It’s the Monday before Emerald City Comicon, which is heralded by many in the biz as the official start of convention season, running through New York Comicon in October. I think that’s less true than it used to be – I’ve already done two shows this year, for example. However, it still feels like ECCC is the first big show that tons of my friends attend, many of the publishers set up, etc. (That said, I’ve heard great things about Planet Comicon in Kansas City. That one just happened a few weeks ago, and I may try to put it on the list for next year.)

I’ve been attending ECCC since 2009 (with one exception in 2010 – I was scheduled to go, but my father passed away a few weeks beforehand, so I had to miss that one.) I’ve posted about it here almost every year as well. You can do a search on “emerald” or “ECCC” if you’re interested in seeing the timeline. I found it to be pretty interesting.  Here’s my first post about the show, from 2009. Here’s another from 2011. Things have changed since those days, both for me and the show. Emerald is now a huge endeavor, just acquired by Reed Expo, one of the biggest players in the comic convention business. And I’ve gone from hoping to get a few people to check out my very first published work (Strongman) to writing a new chapter for Civil War, one of the biggest events in Marvel Comics’ history.

But more on that in a minute. First, let me give you my schedule for the convention this weekend. I’ll be set up for most of the show at table W-05, which is between two of my current collaborators, Steve McNiven and Ray Fawkes. Steve and I did Death of Wolverine together, and we’re also working on the upcoming Uncanny Inhumans series. Ray and I are doing the Wolverines weekly series. Bring your issues out, and we’ll sign ’em.

I expect to have the following items available:

1.Letter 44 Volumes 1 and 2! The second trade collection of Letter 44 is debuting at the show. It looks incredible:

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It’s shiny! I’ll also have some of the single issues that haven’t been collected yet, including some cool variants of issues #1 and #8 (which started the first arc) and the Letter 44 mission patches.

2. Death of Wolverine HC (both covers – McNiven’s original and the Joe Quesada variant,) as well as some variant covers of the single issues. I expect these to go fast.

3. Strange Attractors HC.

4. 27 Vols 1 and 2 (probably limited copies)

5. She-Hulk, Inhuman, Superman/Wonder Woman, Swamp Thing, Red Lanterns trades, as well as some singles. If there’s something specific you want from any of these runs, ask me in the comments. I may have it, but I may not bring it unless you specifically request it.

Random other stuff too, probably. I’ll have a good batch of material. I expect to be at my table for the entire convention, unless I’m at a signing or panel. Here’s that schedule:

Friday, 11:30 AM – 12:30 PM – Writers Unite! This is a long-running panel I’ve been doing with my pal Jim Zub for many years – who I actually met at ECCC for the first time in 2011. We had pizza at the Alibi Room, along with Nathan Edmondson and Bryan J. Glass, who I also met for the first time that weekend. Funny to see what’s happened to all of us in the intervening years. Good times.

This time around, we’ll be joined by Kieron Gillen, and we’ll be providing some really solid tips to aspiring comics writers. I really vouch for this one. If you want to write comics, it’s very useful.

Friday, 2:00 – 3:00 PM – Breaking Into Comics the Marvel Way. Just as it sounds. I’ve done this one before, and I always enjoy it. I’ll be talking alongside a rogues’ gallery of great Marvel writers and artists about how we got into the industry. Always fun.

Friday, 4:00-5:00 PM – Signing at the Oni Booth. I’ll be signing the new volume of Letter 44 as well as whatever else you want to slap down in front of me. This is my only scheduled signing at Oni for the weekend.

Saturday, 3:00-4:00 PM – Marvel, From Black Vortex to Secret Wars. This should be the big “here’s what’s coming up at Marvel” panel, with cool art teases and a fun Q&A. Always a good time.

Sunday, 12:30 AM -1:30 PM – Science in Comics. The idea here is to talk about realistic depictions of science in comics – I was asked to participate because of my work on Letter 44 and Strange Attractors. I believe Frank Barbiere, Michael Moreci and some other great folks will be joining me as well.

Otherwise, I’ll be at W-05. Friday night I’ll be at a very long-running tradition for ECCC, a secret karaoke evening I do every year with a few friends. Very hush-hush and on the DL.

Now, Civil War… as announced by CNN on Friday evening, I am writing a new story set during the superhero Civil War that raged through the Marvel Universe back in 2006-2007. The book is being drawn by Leinil Yu, the incredible artist who did Secret Invasion for Marvel, among other great stories.

The original story was written by Mark Millar and drawn by Steve McNiven. It revolved around a gigantic fight between Captain America and Tony Stark (aka Iron Man) over ideological differences related to something called the Super Hero Registration Act (SHRA). The idea of the SHRA was that people with significant metahuman powers or tech should register with the government and be trained up, almost as a super-powered police force. Iron Man was for this idea, because he thought it would make the world safer, while Cap was against it, because he thought it infringed too much on the freedom of the people who were being forced to register.

I did an interview with Marvel.com about the series, which goes into some additional detail about what will happen in the story. I’m sure those who read the Millar/McNiven original are wondering how the hell we can tell another Civil War story, as the war ended in that book with Cap’s surrender to Tony. You’ll see. The way it works allows me to cleanly, and in continuity, take the Civil War and expand it out across an enormous canvas in space, time and scope.

I’ve been working very, very hard on it since the end of last year, and I’m very pleased with how it all works so far. We’ll see how it’s received. I don’t want to talk too much about it at this point beyond the comments here and in that interview, but if you have questions, go ahead and hit me up in the comments or on Twitter (www.twitter.com/charlessoule).

See you in Seattle!