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Greg’s Punisher concludes today

Art by Marco Checchetto

Art by Marco Checchetto

Greg’s work with Frank Castle comes to an explosive finale today in Punisher: War Zone #5 as Frank and the Avengers go head to head. See a preview at Comic Book Resources. Art by Carmine Di Giandomenico, cover by Marco Checchetto.

Two new from Greg today

Art by Matthew Southworth

Stumptown: The Case of the Baby in the Velvet Case #4

Art by Marco Checchetto

Punisher: War Zone #2

Two new ones from Greg in comic stores today! The second Dex Parios adventure by Greg and Matthew Southworth from Oni, Stumptown: The Case of the Baby in the Velvet Case, continues today with its fourth issue.

And over on the Marvel stand, Frank Castle takes on the Avengers in Punisher: War Zone #2, with art by Marco Checchetto!

Dex Parios back on stands in Stumptown Vol. 2 #1 today

Art by Matthew Southworth

Art by Matthew Southworth

From Greg, Matthew Southworth and Rico Renzi — the newest mystery for Stumptown Investigations detective Dex Parios, The Case of the Baby in the Velvet Case, comes out today!

To whet your whistle on your way to the comic shop, why not give a listen to the 3 Chicks Review Comics podcast interview with Greg over at Comic Book Resources?

Announcing a new ALPHA signing and some more interviews

Greg has just posted details of what may be the last of the ALPHA signings at his Facebook page. Mark your calendars for Monday, June 18 at 7:00 PM, when Greg will be at Murder By the Book in Portland.

And, again, as a reminder, if you’d like a signed copy of ALPHA, but missed Greg on his recent tour, contact Murder By the Book, and they’ll be happy to arrange one for you.

Greg talked to CBR’s Alex Dueben about all manner of things as part of the Sunday Conversation:

There is a three-book arc that this is the first part of. I’m undecided as to how final the ending of the third one will be. There may be more with these characters or characters related to them beyond that, but right now, “Alpha,” “Bravo” and — right now we’re calling the third one “Charlie”, though that may change — are a three book cycle, and ideally fairly self-contained as a result. Hopefully they’ll be easily accessible as well. There’s not a whole lot of continuity. I think the first book of a series you can come in and everything should be there. Jad as a character is pretty fully formed when you meet him, and clearly he has a body of experience and skill to justify the story in “Alpha.” But he’s got a journey to make. I’m working on the second one right now and the third one will test him even more than the second one does.

He chatted with MTV Geek about ALPHA:

What makes it different? Honestly, this started with me asking myself “what’s the most cliché action story I can think of,” and then trying to take all the pieces of the cliché and breaking them into something new. The book has everything short of a guy saying, “Man, I was three days from retirement, I bought a boat”—you know what I mean? There is an element—it’s not over the top—but there is a certain self-awareness in the story. The scenario is created as plausibly as possible. I mean, I do crazy amounts of research. I want this stuff to “work,” so to speak. I need to be, at least to me, believable—because if I feel if I cannot invest some element of verisimilitude, the reader is absolutely not going to buy in. And the emotional element of the story has to be sincere because if there’s no empathy you lose your audience. So at first blush, this book is about a guy with a gun chasing other guys with guns. But I do think what makes Alpha perhaps distinctive in the genre is both its self-awareness of what it’s doing. I’m certainly not the first guy to go, Hey, terrorist, amusement park, let’s run with it. But it’s the first time in my experience I’ve ever seen anyone run towards it, if that makes sense, the surrealism of the scenario.

And he chatted with John Siuntres for another dual installment of the always fascinating Rucka Debrief at Word Balloon. Here’s part one, and part two.

Get your ALPHA Southwestern style

Just a reminder that Greg will be starting the Southwestern leg of his ALPHA tour tomorrow, in Arizona, then traveling across the state of Texas. Here are the relevant dates, times and details!:

May 30, 7:00 PM: The Poisoned Pen, Scottsdale AZ
May 31, 7:30 PM: BookPeople, Austin, TX
June 1, 6:30 PM: Murder by the Book, Houston, TX
June 2, 4-6:00 PM: Rathbun’s Blue Plate Kitchen, Dallas, TX (ALPHA, as well as some of Greg’s comics, available for purchase at the event thanks to Zeus Comics)

Greg talks ALPHA, writing process

Greg’s essay “Why I Write ‘Strong Female Characters’” was posted to io9 yesterday. Here’s a taste:

So, to the question.

I have two answers I tend to give, the Quick Answer and the Long Answer. Both are entirely true, for the record.

The Quick Answer goes like this:

Q: How do you write such strong/well-realized/positively portrayed women?

A: I don’t. I write characters. Some of those characters are women.

To mark the release of ALPHA in the UK tomorrow, Mulholland Books UK did a Q&A with Greg:

Who would your fantasy dinner guests be?

I’ll twist that a bit, and say that the opportunity to dine at Nero Wolfe’s table would be a dream come true.

Greg also talked about ALPHA with ComicBook.com:

What are the big differences between writing these ongoing stories for these characters in your novels as opposed to comics?

I think honestly it comes from a gaming background—I write campaigns, for lack of a better way to put it. I don’t know, I tend to create characters that I want to spend time with. I think you can hear it when I talk about Jad. I want to spend time with Jad—I want to spend time with Chaindragger and Bonebreaker and Cardboard and the whole crew there and explore them. You see it a lot in Gabriel, too. And that’s—more than anything else, I think—the thing that drives the serial work, be it in comics or in novels. With novels you want the story to be enclosed, you want it ot reach an end and a clear end but at the same time I find it dissatisfying to reach the end of the story and presume that’s everything you needed to know. It’s a great way to tell a story, I’m not knocking it, but I want to do more. I think that tends to be the thing that pushes it—I’m looking for where do they go next. Invariably I’ll be halfway through a novel and I’ll go “Ooh! This has to be the thing that happens next!”

Greg and Brian Michael Bendis wrapped up their two-part conversation for the Mulholland Books website:

BRB: It’s more of my smiling and waving that’s not showing what’s going on behind the curtain. In fact, I keep putting myself in situations that are new situations that I can explore something about, my writing, whether who it’s with or how I’m working with them.

GR: That’s great for me to hear, because that’s a conclusion I came to a while back. One of the things I’m looking to do is scare myself. After a while, I think complacency is very dangerous for a writer.

And finally, Sterling Hershey discusses the creation of the cartography of Wilsonville:

Greg gave me some background material and history for the fictional park, including major features he wanted and the actual theme. We discussed different park types and a few details from an operational standpoint. Then I sat down and created the layout. I added more rides, shows, and major features as needed, naming them within the established theme. We went through a couple revisions, but the process went smoothly and was a lot of fun. We thought a bit about the history of the park, designing the early sections to have a formal layout, and letting the expanded areas become more free form. I included some dimensions at Greg’s request, so he could estimate travel times and other story details.

ALPHA is currently out in multiple formats, physical and digital.

ALPHA drops tomorrow

Greg’s latest novel, his first with Mulholland Books, ALPHA, will hit shelves tomorrow.

ALPHA is the story of Jad Bell, an ex-Delta Force Marine Sergeant who finds himself embroiled in a terrorist attack on Wilsonville, the world’s largest theme park. The prologue of the novel is available for preview on Facebook, and gets right to the heart of the action.

Also, see this just-published interview of Greg by writer Brian Michael Bendis for a little about the creation of ALPHA (and a good bit about politics, parenting, and starting bands).

Greg will be doing a tour to support ALPHA, and will be signing at the following stores:

May 22: Powell’s Cedar Hills Crossing, Portland, OR
May 24: The Seattle Mystery Bookshop, Seattle, WA
May 30: The Poisoned Pen, Scottsdale AZ
May 31: BookPeople, Austin, TX
June 1: Murder by the Book, Houston, TX
June 2: Rathbun’s Blue Plate Kitchen, Dallas, TX (special event — details coming soon)

If you’d like a signed copy of ALPHA, and aren’t in one of the cities Greg will be visiting, please contact one of those stores, and Greg will be happy to have a book inscribed to you.

Greg reads at Writers With Drinks in San Francisco this weekend

Greg will be one of three featured guests this weekend at Writers With Drinks, described by host Charlie Jane Anders as a “spoken word variety show.”

Along with novelist Barry Gifford (Wild at Heart: The Story of Sailor and Lula) and poet Liz Henry (Unruly Islands, Mother Frankenstein), Greg will be taking part in the spontaneous show that mixes literary figures and the hard stuff.

There’s a $5 to $10 sliding scale cover. All proceeds benefit the Center for Sex and Culture.

The show will take place Saturday, May 12, at The Make-Out Room 3225 22nd. St., San Francisco CA, from 7:30 PM to 9:30 PM, doors open at 7 PM.

Greg is Barcelona bound!

A reminder that Greg is in Spain this weekend for the Salón Internacional del Cómic de Barcelona!

He’ll be signing at booth 101 on Friday, May 4, from 6:00 to 7:00PM, Saturday from 12:30 to 2:00PM, and again from 6:30 to 8:00PM, and on Sunday from 10:30AM until noon.

You can also catch Greg, Jen Van Meter and Craig Thompson on the “My Way” panel on Thursday, May 3, from 4:30 to 5:45PM.

Greg speaks at Puget Sound, appears at Vancouver Fan Expo

Writing with a 'Y' Chromosome poster

Greg will be speaking on the subject of writing women in fiction tonight at the University of Puget Sound. Here’s how they describe the event:

Greg Rucka, a prolific writer of novels and comics, is coming to the University of Puget Sound to present on writing women in fiction.

Greg has written a plethora of novels as well as major comic characters like Batwoman, Wonder Woman, Superman, Batman, Daredevil, Wolverine, and more. He is also the current writer on The Punisher.

In addition to mainstream work, Greg has published independent series like Whiteout, Queen & Country, and Stumptown. He also maintains an ongoing webcomic with artist Rick Burchett – Lady Sabre & The Pirates of the Ineffable Aether. All four of these series feature female lead characters.

He has been nominated and won many awards including: Eisner, Harvey, and a GLAAD award.

Please join us in welcoming this great writer to our campus and engaging in his presentation on writing women in fiction.

THE EVENT IS FREE.

You’re more than welcome and encouraged to share this event with your friends.

This event is brought to you by ASUPS, the English Department, and Communication Studies Student Association.

For more information, see the Facebook event page.

If you can’t make it out to the University of Puget Sound, you’ll have another chance to see Greg this weekend as he heads to the Vancouver Fan Expo.

The Expo takes place this Saturday and Sunday at the Vancouver Convention Centre, in, of course, Vancouver Canada. You can find Greg at table P14, and he’ll be taking part in the Rock Star Comic Creator Super Panel (with Len Wein, Kathryn and Stuart Immonen, and Yannick Paquete) on Saturday at 6PM.