FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: THE DUSK Kickstarter is now live!

I join forces with Elizabeth Little, David Hahn, Joseph Illidge and more to launch our own superhero crimefighter - with a modern twist!

Hello!

Been a spell, huh? It feels like the world is slowly inching toward normal, and I’m very excited for that.

Now, as most readers of this newsletter know, I’ve been teasing a new superhero project for a while. Remember this?

Well, it’s here! And I can’t wait for you to learn more about it.

Welcome to THE DUSK, an original graphic novel (four issues of story) published in conjunction with the gang at Ominous Press, co-written by me and fellow crime novelist, Elizabeth Little (Pretty As A Picture, Dear Daughter), with art by David Hahn (Batman 66/Wonder Woman 77, Bite Club, Impossible Jones), colors by Ellie Wright, and letters by Taylor Esposito (The Black Ghost), featuring editorial guidance by Joseph Illidge (Batman, Valiant, Lion Forge, Heavy Metal).

If you want to save yourself some time, click here to check out the Kickstarter page, which is now live. I appreciate your support as we try to make this project a reality. Want more info? Well, here you go:

THE DUSK is a really personal project for me, and for my collaborators. The idea sprung from my five-year-old son, who’s really into superheroes, especially characters like Batman and the Teen Titans. He loves the colorful costumes, the characters, and villains that make them fun and energizing. But as a parent, I saw him also leaning into some other parts of the genre. Like the idea that violence solves problems, or that the criminal justice system was flawless and always fair.

My wife, who works in nonprofit law, wondered why there wasn’t a hero out there that we could show our son that embraced all the fun, mythical elements of being a superhero, but also touched on the realities of the world we live in? I wanted to create the answer to that question, but in a way that didn't feel overly grimdark or excessively violent.

If our heroes are supposed to be people who strive to do good, they should strive to do good in the kind of world we live in - one that's complicated, often contradictory, and about progress, not perfection. And we should see their mistakes and understand them. That was the general idea that, along with my great team of collaborators, lead us to THE DUSK - and the city of Blackstone.

Down below the abandoned skyscrapers and crumbling colonial architecture, beneath the buzzing lights and ragged billboards, is a fading, floundering city propped up by vice, extortion, and fear. This is Blackstone—a dark, mirror image of Boston or Philadelphia. A city whose history dates back to the earliest days of our nation.

A once-mighty industrial titan—now teetering on the edge of oblivion. A city that used to mean something.

Blackstone public defender Jaime Nuñez—former baseball hero, now a divorced dad to a precocious teen - is always trying to do his best.  But the criminal justice system is not without limits. When Jaime comes into an unexpected fortune and some surprising, super heroic tools, he discovers there might be another, more direct way to do some actual good in the world.

But can the masked man known only as The Dusk push back against decades of entrenched corruption without compromising his commitment to social justice...

Much less his teenage daughter's?

THE DUSK is a modern reimagining of the superhero crimefighter that flips the script on the traditional “might makes right” approach while adding the grounded, socially conscious perspective that modern crime fiction has become known for. 

The graphic novel blends the dark deco of BATMAN: THE ANIMATED SERIES with a dose of moral complexity and dark humor, creating an engaging and witty look at the inner workings of a beloved genre through the eyes of a flawed, human, and heroic figure.


Aided by an all-star team of variant cover artists: Howard Chaykin, Francesco Francavilla, Jamal Igle, Rebekah Isaacs, Gabriel Hardman, Greg Smallwood, and more, Jamie Nuñez has begun to fight the never-ending battle for the soul of Blackstone.

Kind of like Joe Biden, I guess?

But seriously - thanks so much for reading this, and huge thanks in advance for supporting our journey! All of these amazing artists have carved out time from their busy schedules to help make this launch a success, and I’m so grateful and lucky to count them as friends.

We’ll be debuting some fun additional art as the campaign continues, so keep your eyes on it.

Most importantly, we’re excited to get to tell this story and can only do it with your support!

Click here to find out more.

Reporters: if you’d like to feature THE DUSK on your site/news outlet, let me know. We’d be happy to chat! Feel free to use info from this email as you would a press release.

IN OTHER NEWS

If you’re an avid listener of Planet Money, NPR’s economics podcast, you may have heard my voice over the last few weeks. Hosts Kenny Malone and Robert Smith are doing a series of episodes that started with the idea that NPR would try to buy a superhero from a publisher, in order to merchandise it. In the first episode of the series, I let them know the value of IP - and how hard it would be to get a company to part ways with something so potentially valuable. In later episodes, the hosts pivot to the public domain, and discover a discarded Golden Age character named Micro-Face. Now NPR is making a comic book with their new version of Micro-Face, and I’m writing it! The character was redesigned with a cover by legendary artist Jerry Ordway, interior art by Peter Krause, colors by Ellie Wright, and letters by Taylor Esposito. This project has been a ton of fun so far, and I can’t wait to share more. You can pre-order the comic here, or buy some cool Micro-Face swag at the NPR store. All proceeds go to support public radio.

That’s all for now! Talk soon.

Best,

Alex