Your First Look at New SAGA!
SPECTATORS - Part 60
So, how are you feeling about the future?
Brian here, and like many writers (or at least the ones I hang out with), I’m a fairly anxious fuck, so a massive writers’ strike would normally be a recipe for fear and uncertainty… and yet, walking the picket line with my colleagues this past week, I’ve encountered nothing but resolve and unity.
You can read about the WGA’s modest goals and how far apart we unfortunately still are from our employers in this fairly even-handed article, but my biggest takeaway from talking with newer film/tv writers is how much more difficult it is for them to make a living than it was when I broke into the industry almost twenty years ago, despite the fact that studios are raking in billions more in profits than they were back then.
Anyway, the longer this strike goes on, the more we writers will keep walking and talking, which inevitably leads to planning… planning how to take care of each other and the rest of the creative community during this necessary work stoppage, but also planning how to protect and preserve this profession for the next generation, no matter what happens next.
If any of you Exploding Giraffe readers happen to be fellow members of the Guild (or even if you’re just sympathetic allies in the Los Angeles area), let me know in the comments, and maybe we can all meet up for a stroll outside a studio one of these mornings. I fear we’ll probably have many opportunities in the weeks and months to come.
For now, writing comics is thankfully not “struck” work, so I’m more grateful than ever to be able to continue working on the fully independent, 100% creator-owned Spectators with my endlessly supportive collaborators Niko Henrichon and Fonografiks.
As always, you can catch up on past installments of our serialized graphic novel for free over in the Archives, but this week, restless spirits Val and Sam continue to investigate their future, where the lone wolf responsible for setting off a nuclear device on American soil releases a posthumous manifesto of sorts…
A few days ago, Exploding Giraffe passed 15,000 subscribers, thanks in no small part to a generous plug from one of my favorite authors/humans Joe Hill, who recently joined the ranks of writers testing out the Substack waters.
Welcome to the party, pal.*
And if you’re a new reader who found us via Mister Hill, thanks for checking us out. Spectators remains free to read courtesy our generous paid subscribers in what we call The Tower, where members get access to all sorts of swell extras (including an added secret surprise after this week’s sneak peek at new Saga), but you know, no pressure.
*From the screenplay Die Hard, written by Jeb Stuart and Steven E. de Souza, based on the 1979 novel Nothing Lasts Forever by Roderick Thorp.
In past installments, I’ve mentioned my former college roommate and current dear friend/fellow WGA member Jeff Yorkes, and this Wednesday, a kick-ass new show he helped create is finally coming to Disney Plus:
Jeff, our mutual pal Adam F. Goldberg, and absolutely everyone involved in this production are all hardcore, lifelong Muppet devotees obsessed with capturing the anarchic, subversive spirit of Jim Henson, Frank Oz and their entire merry band.
Highly recommended for oddballs of all ages, so binge that first season the second it drops on May 10.
In last week’s chat thread with you lovely Tower members, we were discussing our favorite comics that we’ve read so far in 2023.
Reader Mike J. suggested:
Human Target by Tom King and Greg Smallwood, Junkyard Joe by Geoff Johns and Gary Frank, Kaya by Wes Craig, Eight Billion Genies by Charles Soule and Ryan Browne, pretty much everything by James Tynion (Something Is Killing the Children, Wynd, Nice House on the Lake).
What am I forgetting? I'm probably forgetting something...
Andrew Y. added:
Quick answer is Kate Beaton’s Ducks -- devastating in all the right ways.
I think technically this is late 2022 for me, but whatever -- also a big shout out to Good Boy! Magazine (issues #1 and #2), a very fun indie comics anthology also from Silver Sprocket. Big love to the freaks, queers, weirdos, and antifascists this May Day and always.
But only one commenter could be randomly selected by our intern Genesis the Exploded Giraffe to win this too-huge-to-selfie hardcover of Kevin Nowlan’s Marvel Heroes Artist’s Edition:
And that lucky so-and-so is Reena, who recommended:
My best graphic novel this year has been Carta Blanca, by Jordi Lafebre. I saw it in Fnac during my last trip to Spain, it was the last one left in the pile and a woman had been looking at it for a birthday present. She left it back in the pile and I had to snap it! It’s a love story but don’t let that put you off. The illustrations are beautiful!
Thanks for the gorgeous-looking rec, Reena, and congrats on your big win. Genesis will be in touch for your mailing address soon.
Speaking of our loyal commenters, longtime reader Bojack Norseman had a request for those of you who receive our dispatches in your email inboxes (as opposed to the Substack app):
Could you go back to having the main title be “Spectators - Part XX” and then the subtitle be the non-comics content, rather than the inverse?
I said that we might have to do a poll to see which version readers prefer, to which Norseman replied:
EXCUSE ME SIR, BUT I AM A TOWER MEMBER, DOES THIS NOT CONFER PRIVILEGE TO SET POLICY BY WHIM ALONE?!? ;)
To which I reply:
Vox Populi, etc.
Finally, at your friendly neighborhood comic-book shop this week, it’s Saga Chapter Sixty-four, courtesy artist/co-creator Fiona Staples, Spectators’ own Fonografiks on letters (not to mention logo/title page/letter column/cover design), and all of the many hard-working folks behind the scenes at Image Comics:
Along with the aforementioned secret announcement, Tower members will be getting an early first look at TWO PAGES from this upcoming issue after our Petrichor-protected paywall, where you’ll also have an exclusive opportunity to win your very own signed copy.
Everyone else, thanks so much for reading, and I’ll see you back here for more free Spectators next week.
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