All posts by Greg

Tech support update: fixed the newsletter!

newsletter stats graphic showing 30.8 open rate

I was horrified to confirm yesterday that due to a website configuration error, a huge percentage of the people who subscribed to my newsletter haven’t been getting my emails for over a year. My best guess is that at least two thirds of the emailed newsletters were ending up in spam folders!

But I’m thrilled to report that after a couple of hours of googling things like DNS, DMARC, DKIM, and CNAME, I identified the problem and found the right places to make the right tweaks — and things are working again! My latest newsletter currently has a 30.8 percent open rate, which is about triple the average open rate of all of my newsletters since May 2020, when the configuration error apparently first manifested.

I can’t help but grieve a bit over the hundreds of unopened emails that I sent during the pandemic. But I’m comforted that moving forward, I’ll be able to reach so many more folks through a mailing list that’s completely separate from social media companies. And that’s feeling more and more necessary every day, since I’m making an effort to stay away from Twitter as much as possible.

Twitter is where I’ve built most of my internet presence over the years. I’ve laughed like hell, learned a lot, made dozens of real friends, reached readers, sold books, raised many dollars for great causes, and helped pull thousands of people into various events and volunteer activities for nonprofits and political groups. All that’s tremendous! And yes, I’ll still pop in there to cheer on colleagues and causes and spread the word about my own stuff – heck, a link to this very post will be automatically cross-posted on Twitter when I hit “Publish.”

But Twitter is also a magnifier of the very worst tendencies of our culture. Its business model depends on interaction, good or bad, and like Facebook, it’s been inexcusably slow to enforce its own policies against harassment and bigotry. And even beyond the most obvious negatives, Twitter creates an expectation of unending access and observation that can be exhausting. Yes, I want to be informed and responsible and active in the world. But Twitter’s not the only place for that. Everyone’s got a different, valid position on all of this, and no doubt some day when I’m goofing around on social media, a good friend will point at this post and give me a sardonic look. But at this moment, on a personal level, I’m realizing that I’m healthier when I’m off Twitter, so off Twitter is where I’m trying to spend most of my time.

So I’m thinking about other ways to both take in information and reach out, which explains why I’m so ridiculously excited to have solved this goofy technical issue with my newsletter. And I’m deeply pleased with myself for figuring out how to edit the CSS to tweak the paragraph spacing of posts on my website to make them more readable, because here I am blogging again like it’s 1999.

If you’re reading this, you’re joining me on this retro journey, and I appreciate you so much. Thank you.

(And if you haven’t already, please do feel free to sign up for the newsletter here!)

STAR WARS: DARTH VADER Vol. 1, DARK HEART OF THE SITH nominated for a Scribe Award!

The International Association of Media Tie-In Writers just announced the nominees for the 2021 Scribe Awards, and I was thrilled to see that the first volume of my STAR WARS: DARTH VADER comic book series made the cut in the graphic novel category! You can see the list of all the nominees here. Winners will be announced on July 2.

STAR WARS: DARTH VADER Vol. 1, DARK HEART OF THE SITH was written by yours truly with line art by Raffaele Ienco, colors by Neeraj Menon, letters by Joe Caramagna, editing by Mark Paniccia and Tom Groneman, and covers by InHyuk Lee. You can buy signed, rare copies of the first issue at the Greg Pak Shop.

STRANGER THINGS: ERICA THE GREAT coming this November!

Stranger Things: Erica the Great cover by Ron Chan.
Stranger Things: Erica the Great cover by Ron Chan.

This November, Dark Horse will publish STRANGER THINGS: ERICA THE GREAT, a middle grade graphic novel written by Danny Lore and yours truly with line art by Valeria Favoccia, colors by Dan Jackson, letters by Nate Piekos, and cover by Ron Chan.

Super excited by this one — we’re following Erica Sinclair as she grapples with conflicts with friends and family while leading her own Dungeons and Dragons campaign. As the official solicit says, it’s the story of “an ambitious, bossy, brilliant ten-year-old dealing with boredom and the complexities of maintaining friendships through tough times.”

For more details, visit the Dark Horse site.

New Patreon post about writing something for just yourself and only yourself

Posted a new article on my Patreon about the specific joy in making the time to write something just for myself and only myself. An excerpt:

…during the pandemic, I’ve found myself spinning into introspection and nostalgia. I got obsessed with finding some of the cheap Sheaffer fountain pens I loved and used every day as a kid. There wasn’t conscious intention to all this, and maybe the two things are totally separate, but I was blown away by how great it felt to hold those old pens again, to feel the specific, just-right bite of those nibs on paper, to see that ink flow and fill on the page. And at the same time, I’ve found myself writing just for myself again. 

It costs just $1 a month to sign up for my Patreon, which will let you read all the posts as soon as they’re posted instead of waiting a week or two. There’s tons of practical writing advice up there. Please do feel free to check it out!

2021.05.26 – DARTH VADER #12, FIREFLY #29, MILESTONE RETURNS: INFINITE EDITION #0 in stores today!

I’ve got three books in comic book shops today! Two written by yours truly, one with a teaser of a story I’ve written. Read on for the details!

Darth Vader #12 cover by Aaron Kuder and Richard Isanove.

DARTH VADER #12 serves as prelude to the War of the Bounty Hunters storyline and tells the untold story of when Vader first learned Han Solo’s name! The book’s drawn by Guiu Vilanova with colors by Dean White, letters by Joe Caramagna, and a cover by Aaron Kuder and Richard Isanove.

Firefly #29 cover by Bengal.

FIREFLY #29 begins a whole new era for the crew as they find themselves on Earth That Was! Line art by Simona Di Gianfelice, colors by Francesco Segala, letters by Jim Campbell, and cover by Bengal.

Milestone Returns Infinite Edition cover

A huge teaser of the return of Milestone Comics! The book includes a two page preview of the DUO series written by yours truly with line art by Khoi Pham and colors by Chris Sotomayor.

All of these books are in comic book stores today. Ask your local retailer to hold copies for you!

Last day to get a VACCINATED button by donating to a mutual aid group or community fridge!

VACCINATED button

I made some cool “VACCINATED!” buttons! And I’ve been sending them as gifts to folks who donate to their local mutual aid group or community fridge. So far the campaign has raised $3,189 dollars — huge thanks to everyone who’s jumped on board!

So TODAY is the LAST DAY for the campaign — almost out of buttons. Want one of your own?

1. Donate $25 or more to a mutual aid group or community fridge.

2. Email proof of your donation & your US mailing address to helpinghands at gregpak dot com .

3. I’ll mail you a pin! (As long as supplies last! I’ve just got a few left – first come, first served!)

If you’re new to mutual aid groups, just google “mutual aid” or “community fridge” and your town’s name and you’ll probably find some! It’s all about neighbors helping neighbors through the pandemic and beyond. If you see a phrase like “solidarity, not charity,” you’re on the right track!

(And for the avoidance of doubt, donations to political campaigns, PACs, or 501(c)4s do not count for this offer. Can’t give gifts for donations to political campaigns!)

These are acrylic buttons, approximately 1.75″ x 1.33″, single pin with a rubber stopper on the back. I used Stickermule to make ’em. Really happy with the quality!

Thanks so much for donating and for getting vaccinated!

Greg Pak’s on the Comic News Insider podcast with Jimmy Aquino!

Greg Pak on the Comic News Insider podcast

Got interviewed by my old friend Jimmy Aquino for his Comic News Insider podcast yesterday, and it’s already online! Feel free to check out the one hour convo here.

We talk about AAPI Heritage Month, all the various comics projects I’m working on, THE PRINCESS WHO SAVED HERSELF, and more.

2021.04.28 – DARTH VADER #11 – check out the preview!

Darth Vader #11 cover. Line art by Aaron Kuder, colors by Richard Isanove.

The much anticipated DARTH VADER #11 hits comic book shops on Wednesday, April 28!

Written by Greg Pak (hey, that’s me!) with line art by Raffele Ienco, colors by Neeraj Menon, letters by Joe Caramagna, cover line art by Aaron Kuder, cover colors by Richard Isanove, and editing by Mark Paniccia and Tom Groneman.

Excited about this one — it’s the huge climax to the journey to Exegol, with shocking revelations galore!

Check out a lettered preview at StarWars.com and ask your local comic shop to hold a copy for you today!

2021.04.22 – AsAm Creator Happy Hour to benefit AAAJ Chicago’s bystander intervention training

AsAm Creator Happy Hour featuring Preeti Chhibber, Amy Chu, Shing Yin Kor, Trung Le Nguyen, Greg Pak, and Randall Park

Very excited to join a bunch of my favorite people for the AsAm Creator Happy Hour panel this Thursday to raise money for the AAAJ Chicago’s bystander intervention training. Please sign up for the free event today!

From the official announcement:

Join us on Thursday, April 22 at 8pm ET / 7pm CT / 5pm PT for a fundraiser to support Advancing Justice | Chicago

About this Event

Join us on Thursday, April 22 for AsAm Creator Happy Hour: 60 minutes of hijinks with Asian American writers, artists, and actors talking about how they got started, what they’re working on, and where they’re going in a fundraiser to support Asian Americans Advancing Justice | Chicago‘s bystander intervention training.

ABOUT THE SPEAKERS:

Preeti Chhibber is a speaker, freelance writer, and author of A Jedi You Will Be, Avengers Assembly: The Sinister Substitute, and featured in the forthcoming anthology Sword Stone Table.

Amy Chu is a professional writer whose works include the Netflix series DOTA: Dragon’s Blood, graphic novel Sea Sirens, and comics such as Sensational Wonder Woman, DMC, and KISS. Amy is also a former Executive Director of the Asian American Arts Alliance and Board Member of the Asian Women Giving Circle.

Shing Yin Khor is an installation artist and cartoonist exploring the Americana mythos and new human rituals. They are the author of The American Dream? and The Legend of Auntie Po.

Trung Le Nguyen is a Vietnamese American artist and author from Minneapolis. Trung has contributed work for Oni Press, Boom! Studios, and Image Comics, and recently released his first original graphic novel The Magic Fish.

Greg Pak is a Korean American comic book writer and filmmaker best known for his award-winning feature film Robot Stories and his comics Mech Cadet Yu and Planet Hulk.

Randall Park is an actor, comedian, writer, and director known for his role in the TV series Fresh Off the Boat and films including Always Be My Maybe and Ant-Man and the Wasp.

DONATE

Proceeds from this event will fund Advancing Justice | Chicago’s bystander intervention training program.

Please include “AsAm Happy Hour” in the dedication field on the donation page.