The final issue of Godland has one of my favorite things, the future’s future. Looking back, I would’ve preferred to start the series in an unimaginably distant future, rather than end it there, but it was a nice end point to build towards. Maybe next time.
It’s been my education in color comics. Prior to Godland I knew NOTHING about the comics business. Now I know SOMETHING. I used Godland as a laboratory where I could experiment. It’s not for me to say how successful any of these experiments were, but I came out of the experience the indestructible cockroach of a cartoonist I am today.
Had Godland been more successful, I would have happily worked on it until my dying day. Its difficulty finding traction in the market forced me to innovate and get out of my comfort zone. I mourn the loss of the Godland-that-might-have-been, but a successful Godland would’ve meant no American Barbarian, no Final Frontier, no Satan’s Soldier, no Mystery Object. I love Godland and I hate it. I was in my 20’s when it started, now I’m not. I can’t help feeling it stole those years away from me.
“Life is at best bittersweet.” Darkseid, Mister Miracle #18.
Godland #36 & 37 are our Hunger Dogs, our Mister Miracle #18, our Silver Star #6. I feel genuinely privileged that we were able to end the comic properly, something very few series get to do.
In preparation for the writing of the two-part finale, I read the series from the beginning. It’s a relic of the early 2000’s, but its mix of old and new has aged surprisingly well. Not being part of any movement of the moment definitely helped. For as under the radar as we were, it sure seems like Godland gets imitated a lot. There’s a proliferation of comics now that have a wisecracking floating skull in a jar character, and Image publishes half of them. I don’t know if we can take credit for it, but the Marvel and DC publishing lines have moved a lot closer to Godland’s cosmic whimsy.
“Experimenters take risks–even with humor, Mokkari” Simyan, Jimmy Olsen #146
With Godland I learned that you can be funny and still be serious. For as bloated and excessive a prog rock comic Godland is, I learned how to tell a story economically from it. We cover a lot of ground in those 37 issues. I had to draw 7 different versions of the future, which is the biggest challenge I’ve ever faced in comics. I didn’t know I had that many in me. Most cartoonists only have one or two in them.
I learned that there’s more to life than Jack Kirby. Joe brought his influences to the project and I sought them out to see for myself. Cosmic jokesters like Jim Starlin, Steves gerber and Engelhart, among others. These creators have since become favorites of mine.
Most of all, I learned how to collaborate. I couldn’t ask for a better creative partner than Joe Casey. What we created together is very special to me. I’m eternally grateful to the people who supported us and our book.
When we started it we didn’t know if it would last 5 issues or 500. I had this fantasy of working on it forever, at least a lot longer than we have. 37 issues is a lot of comics. I wish Kirby could’ve done 30 issues of New Gods. I definitely think about what might have been, if things really took off in a huge way, but I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished. 37 issues is nothing to sneeze at. That’s a lot of imagination, hard work and sacrifice that we’ve poured into it. I’m not too sad about leaving the Archers behind, because Joe Casey and I own it, so if I ever get the itch to do another Godland story, I can.
The GØDLAND FINALE will be in stores on November 27 and can be pre-ordered in the September issue of Previews.