Q
Patrick, my curiosity about comics has been growing by the day ever since I've started following SDF. I finally took a leap of faith and I just checked out Menu. I kept an open mind and I loved it. So thank you for turning me onto a whole new art form that I previously ignored because of the stereotype that "comics are for nerds."
Anonymous
A

selfdefensefamily:

Thanks. I’m glad you enjoyed it. 

Now, get to a comic book store, bookstore, or get the comixology app, and check out shit from masters. 

Things that make me smile. I have never talked to other comic creators about this but Patrick and I get a lot of people telling us we got them into comics. I have no idea if this is unusual or not for comic creators, but it’s a great feeling and I am always tremendously proud of it.


Brand new MENU story is up at Trip City. This one is to commemorate the anniversary of HP Lovecraft’s death, 77 years ago this month. Al always words are by us, sherpa-ing by Chris Miskiewicz, cover design by Dylan Todd. This time the art is by the amazing Werther Dell’Edera. 
Read this month’s MENU story.
Read all the previous MENU stories.

Brand new MENU story is up at Trip City. This one is to commemorate the anniversary of HP Lovecraft’s death, 77 years ago this month. Al always words are by us, sherpa-ing by Chris Miskiewicz, cover design by Dylan Todd. This time the art is by the amazing Werther Dell’Edera. 


Read this month’s MENU story.

Read all the previous MENU stories.


We have a piece in the OCCUPY COMICS anthology out now in comic shops. You should probably buy it if you like good and important things.

blackmaskstudios:

Images from Occupy Comics issue 2

Occupy Comics vol. 1 comes out next week, but comic shops got a headstart on it today. All profits go to Occupy-related initiatives and all content goes to presenting you with different perspectives.

Images here from

zoetica
marksable
mhutchison
Si Spurrier
Smudge
rileyrossmo
ashcanpress
mattminerxvx
seanvongormanart
Shannon Wheeler
Anna Muckcracker Wieszczyk
Bill Ayers
Ryan Alexander-Tanner
salgood


Q
Do I have to 'respect the menu'?
Anonymous
A

selfdefensefamily:

Obv. 

New stories with art from Werther Dell’edera, Aaron Conely, Michael Kraiger, Shaky Kane, and more coming soon. 

Catch up here.

Truth. We demand respect.


Occupy Comics anthology is in comic shops today. Go buy it now! We wrote a short story with Adam Geen and Joe Ruff. Other folks in the book are Alan Moore, David Lloyd, David Mack, Mike Allred, Molly Crabapple, Art Spiegelman, Ron Wimberly, Dean Haspiel, Ben Templesmith, Amanda Palmer, Ales Kot, Josh Fialkov, Josh Dysart, and a ton more. All the proceeds go to charity so you really have no excuse.

Occupy Comics anthology is in comic shops today. Go buy it now! We wrote a short story with Adam Geen and Joe Ruff. Other folks in the book are Alan Moore, David Lloyd, David Mack, Mike Allred, Molly Crabapple, Art Spiegelman, Ron Wimberly, Dean Haspiel, Ben Templesmith, Amanda Palmer, Ales Kot, Josh Fialkov, Josh Dysart, and a ton more. All the proceeds go to charity so you really have no excuse.


I (Matthew) have a short prose story in the new issue of LOVERS AND OTHER STRANGERS magazine. If you aren’t familiar, LAOS is an amazing magazine/art project. They take old found photos and give them to writers to craft a story around. The result is a beautiful art piece and fascinating exercise in watching people fill in holes and make up missing pieces. Either way, it’s well worth picking up.
For Fans of: McSweeney’s, One Story, The Moth, and Harpers.
You can get it here.

I (Matthew) have a short prose story in the new issue of LOVERS AND OTHER STRANGERS magazine. If you aren’t familiar, LAOS is an amazing magazine/art project. They take old found photos and give them to writers to craft a story around. The result is a beautiful art piece and fascinating exercise in watching people fill in holes and make up missing pieces. Either way, it’s well worth picking up.

For Fans of: McSweeney’s, One Story, The Moth, and Harpers.

You can get it here.


Skeet! Skeet! Skeet!

Skeet! Skeet! Skeet!


Brand new chapter of MENU is up now over at Trip City. This one is dark and pretty brutal and we argued over it a lot. Obviously it would be hard to imagine this wouldn’t be a realistic interaction in the world of MENU, it is just a hard thing to put into the world we live in now. In the end this story sees the light of day because we both feel the value of MENU is in exploring the human condition at it’s most extreme, even when that makes us feel awful. 
Words by us. Art by the always amazing Jason Copland (Daredevil, Robocop). Read the whole series here. 
This chapter may be a trigger for some folks. Please read with caution.

Brand new chapter of MENU is up now over at Trip City. This one is dark and pretty brutal and we argued over it a lot. Obviously it would be hard to imagine this wouldn’t be a realistic interaction in the world of MENU, it is just a hard thing to put into the world we live in now. In the end this story sees the light of day because we both feel the value of MENU is in exploring the human condition at it’s most extreme, even when that makes us feel awful. 

Words by us. Art by the always amazing Jason Copland (Daredevil, Robocop). Read the whole series here. 

This chapter may be a trigger for some folks. Please read with caution.


Q
blobby boys
Anonymous
A

Good book. Bad question.


Q
Do you guys have any new books coming out? Seems like it's been a bit since you made any announcements.
Anonymous
A

Long answer: We do have a bunch of stuff we are working on. It’s one of those things where you spend a year working on a tightly planned and brutally effective schedule. And then god and publishers laugh at your schedules. I can say we are doing a lot of stuff in the second half of the year. More than that and I will be jeopardizing my life and yours.

Short answer: Stay tuned.


12 REASONS TO DIE #6 is in stores today! Wrapping up the first arc with a bang, this issue contains art by Gus Storms (EGOs), Riley Rossmo (Proof/DrumHellar), and Chris Hunt (Carver). The cover is by the always awesome Michael Walsh (Comeback/Secret Avengers). Colors by Jean-Paul Csuka (Bedlam). We are really proud of this one. Go to your local comic shop and pick it up or if they don’t have it order direct from Black Mask Studios!

12 REASONS TO DIE #6 is in stores today! Wrapping up the first arc with a bang, this issue contains art by Gus Storms (EGOs), Riley Rossmo (Proof/DrumHellar), and Chris Hunt (Carver). The cover is by the always awesome Michael Walsh (Comeback/Secret Avengers). Colors by Jean-Paul Csuka (Bedlam). We are really proud of this one. Go to your local comic shop and pick it up or if they don’t have it order direct from Black Mask Studios!


We have a 5 page short story in the LIBERATOR vol. 1 trade written by us, art by Ariela Kirstantina & Jen Hickman. There are also brand new short stories from Frank Barbiere (Five Ghosts), Tim Seeley (Revival), Alex De Campi (Grindhouse), Ed Brisson (Sheltered), Ales Kot (Zero), Adam Mortimer (Ballistic), Morgan Jeske (Change), Fabian Rangel Jr. (Doc Unknown), Tess Fowler (The Rascals) and more! It’s the last week you can preorder this in your comic shop. Print out the above form and just hand it in at your LCS to make sure they have it.
And just in case you don’t know how comic shops work- IF YOU DON’T PREORDER THE BOOK THEY WILL NOT GET IT!!!!!!!!!!
Thanks so much.

We have a 5 page short story in the LIBERATOR vol. 1 trade written by us, art by Ariela Kirstantina & Jen Hickman. There are also brand new short stories from Frank Barbiere (Five Ghosts), Tim Seeley (Revival), Alex De Campi (Grindhouse), Ed Brisson (Sheltered), Ales Kot (Zero), Adam Mortimer (Ballistic), Morgan Jeske (Change), Fabian Rangel Jr. (Doc Unknown), Tess Fowler (The Rascals) and more! It’s the last week you can preorder this in your comic shop. Print out the above form and just hand it in at your LCS to make sure they have it.

And just in case you don’t know how comic shops work- IF YOU DON’T PREORDER THE BOOK THEY WILL NOT GET IT!!!!!!!!!!

Thanks so much.


OUR BEST OF THE YEAR LIST

We decided to not do the “best of 2013” list because 1) who cares what we think and 2) it is a very weird and arbitrary thing to do. Things that I loved in January now mean nothing to me. How one experiences and interacts with things should constantly change and evolve. A year end recap is just false sentimentality.

With that said I have seen the comics press make a lot of “talent to watch in 2014” lists that are complete bullshit. I am well aware that comics is a medium where even the people at the top only have a tenuous grip on either career or financial security. With that said, I think we can all agree that folks who are putting out 2-5 books a month at Marvel and/or DC are not “talent to watch”. They may be great comic creators but they pretty much have already “arrived” before now. With that in mind I made a short list of comic folks I think will be doing amazing things this year who you may not already be following. Every one of these creators is making the kind of books that will change and push the industry forward and they deserve to be household names. And if they get all the fame and credit they deserve then maybe comics press will put them on the “creators to watch in 2017” list. 

I urge you to think about what new talent you are excited for in 2014 and try and spread the word about them. Comics is a small world and every little push helps keep the people you like in it. So, without further ado-

10. Gus Storms. Gus was one of our key artists on 12 REASONS TO DIE and is the artist on the new Image book EGOS. His work feels truly fresh while owing obviously to folks like Darrow and Moebius. It isn’t hard to imagine Gus as a very important artist in 2014 and beyond.

9. Curt Pires. Curt does what other writers either don’t bother to try or can’t do. He makes surreal and trippy books that read like real, human stories. His books THEREMIN and LP are both far better reads than they need to be.

8. Duffy Boudreau. BLACKACRE was a criminally under read book this year. Brimming with more heart, more smarts, and more story than most books ever even think about attempting. After you finish it you can just tell that the guy behind it has many more important stories to tell.

7. Sloane Leong. For a while I thought Sloane was the best kept secret in comics. Amazing artist, brilliant colorist, great mind for storytelling, and super funny and nice. Between her own prints, various mini-comics and shorts, and some high-profile coloring gigs I think she isn’t so much of a secret anymore. There are very few creators who continue to blow my mind and Sloane is definitely one of them.

6. Charles Forsman. This one may be a stretch. Charles Forsman has been doing some pretty awesome stuff in comics for a while now and should probably be in your library, but this year was unreal. As the head of OILY COMICS he obviously has my love for running one of the best publishers going right now. But his books THE END OF THE FUCKING WORLD and CELEBRATED SUMMER were amazingly good comics that manage to cut out all the bullshit and just tell great stories. TEEN CREEPS looks to be more of the same brilliance.

5. Jen Hickman. I just got into Jen’s stuff at HeroesCon thanks to a buddy telling me to check her table out. Immediately I asked her to draw a MENU story I was having trouble finding the perfect artist for. Saying that she absolutely nailed it is an understatement. I don’t know what Jen is working on next but I am sure you should read it.

4. Michael Moreci. Mike may be the nicest guy in comics but that isn’t what puts him on this list. Even if he was a huge dick I would still have nothing but respect for his work. His book Hoax Hunters is one of those premises that you just fall in love with and he completely nails it, even with a brutally handsome bit of dead weight dragging him down in the co-writing department (what!? You got something to say, Seeley?). His name keeps popping up on exciting projects and he has some great stuff coming soon (CURSE from Boom! for one). If this guy isn’t brought in to reinvigorate a book at Marvel or DC this year then their editors are asleep at the wheel.

3. Jason Copland. Jason is the artist that every writer wants to make famous. Ask upcoming writers in comics and they probably have all approached Jason about doing a book. Landing firmly between Chris Samnee and Sean Phillips, Jason’s style is just classic enough to appeal to outsiders while stylized enough to make the savviest comic art snob drool. He gained some much needed attention by covering for Samnee on an issue of DAREDEVIL late last year. Here’s to hoping he doesn’t forget us little guys in 2014.

2. Ed Brisson. It is un-fucking-believable that Ed isn’t already a big shot in comics. His self published MURDER BOOK is one of the great crime comics OF ALL TIME! COMEBACK was brilliant sci-fi noir. SHELTERED is one of the most original comic ideas I have seen in years. He works with some of the best artists in the business, he comes up with amazing ideas and executes them even better, and he has a great Canadian accent. Stop sleeping on the dude and grab these books.

1. Frank Barbiere. Clearly one of the worst dudes in comics, so his meteoric rise to stardom in 2014 will only be that much more impressive. 2013 saw FIVE GHOSTS become a breakout hit that THE ONION and the NY TIMES named one of the best books of the year. 2014 will see his upcoming book THE WHITE SUITS make any respectable best of list. He has demonstrated that he is a master of smart, simple storytelling that does everything right. Add to that a plethora of really interesting looking Work For Hire projects and Frank is clearly going to be a creator to watch in 2014 despite being an awful person. Good for him. The world needs more good comics and Frank is on the forefront making that happen.

Other folks who have me really excited for comics in 2014- Chris Miskiewicz, Jeremy Holt, Johnnie Christmas, Ariela Kristantina, Ryan Lee, Chris Hunt, James Asmus, Ryan Ferrier, Barnaby Bagenda, Tyler Boss, Colin Lorimer, Ben Passmore, Nolan T. Jones, Matt Miner, Michel Fiffe, and Josh Bayer. GOOGLE THEM.


Q
Pat, is Menu in a way based off A Boy and His Dog?
Anonymous
A

selfdefensefamily:

The Road without a kid; A Boy and His Dog without the rapes.’

Patrick’s answer is ironic since this week’s Menu features a kid and a rape scene. But yes, generally this is true.


A new chapter of MENU, PITY IN PASADENA pt. 2, is up now for free on Trip City. Words by us, art by the amazing Jen Hickman. If you haven’t read the first one you should go do that first.
Trigger Warning: This story contains images of sexual violence.

A new chapter of MENU, PITY IN PASADENA pt. 2, is up now for free on Trip City. Words by us, art by the amazing Jen Hickman. If you haven’t read the first one you should go do that first.

Trigger Warning: This story contains images of sexual violence.