Back on Green Arrow, I got to create a DCU villain. Now I get to create a DCU hero.
“The Widening Gyre” is a twelve issue Batman mini-series split into two volumes, with a half year break between each. Issues one through six (Book I) will ship monthly. Then, the story goes on hold for six months. Then, issues seven through twelve (Book II) will once again ship monthly. Yes, I built in the break to insure we don’t run into my usual problems with lateness. But I’m trying to improve, folks: first six scripts and first issue’s art were already done before we took this public.
But here’s the kicker: three weeks after the last issue of “The Widening Gyre”, we’ll launch a solo series featuring the new character, which I’ll be writing bi-monthly! AHHHHHHHHHHH!!! I wanna go back in time and tell 18 year old me about this. 18 year old me would be slack-jawed shocked, barely able to mutter “Look how fat I get…” Later, after a good lie-down, I’m sure he’d then add something like “At least we work for DC Comics – which means I might still get to kiss a girl looking like that.”
Back to “Widening Gyre”: the story sees Batman taking a fledgling vigilante under his wing. Does it sound like a tale for the ages? No; sounds like it’s been done before. It has. But still, “Gyre” somehow manages to be pretty original. I guarantee there’s stuff in this story that makes you go “I’ve never seen that in a comic before,” or “How come someone more talented than this fat dick didn’t think of this first?” Granted, I’m a little biased.
Full disclosure: the classic Engleheart and Rogers stories are our jumping-off point. Like those two comics masters, we weave a long, quiet detective yarn amidst a backdrop of romance, intrigue, and geek-bait guest stars galore. Unlike those two comics masters, unfortunately, we’re Kev and Walt. Expect some howlingly bad moments that make you go “This dude has ridden the coat-tails of his first movie’s rank amateur charm for far too long.”
But expect less of those moments than in our last outing. Maybe readers didn’t feel the same way, but “Cacophony” was a shit-ton of fun for me and Walt to do. However, more than that? It was a real education. Art-wise, look at issue one, then look at issue three. In three issues, you watched Walt grow as an artist. And look at the dialogue from issue one to issue three. Even if you hate my guts, admit it: marked improvement. That’s because I listened to the most relentless hate-tanks online and started dialing back on the dirty and overly-verbose. See? Positive things CAN come from internet bile! Walt and I grew as a writer and artist from issue to issue (technically, I grew more than Walt; but that was ’cause of the Devil Dogs). As soon as we were finished with those three issues, we hit up Dan DiDio with the outline to “Gyre”, for which he got all fan-geeky about storyline. It was nice.
Give it a shot when it hits the stands. We’d sure appreciate it.
But what if you’re one of those people who’s like “I’m not reading that. Batman’s a pussy.” I may have something for you, too: Nick Barrucci over at Dynamite Entertainment dropped me an email a few weeks back to tell me that, in addition to the “Long Ranger”, “Battlestar Galactica”, and “Red Sonja” comics he publishes, he’d just been granted the rights to publish comics featuring the Green Hornet and Kato. “Any interest in writing an arc?” he asked. Citing the movie I’m in the midst of making (“A Couple of Dicks”) and the “Widening Gyre” maxi, I declined. “As much as I’d love to,” I wrote back. “Right now, I can’t make the time to write a Green Hornet story.”
Then, I remembered that I’d written a Hornet story once before…
So while it’s not a straight-up adaptation of the “Green Hornet” movie script I wrote some years back, it’s definitely gonna take its cues from that script – just as that script took its cues from all the source material available (radio, TV, comics). So this is about as close as I’ll get to making that “Green Hornet” flick I walked away from directing all those years ago, when I was too chicken-shit and gay-in-love with my own characters to try something outside my comfort zone.
And as much as I wish it were so (because the flick’s gonna rule), our “Hornet” mini has no tie-in to Mr. Rogen/Mr. Goldberg/Mr. Gondry’s upcoming film. Had Seth and I ever talked about our respective “Hornet” scripts on the set of “Zack and Miri Make a Porno”, believe me, I’d have co-opted/stolen his ideas and incorporated them into the comic. But we kinda treated “Hornet” like an ex-girlfriend of mine that he was currently fucking and all three of us knew he had a bigger dick: the less said, the better. No, the only connection we’ll have to Seth’s flick is the fact that we’re a comic, and Seth reads comics (lots, people).
The story covers the passing of the torch from Britt Reid to his son Britt Jr. – what Dynamite’s calling the “silver age” book. Then, another creative team will do a series that covers the “golden age”, aka the Green Hornet and Kato most folks are familiar with. And if there’s a demand, a possible third series about the “modern age” Green Hornet could happen. So if my version sucks, fear not: my betters will pick up the slack with the characters.
And while he haven’t landed an interior artist yet, some stellar talent has signed-on to provide us with covers: John Cassaday, Jae Lee, David Finch, and a newcomer name of Ross…
Yes – that’s an Alex Ross sketch. Alex fucking Ross.
I mean, have you cum yet? I did just writing the first paragraph.
So there it is: me and comics, together again, for the next year and change at least. We’re looking more for readers than buyers, though, so shy of stealing, just get your hands on both “Gyre” and “Hornet” any way you can – even if you’re just reading it while standing in the store. Retailers encourage that sorta thing; especially the one at the Secret Stash in Red Bank who’s drawing “Gyre” when he’s not ringing up your selfish ass. If this book’s late, it’s because sales at the Stash are flourishing in a weak economy, signaling that you folks are shopping… and taking up my artist’s precious time. So for the love of Christ, stop shopping at Jay and Silent Bob’s Secret Stash!
Okay, strike that last part. What I’m saying is this: if you buy the books, great. But please – all we ask is that you read them. And we want you to read them so badly, I make you this promise: you can come to Jay and Silent Bob’s Secret Stash in Red Bank, NJ and read them for free while standing in the store, and you will not get hassled by the old fuck behind the counter who’s not paying attention to all the shoplifting going on ’cause he’s drawing some overtly homoerotic funny books.
Hey, kids! Comics!