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CRIMINAL #1 is out today!

Look for it at your local comic shop this week. As I said before, it's a double-size issue. 

Since I sent out the first 10 pages to you all in the last newsletter, I thought today I'd just show you a few behind the scenes things. How we make this thing. 

Initially, Sean and I went back and forth over the cover design and image. I had this idea of a divided cover, with two images, connecting the various story threads. So we started with this: 

Then we argued about the design a bit, because we weren't sure if the single issues and the trades should have a different look. We both decided it would be more exciting to try something different since this is a new first issue, so Sean came up with these next, still trying to keep the two image idea: 
But it still wasn't clicking. That's when I started doubting the two images idea, so Sean went off and designed the cover you see at the top there. Something that uses a version of our old logo, but a different design, and really bold. 

One of the things you rarely get to see, is Sean and Jake's process. So since I don't want to preview any more of the issue, here's just a tier of a later page in the issue, in pencils and then inks and colors. So you can see how loose and sketchy Sean's pencils can be: 
Sean now pencils digitally and inks on paper, for those of you keeping track. 
Two of my favorite new comics have new issues out today, as well, and since everything isn't always about me, I want to push them on you.

First is DIE, written obsessively by Kieron Gillen and painted by Stephanie Hans. I've known about this book for a while and watched Kieron go nuts writing it and making a tabletop RPG for the world it takes place in. It's a goth Narnia, is the elevator pitch, but that doesn't cover what it really is. Issue 2 and a reprint of issue one are out today: 
You can read more about it here:
Also out is the next issue of Warren Ellis and Jason Howard's newest book, CEMETERY BEACH. This book is prime Ellis-having-fun mode (and for a guy who doesn't like fun) because it's essentially all one big sci-fi chase scene. I'm really loving it. 
You can catch up on the whole series here:

Also, this isn't by a friend of mine but for Christmas I got a copy of this book: 
It's been out about a year, but somehow I missed it. If you're a serious Hammett fan, like I am, then you need this book. It's all the original versions of his stories from Black Mask, many of them never printed before, or edited heavily when they were. 

This book also has the original serialized versions of Red Harvest and the Dain Curse, which some scholars prefer to the final novels that were published. 

Anyway, buy it however you get books. 

Oh, and here's a link to my favorite recent crime news:
Alright, before I get back to work, here's a very small preview of issue 2 of CRIMINAL, out next month. 
I should probably say that Hal Crane isn't based on any specific classic comics artist, but then that would spoil the fun, right? 

All right, back to writing... Send any comments and questions to: 
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