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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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(I tried to talk about different things different places, I promise.)

A quick collection of the latest interviews on GENERATION HOPE, CAPTAIN AMERICA & BUCKY, ASTONISHING X-MEN, and even some stuff about theater, comedy, and where the hell I came from!

Probably the most quickly comprehensive interview I’ve done is on Comic Vine.  And it’s on a website that runs its own comics wiki that I use RELIGIOUSLY!

A dedicated chat about ASTONISHING X-MEN #43 with Newsarama!  Hilariously, this was going to be part of a comprehensive interview, but the writer and I really got chatty – so they broke it up into a couple pieces :)  PS – Astonishing is OUT NOW!

Newsarama part 2: GENERATION HOPE!  More than any interview, this is where I talk about the thought process behind some of the scripts and choices.

Why read?  Watch and listen to a video interview!  We talk a bit more about how comedy and theater lead me into comics.

Believe it or not, I think there might still be some more stuff coming.

*   *   *   *   *

Also, CBR (ComicBookResources.com) gave my Astonishing X-Men issue 4/5 stars!  You can read it all here but the real take away is – YOU SHOULD BUY A COPY!  At your local comic book store :)

<3 You.

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Hi!!   I won’t prattle on – because I’ve been doing it TONS elsewhere!  So, instead, here’s a round up of places I’ve talked and what else you might find there…

Cover for GENERATION HOPE #15 -------------by Jorge Molina----------- in stores January 2012

All things X-MEN (including bits about Generation Hope) in the near future:

A round up of the X-Men: Regenesis panel discussion at NewYorkComicCon.  (feat. Kieron Gillen, Jason Aaron, Peter David, and basically EVERYONE…)  >> though, note my disclaimer comment after the article.

Hardcore X-Men fans ask me questions about Generation Hope:

ComicBookResources’ weekly X-Position feature.  My first appearance!  (Hope it’s not the last…)

I hang out with comedians and creators as we shoot the comic book $#!+:

Comic Book Club Live! in NYC.  Other guests are Jason Hurley & Jeremy Haun, creators of THE BEAUTY (Top Cow Pilot Season).  It’s a GREAT, ORIGINAL crime story!  (You should buy it.)

  • More chats will roll in VERY SOON. (And those will have a bit more CAPTAIN AMERICA & BUCKY discussion.)
  • Thanks to everyone who came up and chatted at NYCC or those who have hit me up on TWITTER!  I genuinely love to hear from you guys.
  • ASTONISHING X-MEN #43 comes out WEDNESDAY (10/26!!)!  It’s a self-contained done-in-one story that I really, really like.  Preview pages below. You should buy it from your LOCAL COMIC SHOP!

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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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Namor Annual #1 - part 3 of "Escape From the Negative Zone"

A preview page from Namor: First Mutant Annual #1 - pencils by Max Fiumara

WOW!  It’s been a busy couple months.   The most immediate news is that 2 of 3 chapters of ESCAPE FROM THE NEGATIVE ZONE are out – and people seem to be getting what I hoped they would from it!  If you haven’t yet, grab your copies of Uncanny X-Men Annual #3 and Steve Rogers: Super Soldier Annual #1 at your local comic shop.  And ask them to pre-order you a copy the finale – Namor: First Mutant Annual #1!  It features pencils by your new favorite artist, Max Fiumara (Four Eyes, Amazing Spider-Man).

Also, the CW just aired an episode I shot of AMERICA’S NEXT TOP MODEL.  (Seriously.)   I was hired to be creepy and make the girls uncomfortable  as one of their challenges…which was easy.

 * * * * * 

If you really want to hear me go on about these, though – here are some INTERVIEWS

COMIC BOOK RESOURCES – has a preview of some art from the final chapter of Escape…!  And I field some follow-up questions with Dave Richards (who also did the first interview here.)

CHILL OUT, IT’S JUST A PODCAST – had me sit down (or rather, crawl into a BLANKET FORT!) for a TWO-PART chat about these comics.  Episode 13 is all about Escape From the Negative Zone (and some deeply nerdy diversions from there).  And in Episode 14 we shoot the shit about where I came from, as well as my appearance on ANTM.

BRIDGET CALLAHAN IS YOUR BEST FRIEND – My (best?) friend Bridget also interviewed me about the experience of being hired (through my improv comedy work) by America’s Next Top Model to mess with the girls in an episode (Cycle 16, Episode 6).

* * * * * 

And for those who might be interested in (or have been on the fence about) picking up my Marvel Comics annuals (Uncanny X-Men, Steve Rogers: Super Soldier, and Namor: First Mutant) – here are some REVIEWS that just-so-happen to insist you buy them!

WEEKLY COMIC BOOK REVIEW – “A fun, lively and jaunty story that had me laughing out loud in a few places coupled with some seriously badass art.  A- !”

COMIC BOOK RESOURCES - THE ‘BUY PILE’ – “Buy! …  All the elements here just worked, joining together perfectly while the plot rotated around Steve Rogers’ relentless military precision.  A great surprise.”

NEWSARAMA - “Humor abounds in delightfully character-specific ways… An emblematic example of skill from relative newcomer Asmus.”

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It’s announced!  (So I can finally talk about it!)  I’m working on my biggest Marvel project yet -

ESCAPE FROM THE NEGATIVE ZONE!

Out in March 2011 (just in time for C2E2), the story will cross-over between the Annuals for Uncanny X-Men, Steve Rogers: Super Soldier, and Namor: First Mutant.

HOLY CRAP!

This has really been a thrill, and I hope you all dig it too.   And make sure you pre-order it from your local comic shop so they know to order enough!  :)

I’ll talk more about this project here in the coming months.  In the meantime, check out the links below for all kinds of more info.   Seriously, go to them.  If nothing else, to check out a bunch more art from the first two annuals by

Steve Rogers Super Soldier art by Ibraim Roberson

Nicholas Bradshaw & Ibraim Robertson.  These guys are killing it with these pages!

Article at MARVEL.COM

Article at COMIC BOOK RESOURCES

Interview at NEWSARAMA

ADDED 10/7

Interview at IGN

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