Reverend Hunter is a story of conspiracy and feelings mixed with an story of redemption and love. The city of Bavil is a bad place to live, the U.S government has declare it the worst place, the government is corrupt and the people is scared, is a no man’s land where good heroes are no longer available. Enter Reverend Ashton Hunter, a dark figure of hope for this people, this person has come to help this god forsaken city, but his story, his life, his motives are more than it meets the eye. Come to Working Title Comics,and look for the preview in the comic section.
TRAILER PARK OF TERROR #4: “What You Wish For,” a tale of sex, guns, a Devil and a soul by Tony Lee and Paul Ridgon, in November. MYTHLANDS, a 4 part miniseries by Tony Lee, Owen Gieni and Don MacKinnon. Imagine SWAT crossed with LORD OF THE RINGS – where Elven yakuza mix it up with Orc Gangstas, and where a small, mutirational Special Crimes unit are all that stands between life as we know it and the return of an ancient evil. First page sample (image quality reduced for web).
I’m currently completing the first of three graphic albums for Humanoids Publishing. Entitled ARMY IN ANGELS, it’s the story of Jason Ash, a NOPD detective in the midst of tracking a serial killer and caught between two faction of angels, both vying for control. It’s written by screenwriter Thomas Fenton and will be published in France first and here in some form most likely in 2005.
My horror novel RISEN is coming out from Kensington Books in January 2004. A producer has optioned the screenplay and is now trying to sell it to the studios.
Tony Isabella and I have a Star Trek TOS novel due out in January 2004. It’s called STAR TREK: THE CASE OF THE COLONIST’S CORPSE. If the format of the title sounds familiar, because of my background as a lawyer and criminal defense attorney, editor John Ordover at Pocket Books asked us to take the Samuel T. Cogley character — the lawyer who represented Captain Kirk in the episode “Court Martial” and write a “Perry Mason” mystery with him.
I’m presently penciling and inking the title BLACK TIDE for Angel Gate Press. My redesigned website’s posting has been delayed due to unforeseen circumstances, but the original site is still there.
I’ve taken on some non-comic writing gigs that have taken up my time lately. However, I have done the occasional LOONEY TOONS and CARTOON CARTOONS story for DC. Jay Fotos is producing my STATIC-X script and shopping it around trying to find a publisher for it since Chaos died, and I’m in preliminary talks with my old Insane Clown Posse cohort Jerry Beck to write scripts for his upcoming Nightmare Factory comics. The non-comic things I’m working on are the SHREK 2 movie adaptation novel, another Looney Tunes Time Twists novel, and a project for Fisher Price that they made me sign a NDA for.
November ’03: THE LONE WOLF: QUEEN OF THIEVES, a 48-page crime/noir one-shot from Moonstone Books, co-written with Marie Croall and penciled by Gabriel Rearte. January ’04: #1 of VOLTRON, now ongoing from Devil’s Due, penciled by E.J. Su and Clint Hilinski. March ’04: #1 of MICRONAUTS re-launched, also ongoing from Devil’s Due with Pat Broderick on pencils. May ’04: debut of FIRESTORM, re-vamped and ongoing from DC, penciled by ChrisCross. May ’04: debut of an original creator-owned DCU ongoing monthly that I’m not allowed to talk about yet. November ’04: ENDGAME, a 96-page modern-day “Biblical Elseworlds-style” adaptation of the Book of Revelations for Metron Press, with Zach Howard on pencils and Ray Snyder on inks. Somewhere in there is a ten-page “Pantha” story in the new VAMPIRELLA MAGAZINE, too. Reading these stories will make you either very happy or very angry. Or both.
I haven’t been doing anything visible to American audience for almost a year, but concentrated on editing and publishing instead. I put out five books this year in the Croatian market, with some graphic novels forthcoming, and started a magazine. When and if I will return to comics remains to be seen.
… has completed about 45 pages of his new 260 – 300 page graphic novel ALICE IN SUNDERLAND, which will take him another year or so to complete, though from next march it will be serialized in the new monthly comics magazine WORDS AND PICTURES, published by Coppervale. ALICE IN SUNDERLAND is an innovative ‘dream documentary” telling not one story but dozens, all intertwined and within an overall framework. Its about myth, history, storytelling and more.
Current: LONE from Dark Horse; second issue will be out October 22nd. Futuristic post-holocaust western madness, with art by Russ Manning Award-winner Jerome Opena. The first issue is up for free on the Dark Horse site.. In November, John Lucas and I give Vampirella some white boy flava with “Mo Money, Mo Bullets,” in the second issue of the new VAMPIRELLA MAGAZINE …which also features a preview of… GIANT ROBOT WARRIORS, a political satire/romantic comedy graphic novel now soliciting from AiT/PlanetLar Books, with absolutely insane art by Ryan Kelly (LUCIFER). That’s out in December. My column, A THOUSAND FLOWERS: COMICS, POP CULTURE, AND THE WORLD OUTSIDE runs bi-weekly at Newsarama. I’m currently in the middle of a multi-part analysis of the different comics formats over time, which is hopefully more interesting than that sentence came out when I typed it. Coming up: Two more issues of JUSTICE LEAGUE ADVENTURES, the first one in March; a short story for METAL HURLANT; and PARA, a new series from Penny-Farthing Press that’s as close to my heart as a paranormal/hard science fiction thriller can be. That also starts in March. In development: Projects with collaborators Peter Gross, Steve Pugh, Matt Howarth, and (him again) Ryan Kelly; various things in discussion stages with different editors; and an odd packaging deal that could turn into something really nice down the line.
LOVE BYTES is an upcoming Platinum Megaverse graphic novel written by Joshua Elder and Randy Fairman, with art by Comic Book Idol competitor L. Frank Weber. A romantic comedy for the 21st century: The world’s first self-aware computer takes Sam Driscoll, a nice guy whose life is going nowhere, and offers him success, money, and the chance to be somebody. But when Sam meets Megan, the girl of his dreams, he finds out that’s not part of the plan…and hell hath no fury like a computer scorned.
I’m illustrating the 3 issue mini series MR. MOTO: WELCOME BACK, MR. MOTO, due out this December from publisher Moonstone Books. I’m not sure if it will still be on line when this copy hits the web, but check out Serializer.Net for a short graphic novella by me. If it’s gone, then read some of the other work!
These days, I’m spending most of my time working in educational TV and other kids’ media. But I’m still keeping my hand in enough to have fun, and hitting the word processor for several comics and almost-comics projects. My most regular gig at the moment is over at DC, where I’m a regular contributor to LOONEY TUNES and CARTOON CARTOONS. Recently, I wrote a couple of LOONEY TUNES theme issues that should be fun. The first one (which, I think, is scheduled for #109) spans the entire history of the Looneyverse – from the first Stone Age encounter between the Road Runner and Coyote, all the way up through space age salesman Daffy Duck selling Porky the first condominium on Mars. The second (as-yet-unscheduled) theme issue is being drawn as we speak. It celebrates 100 years of Acme products — with more than a tad of slapstick along the way. Buy a few copies and give them to some kids. Meanwhile, I’m spending the wee hours slaving away at an all-new GHOSTBUSTESprose novel called URBAN LEGENDS. iBooks is planning to publish the novel in 2004, just in time for the 20th anniversary of the original movie. Pretty much all of the old movie characters are back, and they still ain’t ‘fraid of no ghosts. Lots of thrills, chills, and all-out-hoo-hah action as the Ghostbusters battle an ancient fear demon and a whole mess of urban legends come to life. But this time, the biggest question isn’t how they’ll save mankind. It’s whether Bill Murray’s character, Venkman, can carry the election to become mayor of New York City. (Hey, you think it can’t happen? A guy named Schwarzenegger might disagree.)
Rik Hoskin writes a wealth of comic strip material for Disney, and has
worked on the majority of the modern Disney pantheon over the last 18 months. Most recently he’s been developing comic strip adventures for FINDING NEMO, BROTHER BEAR and LILO & STITCH, and he continues to work on SPY KIDS, ALADDIN and many other Disney properties. Initially published in his native Britain, Rik’s Disney work is syndicated worldwide – his PROUD FAMILY strips have most recently been running in DISNEY ADVENTURES in the USA this year. In complete contrast, Rik is also responsible for the revival of Skywald’s THE HEAP horror character, through tiny British horror publisher Chimera Arts. Rik’s original self-published comic book characters – THE AGENTS OF PSYENCE – now feature in a series of audio adventures available internationally on CD from. The site also features a sample trailer for the first PSYENCE adventure. Sticking with his roots, Rik continues to contribute to the occasional fan-produced zine, most predominantly to NuComix..
I’m pretty new to the comic business (my first series TOUCH OF DEATH is in stores now), but I’m excited about this new project I’m working on: ROSE FROM THE ASHES will be a 6 issue mini-series, set in Victorian London. It’s historical fiction taking place during the “Ripper” murders. Here’s a bit of marketing babble for you: The late 1800’s London, while a serial killer wanders the East End carefully selecting his next victim and the public is slowly driven into a media frenzy, another story falls through the cracks. The bombings begin, bombings of such tremendous destruction it baffles all those who investigate it. They begin with the destruction of two empty buildings in the financial district, leaving nothing but rubble and a mysterious calling card: a single red rose. Due to the bombings proximity to the more affluent section of London and the fear of driving the public into more of a panic, the police are forced into telling the media that the explosions were works of arson. The investigation takes a turn for the worse, when the lead inspector is killed in his house by a firebomb. A young inspector will take over, intent on discovering those behind the bombings and finding the true meaning of the Rose from the Ashes. Steve Pugh is doing penciling/inking for the series. Sadly no art yet. The first book should be ready early next year. Don’t know if I’ll self publish though.
IMMORTAL KISS is a 6 issue limited series, to be published through Graphic Illusions Studios. I co-write it with Chris Freiberg. The story is about two warring clans of vampires in Chicago, and two cops who are caught in the middle. This will be published sometime in 2004, although a preview is about to come out in a British comics magazine. I’m also busy writing BERSERKER: THE WILD HUNT. Art by Harris O’Malley. The story in a nutshell: The Huntsman and Honest Eckart have been adversaries for hundreds of years. Now, in a modern city, they are about to have their final confrontation. Because Eckart has figured out how to destroy the Huntsman. But for that, he needs to find someone who is willing to bear the curse of the Berserker. We plan to self-publish this one in time for the 2004 San Diego Con. Before that, we’re producing an ashcan that we will start giving away next spring. I’m also lead writer of a team of writers for a 12 issue science fiction series that is also supposed to debut next year, but I’m afraid that’s all I can say about it so far.
First up, SEPPUKU, a 2-part miniseries. Samurai fantasy adventure. Script accepted by Engine Comics, artist to be confirmed. Engine Comics are also publishing my 2-part end-of-the-world comedy drama DEAD LIGHT. Pencilled by James Fletcher for inclusion in the FUSION anthology comic.
From Modern Pulp comes LUCIFER FAWKES: ORCUS EX MACHINA, written by Ulf Imwiehe with art by Ryan “Sarge” Sergeant. No holds barred Techno-Pulp-Horror, 32 pages, b&w, release in March. The first of four Lucifer Fawkes print one-shots to hit in 2004. Publisher: Rorschach Entertainment . GIFT (working title) is a four-issue creator-owned mini-series, written by Ulf Imwiehe with art by Dario Carrasco. 32 b&w pages each, publisher: Rorschach Entertainment. Angel Heart meets Naked Lunch meets Girlfriend in a Coma, set in a rather surreal New Orleans. HATE-YEARS-OLDis a four-issue creator-owned mini-series written by Ulf Imwiehe with art by Sean Dietrich . A boy is trapped inside a stranger’s shattered mind – sex and drugs and industrial rock, love and insanity. Publisher to be determined.
STAR TREK: THE CASE OF THE COLONIST’S CORPSE (A Sam Cogley Mystery) will be shipping from Simon & Shuster at the end of the year. Co-written by Bob Ingersoll and myself, it’s a departure from the standard “original series” Trek novels in that it doesn’t star Captain Kirk and the crew of the Enterprise. It’s a “Perry Mason in space” kind of thing in which attorney Sam Cogley must defend a Klingon charged with the murder of a Federation colonist. The editorial and design folks really got into the spirit of the book, duplicating as closely as possible the look of 1960s mass market paperbacks. I did the final proofreading last month and, at the risk of sounding immodest, it’s a fun book. If it sells well, there is an excellent chance we’ll be writing more Cogley books.
SUPER****S, running online, is written by Chad Nevett with art by Johan Åberg and David Bertrand. 3 issues are available to be read and the series is about essentially ****ed-up superheroes.
WYNONNA EARP: HOME ON THE STRANGE. 3 issue mini-series, Street Date 12/2003, 32 pages. Full color. Written and created by Beau Smith.
Pencils by Carlos Ferreira. Inks by Silvio Spotti. $3.99. IDW Publishing.
Ronn Sutton is currently wrapping up his 34th penciling assignment on Claypool’s ELVIRA, MISTRESS OF THE DARK, in a strip entitled “To Squash An Elvira!”. The story invovles a minaturized Elvira trapped in an amusement park and is slated to be inked by Bill Anderson. The current issue, #125, on sale now also pencilled by Ronn Sutton is a parody of the KOLCHAK THE NIGHT STALKER tv series. In “The Fright Stalker!”, where tabloid reporter Karl Koaltax sees supernatural causes lurking behind every crisis. Coming in time for Halloween is ELVIRA #126 in which Sutton pencils “Elvira On Ice!”. Ghosts from the ice menace skater Irenya Spookskaya, so Elvira teams up with literary pooch detective Itchbone to freeze their assets. January 2004 brings ELVIRA #129, in which something nasty’s coming through the cable TV lines and Elvira’s enlisted by a dapper John Steed-ish spy to go underground to find out why Nuttizon Cable is a threat to modern culture. The story is entitled “Death At Savings Of 30% or More!” and penciled by Sutton. The back-up story in that issue (“Mallville”) is scripted by Ronn Sutton’s long-time partner, Janet L Hetherington, with whom he will begin work soon on his next ELVIRA assignment. ELVIRA, MISTRESS OF THE DARK is published monthly by Claypool Comics. 32 pages, $2.50 USA, $4.00 Canada.
VICIOUS SOUVENIRS‘ final book, “The Sky Was Never the Limit”, begins in December. John Barber’s Flash-based series (published online by odernTales.com) is “The West Wing” with Blofeld from James Bond. Media mogul Dorian Closer launches his plan to remake the world in his image.
… just wants you to link to his announcements page for the full scoop on all his upcoming projects. Go there.
My first graphic novel BETWEEN THE CRACKS, ALL MIRACLES HAVE A PRICE, and the one-shot BETWEEN THE CRACKS: THE BRIDE both hit the stores in November of this year, a fact that excites me to no
end as a new creator. In the coming new year, I’m working on two new projects. The first is a collaboration with writer Jens Altmann called THE WILD HUNT. A horror story based on the myth of the spectral Wild Hunt and its relentless pursuit of lost souls, focusing on the battle between two immortal enemies. My other project will be MASQUERADE, an urban fantasy set against the backdrop of the Paris Opera of the 18th Century. When a woman playing the titular role in the opera The Faerie Queene attracts the attention of the Queen of Air And Darkness, her younger sister is forced to journey into Faerie and challenge the Queen for her life. Jens and I are aiming to release THE WILD HUNT in time for San Diego 2004, while MASQUERADE is on-track for an Autumn 2004 release through
Studio Underhill, on whose website samples can be viewed.
The only “new” project I’m working on are new issues of ol’ SAVAGE DRAGON.
Tristan Crane and Ted Naifeh are collecting the first four issues of their acclaimed queer-lifestyle comic book, HOW LOATHSOME (NBM Publishing) into a trade, available early next year. We are also plotting a second mini-series to continue the adventures of gender outlaw Catherine Gore and her motley group of friends, lovers, and partners-in-crime as they explore the city, it’s myriad of subcultures, and their own identities. Ted Naifeh is also continuing with the third mini-series of his popular COURTNEY CRUMRIN‘Courtney Crumrin’ series from Oni Press, the first book of which will ship in December.
FARO KORBIT, shipping from AP Comics in December. First solicitation is out now, in the current PREVIEWS. A four issue series with artist Mel Rubi about an Egyptian mystic fighting a Lovecraftian menace in the Nevada desert. We couldn’t get through to the Doc Strange editor, so we did this instead. Mel’s art is stupendous, and the story has a beginning, a middle, and an end.
I am currently coloring Colleen Doran’s art for REIGN OF THE ZODIAC
#4. The work I did on FABLES: LAST CASTLE is on the stands for everyone to see. You can probably find it next to SANDMAN: ENDLESS NIGHTS, which has the Death story I colored in it. I am not sure if the Dark Horse HAUNTED HOUSE anthology is out yet but I also colored a story in that collection. I finished a Hellboy story for HELLBOY WEIRD TALES #6 a week or so ago so watch for that. All of the stories except for REIGN OF THE ZODIAC were with P. Craig Russell’s artwork, the other exception being LAST CASTLE, which was partly penciled by Craig Hamilton.
My next large project is exhibiting for Claypool at the Diamond Retailer Summit in Las Vegas on November 3 and 4. In addition, I’m writing books for everyone who’ll have me. My newest in print is HOLIDAY LIGHTS! from Storey Publishing, a coffee-table/how-to book about the wild ways that people decorate their homes for the holidays. In addition, I’ve sold a few SIMPSONS stories to Bongo Comics, which will hit print sooner or later. I’m writing a biography of Jimmy Carter and am wrapping up final revisions of a bio of Cesar Chavez. And I’m negotiating a few other projects which I can’t yet discuss.
Ever since the original Steve Rude Sketchbook appeared in the late 1980s, fans have been asking when the next one will be coming out. Well, truth is, I haven’t found a worthy enough publisher. But I’m a patient guy, at least with things like this, so the wait continues. In the meantime, before the advent of the big “Art Of” book I’m planning one of these days, why not make the fans happy and put out one of those black and white things that sell so well at the comicons? Gino picked out the drawings, directly from my sketchbooks, and I did the commentaries. It’s the least I could do for you patient fans out there. Hope you like it. Size is 8 1/2 x 11 on high quality paper. Professionally printed. Dark Horse should have a release date on THE MOTH soon.
My project isn’t exactly new and it’s already published by a German indie publisher but I’m trying to get an American publisher. It’s THE KOSMOPOLIT: SCUM, a 56 page graphic novel available in German from Zwerchfell. The story is basically James Bond on LSD. The Kosmopolit is Simon Bjarnason and he’s trying to bring down the CIA with only two guns and an unbreakable will. Think of THE PRISONER, DON QUICHOTE and John Woo’s heroic bloodshed movies and you get the picture. Throw in an original soundtrack coming inclusive with the book and you have an idea about SCUM.
This December, from Moonstone Noir, THE MYSTERIOUS TRAVELER RETURNS with story by Joe Gentile, art by Trevor Von Eeden and a cover by Dennis Calero. The enigmatic rider of the rails has another story to tell, so get a grip on your nerves. The Mysterious Traveler listens to the tale of a woman who met, and quickly lost, a man who touched her soul. She searched for him, but all leads bled into a pool of supernatural dread. Who was he, and what burned in him that could melt her from the far side of reason? The Traveler must snatch the truths here for justice, and place it on Judgment’s scale.
Due this Spring is a hardcover collection of 2020 VISIONS by Jamie Delano with art by Frank Quitely, Steve Pugh, Warren Pleece, and James Romberger. A lot of people forget that before TRANSMETROPOLITAN, you used to be able to get your monthly doses of near future psychoses from this twelve issue mini-series from DC/Vertigo. It’s a collection of stories following the path of a disjointed family trying to get by in a post-millennial and morally decadent USA. We’re remastering the black and white art from the original artboards and collecting the entire story in one book.
My next project is the long-awaited trade paperback collection of TALES OF ORDINARY MADNESS by myself and Michael Allred, to be published by Oni Press in February 2004, with an introduction by Terry “STRANGERS IN PARADISE” Moore. Jim Calafiore and I are planning to continue CHILDHOOD’S END, the first issue of which was published through Image some 4 years ago, but there should be 5 altogether, or one big 150 page graphic novel – it’s all plotted, 3 issues are written, and I’m waiting for Jim to draw more and we will be looking for a publisher, sugar daddy or a grant……)
“Behind the Lines” is a short comics story Eric Shanower is writing and drawing for the third issue of the new Young Adult anthology RUSH HOUR, edited by Michael Cart and published by Random House. Shanower’s illustrations for THE LIVING HOUSE OF OZ by Edward Einhorn will appear in that children’s book when it’s published by Hungry Tiger Press in 2004. Wonder Woman has written a book and excerpts illustrated by Shanower will appear in the 200th issue of her comic book from DC Comics. And, of course, Shanower continues his award-winning comic book series AGE OF BRONZE, the complete story of the Trojan War published by Image Comics. AGE OF BRONZE #18 will be on sale on Oct. 29, #19 will be out in February 2004, and the second book collection, AGE OF BRONZE: SACRIFICE, will follow next spring.
Astonish Comics will publish THE LAND OF SOKMUNSTER, a 48 page graphic novel by HEROBEAR AND THE KID creator Mike Kunkel and writer/artist Randy Heuser, about what happens when we all lose something precious, while writer-artist Scott Christian Sava begins the continuing fantasy series THE DREAMLAND CHRONICLES, where a busy college student must also cope with nocturnal visits to another land where his childhood sweetheart awaits, also from Astonish Comics. Cover artists will include Sava, Mike Kunkel, Frank Cho and Mike Wieringo. In January, Ted Dawson’s humor book SPOONER debuts from Astonish, featuring his version of “Archie all grown-up, and he married Betty like we all knew he would.” At Archaia Studios Press, Mark Smylie’s heroic fantasy ARTESIA AFIRE wraps up in November and December.
TALES OF THE TERMINAL DINER features work by Bill Fugate (THUNDER GIRL/JESSICA RABBIT), Michael T. Gilbert (Mr. Monster), Fred Hembeck and others. An amazing anthology starring a clueless cartoonist, a sexy blood-drinking genie, and a Ring that grants wishes, punishes the wicked, and rewards the good. Each story hangs on the idea that every heart has a hunger; every soul has a story; every wish has an price. Our price is only $9.95, plus shipping and handling for 96 pages of luscious trade paperback. This is a page from a story I wrote for the anthology, with art by Digital Dan.
I’ve attached the first page of a story written by Rob (CLASSWAR) Williams, called “Breathing Space”, that’ll be running in 2000 AD sometime early next year. It’s a 9 part murder mystery set on the Luna-1 colony, set in Judge Dredd’s world, but doesn’t feature Dredd himself. Available at the end of October/early November is the YOUNG DEATH hardcover, my first ever work from 1991/92. It’s a dark comedy origin of Judge Death written by the fantastic Mr. John Wagner. Also at the end of the month DC is putting out the collection of the WORLD’S FINEST series from a few years ago, of which I pencilled three episodes.
Two new(ish) webcomic projects to plug. Ongoing at Serializer.net: THE NILE JOURNALS. Being the weekly journals of Mr. Nile, a self-aware narrative entity and recent arrival in the sprawling west coast conurbation of Anyopolis, USA. The Nile Journals started life as a faux journal comic but have since mutated into a full-on metafictional action movie, complete with its own unstopable army of killer George Bush zombies. New episodes every Monday, with the full archives available to Serializer.net subscribers. Flash needed to view. Ongoing at E-merl.com: EXTERNALITY. Just like reality. Only different. Externality is an improvised experiment in storytelling, using a zooming canvas system of my own invention (The Tarquin Engine). Again, Flash is needed to view. Not sure what else to say to sell this one. “It’s rather odd and will probably get odder.” There you go.
4 upcoming projects, all slated to debut at Mid-Ohio-Con in November: BIG CITY BLUES, a collection of slice-of-life stories set in a city with superheroes appearing on the periphery of the tales. Created and written by myself, with art by Steve Black, Dan Barlow, Adrian Barbu, and Rudy Lacovara. 48 pages, standard size, professionally printed, self-published through my imprint. BIG CITY BLUES: STREET MUSIC, a music CD to accompany the book, featuring over an hour of rock & roll from four great Columbus, Ohio bands. Professionally duplicated and printed under the Ferret Press banner. PANEL: ARCHITECTURE, an anthology for which I serve as co-editor and publisher, as well as contributing 2 stories. Loosely based on the theme of architecture, the book features the work of Columbus, Ohio based creators such as Andy Bennett (VAMPIRE: THE MASQUERADE) and Tom Williams (MISA, 2002 Day Prize Award winner). 40 pages, standard size, professionally printed, published through Ferret Press. Finally, AKA #3 (of 3) – a fun and humorous detective series following the exploits of 2 female private eyes. Written by me and created and drawn by Steve Black. 20 pages, digest-sized, published through Ferret Press.
I’ve been insanely busy the past few months. I’m currently in the middle of writing my third novel – part of the DC/Pocket Books series of Justice League-oriented books. There are at least five books in that series. Alan Grant wrote the first one, which starred Batman. Carol Lay wrote the WONDER WOMAN book, and Mark Schultz and Denny O’Neil also have novels in that particular pipeline (featuring the Flash and Green Lantern, respectively). My novel is SUPERMAN: THE PRICE OF LIBERTY, which obviously focuses on Superman, though the other Leaguers get a lot of face time, and they all play important roles in the story – Batman and the Flash especially. It’s an original story, full of thrills, chills, spills, action, adventure, and intrigue. There’s a subtext about international terrorism and fanaticism, but it’s also a love story. (Aren’t they all?) In a way it feels like a sequel to my first book, THE LIFE AND DEATH OF SUPERMAN. It will be published by Pocket Books sometime in 2004. Comics-wise, I’ve just finished writing an issue of JUSTICE LEAGUE ADVENTURES for editor Stephen Wacker. It’s my first mainstream American comics work in two years, and my first for DC in about four. It focuses mainly on Batman and Hawkgirl. I don’t yet know who will be drawing the story or when it will go on sale, but I expect that it will also appear sometime in 2004. I added that “American” qualifier to the previous item because I’ve recently written the first of at least two PHANTOM stories for Egmont Publishing. Egmont is one of the largest publishers of books and periodicals in Europe. Unfortunately, unless you live in Scandinavia or Australia, you’re not likely to see those stories. Once all that’s done, I’ll be back pounding the pavement, trying to scare up work for 2004.
Exhibit A Press’s new 196 page trade paperback collection, MR. NEGATIVITY AND OTHER TALES OF SUPERNATURAL LAW, by Batton Lash, is scheduled to ship to comics shops in November. MR. NEGATIVITY collects issues 31-36 of SUPERNATURAL LAW and issue 3 of MAVIS, WORLD’S GREATEST SECRETARY. It sports an introduction by Tom DeHaven, author of the cult favorite Dugan trilogy of novels that take place in the world of comics and pop culture, and lists at $15.95.
So you think that Metropolis is the capital of the German Reich? So you think that it was the only city not destroyed in the devastating Second War of the Worlds, as the Martians nearly obliterated most of human civilization? So you think that the Nazis have been in power for almost a hundred years? METROPOLIS opens up affirming all of those notions, drawing the reader into a world that sounds awfully familiar by tapping into even the most superficial knowledge of history and popular culture. Only to take it apart one step at a time. METROPOLIS takes the idea of the fight against a totalitarian system to a level never seen before in comic books, movies or TV. It is a fully designed concept for global crossmedia development, with an initial limited comic book series of 60 issues as its first platform. Seamlessly integrating historical facts and influences ranging from penny dreadfuls to high art such as German expressionist movies like MABUSE, DR. CALIGARI and, of course, Fritz Lang’s METROPOLIS, this series is high concept entertainment with a message. Set in a world that is never quite what you think it is.
First up is my self-published graphic novel SUBATOMIC (STAR19555), a critical full-color look at Homeland Security as spun through a comic book lens that’s won raves from industry press and mainstream media types but seems to have passed readers by. Tentative deals in the works for a French edition (SUBATOMIQUE perhaps?) and a television series.
Next up is an untitled vampire project for AiT/Planet Lar set in the roaring twenties. Snappy period adventure with a few twists on the vampire mythos and some solid characters I think readers will respond to. The book is a 152pg OGN that’s already in the can; more details to come shortly, I would think. Very proud of this one, and excited to be working with Larry Young. Over at NBM I’ve got a children’s graphic novel that distills all of the elements from the books I used to read as a kid into something new and very fun. ZOE is going through some birthing pains at the moment so who knows when it’ll finally see the light of day. I’m also editing two books for The Disinformation Co. First up is the debut graphic novel from mainstream novelist and New York Times-syndicated columnist Douglas Rushkoff, a psychedelic book called CLUB ZERO-G that will appeal to fans of Grant Morrison. Also in the works for Disinfo is a massive anthology that will see the first comics work by some huge mainstream names. Can’t say more just yet. Finally, I’ve received about half of the artwork for a four-issue miniseries I’ve written called TEXARKANA. A high-concept tag line won’t do it justice imagine sci-fi cowboys in Asia and you’re in the ballpark but probably playing the wrong game. It’s a bizarre story with absolutely stunning artwork from newcomer Donny Lin. He’s really going to blow some doors open when this book hits, and I’ll be shocked if he’s not working for one of the majors by this time next year. TEXARKANA in the market for a publisher, but I’m contemplating self-publishing it as another full-color graphic novel.
Here’s what I’m working on: BIFF SPARTACUS – PEST CONTROL for Platinum Studios. Four issue mini about an exterminator who gets brought in when the pests get too “X-Filesey.” THE TAKING OF HAPPYLAND, also for Platinum Studios. A graphic novel about a heist job set in America’s favorite amusement park. TABITHA RASA, no publisher attached. A college student has her DNA “reboot” every 24 hours, leaving her with a new appearance and new ability daily. She sets out to discover the origins of this condition. THE FURTHER ADVENTURES OF LEWIS & CLARK, no publisher attached. Graphic novel putting the bickering explorers into a “Wild, Wild West”-style adventure in post-Revolutionary, pre-Civil War America. THE IMAGINARIES, no publisher attached. A team of specialists hunts down the “imaginary” friends that have caused or seek to do harm to the children they associate with. THE BOTTOM LINE, no publisher attached. It’s THE AVENGERS by way of OFFICE SPACE, following a team of corporate-backed superheroes, most of whom are more concerned with company earnings and positive PR than they are fighting crime. Uses some of the characters I introduced in THE 7 GUYS OF JUSTICE series.
Just finished scripting BLACKSHIRT for Moonstone Books, which might be published as an original 90-page black-&-white graphic novel. As part of Moonstone’s new pulp noir line, this is a revamp of an obscure pulp character created back in the 1920s and was a popular radio series for a few years in the Thirties. I took the basic premise and updated it to present-day New York: a former SAS soldier-turned bestselling author relieves his boredom by dressing up in black at night and committing sophisticated break-ins for the sheer hell of it. Next thing he knows, he’s contacted by a mysterious woman who knows about his nocturnal activities, and unless he wants her to let the authorities and his enemies know, he had better put his talents to better use, like helping the poor and writing wrongs that the law can’t touch. While he chafes at being blackmailed, he secretly enjoys the challenges she sets him, and he also decides to track her down. This results in an affair with a damaged Upper West Side socialite who’s the mistress of a psychopathic Russian gangster with literary pretensions, and everything that could possibly go wrong does in classic noir fashion. Unlike JLA: AGE OF WONDER, I was given total carte blanche to create a dark, violent adult thriller. I’ve always wanted to write a crime graphic novel, and since this may be my last comics assignment for a while due to commitments in Film, TV and other media, I decided to go to town on this. The art is by newcomer Diego Olmos in cinematic widescreen fashion.
Wilson Place Comics is jammin’ with it’s first graphic novel, WJHC: On the Air! The WJHC series follows the misadventures of a wacky group of teens as they attempt to run their own school radio station. Now stay tuned for the wildest 96 full color pages ever. This baby’s got it all: A mad cool cover by SCOOBY DOO artist, Joe Staton! Hot recoloring of WJHC issues 1 and 2! Three outrageous new stories! The real inside scoop on the WJHC crew, Plus out of the box surprises! Come along as Janey Wells and her crew take on the status quo and sometimes each other, as they turn their stodgy school’s PA system upside down. And that’s not all. This fearless bunch manages to stage a rockin’ rollin’ concert, take off on one wet and wild road trip, solve the mystery of a runaway love note . . . and the beat goes on. WJHC: On the Air! will hit stores and libraries this December.
We’ll do this again in a couple of months because I’ll probably feel like taking Xmas off, so everyone who missed out this time around, start sharpening those thinking caps. By the way, if you’re pretty sure I don’t know you from Adam (and that’s a fairly reasonable assumption, by the way), it wouldn’t hurt to mention exactly what it is in comics you do. Remember: short and pithy. Short and pithy. Short and pithy. Saying more won’t make your potential audience want something more. Speaking better might.
Chris Allen’s BREAKDOWNS over at Movie Poop Shoot reviews DAMNED, if you’re still on the fence about buying it. (In case your retailer needs to know, the trade paperback, expanded from the old Wildstorm mini-series and featuring scads of extras and a new cover too, is published by Cyberosia. Oh, yeah: it’s a crime comic. I wrote it. Mike Zeck and Denis Rodier drew it. Kurt Goldzung colored it. If your dealer won’t order it for you, get it from online retailers Khepri or Mars Import.) If Chris can’t convince you, Movie Poop Shoot spreads out the DAMNED love, courtesy of Marc Mason’s SHOULD IT BE A MOVIE?, and he kindly mentions it again this week. Alex Ness’ DAMNED review can be found at Pop Thought.
By the way, add to the Damned Retailers Honor Roll:
Lone Star Comics, Arlington TX
Comics Ink, Culver City CA
Don’t hesitate to send the name and location of any shop carrying the DAMNED trade paperback, and we’ll list them here. Let them bask in glory for a change.
Meanwhile, we’re in the final push for orders on MY FLESH IS COOL, the sci-fi tinged crime book I’m doing with Sebastian Fiumara over at Avatar Press. So here’s the deal: if comics retailers (sorry, this is restricted to retailers, though you’re welcome to tell yours about it and maybe s/he’ll share) e-mail me their name, name and location of shop, and e-mail address, marked PIECE OF FLESH in the header, I’ll e-mail them a .pdf file with the full script and some sample art to MY FLESH IS COOL #1, so they can get a much better idea of what the book is. Might as well put that e-mail account to good use, right?
Before I forget, FRANK MILLER’S ROBOCOP #3, from Avatar, should be on sale this Wednesday or next. You’ll kick yourself if you miss it. (I’m also working on an original ROBOCOP mini-series now, so keep your eyes open for that.)
Finally, as I’ve been mentioning the past few weeks, the first Las Vegas Comic Convention is being held this weekend, Oct. 31-Nov. 2, at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center on the south end of the world famous Las Vegas strip. (The Mandalay Bay is actually my favorite Strip resort.) Currently, the weather in Las Vegas is sunny and mid-80s, but – travelers beware – they’re currently predicting highs in the mid-60s to mid-70s for the weekend. Lows have been getting into the ’50s at night. On the other hand, they’ve been predicting a significant drop in daytime temperatures for over a month now and it hasn’t happened yet. Anyway, I’m now scheduled to be on a panel on Sunday afternoon – not entirely sure of the time yet – but have nothing else scheduled, so I’ll just be wandering. I’ll also be at the Diamond Show that follows the convention on Monday and Tuesday, but that’s unfortunately closed to the public. So I hope to see you at the show.
Those wishing to comment should leave messages on the Permanent Damage Message Board. You can also e-mail me but the chances of a reply are next to nil these days, given my workload, though I do read all my e-mail as long as it’s not trying to sell me something. IMPORTANT: Because a lot of people apparently list it in their e-address books, this account has gotten a slew of virus-laden messages lately. They’re no real threat but dealing with them eats up time I don’t really have, to the extent I can no longer accept unsolicited e-mail with attachments. If you want to send something via attachment (say, art samples) ask me first. If I say okay, then send. Unsolicited e-mail with attachments will be wiped from the server without being read. You can also leave messages for me and have discussions on other topics at my Delphi forum, GRAPHIC VIOLENCE. Please don’t ask me how to break into the business, or who to submit work to. The answers to those questions are too mercurial for even me to keep up with.
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I’m reviewing comics sent to me – I may not like them but certainly I’ll mention them – at Steven Grant c/o Permanent Damage, 2657 Windmill Pkwy #194, Henderson NV 89074, so send ’em if you want ’em mentioned, since I can’t review them unless I see them. Some people have been sending press releases and cover proofs and things like that, which I enjoy getting, but I really can’t do anything with them, sorry. Full comics only, though they can be photocopies rather than the published version. Make sure you include contact information for readers who want to order your book.
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