"He sent another one already?" says confused reader.
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KILL OR BE KILLED #1 and #2 back to print!

So, the 2nd printing of KILL OR BE KILLED #1 sold out last week as did issue #2, and both of them are going back for new printings. That's the 3rd printing cover for issue 1 above, which is one of my favorites, I have to say. 

And here's the press release from Image: 

“So much darker and more twisted than anybody guessed. It’s also freaking glorious and an awesome first issue of a promising new series.” —Nerdist

The hot new crime series KILL OR BE KILLED from bestselling creative team Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips (THE FADE OUT, CRIMINAL, FATALE) continues to fly off the shelves as the body count rises in each issue. Image Comics is thrilled to announce that the first and second issues are again being fast-tracked for additional printings in order to keep up with increasing demand. 

“This is overwhelming and a bit nuts,” said Brubaker. “Coming off our biggest hit, The Fade Out, I didn't expect we'd get an even bigger response to Kill Or Be Killed. Really excited to see how many readers and retailers are digging our warped take on the vigilante killer.” 

KILL OR BE KILLED follows a young man who is forced to kill bad people and how he struggles to keep his secret as it slowly ruins his life and the lives of his friends and loved ones. Both a thriller and a deconstruction of vigilantism, KILL OR BE KILLED is a departure from Brubaker and Phillips’ noir roots and is unlike anything the creative team has ever done. 

KILL OR BE KILLED #1 and #2 remain available for purchase across all digital platforms, including the Image Comics website (, the official Image Comics iOS app, Comixology’s website (, iOS, Android, and Google Play.

KILL OR BE KILLED #1, 3rd printing (Diamond Code AUG168132), KILL OR BE KILLED # 2, 2nd printing (Diamond Code AUG168133), and KILL OR BE KILLED #3 (Diamond Code AUG160641) will be available on Wednesday, October 12th. The final order cutoff deadline for comics retailers is Monday, September 19th.

That's the cover for the second printing of issue 2 

And here's some writer inside baseball: I "speak" much more casually in this newsletter than I do in PR quotes, and there's a reason for that. Quotes for press, and back cover text, and bio text, all that is the stuff I have the hardest time with. I can write dialog all day long, not that it's always easy. But give me ten minutes of trying to come up with the right thing to say when announcing a new series, or having to write solicitation text, and I want to blow my brains out sometimes. 

Anyway, yes, the new series is doing really well and we're all very excited about it. The response to it on the reader side has been intense, actually. I never thought doing a book this weird and rambling (and hopefully somewhat funny at times) would be the thing so many people would see themselves in.  

As long as we're talking about KILL OR BE KILLED I need to point you all to Sean's store, where you can buy lots of prints and signed books from my partner in crime. 

He just started taking orders on these amazing new screen prints. There's two versions for sale: 
And if you want to order them, you can do it here:

Man, I hope that link is clickable. 
And while we're here, I guess I'll show you one of my favorite pages of issue 3 totally out of context, in black and white. 
That lettering is actually spaced a bit different in the final version. But what a lovely page, right? Can't wait to see it when Bettie gets it colored in the next few days. 
As I mentioned last time, the big finale of the first VELVET arc is finally out, so if you trade-waited, your wait is finally over. 
For those of you just joining us, the deal is, send in interesting questions to: If I pick your question and answer it, you win a free signed book.  This is US and UK only, because international shipping is very expensive (sorry).

I have a grudge against certain creators of a TV show ( don't worry I don't troll or send threats) basically I really dislike how in the series finale they left my favorite minor character in limbo, an unresolved fight was her finale scene and it bummed me out for months. As a writer, do you ever get upset about other creator's decisions? Have you ever thrown away a book after reading the end? 

Thank you.
Grace from Indiana 

I'm sure I've been upset here and there over characters in books dying or something like that. I don't think I've ever held it against the writers, though. I may end up liking a side character more than they liked writing them, for all I know, and while I think that stories are about characters more than plot, not all characters are equal in the eyes of the people writing them.

(I feel like you're talking about Anya, from the Buffy finale, by the way. She was my favorite side character on Buffy, because of her fear of bunnies). 

Anyway, as a writer, sometimes you know a character is going to die and even how and when, from the very moment you put them into a story, and sometimes you just get to a point where it's the thing you feel HAS to happen, for a variety of reasons. Writing is a journey for the writer, too, and if I like a writer's work, then I usually try to think about why they did something. Maybe me being upset was actually the proper response, maybe they were upset when they wrote the scene, but felt it had to happen. I've been there. 


As a personal example: I was reading Game of Thrones, and when I got to Ned Stark's death I was so surprised and angry that I threw the book across the room (it was a paperback). But then I sat there for a few minutes, steaming about it, and picked it up to see just what George RR Martin was up to, actually. And I began to get over it and be intrigued again, and part of me knew the book had suddenly just leveled up, and become something new and exciting (and bleak, let's face it, but I like bleak). 

But everyone is different. My wife won't watch FORCE AWAKENS again because of the Han Solo death. He was her favorite character since she was 8 years old. I didn't enjoy that part of the film, but it didn't ruin it for me. (I also didn't believe Dumbledore was dead until the last Potter book). 

I was wondering what specific comic scripts you found to be the best to study when you were learning how to write for comics?

Kevin DuBose

I actually never studied a comic script before writing one. My script style was something I developed in my notebooks, back when I used to be a somewhat passable cartoonist. I wrote scripts by hand back then, and when I started writing for other people to draw, I just typed a version of that same format, which I'll show here with a page from KILL OR BE KILLED #1: 
I use a greenish background color because it's easier on my eyes. But as you can see, I keep it simple. On a script where I didn't know the artist as well as I know Sean, there'd be a lot more detail, but I've never numbered word balloons or captions on the script. I don't like to do anything that slows down the actual writing once I get in a groove.  

For learning comics scripting, the best thing to do is read a lot of great comics. You'll see the pacing and the rhythms, you'll see how many panels work on a page and why sometimes you need 3 and other times you need 16. There's a lot of differences between writing film/TV, prose, and comics (and radio plays and every other kind of writing) but the biggest difference with comics is you're isolating each moment, you're controlling the beats of the story as much as you can. But at the end of the day, writing is writing. 

As a writer, you seem super-busy, and I imagine you spend lots of hours working on projects, which can be stressful.  I'm curious how you meet deadlines but also find a good work life balance, particularly maintaining good health and exercise? 

Reed Beebe

I wish I could say I had an answer to that, believe me. I can't stress enough how easy it is to fall into bad habits in this profession that can cause you major health issues. In my career I've had to deal with repetitive strain injuries, tendonitis, chronic TMJ pain (from clenching my jaw when I get lost in writing) and lower back problems. And recently, while trying to get back into good cardio shape, I injured my ankle - the cause, having my foot bent weird while I typed.  

And work/life balance? That can be hard to manage, too. Writers are always writing in their heads, even when they aren't typing or scribbling, so that's one anyone in a relationship with a writer has to put up with. Even when they're with you, they're kind of not. 

When I'm being good at sticking to my work routines, ideally I'm not in front of the computer for more than four or five hours a day. Kurt Vonnegut said no one should be required to be smart for more than four hours a day, so I try to follow his example. Then lately, after I'm done typing, I go for a 20 mile bike ride, and I'm starting to take some yoga classes. But I've had long periods of my career where I spent all day in front of a computer for months with no exercise, and I regret that a lot.

If you are a writer, if sitting and thinking followed by sitting and typing is what you want to do for a living, I can't urge you more strongly to get regular cardio and get up from your desk a lot and stretch. 


Okay, that's it for this time out. If your question got answered, please send your address in with the subject line: WINNER

And send in questions for next issue to: 
Copyright © 2016 Basement Gang Inc., All rights reserved.

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