Zubby Newsletter #67: Beneath the Spam

Conan the Barbarian #13 art by Doug Braithwaite and Diego Rodriguez.

Over on Facebook Messenger I clicked through to ‘Message Requests’ and saw dozens of messages from readers and retailers who have enjoyed my work, artists wanting feedback, and writers looking for advice. It was awkward realizing that these people assume I’ve just ignored them all this time.

I don’t have time to mentor people one-on-one on their creative career or give extensive feedback (that’s why I put together 40+ free tutorial articles on my website), but getting a message to that effect is way better than someone sending material and feeling completely ignored. I remember what sending notes out into the void felt like and do everything I can to avoid doing it to other people.

Then, on a whim, I clicked the dreaded ‘Spam’ tab…

As expected, there were hundreds of useless ad messages and sex chat garbage, easy to spot with a half dozen or more people tagged on each one, but there were dozens of legitimate messages too, filtered there for reasons unknown.

• International fans excited about Conan.
• A convention runner asking if I wanted to be a guest at a show from over a year ago.
• Readers asking questions about Marvel continuity.
• Creators asking for signal boosts on their crowdfunding campaigns.
• Artist portfolios.
• Old friends touching base.

It’s humbling to see so many people reaching out, but also a bit overwhelming, especially finding them all at once. How is anyone supposed to keep track of all these outlets? How much time do I spend sending out little ‘sorry I missed this’ messages vs just plowing ahead on current projects/deadlines/commitments? I don’t know.

Anyways, if you’ve reached out to someone online and they didn’t get back to you – it might not be intentional. The algorithms that dictate so many of our online interactions may have just siloed it elsewhere.

For Your Consideration

If you’re part of the Harvey Awards Nomination Committee
CONAN THE BARBARIAN: BOUND IN BLACK STONE is eligible to be nominated for Book of the Year.

Our team put everything they have into this relaunch and I want to make sure people know that Harvey-eligible titles are for books released from August 1, 2023-July 31, 2024, not just 2023 books.

Killer Covers From Mars

Legendary artist Joe Jusko has posted up the first three stunning covers for the upcoming release of the Barsoom Saga, the official reprint of the John Carter of Mars series being put out by the Edgar Rice Burroughs estate. They have a 20% off preorder promotion running now, so if those covers grab your eye, make sure you get on board while you can save.

Also, while I was at Howard Days last weekend I met Henry Franke, editor of The Burroughs Bulletin, and his excitement for pulp stories was infectious so if you’re a Burroughs fan make sure you check that out too.

Current + Upcoming Releases

  • Conan the Barbarian #11 – released May 22nd.
  • Dungeons & Dragons: Fortune Finder – TPB released June 5th.
  • Conan the Barbarian #12 – releases June 26th.
  • Life of Wolverine – One Shot – releases July 3rd.
  • Savage Sword of Conan #3 – releases July 3rd.
  • Conan the Barbarian Vol.2: Thrice Marked For Death – TPB releases July 16th.
  • Conan the Barbarian #13 – releases July 24th.

  • Upcoming Appearances

    July 25-28, 2024 San Diego Comic-Con San Diego, CA, USA
    Aug 1-4, 2024 Gen Con Indy Indianapolis, IN, USA
    Aug 16-18, 2024 Fan Expo Chicago Chicago, IL, USA
    Aug 22-25, 2024 Fan Expo Canada Toronto, ONT, CANADA
    Oct 17-20, 2024 Gamehole Con Madison, WI, USA

    Links and Other Things

    Artificers & Alchemy gets a shout out on Forbes in A Father’s Day Gift Guide For Dungeon Master Dads. Comicon also reviewed the book and gave it a 10/10!

    • In a few days, my friend Sandra Tayler is launching a crowdfunding campaign for her new book Structuring Life to Support Creativity, a much-needed guide to project management and avoiding burnout. Definitely check this one out.

    Jordan Sorcery has a great video run through on the initial development of Warhammer 40,000. When I was a kid I thought the game looked incredible, but the price point of metal miniatures and daunting work involved in painting figures and assembling terrain kept me from playing until I was older, but it looked amazing right from the start.

    • Legendary anime studio Gainax has filed for bankruptcy after financial mismanagement and controversy. Gainax was an anime studio built from convention fan films that evolved into auteur-centric work and a pop culture juggernaut. It’s strange to think of the studio not being around anymore, but we’ll always have the the Ballad of the Otaking to remind us of their greatness.


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