Today, Monday, October 17, is FOC for my new original series, ONCE UPON A TIME AT THE END OF THE WORLD. That means it’s the last day for retailers to adjust their orders and thus for readers to insure their local comic shop reserves them a copy. So I’m here to encourage you to do exactly that, with a plethora of gorgeous art and a bit of a personal note.
I see this as an ambitious series, creatively, in that the story stretches across the lives of our two main characters from childhood to adulthood to old age, with a different art team handling each time period. So that makes the series as a whole a bit difficult to talk about in a way that I think fully captures the scope and the range of tones and the overall intent of the series.
The first arc is about two children. But it’s most assuredly not a children’s story. I try to make that obvious rather quickly as things get started. It’s also a story about the sexual and emotional lives of two married adults trying to build a brave new world from the wreckage of the old. And it’s the story of two tired and scarred old souls moving on from ruin and trying to do what’s best for the sake of the world to come.
This is a story that’s been kicking around in my head for several years now, in one form or another, and it’s morphed a lot over the course of that time. It finally came together these last few years, as we all faced our own time of ruin and hardship, all of us isolated in our own corner of a plague-stricken planet.
I’m one of a skyrocketing number of people to go through a divorce during the pandemic. Which of course can be a traumatic experience for you and your family in even the best of times. In the midst of a worldwide period of sickness and fear and forced seclusion, it is a profoundly surreal and transformative experience that I think I’ll be processing for a long time to come.
I expect I’m not alone in saying that I’m still trying to figure out how to fully emerge from the cocoon of those years, and to understand how this strange, new version of me views his relationships and his work through a whole new prism. His priorities and his goals. His own damn self.
One of the first things I knew for certain was that I wanted to write this story. A love story at the end of time. With two characters I hope you’ll fall in love with just like I have and want to follow them through their challenges and surprises, their joy and pain, and ultimately, their quest to save the world.
This is a story of love in a time of ruin.
And of how we move on from devastation.
With, you know, some shits and giggles thrown in along the way, I swear.
I hope you’ll join us as that adventure through the end times gets set to begin.
And if you’re out there going through a divorce or heartbreak of your own, my love and sympathy go out to you. Along with a wish for better and happier times to come for all involved. I’ll see you on the other side of your cocoon, and we’ll toast to new beginnings.
ONCE UPON A TIME AT THE END OF THE WORLD #1 Cover Gallery
I’ll be doing a couple of store signings for ONCE UPON A TIME AT THE END OF THE WORLD #1. My first store signings since even before the before times, the long long ago.
First up, on the day of release, November 23, I’ll be at my local shop, Elite Comics in Overland Park, Kansas. That’s the only place you can pick up this exclusive variant of issue #1 by Erica Henderson.
More info about the Elite Comics signing.
And then on Saturday, December 3, I’ll be returning to Third Eye Comics in Annapolis, Maryland, one of the best comic stores around, where you can pick up their exclusive variant by Zu Orzu.
More info about the Third Eye signing.
Notes & Links & Things & Stuff
—Chip Zdarsky’s creative output these last few years has been staggeringly impressive, both in its sheer quantity and its unfailing high quality, seemingly no matter the company or genre. His newsletter is always a must-read as well, full of humor and heart, and in the latest edition he had some incredibly kind and generous words to say about ONCE UPON A TIME AT THE END OF THE WORLD #1:
But enough of my “whoa is me” shit!!! I may be burnt out on making comics, but I’m still in love with reading them! And I got to check out an advance copy of ONCE UPON A TIME AT THE END OF THE WORLD from Boom Studios and it’s magnificent. Most people, especially those who write for comic companies, recognize Jason Aaron as the best of us. He’s a poetic writer who nails all his emotional beats and can tell great stories both small and grand. And when he steps outside of places like Marvel, those stories get even better.
ONCE UPON A TIME is both small and grand, a post-apocalyptic story at the beginning of love. It’s lyrical and natural and beautiful, thanks to the lovely art by Alexandre Tefenkgi and Lee Loughridge, with support from the legendary Nick Dragotta and Rico Renzi. This is sweet and sad, fun and scary. A perfect issue one and you should let your retailer know to order one million of them. Do it!!!!
—Here are a few other early reviews of issue #1 from some folks you might know:
“Had the pleasure of reading this first issue, and it is FANTASTIC. Order at your shop before Monday’s deadline or settle for reprints.” —Gerry Duggan
"Nobody understands the storytelling power of raw emotion like Jason Aaron does." —Mark Waid
“Drew me in straight away, kept me reading to the end. A hearty recommendation for Once Upon A Time At The End of the World.” —Garth Ennis
—And before we go, here’s a sneak peek of the incomparable Peach Momoko’s variant cover for ONCE UPON A TIME AT THE END OF THE WORLD #2, coming in December.
—The full solicitations for all the new books by me that’ll be hitting stores in December can be found over at the News Feed on my website.
—Gorr made a brief appearance in Marvel Studios’ “Werewolf by Night,” now showing on Disney+, on a bit of wall painting clearly based on Esad Ribic’s art from THOR GOD OF THUNDER #5. No, I have no idea if this means anything other than a fun little cameo. It’s just good to see the old God Cusser still out there doing what he loves: screaming for the blood of deities.
This has been Beard Missives, direct from the the scarred but smiling face of Jason Aaron.
This week’s newsletter has been brought to you by the indispensable support of all the people who are most dear to me, who I’ll be loving and thanking for the rest of my days. And Fruit Brute cereal.
Thanks so much for reading.
KC, October 17, 2022
Things To Come
AVENGERS BY JASON AARON Hardcover Vol. 3 — October 18, 2022
AVENGERS #61 — October 19, 2022
AVENGERS FOREVER #10 — October 26, 2022
HEROES REBORN Omnibus — November 1, 2022
PUNISHER #7 — November 2, 2022
AVENGERS #62 — November 9, 2022
AVENGERS FOREVER #11 — November 23, 2022
ONCE UPON A TIME AT THE END OF THE WORLD #1 — November 23, 2022
AVENGERS ASSEMBLE ALPHA — November 30, 2022
BATMAN: JOKER’S ASYLUM trade — December 6, 2022
PUNISHER: THE KING OF KILLERS BOOK ONE trade — December 6, 2022
AVENGERS #63 — December 7, 2022
PUNISHER #8 — December 7, 2022
AVENGERS FOREVER #12 — December 21, 2022
ONCE UPON A TIME AT THE END OF THE WORLD #2 — December 28, 2022
AVENGERS: HISTORY’S MIGHTIEST HEROES trade — February 7, 2023
I have added it to my pull list. Just curious, is this an ongoing series or a limited series? I’m excited to check this out.
Just discovered the newsletter after it was mentioned on the Comix Collective interview and I’m so glad I did. I’m so excited for Once Upon a Time at the End of the World.