Talking RPGs at the Corner of Story and Game

In the second part of our interview (Part 1 is HERE), I chat with Gerald at The Corner of Story and Game podcast all about growing up playing tabletop RPGs, how it’s influenced my writing, working on games and more. Give it a listen:

Sass and Sincerity

I find this problem in comics quite a bit as well, especially modern superhero stories.

If the characters aren’t invested in this story/conflict, then it’s much harder for the audience to be as well.

I’ve written sarcastic characters and characters who know the tropes they’re in the midst of. Doing that without losing the audience is tougher than you might think. The stakes must be clear, despite their quips or desire to be above the fray.

Emotional investment and sincerity is impressively resilient to changing trends in entertainment.

Don’t act like you’re too good for the genre you’re working in.
Don’t treat the past like your doormat.

You can be irreverent.
You can be sarcastic.
You can be critical.

But, beneath all that sass, there has to be knowledge and appreciation for the strengths and entertainment of the genre you’re riffing on or else it will feel hollow.

Your best friend gets to give you shit because, deep down, they also care and want the best for you.
Treat genre deconstruction the same way. Give ’em hell and make it hurt because you know which buttons to push that matter, not because you think you’re too cool for all of it.

Fantasy and magic are especially susceptible to this kind of abuse.

“It’s fantasy, so just make up a bunch of Chosen One/Destiny shit.”
“It’s magic, so nothing matters!”


You don’t understand the genre or why it has worldwide appeal.

On the Beginnings Podcast

Andy Beckerman talks to comedians, writers, filmmakers and musicians he admires about their earliest creative experiences and the numerous ways in which a creative life can unfold.

On this episode we talk about writing stories, continuity, comics VS movies, collaboration, and more!

Talking Murderworld on

Ray Fawkes and I spoke to Ben Morse at all about the winding road to developing, pitching and finally releasing our twisted Marvel Murderworld story. Check it out!

Thunderbolts #5 Reviews

Our final issue arrived over the holidays. What did reviewers think?

Graphic Policy: 8/10 “…a fine ending to the series. But, it leaves us wanting more. Gutsen Glory and Eegro deserve arcs of their own exploring their history and backgrounds. Hopefully we get more with Zub at the hub. The series has balanced mystery, action, humor, and a great team dynamic and deserves more to expand all of that and entertain readers more.”

League of Comic Geeks: 10/10 “Honestly a great conclusion. I’m hoping for another mini or at least a Hawkeye mini to follow this.”

Primary Ignition: “The way Zub balances the comedic and the dramatic is the key to the formula that makes his incarnation of Thunderbolts work. Here’s hoping we do, indeed, see more.”

Super Powered Fancast: 8.6/10 “I like the conflict and how it is personal for the characters, especially Clint. The action is great and I love that the story still keeps its comedic edge throughout.”

Weird Science Marvel Comics: “The pacing is smooth and brisk, the dialog is excellent, and the feel-good ending leaves the Thunderbolts on a hopeful note for the future.”

Year In Review

Last year I wrote that 2021 felt like a vortex, eating up time as we wondered when things would get better. 2022 showed some respite from the lows I felt over the past two years and it was a return to more in-person interaction, but it’s still hard to say if any of this is “normal.”

(You can tell I’m a writer because I use archaic words like “respite.”)

Stacy and I started traveling again for conventions, but almost immediately came down with Covid, forcing us to drive one way from Alberta to Ontario to get home.

I’m back on campus at Seneca teaching again, but I’m no longer Coordinator, so the Animation program is changing and growing under new leadership. I get to be around as an “elder statesman” of sorts, offering advice but not being in charge. It’s a good change.

My run of Conan the Barbarian ended at Marvel last year, but I’m relaunching it again at Titan in 2023.

Another crack at Thunderbolts. A new Red Sonja story. A dark fantasy spin on the Dark Knight. Another Rick and Morty crossover mini-series. A crazy old pitch long buried that came back from the dead.

New versions of old things. A weird mix of the familiar and the unknown.

2022 felt transitional, but I can’t quite put my finger on where things are headed right now. I know I’m not the only one with that anxious energy. We want to leave the pandemic behind. We want to jettison old issues and finally arrive somewhere new and exciting.

(You can tell I’m a writer because I use fancy-dancy words like “jettison.”) ;P

Is that arrival coming up next year? I have no idea and you don’t either.
The chaos of it all is harder than ever to ignore.

Stacy and I are in a good place overall and I know that. I cherish it. It keeps me grounded and whole when everything else in the world feels like it’s becoming unhinged and broken.

I’m trying to stay optimistic and also not be naïve. Is that an impossible balancing act? Probably, but it’s a better plan than no plan at all and it’s taken me this far, so let’s keep going.

I hope your year went well. I hope 2023 is looking bright.


Murderworld: Spider-Man #1 Reviews

Part 2 of our Murderworld story arrived this week in comic shops to wrap up 2022.
What did reviewers think of it?

Biff Bam Pop!: “Zub and Fawkes have an uncanny ability to make you quickly care about the new characters they’re introducing, a skill not every writer can lay claim to.”

But Why Tho: “Whilst the barbarism remains and the creators seem to delight in murder, there are other elements being introduced that twist the horror of the book. As the group has been thinned, the games have started to come into effects that are more terrifying than the straight slaughter. It’s constantly energetic, and with the rest of the Marvel Universe starting to get involved, the potential for disaster has escalated. “

Caped Joel: 8/10 “This is definitely unlike anything else I’ve read this year. Just a fun story with a good premise, interesting characters, and high stakes.”

Comic Book Club: “I had a very fun time reading this and it works really well…A lot of great twists in here too.”

Comic Book Resources: “Karami’s style really shines in his characters’ expressions, which are incredibly animated and emotive. He uses hatching and texture to tease out subtle nuance and make bold statements. His character design is very dynamic and well-considered, which comes to fruition in the brilliant final full-page spread.”

Comic Book University: “Holy crap, this is really good…I don’t think I’ve ever seen this in the Big Two before, where heroes are cast aside, where the main villains aren’t the main thing…I’m reading this comic book and I’m entranced.”

Comic Watch: 9.2/10 “…another fun and funny romp that highlights how gloriously insane Arcade is when he gets to actually do what he always wants to do: kill people in complicated and entertaining ways. Zub and Fawkes are doing an outstanding job telling this story, and the art teams haven’t missed yet.”

Monkeys Fighting Robots: 8/10 “…a fun and entertaining issue. Jim Zub and Ray Fawkes continue to make this series an enjoyable one. No one knows what will happen next, and that’s the most exciting thing about this book.”

One More Comic (Spanish): 10/10 “One of the most daring, intelligent and visually creative series that can be read right now…a chilling and amazing chapter.”

Spider Cents: “Murderworld is a new series that came out of nowhere. It’s easily one of my surprise hits of 2022 and God I’d give anything for an MCU adaption using the actual actors as the LMDs.”

Spider-Man Crawlspace: “…the art team does an excellent job in portraying a large portion of the different wall-crawlers from all sorts of universes.”

Theron Reads Comics: “The big success of Murderworld: Spider-Man is in how it delivers another fantastic spectacle for Arcade fans. The homicidal redhead is only on panel a few times in this issue, but he has no shortage of quippy, pointed, and mocking dialogue on voiceover to the contestants.”

Too Dangerous For a Girl: “…artist Farid Karami produces interesting compositions throughout, always in the service of the story. And the final image is a superb quiet cliffhanger, a tsunami of side-eye. I don’t know Karami at all, but I hope we see lots more from him.”

We Have Issues: “That’s the coolest thing about this book. Arcade’s the main character and everyone else could die at any moment.”

Merry Christmas!

Thank you for helping make this year such an amazing one.
Here’s to an epic 2023!

Fandom Sessions Interview

I spoke to the crew at the Geek Network as part of their Fandom Sessions podcast interviews all about my recent projects, including Murderworld, Thunderbolts, Conan the Barbarian, and Rick and Morty VS Cthulhu. You can listen to it below, or head to their website for more podcast listening options HERE.

Zub Comics Arriving March 2023

Story – Jim Zub and Ray Fawkes
Art – Lorenzo Tammetta
Cover Paco Medina

The grand finale! The big prize! Bodies are piled high and only one person can win it all! Arcade’s darkest game comes to a close and anything can happen…especially if Natasha Romanoff has something to say about it.

Arcade’s circus-style contests have been a punchline in the past, but writers Ray Fawkes (One Soul, Constantine) and Jim Zub (AVENGERS, CONAN THE BARBARIAN) and artist Lorenzo Tammetta are here to put the “murder” back in “Murderworld.” Don’t miss it!
32 PGS./ONE-SHOT/Rated T+ …$3.99

Story – Jim Zub
Artist – Troy Little and Leonaro Ito
Cover – Troy Little

It’s R’yleh happening! In the final confrontation of the Smith-Sanchez Lovecraftian horror saga, family turns on family, and the battle for pop culture relevance is waged between Rick and Cthulhu—with devastating stakes. Morty embraces his eldritch identity and finds comfort in the supportive arms of his adoptive old-god father. Summer will mete out divine retribution in the name of Azathoth. Rick has lost ground at home against the Color Out of Space, and must abandon his daughter to fight this evil at its source: Cthulhu.