WHAT A RIDE!

Finally….

Wow. What a ride that was. The path to get Juliet from our brain to your eyes has been a far crazier and more rewarding one than I could ever have imagined.

We sent off the final issue to the Printer’s this Friday — almost a full year after the first pages were drawn. If you had told me it was going to take us a YEAR to get four issues done — I would have laughed in your face. No WAY. The book was totally written by November, this thing was going to go off without a hitch.

The very first page.... oh, so many months ago.

The very first page…. oh, so many months ago.

Ha. What was that they say about “best laid plans….?”

Somehow, in-between that first page and last Friday, there’s been numerous family illnesses, two floods, one team member who had to leave, a busted up car, more trips to Cons than I can count, and 100 pages (And counting – don’t worry, we have a bad-ass back-up story for the trade) of the best work we’ve done on Kill Shakespeare so far.

I want to thank Corin Howell, our incredible inker and penciler who had to juggle the family illness, the busted up car and one of the floods alongside the on-going work she’s been doing for BOOM! and IDW AND the incredible stuff she’s done for us. Corin, you’re ability to nail all the biggest emotional moments, the beautiful backgrounds you’ve littered the book with, and your good nature and amazing laugh have made this journey a pleasure. KS will ALWAYS miss Andy Belanger, but you’ve proven to be more than worthy of being his successor.

Juliet_1_Inks_8

Alex Lillie and Shari Chankahamma — what a tag team. We’d worked with Shari before on Tide and Mask, and so I was SO excited when we got her back for Juliet, and then SO devastated when we lost her half-way through to a dream opportunity that she HAD to say yes too.

A classic Shari C. scene

A classic Shari C. scene

 

Into the void stepped Alex. You can’t possibly believe this, but this is ALEX’S ¬†FIRST MAJOR COLOURING JOB IN COMICS!!! To be thrown into a series that has the depth of mythology as KS, and halfway into a book, is incredibly hard, yet Alex was amazing. I think you’ll agree that hers was an incredible rookie season.

WHO is this talented woman?

WHO is this talented woman?

I also have to thank Simon David and Adam Gorham, our exceptional cover-artists. Simon did work for us on Tide of Blood (the iconic Skull, and, perhaps my fave of all time, the bloody Prospero emerging from a book), and being able to hand him all four covers was a dream. He churned out four more brilliant covers — including what be my NEW favourite, his chilling take on Issue #4…

Simon's pitch-perfect take on the dark end to our tale.

Simon’s pitch-perfect take on the dark end to our tale.

Adam is also SORT of new to the KS family. Those with keen eyes will have spotted his work here and there before, but this was the first time we could get him for a full run, and he did not disappoint. His issue #1 cover is one of the best things I think he’s ever done. It kills me that we can only have one cover for the trade… because there is so much good stuff in here.

I love this Adam Gorham cover so much, it hurts.

I love this Adam Gorham cover so much, it hurts.

Toby Malone has a credit you don’t see a ton in comics — Story Editor, but he was invaluable in shaping the tale. His knowledge of Shakespeare is peerless, and there is more than one reference to the Bard that originated in his nimble brain. He also constantly had me thinking about how to best deliver the story concisely and with maximum emotion. He’s a real talent – and any writer would do well to work with him.

I also HAVE to thank the team at IDW — Tom Waltz our fearless editor, who helped keep us on track story-wise, and was there when I was freaking out when we lost Shari, Corin had to go to be by her Father’s side, and the roof of my house threatened to collapse. ¬†When I found out we weren’t getting Chris Mowry, the letterer for the first four KS volumes, I’ll admit, I was nervous. Shawn Lee took those nerves, made them a cup of tea, and tucked’em in with a good book. Shawn’s lettering is instinctive, insightful, and never ever obscures the artist’s work. That’s the true mark of a great letterer — knowing that the “image is the thing.” Shawn, I’m a believer.

Shawn handles a mass of text with aplomb

Shawn handles a mass of text with aplomb

Last, but not least, I need to thank my partner in crime – Anthony Del Col. We started committing Bardicde way back in 2008, and now almost a decade later we’re still going strong (or at least WE think so). I’m so grateful that Anthony was willing to give me a chance to take KS in this direction. It would have been easy for him to have felt threatened, or wanted to control things, but that’s not the kind of guy he is. All he cares about is good story, and once we figured out what THIS ONE was, he supported me whole-heartedly (The “Cassio” twist is a direct result of Anthony challenging me to take the story to a better place.)

Thanks Anthony. I’m blessed to get to tell stories with you.

How can you say no to this face?

How can you say no to this face?

Actually, the REAL last but not list are you, the readers. When we first dreamed-up Kill Shakespeare we had no idea if we could find an audience or not, and then you came into our lives. We’re on the seventh printing of Volume 1, we’ve been able to take our little baby from the page to the stage, to the board (game), and now to TV. Without you folks reading, commenting, challenging us, we would never have come even half this far. I hope you find Juliet an excellent addition to the canon. At the end of the day we’re here to serve you.

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Lots of love,
Conor



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