Tag Archives: Comic Book

Let’s Make Out.

Make Out is a Virtuazine.

Yes. A virtual magazine featuring short comic book stories. This VirtuAnthology, if you will,  is specifically designed for easy reading  on phones and tablets. The comic book panels have been formatted so that you can read the stories scrolling down on your phone or tablet as opposed to reading a good ol’ paper-pulped comic book from left to right like a real fucking human. I enjoy digital content but I will always prefer being able to smell my comic book, nose deep in its spine.

Why am I talking about Make Out? Shameless plug of course!

The four pager I wrote entitled “Brain Freeze” with Artist Seamus P. Burke will be featured in issue 1 coming out this week.

“Brain Freeze” is a work of pure spite. It was the second submission I sent to 2000AD. They only take submission via snail mail so you must include a return to sender envelop in order to get a response which means that you must include an envelop with UK postage on it. You can imagine how much fun it is to find UK stamps in the US. Well, it’s not. I actually had to ask a friend living in the UK to send me some.

“Brain Freeze” was rejected by 2000AD so using my spite-fueled energy, I decided to produce it so that I could show how great of a short story it really is. I know Seamus from the PDX Comic Crew Group we both go to and I always wanted to work with him. As it  turned out, we both share a love for Paul Verhoeven movies such as “Robocop” and “Starship Troopers”, which this story takes a lot of inspiration from.

Since “Brain Freeze” will be featured in Make Out and Portland’s own Entertainment paper “BANG!”, I am only going to share the first page here.You can read the entire story in Make Out (check out the magic portal!) out on October 23rd.

-N

 

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:

51473OvY5zL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_voglers-writers-journey

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!

 

51c1Pf0fe7L._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_

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.

 

61KgveZjO7L._SX329_BO1,204,203,200_mc36c

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.

 

59704

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.

 

9780770434359

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.

 

wwgbg

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!!!

-Nico

 

Spotlight on Dkaotic!

Honestly, I don’t really feel like blogging today.

Yes, it is Sunday and Sunday is blogging day but I would rather be immersed in the world of the stories I am currently working on. What happened is that earlier this week (or was it last week?), I contacted DKaotic, the artist with whom I worked on Arthur King, to let him know I really wanted to work with him again.

ArthurSwordShot
Who doesn’t want to see more of that gorgeous Art?

And he  responded with an enthusiastic YES which really made my day. And no, it’s not just because DKaotic and I are both French, though we all know that French people are awesome.

My goal for this year is to develop a new pitch, taking into account everything I learned from putting the Arthur King pitch and short story together. I aim to develop pitches for 4 issues mini-series since, from what I have heard from professionals (especially on the excellent Word Balloon Podcast), it is much easier (if easy at all) to get picked up by a publisher if you pitch a shorter 4 issues story. You know, because I am still very new to this and no one knows me, except you.

I had such a great time working with DKaotic and I enjoy his Art and work ethic so much that I am currently developing projects for him.

You should really check out what he’s been up to on his website and on his portfolio.

Below is a video of one of my favorite thing of his, truly inspiring stuff:

Now you can see why blogging today is not my favorite thing to do. I would rather be spending time in DKaotic world.

-N

 

Image Submission

After a couple rejections emails and useful feedback, it is time for me to submit Arthur King to more publishers. Next on the list: The Image Submission.

Image is one of those rare Comic Book publisher which has opened submissions all year long, 24/7.

So what do they want from me?

See their submission page here.

  1. A typewritten cover letter with all contact information (name, e-mail address, address, phone and fax numbers) clearly printed on the TOP of the page.

That’s the easy one, pretty straightforward. Just introduce yourself and get on with it.

2. A typed, ONE PAGE, synopsis of the overall STORY.

Ouch. One page? JUST one page?

I have a three pages PITCH that I sent potential editors and I am trimming it to its core. To tell the entire story in one page is challenging and I would like to make it even shorter. Editing yourself is the trademark of a good writer, right? Just cut the fat. What is your story about?

3. Send photocopies of fully INKED and LETTERED pages (any size). DO NOT SEND ORIGINAL ART!

So basically the best way to go about this is to have a fully finished comic. They want to see that you ( and your artist, if like myself you are the writer) can make a Comic Book and a good one at that.

4. Color is OPTIONAL.

Good, because I don’t have that.

5. Include a cover mock-up—this lets us know whether or not you understand the market and gives us a good barometer on your design sense.

Yes, sir!

ArthurKing-webcover

And that’s pretty much it. Check out all the details of their very helpful guidelines. You can then send your Image submission by email or snail mail. I am going to do snail mail so that they can hold the 8 pages Arthur King in their little hands. I just hope I get a rejection letter or email sooner than later.

N-

 

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 are my recommended, Essential readings for Comic Book Writers:

51473OvY5zL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_voglers-writers-journey

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!

 

51c1Pf0fe7L._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_

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.

 

61KgveZjO7L._SX329_BO1,204,203,200_mc36c

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.

 

59704

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.

 

9780770434359

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 btw.

wwgbg

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!!!

-Nico

 

Top Cow Talent Hunt 2016!

Yep, it’s baAAAaack!

This will be my third year participating in the Top Cow Talent Hunt and I am real, REAL excited. Plus, this year, my chances are actually increased since one of the winners will be someone who participated in the previous years a.k.a. THAT guy (pointing at myself with both thumbs up and smiling idiotically like I mean it).

This time around, the stories must take place in the future (as established in Aphrodite IX, Cyber Force and IXth Generation) and you can basically use any of the characters in those books and submit a 22 pages script.

IXthGeneration01-Review-1
IX Generation #1 by Matt Hawkins and Stjepan Sejic.

But wait, there’s more!

The Hunt officially stars September 15th and ends May 15th BUT if you submit by the phase 1 deadline of January 15th, you will receive a one paragraph of feedback from the Top Cow team.

Isn’t that awesome? You actually get to receive professional feedback from a publisher on your comicbook writing. HAAAAARG! I cannot wait!

Then, of course, you have until May 15th to refine/ edit your script. This is an incredible opportunity Top Cow is offering aspiring Comicbook writers (and artists). One not to be missed.

Here is the Link to CBR where you can download the guidelines for both writers and artists and all that good stuff.

Peace,

-Nico

Comic Book Puzzle

Writing comic books is like solving a puzzle.

The last couple days have not been  easy on the writing front.

I am writing an outline for a limited 6 issue series I will pitch to Oni Press. Their next round of open submissions should start in September. Right now, i am tackling the middle of the story. In the fantastic comic book “Spread“, writer Justin Jordan talked about the middle part of the story being the hardest part to write. Well, I feel the truth in that. Perhaps a bit too much.

I am laser focused on the middle of my story. I have been rewriting, and reworking, and trying to make it all fit together. Now I am starting to hate it, hate my writing, and hate my dumb self.

I finally found solace in the ComicVine podcast from June 26th that I listened to at work today.

(Yes, I have a job where I can do that and yes, I’m playing catch-up on my Podcasts.)

joshua-williamson

Watch out! Joshua Williamson is coming right at you! 

Joshua Williamson (Ghosted, Birthright, Nailbiter) was the guest. The way he talked about getting stuck, his writing process, and the importance of humility was inspiring. It gave me a renewed outlook on my process. I realized I was not so crappy after all but simply trying to solve the puzzle that Comicbook writing sometimes is. Sometimes, you just need to come at it from a different angle.

-N

Curated by Gail Simone

I have to admit. I am not a big fan of social media.

Until recently, I limited myself to Facebook, mostly watching what people are up to. Yep, I’m kinda creepy like that.

Recently though, I have made a conscious effort to increase my social media presence. I want to put my name out there so that people check out my site and read my stories.

Truns out,  A LOT of Comic Book Creators are on both Twitter and Tumblr. Following them gives me an insight on how they market themselves and promote their books. I’m also a fan and wants to know about their latest projects. Some of them (Chip Zdarsky) are also freaking hilarious.

Tumblr is a great tool to share your passions through reblogging. To repost cool comicbook sketches of favorite artists or any other comicbook related posts is a great way to maintain a social media presence without much effort. Plus, you can link it to your Twitter and Facebook accounts and shotgun blast the internet with it. My favorite thing to do is to take a picture on my phone of a favorite panel or cover from a Comic Book I’m reading and post it on my Instagram with simultaneous posting on Tumblr, Twitter, AND Facebook. BAM! Shotgun Blast!

It is during my tumblr wanderings that I discovered the Comics Survival Kit blog. Curated by Gail Simone (Red Sonja, Secret Six and much, much more), the blog offers advice from professionals on how to navigate the Comic Book industry.

Here are a couple of my favorite articles (so far!):

MOLLY MAHAN ON WHAT EDITORS LOOK FOR IN ART PORTFOLIOS

SEVERAL FAMOUS ARTISTS PLEAD: DON’T DO THIS TO US, WRITERS!

and of course,

HOW DO I BREAK IN? BY JIM ZUBKAVICH!

The Comics Survival Kit blog is a truly formidable resource. Many thanks to Gail Simone for providing us with tips and advice on how to become a pro!

-N

PS: you can find my tumbr here.

Loony the Moonian makes friends.

Our first published work: Loony the Moonian.

Now that our second story has been published in this year’s 8th Wonder Press Anthology “Uncanny Adventures: Duo #1”, I can finally share with you last year’s story.

This is Nick Nall and I’s first published work. 8th Wonder Press was looking for short story pitches involving the use of science and/or MAD science. I knew I really wanted to use Nick’s mad cartooning skills to make an old fashioned cartoon in the style of the Looney Tunes AND I wanted it to be completely silent. NO dialogue.  We came up with the 12 pages story of how a poor lonely Moonian named Loony literally MAKES friends.

The story was originally published last year in 8th Wonder Press’s Anthology “Uncanny Adventures: Science vs MAD Science”.

I learned a lot from working on Loony. I learned about telling a story with images only. I learned how to better communicate with my collaborator and artists Nick (still working on that). I learned that I should not be so anal about it and let the artist do his job. I learned that sometimes, you should kill your “cool visual ideas” in order to put the story first. And I still learning.

-N

Top Cow Talent Hunt 2015: “Fearless”

“Fearless” was the first script I wrote for the 2015 Top Cow Talent Hunt.

It featured my now favorite character, the tortured and powerful Ji Xi.

1526488-13th

Somebody buys him some new clothes already.

I asked myself, if I had to carry a very dangerous weapon such as the Thirteenth Artifact, where would I hide so that I don’t put people’s in harm’s way? Right away, I pictured the white Arctic desert and the story started.

We actually open with a nightmare scene. I thought it would be a cool way of showing Ji Xi’s fears about unintentionally harming people and explain why he stays so isolated until, well, he doesn’t.

Here is “Fearless”.

-N