Stephen Jondrew Category



This is how a Kickstarter should be…

Written by on Oct 6, 2012
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Fans of the Fanboy Buzz will know that in recent months I’ve discussed on the podcast the balance of digital vs print and also how Kickstarter campaigns should be full of incentives that actually make sense. I was very pleased when this morning I came across a campaign for a project titled The Time of Reflection which is an Eagle Award Winning short comic. This campaign is not only a great example of ways you can help keep the industry alive, but is also a great example of how Kickstarter campaigns should be setup.

I recently had the opportunity to sit down and talk with Alex Wilson (co-creator of The Time of Reflection) and he was very open about how he originally setup his Kickstarter project with the goal of simply offsetting a portion of the initial costs and in turn would have to absorb some himself. He further explained how he’s tried to keep the margins low on the incentives in order to help appeal to potential backers – the results speak for themselves and show that this works. The total goal of this project was $450 and as of right now he’s at $3104 with only 132 backers – that’s an average of about $24 per person. Often I find Kickstarter projects where the rewards are lopsided offering very little reward for your pledges – it’s nice to finally see one that has great rewards and in turn also has had great support.

The second thing that I want to point out about this campaign is the obvious support for local comic shops that is being demonstrated by these creators. For only $3 a backer not only gets a copy of the printed booklet for themselves (if they reside in the USA) but the project will also send a copy to the backer’s favorite independent retailer in North America. If that wasn’t enough – the backer also gets a digital copy as well. When you consider the price of printing and that TWO copies are being mailed out within this $3 pledge, it just goes to show that these folks aren’t bluffing when they say they keep their margins low.

Going forward I think that Kickstarters should take a page out of this book and setup rewards in a fashion that makes sense. While we want to support your project, it makes sense to offer a level of rewards that does just that – makes you feel rewarded. Alex and Silvio have set the bar high for future projects and also their obvious support to keep the industry alive is also motivating. – kudos guys.

Before I close I want to ask readers who may want to back this project to also help their LCS by pledging at least $3. I also want to encourage you folks to do what I’m doing and please help out a couple friends of mine (Jason Dyer and Steve Boyd) with their brand new shop Flint Town Comics. When you make your pledge over $3, please put down Flint Town Comics as your LCS. If you’ve ever been part of a new store opening you’ll know that it’s hard to front cash on a product when it’s unknown how the market will receive it. I’ve known Steve and Jason for several years and I’m sure they’ll appreciate having a product donated that they can either bundle as a promo or conversely sell it on the shelves – I’m not sure what they’ll do with it but at the very least just you’ll be showing them you support their shop.

Thanks for reading.

Audio Interview with Alex Wilson

The Time Of Reflection
www.kickalex.com

Flint Town Comics
335 W Main Street
Gallatin, TN 37066
615-461-0701
http://www.facebook.com/FlintTownComics




WALKING DEAD IS A RIP OFF

Written by on Jun 9, 2012
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WALKING DEAD IS A RIP OFF… or at least that’s what one reader says.

The other day I finished helping to launch our affiliate website WalkingtheWalkingDead.com. As a fan of both the comics and the TV series, I have found myself enjoying more and more a variety Zombie themed projects including comics and movies. While I find there is often a certain level of similarities between projects, I’ve always found there is also an extreme level of variation too.

The other day I received an email titled “Walking Dead Rip off” from someone named Alex Blaxhorn. Being that it had only been a few days since the launch of WalkingtheWalkingDead.com at first the subject line had me thinking that someone had ripped off the Walking Dead… of course, that wasn’t the case. Here is the email in its entirety.


Is The Walking Dead a Rip Off?

After finally catching up on The Walking Dead show on AMC, it seems unbelievable that no one takes them to task for lifting of other sources. The only mention so far has been the stealing of the opening sequence of 28 Days which was out before The Walking Dead. Of course, the title of the comic is the same as another comic that came out some ten years earlier, from Aircel Comics.

What is more strikingly apparent is the similarities to Deadworld. That series came out from Arrow Comics during the black and white explosion in the 1980s and had good sales during that time period. If the creators of The Walking Dead were zombie fans, they had to know about Deadworld which moved to Caliber Comics and had some 40 more issues in the 1990s, well before The Walking Dead ever came out.

Not having read the comic series, the similarities are only based on the TV show but it seems beyond just coincidence or story elements that deal with zombie stories in general.

In The Walking Dead, the group travels using a RV and in Deadworld, they used a school bus. One of the early scenes in both is two people going to raid a store for supplies and getting trapped by zombies.

In The Walking Dead, the group comes across a religious family on a farm who for some reason seem to be unaffected by the zombie menace. One of the group hooks up with the daughter of the religious leader. In Deadworld, the group comes across a religious family in a farmhouse who were unaffected by the zombie menace. One of the group hooks up with the daughter of the religious leader.

In The Walking Dead, the living gets through a group of zombies by rubbing zombie blood on themselves. In Deadworld, a character cut the skin off a zombie and wrapped himself up to get through the zombies. In both of them, zombies are stacked up and burned. In both stories, a little girl who has turned into a zombie has to be shot. In both of them, a character has to cut off his hand.

Towards the end of the first volume of the Caliber run, there is a group heading north and led by a guy named John. John is not a sheriff like Rick, but looks similiar as he always has a hat on. John hooks up with Stacey who becomes pregnant (ala Lori). .John is constantly challenged by another member of the group (ala Shane) and there is also the scene where one of the older guys gets bit and John has to shot him (ala Dale). Also, John has a son with the name of Carl (ala Carl). There’s talk that The Walking Dead comic series moves to a prison and in Deadworld, one of the guys who hooks up with John later is Clarence, the token black guy (ala T-Dog) and Clarence came from a prison.

At the end of last season’s show, a female character was shown wielding a sword and leading zombies chained. In Deadworld, there is a female character that also has zombies chained up in the same fashion and she will later become known as Tattoo who wields a sword all the time.

There’s been talk of next season bringing in a character called the Governor who apparently is the leader of a small town with military overtones. This sounds just like Moloch who has helicopters and military type soldiers and captures humans to build up his town. Moloch also uses humans versus zombies for sport.

Again, not sure exactly what is in the comic, just the TV show but if you read Deadworld, haven’t you already read The Walking Dead?

While at first Mr. Blaxhorn makes some points which seem valid, most of them are also missing a crucial level of substance. For example, in his comment comparing the Deadworld events to Hershel’s farm, I can’t remotely be convinced of the similarities. His point banks heavily on one of the Deadworld group members hooking up with the daughter of a religious leader and I’m fairly certain there is nothing unique about love-at-first-site-in-troubling-times (I refer you to Forrest Gump The Notebook Pearl Harbor any romantic comedy). In addition, unless I’m wrong, Hershel Greene is in no way a religious leader in the comic book or TV Series – he was simply a religious veterinarian. Last time I checked, there was no copyright on the idea of a religious farmer (although if one movie was to hold the rights to that idea, I’d suggest it be THE JERK).

Of course, I could sit here and tear apart his points one by one, but I have better things to do today; however, there is one point that had me literally laughing outloud — the hat comment. That’s right, I’m talking about “John is not a sheriff like Rick, but looks similiar as he always has a hat on.”

SO AM I UNDERSTANDING THIS CORRECTLY?!?! You are telling me that these two are similar because they share a hat. Alright, fine, I concede, the two are similar because they wear a hat. That being said, I’m still not angry because now this means that Rick can also be related to the following characters:

Indiana Jones
Indiana Jones

Jake and Elwood Blues
Blues Brothers

The Mad Hatter
The Mad Hatter

Gandalf
Gandalf

Ferris Bueller
Ferris Bueller

As I said, I could rip apart the rest of his points but I want to know what your thoughts are on this readers opinion. I’ve now read the email a few times and still can’t see any concrete similarities to convince me of his point – I only see a guy grasping at straws.




House, M.D. Series Finale

Written by on May 22, 2012
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House FinaleSometimes you have to break rules and the series finale of House MD has me doing that with this post. That’s right – I’m abusing my column here on Fanboy Buzz to write about something that has nothing to do with comic books, anime or even a distantly related subject. If you haven’t watched the finale yet and don’t want it to be ruined, I suggest you read no further as I’m about to use spoilers.

After last night’s finale the cocky, arrogant and over the top doctor we have all come to love over the past 8 years is gone. That’s right, technically speaking Dr. Gregory House no longer exists on TV or in TV-land either.

While I was one of the few viewers left who had not become bored with the repetitive nature of show over the past few years, I will admit that the latter part of this season (including last nights finale) left a lot to be desired. For a show with such a huge track record of playing on a variety of viewer emotions, I felt as if the show just stayed within the typical show formula during the wind down on the series.

The concept behind last night’s finale was sound with the writers leading the viewers to think that House was dead, only to find out he had switched dental records in order to fake his death. This last minute switch combined with the hallucinations of characters from House’s past were definitely the right pieces for a House-finale puzzle, but I couldn’t help but feel as if there were too many pieces that were missing to complete it. Now that I’ve had a night to think about it, in my opinion there needed to be better lead up in the prior few episodes or possibly a 2-hour finale.

Viewers of the finale were left in a position to fill in a lot of blanks about the turmoil that left us with a suicidal House. In many of last night’s circumstances I felt crucial moments were rushed and where the audience couldn’t feel the character’s demise. The finale didn’t do a very good job of helping viewers understand why this one particular event would make House suicidal after all the times we had seen him shrug off other emotionally-traumatic events over the past 8 years. This could have easily been accomplished if the writers had spent more time leading up to House’s downfall; however, sadly the show didn’t deliver.

Contrary to the flaws I’ve mentioned, I won’t go as far as to say that the finale was terrible – but I can’t say it was great either. The episode presented a lot of parts to the making of a great finale, but it was missing a lot of them too. Overall I’d say that the first half of the show was far better than the second with the writers developing a way to bring characters of the past back without it seeming too absurd; however, there definitely needed to be a Cuddy cameo.

PS. Hugh Laurie was in “Street Kings” which featured Chris Evans who is also in Captain America and Avengers. Laurie also voiced in Monsters vs Aliens which also featured Green Hornet’s Seth Rogen. If that’s not enough for you either he was also featured in movie once called Valiant and Valiant is also a name of a comic publisher. There you go – now I’ve related this post to comics.




Webcomic: A flowchart Guide to Mass Effect 3

Written by on May 5, 2012
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After discussing Mass Effect 3 in the latest episode of the Fanboy Buzz I decided that as someone who is still working on the Mass Effect series, I should compile their feedback in a easy to follow flow chart. I’ve collected their points and put them together so that people like myself can remember how to play Mass Effect 3 when it becomes that time.

I hope you enjoy.

Webcomic: A Guide to Mass Effect 3




Webcomic: Why I love my father-in-law

Written by on Apr 22, 2012
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We live in a society where for whatever reason two unexplained phenomenons occur…

1) People hate their in-laws
2) People listen to Nickelback

I recently had an opportunity to go against BOTH of these and try to put some right to our universe. You see, I’m one of those rare exceptions to the first rule, and I actually love my in-laws. They’re nice, they’re friendly, they’re helpful and best of all, they share my hatred for Nickelback. So as you can guess, when my father-in-law recently shared a sketch with me and said – “Hey can you redo this but to read Nickelback instead?” I jumped on the opportunity.

I’m not sure where the original idea came from (it was Phil Collins so it’s probably been around awhile), but I apologize for not giving credit. Regardless, I’m hoping I can take a funny sketch and bring the concept into modern time.

Nickelback Webcomic

I know this isn’t really the usual webcomic of mine, but the weather has been beautiful the last couple weekends allowing me to actually step away from the computer and work outside. I hope soon I’ll have another full blown webcomic for you to enjoy. As always, please let me know what you think.




Colors: Reverse Standard

Written by on Apr 9, 2012
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While recently checking out the latest news for The Standard Comic Book I came across some Fan Art by Iain Laurie which I wanted to try to fan-color. Rather than sticking with the norm I thought I’d try something different which I call “The Reverse Standard”.

The Reverse Standard - Fan Art




Webcomic: Scott Williams vs Steve Boyd

Written by on Apr 5, 2012
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It’s time once again for another webcomic. Scott Williams recently texted me and suggest I should do a webcomic about the podcast. After his recently ‘battle’ with Steve Boyd on Facebook and Episodes 106 & 107 of the podcast, well, one thing came to mind…

Scott Williams vs Steve Boyd

(To steal a question from Marvel) Who’s team are you on? Leave your voicemail of support at 239-244-2899.




Webcomic: Mark Waid vs Phil Boyle. The predicted winner is…

Written by on Mar 31, 2012
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Alright folks, it’s time for another webcomic. Scott Williams suggested I do a webcomic about the recent Mark Waid vs Phil Boyle issue (as previously mentioned by Steven Boyd on his nameless news) – here’s what I came up with.

Mark Waid vs Phil Boyle Webcomic

Who do YOU think is more right? Call 239-244-2899 and leave a voicemail.




Colors: Batman and Catwoman

Written by on Mar 25, 2012
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If there’s one thing I’ve learned it’s that life will surprise you when you least expect it, or at least that’s what happened to me. I never thought I’d remotely be interested in doing anything art-related but then one day I got this desire to try my hand at coloring. The next thing I know I’m spending several hours googling inks and coloring them for fun. I honestly can’t believe how much fun I’ve been having just coloring different people’s work. This new-found hobby of mine has also helped me to appreciate the coloring process of comics a lot more and how time consuming it must be.

I figured that since I’m still new to the process I thought I’d post some of the fun I’ve been having and encourage people to give me CONSTRUCTIVE CRITICISM so I can get better at coloring. I’m hoping as I do this I’ll get different input from hopefully people who do coloring, or just appreciate it. As mentioned, I’m doing this as a hobby but I still do want feedback whether positive or negative.

First piece displayed is a piece I recently colored featuring Batman and Catwoman. I found this piece over on the deviantart page for LahmiaRaven. The original piece can be found here and my understanding is that LahmiaRaven inked it, but there was a different penciler. I couldn’t locate the pencils credit, but if anyone finds it I’ll update this page.

So here is my UNOFFICIAL (fan) coloring:

Batman and Catwoman Colors

I wasn’t sure if I went too dark on the blues, but I figured since the inks were quite shadowy that it was supposed to be a darker feel. I might come back to it one day and try a lighter version.

Your turn to throw it at me. Comments, suggestions, ideas? Let me know in the feedback form below.




How our childhood got raped by aliens… and how it could have been worse.

Written by on Mar 24, 2012
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Webcomic: How our childhood got raped by aliens… and how it could have been worse.

Webcomic about the TMNT Alien Fiasco

If you’re one of those few who still don’t know about “Toe Thumbs”, I direct you to Google to search a certain actress from the Transformers 1 and 2






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