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Slightly around the middle of 2018, I got it into my head to make some comics. I was having fun with the WINTERMAN COMICS anthology book but, in large measure, that's all it was. A means of pushing myself to draw more and to flesh out some stuff from my OTHER COUNTRY universe.

I was running the writer's room at BLACK PANTHER'S QUEST at the time I started that, conscripted into the BESPOKE PLAYS playwright's company and writing some other stuff too but freaking love comics and I'm wicked impatient about getting to do them when I WANT to. So that's where the anthology came from. I went all-digital because, frankly there's a whole giant rigamarole to putting out hard copy comics and the whole kickstarter/indie-gogo thing is a bit daunting to a left-brainer like me. I'll probably do one next year but at that time, I just had too much on the plate.

Doing the anthology is just such fun I decided, what the hell, let's go all out on some more stories. The problem, as is often, VERY often, the problem with me was time. WAY too many yarns, NEVER enough space in a day for even a mall percentage of them. This sounds like crowing but it's not. My friends are always yelling at me to JUST PICK A DAMNED PROJECT and I have a hard time zeroing in on one.

PICK ONE YOU LOVE, they say, as if that means anything. I love them all. The ones I love most are always the ones I'm ACTUALLY DOING at the the moment. Prior to the doing, equal love. So, what to do? The Battle Books, that's what. I chose three of my stories, not quite at random, REDJACK (from the Other Country universe),

Pilgrim (my "streetwise" master of mystic arts)

and a newbie, THE RETURN OF CADRE ONE (because damn it, if I can't write DC's LEGION of SUPER-HEROES, I'll damned well make up my own).

There was and is simply no possible way for me to write three ongoing titles at the same time, certainly if I'm not drawing a salary from any of them. Hence, THE BATTLE.

These three titles would each get a first chapter, released at the same time with three distinct yet equally awesome creative teams attached and they would literally fight it out for survival. Three stories enter, one story lives. Simple. Over the following months I created an ad campaign of sorts with trailers, teasers, free posters, etc. and generated a little interest though not nearly as much as i'd hoped (it never is as much as that so, whatever,). I'd meant to start in the summer of 2018 but... such luck. Due to that juggling act to which i allude earlier, things got pushed. I started dropping sneak peaks ahead of the launch.

Followed by the actual promos, weeks later.

I made a STACK of mistakes on the promotion side but life is learning and I love my mistakes as much as my wins. Well. Almost as much. Winning's still better.

Also, making these promos myself taught me a hell of a lot of new tricks. You don't even know how many. Now, due to delays but in keeping with the Winterman theme, the battle would take place over the Winter of 2018-19.

Well. Winter is over and, at the end of today, a victor will be known. I thank you all who participated in this little jaunt. I congratulate the team who will win by midnight tonight PST. And I welcome you to the beginning of the Winterverse because the other thing I learned from all this, perhaps the most I'm portent thing is, I loved making comics with other people. These artists, known and lesser known, were all top shelf and their work made my work better.

The motto around here is #makenewthings and, damn it, we sure as hell did that. But it's also #meetnewpeople because people are pretty awesome, pretty much of the time. If you let them be. I find. Anyway, if you haven't backed a horse, you have a few more hours to do so. If you have, I'll announce the winner in a few days as well as what happens next with the stories. Because something always happens next.

The real Winterverse is coming in 2020. It's going to be SICK. - GT

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