The battle station plans are not aboard this ship!
Chapter 93: 'Til infinity...
What are you doing tomorrow night?
Okay, what are you doing the night after that?
You want to read this book!
Tour Diary IV - The Revenge!
Coming to you late on a Sunday because we’re casual around here these days. Just popping in on the weekend to say “what’s up” and see if you need anything. You cool? Cool.
Me? Thanks for asking. I’m good. I’ve been pretty busy the last few weeks. Had to deal with some bank/corporate stuff which is always a real treat. I find that all that stuff, no matter how hard I think about it and how long I spend assessing, takes exactly twice as long as I allot myself. I’m sure there is some sort of Einstinian principle to explain it, but I never learned it.
The good news is I got an official Ashcan Press credit card for the the first time ever! We’re a “real business” now (despite my accountant being completely baffled by everything I do.) So as soon as the card arrived I headed straight down to Midtown Comics to grab a big stack of books to read. Business expenses! (Oh, I can see now where my accountant is coming from as soon as I typed that.) I brought a big stack of books up to the register and proudly told the clerk, who I’ve known for years, that I was putting these on my brand new credit card… Which was promptly declined. So, that’s how things are going here.
And for you nosey folks who want to know, I bought PUBLIC DOMAIN vol. 1, the last volume of STRAY BULLETS, the new volume of FRIDAY, two new Tom King BATMAN books, the brilliant and underappreciated collection of ROGUES, and a pair of Marvel Omnibuses that I have comics in, to satisfy my weird completist obsession. I also bought some other stuff, but it’s in a pile across the room so you’ll just have to trust me.
Anyway, because things have been so backed up with bullshit work it means that a lot of things I’ve been putting off are happening all at once. The first of which is that I will be returning to the mighty WORD BALLOON podcast tomorrow at 7pm EST tomorrow (Monday) night. John is by far one of the best interviewers in comics and one of my favorite people to just catch up with, so it should be a good time. I have no idea what we’re going to talk about but you can tune in and watch live, and even ask questions. Click the link below and like/follow WORD BALLOON on Youtube.
Because everything I know I stole, we’re doing another livestream of IDEAS DON’T BLEED this week as well. Is it going to be as good as WORD BALLOON? No, of course not. But might it be a total disaster worth watching to make fun of me? Maybe! Me and the Spiral Bindz will be joined by the amazing Declan Shalvey (OLD DOG / TIME BEFORE TIME / MOON KNIGHT) on Tuesday at 6pm EST. I will send out a link day of, but in the meantime you can follow our Youtube to prepare yourself.
And while you’re following stuff, follow Declan’s excellent Substack Newsletter.
Like all our previous livestreams, you can send in questions here (in the comments or respond to this email) or come ask them live in the chat! And if we use our totally scientific, not at all arbitrary system and pick yours as “Question of the Show” you will win a prize from our sponsors- the incredible THIRD EYE COMICS!
Come hang out! It’ll be fun. Declan’s got a real good accent.
When people ask me which up and coming comic creators they should be reading, Rich Douek is always a name I drop. I’ve been reading Rich’s stuff for a while and it has always kept me thoroughly engrossed. But the last few years I feel like his work has leveled up in a big way.
It started with his love letter to 90’s “big sword” comics WAILING BLADE with artist/menace Joe “Joe Mulvey” Mulvey. But it’s his period horror comics with Alex Cormack that seemed to get other people talking. Starting with the excellent 1950’s Siberian gulag horror series ROAD OF BONES, and then the haunting post WWII underwater salvage horror series SEA OF SORROWS, Rich and Alex began making a name for themselves as a unique and necessary voice in horror.
Now they’re back with a brand new series from IDW- BREATH OF SHADOWS. About a wild crew of idealists, opportunists, and drug addicted rockstars who head into the Mexican jungle in search of ancient ruins and a miracle drug that could change everything. Full of rich characters, shifting motives, and some horrific thrills, this is another can’t miss book for horror fans.
BREATH OF SHADOWS #1 is not out for another month or so but the dreaded Final Order Cutoff is tomorrow, so if you want to check the book out you should let your local comic shop know right away.
And while I’m singing Rich’s praises, make sure to subscribe to his newsletter- Just Douek. He talks about his life and his work on these books as well as other stuff he works on like Superman, Kang, Ghost Rider, and Magic The Gathering.
Honestly I am 100% not sure if that is the best name for a Substack or the absolute worst, but that ambiguity makes it the best. I love it.
Man, everyone has a Substack. Lotta competition. I really have to start being more interesting.
And here we are. The final installment of the WILDC.A.T.S. vs ROGUE STATE tour diary. We left you on a real cliffhanger last time. Will they live? Will they die? Will Matt get to go to Wawa?
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 18th.
Continuing Friday because I got bored and sent out the newsletter before I was finished last time, we pick up with me and Matt Pizzolo driving around Pennsylvania in his Lambo (I don’t know about cars.) We headed to one of my favorite shops, the mighty BRAVE NEW WORLDS on the mean streets of Philadelphia.
Philly is a funny place for me, because as a New Yorker I am supposed to dislike it, but then half the people I know from New York moved there. And yes, I think there are sports team rivalries, but I only really like baseball. So obviously fuck the Phillies, but that’s not a reason enough for me to condemn a whole city. And yeah, I once walked around South Street with like 10 of my friends and every 5th person we passed tried to make us fight them, but it was kind of fun in a “Thunderdome” kinda way. But really my feelings on Philly can be summed up in 2 words. And they are both “Wa.”
Like I said, I grew up in New York City, so I have no love for convenience stores or chain stores. I’ll take a bodega over a 7/11 until I die. But Wawa is… something else. Something magical. Maybe it’s the fact that it is the only chain market in the world whose chocolate milk is actually good. Maybe it’s the butter cake you can pick up at checkout. Or maybe it’s the magical computer sandwiches, which I have loved since my very first time ordering a toasted Philly Cheesesteak with garlic aioli and extra pepper… FROM A COMPUTER! That shit is like Logan’s Run, Blade Runner, and Tron all rolled up into one delicious utopia. (It’s possible I don’t understand the morals of some movies.)
Anyway, we had a great time at Brave New Worlds. A bunch of folks came out to get books signed, the staff is always fun to hang with, and they always have a lot of stuff I want to pick up. But then they told me we were very near the LARGEST WAWA IN THE WORLD! So we said our hasty goodbyes and hurried out to get me my sandwich and get Pizzolo nothing. How is the largest Wawa different than other Wawas? It just takes up more space. I loved it. I got my sandwich, my chocolate milk, and I was ready to hit the road to DC.
But, as we discussed before, we don’t do anything the easy way. So, even though we were 2 hours from DC and 2 hours from home in the opposite direction, and we have to be in DC in 13 hours, we decided to go home. Was it the smart choice? No. It was really stupid. But that doesn’t stop us! It just makes us tired.
I got home, did some work, and went to bed because I had to get back in the car and drive the same 2 hours I just drove 6 hours later.
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 19th.
Matt picked me up at 7:30 in the morning which was awful and I was getting pretty sick of seeing him this early. The only joy I had was knowing he was way more sick of seeing me this early. So we began our begrudging march down to our nation’s capitol with three goals in mind- go back to Wawa, hang out with some politicians so we could subtly influence them on national policy, and sign some comics. And I wore my Dischord shirt in case any members of Fugazi came by. They did not.
We got to the great FANTOM COMICS right on time for our 11:30am signing. Fantom is such a great store because they make a real effort to be welcoming and have something for everyone. They set us up right in the front so we could guilt trip people who weren’t going to buy our books into buying them, which is really the point of all of this. It was also nice to have some readers and some friends show up and hang out. Anyway, I spent more money than is responsible again, got a sweet tote bag with a ghost on it, and then we hit the road.
I know what you’re thinking? Didn’t we do any sightseeing? Sure we did.
Zoom in! We saw the White House because it was on the way to the vegan sandwich spot. Biden didn’t come to our signing so we didn’t go to his house. Whatever bruh.
Saw the Washington Monument, also on the way to the sandwich shop. Real pointy. Good job.
But the highlight of our D.C. sightseeing was this-
D.C. has a bootleg Mr. Softee truck called Mr. Soft?! I love it so much. Mister Soft is such a good name. 100% You should expect to see it in a book I write in the next year.
… Remember when I said this would be the final installment of the tour diary? I guess I lied because Substack is telling me this email is too long. Tune in next week for TOUR DIARY PART IV (part 2) - THE CONCLUSIONING!
Stay safe. Take care of each other. Don’t forget to come hang out on some livestreams this week!
Tour diary is great! I love that the best thing in DC is the rip-off Mr Softee truck. Ha!
Breath of Shadows is out this week! I know this because it is presently in my hand, having arrived late last week with our PRH books. Looking forward to what Douek and Cormack are cooking up here.