Posts tagged with 'Northlanders'.

The Madness of Collected Editions

This is what’s coming out, and when:

Nov 21 - The Couriers Complete Collection 
Dec 26 - Northlanders Book 7
Jan 19 - Wolverine & X-Men “Alpha + Omega” softcover
Jan 16 - Conan vol 13 “Queen of the Black Coast” hardcover
Jan 22 - X-Men By Brian Wood Vol. 1 
Feb 12 - Ultimate Comics HC (?)
Feb 20 - Generation X “Four Days” (?)
Mar tba - The Massive vol. 1 “Black Pacific” 
Mar 19 - X-Men By Brian Wood Vol. 2
Jun 19 - Conan vol 13 “Queen of the Black Coast” softcover

Northlanders, Not Saying Goodbye

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.

On DMZ, Northlanders, Supergirl, and The Massive

I’ve done a few interviews in these past weeks, linked below.  The one for CBR has a somewhat startling title, and I’m not sure it represents anything I said in the interview but in a practical sense I guess its true.  Although if anyone is saying goodbye to anyone, its not me to DC.

CBR: Brian Wood Bids DC Comics Adieu

That CBR one is also the first time I’ve been asked about Supergirl.

iFanboy has a two-parter here and here.

And The Beat quoted this from me here, with some commentary.

Yes and no. It’s the end of one era, I suppose, where I was doing all this work for Vertigo and not only earning a living but having that as a career — being a Vertigo writer as a career. I think the condition of the comics market these days, combined with all the recent changes at DC, I don’t think that exists anymore as an option for anyone. Well, certainly not for me. Vertigo’s output, as publicly stated by DC, is to be reduced, and I cannot expect to be able to write two plus books for them. Which breaks my heart, no exaggeration.

I’m heading upstate for a week for some much needed downtime after writing four scripts in two weeks.  I’m contemplating writing a web comic, similar in format to Freakangels.  Any artists out there?

(Northlanders #42) THE ICELANDIC TRILOGY

In more ways than one, this Northlanders installment brings everything full circle.  This is also the final Northlanders story, the longest story, and probably the largest in scope.

I created Northlanders in 2006.  In an effort to explain my basic concept for the book to the people at Vertigo (which was difficult; this series is a tough sell and an anomaly, format-wise) I branded it a crime book.  Vikings as criminals, as organized criminal gangs.  Which is, of course, exactly what they were and thats why a “viking crime story” is such an obvious, no-brainer high concept.

Also in 2006 I travelled to Iceland.  This was only a couple weeks or so after DC approved Northlanders as a monthly series and my research had not yet kicked into overdrive, but that trip was hugely influential and I still use the photos I took while there to help describe landscapes to Northlanders artists.

Anyway, Northlanders started with crime and Iceland, and so it will end the same way.  THE ICELANDIC TRILOGY is a distillation of everything Northlanders was ever about, 180 pages of some of the bleakest, meanest, most depressing, most abusive, most nihilistic, most human comics I’ve written.  I say all that with immense pride, because I’ve written my share of that in the past.

Part One of the story - and I should explain the format:  the trilogy here is a series of three stories, each three issues long, for a total of nine parts - deals with Settlement, the “wild west” days of that nation’s history when settlers fleeing hard times in Norway lands in the shores of Iceland and subject themselves to an even harder time, eking out a new life in unforgiving terrain.  But a new life on their own terms, free of government, of a ruling class, free of laws and restrictions.  Iceland was uninhabited, land for the taking.

The main family of characters are the Haukssons, and the young boy, Ulf, rises to the challenges of the new land in a rapid and muscular way.  In these first few years of Settlement, tribes of immigrants have banded together for protection, to pool resources, and to help each other out as subsequent waves and waves of new arrivals start to crowd the shores.  Much like mafia crime families, these tribes grow and expand and war with each other.   Mayhem ensues.  The birth pangs of a new nation.  The actual history of Iceland is sketched in here loosely.  I am picking milestones, such as Settlement, the conversion to Christianity, the civil war, etc as backdrops for my story, which is almost entirely fictional.  

Paul Azaceta is drawing this one, taking on the double-whammy of not just drawing a 9-part story but also the burden of closing out the series.  Paul’s depiction of Iceland is gorgeous in its simplicity, sweeping horizons and pebbly beaches.  Exactly what I wanted - every panel a scene of stark isolation and rugged landscape is drawn beautifully.  Dave McCaig and Massimo Carnevale, loyal soldiers from day one, will be here until the end.

Northlanders is cancelled, but THE ICELANDIC TRILOGY is a complete story, its content and length unaffected by the bad news.  I hope everyone checks it out.

The Unfuture of Northlanders

Bleeding Cool correctly reports that my Vertigo series NORTHLANDERS has been cancelled by the powers that be at DC Comics.  It has a very loyal fanbase but the trade sales just aren’t cutting the mustard.  But it is staying around for awhile yet, and will finally conclude with issue #50.  That means next week’s one-shot “Thor’s Daughter” (w/ Marian Churchland) and the nine-part “Icelandic Trilogy” (w/ Paul Azaceta) will still happen as planned.  Please, retailers, do not cut your orders, and please, readers, don’t cancel your subs.  No story is getting cut short, nothing will be left hanging.  As always with NORTHLANDERS, you can jump in at the start of any story, including the ones listed above.

I’m not going to eulogize the series yet and start thanking everyone, since I have the next nine or ten months to do that.  While this news sucks, I consider it a triumph for everyone responsible that our depressing, often cerebral comic book about Vikings and history is lasting FIFTY ISSUES.  It feels appropriately epic, and the eventual seven volumes of the series will hopefully stay in print forever (or close to that).

I read a lot of twitter comments linking this to my saying the other day that my exclusive was up.  I don’t think these two are connected.  Also, while I’m here, I was not given a role in the recent DCU reboot after all but I think its an exciting idea and wish everyone the best.

Back to work!  Announcements of new books should start appearing soonish… not sure when, but closer to NYCC at any rate.  Thanks everyone, lots of really nice comments from you guys.  Don’t stop reading!

Preview: Northlanders 40, “THE HUNT”

This is a story I’ve been wanting to write since I first thought of the IDEA of Northlanders: a deer hunting story, set in that time period.  Originally this was to be a two-parter, the second issue containing the same events but told from the perspective of the deer, but that’s the sort of nonsense you have to be self-publishing to pull off.  

Matthew Woodson, a young man with an impressive list of illustration clients and an even more impressive collection of taxidermy, kindly agreed to draw this issue.  He and I go back quite a ways, and we always want to make a comic together.  I hope this is the first of several.  His artwork, as you can see, is staggering in its execution and beauty.  My purpose for existing, in terms of writing this issue, was only to make his art look good.

"THE HUNT" is the first of two one-shots, the other one Marian Churchland is wrapping up the art for.  That one, called “THOR’S DAUGHTER”, is in the same spirit as past Northlanders stories that feature the woman’s POV, such as it is in such a male dominated culture.  It’s my last saving grace before I beat you up and toss you into the pit of horrors that is “THE ICELANDIC TRILOGY”, a nine-part epic so black, so abusive, so incredibly bleak and hopeless that I cannot shake this bad feeling in my gut.  That I shouldn’t have written such things.  I might have to start going to church.

Here’s a preview of “THE HUNT” - the first three pages, and then a four-page sequence that happens later in the issue.  As always, colors by the unstoppable Dave McCaig, the cover by Massimo Carnevale.

This is the cover to the Spanish-language edition of the upcoming Northlanders Book 5, “Metal”.  I really loved writing this story… in a lot of ways its my favorite of the bunch.  I actually have a spin-off pitch written about the early years of Black Karl that I would love to do but I dunno if DC will see the commercial value in that.  Still, someday, in some form.

The Hunt


I am not sure how much I am allowed to talk about this project, let alone show it off. But I figured I would give a sneak peak at what I have been working on for the last month or so. I probably shouldn’t have started a new blog when 90% of what I am working on can’t be shown to anyone.

It’s not a secret!  This is a page from Northlander #40, “The Hunt”, by the everlastingly talented Matthew Woodson.


What I Got Going On For April:

DMZ #64
Written by BRIAN WOOD
Cover by JP LEON
“Free States Rising” concludes here as the final battle for the city of Manhattan, as well as the fate of the entire country, begins to unfold. Matty Roth, the ultimate embedded journalist, reconnects with his on-again off-again friend Zee, who finds Matty a very changed man since she last saw him.
On sale APRIL 20

Written by BRIAN WOOD
“The Siege Of Paris” concludes not with a bang or a whimper, but with a political settlement. What of the warriors who bled and died on the battlements for all those long months? Mads and Abbo try to make sense of it from Mads’ rather bleak new perspective. War was a bitch back then just as much as it is now.  On sale APRIL 13

Cover by KELLY and WOOD
The semester is in full swing and our four (five?) girls could not be more on their own. But when tragedy strikes, they realize what a small world the big city can be and discover the strength sticking together gives them. On sale APRIL 2

and in May:

Written by BRIAN WOOD
In this collection of tales from DMZ #55-59, citizens and soldiers – new characters and old – weather the storm of a brutal “shock and awe” bombing campaign on the DMZ.
Included is a story concerning the enigmatic Wilson, the self-professed protector of Chinatown and confidant to series star Matty Roth who has always said he’d own the DMZ in the end. Now, with the U.S. poised to steamroll its way into the city, it’s do-or-die time for the old man. In another tale, Matty lends his Liberty News secure phone line to DMZ citizens to reach out to loved ones outside the city – a direct violation of his contract. Is this the beginning of a new, compassionate Matty looking to atone?
On sale MAY 4

"Next issue will conclude the story Becky Cloonan is drawing, “The Girl In The Ice,” then Simon Gane comes in to draw “The Siege Of Paris,” followed by Matthew Woodson on “The Hunt.” Matthew’s an illustrator with almost superhuman talent - google him - and his story will be a high point in the series. Beyond that, I have notes for a short story called “Thor’s Daughter” that’ll continue NORTHLANDERS‘ run of powerful one-shot stories. This is the book I increasingly feel I was born to write, and is so completely tied into my identity as a creator. And based solely on the incredible range and diversity of the artists we’ve had on the series, there is nothing else like it out there."