Just got back from being in Germany for a month last night and happy as all get out to be back in the US. I’ve gotten a lot of work done on pages from Issue 6 and the short film comic book supplement. As stated 134 times before, it’s taking awhile because it’s only me, but it will get done. Received a short film update a little over a month ago where we were able to see the added VFX. It was pretty damn sweet. Looking forward to getting all of this stuff out. I’ve posted some of my latest pages on FB, Instagram and Twitter. . . I should probably post here as well.
As of late I’ve been running into droves of new writers and artists getting discouraged because of lack of progress in their endeavors. Everyone experiences it. . .it’s just how you choose to manage it. Sometimes you just need to step away for a day or two to recharge. Understand that things don’t happen overnight. Doing this stuff is hard work especially in light of having a job, other hobbies, and relationships/families. I’ve seen too many people give up because they’ve run into one or two roadblocks. The crazy part is that these people have great and unique ideas/stories. If you’re a writer who can’t find an artist, keep writing, write short stories, learn to draw while continuing to write. I would also encourage people to join groups with similar goals. There are plenty of groups on social media. It’s always cool to bounce ideas off of people are genuinely interested in the same things you are. It bites writing on an island. Unfortunately for me, I don’t really have a lot of friends who are into what I’m into at the level I’m into it. I’ve been struggling with this since the mid 90’s and I’m still here sweating it out. Don’t quit!
As of late, I’ve been working on issue six and taking drawing classes to tighten up my work. I feel much more confident laying down lines now. I still have a long ways to go but I will get there sooner now. Additionally, we have taken a big step in getting the short film completed. Hopefully, you’ll be able to view it soon. Still hitting the gym like a psycho and eating everything in sight. I’ve been really active on instagram as of late so feel free to follow me there. You’re definitely going to see more there than I’ve been posting on my other accounts. Stay up!
Approximately 3 weeks ago, Issue 5 (which marks the 7th issue in total. . .3 more issues until a pitch is made) was published. This issue was a lot of work because I illustrated all of the interior pages. I don’t consider myself an artist, but necessity dictates. . .lol. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve always wanted to be an awesome artist. . .as well as a professional bodybuilder, comedian, podiatrist, actor, professional musician, etc. There’s just not enough time in the day. I will say that I have experience in all the said fields (sans podiatry). After issue 5 was published, I immediately starting inking issue 6. . .then I started to hit burnout and took a 3 week break. I will get back on it after this Michigan vacation. I’m actually anxious to get back to as Johnny D makes an appearance and the Eidolons face their first major antagonist(s). Hopefully, this issue doesn’t take as long to complete.
Dawn of Justice (Batman vs Superman). . .it’s been reviewed ad nauseam so no tirades from me. In all honesty, I liked the new Fantastic 4 better. Hopefully DC gets the Justice League right.
Speaking of films, we’re still going through the VFX process, which is not an easy thing given the number of effects that we’re trying to do. The Film concept came about in 2012, we finished filming in 2014, now it’s 2016. . .and 25K later still waiting on release on a 15 minute short film. Hopefully, we get this thing done sooner than later.
As a little whipper snapper in Mannheim Germany, I spent a lot of time in day care (circa 1982-85). While in day care or kinder care for those who speak German, they used to play music in the background all of the time. One of the albums that was played frequently (hell, probably on repeat) was one by Carole King. Did I know it was Carole King at the time? No! I just found out a few days ago. There was a song on that album called ‘One was Johnny’ and it was my absolute favorite. I just listened to it again for the first time in over 30 years and it explains a lot about my personality. Additionally, there was a little 3 year old who attended the day care named Johnny and he was bad as all get out, but everyone thought that he was adorable so he got away with everything. He used to throw blocks at my head on the regular. Now I’m starting to wonder if that’s why I named James Walker’s alter ego ‘Johnny’. Johnny D will be making an appearance in issue 6 so stay tuned for that.
Issue 5 is officially printed. I will have hard copies on me today. I’m still waiting for them to be available at IndyPlanet. Once I’m notified that it’s available, I will sound the horns! This is the first issue that I penciled and inked myself so I’m pretty proud of that considering that I’m not an artist. I can do so many things well ie lift heavy weights, sing, play guitar, down beer by the gallon. . .but art is not one of them. It’s just one of those things that happened out of necessity. I will continue to improve over time hopefully, I’ll be able to crank out pages that look like Jim Cheung’s or Spanish Inks works.
I’m no expert at promotion or business. . .I’m your average run-of-the-mill knucklehead, but lately I’ve noticed something. Over the last four years (since the start of the publishing of the comic), I’ve been promoting a lot of organizations (comics, bands, beers, etc.) more than my own stuff. On the band promotion thing, I have over 10 t-shirts of relatively new bands that are now defunct. I have millions of Marvel/DC Tees. I have only four of my own. . .well technically three since I can no longer fit into the first one I created (all them gainz). This being said I’ve made a more conscious effort to promote my stuff. For example, I just bought a new samsung galaxy s6. The vendor asked me if I wanted a protective case. I declined because I had one created with my comic book stuff on it and it was cheaper than what I would have bought it for through verizon. The other piece I’d like to address is the support network. Since inception, there have been organizations and individuals who have been supportive of my endeavors. The favor should be returned in kind whether it be financial or promotion. I have a lot of friends who have small businesses or are major investors in a business. And for those who actually have t-shirts, I sport them on the regular–that, I don’t have an issue with. My problem is spending money on promoting something that no longer exists and or/getting nothing back from promoting said organization. For those who are starting new endeavors on the business front. . .just some food for thought.
Had a few setbacks this week with Halloween and everything, which was a blast by the way. I went as Bishop this year and partook in a pub crawl Thursday; Metal show Saturday. I’m still organizing everything and finding lots of errors. . .so trying to get all that fixed before sending the pages in to get colored. My spelling and grammar leave a lot to be desired. Since it’s only me right now doing everything comic-wise, it’s taking that much longer.
The short film is moving along as well. Currently, working score and VFX. I will continue to keep everyone posted. Below is another page (not the most recent) from issue 5. I’m really looking forward to getting this out!
The last couple of months have been a major whirlwind for me, but everything is on the up and up. I just got to see my good buddy, Nick, married off in the Upper Peninsula; got to see my little nephew, Miles aka little hustle, in Florida; I got to smash weights with the trifecta in Florida as well; I’m two pages shy of completing 27 pages worth of inks for Issue 5 (as I stated earlier I find myself redoing panels because I’m learning an picking up things as I go); and I’ve been talking with the film crew to expedite completion of the short film (everything is going well and moving in a positive direction). I will post pics from my other computer. Right now, I’m packing my backs and getting ready to head to Kentucky for work. Look for me in Michigan near the end of October.
Sheesh. . .didn’t realize how long it’s been since I actually posted to this thing. . .life coming at me from all directions. I recently just got back from my 20yr high school reunion and it was a great time! While I was there, I took the opportunity to get with all of the muses that I used for the comic book and get a group photo as well as sign next to their characters. Unfortunately, AJ is class of ’94 so he wasn’t in attendance. Speaking of which. . .AJ is now a proud father! He and Vanessa delivered approximately 3 weeks ago. Welcome to the world Miles Ritchie Dexter (little Hustle)!
While I’ve been in my hole, I’ve been working on comic pages for issue 5 and trying to bring closure to this short film.