Post-SDCC wrap-up: Scalped

The other bit of me-related news that came out of San Diego Comic Con was that SCALPED is ending with issue #60. Still feels weird to see it finally spelled out so definitely, but this has actually been the plan for quite a while now. This was my choice. We were not canceled or forced into an ending. The series will be ending just the way I've always imagined it ending. There are a couple of smaller stories I always thought I might get to which I ultimately won't, but those were set aside in the interest of giving the series as solid a finish as possible. There won't be any more stand-alone issues. Instead we'll have two final big arcs to bring everything home, with Guera drawing every issue. Expect a death or two and hopefully at least a couple of surprises. And expect everyone to get the ending they've got coming to them, good or bad. In many ways, the entire story of SCALPED will ultimately be about what happens in these last ten issues. Thanks again to everybody who's stuck with us this long. And I promise you, we're all doing our best not to let you down.

And know that the ending of SCALPED will not be the end of me doing creator-owned work. Not by a long shot. The wheels are already turning in regards to my next creator-owned book. And Guera and I are already talking about our next project as well. So as always, stay tuned.

Post-SDCC wrap-up: X-Men

The cover for WOLVERINE & THE X-MEN also came out last week, at least in a mostly blacked-out form. I've enjoyed reading all the speculation online about who's who here. Nobody's even come close to guessing everybody. Nor can they, as a couple of these characters are brand new. I'll also add that this isn't the entire cast of the series. Not even close.

It was also revealed that Ron Garney is rejoining me on WOLVERINE for another arc, this one titled "Goodbye, Chinatown," and guest-starring Gorilla Man, Fat Cobra and some crazy Kung Fu villains, including a few holdovers from my WOLVERINE: MANIFEST DESTINY mini-series.

Post-SDCC wrap-up: Hulk

Eventhough I didn't go to San Diego Comic Con, I've still somehow found myself floundering in its wake, struggling to get caught up on work. Guess I might as well have gone and enjoyed the weather for a bit.

And eventhough I wasn't there, I still had quite a few announcements come out of the con.

The biggest is probably that I'm the writer on a new INCREDIBLE HULK series that debuts in October. It's drawn by Marc Silvestri, first arc is titled "Hulk: Asunder" and it features a Hulk and Banner who have been split apart and set at odds. I've been wanting to tackle the Hulk for a while now, so I'm happy to finally be involved with this. Yes, along with everything else I'm doing, this means my schedule is awfully crazy right now, but that will be sorting itself out. Stay tuned.

And holy crap, I'm writing the Hulk!

Lots of interviews here and there:


Country Ass-Whuppin'

My contribution is titled "How Not To Get Your Ass Kicked While In Alabama," which should be rather self-explanatory.

More details here.

Happy Schism Day!

X-MEN SCHISM #1 is out today, and I'm told it has already sold out at the distributor level, so grab a copy from your local retailer while you can. Or you can also download it from the Marvel app.

I've been excited for a while for people to finally check this series out, and the response so far has been phenomenal. And remember, this is only the beginning. Issue #2 hits in just two weeks.

I also have WOLVERINE #12 and PUNISHERMAX #15 out today so, you know, look for those too, if you're not already sick of me.

Do you or do you not like things that are awesome?

If the answer is "yes," then print out the below image and present it to your local retailer. Then stand-by for the awesome.

Preview here.

I ♥ all things Planet of the Apes

CONSPIRACY OF THE PLANET OF THE APES is an illustrated prose novel from Archaia that is debuting at San Diego Comic Con, and I will be buying the shit out of it if for no other reason than the gorgeous cover by the great Jim Steranko.

Details here.

Also can't wait for the new RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES movie, which looks amazing.

Of the non-superhero franchises currently active in comics, Planet of the Apes would be on my short-list of things I would love to write, along with Conan and Godzilla. Someday perhaps.

No San Diego for me

When you're a comic book creator, come time for San Diego Comic Con each year, you start getting tons of emails from people who all just assume you're going to be there.

This year I will not.

While I love the city of San Diego and while I've had some great times at the con in the past, the show is now so massive and busy and crazy that it can totally kick my ass and leave me a blubbering shell of a man by the time I make it back home. And it also eats up at least a full week of work-time, which I can't afford to do right now (though I admit that's not stopping me from attending a show in Spain in September. Aviles! Can't wait!). If you're a comic fan and you've never been to San Diego Comic Con before, I wholeheartedly encourage you to go. It is an overwhelming but exhilarating experience to suddenly find yourself part of what's basically a miniature city populated almost exclusively with people just like you.

Even though I'm not attending, I will still have a new project announced there, so be on the look-out for that, if you're the kind of person who looks out for that sort of thing. And as for what shows I will be attending this year, check the list to the right. Hope to see you at one or another.

Until then, I'll still be here, along the banks of the Big Muddy, drinking Dirty Bastards and trying to stay dry.

Founders Dirty Bastard Ale

View from the Town of Kansas Bridge of the swollen Missouri River

Vertigo 3-day 99¢ sale

All weekend on the comiXology app, you can download lots of Vertigo titles for 99¢ each, including my first series, the Eisner-nominated THE OTHER SIDE, featuring amazing art by Cameron Stewart. As far as I know, this is the first time THE OTHER SIDE has been available digitally (legally, at least).

More info here.

Screen capture from my iPad

Thoughts on SCALPED #50

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.

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