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The Team Behind THE LYNX Share Their Pitch


The creative team be THE LYNX shares with us a look at the pitch they put together for prospective publishers and future team members.

Photo by Victor B. on Unsplash


Pitching a new series to artists and publishers requires some advance work and a bit of heavy lifting in terms of showing the potential for the project into the foreseeable future. Editors and publishers want a sense of how the story came together, as well as the tip of the iceberg of backstory and unseen elements. Meanwhile, artists need to be fully immersed into the universe if they are going to successfully translate the world inside the writer’s head into compelling and coherent images.

This introduction is placed before the actual script begins. Ideally, you want to build and develop it as you since it is a fair chunk of work. 

When the time comes to approach potential publishers, more elements can be added to the intro including character bible, link to an art reference library and fleshing out the story beats for future issues.

In any case, editor Joey Sheehan and I thought the Intro might be of interest to ComixCentral members.

-Michael Lent


Written by: Michael Lent

Art by: Vittorio Garofoli

Color by: Carmelo Monaco

Lettering, Graphic Design & Editorial contributions by: Marshall Dillon

Cover by: TBD

INTRO for EDITORS: THE LYNX is a three-book arc that tells the saga of GAUPA, a young Norse boy caught between two mythical pagan worlds at war.  The title of this series derives from Gaupa’s name, which old Norse for “Lynx.”

Pronunciation IPA(key): /ˈkøyːpa/  (Audio available)

Rhymes: -øyːpa

Gaupa risks everything in pursuit of a mysterious destiny. Set against the pre-Christian, pre-marauding 6th century, this Viking tale recounts the days when two houses of Old Norse mythology, the warrior Aesir (Odinn, Thor and Loki) and the mystical Vanir (Frey and Freya), practitioners of shamanism, sorcery and prophecy, clashed and vied for adherents in the harsh Norse landscapes. Keep in mind that this is a time where gods were not immortal by birth. Often they mingled with humans and for their part, some humans laid claim to godlike powers such as shape shifting, prophecy, and dark magic. Meanwhile, the “dragons” of this period are unlike any we have encountered before.

The Lynx is an epic drama, fantasy adventure story that’s in good company with other successful stories and series including: THOR (Marvel and Disney), GAME OF THRONES based on A Song of Ice and Fire, VIKINGS (History Channel TV series), Northlanders (Brian Wood’s series that ran for 5 years],  Vinland Saga (the Japanese Manga currently in its 15th volume), and Valhalla, the long-running Danish comic that began in 1978, the films BEOWULF and BRAVEHEART. 

And while Viking stories are more popular than ever, the pre-marauding Norse world is one we know so very little about. Until now, this a time period rarely told because runes are the only documents that survived.  To wit: any school child can give you a dozen gods from the House of Zeus or Apollo whereas from the far more recent and arguably more culturally relevant Norse pantheon you may know Odinn, Thor and Mjolnir, but what about Skadi, Njord and Freya, not to mention Gerda? THE LYNX will correct this gap. Rest assured: I have read many 6th century runes as well as 19th century translations of the 10th century Icelandic sagas chronicling the Age of Iron. On the pages that follow you will leap across a 1500-year chasm to feel the power of this rare history finally unleashed in fiction form.




The Lynx is named for the main character Gaupa, Old Norse for “lynx.” He is the product of an Aesir (warrior clan) chieftain and a Vanir (mystic) woman captured on a raid and taken as wife. Gaupa identifies more with his mother in temperament and lives in the shadow of his father.

Book #1 begins with the death of Gaupa’s father.

Book #1: Ritual

Clan chief Thorvald Hildibrandr has died. He is 15-year old Gaupa’s father. During the funeral, the clan is attacked by Heiðnir, a band of rival warriors and mystics. Thorvald’s mythical sword has been stolen. A revenge war party is formed. It is Gaupa’s first time to be included and everything that could go wrong does.

Book #2: ÞRÆLL Slave

Three years have passed. Thorvald’s sword has changed hands several times before being restored to the Heiðnir. Gaupa is now enslaved on a trading ship headed for the Heiðnir stronghold. Gaupa’s thirst for revenge has grown but so has the power of his rivals. Gaupa exacts his revenge but the sword and some of its newly revealed mystical powers escape his grasp once more.

Book #3: móðr tíð Wrath of Time

The ghosts of Gaupa’s parents, family and friends continue to haunt him. He encounters a mysterious fellow mystic/warrior hybrid who claims she can help Gaupa locate his father’s sword; however, all may not be what it seems.


Michael Lent


Designated Top Writer of 2018 on with more than 1.2 million reads, Michael Lent’s trans-media writing and producing experience spans film, fiction and nonfiction books, biographies, graphic novels, animation, video games, and reality television.

As a writer, Lent has adapted both Stephen King and E.M. Forster.

Writer of more than fifteen graphic novels and comics including i, Holmes (currently in development as a television series by veteran producer David Rambo (Empire, Revolution, V, CSI), Prey (Marvel), Brimstone (Zenescope), graphic novel nonfiction bios for Orbit including Keith Richards, Stephen Hawking, Stephen King and JRR Tolkien.

Writer of eight books including On Thin Ice, published by Disney/Hyperion, based on the top-rated reality television series Ice Road Truckers. Research for this project entailed one winter in the Arctic.

Producing credits on seven films including the upcoming animated horror movie MALEVOLENT starring William Shatner, Ray Wise and Morena Baccarin, and IF YOU’RE SERIOUS, shot in Fenghuang, China and nominated by the Academy of Sound Editors for the Verna Fields Golden Reel Award for Sound Design in 2014.

The Lynx is an homage to Lent’s Scandinavian roots.

Vittorio Garofoli

Panel Artist

Garofoli has been a comic book artist seven years, following three years of study at the School of Comics in Palermo.

He began his professional work at for Zenescope Entertaiment working on the long-running series Grimm Fairy Tales. He also worked on the well-regarded Dorian Gray series for TidalWave Productions. Garofoli has drawn for independent books and editors including CCTVYLLE, as well as various Kickstarter projects.

Garofoli admires artists such as Brian Hitch (Marvel’s Ultimate series), Alan Davis’ work on the Excalibur series, and French comic book such as Alpha by Yori Jigoumov and Largo Winch. His influences range from artists such as Trevis Charest, Ivan Rais, Mike Perkins, as well and Italian artists such as Sergio Toppi, Massimo Carnevale and Corrado Mastanuomo who helped inspire his style on The Lynx.

Interested in history, Garofoli loves the Viking Age and has studied it extensively, especially in preparation for this project. He is a devoted fan of the Vikings television series.

Marshall Dillon

Lettering, Graphic Design and Editorial Contributions

A comic book industry veteran, Dillon got his start in 1994 during the middle of the indie boom.

Over the years, he’s been everything from an independent self-published writer to an associate publisher working on properties like GI Joe, Voltron, and Street Fighter. Dillon has done just about everything except draw a comic book and has worked for just about every publisher except the “Big Two.”

Primarily a father and letterer these days, he also dabbles in old-school paper & dice RPG game design.

Dillon also has Scandinavian roots and has studied the history, customs, mythology and language through the on-line lectures of American scholar and poet Dr. Jackson Crawford of the University of Colorado, an expert on Old Norse. A particular thrill was a recent trip to Iceland with Dillon’s family.

Previously, Dillon and Lent collaborated on I, Holmes (Alterna) and worked at the game company Slime Sandwich.

Carmelo Monaco


Carmelo Monaco is an Italian comic-book artist and illustrator. He lives and works in the city of his birth, Catania, Sicily. He studied at School of Comics in Palermo, where he got his degree in 2013, focusing on digital 2-D animation.

He worked as a background artist for Grafimated Cartoon on the feature film ”I Vespri Sicliani’.” (The Sicilian Vespers). The story is adapted from Guiseppe Verdi’s classic grand opera of the same name.

Since 2013, Monaco has worked as both artist and colorist for many comics including the series Totally Spies. Publishing credits include Disney, IDW, Tunuè, and Mondadori.

Since 2015 Monaco has taught anatomy for comic books and visual storytelling in the School of Comics in his Catania.

Carmelo’s interest in the subject matter and desire to work with artist Vittorio Garofoli brought him to this project.


Okay, so, a small intro into the pre-Christian Viking world is warranted here. You might be interested to know that our modern idea of the Thor-worshipping, pillaging & marauding “Viking” — literally Old Norse for “to go wandering” — comes from a finite period of about two hundred years, roughly from the 10th to the 12th century. When the Norse, aka “North Men” first raided the Saxon lands we know today as England, Scotland and Ireland starting with a raid on a monastery at Lindisfarne, Britain in 793 AD, they were pagans worshipping the plethora of gods of war from the House of Aesir. Chief among these were Odinn, Loki and, of course, our beloved Thor. They soon discovered that the abbeys and monasteries conveniently located in snatch and grab dragon longboat distance along the Northern Britain coast housed many bejeweled golden relics whose protection was entrusted to pasty-faced Christian monks who never heard of Chuck Norris and instead spent their days in prayer, silence and organic gardening. For decades, the contest of Marauder vs. Monk was akin to Pitbull vs. Pot Roast.

Eventually, the Vikings pushed on to Russia (“Rus” being Old Norse for “men who row”), Normandy “Norse Man” and Constantinople serving as an elite royal guard there and the Age of Vikings was well underway. There were raids deep into Italy, Spain and Portugal. During this time, worship of Thor and the warlike House of Aesir gave the Vikings strength and made them much feared. However, as the Men of the North cut a swath through post-Roman Empire Europe, they began to settle in to the lands they had conquered, intermarrying and raising families. It was then that the local practice of Christianity with its carpenter and fisherman seemed more appropriate and conversion to the new religion swelled through the ranks. The conversion was more for practical reasons than anything else: when you’re raping, plundering and pillaging, it goes without saying that a God of War comes in mighty handy; however, when you have a wife, three kids, a house with attached two yak stall, well, “Love thy neighbor” seems like a more actuarially sound game plan. Back in Scandinavia, Harald Bluetooth, converted to Christianity in the 960s before taking the throne as the King of Denmark.  A supreme politician, Harald realized that this new religion both unified the many clans, tribes and chieftains under him, as well as gave him protections from other Christian realms that would otherwise attack Denmark as a place of run amuck with heathens to be conquered (i.e. see Native American “conversion”). Thus, Harald Bluetooth consolidated his power by renouncing Paganism and declaring that none other than God himself had anointed him king.

The end of the Viking Age is often marked by the failed invasion attempted by Norwegian King Harald III, who was soundly defeated by Saxon King Harold Godwinson in 1066 at the Battle of Stamford Bridge. More thumping followed in the ensuing decades and by the 12th century, the age of Vikings was over.

This is a thumbnail narrative mostly familiar to even the casual student of History. If not familiar to you, first “you’re welcome” and second, “shame on you.” For crying out loud, the Vikings gave us the days of the week and the practice of divorce, so would it kill you to learn something about these so-called “barbarians?” Yeesh.

Yet, there is another narrative, one from the pre-marauding Viking days before Christianity and even before the House of Aesir (Odinn/Thor/Loki/Valhalla) was solidified in Norse consciousness when the embers of a fierce, Germanic people were just beginning to stir. The sixth century was a time when TWO sects of Norse paganism vied for adherents. In the red corner, we had the Aesir with Odinn and his posse of warrior gangsta Gods geeked out on heavy metal — mainly iron — for hand-to-hand combat. In the blue corner, hailing from the world of mysticism and some very unsettling sex practices, the Vanir with Frey and Freya, practitioners of shamanism, sorcery and prophecy. Mysticism was considered unmanly (“ergi”) and its use less than ethical by the Aesir who saw no irony in worshipping a magic hammer that could manscape mountains. For their part, the Vanir probably brought it on themselves by openly advocating incest and mystical gender reassignment. In the close confines of relatively resource starved Scandinavia (a major reason for the Viking raids that were soon to follow), it was inevitable that the Gods from both houses would fight an epic war. It was the sword vs. the wand.

After a ferocious battle, the Aesir faith prevailed by and large over the magical Vanir, which is why the ensuing Viking raids didn’t consist of legions of Norse Harry Potters and Ron Weasleys. Unlike the warlike house of Aesir, the Vanir were all about the seasons, getting buck wild with fertility rites, love and sex, mysticism and intuition. In fact, even today when we speak of the Rites of Spring, that is Vanir and we are drinking from a well of full moon hookups and more than a thousand years old.

Keep in mind that this is a time where gods were not immortal by birth. Often they mingled with humans and for their part, some humans laid claim to godlike powers such as shape shifting, prophecy, and dark magic. It was said that the destinies of both gods and men were governed by the same Norn — female beings not unlike the Moirai or Fates of Greek mythology. Along with the Germanic pagans of the same period, our awareness of dragons, giants, and trolls comes from this place and time. Some argue that it was only the advent of Christianity with its emphasis on battles between good and evil that made comingling between the natural and supernatural world impossible.

Apart from a small taste of this world given to us in the Anglo-Saxon epic poem of Beowulf and the monster Grendel, this is a world we know little about and until now, this a story rarely told.  To wit: any school child can give you a dozen gods from the House of Zeus or Apollo whereas from the far more recent and arguably more culturally relevant Norse pantheon you may know Odinn, Thor and Mjolnir, but what about Skadi, Njord and Freya, not to mention Gerda? This is the raison d’etre for THE LYNX.

Of course, gods or no gods, the sixth century was a very difficult time to be alive. Uninhabitable wilderness is the predominant feature of this gritty landscape of craggy mountains, deep snows during intensely frozen winters that lasted seven months, and vast dark forests inhabited by trolls, dwarves, elves and the occasional dragon interrupted with swaths of raw earth where the locals cling to their subsistence farms.

When we draw this world, it’s often with a steel grey and blue pallet, or else the rust browns and reds of corroded iron and spilt blood. And yet, because the Vanir were about Spring and lust, we get the occasional exotic shimmers of gold and silver and gems against the otherwise drab backdrop.

Hopefully, your appetite has been whetted and we can get going.

The script begins on the next page.


ComixCentral would like to thank Michael, Marshall, Vittorio, and Carmelo for offering their knowledge to our community. It was a special look behind the scenes that is not always available, especially to new creators.

Follow: Michael Lent

Follow: Marshall Dillon

Follow: Vittorio Garofoli

Follow: Carmelo Monaco

Banner Photo by Chris Moore on Unsplash

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Crowdfunding Roundup – May, 2018

Kaneesha the Graphic Novel

By Ben Miller

On Free Comic Book day I asked Ben Miller (the writer of Kaneesha) to pitch his book for me. He explained it as a character study of someone dealing with the most challenging decision of their life immediately after witnessing the most traumatic tragedy they’ve ever experienced… I was immediately intrigued.

The comic is about an African American female who’s brother is unjustifiably killed by the police. She now must choose what path to take for justice. Ben said the book is about her journey through grief and anger and what actions she struggles with choosing. Should she violently retaliate or rally her community to stand peacefully against the police department?


 From Ben: “On his way home from work Jerome is killed by the police.  His younger sister doesn’t know how to handle it. At the trial, even though Jerome was unarmed the officers are acquitted.   Enraged, Kaneesha sets upon a journey of Justice. Along the way she must decide if militancy or nonviolence is the correct path to seek equality.   I wrote this graphic novel after seeing multiple abuses visited upon the people of a neighborhood in Gary, Indiana. Kaneesha is a fictional story that is based on the reality of what it is like in places like Gary. “


 $4,000 which will go entirely to printing the graphic novel.


This book has been completed but shelved for some time now. I’ve heard him constantly asked at cons, “When’s this coming out?” or “How much longer ‘till we can get a copy?” It’s outstanding to see that it’s finally coming into the light. Ben’s almost halfway there from it finally being on your shelf. Back his book!

Follow this link to learn more and support this campaign »

The Maroon Volume 1: The Cursed Shadow

By Derek W. Lipscomb

I’ve ranted and praised Derek Lipscomb’s The Maroon in two different reviews. Once for CXC and another for The latter is a filmblog that encouraged me to share the review because of how cinematic Derek’s book was.

 It’s a Southern-fried historical fantasy that has its roots in classic western movies. This is one of my favorite series on CXC. There are equal amounts of imagination and badassness on each page.



Drawing from history, mythology, supernatural and high-adventure, The Maroon is a mature graphic novel series set in pre-Civil War America that follows the exploits of a mysterious Black Seminole fugitive, who is accused of a horrid act. Unsure if he has committed this atrocity or not, he must navigate lawmen, bounty hunters and supernatural fiends as he makes his way to refuge.


 The goal is for $2,000. He’s just about halfway there with a little more than two weeks to go.


 The $2,000 will go to printing a TBP of all 6 issues of The Maroon. Each issue plays out as a single arcing story that reveals more and more of our main character’s history. Its best read all at once, rather than single issue *in my opinion*!

Follow this link to learn more and support this campaign »

Thank you for checking out the Crowdfunding Roundup – May 2018  |  by Anthony Cleveland

After decades of lurking the backroom of his beloved comic shop, Anthony Cleveland released his first comic Silver Skin issue #0 in 2017. He spends most of his time tweaking his upcoming projects, reading an unhealthy amount of horror shorts, and slaving away at his day jobs.

Twitter & IG @ant_cleveland



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Fantasy | Comic History Mysteries | Episode #13

Join The Rambling Phoenix and The Voice on this fantastical episode of Comic History Mysteries!

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Check out the trailer:


Listen, subscribe and join the converstation by leaving a comment below!



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The Maroon Volume 1: The Cursed Shadow | Featured CXC Kickstarter


The Maroon Volume 1: The Cursed Shadow

By Derek W. Lipscomb Owl Eye Comics

The Cursed Shadow chronicles the quest of a nameless Black Seminole, who is out to find solace in the treacherous climate of 1850’s America, after being accused of committing a massive slaughter of a small town in Georgia. Unsure if he is guilty of said crime or not, he contends with bounty hunters and lawmen, figures from both history and folklore, as well as mythical creatures and dark magic. The Maroon Volume


1: “The Cursed Shadow” compiles the first six issues into one complete 172 page volume.

Some rewards for this Kickstarter include custom sketches, both digital and hard copies of the finished trade as well as the opportunity to become a featured character in a future issue!

Click here to support The Maroon Volume 1: The Cursed Shadow

Find out more and connect

Instagram  | Twitter


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Disnification! | Comic History Mysteries | Episode #11

Today on Comic History Mysteries the Rambling Phoenix returns from Disneyland with tales from the house of Mouse!

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The boys are talking Disnification, what it is, what it means to Comics and how Disney has changed the game.

Show notes:

Public Domain characters thread ComixCentral forum

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Comic History Mysteries Episode #10 – Ninjas in Comics

Today on Comic History Mysteries we are flying Phoenix-less! Yes, today The Voice and The Janitor are discussing NINJAS!

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We’ll be talking Ninja Turtles, Indie Comics that feature Ninjas and of course a healthy helping of puns and rambling Ninja focused conversation. The Janitor delights and informs us all with his deep knowledge of Japanese culture, Ninjas in particular.

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Comics History Mysteries – Nazis in Comics | Episode #9


Comics History Mysteries – Nazis in Comics | Episode #9

This week on Comic History Mysteries the Voice, Rambling Phoenix and of course the Janitor, have a fascinating conversation about Nazis in Comics.

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Comic History Mysteries Episode | Episode #7 Puerto Rico

On this week’s Comic History Mysteries, The Voice, Rambling Phoenix and The Janitor have a sleep deprived conversation that starts with Puerto Rico, the Comicbook project la borinqueña, moves into cell phone power, scammy Kickstarters and goes on from there! Enjoy the delirious fun!

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For more history fun with the Ramblin Phoenix’s check out his history blog:


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History Mysteries #6 | Libraries and More

 On this week’s Comic History Mysteries, a heartfelt tribute to Stephen Hawking, a discussion on what makes a villain and how some can be lovable in spite of their horrible deeds, Moby Dick, of course Batman makes an appearance and eventually the boys get around to discussing how you can use your local library as a Comic Shop of sorts! Enjoy the madness!

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For more history fun with the Ramblin Phoenix’s check out his history blog:




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Comic History Mysteries #5 | Defining Indie

 On this week’s Comic History Mysteries, the boys are arguing about what defines Indie in all its genres; comics, film, music and… continents?

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For more history fun with the Ramblin Phoenix’s check out his history blog:



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Comic History Mysteries #4 | Myths & Folklore


This episode the Ramblin Phoenix, The Voice and The Janitor discuss myths and folklore as influences on comics and media.

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Show Notes:

To begin Ramblin wants to first discuss the elephant in the room when discussing myth and comics, which is Neil Gaiman, who work is so steeped and influenced by myth it is nearly a genre unto itself.

Dragon Ball is brought of as an example of a story that was inspired by the Chinese myth “Journey to the West.”
…it devolves for a bit there… in which they hit upon the comic Lucifer, Jumanji: Welcome to The Jungle, Wreck it Ralph, and the Netflix show Castlevania.

The discussion moves onto trickster figures in myth. Beginning with the Hawaiian demigod Maui. Loki is perhaps the most famous of the trickster figures. Ramblin goes on to explain how the Marvel Universe actually changed many of the aspects and connections found in Norse mythology. That leads to a discussion of some real Norse myths, followed by a comparison between Thor and Hercules.
This evolves into a discussion about the history of theater, and the conception of the idea of “The Age of Heros.”

Ramblin also wants to cut Hades some slack as he seems to be made out to be the Greek version of the devil when he actually did his job while Zeus could not keep it in his pants.

The group next brings up how comics often will take inspiration or use characters from different myths as part of their story arcs.

The group moves on from ancient myth to a more modern myth: Cthulhu. There is a fascination with playing the idea of ripping away the veil of reality.
Next, the topic of different versions of the same story is discussed. Ramblin feels that it is not helpful to try to find A “definitive” version but enjoy what different versions are trying to say with these same characters.
The Janitor being up the thought that that is something that indie comics do all the time which is taking these myths and retaining them in brand new ways to tell a new story.

In the end, myths make interesting stories and continue to inspire new stories in many different mediums but especially in comics.

For more history fun with the Ramblin Phoenix’s check out his history blog:

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Comic History Mysteries | Episode 3: “How we Consume Media”


On today’s show, The Voice and the Ramblin Phoenix are joined by…a guy that just works here.

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Today’s discussion covers how the consumption of comics and other media has changed in the last 20 years.

The Phoenix was recently playing his new Nintendo Switch and realized how many indie games are thriving on the Switch, and these game were initially meant to be played on the PC, but are finding a new life on the hybrid console.

He goes on to talk about how he primarily consumes comics digitally, even though that is not how comics were conceived to be enjoyed.

On the flip side to the new ways of consuming media, there is also a pushback in which older and previously thought defunct ways of consuming media are having a resurgence. For example, even though digital books had a major part in the fall of the big box store, mom and pop bookstores are the most popular they have been for a long time.

The guy who works here, who is a musician, relates his experience of still purchasing physical CDs in a world of digital downloads.

The discussions evolve to discuss how physical comics printing has changed and the resurgence of value. There is a tension between purity of product (i.e a vinyl) vs lower quality but a higher density of a product (i.e. 1000 songs on an iPod).

Manga is brought up as an example of an industry which the change of format (physical to digital) has made the art more popular but because the content is being shared for free the industry is struggling.

The shifts to how iTunes, and later streaming services, changed music industry for better and for worse.

There has been a reaction of these new way of consumption with a new popularity of an older style of consumption be it vinyl, hardcover books, or physical comics.

These new formats, like the rise in audiobooks, have also allowed people to find more of the things they might like more easily.

Somehow, the discussion goes onto an extended discussion topic of fan fiction.

Next up is a discussion about how a new patronage model is appearing and is positivity effect on these industries.  In addition, there is a whole new level of personal interaction between artists and consumers.

Ramblin Phoenix then brings up some real history and discusses how people in history reacted to changes in how books were consumed. He then quotes a 16th-century academic who was dubious about how engaging with books would change when they were printed instead of handwritten.

They conclude with final thoughts that this is a new interconnected time of opportunity for artists and how artists might be surprised in the was a consumer chooses to engage with their art.

For more history fun with the Ramblin Phoenix’s check out his history blog:

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The Maroon[Review]


Reviewed by Anthony Cleveland

Writer/illustrator: Derek W. Lipscomb

Derek W. Lipscomb (writer/illustrator) approached ComixCentral to discuss his comic book series: The Maroon. We gave it a crack and discovered a fantastic series with genre combinations that have yet to be explored in other comics. The Maroon combines Leone’s Man with No Name trilogy with the fantastic mythology of American legends and history, all while never once pulling a single punch or tomahawk throw.

“The world I have The Maroon inhabit is a crazy mix of folklore fantasy with horror-inspired from Le Pacte de Loups (Brotherhood of the Wolf),Derek began. I love how that film blends lore from history and fabricates it’s own clever take on the legend of The Beast of Gévaudan. I liked the idea that in the nooks and crannies of 1850 American history, there were mythical creatures and supernatural dealings that permeated the fringes of a growing civilization.”

Derek pitched his comic to me as a simmering campfire cauldron mixed with western films, anime features, & spiced generously with Native American mythology. If I could add to Derek’s pitch, I would say this is very much like a Conan the Barbarian story taking place in the 1800s south. Like many of the classic Conan stories, they begin grounded in a somewhat familiar and historical setting and later introduce the more fantastical elements. What remains constant throughout is how we are reminded that this is a savage world these characters inhabit.

The stand out issues were #1 and #3. In each of these issues, the strengths of the series are on full display. With issue #1, we are introduced to a father and son, who we are led to believe will be the main focus of the arc. A few pages later we meet The Maroon (real name unknown), who is on the run and is being pursued by a posse. As the issue comes to a close, the three are confronted by the posse and #1 concludes with a tragic climax that sets the tone for the rest of the series.

“ While The Maroon is a blending of history with the fantastic,  what I really hope comes from this experience, is the further exposure of a pocket an American-created people often blindsided by ‘grander events that pushed American History forward,’ ” Derek added.

Derek’s research into his settings must be applauded as well. Throughout he uses specific historical events as backdrops to his character’s stories. He also goes on to describe specific Native American tribe culture and incorporates their mythology into his story arcs. This shows through best in Issue #3.

By this issue, Derek fully immerses the reader with the fantasy elements of his story. #3 also sheds more light on our main character’s backstory through a brutal hallucinatory dream sequence that bleeds into reality when he comes face to face with a half-owl, half-woman beast. The fight between the two is raw, bloody, and intense. These 10 pages were the highlight of the series for me.

Another high point of the issue was when tidbits of The Maroon’s backstory is revealed and he’s forced to meet his past face to face. We learn that he was once in love with a woman above his social class and was tricked by a witch to drink a potion that was promised to make her fall in love with him. The potion instead curses him for life. This was the first time we are offered a look back at who The Maroon is.

My only real critique of the book would be to have more moments like this where we can explore that character’s history. Additional issues are on the rise and I’m sure Derek does have more in store for that.

Thank you for checking out this ComixCentral Review by Contributing Author Anthony Cleveland

Click here to find more articles and reviews from Anthony Cleveland  and don’t miss Anthony’s own Comic now available on ComixCentral, Silver Skin

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Comic History Mysteries Episode 2: PIRATES!


Y’aarrrr!! On this the second episode of Comic History Mysteries, we be talking about pirates!

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Show Notes:

The Ramblin Phoenix was struck by something said in an interview with Watchman creators Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons.  In a world like Watchman where superheroes are real, the comics would have to turn somewhere else for “fantastical” storytelling. They came the conclusion that that very well could have been pirates. This is why there is a pirate comic featured in Watchmen. The Ramblin Phoenix then goes on to explain why he is someone who can speak on the topic of pirates:

  1. His father claimed he had been captured by pirates a boy.
  2. He worked at the Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Disney World.
  3. In graduate school, he took a class on pirate history

The Voice also worked a Disney, he has many excellent, but non-pirate related stories. He will share those stories if there interest on our twitter @cxcpodcast    

Not only do pirates show up in Watchman, in The Tales of the Black Freighter, but in the urban fantasy series, Mercy Thompson, where the werewolf pack relieves tension by playing a pirate video game.    

The Ramblin Phoenix goes on to note that comics are often associated with superhero stories, but while connected they are not synonymous and comics very well may have focused on pirates or other topics had circumstance been different.

He goes on to briefly talk about the history of movie pirates, and how for many years they were not at all profitable.

…The Voice really likes Muppets…which leads to Ramblin Phoenix having an ADD moment.

The discussion moves onto the Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic “Treasure Island” and how it originated many of the classic pirate tropes.  

Also is how Robert Newton, who played Long John Silver in the Disney 1950’s version of Treasure Island, created what we think of as the pirate voice. The real pirate voice was an amalgamation of a large number of languages and dialects. But historians agree, there was a lot of swearing.  

Captain Charles Johnson 1724 book, A General History Of Pirates is considered an early collection of primary source stories about real pirates.  He then goes on define that when we think of “Pirates” we generally are thinking ‘The Golden age of Piracy,” 1650s-1730s. But that reminds the Phoenix of a story about Julius Caesar and how he dealt with pirates.

He then starts laying out the historical breakdown of the three eras of Piracy in the Golden Age. Each age is discussed in the context of a famous pirate. For the Privateer era: Sir Francis Drake. For the Buccaneer era: Captain Henry Morgan. And for the Black Flag Freebooter era: Black Beard and Black Bart.

In this discussion, we also highlight the Spanish pillaging of gold in the Americas, which is one reason those ships were attacked.

Also highlighted is the reason for the romantasiciton of pirates, in that they chose to change the rules by which they live by and create a new life, which required them to turn their backs on everything they knew before. The is followed by a discussion of the issue with the idea of buried pirate treasure.

The Princess Bride even gets a mention.

They then wrap all the way back to indie comics. Showing how indelible the idea of pirates moves from history to storytelling as compelling inspiration, highlighting some interesting pirates comic coming out France.

They then highlight pirates in modern comics, most of which are Marvel and DC tuning their characters into pirates for a story arc.

The discussion ends by highlighting the most popular comic in the world currently, which is a pirate comic- the Manga, One Piece.

If you are interested in more on pirates feel free to check out the Ramblin Phoenix’s history blog:  where he has recently uploaded a new post on Port Royal Jamaica, the Pirate town so evil it was smote by God!

Sources mentioned in the Podcast:

Marcus Rediker, Villains of all Nations

Captain Charles Johnson General History of Pirates

Robert Louis Stevenson, Treasure Island

Disney’s Treasure Island

Muppet Treasure Island

Nigel Mitchell, AVAST! It’s The 15 Best Pirates in Comics

French Comics:

Christophe Blain, Isaac the Pirate

Clair de Lune Dread MacFarlane

The Famous French Comic Asterix

Eiichiro Oda,  One Piece


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Comics History Mysteries #1


On this Very First Comics History Mysteries, “The Voice” and “The Ramblin Phoenix” have a conversation about things from comics that have crossed over to mainstream culture and how often we don’t even think about or realize they are from comics.

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Show Notes:

The show begins with introductions and what we envision for this new and exciting podcast. While the episodes will always use indie comics as a jumping off point all nerd culture, and all of history is open for discussion.

The conversation moves on to examples of history influencing comics using examples like Watchman, Sandman, Fables, and V for Vendetta.

In order to highlight the inverse of how comic book phrases and ideas entered popular culture, the “Dynamic Duo” use Superman as an example and speak at length about Superman references in popular culture and music.

The conversation rambles on to highlight different phrases that began in comics and can be found in popular culture and add some historical context to those phrases.

The topic then changes to the discussion of ancient history, oral history, and prehistory. Followed by a brief discussion of the “comics are for kids.” debate, in which the Ramblin Phoenix brings up an issue of Sandman and a detail in Watchmen that he believes could only be done justice in the comic book medium.

The conversation moves on to a discussion about how storytelling in comics is necessarily different from those in books. Followed by how we consume comics.

The Ramblin Phoenix wishes to emphasize at this point that he has ADHD.

The conversation circles all the way back and ends by highlighting even more words we may not have realized originated in comics.

Articles Mentioned on the Podcast:

 MentalFloss: 10 Words & Phrases Coined in Comic Strips

Top 10 list of Superman Mentions in Pop Music:

Youtube Show: What’s the Difference:

Ramnblin Phoenix’s Article about Urban Fantasy and Comics:



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Episode #28 | Newton Lilavois


Do you struggle with juggling 9 to 5 obligations with your comic creativity? Are you a new writer in need of support? Are you desperate to find inspiration for the first page of your graphic novel?

Check out this new indie comic craftsman originally hailing from Haiti. Have no fear, Newton Lilavois is here! He’s also a genuine indie comic convert who started with our generic superheroes and graduated to the world of indie comics via Walking Dead. Like I always say, need an army? Zombies got yo’ back… unless they’re… hungry…

In addition to being a tremendous supporter of the indie comic movement through Kickstarter, he also happens to be a brilliant writer originally from Haiti. It doesn’t get much more topical than that and we’re grateful to have him on The Comix Central Podcast. He talks about the creative process behind Crescent City monsters. Both the story and the interview focus on the invaluable support that comes from family and what happens when it’s taken away. It’s a zombie twist with a backdrop of Haitien mythological history. Check it out or be left out.

Crescent City Monsters Page

He doesn’t shy away from his support of other indie comics. We talk Cognition, and The Werespider (a reimagining of the African folktale Anansi).  He admits drawing inspiration from other mediums like television. He references the online program Master Class as initial support though he doesn’t always take their advice. Most importantly, Newton talks about the love of the process. Storytelling is a long arduous task. As we all know, it’s not for the faint of heart. Simply “liking” your story just isn’t in the cards. Love is the only way to survive in this business. Luckily, most of the time it’s contagious. As the most successful members of the nerd nation will tell you, learn by doing. I’m excited to see Newton’s story develop. Keep up with him at and remember friends, you can’t finish what you don’t have the courage to start in the first place.

Love the stories you tell, because they’re gonna be with you for a long time. – Newton Lilavois

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Connect with Newton

twitter Instagram

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Episode #25 | Stephen McCoy


Will we ever run out of stories to tell? Blogger and history junky Stephen McCoy doesn’t seem to think so.

On this weeks episode of “Adventures in Interviewing” Chris Hendricks interviews Stephen McCoy. They tackle the use of tropes in storytelling, how comics represent our modern day mythology and the importance of using Indie comics to shine a spotlight on current social issues as seen in Edgardo Miranda-Rodriguez’s “La Borinqueña”; a much-needed highlight on a Puerto Rican superhero giving hope and culture back to the worlds biggest tiny island in their time of need in the wake of hurricane Maria’s devastation.

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Connect with Stephen:

twitter  |  cxc profile   |