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Saturday, 22 July 2017 15:30

How to fix the comic industry and get Millions of New fans. 

 (I'm using very broad strokes here, there is a lot that needs to be fixed but if we can address this first problem, the others might just fall into place.)

MAKE good books and the fans will find you. ADVERTISE those good books and more fans will find you. Use a better DISTRIBUTION network and NEW FANS will DISCOVER YOU! We need new fans in the industry. We need a better distribution network; comic shops are wonderful because they bend over backward to sell YOUR book. They've kept the industry alive all these years, but there are so many places that don't have shops. 

If the kids don't know what a comic book is, then they won't look for it.

I first "discovered" comics in a bodega* in the Bronx. I bought a few and later became a fan. Now to get all the books I liked, I had to go to 3 or 4 little magazine shops to get them. That was when I discovered a comic book shop. All of my books in one place?!?!  Plus so many new ones: marvel, DC and indie books like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Mage: The Hero Discovered, Grendel, Elfquest, and much more. I learned there was more than Marvel and DC, and yet that was easy for me because I live in New York and back then a lot of shops were around. 

Comics need to be Discovered again. They need to be in supermarkets, candy shops, ice-cream shops, big box stores, anywhere parents take their kids!

Don’t believe me? Think of this: we all (mostly) remember our first comic book (Batman, 1977) or the first comic we bought with our own money (Superman 1982), and, for some, when and where we were when the collecting bug hit. (7th-grade history class New Rochelle New York 1983 Marvel Team-Up # 144 & 145)  However, many of us did not discover comics in a comic book store.  We found them by accident or through friends or family.  Nowadays kids are discovering them on YouTube or as giveaways at big movie premieres.  Once you get the kids in it's great because they aren't discovering a new world, they are discovering a multiverse.  

So share your story with us. When did you first discover comics? 

*Bodega: A Hispanic/Spanish/Latin mini-mart, kind of like a 7-11, but usually smaller and more like a liquor store atmosphere. The commonly used term on the east coast, especially in the New York City region, where you will find many of these. The word came from the actual Spanish word for "grocery store" - la bodega.

Thursday, 08 September 2016 08:00

Join out Patroen and you get previews like this. 

 

Below is a Panel from out upcoming book SJC: The Bren werks initative.  BrenWorks Story 01 Page 01

Below is the pencils and Inks from an upcoming strip of the Hook up. 

Patreon Strip 87

Friday, 12 August 2016 22:22

I am working on a strip of the Mark!  I just finished the flats and will be finishing up the strip soon.

 

2016 08 11

 

Wilson

Monday, 01 August 2016 14:54

For the last few years we have produced multiple online comic strips, a Youtube channel, a podcast, and we are always looking for more ways to get our work out there.

You can help us do that by suporting us on Patreon.

Coming up with a good story is not enough, you need to advertise it, spread awareness, and basically just find an audience. People need to know where to buy our books and see our videos, so in hopes of being able to expand our market we are turning to our fans for support. With your help we can produce more content, do more conventions and even have The 8 Spot grow and hire more creators.  

So What is Patreon?  

I could go into a long detail but Patreon has already done the work for us.  

Sunday, 13 March 2016 20:38

Saw this link on facebook. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/these-comic-book-super-fans-couldnt-name-7-superheroes-of-color_us_561e7e76e4b028dd7ea600ee

"While new characters of color have been introduced into the mainstream comic book world in the last in the last few years, diversity among comics is clearly still lacking."

Take about bull, Diversity in comic isn't lacking, Your not doing your homework, "There isn't enough Diversity in Main Stream comics" is what you mean to say. Now we do see it changing, Slowly.

Now the indie market is all about Diversity! it's about the comics people ain't getting anywhere else. Alas, most fans are ignore the people making the difference.To the media, there are only two comic companies Marvel and DC and they are the ones that needs to make changes? No, If people really want diversity, (and I can argue a lot of people say they do, but they really don't.) they can find it. Here a list of companies you can find easily, they have books on their website or in Comixology. Darkstrom Comics, Action Lab Studios, New Paradigm Studios, image comics, Committed Comics, Section 8 Comics, Red Anvil press. I can go on but those are 8 off the top of my head not counting the artists that are working on their own. The women in Comics convention that when on this weekend many of the people there are doing comic books under their own banners. http://wincnyc.wix.com/womenincomicsnyc . Changes are happing, hard work is being done by artists all over the place, you can find them if you just try looking a little harder. Sure it's easy to walk into a comic shop and HOPE the big two do will make somthing for you, but they don't make the change unless they are shamed into doing it, or if they see a way to make a quick buck. If you look I bet you find what you want in the Indie Market. and if by chance you don't...Then make the comic yourself, it's hardwork but it can be done.


Cheers. 

WRJ. 

Saturday, 20 February 2016 19:01

So Toy Fair 2016 happened last weekend, and while a lot of really cool stuff showed up (I'm looking at you, DC Icons) what really won my heart was a reveal that came just before the show, Mezco Toyz' expansion of their One:12 Collective line of action figures. Think of Hot Toys, with their remarkable likenesses and cloth outfits, only shrunk down to a 1/12 scale, a size similar to Marvel Legends. 

 

The One: 12 Collective first showed up early last year when Mezco revealed their Dark Knight Returns Batman.

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I was late to the party on this one, and its $65 price has ballooned on the secondary market since it's release, but even more than that it was never an aesthetic I was particularly drawn to. I was safe for a moment. 

Next came Dredd.

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And his Lawmaster...

 

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This is some fantastic stuff, it really is, but I've just never been a big enough fan of Judge Dredd to drop this kind of scratch on collectibles of him. Damn it looks good, though... but safe again! At SDCC 2015 they revealed some stuff that really did catch my attention, though:

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They had my full attention now. They're expensive, but they're damn nice. Could I resist? I mean, I didn't need these, right? The Space Ghost and Frankenstein are very well done, but not quite my cup o' tea. Easy passes. That Superman and Flash, tho...

 

And then, about a month ago, they showed off this:

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And this...

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And I am ruined. They are $75 each, but these pieces are so fantastic that I need to have them. I will have them. I have already pre-ordered them at Bigbadtoystore. Dammit. 

And then the floodgates opened.

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"Hello, Wells Fargo? I need to apply for a loan..."

 

Seriously, everything this company is putting out in this line looks top-notch. Is it worth the price they're asking? That all depends on how crazy you are.

As for myself, I picture myself living in a cardboard box some time in the future surrounded by 1/12 scale action figures in cloth costumes for warmth.

Dammit. We can't even pretend these aren't dolls anymore, can we?

Monday, 15 February 2016 00:17

I’ve seen a superhero movie that I felt perfectly captured the true essence of its character just three times in my life. The first was Spider-man 2. No, the Raimi one, not that other piece of crap. From the everyday trials that Peter Parker must overcome to the realization that he has no choice but to be a hero because he couldn’t live with himself otherwise, that movie is a two hour synopsis of who that character is and why he exists. The second was Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Here we have the man-out-of-time who’s making progress finding his place in our world, but refusing to let go of the values he brought back with him. Values which the world desperately needs. I just saw the third one. It’s called Deadpool.

 

This movie is ten years in the making, and we can all thank Fox for that. No, seriously. Thank them. THIS is time for this movie. It absolutely depends upon the current superhero film culture for its relevancy. A great deal of the humor in this film comes at the expense of its own genre, and that’s a good thing. I’d be the last person to say that I’m sick and tired of all these superhero films, but Deadpool adds to the genre exactly by taking it down a peg. I’ve always thought a big factor in the success of the Marvel films was that they knew to not take themselves too seriously. We’re talking about people in colorful and often shiny costumes beating up on other people in similar garb only eviler. It needs a little shot in the arm (see Hulk punching Thor in Avengers) to make us forget how ridiculous this all is. That’s...pretty much all Deadpool does. But it works!

 

The plot? It’s simpler than Mad Max: Fury Road. I’m dead serious. There are two big set pieces edited with flashbacks every so often. That editing is kinda genius, but from a technical standpoint I think it leaves the movie a little disjointed. That said, it distracts you from just how threadbare the movie really is, so in the end it serves the movie very well. I’ve always been amazed at how Fox has never ever been able to make use of Colossus effectively. It almost makes me sad that he’s here to be made fun of, but it really is a great use of him. I thought the CGI was little on the weak side, but Deadpool is practically a cartoon character himself so I say let it go.

 

Now for what’s really important: the jokes. There are a lot of them. They start with the opening credits and don’t finish until after the end credits (and do stay until the credits are done). Are they any good? Listen, this movie is funnier than any comedy that I’ve seen in a long time. In some ways this movie is a one trick pony like that, but it does it really, really well. You will laugh. You will cry (because you’re laughing so hard). You’ll miss the first few seconds of dialogue immediately after a joke because the audience is laughing so hard and have to see the movie in an empty theater because dammit I want to hear everything.

 

If you’re familiar with the character and have anything resembling a liking towards him, see this movie. I’ve never been the biggest fan, never went out of my way to read his book, and yet I still had an amazing time. I suspect this is a property that works exponentially better on-screen than it does in print. It’s one thing to read the stuff that comes out his mouth, but it comes off a lot better when it’s spoken out loud and you have to ask yourself, “Did he really just try to talk that cabbie into murdering a romantic rival?”


Verdict: Deadpool gets 10 out of 10 chimichangas just for the fact that the crazy bastards actually did it.

Wednesday, 03 February 2016 18:18

If your a fan of anything sci-fi, comics, fantasy...etc you run into Ancient Egypt. Tons of stories have come from this land of Magic and mystery. In comics, movies and any other form of optical entertainment we associate the look of these stories with the sandy badge color, but for those of use who have study even a little history knows that this ancient time was full of color. We know this because of the artwork of the time as well as finding the items over the years shows us they where once in color. Here is an article I found from Smitsonian.com on how one museum is using technology to show us a glimpse of this colorful world. (I'll link this article at the bottom.) I'm fascinated by this because as a comic book colorist I've color a few stories that takes place in Ancient Egypt, and I recall doing a few images with only the sandy color but in many ways those are background scenes and there is a good chance that the image might be covered with text. 

Perhaps in the future when more info comes out showing what the color where I might be able to do another project and add this new info into the work, But then again i'm also making more work for myself. 


Below are some images I've color that took place in Egypt for a children book, Pencils and Inks by Mike Lilly and again I did the coloring. 

Thanks for Reading

 

Cheers! ~WRJ

 AnthonyCleo001 008AnthonyCleo001 032AnthonyCleo001 034

The Metropolitan Museum of Art is adding a bright flourish to the Temple of Dendur

Monday, 02 November 2015 17:12

We are now in the season where TV shows are canceled. I have a few on that list and once again they are shows that has a lot of fans and yet the networks don't want to keep it going. One of the shows I watch got a "final" episode that closed up the story line but didn't truly end the show. I shouldn't be surprised it happen EVERY season. What can fans do? The usual, start the petitions going. (heck it give us one more season of Star Trek) that's the story we tell ourselves a few shows have been saved, others came back, the very luckily ones will go to another network. Yet, that is rare. I don't want to do any of that. I'm tired of it. I think I'm going to do what I did a few season back, And drop watching live TV again. Now, I won't get rid of cable. As much as I want to. I can't I need it for the internet accesses. What I mean is no more live TV for me. I have Netflix, Hulu and the on demand channels, internet etc. So I'll keep up with my entertainment and keep up with those few shows that are still going. It's the new shows I'm not going to bother with, why get invested in a story that the network didn't believe in?  I wouldn't blame the cast and crew of a show, it's a numbers game for the network and from the stories I've heard from the hollywood machines there is so much crazy to deal with it's impossible to know what they want. This new way works for me because even if a show only ran one season I'll be aware of that and know going in it's only going to be a shot run.  This method worked well for me in the past and I discover shows I really liked. TV needs to change their way to look at the audience.  Take a show like No Ordinary Family, the network says that the Ratings was too low. And yet it was said by the star of the show. If the people who watch it on line only watch it on live TV the show would be the number one show. But the network isn't set up (or so its said) to know what the people are doing, they still go by a small sample.

I can see why I've been enjoying shows from the BBC, The seasons maybe shorter, but at least I get the full stories.  

 ~W

Monday, 02 November 2015 16:47

  I wanted to write serious comic books. Books that made you feel like there were real people behind the masks. I wanted villains you could empathize with to a degree, or at the very least understand, with more motivation than just being a bad person. I wanted real people who had superhuman abilities and chose to use them like people use extraordinary skills to make money. I had one character who had control over gravity. They made millions putting things in space for Nasa and large corporations. No, you can't use that. Copyright me. In summary: I wanted comic books that made you think, inspired by such classics as Marvels, Kingdom Come, Planetary and Astro City.

     I ended up making The Mark.

     A little bit about me: I don't watch comedy movies. Or sitcoms. Ask Eric or Marc or anyone else who really knows. The last one I saw in the theater was The World's End at the Alamo, and that was because Escape from New York was sold out. We got to see that one months later, so no need to be concerned for us. The reason I don't like watching that stuff is simple: I have to live with seeing that stuff everyday in my head. Through some cruel twist of fate I happen to see the world funny side up. If there's something in any given situation that can make someone laugh, I'll see it. It serves me well in my day-job at the DMV. 

     It kind of started with the (serious) idea of heroes locking other, destructive heroes in a pocket dimension. Yes, I'm describing Civil War. Get over it. Anywho, I think that makes for a good subject. Which was also kind of done by Kingdom Come now that I think of it. Okay, get on with it, Jay. SO. Somewhere the idea turned into two separate dimensions. The guys and gals were divided. Of couse at this point I'm picturing a hero who's on the "good guys'" sh!t-list just about to free those who have been wrongfully imprisoned and thinking to himself, "Waitaminute...a whole dimension with dozens of ladies. I'd be the only guy in there???"

     That right there is where it all started. I took something promising, something that could have been thought-provoking and high-minded and turned it into...The Mark.

     You're welcome.

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