Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Next Big Thing?


Dark Horse Comics is bringing back their flagship title, DARK HORSE PRESENTS as an 80-page, bi-monthly anthology.

The first issue hits comic shops on April 20th and will include a new 300 prequel done by Frank Miller, who also provides one of the covers.

Here's what to expect in #1:
"The legendary, premiere anthology is back! The 80-page spectacular, Dark Horse Presents returns with all-new stories by Neal Adams, Howard Chaykin, and Richard Corben; a new Concrete story by Paul Chadwick, a new Crimson Empire story from the Star Wars universe, and an exclusive sneak peek of Frank Miller's highly-anticipated prequel to 300, Xerxes!

"The celebration continues with a brand-new, all-color Finder story by Carla Speed McNeil, a prose piece from science fiction legend Harlan Ellison, the return of Michael T. Gilbert's Mr. Monster, and much, much more!"

I have to say I'm really excited about the new series.


Then there's DC Comics' STRANGE ADVENTURES. Originally suspected to be a regular series, it turned out to be a one-shot but follows a similar format to DHP. Both titles are 80 pages for $7.99 and feature several original stories.

Could we be seeing a move towards more bulkier original anthologies? Maybe the companies have discovered that if you put quality material in a collection of original comics readers will be more likely to pick it up. Then you have the added bonus of exposing them to new characters or creators simply because it's already in their hands or on their shelf.

The real trick is quality lead material. MARVEL COMICS PRESENTS did well originally because of Weapon X. Then floundered when they stopped putting the bigger stories in it, instead choosing to bring them out as their own titles.

STRANGE ADVENTURES will have the debut of Brian Azarello and Eduardo Risso's new SPACEMAN series and DARK HORSE PRESENTS features Frank Miller doing a prequel to 300. Both of these are projects that could have very well been launched outside of the anthology books and having them headline these new titles shows that Dark Horse and DC are making a real effort.

I, for one, hope it's a trend that catches on. Perhaps when the next comic implosion happens they can use the format to consolidate several Batman books or X-Men books into one over-sized anthology.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Previews Watch: TERRY MOORE HOW TO DRAW #1- WOMEN


TERRY MOORE HOW TO DRAW #1 WOMEN
(W/A) Terry Moore Terry Moore is well known for his highly expressive comic art depicting realistic characters. Now his drawing secrets are revealed in a series of lessons discussing everything from anatomy to drawing tools, from body language to Photoshop, with comprehensive notes, tips and observations from the Eisner award-winning artist. The first lesson in this new quarterly series is Moore's specialty: drawing realistic women. Highly recommended for both amateurs and working professionals.
$3.99
DCBS price: $2.59

Definitely worth getting, if you ask me!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Spring is in the Air

I love Springtime. It's probably my most favorite time of the year. The smell of freshly cut grass, the fluttering of butterflies, the promise of renewal...

It's been a while since I posted here but I'm glad folks are still following. I've been giving some thought as to what I wanted to focus on with my blog. Granted, it's been going for quite some time without any real direction but being an indie comic creator I feel I could use this space to shine a light on that scene.

I may still mention the Legion of Super-Heroes as long as DC continues publishing them and Top Cow's Artifacts has gotten me hooked but I really want to draw attention to other folks like myself. And, of course, whenever I have news about my own comics I will throw that in, too.

I'm going to attempt to make this a weekly affair. There will be a post every Tuesday but I may sprinkle in things throughout the week.

A few items of note:

1. I don't have a local comic shop. The closest one to me is Ground Zero Comics, which is over fifty miles away. I do highly recommend them if you are in the area, however. Dave is really cool.

That in mind, I purchase my comics online through the following places:

DCBS (Discount Comic Book Service) - new comic pre-orders
MyComicShop - back-orders
Amazon.com - trade paperbacks
Fantagraphics - special deals

2. The news sources I follow the most are Newsarama, Comics Continuum and Comic Book Resources.
However, news straight from the horse's mouth can be found at Fantagraphics, SLG Publishing, Drawn and Quarterly and Top Shelf Productions.

I also stop by Coverless on occasion. Well worth checking out.


3. My own comic series, 'Nuther World Comics can be found for free over at Clickwheel. Even though I do put price tags on the physical copies I always end up just handing them out for free whenever I go to a con. I get giddy when another creator gives me one in return. :-)


4. I'm currently reading MAGGIE THE MECHANIC by Jaime Hernandez (Fantagraphics). I've bought a lot of things recently that I need to get to -but my first priority right now is to read all the Love and Rockets books.

Jaime is one of my favorite artists and one of my prize possessions is TEN YEARS OF LOVE AND ROCKETS, a special that was put out to celebrate the 10th Anniversary of the long running series. In it, brothers Jaime and Gilbert discuss their methods for creating the comic.

Something else I want to focus on this week is a list of sites for either consignment or "print on demand".

Consignment deals are where a shop will sell your comic or mini-comic for you and you get a percentage of the sell. The places I've discovered so far are:
Desert Island
Quimby's Bookstore
Chicago Comics
Atomic Books
Comic Relief
IndyPlanet

Here's a good write-up about mini-comics and here's a nice article on selling on consignment.

What about "print on demand" now?

Well, there's IndyPlanet, again, but I've heard great things about Comixpress.

I've found that printing your mini-comic at a local place, like Office Depot is good, too, as you can have them done in an hour or two. Especially useful if you're heading to a con and short on time.

That's it for now. I'll be back next Tuesday with some more ramblings.

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