I once again worked the polls earlier this week, which was a bit more intense than the primary — but very rewarding. Now it’s back to the keyboard. I’m now 75% through the first draft of my next Big Historical Comics project, which has a publisher attached — I expect this one to see print in Fall 2020 or Spring 2021. So, it’ll be a ways yet, but I’m super excited for it. Hoping to have a few li’l projects in the meantime…
At long last, the Kickstarter campaign for Macbeth: The Red King is live! I've had copies available at conventions for a little while now, but this will allow for a wider release -- and we're also offering a nice Kickstarter-exclusive hardcover edition, bound together with Shakespeare's play! Check out the campaign at:
I hope you'll consider supporting the project! Thanks so much!
The name “Macbeth” has been cursed for hundreds of years, synonymous with tyranny and over-vaulting ambition. But what if the true Macbeth was something other than the villain Shakespeare portrayed?
Macbeth: the Red King tells an entirely new story of the real-life Scottish monarch, revealing a benevolent ruler who seized on his legitimate claim to the throne. Drawing from historical sources, this engaging graphic novel by Shaun Manning and Anna Wieszczyk is visually stunning companion to Shakespeare’s legendary drama. See Macbeth vanquish the incompetent Duncan, nurture a difficult relationship with his stepson Lulach, and make pilgrimage to Rome while his noble wife minds the restless kingdom — and witness his last stand against the insurgent prince Malcolm.
Macbeth: The Red King is not a re-telling of the Shakespeare classic, but rather a new history of the famous Scottish king. This book is not only for comic fans, but can be a great tool to help educators and students create a visual introduction to some of the greatest literature in our history.
My first con of the year! Always an exciting time. I'll be in Chicago this weekend for C2E2, hanging out in Artist Alley booth D3 with "Spencer and Locke" creator (and Newsarama editor) David Pepose. I'll be debuting "Macbeth: The Red King," and if you know how long I've been talking about this book, you can imagine how excited I am to have copies in my hands and to be able to share it with the world.
I also just got word that I've been approved to exhibit at the American Library Association conference in June. This isn't part of my regular con circuit, but for a project like "Macbeth" it's an exciting opportunity. And of course, as someone who works for a library, it's exciting in its own way.
There's been quite a lot of talk in the last week or so about William Shakespeare, marking the 400th anniversary of his death. Today is also his 452 birthday -- so HBD, Will! To celebrate, Cambridge University Press has asked folks to write short plays inspired by the man and his works, which I did over a series of lunch breaks:
It's not my most polished work, but it makes me smile. Thought I'd share.
More to the point! This summer will see publication of my next graphic novel with Anna Wieszczyk. It's called Macbeth: The Red King and has nothing to do with Shakespeare. (Ok, maybe a few things. But it's entirely different story.) It's about a noble warrior reclaiming his birthright, ably leading a war-torn country through both grace and force, and how the love of his royal wife gave him the strength to rule but the bitterness of his stepson threatened to unmake everything. It's not the "real" story of Macbeth, but neither was Shakespeare's; instead, it's a story of Macbeth, and I'm quite proud of it.
I'll have early copies at Ann Arbor Comic Fest in June, the book will see a wider release in August through indie publisher Lucha Comics. Sign up for my email newsletter to hear about how to order or where I'll be signing, and/or follow me on Twitter for very regular updates -- I'm gonna be insufferable on Twitter when this comes out.
Ahoy! This has been a very long time coming.
I wrote about my experience creating Hell, Nebraska for the Comics Experience blog: Shaun Manning on Hell, Nebraska & Comics Experience
Comics Experience offers writing, art, and production classes for aspiring comics professionals, as well as a workshop group to critique work in progress. I've found it a very good value.
Pages are coming in for my series set in Hell, Nebraska, which I'm going to publish digitally in 11-page installments as soon as I've got enough material. For now, though, the construction of Dis, as imagined by Anna Wieszczyk:
Also, I took the leap and set up Pizza Good Times for the Kindle. Click the creepy cover to buy or read a preview:
Show of hands: would you buy this book based on its cover?
Personally, I love it. I can't stop laughing every time I look at it. Art by Anna, once again.
Pizza Good Times is my comedy novella, largely written in Scotland but very American in most other ways. I've won awards for reading it but have as yet not been able to secure an agent or publisher for it. I'm considering pushing PGT to digital devices to see how it fares—people who've heard/read it seem to really enjoy it, but it's been kind of a hard sell for agents and publishers because it's quite short. It may in fact be more suited to digital. I really, really want a printed copy of it at some point (and not a self-published one), but possibly success as a digital title would catch the print world's interest. Maybe not. A cover, though (and a really nice one at that), at least gives me the option.
The two biggest publishers I cover had a bit of an unusual crossover when it was recently announced (accidentally) that the "Angel" comics (of "Buffy and Angel" fame) would be moving from IDW Publishing to Dark Horse late next year. So I got to cover that. And some other stuff. The Future of "Angel"
Also working a lot on scripts, especially Macbeth but also some other ideas that have cropped up. One is a parody of several nursery rhymes, one is a parody of a well-known DC Comics character done using a bunch of nursery rhymes. Possibly this is because my daughter just turned one. Happy birthday Lila!