NYCC are hosting a CASTLEVANIA Spotlight Panel on Saturday evening, via the good offices of Viz and Frederator, and I’ll be on it, along with James Callis and Graham McTavish, with more of us to be confirmed later.
While we continue to work on Season 3 – and, as I recently noted in the newsletter, I only wish I could show you some of the amazing things Sam and his team are making – it turns out the physical collection of season 2 is arriving this autumn. So you can enjoy the beautiful art, and Richard ad-libbing swears after he’s been in the booth for an hour and starting to get punchy, in lovely high definition.
Jason Howard thought I wouldn’t see this when he posted it on Twitter. And he was right!
A page from TREES: THREE FATES #1, showing first Jason’s inked work, and then his colours.
First off, a book is rarely “finished.” It’s just that various factors weigh in to make you stop fiddle-farting around with it. Second, never ask anyone who’s just finished a book if they’re happy with it, because the answer is always IT’S AWFUL MY CAREER IS OVER GET AWAY FROM ME I WILL TEAR YOUR FUCKING HEART OUT AND EAT IT IN FRONT OF YOU. There’s a terrible space between the conclusion of the copy-editing and the release of the thing where you’re convinced that it’s a rotten piece of work and you’re going to be Found Out and everything is over. You start telling the wall — because you don’t know anybody any more, because you’ve been indoors for months destroying a laptop with your crap — that if you only had another six months, if you could just alter a couple of things, if you could just maybe take out and replace a plotline, and maybe the main plot, and all the characters, and change the title, and write a whole different book, then everything would be fine.
You won’t start liking it again until six months after your “friends” have helpfully forwarded you all the bad reviews. You come out from under your bed muttering “…wait, what? Did they even read the fucking thing?” And, as this delusion of competence takes hold, you start thinking about writing another book, having completely forgotten everything in the first paragraph.
(written 31 May 2016 , recovered from morning.computer)
Press release from DC Comics follows:
ELLIS AND HITCH REUNITE FOR THE DARK KNIGHT’S 80TH ANNIVERSARY
The Authority on Superhero Comics Get Into Batman’s Head…and Grave
Warren Ellis and Bryan Hitch, one of the most legendary creative partnerships in modern comic book history, reunite for THE BATMAN’S GRAVE, a twelve-issue monthly DC maxi-series about life, death and the questions most are too afraid to ask. The team that brought us THE AUTHORITY now turn their talents towards The World’s Greatest Detective, whose current case forces him to inhabit the mind of a murder victim with a half-eaten face—without filling the empty grave next to those of his parents.
But first, Ellis and Hitch get into the mind of a butler. Once a week, rain or shine, Alfred Pennyworth walks to a little cemetery plot in the Wayne Manor grounds. He meticulously tends to Thomas and Martha’s headstones, plinths and slabs: weeding, cleaning, polishing. But how much longer before there’s another Wayne memorial to tend to?
“My very first work at DC was two issues of LEGENDS OF THE DARK KNIGHT,” begins Ellis, “so it’s been twenty-five years since I did a full-length story with the Batman. I’ve decided to revisit the crime scene where my career in American comics began, and I’m so grateful that my old comrade Bryan Hitch is doing this midnight run with me. It’s been too many years since we last did a long campaign together.”
Within this dynamic duo’s new comic lives a Batman with an almost psychotic identification with murder victims. He immerses himself in their lives and obsesses over every detail of their deaths. Even as Batman would process the evidence and approach the perpetrator from one side, he would live inside the life of the victim as they approached their death.
“I’ve drawn some covers and used Batman in Justice League and JLA,” continues Hitch, “but since I read Jim Aparo and Don Newton’s Batman runs in the 80’s I’ve wanted to do a proper, big Batman story. Fellow Authoritarian Warren Ellis had one to tell, so when he mentioned it I said ‘yes’ before even asking what it was about. That’s what you do when Warren says ‘I’ve got a proper, big Batman story.’ It’s been over 20 years since we changed Superhero comics together, and now we get to give Batman the fight of his life.”
THE BATMAN’S GRAVE #1, written by Warren Ellis with art by Bryan Hitch and Kevin Nowlan, debuts in comic book stores and online retailers on Wednesday, October 9 with a cover by Hitch and a variant cover by JeeHyung Lee. For more news and updates on the World’s Greatest Super Heroes, visit www.dccomics.com, the DC YouTube channel or follow @DCComics on social media.
CEMETERY BEACH TPB has arrived.
Actually doing like six other things right at this moment, but the announcement just popped that I’m writing a six-issue WILDCATS series for DC as part of the Wildstorm pop-up imprint, so I’m making a quick note of that here. Here is the official press release. I asked for Ramon and Tamra, and remain delighted that they were somehow confused enough to agree to do it. I’m going to be fucked when they wake up and realise I’m not Brian Bendis or Garth Ennis.
Here is the cover by Jim Cheung, with logo by Steve Cook. We are not releasing any of Ramon and Tamra’s art yet, for reasons that will be explained to me in due course. Issue 1 is out August 28.
TREES issues 15 to 19 are written, constituting Volume 3, and Jason Howard is drawing issue 19 right now. It goes on the publication schedule towards the end of the year, I believe.
The current plan on INJECTION is that I start writing Volume 4 in earnest this summer (it’s currently a pile of notes) ready for Declan’s schedule to open up in late summer.
I’m in the middle of writing Season 2 of FINALITY, and Colleen’s roughing out the first three episodes as I type this.
I have some 18 scripts left to complete for DC – THE WILD STORM is all written, as prev noted — and all of them are on unannounced projects.
That is all the active comics work I have on deck right now, having run out of artists who will tolerate my eccentric low-selling bullshit.
I’m working on CASTLEVANIA all this month, in tandem with outline documents for two other tv projects. I cannot say more about CASTLEVANIA, because our Terrifying Masters at Netflix control all information flow and we get picked off by snipers if we talk.
If I haven’t mentioned something you’re interested in, it’s because I’m not allowed to or there’s no new information.
Locked the final draft of THE WILD STORM 24 about 1230 this morning. Concluding my end of a 528-page graphic novel. I will be kind of shambolic and confused for a couple of days.
More so than usual, yes, thank you, reader.
Nobody wave a pendant, snap their fingers, whisper or even look at me intently. My brain is going to be soft for a while. Send thoughts and prayers to the wonderful artist Jon Davis-Hunt, who now has to make that script make sense.
I am writing the introduction to BETTER THAN IRL, a forthcoming book of essays about the early social internet, which you can find out more about at this link here. Fiction & Feeling, run by my old friend Katie West, will be launching a Kickstarter for it sometime this month.
It appears that auld comrades Molly Crabapple, Damien Williams and Melissa Gira Grant are also writing pieces for it, which is obviously Very Good.