Thursday, May 29, 2008

St. Nicholas Day

My grandmother, whom I loved very dearly, used to tell us about her Dutch upbringing alot. One custom that she looked upon with fondness was celebrating St. Nicholas Day.

The Dutch tradition for receiving presents on that day is that children leave a shoe outside their door at night, and St. Nicholas fills it with presents. In some of the poorer families, grandma used to say, he would replace their shoes with new ones... maybe the only new pair they would get that year. To Dutch children, part of the thrill was going to bed and having something very ordinary yielding a wonderful surprise...

This morning I had a similar experience. While my shoes were empty, my inbox was filled with Robot 13 pages- all lettered and colored... while I knew I would see them soon, the unexpected nature of seeing them today was a big thrill.

I can't share them yet, but I can say we have sent them off with a pitch to a well established publisher.

More news soon- tonight, I am too giddy to sleep...

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Mob Rules

In 1980, Black Sabbath had just released one of their best albums to date with their new vocalist Ronnie James Dio. The album was called Heaven and Hell, and for anyone who loved their heavy metal to be dark, powerful and wallowing in "prince of darkness" imagry, this was an album that you wore the grooves off.

The following year, Sabbath put out an album that divided fans as much, if not more, than Heaven and Hell brought them together. It was fast, hard and complex but it also was more of an expression of Dio's lyrical interests than he had been allowed to explore before. Everyone in the band, in fact, shaded towards the type of things they loved doing...

The Mob Rules is one of my favorite albums for that very reason. Listen to it, and you can just tell that everyone in the band was going for broke and doing everything exactly the way they wanted. The creativity expressed on that disc was awesome and if you have heard any of the songs played live from that era, you know that they translated well to the stage as well.

Diving in headlong into a creative project is a posture that I ascribe to all the time. I think it's inspiring to put everything you have into a project when you are working with other people committed to doing the same.

Lately, I have been working on Robot 13 with that same abandon...

Hopefully, you'll like finished results as much as I dig Sabbath.

We'll see.

Today's image is from the upcoming Zeros 2 Heroes book Gustav Hayes, with art by Daniel.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

In Living Colour!

There are two types of perfectionists- those who have a vision of where they want to go, and those who are really closet procrastinators.

Those who have a vision of their work, are driven to take what they have to that place in their head. The roadmap to get them there is usually half written in the sweat of hard work and half improvised within the moment, but it's always inspiring to see someone travel that path.

"Perfectionists" of the other sort are really looking to hide their work- either afraid to fail or afraid that success will mean *gasp* hard WORK!

Daniel and I are hammering out our pitch of Robot 13 this week, and we have both been hit with a case of wanting our stuff to be more perfect. Daniel has been hard at work, making sure the first 10 pages or so are colored just right, and I have been wording our proposal carefully so that it conveys everything the way we want it...

After all this time, I doubt that we fear success, and we have both failed enough along the way that we aren't scared by that either...

Do we have vision, then?

Not sure.

If you see Robot 13 on the stands in a big way at some point, then maybe we did...

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Are You Experienced?

It's kind of funny to me how much faith people put into experience.

Logic tells you that doing something a hundred times gives you the edge in terms of practice, but what if you suck at it a hundred times?

But what about taking a chance on someone new? Breaking in to anything is becoming harder and harder these days- especially when it comes to comics.

I know for a fact that Daniel and I wouldn't be doing comics today, despite all our hard work, if someone did't give us a chance. Now, I might take the big headed approach and say that we "earned it" somehow by being good at what we were doing or by putting in hard work... certainly, had we NOT had talent or had we NOT put in lots of hard work, we wouldn't be doing books. But in comics, like in the rest of life, it's about who you know & who you can meet and how many of those people grow to like you...

No reason for that- except maybe to say, be excellent to each other... and party on, dudes!

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Tall Tales to Tell

As I have said on more than one occasion, I love doing research. One of the most fun aspects of the writing process for me is to go on the hunt for details to inform the pieces I have been working on, and Robot 13 has been a huge undertaking in that area.
The reason that this series has maxed out my library card, is that the stories we are telling draw heavily from Greek Mythology.
Robot 13 is, after all, a freakin' huge robot with a skull for a noggin.
Naturally, he has to battle giant monsters... right?
and what better monsters than those of Greek Myth?
I knew you would see it my way...
Regardless- I wanted to share with you some of the high points in the research I did for Issue 1 of the new mini series, where our robot rises from the sea, only to meet the Kraken from it's depths...
This is the dictionary definition of a Kraken.
The Kraken is usually depicted as a giant squid, like the one recently caught in the Ross Sea.
The famous, yet boring-as-hades, poem by Alfred Lord Tennyson, the Kraken.
Here is music from the Industrial band Kraken and the Colombian Metal band, neither of which is very famous or very boring.
This is from the Sea World ride...
Both Clash of the Titans and Pirates of the Caribbean featured their versions of the monster, as does the game God of War.
One of my favorites- a Lego Kraken!
And finally, a very nice essay on some of the historical high points of the Kraken...

Sunday, May 04, 2008

"...I Don't Want To See This On Your Myspace Page..."

While I was laying low for Free Comic Book Day, Daniel was having a a little better time. Here is is with one new friend who apparently thinks that Robot 13 is going to be a decent book...

and yes... it is THAT Jim Lee.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Look Who's Coming To Dinner

This was the first Free Comic Book Day in years that I wasn't a comic book store guest, and it was nice to have the day off. I saw Iron Man (loved it), ate Chinese food, read Atomic Robo and worked on a pitch for Robot 13 while I caught up on Juno, the latest delivery from Netflix. All in all, it was a productive day. With so much going on lately, it was good to take a step back and recharge my brain a bit...

In the coming weeks, we should have some news about the status of KING! and Robot 13. There has been interest all along in the books, but it's important for Daniel and I to feel we will be with the publisher that gives us the best shot to get our books into as many hands as we can.

While we can't talk yet about all the stuff buzzing around, one thing I can confirm is the status of Enlightenment. After talking with Harry Markos, we all agreed that everyone wants to see the book happen with Markosia. It seems to be a good fit all around, and Harry has been one of our biggest supporters for the past few years, so we would like to have The Devil You Know come out with them...