Friday, April 30, 2010

Free Comic/Sketch offer!!

Follow Up Friday – FCBD

Who’s ready for one of the best days of the year? I am! That day is Free Comic Book Day and it takes place this Saturday at your local comic retailer, will you be there?

Source Comics & Games…

This Saturday I will be at the BEST Comic Book Direct retailer in Minnesota! The doors at Source Comics & Games at 10am. Come on by and pick up your share of the thousands of comics that will be handed out for free to fans! I’ll be there doing sketches for just $5, talking with fans and I’ll have original art for sale.

Also as part of Free Comic Book Day my production company will be making available, to all interested, the opportunity to get a FREE Digital copy of BRETHREN: Beginnings. It will be available exclusively through Saturday and Sunday. Follow me on twitter or just be sure to visit Saturday morning for all the info.

You Can’t Make it…

In the case that you aren’t able to make it to the show, but you wish to get a $5 sketch, you are able to order them Saturday and Sunday via

Sketches are $5 per Character, It can be ANY fictional character you want, and ALL Sketches ordered now through Sunday will be complete & in the mail by next Friday, May 7th 2010.

Just click the link below and send in your order.

How many characters

You all have a great weekend! See you next week!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Stephen Lindsay Interviewed!

Stephen Lindsay writes 10,000 comics a month. Best known for his Jesus Hates Zombies series from Alterna, he is the kinda guy who gets things done, with style. Richard Caldwell has enjoyed Stephen's comics for a long time, so this interview was a kick in the pants. Read it.

Stephen, thanks for sharing your notes with the readers. I understand that you dabbled in movie making before. With your having hit so many different genres in comics, did any of the books or characters begin life intended originally for film? Or are your creations medium-specific?

I have a comic in the works called Being Super which is about a support group for over the hill heroes (and one reformed villain) who are losing their powers or just don't feel very super anymore. That one started out as a short film of the same name that I made for a national competition called The 48 Hour Film Challenge. Truth be told, the film, while a TON of fun to make, kinda sucked. That's just the nature of only having 48 hours to write, direct, edit, score and finalize an 8-11 minute film! But taking it into the comics medium has allowed me to really play with the characters more.
Other than that, the comic characters have pretty much stayed separate from the film characters, and I think the main reason is that independent filmmaking is very, very limiting. You're constantly held in check by budgetary constraints. So something may seem really cool when you're writing a screenplay, but if you plan to make that film yourself, you're always thinking "I'll never be able to afford this, or to even find a creative (and cheap) way around it. So I guess I'd better scrap it." And eventually that thinking becomes so ingrained that those cooler elements don't even make it into your scripts. Comics, on the other hand, are limited only by your imagination. You can do ANYTHING! As a writer, it's very freeing, and you still get that rush of seeing your creation come to life. Only instead of actors breathing that life into your characters, it's an artist doing it. I love that!

What was your first published comic book work? And what were the circumstances that led up to it?

My first published work was the anthology Jesus Hates Zombies: Those Slack-Jaw Blues.

I was originally doing a serious zombie survival drama called After the Rising which had started life as a screenplay, then an abandoned novel. Once I decided I wanted to make comics, I began taking what I'd written as a novel and adapting it for comics. But about mid-way through the first script I discovered The Walking Dead and realized that zombie survival drama comics had hit their peak- it just doesn't get better than The Walking Dead. So I decided I better switch gears.
Looking over the zombie comics at the time, none of them had really gone the comedy route. Most were gore-fests with little else going on. So I knew I wanted to make mine a comedy. And being a fan of old B Movies, the first thing I wanted to come up with was a really killer B Movie title. That's when Jesus Hates Zombies popped into my head. It literally made me laugh out loud, but I didn't know if it would end up being a one-note joke. So I started writing it and realized it had some legs. The only problem was, when you're a nobody writer who can't afford to pay page rates, getting an artist on board for a full book is really, really hard. BUT, if you can find talented artists who are hungry to get their work shown, convincing them to do a five page story ISN'T as hard. So that's what I did. I networked online on a site called telling every artist who would listen about this anthology I was putting together. And to my surprise, a bunch of them were into it! So the stories were being written, the artists were sending me pages, and it was awesome! That was such an exciting, creative time! Every day felt like Christmas when I would check my email and find new pages pouring in from artists all over the world!! That was when I started my daily regiment of heavy online promotions. I went onto as many comics, horror, and zombie-related bulletin boards as I could find and talked up the book. And it was working! People were into it! At that point I was planning on self-publishing the thing by taking pre-orders and paying for the printing with them. And I did that for the first fifty books. It was at that point that I started talking to Alterna Comics. They were into the book, but a little apprehensive at first. It didn't take long for them to just say "To hell with it! Let's see how this thing does if we put it out!" And the rest, as they say, it history.
Long story short, I hit comicspace at the right time with a catchy idea that a lot of really talented artists
were into...I got lucky as hell!

And that has lead you to more Jesus Hates Zombies stories, as well as other collaborations with those collaborators. With so many projects going at once, do you see an end to your Jesus Hates Zombies series? And has there really been that much negativity thrown at you because of the content?

The 'Zombie' portion of Jesus Hates Zombies is coming to an end with the publication of Volume 4 in May. But that doesn't mean that the adventures of Jesus and Lincoln won't be continuing on! And, to be honest, I haven't really caught any flak over the series. I think the reason is that I'm still indie enough to fly below the radar of any groups that would get a real hate on for the books. So I've dodged that bullet thus far. Not that I wouldn't mind a little controversy or a nice theological discussion about the books! Hell, I was an altar boy for several years back in my Catholic School days! I can dish the religious with the best of 'em!

Oh, I was raised so Roman Catholic we only attended Latin masses until I was in my early teens or so. So I can relate. But thankfully folks have been giving you a chance, at least enough for you to have all of these other books in effect. The webcomics you host at your site alone- where do you find the time? Has it gotten easier for you to wear so many hats, or is there still a struggle, in getting your work out there and finding audiences for it?

The popularity of Jesus Hates Zombies has definitely made it easier to find an audience for my other work. But along with that comes an obligation to make that work the highest quality I can. Getting people to check something out is one thing. Getting them to stick with it is another thing entirely! Personally, I think I do my best work when I've got several projects going at once. It helps all of them feel fresh. If I was only working on one book, I think I'd get bored with it. But when I've got several books and three webcomics going at the same time, it's much easier for me to stay interested in all of them! And I've gotten better over the last few years of knowing when I've hit my limit. If I take on too many projects at once, then the work can suffer. So there's a balance to it. When I hit that sweet number of projects to juggle, that's when things really click!

You have collaborated the most with artists Lauren Monardo and Daniel Thollin, each on JHZ as well as The Slightly Askew Adventures Of Inspector Ham And Eggs with Lauren, and Happy Panda Funtime Show and Vaempir Testament with Daniel. In your experience, is there a fine line between business arrangement and all-out creative alliance? And as an experienced creator, do you prefer now these longer-term collaborations, or does it rely entirely on the individual?

I think you go into each project hoping for an all-out creative alliance. But sometimes it just doesn't progress beyond being a business arrangement. I've been very lucky to work with such amazingly talented people like Lauren and Daniel, and now also Jim McMunn and Dave Myers.
What happens when, as a writer, you click with an artist is that aside from simply the joy you get from working with them, a very high degree of trust evolves. And when that trust is a two way street, then the all-out creative alliance is formed. So when I'm writing something for Lauren, Daniel, Jim or Dave, I know they're going to totally get what I'm trying to do. I know that they're going to send me back work that exceeds the meager words I've put down on the page. I never have to worry about whether they're going to 'get it'. And I think, conversely, they know that I'm going to write to their strengths and that I have complete faith that they're going to do what best serves the story. I'm not the type of writer who insists 100% that an artist follows my panel layouts or scene descriptions. If the artist feels that a page would be better served with five panels instead of seven and they can combine a few to make it flow better, I'm all for it! But the freedom for them to do that and to know that I'm going to be totally cool with it comes from that built up trust. And when you've got it between you...making comics can be one of the most fun experiences on the planet!

Nowadays, small press and indie writers really do need to multi-task, like producers. You yourself have done a bit of lettering and packaging. Were these things that were difficult for you to get into, or does it just add to the overall fun, the immersion into the work?

Getting into the lettering was actually fairly easy. I love having that final pass at the writing that lettering affords me. And, I often tweak dialogue based on the art. So yeah, it definitely adds to the fun and immersion into the work. The other things, like packaging and logo creation come from the fact that I'm a graphic designer by day. So again, it was a fairly easy thing for me to get into.

You actually designed and maintain your own proper website as well, right?

Yes. I'm not exactly a whiz when it comes to the back-end workings of web development, but I do know HTML and would rather have that level of control over my sites than to use a template or a service. It just allows me to do whatever I want to do without any constraints.

So how do you kill your free time? What beyond funny books interests you?

Free time? What the hell is that! Aside for working and comics, I'm married and I have two kids. So the time not spent working in one form or another is usually spent with my family. But I'm also a total movie buff. I love all manner of flicks, so I'll watch just about anything. And I read as much as I can, too. Oh, and I'm also working on my first novel which will be published in Spain sometime next year (hopefully it'll be published in the US at some point as well).

Congratulations on the novel! What other projects do you have coming up, other than the aforementioned webcomics in progress?

Jim McMunn and I have the first issue of a 4 issue mini series coming out in May called "The Devil's Trail". It's a supernatural Western and new publisher Creators Edge is putting it out. Dave Myers and I (along with colorist Freddy Lopez) are currently shopping around an all-ages book called "Warriors of the Dharuk". That one is along the lines of a Mice Templar or Mouse Guard, and it's about a young koala who's a warrior in training that ends up in the midst of a fight to save his entire clan. I'm also working on a horror book with artist Michael Montenat called "The Tipper Ripper". It's a fairly psychotic book that's loads of fun!

The Devil's Trail especially sounds like a boatload of fun. Any final words you'd like to share, before I let you jump back ever so eagerly into the salt mines- for readers or fellow creators?

For fellow creators, just keep doing what you're doing! With the wave of digital comics growing bigger and bigger, it's a terrific time for all of us to carve out our niche. There's plenty of room on the shelves, the internet, mobile devices and in whatever comes along next for all of us. It's not about competing, it's about community. We can all grow as storytellers if we all stick together!

And for the readers, you've all got my most heartfelt thanks. Without you, I wouldn't be realizing a dream by doing th

Follow Stephen's work on comicspace, facebook, myspace, and twitter, but especially via his own website, captions and balloons.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Interview with Brian Clevinger and Scott Wegener!

Atomic-Robo is a very original series from Red5 Comics, co-created by writer Brian Clevinger and artist Scott Wegener. Nominated for awards, and with talk of movies and toys, Atomic-Robo is one smart and cool comic book with a bright future. As their fourth mini draws to a close, Richard Caldwell was fortunate enough to stage a hostage negotiation with Scott and Brian...

Guys, thanks for taking the time to share with the readers like so. Let's begin with a little background info on each of you. Were you both really rocketed here as infants from dying planets?

Scott- I applied for the position of Superman, but when I told them that capes were just not fashionable
anymore and blue-red-yellow was an offensive color combination, they turned me down. So rather than Krypton, I'm from New York City.

Brian- I emerged fully formed from the Nexus Of All Realities in the swamps of Florida, exactly where you'd expect to find it. Later, I was bitten by a radioactive writer.

And what sort of creative lives were you leading before the dawning of Atomic-Robo? And where exactly did Atomic-Robo come from? Has he been with you for awhile?

S- Atomic Robo is actually one of the first creative-type jobs I've ever had. I've always been doodling and sketching and drawing for my own enjoyment. Brian and Robo just happened to come along at a period
in my life when I was looking to do something completely different. I had a couple of options at the time, but drawing was the only thing that I could do that I absolutely loved.
When Brian first approached me with the concept for Robo I was instantly hooked. With Brian's help, we rolled a lot of the ideas I was messing around with on my own into Atomic Robo, and the end result is the comic book we've got now.

Brian, as the initial idea originated with you, is science something you are passionate about? I mean, the stories are all very clearly science fiction/adventure, but there have been more than a couple of soliloquies along the way, that makes one wonder at the research that goes into a work like this.

B- Yeah. When I was growing up, all the kids I knew were into sports. They'd watch games, collect cards, etc. But I was watching Nova and Cosmos and obsessively scouring astronomy books from the library. Other kids looked up to Dan Marino, but my hero was Carl Sagan. It's no coincidence he's popped up more often than any other guest star.
So, yeah, I developed a respect for the practice of science over the years. Its development is probably the greatest single achievement in history if only because so many other contenders for that title came about through scientific inquiry, however informal.
And a tremendous amount of research can go into these comics. A ridiculous amount really. It's doubly ridiculous when you consider how little of it actually gets into the final product. I looked into about thirty years of Sentai teams during the production of Volume 4, Issue 2 because it involves a parody of one. I researched the history of cartography just to make a throwaway joke about longitude inside another joke in Volume 3, Issue 4. There's one or more moments like that in nearly every issue.
The funny thing is, I've been accused of writing scripts that show off all this research I've done. I spent a week figuring out a timeline of Nazi advances into the islands of the English Channel, their strategic value to both sides, attempts to fortify and retake them, the fate of the civilians there under Nazi rule, etc. Do you know how much of that made it into the comic book? The year and name of the island in Volume 2, Issue 5. Information people probably forget a page later. That's showing off? A simple date and place tucked into the corner of a panel, as you would do in any comic book when making a big jump through time and space, is seen as this huge effort to draw attention to how smart I think I am? Moron.
Don't even get me started on the research Scott conducts for the architecture, fashions, advertising, vehicles, and technology of the times and places we're always jumping around to.

People, or most people anyway, deserve to be intimidated by intelligence. There is nothing wrong that can possibly come from that.
I'm finding though, in reading up for this dialogue, that you both actually have a heckuva diehard following. I know you have each been able to slide in side
projects too; Brian with an array of webcomics and Scott with Image's Killer Of Demons. As you are rising stars, is it becoming at all difficult to balance the storytelling with "real life"? Do you live and breathe this stuff or what?

B- I have the unhealthy habit of focusing on my work to the exclusion of everything else in life. So, that helps.

S- I'd say yes, we do hyper-focus on making comics. Not exactly because we want to, but because that's the only way to make a living doing what we do. I was told once that comics are not a job. They are a lifestyle, and it's true. Work is constantly intruding on family life. I find I have to be very deliberate in saying, "These days and these times are for family and I
am not allowed to work."
It doesn't help that I love what we do, so I'm constantly trying to sneak off and draw.
If making comic books was absolutely not an option in any way, shape, or form, what would you be doing with your time and your lives instead?

B- I don't even know. I'll cheat and say, "Go back to webcomics."

S- I'd be living a life of quiet desperation. Kind of like I was before I started drawing comics.
I guess like too many people, I'd have a job to pay the bills and put food on the table, and then what little free time I had would be channeled into something creatively fulfilling; cooking, sculpture, music. The things I used to do, I guess. The only downside (if you can really call it that) to working for myself, on Robo and other books, is that it consumes all the time I used to put into other things. But I don't mind at all.

So what's the technical process of your collaboration like? Do you plot together, or does Brian just write too far ahead? And what tools are your favorites right now, Scott?

B- It's hard to say. But basically we'll talk about the kind of storyline we want to do, or about a specific historic event we want to wrap a story around. Then we'll figure out the major beats to hang issues on. Then I get to writing the scripts.
When Scott gets them he puts his own spin on them, which is just as well because I'm more concerned with the gags and narrative than what the page will actually look like or how it'll work. So, lots of times, he'll have to change things around to make what's in the script work in pictures. As Scott finishes his pages, I go back to the script and make changes to better accommodate his changes so everything flows naturally.
And throughout the entire production process, we're sitting around on AIM bitching at one another about the changes we have to make to each other's work so the pages make sense.

S- Yeah that sums it up nicely. I can't really add anything to that.
As far as my tools go, I keep it pretty simple. I've got a fist full of mechanical pencils (the "clicky" kind), with .03 through .09 leads, and one loaded with blue lead. I don't even ink my work anymore. I just do really tight pencils.

That's shocking, on the pencils. And I'm sure you gripe at each other only because you care, really. What's been the craziest thing yet to come from the overall Atomic-Robo experience? Convention groupies? Mark Millar begging to direct the film?

S- We gripe at each other because we're jerks. Haha.
Yes, we both do care, an awful lot. It probably seems silly, especially with a book as lighthearted as Robo, to put that much effort into research, or getting a line of dialogue just right, etc. But we both want to make the best book that we possibly can, and whether that book is about deep interpersonal relationships, expressing a political agenda, or just about a Robo who punches things, if it's not as good as we can possibly make it then I'd feel like we were cheating people.
Are my pencils shocking? I just hate inking. It's as simple as that. I want things to be light and have bounce on the page, and most of the time, when you ink over pencils, things get stiffer. I'm very restricted in what I can and cannot do because it's no longer inked. But so far I'm very happy with the results.
What's the craziest thing to come from the Robo experience so far? Hmm, that's a hard one. I wish I could say it was the movie that almost got made- but that was more like a giant pain in the ass that left us shattered and discouraged.
I'd have to say it's the fans and what they do with Atomic Robo. The art, the emails, the guy who made a life-size Atomic Robo costume. Right now there are three animation studios working on Atomic Robo short films- not because anyone's going to make money off of it, but because they love Robo and want to show people that they love him. A big check from Hollywood would be great, but nothing can ever be as gratifying as these people who get involved just for the love of it.
I could tell you about the time Brian and I had to parachute to safety from the top of the Seattle Space Needle to escape a horde of lunatic fans. But that's not really what you want to hear about...
So what does the future look like from where you both are sitting?

S- Oh you know. Multi-million dollar movie, television, and video game options. Living a life of luxury. The usual stuff.
Realistically? It's hard to plan more than a few months ahead. I'd like to see the book increase in popularity so that we can focus on Atomic Robo to the exclusion of everything else. Comic books are a tricky market though. Who can say if that will ever happen.
We've got another eight or nine mini-series plotted out or in rough-outline form. It's at the point now that it will take us several years to tell the stories we have lined up, and that assumes we don't keep adding to the list!

Excellent. And Brian- any closing thoughts or parting shots?

B- Please buy Atomic Robo. I need new shoes. Not even kidding.

Learn more (and buy the books) at

To see more of Brian's work, check out his website here, and his twitter here.

To see more of Scott's work, check out his website here, and his twitter here.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Special Offer & Request for Help

Hey Everyone,

I need to come up with some funds for a project, so I am offering this HUGE deal if you are interested:

Special offer: CUSTOM FULL COLOR Illustrations Printed on heavy Card Stock- $50/per character –

Do you have a favorite Fictional/Fantasy Character? Comic book Character? Or perhaps you wanted to see a loved one Illustrated as one of their favorite characters - Place your order & I will mail out to you (at no extra charge) a full color 11x17inch print of whatever you order.

Pass the Word, tell EVERYONE. If 5 people order custom prints based on your referral, you get an order for FREE!! Offer only good through April 15th 2010.

If you would like to see my art, and what I have created for others in the past, you can either look at or in my art folder here:


Anthony Hary

Here are some custom prints I have done in the past: