Courtney Crumrin in the Twilight Kingdom is out today in the classier comics shops around the country. Be sure to pick yours up today. No one ever orders enough, so they’ll go fast.
To see a few color pages from Volume 3 to get an idea of the awesome, check out this sneak peek at Majorspoilers.com
Also, of you’re in the Portland, OR area and are going to Stumptown this weekend, come get your signed copy at the Oni Press table. I’ll be there to sign it for you! A free Courtney sketch goes to the first person who gives me the password “Wilberforce.”
It’s been over a week, and I’m sure you all have noticed by now that Issue 10 was the final chapter in the story of Courtney Crumrin. I know it came as a surprise, but I didn’t want to spoil the story. It was a long time coming.
I believe that stories should end. Otherwise, they don’t truly say anything, and are therefore not really stories. Certain stories create rich, inviting worlds, and I often feel a deep desire to to return there over and over again. But I usually find that, after too long, the story stops moving, becomes stagnant, and the world loses its meaning. I didn’t want to do that with Courtney’s world, as much as I would have loved to dwell there forever.
Courtney had to grow, had to change. Otherwise, her adventures, her suffering, her lessons, would have been for nothing. And to change Courtney was to finish her story. I personally was less interested in the adventures of a mellow young witch who was wise beyond her years. But I wanted her to arrive somewhere near that peaceful place rather than just go on suffering. Otherwise, her stories wouldn’t have meant as much. Happily ever after isn’t much of a story, but it makes a great ending. So I’d just as soon leave it at that.
Anyway, last week, I did a post-mortem interview with Comics Alliance, discussing things Courtney, as well as future plans. Here’s the link.
And to all who came with me on this little adventure through the world of my grumpy little heroine, thanks for the company. I really REALLY couldn’t have done it without you. Stories don’t happen in a vacuum, despite what some story-tellers would have you believe. We need readers. Otherwise we’re just fools shouting nonsense into the void. Readers give our efforts their meaning. So thanks for that.
San Francisco, the end of winter, 2013
Sorry for the long radio silence. I just finished putting the final touches on Courtney #10, and now I’m off to France again for Angouleme Festival, as well as Toulouse, Bordeaux, Brive, and a gallery showing in Pau. Stay tooned (see what I did there) for a big announce coming up in the next month or so. Until then…
I will be heading off to France today to attend Saint-Malo’s Comics Festival, Quai Des Bulles. I’m also making stops in Lyon, Besançon, Annecy, and Grenoble. Drop in a say hello if you’re in any of these locations. The password to win a little watercolor piece is “Pamplemousse.” But only one will be given out per day.
For all you other folks that don’t live in France, I will hopefully be posting pics of all the lovely sites, shops, and meals you’ll be missing. That is, if I can manage to get ahold of a prepaid sim card, or get access to free wifi (which, in Europe, is like finding water in the desert). In the meantime, here is some commissions I did recently.
So here’s the thing. Most of the time, I’m drawing my various books, like Courtney. I’d love to post some of that up here, but that might spoil the surprises, and there are lot of surprises in store. In my spare time, I do a lot of other sketches, drawings, etc. that aren’t related to Batman, but most of them are ideas for projects I have in the works. As much as I’d love to post them, I don’t want to share them before they’re done, because that might spoil the soup, as it were. So please indulge my little hobby. Anyway, I hope you like the results.
In any event, I’m heading off to New York Comic Con tomorrow. I’ll be sitting at the Oni table all weekend, promoting the very handsome new Courtney Crumrin vol2 hardcover. The first person who gives me the password “Ultra-Humanite” gets a free sketch, but not necessarily of the Ultra-Humanite.
Here are some more scribbles from my sketchbook to keep you busy.
Some quick info about Courtney #5.
Originally, when setting out to do the next series, I’d conceived it in a similar way to previous issues, as a stand-alone aside before the main story began. Little did I know that Oni’s editor in chief, James Lucas Jones, had big plans for Courtney this year. Specifically, I didn’t know the ongoing series would be in color, or that all the previous volumes would be re-issued in a huge promotional campaign to celebrate the series’ 10th anniversary. In short, I thought the new series would be more of the same, not a relaunch. I had this story stewing, so I went ahead and did it.
James couldn’t be more dismayed when he got the finished issue. It dealt primarily with back-story from volume 2 and the Aloysius spin-off. Courtney was barely in it. He had all these plans to push Courtney as a premier ongoing independent series, and somehow, I hadn’t gotten the message.
“Of all that cockameme- This is no way to launch a monthly series!” he shouted, chomping his cigar. “Get Naifeh in here NOW!”
I sat down in JLJ’s steamy office above the Oni sweatshop in Portland’s docklands, and he set me straight. “I’m tryin’ to hand you the brass ring, kid,” he growled, his cigar aggressively circling from one side of his mouth to the other. “But if you tangle with me, I will bury you!”
In a terrified frenzy, I went home and wrote out the arc I’d been planning to follow this story with, and nervously passed it to James.
“By cracky, this is just what we need to launch the new series,” he roared, thumping the table.
Sighing with relief, I agreed to launch with the new arc, and JLJ agreed to put the original first issue at the end. It’s a little out of order, and it may have to go at the beginning of the collected edition, though at this point, I’m not sure that makes sense. Anyway, the upshot is that this story is supposed to take place before the events of the last four issues.
Sorry for any confusion.
Courtney Crumrin issue 4 is about to hit shelves, and wrap up the current Courtney story arc. You think things have gotten pretty crazy for Courtney and Holly in their underground adventure? You ain’t seen nothing yet! Don’t miss it.
Also, I just got my copy of the new Courtney hardcover, The Coven of Mistics. Like the previous volume, it is exceptionally handsome, in an elegant hunter green with a full color interior. Colorist Warren Wucinich has outdone himself with this one, imbuing the book with even more lustrous, atmospheric color than the last one. Thanks again, Warren. It will hit shelves at the end of next month, with a cover price of $24.99.
For you folks in the southeast, I hope to see you at Dragon-Con this year, and personally sign your copy of Coven of Mystics. If you don’t have one by then, I’ll be bringing a stack (barring force majeure). It may be my last Dragon-Con for a while, so don’t forget to come see me.
I’ve recently been on a Bruce Timm animation spree, having taken in the entire run of Justice League: The Animated Series, Under the Red Hood, and Batman/Superman: Public Enemies, and Justice League: Doom, among others. Having never gotten into superhero team books, this was kind of a new world for me. I noticed a few things, such as how much the Avengers movie borrowed from Justice League, and how much JL borrowed from Buffy and other Whedon works. I feel like Timm, Dini and Whedon belong to a really geeky modern version of, like, the French Impressionist scene in the late 1800s, with everyone inspiring one another and egging each other on to greater heights of nerdy awesomeness. I was also astounded by the range of human experience that could be explored through the medium of people getting punched in the face. It reminded me of figure drawing class, where the goal is to express as much as possible with drawings of nudes in rooms. Seriously, the series explores quite complex moral quandaries, the ethical responsibilities of power, plus feminism, existentialism, quantum and causality, etc, all with variations on the basic super-powered fist-fight. Amazing.
Also, I’ve been reading the latest Scott Snyder comics, plus resisting the urge to download the Arkham City downloadable extras, basically cuz I really need to work. But the Batman Universe is still calling to me, so that’s what my sketchbook playground looks like these days.
My basic take on Batman Beyond, which, for the layman, is the Spider-Man story set in the future with a super-powered bat suit instead of spider-powers.
This is another in a series of sketches I’ve been doing, where the challenge is to reveal the superhero persona of the character without a costume.
People pick on Robin in the Batman Universe, and I can understand why. But he’s still part of it, in all his incarnations. So our challenge in the geek world is to make him fit. This is my first attempt at Nightwing, the grown-up version of Dick Grayson.
Batgirl always has a special place in my heart. I’m still experimenting with my brown paper sketchbook, and I think there’s some interesting stuff here, but Poor Barbara Gordon looks a little blue-ish, like she’s been taking mass amounts of colloidal silver. Not so sexy.
And Batgirl on a scooter again, a concept I just love. Does everyone have to ride a bad-ass motorcycle?
As you may know, to celebrate the ten year anniversary of Courtney Crumrin, Oni Press is releasing a new ongoing Courtney series, written and drawn by Yours Truly, as well as color hardcover editions of the entire series. They are in stores as of this last Wednesday, or else available online at the Oni Press store. If you’ve ever been interested in Courtney Crumrin, now is the time to jump on!
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