Death of Wolverine #1 hits shelves tomorrow, and it hits alongside the announcement that I signed a contract with Marvel Comics to work for them for a bit (which was released by USA Today just a few minutes ago, and confirmed by Comic Book Resources.) I expect both to have a very significant effect on my career. DoW is getting tons of press coverage – everyone has known it’s coming for a while. This contract thing will come as a surprise, I think, so I thought I’d type up a few quick thoughts about it to help explain where things are right now.

First and foremost, signing a contract is a business decision – it is, literally, my business. So, if I don’t describe every detail about what happened, how it happened, how long it will last or other specifics, well… as I said, my business. However, I know that some people out there will be curious about how my Marvel contract affects my work for other companies, including some of the titles I’m working on right now, so I thought I could speak a bit to that.

For those who aren’t familiar with the comics business, there are only a few main players, and they occasionally sign individual creators to contracts that prevent them from freelancing for the other main players in the business for a specified period of time. While I’m not technically a Marvel “employee,” I will be doing the majority of my comics work for them for a bit.

This means that I won’t be writing for DC Comics for a while, which was not an easy decision to make. DC gave me my first shot at “Big 2” comics with Swamp Thing, and my profile took a massive leap forward when they trusted me to write Superman / Wonder Woman. Red Lanterns has been a blast as well, not to mention all the other side projects, one-offs I’ve been lucky enough to write – and of course the projects I haven’t written yet! So let me be clear – the decision to work with Marvel for a while isn’t any sort of denigration of DC. I had a fantastic time there, I was treated extremely well, I have strong positive feelings about all of my editors and the DC universe of characters, and I look forward to hopefully working with them at some point down the road. You’ll still see DC work coming out from me for a little while yet over the coming months, and both Marvel and DC were extremely gracious about working with me to make sure that I could complete my runs on DC titles the way I originally intended. So, you’ll see my work on Red Lanterns as part of the big Godhead event, you’ll see me ending my run on Superman / Wonder Woman the way I wanted to, and Swamp Thing will continue under my pen for a little while as well (in fact, a new Swampy issue hits tomorrow!)

Oh, and Letter 44 isn’t going anywhere. I’m on that one until it’s done, which won’t be for a while yet.

So why sign a deal at all, if things were so great? Well, it’s pretty simple. Writing eight titles a month (which I’ve been doing for quite a while now) is no joke. It’s a constant tightrope walk, requiring serious focus and discipline. I’ve proven to myself that I can do it, but now that I have, it’s time for a different challenge – I want to know what I can accomplish with a smaller slate, where I can really dive in. I’ve accomplished breadth, now I want to see about depth. There are creator-owned projects I’m anxious to explore, as well as some different kinds of writing – I have a few novels to polish and hopefully release, for one thing. Also, Marvel is giving me the opportunity to really play in their sandbox in a big way. Inhuman is going to some very interesting places, and the Wolverine stuff I’m working on post-death (not with Logan, but more about the impact of his death on the Marvel Universe) is pretty wonderful as well. And of course there’s She-Hulk… one of my favorite things I’ve ever done. Issue 8 hits shelves tomorrow, featuring the start of a three-part story in which Daredevil and She-Hulk go up against each other in court, with Steve Rogers (aka Captain America) as the defendant. First time that’s ever happened in the comics, and I’m probably as excited about that story as I am about DoW.

But speaking of the death of a certain angry Canadian, let me mention that I’m doing a ton of signings/appearances, etc. this month and next to promote that story. Here’s the list:

September 3 (Wednesday), 6-8 PM – NEW YORK CITY – Midtown Comics Downtown

September 4 (Thursday), 4-7 PM – PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA – Fat Jack’s Comicrypt

September 5-7 (Friday-Sunday) – BALTIMORE COMIC CON

September 17 (Wednesday), 4-7 PM (time to be confirmed) – LOWELL, MASSACHUSETTS – Larry’s Comics

September 27 (Saturday), 10 AM – 1 PM – SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA – Yesteryear Comics

September 27 (Saturday), 7-10 PM – LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – The Comic Bug

October 1 (Wednesday) – 4-7 PM – SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA – Comix Experience

October 9-12 (Thursday – Sunday) – NEW YORK COMIC CON

It will probably be tough not to get a book signed by me in September.

Let me wrap up by thanking you for reading, and supporting my work over the past few years. I would never have gotten to this point without your help, and I think about that all the time. More great stories to come, I promise.