Things are a bit of struggle right now, guys, not gonna lie. Hard to concentrate with everything going on in the world, but doing my best to keep my head down and stay on task — as we’ve got a lot of work up and running at this point and I honestly can’t wait to show you guys all of it.
In the meantime, I’ll try to do a better job of staying in touch, while I only want to do a newsletter when I think I have something of value to say, I also think it’s not good for us to be dark for too long. So I’m trying to find that balance. I appreciate you guys sticking with us as I figure that balance out. So let’s get down to SERIOUS NEWSLETTER BUSINESS!
And don’t forget to subscribe to the paid newsletter if you want to read BLACK CLOAK Chapter 3 out on MONDAY 3/28/22!
What I’m Doing!
From CAPTAIN MARVEL #37. Honestly, I love this issue so much I’m going to post a few! Don’t tell! ;D
Also, it’s not my book so I probably shouldn’t show anything, but here’s a tiny peek of our girl looking gorgeous and tough as hell from Torunn Gronbekk and artist Carlos Gomez’s CAPTAIN MARVEL ANNUAL out in April:
From BLACK WIDOW #15:
From BLACK CLOAK CHAPTER 3:
Annnnnd THE CULL #1. Ahhhh! Yup. This is your first look at an in-process panel from artist and co-creator Mattia De Iulis of Cleo. I couldn’t stop myself…it’s too gorgeous not to share:
These dates seem to have stabilized a bit - but most of them are delays from their original releases, and labor, supply, and shipping issues continue to play havoc with things — doing our best!
BLACK CLOAK CHAPTER 3 - 3/28/22
CAPTAIN MARVEL #37 - 3/30/22
BLACK WIDOW #15 - 4/6/22
BLACK CLOAK CHAPTER 4 - 4/25/22
CAPTAIN MARVEL #38 - 5/4/22 (we have a skip month in April for the regular title, but don’t forget to pick up our first ever Captain Marvel Annual that month!)
We need to get a banner for this section I guess!
So we’ve had a lot of new subscribers over the past few weeks — especially the new Substack app is helping people find us, and a couple of awesome folks (like Brian K. Vaughan. What!) talked about us in their excellent Substacks. Plus we were spotlighted last week as a “Substack Featured Publication.”
So to all you new faces - WELCOME! We are very excited to have you!
I’m working on a little game for all of us, that I hope will be fun for us to play with in the comments, and hopefully get some of our new people to really join in with our community here.
But for new subscribers trying to decide whether to do a paid subscription or not I realized we needed an update to what’s on offer:
As mentioned above, a perk of the YEARLY (and higher) TIER is entry into some giveaways. When we began we had three giveaways, but the first one sold out quite quickly — HOWEVER we still have two giveaways that are open! Posted below is the information about those two:
So, yeah, those two perks still have spaces available — if you were interested in the annual tier but thought all those giveaways might have closed — fear not! There is still time!
All of this is fun stuff, but really, if you’re here, I hope you’re here for COMICS. Brand new, creator-owned, and made with your help! And so I’ll link to the ones you can already read here for free, and urge you to subscribe to a paid tier if you see anything of interest. I really believe we are going to be more than worth your time and money.
This section is always tricky for me. There’s a lot I want to talk about, but it all ends up being pretty time consuming and I end up punting it in order to focus on other stuff…but it builds up and then becomes SUPER time consuming.
ANYWAY. Lots of things have been happening. Most of them real world and shitty, but there are still some other nice things too, so let’s talk about them.
First off I want to mention my friend (and former editor) Alex Segura’s new book SECRET IDENTITY. A super cool book that is getting incredible reviews. It’s probably a book for you if you like novels and love comics. So pretty much everyone reading this newsletter! ;D
Another book I want to mention, because I think it’s tremendous, and I failed to talk about it when it first launched is Si Spurrier, Matias Bergara, and Matheus Lopes STEP BY BLOODY STEP from Image. The first oversized issue is out already (looks like you could buy it at that link if you can’t find it in local shops?) — and ISSUE 2 is out next week - 3/30/31. Don’t sleep on this. It’s like a beautiful wordless fever dream with a surprisingly potent emotional punch — not to mention it’s an awesome exploration of comics storytelling.
I have fallen deeply into the world of con men — well at least if you review my current TV/Film viewing. I have been on a “con men” tear lately…I’m not sure why! Last month I watched INVENTING ANNA (Netflix), which I liked but did not love. It started strong but ended weak for me. However Julia Garner was terrific throughout. But this month I have been watching both THE DROPOUT (Hulu) and WECRASHED (AppleTV) as well as the documentary series BAD VEGAN (Netflix).
THE DROPOUT and WECRASHED are both excellent so far — though admittedly neither is over and endings are always the hardest things — sometimes perhaps more so when dealing with real world events. I will say, regardless of how either of these end, Amanda Seyfried is absolutely killing it with her performance in THE DROPOUT. I’ve always liked her and felt she was a bit underappreciated, but this performance is an awesome level up for her. WECRASHED is similarly anchored by terrific performances by Anne Hathaway and Jared Leto. Leto’s make-up/prosthetics are doing a lot of the work for him but — who cares? — if it’s working, it’s working, right? The changes are somehow subtle and yet totally transformative?
BAD VEGAN is a good documentary I think (it’s certainly fascinating)…but I mostly wish someone else I knew had watched it so I could talk with them about all the confusing thoughts I have about it/about Sarma Melngailis. Any one else watch this one?
I did not like THE ADAM PROJECT at all, despite my forever love for Ryan Reynolds. And, as always, HE was very enjoyable, but the story (and execution) just didn’t work for me at all. It felt paper thin story-wise and held together by…I don’t know…nostalgia tape? And that “young” Catherine Keener CGI is unforgivable.
NIGHTMARE ALLEY (HBO MAX) — more con men! I can’t escape! — so I didn’t like this either. It’s very beautiful and creepy like all Del Toro films (and Cate Blanchett is truly magnificent to behold…she practically PURRS across the screen). In fact, the whole cast is literally perfect. But as someone that is absolutely in love with the original film from 1947, which is deeply — shockingly — cynical and lean (under 2 hours!) and beautiful and devastating and horrifying, this felt very pretty and shallow to me. And I hated almost everything they added. All that said, I have not read the book — and I’m sure GDT was much inspired by that original material — so I’m sure some of those changes are very legit. But for me, compared to the original, it felt overstuffed and unnecessary. Then again, if you’re doing a remake of such a perfect original film I guess you gotta bring something else, otherwise what’s the point? I WAS quite impressed that they went with the darkest possible ending, which the original film doesn’t quite do. So kudos on that.
Like the rest of the world, I am playing WORDLE and am loving it (I actually got tipped to it pretty early thanks to Roxane Gay’s excellent Substack newsletter The Audacity - and my streak is sitting at 74). It’s really just the perfect little game. I am also playing QUORDLE and OCTORDLE…because, well, because I am a writer that always needs things to distract me from deadlines…that’s just how it works. I don’t make the rules!
Friends also introduced me to HEARDLE a few weeks back, which is a living nightmare for me (my streak is literally 0). I am terrible at song lyrics and titles. Recognizing a song is easy — what am I, a monster? — coming up with that song’s name or artist — nearly impossible for me. I am very very bad at this game!
But literally just today I learned about FRAMED and I think I’m going to be very good at that one! Got today’s in just two frames! Goodbye Heardle, hello Framed! ;D
Are you guys playing?
Little helpers or little troublemakers? You decide!
Okay. That’s it, my lambs! I’m working on something fun that I hope to post by Friday - and of course Monday we’ve got all-new BLACK CLOAK pages, so don’t go too far.
Be kind to yourselves. And do good when you can. <3