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The First Issue

The Crime Bible: Five Books of Blood (or, as it should’ve been called, The Question) sees the first issue on stands tomorrow. I’m excited about it, frankly, and I’m looking forward to it finally seeing the light of day. I really do hope people will enjoy it. My personal feeling is that page 1, courtesy of these two guys, sells the series itself, but I confess to a vicious bias.

(As far as Lieber and Whiteout III goes, I’ve been remiss; he’s still waiting on the complete issue one, and that’s because I decided, for some unholy reason, that this time, y’know, I’d actually try to write a real-honest-to-God mystery, and it turns out those are 1) hard, and 2) require more preparation than I’d at first thought. Hopefully, I will make him happy by delivering by Thursday, which will put me one month behind schedule. This is not, incidentally, behavior of which I am proud.)

The last week of silence was due, in part, to several things. Bride took a much-needed sabbatical, which left me at home with the kids. Normally, this would not have been a problem, except we’re in the Autumnal Sick Season here in Portland, and children, as some of you may already know, double as very effective petri dishes. Dash started the festivities with a sore throat that blossomed into a fever of 102 on Thursday, keeping her home, and then, not to be out done, her older brother decided to raise, and entered the running with a 102.8. At the same time, Trautmann came down to work on Secret Project, which I was utterly unable to assist with, as I was trying to tend to the kids.

Oh, did I mention this was the week my parents decided to come up for a visit?

Both kids have recovered, Jen is back, Trautmann has a new Leopard and, of course, I am now feeling the first unmistakable twinges of a sore throat. If all goes according to schedule, I should be incoherent (well, even more incoherent) by Thursday. And yes, I recognize that’s also the day I’m hoping to deliver the script to Steve. It’s called denial, and I’ll thank you all not to ruin it.

23 Responses to The First Issue

  1. stealthbunny

    My empathies on the sick. I’m there, too. And under a stitching deadline. I’m not sure if a writing deadline is worse than a stitching deadline. I’ve done both. I think the stitching is worse.

    Oh, listen! I hear the sounds of a bed calling. Actually, it’s probably just a cat. But close enough.

  2. thatnickguy

    Great mysteries ARE tough to write, no doubt. Can I suggest going the route of 52′s ultimate hint machine, the two page spread of Rip’s lab? You know, just fill a scene to brim with clues and/or red herrings. Drive scans_daily absolutely nuts. =D Or there’s always the Long Halloween route, but I get the feeling that W.O.III won’t be a 12-issue maxi-series. :p

    By the way, I’m stoked for Crime Bible, but I hope you’re not offended if I wait for the trade on it? Part of this is due to the fact that I buy mostly trades as it is…and that I don’t have any of my long boxes that I brought with me for the move.

  3. mercuryeric

    My personal feeling is that page 1, courtesy of these two guys, sells the series itself, but I confess to a vicious bias.

    No. You’re right, of course.


    It was a pleasure to help out. Seriously good fun.

    (And to anyone else reading this, take it from someone who’s read the first couple issues in their entirety: it is The Awesome, and you should most definitely NOT wait for the trade.)


  4. jjgalahad

    Raw jalapeƱos and hot toddys are my cure-all for illnesses of the throat and chest. One little jalapeƱo has the vitamin C of four oranges and will clear your sinuses out like nobody’s business.

    But hey, mind over matter. Hopefully you’re feeling much better by the time you read this. Looking forward to Crime Bible tomorrow!

  5. admin

    I’m going to try this.

  6. incogvito

    just finished reading it (working at Hanley’s affords me some perks, like getting comics after midnight for the staff). It’s wonderful…there’s a lot you’re not telling us…a lot to be left open for…future issues? Interpretation? It’s really good, and Mandrake did a great job. The one thing I noticed was the one panel (Page 17/Panel 4) where the Question does a backflip kick. If I remember correctly, George Perez, when talking about drawing the original Crisis, had Blue Beetle do the same kick, saying that it was a “Ditko-kick.” And I’m sure that Spidey did it too, so I’m happy to see that Ditko rates (since you are totally a Denny-phile…this is the direct descendent of Denny’s Question). Great job by all, and yes, that first page could alone sell the series, and now i want to see the whole book!

  7. nealbailey

    Just reading the 80s Question series, actually. I’d been trying to track it down, and finally found it onli-er, via a friend who had every copy. It’s kicking my face sideways. It makes current comics look like a pile of crap, to be honest. Character, subtexts, and brutally honest. I feel like I’m watching a Rocky movie, the way Charlie’s getting whomped. I’m through six issues, and it’s eating every spare minute I have in that ten minutes after I get home to the time I collapse.

    Any insight as to why they wouldn’t call it The Question? Don’t get yourself in trouble, I’m just curious, because she IS the damned Question now, and it’s a great fit. Are they trying to tie it into 52 more, thinking the character not as bankable? I never understand this stuff.

    I understand being behind on a script for a month that you promised someone, if you catch my drift… my house will be done in about a week, all things according to plan. I just wanted to thank you and Jen for words that brightened my day and my life, and wish you well with the sickness. I now crawl off to coma…

    Oh, one more thing. Read the Melt trade, and it’s amazing in one sitting. Just figured I’d say that. The first is a great mystery, but let nothing take away from the character journey of the second. I hear you above, saying, “It’ll be a mystery!” but still, don’t belittle the accomplishment of the second. It’s pretty damned incredible. I enjoyed the mystery of the first, it’s epic, but the character of the second makes it my far favorite. But I’m a sucker for character.

  8. jjgalahad

    Hope it helps! Usually works out pretty well for me.

    (Of course, if my all-natural methods fail (as natural as Whiskey is), I usually swear by Orange Triamedic, Halls Cough Lozenges and that trusty old standby, NyQuil/DayQuil.)

  9. admin

    Teh sick is teh suck.

    (That’s how the kids say it, right?)

    Feel better!

  10. admin

    Nah, WO3 is going to be 4 issues of Steve Lieber glory, as the previous ones have been. And I know him, and I know how hard he’s going to work on this, so asking for more issues would probably break him, and I ain’t gonna do that.

    I’m not offended if you wait for the trade, and I won’t be if you do. I wouldn’t, but then again, I know what it’s about. Budget and space are always valid concerns.

  11. admin

    Thank you! Now go forth and thrust book into the hands of customers!

    (And I wish I could say the Ditko move was my idea, but I think it was Mandrake’s, actually.)

  12. admin

    Any insight as to why they wouldn’t call it The Question? Don’t get yourself in trouble, I’m just curious, because she IS the damned Question now, and it’s a great fit. Are they trying to tie it into 52 more….

    That’s exactly why it was titled Crime Bible: The Five Books of Blood instead of The Quesiton: The Five Books of Blood — the thought was to tie into the 52 hype-monster, and that’s also why there’s the “52 Aftermath” tag on the cover. It’s understandable from a marketing perspective, and when the project was approved some five months ago, it made more sense that it does now, never mind the fact that both Siglain and I wanted the latter title over the former. But Question is on every cover, so it’s not like folks will have a hard time figuring out who the book’s about. Hopefully, it’ll all even out in the end.

  13. tsob

    Hope the sore throat clears up soon.

    Chicken Soup!

  14. stealthbunny

    Long ago and far away, I used to use hoarhound tea for really nasty sore throats. It is the most horrible foul tasting thing I have EVER tasted and no amount of any type of sweetening helps.

    However, it is AMAZING for sore throats. As in, instant relief.

  15. davesbu

    Doug Wolk likes it: As always, he has interesting insights.

    Unfortunately, I have to wait until Friday to get this as that’s when I get paid and I’m broker than a World Series of Poker player addict.

  16. dannyperkins

    petri dish is a good one Greg!

    I call them germ farms. Same thing.

    Speaking of which, our Germ farm has an earn infection. Not much sleeping going on at my house.

    glad to hear your kids are better. Hope you feel better soon.

  17. stealthbunny


    Teh sick is teh suck.

    (That’s how the kids say it, right?)


    I dunno… you’re the one with kids! I failed baby itting back in high school. Badly. Decided when I was twelve that I was not parent material. I’m happy watching from afar, or spoiling them and giving them back to their parents when I’m done with them.

    That’s why I make such a cool aunt!

    Besides… I’ve never changed a diaper in my life, and I’m too old to learn now.

    By the way, if you and Jen haven’t gotten a flu shot yet, I’d strongly recommend it once you’re feeling better. You know the kidlets will come home with it, your immunities are already taking a beating from this, and having the flu on top of the rest of the chaos would be… well, just not pretty. Just a suggestion.

  18. admin

    You have both my sympathies and my hopes that the little ‘un recovers speedily, for ALL of your sakes’.

  19. dannyperkins

    Slept through the night last night thankfully!

    Thanks for the well wishes.

    Also had his first halloween as a trick or treater.

    Naturally we dressed him as Superman. (No mask)

  20. davidwynne

    bought it an hour ago, read it on the train home, loved it. I like that this issue actually works as a stand alone story while still feeling very much like part of a larger piece that it makes me want to read.

    Pity about that great big “52″ banner, I very nearly missed it on the shelf because of that. It’s not that I don’t like cross-overs- I think they’re highly under-rated as a way of telling stories, and actually have a lot to offer as a technique- I just can’t afford them.

  21. supergodginrai

    Really enjoyed the Crime Bible. The first 3 pages set the tone well, specifically the punching bags…

  22. dewline

    More than a little chilling that was.

  23. doop

    How come DC didn’t call it The Question or The Question: Crime Bible?

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