I want to congratulate Mark Andrew Smith, D.J. Kirkbride, and Joe Keatinge for POPGUN VOL. 3 winning the 2010 Eisner Award for Best Anthology. Over the years, they've worked hard to produce a consistently solid anthology series. I'm proud that Dan Warner and I contributed "50 Miles to Marfa" to the volume 3 collection. I'm rather fond of those eight pages we produced. I love working with Warner... even though he won't return my emails. (I think he's afraid of the purity of my love.) No, contrary to what some of my friends have suggested, this does not make me an Eisner winner. The honor goes to the editors. I'm indirectly awesome.

However, I would like to point out that three of my biggest professional dreams/aspirations/hopes/goals are: 1. to produce ongoing work as a comics writer 2. to write a graphic novel/TPB for SLG or Oni Press 3. to win an Eisner

And for those keeping score, this year: 1. I've been writing a one-page comic for a local newspaper on an every other week basis. 2. I co-wrote a short story that was published by Oni. 3. An anthology containing one of my stories won an Eisner.

Is this the universe's way of playing "kinda-sorta-not-really" with my dreams? Hmm.


Yes, it's that time of year when people say "it's that time of year." Convention season and awards season. The Eisner ballot is now available -- and I'm very happy PopGun, Vol. 3 was nominated. For volume 3, I wrote the short story "50 Miles to Marfa" and worked with one of my favorite artists: Daniel Warner. "50 Miles to Marfa" wasn't nominated for best short story. Oh well. It's a strong story, but certainly that's a tough category. Of course, I did write in "50 Miles to Marfa" on my own ballot. That's just pride. Which leads me to the Harvey Awards.

Every year when we say "it's that time of year," comic book pundits, commentators, journalists, and bloggers kibitz about the problems inherent in the open nomination process. I'm not too concerned about it. The Harvey Award needs a system that's different from the more popular Eisners as a way to distinguish it as an award. It does lead to Alan Moore getting nominated... a lot, and a few zealous up-and-comers with friends. The Harvey Awards become a little mainstream top-heavy, and they do straddle the extremes with a few smaller names sneaking in. We miss a diversity of strong indie titles, which the Eisners and the Ignatz (that other award) are happy to snatch up. The system is the system. To quantify artistic merit through this process is subjective, political, and almost impossible.

If I were to establish a system for acknowledging excellence in the comics industry, I'd set up an annual juried-selection of titles with one grand prize, only for graphic novels/trade paperbacks. No "best writer." No "best artist." No "best cartoonist" or "best letterer from a foreign country, not Japanese." Each work would be judged as a complete work, a criterion collection for graphic novels. My friend P.J. Kryfko had a similar concept, and I probably stole the idea from him one evening when we were drinking at Amsterdam Bar. Bottom line: the award needs prestige. It needs to mean something.

Awards can be useful in validating our art to a larger market. It's important to acknowledge quality, to celebrate the life work of artists. Personally, I like the Eisners and the Harveys. Any critiques I have are minimal.

Here's my list of Harvey nominations. I apologize in advance if I forgot your comic book. It wasn't malicious. These are the ones that came to mind on March 29th when I filled it out and submitted it. My list is rather sparse and lopsided, but I figure others will mention the ones I neglected. And if I made any glaring omissions, well, that's what the comments section is for.

BEST WRITER 1. Jamie Rich - You Have Killed Me 2. Neil Kleid - The Big Kahn

BEST ARTIST 1. Joelle Jones - You Have Killed Me

BEST CARTOONIST 1. Darwyn Cook - Parker: The Hunter

BEST COLORIST 1. Justin Stewart - Mixtape Volume 3

BEST COVER ARTIST 1. Kristian Donaldson - Dr. Horrible (one shot)

MOST PROMISING NEW TALENT 1. Joelle Jones - You Have Killed Me

BEST NEW SERIES 1. Comic Book Comics - Evil Twin Comics

BEST CONTINUING OR LIMITED SERIES 1. Fear Agent - Dark Horse 2. Walking Dead - Image

BEST ANTHOLOGY 1. PopGun, Vol. 3 - Image Comics

BEST GRAPHIC ALBUM, ORIGINAL 1. Amulet, Book Two: The Stonekeeper's Curse - Scholastic Graphix 2. Stitches - W. W. Norton & Company 3. Asterios Polyp - Pantheon 4. You Have Killed Me - Oni Press

BEST GRAPHIC ALBUM, PREVIOUSLY PUBLISHED 1. Alec: The Years Have Pants - Top Shelf Productions

BEST DOMESTIC REPRINT PROJECT 1. Dread & Superficiality: Woody Allen as Comic Strip - Abrams ComicArts

BEST AMERICAN EDITION OF FOREIGN MATERIAL 1. GoGo Monster - Viz Signature 2. Pluto: Urasawa x Tezuka - Viz Signature 3. Yotsuba&! - Yen Press

BEST ONLINE COMICS WORK 1. The Loneliest Astronauts - http://www.agreeablecomics.com/loneliestastronauts 2. Freak Angels - http://www.freakangels.com



BEST ORIGINAL GRAPHIC PUBLICATION FOR YOUNGER READERS 1. Amulet, Book Two: The Stonekeeper's Curse - Scholastic Graphix 2. The New Brighton Archeological Society - Image Comics


The signing on Wednesday went very well. Zeus Comics ordered 12 copies of PopGun Vol. 3, and we sold all 12 copies in one day. They will order some more. I also sold a few of my other books, and Zeus was happy to reorder and resupply. So, yes, go to Zeus and they have all my stuff. Their support falls into the beautiful category of "above and beyond." Richard, Barry, I hope you realize how incredible you are.

(Diplomatic fun fact: Other retailers have also been very cool. Titan keeps a good stock. They might be one of the few places where you can still find KARMA INCORPORATED #1. Jeremy is one of the nicer guys in the business, and my daughter loves playing in the kid's area. Madness Comics in Denton hosted a wonderful Free Comic Book Day signing last year with me, Brian Denham, and Robin Gillespie. Austin Books is a mecca for anyone who loves independent and small press comics. I've seen Lone Star Comics carry copies of EMILY EDISON and ASTRONAUT DAD in their local section. Outside of Texas, Speeding Bullet in Norman, OK and Astrokitty Comics in Lawrence, KS have been a home away from home. It sounds cheesy, but I miss those guys. Maybe a dumb idea, but I want to print an official looking certificate for "Most Favored Retailer Status In Support of Me," framed and presented to such indie-friendly stores. Thoughts?)

Many thanks to John Gonzales for creating those sketch bookmarks the night before. We were hanging out at Amsterdam Bar and John walked over with some card stock, a tiny papercutter, his pencils, and he said, "We're making some bookmarks!" The next day, anyone who bought a copy of PopGun, also got a free bookmark. How could they say no? I have some awesome friends.

See the enthusiasm? (photos posted on my Flickr)

Evan Bryce posted some unlettered pages from "The Heist and The Heart Attack" on his blog (click here). The story will be in PopGun Vol. 4. I wrote it as a continuation/prequel to "50 Miles to Marfa" in Vol. 3. It works. I think. If there is a Vol. 5 and I'm fortunate enough to be part of it, I have an idea for a third and final segment to complete the trilogy.

In other randomness: I saw this great review of ASTRONAUT DAD posted on Pop Syndicate. Ken Lowery sent me an email about it a year ago, but I can't remember if I ever posted it online.


Tomorrow, PopGun Vol. 3 will be in stores. The anthology features my story "50 Miles to Marfa" (on page 311), illustrated by Dan Warner. These short stories are good opportunities to work with artists who might otherwise be too busy with their own projects, and it was a real thrill to collaborate with Dan. I hope I might be able to work with him again sometime in the future.

If you live in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, I'm signing copies of PopGun at Zeus Comics (more info).

I tried to print some spiffy bookmarks for the event, but apparently "Overnight Prints" is a misleading business name. Sure, they'll print them overnight, but that doesn't mean they'll ship it to you the next day. Why should I even pay for 2 Day Air, when they are so slow to process the order?

With no spiffy bookmarks, I'm open to suggestions for anything to make the signing fun (because obviously nothing says F-U-N like bookmarks).

In other anthology news, Melissa and I wrote a short story for Oni's JAM! TALES FROM THE DERBY GIRLS, which was officially accepted. We're waiting to hear from Editor Jill about which artist we'll be partnered with. And the short story "The Heist and the Heart Attack" (my continuation of "50 Miles to Marfa") is finished, story and art. It will be in PopGun Vol. 4.

Some non-anthology updates...

ASTRONAUT DAD - Brent is finishing the last chapter. Everything will be completed by the end of May. Yes, it looks awesome. The story will make you cry. More news to follow.

KARMA INCORPORATED - Some cool Hollywood stuff going on, but nothing I can talk about. It's frustrating, because if I told you, you'd say: "Wow. David. That's really cool." Instead, you know nothing.

EMILY EDISON - Likewise, cool Hollywood-ish stuff I can't talk about. Brock and I are making plans for an EMILY EDISON 2, but it's a long way off. Sorry.

FRONTIER - Anyone who pays close attention to my blog knows this story has been around for awhile. I have a great artist attached, Michael Shelfer. He's finishing the pencils to our proposal, and keeps teasing me that he'll send them soon. (The anticipation is killing me. Michael, you are killing me.) Michael is one of those guys where I found an instant connection. Like Brock, Tom, Paul, or Brent, I see this as the beginning of a great ongoing writer/artist partnership. Already, he's sending me ideas for another story.

HOW TO LOSE BIG - We're getting closer to a completed proposal. It's looking good.

MARGARET MILBY MYSTERIES - Tom Kurzanski and I are still developing this one. It's a series of short "reader-solves-it" mysteries for a younger audience. Margaret Milby is a fun character. I'd love to tell you more about her, but I won't.


PopGun Vol. 3 is available for pre-order (as mentioned). I wrote "50 Miles to Marfa" for this anthology, illustrated by Daniel Warner. I'm also fortunate to be working on Vol. 4 -- a self-contained prequel to 50 Miles called "The Heist and the Heart Attack." Artist Evan Bryce posted the character designs on his blog, and said some nice things about me. Thanks!

These short stories were so much fun to write. Warner and Bryce are incredibly skillful. I'm drooling at the opportunity to work with them again. If there's a PopGun Vol. 5, I have a third and final short story in mind to complete my West Text Caper. Also, Evan and I will be sharing a table at Dallas Comic Con next weekend, January 24th and 25th.


Image Comics listed POPGUN VOL 3 for March solicitation (click here). Daniel Warner and I have an eight page short story "50 Miles to Marfa" included in this volume. It's one of the best things I've written. I'm very proud of our contribution, and I hope you'd consider pre-ordering a copy.

edited by Mark Andrew Smith & D.J. Kirkbride
cover Tara McPherson

The Harvey Award-winning graphic mixtape returns for a third round with a new generation of cartoonists teaming up with some of the industry's most celebrated names to produce nearly five hundred pages of all-new, full color comics! Always exciting, unpredictable, and bursting at the seams with unhindered creativity, POPGUN keeps getting better and better!

MARCH 25th * 448 PAGES * FC * $29.99

Also, I'm working on a script for something in VOL 4 with art by Evan Bryce. I'll keep everyone updated.


The script for my third "Souvenir of Dallas" comic has been approved. Paul Milligan is working on the art right now. He showed me the pencils, and it looks great. Expect this comic to be in the April issue of D Magazine.

Also for the April issue, I wrote a pulse article on the DMA's Comic Book Club. Hopefully, it will be included.

Daniel Warner sent me the character sketches for our short story "50 Miles to Marfa." Good stuff.

Beyond that, it's been a crazy week. Kennedy has been sick. We went to the doctor on Monday, and she's been away from daycare the past two days. I kept her on Tuesday. Melissa had her today. Fortunately, Kennedy's temperature is now down. Thus, she'll be heading back to daycare.

Tomorrow, I might see Sarah Jaffe at the Doublewide. Looking forward to it.