Our Best Jackett
Our Best Jackett
Newsletter #162: Another NYCC in the Books!

Newsletter #162: Another NYCC in the Books!

Looking back on this week's comic convention highlights and what the show means to me

Hey guys, it's Scott.

It is Tuesday, October 17th. This is the voice you get two days after New York Comic Con. Yesterday it was way worse. I’m always like, “do I sound like Batman kids?” And they were like, “no, you sound like an old man who fell down in the street.” But all my moving parts are starting to move again today, I feel a little bit more human. But it was a fantastic time. Before I get into it, a couple of quick bits of housekeeping. One, Thank you, thank you, thank you to everybody in the Best Jacket Club, all you guys that came up that are subscribers, free, paid, that came to say hello. It seems like there are more of you at every convention and it really means a lot. People in the Black Jackett Club, thank you so much for coming to the dinner.

The Black Jackett dinner party!

It was easily one of my favorite ones so far. And a big, big thank you to Tom Taylor, Chip Zdarsky, and Charles Soule for coming by and talking to everybody at length and surprising us. It was fantastic and I owe you guys.

Chip and Tom swooping in to surprise the Black Jackett members at dinner

And again, Black Jacket members, we sent you an email just making sure that we exceeded your expectations and if not, let us know. I really want to make sure you guys are super happy with everything. Again, it was a blast, but I'm here for anything, any suggestions whatsoever. So you should have gotten for an email from us.

Okay, also—out today, Duck and Cover #2, co-created by the amazing Rafael Albuquerque.

Art by Rafael Albuquerque and Marcelo Maiolo; Letters by Bernardo Brice

It focuses on a group of teenagers in the 1950s who miraculously survive a nuclear exchange with Russia by hiding under their school desks like those old PSAs and the world gets stranger and stranger and they start to believe this attack isn't anything like a normal nuclear attack, if there is such a thing. So it's a comic that's very much about young people deciding they need to make new kinds of stories, new kinds of mission statements for themselves. And so it investigates some of the most popular genres of that time.

The main character, Del Reeves, who is a young, black, aspiring filmmaker in the 50s, is trying to decide what kind of genre he wants to work in when he finally gets to Hollywood right before this exchange happens. And so every issue is themed like a different 1950s popular genre and this one is horror just in time for Halloween, so I hope you'll go check it out.

Book of Evil is out as a digital trade. We're really, really proud of it. The whole thing is collected. It's horror as well, perfect for spooky season and a really different kind of book.

Art by Jock; Design by Emma Price

I really feel like this last couple years was almost like, being on like a creative walkabout or just exploring where I kind of tried to go outside my comfort zone with all my friends and some new people that I had never worked with who were inspiring to me, and just looking back on those it feels wonderful. These are sort of the last books of that period and now it's about focusing in a little bit more on the stuff that's my comfort zone—horror and ongoings and those things (and possibly superhero stuff).

Anyway, the convention—some of the highlights, number one, above all, was getting to hang out with my 16 year-old son Jack, and my wife Jeanie came by too, but Jack and I got to do a panel together with the great Valeria Favoccia who co-created By a Thread with us.

The Best Jackett crew (Jock, Tula Lotay, Valeria Favoccia, Jack Snyder & Will Dennis)

It's a book about a dystopian future where this strange liquid called ‘the shroud’ has covered the entire earth. It’s making new creatures and swallowing everything up and it’s a lot of fun, I’m really proud of it. But anyway, we got to go on our first group panel here in the states together. He was so good! He answered all the questions and afterwards, he was like, “I should have said this! I should have said that!” I was like, “you did great. You should have seen me on my first panel. I basically just like, mumbled and ran away at the end.” So I was really proud of him. He also idolizes Jock and Will, our editor, who he met at Thought Bubble and they were on the panel and were great and encouraging to him. Tula Lotay was on the panel as well and it was just great to be surrounded by friends with my kid and to all be working on stuff together that we're proud of.

I mean, at this point in my career, getting to go to a convention like this is, first and foremost, always about getting to say thank you to you guys. But seeing people that I've known now for 10, 15 years, we've been through marriages or divorces or children or sickness, losing parents, all kinds of stuff, but also making things that speak to all of that stuff together, whether we’ve made it together, apart, it’s just a really good feeling. New York used to be my least favorite convention because it was so stressful. I mean, DC was there, Marvel was there. There was all this pressure and I was on Batman and I didn’t know if I’d stay on that book or if they’d fire me. It felt like with every arc, if it wasn’t as good as the last one then I’d get kicked off. And New York was the epicenter of all that because publishing was there, before it moved out to California, for DC.

So I used to run around this con so stressed the whole time and now it's the opposite. It feels like homecoming. I get to go there. My family, my parents live in New York. My kids get to come in. So many people come from outside the states go to New York because it's such a focal point. But it's really fun to just walk around and get to see people. So, other highlights. Tom Hardy, obviously. It was wild. We've been working on this project for a while, for a number of months. But essentially it came to us because Tom Hardy wanted to make a comic and I thought, “look, it could be pretty fun. Let's see what his ideas are.” He's got great ideas and the conversations with him, the first time he called, we wound up talking for three hours.

My first Hardy call

I actually was on vacation with my family and I scheduled like, five minutes for it in my head because I really didn't think he'd actually call. I lost $200 to Frank Tieri on that one. But I was on a run because I was like, oh, he's not really going to call. I was out in the volcanic nowhere and all of a sudden he called and FaceTimed and we wound up talking for literally three hours about everything from how he picks his characters to philosophy and why we wanted to do a book that was about what makes us human and create a future where technology has changed us in all kinds of physical ways so the investigation is what it is that defines us as people as opposed to, is it our bodies? Basically the question is, is it biological? Is it our principles? All of this stuff. And it's a big epic space opera.

But I didn't know if he was coming to the convention. I certainly didn't know if he'd be on a panel or do a signing right until the last minute. And then when we heard he was coming, it was very exciting.

The Arcbound panel, moderated by Chris Arrant

I had only spoken to him on FaceTime and that stuff. But when he came, then there was a question about whether or not he was going to come out on the panel. And when I asked, I was like, “what's the issue?” And it was that he was actually nervous because he cares about the characters he did in the geek space so much, like Bane and Venom. He was like, “what if people didn't like those versions and some people did like them?” And it was wonderful to see somebody so passionate about the comic book characters they portrayed. But he didn't want to come out if it was going to offend somebody because they didn't like some version in some way. And it was super endearing because he's a big, super smart, super passionate sweetheart about stuff. So I was like, “do you seriously think you're going to come out on stage and everyone's going to be like, ‘boooooo’? It's Comic-Con. They're going to love you, man.” So he came out and it was a blast. He was super articulate about why he's doing the comic.

Me, Frank Tieri, TOM HARDY & Ryan Smallman

And we got to hang out backstage and talk about everything from jujitsu to Batman. And Paul Dano happened to be there as well. So I got to see him:

With the brilliant writer of The Riddler: Year One

So I was standing next to the Riddler and Bane at the same time, which was awesome. And yeah, we did a signing together and hung out and he was just great. I got nothing but good things to say about that guy. He's a rare visionary. So that was really fun.

The Arcbound boys signing

Going to the DSTLRY party was super fun. It was full of people that I'm proud to be affiliated with.

Ty got a whiskey sour at the DSTLRY party. He had a great time.

Also, I got to hang out with Mark Doyle in the morning. We have our annual breakfast at New York and get to catch up as friends.

With Mark Doyle, the man who, along with Jeanine Schafer, is the reason why I have a career in comics

But I also got to hang out with James Tynion IV. Seeing James come into his own this last couple years has been one of the great joys of comics for me. Not only is he like the best writer on the stands, but he's just one of the best people. On top of that, he has really created a business model for himself that's, to me, pretty unprecedented and brilliant. And it's just wonderful to see him just blossom.

With comic royalty Tom King, James Tynion, Joshua Williamson & Ram V

Of course, no con would have any highlight higher than this either. But getting to hang out with Greg Capullo and Jon Glapion and Greg's wife Jamie. That to me is, outside of seeing my son and Jamie and that stuff, it's as high as it can go. I haven't seen Greg in a while. Getting to just sit with that guy and hug and talk about life. We barely talk about work. I mean, he's at Marvel and I'm doing other things. We text every couple days, but I miss his face. I miss hanging out with those two. And we went out to a dinner, just us. It was really fun. You get to just chat and catch up and relax. So seeing them was a huge part of the con for me, too, and a big thrill. So there were many other highlights. Great cosplay by many, many people coming up, cosplaying our characters and other ones.

Greg and I got to say hi to the one and only Victor Fries
The Family Who Laughs together stays together

But it was a great time. I just want to say thank you to you guys. 100%. It was great.


P.S. Don’t worry, the two questions are coming this Friday! This ended up being a lengthy post so we wanted to make sure those got the attention they deserved. Be back soon!

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