The Return of EMPIRE


Fourteen years later….

In 2000, artist/collaborator/friend Barry Kitson and I launched a mini-series called EMPIRE, which answered the question, “What happens to the world if the bad guys win?” EMPIRE was the story of Golgoth, an armored despot who succeeds where every other super-villain in history has failed. Before the series even opens, Golgoth has conquered the world. He’s eliminated all his enemies, he’s snuffed out all opposition, and now he rules the Earth from a vast citadel sitting in what used to be Central Park. Now his enemies come not from without but from within; his counselors and court ministers, all bound to his side by a mysterious and hyper-addictive performance-enhancing drug called Eucharist, plot against him. His teenage daughter, innocent and guileless, has her own ideas about what the future ought to be. And an alien race who has been patiently waiting for Golgoth to finish consolidating Earth’s power under one crown now prepares to make its move.

It was a 192-page Eisner-nominated ride–our futuristic science-fiction Game of Thrones, if you will–that was a blast and one of the best things I’ve ever written. Unfortunately (and staggeringly), the collected edition has been out of print for years, but Barry and I have finally reclaimed the publishing rights and, as we’d always planned, are launching its sequel, a story over a decade in the making.

And we’re launching it here, today, at Thrillbent, as a flagship of our redesigned site–the first of many new launches in the upcoming weeks. Subscribe now for the price of one monthly print comic (the same as you’d pay for EMPIRE VOLUME TWO in print, if that existed) and not only will you get new chapters of EMPIRE VOLUME TWO every other Wednesday, you’ll have access to:

  • Weekly installments of our ongoing Thrillbent series THE DAMNATION OF CHARLIE WORMWOOD (every Monday), ALBERT THE ALIEN (every Tuesday), and THE ENDLING (every Thursday);
  • Extra-length chapters of the creepy horror chiller THE EIGHTH SEAL by James Tynion IV and Jeremy Rock;
  • Tynion’s new series, THE HOUSE IN THE WALL, which launches Friday, June 20th;
  • EVERSTAR, a jaw-droppingly great comic about an eleven-year-old girl who’s the bravest starship captain you’ll ever meet, launching August 1st;
  • The first-ever comics series by the acclaimed novelist Seanan McGuire;
  • The third volume of INSUFFERABLE, at which Peter Krause, Nolan Woodard, Troy Peteri and I are already hard at work;
  • More new series to be announced in the coming weeks;
  • And, of course, full access to our library of the 300-or-so comics we’ve published on Thrillbent since we launched more than two years ago.

Oh–and, for subscribers–remember how I mentioned that EMPIRE VOLUME ONE was long out-of-print? Subscribe now and you’ll get a downloadable, DRM-free PDF of the ENTIRE Volume One collection immediately.

Frankly, that seems like a pretty sweet bargain to me, and we think you’ll agree. You get all that for $3.99 a month, the price of one print comic, and you can subscribe through our website–or, if you have an iPad, you can download our Thrillbent app and sign up there, whichever you prefer.

Enjoy Empire. We can’t wait for you to see what Barry and I have been cooking up for Golgoth these past fourteen years….

May 28, 2014 In: Site News, Thrillbent News

Talk To Me AGAIN About How I “Hate Print”


This is neat. Because our own Christy Blanch is a guest this coming weekend at Motor City ComiCon–in part thanks to her work with Chris Carr and Chee on THE DAMNATION OF CHARLIE WORMWOOD–she wanted to have something in-hand that she could use as a sales and promotion tool to target fans unfamilar with Thrillbent or WORMWOOD. So we did a little (okay, a lot of) production work to assemble the first five digital chapters of the Blanch/Carr/Chee masterpiece THE DAMNATION OF CHARLIE WORMWOOD into a 32-page print comic.

It’s a small run of 300 because as I keep saying, print is expensive. Plus, we had to pay a high premium for a rush job (because we were learning the finer points of print production as we went, on the fly, and that took time). I bring this up not to complain (or to taunt completists who have no way to buy a copy because they’re not at Motor City), but to explain why we don’t (yet) have print copies for sale beyond those 300–

–and because next week sometime, I plan to write a comprehensive blogpost about how we retro-engineered from digital to print given all the non-duplicable digital techniques Chee uses. It was a fascinating process, even if it did shave years off my life. I’ll run some compare-and-contrast examples. Stay tuned. And in the meantime, if you’re at Motor City (or in Muncie at our store, Alter Ego Comics, co-publishers of the print comic), feel free to purchase a signed copy, and we thank you for your support.



May 14, 2014 In: Site News, Thrillbent News



When I was in high school, I understudied for the lead in BYE BYE, BIRDIE. The reason you can’t picture me in a Dick Van Dyke role is because I was, at the time, 130 pounds soaking wet, and ten of that was hair. Also, I would have been terrible. I can’t act. But I still know all the songs and I can’t hear the name “Albert” without humming “An English Teacher” and OH, MY GOD, WHAT IS HE TALKING ABOUT AND WHAT DOES IT HAVE TO DO WITH THRILLBENT AND WHO THE HELL IS “BIRDIE” sorry, it’s just that this is about school and (another) Albert.

Faithful Thrillbent visitors have been following the serialized adventures of ALBERT THE ALIEN for some time now. It’s great work, funny and charming. Trevor Mueller and Gabriel Bautista are a good team. And now they’ve launched a Kickstarter campaign for a print edition, and I heartily endorse it and implore you to check it out. It contains bonus content including new stories in addition to those you’ve read here, sketches and behind-the-scenes looks, and more. Anything you can contribute to the campaign is welcome, whether you want one of the books or simply want to show your support to some of Thrillbent’s hard-working creative partners. Check it out.


May 13, 2014 In: Site News, Thrillbent News