Monthly Archives: January 2015

Samurai Jack Ends With Issue #20 – Thoughts and Thanks

Okay, so here’s the news and it’s better if I just get this out of the way up front:

SAMURAI JACK the comic series will be ending with issue #20, arriving in May.

Yeah, I’m sad too.

It’s hard for me to explain how wonderful it’s been to create a new official “season” of Samurai Jack, working with the unbelievably skilled art team of artist Andy Suriano, colorist Josh Burcham, and letterer Shawn Lee, along with a host of other amazing guest artists including Brittney Williams, Ethen Beavers, Andy Kuhn, Sergio Quijada, and Christine Larsen.

Working on Jack has been a project that felt just as creative and expansive as any creator-owned work I’ve done. Almost every single idea we pitched was enthusiastically approved by IDW and Cartoon Network. We told the stories we wanted to tell the way we wanted to tell them and, from everything I’ve seen and the people I’ve met, the fans thoroughly enjoyed them too. That’s a rare and wonderful thing and I won’t take it for granted.

We launched pretty strong, strong enough that our five issue mini-series was almost immediately bumped up to “ongoing” status, but we’ve hit a point in the natural single issue sales attrition cycle where IDW isn’t guaranteed to see profitability on #21-25 so they decided to end it at #20 and make sure we weren’t cut off midway through a story line. I absolutely respect that and appreciate the heads up so we could make our last issue extra special.

Speaking of which, I have to admit I got wistful when I read the recent Comics Alliance article heaping high praise on the work we’ve done with Jack. Chris Sims had no way of knowing it, but I was putting the finishing touches on the final script the day that article went up. It gave me an extra burst of energy to carry me over the finish line.

If “The Quest of the Broken Blade” story we did in issues #11-15 was our epic battle of mind, body, and soul, then Samurai Jack #20 is as final a spiritual statement as I can put on the Jack legacy.

In the third season of Samurai Jack there’s an episode called “Jack and Travelling Creatures” where, after trials and tribulations aplenty, we catch a glimpse of a possible future for our wandering hero; we see Jack as an older Warrior-King, a veteran of an untold number of conflicts. We’re embracing that awesome vision of Jack in a very heartfelt done-in-one story called “Mako the Scribe”.


I don’t have any definitive information on whether there will be more Samurai Jack animation down the road but, if there isn’t, I wanted to make sure this story gave at least some sense of closure to the many, many fans of the series. I would never say that I speak for Genndy or the rest of the Jack animation team. This is just my own small addendum to the top notch art and storytelling they put together. (Oh yeah and Genndy, feel free to animate any of our comic stories if you want. I’m 100% A-Okay with that 🙂 )

That said, I don’t want us to just slip away quietly into the night with this one. If you haven’t read Samurai Jack the comic and experienced our “fifth season”, I’d be thrilled if you considered ordering the trades or buying the digital issues to give it a shot.

If you have read the comics and enjoyed what we put together, I’d deeply appreciate if you let IDW and Cartoon Network know what you thought of it and if you pre-order issue #20 to let retailers know that we’re going out strong.


Thank you to Carlos Guzman, our editor at IDW, for tirelessly sheparding these new stories through art and production. Your enthusiasm for our work has been a real booster.

Thank you again to Andy Suriano for being such a passionate and creative collaborator. You rock, buddy, and I’m so proud to have worked with you on this.

Thank you to IDW Publishing and Cartoon Network for your confidence in bringing me aboard to write the series. It’s been a blast.

Thank you to Genndy Tartakovsky, Phil Lamarr, and the whole Jack team for trailblazing such a wonderful series in the first place.

I feel incredibly fortunate to be able to tell these stories. Thank you for your support.

Jim Zub (w)
Andy Suriano (a & c)


A scribe named Mako has heard many strange stories of the great hero known only as “Jack.” Mako’s journey to record the truth of the samurai reveals a fascinating look at his legacy and possible future: Jack the King. Jack the General. Jack the Legend.

FC • 32 pages • $3.99

CBR Interview About Wayward’s Second Story Arc


Comic Book Resources just posted up a new interview with me all about Wayward. We talk about Japanese culture, anime influences, Buffy, and creator-owned sales. Click on through to give it a read.

Wayward Vol. 1: String Theory, our first trade paperback, and Wayward #6, the first issue of our second story arc, both arrive in stores on March 25th. Pre-order now to make sure you get a copy!

Conventional Wisdom – Part One – Getting Ready

I’ve talked about a variety of different subjects related to creator-owned comics- writing craft, networking, promotion, and economics, but one of the areas I haven’t focused on (until now) is a big one: selling at conventions.


I’ve been attending conventions as a professional since 2002 and in the past 13 years I’ve exhibited at over a hundred conventions of all stripes- big pop culture shows, indy comic markets, educational festivals, library conferences, and classic comic cons. Each one has its own feel and its own set of challenges. There’s no possible way for me to give advice that can cover every convention eventuality, but I wanted to put together some key points for things I’ve learned through trial and error that now saves me a lot of stress and is helping get my work out to a larger audience.

First off, let’s talk about expectations and being prepared.

If you’re heading to a convention with the intent of selling or promoting your work and getting your foot in the door but you’ve never done this before, you need to make sure you’re realistic about your goals. You will not make piles of money. You will not sell hundreds of books. You will not be plucked out of a crowd by your favorite publisher and be given a contract that promises fame and fortune. Get that crazy crap out of your head. Conventions are great, but don’t spend money you can’t afford with delusions of grandeur.

If everything goes well you’ll have some fun, make some new friends, and could make a bit of money. As I’ve covered in my post on networking, some of the people you meet may end up being valuable contacts down the road, but it’s hard to tell where these things will lead.

Start local. If your city or a city within driving distance has a convention, that’s a safe bet. If you’re lucky enough to live in a well known convention city (I’m sure we could name a dozen, but off the top of my head let’s say New York, San Diego, Chicago, Seattle, or Toronto) then that’s no problem but with the proliferation of convention culture it’s easier than ever to find somewhere to set up.

Plan as far in advance as you can, especially if this is your first time travelling to a particular city. You’re better off pushing a convention appearance to next year than you are rushing into a show without a plan or proper materials. I can pull together a convention trip last minute now if I have to, but I’d much rather not.

Here’s how my table looked at Fan Expo Canada in 2014:

(My new banner is a set of four that roll up quite small and, thanks to the grommets on each one, I can swap in new ones depending on which projects I’m promoting at each show. I also have a free-standing banner for shows where they don’t have pipe-and-drape set up.)

It’s the largest solo set up I’ve had at a show so far and, thankfully, it ran pretty smoothly because I planned ahead.

Here are some basic questions you should be able to answer while you’re getting ready:

What is the focal point of your table and how are you going to display that in a way that’s clear and easy to interact with? This is where attending other conventions or checking out photos of cons online can be a lot of help.

When you’re just starting out you probably don’t have much product, so this is pretty easy but, even still, early on I would measure a plot on my dining room table equal to the Artist Alley space I was about to get, tape it off and then pre-set up that space to see how it looked from both sides of the table. From there I could make adjustments and double check that everything fit properly. Once you do that a few times you’ll get a good handle on how much space is needed for product and signage.

If you’re going to be sketching at the table, is there enough room to do that? Self explanatory.

Do you have an inventory list and are you keeping track of your expenses? Even if you’re just doing this for fun, it’s helpful to know how much you’ve spent versus how much you make when you’re setting up at a show. It doesn’t have to be high tech. A simple check list for product and envelope to stuff receipts in is good enough to start.

Do you have supplies you might need over the course of the day? Here’s a quick list of basics that are always helpful to have in your convention travel pack:
• A money float so you can easily make change
• Your business cards
• Your portfolio (physical or digitally on a tablet)
• Book or other display stands
• Charge cords for your tech (If you’re a real keener, bring a power bar/multi-outlet too.)
• Pens, pencils, sharpies (thick and regular) and any other art supplies
• Post-it notes, extra paper
• Invisible tape and packing tape
• Clips, rubber bands, and safety pins
• An exacto-knife and pair of utility scissors
• A few feet of dark fabric to cover the table/product when you’re not there
• Granola bars and a couple bottles of water
• A small bottle of Aspirin and/or Tylenol
• Hand sanitizer and breath mints

At the end of each day/end of the show you should look over that list and restock anything that ran out.

Here’s a photo of my convention supplies for a typical show. It all fits in one backpack and is pretty easy to carry around. The only thing not pictured is my banner and books:

Speaking of which, is your set up portable? Getting your supplies and product manageable and moveable is important, especially if you’re setting up by yourself. Get everything you need gathered in one place and make sure you (or you and people helping you) can actually carry it all. Imagine you have to do that while using an escalator or a packed elevator.

On the other hand, if it’s going to take multiple trips to get all your stuff into the show, do you know where load-in is happening and where you’ll need to park? Save yourself frustration and find out ahead of time.

Do you know where things are at the show? Find your table on the map. Write it down so you don’t forget. Locate washrooms and key booths you might want to visit ahead of time so you’re not scrambling trying to figure that out when the show is under way and probably crazy.

Do you know the area around the convention center/hotel? If not, do some research on restaurants, parking, the closest copy shop, and closest post office or Fed Ex. The better informed you are about the area, the easier things will be over the weekend. It’s also nice to be able to recommend places to go after hours.

Going to conventions has proved to be a big boost for my career. Many of the comic projects I’ve done can be traced back to the wonderful people I met at shows and the conversations we had there. A great convention reminds you about the energy and excitement that comes from this industry and, ideally, puts a few bucks in your pocket at the same time.

In future articles I’ll talk about pricing, selling, and travelling to other countries for shows.

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!

Reviews: Baldur’s Gate #4 and Samurai Jack #16

Both IDW series I’m working on had new issues arrive last week. Let’s see what critics thought of Legends of Baldur’s Gate #4 and Samurai Jack #16…


Bleeding Cool: “Jim Zub’s script continues to be incredibly well written, and intense. There’s really never a dull moment.”

Comics Online: 4.5/5 “There’s a reason that fantasy comics are dominating my pull-list, and his name is Jim Zub.”

Fanboy Comics: “Dunbar is keeping it tight with the visuals as usual. He’s got such a keen sense of drawing combat; there are no wasted panels or energy, every strike makes complete sense, and the subtlety of maneuvers is stellar to witness.”

Fanboy Nation: “Dungeons and Dragons: Legends of Baldur’s Gate continues to be a tremendously fun sword and sorcery book recommended to all fans of the genre.”

Geeks With Wives: 8.5/10 “The creative team isn’t just telling us a story and leaving it at that, they’re beautifully and completely describing and coloring the details of Baldur’s Gate for us to explore with our eyes.”

Merric’s Musings: “The story kicks into high gear with this instalment, getting ready for the Big Finale in issue #5.”

Nerdy But Flirty: “There’s an awesome fight sequence in the last section of the book, and I love how Max Dunbar can make static images have a feeling of motion/action.”

Reading With a Flight Ring: “There’s no doubt in my mind that this is exactly what comics are about and it should be read by all.”

Shadowhawk’s Shade: 9.5/10 “Legends of Baldur’s Gate is, first and foremost, a story about a band of misfits and screw-ups who come together under some really extraordinary circumstances.”


Comic Bastards: “I didn’t think that Samurai Jack could get better than the last story arc, but I think the Master of Time could give Aku a run for his money.”

IGN: 8.6/10 “New artist Sergio Quijada fits right in with the book’s general aesthetic, bringing a real sense of energy to Jack’s quest and plenty of visual gags for good measure. “

Rock! Shock! Pop!: “All in all, another great chapter – bring on the next installment!”

Shadowhawk’s Shade: 10/10 “The dialogue is, as ever, sharp and to the point with Jim wasting not a moment on any inconsequentials along the way.”

Is Wayward the New Buffy?


Over on ComicPow, writer Eric Mesa writes up an editorial/review all about Wayward and compares it to Buffy the Vampire Slayer (like we did in our initial marketing for the series). Click on through and give it a read.

“…this is one comic I’m going to be making sure I make time to read. And for someone without a lot of free time, I can’t think of better praise.”

Comics Alliance Talks About #fourcomics


Comics Alliance has an article all about the #fourcomics hashtag I started last night that picked up momentum overnight on Twitter and Facebook.

It’s been a really fun day filled with nostalgia as hundreds of people have posted cover images to four different comics that influenced them growing up. Seeing the variety of comics, familiar and new, and the enthusiasm people have for their favorites has been really inspiring and enjoyable. Thanks for reminding me why I love this community so much.

Here are my four:


Dr. Strange #55: Stellar Michael Golden art and an incredible done-in-one tale of loss and redemption.
G.I.Joe #21: The original silent issue. Masterful storytelling. I pored over every page until my copy fell apart.
Amazing Spider-Man #230: The ultimate underdog story as Spidey battles Juggernaut. I was absolutely riveted by the intensity of this issue.
Uncanny X-Men #190: My favorite super heroes in a brutal sword & sorcery alternate dimension? Yessssss~!

Comics Alliance Catches Up With Samurai Jack


Chris Sims at Comics Alliance has posted up a new editorial all about the Samurai Jack comic series. I’m thrilled with the praise he gives our team for the hard work we put into the series and the way it carries on the legacy of the award-winning cartoon. Give it a read!

“‘Epic’ is a word that gets tossed around a lot, but Samurai Jack lives up to it. It’s a vast adventure that works on multiple levels, and if you haven’t been reading the series, it’s absolutely worth catching up.”

Wayward #7 Solicitation

Arriving in April… Pre-order now!


story: JIM ZUB
APRIL 29 / 32 PAGES / FC / M / $3.50

Ayane and Nokaido rail against the growing supernatural forces rising up in Tokyo, but are they on the right side of the conflict?

“Wayward is a truly wonderful and beautiful book on every level.” – Mind Capsules

Cover A is part 2 of a 5 part panorama by Steve Cummings and Tamra Bonvillain. Buy all 5 issues of this story arc to fit them together into a massive Wayward illustration.

Cover B is a variant cover by acclaimed Japanese illustrator Sie Nanahara (Shinobigami, Load of Vermillion).

Skullkickers #32 Solicitation

Arriving in April… Pre-order now!


story: JIM ZUB

APRIL 29 / 32 PAGES / FC / T / $3.50

Monster mashers, elder evil, and now deadly demons… Everyone’s invited for the brawl at the end of it all!

This issue has the first of two connecting gatefold covers by EDWIN HUANG & JEFF “CHAMBA” CRUZ. Get this one and next month’s issue to put together the ultimate Skullkickers battle panorama!

Wayward Delivered To Your Door – Image Direct


Image Comics has announced a direct subscription mail service for their ongoing comic titles, deliverable anywhere in the continental USA. If you don’t have a comic shop nearby or you just want the convenience of receiving new Image comics delivered right to you then you can sign up for Image Direct. The more titles you subscribe to, the greater discount you’ll receive.

Included in the Image Direct listing is WAYWARD, my new comic series co-created with Steve Cummings. If you’ve been wanting to stay on top of Wayward and don’t have a chance to head to your local comic shop on a regular basis, I hope you’ll consider subscribing.