Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Where to buy S.H.O.O.T. First Volume 1

S.H.O.O.T. First, my comic with co-creator/artist Nicolas Daniel Selma, colorist Marlac and letterer Amanda Aguilar Selma, is out today in collected form in book stores. That means that for those of you who wanted to read it but didn’t feel capable of navigating the arcane mysteries of ordering from comic shops (Hi, mom!), this is your chance.

You may be able to find it in book stores, but I have no idea how widely it was ordered so I’d definitely call ahead first.

If you’ve read and enjoyed the book, please consider reviewing it on Amazon or Good Reads. I always hear that it makes a huge difference, so I really appreciate if you’re able to.

I’ve mentioned before that this book is really important to me. Not only does it represent an amazing amount of work and skill by my collaborators and my amazing editors at Dark Horse (the incomparable Dave Marshall, Aaron Walker and Ian Tucker), but it means a lot to me personally. As you know if you’ve been reading my author’s notes on the blog, I put a lot of myself on the pages.

Real talk: it’s not easy to be a published comic book author, and you often hear that staying in is even more difficult than breaking in. I’ve been tremendously fortunate to have been able to publish several books - enough, in fact, to fill a “More Dark Horse books by Justin Aclin” page in the back of the S.H.O.O.T. First TPB, which is staggering. And sometimes, in my least optimistic moments, I wonder if I’ll ever get to publish anything again.

But having held this book in my hands, I know that even if I never get published again (and at my most optimistic moments, I say, “Of course I will!”), I’ve put something out in the world that means something to me. Something that might even be able to mean something to other people that read it. And I count myself among the luckiest people in the world to be able to say that, and I have nothing but immense gratitude for all the people who helped make it happen, and especially to the people who put something of themselves in this book, too.

Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Writer's Notes: S.H.O.O.T. First #4

All good things must come to an end, and S.H.O.O.T. First (Book 1!) did on January 15th with the release of issue #4. Before I get into the writer’s notes, I need to thank my incredible co-creator Nicolas Daniel Selma for bringing this world to life, and our colorist and letterer Marlac and Amanda Aguilar Selma. More than any other medium, a comic is only as good as it looks, and these guys made the comic look amazing.

I also need to thank the two people whose faith in this project kept it going for years and through difficult times. First, my wife Brooke, who read my initial concept and said “This could be something.” And my editor Dave Marshall, who’s shepherded this project through different phases, different teams and different fortunes, never losing faith that this was a comic that Dark Horse should be publishing. Plus, of course, Dave’s keen editorial eye made it a better story and made me a better writer. I’m endlessly indebted to both of them.

And now, after the jump, if you’ve been with us the whole way…here’s how we wrapped things up.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Writer's Notes: S.H.O.O.T. First #3

We’re less than a week away from the final issue of S.H.O.O.T. First...it’s about time I do my writer’s notes for the penultimate issue! Full spoilers inside, including my favorite “a-ha” moment I’ve ever had as a writer!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Writer's Notes: S.H.O.O.T. First #2

By now you’ve probably read S.H.O.O.T. First #2 by me, Nicolas Daniel Selma, Marlac and Amanda Aguilar Selma from Dark Horse Comics. Right? And you’re probably wondering what it was like writing it. Right? Well, read on! But be warned: full spoilers within, so you should really read the issue first.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Writer's Notes: S.H.O.O.T. First #1

So, after years of effort behind the scenes, S.H.O.O.T. First #1 by myself, Nicolas Daniel Selma, Marlac and Amanda Aguilar Selma has finally been released by Dark Horse Comics. So far the reviews have been really good, and I’m excited because I think every issue is better than the last. And now, because I’ve been literally waiting for four years to talk about some of the twists in this issue, I’m going to do some Kieron Gillen-style Writer’s Notes for it. FULL SPOILERS follow, so don’t hit the jump unless you’ve already read the issue. (P.S. Read the issue)

WARNING: I also go on and on at great lengths. Deal with it.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Get my comic for free at NYCC!

Hey, we’re giving away S.H.O.O.T. First #1 for free before you can buy it, at New York Comic Con!

In celebration of the fact that my co-creator Nicolas Daniel Selma and I are both going to be in attendance at NYCC, Dark Horse has graciously consented to give away a very limited number of copies of our comic, S.H.O.O.T. First #1, for free, only at our signing at the Dark Horse booth, starting at 12 noon on Sunday, October 13th.

This is the exact same comic that hits shops on October 16, only it will cost you exactly $3.99 less. It’s not a NYCC-exclusive cover or anything, although I will sign your cover indicating that you were one of the first people to get this at New York Comic Con.

S.H.O.O.T. First #1 follows the adventures of the Secular Humanist Occult Obliteration Taskforce as they take on supernatural creatures they don’t believe in. You can read more about the series and check out some preview pages in this interview I did with Comic Book Resources.

Both Nico and I are extremely proud and excited to be debuting our creator-owned comic at New York Comic Con, and we can’t wait to share it with you. So come by the Dark Horse booth around noon on Sunday the 13th for free comics! Can’t beat that!

Also, if you’d like me to sign any of my Star Wars books, Akaneiro issues or even any Twisted ToyFare Theatre volumes, bring them by as well. I’ll see you there!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Need Your Help!

(To the parents out there, sorry for getting that song stuck in your head. But I really do need your help!)

I’ve got a new comic coming out, and it’s both the most important comic of my career so far and my favorite thing I’ve written so far. If you can, I’d love for you to purchase it, but because of the way the comics industry works that’s not as easy as just ordering a book online. Therefore, I’m going to tell you a little about the book, then I’m going to tell you how to order it, then I’ll ramble on for a while about why this is so important and why I’m making this request.


The Secular Humanist Occult Obliteration Taskforce—defending humanity from angels, demons, and a bunch of other crap S.H.O.O.T. doesn’t believe in.
Justin Aclin (Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Twisted ToyFare Theatre) and Nicolás Daniel Selma (Tomb Raider: The Beginning) take aim at the supernatural in an all-new big-action, big-ideas sci-fi adventure!
* Original, irreverent, and controversial!
* Aclin and Selma are the next “it” team in comics!
“Is S.H.O.O.T. First Dark Horse’s Next Big Hit?” —Newsarama


The best way to order it, if you can, is to find your local comic shop and tell them you’d like to reserve a copy of S.H.O.O.T. FIrst #1, in the August issue of Previews, item #AUG130080. Or, better yet if you feel up to it, tell them you’d like to pre-order all four issues. They’ll order copies from the distributor, and then on October 16th of this year you’ll swing round your shop and purchase your copy from them for $3.99.

The reason this is the best method is it gets the book on the radar of more comic shops and hopefully makes them inclined to order more copies. The reason I’m making the request now instead of October is that there’s a final order cut-off coming up, and the shop has to order all of their comics prior to then.

Now, if you’re not able to do that, there are still other ways to order the comic. You can order it online through sites like tfaw.com or midtowncomics.com, and you can purchase the comic digitally when it comes out through the Dark Horse app (Dark Horse comics, unfortunately, are not available through the main ComiXology app). Even if you don’t feel like you can make the purchase, you could share word about the comic with someone you know who you feel might enjoy it. These are all perfectly valid ways to show your support, and still infinitely appreciated by me. For the following reasons.


This has been an incredible year for me. Like, beyond my wildest dreams of what I realistically figured I’d be able to accomplish by this point in my life. Aside from the Star Wars comic that I already blogged about, I’ve had a second Star Wars comic come out from Dark Horse, plus a 3-issue adaptation of the online game Akaneiro: Demon Hunters which has gotten some startlingly good reviews and which will soon be available in a hardcover collected edition. I haven’t blogged about these two or, you’ll notice, come begging you to pre-order them.

Why not, you ask?

Because Star Wars and even Akaneiro to a lesser extent have built-in fan-bases. I know that even if I sit on my ass and do nothing (and I did do press for both), they’ll get ordered, they’ll get bought and they’ll get read.

But the only built-in fan-base for S.H.O.O.T. FIrst is people I know, or people who’ve read my comics or know me from Twisted ToyFare. In other words, you.

I think it’s a very appealing concept, I think there’s a wide variety of people out there who’d be predisposed to like it if they gave it a shot, and I think the art by my co-creator Nicolas Daniel Selma and our colorist Marlac is incredible. But the number of comics that are out there is huge, and the number of people who take a chance on comics they’ve never heard of is far smaller. So a book like this, based on an entirely original concept and without huge-name creators, needs all the help it can get.

The other thing, as I mentioned, is that this book is incredibly dear to me. It started as a very mercenary germ of an idea - what’s a story I can come up with that I feel like Dark Horse would publish? But it very quickly turned into something intensely personal and idiosyncratic, something that’s (hopefully) uniquely me but also broadly enjoyable.

S.H.O.O.T. FIrst is, at its core, about issues that I’ve struggled with and that I think many people have struggled with. It was originally intended to be a screed against religious fundamentalism, but instead it ended up being a meditation on what we lose and what we struggle with when we lose our sense of faith...and ultimately why what we’re left with is good, even if it’s less comforting. It’s not, I don’t think, a didactic book, but it does draw strongly from my experiences and my beliefs. I set out writing it to explore a theme that I hadn’t fully made up my mind about, and in writing it began to puzzle out the issues I was dealing with. So even if it had never been seen by other human eyes, it would be extremely important to me.

That said, I also made it the kind of comic I’d want to read, and I think lots of other people would, too. It’s got (in my opinion) memorable and well-drawn characters, crazy sci-fi ideas, huge cool monsters, epic battle scenes, and twists and turns that keep you guessing but don’t come out of nowhere. I think it’s the best thing I’ve ever written.

And then there are the innumerable contributions of Nicolas Daniel Selma. Nico took these words on a page and turned them into characters and worlds that I’d never be able to imagine. If you like the preview pages seen here, just wait. It gets better every issue. One of the unique joys of writing comics is to see your words brought to spectacular life, and I’m so very fortunate to have collaborators like Nico, Marlac and our letterer Amanda Aguilar Selma who can do that in such an incredible fashion.

Anyway, I doubt even my mom is still reading at this point, (hi, mom!) which is why I put the pertinent info about ordering up top! But if you happen to be, thanks for reading, thanks for ordering, and I can’t wait for you to discover the world of S.H.O.O.T. First.