INCREDIBLE DOOM Vol. 1 – Cover Reveal

Now that it’s up for preorder about everywhere, I so excited to share the packaging and pre-order links for the upcoming collection of Incredible Doom!

There are all kinds of cool things hidden in these images, so let’s get into it!

First, the front cover of the paperback!

Incredible Doom Vol. 1 front cover

It’s got a very nice quote, lifted from a piece Cory Doctorow wrote about us in Boing Boing a while back. (That he kindly gave us permission to use here.)

We tried to show a neighborhood transforming into ANSI art. A tip of the hat to the amazing ANSI art scene that continues to this day! I learned to use the ANSI art editor Moebius for this piece and it was so much fun. I’ll share some process posts later.

Next: The paperback back cover:

The back cover of the slipcase for the hardback edition.
The back cover of the slipcase for the hardback edition.

That mouse with a book as a mousepad sure takes me back. Also, the word “Force” on the cassette tape is a reference to the comic book “company” me and my friends started as middle schoolers in 90s. We’ve had a great experience being published by Harper Alley but I’ll always consider Incredible Doom a Force comic.

THE MANY SECRETS OF THE HARDCOVER

As excited as we are for the paperback, I am absolutely in love with the design of the hardback. Not only is it sturdier, and should look even better on your shelf, but there are secrets exclusive to it.

There is an alternate cover hidden under the dust jacket!

Incredible Doom Hardback Hidden Cover

And it wraps around to the back cover!

The hidden alternate cover under the slipcase of the hardback.
The hidden alternate cover under the slipcase of the hardback.

I love this illustration so much. Not only is it eery and strange, but it evokes what a bombshell these connected computers were to these kids. Also, seeing only a few computers in the neighborhood reminds me of when connecting to a network usually meant something local. When it required using the phone line, and long distance calls were so expensive. You were often communicating with folks who were just over the horizon, if not at the end of the block.

The dust jacket for the hardback has some secrets too. First, the back cover pulls forward these amazing quotes. (which are on the inside front cover of the paperback)

Dust Jacket back

Hardback Dust Jacket

The jacket has an extended version front cover illustration on the inside front flap, our author portraits made in ASCII on the inside back flap, and a secret, tiny bit of cannon altering art hidden away under our portraits.

On the back flap you’ll see the Dissapointments’ cassette that Tina gives Richard the first day he comes to Evol House.

The Disappointments Casette

Some of you might recognize the text on the tape:

“HOME TAPING IS KILLING RECORD INDUSTRY PROFITS. WE LEFT THIS SIDE BLANK SO YOU CAN HELP.”

I love this line. It encapsulates the spirit of Evol House so well. A few bands have put this on cassettes over the years, but it was originated by Dead Kennedys. Although The Disappointments wouldn’t have any qualms about using it, we felt weird about it without permission.

SO! In a bizarre turn of events, with the help of Jesses brother, we found ourselves corresponding with Jello Biafra, the original frontman of Dead Kennedys!

Not only did he give us permission to use the line, but he suggested that The Dissapointments should be on his record label. So now there’s a little tiny Alternative Tentacles logo on the cassette. And it’s cannon that both Dead Kennedys and The Disappointments share a label.

We’re so excited for folks to get these books in their hands.

Alternative_Tentacles_Logo.png

It’s coming out on May 11th. Tell your local bookstore to order you a copy and / or pre-order one for yourself. It makes a great gift! 😉

And please, if anyone you know might like it, spreading the word about the collection helps us out a lot. This is my first book through a major publisher and I would very much like them to be happy that they took the chance on us.

Thank you everybody! You all are the best!

PREORDER:

Patreon Podcast #2- A Year of Preparing

I just posted our 3rd patron exclusive podcast about the creation of Incredible Doom.

In this episode, Jesse and I discuss the year in-between starting work on the comic and the posting of issue #1.

We cover coming up with our business model, working with our printers, and some of the things we did to prepare for launch day.

Members can either listen on the web, in the Patreon app, or using the podcast player of your choice.

Patreon Podcast #2- Jesse and Matthew

I just published a new episode of the Patreon only Incredible Doom behind the scenes podcast, where in Jesse and I talk about our partnership. We cover both the creative and legal relationship we’ve developed as well as the importance of talking things through before a project gets under way.

You can either listen to the episode on the web, in the Patreon app, or using the podcast player of your choice.

Early story meeting

As mentioned in the episode here’s a link to the un-edited audio of a story meeting from before we settled on the plot for Issue #1. The violent act we keep searching for in this issue ended up being a combination of Allisons dad locking her in a trunk, and later, throwing their pet rabbit across the room.

Patreon Podcast #1 – The Story of Incredible Doom

With the Incredible Doom Vol 1 collection nearing pre-orders, I thought it would be fun for Jesse and I to record a Patreon exclusive podcast about how the comic got started. What were it’s inspirations? How did Jesse and I start working together? How has the story changed? 

Jesse and I plan on doing more, so leave a comment if there’s anything you’d like to hear us talk about.

If you’re a member of the Patreon you can either listen on the web, in the Patreon app, or using the podcast player of your choice. 

Ted Lasso

I’ve been thinking about this twitter thread by Frisco Uplink about the Apple TV+ show Ted Lasso for more than a month now.

Go read the whole thing. The show is wonderful. I love it. But this thread made me realize a few things I felt about the show but couldn’t put into words.

  1. Ted Lasso actually makes me feel hopeful. Which I’ve been short on.
  2. Over the last several years I’d lost something that I hadn’t realized was gone. Something about the way I want to interact with people, with a certain kindness. Seeing it again in this show is like running into an old friend who I haven’t seen in years and discovering you get on as though no time has past.

Austin Kleon: on 15 years of blogging

I love it when Austin Kleon writes about blogging.

Every time I start a new post, I never know for sure where it’s going to go. This is what writing and making art is all about: not having something to say, but finding out what you have to say.

Austin Kleon

Three reasons he keeps blogging:

1. To leave a trace

2. To figure out what I have to say.

3. Because I like it.

It’s a good post.

“Incredible Doom” is being published by Harper Collins

I haven’t talked much about my comics for the past few months, because I’ve been harboring a secret that I can finally tell everyone.

The first six-issues of Incredible Doom, Jesse Holden and my comic about ’90s teens making terrible decisions over the early internet, are being collected into a giant 288 page paperback and hardback published by Harper Collins, to help launch their new imprint Harper Alley. It’s coming out on May 11th.

Over the last several months, the editors at Harper Alley and I have been getting the book ready. We’ve enlarged the pages to full graphic novel size, tightened drawings, added a ton of detail and tones, and even a few new scenes, all to make things look as good as possible.

THERE’S MORE!

Harper is so enthusiastic about where the story is going, they signed us for a second volume as well, which Jesse and I are already hard at work on. We expect to have another 288 page book completed in just 13 months. By comparison, the first book took three times that! We can do this thanks to your support here on Patreon, which has allowed me to hire an art assistant to help speed up the production time.

I can’t tell you how excited we are about this. Like so many things, this was not the plan at the start of 2020. But unlike most news this year, this is great.

There’s so much more to tell you about—like how this came together, and what it’s been like working for a major publisher. I’m going to be posting about that both here and on Patreon. So make sure to subscribe to those.

Until then, thank you so much for sticking with us while we had to keep this a secret. (It killed me, but they insisted.)