January 08, 2008
BPRD: 1946 #1, Signing w/ Mignola, BUDDHA and more!
BPRD: 1946 hits this Wendsday!! 1.9.08!!
Unbridled burning joy. That's what I'm trying to convey to you. I'm doing nothing short of pushing raw sunlight through these narrow internet tubes. If you can't feel the warmth then blame our collective tech-level, because on the other side of your screen I'm glowing with pride as I announce my first mini-series of 2008!
Five issues of occult investigation goodness saddled between the end of WWII and the immediate rise of the Cold War! This marks my first collaboration with Mike Mignola as co-writer. I can look my momma square in the eye now and know I done her proud. I'll say, "Momma, I've collaborated with the second coming of Jack Kirby on a story about Nazi vampires in Berlin six months after the Russians took the Reichstag!" And never again will she beg me to go to Law school.
For those not in the know, BPRD stands for Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense. The title is a highly successful spin-off of Mignola's seminal HELLBOY and since its inception it has been a smart, classy brew of wondrous pulp action and dark delight. And now we're doing BPRD year one. This is it. The first field mission for the President-appointed Bureau.
I feel like I've come home.
Mignola's awesome cover to issue 2. Due Feb 13
Our mini will be filling in for the regular BPRD, giving the incomparable John Arcudi and Guy Davis (who has an awesome website, you should follow that link) a much-needed break. Artist Paul Azeceta, colorist Nick Filardi, letterer Clem Robins, Editor Scott Allie, Assistant Editor Rachel Edidin, co-writer Mike Mignola and myself (the official 1946 team, we have jerseys) are all working desperately to make sure there's as little quality drop as possible while John and Guy are off sunning themselves in Palm Springs.
Please, and seriously, I'm begging here, please check it out. You might just have fun.
To find a comic book store in your area go to The Comic Shop Locator here.
Cover to BPRD 3. Hitting you in your pretty little face March 12
Here's an interview covering my involvement with BPRD and HELLBOY.
I'M SIGNING WITH MIKE MIGNOLA!
Interview from 2006 about the first HELLBOY film. No, that is not me interviewing him.
There will be a BPRD: 1946 Premiere Party featuring Mike Mignola & myself on Wednesday, January 23rd from 6pm - 8pm at THE COMIC BUG in Manhattan Beach, Ca. This is a rare opportunity to get books signed by Mignola who is busy preping for the release of the movie HELLBOY II. After which he'll need his strength for all the big "Eyes Wide Shut" parties that the Hollywood elite partake in. A portion of the proceeds from the signing will go St. Jude's Children's Hospital.
More info, including directions, here.
OTHER HELLBOY UNIVERSE PROJECTS COMING UP!
HELLBOY: THOSE WHO GO DOWN TO THE SEA IN SHIPS
Written by Mike Mignola and myself, drawn by Jason Shawn Alexander, colored by the master, Dave Stewart, lettered by Clem Robins and, like all things Hellboy, edited by Scott Allie with Rachel Edidin riding shotgun. This is one of the most fun single issues I've ever been a part of (save for the last issue of 1946, which is off the wall mad). Hellboy fights ghost pirates. Need I say more?
This comic was created to be included with the upcoming KONAMI HELLBOY VIDEO GAME, so for a while that'll be the only place it's available. But eventually even non-gamers will be able to get their greedy little hands on it. Frankly, we rocked it. And it's sad to me that such a beautiful piece of comic work won't be seen by most for some time.
BPRD FREE COMIC BOOK DAY STORY!!
I've just finished an eight-page BPRD story that will be included in the Dark Horse special edition FREE COMIC DAY issue. It will also be drawn by Paul Azaceta, who's doing the best work of his short but prolific career on BPRD: 1946. Mike Mignola and I wanted to create an ode to turn-of-the-century short horror stories with this one. A primary influence being the work of Montague Rhodes James. I hope you dig it. I can't wait to see the pages.
Portrait of Montague Rhodes James. One of the greatest Ghost Story writers ever and a major influence on the upcoming Free Comic Book Day BPRD story.
*Free Comic Book Day is an annual promotional effort to help bring new readers to comics. Participating comic book store retailers give away specially printed copies of free comic books. This year Free Comic Book Day falls on May 3rd.
OTHER UPCOMING PROJECTS!
I've been commissioned by Virgin Comics to turn Deepak Chopra's novel BUDDHA into a six-issue miniseries. I've handed in the first script and apparently the artist, whose name I don't have access to right now, is slaving away on pages as I type. This book is going to be really beautiful and it's a joy to write. I've spent some time in my life in and out of Buddhist communities, so now, being able to explore the myth and the man through my writing is a beautiful, seemingly destined, thing. March 26, 2008 is the current street date for issue 1. Mariah Huehner (her link takes you to a great article she wrote about the female readership in comics) and Gotham Chopra are my editors on this one.
Kick ass promtional Preview for Unknown Soldier.
Artist Alberto Ponticelli, colorist Oscar Celestini, letterer Clem Robins, cover artist Igor Kordy, editor Pornsak Pichetshote and I are plugging away on our revamp of the DC classic UNKNOWN SOLDIER. For research I visited Northern Uganda (Acholiland) where I interviewed child soldiers who were trained in the Sudan death camps, talked to teachers, politicians, government soldiers, IDP camp survivors, religious leaders, World Food Program truck drivers, Land Mine Action Program members and war affected children. So now I'm ready to blatantly commercialize their plight for some pulp war fun!
Just kidding, I'm actually very proud of this book. We've got two issues written and drawn (Alberto Ponticelli is AWESOME!!) and the book is just coming out absolutely kick ass.
Here's my original post, written after my return from Uganda. Rich with lots of pictures and a sad/funny video.
There's also an interview at Newsarama about the book and my travels, for those who are interested.
Acholi child at Kunyama IDP camp. One of the photos from my trip there in 2007.
But I've had to put it on hold to finish...
The 150 page graphic novel, illustrated by Sean Murphy and based on the music and writings of singer/songwriter/rock legend Neil Young, particularly his 2003 concept album Greendale, is coming along beautifully. I'm almost done writing it, then Sean will tuck in with more than a year of paid work ahead of him as he starts bringing the book to life. Expect it sometime in 2009. Word is Dave Stewart will be coloring. Which gives me a boner.
You can see an article on the project on the front page of Neil's website.
ON THE SHELVES NOW!
CONAN AND THE MIDNIGHT GOD.
"Joshua Dysart mimics Robert E. Howard's language deftly, and weaves a tapestry of the juicy elements that made Conan stories fun to read: monsters, sorcerers, swordplay, and an emphasis on the conflict between civilization and barbarism."- The Comic Book Bin
The book has been collected into a single volume and is ready to come bludgeoning into your life! Sumptuously illustrated by Will Conrad, colored by Juan Ferreyra, Covers by Jason Shawn Alexander, Lettering by Richard Starkings and Comicraft and edited by Scott Allie and Matt Dryer, with an assist from Rachel Edidin.
Here's a video of me trying to intellectually justify Conan from way back in July of 2006.
Click here for a cool little making of the first issue website.
Click here for the DVD-esque commentary that Scott Allie and I did for the first issue.
MAKE 5 WISHES
"A surprisingly profound animated manga fantasy. Whatever your thoughts on Lavigne, it's compelling reading." - The Gaurdian Unlimited
My all ages horror story that Camilla d'Errico (who will be doing Vertigo work in the near future!) and I wrote and created has received a nomination for The Young Adult Library Services Association 2008 Great Graphic Novels award!! I'm battling it out with the collected trade of Elk's Run and Plain Janes. Both created by good personal friends of mine.
It's exciting, because all "Make 5 Wishes" was ever supposed to be was a corporate spinoff of a popular brand item. That brand item being Avril Lavigne.
Yeah, yeah... I know, but back off! Man's gotta eat! I don't see you sending me any canned goods! To be honest, I'm really proud of this two-volume manga and it got great reviews across the board. Even from Comics Journal! Check out what THE LIST just said a few days ago...
"I really wanted to hate this. I was hoping for a cheesy, corporate celebrity tie-in scamming money out of a willing fanbase. Sadly, it's a stunningly-drawn, intelligent, jet-black study of adolescent isolation. Dammit."
If my one task on this planet was to make an Avril Lavigne tie-in about genuine and real things, then hipsters, my work here is done.
A little girl and her demon. From "Make 5 Wishes"
SWAMP THING: LOVE IN VAIN & HEALING THE BREACH
"It is both a thrilling read and a moving reflection on some of the core elements of human existence, loneliness and love, delusion and faith. In fact, the greatest horror doesn't come from the revulsion of monstrous sexual intercourse or vicious violence; it comes from the realization that love and faith may fail, leaving us abandoned and forlorn in loneliness." - Silver Bullet Comics
Both story lines are collected in two separate trades. So if you're feeling the need for some existential horror in your life, dive in, baby, 'cause the swamp water is fine! The best issues of this series were the last nine that went uncollected, I highly recommend you buying them for a quarter out of the bin. Particularly issues 25 and 26, I sorta hit my stride there. And we worked with some amazing artists too, Enrique Breccia, Timothy Green II, Richard Corban, Ronald Wimberly, Dean Ornstrom and Jock, with covers by Eric Powell. As you can see, it was a real powerhouse of a book, artist wise. Edited by Jon Vankin (who has written a script for fucking Takashi Miike!!!) and Pornsak Pichetshote.
CAPTAIN GRAVITY AND THE POWER OF THE VRIL!
"Captain Gravity pushes the same buttons as other inspired-by-serials stories, but Dysart tells a much deeper, more graceful story than any of those works have managed." -The Las Vegas Weekly
Pulp action madness!! My homage to WWII adventure comics. A black superhero fighting mutant Nazis! Word is it's Penny Farthing Press' best selling book, yet it's very hard to find, so who knows. What I do know is that Sal Velluto and Bob Almond on art chores really rocked the house, as did Mike Garcia on colors.
AKUMA NO ORORON [THE DEMON ORORON]
THE COMPLETE COLLECTION
I did the English adaptation of Mizuki Hakase's epic, tragic, violent supernatural, manga love story about a misty eyed half-angel and her James Dean devil lover. All four volumes have now been collected by TokyoPop into one huge doorstop edition. I didn't write it (I couldn't have, it's waaaay too Japanese) but I slaved over it, I gave it my love and its themes fit perfectly into the gist of my own work. It was wonderful to have been a part of this beautiful book. If you like what I do, or you like manga, check it out. The english adaptation was edited by Luis Reyes.
Okay, that's it for me, if you made it this far then I'm sorry you didn't have something better to do. I certainly didn't get this famous just sitting around on my ass reading other people's newsletters. Hell, I had a hooker type this up for some crack while I took lunch with Lars Von Trier to rap about his next flick. For God's sake, go out... get laid, buy a pet, learn an instrument, something, Just get off the damned internets!
Still here? Sigh. Then let me recommend some comics to you. Here's the best of 2007, to my mind...
Thanks for reading!!
Here's your reward for making it all the way to the end...