TINY UPDATE 8/23: Dispatch From My Storage Locker
“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.
Okay, so I’ve officially fallen back in love with looking at the internet through an RSS reader.
I spent a chunk of my weekend outfitting Feedly with all of the news sources, newsletters, and other odds and ends I follow. For my first week off my main twitter account, I would still reflexively re-open my app a few times a day and have to will myself off. Now I’ve taken the Twitter app off my phone, and moved the Feedly app to its place. I have something I can scroll through and find fascinating shit while I stay up to date on the world. That’s going to be where I get my inputs online, when I want to look for inputs, and this newsletter is going to be my outlet, on top of my creative work. It feels like a good system, to me. The one thing I’ll need to get used to is not having a truly infinite scroll… You can reach the end of your RSS feed, it takes some time but you can do it… My hope is that I can train myself to put it away when I’ve worked my way to the bottom.
I’m also really happy with how Feedly aggregates different Substack feeds. If you’re overwhelmed by the number of comic Substack feeds in the wild, and miss them as they filter through the promotional tab of your inbox, I do recommend Feedly. Right now, I’ve been happiest by adding the feeds like they’re any other news site, rather than their more integrated newsletter option (still feel weird about creating dummy emails just for newsletter aggregation, but also maybe I am just lazy and making excuses). You can read the free Substack posts within the app, and you still get notified of the paid posts, you just need to click through to read those on the Substack website. But mostly I just wanted to make sure I wouldn’t miss those posts entirely.
I feel like unplugging from social media has already had a remarkable impact on my day-to-day anxiety. My workload has been having the opposite impact, though, so maybe ask me again in a few more weeks and we’ll see where my head is at. But while I definitely wish I could just pause time and get a few weeks further ahead, I do feel more focused and present already. My mind is getting the breathing room it needs to wander, and it’s already cooking up new ideas (much to my chagrin - I’ve got enough on my plate as it is!). I think come mid-September, the workload is going to level out a bit into something much more manageable. The two hardest parts of working on a comic is writing beginnings and endings, and my output has been entirely beginnings and ending lately. Once all of these machines are up and running, and I just need to keep them running steadily, I’ll be able to take fuller charge of my days.
As long as nobody convinces me to do something insane, like adding multiple newsletter posts a week to my work schedule. Or aggressively expand my merch operations. Wait, am I supposed to be hinting at that yet? Shhh. Keep that one between us.
BTW - If they haven’t, somebody should really put together a functional Comic Newsletter directory, not just aimed at Substack, but all Comics Newsletters! If somebody HAS done this, they should link it in the comments to this post.
I made a trip to my nightmarish storage locker this weekend, God help me. This was the preliminary trip where I was mostly trying to figure out how fucked I am by having agreed to give the day one subscribers free comic books. But now I have a plan of attack for digging through this madness, sorting it all, and finding the gems hidden inside all of these boxes. Also: This is a glimpse the locker with me having already removed about four large stacks of boxes out of the way in order to better appraise everything inside (Pray for my back). My hope is that this is the ugly before photo, and that I’ll be coming back to you next month with a beautiful after photo when I let you know that all of your comics will be shipping out soon.
And just to clear up how we’re going to handle all of this… In the next couple of weeks (Read: First half of September), the people who signed up for a paid subscription on Day One are going to receive an email form in which they’ll be able to fill out their shipping information. I will announce in the newsletter that those forms are out in the wild, and bang the drum as best as I can. I want everyone to get their books.
For my Founder’s Tier members (Which I really ought to come up with a better name for - but my brain keeps telling me to call it THE ONION CLUB, and you might prefer to be a “Founder” than be a member of THE ONION CLUB… But then again, what if I made up member cards? HMMMMMM), I thought I’d clear some things up as well. Anyone who signs up at the Founders Level, and pays the full $250 price tag for that level, will receive six exclusive Variant Covers over the course of the next twelve months, only offered to fully paid up members. These covers will not be made available in any other way. There’s a mechanism to pay less than $250 at the Founder’s Tier, but if you do so, you are not going to be eligible for the bonus covers. So, if you tried to be clever when you signed up, you might want to fix your subscription level to ensure you’re eligible to receive the covers. Founders will get their own address form to fill out emailed to them in September. Day One Founders will also get the Day One bonus comic.
We’ll announce the first Founder’s Tier cover next month, with a last push to sign up. If you sign up for the Founder’s Tier after the FOC of that first cover, then you’re only going to be guaranteed the five following covers. Some straggler Founders might get lucky if there are still a few copies hanging around. I also wanted to address International shipping. Right now, I’m including that as part of the cost of doing business, but I may decide after the first round of shipping that I need to specify that future Founders offerings are going to be only available to the United States, or that International Founders will need to pay an additional shipping fee. But the folks who sign up before I make that decision will be grandfathered in.
There will also be additional Tiny Onion exclusive covers that will be made available for purchase for subscribers of all levels, though paid subscribers are going to get the first bite of that particular apple (Founder’s Tier does not guarantee you any of these covers, only the extra-exclusive Founder’s Cover). If any copies are available after a few days of early access to paid subscribers, then the covers will go on sale to the general public, and announced in the next Tiny Update newsletter. But yeah, if you haven’t signed up yet, and you want some fancy variants, I recommend subscribing today!
Finally… We’re crossing our t’s and dotting our i’s on the last issue of the first volume of RAZORBLADES: THE HORROR MAGAZINE. So expect news on that in September as well. I’m particularly excited to show off one of the contributors we managed to get for this issue, which I’ve been dying to brag about for months now.
It’s my favorite week of the month! The week where you get TWO creator owned titles from me in your hands! Let’s take a quick peek.
THE DEPARTMENT OF TRUTH #12
W: James Tynion IV/A: Martin Simmonds/L: Aditya Bidikar/E: Steve Foxe/P: Image Comics
Hawk Harrison has a secret, and that secret is why he’s had his eyes on Cole Turner from the moment he joined the Department of Truth. This issue brings the larger mytharc of the series back into sight, and starts to pull together what this arc is really about. This issue is important for another reason that I just wanted to call out here. Back when we launched The Department of Truth, I promised retailers that if they supported the book, we would keep it on the stands monthly for at least the first year. And it might have nearly killed us (“us” is a good way to spell “Martin,” don’t you think?), but I’m very happy that we lived up to that promise. We’re going to afford ourselves a little more breathing room moving forward (taking a rest month between arcs, and a longer fill-in arc between #13 and Martin’s next issue #18), but keeping DOT on the stands regularly is incredibly important to us.
SOMETHING IS KILLING THE CHILDREN #19
W: James Tynion IV/A: Werther Dell’Edera/C:Miquel Muerto/L: Andworld Design/ E: Eric Harburn, Ramiro Portnoy, Jonathan Manning/P: BOOM! Studios
Things get heady in this issue, as ERICA SLAUGHTER undergoes the dangerous initiation into the Order of St. George, and comes face to face with the traumatic memory of her parents’ murder, and how she nearly killed a monster on her own before Jessica came and rescued her. This is the penultimate issue of this flashback arc, and Werther is putting the final touches on the last issue now… Then we can turn our eyes to THE HOUSE OF SLAUGHTER in October, and the continuing present day stories of Erica Slaughter in SOMETHING IS KILLING THE CHILDREN early next year. Lots more SIKTC news to come… Stay tuned.
Okay, time to talk publicly about a few very special upcoming events. I am going to be signing in LOS ANGELES and in PORTLAND, OR in the next few weeks, in two different locations of the incredible, incredible store THINGS FROM ANOTHER WORLD.
After that, I am still scheduled to attend Dallas FanExpo on September 17-19, but am keeping a very close eye on how everything is developing Covid-wise. I’ll have more details on that front very soon.
Sam and I watched A VERY ENGLISH SCANDAL over the weekend, which I should have known I would have liked as much as I did. Ben Whishaw was particularly excellent, as he always is, and I do love getting my UK History via well-acted docudramas.
I’ve ordered myself a copy of the perfectly titled “DID YOU HEAR WHAT EDDIE GEIN DONE?” by Harold Schachter and Eric Powell, and have been frantically checking the mailbox in anticipation. Growing up in Milwaukee, WI, and going to high school literally ten blocks away from the house Jeffrey Dahmer committed his murders in, means I’ve always had a deep fascination with Wisconsin’s dark history with Serial Killers. So, it feels like this one is tailor made for me, and it couldn’t have come out at a better time, since I’m gearing up to write the first script in a project that touches on my fascinations there.
I shouted this out last week, but I want to dedicate some space in this newsletter to my pals Matt Rosenberg and Tyler Boss, who are launching a new Image Comics series this November called WHAT’S THE FURTHEST PLACE FROM HERE?, with a deluxe edition that includes an original 7” LP. I’ve read the book, and it’s really fucking good, and I really want one of those records for myself… Don’t miss out on it. Tell your LCS you want a copy today, and if you want that LP, specify that you want the Deluxe Edition.
Okay, that’s it for today. We’ll be in your inboxes Wednesday with the latest THINKING BAT THOUGHTS, and on FRIDAY with more behind the scenes information about BLUE BOOK.
A final shout out to the TinyOnionStudios.com webstore! There you can find merch from DEPARTMENT OF TRUTH, SOMETHING IS KILLING THE CHILDREN, and RAZORBLADES: THE HORROR MAGAZINE. You should go buy lots of cool stuff there right now.
I also think it’s worth flagging that I will probably be closing down the Tiny Onion store on Threadless soon in favor of more focused offerings through my own web store… So if you’ve had your eye on one of the designs there, you should make that purchase pretty quick. I think we’ll have better offerings to you soon, but in case you wanted the DOT logo stamped on a mug or something, this is the time to order it before the option goes away.
And a final reminder to follow @ReadTinyOnion on Twitter!
James Tynion IV