James Tynion IV Sells Out Of His Own Department Of Truth #1 Variant

Today is the FOC date for what may be Image Comics' biggest or second-biggest launch of the year – depending how Crossover does. The Department Of Truth #1 by James Tynion IV and Martin Simmonds. In his Empire Of The Tiny Onion newsletter he talks about a lot of covers. Other thirty, apparently, courtesy of a lot of retailer-exclusive deals. But he is also doing one cover that you can get direct from him. Because when creating the main cover, he created this mock-up for Martin Simmonds to improve. Here's the mockup.

James Tynion IV Sells Out Of His Own Department Of Truth #1 Variant

And here is the main cover.

James Tynion IV Sells Out Of His Own Department Of Truth #1 Variant


Because James can't quite let go. He writes in his Empire Of The Tiny Onion newsletter,


Dylan Todd took my original janky cutouts and formatted it together into an actual cover on the book. You could probably call this my first foray as a cover artist!

You can only buy it through me. It is available for purchase right now on my Gumroad Store.

Well, it was. The newsletter has only just come out, they were $15 each — and they have all gone already.

I'll be selling part of my print run on my website right now, and the rest you'll only be able to get from me at conventions next year (or if we don't look like we'll have that many conventions, I might create a few other opportunities to buy them online).

I have two other variants that I won't announce until I put them on sale closer to the release of the issue, but they have a simpler story… Honestly, I just wanted them to exist so I paid for them to exist. And I'll be doing the same, splitting the run between online sales, and convention sales in 2021.

I also wanted to let people know that I just put in another big order of Department of Truth enamel pins. I don't know if I'm going to get them in before the release of the first issue. Retailers can still get bulk discounts on orders of 5 pins or more. Just email my team at TinyOnionStudios@gmail.com and let us know what you're looking for. But there are still 28 pins available in the second batch! Buy them from my Gumroad store today, and you'll get the pin in hand before release day!

As for the comic itself? What kind of comic does he see it as? No biggie…

THE DEPARTMENT OF TRUTH is the kind of comic book I've wanted to write since I was in high school, discovering the comic books that would make me want to be a writer for the first time. The sophisticated comics that made me feel smarter to read, like I was uncovering entire worlds of ideas in their pages. The Vertigo classics that I read over and over and over again. I desperately miss that style of writing… The way books like Sandman, and Preacher, and Fables, and Y: The Last Man had these powerful central narratives, but had worlds so fascinating that they could pause the action and focus on a small character for an issue or two, or even an arc, before moving back to the main story. And years later, those little stories hit me as powerfully as the big ones, if not more so. Those are the ones I remember as a reader, the ones that I feel like we don't get enough of, anymore. I think that's the case because series don't have the long runs that they used to… But honestly, my plan with Department of Truth is to set a course with the assumption that we're going to have time to take those kinds of detours, and make something really memorable. This book is my tribute to those kinds of comics.

So a comic as good as those. Why not? And as for the comic itself?

THE DEPARTMENT OF TRUTH is a story about the secret agency within the United States Government that makes sure that the wrong truths don't become reality. It is an X-Files style story with Conspiracy Theories instead of Aliens (though don't count the aliens fully out of the picture. It is a horror comic, a political thriller, and I think it might be the best thing I've ever written. It is also being drawn by the incredible Martin Simmonds right as he ascends to being one of the best comic book artists in the business. His work evokes my favorite periods of both Bill Sinkiewicz and Dave McKean, while being something wholly unique unto itself. It's lettered by the phenomenal Aditya Bidikar, who brought a brilliant approach the book that makes it stand out from any other book on the stands. It's designed by Dylan Todd, whose sensibilities have made a book that will pop on the shelf every month and catch your attention, and who designed all the logos I'm trying to sell you all on T-Shirts and enamel pins. It is edited by Steve Foxe, a great friend and horror maestro, and the co-creator of Razorblades, who has nobly kept this ship afloat while I work on roughly 10,000 comic books a month.

Oh and for you speculators out there?

We've gotten a lot of good buzz, and I've been taking more Hollywood calls than I ever have on any of my project before. People seem particularly taken with the surprising ending to the first issue, which I ask that early readers don't spoil for everyone else.


(W) James Tynion IV (A/CA) Martin Simmonds
SERIES PREMIERE! Cole Turner has studied conspiracy theories all his life, but he isn't prepared for what happens when he discovers that all of them are true, from the JFK assassination to flat Earth theory and reptilian shapeshifters. One organization has been covering them up for generations. What is the deep, dark secret behind the Department of Truth? Bestselling writer JAMES TYNION IV (Batman, Something is Killing the Children) debuts his first Image ONGOING SERIES alongside breakout artist MARTIN SIMMONDS (Dying is Easy)!In Shops: Sep 30, 2020 SRP: $3.99

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Rich JohnstonAbout Rich Johnston

Founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world, since 1992. Author of The Flying Friar, Holed Up, The Avengefuls, Doctor Who: Room With A Deja Vu, The Many Murders Of Miss Cranbourne, Chase Variant. Lives in South-West London, works from Blacks on Dean Street, shops at Piranha Comics. Father of two. Political cartoonist.
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