We Are Live

The Endling has begun!

The first installment launched today at Thrillbent. It was about a year ago that I first began talking with Mark about doing The Endling for him. And here we are.

It’s hard to convey just how big a deal this is for me. Mark’s been a writing hero of mine for literally two decades. I tried to break into comics pretty much first thing out of college. And here I am, with Mark Waid editing and publishing a series of my own creation.

I hope everyone likes it. It starts off kind of slowly, but I promise you things will ramp up in ways that took even Mark by surprise. Anyway, please let me know what you think of it, good, bad or otherwise. You can also like The Endling on Facebook to ensure you’ll always be notified when a new chapter goes up every week–and to share your thoughts about the story with other readers there!

Thank you! (Oh, and if it shows up too small here, head on over to Thrillbent.com to read it in its intended size!)

Launch Date…

I know, I kept saying we’d launch in early April. Okay, late March.

Fact is, we actually have been well ahead on scripts (it’s all written!) and artwork–Cecilia’s a good two months ahead. It was really just hammering out our process for converting my scripts and Cecilia’s and Paul Mounts’s artwork into the Thrillbent format that took us a while to nail down.

Now, however, it appears nailed. Issue one is in the can. Lettering’s just about done on issue 2. We’ve got a month’s worth of colored pages in the can and two months of inked pages. So we’re good to go and barring catastrophe shouldn’t have to skip any weeks. So:

May 2. That’s our launch date.

Could NOT be more excited. The first week’s installment isn’t even the tip of the iceberg of what’s coming, so don’t worry about catching the first installment right away. But make sure you like us on Facebook so that you’ll see our notifications when each new weekly installment comes out. Because I promise you, once we’re a couple months into this thing, you’ll want to read every new installment the moment it comes out.

You’ll see.

In Print…

Well, this is just cool. I did two digital Batman stories for DC’s “Legends of the Dark Knight Series.” And it turns out they’re going to be collected in trade paperback form. The idea of having a book on my shelf with Batman stories by me (not to mention my buddy JG Jones) would just blow the mind of 12-year-old me. Actually, I take that back; he probably would’ve been pissed it took me this long. Anyway, if you’re interested, it comes out this September, but you can order it here.


If you’re checking out the site cuz you heard me talking with Chris and Darrell on the Comic Book Roadshow podcast, thanks for coming by. I just wanted to confirm what I said in the interview–or what I think I said. My webcomic The Endling will be launching on Thrillbent roughly the last week of March. I’m gonna say that again cuz it was so much fun: “The Endling will be launching on Thrillbent!”

The artist is an amazing woman from Italy named Cecilia Latella, whose work jumped out at me from among the many strong artists we looked at for this. Her ability to capture unique characters is really tremendous and I think everyone who reads the Endling is going to feel like Amber and Zavi and the others are all too real. Especially when you see what happens to them. You can check out some of Cecilia’s work at her own website, here: http://cabepfir.deviantart.com/

Our partner on the artwork is a well known comic book superstar: Mr. Paul Mounts! I met Paul when JG Jones informed me he would be doing colors for the Batman story we did for DC Comics–but I certainly knew his work before then. As I told Paul when I first fanboyed all over him, I love the way he uses colors to make everything on the page (or screen) feel like it’s in your world. It’s not a dour monotone palate, it’s all the colors of the real world–only somehow more intense and without anything getting muddy or lost. Crystal clear, sharp as sunrise. Anyway, Paul expressed interest in working together again and even though most if not all of his work is for the big boys, he was so jazzed by the story of the Endling, he came on board.

Overseeing all of this team building was Mark Waid; editor, mentor, rabbi, cheerleader. The nicest thing Mark has ever said to me has been: “Fuck you.” He’s said it after reading a couple of my stories–including when he finished reading the Endling–and it’s pretty much the highest praise I could ever hope for from one of the flat-out best comic writers of our time. What he’s doing over at Thrillbent is nothing short of revolutionary, in ways folks have yet to fully appreciate. I’ll be grateful to Mark forever for his support!

Anyway, thanks for your interest…if you want us to drop you an email when The Endling starts running, just click here and we’ll let you know. Thanks!

The Reviews Are In…

I’m not posting these assuming people will actually care to read the reviews, so much as wanting a good place to archive them for myself. So if you’ll forgive the indulgence, here’s some of what folks have said about my first forays into comics…

“Jonathan Larsen wrote a fun Batman vs. Amazo story…featuring some snazzy J.G. Jones artwork—it’s worth checking out on Comixology or the DC Comics app.” – The Onion’s AV Club.

“What I love about this story is that it is made for fans of Batman at his core…Jonathan Larsen paints a fast-moving cat and mouse game between Amazo and Batman and shows that Batman, even when embroiled in a fight, is finding constant ways to test and train himself better.” — Ain’t It Cool News.

“…short, smart stories…” – The Buy Pile at Comic Resources.

Tom Peyer called my story with JG “excellent.” TOM PEYER!

And just so it’s not all hearts and flowers, I got pretty beat up on my second Batman story here, but had a really good, thoughtful exchange with the writer and posters.

If you write or come across any reviews of The Endling once it’s up and running, please let me know!


Here’s Amber and Zavi, in a preliminary sketch by Cecilia:



In case you’ve come here looking for stuff related to my journalism work, here are a few links you might find helpful.

I’m the executive producer of Up w/ Chris Hayes.

I previously served as a senior producer and segment producer at Countdown with Keith Olbermann, where I did a handful of stories you can still find online:

  • Report revealing the claims of an Office of Faith-Based Initiatives whistleblower
  • Report revealing McCain advisor’s conflict of interest in advising McCain on the mortgage crisis while working as a Wall Street lobbyist
  • Report revealing how advisors to both McCain and Obama helped pave the way for Wall Street speculation to drive up gas prices
  • Report revealing some of the massive businesses House Republicans considered “small business

I helped launch Air America Radio as the executive producer of its cult hit morning-drive show Morning Sedition, starring Marc Maron.

I did virtually nothing at The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, with only a couple of exceptions.

As a writer/producer at CNN I helped create and launch both Greenfield at Large and Anderson Cooper 360. The most important story I did for CNN was report that the passengers on Flight 93 fought back against their hijackers, apparently causing the plane to crash before it could reach its intended target, believed to have been either the White House or the Capitol Building.

As a broadcast producer at ABC News, I was in charge of quirk at the cult/critical favorite overnight program, World News Now.

Prior to that (whew, this is getting exhausting, I must be ancient) I worked at UPI (that confirms it) and as a reporter at Brooklyn Paper Publications. I also used to blog over here.

The Endling

I’ve long been interested in evolution, especially the ramifications of natural selection. I learned and thought and think about evolution not from a biological perspective but from a philosophical one. My faculty advisor in college was the well known philosopher (to the extent such a thing exists) Dan Dennett, who went on to write Darwin’s Dangerous Idea, among other things.

After getting the opportunity to write a couple Batman stories for DC Comics, I began to think about projects of my own I wanted to do. One of them is a big, cool saga I hope to start soon, but as I shopped that around and spoke about it with various people in comics, I realized I should have another pitch in my back pocket, just in case. I began to think it might be fun to think about what the last human would be like. And how he got that way.

I hadn’t known this before I began looking into the concept, but there actually is a term for the last individual specimen of a given species. The endling.

But the Endling isn’t the hero of this story. The hero is a high-school senior named Amber Black. The story became less about the last humans and their world, than about current humans and our world; the prices we will and won’t pay to save our world.

What the Endling ultimately is, well, I’m curious to find out what people have to say about that once the story is done.

It’s scheduled to begin this month, so keep checking back. Once it’s up, I’ll link to it here. Or better yet, sign up for emails letting you know when each installment goes up!

Petty Larseny 2.0

Once upon a time I used this domain for my political rantings, much of them atheist-inflected. That was before I started working at MSNBC, of course, and these days I don’t do much political ranting online any more. I’ve revived the website because I wanted to have a place to talk about the comic-book work I’m now doing in addition to my day (and early-morning) gig at MSNBC. You should be hearing details soon of my first creator-owned, um, creation: The Endling. It’s set to launch as a webcomic at the end of this month and I wanted folks to have a place where they could come yell at me about it. So…lemme have it.