TINY UPDATE 4/18: Egg Laying Rabbits
“Tiny Update” is a weekly free newsletter that keeps you up to date on the latest news, comic book projects and merchandise offerings from James Tynion IV and Tiny Onion Studios
I feel like Easter sneaks past me more than it used to.
I’m a lapsed Catholic, I don’t have kids, I’m not in school, I don’t have a day job that gives me holidays, and my family isn’t particularly religious, so it’s not a huge mystery why that’s the case. It’s just strange for one of the holidays that used to mark the passing of time every year to fall off my radar. I feel like it was always Christmas, Easter, Fourth of July, and Halloween. I think that’s why it struck me so hard last week when I had the sudden realization that Easter was suddenly here.
It still feels like the year is just getting started, but in fact, we’re speeding quickly toward the halfway point. Time’s funny like that. I wore my jacket to my office at the top of last week, but it warmed up so much by the end of the day I left it there. The universe decided to treat me to a chilly enough Easter to regret it, but it’s nice to feel Spring fully underway.
This last week was a catch-up week. Kind of remarkably, I managed to get a full night’s sleep every night. Turns out that’s a pretty good salve for a week of pent-up stress on the West Coast. This week in New York has had absolutely beautiful weather, sunny and warm but not TOO warm, still with a kind of brisk undercurrent. Enough to let me take a few long walks and soak in the atmosphere, letting me resettle and think a bit. I took an evening early this week to game out every book I might have out in 2022 and 2023. Getting ahead finally feels like it’s genuinely in reach for the first time in a very, very long time. I will say if any of you are hoping that I might secretly dive back into Superheroes anytime soon are going to be disappointed. But if you’ve liked the vein of character-driven horror fiction I’ve been working in for the last few years, I’ve got a few more tricks up my sleeve.
Today is the 10th anniversary of the release of BATMAN #8, my first ever published comic book story, and my entry into superhero comics and the comic book industry at large. This month was originally going to see the release of the last issue of The Joker, which would have kept my whole Gotham experience wrapped up in a neat decade. But reality is rarely that neat, and I needed another issue to finish my story… So… That’s coming out this summer. But today is still ten years of being a published comic book writer. The immensity of that is hard to process if I’m being honest. I still feel like a kid. I turn 35 later this year, so I don’t think there’s any metric by which I am a kid anymore. I think if there’s any existential dread to the anniversary, it lives in the fact that I feel like I’m still figuring a lot of shit out. I think I hoped that by my mid-thirties I would have more things figured out. I have a great career and great opportunities, but I really need to figure out a better balance between that work and living the life that work affords me.
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At the end of the week, I’m going to preview a bit more of our upcoming series, TOPLOCC, digging into the mysterious cloaked figures in white we saw in the series prologue. Who are the Helwing Corps?! Why were they hunting Adam Frankenstein?! You’re going to have to wait and find out for yourselves. I’m really excited about how this series is coming together. It’s not going to be much longer until you can see for yourself! And then NEXT WEEK we’re going to be dropping the third and final issue of THE CLOSET here on Substack. Read it before it comes out in comic shops, so you can tell everybody how cool you are!
Another bit of news is that we’ve pushed back the launch of our new TRUE WEIRD anthology feature to early May to coordinate with some fun stuff happening around Substack. And we’ll have the launch of TOPLOCC coming shortly after in late May. BLUE BOOK, THE CLOSET, TRUE WEIRD, and DOT: WILD FICTIONS are only available to paid subscribers. THE ODDLY PEDESTRIAN LIFE OF CHRISTOPHER CHAOS is available to ALL subscribers, paid and unpaid alike! In any case, you should hit that subscribe button!
THE NICE HOUSE ON THE LAKE #8
W: James Tynion IV / A: Alvaro Martinez Bueno / C: Jordie Bellaire / L: AndWorld Design / Cover A: Alvaro Martinez Bueno / AE: Marquis Draper / E: Chris Conroy
With Walter living among his friends in the house, has the impossible happened? Have their lives actually... improved? Perhaps for some-but how are things going for the one housemate whose place Walter took?
This week I’m going to be flying out to Kansas City for Planet Comic Con! I’m going to be appearing at Booth #3702-3703 for the show.
I’m going to be bringing along some of the special merch we’ve been making for ShopTinyOnion.com, including our SIKTC bandanas, which will be available to purchase right from the booth. My signing/appearance schedule is below:
3:00-5:00pm – SIGNING - Booth #3702-3703
6:00-6:50pm – Horror Influences in Comics – Room 2504AB
11:00am-1:00pm – SIGNING - Booth #3702-3703
1:30pm - 2:20pm – PCKC Comics Spotlight: James Tynion IV – 2502AB
4:00-6:00pm – SIGNING - Booth #3702-3703
11:00am-12:30pm - SIGNING - Booth #3702-3703
1:00-1:50pm – A Look at the IDW DC Comics Batman/TMNT Crossover – 2504AB
3:00-5:00pm - SIGNING - Booth #3702-3703
Current members of THE ONION CLUB are entitled to special benefits at the convention. You can either show The Onion Club card you should have received with your first Onion Club purchase, or the logged-in Substack membership page. The card gets you the following (I’m pulling this direct from the write-up about all Onion Club Benefits).
If you present your Onion Club member card at a convention signing, I will waive my signature fee for one graded signature per signing session.
If you present your Onion Club member card at a convention signing, you can get double the limit of free ungraded signatures per signing session (ie: if I have a limit of 3 free ungraded signatures, you can get 6 free ungraded signatures).
I have made a special gold variant of both the SIKTC Order of St. George, and Department of Truth logo enamel pins to bring to comic conventions, which will only be available to purchase if you are a card-carrying member of the Onion Club.
If you forget your Onion Club Card, you can also show a logged-in membership page on Substack that shows you’re a subscriber at the $250 Onion Club level to receive the same benefits.
I’m flying right from Kansas City, MO to San Francisco, CA for the following week. THE NICE HOUSE ON THE LAKE was selected for Comix Experience’s Graphic Novel Club, and I’m going to be in-store for a signing, and to participate in a private discussion for GNC members on Wednesday, April 27th! I’m very excited to be heading back to Comix Experience for this event.
And then we’ve got the behemoth of Megacon waiting in the wings.
CONVENTION - PLANET COMIC CON - Kansas City, MO - April 22-24
SIGNING - COMIX EXPERIENCE - San Francisco, CA - April 27
CONVENTION - MEGACON - Orlando, FL - May 19-22
More appearances, including what looks like some international appearances, are waiting in the wings this summer. Stay tuned!
There were some really nice reviews of SANDMAN UNIVERSE: NIGHTMARE COUNTRY last week, and I’m thrilled and relieved to have it out in the world. Huge thanks for your support from me, Lisandro, and the whole Nightmare Country team. It’s deeply reassuring that I’ve managed to launch my last four non-superhero titles in the six figures, including SU:NC. It’s even MORE reassuring that you’re all digging what you picking up. These are the kinds of books I want to spend the rest of my career writing, and I can only do that if you guys support the books. Let’s see if we can make it five launches in a row with THE CLOSET at Image Comics in June... It feels like there’s some really strong retailer interest there.
Last week saw the release of the fourth volume of RECKLESS by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips. I know I’ve been a broken record about how fucking good Reckless is for months (I may or may not have spent a good 15 minutes gushing about it in one of my Hollywood meetings last week), but the fourth volume is really something special. These books are, in my humble opinion, consistently the best comics currently being released in our corner of the comic book industry. If you haven’t picked them up yet, go treat yourself.
Ringo Award Nominations are now open! You can nominate any/all of your favorite books, including your favorites from Tiny Onion. Anything released in 2021 is eligible, so on top of my DC Work, that means DOT, NHOTL, SIKTC, Wynd, Blue Book, House of Slaughter, and Razorblades: The Horror Magazine and all the amazing folks who worked on all those books! Presumably other comic books also came out in 2021!
I finally finished a script that’s been sitting on my computer, partially written for the last six months. I’m honestly very proud of it. It’s a bit of a holiday story so maybe a little weird to be writing it in April, but I think the distance helped. I used it as an excuse to revisit David Sedaris’ THE SANTALAND DIARIES, which is still very funny and very human. I’m overdo a full-scale revisitation of the Sedaris library, particularly the books I read/listened to ad nauseam in High School and College (NAKED, ME TALK PRETTY ONE DAY, and DRESS YOUR FAMILY IN CORDUROY AND DENIM). But I’m not setting any reading projects for myself until I go back and finish the ones I started at the top of the year (There are piles of unread science fiction short story collections and plays crying out to me to be read, and I stare at them guiltily every day)
I was enjoying SEVERANCE on Apple +, but the last couple of episodes really kicked the whole experience to a whole new level. It’ll be interesting if they can recapture the tension they left us with that cliffhanger at the top of the next season. I’ll be watching, anyway.
I also have to say, now having finished THE DROPOUT and SUPER PUMPED, and having caught up on WECRASHED… The last one standing is probably the strongest of the pack. A lot of that comes down to Anne Hathaway. It’s another Apple+ show which has lots of good television right now. I had a few people on my Hollywood trip telling me I needed to check out PACHINKO, and I think I just might do it.
We’ve had a bunch of new Onion Club members sign up over the last few weeks, and I wanted to specify a few things. The cut-off for eligibility for the Onion Club exclusive Sandman Universe: Nightmare Country #1 cover is Midnight ET on Sunday, May 1st.
Onion Club membership still guarantees you six Onion Club exclusive covers over the course of your membership. If you sign up now, you will receive the SU:NC #1 cover, and the four remaining Onion Club covers in 2022, along with the first Onion Club cover released in 2023. If you sign up after May 1st, you will receive the remaining four Onion Club covers in 2022 and the first two covers we release in 2023. And so on.
If you’re interested in signing up for the Onion Club, you can read more about it here. Or you can just log in to Substack and change your membership status by clicking the icon on the top right corner of the page. If you just signed up for the Onion Club, and haven’t given us your shipping information yet, you should email TinyOnionOrders@thirdeyecomics.com and they’ll be able to hook you up.
Thank you all for your support! Much more to come!
James Tynion IV
I'm glad at least somebody is mentioning the work of Brubaker and Phillips in a Hollywood meeting! Any one of their comics would make a fantastic movie!
I just purchased the first Reckless book! Excited to check it out