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Follically Challenged Productions Presents:







ANYTHING GOES: LEVELING UP

This column has nothing to do with Disney’s recently announced purchase of Marvel Comics, so I’m already well aware that you might not even be reading it! Still, I persevere…and not just because I promised our Dauntless Editor that I would fill this space with a sequence of words that amount to some sort of sensible half-point. Truth be told, I’m actually pretty excited right now, and I’ve run out of people to tell. Just sit back and promise me you’ll glance at the screen once in a while, just to perpetuate the illusion that you’re paying attention. Thanks!


I’ve been writing comics since 2002 (my first actual publishing date was in 2003) and I’m tremendously proud of the work I’ve done in that time. Let’s face it; the fact that I’ve continued to work at all is an accomplishment on its own. Being a comic writer is an aspiration that I’ve had for the largest part of my life, and as such I’ve always hoped to get the call from one of the Big Two publishers (for the civilians among you, I’m referring to Marvel and DC.) This shouldn’t be taken as a diminishing note against the publishers who have given me the opportunity to work in this wonderful medium; those companies wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for the ongoing success of the two largest comic empires.

For the first six years of my career, however, that call to the Major Leagues did not come. I beat the streets and knocked on every editorial door I could, but I simply hadn’t proven myself yet. As demoralizing as that process was at times, I know countless other professionals who had endured a much longer wait. Heck, there are creators with far more impressive resumes who haven’t been able to crack that nut.


On September 9th, that all changes: My DC comics debut will be available at your local comic shop, and I hope you’ll check it out. I’m teaming up with my very good friend and collaborator Eric Trautmann to help introduce a new generation of heroes to the DC Universe proper in THE SHIELD # 1. Eric is steering the ship for the patriotic title character, and I’ll be handling the character of INFERNO in a 10-page co-feature that will run in every issue of this ongoing series. These two characters are part of the RED CIRCLE initiative, revamping several non-DC heroes and villains and integrating them into the same world shared by Batman, Superman and the Teen Titans.

I have to thank Eric Trautmann, Greg Rucka and Joan Hilty for going to the mat for me, putting my name in front of the proper people. Red Circle editor Rachel Gluckstern also deserves a round of applause for taking the leap of faith and bringing me into the, uh, circle. I’m a little bit overwhelmed and immensely proud of this achievement, and I appreciate everyone who helped me reach this particular goal.

The interesting “b” story here is that Eric and I have been writing a Vertigo original graphic novel for the last year. Yes, I technically entered DC via Vertigo. Isn’t it usually done the other way around? On the other hand, I haven’t been able to discuss that book to any great extent in public, and my DC book will debut before the graphic novel. I guess that means THE SHIELD / INFERNO is really my big step up, at least in terms of public perception. Funny how that works, eh?

Okay, I’ve rambled on enough about this. I know I didn’t win an Oscar or anything, so I’ll lock down the gushing and just remind you that THE SHIELD #1 will be available for purchase on Wednesday, September 9th. If you’d like to make a young boy’s dream come true, please do your part to make sure that it sells out and goes into 87 re-printings due to high demand. You’ll probably have to buy 10 or 12 copies each to do that, so start budgeting now.

Brandon Jerwa 

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