Tag Archives: comicbook

Daughters of Gaia

Daughters of Gaia is a 5 issues mini series I have been writing since last year. Earlier this year, I commissioned my trusted collaborator DKaotic to draw the first 10 pages and character designs for the story. I have since been pitching it around with no success (so far!).

I believe it’s about time I share it with you guys.

So what is Daughters of Gaia? If i were a Bro, I would pitch it like this:

“Dragon Ball Z… with chicks, man!”

and that would be partly true?

Yes, I love DBZ and over-the-top Street Fighter-esque action just as much as the next under-powered nerd. But Daughters of Gaia is not about the fighting even though there is a lot of it. It’s about the friction between doing what is right for your family and doing what is right for you. That is the heart of the story and the jest of what our main character, AKO, is going through. Though she should stay behind and help the people in her underground town, AKO ultimately chooses to enroll in the tournament because she believes she is the one  Daughter of Gaia destined to ascend and join their pantheon.  But what truly happens when a young girl ascend into the clouds towards infinite space?

If this book ever gets published, we’ll find out then.

In the meantime, enjoy the 10 pages that DK and I put together and some of the designs.

-N

AKO, just showing off.

AKO’s best frenemy: RUBY.

The SISTERS OF GAIA organize the tournament and teaches the Prophecy of Gaia but they know more about what’s behind the ascension than they let out.

 

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.

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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

Top Cow Talent Hunt 2015: “Daddy’s Girl”

“Daddy’s Girl” is the third script I wrote for the Top Cow Talent Hunt. I was intrigued by Alina Emstrom, a ruthless mercenary who is part of a religious cult. In the story “Pandora’s Box”, there is a one page flashback showing her father working as an armed dealer and how Alina witnessed the death of her mother when she was just a child.

I figured that Alina, years later, would want to know who was responsible for her mother’s death and get revenge! How did she become a trained soldier? What was her relationship with her father like? What was she like in her youth? I wanted answers.

So I wrote that story: “Daddy’s Girl”

For more Top Cow Talent Hunt participants scripts and art, check out the CBR thread.

-Nico

Top Cow Talent Hunt 2015: “Unburdened”

I submitted three scripts to the 2015 Top Cow Talent Hunt and I am going to share them with you in the coming weeks.

First up is “Unburdened”. I chose the bearer of the thirteenth Artifact, JI XI. The Asian monk burdened with carrying a deadly weapon, becoming the victim of its uncontrollable fury really struck a chord with me. I really wanted to explore him as a character.

And I did.

Twice.

This script is actually the second script I wrote. It all started with him running away from some sort of militia who wanted to put their hands on the artifact and ended up being about trust, responsibility, and Kung Fu. Research for this script was a great excuse to watch Martial Arts films. I have to thank Bruce Lee for inspiring JI XI’s nemesis, the deadly and cunning Marcus.

It was a lot of fun and learning.

Here it is: “Unburdened”

-N

Top Cow Talent Hunt loser.

I did not win the Top Cow Talent Hunt this year. I submitted three 22 pagers using the assigned Top Cow characters and I had a blast writing all of them. I learned so much from the experience, it was great. Building a script from top to bottom in scrivener three times was quite amazing in and of itself. And of course, writing a Comic Book script is always good practice.

Then, there is the fact that I am so focused on my current project(s) that the ball just keeps on rolling no matter what.

Here is the very nice email all Hunts participants received from Top Cow President, Matt Hawkins:

Emails were sent out before this, so if you received this without a previous email from me I’m sorry to say you didn’t win this year. Total count was 587 entries so it was more than I originally thought (once I counted it all out).  So less than 1.5% of entrants won this year. 

The writing category was especially hard for me this year (and why it took so long) because there were about 40 of you that delivered professional quality writing and could easily be writing for a major publisher today.  I added one writer runner up simply because I could not make up my mind.

Thank you so much for participating. I hope that you have found the exercise educational at a minimum. As a reminder, there is no formal feedback offered via email. If you want to track down one of us at a comic convention and chat us up we’re happy to do that.

As I said in the previous email, I’m reserving at least a spot in each category for people who previously entered as winners for next year.  There are two people who won this year that had entered previously, one has entered every time. So entering again does have its merits!
 
The formal announcement of winners will be on comicbookresources.com sometime next week I don’t know the exact day but it will include some of the art from the “art” side that you can check out.  To read what the writers submitted you can read those as they come out next year.
 
One thing I’m going to do for next year as well is make some exclusive “product” that will only be available to participants. Any other feedback to us about the contest is always appreciated.
 
Isaac Goodhart, one of the first year art winners, is now the regular penciller on Postal so the contest does have some legs!  Tini Howard and Ashley Robinson are both writing one shot Top Cow books for Poseidon IX and Athena IX in August and September.
 
We don’t publish a LOT of books, but we are actively trying to get new blood into the industry and thanks again SO MUCH for participating.

Best,

Matt Hawkins
President/COO, Top Cow Productions, Inc.
MS Physicist, Self Loathing Narcissist, Inc.
That was nice of Mister Hawkins to take the time to do that.
See you next week,
-N

Liefeld at Goodwill.

When I go to Goodwill, I often look around for Comic Books. I am no collector but sometimes you can find some real weird stuff, especially stuff I have never heard of. Such is the case with Vogue.

cover

From her ComicVine page:

Nikola Voganova was forced to leave a pampered life in Russia at the age of 13 when she witnessed her father being killed by Alexander Stroika of the KGB. She was already at that time a world-class gymnast. At age 18 she was accepted into the Bloodpool program and shortly before her twentieth birthday she became a member of Youngblood.

Some time after having established herself in Youngblood, Vogue started an international cosmetics corporation, Vogue Cosmetics, using her fame to spearhead the launch.

Vogue eventually returned to Russia where she met her mother and brother, who had become a part of the Redblood program, and got her revenge on Alexander Stroika.

After the death of Riptide and the discontinuation of Youngblood, Vogue returned home to Russia

Vogue Cosmetics? Sure, I’d buy that. Oh, and she’s also a famous supermodel.

But truly, she had me at the cover baring the name “Rob Liefeld”. Though the famed artist and co-founder of image gets a lot of criticism for his unrealistic and over-the-top-kind-of deformed artwork, I am still fond of him. I grew up in the nineties and his work on Marvel’s X-Force, and later Youngblood, is part of my tweenage years. So, of course, I had to pick it up. Too bad the inside is a different artist. it is still very Liefeld-ish though and the dialogue is also very much on the nose. It’s kinda funny.
insides

So yeah, there, I said it. I DO enjoy Rob Liefeld’s artwork and if I see more of his books in a bargain bin, I might, just MIGHT buy them, for cheap, at Goodwill… maybe.

Here are a couple pics for you to enjoy,

-Nico

X-Force_Rob-Liefeld

youngblood-3