Zarjaz #29

Zarjaz #29

Zarjaz #29

Back in November, Zarjaz #29 was released by FutureQuake Press. It included a strip titled ‘Ghosts of Mega-City One’ by yours truly.

If you’re unfamiliar with Zarjaz, it’s a 2000AD fanzine put out by FutureQuake Press, featuring the characters from that magazine.

2000AD is a British based comic book known for such characters as Judge Dredd.

‘Ghosts of Mega-City One’ is a Tales of Mega-City One strip, which is to say, that it is a strip set in the world of Judge Dredd, which doesn’t feature Dredd himself.

Here is the page for Zarjaz #29 on the FutureQuake website (you can also purchase the issue from here too); http://www.futurequake.co.uk/zarjaz/zarjaz-29/

Here are some posts on the FutureQuake blog which relate to Zarjaz #29 as well;

https://futurequake.wordpress.com/2017/11/03/zarjaz-29-now-available/

https://futurequake.wordpress.com/2017/11/07/zarjaz-reviews/

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Thought Bubble & 2000 AD

Thought Bubble 2017

Thought Bubble 2017

If you’re based in the UK, I’m sure that most of you are already aware that Thought Bubble Comic Con is on this weekend.

Saturday the 23rd and Sunday the 24th of September.

This is a couple of months earlier than the Con has previously been held and it’s moving to a new location in the center of Leeds.

The official website is here; http://thoughtbubblefestival.com/

This is an important Comic Con, not just because it has amazing guests like Brian K. Vaughan, Gerard Way and Ron Marz , but because it features an excellent opportunity for upcoming writers and artists to break into the comic book industry.

British based publisher Rebellion who publish 2000 AD will be holding their annual Writing Competition and Art Challenge, as per usual. Full details can be found here; http://thoughtbubblefestival.com/events/2000ad-competitions/

Artists will have a chance to hand in samples on the Saturday and a winner will be selected and announced on the Sunday.

At a panel on at 11.30am to 12.20pm on Saturday, writers will have a chance to get up on stage and pitch a four page Future Shock strip (a sci-fi strip with a twist ending). They will have two minutes to make their pitch, the judges will give feedback, and at the conclusion of the panel, a winner will be announced.

The judges this year are Paul Cornell, Al Ewing, Andy Diggle and Matt Smith.

Last year it was first come, first served, so if you want to pitch I advise you get there early.

More information is available about this and other 2000 AD events on the 2000 AD website; http://2000ad.com/post/2302

This is an opportunity to be published in an issue of 2000 AD and if you’re serious about  wanting to break into the comic book industry, as either an artist or a writer, you won’t want to miss this chance.

If you really want to prepare, someone was recording last year’s pitching session. You can find the recording on Youtube here; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pz0YV4pa6FM

London Super Comic Con: Schedule

London Super Comic Con

London Super Comic Con

I’m eagerly awaiting the London Super Comic Con, which takes place on Friday the 25th, Saturday the 26th and Sunday the 27th of August.

If you live in the United Kingdom and you like comics, or like me, you want to break into writing comic books, then this is an event you simply can’t miss.

The schedule is up on the London Super Comic Con website; http://londonsupercomiccon.com/schedule.html

I thought I’d take a look at it and share what I’m planning to get up to over the weekend.

London Super Comic Con Friday Schedule

London Super Comic Con Friday Schedule

I’m considering starting off Friday by going to the Orang Utan Comics panel (14.15 to 15.00). I’ve seen them set up at Cons before and it would be good to learn more about them and their titles.

Afterward, I’m going to be queuing up early for the Brian Michael Bendis Masterclass (16.15 to 18.15). It’s a bit frustrating that the first Valiant panel is on at the same time, but the Masterclass is the main reason that I’m heading down to the convention.

I’ve already got my ticket for the Masterclass. I really can’t wait to hear all the knowledge that Mr. Bendis is going to be sharing with the attendees regarding writing and the business of comic books.

Afterwards there is a Breaking Into Comics panel (18.30 to 19.30) which is going to feature both Erica Schultz and Dan Slott. As someone who wants to get work in the industry, who wants to get talent scouted, this is a panel that I don’t want to miss.

London Super Comic Con Saturday Schedule

London Super Comic Con Saturday Schedule

I will be returning on Saturday and handing in my Script Portfolio first thing. While portfolios are getting reviewed on the Friday as well, with all the other panels I want to attend, I simply won’t be free during those review slots.

The first panel I’ll be going to this day is the Diversity In Comics panel (11.30 to 12.30). As someone who is gay, diversity in the medium is of course something which is important to me, so this is a panel I feel the need to attend.

That will be followed by the DC Rebirth panel (12.30 to 13.30), which as the only DC Comics panel at the show, is something I’d like to go to if I can manage it.

Afterward I hope that I will be able to attend the Valiant panel (13.45 to 14.45) and the Bendis: Streets of Marvel panel (15.00 to 16.00). However, if I am able to get my portfolio reviewed, then it will overlap with one of these events.

I primarily go to Comic Cons because they provide an opportunity to network and learn more about my craft. Yes, I am a fan and yes, I love comics, but as someone who wants to build a career writing, that needs to take priority.

London Super Comic Con Sunday Schedule

London Super Comic Con Sunday Schedule

The last day of the London Super Comic Con will be Sunday, and while I expect that I’ll be completely exhausted by this time, I still plan on having a packed and fun filled day.

My first stop will be the Comics and Education panel (11.00 to 12.00). With such guests as Erica Schultz, Dave Gibbons, Dan Slott and more, this should be a really interesting and informative panel.

Next up is the Emerging Creators panel (12.15 to 13.15), which is another panel about building a career in the industry, so this is something I must attend. You never know what advice you might pick up, that might help you move from being an aspiring creator to a working professional.

Lastly, after taking a break to wander around the Con and relax (or possibly collapse), I’ll be going to the Reimagining Spider-Man panel (14.45 to 15.45) or should that be Re-imagining Spider-Man panel? You have two of the biggest creators working on Spider-Man at the moment – Slott and Bendis, at the Con, so it will be interesting hearing what they have to say about Marvel’s biggest character.

It’s going to be an absolutely massive weekend. I hope that I’m going to have a lot of fun and come away even more inspired than before.

Strip Samples

Hallowscream #8

Hallowscream #8

Over the coming weekend I’m going to be down at the London Super Comic Con. This will hopefully present me with the opportunity to network, reach out and meet new people.

If I do hand out a business card to anyone, they might find their way here, so I thought it would be a good idea to provide some links to some free samples of my work.

I’ve posted two very early unpublished strips on my blog here;

Strip – Born To Serve

And here;

Strip – War Games

You can also find my first strip which was published in the small press here;

Strip – Projections

Lastly, here you will find an additional link off-site to Hallowscream, which is free to access and features another strip written by me;

Tomb World

Thank you for taking the time to look at my blog.

Stop the Hate Anthology

The Red Skull, a Nazi supervillain

The Red Skull, a Nazi supervillain

Over the past month the events in Charlottesville, and what followed, have stirred up a lot of strong feeling in the United States and abroad.

One reaction was the #ComicHateNazis hashtag started by Gail Simone, showing comic book characters standing up to fascism, usually by socking Nazi villains in the jaw.

Marvel Mystery Comic #44

The Human Torch and Toro take out a Nazi super plane.

Another reaction was by Adam Ferris, who suggested on Twitter putting together a charity anthology, spotlighting stories designed to explore the issues and maybe even turn back the tide of hate.

This is his original post here;

Twitter Post by Adam Ferris

Twitter Post by Adam Ferris

You can find Adam’s Twitter here; https://twitter.com/Adam_Ferris_Art

I think it is a remarkably clever idea and a good cause.

I’m already thinking up some ideas of my own and I would encourage others to get involved.

The deadline for pitches and samples is on the 12th of September.

London Super Comic Con: Portfolio Reviews

London Super Comic Con

London Super Comic Con

London Super Comic Con is on this coming weekend, and as part of the line-up, they’ve announced that they’re holding portfolio reviews.

Now, this is common at a lot of Comic Cons for artists, but London Super Comic Con has announced that they’re going to be holding Script Portfolio Reviews as well.

Script Portfolio Reviews will be done by Kieron Gillen and Erica Schultz.

Now, while it’s fairly obvious and common knowledge what is required from an Art Portfolio, for a Script Portfolio, there is a bit of uncertainty.

Firstly, let’s examine what London Super Comic Con asks for.

Here’s their web-page on the subject; http://londonsupercomiccon.com/portfolio.html

Firstly, if you’re successful in getting your portfolio reviewed, the reviewer will be allocated.

So, at most, you will only get a single review.

You are also asked to bring a copy of your Script Portfolio, as your original likely won’t be returned to you.

Bringing two copies with you is easily done.

You are also required to include your contact details on the front page of your portfolio. Your name and mobile number.

This is so, if you are successful in getting a review slot, that the organizers can contact you and let you know.

It looks like they’ll be doing this early in the day, before the panels start.

You need to hand your portfolio in by 13.30 on Friday or by 10.30 on Saturday to be eligible for a review.

If you’re successful in securing a review spot, you will be called and asked to pick your ticket up from the LSCC Information Desk.

Here is a schedule for the Portfolio Reviews. You can see the review slots for writers and artists;

LSCC Signing and Portfolio Reviews

LSCC Signings and Portfolio Reviews

Artists will have a chance to have their work looked at by Valiant, Markosia, Humanoids and Dan Slott.

Unlike with the script reviews, artists are just required to turn up at the appropriate time. First come, first served.

Now, one thing not made clear by London Super Comic Con, is exactly what the contents of a Script Portfolio should be.

The name suggests it should include scripts, but Dan Slott made the point on Twitter that it’s a bad idea for writers to look at unpublished work as it could lead to legal trouble for them.

Likewise, Erica Schultz said she’d rather look at actual comic books.

Therefore, what I have decided to do is include actual comics as samples, and alongside them include the scripts for those projects.

Thus, even though I’m including script, they are all for already published works.

I think this is the best course of action to take under these circumstances, although since the information isn’t spelled out, I’d simply encourage people to do what they think is best.

Good luck this weekend, folks.

Ryan Cady Announced as a Winner for the next DC Talent Development Workshop

DC Comics

DC Comics

DC Comics recently announced the six writer winners who will be joining the next incarnation of their Talent Development Workshop.

This will be the third Writing Workshop run by DC Comics.

You can find the article on Bleeding Cool here; https://www.bleedingcool.com/2017/08/09/six-winners-dc-writers-workshop-class-2017-announced/

One of those names belongs to Ryan Cady who worked as an editor on CYBERFORCE: ARTIFACTS #0, the one shot I was lucky enough to have an eight page story feature in.

Ryan no longer works as an editor at Top Cow Productions, and is instead pursuing writing full-time.

Among his published works are ATHENA IX #1, MAGDALENA #1 to #4 and the BIG MOOSE one shot for Archie Comics.

Ryan was wonderful to work with as an editor and was also very active answering questions on the Official Top Cow Talent Hunt thread, a role he has resumed with the current Talent Hunt.

I can honestly say that, without him, I doubt I would’ve gotten a Runners-Up spot as part of the Talent Hunt.

He was a massive help to me and to others.

No one deserves this more than him, if you have a chance to pick up one of his comics, I would encourage you to do so.

London Super Comic Con: Brian Michael Bendis Masterclass

London Super Comic Con

London Super Comic Con

Just a reminder folks that London Super Comic Con is being held on this Friday/Saturday/Sunday.

That’s the 25th, the 26th and the 27th of August.

And if, like me, you live in the UK and want a career writing in comics, there’s a very special event that you won’t want to miss.

Brian Michael Bendis is hosting a 2 Hour Masterclass on the Friday and a 1 Hour Masterclass on the Saturday.

Yes, it costs a bit extra, but the opportunity to get career advice from one of the leading writers in the industry is something that no serious writer should be able to pass up.

You may fret about the extra cost, but compared to how much these kinds of Masterclasses usually cost, what’s being offered here is a bargain.

I’ve made a post saying how valuable a book Word For Pictures by Brain Michael Bendis is, and I’m certain that this will be equally worthwhile.

We’re being offered the opportunity to learn from a master, so if you live in the United Kingdom and you have any inclination toward writing comic books, this is an event you absolutely must attend.

The Friday Masterclass has already sold out, but there are still tickets left for the Masterclass on Saturday.

The link to buy tickets is here; http://londonsupercomiccon.com/tickets.html

Here is some additional information on the Masterclasses; http://londonsupercomiccon.com/masterclass.html

I hope I see some of you folks down in London over the weekend.

Hallowscream! Call For Submissions

Hallowscream! 9 Logo

Hallowscream! 9 Logo

Hallowscream! has put out the call for submissions for their ninth issue. If you’re just starting out as a writer or artist, and you want to break into comics, Hallowscream! is the perfect place to start.

It’s an online horror themed small press anthology which can be viewed for free online.

Submissions for writers were due on July 31st, submissions for artists are due on the 17th of October and completed strips can be submitted on the 24th of October.

If you want to submit, I’d advise that if you’re a writer, that you find an artist, and if you’re an artist, that you find a writer.

Things usually come together a lot more easily when you put together a creative team yourself.

The submissions guidelines can be found here; http://www.backfromthedepths.co.uk/thetheatreofterror/2017/blah/hallowscream-nightmarish-ninth-issue-submission-guidelines/

If you want to hone your craft, you do it through practice, and Hallowscream! offers a wonderful opportunity to work with an editor.

I’d advise reading past issues to see the kind of strips that Hallowscream! accepts; http://www.backfromthedepths.co.uk/hallowscream/

You’ll find a strip written by me titled ‘Tomb World’ in issue #8.

Recommended Reading: Words For Pictures

Words For Pictures by Brian Michael Bendis

Words For Pictures by Brian Michael Bendis

So, you want to be a comic book writer? If you’re reading my blog, then my guess is that it is highly likely to be the case.

Like with anything, if you want to learn to write, you do it through study and practice.

If you’re new to the subject, then there are a lot of books out there which cover the basics of writing. Structure, characters, format, that kind of thing.

Pick up one of those books first, become familiar with the basics, then pick up Words For Pictures next.

It’s not that Words For Pictures doesn’t cover how to write comics, because it does, but because it reveals so much more about the process of writing for comics. Every page contains a wealth of information. If you truly want to appreciate how great this book is, you go read another ‘how to write comics’ book and when you’re done, you’ll be left with a ton of questions about how to break into and work in the industry.

This books answers them all.

Words For Pictures was written by the talented Brian Michael Bendis who not only teaches comics as a subject, but has written every major franchise at Marvel from the Avengers to Spider-Man to the X-Men.

It starts out with chapters dealing with why a writer writes and how to write – not only scripts, but proposals and story outlines as well.

It covers in a chapter what most books spend their entire contents examining.

The books also looks at how to write for artists by interviewing artists. What mistakes many newcomers make, what excites artists, what you should and shouldn’t do.

The most valuable chapters is titled ‘The Editors’ Roundtable’ and consists of an interview with editors who actually work in the industry. If you want to get hired to write comics, this is a must-read.

And then along with a F.A.Q. and writing exercises, this book also examines the business side of comic book writing too, something most writers don’t ever think about.

I’m a writer with a professional credit to my name, and this is a book I still go back to and re-read on a regular basis.

Words For Pictures is an invaluable resource. If you’re serious about becoming a comic book writer, then pick it up.