After one year and three months of writing, drawing, coloring, lettering and editing, my crime-fiction graphic novel CHAMBERS has been turned in and accepted for publication.
This is a pretty huge milestone in my comic-making career as this 88-page graphic novel took a lot of time, attention and dedication as it made its way toward completion. In the near future, digital and physical copies will be available for purchase and I’m excited for readers to get their hands on the first graphic novel to have my name on the cover.
Big thanks to series artist Kristian Rossi and colorist Kefas Armando who also spent lots of time and care bringing this story to life and made it even better than it originally looked when it only existed in my mind.
I look forward to being able to share some artwork, release info and the name of the publisher bringing this book to the shelves soon enough. I’ve even heard rumblings that the book could make a debut at a big comic convention in July. It’s all up to scheduling, printers and the powers that be to get things sorted out, but I’m looking forward to a wild ride as we begin to get the promotion ball rolling.
It’s been about a month since the last update on my upcoming sci-fi comic book NEW LIFE. I figured it was about time for an update to share what’s been happening since work was completed on issue #1. (You DO know that it’s done, right?)
Series artist Logan Miller has been working his tail off on the book and things have been progressing wonderfully. We are officially knee-deep in issue 2!
I’ve seen thumbnails for the entirety of the second installment and Logan has already penciled and inked several pages. I have to say… I thought that the inaugural issue couldn’t be beat but I have the privilege of watching Logan take the story, characters and medium to the next level. His layouts are going to blow your mind and we got up the courage to try something I’ve never done in a comic before. How’s that for a cliffhanger?
In our never-ending attempt to make this book look as professional as possible, Logan crafted a very cool interior credits page for the book and he even re-worked the cover of the first issue to include an updated character design, view of the setting and a killer new logo.
I’m so excited to get this series into people’s hands. It’s going to be such a wild ride. Hang in there!
Have a look at the new cover for the first issue of our upcoming series.
The extraordinary one-man show of Eduardo Jimenez has completed the pencils, inks and colors for the first five pages of my upcoming sci-fi/humor comic, UNIT 44.
We now transition to the lettering phase and very very soon, this comic will debut for everyone to enjoy.
Get ready for something different, something clever and something fun.
Exciting things coming…
I’m coming up on my second year of being “in the comics game.”
Yes. The comics game. That’s what we call it in the industry.
I’m kidding. I don’t think they call it that.
Anywho, one thing I’ve learned over my years of working with collaborators, speaking with artists and sharing tips and processes with fellow writers, is that this industry is all about the connections. Like any industry it’s a gigantic web of helping people who help you back.
Off the top of my head, I can think of nearly two-dozen people who have helped me, shared advice, taken my advice, encouraged me, pushed me, offered input, said the right thing at the right time, took precious moments of their life to view or review things that I had created or spent time at a desk putting pencil to paper or style to tablet bringing ideas of mine to life.
In a time where the internet has made the world so small. It’s incredible how one can also feel so alone. Writing is a solitary profession, but in comics you’re putting together and working alongside a team of human beings to bring a product to life. You have each others’ backs, you encourage each other and tell one another when a better job can be done. At the end, you wish you could high-five them for a job well done.
That sounds like a pretty solid friendship to me.
My collaborators are people who, regardless of where they live in the world, I consider to be friends even though I’ve only ever spoken with them through email or via instant message. These are people who have sent messages just to see how things were going in my world and people who have wished me happy birthday each April. As great as it is to have these friends, it’s completely and utterly bizarre because I’ve never met them face to face.
This is the reason why I’ve decided to attend the New York Comic Con in October.
I want to meet these people, my pals. I also want to make new friends and transition from being a face on a social network profile to being a living, breathing entity. I want to have that same connection with them. I want to hear them laugh instead of say “LOL” on a computer, shake their hands, and give high-fives I haven’t been able to previously.
The convention is one of the largest on the east coast I’m excited to experience a bigger show than central Florida’s MegaCon. I’m anxious to see booths from actual publishers and be able to thank big-name artists and writers for the work that they’ve released that has inspired me and made me want to get into this business in the first place.
I’ve loaded the chamber with comics that will start seeing daylight over the next few months and into next year and it’s time to get these books into some hands.
This has been one heck of a week and it’s only Wednesday!
Yesterday I talked about finishing up my short spy comic COMPROMISED, but today I bring word that I’ve also received the completed files form my 3-page comic IN THE DRINK which was brought to life by the wonderful Robyn Seale.
She had originally gotten in touch when I was seeking a collaborater for the aforementioned Spy comic, but she was moments behind the artist who ultimately brought it to life. After checking out her art and her webcomic, The Watcher of Yaathagggu, I knew that she was someone that I needed to work with. One of the things that jumped out at me while reading “The Watcher” was her storytelling ability.
In my opinion, with comics, storytelling ability is the number one skill that an artist can have. If a page looks like a bunch of disjointed, inconsistent and unconnected pictures, the reader falls out of the story. As a writer, I like to gauge the storytelling ability of my collaborators by asking myself one major question: “can I delete all of the dialogue here and have the story still make sense?”
I feel like the biggest compliment that I can pay and artist is to delete all of my silly words and let the image speak for itself whether it’s an action, an emotion or a sequence of events.
I gave Robyn an interesting challenge because the story that I had written was already completely silent. No pressure, right? The story takes place completely underwater and last time I checked, no one can hear me speak when I’m immersed in liquid. I considered the possibility of using captions to give an internal monologue to the main character, but this is one of those times where if the art could speak for itself, it would say more than my words or dialogue ever could.
In this tale, two characters share an interaction and Robyn used their body language and eyeballs to convey everything that needed to be said. At just three pages, the story is a very quick read, but when I shared it with my best friend, who gets to read all of my comics and tear them apart in a constructive manner, he told me that the comic was “chilling.”
Now that’s what I’m talking about.
The commitment to this project caused Robyn to miss deadlines on her webcomic, and while I feel completely terrible about that, she’s produced some of her best work to date and I really can’t wait for everyone to be able to check it out.
This one will be released in the Survival Anthology from GrayHaven Comics in April of 2014.
Good things come to those who wait.
Quick! Distract them with art!
Yesterday was a day that I never thought would come to pass.
After six different artists, tons of frustration and equal amounts of determination and patience, my 3-page short comic COMPROMISED reached completion.
I have to extend a huge “thank you” and mass amounts of gratitude to artist Tomasz Witas who stepped in on a project that I was sure would die a grisly death and drew the heck out of it and pretty much saved my skin and allowed me to meet the deadline.
As a comic writer, you feel blessed when you team up with an artist who is absolutely amazing and I’ve had some pretty good luck in this arena to date. When Tomasz first answered my call for artistic salvation on a message board asking for details of my project, I took one look at his art and figured that he’d never spend his talents on a schmuck like me. His portfolio was full of people. The art was dark and moody and everything that I wanted out of my story which featured two people having a very dangerous (and moody) conversation.
Fearing rejection, I tossed the script his way and went back to looking at the art of other folks who had submitted. After all, the deadline for this comic was looming and I had found myself starting from scratch every few weeks as artists continuously disappeared. The rest of the art received was rather sub-par (with the exception of Robyn Seale, who answered the call on Twitter and we later teamed up on a short called In The Drink — more on that later) and if Tomasz said no to the project, I was ready to kill the story of my own accord.
It wasn’t long after that Tomasz sent a quick response letting me know he’d get started right away. I looked around for someone to high five, but my wife was out at the time, and my cats rejected the enthusiastic motion. I was left hanging on the high five, but inside, I was thrilled.
That was a few months ago, and now here we are. Finished art has appeared in my inbox and I couldn’t be more excited with the results. This story is dark, it’s moody and it’s everything I hoped it would be.
This comic is slated to be released in November in GrayHaven Comics’ I, Spy Anthology. More details as they come in!
Here’s the final peek at some of Tomasz’s work. Chew on that while we count down to release.
The cover is complete for my upcoming sci-fi/humor comic, UNIT 44, and work on the first five sequential pages has begun!
Artist Eduardo Jimenez is pouring personality and fun into each panel and it’s hard for me to look at the pages he sends over without having a big, goofy grin on my face.
There’s so much more about this comic that has yet to be revealed and I have lots of very exciting news to come, but for now, I’m enjoying stepping outside my wheelhouse to breathe life into a comic that I never knew that I would write.
Once the first five pages are drawn, colored and lettered, they will debut for everyone to enjoy and the fate of the book will be decided!
Here’s a snippet from the first page of the book. You’re smiling too. I can tell.
My upcoming survival short, IN THE DRINK is barreling toward completion with the ever-talented Robyn Seale steering the ship through the inking process.
You see there? I can make water references with the best of them.
What’s interesting about this three-page comic is that it’s completely silent. No words. No captions. No dialogue. It relied completely on Robyn to tell the story visually while conveying the proper emotions and tension levels.
She nailed it.
One thing that I look for in artistic collaborators is a strong storytelling ability and while discussing this project with Robyn, I snuck onto her website and read every single installment of her webcomic, The Watcher of Yaathagggu. Her work there proved that she was the right artist for the job. From there, it was a simple process of begging her to lend her talents to my underwater tale.
Upon completion, this comic will go into the hopper and be released in April of 2014 in the Survival Anthology from GrayHaven Comics. I really hope that we have flying cars by then.
To whet your appetite, here’s a look at a silent-riffic panel from our upcoming story.
We’re rapidly approaching the completion of my upcoming short spy comic, COMPROMISED!
If you’ve spent any time on artist Tomasz Witas’ website, you know that this amazingly talented artist can draw detailed, unique and breathtaking portraits , making him perfect for the conversation-based tale I drafted up.
After many starts and stops with this three-pager, I’m happy to say that it’s the best-looking version to date and I’m extremely happy that everything worked out the way that they did. I think this will be a pleasant addition to the I, Spy Anthology from GrayHaven Comics which is due out later this year.
Here’s another sneak peek at some of Tomasz’s amazing artwork!
It’s been a wonderful week in the world of comics and having so many projects in the air means that rarely a day goes by that amazing work by talented artists doesn’t hit my email inbox.
Eduardo Jimenez, with whom I’m collaborating on the sci-fi/humor comic, UNIT 44 recently dropped a great sketch my way of the main protagonists from the series.
We’ll soon be jumping into the first five sequential pages of the book and I’m thrilled with how things are shaping up thus far. The personality that he’s bringing to the characters is completely on par with the personality that I’ve attempted to pack into the book!
If you like your comics fun, silly and highly entertaining, I can’t wait for you to be able to read this one.
Enjoy a look below!