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Two Friends Enter, One Comic Leaves! The Invasion from Planet Wrestletopia Origin Story


Suspicious Behavior Productions is Matt Entin and Ed Kuehnel – two professional game writers who became friends and co-writers, and who created a company to have the creative freedom to put their own stories out into the world, for better or worse.


Ed:
I was a nerd growing up in Portland, Oregon the 70’s and 80’s – into comics, cartoons, video games and especially wrestling. My family was one of the first on our block to get cable, so in addition to watching the WWF on NBC and our local NWA territory, Pacific Northwest Wrestling, I’d watch hours of Georgia Championship Wrestling on Superstation WTBS from Atlanta and the AWA on ESPN. I’d buy several wrestling magazines each week and even buy back issues at used bookstores so I could explore wrestling’s history. One of the walls in my bedroom was overlaid with corkboard, and I covered every square inch with wrestling posters and magazine clippings.

I’ve struggled with my weight all of my life, so it’s amusing to reflect that my favorites – Bobby Jaggers, Dusty Rhodes, “Playboy” Buddy Rose – were all overweight guys that still managed to kick ass and act baller. Those guys were my superheroes, just as much (if not more so) than Spiderman or Batman. I don’t watch much wrestling now, but I still dig it as an art form and look back on it with fondness.

Matt:
I grew up in the 80s and 90s in the north suburbs of Chicago. As a kid, the WWF (as it was known back then) was omnipresent and Hulk Hogan was its most iconic face. We didn’t get cable until I was in junior high, so I only had access to Saturday Night’s Main Event, Hulk Hogan’s Rock ‘n’ Wrestling, and locally syndicated airings of G.L.O.W. Still, my brother and I were captivated. We used to act out our favorite matches (Hulk vs. Andre! Steamboat vs Savage! Ultimate Warrior vs. Rick Rude!) on my parents’ king-size bed, our poorly-executed scoop slams and diving elbow doing untold damage to the box spring. After cable finally came into the Entin household, I had access to a lot more wrestling – that was during the creative lull of the early 90s when the rosters were crowded with gimmicks like Doink, Papa Shango, and Disco Inferno. Wrestling almost lost me then, but the nWo debuted right when I was in high school, and that was it – I was a fan for life.

Ed:
As a kid, I made this promise to myself that one day I would work as a writer in video games or animation. The only things holding me back were depression, a nasty addiction, a total lack of self-esteem, bad grades, zero discipline and no plan whatsoever on how to make it happen. At twenty-eight or so I was walking down the street to my dead-end job and happened to walk past the offices of Bungie, which were in Chicago at that time (this was well before Halo). I was already a fan of their games, so when I looked through the office window to see all these cool creatives with game posters on their walls and toys on their desks I got jealous, then I got inspired. I began to work on myself and made a plan of sorts on how to break into the games industry. A year or so later (this was 2001) I got my foot in the door at a game studio in the suburbs of Chicago. I found myself doing some writing for the games I worked on and a few years later I was sitting next to Matt Entin – a new hire brought on to help us with the dialog for Leisure Suit Larry: Magna Cum Laude. We’ve been friends and cowriters ever since.

Matt:
I went to college to be a computer animator. I thought I’d probably work for Pixar or ILM. During my senior year, my friend and I made a point-and-click adventure game called Ockers, about a foul-mouthed Australian reprobate. I wrote the story and dialog for it. The first video game studio that hired me brought me on as a writer (not as an animator) based on my work on Ockers. I remember my first meeting with Ed during the interview process. Ed didn’t want to do a formal interview, so we just talked about old LucasArts games for thirty minutes. Little did I know, it was the beginning of an enduring friendship and collaboration that would still be going strong a decade-and-a-half later.

Ed:
So Matt and I had some success together as writers on Magna Cum Laude, but not so with the ill-fated sequel. The studio hit hard times and was forced to lay us off. I was crushed – my wife wasn’t working at the time and we our boys were still rugrats, then. Matt was indomitable – he encouraged me to make the thirty-minute drive into the city during the dead of winter, park eight blocks from his drafty apartment and write screenplays with him while we looked for jobs. We had a blast and it took my mind off of my anxiety. We also came up with some cool ideas for scripts and finished several of them in the years that followed – one of them was Invasion from Planet Wrestletopia.

Matt:
After the lay-off, I left video games to go to advertising school—first in Minneapolis, then in Europe. It was during my six-month European jaunt that Ed and I worked on Invasion from Planet Wrestletopia. If you go back and read that first draft (which is almost a decade old now), so many of the major pieces were in place—including the wrestling bear.

Ed:
In the years after the layoff, I gradually found myself writing for video games full time as a freelancer – several of them with Matt. At this point I’ve worked on almost seventy video games – some big, some not so big, but I’m hugely grateful to have a career in an industry that I love and to be able to work from home to boot. In fact, it was our relative success in video games that caused us to Matt and I to abandon writing spec scripts for Hollywood. The gamble just didn’t seem worth it.

One of our beloved stories stuck with us, however – like a Billy Jack Haynes headlock, we just couldn’t get free of it – Invasion from Planet Wrestletopia.

Matt:
Invasion from Planet Wrestletopia was a story we just had to get out there. While we were both comic book fans, writing comics wasn’t something we’d even considered before. But it slowly dawned on us that Wrestletopia’s colorful characters and over-the-top narrative were perfectly suited for the medium. It was also something we could self-fund… or so we thought. Sure, once we put together a creative team, it cost just a bit– okay a lot more than we’d initially estimated, but just to see Rory and Don and Manifest Destiny finally come alive was priceless.

Ed:
So here we are, a fifteen years later, still writing for games and still committed to publishing Invasion from Planet Wrestletopia (and hopefully many more comics to come). To loosely quote former NWA champion and hardcore legend Terry Funk, “The money isn’t there but the times are good.” For a couple of guys used to work-for-hire gigs, the creative freedom is intoxicating, and we’re thrilled with the reaction to our first two issues (our third is on the way). We’re still looking for a publisher and we’re still hoping it’ll somehow take over the world, but even if it doesn’t, we won’t give up.

Peace, Love and Brown Rice,

Ed & Matt

From left – ED, Weird Al, Matt
Dan “The Body” Schkade and Marisa Louise (AK Col. Von Slamstein) our artist and colorist, respectively.

 


Connet with Ed & Matt

Twitter: @SBP_Comics  |  Tumblr   |   ComixCentral

Buy Invasion from Planet Wrestletopia on ComixCentral!







 

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Patience, in all things | This is the truth behind webcomic creation


It was a few days after an uneventful brainstorming session with a mutual friend that I approached Colin with the concept of Folklore.

He said he liked the idea, so on July 31, 2012, I began writing what would be the plot for the very first issue. The exact time I started was around 11:58 PM, and the only reason I know that is because Google Docs are a godsend with timestamps.

On March 1, 2016, we uploaded our very first page of Folklore to Tapastic — a hub for webcomics that served as our main ‘website’ until a friend and supporter helped us create our own. Folklore’s first issue had actually gone live a month earlier but was only available on Patreon for people who wanted to support us. We didn’t know indie platforms for web distribution existed yet. Patreon just kind of seemed like an ok place to start.

On May 11, 2018, Folklore’s creators, Adam Ma (myself) and Colin Tan Wei, finally met face to face for the first time. Together we sold Folklore’s first volume at the Toronto Comic Arts Festival. We have been on this journey for almost six years and had never once before been in the same room (let alone province) as each other. It was a thrilling experience.

This is the truth behind webcomic creation.

It’s a long story. People often ask for advice on making a comic, and it’s hard not to reflexively spout out a lot of the same stuff. If you want the condensed version:

Start working on it now.

Don’t stop working on it.

Get lots of critique and criticism.

Don’t be afraid to show off your work and market yourself.

Never give up.

I’d call this kind of advice ‘the easy stuff’. It’s time-honored because it’s true, and it works, and don’t get me wrong these points are super important. But you’ve probably heard it all before. It’s the kind of inspirational advice that can just as easily be delivered to you from the poster of a kitten hanging off a tree.

Colin and I have learned a lot over the past few years, but the most profound lessons have mostly come from making mistakes. There’s a lot we could impart from our failures. For this post I’d really like to just focus on one:

Being Patient

As an independent creator, you’re responsible for a lot of things, and it’s easy to grow impatient when you’re watching other indie creators flourish. You want to get in on the excitement of seeing a project completed — but it’s also very easy to be intimidated when you consider that a single artist often doesn’t simply update their comic.

As an independent creator, you’re responsible for more than just finding a proper platform for your work. Advertising your comic, planning merchandise, securing a table for cons, engaging your fans, regularly updating your crowdfunding sites (like Patreon or Kickstarter), and connecting with other creators all eat into time otherwise spent developing your actual comic. But these things are also essential to help grow your audience in the long run.



A writer and artist team (like us) can divide the work more evenly between two bodies, but this often comes with the perceived notion of needing to work faster as a result. A writer who has already completed their script can put a lot of pressure on an artist to complete their work just as quickly. Likewise, an illustrator may feel like they need to finish panels they don’t fully understand or agree with.

We solve this by constantly checking in with each other at every step of the creative process, as well as pushing release dates back if we need to.

Deadlines are self-imposed, and while it’s important to stick to them you should never feel obligated to place a release date over the quality of your work.

This isn’t the gaming industry after all. Our readers are our only investors, and we owe them the highest quality we can produce.

Few comics explode in growth overnight, however, those that find success often do so because of the obvious time and care that’s been invested in their creation. You may not be ready to share any part of your comic during the first year of its development. There may be elements of the world you’re unsure of or a character design that simply feels weak. It’s ok to take time to refine these things.

In fact, here’s a list of things you can (and should) work on before your comic is ready to be shown to the world:

Do you have a website, and will you be using mirror sites?

Are you comfortable with your character design, and are your characters easy to identify? How often do you want to release updates?

What happens if you get sick, or need a break? Do you have a buffer?

Do you have a goal planned for the year in terms of audience growth?

What social media networks can you use to draw some extra attention to your work? How often will you use them?

Delaying your comic’s release for a proper website, or so that you can have a release buffer may feel awful. There’s nothing worse than holding onto completed work you want to share. But if it means seeing your work properly grow and flourish, it’s a sacrifice you must be willing to make.

Of course, being patient also means knowing when to take a break.

Creating a comic is hard work, and it’s a fact that many indie creators can’t afford to work on their project full time. Myself included. Combined with the stress of a regular day job it can be difficult to juggle your paycheck and personal goals. When the stress of working on your comic starts to feel like a second job you may feel tempted to just push through it — but there’s a better solution.

Take a break. Step back.

via GIPHY

If you read comics regularly then you know better than anyone else how easy it is to tell when an artist or writer has been stretched too thin. Some may complain at the lack of updates, but at the end of the day, no one will enjoy a story that feels published at the expense of your creative health or wellbeing.

So go out there and plan your dream comic. Outline a plot, share the idea with friends and peers. Set your release schedule and figure out how you plan on interacting with readers. Make exhausting trips across the country to sell your work at a convention you’re not entirely sure will be a success.

But no matter what you do, just be patient. Your work will only flourish when you give it the time it deserves.

Featured: a couple of nerds (left, Colin Tan Wei, right, Adam Ma)

Adam Ma is the writer/creator of Folklore, a post-apocalyptic superhuman webcomic about monsters, responsibility, and the delicate balance of preserving fact from fiction.


You can support Folklore via their ComixCentral store here

Enjoy regular updates at http://folklorecomic.com/

Be sure to only follow Adam on Twitter if you enjoy Star Wars, peanut butter cups, and dogs. @4thGingerbread







 

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Indie Wars: The Chronicles of Etherington | Episode I | Indie Comic Success in the Absence of Industry Space


Chapter 1: An Early Frame of Reference

(Why you need to read this)

All right you barmy kings and queens of comic-country. Is indie-ink’s wonky industry leaving you gutted, gormless and creatively absent? More importantly, do you STILL doubt your story-sketching skills will ever pay the bills? Well, budge up and prepare to get gobsmacked by the ace dynamic duo of art known as the Etherington Brothers.

Born to be a beacon of brilliance for all comic fans and creators, Lorenzo and Robin Etherington grew up with piles of stapled-story paper by their bedside. They grew up on classics like Asterix (French comic), The Beano (a weekly U.K. comic for kids) and, of course, Calvin and Hobbes. The brothers started early making comics for their schoolmates. From the beginning, the hustle was real.

Soon they would cut their teeth on a super-indie comic called Malcolm Magic, but that was only the beginning. Still doubt me you do, hmmm? Google comic brothers U.K. you must and take a gander at all the graphic grandeur my friends. They’re the #1 result for a reason. These paladins of the panel have been marching across the graphic-novel globe for 15 years and counting–leaving behind a cartoon conquest of genre-bending proportions. They climbed the fantasy ladder with dramatic dedication, eventually landing clients like Dreamworks, and Disney.

Their advice is indeed worthy of any future Skywalkers (see what I did there). Together, we’ll Star-Wars our way through a step-by-step galactic conquest of the indie-comic empire U.K. style. That’s right, Star Wars is a verb now. We’ll take a trench run through trepidation. We’ll dodge the lasers of laziness and inadequacy. We’ll learn the ways of the force using fellowship and grit. We’ll Obi-wan our community of rebel readers, and in the end, with the wave of a pen (or stroke of a key), we’ll make our panel-planet cry out in a loud, united voice these ARE the comics you’re looking for. Stay in formation. Let’s do this.

Chapter 2: Find Your Own Jedi Master

(The Power of a Mentor)

In the beginning, the U.K. comic scene was starving for aspiration. According to the brothers Etherington, the English cavalcade of cartoon creativity was running rampant with hobby loving heroes. There seemed to be lots of talent caught in a war between apathy and ambition. It’s important to remember that there’s nothing at all wrong with being a hobbyist. Cartoon careers are not for the faint of heart. The “successful” artist path has always been a dark-wooded maze and some would much prefer a direct line to the dollar sign. Early on, being guided by the light of our own hopes and dreams feels a bit like a torch that gets heavier and heavier under the weight of life experience. Artistic success also means lots of twists and turns that hobbyists have the luxury of avoiding. If you’re more like the Etheringtons however than being a hero maker is probably one of those “never or forever” kinds of things. It’s the moment I should do this becomes I must do this. We mustn’t forget to lighten the load by learning on the masters that came before us. This means reaching out to those who have found success in the business of art and becoming students in both mind and spirit. Learning practical advice is one thing, but developing a mindset of creative courage is even more important. The Indie Jedi of the past tend to be especially available if your passion happens to be comics. The point: Find a master that is both skilled and driven. In internet land, there’s no excuse not to reach out. You need a leader in passion as much as you need one in knowledge if not more so.

via GIPHY

 While many masters have already been mentioned, the creative bro-pendulum known as Etherington had yet to find full swing. That is until the comic Jedi Jeff Smith (creator of the popular comic Bone) landed his spacecraft of creative awesomeness at a con the brothers happened to be attending. All true creators know that certain destinies are meant to meet despite the vastness of time and space and this was no exception. Jeff spit comic truth the likes of which the brothers had never heard. He spoke about doing comics for yourself–doing comics for the love of doing comics. Most importantly, he reminded his audience that if you make it WELL… they will come. Jeff had both social proof and passion to back up his success. It was only a matter of time before Jeff’s energy gave our Jedi companions the gumption they needed to hit the reset-my-skills button and get to work on their first lightsaber of story- the ultimate audience grabber- furry talking animals. Yes, the hilarious heroism of Malcolm Magic was born. Who knew the power of listening would have such successful consequences. Take notes my friends, this is just one tip on a very large and pointy iceberg.

Chapter 3: Train Like You Mean It

Working hard is harder (and easier) than you think.

There was a time during their Indie Jedi training when our axis of awesome across the pond dabbled in other jobs. Robin is actually a musician, and the brothers were even in a wedding band together. Even so, the symphonic sound of mutual comic greatness still loomed at the forefront of their minds. Nothing was going to stop them from winning, even in a market as fledging as the U.K. comic scene circa early 2000’s. Here’s a pro tip from our companions during this seed of their comic career. If you’ve got a 9 to 5 job, make sure it’s one where you can schedule meetings outside the office. Then, make meetings with fictional people. Use that time to work on your script or your illustration, and tell your boss the meeting was a wash. It’s the ultimate Indie Jedi mind trick. It also allows you to train and make money at the same time. Our masters admit this tactic is risky and certainly not for everyone.



White lies to avoid mediocrity can sometimes be forgiven in creativity land, but they will always give way to our truest intentions. A comic warrior knows that craft comes first, especially when compared to the safety net-type job that’s totally not your highest excitement. Obi-wan was a great mentor to Luke, but we loved him most when he used his “mind powers” to bend the rules. If creativity is the journey, there’s no reason you shouldn’t use creativity to find the path in the first place. It’s easier to take pride in “the grind” when you can turn challenge into joy. The bros teach us to be alchemists in the making regardless of circumstance. Keep in mind, they spent 3 years making Malcolm Magic without the internet. They still managed to have a new 30-page black and white comic for every convention (they did about 6 cons a year), and they did it with intention. Everything was creator-owned and generated. They even made their own book press! Truly dedicated are you? These Yoda’s of the youth market may question your skill. They had a hand in every aspect of the business in order to work rooms with a knowledge base as close to infinity as they could muster and somehow still made time to eat.

The Etherington Bros

The Etherington Brothers were and are voracious learners of all things comics and business. They learned publishing. They learned writing and illustrating. They learned conventions and the circuit. They learned creative flow. They learned selling. They learned editing. O.K. you get it. They learned stuff. So, what does it all mean? Well, in my eyes and the eyes of many others, they’re successful at doing what they love- comics. So, to me it’s simply intellectual proof that success happens when comic passion transcends the simple nature of stories on panel and page, becoming an appreciation for every aspect of the business. The Etherington brothers teach us to examine the outside of our comfortable world building in order to create a magnet powerful enough to pay the bills. This is what the mentors mean when they say, “if you build it well, they will come.”

Before I forget, when the internet came along, they learned that too (obviously), taking communication, giving and art to the edges of creative space. The point: Learn a little bit of everything, and outwork everyone. As our Etheringtonian companions might say, it’s (somewhat sadly) much easier than you think. This dedication lead to a short story of theirs being picked up by a small American publisher eventually setting off a chain reaction that forged opportunities with Dreamworks, and Disney. Soon enough they were working on iconic stories like Transformers, and yes (writer takes gasp), Star Wars. Don’t worry indie die-hards. The Etherington’s are still very much grassroots at heart, and we are just getting started.

Chapter 4: Mastery Requires Sacrifice

(an editor’s note on editing)

If you think our wonder boys rose to prominence on grit and knowledge alone, you’re still missing a crucial piece of the puzzle young Padawan. Like any skill, storytelling requires patience and drive yes, but also, flexibility. The editing process is constant, whether you like it or not. Editing may be a little easier when your writing partner happens to be your brother, most creators are not that lucky. The key to successful editing for the brothers and for us is simply having an open heart around your creation. In comics, the world may be everything, but don’t let its gravitational pull keep you from exploring the galaxy of artistic industry in your own mind. This exploration requires a certain courageous questioning on our part. The answers may be difficult to stomach from time to time. It would behoove you to find a fellow world maker that makes you ask these questions and tell you like it is. A true master doesn’t run from hard questions or the sometimes destructive answers that may befall his worldly darling as a result. Let’s take a look at some of these tough questions shall we?

How fertile, expansive and compelling is your planet made of paper? How much time have you spent walking among your own genius? Can you ask yourself these questions without impeding your own progress? If you refuse to find these solutions within yourself or others than success in comics is going to be one Jabba of an immovable Hut if you know what I mean. So, how does someone as skilled as an Etherington allow creativity to flow despite the dangers editing can have on the creative ego? See if you fancy any of these alternatives to hardship.



Firstly, have multiple projects. The mind is always more capable than it thinks. This kind of discipline will allow you to actually fall in love with projects falling through. Weird, isn’t? Being a little happy that an arrangement didn’t workout. It’ll decrease stress more than you know. Also, try having at least one project without an end date in mind. This way, you will always have something to look forward to. As contrary as it sounds, be careful about being too happy with a project. You can still treat a project like a million dollar deal without letting the project own you. If you can maintain a feeling of relative happiness (not perfection), as Robin would say, than you’ll always have somewhere to go with projects moving forward. This means you’ll never get bored. Boredom leads to burnout. Burnout leads to “I give up” and THAT is why you fail.

Lastly, being an indie Jedi is fun for sure but who doesn’t enjoy a little villainy from time to time. We’ve been over this. You love every star you take part in growing. You want it to shine as bright as it can. Seriously though, don’t you ever just want to hop aboard an evil space station and blow your story-star to smithereens. You’d be amazed at the masterful inventions that may be floating on the outer rim of the destruction show. My point: We’re going back the age-old adage here. Good writers and storytellers aren’t afraid to kill their darlings. The Etheringtons have done it many times, and yet, they’re still alive. Consider it an exercise in imagination and habit. Building up a world is important, but not nearly as important as building up yourself.

Chapter 5: Epilogue: Far Far Away

(We’re not done yet)

I hope you’ve enjoyed episode 1 of my Etherington Brothers breakdown. If you’re still brave enough to learn from the best story swordsman in the galaxy than stay with me. Next time we learn how to navigate new angles of success in comics by exploring other industries like film. We learn how to force-divide our characters and make a hero worthy of the journeys ahead. We learn how to avoid imperial entanglements such as trends and fads. We explore the golden age of social media, as it remains an elegant weapon for good to the Indie Jedi, but for how long my friends? Perhaps most importantly, we learn how to do a Kickstarter run in less than 12.5 parsecs by treating it like a business all its own. Stay tuned for Episode II: The Social Media Empire Strikes Back. Mark my words Padawan’s of the panel- a new hope of illustrated awesomeness is waiting in the wings for each of us as we ride our indie X-wing to glory. If we can only learn to give first, as the Etherington Brothers have, that hope will lead us to a new republic of united indie industry paying all the bills in the galaxy with passion, drive and comics for years to come.


Be sure to comment, share and join us next time!


By Chris Hendricks

Chris Hendricks is the Host of the ComixCentral Podcast Network and COO of ComixCentral.







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Alex Priest | Featured CXC Kickstarter

 

Alex Priest: Vampire Hunter | Issues 1-3

By Jennifer Arledge

STEP BACK INTO THE WORLD OF ALEX PRIEST THIS SUMMER

This first issue of Alex Priest sucked me in immediately with the epic action sequence between Alex and the vampires. Not only are the fighting moments so fantastically done, but I loved the fun comedic moments added throughout.” — The Nerdy Girl Express

Alex Priest is pure delight, an unofficial sequel to Buffy in an engaging world of surprising depth and detail. It’s got action, romance, laughs, monsters, and all the other cool things that make life worth living.” — Travis Holyfield (STREET CLOTHES)

After two successful Kickstarter campaigns for LGBTQ+ fantasy comic, Alex Priest, writer Jenn Arledge (Future Girl, Black Gold, Trial Run Anthology), principal artist Scott Malin (Green Witch, Artemis, The World’s Worst Bounty Hunter), and cover artist Missy Pena (Steven Universe) are returning to Kickstarter with issue #3.

Last time in Alex Priest: The growing demon army struck a world-shaking blow against our heroes. Alliances will be tested as Alex and Janelle try to clean up the mess. This time? “Issue three continues to rebuild the relationship between Alex and Janelle despite the setback our heroes faced at the close of issue two,” said Arledge. This issue also includes a villain reveal. “We’ve provided hints along the way – peeks at a big bad evil – but he’s finally stepping out of the shadows.”

Alex Priest #3 is also longer with 32 pages compared to the 28 pages in the previous issues. “Issue three sets up our endgame which will be played out in our final two issues,” added Arledge. The final two issues are set to release in Fall 2018 and Spring of next year.

Rewards for this issue include print copies of issue #3, digital back issues, select prints from the Alex Priest cosplay series and cameo spaces for fans or fans’ original characters. Stretch goals will unlock exclusive mini-comics.

The Kickstarter campaign runs from May 15th through June 22nd. 

Click here to support Alex Priest: Vampire Hunter | Issues 1-3


Find out more and connect

CXC Profile  |  Instagram  | Twitter

 






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Inktober, Integrity and the Social Media Marketing Machine with Jake Parker | CXC Podcast


Jake Parker

Wanna know where the concept for Inktober came from? Maybe you wanna know how to harness the power of social media for business? Perhaps you’d like to reminisce about the awesomeness of newspaper comics (strips) particularly Calvin and Hobbes? Frankly, we could all use a reminder that Bill Watterson’s greatness.

Either way, look no further than our interview with Mr. Jake Parker. Inktober is only a slice of the story, my friends.

[podbean resource=”episode=r7z7n-911c7c” type=”audio-rectangle” height=”100″ skin=”1″ btn-skin=”102″ share=”1″ fonts=”Helvetica” auto=”0″ download=”0″ rtl=”0″]

Jake has a way of demanding respect for comics. He fell in love with comics thanks to a local circle K and, of course, the Sunday strip. He began creating comics himself in high school after taking in the medium for years. His passion reminds us that comics can and do stand alone as a powerful megaphone in storytelling. Reading a comic feels a bit like traveling in a time machine. As Jake would say, fans of comics have to work a little bit harder to make the magic work. This means an attention to detail that exists in a world all its own. Readers get to peel over their favorite comics time and time again extracting intimate details that a moving film doesn’t always have the patience for. As a result, there will be ears and eyes for comics now and forever.

Social media is all about finding your tribe. You grow your tribe simply by doing what you say you’re going to do. It means being honest about what’s driving you whether it’s making an impact or making dollars. His social media success comes from experimentation with a hint of vulnerability. It’s amazing what can happen when you encourage a world of digital artists to draw and ink something every single day for 31 days all because you want to get better at it. Thanks to the art blog Drawn.CA for picking up on the value of this contest.  All that aside, the firecracker/lawnmower story alone is the best nugget of social media success advice I’ve heard in a really long time. The best nugget overall though- how an indie comic creator can siphon some DC and Marvels over to our side of the fence.


Show Notes:

References

Missile Mouse by Jake Parker

Calvin and Hobbes by Bill Watterson

Hellboy by Mike Mignola

Seth Godin

Sky Heart- www.skyheartcomic.com



Connect with Jake and learn more about his work

Website: www.mrjakeparker.com

Youtube: JakeParker44

Facebook: MrJakeParker

Instagram: Jakeparker

Twitter: @mrjakeparker







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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!

[podbean resource=”episode=528vw-90e92b” type=”audio-rectangle” height=”100″ skin=”1″ btn-skin=”107″ share=”1″ fonts=”Helvetica” auto=”0″ download=”0″ rtl=”0″]

Check out the trailer:

 

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

 






 

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Emily Executioner | Featured CXC Kickstarter


She Came, She Saw, She Killed

By CEK Content | Chad Kuffert

PLOT:

A coming of age story about a young woman who was orphaned, then raised by military contractors, Emily is forced to choose between her morals and family. The setting and plot put into question the ethics of a for-profit military contractor group.

WHAT THEY NEED:

The modest $900 goal is almost reached, let’s really make this a success so there will be an issue two.

WHY YOU SHOULD BACK IT:

It’s a full colour, 28-page, finished comic. Once the Kickstarter is done, the files will be sent to the printer. If you back a physical book, you’ll get your name in the interior back cover of this print run.


Click here to support Emily Executioner 1st Edition


Find out more and connect

Website  |  Twitter  |  Instagram  |  cekcontent.com

 






 

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Superscript – Comic book Scripting Software | CXC Featured Kickstarter


Superscript

The first text editor built solely for writing comic books and graphic novels. Writers, meet your new sidekick.

About

Superscript is the humble, lovable, secretly powerful writing app designed exclusively for comic book writers. Superscript includes all the usual features found in other text editors, plus it automatically handles all the tedious and distracting tasks you would normally have to do manually when writing a comic book script.

Automatic Numbering

Automatic Formatting

Spoken Word Count

Autocomplete

Add Comments and Images

And more!

Preview Superscript for 7 days. If you like it, please back Superscript to make a wide release possible. If you think it could be better, please back Superscript to help us make it better.

Click here to be taken to the Kickstarter page to download your FREE TRIAL!

Notice: this is very much a work in progress. There are some known bugs and most likely several unknown bugs. This Kickstarter is meant to pay for testing and development to squash those bugs.

Hey, we interviewed Justin on the ComixCentral Podcast before he launched his Kickstarter.

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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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Comic History Mysteries Episode #12 | Horror


The Horror!

Join The Rambling Phoenix, The Voice and the Janitor who just works here, as they talk HORROR in Comics on this terrifying episode of Comic History Mysteries on the ComixCentral Podcast.

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The ComixCentral Podcast Episode #37 | Game-Changing Tech with Justin Silva  


Hey nerd nation! Are you tired of having to format your comic scripts? Do you feel like your writing process takes a lot longer than it should? Have you been wondering how computer tech and comic writing could possibly relate? Look no further than this tech genius ready to change the game for the comic industry and indie comics in particular- Justin Silva.

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Justin is a tremendous talent who fell in love with writing thanks to his cousins Josh Valliere and Paul Valliere. Josh being a part of the awesomeness of known as Charon Comics. While having a passion for writing his mind really shines when it comes to the design of websites, web apps and, as it happens, personally invented software.

Despite Justin’s humility on the mic, his contribution to the future of this industry should not be understated. His humility, in fact, may be the spark that lights the way for his success in comics. There’s still an odd misconception around “techies” spreading a lie-they are not creative people. The moment you connect with Justin, you’ll realize how wrong you are. This dude plays multiple musical instruments, he draws, he writes, he did stand-up comedy for 5 years (despite the intense fear of public speaking) and, oh yeah, created a largely original idea that didn’t exist before his mind conceived it. You impressed yet?

Justin’s text program, aptly called Superscript, will influence the industry of graphic novels for years to come. Lucky for us, we’ve got his mind and heart brought to you in a single 60-minute podcast. His Kickstarter will be launched on Tuesday, May 1st. Let us come together and be a part of Justin’s creation, and in a way, each of us can be a genuine part of tech history.  

Superscript Mailing List: http://superscriptapp.com

Business Website: www.jpsilva.com

 


 






 

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Anthony Cleveland’s Mini Review Roundup!



Sometimes you just don’t have time to read a bunch of reviews and choose which great Indie Comics you’ll get into next, and when that happens, Anthony Cleveland has got your back and some great picks! It’s Mini Review time!


1. EELMAN CHRONICLES

I fucking love Eelman Chronicles.  There it is; Out of the way. 

There’s just so much heart and thought into this low-fi DIY comic. Eelman Chronicles is Chris Spalton’s (writer & illustrator) retellings of his father’s stories from being..well..an Eelman– someone who catches eels for a living. The stories are about his father’s bizarre run-ins on the job and about his town as a whole. Each story is fun and usually pretty absurd at times–and they stick with you! 

Chris is in the process of putting together a collected volume now, so follow him on social and keep an eye out for updates!

Rating

5/5


2. GUNPOWDER WITCH

What drives me crazy the most about the superhero genre in comics is its lack of originality. If I crack open a superhero book it’s usually because there’s some new ideas that were able to pull me in– for example: Gunpowder Witch’s original pitch. 

Gunpowder Witch ( great title, by the way ) has a very simple question: “What if the accused in the witch trials in the early American colonial era were actually superhumans with powers?” It’s X-Men meets the Crucible in this alternate timeline and it’s a blast! 

There’s a very simple art style here that matches well with the story and the characters are impossible not to connect with. At about 150 pages, it’s a great ride that is well worth your time. Pick this one up!

Rating

5/5


3. TALES FROM DREAMSPACE

While perusing CXC’s horror comics I came across Tales From Dreamspace. The $0.00 price tag made it an easy pick up and I was in the mood for an anthology.

 The horror anthologies I liked as a kid were the ones that were a bit more grudgier and left you feeling that icky horror feeling long after you set the book down

 Several of the stories in Tales from Dreamspace this hit that mark. There’s also few that have classic horror reveals and reversals that feel familiar with the EC horror comics. I was impressed with some stories that committed to challenges like: “How to make a bathroom rug scary?”

 Sprinkled throughout are mini-stories, quotes, and short narratives. It has a feel closer to a digital horror zine than to a classic horror comic you’d find in the backroom of a comic shop. –By no means am taking away points for it being a digital horror zine, but some of the stories didn’t hit the ball as hard as the others and the payoffs didn’t match the stronger narratives.

 Regardless, the stronger stories make it well worth a full read, especially if you’re a horror fan looking for a free and fun fix.

Rating

3/5


Thanks for reading! Don’t forget to subscribe to “the Pulse” for indie Comics new, CXC Updates and more great articles and reviews from 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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Off The Shelf | Episode 0 | ComixCentral Podcast

In a brand spanking new show, The Voice and The Janitor take a leisurely stroll through ComixCentral’s bookshelves – and pull a couple off the shelf at random to flip through.

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This week our sophomoric spotlight falls on the fantastical anthology collection Tales of Charon Vol. 1 and the manga-style first chapter of the boxing saga ‘Her Impact’. Warning: there might be some godawful accents and cheap sound effects along the way. For maximum enjoyment grab a copy of the following comics and read along!


Tales of Charon Vol. 1:

Skylin | Fred Packard, Josh Valliere, Adam Cozart

Taeiyos | Brandon Chen, Kyle Petchock, AJ Young

The Righteous None | Joshua Valliere, Joey Lee Cabral, AJ Young

Her Impact!

Mikel Miles, Digitkame, Summa Agustriyana, Joe Sketch, Deo Keo (Mazu), Lavender Khan, Mirror & Skedaddle


 





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THE FRONTERA: FLASH OF DAWN | CXC Featured Kickstarter

 

CXC Featured Kickstarter!

STAR CROSS COMICS PRESENTS THE FRONTERA: FLASH OF DAWN KICKSTARTER!

Star Cross Comics, publisher of The Last Dragoon, Propaganda Press, and the Spirits of Valor are proud to present the new sci-fi western comic series, FRONTERA: FLASH OF DAWN! Frontera exists in a time where we have freed ourselves from enslavement by an alien species and are now at the highest echelon in the Universe. We follow the exploits of a young woman, Makota, and her journey in that Universe.

Frontera: Flash of Dawn is written by A.J. Kinkade, pencils by Myk Emmshin, colors by Everardo Orozco, letters by Erek Foster, cover pencils by Carlos Gomez, and edits are by Laurie Foster. Frontera: Flash of Dawn is Part 1 of a total of 10 books, and will also have spin-offs for other characters in the Frontera-verse.

“I have been wanting to create something like this for years.” Kinkade says, “I love science fiction and comics. I could also definitely see this adapted into a Netflix or movie series.”

This will be Kinkade’s first comic writing credit, but he hopes that it will not be his last.

“I have always enjoyed comics, since I was a little kid. Kinkade says. “I remember seeing and reading the first one, an Iron Man comic; I bought it because he was fighting with the Hulk underwater on the cover. The TV series is why I became a comic fan.”

Kinkade points to movies such as 5th Element, Star Wars, Guardians of the Galaxy and TV series such as LEXX and Babylon 5 as influences, as well as comics such as Starstruck, Grim Jack, and Howard Chaykin’s AMERICAN FLAGG! “I just love great sci-fi. Kinkade says.

Kinkade plans on spinning off Frontera: Flash of Dawn into other sci-fi comics, such as one about his devil-may-care, cooler-than-cool swashbuckling character, Fess Frontera, called “The Fearslayer”, and one about the cantankerous and unruly Hannibal Lockhaven, once Frontera has taken off.

Click here to support FRONTERA: FLASH OF DAWN’s Kickstarter


Find out more about Flash of Dawn and connect with the creators here:

Instagram  |  Facebook  |  Twitter


 





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The CXC Podcast Episode #36 – Charon Comics | Frederick Packard & Joshua Valliere


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Are you a fan of Charon Comics? Interested in making your own Comics? Publishing and marketing your Comics? Starting a publishing house?

Then take some time and listen to this informative, motivational and fascinating interview with Frederick Packard & Joshua Valliere, the brilliant minds behind Charon Comics.  These two also happen to be 2 parts of the creators behind ComixCentral’s 2017 Fantasy Comic of the Year, “Skylin“! These guys have been there, done that and have some sage advice for your own journey!

“Stories matter. The Wizard did it… isn’t good enough.”

Frederick is the co-author and co-creator to Charon Comic’s first graphic novel series Skylin and Sol Survivor. He is also Charon Comics’ lead marketer and social media guru.
Josh began Charon Comics with Fred after they began collaborating on Skylin, Chrysalis and Sol Survivor series’ asco-authors and creators. Along with writing, he is Charon Comics’ art director and graphic designer.

Connect with Charon Comics and buy their comics using the links below





 

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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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Canada Bear #’s 1 & 2 [Review]


Canada Bear #’s 1 & 2

S & P Comics
Creator and Penciller: Paul Farris
Writer and Letterer: Sean Wilson
Inker: Carlos Azevedo
Reviewer: Rob Wrecks


After reading this, I am so, so, SO glad I saw ComixCentral on Twitter promoting this comic.

I’m even gladder I reached out about potentially reviewing it as well cause this was highly enjoyable for me. To the point it had me laughing over the goofy silliness that’s contained within the pages of these two comics. And any team that can get you laughing more than once over their comic’s events is a team that deserves an award in my humble view. I’m curious if Paul Harris and Sean Wilson have any Canadian roots or if this is just something they chose to do for the heck of it. Or perhaps out of a love for Canadian culture and admittedly, I found more amusement then I should have in the use of the word ‘Eh’ that are found throughout these first two issues. Now Canada Bear is something I probably coulda passed on to Derrick considering his love for stuff involving animals that talk and the like, but then that would have meant I wouldn’t have found so much joy within Canada Bear’s pages. Who is a legit bear who ended up changed thanks to the Canadian Government.

Even if it wasn’t something they were intending on during their (to me anyway) oddball war with the Swiss! Our furry hero can talk, fly, be super strong, and is invulnerable. Kinda like Superman but, you know, furrier and a bear! Canada Bear would be perfect as a cartoon for kids, teenagers, and adults to enjoy together as it’s not something that’s meant to be taken seriously. No, its just meant to be taken as something to enjoy. Or at least that’s how I view what Paul and Sean are doing here. The art and the coloring definitely help sell the idea of this being something for all ages to enjoy. I’m curious just how aware the Canadian Government is of what happened with our furry hero and just what exactly was in that bomb of theirs to change him like it did! Fairly certain though they now know to thoroughly check the land below them for any flight paths they take! Whoever Blue Jaw is talking too at the end of issue one is something I hope we don’t have to wait too long to find out about. Though it’s bound to be amusing either way when the mystery person and Canada Bear tie into it.

Unless of course, Paul and Sean choose to make the whole thing quite seriously. And in issue two, we get to see our furry hero take on a trio of bank robbers. Whom you wouldn’t think would be able to accomplish much considering what two of them are wearing for masks! It’s amusing however with what the leader thinks of Canada Bear, amusing but also an understandable thing given his line of thinking where the big furball is concerned! I’m not necessarily sure you would see this kind of silliness in a Marvel or DC book these days, especially the lengths we would be the leader of bank robberies goes too in order to get what he thinks is a mask from a certain furball. I would love to go on and on about this title from S & P comics, but that would ultimately spoil things for you readers and that’s the last thing I want to do. As this is something that should be enjoyed by many as much as possible due to the highly amusing fun things that go on in these first two issues. Which makes me curious as to how Paul and Sean are gonna top it with the third issue!

Will the ‘Salmon’ prevail where others have tried and failed? I have no idea but I can’t wait to find out!

You can buy Canada Bear issues in the SP ComicShop right here.


Known as Rob Wrecks, and due to a love for Independent titles that was born from an earlier start of reviewing comics for InvestComics. IndieComiX came into life from that love in 2012 and has been a-rockin’ ever since! Can reach him here and read more of his reviews and more on indiecomix.net


 




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CXC Podcast Kickstarter Spotlight | Hollowed

 

Welcome to the very first of what we hope will be a regular series on the ComixCentral Podcast, it’s our Kickstarter Spotlight. Today we’re talking to Comic writer Casey Bacon Strips Bowker!

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 Casey is currently Kickstarting his Half Comic Book/Half Soundtrack/100% Adrenaline, Hollowed. We follow 2 detectives hunting down a brutal killer that hollows out its victims – A Sci-Fi Horror Comedy & Audio Experience.

Click here to learn more and support Hollowed!

Find out all the interesting details that brought this project to life, including an amazing tale of finding a briefcase full of music in a Route 66 gas station bathroom!

Hurry! This Kickstarter only has a few days left! But, you can always keep up to date with Casey and purchase copies of Hollowed after the campaign is over.

Connect with Casey

Twitter  |  dontforgetatowel.com


 


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Crowdfunding Roundup – April 12, 2018

Colossal Chaos from Out of the Blue

I’ve outgrown most of the subgenres that I adored from my childhood. Superheroes bore me. Epic space fantasies just make me shrug and say “meh.” But for whatever reason, the ‘nostalgia tingles’ I get Kaiju genre haven’t faded for me. My nostalgia vibes were on overload with the teaser trailer for Colossal Chaos from Out of the Blue– a Kaiju anthology.

PLOT :

This is the fourth installment of the Out of the Blue anthology series. 57 comic creators from around the world helped put together this kaiju anthology. AmazingTales.net says, “Colossal Chaos is packed with twists on the theme, across a variety of genres. Oversized humans, gigantic space aliens, enormous city devouring monsters, behemoth insects, or just really big robots, every sci-fi trope of towering creatures is turned on its head.”

WHAT THEY NEED :

As I write this they have 20 days to go and a lot more to fund. They’re at $400 right now and have a goal set of $4,400. So there’s still a trek to go.

WHY YOU SHOULD BACK IT :

It’s a thick anthology — at 130 pages! The $50 + art rewards are awesome too. The standard trade paperback features cover art by Diego Galindo (Dynamite, Zenescope). There’s also a Kickstarter exclusive hardcover with wrap-around cover at by Kelly Williams (IDW, Dark Horse).  

Follow this link to learn more and support this campaign »


Chester & Grace: The Adirondack Murder

True crime is one of the most interesting genres I’ve seen done in the graphic novel medium, There’s classics like From Hell, Torso, Green River Killer, and My Friend Dahmer. Chester & Grace: The Adirondack Murder looks like a great addition to any true crime library.

PLOT :

Chester & Grace” is a story of love gone wrong. In the summer of 1906, young Chester Gillette drowned his pregnant girlfriend, Grace Brown, at Big Moose Lake in upper New York State. This is the true case that inspired Theodore Dreiser’s novel An American Tragedy and the later film “A Place in the Sun.

WHAT THEY NEED :

Their initial volume will be published in a small format (6″x9″), softcover, 92 pages, with one or two illustrations per page, and in full color. They’re really close to their goal and they only need a nudge to go over.

WHY YOU SHOULD BACK IT :

Because there needs to be more true crime comics that are done tastefully and with respect. This one looks like it does all that and adds a touch of class that is rarely seen in the genre.

Follow this link to learn more and support this campaign »


The Winter Year

The Winter Year first caught my eye with their cover. I loved the minimalist white outline of an owl with the title overlayed. As I went a little deeper into the pitch,  I was hooked by the description of the desperate tundra that the characters inhabit. This one looks bleak, bloody, and somehow hopeful in the midst of it all.

PLOT :

“Such things were once only whispers, though Garai, this family’s provider, has now proven them to be true – leaving him with little recourse in training with his son, Eshe.

As the arms of  this vicious winter wrap around Garai, he must come face to face with those who wronged him, and seek for dark truths amidst the tundra that he once called home.”

WHAT THEY NEED :

They’re about a grand and 22 days away. The budget for the comic is divided between reward fulfillment, artwork for issue 2, and Kickstarter’s fees.  

WHY YOU SHOULD BACK IT :

The artwork sets the tone for the book. It’s fridged and bleak, but there’s hope. It’s great to see a series where the art perfectly matches the script. If you’re looking for a meditative, brooding winter story — back this book!

Follow this link to learn more and support this campaign »


Thank you for checking out the Crowdfunding Roundup – April 12th 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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Pitching Your Comic: 6 Tips to Get Your Comics the Attention They Deserve Online

 

Arguably, one of the most difficult and stressful things in any Comic book creator’s professional life is getting exposure for their work.

If you care to spend a few hours trying to navigate the tricky minefield that is cold-calling potential news outlets, review sites, podcasts, potential publishers and others, you will more than likely discover two common issues:

  1. Finding WHO to contact is often very difficult as more and more of these places are inadvertently or intentionally hiding their contact information.
  2. If you do find a contact, getting that person or organization to respond and take action can be a nearly impossible task.

With that being said, we’d like to throw our experience having been on both sides of this fence into the conversation and share with you some techniques, tactics, and ways of thinking that will hopefully help you vanquish that formidable foe that is PITCHING YOUR COMICS!

In this article, we talk less about hard tactics and more about building relationships and making your Comic as prolific as possible. This is about your online presence and how to leverage it in order to find the success you’re looking for in the Comics industry.


1.Change your thoughts; change your behavior

Firstly, let’s talk about mindset. The more we connect with this fantastic community, the more and more we’re convinced that this is one of the major hurdles keeping many creatives from achieving the success they crave. We’re not talking about a “you can do it” mindset. The fact that you’ve already taken the plunge and poured your heart and soul into a Comic means that you know you can do it. We’re talking about patience, tenacity, and the self-permission required to promote your own awesomeness.

  • Have patience. Nothing happens overnight. Expect this process to take years! You’re building something you want to last forever, so take your time and do it right. Most Brands (and that’s what you are now; a brand) take an average of 3 years to gain enough exposure and recognition from their prospective audience in order to turn their work into a viable career & cash flow.
  • Be tenacious. Persistence, consistency, determination, “get back on the horse-id-ness”. You have to make the decision that nothing is going to stop you from achieving your dream and push through the hard times, the slow times, the time’s people ignore you, are mean to you, or are just plain indifferent to you. Put your shoulder to wheel and don’t look up until you start to feel it moving. Only the strong will survive the Comics game.
  • Give yourself permission to promote your own work. Many creators struggle with this one. The thought that they don’t have the right to ask for people to read and buy their Comics because they are “nobody” is pervasive in our industry. Everyone starts out as nobody. You have to be brave and give yourself the permission to pitch and promote your own work. For those of you with crippling introvertedness, try setting up a fake PR account. Give your PR rep a name and email account and let him or her pitch, sell and plug your work. It’s like business Cosplay!



2.Be prepared

Take it from us, an unprepared Comic creator is a forgettable Comic creator. If you’re not ready to be found and put your best foot forward, busy customers, news outlets, and publishers will simply move on. So get your shit together!

  • Have a digital review copy ready to go. Create a compressed digital version of your Comic that you can quickly and easily share with prospective readers. Use a service like https://www.ilovepdf.com/ to both create your PDF Comic and compress with no visible loss of quality. A PDF that is less than 100 MB is ideal. It will download very quickly, preventing your reader from getting bored waiting and moving on. Using a service like https://wetransfer.com/ is great for sharing your Comics. (Note: PDF is the most widely accessible file type. If you choose to save as a .CBR you may find many folks simply can’t open it and won’t bother downloading any special software to do so. Sorry, but it’s true.)
  • Showcase & sell your work. If you have a website, upload lots of samples of your Comics and make sure you offer them for sale as well! Make sure that once you have a potential fan’s attention, that you feed that attention with lots to look at, read, and ultimately, buy! Make use of the internet and its platforms. You can upload samples and sales links to sites like Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Behance.net, Artstation.com and of course ComixCentral.com!
  • Be easy to find! If we had a nickel for every person who’s Comic book we have read with no contact information inside, and another nickel for those who we’ve tried to contact with no email on their website or social accounts, we’d have so many freakin’ nickles! People, you have to let readers know how to find you! It’s imperative to have your contact info on all your social media accounts, your website, and your Comics! How is Marvel supposed to find you?! They (and others) sure as hell aren’t going run around trying to figure it out. We’ve had people say to us, “why can’t they just tweet me? Or DM me?” Why?! Because professionalism. That’s why. Don’t be stubborn about this, this isn’t a battle you want to lose. Be easy to contact!

3.Be social – Make and maintain friendships

We’ve been paying attention to Comic creators for a long time now, and the one common trait we see in all those that inevitably rise above their peers is friendliness. Weird right? Or is it. When you consider the old adage, “It’s not WHAT you know, but WHO you know” this stops seeming weird. Our world is undergoing a massive transition. The old ways of networking still work, but the new network is bigger and more powerful than anyone could have imagined. There are over 7 billion people on this rock, and while you once may have been able to touch and talk to a few hundred at your local Comic-con, you now have (outlandish as it seems) the opportunity to turn billions into your potential fans and buyers. And you never know, who the person you’re talking with knows. Treat everyone like they’re someone, and you’ll never go wrong.

  • Set up social accounts on all the platforms that appeal to you and start using them regularly. You might think this is stupid, but if Facebook is powerful enough to sway an election, it’s powerful enough to launch your Comic book career. We have also found Twitter to be a hotbed of Indie Comics conversations and Instagram a great way to drive traffic to our site, but you should use the ones that are the most fun for you. After all, you’re going to have to maintain them. And maintain them you must! Post new content at least once a day (as long as it’s fresh and interesting. If not, step up your game) and interact with your followers… well… as much as you can. There is a direct correlation between social interaction and sales. It’s going to take some time, remember to have faith and patience.
  • Do your homework and make an All-Star list. Do you know the top 10 people you’d like to know who you are? Create an All-Star list of the top 10, or more, people you’re interested in getting to know. Search those folks out on social media and start interacting. DON’T be a creepy asshole though! Just follow them. Pay attention to their posts. Comment when you feel interested in the post. RT when you feel it’s appropriate. Tag them on your posts – THOUGHTFULLY! Ask questions. Don’t be pushy and DON’T get pissed if they chose not to respond. That’s ok, find a new All-Star! There are so many amazing people out there to learn from and network with. The goal is to get on their radar and create a connection. You’d be surprised how quickly you can become “friends” with people you previously may have thought untouchable.
  • Engage. Do not use your social media accounts as a megaphone for the things you want to pitch. This is the fastest way to get unfollowed. Spamming social is always a bad idea. Instead, find like-minded people and make friends! Ask them questions about their work, join Twitter chats like #CXCpowerhour, join groups on FB, play Hashtag games, ask questions, share your works in progress, ask for feedback, have fun! Most of all, remember that social media is meant for being social. It’s a conversation regardless of platform, and the more social you can be, the faster your audience and a network of friends and fans will grow. It’s not rocket science champ. Being popular works. Always has, always will. Instead of hating on it, use it to your advantage.
  • Don’t underestimate the power of face-to-face interactions. If you’re an introvert, this may sound like sheer hell. We get it. But making “real life” friends is not only great for you personally, but also goes a long way in helping you reach your Comic book goals and growing the indie Comics community. You can find local groups of creators in almost every city in the world by simply Googling “Comic book creator groups in my area” or using Meetup.com. If none exist, don’t be a chicken and get one started!

4.Don’t sell yourself short

Resist the urge to belittle or downplay your own Comics. You’d be surprised how much self-deprecation in this particular instance influences people’s decisions regarding your work. When we receive emails from creators telling us their Comics “aren’t very good, but I’m trying” or “I’m still learning, so please take that into consideration” as opposed to “This is my Comic, I’ve created it over the last 5 years and I’m incredibly proud of the work I’ve accomplished”, it’s stunning how much these words skew our opinions. So even if you HATE your own and think you suck worse than everyone else on the planet, fake it. You don’t’ have to brag, but resist the urge to shit on yourself.

  • Write 2. When sending your requests for review, or publishing to a perspective outlet, write 2 emails, DMs or PMs. The first one is to get all the flowery, self-deprecating language out of your system. Really go for it. The second will be a copy of the first with all the self-hate stripped out. Keep to the point, be proud of your work and bonus tip: keep the ass kissing to a minimum;P
  • Practice being nice to yourself. Being kind to yourself doesn’t make you arrogant, but it does make you confident. Try and catch yourself being nasty to your Comics and yourself. Everytime you say something mean. Stop. Then think of the exact opposite sentence and say it out loud. – “This Comic is embarrassing. I’m the worst.” turns into “This Comic makes me proud, I’m pretty great!”. – Yes, it’s cheesy, but consider this: Neural pathways in the brain are strengthened into habits through the repetition and practice of thinking, feeling and acting. So just give it a shot if you’re prone to self-hate talk.



5.Get creative & standout from the crowd

We’d love to write all kinds of things in here, but that would sort of be taking away from the creative part. So we’ll leave you with a few “primers” for your imagination to work on.

  • Create a free “teaser comic” and give it to everyone who looks your way.
  • Run a contest
  • Create a Youtube show about your creative process, daily habits, your dog who tells you his thoughts on your Comics!
  • Sell or give away swag you create
  • Create a soundtrack or Spotify playlist to accompany your Comic
  • Contact 100 Instagram influencers and offer to draw their avatars or write a short story about them and their followers
  • Create trailer videos
  • Get your messed up friend to do a live read of your Comic to a group of Senior Citizens on Facebook live
  • Be rich and famous (;P
  • Pull a PR stunt
  • The ideas are endless! If you need any, you can always reach out to us… we have some hella creatives we know:)

6.Cold call

This is part many people dread. The Cold call. Fortunately, this doesn’t actually involve phoning people anymore (not for pitching Comics anyhow). But it does involve sending out custom and thoughtful emails to prospective publishers, news outlets and anyone you want to read your Comic. Your ultimate goal is to leave to an impression and create a relationship. Below are some tips on how to do just that.

  • First. Construct thoughtful and to the point messages. Create a template to work from (we’ve included a sample below), but resist the urge to copy and paste in bulk. It’s our experience that anything that starts with, “To whom it may concern” and reeks of being a form letter, gets deleted immediately. If you can’t be bothered to talk to us like people you want to have a relationship with, we can’t be bothered to read it. This was a hard lesson learned on our end as creatives as well. So don’t feel bad if you’ve fallen into the copy & paste trap in the past. When crafting your messages be yourself. Be honest and upfront about what you want. This is so if the recipient decides they like you, they know EXACTLY what to do for you.
  • Slide into the DM! This is a weird phrase that used to imply you were going to send a photo of your junk to another person in their direct mail on a social media platform. It kind of still does. Don’t do that. But DO send thoughtfully written and to the point PERSONAL messages to people, you’d like to connect with. The best way to get a response in this fashion is to offer them something they want. Do not randomly send out your Comic book. No one wants to have something the didn’t ask for shoved in their face, no matter how awesome it is. This is human nature. Instead, ask for permission to do so! Strike up a conversation. Be an f’ing human! Say Hi. Show them you’ve taken the time to see what they’re up to and be friendly. Then, if you get a response, ask for permission to send them a review copy of your Comic. Again, this was a hard learned lesson on our part! So learn from our experience. Spamming is a dick move bro.
  • Stay on the radar. If you’re going after a high-level critic, publisher or influencer, chances are they aren’t going to respond to your first interaction. They’re busy and are probably being solicited multiple times every hour. Your job is to stay on their radar. Check in on a random basis. Send follow up emails and DM’s. Don’t be obnoxious, give them breathing room, be professional and polite, but don’t let them out of your sight. That is not until you get told, in no uncertain terms that it’s a hard NO. (Even then, stay on the radar) If you stay on their radar long enough and I guarantee something will happen. It might be a restraining order, but it will be something!

We’ve provided a sample email to get you started:

Hello Name, (do your best to find the direct contact you are trying to reach. Using a person’s name goes a long way when trying to establish a bond. #science.)

My name is —————-. I’m the (writer, creator, illustrator, etc) of (Comic book name). If you’re not familiar with it I’d love to provide you with this (preview, review copy, issue 1, etc) you can quickly download using this link. (link to wetransfer.com file)

From here on out, it has to be very personal. Sorry sport. But we hate form letters! Let your personality shine, be yourself. Keep the self-deprecation low and the over-the-top ass kissing even lower. You are attempting to create a business relationship, you don’t want to give away any leverage.  So keep it short, to the point, polite and don’t forget to ask for what you want! The wost is a rambling email that never makes the ask. Be honest and upfront about what you want, so if the recipient decides they like you, they know EXACTLY what to do for you.

Finish up with a plea for them to contact you with any questions and don’t forget to add all your contact details in the footer. Chances are if you’ve made it this far, the person you are contacting will want to stalk you a little and make sure you’re not a Nazi or something that could hurt their public reputation. So make it easy for them

Sincerely,

My Name

Mywebsite | My CXC ComixShop  |  Twitter | Facebook  |  Email address (yes again)  |  etc


And that’s all we have today! Thanks for reading!

If you have any questions or comments please let us know below or on our Social media accounts! Now get to it, you can do this!


 






 

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RAGS: Prologue [Review]

RAGS: Prologue [Review]

Written by: Brian Ball, Trent Luther, and Liz Finnegan  |  Art by: Luigi Tereul  |  Reviewer: Rob Wrecks


The RAGS Prologue (Preview?) is something I’ve been meaning to share my thoughts on awhile now but haven’t done so.

RAGS is; if you haven’t seen previews and the like from the Twitter page, along with anything ComixCentral (Love that bunch!) has shared about the title, a fun-filled Zombie genre comic. Now in this preview, we don’t know what caused the dead to start being a huge problem and that’s okay as that’s probably explored in the full-on comic and its follow up issues. Unless Brian Ball, Trent Luther, and Liz Finnegan choose to keep that a mystery.

I like that there’s little color to be found in this comic, aside from the main character’s Redhair (Gotta love a Redhead!) her tattoos, and a couple of other areas – I won’t mention here. Our Redhead, one Regina Ragowski, who’s also a Marine Veteran, seems to be in something of a pickle. Then again, most would be when on their own and trying to avoid being Zombie dinner!

Now what baffles me about this preview is the fact that the lovely Regina is running around for dear life in nothing but her underwear. Why that is, isn’t exactly touched on, but in a way adds a nice touch of realism as one isn’t always gonna be dressed during a bad situation. Much like a certain couple once found out back in the day in Predator 2.  I could have done without the censorship once she loses her top, however. Now I’m not saying this cause I want to perv on a fictional character, but if you’re gonna already have cussing and violence in your comic, you might as well not even bother with the censors. As it’s pointless to do unless you are purposely doing it in order to draw in an audience.

rags_comixcentral_blog

 Hell, when I first read this, I honestly thought I was seeing tattoos until I realized what those images actually were. That’s my only real problem with this preview, well, that and the fact this is a 14-page preview that leaves me wanting to know what happens to the lovely Regina! Especially as she ends up going from one pickle to another with some disgruntled folks who’d been doing their best not to become Zombie Chow!

Whether or not Brian, Trent, and Liz will have something that’s a break out hit in the Zombie genre remains to be seen, as most are more than likely tired of Zombies. Only time will tell for RAGS; and will Regina find herself a pair of pants?! Only our intrepid trio, plus the artist himself, Luigi Tereul knows for certain! At least then Regina will have some form of dignity if she ends up dead or worse while wearing some pants!


Known as Rob Wrecks, and due to a love for Independent titles that was born from an earlier start of reviewing comics for InvestComics. IndieComiX came into life from that love in 2012 and has been a rockin’ ever since! Can reach him here and read more of his reviews and more on indiecomix.net






 

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Daddy’s Issues – Chapter 3: The Sound of Ultra

 

Welcome to the blog series; Daddy’s Issues, from Indie comic creator, Johnny Craft.  Come along chapter by chapter as this comic book writer explores the journey of expecting his first child and all the emotions and creative challenges that come along with it. 

Jovelyn Jade & Johnny

It was the morning before Valentine’s Day and I woke up from a really anxious, restless, half-hearted attempt at sleep. Jovelyn and I were going to meet Babylove for the first time. It was the day of our first ultrasound.

I never thought I would be as scared as I was. I’m the level-headed, held-together, “everything is going to be okay” one of the pair. On this day, though, I was shitting my pants. I actually needed Jovelyn to drive us to the hospital, because I was too nervous. We got to the appointment on time, but I had to skip breakfast. That was a mistake. The first part of the appointment was an “education” segment, which basically consisted of a nurse practitioner telling Jovelyn how to best take care of Babylove… by listing off a bunch of food she can’t have, and should have. Did anyone tell this lady that I skipped breakfast?! I’m starvin’ over here!!! Stop talking about food!



They sent both of us back to the waiting room, to await the actual ultrasound. We waited for awhile. With each passing second, I kept having fantasies about seeing a vending machine appear in the distance like a desert oasis. In hindsight, I had plenty of time to journey to a cafeteria, the in-hospital Starbucks, or even an In-n- Out Burger whose closest location is at least a thousand miles from me. My point being: they kept us there FOR-FUCKING- EVER! Finally! Starving and annoyed, they called us into the ultrasound room. I sat in a chair next to the medical bench (complete with don’t-kick- me-in- the-face leg supports) meant for Jovelyn. Little did I know that my minor annoyance, with waiting and certainly early starvation symptoms, were about to mean absolutely nothing at all.

I want to skip ahead to the final part of our appointment, before going into the ultrasound itself.

Jovelyn needed to get a physical and the nurse in charge was actually a pretty funny lady. We saw her in the lobby, during SUPER WAIT, and Jovelyn commented on how much she loved her shoes. The nurse confirmed that those red high-heels were actually about 15-years- old. She complimented my bravery for my willingness to be in the room, during a pap smear, and even gave me a wink-and-a-nod when she told Jovelyn that her (already F cup) boobs were going to get “HUUUUUGE!”.

Back to the ultrasound.

The nurse in the ultrasound room did a really good job at making eye contact back-and-forth between both Jovelyn and I. One should assume she was talking to Jovelyn when she said “undress from the waist down and I will be right back in”, but she WAS doing a really good job at making eye contact back-and-forth between Jovelyn and I. I couldn’t help but laugh at the image of the nurse walking back into the room, in horror, to see me standing with my cock and balls out.

Jovelyn took her pants off. I kept mine on. She got into position, and the nurse came back in the room. The nurse opened some programs on the computer, lubed up some instruments, and turned the lights off. Then… things got really, really… real.

I wasn’t sure what to expect. Emotionally, that is. I’m not an idiot. I know what an ultrasound consists of, and the end result. I didn’t know how I was going to react. At first, the screen just looked like grey blobs on an out-of-focus, scrambled porn channel from a 90’s television set. I never expected to have the most surreal experience. Of. My. Life.

The image came into focus, clear as day, and there he/she was, dancing and waving. Babylove Craft. Active and healthy, with the dance moves of his/her daddy. I started to well up with tears, immediately. I couldn’t take my eyes away from the screen, but I could hear Jovelyn laughing and holding back her own tears. After composing myself, I stood up and held the love of my life’s hand, while we watched our glorious creation together. We smiled at each other and marveled at what we made. It’s truly a moment I will never forget.

Babylove Craft

I finally stopped crying at this point, but then the nurse told us it was time to hear the heartbeat. The second we heard the incredibly healthy heartbeat of our incredibly healthy baby, we both started to cry all over again. It was, to date, the most emotional day of my life and that includes when Jovelyn told me she was pregnant.

The nurse printed off ultrasound photos, of Babylove waving, and left us alone for Jovelyn to get dressed. We took a few seconds to look at the screen again, and then Jovelyn started to put her pants back on. I bent down, to help with her shoes, and to kiss her stomach… Actually, that’s a lie. I bent down, and yes I did want to kiss my baby (especially after seeing the little buddy), but I had slightly more… sinister motives. Muahahaha!

What Jovelyn didn’t know is, before we left for the hospital, I slipped something into my hoodie pocket. When I bent down to kiss Babylove, I also reached into my pocket for that item. I looked up at her and showed her an engagement ring that I bought for her a few weeks prior.

I kept it simple.

“Will you marry me?”

I thought it was the perfect moment to ask, and Jovelyn had since agreed with me. She slipped the ring on, still filled with every emotion.

“Of course.” she said, with a what-are-you-stupid tone. We agreed that it was time to FINALLY get food and begin the next phase of our life together.

The Era of Engagement.


Johnny Craft is a comic book writer, who is constantly looking for new talented artists to bring his scripts to life. Johnny’s physical composition is made up of 20% ambition, 30% talent, 40% coffee, and 10% illicit drugs.

 





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So You Think You Know Comics with Professor Donnalyn Washington | Episode #36

So You Think You Know Comics with Professor Donnalyn Washington

Wanna learn the REAL reason indie comics are better than mainstream? Wanna know how comics and graphic novels could, should and are used in college English to teach storytelling, character development and even social psychology? Maybe you want a list of really good writers to learn from or maybe you just want to hear about the awesomeness of The Maroon comic. Look no further than the mistress of comic language and storytelling, professor Donnalyn Washington.

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Holy majestic brain power batman; we’re out-riddled this time for sure! I’m not gonna lie nerd nation, I could barely speak during this interview and thank goodness for that. After a mad-awesome power hour of comic knowledge download, I’ve come to realize that I’m undeserving of words. Donnalyn is the latest and final winner in our Comixcentral Birthday giveaway series and I could not have asked for a better surprise guest.

Donnalyn Washington

Things happened for a reason my friends and her podcast appearance was nothing short of on purpose. Just a few of her chess pieces on the comic information board include: multidimensional character development, subtlety in comics, how to approach a message inside a story, writing from experience and making the supernatural believable to an audience. If you want to learn how to be a better writer, this is THE episode. If you want a slice of this indie college knowledge, click the link to subscribe and download this gem. The skill is all on her side of the table ladies and gentleman, I just nodded my head in amazement.

Not only is this passionate professor a graphic novel junkie, she also dives deep into the research realm of our original African American writers, illustrators and influencers. She’s a contributor to the Encyclopedia of Black Comics. She’s a reviewer and senior editor over at reviewfix.com and she tells it like it is. True love of the comic medium (indie comics in particular) has never been manifested more elegantly than in this weeks interview. Did I forget to mention she’s an interviewer herself as well? I want to give special thanks to her older brother for introducing her to this world of comics at an early age. She supports numerous Kickstarter projects and will give you a list of indie comic companies that are changing the game one book at a time. Her desire to understand the language of heroism and humanity has brought a new level of respect to this art form that is sure to inspire writers and fans for years to come.

Twitter: @Notingshaw

Review website: www.reviewfix.com

Encyclopedia link

 






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Episode #35 | Jumping from Comics to Animation with Roy Burdine

Do you have what it takes to tackle comics and animation?

Do you have the skills to handle digital and print thousands and thousands of times over? Can you love what you do, even when it means leaving work just long enough to shower? Did you love 90’s and 2000’s hero cartoons? Then you’ve got to listen to the all-around-awesomeness of the 20-year comic/animation veteran Roy Burdine.

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Roy Burdine

Roy is different from a lot of guests we’ve had before. Many comic peeps I’ve interviewed previously fell into the passion as a teenager or even later. Not Roy. He knew he wanted to be a comic artist from the beginning and never looked back. For Roy Burdine, it’s always been about constantly moving forward and adapting while staying in love with your craft no matter where the industry takes you. Trust me, he would know. He had the courage to send in his own character creation as a child and get rejected by Stan Lee himself… sort of. Either way, rejection never kept him away from the desire to live his cartoon joy full-out. This drive eventually landed him a spot working on the beloved X-men animated series in the 90’s and the rest is history.

TMNT – Roy Burdine

Roy Burdine has been through the ringer. Animation is all about deadlines and staying in the room until you get it right. Over the years, styles, settings and job titles may change but the passion never falls by the wayside. That’s the kind of steadfast love it takes to spend so much time on a project that night and day no longer exists. In this episode, we learn about the true meaning of dedication and the evolution of the artistic process. We learn what comic artists and writers can learn from animators and visa versa. Talking with Roy puts you right in the animation studio. You can feel all the hustle and excitement that comes with the job with every recorded word. His love of art is only surpassed by his admiration of story as we learn about his transitions throughout the industry. We talk about the importance of storyboarding. We talk about the value of going digital. We talk about the dangers of staying inside a box of “purity” versus the value of being multidimensional. We talk about “finding the frame” that matters the most in comics versus drawing thousands of frames for animation. Most importantly, we talk about what the internet has done for the lone creator. Indie is the new jump to lightspeed for a career at Sony, Image, or Dreamworks if you’ve got the care, wherewithal and artistic heart necessary for the journey ahead. Bottom line: Big two or no big 2- people care about indie and they are looking for you.  

AfterMen – Roy Burdine

Don’t forget to check out the links below for information on Roy Burdine  

Webcomic: www.aftermencomic.com

Webcomic Twitter: @aftermen_comic

Instagram: Royburdine

Roy Burdine IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm2424570/

Twitter: @Royburdine

Facebook: Royburdineauthor





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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: www.historicalperceptions.com


 

 





 

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Episode #34 | Black Panther VFX team member Todd Sheridan Perry

 

Wanna learn how to climb the ladder using the power of art and relationships? Wanna know how to have a really cool job and maintain your indie core? Wanna learn how to use risk effectively? Wanna know how baby steps can take you from unknown artisan to VFX team member a’ la Marvel’s Black Panther film? We’ve got you covered on this week’s episode with the lighthearted honesty of special effects king Todd Sheridan Perry!

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His passion for art and computers started early when his dad brought home the first mac back in 1984. This was the first time Todd realized he could mold his passion for art and technology into a remarkable yellow brick road of digital storytelling that would eventually lead him right to the wizards at Marvel Studios. His ability to reconcile a deep understanding of people with conscious risk may seem magical coincidence, but I get the feeling Todd and I share in a belief that dreams tend to find their way to people who leap off the edge of a professional cliff just above and beyond the winds of true purpose- especial if those cliffs overlook Hollywood, California. It’s easy to find common ground with someone whose original inspiration for the industry came from a mutual obsession with a certain 1977 space opera that needs no introduction.

Todd Sheridan Perry

While Star Wars may have been the beginning, Todd has seen the inner workings of this industry change and grow over the years. We talk about the value that comes from going with your gut and forming partnerships with people who think differently. We talk about the cost of going your own way, whether it’s writing comics or making a film. We talk about the challenges of working under the pressures of time and team management. Most importantly, we talk about how important it is to maintain true artistry in the face of an industry giant- The reason why keeping your hand in indie is not only valuable for the creative process/perspective but for the heart and soul of an artist. If you love indie and yet still find room in your heart for the big two then this interview is a can’t miss. Being dedicated and driven has its place. Sometimes the most powerful thing you can do is walk away from what you know and give a new hope to that mysterious horizon.


Don’t forget to check out the links below for information on Todd Sheridan Perry

Todd IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0675332/

Twitter: @TeaspoonVFX

Website: http://www.teaspoonvfx.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TeaspoonVFX/

Instagram: @teaspoonvfx

 






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Episode #33 | How to Love Everything Forever with Spencer Scott Holmes

Wanna learn how to do a million things at once? Wanna fall in love with your craft every single day? Wanna learn how find the good in every practice? Wanna learn how to never have a bad day? Look no further than the B-12 sunshine rocketship that is Spencer Scott Holmes, the man who does everything.

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Like many kings and queens of nerd life, Spencer’s love of creativity began in an introductory class to audio/video work way back in elementary school. Spencer also fell in love with music and began playing in bands in high school. His love of film never waned, and he eventually turned all that love into a passion for scriptwriting, filmmaking, animation and even podcasting. Take all that creativity, add an unparalleled zest for life and an unstoppable, infectious nerd joy and you’ve got the creative genesis genius machine kind enough to do this episode of Adventures in Interviewing with us. He manages to work out, eat pizza and enjoy retro gaming in his “spare time”- as if he had any. He’s managed to write 4 issues of his debut comic Pizza Boyz in a year, he works out as a hobby, and somehow manages to maintain an awesome relationship at the same time. What’s your excuse? Yeah, I thought so….

Spencer and I had a tremendous conversation regarding the nature of complaining. More importantly, we talked about why complaining is a bunch of BS. All the technology, all the information, all the connective possibility, and yet many creatives are still unhappy. They find ways to make excuses instead of progress. For Spencer, that just doesn’t compute. He does odd jobs to get buy while focusing on the projects that give him meaning. As long as he manages to exercise in the morning, he’s able to devote the majority of his energy towards the projects that he values most- mainly creating comics. He talks about the difference between a hobby, a job and career and the importance of that divide. Make no mistake, if you wanna learn how to multitask without being overwhelmed; If you wanna learn how to focus, and refocus multiple times a day; If you wanna redefine your life around not what you make, but rather, how you make it then put your nerd boots on. This dude is gonna kick your creative juice into a brand new atmosphere.


Don’t forget to check out the links below for information on Spencer Scott Holmes

Creative Website: www.oldmanorgange.com

Twitter: @SpencerSHolmes







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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: www.historicalperceptions.com







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Episode #32 | The Distribution Game with Anne Bean of Emerald Comics Distro

 

Wanna know how to navigate comic distribution? Wanna know how to juggle multiple creative plates at once? Wanna learn how to create and survive a dedicated con schedule? Look no further than the one-woman-show powerhouse behind Emerald Comics Distribution, Anne G. Bean.

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Anne has only been in distribution game since the tail end of 2016, and she’s already a force to be reckoned with in the world of comics. She got to press up the wazzoooo early on starting with Seattle Vanguard. This was simply the beginnings of a rustling wind bound to be a hurricane. Anne might call it luck. I don’t disagree with luck playing a role, but I’ll never believe luck is completely responsible for any outcome in business. The press and following that has steadily grown in such a short time follow Anne because of her dedication to the profession and her clients.

Her solid understanding of comic distribution and how its morphed/shifted since the 90’s has given her more than a leg up in not just the indie comic industry but graphic storytelling as a whole. Her client care goes beyond personal introductions at cons and showing at random comic shops in and around Oregon. Her research and dedication have lead to a blueprint of distribution. She understands the necessity of its service, the path to take for success, and where the cracks have formed along the way. There’s no doubt that the future of Emerald Comics Distro is a bright one and The Comixcentral Podcast is thrilled to be a megaphone for people like Anne whose tireless heart is making comic distribution a respectable institution once again, chipping away at Diamond one comic shop at a time.


Don’t forget to check out the links below for information on Emerald Comics Distro, Anne’s upcoming panel and distribution in general.

Website: www.emeraldcomicsdistro.com

Twitter: @EmeraldDistro

Instagram: Emeraldcomicsdistro

Link to Anne’s ECCC panel on distribution coming up: https://www.emeraldcitycomiccon.com/en/Sessions/53106/Rebuilding-the-Comics-Business-from-the-Bottom-Up

Some comics distribution history for context: http://www.delusionalhonesty.com/2011/06/brief-history-of-comics-distribution.html

 






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Daddy’s Issues – Chapter 1: Hit by a Bomb

 

Welcome to a new blog series from Indie comic creator, Johnny Craft.  Come along chapter by chapter as this comic book writer explores the journey of expecting his first child and all the emotions and creative challenges that come along with it. 


Daddy’s Issues – Chapter 1: Hit by a Bomb

It was Friday, January 5th. I was at work, sorting out my own plans for the evening, in my head. I knew I was going to be on my own that night, so I needed to do something to keep my brain busy. I could continue working on my comic book script for “SuperLove”, maybe trim down the stack of “to-read” comics that have been piling up for months, watch “Punisher” on Netflix finally, or maybe just actually get around to playing the X-Box One that I bought months ago. Either way, none of my potential plans included… THIS.

Jovelyn sent me a text at work, around 1 pm. I knew she had other things to do for the night, so I actually anticipated NOT seeing my lovely girlfriend until Sunday. The text exchange was as follows:

Jovelyn: “I lied. I do want to see you tonight. If that’s okay. If you have plans then that’s okay! :)”
Me: “I would love to see you tonight. It’s more than okay. :)”
Jovelyn: “It’s been pretty fucked up today.”
Me: “I can’t wait to hear all about it.”

I wasn’t sure what to expect. I just assumed I was going to hear a really entertaining “Can you believe this mother fucker at work?” story. I certainly didn’t expect… THIS.

I took off work early and got home a few hours before Jovelyn got off of work. Had I known the subject of the conversation we were about to have, I probably would have avoided smoking a blunt that I filled with so much weed, it looked like Swamp Thing fucked a cinnamon stick.

She let herself in, as I was in the kitchen making coffee. My apartment layout is such, that I was able to just pivot my body and greet her as she walked into my front door. She looked scared.
“Hey, gorgeous,” I said. “Is everything okay?”

I could tell she was freaking out, with an almost-panic-attack tone in her voice. We walked into the living room together, where Jovelyn dropped to her knees, directly in front of my couch. She looked up at me with her big, beautiful, eyes and I could sense the concern in them. Sadly, (or maybe not “sadly”) the first thing I noticed was how amazing she looked and how much Jovelyn Jade lights up my heart whenever I look at her. She was in a sort of “Slave Leia” position on the floor, looking totally stunning.

“Sooooo….” She said, snapping me out of my love-trance.

As I started to crouch, to meet Jovelyn on the floor, she reached back into her purse to pull out a white plastic shopping bag. “I’m pretty sure this means that I am,” she said.

The white plastic shopping bag was turned over, and spilling at my feet, right in the middle of my living room… was a bagful of positive pregnancy tests. (More on the relationship between Jovelyn and I, in a later chapter.)

The point is, I was just informed that I had put a child inside of the one woman in my life who has always been there for me, always made a point to make me happy, and fuel my confidence as a worthwhile human being. I knew I had to stay strong for her, find the perfect thing to say, and help make this situation easier to digest for her. So, naturally, me being the supremely strong and ever-confident manliest of men that I am… I froze like a bitch.

“Okay…. Uh…. Okay…. Okay. This…. Um… Okay,” probably stumbled it’s way out of my mouth for a solid minute and a half.

Usually, I’m not such a (in the words of Joe Pesci) stutterin’, mutterin’, prick. Even when I just inhaled a healthy dose of smoke from Swamp Thing’s dick, I can still keep my thoughts composed, rationally. It took me a bit to gain my composure and I finally turned to Jovelyn, looked her directly in her concerned eyes and told her honestly… “I don’t know what to say”.

I felt like a total asshole for those few seconds. Literally, like a complete waste of human life. Here I am, enduring the most pivotal moment in any person’s life, with the woman of my dreams looking to me for answers… and I had none. I couldn’t even form words, how could I raise a child?



“Just be completely honest with me,” Jovelyn said.

It took, maybe, two more seconds of silence and self-loathing, but her question snapped me out of it in a big way. I didn’t even need to think anymore. I looked at her with confidence and clarity and told her for the very first time in all the 17 years that I’ve known Jovelyn Jade Ross- “I love you. I know that. I have known that, and there is no doubt in my mind.”

I wasn’t nervous or questioning anything coming out of my mouth. I was giving her the 100% honesty that she wanted, and it felt amazing to finally say it.

“No one understands me like you, and I’ve never understood anyone like I understand you. You are the greatest person I have ever met in my life, and if the decision were up to me… I would certainly want you to keep it. I wouldn’t want to go through this with anyone, other than you, and if anyone can pull this off it’s going to be us. I love you, Jovelyn Jade. I won’t screw this up.”

She took a deep breath. Smiled. Still looked scared shitless, in her amazing eyes. Still stunning.
“I love you, too,” she said. “I definitely love you. I am really glad you said that because I feel the same way. I want to go on this adventure with you.”

It seemed like we got over the first wave of radiation from the Pregnancy Nuke that was just dropped on us. We kissed, cuddled, cried, talked, and joked for another several minutes. I could still tell something was bothering the love of my life, though. I had a feeling I knew what it was, too.

“You know,” I said. “We both know a lot of really dumb mother fuckers that have kids. Look at all the stupid people in Wal-Mart that have like five of them, and those kids survive! Some of them turn out to be really successful in life, despite being raised by complete fucking idiots. If those morons can raise multiple children, we can surely handle one, right?”

She smiled and I continued.

“I’m willing to take every step with you. It’s not going to be easy, but I’m not going to be like some Seth Rogan in Knocked Up kind of character. I know my life is going to change and I know you’re going to deal with a lot of stuff that I won’t be able to understand, but I’m going to learn and I’m going to do everything I can to be there for you in every possible way. You tell me what you need, or what I need to do, and I will do it. You are not alone in this, at all. I’m here and I’m not going anywhere.”

I heard a sigh of relief.

“I am so glad you’re not a fucking idiot,” she said, happily. “You are saying all the right things, and thank you for that. You’re making me feel so much better.”
“I’m just doing what you told me to do,” I said. “I’m being honest with you. I’m not saying what I think is the right thing to say. I’m saying what I want to say and telling you how I feel. This is going to be great for us.”
She told me I would be a great father. I congratulated her and told her she would be a great mother. We are going to be incredible parents.

Jovelyn looked into my eyes, lovingly, smiling her amazing smile, and put the most “Jovelyn” cap on our positive-pregnancy-test drama.

“Now, order us a pizza, Daddy. I’m eating for two, now.”


By Johnny Craft

 





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Crowdfunding Roundup – February 15th, 2018

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Velthaneus: Issue 01 – A Sci-Fi Comic

This is the book I’ve been the most excited for on this week’s Round-Up and I can’t wait to share it with you guys.  The art is insane and the story is a blast. The book has the look and feel of a Skottie Young fever dream done with an old school black and white manga style. It’s cyber-punk, it’s fantasy, it’s kinetic, and it needs more love!

PLOT:

Thane is a crazed pervert that busts out of purgatory with some newly gained bizarre supernatural powers and hits the streets of Karst.  Will Thane liven up the city with his new very NSFW party trick, or lose his mind to the same destiny that swallowed the city nearly three decades prior? You can check out the webcomic here.

WHAT THEY NEED:

This is a solo creator doing both story and art in this book. Ashley West needs $4,000 to help with all printing costs and she’s a bit ways off to get there.

WHY YOU SHOULD BACK IT:

It’s a book that’s wholly unique but has a familiar classic indie look and soul. This story and art is the stuff that great indie comics are made of! As I write this, the book is about $3K from its goal with only 12 days to go. When I said it needs love I meant it, folks! Back this book!Velthaneus_ comixcentral

Velthaneus_ comixcentral 2Follow this link to learn more and support this campaign »
Twitter https://twitter.com/gangfeather


Gunpowder Witch: The Graphic Novel

Comic shops are drowning in superhero books and it can be excruciating to get your indie superhero comic noticed because of that.  You need something new or unique to make the possible reader say to themselves, “Oh, that’s different. Cool!”  Gunpowder Witch accomplishes this by setting the story in an alternate history that combines the Salem Witch Trials with X-Men.

PLOT:

Set in 17th century New England: Rebecca Bell manifests supernatural powers and she is branded as a witch. She becomes hunted by a fanatical preacher and is aided by other outcasts with their own unique powers. The fight heats up to a fiery confrontation showing that the flames of justice cannot be extinguished by hatred and intolerance.

WHAT THEY NEED:

They’re very close to their goal, and they just need one good nudge to send them over to the finish line. You don’t have to dig deep to help this comic come to hardback.

WHY YOU SHOULD BACK IT:

This is a type of book that belongs on paper and bound in a hardback. After reading the pitch, I can’t think of a better way this story should be presented.  It needs to be cracked open like a witch’s old spell book…minus the dust.

gunpowder witch_comixcentral

Follow this link to learn more and support this campaign »
twitter / @Stache_Comics


FolkTales Of The Cryptids

You like horror anthologies with great art? You like Cryptids (Bigfoot, Chupacabra, Mothman)? You wanna see them combined? Hell yes, you do.

PLOT:

FolkTales Of The Cryptids [30 pages] is a collection of 4 short horror tales each centered around a Cryptid legend. 8 Artists were paired up to bring each dark tale to life, resulting in a unique collection of short stories. (You can read one of the stories here.)

WHAT THEY NEED:

This campaign is just starting out and there is still a long way to go. Funds are going towards the Art, Colouring , and Printing.

WHY YOU SHOULD BACK IT:

This is the crew’s 4th Kickstarter. They also have a good track record with fulfilling pledge rewards.  “The risk potential for this project is fairly low as the project is 80% complete we’re just colouring the last remaining pages now then finally lettering.”

folktales comixcentral 2folktales comixcentralFollow this link to learn more and support this campaign »
twitter: @joeyafterlight 



Thank you for checking out the Crowdfunding Roundup – February 15th 2018  |  by Anthony Cleveland

 







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Epic Misadventures of Deathbag Issue #3 “Deathbag Goes To Comic Con” [Preview]

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Now Available!

The Epic Misadventures of Deathbag Issue 3 “Deathbag Goes To Comic-Con”deathbag 3 - comixcentral

The newest issue in the Epic Misadventures of Deathbag is coming soon! What is Deathbag you say? You’re in for a treat! Deathbag deals with everyday human life such as going to a metal concert and dealing with people at the movies, but in the most hilarious way. Get a good laugh, enjoy some most excellent artwork and have a deadly good time!

Catch up on all the Deathbag fun in issues #1 & 2 (with bonus Nerd life!)


Now here’s your exclusive sneak peek!

deathbag preview comixcentral