Notes on Free Comic Book Day 2021 and other things that don't cost you money but also some things that definitely will

Howdy. First off, no, this isn’t about me announcing a paid subscription newsletter. Though believe me, I am wildly excited about the big, new opportunities this platform now provides and super happy for everybody who’s unveiled their amazing roll-outs this week, including creators like Skottie Young, Chip Zkarsky, Saladin Ahmed, James Tynion and Jonathan Hickman. You should definitely check out what all of those fine folks (and also Jonathan) are doing.

As for me, well like I wrote last time we were here, the transition from an old world to a shiny new one continues, in so very many ways. I am beyond excited about these new avenues for funding projects and building community through a newsletter such as this one, even as I continue doing things here just as we’ve been doing them, for now at least. Much of that newness for me is already primed to set sail and will soon enough. Other parts will fall into place before too long. Sorry to have to be coy or vague, but just know it’s a very busy and very exciting goddamn time for me. And as always I greatly and humbly appreciate you choosing to come along for the ride. I will work to make it worth your time. If by “work” you mean keep writing fucked-up stories until I die.

Where’s the Damn Free Stuff?!

Well, technically, this all still qualifies as free stuff. But mostly I wanted to encourage you to visit your local comic book shop this Saturday, if you can do so safely, to pick up some free goodies for Free Comic Book Day and hopefully also throw some actual dollars the way of your local retailer. Free Comic Book Day was one of the very many things we lost out on last year, and it’s always such a big day for comic shops (Third Eye Comics in Annapolis usually has people camping out in the parking lot the night before), so if while picking up your free shit you can also spend some cold, hard American bucks or even whatever they use for money in Canada (beads? I’m gonna go with beads), please do so and know you have my gratitude.

And in terms of those free comics, I suggest you get there early enough to grab a copy of the AVENGERS/HULK Free Comic Book Day offering from Marvel, featuring this eye-smashingly lovely Ryan Ottley cover.

In addition to giving you the first glimpse of the new HULK series from Donny Cates and Ryan Ottley, you also get an AVENGERS story I’m really excited about, featuring some stellar art by Iban Coello and colors by Brian Reber. Here’s a little preview to wet your eyeballs’ appetite.

Is that Deathlok? Does Wolverine have spikes for eyes? Is everything I write contractually required to feature some kinda shark? These are all questions that will be answered free of charge by this story, as it also likely raises several more big questions, especially with its incredibly killer last couple pages.

I’ve talked in previous Missives about how important HEROES REBORN was for me, as a return to joy in several ways. And next time we’re here, I’d like to talk a bit about the current AVENGERS arc, “World War She-Hulk,” and what it means to me, in addition to being a full-throttled, globetrotting action and espionage arc, featuring Javier Garrón’s best work yet on the series. This AVENGERS Free Comic Book Day story is not just the lead-in to this fall’s gargantuan-sized AVENGERS #50/750 (the biggest single issue comic I’ve ever written in my life). It’s also the beginning of the next big stage in the overall evolution, and in some sense maybe even the crescendo, of not just my AVENGERS run, but of everything I’ve been doing at Marvel for the last 16 years.

All that and it’s free!

This New Interview is Also Totally Free!

I’m not appearing in person anywhere this year for Free Comic Book Day (and I actually don’t have any appearances scheduled for the rest of 2021), so instead I did this interview with the lovely folks from the previously-mentioned comic-store-so-good-people-camp-out-in-their-parking-lot, Third Eyes Comics in Annapolis, Maryland. Watch if you’d like to see me and my beard in our natural environment, wearing a Disney Polynesian shirt, Miyazaki socks and surrounded by comic books and candy.

This Other Thing Will Cost You Money! And Also Probably Your Soul!

One of the darkest and probably most strangely personal books I’ve ever written is the brutal cavemen crime story retelling of the Book of Genesis that I’ve been doing for a few years now called THE GODDAMNED, the second volume of which was just released and is now available in a signed edition from my online store.

It’s about a world of sharpened rocks and pointy sticks and axes made of animal bones, a world of secret nunneries and dark unions atop the mount of the Lord and a couple of runaway brides willing to climb through the thorns to escape their dreaded wedding day, a world on the verge of a very large rainstorm.

To say this comic is exquisitely drawn is a goddamn understatement. Artist rmGuera and colorist Giulia Brusco absolutely outdid themselves on this story. And like a burning bush that speaks with the voice of a vengeful deity, it must truly be seen to be believed.

So yeah, go buy it here unless you’re I don’t know scared of burning in hell or something. And if you’re feeling particularly bold and heathenish, request in the notes during checkout that you’d like your edition “extra blasphemous, please” and while signing I’ll also quote some of my favorite little-known definitley-not-completely-made-up-by-me Bible verses that surprisingly proved too weird or offensive to make the Holy Book’s final cut. Oh what a laugh we will have together someday in the lake of fire!

And if you haven’t read the first volume of THE GODDAMNED and you wanna buy both volumes together, then upon checkout use the limited-time, exclusive-to-this-newsletter coupon code GODDAMN ME for a special discount of, you guessed it, $6.66. Offer valid only if you purchase both volumes at once or while supplies and/or our immortal souls last.

This has been BEARD MISSIVES, direct from the irrevocably soul-damned face of Jason Aaron.

This week’s newsletter has been brought to you by Trader Joe’s Sweet and Spicy Pickle Chips and Onions, Rum Runner honey rum steak marinade, skull-shaped ice cubes of coconut milk added to my cocktails, Brach’s Bello Candy Corn with banana, blue raspberry and vanilla flavors (praise all the gods, the candy corn season has begun!) and the Planta app that has turned me from a dude who couldn’t keep any sort of plant alive for more than five minutes to a comic writing Tarzan whose office now looks like the fucking rain forest.

Be safe, be loved, be seeing you, friends.

Jason Aaron

KC, August 13, 2021

P.S. Thank you so much for the many kind and considerate responses to my last Missive. As always, you can reply to this email with any thoughts or questions you might want answered in a future newsletter. Or you can post in the comments for any Missive right here.

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