Finish and Begin Again.
So…once again, it’s been a while since my last post, but I have a good excuse for my procrastinating. I killed a comic.
The last year was a pretty big rollercoaster for me. I started off 2016 with the reality of CHEW’s end, after nearly 8 years, hitting me full in the face. And with that reality came a lot of questions about my future. CHEW was what established my career, and chances are, it’ll be the thing that most readers will remember me for. I don’t really mind that, as the book has done more than John or I could’ve ever imagined, and I couldn’t be more proud of the work.
The biggest question in my head was the same one folks have been bombarding me with every time they run into me at a show:
“What’s next for you?”
And frankly, after 8 years of putting everything I had into CHEW, that question scared the crap outta me. I’m not a big fan of change.
See, this whole thing has been a whirlwind for me. I’ve never really wanted to do a 60+ issue epic, and I certainly never dreamed that my first major published gig would do what CHEW has done. But here we are. And a lot of 2016 was split between making peace with the work we’ve done, making peace with the fact we actually succeeded, and making peace with moving forward in its wake.
We killed CHEW on November 1, 2016. I colored the last page, walked out of my office, came home, ate dinner with my family and spent the next month in a fog. And in that month, I got a ton of messages from CHEW readers. All of them thanking us for the ride, and all of them sorta grieving the fact that it was over. I’ve done my share of grieving it as well.
And during that time, as the fog cleared, I began to write a story I began percolating on back in January 2016. In the last two months I’ve written the first two issues of what I’m picturing as a 20-issue finite series, and the next 3 scripts are quickly writing themselves. I’ve yet to pitch it anywhere yet, but I’m aiming to release it later this year. I’ll be drawing it as well. It’s a fairly personal story that I’m truly hoping CHEW fans and new fans will give a shot. I think it’s a very fresh story that’s unlike anything else out there. That’s not hype. That’s just an honest observation.
My tentative goal is to write the bulk of the series before it ever hits shelves. Though I’m well-versed at handling art duties on a monthly comic, I’ve never shouldered the burden of also having to write one. So I’m trying to be smart about this, and so far it’s been massively fulfilling.
Fingers crossed, I’m aiming to announce the project in the summer/early fall.
In the meantime, as I work on this new project, I’ve been taking some freelance work to keep the lights on. Took a huge commission list back in December (samples below), and as I wrap up the last few of those, I’ll be opening to a second wave of commissions. Those interested can hit me through the CONTACT section of this site, and be sure to click the “YES, This is a Commission Request Button”.
In addition to that, I’ll be uploading the remaining issues of CHEW art, along with some fun new original art. And we’re tweaking the site a bit to make browsing the Store a bit more enjoyable.
I’m also now on Instagram and Facebook, in addition to my Twitter and Tumblr. I post less than I used to these days, as I’ve been pretty focused on making my new series the absolute best I can, without too many distractions.
Anyway, that’s all I got for now. Tune back in tomorrow, as I’ll be posting a special commissioned 5-page comic that I think CHEW fans will enjoy.