My friend David Lizerbram came to me and asked if I would want to be involved with holding a charity event that combined San Diego’s burgeoning Craft Beer community and the Comic Book art world. Uh.. yeah. David and fellow craft beer enthusiast Vince Vasquez had been in contact with the wonderful people at [...]
My friend David Lizerbram came to me and asked if I would want to be involved with holding a charity event that combined San Diego’s burgeoning Craft Beer community and the Comic Book art world. Uh.. yeah. David and fellow craft beer enthusiast Vince Vasquez had been in contact with the wonderful people at Stone Brewery (one of my favorite breweries, I might add) and they had agreed to let us use some space at their new tasting room downtown, near Petco Park. And as if that weren’t enough, David brought on the incredible Sarah Gaydos from IDW to add a myriad of talents, connections and resources (that may sound hyperbolic, but Sarah is pretty cool). Like a super team of Craft Beer and Comic Book enthusiasts, we were ready to tackle a grand experiment.
We decided on a goal of raising funds for a local campaign that’s helping out kids who intended to attend San Diego’s summer Media Arts Centers/Digital Gym film classes. The campaign helps teach kids about technology and film making. How cool is that?
On top of that, if perhaps you are unaware, San Diego is fast becoming the Craft Beer capital of the world. I know there are other cities that feel the same way, but I can tell you with three quality breweries opening up in my neighborhood recently, I throw my vote in for San Diego. Which makes combining Comic Con, which we are also so well know for, and Craft Beer is just a natural.
The event was held preview night of Comic Con International and we had a lot of artists show up to donate their time and energy to do quick sketches for a suggested small donation. On top of that, we also held a silent auction of books, prints and artwork donated by Stone and various other artists. I donated hard cover copies of Promethea, DMZ and Fluorescent Black.
Lots of friends, local and from all over the world, showed up to support our fledgling endeavor and just as many random passerbys popped in to check out the event and Stone’s great beers. I drew some Batmans, a Batgirl, a Grayson and a few caricatures to name a few. Rex Mundi artist and pal, Eric J drew some Vampyrates, Batman and various other requests. I hadn’t seen Eric awhile, so it was great catching up and sitting across from each other sketching and jamming on pieces. Eric and I worked on Rex Mundi with Arvid Nelson years ago.
The entire event was a blast and really was a great start to my Comic Con week. Afterwards we moved next door for an after party, to an incredible place called Rare Form. They’ve really outdone themselves there and the food and drinks are super. So much so, I returned the next day. The kind of experience I come to expect from some of the fine folks that brought us lucky San Diegans, El Dorado.
Well that’s it for Preview night. Up next should be my Con and Eisner wrap up, so check back in. Oh, and there’s still plenty of time to help more kids attend the summer film classes, so please think about donating if you want to help out a great cause.
Well, the secret is out. I was lucky enough to be a judge for the 2014 Will Eisner Spirit of Comics Retailer Award. I can’t begin to tell you how much it meant to me, prior to the actual judging, but it really meant even more whilst we were judging and after we came to [...]
Well, the secret is out. I was lucky enough to be a judge for the 2014 Will Eisner Spirit of Comics Retailer Award. I can’t begin to tell you how much it meant to me, prior to the actual judging, but it really meant even more whilst we were judging and after we came to our final decision. I started self publishing my own comic book Zombie Love in 1992 and I quickly learned how important the comic book retailer is to our industry as a whole. They are our face across the globe between creators/publishers and the readers at large. Their neatly stacked books, legible signage, knowledgable staff and overall attitude speak volumes for what our comic books potentially mean to new and seasoned readers.
Showing up Monday night before the Con is an early start to the convention week, to say the least. There’s a buzz about San Diego at con time and relaxing bayside served as the perfect start to the 2014 Comic Con International. Tuesday morning, I met up outside the convention center with Joe Ferrara (my new favorite person) last years winning retailer Patrick Brower (Challengers Comics + Conversation), head of Diamond’s Free Comic Book Day promotions Jason Blanchard, Hollywood reporter/senior editor Marc Bernardin, Boom Studios head honcho Ross Richie, and my good pal Alex Sinclair (Fun fact: Alex hired me as his third colorist for the original Image/Wildstorm coloring department) to take a look at 37 stores that we needed to whittle down to 12 and then the final winner. I care a lot about the comic industry and having to defend and question all the pros and cons of such amazing stores was daunting. I really got worked up about it. Joe gave a real good talk about his conversation with Will about what the Spirit of Retailers meant to him and what really does move the industry forward. All my fellow judges cared jus as much as I did and we all brought our individual likes and concerns. 9+ hours later, we came to a decision.
I don’t know if you can read the expression on my face, but I’d say it’s part mental exhaustion, part hard fought accomplishment and part love of my art form. Please excuse me, certain things get me emotional.
Wednesday morning, the twelve finalists were announced and the internet started buzzing with interest and antic…..
I’m writing this Friday afternoon. This years winner will be announced tonight in about four hours at the Eisner Awards being held at the Hilton Bayfront hotel. I’ve lost my fair share of Eisner awards and I know how that feels. What more could I do? What didn’t they like? I should have done better. Those thoughts all melt away and you learn to understand in your own way what the phrase “honor just to be nominated” really means. There’s going to be a happy winner, but I just hope those that didn’t win know how much we care about the incredible and important jobs they are all doing. It shows in the quality of their stores. Their chosen livelihood.
It’s easy for some to make fun of comics or comic store owners, but if you really know the good ones, you realize what a worn out joke that is and how it doesn’t really apply. Comics are touching the entire world and I think we’re just scratching the surface. Storytelling means a great deal to people who indulge in dreaming and these comic stores help make that possible. I hope we did good job for our industry and perhaps for what Will would have wanted.
My friend, Billy Martinez of Neko Press Comics, asked if I would like to join him and our mutual friend Batton Lash, of Exhibit A Press, to meet up and talk at our local Barnes and Nobles. Billy had been asked, by a fine gentleman from Barnes and Noble by the name of Jonathan Holt, if he would like to set up a talk about the ins and outs of the comic book industry. The event took place just prior to Comic Con International, which served as a really good primer before the convention melee. Billy touched on the history of Neko Press, Heavy Metal, Sirius Press and all of the live art he’s been doing. Batton talked about a lot of comic self publishing history and where the industry is moving. I talked about my recent foray into digital publishing with Comixology (check it out if you haven’t already), and my transition to doing most all of my comic art on the computer. That conversation transitioned well into talking about my new Comic Book Coloring in Adobe Photoshop tutorial from Photoshop Cafe. There were a lot of great questions from the audience and the general interest in comic books as pop culture and as an artform was quite refreshing.
Kevin Ring and I have been working extremely hard and into the wee hours of the morning to bring you the relaunch of our Vampyrates story. Originally a stand alone print issue published by Bloodfire Studios, the new series rewrites that early tale and heads off on a whole new course. As [...]
Kevin Ring and I have been working extremely hard and into the wee hours of the morning to bring you the relaunch of our Vampyrates story. Originally a stand alone print issue published by Bloodfire Studios, the new series rewrites that early tale and heads off on a whole new course. As of today, we can officially point you in the direction of our cracking new book on Amazon. The title is presently Kindle or Kindle viewing device ready. So if you get a chance, head on over there and buy 3 or 4.
While this isn’t a complete overhaul of the story, major things are changing and updating. For example, our protagonist was originally named after my friend and inspiration, Kevin Ring. Well, when I realized I wanted to do a full fledged series, I immediately thought of asking Kevin to help me work on it. He dove right in.. no.. it was more like a cannonball. His excited enthusiasm for the story rivals my own. One of the first things we did was change Kevin’s name in the book to reflect where we are headed. Kevin explains the name change fairly well in the book itself, so I’ll let you read more about that there. A lot of the previous artwork has been updated, redone and sweetened for the digital release.
There’s new pages, new panels and a spiffy new cover. If you liked the original J.H. Williams III cover for the print version, that’s in there as well with out the logo or cornerstone on it to cover anything up. Speaking of the logo, we’ve updated that as well to reflect Kevin coming aboard, so now both our names are up there, shinny and new. Draw your own innuendos. Let’s see, what else? Oh… we’re working on a t-shirt. I wanted to design a specific Vampyrate flag for our motley demon crew, that just yelled iconic. I tried a bunch of different designs, but we settled on the one pictured below. I liked this one the most and it kept getting picked when I would show the different designs to people.
So keep checking back here or at the Vampyrates Facebook or Google+ pages for more details. If you’re more of a Twitter sailor, we got that covered as well. There’s not much up there just yet, but Kevin and I are going to use this Twitter account as well as the Facebook page as much as possible. If you like following the production of a comic book, than I think our documenting of the process makes this the place for you. Check these out as I post pencils, sketches and convention appearances. And lastly, I wanted to let you know about my Comic book coloring in Adobe Photoshop DVD/Download that came out this week. I personally take you through how I render a complete Vampyrates page from start to finish in Photoshop. The wonderful fellows over at Photoshop Cafe did a really nice job of me look like a pro.
They did such a nice job, that I want to save more of that for my next post… so, head on over to Amazon and pick yourself up one of the new books. Maybe one of these days, I’ll figure out how to put a buy button on the right hand side of the page.. rrrrrr you kidding me? I don’t have time for that.. I have to finish issue two.
Wow.. what a crazy week.
Thanks for dropping by,
Pencils and keyboards are really buzzing as we approach the launch of some new Vampyrates comics. We’ll keep you updated right here and over at our Facebook page on when and where you’ll be able to get your hands on the new books and some really cool shirts. So keep checking back over the next month for a treasure trove of new art and stories.
Jeromy and Kevin
What can I say? I’ve been fairly busy. Earlier this year, I was offered some work on a Graphic Novel for DC Comics. Did I say work? I should say a ton of work. It was a 140+ page hard cover Graphic Novel for Blizzard. A World Of Warcraft story to be precise. Now, I know when I agreed to take on the book, it was going to be a significant amount of work on top of my already busy schedule of Detective Comics and Justice League Dark. Can you say under statement? Needless to say, I finished the book fine and it printed rather nicely, but directly on the heels of completion was San Diego Comic Con, where I was a guest of the Con… is this a run on sentence? Anyways, the San Diego convention treated me amazingly and I had a great time meeting so many nice fans. It’s going to be hard for any other convention to live up to SDCC 2013 experience. Do you hear that Angouleme? Yeah right, in my dreams.
So, speaking of conventions. The second San Diego Comic Fest is being held this weekend (Oct 4th-6th) at the Town and Country convention center in Mission Valley. Kevin Ring and I will be showing off some Vampyrates goodies and I’ll have some of my recent color work for DC at my table. I’ve made some real break throughs on moving from traditional to near completely digital artwork recently, which has been interesting. I’ve made a lot of these advances in my art while working on a how to digitally paint comics DVD, that I’ve needed to finish for like 4 years. Dude. Ideally, I’ll have more news on that soon.
Now, it’s off to Comic Fest.
Phew… this was supposed to come out two weeks ago.. but between Batman, Resurrection Man, Justice League, Zombie Love and life… things took longer than expected.