Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Big Fun with the Big Two: What If? Spider-Man and Teen Titans: Cold Case

Wow...December is shaping up to be a big month for me. Two books from the big two.

The first is one I haven't announced yet: WHAT IF? SPIDER-MAN

Picking up from Joe Kelly and Michael Lark's Amazing Spider-Man arc "Grim Hunt", it asks the question "What if Spider-Man had Killed Kraven the Hunter?".

I'm excited about it for so many reasons I don't know where to start first. How about the artist - Paul Azaceta. Paul has been kicking ass with Mark Waid on Amazing Spider-Man for the past year, so he's a natural fit. If you're not familiar with my creator owned work, Paul drew and co-created my first book, GROUNDED, and did the covers to UNTHINKABLE. This is the first book that we've done together since. (Although it won't be the last, we're working on a creator-owned project that I hope to announce soon, and I think will be BOTH of our best work to date).

If the cover doesn't look like classic Azaceta to you, it's because it's drawn by industry superstar Phil Jimenez. Very excited about that as well.

This will also be my first published work for Marvel (I did do a Web of Spider-Man story that hasn't seen print yet, but I'm still hoping will see a digital release). Saying that I'm a Marvel fanboy would be an understatement. The THEME OF MY BAR MITZVAH was Marvel Comics. I'm debating whether, next time I'm in NY, I should dig out my message board with a mock-up of me as Wolverine, or the t-shirt with my caricature posed in Iron Man's silver and crimson armor.

SPIDER-MAN? What if will be in stores December 15, 2010.

Exactly one week later, will see the release of TEEN TITANS: COLD CASE

This is a project I've mentioned before. A few years ago, my first work-for-hire assignment was to write an arc of Teen Titans for DC. The art was finished, but for reasons I'm still not clear on, it was shelved. Until now.

The artist on the book, Sean Gordon Murphy, is red hot now, due in large part to his great work on Vertigo's JOE THE BARBARIAN with Grant Morrison. Trust me when I say that his Titans art is worth the wait.

(You'll notice that the cover is NOT by Sean - it's by someone named Jay Fabok. I don't know Jay, but if the pencils are anything to go buy he's got it down).

Why is the book called "COLD CASE". Well, in part, it's because it's an untold story of the Teen Titans, like an old murder case being re-investigating.

And, as the cover suggests, it features Captain Cold. It's actually the first meeting between the Titans and The Flash's Rogues gallery, so Cold is just one of the MANY villains the Titans face. I don't want to give to much away, but the story also ties into Brad Meltzer's Identity Crisis, providing an answer to an unresolved mystery there.

If you're worried that you won't understand the book because it takes place in the Titan's past (or because you didn't read Identity Crisis, or follow the Titans or Flash etc.) - don't. DC didn't just dust this story off and publish it. I went back and did a major rewrite, with the primary aim being to make this book as accessible as any other I've written.

The original title was actually Father's Day, as one of the threads deals with (then Robin) Tim Drake, and how he deals with the loss of his father. It's an odd bit of coincidence, as I lost my father this year. The rewrite was incredibly emotional because of this. My father was a huge supporter of my work, and a real-life hero (a Federal prosecutor who went after the mob, tried espionage cases etc...he even once chased after a guy with a machete). So I like to think that this story finally seeing print is a sign of some sort.

On a more cheerful note, with the price of comics so high these days, the book is a bargain at $4.99. I know - $4.99, bargain and comic should not be in the same sentence. But it's two issues - 48 pages worth of story! - for less than five bucks. Considering most of the Big Two's comics are $3.99 each, I think it's better than buying two books for eight bucks. When you factor in that it actually tells a complete story, with a beginning, middle and an end (I know shocking in mainstream comics), that's a great deal.

That's out December 22nd 2010.

There are more projects in the works, particularly on the creator-owned side of things. And more announcements. But for now, I hope you pre-order these books from OCTOBER PREVIEWS - I'm quite proud of them book.

(I'll post in more detail later, but I'll be appearing at New York Comic-Con next week, sharing a table with FEARLESS artist PJ Holden, and signing at the booth as well. And I hope to have copies of RIFT RAIDERS, although I can't guarantee that).

1 comment:

J. L. Bell said...

I'm curious about the rewriting process. Was this after the pages had been penciled, so you were revising the caption and balloon text to make sure today's readers could follow? Or did you rescript before the art? Thanks.