How the NOVEMBER sausage got made

- matt fraction -

NOVEMBER in October!... In September.

And: Elsa's new Kickstarter has a lot more meeeee

This coming month -- I think? Time's getting reaaaaal squishy -- sees the release of NOVEMBER v3 and the final order cutoff for V4 because... it's a book but not a comic? But it won't be out for a few more months? Look I don't know, it's a ridiculous system and we're all doing the best we can. If you want 'em, tell your comic shop. They'll appreciate knowing they have your business.

I'll nag more about that stuff later in the month (and the end of SEX CRIMINALS, the JIMMY OLSEN trade, and the ADVENTUREMAN collection). Right now I want to point out that my collaborator on NOVEMBER, Elsa Charretier, has launched herself a new Kickstarter campaign for 2021:

A brand-new artbook with all new drawings, comics, sketches, insights, techniques, a lot of real tiny Elsa handwriting (in fairness she herself is real tiny and has little arms like a dinosaur), reproductions of commissions and personal work -- y'know, an art book.

There's a ton of insane stuff each progressive stretch goal tier unlocks like gold foil prints, a screen print stamp, something about Chip Zdarsky -- look just click and find out that shit for yourself, it's great, it's fine.


Last time, Elsa created a NOVEMBER V1 COMMENTARY EDITION which was a Kickstarter-exclusive black-and-white repro of v1 with page-by-page, panel-by-panel sometimes commentary from E. on her process -- how and why she made the choices she made, what she thought worked, or didn't -- the comic book equivalent of a killer DVD commentary.

This time around, it's my turn.

At the $75ish dollar mark [it's at €55 and the exchange rate fluctuates, stay with me], you'll get the NOVEMBER V2 COMMENTARY EDITION that's a Kickstarter exclusive that has my take on it all -- as close to a How-I-Write-Comics guide as there'll ever be, with script excerpts, and a series of essays and examinations of the book's origins and my process in writing it, an exploration of the formal choices we made and how they were executed, warm-up and writing exercises I do and teach whenever I give lectures, analyses and explorations of comics theory, and, somehow, more.

Most terrifying for me is that I'm gonna allow for reproductions from my NOVEMBER notebook, which is something between Prof. Henry Jones' Grail journal and John Doe's notebooks from SE7EN, the blueprint, genome, laboratory and workshop where the whole book was born and my collaborative adventure began.

To that end, there'll even be emails between the entire creative team giving you exclusive insights into the development of each section's unique color scheme, Matt Hollingsworth's design and use of each character's unique timeframes, and how I drove poor Kurt Ankeny nuts again and again, all in the name of NOVEMBER.

The closest equivalent I've done was the "How to Write HAWKEYE #6" chapter of Brian Michael Bendis's WORDS FOR PICTURES, but this makes that look like it was only a warm-up. Which it was.

We don't send these out too much anymore, and to be honest Kel and I aren't even sure how much longer we're going to pay for the service that makes it possible. Everything is A LOT ALL THE TIME and it doesn't feel... good? right?... to compete in an attention economy where we're all pretty goddam skint right now.

We launched a difficult book in a strange, high-end format in a seasonal frequency on the cusp of the whole of what 2020 would become. From printers in China shuttering to cargo boats refused entry to an industry that shut down in the wake of pandemic to a distributor war in the direct market, everything that could've gone wrong outside of our hands with NOVEMBER has gone way, way wrong. In the chaos, we got lost. Low grade shame or not, it's still a shame, because Elsa, Matt, and Kurt have produced an amazing book that deserves to be seen.

I've loved working with Elsa and watching her abilities explode since we've met, let alone from the start to finish on NOVEMBER, and I wouldn't direct more attention to her work and voluminous talent if I didn't think it was worth it. This woman's a comics monster, y'all.

Y'know who else has little dinosaur arms? Godzilla.