It’s been a big week for Brian Michael Bendis. On Monday it was announced that the Jinxworld imprint, featuring work by Bendis, David Mack, Michael Avon Oeming, and more, would be moving to Dark Horse Comics, with a new series from Bendis and Stephen Byrne, Joy Operations, debuting in October. Today Bendis debuted his new newsletter on Substack (relax, it’s free!), in which he addressed the Dark Horse move and answered some FAQs…and in the process teased a number of new projects, including a multi-book deal with artist Andre Lima Araujo and a major book-market publisher.
Answering a question specifically about the long-teased project with Araujo, Bendis revealed that, given the subject matter of the book, they had pitched the graphic novel “in the traditional book market.” He went on:
Between the success of my textbook WORDS FOR PICTURES and the genuine runaway success of MILES MORALES, and other titles in the YA book market, we thought it was worth a try.
(The comic book marketplace has shifted dramatically over the last five years. I think you can actually refer to them as three different markets. )
We were very surprised and delighted that the material went up for ‘auction’ which means that we had more than one offer to publish. We ended up with a multi graphic novel deal at one of the big publishers and that announcement will be coming later in the year- sometime during New York comicon is what I hear.
This is very exciting and good scary. Plus, Dark Horse and this other publisher have a very excellent history together and will be working in tandem. Very exciting.
Earlier this week Araujo also mentioned on Twitter, in response to the Jinxworld news, that the project he and Bendis have been working on will come from another publisher:
— André Lima Araújo 🇵🇹 (@erdna11) August 16, 2021
And back in November of 2020 Araujo posted a sneak peak on Twitter of the completed first book:
My book with @BRIANMBENDIS is pretty much done and I don't hesitate to say it's the best thing I've ever done in my career. We immediately hit a spark and had an extraordinary collaboration, full of creativity & joy. Pretty sure we'll be back together in the future :). #JinxWorld pic.twitter.com/TiQqFtg3YY
— André Lima Araújo 🇵🇹 (@erdna11) November 16, 2020
New York Comic Con is the second weekend of October, so we shouldn’t have to wait too long to find out just where these books have landed.
In answer to another question about whether Bendis is leaving superhero comics, he replied emphatically “No.” and teased both that he, David F. Walker, and Jamal Campbell are working on Naomi Season Two, and that Legion of Super-Heroes will be returning at some point, though he didn’t share any info on who the rest of the creative team on LoSH will be when it comes back.
We’ve seen a lot of creators signing deals with non-traditional comics publishers in the past few weeks, though, most notably the much-analyzed Substack deals. Bendis is for sure right about one thing, though: the comics market has changed significantly over the last five years, and it makes total sense that successful direct market creators would start looking to bookstore market publishers who can potentially offer some stability – and hopefully higher paydays – for creator-owned material.
Check out the full first installment of Bendis’s newsletter here, and keep an eye out for more on all of this as it’s announced.