Hook, Line & Sinker

A couple years ago when I pitched VORACIOUS to Jason, I revealed that the book really had two hooks. The “Jurassic Park meets Top Chef” high concept that everyone would know about right away. And a second, secret, game-changer that would be revealed at the end of the first arc. In VORACIOUS #4 (which came out yesterday),  you get that big, second hook.

Issue_04_Covers

VORACIOUS #4 marks the end of our first story arc and concludes my first comic book mini-series, which is a little hard to wrap my head around. I could not be more proud of the work we’ve done on the series so far. Jason and Andrei astonish me every time they send me a finished page. When you see what they’ve been doing for the next arc, just make sure you’re prepared to pick your jaws off the floor every time you flip a page.

VORACIOUS: Feeding Time is the next mini-series and it picks up right where VORACIOUS #4 left off. Five issues. On sale this Winter from Action Lab.

Voracious_TPB_Cover_Vol1Our first trade paperback collection is dropping hot on August 10. It collects issues #1-4 in a 160-page volume. You can pre-order it at your local comic shop by bringing them this handy form. The book is also available for pre-order on Amazon. We are setting up signings for the book in August. Check the Find section of my website for dates. They will be updated as we confirm signings. Or, like our Voracious Facebook page for more news and event announcements.

For those of you who have already found VORACIOUS, thank you so much for reading. Big internet hugs and sandwiches for all of you!

Goodbye to the Greatest

My Pop used to host boxing parties when I was little. For a long time I wasn’t allowed downstairs to see the fights because I was too young to stay up late. But in my room there was floor vent that happened to be located directly above the family room where all the big events took place. It went straight through. I would lay next to it whenever my Dad and his friends gathered to watch a fight on HBO or Pay-Per-View. I remember listening to the announcers call the battle, trying to catch every word. I remember covering my mouth tight with my hand so I didn’t let out my excitement whenever my Dad and his buddies cheered.

When I was finally old enough to watch the fights with the boys, my Dad taught me all about boxing. We watched hundreds of old fights together that he had recorded on BetaMAX in the eighties. Sugar Ray Leonard. Roberto Duran. Marvelous Marvin Hagler. Mike Tyson. But my Dad especially adored Muhammad Ali and he made sure I did too. I remember watching as many Ali fights as I could, including rebroadcasts of The Fight of the Century, The Rumble in the Jungle and the Thrilla in Manila. Ali’s unique personality and talent cemented my father’s love for the sport of boxing, and it was the same for me. I instantly adored him. For his supreme skill in the ring, his quick wit and bravado, his sting.

Boxing is the only sport I watch now. It’s the only sport I love because of those late night listens and the time I spent with my Pop marveling at all the great fights and the great fighters who laced up their gloves and stepped inside the ring. But none more so than Muhammed Ali.

Tonight we lost The Greatest of All Time.

Thank you for all your talent and passion, Ali. Thank you for all your unmatched showmanship and skill. Thank you for standing up for what you believe in. And thank you for giving me so many treasured moments with my Dad. Wherever you are, I hope you’re floating like a butterfly once more.

#RIPMuhammedAli

Goodnight, Darwyn

This last week has been really hard. I had to travel to Kentucky to attend a funeral for my wife’s grandfather and the morning after we laid him to rest, I heard the news that Darwyn Cooke had passed away. He was one of my all-time favorite comic book creators. I also had the unique opportunity to do an in-depth interview with him about his life and his work for The Comics Journal in 2007. The Journal has re-posted our 40+ page interview. They also asked me to write a eulogy for Darwyn. I did my best to do him justice. I’m very much going to miss him, but I’m glad his work will always be in the world.

DetCom-Cookeb

VORACIOUSLY YOURS

C2E2 MuralIt’s been an amazing couple of months. Two issues of VORACIOUS have now been released. We’ve received glowing reviews for both issues and issue #1 is just about sold out at the distributor.  On top of that, our publisher, Action Lab Entertainment, greenlit the next arc of our story!

Jason and I are amazed and humbled by all the interest in our little series and we’ve really enjoyed talking about the book with everyone since it started coming out.  We did seven signings around Chicago and the Logan Theatre hosted a creator showcase event for us with Challengers Comics. And this past weekend we attended our very first comic con for VORACIOUS at C2E2. Special thank you to Warwick Johnson for graciously sharing his table with us and for being an all-around awesome dude. The show was a huge success. We sold a ton of issues, got to chat with lots of people about our book and Jason sketched his ass off. We also got to meet some of the Acton Lab team at for the first time. It was fantastic to shake hands and hug the people who gave us a shot in the comics industry, and continue to support us so enthusiastically.

We are working hard on the 2nd series now, which will debut in September. We’ll have more news on that soon. Until then, thank you to everyone who picked up a copy of VORACIOUS. Your support really means the world to us.

Sign ‘O The Times

In 10 days VORACIOUS #1 will be on comic book store shelves. To help celebrate the big release of our very first comic book series, my buddy Jason Muhr and I are doing 7 signings in the Chicagoland Area. You might even call it a tour. Check out the official poster!

voracious_signings-02Jason’s doing free sketches for anyone who buys a copy of the book, we’ll have posters and I’ll be wearing a spectacular hat. If you’re in the area, stop by to grab a copy and tell us which dipping sauce goes best with Triceratops Nuggets.

For more information on the specific signings, visit the official event pages below. Hope to see you at one of these fantastic shops!

February 3, 2016 – VORACIOUS #1 Official Release Day Signing at Graham Crackers Comics Downtown Chicago, 12:00-2:00 PM

February 3, 2016 – VORACIOUS #1 Official Release Day Signing at Graham Crackers Comics Naperville, 5:00-7:00 PM

February 6, 2016 – VORACIOUS #1 Signing at Defiant Comics, 12:00-2:00 PM

February 6, 2016 – VORACIOUS #1 Signing at Third Coast Comics, 4:00-6:00 PM

February 10, 2016 – VORACIOUS #1 Signing at Comix Revolution, 12:00-2:00 PM

February 10, 2016 – VORACIOUS #1 Signing at Challengers Comics + Conversation, 5:00-7:00 PM

February 13, 2016 – VORACIOUS #1 Signing at Lazarus Pit Comics, 1:00-3:00 PM

VORACIOUS Debuts in February!

This comic book thing is starting to get real.

VORACIOUS #1 is spotlighted in the new PREVIEWS, which is a catalog that retailers and their customers use to order comic books two months in advance. And it’s in comic shops NOW!

So, if you want to go back in time with us to find the perfect sandwich, please ask your local comic shop to order VORACIOUS for you by December 18.

For those of you who don’t read comics regularly, like my Mama, you can find a local comic shop at www.comicshoplocator.com or www.findacomicshop.com.

Go to a shop and let them know you want to order a copy (or multiple copies) of VORACIOUS. You can even tell them it’s in the December PREVIEWS catalog on p. 240 so they can see it. It looks like this:

CUrpVSoU8AA5l5b.jpg

There are two versions of issue #1 available – the regular cover version and a limited edition wraparound variant cover. The order codes are DEC150933 for the reg. cover and DEC150934 for the wraparound variant cover edition.

The extra-sized #1 issue will be in comic book shops on February 10, 2016! You can stay up-to-date by visiting Voracious on FB or follow our Twitter page @VoraciousComic

 

You’re NEVER ALONE on Halloween

Happy Devil’s Night, everyone! To celebrate Halloween, my buddy Jason Muhr and I decided to share our entire 8-page horror tale, NEVER ALONE, which was published by Lightning Strike in September. We originally did this story for fun (cause we like making comics), but it turned into a good test for colorists when we were searching for someone to work on our upcoming Action Lab series, VORACIOUS. Andrei Tabacaru, who colored this little tale of evil, ended up being our guy.

NEVER ALONE is an adult tale, what with the evisceration and all, so you might not want your kids to see it. Enjoy the story and your Halloween! I just kicked off All Hallows Day by watching a few metal bands destroy the night. Now I think I’ll go cause some mischief.

Click on the image below to download the PDF!

Never Alone-01

Everybody Do the Dinosaur!

Last weekend at New York Comic Con, Action Lab Entertainment announced they will be publishing my first comic book series, VORACIOUS. If you are family or a friend, you probably know that this is the project/labor of love I’ve been working on with my friend Jason Muhr for two years. Getting a publisher is a really big deal for any creative endeavor, but that’s especially true in the comics industry, which has taken over Hollywood and forced it’s way into the mainstream with a constant barrage of repulsor beams. To have the support of one of the fastest growing, most diverse publishers in comics right now is beyond anything I could have hoped for. I am pretty much over the moon.

So what the hell is VORACIOUS about anyway?

Thanks for asking. The quick pitch is that it’s about a time-traveling chef named Nate Willner who hunts dinosaurs in the past and serves them at his restaurant in the present! Think Jurassic Park meets Top Chef.

Here’s a pretty slide from the big announcement at Action Lab’s NYCC panel.
Voracious_SLIDE_NYCC
I can’t say a lot now, but as the release date gets closer we’ll be sharing more information and previews of the book. You can get the latest updates on Twitter at @VoraciousComic. Feel free to also follow me at @DarthSan and Jason at @JasonMuhr. Can’t wait to share all the deliciousness with you.

I’m a Comic Book Writer Now

LS8Last weekend my very first published comic book story, “Never Alone” debuted in Lightning Strike #8 at the ComicCity Festival in Dublin, Ireland.

“Never Alone” is an 8-page horror tale that I created with my buddy Jason Muhr, featuring colors by Andrei Tabacaru. Jason and I have been working on comics together for the last two years like ninjas. So to finally see one of our projects get out into the world is beyond gratifying. The lads at Lightning Strike Comic Books are awesome and their anthology series is really starting to make waves. Honored to be a part of it.

The book sold out on the first day of the con, but LS is making more. Hopefully copies will be available to order on lscomics.com in a month or so. In the meantime, you can find a two-page preview of our story at the Lightning Strike Facebook page.

Jason and I have more comic book announcements to share before the end of the year, so this is just the start.

A Toast to C2E2 

It’s been a week since C2E2 in Chicago ended and I think I’ve finally stopped drinking and recovered enough to write about it.

It was another enjoyable con that managed to honor comic books and creators, while expanding its reach into other areas of pop culture, like film and television. While shows like Wizard World Chicago seem to have all but abandoned the “comic book” part of their comic book conventions in favor of Hollywood flash, I’m happy that C2E2 has continually committed to keeping comics front and center.

I spent most of Friday morning in Artist Alley where I browsed indie creator tables and picked up a cool, little anthology comic called Changes by local writer Warwick Johnson. I also made a stop at Houchen Bindery where I finally pulled the trigger on getting some of my favorite comic series bound. It was hard to hand over my Ann Nocenti Daredevils because her run is largely responsible for making me love comics and completely at fault for making Daredevil my favorite character.

On the most recent episode of the  I Kick Your Face Comicast I talked about how much Ann’s work meant to me when I was 12 and how her DD run still resonates with me today. Needless to say, I am beyond excited about getting to hold two hardcover volumes of her stories in my mitts. And I know they are in good hands with Houchen’s Tim Benson, whose favorite comic run of all time just happens to be the Nocenti DDs.  Friday afternoon I attended panels on creating comics with my buddy Jason Muhr. Jason is the artist on our co-created series, VORACIOUS, which is currently in the hands of publishers. He was also only one of 12 artists called back by Marvel to have his portfolio reviewed at C2E2. Hopefully one of the companies we sent VORACIOUS to will take a chance on us, but while we wait to hear back we have been trying to learn as much as possible about the industry, and about marketing and self-publishing. C2E2 dedicated quite a few panels to creating comics and establishing a brand. Although I am familiar with much of what was presented, I thoroughly enjoyed Write or Wrong: How to Manage Your Brand as a Creator, thanks to the energetic and interesting Dirk Manning. Having worked hard to become a writer in the medium, Dirk offered attendees some excellent strategies for not only breaking in to comics, but carving out a lasting presence and marketing yourself successfully.

After that session, I headed to the bar with my mighty tankard in hand.

And this is where I stayed for most of the afternoon.

I caught up with my friend and superstar writer Brian Azzarello, who I’ve known since my first Chicago con in 2000. Azz is like an urban wizard. He knows every dive bar in the city because he often writes in them, so it was not a surprise to see him on a stool with a pint in hand. When I got to the bar I found out Azz had just been announced as the co-writer (with Frank Miller) on Dark Knight III: The Master Race. Obviously he deserved a delicious beverage.

Azz and I talked about Dark Knight and then he introduced me to Batman writer Scott Snyder and Wytches artist, Jock, who is one of the nicest people I’ve met in comics. We had many beers. So many that Jock ended up showing us some of his art tools and what he could do with them. I drunkenly joked that he should draw Azzarello as Batman and this is what happened… Yeah, I know. I’m having it framed. Hanging with some of the best creators in comics was definitely the highlight of my time at C2E2. Next year I plan to head directly to the bar. No artist alley. No cosplay pics. Bar. Immediately.

In the evening I attended the live recording of Kevin Smith’s podcast Jay & Silent Bob Get Old. It was a riot. Lots of great banter, discussion of Daredevil on Netflix and a wild segment called “Let Us Fuck,” in which Jason Mewes performs sexual skits with (un)lucky audience members. I am pretty sure I will never be able to unsee his performance of “Hulk Smash That Ass.” Saturday I did not attend C2E2 because I was at Dark Lord Day. Once a year, 3Floyds, AKA the best brewer in America, puts on a festival in Munster, IN filled with killer metal bands, food and a Russian Imperial Stout that will absolutely destroy everything you thought you knew about beer. So I have no idea what the hell happened at C2E2 that day. The details of Dark Lord Day are also a bit hazy.

Incredibly, I managed to make it back to C2E2 on Sunday morning for a few final hours of geekery. I was surprised by how packed it was. I don’t know what the final attendance numbers are, but it felt like there were more people on the floor than last year. I snaked through the crowds and headed back to artist alley where I spent time talking to the amazingly talented writer/artists Ben Templesmith and Matt Kindt. Both are really kind dudes and always gracious with their time. Ben signed my hardcover copy of the Squidder and Matt autographed Revolver for me. They also drew some beautiful sketches in my books without me even asking.  

I finished my C2E2 early, at the bar of course. I had lunch with Jason and my old buddy, Matty Ryan, who helped create the brand new digital publishing platform Farrago Comics. I knew Matty when I was just a little San in Syracuse, NY. We played soccer together and his Mom was our coach, so catching up with him and reminiscing about kicking balls was a lot of fun. So was talking about his new venture which is incredibly innovative and creator focused. Definitely give Farrago a shot. The app is free and so is all of the content. I really hope to see Matty and his chums grow what they’ve built because it’s a unique model for delivering and enjoying comics.

A few more laughs and a couple more rounds of beer with Matty and Jason, and my C2E2 was done.

Oh, and Azz was there on a stool. I’m pretty sure he just lives in the bar. In every bar…