Wednesday, September 8, 2010



SHADRACH STONE, by me and Jon Proctor, goes on sale TOMORROW, THURSDAY 9 SEPTEMBER!

Here's your last sneak preview. These pages have not been released before.





Tuesday, September 7, 2010


On Thursday, September 9th, SHADRACH STONE will be available in comic shops.


We've been working on this graphic novel for a long time. To recap: Here's a brief introduction to the book. Here's a set of slightly enigmatic profiles of the characters, and here's a recent interview where I Tell All (or Tell Most, or Tell A Bunch of Things, anyway).

And here's a couple of pages you probably haven't seen yet.



SHADRACH STONE, by me and Jon Proctor. Inks by Jeff Dabu; alternate cover by Jon Foster; introduction by Mike Carey. $19.95.

September 9th!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Big Interview

Here's a very revealing interview, where I talk about the heart of the story -- including a very bad day that happened in Manhattan, and how it's important to SHADRACH STONE. Hint:


Thursday, August 26, 2010


Here's a nice interview with me about SHADRACH, with new art.


And here's a two-part interview covering my entire career.

Here, a friend talks about me. (Among more important things.)

And here I talk about The 99, another comic I write.

And right here, I shut up for a change!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Cross-Promotion Alert!

I'll be at Jim Hanley's Universe in Manhattan this Wednesday evening, signing the brand-new first issue of NAMOR: THE FIRST MUTANT, my new monthly title from Marvel. Also signing: Jonathan Hickman, Dan Slott, Greg Pak, Fred Van Lente, and Nick Spencer. Come on out, whisper "Force Majeure," and I'll show you some Shadrach artwork.


Sunday, August 22, 2010

Listen to Me


Here's an interview I recorded a little while back, focusing heavily on SHADRACH STONE. The Shadrach material starts about five minutes in. The MP3 link seems to be broken, but the Enhanced AAC version works.

And I should have a long, career-spanning interview up on Comic Book Resources soon, to celebrate the release of my new Marvel monthly NAMOR: THE FIRST MUTANT this week. That'll cover SHADRACH, too. Links to come!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Further Reading

From SHADRACH STONE, page 17:


Vida, Shadrach’s girlfriend, refers here to a theory propagated by the late Robert Anton Wilson. Wilson is best known as the coauthor of the Illuminatus! trilogy, but I’ve always found his nonfiction books fascinating. They cover topics ranging from drugs and libertarianism to James Joyce, quantum physics, and conspiracy theories.

I first came across this particular theory, about the relationship between brain chemistry and reality, in Wilson’s book Right Where You Are Sitting Now (1982). The essay “By Way of Summary” begins:

Your brain has 20 billion bits of information. The repeating loops between various bits make up your private reality-labyrinth, the thoughts, feelings and (apparent) sense impressions that you keep encountering over and over, year after year.

You encounter them over and over precisely because they are repeating tape loops.

Ethnomethodology demonstrates that the loops can be broken at any point, a process technically known as breaching. The result is a rapid reorganization as the 20 billion bits quantum-jump to a different order of coherence. A new “you” and a new “external world” appear in the process. [Emphasis Wilson’s.]

There are [ten to the 2,783,000th power] possible permutations; alternative models of “you” and the “external world.”

And just as I was preparing the complete graphic-novel script for SHADRACH, I came across this passage in Wilson’s final book, Email to the Universe (2005):

Every nervous system creates its own “reality.” Out of the billions, or billions of billions, of energies intersecting the room in which you read this, your brain, performing 100,000,000 processes per minute (almost all of them unconscious to those circuits called the ego and recognized as “me”) arranges a few hundred or thousand into the Gestalt which you experience as the “reality” of the room…I call this neurological relativism, or the relativity of perceived “reality.”

SHADRACH STONE wouldn’t exist without Wilson’s writings. They’re highly recommended.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Meet the Cast

Here's a quick rundown of our main characters:

SHADRACH STONE. Big Man. Big liar. Big comeuppance. The key to the universe, maybe.

VIDA. Fashion model with a double life. When she and Shadrach say “I love you” to each other, even they're not sure if they're telling the truth.

YOUNG SHADRACH STONE. Big Man in training.

FOSTER. Book editor, Epex Publishing. Not such a Big Man.

TRACE. Nice guy. Really knows his way around the Substrate.

SIDDRA. Mysterious.

GRID. Another Big Man.

JON PROCTOR. Just finished drawing 102 pages!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

The Big Question

Okay, so: SHADRACH STONE. Original graphic novel. Paranormal adventure. Bold color art. Big Questions of Life.

But I know what you're wondering.

Is there sex in this book?




I can't promise it's NICE sex. But it's there, and it's there for a reason.

Next time: Back to business.


Friday, August 13, 2010

Shadrach: The Early Days

During the development process for this graphic novel, Jon Proctor turned out an amazing variety of sample pieces. Some of these were intended to help us place the book with a publisher; some were character studies; and still others were just exercises in color and design.

Here are a few of them.

An early, very noirish study of Shadrach and Vida, his girlfriend.

Just Vida.

A scene from the book, isolated with no background and high-contrast color.

Vida in "Flaunt" magazine. Note the bar code -- Proctor, master of detail!

Watch the skies...

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Welcome New Liars


We're getting a lot of traffic from some new publicity for the book, so welcome to everyone who's followed us here from Broken Frontier, The Comics Reporter, or my ramblings on Twitter and Facebook.

SHADRACH STONE is a paranormal/science fiction graphic novel. Basically, it's all about Lies. You can read my basic intro to it here, and I tell the history of the project in excruciating detail here, here, and here. SHADRACH will be published with two alternate covers -- you can see them both here.

There's more behind-the-scenes info and previews scattered throughout the blog. I'll be posting more soon, but meanwhile, here's some nice art you probably haven't seen yet:





Thursday, August 5, 2010

Two Covers

SHADRACH STONE, the graphic novel, will feature not one but two covers. The first is by the Man Himself, the book's co-creator and master designer, Jon Proctor:


And the second is by award-winning painter/illustrator Jon Foster:


Which one do you prefer?

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

PAGE SIX - A Story in Pictures - Part Three

Previously, we saw several different early versions of both script and art for SHADRACH STONE, page 6. Again, here’s the final lettered and colored version:


Once we had enough art in, I sat down and created balloon-placement guides for the letterer. Balloon guides are time-consuming; sometimes the writer draws them up, and sometimes the editor, but I like doing my own when I can. It shows you things you might not otherwise notice, even just looking at the script and art together. Balloons don’t fit the way you think they will, or dialogue just looks wrong with a face or body language.

The numbers on the dialogue correspond to the balloon indications on the guide.



As you can see from the different script versions, I changed my mind a few times about Shadrach’s father’s dialogue in panel 4. On film, I would have trusted an actor to get across the emotional effect without any words; but that’s tougher to pull off with still images. Looking at it this time, I decided I’d overwritten it somewhere along the line, and that something shorter and more suggestive would work better.

Here’s the first lettered version of the page, courtesy of Jason Levine:

Shadrach Stone-01_06_letd

I wish I could show you the final composited version, but I haven’t seen it yet.

And that’s The Saga of Page Six. Multiply by 102, and you have SHADRACH STONE!

PAGE SIX - A Story in Pictures - Part Two

Last time, we saw two early script versions of SHADRACH STONE, page 6, and Jon Proctor’s original version of the art for that page. Here it is again, with the lettering I did in order to present it to publishers:


Now -- once we started working with Penny-Farthing Press, Jon decided to redraw most of the art using a less chiaroscuro, more traditional-comics look. This was his own choice, though both Penny-Farthing and I gave him a few notes. Behold the new page 6:


Meanwhile, I received some notes from Penny-Farthing and revised the script slightly. Since Jon had already redrawn that page, I was able to match it to his art. For instance, I moved one of Shadrach's lines from panel 2 to 3, mostly for space reasons.

The blue text is changed from the previous version. (There's no industry standard for revisions, but I like to keep track.)


I also decided we needed to, uh, get to know Shadrach a little better in panel 5.

We all liked Jon’s new version, but I asked him to revise panel 5 so we could see Shadrach’s face. He did, and the page was then inked by Jeff Dabu and colored by Jon.


What’s next? Find out in part three…

PAGE SIX - A Story in Pictures

Part One

This is going to be another multi-part post…taking you through the evolution of a small piece of the SHADRACH STONE graphic novel. Pull back the curtain, Dorothy…

As I described previously, I wrote the first version of SHADRACH STONE in teleplay form. Here’s page 6 of that initial script, which features ten-year-old Shadrach Stone pulling some shit on his father and on Mr. Carly, the owner of the local five-and-ten-cent store:


When I converted the story to comic book form, most of this action wound up, coincidentally, on page 6 of the first issue. Here’s what that page looked like:


Note the differences in pacing. In the teleplay, we briefly see Mr. Carly right before Shadrach’s father starts speaking. In comics, that would be too awkward a beat; it would draw too much attention away from the confrontation between Shadrach and his father. Of course, on film, an editor would have to make the decision whether or not to show the minor character at that point. In both media, a script is a guide to the finished project, not a set of unbreakable dictates.

Here’s the first version of the art Jon Proctor did for this page:


As you can see, Jon was employing a high-contrast, very designy approach to the art at this point. He did intend to color it, but with the photographic backgrounds, it almost seems intended for black and white.

As part of our presentation to publishers, I lettered this page. Sometimes when I did this, I would make changes as I went along; but this time, I stuck pretty close to the original dialogue.


After we contracted with Penny-Farthing Press to publish the book, things changed. A lot. In fact, that page won't appear in the actual book, not in the form you see above.

More on that next time…