Inside Vault

Vault is a really big deal for me. This is the first mini-series I’ve put out that will be available through Diamond. I’m excited. Vault is a story I love and a book I’m proud of, so I can’t wait for folks to read it.

I’m also terrified. I crafted this tale. I wrote this story. A lot of people have put serious amounts of time and energy into something I wrote: artists, editors, marketing folk, PR people… It’s an awesome, scary, wonderful thing.

So, what the hell is Vault?

It’s a three issue mini-series that follows the moon-bound crew of the Gaia, as they intercept a large, seemingly abandoned alien vessel headed for Earth. The ship is full of varied, well-rotted corpses covered in a strange fungus, seemingly devoid of life. It’s a horror comic, so things go poorly.

It’s also a love letter to science fiction horror, a genre I’ve been in love with for a very long time. Alien, The Thing, Event Horizon, Sunshine — these stories and ones like them are my drug of choice. If you read Vault you’ll notice nods to each of these and more scattered about. That’s not an accident.

There is no follow-up to Vault. It is three issues and then it is done. Issues begin coming to your local comic book shops in July, with the trade (hopefully) coming by the end of the year.

As with any comic, the writing is only as good as the art and colors and letters. Each of these elements is equally important in crafting a good book. To that end, I wanted to take a moment to introduce a few folks to you.

Andres Esparza is a Mexican comic book and concept artist born, raised and working in Monterrey, México. He has more than ten years working as an illustrator with different advertisement agencies, newspapers, and video-game developers. Andres recently worked on a few comic books with Heavy Metal magazine, 1Firstcomics, Zenescope, Doubletake, and Storm King Productions. (Bio provided by Andres.)

Sergio Martínez is an illustrator, comic artist, concept artist, and whatever other opportunities visual arts affords him. He has around seven years working as a concept artist for video games and animation, a comic colorist, and a bit of line illustration (and even a tiny bit of artsy stuff in galleries). Publishers include Storm King Productions, IDW, Stone Arch Books, Bee Cave Games, Bioware, and Activision among others. (Bio provided by Sergio.)

Janice Chiang is a professional comic letterer with four decades in the industry. She has a body of published work from Marvel, DC Comics, First Comics, Tundra, DarkHorse, Archie Comics, Harvey Comics, TokyoPop, Del Rey, CMX/Wildstorm, Papercutz, Pow!Entertainment, and Storm King Productions for all genres and readership. Janice has hand-lettered on original art pages and is a digital letter artist on more recent projects. She enjoys working with mature talent as well as newly discovered creators. (Bio provided by Janice.)

And, of course, my editor and the person who gave me a shot with Vault in the first place: Sandy King Carpenter.

Born Sandra Ann King in Los Angeles, California. Attended the Westlake School, graduating in 1969. She attended UCLA College of Fine Arts, majoring in pictorial arts, and graduating in 1973. That same year, she worked on the Academy Award-winning animated film, Anti-Matter. Her first feature film as a script supervisor was John Cassavetes’s The Killing of a Chinese Bookie (1976). (Bio from by IMDB.)

You guys, my boss worked on They Live, Ghosts of Mars, and Big Trouble in Little China — how cool is that?

To give you a sneak peek at the book and what the team actually does to bring it life, here are the progressions for the first three pages of Vault, from script to finished letters (scroll through using the arrows). The eagle-eyed among you will note a few changes from script to finished page — those are the places where my team and I collaborated on improvements (which means they told me something that would work better and I agreed because they’re smarter than me).

  • Page 1 script, fourth draft, by me.
  • Page 1 layouts by Andres.
  • Page 1 inks by Andres.
  • Page 1 Flats by Sergio.
  • Page 1 colors by Sergio.
  • Page 1 letters by Janice.
  • Page 2 script, fourth draft, by me.
  • Page 2 layouts by Andres.
  • Page 2 inks by Andres.
  • Page 2 flats by Sergio.
  • Page 2 colors by Sergio.
  • Page 2 letters by Janice.
  • Page 3 script, fourth draft, by me.
  • Page 3 layouts by Andres.
  • Page 3 inks by Andres.
  • Page 3 flats by Sergio.
  • Page 3 colors by Sergio.
  • Page 3 letters by Janice.

 

Even though the book doesn’t come out until July, we’ve gotten a couple early reviews in. Here’s what people are saying:

“The Alien franchise can make a spot for the Vault because they’ve now got company where an outer space alien inhabited thriller is on the horizon and it’s worthy.” –Reading With a Flight Ring

“If you are a fan of the sci-fi horror genre, this is an absolute must read.” –Don’t Feed the Gamers

“…I really enjoy and the fact Ninness and the team have balanced what feels like a horror story in a sci-fi setting so well is impressive and has me excited to see what’s next.” –Graphic Policy

“I found myself reading, and re-reading this book as it kicked my imagination into overdrive. …I WANT #2!” –Outright Geekery

So, have I sold you on Vault? Ready to check it out? You can support us now by pre-ordering the book at your local comic book shop. Walk in and tell them that you want Vault and give them this pre-order code: MAY171800. The last day for shops to pre-order our book is this Thursday, May 25, so don’t wait! If you miss the pre-order cutoff date and still want to pick up the book, just tell your retailer. They’ll be able to get it for you.

Another thing you can do if you really want to help: share this blog. We’ve got to get the word out and you are kind of the only way that happens. No pressure. I love you regardless.

If you’re still not sold or want to know a bit more about the book, here’s a list of some of the press we’ve done for Vault in the last couple months:

Thanks for taking a minute to read this. Whatever you’re doing today, have a good one. I’ll just be over here; nervously twitching until the books begin rolling out in July.

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  • Joe Pezzula

    That page 2 with just FLATS is freaking gorgeous!

    • Yeah, Andres and Sergio are a dream to work with. 😉