Happy Monday and welcome back to The Farm.
Being that this is my first general post for all paid and non-paid subscribers, I thought it would be a good idea to start with an overview of the various projects I’m working on. Keep in mind not all the books I’m currently working on have been announced yet, so I’ll use some temporary “codenames” for these so that I can still discuss them here, but not totally spoil the surprise.
Before I get started, here are a few pics of my studio in Toronto as it looks this morning. I’ve been in this space for about a decade now, and as you can see I’m pretty settled in. (I dread the day I have to move all these books).
This morning I am doing the finishing touches on pencils for five more pages of FISHFLIES. I’m currently on "Chapter 3” of the story and closing in on 150 pages done of the overall book. I tend to work in 5-page batches when drawing. I do 5 pages of thumbnails, then I do layouts for these five pages, pencils for all five and then I ink all five (the fun part). I generally try to get one of these 5-page batches done a week, which pretty much equals a page a day of comics. Working in batches like this lets me focus more on each stage of the drawing process and get a little more into a groove on each. It also allows me to jump between panels and pages if I get stumped rather than just grinding through one page at at time.
So, most of this week will be spent on these five FISHFLIES pages. I also have a few calls for the Essex County TV show and I’m playing around with outlines for the next Black Hammer project as well.
WHAT I’M WORKING ON
While my Monday to Friday is generally spent drawing FISHFLIES, I am also juggling a number of books that I am writing for other artists. The first of these is a new book with Dustin Nguyen, my Descender/Ascender co-creator. Dustin and I have a 3-issue DC book coming out this Fall called Robin & Batman, and then in March we will launch our creator-owned follow-up to Descender. Let’s call it “Project Concrete” for now. I spent August working on that book and have the first 5 issues written. Dustin is finishing drawing the last issue of Robin and Batman (each issue of that series is 48 pages) and will begin drawing this new book in October.
The next book I am writing with Gabriel Walta. You may know Gabriel’s work from the brilliant Vision series at Marvel as well as the Barbalien: Red Planet series he did with Tate Brombal and I at Dark Horse last year. I absolutely love Gabriel’s work and we are creating a new ongoing creator-owned series together for Image with Jordie Bellaire colouring (yes, I will use the Canadian spelling of Colour here, deal with it!). This new series, codenamed “Project Headlights” is a real genre-bender. It combines horror, sci-fi and action in a really fun way. Right now we are aiming to launch this new series in November 2022. I currently have the first 5 issues of this one written as well, and Gabriel is doing layouts for issue 1 right now.
And the third project I am actively writing is for Andrea Sorrentino and it’s our follow-up to Primordial. Primordial #1 comes out in a couple weeks, and Andrea is almost done drawing that 6-issue series and we are going right into our next project. This next one will be the most ambitious thing he and I have done together. We’re both anxious to discuss it but are going to hold off for now. More details about this project will be announced later this Fall.
So these are the three books I am developing and writing along with drawing FISHFLIES. I still have some Black Hammer stuff cooking as well and I’m also writing scripts for the TV adaptation of Essex County, which we plan on shooting this coming Spring. It’s a lot, but by staying so far ahead on all my series, it allows me to stagger things and really only work on one or two of these projects at a time. I also really enjoy jumping between books and having multiple things to work on. As long as I stay way ahead of my artists, it allows me to work on the books I am most excited about at any given time and avoid burnout / writer’s block in the process. In future posts I’ll start discussing in more detail how I schedule my weeks and juggle so many books.
QUESTIONS AND COMMENTS
Many of my paid subscribers have been leaving comments and questions. I just wanted you to know I am not ignoring them, but, given how busy I am working on all my comics, I am going to have pause on responding. So, my plan is to collect your comments and questions and then once a month I’ll do a post where I answer as many as possible.
I’ve been working on the series Black Hammer Reborn for a couple years and I’ve reached the fun part, where all 12 issues have been written and now I just get to sit back and watch the incredible artwork from series artists, Caitlin Yarsky and Malachi Ward roll into my inbox each week.
Below are some first looks at select preliminary art and final inks from both Malachi and Caitlin…
And an added bonus, here are a few sneak peeks at Dustin’s art for Robin & Batman #2!
COMING THIS WEEK!
Mazebook #1 hits comic books shops this week. There was a post about the origins of Mazebook for paid subscribers last week, and I’ll be doing plenty more process posts on the creation of this book in weeks to come. If you make it to a comic shop this week, I hope you check it out.
And later this week on Substack paid subscribers will get the first installment of my “FROM THE VAULT” feature where I’ll talk about my earliest days making comics and also, as mentioned, the first installment of my new book FISHFLIES will go up.
So, thanks again for following, and I’ll see you back here soon!