Category Archives: News
For those in and around Northwest Florida, I’ll be appearing at the 2015 installment of the Panama City CreativeCon tomorrow (Saturday, Aug. 1), happening in (say it with me) Panama City, FL!
The event will be held from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. ET at Gulf Coast State College in the student union building. Tickets and more info are available online at pccreativecon.com
The convention, founded by the ever-talented writer/artist/dancer(?) Jayson Kretzer, doesn’t limit itself to just comic books, but instead embraces every form of creativity from comics, to art, to writing, costume creation and more.
But don’t just come out for me! Also in attendance will be the talented colorist K. Michael Russell, writers Tony Simmons, Michael Lister and Chris Arrant and artist Rando Dixon of Inverse Press (a great group of people).
This is the first show at which I’ll be selling all four issues of Unit 44 in printed issue format! Very excited for that. I’ve sold many copies of #1 and #2 in the area and here’s hoping people actually want to finish the story.
I’ll also be packing copies of The Undoubtables graphic novel, The Temporal one-shot, my humor book Musings on Minutiae and very, very, veeeeeeeery limited quantities of the Chambers collected edition.
See you there, yeah?
For those of you who were clamoring to hear another podcast interview with me, I was recently a guest on the Alterna Podcast with host Tim Browning!
As the official podcast of Alterna Comics, who published my irreverent sci-fi comedy series Unit 44, together Tim and I dug in on the genesis of the project, how I linked up with the talented Eduardo Jimenez (who provided art, colors, talent, moral support, laughs, etc.) and some of the classic comic tales from my personal library that helped to inspired the story.
I think it was a pretty darn good interview, myself. Even my pal Doug said it was one of the most coherent interviews I’ve ever given, so you know it has to be good.
You can download the podcast on iTunes/Stitcher under the Casual Heroes radio show, or keep it simple and listen online here: http://alternapodcast.com/2015/06/24/unit-44/
It’s guaranteed to keep you entertained for at least 40 minutes!
I really appreciate Tim for not only reading the series and sharing his honest feedback, but giving me the platform to reach a wider audience.
Once you’ve given it a listen, surf over to ComiXology and pick up issues #1-4 of Unit 44!
For those in the Central Florida area who might be looking to get out and about this weekend to take in some nerd culture, I’ll be a guest at the third annual Ocala Comic Con in (where else) Ocala, Florida.
The two-day show, being held Saturday June 20 and Sunday, June 21, will take over the Hilton Hotel and feature comic creators, artists, vendors, voiceover actors and more!
Card and video game tournaments, costume contests, raffles will be held throughout the day… you know… if that’s your thing.
I believe I’ll also be taking part in the Indie Artist Panel on Sunday. I can’t wait to see the looks on everyone’s face when I have to come clean that I’m not an artist! I’m joking of course. It’s going to be awesome.
The city of Ocala has always been generous to me and my creativity, so I’m anxious to return with some crazy comics. With nearly 2,000 tickets sold, I’ll be excited to see just how comic book crazy Ocala can get!
Since I was sort of a last minute addition to this show I don’t have full stocks on everything, but will have copies of Chambers, The Undoubtables, Musings on Minutiae, The Temporal, RDSL Chronicles #1 and very limited supplies of Unit 44 #1 & 2 (if you want Unit 44, make my table your first stop!).
Come hang out, meet like minded people and celebrate what you dig.
Get all the info by clicking over to www.ocalacomiccon.net.
Each year since 2002, the first Saturday in May is also known as FREE COMIC BOOK DAY!
In an effort to thank current readers and draw in new ones, publishers big and small give out thousands of comics at shops across the world to show what this amazing medium is capable of. Whether readers are into superheroes, cartoons or fun indie books, there’s always something for everyone.
To further support the comic industry, many shops welcome creators, both big and small, to their shops for signings, commissions and meet and greets. Once again I’ve been invited to spend Free Comic Book Day with the fine folks at Arena Comics and Gaming in Panama City, FL.
I’ll be joining my pal, writer/artist Jayson Kretzer to celebrate the event. He’s celebrating the release of issue #2 of his (hilarious) series Wannabe Heroes and sketching up all kinds of fun stuff. I’ll have all of my leftovers from MegaCon 2015, which will include physical copies of Unit 44 #1 & #2, The Undoubtables graphic novel, the Chambers trade paperback, and my black and white one-shots, The Temporal and R.D.S.L. Chronicles #1. While our comics won’t be free, Jayson and I will engage you in polite conversation and those always-entertaining “who would win in a fight” arguments.
If you’re in the area, come say hello this Saturday between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Central Time. Grab some free comics, take advantage of the store specials, and meet some folks who work hard to create the funny books.
You can RSVP for the event on Facebook if you’re into that by clicking here!
I imagine that as a housekeeper in a hotel, my day would be utterly ruined by walking inside a room to tidy up, only to find a decaying body inside.
It always bums me out when I surf onto my own blog and see that it’s been weeks since my last update, or in this case, nearly a month. I don’t want to be that decaying body that people check in to look for. I want to prove that I’m alive and well, so I’m taking that opportunity now.
At times I find myself doing so much writing and reading that the last thing I want to do is write or read about myself. However, comics is an arena in which presence equals productivity, so I thought I’d fill in the gaps on what’s been happening throughout the radio silence that has occurred over the past few months. Thankfully, it’s all amazing things.
For whatever reason, September, October and November were months filled with crashing waves of inspiration and motivation and I found myself churning out more writing then had come in the prior six months. Needless to say, it was awesome.
- I wrote three issues of of a 5-part comic books miniseries I hope to put into production this year.
- I wrote a complete 96-page comic series that I’ve found an amazing artist for, and look forward to self-publishing in the coming year.
- I wrote 50 pages of another series and presented it to a dream artist who has agreed to come along for the ride.
- I wrote a 24-page one-shot about zombies.
- I wrote a 24-page one-shot about hipsters.
- I wrote half of an action/comedy video game that is currently being built for release on the PlayStation platform within the next year (I will also write the other half of it).
- I wrote a 3-part script for a choose-your-own-adventure style game that will be released for iPhone and Android smartphones within a month.
- I’ve written more than 40 pages of a sequel to one of my published comics.
- I’ve read some amazing comic books and non-fiction books.
I don’t know what’s in the water, but it tastes amazing. My eyes and fingers have been busy, so forgive me for not paying more attention to my blog, but I trust we’re all glad that I’m not rotting on the floor.
I feel like I could have come up with something better than the “rotting on the floor” analogy, but I’ve also come to remember that they can’t all be winners.
So, Darby Pop publishing, home of some oddball comics including 7th Sword, Doberman and Dead Squad are holding a script contest for up-and-coming writers. They’ve challenged those looking to break into the comics biz to to write a complete 22-page one-shot script for their character, Stingray, who appears in the pages of the superhero-comedy comic Indestructible. The winning script will be drawn up and subsequently published by Darby Pop and IDW in 2015.
While this is the first time I’ve mentioned it here on my blog, I now have time to do so because on Wednesday I submitted my finished script for the contest.
Hot off the heels of placing in the recent Titan Comics Undiscovered Talent Competition, I knew this would provide a fun exercise in creativity, deadlines and working with a pre-established intellectual property. One of my goals as a comic writer has always been to tap into the work-for-hire market and “play with another creator’s toys,” if you will, and Darby Pop’s contest was just the thing to get my brain going. I’d always wondered what would happen if I were given the opportunity to write for characters created by someone else and, boy, did I get a crash course in doing so!
First things first…while I’d heard of the comic Indestructible, I hadn’t actually read it, so my first order of business was to cruise over to ComiXology where I picked up the collected edition of the first four issues and proceeded to dive right in. There’s a chance I may have even ignored several real world responsibilities while I devoured that thing. (Let’s keep that between us, okay?)
Indestructible was created and written by Darby Pop President Jeff Kline with art by Bernard Chang, Salvi Garcia, Javi Garron and Chris Johnson, tells the story of Greg Pincus, a slacker who lives in a world, not unlike our own, where superheroes are not only high-powered crime stoppers, but A-list celebrities to boot. After (sort of) stopping a robbery, Greg is mistaken for a superhero and thrust into the spotlight where he must wrestle with enjoying the perks that come with the celebrity status while wanting to come clean with his friends, family and the world over that little detail…he doesn’t really have powers. Before long, Greg is approached by the League of Defenders who attempt to recruit him to their ranks. Much hilarity ensues.
After reading the first volume a few times, I was taken aback by how funny it was. If there’s one thing I love, it’s funny. The characters were three-dimensional, had strong motives, were likeable and the humor was a nice mix of slapstick and the occasional riff on superhero tropes.
Of course, as I read I made notes and collected information on the aqua-powered female character Stingray, for whom I’d be writing a script. A hero-gone-bad, the femme fatale showed a penchant for nefarious deeds, drugs and had loads of strained relationships with the other characters in the book. In an odd turn of events, she didn’t appear in much of the volume, but her scenes were poignant enough to give a sense of who she was as a character, which was all I needed to get my brain doing it’s creative thang.
The contest rules stated that any characters from the book were on the table to play with and the time period in which the story was set was open, so already Darby Pop was providing writers with very few restrictions, something I greatly appreciated. On my next pass through the book I investigated other characters and heroes, ultimately deciding to set my one-shot before the events of the first volume. The germ of the idea was in motion and the thought of getting to write for a brash, younger and more emotionally-charged group of heroes provided limitless potential.
Over the course of a few nights I did my outline, page breakdowns and on a recent Sunday afternoon, drafted my first issue of the script. A tight outline made all the difference and I found myself in the fortunate position of not having to cut or pad a single scene. As a comic book writer, that’s a personal victory right there. After letting the script sit for a few days, giving me a chance to review it with fresh eyes, I made my edits and let it sit again. This week after a final round of polish and dialogue tweaks I was ready to “send the kid off to school.”
This contest was rather brilliant on multiple levels…it not only gave writers a reason to put on their thinking caps and experience life in the work-for-hire trenches, but it also got people reading their book. I was darn impressed not only with what Kline and company did in the first volume, but with what new writer Ken Kristensen did on the subsequent four issues. Good comics are good comics, and I’m glad I found something else to add to my pull list.
The deadline for the contest is October 22, after which I’ll share a deeper look into how the idea came together, perhaps the outline, beat breakdowns, and if it’s determined that I’m not a winner, maybe even the finished script. As I learned more about the Stingray character, the idea of a broken super-powered human who could play the hero or villain, depending on the day, became such an interesting idea to explore and I thank Darby Pop for holding a contest that’s encouraged writers to write and will judge entries based on what they’re bringing to the table as a “solo artist.”
Though, I don’t envy them having to read all those scripts…
I had such a ball with this project and regardless of which talented scribe is chosen as the winner, it gave me the confidence that I could in fact write for a pre-existing property…and perhaps even do it well.
A huge thank you goes out to Jayson Kretzer and the rest of the staff at the 2014 Panama City Creative Con held over the weekend at Gulf Coast State College.
I was fortunate enough to spend the day behind a table meeting area folks who shared a love of creativity of every shape, size and form. For a city without a big comic “scene,” people came out to spend the afternoon immersed in the culture and I appreciate everyone who stopped by my booth to chat or explore the books I had available for purchase.
An extra big thanks goes out to everyone who picked up a copy of Chambers, The Undoubtables, or Unit 44.
The fact that someone would spend their hard-earned money on something I created (along with some talented artists and colorists) means the world to me.
If you missed out on the event, I’ve restocked signed copies of Chambers, The Undoubtables trade paperbacks along with the self-published copies of Unit 44 issue #1 in my web store. Copies are very limited, so get ’em while they last!
Below is a photo of my booth from the event. It was my first chance to fly the banner designed by Unit 44 artist Eduardo Jimenez. Ed offered to draw the amazing image of our characters Gibson and Hatch to help promote our book. It was appreciated by many and I found it to be the perfect segue into telling passersby about our silly comic.
In just three weeks I’ll be a guest at the 2014 Panama City Creative Con, to be held at Gulf Coast State College in Panama City, Florida.
The event will be held on Saturday, September 13 and the one-day show will run from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. Central Time.
If you’re in the area, come out and celebrate comics with creators that include, but are not limited to, Jayson Kretzer, writer/artist of WANNABE HEROES, one of the funnest comics I’ve ever read, Chris Arrant, who has written backup material for countless Marvel trade paperbacks, Erica Heflin, Editor-in-Chief of GrayHaven Comics, and writer of Zenescope’s WONDERLAND series (among other and numerous awesome books), K. Michael Russel, colorist of HACK/SLASH, Amanda Rachels and Kevin LaPorte of Inverse Press, and countless others. Check out the full lineup by clicking here.
And of course, I’ll be there with the remaining copies of the self-published run of UNIT 44 issue #1, the collected edition of CHAMBERS, and maybe…just maybe…something else! That all depends on the speed at which the U.S. Postal System works.
For those in the Florida panhandle, I encourage you to come out and say hello. Tickets for the event are available for just $8.50!
See you there.
I think the moral of this story is, never forget where you came from.
My hometown paper, The Daily Record, based in Wooster, Ohio, has been good to me. Even though I’ve lived in Florida for 11 years, they still like to update the community from time to time on my various ventures. Several years ago they ran a great feature when I published my humor book, Musings on Minutiae, and last month was no different.
My wife and I were visiting family in the area and one morning I was shepherded into the newspaper offices for a conversation with editor Lydia Gehring, who got completely schooled on the world of comic books and still managed to condense it into an easy to digest package for local readers.
I’m grateful for the support of the community, and that they see what I’m doing as fun, exciting and newsworthy. Chances are I’m the first person from my hometown to work in the comic book business, so I can only hope it will show local kids what’s possible when you have a combination of motivation, perseverance and patience.
I live in what most people would call “the middle of nowhere.”
There’s a small town 10 minutes one way, and a big city an hour the other way. Mostly, what I have is beach. Don’t get me wrong, that’s awesome in itself, but it makes a weekly venture to a local comic shop close to impossible.
The first Saturday in May is Free Comic Book Day, and while I was planning to make that hour drive to stock up on some free and non-free comics, the icing on the cake came when Panama City-based writer/artist Jayson Kretzer, creator of the hilarious all ages comic Wannabe Heroes hit me up via email and invited me to table at one of his favorite shops, Arena Comics & Gaming in Panama City during the event.
Rather than spend just a few minutes in a shop collecting free books, I was able to spend four hours meeting and greeting with some of Panama City’s biggest comic fans while I got to tell them about my own projects. On hand I had copies of the CHAMBERS trade paperback and first issue of UNIT 44.
I want to extend a big thanks to everyone who asked about the books and a huge high-five to those who picked them up and added them to their to-read pile. The support for independent comics was amazing and I can only hope that everyone in attendance had as much fun as I did.
I’d also like to thank to Jayson for the invite, the proprietors of the store for allowing us to shuck our wares, the artists who provided sketches and the patrons who make FCBD possible each year.
Pictured below is Jayson (winning the award for best table setup) while I can be found in the background selling a copy of CHAMBERS to a vacationer from Georgia who just happened to come into the shop after Googling the nearest LCS so he could still participate in Free Comic Book Day. How cool is that?