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PROJECT SPAWN revealed
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I had to shift to a lower gear last week to deal with some life stuff but I’m back at it now. I was really happy to see OLD DOG #3 out on the stands and finally reveal
PROJECT SPAWN, more on all that below.
-I’m working on a couple of Marvel covers and have booked one from a publisher I’ve never worked with before, AWA.
-My cover for the new DEEP SPACE NINE cover is all done. Any time I do a Trek cover, the tech reference is always a lot of work [no matter how well I think I know the models] but really happy with how it came out. I’ll give ye a peek here next time.
-How about a cover peek this time? Well you got it! I saw that DARTH VADER: BLACK WHITE & BLOOD has been announced. Here’s my variant cover, I believe this is for #2, should be solicited next month.
-Have handed in my pages for TIME BEFORE TIME #26… getting close to the finish line now on the writing front, which is insane to me.
-Finished my script for #2 of
PROJECT SPAWN, waiting to see if there’s any notes from the publisher/licensor.
-Did a first pass at a book cover design for a friend. Needs more work, but have nailed down the main elements.
-The move to Substack has been relatively painless, I definitely have gorren more subscripers in the last couple of weeks. I’m sure some of those are due to recommendations from other Substacks, so thanks to those who did. I’ll make sure to recommend some myself [once I figure out how to do that]. I know some people didn’t get the debut Substack newsletter though, I don’t know why/how that happened but I hope ye’re all still getting these.
#3 is out and it’s so satisfying to have it out there, I’m delighted with how it came out. The colours really popped where I anted and the overwhelming white of the exteriors came out just the way I hoped. It’s definitely my favourite issue so far, though I seem to say that every issue.
I was weak enough to look out for some reviews and found this one on Comicbook.com that made me feel like I achieved what I was going for.
This far in, Old Dog is successfully striking a balance between the action-packed and the profoundly personal. This week's issue showcases that dichotomy wholeheartedly, taking Jack and Retriever on a deadly, but emotional, detour. Declan Shalvey's work is understated while packing an absolute emotional punch, and it's not too late to join in on that journey.
-- Jenna Anderson, comicbook.com
I also saw this great piece on SKTCHD’s ‘Comics Disassembled’ Patreon newsletter
The latest issue, #3, arrived this week in comic shops, and it was the strongest issue yet, digging a bit more into series lead Jack Lynch's backstory in a joint mission between Rottweiler and Retriever, the father/son duo he's a part of thanks to his spy organization employers, Black Circle. But instead of burying us in flashbacks and long interludes, Shalvey wisely bakes all the history and relationships of this story into a wall-to-wall, action-filled read. We learn about Jack, his daughter (including her name!), and lost loves and betrayal, while we also get to see them beat the ever-loving hell out of some poor, poor Russian soldiers (who, admittedly, were there to kill them).
It's just very smartly done. It's a killer issue, and easily the strongest yet from the run even though it hasn't had any weak points yet. I'm a fan of spy stories — shouts to Slow Horses on Apple TV+, which you should all watch — and this one does a remarkably good job of keeping its foot on the gas pedal without losing any of the character beats that make us care about what's going on. It actually reminds me a lot of Shalvey's time on Moon Knight, with it feeling similarly cinematic visually while expanding on the character in an organic way. Old Dog's a great book, and one that's only building on a strong start. I highly recommend it, as it was a good salve after a rather dire week in comics.
The publishing schedule for OLD DOG has finally caught up with me, so the next issues have been resolicited, meaning OLD DOG #4 will be out in May. I am frustrated with myself that I’ve had to take this break, but life got in the way, and I don’t want to fart out the next the issues. I want to keep up the quality of the book so far, if not improve upon it, which means I just need more time. Again, I apologise to those who are annoyed with me [sound off in the comments!}] but I hope the end product will be worth it.
I’m going to do a process post on this latest issue soon so keep your eyes peeled for that one.
A new #InkDec video is also up on YouTube
And the original art for OLD DOG #3 is now available via Cadence Comic Art!
As revealed in Marvel’s solictiations, I’m the new writer on the ALIEN series, relaunching the title in April with artist Andrea Broccardo. I had previously being referring to this project as
ALIEN relaunches on Apr 26, 2023 with myself helming the title as writer. Via the solicit…
SUPERSTARS DECLAN SHALVEY & Andrea Broccardo TAKE ALIEN TO BONE-CHILLING NEW DEPTHS!
Scientist Batya Zahn will do just about anything to get her family off the icy moon where they've been conducting research on water conservation. But there's more than glacial springs to find in this forgotten corner of the galaxy. When they discover an extraordinary organism buried in the ice, it won't take long for tensions to heat up. What is hidden in the snow comes forth in the thaw…and no one will be welcoming this spring. A new era of Alien starts here!
My take on this series is ‘Alien via The Thing’ keeping a very specific aesthetic in mind. Andrea Broccardo and I have really gelled with the approach to the book, anyone curious about his work, I’d recommend DEEP BEYOND, an Image book where you can really see an Alien influence. He’s a MASSIVE Alien fan, and has such an affinity for the world, the clothes, the tech and certain alien organisms, he’s adding so much to the world building, he’s providing a sense of authenticity to the book that is totally out of my hands. I have been quite determined to inject more of the aesthetic from the films into the series, with a little injection of the old Dark Horse aesthetic, instead of the more slick interpretation on the book previously. Editorial have been really accommodation to me in that regard, which I really appreciate. They’ve been great to let us do our own take with the series, there’s been tremendous freedom which makes things
even more satisfying.
Andrea is currently finishing inks on #1 for the colourist (who I’ll reveal soon)to get started as I’m starting on the script for #3.
Cards on the table. unlike everyone of my generation, I did not grow up an Alien fan. Frankly, I was waaaaaaaay too much of a scaredy-cat. I have of course, seen all the films and really enjoy that world. When editor Sarah Brunstad offered me the series, I was hugely excited, I think there’s so much room in this world to tell cool stories. I’ve been having a blast on the book so far, and have some plans up my sleeve for the series. Everything is really going to clinch for me when I see those inked pages coloured though, I can’t wait to see them roll in.
Covers are by Dike Ruan who’s work I’ve been drooling over for the past year or so. Just sublime stuff. There are a couple of AMAZING variant covers by Gabriele Dell’Otto [gasp!] and Alex Maleev [faints!] and another by little ol’ me…
Not too bad, eh? I mean I’m no Ruan or Dell’Otto or Maleev, but I’ll do! I could have done a big Xenomorph shot but I felt I did that previously with a variant I did for the ALIEN annual last year, and this image is way more based in the actual story.
TIME BEFORE TIME
#22 was just solicited, with a wonderful variant cover by Gavin Guidry [coloured by series colourist Chris O’Halloran]. Gavin’s a tremendous artist, I love his cover. Here it is, sans dress.
As I mentioned above, the script for #26 is all done. While Jorge Coelho has just wrapped up #22 and the one-shot artist is working on #24, the artist of the final arc has started working on their first issue [#25], so it’s all-go for Team TBT. Kudos to our editor Heather Antos for keeping us all on track. Here’s a peek at a beautiful page from Jorge’s #20, out February 8th.
HOUSE ON FIRE
by Matt Battalia
Published by Living The Line
Matt sent this on to me a handful of weeks ago and only just got a chance to read it. I really enjoyed it, packs a punch in a really satifying way, a dystopian story told with a real strong voice, something I’d really like to do myself someday. Expertly paced, with brush work so raw it looks like wood carvings made with a chisel, Matt Battaglia’s HOUSE ON FIRE embraces everything from the quiet moments of the soul, to the crushing sense of existential dread.
You can preorder the book here.
TIME BEFORE TIME #20 [W/C]
STAR WARS HIDDEN EMPIRE #3 [VC]
GHOST RIDER #11 [VC]
STAR WARS HIDDEN EMPIRE #4 [VC]
TIME BEFORE TIME #21 [W/C]
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