2015 was possibly the best year of my life. Top three, for sure. Bragging about good fortune is ugly, but I also think that failing to acknowledge the good in your life is a sort of arrogance as well. Mostly, I’m thankful – to the people who read my books, the people who sell them, and the people who help me make them. For my friends, old and new. For my family. For inspiration (long may it continue). For energy, and, in general, more optimism than pessimism.

I am also grateful to you, specifically – the person reading this. I don’t know anything about you (unless I do…), but the fact that you decided to read this means you’re at least provisionally interested in whatever I’ve decided to say here – which is still amazing to me. I hope you had a great 2015 as well, and if you didn’t, well, that stupid year is OVER.

I did a similar post back at the beginning of the year to look at 2014-15, and I thought it would be fun to look at some of the projects I described there to see where we ended up. It’s crazy – at this time last year, my runs on She-Hulk and Swamp Thing hadn’t yet ended, I was knee deep in Wolverines, etc. Here’s that post, if you want to review. In there, you’ll see that I was a little coy about some of the stuff I had coming up. I thought I’d reveal what those various books were, since they’ve all been announced by this point.

The Nervewracker – Daredevil

The Oh My God! – Lando

The Tricky One – Civil War

The Romantic One – Attilan Rising

Right now, most of my unannounced stuff is creator-owned, although there is one thing… one huge unannounced thing… I think folks will go crazy for it. The artist is one of my absolute favorites, and it should just be a blast on all sides. I’ve been working on it since… wow, the summer? It’s an ongoing, and continuing the theme in the post I linked to above, the Moleskine I’m using for it is black. I’ll definitely be writing more about this series once the word is out, which I think will be next week.

Beyond that, I’m working away on Daredevil, Uncanny Inhumans, Obi-Wan & Anakin and Letter 44, as well as the novel I’ve been working on for what feels like a million years – The Oracle Year. That last one’s challenging. I’m trying to do something special with it (or, barring that, something I can sell!) The machinery seems to be in place to give it a good push into the world (great agent, strong plan, all that,) which means if it doesn’t work, it’s no one’s fault but mine. The thing I’m finding most difficult is knowing what not to write. I have a trillion ideas, all the time, and the challenge is leaving some of them out. But that’s writing, and that’s what revisions are for. I am hopeful that you’ll see it soon, but I also realize that it’s almost a luxury not to have a deadline on it, and I’d like it to be as good as I can make it. So… typing away.

And then… creator-owned! Letter 44 starts its fourth arc this Wednesday, with Issue 22, the same day that Volume 3 hits the shelves. If you’ve been reading the series in trade, I think this will be a big one for you – it’s where everything really takes a quantum leap forward. Here’s a preview from #22:

 

L44 22 ImageAlberto Jimenez Albuquerque, as always, does incredible work.

The series’ fourth arc is called “Saviors,” and it really starts to bring things home. Letter 44 will end with issue 35, and I’ve written through issue 27, which means I really don’t have that much left to write for it. I know what happens in every one of those remaining issues (pretty much), and that is a strange thing. I know what the series will be when all is said and done, and the emotional experience I’m trying to create. I knew the ending when I started, but the path has certainly had some twists and turns, and the feeling of it isn’t necessarily what I expected. I set out to write a huge sci-fi epic, and I think it’ll be that when it’s done, but there’s more to it. It’s like a song, about inevitability. I hope, if you haven’t already tried the series, you’ll give it a shot. You may notice that I’ve updated the links to the right – you can now find a direct link to the Letter 44 page on Amazon, which will be updated with Volume 3 as soon as it’s out. Really looking forward to hearing people’s reactions.

In other Letter 44 news, the series was chosen as part of the official slate (it’s a selection officiele) for the 2016 Angouleme festival in France later this month. That’s hard to process – it means that the book was picked as one of the best comics publications in the French language this past year. (My friends at Glenat, the French publisher for the series, did an amazing job putting the book out there – which is self-evident.) It’s an honor and a thrill and it makes me nervous, but it’s also part of that incredible 2015 I mentioned at the start of the post. I’ll be heading to France in about three weeks to attend the fest, which everyone tells me is magnifique indeed. I’ll brush up on my French, too – I’ll be doing some signings in Paris, and it would be nice to chat with people over there. (Like a silly-sounding three year-old, perhaps, but I will make the effort.)

Shifting gears to Daredevil, I have been so incredibly thrilled with the reaction to the new series I’ve been doing with Ron Garney and Matt Milla. It seems like we’ve got a good springboard to tell some awesome stories about ol’ Hornhead, and I hope you’ll stick along for the ride. Here’s a tease of Issue 3 – Ron really had a workout as far as fight choreography for this issue:

DD 3 stripI’ve completed two stories in the run so far – the Tenfingers tale you’re reading now, and a new one about Elektra. I’ll start scripting the third story this week, which will introduce another new character that I hope will be a great new foil for Daredevil.

The first issue of Obi-Wan & Anakin appears on stands this Wednesday, with art from Marco Chechetto. It is beautiful, as you can see:

OandA20150108

It’s a 5-issue mini, and tells the story of an adventure Obi and Ani had between Episodes I and II. I tried to do a similar thing here as I did with the Lando series – digging into the characters and thinking about what they might actually be thinking and feeling at this point in their lives, around three years after Phantom Menace. Anakin’s been in the Jedi Temple for a little while, and Obi’s been training him for all that time – but they’re both starting to ask questions. Big ones. I hope you’ll check it out.

Uncanny Inhumans! Steve McNiven finished the first big story arc a bit ago, and the final issue of the huge adventure that began all the way back in April with Uncanny Inhumans #0 will conclude soon with #4. Here’s a little taste of that, with Randac and Kang the Conqueror in an epic staring contest:

Uncanny 4 PreviewMan, isn’t McNiven great? Inks on this were from Jay Leisten (also super great), and colors from Sunny Gho (who, also, is wonderfully great!)

All-New Inhumans is featuring some great work from James Asmus, and all in all, I couldn’t be happier with the way things are going in the Inhumans corner of the Marvel U. Some very long-term plans are going to start to kick in a little later this year, but I’ve said it before and will say it again – anything can happen in the Inhuman books, especially Uncanny. The concept is broad enough to support a million different kinds of stories, and that’s what we’re planning to tell. The second arc, running through issues 5-7, has a different tone than this first story – less of a Shakespearean superhero tale and more about modern life in the Inhuman world. Brandon Peterson’s drawing that, and he’s also just nailing it.

I’ll wrap up with new creator-owned, since that’s an area I’ve been working to develop for a while now. The wheels move slowly, but I had some serious movement on that front just before the end of 2015, and I’ve got a ton of stuff that seems like it’s pretty close to appearing. With Letter 44 in its wrap-up phase, it’s important to me to get new material out, and unless I screw things up, that should be happening in the next twelve months. More about all of those projects when it’s all a bit more locked down.

So there we are – see you on the other side!