theumbral

4

UMBRAL TRAILER!

This is your first peek at what the book will look like, with Chris’ beautiful art complemented by John’s otherworldly colors and Thomas’ craftsman lettering.

(If you only see one image, use the arrows to click through the other pages.)

- Multiversity Comics talk more about what it could all mean here

- While Comic Book Resources has the full solicitation text from the Previews catalogue

Issue #1 ships NOVEMBER 13. Don’t worry, we’ll give you plenty of reminders as we draw closer to the time… ;)

UMBRAL BOOK ONE On Sale

UMBRAL Book One: Out of the Shadows, collecting the first six issues, goes on sale this week. If you’ve been ‘tradewaiting’, wait no more; now you can finally read the first part of Rascal’s epic journey through the dark nightmare of UMBRAL.

And if you’re still on the fence, we’ve got an offer for you:

UMBRAL #1 is now FREE! Yep, you can get the digital version of our first, extra-long issue from Comixology or the Image website for zero of your earth dollars. And it’ll be free right through until UMBRAL #7 goes on sale, in July.

For comic stores, the order code for UMBRAL BOOK ONE is MAR140551. For bookstores, the ISBN is 978-1607069843.

(NB Bookstores will receive their copies of the book a week or two after comic stores, but you can still pre-order a copy at your local bookstore.)

As I mentioned previously, we’re now taking a short break to catch up with our production schedule. Book Two, 'The Dark Path’, will start in July with UMBRAL #7, 'Killing the Sunrise’.

Se eu tivesse coragem eu te olhava nos olhos, te virava do avesso, te matava e te ressuscitava.

Ah! Se eu pudesse te fazer dar um sorriso eterno, te preencher com aquele calor bom das cobertas em uma noite de inverno.

Ah se tu quisesse! Te levaria café na cama, cafuné e um filme de drama.

Ah se tu viesse! Contaria sobre a semana, cantaria ciranda, faria da brasa uma imensa chama.

Ah se tu ouvisse! Lembraríamos dos versos que tu me disse, desenharíamos e planejaremos nossa velhice.

Mas ah! Se tu me tratasse com paixão! Nos encontrariam aos beijos, na sala, na cozinha e no chão.

Ah se tu olhasse para o céu! Visse que não existe azul, nem alegria, sem você nesse mundo cruel.

Ah se tu escolhesse ficar! Decidisse deitar, esperar, deixar o tempo nosso tempo chegar.

Ah se tu pudesse esquecer! Das palavras cortantes, dos berros irritantes, das lágrimas derramadas na primeira hora do amanhecer.

Ah se tu pudesse acordar! Deixar esse sono profundo, abrindo teus olhos e visse que era meu sorriso que irias encontrar.

Ah se tu falasse! Que não existe fim, nem tristeza, nem ciência ou fenômeno que de mim tu se afaste.

Ah se tu vestisse! Esse branco limpo, esse manto fino, se arrumasse toda, como eu te disse.

Ah! Se tu imaginasse! O lampejo nos meus olhos, a força de meu coração, a dor de meus átrios, os dias em que me deixaste.

Ah! Se fosse verdade! Esse amor, esse carinho, em ti essa saudade.

Ah se fosse igual! Nossos sorrisos, nossa cama, nossa ciência, essa história sem final…

I’m currently loving issue one of The Umbral, the new comic by Antony Johnston and Christopher Mitten, the creators of Wasteland. This is where it starts and gets better from there, I recommend picking it up.

2

UMBRAL PRE-ORDER FORM!

The first issue of UMBRAL is in this month’s Diamond PREVIEWS catalogue. That means between now and the order deadline of September 18, comic stores will place their orders for UMBRAL #1.

(Edit to add: you actually have till 10/26 with stores that place their orders online. Which, I’m guessing, is most of them. So you can still place a pre-order.)

This is why we call it pre-ordering; because stores have to place those orders two months before the book actually gets released, and those orders are not returnable.

This weird kink of the comics business is why creators like us ask readers like you to place pre-orders for our books at your local store; because if a retailer guesses wrong, and orders more copies than they sell, they’re stuck with them. That makes retailers understandably cautious about ordering new titles; and that is why customers like you going into the store and telling them you want to pre-order a copy helps us.

Pre-ordering tells your retailer that readers are interested in a book. If enough readers place pre-orders, the retailer may even increase the number of “extra” copies they order to put out on the shelf, for browsing customers to buy.

So, how do you place a pre-order? It’s really simple. All you actually need to do is talk to your retailer and tell them. But if you’re not used to pre-ordering, that can be daunting. So we’ve made a PRE-ORDER FORM to do the work for you. Just print out the PDF, fill in your details, and give it to your retailer.

(Some retailers may ask you for an up-front deposit, especially if you don’t already have a “pull list” – that is, a regular list of titles that the retailer “pulls” from the weekly delivery and puts aside for you to collect. If this is the first time you’ve ever pre-ordered, congratulations! You now have a pull list :)

If you’re a digital reader, you can’t technically pre-order as such; but it doesn’t matter so much, because there’s no scarcity with a digital storefront. So the best way you can support UMBRAL is to buy #1 the day it comes out (November 13), and SUBSCRIBE to the series if your preferred digital service has that facility (Comixology, for example, definitely does).

Here are the links you need:

- Download a PDF of the preorder form here. Then print it out, fill in your details, and give it to your local comic retailer.

- The second, blank image up there is for you to have fun with. We’re hoping to publish fan art both in the letters column of the issues, and here on the tumblr, so get doodling :)

- You can see the UMBRAL preview trailer here (click the arrows to move through the slideshow).

- And here’s the full solicit for UMBRAL #1.

(Yes, I totally stole this idea from my friend Kelly Sue. I hope she’ll forgive me :)

2

UMBRAL #1 SNEAK PEEK

Chris completed the inks for UMBRAL #1 today. In celebration, we’re posting this very advance sneak peek, with no context whatsoever, from the first issue.

Shown are Chris’ original pencils of the panel, and then finished inks.

Next it goes off to our colorist John Rauch, and finally to our letterer Thomas Mauer. Maybe, just maybe, we’ll show you those stages of this panel later on… :)

7

UMBRAL #3 goes on sale this week. Here’s a six-page preview.

(If you only see the cover image, use the arrows to scroll through the other pages.)

STORY: ANTONY JOHNSTON

ART / COVER: CHRISTOPHER MITTEN

JANUARY 22
32 PAGES / FC / M
$2.99

COMIC STORE ORDER CODE: NOV130529

“BLOOD FROM A STONE”

NEW DARK FANTASY CONTINUES! Nightmare shadow creatures, murdered Kings, slaughtered smugglers, mysterious hobos, mythical gems, and stone guardians — it can only be UMBRAL, the incredibly rich new fantasy world from WASTELAND creators Antony Johnston and Christopher Mitten! Join Rascal as she fights to uncover the truth… and to stay alive!

UMBRAL #1 went on sale today.

We’ve been truly overwhelmed by the response. THANK YOU to everyone who read and enjoyed it! We’re just getting started on a long journey, so we hope you’ll stick with us.

If you’re still on the fence, here are some more nice people saying exceedingly nice things about UMBRAL #1:

Bleeding Cool:

“Brilliant, chilling stuff… Just stunningly good work, in every way.”

Comic Book Resources:

“Delivers a winning protagonist and stellar world-building… A must-read for fans of magic, thieves and all things scary. 4/5”

Adventures in Poor Taste:

“How dark and fantastic is this book? Pretty darn dark, and I’m not just talking the colors. 10/10”

The MacGuffin:

“It’s Mitten’s darkness-bathed vision of the world of Umbral that really strikes you, holding you in its grasp and never letting you go. 9/10”

Capeless Crusader:

“If you’re the type that enjoys barreling through a thousand page, hundred character fantasy tale, this series is a no-brainer. 8.8/10”

Comicosity:

“Creates a world-building effect that instantly engrosses you. 8.5/10”

Word of the Nerd:

“The art is dark, which compliments the fantasy world setting really well and the monster’s design is freaky.”

UMBRAL #8

“WHAT WHISPERS IN A WODE”

STORY: ANTONY JOHNSTON
ART / COVER: CHRISTOPHER MITTEN
COLORING: JORDAN BOYD
LETTERING: THOMAS MAUER

AUGUST 20
32 PAGES / FC / M
$3.50

“WHAT WHISPERS IN A WODE”

What indeed! But don’t worry, you’ll find out soon enough — after some sword-fighting, horse-stealing, spooky-forest-riding, soldier-tracking, nightmare-enduring, and corpse-finding, of course!

Also: a teensy bit of Mistwalker. See how nice we are to you?

If you’re up-to-date with UMBRAL #6 (or, as of next Weds, the paperback of Book One), this cover may get you rather excited… ;)

Now available for pre-order, give your comic store code JUN140585.

LONDON: Signing at Forbidden Planet Megastore, August 30

A reminder for anyone in or around London next weekend that I’ll be appearing at the Forbidden Planet London Megastore on Saturday August 30, between 3-4pm.

(That’s next Saturday, not this bank holiday weekend.)

Eagle-eyed readers will note the date is just three days after THE FUSE Vol 1: THE RUSSIA SHIFT goes on sale, which is of course no coincidence at all.

But UMBRAL readers shouldn’t feel left out, because we’ve produced exclusive, signed and numbered limited edition bookplates for both THE FUSE and UMBRAL, featuring original art by Justin Greenwood and Christopher Mitten, for the event. We’ll give one away with each of the first 150 copies of THE FUSE and UMBRAL trade paperbacks sold.

(That’s them in the main image, if you hadn’t guessed.)

If you can’t make it to the event, don’t worry — you can also order these “mini-print” editions online, although priority will be given to people actually buying in-store on the day. Nevertheless, if you want to order online, check the event page for details.

And of course readers of WASTELAND, THE COLDEST CITY, DAREDEVIL, whatever, are all welcome, too. Come one, come all. This will probably be the biggest signing I’ve yet done, so try and get there early, or at least on time, if you can.

Hope to see you there!

Just been running some UMBRAL data, because that’s how we roll on a Friday night. Party all the time, I tell you.

So. Here’s a #comicmarket reality check for you. If you have some knowledge of the industry; probably old news to you. Everyone else; listen up.

For UMBRAL #1, 70% of our orders came from less than 30% of Diamond accounts. That’s every store that ordered 10 or more copies.

If you move that threshold up to 20 copies, you’re then accounting for fully 50% of our orders; and that came from just 10% of Diamond accounts.

And those numbers don’t even include stores that ordered zero copies. It may surprise you to learn that some stores literally only order Marvel + DC books, nothing else.

So think on that. More than 70% of Diamond accounts didn’t even order 10 copies of a brand new Image #1. 

You know what the most amazing part is? Ten years ago, that number would have been more like 80%.

Now, I haven’t seen a per-store breakdown of our orders for the latest issues, but I’d wager the split is even more pronounced now, as our numbers generally decline.*

Still a long way to go, baby.

——

*That decline is, sadly, entirely normal and expected. All comics suffer from retailers reducing orders throughout the book’s initial life. If you’re lucky, you’ll survive long enough for retailers’ orders to maybe level out, and if you’re *really* lucky, those orders may even increase by the time you get to issue #10 or thereabouts. That’s rare, though.

Oh look, it’s the solicitation for UMBRAL #3:

UMBRAL #3

STORY: ANTONY JOHNSTON
ART / COVER: CHRISTOPHER MITTEN

JANUARY 22
32 PAGES / FC / M
$2.99

COMIC STORE ORDER CODE: NOV130529

“BLOOD FROM A STONE”

NEW DARK FANTASY CONTINUES! Nightmare shadow creatures, murdered Kings, slaughtered smugglers, mysterious hobos, mythical gems, and stone guardians — it can only be UMBRAL, the incredibly rich new fantasy world from WASTELAND creators Antony Johnston and Christopher Mitten! Join Rascal as she fights to uncover the truth… and to stay alive!