January 2018 Newsletter
THE ORACLE YEAR on tv, THE HUNT FOR WOLVERINE, UPCOMING APPEARANCES AND MORE!
Welcome to the inaugural Charles Soule newsletter! My goal here is to get these out once a month, and perhaps supplement with additional announcements if they make sense. If you haven't signed up for the newsletter proper, you can do that just over to the right. In this one, I discuss my first novel getting optioned for TV (just below), Curse Words, some thoughts on the Jedi in The Last Jedi, upcoming appearances and of course, the Hunt for Wolverine. Click on any subject to jump to it, or just scroll down - and thanks for reading!
The Oracle Year
If you're here, there's a good chance you follow me on social media, which means you've been seeing me talk quite a bit about my upcoming first novel, THE ORACLE YEAR. There's a whole page on this site with information about the book's story, pre-ordering, the bonus you get for pre-ordering (I'll mail you a custom, handwritten prediction of your future) and more - definitely click over there or visit www.oracleyear.com. I've said this elsewhere, but pre-ordering a book is incredibly helpful to authors, because publishers keep a running tally. It can be a big deal, especially in the first week of release. If you think you'll be reading (or listening to, etc. etc.), please consider pre-ordering! If you like any of my other work, I'm confident you'll like this.
THE ORACLE YEAR is getting some fantastic early buzz - Publisher's Weekly called it "wildly entertaining," New York Times-bestselling authors Brad Meltzer, Scott Snyder and Chuck Wendig said (respectively) it's "the best kind of fun," "fiercely intelligent" and called me, ahem, "a master of prose." It's also one of Publisher's Marketplace's Spring/Summer 2018 Buzz Books, and they've placed a free excerpt up at their site - go check that out!
That's not all, though. I'm burying the lede a little bit - THE ORACLE YEAR has been optioned for TV! The folks at Tomorrow Studios, a very interesting group of people with a long Hollywood history and great projects in development and on the air (including Good Behavior and the upcoming Snowpiercer TV adaptation,) have acquired the novel to be developed into a show. Here's the press release, if you want to know a bit more. This was a bit of a process - there were a number of studios interested in the book, and it got into one of those fabled bidding wars. It felt... pretty good, especially because the deal we put together included my participation in the project as an executive producer. I'm not sure what will happen with it - Hollywood is Hollywood, and the vast majority of projects never move on past being optioned - but it is significantly better than a sharp stick in the eye.
Good things all around with THE ORACLE YEAR, and if it sounds like your kind of thing, please consider pre-ordering, marking it as to-read on Goodreads or even just talking it up on social media. The book is in a good place for a debut novel, but believe me, every bit helps - and if you do decide to do any of this... THANK YOU.
THE HUNT FOR WOLVERINE
Marvel announced on Friday, January 19 that the amazing Dave Marquez and I will be kicking off HUNT FOR WOLVERINE in April with the issue you see to your left there - the Alpha issue. (That's drawn by my frequent collaborator Steve McNiven and inked by Jay Leisten, names you might remember from the 2014 project in which we sent Logan to the great beyond: DEATH OF WOLVERINE. Laura Martin colored it - incredible work.)
The news just hit, and I haven't had a chance to do much press yet, but I thought this might be a good chance to explain just a bit about what this story is and what it's leading to. Wolverine died when he was encased in molten adamantium after losing his healing factor. Probably not the best way to go, but he went out a hero, saving lives. He was ready.
Now, though, it seems like he's ready to RETURN. There have been little sightings around the Marvel Universe recently of someone who sure as hell looks like Logan, even some scenes with him in possession of one of the most powerful artifacts around - an Infinity Stone. That begs the question, though - how did he come back, and what is he up to? HUNT FOR WOLVERINE is designed to answer those questions... but it's called a "hunt" for a reason. The issue you see above is the first chapter of a bigger mystery that will - over time - answer all your questions.
After the issue from Dave Marquez and me hits in April, starting in May the story expands along four paths. Four new stories, each of which will reveal a big clue to the overall mystery, and each with a different genre flavor. ADAMANTIUM AGENDA is huge superhero action/adventure, CLAWS OF THE KILLER is horror, MYSTERY IN MADRIPOOR is dark romance and WEAPON LOST is a detective story. They all have their own creative teams (which are GREAT) - I'm sure those will be announced soon. I'm orchestrating all of it, and one of the main things I'm working hard to do is make sure each one of these stories matters - not just within the HUNT FOR WOLVERINE mystery, but also within the Marvel Universe. The casts for these stories are super cool - people you wouldn't necessarily expect, but who have had close relationships with Logan of one kind or another over the years. Each is designed to have its own "big huge thing" beyond just the Wolverine clues, too... something related to the characters in each story, different each time, that I... well, I can't believe we get to do these things. Sometimes - VERY RARELY - at Marvel (or DC, for that matter) the toybox gets thrown open, it's pedal to the metal, do what you want... and that's what's happening here.
So, what is all this building to? It's sure as hell building to something, I'll tell you that. It's all structured as a mystery, and I look forward to seeing how people put together the clues. Should be a great time this spring and summer - but I will say that it's a ride, an experience. There's a destination in mind. Mysteries don't reveal the killer on the first page. More soon!
Will you look at that? Unbelievable, right? That gorgeous image is the variant cover by Tula Lotay for CURSE WORDS #11, which begins the series third arc, "The Hole Damned World." The issue is out in February, and FOC for this is today, January 22. So, if you want one, today is the day to let your retailer know. You can also order it here from the good folks at Midtown Comics. (While I think it's generally best to support your local shop, I also know that not everyone has a local shop or easy access to pre-ordering comics - that's why I'm giving you the option.)
Two collections are already out for the series: Volume 1 - "The Devil's Devil" and Volume 2 - "Explosiontown." You can find them at your local comic shop, online, digital, wherever and however comics are sold. CURSE WORDS is from me and my close friend and brilliant madman Ryan Browne, and it's our attempt to inject some good times and good fun into comics. It's about a family of evil wizards in New York City that doesn't think they're evil and doesn't know they're a family. Nerdist called it "overall fantastic and tons of fun." If you haven't tried it yet, maybe you should?
Last summer, Ryan and I went on tour for the series, decorating up a van (the #wizardvan, may she R.I.P.) and driving around to 26 states over the course of a month. You can see photos, videos and tour diary stuff over at www.wizord.horse. It was a phenomenal time, and we're working on trying to do something similar this summer. Probably won't be as long, but we'd love to hit some shops west of the Mississippi and spread that Curse Words love. We're also thinking about some stunts we might pull, getting cool wizard-y merch out there and other fun things we could do. We're just so happy that the book's found a loyal, fantastic audience, and we're working on ways to give back.
JEDI AND THE LAST JEDI
I love Star Wars. I love it so much, too much, maybe - no, not too much. I'm in that perfect sweet spot of people who got hooked early, grew up with it in every incarnation from novels to video games to toys. It's a multi-generational thing for me, too, from parents to kids. I've found things to love in every Star Wars film so far, some more than others, but there's always something, and usually a lot. I loved Episode VIII, too - The Last Jedi. I'm not blind to the fact that it's been a bit polarizing, and you don't have to love something other people love if you don't want to - but being dismissive or shitty to people just because they like something you don't, or vice versa? Eh. Such a waste of time and energy.
Not here to litigate The Last Jedi, though (although I could - my lawyer superpowers do give me that ability.) Instead, I want to talk a bit about one thing that really, really worked for me - the treatment of the Jedi in the film, and the way it incorporates so much of their timeline and history we've seen and just makes it work. I write a ton of Star Wars stories - I'm incredibly lucky to be able to do that - and so I've spent a lot of time thinking about the Jedi, the way they work and worked, all of the different ones we've seen across all the stories.
And here's the thing. The Jedi can be hard to love, and the more we found out about them as the movies continued (especially the Prequels,) the harder they became to love. They seemed like an organization that began with wonderful intentions and abilities to effect positive change, and then calcified, to the extent that they were blind to their own flaws. They didn't feel like the Jedi I'd idealized since I was a kid. Luke Skywalker in Return of the Jedi - that was a JEDI. Heroic, skilled, fearless, willing to make sacrifices. The Jedi Council in Episode III? I dunno. I think they thought they were exactly what Jedi should be, because nothing had ever pushed them to be anything else, really. They thought they were great because they once were great.
Then, they fell, and fell hard. I think the survivors (mainly talking about Obi-Wan and Yoda) knew what had happened, the truth of their failure, and grew from it, and tried to instill in Luke the image of what a Jedi should be. That became Luke in Return of the Jedi. But he'd still been trained by remnants of the old Order, and some of that leaked through to his own teachings and so on when he founded his temple to train Ben Solo and the others. So, again, failure, enough that it left Luke bitter and burned and withdrawn.
But now, because of The Last Jedi, and its explicit acknowledgment of these ideas, we finally have this opportunity for the entire legacy of the messed-up Galactic Republic-era Jedi Order to vanish. Luke trained Rey to some degree, but really not that much. If she learned lessons, they were good ones - about heroism, bravery and sacrifice. Plus, she has the primary Jedi texts, which seem to be tens of thousands of years old. Presumably, they're the real deal, undiluted ideas about the Force and using its abilities in wise and just ways - I mean, they became the foundation for a galaxy-spanning organization that lasted for millennia.
In other words, it's a chance to go all the way back to the beginning, and to let us see a new kind of Jedi. The kind I certainly imagined when I was a kid, watching A New Hope and Empire and Return. The Jedi are supposed to be AWESOME - and now, because of the choices made in The Last Jedi, they can be.
I have a number of events and such scheduled over the next few months, and I'm starting to put together my calendar for the full year. The best place to get the full picture is to click over to the Appearances page, but here's what I have in the relatively near future:
January 23-25 - Winter Institute (Memphis, TN) - this is a publishing industry conference for independent booksellers, where I'll be promoting and discussing THE ORACLE YEAR. I've never been, and I'm excited to be able to meet indie bookstore owners. Such a cool, important way to keep people reading.
March 1-4 - Emerald City Comicon (Seattle, WA) - I'll be at the show all four days, talkin' up CURSE WORDS, DARTH VADER, POE DAMERON, ASTONISHING X-MEN, DAREDEVIL and everything else I write. I'll have samplers of the first three chapters of THE ORACLE YEAR and lots of other stuff. This show is traditionally my first one of the year, and I'm very excited to get out and see everyone again.
April 3 - Greenlight Books (Brooklyn, NY) - For the release day of THE ORACLE YEAR, I'll be doing an interview and signing at the amazing Greenlight Books in Brooklyn - one of those indie bookstores I mentioned. If you're in the neighborhood, please consider coming out - it'd be great to have a packed house! Might even find a local watering hole nearby for drinks after - why not celebrate, right?
April 5 - Texas Library Association (Dallas, TX) - I'll be doing a signing and discussion session for the TLA this afternoon - more details on this soon.
April 6 - C2E2 (Chicago, IL) - Another comic convention, but this time I won't be there all weekend, just Friday (my sister's wedding is Saturday, so I can't stick around.) As currently planned, I'll be doing an autograph session for THE ORACLE YEAR in the afternoon, and will probably spend time at Ryan Browne's table to push that CURSE WORDS, but that's it. I'll circulate more details when I have them.
Hope to see you guys out!
That's it for this one - if you liked what you read, and you're not already subscribed, multiple chances to do that - over on the right, and at the bottom of every page on the site. See you soon, and thank you for reading.