Thank You for Making RISE a Reality

Over two years ago, I posted a piece calling out some severely inappropriate behavior by a comics retailer in my home state of MA. While I can’t say if his behavior has changed at all during this time, I can say that we followed through on the promise I made in that post — that we’d put together an anthology that uses comics to fight the type of bullying that, unfortunately, happens even within our own community of creators, retailers, and readers.

With the help of my co-editors Adam Pruett, Erica Schultz, and Kristopher White, we assembled an elite comic-book-making team ranging from superstar A-listers to exciting up-and-comers that donated their time, effort, and creative juices to create an anthology that we’re proud of with a variety of different styles and a theme that unites. It’s been a long, hard road to make this book a reality, with conversations with nearly every comic publisher you can think of, but we’re blessed to have teamed up with Northwest Press to get this book out the door.

A RISE cover by Sean Von Gorman

NWP launched a Kickstarter last month that ended yesterday — exceeding its goal of $10,000. The money was to cover printing costs to distribute these books to our partner organizations so they can give them away for free at schools and events. Our partners were also instrumental over these past two years of getting this thing together — GLAAD, Stand for the Silent, and PRISM Comics – and we can’t thank them enough.

So to everyone that kicked in or spread the word, thank you, from the bottom of my heart. This project has been a labor of love (and oftentimes a mountain of stress) for everyone involved, but knowing that people supported a project like this — getting it into the hands of kids for free — is amazing.

Head on over to the Kickstarter updates to see some of the stories that we’ve posted for a free sample!

 

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Essential Elliott Smith

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11 years ago we lost Elliott Smith. The world has been worse without him in it.

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End of Olympus, Debuting at Boston Comic-Con

This coming weekend (August 8-10), Drew Zucker and I will be hunkered down in Artist’s Alley at the wonderful Boston Comic-Con (more accurately, Drew will be there all three days. I will be there Saturday and Sunday). While I’m always excited to table at another show, this one is particularly exciting, as Drew and I are debuting the END OF OLYMPUS ashcan, a 12-page preview book that serves as a teaser to our upcoming series of the same name (more on that eventually). We’ll be hawking it for $2 a pop and we think you’ll dig it.

You can read the whole thing now if you’re a Patron on Patreon, but if not, here’s the awesome cover (yes, it’s all B&W, but the series will be in color) by Drew. If you’re heading to Boston Comic-Con, please stop by the table and say hi — and maybe pick up an ashcan!

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I’m on Patreon

We live in a world where being a creative person doesn’t necessarily mean you’ve got to eat Ramen for days on end in order to make your projects happen. More than ever, creators are able to interact and receive direct support from the people that enjoy their work. I’ve been fortunate to have three successful Kickstarter campaigns to fund specific projects, but now I’m giving something new a shot — Patreon – a crowd-funding platform meant for ongoing financial support.

Check Out My Patreon Page

Essentially, Patrons commit to a certain amount of money per month and receive content in return. For example, $5/month nets you some free short stories and comics, as well as behind-the-scenes looks at everything I create. Early art, scripts, etc. $10/month gets you all of that plus the Pawn Shop Script Book and an open channel to ask me any questions about making comics you might have. Finally, $20/month gets you all of that plus a new short story and a Google Hangout every single month. And all levels give you the benefit of knowing you’re helping make life a little more doable for creatives.

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It’s basically just a tool for creators spend less time doing odd jobs to meet their financial requirements — bills, rent, etc. — and more time creating. Will it work out for me? I hope so, but we’ll see. It’s definitely worth a shot though — we’ve got to try out any potential streams for income that we can — and I recommend any other creators reading this to set up a page and give it a try. Some other folks in comics have Patreon pages as well — check out my pal Rachel Deering, who is killing it.

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Cruel, Cruel Summer

Hope everyone enjoyed their Independence Day holiday — or “Friday” for those outside of the US. 4th of July weekend always reminds me that we’re in the midst of summer — if the whole summer was a day, 4th of July weekend is when the sun is highest in the sky — so I thought I’d make a fun playlist on Spotify that you can cruise and bruise hearts to.

Summer always strikes me as a unique time of the year. The nice weather seems to bring with it a chance for new beginnings; I think it stems back to when we were kids and summer vacation would hit. The year was over and there were months of freedom ahead. Chances for new and fleeting romances, fun adventures, and lack of responsibility. It’s a romantic notion, summer, and as romance can often be, is quite cruel.

I tried to capture the excitement, optimism, and bittersweet endings that come with the summer time within a one hour playlist. Roll down your windows and enjoy.

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Archer & Armstrong #25, Coming in October

Valiant Comics has been doing these great anniversary spectaculars for the 25th issues of their books, and I’m happy to say that, as announced at NYCC’s Special Edition over the weekend, I’ll be featured in Archer & Armstrong #25 on sale in October.

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As you can see, there are a great many names involved, and I’m super excited to be a part of it. Here’s the full press release and solicitation info:

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Footprints: Bad Luck Charm Page Process (Page 6)

With 47 hours to go on the Kickstarter and counting, we’ve come to the final installment of the Footprints: Bad Luck Charm page process blogs! If you haven’t checked out the other installments, here you go: Page 1, Page 2, Page 3, Page 4, Page 5.

Once again, this page was drawn more or less as written in terms of panel descriptions, but Jonathan did add an extra panel between the scripted 6.2 and 6.3; there’s a close-up of ‘Resa’s reaction and thus Adam moved her “Oh, really?!” line to that added panel. This works better because it gives more care to her emotional change and segues better into her dive bomb, rather than having that turn be on a dime. It sets up her physical reaction to Devil’s stupidity nicely.

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Footprints: Bad Luck Charm Page Process (Page 5)

Only two days left on the Footprints: Bad Luck Charm Kickstarter, and we’ve already explored the behind-the-scenes of Pages 1, 2, 3, and 4… onto Page 5!

This page is pretty straightforward. The only real deviation from the script is panel 5.3, which originally called for a medium shot or so of ‘Resa placing her bet. Smartly, Jonathan conserved space and changed it to a close-up with an off-panel balloon. It just wasn’t necessary to show that many details, not when the location has already been firmly established and we can infer what she’s doing from the context of the scene and her dialogue. Great example of an artist being economical with space.

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Footprints: Bad Luck Charm Page Process (Page 4)

We’re only a few days from the end of the Footprints: Bad Luck Charm Kickstarter, so I’ll be posting the remainder of these behind-the-scenes pieces this week! We’ve looked at Page 1, 2, and 3, so onto Page 4!

Jonathan more or less rendered this page as I wrote it aside from two notable changes: he added a panel that helps build the suspense of the gambling and he chose a different angle for that last panel, which definitely works better (and is less complicated) than what I wrote. But the thing I love about this page is something that you can’t see from comparing the script to the final art — you’d have to be privy to our emails back and forth to have any idea about it.

‘Resa’s line in the last panel, “Cash in your winnings and never come back” is a nod to one of the greatest movies of all-time, Casablanca. But it wasn ‘t written in the original script that way; it was originally just “Oh, Devil…” as she tried to grab his attention. Continue reading

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Bigfoot Wants YOU…

BigfootWantsYou

Only 9 days left, have YOU backed Footprints: Bad Luck Charm yet?

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May 22, 2014 · 11:00 am