Newsletter #6: Dinner With Chip

I keep telling Matt to give Jimmy Olsen a Canadian cousin named Jimmy Molson but you know Matt! (he's a coward)

CHIP IS THE BEST

This weekend I was awarded the Shuster for Best Writer, which was a true honour. For those not in the know, The Shuster Awards are for Canadian comic book creators like John Byrne and whoever did Alpha Flight after John Byrne left. A rumour was going around that “Batscribe” Tom King had applied for Canadian citizenship just so he could defeat me in this category, but apparently the Canadian government said he was TOO successful to become Canadian (“it’s just unseemly” was what I heard from an inside source). Enough’s enough, Tom!


CHIP IS THE WORST

Last week I was at the MARVEL SUMMIT! Now, I can’t really say anything about what happened there as they tricked me into signing an NDA by telling me it was just one of those classic Hickman text-heavy comics, but it was just horrible.

It took me a while to figure it out, but basically I walked right into a “Dinner With Schmucks” situation, where I was the schmuck. Everyone had a grand old time at Chip’s expense! Like, for example:

  • When Donny Cates started talking about Venom, he described symbiotes as beings who could bond with any fucking talentless moron, turning them into a powerful and seemingly interesting beings, like how Chip’s artists bond to Chip.

  • After my DAREDEVIL pitch, Joe Quesada came up to me and said it sounded cool, which made my heart swell! But then he said, “So, when do you start? ‘Cause the current writer fucking sucks.”

  • With Tini Howard in the room for the first time I was excited to see someone get hazed the way I was hazed at my first retreat. But everyone treated her with respect and admiration which fucking infuriated me. To make matters worse, when I suggested that CAPTAIN BRITAIN be renamed CAPTAIN KRAKOA, she gleefully punched me in the stomach, which prompted everyone to shout “Haze him! Haze him!” which led to me wearing the stinky Robin costume again.

  • And Ryan Stegman just kept texting me.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s a real pleasure being invited to these meetings, but I just wished everyone liked my ideas more. At one point the room was talking about upcoming events, so I slammed my head into the table to quiet the room, as is my style. Then I attempted to blow their minds by smirking and saying, “Two simple words: Secret. Wars. Two.” When they asked me what it was about, I said, “Four simple words: It’s. A. Sequel.” I thought I’d spark some discussion and win Marvel’s 4th Quarter of 2022 for them, but nobody picked up the ball. The best and brightest minds just let out a collective “Duhhhh,” so I got on a plane back to Canada and was declared Best Writer so fuck them.

CHIP’S BIGGEST SPOILER FROM THE SUMMIT

Jonathan Hickman said that Wolverine would finally follow up on this and hunt down the shopkeeper who wouldn’t let him read pornography in his shop. Maybe … it’s a miniseries I can write? Jonathan?

HAVE CHIP’S FEELINGS ABOUT ITALIANS CHANGED SINCE WHAT HAPPENED WITH HIS EX-WIFE

Yes!

The Italian publisher of DAREDEVIL sent me this gorgeous version of issue one! Marco’s art looks even better in his original Italian! I highly recommend flying to Italy and getting yourself a copy.


WHAT’S NEW WITH CHIP

Nothing. As punishment for doing “poorly” at the Summit, Marvel has decided to not publish any of my comics this week. It’s a rude move and I’m wavering between nonplussed and quite plussed about it, honestly. Please keep me in your thoughts and prayers.


CHIP ANSWERS QUESTIONS

Every week I’ll answer one POLITE and RESPECTFUL question about my life as a former Marvel writer or about my work. The email is zdarskyletters@gmail.com.

What do you love most about being in comics?

Thanks and I’m loving your Daredevil run,

Joshua Beckner

It’s probably all the friendships.

Newsletter #5: I Made A Huge Mistake

Lot of people say to "fight fire with fire," but then why was I arrested for starting a fire in an already burning building?

So, I guess I wasn’t oblique enough when talking about PROJECT INTEREXTING last week. Got an angry call from Marvel, who were notified about my newsletter by those fucking snitches at DC Comics. They’re furious that I spilled the beans on my new project, a sequel to HOUSE OF X (HOX) and POWERS OF X (POX) called CHIP OF X, (COX), so they cancelled it. I’ve been told there will still be seventeen variant covers of issue one, just no actual comic inside.

Well, at least I still have PROJECT WINTERESTING (SOLDIER).

WHAT’S NEW WITH CHIP

I’m currently headed to a MARVEL SUMMIT at an undisclosed location. These are the quarterly meetings where Jonathan Hickman tells me I should think about maybe drawing more and then walks away, only to jog back and say, “Sorry, I realized you might not get that because you don’t understand conversational subtleties: you should draw more because you’re a bad writer.” Ha ha! He’s such a joker!

Jonathan Hickman selling a comic to a person just trying to take a photo

It’s also where writers pitch what they’re working on. Now that COX is dead, all I have besides PROJECT WINTERESTING (SOLDIER) is DAREDEVIL. It’s hard pitching that book in the room because whenever I say “and then Daredevil smiles,” Joe Quesada groans loudly. But then when I say “and then Daredevil looks sad,” Mark Waid kicks me in the nuts and Joe Quesada squeals in delight. It’s a no-win situation, because I both love and hate getting kicked in the nuts by an industry “legend.”

All I know is, it’s time for the ol’ Chipper to step up and pitch some ideas to help other creators. Last time I tried pitching Kelly Thompson the idea that Captain Marvel needs an arch enemy named Captain Timely, but I think she just thought I was criticizing how late her scripts were. Donny Cates really liked my idea that Venom’s teeth should actually be a bunch of tongues, but his lazy piece of shit collaborator Ryan Stegman doesn’t want to explain the new status quo to his team of assistants. He has one kid who JUST draws teeth if you can believe it! “All I want to draw are muscles, poorly!” is Ryan’s daily mantra. Weird.


WHAT’S NEW WITH CHIP THAT I CAN SPEND MONEY ON

So glad you asked!

On Wednesday, INVADERS 9 is out! DEAD IN THE WATER PART III! Everything changes for Namor in this one and Cap and Bucky are basically nude. Carlos, Butch and Alex make everything very pretty.

DAREDEVIL 11! Marco is back on art! And, as always, it’s gorrrrgeous. This issue ramps things up for everyone and, weirdly, has a very cool Spiderman scene. I should write a Spiderman book one day! He’s a fun character.

God, look at how handsome Marco’s Matt Murdock is.

And we’ve got the astounding Nolan Woodard on colours! Life can’t get any better.

UNLESS

You missed DAREDEVIL ISSUE NINE. In which case, your life hasn’t been as good as it could be, so there’s a cool second printing out as well.

WHAT’S NEW WITH SEX CRIMINALS

Issue 26 colour flats have come in, and they’re QUITE seductive.


CHIP ANSWERS QUESTIONS

Every week I’ll answer one POLITE and RESPECTFUL question about my life as a pin-up model plane enthusiast or about my work. The email is zdarskyletters@gmail.com.

Hi Chip!

What advice would you give when it comes to revision?

Thanks so much,

Barron

The biggest rule, I find, is to kill your darlings. Which means Ryan Stegman will live forever (he is unloved).

Love,
Chip

Newsletter #4: Ah, Fuck

You all think you're so tWiStEd but I'M going to be Joker for CHRISTMAS

I GUESS I’M DONE

So, as you know, my newsletter has made a lot of waves since its debut four weeks ago. But, it’s also made me a lot of enemies. Besides the fat cats in Hollyweird who don’t know how to handle this level of “disruption,” apparently I’ve also managed to piss off the medium kittens of Comicsland. Was it the gentle poking of Marvel Comics “artist” Ryan Stegman, who, while completely friendless, has managed to draw the new Mr. Carnage and his Carnage Crew series to great acclaim (money)? Was it my incendiary Batman script where I spanked that billionaire creep within an inch of his wife (Catwoman, one day!)? Was it my bad writing?

Honestly, it’s impossible to nail down. But all I know is, I have no comics out this week.

Even after all these years of top-notch comic promotion.

WHAT’S NEW WITH CHIP

Holy shit I just TOLD you! Nothing! I’m DONE in this industry!


NO REALLY WHAT’S NEW

Hmm, fine. I guess it’s okay for me to talk about future secret projects, teasing you with little clues while revealing almost nothing except for my excitement at the job.

This weekend I was working on … let’s call it … “PROJECT INTEREXTING.”


PROJECT INTEREXTING

I can’t reveal the company, or how long the series is, but let’s just say, between you and me? It’s been MARVELOUS to work on and I’m eating a DOZEN doughnuts right now which is UNHEALTHY.

Last week I had a conference call with The Publisher and various editors about it. I used a free conference calling service which just shouts advertisements at everyone every thirty seconds, but I didn’t find it too distracting since the ads were for “zdarsky.subtack.com.” I told the group of editors on the call my ideas and they all gasped, one maybe even moaned.

“Ladies & gentlemen, I’m changing the DC Universe with this one,” I said, even though the project was not at DC. It’s just so big that the effects will be felt at other comic companies for years to come. Fantagraphics books will get even sadder, Image books will no longer be about fantasy worlds.

The Publisher screamed into the phone, right over top the jingle of “substack / isn’t sexual pancakes / it’s more like emailing earthquakes / of content / from chip / (sign up to zdarsky.substack.com today).” He said, “We can’t change the CENSORED Universe forever! Fans will never accept it! You’re fired!”

I shot back, “Hmm, no, I think you’re fired.” And just then The Publisher looked down at their desk and there was nothing on it and security was escorting him out. A new, younger Canadian The Publisher walked in the room and sat down as if nothing had happened.

The rest of the editors fell in line pretty quickly after that and managed to commission fourteen variant covers before the call had ended.

Now all that’s left to do is write the script. Easy.

Staty TUNED for more info about PROJECT INTEREXTING.


WHAT’S NEW WITH NOT CHIP

With the cancellation of The Wicked + The Divine, famed comic artist Jamie McKelvie is figuring out his life and the choices he’s made. Can he survive this world without a regular gig? Can he order a tuna sandwich without drowning in sweat?

Some of these questions will undoubtably be answered at chipsbestfriend.substack.com so you should sign up to see a man try to make it in this crazy world.

CHIP ANSWERS QUESTIONS

Every week I’ll answer one POLITE and RESPECTFUL question about my life as a firefighter or about my work. The email is zdarskyletters@gmail.com.

'Sup Chip!

Do you watch Marvel movies?

Best,
Hector

Yes.

Love,
Chip

Newsletter #3: The Spider-Manogamist

I flew too close to the sun once, how fuckin’ cool is that?! I love my extreme sports lifestyle!!

WHAT A WORLD

Hard to believe I only launched this newsletter two weeks ago. Since then my life has been a roller coaster, if the roller coaster had one hill and then shit you out onto the street after robbing you. Turns out my “Hollywood deal” to adapt this newsletter into a movie was an elaborate prank by Universal AND Vin Diesel because I once wrote a movie review titled “Not Fast Enough, I’m Furious.”

WHAT’S NEW IN SPIDERMAN NEWS

WHAT’S NEW IN CHIP SPIDERMAN NEWS

Thanks for asking! Well, this is actually kind of a big week for Spiderman, and not just because of his arch-enemy Corporate Shenanigans. This Wednesday sees the release of the final issue of SPIDER-MAN: LIFE STORY (I do not respect the hyphen, but I respect the product).

As always, everyone brought their A-game while I snuck in some of my classic B-game, but I’m super happy with how this turned out. Normally there’d be a preview of some interior pages, but I asked Marvel to hold them back so as to not spoil anything, and they listened! It turns out Marvel is very happy to not show my work?

It was a weird, fun storytelling exercise with an amazing team, but the real MVP is Mark Bagley, who managed to create some of the best work of his career on this, which is really saying something.

ha ha I wrote a Spiderman series that Mark Bagley drew what a world

Anyway, to make matters WEIRDER, the amazing magazine PanelxPanel did an issue devoted to our book which comes out today!

I contributed a piece on my cover process, including NEVER BEFORE SEEN versions that were TOO BAD FOR PRINT! So, yeah, worth the three bucks. You can read the issue without being spoiled on our ending, except for my piece which spoils everything because I’m stupid.

WHAT’S NEW WITH CHIP BESIDES THAT

Believe it or not, MARVEL COMICS #1000 is out today!

You may NOT believe it since there wasn’t a MARVEL COMICS #160-#999, but just trust me on this. It’s an 80-page extravaganza with dozens of contributors and I got to write and illustrate an IRON MAN page. Don’t believe me? Christ, what’s your deal? Just accept some things, all right?

OKAY I ACCEPT IT SO WHAT ELSE IS NEW

Not much

CHIP ANSWERS QUESTIONS

Every week I’ll answer one POLITE and RESPECTFUL question about my life as a semi-pro gymnast or about my work. The email is zdarskyletters@gmail.com.

Hey Chip!

If the head of one of your Eisner Awards popped open to reveal a button, what would that button do?

Best regards,

Tyler

Great question, Tyler. Honestly, I’d like it if pressing a button magically gave Ryan Stegman an Eisner. And then he would discover that his Eisner has a secret button as well. And, when he pushed it, his Eisner magically disappeared because he’s a massive tool.

Love,
Chip

Newsletter #2: Batman Is A Coward

I’ve only ever been in one fistfight, but it’s been going on for over 25 years

HOLY SHIT

Hard to believe I only launched this newsletter one week ago! Since then, Universal has optioned it of a low six-figure sum, which is nice. They’ve told me that I’ll have “complete creative control,” but the star they lined up to play me, Vin Diesel, is already insisting on playing me as a drooling piece of shit with almost no muscle mass and a hatred of cars.

Ugh, Hollywood!

This is why I love working in comics so much. While it’s not always perfect, I still get to have a fair amount of control over the product while pulling in a high two-figure sum on the regular.

The other nice thing about comics is how accessible everyone is. I don’t mean that sexually, though if you corner Kieron Gillen at a comics event and start talking Warhammer with him, he will spontaneously orgasm. Is it the “war” part or the “hammer” part? We will never know.

In any case, I mean that you can chat with comic professionals on twitter.

WHICH I TAKE ADVANTAGE OF QUITE REGULARLY

Especially when it comes to DC comics creators and editors! A lot of readers know me because of my Marvel work, but deep down I’m a diehard DC fan. I grew up reading them all: Superman, Batman, Mister Lantern, Aqua-Man, The Confusing Hawk-Man, Wonder Woman, Other Woman, Martian ManMurderer, Matter-Eater Lad and Robin Three.

So, when I saw that a DC Editor had some spare time on twitter (I don’t want to publicly out them, so let’s just call them “Chris” (Conroy) for now), I did what you’re not supposed to: I sent in an unsolicited script.

(A lot of creators and editors are very vocal about fans NOT sending them comic ideas, but honestly I find it’s the best way to steal ideas.)

Anyway, I sent “Chris” the following:

It feels weird leaving Marvel after having such great success there, but it took Brian “Michael” Bendis almost fifteen years to get noticed by DC, so I know I need to jump at this opportunity when “Chris” finally answers my email.

WHAT’S NEW WITH CHIP

This week DAREDEVIL #10 comes out from Marvel Comics! I’m joined by Jorge Fornés and Jordie Bellaire on art and it is very, very good-looking.

This is the end of NO GODS ONLY DEVILS, my second arc. There’s a preview at AV Club, but I hate previews of single issues! Why read 20% of the book before it comes out?! Calm down!!!

With this arc I wanted to explore life after being a “super hero.” Which means Daredevil didn’t even bother to fuckin’ show up in a comic called “Daredevil!” The nerve!

I’m grateful Marvel has let me tell this story, and I’ll always remember this kindness when I’m writing Chip V Batman at DC Comic.

WHAT’S KIND OF NEW WITH CHIP

Oh man oh man I’m so glad everyone seems to have dug THE WHITE TREES. Reaction has been fantastic, as if readers forgot I wrote it and just fell in love with the gorgeous art.

I heard from a lot of people that their stores sold out, but they should still be able to get more in as we over-printed to meet demand! The fact that this series may not be collected for a while (or e-e-ever!) means that I want to make sure people can still get copies beyond the on-sale date, because I am a good person who cares about you.

Here’s a sneaky peaky at Kris and Matt’s work from issue two:

CHIP ANSWERS QUESTIONS

Every week I’ll answer one POLITE and RESPECTFUL question about my life as a non-erotic dancer or about my work. The email is zdarskyletters@gmail.com. This week’s question is from “Paolo”:

Dear Chip,
When did you realize you wanted to work in comics?

I knew I wanted to work in comics the day I bought the one where Spiderman taught The Beyonder to shit.

Love,
Chip

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