Stand and Breathe

A few years ago I learned that I have African blood coursing through my veins. I grew up thinking I was part Native American and Hispanic because that’s what my grandmother told our family. It wasn’t until after she died that I found out the truth. She had kept the black side of our heritage secret. I can’t pretend to know her reasons for hiding our ancestry, but I know for certain this revelation changed something in me. To discover that part of why I’m in this world is because black slaves somehow endured unimaginable hate, torture and oppression 400 years ago was a profoundly humbling and moving moment in my life.

Before I learned all this, I had of course, encountered racism many times as a brown man. I’ve had to sit through family gatherings listening to bigoted comments by people who don’t even realize they’re racist. I’ve been called brown bastard, monkey, spick, terrorist. When I was a kid I was attacked by a gang of 5 boys just for being brown (don’t worry, I beat the shit out of them) and I’ve even been called “nigger” once or twice. Most of the time people have no clue what nationality I am, so the racism I’ve experienced is a pale shade of what my African American family and friends go through on a daily basis just because of their skin color.

The constant profiling. The hate. The loss of breath.

As a human being, I’m outraged every time I hear about a black person being hurt or killed by racists, bad cops, or politicians and lawmakers who don’t care enough to improve this country. But as a man who literally owes my life to the black fathers, mothers, brothers and sisters who persevered through bigotry and torment four centuries ago, the ongoing injustices that African Americans suffer on a daily basis in my country absolutely breaks my heart.

If you’re white and your heart breaks too because you believe in equality, you need to speak out. It’s not about party or politics. This issue transcends that. It’s about people of color being able to walk down the street without having to worry about getting their faces smashed against the pavement. It’s about doing what’s right.

As a white person who cares, you have the power to bring about social change in this world. You are the key to stopping the horrors perpetrated against brown and black people since your ancestors decided that ripping them away from a continent and enslaving them was just.

Please say something. Please do something. Stand for equality and freedom. Stand for love.

#blacklivesmatter

You can connect with these organizations to help make a difference:

NAACP Legal Defense Fund

Black Futures Lab

National Black Justice Coalition

Movement For Black Lives

Center for Policing Equity

Campaign Zero

Art by Steve McNiven

 

20 Silk Cut

Until now I’ve successfully resisted the Funko Pops craze, but I was powerless against the magic of this limited edition John Constantine. Thank you, Comix Revolution. Looks dangerously cute on the Hellblazer shelf. 🔥🔥🔥

COMICS ALLIANCE NAMES VORACIOUS ONE OF THE BEST NEW SERIES OF 2016!

So this happened yesterday! The whole team is incredibly honored to make this Best New Series list. VORACIOUS is by far the least known and most indie book selected. It’s an amazing feeling to know that our work and passion on the series is getting noticed. We’re in some truly remarkable company with the other 5 selections. Excited. Humbled. Grateful. Thank you, Comics Alliance!

IT’S FEEDING TIME!

VORACIOUS returns this week (Dec. 7) with VORACIOUS: Feeding Time #1 (of 5)! This arc takes our story in a new direction, following the big twist ending in VORACIOUS #4.

The issue features 2 cover designs. The regular version by my buddy and series artist Jason Muhr, and a limited edition, wraparound Smiths tribute cover by Wuvabale Oaf creator Ed Luce. Ed, Jason and I designed it together to look just like a cassette insert, which I’ve never seen done in comics before.

We’ve already started to receive some amazing reviews for the new issue. Check out these advance critiques:

9.5/10 “A comic with only one, albeit pretty major, downside: the long wait to the second issue.”
-GraphicPolicy.com Review

Incredible story with just as incredible illustration. This latest issue goes to prove we knew a good thing when we saw it.”
-Sci-Clops.com Review

I will be signing copies of VORACIOUS: Feeding Time #1 with Jason at comic shops here in Chicago to celebrate the release. Here’s a rundown of where we’ll be appearing in the next couple weeks:

December 7, 2016
Graham Crackers Comics
77 E Madison St
Chicago, Illinois
Signing 12-2 PM
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December 7, 2016
CHALLENGERS Comics + Conversation
1845 N Western Ave
Chicago, Illinois
Signing 5-7 PM
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December 11, 2016
The Lazarus Pit Comics
47 Highwood Ave
Highwood, Illinois
Signing 1-4 PM
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December 14, 2016
AlleyCat Comics
5304 N Clark St, Rear
Chicago, Illinois
Signing 5-8 PM

In January Jason and I will be hitting the road to sign at shops in surrounding states, and we are also starting to fill our schedule with conventions. Take a look at the FIND section of my website for all the appearances currently scheduled for 2017. I will update the calendar as we solidify events. We’re hitting the West coast in July and hopefully the East coast in the Fall. VORACIOUS can no longer be contained!

Hope you enjoy VORACIOUS: Feeding Time #1. Jason and I could not be more proud of the book.

HUNGRY FOR MORE?

It’s official! The next VORACIOUS story arc starts in December! It’s called VORACIOUS: Feeding Time. It will run 5 issues and it picks up right where the 1st volume left off. You can pre-order the new series at your local comic shop right now by giving them this fancy order form we created for the series. Check out Jason’s glorious cover for the 1st issue and the amazing Smiths “Meat is Murder” cassette tribute variant by Wuvable Oaf creator  Ed Luce!

 

 

 

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

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.