All posts by Nico

French-born Nico is an iconoclastic Comic Book Writer with a Bachelor in English Language and Literature/Letters from the University of Poitiers and a Master in Theatre Arts from Portland State University. ComicsByNico.com.

Five Highlights from Rose City Comic Con 2015.

This week end, I went to the Rose City Comic Con 2015 in Weirdtown, Oregon; and it was fun, and I saw stuff, and I have blurry pictures to prove it.

First off, there were so many good panels that I could have spend the entire week end sitting in a room, listening to comic book professionals schooling me on Writing, Art, and Life. I did manage to extirpate myself out of the panel rooms and explored the crowded show room floor, talk to friends, and buy some cool (and cheap) stuff.

Five things stood out most.

These are my five highlights from Rose City Comic Con 2015:

  1. Kelly Sue DeConnick. (Bitch Planet, Captain marvel, Pretty Deadly)

Kelly Sue hands me a delicious cookie and blesses me.  She murmurs: “May the Bitch be with you”.

This is how the super-packed Bitch Planet panel started. Its red-headed priestess of Feminism in Comics welcomed us for a pagan celebration of hope, challenging your own programming, and defying expectations.  My favorite quote of hers on that day was: “It’s okay, you can cry and kick ass at the same time.”

Kelly Sue DeConnick Rose City Comic Con 2015
I am duck-face challenged.

 

2. The “Comics and Twitter: How to hang out without being a jerk” panel with Phil Hester (Green Arrow, Ant-Man), Erica Henderson (Squirrel Girl, Jughead), Christopher Sebela (High Crimes, We(l)come Back), Daniel Warren Johnson (Ghost Fleet, Space-Mullet, Green Leader) and moderated by Donny Cates (Buzzkill, Ghost Fleet, The Paybacks).

Kuddos to Donny Cates for putting this panel together.

I never liked Twitter but it is a necessary tool (evil?) in the comic book creator’s box of social media stuff. From promoting your own work (and others) to simply hanging out and having a conversation like a human, I learned how to no longer be a dickhole on the internet. Yeah.

3. Listening to Larry Hama.

Best known for his work on G.I. Joe: A real American Hero, I had the pleasure of listening to this master of the craft over the weekend. To learn that he was treated as a pariah for writing “toy” comics was both surprising and enlightening. What really struck me was how humble this industry veteran was. He shared his thoughts on creating compelling character-driven stories, base characters on people you know in real life, and being fulfilled with the work that you do.

4. Chatting with Randy Emberlin.

hulkdinosaur
I already own a few awesome sketches from Randy, including this badass one of the Hulk.

Legendary Comic Book inker and local teacher Randy Emberlin was busy-busy this week end, chatting up attendees and knocking down commissions like a superhero-drawing machine. I had to get on the bandwagon and asked him for something special. Since he charges per characters for sketches, I asked him to draw Mystique transforming into Wolverine because I have yet to learn how to not be a dickhole in real life. The sketch should be in the mail soon and I’ll share when it gets here. Seriously though, Randy is a great guy and his wife is charming.

5. Emi Lenox

… is a talented and hilarious human being. I had to ask her to draw something too. She does not like Spiderman (neither do I. I just want someone to draw Ganke making out with SpiderGwen) or drawing dudes in general so I suggested Silver Age Storm which costume is amazing. I cannot wait to see her take on it. This should come in soon too and I’ll share when it does.

That’s it. Those were my five highlights from Rose City Comic Con 2015.  Of course, I also approached editors and did the “networking” thing which I despise.  Now it’s time to get pitching. Here comes the King!

See ya suckers,

-N

 

 

 

 

2000 AD Future-Shocks submission

SUBMIT TO THE MIGHTY THARG!!!

The next 2000 AD opened submission period starts Monday September 14th 2015 (Crap… that’s tomorrow…)

Isn’t that exciting?

But what exactly IS 2000 AD?

2000 AD is a weekly British Sci-Fi comic book Anthology published by rebellion. Judge Dredd was born in the pages of this illustrious publication in the late seventies.  2000 AD publishes on-going serials along with one-off stories called Future-Shocks.

Starting on Monday, 2000 AD will be accepting writers and artists submissions. Writers must submit Future-Shocks stories which must be 4 pages long and with a crazy, unexpected, unforeseeable twist ending.

In preparation for the open submission and because I have never read 2000 AD in my life (I did read some Judge Dredd stories mind you) , I purchased “The Best of Thar’s Future Shocks“.  And I am obsessed with Future Shocks now. Some of those stories are really messed up but in a very cool way. It reminds me of Tales from the Crypt but in a Sci-Fi, futuristic setting.

thargfutureshocks
Tharg the Mighty is 2000 AD’s alien Editor. To him, we are merely ‘earthlets’.

I am still reading through that 160 pages digital behemoth and I already have enjoyed many of Peter Milligan‘s expertly crafted stories. From 6 pages long to only one (1!!!),  Mulligan has crafted little comic book gems. They’ll teach you about conserving space, pacing, and the use of the page turn; all necessary features of any good Future Shocks.

I have started writing my own Future Shocks to submit later this week and I hope you too will consider taking advantage of this opportunity. Whether you are a writer or artist, it should not be missed.

Here are a couple VERY useful posts (one and two) by writer Alec Worley who shares his experience submitting Future Shocks and how it helped him break into Comics.  He also shares his knowledge about the Art of Twist endings. You must read this.

-N

 

Bathory Comics

My ongoing fascination with the Countess of Bathory has no end in sight.

I have to say that her story (in truth, my version of her story) is my go-to project. In the past few months, I have been focusing on more pressing writing matters but Elizabeth Bathory is always in the back of my mind. From time to time, the muses grace me with ideas for her story. I quickly write them down before they take them away.

The Hungarian Countess, Elizabeth Bathory de Ecsed (1560-1614) is, allegedly, the most proficient serial killer of all time. Legend has it, that with the help of her “torture crew”, she kidnapped, disemboweled, and very muck killed hundreds of young girls.  About six hundred or so. Rumors of Vampiritic thirst fuels her deadly legacy but she sets herself apart from her cousin Dracula in one interesting way. She did not drink blood. Instead, she bathed in the blood of virgins in order to regain and maintain her youth and beauty. And so the Blood Countess was born.

What exactly happened to the highly educated young woman who knew dozens of languages and provided medical care to the most unfortunate remains unclear. Whether she was framed by a King indebted to her family for large sums of money or vilified for her liberal sexual practices, no one knows for sure. In the end, she was condemned and imprisoned in her own chambers. Walled in. She died at age 54, alone, in the dark.

For me, it all started about 4 years ago and I have been writing and thinking about her ever since. It was 2011 when I convinced poor Gabriela Laszcz to draw a couple short stories I wrote based on Elizabeth Bathory. And Gabriela obliged me. And she did it for free which, in retrospect, really makes me look like a jackass. You MUST pay your artists. You just must. I was even less experienced as a writer and Comicbook “maker” than I am now and unreasonably demanding. I also shamelessly used that opportunity to do my first (and quite horrid) lettering job. And good Gabriela put up with my silliness and turned in some beautiful art.  She even did the lettering for the second Comic, “My Beautiful Mentor” and I am glad she did. No, really, I was a real jackass. I don’t think I even knew what the word “collaboration” actually meant back then. Oh well, you live, you learn, right? I just wish I could learn a lot faster.

My focus at that time was on Elizabeth’s childhood. There is  this story of her father allegedly forcing her to watch as he punished a Gypsy for stealing. He had him sewed inside a dying horse. That’s some messed up stuff. I was hooked. I had to write it. And four years later, I still am. I just cannot stop thinking about Elizabeth.

BATHORY: “A childhood Memory”.

 

BATHORY: “My Beautiful Tutor”.