Archive for December 6th, 2011


Comic Book Storytellers - Comic Book Column


COMIC BOOK STORYTELLERS – Episode #5

Written by on Dec 6, 2011
Filed in: Comic Book Storytellers  |  No Comments »

Batman, Superman, Spider-man, Wolverine (and many more!!!) . . . these guys draw them for a living, watch this video to find out how they got started! WIth interviews from the Chicago Comic Con . . . presented by CLOUD9COMIX.com.

About once a month Frick Webers hosts this video column called COMIC BOOK STORYTELLERS where we learn all sorts of things about comic book creators. Whether you like the big names or the smaller ones, by the end of each episode you’ll have learned something new.




REBEL BLOOD: IT’S ALL JUST MEAT IN THE END

Written by on Dec 6, 2011
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REBEL BLOOD: IT'S ALL JUST MEAT IN THE END

REBEL BLOOD: IT’S ALL JUST MEAT IN THE END

IMAGE COMICS TEASER




New Genre Convention coming to Maryland in 2012

Written by on Dec 6, 2011
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New Genre Convention coming to Maryland in 2012

A new convention is being held on Maryland’s Eastern Shore April 28th, 2012. The Eastern Shore Fan Con will be a genre con focusing on Comic Books, Anime, Video Games and all things geeky.

While this convention has just been announced, it already features an exciting selection of guests and events sure to be a big hit with its attendees. Special guest Greg LaRocque will be in attendance. LaRocque is best known for his work on The Flash, but has worked for both Marvel and DC as well as being a fixture on the indie comic scene. Several indie Comic publishers have signed on as well, such as; PLB Comics, 21st Century Sandshark Studios, Underground Comixxx, Faithstar Comics, and more. Along with meeting guests, attendees will have access to Anime screenings in a real theater all day long, panels happening every hour, a costume contest with prizes, competition in video game tournaments and much more, all included in the cost of admission.

Held on the campus of The University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES), Fan Con boasts more advanced facilities than most smaller cons could have access to. Within the Student Services Center where the convention will be held is a full movie theater for screenings and costume contest, several large meeting rooms with full A\V support for panels, a separate space dedicated to video game tournaments featuring giant pull down screens and plenty of room for both players and spectators. And of course there is a large convention floor for vendors, artists and guests. And as an added bonus, real food will be available, prepared by the college’s culinary arts dept.

The Eastern Shore Fan Con is being presented by UMES student group A.C.T.I.O.N. Anime in conjunction with PLB Comics as a way to promote the comics and anime industries and the independent creators involved in them. UMES has one of the only degreed sequential arts programs at a public university in the US, and members of that department will be on hand to speak with perspective students.

For more details, directions and the latest news you can find Eastern Shore Fan Con online at: http://www.easternshorefancon.com and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/easternshorefancon

Because this convention has just been announced there is still space for vendors, guests and artists to exhibit. For any questions, to reserve your space or for press inquiries please contact James Dufendach at promotions@plbcomics.com




THE BULLETPROOF COFFIN: BACK FROM THE GRAVE

Written by on Dec 6, 2011
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THE BULLETPROOF COFFIN: BACK FROM THE GRAVE

Berkeley, CA – 6 December 2011 — Reading BULLETPROOF COFFIN is like unearthing a dusty old box of rare single issues from the back of a deceased shut-in’s closet. You find one treasure after another — strange stories never before seen, covers that are so ridiculous they’re unbelievable, and collaborations you never knew existed of favorite creators.

This January, writer David Hine and artist Shaky Kane are back at Image Comics with a second miniseries that will evoke that feeling of discovery all over again with BULLETPROOF COFFIN: DISINTERRED. Fans of Alan Moore’s comic series 1963, as well as the films of David Cronenberg and David Lynch, are all likely to be hooked in by this undeniably bizarre, postmodern comic book.

“Shaky and I have known each other for years, and we always talked about the kind of comics we would want to read if only someone was producing them,” explained Hine. “In the end it dawned on us that the best solution was to write and draw them ourselves. The result is THE BULLETPROOF COFFIN and we think it’s a damned fine comic.”

“As an artist, this book’s been something of a personal triumph,” added Kane. “I’ve always tried to put into my work something of what first made me so captivated by comic books. With David handling the script, THE BULLETPROOF COFFIN is undeniably 21st century.”

The duo’s first metafictional BULLETPROOF COFFIN miniseries was a cult hit, named one of the best trade paperback collections of 2011 by Graphic Novel Reporter. Alex Boney of The Comics Journal called it “one of most puzzling and unique books I’ve read this year,” and Scott Cederlund of Newsarama called it “a paean to almost every evil and every mind-warping scenario that Dr. Wertham warned us about in Seduction of the Innocent back in the 1950s.”

With six stand-alone issues that can be read in any order, Hine and Kane have included plenty of loops and side roads in BULLETPROOF COFFIN: DISINTERRED’s non-linear plot, and invite their readers to make any story connections they want. Though the second series doesn’t follow directly from the close of the first, there are plenty of tantalizing links to THE BULLETPROOF COFFIN, VOL. 1 TP.

The first issue of the new series, titled “KILLER INSIDE,” reveals the origin of the Shield of Justice. When headless corpses start to appear on the first night of the full moon, ace detective Johnny P. Sartre smells a rat…

THE BULLETPROOF COFFIN: DISINTERRED #1 (NOV110363), a 32-page full-color comic book for $3.99, will be on sale in stores and on digital platforms on January 25. THE BULLETPROOF COFFIN, VOL. 1 TP (NOV110364, ISBN: 978-1-60706-368-1), a 200-page full-color trade paperback for $17.99, is on sale now and available for retailers to reorder.

To learn more about THE BULLETPROOF COFFIN comic, visit http://waitingfortrade.blogspot.com/.

ABOUT IMAGE COMICS
Image Comics is a comic book and graphic novel publisher founded in 1992 by a collective of best-selling artists. Image has since gone on to become one of the largest comics publishers in the United States. Image currently has five partners: Robert Kirkman, Erik Larsen, Todd McFarlane, Marc Silvestri and Jim Valentino. It consists of five major houses: Todd McFarlane Productions, Top Cow Productions, Shadowline, Skybound and Image Central. Image publishes comics and graphic novels in nearly every genre, sub-genre, and style imaginable. It offers science fiction, romance, horror, crime fiction, historical fiction, humor and more by the finest artists and writers working in the medium today. For more information, visit www.imagecomics.com.




B&N Week 50: Submissions

Written by on Dec 6, 2011
Filed in: Bolts & Nuts (Syndicated Column)  |  No Comments »

I just looked at the calendar, and it told me that it was glorious Tuesday! If you haven’t noticed by now, I’ve got a love affair with Tuesday, and I hope you do, too.

This week, I thought I’d talk about something that I’ve touched upon previously, and talked around, and hinted at, but haven’t tackled head on. I’m talking about submitting your work. Sometime during your career in comics, you’re going to be going through this specialized torture, so let’s get down to the Bolts Nuts of it, shall we?

There’s one important rule when it comes to submitting your work, and almost all of you are guilty of ignoring it. The rule is simple: don’t try to over-think the submission process. You are not unique, and your comic is not special. There are no mitigating circumstances. If the company who’s taking the time to look at your submission says they want five pages and a cover, sending them a full book isn’t going to help you. If they say not to spend the money on fancy paper and an attractive binder, don’t go out and do it. Even if they DON’T say NOT to do it, don’t do it. You’re wasting money that could be used elsewhere. [You DID read the Financials, didn’t you?]

Okay, I’ve gotten ahead of myself. Let’s back up and take a more measured approach to this.

I’m going to start with writers first, and I’m going to break you into two classes: writers and storytellers. Writers are simple: you know how to use the written language. You write. Storytellers are different. You’re not used to telling your stories in writing. Your command of the language is lacking.

Storytellers are the reason writers are given a bad name. We get painted with the same brush. The slush pile for scripts isn’t terrible because the ideas are bad; they’re terrible because the execution is terrible. The bulk of that is due to storytellers.

(Wait! I don’t think I understand what you’re getting at here, Steven.)

Fine, a different way:

In my view, storytellers lack the fundamentals of writing: spelling, grammar and punctuation. Spelling and punctuation to be specific. Storytellers want to tell a story, but they haven’t been writing long enough to tell that story with anything other than the nuance of a brick through a window. If more storytellers were writers, the slush pile wouldn’t be as big and terrible as it is.

Okay, now that I’ve managed to piss people off, let’s take a look at what EVERYONE should be doing when you’re submitting work.

First, stop sending in blind submissions. Just because a company such as Dark Horse has a somewhat open-door policy for scripts in place, doesn’t mean that you should send them spam. Okay, I’ll be nicer. Unsolicited scripts. The editors are busy, and don’t have a lot of time to look through the scripts you send them, hoping they’ll pick up the tab on the $16,000+ limited series you want to tell. Just stop doing it.

(Steven, you’re telling me to give up! I don’t want to be a damned dirty quitter!)

I didn’t say give up. I said to stop sending in unsolicited material. What I want you to do instead is to talk to an editor and then ask them if it would be okay to submit something to them. If they say no, you don’t. If they say yes…you’re no longer sending in unsolicited material. (But, but… That’s EASY!) Yes, it is.

Now, you don’t want to just send in that script raw. No. I’m telling you right now, you have mistakes in there: spelling, format, story, dialogue. You have one of two options in front of you at this point: you can get a group of friends to hammer the script into something that will pass muster, or you can hire a freelance editor to help you with it. One of these is free, one is not. Both have drawbacks.

The first problem with friends is that they’re your friends. They care about your emotional well-being. They don’t want to hurt your feelings. That’s not even the biggest problem.

The biggest problem with your friends is that they may not be writers themselves, and if they are, they may not be comic book writers. In general, they won’t know what they’re looking at, and they could be only of limited help. However, limited help is better than no help at all.

The problem with a freelance editor is simple: you’re paying them to make sure your script is technically sound before sending it off for submission. Few of you think of this route, and fewer of you take it. (What do you mean, “technically sound”?) Simple: the freelance editor isn’t working to make sure the story is something that the company WILL publish. They’re making sure that there are no mistakes in spelling and format, and that the story can be drawn. They will do what they can to make sure the story makes sense and that there is character movement, but a lot of that will be up to you as the client and how much you’re willing to listen to the suggested changes.

If the freelancer is on their job, I believe they will give you a better shot of being looked at in a favorable light than if you were to go it alone or if you were to go to your friends for help. [Note: just in case your friends ARE comic writers, it may still be a good idea to have an editor look at it. Everyone needs an editor, and while comic writers may know what they’re looking at, they may not be able to express what is wrong with your script in a way that you would understand it.]

 

Anyway, let’s say you decide to go it alone. There are a few things you can do to help yourself.

 

  • Run it through a spellcheck: See all those red lines? Do your best to get rid of them, unless you know for a fact that the word you’re using is either made up, or spelled correctly. You’re on the internet. You can find the correct spelling of a word.

 

  • Don’t rely exclusively on spellcheck: Two illustrate my point, I purposely used the wrong word after the colon. There is no red line, because “two” is spelled correctly. However, I should have used “to.” Spellchecks won’t catch words that are used incorrectly, just ones that are spelled incorrectly. Sometimes you may have green lines under a word or phrase. Look to see if you can resolve those. This goes directly to the next point.

 

  • Get another set of eyes: No matter what, get someone else [at least someone who reads, even if they don’t write] to read your work. Those fresh eyes can help catch mistakes you’re too close to see.

 

  • Read it out loud: You’ll be surprised at the words you can miss when you’re typing and going at a good clip. Reading things aloud makes your mouth say what your eyes see, NOT what your brain thinks ought to be there. You can read and process much faster than you can speak, even though speaking is pretty fast. This forces your eyes to slow down and really see what’s there.

 

  • Give it 48 hours: At a minimum, don’t look at the work for 48 hours. Why? This gives you time to reset, so you can look at the work with fresher eyes. This way, you can catch mistakes that might have slipped through.

 

It may seem like a lot, but we’re talking about submitting your work in the hopes of getting published. Why do it half-assed? Don’t. If you do these things at a minimum, you’ll at least make a favorable impression on the editor that you didn’t submit mistake-riddled crap. They see enough of that as it is. Be better.

Be pristine.

Artists, don’t think I’ve forgotten about you!

During my last trip to SDCC, I saw a number of artists. I introduced myself as an editor, and looked at some portfolios.

Some of you are terrible. A lot of you are good, but too stylized. A lot of you are good, but need to work on visual storytelling and anatomy. [Note: never mistake “style” for correct anatomy. That is both your ego and laziness talking. Both will keep you out of a job.] There are damned few of you who are good, and ready for steady work right now. I’ve got tips for all of you, though.

 

  • Avoid doing strictly pinups: Pinups are nice and fun, but unless you’re looking for work as a cover artist, pinups will not tell the editor if you can tell a story. As much energy as you spend working on the pinups, spend working on your sequentials.

 

  • Work from scripts: About half of the artists I saw at SDCC looking for a job had pages in their portfolios that came directly out of their heads. I instantly saw that they didn’t work from a script, and that hurt their storytelling. Work from scripts, artists. They’re all over the place. There are writers who are just chomping at the bit to have their stories drawn. Team up.

 

  • Don’t ink your own work: If you’re a penciler, show the pencils. If you’re going to ink your own work, make copies of the pencils BEFORE you ink the work. The editors will need to see your storytelling abilities, and whether or not you should ink yourself. Bad inks can destroy good pencils, and you could lose a job because you chose to show pages you inked yourself. Don’t ink your own work, or at least make copies before you ink.

 

  • Draw everything: Marvel had a sample script that was going around a few years ago that showed Scott and Jean [Cyclops and Phoenix] in a restaurant, moving into a fight outside. There were elements that the script called for that would show the editors you could draw everything needed: fish, buildings, dogs, cars, people, objects. Draw everything. You never know what a script will call for.

 

  • Use reference: Use it extensively. Don’t think that a gun is just a couple of perpendicular rectangles. Use reference for everything: people, places, things, clothes, animals, poses, whatever. Only rely on your imagination if you have no other choice, such as aliens, spacecraft, and the like.

 

Okay, with that out of the way, we now circle back to following the rules.

While following the rules, don’t overthink them. Don’t play “what if.” Resist the urge. It will only end in heartache if you don’t. There used to be an absolutely titanic thread about submitting to Image, as everyone and everyone in their family wanted to play “what if.” It was terrible, because they wanted to make it more complicated than it was. Don’t do that. Just follow the directions. Again, neither you nor your project is special, and there are no mitigating circumstances.

So, you’ve submitted. When should you follow up?

Since you’ve been talking to one person in particular, give them at least a month. (A month! You’re killing me!) Yes, a month. If you don’t hear back from them within that time, just send a gentle reminder that you sent in a solicited submission, and you were wondering if they got it. Editors are underpaid and overworked, very often taking work home with them. Your submission is a back-burner item. They have books to shepherd, fires to put out, and creators to manage. Cut them some slack. A month is reasonable.

If you need to follow up, that gentle reminder should get a response. “Sorry, Kletus, work’s been crazy! It’s sitting on my desk. I’m looking at it now. Look for something by the end of the week.”  When you get that message, say thanks, and leave it at that. Give them their time, their self-imposed deadline. Saying thanks just means you got their e-mail. Keep it moving. The next correspondence should be the moment of truth.

Here it is! The decision! Have you made it, or did you crash and burn? You’re hoping for a couple of things here: a yes, or notes on why you were given a pass. You do NOT want a generic rejection form letter. They’re unhelpful, because you don’t know much of anything about why your story didn’t sell.

The yes is obvious. You’ve sold a story, and it will be published. Hurray! You made it! Congrats.

If it is no, the best thing in the world would be to get the script back, with notes about what was going on with it that caused the rejection. While it would be best, don’t count on it. The most obvious would be a letter saying why the story was rejected. This letter will either come through e-mail or snail mail. If you have notes, TAKE THEM TO HEART. Remember, while your story is yours, you also have to write according to whatever standards the company has, as well as the personal filter of the editor. Take the notes, incorporate them, and do better next time.

When you get the rejection—(Don’t you mean “if,” Steven?) [Nope. Rejection is inevitable, and it is extremely unlikely you’re going to get a contract on your first submission.]—BE THANKFUL.

Want to make sure you never get a story through that publisher? Bad-mouth the editor in public [online]. Don’t do that. You’re going to thank them for their time, you’re going to thank them for whatever insights or notes given, and you’re going to keep ANY bad thoughts to yourself. If you absolutely need to say them, say them verbally, to family members. Say them to people who care. SAY, don’t WRITE. Don’t write it on your blog, don’t write it on Twitter, don’t post it on Facebook, don’t write it on Tumblr. Odds are that it will be found, and then you’re sunk. And remember that editors talk, and they also move companies. If Stan Lee can do work for DC, then anything can happen.

To sum up, when you send in your submission, make sure you are as pristine as possible. There are tips at the top for both writers and artists that should help in that regard. Follow up, if needed, should be after at least a month. When you get rejected, BE THANKFUL. This will help you to stand out in the editor’s eye.

Homework: look at your work with an eye on being pristine. If you’re a writer, look into gathering a group of peers to you. Also, look into the cost of a freelance editor. If you’re an artist, look for scripts to draw. Ask writers to write some shorts for you to practice on. They’ll be enthusiastic that you did.

That’s all I have! See you in seven.

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DEAD At 50!

Written by on Dec 6, 2011
Filed in: Marvel Comics News  |  No Comments »

DEAD At 50!

Could this be it? Has everyone’s favorite Merc With A Mouth finally made an appointment with Lady Death? This February, witness the biggest change in Deadpool’s life as “DEAD” kicks off in Deadpool #50! From the creative team of Daniel Way & Carlo Barberi, Deadpool’s lease on life is about to expire and those around him are going to feel the consequences including X-Force! Following the epic battle with his former body parts gone rogue, Wade Wilson makes a monumental decision that will forever change who he is. See how it all goes down this February, in Deadpool #50!

DEADPOOL #50 (DEC110676)
Written by DANIEL WAY
Pencils by CARLO BARBERI
Cover by DAVE JOHNSON
FOC – 1/16/12, ON SALE 2/8/12






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