TaliAdina on Jul 27, 2013
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Dying young, a brilliant Mathematician discovers a way to cheat the terrifying Divine Calculator.
He schemes to be endlessly reincarnated in the life of the woman he loves, no matter how often the violent of the Karmic Accountancy cut short each life.
It falls to one such Karmic agent – the surly Bastard Zane – to put a stop to the time-twisting romance once and for all, before the Mathematician can pull-off his greatest trick and escape Existential Justice forever!
In the first of the four issue miniseries, we’re introduced to a brilliant Mathematician who has discovered a way to cheat the almighty Divine Calculator in order to be reincarnated over and over again in the life of the woman he loves in order to be with her and live the life that they should have lived. It’s up to one of the Karmic agent Bastard Zane to stop the Mathematician before he succeeds and elude existential justice for all eternity.
The first issue does not disappoint as Spurrier’s scripting is excellent and well paced while Holden’s artistry compliments and visually engages readers. Bellaire’s colors depicts the real world and the space where the Divine Calculator operates masterfully.
All in all this was a great start to this miniseries. I’m looking forward to the next issue and my fellow readers should too.
TaliAdina on Jul 8, 2013
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It’s been a while but I’m back with an all new Comicmaniac Spotlight. And the spotlight falls on the Nerdy novelist who loves Batman, Castle, comics, movies, fanfiction, and books
The supernatural and sci-fi come together in Kyoko’s upcoming urban fantasy novel titled The Black Parade. I had the opportunity to interview her and we discussed the novel, self-publishing, her love of writing and fan fiction, other projects that she’s working on, and much more.
Tali Adina: Can you give readers a brief description about The Black Parade and what was the inspiration for the title?
Kyoko M: The Black Parade is an urban fantasy novel about an unfortunate girl named Jordan Amador who accidentally kills a Seer: someone who can see and hear ghosts, angels, and demons. As penance, she is sentenced to help 100 souls with unfinished business find their final wishes and cross over to the other side within two years or her soul will be damned for all eternity. Right at her deadline, Jordan stumbles across a gorgeous but smart ass poltergeist named Michael. As she starts solving his case, she unknowingly unravels a plot concocted by demons that could throw the world into complete chaos.
The title is inspired by “Welcome to the Black Parade” by My Chemical Romance. The black parade is a metaphor for death, as in dying means that one becomes a member of the haunting marching masses heading towards the afterlife. I chose this title because it encompasses the idea of my main character. Jordan is sort of like a drum major for the black parade as she leads people through the process of death and towards their final resting place, whether it be heaven or hell.
TA: They say that writers write what they know. What inspires you to write?
KM: Honestly? Weird stuff. My very first inspiration to write came from ‘Batman: The Animated Series.’ I watched the show religiously as a child and wrote oodles and oodles of fanfiction. I then moved on to ‘Batman Beyond’, which I still love even today, and then a huge bushel of different anime as I grew up. Besides Batman, though, is my own desire to create a world that I enjoy learning and talking about. Every new chapter I write is peeling back another layer of my brain and spreading it out. There are so many interesting avenues to explore when writing urban fantasy, especially the kind related to angels and demons and ghosts, and that is why I chose this as my first novel series.
However, the most direct inspirations for The Black Parade are Paradise Lost by John Milton and the feature film Constantine (2005) directed by Francis Lawrence. Both of these concepts collided in my head back in college and I absolutely had to run with the ideas once they hit. I wanted to put my own twist on the well-known figures from Christian mythology and explore the concepts incorporated in them as well as some of my own.
TA: Why write fanfiction? What about it do you love?
KM: Fanfiction is my home away from home. It’s comfortable. It’s familiar. It’s like taking a Jacuzzi break for me. The reason I find it so relaxing is because I don’t have to stress about all the rules associated with creating an original character. I just have to concentrate on what I already know about a well-established character and work from there. All I do in my fanfiction is create new situations for the characters to face rather than working from scratch. I love writing scenarios that a cartoon or TV show or anime never got around to, but could realistically have done if given the chance. As I mentioned earlier, I am particularly fond of ‘Batman Beyond’, which had a decent 52-episode run, but I wanted even more than that because it spoke to me. The show took a concept that should have fallen straight on its face—Batman in high school, basically—and somehow built a unique, creative, surprisingly deep interpretation of a character I already adored and then added someone equally lovable to the Batclan.
Fanfiction also keeps my mind sharp in terms of the mechanics of writing. I still focus on character motivations, action, pacing, plot, and all the other important parts of writing, but just with less stress involved. It’s a fun hobby and I recommend it to any writers who can multitask without going bonkers.
TA: The Black Parade seems to have a mix of sci-fi and supernatural genres. Are those your favorite genres to write about?
KM: Definitely. I am one of those awful writers who hasn’t seen most of the American classics—Gone with the Wind, Apocalypse Now, Citizen Kane—but I’ve seen so many sci-fi films that it is ridiculous. I think the sheer amount of imagination that goes into science fiction and supernatural genres is what intrigues me the most. I love creativity. I love seeing something unexpectedly brilliant, like The Fifth Element or Titan A.E. or Treasure Planet or Inception or Van Helsing (shut up, I like it!). I love how the visuals are always an important part of enhancing the story and how mythologies and legends from different cultures inspire them.
TA: I know that you also have a two more books that you’re working on to follow this one. What can readers look forward to in this series?
KM: ‘The Black Parade’ is going to be a trilogy. The second novel, ‘She Who Fights Monsters’, has already been written, but it still needs to be professionally edited. I can’t say much without spoiling things. I will simply say that there are a lot of trials ahead for Michael and Jordan that will simultaneously pull them apart and bring them closer together. It should be ready for release next year. I’m currently in the process of writing the third novel and it is slated to be finished by the end of the year, and released in 2015.
TA: What future goals do you hope to achieve with this series?
KM: I would really love to see this series do well because there are not nearly enough urban fantasy novels that are popular with a black female protagonist. There are so many of them out there, but unfortunately, they do not receive enough attention. I want to see other black female nerds bonding with each other and getting good press. The media does not get to see enough positive female characters of any ethnicity and I want that to happen because it should. It is not just about my novels. I want to shed light on other great series out there and help the public get interested in other writers like me, no matter what background they are.
TA: When did you fall in love with comics and what other geeky things are you into?
KM: I fell in love with comics as a munchkin, thanks to my father. The first comics I read as a kid were ‘The Death of Superman’ and ‘DC vs. Marvel.’ I used to sit in my brother’s room for hours pouring over them again and again because I loved seeing superheroes fighting for those without the power to fight for themselves. From there, I went on to read several dozen ‘X-Men’ titles, some extremely great runs on ‘The Amazing Spider-Man’, ‘Watchmen’, ‘Catwoman’ (excluding the awful new 52 version of her), and of course a ton of ‘Batman’ comics.
I’m also heavily into anime and manga, though my tastes are all over the place. I love all the classics—Cowboy Bebop, Rurouni Kenshin, Yu Yu Hakusho, G Gundam, Bleach, Dragon Ball Z—but I’ve also fallen in love with some newer stuff like Kuroshitsuji, Ouran High School Host Club, Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, Beelzebub, Kaichou wa Maid-Sama, Great Teach Onizuka (GTO), Darker Than Black and Durarara!!! I seem to bounce between shoujo and josei and anything related to sci-fi or fantasy.
Additionally, I have a huge collection of Internet reviewers that I love to follow. That Guy with the Glasses deserves first mention, particularly Linkara, Spoony, and Todd in the Shadows because I met them in person and they are the nicest fellows you could ever hope to meet. I’m absolutely hooked on Two Best Friends Play and Rage Quit. Totally in love with the comedic duo Barats and Bereta, as well as Source Fed, Honest Trailers, and Cinema Sins on Youtube. I’m also friends with Michael Agrusso, aka ItsJustSomeRandomGuy, creator of the ‘Hi, I’m a Marvel and I’m a DC’ videos. I couldn’t be a bigger geek if I tried.
TA: Are there any other projects that you’re working on?
KM: Currently, I am working on a YA high fantasy novel that started out as just a little side novel and somehow turned into a George R. R. Martin-length epic fantasy tale. It is two-thirds of the way done and I am utterly excited about it because it is my first time ever writing in the high fantasy genre. It has been extremely challenging, but fulfilling all the same. It still does not have a permanent title, but I’ve been describing it to people as, “Avatar: The Last Airbender meets the X-Men, with a dash of Firefly.’ It has a long way to go before it is ready for publication, so I would say keep an eye out for it in 2014 or 2015 at the absolute latest.
After the Black Parade trilogy is wrapped up, I’ll be starting another urban fantasy novel about a teenage girl and her widower father hunting dragons. At this stage, it is just a lump of story and character notes, but I’m also eager to write it as well.
TA: What advice can you give writers?
KM: (1) Don’t write yourself off (excuse the pun, please). I did that for literally years. I wouldn’t admit to myself that I wanted to write novels for a living until sophomore year of college. Don’t do that, kids. If you have the love and the gift, accept it and don’t let fear rule your life. (2) Find a support system, writing related or not. You are not an island. You need people to help you and keep your head above water because this is by far one of the hardest ways to make a living and it is going to suck for an incredibly long time. (3) Read things that you love and then find something you hate and read that too. Both will make you a better writer. Read Jim Butcher, and then flip open some Stephanie Meyer right afterwards. You will immediately see the difference in quality, and that will help keep you from becoming a terrible writer. (4) Don’t be a dick. Chuck Wendig talks about this a lot and you should listen to him. One of the fastest ways to kill your career is to be a jerkoff. You don’t have to be an angel, but please, be mindful of others and don’t bully anyone.
TA: Who are the writers that inspire you?
KM: Good Lord, do you have enough space for all these names? Okay, you asked for it: Denny O’Neill, Christopher Nolan, Bruce Timm, Dwayne McDuffie (RIP, sir.), Paul Dini, Jim Butcher, Chuck Wendig, Andrew W. Marlowe, Brian Jacques (RIP, sir.), Alan Moore, Nobuhiro Watsuki, J. K. Rowling, Jane Green, Geoff Thorne, and Jackson Pearce. I will also begrudgingly add Laurell K. Hamilton to the list, but ONLY for the first nine Anita Blake novels. These writers have all shown me something different and incredible at different points in my life and I am so grateful for being exposed to them. My father and my writing sensei both scold me for watching or reading things repeatedly, but in truth that is what keeps me going. I read and watch these things in order to remember why I want to be an author and what I want to do with the rest of my life. I want to catch a sliver of the greatness pouring off of these writers someday.
TA: As a person of color and a woman in the writing industry what obstacles do you face?
KM: It’s rough out there for any woman writing urban fantasy with a female character, and it’s even harder with a black protagonist. Unfortunately, black authors tend to get lumped in together because society assumes all black writers write is terrible smut or books about how racism will never be over. It will be difficult to get anyone to take my work seriously since I am not well known and am a first time author, but I aim to misbehave and make a name for myself anyway.
There is also potential backlash because of the interracial relationship that is the core of my novel, and I will face it with a grin on my face because I happen to fully support interracial relationships. I love seeing people from different backgrounds coming together and finding similarities and falling in love. I have always believed that love is love and it cannot be categorized by skin color.
Lastly, it is extremely hard to set yourself apart as an urban fantasy writer because the genre is so popular and in vogue right now. Self-publishing is a great option, but it is also unfortunately too easy. Anyone can fart out a terrible urban fantasy novel and so it can steer away a lot of readers because they all assume your work is lousy. The most common stereotype associated with the genre is the cocky Mary Sue protagonist who is trendy, white, sassy, and well off financially. There are dozens of them. So it will be an uphill battle for me to get Jordan separated from the sheep herd and to get people to realize she has layers and issues and is worth a read.
TA: When will the book be released and how will readers be able to obtain a copy of the book?
KM: The Black Parade is slated for release in late July 2013. It will be available as an eBook on Amazon and as a hard copy there and on Smashwords as well.
*You can now purchase the book on Create A Space and the book is now available on Amazon. So go forth and purchase this book!*
TaliAdina on Jun 24, 2013
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Anime & Manga Fans! From July 4-7 at the Los Angeles Convention Center during the Anime Expo, The Brands Boutique will launch its Pop Up Shop which will showcase the small press comic book scene and kawaii culture to Anime Expo attendees. The booth will be selling self published comic book titles as well as Japanese inspired accessory, and graphic tee shirt brands made by lovers of geek culture. The boutique did a pop up shop last year at Comikaze Expo which was a hit, so fans can expect a wonderful experience at the Anime Expo. To learn more about the Pop Up Shop, visit the Brands Boutique’s site and read the official press release below:
LOS ANGELES, CA – June 17, 2013 – The Brands Boutique announced their next “L.A. Pop Up Shop” showcases in July at Anime Expo, North America’s largest event for anime, manga, and Japanese pop culture celebration, when it returns to the Los Angeles Convention Center from July 4 – July 7, 2013.
Other brands include Foxwise, a hand stamped jewelry line inspired by geeky pop culture and Sawdust Bear Press, a publishing company started by artist Shing Khor, whose sculpted artwork has showcased at dozens of group exhibitions held at Meltdown Comics, Los Angeles and Immortal Gallery, Downtown L.A.
The Brands Boutique Pop up Shop hosts daily booth events for attendees such as a chance to be in their “Anime Expo Cosplay Gallery” going live online July 10 and daily giveaways sponsored by participating brands. This year, the pop up shop’s products range from food themed accessories by Happy Cupcake Days and character pillows by Plush Me to hand stamped jewelry from Foxwise, graphic tees inspired by Japanese pop culture from Super Good Clothing, cute plush animal tutorials from Tea Cup Lion, and Lolita inspired jewelry from the Pretty Pretty Jewelry Collection as well as crocheted “food” scarves from Yummy You! by Twinkie Chan, graphic tees by Funkey Monkey, and monster pins by Sawdust Bear. Plus, the booth features over 20 comic book titles from indie comic artists. Every product is handmade and locally crafted in the U.S.A.
TaliAdina on Jun 21, 2013
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The Porcelain Maker discovers Child trespassing but, amused by her audacity, he offers her the chance to stay. He’s a lonely man, kept company only by his alchemically-powered automata, and he and Child form an unlikely friendship.
Shut off from the world beyond the wall, Child wants or needs for nothing as the Porcelain Maker heaps affection and luxury upon her, indulging her like a daughter. In return, she can do as she pleases, except for one command, one rule that must never be broken, she must not look behind the workshop door.
The connection between the two characters is brilliant and is one of the high points of the book. Read’s character driven honest and realistic scripting of the story will have readers on the edge of their seats and keep them invested in the characters till the end.
Now onto Wildgoose’s art. It’s just breath taking. I love how he visually depicts the world through Child’s eyes. His artwork also shines through with the other characters.
Porcelain is an amazing tale that takes readers on a journey that they’ll never forget. The novel arrives in the U.S. in next month and it’s definitely a buy.
TaliAdina on Jun 11, 2013
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Via Press Release:
A newly launched crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter, The Bad Dream Reliquary, has just gone live and is raising funds for the production of a quarterly graphic novel horror anthology. The Reliquary is written by Seattle author Brett Reistroffer and will feature art from up to ten different artists illustrating short stories of horror, suspense, dark fantasy, and the macabre. Also collected in the 100 plus pages of content in each volume will be articles by guest contributors, featured art, and short fiction.
The production of the first volume is well underway, with the cover and interior art of the first short story being handled by the book’s production designer, Zimbabwe-Canadian artist Darcray. We have recently initiated a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds for the further production of the first installment, helping us pay for the remaining art, most of which will be coming from a varied cast of new and upcoming artists in the indie comic world.
TaliAdina on Jun 11, 2013
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Via Press Release:
The official date, location, as well as discounted ticket links for the First Annual Geekie Awards, presented by The Avalon Hollywood on August 18th, 2013 was announced today at Nedopak Productions in Los Angeles. The Geekie Awards celebrates the most talented independent creators, artists and filmmakers, showcasing their work to a worldwide audience of industry leaders and fans who may not otherwise discover it via a live broadcast event. The Show aims at positioning geek culture in the spotlight as a collection of valid award-winning genres for storytelling and creation. In the coming months until the Award Show, celebrities, and fans alike, will be answering the call: What #RUGeekie for?
On Sunday, August 18th, 2013, in the heart of Hollywood, California, The Geekies will be awarding the best in indie-created comic books, graphic novels, short films, web series, podcasts, trailers, music videos, toys, games, art, craft, crowd-funding, and websites via a live-streamed, action-packed award show. With a vibe such as the MTV Movie Awards and Spike’s Scream Awards, The Geekie Awards will be a live ceremony intermixed with humorous, well-crafted digital content. The Show will go further to offer on-site interactive experiences for guests, created by several top-name product design and tech sponsors involved this year. The Geekies will combine Hollywood pizzazz with the fun of a comic convention in a classy-yet-fun way.
The video announcement of the nominees that were announced this morning from The Geekie Awards Headquarters in Hollywood, CA: http://TheGeekieAwards.com. The list of nominees will be published later today at the following link: http://thegeekieawards.com/
Kristen Nedopak, Executive Producer, show concept creator, and über geek explains, “There are far too many talented creators out there who don’t have the means to get the exposure they need [in order] to promote their incredible work. The Geekie Awards gives them exposure to an international audience, both through our panel of expert judges to our website to the show itself and all the press surrounding it. We’re utilizing our pull in Hollywood and our own creative talents to produce an event so fun that millions of people attend and/or watch, so the best of our creators’ work will be known across the world once we’re done. That’s what is so exciting to me. It’s about talent, finding that talent, and letting it shine. If just one creator books work as a result, I consider this first year a huge success.”
A select number of discounted tickets will be released to the general public starting today, June 10, at the following link: http://thegeekieawards.com/
The Geekie Awards, in association with Nedopak Productions LLC, would like to acknowledge some of the sponsors for the first annual award show in Hollywood, CA: The Avalon Hollywood, Seagate, Soulcake Creative, WebMovement LLC, Sci-Fi Alliance, Camadeus, Ta’Varen Tees, Showbiz Store & Café, Full Mood Events and W1N Digital Studios.
About The Avalon Hollywood:
In 2002 the original Hollywood Playhouse was transformed by a state-of-the-art facelift; orchestrated at the hands of owner John Lyons. Without compromising the Spanish Colonial architecture of this historic space, Avalon was born and has grown into one of the most prestigious venues for live performances & events including The Beatles’ first west coast performance, first broadcast of the American Music Awards, The Rolling Stones, Nirvana, Madonna, Jerry Lewis, James Brown, Frank Sinatra, Snoop Dogg, Justin Timberlake and the Black Eyed Peas, to name a few.
Additional information about The Avalon Hollywood is available at: http://avalonhollywood.com/
About The Geekie Awards:
The 2013 Geekie Awards presents the first-ever live streamed geek-genre award show featuring the best indie-created short films, web series, comic books, artists, designers, toy/game makers and more across 9 major categories. The multi-camera live streaming / online broadcast will reach an international audience of millions and celebrate any and every genre from Sci-Fi to Fantasy to Steampunk, Horror, Anime, and more. ‘The Geekie Awards’ is a registered trademark of Nedopak Productions, LLC.
Additional information about The Geekie Awards is available at: www.TheGeekieAwards.com |http://twitter.com/
TaliAdina on Jun 9, 2013
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Writer: Jon Paul Smith
The story is from first time comic book writer and artist Jon-Paul Smith and he does an excellent job of keeping readers involved in the story both script wise and visually. The plot’s premise has the main character Libby going on a journey to avenger her father as well as deal out ass kicking revenge to the people responsible along the way.
I also appreciate that Smith’s main character is a strong character who also happens to be a woman and that is what the comic book industry needs more of.
The art is flawless and I love the gray scale that Smith uses. The action is seamless and the robot suit that Libby uses reminds me a little bit of both the first classic Iron Man suit that Tony Stark built as well as Juggernaut’s helmet. It’s just that awesome.
Overall this book is off to a great start and has a lot of promise. I look forward to to the completed graphic novel. But until that arrives, Comic Book Project #0 is worth reading and re-reading!
TaliAdina on May 26, 2013
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I only gave this review a 3.5/5 only because it was a very short book and I really wanted to have more to read.
Though it is a short comic, action and comedy abound. Perrins’ script is well paced and Gonzo’s artwork is unique and has a certain vibe which reminds me of other artists who’ve worked in the comic underground.
The story is pretty cool and I look forward to what comes next for Harvey Spig in his adventures.
TaliAdina on May 18, 2013
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Originally created by Martin and one half of the critically-acclaimed virtual band Gorillaz, Jamie Hewlett, this series has Martin teaming up with newcomer artist Cadwell who does an excellent job illustrating Tank Girl. His art reminds me at times of a psychedelic meets punk art form and it meshes well with Martin’s maddening, and extraordinary scripting. There are times when what’s going on might not make any logical sense, but that’s the point. Tank Girl makes sense in its bizarre and surreal way. This is a comic that readers who are looking for the unique, strange and excellent should pick up.
TaliAdina on May 16, 2013
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Zenescope Entertainment has announced that it will be publishing acclaimed artist/creator Tyler Kirkham’s (New Guardians, Teen Titans, and Amazing Spider-Man) new creator-owned series, entitled SCREWED, coming in June and will feature covers by series creator Tyler Kirkham and interior artist David Miller.
“SCREWED fits right into the Zenescope wheelhouse and is a perfect addition to our catalog of titles. The combination of Tyler and Zenescope makes this book a must have.” says Zenescope Marketing Manager Stephen Haberman. “I’ve always been a huge fan of Horror films and I love the idea of Frankenstein.” Says creator Tyler Kirkham “It’s a story that’s been retold a million times but none have been like this! This has horror, action and some flat-out sick, twisted moments! I always thought Zenescope would be a great fit for the story as it has a strong lead female role. I’m extremely excited for this series.”
Screwed follows a young woman who awakens in a hospital covered in scars as if she had been taken apart and put back together again; her mind as fragmented as her body. As she tries to piece together what’s happened to her, she will find many enemies are after her but she’ll also find a valuable ally in FBI Agent Erin Scott.
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