Wow. I must admit, I was nervous about this whole Kickstarter thing. But we came, we saw, we GOT FUNDED! Seriously, I couldn’t be happier and more humbled by the amazing support from family, friends, and fans. We even overshot our goal by a bit, so I can actually pay the artists! Thanks to everyone who contributed!
If you missed it, we had tons of podcasts and video interviews we posted throughout the campaign. Now would be a great time to catch up on those if you missed them. I’m really proud of the artist interviews in particular:
I’ll probably do a longer post at some point about the whole process. But right now I just think I need a nap.
Man o’ man… so many conventions! I just finished my last show for the season this last weekend. It was a blast! I picked up so much great work at both TCAF & CAKE. Here is the lowdown:
1. Very Crowded!
2. Awesome excited attendees
4. Easily accessible after-parties
People whose comics rocked me:
1. Now officially my favorite show
3. Best Exhibitor List EVARRRRR!!!
4. EVEN MORE accessible afterparty! SO WELL PLANNED!
5. So many good conversations with other artists I love!
People whose comics rocked me:
It was awesome to get to meet new people and talk to some of my heroes. All in all, a great time!
Been posting stuff up in the twitters and tumblrs. Here’s a snapshot of some things…
And that’s all for now folks!
Woooo! Things have been busy. They still are, so I’ll just get right to it!
I was tagged in a blog tour recently by the amazing Beth Hetland and tasked with doing a post for the “My Writing Process blog tour”, answering 4 questions. Beth had been tagged by the talented Cara Bean before that. Here we go!
1) What am I working on?
Oh man… Ok…
– Victus # 3: This is the newest issue of my sci-fi, metaphysical, religious, relationship comic. It’s almost all pencilled!
– Speculative Relationships: The sci-fi romance comics anthology featuring some of my good pals that we are trying to get funded on Kickstarter (see more on this below). I am doing 2 stories for this, which I just finished yesterday! Oh and I’m co-editor with Scott Kroll.
– Upgrade Soul: I’m inking this amazing sci-fi iPad comic for Ezra Clayton Daniels. It’s a blast!
2) How does my work differ from others of its genre?
I’d like to think that my work is different in that it’s not tied to the conventions of any one genre. With Victus, I’m attempting to create my own genre, which takes influence from theology, psychology, and philosophy, but also reflects aspects of sci-fi, action, and romance. I also try to bring in experimental elements which will hopefully expand the restrictions of any genre I work within. I hope that makes sense?
3) Why do I write what I do?
When I start any new project, it is usually because I need a vehicle to explore thoughts, ideas, and feelings I’m having. I usually say that I make comics so that I can understand something better. With my comic Gary, I wanted to gain more insight into how and why a serial killer exists and how that relates to my own experience and place in society. With Victus, I want to explore communication and connections to a larger universal nature. I rarely start writing something with an answer in mind. I write because I have questions.
4) How does your writing process work?
I can’t write scripts. I just can’t do it. I feel that if you’re making comics, you really shouldn’t start with just words or just pictures. So I find the process of writing a script counter-intuitive and out of place when making comics. Generally, I start a comic with random notes and drawings. These will be in sketchbooks, on my phone, on meeting agendas at work, etc. After I have a pretty large log of these ideas, I try to organize them in a google spreadsheet (words/ideas) and folders (drawings). I also start a project specific sketchbook at this point, where I will put all future content related to said project. Then I start zero-ing in on key scenes/images/dialogue and organizing them into some kind of order.
Once I have a vague big-picture of the project, I’ll start the first issue/book. I put together 8.5×11 sheets of paper folded in half and staple them, making a little blank book. Then I start thumb-nailing. As I thumb-nail, I write any words that I have figured out and plug in images from the sketchbook. Once I have maybe… 80% of the book thumb-nailed/written, I’ll start in on the “big”/”final” drawings. I guess what I’m trying to point out here is that I’ll start drawing the final comic with pretty significant gaps in the ‘story’. Since I think of my process as a meditation on an idea, I like to leave room for certain questions to be answered as I work and bring about new content. So I may not have certain lines of dialogue written until I’ve already drawn most of the first issue. I think this helps in cutting down on unnecessary dialogue or images, and figuring out what’s actually important. My writing process really doesn’t stop until I’ve filled in that final word balloon or inked that last line.
SPECULATIVE RELATIONSHIPS KICKSTARTER UPDATE
We have about two weeks left in the Kickstarter campaign for Speculative Relationships! In promotion of the project, we’ve been doing artist interviews and podcast spots. Here’s some o’that:
Scott Kroll Interview
Isabella Rotman Interview
And we’ll have interviews with me, Daniel Warren Johnson, and Mike Manomivibul up next week!
Scott and I were both featured on a couple podcasts too:
We are a little over 60% now, so we still need your help to get this thing funded. Check it OUT!
THINGS FROM MY DRAWING TABLE:
– that’s all for now!
I feel like I’ve gone through a comics ‘right of passage’. I exhibited at the legendary S.P.A.C.E. One of the longest running indie comic conventions in the states. It was one of the most welcoming shows I’ve ever attended and featured a very diverse collection of comics creators. I was tabling with my buddy Scott Kroll. Here’s a our table:
We had a nice time meeting other folks and we even did a couple jam pieces. Here is a Prophet that I pencilled and Scott inked:
One of the big bonus’s of the trip was seeing the Bill Watterson “Exploring Calvin & Hobbes” art exhibit at the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library. It was … almost like a religious experience. I grew up on Calvin & Hobbes and still aspire to create work at the level of Mr. Watterson’s. Here are some shots:
It was amazing. If you are even REMOTELY close to Columbus, OH, you NEED to go to this show.
On top of all that, we saw Nate Powell sing heavy metal at the after-party karaoke.
C2E2 THIS WEEKEND!
Along with our normal stock of awesome comics, we’ll have the new Speculative Relationships postcards and posters:
And I’ll have 1 new print, which is the teaser image for Victus #3, along with the 2 previous Victus prints:
I’ll try to add these to the online store after the show. But C2E2 will be the first place you can get your hands on this new print! Hope to see a lot of you there! Mention the blog and get a special treat!
Well… I’ve been plugging away on Victus #3, inks on Upgrade Soul, and my two scifi romance short comics for Speculative Relationships. And of course some Prophet fan art. Here are some peeks:
Get to C2E2 this weekend and say hi!
Hey ladies and gents!
Some announcements and the like:
First up, I am stoked to be performing next Saturday in the world-famous Brain Frame series! I’ll be debuting a brand new Simon comic titled “Piece”, which will only exist as a performance.
Saturday, January 25th
7pm (all ages) & 10pm (cash bar)
3111 N Western Ave
Chicago, IL 60618
Tickets are available HERE and I strongly recommend purchasing in advance, as Brain Frame tends to sell out. Hope to see you all there!
CONVENTIONS 2014, part 1
It’s that time again… the time when comic artists apply for conventions far and wide. It’s nerve-racking and filled with crossed fingers and budgeting. Although I haven’t heard back from all the shows applied to, I wanted to let folks know places I’m already confirmed for:
Conaway Center at Columbia College
1104 S. Wabash, Chicago, IL
Always an awesome show, made even awesome-er by the fact that it’s FREE to attend! My Chicago peeps have no excuse to miss this show.
Ramada Hotel & Conference Center
4900 Sinclair Rd, Columbus, OH
This is my first time doing SPACE and I hope some of ya’ll can make it out to Columbus, OH to say hi! I may be presenting a couple panels as well (more on that later)
South Building at McCormick Place
I’ll be tabling with rising star Daniel Warren Johnson in artist alley. This show is always crazy big big and fun.
Toronto Reference Library
789 Yonge St, Toronto, Canada
I’ve heard amazing things about TCAF, and this is my first time exhibiting there. The show already has a who’s-who list of artists, so this could be one of the best of the year!
… That’s all for the conventions for now. Hopefully I’ll have one or two more to announce soon. It’d be great to see you all at one or two of these shows!
Stuff I’m looking at lately..
I re-read Jan’s Atomic Heart by the always interesting Simon Roy. This is finally getting a bigger release from Image as part of a collection of Roy’s short stories. Highly recommended for fan’s of sci-fi.
Also re-read Paul Pope’s Batman Year 100, as a study in portraying action and chase scenes in comics. Good stuff.
Along with Pope’s work, I’ve been spending some time with Blade of the Immortal. Samura’s action sequences are at times non-sensical, but give a visceral impression of the action that almost transcends the actual geography of the fight.
Finally got my Riddick blu-ray. Man this is just a super-fun sci-fi movie with lots of fun ideas and characters.
More to come folks!
Hello out there!
Well SPX 2013 has come and gone. I’m very glad to have finally participated in this show, after years of hearing about it.
A commission I did for a Hellboy sketchbook (I cheated and did Amazing Screw-On Head)
Original Pancake House w/Josh Shalek (nicest guy in comics)
Everyone was extremely kind in Bathesda, MD. Thanks to everyone who came by the table to say hi and bought some comics!
So… I had the chance to do a nice interview with the folks over at IndieReader.com. We talked a bit about my process, why I make comics, stuff I’m reading, etc. Take a gander:
Thanks to Steve Urena for the fantastic interview questions!
So hey. I finally broke down and did it. I got a Twitter. And a Tumblr. If you are someone who follows those things, please follow me. Be gentle though… I’m new at this.
And some links should be showing up at the bottom of this page now… I think?
MOMENT of ZEN
Thanks ya’ll for reading!
Quick post here to let everyone know I’ll be at Small Press eXpo this weekend in Bathseda, Maryland! I’m very excited, as I’ve heard great things about this show ever since I started exhibiting at cons. It also helps that it’ll be a room full of amazing artists whose work I love and respect. It’s especially good to see some of the Panel Savants there:
Along with my good pals:
Here is a map of where to find us this weekend:
Please come by and say hi! If you mention the blog, I’ll have some free swag for you!
New episode of Back Issues is up! Justin and I put a bullet in the head of Spider-Man: Kraven’s Last Hunt. Well worth a listen, as it’s the first book we didn’t gush over:
Yeah, still plugging away. Here is today’s snippet:
A new pal, Scott Kroll, posted a very cool short sci fi story. Please take a look:
I really like this:
Hope to see some of you this weekend! A full report will follow after the show!
WHOA! What a whirlwind of a couple weeks! So many awesome things to cover, so here we go:
CAKE was… awesome. I had a fantastic time talking to everyone who stopped by the table and meeting the other amazing artists that were tabling. Here’s what it looked like:
My table, in all its glory.
Table buddies! (with Beth Hetland).
It was great to finally get Victus out into people’s hands. If you picked up a copy, I’d love to hear what you thought of it! There were some new and old faces, and everyone was showcasing some great comics. There are so many and I’m sure I’ll forget some, so please forgive me. I’ll start with a snapshot of the books I picked up:
Here’s what’s up there:
Upgrade Soul: Ezra Clayton Daniels (check out the paper version of this digital comic. The story is phenomenal sci-fi)
Last Mountain: Dakota MacFadzean (table pal! gorgeous inks!)
Titus and the Cyber Sun: Lale Westvind (will melt your mind)
The Reverie #2: Malachi Ward (Malachi pretty much rocks it again)
Dear Dear & Sorry Sheets: Eroyn Franklin (‘slow core’ comics with no equal)
Tiger Beat Exclusive: Gina Wynbrandt (mega funny follow up to her first love affair with Justin Beiber)
King Crow Comics (and others): Scott Kroll (new to the scene, but super funny books)
Next World Over & Equilibristics: Ian McDuffie (these book are bonkers. I love it)
Roots: Mita Mahato (beautifully hand0crafted book)
Glamera & Werewolf anthology: Penina Gal & Betsy Swardlick (table pals!)
Dumb #1: Georgia Webber (amazing book about losing her voice)
Copulate & The Excorcist: Lyra Hill (of brain frame fame!)
Library: Marnie Galloway (Marnie told me this was a true story)
Depictions #2: R. Hendricks (of Stranger to Stranger!)
Dig: Isabella Rotman (I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again: keep an eye on this creator!)
Hasty Pastry: Ali Cantarella (adventures in customer service)
1-800-Kravlox: Isabel Reidy (oh my oh my. silliness abound! 🙂
Fire Messenger: Penina Gal (the other side of having super powers)
Drag Bandits: Betsy Swardlick & Colleen Frakes
Whew… Lots of great stuff, as you can see! I also was able to see some other old pals: Sean Dove, Beth Hetland (table-mate!), Kyle O’Connell, Kenan Rubenstein, Emi Gennis, and many more! What cool comics did you get at the show?
The show was a success! The gallery was filled with some amazing artists and appreciators of art! Here’s a couple snap shots:
I pretend to know what I’m talking about as Marnie Galloway’s beautiful work can be seen adjacent to mine.
If you haven’t checked out the show yet, you still have some time. Head on over to Ugly Step Sister Gallery: http://www.uglystepsisterartgallery.com/
GARY: BOOK ONE on COMIXOLOGY!
Some folks have been asking, and it finally happened: Gary is available for digital download via the Comixology app! Click the link to download:
For now, only Book One is available. But Books Two and Three should be coming in the next few months. If you go download it, please take an extra moment to give it a rating, as that helps the book’s visibility on the site. And actually it’s worth mentioning, this is currently the only place you can get Gary: Book One, as I have sold out of the paper copies. The fine folks over and IGN gave the book a “B”, which ain’t bad either: IGN Comixology Reviews
So head over and check it out!
Justin and I did another episode of the Back Issues Podcast. We discuss the incredible All Star Superman, by Grant Morrison & Frank Quitely. Just in time for the new Superman Movie, Man of Steel! Listen to us ramble & then subscribe:
I assure you, I’m plugging away on Victus #2. But don’t hold your breath. I’ll have some process pics soonish. In the meantime, Victus #1 is available at these fine retailers:
Graham Cracker Comics, Chicago (downtown)
Challengers Comics & Conversation, Chicago
Star Clipper, St. Louis
Thanks for reading all! And now your moment of Zen…
Chicago Alternative Comics Expo!
Saturday & Sunday
June 15th – 16th
11am – 6pm
Center on Halsted
3656 N Halsted
It’s here! This weekend! Seriously folks, this is going to be an incredible show. I’ll be right here:
I’ll be sharing a table with the always spectacular Beth Hetland. Keep your eyes peeled for other amazing artists exhibiting at CAKE: Kenan Rubenstein, MK Czerwiec, Ezra Clayton Daniels, Sean Dove, Emi Gennis, Lyra Hill, Marnie Galloway, and tons more!!!
If you miss this show, you’re pretty much a loser.
If you come by, mention that you follow the blog and I’ll give you some goodies.
Friday, June 14th (the night before CAKE!) is the opening for Modern Storytellers at Ugly Step Sister Gallery. I’ll be there and hope you can make it too. The show is filled with some amazing artists!
750 S. Union St.
Opening: Friday, June 14th, 6pm – 11pm
Ok friends, You’re almost out of time to reap the benefits of pre-ordering Victus #1. If I get your order before Sunday, June 16th, you can still get a free print of Celeste:
Thank you to everyone who has already pre-ordered! I’m humbled by your support. It went miles to helping me get the book finished and pay for the printing. The first round of orders have been shipping out this week, and I’m hoping most of you get them by Monday, June 17th at the latest.
If you’re a local Chicago person, or flying in for the show, CAKE will be the first chance for anyone anywhere to get their hands on the books. I’m very pleased with how they turned out and I can’t wait to share them with you!
I’ll leave you with these gems:
Jack Kirby. Showing his power in the earthly realm yet again.
Darrow and Moebius lighting it up with City on Fire.
I am completely in love with this Barry Windsor-Smith cover for X-men #186
Until next time, keep your ducks in a row. Well… geese.
Holy cow, folks! What a weekend! Stumptown Comics Fest was fantastic! Thank you to everyone who came by to show support or purchase some books from the amazing artists exhibiting. Before I launch into Stumptown details, a couple quick announcements:
I have started a (hopefully) ongoing podcast with Justin Fah of In This Issue Podcast, where we analyze older comics that we find interesting or declare “must read’s”. The first one was released this week. Check it out as we discuss Green Lantern: Willworld, drawn by one of my favorite artists, Seth Fisher. Click below or subscribe to In This Issue podcast on iTunes:
REVIEWS & SUCH
Those fine folks over at Spandexless saw fit to finish up the Gary series with another kind review:
They also took the time to explore one of my older Simon comics, “Mercy”
Now on to the wacky exploits at STUMPTOWN…
Manning the table with me was my trusty sidekick (and younger brother) Logan.
He also helped create the newest Simon comic, which we had available at the show.
I did a few throughout the weekend, including this Simon piece.
I’d like to think this is just our first collaboration.
Speaking of Brandon Graham, I geeked out at how he one-upped Simon Roy’s signature on my
Prophet TPB. Farel Dalrymple also added his own touch. Dirty fellows.
including Mr. Jack Bracken, who did this wonderfully racy poem for me.
Reid Psaltis took a time out to show me around Portland’s very own IPRC. Cool joint!
And of course, there was much food and drink to be had. From left to right/top to bottom:
Broder, Pacific Pie (x2), Little Big Burger, Biwa, Blue Star Donuts, Lardo’s, Teardrop, more Blue Star.
Not pictured: Bunk, Luc Lac, Pine State Biscuits, Wurst
I’m not great about taking pictures, so you’ll have to look through the Stumptown Tumblr to find more shots of me and other exhibitors.
In the 11th hour, I was invited to participate in the famous Art Battle at the Stumptown afterparty, hosted by Ezra Clayton Daniels! My team was doomed to lose as we were the ‘away team’ vs. the Portland home team. But we gave it our best shot, fighting through language barriers (I’ve never had to explain auto-erotic asphyxiation to a frenchman before), shake-weights, and insults. Really, I thought including Robocop in our G.I. Joe team drawing would ensure our win. But hey, it was all in good fun.
I had an awesome trip. Special shout out to The Con Crew: Josh Shalek, Neil Brideau, Reid Psaltis, Kenan Rubenstein, & Jack Bracken. Finally all of us in one place! Couldn’t ask for a better group of creators to share a convention with. Also it was great to see the incorrigible Beth Hetland, the lovely Nomi Kane, and the edgy Ezra Clayton Daniels.
I have some BIG announcements coming in my next post. So stayed tuned next week for the details!