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One Done, Many Ongoing

The sun set on one Jim Zub project today, as the reboot of Makeshift Miracle (story, as always, by Zub, with redone art by Shun Hong Chan) reached its conclusion today. Now that the entire story is there, I hope that Zub will put the original back up, so we can compare the two versions, page by page. Zub may not like his original (and ten years less-assured) artwork for Makeshift Miracle, but I thought it had some real charm. An authentic this is coming from a singular POV and it different from other stories character, if you will.

Regardless, this is the Hardest Working Man In Comics, so he can’t wrap up a project (even one where most of the lifting was already done) without having new ones to take up every moment of his waking life. In addition to Skullkickers rampaging towards its fifth-arc conclusion¹, and Samurai Jack has been extended again², and nobody³ can find an issue of Figment #2, Zub will be launching another creator-owned series next month.

Here’s the deal: Zub has become a damn hot writer (for more different publishers than I can count) on all kinds of different stories (fantasy humor; all ages; character studies; licensed characters) and achieved some pretty broad name recognition over the past couple of years. He got there because he’s been working his ass off for the past decade, and honing his craft every. single. day.

Not everything he writes is to my liking4, but he has become a writer for whom it is always appropriate to give the benefit of the doubt. I will read at least issue #1 of anything Zub writes, and so far I’ve got about an 80% conversion rate to being an ongoing reader of whatever comes after #1. I didn’t need to be told that Wayward is getting compared to Buffy to make a mental note to put it on my pull list; the magic words were Written by Jim Zub.

I’m mentioning this because even though Zub’s got the magic touch, it’s possible to get caught short. Marvel is scrambling to take Figment back to press because the demand was far greater than retailers figured (cf: I can’t find a copy), and I have a feeling the same thing could happen to Wayward. If you like good comics, if you’re willing to bet the cost of one moderately fancy drink at Starbucks that it’ll be worth your while, now is the time to tell your local comic shop. New titles rarely get generously ordered (cf: once more, Figment), and the more demand that’s seen now, in advance of release, the greater chance we have of a) all getting a copy; b) Image sees the value in a creator-owned title, the economics of which are fraught with risk and fear.

I don’t ask y’all for much, and this is really for your benefit as much as it is for one of the most frighteningly-skilled writers in comics today. Check the previews and read what people who’ve seen advance copies have to say. Decide whether your money is better spent on yet another renumbering or line-wide crossover that will change everything (until next month) or something new. Then tell your local shop, I need a copy of Wayward when it launches. Do it for the children.

And just maybe, if Wayward hits big and Figment continues to grow and Samurai Jack becomes an ongoing, and skulls continue to be kicked … maybe Zub will let himself take a day off.


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¹ And I can’t find the recently-released #28 anywhere, dammit.

² Remember, it was originally going to be a five-issue miniseries; it’s now going to at least issue #20.

³ Including me, again dammit. I’m not even entirely sure which nostalgic Disney property it’s based on, I’m buying this because Zub got me hooked and I want to see where it goes.

4 But that goes for all of the comics creators I follow, with the exceptions of Jeff Smith, Terry Moore, and Raina Telgemeier. Everything they write I love.

Figment is based on a ride at Epcot Center called “Journey into Imagination”

You learn something new every day! I figured it was a TV show I’d never seen. The fact that he had so little to work with just increases my opinion of Zub’s writerly skills.

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