Hello old friend! How is life? It’s been a while since I’ve written you.
It’s odd — after Starslip ended, in the days that followed, I found myself re-reading the very last strip again and again. Not the last one on the website, but the epilogue I did for the fifth book, the one that showed what happened to everybody. I read it over and over as if to tell myself you were okay, that everyone was okay.
And then a couple months after that, I caught myself thinking that I should write to you. Not like some creative exercise, but that you were a friend I hadn’t heard from in a while. That you had suddenly stopped communicating with me. Which is what happened really — you spoke very clearly to me on a daily basis for seven years. When the story ended, you stopped talking to me because I didn’t need you to anymore. There was nothing left to talk about.
But! I’m doing fine here. I’ve been a little nervous to start my next series. Chainsawsuit is doing well, but I have a need to tell stories.
The first strip of my new series, Broodhollow, will go up October 8th. Set in the 1930s, Broodhollow is a cosmic horror adventure — imagine if Tintin went to Innsmouth. It’ll be full-color double-size strips, three times a week, updating Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
Broodhollow is a sister city of Ichor Falls, the haunted town setting of my horror fiction, as well as the site that gave rise to Candle Cove. I thought about actually setting the new series in Ichor Falls itself, but I think that would have bound me too much to its established oppressive tone. There will be a little crossover, although Broodhollow is a different city altogether, very bright and inviting at first glance. There’s a reason to want to be there. But the scary parts will hopefully be genuinely unsettling in the style of H.P. Lovecraft, Clark Ashton Smith, Stephen King, all the writers I appreciate. Never gory or slasher-y, but a sense of building dread that accompanies the unknown.
I also am working on it in terms of “chapters,” which can really be considered books. The first book will be between 60 and 80 strips, and it’ll tell a finished story. Enough to print as a stand-alone book. If there’s excitement about it, then I’ll do a second book. I told the story in Starslip very soap-opera, very seat-of-my-pants. I want everything in this series to cohere, to fit, to have been planned from the beginning.
Because let’s face it, I cut a few corners on you and your art, and some of your characterization. I feel bad about it, but things were pretty hectic for a while. Sorry about that! It all turned out pretty okay in the end!
Anyway — it was good to get in touch with you. I’d ask you to read Broodhollow and get your opinion on it, but where you are there’s no internet yet. Say hello to the family for me.