Monday, July 20, 2015

I mean, technically it's still the first Sunday in May, BUT this August 19th is just as much cause for celebration because my new book is going to be hitting shelves. It's called The MOTHER Principle and it's been one of the coolest projects I've been involved in over the past few years. And I know I tend to get really excited about every project I do (with just cause), but this one in particular is something special for a lot of reasons.

It's the first volume in a series. For those of you who have been keeping count, this is actually my first ongoing series. Up until this point I've been doing stand alone graphic novels and one-shots. So the idea of getting to really dive into these characters and build the world they live in is going to be so much fun.

It's my first writing collaboration. As a comic writer with no artistic talents, everything I do is a collaboration, sometimes with just one artist, sometimes with an entire team, but this is the first time ever I've gotten to work with another writer on a project and it's been great seeing the amazing ideas they have, getting to bounce potential plot points off each other, working with someone whose writing style is SO drastically different from mine. The whole process has actually made me grow a lot as a writer.

Who I'm co-writing the book with. Truth be told, I can't take much credit for the series. It was all the brainchild of my wonderful co-writer - S. Atzeni. She came to the table with this great concept and these amazing characters and I was just lucky to help her shape into a graphic novel. S. Atzeni is an amazing writer whose work I've respected for a long time. Ever since I got to hear her doing a reading of one of her short stories when she was a grad student. She also incredibly intelligent and well read. Along with being a writer, she's also a professor at my old college where she teaches a couple incredibly popular courses examining comic's place in literature and popular culture. And she's my wife, but that doesn't sway my professional opinions of her at all. Those were already well established before we even started dating. But still, it made the whole collaborative process all the more enjoyable getting to work with someone I'm already so fond of.

The Artwork. I consider myself incredibly lucky in this respect. Of all the books I've ever done, I've never felt as though I had to settle for whatever artist was available. I feel as though I've always managed to get just the right person for every project. And in this case, that couldn't be any more true. Alicia Padron, the artist who did the pencils, inks, and color for The MOTHER Principle is just out of college when we tapped her to work on the book. It was her first major comic project, but she got over that learning curve faster than anyone I've ever seen. And she brought with her a sort of energy that flies off the page and pulls you into the story like you wouldn't believe.

The Story...Working with S. Atzeni, the writing is incredibly smart and fun. There's gore and violence and some pretty intense stuff. I won't say too much (as to not give it away), but this first volume really hits the ground running and sets up a ton of stuff that is going to be so cool to explore.

The response so far. Usually all I can do when a new book's coming out is post the occasional teaser or Work In Progress photo, but this time around, our publisher gave us approval to start The MOTHER Principle off as a webcomic to let people preview the beginning of the book. We ended up posting about 30 pages, and it's been so cool seeing how much people have enjoyed it so far. S. Atzeni has even run into fans in the bathroom at last year's New York Comic Con telling her how much they enjoy the series. And knowing people are that excited about the book before it's even come out just makes me look forward to the release even more. And the preview is still available for those who want to read it.

The Publisher. Once again I get to work with Read Furiously. They were the ones who published my digital works Helium and What About Tuesday. And this time around they've made arrangements so that The MOTHER Principle will actually be available to bookstores all over the world. So all those people in the past who have missed out because they don't have local comic shops can now just stop by their local bookstore, Barnes & Noble, or even order it online from Amazon to get a copy of The MOTHER Principle!

I could keep going, but I'll scale it back for now. But just remember, the first volume of The MOTHER Principle is hitting shelves August 19th, and you don't want to miss it.