Comic Book Columns Category



Wednesday’s Webcomic: The Locked Maze

Written by on Aug 7, 2013
Filed in: Wednesday's Webcomic  |  No Comments »

Wednesday’s Webcomic: The Locked Maze

My apologies for the unexpected hiatus! I moved last week and it was a whirlwind of packing, hauling, and unpacking, followed by a really intense work schedule and then some much needed rest. And now we return to your regularly scheduled programming….

This week’s selection is an all-too-brief and absolutely stunning complete comic called The Locked MazeWhile it is short, it is so well-written and well-drawn with such a satisfying ending that you just may reread it several times.  The Locked Maze tells a story about Holly, a young ex-Mormon programmer in Salt Lake City who is haunted by a trauma from her past. In addition to being cut off from her family since leaving her church, a terrible, spectral laughing being haunts her dreams ever since her home burned down. This has led to near constant insomnia exacerbated by her dull job and judgmental, oblivious coworkers.   

 

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The situation comes to a head when a not-so-random act of kindness throws Holly in the way of the fairies who have been living ironically in Salt Lake City, and the terrifying spectral creature which is hunting them and burning them alive. …CONTINUED ON GONNAGEEK.COM




Comicmaniac Spotlight: The Black Parade Author Kyoko M.

Written by on Jul 8, 2013
Filed in: Comicmaniacs  |  1 Comment »

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

 

Kyoko M.

 

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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?

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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!*

 

 

 

 

 

 




Breaking in the Hamblin way #3 Conventions

Written by on Jun 18, 2013
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Breaking in the Hamblin Way!

The Convention Circuit!

 

            Hey people, how is it going? I know it has been a while, and you probably have no idea who I am! Here is a quick refresher; my name is Austin Allen Hamblin, and I have just graduated high school as of May 2013. I haven’t been around much due to a crazy schedule, but I will be around a lot more I promise.

            This article is all about the convention circuit. I will talk about the do’s and don’ts; what to do as a creator and as a fan. So lets jump right into this!

 

As a fan!!!

 

            As a fan going to a comic book or anime convention is a great thing. You can go around and meet all of your favorite creators, meet new ones, buy comics you have been looking for, or just hang out.

            My first piece of advice is something that comes easy to me, but might be a little more difficult to other people; talk to people! I see too many people go up to a creator just get their books signed and just walk away! I can understand if you are a very shy person, but I think at the very least you should thank them.

            I look at it like this, this artist is working on my favorite comic book! I need to ask him about anything and everything about it. I want to get some behind the scene info on my favorite comics out there. You will be surprised what the creators have to say and sometimes you can make a great friend with them just because you talked to them.

            I have done this many times and I have created some lasting relationships with Ryan Stegmen, Phil Hester, Jeff Balke, and many others. It is a really great thing to say “yeah I’m friends with someone who draws Spider-man!” It helps pick up the women. ;)

            Another thing is that you can bring non-comic fans with you. Generally, there is something for everyone. There is anything from actors and artists to writers and a lot of wierdos who can sometimes be the coolest people in the world (like me).

            Know your convention! The worst feeling in the world is going to a convention and seeing an artist but not having a copy of your favorite book for them to sign! Therefore, look up on the website/facebook page to see what all of these people have worked on. No use in meeting them and not having them sign something for you.

 The next thing comes as common sense to most people, but to others it’s not… Bathe at least once a day, even if the smell doesn’t bother you it might bother the people around you. Also don’t forget to eat, I have fallen victim to this before. I get so excited and happy to see people I just don’t eat… Then after I leave I am absolutely starving.

This isn’t everything you need to know to go to a convention, but this might help you out a little bit!

 

As a creator/artist

 

Just going

 

            Okay, this is where I’m going to think people are going to disagree with me, but here I go anyways! Unlike the fan, as a creator you have to go and try to network and find some work, collaborators, or publishers. I’m not saying that you can’t have any “fun”, but it’s not as easy.

            The first thing you can do that will go a long way is to print some business cards. It’s the easiest way to stay in touch with people. If you don’t have any it is extremely difficult to stay in touch. I’m not saying you have to get some fancy, elaborate business cards printed that cost 5 dollars a piece, just have something.

            Earlier, I talked about talking to creators. As a fan you just want to ask about behind the scene stuff, but as a creator you want to learn how to get better. The main thing is to listen. I was at a con recently and someone went up to a professional to ask him to take a look at his artwork. The professional agreed, but when he nicely made some suggestions the man made excuses and told him when he was wrong… He told a professional, whom he had asked for pointers, that he was wrong. Frankly, I don’t think that man will make it in comics.

            What would he do if an editor asked him to make some changes? Say no? Make excuses? That wouldn’t exactly fly. Especially if he told the editor he was wrong. As far as I am concerned, if you ask for someone’s input you should’nt be able to tell them if they are “wrong”. You should listen and possibly take notes; if something is not clear make a follow up question.

 

Setting up

 

            If you are setting up make sure you are ready. Don’t go out and get a table at C2E2 if you have one comic out. It would be a waste of time. Never have a number in your head that you will sell a ton of items. If everything goes south, you will be devastated.

            One thing that I always notice is the setup of a table. If everything lies flat some people walking around will walk right on by. I, myself, bought a three tear display rack so people could see the merchandise better.

            Also, it’s all about presentation. Dress nice because, well, would you buy a comic from a complete slob? I wouldn’t! So be presentable. I’m not saying wear a suit; a nice shirt and pants will do.

            One of the things that I have talked over with some people is bugging people. Do not, I repeat, do not go out and stop people to sell them your merchandise. You are capitalizing on most people’s inability to say no. Sure you’ve made some money and sold some books, but how many people are mad that they bought that book? You’re destroying your fanbase before you have one.

            One thing that bugs me is when people give out free candy. It does not work. People will come get candy and then walk away so your just out the money. I do suggest on top of selling your comics, you can sell original artwork, prints, buttons, along with shirts.

 

The Drag along!

 

            In the past two weeks I have been to two cons; one setting up and one walking around. Both times, my wonderful girlfriend went with me. I have asked her to write a little bit about here experiences seeing as how she is not a gigantic nerd like me.

 

            I have never been to a comic convention before meeting Austin, and I did not know exactly what to expect. I had a picture in my head of a room filled with 30 year-old men who still lived with their mothers wearing capes. In reality, I learned that comic conventions are home to a variety of different people. 

            Everyone should be able to find something of interest to them at a comic book convention.  For example, I am not a huge comic book fan, but at the convention I was able to find other so-called nerdy items that I thought were cool, such as Harry Potter and Doctor Who sketches, shirts, and toys. I was even able to purchase a caricature of Doctor Who’s body and my face!

            Being a drag along can be boring at times if you are not completely involved in the comic book life. Therefore, I suggest bring something to entertain you during what can be up to hours of walking around or sitting. Speaking of which, I would like to take this time to thank my uncle for buying me a smartphone for Christmas!




From the Philippines with Love: An Interview with Red Hood and the Outlaws artist Julius Gopez

Written by on Jun 11, 2013
Filed in: Zimmertainment  |  No Comments »

 

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Julius Gopez is an artist for DC Comics. He has done work on such titles like Fringe, Gears of War, Ravagers and is now on Red Hood and the Outlaws. He was nice enough to speak with us about his career thus far.

1.) How did you begin working for DC?

I did try to penetrate comics on my own, without an agent, but it turns out to be very hard for me.  Since I am living here in the Philippines, I cannot go to conventions, and an agent got me work at DC. I have lots of samples on every genre just to be sure that i will be getting a shot at any available project DC may have. My agent took my samples, and I got a shot.

2.) What led you to want to join the company as an ongoing artist?

DC is one of the main publishers of comics; any artist would want to join DC. It’s an artist’s dream come true.

2.

A) Did your work on Fringe and Gears of War series allow you to show

them your talent?

What talent? Lol. Talent for me is keeping up with time and style. An artist should be a step ahead of time and style, and I am still learning and still educating myself. I haven’t polished the gift I was given just yet.

B.) Are you a fan of either of those series?

I haven’t read comics for a long time. I read old stuff from DC, but I read comics because i want to study how the artist interpret a story.

3.) Tell me about how you found yourself working on Ravagers?

I was excited because I got to draw Superboy and Fairchild. I wish I could draw them again and again.

4.) What attracted you to those characters?

First, they are famous. I mean it’s a level up status for an artist to drawfamous characters. It is a finer moment for me to draw comics but it’s my finest moment to draw well- known characters. I’ve been drawing these characters since I was a boy, and when it came to me drawing these characters, I felt I was back in the old days when I got to lay on the floor just me and my pencils doing my own story in my head. While drawing them, I used to make my own sound effects. I am very happy with my time drawing them.

5.) Who was your favorite to draw?

Of course, Superboy.

6.) Explain how you, Tom DeFalco and Howard Mackie worked together?

They just sent me the script, and the script was so precise and descriptive that there was no need for any further explanations.

7.) Tell me how you ended up on Red Hood.

I guess some of my earlier work put me where I am now.

9.) Did James Tynion IV have any input in bringing you on board?

I guess somebody else has the authority to put people on teams together.

10.) What attracted you to the project?

Again, they are famous characters. Red Hood is making me a bit famous too. Lol. As I read along the story, the characters seem to become more and more real after each issue.

11.) Explain your collaborative process with James……

He is very good at describing scenes. He doesn’t need to explain because it is already very clear in the script.

12.) What do you hope to bring to the book? Are you staying on the for

the long haul?

I am hoping that is the case. I am still hoping that I can bring something to the series. I am still trying to find out what can i contribute with the characters and the story on an artist point of view. I hope I will be drawing Red Hood for a long time.

 13.) Can you explain what exactly will happen to Jason?

 He seemed to have had his mind completely wiped clean! That cannot be!  I do not think I am at liberty to reveal anything. Sorry.

 14.) What other projects do you have coming up? Any new DC work?

 I am not hearing anything about projects after Red Hood. So, keep your fingers crossed!

_____________

Tommy Zimmer is an upcoming writer of short stories, comic books, journalism/media reviews, screenplays, and anything related to writing. On zimmert101.wordpress.com, you can view his latest work, and see what exciting things he is currently doing!!

 




More photos from C2E2—- courtesy of Fanboy Buzz in accordance with Bestow Productions

Written by on May 1, 2013
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Photos courtesy of Fanboy Buzz’s Tommy Zimmer and Bestow Productions’ Paul Sanders, Alex Sanders and Todd Day.

 




Fanboy Buzz in accordance with Bestow Productions brings you—- C2E2

Written by on Apr 30, 2013
Filed in: Zimmertainment  |  No Comments »

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Courtesy of Fanboy Buzz’s Tommy Zimmer and Bestow Production’s Paul Sanders and Alex Sanders.

 




Windsor Signing- Catching Up with the mind behind the Justice League of America, artist David Finch

Written by on Apr 16, 2013
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David Finch is an artist currently with DC Comics. He is a Windsor native, and the current artist on Justice League of America. He currently just finished his run on Batman: The Dark Knight and has completed a few covers for the new series Katana. Mr. Finch was nice enough to speak with us again since we last saw at Detroit FanFare.

TZ: What are you doing now? Katana covers, right?

DF: I was doing them but Justice League of America’s really taken over my life.

TZ: How difficult is it doing all the inking now? Last time I spoke, you have taken over all the duties….

DF: It’s actually a lot more gratifying, and it’s nice to see the finished product from start to finish. I have worked with some great inkers but it’s nice to have it just be my own work.

TZ: What can you talk about coming up?

DF: They are all going to fight, and that’s comin’; all mayhem and destruction.

TZ: Is that going to play into “Trinity War”?

DF: I think it’s no real secret JLA is really designed with Justice League in mind. I don’t think revealing too much to say something’s going to come out of the match-ups between the rosters in the first issue. I don’t even know what’s coming up….

TZ: Geoff keeps a tight lid on things…?

DF: Yah. But frankly, I don’t want to know what’s coming up. I want to know where we are now, and be where the characters are. A year out, it takes me out of an event.

TZ: What’s your favorite character to draw? Is it still Green Arrow?

DF: Right now, it’s Martian Manhunter. It may change again.

TZ: You tend to reveal a lot of the physicality with Simon Baz and the Manhunter… was that intentional? I know you do that in a lot of your work….

DF: Yah. I mean, these characters are supposed to be opposing, and they are larger than life but not regular people. I want to get that across every time I introduce a character. The more room I can get to do that big splash page, I am happy.

TZ: What else are you doing right now?

DF: I am honestly doing nothing more right now.

_____________

Tommy Zimmer is an upcoming writer of short stories, comic books, journalism/media reviews, screenplays, and anything related to writing. On zimmert101.wordpress.com, you can view his latest work, and see what exciting things he is currently doing!!




Windsor signing- Interview with Green Arrow, Animal Man and Justice League Dark writer Jeff Lemire

Written by on Apr 16, 2013
Filed in: Zimmertainment  |  1 Comment »

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Jeff Lemire is the current writer behind Green Arrow, Animal Man and Justice League Dark. He recently finished a crossover with Scott Snyder’s Swamp Thing entitled “Rot World” and finished a major storyline in Justice League Dark. He is about to begin co-writing with Geoff Johns a few issues of Justice League of America. Mr. Lemire was nice enough to speak with us.

TZ: How did you get into comics?

JL: I started self-publishing my own stuff I wrote. I went to Kinko’s, and stapled it together to shop it around. Then, I got a publishing grant in 2005 from the Zurich Foundation for my first graphic novel. From there, I submitted some stuff to Top Shelf.

TZ: What work at Top Shelf do you think really got you noticed?

JL: I did The Essex County Trilogy of graphic novels. There were some editors at DC and Vertigo that really liked that book.

TZ: Who did you pitch to at DC?

JL: I pitched to Bob Schreck, and then I ended up getting Sweet Tooth. That all kind of led me to doing more DC Universe stuff. Those were all sorts of gradual steps over almost ten years.

TZ: What do you prefer doing more: writing or drawing?

JL: I love drawing my own stuff. I love the complete control that comes with it. But, I love working with artists because I love the collaborative aspect of writing with other artists.

TZ: How did you get into Animal Man?

JL: DC came to me with a few options. I loved the Grant Morrison stuff, and I had a lot of affinity for the character. They liked my vision for the character.

TZ: How did you decide what to change in the mythos?

JL: You always try to keep what you love from the old stuff but also try to make it accessible to new reader. So, it is a balancing act.

TZ: What was it like working with Travel Forman?

JL: I think he’s a genius. He brought a lot to it, and he really helped establish the tone of that book.

TZ: What made you leave Frankenstein?

JL: It was Justice League Dark being offered to me, and there were so many of my favorite characters that I couldn’t say no. I also knew I could also eventually work Frankenstein in so I could kind of get the best of both worlds.

TZ: How is it working with Mikal Janin?

JL: He’s such a great guy, and I think he’s a really wonderful artist.

TZ: Have you guys ever met one another?

JL: We met for the first time back in Atlanta because he’s in Spain.

TZ: What stuff do you have coming up for Justice League Dark?

JL: We have a big storyline coming up I am working on with Geoff Johns.

TZ: Are you taking over co-writing Justice League?

JL: We are doing a story together.

TZ: So, it’s a crossover?

JL: It will be… yah.

TZ: Is that involved in Trinity War?

JL: Definitely. They will probably announce it soon.

TZ: What do you have coming up in Animal Man?

JL: We finished the big “Rot” storyline. So, what I am really trying to do is move the book away from Swamp Thing, and do stories really specific to Animal Man again. I am really focusing on Buddy Baker’s celebrity now.

TZ: What made you want to take on Constantine?

JL: He’s been one of my favorite characters that kept me reading comics since I was a kid, and when I was offered it, I couldn’t say no.

TZ: Did editorial approach you for it because I know Robert Vendetti was originally on it…?

JL: Rob’s a good friend of mine but they announced he was doing Green Lantern. So, he had to make a decision, and I had already been doing the character on Justice League Dark. So, it seemed like a natural thing but I am only like co-plotting the first five issues of Constantine. I am not heavily involved in it. It’s more Ray’s book.

TZ: What do you have coming up?

JL: Green Arrow obviously, and I have a new Vertigo book called Thrillium I am writing and drawing. It’s a sci-fi love story.

TZ: What’s coming up for Ollie?

JL: The Komodo storyline is our first arc, and then we get to reinvent a classic Green Arrow villain which I am really excited about.

TZ: Could it be Count Vertigo?

JL: Perhaps.

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Tommy Zimmer is an upcoming writer of short stories, comic books, journalism/media reviews, screenplays, and anything related to writing. On zimmert101.wordpress.com, you can view his latest work, and see what exciting things he is currently doing!!




Windsor Comic Signing: Interview with Detective Comics artist Jason Fabok

Written by on Apr 11, 2013
Filed in: Zimmertainment  |  No Comments »

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Jason Fabok is the current artist on Detective Comics. A Windsor native and graduate of St. Clair College, Fabok has also worked with David Finch on Batman: The Dark Knight and for Aspen Comics. Mr. Fabok was nice enough to speak with us.

TZ: How did you get your start in comics, Jason?

JB: I went to St. Clair College for animation program, and I knew I wanted to make a leap into comics when I was there but I didn’t think they had the proper training. I knew David Finch lived here in Windsor. So, I contacted him to see if he would teach me a few things, and that turned into about 6-8 months of lessons. From there, we created a portfolio, and he felt my work is strong enough. We sent it into DC, and I guess the rest is history.

TZ: What project at DC have you been most happy with?

JF: Right now, I am doing Detective, and I am really proud of that because it’s something I can really spread my wings on as the books progress and we do more stuff. John Layman’s been giving me more freedom with designs and my art. So, it’s fun to really express myself that way. One of the proudest things was working on Dave’s Dark Knight. To get to work on your mentor’s book really makes you feel like you’ve really made it.

TZ: You probably already had a fair amount of confidence going into it, I imagine.

JF: Yah but I had tight deadlines, and from that, I was offered a contract with DC, and it all came together from there

TZ: How did editorial approach you about doing annuals such as Justice League International and Batman?

JF: What happened was I signed a contract, and they didn’t have anything for me to work on right away. But, Mike Marts in the Batman office had faith in me that I would do a good job on those books, and I almost saw those books as a tryout. They had specific deadlines for me to get stuff done, and kind of tested me. I felt I proved I could do a monthly, and they gave me Detective right after that.

TZ: How was it like working with Scott Snyder?

JF: There’s a reason he’s one of the top writers at DC. He was very humbling, and wanted to work together as a team. He gave me a lot of freedom as well. I think when a writer has trust in you and allows you to express yourself artistically, that’s the best to work with. You seem to get a better product in the end.

TZ: How did they approach you afterwards to work on Detective?

JF: It was right after I had done the Batman annual, they had approached me if I wanted to do a big project. They said Detective but it was coming down the road. They gave me the JLI annual, and I wanted to get it done because I knew what was coming down the road. I felt honored that they had enough faith in me to give me one of their flagship books, and every month I think I am getting better and better. Right now, my confidence is up, and that’s all things you are looking for.

TZ: What was it like working with Dan and Geoff?

JF: It was different because they write very much in a Marvel style where it’s very little description of anything, and allows you to play around with the story. I find I like a little bit more of guidance in the way. But, it was cool because I got to try it, and see how I liked that style. It pushed me outside of my comfort zone so I had to think more visually about my storytelling.

TZ: What do you like about working with John Layman?

JF: We have a good rapport and good communication between each other. He asks me what I want to draw, and then he writes to my strengths. I think that’s why the book is working and selling. He knows I like big shots, big splashes and large artwork. You couldn’t ask for anything else, really.

TZ: What’s been your favorite villain to draw in the Bat universe?

JF: I’d have to say the Penguin which is a strange choice because he’s a goofy character. I’ve loved him since the old ‘60s television show, and he’s always been one of my favorites. It’s a fun character to draw, and I am trying to bring a bit more humanity to him. He’s definitely my favorite right now.

TZ: The main conflict in Detective right now has been between him and Oglivy. Is that going to reappear back in the books as a main conflict?

JF: He comes back big in issue 18, and Oglivy’s a lot of fun. I enjoy drawing that character, and fans seem to be connecting with him. When someone tries something different, people don’t like it at first but John slowly introduced that character throughout the different issues, and so he will becoming bigger and bigger.

TZ: What do you think Oswald’s feelings will be?

JF: That’s kind of the main plotline of issue 18. It’s kind of Penguin vs. Penguin. It’s a lot of fun, and one of my favorite issues to draw. Leading into 19 (900), and will be leading into the next issues.

TZ: Will Zsasz be appearing? I notice there are scratches and scars….

JF: He may be appearing.

TZ: What’s with the Man-Bats?

JF: At first, there wasn’t really any plan to do anything. They wanted the 900 to be a part of the story. I just finished drawing that issue, and it’s my favorite thing I have ever drawn. It is kind of that “go nuts on the art” book, and I am excited for people to read it.

TZ: It looks as if you are moving more towards scifi rather than the usual crime drama….

JF: It is but John’s done it so the story will have consequences in the next arc. He didn’t want it to feel like a total break in the story to throw you off.

TZ: What else do you have coming up?

JF: Finishing up Detective. Fan response has been pretty good so we are going to be moving into a next arc, and I am pretty excited to draw that.

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Tommy Zimmer is an upcoming writer of short stories, comic books, journalism/media reviews, screenplays, and anything related to writing. On zimmert101.wordpress.com, you can view his latest work, and see what exciting things he is currently doing!!

 




Windsor Comics Signing: Interview with writer Tony Gray

Written by on Apr 11, 2013
Filed in: Zimmertainment  |  No Comments »

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Tony Gray is the writer/artist behind Legacy Comic’s The Incredible Conduit. He is also the writer/artist behind white plastic and is a co-owner of the Windsor-based Legacy Comics. Mr. Gray was nice enough to speak with me back at the signing about his career and what’s coming up for him.

TZ: How did you get started in comics?

TG: I actually got started in comics watching the old Speed Racer cartoon as a kid. I started drawing, and drew a Donald Duck head. It looked like him, and everyone said it looked like him. My calling was found early. So, I started moving onto the superhero strips like Spiderman and the Spirit. I got involved, and my dad was a collector as a kid. It was part of our family thing where after hockey, my dad, my brother and I would head out to go to all the different convenience stores to find Spiderman at the lucky spot in town. When I look at every comic, I remember when we ended up at Kresge’s, and ate mashed potatoes and gravy.

TZ: What made you want to start Legacy?

TG: I was doing Saturday Afternoon, which was a daily and a Sunday strip. I also did a strip called Mick and Me. So, I pitched it to Marty Beneteau who was the editor of the Windsor Star, and I thought it would be cool to do a Windsor-based superhero like an old superhero strip. The company Legacy picked up the rights to publish the strips, and if they thought there was money to be made, I wanted a share. So, I bought part of Legacy Comics, and I am now part owner. I am doing The Conduit, White Plastic, The Feral Ones and Gray Matter.

TZ: How did you come up with the Conduit?

TG: I designed the character with the old Spiderman book. The costume was based around that look. His powers became based around the costume which I thought was really cool. It has like the Conduit symbol like an hourglass symbol which is a recycling of energy and power. The design of the costume sort of generated the power of the Conduit which is to absorb and generate energy whether it’s solar, hydro, electric, any kind….

TZ: How did you meet Mike Michalski?

TG: He was working at CTV, and he came up and covered a couple of the events I was at. I met him through that, and he’s a really talented writer full of great ideas. I was doing a storyline for Conduit #2 that took place at Chrysler, and one of his buddies was someone I sanctioned to draw by Chrysler. I actually used real people at Chrysler, and one of his friends said Mike Michalski’s a reader of your stuff. He and Al with the headphones were in it. They wanted to know the story ahead of time, and so they would take me out for free lunches.

TZ: What’s coming up next with The Conduit?

TG: At the end of issue #3, it becomes Tales of the Incredible Conduit. When I say an adult book, I don’t mean an adult book. It’s a more grown up book, and the art is more along the line of gray washes. He gets a new costume which amps up his powers, and he’s working with the government. It’s a lot bigger story than catching muggers.

TZ: It’s becoming more serious….

TG: It’s a bit more serious, and he’s a much more powerful character.

TZ: Was that because of the demographic switch?

TG: I was really surprised because I really just started The Conduit as a local lark, and it ended up where I was getting more and more mail. I thought I would listen to what the readers want, and they were asking to beef it up a little bit. Now, he’s like a hulking 6 foot 4 with powers ten times he had.

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Tommy Zimmer is an upcoming writer of short stories, comic books, journalism/media reviews, screenplays, and anything related to writing. On zimmert101.wordpress.com, you can view his latest work, and see what exciting things he is currently doing!!






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