Sheesh. . .I can’t believe it’s May already. . .this year is moving quickly! As far as updates, my primary job has picked up so I’ve been very busy with that. I was just in Long Beach, CA for two weeks. . .now I’m in Minneapolis, MN. In two weeks, I’ll be disappearing for a month in Utah. I’m trying my hardest to plug away at the comic. One day at a time. As far as the film, I got all of the freeze frame art completed. . .we’re plugging away at that endeavor as well. Hopefully, we get this thing done some time soon. Unfortunately, I will not be making it to the Motor City ComicCon this year because one of my old college buddies is having his big reception that weekend on the West side of Michigan.
I saw the Avengers movie on opening day and it was fantastic! If you haven’t watched it yet, you need to stop what you’re doing and go. It’s the second highest grossing opening weekend movie of all time for a reason. I will hold off on spoilers for another couple of weeks. . .lol. I think I will probably watch it one more time before I really address it.
One of my Navy buddies came back to Texas to visit recently and he asked me some great questions. The ones that stuck out most were what’s it like being the writer of a comic book? Were you scared to put your story out there?
To answer the first question. . .it’s fun, but it’s tough. First off, I never really considered myself a writer but I had a story that I really wanted to share. Growing up reading comic books and using them as an escape, you tend to relate everything that happens to you to something that happened in an issue you read somewhere (ex. in college, I was in a weird situation with a girl that I liked. . .I was also reading an issue of X-Force at the time where Warpath and Siryn were going through some stuff of the same nature). I had several characters in the Marvel/Wildstorm universe that I was very fond of, but the said universes decided to put those characters in limbo. When I started writing, I wanted those characters to influence characters in my universe. Writing my friends and acquaintances into the story made it that much more enjoyable to write. The tough part is re-writing and ensuring that everything is coherent. . .oh, and having a good idea cutoff point. I had my script scrubbed by at least 10 people prior to creating the first issue. The other dynamic is working with artist. . .they have their own style and view of the story. Many times they’ve surprised me with a cool artistic perspective, which means I have have to modify the dialog a bit to fit the said perspective. I’ve been blessed with being able to work with some really cool artists. The worst part of it is that I didn’t have an artist to start so I had to hire them. It took me 25K to get this thing off the ground. While we were getting the first issues off the ground I had to learn to draw. . .still learning. . .to defray the cost of creating comics. My buddy Chris told me that everything comes down to time and money. Now that I’m trying to draw everything, I’m realizing how much time it takes when you’re trying to be a one-man show. I won’t lie. . .it gets to me when I can’t get things done and out there for everyone to read. I’m not a patient person. I still have that military mindset. Things need to be done now. . .lol, but that doesn’t quite go over well in the civilian world.
As far as putting my story out there. . .I think it’s a great story so I really don’t care if someone thinks it sucks. There’s a crapload of comics out there that I think suck, but they’re doing awesome. . .more power to those guys and I wish them continued success. Rejection is the one thing I think people fear when taking on these types of endeavors. . .I’ve seen my fair share of it and some of my mentors have seen it as well. I believe I’ve been given an advantage in life by being shot at and IED’ed on multiple occasions (I don’t recommend it). . .it makes everything else seem so “whatever”. I think the key is believing in your product. . .I definitely do. . .which is why I was willing to dump another 25K+ into the Eidolons short film. Hell, we completed filming over a year ago and I’m still waiting for post production to be complete–I think a normal person would flip. That’s a total investment of over 50k. . .do you know how much Dragon’s Milk or Convict Hill Oatmeal Stout I could buy with that?! Ultimately, it just comes down to perseverance and patience. I have faith that everything will come together when the time is right. I kind of like when people badger me on when the next comic is coming out because it means it’s being read and people are enjoying it. Believe it or not, there are some cats trying to emulate us by writing e-books about “The Enhanced”. David and I had the “The Enhanced” trademarked years ago. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. David can worry about that mess. . .I’m focused on generating product at this point.
All this being said, my advice to any comic book writers out there. . .1) protect your intellectual property before putting it out there (copyrights/trademarks/etc.) 2) find a reliable artist that wants to draw WITH you. . .split the comic sales 3) have professionals or experienced individuals look at your work before you start producing comics 4) Don’t put the cart before the horse. . .ie don’t worry about swag and stuff until you’re actually generating product 5) don’t expect your story to take off right away. . .this is a tough industry. . .people don’t read comics like we did when we were kids 6) Target the right market. . .if your comic is about zombies for example, push you story to people who like zomie stuff. . .I heard the walking dead fan club is really huge (hint hint). I could go on forever with things that I’ve learned since writing my first script in 2005, but I need to go take a shower and get some sleep. . .I’ll continue this some other time.
Cranking out these Issue 5 pages. . .they keep me up at night. . . below is a shot of Sovereignty and Numinous working on conflict resolution.
Still cranking my way through issue 5. . .I’ve been re-doing a lot of things because I end up disliking half of the work I’ve done. At least the cover is complete. . .colored and everything. . .I might even tweak that a bit, but it’s coming. I’ve also been getting the hunger back in the gym so I’m spending a lot more time there. I’ve settled at 255 but my strength is back up to my 283 lb levels. I think it’s re-incorporating the deadlifts and getting more sleep. If I keep this up, I’m going to end up reporting to Colonel Trautman who will then send me through the jungle on a solo suicide mission. . .death by Rambro! On the film front, just more behind the scenes stuff but we will have more stuff for you soon. I do apologize for not posting for over a month, but life has its way of keeping you hemmed up. I’ll post a page or two shortly as well.
I always forget how crazy January is. . .at least for me. It comes from every angle. . .between fighting off sickness and managing 50 endeavors. ..oh and I’m down to 255 lbs. I hate having to have to buy new clothes all the time and plus I just feel better when I’m lighter (It sucks losing the strength though). I just got back to working the panels for Issue 5 this past week. I will start scanning pages in within the next few days. The cover is looking pretty sweet as well. On an unrelated note, I’m proud of all of my Detroit teams. . .especially the Pistons as they continue to fight to become a team to be reckoned with. #DetroitvEverybody
We’ve reached the end of another eventful year. I’m still alive so I’m thankful for that. Spent Christmas at the house this year, which was pretty relaxing but missed seeing my brother who came home from Korea to visit the fam. The next few days are going to be a doozy. After that, I’m going to get back on track with my hardcore weight training. I’ve been taking additional time off from the gym as my body has been wearing down. My finger is still jacked as well so that’s not helping. My therapist is going to give me a new spring-loaded finger thingy that will give me more mobility so I’m looking forward to that. As far as the projects are concerned, the heads and I have watched/edited two rough cuts of the film and recorded 6 promos at this point so we’ve made lots of progress. It looks like we’re about 5-6 mos off of our projected completion date for the film but its totally going to be worth it. I’m still working on Issue 5 due to all of the last minute corrections. Also, the official Eidolons T-shirt is on sale at spreadshirt.com. You can use the group pic to place on any type of shirt you can imagine. Additionally, it can be placed on baby onesies, coffee mugs and phone cases. 25% off of all phone cases!!! Check it out! Eidolons Shirt
So I just returned from a wild 5 days in Michigan. Thanksgiving was great and I’m probably about 10 lbs heavier. . .thanks, mom. I ensured that there were no leftovers. Other things that took place: Lots of lifting at Powerhouse Gym, going to see Kaleido, attending the class of ’94 20 yr reunion, visiting/drinking with my homies, filming 3 more promo videos for the eidolons short film, and playing with the dogs. Needless to say that I didn’t get alot of sleep. I tried to sleep in on Monday, but my parents had the floor guys installing new floors at 0800 in the morning– WTH?!!!! I was so miffed that I packed my bags, went to Bob Evans for breakfast, parked my car behind the restaurant, slept in the car for 3-4 hours, and drove to the airport. I’m still running on fumes, but I guess that’s what ephedra is for. . .lol. Ultimately, I want to thank Chris, AJ, and our peeps at the Loving Touch in Ferndale, MI for coming together for the cross promotion endeavor. It was great seeing all of those knuckleheads from the class of ’94. . .people from my class even showed up! It was epic to hang with some the other inner circle peeps as well– Kricket, Chris(tina), The Feckos, The Bickmanns (the cookies were delicious. . .well done). . .we need to do these things more often!
Team Demonicus got to participate in the Monster Challenges this past weekend. As I stated before, I’m not a fan of mud runs– not because they’re not fun– but because of potential injuries that could inhibit my weightlifting. When presented with an opportunity to support my best friend, AJ Allen, for his birthday and roll 5 deep with the Team demonicus banner. . .I just couldn’t resist! AJ’s wife along with our friends Jess and Laura took it to the obstacles like a bunch of psychos. Though we completed the course successfully, I walked away with a couple of injures to include a sprained finger and gash the size of Nebraska under my left calf. I’m still able to lift but I have to modify my hand positions, so I dodged a big bullet there. Ultimately, I’m always down for promoting the Team!