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#127:OLD DOG finale out today
A hell of a lot of Dec Recs too
ALL THE LATEST
Hello again from a
sunny/ rainy/gloomy day in County Clare. I returned from London in one piece after my tour of duty, reconnecting with old friends.
-The artist/co-creator on PROJECT ARCA came to visit me right after I got back, and we hammered at the concept more. Mainly, we spent two days trying to come up with a usable title and we eventually settled on one. I think. We have the main idea worked out and the shape of the series. Most of the plot stuff worked out, though I feel I need to work out the themes a bit more, then can start to work on the pitch. This is the hard, frustrating, yet fun part of coming up with a comic. Have no idea if it’ll ever get published, but you gotta start somewhere.
-Well I haven’t even had a sniff at an Eisner [Star Trek didn’t win for best single issue, dammit] and no Ringo noms but hey; seems I’m being given a hell of a prestigious award in October; the Golden Romic! Previous awardees Gipi, Marcos Martin, Jordi Bernet Chris Ware, Syd Mead, Sergio Toppi and a hell of a lot more. You can see the list here.
Seriously though, I am dumbfounded as to why I would be given such an honour …but I’ll gladly take it! I’ll be receiving it at the Romics festival in Rome, where I’ll be launching the Italian edition of OLD DOG, published by Salda Press. Looking forward to it.
-PROJECT FEAR revealed! As announced by Marvel last week, I’m writing a Man-Thing/Daredevil team up story in the CRYPT OF SHADOWS anthology, to be illustrated by Alex Lins [a fantastic artist I’m delighted to be paired with]. Here’s the Leinil Yu cover, and the solicits.
New York, NY— July 18, 2023 — This October, take another frightening journey through the shadows of the Marvel Universe in CRYPT OF SHADOWS #1! The hit one-shot is back for another year of tales starring some of the spookiest characters comics has to offer. The crypt will be reopened and the creatures, monsters, and ghouls of the Marvel Universe will emerge in this collection of terrifying and easily accessible stories that will haunt new fans and longtime readers alike this Halloween season!
Once more, as All Hallows’ Eve draws nigh, the dust-covered slab that seals shut the crypt, blocking out the sun and casting it forever in shadow, has creaked open to let the darkness loose to prey on the Marvel Universe! Be they mercenary or mage, guided by law or by rage, our heroes will face their terror, and they’d best pray their spines are sturdy enough for the job…or the crypt they find may well be their own! Read on if you dare to discover what awaits in this year’s CRYPT OF SHADOWS #1
Editor Lauren Amaro offered me the story, the brief being that it was to be to be a MAN THING story that paired him with a more popular Marvel hero. I realise it was very obvious that I would pick DAREDEVIL but honestly, i had an instant idea for him to be the character. I gave myself a few days to come up with a different character but the pull was too strong! Kinda wish I was drawing this, as I love DD and loved drawing MAN THING back in THUNDERBOLTS but that Alex Lins sure can draw, I know he’s going to do an amazing job. And I get to write DAREDEVIL a bit more, so everyone wins! The anthology looks like a lot of fun, with other stories by Paul Azaceta, Al Ewing, Steve Orlando, Cavan Scott, Paul Davidson and more.
-Marvel also released the solicitations for CAPWOLF AND THE HOWLING COMMANDOS #1, for which I did a CAPWOLF Variant cover. This was fun.
-My latest RIBBON QUEEN cover has been solicited [for Issue Four]. Looks like I was in a bit of a blueish mood lately…? As in the colour blue. I handed in my cover for Issue 6 last week. Make sure ye pick up Issue One, it’s out this week. It’s a genuinely chilling book, top Garth Ennis stuff and intricately pencilled by Jacen Burrows. I have to say, AWA have been doing a great job pushing the book, they’ve been doing promo all over Twitter and Instagram, tagging me in the whole time, even though I only did the cover. Oh, I believe every cover will have a black and white virgin variant of my main cover by the way, look out for those.
-I’m neck deep in covers right now, currently colouring a CARNAGE cover for Marvel and a Mad Cave cover for a friend’s new [unannounced] creator owned book. Still need to do a Skybound cover this week if I can manage it, though the priority for me is getting layouts done for PROJECT MINER. For which, I did this below character design. Will see if it gets approved.
-Lastly, after this week I really need to jump on my next Art Deco project. More on that soon.
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The final issue of OLD DOG [REDACT ONE] is out this week! I’d describe this as the ‘Skyfall’ issue, in that a weakened Lynch is holding up in an old cabin as a black ops team close in.
Feels really, really great to get this last issue out. I knew how I was going to wrap this first arc for a long time, has taken me a year and change to finally get here. I hope ye all enjoy it.
I just handed in the finished trade to Image. The design elements are pretty much lifted from the issue design, with some tweaks for the trade format. I made a white bar bigger in the ‘Image Comics Presents’ page so that I can do a little doodle in the book, when given the opportunity. Below is the final trade dress, minus the ISBN and barcode. Been tinkering with this for a while but VERY happy with the final result. Wait… what’s that… is that a blurb on the bottom of the back cover from Steven Conrad, the creator/writer/director of the genius Patriot TV show…!? Why yes it is!
Can’t believe I got that, Patriot was such an incredible show. Thank you so much Steven, and to Greg Rucka, who gave me such a wonderful blurb, I had to put it on the back of the book.
This is an example of the chapter breaks. I wanted to use those big open areas covered by the trade dress in the issues and use them to good effect. The title art is used also as a nice lead in from the last page of the previous issue. I decided to leave out the variant covers in the collection… with the now 136 page count and $9.99 price point, the book will likely be a loss leader for a while as is, no point making it more so. I had to pick between including the variants or the Issue Zero story and I felt story pages were more important. If I get to do a big collection down the line, I’ll collect the covers there.
Feels very satisfying to have the book all done on my end. There may be notes back from Image, but it’s 99.9% done. Phew. I hope everyone reading this has pre-ordered a copy! The best way to get a cheaper copy is to order now, as a second printing will at a higher price point.
I handed in my 8th ALIEN script last week just in time for this to be announced!
'Alien Annual' #1 Launches a War Between Xenomorphs
This October, Declan Shalvey and Danny Earls team up for a frightening new chapter in the Alien mythos.Over the last year, writer Declan Shalvey and artist Andrea Broccardo have taken the Alien franchise to dark new depths in the current ongoing ALIEN comic series. Set on an remote moon, the series has unearthed all-new horrors in the iconic horror/science-fiction mythos, including a chilling subspecies of Xenomorphs that have thawed out of an icy slumber!
The mystery and methods of these new Xenomophs are still being revealed, but this October, readers will get up close and personal with these new terrors in a double-sized ALIEN ANNUAL! Teaming up with rising talent Danny Earls, Shalvey will further explore these new creations as they go head-to-head with their classic counterparts. With no humanity in sight, fans will see Xenomorphs unleashed on eachother in brutal fashion as this action-packed and standalone issue sets up the next era of ALIEN comic book storytelling!
Alien vs. Alien: Pity the Xeno! A Xenomorph queen and her hive descend on a dark world. As always, they’re eager to eliminate any species they encounter and stand poised to overrun this planet like they have so many others. Until the native life fights back...
"Writing ALIEN has been a fantastic experience so far, digging into the desolate horror the franchise allows on the Thaw storyline with a diehard collaborator like Andrea Broccardo,” Shalvey shared. “With this upcoming annual, I get to expand on the world we've built with a ferocious battle of monsters by the excellent Danny Earls, whose stark shadows and organic shapes are perfect for a series like this. I promise that no humans will survive this tale."
Yes, this is the issue I’ve been teasing lately. While technically my 6th ALIEN script, this is a 30 page annual with art by rising star Danny Earls. True story, I got to meet Danny at Thought Bubble last November …our flights home were cancelled and we ended up having to get a crappy AirBnb together with another artist in order to get the next flight back the following morning. Just less than a year later, We’ll have a published comic together at Marvel[!]. An ALIEN story of all things. Crazy.
Danny’s doing fantastic work on this. He has the whole annual pencilled and is starting on inks now. I may or my not post peeks over the next months [I very much will, let’s be honest] so keep your eyes peeled.
I illustrated the above cover for this annual and it was a treat to to illustrate that great hulking figure. A challenge too, those things are hard to draw, I had to make some Photoshop edits form the original drawing. I don’t know how Andrea Broccardo does it day in, day out.
Also a heads up: The annual will have a variant cover by Daniel Warren Johnson, so soak in my cover before his cover blasts mine to pieces!
TIME BEFORE TIME
Things are winding down on my end with TIME BEFORE TIME. It’s all written, I’ve finished all my covers. Now it’s just a case of script edits and watching the last of Geoffo’s pages come in, along with enjoying Hassan and Chris’ pages appear in my inbox. Also, so many pages at this stage are spoilery meaning I can’t share them, but here’s a nice panel at least.
I can also show you guys the me cover for the final issue of TIME BEFORE TIME. The ‘final issue’… man it feels weird to type that out.
Not the flashiest cover I’ve done for the book, but exactly what I was aiming for as a final cover. A goodbye…
*Cough* anyway, I don’t know if ye noticed in the solicitations, but I’ve also illustrated a C cover for Issue 28. Keep your eyes peeled for that reveal, and we also have a special surprise in store for Issue 29, that final issue. Still feels weird,‘final issue’…
I was sent a LOT of comics recently! Normally, I don’t think I’d have the time to read all these in time for the next Declarations but as I’m not caught up on my reading, I thought I’d jump on these straight away, so here goes…
THE ENFIELD GANG MASSACRE #1
Written by Chris Condon
Art by Jacob Phillips
Published by Image Comics
THE ENFIELD GANG MASSACRE an excellent Western, covered in both dried dirt and blood. Condon and Phillips take their crime noir storytelling all the way back to 1906. Fans of THAT TEXAS BLOOD don’t dare miss out, but it’s also a chance for people not familiar with the pair’s previous work to dive in. I suggest you do. I’ve missed the FOC on this but as ever, tell your local retailer you want a copy so you don’t miss out on a great comic.
THE UNLIKELY STORY OF FELIX & MACABBER
Written by Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou
Art by Juni Ba
Published by Dark Horse Comics
This has been in the works a long time and I’m glad to see it find a home. Juni Ba is killing it right now at Image, DC, etc but this was the first time I saw his work, serialized in Hassan Otsmane Elhaou’s excellent [and newly Eisner-winning] PANELxPANEL, I believe. Well, Hass sent me the finished book and I really enjoyed it. You can tell it’s made by two people who really love the craft of this medium. A joy to read.
DRIVE LIKE HELL
Written by Rich Douek
Art by Alex Cormack
Letters by Hassan Otsmane
Published by Dark Horse Comics
Rich Douek and Alex Cormack continue their partnership of comics terror. Following from their previous works BREATH OF SHADOWS, SEA OF SORROWS and ROAD OF BONES with this new offering DRIVE LIKE HELL: a thundering, high octane horror.
KILL YOUR DARLINGS
Written by Griffin Sheridan and Ethan S. Parker
Art by Bob Quinn
Published by Image Comics
An interesting mix of fantasy adventure and contemporary horror, KILL YOUR DARLINGS but Sheridan, Parker and Quinn do a great job of pulling you in to the world of it’s making character [both real and imaginary, as both become more threatening and dangerous. You can pre-order this now!
OLD DOG #6 [W/A/Col/C]
THE RIBBON QUEEN #1 [C]
TIME BEFORE TIME TP VOL 04 [W/C]
TIME BEFORE TIME #26 [W/C]
THE RIBBON QUEEN #2 [C]
GHOST RIDER #18 [VC]