Tag Archives: Steven Butler

2019 Preview

Happy New Year!

If you missed the annual Merry Christmas/Happy New Year video from the Mann family, here’s your second chance to see it:

Did you spot a couple of new faces? Yeah…thought so. It was a full house, but it was fun.

SO, 2019 is shaping up to be a potentially exciting year for me and I’m looking forward what the new year will bring.

First, the conventions!

At this point in time, early 2019 is looking pretty good, meaning there’s room in the second half of the year.

The first show I’ll do in the new year will be on January 13 in Deland, Fl. My good pal, former roommate, and all around great guy (oh yeah—he does comic art, too) Steven Butler will be here for the show. Also there will be my frequent convention traveling buddy Jeff Whiting as well as wrestling comic writer John Crowther.

Not sure yet where I’ll be for FCBD, but talking to a new shop in town…so…fingers crossed I’ll be able to be there with my pals Barry Gregory and Thomas Florimonte again.

On March 16 I’ll be road-tripping up with Jeff Whiting as we go to the Dyersburg (TN) Comic Convention. Also guests there will be my collaborator on Cat & Mouse, Dean Zachary, as well as other talented comic makers like Mitch Breitweiser and Jim Hall (who should do more comics!).

While not 100% confirmed as of this writing, it looks like a pretty good chance I’ll be a comic guest at the Big River Comic Con in Hannibal, MO, on April 12-14. I’ve never been to a show in that part of the country, so really looking forward to it.

Another place I’ll be in that will be new geography for me will be Knoxville, TN. Yeah, I know many of my Volunteer pals are excited for that one, but I’m going for the Marble City Comic Con on June 1 and 2. Will be road-tripping with Jeff again for that one.

There’s another one in June that I’d really like to get to…but still working on that one.

So, one of my Christmas presents this year is a present that Brett and I share: tickets to see Neal Morse when he comes to Orlando in February. I only discovered his music about 2 years ago, but he’s quickly become one of my top favs and I’m very excited to be able to see him live with my #1 son!

I’m only going to mention it in passing here, as there is still many details to work out…but I’ll be bringing Silverline back this year. Already put several wheels in motion, but it’s kind of exciting.

Along those lines, I’ve got several new comic projects in the works. I can’t really talk about them yet, but they’re exciting to think about.

No telling what other changes 2019 will bring. I predict it’s going to be a very good year, and I’m exciting to get to it.

Happy New Year one and all!

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Cat & Mouse #1 Kickstarter is live!

Yep, you read that correctly. Cat & Mouse #1 has a kickstarter running…and I’m asking you to go check it out. Wait…you thought C&M #1 was published in 1989 by EFGraphics…and then in 1990 by Malibu’s Aircel. It was.

C&M #1 Vol 2

This is for Volume 2! A whole NEW thing. The link is:

A brief history for those interested: When I was at the University of Southern Mississippi in the middle 80s, I met Steven Butler, who became a lifelong friend. Steven was a super-talented artist and he and I swapped notes of rejection from assorted comic companies. He was trying to get work as an artist, me as a writer. So we decided to work together and do our own thing.

One of Steven’s roommates was the equally talented Mitch Byrd, and Steven recruited him (My other pals, Barry Gregory and Thomas Fortenberry were involved on the writing side). In trying to figure out what projects to do, Mitch had a four page piece he had penciled and Steven had inked. It was a crime/cop thing that featured a shadowy figure shoot at cat burglars as they leaped out of a window. I took that and used it as a springboard to come up with the story for the first issue of C&M, with some serious input from both Steven and Mitch. If you’ve read it, you know that I included a character by the name of Demon, a character who’d been with me in one form or another, since about 6th grade.

Cat & Mouse #1 Vol 1

Cat & Mouse ran for 18 issues once it found a home at Malibu. Mitch and I did a four issue Miss Fury mini-series after, but then we both went on to different projects (Mitch landed some nice work with DC comics, and I became an editor at Malibu).

C&M just kinda went away.

Until today. Actually, until about two years ago with another supremely talented artist asked me about it. Enter: Dean Zachary.

But because it’d been so many years, it didn’t make sense to me to just bring back the same characters from before (there’s some other stuff, too)…so the characters from Volume 2 are completely new characters with completely new backgrounds, etc. The spirit and mood and tone will all remain—and we’ll even get to see some of the supporting cast from volume 1, but there are a lot of new faces involved—which makes it very exciting.

Volume 1 began mostly about fighting corruption in the justice system. Volume 2 will deal with the very serious theme of human trafficking. It will remain a “General Audiences” book, but the theme will be a little heavier.

SO…yes, this is me asking. Please go check out the link and consider pledging—I really think you’ll like what you read. But if you can’t pledge, please consider sharing it to those in your social network—tell them you know me and you think they should plop down a few dollars to help us get #2 made!

Thanks!

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Catch-up con report

Brittany, Chris Ulm, and me at SDCC2017

I haven’t done a con report since MegaCon, and that was back in June. So this will be a catch-up Con report!

In July I did the Orlando Collect-A-Con in Altemonte Springs. It was a fun show and I’m already planning a return there for next year! Also in July, I went out to San Diego Comic Con for the second year in a row (thanks to my buddies at Ka-Blam!). I got to see many old pals, including my former boss and Malibu Editor-in-Chief, Chris Ulm!

Steven Butler, Barry Gregory, me, John Crowther

I was no sooner back from SDCC when my other old pal, Steven Butler was in town for a convention in Tampa. I rode out there with old pal Barry Gregory and we were joined by new pal John Crowther for a fun dinner and lively chat!

In early August, Jeff Whiting and I made the long trip up to Pikeville, KY for the inaugural Pikeville ComicCon. We had a blast. What an awesome first show it was. Got the chance to meet a lot of new people there. Got my fingers crossed for an invite back to the second one—yes, it was that cool of a show!

Stephen Rosys, Jeff Whiting, Cody Barker, Todd Goodman, Mike W. Belcher, Me, Aiden Belcher

In late August, I went to the Orlando Infinity Con. This was my second time to be there and this is one of the closest ones to my home, so it’s very easy to do.

I had planned to do the Lake Collect-A-Con in October, a show I’ve done before and look forward to doing again, but my band chaperone mishap the day before (you can read about it here if you missed it) kept me from attending. Yes, I basically laid around the house and moaned all day. If you don’t believe me, ask BJ. I’ve been to LCAC twice, and I’m looking forward to making the third one next year.

I had help a few weeks later, though, as Brett supplied the muscle to get me in the door at Emerald City Comic Fest, another inaugural show. This one, too, was very good. One thing I really liked about it was that admission was free! Not sure how the show managed to pull that off, but the free admission got a whole host of folks in, some comic fans and some just curious to see what all the noise was about. Met some new folks, but had the chance to catch up with Dave again, who always brings me something to sign when he comes to a show I’m at. I think I’ve signed more books for Dave than any other single person. He brings me books I’ve forgotten I worked on!

Barry Gregory, John Crowther, me!

Another fun thing about ECCF is that The Geeky Mom set up right beside me! (that’s BJ, for those of you with raised eyebrows right now!)

Central Florida is a great place to be if you like comics, comic conventions, and meeting comic creators!

Coming up, I’ll be at Smashcon on November 18th and unless I can work out a show for early December (trying to, but it may not happen), that’ll be my last show for the year.

 

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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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