MASTER OF HORROR VINCENT PRICE’S NEW COMIC BOOK SERIES HAUNTS THIS MAY

MASTER OF HORROR VINCENT PRICE’S NEW COMIC BOOK SERIES HAUNTS THIS MAY

One of classic Hollywood’s most famous scary men, Vincent Price made a name for himself in classic mysteries and thrillers throughout the 1940’s, 50’s and 60’s.

A brand new Vincent Price horror limited series comic book to debut from Bluewater Comics in May; Vincent Price’s “House of Horrors”, will be a four issue mini series.  This series is spinning off from the Rondo Award nominated, “Vincent Price Presents”.

“This new series will focus on one shot stories that will have you at the edge of your seat,” said President of Bluewater Comics, Darren G. Davis. “The stories are all new and have a certain horror element about them that hasn’t been seen before.”

The very first issue starts off with the debut of new writer Jay Katz of the energetic and wildly popular web site InvestComics (www.trendingpopculture.com)With art by a Bluewater mainstay Stefano Cardoselli, and colors by Industry star colorist Jeff Balke. It features a painted cover by LP Dopp.

“I am very proud to have this new Vincent Price series for everyone to enjoy”, said Daren Davis. “It’s going to be a spine tingling experience, so get ready for some great horror stories!”

The comic will be available through comic book stores only and other fine established comic book ordering web sites. Check with your retailer and ask about Vincent Price: House of Horrors #1.

About Vincent Price:

Vincent Price was born on May 27, 1911 in St. Louis, Missouri. His father owned the National Candy Company. His acting career began onstage in London in the play Chicago. He also performed with Orson Welles <http://www.biography.com/people/orson-welles-9527363> ‘s Mercury Theatre. Actor Vincent Price starred as the villain in the 1953 film House of Wax. It was one of the first films shot in 3D and revitalized the horror genre.

About Bluewater Productions

Bluewater Productions Inc. is one of the top independent production studios of comic books, young adult books and graphic novels. Its extensive catalog of titles includes the bestsellers 10th Muse and ³The Legend of Isis Bluewater publishes comic books in partnership with entertainment icon William Shatner (TekWar Chronicles),  legendary filmmaker Ray Harryhausen (Wrath of the Titans, Sinbad: Rogue of Mars, Jason and the Argonauts, et al) and celebrated actor Vincent Price (Vincent Price Presents), Additionally, Bluewater publishes a highly successful line of biographical comics under the titles Female Force and Political Power.

Bluewater aims to unite cutting-edge art and engaging stories produced by its stable of the publishing industry¹s top artists and writers.

For more information, visit www.bluewaterprod.com

 

InvestComics Comic Hot Picks 2-29-12

Welcome to InvestComics Comic Hot Picks 2-29-12

Orlando’s MegaCon last week pushed back the Weekly Hot Picks, so let’s dive back in! But before getting to that, InvestComics has a lot of footage to release to you guys from the Con and will be getting that out soon, including the Stan Lee Interview!! Stay tuned as we will get all of the goodies out to you as soon as possible. There is no time sensitive material regarding the videos so you won’t be hearing any creators talk about a release of something that’s already been out there for 3 weeks. It’s just fun stuff!

Also, right before the last Hot Picks article there was a promise to cover an Avengers Villains list. That will happen, but just not this week. It’ll be here soon!

….Now a quick look at a few books to check out this week.

Image Comics has a little book out that has flown under the radar to some capacity for a while now. Not saying this book doesn’t get the credit it deserves, but the pure collector value will continue to grow as each issue hits. Invincible is conceivably the best, consistent Image title on the market today. It’s purity and its “early” Spider-Man like feel has makes this a must read. You also must own anything early Invincible if you’re a collector. Why the focus on this character you ask? We’ll get to that in a moment. First and foremost, a comic collector should definitely own Invincible #1 from 2003. This $100 book right now will give a huge return 10 years from now. Not suggesting one should even sell this book in ten years, in fact if you buy this book for a measly $100, hold on to it for a long long time because this character is poised for some greatness.

Back on April 2011, Image Comics released a teaser that InvestComics posted that included an African American as Invincible. The bottom tag read “2012”. Well 2012 is here and that same teaser is now the cover to Invincible #89. Just like Marvel’s Spider-Man introduced Miles to us, we have a new Invincible now too as an African American. Yes Invincible is the modern day Spider-Man, so you best jump on board before you miss the train here.

The best collector appearance comic to own as far as Invincible goes is the self titled number one issue from 2003. But as many may already know, that was not really his first appearance. The first preview happened in Tech Jacket #1 (2002) and his first cameo came in Noble Causes Family Secrets #3 (2002). Both of these comics are extremely affordable within the $3 to $10 range, although most collectors are jumping on the first full appearance which in the 2003 self titled book. Buy this comic folks, it’s a strong buy at $100 and once it’s in your possession it becomes a strong hold.

DC Comics’ Batman Beyond Unlimited #1 will be a quick sell out this week. Any new Bat book usually is, but with Norm Breyfogle at the helm here, it makes for a no brainer. Norm was responsible for bringing Batman in the late 80’s/early nineties to another level. Bottom line here, Norm Breyfogle is a badas* Batman artist as well as a badas* artist period. Check out Norm’s first Bat book in Detective Comics #579 ($3).

FF #15 continues on with Power Pack. Power Pack first appeared in their self titled book Power Pack #1 (1984).

Okay that’s it for this week! The Hot Picks will be back with that Avengers Villain Special soon! Check 2 cool covers coming at you this week below.

See you next week, Invest wisely.

Jay Katz

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Interview with Filmmaker Adam Ciancio

Alienating with Sci Fi Filmmaker Adam Ciancio on “Vessel”

Pop quiz: What do these four films have in common?

a) El Mariachi

b) Following

c) Primer

d) Vessel

All are micro-budget films with budgets of under $10,000. The first four went on to be wildly successful, and even launched careers of director icons. “El Mariachi”, released in 1992 and made for a paltry $7,000, launched the career of 23-year-old filmmaker, producer, director, writer, special-effects wizard, and editor Robert Rodriguez (Sin City, Grindhouse, Planet Terror). “Following”, made in 1998 for $6,000, was the first film by fanboy fave director Chris Nolan (The Dark Knight). To read more on these films, check out this post from 2009 about some amazing low budget film success stories.

If you’re a indie film connoisseur that doesn’t recognize the last name, “Vessel”, well … don’t beat yourself up (unless you enjoy doing that sort of thing!). “Vessel” (tentative title, as you’ll learn in the interview to follow) is a sci-fi alien “ticking timebomb” tale that makes up in substance for what it lacks in a special effects budget. Consider it a “thinking man’s tale” which, come to think of it, was also the case with a variety of other out-of-this-world art house director debuts such as “Pi” (1997, Darren Aronofsky, made on a budget of $60,000) and “Eraserhead” (1977, David Lynch’s surreal freak show, made on a budget of $100,000).

And, by reading this interview, you’ll actually have an inside track on being a part of the picture, as it is filming this summer and is being supported by a crowd funding campaign at indiegogo — http://www.indiegogo.com/Empty-Vessel).

But alas, I’m getting ahead of myself before you’ve had a chance to reach for your wallet, get two tickets and a bucket of pop corn. Settle in to your favorite puffy chair and I’ll let the director of “Vessel”, Melbourne-based filmmaker and commercial creator Adam Ciancio, fill you in.

1) Adam, pitch us your film, VESSEL, in three snappy sentences.

(AC:) VESSEL is about an alien interfacer who has until the end of the day to strip himself of his gift or risk succumbing to its side effects. Basically every time he interfaces with an extraterrestrial, the process zaps him of that thing that makes us human: emotion/soul/character. Essentially, he has to stay on the human side until he can get hold of a past interfacer like himself who figured a way to rid herself of the gift. 

2) What three films you’d most likely compare your film to?  “VESSEL” is a psychological sci-fi film in the vein of ..

(AC:) It’s hard to compare it out and out to one or two films in terms of straight Sci Fi similarities, as it’s more of a mash than anything. I guess if you got “K-PAX” and that whole extraterrestrial loner story and blended it with the last day time clock of the “25th Hour” that’s sort of what my film is like. Throw in the mystery and the questions thrown up by “Contact” for good measure as well.

Style wise, I want it to have that pressing dark nature that “Se7en” had, I don’t want people to know what city it was filmed in so I’m taking a lot of measures to find locations in Melbourne (Australia) that nobody is aware of, or at least film them from angles that don’t reveal too much.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3) In your mind, what does an alien look like? How do they act? Are they friend or foe?

(AC:) Well, it’s bizarre because in most films we were fed the idea of a little green man. But from my research into Clifford Stone and other sources he claimed there were close to 50 something different species of ET’s. Even more incredibly, they traversed the gamut of forms from reptilian, to human like, to furry to the tried and true little green man.

Personally I can’t shake the notion of them being some sort of spirit entity that is just pure energy, something efficient, and something that is beyond 4th density.  A little like Dr Manhattan from “Watchmen”, although nowhere near as iridescent or even that humanly formed. Just an all-encompassing-voice that fills the mind. I’m also a massive fan of “Super Metroid”, the SNES version; so much so that I’ve actually written a live action script for it. But it’s the idea of Mother Brain that has always appealed to me. Not her shape but just the way she could fill the space without words.

Maybe I should of called the film “The 4th Density” … maybe I might???
In terms of how they act … you hear so many stories. They are cold, clinical, calculating, they don’t have a soul. So that’s why they abduct us, to research these phenomena. What is a soul, how do we get one…all that sort of crap. I honestly think they don’t give a huge shit about us at the moment. If they are out there, they’re probably treating us like children at Christmas lunch — basically we’re sitting at the kid’s table in some sort of galactic quarantine.

4) Who is Adam Ciancio? What inspired you to write, direct and produce this film?

Basically I graduated film school in 2005, I went to VCA for the foundation year and at the time Robert Lucketic had just left and directed “Legally Blonde” and Adam Elliot had just won the Oscar for “Harvey Crumpet”. Then I went and did my main three years at RMIT, which is like NYU.

Funny thing, when I arrived at RMIT the guys who made “Saw” had just graduated like a year or two prior and were just getting big. RMIT was great because it was more hands on than other film schools so you got right into it pretty quickly. What was really insane was in my final year I used the newly released Sony HDV camera. We had DV500’s and I was just so sick of how damn bulky they were and the images they were spitting out, one of them actually needed a car battery to power it! But when we shot with the HDV we were just freaking amazed at how good the resolution was. Now I look and I can’t believe these kids at film school get to use Red Cameras and 5D’s. It’s almost cheating, but I guess they’re the cameras of the time as the technology has evolved so quick.

Most recently I’ve been trying to earn a living directing commercials It’s been a bit of a slog. You have a lot of false starts, join companies that don’t always work out, some even go bankrupt and you’re left once again looking for a new home. But when you’re working on good campaigns, there is no better way to exercise your directing muscle. Here are YouTube videos of two Levi’s virals which will give you a flavor for my work and directing style:

Go Forth with Dan Flynn

Go Forth with Mark Robert Fuller

I wrote the script for “Vessel” between Christmas and New Year’s. The idea had been festering ever since I read about real life interfacers like Clifford Stone, which was at least four or five years ago. So it didn’t take long, roughly two writing sessions. It was already there. I just had to get it on paper.

I sat down and thought “What resources do I have at my disposal that I could get involved/excited about the project?” And when I listed through them, I realized that basically I had a full cast and crew who would most likely want to get involved in the project as much as I would because we were all at the same stages of our careers. It boils down to being the purest form of filmmaking, a skeleton crew, the actor and a camera so you can move at the speed of thought, to use a Robert Rodriguez term.

For me, the film industry is like a boxing match. Specifically, the “Rumble in the Jungle”. You’re Ali and the Industry is George Foreman, this giant hulking behemoth; and for eight rounds he’s pounding on you. Each round representing a year, and each punch representing a rejection. By round 5 you’re thinking “Is this this ever gonna stop?” …  but then you reach round eight and you realize this guy is out of punch, and he finally opens up. It’s basically the industry saying YES; it’s said no for so long that it had to say yes at some point. And that’s when you hit, you get one shot to knock him down so you take it with everything you’ve got. You’re tired, it’s been eight rounds, the ego has been beaten out of you, but you’ve been waiting for this moment for almost a decade now.

5) What’s the film’s budget and what camera will you use to shoot in on?

(AC:) The films budget is around $8,000. Originally I was going to shoot it on my Canon 5D and spend the budget on rigging it up with some lenses and a Zacuto. But a few weeks back my DP Aaron shot a short on an Arri Alexa run-and-gun style and said it behaved brilliantly. So we’re looking at maybe using that if we can finagle a good deal from a rental house. Plus, we’re seeing the film tonight on the big screen so we’ll be able to see what the camera is capable of. I personally want to use it to take advantage of its low light capabilities and the latitude it gives you in grading, even when shot in Log C. Not that the 5D isn’t amazing. I just shot that Levi’s campaign on it and it produced crazy images – all at night!

6) Seriously? You can produce an “in-the-can” film for under $10,000? How are you able to cut corners?

(AC:) A lot of it has to do with my team. Everyone involved is at the cusp of their career where things can take off for them because they’ve paid their dues. Everyone wants to get involved because they get a free creative outlet and its success can mean bigger and better work for them in the future. That’s my hope.

If you break it down, the things we are spending the money on are equipment, some location fees and public liability insurance – that’s it.  Plus the rental houses in Melbourne are great and always willing to give you a good deal.

On top of that we’ve reached a point with digital technology where the argument is over: RED, Alexa, Canon, they all give awesome images now. There is no point in fighting over picture quality. You buy the camera or you hire it, you shoot it and you edit it at home. I shot some Alcohol virals a year ago and all I had was myself, my DP Aaron, one small LED and a Canon 5D and the result was pretty fantastic in terms of our non-existent budget.

Your biggest worry now is finding good locations, getting some actors, and getting some insurance. If everyone is onboard, believes in the story, and wants to take that next step then it really shouldn’t cost that much as they’ll be willing to work on it for free because it helps them as much as it helps you.

Also a lot of the work and savings come in Pre-production. I know Melbourne pretty damn well and yet, in the last month as I’ve gone location scouting, I’ve found areas of the city I had no idea existed. This includes lanes, shops, diners, stairs, everything. What I realized is it’s a lot cheaper to find locations that are already set designed than trying to do it yourself and wasting your money on creating an atmosphere in an empty space with little to no furnishings because you can’t afford it. It’s about creating depth. Nothing sticks out more or looks more amateur than a scene set in a location where it hasn’t got a strong sense of set design. That’s what I admire about (David) Fincher — the director of “Fight Club”, “Se7en”, “The Social Network” — he creates a lot of depth in his scenes. Three or four dimensions behind the action there is detail, and there is a life to that location that existed far earlier than when we actually arrived at it.

7) We’re intrigued! Give us five good reasons to invest in your film.

Let’s see….

1) You’ll be seeing a very different Australian film than the ones you are used to. I’m really going to paint our city in a different light. Very grey, very concrete-jungle-like. I want people to say “There is no way you shot that in Australia”. It looks like an Eastern Bloc country.” And when was the last time you saw an Australian Sci Fi film?

2)    You’ll be adding to the very light selection of Sci Fi films that don’t depict aliens shooting shit at us. Don’t get me wrong, I have a soft spot for ID4 but if we as a species are going to try and reach out, then we have to propagate the idea that there is possibly a civilized dialogue between us. That there is more to our time than taxes and a mortgage and a 9 to 5 job.

3)    Because I want this film to create a dialogue, not just entertain … but create a dialogue. I want people talking and asking the question how far can we go, is this character Ash (the star of the film, to be played by Mark Diaco) just the tip of the iceberg?

4)    Because I can assure you it will be your most original film experience in a while. The story is original, the execution is original and you have a team of professionals that are putting everything they have into it to make it the most immersive story possible.

5)    Lastly, coming from a place of truth, I’ve been on a pretty up and down journey over the past 8 years and it’s finally come to this. I want this to work, I want to create a great film to share with everyone and have him or her involved and feel like they are as much a reason for making this happen as I am. You get one opportunity to make a memorable first impression and I’m sure as hell not going to spit up an inferior film.

– Plus you’ll get to see some futuristic props, which is always cool.

8) What are some of the perks – or “swag” as they say in the biz – that you’re giving to people who support the film?

(AC:) We’ve got a few things, besides a copy of the film and the poster, which is being designed by my mate as we speak. There are also credits you can gain with your contribution. So for one click you can get yourself an Associate Producer credit or even an Executive Producer credit! But the coolest thing is definitely the props that are being worked on by our prop master at the moment. I’ve seen some of the initial mock-ups and they look awesome. So if you wish to contribute, you can get yourself a futuristic prop from the film like an inhaler with insert vials or a bizarre audio recorder.

We might even throw in the Alien glyphs – actually that would be a great idea! They’re pretty random in their design, like those paintings that you see in galleries and just don’t understand. You frame that up and you’ve got yourself some post-modern art right there in your house.

9) Who are the actors that will be in the film?

(AC:) The lead actor is Mark Diaco, I met him a few years back when we shot the teaser for a film with a larger budget (~ $500K) that we were very close to getting produced in the United States. From that experience, I knew Mark was a unique talent; one of those guys that, if given the right role, would be able to create something that would launch his career. Hopefully “Vessel” is it.

I don’t know if I’m allowed to say this, but Mark test screened for the upcoming big budget “Man of Steel” franchise that is being made right now and got pretty damn close to nabbing the role of “Superman.” From what I gather, he played him in a totally different way to what most people expect with the whole upholding justice theme. Instead, he played Superman as someone who felt burdened by the gift, as if he doesn’t even want these powers and it’s more of a cross to bear than anything. Apparently they were almost blindsided by his interpretation, as they had never seen such an iconic character played like that before.

But words don’t do justice to his ability. You can check out his demo reel here:

He’s also been cast in some pretty decent sized films in the US but have the money fall out at the last minute due to the GFC (“global financial crisis”).

Mark also runs a theatre company here in Melbourne called Human Sacrifice Theatre which has a bevy of super talented people which I’ve seen perform over the years. So I wrote a lot of the roles based on these actors in terms of their look and their strengths. The plan is to get most of the theatre company onboard as the film is basically seven “one on ones” between the main character and seven of his old acquaintances.

10) This is an alien movie without special effects, but you are still creating your own alien mythos. Tells us about the props, glyphs and other alien traits you’re developing for the film.

(AC:) Yeah I always see these films that are low budget but try and pull off the whole horror/sci fi/fantasy thing by doing all the special effects themselves. The problem is they rely on them too much because they know they can be done to within 85% of what you see at the cinema. But what it ends up looking like is a box of Adobe After Effects has spewed up all over their movie. Kinda like using every instrument in your band on every note on every beat. Too noisy! Less is more a lot of the time – especially in filmmaking (see Alfred Hitchcock’s famous bomb theory to show what I mean!).

I can’t do special effects myself, and I didn’t want to attempt them in my first film, so I came to the realization that the film’s strength can come in its realism. You never see the aliens in “Contact” and Kevin Spacey is in human form in K-Pax. But you always get the feeling that these ET’s are around or at least watching. It’s the story and their current environment that pushes you to want to know more.

That’s where the skill in storytelling comes from. My best bet to create this environment is to have a few very well made props, just to give the inkling that there is something different about this environment, that in a few year’s time this is where this incarnation of planet earth is headed.

In regards to the glyphs, they are actually part of the time clock feature in the film. I won’t spoil it; however, they will be used to indicate to both the audience and Ash (the main character) how much time he has left. They are Alfred Hitchcock’s “ticking timebomb under the table”, so to speak.

I found all these Alien fonts on the net and just started using Illustrator to integrate them in designs that you would see on the side of a spaceship or maybe marked in the dirt or even in a dream. Most of the evidence I researched was of the ilk of formulas and people saying that there was something almost artistic about the writings they witnessed. There are also some simpler ones that are just writing so it will sort of build up.

11) What are your plans for distribution? Are you going to self distribute, submit to festivals or hire a sales agent?

(AC:) Definitely the festival circuit would be my first bet, I’ve never really entered any of my work into festivals, or at least the big ones, so I would definitely like to give it a fair crack in terms of some of the top tier fests in the US. Whether it gets in is another story.

I guess the dream like anyone is to have it screen as some prestigious festival and then get the attention of a distributor or two have a bidding war. The reality, of course, is so far from that. Luckily I have relationships with some distributors based on past work, so there is always a chance to just go direct or even carve out a Pay Per View or Video on Demand deal. Aliens, like vampires, are very hot right now thanks to 2012 and paranormal craze.

12) Lastly, how can we contribute. And how else can we help?

(AC:) Contributing itself is pretty easy. Just go right here:

http://www.indiegogo.com/Empty-Vessel

… and click the CONTRIBUTE NOW button at the bottom of the page.

You can contribute any amount, and it’s all appreciated and gets a shout out on my Facebook page. The bigger contributions get the bigger perks, and even a chance to get on-screen credit and your name listed on IMDB which is pretty cool.

Basically, with Mark’s work and my directorial stuff (and my video on top pitching the project), you should already get a good idea of what the aesthetics of this film are going to be.

If money is too tight then you can still help out by spreading the word. Tell everyone that there are a bunch of guys in Melbourne ready to make this Sci Fi/Drama (Sci Rama) film, and they need all the support they can get.

Either way, the film will get made this summer. But by helping us out you could be part of the next El Mariachi, Primer, Following … and VESSEL! Thanks for your time.

Thanks Adam. It looks like you’re on to something and we admire your talent and passion. Here’s a personal plea from myself for everyone to dig for some pocket change and help this very cool project come to life.

Do it now.

An award-winning indie comic creator and screenwriter, Bob Heske is currently writing/producing a micro-budget horror film called UNREST. Bob wrote THE NIGHT PROJECTIONIST, a vampire horror series to be published by Studio 407 (http://www.studio-407.com) with film rights optioned by Myriad Pictures. Through his Heske Horror shingle, Bob self-published his critically acclaimed horror series COLD BLOODED CHILLERS. Bob’s trade paperback BONE CHILLER (a “best of” CBC anthology) won a Bronze medal in the horror category at the 2009 Independent Publisher Book Awards. His “end times” anthology 2012: FINAL PRAYER was also released in late 2009. Bob was editor and contributor to InvestComics’ ONE AND DONE charitable anthology. Buy it here.

 

Pick of The Week 2-22-12

Here’s a new article that will be appearing here on a regular basis from Shaun Sorenson. This article will consist of ONE book that Shaun picks from his pile and tells you all why it’s his “Pick of The Week!” Enjoy!

-JK

For my first pick of the week I had a real tough choice. In a week where I read 14 comics, a lot for me, I narrowed it down to three books that I thought stood out more than any other. Wolverine and X-men #6, Aquaman #6, and Chew #24. After about ten minutes and flipping through each book a couple times I decided my first ever pick of the week would be Chew #24.

I have been reading Chew since the first issue came out a little over two years ago and have loved every single issue of it. Chew is one of those books that month after month constantly hits the mark. From the very first issue I embraced the universe that John Layman and Rob Guillory had created and have loved every moment of it. The story telling that Layman writes along with the unique art style of Guillory makes for one of the most original comic books out there. Chew is about a man Tony Chu who is Cibopath, a person who can take a bite from any food, person, animal, and so on, and tell what happened to the object.

Chew #24 focuses solely on Tony Chu’s daughter, Olive, who is introduced earlier in the series, but until this issue her life had remained much of mystery.  Olive goes on a mission with Tony’s former partner Mason Savoy and current partner D-Bear to help capture Hershel Brown. Brown is a Xocoscalpere (a man who sculpt anything out of chocolate that can exactly mimic the real version of it). The creativity of Layman to come up with this idea was one of the more amazing ideas that have come out of this series.

This issue really out did itself once again. The story was the first I can remember without it focusing on Tony and while at first I was a little hesitant about not having Tony being the main focal point, after about the first three pages I didn’t care anymore. I found myself just so enthralled in this comic that I forgot about Tony until they showed a panel about what was happening with him in this story arc. Everything that happens with Olive makes you only want more from her character.

The art by Guillory is great as always. One of the great things about Guillory’s art is all the things he puts in the background of the panels. I really don’t know which I laughed at more, the butter sculpture of Butters from South Park or the Robert Kirkman posters in Olive’s bedroom. Guillory’s art catches your eye in this issue just like every other where you just can’t help but look at every panel to try and find every Easter egg he might throw in there.

All of these elements combined for my first ever pick of the week! I’m open to any and all suggestions you guys have to help me along with my new articles. So help me get acclimated and please leave comments/suggestions below.

Thanks InvestComics readers.

Shaun Sorenson

Also check out a short Interview InvestComics did with Rob Guillory right HERE!

 

Doctor Octopus Will Take Peter Parker To The Ends Of The Earth In AMAZING SPIDER-MAN!

The next big Spider-Man epic begins in Amazing Spider-Man #682, part one of Ends Of The Earth, by Dan Slott and Stefano Caselli! The Sinister
Six, led by the vengeful Doctor Octopus, is back and they’re looking forrevenge! Can Spider-Man & Earth’s Mightiest save the world before Doc
Ock’s explosive endgame is revealed? Find in Amazing Spider-Man #682 hitting comic shops and the Marvel Comics app http://www.marvel.com/marvelcomicsapp this March!

Join the conversation on Twitter with #SpiderMan https://twitter.com/#!/search/spiderman.

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #682 (JAN120658)

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #682 DELLOTTO VARIANT (JAN120659)

Written by DAN SLOTT
Pencils & Cover by STEFANO CASELLI
Variant Cover by GABRIELE DELL’OTTO

Colors by FRANK MARTIN JR.

FOC – 2/27/12, ON SALE – 3/21/12

To find a comic shop near you, visit www.comicshoplocator.com or call 1-888-comicbook.

Marvel Entertainment, LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company, is one of the world’s most prominent character-based
entertainment companies, built on a proven library of over 8,000 characters featured in a variety of media over seventy years. Marvel
utilizes its character franchises in entertainment, licensing and publishing. For more information visit www.marvel.com.

 

Exclusive first look at JUSTICE LEAGUE #7

A fantastic first look from DC’s Universe: The Source. Check out Justice League #7!

If you’ve been reading THE SOURCE, you know that there is a lot to be excited about in JUSTICE LEAGUE #7. Not only does the issue mark the beginning of a new story arc, but it also shifts the team from the past to the present … and reintroduces Steve Trevor! Written by Geoff Johns and illustrated by series guest artist Gene Ha, JUSTICE LEAGUE #7 is not an issue to be missed.

And that’s not all! The issue also kicks off the new SHAZAM! backup story, written by Geoff Johns and illustrated by Gary Frank, which reveals the all-new origin  of Billy Batson in DC COMICS-THE NEW 52.

So now that we’ve whet your appetite, take an exclusive first look at JUSTICE LEAGUE #7 by checking out Gary Frank’s variant cover for the issue below.

“It was great to get the chance to do all of the redesigned team members together,” Frank exclusively told THE SOURCE. “I noticed how it was generally Superman or Batman at the center of this kind of ensemble shot, so I thought I’d give the girls the spotlight this time by putting Wonder Woman in the heart of things.”

“We asked Gary to draw #7’s cover simply because this issue contains Gary’s gorgeous first chapter of the ongoing ‘Shazam!’ backup story,” said series editor Brian Cunningham. “We felt it was a nice nod to tie the main League cast and Gary together. And, like he always does, Gary gives each League member a strong sense of humanity that not many artists can match. It’s what makes him an elite talent and we’re thrilled to be able to work with him on an ongoing basis. Oh, and wait’ll you see Gary’s take on Shazam and his cast — it’s his best stuff yet!”

Look for JUSTICE LEAGUE #7 in stores next month

 

MegaCon 2012 Mini Recap & Photos

MegaCon 2012 is over. Another year in the books for InvestComics. It was spectacular as always.

This year was extremely special. Having met the Iconic Stan Lee and getting to sit down with him for a few minutes for an Interview was a defining moment for myself and InvestComics. Although there were some technically problems with the video, I asure you that I will get the interview out for all to see once it’s cleaned up. Meeting Stan Lee was a true milestone for InvestComics. The web site was acknowledged by Stan’s people to give the web site the go ahead to have a few minutes with the legend. The hard work is paying off……

I want to thank Pow Entertainment for the opportunity of a life time. Mr. Lee was as humble as they come. When we met, he acted as though we were family. Although that did nothing for my nerves!

Lots more to come regarding MegaCon 2012 with news to come as things are finalized. Looking forward to sharing with everyone!

…But for now, check out some fantastic pictures that the awesome Andra Walt took for InvestComics. Thank you Andra!!

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Next Stop……Miami’s Florida SuperCon 🙂

 

Special Announcement!

Let’s all put our hands together for the return of “Extra!” Yay!

Now, you may have noticed that “JOSEPH!” has been missing. No worries. Although the strip will be on sabbatical for awhile that doesn’t mean it’s completely on vacation. Truth is, we’re taking that time to produce a 64 page graphic novel titled “JOSEPH! The Family Album”.

In the meantime we’ve got “Ramiro” premiering this week (hilarious if you haven’t seen it yet) and, as you can see below, “Extra” is back. From time to time we’ll keep you posted about the development of the “JOSEPH!” graphic novel and we’re always on the look-out for new talent and cartoon strips.

Thanks for checking in. Now check out this week’s all new “Extra”.

PS: Dear, Disney. Please do not sue us.

 

Bryan O’Neil and Jordan Cushing

BOOKED OUT with Writer/Director Bryan O’Neil and Cinematographer Jordan Cushing

By all accounts, BOOKED OUT is a charming art house romantic comedy with many redeeming features: an eminently watchable, quirky cast, a sweet story-line, and a message wrapped within all the dysfunctional activity and frenetic picture-taking going around the neighborhood.

Here’s a quote from a recent interview that appeared on the UK website “Live for Films“:

“Booked Out has a touching kind of ‘indie romance’ vibe going on, with an underlying theme of acknowledging the past – whether good or bad – and putting it behind you. A wonderful thing…because if you can’t move on, you’ll never know what could pass you by when you least expect it. Beautiful stuff.”

According to IMDB the storyline goes like this:

Booked Out follows the quirky exploits of the Polaroid-loving artist Ailidh as she spies and photographs the occupants of her block of flats. Jacob, the boy next door who comes and goes quicker than Ailidh can take pictures. Jacqueline, the mysterious girl that Jacob is visiting and the slightly crazy Mrs. Nicholls who Ailidh helps cope with her husband’s continuing existence after his death. As Ailidh gets closer to winning Jacobs affection the world that they all live in will be changed forever.

BOOKED OUT is the first film by Scottish writer/director Bryan O’Neil. And it hits the mark.

We recently connected with Bryan and Jordan Cushing, the film’s Director of Photography (or “Cinematographer”, depending on your preference). Ironically enough, both BOOKED OUT and SIDEKICK, a hugely popular Canadian comedy that Jordan was cinematographer on (or is that “Director of Photography”?), both have comic book elements built into the films. So what better venue than InvestComics to introduce them and share their work?

1) Bryan, first off a huge congratulations on getting your film made. What got you over the hump from “kicking the tires” to actually buying the car and getting it done? And what was the inspiration for the story which is has many common themes but is also utterly unique?

(BRYAN:) I had been writing a scripts on and off for about four years with the overall goal of making my own films. As I reached the end of each script, I was left thinking that it was an achievement to have finished it but that I was glad it was over. BOOKED OUT was completely different. I was more excited about the project when I finished the script than when I started it, and about half way through writing it I knew that I was going to make it one way or another. There is that moment where you set a completely unrealistic deadline and then try and stick to it. Mine was to shoot the film within nine months of finishing my first draft. I didn’t quite make it in that timescale but we were on set within thirteen months, so not too far off.

The initial inspiration for BOOKED OUT was a reaction to the previous script I had been writing. It was a multi-stranded thriller. And by the end of it I didn’t know why I started writing it. It made me think of the films I love, the ones that totally connected with me. That was more your American and European indie films like Little Miss Sunshine, Rushmore, Amelie and Goodbye Lenin. That is where I started from but I think it morphed into me putting a lot of myself into the writing and, in some ways, all of the characters are different parts of myself. I think the main theme that ties the film together is of feeling like an outsider. The four main characters in the film learn that even though they don’t fit in with the world as a whole, they fit in with each other. And that is ultimately better as they can be appreciated with all their own unique individual quirks.

2) How did you assemble your team and get the funding? Who did you get on board first, and how long was the filmmaking process – from development to principal photography to post? Which was the most difficult and which was the most fun?

(BRYAN:) I spent the first nine months after I finished the first draft of the script working on my own and managed to cast Mirren Burke, Claire Garvey and Sylvia Syms; as well as attracting finance by holding fundraisers and pre-selling DVDs and premiere tickets. I also set up an investment share scheme by that time and, as well as investing my own savings, I convinced work colleagues, friends and family to invest in the film. This was all part of my “Get on Set in Nine Months” after finishing the script plan. The script took about five months to write so that would be about 14 months into the process and would be about October 2008. At that point I took the hard decision to postpone the shoot as my one man army ran out of time to have everything ready to go.
I set a new date of February 2009, another five months, to be the first day on set and kept going. At this time I met the film’s producer Sam Alani who worked at the same company that I worked for and he was just leaving to try to become a full-time film producer. I worked a full-time job as a computer programmer throughout this whole process. Jordan came on board pretty soon afterwards and we found Rollo Weeks around that time as well. We stayed at this small number till January when we had secured most of the funding, but were struggling to find that last little slice to push us over the line. I had two and a half months booked off of work so we decided that it was now or never. We eventually shot the film in March 2009 in 19 days over a three-week period. The run up to the shoot was hectic as you can imagine, but somehow we managed to assemble a great team through a lot of hard work. I can remember we finished the shoot and I was back at my day job about two days later which felt really bizarre. We spent about six months editing the film and another six months doing the sound design, writing the score and grading the finished film. So from picking up a pen to having a finished film it took two years and nine months to have a finished film.

Each part had its difficult moments but one sticks out more than others and that was when we lost our principal location at the end of our first day on set. We were filming in a 1920’s period mansion block of flats and we had permissions from about four different organizations. But when we turned up on the first day another one that supposedly ran the complex started to complain. I think his aim was to try to extort money from what he had assumed was Hollywood arriving on his doorstep. I still don’t full know if he had the rights that he claimed he had, but after a few calls between lawyers we were informed that we couldn’t shoot there anymore. I found this out at the end of the day as the producers frantically tried to deal with the scenario. I can remember feeling completely gutted at hearing the news. Luckily, our producers and location team did an amazing job and found a new location in two days; the art department had a day to get it ready and, four days after being shut down, we were back up and filming again.

Lots of moments were fun in hindsight but at the time you are so focused on the million and one things that you have to deal with that I am not sure I could call them “fun”. It was amazing to see the very first cut of the film as up until then it is all just words on a page or scenes that you are shooting as quickly as you possibly can to meet a ridiculous schedule. That is the first point where you can sit down and watch it as a movie and to know whether all the choices you have made have paid off. Luckily for me I was happy with the results!

3) Tell us about your cast (which seems genetically made for this story). How did you find them, and what was a genuinely funny moment that stands out from directing the film?

(BRYAN:) They all came from different places really. I was friends with Mirren Burke and she was doing acting training in New York when I was writing the script so I had her in mind for the role of Ailidh early on and was discussing parts of the film with her during the writing process. Mirren possessed all the right ingredients to play Ailidh and from the beginning I couldn’t imagine anyone else in that role. It’s her first film. I am sure when other people see her performance she won’t be short of opportunities for more roles.

Claire Garvey came from a set of auditions that I ran in a warehouse that I had hired to run a series of fundraising events. By day it was a casting studio and by night it was a comedy venue, music venue and a fancy dress party. I got all of the actors to prepare a monologue and Claire did a voiceover from Monster and during that I could see Jacqueline in her. She also spoke to me about the character in such a way that I knew that we would work well together and could get our ideas across which is so important.

Sylvia Syms has been in more films than years I have been alive and I wanted to find such an actress to give some weight to the role of Mrs. Nicholls. I wrote Sylvia a letter and sent her the script. Much to my surprise, she was interested! I think she joked that she decided to take this part as she isn’t killed off in the end.

The role of Jacob was easily the hardest part to fill and we auditioned a lot of different people for the role. Then we came across Rollo Weeks. I hadn’t seen any of his previous films where he was a lot younger and I nearly didn’t see him as most of the photos of him online are of him as a young boy and even the headshot we received was probably taken a few years prior. Getting a bit desperate, I agreed to see him and I was glad I did as he was perfect for the role. In some ways, he lets all the strong female characters be themselves without feeling he has to overpower them, and this trait was central to who Jacob is.

A funny moment − not so funny for everyone else, but I made the decision that the two girls (Mirren and Claire) shouldn’t speak to each other during the shoot. Their characters don’t know who each other are in film so I wanted to mimic that in real life. That provided for some awkwardly comic moments for me, at least where they tried their hardest in the smallest flat in the world to not look each other in the eye.

4) In comic book parlance, the Director of Photography is like the illustrator for a comic book − your Ailidh, so to speak. How did you connect with Jordan Cushing who is already amassing some impressive indie credits?

(BRYAN:) I was meeting with a number of DoPs (or cinematographers!). I met Jordan at a local cafe which we frequented a number of times after that as by chance we lived about 342 steps from each other. Those are Jordan sized-steps by the way. Throughout the project there were a number of people who were key in helping me to achieve my goal of making a film, but Jordan played such a huge part that he is the first person I would call to get a second opinion. The first night we met the manager of the  cafe ended up throwing us out. We stood outside the cafe talking for a bit after that as well. Jordan just really got what I was trying to achieve straight away and then continued to try and understand as much as he could into what I was looking to do. It meant that when we got on set and I mumbled something indecipherable, Jordan knew exactly what I wanted and was able to bring ideas to the table that complimented −or were better than − my own. As a film-maker, you would be foolish to think that you are the only one person who can have great ideas, and Jordan was my Go-To-Guy for great ideas.

5) Jordan, what attracted you to the project? And what did you shoot with?

(JORDAN:) The real draw to the project for me was the level of commitment and enthusiasm that Bryan showed in the early days of getting the film off the ground. I meet a lot of first timers with a script and a dream who are casting about for Producers to swoop in and bring it to life for them. As far as I’ve seen, that just isn’t how it works, so it was refreshing to find someone who didn’t come from a film background who was really driving his project forward despite not having the connections or experience that other people might take for granted.

Bryan had already attached some investment, had organized fundraisers, had a terrific website up and running, and had worked through pages and pages of notes on every aspect of the film. There didn’t seem to be any doubt that he would get the film made. And whenever that happened, this wasn’t a guy who was going to let it sit on a shelf. He was going to go to the wall to get it in front of audiences. You have to respect that, and that’s infectious.

(Editor’s Note: According to Bryan, he’s the “hairy one” in the photo below.)

After I was invited on board, Bryan and I spent a long time discussing what we wanted to shoot on and were both really keen on 2 perf 35mm with a scope aspect ratio (2.35:1).  In the end, there were two big obstacles: one was the lack of availability of cameras in London at the time, and the other was the last piece of financing wasn’t falling into place so it was deemed too risky to start down that path if we weren’t going to be able to secure the money to see it through. Ultimately we shot on a Red One package and Zeiss lenses supplied by Movietech out at Pinewood. They’re a terrific operation and were incredibly supportive of the project throughout the shoot.  We stuck with the 2.35:1 ratio though…

6) By the way, which is it − Cinematographer or Director of Photography? And what preparation is required for someone in your shoes to be ready to shoot on Day One?

(JORDAN:) I’ll answer to either one… I like to think I’m always a cinematographer but I’m a Director of Photography when I have a bunch of people to help me be that.  When it’s me and another guy, it seems a bit grandiose, don’t you think?

In terms of preparing for Day One, there are a few categories of things to do.  I’ve never consciously broken it down but for me it’s something like storytelling, visuals and technical. The biggest for me is to crack the story and try to get inside the director’s head a bit. I’m a bit like a five-year old in those meetings, I only ever say “Why?… Why?…Why?” I want to understand how he (or she) sees each element of the film, be it characters or settings or events, and how the audience is meant to feel about them at any point. Once you’ve got a handle on that, you’re in pretty good shape to know how you might like it to look overall, what style of coverage is appropriate, and what moods you want to set as you go along. I usually exchange a lot of images with directors and we try to watch films that have the qualities we’re striving for. The technical part is  basically just problem solving: “What do we need to do to accomplish all those things (in the director’s head) and where can we plug in our lights?”

7) Bryan, the film is in the can and your website shows that you are getting ready to go on tour soon. How have audiences responded thus far? And how do you plan to distribute the film for more mass consumption?

(BRYAN:) After approaching nearly all of the UK distributors and being told that the film didn’t fit into one of their boxes, I took the decision to release the film myself and I chose that instead of getting the film on release for a weekend in four cinemas like a lot of limited theatrical release films do, that I would set up a tour over a three-week period where I would take the film around the UK with one of the actors coming to each screening and holding a Q&A afterwards. This made more sense to me as then I could make each screening special and the hope is that by making each screening a special event that the word will spread about BOOKED OUT. Only time will tell though!

For distributing the film beyond the UK we just signed with a New York-based sales representative called Locomotive, which is headed up by Coleen Seldin who spent about ten years handling film sales at Miramax, so the film is in good hands for securing distribution outside the UK. We just signed recently so it’s still early days on this. But there has been interest already in a number of countries so hopefully there will be some news shortly about BOOKED OUT coming to a city near you.

To help this process we have just created a DemandIt page(http://eventful.com/performers/booked-out-/P0-001-000559049-1) so that everyone can demand that BOOKED OUT comes to their town. This can only help convince distributors that there is a market for the film.

8) The female characters in your story − young and old − are so strong, organic and well defined. How did you get inside your character’s heads? Did you have five sisters growing up … or is it something that just came natural?

(BRYAN:) I never had any sisters, or lots of female friends for that matter, but I purposefully wanted to write exciting female characters and that was one of my goals right from the outset.  My favorite author by a million miles is Haruki Murakami. One of the things that I love about his novels is that he has these wonderfully unique female characters and I wanted to emulate that. I would like to think that the three main female characters within BOOKED OUT could quite easily live in the world of one of his novels and not stand out. In terms of the elements that make them unique, I think that came from areas within myself and I emphasized and pushed in different directions to get the result that I desired. A lot of the films I watch have strong female characters, so there must be something that gravitates me in that direction.

9) Jordan, in shooting a character-driven story like BOOKED OUT where there are so many different personalities, what is the trick of capturing each of them? For example, Ailidh is so care-free and Jacob seems so constrained. How did you collaborate with Bryan to capture each of their personalities and perspectives on film?

(JORDAN:) Pretty early on in prep we contrived that we would give each of the women that hold sway over Jacob a different treatment. These things were drawn from each of their characters and hopefully emphasize their differences. For example, Ailidh is carefree and exuberant but also a bit erratic, so her stuff is all handheld and much busier and more colorful. This applied to the art direction and costuming too, so hopefully those all work in concert. Sara Ranieri and her team did a terrific job creating the homes of the characters as did Sophie Howard clothing them all.

I also always like to have a visual journey plotted for a film that hopefully reinforces the emotional arc. So it was natural that these two things could work together and, as the film progresses and the characters become intertwined, so too does the visual treatment. By the end they’re all in the same unified visual world. That was the theory going into it at least, and even when we weren’t slavish to it, that concept informed the decisions we made right through post.

10) Bryan, this might be a silly question, but for us clueless Americans, what exactly does the title BOOKED OUT imply in regards to the storyline other than Ailidh, the main character, is a graphic novelist?
(BRYAN:) That is where it came from, to be honest. In the initial drafts Ailidh’s novel had a bigger part and at one point I was thinking of filming her story as an animation that ran alongside the main film, but I reigned that in as it felt like the film was losing focus. I guess if you worked in marketing, you would probably say to change the name but as a filmmaker it’s hard at this point to let go of it as the name is synonymous with the film now.

(JORDAN:) If I can jump in here, I didn’t really get the title and I had to ask some locals for clarification and it turns out it’s a common expression. In the States, people say “booked solid” or “booked up” for a place or event that’s full. Here you’d say “booked out.” Rooms can also be “booked out,” where we’d just say “booked” and when materials are borrowed from the library (or the video store, once upon a time) they’re also “booked out.”  It may also mean other things too…  Bryan, have I got that right?”

(BRYAN:) That’s right. So the title was referring to Ailidh who has finished her graphic novel but is apprehensive about releasing it to the world. So in essence she is “booked out” with the novel. No one would normally use the phrase to describe her as such, but it was a play on words so that I could get the word “book” in the title − and frankly, I think it suits the film well.

(JORDAN:) Plus, for VOD, the titles at the beginning of the alphabet always get more rentals.

(BRYAN:) Fantastic! Yet another good reason for this to be “BOOKED OUT”.

11) Bryan/Jordan − this question is for both of you. What other films would you compare BOOKED OUT to?

(JORDAN:) That’s a tricky one… one of the references we watched at the outset was Ghost World so there may be some echoes of that. I also got Bryan to watch Mystery Train though the movies aren’t really similar. It makes me think of Lost in Translation for moments but then also something like Garden State.  I think there’s something that unifies all those titles but I’d be hard pressed to put my finger on what … whatever that nebulous quality is, BOOKED OUT hopefully has a healthy dose of it too.

(BRYAN:) The other night I was in bed unable to sleep with all the tour preparations going over in my mind and I thought that BOOKED OUT is like as if an early Mike Leigh had made Amelie… then I thought I was probably getting ahead of myself and that instead of thinking such things I should actually be sleeping. I think it has elements in common with the films Jordan mentioned but would add to that Science of Sleep, Submarine and It’s a funny kind of story.

12) Bryan, what project(s) are you working on next? And in what capacity − as a writer, director or both?

(BRYAN:) I have started writing a new film which I am about three quarters of the way through the script. It’s a sci-fi psychological coming of age story! My plan is to write and direct again, but it’s progress is a little slow at the moment as releasing BOOKED OUT is the main focus right now. I can tell that I’ve learned lots from making my first film as I approach the script of the next film, so watch this space. 😉

13) Jordan, tell us what you’ve been up to.

(JORDAN:) Several things, actually. 13 HOURS is a horror I shot a few years back that is just hitting UK broadcast TV this spring, after a good run on DVD and pay per view. It’s got some young up and comers in it including Tom Felton of Harry Potter fame. They’re also retitling it NIGHT WOLF and trying to sell it in the US too. The title gives away the surprise a bit, but if it gets you to plonk down your cash…

LOVE’S KITCHEN, a romcom I shot just before BOOKED OUT, should also be hitting UK and US broadcast TV after doing the rounds on DVD and pay per view since the summer. LOVE’S KITCHEN has a great cast of actors with some impressive credits between them and is more in the Richard Curtis mold of Romantic Comedy. It was terrific fun to make and a joy to watch some of those performers up close. (I’d gush a lot more but I wouldn’t want Bryan to get jealous!)

Truth be told, LOVE’S KITCHEN inspired me to get onboard with Bryan and BOOKED OUT as I was hankering to do a romantic film that was a bit more off beat. BOOKED OUT fit the bill and was a fantastic experience. I suggest you rent both films and then, if you’re up for a bit of a scare, watch 13 HOURS!

14) Bryan, what was your marketing strategy to create a buzz about BOOKED OUT? Did you use Social Media? Did the bands from the soundtrack help generate a built-in audience? And how important is it to have really cool music on an indie film?

(BRYAN:) If there is a social media platform that I know about, then we are on there. But my approach to using it is to always respond personally to the fans so if anyone tweets or writes or our Facebook wall then I will also respond as me first and foremost rather than pretending we are a huge film. Most of the fans we have seem to like that and we talk quite regularly. I also try not to overly promote the film as personally that grates on me a bit when other films are always demanding that you do things for them (i.e., retweet this, send this to all your friends, etc). I think it’s better to provide good content or discussion and if they want to share things, then they will do it off their own back.

With the release in the UK coming up I am trying to line up some special competitions and promotions to go alongside it so over the coming weeks we will be running those to help to spread the word and we have some exciting companies that have sponsored our tour that we will be announcing shortly as well.

The bands that are on the soundtrack have been great so far and hopefully they will support the film a lot in the coming weeks. I chose all of the music in the film myself and it’s one area I am particularly proud of. For BOOKED OUT, having a great soundtrack really helped bring the film up another level and if you listen to the score or soundtrack (www.bookedoutfilm.com/music) you can really get a feeling for what the film is all about and that is invaluable.

15) Last question − when will we be able to get our mitts on BOOKED OUT in the States? What’s the best way to help get the word out and request to see the film?

(BRYAN:) Hopefully soon! Our sales representative I mentioned previously is talking to a few companies in the States, so it really depends on how that comes off. If that doesn’t work, then I may just get my film and a backpack and head over in a similar way to what we are doing in the UK.

The best way to spread the word is by becoming a fan on our Facebook page (www.facebook.com/bookedoutfilm) and demanding the film comes to your town via DemandIt (http://eventful.com/performers/booked-out-/P0-001-000559049-1) as it’s things like these that can help sway the distributors to buy the film.

Gentlemen, it’s been a fantastic interview. We wish you much success with BOOKED OUT, as it looks like quite a gem. We’ll be looking out − or “booking out” for it. Thank you for your time!

An award-winning indie comic creator and screenwriter, Bob Heske is currently writing/producing a micro-budget horror film called UNREST (http://www.indiegogo.com/unrest). Bob wrote THE NIGHT PROJECTIONIST, a vampire horror series to be published by Studio 407 (http://www.studio-407.com) with film rights optioned by Myriad Pictures. Through his Heske Horror shingle, Bob self-published his critically acclaimed horror series COLD BLOODED CHILLERS. Bob’s trade paperback BONE CHILLER (a “best of” CBC anthology) won a Bronze medal in the horror category at the 2009 Independent Publisher Book Awards. His “end times” anthology 2012: FINAL PRAYER was also released in late 2009. Bob was editor and contributor to InvestComics’ ONE AND DONE charitable anthology. Buy it here.

 

Legacy Series: Johnny Hart

Born in Endicott, New York, Hart’s first published work was in Stars and Stripes while he served in Korea as an enlisted member of the United States Air Force. Returning in 1953, he published cartoons in The Saturday Evening Post, Collier’s Weekly and other magazines. Hart’s biggest success, B.C., was created in 1957 and began national daily newspapers appearances on February 17, 1958

 

 

 

This is a rather tough one for me to write in particular. Due to Hart’s deeply religious points of view, which he was not ashamed to admit nor incorporate into his cartooning. But his contribution to cartooning is undeniable and I cannot shy away from that fact. With that, I want to dive into the controversy first thing.

Hart was raised in a casually religious family, and he attended Christian Sunday School regularly. Although his formal education ended with high school, he was fascinated by the Bible from a young age. In 1977 there was a distinguishable shift in Hart’s spirituality, and Hart and wife Bobby began attending a congregation of the Presbyterian Church in Nineveh, New York. Hart attributed his religious awakening to a father-son team of contractors who installed a satellite dish. Hart’s increasingly deep religious faith, and the staunch political conservatism that accompanied it, came to be the source of considerable controversy in the latter years of his life. In a 1999 interview with The Washington Post, for example, he stated that “Jews and Muslims who don’t accept Jesus will burn in Hell” and that “homosexuality is the handiwork of Satan.” In the same piece, Hart opined that “the end of the world is approaching, maybe by the year 2010.” The lion’s share of controversy, however, came from Hart’s increasing tendency to incorporate his religious and political themes and ideals into his comic strips, especially B.C. Some newspapers refused to print strips with overtly religious themes or, as with the Los Angeles Times, relegated them to the religious section of the newspaper.

Two strips in particular were controversial. The B.C. strip for April 15, 2001, which was Easter, portrayed a Jewish menorah with seven candles progressively burning out as the strip captions ran the words of Jesus Christ. At the end, the outer arms of the candelabra broke away, leaving a Christian cross, with the final panel portraying the opened and empty tomb of Christ. Critics including the Anti-Defamation League and the American Jewish Committee argued that Hart’s strip portrayed replacement theology, that is, the conception of Christianity as supplanting Judaism. Hart offered an apology “if I have offended any readers,” but still thought the strip could increase “religious awareness” and claimed that he had meant the strip to be a tribute to both religions.

Another B.C. strip, which ran November 10, 2003, showed an outhouse with a traditional crescent, which a character entered with a vertical graphic “SLAM”, only to ask, “Is it just me, or does it stink in here?” Critics including the Council on American-Islamic Relations claimed that the combination of the vertical bar and the “SLAM”, as well as the crescent moons both in the sky and on the outhouse, made the strip a slur on Islam. Hart denied that it was anything but an outhouse joke.

“He was generally regarded as one of the best cartoonists we’ve ever had,” Hart’s friend Mell Lazarus, creator of the “Momma” and “Miss Peach” comic strips. “He was totally original. ’B.C’ broke ground and led the way for a number of imitators, none of which ever came close.”

Hart, who also co-created “The Wizard of Id,” won numerous awards for his work, including the National Cartoonist Society’s prestigious Reuben Award for Cartoonist of the Year and an award from the International Congress of Comics.

After his discharge from the military in 1954, Hart worked in the art department at General Electric while selling cartoons on the side. He began reading Charles Schulz’s “Peanuts” and was inspired to start his own strip.

“Caveman gags, for reasons which I still cannot explain, were an obsession in those days,” Hart told Creators. “One day, a friend jokingly suggested I create a strip revolving around prehistoric times.”

 

 

RAMIRO TO BECOME A REGULAR ON INVESTCOMICS’ WEBSITE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: David Edwards

Email: ed-art@mweb.co.za 

Contact: Arno Hurter                                               

Email: arnohurter@gmail.com 

‘RAMIRO’ TO BECOME A REGULAR ON INVESTCOMICS’ WEBSITE

(Rock Vulture speculated to be ‘pleased as road kill’ about said development)

Ramiro, Rock Vulture, a brand new web comic by South African creators David Edwards (art and design) and Arno Hurter (scripts and lettering), has been selected by InvestComics President Jay Katz to be carried on his company’s website within the IC Web Comics Section.

“We’re thrilled and flattered,” the South African duo responded. “Ramiro has only been hatched and around for a week and he’s already evoked a massive and overwhelmingly positive response. This bodes well for the future…”

The strip’s eponymous character is a rock vulture with attitude, appetite and a real lust for life. He finds himself at the center of a gigantic cast of characters, both animal and human, fauna, insect and flora, and always coming up trumps. Well, mostly.

“The strip relies heavily on gallows’s humor,” David states. “With the odd bit of poignancy and an emotional depth seeping through. Our mission statement is: anything goes, as long as it’s interesting or funny. Sometimes hopefully both.”

“Ramiro is a classic anti-hero,” Arno adds. “He’s a scavenger, a bald and butt-ugly opportunist of the worst kind, but he’s also soulful, compelling and strangely enough, oddly likeable. People are attracted to characters that are rough around the edges, yet who are also colorful, consistent and true (at least to themselves). Ramiro has all these qualities in spades. He’s a great catalyst for funny observations and situations. It’s like lighting a match near a pocket of methane gas and watching the Fourth of July erupt in a panel near you.”

Upon being asked how he felt about recent developments, Ramiro, in between gulping strips of scavenged meat from an unidentifiable carcass and taking a few frenetic stabs at his terrified creators, snarled a surly, “No comment,” after which he tried loosening the brake cable on a nearby stationary car.

Please join Ramiro on his regular new InvestComics’ home for belly laughs, drama, escapism and the occasional bit of food for thought.

Arno and Dave hope to carry on his carrion adventures for years yet to come. 

Beth Widera of MegaCon

Beth Widera, the Director of MegaCon in Orlando stopped by InvestComics to chat with Andra Walt. Beth is also very involved with the Hero Initiative. Below is an excerpt from the Hero Initiative web site. 

**From http://www.heroinitiative.org/**

Beth Widera is the owner and director of the Orlando MegaCon, the largest comic book, sci-fi convention in the Southeast United States. She started directing the convention in 1999, and in 2004, she purchased it, and has been running it as a family-operated business ever since. A new person in the field of comics, Beth was amazed at how many new friends she made and how willing people were to guide her and the show in the right direction. She attributes the show’s incredible growth and success to this.

Deeply committed to its principals, Beth has supplied the Hero Initiative with free booth space and numerous amenities every year at MegaCon. She is a firm believer in giving back to people and to the industry that has given so much to her. Beth has an Associate’s degree in Marketing and a Masters degree in Education.

 

Andra Walt: When did Megacon begin, and when did you become involved with the show?

Beth Widera: Megacon was started by a gentleman named James Brietbiel in 1993.  I became involved when I went to work for CrossGen in 1999.

AW: Beth, you have a master’s degree in education, how long did you teach and what was subject taught?

BW: I mostly taught 4-5th grade but I also taught a short time in middle school, kindergarten and 1st grade. I taught all subjects.  My master’s degree was in English as a Second Language and Elementary Education. For many years I taught children who spoke a language other than English at home.

AW:How did you become involved with CrossGen Comics in the 90s?

BW: Mark Alessi was a friend of my sister.  She introduced me to him when I was visiting her from Vegas.  I taught school in Nevada for six years.  When he found out I was moving back to Florida he offered me a job running the education department at CrossGen.

AW: You were part of a project at CrossGen that created teaching materials based on CrossGen comics, how did this project come about?

BW: The educational program was always going to be a part of CrossGen. It is the reason I was hired.  I used to use comic books in my classroom, especially with my ESL students. Mark had me run Megacon to give me something to do until we had enough comic book content to start on the teacher’s guides.

AW: After the collapse of CrossGen, has anyone taken up the reins on this endeavor?

BW: I believe that someone told me Disney has adapted part of the project, but I am not really sure.

AW: Do you feel there is a place for comics in the school or library systems?

BW: Yes, I strongly believe there is.  The pictures help students figure out what the words mean.  If you have a student that is struggling and is older you can’t start them with picture books. It would be too embarrassing.  Comics give you an avenue of pictures in a median that students aren’t embarrassed to read and the vocabulary used in comics is incredible.

AW: Do you think comic companies are doing enough to reach younger readers?

BW: Yes, I do they have many comics specifically for the younger reader like; Archie, Franklin Richards and the Fantastic Four, Legion of Super-Heroes and many more.

AW: After the end of CrossGen’s involvement with MegaCon, what did you need to do to keep Megacon  going?

BW: I just needed to keep doing what I did prior, which was listen to what the attendees wanted and try to get it for them.

AW: Who are the main players on the Megacon team?  How did you put together your team?

BW: The main players are two people, myself and my daughter Christine.

AW: MegaCon attracts a very diverse crowd of fans, how do you manage to program to such diverse tastes?

BW: When I first started running the show I realized that we had to do more than comics and that comics, gaming, anime, science fiction/ fantasy where all interrelated in many ways.  I tried to find that crossover and move the show in that direction.  Also, I looked at who was coming and tried to find events I thought they would enjoy. Like the kids area etc.

AW: Last year’s crowd was incredible!  Can you tell me approximately how many people attended, and what are your expectations for this year?

BW: We had a big spike in attendance last year.  We had a three day count of a little over 42,000.  I never try to speculate our numbers.  I can tell you that we have never gone backwards since 1999.

AW: Over the years it seems MegaCon only gets bigger, what do you think the key is to your success, even in these hard economic times?

BW: I think people are looking for an inexpensive way to have fun and our ticket price compared to other shows our size is very reasonable.  Where else can you go for a full day for $25?

AW: What goes into your selecting guests for the show?  How do you determine who to invite?

BW: For Comic Guests: We try and get people that our attendees have requested.  We read every email we receive and we listen.

For media: We try to stick to a theme and bring in several people from that theme. 

AW: Do you set up all the panels, or do the attendees specify what they want the panels to be?  Or, is it a little of both?

BW: A little of both

AW: How long is the planning period for Megacon?

BW: It truly takes a whole year. With just the two of us for the planning stage it takes quite a bit of time.

AW: Do you pay for celebrity guests to attend, or is there a standard contract where they agree to charge a certain amount for autographs, photo-ops, etc. to offset their fees?

BW: That just depends on the guest.

AW: Unfortunately Kate Mulgrew canceled her appearance this year.  How do you handle situations like that when a headlining guest backs out?

BW: There isn’t much we can do but announce as soon as we find out.  

AW: How do you determine how many guests to have?

BW: We generally stay about the same every year, but some years may vary depending on the cost of each individual guest.

AW: A guest like Stan Lee creates massive lines and crowds, what goes into controlling such large groups of fans? 

BW: Making plans ahead of time and good line control people.  We have some years that work better than others.

AW: Are there any guests that you have wanted for MegaCon that you haven’t been able to get?

BW: Jim Lee and Todd McFarlane

AW: Does Megacon provide the security for certain guests?

BW: We provide security for the entire event including the guests.

AW: I see you have changed the way people enter the convention hall this year, what lead to that decision?

BW: Too many people in the main lobbies

AW: Do you partner with the Hotels/Motels that you promote on your site?  How does this work?

BW: We work with a group called Conference Direct that negotiates are housing contracts.

AW: What are the dates of Megacon, and what are the ticket prices?  How do people find you on the Web? 

BW: February 17th – 19th

Online Prices:

1-day $24.49

3-day $58.04

Door Prices:

1 – Day $25

3-Day $60

All prices include 6.5% sales tax

www.megaconvention.com

 

Thank you so much for stopping by Beth. We’ll see you at MegaCon!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Avengers Checklist

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Click on any RED link or comic cover in the article to buy/bid on the comic right now from ALL available sellers on Ebay.

Out of all of the comic book movies we hear of coming our way, only one (maybe 2) make us all wait like that 8 year old child on Christmas Eve with the butterflies all tangled up in the gut. Thor will come upon us in 2011, while 2012 brings the Avengers. One could only hope that the end of the world doesn’t come early to spoil the Avengers fun. The anticipation of watching Thor lay down his hammer to the ground, striking it with the power of thunder, watching the ground reverberate and then watching the ground and every living thing around it succumb to nothingness will be astounding. Yes we’ll get the image of the hammer in the air on top of a mountain shot, yes we’ll get the whirl and throw as Thor takes flight, but nothing will beat that fury when he’s had enough and lays the God of law down. It’s going to be movie magic like never seen before. Thor is a badas*, always has been and always will be. Now we all finally get to witness it first hand in a live action epic movie. What could possibly be better than this you ask? Well, the Avengers movie. To have the Hulk, Iron Man, Thor and Captain America on the same screen at the same time is a comic book fans dream. The biggest question mark remains, will this movie be done ‘right’? It probably will be. If you look at the other ‘team’ movie the X-Men, it wasn’t until the third movie where things really started going wrong with that franchise. The very first X-Men movie was the best one, the introduction of characters, the structure of story and a nice balance of character development. For the reasons the first X-Men movie succeeded will not be the same reason the Avengers movie will supersede it. The X-Men movie did not have the introduction of characters in their own films before the movie came out. People will have a very good general knowledge of the characters like Iron Man, Hulk, Captain America, Thor, etc. when the Avengers movie hits. So what you didn’t like the Hulk movie or maybe even Iron Man, but they are not going to be the headliner here. They ALL are, so if you don’t like a certain character, you could just eat your popcorn, roll your eyes and wait for your main guy or gal to come on. Didn’t most of us do this with Wolverine in the X-Men movie?
Captain America is the leader of the Avengers, so his movie “should be” very fine tuned. He is the lead character of the Avengers film and his movie “should be” the best of all the solo Avenger movies. Although, Thor will probably be better, but who cares really? We’re going to be getting a true live action Captain America movie! How great is this?? One of the probable reasons that Cap will be a good movie and not a great one is the overseas worry in releasing an “American War Hero” in today’s political climate. It might not seem like a big deal to anyone here in the states, but even Hollywood did say that this will pose for a slight problem and they do recognize that America is not exactly on top of the ‘like list’ these days with many countries. So with that, we as an audience could suffer a bit if Hollywood decides to make too much “nice” in order to attract the overseas market. Thus, Thor will be a better movie; no one in Asgard will have to worry about offending or making amends. Besides Norman is about to get his as* handed to him by Asgard (Siege), so we’ll let him deal with them.

Click on any RED link or comic cover in the article to buy/bid on the comic right now from ALL available sellers on Ebay.
With the excitement of all of the solo Avenger movies coming, there is also excitement in looking at where all of these characters were first seen on the pages of a comic book. The very first time the Avengers appeared as a team was Avengers #1 from 1963. This comic could fetch at least $9000 or higher depending on the condition. It’s a classic issue brought to you by to classic creators, Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. Surprisingly there aren’t that many key issues in the Avengers run. One of the best standouts in the run comes in with Avengers #4. This issue was the first Silver Age Captain America coming in at a $5000 price tag, grab this one right now. Avengers #57 gives us the first Vision. If Vision is a part of the Avengers movie, (probably not, but wishful thinking) this comic will be gaining some exposure. Vision would really translate nicely to the big screen. One could only hope that he’ll make an appearance. This comic is only in the $100 range. The last of the best Key issues in the original Avengers run has to go to issue #71. The first Invaders appearance at a cost of $75.
As far as the actual Avengers team members, we’re talking a little more cash, but these comics are the cream of the crop. These are comics that will in fact appreciate in value within time with no sign of any downside. While the Avengers have a ton of members that have come and gone, 84 to be exact at last count. Let’s focus on some of the bigger ones that have already been mentioned in this article as well as some others.
Thor, first appeared in Journey into Mystery #83 in 1962. The classic Kirby/Sinnott cover alone is nothing short of beauty here. The going price is about $15,000 and shows no signs of slowing down. If you’re in the market for another key Thor issue that has a tremendous upside and is undervalued at the moment, look for Thor #126. It’s been recommended on InvestComics quite a few times now over the years and since it was first mentioned in 2007; it’s gone up in value about 9% in each of those years. Might not sound like retirement money (Public service announcement! Please don’t think you could retire collecting comic books, nor send your kids to college). Although 9% may not sound like a lot to some people, it’s a nice return over a 15 year span if you hold on to this comic. Thor #126 currently comes in at only $450!! This comic is basically the very first Thor solo comic, a Thor #1 issue if you will. In issue #125 of Journey into Mystery with Thor, Marvel decided to drop the “Journey” name and simply call it Thor with the next issue. This is the most “affordable” recommended buy right now in the InvestComics portfolio. You cannot go wrong with buying this issue. The Thor movie is going to explode, get in on the Thor craze now before the hammer becomes a regular toy item for every boy to have in their toy chest. Thor #126 is THE buy here folks. Sticking with Thor and Journey into Mystery, check out Journey into Mystery #85. This issue is the first appearance of Loki and cameo of Odin. This comic is only $2500 at the moment. Look for the popularity to increase after the Thor movie comes out.
The big Green guy, Hulk first appeared in his self titled comic; Incredible Hulk #1. This also came out in 1962. There isn’t really much to say, except that for $70,000 it gets you ownership here. So put that Red Hulk nonsense down and start saving, because at 70k this is a nice deal. You probably could buy this comic right now in the 45k range in the right circumstances.

Click on any RED link or comic cover in the article to buy/bid on the comic right now from ALL available sellers on Ebay.
Iron Man first appeared in Tales of Suspense #39. This first appearance will cost you about $20,000. Robert Downy Jr. will be doing his thing in Iron Man 2, but look for this to climb in value as the Avengers movie gets closer. It’s not going to happen with the Iron Man sequel.
Now we have come to the biggest star of them all, Captain America. Way back, almost 70 years ago, that’s right 70 years ago Steve Rogers first appeared in Captain America Comics #1. Almost right smack in the middle of WWII we received the greatest solider the world has ever seen. Steve Rogers; the American Super Solider will cost about $140,000 to buy. Although very pricey to most, it’s an issue that will forever be as valuable as Action Comics #1. A true American Icon of American Comics will never fail in the value of collecting, whether it’s emotional value or monetary value.
Speaking of value, check out 2 issues later in Captain America #3 for Stan Lee’s first work. How cool is that?? This comic is worth about $35,000. Owning this comic means that you own a piece of history. Without Stan, the superhero climate in the Marvel Universe looks vastly different. Wouldn’t say it doesn’t exist, just saying that Spidey maybe isn’t the Spidey we know, Fantastic Four aren’t who they are, etc.

As said earlier, there have been many Avengers (approx. 84) that have graced the pages of the awesome run. A few other Avengers have had their names mentioned to appear in the Avengers Movie, one of them is set to appear in the Iron Man sequel. This character also is probably going to be the front runner to get his own movie as a result of his popularity. Clint Barton a.k.a. Hawkeye will be a nice addition to the Iron Man film if they fit him in. If not, he will be in the Avengers movie. Too much talk about this guy appearing in one of these films if not both. Lots of times they say a character will appear in a movie, but they somehow end up on the cutting room floor. Cutting Clint out of the Iron Man 2 movie would be a travesty. It would be neat to see a hero in that movie that isn’t behind an iron suit. War Machine will be awesome, so will Iron Man, but throw Hawkeye with them and you have awesomeness. A great buy goes out to Tales of Suspense #57 (1964) for only $800. A $500 bill will probably get a deal done. Pick this up because with an appearance in Iron Man 2 the interest will start right there. The Avengers movie will thrust more interest on the Hawkeye character; don’t sit too long on buying his first appearance. Another Avenger mentioned is Ant-Man. He first appeared in Tales to Astonish #27 (1958). Talks of a solo movie for Ant-Man dried up mainly because the interest wasn’t there for the studio. This issue will run you about $8000. A few issues later in Tales to Astonish #44 (1959) came Wasp. This female hero will not amount to much in the Avengers Movie even if she does appear. It’s not a home run with this character nor is the investment. $475 is the going tag on Wasp. Pick it up for $400 at the right place, right time and plan on a very long hold pattern as far as Investment value goes on this one.

Click on any RED link or comic cover in the article to buy/bid on the comic right now from ALL available sellers on Ebay.

 

So there you have it. Your official  Avengers Movie “Heroes” checklist.

Avengers Assemble! See you next week.

Invest Wisely. Read Avengers comics.

Jay Katz

Marvel Unveils Marc Silvestri’s AVENGERS ASSEMBLE #1 Variant Cover

Marvel Unveils Marc Silvestri’s AVENGERS ASSEMBLE #1 Variant Cover
Marvel is proud to present your first look at acclaimed artist Marc Silvestri’s explosive variant cover for Avengers Assemble #1! Follow the
adventures of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes in this perfect jumping-on point featuring Captain America, Iron Man, Thor, the Incredible Hulk, Black
Widow & Hawkeye! The all-new Zodiac are plotting to take down the Marvel Universe, but who are they? And when you see who’s pulling the strings – no fan is going to want to play catch-up on this series.

So be sure to pick up Avengers Assemble #1, hitting comic shops everywhere and the Marvel Comics app http://www.marvel.com/marvelcomicsapp, this March!
Join the conversation on Twitter with #Avengers https://twitter.com/#!/search/avengers.

AVENGERS ASSEMBLE #1 (JAN120638)

AVENGERS ASSEMBLE #1 SILVESTRI VARIANT (JAN120640)

Written by BRIAN MICHAEL BENDIS

Art by Cover by MARK BAGLEY

Variant Cover by MARC SILVESTRI

Rated T+ …$3.99

FOC – 2/13/12, ON SALE – 3/14/12

Marvel Entertainment, LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company, is one of the world’s most prominent character-based entertainment companies, built on a proven library of over 8,000 characters featured in a variety of media over seventy years. Marvel utilizes its character franchises in entertainment, licensing and publishing. For more information visit www.marvel.com

 

Jay Katz writes First Issue of NEW Mini-Series From Bluewater Comics

It’s been an exciting week to say the least with great news that keeps on coming. Bluewater Comics will be releasing the new Vincent Price House of Horror’s mini-series and “I” (Jay Katz) will be writing the number one issue. Check out the solicit that came out today for a May release.

Yes this is way cool.

VINCENT PRICE PRESENTS: HOUSE OF HORRORS #1
Author(s): Jay Katz
Artist(s): Stefano Cardoselli
Cover Artist(s): LP Dopp

An all-new 4 issue mini series from the Master of Horror. Nicholas Stastny is a saintly lad. He loves his maker, his family, and above all, his animals. He loves ’em to death! Experience the most disturbing story from Bluewater yet as we learn the gruesome truths to becoming a “Good Boy.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE NIGHT PROJECTIONIST IS COMING!

*THE NIGHT PROJECTIONIST IS COMING!*

InvestComics contributor Bob Heske’s long-awaited Vampire epic, THE NIGHT PROJECTIONIST, published by Studio 407, is set to be released in *Diamond Previews* in March 2012. We’ll be running the press release in a few weeks, but the attached teaser image gives you a “taste” of the blood bath that’s coming your way in trade paperback. Word on the street has it that the artwork is stunning and Mr. Heske’s prose will keep your eyes peeled to the last fear-inducing page.

We’ll be providing details on how you can order advance copies soon. You can also follow NP on twitter at *#whoisthenightprojectionist* which has several tweets daily and previews of artwork, with more goodies in store. Support our talented friend Bob, and give yourselves a treat with a compelling, creepy read that Fangoria said “Could be the next *30 Days of Night!*”

As a comics entertainment investing expert, I can tell you THE NIGHT PROJECTIONIST is sure to be in my May “Hot Picks” bin.

Jay Katz
President, InvestComics

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

InvestComics Will Interview Stan Lee!

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
West Palm Beach, Florida
February 7, 2012 — FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

InvestComics has landed an Interview with the Iconic Stan Lee, CCO of Pow Entertainment.

(West Palm Beach, Florida; February 7, 2012) –The Interview will take place at this year’s MegaCon in Orlando Florida on February 18th 2012

“It’s an absolute honor to Interview Stan Lee and I cannot wait to meet him” said Jay Katz, President of InvestComics. Stan Lee recently released along with 1821 Comics the hit Romeo and Juliet The War and has numerous projects in the works with Pow Entertainment. Jay Katz continued, “This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to sit down for a few minutes with person that has literally changed the landscape of comic books since he’s been involved within the Industry.”

Go to InvestComics’ Facebook page to get updates as they come in: InvestComics Facebook

About Pow Entertainment Inc.

Pow Entertainment Inc. is in the business of creating and licensing  intellectual properties for the entertainment industry.  POW! develops its  properties in traditional entertainment media, including: feature length films  in live action and animation, television programming, merchandising and related  ancillary markets.  With high demand for content in media such as mobile  applications, on-line, and video games, POW! is also focusing on these areas to  develop new material.  All of POW!’s projects are anticipated franchises for  worldwide distribution.

About InvestComics

InvestComics™ started as a magazine in 2006; the first issue wasn’t released until June of 2007. The magazine was distributed as a free comic book Investment Guide throughout local comic shops in South Florida. It was also a giveaway on Ebay for any winning bid to receive with their order.

Although the InvestComics™ web site was on line in 2005, it wasn’t until 2007 the web site became the main focal point and the magazine ceased. InvestComics™ wanted to start reaching a broader audience and began to rapidly expand. InvestComics™ became the “Entertainment” Investment Guide as a result of covering many areas in the industry, focusing on entertainment as well as highlighting investment opportunities. Most recently the launch of InvestComics TV (ICTV) has made the site multi-media, attracting some of the biggest names in the industry to appear in a split-screen 10-12 minute interview format.

 

 

 

 

Peter Bagge

*Why You Hatin’? * 

Interview with Peter Bagge

by David Paul 

Alright, straight up honest: this one is a treat for me. As a cartoonist myself it’s not often that I get a chance to bring respected cartoonists to a site dedicated primarily to comic books. Because, let’s face it, cartoons and comics don’t always play in the same sand box.

Peter Bagge grew up in the suburbs of New York City, one of five in a healthy Catholic household. Those of you who grew up Catholic yourself know exactly what that means. He attended the School of Visual Arts just before he began working for Punk Magazine where he worked with the likes of John Holmstrom, Ken Weiner, Bruce Carleton, J.D. King and Kaz. In addition he gained valuable experience with the great Art Spiegelman. Now, if you’re not familiar with those names I am offended. So that means you have homework. 

Let’s jump in right there.

David: Peter, thanks for dropping by InvestComics and allowing a silly twit like me to ask you a bunch of questions. Very cool. 

Peter: That’s a question?

David: Punk Magazine wasn’t around for very long but in its short run it was a success in the underground. You were pretty young in your career. Talk to us about the good ol’ days. What was it like?

Peter: I never appeared in the original run of PUNK.  They went out of business before they printed any of my comics.  I appeared in a later one shot issue, though. I socialized with the PUNK staff (all cartoonists, it seems) afterwards.  They were a wild, funny and contrary bunch of people.  A breath of fresh air compared to most artist types I net in NYC at the time.

David: So in 1980 when Punk folded you had gathered a fair amount of knowledge and experience. Were you nervous at all about what you would do next?

Peter: I wasn’t “nervous” so much as desperate to get some kind of a career going.  I did a little bit of everything just to make money, though I invested most of my energies towards developing and drawing my own comic book stories.

David: So Comical Funnies ended up in Crumb’s Weirdo and you established this working relationship with one of the most well-known underground cartoonists in America. How did the relationship develop to the point he decided to just give the editorial job over to you?

Peter: It went from me sending him my work to him running it in WEIRDO to him asking me to be the managing editor of the thing, all over the course of 3 or so years.  I hadn’t even met him at the time.  This was all through the mail and telephone.

David: Artistically you’ve often captured the wacky movement of those old Warner Brothers cartoons. But I have to tell you that I see a lot of Crumb’s influence. Your work hasn’t been as extensive as his but it’s certainly been just as satirical. Your days on Weirdo must have produced some unique experiences.

Peter: The Warner Bros cartoons certainly were a huge influence, visually and otherwise, though R Crumb and Charles Schulz were also huge, esp. when it comes to writing and dialog.  I often “hear” them echoed in my earlier work when I re-read them. The same with MAD. I also “hear” other unmistakable influences like Kurt Vonnegut, Woody Allan and even ALL IN THE FAMILY!

David: You managed to stay outside the mainstream back then and produced a number of great independent titles in the 80’s with Fantagraphics. Most notable is probably Neat Stuff. But which of those was your own personal favorite?

Peter: The only title I created on my own in the 1980s was NEAT STUFF.  So that one was my favorite by defult!

David: The 90’s – oh man, the 90’s. What a decade! And what a series you gave us in the title of Hate. So the big explosion of “alternative” culture was blowing up and here comes this title series that in my opinion is still applicable as satire. Lots of people can say this and that regarding what they think Hate is about, and what they take from it. But, from you, what’s it really about? C’mon!

Peter: It was a reflection of a younger version of myself, though I was still trying to make sense of the world I was then living in as well in those comics.

David: Okay, so up to the end of the 90’s you avoided the mainstream. But the first title series you worked on for DC (Yeah!) was illustrated by Gilbert Hernandez. (did you do any of the illustrations for that title?) Later you worked on Sweatshop with a creative team. Big difference going from doing your own writing and art.

Peter: I never deliberately avoided mainstream comics.  It was just a simple case of neither of us having any use for each other. I agreed to do YEAH! and the other titles for Marvel and DC because of the good guaranteed money, as well as the opportunity to work on something radically different.

David: I know you did a number of other projects in the mainstream but the one I want to ask you about the most is The Incorrigible Hulk for Marvel. That title was never released as its own series. What happened there?*Editor’s note: The Incorrigible Hulk was later published in Marvel Knights’ relaunched mini-series Strange Tales.*

Peter: Marvel was purchased by a new company that was horrified with that comic, and thus refused to release it. These folks paid a fortune for Marvel, and thus were obsessed with protecting the brand.

David: Away from Marvel and DC, tell us the truth: what’s it like working for Dark Horse?

Peter: They’re fine!  I mainly just deal with their editors, all of whom have been very pleasant to work with.

David: Some of my favorite works of yours are published in Mad Magazine. But you’ve been doing some non-silly work for Discover Magazine. That’s very important sounding.

Peter: Ha!  I only did 6 strips for DISCOVER.  Budget cuts on their end put an end to that, unfortunately.  I really enjoyed doing those strips, though it involved a LOT of homework on my part, since I’m not a huge science buff. RE: MAD: I only do an occasional illustration job for them.  I’ve never written for them.

David: I’m excited about your new project Reset. Let’s talk about that.

Peter: It’s about a stand-up comic and film actor who out of financial desperation agrees to take part in a computer program that allegedly allows you to virtually re-live your life.

David: In some ways it sounds like it could be a silly theme. But I get the sense there’s a tone of seriousness to it as well.

Peter: Originally I envisioned it being a story where someone really DOES re-live his life!  But that would’ve been too fantasy/sci-fi for my tastes and abilities, so I opted for a far more plausible scenario.  In fact, the story wound up being much more about his current messed up REAL life than his virtual new-and-improved past one.

David: As our hero revisits his life are there moments he’s going to be forced into re-living that he would much rather not?

Peter: Yes, and they’re presented as an opportunity to “fix” mistakes or tragedies from his past.  It’s a bit more complicated than that, though.  I don’t want to give too much away!

David: Where did the inspiration for this come from?

Peter: From me thinking “I wish I knew then what I know now”, which is something I do with far greater regularity as I get older.

David: As a satirical cartoonist is it easier to approach social commentary?

Peter: I… guess?  Actually, I think all art is social commentary.

David: You’ve been doing this for a good long while now. Do you ever feel a personal responsibility to comment on society from one decade to the next? In fact, how would you describe your job?

Peter: At this point it’s just trying to make a decent living doing not only what I do best, but they ONLY thing I know how to do.  I should’ve been a plumber!

David:  Sofia Vergara has stated she wants to marry you for– oh wait. I’m sorry. Question for another interview I’m setting up with someone else. Peter, good sir, you are an inspiration. Much thanks and appreciation. I’m looking forward to Reset.

Peter: No, that was me.  Ms. Vergara has a hard time taking no for an answer.

 

*RESET from Dark Horse – Order it from your local comic shop now!!

 

Legacy Series: Bill Keane

 

FOR MILLIONS OF READERS, BIL KEANE reached out every day through the comforting power of a single panel. “Family Circus” may play out within its own single circle panel, but viewing its family felt like you were looking through a keyhole. Or maybe taking a trip back through time.

For many of us cartoonists it was reassuring to know the creator’s work, (Keane) who launched the comic with King Features in 1960,  would remain a staple of American cartoon strips. Keane, not unlike “Peanuts” creator Charles Schulz, seemed to absolutely embody a time in American life when things weren’t necessarily more innocent, yet were somehow simpler. And having been launched at a time when the cartoon strip was still as central to the domestic landscape as family dinners and “The Ed Sullivan Show,” “Family Circus” became a favorite of millions of readers.

Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Keane taught himself to draw while attending Northeast Catholic High School by mimicking the style of the cartoons published in The New Yorker. His first cartoon was published on May 21, 1936 on the amateur page of the Philadelphia Daily News. While in high school, his in-comic signature spelled his name “Bill Keane”,but early in his career, he omitted the second L from his first name “to be distinctive”.

Keane served in the U.S. Army from 1942 to 1945, drawing for Yank and creating the “At Ease with the Japanese” feature for the Pacific edition of Stars and Stripes. While stationed in Australia he met Thelma “Thel” Carne.Bil and Thel were married in Brisbane in 1948and settled in Roslyn, Pennsylvania. Thel, the inspiration for the “Mommy” character in his long-running strip, died on May 23, 2008, from complications of Alzheimer’s Disease. They have five children, Gayle, Neal, Glen, Christopher and Jeff. Glen works as an animator.

Keane worked for the Philadelphia Bulletin as a staff artist from 1946 to 1959, where he launched his first regular comic strip Silly Philly. His first syndicated strip, Channel Chuckles, a series of jokes related to television, premiered in 1954 and ran until 1977.In 1959, the Keane family moved to Paradise Valley, Arizona. Keane’s daily newspaper panel The Family Circus premiered on February 29, 1960. Keane was the president of the National Cartoonists Society from 1981 to 1983 and was the emcee of the Society’s annual awards banquet for 16 years.

From 1981 to 1983, Keane published the gag strip Eggheads in collaboration with his son Jeff, who now draws and writes The Family Circus and continues the strip with his own insight and humor. Like his father, Jeff Keane has been president of the National Cartoonists Society (NCS), serving two consecutive terms (four years). The NCS is the organizing body that honors cartoonists with the Reuben Awards.

Bil Keane died on November 8, 2011, at his home in Paradise Valley, Arizona (near Phoenix), at 89. The cause of death was given as congestive heart failure.

 

 

InvestComics Super Sunday Comic Hot Picks 2-8-12

Welcome to the Super Sunday InvestComics Comic Hot Picks 2-8-12

Yes it’s Superbowl Sunday and it’s also time for your regular Sunday column! Included this week is a special mini gallery, but more on that shortly……Let’s check some Hot Picks first.

DC’s Suicide Squad #6 continues to sell nicely, as most of the New 52 line. This week in SS#6 the Squad needs to hunt down Harley Quinn led by team leader Deadshot. Deadshot is a very cool underrated character at times and it’s about time people stand up and take notice. Deadshot first appeared way back in 1950 in Batman #59. This comic is a light $2000. Not too shabby to take a “shot” at this comic.

Sticking to the death theme here, Deathstroke #6 will be coming out much to the glee of FFFIC’s very own Shaun Sorenson. Shaun loves this book and InvestComics loves this character. Deathstroke is a total badas* and so is his first appearance in The New Teen Titans #2 (1980). Bad as*es George Perez and Marv Wolfman also are attached to this undervalued book. A mere $48 for Mr. Wilson’s first appearance is a steal.

When exactly are we going to get the big reveal in Marvel’s Battle Scar’s? We know it’s coming right? Check out this week’s issue number four upon arrival to see if we get the “I’m Nick Fury’s son” reveal. Should be a nice moment, not shocking right?

FFFIC’s Sebastian Piccione loves the Secret Avengers comic. So much to his glee (everyone is happy this week!) issue number 22 comes out.  The issue features an appearance of Adaptoids. Although the Adaptoids are and will probably always fade into obscurity, it’s always fun to search where these characters originate from. Did you know that the first Super-Adaptoid appeared in Tales of Suspense #82 in 1966? Probably not, but it’s one of those useless knowledge things that maybe you could carry around with you to impress your fellow comic book buddies. Not! Anyway, the cover of TOS #82 features an amazing Jack Kirby cover (as usual) and comes in at the $100 range.

Three more comics to check out also this week are Ted McKeever’s Mondo #1. Ted has been in the game since 1987 and has an extensive resume to say the least. You can own his first published work for only $2! Look for Ted McKeever’s Transit #1 from Vortex Comics. Kevin Keller, Archie’s first gay character Kevin Keller debuts in his new ongoing series. His first appearance is in Veronica #202. Conan #1 from Dark Horse Comics hits the shelf this week. Conan’s first appearance as we all know came in Roy Thomas’/Barry Windsor-Smith’s Marvel book in 1970, a $360 book that looks to be at a stalemate considering the last movie as well as nothing to gain traction for it. Maybe Dark Horse will get the ball rolling again? We’ll see….

Well the Superbowl is upon us. All the hype gets put to rest today and we get to watch a football game! So what does the Superbowl have to do with comics? Absolutely nothing actually! One thing can definitely be said about sports and comics. They just don’t mesh well at all. Want some proof? No problem! Take a look below after the Covers of the Week and you can scroll through a few sports related comics (with a couple of “surprises” for us boys). You’ll soon realize that Sports are sports and Comics are comics, not to be mixed, but fun nonetheless! Enjoy.

See you next week, Invest wisely.

Jay Katz

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He’ll Go To The Ends Of The Earth To Save You In AMAZING SPIDER-MAN!

Okay this looks cool…..

The next big Spider-Man epic begins in Amazing Spider-Man #682, part one of Ends Of The Earth, by Dan Slott and Stefano Caselli! The Sinister Six, led by the vengeful Doctor Octopus, is back and they’re looking for
revenge! Can Spider-Man & Earth’s Mightiest save the world before Doc Ock’s explosive endgame is revealed? Find in Amazing Spider-Man #682 hitting comic shops and the Marvel Comics app http://www.marvel.com/marvelcomicsapp this March!

Join the conversation on Twitter with #SpiderMan https://twitter.com/#!/search/spiderman.

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #682 (JAN120658)

Written by DAN SLOTT
Pencils & Cover by STEFANO CASELLI

Colors by FRANK MARTIN JR.

FOC – 2/27/12, ON SALE – 3/21/12
MarvelEntertainment, LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company, is one of the world’s most prominent character-based entertainment companies, built on a proven library of over 8,000 characters featured in a variety of media over seventy years. Marvel utilizes its character franchises in entertainment, licensing and publishing. For more information visit www.marvel.com

 

John Ulloa

Andra Walt sits down with the man behind Creature Entertainment John Ulloa.

 

 

 

Andra Walt: I see that you were born in California but migrated to So Fla.  What brought you to this area?

John Ulloa: Yes, I was born in East LA but we left when I was only 6 after the big earthquake of ’72 so I don’t remember much other than a few things.

AW: When did your love of comics begin?

JU: Since I could read I’ve loved comic books. I even remember the comic book that got me hooked it was Fantastic Four #72 when they fought the Silver Surfer. After I read the book I cut it all up and pasted the images on my school folder, I wish I hadn’t done that.

AW: You are establishing Creature Entertainment as a multi-level Entertainment entity. Which part of this do you enjoy working with the most; movies or writing comics?

JU: I love doing both movies and comics, but if I had to choose one it would have to be comics. You don’t have to deal with any actors.

AW: You have been in the comic industry for many years, and have had several small press ventures.  Tell us about some of these.

JU: I started a comic book company back in the early 90’s called High Impact. We were very successful with our biggest title Double Impact which sold over 50,000 copies on its first day.

AW: Ravenous and Forgive Me Father look like the two newest titles.  Are these to be mini-series, ongoing books?

JU: Forgive me Father is a 3 issue mini and Ravenous will be an ongoing series.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AW: Your books have vibrantly colored covers and when you see them you cannot help but pick them up to look at them.  Who is responsible for the covers?

JU: We are lucky to have been given the opportunity to work with several great artists; Jose Varese is our art director and he has done a few covers. Patrick Reilly and Jeff Dekal have done the majority of our covers.

AW: How do you market your books?  Are they in any local comic stores?

JU: Right now we are only doing conventions, but you can get a few of our books at Tate’s who has been great in their support of indie comics, and Florida super comics, who also have been very supportive.

AW: Have you been able to get your books into the Diamond catalogue, or is this even something you are striving for?

JU: We have met with Diamond and are looking to be in their catalog this summer.

AW: Do you think the Indy market is having any impact on the big boys (DC and Marvel)?

JU: Some have already made an impact, the major one being IDW.  They stated off as Indy and now they are one of the big boys.

AW: I see that Creature Entertainment was at NY Comic Con.  Was that a good experience?  Do you feel that your exposure in that area of the country will be important in getting your books into more readers’ hands?  Are conventions the only avenue for the Indy publishers?

JU: NY was great, but I don’t think you should just count on conventions. You have other ways to get out there and if you don’t get into Diamond there are still ways to get your book out there. You can use Comics monkey as one, and if you want to go digital you can try Graphicly. All good ways to get out there.

AW: Of the movies, what are you working on now?

JU: We are finishing up TS-101 (I’ll make sure to get you an invite to the release party), and next we will be working on Tommy, a story of a young boy and his murderess pet rabbit, or so he thinks it is his rabbit.

 

 

 

 

 

AW: Where do you film your movies?  Do you use local talent?

JU: We film mostly in Miami and all of our actors are local.

AW:  Where can people see your movies?  Do you show them at cons?

JU: TS 101 will be shown at Megacon and we are hoping to get it into San Diego con. But if you can’t make it to any of those you can still see most of our movies at PalmCon, this September.

AW:  Where can people find you at Megacon?

JU: We will be in the small press section.  I don’t remember what booth number it is, but you can’t miss us.  Our banner will be bigger that our booth.

AW:  Have you set your convention schedule for 2012 as yet? 

JU: So far all we are doing is MegaCon, San Diego ComicCon, Florida Super Con and PalmCon.

AW: What is the ultimate plan for Creature Entertainment?  Where do you hope to be in 5 years, 10 years, etc?

JU: The plan is to be on the big screen. If we get picked up by a major studio I might be sitting in a Jacuzzi in a big house on the Hollywood hills in 5 years.

AW:  Do you have a favorite comic hero, and why (or why not)?

JU: I would have to say the Silver Surfer.  The way he handled the Fantastic Four and then went after Galactus was just bad ass.

AW: Is the climate better for the Indy market today that it was years ago, and why?

JU: The market is nowhere near what it was in the 90’s. This is the digital age and we have to adapt or die. But Hollywood is looking for fresh new stories and they have been picking up a few indies like Scott Pilgrim and a few others. The market has taken a new direction much like the music industry has, but nothing has been set in stone yet so we might see more changes in the future.

AW: Are any of your books being put out digitally?  How do you think this format will affect the local comic shop owners?

JU: Yes, you can find some of our books on Graphicly and as for the retail market I think it will be a while before the comic book store goes the way of the record store. There will always be some people who still want to hold a book in their hands.

AW:  How do you solicit for talent for all your ventures?

JU: On our website creatureentertainment.com and word of mouth.

AW: It would appear that Creature Entertainment is made up of a few key players. Who are the major shakers and movers behind Creature Entertainment?

JU: For our comic book part, there is Juan Navaro our editor-n-chief, Jose Varese art Director. For the movie side Anthony Dones, Rick Porven and Julio Alvarez shoot and direct our movies, and Rene Quesada is our movie editor, and Al Quesada is our web guy and part time colorist.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AW: How do you fund your projects?  Have you ever used Kickstarter as a funding source?

JU: We self fund everything but we are looking to start a Kickstarter project.

AW:  Can we listen to you on any podcasts in the area?  Do you ever listen to any of the local podcasts?

JU: I listen to a few podcasts like the Pow Wow show and Nerd Nation and our very own Juan Navaro has his own pod cast, but I haven’t been on one yet.

AW: I personally liked your book ‘The Gun’.  Are there other issues of this book on the drawing board? 

JU: The Gun #2 will be at MegaCon. 

AW: Do you sell any of your movie titles, or are these just for viewing at cons? 

JU: Our movies will be for sale at MegaCon too.

 

Thank you John! See you at MegaCon in a couple of weeks!

Become a fan of Creature Entertainment on Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/creatureentertainment

 

 

 

Marvel’s The Avengers Prelude Debuts For FREE On Sunday

Lead-In To Hotly Anticipated Blockbuster Film Available on Marvel Comics app

Get your first look at the events leading up the biggest movie of the year-Marvel’s The Avengers-this Sunday in Marvel’s The Avengers Prelude: Fury’s Big Week #1 (of 8), free on the Marvel Comics app ! That’s right-not only is Marvel giving you the first look at new footage from The Avengers in a special commercial during the big game, but the Marvel Comics app will feature the first issue of this action packed series for FREE! Subsequent issues of Marvel’s The Avengers Prelude: Fury’s Big Week will arrive every Tuesday beginning February 14th for 99 cents per issue.
“We’ve worked hand-in-hand with Marvel Studios to create an exciting story set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe that sets the stage perfectly for the most anticipated film of the summer,” said Axel Alonso, Marvel
Editor in Chief. “Now, for the first time. you’ll find out just what happened to some of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes on the road to Marvel’s The Avengers.”

What is the Avengers Initiative? And what are the secrets of S.H.I.E.L.D. Director Nick Fury? The answers arrive in Marvel’s The Avengers Prelude: Fury’s Big Week and the first issue is free this Sunday only on the Marvel Comics app!
Want to know more about Marvel Studios The Avengers blockbuster film? Follow us on Twitter at @Avengers <http://www.twitter.com/avengers>  and tweet with hashtag #Avengers! And then “like” us on Facebook at
facebook.com/avengers <http://www.facebook.com/avengers>  for access to more exclusive Avengers content!

Check out http://avengers.marvel.com for more news on the biggest film of 2012!
MARVEL’S THE AVENGERS PRELUDE: FURY’S BIG WEEK #1 (of 8)

Story by Chris Yost & Eric Pearson

Written by Eric Pearson

Art by Luke Ross

Rated T+ …FREE ON MARVEL COMICS APP

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Marvel Entertainment, LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company, is one of the world’s most prominent character-based entertainment companies, built on a proven library of over 8,000
characters featured in a variety of media over seventy years. Marvel utilizes its character franchises in entertainment, licensing and publishing. For more information visit www.marvel.com

 

IndieCreator with Dino Caruso

 

 

 

 

 

*Meet Canada’s “Mr. Anthology” — Dino Caruso, Writer/Publisher Extraordinaire*

Strap yourself in for the 2nd installment of creator contributor interviews from ONE AND DONE, InvestComics’ anthology in support of the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund (buy it here). Last time we interviewed two ultra-cool hombres from South Africa with five stories accepted to the anthology. This time, we interview the guy with the 2nd most submissions − Canadian comic writer extraordinaire Dino Caruso, AKA “Mr. Anthology”, who has three diverse stories included in our “and-then-you-die” collection. 

Why do we call Dino “Mr. Anthology”, you ask?

Because this Canuck and avid Toronto Blue Jays fan has been in more anthology collections than you can shake a hockey stick at (sorry Dino, “baseball bat” didn’t work for this analogy!). According to the short list on his website at Caruso Comics, Dino’s work has appeared in 26 anthologies from publishers including: Accent UK, Ape Entertainment, Black Glass Press, Black Ship Books, Hamtrack Idea Men, Heske Horror, Metahuman Press, New Reliable Press, POP! Goes The Icon, Red Leaf Comics, Ronin Studios, Terminal Press, Time Bomb Comics, Toronto Cartoonist’s Workshop … well, you get the picture.

Now you can add InvestComics ONE AND DONE to the list.

You’ve read his bio, now hear from the “Antho-Man” himself …

1) You had three stories accepted into ONE AND DONE. Give us a quick logline on each one and your inspiration for writing it.

(DC:)  NO QUARTER was inspired by Star Trek, particularly the original series. I’m a huge fan of TOS and TNG, and this one-pager has got a scene I would have loved to have witnessed in the show! Of course, had one of aliens responded in such a way…the show wouldn’t have lasted very long.

SPOUSE INVADERS was an idea I’d had percolating for quite a while, I just didn’t have a venue for it. The notion of a previously timid character suddenly not taking any more guff really appeals to me.

MELTDOWN was inspired by Firestorm, one of my favorite characters and books when I was a young feller. It was also inspired by Gibson’s love of dynamic action.

2) Who were the artists and letters on the respective stories?

(DC:)  Shawn Richter drew and lettered NO QUARTER. We’ve worked together on several projects, such as AGAINST THE WALL, FISK: SUBSTITUTE HERO, and the in-progress BULLETPROOF. Shawn’s also got a very cool project he’s working on right now called LEGEND OF THE SUNSET PEOPLE.

Simon Fernandes drew and lettered SPOUSE INVADERS. We’ve also worked together on a few things. We’re currently doing a webcomic called THE ADVENTURES OF BELL BOY, which can be found right here. We also worked together on a project called OLGA. Simon’s got a hilarious solo project called SUPERVILLAIN PSYCHE.

Gibson Quarter is the artist of MELTDOWN. We met in Ty Templeton’s workshop in Toronto last year, and we both had stories appear in Ty’s Holmes Inc. anthology. Gibson has worked with Alan Grant in the pages of Wasted, and he’s currently working on a cool project called The Organ Grinder.

Jaymes Reed is the letterer for MELTDOWN. Jaymes has lettered many projects for many companies, and he’s the mastermind of COMICS comics, currently being published by Bluewater. He’s written some very well-researched and entertaining biographies of influential comedians. I’m hopeful that Jaymes and I will have something official to announce in the near future.

3) Which was your favorite, and why?

(DC:)  I like them all, for different reasons. NO QUARTER makes me think; SPOUSE INVADERS makes me laugh; and MELTDOWN shocks me!

But you know, all three of them will always bring back fond memories because I got to collaborate with friends and creators that I admire and respect. 

4) You also recently had a story in an anthology called FEAR by Chainsaw comics. I assume the premise of the anthology is obvious, but can you elaborate anyway and tell us about your particular fearful tale?

 (DC:)  The story’s called BE CAREFUL WHERE YOU HIDE YOUR SECRETS, and it’s about a guy who kept the topic of his writing hidden from his significant other. When she found out about it, she didn’t react very well at all. It’s not based on an actual event, just a little meditation on what can come of being scared of sharing what’s inside you…and the importance of being honest with yourself and others about who you really are.

It’s illustrated by Paul Little, whose work as a colorist can be seen in several Image comics. He did an awesome job.

5) And you had 2 stories accepted into Criminal Element, an anthology by Jason Franks and Black Glass Press. Tell us about these stories and your collaborative creative teams.

(DC:)  I love crime fiction, and I’d previously been part of a project called Acts Of Violence. When Jason came calling, I jumped at the chance to be part of this collection. My two stories are:

SLEEPING DOGS LIE, illustrated by Jae Korim and lettered by Jaymes Reed. And OLD TIMER, illustrated by Vic Malhotra and Chris Martinez and lettered by Jaymes Reed.

SLEEPING DOGS LIE is a story about a double cross (or is it a triple cross…? Can’t seem to keep those straight) that literally comes back to bite someone in an uncomfortable place.

OLD TIMER is about how deceptive appearances can sometimes be.

6) In 2011, the Reading with Pictures anthology that you participated in was nominated for 2 Harvey Awards. What was special about this collection that caught the critic’s attention?

(DC:)  First of all, I think that there were a tremendous collection of wonderful stories and wonderful creators in that book. I was honored to be included. Further to that, Josh Elder and the RWP crew have been very busy as advocates for comics in the classroom and improving literacy. It’s a very strong anthology and I think it’s unique in that its target audiences are young readers and the school system. It always gets a lot of looks at conventions. I make sure to put it in a prominent spot on my table. It’s always nice to have something that the kids can flip through.

7) What other anthologies have you had your work published in? Is there a favorite anthology or story of which you are most proud?

(DC:)  I feel very fortunate to have been included in a wide variety of anthologies. I’m proud of all of them, but some of my faves are:

A (YANKEE) ROSE BY ANY OTHER NAME, which appeared in Poseur Ink’s “Side B” anthology. This was a fun story, illustrated by Josh Kemble, about a trip to Toronto to see a David Lee Roth concert.

HOLLOW VICTORY, which appeared in Heske Horror’s “2012” anthology. This story was illustrated by Sami Kivela (who’s 2/3 done illustrating our next project…stay tuned!!) and it’s about my vision of what the end of the world will be like. Play Ball!

HOPE, which appeared in The Sleepless Phoenix’s “Survival Stories” anthology. This one was illustrated by Gary O’Donnell, and it’s got soccer and aliens. Need I say more?

Lastly, I’d like to mention BREAKING THE ICE, which was part of Ronin Studios’ “Hope” anthology. It was illustrated by Jason Moser, and it’s about an urban hero who misjudges the people on the wrong side of the tracks.

8) You have very good luck getting into anthologies — and a healthy does of talent, of course. How do you find the anthologies that you want to contribute to, or do the publishers find you?

(DC:)  A lot of times, you can find out about anthologies by doing a Google search to see who’s taking submissions. There are also boards such as Pencil Jack and Digital Webbing that publishers advertise on directly. Both of those sites have “help wanted” bulletin boards.

And after you’ve been around for a while, and gotten to know people, publishers will often come looking for you. Short stories are lots of fun, and I enjoy working on them a lot.

9) Tell us about your web comic, The Adventures of Bell Boy, which you created with artist Simon Fernandes. The main character is a 2nd grade boy with imaginary “super powers”. How many strips have you developed? And what are you ultimate plans for this whimsical superkid character?

(DC:)  BELL BOY is lots of fun. It’s done in the style of a 4 panel newspaper strip, and it’s the story of a kid in grade two who gets superpowers every time the recess bell rings…or at least, he thinks he does. I’d say it’s influenced by Bloom County, Peanuts and Calvin & Hobbes.

Simon is an awesome co-creator. He brings the perfect artistic style to this project. He’s amazing with the facial expressions, body language and action. It’s been an absolute joy to work on this with him. It’s my greatest hope that BELL BOY keeps on being heroic on the playground for many years to come. You can read all about him at http://bell-boy.ca.

This is the only ongoing comic strip I’ve been a part of. I might someday like to try a one-panel gag comic, but for now, I’m really content focusing my efforts on BELL BOY.

10) You also do interviews yourself. Who are some of the more memorable writers and artists that you’ve interviewed?

(DC:) Yeah, I had a lot of fun with my ONE PAGE AT A TIME interviews. They first appeared on the Crystal Fractal Comics news page, but then they were later syndicated to ComicBookInterviews.com.

I mostly interviewed creators I knew, and it was a nice opportunity to give some well-deserved spotlight to some of my friends and collaborators. One creator that I didn’t know, however, was Royal McGraw, who worked on Batman. That interview was pretty cool. I learned a lot. 

11) From several posts on your blog, Community Service seems to be a project that has for a long-time been kept under wraps but is now being dusted off and coming to life in graphic TPB format. Tell us about this project and how you got the momentum going.

(DC:) COMMUNITY SERVICE is a story and script I’m very proud of. And yes, it’s been an ongoing project for about ten years. I’ve revised and rewritten it many times and I’m finally feeling comfortable with it. It’s loosely based on some experiences I had, so it was really important to me that the script felt “right”.

Cecilia Latella, a wondeful illustrator from Italy, is working on the pages as we speak. She has a great feel for the characters and her storytelling is superb. There are no superheroics, horror or crime elements to this story. It’s about regular people living their lives and dealing with the stuff we deal with every day…growing up and trying to figure out who we are and where we belong in the world.

You can follow along on my site, http://www.carusocomics.blogspot.com/, for updates. I’ve been trying to regularly post our progress with a little bit of commentary. 

12) Last chance to pimp any projects you’re working on, events you’ll be attending and URLs we’ll want to visit to follow the creative works of Dino Caruso. 

First of all, thanks for the opportunity to ramble. It was lots of fun.

Projects I’m working on…hmmm…

Well, there are a couple of things I’m doing for Red Leaf Comics. One of them is a graphic novel called COURAGE, illustrated by Paul Houston. The other is a serial called GRYFALCON, illustrated by Francisco Paronzini (and my good friend Shawn Richter will also illustrate a chapter).

Sami Kivela and I are working on a project for Markosia. The working title is OUTCAST, but that may be changing. Sami’s doing amazing work on this one.

Shawn Richter and I are working on sprucing up FISK: SUBSTITUTE HERO, a concept that I find lots of fun, and we’re soon going to be pitching a project that’s titled BULLETPROOF.

Sam Agro and I also have a couple of stories on the verge of moving forward, but … can’t quite talk about those ones yet. Hopefully soon.

There are also good things brewing with some other super-talented creators, that I hope to be able to spill the beans about soon. Check in with me at http://www.carusocomics.com/ or http://www.carusocomics.blogspot.com/ for the latest news.

Whew! That’s an epic amount of pots you’ve got brewin’ on the fire, Dino. From now on we’re calling you “CAPTAIN ANTHOLOGY”! Keep cranking out the great work, and I encourage everyone to check out Dino’s submissions to ONE AND DONE.

Buy it here.

An award-winning indie comic creator and screenwriter, Bob Heske is currently writing/producing a micro-budget horror film called UNREST (http://www.indiegogo.com/unrest). Bob wrote THE NIGHT PROJECTIONIST, a vampire horror series to be published by Studio 407 (http://www.studio-407.com) with film rights optioned by Myriad Pictures. Through his Heske Horror shingle, Bob self-published his critically acclaimed horror series COLD BLOODED CHILLERS. Bob’s trade paperback BONE CHILLER (a “best of” CBC anthology) won a Bronze medal in the horror category at the 2009 Independent Publisher Book Awards. His “end times” anthology 2012: FINAL PRAYER was also released in late 2009. Bob was editor and contributor to InvestComics’ ONE AND DONE charitable anthology. Email him at info@coldbloodedchillers.com.

 

Never Guess Where Stan Lee Will Be Appearing Tomorrow!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stan Lee on Howard Stern’s Geek Time Tomorrow!!! 

Fall in fellow POW!sters & Brigadiers alike,

@therealstanlee will be appearing on @HowardStern ‘s Geek Time this Friday 2/3 @ 12pm EST on SiriusXM 101 to talk about the partnership with @1821Comics and the newly released epic graphic novel “Romeo and Juliet: The War”. Don’t forget to tune in & find out all about the great things to come.

Click here to view a video message from Stan Lee

Romeo & Juliet: The War” is out in stores now. So what are you waiting for O’ Keepers of the Faith? Go to your local comic or book store & get either your soft cover or hard cover collectors editions now, or if you prefer online, go to:

http://1821comics.com/Romeo-and-Juliet/vmchk.html

Click here to view some of the interior art work.
@1821comics
@therealstanlee
http://www.1821comics.com
http://www.powentertainment.com
http://www.therealstanlee.com 

Click Hereto view the official “Romeo & Juliet: The War” trailer, narrated by Stan Lee himself.-POW! Entertainment