Maine Comic Arts Festival

I just got home from Portland, Maine… home of the Maine Comic Arts Festival (MeCAF). The day long art/comic show is run by Rick Lowell over at Casablanca Comics and I have to tell you, it is an awesome show.  I missed the opening night reception for my godson’s Christening… but seeing as how I really liked Portland I’m sure it was a great time.

It was held at the Portland Company Complex, which is right on the water and had the feel of an old shipyard building. It was the perfect size (or so it seemed) for the event. I’m a little leery about local shows because they are generally geared towards kids, and this was no exception. If you are familiar with my books, at least until Bulderlyns comes out, then you know why I’m leery. However, within the first ten minutes I had a great talk with an aspiring artist and he just opened the floodgates. It didn’t stop until about a half hour or so before the show closed. Everyone of the guests was really nice, obviously loved comics or art and was great to talk to.

It’s hard for me to leave my table, especially when I’m by myself, so pictures of the event itself are at a minimum. And I don’t get to speak to as many creators as I’d like – usually just my neighbors. I did have a few good talks with other creators who didn’t have tables at the show, but were there supporting.

I went down the street to what I guess is downtown Portland for dinner with a mission – lobster. I chose a place on the water that wasn’t too fancy, because in my experience these places always have better food. It was my first lobster roll and it was awesome. Can’t wait to head back…

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C2E2

After an epic road trip, Zsombor and I finally made it to Chicago for C2E2. We stayed right on the lake, at Michigan and Harrison, so we had the pleasure of seeing a bit of Chicago at night. And, other than the let down of deep dish pizza, I have to say that I was very impressed with the entire show and the city. Because of the space of the hall, I think I would have to give it the nod over NYCC as my favorite con. The people are great at both, interested and knowledgeable about comics (not just pop culture – which is what a lot of these cons have become). NYCC will always take a hit because the main hall is divided in two and artist alley is in a completely separate corridor. C2E2 doesn’t have this problem, at all.  The layout is almost perfect. And Zsombor and I got a great table in Artist Alley… across from Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmioti (great and talented people), the SpeciMen guys (awesome guys) and the folks at Yeti Press (another good group of dudes) – all of whom actually do comics, not nonsensical pop culture art.

We even got to meet a bunch of Kickstarter backers for R.E.M. as well as more than a handful of new faces.  It was a fun show and I can’t wait to go back.

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Zsombor with BumbleBee

Zsombor with BumbleBee

Ryan with Jigsaw

Ryan with Jigsaw

with Decapitated Dan, the most prolific comics journalist out there.

with Decapitated Dan, the most prolific comics journalist out there.

Utah - make it two.

Utah – make it two.

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Zsombor with the lamest quote ever

Zsombor with the lamest quote ever

 

 

AwesomeCon – Photos

After a few months on the road, to Los Angeles to produce a film, then to AwesomeCon in D.C., C2E2 in Chicago and a bachelor party in Vegas – I am finally back on my home turf of New York.  Since I was actually working most of the time, I don’t have a tremendous amount of photos from the conventions… but I do have some.

Below are a few from AwesomeCon, which was held in Washington, D.C.  It was fun, but ultimately this convention was more of a pop culture thing than a comics convention. And we didn’t have the best table – stuck right next to a guy selling grumpy cat artwork. If you weren’t familiar with the type of books I create, they couldn’t be further from pop culture humor and anyone that would walk past a grumpy cat booth and cackle.

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This guy had a simple, but great costume.

This guy had a simple, but great costume.

The saddest con pic ever taken?

The saddest con pic ever taken?

Awesome Con: Washington, DC

If you’re in the Washington, DC area this weekend, swing by Awesome Con and say hello to myself and Zsombor Huszka.  We’ll be in Artist Alley at Table M8 all weekend.  We’ll have copies of R.E.M., Harbor Moon, promo issues of Chasing Rabbits, art prints and t-shirts.  Treat yourself to some good times!

Awesome Con takes place April 18 – 20, 2014 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center.

Friday: 3pm – 8pm
Saturday: 10am – 7pm
Sunday: 10am – 5pm
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Bulderlyns Finishes Inks

My young adult adventure graphic novel Bulderlyns just recently finished inks, done by Pawel Sambor.  It’s clocking in at 179 pages – so that’s a lot of the black stuff.

6.5 lbs worth of paper.

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Bulderlyns-Inks Stack-2

Comic-con Banner

Taking a break from some ‘R.E.M.’ artwork to bring you… more ‘R.E.M.’ artwork.  That’s not totally true – it includes a few projects.  It is the sketch of the banner we are putting together for NY Comic-con.

This will be 80″ tall and 24″ or 31″ wide.  And it is going to be pretty awesome.

The idea was a group effort.  Dmitry ‘Lemon5ky’ Dubrovin had done a pretty awesome piece of promo artwork for Orange Lif3 (which is looking good and I can’t wait to share with all of you – just translating all the chapters).  I pitched Zsombor on doing something similar.  He had two ideas in return – but I pushed him to do this version and he even told me today that he made the right choice.  I cannot wait to see this thing inked/colored.

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Back up and running… literally.

It’s been about a month since my last post.  Besides Christmas and New Years, I had some personal things happen to me since then.  On New Year’s Eve I got t-boned by some jerk in a hurry.  I somehow walked away with nothing but a headache for a few days, but my car wasn’t so lucky.  Being just outside the city on Long Island, you absolutely need a car to get around… and what followed and continues is a constant, full-time job of dealing with insurance companies, sleezy used car salesmen, mechanics and a lot of hours at the computer researching used cars in my price range (which was very low).  I’m back behind the wheel finally and things are getting back to normal. Kind of.  I’m going to have to go to small claims court to get any out of pocket expenses from this guy.  Unfortunately I can’t sue for the time lost at life.

I hope to be back to posting regularly next week.  There are plenty of updates on R.E.M., Bulderlyns, Chasing Rabbits, White Space (although I can’t really talk about them yet – but it is going well) and my next film, Lunatic.  I need to post my top 10 films of 2012 (taking into account this accident and how it screwed up my ability to see some end of the year movies), as well as my company year end recap.

 

Art Prints: Dmitry ‘Lemon5ky’ Dubrovin

Dmitry ‘Lemon5ky’ Dubrovin was awesome enough to put this collection of prints together for New York Comic-con (and beyond).  His style is pretty unique and he brings it to some classic stories here.  Like his take on Batman, Lord of the Rings, Alice in Wonderland and Little Red Riding Hood.

Dmitry is the colorist for Bulderlyns, and is the creator (artist/colorist/letterer/writer) for Orange Lif3.

Art Prints: Pawel Sambor

Things are finally starting to clear up for me as the next few projects take shape and I zero in on things. Today I’ve been doing a bit of house cleaning – updating the Spoke Lane Facebook page, and with that came converting the hi-res art print files to jpgs so I could upload them.  These are the art prints I had with me for sale at New York Comic-con, which I will be bringing to any of the conventions I am able to hit in the near future.

Today I am posting the art prints provided by Harbor Moon artist, Bulderlyns colorist/letterer and R.E.M. logo designer Pawel Sambor.

Updates galore…

The last month or two has been extremely busy – but I sacrifice for your gain.

Seriously though, things on both the publishing and feature film fronts are moving along very well. I’ve been dealing with some strife (not personal, more like work related) that is starting to sort itself out. But it has forced me to focus on my slate, and really narrow down my focus – at a time when I may have been hoping to expand. Rather than bore you with my prose, I will just list some of the projects that I’m working on, along with some updates.

Lunatic. I will write another post about AFM, but it went really well.  After the first day I wasn’t so sure it was the best place for me to be (without a project to shop and with a film that maybe wasn’t fully cast)… but I couldn’t have been more wrong. The response to this project was overwhelmingly positive. I may have left with a handful of opportunities and we will see which ones rise to the top and are the most attractive for me to pursue. With any luck, this will get off the ground in late March of 2013.

Harbor Moon. We continue to sell books. The fan base continues to grow ever so slowly… and after visiting AFM the prospects of me putting this together for a feature are pretty high. It just seems like a no brainer under my current model.

R.E.M. It is a good thing the fan base continues to grow, because Zsombor inked the final pages of the book the other day. We have some minor tweaks here and there, but this thing is pretty much done.  I’m not sure it has sunk in yet.  I couldn’t be more proud of how this thing came out. If my script lives up to what I think it can – Zsombor’s artwork is going to make this thing a must read. There are a few question marks in terms of how I want to proceed, but with Karol’s help I think we figured out our best game plan. We don’t want to rush the release – so look for this in early 2013.  In somewhat related news, the prequel comic (based on the short), 4.2.3., should be finished any day.  Karol is working hard on the lettering (along with the REM lettering)…

Bulderlyns. Igor has really picked up the pace and is hitting a serious stride in terms of the artwork.  The details are amazing.  Part of me feels bad for Pawel and Dmitry – because they have to ink and color this thing.  And Dmitry has been side-lined with Orange Life, but he’s back on track and the colors are so vibrant, but not comic booky at all – they fit perfectly.

Orange Lif3. Dmitry’s personal book. I can only describe this as Eastern European manga, because he has his own unique style. He just turned in Season 0 and Season 1 (out of a lot of seasons he is planning and has already drawn a lot of)… I have to tell you, this thing is bad-ass and unique.

Chasing Rabbits. Due to outside circumstances in Indonesia, Sigit had to stop working on the book. But the happy accident in this is that Zsombor is taking over – something I wished I could do when he came on R.E.M.  I loved Sigit’s work (it truly is amazing), but immediately thought that Zsombor would have been almost too perfect for it.  And when this situation came up, I tried to bring it up to Zsombor in a gentle way – and he didn’t even let me try to beg him, he was right on board.  I personally believe this is the best script I have ever written. So I don’t say it lightly that it has found the ideal artist. He has this uncanny ability to be gritty and realistic, but with a slight tinge of fantastical. We talked about certain color styles, he did some tests – and I think we nailed it (well, he nailed it). This one is going to be a lot of fun. And I think Zsombor and I are starting to get more of a short-hand (for his sake). I almost don’t want to tell anyone about him, because I don’t ever want to do a book without him again.

Fuzzies. The children’s book is at the printers and we are just waiting on the final product. Rob has already written the second manuscript and we are sorting through children’s illustrators right now, something Karol has been an invaluable help on. Expect this before Christmas possibly.  Although, time is short and you never know when you have shipments coming from China.

These pursuits are based on projects that need my attention, but are already written. And I am usually writing more than one thing at a time.  However, as I already wrote, I have had to reign in what I am focusing on and what is on my slate. That said, I am working on a script for a micro-budget, trying to keep it under wraps until it is done. I’m about 75% completed and the first draft should be finished by next weekend. Not that it is mind-blowing, I just don’t want to jinx it. It looks like I have the cash for it, and every time I try to write a micro-budget they get bigger and bigger and bigger (like Penny Black). It will be a down-and-dirty, LI/NY based crime project.  That’s actually the first of two micro-budgets I am working on – the second being about MMA – more character based, like Rocky. But I will not touch that until this is done and in pre-production.

I haven’t forgotten about White Space. I have one thought on that – this thing is going to kick all sorts of ass.