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TINY UPDATE 8/1: A Very Nice Night in San Diego
“Tiny Update” is a monthly 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
What a week. First, let me flash back two Fridays ago, with me sitting at the BOOM! Studios table at the Eisners. I’m flipping through the handbook, and it hits me for the first time how quickly the Best Writer award pops up in the evening. That’s when Neil Gaiman and Frank Miller take the stage and announce that they’ll be giving out the next three awards, and the thought hits me that if I win Best Writer, I am going to be handed that award by Neil Gaiman. The writer who made me want to dedicate my life to writing comic books. When he called out my name, my brain short circuited, I ascended the stage wide eyed in panic, took the award from Neil, and basically did everything in my power to stammer through a speech without crying.
I learned two things the night of the Eisners. First off, after watching Phil Jimenez’ incredible speeches, I realized that I should not stop myself from crying because sometimes that’s the best part of an award speech. Second, If I ever have the honor of being nominated again, I’m going to write something in advance, because I am not as good an extemporaneous speaker as I would like to be. Thankfully, I had three chances to take the stage over the course of the evening, and by the last one, I think I finally said something half-way coherent.
And here is a (very flattering) picture of me taking a picture of my Eisners, care of David Peterson.
I’m hugely proud of the teams on SOMETHING IS KILLING THE CHILDREN and THE NICE HOUSE ON THE LAKE, and it was a thrill to be able to message Werther and Alvaro the good news right as they were waking up on the other side of the world. I’m also hugely proud of my creative teams on the two nominated books that didn’t take home the trophy - WYND and THE DEPARTMENT OF TRUTH. I’m still so fucking honored and gratified to have my big four titles nominated in the same year. I also need to give a shout out to my amazing friend and mentor, Scott Snyder, who besides from being the person who brought me into this incredible night, helped rescue me from the bar afterwards to go outside and decompress a bit and recenter enough to enjoy the rest of the evening.
San Diego was the best kind of whirlwind. I’m glad I was able to operate mostly behind the scenes, taking meetings with very cool people and publishers to talk about my game plan for the next few years. The last few conventions I hit up have been collector-centric shows, and while I love the collectors, I hadn’t fully realized how much I’d missed just being fully a part of the comic book community. All the creators and publishers and folks from every corner of the business. I came home energized and excited about everything to come. I’m so fucking thrilled this is my life. I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
The last week has been really emotional for a lot of reasons. Last week I got notes on a very neat thing I’ve been working on for Hollywood, and got more of my ducks in the row for another amazing side-project in another medium that I’m partnering with some very cool people to bring to life. Yesterday I handed over the keys to an apartment I’ve lived in longer than any other. It's a season of big changes and culminations that feels very much like the ending of one big era, and the beginning of a new one.
There’s a lot of work to do, and I hope I’m up to the task. Anyways… Thank you for all of your support. I really couldn’t do any of this without you.
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So, last month I told you I was going to bang the drum about Year Two of Substack, and here is the start of that drum banging.
One week from tomorrow is the one year anniversary of the launch of my paid Substack. At the top of next week, I’m going to get into the nitty gritty with the final pitch to stay subscribed. My goal is to do a kind of end of year wrap-up with all my thoughts on what I feel has worked, what I feel hasn’t, and what I’m going to be doing differently over the next twelve months.
The biggest area of success in the last year is where I actually plan on making my biggest changes. THE ONION CLUB, the premier membership level of this Substack at $250/yr. It’s been an absolute thrill growing my ONION CLUB audience over the last year. But there’s been some headaches, too. Having to reach out to collect all of your addresses, not being able to differentiate international and domestic shipping costs, and dealing with small but persistent dropped emails through the private mailing feature (to the point that some folks miss out on our limited offerings through ShopTinyOnion.com).
But there are two bigger reasons I want to shake things up right now.
ONE: As it stands, we are fast approaching 1000 members of The Onion Club. Once we pass the 1000 member threshold - aka the minimum variant cover order at the majority of my publishers - the Gold Foil Onion Club variants will lose their exclusivity. I want these covers to be something really special for members, and I don’t want to have to crack the 1000 mark on any of my 2022 Onion Club Covers (or any of my 2023 covers for that matter).
TWO: A good 40% of Onion Club members signed up at the premium Founder’s Tier level to my Substack during the first week of launch. That means all paid subscribers are about to get emails letting you know that your subscription is up for renewal. I expect a handful of folks to make the decision to hop off. But I wanted to give those folks a reason to stick around.
I am announcing today that I am going to be closing the Onion Club to new members for the rest of the year. The shut-off valve will come EITHER on August 15th OR when I hit 1000 paid members as marked here on Substack.
This is your LAST CHANCE to get the last 2022 Onion Club gold foil covers, including this month’s WYND cover, AND one last SIKTC cover to round out the year in November.
This is also a chance to get a jump on 2023.
Those of you who join the Onion Club right now - OR those of you who decide renew your Onion Club subscription - are going to be grandfathered into the 2023 iteration of the Onion Club at the preferred current rate of $250 with shipping costs included in membership regardless of where you live (Onion Club 2023 will require members to pay shipping, particularly international members). Onion Club 2023 will once again feature Six Exclusive Gold Foil covers, each limited one per membership, released over the course of the year. Most importantly, Onion Club 2023 will have a limited number of membership openings, and when they sell out you won’t be able to sign up again until we open membership for 2024.
The full shape of the Onion Club 2023 membership will be unveiled later in the year, closer to the holidays, after we unveil the last Onion Club 2022 Gold Foil Variant in November. Those of you who joined the Onion Club after August 15th who decide to stick with their subscription will automatically renew at the standard annual paid rate of $75, and will have to wait a couple of months until we announce how you can sign up for 2023 (But don’t worry! As I announced at the end of 2021, all Onion Club members who signed up before January 1st of this year would be eligible for all six 2022 covers, even if they don’t renew - You’ll still get that final SIKTC cover!).
If you’re a current member who wants to stick around, log-in to your account on the Substack page, and make sure your payment information is up to date. If you’ve been on the fence but don’t want to to miss your shot… Hit the subscribe button below.
Anyways, let’s get on with the show.
We’ve got an Onion Drop coming this Wednesday, highlighting this month’s big number one, the start of WYND: THE THRONE IN THE SKY. On Friday, we’ll be dropping the next issue of THE ODDLY PEDESTRIAN LIFE OF CHRISTOPHER CHAOS. Later this month, we’ve got more DEPARTMENT OF TRUTH: WILD FICTIONS, and TRUE WEIRD coming your way…
This month will also see the launch of BLUE BOOK: SEASON TWO by me and Michael Avon Oeming. I can’t wait for you all to see the amazing pages we’ve got in store for you. But FIRST, let’s walk you through everything you can find from team Tiny Onion coming out in comic shops this August!
DC VS. VAMPIRES #8
Writers: James Tynion IV and Matthew Rosenberg / Art: Otto Schmidt / Cover: Guillem March / E: Ben Abernathy & Dave Wielgosz / P: DC Comics
THE BATTLE FOR EARTH CONTINUES IN THIS BLOODTHIRSTY SERIES! The surviving heroes put their various plans in motion in their last attempt to save humanity! The Birds of Prey are out for blood and head back into the heart of the vampire kingdom: Gotham City! Supergirl must cross a vampire-infested ocean and Green Arrow’s mission is…just too horrifying to mention!
THE CLOSET #3
W: James Tynion IV / A + Cover A: Gavin Fullerton / C: Chris O’Hallaran / L: Tom Napolitano / D: Dylan Todd / Cover B: Martin Simmonds / Cover C: Tonči Zonjić / E: Greg Lockard / P: Image Comics
The tale of existential familial horror by JAMES TYNION IV (THE DEPARTMENT OF TRUTH, RAZORBLADES) & GAVIN FULLERTON (BOG BODIES, Bags) concludes here!
The cross-country move continues to torment both father and son, who just wanted to leave past hauntings behind them. Might they still find escape on the West Coast?
THE SANDMAN UNIVERSE: NIGHTMARE COUNTRY #5
W: James Tynion IV / A: Lisandro Estherren & Aaron Campbell / C: Patricio Delpeche & Jordie Bellaire / L: Simon Bowland / Main Cover: Reiko Murakami / Variant Cover: Aaron Campbell / E: Andrea Shea & Chris Conroy / P: DC Comics
When Madison Flynn first crossed paths with the Corinthian and saw his true nature, she reacted with astonishment and wonder, not fear. Across all his lifetimes, she was one of the only living things to ever see him that way. And now she will learn what a terrible mistake that was.
WYND: THE THRONE IN THE SKY #1
W: James Tynion IV / A + Main Cover: Michael Dialynas / L: AndWorld Design / E: Eric Harburn & Ramiro Portnoy / P: Boom! Studios
The WYND saga continues in this epic new volume from Eisner Award winner James Tynion IV (Batman, Something is Killing the Children) and artist Michael Dialynas (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles), the GLAAD Award-winning creative team behind The Woods.
The land of Esseriel has grown darker and more dangerous, as tensions between the human and faerie realms threaten to erupt into all-out war.
Could Wynd be the only hope for peace? And what will his destiny be if he truly is one of the legendary WINGED ONES?
Prepare to embark on an extraordinary fantasy adventure, and discover a world of mysterious legends, ancient prophecies, and the brave heroes at the center of it all!
DEPARTMENT OF TRUTH #20
W: James Tynion IV / A + Cover A: Martin Simmonds / L: Aditya Bidikar / D: Dylan Todd / E: Steve Foxe / P: Image Comics
Cole Turner has come face to face with many horrors since enlisting with the Department of Truth. But as he learns more and more about the long-simmering war between the DoT and the Ministry of Lies, he must grapple with the greatest horror of all: that he may have pledged allegiance to the wrong side.
HOUSE OF SLAUGHTER #8
W: James Tynion IV & Sam Johns / A: Werther Dell’Edra & Letizia Cadonici / C: Francesco Segala / L: AndWorld Design / Main Cover Rafael Albuquerque / E: Eric Harburn & Ramiro Portnoy / P: Boom! Studios
The SCARLET arc of House of Slaughter continues as Edwin's search for a legendary monster goes horribly amiss.
Adrift on Lake Michigan, can Edwin survive with only the torn pages of his journal as makeshift S.O.S. notes? And what memories of his past cases will surface as he clings to life?
Okay folks, I managed to survive SDCC without getting Covid. Let’s see how the next few rounds go. I will say, while Covid transmission is up, I will be playing it very safe at these next few conventions, and will be refraining from handshakes, and will be diligently masking. I’ve got a lot going on this fall, and really can’t afford to be knocked out of commission.
BUT as things stand, here’s where you can find me between now and the end of the year:
FanExpo Canada - Toronto, ON - August 25-28
Amazing Comic Con - Las Vegas, NV - September 16-18
New York Comic Con - New York, NY - October 6-9
Madrid Comic Pop Up - Madrid, SPAIN - November 4-6
I have a few more International conventions on my plate that I’m waiting for the go-ahead to announce.
I had the pleasure of reading FOLLOW ME DOWN, the upcoming RECKLESS volume by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips. When I finished it, I emailed Ed “Fuck. This is the best one yet.” The entire third act surprised me so much, that I keep thinking back to it over and over. Sometimes you have a week where you really need to read a really good comic that you’ve never read before, and Ed sent this over at the absolute perfect time. I love the format of the Reckless series, I love the characters and the world, and I am constantly mystified by how effortless the whole team makes these books work.
I made the decision to check out the first episode of PAPER GIRLS when it dropped early on Thursday, and by end of the next day, I’d watched it all. Now, I deeply love the comic book, so you can take me as biased, but honestly, I usually walk away from comic adaptations with a bit of a shrug. This had me hooked. It got me choked up in all the right parts. I appreciated that it didn’t shy away from the sharper edges of the comic. Mac was perfect, embodying a bit of T2 John Connor (in a good way). It did what I think the show needed to do more than anything, which is make me sit back and think about how I’d feel talking to my twelve year old self, and how he would feel talking to me. Go check it out.
I very much enjoyed seeing NOPE in theaters. I appreciate that Jordan Peele is continuing to push himself, and play with the form. It’s important to test where the boundaries of your voice are in your chosen medium. I’m glad some of the criticism of US didn’t make him try to fit the mold too directly, I’d rather messy interesting films you can chew on, than straightforward films that you forget a half hour you walk out of the theater. Horror in particular needs to break the mold to stay frightening. I’m interested to see where these explorations take him next.
MOTHER COUNTRY RADICALS and SLOW BURN are very good podcasts that you should listen to. The former is about the history of the Weather Underground from the perspective of the son of two of their most prominent members, and the latter takes an anti-imperialist look at different 20th Century American Conflicts, and their histories. First season was Iraq, second season was Cuba, and third is about Korea. Really smart and enlightening stuff, unpacking histories from an angle you usually don’t get to see in American media. TO THAT END - Does anybody have any good podcasts to recommend? Preferred format is the 6-10 episode deep dive into a single subject.
I am so excited to watch THE SANDMAN next week on Netflix that I might actually explode.
OKAY, that’s enough from me this morning. Lots more to come this month. If you’re a member of THE ONION CLUB, check your inboxes at Noon ET for early access to this week’s Onion Drop.
James Tynion IV