The final volume of the collected Northlanders will be published in December. The last monthly comic came out earlier this year. I meant to write some sort of wrap up essay, but it felt like a requiem and honestly I’m not really ready to say goodbye like that. I’ve been missing the book more than I thought.
DMZ ended a few months prior to Northlanders, and while I couldn’t find the words to eulogize that either, it was for different reasons. I was happy to wrap DMZ up, I was satisfied with it and felt like I said what I wanted to say. Also, six years? How can I sum up such a lengthy and ever-changing experience? Live From The DMZ is the closest I think I’ll come.
At time Northlanders was cancelled. Or rather, when I was told the news, the book has just shipped #38 and I was allowed to take it all the way to #50, which was nice. I had plenty of warning and time and didn’t have to compromise a single thing. At the time, I commented to a friend that I felt like so much of my own identity was wrapped up in that book, that it was difficult to imagine working in comics without working on that book. That’s not faded with time; if anything the feelings gotten more pronounced. Northlanders is probably the most personal thing I’ve written, and I can’t tell you why, exactly. I can just feel it, in my guts.
So I’ve always said that, sure, eventually I’ll write more viking comics. I have plenty of material, and after I let some time pass I’ll get to it. I think once Conan is over - I have about 15 scripts left to write - I’ll start writing this new venture. It may follow the same format as Northlanders or it may not. Honestly, that sort of constant artist switching and new-story-launching was stressful and very time consuming on the editorial side. My editors at Vertigo, Will Dennis and Mark Doyle, made it all seem easy, but its not. So I think where/how the book will be published will dictate the format to an extent.
I know what the story is. I wrote it already as a tv pilot treatment and for awhile I thought it might be a novel and there’s a couple chapters written. I think it probably needs to be a comic. With all these projects I’m taking on, there’s still something missing.
This isn’t a eulogy. More like a promise.