Newsletter #28: A Clear Picture

Going clear with some thoughts on the latest BJP title and more on conventions


Hey guys, it's Scott.

And I am back from New York Comic Con, feeling a little bit worse for wear but incredibly happy. It was a fantastic con. Some highlights from it were getting to finally see brother Greg Capullo again, give him a hug after two years of not getting to see each other, and sit together and have a drink and catch up face to face. It's a strange thing with him and Tony Daniel, also, who was there and who I haven't seen in a long time. We talk all the time—Greg and I and Tony and I text, and so we're never out of touch. But there's a special kind of joy that comes from seeing each other face to face. And it's one of the great things about conventions. As pros, we all work alone so often.

And another thing I'd say about this job is just—and I said this on a panel that I did at the convention and it kind of hit me all over again—the profession of being a creator, whether you're a writer, or an artist, or really any kind of creator, it forces you into a space where you're staring at the things that you're fearful about, or you're hopeful about, day in and day out. You make things out of that material. Whether or not you do it explicitly, and you're writing about immediate fears in your life, or hopes and fantasies, or you're doing it in a way that's a little oblique, you care about what you're making, and therefore it's inherently imbued with your own passions, your own interests. So to make something out of that is a tough job, and we spend so much of our time staring into the mirror of that screen trying to see something worth presenting to the rest of the world—that it's a job that also is not only isolating physically, but I think is really taxing, psychologically and emotionally.

It's a great job, it's the greatest job in the world, in my opinion, but it's hard. So, going to a convention and seeing other people that do the same thing that you do and that you've worked with and that are part of the community, there's a magic to it. And above all, out of all the highlights, and there were a bunch, one was getting to see the Dark Knights from Dark Nights: Metal cosplayed to a degree I've never seen before, with like a 15-foot Devastator and so on. Another highlight was getting to see the books displayed on big LED screens, both in the subway and outside the convention hall with huge trailers and everything.

comiXology Originals did such a fantastic job promoting this line with giveaway posters signed by me and Greg, and pins and glasses, and they threw an amazing party on Friday night and invited pretty much every creator at the con, as far as I know. It was in a restaurant that was the top floor of a hotel, open air, looking out at the Empire State Building, and my parents came. So, it was really one of the highlights of my whole career, this weekend and having books that I'm so proud of coming out and getting to celebrate them with friends. It really was something I'll never forget, and it's one of the happiest moments in my whole comic life.

Because last time I went into my warnings about how cons can backfire on you, I'll tell you one of my favorite con moments in this post. And there have been a bunch over the years: sitting with Joe Kubert at the very first con Rafael Albuquerque and I went to together when we had one issue of American Vampire out and seeing Rafael tear up sitting next to him to sign, meeting Ben Affleck when he was Batman and having him say that he liked our stuff. Just so many crazy moments over the years that it's not even worth getting into, but one that sticks out because I was talking about it this weekend, was when I met Adam West and he was at New York Comic Con when I was working on Batman. I was a couple years in, they brought me to meet him and they told him you, “Mr. West, this is Scott Snyder, he writes Batman.” And I was so excited, and he was wearing like a velvet blazer and a silk ascot and a yellow sunglasses, and he turned around without missing a beat, even though he did not know who I was at all. He was like, “Scott Snyder? Now it's a party!” And it was just, like, put it on my tombstone, I'm done. That was the best. So, cons are special and amazing. And as much as I was warning you about all the pitfalls, they're also fantastic, and this one was certainly great.

So, a couple bits of news and promotion for the coming weeks. First, today, Clear #1 comes out from me and Francis Manapul with Deron Bennett on letters. It's a book we've been working on for 3+ years, and I'm so proud of it. It's built on Francis' and my shared fears about this moment and possible future, and it takes place in a moment close to now when big tech figures out a way to make the internet neurologically synced so that we don't need computers anymore to hook up to it. And the big trend, what everybody does, is scan the world however they want. So, they call them “veils” in this world. But the superstructure legally still has to be there, even though you can put a filter over it. So, if I want to look out and see zombie apocalypse, or I want to look out and see porn setting, or I want to look out and see manga setting, that's what I see.

And so, it's about the worries we have for our kids growing up in this really algorithmically-based moment where everything that's fed to them is more of what they already like and everything is designed to kind of put you into a perpetual loop of affirmation. And so, it's a murder mystery that takes place in this world with a detective as the protagonist, Sam Dunes, who always keep setting on “clear,” which is supposed to be the objective lens through which you see the world. Really, really proud of it, especially proud of Francis's art. Please check it out if you can. It's from comiXology Originals, and it's the second of our three books that we're releasing this month for Scottober. If you get a subscription to comixology Unlimited, you could read all three books for the price of one (for $5.99) and discover tons of amazing creators. I think they're 40,000+ other comic books you get for free or for that subscription price if you sign on. Classics and newbies, all kinds of great stuff.

And next week, we have Night of the Ghoul from Francesco Francavilla and me with Deron on letters again, so I'll go more into that later, but Clear’s today, please check it out. If you like it, please say something nice about Francis' artwork online, tell your friends, and sign up. Also, tomorrow on Wednesday, Nocterra vol. 1 comes out from me, Tony Daniel, Tomeu Morey, and Deron Bennett on letters. Deron's lettering a ton of our stuff at Best Jackett. He and his company AndWorld Design are just great if you're looking for anyone to letter your stuff. Nocterra vol. 1 collects our whole first smash hit arc in one big volume with designs and extras and all kinds of stuff. So, please pick it up. Also, if your store ordered 25 copies or more, which many did because I have a sore arm to show for it, we signed bookplates for all the books, so a lot of stores got like a hundred bookplates and all kinds of stuff. So, you probably can get a signed version at your store. Go check it out Wednesday!

Also, I'm going to have to move our class scheduled for next week one week back. I didn't realize when I set the schedule that we have a parent-teacher conference next week on that day. So, I'd love to do that and I don't want to miss it. So, if it's okay, we'll move the class that was originally set for October 20th to October 27th. And for everybody that came by at the con and said that you subscribe to this newsletter or take the class, Comic Writing 101, that we do through paid subscriptions here, and there must have been at least a hundred people that did that, I can't thank you enough.

Above all, the highlight of cons is always to get to see the fans and feel the energy from them and interact and say thank you, and this con was no different. In fact, after so many months apart, there was a special kind of energy at the Javits that felt real celebratory and warm and inviting, and I can't thank everybody enough for showing up and showing us love and letting us show you love. Here's to a lot more than the future! And on that note, lastly, I have another convention. If you're anywhere near Detroit next weekend, Motor City Comic Con, I'll be there Saturday and Sunday morning with Greg Capullo, Donny Cates (who co-leads the phenomenal KLC Press Substack), and Ben Percy among others. So, we will definitely have a blast. And yeah, if you can swing by, do.

And thanks again, guys. I appreciate it!