Tag Archives: superhero

You Creep!

NO…not you. I would never say that to you. You, you’re awesome.

I recently had first hand experience with the creep. See, I already was familiar with the bleed, not that I like her or want to spend time with her, but I know her.

When you want your comic book pages to print passed the edge of the page, it needs to bleed off the page so your documents for print need to have a 1/4 inch bleed (generally). For example, the invitation I made in Photoshop for my in law’s wedding has a bleed. Here, I will share with you the finished product, with added glitter from my dear wifey.

rorowedinvite

So I printed a “The Activist Collection” recently. It includes all 3 stories Nick and I did. As I prepared the files in Indesign I made sure I had the bleed and not to have anything important outside the safe area.

ActiveCompilepic

That’s when the creep came in. The fatter your book, the most likely the creep will creep in (haha, I am so damn funny). The more pages you print of a saddle stitched booklet, the more likely the inner pages will creep out and stick out because of the folding. To make up for it, they get trimmed as well, or at least, that’s what my printer did. This resulted in more than the 1/4 inch bleed being cut off on some of the inside pages. Meaning that it might cut some of your text and whatnot.

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Depending on the batch, the trim can creep in even more.

 

Now it’s not all that bad, considering the nightmare that was the whole printing process. See, my first batch, instead of looking like the proof they showed me, was way, WAY darker. So they ended up printing everything in color (even though most of it is B&W) and they gave me extra copies. All in all, not too bad.

So warning to you wanna be printers, beware the creep!

Stay in the safe area y’ all!

-N

 

Character Page.

If you’ve been reading this blog, you might have noticed that I LOVE the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe. I use to read character pages when I was a kid and had tremendous fun creating my own. That was some solid childhood fun.

I was writing the other day when it finally downed on me. Why aren’t I using Character pages as a writing tool in order to deepen my knowledge of a newly created character?

So, that’s my new thing. For every character I create, I will now fill out a character page and see if it helps.

orka

Here comes ORKA from the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe.

So I broke it down of you guys if you want to use it as well. Here how it goes:

 

Real Name:

Occupation:

Identity:

Legal Status:

Former Aliases:

Place of Birth:

Marital Status:

Known Relatives:

Group Affiliation:

Base of Operations:

First Appearance:

Origin:

Height:

Weight:

Eyes:

Hair:

Powers:

Weapons:

And here it is. If you feel like it, you can also draw your character next to it just like in the handbook. I would totally do that and I can’t draw for shit!

I will be on vacation until the end of the month, enjoying some family time so no posts for the next two weeks. Don’t miss me too much.

N-

 

Talking to strangers

I know your parents probably told you not to talk to strangers, but this week, I want to encourage you to do the opposite.

The other day, I was going to my local Starbucks so that I could refuel for work when I saw someone drawing a famous DC character. This person, whose name I will not disclose, was drawing pin ups, headsets on. This person looked deeply enthralled in their work. I admire that.

I hesitated. Should I interrupt them?

Then I realized this was an opportunity. I had a choice to make. I could walk away and keep going with my day or try and make something happen here at the risk of getting rejected. It’s a lot like trying to pick up a date.

I stood on the other side of the small table and put my hand out in order to make my presence be known.

“Hi”, I said. ” These look great!”

“Thank you”, said the stranger.

“Do you also draw Comibooks?”, I asked.

“Yes. yes, I do!”

“Would you mind if I give you my card? My name is Nico and I write Comicbooks. I am always looking for new artists to work with. You can go check out my website”, I said as I handed him my card.

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We are now set to meet up and talk about a possible collaboration.

So, yes, my advice for you this week is to take a risk and go talk to a stranger. The worst thing that might happen is that you will be rejected….which is good practice for a writer.

N-

Bag and Board.

Though I have been reading Comicbooks from a young age, I am still very, very new to Comicbooks in their original format. When I was a kid in France, American Comicbooks were published in magazine format containing up to 4 stories.

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I also read french Comic Books such as Asterix and, my very fav,  Gaston Lagaffe.

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Even after living in the US for almost 10 years, I had never had the need for bag and boards, always perfectly happy with buying or checking out Trade Paper Backs from the library.

Until I realized I had to keep up with the Comic Book du jour as one might say. I figured, as a Comicbook writer, I should do my best to know what’s going on in the Comicbook world now and not 6 months or one year later (too late). So I started following Greg Rucka’s Lazarus. Awesome.

I also somehow had a pile of comic books that people gave me as presents (because they know I love Batman) and also some I found at garage sales or Goodwill and whatnot.

I then decided I should bag and board them and put them in nice boxes. I had no idea how involved that process was. Here is some help for you:

And voila. Hard to believe I already went through 200 bags and boards! What??? Yep, crazy. I love it. Not only does it look good, it ‘s also very neat and organised.

comicbookbox

 

 

That’s a short box by the way. There is also a long box. It’s acid free so it does not hurt your comics. The boards to put on the back of the comic should be acid free as well. See how complicated this is? Oh, and I still can’t really tell which side of the board is the “shiny one” that you put to the back of the comic. Who knew…

N-

 

 

 

 

The Quest!

I am so nervous!

Our deadline is approaching for our 12 pages story in the 2014 8th Wonder Press Anthology “Science/ mad science” and I am very anxious. I am done, you see. The story is written, now it’s all in Nick’s hands. It’s not that I don’t trust Nick. I do trust him. It’s more that when it comes to Comic Books, I am kind of a control freak. Which is why I am freaking out right now. I am NOT in control.

The best course of action is then to distract ourselves and what best way to do that than by playing VIDEO GAMES!

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This is Marvel Puzzle Quest

I am not going to lie to you, Marvel Puzzle Quest is CRACK. And it’s free which makes it even more crack-ish.

It’s real simple. You match 3 gems of the same colors to “damage” the enemy team and after accumulating points you can even unleash super moves. All characters can also be leveled up as you collect Comic Book covers. It’s Crack.

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Thor is gonna eat your face.          

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 That’s only the first page of my roster.Go America! 

There you have it, my current addiction and distraction. It’s free so you should try it..unless you want to have a life.

N-

$25 @ TFAW

For Christmas, my buddy Jason gave the best present of all: A gift card!

What’s better than choosing my own present instead of putting up with the crappy one you got me?

Nothing.

He gave me a $25 gift certificate for TFAW (Things From Another World. Usually, I am not a big fan of theirs. First of all they are a chain of stores and they are married to Dark Horse Comics since they were created by the same man here in Oregon. Second, they don’t bag and board their comics while other stores (Excalibur) do.

In any case, I finally got a chance to go to one of their stores and spent my gift money. I did not get everything I wanted (Lazarus #6 had been pushed back) but I got some cool stuff:

tfaw1

Betty and Veronica is a gift for a kid…after I give it a read.

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Wifey picked those up.

Gotta say I love shopping, especially if I don’t spend any money.

N-

Binge-Comic-book-reading.

Ever since House of Cards season 2 came out on Netflix last week, I see several articles popping on the internet about binge-watching. The articles argue that binge watching a TV show such as House of Cards or Breaking Bad is a disservice to the show and diminishes its dramatic impact. Wanting to reach the conclusion of the series, the binge watcher speedily digests the episodes in one fell swoop withouth having time to appreciate the artfulness, impact and artistry of each sequence and each individual episode.

I am actually done watching House of Cards season 2 and loved it. I did however consciously take my time and savour each episode on its own term. I was not rushing to the conclusion. I used to follow Breaking Bad on regular TV so I know the difference between binging and regular TV watching.

That whole binging business made me think of comic books. Could there be such a thing as Comic Book binging?

I believe so.

libbingebra

Binge on that! Thanks Multnomah Library.

I recently read The Punisher Volume 1 by Greg Rucka. It contains The Punisher 1-5. I read it in one seating. Though I do remember the fight with the new vulture as a definite highlight, the whole experience was disappointing. It’s not that it’s bad or anything, not at all, but binge-reading all five issues consecutively ruined the experience. Comic books are created one issue at a time, just like a TV episode. Thought every series is put in trades eventually, it’s not really how they are meant to be read. When put in trades, it’s like comic books are put on Netflix as an entire season.

Comparatively, I am currently reading Greg Rucka’s Lazarus. Not as a trade but as regular comics, one issue at a time. I truly appreciate each issue and I read it like I drink a good glass of wine. Every page becomes special, every moment indelible.

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One of those is enough.

Though I will be the first one to say that Trade paperbacks are a convenient way of collecting stories, they are also diminishing the impact of each single issue by putting them all together and next to each other when, in fact, they should be read separately and digested individually. So next time, do yourself a favor and pace yourself.

It’s like my mom used to say, everything is good but in moderation.

N-

Snowpocalypse and Comic Book Binge.

It is the Snowpocalypse!

That’s what they call it here in Portland because, well, they aren’t quite use to getting that much snow. It also means that I have been snowed in for the past few days so I had time to catch up on my gaming back log, my comics backlog and started writing what I was talking about last week. Plus, I threw my back out and I am on pain pills so everything is definitely awesome.

I talked about my library pile last week but I forgot to mention that I also have a comic book pile I am currently working my way through. I usually do not buy comic books. And by comic books, let’s be clear, I mean the single issues that come out on wednesdays. I am of the mind that I’d rather save money by buying or borrowing (my dear library) the Trade Paperbacks and get the whole story in one book.

Last month though, I was looking at some of the 2013 best comic book lists and other reviews and I somehow decided to go to the shop and buy a bunch of comics that I could read starting with number one (and 2, 3 and 4) . I think I felt that by waiting for the trade I was missing out on what was happening right now on the comic book scene. Perhaps it would inspire me and make my writing that much better. After all, this is one of the main reason I read all type of comics. I have this strange belief that everything I read, everything I watch (like “Twin Peaks” on Netflix) is somehow going to influence my work for the better. Now that belief is probably true but who can tell for sure? I don’t wanna end up being a copycat either.

In the end, I spent more that $40 for up to 4 issues of the same series, like Sex Criminals and its awesome Issue #1 Fourth Printing cover:

40buckscomic

I do read Super Heroes Comics…how uncool…

Was it worth it? Yeah, sure. It’s nice. I actually enjoy reading in bite size. You can see how some of the best writers in the industry can tell a compelling story in 22 pages and still make you want to find out what’s next. Don’t be mistaken though, it’s not like it’s the first time I buy a comic book; but it is the first time I comic book-binge.

Some of the titles I will not follow past the issue(s) I bought. Probably will end up reading the trade from the library. Others (such as “Lazarus” by Greg Rucka…oh so good!), I was collecting even before my binge and I will keep on going because I never, ever collected comics before. I figured “Lazarus” can be that one series I follow. Actually, that’s a lie since I have all the issues of Bendis’ “Scarlet” so far. Oh so good too.

I feel bad though. I mean $40! That’s a lot of money. That’s a tank of gas that I can use to go nowhere because I’m snowed in.  Oh well, better keep on reading then.

N-

Big Typo.

I started passing around my business card.

People usually like it. I did it here if you wanna try.

IMG_0428

Notice the pretty artwork from Nick. Only I know that’s what he looks like on the toilet–>here.

Yesterday I gave it to a coworker and told him about the work Nick and I are doing and how we’re going to be in an anthology blah blah blah…

Then the unthinkable happened. As he was browsing through this very website on his I-phone, he noticed a TYPO! Not a typo in a text or a blog or a word balloon. No no no..that I could have stomached. He saw this:

00

How do you pronounce that???

What in the name of fuck? I mean come on people, a little help here. No one noticed this!!!??? Yeah, I’m looking at you Nick. I have a valid excuse, English is my second language: “Anglissh his aard four mi”.

Anyway I fixed it:

00NOtypo

Phew! I feel better. Next time though, could you please let me know you guys. I mean, what am I not paying you for?

N-

The Top Cow Talent Hunt

Though I am obviously still working on the script for 8th Wonder Press, I am also starting work on the next thing. And the next thing for me is: The Top Cow Talent Hunt.

Publisher Top Cow is looking to publish the work of 4 artists and 4 writers. All you have to do is submit a script or some artwork following their hyper specific guidelines. I only heard of this a couple weeks back so I am a bit late to the party but I am still going to write a 22 pages script by the January 31st deadline. I just have to read up and study the Top Cow universe first.

I actually started reading Witchblade and the Darkness when it first came out in France back in 1996 I believe. It was published by Image Comics and I thought it was so cool but I was like 14 years old and I thought SPAWN was the bomb! So the Witchblade was like a sexy version of Spawn to me. Then the Darkness came out and it was another cool murderous dark anti-hero. It was all very dark and brooding and gory like Batman on steroids (and with boobs!) and I loved it.

The Top Cow universe has changed quite a bit since  so I have A LOT of catching up to do. Thank god the submission guidelines include recommended reading.

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Poor me! I have to read sooooooo many comics.

Now I am trying to get as many of this books from the library as possible and I did find about half of what I need. I am just waiting for them all to be available which should be soon. I am also still waiting on Artifacts Vol.1 from Amazon so I can read the whole series. So far it is the only trade I bought for the purpose of this submission but I plan on going to Excalibur to get some more stuff as I am sure they carry pretty much everything and I like giving them money. They are a true comic book shop where one can find specific issues AND they know their stuff. No gimmicks. No toys.

That’s about it. I will keep you updated on the processes. On one hand the studying of the Top Cow universe and the birth of a story within that universe; and on the other hand, I’ll let you know how our to-be-published project is coming along.

After all that, perhaps I can catch up on my library readings:

librarybooks

Look at me and my first world problems:

I don’t have enough time to read ALL those Comic Books!

See you next week,

N-