HELLO, OTHER HUMAN PERSON!

Jason Aaron's Beard Missives Newsletter #8. Like a hug. (Remember those?) Only (probably) less infectious.

Where have we been? And where are we going?

I’ve been thinking about those questions a lot lately. For lots of different reasons. Some deeply personal. Some professional. Some just in terms of dealing with the ever-worsening prolapsed rectum that our beloved country has become.

We are all living through a deeply transformative period, whether any of us like it or not. Some days, I can’t muster much in the way of words about all that. Maybe even less mustering than usual. Talking has never exactly been my preferred vocation. Unless it revolves around football or maybe Patrick Swayze movies. Generally, I’d much prefer to let my writing speak for itself. A deep-seeded conviction I believe I developed around the age of 9.

But sometimes talking helps. Helps me. Maybe helps someone else out there too. So in that spirit, I’ve dusted off my rusty conversationalizing skills and appeared on a few podcasts lately. I’ll link to them below for your listening pleasure. I still sometimes tweet in seemingly random fits and starts. And I fire off this newsletter on occasion, invading your inbox with my shifty-eyed mumbles, which in the midst of our new world of health-conscious, hug-free isolation, does manage to feel like a form of direct connection with humans who are important to me, which is always gratifying and appreciated. So thank you for allowing that, you human person who I cherish, even if I’ve never seen your face in front of mine.

Other than all that, I’m just over here working and living. And feeling genuinely, truly excited about where both avenues are headed. Even though there’s a whole fuckload of work to be done to get there. Some of the hardest work I’ve ever had to do. And that’s assuming the world won’t be a wasteland by the end of the year. Which is maybe an optimistic assumption.

But working and living, for me, are also very much intertwined. A few years ago, I fucked up my back pretty bad and was laid up, high on pain meds for a while, and I didn’t write a word of anything for more than a month. Probably the first month since I was 9 when that had happened. And it felt like I’d forgotten how to breathe. Like some fundamental part of me had broken down. Losing that ability to write seemed somehow even worse than not being able to stand up without feeling like my back was on fire.

These days, it just feels good to breathe again. And thankfully and goddamned blessedly, I’m over here trying to keep breathing like a motherfucker.

THE GODDAMNED: THE VIRGIN BRIDES #3 is in comic stores today, featuring more jaw(bone-of-an-ass)-dropping artwork from the great Serbian ink-slinging wizard r.m.Guéra and his long-time partner in comic book crime, Italian color master Giulia Brusco. In terms of questions of “where we’ve been,” well here’s a goddamn whole series that continues to explore that very question, in a stark and brutal Biblical landscape, as seen through the funhouse mirror of caveman adventures, spaghetti westerns and nunsploitation films.

As far as “where we’re going,” there’s my space-faring, sci fi series SEA OF STARS, the second arc of which just kicked off. Issue #6 is in stores now, and #7 will be along next week. It’s the story of an estranged father and son who get violently separated in the deep wilds of outer space and embark on two very different kinds of adventures, alongside talking space animals and mysterious space natives searching for their missing god and a giant, monstrous, moon-eating leviathan. It’s basically more fun than a barrel of rabid space sharks, and it comes to you courtesy of my co-writer Dennis “Hopeless” Hallum, the amazing art team of Stephen Green and Rico Renzi and venerated letterer and designer Jared Fletcher.

THE GODDAMNED and SEA OF STARS. Two very different series. Both unlike most everything else I’ve ever done. Both works I’m quite intensely proud of. And if you haven’t checked them out yet, this is me officially encouraging and incentivizing you to do so.

SPECIAL GODDAMNED/STARTASTIC SALE!

A few weeks ago, I ran a special promotion for THE GODDAMNED where I threw in a free copy of THE VIRGIN BRIDES #1 with every purchase of the volume 1 trade or hardcover. And you folks fully cleaned me out of hardcovers, so thanks for that. More are on the way. But for now, let me keep that offer going, and also extend it to SEA OF STARS. So if you order THE GODDAMNED volume 1 trade (which also comes in a variant cover edition) you’ll still get a free signed copy of THE VIRGIN BRIDES #1, and if you order the SEA OF STARS volume 1 trade, I’ll toss in a free signed copy of SEA OF STARS #6. Order both, and well, I’ll probably toss in something else entirely for free, along with my undying love and appreciation. And probably a stray beard hair or two.

Other Human Business

Press has kicked off for the upcoming “Enter the Phoenix” arc in AVENGERS, the fiery follow-up to “The Age of Khonshu,” that sees everybody’s favorite, planet-burning cosmic firebird make its return to earth, searching for a new avatar. What follows is the biggest, craziest tournmanet you’ve ever seen, featuring some of the most powerful heroes and villains of the Marvel Universe. Think Bloodsport. If you set it on fire. More official info here. The gorgeous cover to AVENGERS #40 is by the great Leinil Yu.

Certified Norwegian badass Torunn Grønbekk and I have been working away on more JANE FOSTER: VALKYRIE stories. Stay tuned to know when and where those will be winging your way.

I’m just about set to start work on KING CONAN, which was teased at the end of my CONAN THE BARBARIAN run. I’m wildly excited to hang out with my old pal Cimmerian pal again.

I also just created a new work folder and an epically long outline for a secret new project. It’s one of those that goes on the list of things I definitely feel like I was born to write, and that I’m getting the chance to bring to life at exactly the right time. Sorry to be a tease. But damn, I’m just excited about this motherfucker.

See, I’m so excited I’m like, out talking to people and stuff. Here are those previously mentioned podcast appearances.

ComicPOP

UAB Green and Told

That last one is a podcast devoted to telling the stories of alumni from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Yes, I went to college. I may have taken a bit of a… long and winding path, sure, but I swear I’ve got an actual diploma around here somewhere, underneath all the comics and Godzilla movies and work-related toys.

This has been Beard Missives, direct from the college-educated face of Jason Aaron.

This week’s newsletter has been brought to you by far more than the recommended daily allowance of candy corn and by the new Tyler Childers song, “Long Violent History.” (Seriously, I keep listening to it over and over and it gives me chills every time. Good on ya, Tyler.)

Now, what would you get if you heard my opinion
Conjecturin' on matters that I ain't never dreamed
In all my born days as a white boy from Hickman
Based on the way that the world's been to mе?

It's called me belligеrent, it's took me for ignorant
But it ain't never once made me scared just to be.
Could you imagine just constantly worryin'
Kickin' and fightin', beggin' to breathe?

How many boys could they haul off this mountain
Shoot full of holes, cuffed and layin' in the streets
'Til we come into town in stark ravin' anger
Looking for answers and armed to the teeth?

Thanks as always for reading. Stay safe. Stay loved. Stay breathing.

Jason Aaron

KC, September 2020