, and hopefully it will all be as much fun as we think it will be. Here's the tour schedule:
2. THE ORACLE YEAR - If you're an avid reader of this blog, or you follow me on Twitter (that's really the best place to get the day to day updates from me right now) you'll know that I sold my first novel, The Oracle Year, to HarperCollins publishing last November. The book is about a man who obtains one hundred and eight specific predictions of the future, what he decides to do with them, and how he and the world are nearly shattered by those choices. We're about eight months out from the sale, and it's been such an interesting process. The wheels move much more slowly than comics, although in a good way. It's just different. The book's been through a few rounds of edits, and copy-edits (which was fascinating - all kudos to people who do that job), the cover's been designed, I have new author photos, we have a publication date, the whole deal. More news will start to break on that this month and next, but for now... well, it's an incredible ride, something I've dreamed of since I was a kid, and I hope many, many millions of you will buy the book when it comes out. Sure would be great for all involved!
3. MARVEL SUPERHEROES! Still writing a LOT for Marvel, which remains phenomenal. I'm getting to write books about characters I love, add to the larger mythology... can't beat it. Right now, I'm doing two books in the Marvel superhero universe, and two in the Star Wars world - I'll hit them separately.
a. DAREDEVIL - I've been writing Daredevil since 2015, and as readers since then already know, there was a big plan all along in the book - every issue is part of a larger story building up to the current arc, entitled "Supreme." As I write this, we're a bit over halfway through that arc, with Issue 23 on shelves last week. The story runs until Issue 25, and is a big, cool culmination of a bunch of storytelling that I've been building up for literally years. After that, it's a cool story involving Daredevil's protégé Blindspot called "Land of the Blind," and then... we'll see. It's been great, over the last year or so (really starting with "Dark Art," "Seventh Day," "Purple" and now "Supreme,") to see how readers are getting acquainted with the overall picture of the story. When you've only got one or two issues out, it's like a jigsaw puzzle that's barely been assembled. You don't really know what you're reading, and you're holding this incomplete thing up in your head against the perfect, complete stories you've already read using the character (and with Daredevil, there have been plenty). Now, though, it's easier to see what I've been building - but don't worry, still plenty of surprises to come.
b. ASTONISHING X-MEN - I'm writing a new X-Men series (first issue is out on July 19, same day as Curse Words v1 AND Curse Words #6, actually, which is one day after my birthday - buy them all as your personal gift to me!) involving a pretty intense lineup of mutants - Psylocke, Old Man Logan, Fantomex, Rogue, Gambit, Bishop, Mystique and Bishop. It's designed to be a very focused, fast read, building to something very specific... but it's also a puzzle box, where you're constantly getting great X-moments but you're not entirely sure if you're on steady ground as far as what they mean. The book has a rotating roster of wonderful artists (starting with Jim Cheung, then Mike Deodato Jr., then Ed McGuinness and just rolling on from there), and hopefully won't feel like anything else out there, whether X-y or not. I'm very proud of it - I'm swinging for the fences on it. I hope you'll like it too.
4. STAR WARS - writing two books in the Star Wars universe right now... let's talk about them a bit!
a. POE DAMERON - I just turned in script for Issue 20 on this book. I've been writing Poe since just after The Force Awakens came out, and now we've got The Last Jedi approaching quickly on the horizon. Such a time to be a Star Wars fan! Such a time to be a Star Wars CREATOR! It's incredible. In part because of my work on this book, I got to attend Star Wars Celebration in Orlando this past spring as a guest, which was a blast - seeing a unified group gathered around one set of stories and characters was very interesting as opposed to your average comic convention, which is a bit more cacophonous fandom-wise. Poe's been an awesome ride for me as its writer - Phil Noto did an amazing job drawing the book through issue 13, and then Angel Unzueta has put on Poe's jacket for the current run of issues - he'll be around for a good bit, which is great (and Phil's still on for covers, which is fantastic too!) While the Poe Dameron series is set in the pre-The Force Awakens timeline, the book's story is getting closer to those fateful events on Jakku that open the movie, and we'll start to feel that as the book moves on. Exciting times - and like Daredevil, it all reads as part of the same story (as it should.)
b. DARTH VADER - Wow, the response to THIS book... thank you to everyone reading, talking and thinking about it. I knew a Vader book would be big, in part because Kieron Gillen's run on with Salvador Larocca and the other great artists on that book was massive (and perfectly executed) - but man. You guys are into this book, and it feels phenomenal. As I write this, two issues are out, with Issue 3 hitting tomorrow. The first story arc deals with Darth Vader, new to his dark suit of armor, heading out into the galaxy to find a surviving Jedi so he can take his lightsaber and use it as the seed for his own, iconic red blade. I think issues 1-5 of this book are one of the best things I've ever done, and it might just get better from there. All thanks, too, to Giuseppe Camuncoli, Cam Smith, David Curiel and Joe Caramagna - we're all working as a team here to bring you something special. Some books feel like everything's just syncing up perfectly, and that's Vader so far. Very pleased and fortunate to be on this book.
5. OTHER STUFF - this is the part of the "here's what I'm up to" post where, traditionally, I tease stuff I can't really talk about too much. So, speculate away about... a AAA game for which I did a bunch of writing... another prose story I'm extremely proud of that will be seeing the light of day relatively soon... the plot of my second novel, which is ticking along... the massive creator-owned project that I've been working on for about a year - first art should start to appear in August, which is amazing. Artist is someone I'm beyond thrilled to be working with - this will be a big one.
So there you go - perhaps next time this will be a newsletter, we'll see. Right now, as I look up at all of these stories I get to tell, I'm thinking what I always think around the end of these posts, which is this: "man, I am lucky." Thank you for helping to keep my lucky streak going, and see you on the road for that Curse Words tour!