Five Weeks Until Baltimore

Hey gang, I’m back. Didja miss me? Sure you did. It must be a lonely, hollow existence without me in it. I apologize for that, but I had shit to do. You know how it is.

As the title says, there are just over 5 weeks until Baltimore Comic Con. In an effort to get my shit together and be more focused (Julia said it would be a good idea and I’ve learned to pay attention to her good ideas), I’m going to be running a weekly countdown to Baltimore, going over what I’m doing to prepare for it and what I expect to do while I’m there.

Sound good? Good.

First up, I can’t remember if I mentioned it and can’t be bothered to check back – Baltimore Comic Con will mark the official debut of the BREAKNECK trade paperback, volume 1. That’s right, I will be appearing at the esteemed 215 Ink booth at Baltimore Con to sign copies of the just-releasing first volume of Breakneck. It will contain the super-hard-to-find issues 1 to 3, as well as the bridging issue number 4, which leads into the following issues of the series. Issue 5 is done and needs to be lettered, and hopefully it can be released before the end of the year.

Second, and on a much smaller scale, my new business cards just came in. They look great, and I didn’t make the rookie mistake of putting this year’s calendar on the back of the card, thus making them useful for many years to come. Plus, they feature some nice Jerome Eyquem (Knowledge, Unring the Bell) artwork on them. Very slick and professional looking. I might fool someone into thinking I know what I’m doing!

I’m psyched to be at Baltimore (September 7-8 2013), this will be my first American convention. I’m psyched to meet lots of people I’ve only ever met online. I’m psyched to sell comics. I’m psyched to do some networking and try to sell myself as much as possible (I’m fucking terrible at that kind of thing and really need to let it go and just run with it at Baltimore – this is a big deal for me and a really good chance to line some more work up down the line.)

Julia and I fly into Baltimore on Friday September 6th so we can get the ground under our feet a bit before the convention. I can’t wait to hit the convention floor and see what’s what and who’s who. I’ll be wearing my Breakneck t-shirt and my official comic-con fedora. I might look exhausted, but that’s okay, that’s my everyday kind of look.

Last night I recorded a podcast with Wayne Hall (http://majorspoilers.com/category/waynes-comics-podcast/) where we talked about the return of Breakneck, Long Gone, Broken, and my upcoming mini, Scum of the Earth. That interview should go live in a couple of weeks, so tune back in for details.

Come on back next time when I go over the list of who I plan on seeing, and where I plan on signing while at Baltimore con.

Do yourself a favor and go listen to “Hummingbird” by Local Natives. You won’t be disappointed.

Comic book updates? Why, yes!

So here’s a quick post just to show proof of life:

Rob Croonenborghs has officially finished the third issue (of three) of Scum of the Earth, our miniseries getting published by Action Lab’s Danger Zone imprint. That means that a) I can now saddle Rob with more work (if he’ll take me up on it) and b) we can hopefully soon announce a release date. The Action Lab gang is hip-deep in SDCC this week, so it’ll be a little while before I get a chance to talk to them.

Also, Valentin Ramon sent me the first 35 pages of the El Diablo Rojo graphic novel. It’s unreal how good this thing looks. I literally cannot wait for everyone to see it. Literally, yes.

I fucking love comics. Maybe you didn’t catch on.

That’s it, that’s all for today.

I like books without pictures too.

I read a lot. A LOT. So here are my current favorite books. This list changes frequently, so don’t hold me to these.

1) Gun Machine by Warren Ellis. I looked forward to this for a long time, ever since Crooked Little Vein came out. I make no secret of my adoration of everything and anything Ellis writes, and Gun Machine is no different – a brutal and beautiful look at New York through the eyes of a madman and a clinically-depressed (at least I think so) cop.

2) Fun and Games/Hell and Gone/Point and Shoot by Duane Swierczynski. Easily my current most favorite trilogy of books, these Charlie Hardie books are brilliant and off-the-wall and so much goddamn fun that I didn’t want them to end. And then they did, and I’m still searching for someone to blame.

3) Caught Stealing/Six Bad Things/A Dangerous Man by Charlie Huston. My second favorite trilogy of novels, the Hank Thompson trilogy. Huston’s style is so abrupt and sharp. Like reading the text on the blade of a knife. Again, full of brilliantly realized and broken characters.

4) Vanilla Ride by Joe R Lansdale. I fucking LOVE the Hap and Leonard series. I’ve re-read all of these books so many times, and there’s always something new and hilarious I find. Vanilla Ride is pretty awesome, as they face off with the Dixie Mafia. Great stuff, funny as all hell.

5) Devil Red by Joe R Lansdale. See #4. Devil Red is another hilarious and dark Hap and Leonard novel. Lansdale really understands and knows his characters, which you don’t always see, and it makes them seem like real people. I hate getting to the end of a Hap and Leonard book.

6) A Bomb Built in Hell by Andrew Vachss. Vachss ranks among my very favorite novelists ever. His Burke series changed the way I approached both my reading and my writing. This story chronicles the rise of Wesley, the ice-man assassin who had cameos in several Burke novels, and it’s as chilling and terse as any Vachss novel that came before it.

7) Horns by Joe Hill. I haven’t read NOS4A2 yet, but I re-read Horns recently and fucking loved it all over again. This book takes all the best parts of Hill’s first book, Heart-Shaped Box, and distills them into a thundering page-turner. They’re making it into a movie, but don’t let that stop you from reading this. And then read NOS4A2, but don’t spoil it for me.

8) Alpha by Greg Rucka. Rucka’s Atticus Kodiak novels are in my top 5 favorite books of all time, and Alpha is treading similar ground. Rucka can write the shit out of a thriller, and this is supposedly the first of a new series of books focusing on ex-Delta Force soldier Jad Bell.

That’s it for now. I never claimed it would be a list of 10, did I?

Do yourself a favor – go read ANY of these books. You can thank me later.

Long Gone – an original graphic novel

Long Gone was my first official graphic novel. When I first started to work on it, I was creating is as a graphic novel of about 100 pages. After successfully pitching it to Markosia, we started to work on it as a mini-series (not to be released as a mini, but to have the book broken up into 4 chapters.)

It was penciled and inked by Ted Pogo. It was colored by Aaron Viel. It was lettered by ET Dollman. It was edited by Andrew Brinkley. It was published by Markosia Entertainment.

You can buy a hard copy here at the Markosia site: http://www.markosia.com/titles/long-gone/

Or you can buy a digital copy at Comixology: http://www.comixology.com/Long-Gone/comics-series/9774

But first, if you choose, you can read some reviews of the story, see if it’s something you or a friend would dig.

Here are the reviews:

http://johnleescomics.wordpress.com/2012/06/01/review-long-gone/

http://www.comicbooked.com/moranic-reviews-long-gone-gn/

http://www.pendragonspost.com/2013/02/23/why-arent-you-reading-this-long-gone-markosia/

http://www.geekadelphia.com/2013/04/23/comic-roundup-jupiters-legacy-vampires-the-eternal-and-long-gone/

http://capelesscrusader.org/2013/04/03/long-gone-an-original-graphic-novel/

http://thatcomicblog.com/2013/06/06/long-gone/

I appreciate everyone who’s taken the time to read the book and write a review. Writing Long Gone was one of the best experiences I’ve had as a writer. I’m just glad everyone seems to enjoy it as much as I do.

Cheers.