On the off chance that you’re not sick of hearing me pimp.
(It’s gonna be like this all year, Bitches!)
Jason Shawn Alexander’s fierce ass cover to issue #2
Will Conrad’s fierce ass interiors to issue #2
Okay. Word’s out on the street. It’s true. Avril Lavigne has a new two-volume manga graphic novel coming out and I wrote it. Yup. Shocking isn’t it? I’m the horror guy. I’m the dark guy. I’m the guy who can’t seem to stop killing kids in his comics. Now I’m the fluffy, sweet Avril Lavigne guy.
The book itself is a young adult horror/tragedy aimed at the 15 to 17 year old market in Asia. If you know anything about the global horror movement, you know nobody does it like Asia. So we were given a great deal of freedom to be, well… dark.
The original title was MAKE5WISHES.COM.
I think when people read it they will be very, very surprised by it. Particularly by the second volume. All my standard themes and elements are in place. Herein you will find my humanist-based horror, my pathological obsession with loneliness, and my usual parade of flawed human beings struggling against the very way of things.
While it is seeing publication in North America, it was written specifically for the Japanese and Korean markets (where Avril commands a massive army of fans) and will be part of a considerable push to produce comics for a downloadable market. The current plan to digitally distribute this narrative is the most exciting aspect of the project to me and is the brainchild of Nettwerk Entertainment, which is run by Terry McBride (click here to see compassionate capitalism in action and the real reason why I am proud to work with Nettwerk). I think the digital aspect of this project will go a long way in helping to keep comics relevant as modes of distribution shift.
So there it is, kids.
From Conan to Avril Lavigne in one fell swoop of the mighty pen.
The first volume hits April 10th.
Here’s the House of Parlance website, they put this whole deal together.
You can pre-order the book from Random House.
UPDATE! We made The Onion!
Before I get clever and pimpy on all you delicious cats and kittens, I need a favor.
If any of you speak German or Russian fluently (preferably as a first language) I’d love to use you as a resource on my current project. All I need to do is email you a handful of phrases in English once in a blue moon (very few and very short) and have you email me back the translations so that I can look clever while demonizing your people and fictionalizing your past on the altar of all out comic book pulp.
For the Russian it would be awesome if you could phonetically translate it, since the Cyrillic alphabet, while beautiful, is completely alien to the Western eye. Therefore, it is bad and can be given no love (sorry, God’s law, not mine).
Okay, on to the boring stuff. The self-promotion shim sham! I’ll do the best busking I can and you’ll stay, gawk and throw a dollar in the hat or you’ll simply move on.
CONAN AND THE MIDNIGHT GOD hits JAN. 17th!!
YESSSSSS!!! Barbarian hordes! Crafty political wizards! A profound emotional loss for an older, wiser Conan! Armies on the march! Every man for himself and Crom against all! Check it out.
Jason Alexander’s fantastic cover to #2. Due out in Feb.
Here’s the coolest thing ever, follow this link to Dark Horse’s really neat feature page. No, really, click on that link right now. It’s a flash program that shows the comic book creation process from script to thumbnails to pencils to coloring to lettering and it includes the first six pages of issue #1. It’s dope. Easily the finest online promotion that I’ve been a part of so far.
Notice when reading the script just how over descriptive my panels are and how well Will Conrad (artist) still manages to find the absolute heart of every image. Also, Juan Ferreyra isn’t just a colorist. He’s a goddamned magician. Take the time to look at how he communicates further information about the narrative with the use of color. And his pallet is fantastic! I’m a lucky, lucky little writer boy! Anyway, please check out this online Dark Horse feature. I want the people I care about to see it. It legitimizes the process of creating comics, and that can only be good.
Cover to issue #3. Due in March.
In other Conan news, Emmett from Comic Book Resources came over to my apartment recently and talked with me for a while about the book, you can read the article he banged out here.
Cover to #4. Due in April
I’ll be doing a double-shift signing at the singed, but still alive and kicking Comic Bug on Jan. 17. From 11 am – 2 pm and then again from 5 pm – 9 pm. Come get soaked to the bone in a little Dysart… yeah, baby… that’s it… you’re feeling that aren’t you… mmmmmhmmm.
The Comic Bug
41015 N Aviation Blvd # C
Manhattan Beach, CA 90266, US
The Comic Bug, after it’s epic Thanksgiving Day fire
A special thank you to everyone who made this Conan series happen. Scott Allie, Matt Dryer, Will Conrad, Juan Ferreyra, Jason Alexander, the Comicraft crew, Rachel Edidin, Laine Trzinski, Jonathan Quesenberry and yes, even Tone Rodriguez (For hanging out with me in the park. That was a good day, Brother).
CAPTAIN GRAVITY AND THE POWER OF THE VRIL
It’s finally in stores!!! I wrote this book between 2002 and 2003, when I was a young pup in the “getting paid to write” game. Now you can actually read it!
The story goes a little something like this. It’s 1939. A black superhero – who is played by a white guy in the movie serials – fights magic wielding Nazi mutants. Cha cha ca. The comic book has become known for it’s masterpiece theatre-type characterization which is then squeezed in between exploding zeppelins, flying Atlantean ships, skull faced villains, damsels in distress, submarine battles and the Cuban Missile Crises (well, it doesn’t all take place in ’39).
It’s got lots of pages too! Like, way over a hundred! Some say it’s two hundred pages! Holy Moses! Plus the trade has a new 30-page story that takes place in Munich in 1925 as the German Workers’ Party is coming to power.
Get you’re pulp on, Bitches!
I am now going to blatantly stroke my ego in front of you with all the grace of a masturbating baboon in a third world zoo. Here’s what the critics, who are read by no one, said…
“Writer Joshua Dysart evokes Golden Age Hollywood at the dawn of World War II through compelling period details, while launching the characters into a story that mixes action-adventure tropes of the day with a more post-modern sense of realism. 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.”
“Looking through the book before reading it I was struck by the art – flawless. Every character, every background, every color, it is all there and it is all correct. No part of it detracts. Instead, every picture excites with clean story-telling and rich artwork. Each character is distinct; each detail is referenced. Without reading a word, this book works.”
“Dysart and team’s conception resonates with comics and pulp history. Its devices are stock but never unlovable. The action is relentless. Yet this is by no means the usual rehashing job. Sal Velluto’s art is so in tune with the thirties Hollywood story that you can almost hear soundtrack music. A fresh and loving homage to the pulps, early comics, and sci-fi movie serials.”
- Booklist Magazine
If you’d like to support a company that donates heavily to the Republican Party you can buy the book at Amazon.com
If you’d like to support a company that donates heavily to the Democratic party you’re shit out of luck, since Powells Books isn’t carrying it yet. (Write them!)
If you want to support comic book retailers who struggle day in and day out to put food on their tables, politics be damned, check out The Comic Shop Locator Service. You just type in your area code and every store in your area will come up. You can also call toll free 1-888-COMIC BOOK (1-888-266-4226)
It’s been a long time coming and it wouldn’t have happened at all if it wasn’t for Courtney Huddleston, Michelle Nichols, Pamela Miltenberger, Marlaine Maddux, Sal Velluto, Bob Almond, Mike Garcia, and again, the inventors of digital lettering at Comic Craft. Also thanks to Cynthia Palormo, Pam Johnston, Andre’ McBride, Charles M. Hancock, Trainor Houghton and Ken White, Jr.
For those few who felt called by my Swamp Thing run, you might be interested in reading my final thoughts on my two year stint with the moss man. Comic book journalist Bill Baker slings the questions. The interview can be found here.
For two blissful years of writing Swamp Thing I’d like thank Jon Vankin, Karen Berger, Pornsak Pichetshote, Enrique Breccia, Martin Breccia, Timothy Green II, Ronald Wimberly, Richard Corben, Dean Ormston, Jock, John Totleben, Eric Powell, Phil Ballsman, Casey Seijas, Julie Poulos and Laine Trizinski.
If you made it this far, I love you. If you didn’t, I love you. Come down to the beach some day and let me confess my sins to you over mimosas.
Happy New Year, may all your birds spend the next 365 days in flight and may your heart never be a latchkey child.
PS: If you hate me, let me know and I’ll gladly remove you from these annoying mail outs.
There’s a full page add on the inside front cover of Previews. The closest I’ve ever come to the actual cover!
Click here for the full solicitation of CONAN AND THE MIDNIGHT GOD
Note: Tone Rodriguez is no longer the artist on the book despite what the solicitation says. It’s now Will Conrad.
Check it out…
More people attended than we ultimately had room for. The bio-mass spilled out from under the tent and into the truly intense heat. Despite sweltering conditions, none left and the crowd actually grew throughout the event. Many who joined us after the start of the proceedings seemed to be non-comic book readers roped in by the engaging writers talking boldly, honestly and entertainingly about their craft.
I couldn’t have asked for four (+ Cody, Deven’s amazing service dog, who had lots to say) better speakers.
We didn’t really end up with a manifesto per say, but I intend, as a creative exorcise only, to revisit and restructure the resulting document using the words of the guests. I’ll post it here when it’s ready.
You can read a detailed blow by blow report of the panel here.
Word on the street is that there’s going to be a pod cast of the entire thing soon. I’ll keep you posted.
I want to thank the panelists, Brian K. Vaughan, Mark Waid, Allan Heinberg and Devin Grayson; the awesome moderator Christine Boyland; Plus Mark Masterson writer of Dorothy who followed along, kept notes on the big board (no easy task) and took the only photo of the event (below); and finally, thanks to my endlessly energetic cohort Roz Helfand from the book fair.
You can read Mark Masterson’s take on the panel here
BKV spreads the comics love, Baby!!