Comics

Return of the Living Deadpool

Just announced at New York Comic Con, the sequel to Night of the Living Deadpool !

This time around, artist Nicole Virella and I will continue the story that ended with the world full of Deadpool zombies. Just how can the merc come back? Find out by pre-ordering the book from your local comic shop and check out the preview below.

 

Posted by cullenbunn on October 11, 2014  /   Posted in Comics

Brides of Helheim Second Printing

Following in the bloody footsteps of its predecessor, 2013’s brutally successful hit Helheim, the demand for Cullen Bunn, Joëlle Jones, and Nick Filardi’s BRIDES OF HELHEIM #1 has exhausted Diamond’s supplies, triggering an immediate reprint.

While there’s already much cause for celebration, Oni Press has decided to sweeten the mead even further by giving the second printing a variant cover by the acclaimed Shawn Crystal (Arkham Manor, Fantomex MAX) with colors by Dave McCaig!

The second printing variant will hit stores November 12, the same day as BRIDES OF HELHEIM #2, with a final order cutoff date of October 20 and the Diamond order code SEP141514. It is available to order NOW!helheim1 second print

Posted by cullenbunn on October 04, 2014  /   Posted in Comics

Foot in “Badmouth” Disease

A couple of days ago, I went to a local high school to talk to some students about breaking into comics. These kids were excited and positive and genuinely interested in learning how to be professional creators. I like doing that sort of thing because (as I’ve said before) when I was first trying to break in, I had no clue how to do so.

Yesterday, I thought it might be interesting to share some of the key points I made with aspiring creators on Twitter. The response was pretty positive, and I think a bunch of readers got a lot out of it. As an added bonus, Jim Zub introduced me to Storify, which is great, and he used it to create an overview of all the tweets that you can read here.

You’ll probably note one tweet, though, that might have you scratching your head:

twitter-post

Ah, that mis-type tastes a lot like my foot! To be clear, I’m not suggesting that you put on blinders when it comes to egregious behavior among creators. Bad behavior shouldn’t be ignored. If a creator does something awful… by all means say something. I’m not encouraging people to stick their head in the sand when faced with “comics folks gone bad.”

What I should have said was an aspiring creator shouldn’t badmouth another creator’s work, even if it’s terrible. And of particular importance is the difference between badmouthing and critiquing.

Let me give you some examples.

A couple of years ago, as I was walking into a panel room at NYCC, I noticed uber-talented artist Ryan Stegman talking to a HUGE guy in a Venom sweatshirt. Ryan saw me, smiled, and waved me over. “Cullen! Come here! This guy wants to tell you why he hates VENOM!” Thinking this guy was about to break me in half, I trundled over to take the tongue-lashing. Instead, the guy was polite and genuine and honest. He told me how he felt the supernatural elements I was adding cheapened the character and hurt the stories. He had thought these criticisms through, and he was a pro when it came to talking about his concerns. Whether I agreed with him or not, I enjoyed the conversation, and I thanked him for his feedback.

That was a critique.

Now compare to these comments (some are slightly paraphrased but still a pretty good representation of comments I’ve received).

“I wish someone would break your fingers so you couldn’t write.”

…or…

“You are the worst piece of shit that’s ever been shat!”

…or…

“God, you’re just terrible! I… I can’t even!”

…or…

“You don’t deserve Lobo!”

…or…

“You’re the worst writer since the last worst writer!”

Hear the distinction?

For some, the answer is no. They don’t see a difference between hate and genuine criticism. One of my favorite examples:

I received a tweet that read “How does it feel to have written the worst Deadpool story of all time?”

To which I replied, “You mean New York Times bestseller DEADPOOL KILLS THE MARVEL UNIVERSE?” (Okay, I might have been being a little snarky there, but it is what it is.)

The reply I got back, though, was, “What? You can’t take constructive criticism?”

Tell me, dear reader, where you see the constructive criticism in those quotes I just shared.

And, listen, I’m not even suggesting that haters shouldn’t hate. There’s no power in the ‘verse that could stop them anyhow. But haters aren’t critics. Their comments don’t help anyone (except maybe in helping them blow off steam and getting a chuckle when it’s particularly creative).

But here’s the difference!

If you are an aspiring creator, think carefully before you get your hate on. I get it. Trying to break in can be tough enough as it is. It can make you bitter. It can make you feel unappreciated. But if you want to be a comic book creator, suck it up. You have no business badmouthing (again, different from critiquing) other creators. It helps you not one bit, and it could hurt you.

Just this week, I got a message saying, essentially, “You are an idiot for what you did with Lobo. I can’t believe they would let you write this.” Not two hours later, I received a message from the same person, saying “Would you be interested in reading the comic I recently published?”

Two hours… two years… the answer is almost always gonna be no.

Let’s look at it through the lens of a hypothetical. Let’s say the guy in the example (we’ll call him Smitty) above was an artist. A couple of years from now, I get a call from an editor in regards to a book I’m working on. “Hey, Cullen! We have a possible artist for your book! He’s a relatively new guy, but have you heard of Smitty?”

I’m pretty sure you can guess how that plays out.

Now, if the big guy in the Venom shirt was an equally talented artist, and I received a similar call about him, my response might have been different, whether he liked my take on Venom or not.

And this isn’t about holding a grudge. It’s about me gauging who I might have a good working relationship with… who is a pro and who isn’t.

Writing comics professionally is fun and rewarding, but is a job. And as an aspiring creator, you should treat it as one. In my previous professional life, I worked for a company in the HR/employment industry. At that time, there was a statistic going around that 75% of potential employers look up a job candidates social media when considering them… and 75% of those employers eliminate candidates based on what they find! I dunno if I’m remembering it correctly, but it was a shocking figure, and I’d bet it’s grown now. So… if you were working in any other field, you might want to be careful what you say online. You certainly go on LinkedIn and start calling the president of the company you’re applying at an asshole. Well… you might… but not if you really want the job. Bottom line, if you badmouth a potential employer or even a co-worker (in any other field) your chances of being hired are considerably lessened. Why wouldn’t that be the same in comics?

In comics, networking is incredibly important! And the circles of people you network with are relatively small. And it’s competitive as Hell. If another creator tells me about someone who is being hateful, why would I ever want to bring that person into my social circle myself? If you’re an aspiring creator, why do something that has even a 5% chance of preventing you from reaching your goal?

Again, that’s badmouthing another writer’s work I’m talking about. Not critiquing.

I’m a busy guy. I don’t offer help to aspiring creators because I have to. I do it because I want to. I do it because I think there’s room in the industry for more talented folks. The advice I offer is just being drawn from my own personal experiences and insights. Everyone who breaks in has a different story to tell and probably has some different advice. Pick the kernels of truth that work for you and ignore the rest.

And let me stress again, I’m not asking anyone (established or otherwise) to ignore bad behavior and such. Say something. Promote positive counter-examples. Make a stand in whatever way makes you comfortable.

Be smart. Be professional. Do the work. Don’t be a dick.

That’s advice that I think works… in any industry.

And if you have no interest in creating comics, then sic ‘em! Badmouth away! Haters! Cut loose the hounds of Hell! Dance like there’s no tomorrow!

As my college geology professor Dr. Kovacs would say, “I love you all… and keep on trucking… my friends.”

Posted by cullenbunn on October 03, 2014  /   Posted in Comics, Process

Howling at the WOLF MOON!

You can currently pre-order WOLF MOON, my new horror series from Vertigo! What is WOLF MOON, you ask? Well, I recently spoke to Comic Book Resources to give you a low-down on the series!

Check out the interview here and then hurry to your local comic book store to pre-order it!

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Posted by cullenbunn on September 29, 2014  /   Posted in Comics

All right, you terrestrial screwheads! Listen up!

AoD_1_ShawDynamite Entertainment recently announced that I would be penning the new ARMY OF DARKNESS series featuring… Ash in Space!

That’s right! Ash has been all over the world. He’s jaunted through time over and over again. But now he’s really going out of this world.

Before anyone gets their fancypants in a bunch, let me say that I love ARMY OF DARKNESS… and while this may seem like a drastic departure, I believe I’m writing a story that is very true to the tone and spirit of the movie. Sure, it’s set in space, but that’s about the only thing you can expect from this story. The rest will be one helluva surprise.

The book is available for pre-order NOW so please let your local comic book retailer know that you want it!

From the Dynamite press release:

Dynamite Entertainment proudly announces that its flagship title and longest-running comic book series, Army of Darkness, will launch with a brand new #1 issue in December. Cullen Bunn, the celebrated writer of Deadpool, will take iconic horror hero Ash Williams somewhere he has never been before: outer space. Longtime franchise fans are invited to strap themselves in for the bold new direction, in a series featuring interior artwork by Army of Darkness staple Larry Watts, as well as cover artwork by industry heavyweights, including Gabriel Hardman, Tim Seeley, Art Adams, Walter Flanagan, and Jay Shaw.

Ash Williams, the hero of horror franchise Army of Darkness and reluctant “Chosen One” in the war against demons, has encountered so many strange happenings over hte years, but nothing could have prepared him for his latest misadventure. Catapulted into the depths of space, Ash must confront the Deadites in a place where no one can hear his screams… or his chainsaw… or his boomstick! What do the forces of the evil dead want with the International Space Station… and can our square-jawed protagonist prevent Armageddon?

“Ash is kind of the ultimate screwball knucklehead, and he really has no business being the ‘Chosen One’ in the battle against ultimate darkness. That’s what makes him such a compelling underdog,” says Bunn, whose new Army of Darkness series follows on the heels of his contribution to November’s Army of Darkness #1992.1 one-shot special. “With this new series, we’re taking the ‘fish out of water’ storyline to the next level, because not only is Ash fighting the Deadites, he’s doing so in the depths of space! With such a strange set-up, it might be easy to think that this is a big departure from what we’ve seen before, but my goal has been to make this ‘feel’ very much like it belongs in the same family as the source material, even though the setting is so vastly different.”

Cullen Bunn is a freelance writer perhaps best known for Marvel Comics’ popular Deadpool and Magneto series, as well as the Oni Press series The Damned and The Sixth Gun. He is also a short story writer and novelist; his major publications outside of the comic book sphere include Crooked Hills and Creeping Stones & Other Stories. He has been nominated for the Bram Stoker Award (2012), the Eisner Award (2012), and the Ghastly Awards (2011), and is the winner of Broken Frontier’s “Best Writer Independent” Award (2011).

Army of Darkness is a 1992 fantasy/comedy film with strong horror elements starring Bruce Campbell (Burn Notice) and Embeth Davidtz, the third installment in a trilogy featuring reluctant hero Ash Williams. Directed by Sam Raimi (Spider-Man), the film saw its tough-as-nails, wise-cracking protagonist transported from the modern era to the Dark Ages in his continuing war against demonic evil. Army of Darkness generated a dedicated fan following for its premise and lead actor.

“Cullen Bunn has been tearing up the comic book universe with his work on Deadpool — an offbeat, unpredictable explosion of mirth and mayhem — and it’s just that sort of frenetic storytelling that makes Cullen the perfect fit for the Army of Darkness world,” says Nick Barrucci, Dynamite CEO and Publisher. “Larry Watts is the icing on the cake, because his comic and horror sensibilities are just right to bring Cullen’s script to life. We’re taking Ash to the stars on his biggest adventure yet, and you’ll never believe what happens next.”

Army of Darkness #1 will be solicited in Diamond Comic Distributors’ October Previews catalog, the premiere source of merchandise for the comic book specialty market, and slated for release in December. Comic book fans are encouraged to reserve copies of Army of Darkness #1 with their local comic book retailers. Army of Darknesswill also be available for individual customer purchase through digital platforms courtesy of Comixology, iVerse, and Dark Horse Digital

Posted by cullenbunn on September 29, 2014  /   Posted in Comics
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