First Law #4 will be available August 3rd.

First Law #4 available August 3rdAnyone who might have been paying attention to our events schedule a few months back probably noticed that the Spring convention season kind of fell apart for us at the end.  Boston Comic-Con got postponed due to a mad bomber on the loose, and then a week later we had to cancel our C2E2 appearance at the last minute.

We didn’t really talk about it at the time, but that last-minute cancellation was due to a personal, family tragedy that struck unexpectedly the day before we planned to leave for Chicago.

That tragedy put quite a few things on hold, including the lettering of issue #4.  I mention this not as a ploy for sympathy or an excuse for the book’s lateness–I know what it’s like to be a fan of a series that never seems to come out, so I know how little excuses actually matter–but merely to let you all know that the delay wasn’t due to late art.  Daniel, Jeff, and Oliver delivered inks, grays, and colors quickly and professionally; the book looks great and has for a while.  You can lay the blame for issue #4′s lateness entirely at my feet.

All that said, I’m now back on the job, and we’re ready to announce that issue #4 will be available for the newly-rescheduled Boston Comic Con, on the first weekend of August.  I’ve still got some lettering left to do, but come hell or high water, even if it means sleepless nights filled with nothing but lettering, or ridiculous rush-printing fees, we will get this book out the door for Boston and the rest of the late-Summer/Fall convention season.

For those of you who aren’t able to pick up the book at a convention, we’ll have the issue up on ComiXology as quickly as it can get through their Submit process, and print copies will be available for order here on our site the same day we debut the book in Boston.

So sorry for the delay.  Hope you enjoy the book!

-Mike

Read First Law #1 for free!

We’ve still got ComiXology redemption codes for issue #1 for anybody who wants them.  We have a limited supply of these things, though, so act now!

Just hit us up via our Twitter account, @FirstLawComic, and we’ll send you a code.  Once you’ve redeemed the code, you can read the book on the web or download it to any Android, iOS, or Windows 8 device you like!

I’ll update the blog when we run out, but until then, come get your free comics!

Issue #1 Preview – In Color!

 

Click the image below to start the free 8-page preview of First Law Of Mad Science #1, color edition.First Law Of Mad Science #1 - Color PreviewThe color edition is currently only available as a digital comic, exclusively from ComiXology.  Get issue #1 in its entirety for a mere 99 cents, and read it on all of your fancy-pants mobile devices!

The print edition of First Law is still also available in its original black and white glory!  To see the B&W version of the preview, click here.  (Buy issue #1 in print for $3.99 here, and we’ll mail it right to your door!)

 

In-store appearance tomorrow, in Mamaroneck NY!

This weekend is the Grand Opening of Modern Myths: New York, a new comic shop just north of NYC, in Mamaroneck, NY.  I’ve actually been working there as full-time staff, which has been a blast (and is also the reason I’ve been a bit too busy to update this blog in a while; sorry about that!).

Tonight there’ll be a Grand Opening Party, starting at 6PM.  And tomorrow, Oliver is coming up from DC, and the two of us will be chatting with people, talking about how to get started in indie comics, and then signing books, from 2PM to 4PM.  Later in the evening the store is hosting a board game night, which we’ll probably stick around for.  So come on out, hang out and chat with us, and then maybe play some games!

If you’re in the city, the store is easily accessible via Metro North commuter rail.  I’ve been reverse-commuting there every day; it’s less than a ten-minute walk from the Mamaroneck station. Just take the local train to Stamford, on the New Haven line.

Hope to see you there!

Updates!

Oliver and I have been pretty busy lately.  Whenever we’ve got something to share with folks, it always feels like it’s quicker to throw it up on our Facebook page, rather than put together a blog update.  Laziness on our part; not good!  We’re going to try harder to keep this blog up-to-date and interesting.  In the meantime, here’s a few things that should have been here a while ago:

Issue #3 cover, from the ever-talented Jamie Noguchi!  The rest of the issue is almost done.  I just need to finish the lettering.

 

Here’s a sneak peek at issue #4.  These are Daniel’s pencils for page 1.

 

FUBAR: Empire of the Rising Dead made the New York Times Bestseller list!  Oliver and I wrote two of the stories in this book, so I think that means we’re allowed to call ourselves “New York Times Bestselling writers” now. ;)  Seriously, though, congrats to everyone who worked on the book!

Here’s an email interview we gave just after Intervention Con in Maryland last year.

Here’s a new review of First Law, from a few weeks ago.

I think that’s it for now.  As I said, we’re going to make an effort to be better about updating this blog in the future.  Right now, though, I need to get back to work on lettering Issue #3!

Remember: Lots Of Words!

Daniel just finished up the rough layouts for Issue #4.  They look fantastic.  While perusing them, I noticed a little note in the margins of one of the pages that made me laugh out loud.  While working on these, Daniel apparently wrote a reminder for himself to leave plenty of room for dialogue.  It read, simply, “Remember: Lots of Words!”

First Law definitely gets a bit verbose at times.  Oliver and I actually clash on this point quite a bit when we’re writing; he likes using a lot of colorful dialogue, while I prefer to keep things as concise as we can.  I think we hit a decent balance between the two of us, but as the letterer on First Law I can safely say from direct experience that we still use quite a lot of words!

It stems, in part, from our writing philosophy on First Law.  We decided very early on that we didn’t want the book to have the decompressed, “writing-for-the-trade” style of storytelling that you see in so many comics these days, where each issue is just a handful of scenes in a larger story.  Instead, we wanted to make sure that each chapter of First Law was a satisfying “unit” of entertainment on its own, with a beginning, a middle, and an end.

What that means in practical terms is that we’re cramming quite a lot of story into each issue.  More bang for your buck!  Lots of reading isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but considering the amount of mystery and intrigue we’re employing in our story, it ends up being pretty necessary.

Not that First Law doesn’t have action as well; we’ve got some stuff coming up in the next few issues that’s really going to blow your minds!  Stay tuned!

(To be fair to Daniel, I should mention that for the page in question we specifically asked in the script that he leave extra room for dialogue in a few of the panels.  His margin note still gave me a good chuckle, though.)

Where’s Issue #2?

As we’ve had a number of people asking us about what’s going on with Issue #2, I figured I’d put together a little Q&A to hopefully clear things up.

Q: According to the “sneak peak” in Issue #1, the second issue was due out in January.  We’re now in late February.  What’s going on?

A: When we printed the direct-market edition of Issue #1 (the version that hit stores last November), we had every reason to think that we’d be able to have Issue #2 out to stores by January.  And if you’ve been following the blog here, you know that we actually finished all the work on Issue #2 back in November, which should have given us more than enough time to meet that deadline.  What we didn’t count on was Diamond throwing a wrench into the gears by dropping us from their distribution line-up.

Q: Who’s “Diamond” and why did they drop First Law?

A: Diamond Comics is the big comic book distributor.  It holds a near-monopoly over distribution of comics to comic shops in the U.S.  Most of the comics you’ve grabbed off the rack at your local comic shop over the last few decades were likely shipped there by Diamond.  They’re the gateway into the comics market.

Unfortunately, they don’t make it easy for lesser-known books to get up and running.  For Diamond to carry a title, they require it to maintain pre-orders above a certain minimum.  And for a book with no track record, creator pedigree, or major publisher backing, that minimum can be quite difficult to reach.

Diamond was happy to give us a shot with Issue #1, but when retailer pre-sales of the book failed to meet their minimum, they decided not to continue carrying First Law Of Mad Science.

Q: Does that mean we’ll never see First Law #2 in comic shops?

A: Thankfully, no.  We’re happy to announce that First Law Of Mad Science will be receiving distribution through Liber, a new up-and-coming distributor focusing on high-quality independent comics.

If you’d like to see First Law back on the stands at your local comic shop, ask the manager there if they have an account with Liber.  If they don’t have one, talk to them about opening one.  Liber’s catalog includes a lot of really stellar indie titles, many of which fall through the cracks at Diamond.  And unlike Diamond, Liber actually keeps books in stock, so back issues will always be available.

We’ll also get another shot at wider distribution (through Diamond as well as traditional book-trade distributors) once we have a trade paperback collection.  The current plan is for the first trade volume to include issues #1 through #5.  So that’s still a ways away, but it’ll be something to keep an eye out for in the future.

Q: Where else can we get our hands on First Law #2?

A: You’ll be able to get it directly from us at conventions, and soon you’ll be able to order it online through ComiXpress.

We’re still figuring out our convention schedule for this year, and don’t have anything confirmed yet, but it’s currently looking like our next show will be NYC’s MoCCA Festival in April.  As our convention plans solidify, we’ll be updating the Events page here on our site, and posting about it on the blog, so stay tuned.

Q: What about Kickstarter backers?  Where are our rewards!?

A: Copies of Issue #2 are being mailed out now and should be arriving next week.  Autographed copies, special-edition copies, and lab-coats are going to take a bit longer to arrive, but rest assured that they are in the works, and that we haven’t forgotten about you!

Q: What’s going on with the rest of the series?  When are we likely to see Issue #3?

A: Issue 3 is well into production.  At this point in time, all of the pages have been penciled, and half of them have been inked.  All that’s left is the rest of the inking, Jeff’s grayscales, and the lettering.  I’m hesitant to even estimate a release date, since most of our past estimates have been wrong and I don’t want to jinx anything, but it shouldn’t be terribly far off.

In the meantime, we’ve already got Daniel working on Issue #4, and Oliver is hard at work on the first draft of Issue #5′s script.

It’s unfortunate that the gears have slowed down a bit, but rest assured, they definitely haven’t stopped.  First Law Of Mad Science is a story that we’re very enthusiastic about telling; we might run into some obstacles along the way, but we will not be stopped!

FUBAR2: Empire Of The Rising Dead

Hey everyone.  Just wanted you to know that this is the last week to pre-order FUBAR2: Empire Of The Rising Dead through your local comic shop.

FUBAR is an anthology of World War II zombie stories.  The new volume focuses on the Pacific front of the war, and includes two stories written by Oliver and myself!  We’ve also gotten a peak at some of the other stories in the book, and they are really astounding.

The whole thing is edited by Jeff McComsey, who also does the grayscales for First Law Of Mad Science.  Jeff has rounded up some of the best indie-comics talent out there to fill the pages of FUBAR with some really incredible stuff.  If you like war stories and/or zombies, you should definitely check it out.

The book’s Diamond order code is OCT110764.  Oh, and when you’re telling your local retailer to get you a copy, you might also want to mention that for every three copies they order from Previews, they’ll get a fourth for free.  Let’s get this book out there!

Play Minecraft With Us!

Anyone out there like Minecraft?  Looking for a multiplayer server to join?  Oliver and I have been running a little private server, and we’ve decided to invite any fans of First Law who’d like to join.

Only a couple of people have access at the moment, and we haven’t been online all that often (busy busy busy working on First Law #2!), but we’d love to grow the population of our little server.

If you’re interested in joining us, send us an email with your Minecraft username.  We’ll add you to the server whitelist, and send you the address.  Then you’ll be able to log in and mine, build, and craft with us to your heart’s content.  Just stay out of my melon patch!