Mail Call | Tynion, Brombal + Goodhart debut ‘Christopher Chaos’

Plus: News and updates on ‘Darkskulls,’ ‘The Bone Orchard Mythos,’ ‘The United States of Murder’ and more.

Mail Call is a roundup of cool things we’ve received in our mailboxes from comics creators, publishers and more. Hit the links for more information.

If you aren’t following James Tynion IV’s TinyOnion newsletter, then you likely missed the launch of his newest comic last week — The Oddly Pedestrian Life of Christopher Chaos. He’s released the first chapter for free via his Substack newsletter.

“This is a comic for folks who like teenage angst and horror monsters,” Tynion said. “I’ve always liked books that don’t fit neatly into one category or another. You’ll see some trappings of young adult storytelling here, but when the horror kicks in we don’t hold back. And we don’t hold back on the language either. Hell, it’s not like teens do, anyways. It’s not a superhero bit, but it doesn’t shy away from some of my favorite superhero tropes. It’s not a YA story, but it similarly doesn’t shy away from the best of those tropes. I think when I first started kicking it around in the back of my mind I thought of it as ‘A queer horror answer to Invincible.'”

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What Are You Reading? | ‘Batman: Fortress,’ ‘The Closet’ and more

See what the Smash Pages crew has been reading lately, which includes ‘Avengers Forever,’ ‘JLA Classified,’ ‘Little Monsters,’ ‘Strange’ and more.

Welcome to What Are You Reading?, our look at what the Smash Pages crew has been checking off their “to read” list lately. Today’s reviews include some Batman, some Justice League, some Avengers and some horror comics.

Let us know what you’ve been reading lately in the comments or on social media.

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‘Wynd’ soars again in August

James Tynion IV and Michael Dialynas return to the skies of Esseriel for a new five-issue miniseries.

James Tynion IV and Michael Dialynas will return to the world of Wynd this August for another miniseries subtitled “The Throne in the Sky.”

Wynd at its heart is about how people resist change in themselves and the world around them, and how that fear fills them with hate. It’s about how young people must navigate a world in which change is necessary, and overcome that hate to find themselves and find a path forward for their people and their world,” said Tynion IV.  “I’m absolutely thrilled to be working with Michael Dialynas to bring the Wynd saga to a whole new level. The stage has been set, the world of Esseriel is at the brink of war, and our band of teenagers are at the heart of unraveling a centuries old mystery that could change the face of their world forever. This is where our Fantasy epic kicks into a high gear, and moves ever closer to its action-packed climax. We can’t wait for you to see what we have in store for you.” 

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Image will release print editions of Tynion + Zdarsky’s Substack comics

Both comics arrive in comic shops in June.

Image Comics has announced plans to publish print versions of two Substack comics — Public Domain by Chip Zdarsky and The Closet by James Tynion IV and Gavin Fullerton.

Zdarsky has been publishing Public Domain via his Substack newsletter almost since the newsletter went live last year, while The Closet debuted just a few weeks ago on Tynion’s Tiny Onion newsletter.

“In June, issue one will hit shelves, and it’ll be an ongoing monthly series (as long as my hand/arm/brain hold out)!” Zdarsky said about Public Domain, which he both writes and draws. “So for those of you who are NOT paid subscribers, you can check it out then and come back here to sign up and find out what happens next!”

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James Tynion IV announces several new Substack projects

The writer launches ‘The Closet’ with artist Gavin Fullerton, and announces more projects for 2022.

James Tynion IV has always had a full dance card when it comes to comics, so it’s no surprise that he’s ramping up to share even more new content this year via his Substack newsletter.

“The plan is set. All of the wheels are in motion,” he wrote today, which has been designated Comic Day on Substack. “There are no more months of strategizing in the dark. Now is when we’re going to unleash my evil plan onto the world and see whether or not it works. The Print Comic Book business is the core of my livelihood. I gamed it out, and there isn’t a month this year I have less than four comic issues with my name on them on the stands.”

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Mail Call | ‘TerrorWar’ debuts from Saladin Ahmed + Dave Acosta

Check out recent news and updates from Saladin Ahmed, Top Shelf, IDW, James Tynion IV, Kyle Higgins and more.

Mail Call is a roundup of cool things we’ve received in our mailboxes recently from comics creators, publishers and more. Hit the links for more information.

Saladin Ahmed posted the first pages of TerrorWar this week, the comic he first announced when he launched the paid version of his Substack newsletter. Drawn by Dave Acosta and Jay Leisten, the comic is about a city where people’s worst fears have come to life somehow, and the terrorfighters who face them with really big guns.

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Image Comics announces ‘Razorblades: Small Cuts Special’

The one-shot will collect all of Tynion’s stories from his ‘Razorblades’ horror anthology.

Image Comics will release Razorblades: Small Cuts Special, next April, collecting several horror stories by James Tynion IV and multiple collaborators that first appeared in his Razorblades horror anthology.

James Tynion IV launched Razorblades last year during the pandemic and sold issues through his website, bringing together comics, prose, pin-ups and more for a pay-what-you-want digital anthology by a variety of creators. Image Comics has already announced a hardcover collection of material from the anthology, which will run about 400 pages.

The one-shot is geared to folks who just want Tynion’s stories, which will feature artwork by Martin Simmonds and Josh Hixson, among others. It’ll also feature the print debut of Killboy, who Tynion once referred to as the book’s mascot. Killboy was co-created by Ricardo Lopez Ortiz and will appear on the book’s cover:

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Mail Call | DC announces ‘Milestones in History’ anthology

Check out news, announcements and previews from DC, Marvel, Dark Horse, Image, Z2 and more.

Mail Call is a roundup of cool things we’ve received in our mailboxes recently from comics creators, publishers and more. Hit the links for more information.

DC Comics and Milestone Media revealed more details about the anthology they plan to release this coming February during Black History Month, which was initially announced during DC FanDome last month.

Milestones in History will feature Hardware, Icon, Static and more narrating stories “Black trailblazers from across human history,” including Hannibal, the Queen of Sheba, Alexandre Dumas and more.

The 96-page prestige one-shot will cost $9.99 and arrives Feb. 15.

Here’s the full solicitation:

Celebrate Black History Month the Milestone way, as the superpowered citizens of Dakota (including Static, Icon, Rocket, Hardware, and more) narrate the true stories of Black trailblazers from across human history! Witness the military campaigns of Hannibal and the Queen of Sheba, the literary accomplishments of Alexandre Dumas, the World War One dogfights of Eugene Bullard against the legendary Red Baron, and many, many more, all written and drawn by a who’s who of comics and literary talent! On sale February 15th, this 96 page anthology honors Black History from around the world in a beautiful, prestige format book.

Written by REGINALD HUDLIN, ALICE RANDALL, TOURÉ, MICHAEL HARRIOT, and more
Art by VARIOUS
Cover by CHRISCROSS
Variant cover by DOUG BRAITHWAITE
$9.99 US | 96 pages | Prestige Format | One-shot

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Comics Lowdown | Texas school district bans ‘The Breakaways’

Plus: Scout Comics launches Latinx imprint, Marvel’s legal battles, New York Comic Con and more!

Cathy G. Johnson’s The Breakaways joins the list of banned graphic novels making headlines over the past few weeks after Spring Branch Independent School District in Texas banned it from school libraries.

Spring Branch Independent School District, which serves part of Houston, told the Houston Chronicle that the graphic novel was removed from schools because it was “not age appropriate nor was it appropriate for its intended educational use.” A committee decided to ban it after receiving a letter from a parent.

The graphic novel is about a diverse 8th-grade soccer team that includes a trans character.

“The book includes kids of all sorts of identities to reflect the world that is around us,” creator Cathy G. Johnson told the Chronicle. “There is a transgender student who comes out in the book. He is just one of many characters who make up my book, as well as one of the identities that make up the world.”

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Mail Call | Tynion offers first ‘Blue Book’ for free

Check out news and updates from Marvel, Dark Horse, Top Shelf, Image Comics and more.

Mail Call is a roundup of cool things we’ve received in our mailboxes recently from comics publishers, creators and more. Hit the links for more information.

James Tynion IV was one of the first creators out of the gate with his plans for his premium Substack newsletter subscription, announcing a new comic called Blue Book with artist Michael Avon Oeming that he planned to share with paid subscribers.

But even if you aren’t a paid subscriber, you can still check out the first one, which he posted for free a couple days ago.

Blue Book is a passion project for myself and Michael Avon Oeming,” Tynion wrote. “We share a lifelong fascination with UFOs and a lifelong frustration with how those stories have been adapted into other media. There is a strangeness in the original accounts of UFO sightings that usually gets swept aside, but Michael and I want to lean into the strangeness. These are human stories of ordinary people who brush against the unknown and must grapple with what they see there. There is a deeper truth, whether you believe in the accounts or not, that lies in the many ways people tell these stories.”

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Substack moves into comics with Tynion IV, Hickman, Ahmed + more

The email newsletter platform makes a big leap into digital comics this week with a deal that could ‘redefine the next few decades of our industry,’ according to James Tynion IV.

News broke today that several comics creators will begin publishing comics via Substack, the email newsletter platform that’s been making a concentrated push to recruit content creators of all sorts to its subscription-model service.

According to the New York Times, Jonathan Hickman, James Tynion IV, Saladin Ahmed, Molly Ostertag and Scott Snyder will publish new comic book stories, essays and how-to guides on the platform. Several of these creators already have existing newsletters on Substack, but starting today they’ll offer a paid option that will give you access to future creator-owned comics. Others, like Ostertag, launched their newsletter today.

As The Beat reported a couple of months ago, former Amazing Spider-Man writer Nick Spencer is involved, serving as a liaison between the creators and Substack. The creators will be paid by Substack, who will keep any revenue for the first year, and only 10 percent after that. According to Tynion, his deal is the kind “I was dreaming would fall out of the sky and into my lap,” he said in his Tiny Onion newsletter today.

“I think this is the best deal for creators the comics industry has ever seen, and with some ambition and some ingenuity, I think this deal, and deals like it, are going to redefine the next few decades of our industry,” Tynion said.

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‘House of Slaughter’ spins out of ‘Something is Killing the Children’ in October

James Tynion IV, Tate Brombal, Werther Dell‘Edera and Chris Shehan will explore ‘the secret history of the Order that forged Erica Slaughter into the monster hunter she is today.’

The world introduced in James Tynion IV and Werther Dell’Edera’s Something is Killing the Children will grow in October with House of Slaughter, a new series that will reveal more of the back story behind the order that trained monster hunter Erica Slaughter.

Tynion and Dell’Edera will be joined by co-writer Tate Brombal, artist Chris Shehan, colorist Miquel Muerto and letterer AndWorld Design.

“Ever since our first glimpse of the House of Slaughter in Something is Killing the Children #5, I knew that there was an entire world of monsters and monster hunters outside of Erica Slaughter’s story. And once the book grew into the juggernaut of a series it’s become, thanks to all of our incredible fans, I knew I wanted to start telling those stories,” Tynion said. “I’m so honored to have the incredible Tate Brombal and the phenomenal Chris Shehan joining us to tell this exciting new story introducing everyone to the hunters Erica grew up alongside, and the other Houses within the Order of St. George, while Werther and I start plotting out Erica’s next adventure!”

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