Happy Monday- PIG HOUSE

Okay, it’s Monday, things are happening, the week is starting, and I have a new pitch to show and tell.

It’s called PIG HOUSE, and is illustrated beautifully by the incredible Steven Austin. I’d love to show you some pages, but…okay, maybe just the cover:

pig-house-cover

Pig House is the story of the world’s most dangerous and unstable hitmen. They are hired to assassinate a devious and demented serial killer who is currently incarcerated in the world’s most top secret prison, called Pig House.

It starts off simple and gets complicated as a massive jailbreak means our killers have to scour the world to bring the escapees back.

I don’t want to give too much more away. I really love this pitch and how it turned out and I can’t wait for a publisher to pick it up.

Hope your weekend was good. Happy Halloween!

 

New Day, new project: The Argus

Back again, folks. Not quite as frequently as I’d planned, but here we are anyway. Rest assured, the time spent away from writing here in this blog is being used to write the scripts for your new favorite comics.

Today we’ll discuss my upcoming pitch The Argus.

The Argus was an idea I had a number of years ago. I wanted to do a straight-up sci-fi thing, something I hadn’t really attempted before. There’s a very hard sci-fi core to The Argus (one that I’m not going to spoil here), dealing with time travel and paradoxes and the like.

The best part about writing science fiction is that you can make up the rules as you go. I’ve made up a ton of rules about time travel for The Argus, and in my mind, they all make sense. So when you eventually read this story, you’ll see the sense being made.

Anyway, the first attempt at creating The Argus was with my buddy Joel Seguin, a Montreal native who I worked with to create the first iteration of this story. It didn’t pan out, and Joel got busy with other, more high-profile work, and the story didn’t move for a while – like, a couple of years?

But it always picked away at me, at that corner of my brain where ideas won’t shut up until they get made. So I knew I had to get this story out of my head. I actually posted for an artist on Digital Webbing, a site that I used to use very often and haven’t been to much lately. But I got a hit from an artist named Darryl Knickrehm. He showed me some samples of a sci-fi book he was working on, and they blew me away – this guy was the real deal and I couldn’t wait to work with him.

Darryl did a bunch of designs for the story, for the characters, different ideas for their outfits and uniforms, and he killed it on every level. One of the main things about The Argus is how the characters look – for a very specific reason that I still won’t get into here (I want you to read it and be surprised, okay?), but Darryl nailed it perfectly.

What I will do is show you the cover.

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Darryl thinks about covers the way I do – strong, bold, graphic images. Something different, something that will stand out. We’re planning on using this format, with the upside-down triangle, as the basis for each cover for this series (which is planned to be 4 issues in total).

With my buddy Matej Stasko on colors and eventually the maestro Micah Myers on letters, we’re getting closer every day to having this pitch ready to go. I have my eye on a specific publisher for The Argus, one that I’ve already been in contact with.

That’s today’s post. Enjoy.

Steve Dillon. RIP.

Over the weekend, the news broke that comic book artist Steve Dillon passed away.

I never met the man, nor exchanged words. We didn’t know each other at all, but he influenced the path of my life like few others have.

I read comics as a kid. GI Joe was the big one for me, but I eventually branched out into superhero books like Spider-Man and X-Men, and then the Image revolution hit and I got into everything that had the Image ‘I’ on it.

But as I got older, I started to fall out of love with comics. The same old superhero books just weren’t doing it for me. I still picked up Wizard magazine each month though, just to see what was going on in the industry. And around late 1995, early 1996, I remember starting to see a lot of stuff about this comic called Preacher. Wizard was all over it, how crazy it was, how different, how dangerous.

I remember going to the comic store near my house and picking up Preacher issue 6.

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That’s the one, there. And goddamn, I was hooked.

I’d never read anything like Preacher. It was smart, and funny, and scary, and disturbing, and foul and genuine and adult. It was unlike anything I’d ever read before. And it opened my eyes to the true possibilities of comic books. You didn’t have to do superheroes. You didn’t have to recycle old stories over and over. You could create something new, something grown-up. You could do anything you wanted, tell any kind of story you had locked away in your head.

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And it made me want to write. Before this, I’d wanted to illustrate comics, but after Preacher, I realized you could write anything. It was a truly freeing and moving experience and it set me on a path that would, for all intents and purposes, dominate the rest of my life.

I love to write. I love to write comics. I love to create. And a lot of that comes from my experience reading Preacher. And half of that credit goes to the dearly-departed Steve Dillon, a man I never knew and will never know, but a man who’s legacy is that he inspired me, and probably thousands of others, to create, to run with that crazy idea, to make that thing a reality – because you could.

Rest in peace, Mr. Dillon. You’ve most definitely earned it.

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Broken Hill.

Okay, so I missed a day, but I’m ending the week off strong.

The next project I want to talk about is called BROKEN HILL, subtitled The Burning Man.

Broken Hill is a graphic novel project being created by Carl Yonder and myself, with my buddy Micah Myers on letters. For those who are unaware of our history, Carl and I have been working together for many years. I’ve created more pages of comics with Carl than with anyone else. We did the 4-issue series GHOST LINES. We’ve done countless short stories, for FUBAR, for Oxymoron, for other digital anthologies. We’ve always bounced work off of each other, and started putting together Broken Hill when another potential opportunity for us both fell through.

Broken Hill is kind of unlike anything I’ve ever worked on (same for Carl, I think). It’s a very grounded and realistic crime story. We’ve been describing it as True Detective meets Justified. It’s rural neo-noir.

Here’s the cover.

broken-hill-2016-cover

“Sheriff Alonso Wilkins is caught in the middle of an escalating drug war in the rural town of Broken Hill. Alongside his young deputy, Wilkins does whatever he can to protect his city from a deranged arsonist intent in destroying Broken Hill at the behest of the county’s most powerful drug lord.”

The subtitle The Burning Man refers to the events in this story. Our plan is to create Broken Hill stories in the same manner as Sin City, where we’ll create new works focusing on other characters. We’ll be living in Broken Hill for a long time, I think.

I’m proud of this one, and proud of my long-time association with Carl. We’re hoping to have this first 60-page (or so) graphic novella done by mid-next year. The story is currently being pitched to publishers.

As always, thanks for reading, and come back on Monday where I’m going to be sure to post again about another upcoming project.

Day Two. TERMINAL.

Okay, so here’s the second consecutive day of blogging. I meant what I said yesterday.

Today I’m going to talk about a new project I’m involved in called TERMINAL.

Terminal is a 21st century pulp anthology created by 21 of indie comics’ best and brightest. I’m very fortunate to be involved, and very excited to be working with one of my favorite illustrators, my friend Jerome Eyquem.

Here’s the Terminal viral post – you’ll see it all over social media in the coming weeks:

terminal_viral_launch

See the creepy old guy skulking around at the back? That’s my guy, The Baron, who will be appearing in a 16-page story called Broken Colossus.

Terminal will be getting Kickstarter’d in early January 2017. I’m sure I’ll talk more about it as we get closer to the date.

Do yourself a favor tonight: create something. Anything. A picture. A poem. Write something. Cook something special. A doodle. Anything, just create. Okay?

It’s October. I’m back.

Okay, so here’s the deal – I’m going to try and post here more often. I put this blog address on my business cards, it’s in my email sig, and if people try to look me up (I’m sure it happens!), they’ll find a friggin’ ghost town here. So this is  my attempt to change that.

Let’s talk comics. That’s what I do, that’s most likely why you’re here (unless you were looking for some weirdly specific porn and clicked the wrong link).

I make comics. I create and write stories. I collaborate with incredibly talented and visonary artists to bring those stories to life. I occasionally get my stories published, both in digital form and in print.

I am a print comics fan. I have a huge graphic novel/trade paperback library in my basement. I recently purged about 400 books, leaving me with a measly 800+. I’ve spent most of my life collecting and reading comics. When I was younger, I wanted to be a comic book artist, but I didn’t have the patience or technical skill to do that. But I always loved creating stories, so I started focusing on the writing part of making comics, and never looked back.

I recently tabled for the first time at the London Ontario Comicon, and had a great time. I was invited as a guest, which was a first for me, which meant free table and accomodations for the three days of the show. I sold some comics, made some money, bought some comics, and talked a lot of comics. I also debuted the 8-page ashcan of my upcoming graphic novel See You in Hell alongside artist Colton Gilson.

What I’m going to do over the next few days is spotlight the stuff I’m working on, one book per day, so you can get a feel for what I’m up to. Even though I haven’t been posting here much (or at all), I have been working hard on getting new ideas to the page, putting together new pitches, working with new artists, and generally creating up a storm.

Speaking of See You in Hell, here is the ashcan cover.syih-letters-cover-01

Pretty cool, no? I love how it looks like an old-school B horror movie poster. We ran off 25 copies of the 8-page preview, and sold out before the end of the show. Post-apocalyptic weirdness, the redemption of a man who helped destroy the world, and monsters. See You in Hell – the full 100-page graphic novel will be dropping in 2017. Stay tuned!

That’s all for today. Keep checking back, because I will spotlight another project tomorrow, and so on. I mean it this time!