I got my first batch of final pages from Strongman 2 last week. It includes pages 1-11, which set up the reason for Tigre leaving New York City and returning to Mexico. The pages work pretty well on their own as a sort of teaser for the book as a whole – they’re self-contained but they tie up threads from Volume 1 and lay the groundwork for the early stages of Volume 2. I am extremely happy with the way they turned out. Allen did a phenomenal job with them, and it’s hard to express just how neat it is to see Tigre living and breathing again, about to embark upon another insane adventure.
It seems like it took Allen a little while to get his feet under him when he was starting on the second book, but I think that’s understandable. It had been at least a year, maybe 18 months since he finished Volume 1, and I would guess that it’s like trying to play a set of tunes you haven’t looked at in a while. You know the basic vibe, but it takes a little bit of work before everything begins to gel the same way it did the first time around. Allen believes that things will go more smoothly moving forward, and I think that’s probably true.
I’m doing a rewrite on the script now (nothing serious, just a polish), which is one of the nice things about working with artists. They take so long to draw a set of pages that I can revisit the script for the book a number of times and make adjustments without it really screwing up the book’s production. I can even make dialogue changes up to pretty much the last possible minute (and I know I did that on Volume 1). It’s handy, since I am firm believer in the idea that you don’t have all of your good ideas on a project all at once.
So that’s where things are with Strongman 2. I will be promoting that project (and others) at several conventions this fall. First, I’ll be at SPX down in Bethesda from September 26-27, sharing a table with the guys from Legends of Superwrestle. Then, from October 10-11 I will be in Minneapolis at Fallcon, and from November 7-8 at KingCon in Brooklyn, which is a new convention. It’s not too far from my house, which will be a nice change of pace. I also like all of the Brooklyn creators I’ve met, and I’m looking forward to meeting some more.
At all of those conventions, I’ll have Strongman available, plus a 24-page preview booklet for Volume 2 that will include the 11 pages I mentioned above plus 13 pages of sketches, commentaries and additional material. Should be a nice little item. I’m having it printed by Ka-Blam, which is a company I cannot say enough nice things about. Truly excellent small-run printers. Reasonably priced with excellent customer service.
Finally, today I checked out the Strongman page on Amazon to see how the book has been doing, and was extremely gratified to see that it had made the Mystery best-seller list. At least during the hour I checked, it was the 76th best-selling book on Amazon in that category, which is pretty amazing (and pretty gratifying), especially since the book came out all the way back in March.
I’ll try to post up some pages from SM2 in the near future, and hopefully I’ll have more to report on 27 as well.