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.
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
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.
Not much happening this week except work, work, work, work, workin’ on my shit.
I am almost finished with my Top Cow Talent Hunt 22 pages script and having a blast. Research involved watching Spartacus and Gladiators on Netflix, playing God of War video games, learning about the different types of gladiators and the Colosseum. It could be a lot worse.
I am also waiting to hear the results from the MillarWorld Talent Hunt. The winners should be announced next week, on the 23rd to be precise. Exciting stuff. Hopefully, it turns into a Happy Holiday surprise,
I am also waiting to hear back from 2000 AD about my FutureShock submission. I just want to get a rejection letter so that I can send in the next script, you know? Is that too much to ask?
I am also working on a new project involving Japanese Female Wrestling which I intent to submit to Iron Circus. Go figure.
I will be out for the next couple weeks so no more posts from me until the New Year. I wish you a super 2016, may it be full of dream-fulfilling activities.
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.
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.
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.
(Yes, I have a job where I can do that and yes, I’m playing catch-up on my Podcasts.)
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.
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!):
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.
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.
“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.
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.
“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.
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.
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.