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Welcome to more previews... 

CRIMINAL #2 comes out next week, so I thought I'd give it a proper preview here, finally.

Issues 2 and 3 are a two-part story called BAD WEEKEND, which features Jacob, from BAD NIGHT, but takes place about a decade earlier than that book. I'm not 100% sure where this story came from, but it's been rattling around in my head for a few years now, probably because a couple times in my life I've had older mentor figures, not just in comics, but in various other parts of my life, and it's something that I've thought about a lot as my career has gone on. 

Anyway, this one is very different from issue 1, which is hopefully a good thing, and here are the first five pages for you... 

And obviously, that's just the tip of the iceberg. 

Sean's been sending over pages today for issue 3, which is always exciting for me, even after all these years working together. So here is a tiny peek at part two of this story, and the introduction of ADULT Ricky Lawless... 
Ricky is one of the main recurring characters in this new monthly version of CRIMINAL, and actually stars in issue 4, which is a standalone issue, much like #1 was. Issue 5 begins the first longer arc.  
 Man, Sean's painted covers for these issues have all been just amazing, haven't they? 
If you're a crime fiction or noir fan, you should really be subscribing to the CRIMEREADS newsletter. Here's a link to the most recent one. I've never read one of these and not found at least two things I want to read about. Check is out:


Because I grew up on comics in the 70s and 80s, I have a strange fascination with the Barry Smith era CONAN (no surprise to those of you who picked up our SAVAGE SWORD OF CRIMINAL magazine a few years back) and this huge book from Marvel is actually the best omnibus Marvel has ever put out, in my opinion. It's on decent paper stock, it's got all the Thomas/Smith issues... and best of all, it's got something like 80 to 100 pages of extras in the back, which for a Marvel collection, is unheard of. There are lots of text pieces, original art, pencils to compare to edited inks, and even a letter from the Comics Code Authority about an issue, which shows all the things they objected to and how they were changed. 

If you have a soft spot for this stuff, pick it up. I reread the issues for the first time since I was a kid, and they actually hold up. They're definitely of their era, which means they're overwritten to large degree, but somehow they still work, and watching the evolution of Barry Windsor-Smith is worth the price of admission alone. 

Here's the cover, you can find it wherever you get comics omnibi.
This time out, I've got a few really good ones...

And equally bizarre but maybe even more terrifying...

And my favorite of the month...

I really want to find out what the story is with that one, but suspect we'll never know. Feels like an issue of CRIMINAL waiting to happen, though. 
The last few months, since we finished MY HEROES HAVE ALWAYS BEEN JUNKIES, has been a strange time for me as a writer. It's the first time in probably ten years when I've only been writing one thing -- CRIMINAL, obviously -- as I recharge my batteries from working on a TV show for a year and a half non-stop. 

I had no idea how exhausted I was until a few months later when I still felt exhausted and drained. So I just simplified things for a while. I try to write in the mornings, then on good days, I'll go out into the ocean and ride some waves for an hour or two, and get the shit beat out of myself by the sea. It's been amazing, although, pro-tip, it's much easier to get out of a wetsuit when you're 16-ish than when you're 50-ish. But just floating in the sea (and strangely, alongside seals more often than I'd like) has been the perfect way to reset my head. 

The past two or three weeks, I've had more ideas than I have in years - for new comics, for movies, and even a TV pilot idea I am desperate to get to soon. 

I don't know about you, but I don't shut my brain off enough these days, so I'm trying more and more lately to not multi-task. To just put my phone in another room and sit with a book, or to just be at the ocean, or to not check my email when I'm writing. It's been a bit of a struggle, honestly, because we're all so hooked in all the time now. It could be worse, because I don't do social media, but still, I have to fight the urge to put my book down and check my email sometimes. It's getting easier, though. Single-tasking is the wave of the future, I think. I recommend it. And breathing. 
A little bit more news has come about the show I wrote with Nicolas Refn in the past week. Cliff Martinez did a Masterclass lecture in Rotterdam, and he previewed a scene from somewhere in the middle of the season, and revealed some secrets about the show, too.

And here is the link to Cliff's entire interview. The clip from our show is at the very end, and it is not for the faint of heart:

The whole video is more than worth your time if you're interested in film soundtracks. 
Write to me at: and send questions for me to answer in the next newsletter, and I'll see your inbox soon. 
Copyright © 2019 Basement Gang Inc., All rights reserved.

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