So The Endling has reached its ending. Naturally, I couldn’t resist ending on two more cliffhangers. Nature of the beast, I suppose. Can’t honestly say I’m sorry.
At the risk of having the MPAA orchestra play me off, I want to thank Cecilia Latella for knocking out gorgeous, human, exciting, expressive artwork week after week after week. Not to mention serving as de facto editor and compiler of our amazing collected issues (which you can and should check out at the Thrillbent store). You should keep an eye on whatever she does next, because it’s going to have a hell of a lot of heart. Paul Mounts helped kick off the series with his colors for the first four issues and for that I’ll always be grateful. Jenn Manley Lee somehow pulled off both a smooth transition from Paul’s style and a quick, distinctive, glorious style of her own. Months later, some of her and Cecilia’s most striking work remains vivid in my mind. If you can’t recall any panels, go back and read the thing again—you were going too fast the first time! Troy Peteri lettered the entire series—on one end putting up with my nitpickery and on the other going above and beyond with thoughtful, exciting, dynamic sound-art that made panels and sequences work that had no business working when the script left my computer. Great work by great folks.
Mark Waid and John Rogers made it all possible—not only helping to find much of the creative team but also cheerleading all the way. Praise from those guys? If you’re reading this, I know you can imagine what a big deal that is. And unsung Thrillbent reality-maker Lori Matsumoto never faltered no matter how kvetchy or grumpy I got.
When I started this, I had done two Batman stories for DC. I googled constantly for feedback after they came out. With The Endling, I was gratified that you guys shared your thoughts with us in Thrillbent’s comments section, on our Facebook page, and on Twitter. We even got to meet honest-to-goodness, real-life Endling fans when James Tynion IV graciously let us squat at his NYCC table last year. Dave, Brad, Darryl, PipedreamComics.uk, and many other folks let us know week after week that we were blowing their minds and that’s what got us through all the technical and production hassles that are part and parcel of any endeavor like this.
So…what was The Endling all about? I didn’t want to say anything before, but as you’ve probably figured out by now, it’s basically an origin story. It’s the story of how Amber Black and The Endling form an uneasy partnership to save humanity from humanity’s future. It’s a story about how people behave when the stakes are the highest possible—and the ways evolution does and doesn’t serve us in those circumstances. I became much more attached to these guys than I expected and killing some of them off gutted me much less than leaving them all behind does now.
What’s next? Beats me. As far as I’m concerned, I hope to write more comics. I have ideas for other series—so if you’re an artist who wants to collaborate on something, hit me up. And The Endling? Right now, this is it for him and Amber and their world(s). I’d love to write the story of their race to stop the Primogenitor some day. But that’s not going to happen unless more people get exposed to this story and there’s a demonstrated demand for new ones. So if you want more Endling, his future—like the world’s—is in your hands.
Thanks again to Cecilia and the Endling crew and Mark and the Thrillbent crew for making a lifelong comics fan’s dream come true. The only thing better than the time I had creating this story has been seeing the enjoyment our readers have gotten it. Thanks for sharing that with us.
PS: It’d be great if everyone could pitch in and save the real world, too. Climate change is real. Please vote and act accordingly.