Tag Archives: Steven Butler

Wizard World Nashville, Ft. Lauderdale and Kickstarter

Me and Mo!

Me and Mo!

Well, those of you who are regular here know this has been a hectic month for me. The sad news is that the Kickstarter to get Citizens off the ground was unsuccessful. I’ll talk about that some when I wrap up the whole Kickstarter blog entries. But—if you really know me you know that not all hope is lost. In fact, I talk with the uber-talented Joe Badon (artist for Citizens, if you weren’t paying attention) this coming weekend about what our next move is. I definitely want to see it happen, but as a writer in a very visual medium, much of it will depend on Joe’s interest level. I’ll have more to say about that next week.

New Cat & Mouse reader Billy and I compare guns!

New Cat & Mouse reader Billy and I compare guns!

More urgently, I’ll be at Wizard World in Ft. Lauderdale this weekend. You can find me (and Joe, too!) at D28 in Artists Alley. Come by and say hello, by some cool comics from us. We’ll even sign them! I’ll even sign them for FREE! (if you don’t get the humor in that, ask me at the show and I’ll explain it to you)

Captain Hammer approves of Krey!

Captain Hammer approves of Krey!

I had a great time at Wizard World in Nashville last weekend. Daughter Brittany was able to attend with me and we were hosted by the very gracious Kyle Saylors, who was wrapped up in a music video shoot when we arrived. Kinda cool!

I got to see some old pals: chatted with Howard Chaykin and picked up almost like it was just a few months since I’d last seen him. Danny Fingeroth invited me to participate in a few panels—and much fun was had. Got to see Ronnie Prudhomme, who was about 16 the first time I ever met him: wish I could dig up the picture of me, Steven Butler, Mitch Byrd and Thomas Florimonte at his dad’s store: Paper Gold.

Books by Sara Woolley and Myke!

Books by Sara Woolley and Myke!

I also got to meet some new folks: I was able to pick up some cool swag from Sara Woolley and Myke! (see the pic) Sara was my neighbor in Artists Alley and we were on one panel together (Writing Comics).

And, of course, it wouldn’t be a comic convention without some cool cosplay folks. You should note they proudly support my work—so you should, too!

(FYI, you can always click on the images to see them in a larger size)

Batfan Spiderman is fan of Roland Mann!

Batfan Spiderman is fan of Roland Mann!

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Really, it’s nearly August?

Been a while since I’ve been here. The good news is that I’ve been busy doing cool stuff! So I’ll try to give you the readers digest version here, and then longer later.

CitizensProfilePicFacebook

Citizens by Roland Mann and Joe Badon

So I’m happy to announce that Wizard World Conventions have added me to five—yes, that right, FIVE of their upcoming shows. They are: Nashville on September 25-27, Ft. Lauderdale on Oct 2-4, Greenville on July 15-17 2016, Raleigh NC TBD 2016, and Orlando Aug 5-7 2016. Yes, I’m very excited about these shows. I’ve never done a comic show in any of those cities except Orlando.

Others shows I’ll be at: Mt. Dora on Sept 19, Daytona Beach ComicCon on Dec 6, and of course, I’ll be presenting at the Florida Writers Conference on Oct 15-18. SO, mark those dates on your calendar and come see me.

AND, depending on how quickly we can get them done, hopefully there will be some new projects to show you. First and foremost, I’m … just … moments … away … from launching a kickstarter campaign for the CITIZENS graphic novel I’m working on with super talented artist Joe Badon. Oh, trust me, you’ll hear about it here when it happens. I’m told I have to “media blitz” when it’s happening…so, don’t hate me when it happens. Heck, I’m going to depend on YOU to help me.

Panel from an upcoming graphic novel with artist Deonna Herrold.

Panel from an upcoming graphic novel with artist Deonna Herrold.

In a really wild story of how they met, I started working with up and coming artist Deonna Herrold on a graphic novel. I’ll tell you that story later, but here’s a peek at one panel from a page she’s done. She’s all high-tech on the computer, but it’s been very cool to watch her process.

I’m also excited to tell you that I have two new graphic novels now available in either print OR digital.

KreyGN cover

Krey Graphic Novel

Krey collects the five issue mini-series published by Caliber Press, and

DemonsTailsGNCOVER

Demon’s Tails Graphic Novel

Demon’s Tails collects the four issue mini-series published by Adventure. So what are you waiting on? Click the links and go buy a copy!

I’m also working with a couple of other artists that I don’t want to mention yet for fear of jinxing the projects…it’s way early anyway, but I’m still pretty excited about the prospects!

Oh…and I joined a writers group again. First time in a long time, but I’m pretty stoked about it.

Okay, there’s the update. Until next time!

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TMNT: Turtles in Dixie

I don’t usually talk about dead projects…most of the time my thoughts are that a project is never dead, simply delayed to be resurrected at some later date. Not long ago, though, I talked to Rich Handley, who was putting together a compendium of Planet of the Apes material, and as I had participated in playing in that world via the PoTA: Blood of the Apes mini-series I did with artists Darren Goodhart and Bruce McCorkindale, he wanted to talk to me not just about BoTA, but asked to see if I had any “unpublished” Apes stories.

I did, of course.

I hesitated to give them to him because, as I said, I don’t think a story idea is gone until…well, until it’s gone (no comments from you, Hank Kanalz!). In the back of my mind, I think I’ll simply revise it—change the apes to cats or some such, and viola! New story. I did tell him though, though, and you can check out the finished book here.

But that made me think of one project that is not likely to go anywhere at all, a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles story. Yep, TMNT!

Turtles in Dixie

Page of TMNT as drawn by Steven Butler. Original art is 11×17

The project happened because my artist buddy Ken Branch, who was primarily inking back…well, a few years back now, had a contact with the TMNT publishers. He pitched the idea for me to come up with a story, our pal Steven Butler to pencil it, and he’d ink it. A ready made creative team.

Well, y’all know that I like to be Southern-centric when I can, so I thought I’d bring the Turtles to the South. The story opens with boys on a paddle-boat chugging along the Mississippi River. They’re on a vacation and find themselves in Vicksburg, Mississippi where they visit the Civil War battlefield and end up fighting some alligator mutants as well as some armadillo mutants. Not a complicated story, but one with some history and some humor. For you non-Southerners, ask a Reb you know how most of us ever see armadillos.

Well, I finished up the story synopsis and Steven did a page…and then the TMNT publishers stopped taking outside creators to work on it.

So it sat…for years.

Recently, when IDW began publishing TMNT material, I contacted Steven and asked if he still had any interest. He did…I resubmitted. But no go—seems the Turtles’ origin is no longer compatible with the story…and as the editor who responded didn’t open the door to revisions…well, it’s a dead project.

For your eyeball pleasure, though, here’s a good scan of Steven’s page with the boys facing off against Armadillo!

It would have been fun.

Sigh.

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What a bummer

Well, I had a blog all ready to go, but two events the last couple of days caused me to write this instead. The two events are unrelated, but combined just make for one bummer of a few days.

The first, and lesser, event is that my apartment was burglarized (or burgled—because I like that form of the word). They didn’t get much because I don’t really have much IN my apartment—it’s very barebones while we still wait to sell the house (prayers on that end are MUCH appreciated). Still, they broke the window and took our PlayStation (with a game in the drive) and they handpicked ONE singled DVD—left the others there (about a dozen)! I’m thankful, but I can’t figure out why they didn’t just take them all or why they picked the old 1940s Batman serials over Green Lantern.

Wait…yes, I do understand.

It isn’t so much the missing items as it is the feeling that someone waltzed into my home and took stuff that I worked (or BJ did) hard to earn money so I could pay for it. Quite simply, it makes me angry and I just want to smack them in the face!

The other downer is that I learned of the death of a friend. Terry Wagers owned Hub City Comics in Hattiesburg, MS., in the late 80s and early 90s and was incredibly supportive of me in my early writing career. In fact, it was Terry who sponsored the very first autograph session for me, Mitch Byrd and Steven Butler when Cat & Mouse was released TWagersin 1989 (see attached picture with the three of us and Terry). I don’t know exactly how many copies he ordered, but it was a BUNCH! He wasn’t only a vocal supporter mine, but of all the local comic talent in the Hattiesburg area, and he was a financial supporter, too, ordering plenty of our work to stock his shelves and make it available to anyone who happened by–and I always tried to direct people to his shop to buy my work.

Sometime in the early 90s, me, Terry, Steven and Mitch all trekked over to the Dallas Fantasy Fair. Mitch carried a big touristy camera around his neck taking pictures of all the architecture–he must have taken close to 100 pictures, and this back in the day of film! The four of us crashed in the hotel room and talked non-stop geek-stuff on the 10 hour drive there…and back! We were all packed in to Terry’s little Japanese car (Camry?)…and Terry wasn’t exactly a small guy to begin with. I still have hours of video footage from this trip!

Once I married and moved away, we dropped out of all but irregular contact. Then, he closed the shop and I didn’t hear from him for several years. It wasn’t until recently that I got the friend request from him on Facebook and discovered his battle with cancer. Unfortunately, he lost that battle.

RIP my friend Terry. Hope you’ve got a bunch of cool comics to read. You are missed.

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Wizard World Comic Con 2011

Those who’ve known me for more’n a decade know that I’ve been to dozens and dozens of comic book/science fiction (recently turned media) conventions. I first began going as a fan and not long after, as a “guest.” Most of the shows I’ve been to have been in God’s country down here in the Southland: Dallas Fantasy Festival, Atlanta DragonCon, MegaCon (Orlando), NOSFF (New Orleans), CoastCon (Biloxi), MobiCon (Mobile), ChimneyCon and MissCon (Jackson), MidSouthCon and ShadowCon(Memphis), Chicago ComicCon, WonderCon (Oakland), SPE (Small Press Expo), APE (Alternative Press Expo), and a couple I’m sure I’ve forgotten. Most of those named I’ve been to multiple times, CoastCon probably being my most attended show (and the FIRST to ever invite me as a guest).

I say all that to say that when I recently attended Wizard World Comic Con in New Orleans, I had a pretty good idea what I thought I’d expect. Boy was I surprised! The guys at Wizard World—my dealings in particular were with Stephen Shamus—know how to put on a top notch show. I was surprised at multiple things: how clean it was, how smoothly it ran, how mostly family-friendly it was, how professional it was. I don’t know all the politics of it all, but I do know that Wizard World has purchased or is in the process of purchasing conventions all around the nation (they bought a spot in Nashville and I hope I get to attend that show!)

One of my personal highlights for the show was getting able to visit with and see old pals (picture: left to right: Steven Butler, yours truly, Ken Branch, Dan Nakrosis, Mitch Byrd). Wizard even worked it out so that our tables were positioned immediately next to us. Talk about convenience for our fans! The neat thing was that it’d been 20 years since me, Mitch and Steven had signed copies together and never before had me, Mitch, Steven and Ken ever been in the same place at the same time. Neither here nor there, I guess, still, it was pretty cool. Ken is pushing his hot off the press graphic novel, 35 Years Will You Survive?, a story of global warming repercussions.

I also had the opportunity to visit with Christy Butler, Steven’s wife. I think Christy is a lot like BJ (my wife—for those one or two who didn’t know) in that a little bit of “conventioning” is enough. I tell the story of BJ’s first trip to the San Diego Comic Con, the granddaddy of them all and how she showed up at the Malibu booth and said she was going to look around. Fifteen minutes later she was back and saying goodbye—she’d seen enough of the convention to suit her fancy. And she went shopping in downtown.

Fifteen minutes.

Another of my joys was that my daughter Brittany got to come along with me. She also had a good time. She got to meet several actors and ask them for suggestions about becoming an actress. Most of them didn’t really help her much AND she didn’t get to get any autographs (they were selling signatures. Adam West wanted $60 for his autograph!). However, Ray Park (the guy who played Darth Maul in Star Wars) was incredibly nice to her. And it was funny, cause she—not being a big Star Wars fan—came back to the table to tell me about it and called him the “Sith dude.”

I’ll eagerly do another Wizard World Comic show…and you should check out one in your area!

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SouthernFriedComicCon 2010

This past weekend I had the great honor and pleasure of being one of a handful of guests at the 2nd Annual Mississippi SouthernFriedComicCon held in Jackson, Mississippi. I had a great time. I got to see some old friends, meet some new ones, sat on a few panels, promoted my new work and even sold and signed some of it.

This was one of those shows that word-of-mouth got to me immediately after last years. Jackson has had a wide variety of comic and sci-fi shows through the years. My first knowledge of them, of course, begins in the 80s. I will admit that as a teenager and student in my 20s, the shows were fantastic. They offered competition for the local store (which was run by a not-so-nice clerk) on both a volume and price level.

Looking back, however, I realize that the shows were often very poorly attended and must have been depressing for any of the exhibitors. I do remember setting up in the early 90s as a guest and wondering where all the attendees were.

SouthernFriedCC is run by a group of folks who not only want to see the show succeed, but have a genuine interest and love for the medium (we can discuss all the pros and cons of THAT later! Ha) and want to share it with others. SFCC makes a concentrated effort to maintain a family friendly atmosphere, something that not all sci-fi and comic shows do. I applaud that effort and hope that others will do the same.

I went down to Jackson a day early and spent some time with my former roommates Ashley Koostra and Steven Butler. Ash has been in Jackson, I think, just about since the time we graduated way back when. Steven’s still down in south Mississippi. It’s odd how when we get together, it sometimes seems so little time has passed when we talk about the “old days.” Gee, I’m beginning to sound more and more like my parents every day.

Steven was obviously at SFCC, but so was Mitch Byrd, the other artist that “broke in” to the comic industry same time as me and Steven. I hadn’t seen Mitch since early 90s. Like most of us, he looked the same…a little heavier and a little greyer.

Of course, the promotion machine Andy Childress was there. I give Andy credit for a resurgence in comic arts in Mississippi…okay, maybe not for the resurgence, but for the promotion. Andy, who does bubbaworldcomix.com, is quick to contact every single Mississippi artist and comic creator he knows and let them know about any event in the state. If it were up to him, every one of us would be there at every single event.

Kevin, Shane, and Chuck (me with Chuck Jett pictured above at SFCC) and a whole host of others were also there.

The folks from Imagicopter were there in full force. I should blog about them sometime…cool idea. If I didn’t see you there, then you missed out on a fun time!

I’ll be doing a signing and reading at Davis-Kidd Booksellers in Memphis on July 6. Be there!

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Sang and signed

What an incredibly busy week last week was…non-stop all the way through Sunday p.m. I know that you all want a report on Brittany’s competition. I do have video, but I haven’t had the chance to download or put it on youtube yet…the quality of the video isn’t that great, though.

Brittany, however, did fantastic. Her performances just keep getting better and better. While the competition didn’t seem to be as good this year as last, there were still some very talented kids performing. It also never fails that I hear some song for the first time during the process of the Mid-South Talent Fair…and then within the next day or so, hear it on the radio.

No sooner did we get back from Brittany’s competition than I had to turn around and head to Jackson for the autograph signing at Van’s Comics. I went earlier Friday than I really had to, but I was able to meet my long-time friend Steven Butler in Jackson for lunch. We spent the next 5 hours hanging out in Shoney’s and catching up. Man, but it doesn’t feel like we were roommates 20 years ago! Steven and I stayed with my other very good friend, Ashley Koostra. Ashley (pictured at right) is also a former roommate of mine. In fact, for 12 whole months in 1989, the three of us were roommates, along with David Rogers. With the exception of having no hair now, Ashley looks no different than he did back then. Steven and I have both added a few pounds since then…but just a few.

After dinner, the three of us sat up at Ashley’s reminiscing about so many things that we lost track of time. He had to work the next morning and Steven and I were slated to be at Van’s at 9:30. I shan’t say at what time we finally hit the sack, but it was later than it should have been!

The next day Steven and I set up at Van’s. I’d never been to Van’s and really didn’t know what to expect of the day. The day was really spearheaded by Andy Childress, a comic creator out of Louisville, MS. Andy’s got a fire lit to promote Mississippi comic talent. His driven energy reminds me much of the old Silverline gang and the reasons it was formed to begin with. Way back then, Steven and I also thought that Mississippi (and surrounding areas) had an incredible wealth of untapped talent. Thus Silverline was born.

Sales-wise/customer-wise, the day was very sad (I often wondered where . It was a beautiful day, but the store had very little foot traffic and therefore we had very few folks to come by and talk to us. The comic creators, however, had a grand time, talking uninhibited about all things comic and geek! It also gave me the opportunity to meet some Mississippi creative talent I’d not met before. I had the chance to snap a few photos during the day, too. Pictured are: Steven Butler (seated) and standing L-R: Andy Childress, Chuck Jett, Shane Sullivan, Kevin Hayman.

Afterwards, bemoaning our lack of sales for the day, we headed next door and grabbed a sandwich and continued to geek out. All in all, a good time was had by all.

I returned home late that night in order to get up the next morning and take Brittany to her first practice for Southern Sounds. They’ll be performing in Jackson soon…more on that in a future blog!

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