Archive for October, 2012

MONTROLOGY Anthology: It Lives!

It’s no secret to anyone that I’ve always loved comics. When I realized I wanted to write for a living I knew that would involve comics in some way, shape or form.

As I got older I learned a very important lesson: working in comics is hard. Unlike a lot of other art forms comics are inherently collaborative. Yes, there are some lucky so-and-so’s that can do everything themselves (write, draw, color, letter) but after stupidly giving up on drawing in middle school I knew I wasn’t going to be one of those people. That meant finding folks to work with.

Years passed.

Over those years I’ve met a lot of really talented artists, all looking to break in with me and I made many, many plans and very few of them ever saw the light of day. That’s life. I began to drift back towards prose fiction because it was something I could focus on creating and putting out into the world on my own. That’s no dig on comics in any way shape or form, I just didn’t some of what it takes to make then at that time. A big [art of that is people willing to work hard for a chance to get published; a bigger part is money to pay those people for their hard work. So I kind of languished, which is a bitter pill to swallow at times.

Last year I discovered Rachel Deering and her horror comic Anathema. She’d found a way to get all the parts together to make her comic a reality (not without significant struggle herself) and when I saw that she was putting together an anthology of short horror comics I jumped at the chance to be involved. Thankfully I was able to make the cut and she gave all of us a monster paired up with a location and turned us loose on making a twelve page story. She also teamed me up with artist Fernando Cano and editor Scott O. Brown and together we put together a story that I’m quite proud of. It was, in every sense of the word, a true making comics experience. It took a while and things have changed since the project was put together last year but now that comic and it’s fellows are on Kickstarter, looking for funding to be printed in both paperback and hardcover.

I’m excited and proud to be a part of the group that’s put together this book and I want to make sure that it succeeds. That means I’m going to be talking about it…a lot. I almost want to apologize to my social media followers and Facebook friends but that’s just how it goes. This thing needs to succeed. *I* need it to succeed. I suppose I could apologize for being my weird, frantic, obsessive little self about it but I probably won’t either. I’m kind of a weirdo. That’s just how I roll.

So now that I’ve been all overly excited and uncool about this, here’s where I tell you to check out MONSTROLOGY. It’s got ten great stories in it by a bunch of really good folks and you can support it for as little as $10. I’m sure you’ll see me talking about it a lot through Thanksgiving weekend when the Kickstarter ends. Here’s a full rundown from the project page about the book’s content:

Troll Behavior by Andrew Foley & G. Gerald Garcia in which Andrew was told to write a story involving trolls in a junkyard, and after he thought at great length about trolls and considered junkyards briefly, he wrote a story that involved the both of them.

The Abomination Denomination by Scott O. Brown & Amin Amat, where a vacationing family stops by an old, rural church on Sunday morning for a very interesting service.

In White Widow by 
Charles Webb & Andres Esparza, a young woman must battle the supernatural force at the heart of a haunted house which seems able to bend, twist, and recreate reality around her.

What Fools These Mortals Be by Joey Esposito, Erik Norris & JC Grande. All you need to know is that it is about a bridge and a satyr.

Yolk by Erica J. Heflin & Elias Martins, is a story of a young woman’s journey for acceptance, guided by her grandmother’s goblin-infested tales of the Old World.

Darkest Corners by Thacher E. Cleveland & Fernando Cano, where a teenager runs away to the tunnels under Las Vegas where he finds himself facing a terror that’s spewed forth from the depths of the earth looking to consume everything in its path.

The View of Mumbichi Valley by Walt Mancing & Horacio Lalia, features a harpy and an ancient tree, and is inspired by the old Creepy and Tales from the Crypt comics that scared the Hell out of him as a kid.

In Children of Russia by Ryan Ferrier & Hugo Petrus, a dying man recounts his life of poor choices, all stemming from an unspeakable horror at the orphanage in which he grew up.

Here’s some unlettered preview art for my story.


10 2012

SUMMER OF SINS: The First Winston & Churchill Collection

With NYCC behind me it’s now time to focus on other work and that includes the on-going Winston & Churchill series. Last Monday AN EQUAL SHARING OF MISERIES, the fourth Winston & Churchill case debuted on Smashwords and just yesterday the collection of the first four Winston & Churchill stories, SUMMER OF SINS, debuted exclusively on Amazon.

A big part of the Winston & Churchill adventure for me has been finding the best possible way to get these stories into people’s hands. I’m not 100% sure on which way is best yet, but I do know that at the 99 cent price point that the individual stories are I get a better a royalty rate from Smashwords and at the $2.99 price point I get a slightly better rate at Amazon. I’ve heard from some folks that it’s been difficult to get transactions completed through Smashwords, which is why the second W&C story has been up on there. Now, with SUMMER OF SINS being an Amazon exclusive I can try out their KDP Select service, which also makes material free for Amazon Prime members (and more importantly I still get paid). I’ve never been 100% sold on Amazon’s business practices even though I do agree with their pricing strategy for eBooks. There’s been a lot of debate in the publishing world about the merits of KDP select and while I’m a bit skeptical of being completely exclusive to one site it seems like something worth trying out, especially since Amazon Prime get a chance to try it for free. As an Amazon Prime member myself I’d forgotten about this little gem so I’m eager to try more books through them once I’ve finished what I’m reading now (which you can find out about if you stalk my author page on Goodreads).

In any case, SUMMER OF SINS is the first third of this year’s monthly Winston & Churchill stories, covering May through August and also includes a new afterword from me that’s talks about how I came to work on these stories and eventually chose to present them this way. I will say as exciting as this journey was initially things have begun to slow down a little which has been a bit of a bummer. I’d love to hear feedback, positive or negative, from folks about these stories that I can apply to the upcoming stories. I’m not entirely sure when the next story, A SHADOW UPON THE SCENES, will be coming out but no later than Thanksgiving. We’ll see how that goes. There will be two other collections, Fall and Winter also with four stories, and then we’ll see where we are with the series after that.

The MONSTROLOGY Kickstarter will likely go up in the next couple of days so between those two things I expect you’ll see a lot of me flogging my stuff over the next month or so. I’d say I’m sorry but let’s be realistic: I’m trying to break out all over the place. It’s this or a slow slide into alcoholism. ;)


10 2012

Back Home & Awake: Another NYCC in the Books

So nice to sleep in my own bed with my own lady. Got home at nearly 1am and stayed up laying in bed, talking and catching up with her for a couple of hours. Just got up and broke my rule of “I only like breakfast food right when I wake up” to reheat some pizza, make some coffee and now catch up on some internet.

NYCC was very positive for me. I didn’t get to do or talk to everything and everyone I wanted but I think that’s the case with every con. I did see some great stuff, talk to old and new friends and make contacts, as well as do some things that were a little outside my comfort zone. That wasn’t perfect but it made me go “Okay, I can do this” and helped affirm for me that I’m on the right track with what I’m trying to do.

The anthology that I have a 12-page comic story in that’s perpetually been “ready to go” for most of the year was almost going to debut on Kickstarter this past weekend but it didn’t happen. A bummer, but in a week and a half’s time (thereabouts) it’ll be going up. More details to follow, but here’s a promo image we’ve got for it:

There’s a lot of great stories in there, and I’ll be putting up some previews of mine (with amazing art Fernando Cano) shortly. Long-time readers of this will remember seeing some preview art for it already, so I guess you are guys are the lucky ones for sticking with me. ;)

In the meantime I’m going to unpack, physically and mentally and get my ass back to work. It’s going to be an interesting Fall.


10 2012