The first cover. I have to give huge props to Dexter Wee for drawing it and Jeremy Colwell for the awesome coloring job. You’ll see. Each cover is just amazing.
The story kicks off tomorrow.
So, here we are at the end of 2016. Some people are calling it the worst year ever and I on some level, I have to agree. This year felt rough, rougher than the last few years.
On a personal level, I feel like I need to look back and take inventory on all of the dope things that happened in 2016 in regards to comics. While I didn’t set the world on fire, I made huge strides in terms of creative/professional growth and I feel like I should highlight and show appreciation for those moments.
January: Previews Staff Pick!
March: Boxes of Clusterf@#k arrived.
April: Clusterf@#k is released in stores!
June: St. Louis Comic Con
August: New Management
September: Madison Comic Con
October: Tenth Planet HalloweenFest Signing
November: Eye on the Arts
December: My 31st Birthday!
I managed to have something going on almost every month. I felt like I wasn’t really busy, but I can see that I was completely stationary in 2016. A lot of great things happened, some of which will roll into 2017 and help me move onward and upward.
I hope that 2017 brings everyone great things or that you’re able to find the things worth fighting for. I’m just going to keep on writing.
Things have been quiet here and that’s been because I’m pushing to get projects ready for 2017 (some new and some not so new).
First, I’m putting a few short crime stories I’ve written into a collection called Career Criminals. It will be collecting Job Security, Professionalism, and New Management. I was lucky enough to get Eduardo Jimenez, the artist on Professionalism, to do the cover for the collection.
Next, I am finally collecting Secrets & Shadows into a trade paperback book. I know, it’s been a long time coming and I am finally ready to get it put together.
I also have a couple new stories on the horizon including one with the Clusterf@#k art team of Diego Toro and Kote Carvajal. It’s called Con-Troll and it follows two security guards trying to keep order at a convention after a guest meets his biggest troll.
Diego has already provided a couple character layouts. Enjoy.
Unlike most of my other stories, this probably won’t be on the website but I will have updates as to where it will be available.
Another project I’m looking to get started on is a new miniseries that will basically be my take on the Power Rangers. I’ve been knocking it around for at least a year and I realize that there’s no time like the present. Look out for more updates on that as well.
Hoping that things are well and excited for 2017 (comic wise, anyway).
Last month, I did a segment with Eye on the Arts and spoke about writing comics. Well, the episode comes on today and for those of you not currently living in Northwest Indiana, I have linked the video below.
Enjoy. The Lakeshore team did an amazing job. There was some stuff that didn’t make the final cut, but I’m really happy with the results. Definitely check it out when you have time.
Halloween isn’t until Monday, but that doesn’t mean I can’t hit you with some new Clusterf@#k art by Diego and Kote featuring baby Jim and Karl running from the dreaded bag-snatchers. Jim and Karl’s costume should be pretty obvious, but I’m wondering if most people will get who the bag-snatchers are dressed as. Maybe.
In other news, I will be set up at Tenth Planet tomorrow for their Halloween ComicFest event from noon to around 4pm. If you live in the Schererville area, don’t hesitate to drop by.
I have some other stuff on the horizon but for now, it’s just short and sweet. I hope everyone is doing well and than you all have a safe and responsible Halloween.
So, we’ve successfully made it into October without the entire country collapsing on itself (though it feels like it’s well on its way). Until it happens, I’m going to keep trudging along and making comics and here are somethings that went down this month so far.
Last Friday, I was invited to come down to my alma mater Franklin College to speak on an alumni panel on Writing, Publishing, and Communication. I hadn’t been down to the college since last year and maybe three years before that so I thought it would be a chance to sit down and talk about what I do with students who may be considering comics or really any form of creative writing. I didn’t really know what we would be speaking about so I was slightly nervous as I like to prepare and get my thoughts in order, but I thought it would be a great opportunity to practice winging it.
The drive was cloudy, but nice enough. I’d tried to leave early to give myself time and after getting stuck behind two different accidents, I managed to get there roughly five minutes before things started. It turned out that only four students showed up for the event which ended up making it much easier for me to speak (relatively speaking). The panel was originally going to consist of three alumni but one called in sick so it was myself and an ’11 grad named Chelsea Sutton who had worked as an editor and works as a Communications Coordinator at Indiana Historical Society. We both spoke about what we did and how our education helped us get to where we were as well as where we saw ourselves in five years. I did bring copies of my works and Clusterf@#k got the best reaction from the crowd which was good since I was nervous about bringing it.
After the panel was over, I realized that it was in fact homecoming weekend but I knew I couldn’t stay because I was my brother’s ride to work and had already planned to drive down and drive back that same night.
On my way to my car, I saw one of my favorite professors driving by with her husband so I waved. She had him stop so she could hop out of the car and give me a huge hug. It was really nice to see her because she was been a very positive influence and her classes helped me be more outspoken/speak up in class. It was really good to see her as I think I missed seeing her last year.
The two professors who had invited use took us out to dinner at a really nice restaurant I didn’t even know existed. One of them was another very influential professor I’d had my Freshman year and was possibly the first teacher that was really critical of me in a way that made me want to improve. In fact, he gave me some advice on a paper that not only helped me improve my thesis writing skills but also my life in general. I couldn’t remember the quote when I relayed it to him but it was something like:
“Jon, you have these great ideas but you do this ticky-tacky shit where you take a bunch of stuff and throw it on the paper.”
(NOTE: I’m paraphrasing but he did say ‘ticky-tacky shit’ which let me know I was definitely in college.)
For some reason that always stuck with me and it helped me become a lot more focused. Honestly, I don’t know if I would have become as receptive to criticism or seek out editors that would push me if I hadn’t had that professor in college to kind of help me unlearn high school BSing that allowed me to coast.
At the end, I was able to see two professors that had a huge impact on me and speak about doing things I love to a few students. On the surface, it might not seem like much but it was huge to me and I hope I can do something like that again.
In other news, I will be putting up a new short comic beginning next week. It is a 12 page story called New Management that was drawn by my Secrets & Shadows collaborator Dexter Wee and lettered by Clusterf@#k’s Nic Shaw (who also lettered Image’s The Fix and recently got married). It is a story I came up with after watching some old mafia films. It’s in line with my other two shorts Job Security and Professionalism. It’s a little bit more realistically violent but it was an attempt to do something different more serious. It will go up the next two weeks (6 pages each week).
I hope you enjoy it.
Other than that, I’ve been working slowly toward getting some new projects together for next year because I want to hit 2017 hard. I also want to try to double the amount of conventions I’ve done this year. I can’t guarantee everything will be amazing, but I’m definitely going to try to top what I’ve done so far.