Monday, March 31, 2008

When is a Demon not a Demon?

The tantalizing question of our header today is one that is posited in the comic Demon’s Regret, due out in June by Digital Webbing Press ($3.99). The comic is the work of writer Mitch Brown, and his crack art team of Wilfredo Torres, Mike Kilgore, Nate Pride, and with an outstanding cover by the legendary Michael Golden. I came across Mitch’s comic a short time ago, and he very graciously provided me with an electronic copy, and I’d like to fill you in on the treat you will receive when you acquire a hardcopy of your very own.

The first image you see here to our left is the Michael Golden cover, while the one that follows (just below) is the variant Wilfredo Torres cover. From where I sit, they both make very striking images, and you’d do yourself to get yourself either one of them.

* * *

Demon’s Regret (Created and written by Mitch Brown with art by Wilfredo Torres; published by FiveMBooks LLC)

We all know the story of Lucifer, the leader of the hosts of Heaven — he who was called Morningstar. Lucifer the beautiful, Lucifer the vain. The Arch-Angel who thought himself to be equal to the Lord God on high, and lead a led a revolt of a full contingent of a third of all the Angles against their Lord. Well, so too does, Mitch Brown, only in Mitch’s tale, there is something of a unique twist.

You see, amongst Morningstars’ acolytes there is one who is not so taken with the lofty verbiage of the deceiver’s. Asmodeus willing went with Morningstar, only, once the turncoat angels were pitched out of heaven the others kept believing in Morningstar’s lies, Asmodeus did not. However he realized that he had begun to tread a path from which he could never return. While man was offered an out in the form of the son of God, the fallen angels were condemned to forever live outside the Grace of heaven.

Unable to return to heaven, and unable to act out openly against the shining demon lord Morningstar, nee Lucifer, Asmodeus has come to know that was truly accursed. This then is Mitch Brown’s, tale, that of the fallen angel who has seen the error of his ways, and — even though he is beyond redemption — does what little he can to thwart the unholy mechinations of the Prince of lies he is forced to serve.

In this first story, we meet Fred Hudson, a Gulf War Special Forces Vet, who earned his Purple Heart by giving up the use of both his legs and his left hand. He now lives in Chicago where his daughter has just been slaughtered by a cult of Satanists who worship the dark Lord Morningstar. Realizing that he has to do something to prevent the rise in this heinous cult, Asmodeus chooses to act as he has before in the past.

Brown goes on weaves a very intricate, believable, and powerful story of world of the mythical and divine. This is not per se a religious story, nor is it truly of the profane; yet it is one that trods the very bridge between the two. So often we read stories of men and women who must rise above their own shortcomings and failings to achieve that which is just beyond their grasp. This then is one such story.

Given this setup, one wonders where Brown will go, certainly he has done his research well, casting Morningstar, Asmodeus, and the others. Brown knows how to properly weave a rich tapestry that is lovingly rendered in crisp lines and bright colors by Wilfredo Torres. Anyone picking up this book will be in for a treat, as it is not simply angels and demons; it is a heart-wrenching story of missed opportunities, lost futures, and that tantalizing ethereal thing called hope. This is a story well worth reading.

Once again, Demon’s Regret is from Digital Press Webbing, and will be distributed through Diamond. It appears in the Diamond April PREVIEWS and will be in stores in June, with a cover price of $3.99.

Yeah, it's a Spider-Man World

Have I recently mentioned that I’m married to a wonderful woman? If I haven’ I probably should have much earlier. You see, it is her that has graciously not only allowed me to maintain my Spider-fetish, but is often the one subsidizing it.

Yep. it is true. Why just yesterday she had gone shopping in one of those “Junk Lot” discount stores, and she came home with not only with this package of Spidey Crayons, but this pair of Classic and Black Spidey Stampers.

Is she the coolest or what?

Truth to be told, while I have accumulated a fair amount of Spidey-Stuff over the years, it has been my lovely wife who has provided quite a bit of the really cool (and odd) stuff. Sure, sure, I could go out (and have) and get the action figures, games, and specialty shop stuff, but it is usually her that picks up the interesting, odd stuff, which is really the true gem of my collection.

OK, now I have to get back to work and earn some cash!

Love ya Honey!

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Wülves are at our Doors!

That’s right buoys and gulls, it is getting a tad bit dangerous out there again. Just in time for ComicCon NY, my publisher of choice, Guild Works Production, is getting set to release Psychosis! #3. This cover is painted by my good buddy Ed Traquino (who will probably be packed up and shipped back to Britain when the INS learns that he is still in the country).

Personally, I think that this is some of Ed’s best work.

Oh yeah, I also have a short story in this issue. A little thriller I’m calling, Into the Wood, which is the follow-up to my Wülf Girlz story from issue #1.

As stated, the comic will be on sale at the NY ComicCon, and thereafter from places like MidTown Comics in NYC. You could also probably contact me directly here and I could arrange for you to receive a copy (for a small renumeration and a hefty postage and handling fee, of course). I understand that there will be a second (flip) cover to Psychosis! #3. I haven’t seen that cover yet, but when I do, you can be assured that I’ll post it here in this space. So keep watching.

Oh yeah, before I forget, on a related matter, there is a war brewing in the indie comics, well, no, not a real war, but a war among the various characters in the marketplace. That’s right from the twisted mind mind of artist and scripter Dave Ryan, along with inker Peter Palmiotti, and a helping hand from Richard Kane Ferguson on layouts and plotting, comes the War of the Independents. I mention this because the Wülf Grilz are playing a small role in this six-part series from Red Anvil. A new-found friend of mine, Joe Martino, also has a hand in this, and is producing a tie-in comic co-staring his character, Shadowflame.

More news as it develops.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

An Easter Post Script

Ah, don’t you just love the after-holiday sales? I know that I do, that is how I acquired this little gem. I got one of these Spider-Eggs last year (mm-mmm-good), but didn’t see it this year at all. My lovely wife spotted it yesterday and scooped it up for me. Yeah, I thought at was nice as well.

I’ll let you all know how it tastes.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Next Avengers

I have acquire a couple of these direct-to-DVD Marvel videos, but (as it turns out) have never actually watched any of them. That might have to change. This one looks interesting.

There are others. I’ll have to find the time to watch the ones I have, and get back to you.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Comics Values Annual

Not quite here yet, but on the way, is the Comics Values Annual 2008 edition. As some of you may already know, I’ve been contributing to this annual comicbook price guide since the ‘93/‘94 edition (I’ve been the features editor and co-author on it since ‘97 or so). The book, published by Krause Books, is an annual listing of comics and their prices.

CVA provides some 94,000 individual listings with special sections devoted to specific publishers (Marvel, DC), notable eras and areas in the industry (Golden Age, Color Comics, Black & White and Undergrounds), plus a grading guide, along with market reports, and tips for buying, selling and preserving your comics. Whether you are a well-seasoned comic book collector looking for reliable details and data, or a box office junkie just discovering story lines behind big screen heroes, this book will take you into the collecting world armed with expert information.

Oh yeah, it also has a couple of articles written by yours truly. Most notably, is an interview I conducted with award-winning SF author, Orson Scott Card who is many things to many people, Funnybook readers probably know him best as the creator/writer of Marvel’s Ultimate Iron Man, and for his work with the Dable Brothers on Red Prophet and Wyrms (also from Marvel) while Science Fiction Fans know him as the Hugo and Nebula Award-winning author of Ender's Game and its sequel Speaker for the Dead (making him the only author to have won both of science fiction's top prizes in consecutive years).

Personally, I found the interview enlightening (and, well, fun), hopefully you will as well. One more thing, you might have noticed that the cover is Iron Man, and the person interviewed writes (Ultimate) Iron Man, so I guess it is no secret that we are attempting to patch into the hype surround the New Marvel Comic Flic, staring, well, you guessed it, Iron Man.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Easter Monday Blues

Well, I can tell that it is the Monday after Easter because I’m currently nursing a post-chocolate gorge-fest hangover. I have to tell you that you really have to hand it to the capitalists in this country who have managed to turn virtually every holiday into some sort of shopping fest. Easter isn’t about the resurrection of Christ, it is when the Easter Bunny comes by and passes out a metric ton of candy. Christmas isn’t his birth, but 1/4 of the take for the budget of 90% of the retail businesses in the Country. Ash Wednesday isn’t the first day of Lent, but the day after the conclusion of Madi Gras, a 40-day drunken orgy. Graduation day is about gift-giving, not the graduation itself. Halloween is about the candy.

Oh, and it isn’t just religious holidays The Fourth of July isn’t about our independence from tyranny, but a reason to go out and buy a new car (as are, of course the various President’s birthdays, same too with Memorial and Labor Days). Valentine’s day isn’t a lover’s holiday, but a reason to go out and buy flowers, candy, and cards; as are Mother’s and Father’s Days. St Pat’s is a drunken Beer fest (OK, wait, I do agree with that one). Even SuperBowl Sunday is all about the big-screen TV and the high-end concept commercials rather than the game itself.

Personally, I’m not entirely unconvinced that the cotton-growers of the deep South didn’t subsidize John Wilkes Booth’s assassination of President Lincoln so that 100 years hence they could have have White Sales on his birthday; not to mention that automotive dealers backed James Earl Ray’s assassination of Martin Luther King to sell cars on his birthday. (Yeah, I’m that far off the beaten path)

Anywho, the image is what I got in my Easter basket this year, it is followed by a Spider-Bear stuff-it-yourself-toy that I spotted in a craft store, and that is followed by a couple of images drawn by a buddy of mine named Arlen Schumer, who is a graphic artist, author, and funnybook fan.

Friday, March 21, 2008

And the Drama Continues...

You know, I want to leave this alone, I really do, but they won’t let me.

Amazing Spider-Man #554 came out this week, and well, I bought it. As you can guess, I had some issues with it (one being the whole scene were Spidey (after a battle with his new villain, the ever morphing Freak) where his mask gets torn to shreds, decides that embarrassment is the better part of valor, and completely sheds his clothing, dons a (dirty) lab coat from inside the meth lab where he and the afore-mentioned Freak were battling, and walks out into the waiting of the cops.

Now I can believe a lot (that a man can fly, that being bitten by a radioactive (genetically altered) Spider will give you powers and abilities far beyond those of mortal men; and even that being exposed to gamma radiation will turn you gray, er, green, ah, gray, no, green, wait, red... oh fudge it!), but somehow Peter coming out of the burning building without any clothes on, pretending he wasn’t Spider-Man thing was the stupidest thing ever, “Honest officer, I was taking pictures of Spidey, fighting that guy, and then the building caught fire, so I decided that it was a good idea to take off all of my clothes, save my camera, and put on this, meth-stained lab coat and walk out into the street, because I simply didn't have enough time to just RUN OUT THE EFFIN DOOR!”

Well, if that wasn’t enough, I’m still confused over the whole (the only thing that has changed is that Peter’s Marriage to MJ never happened, except Harry is now back from the dead, and apparently The Tailor who repairs costumes for both Marvel heroes and Villains no longer makes costumes for Spidey. Next week I’m sure it will be something else.

You would think that this would be an important bit of continuity to maintain, but what the heck do I know. I thought That Pete was still married to...Ah Fudge, what was that redhead's Name again???

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Agent Unknown Returns

I’ve been living with these characters in my head for over 20 years. (Longer, if we include the time that I lived with them before they first hit print in ‘87.) But, yeah, it has been a long time in coming. My original concept was to write a story about a U.S. intelligence agency that was somewhere between the Ian Flemming/James Bond world of MI6, and the Jim Steranko world of Nick Fury, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.

What I came up with was The International Law-Enforcement Division (or I-LID). Its shadowy mission to protect American interests, and National Security. Lead by an elite cadre of agents, they would span a 30-year time frame (‘60s, ‘70s, ‘80s) with the handsome, and debonair sibling duo of (Jefferson “deuces” David Seven, and his older brother Jefferson “Jacks” Jackson Seven (Codename: Deuces and Jacks) operating ala I Spy’s Kelly and Scott in the swinging ‘60s). The strong-willed, wildcat, Stacey Anne Duncan in the ‘70s, and the (never introduced) Israeli, ex-Mossad agent, Josiphiah ben-David in the ‘80s.

Unfortunately All I was only able to get out in those halcyon Renegade Press days was the first three issues before th B&W implosion occurred, and Deni Loubert (regretfully) had to cancel the book only three issues into its proposed six-issue run. Still, I wasn’t ready to toss in the towel. I wrote a fourth script for Stacey Anne, and (a couple of years later) a new script for a pair of new agents, Jason “Springload” Cowles A young, conservative, neo-redneck with a hair trigger, and Joseph “Renegade” Greyghost, a full-blooded Lakota Sioux American Indian.

These are two very dangerous guys. They are serious-minded, dedicated agents, and — although I conceived of them separately — somewhere along the way, I felt that it would be very cool for me to pair them up. I think that I made the right choice.

The first installment of the brand new stories with the all-new Agent Unknown characters Springload & Renegade appears in April, in CAG #7. I can hardly wait to see this stuff in print. Fortunately, I won’t have to wait much longer, as the art is all done, the pages are lettered, and CAG #7 is due out April. What could be cooler than that?

Friday, March 14, 2008

I’m Mad as Hell, and I’m not going to take it any more!

This is going to take a while, so I beg your indulgence for the full run of my — admittedly — rather lengthy rant.

Yep, that’s right. I not a happy camper. Why (you may ask)? Well, it’s simple, it has been 10 issues of Brand New Day Spidey (11 if you count the Swing Shift Director's Cut one-shot). And no, I'm not going to rehash the stuff I’ve said about this in the past. All of that was (essentially) sight unseen of the new direction, and simply reacting to the concept. Now with 10 (11) issues under our collective belts, I can comment on where we actually are.

Let’s start out here: I have never seen such bad, formalistic, cliché-ridden dreck in the pages of Spider-Man in my life. Seriously. This isn’t so much Spider-Man as it is Spider-Mania (not Spider-Man, but in incredible simulation) and not even a good one at that. What do I mean? Well in the space of the nine issues of Amazing Spider-Man all of the following things have happened:

1. Peter has been mugged (his wallet and web shooter were stolen)
2. Pete lost his shoes while chasing said mugger
3. Spidey has been blamed for a series of muggings by a Spider-masked wearing bandit
4. Peter not only lost not only the mugger that stole his stuff, but (just a couple of issues later) another one that ripped off the donation box at the soup kitchen were Aunt May works
5. As Peter, apparently caused a heart attack in JJJ
6. Was forced (as Spider-Man) to give a vial of his (irradiated) blood to a supervillain
7. Has (as Spider-Man) been accused of five murders
8. As Spider-Man is being sued by a guy who's life he saved
9. As Spidey, gets the crap kicked out of him by a new supervillain
10. As Spidey is accidentally involved in the death of a NYC Council woman who is running for mayor
11. Rips the seat of his Spidey costume and flashes a crowd of bystanders
12. As Peter is forced to wash and repair his costume (oh where is the Mary Jane Comiquette now?)

Now, this may seem like an ordinary series of events in the life of Spidey, but I (who have been reading Spider-Man longer than Marvel Editor-in-Chief, and chief architect of OMD/BND Joe Quesada has been alive) say it simply ain’t so.

I remember back in the early ‘70s when Stan left the writing chores to others, who seemed to understand (at least superficially) what Spidey was, but not who he was. That is to say, they knew the formula, but didn’t understand the motivations. Thus, for a time Spidey literally stumbled from one crises to another. We were give “the illusion of change, with any actual change.”

Those of us who lived through that era call it The Bronze Age, and no, not fondly.

Spider-Man has long been described as Charlie Brown in tights, only that is so not true. Neither Peter Parker nor Spider-Man are losers. Sure, sure they are both habitually beset by the drama of the world that swirls around them, but neither one of them can truly be described as a loser. Science geek, sure; social nerd, without a doubt; a loner and something of a misunderstood misfit withing the superhero community; perhaps (though not so much lately — except for that whole Civil War/Superhero Registration Act thing), but a loser? Never. Not Spider-Man

I don’t read the comicstrip Cathy. I Stopped watching Cheers during the second season; and I certainly don’t buy any For Dummies or Idiot’s Guide to anything. Why? Well, the books (I feel) insult my intelligence and As for the others I can’t stand reading about someone who is always a whiner (Cathy) and the Cheers group simply stopped being interesting when they kept looking at themselves as if they were all losers. I don’t hang with those types of people in real life, so why would I seek them out as a form of entertainment?

The story of Spider-Man is the story of the struggle of the common man against the greater forces of nature. When Stan (co)created Spidey, he envisioned him as the anti-Superman. In Superman you have an adult male, who is a respected reporter for a daily metropolitan newspaper. Superman is (and always has been) a well-respected cultural icon. He has never been wanted by the police, never had a bad hair day, and never been on the losing end of anything. By contrast, Peter couldn't get a date, was constantly bullied by a classmate, was constantly being lorded over by his boss, and the cops are never really sure of his standing.

To be sure, the other superheroes always respected Spidey, and yeah, he did date some of the hottest women in comics (eventually marrying one of them — or, did he??) Casting him in the role of a hapless loser is just wrong (Oh, yeah, I also don’t actually like any of the Harry Potter films, because he isn’t so much of a hero as someone who is buffeted about by the forces around him,and is always saved at the last minute by someone else’s intervention).

Spider-Man is a hero. He stands up to villains with far greater power and ability than himself! Peter Parker is a certifiable genius. He designed his web shooters when he was 15! To write them any other way is simply not understanding either character. Loading Spider-Man up with all sorts of random obstacles over which he has to come is just stupid, and a bad approach to not only the character, but simply bad writing. I don’t read the comic to see how much Crap can be dumped on him by the writers, I read it to see the hero who is Peter Parker rise up and become.

I watched The Pursuit of Happyness, and while it was a powerful film, it was easily the most depressing film I had ever seen, because every time this guy turned a corner something worse happened to him, and yes, while he eventually overcame all obstacles for two hours I just got more and more depressed. I don’t want to read the on-going life story each and every month of this guy. I just don’t. But this is what Brand New Day is fast becoming. There are no clear-cut victories, there are just missed opportunities, loses, and “better than being poked in the eye with a stick, only not by much.”

I don’t like reading Spider-Man much these days. I hope it gets better, but I don’t see it happening anytime soon — and that just gets me depressed.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

There are Heroes in Birmingham!

That’s right, there are Heroes in Birmingham. I know this because I read about them in Rachel Kadushin’s fine comic, Heroes in Birmingham. She currently has two issues out and a third one is on the way (I’ve only read the first issue, but I really enjoyed what I read, so as soon as I can acquire the second, I'll be grabbing that one up as well). The 32-page story is about a bunch of heroes living in Birmingham (no state identified).

One of the very interesting things about this is that there is no text page explaining who these characters are. Nothing to say if this is the present or near future, and very little in the way of expository material to slow down the pace of the story. To be sure, this is not only a bit odd, but a touch confusing as well. Still, taken as a whole, it really doesn't detract for the narrative as it forces the reader to pay attention to what is happening.

Also, there are more than a few non-verbal sequences that simply explode with action, no ranting heroes and villains spoting off about whatever nonsence fills the writer’s heads (I don’t know how many of you have ever been in a fight, but as a rule, you simply don’t go on about your philosophy and the nature or th oppressed man and crap like that. You get down and fight.

I think that years of reading comics makes us think that writers have to fill each panel with words, or it isn’t actually written. Rachael proves that simply isn’t so,and there is a lot of good that can be learned form this. Needless to say, the story reads well, the art is very nice, and the story moves along at a rapid clip. Again, my only real clip is that I’m not entirely sure what is going on all the way through.

At times the story seems a touch disjointed (as she moves from one set of heroes and characters to another) leaving the reader in the dust. Still, there is quite a bit of things going on here, and as a reader you feel that you have spent your money wisely on a book with a full 32 pages of art (some home-grown comics that I’ve picked up have way less than a newsstand comic, and cost way more, which always makes me feel that I’ve been gypped. Not so much of that here. You get the full measure.

So, with that, I’m recommending Rachel Kadushin’s comic, Heroes in Birmingham, and urging you all to find a copy and pick it up.

Well, having finally gotten through the stack of comics produced by friends of mine, I think I’ll go back to Spidey next time and let you know what I think about all that. Like that’s a big secret, eh?

Monday, March 10, 2008

Hot Girl and Too Much Hot Girl!

This is something of a pet project of mine. I wrote it as kind of a fun thing to do. It combines killing hot (real live) female-type women that I happen to know (and, Lord know why, think I’m hilariously cute, or somesuch), and funnybooks.

I wound up carving a couple of characters out of a webcomic that I’m attempting to get off the ground (I have an artist, but this person has been sitting on my script for several months,and I’m really getting tired of waiting, so if you are an artist, want to illustrate a fun web-based superhero comic strip,and have some animation and/or 3D rendering abilities, post here on my site, let me know your interested, and leave me a link to your work. I’ll get back to you. Seriously.).

Anyway, as I was sayin’.

I took a couple of characters that I developed for this Web comic, and plopped them down into the middle of a fun, irreverent, silly story full of winky bits and just went to town. After penning the eight-page script I discovered the perfect artist. A gent named Roy Cutting that I was introduced to by a friend of mine. Anyway, I’ve conned Roy into drawing the comic for me, and the work he has turned in to me is phenomenal. It may take a while for him to get through it all, but I’m willing to wait (plus, I’m willing to do whatever I can to promote his stuff and keep him motivated).

Anyway, I posted a couple of illos that he did a week or so back, and he recently sent me a new page of pencils that I want to post here as well.

I hope that you all enjoy this as much as do I. If you do, let him know by posting here or drop by his web page and let him know over there.

See you in the funnypapers!

Sunday, March 09, 2008

The Wülf Girlz are Returning!

I just the other day saw some of the lettered art on my follow-up story to Never Judge a book (printed in the premiere issue of Psychosis! published by Guild works Production). Let me tell you that not only do I totally love Matt Ryan’s distinctive artwork, but I was totally blown away by the entire story as it now appears in print.

Sure. sure you knew I was going to say that, after all the work is mine, but still. living with these characters in my head for the past year or so, and then writing the script, and waiting (waiting) for the art. Now finally seeing the whole thing lettered.

I’m completely blown away. I can hardly wait for the story to finally be published next month (just in time for Comic Con NY).

So, yeah, I’m going to be enjoying my time at the show (word has it that CAG #7 will also be there and will have the artwork for my new Agent Unknown Story in it. I’ve see the are and love it. Right now I’m just waiting on the pages to be lettered. As soon as I get the electronic images from that I'll post some of those pages as well. In the mean time, I have to wait.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Only In Whispers

When you want someone to hear you, you shouldn’t shout, you should whisper.

That’s right, Whisper. At least that’s what I’ve heard. It is what my good buddy Steve Kanaras does, and he ought to know, especially as he is the publisher and chief writer of Free Lunch Comics’ newest title, Only in Whispers. This is a supernatural anthology in the vein of the old Tales from the Crypt, with an other-worldly narrator named Mr. Quiet who acts as “host” and introduces each story.

There are four illustrated stories (three written by Steve) with a fourth prose piece also by Steve. One the stories is a continued story, while the others are all wrapped up in this issue. In addition to the fiction, there is a section of “True Tales of the supernatural. Unlike the rest of the comic, this section is dedicated to friends, associates, and readers relating “otherworldly” events that happened to themselves. This section makes for an interesting counterbalance to the rest of the comic. At this point I want to mention that the lead story is done by one of my personal favorite artists, Matt Ryan. (Matt illustrated my own Wúlf Girlz stories which appear in Psychosis! (Guild Works Productions).

The comic itself is more of the suspense and “boo” type of supernatural than the blood and gore of the slash & hack kind. which also makes it something of a novelty in this market. The stories are all throwbacks to the kinds of stuff I remember reading in those nameless horror comics from the ’60 and TV shows from the ’70s like Night Gallery and the like. (not that any of that is bad, it is just the feeling that it evokes in me).

Overall, I enjoyed the comic, and am looking to see where it goes next.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Free Comicbook Day is Coming! Free Comicbook Day is Coming!

Sure it is nearly two months away, but it is coming none-the-less, and it is a national holiday dedicated to comicbook fans everywhere the world over!

OK, OK. It isn’t a national holiday (yet) nor is it truly the world over (today the U.S. next year, the world!), but it should be. Needless to say, it is a very cool event that celebrates comic books and their creators by giving fans something that they want.


So mark it down on your calendars in ink, and make sure you get to your local comicbook shop for the event. This year there are 41 comics, and three HeroClix figures (two Star Wars Figures and an Iron Man). The Comics are from Marvel DC, Archie, Bongo, Dark Horse, Dynamite, Virgin, Arcana, Impact, Walt Disney, E.C., TwoMorrows, Wizard, and more!

I’m telling you that this event gets better and better every year! Hey, I’m so happy I’ve put a (semi)permanent link to the site over on my nav bar to the right.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

The Sky is Falling! The Sky is Falling!

Well, no, not really, but there are Pirates in the sky (Arrgh!)

What the heck am I talking about? Well Sky Pirates, of course. Sky Pirates began life as an entrant into DimeStore Productions Small Press Idol contest from 2007.

Sky Pirates is the brainchild of my buddy and fellow CAGer Everett Soares. Everett is the creator and writer of Sky Pirates which became a finalist in Small Press Idol and has since launched into its own series. From that endeavor, he managed a “zero issue” one-shot which lead to him being picked up by Matt Ryan’s Free Lunch Comics (Matt is another good buddy of mine, and is the artist of record for my own Wülf Girlz). Matt has contracted with Everett for a 5-book limited series.

I have acquired the first two issues (0 & 1), read them both, and let me tell you how very cool they are. The series is something of a throwback to to ‘80s space opera with aliens and anthropomorphic characters intermingled with humans, along with lighter-than-air ships and sword fighting and blasters. I’m like a kid in a candy shop reading this. It is pure, unadulterated fun, complete with a breezy script, clear, clean, crisp art, sexy babes, and a straight-forward story that is simple to follow yet, compelling to read.

After reading it you have to wonder why can’t the pros at the big comic publishing houses tell stories like this?

Anyways, it is great stuff, you should all run right out and buy yourselves a copy.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

The CAG Party is coming!

Hey Kiddies, time to buff up yer party shoes, and break out bestest duds, as the CAG Indy after-Party is coming to NYC! That’s right, after the NY ComicCon To be held in NYC on April 18 – 20.

Well, not only will CAG be there in force (look for our booth), but so will I (ask for me), and then come on out to our party at Twins Pub (421 9th Ave, New York, NY 10001, 212.564.7288) and hang with us.

Here is the info as I just received it from President Keith Murphey:

March 5th, 2008 Attendees of this years New York ComicCon (NYCC) are invited to celebrate the Third Annual Indie After-Party on Saturday, April 19th from 7-11 PM at The Twins Pub in New York City. This years event will converge on the entire venue, with free food on the first floor, a cash bar, and DJ and dance entertainment on the second floor. And what would a party full of comic book creators be without comic books? Well, party-goers will get the chance to see (and buy) some of the best around.

Premiering at this years Indie After-Party is a very special event the first annual Comicbook Artists Guild (CAG) Awards Ceremony! At this first-of-its-kind event, the leadership of this nationwide organization will induct honorary members and present awards in comic book excellence. Categories to be recognized include Best Writer, Best Artist, CAG-MVP, Best New Talent, and Special Award for Excellence in Production.Catch da Craze Podcast will be filming the event and conducting interviews in the new CDC corner at the party.

When asked to comment on the party, organizer Samuel Vera said The Indie After-Party has grown into a must-attend event at the NYCC. I am honored to be one of the original sponsors and the only podcast show to document the event year after year. Fellow Organizer and CAG President, Keith Murphey states This party is for the up-and-comers and the well-established veterans. Everyone is welcome here and this party will promise to bethe most entertaining yet! It continues to get bigger and bigger every year, as we continue to attract new sponsors.

Founded in 2000, the Comicbook Artists Guild is an organization designed to bring talented comic book artists together - be they writers, colorists, inkers, pencilers or all of the above - to collaborate on a project of their choice. CAG is also a great place to meet with other comic lovers to learn new tricks or techniques, or teach a few of your own! CAG is for anyone who loves comics and has the passion to create in any aspect of the field.

The Twins Pub is located just 3 blocks away from the New York Comic Con, midway between the 34th Street subway station and the Javitz Center.

Indie After-Party
Saturday, April 19th
The Twins Pub
421 9th Avenue (between 33 and 34 St.)

Saturday, March 01, 2008

THUNDER in the Sky

A very good and longtime buddy of mine is John (“yes I do own the T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents; you can call my lawyer and ask!”) Carbonaro. I’ve always been a big supporter of John’s efforts to get the Agents back into the public eye. Well, as I understand it, he is at it again. I can’t reveal much, but Carbs is currently working with a new publisher to get the Agents back into print. Hopefully everything will work out better this time than in the past.

In the meantime, I wanted to post a couple of very cool Agent links that might wet your whistle while we’re all waiting. First up is a enterprising fellow that took the time to animate some of the existing material in little vignettes. this next post is the long-dormant (but still online) T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents’ website and fan forum (login required). Oh yea, and just for fun, here is a little bit of hilarity your humble narrator posted some years back.

Hopefully we’ll all get to see Dynamo and company sooner rather than later.