James Tynion IV has a newsletter, Empire Of The Tiny Onion, in which he talks more relevant topical comic book industry talk than anyone else (I said relevant, Kieron). And, as ever, Bleeding Cool does it's best to strip it for parts, send a few folk back to subscribe, but mostly find the newsiest nuggets and gets them into headlines. Such as the following;
So I've been trying to subscribe to the 250-limited foil-covered Razorblades subscription service and it just won't take my credit card. The same one it took for #1 fine. But a 12 issue subscription to James Tynion IV's curated horror comic book anthology, with only 70 subscriptions left? That it won't do. Ah well. Because, yes, Bleeding Cool covered his launch of the first issue of Razorblades and it went just as fast. This time, my credit card is just no good. Anyway, Tynion IV writes;
t Issue #2 is where I think we're starting to hit our stride, fully capturing the spectrum of creator I wanted to bring onboard. I couldn't be more thrilled to have Josh Simmons providing an illustration for the book. His collection from Fantagraphics, THE FURRY TRAP is one of the most genuinely unsettling horror comics I've ever read, and I'm pleased to report that he's working on something more longform for a future Razorblades issue.
We've also got so many stunning illustrations in this book… Running the spectrum from the immortal and all-powerful Jen Bartel (see above), and the twisted and incredible David Romero… All in the same book as the creators of big capes and tights comics, creators of the indy darlings of the direct market, and creators of phenomenal YA stories… All of them bringing their absolute A-Game, and creating some deeply unsettling imagery… And that's not even mentioning the fact that with the help of the amazing Zack Davisson, we were able to score an interview with the phenomenal Manga artist, Gou Tanabe! And a short story by the Vampire Queen of Krakoa, Tini Howard! All in one dang anthology magazine! That I publish!
Issue #2 brings you comic book horror stories by me, Matthew Rosenberg, Tyler Boss, Michael Garland, Zac Thompson, Jen Hickman, Alex Paknadel, Jason Loo, Nadia Shammas, Isaac Goodhart, Marie Enger, Ricardo Lopez Ortiz, Steve Foxe, Michael Ramstead, Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou, and More. Illustrations by Jen Bartel, David Romero, Marisa Bruno, Tia Roxae, Trevor Henderson, Aaron Campbell, Brian Level, and Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou. Razorblades also features an in-depth interview between Gou Tanabe and Zack Davisson on adapting the works of H.P. Lovecraft for Manga, and a short story by Tini Howard. Cover by Ian Bertram & Miquel Muerto. Design by Dylan Todd.
In all sincerity, seeing this issue all together makes it all worth it. And knowing where we're going from here, and who ELSE we've managed to snag for this book? I feel like I'm getting away with something, and that somebody is going to stop me. But until they do… I guess I'll just keep making more issues.
My other sneaky goal with Razorblades was to work with a bunch of truly incredible comic book artists who I might not have time to build a longer project with… Andy Belanger in the first issue, and now Joshua Hixson, whose work I have been madly in love with since I first picked up SHANGHAI RED a few years back… Josh and I set the spooky stage for the issue, with a short concept that's been wriggling in the back of my mind for years. This is something I'm hoping to replicate in future issues, create some genuinely unnerving short form horror in the style of comics like Fuan No Tane and PTSD Radio.
My last evil goal with Razorblades to give a home to this weird little thought that's been growing over the last year. As I transition more and more away from superheroes (aside from Batman) and more into creator owned, I started to have this inkling that there's a way to reframe the whole superhero thing as a horror story. It is genuinely very, very upsetting to think of these self-appointed costumed figures declaring neighborhoods to be their territory and then effectively deciding what the law is based on their own individual moral code…
But doing that straight-up would be BORING, and so I wanted to lean into the WEIRD side of that idea. I also wanted to do all of the ultraviolent sh-t I can't get away with in the for-real superhero comics I'm writing…
So I reached out to Ricardo Lopez Ortiz, and together we fleshed that idea out into KILLBOY, whose first chapter appears in this issue of Razorblades. In my head, Killboy is the weird mascot of our little horror mag. Killboy is Spider-Man meets Johnny the Homicidal Maniac as an ultraviolent manga, by me, Ricardo, and Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou.
I am very excited for you to see his first story, and start to fall in love with and/or be absolutely horrified by this little dude as he protects his neighborhood.
Razorblades: The Horror Magazine #2 is available now digitally, pay what you want, on my Gumroad store. We're going to be keeping the pay-what-you-want model going for the duration of the first year because we feel like it embodies the spirit of the Magazine as a platform for creators to experiment and inspire each other, and we don't want to create a barrier to entry.
But we heard you loud and clear when we put Issue #1 on sale. So let's get down to business so you can find out how to buy our magazine IN PRINT.
Of course there's shipping, International shipping for me as well..
First, I want to warn everyone upfront that I based my shipping estimates the first time around based on what I was doing with pins, and it turns out that was very stupid! Shipping is expensive! Shipping materials are expensive! International shipping is EXTRA expensive! And I wasn't recording sales tax and a million other things that have created headaches in the last few months. So this time, we've got the numbers right, but that means shipping is going to cost a bit more in some cases, and there's going to be tax in the mix. It costs money to make things as an independent small press! Who could have predicted such a thing?! This time, we've got it so we're pretty sure we won't run in the red, but just know that we're running on razor-thin margins. This isn't a project I'd be able to make without the support of Batman and Department of Truth.
Although it looks like shipping is less to the UK now… I hope that holds up.
The key thing we learned last time around is that there is an incredibly powerful hunger to see this project continue in print, and we want to match that hunger. So, to do that, we have not set a limit on how many copies we're selling of Issue #2.
INSTEAD, we're going to create a timed pre-order window that acts a bit like the Final Order Cut-Off system the majority of the comic book industry uses. We are going to be taking orders starting right now, and will CONTINUE taking orders through October 31st at Midnight, EST. Once we hit midnight on Halloween, our print numbers are going to be set, and there won't be any reprints until we look into doing some kind of collected edition next year. The goal is to start printing copies first thing in November, and have them all in your hands by the end of that month.
So that's a more achievable grab for most people. But what was that thing about foil?
In honor of the spookiest month year, we're going to be offering Tiny Onion readers a VERY special deal… Starting right now on my gumroad site, we are offering the chance to subscribe to the FULL FIRST YEAR of Razorblades!
Subscribers will receive a limited variant of each issue, not available to retailers. Our plan is to do two color approaches every issue, and you can see the very cool variant Miquel Muerto did for Issue #2 above. Subscribers will also receive a FREE copy of the Trevor Henderson second printing of Razorblades #1 (below), which we're only making available to subscribers and retailers.
Still nothing about the foil.
The Annual Subscription will run you $60 + Tax + Shipping. This will be delivered in four shipments. The first in November, containing #1 & 2, the second in February, containing issue #3, the third in May, containing Issue #4, and the fifth in August, containing Issue #5. The shipping cost reflects the cost of four shipments, and the shipments will always come the month following release.
The shipping to the UK adds $40. No tax for Brits as print is (still) zero rated.
There is also a special PREMIUM Subscription Option, that will come with a postcard sized horror illustration print with every issue, a special Razorblades enamel pin, and a collector's box to hold the first five issues of the book. These special add-ons will never be made available to non-subscribers! That will run $80 + Tax + Shipping.
Not seeing that foil.
And, because I promised there being a benefit to being an early adopter… I've also created a hyper-limited 250 copy version of the Premium Subscription package with a special Foil Variant of the Subscriber edition of Razorblades #2. THIS IS THE ONLY WAY TO GET THAT FOIL COVER. I have a feeling these are going to go quick, so sign up while you can.
There you go. And oh look, a different credit card works…
If this is successful, our intention is to make this an annual proposition! Use October to set subscriptions for each year of Razorblades… If you want to support the continued existence of our weird little horror mag, there is no better way than to buy a subscription, today.
Just in time, when I started typing there were 87 of the premium subscription option available, there are 9, by the time I press Publish there will be none… bit as he said, the cheaper version will very much stay available.