Colorist Marissa Louise joins The Many Adventures of Miranda Mercury!

Volume 2 of The Many Adventures of Miranda Mercury is currently in production.

It’s better, faster, and stronger than volume 1 in every single way, and the ending just destroys me every time I read it. A moment I’ve had in my head for years now, which reminds Miranda of a truth she’s fought so long and so hard to deny—that there are things far worse than death.

The majority of the original creative team is coming back, but in order to really take things to the next level, we needed to secure the services of a next level colorist. Someone who would be able to handle the entire batch of stories, and give us an artistic consistency circumstances prevented us from achieving last time. Based on a recommendation from Jordan Boyd (who colored 2 issues in the previous volume) we were pointed in the direction of Marissa Louise.

Took one look at her site and portfolio, and we knew it could be something special. Thankfully, she agreed to join the party and quickly blew us all away with her work on the first sequence from #301. If you recall, at the close of #300, Miranda passed out, seemingly dead. Well, this little sneak preview below is a piece of what happens next, and a taste of where we’ll be taking the series artistically. Oh yeah, that’s Miranda’s grandpa James Mercury, who is also quite dead. Nothing is better than comics, ladies and gentlemen.

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So please give Marissa a warm welcome, and her work can also be seen in Robocop for BOOM!, Headspace for Monkeybrain, and Exit Generation.

Stay tuned for more updates and previews as volume 2 continues to come together, and thanks again for the support!

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I Believe in Jack Bauer…

24 is one of my favorite shows of all time. The storytelling conceit is a great one, it gave birth to the concept of binge watching, and it had an incredibly diverse cast of both heroes and villains over its eight-season run. It’s returning on Monday evening, so to celebrate that, I thought it might be fun to list the seasons from best to worst, along with some thoughts about each of them. Feel free to discuss and debate, would be fun to get other perspectives on this, even though I’m fairly convinced that I’m right.

Spoilers on, by the way…

 

Day 5:

Everything you could ever want in a season of the show, and that this year garnered a couple Emmy wins is no coincidence. Renegade Jack, twists and turns that actually track on multiple viewings, meaningful deaths, all culminating with the most heartbreaking, gut wrenching cliffhanger since season one. Something unbelievable and awesome happens at least every two episodes, and Bauer never felt as primal and unhinged as he did here when chasing down Palmer’s killers, and uncovering the biggest conspiracy the show ever served up. Those that insist 24 was really a fancy populist justification for the so called “war on terror” must’ve missed this season, where the actual President of the United States turns out to be the biggest bad of all.

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Also, when it comes down to it, this is the story about the intense lengths that a number of characters go to defend the legacy and life of a slain black man. There’s a scene right in the beginning where Jack first hears the news, and you can feel the loss coming off him. Or when he sees Palmer’s hand peeking out from beneath a sheet his body’s been covered with. Always loved that Jack and Palmer had this intense, enduring friendship, but they never actually saw each other much on screen. Little details like this gave the entire affair an emotional weight that other seasons could never quite match, and whenever the subsequent seasons ran into problems, they reflexively reverted back to a character or plot development that was used to much better effect here. The fifth run was the show’s true masterpiece, and got almost everything exactly right.

 

Day 2:

For all the discussion the show garnered for casting random fake Middle Eastern countries as hotbeds of terrorist activity, the most persistent and insidious bad guys were always government officials and corporations. In fact, the one critique about this that I will accept is that the evil brown people were always really working at the behest of the evil white people, but since this is often a problem across the entertainment spectrum, they get a reasonable pass. The show is mostly one man fighting against highly ingrained corruption at the high levels of influence, that are all too willing to use their powers to crush and disrupt the people actually trying to save lives. That’s really this season in a nutshell, which yanks Jack away from his grief, shaves his “I just don’t give a fuck anymore” beard, arms him, and sets him loose once again.

This is probably the year the conversation about the show quickly embraced the idea that it was really a kind of populist mouthpiece/defense for the Bush administration, but that came from people that watched one season or a string of episodes and then declared themselves experts on the show. Those that watched the whole thing know that the show changed from stereotypical GOP “ends justify the means” rhetoric to sweetly liberal, idealistic platitudes as quickly as CTU hired moles. The point embedded into every season of 24 was, this shit is really complicated, and this year displays that notion to brilliant effect.

The Middle Eastern dude turns out not to be a terrorist, but his blond haired, blue-eyed fiancé does. The Islamists are really working for the white corporate puppet masters, who want to start a war for oil. And in a government gone mad with panic and terror, a black man stands up and does the right, moral thing, even though it almost costs him everything. I know some people might think it’s all torture and Kiefer growling things at people, but there’s some definite subversion at play here.

 

Day 1:

So much greatness, and the season in which Jack’s travel times were the most honest and realistic, before Bauer was given a personal helicopter, or everything important just happened to happen in an eight mile radius. The first half is a tightly plotted well thought out thriller, followed by a frantic attempt to pilot a show no one was that confident would make it past episode thirteen. There is some stumbling to be had, a brief flirtation with amnesia, and the repetition of certain themes, but the ending is tremendous, and something that reset the bar for how brutal and unforgiving a network show could be. And it was spoiled for me by a co-worker, who innocently commented to me during finals week that, “Me and my wife don’t believe Teri’s really dead.” Unfortunate, but it told me that even parts of the audience didn’t believe what they’d just seen. Had to be a trick. Had to be some type of misdirection. No show who’s central premise was about a brave, flawed man sacrificing everything to protect his family would end with that family being taken away from him in the worst, most intimate way possible.

Well, 24 was that show, and was only getting started really. Also, I think this is the only season where somebody gave Jack something to eat along the way, and it featured the most face-to-face Jack Bauer and David Palmer scenes in the entire series.

 

Day 4:

The bunker rescue is the best staged and executed action sequence the show has ever done. I remember watching it the first time, heart pounding as Bauer pretty much attacks an entire building of terrorists, before they can execute his boss, Secretary of Defense Heller. Oh, and Jack’s also in a secret relationship with Heller’s daughter, who is also being held hostage in the compound. Oh, and the President has decided to bomb the building to prevent the world from watching the execution live on the internet. Seven minutes until the missiles hit, and Bauer ain’t waiting for no damn back-up.

This is the kind of absurd, wonderful nonsense that 24 always excelled in, and watching this sequence basically tells you everything you’ll ever need to know about the show, and why it worked. Also, props to Bauer for taking a nice leather laptop bag and turning it into something which produced weapons and ammo at just the right time.

 

Day 7:

Few years ago, I would’ve had this lower, but with a couple repeat viewings, I have to acknowledge that there’s a lot about it that I’d been mentally demanding for years. A kickass female character that could hold her own when paired with Jack, a new locale after six years running around LA, and an arc of the story where Jack is sidelined and other characters have to get the job done in his absence. For me though, what ultimately makes this work is Renee Walker, and the story of her essentially becoming Jack Bauer over the course of one very traumatic day, which strips away everything she thought about the world and herself. In a lot of ways, she’s the lead character here, and the frequent poignant moments between her and Jack as the relationship and understanding builds between them, rescues the season from the Almeida related double and triple crosses.

 

Day 3:

Ah, Mexico and the Salazar arc. This is where this ridiculous idea of Bauer actually convincing people that he was betraying his country, before turning the tables on them and shutting them down, was truly born. An idea which is incredibly hard to swallow, wrapped all up in a show full of things that are incredibly hard to swallow. I give the creators a lot of credit for recognizing when something wasn’t working, and running like hell to get out of it, ultimately recovering and delivering some of the best stuff they’ve ever done in the back quarter of the season. Bauer actually breaks down into a crying, sobbing heap at the end, and it’s one of the most honest moments the series ever had.

Also, 24 has had some incredibly awful people in it, but Sherry Palmer cemented her status here as THE most diabolical baddie in the show’s history, all without ever shooting anyone to death. Also again, can you even quit heroin pretty much cold turkey? Suppose if anyone could, it would be Jack Bauer…

 

Day 8:

This is the season of the show that triggers the most passionate fanboy response from me. Despite some interesting bits, the one-two combo of What Was Done to Get Rid of Renee and How Stupid President Taylor Suddenly Becomes sinks it for me. Still not my least favorite season ever, but those two things are pretty unforgivable in my eyes, and sacrificed two of the show’s strongest characters for one-note plot developments to create phony tension/motivation for Bauer.

 

Day 6:

First four episodes are quite cool actually, but everything after Curtis’ death face plants. The moment when a drill bit actually enters someone’s arm during a torture sequence was also a major tipping point in the show’s frequent displays of torture. It crossed even their own self-defined line, and the less said about Bauer’s psycho family members, the better.

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Miranda Mercury HC Only 4.99 on Comixology!

All,

So, if you’re following me on Twitter (@mirandamercury) or Facebook, you’ve likely heard that as part of a sale on Comixology, it’s possible to purchase the entire Miranda Mercury HC (170 some pages) for only $4.99. Seems like a pretty good deal, and hopefully people will take full advantage of it before 11PM tonight (eastern time).

Thought this would be a great time to engage in a bit of honest talk about the all-important S-word. I’m talking about “sales” of course, and though I was going to bring this up in another column (which I decided to postpone and/or euthanize), this is as good a time as any. Suffice it to say that the entire Miranda Mercury creative team would appreciate your support today, because as of last quarter, the hardcover still has not made all of its money back. In fact, we’ve still moved more copies of the one single issue which released in February 2008, than the completed hardcover, which was published in August 2011.

Any and every little bit helps, and being able to close that gap of what we still owe Archaia for agreeing to publish a book like ours, will ensure that we have a few more options when volume two is released. We’re working on it right now, and it will benefit from every lesson learned during the production of volume one, which we’re still enormously proud of and is continuing to open doors for us throughout the industry. The one it hasn’t yet though is one with the words “profitable” written on it. So if you’ve got five bucks lying around, and/or know someone who does, tell them there’s a really good graphic novel out there that there’s never been a better time to check out.

Thanks everyone, and appreciate the support.

Critical Acclaim for The Many Adventures of Miranda Mercury

33 Page Hardcover Preview

Archaia Sci-Fi Sale on Comixology

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Ambidextrous 337- You Have To Buy It

Brandon Thomas:

Re-presenting one of my most popular postings from last year (while working away on its sequel) because it’s apparent that people still don’t get it…

Originally posted on {The Fiction House}:

Whenever I’m talking about Miranda Mercury, one of the questions that’s usually posed is something like, “What can people do to support diversity in comics and books like Miranda Mercury?”

And it’s a great question, no doubt about it, and I usually answer it in a very diplomatic way, but to put it very simply—you have to BUY IT. Buy it today, and tomorrow tell someone else you know whose tastes and sensibilities you know and understand that they should buy it too. Don’t put it on your Amazon wish list as something to buy after you’ve bought all those other books on the list you clearly want to buy more—buy it today. Right now.

Cause here’s the truth of it—people like to talk a good game and co-sign all of these articles that sprout up every February, bemoaning the lack of black and diverse voices in comics, while attacking…

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My San Diego Comic-Con Schedule

All,

This is where you can find me all weekend at Comic-Con.

Please don’t hesitate to drop by to chat and have things signed.

Thanks, and see you soon!

 

Signings at Archaia/BOOM! Studios booth (#2229)-

Wednesday, July 17

7-8pm

Friday, July 19
11am-12pm

Saturday, July 20
5:30-7pm

Sunday, July 21
10-11:30am

 

Panel Appearances- 

Sunday, July 21

SHATTERING CONVENTION IN COMIC BOOK STORYTELLING

Moderated by Racebending.com, this panel of comic book authors discuss their experiences writing diverse and innovative work for big franchises, indie, small press, and web comics. Brandon Thomas (Miranda Mercury), Gene Yang (Avatar: The Last Airbender), and Gail Simone (The Movement) will discuss diversity without stereotyping, creating compelling heroes and villains, and reader advocacy.
 1:30PM – 2:30PM
 Room 23ABC

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Shattering Convention in Comic Book Storytelling panel at SDCC

All,

Honored to be sharing the stage with fellow creators Gail Simone and Gene Yang on a Sunday panel at Comic-Con!

Full details and times listed below, and hope to see some of you there. Thanks again for the support!

 

SHATTERING CONVENTION IN COMIC BOOK STORYTELLING

Moderated by Racebending.com, this panel of comic book authors discuss their experiences writing diverse and innovative work for big franchises, indie, small press, and web comics. Brandon Thomas (Miranda Mercury), Gene Yang (Avatar: The Last Airbender), and Gail Simone (The Movement) will discuss diversity without stereotyping, creating compelling heroes and villains, and reader advocacy.

 

Sunday , July 21, 2013-
1:30PM – 2:30PM
Room 23ABC

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The Only Constant

So today my final issue of Voltron comes out, and I feel like saying a few things…

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No, it isn’t quite the ending I’d planned when I’d pitched for the series, but I am extremely proud of the work my collaborators and I put out there, and greatly appreciate the opportunity. This particular issue is the best thing I’ve ever had published (so far), and think it’s clear that I’ve learned a thing or two in my 18-issue journey through the Voltron mythos. Hope some of it is well remembered in the years to come, especially the work we put into Sven, the Voltron Force’s most misunderstood (yet incredibly awesome) member.

Thanks to my fellow creators and artists: Ariel Padilla, Craig Cermak, N. Steven Harris, Marcelo Pinto, Adriano Lucas, Marshall Dillon, Simon Bowland, and the phenomenal cover artists that got people to pick up the book in the first place: Alex Ross, Sean Chen, Admira Wijaya, Wagner Reis, and Jack Herbert.  Additional thanks go to Nick Barucci and Joe Rybandt, the guys who put us all together, were a joy to work with, and were always willing to let me tell the story I wanted to tell. Hope to work with you all again sometime in the near future.

Thanks to Jeremy Corray and Tiffany Ilardi, who made me feel like some kind of big time writer guy by flying me out for signings and putting me on panels at giant conventions.

Finally, thanks to the fans that truly loved what we were doing all the way. Appreciate interacting with you on the Voltron boards and in person at the shows. Made some new friends throughout this entire process, and that’s what I’ll ultimately take with me.

See you all soon and thanks for the support!

Issue #12 Preview

Issue #12 Review

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