A catalogue of thoughts by me, the writer of the Enlightenment series of graphic novels and the KING!, Robot 13 and Mecha Manga Bible Heroes series of comic books. I'll be writing here about what's going on with our books and everything else that's important...
Growing up, I was a fanatic for Famous Monsters of Filmland.
Back in the day, if you wanted to really KNOW about Monster movies, FM was the magazine that had everything. Famous Monsters not only covered the current Monster and Sci-Fi fare, but you got in-depth looks at obscure films and crazy behind-the-scenes stuff as well... I remember sitting in my basement, reading our stack of FM's and dreaming of a day when some story I created would be talked about in it's pages.
Recently, IDW has re-launched FM and the crazy thing is that in some small part my childhood dream has come true- the FM website has reviewed KING! #1...
R-13 CREATORS SERVE UP A HUNKA’ HUNKA’ BURNIN’ FUN WITH MONSTER-KILLER “KING!”
King of Rock ‘n Roll becomes King of Sock ‘em All!
BUTLER, NJ (August 3, 2010) – Writer Thomas Hall and artist Daniel Bradford of Blacklist Studios, creators of one of the most acclaimed independent comics of recent years return this August with the release of “KING!”
Like their breakout hit “R-13,” the hero of the duo’s new series is adept at dispatching monsters. But unlike Robot-13, “KING!” knows all too well who he is… and he’s not afraid to have some fun as he bashes the baddies in this decidedly “comic” book.
“Daniel and I really enjoy the intricacies and depths of the R-13 mythology, and love conveying the universal emotions that story engenders,” says Hall. “But we’re also fans of comedy and monsters and KING! gives us the chance to go over-the-top in ways that reflect the comic books and movies we grew up with.”
“I get to draw bad-asses, brains, big guns and burritos… what could be better?” adds Bradford.
KING! #1 tells the story of a former pro wrestler-turned-bounty hunter who bears more than a striking resemblance to a certain “King of Rock ‘n Roll.” All he wants is a whole day of nuthin’. All he gets is a hunka’ hunka’ talkin’ heart in the mail… and the tale the heart tells is nothing short of epic. Can KING! simultaneously save the local Blubber Tubber Burger joint from an undead infestation and satisfy his hunger for a peanut butter banana burrito with bacon?
Now fans of Blacklist Studios, Robot 13 and Elvis Presley can have their burritos and eat them too when the first issue of KING! #1 is released on August 16, 2010 – just in time for the 33rd anniversary of the real King’s passing! For fans who want their wardrobe to be as cool as the comic they’re reading, there’s also a KING! t-shirt available on the Blacklist Studios website. No one will mess with you when staring at the pistol-packin’, pompadour sportin’ monster killer on your chest!
The print edition of KING! #1 can be pre-ordered directly from Blacklist Studios (www.blackliststudios.com). The 32-page, full color comic retails for $3.99 US. For wholesale purchases, distributors and retailers are encouraged to email Blacklist Studios’ Thomas Hall at email@example.com or contact Tony Shenton at firstname.lastname@example.org for terms and information.
About Blacklist Studios Blacklist Studios publishes the comics KING! and R-13. Visit their official website at www.blackliststudios.com.
In a world where mainstream comic book titles routinely top the digital download charts, one challenger has risen like David against Goliath to stake its claim: Robot 13 by Thomas Hall and Daniel Bradford has just become one of the first independently produced comics to push past the 100,000 download mark!
A true-blue indie label comic garnering 100,000+ readers is an unparalleled triumph for both independents and digital comics alike. There are few such comics that make it onto Diamonds’ Top 300 for any given month, and none that rise above the 10,000 order mark. Robot 13, on the Android market alone, is now outperforming brand name comic strip apps and even the majority of comic viewers (with the exception of Robot Comics‘ own Droid Comic Viewer, of course)!
“Robot 13 is a truly Independent Comics success story,” Blacklist Studios’ Co-Owner and Robot 13 Co-Creator Thomas Hall said. “Everything was done without Diamond’s distribution or outside funding, and was the product of two guys making Comics they wanted to see as fans.”
“Sure, we knew the book was pretty good,” Blacklist Studios’ Co-Owner and Robot 13’s Co-Creator Daniel Bradford continued. “But who could know we would get that level of interest? It was more than anyone could have expected.”
Robot 13 already proved itself a fan-favorite with traditional print readers, selling out of its first issue and garnering solid sales for its second and third. With its genre-blending story, grand-scale action, and lush Gothic artwork, Robot Comics knew it would be a hit with mobile readers as well. But we didn’t want to stop there:
“We decided that R13 was the perfect vehicle to debut our latest technology,” Robot Comics’ Deputy Director, Dave Baxter comments. “So on top of the comic’s own creative merits, we wanted the mobile reading experience to be, appropriately, just as exceptional.”
“When we talked to Robot Comics, they started telling us what they had in mind for Robot 13,” Hall said. “We were both blown away, because we didn’t know of anyone who was pushing mobile Comics so far. This was more than just viewing a PDF… it was a totally new hybrid Comics experience.”
Robot 13 was the first comic on either iTunes or Android to combine frame-by-frame animation, a wide-range of transition effects, and vibration into a single package.
“We’ve since gone even further with our Scott Pilgrim app,” Baxter adds. “But Robot 13 was and is a ground-breaking beginning for pushing the boundaries on what a mobile comic can be. And I think readers are responding to that, as well as the incredible quality of Tom and Daniel’s craftsmanship.”
The success of Robot 13’s 100,000+ downloads hint toward yet another positive trend: new readers. By keeping the app stand-alone and not buried within a dedicated reader app, R13 managed a featured slot on both iTunes and the Android Market, and during that time a large portion of readers – as they mention in the comments left behind on the app’s market listing – are not normally comic readers, and their response to R13 is largely positive.
“The key difference,” Baxter says, “Is that Robot Comics is dedicated to building apps around a brand, and not creating a storefront. A person doesn’t buy a particular comic because they know the name of their local comic shop. They buy a comic because they understand the qualities associated with the brand name. This is something that digital initiatives rarely take into consideration.”
“Since the Robot 13 App has exploded,” Hall said, “It has opened the door for new readers who want to check it out in print. Part of the reason all 3 print issues have all but sold out, is that many Mobile Comics fans want to read R13 in traditional print after enjoying the book on their phones.”
Baxter concludes: “Few of the new readers are swearing to become overnight comic fans, but it’s a step in the right direction for fulfilling digital’s promise of a new audience for comics. For many, R13 is their first or only recent comic experience. Time and quality comic apps will take it from here.”