Zubby Newsletter #3: Humble Beginnings and Eldritch Ending

Now We’re Playing With Portals

Revealed on Friday, the next Dungeons & Dragons Young Adventurer’s Guide is called PLACES & PORTALS and it arrives in bookstores on September 19th.

It’s a bit mind blowing that this is the seventh book in the series I originally proposed as just two books to Wizards of the Coast and Ten Speed Press. The response from gamers, old and new, has been incredible and we have even more in development.

Since the start, Stacy King and Andrew Wheeler have been an important part of development on the guides and Stacy, in particular, has taken on more of the workload as I juggle other writing projects and teaching. I’m incredibly proud of what we’ve put built and it wouldn’t be possible without their hard work.

If you haven’t seen the D&D Young Adventurer’s Guides before, they’re the perfect entry point to the hobby. They’re built for readers age 8-12 but we’ve also heard from a bunch of Dungeon Masters that they also work incredibly well for introducing adult players to the game as well. More info on the series here in the FAQ I put together a while back.

A Blast from the Past: My First Comic Script

While digging through a bunch of old digital files I stumbled across CARGO, the first original comic script I ever wrote.

Back in 2002 I put this 12-page story together for a friend of mine working at the animation studio we were both at when he mentioned that he wanted to practice drawing comic pages in his spare time but didn’t have any story ideas. I asked what kind of thing he wanted to draw and he said “something Sci-Fi”, so this is what I came up with for him.

Obviously I’ve learned a lot since writing that first script, but I think the story still works well.

I thought it would be fun to post the full script up on my Patreon (with no paywall) so all of you can check it out and also so that if any artists or art students want to draw it as practice or a portfolio piece it’s easy to access. If you do illustrate it, just make sure you credit me for the story.

Another Blast From the Past: Skullkickers Stew

Thanks for the nice response to Grandma’s pierogi recipe I posted last time.

If you never saw the recipe for Skullkickers Stew and Dungeon Dumplings originally included as back matter in SKULLKICKERS #3 (way back in 2010), click on through HERE and snag the recipe.

A Blast From the Here and Now: R+M VS Cthulhu

And now, something new – This week sees the arrival of RICK AND MORTY VS CTHULHU #4 (of 4), the meta-mad chaotic conclusion of the mini-series Troy Little and I put together to tear a strip off ol’ H.P. Lovecraft, the Cthulhu Mythos, and the popularity of Rick and Morty all at the same time. Troy’s artwork (with Leonardo Ito and Nick Filardi on colors and Crank handling the lettering) elevated every scene, turning neat ideas I had for this tale into mind bending storytelling on a level I never could have imagined.

Even if you haven’t read any Lovecraft lore, there’s a lot to love here and I wrote a series of essays for each issue called Eldritch Endpapers that explains which stories and tropes we riff on and how it all links together.

The rocky ride Oni Press has had over the past year coupled with the PR bomb Adult Swim had to diffuse on Rick and Morty made the launch and release of this mini-series more difficult than any of us could have foreseen but, in the end, I am so damn thrilled with how well it all finally came together. We wove a lot of complex ideas and surreal visuals together while still delivering a story filled with humor and heart.

Big thanks to editors Sarah Gaydos, Chris Cerasi, Robert Meyers, and Bess Pallares for their support through thick and thin.

Check out preview pages for the final issue HERE.

Links and Other Things

  • The Etherington Brothers tutorial series How To Think When You Draw is a constant source of information and inspiration for my students and I. Their ability to summarize key concepts around perspective, structure, composition, design, and appeal in bite-size ways is really impressive and the subjects they cover run the gamut from the foundational to the fantastic. Their Twitter account also links to a bunch of other drawing and painting resources, so it’s well worth a follow.
  • My buddy Charles Soule has a new novel coming out called The Endless Vessel, but even cooler than that is the fact that he’s already written a second book expanding on the lore in it and is offering that expansion and a slew of other goodies (including an incredible map by cartographer Marco Bernardini) via Kickstarter right HERE.

That should cover it for this one.

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