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CRIMINAL is out again today!

I know, I know, I only write when I have a new comic coming out... This is the issue where all the strands of the CRUEL SUMMER story start coming together, so I don't want anyone to miss it, if you're following the book monthly instead of in trades. Here's a preview:

I'm still hearing of first day sellouts every issue, and readers having trouble finding the book, even after we did a big overship on issue 5 to help get more copies on shelves. It's a tough time for retail, so if you want to be sure you get the book every issue, you should really tell your comics retailer or make a standing order, and maybe go to the shop on new comics day and grab some other great comics, too.

Also, a small reminder that our single issues have extra articles in the back, with illustrations by Sean. Here's part of the one from this issue...

A little process stuff
It's been a while since I've shown any behind the scenes process stuff, and this is one of my favorite covers, so I thought you might like to see the sketch to compare to the final version.



This is what it looks like when Sean sends me cover ideas. Here's the final cover:


As you can see, Teeg and Jane in the foreground became much more active and alive in the final drawing, but the composition is essentially the same. Whereas with the cover for issue 8, we went through a few variations...




...before we got to the one we both liked:


Covers are the hardest part, I think for both of us, because most of the time we do them before we are working on the issue, so it's about trying to come up with an image that works on its own, and that represents what that issue will be at the same time.
Jamie McKelvie is doing a new comic next year...
The Wicked and the Divine just wrapped its long and bestselling run, and Jamie is already teasing his next project, with colorist Matt Wilson...



He hasn't revealed the name, but I can confirm that it has at least three vowels in the title.
Chip Zdarsky has a newsletter now too
And it's pretty much a crack-up, if you know anything about Chip or the comics industry.


Here's a link to a recent favorite, go sign up.
A Few Questions
Hello, my name is Corey, and I’m a huge fan of Brubaker’s work. Gotham Central and Criminal are my favorite. I’m writing and drawing my own indie-alternative comic and would like to know what is the best route to take getting started, who should I take it to when I’m done and how can I continue making comics for a living?

Well, that is a lot of questions in one, so I'll take a swing and hope it's helpful. The best way to make a living in comics as a writer and artist is to just make your own comics and put them out there. Print mini-comics and hand them out at conventions to editors, if that's something you're up for. If you're good, and you get lucky enough to get your work into the right hands, and you don't give up, then you might be able to make a decent living, maybe. But it's not an easy thing to do, and literally everyone I know that makes a living in comics got here thru a combination of talent and luck and not giving up when other people would have. Just be warned, I have known a lot of talented artists and writers that couldn't make a living doing comics. I always feel like comics chooses you, not the other way around. If you are meant to do comics, you just keep doing them, in spite of how hard it is.

Sometimes people ask me "how do I get to write Spider-Man?" and the answer to that is DO NOT write a Spider-Man script and send it to Marvel. That will get you nowhere. Write some comics that aren't Spider-Man, that show you can tell a story that keeps a reader engaged, and get them drawn by the best artist you can find. This will not always be cheap or possible. When I started out, I drew my own stories, so all I needed was the cost of paper and ink (and printing, since there was no internet). You may need to pay an artist to draw your story for you, just like you might need to finance a short film if you want to be a director. Once you have proven you can tell an engaging story in comics, then you might start getting hired to do jobs like that - again, if you're lucky and in the right place at the right time. And if that's a road you really want to go down, then go in eyes open, knowing that Work-For-Hire jobs are owned by the company, not the creator.

Making a living in indie comics is even harder and rarer than making a living doing books for Marvel or DC. There are the odd big hit books, but most of the creators I know that manage to do it just work constantly, going from book to book, continuing to put out material and push themselves to try new things. New books drive readers to your older books, and that can build into a steady audience, but it takes time and a lot of persistence and hard work. Almost no one gets here overnight. Even Robert Kirkman just kept putting out books until one of them managed to build an audience. And that's what he still does, and he's the most successful creator in the history of comics, I think.
 

And Josh Kern wrote in to ask:

Any chance of seeing Kill or be Killed in an oversized hardcover collection? 


Yes. The KILL OR BE KILLED Deluxe Edition is currently at the printer, and will be out in November. Just in time for everyone to get it as a Christmas present for their depressed friends.


 

All right, that's it for this time. Please look for the new CRIMINAL in stores today, and send any questions for future newsletters to: criminalcomic@gmail.com
I'll be back next month with some more crime news and other nonsense.
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