Kieron Gillen, Author of S.W.O.R.D

He won’t pimp it here, so I will. Kieron got picked up for an ongoing S.W.O.R.D. series with Marvel, starting this fall. Hooray!

This is exactly the sort of superhero comic that I’d be inclined to read - characters I’m attached to, a writer I like, an artist I like (Steve Sanders of Five Fists of Science!), tied to continuity without being bound by it, etc. Assuming it’s as good as I expect it to be, I’d like it to be successful and run for a long time.

And here’s where I immediately derail my own thread.

I don’t go to comic book stores anymore. I don’t buy individual issues of comic books. Like lots of other people, I read trades or wistfully hope for digital distribution. Does buying a trade count towards whatever magic formula publishers use to determine whether a series is cancelled? I know Marvel has some sort of digital subscription program, but I have no idea if this title will be part of it, or whether being read by digital subscriber counts in the magic formula. Do I need to brave comic book guy to support this, or is there another way?

Trade sales help. I don’t think Marvel will put it in their digital distribution thing (and I’m calling it a thing because it has the weirdest fucking catalog ever since they secretly want you to buy the issues). I never heard of these characters but I see it’s related to Whedon’s Astonishing X-Men which, thankfully, Wholly is sending me.

I hope they do not price it at $4. That would kill a book like this. Kill. I’ve somehow managed to tiptoe around all of Gillen’s stuff but I shall give this a shot (and Phonogram when the Longbox beta starts next month!).

Loved this bit:

Is there anything you’d like fans to know about the series?

Sanders: I think this is the best work I have ever put out, period.

Gillen:I think it’s the best work I’ve done for Marvel.

Everyone says it’s their best work. They need to move copies. Other than that, congrats. :)

That’s not what I meant.

What’s not what you meant?

I’ll take S-words for 500, Alex!

KG didn’t say it was his best work.

Best work for Marvel, same difference as far as pushing paper is concerned. Of course he’s not going to say, “Well, it’s good but not as good as X.” He needs it to sell well to promote himself.

I just detest* the best work line. You hear it a lot when people are pimping their shit.

I believe you just derailed a derailed thread. What are we talking about again? Asterios Polyp?

I’ve been trying to get a book together with Sanders on and off over the last few years. Clearly that switch is in the off position now…

He’s the guy who did “Five Fists of Science” with Matt Fraction a few years ago, and it’s great seeing him get the recognition he deserves.

Really looking forward to seeing what he and KG get out there.

You write? I googled you but all I got were articles about the “Don’t tase me bro” kid.

I do.
Here’s a piece I did for Dark Horse last year in case you missed it.

I also finished a novel that I was getting set to self-publish until I was roundly admonished for that strategy by a successful author at SDCC, so now I’m going to see if I can find an agent.

Okay, enough about me. This is Kieron’s thread. Go KG!

Looking forward to checking it out! I’ll do my part and order it via Previews instead of waiting for it to show up in shops.

Drop the Previews # in this thread when you get a chance.

The solicit should be out next Tuesday, I believe.

Thanks for making the thread, Chris. Very excited by this.

Regarding supporting the book, trade sales do help. Places like Vertigo have a big chunk of their audience in trades, and hefty trade sales can support somewhat iffy single sales. With Marvel, I’m really not sure of the maths, but suspect it’s weighted much more towards the singles. I can’t think of a marvel book I’ve heard of which has survived solely through excellent trade sales.

It’s more that if I say it’s better than Phonogram, I’m risking the phonomuse slicing up my face in my sleep. She’s awfully needy.

If I’m going that way again, I suspect I may say something like “Of all the things I’ve written, this is the one I feel most people will dig”. But phrased better.


I was really happy to hear about this in the Marvel annoucement yesterday – SWORD could be a really interesting subject that gives you a lot of creative freedom, and Agent Brand/Beast as an adventuring couple sounds fun. I hope you manage to tie into some of the Marvel cosmic stuff as well.

Sad to see that likely means Beast will be pulled away from the X-men though!

Blah, I’m just grouching. I doubt a single comment is that important to worry about how you phrase it. Heck, if you want to argue it, you could argue that improvement is a linear progression, thus your latest work should always be your best work. Heh, but it doesn’t always work out that way (pretty rarely, fits and starts of improvement is more common).

It’s just one of my personal pet peeves and didn’t mean to derail the thread on it. Again, congrats. :)

Has anything happened with SWORD between Astonishing and now?

Yes, SWORD and Agent Brand had a big part in Secret Invasion.

The real question is, what was happening with Death’s Head?