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A new original graphic novel coming in May

The last issue of CRIMINAL hits this week, and I'll have a preview for that down the email, but first I wanted to alert you to our new original graphic novel - PULP.

We're hard at work already, and it will be out everywhere in the last half of May. It's the same format as MY HEROES HAVE ALWAYS BEEN JUNKIES, but this time it's a completely standalone book, not tied to Criminal. Sean asked me to write him a western, and I sort of did... Here's some of the official press:

Max Winter, a pulp writer in 1930s New York, finds himself drawn into a story not unlike the tales he churns out at five cents a word -- tales of a Wild West outlaw dispensing justice with a six-gun. But will Max be able to do the same, when pursued by bank robbers, Nazi spies, and enemies from his past?

And here's the "movie trailer" in comics form that we made to announce it:

Part of the appeal of this book for me is the blending of two narratives... the history of this wild west outlaw and this more pulpy story of his later years in the big city. And make no mistake -- this is a pulp story. It's also a few other kinds of story, too - about love and loss - but the drive of it is crime and violence and the evil that men do.

If you get our books from your local comic store (and I encourage you to, if you have one) then please let them know you want a copy of PULP on release date.

Shops order tighter on hardbacks than on single issues, unless they know for sure they have buyers who want it on day one. So let your shop know.

We'll be announcing some comic shop incentive bonuses closer to the release date, as well, so keep your eyes on this space for more information on that.
But... what about CRIMINAL issue 12?
After the end of issue 11 of CRIMINAL, I didn't want to post anything too spoiler-y to ruin that cliffhanger. So here's a few pages from somewhere in the first half of issue 12...
And here's the cover of the issue...
This is the final issue of CRIMINAL as a monthly for a while. It's not the end, we'll always come back to that series, but we both felt like it was time to do a few different things after wrapping CRUEL SUMMER, which is by far the longest CRIMINAL story we've ever tackled.

I want to send out a big thanks to the readers who keep picking up our issues every month and to the retailers that keep pushing them on their customers. I still love single issues comics, and even though our next book is an OGN, the thing we'll be launching in the summer is another monthly (a new thing that I can't talk about yet).

So yeah, it's going to be a busy year... and that doesn't even get into the Hollywood side of it all... which I also can't talk about yet.
My friend Charles Yu (who I met when we worked on Westworld) has a new book coming out today and I can't recommend Charlie's work enough. He's that writer that makes you want to kill yourself because his sentences are so perfect and his point of view is so unique. Also he's funny as hell.

So go buy his new novel and see for yourself.

The Comics of My Life - Part Five
Like a lot of my generation of comics fans and creators, my self-education in comics as an art form was wide and varied, but has a lot of empty spots, I’m well-aware, especially on the newspaper strip side. I grew up in the 70s and 80s, when there weren’t as many comics to be aware of, which probably helped, but from the first time I saw a comic book, I pretty much lived and breathed them, and so I explored outside superhero comics (which were my first comics love) early and often.
Now there are comics colleges and courses on the history of the medium taught all over the place, but I feel like the kind of lo-fi self-education my generation of fans were forced to resort to to feed their comics habit was a big part of what made me love comics and want to be part of it. The hunt, the learning, the discoveries, were all part of the joy. So I thought I’d chart as much of that course as I can remember, the good the bad the ugly, and what I learned from them, if I did. This will be bit of a memoir and a bit of comics education, told in small chapters in these newsletters (and probably not every time, honestly)… So I hope you enjoy history lessons.


Last time we talked about the insane Captain America #156, which clearly had a longterm impact on me. The next comics I remember buying with my own money are MARVEL PREMIERE #s 15 and 16 - the first two appearances of IRON FIST.

I'm sure there were comics in-between that Cap run and me discovering IRON FIST - lots of issues of Spider-Man and Peter Parker and Archie and Jughead, probably - but I'll always remember reading the really stupid origin of IRON FIST as a little kid and basically falling in love with it. It was like a more exciting version of the TV show KUNG FU. And at that age, I had no idea of the tropes it was drawing on, the distant Shangri-La paraside city in the mountains, the white savior trained by Asian mystics, and the dead parents needing to be avenged... Well, that just reminded me of Batman.

We were still living on the base in Gitmo when these issues came out, so I would have been 6 probably, and all I saw were the cool masks and the "kung fu" moves, that really were just flailing around and blowing shit up. It was not great comics, but I loved the hinted-at mythology of K'un Lun... And I think when you find a character that early in life, you tend to stick with them, so I followed Iron Fist wherever he appeared back then, until he got his own series for 15 issues, all of them drawn by John Byrne, just as he was started to get famous in comics.

These are also not great comics, but the art is... And Misty Knight, Danny Rand's girlfriend, had an impact on me. She was a black woman, she was tough as nails, AND she had a cyborg arm (you know I love those cyborg arms in my Marvel comics). She stood apart from all the other Marvel comics women I'd seen up to that point and it made Danny Rand seem like a more complex character to have her in his life. It made me like him more.

Iron Fist might be the book where I learned that side characters are often more interesting than the lead character. If we learn something from everything that we absorb, I mean. And obviously my childhood love for the character stuck with me because when I arrived at Marvel to do Captain America in 2004, the next character I asked for was IRON FIST, which me and Matt Fraction and David Aja did for a few years, embracing the crazy pulp history weirdness as much as we could get away with.
and now it's time for... CRIME NEWS
Okay... We've got some different kinds of stories this month...

First up, let's all take a moment to appreciate the people of Detroit...

Next up, let's all appreciate the people of FurCon...

Then we have the strangest legal request of the month...

And let's all take a moment to ponder life's rich pageant...

And finally, something serious... a story I found completely terrifying...

Those texts from the woman who died just chilled me to the core.
Okay that's it for this time...
Send in any questions to: and I'll be back with another newsletter soon.

Oh, and please remember to tell your comic shop about PULP... here's an uncolored panel to remind you.
Copyright © 2020 Basement Gang Inc., All rights reserved.

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