Tag Archives: Beah

2015 to come

Well, last week I rehashed some of the highlights of 2014 for me. This week, I’ll talk about what I’m looking forward to in 2015. Thus far, I’ve got two appearances lined up, but I’m optimistic more will happen. I’m always on the lookout!

In early April, I’ll be a comic guest at MegaCon and will be in Independent Press Row with my friend and hot new comic writer Wes Locher. If you’re in the Orlando area and you like all things geek, you can’t not be at MegaCon!

My other planned appearance is the Florida Writers Conference in Orlando in October. The details aren’t finalized yet, but I’ll be giving a presentation or two and probably be on a panel or two. Last year was my first and it was fantastic! I’m very excited to be returning.

I’m hoping the new year will bring me some news of the two projects I have floated about: Cat & Mouse and Beah. If I haven’t finished them by the time of this writing, I hope to get two other pitches circulating which I’ve told you about: Citizens and The Rejects. Just click on the titles to go “like” the Facebook pages for each of them where you can find art and updates on the projects.

I’m excited that Trumps has new life in it because Anthony Pereira emerged and is alive and well—and drawing the 2nd issue. Plus, I’m hoping to announce an inker on the project soon!

I’ve hinted at it before, but I’m working with a publisher to try to come to a happy agreement to see The Gifted come to fruition. While I’ve written it as a novel, he’s very interested in pursuing it as a graphic novel. The challenge is to find a way to get the art done for the small press. I’m very optimistic about it because the publisher seems to want it to happen.

I’ve also talked to artist Kevin Tuma about doing a Champion one-shot. Tuma wants to publish the work himself, so I’m excited about seeing that happen.

I briefly mentioned this a few months ago, but I “internet-met” a talented artist who is a martial arts student of a good friend of mine. I don’t know her that well (I did say “internet met”) and I don’t think she’s a huge comic fan, but her pencil work is astounding! So I hope to finish putting together a pitch for a sci-fi piece with newcomer Gabriella Rossetti.

Around Y2K I did a short comic adaptation of a short film by some folks in the Muscle Shoals area. Thanks to the changes in digital technology, I’m going to see that it becomes available. It’s being colored by my old Malibu colleague Albert Deschesne.

Speaking of older work, I’m in the process of collecting some of my older work and making them available as both a compilation and in digital format. Works to be collected will include Demon’s Tails, Krey, and some others.

Something else I want to do is an anthology that collects some of my shorter comic work. I’ve only got a couple at this point, but I’m hoping to get some others done.

I’ve talked to a few other artists who expressed interest in putting something together: Patrick Rolo did some work with me back in the Malibu days and Moye Daniel almost did some work with me…but disappeared. Both of them have reappeared, so I’m hoping we can make something happen.

Lastly, I really hope to finish my Cat & Mouse novel and send it to an agent who has already agreed to read it. I’m more than 30,000 words into it, I just need to get BIC!

So…as you can see, quite a bit of stuff that I’m excited about that will hopefully make 2015 an exciting year!

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Florida Writers Conference 2014 report

While I’ve been to dozens of writers conferences in the past, this is the first time for me to attend the Florida Writers Conference. Had it not been so local, I’m not sure I would have attended this year.

But I’m glad I did. Of course, I have my Full Sail colleague Jennie Jarvis to thank for that.

fwc1Wow, but what a cool conference. It’s already clear to me that many of the attendees there feel and think of each other as family as many of the conversations I heard sounded like those from a family reunion. There were tears shed for those who were no longer able to join the conference or who had passed on. I didn’t know them, of course, but you could tell by the shared emotions of the group that they were talking about a family member.

It’s the kind of group that you want to be a part of because writers are an odd sort. And I mean that in the most affectionate way. They’re (and when I say “they,” they includes me) just weird and nobody understands them but other writers. It’s just the way it is.

I made new friends and some potentially cool contacts as well (maybe they’re both and the same, who knows?). I even discovered there are a few writers groups nearby—and they quickly invited me to be a part of the group.

fwc2I spoke twice on writing comics, once to the main part of the conference and the other time to the young writers conference. The young writers asked some pretty cool questions, too! The good news (for me, that is) is that portion seemed to go over well and I’m already talking with them about next year! Yes, that’s very exciting to me.

I also sat on a transmedia panel with some talented folks (including my Full Sail colleagues Julie Anne Wight, Dr. Tof Eklund moderated by the talented Allen Gorney!) where we talked about taking stories to different formats. It’s cool to hear so much interest in graphic novels.

On a more writing related note, got the first rejection to the C&M reboot. Sigh. Shall soldier on. Nothing more on BEAH, but am about to lick the stamp for CITIZENS. Cross your fingers!

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Oops I did it again=My Writing Process Blog Tour and The Remaining

If you’re here because of Jim Miller’s link to the blog tour, thank you for stopping by to visit. Hopefully you’ll find some posts here you enjoy. Unfortunately, I already participated in this very blog a few months ago but didn’t realize it was the same one. If you’re interested my responses to those writing process questions, pop over here to read them. If you’re one of my regulars (thank you, of course, for your regular visits!), please pop on over to Jim’s site and show him some Ramblin’ love! Jim is my colleague at Full Sail. Thanks for inviting me to participate, Jim!

Serves me right, I guess. I was feeling guilty for participating in this because I just declined a blog tour two weeks ago. Apologies offered to the asker (she knows who she is). I though, however, this one was different from those I’d done in the past and it looked like something I could do relatively quickly…The first one I remember as “what are you working on,” while this one was “my writing process.”

SO, since I’ve covered the process part, let me catch you up on the what I’m working on part!

FIRST, I’m happy to report that THE REMAINING should be out. Check it out here:

Wait, don’t just “check it out,” BUY a copy! I’ll sign it for you—for FREE—the next time I see you! What a deal, huh?

I’ve been working on some comic pitches of late and have even built facebook pages for them. I’d sure appreciate it if y’all’d go and click the “like” button for each of them (link on the logo of each title).

The first one making the rounds is Beah. With art supplied by the talented Tim Holtrop! We’ve received one “no,” (but I got some nice feedback and he said he’d take a peek at other proposals from me, which is very nice) but remain optimistic. My good friend Emily Y. Kanalz—from way back in the Malibu days—is supplying the color for this. Y’all, I’m telling you, this project looks fantastic. I’m just hoping the “words” can keep up with the art!

The next one to make the rounds is Cat & Mouse. I’m teaming up with Henry Martinez who is producing some really cool pitch pages (you have to go like the C&M page to see what we’ve got so far!). The original run of C&M was in b&w and I tend to think of it that way, but I’d like to pitch it either way—and I don’t have someone coloring this one yet. If you a fan of the first volume, this isn’t the exact same characters; they’ll be different, but the mood and spirit will be the same.

The next two are mostly ready, but it’s mostly on me to get it ready now.

Citizens is a project with the entire art package supplied by Joe Badon. Joe’s art style is so unique that I really anticipate he’s going places once the right people see his work—maybe it’ll just take the right story to have him noticed. I’m hoping that story is Citizens. I think it’s different from most anything I’ve done. While I’ve worked on science fiction stories before, I think of this one as sort of a futuristic post-Vietnam story. So, it’s not a “war story,” but a post-war story.

Then there’s Rejects with artist JC Grande and colorist Jesse Heagy, both of whom really deliver on some pitch pages you can see on the facebook page. It’s probably the more mainstream of the projects. It’s superheroes, with a twist: It’s a team of heroes who’ve been rejected by all the “A-list” teams. Just learning their names will tip you off to why they have issues with success.

I’ve got a couple others in the very early development phase…but I see I’m way over the limit, so I’ll save those for a future post. But I’ll go write it now so I promise it’ll just be a few weeks!

Thanks for listening to me ramble a bit. See ya next week!

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An update ala a Blog Hop

So I hope you’re new here as part of the blog hop. If you’re a long-time visitor, thanks for your continued support. A blog hop is when bloggers encourage their readership to visit other bloggers, as I will do at the bottom of this entry. I haven’t participated in many blog hops mostly because I don’t really think I get a lot of new readers and so those who come here pretty much know the usual info in a blog hop. So I’m mostly doing this one because a)Kayla asked me to participate (you should go visit her blog since she was kind enough to send some of you my way—AND, she said really nice things about me!); b)I still needed an entry for this week—I skipped last week…was busy grading—yuck!; c)the hop is different from most of those I’ve seen cross my path.

So, without further adieu, the hop questions are:

What am I working on?

I’m working on several things at the same time. I’m one of those who tends to keep a lot of irons burning just because you never know when a project will collapse, fall through, etc. And I’ve had my fair share of projects to disappear. At the top of my list are a couple of projects I’ve already blogged about: Beah and Citizens. Follow the links to read more about them. I’ve also got other comic projects in various stages getting ready for pitch: The Rejects (with JC Grande), Cat & Mouse (with Henry Martinez), Demon’s Tails V2 (with Patrick Rolo); Unnamed with Kevin Tuma (we’re still in the “talking about the story” phase); an unnamed with Gabriella Rossetti (just wait until you SEE this one!). I’ve just finished a Graphic Novel adaptation of a horror film which is slated for a September release. Oh—Four of the projects now have FB pages. Go LIKE them here: Beah, Citizens, Cat & Mouse, The Rejects.

On the prose side, I haven’t done as much to work on my current novel. My agent is still pushing The Interns…but I’m about to toss in the towel on that one. Yeah, I know, I’m sad, too.

I thought I had a little web-series that was going to happen—even assembled a tiny writing team—but it looks like that might not happen either. Was exciting to think about that, though. So, for the meantime, I’ll continue to focus on comics…just because I’m so dang excited about them.

How does my work differ from others of its genre?

Gee, that’s tricky, isn’t it? There are some things that I would consider as “personalities” of my work…and that combination makes it uniquely me. I tend to write strong female characters, stories set in the South (my beloved homeland!), stories about individualism and about individuals overcoming tyranny, oppression, etc. I try to infuse my faith into my work without it being overbearing and/or annoying…but I think that’s important to my work.

The problem with my answer to this question is that most of my work is in comics, but “comics” isn’t a genre, it’s a medium.

Why do I write what I do?

I write because I enjoy writing. I write comics/graphic novels because I absolutely love the medium and what it can do. We have an unlimited special effects budget and are limited only by our imaginations. Comics/Graphic novels is also a visual medium in which the reader controls their experience. When you watch tv or a movie, your experience is determined by the director. The reader controls their own reading experience when reading a graphic novel. And I find that very cool.

How does my writing process work?

I don’t know that I have only one process, but the one that tends to work for me is starting from a concept; moving to a character and giving them an attainable goal; putting them in a world; tossing obstacles at them; building an outline…and THEN sitting down to write.

Who’s next in my Writing Process Blog Hop?

I’m happy to push you to a couple of writers I like. First, go take a peek at my pal Sid Williams’s blog. I’ve known Sid for a looooong time (since the late 1980s for those of you really keeping track), and he’s got the write-stuff! Check out SidIsAlive…and tell him I sent ya there! I’d also like to web-direct you to the web home of Wes Locher. Wes is just days away from earning his Creative Writing degree from Full Sail but has already published a bunch o’stuff. I’ve read much of it (tempted to say “all,” but that might not be true) and he’s going places! You wanna get in on the ground floor of an up and coming writer, start watching his site here.

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WIP = BEAH

The story of BEAH goes back to the late 90s for me. After Marvel fired about 400 people, me being one of them, I set about to writing full steam again. I also decided to become a full-fledged indy publisher and get away from Corporate Comics. I did just that for about five years, losing a ton of money because I was acting like a big company and yet it was just me flying solo (well, I mean that for the business/marketing/money end—I worked with some really talented creators). Essentially, I tried to do too much.

Anyhow, it was while watching multiple episodes of Winnie the Pooh with my kids that the inspiration of Beah hit me. Drawing my inspiration from the great indy title, Cerebus, I figured I’d start off with a parody of WIP. Wasn’t long till I figured that was doomed to failure…and so I started thinking, well, what if the toys grew up? Long story short, I eventually got around to the idea that what if the kid just leaves the toys? What would happen? Toy lawlessness would run amuck, right? For those who wonder, yeah, there’s some Toy Story inspiration behind it, too. But that’s a good thing, right?

But over time, Beah became completely its own thing. Oh, I did go through the Cerebus spoof stage, but not in publication–mine was all on paper only read by (mostly) just me.

My good friend John Drury was initially slated to do the project back in the late 90s. But life took him–and us, elsewhere and we simply stopped pursuing it.

Fast forward to 2012 when I spotted Tim Holtrop’s art online and was immediately taken by his style. That and the fact that he–like me– had ties to Caliber Press in the early 90s made me want to talk to him. Well, that and his voiced faith. Tim and I share a common faith and we hit it off immediately. I was happy to have found a new friend even if we never went anywhere with a project. As luck would have it, I pitched the Beah concept to Tim, and over time, I think he, too, has developed an affinity for the stuffed animals.

Tim set out to do the design work and MAN, it would take an entire publication just to show you all the cool designs he did for both the characters and the setting. I present you with just a tiny smattering of those here, but I think you’ll agree how wonderful those are.

And, to top it off, fantastic colors have been provided by Emily Y. Kanalz. I worked with Emily back in the day at Malibu/Marvel. I know you don’t get to see them here much (and truthfully, I’m not sure whether the book will BE in color–but I sure hope so!), but WOW! She’s knocked it out of the park!

No, Beah doesn’t have a home yet, but we’re hoping to find one soon! In the meantime, don’t forget to find us on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/beahcomic) and LIKE the page! We need more likes, so go now! We’ll be posting update there for you to get some sneak peeks and keep you posted as we search for a publishing home for Beah.

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2014 that will be

Happy New Year everyone! I hope this blog post finds you all healthy and ready for the new year. I know I am!

Why, you ask?

Well, I’m glad you asked, let me tell you. But before I do, I want to offer up this video to you from the Mann family. Please accept this as our wish from us to you for a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

So now, why am I excited about 2014? Well, I have several projects that are near “pitch” phase and I’ll be showing some of the images from those soon. They are (in no particular order): Beah with art by Tim Holtrop and coloring by Emily Kanalz; Citizens with Joe Baden; The Rejects with JC Grande and colors by Jesse Heagy; Sand Gears with Quinton Bedwell; Cat & Mouse with Henry Martinez. I’m also very close to finishing up a script adaptation of the upcoming post-rapture horror film, The Remaining, with artist Kyle Hotz! On top of that, I’m in talks to have some of my out of print work made available digitally (work like Krey and Demon’s Tails) and I’ve found some talented new colorists to work on those books: David Tigner is working on coloring SilverStorm, Jeremy Kahn is coloring Krey, Elijah Minott is coloring Demon’s Tails. All in all, some pretty exciting stuff.

Additionally, the calendar is filling up with some exciting events/conferences/conventions, and all. In March (8th) I’m speaking at the Mid-South Christian Writers Conference. I’m excited to be presenting there—it’s in Memphis, if the title didn’t give it away. Two weeks later I’m on the guest list for MegaCon, which is in Orlando, Florida. I had a great time as a guest there last year and am looking forward to another great show. I’m also trying to pitch a panel there but haven’t gotten word on that yet.

In April I’ll be the mentor at the Spring Hemingway Writers Retreat at the Hemingway Museum and Education Center in Piggott, Arkansas. It’s a place I’ve been before and I’ve said this before, too: this is one of those great opportunities for writers to get away and write! There are some instructional exercises, but it is mostly focused writing time with one on one feedback from mentors (which will be yours truly in April!). Lots of good writing has come out of the retreats I’ve been associated with. If you’re looking for a shorter getaway, this is the perfect opportunity for you.

Also in April, and on a more personal note, the grave for my Civil War ancestor William Montgomery Mann will have a dedication ceremony that features a new headstone with his unit markings. This is something I’ve hoped for since about 1986…and it really is all happening as the result of hard work from my dad.

In September (20th and 21st), I’m a comic guest at The Geek Gathering in Sheffield, Alabama, near my old stomping grounds in Florence. I’m hoping to get to see some of my old pals there.

A colleague of mine at Full Sail is putting together a group of presenters for the Florida Writers conference in October. While final word isn’t in on it yet (nor do I know the actual date), I’m pretty excited to be a part of the team she’s put together.

So, lots of stuff has me excited. So let’s dive in and hopefully we’ll all have a great 2014!

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Happy New Year! Looking forward to 2013

Happy 2013 to everyone who visits here. 2013! Wow. Every now and again, I still get the weird feeling when talking about the 2000s; I mean, in the 1980s we were thinking 2000-anything was the far off future with flying cars, jetpacks and Jetsons style tv-phones. We’ve got the cool tv-phones, but that’s about it. Still, it feels odd to look at the date sometimes.

But 2013 is shaping up to be another busy year, especially while we’re still trying to sell the house (prayers appreciated to help get the thing sold!). The first part of the year will see me shepherding the first ever Full Sail Comic Anthology. It will feature 5 stories by Full Sail students. The goal is to get it out for a grand release at MegaCon…of which I’m also a guest (don’t have my list of panels yet, or I’d let you know). Brittany has two auditions in March for the music departments at Belmont and UNA and she’s getting excited about those.

March will also see me at the Hot Springs Village Writers Conference, a small Writers Conference in Hot Springs, Arkansas. As soon as I get a flyer or website from them, I’ll post it.

I’m also excited to report that it looks like I’m going to have some decent movement on four—yes, 4! Comic projects this year! I’ll be posting a little more about each in the coming weeks (including some art), but a highlight would be as such: Tim Holtrop has just started character sketches/designs for BEAH (now planned as a graphic novel). Tim seems to be excited about it, so his excitement has me all antsy again.

CITIZENS is a project that I started in the late 90s, even had a bunch of pages done before the artist decided he didn’t want to finish it…I recently dusted it off and heavily revised it when I met Joe Badon through a Christian Comic Creator group on Facebook. It’s morphed from a heavily sci-fi into a steampunk story and I like the way it’s going…I’m hoping to see pages from Joe fairly soon and will give sneak peeks here.

Sand Gears is another of story that started in the late 90s and had a few pages penciled and inked by an artist. It is also heavily revised and has more art than any of the projects listed here. Quinton Bedwell is doing the art and there would be more done, likely, if he hadn’t been waiting on me. I’ll tell that story later, but Sand Gears is probably the first project I talk about here in a few weeks.

JC Grande, whose name I’ve seen popping up on several projects lately—and which is a good thing for our project—has done some character designs and is working on the first few pages for The Rejects, a story about a group of misfit superheroes.

Henry Martinez, an artist I worked with as editor back in my Maliby days, has agreed to do some work on a project that I’m pretty excited about…but he’s been very busy so I won’t call out any project names at this time, but will put his name here to help possibly motivate him. 😉

I hinted on Facebook about a steampunk project with legendary artist Jerry Bingham and there’s been no taker on the project yet—but it’s been pitched around to some comic publishers. It’s been seen by a select few and the responses are good, but the right publisher just hasn’t seen it yet. Attached to this blog you’ll see a promotional piece done by Jerry and superbly colored by Emily Kanalz.

Last August I wrote a pitch at the request of a publisher for what could be a very high profile project not just for me but for the publisher. The more time passes the more I suspect the final answer to be no…however, I’ve not heard a final no from the publisher, so I hold out that it may still happen. When it does, you’ll be among the first to know.

Lastly, please enjoy the annual Mann Family Christmas/New Year Greeting: https://docs.google.com/open?id=0B5xOrrK1R8tbMHMwQUJTY1ZVZzg I hope 2013 is great to you!

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