Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Small Press Expo this weekend

Dan and I will be heading to Bethesda, Maryland this weekend for the Small Press Expo. We'll have the new collection of Warrior27 there - 254 pages, digest sized, color and b/w, with much of what we published in our original issues and some new stuff, including our recent professional work and unpublished interviews with the likes of Bryan Talbot and Joe Quesada. We will be near the back of the hall, up past the Fantagraphics section:

Also, the collection is available from Indy Planet. It's $24.99, and with the prose and the comics, this is a great deal for a trade that will take a lot longer to read than the latest decompressed comic collection from "some others." Hope to see you in Maryland.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

W27 preview: an interview with Joe Quesada

One of the coolest things included in the collection, which debuts in a week at SPX, is one of the earliest pieces I wrote for our prospective publishing venture. Back in 2001, Dan and I and a bunch of other friends first started talking about creating our comics/prose anthology. I don’t remember the title at that time – it could have been Warrior27, though I do remember the title Mousetrap thrown around as well but can’t remember the significance of that one - but that doesn’t matter. 2001 was the first time we seriously discussed self-publishing.

The reasons why that initial attempt did not get off the ground are many, but much of it was a result of some being unable to hit their deadlines and others of us shirking the publication side of thing, leaving that to the one of us with publishing experience. None of us stepped up when we should have and plans languished for four more years.

But, some work did get done for that first issue even if it did not get published. With Joe Quesada only a year into his tenure as Editor-in-Chief of Marvel Comics and the excitement still revolving around this change, I thought it would be interesting to interview him for the book. I emailed him cold and, to my surprise, Mr. Quesada was willing to answer my questions and more than gracious in taking the time to type up answers for a dozen and a half questions. Really, I cannot thank him enough for taking the time to indulge me (someone he did not know) for a publication he’d never heard of (and which never got published).

It was fun to look back on this and prepare it for publication in our new collection (I had to re-type the whole thing as I only had a hard copy) Below is a short quote from the greater interview – almost 3000 words worth – just to whet your appetite. And don’t forget, if you’re in the Bethesda, Maryland area next weekend (September 11 & 12) come check out the show and make a point to stop by the On the Fly booth, even if it’s just to talk comics.

“What Marvel method does is it cures a lot of stagnant
talkie scenes that non-visual writers are prone to writing. This is what I’ve discovered in my days editing here at Marvel. If you have a writer with a great knack for dialogue, this particular writer may write the most amazing scene between two characters as they walk down the street. This can go on for five pages and the writer, even the editor, may not suspect how bland the action is because they are so overwhelmed by the naturalness of the conversation. This works well in novels, but in visual mediums it usually puts the audience to sleep."


Friday, September 3, 2010

W27: more preview art

Here's a preview page of art we felt just shouldn't be tampered with. Some Cthulhu goodness in inky black (with a splash of white to provide some contrast).

Word by Dan Fleming. Art from Geoff Mosse.



Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Writing - it's what we do

Like anyone working in a creative field – or, as in our case, aspiring to such an objective – Dan and I want to see our work published, want to share our work with others, and hope that what we have written elicits an emotional response (hopefully in a positive light) in our audience. It’s a bit of an ego thing, sure, but it’s also a desire to discover what works and what does not and to grow as writers.

In the past five years since we embarked upon this journey, Dan and I have taken some baby steps toward this goal. We’ve published four issues of our anthology, Warrior27, and from that experience – especially the initial trek to Chicago – we have learned a lot. (hit the link for more on that first endeavor) The act of writing every day – I tap away at the laptop after everyone’s in bed while Dan has been chronicling his “Year in Crime” over at his other blog, and he has yet to miss a single day – has also been invaluable. Just being involved with writing on this consistent a basis has made me a far better writer. I understand technical aspects of writing better (things as simple as using a consistent tense or avoiding the passive voice when it suits no purpose, which is a vast majority of the time), and I find myself able to make connections – metaphorical and otherwise – that were beyond me two years ago.

But I digress.

Dan and I have experienced some small bit of success with regard to our writing. In 2008, Dan had a short story accepted for Arcana’s Dark Horrors 2 anthology. “Ticking Away” featured art by Nicolas Colacitti and was also featured in our third issue of Warrior27 and will be reprinted, in color, for the collection. And this past January, I had my first professional comic writing credit in Ape Entertainment’s online UFO anthology and also sold my first short prose story to Dark Recesses Press, both of which will see print for the first time in the new collection.

It’s funny. These little crumbs help keep us going, pushing Dan and I forward in the hope of placing more stories with other publishers and possibly making this a full-time, part-time gig (because very few are able to earn a living only writing). We’ll see. But for now, things are good, and the reality is I’d find it difficult to stop writing now, even if I never got published again.