Hey guys. Sorry for the radio silence, there’s been a lot going on. Most of it work — trying to prepare our third Substack title for announcement! Ahhhh!) among other things, so I’ve been a bit pressed, but let’s catch up with a little “news” post, shall we?
We’ll start with Jeff, because who doesn’t want to start with Jeff? I have been writing the second season of Jeff since about the beginning of June and I’m not kidding when I say it’s restored my soul a little bit. I love this boi, I love this digital strip, and I love doing it with Gurihiru. May it never end!
I hope the always brilliant Gurihiru won’t mind me sharing this tiny sketch of Jeff from their layouts of our first “Season 2” strip… but I love it so much I just can’t help myself, so here goes:
Also, it’s SDCC, so happy SDCC if you happen to celebrate! ;D
Just yesterday Marvel debuted this awesome SDCC Exclusive CAPTAIN MARVEL #39 cover that features our boy Jeff! I unfortunately have NO information about how you get this — but if you’re a Marvel Unlimited Annual Plus subscriber I’d suggest going to the Marvel table at SDCC and asking about it? I know they are trying to get me a couple comps of this — if I get more than one, I’ll do a contest here on the Substack for paid subscribers and give the others away, but I don’t want to promise since me even getting ONE is not for sure.
What I’m Doing!
If I had posted last week (as I intended) I would have told you all to pick up CAPTAIN MARVEL #39. And… the good news is you can still do that this week! ;D
But let’s highlight something that’s NOT ABOUT ME (shocking!)
My good friend Ed Brisson has a very cool new book out from Aftershock called THERE’S SOMETHING WRONG WITH PATRICK TODD. Art by Gavin Guidry, colors by Chris O’Halloran, and letters by Hassan Otsman-Elhaou.
It’s available now — here’s a little preview!
AND Ed happens to be doing a little North American (it’s mostly US but there are also a couple Canadian stops on the back end!) signing tour RIGHT NOW to promote the book — so check out his details if you’d like to meet him at one of his signings (possibly!) near you. You can find out more on his Substack Newsletter:
Things seem to have settled down a bit as far as schedules moving around goes…or I’m just noticing it less because I have only one book coming out in print right now? Hard to say!
Here’s how things are looking right now:
CAPTAIN MARVEL #39 - 7/13/22
BLACK CLOAK CHAPTER 5 - 8/1/22
CAPTAIN MARVEL #40 - 8/17/22
BLACK CLOAK CHAPTER 6 - 9/12/22
CAPTAIN MARVEL #41 - 9/14/22
Also, I don’t have confirmation but I am pretty sure the new season of IT’S JEFF! begins releasing again in September on Marvel Unlimited!
Some of you likely realize (but were too polite to ask maybe?) that we had to do a skip month for BLACK CLOAK Chapter 5 in May and June. I was hoping we’d have it to you in June, but between some delays on my end and Meredith doing some particularly gorgeous and time consuming stuff in this issue it’s taking us a bit longer to lock it down — but it should go up by the first week in August and I hope that will be the last of our delays and we can get back on schedule. For clarity, some of my work was late to Meredith, this isn’t on her. She has been an absolute machine (the good amazing kind) on this book.
We are closing in on being able to show you a lettered preview of THE CULL #1… that should be possible soon AND in the next few weeks we’ll be anouncing our THIRD SUBSTACK MYSTERY book here. We have been waiting so long! But I hope it will be worth it. We’ve had less “all-new original comics content” than I’ve wanted so far… but we are gearing up for a VERY busy fall that I hope will please you all.
Lets peek at some sneaks.
First up, two sneak peeks from CAPTAIN MARVEL #40:
I’m not gonna lie, CAPTAIN MARVEL 40 has the most metal thing I’ve ever written for Carol, and I THINK one of her most metal moments of all time. I hope you guys will love it, it makes me gasp even now. But I can’t give away the metal farm here, so in the meantime here’s Carol being UNBELIEVABLY BEAUTIFUL by Alvaro:
And here’s a gorgeous flashback panel of Wanda and Carol from their “younger days” by Juan Frigeri, also from CM 40:
Some magnificence coming soon from BLACK CLOAK CHAPTER 5:
And while I hope you all saw the debut of Mattia’s incredible first cover illustration for THE CULL #1 that I posted a few weeks ago, let’s also have a peek at something from inside issue 1 of THE CULL too:
And, what the hell, let’s sneak a peek at a crop of a final panel from the first issue of IT’S JEFF! Season 2 (or what I THINK will be the first issue):
I’m writing a lot of goddamn pitches.
And I hate writing pitches.
That’s not true. I like things about it, especially at the very very beginning when everything is shiny and new and anything is possible — and at the very very end when it’s DONE. But it’s a lot of work and while I concede I must be at least a little bit good at it (a lot of my stuff has been greenlit without too much fuss) I think it takes me a much longer time than some of my colleagues to do these fuckers. And I don’t know why that is. Either way it’s definitely the part of the writing process that I always have the most doubts about. I’m good with characters, because, in the end I think, that’s what I care about. And I’m less good with plot because I… sorta don’t care? I mean, yes, I care, I care because I care about the whole package and it all has to work together to actually work as a story I want and need the plot to make sense, bonus points if can be really cool or devastating, or explore themes in ways I’m really interested in, but in my mind all of that is still basically about propping up character — how does the plot effect this character — how does this character change/grow/whatever in response to the plot we throw at them. Y’know what I mean?
Anyway, the one good thing about a great pitch is that it does most of the hard work of the outline/summary phase. So if you have a great well-developed pitch you’re really ahead when it comes time to outline and I ALWAYS recommend outlining.
One of the pitches I’ve been working on is for our upcoming CAPTAIN MARVEL arc — which begins in November and is the biggest arc we’ve done yet (#43 - #49 — 7 issues!) but I can tell you what…we’ve packed it FULL of cool/terrifying stuff AND some fun guest stars that I think a lot of you will be excited about. ;D
Another thing I’ve been busy doing is the long overdue “practical Substack stuff” like assigning all paid subscribers numbers (so we can hold drawings), finishing up more of the sketch covers (for the first drawing), and starting the process of figuring out how to get addresses and all that stuff necessary for those of you getting physical rewards. Keep your eyes peeled for a post with the new/all the sketch covers — should be coming soon!
In related “character based” news — I asked this question on twitter yesterday which turned into a really nice thread about moments (mostly in comics, but I didn’t specify it had to be comics) that define fictional characters:
But I was thinking we could do something more surgical here. So shout out in the comments — give me your current favorite character in comics (only one!) and tell me the moment (only one!) you knew that to be true — what issue or panel or scene prompted that feeling, etc.
Since you guys can’t post images in the comments, if we end up getting really good (and specific) responses to the question I’ll do a round up of them in a later post that includes the images you guys reference. Might be fun! Also, whoever picks my favorite moment (completely subjectively decided by ME, will win a prize — a signed comic or something simple like that). GO!
Here’s Monarch trying to “level up” from King status to GOD status. I welcome my new furry overlord, as should you. ;D
That’s it, kids. Hold each other close, and wear a fucking mask. Drink some water and get some sleep. Just hang in there. <3
These are all so great.
I WILL try to pull together a post with these (and some selections from the twitter thread too maybe - like Damon...I may have to just re-post your tweet...it was pure perfection! lol)
I'll try for posting next week if my pitch work goes well this weekend!
As for character and moments....
Kamala Khan is my girl. I was raised in Muslim family, from South Asia, have overprotective parents and living two identities like her (South Asian and American). My joy knew no bound when my unusual name made it into a villain #5 was named Fariha in freaking MCU’s Ms. Marvel!
The one moment that made me fall in love (rather than “ofc I love this character cause we are same person”) was when she confronted Carol, her hero, in issue 11 of 2016 run. She absolutely worshipped Carol, but she saw how out of character Carol was acting... er sorry... um she saw that her hero was in the wrong. And she took a stand. It’s easy to take a stand against your enemy but it’s much harder to do so when it’s your hero, someone you trust and you owe a lot to. This is the moment that cemented her for me.
There is nothing good to say about civil war 2, BUT it helped Kamala to step out of Carol’s shadow and become a hero of her own.