Thursday, December 29, 2011
Thursday, December 15, 2011
December 7th, 2011 – A.N.A Comics Announcements Continued!!
It’s the seventh and I like the number 7 so I thought it’s a good time for another announcement. – A.N.A Comics is restructuring and becoming an LLC in 2012! Thus far A.N.A Comics has worked as a name plate & virtual studio for a few specific private studios and the plan from day one was to reevaluate where we would go in 2012 after form...ing in 2009. Now 3 years later and that time is here! We have an amazing group associated with A.N.A Comics and its going to be exciting to grow our brand with the new strength of being a registered Limited Liability Company.
The inner workings of the company are not completely worked out and so I can’t fully share those yet, but I can tell you this: We Moving Forward!!! A.N.A Comics will remain consistent in its effort to focus on story first as an All Ages company. Since 2009 A.N.A Comics has enjoyed modest success in the books we’ve printed, and a very positive reaction to the web-comics we host for free on anacomics.com. Our plan is to build on that. No back stepping here. The digital side of A.N.A Comics will continue to grow in 2012 built upon the shoulders of our current active web-comics: Death At Your Door & Miss Ultimate!! Plans are also in the works for the concluding season of The Precarious Adventures of Newton Von Brisby to release next year, which is very exciting!! Along with those properties we have some projects in the works, including Anthony Hary’s Robin Hood, that will be joining them in 2012 and we look forward to sharing those with you when the time comes.
That’s not all, because along with our growing web-comic initiative we are expanding our printing efforts. A.N.A Comics has teamed with ICG Publishing for printing and direct distribution to retailers. We are not looking to use Diamond at this point but instead hope to strengthen both our business and the market as a whole by developing stronger personal relationships with Retailers. Our printing effort is not just becoming more active, but it is also growing.
Four titles we are excited to confirm as the initial four pillars in our publishing efforts are: The Midnight Raider, BRETHREN, Dire Capital, and CRIMSON MASQUERADE. Four unique universes, four unique experiences, all of which are currently in development at A.N.A Comics along with other individual titles and creator owned properties. But that is not all! A.N.A Comics is proudly teaming with Raven Entertainment Studio to bring select titles into the A.N.A Comics fold. Current A.N.A Comics Editor in Chief Anthony Hary will also be serving as EIC for these Raven Entertainment Studios properties.
Lastly, we announced a couple days ago about our “mentorship” program. The next announcement will give greater detail about that program and the third A.N.A Comics initiative to Build the Industry from the Inside out.
December 15th, 2011 – A.N.A Comics Announcements Continued!!!
From the beginning the mentality at A.N.A Comics has been “Make It Happen!!!” – meaning no one is going to do it for us. WE have to put in the time and hard work to make our goals and dreams the reality we enjoy every day!
So far this month we have announced that A.N.A Comics has teamed with ICG Publishing. We’ve talked about the planned growth of A.N.A Comics as an LLC and our publishing plans in both the digital and physical markets. While discussing all of those we touched on how all of these efforts stem from the foundational elements of what makes A.N.A Comics uniquely its own. Today we will touch on the third pillar of the foundation of A.N.A Comics. The ideal that started this venture from day one, in which A.N.A Comics was formed, to be a resource and a supportive element within the industry to help other aspiring creators grow, and get their work out in front of the world and all the while helping them become the best storytellers they can be. Let’s talk about the A.N.A Comics Studio Creator Program!
Since our inception in 2009 A.N.A Comics has worked to provide opportunities for creators to showcase what they do and really shine in front of an audience. In 2010 A.N.A Comics released WE’RE INDY: RISE OF THE INDEPENDENTS – an anthology featuring 11 different properties from independent creators from all over the world. In 2011 we released the A.N.A Comics Swimsuit Special benefiting the fight against Breast Cancer. This book also contained art from independent artists from across the industry who donated their talent and original characters to this Swimsuit Special, and we can’t express how proud we are to have so many great creators who were willing to support that book. Along with those publishing efforts A.N.A Comics has regularly performed “Sketch Challenges” online, originally on anacomics.com forum, and now its moved to the ANACOMICS facebook group page. This friendly competition isn’t about winning or being better than the other participants. It is all about pushing one’s self to meet the challenge and to have fun doing it! As we move into 2012 and this new phase of A.N.A Comics it feels like the right time to do something new, something to hopefully be a full step forward for those ourselves and the creators who work with us.
A.N.A COMICS STUDIO CREATOR PROGRAM – This is an invitation only program. This must be stated from the start so we are on the same page. A.N.A Comics will, for the time being, no longer be reviewing submissions. Rather we are taking a more proactive approach. Instead of following the typical model of waiting to see what comes to us, A.N.A Comics is making decisive plans on where we want to go, and will be actively seeking out individuals who will compliment those plans. These “STUDIO CREATORS” will receive input, critiques, and assistance in growing in their craft whether that be writer, artist, colorist, designer, or letterer, A.N.A Comics will be working with them to help them become the creator and storyteller they want to be. Members of the STUDIO CREATOR PROGRAM will also be featured on A.N.A Comics new website. The site will share a photo, short bio, and a sampling of their finest work, which A.N.A Comics will use to help these creators secure work within the industry. Meaning if someone comes in contact with us and they are in need of a service that we know one of our members can provide, we will advocate on the members behalf and help the two parties connect. Accepting the work will be at the creator’s discretion. As announce previously, A.N.A Comics will continue to print, and publish our own properties. With this in mind, our STUDIO CREATORS will have the ability to accept or decline project opportunities before they will be offered to anyone else.
More than anything A.N.A Comics believes there is a success in being united, being proactive, and being committed to the accomplishment of a common goal. At A.N.A Comics that goal is to produce the best All Ages stories we can, Period. Everyone at A.N.A Comics is committed to that goal, and will pursue it in a united and proactive fashion, all the while pushing ourselves and our studio mates to grow and become better and better in our craft.
Our final December Announcement will post soon, and we will discuss further the A.N.A Comics initiative towards ALL AGES Comics. What does that mean? What is ALL AGES according to A.N.A Comics? Look for that before the end of the year, along with some last minute treats.
Thanks for Reading!
Monday, November 7, 2011
While there, A.N.A Comics EIC: Anthony Hary was part of a panel regarding croud funding. Here is a recording of the panel for your viewing pleasure.
We would like to note the numbers shared and statistics are those the panel participants were aware of at the time of their research, we would encourage you to do your own research to know what the specifics are before going out on any venture you may be considering.
Thursday, October 6, 2011
Don’t miss out on this exciting mini-series of mystery, intrigue, and excitement as we follow Reid Liston, watching as he learns the secrets of his family’s past and faces the threat, not just to his future, but to his very life.
You can Donate today & just $10 subscribes you to receive ALL 4 issues of THE MIDNIGHT RAIDER! As they are release, they will be mailed directly to you at no additional charge. Act now, only days remain on this offer!!
Thursday, September 29, 2011
I am currently working as Penciller for an upcoming comic book mini-series - THE MIDNIGHT RAIDER. The creative team has been running a fund raising campaign for the last couple months that will soon be coming to an end. A couple generous people were willing to donate, but with only 16 days left, we're hoping to find a few more to help support the project and get some awesome incentives for themselves in the process.
If you still want to get in on The Midnight Raider and learn how you can recieve the full 4 issue mini-series for FREE, the best way to do it is to donate here: http://www.indiegogo.com/MIDNIGHT-RAIDER-COMIC-BOOK
Just a minimum $10 donation and you get the Exclusive Full Color special Edition of issue 1, which feature 24 pages of story & an additional 16 pages of content including art and information that will not be reprinted anywhere again. ON TOP of what ever incentives package you choose, ALL that donate, in any amount, will recieve the following 3 issues as they print for FREE! We'll mail them, signed, right to your door!
By Donating, you're helping us bring this story to our audience, and also ensuring that you wont miss a single exciting moment! Dont miss out, only 16 days remain to donate.
Tuesday, September 13, 2011
There is still opportunity out there -
The great guys over at 215 Ink has open submissions for an Anthology going on right now, take a look: http://t.co/IUy6KeR
Dont miss out on this!
Sunday, July 31, 2011
I have one tattoo and have a whole list of other tattoos I would get but decided instead I would put them on Tshirts eventually, that way I can wear the design but not be stuck with it forever.
Saturday, July 30, 2011
Wednesday, July 20, 2011
Monday, February 28, 2011
I gotta say I don’t know just one celebrity I would like to meet. I have actually had the chance to interact with many of the people I would actually like to talk to. My focus now days is so focused on trying to get to the next level of my career as an artist/storyteller that I really just want to talk to or associate with people who are either where I want to be or also going where I want to go. That may be lame, but I really don’t know who I’d want to meet.
Thursday, February 24, 2011
This seems like as good a day as any to revisit that question. Even more so in the wake of the news we have to share with you. I will do my best to keep this explanation clear and to the point.
A.N.A. Comics is a collective, similar in a way to how Image Central works. A.N.A. Comics does not own any intellectual properties and works as an umbrella that creators can utilize to produce their work, whether that be in traditional print comics, or in a digital format. Our goal is to help other creators grow and achieve the goals they have for themselves in this industry. We do not hire or pay creators for their work because we do not hire creators to work for us, we find creators who wish to work WITH us. A.N.A. Comics does offer backend percentage compensation on many projects, and each project has a written contract involved to make sure all roles and responsibilities are clear.
At the end of the day A.N.A. Comics is in the business of comics, and helping to make the industry better, fuller, and as rich as all other entertainment industries. We are interested in working with and collaborating with others who feel the same way.
Today is a big, and by big I actually mean BIG day for A.N.A. Comics. We opened our perverbial doors in May of 2009 with a partner in Washington DC, Michigan, and Minnesota. As of today we can officially claim to be international with a new partner coming on board from Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada: Rod Salm.
Rod Salm is a Graphic Designer by trade, and has had a great run so far with his web-comic “Death At Your Door”. I had the privilege to meet Rod when we were both guests at the Central Canada Comic Con (C4) 2010. Like the other partners in A.N.A. Comics, Rod is a family man with a lovely wife and kids, who I also had the chance to meet. He does this because he loves it and we are so excited to have Rod on board to bring that enthusiasm and drive with him to A.N.A. Comics.
Rod will be acting in the capacity of Publisher for A.N.A. Comics, and you can also read his web-comic by hitting up the web-comics section on http://anacomics.com .
Please visit anacomics.com for all our current project info, event news, and join The BOARD. Thanks for reading!
Friday, February 11, 2011
Here is the press release & banner link:
Death is at your door, he brought pizza. We suggest you tip well.
Introducing a new weekly web comic about Death trying to live a life. Absurdity ensues as Death’s roommates come to terms with having the grimmest of reapers sharing their home and learning what life has to offer.
Launched in May of 2010 Death At Your Door is already receiving attention from the online comic community for its whimsical look at Death living. Death moves in with reluctant siblings Lisa and her twin brother Carl, and the house’s bulldog, the ever-loving Zeus. In a complex pact that involves feta and anchovy pizza deliveries, Life grants Death physical form to “try out this living business”. Death gets advice from none other than Life itself, though Life may always have an answer, it turns out that he may not be the best coach on what it takes to succeed at that “life” thing.
“If absurdity is the pillar of comedy, then the premise of Death at your Door is delightfully absurd.” as reviewed by www.saltandbattery.org
Death At Your Door is available free of charge at www.deathatyourdoor.com every week and is available in a high res print version for university and college newspapers.
Web Comics: A New Method for Independent Cartoonists
Web comics are a growing independent method of developing, producing and delivering comics, online and free to all people. Skirting the traditional syndication model of distribution of comics, web comics rely on a small but dedicated fan base for success. Keys to success in this bootstrapping business is a willingness to learn and do everything yourself, including all writing, drawing, promotions, coding, deliveries, and sales.
Background of the Creator
Rod Salm (www.rodsalm.com), the writer and illustrator of Death At Your Door, is based in Winnipeg, Manitoba and has been a graphic designer/marketing coordinator with several large national and international companies for over last fifteen years. Having attended the Fine Arts program at University of Manitoba, Rod’s professional development have centered on his career as a graphic artist, while his artistic development spans hosting drawing classes, to illustrating children’s books such as Quintopus and the White Cows That Swim, to working with local artists, such as James Culleton and John Scoles in monetizing their own creative endeavors. Rod’s many interests serve him well in the multi-skill environment of bootstrap web comic development including illustration, writing, coding, print promotions, printing, Google and Facebook advertising and marketing.
The other night I was inking the cover for Nicholas P. Myers Year one collection of The Preciarious Adventures of Newton Von Brisby and I like to have great back ground noise while I work. My studio is right off from the family room, can you hear what the kids were watching while I worked?
Thursday, February 3, 2011
A.N.A. Comics 2011 Breast Cancer Charity Swimsuit book UPDATE
Do you have a property you would like to get more exposure? A.N.A. Comics is publishing a swimsuit comic book whose profits will be donated to benefit Breast Cancer Research.
We are happy to announce we are opening the doors for a select few creators to donate their creator owned character to the book.
Here are the details:
A.N.A. Comics 2011 Breast Cancer Swimsuit comic book
Room for 10 Creator Owned Illustrations – submissions due AUGUST 31st 2011
Book will be printed in Color – If you want your illustration printed in color, YOU have to color it.
Cost for having your Character included: $0.00
All Illustrations must be approved to be included (No Nudity, Extreme Graphic violence or language)
Release Authorization must be submitted and signed by Intellectual Property Owners to have story included.
Approved submission entries have to be turned in to A.N.A. Comics, formatted and ready for printing by AUGUST 31ST 2011
- The Format specifications can be found here:
Email submissions to : email@example.com
Book is scheduled to be available through Indyplanet.com by October 2011.
Ad space is available for $15/half page or $25/full page Advertisement.
Release Authorization – A.N.A COMICS (must fill out completely)
Name of your Character: ______________________________
Intellectual property Owners name/s: ________________________________________
Signing this Release I recognize and Authorize the follow terms:
- I am the owner of the above listed Character/Property
- I Authorize A.N.A. Comics to print my Character Illustration in the 2011 issue of A.N.A. Comics Swimsuit issue, alongside other independent properties.
- I understand by signing this release I am in NO way assigning rights or agreeing to share IP copyright or trademark ownership & I retain full ownership of my property and the ability to reprint my Illustration in any other format I should chose.
- I understand A.N.A. Comics is not obligated to compensate me in anyway.
- I understand I will be able to order copies of the publication for my own personal use, sales, or private distribution for 5% over cost through A.N.A. Comics (aprox: $10.00per book)
- I authorize A.N.A. Comics to utilize my Illustration to publicize the publication provided that all due credit will be listed clearly for myself as owner.
- I understand that A.N.A. Comics will be printing, promoting and distributing copies of this publication online, at comic conventions, art shows, in comic book direct market shops.
- I agree and understand that I can in no way sue for monetary compensation or seek legal action against A.N.A. Comics as I entered this project of my own discretion.
Name of Copyright owner: __________________________________________________
-fill out below info for credits area inside the publication-
Name: _______________________________________ Date:_______________________
Name: _______________________________________ Date:_______________________
Name: _______________________________________ Date:_______________________
City/State: ______________________________________ Zip Code: _________________
Saturday, January 1, 2011
Here he speaks with Richard Caldwell about Doctor Who, Sherlock Holmes, and ruining the minds of today's youth from the land of Wormtown.
Bret, are you a New Englander by fate, or by design?
By fate I suppose. Yes! Definitely by fate. Every Winter I seem to go through the same cycle. Why do I stay here? And then Spring and Summer roll around and I am reminded why. You don't get a Spring and Summer the way you do in New England.
Were you an avid comics reader in your youth, or did that come later, with your art training? What books and names first drew you into the medium?
I really got into comics around Jr. High School. I was enthralled by a friend's collection of comics. That really got me into it. I think the first comic I owned was a collected edition of THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS. That was probably my first proper comic I owned. I got that one and my brother got THE KILLING JOKE. I still own his copy of that. From there I really got into Batman, Spider-Man and X-Men. It was shortly after High School I started to get into Cerebus and then Strangers in Paradise. That was really my first introduction into indie comics.
And when did you first feel the need to embark on your thus far prolific career as a graphic novelist? Did that evolve from your teaching?
High School actually. I think I tried to create a graphic novel in High School. I was more enthralled with the format over the standard comic book. Especially since you could tell more of a story via a graphic novel. But I really didn't have the discipline to create one until I started teaching a friend Andy Fish invited me to do short stories for his anthology. Accomplishing a five to eight page story made me want to go from there which eventually lead to me doing DIARY OF THE BLACK WIDOW.
I know one of your stories began life as a playscript. Was it ever performed? I actually recall reading an interview with legendary comic book letterer Tom Orzechowski, where he suggested that new comic scribes should study stageplays in order to properly craft scenes. Do you find similarities in the structure, by your process?
Diary of the Black Widow was originally written as a performance piece. I had written to submit to First Night Worcester's Arty Gras. The idea was the actors would be made up to look like my characters (black and white attire with white face paint and black circles around the eyes) and the set designs would be my illustrations. At the end of the performance people would be allowed to get up and interact with the play as though they had stepped into my drawings.
The idea was rejected.
But both Diary of the Black Widow and Spaghetti Strand Murder borrowed quite a bit from unperformed plays I had written. I suppose I had all this dialogue and lines going to waste. Why not give it a rebirth in the printed form.
Writing a script for comics and a play are slightly similar with the way you describe the scenes and which characters are talking. But the structure of writing a graphic novel is somewhat different where you have to break your scenes down from page to page and panel to panel.
On which project did you feel like you had really found your voice, and were hitting your stride?
As far as things I have written I would say The Spaghetti Strand Murder. I suppose if I am to choose a favorite, that one might be it. Even though I don't like re-reading my own work because I'm bound to find what I could have done better.
I've always wanted to write sketch comedy and this is the closest I've come to that. It celebrates my love for the Goon Show, Monty Python and the Marx Brothers. I think I like the fact that some people misunderstood my intentions in writing the story and thought I was writing a proper murder mystery.
And if certain reviewers want to compare it to the movie Clue or criticize it because the story is all setup with no punch line then they are right. I wasn't writing a proper murder mystery. I was writing in the tradition of Monty Python. Which, by the way, is all set up and no punchline.
And I like the movie Clue.
And another movie I like which is all setup and no punchline is Murder By Death. By a very respected playwright by the name of Neil Simon for that matter.
I used a great deal of the characters and the jokes from a play I had written called Romance with a Croquet Mallet for that story. Most of the dialogue I think was some of the best stuff I have written thus far. I think what I enjoy about the graphic novel is the fact that some reviewers got it. And others just blew right over their heads. But I suppose whenever you put your work out there, you always risk the possibility of being IN THE LINE OF FIRE as far as REVIEWS are concerned.
Has it been easier for you to win over the naysayers face to face? You swing many a store signing, but I know you are also highly active in that wonderful local Arts scene up there in Worcester. Is it possible that cult followings generally tend to build around word of mouth publicity?
I think so. I think it helps people to meet the artist or writer and not only put a face behind the work. But it's more than that. It's building a good rapport and showing the people who read your work that you appreciate the fact that they are buying your work and that they show an enthusiasm towards your work. If you don't show an appreciation towards their kindness then why should they show an appreciation in return?
Talk a little about your teaching work, because I know that's a huge part of your life. You're getting the next generation hooked on comics, right?
That's pretty much my fiendish plot to corrupt the youth of America. Ha ha!! A lot of what I do with my classes is to bring back many of the art classes I enjoyed as a youth in my own fashion. When I started out, I was doing primarily illustration classes but it was inevitable that I started doing cartooning and comic art classes. Cartooning is like riding a bicycle. You never really forget how to do it. It keeps me from getting stale with my own work to be able to do those cartooning classes. And having had books published being able to impart what I know about promoting your work to my students. Not just the technical part. But telling them not to give up and it's worth a little bit of frustration that may come along with it.
My own favorite of your books is the Adventures of Polly and Handgraves. Is there really a sequel in the works? And where did those characters come from?
I actually have a second script written. I ended up putting it on hold because I had a couple projects in the works that have taken my time. But I'm hoping to have the second Polly and Handgraves story realized at some point.
I think with Polly it came from the fact I didn't feel like there were enough female sleuths in classic literature. Apart from Miss Marple and Nancy Drew. That and it felt like the women always ended up on the other side of the "and" as far as billing went with stories like Nick and Nora or Tommy and Tuppy. With Polly I wanted her to be on the top billing. Somebody, plucky. Seemingly flighty only to prove that she is not stupid. Handgraves was very much inspired by characters like Sherlock Holmes, Jeeves and Magersfontein Lugg from the Campion series. More of the man of action than Jeeves with a past that possibly consisted of either military time or the British Secret Service before she came into the employ of Polly's family.
Well I'm sure you've heard the theories that Wodehouse secretly intended Wooster to be the illegitimate son of Holmes, and Jeeves as the bastard offspring of Moriarty, with poor efficient Jeeves there only to make up for the sins of his father. But we don't need to get into that here. You did mention a couple of other projects demanding your time now, though. Would one of those happen to be the Black Dandy collaboration with Andy Fish?
I think I remember reading something about that. It very well might have been something you mentioned to me. But I think the idea is intriguing.
Unfortunately, the Black Dandy was something both Andy and I had to put on hold for the moment because of commitments to other projects we're working on independently. At the moment I am working with Doctor Who and Brenda and Effie author Paul Magrs on illustrating a book he had written. The story is very much in the same vein as the Phantom Tollbooth Roald Dahl and John Bellair's work. Written for young adults but something an adult can read and still enjoy. Which I think are the best types of story. It's scary but scary in a fun way. I can't reveal too much about the project just yet. But I am really enjoying myself.
I've done some illustrative work for Paul in the past. One of which was a comic strip based on the world he created for the Fourth Doctor audio play series "The Hornets Nest"
I'm also in the works on doing a second Sherlock Holmes graphic novel. This time based on a play titled Holmes and Watson by Lee Shackleford. I have expressed to Lee that I feel his play is the ideal companion piece to William Gillette's play. I'm hoping to get that one started sometime after the New Year.
If you could continue shooting off graphic novels for another twenty of thirty years, what would you like for your magnum opus to be?
Hmm? I'm really not sure! I suppose when I think of Magnum Opus I think of an album like Sgt. Pepper, Tubular Bells, Homogenic or OK Computer. And even though those artists made great music following, those albums were a hard act to follow. I don't really feel like I've reached that level yet. Or at least I hope I haven't. I do like the idea of shooting off graphic novels for the next twenty or thirty years.
I do too. Bret, on behalf of the A.N.A gang, thank you so much for talking shoppe for our readers. You know I'm a longtime fan especially, and cannot wait to see what you do next. Any last words or plugs you'd care to share before the defense rests?
I have a few shows coming up in the next couple of months. I'm doing Stitches Needles N' Guns Alternative Craft Fair at the Printers Building in February, Boston Comic Con on May 1st and I am in the works of doing a new show out in Northampton called Paint & Pixals Festival on April 11th!! I'm also hoping to take part in Free Comic Book Day again this year at That's Entertainment as I do every year. And Sherlock Holmes: The Painful Predicament of Alice Faulkner is going to be distributed nationally through Diamond this year for it's third printing. Be sure to ask your comic shop to order copies!
See more of Bret's work through facebook, myspace, twitter, and especially at his very active and interesting blog.