Blog Promo: The Day The Whole World Went Away

My friend James Schumacher has gone through a very traumatic time with the passing of his dad. A few days ago he decided to finally do what any writer would do in this situation. He writes.
When you get to the point where writing is necessary for your sanity, you write it down regardless of how painful or personal it is. Once it’s down on paper or computer screen you then have the choice of do I keep this to myself or do I share it? More often than not we would like to keep it to ourselves maybe even after a short period of time rip it up or delete it. It’s the safest choice by far, but it takes real courage to lay it all out in the danger zone that is the internet for all to read, comment on and ultimately judge.

I think in this day and age though we need to talk about things like this, not just the how the death occurred but the stages the person affected by this death goes through. I firmly believe more than ever in the year 2017 that the greatest enemy to humanities well-being is mental health. The more we share, the more we relate. The more we relate, the more we see by example that we’re not alone and that there is a way out of a destructive mindset or this period of depression. We all have issues things we don’t want to talk about or deal with. We are afraid to share and for many of us were taught not to share and to keep it to yourself. We’re told to bottle up all of the pain, emotions, and questions, and we wonder why society is the way it is today. If we resolve the mental health crisis watch how quickly the rest of the world’s problems go away.

So while this post is about a horrific experience its therapy for James and hopefully it can help someone in some way going through something similar. I know that is something he believes in strongly. He also announces his new film and comic projects with preview art by Marco Roblin.

Please read the full post at the link below:

http://www.schumacher3.com/theday/

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Indie Comic Spencer & Locke Gets Optioned by Prime Universe Films

So I got a super exciting press release while I was at work and while the whole internet probably knows about this by now I am still sharing!

One of my favourite comic book series of 2017 Spencer & Locke got optioned by Hitman film producer Adrian Askarieh who owns Prime Universe Films. Now, what does optioned mean? Essentially Prime Universe Films has an agreement with the creators for the exclusive film rights to Spencer & Locke for a specific amount of time and financial obligations. Adrian has the right to purchase the screenplay in the agreed upon timeframe (most contracts range from 12-18 months).

This is some great news and just a week before the release of issue #4 which is the conclusion of the first mini-series. With the overwhelmingly positive reception this series has gotten from fans and critics and now the news of a potential film I have to assume will we see more Spence & Locke comics from Action Lab. Right, David Pepose !?

If you have no idea what Spencer & Locke is and why I’m a big fan of it check out my reviews and this awesome comic book trailer from the creative team.

 

  https://shawoncomics.com/2017/05/29/spencer-locke-2-review/

 https://shawoncomics.com/2017/06/21/spencer-locke-3-review/

Here is the official press release:

We are pleased to announce SPENCER & LOCKE, Action Lab Entertainment’s critically acclaimed new crime series from writer David Pepose and artist Jorge Santiago, Jr., has been optioned for film by Hitman film producer Adrian Askarieh and his company Prime Universe Films. You can learn more about this new development at The Hollywood Reporter.

Described as “a fantastic debut” by Batman writer Scott Snyder and “a fiendishly fun take on an age-old classic” by IGN, SPENCER & LOCKE follows hard-boiled Detective Locke as he solves a brutal murder with the only partner he can trust — his imaginary talking panther, Spencer. But as their investigation stirs up a vicious crime syndicate and memories of Locke’s traumatic upbringing, can this unlikely pair survive long enough to learn the truth?

SPENCER & LOCKE #4, which concludes the series’ action-packed storyline, will be available at comic shops and digital devices Wednesday, July 19. Series writer David Pepose will be signing copies of all four issues at Comic-Con International in San Diego at the Action Lab booth (#2006), including a never-before-seen SDCC variant cover from artist Joe Mulvey

Fans can catch up on SPENCER & LOCKE at ComiXology or can preorder the SPENCER & LOCKE trade paperback collection through their local comics shops by Monday, July 24 using the preorder code JUN171107. You can also follow SPENCER & LOCKE on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

Spencer & Locke #3 Review

After the events of issue 2, we see the tortured protagonist Locke strapped to a table. Locke is about to be injected with a crazy concoction of illegal and pharmaceutical drugs and thus begins the Sci-Fi hallucination of  Rocketman Reynolds. Meanwhile, Spencer searches for his drug induced partner before he does some serious damage he might regret.

That’s right on top of Sin City and Calvin & Hobbes influence we get a splash of good old sci-fi which doesn’t feel out of place at all. It up’s the crazy factor in a good way and provides a good lead into the (sniff) last issue due out in July.

 

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The art (Jorge Santiago), lettering(Colin Bell), colours (Jasen Smith) and writing (David Pepose) have been consistently good the past 3 issues and I expect the same for the final issue. Consistency in your comic book production and execution is vitally important. You would think this would be common sense but there are plenty of comics both indie and big 2 that lack consistency. This is why comics is a team sport every department has to perform to the best of their ability and hold the other to the standard agreed upon whatever it may be. The ultimate hope is that everyone exceeds the standards that were set at the beginning.

I’m not huge on spoiling too much about an issue not everyone gets to the shop or buys digitally on a Wednesday. So if you have read issues 1 and 2 already 3 will give you no reason to stop especially when there is one issue left, so continue to support the title and creator-owned comics. The trade for Spencer & Locke is currently available for pre-order (Aug. 31st release) if you’re a trade only reader ( Diamond pre-order code: JUN171107 ) and you still have a short time (Monday, June 26th deadline) to pre-order issue #4 MAY171017.

Spencer & Locke has been an enjoyable mini-series with all killer and no filler. I look forward to how it’s going to end next month!

9/10

 

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Image Comics Announces More Writers and Artists Attending RCCC Homecoming Dance

If you plan on attending RCCC (Rose City Comic Con) this year this is a party you should probably plan on attending. Check out the press release below!

 

PORTLAND, OR, 06/01/2017 — Bestselling Image Comics creators Donny Cates (GOD COUNTRY, REDNECK), Emi Lenox (PLUTONA, EMITOWN), Nick Dragotta (EAST OF WEST, HOWTOONS), Emma Ríos (PRETTY DEADLY), and Valentine De Landro (BITCH PLANET) have all RSVP’d to attend the Image Comics’ Fall Homecoming dance!

They will be joined by previously announced attending creators: Chip Zdarsky (SEX CRIMINALS, KAPTARA), Babs Tarr (MOTOR CRUSH), Matt Fraction (SEX CRIMINALS, ODY-C), and Kelly Sue DeConnick (BITCH PLANET, PRETTY DEADLY).

Don’t miss your chance to rub elbows with your favourite comics creators and celebrate Image Comics25th anniversary with dancing, refreshments, and a photo booth.

Tickets to the Image Comics Fall Homecoming dance are on sale now.

Back by popular demand, Image Comics is pleased to host a very special formal Fall Homecoming dance for the comics community during the Rose City Comic Con festivities. The dance will be held on Saturday, September 9th from 8:30 p.m. – 12:30 a.m. at The EvergreenThis event will be 21+ only. IDs will be checked at the door.

Image Comics’ Fall Homecoming will be in the style and spirit of a traditional high school dance and all comics fans and industry members are encouraged to come mix, mingle, and dance the night away.

Image Comics Fall Homecoming ticket tiers: 

  • $20: Entry ticket
  • $45: Add-on pack, including an Image t-shirt, variant cover comic, commemorative pint glass, and enamel pin
  • $79: VIP pack—ticket to the party, add-on pack items, and access to special VIP area at the venue (limited quantity, only 100 VIP tickets available)
Check back at imagecomics.com for more details to come about the Image Comics Fall Homecoming Dance, we hope to see you there!

 

A Brief Conversation I Will Never Forget

I had mentioned in my last post about having the pleasure and honour to meet legendary comic book artist Mark Bagley. For anyone unfamiliar with Mr.Bagley he is the creator of CarnageThunderbolts and has drawn Spider-Man for the majority of his career on multiple titles. His longest run on Spider-Man was on Ultimate Spider-Man with Veteran Marvel writer Brain Michael Bendis (111 consecutive issues 116 total!).

I was the first person to get a sketch from him at the con and some books signed. The photo at the top is the commission he drew for me. I had originally wanted carnage seen as he was only doing head sketches he quickly advised me to pick something with more detail in a respectful way which I appreciated, so I choose Wolverine because of that’s my favourite Marvel character. I am also very nervous/star struck when meeting Mark. So he starts sketching right in front of me, and I am in awe of his speed and lines. He also warned me that his first sketch of the day usually isn’t his best I, of course, am just happy this is happening right now and say I’m sure it will be great and that he’s the first artist I’ve ever gotten an original sketch from.

So I am standing there in front of the table just watching again with amazemenI as i see logan gradually appear on my blank variant sketch cover of Age of Ultron #1. After a few minutes, he says “so do you have any questions? Feel free to talk”. Every artist is different I have heard of many who need complete concentration to finish a commission, and some don’t. So we start talking about the new Venom movie, the Logan movie and the fact fans aren’t a fan of his new costume design for the Scarlet Spider and how he was going back to the original costume from the 90’s.

Really nice guy and chat. Once he finished and signed my commission, i had a few comics to sign.

 

death of spider

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When I presented this next book to get signed something happened that I had never experienced before.

the change

Soon as Mark saw the comic, he said right away “I hate that cover, The comic and the story” This caught me off guard, you could see the disgust with his own work in his face. I, of course, had no idea this would happen and would never want to upset any creator. He obviously wasn’t mad at me, but it certainly stirred up a defence and reaction in him. He elaborated a little bit then he said something that has been stuck in my head since the early morning of the con.

“Now think about this. Mediocre people think they are great. Great people are never satisfied with their work. Think about it, like really really think about that!”

Now you might be thinking he hasn’t said anything new. Which in just pure words that’s true. When Mark told me this though I saw a passion and conviction in his eyes I have never seen from an artist of any kind. I heard something in his voice that resonated in my ears and memory. It was a long day, and lots of stuff was going on at the con I could have easily forgotten this encounter, but I didn’t and that says something to me.

I got a rare glimpse of what separates the average creator from the legends. To me, he was reminding himself not to be like that version of himself back in 93. I know a lot of creative people will do this but I think Mark is one of the few that takes it seriously.

As someone who’s on a writing journey, it’s incredibly inspiring especially coming from an artist. He didn’t even know I was an aspiring writer, but this can certainly apply to any area in life. It was really cool and unexpected I’m extremely grateful.

Let’s be honest about perfectionism though it is useless, at a certain point you have to say well this and that has to be done by this date. So you have to expect this is the best you can do on a particular project. you can then look back and say ok I have the same amount of time for the next one but I’m not going to this-this and that and in theory, it should be better than the last until you go back and pick apart that very same project and do better on the other. That to me makes more sense than being a perfectionist. You look back far enough on your work and ya there is going to be a certain project that reminds you of how much you used to suck personally.

Now that I think about it the best are never really satisfied with their work even things that have received praise and critical acclaim they are constantly trying to improve.

This meeting is one I will never forget and will stay with me my whole life. A super cool moment at my town’s  first comic-con. This is why I encourage people whether they are fans or people trying to make it in comics to go to cons you never know what’s going to happen or how it will affect your life!

Orillia Comic-Con 2017

Orillia, Ontario Canada had its first ever comic-con on Sunday, May 21st, 2017. My local comic shop Dr.Comics put this con together. After much promoting and anticipation it’s safe to say that this con exceeded all expectations. First off very few small con’s especially their very first one get the quality of guests that Orillia comic-con had. You have Mark Bagley legendary artist and creator of Carnage, Fabian Nicieza writer and creator of Deadpool and Bob Layton one of the founders of comic publisher Valiant Comics and artist known for his work on Iron Man, Conan and Ant-Man.

Oh ya, there’s also the fact that attendance was over 7,400!

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That’s me in the Batman shirt helping Dr.Comics Sell some Comics and Figures

 

con crowd

The show was packed! Lots of vendors, cosplayers and celebrity guest. Most importantly there was no shortage of comics. It was everything you expected from a 1st comic-con, one that was desperately needed for the area.

I got to meet Fabian Nicieza and get some Deadpool and X-Force comics signed which was awesome. I also got to meet Mark Bagley. I have a cool experience/story to share about him that really deserves it’s own post as it relates to a much larger topic I’m interested in getting into, that should be up fairly soon.

The dates for next years con was announced just days before the con took place. Thankfully it will be held at West Orillia Sports Complex – Rotary Place and will be 2 days June 23rd-24th 2018! Planning has already begun and will be significantly larger than the first.

Thanks to Carmine De Santo the owner of Dr.Comics and manager of the con for putting on a massive show in a small town can’t wait till next year.

Watchmen Meet The DC Universe This Fall

DC comics announced Sunday what fans have been waiting for since Geoff Johns last comic DC Universe Rebirth one-shot that kicked off the complete reboot of the entire comic line. Johns had originally said that the one-shot would be his last comic for a while as he was recently promoted to head of DC Films. Surprisingly in January, he announced via Twitter that he would be back later this year releasing comics. The tweet also contained an image of Watchmen character Dr Manhattan.

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The thing about Watchmen is that the world it is based in existed outside of the DC universe. With Geoff Johns new title “Doomsday Clock” we will for the first time this November see the Watchmen interact with some of our favourite superheroes. While with exactly how many and who remain to be revealed we do know the story focuses on Dr Manhattan and Superman.

Geoff Johns gave an exclusive interview with blastr.com.

“We’re not going to do a story like this unless we one-thousand percent believe in it. It is all about the story; it is only about the story. There are no crossovers. No watered down one-shots or mini-series on top of this one. This is a standalone story. There is only Doomsday Clock. We had no interest in doing a crossover with this. We didn’t want to see Doctor Manhattan facing off against Superman in Action Comics, with all due respect. That is not what this is about. It is about something different … It will have an impact on the entire DC Universe. It will affect everything moving forward and everything that has come before. It will touch the thematic and literal essence of DC.”

“There will be DC characters throughout this, but this focuses in on only a handful. There is a lot of focus on Superman, and Doctor Manhattan. Doctor Manhattan is a huge focus, and his reasons for being here, and doing what he does, ultimately have to do with Superman. And there are many, many more characters to be involved, but it is a bit early to discuss.”

It’s great to hear that this will not be a massive crossover event across multiple books because that is really annoying. Johns also assured that this is not a sequel to Watchmen.

“It is something else. It is Watchmen colliding with the DC Universe. It is the most personal and most epic, utterly mind-bending project I have ever worked on in my career. With Rebirth, I opened the door to Manhattan. Part of that was I loved the real-world influence Watchmen has. I put Manhattan out there, and always thought there was a Manhattan/Superman story to be told, but then … it grew. And grew. It took my heart and soul over. Still, at the core of it, there’s a being who has lost his humanity, and distanced himself from it, and an alien who embodies humanity more than most humans. I love the idea that Watchmen influenced DC, but what would that look like in reverse? And it goes well beyond that.”

The original Watchmen was created by writer Alan Moore and artist Dave Gibbons. Colours were done by John Higgins. I was a groundbreaking comic that challenged traditional comic book storytelling and structure and was an examination of the superhero genre itself. It’s for more in-depth and complex than that so I recommend you pick yourself up a copy if you don’t have one and look up some far better articles than this on the subject.

Since the release of the original Watchmen Alan Moore has been very upfront about his displeasure with working with DC at the time. His contract was quite horrible as well, in an interview with fastcompany.com back in 2012 he talked about getting lawyers to look at the contract he signed. Moore referred to it as

“creator-hostile”.

“There was a clause that essentially said that, if in the future, there were any documents or contracts that I refused to sign, DC was entitled to appoint an attorney to sign them instead,” “[The lawyers] said it was the most creator-hostile contract they’d ever seen.”

This isn’t the first or last case or shady contracts or creator mistreatment but this has stuck with Moore till this day.  He is not a fan of Watchmen calling  “a toxic cloud of memories”. Watchmen was designed originally not to be a franchise but after failing to get the rights to the property DC did what they wanted.

I only read The Comedian and Rorschach titles of “Before Watchmen” and they were good. Should they have made a prequel? I’m not too sure.

That brings me to the next obvious question should DC and Geoff johns (along with Gary Frank on art) bring Watchmen into the DC universe let alone write another Watchmen comic? While I’m one for original intent and purpose there are times where a concept or idea just seem to interesting not to explore. Having a story based around arguably two of the most powerful characters in the DC universe is pretty damn exciting.

If anyone other than Geoff Johns and Gary Frank were doing this project I would say I’m not going to invest my time and money it’s just too big of a risk. No one knows the DC universe like Johns. He has written some of the best stories in DC comics for more than a decade and every title he has collaborated on with Gary Frank has been great. It seems he has taken his time with this project. The fact we are not seeing it as some big summer crossover event is a good sign and most importantly Johns treats characters with respect and writes good stories.

 

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I can’t imagine this comic being bad but anything is possible. If you have been following “The Button” story arc between Batman and The Flash rebirth titles recently you will understand my scepticism of  “Doomsday Clock” being bad.