Friday, October 29, 2010
One of the great challenges of making FEEDING GROUND has been juggling the multiple factions of the world we have created, particularly the lives of the 5 family members who provide the core for this tale. We hope to have created living characters and, in doing so, made the risks they face more striking.
Here's a new review of Issue 1 that points directly to the role of family in the book, celebrating their humanity. In honor of Halloween, I'll then follow that up with some grisly glimpses of the gauntlet that awaits them.
COMIC RELATED - "Why I Love Comics" by Eric Ratcliffe
Eric has written some of my favorite reviews of some of my favorite comics (Hawkeye & Mockingbird, Sweets) and now he puts words to FEEDING GROUND #1.
REVIEW - (excerpt) - "My verdict is that if you enjoy books that explore the human condition as well as add plenty of mystery and a little bit of suspense/action I really think you'll enjoy this. I can happily say I have no idea where they are taking this but I sure as hell am in for the ride! "
Thursday, October 21, 2010
AIN'T IT COOL NEWS
The premiere website for fan culture gave an amazing post-NY Comic Con review of Issue 1, calling the book "one of the cooler books of the con" and "unique in almost every way."
I really appreciate how feedback is suggesting that readers are "getting" what we were gong for. The above sequence was one of the first images we developed for the story and a technique that the reviewer hits on in his comments. Laying out comic panels is entirely about controlling the flow of time and space for the reader, a tool we look to develop throughout the series.
You can check out the link to the full review and an excerpt below.
REVIEW - (excerpt) - "What I liked most about this first issue is the attention the makers of this book take toward small moments. Multiple panels showing minuscule moments embrace the reader and pull one into the scene."
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
I've only recently started attending comic conventions over the past few years and this was my first year behind the table at big cons. The thing that jumps out at you, the thing that I believe this medium has over any other, is the sense of community. At a con, every niche has a fan group. In comics, every novice has a mentor. There is a patient and generous exchange between fans, pros, and aspiring creators. And, for me, NYC was the place to find so many of my friends and co-workers doing their own thing and supporting each other in the process. Here are a few of my highlights and insights from NYCC 2010.
DON'T LOOK BACK!
The LAST MINUTE COMICS table was our second home at the Con. We were proud to be a part of the DON'T LOOK! horror anthology and to be able to chill out with editor/artist Rick Ritter and artists Paul Zdanowicz and Dan O' Conner. Along with THE GATHERING anthology, this was a year of friends striking out and creating despite dreary day jobs and a saggy economy. A review in Wired magazine communicated the "We've got a show to put on!" spirit of new creators.
THE SWIFTY LANG EXPERIENCE
Sure, it's pretty cool that there's a Michael Jackson dancing game. But, I'm the one hanging with the guy rocking the wolf hat AND dancing to "Smooth Criminal." I'm lucky to be partnered with him on this and with Chris Mangun we make for an unstoppable two-limbed Voltron. See also, Spider-Wolf.
MY BEST/WORST COMPLIMENT
A woman at our signing table was staring intently at a number of FEEDING GROUND pages, flipping back and forth through them. When I asked for her reaction, she stated that the art was incredibly depressing but she couldn't stop looking at it. Turns out, she has traveled through towns much like the one depicted in our book and that the color and character of my art communicated their spirit. All along, we've tried to create a comic that is more evocation than illustration and her feedback let us know that in some part we hit the mark.
Beside many creators, there is a support team that allows them to do their thing. At the Con, many a wife, boyfriend, and pal sat for hours on end and helped facilitate table work and manage crowds. So, cheers to the unsung heroes. I love it when I can pay a compliment to a favorite creator and there's that wash of pride over the face of their significant other. Cheers to our own lovely ladies as well as Scott (Gail Simone), Michael (Jim McCann), Colleen (Sean Murphy), and Big Bird's wife.
Over a year of working on the comic, I have amassed a virtual school of advice and anecdotes on the craft and creation of comics. At the Con, I was psyched to be able to personally thank a number of these influences.
I've been listening to the interviews of John Siuntres' WORD BALLOON Podcast for years now. Even when I am unfamiliar with the work of the guest, they never fail to reveal the humanity behind a creation and the nuts and bolts of getting it done.
While Stan Lee may be the literary godhead of modern superhero comics, Jim Steranko is one of the medium's greatest visual linguists. Beyond his cool surface style, he created a language for the medium that isn't mere cinematic storyboarding. In person, he evokes every bit of the escape artist, secret agent, cool-coiffed guy of his work. His flattering two-word (and a shoulder slap) review of my work: "It Moves."
Thanks too to CB Cebulski who has scoured the globe shepherding new talent and was still up for a quick hello at the tail end of a long Con weekend. And, RM Guera, artist of Scalped, whose advice needs a whole blog post dedicated to it.
I cannot stress how fortunate we were to meet the guys at Archaia when we did. Editor-in-chief Stephen Christy said in our panel that at every Con there is one property they want to sign on the spot. In 2008, that was us.
Now, as part of the family, I am in awe of the directions they are growing in. They are simultaneously enlivening major franchises like those of the Rodenberry and Henson universes while founder Mark Smylie also continued to meet with new talent for hours in their snazzy booth lounge.
They publish an out-of-the-box classic modern fairy tale like THE RETURN OF THE DAPPER MEN while also pushing the boundaries of genre fiction with work like horror books MOON LAKE and THE AWAKENING, or sci-fi like CRITICAL MILLENNIUM. Stephen said (I'm paraphrasing here) that their goal is to publish books that are events in themselves, artifacts that are crafted to justify their purchase. And, the energy, talent, and good will of their creators and production team were in full effect for the duration of the Con.
Tomorrow, FEEDING GROUND #1.
Wednesday, October 6, 2010
It has come full circle. We initially pitched FEEDING GROUND at NY Comic Con in 2008 and now we return as first-time creators. Swift, Chris, and I will be on display at the Archaia booth where they will be selling advance copies of FEEDING GROUND #1.
In addition, we'll be talking up the book at one of their panels. Archaia has a swanky reading room of a booth and an impressive and expanding line of books and creators. Check out the info below.
Saturday, Oct. 9, 10:45-11:45am
ARCHAIA ALL ACCESS
Get updates, previews and new information on current and upcoming core Archaia titles as the publisher spotlights: AWAKENING VOL. 2 with artist Alex Eckman-Lawn; CRITICAL MILLENNIUM with writer Andrew E. C. Gaska and artist Daniel Dussault; FEEDING GROUND with creators Swifty Lang, Michael Lapinski and Christopher Mangun; and THE GOD MACHINE with creator Chandra Free! Moderated by Archaia editor-in-chief Stephen Christy. Panel Room 7 (1A22)
Signing Times at the Archaia Booth (Booth #2031)
FRI OCT 8th
Featured Table 3PM - 4PM
Signing Table 5PM - 7PM
SAT OCT 9th
Signing Table 12PM - 3PM
SUN OCT 10th
Featured Table 2PM - 5PM
Come find us and you can also pick up CON-Exclusive T-Shirts (based on the cover to Issue 3)!
Our short comic FROZEN DARK is also included in the Horror Anthology DON'T LOOK!, also making it's debut at the con. Check out the genuinely chilling cover art by painter David "hubba hubba" Palumbo.