The title of this blog post is the title of a recent review of Meth the Immortal Volume 1 on Goodreads. Here's the rest of it:
The book was amazing in a weird kind of way. I loved the concept of an immortal talking pig named Methuselah (Meth). And how a homeless boy and an archeologist is involved in the story. It was unique, intriguing, fast-paced and hilarious.
If you haven't had a chance to read Meth yet, volume 1 is a great way to go. Available in Kindle format on this website with hard copies on their way. If you can't wait, you can always order it on Amazon.com and Amazon.ca.
As a writer, sometimes you fall in love with a line, to the point where you'll sacrifice anything and everything to keep it, for better or worse--usually for worse. That was the case with issue 3 of Meth the Immortal. I had a great line that I didn't want to lose, but there was one problem: It required a panel that showed some topless women on a nude beach. I sell a lot of books in schools, so I knew it was a bit of a stretch, but I felt the context of the joke would actually get me under the wire, because it plays on different cultural sensibilities regarding female breasts and modesty in general. However, after showing it to my wife and daughter, they nixed it immediately. Thankfully, I was able to get Kierston to draw a PG version. I originally uploaded the NSFW version, so a handful of them got out into the wild, which means they may become collector's items one day. For the record, below is the NSFW version, followed by the PG version, which required a slight tweak to the dialogue as well as the image.
Just to give you an idea of what I'm up to on issue 3 of Meth the Immortal, here's a peek at p. 19 before lettering.
Now here's what it looks like after lettering is complete. Note that in panel 3, I also fixed an inconsistency in the moon phase with a well-placed dialogue balloon. It's fun to see the story come to life before my eyes like this.
Actually, it's more than begun. I'm about halfway through the third issue. It's a painstaking process, which involves constantly resizing and reshaping voice bubbles and captions, cutting dialogue that doesn't fit, choosing the correct font for various sound effects, sizing them and placing them on the page, and so on. It's a lot of work, but it's so much fun to see the story finally come together page by page. I'm on p. 17 of this whopping 32-page issue, so I have a ways to go, and right now I only have time to chip away at a couple of pages a day, but I will put in extra time on the weekend and (hopefully) get this off for a proof before the end of next week. It's been a long time coming, so I can't wait to finally get this issue out into the world.
Not only does this issue include 30 pages of story, as opposed to 24, I was inspired by some old comic book covers by Carmine Infantino to make the title part of the cover image. I just saw a peek at Kierston's progress on this, and I can't wait to share the finished cover. In the meantime, here is one of Infantino's covers to give you a sense of what I mean.
I just got another batch of pages back from my artist today. I'm hoping to release by the end of June. It's been a LONG time coming, but it'll be worth the wait. In the meantime, here's another sneak peek of a panel from p. 15.
I just returned from a two-week book tour of Saskatchewan, so I'm finally getting back up to speed. Lots of things on the go, including finishing up a new feature-length documentary, preparing another one, and writing book four of the Milligan Creek Series, The Great Grain Elevator Incident. However, in between all the work and travel, the pages of issue 3 of Meth: The Immortal are trickling out. Hoping to release it by March, which is later than planned, but at least it's on its way. Incidentally, I was also delayed by a couple of story and character breakthroughs that caused me to pause and do a lot of reimagining of my overall story and world, which continues to evolve in new and exciting ways in my mind. At any rate, here's a quick thumbnail progress shot from p. 15 of the new issue just to prove it's actually happening!
It's taken a lot longer than expected due to the film I'm working on right now as well the release of The Water War, my busy tour schedule, my work on book four in the Milligan Creek Series (The Great Grain Elevator Incident), and myriad other obligations and responsibilities. (It is ski season, you know.) At any rate, Kierston is hard at work on the artwork for issue three, which will be out in the first quarter of this year. Below is a sneak peak of a thumbnail sketch of a panel from p. 12. Expect adventure and mayhem on the high seas as well as a visit to my old stomping grounds, Mombasa, Kenya, where the mystery surrounding Meth's origin deepens far beyond anything he--or I, for that matter--ever suspected.
It's from Reading with a Flight Ring. A brief excerpt: "This is so much more than you’ll ever expect it to be. If you know who Methuselah is then there’s a clue for you. Seriously you really need to find this, order it and spread the word on how utterly delightful this is!" Read the full review here.
I've been hard at work on a documentary this summer so, unfortunately, work on Meth #3 and the third book in the Milligan Creek series, "The Water War," has been on hold. But that will change come September. Meanwhile, here is a review of Meth #2. A brief taste:
I love how Meth: The Immortal finds a good balance between silly jokes and a war-torn landscape. Politics aside, being subjected to a violent and unstable environment can have horrible side-effects and consequences. The characters in Meth: The Immortal have fun and humorous personalities which plays well against the dark backdrop.
Brief thoughts and updates on writing, publishing, and life