Hi. I’ve been talking about this day for months, and now it’s finally here. No, I don’t mean Thanksgiving, though I am definitely a big fan of any holiday that revolves so heavily around carbs.
I’m talking about the day of release for ONCE UPON A TIME AT THE END OF THE WORLD #1, a story that’s been literally years in the making.
Last time we were here, I talked a bit about the personal nature of this story, how it came together during the dark days of the global pandemic, when the idea of writing a story of love in a time of ruin seemed particularly pertinent to me.
And now that story can finally make its way into your hands, as brought to life by the Eisner-winning team of artist Alexandre Tefenkgi and colorist Lee Loughridge, letterer AndWorld Design, cover artist Mike Del Mundo and the special epilogue team of artist Nick Dragotta and colorist Rico Renzi who give you a glimpse of where things are headed. Not to mention the awesome folks at BOOM! Studios, including the marketing team who put together the amazing photos sprinkled throughout this post, and the invaluable editorial team of Allyson Gronowitz and Executive Editor Sierra Hahn.
The epic journey through the end times begins today, and I very much hope you’ll join Maceo and Mezzy as they set out across the wasteland, falling in love with them as they’re falling in love with each other, despite all the forces of the ruined world that are looking to tear them apart.
Instead of just giving you more preview pages and covers and pull quotes from celebrated comic creators (which, yeah, all that stuff is here too), I wanted to also give you something you haven’t seen before, something exclusive for you fine folks reading this newsletter, as a final incentive.
So here now is the opening scene from my script for issue #1:
Pick up issue #1 to see how Alex and Lee brought that scene to life.
And while you’re reading, you can also listen to my personal Spotify playlist for the first arc, “Love in the Wasteland.”
I’ll probably keep adding to the list as we go, while also building playlists for Books Two and Three. And I’d love to hear any soundtrack suggestions that might pop into your head while you’re reading. Please add them in the comments for this post.
“I haven't read a comic so overflowing with charm, sadness, violence, terror, and madness since SAGA #1. I loved every single panel. This is your new favorite book, I promise. Please call, tweet, message, or pop in to your local comic shop today and tell them you need ONCE UPON A TIME AT THE END OF THE WORLD. Because you do. This is a book everyone needs.” —Matthew Rosenberg
End of the World Signing Tour
I’ve got a couple of signing appearances lined up the next couple weeks and will be looking to add more going forward, in connection with ONCE UPON A TIME AT THE END OF THE WORLD release dates.
Today, Wednesday, November 23, from 4-7 p.m., I’ll be at my local shop, Elite Comics in Overland Park, Kansas. They have a store exclusive variant of issue #1 by Erica Henderson and proceeds from the sales of all copies of ONCE UPON A TIME AT THE END OF THE WORLD will go toward their Children’s Mercy Toy Drive, which for years now has been buying thousands of dollars worth of Christmas toys for the kids at Children’s Mercy hospital in Kansas City. Great shop, great cause. Come say hi.
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 ONCE UPON A TIME AT THE END OF THE WORLD variant by Zu Orzu.
More info about the Third Eye signing.
If you’d like to see me at your local comic shop or convention, so we can celebrate the end times together, tell the owners to hit me up. My contact info is here.
“ONCE UPON A TIME AT THE END OF THE WORLD is a delight from a team of masterful storytellers. A love story set in a broken world that will somehow make you feel better about life. One of the best things I've read in years.” —Torunn Grønbekk
“I finally got time to read the PDF of ONCE UPON A TIME AT THE END OF THE WORLD, which is great stuff. A weird-post-apocalyptic romance with heart, brains and all the best organs (though occasionally distributed bloodily around the vicinity).” —Kieron Gillen
“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!!!!!” —Chip Zdarsky
Notes & Links & Things & Stuff
—Did a couple new interviews, mostly talking about the new book.
—The first review I’ve seen pop up for issue #1, from AIPT, calls ONCE UPON A TIME AT THE END OF THE WORLD #1 "a beautiful and disturbing vision of an Earth in the final years of mankind." Yeah, that sounds about right.
—And yeah, I’m still hanging around on Twitter, as much as I was ever hanging around before. I haven’t really been using Twitter as a vessel for broadcasting my thoughts for a while now. And I can’t say I’m looking to migrate to any of the newly discovered social media territories out there. So if you want my thoughts and ideas streamed directly into your face sockets, then congrats, you’re already in the only place where that’ll be happening. Welcome, you poor unfortunate souls. Welcome.
—In non-END OF THE WORLD news, you can also pick up AVENGERS FOREVER #11 in stores today, featuring this particularly striking Ghost Rider cover by Aaron Kuder. Get ready to meet the All-Rider. In our final chapter before the big kick-off of “Avengers Assemble.”
My Beard Recommends
Since last we spoke, I was able to pop down to Disney World for EPCOT’s annual Food and Wine Festival. Basically I spent a week with my partner indulging in an orgy of food and beverage consumption, while occasionally riding rides. Here now, compiled after hours of rigorous research, are My Beard’s Recommendations for the Five Best Bars in Disney World.
Honorable Mentions: Nomad Lounge, Animal Kingdom. Geyser Point Bar & Grill, Wilderness Lodge. La Cava del Tequila, EPCOT. Brown Derby Lounge, Hollywood Studios.
5. Pongu Pongu. The movie Avatar never did anything for me. But man oh man, do I love the Pandora land at Animal Kingdom. The scenery is mind-blowing, and Flight of Passage remains one of my favorite rides at any Disney park. And whenever I’ve finished flying with the banshees, I like to hit this Pandora drink stand for an alien cocktail full of rum and boba. Sivako!
4. Oga’s Cantina. The Star Wars bar in Galaxy’s Edge, at Hollywood Studios. This land overall completely blows me away. So incredibly immersive. The first time I went, I wandered around just staring at every intricate nook and cranny, mumbling “wow” like a nerd in nirvana. And Oga’s looks great and is always worth a visit, but I think the fact you’re most likely to be standing shoulder to shoulder with strangers instead of sitting down keeps it from ranking higher on my list.
3. Enchanted Rose Lounge. A Beauty and the Beast themed bar inside the Grand Floridian Resort. Elegant but inviting with some of the most stellar cocktails on property.
2. Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar. Love this place more and more every time I go. It’s an Indiana Jones themed bar in Disney Springs, though the Indy references are mostly rather subtle. Jock is the pilot from the opening of Raiders. You know, the one with the big snake in his plane. The bar takes you inside Jock’s cluttered old hangar, filled with trinkets from his globe-trotting adventures. Drinks are top notch and so’s the food. I recommend their charcuterie spread which comes atop a giant pretzel. And for an adult beverage, be sure to try the Cool-Headed Monkey, the next best thing to having chilled monkey brains for dessert.
1. Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto. If you’ve been reading this newsletter for long, I imagine you probably could’ve guessed my top pick. But even though I clearly have my tiki bar leanings, I don’t think you can argue against this tropical spot in the Polynesian Resort being the most fun cocktail experience in Disney World. For my most recent visit, the drinks were on point and so was the enthusiasm level of the servers and bartenders, which is always an important component given the various scenarios and enchantments that play out around the room whenever certain drinks are ordered. Put all that together and it makes Trader Sam’s impossible to beat when it comes to mixology, atmosphere and pure old-fashioned Disney magic.
This has been Beard Missives, direct from the thankful-as-fuck face of Jason Aaron.
This week’s newsletter has been brought to you by the Santa figurines already popping up around my house (I prefer Santas who look like they spend their off days fighting evil wizards) and a growing sense of anticipation as I count down the days until December when I can finally start cracking open my cheese advent calendar from Aldi and the rum advent calendar from Drinks By the Dram. ‘Tis the season for rum and cheese.
Happy holidays to you and yours. Thanks for reading. If you pick up ONCE UPON A TIME AT THE END OF THE WORLD this week, please let me know your thoughts down in the comments. Cheers.
KC, November 23, 2022
“My friend Jason Aaron let me read the first issue of his new book, ONCE UPON A TIME AT THE END OF THE WORLD, and I can't recommend that enough, either. Jason is one of my favorite writers, and this is one of his most personal stories, even though it takes place in the apocalypse (don't they all). Tell your retailer you want a copy. —Ed Brubaker
Things To Come
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 #64 — January 4, 2023
AVENGERS FOREVER #13 — January 18, 2023
PUNISHER #9 — January 18, 2023
ONCE UPON A TIME AT THE END OF THE WORLD #3 — January 25, 2023
AVENGERS #65 — February 1, 2023
AVENGERS: HISTORY’S MIGHTIEST HEROES trade — February 7, 2023
AVENGER FOREVER #14 — February 15, 2023
AVENGERS FOREVER Vol. 2 trade — February 21, 2023
ONCE UPON A TIME AT THE END OF THE WORLD #4 — February 22, 2023
“Had the pleasure of reading ONCE UPON A TIME AT THE END OF THE WORLD and it is FANTASTIC. Order at your shop or settle for reprints.” —Gerry Duggan
“If you, like me, are a sucker for romantic adventure stories, you’ll want to check out Jason Aaron and Alexandre Tefenkgi’s new book, ONCE UPON A TIME AT THE END OF THE WORLD.” —Fabio Moon
"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
So excited. Can’t wait to pick up my copy later in the week.
Already have #1 in my hands. Looking forward to reading it this evening.