CH-CH-CH-CHANGES! - 9/21/2018
Hello there. Been a while. I have a bunch of interesting things to talk about in this month's installment, from thoughts on the end of my multi-year run on Marvel's Daredevil comic, to a terrible mistake I made with my Image Comics series Curse Words and my efforts to rectify it, to a gorgeous omnibus edition of my series Letter 44 (only forty-four copies will be produced!), to another update on Novel 2, and general thoughts about the way my career as a writer feels like it's entering a new phase. Plus more! There's always more. Read on... IF YOU DARE.
Get it? Because the first thing I plan to talk about is Daredevil. A few weeks ago, Marvel released the gorgeous image below by the incredible Bill Sienkewicz:
So, what's the deal? Well, the answer is this - after more than three years steering the adventures of the Devil of Hell's Kitchen, and well over four years in the planning and writing, and more than fifty issues all told (depending on how you count them, and the way *I* count them, it's more than fifty issues), I'll be stepping away with Issue 612. Am I sad? Yes. I've had Daredevil in my back pocket for a long time now, and it will be hard to say good-bye. That said, this is the way it goes - you never own these characters, you just guide them for a time, and try to add things to their stories and their legacies. I hope I did a good job - these are the things that stand out to me as I reflect on the run:
Matt Murdock arguing before the Supreme Court
Brother Jordan and Ordo Draconum
Bringing Mike Murdock "back to life"
All cool things, and man, I got to work with some amazing artists along the way. I'll probably do a big post on www.charlessoule.com when the run ends that talks about it more, but for now, what you should know is that my final arc is a four-parter running from 609-612 called THE DEATH OF DAREDEVIL, and it's part of a long tradition of Daredevil writers doing everything they can to screw with the next writer. I wanted to do the biggest, craziest version of that I could... so I decided to kill Matt Murdock. Good luck, next writer.
THE CURSE WORDS COVER DEBACLE
The cover above was drawn by me for Curse Words #16, the start of the next arc on the series, "Them Blue Wizard Blues." The idea was to do something fun, to mix it up a little, to have the writer (me) who is not an artist (obviously) draw a cover. I got all cocky and created the abomination you see above. The problem was that until recently, I didn't think it was an abomination. I thought it was great! I was giving people art tips on Twitter, acting like a real stuck-up jerk.
I was a fool. A stuck-up jerk fool.
When I got the physical copies of the cover in the mail, the "comps," as they're called, I realized what I'd done - disrespected my partner and Curse Words co-creator, the Immortal Ryan Browne, as well as every real artist I've ever worked with. I should never have done it!
So, I immediately instituted a policy - if you bring me this cover at a convention, I will BUY IT BACK from you at cover price! I just want to get this garbage off the streets. So, if you see it at the stores, buy as many as you can. Hell, ask your shop to order as many as they're willing to get in for you. Then, just bring them to me, and I will make you whole.
Together, my friends, we can do this. I am so ashamed!
THE LETTER 44 SPECIAL EDITION OMNIBUS!
As I mentioned in the intro, I've partnered with the cool folks at Omaha Bound to create a special, extremely limited edition omnibus of the entirety of my science fiction epic Letter 44, originally published by Oni Press, with almost all the art by my good friend Alberto Jimenez Albuquerque.
You can see an image of what we've created above - it's designed to look like a huge classified file, and contains all thirty-five issues of the series. The interiors were made from my own comp copies, so if you get one of these, you're getting copies of the issues that were once in my house... which is kind of cool, I suppose?
It includes lots of extras, from a replica of the "actual" Letter 44, to signed bookplates, to a unique, custom sketch from Alberto created for this edition, among other things. We are only making forty-four of them (get it?), and although they're pricey ($220 including US shipping), it's a very unique item that I expect will go fast.
More info and ordering instructions here.
WOLVERINE HAS OFFICIALLY... RETURNED!
This week saw the debut, at long last, of Return of Wolverine #1. It's hard to believe it's really on shelves, and people are reading it. I wrote the script in January! Reaction (at least that I've seen and heard) has been strong, which is great - Steve McNiven and I were trying to make Logan feel like a force of nature, a mythological edifice returning to a world that will tremble at his very presence.
Yes, #hotclaws and all.
I just heard today that the issue is going to a second printing, which is amazing. I also just did the lettering draft for #2, which features art by Declan Shalvey and looks incredible. Declan will be on the series through Issue 4, and then Steve comes back for the big, oversized finale with #5. When all is said and done, Dec and Steve will have split the pages right down the middle. It's all written, a bunch is drawn, and I can't wait for you to see where it goes.
It won't be where you're expecting, and some of you might get very angry with me around... oh... Issue 3. But we'll see how you feel when it's all said and done. I couldn't be prouder of the book, and I'm still pinching myself that I got to do this project.
Orders were massive, and part of that was the number of variant covers people did for it - not just Marvel, but stores and so on, too. SIXTY-THREE, is what I heard. Wild. I couldn't be left out of that, of course, so in association with ComicSketchArt.com, Adi Granov and I did our own cover for Return of Wolverine #1, in a number of cool variations:
You can see all the different versions and order them signed, in sets, CGCed... however you want to get them. All of that is available here.
It's an interesting time for me right now. As I mentioned above, my run on Daredevil ends with #612, which should be out around the end of the year. Poe Dameron's final issue, #31, hits shelves next week. Return of Wolverine is a five-issue limited series. That leaves just Darth Vader as far as my Big 2 comics work, and of course, Curse Words for Image.
Will I be doing more work with Marvel? Yes. There are at least four things in the works for them as we speak. However, the time when I'm writing four ongoing series for them, plus creator-owned and other projects alongside... I think that's done for now. I have Novel 2, which I am now through the second draft for and I'm getting increasingly excited about - someone's read it and said it was better than The Oracle Year... so, fingers crossed. I have another big project in a new medium for me that I have to get right, plus there's this thing I'm doing next week that you'll hear about next year that I STILL CANNOT BELIEVE IS HAPPENING. I also have a massive creator-owned book, and the thing I'll do with Ryan Browne after Curse Words wraps, and another very cool creator-owned thing, and hopefully Novels 3 and 4 and... yeah. If you like my writing, it's not going anywhere. It's just moving into a new phase, and I hope you'll come along.
My fall schedule is up here, with appearances at New York Comicon, Paris Comicon, Rhode Island Comicon and more. There’s a bunch of useful information at my site, CharlesSoule.com, from my writers notes on whatever I have out in a given week, to my calendar to the Store, which has a ton of unique items and might be worth a browse.
Okay, I’m off to go get a pair of jeans and find a bar in which I will work on my last issue of Daredevil. Enjoy the weekend!