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Hello all and Happy New Year.
Welcome to this new incarnation of the Declarations newsletter. I'm glad to say I clawed out some down time at the end of December and feel recharged... which was probably needed as I was feeling the wheels starting to buckle under me a bit. Spent some time reading, writing and hanging out with my cat, Buffy.
With this new recharge comes this new format for Declarations as I have switched to Substack. Mainly, as the previous newsletter platform was costing me money, but also I'm hoping maybe a new platform might get some more subscribers, and this platform seems a bit more flexible. Sure let's see how it goes.
ALL THE LATEST
So, here we are, 2023. This is the hardest part of the year for me... remembering to change the year every time I write my signature on a cover! Have gotten back into the swing of things after the Christmas break.
-Started the year with colouring my last cover of 2022, a TIME BEFORE TIME cover. This is for the last part of our fourth arc.
-I’ve pencilled/inked a cover for a new STAR TREK: DS9 series. I just can’t say no to Star Trek.
-The next issue of OLD DOG is written and I’m currently working on the layouts. I had the last issues of the arc roughly in my head, but I spent some of Christmas fleshing them out more. Was delighted to see OLD DOG was listed as one of the best books of the year over on The Comics Journal.
-I was invited to pitch a work for hire thing at one of the big companies and it’s something I just HAD to take a stab at. So I just spent some time working on said pitch, including a promo piece (peek of which below). It’s still not ready, gonna chip away at it on the side, but once it’s done I’ll hand it in and see if anything comes of it.
-Was happy to see X-MEN UNLIMITED, a title I launched with Jonathan Hickman, is the most read Infinity series for Marvel in 2022!
-I'm currently writing the second issue of PROJECT SPAWN. I've illustrated a variant cover for #1 but there's no way I can even tease it here as it'd be a dead giveaway. Here's a taste from the first issue though, by the artist who is absolutely killing on the book. Once revealed, ye all will understand how particular this series is and getting the right artist was so important. Looks like we may have one of my favourite colourists on board too, so I’m delighted with how it’s all coming together.
-The script for TIME BEFORE TIME #24 has been handed over to the artist, I can't wait to see what they come up with. They currently have a book at Image that is absolutely wonderful ...how they will interpret the world of TBT is something I can't wait to see, on top of how their powerful storytelling will hit home. Here’s a character design for the issue by the mystery artist
[‘Verna’ from TIME BEFORE TIME #24, by TBA]
-PROJECT SIX, a one shot I’m slated to write for Marvel …waiting to hear back on an outline I sent in before the holidays.
-I have a Marvel cover on the schedule to do soon, a Spidey/Moon Knight mashup. It still needs to be drawn, but thought I’d sneak ye a look at the costume I designed for it.
-I have some long overdue commissions that I really need to take care of. Hoping to clear them all in the next 3-4 months. Here’s a rough for a Moon Knight piece.
-Got a random e-mail from a genuinely famous actor about playing OLD DOG! Not expecting anything to come of it, directed them to the proper channels but just the surrealness of that email was crazy. I’m just keeping my head down and trying to concentrate on finishing Redact One first and foremost.
-I’ve been updating my YouTube channel pretty much each week with a new #InkDec video. Nice to have longer clips than the Twitter/IG snippets.
-Friend of the newsletter PJ Holden informed me that he’s set up a google group for any Northern Ireland comics creators. Creators at any level, photocopied comics to established pros. I think PJ is trying to make a place where any and all NI comics people can have a place where they can all connect. Anyway, click below if you’re up North and interested.
As usual, a peek at an unseen cover for you Decolytes. Here’s my final STAR WARS: HIDDEN EMPIRE cover. These were fun, and really glad I got to do that unified composition/design approach across all the ‘Battle’ covers.
STAR WARS: HIDDEN EMPIRE #5 cover art
‘23 AND ME
All the above [Marvel one-shot, writing ongoing Marvel series, writing/drawing/colouring OLD DOG, co-writing TIME BEFORE TIME, covers, etc] are pretty much going to keep me busy well into 2023. PROJECT SPAWN will keep me working for the rest of the year, I know that at least, which is nice.
I can say here that TIME BEFORE TIME will wrap up by the end of this year. Once Rory and I knew that we were going to survive past #5, we had an ideal plan to make it to 5 volumes of the regular storyline [not including the one-shots]. #24 will the the last official one-shot story, to be followed by our final arc, taking us to #29. I'm really glad we'll be able to stick the landing we were aiming for, along with adding more ambitious ideas, stories and characters along the way.
[TIME BEFORE TIME #22 cover art]
AND WE’RE NOT OVER YET! As teased above, we have an amazing artist for the one shot as well as brilliant artist lined up for the final arc and the new arc starts tomorrow with #19 illustrated by the incredible Jorge Coelho. We’ve been blown away by his stunning pages, here have a look!
Because the series will end later this year, I’ll have a bit of loose space in my brain for another creator owned idea... nothing too huge as OLD DOG reigns supreme in my face-box, but I would like to get another new story out there... I'm just not sure what it'll be. All the artists I like are busy, and it's hard to know who would want to do something with me and is going to be available. I think I know who I'm going to write for, I just need to work it out in my head and confirm with them…
OLD DOG #3 is out next week and the is on a short publishing break while I get ahead on the series again. #4 is now solicited for March, so if you want to read it, please do pre-order it. I’m hearing a lot of retailers aren’t ordering for the stands past #3 and with the break that’s about to happen I do worry people will forget the book so again, please pre-order! In the meantime, here’s a peek at my cover for the trade collection.
[OLD DOG REDACT ONE cover]
With this move to Substack, I like the idea of maybe putting out some short stories behind paid posts, is that something people might be into...? Just a thought for down the line. Also, the main benefit of this Substack for me is that you Decoyltes can now comment below, and I can reply. I'm hoping this format will mean I can get a better read of your responses, as opposed to the total one-sided nature of the Mailchimp format. Hey, maybe I'll hate it, sure leave your comments below and let's find out!
Okay that’s it for now, see ye back here in a couple of weeks.
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TIME BEFORE TIME #19 [W/C]
OLD DOG #3 [W/A/Col/C]
TIME BEFORE TIME #20 [W/C]
STAR WARS HIDDEN EMPIRE #3 [VC]
GHOST RIDER #11 [VC]