Newsletters have made a BIG comeback, in that pendulum swinging way. I guess people are so exhausted from surfing the web and checking out snapchats that they want everything to come in their mailbox. Ed Brubaker has an infrequently mailed out one, which you can subscribe to here. A new one went out yesterday, chock full of news and chatter and a preview of issue #2 of Kill or Be Killed, his latest team-up with Sean Phillips, yet another morally ambiguous study or crime and guilt. The newsletter also includes this cover mock up by Chip Zdarsky, prepared when it looked like Velvet might be a TV series. Anyway, if you like newsletters subscribe to this one!
Brubaker also addresses the cartoonist’s career, something a lot of people have been talking about of late:
Do you have any regrets about leaving Marvel Comics?
— James F.
No. I miss working with some of the people I used to work with, and I miss hanging out with Hickman and Fraction and Bendis and other friends three or four times a year in NYC, but I left when I should have. I had a good time there, and got to play with Cap and DD, and me and Steve got to create the Winter Soldier and me and Aja and Fraction got to make Iron Fist popular for maybe the first time ever… But at the end of the day, I’m not one of those people who wants to write stories for other people’s characters. That’s not my passion.
It can be fun for a while, but writing to me is a kind of therapy, I think. Writing about Bucky helped me exorcise some demons and deal with my own military brat childhood. That’s probably why the Marvel work I did, when I did it well, in my opinion, had an impact. Because you have to put yourself into everything you write. Writing isn’t “I have a great idea for Spider-Man.” Writing is “I have to write.”
I also feel, on a moral level, like work-for-hire writing is just hard on the creators. You earn a living, but you knowingly allow yourself to get exploited. So you have to be really careful knowing how far you’re willing to take that.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.