Fifty issues. Still blows my mind. Thank you, fans of Scalped, from all of us involved with its production for keeping our little series chugging along for so long.
This fiftieth issue was especially fun, what with all of the special guest artists involved. Some behind-the-scenes info on this issue:
My original plan was to do a full-on anthology issue, using not just guest artists but guest writers as well, all doing stories set within the world of Scalped, though not necessarily utilizing any of our main characters. Unfortunately we had to scale back a bit from there and keep things to our regular page count. No ill will from me in regards to that. Times are tough right now after all, especially for little books like Scalped. So what to do instead?
A few years back when Scalped was just getting started, Guera and I agreed to do a story for a western anthology. I wrote it and Guera started drawing it, but ultimately our schedule on Scalped became too demanding and we had to back out of the anthology. We'd been looking for a place for that story ever since. So with just a couple tweaks that became "The Art of Scalping," the first half of Scalped #50.
The second story, "The Art of Survival," came from a desire to have guest artists do pin-ups but to be able to incorporate the pin-ups into a story. Our list for artists we wanted was long, but some were no-brainers. Jordi Bernet HAD to draw Carol, as far as I was concerned. Dean Haspiel was someone I'd been talking to forever about contributing to Scalped. Same with Denys Cowan, who we'd tried to fit into the series before. When I thought of a Catcher pin-up, Brendan McCarthy was the first artist who came to mind, and thankfully he was already a fan of the book. Getting Timothy Truman onboard meant a lot to me, as his series Scout has always been one of my favorite comics. And Jill Thompson and Steve Dillon, again, no brainers, as they're two of the absolute best artists in Vertigo history. Thankfully everybody we asked said yes.
And then there's Igor Kordey, whose inclusion was pretty much fated. We actually have Igor to thank for Guera being involved with Scalped in the first place, as it was Igor who first suggested to his friend Guera that he send some samples of his work to editor Will Dennis at Vertigo. Those samples showed up in Will's email the same time we were looking for an artist for Scalped. And everyone pretty much knew right away that we'd found our guy. So we already owed Igor a great deal of thanks, and Guera had been wanting for a while to get Igor involved with Scalped. I was already a huge fan of Igor's work going back to his Marvel days. But I still remember sitting in a hotel lobby with my iPad and being blown away when I first got the email with Igor's pages for Scalped #50. Here's hoping this is the beginning of seeing much more of Igor's work again.
So that's Scalped #50. Of course, the main question people keep asking me now is, How much longer does Scalped have? When is it ending?
And the answer is...
I'm still not telling.
We certainly don't have another 50 to go, but as for the specific issue number, I'd like to keep that under my hat for just a bit longer. Let's just say that plot-wise, things are about to start heating up. And fast. As in issue #51, the first part of the next big arc, "Knuckle Up." From here on out, it's all about the chickens coming home to roost. Some folks will live. Some will die. Some will live but maybe wished they'd died.
Thanks so much for staying with us for fifty whole issues. Here's hoping you'll stay with us as we bring it all home.