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New MECH CADET YU interviews from and Outright Geekery!

Interior art from MECH CADET YU #5 – line art by Takeshi Miyazawa, colors by Triona Farrell.

I’ve been interviewed by a few more folks about MECH CADET YU! The MECH CADET YU Volume One collected trade and MECH CADET YU #5 both hit comic shops on January 3 — please do call your local comic shop today and ask ’em to pre-order a copy for you!

Here’s an excerpt from the Comicon interview:

HMS: I think that as fun as giant robots are and can be in comics, animation, and film, they will fall a little flat if there’s not a bigger emotional component in some lead characters. In creating Stanford Yu, what main elements did you feel were core to his character? How did you develop those for the reader without getting too deeply into back story?

GP: Oh, the emotional story is always everything. We’ve all been to movies that are just spectacular in terms of action and visuals, but leave us totally cold and unmoved. Nothing’s more important than digging deep into your characters’ emotional lives and goals and conflicts. That’s the only reason we really care. In terms of Mech Cadet Yu, the most important details for us to establish were that Stanford’s an underdog–a janitor’s kid at an elite military academy. It’s also a subtle but important part of his story that his mother’s an immigrant and speaks to him in Cantonese, and his father died years ago, sickened by his work conditions, helping clean up in the wake of the first Sharg War.

This is a working-class immigrant family trying hard to make it in a world steeped in crisis and dominated by elites. We revealed those details mostly through showing rather than telling, bit by bit over the first few issues, doing our best to make it as organic and seamless as possible. The hope is that those elements help amp up the stakes for Stanford as he enters the Sky Corps Academy and provide depth to the conflicts he has with his fellow cadets–the General’s daughter, Park, in particular.

And here’s an excerpt from the Outright Geekery interview:

OG: How often do you and series artist Takeshi Miyazawa have the same vision of the mechs, the cast, and their first true threat, the Sharg?

GP: Tak’s one of my favorite collaborators on the planet. We co-created Amadeus Cho for Marvel back in the day, and from the beginning I knew we had something special going on. He just kind of gets everything I write. All the little character details, all the tiny bits of body language, all the subtle drama and humor… Tak gets it all. So whenever he sends in character or robot or monster designs, I pretty much just cheer him on. He’s soooo good.

This is a good place to plug the rest of the creative team. Colorist Triona Farrell and letterer Simon Bowland are doing tremendous work, and my BOOM editors Cameron Chittock and Eric Harburn have just been fantastic. Everyone just gets this story and is doing everything they can to make it sing.

Review of the MECH CADET YU Vol. 1 trade from Geek Out Book Club!

The Geek Out Book Club podcast has released a rave review of the MECH CADET YU Volume One trade collection, which hits comic book shops on January 3.

Check out the review here — or play it below!

And call your local comic shop to pre-order the MECH CADET YU Volume One trade and MECH CADET YU #5 today — both come out on January 3, and today is the deadline for preorders for comic shops!

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Art by the great Marie Severin

Hey, fun news! I’m upgrading/relaunching my email newsletter and now’s the perfect time to sign up!

The newsletter goes out around one to four times a month and it’s the best place to get the very latest news about my comics, films, and other projects.

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Vote for MECH CADET YU in the IGN Best New Comic Book Series poll!

IGN has announced its nominees for Best New Comic Book of 2017 — and MECH CADET YU made this list! Please do feel free to check it out and VOTE for your fave today!

MECH CADET YU comic book trailer!

Hey, friends! Here’s the brand new trailer for the MECH CADET YU comic book, written by yours truly, with art by Takeshi Miyazawa, colors by Triona Farrell, letters by Simon Bowland, and published by BOOM! Studios. Music for the trailer is by the great David Libby.

MECH CADET YU tells the story of a janitor’s kid who bonds with a giant robot and joins the elite Sky Corps Academy — and ends up taking on the deadly Sharg invaders from outer space. It’s probably the best reviewed book of my career and I just love it and hope I can keep writing it forever. Hope very much you get a kick out of it, too!

The first collected trade and issue #5 both hit stores on January 3 — please do pre-order them from your local comic shop by December 11, the final order cutoff date!

2017-12-09 – Greg Pak signs at Anyone Comics in Brooklyn with Hama, Yarsky & Ma!

I’m signing comics at Anyone Comics in Brooklyn on Saturday, December 9, at 5 pm! Come see, come see! Larry Hama, Caitlin Yarsky, and Jerry Ma will also be signing!

All the details:

Mastodon Monday! Some thoughts on the new social network

Screen Shot 2017-12-04 at 10.11.20 AM

In the wake of multiple reports of Twitter failing to curb harassment, I’ve been hungry to find a decent social network alternative. So last month, like thousands of others, I dove back into the new social network Mastodon to see if it might fit the bill. So how’s it gone so far?

Overall, I dig Mastodon! The default interface is pretty reminiscent of Tweetdeck, which is familiar enough. The community vibe is great — as is often the case with a new social network, folks are cheery and happy to be poking around, willing to be a bit more goofy and earnest than they sometimes are on Twitter. The biggest usability knock against Mastodon right now is its system of servers or “instances,” which takes a little effort to wrap your head around. So let’s get that out of the way first…

Mastodon is actually a set of software tools rather than a centralized social network. So different people can run their own “instance” of Mastodon the same way folks can install and run their own WordPress blogs. You can generally follow anyone on Mastodon regardless of what instance you or they have registered with. But when you join Mastodon, you’re actually joining a single instance of Mastodon, which is administered by the folks who set it up.

You need to put a little thought into choosing your instance. The administers of each instance set their own rules, so if you want a Nazi-free environment, make sure to read the terms of the instance to make sure of its policies. And it’s worth considering the fact that if the administrators of your instance get bored or overwhelmed and abandon the service, that instance might get deleted and your posts and contacts could vanish. (I’ve found tools that let you export your follow/block/mute lists, but not your posts. I’ll update if I discover a way to do this.)

I joined the instance, which is run by Eugen Rochko, aka Gargron, the developer of Mastodon. I figure that instance will probably be around as long as Mastodon itself exists. And has a strong anti-harassment and anti-Nazi policy that seems to be enforced.

If you just want to use Mastodon as a Twitter alternative, now all you need to do is follow a bunch of people and start posting. The posts of people you follow will end up in your “Home” column and their posts and follows to you will show up in your “Notifications” column. But Mastodon also gives you a “Local Timeline,” which shows all the posts of everyone in your instance, even if you’re not following them directly. And it gives you a “Federated Timeline,” which shows you all the posts of everyone that people in your instance follow. In practice, the “Local Timeline” is pretty cool for small instances, like, which only has 257 users right now. But the Federated timeline can be overwhelming, particularly for big instances like, which has 116,000 users.

My advice? If the “Local” and “Federated” timelines confuse or bother you? Ignore ’em! Otherwise, poke into ’em from time to time to find new users to follow or conversations to join.

The next question you’ll probably have is whether you need to join multiple instances. Many of us comics people initially joined — you can find me there at But then folks started the instance, which is moderated by @ladyvader99 and Ken Lowery. I joined that instance as well and I like popping in there to see what’s going on. But I do most of posting from my account, where I have the most followers. I don’t love the fact that you can’t register a single username with some central Mastodon authority and use it globally across all instances — that would make the whole experience much simpler than having multiple usernames and logins. (This one issue may be what keeps Mastodon from ever getting the kind of mass influx of users that could make it a real Twitter killer. For now, I’m not letting it bother me too much — I’m just using the service in a way that makes sense for me and enjoying it.)

Onward to bullet points!


1. Strong, enforced anti-harassment and anti-Nazi policies

The instances I’ve joined at Mastodon have such policies, which is fantastic. But it’s worth noting that each instance is run by private administrators who may or may not have the long-term time or ability to enforce their policies. Harassers can be very effective at dog-piling and overwhelming when they put their mind to it. But at least administrators can declare their policies and have the tools to enforce them. And if a bunch of harassers are coming from a specific instance, administrators can block that entire instance. For what it’s worth, right now the vibe at the instances I’m part of is great.

2. Twitter-like layout with a timeline of many short posts rather than a Facebook-like timeline of longer, blog-like posts.

Mastodon delivers here. The posts can be up to 500 characters, but it doesn’t feel overwhelming at all. Mostly seeing quick, short posts.

3. Strictly chronological timeline — most recent posts appearing first.

Yes! Thank you!

4. Decent interface, usability.

It’s fine, particularly if you’ve ever used Tweetdeck before. If you want a more Twitter-like interface, you can log into with your Mastodon username and you’ll get a very familiar layout. For iOS, I’m using Tootdon, which is fine.

Here's what my account looks like when I log in via Pretty familiar, huh? Some glitches, still -- including the note encouraging me to follow myself. :-) But not bad!

Here’s what my account looks like when I log in via Pretty familiar, huh? Some glitches, still — including the note encouraging me to follow myself. 🙂 But not bad!

5. Privacy and security.

My biggest caveats about Mastodon right now involve privacy, security, and long term viability. Since the instances are run by private individuals/administrators, there’s no global control over privacy and security. Depending on your perspective, you could see this as a bonus. But I’m unclear on whether administrators have the ability to view private messages, for example, so I’m not using that feature at all. (I’ll update this later if I learn more about how private messages work.)

I also can’t find a button to delete my account. Presumably, I could delete all my individual posts. But that could take a loooong time, depending on how much I’ve been using the system. And if I’ve joined multiple instances, I’d have to repeat the process for each instance. [UPDATE: Mastodon user slipstream has notified me that you CAN delete your account — go to Settings > Security and there’s a link at the bottom of the page!]  One good thing — I was worried whether deleting a post in my instance would also delete its retweets or “boosts” in other instances. But I just tested it, and deleting a post seems to delete it across instances, which is great.

6. Tons of people.

Here’s where Mastodon suffers. Lots of people signed up in April when the service got its first big wave of publicity, and a bunch more signed up last month when Twitter made a few big harrassment-related mistakes. But right now my Mastodon timeline feels pretty slow. Come play!

7. Other wing-dings like the ability to display gifs & video.

Mastodon doesn’t currently play gifs automatically, and it doesn’t have a built-in gif selector. Gifs are fun, so that’s unfortunate, but not a dealbreaker. [UPDATE: Eugen contacted me on Mastodon to let me know that gifs CAN autoplay — you just have to enable that in Preferences!]

Mastodon also doesn’t display a preview of pages you link to or playable videos. Again, it makes things a bit less fun and less likely to get clicked on or shared. But not a dealbreaker at the moment.

Mastodon doesn’t allow for quote-tweeting, which is something that I’ve gotten accustomed to using on Twitter. But I just did a quick Q&A on Mastodon and used the good 0ld fashioned manual RT method to show the questions, which is fine for now.


Glad you asked! Lots of fun comics people and writers are goofing around on Mastodon right now — here are just a few pretty active folks to get ya started! (I’ll add to this over time.)

Steve Lieber –

Trungles –

Wendy Xu –

John Scalzi –

Chuck Wendig –

Amy Chu –


2017.12.01 – Greg Pak signs JOHN WICK #1 at Midtown Comics Downtown!


Hey, I’m signing the new JOHN WICK #1 comic book on December 1 at Midtown Comics Downtown in NYC!

Very excited about this one. It’s a prequel story that takes place before the events of the first JOHN WICK movie. Written by yours truly, with line art by the great Giovanni Valletta.

The signing starts at 6 pm at Midtown Comics Downtown, 64 Fulton Street, New York, NY. More details at the Midtown Comics Facebook page!

Also, check out these great advance reviews for JOHN WICK #1:

“It’s a book full of intense action and really hits the ground running. I can’t wait to see what comes next. Even if you don’t know the films there is something for all comic books fans. If you are a hardcore John Wick fan? Then this book is definitely for you.” — 2G1 Reviews

“This is a very entertaining first issue, which lays some solid foundations for what is to come…” — SciFiPulse

“I love how far Greg Pak is taking us back in Wick’s world and life. I was pulled in to the story and even to unfamiliar characters right away – and I never do that.” — Chico Comics Page

“Thanks to the perfect union of Greg Pak’s writing and art by the team of Giovanni Valletta and David Curiel, the origins of Baba Yaga promise to be an impressive foray into what made the movies great.” — Pullbox Reviews

WEAPON H coming from Greg Pak and Cory Smith!


Very happy to report that Marvel’s launching WEAPON H, a new series written by yours truly with art by Cory Smith! The gorgeous cover above is by Leinil Yu.

WEAPON H stars the mysterious soldier who was amped up with Hulk and Wolverine DNA in the WEAPONS OF MUTANT DESTRUCTION story earlier this year. The series is gonna be a blast — huge, bombastic action with searching emotional subtext worthy of a Hulk/Wolverine hybrid. Also, MONSTERS, starting with a terrifying new Wendigo in issue #1!

The series starts in March. Cory’s already started drawing, and the pages are incredible. Call your local shops and add it to your pull lists, friends!

Read the press release at Newsarama.

My D&D character Blackheart

The other night, I saw artist friends Wendy Xu and Trungles posting sketches of their Dungeons and Dragons characters on Mastodon, and I couldn’t help wanting to play along. D&D was a huge part of my middle school years. I spent hundreds of hours working on characters, drawing maps, designing castles and ships and coats of arms, and even writing constitutions for my fictional worlds. All of that play and work absolutely helped prepare me for what I do every day as an adult writer.

So I crashed Wendy’s and Trungles’ party and drew my own, new D&D character. Meet Blackheart, a halfling berserker who needs a hug.


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