Zarjaz and Dogbreath looking for Scripts

Zarjaz #29

Zarjaz #29

FutureQuake Press has put out a call for scripts for two of their publications. If you’re unaware, FutureQuake Press is a small press publisher that specializes in 2000AD fanzines. The focus of Zarjaz is Judge Dredd and Strontium Dog stars in Dogbreath.

Apparently they’re running low on scripts and it has reached the point where it is actually endangering the continued publication of these two long running magazines.

Now, as a small press publisher, FutureQuake Press doesn’t pay for work, but it does provide you with an opportunity to get your work out there, while getting to write some classic characters.

The experience of working with an editor and seeing an artist interpret your words is really useful, if you’re a writer trying to break into the industry.

I’ve previous had work published in FutureQuake Press’ two other publications – FutureQuake and Something Wicked.

I also had a Judge Dredd strip published in Zarjaz #29.

You can find a link here to FutureQuake Press‘ recent post; https://futurequake.wordpress.com/2019/04/03/zarjaz-dogbreath-need-you/

If you have a good idea for a strip featuring Judge Dredd, Strontium Dog or any other 2000AD character, I encourage you to write a script and submit it.

Good luck, writers!

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Dungeons & Dragons – Dungeon Masters Guild

Dungeon Masters Guild

Dungeon Masters Guild

Along with the Open-Gaming License, the makers of Dungeons & Dragons have provided another way for people to create content for the game.

The Dungeons Masters Guild hosts material which includes pdf and Print-on-Demand reprints of older Dungeons & Dragons publications stretching back to the origins of the game. It also hosts new material provided by Wizards of the Coast for Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition.

The Dungeon Masters Guild also allow fans to create their own content for Dungeons & Dragons, that they can upload and sell through the website. They currently allow users to create content for the Forgotten Realms fantasy setting, the Ravenloft horror setting, the Ravnica setting (which is based on the Magic the Gathering card game) and the Eberron fantasy/steampunk setting (along with generic content).

This also allows the use of material not permitted by the Open-Gaming License.

Wizards of the Coast actively encourages their fans to create. They provide artwork which can be used by creators and they run the Guild Adept program for promising game designers, which brings creators together to create official content which is released through the DMs Guild.

It is truly noteworthy how Wizards of the Coast have encouraged creativity and actively seek out new talent.

You can find the Dungeon Masters Guild here; https://www.dmsguild.com/

And you can find the Content Guidelines here; https://support.dmsguild.com/hc/en-us/articles/217028818-Content-Guidelines

If you’re a writer, and you have any interest in roleplaying games, I strongly encourage you to check the website out.

Dungeons & Dragons – Open-Gaming License

Dungeons & Dragons Logo

Dungeons & Dragons Logo

This month we continue our look at Dungeons & Dragons; specifically how you can write for the game.

This can be done in two ways. Either using the Open-Gaming License or through the DMs Guild.

Today, we examine the former.

In 2000, Wizards of the Coast published the first version of the OGL (Open Game License) for use with the third edition of Dungeons & Dragons. They published a more restrictive version for 4th Edition, but returned to something more open for the 5th Edition of the game.

The Open-Gaming License allows other companies and individuals to publish material using the Dungeons & Dragons game mechanics.

This is how companies like Goodman Games and Kobold Press can publish material for Fifth Edition Fantasy.

Now, there are some limitations. You cannot use the Dungeons & Dragons branding, you can’t set an adventure in one of the official setting and you can only use certain game mechanics. For instance, the use of iconic monsters like the Beholder and Displacer Beasts are off-limits.

But there are many creatures and other elements which are open to use. This is how some writers have been able to use these elements in other mediums, such as comics.

More details can be found in the Systems Reference Document, which is located here – http://dnd.wizards.com/articles/features/systems-reference-document-srd

As long as you follow the rules laid out in this document, you can either work for another company writing adventures featuring the Dungeons & Dragons game mechanics or even self-publish.

Dungeons & Dragons – Basic Rules

Dungeons & Dragons Logo

Dungeons & Dragons Logo

As an addendum to my last blog post, I thought I’d include some information about how you can get into Dungeons & Dragons.

I do truly believe that we’re going to see a lot of crossovers between comic books and roleplaying games in the future – and honestly, not just comic books. It’s just been announced that Stranger Things themed Dungeons & Dragons Starter Set is going to be released in May; https://www.polygon.com/2019/2/14/18224819/stranger-things-dungeons-dragons-starter-set-release-date-price

So, if you’re hoping that some of these upcoming media crossovers with Dungeons & Dragons might present new artistic or writing opportunities, then it is important to be familiar with the game.

Wizards of the Coast have released three core rulebooks for Dungeons & Dragons. There is the Player’s Handbook, the Monster Manual and the Dungeon Master’s Guide. However, you might not want to pay out for three expensive books, before you have more than a passing familiarity with the game.

Fortunately, Wizards of the Coast have released a free version of the basic Dungeons & Dragons rules on their website here;  http://dnd.wizards.com/articles/features/basicrules

I know this is primarily a comic book blog, but I’m going to be writing a few more posts on Dungeons & Dragons. Breaking in as a comic book writer is all about looking for where opportunities are. And trust me, here there be opportunities.

Dungeons & Dragons

Advanced Dungeons & Dragons #1

Advanced Dungeons & Dragons #1

Happy New Year folks! To celebrate the start of 2019, I thought I would take a look at something a bit different. It’s a whole new year, so maybe it’s time for something new.

Both comic books and tabletop RPGs are an important part of geek culture. A lot of creative people got into their chosen field because they played role-playing games growing up. And there can be little doubt, that Dungeons & Dragons is the undisputed king of role-playing games.

Dungeons & Dragons was originally published by TSR and is now owned by Wizards of the Coast.

In the past few years Dungeons & Dragons has seen a real resurgence in popularity. From live broadcast games, to live shows, to appearances in fictional series like Stranger ThingsDungeons & Dragons is more popular than ever.

And of course, for many years we’ve seen numerous computer games based on Dungeons & Dragons. Even other fantasy games not directly related to the Dungeons & Dragons franchise have taken a lot of inspiration from it.

The relationship between comic books and Dungeons & Dragons goes way back. In 1988 DC Comics published the first issue of their Advanced Dungeons & Dragons series. They would continue publishing Dungeons & Dragons up until 1991.

The license for Dungeons & Dragons is currently held by IDW Publishing and it is remains very popular, but the link between Dungeons & Dragons and comic books goes even beyond that.

Pathfinder is a game which evolved from Dungeons & Dragons 3.5 and now exists as Dungeons & Dragons main competitor. It is a game that wouldn’t exist without Dungeons & Dragons, and unsurprisingly, it has a line of comics too. The license for Pathfinder is held by Dynamite Entertainment.

Dungeons & Dragons has also become an internet phenomena, thanks to internet shows like Dice, Camera, ActionCritical Role and The Adventure Zone.

This can be attributed to when the creators of Penny Arcade, a webcomic about video games culture, were invited to do a podcast showcasing the 4th Edition of Dungeons & Dragons. This podcast became known as Acquisitions Incorporated and it is a series that continues on through live games run at PAX events. It has even spawned a spin-off series called Acquisitions Incorporated – The “C” Team.

These shows too have grown in such popularity to spawn their own comic books series. Critical Role has had a series published by Dark Horse Comics and The Adventure Zone graphic novels are currently being released by First Second Books.

The creators of The Adventure Zone podcast; the McElroys, have even just been announced as writing a Journey Into Mystery series for Marvel Comics, so I think we can expect to see them continue to branch out into more comic book work. And it’s something which wouldn’t have come about without The Adventure Zone.

All these internet shows are available to watch for free online, so I would encourage people to go out and track them down. They are very entertaining.

And what I would consider the biggest announcement linking comic books and Dungeons & Dragons in 2018, was the announcement that Lion Forge Comics would be launching their own gaming imprint called Quillion. The title of the series launched with this imprint is Rolled & Told, and it features new adventures in every issue, alongside a brief comic strip illustrating part of the adventure.

Follow this link to learn more; https://www.newsarama.com/40439-lion-forge-launches-gaming-imprint-with-rolled-told.html

This is possible because of the Dungeons & Dragons Open Gaming License, which allow other publishers to use some of the material from the Dungeons & Dragons game to publish their own adventures. This has led to the rise of smaller gaming companies like Goodman Games and Kobold Press.

In the coming years we will likely see more crossover between the medium of comic books and role-playing games. In an industry that is increasingly difficult to to break into, the meeting of these two mediums might provide new opportunities.

The Spire

SPOD! Oddities From Space

SPOD! Oddities From Space

Hello readers! Today I’m sharing with you a strip of mine which featured in the SPOD! Oddities From Space anthology.

This anthology was not as widely distributed as I would’ve hoped, but I was excited to be a part of it.

SPOD! came about through Mark Millar’s CLiNT Magazine. There was a feature called Space Oddities featuring strips from new creators and a huge amount of people submitted to it. Eventually, when the feature was cancelled, all these strips were left without a home and a number of creators decided to come together and make an anthology which would allow these strips to be published.

Below is a strip called ‘The Spire’.

I’d like to thank the fellow creators I worked with; Vanden Bizarro, Michael Rayner and HdE. They did an amazing job with the script.

Many of you wouldn’t have had a chance to read this strip before, so I’m glad to be sharing it with you now.

The Spire Page 1

The Spire Page 1

The Spire Page 2

The Spire Page 2

The Spire Page 3

The Spire Page 3

The Spire Page 4

The Spire Page 4

The Spire Page 5

The Spire Page 5

The Good Fight Kickstarter

The Good Fight Anthology

The Good Fight Anthology

The Good Fight Anthology Kickstarter went live today! You can find it here; https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1256237609/the-good-fight-a-peaceful-stand-against-bigotry-an?ref=discovery&term=The%20good%20fight

Please click the link and go pledge your support.

The Good Fight Anthology was originally conceived as a reaction to the violence in Charlottesville, North Carolina.

It has since evolved into a commentary on the ongoing struggle against racism, hate and bigotry.

I’m really proud to have contributed a story to this, to have a chance to support a good cause, alongside a lot of other really talented creators.

I didn’t have grand designs when I first attempted to break into comic books. I love writing and I just wanted to tell some fun stories. However, being gay I have been unfortunate enough to encounter bigotry from time to time. If I can use my skills as a writer to help, even if I’m only helping in a small way, then I would have done something truly worthwhile.

All post-campaign money will be donated to The Southern Poverty Law Center, where it can hopefully do a lot of good.

The Kickstarter will be running until December 12th. I hope that if you follow my blog that you will go lend your support and make this Kickstarter a success.

The Good Fight

The Good Fight Charity Anthology

The Good Fight Charity Anthology

Hello everyone. If you are a follower of my blog, I would ask that you start following The Good Fight Charity Anthology on Twitter.

You can find it here; https://twitter.com/GoodFightComic

The Good Fight will feature strips which take a stand against racism and bigotry. Free copies of the ashcan edition were handed out at New York Comic Con.

All profits will go to the Southern Poverty Law Center.

I have an eight page strip in the anthology, and I’m very proud to be a part of this, doing some good.

The Kickstarter will be launching on November 12th.

Please go pledge your support as soon as it is up and running.

Below you can see the flyer that was handed out at NYCC with the ashcan edition;

The Good Fight Flyer

The Good Fight Flyer

A lot of talented folk are involved and it is for a very good cause. I hope you will all lend your support to this.

Tomb World

Hallowscream #8

Hallowscream #8

Happy Halloween, everybody!

To celebrate, I thought I would share a past strip of mine, previously seen in Hallowscream #8.

You can find past issues of Hallowscream here; https://www.backfromthedepths.co.uk/thetheatreofterror/

The story is by myself, and the artwork is by Dave Peloe.

Tomb World Page 1

Tomb World Page 1

Tomb World Page 2

Tomb World Page 2

Tomb World Page 3

Tomb World Page 3

Tomb World Page 4

Tomb World Page 4

Tomb World Page 5

Tomb World Page 5

Tomb World Page 6

Tomb World Page 6

Tomb World Page 7

Tomb World Page 7

Hallowscream! 10 Submissions

Hallowscream 10

Hallowscream 10

Hey folks, just a reminder that Hallowscream! 10 is open for submissions. Here is the link; https://www.backfromthedepths.co.uk/thetheatreofterror/2018/blah/hallowscream-tenth-terror-filled-issue-submission-guidelines/

Hallowscream! is an annual Halloween Anthology. It’s small press and available for free online.

Deadlines for scripts is Monday 30th July 2018, deadline for artwork is  Tuesday 16th October 2018 and the deadline for completed strips is Tuesday 23rd October 2018.

I had a strip back in issue #8. Hallowscream! is a great small press anthology to submit for, if you’re just starting out as a writer, or as an artist.