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Hey!  So END TIMES OF BRAM & BEN #1 is out NOW from Image Comics!  We’ve got the best reviews of anything I’ve written (proving Jim Festante is the real talent here) – and SEVERAL SIGNINGS coming up!

At all these, we’ll definitely be promoting End Times… but these signings are for GAMBIT and/or THIEF OF THIEVES fans, too!  (Or Generation Hope, etc…)  I’ve got TWO MORE issues of THIEVES coming next week and late next month.  Thief of Thieves vol 2 collection is due in March!

Gambit vol. 1 features issues #1-7 of the series for only $19 – out on March 20th!  (Less on Amazon, of course.)  It’s a great way to jump on :)

2/13 – ANAHEIM, CA @ BEACH BALL COMICS w/ Jim Festante
the release of End Times Of Bram & Ben #2!

2/16 – LAS VEGAS, NV @ MAXIMUM COMICS  w/ Jim Festante

2/27 – PORTLAND, OR @ THINGS FROM ANOTHER WORLD

3/1 – 3/3 – SEATTLE, WA @ EMERALD CITY CON w/ Jim Festante

3/29 – 3/31 – ANAHEIM, CA @ WONDER CON

4/26 – 4/28 – CHICAGO, IL @ C2E2

And People Love It!:

“This book is AWESOME! It’s been a while since we’ve seen an original concept like this and executed so brilliantly, with this level of great writing.” – Bleeding Cool

“Freaking hilarious! The kind of book everyone is going to be talking about… an early contender for best mini-series of 2013!” – IGN

“A breath of fresh air. It’s original, funny with some killer art. 5/5stars!” – Major Spoilers

COMING SOON:

2/13/13  END TIMES…#2 Cover art by J.A.W. Cooper

3/13/13  END TIMES…#3 Cover art by Juan Doe!

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I mentioned it before – and now you can have it!!

The COMIC BOOK LEGAL DEFENSE FUND is a fantastic resource defending the free speech and livelihood of many a comic creator and cartoonist.  And I’m honored and delighted to have been asked to contribute to this year’s LIBERTY ANNUAL (#5)!!

It’s a collection of short pieces by amazing creators like Robert Kirkman & Charlie Adlard (Walking Dead!), Johnathan Hickman (Fantastic Four, Manhattan Projects), Kieron Gillen (Uncanny X-Men, Phonogram), Joe Keatinge (Glory), Andy Diggle (The Losers), Ben Templesmith (30 Days of Night), and TONS more wonderous pros!!

CBR has a kind review of the book in general, and my story with Takeshi Miyazawa  in particular! Check it: http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=user_review&id=5329

The book should be available at your local comic shop, or you can buy it digitally through Comixology!  Proceeds go to the Legal Defense Fund!

 

Also: I don’t say this enough – but a big shout-out and thanks should go to Crank! who kindly donated his awesome skills as a letterer.  I’ve worked with Crank on everything independent so far, and he’s really a tremendous professional and collaborator! You can follow him on Twitter, too.

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QUICK UPDATE / REMINDERS:

NEW SERIES (for me): THIS WEDNESDAY (9/5) sees the release of my first issue of THIEF OF THIEVES with Robert Kirkman (creator/writer Walking Dead, Invincible), Shawn Martinbrough (penciler Detective Comics), & Felix Serrano (colorist Generation X).

I’m deliriously proud to be a part of this awesome book from Image Comics / Skybound (and to be taking over this arc after the first by the bad-ass Nick Spencer) – and I think this issue is one of the strongest comics I’ve written!

The first collected volume (issues #1-7 scripted by Nick Spencer) will be available Wed in your comic shops –  or you can order it from Amazon HERE.  I genuinely recommend the book if you like cool, smart crime character pieces.

SIGNING IN ANAHEIM w/ CLAY MANN! – ALSO this Wed, I’ll be signing comics (or whatever you want, really) at Beach Ball Comics in Anaheim.  GAMBIT artist extraordinaire, Clay Mann, will be there too!  This is a very rare west-coast appearance by Clay – so you should make your way over (or get someone to come by on your behalf).  He’s even taking commissions for a few sketches if you can beat the cut-off HERE.

GAMBIT issues #1 AND #2 are OUT NOW.  If you haven’t picked them up yet, come by (or send a Southern California friend) and get a signed copy of the sexy cool goodness we’re cooking up :)

And while we’re at it, here’s some preview art from issue #3 – out 9/12!!

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First off: THANK YOU infinitely to all those who picked up GAMBIT #1 and/or recommended it to Remy-loving friend and/or came out to say hi and offer enthusiasm at one of the signings or on Twitter! (!!!)

*  *  *  * INTERVIEWS *  *  *  *

Now if you have read it, and wanted to hear some behind-the-scenes thinking, teases for the future, and/or my thoughts on other stuff – you’re in luck!! I’ve been talking to a lot of folks lately:

*  *  *  * SIGNING with CLAY MANN in ANAHEIM *  *  *  *

On SEPTEMBER 5th I’ll be in Anaheim signing at BEACH BALL COMICS – WITH ARTIST CLAY MANN!

Also, by virtue of the later date, that means Gambit #1, #2 AND my first issue of THIEF OF THIEVES should be available!

More details soon…

*  *  *  *  HOW & WHY TO GET GAMBIT #1 *  *  *  *

If you can’t make the signing – you can still get a copy from: your local retailer, read it on your computer through ComiXology.com, on your iPad/Android tablet/KindleFire through the ComiXology or Marvel apps, or just dive in with a subscription to 12 months delivered to your door!

And if you’re still on the fence about getting the book, here’s:

 

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HOLY $#!+ has stuff been busy and wonderful since I last posted!

The big thing to expound on (for today…) is GAMBIT! (And how you can get your hands on him…)

As announced at C2E2 – I’m writing an all new comic book series for the sexy, thieving Cajun mutant.  This book is designed to be COMPLETELY NEW-READER FRIENDLY.  We’ll be unfolding a whole new odyssey of heists, seduction, and globe-trotting high adventure for everyone who is, was, or could be interested in Gambit.

The main artist on the book is Clay Mann – who’s already won a legion of fans for his sexy and cinematic art work on X-Men: Legacy and Age of X.  He’s been doing a phenomenal job of crafting a completely engulfing world and sophisticated characters.  He’s also providing the covers for the first four issues – so you can get a sense of the world we’re building in the book:

The first TWO issues will come out in August – and if you’re interested in giving us a try – there’s THREE ways you can get the book:

  1. You can reserve your copies NOW from your local comic shop! (Find yours here.)
  2. You can get a year’s SUBSCRIPTION for home delivery (like a magazine) from Marvel.com for 25% off the cover price!
  3. Or – the comics will be available through ComiXology or Marvel Comics apps for iPad and Android devices on the same day as publication. (Stay tuned for those links when the book is released.)

I really think this book will be something that appeals to an incredibly wide audience.  Our hope is to make this book something that a lapsed comic fan – or your girlfriend who’s just dipping her toe into comics can get hooked on (and understand the plot!).

I hope you’ll give us a shot.  There’s is a LOT of sexy cool fun coming down the pipe.

And if you’re anxious to hear more particulars about what we’ve got planned – here are some of the interviews I did around the announcement:

http://www.newsarama.com/comics/c2e2-2012-marvel-next-big-thing.html  (replay “the next big thing” panel from C2E2)
http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=38181
http://www.newsarama.com/comics/c2e2-2012-gambit-asmus-mann.html
http://www.comicvine.com/news/c2e2-interview-james-asmus-deals-gambit-a-new-deck/144571/
http://marvel.com/news/story/18542/c2e2_2012_gambit
http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=38203

More of Clay Mann’s sexy Gambit. (And Rogue. Who will make a dramatic appearance in the book a little later in the year.)

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Amelia Earhart: Jungle Princess cover by Mike Dimayuga

New Comic :  AMELIA EARHART: JUNGLE PRINCESS!

The famed aviatrix survived her legendary crash, only to live stranded on a remote and deadly isle! Will the local savages be friends or foes?  –  by James Asmus and Mike Dimayuga

Years after doing a(n award-winning) play by the same name with The New Colony in Chicago – I couldn’t let go of the idea!  This first tale is a stand-alone story with art by the fantastic Mike Dimayuga (Image Comics’ Colt Noble & the Megalords) and it’s available now through DoubleFeature comics!

*  *  *  *

DoubleFeature is an awesome digital publishing outlet that delivers two different, original 8-page stories – plus bonus material – for only $0.99!  You can get the comics as a PDF you can read on any device – OR – you can download the free DoubleFeature iPad app which offers extra features like page-by-page creator commentary and the ability to strip off different layers of the art and lettering to see the work at its various stages!

When you’re done reading Amelia, you should try out the other Double Feature comics from great creators like Tim Seeley (Hack/Slash, Witchblade), Mike Norton (Green Arrow/Black Canary, Battlepug), Dennis Hopeless (Legion of Monsters, Loveless), Sean Dove (Hack/Slash, I am Legion), Gabriel Hardman (Hulk, Planet of the Apes) and tons more!  Go get ‘em!

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Merry Christmas!  Happy Hanukkah (all spellings)!  Habari gani!  And Good winter to you grumpy non-celebrants out there!

I love Christmas with my family.  But the season has been even more exciting because my first issue of CAPTAIN AMERICA & BUCKY comes out THIS WEDNESDAY!  It’s a crazy modern Cap story created along with ED BRUBAKER (Eisner Award  ) and FRANCESCO FRANCAVILLA (Detective Comics, Black Panther)

PREVIEW! (note: these aren’t the FIRST 3 pages -so the comic itself has more context and storytelling…)

I loved the initial arc and the work Marc Andreyko and Chris Samnee were doing on it.   If you haven’t read it – you really should.  It’s great comics.  BUT, so you all know – our arc tells a very different story that any reader can jump right into.  I hope those who have loved the series so far will stick with us throught the serious gear-shift (in terms of era/creative team/and which “Bucky” we’re talking about).

If nothing else, I can promise you that FF’s art on our issues starts with all the passion and punch of his acclaimed work on DETECTIVE COMICS – and it seriously gets better and better with every page!  Some of the stuff he’s been sending in for parts 2 and 3 are the best work I’ve ever seen from him.  (And that is saying a lot. …Okay, here’s a sneak peek :)

ALSO!  My second issue of GENERATION HOPE (#14! with artist Ibraim Roberson & colorist Jim Charalampidis) came out last Wednesday!  And even with the holiday swooping in, a few folks had time to review it and say nice things!

Let them convince you to pick it up if you haven’t :

http://acomicbookblog.com/2011/12/generation-hope-14-review/

http://www.chicagocomicvault.com/2011/12/review-generatioin-hope-14-the-lights-ignite/

ALSO!  I did a SIGNING on last weeks release at CHALLENGERS COMICS + CONVERSATION in Chicago.  They were wonderful as always (and have a fantastic new comic art gallery that you should just go hang out in).  I left them with a few extra signed copies of my first TWO Gen Hope issues.  So if you missed the event, you can still swing by and pick ‘em up!

And finally, I deeply love this shirt from MightFine

…AND YOU SHOULD.

Enjoy your sweets and loved ones!

+james

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Hey kids!  Believe it or not, multiple people have asked me if I’d drop a suggested playlist for my issues of Marvel Comics’ GENERATION HOPE  as apparently Kieron Gillen had done before me.

And it just so happens that I was (am?) a music-mix maniac for so many people in my life, that I was really tickled to do so.  That said, things have been rushed, so I hope you’ll forgive the rough and simple nature of this one.  And yes, I can’t NOT think of this as a mix tape (two sides) even though I made a digital playlist.

I hope you dig the suggestions, and I hope you’ll check out Generation Hope #14 in stores tomorrow (and PREVIEWED at the end of the post)!

GENERATION HOPE MIX TAPE, Vol. 2 #1:  LOVERS & FIGHTERS

SIDE A – Fighters

  1. “Dance Yrself Clean” – LCD Soundsystem – FYI, this is a slow starter.  Don’t bail on it early!
  2.  “Memories of the Future” – Handsome Furs
  3. “I’m In Love With Destruction” – Let’s Wrestle
  4. “Capsize” – Karen O & the Kids
  5. “We Were Sick” – The Thermals
  6. “Titus Andronicus Forever” – Titus Andronicus
  7. “We Used to Wait” – Arcade Fire

SIDE B – Lovers

  1. “Whole Wide World” – Wreckless Eric
  2. “Kiss With a Fist” – Florence + the Machine
  3. “Trust” – Generationals
  4. “Gigantic” – The Pixies
  5. “Teenagers” – Department of Eagles
  6. “You Are a Tourist” – Death Cab For Cutie

DISCLAIMERS:  I am not saying that Generation Hope #14 (OUT 12/21!! Pick it up near you!) synchs up with this by any means.   These are mix of tracks that I listen to as I write the book for purposes of mood, youth-power, or because they remind me of something intrinsic to one or more of the Gen Hope kids.   There’s also no guarantee that if you like the book, you’ll like this music or vice-versa.  But hopefully, you will!

AND MERRY X-MAS!!

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Francesco Francavilla's cover to CAPTAIN AMERICA & BUCKY #625 written by James Asmus & Ed Brubaker

Yes. I know.  Hot on the heels of the announcement that I’m taking the reigns of Generation Hope, comes the equally big news that I’m writing an arc of CAPTAIN AMERICA(!!) with the seriously top-flight talents of Ed Brubaker and Francesco Francavilla!

 

***

I think I mentioned this elsewhere, but it’s true – I got dizzy when editor Lauren Stankovich offered me the gig (seemingly out of nowhere).  The only other time I felt a confusion-wave like that was when I was asked if my sketch comedy trio (Hey You Millionaires) wanted to play Whirllyball against members of Kids In the Hall.

***

I had an absolute blast writing for Steve Rogers (aka Captain America) in his cross over with the X-Men (Escape From the Negative Zone).  But it’s a distinct honor to get to work on his ongoing title.  Especially considering the AMAZING (and Eisner Award-winning) work Ed Brubaker has done with the character over the last few years.  Seriously, if you like smart comics at all you should read his run from the beginning.  Ed has been an incredibly insightful and generous guy.  So I hope I don’t screw up his work!

Luckily, all my words will be getting improved by the golden touch of Francesco Francavilla!  He’s been quickly gaining an excellent reputation as a result of his work penciling, inking, and coloring (most recently) Black Panther and Detective Comics.

I’m so happy to finally be able to talk about these two big developments!  And I’ve got a few interviews coming up soon.  So I’ll save the further gushing & details for those.  In the meantime, find your Local Comic Shop and ask them to order you copies of Captain America & Bucky (starting with #625) and Generation Hope (starting with #13)!

CAPTAIN AMERICA & BUCKY #625
Written by Ed Brubaker & James Asmus
Pencils & Cover by Francesco Francavilla

• The original Human Torch guest-stars as Captain America teams up with Bucky in the present day… for the first time?!
• Rising stars James Asmus and Francesco Francavilla join Eisner award winner Ed Brubaker for a rollicking adventure into the future of the star-spangled Avenger’s past!
• Brand new arc! Easy jumping on point!

32 PGS./Rated T+ …$2.99

Generation Hope #14 cover by Ibraim Roberson

GENERATION HOPE #13
Written by JAMES ASMUS
Art & Cover by IBRAIM ROBERSON
Variant Cover by DALE KEOWN 
X-MEN REGENESIS NOVEMBER 2011

GENERATION HOPE #14

Written by James Asmus
Pencils & Cover by Ibraim Roberson
X-MEN REGENESIS – DECEMBER 2011
Meet the newest member of Generation Hope…Sebastian Shaw?! When Hope and company investigate an unaccounted for mutant reading in Pakistan, they come across a full-grown mutant with no memory being used as a weapon. They see a mutant in trouble and help…not realizing they’re rescuing one of the X-Men’s deadliest foes! 
32 PGS./Rated T …$2.99

Also, THIS:

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Because NO ONE asked for it – I interview myself about my upcoming comics projects!

JAMES: Wow, James, thanks for sitting down to talk about all the awesome stuff you have coming up!  I’m a huge fan!

JAMES:  Please don’t gush.  You’re making us look desperate.

cover art for GENERATION HOPE #13 by Ibraim Roberson

JAMES: Fair enough!  First off, you were just announced as the new writer of GENERATION HOPE, Marvel Comics’ new young X-Men characters.  What can we expect from your issues?

JAMES: UNBRIDLED ENTHUSIASM.  Also, the teaser obviously lets you know that I’m bringing Sebastian Shaw (longtime X-villain, immortalized by Kevin Bacon in this summer’s X-Men First Class movie) into the mix.  But he is NOT the only X-character matriculating into Gen Hope…

But the number one thing I want people to know is that we are working hard to make this book easy to jump on to if you haven’t been reading it (or any X-men stuff).  I sincerely believe in making comics accessible to new readers in every issue.  But there will also be several big pay-offs to stories that have been building since  Kieron Gillen (the O.G. Gen Hope scribe) started the book.

I know that sounds like a tricky balance, but it really isn’t.  New and old audiences will both enjoy a scene that has previously established information – as long as characters are having an emotional response to the idea/event/etc. – and, most importantly, one that forwards the story and develops the character.

JAMES: So you’re saying there will be more focus on character, and less on tights and punching?

JAMES:  Yes and no.  Punching is still an emotional reaction.  But so is kissing, crying, betrayal, quitting, manipulating, and even… sacrificing your life.   The first story has a lot of action, but is ultimately setting up a lot of the emotional turns that will change everything for the team around issues #16 & #17.  Also, the book is gonna get a lot more hormonal.  The way any teenage story should be.

JAMES: Yikes! Changing topics – you’ve been shamelessly promoting (read: begging for support) your first creator-owned comic’s Kickstarter campaign.  What made you decide to do an “Apocalyptic Buddy Comedy” about the Rapture??

The Life & End Times of Bram & Ben art by Remus Brezeanu

JAMES:  Well, rather than get into my whole relationship with theology and religion – I’ll say there was a period a few years ago where I became fascinated with feature films made by televangelists.  Most of these were about “The End Times” (The Rapture, the Antichrist, etc.) – and starred B-or C-list names like Corbin Bernsen, Casper Van Dien, Jeff Fahey, and even Mr. T.

My biggest problem with these (okay, one of my biggest problems) was that – though the idea of the Rapture is that ‘good people’ are taken to Heaven and the rest of us jerks must live out a ‘tribulation’ to test our ultimate fate – almost all the characters are essentially still good Christian people.  That is NOT an interesting story!

Look, we’re never going to get difinitive proof that any religion is ‘true.’  But isn’t the much more compelling (and hilarious) Rapture story one about people who absolutely don’t believe in a religion getting hit with the reality that they blew it?  Seriously – WTF would you do?!?  

JAMES: So this isn’t a “pro-Rapture”, cautionary comic?  Like those weird, scary CHICK Tracts?

JAMES:  No.  But it’s not necessarily an “anti-Rapture” comic either.  In my mind, it’s no different from saying “what if you woke up and found out GHOSTS were real – and how are you going to deal with them?”   There are people who seriously believe in ghosts, and those who don’t.   I’m just interested in creating a fictional world where the “is there/isn’t there?” question answers itself in a HUGE fashion – and then tell a story that explores the reactions of people who totally bet on the wrong outcome.  

JAMES: So why a self-produced comic?

JAMES: Honestly?  Because I don’t think any other medium would let me tell this story.  The simple fact that there are jokes happening near people’s religious beliefs means that 95% of storytelling avenues would be terrified of helping me get this out into the world.  And to be honest, I have no idea how much of an audience there may be for this book.  But I know that I’d be excited to read it, and so would (a fairly diverse spread of) plenty of people I know personally.

more interior art by Remus Brezeanu

The truth is,my friend and collaborator on this (Jim Festante) and I may very well lose a lot of our own money on this. But I believe in what we have planned so strongly that I’m willing to risk it.  But I do hope that those who would like to read a book like this show support early with the Kickstarter campaign.  It’s going to make a huge difference as to our ability to get the book out quickly and at the level of quality we think it deserves.

JAMES: Well, I’m sure people reading this are at least willing to trade a $2 donation for a digital copy of the first issue!

JAMES:  I’d hope so.

JAMES: Anything else coming up we should know about?

JAMES:  Yes!  Actually, before either of those projects coming out – the issue I wrote for ASTONISHING X-MEN #43 will come out in October!   I am beside myself to have the opportunity on a book that was previously helmed by Joss Whedon and Warren Ellis!

I do have a bit of bittersweet news to break about the issue, though – the awesome Nick Bradshaw was ultimately unable to draw the book (at the last minute)!  He had the misfortune of getting hired onto the new Wolverine & The X-Men comic written by superstar Jason Aaron.  I’m sure he feels demoted.   Instead, the book is graced by the phenomenal DAVID YARDIN – who has mostly been churning out crazy dynamic COVERS for the last few years.  So it’s a great treat to have him doing some beautiful interiors again!  Additionally, pages which take place… elsewhere will be illustrated by the seemingly un-link-able GABRIEL HERNANDEZ!

The story itself gives a big bright spotlight on two of my favorite X-ladies, Emma Frost and Danger.  This story was deliberately designed to harken back to Joss Whedon’s initial stories with Danger.  I promise you, the story will make perfect sense (and be a blast) even if you haven’t read those issues.  But if you have, we’re both tying up some unresolved parts of his run and developing her character further.  I’m VERY EXCITED about this one.

Also I’ve got a soon-to-be-revealed project with the fantastic FRANCESCO FRANCAVILLA(!!!) which will be a VERY big change up for my work at Marvel – but I couldn’t be more honored and excited to be on it :)   More on that in just a few weeks!

JAMES: This is probably way too long.

JAMES:  Yeah.  I doubt anyone’s still reading.

 

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