Monday, February 28, 2011

Hoax Hunters Teaser Image (1 of 2)

All of us behind Hoax Hunters know it's just a backup (for now, at least). We get two pages a month--which we owe to the good graces of Tim Seeley and his consistently great series Hack/Slash--three if we plead the right way. Small potatoes in the grand scheme of comics. Still, we're treating Hoax Hunters as if it were any other monthly title. Steve, JM, and I don't really know how to casually approach our work--it's all in or nothing. With that in mind, we've been working not only to produce the best comic possible, but to also ensure that it stands on its own two feet.

JM and Steve have both gone the extra mile in creating teaser images, artwork to not only help promote the series, but to open up the world Hoax Hunters exists it. This image, created by JM, is obviously a little nudge and wink to X-Files, a show that shares unmistakable similarities to Hoax Hunters (we're not worried about wearing our influences on our sleeve--it's not necessarily the story you tell, it's how you tell it). What we wanted to further establish was the objective of deception that lies at the heart of Hoax Hunters--the big, bold letters almost remind me of propaganda marketing, the forcefulness of familiar phrases repeated until they become true.

The design itself is a lot of fun; the playfulness of hoaxes and how ridiculous, in reality, they oftentimes are.

Additionally, what's really been great is the attention the comics press has given Hoax Hunters. Again, even though we're just a backup, people have gotten behind the series and have been kind enough to dedicate posts to our work. I think it goes to show how invested people are when it comes creator-owned titles and their necessity in the comics landscape. It's been great to see the response we've gotten so far. Here's a look at the sites that have shined the spotlight on Hoax Hunters so far:

Multiversity Comics
Graphic Policy
Comic Related
Comic Buzz
Comic Attack

Thanks to everyone for the support so far! We've got another teaser coming, this one from my co-writer, Steve Seeley. It's all sorts of awesome, believe me.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Previewing Is Hard To Do...

...when you only have two pages to show. Makes it hard not to give too much away, you know? Nonetheless, here's a look at JM's pencils for page 4 of Hoax Hunters (which would be the first page in the forthcoming second installment). Did I mention that Hoax Hunters, Part Two, comes out two weeks from today? It does! When you pick up Hack/Slash #2 on March 9, you'll find the second part in the Hoax Hunters saga.

(You can check out page 1 right here)

I really dig JM's attention to detail on this page--the Russian cafe design is richly rendered and feels very real. Check out the samovar in Panel 3.

As I mentioned, I can't really say much without giving away the entire installment. So I'll leave with this: the team is in Russia; crow spaceman makes an appearance.

And though Hoax Hunters is still very much in its nascence, we've already gotten some positive reviews! Comic Attack says Hoax Hunters is off to "an awesome start," and Multiversity Comics likes the setup and "is excited to see where it goes" (while praising JM's art in the process). Also, if you want to know a little more about the series and its creators, listen to the podcast Steve, JM, and I recorded with Decapitated Dan Royer for Comic Related.

More to come!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Terminus Returns

Over at the Terminus blog, I talk about the above page. Art from JM Ringuet, letters from Jim Campbell.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Where I'll Be

Con season is starting to gear up again, and this year is shaping up to be my busiest yet. I've got a few appearances and events lined up, and here's a look at the near future.

This Sunday, February 13, I'll be signing at Winter Con at the Comic Vault from 12-2. I'll be seated with Hoax Hunters co-creator Steve Seeley and artist Jenny Frison. Steve and I will be celebrating the release of Hoax Hunters, which comes out tomorrow in Hack/Slash #1 (get an extended preview here). This year's Winter Con installment is featuring a crazy amount of awesome creators, so be sure to check out the lineup.

The following Sunday, February 20, I'll have a table at Dan Con, again with Steve. We'll have Hoax Hunters with us, Steve will have art, and I'll have a brand-new Quarantined print featuring art from Keith Burns. The show is $2 at the door, and going to the con will be the only opportunity to buy the exclusive creator print, seen on the right. The print features art from Tony Akins, Brian Crowley, Dan Dougherty, and a whole bunch of other creators.

Then, on April 8 and 9 (Friday and Saturday), I'll be back at the Comic Vault, celebrating the long-anticipated release of Quarantined alongside artist Monty Borror. We'll be signing the book, giving away cool stuff, and Monty will be sketching your favorite zombies (I will not be offending the sensibilities with my own attempts at sketching). It's going to be a great launch, giving you the very first chance to be the first amongst all your friends to pick up your copy of Quarantined.

Later down the road there's a signing at Horrorbles, Summit City, Cherry Capital, Detroit Fanfare, San Diego...

Friday, February 4, 2011

Hoax Hunters In Stores This Wednesday

I've been going on about this quite a bit the last few weeks, and now we're right around the corner from the actual release. So here are the vitals: the first installment of Hoax Hunters, written by Steve Seeley and I, art from JM Ringuet, and letters from Jim Campbell, will appear in Hack/Slash #1 which releases this Wednesday. This Wednesday!

Suffice to say, I'm really excited about all this. For starters, I'm honored to be part of the first issue of the Hack/Slash ongoing series. Tim Seeley has been belting out such amazing work for so long now, and I think that having an ongoing series with a regular publication schedule is only going to heighten his creativity and sharpen the book's stories. I'm a Hack/Slash fan, first and foremost, and it's a good time to be one. Tim has really great things in store. And I'm not the only one who thinks so--check out the cover on the left, courtesy of Erik Larsen.

As for Hoax Hunters, yeah, I'm feeling good about that as well. For starters, JM has been absolutely killing with his art. Each page is so unique and big; he's working to achieve a very specific goal, which I won't reveal here, but the theory behind his pages is brilliant. And the application/execution has been in complete harmony with the script. He's really making the story work, visually, in ways Steve and I hadn't thought of. So check out the first page, on your right.

Since this is our first installment, we were given three pages, but you'll only have two per issue from this point forward. From a creator standpoint, telling the story in such short bursts, at first, was a major challenge (bear in mind we're already three installments in, per the production/printing schedule). It was tough to juggle so many things into just a few pages--Steve and I knew we had to make the story fun and compelling, build mystery, and keep the reader interested enough to want to know what happens next. Granted, these are fundamental necessities in most stories--we just had a more truncated space to accomplish these things.

But what started as a challenge has really turned into a creative inspiration--we know exactly what our story is, and this unique method gives us fun opportunity to tell it in unconventional ways. Like I said, so far we're three parts in, and the series is a lot of fun; we're treating it almost like a serialized radio drama, where every segment ends in a dramatic cliffhanger, where pieces are revealed and the mystery is constantly deepened.

So, if you read Hack/Slash, then you're in for a great installment from Tim this Wednesday, and the start of something really special. If you haven't been reading Hack/Slash, this is a great jumping on point; issue #1, the start of a new arc (and you can always pick up the trade "My First Maniac" which gives Cassie's origins, as well as the recently released one-shot "Me Without You," the story of Vlad's origin).

And, in the spirit of all this creator-owned debate (which I may or may not post on at some point and share my own thoughts, but check out this awesome, thoughtful piece from Steve Niles in the meantime), you'll be supporting not only one creator-owned series, but two. You're really helping the entire comics industry--you can save it! Okay, that's overboard, but still, we're all hard-working indie artists, and we need the support of readers. Which brings me to the final word: if you like Hack/Slash and Hoax Hunters, tell people! Please, spread the word (and this goes for any creator-owned series); get people who normally wouldn't take the plunge into a book like Hack/Slash to take a risk. And, particularity with Hoax Hunters, let the world know you enjoy it--Twitter it, send Image a letter, mention it in a review. The entire Hoax Hunters team wants this series to spin off into its own ongoing, so please help make that happen. We have a lot--a lot--of story to tell.

If you want to drop me a line about the book, my email is listed in my profile, and you can also find me on Twitter and Facebook. Enjoy!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Quarantined Release!

Sounds weird to say it, but Quarantined is actually, for real, being released. Hooray! Here's a list of the details I know so far, with plenty more to come.

Everything is kicking off with a weekend long mega-launch at the Comic Vault on April 8 and April 9. This will be the first opportunity for anyone, anywhere, to pick up a copy of the book. I'll be present to sign copies, talk about the book, and give away some pretty cool prizes. And if that wasn't enough, my wife Alissa will be on hand with a fresh batch of zombie pastries. So come for that, if nothing else. You can find all the relevant information by visiting the facebook event page, right here.

Around the same time, the book will be launching on the PSP, so you'll have an opportunity to buy it as a digital download through there, and on iTunes.

Then in May, Quarantined will be showcased at the Markosia booth at the Bristol Con, which runs the weekend of the 14th and 15th. So if you're a UK fan, there will be opportunity to purchase it there as well. In fact, it looks like Quarantined will be packaged with another Markosia release, Slaughterman's Creed, which is already garnering some significant pre-release buzz. That book is being produced by my good friends Cy Dethan, Stephen Downey, and Nic Wilkinson, so I highly recommend picking it up either way.

There will also be opportunities to order book directly through Markosia and at shops who are gracious enough to carry the book (that arm of things is still being worked out).

I'll be setting up more signing events in the coming weeks, as well as nailing down my con appearances for the year. Suffice it to say, things are bustling with Quarantined, which is great. If there's anyone out there interested in reviewing the book, please contact me directly.

And, finally, don't forget that I've posted the first 12 pages of the book, which you can view right here.

Thanks to everyone who has supported the book so far--we're really just beginning!