Tag Archives: Kickstarter

“Going Back to My Roots…”

Hey there folks!

Last summer I wrote a blog (which you can read HERE) about how important my time as part of a community of like-minded & mutually supportive comic-making folks in Glasgow had been to my development as a creator.

What had prompted this reflection was seeing several friends of rising stature in Scottish (& worldwide) comics being recognised at Glasgow Comic Con.  Their receiving richly deserved praise, attention & in certain cases awards to go with their hard work & talent was wonderful to see.

At the time I said I aimed to be at the 2015 event, & being a man of my word, that is exactly where I’ll be this weekend!

GCC

In fact, I’m honoured to have been given the chance to talk on a panel alongside several of my fellow Glasgow League of Writers (GLoW) alumni, all of whom are guests at this year’s convention.

I’ll be alongside Garry Mac, Gary Chudleigh, John Lees, Colin Bell & Harry French on the ‘GLoW Goes Global’ panel, Sunday 5 July at 1415 in the Workshop Room which folks can find in the convention’s central hub at the Centre for Contemporary Arts.

Be there, or be... well, you know.

Be there, or be… well, you know.

We’ll be talking about how we’ve all found our way in comics, since starting out all swapping scripts & providing feedback on each others nascent efforts back in a lil’ room in Hope Street Studios, what this taught us, & what we’re ail doing now.  Hope you’ll pop over & take a look, & give us a listen.

I cannot recommend the convention enough, & if you’re in town you should definitely head over.  There are a bunch of ace guests such as David Hine, Shaky Kane, Al EwingKarrie Fransman, Mark Millar & a tonne of other ace folks, along with all sorts of events & activities spread across two days & three venues.

I’ll be wandering the hall, so say “hi”, & I’ll likely push one of the flyers below into your hands…

EGflyer1If you click on the above image, it’ll take you to a version that you can print out & hand to your local retailer to have them reserve you a copy – share it around!

Hope to see some of you at the con this weekend, and until next time; take care!

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Two Weeks & Counting…

Yes, it’s that time of year again!  The evenings are drawing in, the temperature is dropping fast, & there is a certain magic in the air… Why?

Because it’s nearly Thought Bubble once more!

That’s right, the UK’s premier (in my opinion, at least) Comic Convention is taking place on the weekend of Saturday 23rd & Sunday 24th November at the Royal Armouries in Leeds.

A never-less than fantastic event, this year it boasts guests such as industry giants Matt Fraction, Becky CloonanBrandon Graham & Sean Gordon Murphy, to name but only a very small number of the masses of professional comic artists & writers who’ll be in attendance.

Due to such a MASSIVE demand for exhibitor tables, this year Thought Bubble is spread across not one, not two but THREE huge halls, making it easily its biggest year.

Launching Soon…

This year I’m extra excited, as for the first time at any comic event I’m heading down as a exhibitor rather than a attendee.

Having spent the last several months working with an insanely talented group of individuals, finally the first issue of ‘Exit Generation’ is away to the printers, in order to be ready for the convention.

I’ve set up a permanent preview for the book, which includes the first four pages, here on the blog, which you can see by clicking on the image below.

ExitGen

Please pop on over, take a look & tell me what you think.  Over the Thought Bubble weekend I’ll be at Table 2, Royal Armouries Hall & I hope that if you’re reading this you’ll head over and say hi.

If you;re not already acquainted with the amazing team who’ve worked on ‘Exit Generation’, you really should be.  Caio, Ruth, Ramon , Colin & Adam have hit home runs here, & I’m forever grateful for the hard work (& tolerance of all my nonsense) they’ve put in.  I cannot thank each of them enough.

Shiny New Things

I’ve also very lucky to be sharing a table with several other brilliant guys at Thought Bubble, & I am also very fortunate to be able to present brief previews of two of the new books that they’ll be launching at the event.

First is Colin Bell, who as well as being top dog at Dogooder Comics, is a brilliant writer.  At Thought Bubble Colin, along with long-time collaborator Neil Slorance, will be launching new book ‘Dungeon Fun‘.

DunFunCover

Following the adventures of young, orphan girl, destined to fulfil an ancient (or… not really that ancient) prophesy, ‘Dungeon Fun; is an action-packed, gag-filled thrill ride through the glamorous world of moats & caves, featuring terrifying monsters, heroic knights & jobs-worth goblins.

DunFunTwo

DunFunOne

Having had the good fortune to have read the full book already, I can tell you it is fantastic fun, & expect it to make a splash at Thought Bubble.

Both Colin will have copies on our table, while Neil is exhibiting over at Table 69, New Dock Hall, where he’ll also have his own books such as ‘Nine Lines of Metro’ and the Scottish Independent Comic Book Award nominated ‘The Amateur Astronomer’s Journal’.  You can find these & many more of Neil’s books & works of art over at his site,neilslorance.com.

DunFunThree

If you like what you seen here of Messrs Slorance and Bell’s collaboration, & can’t quite wait until ‘Dungeon Fun’ arrives, you can see where the magic first began in the sadly-now defunct webcomic ‘Jonbot Versus Martha‘, as well as seeing Colin’s writing on the weekly ‘Detective Space Cat‘.  Both comics are awesome & absolutely worth a look.

The second book I’m delighted to be able to give a little sneak peek to here, & also to be sharing a table with at Thought Bubble is the magnificent ‘Master Tape’, written by Harry French, drawn by Amaru Ortiz Martinez, coloured by Lesley Atlansky, lettered and produced by Colin Bell (that man again…) and a beautiful cover by Coll Hamilton.

 MTcover

Centred around Leo O’Brien, the last A & R man left on Earth, ‘Master Tape‘ take us on journey into a future where youth culture is defined more by mankind’s ability to traverse the stars than it is by hot new records. What is left of music fandom has become literally tribal, making Leo’s job not just a lonely one, but dangerous to boot.

MTone

While dodging a roving horde of pissed off zealots, Leo & his trusty (unpaid) intern makes a startling discovery that could change not only their own fate, or just that of the music industry, but the destiny of the entire universe.

MTtwo

Managing to be both cerebral & a totally crazy romp all in one comic, ‘Master Tape‘ is one of the most startlingly fresh début books I’ve personally seen recently, from self-publishing all the way up to the ‘big leagues’.  Anyone who claims to hold any interest in the more off-beat fare currently out there should be looking to get their paws on this book.

MTthree

Like both ‘Dungeon Fun‘ & ‘Exit Generation‘, ‘Master Tape‘ will be on sale at Table 2 Royal Armouries Hall during the Thought Bubble weekend.

After that you’ll be able to get hold of a physical via a site both Harry & myself will be sharing to distribute our self-published books, the appropriately named ‘Read French Comics‘.  Currently, digital versions of both our titles are available to purchase, & we both hope you head over to take a look.

The Doctor Will See You Now…

This having been a pretty packed out blog update already, I hope I can keep your attention for one last thing…

Caio Olivera, artist supreme on ‘Exit Generation‘, is also the creator of the fantastic webcomic ‘Super-Ego‘ hosted by the brilliant free comic site Sequentialink (yes, you heard right; free comics, and loads of them).

Super-Ego‘ is about Dr. Eugene Goodman, therapist to the stars.  But these are no ordinary stars… they are the superheroes, who once they’ve stopped a meteorite from blowing up the Earth, or saved the President from a satellite-mounted death-ray, sometimes just need someone to talk to.

SEone

Currently, Caio and the guys at Nerobellum Productions are running a kickstarter for Super-Ego, which as I type has just stepped over the ‘fully-funded’ threshold with a good third of it’s run time remaining; congratulations guys!  It has picked up a bunch of great press, & as a long-time reader of the web-based version, I cannot wait to get my hands on a physical book (yup, money where my mouth is; I’m a backer).

SEtwo

There are some cracking rewards, starting right down at $15 level, & superb stretch goals too, involving artists such as Jeff Stokely (‘Six-gun Gorilla’), Edgar Delgado (Spider-man) & many more, so head on over to the kickstarter page & snag yourself some tasty goodies!

Here’s a giant cactus monster getting drop-kicked in the face as an incentive.

SEthree

So, I’m off to try and contain my excitement until Thought Bubble, a task at which I KNOW I will fail!

Till next time, take care!

Sam


I’m back (in more ways than one…)

Hey interworld.

It’s been a while.

I renewed this domain name months back when I was on the brink of finding time to blog again, but things kinda went wild since then.  Having just come to the end of a two month cycle of crazy I thought I really should sit down and write up quite what’s been keeping me away.

Grayhaven Apprentice

First off; since way back in late July, all the way up till the last weekend I had been taking part in Grayhaven’s Comic Writers Apprentice.  This was a competition run by the Grayhaven Comics, pitching 18 aspiring writers against one another via a series of both group and individual challenges, the winner getting the opportunity to publish a 22-page one-shot comic with them next year.

Being aware of Grayhaven as a great publisher of new writers, thanks to one of my own pieces having been accepted into an upcoming anthology of theirs (which I’ll be blogging about soon…), I jumped at the chance to take part.  I though I might make it a few round, and was sure to learn a tonne of new skills, regardless of how I faired.

To my surprise, via a combination of a little hard work, luck and a distinct lack of sleep for two months, I managed to make my way right through to the final, culminating in my coming in overall 2nd place to eventual winner Jared Moore.  I am delighted to have made it so far, mainly because with every passing round I learnt more and more, both from the interactions with my fellow contestants and the advice of the judges.  All the work conducted, and the feedback on it, was made public, and if you click HERE and follow the links at the bottom, you can check out all the projects I and the other contestants submitted.

Though I was disappointed to not make it all the way over the line, this experience taught me many valuable lessons about writing that it would probably have taken me years accumulate outside of the intense environment of the competition, and I am very grateful for having had the chance to compete.  Grayhaven have stated they intend to run the contest again next year, and I urge anyone with an interest in writing for comics to take part.  You won’t regret it.

Dublin International Comic Expo

This brings us to the second meaning of this blog post’s title.  I was lucky enough to be able to head over the Irish Sea last weekend to the wonderful city of Dublin to attend Dublin International Comic Expo, or DICE for short.  Having never visited Ireland, despite travelling to some pretty far flung places, it was great to finally do so, and the show was absolutely mega.

There was a fantastic line up of guests from across the comic world, including Greg Capullo and Scott Snyder of ‘Batman’ fame, alongside a rich roster of closer-to-home talent, such as Declan Shalvey, Jordie Bellaire, Si SpurrierKieron Gillen and many more.  It was a brilliantly intimate affair, with creators generous with their time, and an excellent selection of interesting panels across the weekend.

I was fortunate enough to be staying with one of the guests Ruth Redmond, a ludicrously talented colourist and artist who I am very fortunate to be collaborating with on an upcoming book (more on that later…).  I had also been introduced via my own boss at OK Comics to John Hendrick, DICE’s mastermind and manager of the fantastic Dublin comic store The Big Bang, who was very kind in making me feel welcome.

Across the two days I was able to spend a very decent amount of time socialising and chatting with the professionals in attendance, both in and out of the convention, and was given much excellent advice for my own writing career, as well having some seriously good fun.  I look forward to bumping into many of those I met again at Thought Bubble in nearby Leeds this November.

What is ‘Exit Generation’..?

Speaking of Thought Bubble, this year is the first time I will be exhibiting proper at the event, having assisted friends there previously.  This is because I am using the occasion to release the first issue of what is my début comic series, ‘Exit Generation’.  It’s a project that has been swirling around in my mind for quite some time, but has really come together in the last six-to-eight months, and I am tremendously excited to finally get the opportunity to share it with the world.

It is a four part series and I’m lucky to be collaborating with an extraordinarily talented bunch of people it.  ‘Exit Generation’ features art by Caio Oliveira (‘No More Heroes‘), colours by the aforementioned Ruth Redmond (‘Imagine Agents‘), letters/design by Colin Bell (‘Detective Spacecat‘) and covers by Ramon Villalobos (‘Abstact3‘).  It is all coming together nicely, and nearer release I’ll be doing a special preview of the book right here, so keep your eyes open.

I’ve one or two other projects bubbling away in the background, and I hope by the time the first issue of ‘Exit Generation’ is out there I’ll be able to talk a little more about a few of them.

‘Dead Roots’  – A zombie anthology with a difference

One project I can now talk about is ‘Dead Roots‘, an anthology featuring stories from a number of different writer artist teams, which is currently on kickstarter HERE..  These all look at a zombie outbreak from a range of different perspectives, with the tales ranging from horrific to heart-warming to comedic.  I’m fortunate to have a four page story in the project called ‘Boxes’, drawn by the brilliant Leonie O’Moore, who produces beautiful art and comics that I insist you go and check out.

The brain behind ‘Dead Roots’ is Mike Garley, founder and editor of online anthology comic VS Comics,.  With just three days gone of its month-long funding period, ‘Dead Roots’ has already raised over 50% of its target, so it looks like Mike has put together another winning project, and I’m proud to be involved.

So… that update proved to be a lot more substantial than I intended!  However, I’m planning on keeping the content flowing significantly more frequently here in future, so watch this space for more news of projects I’m involved in, some reviews/recommendations of comics/graphic novels I’m enjoying, and also some general thoughts about whatever is on my mind.  I aim to keep you interested…

Till next time, keep safe and enjoy yourselves.

Sam


Let’s get this party (kick)started!

Hello interpeople.  Me again.

Today my first comic review for Geek Chocolate has gone live.  It is of a book called… er… well, ‘The Book’; a new original graphic novel from Arcana Comics.  As well as comics, the site covers a wide range of different subjects.  Recent features include reviews and interviews from the worlds of literature and cinema, and articles looking at upcoming events,such as the Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2012.  Both the gang at GC and I would be well chuffed if you’d have a peruse the wonderful content on the site.

I also wanted to make mention of a couple of comic projects on Kickstarter I’ve been supporting, and I think deserve attention for different reasons.

The first is one is for a hardback anthology of stories about the Oxymoron, a contradiction-obsessed villain from the pages of independent comic ‘The Red Ten’.  Run by Tyler James and the team at Comix Tribe, an excellent comics resource site of which Tyler is a co-founder, this campaign has been promoted and managed in an exemplary fashion.  As I type has exceeded both its original target of $8,500 and a stretch goal of $20,000, and has seen some absolutely top quality rewards offered to backers.  At various funding milestones the book has moved from its original form to an oversized hardcover, to adding a selection of cover designs to increasing in size by 12 pages.  It fully deserves it success, and if you wished to jump on board and grab some of the exclusive rewards you better be quick; it wraps on Saturday 11 August , 4:59am BST.

The reason I was aware of this project was via my good friend, fellow Glasgow League of Writers member and talented comics writer John Lees, who has written one of the stories contained within the book.  John’s excellent comic ‘The Standard’ is published by Comix Tribe and the first three issues of this six-part superhero tale feature as a digital reward to all backers of the Oxymoron campaign, which is as good a reason as any to get involved even at this late stage.   Even if you miss the boat there I’d urge you to take a look at John’s work, as it is as good as anything coming out of the ‘Big Two’ right now, a statement I absolutely stand by.  Tyler James has said ‘The Standard’ is the best superhero comic he’s read this year bar none, and I cannot disagree with that.

The other Kickstarter project I am pledging to is ‘The Mighty Titan’.  Described as a “5 Issue Miniseries that wraps Joe Martino’s (the creator) cancer in a superhero shell” it works from the premise that the alter-ego of the world’s greatest superhero, invulnerable to all violence, has been diagnosed with cancer.  I discovered this project via twitter, but it was the depth and scope within this concept for the exploration of the human condition that fascinates me.  Having drawn on his own struggles with kidney cancer and the experiences of others sufferers to inform his writing, Joe has also put together a talented team for the book, and got input from big industry figures such as Phil Jimenez (‘New X-Men’, ‘The Invisibles’) for the project.  With 6 days to go at this point (it ends at Wednesday 15 August, 12:39am BST) ‘The Mighty Titan’ is less than £1,000 from it’s target, and I’d recommend checking it out.  Amongst the rewards available is the full digital set of 5 issues for $10, so you really are getting good bang for your ‘buck’, as well as being involved in helping get off the ground what should be a very interesting comic project.

Well, that is about it for me just now.  Oh, wait; I forgot something…  I found something out today; my kitten Bruce Wayne (real name) is smaller than ‘The Death Ray’ by Daniel Clowes.  Who knew?

Bruce & The Death RaySee you next time laddies and gentlegirls.