It’s Free Comic Book Day 2021 all of you Beautiful, Silly, but never Terrible people out there! In recognition of that, you can go over to IndyPlanet right now and grab a free digital download of our first issue right now! For Free! Did we mention it’s FREE?
Beautiful, Silly, & Terrible Things is pleased to announce that we will be heading back onto the comic con circuit with this weekend’s coming Atlanta Comic Convention! If you’re in or headed to the ATL this coming weekend, be sure to come by the table and see the team! More details to come later this week!
So, yeah, yesterday’s post wasn’t so much fun or good news, BUT today’s a new day, yes it is! While comic book production has been on a brief hiatus, the creative process has continued, and I’m very proud to share that I am one of twelve contributing writers to Devil’s Gulch: A Collaborative Horror Experience! Creating and publishing comic books has definitely enamored me with the collaborative process, and I’m honored and thrilled to have been one of the twelve collaborating writers for this novel!
It’s so difficult to convey tone right away in prose, so all I know to do is say it up front, there’s no snark in this post. I’m going to be fully sincere with you, because I think you deserve that and that’s about all I’ve got to go with at this time.
2020 has been epically hard for so many people. By this point, it’s becoming likely that those of you who are reading this know someone personally that has had COVID-19, and perhaps have had a loved one die from it. That’s just part of it, too. To be forthcoming, the very end of 2018 ushered in a tremendously difficult year for my family and me, so 2019 and 2020 both have been brutal at times. This is not to say there haven’t been good moments, but still … words fail.
I beg your indulgence and your grace. It’s been a while. Several months, in fact, have passed since the last time I posted anything here. I offer apologies, but I don’t know how much of that is going to change right away. The business I ran to pay the bills and to pay the wonderful artists with whom I have the privilege of working has floundered. It’s not utterly failed, but it has gotten to the point that I had to seek a supplemental job. In the market and the times we have endured and are currently in, I am eminently grateful for the job that I’ve had and continue to work. At the same time, it can be grueling work, especially emotionally.
All of this is to say that I haven’t been able to afford much in the way of production for the bulk of 2020, and even when that hasn’t been the case, finding the energy to create, or more particularly, to promote, that has been even more fleeting.
I have a friend and colleague whom I adore, personally and professionally, but will not specify because I believe it’s always best for a person to be able to share their own story. This creator is amazingly talented, far more so than I, and so I admire this person too. They have stepped away from a lot of their creative outlets, and largely it has been because this past year or so has just wrung the lifeforce out of them like so much used dishrags. In truth, it’s caused me to weep on occasion, the pain, the loss, the fear, and the anguish that so many people are feeling.
Why am I sharing this with you now? Again, indulgence and grace, please, and I know you’re offering it, so I thank you already.
I founded BSaTT in 2014. Our fifth issue was supposed to come out in late 2019 / early to mid-2020 to celebrate our five years of publishing. While we may not have put out a ton of books, I’m so proud of the fact that since 2014, we have put out at least one book every year, sometimes more. That’s changed, though, with 2020. With that financial stall, followed by some creative ones, too, our fifth issue, which is largely done, it just won’t be done in 2020. I had something else I wanted to put out and thought that could at least serve as a placeholder. To rush that, and by this time I don’t know that would even be possible, it would be a disservice to you, the readers, as well as to the talent who worked on it, and to the product, itself.
So, with a heavy heart, I’m officially announcing that 2020 will see no new product from Beautiful, Silly, & Terrible Things. Those of you who are followers and fans of our books, again I know that you will be understanding, and I appreciate that greatly. Mainly, I want to offer my apologies to all of the talent that has work already completed and waiting for publication, some of them done for nearly two years. I fear that I have let you down, and to any degree that I have, I am sincerely sorry.
This is not a swan song, however. We are still in production of our fifth issue of our flagship book! That other project I mentioned, it’s still happening too! And ground has already been broken on our second issues of both Trope and Johnny Bats, Vampire Dick! I’m hopeful that circumstances will be such that several of these will see the light of 2021!
Know that amidst pandemics, economic collapses, convention failures, quashing efforts by privileged parties, cancer diagnoses, car wrecks, and deaths of loved ones, we keep creating. We keep making. We keep working.
Beautiful creators telling Silly stories in Terrible times
Even if we have to do it slowly.
This is who we are. Ride or die.
In the meantime, I encourage you all, take some of that grace and understanding that I can already feel coming from you, and give it to others too. And then give it to yourself as well. These are unprecedented times for most of us in our lifetimes.
Love, joy, and peace to each and every one of you!
Between a compromised immune system, allergies, asthma, and a wildly overprotective mom, I didn’t get out much as a kid. Not saying at all, just not much. Thus, along with a few other factors, I learned to appreciate solitude and an inner, more imaginary world. Comic books were probably my greatest escape. The New Teen Titans, All-Star Squadron, Defenders, Fantastic Four, Marvel Team-Up, and Marvel Two-in-One were particular favorite series at the time.
As I grew up, I learned, and begrudgingly accepted, that life cannot be exclusively about escape. As much as it appealed to me, hiding away wasn’t the solution, and I learned that lesson almost exclusively from the super-heroes I was reading in the comics. Spider-Man, especially, taught me that with great power must also come great responsibility; so said the Prophet Stan Lee.
Nonetheless, with our world being the way it is, sometimes, some days, I still need to withdraw, get away from all of the real-world horrible things. I recognize that, in and of itself, is a sign of privilege, because some people can’t take a day away from the shit show. For those of us who can, though, I ask: where do you turn? Fiction? Non-fiction? Poetry? What genre or medium? Where do you run when you’ve just had enough?
Hello to all of you Beautiful, Silly, but never Terrible fans out there!
Today we’d like to direct your attention to a brand new series with its first issue that dropped on comiXology today! It’s by our colleague and contributing cover artist for our upcoming Issue # 5, Isaac Bergmann! Here’s the cover to whet your appetite:
And here’s where you can get a digital copy for the low, low price of $0.99!: Click HERE!
Thanks for stopping by, and be sure to show Isaac some love!
Growing up in the 1970’s, starting out young, I would thrill to the old 1960’s Batman TV show. I’m pretty sure that Yvonne de Carlo’s Batgirl was my first ever TV crush, just barely before Lynda Carter showed up on Wonder Woman. Around that same time, though, mid to late 1970’s, I was (re)introduced to Batman in a wholly different way. An oversized collection titled “Batman’s Strangest Cases” that my parents bought for me brought stories like “The Demon of Gothos Mansion”, “A Vow from the Grave”, and “Red Water, Crimson Death”, amongst others, to my attention for the first time. I was astounded by the art, the stories, how dark it all was. They were scary and intense, and Batman was a badass! No puns, no quips, an amazing detective with off-the-chart physical capabilities. Those stories, while drawn by different artists, had one person in common: Denny O’Neil. I didn’t realize that until much later on, when I returned to comic books after a sabbatical of being “too grown up” for that sort of thing. That’s when I started paying attention to creators more than characters.
As I became more aware of creators, I found that Denny had been the one that had revolutionized Batman in many ways, steering him away from the camp and getting him back to the mystery man, world’s greatest detective, and dark roots of his creation. It was Denny O’Neil, also, who helped get Frank Miller brought on to DC, Frank Miller who would also re-revolutionize Batman with Year One and The Dark Knight Returns. Denny wasn’t just confined to Batman, though. He changed the comics industry forever with Green Lantern / Green Arrow, especially with Issue # 85 where Green Arrow’s sidekick Speedy was revealed to be a drug addict. Denny also created John Stewart, one of the greats of the Green Lantern Corps, the villain Ra’s al Ghul, his daughter Talia, and Jean-Paul Valley a/k/a Azrael, the man that would replace Bruce Wayne temporarily as Batman following the events of Knightfall, arguably the second most attended-to comics event of the 1990’s (after the Death of Superman, natch).
Still, you can find most all of that and more out in a Wikipedia entry. Here’s what really brings me here today. Just a few weeks ago, after concluding Tom King’s run on Batman, I asked a couple of comic-reading friends who they thought was the writer for the greatest Batman run of all time. Not just a story or even an arc, but who really had a crack at the Bat and made it his or her own. A few names were bandied about, but the first and the one ultimately agreed upon was Denny O’Neil.
Fast-backward, Baltimore Comic Con several years ago, I got the chance to meet Mr. O’Neil and get a few books signed. I, unintentionally, interrupted his lunch at his table. He was incredibly gracious and didn’t seem to mind at all. Amongst the books I got signed that day was his novelization of the aforementioned “Knightfall” story. It sits on my bookshelf, here, directly across from my office chair, and is one of my more prize possessions.
Denny O’Neil died a couple of days ago. On behalf of all of here at Beautiful, Silly, & Terrible Things, including myself, thank you Mr. O’Neil for sharing your vision, your creativity, and your amazing heart through your characters and stories, for being one of if not the best Batman writer of all time, and for being one of the truly nicest people I’ve ever had the privilege of meeting.
During this time, not just in the U.S., but in the world, we believe that it’s pivotal that voices are heard, voices aside from our own, voices of those who know what it’s like and who live with the pain, the damage, and the murders. With that in mind, we are asking you to please watch the following video: