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A lot has happened in the last month or so since I sent one of these out, some of which I can't talk about yet, sadly.  But soon I should have a few Hollywood announcements to, uh, announce, both of which I'm very excited about. In the meantime, me and Sean have been busy with the next book in the Reckless series. We'll be pretty far into it before DESTROY ALL MONSTERS even comes out. 

Which is just over a month from now, for those keeping track. So far the reaction to DESTROY from friends and a few trusted early readers are all overwhelmingly positive. James Tynion was even kind enough to plug it in his newsletter, saying: 

I had the great pleasure of reading an advance PDF of the next volume of RECKLESS by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips, and you are all going to be shocked to learn that it is absolutely phenomenal. Ed and Sean’s books always end up on the top of my stack, any month they come out. I’m in awe of the worlds they build together, and the deeply human characters who move through those worlds. And the craft in each of them is just stellar. DESTROY ALL MONSTERS will be out this October. Tell your Local Comic shop to order you one today!

Which was very nice to hear. I'm always unsure if anyone will like anything we put out, honestly (like, I thought no one would be interested in PULP and it's probably the fastest-selling book we've ever done at this point) so hearing from other writers or advance readers that we haven't let them down is a relief. People always tell me how consistent me and Sean are as a creative team, and while that's nice to hear, I still face the same struggles every writer does when starting the next thing. You feel like you've half-forgotten how to do this, or like you're going to fuck it up somehow. But you just keep pushing forward until it starts to make sense. It's a constant striving to be as good as, or better than, whatever the last thing you wrote was. That's the only way I know how to do this. 

Anyway, here's another little preview of DESTROY for those of you that haven't got your copy on order at your comic shop already... 

I just love that sequence. Sean and Jake are so amazing at bringing this stuff to life. 

Anyway, as I said, the book is out in about a month, so keep your eyes peeled, and if you want an autographed copy, check with your retailer. We signed the most book plates ever this time, so a lot of comic shops should have them. And if you're a fan of what me and Sean do, please spread the word, because that kind of support means everything to the success of our books. 

This is our fourth OGN in a row now, and I'm really falling in love with the format. Giving you an entire story in one beautiful package (something that's getting harder to do with paper shortages around the world) is really the best. 

For anyone looking for reviews, here is an early mostly-spoiler-free one that someone forwarded to me... 

I've seen a few other ones but they had more spoilers about the book than I want you to see ahead of time so I'm not linking to them. 

Oh, and just for the hell of it, here's the uncolored first page of the next book, THE GHOST IN YOU, coming in the spring of 2022... 
Okay, what else is going on? 
Eisner Awards. I was in such a hurry to get out the last newsletter that I didn't talk about the Eisners yet. We won the BEST GRAPHIC ALBUM award for PULP and the BEST DIGITAL COMIC award for FRIDAY, so it was a good night for me and Sean and Marcos (who is nearly done with the next chapter of FRIDAY, I promise). I wish we could've been there in person, but we're still living in dark times, sadly. 

Anyway, it's always just an honor to be nominated, but it's definitely more of an honor to win. So thanks to all the people that voted for our books. 

And PULP is now going into a third printing, so the timing was perfect to add this to the cover... 

And in the last few weeks, the RINGO AWARDS nominations came out, where PULP was also nominated for BEST GRAPHIC NOVEL and our own Jacob Phillips was finally nominated for BEST COLORIST. So please, anyone that can vote, go vote for Jake. He's been amazing to work with, brings a unique voice to the work he does, and also has never missed a deadline (something that must be a family trait). We are lucky to have Jake coloring our stuff, so please reward him for his efforts. 

Oh, and for those of you trade-waiting on FRIDAY, the first collection is finally out in November from Image. This collects the first act of the bigger story, and I think it's the best-looking art that Marcos Martin and Muntsa Vicente have ever done. Here's the cover... 

Please let your comic retailer know if you want a copy. The book itself will be smaller than comics size, about the same size as the PARKER books that Darwyn Cooke did. (Oh, and I should have news about the Parker Martini Edition book that Sean and I worked on soon). 

What else? Oh, I spent most of labor day weekend reading the new Stephen King novel, BILLY SUMMERS. I didn't grow up reading King books like a lot of my friends did, I read the odd one here or there, like DIFFERENT SEASONS (because it had the story STAND BY ME was based on in it) but I've mostly read his recent work - since the Bill Hodges series started, I think. What amazes me about these last ten years or so is that he doesn't seem to be coasting at all. If anything, THE OUTSIDER and BILLY SUMMERS are probably the best books he's written (and THE OUTSIDER is better than the HBO show adaptation in many ways, in case you were wondering). Anyway, BILLY SUMMERS is a story about a hitman on a strange job, and in some ways it reminded me of Richard Stark collaborating with Cormac McCarthy. So I would highly recommend it. 

On the TV front, I have been loving the new Steve Martin/Martin Short show on Hulu - ONLY MURDERS IN THE BUILDING. I know nothing about Selena Gomez really, but she's also great in this, the perfect foil to these two old geniuses. This is one where I really wish they'd dropped all the episodes in one day. 

What else else? I guess I'll say a few words about the Substack Comics thing, because a lot of the talk I've seen about it seems to either be concern-trolling or just not understanding what is even going on. A lot of talk about how it's "disrupting" comics, or that it's going to hurt retailers or publishers, and a lot of misinformation about how comics are published in the first place. 

(My friends Matt Fraction and Kelly Sue DeConnick recently talked about it in their newsletter, and I suggest reading what they said, especially the footnote portion). 

I don't see this substack comics push as disrupting comics as they are, or hurting publishers or retailers. Other than Tynion, it looks like most of the creators doing it are just adding more work to their schedules, and still doing books for Marvel, DC, Image, Dark Horse, etc etc. What this is is some popular creators being given money (in some cases a LOT of money) to start newsletters - much like what you're reading right now - where they also publish new comics stories in serial form as they complete them, and give you behind the scenes process stuff as well. This is not something that is aimed at taking on the big publishers or competing with comics that sell 100K in comic shops. This is creators finding their hardest-core fans that want to see books coming together and hear how the process works, and are willing to pay for that access. Not every comics reader will be interested in this, which is fine, it's not designed to appeal to every reader. It's about a small audience (anywhere from 500 to a few thousand readers) who are paying upfront to watch creators make something. 

The big deal of it is the money involved, and how it's given creators a way to make some new work that they fully own, with no risk involved. But if you're just a comics reader that goes to your shop every week to buy the books you like, none of this really changes anything. All of these comics will be put out in print when they're finished. It's just that a small devoted fanbase will have already seen them first. Think of it like this, Charles Dickens serialized his novels in a weekly magazine. These novels were then printed as books  and sold many more copies than the magazines they were published in. This is simply a subscription model for serialized fiction, but having it sent to your email instead. It's that simple. 

In full disclosure, I was offered a substack pro deal, but the fact is, me and Sean are already living our comics dream. We fully own everything we do, and we put it out in book form to a large audience several times a year. Still, comics is a very hard field to make a living in, especially when you want to create your own work and not do WFH comics, so I'm glad to see a bunch of creators trying something different, just like I find Patreon and Kickstarter interesting ways for creators to support their work.

One thing I will point out though, is that more journalists need to do a better job when talking about comics publishing. I've seen so many incorrect statements about publishers surrounding this subject that it's amazing. Please stop calling publishers who take half their creators ownership and all control of media rights 'creator-owned publishers' - there are many publishers of comics and graphic novels that DO NOT take any rights from creators, so we need to stop confusing them with the ones that do. This is a disservice to the industry that will lead to younger creators giving away rights before they realize they do not have to (and I speak from experience here). And if you're a comics creator, always insist on full ownership and control of your work. You don't have to trade rights to get an advance from a book publisher, and you shouldn't have to in comics either. There are many options in comics to retain full ownership of your work now, and there didn't use to be, so make sure you're not selling your work to a place that's more interested in your media rights than in publishing your comics. 

Okay, that's it for this time out... please send any questions for future newsletters to: and I'll be back in a month to remind you again about our new books. 
Copyright © 2021 Basement Gang Inc., All rights reserved.

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