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January in List Form
1. Earlier this week I heard a polka version of "Hey, Jude." Paul McCartney should sue for manslaughter.
2. There's this smoky earl gray tea I love. I take it with a couple rough cubes of raw sugar and half-and-half, and when I shut my eyes and inhale the steam, it smells like December in my Aunt Ethlyn's house. It smells like almost-Christmas and first-snow. That's a lot of time travel for one cup of tea.
3. Locke & Key is out on Netflix in just a few weeks now. The trailer is right here.

Have you ever noticed, the happier you feel about something, the harder it is to put into words? We have reasonably adequate language for anger, sickness, and frustration, but trying to find the language for happiness is like trying to grab a hummingbird by the wing.

I hope Locke & Key makes you happy too.
4. In the comic, our heroes move to Lovecraft, Massachusetts. For the series, however, I suggested changing the town to Matheson, Massachusetts. I've learned too much about Lovecraft in the time since I wrote those first issues to feel the same way about him. And the show seemed like a good opportunity to honor the work of another, different master of dark fantasy. So that's what we did. My idea -- don't blame the TV guys.
5. Over the holidays, my in-laws bought me an inexpensive LAMY fountain pen with a medium nib. It wound up being my favorite Christmas gift -- it flows so beautifully, there's a kind of addictive tactile pleasure in using it. How much do I love it? Sometimes I even use it to write the first drafts of emails longhand.

Yes, I wrote the first draft of this newsletter with the LAMY -- in a Leuchtturm1917 notebook, not a Moleskin, because the Moleskin paper is cheaper and fountain pen ink bleeds right through. Does a newsletter read differently when it was thought out with paper and pen? I think so.
6. My next Hill House title is out in February. It's called Plunge and I'm co-creating with Stuart Immonen, who is doing amazing batshit crazy things: beauty and horror side-by-side on every page. There's a little taste of what he's doing directly above, because no one said I couldn't share.
7. Speaking of Hill House, we welcomed a new daughter to the family the other week: Daphne Byrne, which I've taken to describing as a feminist reinvention of The Omen, set in the gaslight-and-coattails era. The scribe behind Daphne is screenwriter Laura Marks, a comic book rookie, but a seasoned hand at horror... her TV credits include scripts for The Exorcist, Brain-Dead, and the unreleased Hulu incarnation of Locke & Key. As for the art, the legendary Kelley Jones opened up his whole cabinet of curiosities and let out a parade of mind-jarring grotesques for this story.

If you visit your local for Daphne Byrne's inaugural chapter, you'll find the second issue of The Low, Low Woods right next to it. And Basketful of Heads #4 is out on January 22nd.

Throw Daphne Byrne a couple coins and give it a shot. I promise you'll be smiling if you do!
8. I've got another comic out, a fair play mystery called Dying is Easy, featuring a sleuth named Syd Homes who makes it a rule never to play fair. The second issue just hit stores. If you like your talk filthy and your murder filthier, give it a look, you might dig it.
9. Netflix is the best thing about the internet, and I'm not just saying that because they're making a show out of the comic book. I don't even mean Netflix when I say "Netflix." I mean the whole family of streaming services, from Apple to Shudder, Amazon Prime to CBS All Access. No one can afford all those services, mind. But knowing they're out there is like entering Neil Gaiman's Library of Dreams or Borges' Library of Babel... behind every door is another endless corridor of story.
10. "I knew the future would bring wonders, but I didn't know it would make them ordinary." - Dracula, the new BBC series. That's not even the best line in the show.

And there's ten things for today and that feels like enough. Hope you're getting (and perhaps making) good art, filling your head up with good stories. Thanks for hanging with me, letting me free associate in your ear for a while. Take care of yourself and we'll get together again soon.
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