Tiny Kickstarter and MegaCon

Two things to talk about in my blog today. I’ll be at MegaCon…but please allow me to tell you about the Tiny Kickstarter first!

Cover to Tiny #1

Cover to Tiny #1

Today is the launch of a Kickstarter for a comic project titled Tiny. I talked about it last week here (click here) and told you how I met Deonna and how the project actually came about. This week I’ll tell you a little about the story itself and will ask you to go pledge to the Kickstarter where you can snag copies for yourself.

The basic levels give you the comic—of course. But, for those of you who are art fans, you can get a quick sketch done in your comic by Deonna and you can even get her to do a more finished piece of work. For you serious comic art fans, we’ve had a few super-talented artists kick in a piece of art to help us reach our goal. You’ll find beautiful drawings of Tiny by Jenni Gregory, Jim Hall, and Dean Zachary. And you can own them—but there is only one of them (one from each artist, I mean), so you’d better act fast!

MEGACON16_profileWhile I’m talking about great art, but sure to head over to Deonna’s art page on Facebook and give her a “like.” You can find it at https://www.facebook.com/deonnaherroldart/

So, please go check out our kickstarter and give it some consideration. I think you’ll like what you see. Here’s the link:http://buff.ly/1TFFQXt

DreamWalkercover by Jenni Gregory

DreamWalkercover by Jenni Gregory

ALSO, MegaCon starts TODAY and runs through Sunday. This will be my fifth MegaCon, my fourth in a row. I first attended MegaCon in 1998 when I went to Orlando and visited my pal Tony Fortenberry. He was my tour guide the entire time. Then, when I moved to Orlando, I got hooked up with them again and have been every year since.

John Aman Amazing man by Gregory and Butler

John Aman Amazing man by Gregory and Butler

You can find me in artist alley at A263. Deonna will be there with me and we’ll have copies of Tiny #1 you can pick up from us and get us both to sign it! Also there will be my pals Barry Gregory who does John Aman, The Amazing Man; Jenni Gregory, who does Dreamwalker; Jeff Whiting, who does Extraterrestrial (I’ve got a story in there, too!); and a whole host of others. Come out and see us and get some cool comics! And oh! Autographs are always free!

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Introducing Tiny

Tiny, scared and alone.

Tiny, scared and alone.

I’m very excited to tell you about a new comic project and to give you a peek at what’s to come. But first, let me tell you how it came about.

Comic projects for me have always come about in different ways. Sometimes it’s that I have an idea and I look for a collaborator, but more often than not, it’s that I meet an artist and then the project comes together as a result of a friendship or conversations, etc.

Many of you are aware of my daughter Brittany’s acting—many of you have rallied and given her likes and shares when I’ve asked…and thank you for that…but it’s actually her acting that got Tiny off the ground.

Tiny and the troll mom

Tiny and the troll mom

Brittany had been to Disney a few times to audition for one of the performance roles. It’s an interesting process that I won’t go in to now, but she ended up meeting and befriending Deonna Herrold, who was there for the same reason. I don’t remember exactly how it all came about, but Brittany said she’d talked to her and that Deonna had “an interest” in drawing comics.

Now, because of my time in comics, I’ve heard that…a lot. I’ve also heard people tell me they have an interest in “being a writer.” So when I hear that, I generally just shrug. I’ve got an interest in being an astronaut, too.

But Brittany continued talking with her and eventually showed me a piece of Deonna’s art. I was pretty floored, and after seeing more, I had Brittany ask her how serious she was in her “interest.”

Turns out, she was VERY serious!

One of Tiny's rescuers!

One of Tiny’s rescuers!

The first time I met Deonna, she showed me a sketchbook chock full of art and it was clear to see the Disney influence on her work. So I did what I often do when talking with artists and asked her what sort of story she’d like to draw. She had a lot of interests (what creator doesn’t, right?), but she was very interested in fairy tales. And so because I always want my artist collaborators to enjoy the story they’re working on, and not knowing a whole lot of fairy tales, I did some research.

There are some really strange fairy tales out there, let me just leave it at that.

So I pieced together three that I thought would be fun to do and visually interesting to draw (as an artist) and see (as the reader) and pitched them to her. She selected what is now Tiny.

Baby Tiny

Baby Tiny

But here’s the cool thing—and this demonstrates just how serious Deonna is—the first issue—a full 26 pages—is DONE! This time next week we’ll be launching our kickstarter to get the 2nd issue completed. As you can see from the art samples here, Deonna’s got the chops! We’ll be counting on all of you to help!

So what is Tiny? It’s our version of the classic Hans Christian Andersen story: Tiny must survive the trials of being Tiny and staying alive, all the while trying to find out who she really is.

Stay tuned for more info!

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Lebanon Mega Con report and FCBD

Me at my table!

Me at my table!

Last weekend I attended my very first ever comic show in the state of Missouri…and had a blast. Like many shows, the time went by way too fast. Regardless, if you’re in that area, I recommend you make plans now to attend the show next year.

This was the inaugural outing and they’re off to a good start. The dealer’s room was actually a good sized room with lots of variety for fans/geeks of all types. It was a two day show and started at 9 a.m. on Saturday morning. Foot traffic picked up—as is the norm for Saturday shows—around lunch time (folks have to roll out of bed after all).

Spectacular artist Jim Hall doing his thing!

Spectacular artist Jim Hall doing his thing!

One highlight was that fantastic artist Jim Hall was just beside me. Jim has done a bunch of comics, but I met him way back when he did some pencils for me on The Protectors! I spent considerable time chatting away with him!

Reunion with Chris Wilson at Lebanon Mega Con

Reunion with Chris Wilson at Lebanon Mega Con

Another highlight was getting to see an old pal Chris Wilson! Chris worked at Camelot with me at the MetroCenter Mall in Jackson, Mississippi way back when I was in college. He went on to make a lawyer and now serves the good folk in that area of Missouri! I was incredibly flattered to learn that Chris had somewhat followed my comic career. Had a great time catching up with him!

I also got to meet actor Felix Silla, who—among other roles, played Cousin It in the Addams Family. What a nice—and funny guy he is!

Me chatting with Jerry from Worst Comics Podcast Ever.

Me chatting with Jerry from Worst Comics Podcast Ever.

I would encourage artists in that area to reach out to Will Peden, who runs Lebanon Mega Con, and let him know of your interest in next year’s show. Will—and his staff—truly take care of their guests! (Thanks to Andi for shuttling me back and forth to the airport!)

The post show lunch crowd!

The post show lunch crowd!

Free Comic Book Day is tomorrow! Saturday, May 7! Get to your local comic shop (LCS) and grab you some free comics! You’ll find most shops will have one or two comic creators there to talk to you about comics, sign autographs, and general spread the comic gospel.

I will be appearing for the first time ever at Gods & Monsters in Orlando, Florida. They’re located in the Artegon Mall just off International drive. I’ll be there with my comic making pals Barry Gregory, Jenni Gregory, Thomas Florimonte and Rene Florimonte…as well as some others. Come out and grab some free comics and say hi to us!

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Lebanon MegaCon tomorrow…and a tease

GeekGatheringMeandZombieMikeI must confess that I’m incredibly excited to let y’all know that I’ve been invited to be a comic guest for the very first time in the state of Missouri, a state where I’ve got a bunch of family and friends way down in the Southeastern boothill! But, the Lebanon Mega Con is not in that part of the state, so the folks I know there will have to drive a ways if the intend to come. (Google maps tells me it’s about a four hour drive from the Piggott, Ark area)

No, the Lebanon Mega Con will be in Lebanon, Mo. If you’re like me, you had to google it. Lebanon is Northeast of Springfield…and I did know where that is! Lebanon finds itself about three hours from Kansas City, about two hours from St. Louis, about three and a half hours from Tulsa, and about three hours from Fayetteville, Ark—so I’m hoping to see a healthy sampling of Hawg fans!

I don’t know many of the other guests, but you may know some of them. You can find a link to the webpage here: and to the Facebook group here.

Some of the “walkers” from The Walking Dead television show will be there. Among them will be Mike Koske (see the picture) who I’ve had the pleasure of meeting before. Super nice guy (for a zombie!). Be sure to get an autograph from him.

Some of the other comic guests include my old pal Jim Hall! Also there will be Billy Martinez, Jeremy Haun, and Samuel Clarke Hawbaker! There will also be a wrestler or two and some cosplay folks there.

While I haven’t seen a final schedule yet, I’ll likely be on a couple of panels where we can talk about breaking into comics, doing comics and that sort of thing.

13059823_10208213325544724_525251584_nAs a way of a teaser, I want to drop this image here. It’s important to a new project I’m involved in…and it’s just so dang cool that I had to show you SOMEthing. More to come.

Anyway, Lebanon MegaCon starts tomorrow, so make your plans to attend! It’s great to see a show in central Missouri! Bring books for me to sign…or if you don’t have any (shame on you!), I’ll have some there for you to pick up. I’ll sign them on the spot! Autographs are free! I’ll see you there!

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Oh where oh where has my little blog gone?

Oh where oh where can it be? Yeah, this happens now and again to me, doesn’t it? I always intend to have a blog entry at least once a week. Most of the time I do just fine…but sometimes things come along and really knock me off track.

Usually it’s a combination of things that just stack up; grading student writing, my own writing, family obligations (I’ve never liked the term—I may be “obligated,” but I actually enjoy spending time and doing things with my family!), and that sort of thing.

Recently it was all these things…plus taxes.

Ugh. Yes. Taxes.

This year, while doing my taxes the week they were due (yes, I waited too long), I learned that I can no longer claim my daughter…who I feed, house, shelter and care for. The reason? She’s twenty-one, made more than four thousand dollars last year, and is no longer a student. Thus, even though I do supply her shelter, her food, and her health care, she had to file taxes on her own and I could no longer claim her as a dependent (all my pals with young kids, take note! It’s coming to you, too!).

And here’s the kicker: Her first time filing she had to PAY taxes. I don’t mean that as in she should get out of paying, but that she owed tax when she filed her return! It would be unbecoming of me as a father to talk about how much money she actually made last year, but I assure you, it was far below the Federal poverty level.

The reason she had to pay was that she made some of her money last year working on indy films—which is a good thing! It’s on the path to do what she really wants to do.

Part of this is just me being frustrated as a dad and not knowing this. Anyone who does much freelance work, or non-employee compensation, knows that you’ve still got to pay taxes on that money. Had I realized it, I’d have suggested that she pay estimated taxes—which is really what got her; the fact that she paid in too little based on what she brought in. I simply thought because I was still covering most of the bills that we could do this until she turned 25.

Nope. Not so.

Lesson learned.

The good news is that I’ve already started on my blogs for the next two weeks. Both of them will be about two new projects that are in the works (which is something else that’s kept me away from here!); one with a couple of established pros that just makes me giddy to think about, the other with a newcomer that’s really going to impress you (and I’ll be hitting y’all up for our kickstarter soon). I really think you’re going to like them both!

 

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Batman v. Superman

So, for those of you living under a rock or in a cave and who might not be aware, Batman v. Superman opened in theaters today.

My Facebook feed, however, has been full of pre-screening reviews and yes, pre-viewing reviews. Many of those have come from people who haven’t even seen the movie yet!

You ask how someone can “review” the movie without having seen it? Yeah, I ask that same question. Yet, it doesn’t stop the hordes of people/fans from claiming that it is better than either of the Avengers movies or worse than any version of Batman that exists to date. Extremes on both sides.

Quite frankly, comic fans are passionate about their heroes. And it isn’t just the comic fans. I’ve seen a smattering of comic pros weighing in without having seen the film.

My take?

Well gee, thanks for asking.

First let me tell you that I’m not anticipating liking the movie that much. I tend to like my heroes to be heroic and the DC based films—in general—have taken a darker tone that just isn’t to my liking. I’m good with darker tones for Batman because…well…he’s Batman! But I don’t like those darker tones for Superman. These guys should be—in my mind—almost complete opposites.

So, I’m just not anticipating this to be in my top 10 superhero movies.

But I’m going to go see the movie with my family on Sunday.

Why, you ask, would I go see the movie if I’m not anticipating to like it that much?

Because…it’s a superhero movie. It’s “my” industry. I’ve heard some grumblings about “superhero fatigue” as regards to the films, but I’m one who is glad that we’re seeing mostly good treatments of characters I like. I like that we’re going to have three big budget superhero movies this summer that are rated PG-13 and I can go to with my family. So while I’m not a fan of the darker DC, I know that SOME are. And so I want to see it do well so that we’ll continue to get superhero movies—some dark, some not.

Plus, it’s Batman VERSUS Superman. What superhero fan wouldn’t pay JUST to see those two duke it and to see what possible explanation they could come up with that allows Batman to SURVIVE being hit by Superman?

How about you? Will you see it?

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ACME Comic Con report and Daytona Beach Comic Con

As the weather begins to warm up down here in sunny Florida, convention season is also kicking in to high gear! The ACME one day show at the ACME Superstore on Feb 27 was a smashing success. I was next to my good pals Barry and Jenny Gregory and there were a LOT of comic book creators there. It reminded me much of the great shows I attended in the late 80s early 90s when you could walk by the tables and buy actual COMIC BOOKS from creators instead of just pin-up art. Needless to say, I was very impressed with the show. I was surprised, however, by the fact that none of my “comic writing” students showed up for the event. What a terrific opportunity to meet people actually making comics and they were no where to be seen. What is it they say about leading a horse to water?

ACME produced a “thank you video” after the event and if you’re watching closely, you can spot me and Barry a couple of different times. Here’s that video.

I’m anticipating great things for this upcoming one day show in Daytona Beach. This will be my third time to do a show at Tom Raupp’s fantastic event and I’m super thankful he’s inviting me back. If you’ve seen me post about this show before, you already know my thoughts: fantastic show with a LOT of comics. If you like to buy and read comics, this is the local show for you. There are probably more comics for sale at this one day event than at the “major” shows I’ve been to in the area where the focus in on tv and movie actors. (I don’t have a problem with them, but sometimes don’t understand why they are at a “comic” convention). Here’s the link to the Daytona Beach Comic Convention page on Facebook. Daytona-Beach-Comic-Book-Convention

daytonabeachcomiccon

 

You want to know what my problem with the Daytona show is? Well, thanks for asking—I’ll tell you. Not enough TIME! You see, of course I’m there to sign my books for readers and fans and to promote my work for new readers and fans…but doggone-it, I like to read comics, too! I want more time to shop! I know what you’re saying: “just do it.” Well, there’s usually so much traffic with the creators that I can’t get away that much. This is good thing and not a bad thing, but there are so many comics there that I want to spend more time shopping. Last time I walked away with a stack of about 30 comics!

So, It won’t just be me there, you can also meet comic creators (and my pals) Barry Gregory and Jeff Whiting (who’s running a Kickstarter—click below and go pledge before he’s done! )…and a host of others. Come see me!

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1875051451/extraterrestrial/

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