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I don’t normally link to reviews, but Hannah Menzies’ retrospective on FASHION BEAST at The Beat is an excellent, thoughtful piece (and, be warned, quite long).

Even if you read the series, this piece will give you fresh thoughts to ponder; and if you were on the fence, or are waiting to see how the collection fares, it may convince you to take a leap of faith and get your order in early.

(NB There’s one error, regarding how the adaptation came about; as I’ve mentioned before, Malcolm McClaren worked with Alan Moore, and Robert Boykin, on the original story. Malcolm was excited about my adaptation, and fully supported it, but he wasn’t directly involved. He’d already done his bit, after all.) (ADDENDUM: The error’s been corrected.)

 

I don’t talk much about pre-orders on here.

For years, it was something of a circular notion; if you needed to be told what pre-ordering was, you probably weren’t the sort of person who would pre-order anyway.

(Which is fine. I think it’s absurd that ours is the only entertainment market in the world that’s literally built on pre-orders. Alas, that’s the way it is, at least for now.)

But it feels like things have changed a little, recently. The rise of all things “indie” and “artisanal” — and the specific upsurge of interest in indie comics — has led many people to ask what they can do to help support their favourite books, and creators.

The answer is very simple; pre-order the books you want to read.

Sadly, the act of pre-ordering isn’t quite so simple.

One of the best recent rundowns of pre-ordering I’ve read, explaining why it’s important and how to do it, is by my friend and awesome writer Kelly Sue DeConnick. You should read what she says, then think about which of your favourite books you could support in the same way.

(Please note, you don’t actually have to fill out a form. KS did that to make it ultra-simple for her CAPTAIN MARVEL readers. But all you actually need to do is give the store a book’s Diamond order code, or ISBN if it has one.)

And in that spirit, here are some books which became available for pre-ordering this week:

FASHION BEAST

This is the collected edition of the series that’s been running since last year.

I’ve been kind of blown away by how well FASHION BEAST has been received. I really thought it would be a bit too, well, odd for many people to get into. But readers have really taken to it, and I’m glad.

There’s a softcover version, which has the Diamond order code JUN130807, or the ISBN 978-1592912117.

There’s also a deluxe hardcover version, Diamond code JUN130808. No ISBN for that one; you can only buy it in comic stores.

WASTELAND #46 & #47

WASTELAND #46 was actually available for pre-order last month, and maybe I should have been more organised and told you about it then, because it was the first issue of a new story arc, with the amazing Justin Greenwood returning to art duties.

#47, which is available for pre-order this month, is the next issue of that arc. Worse than that, it’s issue forty-seven, and this story arc will be the final appearance of many established characters. I won’t lie to you — if you’ve never read WASTELAND before, you won’t have the faintest idea what’s going on in this story arc.

(And so I encourage you to start at the beginning, instead…!)

But that doesn’t mean books like WASTELAND don’t benefit from pre-ordering.

If you already read WASTELAND, or a similar long-running book, and you just go and pick up a copy from your local store whenever it’s released… well, first I’d like you to thank that store on my behalf, because you may not realise how rare stores that stock shelf copies of indie books are.

But second, I’d like you to ask your retailer to pre-order WASTELAND for you, and add it to your “pull list”. Every guaranteed sale helps keep the book on people’s radar, and also gives the publisher confidence in the book’s continued existence.

The Diamond order code for WASTELAND #46 was MAY131218. The code for #47 is JUN131230.

(NB: This is not a cry for help! WASTELAND is not in danger. We only have 14 more issues to go, for Mother Sun’s sake. But the point is a general one worth making.)

 

Back in 2003, I wrote a thing for ALAN MOORE: PORTRAIT OF AN EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMAN, about the first time we spoke. The book is long out of print, but now you can read it at Alan Moore World.

 

Issue #4 of FASHION BEAST is now on sale.

One of the things that surprised me at NYCC in October was the fan and critic reaction to this comic. Frankly, I expected FASHION BEAST to be a book I enjoyed working on and was proud of, but that critics would overlook. For whatever reason, I was wrong — and I’m very happy to be so.

Here’s the issue solicit:

There is no nuclear winter in the seasons of the fashion world. And while life outside of Celestine’s empire is tumbling toward oblivion, within the doors of the temple to fashion Doll becomes enwrapped in the disdain and contempt of the Madames. But while Doll strives to raise her station from commoner to elitist, she discovers that the wrong turn of phrase can do more than ruin a career, it can take a life. For in this world only the designs of Le Patron are immaculate and everything else is terminally flawed and to be scorned, used, and eventually discarded.

The order code is OCT120827, available from all good comic stores. You can read a preview at Avatar’s website.

  • Also on sale this week is the new edition of SKELETON KEY, the third Alex Rider graphic novel, complete with the lovely new trade dress and oversized pages.

    This brings all of the Alex GNs to date (the others being of course STORMBREAKER, POINT BLANC, and EAGLE STRIKE) in line with the new format, so there’s a nice holiday gift idea for you…!

    The next two books, SCORPIA and ARK ANGEL, will continue in the same style. If you missed the announcement about those, and our new series artist, you can read more here.

     

    The second issue of FASHION BEAST is now on sale.

    The story continues right from where we left off last issue, with Doll out on the street and desperate for a job. Any job. Lucky for her that Celestine is hiring.

    At least, Doll thinks it’s luck…

    Doll doesn’t fit in anywhere. And when fate seems to wash her in the direction of the mysterious unseen benefactor, Celestine, she discovers that the all-too glitzy fashion world with its glamour and excess is home to a brand of horror that the self-obsessed ignore until it is too late.

    The order code is AUG120841, and you can read a preview at Avatar’s site.

     

    The first issue of FASHION BEAST goes on sale today.

    FASHION BEAST is a 10-part series, adapted from a 1985 screenplay by Alan Moore, which was itself based on a story idea by Alan, Malcolm McLaren, and Robert Boykin. It has a somewhat storied and beleaguered history.

    It also happens to be the last Moore adaptation I wrote for Avatar, completed almost eight years ago. In honesty, I’d started to think it would never actually see publication — the script is just as complex and detailed as the screenplay, and we had more than a few false starts with artists…

    Until we found Facundo Percio, best-known for his stellar work on Warren Ellis’ outlandish sci-fi book ANNA MERCURY. Facundo has been drawing FASHION BEAST for almost four years. The man is seriously dedicated, and without him I doubt this book would be on stands today. If you’re as happy to see this as I am, all your thanks should go to Facundo.

    The order code for this issue is JUL120796, and you can read an eight-page preview at Avatar’s website.

     

    WOLVERINE: Over the weekend, you may have heard the sad news that Raina Telgemeier and Dave Roman’s X-MEN: MISFITS manga has been cancelled. Alas, I can confirm that the same fate awaits WOLVERINE: PRODIGAL SON.

    It’s a great shame. I was very pleased with the second volume, and Wilson’s work for it was even better than for the first. And I really hoped we could take it still further; although the initial story came to a close in Volume 2, I wrote it in such a way that it left open the possibility of many more adventures for young Logan.

    Unfortunately, the simple truth is that not enough people bought them. Despite WOLVERINE being praised by readers and selected for two library YA lists, despite MISFITS making it onto the New York Times bestseller list, and not least despite all the efforts of Del Rey themselves and our editors there, there just weren’t enough readers to justify the costs. This is, sadly, more common than you might think in comics.

    THE BEAST: Also confirmed over the weekend was the graphic novel adaptation of FASHION BEAST, Alan Moore’s famous “lost” screenplay which he wrote in conjunction with Malcolm McLaren who planned to produce it as a film.

    This isn’t a recent project. FASHION BEAST has been in production as a comic since 2003! But anyone who’s read the screenplay knows that it’s an incredibly complex and detailed work, and my script reflects that. So it’s taken us a long time to find an artist who could deal with the sheer amount of work it requires. Fortunately, Facundo is up to the task, and has already produced some fantastic pages.

    Obviously, we were hoping to produce it soon, and get Malcolm on board for publicity; he was enthusiastic about the project, and there’s no question he would have enjoyed bringing his own inimitable style of rabble rousing to comics. With his sad death last week, all we can do now is try to honour his memory. RIP.

     


    Wide distribution of LIGHT OF THY COUNTENANCE commences tomorrow, apparently. What that means is that every store that’s ordered copies should have it, and/or can re-order it with confidence.

    To coincide with this, I was interviewed by Hypergeek about the book, and my adaptation process (which is very hard to define, as it’s mostly about whether or not something “feels right”). The interview’s now live, and you can click here to read it.

    In other news, everyone’s gearing up for the launch of WOLVERINE: PRODIGAL SON, Volume 1 on April 7th. Expect to see a few interviews, PR pieces, etc. about that popping up over the next few weeks.

     

    Speaking of my Alan Moore adaptations, I’m also told that LIGHT OF THY COUNTENANCE is now finally available in stores.

    (Distribution has been spotty, which is probably why I wasn’t even sure it was out, but there are definitely copies out there.)

     

    I’ve been working away for a few days, but returned to find that the New York Times has finally started to produce a bestseller list for graphic novels.

    This in itself is a very good thing, but I was even more pleased to see that the new colour edition of THE COURTYARD is at #7 on the softcover list. Nice!

     

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