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Tuesday, October 8, 2013
A BIT OF HOUSEKEEPING
It's been far too long since I've posted. I'm sorry about that. I always intend to. I even try. Here's the truth of it-- something has to give, in my life. Almost always, unfortunately, that's going to be computer stuff. Now, that doesn't mean I'm giving up the blog. I just have to realize that I can't keep up with it like I'd like and gaps are going to happen.
So yeah, I've been...busy. This has been kind of an odd year.
After two years working exclusively for Top Cow, they decided to change things up, and end The Darkness. While I had planned on sticking around for a bit longer--David Hine and I had to wrap things up faster than we would liked-- there are no hard feelings here. They have a plan for The Darkness. It's a smart move. One made to ensure that the book and character can thrive down the road.
With The Darkness ending with #116, I needed to line up the next thing. I had a bit of lead in--Top Cow gave me plenty of notice about the change. I spoke with a few places and ended up getting an offer to come back and play in the Batman office at DC. Having worked for them before, it was an easy transition back to my favorite characters in comics.
I was offered two Villains Month issues-- Batman 23.2 RIDDLER (written by Ray Fawkes and Scott Snyder) and Batman & Robin 23.3 RA'S AL GHUL (written by James Tynion IV). I have to admit, I couldn't have had more fun working on two books. They were completely different and just spot on perfect.
Those books lead to another opportunity to work with James Tynion. This time, though, it was also a return to one of my favorite characters, Jason Todd/Red Hood. I leapt at the chance to draw Red Hood and the Outlaws #25. It was a joy getting to revisit Jason again. Interestingly enough, this was also a chance to tell the New 52 version of Jason at the same age as he was in RED HOOD: THE LOST DAYS.
As I wrapped that up, I was asked to come on as the artist of BATWOMAN. There's been a lot of controversy surrounding the book lately. ALL of the parties involved I consider friends and absolutely brilliant talent. I'm going to stay out of the minutia of all of that. I am just going to say this-- Marc Andreyko and I absolutely love and respect Kate Kane/Batwoman and we're going to work hard to do right by her-- and the legacy that Greg Rucka, JH Williams, and Haden Blackman built. ...and yeah...I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a little nervous.
So amidst all of this work, I somehow managed to hit four conventions in six weeks. (I'm actually typing this on the plane ride to NYCC) I think that puts me somewhere near 14 shows for the year. Needless to say...that's just too damned many. I love cons. I love going to different parts of the country (and world), meeting fans and supporting the medium. I just can't quite continue to do it at this pace. I'm getting old.
After some deliberation and a real look at scheduling, I'm going to have to cut my con appearances down to 6-7 shows. I hate cutting any out of my schedule. I dig small local shows just as much as the big ones. Something just hast to give. So next year I'm going to be doing a few specific shows in the states and then I'd really like to hit a couple shows outside of the country. MEFCC in Dubai is on that list. It was easily one of the best convention experiences I've ever had, amidst some of the warmest, most enthusiastic fans.
If you're a show runner and you're interested in me trying to make it to your show, by all means, still drop me a line. If you'd like me to try and make it to your local show, let the people running the show know.
So that's it for the updating. Now you know why I've been away from the keyboard.
I do have one other bit of housekeeping I need to do.
I get a lot of requests for private commissions outside of conventions. I need to just go ahead and say that I'm not going to be able to do them. I'm sorry. I love doing commissions for people. I'm honored that anyone would like a personal piece of my work. I've just been running into situations with scheduling more and more often where I'm not able to finish them with any real speed. Almost EVERYONE is absolutely fantastic about it and incredibly understanding. ...the ones, very occasionally, that aren't...aren't. The truth is, drawing is my job. I draw seven days a week, an average of 12hrs a day, working on books. Deadlines are deadlines and I have to hit those. It's my job. Owing someone something weighs on me. It 's just a horrible feeling.
SO, at least for a good while...a year or two, I'm not going to be taking commissions outside of conventions. I'm still doing my usual commissions at shows. I'm truly sorry, but that's going to have to be it. I can't take something home and send it. I can't take on a special piece. I have to cut back. I need to be able to feel okay about spending time with my family or going to a movie. Remember...I'm getting old.
And that's about it. I love what I do. I appreciate each and every one of you.
Now I'm going to take a nap. I could use one of those.
Saturday, June 1, 2013
HEROES CON 2013! (AA BOOTH 820)
It's time for Heroes Con this year in Charlotte, North Carolina. Next weekend, June 7th, 8th, and 9th-- I will be there again with original art, comics and trades, prints, sketchbooks. I have several commissions available for the show--they are 9x12, color, bust shot of character of your choice for $60. Get on the list early as space is limited.
I will also be set up representing BAD KARMA this weekend! Bad Karma: Volume 1 is scheduled to arrive from the printer in a few weeks, and we will have an actual preview copy of the book for you to look at. If you missed ordering Bad Karma during the Kickstarter, you will be able to pre-order it during the show. We will also have t-shirts, coaster sets, tattoos, and stickers.
BAD KARMA T-SHIRT
In addition to that, we're going to have three amazing Bad Karma prints--we will have the screen print of the 9th life that I did and the Chaos Agent one by Mike Tisserand. BUT, we will have a HeroesCon special edition BAD KARMA "Kraken" print--it is an amazing, large format, color print by MARK ENGLERT. Mark's prints are insanely popular and absolutely brilliant. This is a very limited edition print and they'll go fast.
"KRAKEN" PRINT BY MARK ENGLERT
We will be in Artist's Alley, tables 820-823. Come by and say Hi!
In addition, Bad Karma will be doing a panel on Friday at 2--We will be discussing the story and the concepts as well as the process of doing a collaborative project of this scale. I'm sure we will talk about Kickstarter and the challenges and fun bits that come from crowd sourcing.
Here is the link to HeroesCon website so you can check out all the details.
Hope to see you there!
Monday, April 1, 2013
PLANET COMICON 2013! (APRIL 6-7)
This weekend, April 6-7th, I'll be in Kansas City for PLANET COMICON (BOOTH 1139). This show is going to be bigger and better than ever in an all new, larger location in downtown KC. The guest list is absolutely HUGE this year including Scott Snyder, Tony Moore, Neal Adams, Jason Aaron, Skottie Young, Ben Templesmith and many many more.
This is going to be a special con, as it's going to be the first time BAD KARMA CREATIVE-- Alex Grecian (Proof, The Yard), Jeremy Haun (The Darkness), B. Clay Moore (Whistling Skull, Hawaiian Dick), and Seth Peck (X-Men) are going to be setting up together. We're going to be pre-promoting BAD KARMA: VOLUME ONE, our recent Kickstarter project. While we won't have any physical copies of the book (it's currently at the printer) we will have preview of the book, along with tshirts, prints, stickers, and original art from the project.
BAD KARMA PANEL!
Sunday - 11:00 - 11:50 AM in Hall B: Bad Karma! The comics creators behind the creator-owned hardcover anthology Bad Karma discuss their extended universe.
This weekend at Planet, I will have comics, trades, sketchbooks, and several prints. I'll also have a ton of original artwork from The Darkness, Arkham Reborn, Red Hood, Artifacts, and more. If that wasn't enough, since it's a local show, I'm going to be bringing along a ton of various older pages and offering them for $25 each. It's a variety of different stuff and a heck of a good price.
I'm going to be doing sketches, as usual. They'll be on 9x12 board or comparable sized sketchbook, in pen and ink with Copic Marker color for $60.
There is limited space on my sketch list. Be sure and hit me up early if you want to set something up.
If you'd like more info on PLANET COMICON check out their website--
So yeah, it's going to be a great show. Hope to see you all there!
Friday, March 29, 2013
SPRING CONS 2013!
It's "Con Season" again! Funny how the season has expanded. I had intended to take it easy this year, but it just wasn't in the cards. I'm fine with that, though. Luckily I love travel, seeing new cites, and meeting fans.
This year, I'm going to get the opportunity to attend several new cons! Here is a list of the shows I'll be hitting over the next few months--
Planet Comicon (Kansas City)
Planet is my local show. It's a great time and is just getting bigger and better every single year! It's outgrown its Overland Park location and they are moving this year to a bigger venue to beautiful downtown Kansas City. I'll be there with Bad Karma (B. Clay Moore, Seth Peck, Alex Grecian). The show has asked us to do a panel on Sunday at 11. Here is the site to check out other details.
Cape Comic Con (Cape Girardeau, Missouri)
I'm excited to get back to Cape Con this spring. It's a great little show over on the other side of the state.
Calgary Comic and Entertainment Expo (Calgary, Alberta, Canada)
This is my first year at Calgary, but I'm looking forward to it. I've heard fantastic things about the show. I'm also excited to get back up to Canada. I haven't been back since I was a kid.
Heroes Convention (Charlotte, North Carolina)
The last show of the spring season will be the unveiling show for the Bad Karma book. Heroes is always a good show, but this year will be great--we will have the books, the slipcover version, as well as all the merchandise. If you are able to make it to the show, be sure to find our table!
I'm going to be at all of these shows with the usual goodness-- comics, trades, sketchbooks, and several prints. I'll also have a ton of original artwork from The Darkness, Arkham Reborn, Red Hood, Artifacts, and more. Along with that we'll have cool Bad Karma stuff -- prints, t-shirts, stickers, artwork, etc.
As always, I'll be doing commissions at the show. All sketches will be done on 9x12 board or comparable sized sketchbook, in pen and ink with Copic Marker color. If you'd like to set something up before hand, let me know and I'll do my best to arrange it.
So yeah, it's going to be a busy spring. The fall is going to be full too, but more on that later.
Hope to get to see you at one of the upcoming shows!
Wednesday, February 27, 2013
It's time again for ECCC! I will be there this weekend, March 1-3, in Artist's Alley (Table C14).
Bad Karma products are arriving, so we will have the stickers and tattoos to give away, as well as all three t-shirts and the hand-pulled 9th Life print.
I will have comics, trades, sketchbooks, and several prints this weekend. I'll also have a ton of original artwork from The Darkness, Arkham Reborn, Red Hood, Artifacts, and other books.
I still have some commissions available. All sketches will be done on 9x12 board or comparable sized sketchbook, in pen and ink with Copic Marker color for $60.
If you need more info--check out the ECCC site. They have everything on there.
See you in Seattle!
Wednesday, January 2, 2013
DARKNESS #109 IN STORES TODAY!
DARKNESS #109 hits the stands today. I realize I say it pretty constantly, but I love this issue. A lot of what we've been building to, really begins to unfold.
Here is a SIX page preview of the issue. Hope you dig it! Fair warning, it's not particularly work safe...
Friday, December 21, 2012
FUNDED! (AND WHAT COMES NEXT FOR THE BAD KARMA KICKSTARTER)
I woke up Wednesday to a text from my Bad Karma partner Seth Peck. It simply said "Check Kickstarter." I did, and found that just nine days into our Kickstarter for BAD KARMA VOLUME ONE, we had not only hit but passed our initial funding goal.
Here's the thing-- we owe it all to YOU. Without the support of friends, family, and fans this project wouldn't have surpassed any expectations we could have come up with. I can't express enough my gratitude to every one of you. Not only the people who contributed financially, but every single one of you that got onto Twitter, Facebook, blogs, podcasts, and message boards and spread the word. Thank you. We couldn't have done it without you.
So now what? Well, that's where things get interesting. We keep going. We have twenty days left on the Kickstarter and we're just getting started. While our initial goal was $18,500, that amount only covers printing, shipping, and fulfilling pledges. It's a great amount. We're insanely grateful for it. Now though, we get to step things up a notch. From here we can pay the hard working artists who have stepped in and lent their talents to us. It allows us to upgrade the book, adding nicer cover and interior stock, design elements, and little touches to make it that much more beautiful for you. It allows us to add extras like special prints, upgraded items, and more story pages to you at no extra cost.
Our first upgrade was a simple but really cool one. Once we hit our goal we added some nice UV spot gloss to the cover. It's an effect that I really love and it was something that I wanted to do out the gate. Cover designer (also the brilliant writer of Avengers, Manhattan Projects, and Nightly News) Jonathan Hickman did an AMAZING job designing the look of the book. Adding the spot gloss is going to make his design pop even more.
Along with that, we've added stretch goals for the project. These are simply future goals that we hope to hit. The fun part is each time we unlock a goal, supporters of the project get special new things added to their pledge package. We've already upgraded the cover with spot gloss and given everyone who bought a physical copy of the book the book digitally for free, but there are bigger things to come.
Our next stretch goal is at $25,000 (as I type this we are currently at $23,370). When we hit that goal we will add TWO new prose stories with spot illustrations to the book AND we will ship every copy of the book with a special edition hand screen printed 4" x 4" Kraken print by talented printmaker Sara Humphries.
From there, the sky is the limit. We have plans for $30,000 all the way to $50,000 and beyond. Lofty goals, but we have fantastic and exciting reward upgrades planned all along the way.
OH! And we've added another reward level. Now you can get yourself drawn into my Chaos Agent story by artist Mike Tisserand! They're limited to two rewards. Mike is absolutely brilliant and going to be going BIG places in comics soon. Snag one while you can!
In the end we're devoted to making this the best package possible and reward our backers along the way. ...because hey, like I said earlier, we owe it all to YOU!
Thanks again for your support of our little book.
If you haven't already checked it out or just want to take a look at the progress, you can find it here--
All the best!
Wednesday, December 12, 2012
BAD KARMA: CHAOS AGENT PREVIEW!
Today, as we reach day three of the BAD KARMA Kickstarter, I thought I'd give everyone a preview of my story for BAD KARMA VOLUME ONE.
CHAOS AGENT is a story that I've been kicking around for quite a while. When I was asked to be a part of BAD KARMA, I knew that it was the perfect opportunity to tell it.
The world is run by chaos. Literally. Hidden in a subterranean chamber is the chaos engine and we feed it every day. It is the thing that holds our reality together.
Chaos Agents are tasked with creating situations of large scale chaos. Sometimes it's things we see, sometimes it is not. The trick is, Chaos Agents are the good guys. They aren't trying to destroy the world, they are trying to keep it going. They use chaos mathematics to aid in this. Large scale equations are used to cause massive traffic jams throughout the city or blackout an entire grid, etc. Simple math gives agents special abilities. With the right equation they can do unbelievable, world changing things. It's all there in the math.
With chaos comes order. There is another group who's sole task is to stop the chaos agents. Shift the balance. Stop the machine. And they are winning.
This is a story that needed a dynamic artist. Luckily I got to talking with Canadian animator Mike Tisserand and we hit it off. From the moment I saw his work, I knew he was perfect for the concept. Mike is an unbelievable talent. I'm happy to be working with him.
So here are the first four pages of CHAOS AGENT. I hope you dig them as much as I do.
And that's about enough for right now. I don't want to give away too much more, right now. We've got more work in the can and Mike is working hard on the issue as I type this.
If you enjoy this preview and want to help insure that you can read CHAOS AGENT and all of the other stories from BAD KARMA VOLUME ONE, please visit the following link and help support the Kickstarter project.
Even if you can't contribute financially, even spreading the word via Twitter, Tumbler, Facebook, and Instagram is a HUGE help and we certainly appreciate it.
Look for more updates on the progress of Bad Karma, soon!
Tuesday, December 11, 2012
A BIT ABOUT BAD KARMA AND KICKSTARTER!
A few months back, B. Clay Moore, Alex Grecian, and Seth Peck came to me and asked me to join their new writing collective Bad Karma. From there we built something truly special. We, like most people in the comics industry, had been following Kickstarter, a creative crowd sourcing website. Kickstarter has been something that the comics industry has been talking about quite a bit for the past year or so. Our project, BAD KARMA VOLUME ONE, a special edition two hundred page graphic novel was perfect for it.
Kickstarter is an uniquely amazing site that serves as a crowd funding tool. It allows individuals to see what a project consists of and determine if they would like it. It’s not a publisher or distributor determining what gets made—it’s the end user! It goes directly to the target market. These individuals are able to contribute to the overall funds needed to make the project a reality. We decided Kickstarter would be the perfect way to bring Bad Karma directly to you, the fans. We have been able to bring together a great group of artists and a really cool story, exactly in the way we want to tell it.
The way Kickstarter works is unique. We had our project. We knew exactly what we wanted to do. From there we built an informational page on Kickstarter about it through video, pictures, and text to describe what the book is. In addition to that, we came up with some really special, unique incentives-- things you just couldn't practically do going the usual publishing route. We have strived for the incentives to be something we, ourselves, would want. Now that the project is live, the idea is to let people know it’s out there and that they can play a part in the project by backing it! Our incentives range from $5 to $5000. You can pre-order a signed copy of the book, you can get original art, hell, you can even have lunch with Clay, Alex, Seth, and me next year at Heroes Con!
The trick to Kickstarter is that you establish your funding goal when you set up the project. For us, this goal includes the production cost of printing the book, the cost of paying the artists, plus the cost of the incentives. Now we just have to meet or exceed that goal! If not, none of the project is funded. It’s all or nothing.
IF we exceed the goal we have a ton of exciting upgrades and unlockables planned for the project along the way. Some of them are pretty lavish. One is even a second "making of" book. That one is going to be pricey for us to produce, but if we can, it's something that we definitely want to do.
Assuming we make our goal, everything hits high speed. The incentives and the book go into production. We already have a good portion of the art and story underway. To make our official release in June of 2013 at Heroes Con in Charlotte, all parts of the book will be finished up by February—then off to the printer. During the same time, the other incentives--t-shirts, original art, cool coasters—will all be getting shipped out. It’s going to be a busy spring!
We've already had a FANTASTIC first day. Better than we could have hoped for. We owe all of that to our friends and fans that have supported the project so far.
Please take a few moments and check out Bad Karma on Kickstarter here--
It’s a labor of love, and I’m damned proud of it. Even if you aren’t able to financially contribute, if you like what you see, spread the word. It would mean a lot to us.
Thanks so much!
Friday, December 7, 2012
A LITTLE BAD KARMA!
You may have seen me dropping little hints lately here and there to something called BAD KARMA. Well today, after a ton of work the cat is officially out of the bag. BAD KARMA CREATIVE, a writing collective consisting of Alex Grecian, B. Clay Moore, Seth Peck and me will be debuting our first project BAD KARMA: VOLUME ONE via KICKSTARTER this Monday, December 10th.
We recently sat down with John Siuntres over on his WORDBALLOON podcast to go over all of the details.
You can check it out here--
Bad Karma Wordballoon Podcast
Hope you dig it!