The IF Anthology is OUT!

Arthur King is featured in the talent-full “IF Anthology”.

I am happy and proud to announce that “Arthur King” is published in Alterna Comics IF Anthology.

You can purchase the digital version here for a mere $7.99

IF Anthology Collage

Dkaotic and I put the 8 pages story together last year as a demo of sorts for a limited series. We are proud parents now that it is featured in the IF Anthology.

I read the entire book (40 stories!) and I am in awe of the talent in display. From Writers, Artists, Letterers… Everybody is bringing their A+ game, making the entire book look incredibly professional, something we can ALL be proud of.

I know it has been a while since I posted here. I have been busy working with the magnificent DKaotic on our next project, which I ‘may’ (or may not) tease on here sometimes in the near future.

Like Arthur King, we are putting together a short story in order to show potential publishers what the final book would look like.

So yes, we are still working and the Art DK has turned in has been mind-blowing, which makes it really hard NOT to share.

But, if you know me, you know I LIVE to surprise people so, until then… Nico out.


Top Cow Talent Hunt 2016: “God of the Arena”

My 2016 Top Cow Talent Hunt entry

Hello Folks,

Gosh, it’s been a while. I’ve been keeping busy, working on a new exciting project with the talented DKaotic. You know, the artist on Arthur King, the eight pages story slated to appear in Alterna Comics “IF” Anthology later this year?

Yep, totally bragging.  Gotta focus on the positive.

As you may know, the winners of the 2016 Top Cow Talent Hunt have been announced and for the third year in a row, I did not win. Yeah!

You can find the list of winners here.

Congrats to all of them. I am excited to read their stories. There were some real great ones from last year’s winners, especially that one about The 13th Artifact.

On the plus side, I can now share with you my entry for this year: “God of the Arena” featuring Top Cow’s mighty Ares.






“I am the God of War”

-Kratos, in that game, you know.

I am not sure what attracted me to Ares. I always loved Greek Mythology but that’s besides the point. The fact that he is gay was somewhat original. I am ashamed to admit it but yes, I had the idea of having him fight his gay lover who betrayed him, really playing up the “gay angle” in hope if would make my story stand out. But it was very artificial.  Down the line, I realized that his sexuality did not define him.  Instead, he is referred to as the most cruel of the New Gods.  So what kind of a ruler is he? How did he become the most tyrannical of them all, up there with Hades? Did he have to prove himself to his people?

As a mighty God of War, I wanted to see him fight, so why not in an ancient Rome-style Arena? I re-watched Ridley Scott’s Gladiator and Spartacus on Netflix. Things got real gory and juicy, especially after I pit him against a powerful  Drake.  I had so much fun killing him over and over again to see if he could figure a way out of it, despite allegedly being the dumbest in the Pantheon.

I had fun writing this story and I am very thankful for the feedback provided by the Top Cow Talent Hunt Crew. It was VERY supportive and insightful.

I am somewhat saddened that the Top Cow Talent Hunt will no be returning this year. It had become a fun yearly habit and I KNOW I am a better writer because of it.



Karate Beetle and the Magic Rain Droplet.

Karate Beetle and the Magic Rain Droplet

Last year, Nick Nall and I accepted a challenge.

8th Wonder Press, the same wonderful people who published our story “Loony the Moonian Makes Friends” in their 2014 Anthology “Uncanny Adventures: Science vs Mad Science“, came up with a new concept for their follow-up  Anthology.

The 2015 Anthology “Uncanny Adventures: Duo” were to feature complete  stories told in ONLY 2 pages.

I asked Nick what he wanted to draw and he said that insects would be fun. I remember that I had just watched Bruce Lee’s “Way of the Dragon” the night before so everything got mashed up in my head and I thought: “Karate Beetle!”

We set out to tell a micro epic in two pages with an ironic twist. I think Nick came up with some of this most fun and energetic drawings to date. So to be fair, Nick’s work is always full of energy.

Fun fact is that the “Uncanny Adventures: Duo” Anthology #1 and #2 have been nominated for a DINKy award as an Outstanding Work from Colorado by the Denver Independent Comics and Art Expo.

So Congratulations to everyone at 8th Wonder Press and everyone whose work made up those amazing Anthologies, showing that a lot of creativity and story-telling  can be crammed in only 2 pages,

Since it has been a full year since the Duo Anthologies came out, we can proudly share our two-pages Epic with you.

Here is “Karate Beetle and the Magic Rain Droplet”:

Click on it!


Essential readings for Comic Book Writers

Essential readings for Comic Book Writers:

This list is based off of the curriculum from Brian Michael Bendis’ writing class, as well as other recommendations from friends, and other lucky finds. I picked my favorites or, at least, the ones I believe to be the most helpful, should be read first or even re-read, perhaps studied. Simply put, books you should have at arm’s reach for easy reference.

Here is my Definitive list of Essential readings for Comic Book Writers:


One of my favorite books and the one I recommend reading first. It will give you a solid foundation, from the actual structure of your story to character’s archetypes. This is a great book that you will keep referring to and should keep handy. Plus, I feel like it makes all my writing super Mythical and Epic!



Another great book though, I felt, a little more dense. I found it easier to digest AFTER reading The Writer’s Journey since it builds on some of the principles explained in the first book. The script analysis of Chinatown is particularly exciting. This is a book you should read closely and by that, I mean STUDY it. Just like all the books on this list really. And yes, it is about Screenwriting but the same principles apply to Comic book writing.



The best book about the actual medium. Understanding Comics is a big fat comic strip about comics and how they work. Scott Mc Cloud takes you through everything that makes up a Comic Book, one panel at a time. You should also read his Making Comics.



Tons of good advice from the Legendary Writer with an interesting focus on the ‘Theme’ of your story. Also, the afterwords that he wrote 15 years later destroys everything he recommended doing in the book. Priceless.



More than a book about writing Comics, this is  about the entire business of being a professional Comic book Writer. From your relationship with Artists to dealing with Editors, it proves to be the most original and innovative book of the bunch with advice from pros you won’t find anywhere else. This book will take you to the next level. Oh, it also gives you homework.



This is my new favorite book and one I keep handy.  Nick Macari little book will truly take you to the next level because it assumes you already know about the writing basics and concerns itself with mechanics specific to the comic book medium. I am still learning from this great book. You can find some of Nick’s advice on his site here and make your own opinion.

More cool books to check out:

You can also find Comic book scripts in the back of some trades or Deluxe editions of your favorite books. It is worth checking it out. I especially enjoy the Civil War Script book by Mark Millar.

And of course online, at the Comic Book Script Archive.

Have the most Mythical and Epic of Journeys!!!



Arthur King – PG Version!

Arthur King to be featured in Alterna’s upcoming “IF” Anthology.

I have been sending copies of DKaotic and I’s “Arthur King” 8 pages comic and pitch to every publisher that takes submission.

Alterna Comics responded positively and thought our 8 pages “Arthur King” story would be a good fit for their IF Anthology.

BUT first, it needed to be reworked so that it could be rated PG.

I reworked the dialogue and cut the swearing. It lead to Alterna giving me a few more notes about dialogue, and, with their precious help, I believe the new version is actually better. Arthur has very a colorful language now and I love it.

You can find a two pages preview below. You will find the entire story in Alterna Comics upcoming  IF Anthology later this year.


Everyman’s War.

That one time when I exploded.

It was back in 2008 that I played French soldier Marcel in the Word War II Drama: Everyman’s War.

It was being shot right here in Oregon and only a couple miles from where I lived at the time. I remember stepping onto the private property which I believe belonged to the director. It was a large, farm-like area with tons of space and several buildings, including a nice big house.

They were shooting a scene of a soldier lying down in the snow. Perhaps he got shot? I don’t quite remember, but since there was no snow at the time, he was lying down in fake snow, enough to fill the shot, everything else around him was green grass. It was kind of surreal. That Nazi soldier on a patch of fake gelatin-like snow in the middle of a green field as the camera shoots him down.

French/German sympathy. Building Europe early on.

My character Marcel was a member of the french resistance. On the first day of shooting, I waited until about one in the morning before we got to my scene. I remember being asked to use a thicker french accent. It went fast. There was no notes or feedback so I assumed I did good but I always felt I could have done  better.

The second day went fast too. That’s the day Marcel died, pulverized to pieces as a German bomb fell on him. The explosives were already in place but I was told it was not wired yet. I stepped into Marcel’s home, a small hole in the ground, and waved goodbye to my American friend as he walked away after a mutually beneficial transaction, the scene from the night before. We shot it only two or three times but I was sweating.  One foot on each side of the explosives and the smell of gasoline. It was a bit scary to be standing in a hole with a bomb.


I got out of the hole. The camera was on a tripod, not to be moved or tempered with so that they could cut the footage from my waving goodbye to the explosion without a hitch.

They wired it up and boom. It was impressive. The loudness of the bang, the rise of the flames. I couldn’t help but imagine what it would have been like to be in that hole with the big boom. Thankfully, only Marcel died that day.


Everyman’s war is available on DVD and online.

I think I explode at about 25 minutes in or just about.


Wrestling with Comicbook dialogue.

I recently had he opportunity to rework the dialogue on the Arthur King 8 pages story that I wrote last year and which was drawn by artist DKaotic.

You can find it here.

I have been reworking the dialogue and lettering on the story in order to get a chance for it to be published in an Anthology this year. Once it is set in stone, I’ll tell you everything, I swear.  But for now, I would rather not.

This was a great opportunity to get feedback from an editor and give Arthur a stronger voice and more colorful language. I also fixed some of the lettering and actually cut some of the lines because some of the panels had way too much dialogue in them. It truly helped the flow of the story and created a superior version of the Comic that people really seem enthusiastic about. Good stuff.

Still, I feel bad. DKaotic’s artwork is so pretty that I would rather not put ANY balloons on top of it.

Check it out:



More good news came when I got my feedback from Top Cow. As you may already know, I am participating in the Top Cow Talent Hunt for the third consecutive year. I have to submit a 22 pages script based on the characters from the Aphrodite IX and IXth Generation books.

One of the big differences this year is that each participant who submitted his script and/or Artwork before the first deadline of January 15th received feedback in the second half of February.

I did receive mine. It was not only very positive but also very helpful. I am currently revising the script and doing my best to improve the dialogue in some specific scenes, literally agonizing over which word to choose in each sentence. I actually decided to step away from my latest draft for a week and take a step back because I know I am overthinking it.

The good news is that the final deadline is May 15th so there is still plenty of time to implement improvements.


Lastly, here is a link to some very cool advice for Comicbook Artists:

10 Rules for Drawing Comics


I wish you all a Merry March.




Wizard Con Portland 2016

It’s wednesday, wednesday, WEDNESDAY!

It’s new comic book day and, from now on, the day of the week when I put a new post on my blog. I know, it’s been a while. Honestly, I simply forgot to post. I was busy. I have sciatica.

Enough said.

A couple weeks back, I went to:

Wizard Con Portland!

But first,

Pretty pictures:

Wizard Con Portland- Sasquatch by Steve Lieber

I really enjoy buying original sketches from Artists at Cons. It is a bit expensive but well worth it. Check out Steve Lieber (Superior Foes of Spiderman) here.

In that vein, earlier last week, I received a commission from Emi Lenox:

StormByEmiYou jealous, yet.

You can find Emi here.

I gotta go frame shopping… and wall shopping? because I’m running out of wall space… haha, hilarious. Alright, I’ll stop.


What I learned from Comic Book Artist and Writer Michael Golden during his panel at Wizard Con:

1- People are stupid.

So do not confuse them with your ‘mysterious’ writing, break it down for them, keep it simple.

2- Who, What, Where, When, How, and Why.

Make sure you tell your audience all that because they are a bunch of morons.

+Plus a few precious pearls of wisdom for your writing:

  • Write the ending first.
  • Establish the premise right at the beginning.
  • Plot and character development are one and the same. Plot IS character so make sure you know what your character want and runs with it.
  • Moms make great villains because they love you.
  • Everything is a machine. Figure out how the machine work.


And finally:


Happy Wednesday!


Take a step back.

Read your work with fresh eyes, take a step back!

Happy Love day everyone!

So I somehow totally threw my back out this week and it’s not getting any better. Besides that, I am fine. I am taking this opportunity to do some writing and try to be productive in spite of the constant pain. Do you feel bad for me yet?

The one thing I have been doing today is to read my Top Cow Talent Hunt entry for this year. Tomorrow, we (the contestants who have submitted their script before January 15th, the deadline for feedback) should be getting our one paragraph feedback. Yeah!

I figured that before I hear somebody else’s opinion on my script (and messes with my head and confidence?), I might as well form my own. It has been over  a month since I have looked at it so you can say that I took a huge step back and can now look at it with fresh eyes.

I sat on my couch with my feet up (which really diminishes the pain shooting down my back to my legs… Are you sure you don’t feel bad for me yet?) and, armed with a pen and a legal notepad, I was ready to write down everything wonky with that script. And I did. But I also enjoyed it because that script does not completely suck and once the action gets going, it does not relent.

I love doing that because, yes, you might find a lot to hate when you come back to an old script with fresh eyes, but you will also find a lot to love.  And the thing is, now that you  see it, you can fix it. I sometimes make myself laugh when I reread some of the older Arthur King scenes because it is genuinely funny. Yeah, I make myself laugh and I am so not ashamed. I am my biggest fan!


I am so excited for the feedback tomorrow. If you have not entered the Top Cow Talent Hunt, it is NOT too late because the final deadline is May 15th. So, get comicing!


High Concept and Pinterest

I am still submitting “Arthur King” to whoever still accept submissions and I actually got an answer from one of the publishers. No, they are not going to publish it BUT their answer was very positive and encouraging. So much so that I actually printed it, highlighted the kind words, and pinned it on the board by my desk along with other positive encouragements I keep right in front of me for motivational purpose. The fact that I actually got an answer at all is pretty amazing in and of itself. That was a Goooood day.


I am currently working on a submission for Titan Comics. They mention on their site that you get a better shot if you submit a 4 to 5 issues limited series.  Arthur King was designed as a minimum of 6 issues but I think that last night I had a tiny breakthrough and found a way to cut the fat in some exciting way. Truly, this is what I should be working on right now so I better wrap this up.


I have been concerned with “High Concept”. When I took Brian Bendis’ class at PSU, we had to introduce our final project as  a high concept. I had not idea what that meant so I just sat in front of the class and told the whole story. Brian was kind enough to let me I realize now. Yesterday, I read this article about it and realized that a high concept is basically what I have been calling my logline. It is the hook of the story told in no more than a couple sentences. For example, Arthur King‘s high concept is:

The legendary KING ARTHUR is reincarnated as an amnesiac, obnoxious hobo. With the help of a magical hitman with an anger problem named MERLIN, ARTHUR must find the Knights of the Round Table Magical Weapons and stop his mortal enemy MORDRED from finding the Holy Grail.

At least, that is where it stands now. The hook comes from the fact that King Arthur is now a Hobo.

Looking at some of the projects I am working on now, I realize that they are not very good since they do not land themselves to a High Concept pitch quite yet. One of them is just a straightforward revenge story. I have yet to put together a strong High Concept and I am working on that before I even bring them to DKaotic’s consideration. My High Concept MUST wow the reader or audience and that is freakin’ hard.


I (finally?) started a Pinterest. The board you can see is just a general cool stuff one. I actually created a ‘secret’ board for each project I am writing so that I can fool myself into thinking that procrastinating on Pinterest is actually productive (it is not) but I’ll have plenty of pretty pictures to show an artist down the line.

A board for one of the projects I am currently developing.


Wishing you all a happy February,


The work of Comic Book Writer Nicolas Izambard

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