Let me set the scene for you: I am 19 years old and sitting on a bus riding home from a college class. I am shy and awkward (as opposed to now, when I am outgoing but still very awkward) and I always, always have a book to keep the various students, businesspeople and tweakers who ride the bus with me at bay. Today, a random friend who knows I like comics has lent me a copy of Sandman: Preludes and Nocturnes.
I read the entire thing on the 25-minute ride home. I read it again. And again. I am broke, so I can't just order every single other book in the series right that second, like I want to. Instead I run to the library and over the next month read the entire series again. And again.
Then I read Hellblazer. Then I read Preacher, 100 Bullets, The Losers, Books of Magic. I read Transmetropolitan. I read Fables. Death: The High Cost of Living. I discover all of the other comics by people like Warren Ellis and Grant Morrison, and the two Brians (K. Vaughn and Azzarello.) I read all of Neil Gaiman's novels once I've burned through his comics. I discover that people like me, who love fantasy and SF but don't really go in for gritty space battles or hobbits, are writing comics and that a whole lot of them are writing for Vertigo. That just because something is "Mature" doesn't mean it's depressing and jingoistic, and that just because a story has vampires, gangsters, dream gods, elite spies, Goth girls or a town populated entirely by fairy tale archtypes doesn't mean the story is fluffy and pointless. I start to read a lot more books I actually enjoy, and more importantly I actually get serious about my own writing, which I am ostensibly in school for and which up to this point has consisted of a half-finished novel and two short stories.
I've always loved comics--I read pretty much every issue of the X-Men and Captain America I could get my hands on, all the Batmen and Bat-Family titles. Comics were always something I enjoyed.
Vertigo comics changed my life.
Fast forward to 2009. Like many a cynical introvert before me, I have managed to graduate college, throw common sense to the wind and become a writer. I mainly write about sexy werewolves at this point in my career. A chance meeting with a writer friend puts me in touch with an editor at Vertigo. Yes, that Vertigo! I am thrilled. I craft a pitch. It is rejected.
I discover that comics are really hard to break into. I write more novels, about sexy werewolves, branching out into sexy magicians and not-quite-so-sexy Lovecraftian monsters. I keep in touch with the editor and pull together another pitch. It is also a no-go.
Now it is just before the holidays in 2012. I am not having a good year. My writing career is in transition and I am tired of explaining to people how no, I don't agree with Lovecraft's xenophobia and am in fact trying quite hard to comment on that by writing my not-so-sexy Lovecraftian monsters novels. Xenophobia is not cool, all right? Anyway, the editor gets in touch again. She asks if I have an idea for a horror comic I could quickly pitch to her.
I think of an unfinished novel that was pushed aside. "Well, I do have this one story I could never quite let go of," I say.
COFFIN HILL #1 is out tomorrow, 10/9. I still pretty much can't wrap my head around that fact, because I've wanted to be a part of this industry for so long, and this publisher in particular ever since that day ten years ago.
It would mean the world to me if you'd consider picking up a copy, tweeting, reviewing, telling your friends/family/D&D group/that weird guy next door.
You can find COFFIN HILL online most anywhere or at your good ol' LCS...and if you don't know where that is, look! The internet made you a comic shop locator.
I'll leave you with a little summary of what COFFIN HILL is about:
COFFIN HILL stars Eve Coffin, a rebellious, teenage lowlife from a high-society family with a curse that goes back to the Salem Witch trials.
Following a night of sex, drugs and witchcraft in the woods, Eve wakes up naked, covered in blood and unable to remember how she got there. One friend is missing, one is in a mental ward—and one knows that Eve is responsible.
After a stint as a Boston cop that ends in a bullet wound and unintended celebrity, Eve returns to Coffin Hill, only to discover the darkness that she unleashed ten years ago in the woods was never contained. It continues to seep through the town, cursing the soul of this sleepy Massachusetts hollow, spilling secrets and enacting its revenge.
Set against the haunted backdrop of New England, COFFIN HILL explores what people will do for power and retribution. Noted novelist Caitlin Kittredge, author of the Black London series, brings a smart, mesmerizing style to comics. Artist Inaki Miranda (FABLES) brings his dynamic storytelling to COFFIN HILL, following an acclaimed run on FAIREST.
That's it from me...I'm off to NYCC tomorrow and you can find a list of all the places I'll be wearing real pants for a change over on my Reader Events page.