Newsletter #26: We All Have Demons

Some thoughts on the launch of the first creator-owned series from me and Greg Capullo!


Hey guys, it's Scott.

I can't believe it, it's finally launch day for our line of books coming out from comiXology Originals. Today my very first creator owned book with Greg Capullo, after 10 years of working together, comes out. It's called We Have Demons. And it's kind of the culmination of everything we've been working on for the last decade. But it's something that we actually co-own and that we made from scratch ourselves. And there's just a certain level of joy to that that's indescribable.

[Check out this amazing new narrated We Have Demons trailer from comiXology!]

I mean, I had a great time working with Greg at DC, and he became more than just a partner or a mentor. He's like family to me now, and we had a blast creating everything we got to do there, from the Court of Owls to the Batman Who Laughs and the Dark Multiverse and Mr. Bloom and all kinds of stuff. The reinvention of the design for Batman and aspects of Batman's history and future…all kinds of stuff for the DC Universe and its mythology and cosmology through Metal and Death Metal…I mean, it was a dream job. But there's a different kind of joy to seeing your creations take on a second life when they're licensed than when they're yours. And even just making a book this way for us—building it from the ground up with no restrictions, no grind schedule, no bosses, no overlords, no continuity, no pressure—it was just a totally different experience. I can't tell you how fun it was, this one. And it was worth the wait, it really was.

So, to tell you a little bit about the book, We Have Demons is sort of everything that Greg and I loved to do at DC, but done in our way. And it even returns to certain themes that I loved playing with in some of our former work—secret elements and metals and histories hidden from the rest of the world and secret organizations and all of it. But it's also really personal. It's a book that I talked to Greg about a couple years ago when we were doing Death Metal, when we were planning that event, and I told him, “look, on the other side of this, I'd love to write something that's for our kids.” And the agreed.

Now I didn’t mean that WHD would be a kid's book. I meant that it would have a message for our kids, a promise to them, that it'd be about about finding hope in this crazy moment when it feels like we as adults have fucked everything up and have made a world that's so much harder for them to navigate than the world was for us in so many ways. Because the systemic problems they're facing do feel deeper. And maybe it's just a function of being a parent, worrying more about them than you worried about yourself, because growing up in the ‘80s, certainly there were tremendous fears about many entrenched challenges. But it just feels different as a parent in this moment; it feels like nowadays, the odds are stacked harder against kids. I mean, my kids are worried about school shootings and pandemics. They’re coming up in a time when everything is so divisive. Everyone is so excited to disappear into their subjective bubbles rather than find any kind of collective middle or discourse about how we can find a way forward together.

There's so little desire to move forward together; half the time it feels like more people care more about seeing folks they disagree with lose than win themselves in any real way. And there's the changing economy, there's the feeling of diminishing opportunity for them, and the cost of college, all of it. This feeling, it's there. It's summed up in a couple lines that Lam, our main character, says when she's talking about her father wanting her to have faith in things, and she says that with his generation, it was hard, the boat was taking on water, but you could still kind of see land. Nowadays, telling kids to have hope is almost like telling them to grow gills. But she is hopeful, and she does have faith, and there is a determination there with her. But the book came from this desire to write something that was sort of a message of hope and apology, but also a call to arms for my kids, but totally deep fried and wrapped in like a burrito of fun and gore and action and comedy and all the shit that I loved when I was 14-years-old, the series that made me just explode with joy.

I remember there was a day that I was home sick from school when I was exactly my kid’s age, when I was like 13 going on 14, and they showed The Transformers: The Movie and then G.I. Joe: The Movie in a row on WPIX channel 11 in New York, and it was like Shakespeare to me. Both were way better than they had any reason to be, and it was like, “what is this…” It was that kind of a joy of watching something dark and amazing and also hopeful, and all of it like it was above my head, like reading Dark Knight Returns, but it swept me away with so much fun I barely noticed the message. Greg and I want this book to be that. We want it to be something awesome and epic that embraces the kind of storytelling we love to do unabashedly, just big heart, big fists, all of it…

And there’s big mythology, too! It's literally about two secret elements—the lightest on the periodic table, it's not on there, it's hidden from the periodic table, atomic number zero, and the heaviest, darkest element created all the way out in the farthest reaches of space with an atomic number somewhere up in the six hundreds. And it’s how those two things play a part in this battle between good and evil over millions of years on Planet Earth with only a small group of people knowing. And it’s about how this dark element infects the most evolved species on the planet, whatever that may be at a certain time, and turns them into these horrible, foul-mouthed, predatory, vicious creatures called demons, and how the light material can be used to create weapons to stop these things.

So, not giving too much away, but it's a big, expansive series that I would love to write for the rest of my life with Greg. I love the characters, Lam is a special character. Gus, her partner, who you meet soon, is a special character. It was sort of like an Appleseed, the manga from when I was a kid, sort of template of a duo. But anyway, I really hope you like it, it comes out today. Again, there's a special joy to finally having something that Greg and I own together. It's ours, and it’s great to be able to work on it without the pressures and the grind and the matrix and math of licensed comics. So, if you've liked anything we've ever done together, I hope you'll give it a shot.

If you have Amazon Prime, you can already get the books. The comiXology Originals line, which are just books that are made by comiXology’s Originals line, and they have lots of great books by emerging creators, by some superstars like Chip Zdarsky and Jeff Lemire and Jock, but also by up and comers. Those books are free for you if you have Prime. If you want access to 40,000+ comics (including ours) and you get a comiXology Unlimited subscription, then you get everything we're doing for the price of $5.99/month, and all the books we have coming out. Because next week, our second series launches, Clear with Francis Manapul. The following week, 10/19, Night of the Ghoul launches with Francesco Francavilla. And then every month, it runs in that rotation. So, in November, it goes Demons #2, Clear #2, Ghoul #2. December it’s Demons #3, Clear #3, Night of the Ghoul #3 and so on.

But you will get all of those books for the price of one comic book a month. The reason I'm excited about that is because I want to keep the books affordable for you. And on top of that, I hope you'll use us as a gateway drug to go discover hundreds and hundreds of other amazing creators probably better than me on they're both classics that made me want to read like Dark Knight Returns and Sandman and Saga—all of those books are available through comiXology Unlimited. And there’s brand new voices. So, it's a great kind of rabbit hole to fall down and fall in love with comics all over again. Or you can just buy the books as single issues if you want. You could just go and buy issue #1, issue #2, issue #3, whatever you want. (And as a reminder, Dark Horse will be handling the print releases of single issues and trades starting in 2022!)

So, those are the different ways to take a look at it. I hope you'll give it a shot. And just let me know what you think! Put your comments here, go on social media, let us know! I'm always all ears about this stuff. But I couldn't be prouder of this book. I couldn't love it more, I couldn't be more grateful to the team and to you guys for giving us the chance to work together for so long and have so much fun together but And now finally do something that we can make completely on our own terms. Best fans ever.

Thank you so much!