Tagged: creators

New York Comic Con’s Pulp Panel

New Pulp Author W. Peter Miller was part of the pulp programming at last weekend’s New York Comic Con.
Reposted from his blog, http://docsavagetales.blogspot.com/2011/10/new-york-comic-con-part-1-pulp-panel.html with permission.

New York Comic Con – Part 1 – Pulp Panel

Note – It seems I have misidentified some people in the pictures…
This past weekend I joined the masses at the New York Comic Con. Sunday afternoon was the occasion of the Pulp Fiction – Now With Even More Pulp panel that featured a huge all-star panel that included authors Adam Garcia, Mark Halegua, Jim Beard, and Will Murray, artist Tom Gianni, publishers Greg Goldstein (COO of IDW), Joe Rybrant (Dynamite Comics), and Anthony Tollin (Nostalgia Ventures). Ed Catto was the moderator.
With this many panelists and the volume of pulp material being published, the hour flew by quickly and a bunch of fans got to take home some freebies. The panel was introduced and the current and upcoming projects of the panelists discussed. Disappointingly, there was not nearly enough time for a  discussion on the state of pulp fiction today. I think that there is a lot to be discussed about New Pulp and the term didn’t even come up.
 The panel from r-l: Ed Catto, Greg Goldstein?, Will Murray, Anthony Tollin, Tom Gianni, Adam Garcia

The panel cont. r-l: Joe Rybrant, Jim Beard, Mark Halegua
Some of the upcoming projects mentioned were quite exciting. Here are some highlights, or at least what I remember…
Greg Goldstein said that IDW is doing another anthology series with the Rocketeer, featuring new creators and a few returning creators from the first series. That is great news, because those were good stories. The major publishers can’t even get one story in a comic and the Rocketeer Adventures had 3 or 4! I would also like to see a longer adventure featuring Cliff Secord and Betty.
Will Murray wrote the first new official Doc Savage novel released in almost 20 years, The Desert Demons, written from Lester Dent’s notes. That came out this summer, but the next one, Horror in Gold is coming out soon! Audio books of Will’s first 2 Doc novels are out from Radio Archives. Will is also overseeing a line of of pulp audio books with them as well, starting with The Spider.
Anthony Tollin has many things coming including a Shadow movie serial script and a behind the scenes look at the serial and interviews with crew members. The Shadow Scrapbook will be expanded and reprinted, including a 1934 radio script by Walter Gibson.
Tom Gianni has painted a cover for Moonstone’s Avenger Chronicles and is working a Graphic novel of his own called, “Mechanic Anna”, which is hoping to have out next summer. Tom’s beautiful art, can be seen here.
Adam Garcia is making a name for himself with his new Green Lama stories which span the media. His new Green Lama novel, The Crimson Circle should be out early next year, and there will be Green Lama comics and an audio drama, too. Exciting stuff!
Dynamite has a lot going on and Joe Rybrant clearly loves pulp and talked about an upcoming Flash Gordon / Phantom cross over featuring another unnamed pulp character that may be Mandrake of possibly the Green Lama… Dynamite also has another big pulp character coming that will be announced soon.
Mark Halegua has his first story out in Mystery Men & Women Vol 2 from Airship 27. It features his original character, the Red Badge.
With this many creators and this many new books to talk about there wasn’t much talk about the future of pulp, or the New Pulp movement, except for when Adam Garcia talked about bringing more to the table by leaning in a slightly more literary / post-modern vein that some pulp fans don’t seem to care for. I think that there is plenty of room for that and the mainstream publishers are publishing that under the guise of ‘steampunk’ and other names…

The fans swarm the panel for free goodies

Adam Garcia and fellow Green Lama writer W. Peter Miller
Also, New Pulp Author and pulp panelist, Adam Garcia posted two videos of the panel on YourTube for your enjoyment.


Math. Ugh. Hate it. Too real world for me. Unyielding, unforgiving, no sense of humor, and numbers don’t talk to me the way words do. My brain isn’t wired for it. However, numbers are a part of comics and comic book writing.

Certainly there are the important numbers regarding sales, but they also figure into telling a story. Let’s go through some of them. First number: the number of pages. Right now, your monthly comic book is 22 pages long. Let’s say you’ve been asked to do a fill-in story or a complete in one story for a given book. There are certain space limitations you need to take into account.

How many panels are in a page? Well, your first page is usually the splash page which means one big panel. This page also usually has the title of the story and the credits box for the creators. Here’s some rules of thumb for the other pages: when there’s a lot of action, you use fewer panels per page. If it’s a talk scene, you can have more. I generally figure that it will average out to five panels a page. The splash page is one panel so you have 21 pages times five panels. We do the match and the whole thing totals 106 panels in which to tell your story.

There are also limits to how much you can put in a panel. This includes speech balloons, thought balloons, captions, and sound effects, if you have them. You don’t want to crowd the art. I generally figure the limit of all of the above is three per panel.

Nor can you do that every single panel. If you do that, you have a wall of words and the reader usually will just ignore it and go on to the next page that hopefully has less verbiage. The exception to this rule is Brian Michael Bendis and, trust me, unless you are in fact Brian Michael Bendis, you’re not Brian Michael Bendis.

There are also limits to how much you can put into each word balloon, thought balloon, or caption. Again, I use a rule of thumb and it’s based on my font type and size. I tend to use Geneva 14 point (my eyes aren’t great and that’s what I can most easily see). So I figure the maximum is three typed lines per balloon or caption. Again, you can’t do that with every panel or you’ll wind up with the Wall of Words that gets ignored. Again, the Bendis Exception applies.

So, being generous, let’s say you average about 1.5 balloons/captions per panel. Do the math. If you have 106 panels per issue, that comes out to 159 balloons/captions with which to tell your story. That’s it. 21 pages, 106 panels, 159 balloons/captions in all. That’s plot, plot twists, characterization, theme, and snappy banter. Ladies and germs, that’s not a lot of space.

There’s a bit more math with telling a story as well. Each panel should have one clear definable action per panel. Batman leaps but he does not leap, land, spin, and hit the Joker in one panel. Asking your artist to draw that is grounds for justifiable homicide. I’m kidding. Your artist won’t kill you; he/she will simply ignore your instructions and find a way to make it work. But they will hate you… with justification.

You can have a secondary character do something in the panel as well but you can’t do that a lot unless your artist is George Pérez who will add more action if you haven’t. The Pérez Exception is the artist corollary to the Bendis Exception.

And you have to do all this without making it seem crowded or rushed.

That’s the mathematical reality to writing a single issue comic book, kids. If you’re doing an arc, then you multiply by the number of issues. The number of issues you’re allowed will depend on the price point (again, a number) the company figures the public will pay. It’s usually four or five issues. So, for an arc, you can multiply the above totals by those numbers. Still not a lot of space. Finally, there are deadlines, which are another set of numbers, namely the date by which it’s all due. Violate that at your peril.

And that, as our friends in the newspaper trade were wont to say, is -30-.

MONDAY: Mindy Newell


PULP ARK, the official New Pulp Convention, debuted in Batesville, Arkansas on May 13-15, 2011.  Due to the initial success of the format and comments made by both guests and attendees, PULP ARK decided to offer its programming, from panels to classrooms to rather unique programming aspects, such as a live action play in the midst of the show, to other Conventions and Shows.  PULP ARK announces that the first convention that will host New Pulp Traveling Con Programming is the Memphis Comic and Fantasy Convention (www.memphiscfc.com) October 14-16, 2011 in Memphis, Tennessee!

This plan, according to Tommy Hancock, PULP ARK Founder and Coordinator was not restricted to Pulp themed shows. “As a matter of fact,” Hancock reports, “the original discussions that prompted this among Pulp Ark guests, many of them creators in both Pulps and Comics as well as other mediums, focused on offering this unique programming to Non Pulp Shows, like Comic and Fantasy conventions, old time radio conventions, genre specific shows, and so on.  So we’re extremely excited to be a part of the Memphis Comic and Fantasy Convention and so far they’re as excited as we are to have us!”

The line up for NEW PULP Programming is a stellar one.  Hancock, listed as PULP GUEST OF HONOR on the con’s site states that the real talent are those who are coming with him.  “Super Hero Pulp author extraordinaire Van Plexico and Author of Pulp Epics Wayne Reinagel will be there to do panels and take part in the programming.  Also, Erwin K. Roberts of Planetary Stories and Pulp Spirit, among others, as well as Don Thomas, author, and Pete Cooper, artist of Pro Se Productions will be there to work their wondrous magic.  This will be a weekend of panels, classrooms, plays, theater, and most of all camaraderie.”

For the schedule of New Pulp Panels as well as all the other goodness that will be at the Memphis Comic and Fantasy Convention, check out the website at www.memphiscfc.com!   Come out and see what NEW PULP has to do with Comics and Fantasy! You might be surprised and actually learn something!

Announcing The SideKick Foundation

The Sidekick Foundation is a new confederacy that seeks to generously aid comics creators in need of financial and medical assistance. Sidekick’s board of directors and advisors consists of established, respected comics professionals who have agreed to support the organization’s initiative which, in its first year, shall be to donate 90% of all generated proceeds directly to those in need.

“Sidekick was established by Clifford Meth, whose work on behalf of comics creators in need is well known,” said Jim Reeber, president of Aardwolf Publishing and Secretary of Sidekick. “By adding the weight of some of the industry’s most respected names to his own, I believe Cliff can help more people than ever before and do so more effectively.”

“I’ve spent the last three years working for well-known charities and non-profits,” said Meth, a former Executive V.P. of IDW Publishing and recent spokesman for Kars4Kids. “Regardless of the cause, the one thing that always irked me was how much money goes to the overhead of charitable organizations. While it may be legal to only give away a small portion of collected proceeds, I find it ethically unacceptable. The Sidekick Foundation will not have a paid Director nor full-time staff. Most work will be done by volunteers allowing the foundation to keep expenses to a minimum.”

Sidekick’s Board of Advisors includes Neal Adams, Harlan Ellison, Joe Sinnott, Tom Palmer, Herb Trimpe, and Morris Berger (former president of IDT Entertainment and chairman of IDW Publishing).

“I’m particularly proud to have Neal Adams and Harlan Ellison with us,” said Meth. “Neal laid the foundation for art returns and his work on behalf of Superman’s creators is legendary, while Harlan Ellison is a stalwart champion of creator’s rights. With friends like these in your corner, you can move mountains.”

Sidekick will debut at New York ComicCon on Sunday, October 16. Artist David Lloyd (“V for Vendetta”) will be drawing for Sidekick at the Cadence table #3153 from 12:30 to 1:30 pm. In addition, Clifford Meth and writer Don McGregor will be selling donated art as well as items from the late Gene Colan and Dave Cockrum, among others. Future signings and events are planned from artists Michael Netzer and Bill Messner-Loebs.

For more information, visit http://www.thesidekickfoundation.org/

Steve Jobs: 1955-2011

Steven Paul Jobs, co-founder, chairman and former chief executive of Apple Inc., former owner and CEO of Pixar, and the single largest shareholder of The Walt Disney Company (now owner of Marvel), passed away Wednesday at the age of 56.

It would be almost impossible to overstate Steve Jobs’ impact on the world at large, and many other obituaries will do so. We’ll merely touch upon his impact on comics and popular culture: from the creation of the Macintosh, the computer of choice for most comics creators, to his stewardship of Pixar, which revolutionized the animation industry, to the iTunes store, the largest digital sales platform on the planet, to the creation of the iPad and iPhone, widely agreed to be the platform of the future of comics.

He will be sorely missed. Our condolences to his family, friends, and fans.

“A Never-Ending Battle” Celebrates Comics’ Super-Heroes and Their Creators

New York, NY  (October 3, 2011)   A Never-Ending Battle, the first episode of a new film from the creative team responsible for the award-winning PBS documentaries Broadway: The American Musical and Make ‘Em Laugh: The Funny Business of America, will be screened in front of an audience for the first time at the New York Comic Con, the East Coast’s largest and most exciting pop culture convention.

Featuring rare footage along with new interviews with legends such as Joe Simon, Stan Lee, Jim Steranko, Neal Adams, Michael Chabon and Jules Feiffer, segments of the first episode – “A Never-Ending Battle: 1938-1954” – will be previewed on Friday, October 14, 2011 at 4PM in Room 1B01 of the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center at 655 West 34th Street in Midtown Manhattan.  An on-stage interview and Q&A with filmmakers and cultural historians Michael Kantor and Laurence Maslon will take place immediately following the screening.

“We’re really excited to preview our film to fans at New York Comic Con,” said Emmy Award winning filmmaker Michael Kantor. “Because so many incredible talents have given us interviews, I think of this screening as kind of like attending six all-star panel sessions at once.  We are also very eager to get fan reactions and feedback.”

“As a comics fan from back in the days of Second Sundays at the McAlpin Hotel, it was a privilege for me to sit down and hear so many legendary creators spin new tales I had never heard before,” added Maslon, the film’s co-writer, as well as an associate professor at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. “This documentary series will mark the first time that we’re able to tell the grand epic of the American comic book heroes on a scale that they deserve.”

The event is open to all registered attendees of the New York Comic Con, space permitting, and has been made possible by special arrangement with Ghost Light Films, Inc., Reed POP and Bonfire Agency, LLC.

MIKE GOLD: 24-Hour Comics Day — Before

This weekend includes at least three elements: the Jewish holy week between the New Year and the Day of Atonement, the weekend, and 24-Hour Comics Day.

I note that first part just in case somebody reads this to my mother. Hi, Mom!

24-Hour Comics Day  was created by Scott McCloud and it is exactly what the name implies: comics creators get together in local conclaves (not autoclaves; that’s a completely different thing) “to create a 24-page comic book in 24 continuous hours.” It’s sort of a tribute to the days of yore when a creator would get an emergency over-the-weekend assignment and get a bunch of friends together to write, pencil, ink, letter and color the entire book over the weekend, deliver it on Monday, and hopefully get paid for their effort.

Of course, way back then comic books ran 64 pages – 48 pages after World War II hit speed. But today we’ve got to do all those poster shots and, you know, backgrounds and stuff so we’ll ignore the drop in pages.

It’s enormous fun for participants and observers, kibitzers (Hi, Mom!) and hecklers. Since the last thing these 24-hour comics creators need is the sabotage of an admittedly grossly talented editor, I’m going to drop by Challengers Comics and Conversation in Chicago (1845 N. Western Avenue, about a block south of the Blue Line Western Avenue L stop) to do what I do best: mooch food and annoy people. There will be about 25 creators creating, fulfilling the “Comics” part of Challengers’ name, and plenty of kibitzers to meet the “Conversation” part. It all starts at 11 AM Saturday; I’ll probably wander in around 1 or 2 PM after everybody gets down to the hard work. But enough about me.

The type of creativity and camaraderie shown at 24-Hour Comics Day is the lifeblood of this medium. It’s been there since day one when young fans of pulp writing, science fiction and newspaper strips got sought out employment in the new form. Everybody in the biz was a kid back then; Jerry Siegel, Joe Shuster, Bob Kane, Jerry Robinson, Joe Kubert, Gil Kane and many, many others weren’t old enough to get their driver’s license when they started out in comics.

This sort of enthusiasm endures to this day. I love going to “independent comics” shows such as MoCCA in New York just to soak in all that energy and see where the young creative spirits are wandering. Plus, I’m working on that incubus thing.

It’s pretty busy, so you’re trying to break into the racket 24-Hour Comics Day probably isn’t the place to schlep (Hi, Mom!) your portfolio. Call ahead to see if your local venue is receptive to walk-in presentations. However, it’s a great place to see how it all happens, how it’s put together, what people use as their tools (yeah, I know, laptops and iPads) and network. Not the Howard Beale type; you know what I mean.

Many venues are doing 24-Hour Comics Day in association with a local or national non-profit group, and that’s great – particularly in these troubled times. But, really, giving young and new creators the opportunity is a great thing in and of itself. Helping out, even by simply attending and hanging out (although buying a few comics would be swell) is a great thing as well. As we Ashkenazi-Americans like to say, it’s a Mitzvah.

Hi, Mom!

THURSDAY: Dennis O’Neil

12 Gauge Comics October Pulpy Offerings

Coming in October from 12 Gauge Comics.

THE BOONDOCK SAINTS, VOL. 1 TP: “In Nomine Patris”Writers: Troy Duffy and J.B. Love
Artist: Guus Floor
152 pages
Launching out of the wildly successful film franchise — THE BOONDOCK SAINTS and THE BOONDOCK SAINTS II: ALL SAINTS DAY — this inaugural comic book collection chronicles the first story to take place outside of the cult-hit films. Written by BOONDOCK SAINTS creator/writer/director TROY DUFFY and comic scribe J.B. LOVE, the “In Nomine Patris” saga is the perfect companion to the films.
Discover the true story behind the original saint, Noah MacManus (IL DUCE), and his bloody war against New York’s 1960s Underground Crime world.
And what of the beloved MacManus Brothers? For the first time ever, Troy Duffy reveals some of what happened between the films, as well as the brother’s journey to uncover the full extent of their family’s legacy of violence, leaving a path of vengeance in their wake!
Including a foreword by Connor MacManus himself– actor SEAN PATRICK FLANERY– never-before-seen art, a cover gallery, all six comic issues, and more— this all new chapter in the Boondock Saints Saga is what the fans have been waiting for! Don’t miss it!

ICE #4 (of 4)Writer: Doug Wagner
Artist: Jose Holder
Cover Artist: Brian Stelfreeze
Colors: Michael Wiggam
* Bonus co-feature by Doug Wagner and Brian Stelfreeze
32 pages
The battle for simple justice has turned deeply personal for ICE agent Cole Matai, who has left his badge in the states and illegally crossed the border into Mexico, seeking only revenge after the shocking events of the last issue.
With his goal being to finish off Luis Morales once and for all, Cole takes the battle straight to the most ruthless criminal he’s ever encountered. Two men, two knives, and a battle for the ages. It has all led to this….ICE #4 will not disappoint!

LOOSE ENDS #4 (of 4)Writer: Jason Latour
Art and Cover: Chris Brunner
Colors: Rico Renzi
24 pages
“With guns drawn, the deadly crime lord Batista charges toward the seedy Miami hotel room where Detective Rose’s plot is finally hatched. It seems that the only person standing between Sonny, Cheri, and this vicious gangster is the treacherous Detective Flynn and his facility for murder and violence. Or is he?
Join us for all this and more, as we draw the blinds on our shocking conclusion.”
LOOSE ENDS is a gritty, slow cooked, “southern crime romance”, that follows a winding trail down Tobacco Road, through the war torn streets of Baghdad, and into the bright lights and bloody gutters of South Florida…12-Gauge style.

COUNTRY ASS-WHUPPIN’: A Tornado Relief Anthology (One-Shot)Writers: Jason Aaron, Sean Patrick Flanery, Doug Wagner, Nathan Edmondson, and others
Artists: Jason Pearson, Brian Stelfreeze, Jason Latour, Rebekah Isaacs, Tony Shasteen, and others
Cover A: Cully Hamner
Cover B: Kody Chamberlain
48 pages
On April 27, 2011 a string of deadly tornados ripped across the southeastern United States, with the brunt of the devastation focused on the state of Alabama.
In an effort to help some of the victims who are still putting their lives back together, many of the finest comic creators working in the industry today, all with roots or ties to the south, have banded together and donated their time for a uniquely southern anthology: COUNTRY ASS-WHUPPIN’.
The stories have one thing in common– they are all about people in the south kickin’ ass or getting their asses kicked. Enjoy both tall-tales and true stories, told by some of the best in the business; including Jason Aaron (X-MEN: SCHISM, WOLVERINE), Sean Patrick Flanery (BOONDOCK SAINTS), Cully Hamner (RED, BLUE BEETLE), Brian Stelfreeze (ICE, WEDNESDAY COMICS), Rebekah Isaacs (IRON AGE, ANGEL & FAITH), Jason Pearson (ASTONISHING X-MEN, DEADPOOL), Nathan Edmondson (WHO IS JAKE ELLIS?) and many more. Don’t miss this celebration of southern culture, while having fun and helping those in need.
100% of the proceeds from this book will go directly to the Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund, so please ask your retailer to reserve your copy today!

To see all of 12 Gauge Comics’ offerings, visit http://www.12gaugecomics.com/.

Aaron Rosenberg has No Small Bills

nosmallbills-cover-300x450-2946918ComicMix contributor Aaron Rosenberg is a prolific writer, editor, and graphic designer who has written role playing games, comic books, fiction, and non-fiction. As a member of Crazy 8 Press, he has the honor of being the second author to launch an original work through the ePublishing site, a seriocomic work called No Small Bills, which goes on sale later this week (UPDATE: Already available now at Barnes & Noble). We sat down with Aaron to get some background on the project.

ComicMix: Aaron, you’re a writer of fiction and non-fiction. Where does No Small Bills fall?

Aaron Rosenberg: Gosh, I really hope it’s fiction! If that story’s real, we could all be in a lot of trouble!

CMix: Seriously, you’ve written fiction and non-fiction in a variety of genres, but you’re not known for comedy. Was this a stretch as a writer?

Rosenberg: It was, yes—and it wasn’t. It’s not what I normally write, but anyone who knows me in person knows that I can get a bit silly at times, so this was a chance to actually write that side of myself. As one friend commented, it was the first book of mine he’d read where he saw my actual voice instead of my “authorial” one. I also went about it much more freeform than usual—I’m normally an obsessive outliner but with No Small Bills I actually started with a basic notion and just let DuckBob lead me along on his merry little journey for a while, so in a way it was very freeing.

CMix: Where did the notion for NSB come from?

Rosenberg: It started as a joke, years back. I honestly don’t remember the circumstances, but I made some comment about a guy with a duck head, and that led to my slapping together a very silly picture of a duck-headed surfer with the label “DuckBob Surfs the Ion Storm!” And then I thought he’d be a fun character to write about, so I copied that line into my “Notions” folder, along with the second line “A fun-filled story of a man-duck’s quest for the perfect galactic wave.” And it sat there for a long, long time, until I decided to try my hand at writing something silly for once. Then it seemed like the perfect time to trot DuckBob back out and let him get some air.

CMix: Many writers are their character’s alter ego; can that be said for you and DuckBob?

Rosenberg: Well, DuckBob certainly bears some similarity to my snarky side. I don’t know about the rest of him, though. I hope I’m not that lazy! Or loud! We do have similar taste in shirts, though. (more…)