Because HELL. YEAH. That’s why.
So, early last month, I was contacted by editor Rich Young over at Joe Books. It seems they’ve partnered with the good folks over at Topps to do some fun stuff with that company’s venerable Mars Attacks property. As you may or may not know, Mars Attacks celebrated the 50th anniversary of its original trading card series back in 2012, and that milestone came with all sorts of new products and even a “rebooted” storyline featured in a new set of cards that updates the classic alien invasion tale. I took a renewed interested in the property thanks to comics from IDW, as well as this epic little tome that showcases the original 1962 card set. Hell, I even had a Mars Attacks calendar on my wall, last year.
Therefore, when Rich came calling, inquiring as to my interest in perhaps writing a Mars Attacks novella for him, I jumped at the opportunity.
After pushing out a lengthy outline for approval by Rich and the Topps gurus, I was given a green light and a rush deadline: November 2nd. So, that’s what I’m working on these days, and holy shit, is it fun. Though the “new” Mars Attacks storyline has reset the clock so that the invasion now takes place in the modern day, my story is actually set during the 1960s, decades before the full-blown attack when the Martian Empire had “sleeper agents” running around on Earth, trying to make humanity dork things up enough so that the actual invasion will be met with limited or no resistance. Since the story has a definite 1960s vibe to it, that means it needs a kick-ass cover that evokes pulp novels of the era. Enter artist Steve Epting:
(Click the pic to visit Steve’s Tumblr.)
BOOM. Nailed it.
That sort of makes a lot of sense, though, considering Steve is a veteran comic artist with a career as long as my…well, it’s pretty damned long. Check out his Wikipedia page to get a peek at his creds. We’re talking Superman, Captain America, Avengers, people. Plus, he’s currently working on a cool series for Image Comics, Velvet.
As for the novella, the name of which hasn’t yet been announced, it will be offered as a perk when a Mars Attacks-related Kickstarter campaign is launched later this year. They’ve already had some success in this arena with a rather well-received board game and some other projects, so expectations are high that this latest venture will also help them to realize some new Mars Attacks goodness.
The best part of the deal for me–in addition to just being able to write a story like this–is that the cover art Steve created will be featured as one of the entries in a new trading card series, Mars Attacks: Occupation, which also is coming soon.
My own trading card (kinda sorta)? Achievement Unlocked. I’m probably going to want a billion of these things.
Anyway, now you know what I’m working on for the rest of this month.
Ack Ack! Ack AckAck Ack!