Legends of Baldur’s Gate #3 Reviews

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Comic Crusaders: 4/5 “If you are a fan of DnD, or the [Baldur’s Gate] video games you owe it to yourselves to pick up this book.”

Fanboy Nation: “Recommended for all of those who enjoy adventure, swashbuckling and miniature giant space hamsters.”

Geeks With Wives: “Having Jim Zub writing (acting as our dungeon master), we are provided a story that doesn’t feel like it is on rails but flows naturally and changes with the action.”

Kastor’s Korner: “The characters actually act like an adventuring party, and as a huge gaming enthusiast, I found these elements were incredibly effective at capturing the true essence of playing a tabletop campaign, while still telling a multifaceted linear tale.”

Merric’s Musings: “Once again, Max Dunbar’s artwork is superb, drawing both characters and architecture in beautiful detail.”

Nerdy But Flirty: “I’m pretty much in love with all the art in this – the characters are consistent, and the world is very colorful and detailed.”

Reading With a Flight Ring: “Not only is this perfect for anyone who likes to game but it’s great for people who don’t either because it’s a story about friendship through adventure.”

Samurai Jack #15 Reviews

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Samurai Jack #15 arrived in comic shops last week, wrapping up our “Quest of the Broken Blade” story arc. Andy Suriano, Josh Burcham, and I put our all into this one and it seems to be resonating strongly with fans of the original cartoon as we put Jack through the wringer.

Starting from what was only supposed to be a five issue mini-series, we’ve extended our run multiple times, adding new characters and plot lines to the award-winning cartoon. I’m incredibly proud of the work our team has done on Samurai Jack and, if you get a chance to give it a read, I hope you enjoy our tale of redemption.

IGN: 8.8/10 “This is a mostly action-oriented tale, and one Andy Suriano renders with fenetic grace and energy. It pays homage to the show while also lending its own texture and darkness to Jack’s world.”

Comic Bastards: 5/5 “I shall be keeping up with the story and you should start reading this comic as well.”

Major Spoilers: 4.5/5 “I highly recommend you get into this comic! It’s like Samurai Jack never left!”

Rock! Shock! Pop!: “I keep waiting for this series to drop in quality or do something to shatter the idea that this is a continuation of the gone but not forgotten animated series. Fifteen issues in and that hasn’t happened yet.”

Shadowhawk’s Shade: 10/10 “Team Jack is all about exploring the hidden corners of Genndy Tartakovsky’s masterpiece for Cartoon Network. They have done a pretty good job so far and, as they close out the current arc, they show once again just what the incredible potential of their work really is.”

Conan-Red Sonja Interview on Dynamic Forces

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Over on the Dynamic Forces site they’ve just posted an interview with me all about Conan-Red Sonja. I talk about working with Gail Simone and Dan Panosian and writing two of the biggest characters in sword & sorcery.

Wayward #4 Reviews

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Wayward #4 arrived in comic shops last week and the reviews are really strong once again. If you haven’t gotten on board the series yet, please consider giving it a try. Many shops still have 2nd printing copies of our first issue.

Big Glasgow: 9/10 “Another brilliant issue for Wayward, definitely worth buying and enjoying.”

Black Ship Books: “Wayward continues to be one of my favorite series Image is putting out.”

Cold Beer and Comics: 5/5 “I can’t put this comic down. It reads just like a movie and I bet this is adapted within the next couple of years.”

Comic Attack: “Steve Cummings has consistently supplied Wayward with some of THE sharpest artwork around. The same amount of detail and great work you get on the cover is what you can expect when you open the issue up.”

Comic Book Bin: “Wayward offers a mystery that is as unknown as it is alluring. Like Rori following the glowing threads that guide (or lead) her, we don’t know where this mystery will take us, but let’s follow!”

Comix I Read: 5/5 “I cannot recommend this book enough to everyone.The story is fantastic and the art is some of the best in comics today.”

Fandom Post: “This issue is heavily focused on the action and it’s warranted as it lets the creative team really show their stuff in a great way – and beautifully colored at that.”

Major Spoilers: 4/5 “Wayward #4 is an awesome issue and the series is helmed by two creators who know exactly what they are doing and how they want events to play out.”

Mind Capsules: 9/10 “Wayward is a truly wonderful and beautiful book on every level, one that deserves a place on your pull list.”

Moar Powah: 4/5 “Though mostly a transitional piece, Wayward certainly makes an impression.”

OmniJerBear: 10/10 “The best arc of the year. Period.”

Outright Geekery: 4.5/5 “The issue was an absolute blast to read from beginning to end.”

Panel Patter: “This is such an amazing creation, one of the best new series of 2014, and pretty much a slam-dunk for my favorites list.”

Reading With a Flight Ring: “The moment you hit that two page spread you realize what’s going down and it pumps up the adrenaline. This could be the next big thing.”

Third Eye Spotlight: “Jim Zub takes an incredible tale of supernatural horror and blends it with slice of life drama to make for one heck of an awesome read.”

TMStash: 10/10 “You cannot read this tale without being drawn in – it is a totally captivating story.”

What’cha Reading: 8/10 “Good writing, good art, this book is just a solid piece of storytelling all around.”

What’s On The Table: “If you are interested in a modern day Japan setting with supernatural adventures, go read this comic!”

Creator-Owned Sales – Nov 2014 Update

Just over a year ago I put together a second pretty extensive post all about how long term sales were going on Skullkickers. I wanted to give people an understanding of the economics of what I’m doing without revealing the exact dollar figure amounts involved (that information is between Image Comics and the creative team).

Since then I’ve received two more accounting accrual statements from Image and also had a chance to dig deeper into the numbers and chart them a bit more accurately.

Here’s an updated look at where we’re at and some of my thoughts. I’m not going to repeat the same info from before, so feel free to check the earlier article for analysis of 2011 Q2-2013 Q2.

Here’s how Skullkickers has performed from our launch back in 2010 through to the first half of 2014:

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2013 Q3-Q4: As I expected in my previous update, printing the deluxe Treasure Trove 2 hardback ratcheted up our expenses, but print sales are pretty much neck-and-neck, with digital keeping us slightly ahead.

2014 Q1-Q2: Reprinting our Volume 3 softcover built up some cost but we’ve been able to stay ahead with accrual sales. Digital sales are now becoming a larger factor overall as well. How much so? Well, let me show you in more detail.

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Keep in mind the above is profit, not sales.

Digital sales continue to grow. Since there’s no print run or storage limit with digital they continue to build profitability over the long haul (particularly with the early issues as new readers sample the series during comiXology sales). Many issues that lost money in their initial print release have been able to make back their losses thanks to digital.

You can also see the effect our goofy reboot promotion (where we released five new #1’s in five months) had during issues 19-23. We’d never be able to do that sort of thing again, but it was a nice way to extend the life of the series a bit. I can see why Marvel and DC hit the relaunch button so often. Fans may say they’re sick of new #1’s, but the truth is that it can stir interest/sales.

Let’s look at the current state of the collections.

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In my update a year ago Skullkickers Vol. 1: 1000 Opas and a Dead Body and Skullkickers Treasure Trove Vol. 1 weren’t profitable but now, thanks to longtail sales and digital, they’re making some money.

Skullkickers Vol. 3: Six Shooter on the Seven Seas sold through its initial print run and needed a reprint, so it’s back in the red (but will hopefully recover over the long haul).

Skullkickers Vol. 4: Eighty Eyes on an Evil Island hasn’t been out very long so there are more copies in stock than have currently sold. Thankfully digital sales are helping.

The deluxe Skullkickers Treasure Trove Vol. 2 hardback is, like the first one, very expensive to print and will take quite a while to make its money back. Even still, with a higher cover price it’s a great archival item to have available. The deluxe volumes sell well for me at conventions and, although it looks brutal right now, I think it will climb its way out of the red just like Treasure Trove 1 did.

A year ago our print expenditures had finally popped into a tiny bit of profitability. How are things looking now?

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Okay, so that tiny breath of profitable fresh air in the green was temporary, but that’s okay. Things actually aren’t as dire as it may look, given all the data.

First off, Image paid us an accrual cheque based on digital sales in 2013, so when they had to print Treasure Trove 2 and Volume 4 and reprint Volume 3 that put them back in the red. Keeping the series in print and available is crucial for our long term viability.

Secondly, notice that digital sales continue to climb and that profits from digital are actually keeping pace with losses incurred through print. Digital is keeping us skimming along the break even line. I’m still hopeful that, once the series ends in 2015, we’ll end up in the black.

Compare the current situation to the low point of the first half of 2012. I can’t state enough that Image has been a rock through all of this, making their base amount and sticking with us, paying printing/distribution bills while we looked towards longtail sales for the series.

Keep in mind this is just analysis of one creator-owned series. As interesting as it can be, I can’t speak to anyone else’s sales or their financial situation. This sales cycle does not correspond to all creator-owned books. Please don’t make your own financial decisions based on what I’ve done. Everyone’s risk threshold and situation is different. You may end up throwing good money after bad. Wayward, my new creator-owned series that launched in August, has a completely different sales/profit situation and, if I have time, I may analyse that as well once we have our first trade release.

Note that this is not the full financial picture. The above charts don’t include convention sales, which are still going strong. The money made from direct convention sales, sketch covers, commissions and selling original page art has helped keep us going and viable. I exhibited at 11 conventions this year and, even though it was exhausting, it paid off in terms of sales and visibility for the series. It also doesn’t include money made from web ad revenue generated at our webcomic site.

Also note that none of the above takes into account freelance work that’s come from working on Skullkickers. If you factor in money made from the writing jobs I’ve done for Marvel, DC, Dark Horse, IDW, Valiant, Dynamite, and UDON since the series began, it has turned a substantial profit in that way even after paying the art team out of my own pocket (which is not factored into the above. The charts above represent only Image Comics’ profit/loss). Skullkickers has been the foundation where I’ve built a 2nd career as a professional comic writer over a relatively short period of time.

Most importantly, we put out a comic that stands favourably beside some of the best titles in the industry and I’m incredibly proud of that. As we head towards our sixth story arc we’re going to have over 30 issues, which is pretty rarefied air for a creator-owned series in this day and age.

If you find my sales and tutorial blogposts helpful, feel free to let me know here (or on Twitter), share them with your friends, and consider buying some of my comics to show your support. Thanks!

D&D Legends of Baldur’s Gate #2 Reviews

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The second issue of Legends of Baldur’s Gate arrived last week and readers and retailers alike seem to be enjoying our take on D&D-style adventure.

Bleeding Cool: “Being transported to this colorful D&D world is something I thoroughly enjoy. I will definitely keep coming back for more.”

Comic Bastards: 4/5 “Everything I said about issue one still holds true, it is a solid fantasy, action, fun comic. I easily recommend it.”

Comic Book Bin: “It is obvious that Zub loves the D&D source material, always a good things when adapting a property as a comic book.”

Fanboy Nation: “Dunbar has created an exuberant fantasy city, full of cobbled streets, looming houses, underground passages and all the fittings necessary for a good bout of adventuring.”

Fangirl Nation: “Two issues in, and this story already has a plenty of potential for a good adventure.”

Gamma Squad: “Yes, the hamster-loving ranger is highly entertaining with Zub at the wheel.”

Kastor’s Korner: “Delina is such a fun and lively main character. It’s a rare thing for a medieval fantasy adventure.”

Merric’s Musings: “I must draw attention to the work Max Dunbar does on drawing backgrounds for the scenes. This is exceptional work, and when it’s paired with Jim Zub’s excellent dialog and plotting, the result is a comic I’m really enjoying.”

Nerdy But Flirty: “There’s quite a bit of intrigue stirring, and another Baldur’s Gate character to meet, and I’m super excited for issue #3!”

Outhousers: “Zub and Dunbar create a fun adventure set in the world of Baldur’s Gate that any fantasy fan or fan or the game would love.”

Shadowhawk’s Shade: 9.5/10 “I loved the humour most of all in Jim’s first issue of the title and it is nice to see that everything that made the first issue so good is carried forward into the second issue, especially the humour.”

Wayward Vol. 1 Arrives in March!

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Arriving March 25th, Wayward Vol. 1: String Theory collects the first five issues of my new creator-owned comic series in a spiffy softcover for a wonderfully value-priced $9.99!

It’s the perfect price to get on board (or buy for a gift) and will be arriving in stores the same day as Wayward #6, so you can binge read 1-5 and 6 to get caught up all at once.

NOTE: The trade paperback does not include Zack Davisson’s special essays on Japanese myth and culture, our alternate covers, or our letters pages, so if you’re enjoying that extra content and/or can’t wait for the collections, please keep collecting our single issues as they arrive each month. We deeply appreciate the support and single issue sales help keep the series rolling.

Comic shops will be getting their Diamond Order code for the collection soon, but in the meantime you can already pre-order from several online outlets, including Amazon, linked below:


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Wayward Vol. 1
String Theory

(issues #1-5)

Rori Lane is trying to start a new life when she reunites with her mother in Japan, but ancient creatures lurking in the shadows of Tokyo sense something hidden deep within her, threatening everything she holds dear. Can she unlock the secrets of her power before it’s too late?
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Makeshift Miracle Book 2 Coming Soon

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My advance copies of Makeshift Miracle Book 2: The Boy Who Stole Everything just arrived and they turned out wonderfully. Shun Hong Chan’s artwork is breathtaking and the print quality on the book is top notch.

The book arrives in stores next month and it’s still available for pre-order from your local comic shop or the outlets linked below. If you’ve enjoyed Wayward or my other comic stories but haven’t read Makeshift I hope you give it a try. As always, thanks for the support!


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Makeshift Miracle Vol. 2
The Boy Who Stole Everything


Colby has fallen into a surreal realm of dream and imagination in his search for answers about Iris, the strange girl who fell into his life from out of the blue. What he discovers about the link between them will change both their lives and leave one of them with the ultimate decision of life or death. The hit online comic concludes in a beautiful graphic novel, perfect for teen readers and manga fans.

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Ashbury Park Press Talks Wayward

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The Ashbury Park Press has a nice article talking about Wayward, getting new readers up to speed. Click on through to give it a read.

“An upbringing that emphasized both cultures tempers Rori’s culture shock just enough, in much the same way that her charismatic narration tempers ours, because Zub and Cummings hit the ground running with the borrowed images and myths that are the backbone of the series driving “Buffy”-esque supernatural narrative, throwing Rori into an unexplained world of mythological phenomena.”

Con Freaks & Geeks Interview

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The gang at Con Freaks & Geeks interviewed me on the latest episode of their podcast. We talk about Wayward, Street Fighter, and more. Click on through and give it a listen.