…2015 is shaping up to be!
2014 was beyond anything I ever could have expected (among other things, I killed Wolverine,) and I could fill up a hundred posts talking about it, but at this point, I’d like to look ahead, and talk about some of the things I have coming up. I am currently working on ten comics projects very actively (as in, scripting them for publication,) with five of them already announced, and others still out there in the pre-solicitation wind. Some thoughts on the current slate:
1. Letter 44 – scripted through Issue 20, and Issue 13 just hit stands. The response to this book continues to amaze. I mean, it’s a densely plotted sci-fi/political book, with a bunch of characters. (In case you don’t read it – yet – it’s about a US President who discovers that the prior administration found evidence of aliens hiding in the asteroid belt, and sent a manned mission out to see what’s there, but kept it all secret. It’s his problem now.) The first collected edition came out (available here!) in July with the second slated for March (pre-order here!) and more to come. I was privileged to visit NASA at Kennedy Space Center twice this year (thank you to Ed Stanton, one of the engineers on the new Orion spacecraft, for inviting me down and being incredibly gracious with his precious time to show me around – the NASA visits will get their own post soon.) A lot of what I saw down there made it into the third arc of L44, which will start with Issue 15 very soon. The series gets HUGE in that arc. Like World War Three huge. If you like your sci-fi based in real-world ideas with a healthy helping of craziness on top (think District 9), then Letter 44 is the book for you. Oh, and yes, the TV show at SyFy is still in-process – the process is just slow. A tease of that third arc:
2. She-Hulk – my final script for the first story arc is in (Issue 12), and I’ve seen pages. Javier Pulido is bringing it in a big way, and the story itself is designed to bring together everything I’ve been talking about in the series so far. I’m extremely proud of it, and if you’ve enjoyed the series so far, I think you’ll like hope it wraps up. (If you haven’t tried it yet, you can get the first trade here.) And as far as a She-Hulk Season 2…
…I have a new, green Moleskine notebook in which I’m jotting down ideas. (I use dedicated, color-coded notebooks for each series I write.) That doesn’t mean anything, really, but if I were lucky enough to get the opportunity to write a second season of She-Hulk, I’d be ready to go. For now, though, here’s a cool detail from one of Javier’s layouts from issue 12 – look what he conveys in just a few lines:
3. Inhuman – well, you may have noticed that Marvel Studios announced an Inhuman movie for 2018, and the Inhumans are starting to be a huge part of the Agents of SHIELD television show. Some huge new Inhuman-related things are very close to being announced on the comics side as well. It’s pretty exciting to be steering that franchise – I love the characters, as I hope you’ve seen (get the first trade here!) In particular, I like that Medusa is the lead – she’s a hell of a character, and we’ll be putting her through the wringer. In fact, here’s a panel from Issue 11, drawn by the amazing Ryan Stegman:
Between Ryan, Joe Mad, Pepe Larraz and the other artists on Inhuman since it started, I think we’ve been lucky to have one of the best-looking books on the stands. I know what’s coming up for Inhuman, and I can tell you that tradition will absolutely continue. As we move forward into issues 13-14 and after, you’ll see that I’ve been working towards a big master plan finale for what I consider the first big “season” of Inhuman. If you read, say, issue 5 and asked yourself why I did something or another, well, this is why. It’s fun to write big, long-form books, and that’s how I see Inhuman. Lots of smaller, self-contained stories building up to a huge endpoint.
4. Swamp Thing! – Another series I will be very, very sad to see go. This year I ended my runs on a number of books – Thunderbolts, Superman-Wonder Woman and Red Lanterns. It was strange to set their notebooks aside, and none will be stranger to put away than the green book I’ve been using for Swamp Thing. This was my first series at the Big 2 (Marvel/DC), and in many ways, everything I’m working on today comes from it.
The finale of my run will come with Issue 40, which will hit in March. We’ve been given some extra page-count to really wrap things up in a huge way, and we’re going out big. I wanted to make the conclusion feel as epic as possible, and to tie up plot threads and themes from my entire run. When all is said and done, I’ll have written Swampy for the equivalent of twenty-nine regular issues (counting Annuals as two, and including some specials and extra page-count issues), and while I think I could have written it for even longer, I’m going out the way I wanted to. I signed an exclusive contract with Marvel comics earlier this year, and although that will keep me away from DC’s characters for the time being, both Marvel and DC were awesome about carving out some extra time to let me finish my Swamp Thing run the way I wanted to. (First collection of my run here! The second is here!)
5. Wolverines. I’ve been working on a weekly series following the way the Death of Wolverine affects the Marvel Universe with my pal Ray Fawkes since the summer. We’ve got almost the whole thing scripted (which, to clarify, just means the first big chunk of story – it sort of builds to a point, if you know what I mean, but there’s no reason it won’t keep rolling past that,) and it’s absolutely hogwild. We’ve created a series where pretty much anyone you can think of from the Marvel U shows up. The tone is kind of weird, crazy fun – lots of zigzagging and odd left turns in the stories. That said, when all is said and done I think it will feel really tightly plotted (because it is!) First issue hits next Wednesday, and then we’re off to the races. I’m really looking forward to this one – it’s almost like a dark, crazy Saturday morning cartoon.
And now, the new stuff…
6. Big creator-owned thing. I’m ready to start another creator-owned series. The last one I started was Letter 44, which began back in 2013 (and I was working on it for long before that.) It’s time. While I have a few things in various stages of completion, there’s one that’s pretty much good to go. I have an incredible artist attached, the scripts are done but for some tweaking, and now it’s really just about locking down the details. When, exactly, this will hit shelves I don’t know, but I think it will almost certainly be this year, and I can’t wait.
Here’s a tiny tease of a character design from said incredible artist:
7. The Nervewracker. I don’t get (as) nervous as I used to about taking on legendary characters – I mean, as long as I have a take I think I’ll be okay. But it’s a different story with this one. I’ve loved this character forever, and some of the best writers and artists in the business have worked on the title. I don’t know how it will go, but I’m certainly going to give it my all.
8. The Oh My God! This one is another Marvel book, and it’s for a character I think is actually a bit under-explored. I get to break some new ground here, and that’s always fun. Redefining expectations, you know? If I do my job right, people will hopefully want much more of this person, and I’d be more than happy to tell those stories. (Moleskine color – light blue.)
9. The Tricky One. Another big book, with a pretty challenging central idea. The themes to be explored are complex, and even the logistics are tough. I just finished my first script for it, and turned it in – I think I’ve got a fun take on it, but I suspect people will have a bunch to say about this one.
10. The Romantic One. A mini-series, about a couple I’m excited to write in a new context and a new way. I’ve had this story for a while, and I’ll write the first issue soon.
That’s the slate at the moment – and while it might not seem like it, it actually leaves me with what I would consider an open slot. I plan to fill that spot with something cool soon – maybe another creator-owned book, maybe polishing the novels I’ve been working on forever and finally getting them into the world, maybe something else for Marvel. I wrote a good chunk of a video game in 2014 which will be released soon, and I’d like to do more of that.
Mostly, I want to keep busy, and it looks like I’ll have no problems there. Thank you for your support in 2014, and I can’t wait to share the new stories in 2015!