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Five for Creating with Melissa Capriglione

FIVE FOR CREATING WITH MELISSA CAPRIGLIONE


Welcome to Five for Creating! A new interview series here at ComixCentral where we focus on getting to know Indie Creators and what they are working on through a series of five questions. This week we chat with Melissa Capriglione the creator of Falconhyrste a  web-comic which is currently available in collected form through her active Kickstarter campaign. 

1. Tell us about Falconhyrste.

Falconhyrste is an on-going web comic about a boy who accidentally awakens a demon on the first day at his new school! And to top that, he also has to deal with a pair of school bullies, a rambunctious school reporter, and a seedy student council organization.

 

2. There is a ton of representation in this series and I think you do a great job of making it prominent.  How important is it to you to showcase all types of race, religion and sexual orientation?

Our point is to have Falconhyrste reflect the real world. We’re not looking for Brownie Points in Representation, but we want everyone who is interested in this comic to feel represented accurately and not feel left out. Both me and Clara identify as lesbians, and we just want to see stories of queer characters going on adventures and doing magic, rather than being defined by our gender identities or sexual orientation. And I feel like that applies to a lot of web comic readers these days.

3. You and Clara seem to be the ultimate team, a real mix of responsibilities on the project. Whats your team dynamic like? Is there a set structure to it or is it a more fluid, depending on how you feel that day type of situation?  

We’ve been working together on this project for almost four years, so we’ve had a lot of experience in streamlining our processes. This is a full collaborative project, meaning we write together, come up with ideas together, and sketch together. With our busy schedules, it’s hard to keep up with editing script and constantly doing pages, but we still manage to find time. Our process starts with writing a first-draft script (which is usually really bad), and we edit it over the course of a few weeks. Once the script is finalized, I do the thumbnails and layouts, then send it to her for pencils and lettering. I then finish the pages with line work, colors, painting, and effects.

 

4. This collection just seems to be the tip of the iceberg for Cei and the crew, is the web-comic ahead of this timeline or do we have to impatiently wait for more?

Our story has been going on for almost four years now, and we just only hit page 200! We’re a bit further behind than we wanted to be, but we started this story while we were both in school. Now that I’m a full-time freelancer and Falconhyrste is getting bigger, it’s easier to spend more time on it. We’re currently in chapter six, and there’s eight chapters plus a prologue in this arc, with a sum of three arcs, so there’s still a long ways to go in this story! We’re confident, however, that our story will develop quickly, and there is much danger ahead for Cei and the crew! Web comics are a slow medium to begin with, but we’ll be getting into the thick of the plot very soon!

5. Here at ComixCentral we are all about promoting all things Indie. Besides your own work, who is an Indie creator or property you think everyone needs to run and go check out?

Here are some of my favorite webcomics that I keep up-to-date with:

Admiral by Matt H. Taylor

XII: Of Magic and Muses by Kristen Kiomall-Evans

APOC by H. Spikings

The Blue Valkyrie by Emily Riesbeck

O Sarilho by Shizamura

Blank Eyes by Marsh Kaleido



Melissa Capriglione is an Indiana-based comic artist and has been self-publishing Falconhyrste since 2015 with co-author Clara W. Melissa has gone on to work in published stories and anthologies, but Falconhyrste remains her main interest


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Daddy’s Issues | Chapter 10 | The End of the Beginning


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


Saturday, August 25th was Induction Day.

Everything was already prepared. Car seat installed, diaper bag packed, and my overnight bag was stuffed full of snacks, comics, and anything else that would keep me entertained for the unknown amount of anxious waiting that I had ahead of me. The fridge and freezer were loaded up at home with easy, quick-to-make, foods for our upcoming first weeks of parents. We made sure everyone important knew which hospital we would be checking into. Jovelyn and I were ready to have our baby!

The problem? Our anxious asses prepared everything days in advance and finished up the small details the night before. The appointment for the induction was at 7 p.m. (as in the afternoon, wait around pacing all damn day, p.m.). We nervously walked around home, cleaning every small thing we could and quintuple checking all of our supplies. We went to an early dinner at four o’clock and decided “fuck ‘em”, heading to the hospital at around 5:15 with the attitude of “they won’t turn us away and we may even get an early bird special”.

The hospital only made us wait a short while before finding us a room, setting up the equipment, and settling us into our new home for (what seemed like) the next 46 years. The stay itself wasn’t actually terrible, it was only made to FEEL terrible when you took Jovelyn’s uncomfortable hospital bed and my “what the fuck is this cushion made out of, used condoms stuffed with hay?” fold out couch into the equation. The important thing was, we were there and it was only a matter of time before we got to finally see what our boy will look like.

Jovelyn was incredibly uncomfortable all night, due to a combination of her shitty bed and the drugs they gave her to induce labor. Plus, nurses were coming in to check on her every two hours or so, which started to become kind of annoying when I started thinking “Shouldn’t she be resting up for that whole, inevitable, pushing ordeal?”. But the mother of my soon-to-be child is the love of my life for a reason; she took the whole experience like a champ.

The next morning, I had a horrible breakfast in the hospital cafeteria, and took a short trip back to our apartment while the nurses poked and prodded my lovely lady. I felt okay to leave for a bit, since they gave us an ETA of 5 p.m. for Push Time. I checked on the cats, to make sure they didn’t shred the apartment. To my fortune, I only had to clean up a tiny pile of puke and refill some water dishes. I also took a tiny smoke break before returning to the hospital, where I was hoping to have a small nap on condom-couch to help the day pass more quickly.

By the way, I hate to do this, but I’m going to take a “time-out” to pat myself on the back. I was back in the comfort of my apartment, where I had access to a headful of herbals and a very comfortable king size bed (all to myself, mind you), but I chose to go back to the hospital and take my nap next to Jovelyn on the most uncomfortable piece of furniture I’ve ever experienced! It was just the obvious choice to me. She’s in labor pain, the least I could be is slightly uncomfortable and unable to sleep. Seriously, though, fuck that hospital couch.

I would also like to take a moment to address everyone who gave me a variety of “What to Expect…” style advice. Why THE FUCK did you NOT tell me to bring my own toilet paper to the hospital? The stuff they stock there tore my asshole to ribbons! After this baby comes out, both Mommy AND Daddy would be looking at weeks of recovery below the waist, for entirely separate reasons.

I got back to the hospital, checked on Jovelyn, and let her know the status of everything at home (without mentioning the cat vomit). She was in her usual position, with her frequent visit from nurses, but now her sister Jessica had shown up to keep her company. There was seemingly no update on her labor status, so it was looking like nap time was upon me.

It was a little after 1:30 p.m. by the time my headphones were in and I was lying on my side, the only way my skinny ass could fit, on my awesome guest couch/”bed” (yes, the quotes are necessary). I figured I could squeeze in at least an hour worth of rest into a two hour period, if I tried hard enough. I wanted to have as much energy as possible when my girl started pushing, so I could be her biggest and most enthusiastic cheerleader.

It was right at that moment that the hospital door opened for another routine check-up. Instead of ignoring it and trying to continue with my nap plans, I decided to get up to see what the nurse had to say this time. Strangely enough, it wasn’t the nurse who entered the room. It was our doctor that we weren’t expecting to see until it was time to…

Oh!

“You’re dilated and the baby is sitting pretty low,” she said. “It’s time to start pushing.”

Oh!

“It’s time to start pushing.” … Holy shit!

We were about three hours ahead of schedule and no one even hinted at this being a possibility! It caught us by surprise, causing us to look at each other in complete shock… and then completely nervously.

We were about to have our baby!

The nurses came in and set everything up. I wish I could go more into detail and find something funny to say about the equipment, or the nurses, or pretty much anything that goes into preparing a woman to start giving birth, but everything was one giant blur. The details, in my mind, were as simple as “We’re here and suddenly there are bright lights everywhere. Hey, fuckface, go ahead and hold that left leg up for us”.

It was a very overwhelming and intense experience. Despite the several people in the room, it felt like Jovelyn and I were alone in our own little bubble of surreality with just a faint voice guiding us to do what needed to be done.

Jovelyn was pushing with all of her strength and smiling through the pain. That’s not an exaggeration, she was literally smiling during labor. She was THAT excited to finally meet our son. I can’t blame her, seeing as how I was my own brand of excited, but more of the slack-jawed and stunned variety.

It’s hard to explain the emotions that go into watching your dream woman squeeze a baby out of herself. I’m also certain it’s not a universal feeling, and probably varies from person to person. I know a lot of people who say it’s gross, but I didn’t think so at all. I can see how some people would get freaked out, seeing a head emerge from a vagina, but if they’re thinking sexually in that moment then I don’t even know how to relate to a person like that.

For me, watching the head start to come out was a moment of victory, accomplishment, and the first appearance of our baby boy into the world. It started with a tiny bit of skin that I could barely see, but unmistakably knew was the top of a little head.

I made a point to choose my words wisely. Obviously, I’m no expert and the first thing I could think to say was “You’re almost there!”, but decided to go with something else in case the doctor wanted to tell me to shut the fuck up and remind me that I had no idea what I was talking about. I just assumed, top of the head is showing, so we are probably just a few pushes away.

“You’re doing it, my love!” I told Jovelyn. “I love you so much. I can see his head. You’re doing it!”

Jovelyn gave a few more major pushes and then… Woosh!

Max Morrison Craft, covered in blood and miscellaneous goo, made his way into the world at 2:17 p.m. on August 26th, 2018. Jovelyn Jade only had to push for nine minutes, with a smile on her face every second of it… and she didn’t even smear her makeup.

They cut Max’s cord and the second he opened his eyes, he looked directly up at me. I was the first person that my son laid his eyes on. That is my first shared moment with Max and it’s something I will carry with me forever. For my little guy to see me before anyone else, EVER, was a moment that filled me with overwhelming pride for the new life we had created together.

 

Then things got… really… really… scary.

I did find it odd that he didn’t cry when he came out, and I guess I didn’t notice that Max was born with his cord wrapped around his neck. I could see nurses scrambling, out of the corner of my eye and there were a lot of mumbles that were clearly not meant for Jovelyn and I to hear.

I looked over and saw two nurses frantically wiping down my new baby, who still had yet to cry or make any sort of noise.

Jovelyn and I looked at each other with concern and asked the doctor if everything was okay.

“They are just trying to get him to breathe on his own,” she responded… way too fucking casually!

That shared look of concern turned into a shared look of terror.

The nurses brought in some kind of incubator, light box looking thing, to put the baby in. I was starting to think things were a bit more serious than the staff was leading on.

I demanded answers, while trying to remain calm, and talk to my son to somehow let him know that his dad was there for him. Even if he couldn’t understand me. Even if I was just talking to make myself feel better, I had to let Max know that I was his dad and I was going to do anything I can to make everything okay.

“Max, it’s Daddy,” I said, crying. “Remember me? I love you. I’m going to make sure you’re safe. I love you so much. I’m your dad, Max. I’m going to help you.”

They took him away for some kind of testing. Jovelyn and I cried, together, mainly out of joy but it would be a lie to say that there was no concern in those tears as well. We created a beautiful life together and they just took him away from us, leaving us completely in the dark as to whether or not Max was going to be okay.

By this point, both our families had shown up to visit. Jovelyn’s family came in first. I accepted all the congratulations, but didn’t stay too long, as I had to go to the hospital lobby to bring my own family up to the room. My mom, dad, and niece met me downstairs after a few minutes of waiting for them. I told them about everything that was going on, downplaying my fear, and then led them up to the room.

As soon as I opened the door to Jovelyn’s hospital room, I heard my love call out to me.

“Johnny? Is that you?”

“Yes,” I answered. “I brought my family with me.”

I couldn’t see anyone, due to the strangely angled curtain in room when the door is first opened, so I was incredibly surprised when she asked…

“Do you want to hold your son?”

We walked around the curtain, and there he was, Max Morrison Craft in the loving arms of his mother. Healthy. Perfect. I immediately snapped a picture or my two loves, sanitized my hands, and held my baby for the first time ever.

“Hi Max, it’s Daddy,” I said, looking into the beautiful brown eyes or our sweet baby boy. “I told you I would make sure you were okay.”

Granted, there was either nothing VERY wrong with him to begin with OR the doctors sorted everything out, but I just feel like fortune was doing me favors on that day. I may not have directly done anything to ensure his safety, but I do know that I wanted it more than anything I’ve ever wanted in life.

More testing happened, and all the necessary, routine hospital things. However, 24 hours later, Jovelyn was given the option to sign discharge papers and come home with me and our new roommate. We took Max home on Monday, to give him the grand tour of his new place, and to show him all the things we’ve gathered for him over the last few months.

We had our son. We had him home. Jovelyn left our place pregnant and came back with another human life. Our pregnancy journey was complete.

Our life together truly starts, now. Jovelyn and I have had one hell of a journey, to get to this point. We’ve known each other for fifteen years! I always knew we had the potential to be THIS, I always wanted us to be THIS, and now we are. It’s amazing what persistence, timing, and a hefty helping of luck can do for a person.

When we first became a couple, I remember talking to my friend Hannah, who knew us both from high school. She talked about us being perfect for each other, and I remember gushing about all my feeling for Jovelyn to her. Just a few months ago, I got a Facebook message from Hannah asking me if she remembers what I said to her in that conversation. Barely, but Hannah had no problem reminding me.

“I’m going to have a baby with her.”

And I did! I’m no psychic, it was always just obvious to me. Jovelyn Jade should be my wife and have my babies. Nothing else has ever made perfect sense in my world. I’ve never met anyone else I’ve ever wanted to create a life with and felt comfortable literally doing that.

This whole pregnancy thing took us both through the ringer. Physically, emotionally, financially, and even romantically. We had to be less sexual with our intimacy and it brought us closer together as an already close couple. Then I got to see the life we created together and it made me love her even more! THEN I saw her hold Max for the first time and it made me love her EVEN MORE! We continue to grow closer and closer by the day, loving one another more and more.

We have Max. We have a family. Our pregnancy journey may be over, but there is still so much life to live, lessons to teach our son, and plenty more Daddy’s Issues for me to discover. 

This is only the end of the beginning.


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. 


Banner Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash


 

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Daddy’s Issues | Chapter 9 | Hot Fun in the Summertime


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


Jovelyn is eight months pregnant in July. I already think she’s the most attractive woman I’ve ever seen, but she must be literally hot as fuck!

The temperatures are consistently in the nineties, and she has to go to a doctor’s appointment almost weekly. Given the… chesty nature of my wife-to-be, I can imagine venturing outside becomes quite the sweaty endeavor this late in the pregnancy game.

I’ve even been struggling with the heat, and I’m not growing another human being inside of me. Running baby errands, moving things to get ready for Max, my excessive body hair, and general anxiety have me sweating through a couple of shirts on a daily basis. This is me in my regular, unable-to-become-pregnant mode. I could only imagine the perspiration I would produce, if I had 25-40% extra blood, like my lovely pregnant Jovelyn.

It doesn’t really help matters that Summer decided to rudely barge into our lives, unannounced. I mean, seriously, what happened to Spring of 2018?! We go from Winter Horror Show all the way up to March and then out of nowhere, BAM!, 88 degrees with imposing sun. If global warming (or climate change… or whatever you want to call it, really) is NOT real, then I demand an investigation. I want to file a missing person’s report on Spring, because something happened! Summer may have actually murdered springtime, so it could seize the opportunity to bake us for a few extra months a year.
Taking all these things into consideration, and adding the fact that my apartment is a STEEP two-story walk-up that requires permit parking in a lot a block away from me, you could imagine that Jovelyn hates the heat. She’s even confessed to me that, second to being able to hold our son, she’s looking forward to giving birth so she can stop “always needing a nap and always smelling like tittie sweat”.
We have doctor’s appointments almost weekly, so avoiding the stairs is not something Jovelyn can do completely. I help her waddle down the stairs as much as I can, but I can’t always attend every appointment. My biggest fear was that her water would break, while I was not home, and she would try going down those treacherous fuckers while going into labor. Thankfully the doctor is going to give us an induction date soon, so with any luck, that fear will not become a reality.

The weirdest part about Jovelyn having so much blood running through her veins, and us spending a lot of time indoors during this Mega Hot Summer, I actually find myself getting pretty COLD sometimes. I keep the air conditioner at a much lower temperature than I normally would, and Jovelyn will park herself in front of a fan in addition to the A/C. Cuddling becomes a goose-bumpy endeavor for me. It’s not rare to find me sitting by an open window, so I can feel some of that grossly imposing, yet strangely welcome, summer air to warm my bones.

Like most aspects of this pregnancy, the temperature has become another balancing act for me. Not only do I need to keep myself and the love of my life comfortable, but I also have to slowly transition the baby’s room into a “Safe Sleep Environment” (**to be read in a deep, movie-trailer-guy voice**) and that requires a certain temperature range. I’ve been trying to achieve this by subtly raising the A/C by one degree every day, until the thermometer we keep in the nursery reaches the “Safe Sleep Zone” (**same movie voice**) and I feel like I am one day away from achieving this goal… this very easy to achieve goal, that really required no effort or strenuous thought. Truly, I feel like I should be given a Safe Sleep Zone Award of Excellence.

That’s how, if you use a bit of the ol’ brain power, you can tell that a lot of pregnancy advice you get just may be bullshit. Look, I’m still going to put Max in the “Safe Sleep Zone” because I’m not an asshole, but if we want to talk about HOT then let’s talk about fu-cking hot! Let’s talk sizzling! Let’s talk desert landscape, African third-world, no shade, living in huts, hot! Because they still have babies there and I’m certain the Department of Child Services didn’t provide them with a little thermometer card to keep in their… nursery? They can’t exactly adjust their air conditioning unit a degree a day to find the perfect temperature, and they still manage to grow into adults somehow.

It really is amazing to think about the environments that babies are born in, all over the world, and then reflect on the first-world worries that we have for our children. Babies are born with no running water, in places with no flushing toilets or substantial food to go around, and we in the first-world are buying water jugs with pictures of babies on the fucking things because SURELY that’s more sterile! I mean, look at me, I’m bitching about Jovelyn having to walk down the stairs. At least she isn’t walking down the stairs, all the way down to the lake to collect water, to bring back on top of her head, all while eight months pregnant.
We watched a documentary called “Babies”, all about how people around the world have and raise their babies, and I feel like it’s essential viewing for expecting parents. It puts a lot of those needless worries into perspective. You tend to worry less about what brand of wipes to get, when you see an African woman wiping her son’s ass with her shin bone. Why bother with a baby gate either, when the Mongolians just tie their newborn to a bedpost like a dog?

We really are a lot more fortunate than we realize sometimes. People, that is. Not Jovelyn and I specifically, though it is a good thing to think back on when I’m pissed about not being about to figure out which nipple-flow is best for which bottle type.

We are ready for Summer to be over with. Max gets to join us at the end of it, and along with that comes Awww!-inducing Halloween costumes and some really adorable, tiny winter coats, scarves, mittens, and the cutest of all, little hats.

We just have to get through this imposing heat, first.


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. 


Edited by Joey Sheehan







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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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Crowdfunding Roundup – June, 2018



EPIC MISADVENTURES OF DEATHBAG: HOLIER THAN THOU EDITION

By Julio A. Guerra

Julio was one of the first indy comic book creators I met face to face and he set a pretty high bar for all those I would meet after him. He was humble, energetic, and eager to share knowledge about the world of indy publishing. Deathbag was his tentpole character and had stretched through 2 issues at the time when I met him. Now he’s onto his 4th issue which will be collected in this TPB. I even had the privilege to guest write a story for this edition.

PLOT :

“Deathbag is a grim reaper who deals with everyday human life such as going the movies, going to see his favorite heavy metal band, going grocery shopping, and more.”

WHAT THEY NEED :

As of now, Julio is about 30% there from a goal of $3k. He needs a boost to help him reach his goal.

WHY YOU SHOULD BACK IT :

I think what drew me to Deathbag first was his design and I liked how he shared a lot of the same frustrations I did. The books are some fun, quick flip through that will get you a few quality chuckles.

Follow this link to learn more and support this campaign »


The Fist

By Jordan Kroeger

Hmmm… “The FIST, a comic series with 130+ pages of a guy punching people” Why not!

Besides the straightforward pitch, I admired how The FIST nailed an indy feel for a synthwave comic. The comic is full of pastel neon colors with some great combinations that splash off the page. It’s a comic that I want to hold in my hands while I blast Perturbator or Carpenter Brut through my headphones.

PLOT :

A man (who punches) and his wife (who’s a spaceship)are on the run from the EVIL SPACE ARMY. Over-the-top ridiculous fights ensue.

WHAT THEY NEED :

$3,600 and they’re about a third there. This will all go to collecting previous issues of The FIST

WHY YOU SHOULD BACK IT :

Because it looks too much freakin’ fun! If you’re a fan of the art like I am, there are many rewards that feature prints and pin-ups from the comic.

Follow this link to learn more and support this campaign »


Electric Alice

By Amara

I really had to dig for this one and I’m glad I did. Amara’s art style is going to be beautiful for this SciFi retelling of Alice In Wonderland. This is also her first graphic novel that she’s done entirely by herself — so all the more reason to back this project.

PLOT :

Alice is curious, and she has always been curious. An ambitious but inexperienced pilot, she signs up for a solo flight into unexplored space, stubbornly ignoring repeated warnings by her peers of the dangers of her expedition. She successfully arrives just beyond the furthest known boundaries of the galaxy, only to be snared by the gravity of a massive black abyss. Terrible wonders await Alice on her journey. Follow her through the rabbit hole and find out for yourself.

WHAT THEY NEED :

$2,000, which is quite a modest goal for a graphic novel that will be printed. “Electric Alice will be a fully illustrated, perfect bound softcover graphic novel. The interior artwork will be created using traditional media, such as watercolor and ink, and hand-lettered.”

WHY YOU SHOULD BACK IT :

If you weren’t sold by the art, Amara also teases that this isn’t the same Alice in Wonderland we’re used to, “You may meet some faces that seem familiar, but do not trust that you know their story, and be prepared for something completely alien.”

Follow this link to learn more and support this campaign »


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



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

Twitter & IG @ant_cleveland







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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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Daddy’s Issues – Chapter 5: Secret Origins – The Johnny and Jovie Story


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

I traveled back in time to 2001. Or, rather, I am going to eventually. I’m just not entirely sure when that will be yet. I guess I’m waiting for them to actually invent the Time Machine. I know this will happen because I remember hanging out with Future Me back in 2001.

Before you ask, yes I probably WAS on drugs, but nothing stronger than the drugs I’m currently under the influence of. Of course, I had to convince my sixteen-year-old self the same thing. See, I went back in time to talk to my teenage version about how, yes that totally-out-of-your-league, super hot, Goth, Punk, Asian chick WILL, in fact, be your wife and the mother of your child.

In school, I always knew Jovelyn as my buddy John’s best friend and (in my opinion) someone so goddamn gorgeous that I shouldn’t even bother hitting on her. Her beauty was intimidating. She was womanly gorgeous in high school and I was an awkward comic book nerd who liked to make fun of everything. I’m pretty sure she could do better for a date to the prom, for fuck’s sake.

Did I want to ask her out? You bet your ass! She’s the most attracted I’ve ever been to a woman. EVER! I couldn’t do it, though. I wouldn’t. I would walk by her in the hallway between classes, interact with her briefly when I talk to John, and we went to the same house party once, but aside from that Jovelyn and I had very minimal interaction in high school.

That’s because Future Me went back in time to sort myself out, so I could actually get the girl of my dreams. Disaster was imminent if I let my teen, stoner, idiot self-try to pick up Jovelyn. I just didn’t have the life experience to keep such an amazing woman.



I remember I was in my blow-off typing class when I faked that I had to go to the bathroom. Probably so I could roam the halls, and see if any of my other degenerate friends were sent out in the hall, that I could bullshit with. That’s when I saw a bright blue, Dr. Manhattan glow coming from the bathroom in the hallway.

Future Me stepped out of the glow, and I was a little freaked out. I (as in teenage-me) felt the need to express my concern.

“Who are you?” I asked.
“Well, buddy,” Future Me said to myself. “I’m you… I’m you, from the future.”
“Oh, dude,” I said. “You’re not here to molest me, are you?”
“No!” Future Me exclaimed. “Why would I molest myself? Couldn’t I just go jerk-off?”
“Just making sure. There’s this new Catch a Predator show that has a lot of people concerned, these days.”
“I’m here to make sure you have an amazing adult life,” Future Me said. “I need to show you something.”

“Dude… You ARE going to molest me!”

After I was told to shut the fuck up and listen, Future Me led me to the end of the hallway, where I usually walked by Jovelyn. We stood and waited for the end-of-class bell to ring, and I totally knew I was going to get a detention for ditching class. Future Me walked alongside me, telling me who I shouldn’t bother talking to. Pointing out who would become junkies, which girls I would end up dating unsuccessfully, and who I would never even hear from again after high school. Then… he pointed her out.

“Jovelyn?” I said, confused. “Yeah, I kind of know her. Is she still hot? Is she still friends with Gay John? Not a judgment, by the way. There’s just too many Johns. Big John, Little John Goofy John, Redhead John. It’s just a descriptor. But hey, you know that. You’ve said it before.” “That’s your wife,” Future Me said, so matter-of-factly. “Bullshit! Now, I know you’re a fucking con artist!” “Believe it, asshole,” Future Me said. “That woman fucking LOVES you, dude. You may not know it yet, but as far as women are concerned, you’re the luckiest man on Earth.”

“How do I know you’re-”

“Her name is Jovelyn Jade Ross,” he interrupted. “She was born October 14th. Two years, one week, and one day before you. She loves black and white patterns, miniature things, and cats. She’s a sucker for horror stories, a master with eye makeup, and, OH, we have a full-on family at this point. You know I’m not lying, because I know my wife, dude. Trust me. You’re going to have the privilege of getting her pregnant.”

“So, then, what’s the point of you coming here?”

“Life is going to be hard. Dating is going to be some rough waters for you to navigate. You’re not going to have the easiest time figuring out what women want in a partner. You’re going to be with women that you’ll think are The One, and others that you can’t wait to get rid of, but I’m here to tell you that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Jovelyn and your family is that pot of gold at the end of this rainbow.”

Future Me went on to explain how I should hold onto this thought, anytime I was heartbroken, or felt like I was helpless in the world of romance. He also explained what social media was, and how it’s going to be much easier to reach out to people you knew from school, eventually.

Future Me stepped back into the school’s bathroom, took a piss, didn’t wash his hands (I don’t blame him. That school soap smells awful.), and the Dr. Manhattan glow emitted from the doorway once again. He was gone.

Fast forward to 2012 and I found out Future Me was no con artist. Sure enough, social media put me back in contact with none other than… Jessica! Jovelyn’s sister. Jessica had actually invited me to hang out at her house, one night, after I found out that her husband was a guy I graduated with and worked with at Blockbuster.

I expected a night of cracking jokes, watching movies, and probably getting hammered (I was still drinking, at this point). I actually had no idea that Jessica had a roommate, and I had no idea that roommate would come home from work in the middle of us hanging out, and I especially had no idea that roommate was her sister Jovelyn Jade- the love of my life. We immediately connected, in a BIG way! We had the same twisted sense of humor, and we both embraced our weird sides as a positive, instead of dwelling on the shame that society likes to place on eccentric fuckers like us.

We got along famously! Thick as thieves! Peas in a pod! Cliches in a blog post! Not a problem in the world, except for that whole pesky her-having-a-boyfriend issue. No, we did not reconnect after all those years and fall magically, immediately, in love. I know it’s not romantic, and I know you’ve had a sci-fi story for part of this, but that’s just reality. I’m sure I loved her, but her heart belonged to someone else.

Or so I thought. Turns out, Jovelyn wasn’t in a very happy relationship. I wanted to be with her so badly. I knew that I could make her happy and I could see that, deep down, she knew it too.
There were moments where I thought things would go differently. Plenty of times that I thought Jovelyn had a change of heart and actually wanted to be with me, but nothing ever seemed to fall in my favor.

I moved on. I met someone else, we started a relationship, and even lived together for a short time. I even thought I loved this woman and would probably end up marrying her. Fate has a funny way of stepping in, though.

During the time of my pre-baby-making relationship, Jovelyn actually became single, and started to get pretty annoyed at the whole dating scene in general. She had given up on the idea of being with someone all together.



My relationship ended for reasons that are literally so stupid and childish, that I don’t even care to tell anyone why. Let’s just make an already long story just a bit shorter, and say goodbye and “Best of luck to ya”.

It didn’t take long for me to reach out to Jovelyn. She is the one person I’ve always been able to be myself with. The only person I could open up to, completely honestly, and share all my insecurities without the fear of judgment. Why wouldn’t I turn to her, to help me make sense of a shitty situation?

That’s when it happened. She agreed to come over and it was like that magical, immediate love, that everyone expected from earlier. We have spent all of our free time together, ever since and I’m still not sick of her. I don’t see myself ever being sick of her.

We live together now. We are expecting our first child together. We are engaged. We love each other and we’re very happy. I guess Future Me wasn’t a fucking con artist.
Now… Where is the hell is that time machine? I really have some shit I want to do, well before I go back in time and talk to that little teenage douchebag.

Future Me must have run out of things to see.



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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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.

[podbean resource=”episode=34dya-9021fa” type=”audio-rectangle” height=”100″ skin=”1″ btn-skin=”104″ share=”1″ fonts=”Helvetica” auto=”0″ download=”0″ rtl=”0″]

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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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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Daddy’s Issues – Chapter 4: What’s in a Name?


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


Baby names have been a hot topic around The Craft Household, lately. There is, surprisingly, a LOT of thought you have to put into the name your child will be stuck with for the rest of their life.

First, you have to take my last name into consideration. Craft. Arthur, Artemis, Artem, Arturo. OUT! Art Craft? Get the fuck out of here…

No jokey, punny names, either. Space. Air. Mine. Love. That’s a whole lot of NOPE. And, sorry little girl, Laura Craft will get you too much Tomb Raider flack. It’s also important to take childish insults into consideration. Anything that can be turned into a butt, fart, or poop joke can’t even be a contender in the name game. I remember being a total cock to people, over their names, when I was younger. I mean, fuck,

I used to torture a kid named Adam by calling him “Subtract-em” all the time. I will take that into consideration, though, the first time my kid gets in trouble for ball-busting at school. So. Many. Questions. What if it’s a boy? What if it’s a girl? Is it even worth trying to come up with a name, until we know the gender? How unique should we go? Is a family of three J first names too cheesy? Do we want to name him/her after someone (and if so, who)? I never thought naming my kid would be like taking a pop-quiz! I also have to take the size of my family into consideration. Jovelyn’s family is small, but mine is endless. I don’t have a family tree, so much as a family orchard. I suddenly find myself asking “What’s that one cousin that I have, who just had a baby? What did she name that kid? Was it a girl?” on a regular basis. I would have hated to have had another Johnny Craft in my family, growing up. I don’t want to stiff my kid with that problem, and the petty “Nah uh, I was born first, so I’m the real Insert-Name- Here!” arguments that come along with being a child.



Girl names are easy. My only rule is “She can’t share a name with a woman I’ve slept with”, which, YES it HAS created a few awkward moments between Jovelyn and I. There are so many girl names that I like, that I could definitely see my little girl having. Penny, Alice, Juliana, Gloria, Gail. There are a lot of cute little girl names. Plus, I love comics so a little Selina Craft, Kara Zorel Craft or especially (if I could impossibly talk my wife-to-be into it) Big Barda Craft would be amazing!

Boy names are a bit more difficult. Bruce Wayne Craft is way too lame, even for a huge Batman fan like me. Swamp Thing, Solomon Grundy, and Hellboy still aren’t out of the running, though.

Don’t judge.

I hate the current trend of Something-ayson or Something-den. No disrespect to my nephews Mason and Kayden, but it seems like every male baby lately is a Grayson, Brayden, Crayson, or Crayden. At least my homie Valerie cut the bullshit and went with straight-up Rayden. Maybe I’ll take her lead and name the little fella Sub-Zero. In all seriousness, though, I like Max. Classic, strong, even comic hero-ish. Max Craft. Calvin is always a name I’ve felt was under-used, as well. Plus, I’m a sucker for the alliteration, AND it opens up the gates for me to make plenty of Parliament jokes to the kid (“But you’re the capital CC. Gainin’ on ya!”) since that’s exactly what a child growing up in the 2020’s will love; 1970’s funk jokes, that aren’t even very good. I’m killing the dad-jokes already.

The trickiest thing about boys names, to me anyway, is the fact that a lot of names sound good for adults but not necessarily babies. Like, could you really think of a little baby Hank? Or a tiny little Fred? Admittedly, these could be the wacky thoughts of a person who likes to smoke a few blunts while writing about his ol’ Daddy’s Issues, but these are grown man names! My grandfather was Buford, which I actually don’t think is a very bad name, but for… my grandfather! I couldn’t picture a baby having that name. Right now, we are stuck with the gender-ambiguous, temporary name of Babylove.

Jovelyn and I will figure out the rest, at our twenty-week ultrasound. We get to finally know if Babylove is a boy or a girl. Do I buy Batman or Wonder Woman stuff? Time will tell. Boy or girl, I’m sure we will decide the perfect name for our baby. Even if we have a lapse in judgment, I’m sure little Bieber Sampson Craft or Madonna Comet Craft will have an amazing life, even if they hate us forever for their terrible names.


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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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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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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Daddy’s Issues – Chapter 2: The Pregnancy Gauntlet

 

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

Daddy’s Issues – Chapter 2: The Pregnancy Gauntlet

After my appearance on the solidly entertaining ComixCentral Podcast, the idea was tossed around that I would host a Youtube show for them called “The Gauntlet”. It’s meant to be a “brutally honest” review show, for the books featured on ComixCentral, and I was to review them in the style I see fit. I was initially, very, very excited to take part in this project, though not thrilled with the idea of potential bridges that I may burn as a result. I had every intention of producing “The Gauntlet” regularly and hit releases like clockwork. I am normally very good at consistency, work rate, and hitting deadlines. Ever since my lovely Jovelyn Jade got pregnant, though, I have not had much time to be creative on any sort of consistent basis. It is one downside that I am realizing exists in the life of a creative person, who is expecting their first child.

I have the format for “The Gauntlet” set, pretty solidly, I just can’t seem to find the time to record my first episode. With any luck, now that we are into the second trimester, Jovelyn and I will be able to work together to find a nice balance, where I can remain creative but still be there for her in every way she needs me. The format for “The Gauntlet”, however, is intended to be split into four small segments: What is it? Why is it great? Why does it suck? Should you buy it? Since I can’t get around to recording my first episode of the ComixCentral Indie Comics Gauntlet, I thought I would devote this entry into mixing the two major things in my life right now: my life as a creator, and the anticipation of my future family. For your reading pleasure, here is The Pregnancy Gauntlet.



What is it?

The woman of my dreams, and I, are 12 weeks into expecting our first child. We go for our first ultrasound this week, where we get to see Babylove Craft (working title) for the very first time! Both of us are still learning and adjusting to our new circumstances, and things could be coming along a little smoother in that department, but all things considered, I think we are doing very well. I love Jovelyn and I love this baby, more than I ever thought I could love anyone or anything. We are having a baby and it’s going to be my greatest creation yet!

Why is it great?

What could be greater than falling in love with someone you have known for a very long time, whose personality is eerily similar to yours, who is stunningly gorgeous, and then reproducing with that person? What better scenario is there, for having a family? I have been in serious relationships, in the past, with a few different women. Women that I’ve told “I love you” to and actually thought that I meant it. However, since Jovelyn came into the picture, I realized that I have never actually been in love before her. I promise to devote an entire entry to this blog, talking exclusively about Jovelyn and I, but for now, the important information is simple. I am madly in love with this woman and if I’m having a baby with anyone, I couldn’t so much as dream of a better candidate than my lovely Jovelyn Jade Ross.

Why does it suck?

Okay… So… I should be really careful how I answer this question, right? I mean, the word “suck” should be danced around very carefully, in this context. Hormones are running wild and I don’t want Jovelyn to read this and stab me in my sleep. To start, the one thing that most definitely DOES SUCK about expecting your first child is the treatment you receive from those you interact with on a regular basis. I’ve gotten everything from people I haven’t spoken to since I was 12, contact me on social media to ask overly personal questions, to some even thinking I’ve been lying about the entire pregnancy as a way to promote my comic “SuperLove”, that I wrote as a direct inspiration from this situation! It’s very strange how involved people are becoming in my life, suddenly, and how invested they are in a child they will probably never meet.

I’ve also noticed that certain people in my life are treating me like suddenly I’ve just now become an adult. I’m 32 years old. I’ve traveled across the country and various places overseas. I’ve kicked an alcohol and semi-serious drug problem, without even a remote desire to return to that lifestyle. I’ve supported myself for a very long time, and I’ve never had to do anything desperate just to feed myself, or pay my bills. I feel like I’ve had a fairly solid adult experience, up until this point. Babylove is just the next chapter.

As far as the actual pregnancy itself… I would never say it “sucks”. I understand there are adjustments that I need to make, Jovelyn needs to make, and there will be emotional side effects on both ends. I will say, again it does not “suck”, but I certainly don’t find it… enjoyable, when I get made to feel like a total dickhead for certain things. I have a full-time job, a part-time job, and I freelance, so most of my free time needs to be devoted to someone else, in some capacity. With the hormones running high, Jovelyn tends to go for the jugular or drown me with sarcasm and mockery, when she feels like I’m not devoting enough time to her. I understand where she is coming from, and I do feel like I’m punching well above my weight class in the fatherhood department already, so those jabs certainly make me feel like shit.



A lot of my frustrations are self-imposed, and I do forget that from time to time. I chose the life of a comic book writer, and I also have an important management position for a family-owned business. I understand that my time is precious/limited/valued. I also understand that there are plenty of guys that look at pregnancy as a woman’s problem, and a lot of dudes take that selfish road and make their lady deal with most of the stress solo. That was never an option for me, though. I make it a point to go above and beyond, to try to take as much stress off the mother of my child, as humanly possible. My time NEEDS to be devoted to making sure Jovelyn and Babylove are healthy, first and foremost.

Unsolicited advice, hormonal wrath, and physical/mental exhaustion all certainly suck, but the pregnancy itself absolutely does not. Things seem to be going well for us, so far.

Should you buy it?

I think the best way to interpret this question in the context of this blog, would be to translate it to “Would I go back and change this if I could?”. If given the chance to stop Babylove from ever being conceived on that (none of your business) filled night, would I do it? Would I go back to having the freedom and extra money that I used to have, just mere months ago? Would I trade this whole thing, and what could be, for the opportunity to continue living the life of a creative savage with no one to let down?

Hell-tothe-mother– fuckin’ NO! I love this woman! I love this baby! I wouldn’t change a thing, for a thing!


 I’m Johnny from ComixCentral and this has been The Pregnancy Gauntlet. Be sure to Like, Subscribe, share and join us next time, when another trimester throws down… The Pregnancy Gauntlet!


 





 

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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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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

 

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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RAGS: Not just another pair of pants

 

Hey everyone! I’m Brian the writer and Co-Creator of RAGS. I have been asked to share my journey from drunken idea to self-publishing our first issue.


The back back way back story:

For those that didn’t know, RAGS has taken almost 3 years from drunken funny concept to release. And like most stories, this wasn’t easy.

A short history of me, I’ve been writing since I was in the fifth grade. Most of my influences were from Japanese animation very early on. Around 1989 my father took a trip to Japan and returned with some Super Nintendo games that perked my interest in everything ANIME. By the time I had reached middle school I had completely watched, on VHS, every episode of Dragon Ball and Dragon Ball Z so when the series finally hit U.S shores, I was ahead of the curve. The importance of this is that I was very heavily inspired by the works of Akira Toriyama. More specifically, his puns. If you pay close attention to his work, you will see that nearly every character he’s created has had some sort of pun-based naming convention. As I inspired myself to write, I attempted to adopt these traits. Early on it did not work out so well, but when you’re a kid everything you do is great right?

Flash forward after graduating High School and 9/11 happens. Being the full bloodied patriot that I am, I rushed to raise my right hand to join up and participate in the war on terror. During my time in the Army, I would continue to write but nothing ever really stuck. I had fans of my writing in my unit, but I was neither fully impressed with my own finished work or I felt I had become too ambitious with the projects I wanted to complete. I attempted to self-publish a full-length novel in 2005, only to find I had been scammed by a Vanity Press and coupled with a few other incidents which we’ll skip, simply stopped writing for a number of years.



Beer, Zombies and a nude mod

On a night that was a-typical of any other night. Trent and I were having a nice fun drunken night of playing Left 4 Dead 2 and attempting to defeat a Map called Yama. This was a difficult map to beat, and on to this day, we have been very unsuccessful at completing it. Anyway, I was using a mod titled: Ravaged Zoey. This mod left one of the female characters in a certain state of undress and to his credit, Trent called me out for utilizing the mod in order to…um…enhance my gameplay. Notably, poor Zoey was left without pants. Trent demanded that I explain myself and, very drunkenly mind you, I came up with an elaborate story about how Zoey was only with the other group of survivors to find clothes and the entire campaign was her quest to locate a comfortable pair of pants. I laughed. Trent laughed. The toaster laughed. I shot the toaster. It was a good time.A few months later I had finally caught the writing bug again and yet, I could not figure out WHAT exactly it was that I should write. So as what most people do in the social media age because it’s the cool thing to do, I decided to let Facebook decide my path for me. I put out a list of old stories I could revisit and possibly give new life to some old characters. Just as the votes were coming in, Trent sent me a message:

Dude! Write a story about that chick looking for pants!

Could I? The concept was stupid, but it was funny. Well at least to us. But after a moment of contemplation, I decided: This is so stupid it just might work!!

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Not long after Trent and I began brainstorming. Originally envisioned as an extremely short story the beta version of RAGS started out with an unnamed female protagonist arriving at a Wal-Mart style store, without pants and fully armed to the teeth, but of course minus the pants. She would lose them constantly as she met other survivors or zombies. Always coming out on top, but always bottomless… That had been mulled around a bit but eventually tossed on the floor due to being unable to flesh out the main character, or having a good reason why the loss of pants as a justifiable occurrence. Later, we came up with a working rough draft but decided that instead of novelizing our idea, it would be much more fun if we wrote it as a movie script.

I had never written movie scripts before, and so I went to see the one friend I knew that had. Balam, or Luis as he’s better known as has written many wonderful scripts for movies that will possibly never get made (quite unfortunate but that’s life eh?). I asked him to show how he went about putting his scripts together and after a couple hours of tutelage, I eventually got the hang of things.

Two six packs and three days later I had written the first draft of RAGS: A Zombie Shopping Spree. It was designed to be its own self-contained silly one-shot, however as we shared it around our small network of friends we kept noticing that while initially disgusted with our beginning, people generally enjoyed the story elements and humor overall. Though while the entire concept was outright dumb, they did thoroughly enjoy the journey from beginning to end. Embers underneath the fire if you will.

Next thing we did was shop the story around FB Author groups. This is where we hit out first major roadblock. Immediately the script we share was derided as sexist, misogynistic, and disgustingly vulgar. Just to name a few of the many praises lauded onto us. Our responses got us removed from group after group, until we settled into another group titled Fiction Writing. There we actually met a few authors who saw the gem hidden in the coals of our script and agreed to help us polish things. Eventually, we were kicked out of this group as well. Cie Le Vie.

Regina Ragowski: The mama Leopard

One of the main issues that plagued us, in the beginning, was that our protagonist initially didn’t have a name, personality and they lacked any real depth. We were at a loss as to what to do as we thought our current script was perfect. Nameless heroine on a quest for pants, small town mall, Jill’s Sandwiches, puns galore what was not to love? After some collaboration, we eventually decided to do what any other sane person would do, and dropped the entire thing the trash and start over again. To add depth to the character that we needed, we realized that we needed a character with a name. A name that would kinda stick. So Trent and I got drunk again and went back to L4D2 to brainstorm. Ya know. Science. It was there, as when we’re doing our best to sabotage each other’s efforts at survival that Trent had the epiphany: Dude, we should name her Regina Ragamuffin. To which I responded: Nah man, Ragowski! Like the Big Lebowski but Ragowski!

Needless to say, we think we nailed it there.

Secondly, we needed a personality type. A realistic one. Not a Mary-Sue or a typical tsundere anime girl. We needed legit real personalities to humanize and create a character that you could root for, despite their flaws. While pondering how I should go about this Liz Finnegan had tweeted out: “Get your heads out of your dickholes you WHORE REFS!”

Yeah. It was right then and there I was sold. SOOOO SOLD!

At the time too, I decided to reach out to some female battle buddies of mine from the ARMY to interview them about their input on their unique life experiences and things they had to deal with during their time in the Military. Combining all these things with our character, Regina, finally being given a name, a history and a personality that appropriately matched, all she needed was a face….

Making a Baby:

Movie treatment in hand, polished (4th or 9th time) and ready to rock we came to the conclusion that it was time to start pitching to Netflix and Amazon. Well long story short, we were rejected. Flat out. It seemed as the studio heads there didn’t believe in the subtle nuance a story about a naked woman and her quest for pants could tell and at the same time entertain an audience that wasn’t a bunch of pervs. In that moment of double rejection, we then decided: Fuck it, we’ll make it a comic!

Not knowing how to write comics scripts was another HUGE roadblock. But we took the time to read books on how to write the MARVEL way, studied how IMAGE and DC writers handled their scripts and said: Fuck that noise!

Eventually, we found a style that suited our needs and got right to work. We placed feelers out into the net and reached out to multiple artists before we got our first hit. Recommended to us by a mutual online friend who does short comic work, this artist we reached out to gave us the first real rendition of Regina.

This was great, however, the script and description we gave to them involved a tattoo to be placed on Regina’s left leg. The artist took it upon themselves to change the placement of the tattoos and at first, we were upset…

…however the look ended up growing on us so we just went with it. This same artist was also commissioned to complete 5 pages in a timely manner, however, they went radio silent for long periods of time. So, while they were silent we searched for a second artist that would be able to meet our needs and not just vanish. While we did enjoy their work, the inability to effectively collaborate and the long periods of silence eventually forced us to find another partner.

The second artist we reached out too, this time working with our third drafted script, promised to deliver pages and work on time. However, he quickly showed to us that he did not have the same passion as Trent and I had for our story and script. We fired this artist, and surprisingly they begged for a second chance. We gave it to them, however, they still failed to meet simple deadlines. 6 pages of inks took 6 months or more to receive. And knowing that we would be attempting more pages in a shorter period of time, we found this completely unacceptable and fired this person again. We never got our money or our time back.

All of this would lead us to Sasha. I had worked her before on some small things. And wanted to give her a shot at RAGS. We had the rapport. I knew her work ethic. I wanted to take a chance. So I commissioned a Regina concept from her and it turned out wonderful! Unfortunately, due to personal reasons Sasha had to focus on other things and wasn’t available to work with us. At this time, we honestly were deciding what we should do. We’d already poured in the money to artists. Set up the webpage, domain, set up the Facebook group, the Reddit page. I had just finished setting up our Patreon and T-shirt/ Merchandise store to hopefully help crowdfund our project, but I was curious as to what I could do to get this thing out of the water when there were already multiple gaping holes in our boat. We were lost and dejected and honestly felt as though we had given it a good attempt. To cut our losses and at least be proud that we tried to do something fun while most people would sit back and complain about things.

Hail Mary, or rather Hail Liz!

So as everyone knows by now, that we based Regina around Liz Finnegan’s football tweets and her face. This was initially supposed to be just another one of the many Easter eggs I had planned. As a nod to those that knew and an ‘oh that’s cool’ to those that didn’t. Well, I didn’t have official permission, so with the house around us seemingly burning down at a high rate, I decided to reach out to Liz and inform her of our intentions. The thought was if she said yes, then we’d continue. But a No would let us know that this project wasn’t meant to come to life and to move back to doing other things. I honestly did not believe I would get a response, or rather I didn’t expect to receive such a positive one from her. She enjoyed it. She was a fan. We had a reason to make this shit happen. I passed her blessing onto Trent and we felt renewed. And as if karma was rewarding us for our perseverance that’s also when we found Luigi.

Separately from this RAGS project, I had been working on something of a MARVEL Fan comic. Again, testing the waters and teaching myself the ins and outs and nuances of things of making comics just for knowledge’s sake. I had commissioned an artist, who I felt scammed me out of a potentially fun project and a beaucoup amount of money. As the animosity between us grew Luigi eventually stepped in and finished the work all the while remaining professional the entire time. Even with my demands for compensation being delivered in a cruel manner (I’m really an asshole in real life.), Luigi maintained complete utter professionalism and delivered to me this: Regina-Chan 2.0 as we called it. Everything about it was perfect. The onesie. The eyes. The freckles. The trigger discipline. It was at this time as we were completing my other side project, that I decided to throw another hail mary and put the offer out. If our previous interactions had been contentious I had doubts that he would accept anything additional that I would request.

But.
He.
Did.

Back on track and ready to rock, I felt the need to go back and hand Luigi a script that was worthy of his talents. This script was the first half of issue #1 that Trent and I agreed would be a good test to see how Luigi worked and see if he was a good fit for future works.

Well, needless to say, that what he sent in to us next made our jaws drop. It was at this point. This moment we knew. We immediately went all in and gave Luigi an open deadline to get things done. It was tough, there was a bunch of back and forth and loads of frustration. To this day I still think somewhere he rolls his eyes whenever he sees my email populate in his inbox. But good lord. Without Luigi, RAGS would probably still just be some pipe dream between two drunk guys and a nude mod.

The lesson here to take home is that if you believe in a project, no matter how silly or dumb it may seem. No matter what comments or putdowns that others who don’t know the intricacies of your work. You should just F.I.D.O:

Fuck It.Drive On.

Sure, we will probably never see a full return on the hours and money we’ve spent. But at the end of the day, Trent, Luigi and I will bring to the world our baby. A story about a something near and dear to me, PTSD and overcoming self-guilt. We’re bringing Trent’s great plots, outlines, and story concepts to life in a meaningful way. And hopefully, we’re bringing forward into the spotlight, the amazing talents of a man who deserves to be the lead of animation company. Even if this isn’t a success, it will be all be worth it, because, at the beginning of all this, I did get to meet the amazing person that inspired us and drove us to move onward despite the hurdles and setbacks. And with that, my bucket list is complete.

Liz Finnegan and Brian circa 2018

Written by Brian Ball

 






 

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The Most Important Video-game You’ll Ever Play: A Nerd Metaphor for Success

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Competition is a beautiful thing. This is such a weird realization to hit a universal lover like myself.

As a person who does his best to appreciate as many people as possible (and fails constantly), I have realized that this truth is a fantastic relief. There’s a massive old-school misconception swimming around in the self-help ocean that is hurting people. The message that everyone can get what they desire out of life is true to a point, I guess, BUT many will not. I don’t make it my goal to hurt anyone’s feelings, but it’s not my job as an encouraging entity to present a Barney-and-Friends reality either. People will get tired. They will get weary. They will get trapped in corners by monsters that only exist in their imagination. It’s because self-help often projects an all-in, one-and-done mentality. Sure, we can talk about how people “learn from failure” and “get up and try again,” but the brain’s primary instinct is to survive. It fears actual death when the only thing really dying is perhaps the current idea of self, only to be resurrected again a moment later. We get unlimited tries until we stop breathing. My point: Life is the most important video game you’ll ever play. 

The biggest identity crisis within this type of positivity is this: everyone seems to think that each person is their own celebrity. That’s not the world we live in. Pay close attention though. I’m not saying that everyone doesn’t have value or isn’t important. I’m saying people focus on a celebrity end-game rather than thinking about what they can do to provide genuine value.

Here’s another scary thought for you — I haven’t REALLY figured out how I can provide genuine value yet either, and I’m 32. I’m crazy insecure. I worry about my age and the amount of time I have to make an impact. I worry about something I just posted at least once a day. I wonder if people are actually looking at my content. I’m learning as I go. I’m overwhelmed by the internet world and the flood of information we all have access to. As I’ve said many times before, I’m incredibly human. It’s a tired truth, but a really valuable reminder nonetheless.

Despite all of those concerns, I still love being in the trenches. Why? Because “Everybody wins” is a wonderful lie. Regardless of a person’s situation or environment, the golden truth is that each person gets to define “winning” in his/her own way.

Does the fact that everyone gets to define winning means that everybody wins? Absolutely not — you still have a chance to lose. The best news you could ever get is that life is much more like a video game than a lot of people would like to admit. Unless your body gives out on you, you can always hit the reset button. Each time you hit the reset button, you get to take everything you learned from losing a life and apply it to your brand new journey. In other words, each time you “die” in this life, you come back with upgrades.

The gift of losing exists for the same reason that human beings are mortal. A part of who we are will always love the chase at certain moments. It’s human nature to desire progress. I wish everyone in the world would put a sign on their bathroom mirrors that says, “Get busy living or get busy dying.” Screw up. Fall down. Walk away. Let a business crash. Bomb in front of an intimidating audience. Have the worst day of your life. Wake up covered in mud. Realize you’re still in the game dirty as all hell, and realize that being human is the ONLY reason winning is possible in the first place.


by Chris Hendricks 

ComixCentral COO and host of the ComixCentral Podcast – Chris has reached over 100,000 people, young and old, from all walks of life throughout the US, Canada, and Europe using his music, spoken word and personal stories of transformation.

 







 

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The Owl Tribe [Review]

 

Reviewed by Anthony Cleveland

the-owl-tribe-comic-book-review_-comixcentral

Writer: Lukasz Wnuczek
Illustrator:  Lukasz Wnuczek


Quick Overview: The Owl Tribe is a comic that revolves around a hunt for a beast straight out of the Native American (and Norse!) legends. It is set in the time of Viking exploration of pre-Columbian America and features fantastic characters borrowed from the lore of Native American tribes while also drawing from Norse tales.


Story

This 56-page comic is so rich and dense with world building and characterization that it feels like a sweeping epic graphic novel with a thick page count. What Lukasz Wnuczek (writer & illustrator) has done with this book is really something unique that lacks from other comics that commit to this particular length. Every panel matters and every panel sets up a pay off for our characters down the line.the-owl-tribe-comic-book-review_-comixcentral-2

The book follows several characters that are on both sides of the conflict and treats them both accordingly. It’s tough to say who is the bad guy or good guy throughout the comic. Our characters commit some pretty brutal acts, but we are shown their backstories so we can see their motivations and more often than not, give them our sympathy. This works the best in this comic when we see the motivations AFTER we think a character might be our villain.

It repeatedly makes the reader ask: Does this character’s emotional history justify their violent actions?

It’s engaging to the reader. Not only do you have an interesting conflict on the page to read, but you also have an internal conflict going on inside the reader. It’s difficult to accomplish and this Lukasz pulls it off seamlessly.

The best example of this is on the final page. It’s such a great gut punch that I will not spoil.  


Art-

There’s an earthy texture in the art that is very appropriate for this book. It feels organic and genuine. Lukasz puts this on display the strongest with his backgrounds and landscape panels. It’s an immersive feel that puts you right in the forest.

From my first glance at this book, the most eye-catching detail was in the character designs. The book’s cover features one of the more supernatural characters of the comic. This character is wearing a leather stitched mask with tribal-like paint across it. He stands with his staff and stares off into the mist. This is an eye-catching cover that makes you want to pick up the comic just to see who this guy is and what this book is about.


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RATING

This is a really unique book that shares an overlooked part of history. The comic doesn’t take sides in this conflict and instead allows the story unfold naturally by giving the right amount of information to the reader without spelling the whole saga.

The combination of earthy art and empathetic characters get this book a 5 out of 5.


Amazon: available as Kindle/paperback / extended paperback (with artbook section)


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

 






 

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Episode #31 | Crushing the Comic-con with Shaun Keenan Paulet

 

Wanna know how to handle any con the nerd nation throws at you? Wanna know how to raise a family and still make money doing comics?

Wanna know how to separate yourself from the pack when you’re at a table surrounded by hundreds, or even thousands of storytellers? Wanna learn how to juggle the art and business of collaboration? Look no further than this podcast and the sage advice of Australia’s number one indie comic universe maker Mr. Shaun Keenan.

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Shaun used to go to between 20 and 30 cons or more per year as a result of his vastly successful Xtreme Champion Tournament universe and of course his very successful memorabilia platform, Comics2Movies. He’s dropped back to around 20 per year because he’s got the courage and skill set to juggle his passion for nerd culture with fatherhood. Heed this man’s ear if you want to learn how to live several successful lives at once. It’s not easy, but it is worth it, and there are lots of valuable lessons to be had along the way.
Shaun and I talk about what made his book special compared to other indie comics in a similar market and how you can work a con to your advantage by being genuine. We also learn how to set up a con table properly, how to make everything visible to your audience, and how to have a conversation and a “pitch” at the same time.XCT_comixcentral XCT-comixcentral 1
No man is an island in the world of indie comics, and Shaun has somehow managed to bring together 6 talented people who are all passionate about the Xtreme Champion Tournament universe over the last several years and beyond. He talks about how to have fun and treat comics like a business in the same blink, as well some emotional and memorable moments that can only be experienced at cons if you’ve put yourself out there for the sake of your audience.
Since Valentine’s Day is coming up, we couldn’t get through the episode without talking about the incredible support that only a significant other can provide and, of course, the importance of family. He’s our first interviewer all the way from Australia and we certainly hope he isn’t the last. We’re excited to have XCT shared on the website, and he even clued me in on some top secret opportunities that just may pop up in the near future. We’ve been promised a first glance, but I don’t want to give it all away. Taking your con experience to the next level is one thing, but hidden beneath the sage advice is that moment all indie comic creators are looking for. That moment when comics go from being a story on a page to an interactive personal experience.
Xtreme Champion Tournament: http://www.xct.com.au
Comics2Movies: www.comics2movies.com.au
Twitter XCT: @XCTComic
Twitter C2M: @Comics_2_Movies

 






 

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BOB: Non-Union Psychic Issue #2 [Preview]

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Coming February 23, 2018 Now Available!

The Award Winning BOB: Non-Union Psychic continues with the upcoming release of BOB: Non-Union Psychic Issue #2.

First off, if you haven’t had a chance to dig into the world of BOB: Non-Union Psychic, do yourself an enjoyable and humorous favor by grabbing Issues #0 TRUE TALENT& #1“The Legend of Legros” whenever you get a minute.

BOB: Non-Union Psychic is the exciting tale of an unwilling but incredibly talented psychic, Bob Holbreck. All Bob wants is to be left alone to hone his one true love and passion for Hair Styling, but to his everlasting annoyance, his inherited psychic gifts continue to intrude themselves into his life with hilarious outcomes.

BOB: Non-Union Psychic Issue #1

I won’t give away any spoilers for issue #2, but I can tell you that the renegade psychic known as Bob Holbreck is back and appears to be falling into all kinds of trouble with a little help from his not-so-alive friends and family.

This delightful cast of characters is brought to life by the expert storytelling of Lance Lucero, his partner in crime & Comics, Adam Volle and of course the illustration stylings of Francisco Resendiz and phenomenal lettering of Kurt Hathaway. This incredible Indie Series is brought to you by Warehouse 9 Productions, Ltd.

Now here’s your exclusive sneak peek!

https://youtu.be/BmQgx72nAgI



BOB2_005_preview_comixcentral

Subscribe to our newsletter “The Pulse” to be notified as soon as BOB issue #2 is available on ComixCentral.com

Be sure to catch up on all the excitement and laughs from Warehouse9 Productions ltd. before the new issue drops on February 23, 2018.

 


 


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Crowdfunding Roundup – February 2nd, 2018

crowdfunding-roundup-feb-2-2018-comixcentral

 

ZOMBIES’ END

The zombie sub-genre is a blast, but it’s a bit saturated with the “same old, same old.” How many zombie outbreak stories do we need? How many wasteland wandering zombie stories are there? …Well, how about a zombie story that deals with the end of the plague. We don’t have very many of those, do we? And that’s just ONE reason to back Zombies’ End!

PLOT :

“A living head in a bucket and his zombie daughter, who are said to hold the key to mankind’s survival, are transported by three brave soldiers through the apocalypse. As the head struggles to maintain sanity and focus, he realizes his disjointed visions are not entirely unreal and must convince mankind that the solution to this zombie horror will be more extraordinary than anyone imagines.”

WHAT THEY NEED :

FUNDRAISING STATUS: URGENT!!! 14 days to go and $6,000 to needed! Funds will go to production, printing, and shipping.

WHY YOU SHOULD BACK IT :

It sounds like a blast! A last stand / final mission type of story with a touch of Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia or Sin City’s The Big Fat Kill thrown in there. Give this unique zombie story a few bucks and see how the plague finally comes to an end!

ZOMBIES’ END- comixcentral

Follow this link to learn more and support this campaign »
twitter @garyscottbeatty  / Fb https://www.facebook.com/garyscottbeatty


GORE SHRIEK

New Gore Shriek issues could be on the way if this Kickstarter is successful! For those that aren’t familiar with Gore Shriek — This was one of the best horror anthologies of the 80s and featured many creators that are now huge names in the industry. A staple of this series was its no-holds-barred horror with some darkly imaginative artists.

GORE SHRIEK-comixcentral

PLOT :

A horror anthology that will produce three 48 page issues in 2018.

WHAT THEY NEED :

Previous Kickstarter and a demand from Gore Shriek fans led to the idea to create subscription plans and new comics. There’s about a month to go and $19,000 to get there.  A highlight of this Kickstarter is in the rewards. At just $10 you receive a digital subscription to the books for 2018. That’s a steal. And the rewards only get better and better.

WHY YOU SHOULD BACK IT :

Old school horror anthologies are making a come back ( check out Creeps for example ). Gore Shriek needs to be back too!  Who knows what other indie creators this book might launch or inspire!  
GORE SHRIEK-comixcentral 3GORE SHRIEK-comixcentral 2

Follow this link to learn more and support this campaign »

twitter: @FantaCoPublish


WE SHALL FIGHT UNTIL WE WIN

I’m a sucker for historical stories in comics, especially when they’re stories that don’t get as much attention as they should. We Shall Fight Until We Win is a graphic novel anthology that takes a look at some historical women from the UK over that last 100 years and tells their stories “in colourful, illustrated snapshots – some stories are well known, some less so – all worthy of note. “

PLOT :

The anthology features stories from a few women from each decade: “From suffragettes like Emmeline Pankhurst and Sophia Duleep Singh, through the defining ‘firsts’ in politics like Nancy Astor, the first female member of Parliament, and Diane Abbott, the first black woman to hold a seat in the House of Commons, to many of the women campaigning and heading up politics today, this graphic novel brings together a mix of creators across the UK to illustrate the numerous stories from the last century.”

WHAT THEY NEED :

They’re about a month away from a goal of $11K. Funds will be going mainly to their contributors and to printing.  “Both 404 Ink and BHP are publishers with numerous titles in their back catalogue and we’re comfortable with the process of creating publications and shipping worldwide between our two teams, and anticipate no problems.”

WHY YOU SHOULD BACK IT :

I’ll let them explain why-

“We wanted to create a reminder of how far women’s rights have come over a century and, conversely, where we have left to go. We’re looking back to the women who shaped our current climate or trailblazed.”

WE SHALL FIGHT UNTIL WE WIN - ComixCentral

Follow this link to learn more and support this campaign »

twitter @404Ink  @BHP_Comics


Thank you for checking out the Crowdfunding Roundup – February 2nd, 2018  |  by Anthony Cleveland

 





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Episode #30 | Success in Indie Comic Publishing with Peter Simeti

 

Wanna know what it takes to succeed in indie publishing? Wanna know how to really engage with a fan base, get their attention, and keep it? Wanna know how to come at this industry from a place of service and come out on top on the other side? This is the podcast for you.

[podbean resource=”episode=gu4ts-863ed6″ type=”audio-rectangle” height=”100″ skin=”1″ btn-skin=”108″ share=”1″ fonts=”Helvetica” auto=”0″ download=”0″ rtl=”0″]

It’s my distinct pleasure to interview the one and only Peter Simeti of Alterna Comics. Peter is also famous for his indie horror masterpiece The Chair, which was ultimately turned into a film not too long ago. Bottom line: this guy knows indie comics and we’ve got a front row seat to his mastery.peter-simeti-interview-comixcentral

Peter and I talked about falling in and out of love with comics over the years. Getting into publishing was initially about giving his own stories a voice, but he kept coming across the tremendous talents of others and he just couldn’t keep the magic to himself. We talk about developing a genuine relationship with your followers and friends on social media. We talk about when and how to go for “the ask.” We also talk about what Peter looks for in a story so if you’re interested in pitching your work than this episode is definitely a can’t miss. Last but not least we talk about the cliches of the comic world and how to make your comic just a little different, even if you do insist on writing another superhero story.

Alterna Comics - ComixCentral Podcast

Peter Simeti has already reset the chess board of publishing by bringing back newsprint.

As a marketer and creator, you can learn a lot from Peter in terms of what it means to really disrupt an industry. This is especially inspiring for someone who was on the verge of considering bankruptcy just before having a book get on the New York Times Bestseller List in 2012. It takes a long period of dedicated hard work to build a service that stands above the rest. There’s no question that Peter Simeti is breaking through the surface and I’ve got a feeling that this is still just the beginning for Alterna Comics. We’re proud to support what he’s doing for creators and fans alike and if you want to be a game changer this is the man to emulate for now and years to come.


Website: www.alternacomics.com

Twitter(Peter): https://twitter.com/petersimeti

Twitter(Alterna): https://twitter.com/ALTERNACOMICS

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

Instagram: @alternacomics

 





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2017 Comics Of The Year Awards

blog-headers_2017-comics-of-the-year-awards-comixcentral

 

The First Annual Comics of the Year Awards – 2017 Edition

2017 was an astounding year of firsts here at ComixCentral. When we opened the doors in March of 2017, we could have never imagined that so many incredible Comics of exceptional quality would be added to our marketplace in such a short time. We are overwhelmed with gratitude that the community we love so much has embraced us and chosen to sell their work on ComixCentral. We thank you all for joining us on this amazing journey, and we look forward to growing together for many years to come.

With that said, this year’s nominations were excruciating to choose. We love each and every comic on our site, and the competition was fierce! We’d like to thank all of you talented creators, and I hope you know how hard it was for our team to vote this year. But, as my 10th-grade gym coach once told me, “A little competition is good for the soul!” and we’ll add, great for our industry!

 We can’t wait to see what you have in store for 2018! And with that… here are this year’s winners!


“Best Fantasy” 

Comic”Skylin 001: Old Remnants

Long ago, the six nations fell victim to the ruthless tyranny of the Demon King and his Serpen. He burned all who opposed him and spared few. With little hope for liberation, nobles from each nation journeyed to an ancient floating city where they pleaded to the Spirits for help. Six warriors, one from each nation, were granted a powerful Serpen of their own, which they used to defeat the Demon King.

Buy Now »

 “Best Mystery”

The White Room of the Asylum

The White Room of the Asylum focuses on the tape-recorded memoirs of an old man named Steve who recently committed suicide. The tapes tell of the last period of his stay at the Soraberg Asylum and his discovery of what he came to call ‘The White Room.’ The White Room is an infinite space of pure white in which the residents can create anything they can think up. Over time more residents gain access to this mysterious place- Thus beginning a series of events that stretches Steve’s sanity to its limits, offers a chance at redemption, and leaves a man too broken to fix.

Buy Now »

 “Best Action”

Smart Bomb!! Level 1-2

Imagine an alternative gamingverse. One where TV games you’ve never heard of (yet, somehow, find oh-so familiar) are the norm. If only there was an awesome mix of comics and video games magazines to let you in on what’s going on? Thank Mr.Jump!’s ghost, it’s SMART BOMB!!

Buy Now »

  “Best Thriller”

Daughters of Knights – Chapter 1

Seraphine, accused of witchcraft, recalls the demon who slaughtered her companions and framed her. Daughters of knights is a medieval horror story about a disfigured girl, slaying monsters, and an uncomfortable, unconventional attraction.

Buy Now »

  “Best Superhero”

Humalien #1

In a future where humans are extinct. One was engineered in a lab to be a living biological weapon

Buy Now »

 “Best Horror

Bastard Son: Murderborn

Busted Knuckle Press presents: ‘Bastard Son: Murderborn’, a horror graphic novel. ORIGINS OF A SLASHER – 120+ PAGES OF BLOOD AND MADNESS! Created by Frank T. Allen & Marco “Sbrillo” Fontanili. Lettering by Taylor Esposito of Ghost Glyph Studios. Chapter One cover by Jacen Burrows.

Buy Now »

 “Best Sci-Fi”

Folklore Issue 1

A band of survivors travel across North America after a biological weapon turns the world’s greatest superheroes into horrifying abominations. The first issue of Folklore’s ongoing story, collected in this easy to enjoy PDF! Purchased issues help support the ongoing creation of Folklore, but you can find all our pages for free at http://folklorecomic.com/ or support Folklore directly by visiting our Patreon at patreon.com/Folklore

Buy Now »

  “Best Mature”

Dildo Boy Origins

Dildo Boy Origins is an XXX rated short comic which satirises the chauvinistic, adolescent male power fantasies of the superhero canon. Written, coloured, and lettered by Doktor Geraldo. Illustrated by Stefani Magician’s House. @DoktorGeraldo @MagiciansHouse In association with Digital Pastiche.

Buy Now »

 “Best Manga”

Samurai Shin Issue #1

Samurai Shin is highly influenced by anime such as Afro Samurai, Samurai Champloo, and Sword Of The Stranger

Buy Now »

 “Best Comedy

BOB: NON-UNION PSYCHIC #0 TRUE TALENT

Renegade Psychic. Professional Hairstylist. This is not your usual paranormal adventure. This is about the rise of a new kind of hero. Or, rather, the reluctant rise of a hero. Meet Bob Holbreck, a talented guy who has mad hairstyling skills. He owns and operates a nice little shop in the trendy part of town. His clientele is building with loyal customers. Bob truly knows what looks good on a customer before they do. How does he do it? How does he know what to do with a head of hair? Well, Bob has other talents. There are those who may consider it a gift. Like his great-grandfather, who is at odds about Bob’s future career choice. Bob just wants to be a hairstylist and make people feel good about themselves; Gramps wants him to cash in on his psychic abilities.

Buy Now »

  “Best LGBTQ+”

Alex Priest #1

In a world where vampires and demon ilk are very, very real, two agencies work to keep the world safe from the forces of darkness. Demon Eradication And Denial (DEAD LLC) is a corporate entity that charges itself with the training and employment of demon slayers – specialists in combating magical beings. Living Corpses that Bite (LC & B) is a tax exempt public entity that relies on time proven traditions to keep humanity safe from vampires. When hunting evil evolved into blue collar work, the evil had to evolve.

Buy Now »


 “Best Story Arc”

Project Shadow Breed #1

In the new millennia, SinTech, a private government contract corporation began developing a serum to turn ordinary soldiers into werewolves. With the backing of the US military, SinTech perfected the serum. In 2014, they created the first “wolf pack” of soldiers. What they didn’t expect to create was Marrok.

Buy Now »

 “Best Series”

WOLF HANDS: Season 1

Vaughn Miller is a mild-mannered cellphone plan salesman who was bitten by a dying werewolf. Now, whenever trouble rears its ugly head, he transforms into a werewolf….IN HIS HANDS! Pursued by the evil Professor Orchid and his army of Frankensteins, Vaughn turns to his far-more-capable girlfriend Jenny Rose to get him out of this increasingly sticky situation. Madcap adventures and cartooney ultra-violence ensue! Written by Justin Heggs with art by Nick Johnson.

Buy Now »

 “Best Overall” 

RAGS: PROLOGUE

Marine Corps Veteran Regina Ragowski is trapped naked and alone in the town of Paso Robles during the Zombie Outbreak. In order to survive she’ll need to avoid the zombies and find food, shelter and weapons…but most importantly….a clean pair of pants.

Buy Now »

Congratulations to all our first annual Comic of the Year Award Winners!

You can check out all the Nominated Comics here:

Get your Comics uploaded and available for sale on ComixCentral.com to enter the 2018 Comic of the Year Awards! 

 





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Episode #29 / Determination Perfection and Art Direction with Kyle Hester

 

Do you have a passion for film and comics? Wanna know how the creative process for one can be an asset to the other? Honestly,  does your determination just need a kick in the pants?

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This is the perfect episode for you. We’ve got the indie Hollywood man who does it all. Kyle Hester is an actor, producer, art director and more. He’s got plenty of credits to his name and all the humility and wisdom that comes with it. He’s a spitfire king of the road mix master who knows how to handle everything from emotional transformation to social media sorcery. He’s a tremendous storyteller with humor for days, and that’s just me getting started.

Kyle and I definitely get into the nature of Hollywood hustle but Kyle’s not your run-of-the-mill camera king. He could have gone full Hollywood like some of his counterparts but he chose to keep it indie and his advice reflects a passion for new projects that deserve to be seen. Of course, we get into his upcoming films like Preacher Six and Zombie with a Shotgun, but we also got to share in the hard times that come along with running on all four cylinders for the sake of success. We talk about everything from crowdfunding to set building. We talk mentorship and creative growth. We talk about Kyle working with his wife on Preacher Six and how it came about and of course we talk about similarities between indie film and indie comics. Hey, we even talk about Peter Simeti of Alterna Comics and Kyle’s work on the film adaptation of his horror graphic novel The Chair.

Other head nods include talk around Trey Parker and Matt Stone’s Team America World and our mutual respect for Naomi Grossman of American Horror Story fame. She plays The Blue Nun in Preacher Six so you definitely don’t wanna miss this. He’s the most inspiring man you’ll find in indie this side of the Netherrealm.


Don’t forget to follow the #PreacherSixArmy on Twitter: https://twitter.com/PreacherSix

Follow Kyle on Instagram @Kylehesterland

Preacher Six IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt6135560/

Support their Indiegogo: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/preacher-six-horror#/

Kyle’s CXC promo vid: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ilObkdnkNPk&t=1s

Website: http://preachersix.com

No art without indie

 






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How to Upload & Sell Your Comics on ComixCentral

blog-headers.uploading-sell-comics-tutorial

Step 1

Open your ComixShop.



Step 2

Add a new product.


Step 3

Fill in your Comic book details and add the PDF file so customers can purchase your digital Comicbook.


And that’s it! You’re all set.

Your Comic will now be submitted for review and will be added to our Marketplace for sale in the next few days, as long as you’ve followed our Uploading Guidelines. If there is a problem, support will contact you to sort the issue out as quickly as possible. Watch the quick tutorial video below if you’re still a little sketchy on the details;)


Welcome to ComixCentral! If you have any issues or need any assistance, check out our forums or you can contact our support email at any time.

 


 



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Crowdfunding Roundup – January 2018

blog-headers-crowdfunding-roundup-jan-2018

Grimwood Crossing Vol. 1 & 2

This one has been a favorite of mine ever since Conner Bartel (writer and creator) put up a free preview on reddit.com/r/comicbookcollabs. It’s a fast-paced supernatural western that entices the reader with its outstanding cover art and keeps you hooked with a suspense-filled story and jaw-dropping old school horror art.

PLOT:

“Grimwood Crossing is the biggest town in the grim old west. Vampires, Werewolves, and Zombies are part of the everyday struggle for the townsfolk. That’s why Grimwood’s Sheriff also has the added job title of monster hunter. It’s a dangerous job so a replacement must always be arranged. With the help of his young, scat-talking apprentice, the Sheriff must fend off a vengeful outlaw with demonic powers.”

WHAT THEY NEED:

The goal they have set is $3,000. This will go to finishing up Vol. 2 of the series with the majority going to the creators and the rest to shipping or printing.

comixcentral kickstarter grimwood

WHY YOU SHOULD BACK IT:

Conner notes that isn’t the team’s first Kickstarter for the project and assures potential backers that they are a trusted creative team that delivers: “After creating 3 issues, succeeding in a previous campaign, and self-publishing the comics afterward, we have proven we are capable, trustworthy creators… And, same as last campaign, the book is 95% done already.”


Follow this link to learn more and support this campaign »


Synthetics #1 

Synthetics caught my eye with its insane robot gladiator cover. A lone gladiator robot stands presenting the head of a slain robot enemy to a roaring coliseum. It’s a fantastic eye-catching cover that teases a world that doesn’t seem too far away.

http://kck.st/2D9MsdS

PLOT:

“The Synthetics #1 is a 56-page comic featuring three bizarre stories of robot life, in which we see how different robots’ lives intersected with a robot revolt on Mars.”

WHAT THEY NEED:

The set goal is $1,200. “Most of the revenue will go to pay printing and shipping costs. Anything beyond that will go to help us pay our artists.”

comixcentral kickstarter synthetics
WHY YOU SHOULD BACK IT:

It’s a 56-page anthology about a robot revolt on Mars! How freakin’ cool is that! Creator Julian Darius adds that he has also been involved in eight previous Kickstarters and knows how to see a project to completion.

Follow this link to learn more and support this campaign »


Hell Cross

Bullets. Rust. And blood.  The art speaks for itself in this gritty noir – It’s dirty, its sun-scorched, and it looks like it was drawn with a prison rigged tattoo gun. We absolutely need to see this book completed.

PLOT:

Welcome to Eden City. A place where vices and virtue coexist in their maximum splendor and freedom. A veteran NYC Metropolitan Police Detective now employed by Eden City is tasked with solving its first series of killings that are shaking the foundations of a supposedly impeccable system. Every clue suggests a reason, every proof indicates a certainty, if the blood-letting isn’t stopped, it will surely continue its course.

WHAT THEY NEED:

$1,800, but this crew is pushing on to hit their stretch goals! “The funds necessary to complete “Hell cross” graphic novel and a good foundation for future projects.”

comixcentral crowdfunding round up hell cross

WHY YOU SHOULD BACK IT:

Its an old school film noir updated in a gritty fantasy utopia setting. The story plus this art makes it look like a solid book that we’d love to see bagged, boarded, and on shelves!

Follow this link to learn more and support this campaign »


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





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Episode #28 | Newton Lilavois

comixcentral_carousel_homepage_Episode-28-Newton-Lilavois

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

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

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

Crescent City Monsters Page

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

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

[podbean resource=”episode=btq3d-83f8a9″ type=”audio-rectangle” height=”100″ skin=”1″ btn-skin=”108″ share=”1″ fonts=”Helvetica” auto=”0″ download=”0″ rtl=”0″]

Connect with Newton

twitter Instagram




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Episode #27 | Ben Miller



Do you know how to handle diversity in your comic? Do you have the courage to get real with the culture clash of your characters? More importantly, do you know how to handle controversial storytelling with grace? If you want to learn, be sure to check out this week’s podcast with culture comic creator Ben Miller.

“Comics belong to everyone!” – Ben Miller

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Hardship makes for great storytelling. Ben Miller’s Judges is a tremendous example in multicultural heroism done just right. In this episode, we learn about character/cultural research and why it’s important in comics. If you take the risk of writing what you don’t fully understand you’d better be meticulous or you run the risk of alienating the very audience you’re trying to reach. Culture goes way beyond the skin we see on the surface and stereotype shortcuts have no place in a well written comic. You don’t have to take my word for it. Read judges, and you’ll see how indie comics is the perfect universe for cultural courage to exist free of red tape and badly filmed afterschool specials. Working in a youth center has obviously had an effect on Ben’s storytelling and it shows in the best way. Having passion is one thing, but contagious passion is something completely different. The best passion and vulnerability give others permission to do the same. It certainly did that for me.

If that’s not enough, we talk some great superhero comics from Dark Horse. We look at the top 3 tips for going to a con as a new creator with your first book. We learn about groups you can join to become a better creator and marketer and even some “how to” books regarding writing and artistry. Above all, we are reminded to temper our expectations, stay humble, and use controversy to our advantage because sometimes causing a stir is the only way to get your message out there.

[podbean resource=”episode=3s93h-83353a” type=”audio-rectangle” height=”100″ skin=”1″ btn-skin=”108″ share=”1″ fonts=”Helvetica” auto=”0″ download=”0″ rtl=”0″]

Connect with Ben

twitter EnjoyComics


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Episode #26 | Patrick Trahey



Are you struggling to find the right illustrator for your comic? Are you stuck within a crappy collaboration going nowhere fast but you don’t really know how to break it off? Do you maybe just want to suck a little less at writing?

We’ve got that covered and much more on this weeks episode of Adventures in Interviewing with the one and only Patrick Trahey. He’s a soldier of a story like none before him. He’s got 10 years of comic creativity experience to bring to the table. He’s the singular incendiary spirit behind the short stories of Sol comics. He’s the powerhouse behind a new apocalyptic thriller to be released on February 28th, 2018 called The XII. It’s a creepy noir meets grapes of wrath vibes will have you glued to nostalgic graphics page after page, and we’ve got the skinny on the first 5 issue arc before anybody else. When everything is falling apart the only thing that matters is family.

It’s funny what you stumble into once you decide that making video games isn’t all that its cracked up to be, but Patrick has found his stride in the comic world by creating relationships at cons and beyond. He constantly challenges himself as a writer in more ways than one and has mastered “the ask” it takes to share his vision with the masses. It’s no wonder this wunderkind is being picked up by Alterna comics. He has a passion for multiple mediums, but comics just seemed to be the perfect fit. Exposition still sucks but Patrick has a way around it. Above all, we are reminded that when you write the script for a comic book your audience is your illustrator whether you like it or not.

The XII - Episode #26 | Patrick Trahey
The XII – Episode #26 | Patrick Trahey

Come along for the ride and please subscribe to new indie comic knowledge every Friday from now until forever.

[podbean resource=”episode=7fni5-8217ac” type=”audio-rectangle” height=”100″ skin=”1″ btn-skin=”108″ share=”1″ fonts=”Helvetica” auto=”0″ download=”0″ rtl=”0″]