Saturday, March 25, 2006

And The Plot Thickens...

Okay, I know I said I wasn't going to talk about Yenny #4 again until I got some news. Well, it's not much, but I GOT some news.

Back in early February when Yenny #4 was first slated to come out, I called Coy's Comics (my favorite comic book shop since childhood) about reserving some copies. The guy I spoke to said that they didn't normally get Yenny in since it was a small press book (i.e an independantly published title that had small print numbers and equally small circulation), but that he'd leave a message with his boss to call me if it happened to show up.

Jump ahead almost two months. My phone rang about a half hour ago. It was the manager of Coy's Comics. He said my friend Jason (whichever friend that may have been. I know a few Jason's, and he didn't specify which one) had come into special order Yenny #4, and the manager wanted to know if I wanted him to special order any issues for me. In the end, we agreed that he'd order me ten copies for myself, plus I'd come in and autograph five copies that would be on display in the shop.

According to the manager, the issue could come out anywhere between next Wednesday and the middle of April. Similarly, I've heard from my friend Adam Talley that Yenny #4 is due out on April 5th. So regardless of which source you want to quote, it looks like the book is coming out in the next month.

It was a good feeling to get that call. Coy's was a real sanctuary for me growing up, and provided me with my best education in comic books and their rich history. So the prospect of having my signature emblazened upon a published comic book to which I contributed my talents is a real landmark event in my life, and it's an honor to be featured in such a sacred temple from my childhood. It's like coming full circle. And it feels good.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

The Emporer's New Comic Book and other fables

Remember that story about the emporer, and how he was convinced that he was wearing these really snazzy clothes, and he told all his subjects that he was wearing snazzy clothes, but as it turned out, he wasn't wearing any snazzy clothes at all?

Well guess what. Right now I'm the emporer. And I'm butt naked.

Y'see, I wrote and drew that story for Yenny #4, right? I contacted the local media, did two or three interviews about my work on this comic book, posted innumerable blog updates about it, and harrassed a great many friends and family about my work's impending arrival, originally slated for mid-February, then rescheduled for release on March 22, 2006, in a comic book shop near you. So everybody's expecting this book to come out, right?

Well guess what again.

It hasn't.

Don't know why. Don't know when or if it will. I know nothing. So here I stand, lacking any answers, more than a little disheartened, and emotionally and creatively nude. It's been a long and lackluster ride, and not worth the gas money. So if this book ever does surface, I'll let you guys know. Or if you stumble across it before I do, let me know. But for now, I have nothing more to say about that comic book or my involvement in it. It's no offense to the creator, Dave Alvarez, who gave me a great opportunity to be a part of it. But his publisher, Alias Comics, has really dropped the ball.

Now, for the upswing.

I met with the editor in chief and design editor of Interlude Magazine on Tuesday and they gave me my first assignment: ten illustrations, based off their suggestions, representing things to do in the tri cities (mid Michigan for those outside the mitten).

Over the course of three nights I completed the work, and I'm very pleased with it. I think it's going to look great in the pages of Interlude, and I'm anxious to show the staff when I take the work to them tomorrow. Hopefully this will lead to more work with them in the future. It's certainly been a very positive experience so far.

The issue with my work comes out on May 1st. And unlike Alias Comics, Interlude knows how to maintain a set release date. You can find the magazine around the tri-cities at The Midland Center for the Arts and at most Kroeger grocery stores, among other locations. So check it out when the time comes, okay?

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Pillow Billy Reaches End Of The Line (And Start Of The Hue!)

As of this very moment (this very moment being Sunday, 7:40 AM, approximately sixteen hours after the ACTUAL MOMENT), I'm one page away from being through with the illustrations for Pillow Billy. That's when I get to take on the task of coloring the pages, which I'm really excited about. As I've mentioned before, I'm going for a very childlike, somewhat messy look in the illustrations, which in terms of color means very bright hues, lots of scribbly marks and going outside the lines aplenty. There's an art to intentional messiness, and I hope I've got it mastered. This isn't like coloring in Photoshop, where you can go to your history and erase any mistakes you may have made. In the realm of color pencil, the mark is a permanent thing that commands respect. So let's see if I still have what it takes to tame the savage beast of the Prisma colored pencil!

In other news, I recently got contacted by Interlude Magazine (a Bay City-established periodical focusing on the tri-cities of mid-Michigan) to illustrate an upcoming article. I had approached them way back in December of '05 about doing work. They seemed interested in my stuff at the time, but given the lack of communication in the ensuing months, I figured it just wasn't gonna happen. But I got a call from the editor yesterday (ironically, I had a cold and sounded lousy) and she set up a meeting for us on Tuesday of next week to discuss the assignment. The funny part to me was when she said, "But just so you know, we don't have much time. Only two weeks...", and I'm thinking, "I've whipped out double page spreads in two hours. Two weeks is practically a vacation!" In other words, I'm fast. And good. Hopefully this assignment will lead to more work with them.

And speaking of more work, here's another reminder that Yenny #4 hits stores this Wednesday. Check my last blog post for info on known places that will carry the book. I'm uber-excited to see the published work, and as always, I encourage you guys to get your hands on it if you can.

And lastly, I've been trying to work with my webmaster, Jeremy "Foco Ono" Foco, to revamp my blog so as to allow me to post artwork, photos and such. He claims that he's well underway to making it happen, and I'm inclined to believe him. I guess the best evidence of his completion will be when you next visit this blog and see artwork and photos. So keep popping back to see what happens!

Thursday, March 02, 2006

What's That? Yenny # 4 Finally Has A Release date?! Shut Yo' Mouth!!

True dat, kids. Here it is, straight from the horse's mouth (the horse in this case being Alias Comics and the mouth in question being their official website).

(As posted in the Alias Enterprises forum on Feb. 16th, 2006):
The following books are scheduled to reach shops on March 22, 2006 from Alias Comics

Yenny #3
Yenny #4
Victorias Secret Service #1
Twin Blades #1
Hyperactives #1
Hammer Kid #0
Atomik Mike #1
SixGun Samurai #4
Lullaby: Once Upon a time
The Legend of Isis #8

So there you have it. Yenny #4 which features a two page story that I wrote and illustrated will be available for purchase on Wednesday, March 22nd.

If you're from the mid-Michigan area, the only comic shop I've found that carries any Alias books (and to my knowledge, only one, and not even a Yenny book)is Collector's Corner in Midland, but seeing as how Alias is releasing eleven books in one week, I'm gonna assume Yenny #4 will find it's way to the Corner's shelves. Here's their contact info:

Collector's Corner
4011 Jefferson Ave, Midland, MI
(989) 839-2060

I've also found a shop in Kalamazoo, MI that carries Alias books and ALWAYS has some Yenny issues on hand. It's called The Game Shop, and you can reach them at this contact info:

Game Shop
3307 S Westnedge Ave
Kalamazoo, MI 49008
(269) 344-1818

I encourage you to call either of these shops NOW to reserve a copy of Yenny #4. This issue is a pretty monumental stepping stone in my career, and I know I'll be looking to score a copy or two!