Category Archives: Random Thoughts

Learn to Animate e-Book: A Kickstarter Worth Backing

If you like animation, or just want to explore that creative mind of yours, then I highly recommend that you take a look at Jason Love’s kickstarter project, Learn to Animate e-Book.

You don’t need college courses and expensive equipment.  You don’t even need special software (*taps foot, looking around whistling*).  All you need is $1.00 to get started.  The best part is that you can use whatever you have at home to make your animated video.

Did I mention that you can back this project with only $1?

My oldest child (12 yr-old) has an advanced computer course at school.  He is making video games, and he is learning stop motion.  His eyes lit up like a Christmas tree last night, when I told him about the animation project.

I can’t stress enough how much I highly recommend the kickstarter project, Learn to Animate e-Book.  Check out the website, and don’t be afraid to support it.  The website gives detailed information about the project, including updates, and a brief video.

Jason Love has years of experience as a writer and teacher.  He also teaches animation.  Why pay for expensive college courses, and webinars, when you can learn how to make animation videos for only $1?

I read over the project’s website with a fine-toothed comb (I couldn’t help it, I’m a bookworm).  I believe the kickstarter project is a phenomenal idea, and will provide hours of fun.

I don’t back too many kickstarter projects, but I am definitely backing Learn to Animate e-Book.  Actually, I became a backer right before typing this blog post.

The project will be funded in 4 days, on December 17, 2014.  You still have time to take a look at the kickstarter page, and pledge your support.

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Title Discrimination in Comics

crossed50sexcriminals5

When it comes to censorship in comic books, I often question the criteria that comic retailers use when deciding what sits on the shelf, as opposed to what is kept behind the counter.  There is a countless number of comics for mature readers on the store shelves, so what exactly is the deciding factor for age-restricted material?

I asked a comic shop owner why are there certain books kept behind the counter, when a certain other book is allowed to sit on the shelf with the rest of the uncensored comic books.  The response to the latter was pretty vague.

That was not the first time that I have asked comic shop owners or employees why

Sex, published by Image Comics
sex1

and

Sex Criminals, also published by Image Comics
sexcriminal1print4

are marked as age-restricted material and kept behind the counter, but

Crossed, published by Avatar Press
crossed47

freely sits on the shelf.

It didn’t take but a minute for me to realize why Sex and Sex Criminals are being discriminated against.  It’s because of that three-letter word in their titles.

SEX.

That’s right, comic book titles are being censored.  I haven’t been told this by anyone, but it’s pretty obvious.  I don’t know about all comic shops, so I can only rant about the few I have visited since I started reading Sex Criminals.  These books are being treated as if they are pornography, which they are not.  Although I only read the first two issues of Sex, I am not embarrassed to say that Sex Criminals is on my pulls.

If Crossed can sit on the shelf, then why can’t the two comic books with sex in the title?  That is so unfair.

I don’t know what’s currently going on in Sex, but I know that Sex Criminals is nothing to be all hush-hush about.  It is not porn or a dirty joke book.  It’s a comedy about two people who can stop time while having an orgasm.  They decided to rob a bank to save a library.  They are eventually captured by the sex police.   And there aren’t that many panels showing nude body parts.

On the other hand, Crossed is a bizarre comic about a virus that caused a zombie-like apocalypse.  This is a story of sadism, torture, rape and incest.  When humans are infected, they immediately break-out in a red rash, in the shape of a cross, on their faces.  They develop a crazed grin, and the violence and bloodshed begins.

They also turn into horny lunatics, and will have sex (rape most of the time) with anyone and anything, including children and animals.

Although the graphics speak for itself, the book has no parental advisory warning on the covers.  This is a book that sits on the shelf with other uncensored comic books.  Severed limbs are usually on the cover.

Check out the cover for Crossed Annual 2014.
crossedannual

A young girl holding a severed hand.

This book sits on a shelf, at a child’s EYE LEVEL.

Now that my ranting blog post is over, I feel so much better.  In fact, I’ve decided to follow my dream and write a comic book.

The comic is about a young female that seeks vengeance on those that have wronged her.  There will be ongoing torture, bloodbath and plenty of sex.  I don’t know if the covers will have a parental advisory warning just yet, but they will definitely be sexually explicit.

To make sure that my comic book make it on the shelf with other uncensored comics, the word sex  won’t be in the title.  It will be named after the leading female character, which will be something like Cupcake, Sunshine or Bubbles.

When I wrote my review of Crossed last year, I received a couple of nasty comments that I moderated and unapproved.  I’m sure I’ll probably get some for this blog post as well.

 

Happy Colorist Appreciation Day

I read a lot of comic books, so I have a long list of color artists that I am grateful for.  Without a color artist, we would just be staring at page after page of text and sketches.  And there is no way that I would read all of my comics in black-and-white.

Color artists bring our comic book pages to life, like Prince Charming kissing a damsel in distress.  Therefore, color artists are the backbones of the art team.

I am a bookworm, and I comb everything I read with a fine-toothed comb.  So it should be no surprise that I know the name of nearly every colorist on the comics I read, without looking.  I have no problem reading ALL of the credits on the inside cover, or wherever the credit page appears in a book.  I run an honest blog, and I feel the need to give credit where it’s due.

Just as comic fans are familiar with the work of their favorite artists, so am I.  But I can also spot the work of a few colorists, and I haven’t been wrong yet (I won’t brag too much, I don’t want to jinx myself and be wrong one day).

So I would like to wish the following people a HAPPY COLORIST APPRECIATION DAY!

  • Alex Sinclair
  • Alex Sollazzo
  • Andres Mossa
  • Antonio Fabela
  • Brad Anderson
  • Edgar Delgado
  • Frank D’ Armata
  • Ive Svorcina
  • Jeremy Cox
  • Jordie Bellaire
  • Justin Ponsor
  • Lee Loughridge
  • Frank Martin
  • Matthew Wilson
  • Mike Spicer
  • Paul Little
  • Rod Reis
  • Val Staples
  • Veronica Gandini

I read A LOT of comic books every month.  I read ongoing, mini-series, and one-shots.  Superhero, supernatural and horror have always been my favorite genres.  So that I wouldn’t omit the names of color artists on the books I’m currently reading, I went through my comics from the last 3 weeks and wrote down all their names, right before I started typing this post.

Oh, and in case you’re wondering, here is what I’m currently reading.

  • Afterlife with Archie
  • Avengers World
  • Black Widow
  • Constantine
  • Curse
  • Daredevil: Dark Knights
  • Deadly Class
  • Deadpool
  • Guardians of the Galaxy
  • Harley Quinn
  • Hoax Hunters
  • Justice League
  • Justice League Dark
  • Justice League of America
  • Mighty Avengers
  • Morning Glories
  • Night of the Living Deadpool
  • Sex Criminals
  • Superior Spider-Man
  • Thor:  God of Thunder
  • Trinity of Sin:  Pandora
  • Trinity of Sin:  The Phantom Stranger
  • Wonder Woman

I told you I read A LOT of comics!

If I missed anyone, then I am apologizing in advance.

If you’re reading this blog, and you’re a colorist who’s not on my list, then HAPPY COLORIST APPRECIATION DAY to you as well!

Random and Not so Random Thoughts of a Comic Blogger

Top 10 Best Comics of 2013

10.  Sex Criminals, Image Comics

9.  Afterlife With Archie, Archie Comics

8.  Hoax Hunters, Image Comics

7.  Guardians of the Galaxy, Marvel

6.  Morning Glories, Image Comics

5.  Thor:  God of Thunder, Marvel

4.  Deadpool, Marvel

3.  Justice League Dark, DC Comics

2.  The Fearless Defenders , Marvel

1.  Superior Spider-Man, Marvel

Top 2 Comic Mini-Series of 2013

2.  Superior Carnage, Marvel

1.  Screwed, Zenescope

Worst Comic Book of 2013
You didn’t think I would really throw that out there like that did you?  However, I did read a comic last year that is perfect for this category.  I was speechless after reading it.  I had no idea what that story was about.  Not only do I not remember the name of the book or publisher, I don’t even know where it is.

Comics I’m Looking Forward to Reading in 2014
Cursed
Magneto
Ms. Marvel
Nameless
Night of the Living Deadpool
Paradigms
Restoration
She-Hulk
Southern Bastards
Superior Carnage Annual #1
The Wicked and the Divine
Wytches

The list will grow as I learn of more upcoming titles, so let me know if there’s any titles I need to add.

Luke Cage vs. Jack Lawson
A question popped into my mind the other day, as to who I like the best.  Luke Cage from Marvel Comics, or Jack Lawson from Image?  For those of you that don’t know Jack (no pun intended), he is a lead character in Hoax Hunters, written by Michael Moreci and Steve SeeleyChris DiBari is the artist.

Two handsome badass brothers.  In Mighty Avengers, Luke wants to settle down, be a hero-for-hire, so that he can be near his family.  On the other hand, Jack is full of attitude, and will stop at nothing to get what he wants.  Nothing.  Don’t believe me?  Read Hoax Hunters #13 that went on sale last week.

But it’s all fiction.  In reality, a brother with muscles and an attitude would rather hang with superheroes, kicking the s**t out of villains, than stay home with his wife (or girlfriend) and kids.  Anyway, I don’t care for Luke’s soft attitude.  Sorry Marvel, Image wins this round.

Deadpool’s Wedding
I plan to attend Deadpool’s wedding, in April, from the comfort of my home.  I don’t want to be anywhere near the Marvel Universe because of Deadpool.  What follows Deadpool?  Violence, bloodbaths, and chaos.

Who is the bride-to-be?  My husband think it’s Lady Death.  I don’t have any ideas of who, or what, it could be.  One thing for certain is that Deadpool #27 will be the first comic book I will be reading that day.

I tried a few times to count the 200+ characters on the cover, but I kept losing track.  I am going to keep trying until I succeed.  Maybe I’ll use Marvel’s character list as a guide.

I wonder if Scott Koblish and Val Staples have carpal tunnel now.

Superior Spider-Man
Are the rumors true?  Is Superior Spider-Man coming to an end?  Will Doc Ock no longer be in Peter Parker’s body?  Is Peter coming back?  If so, then my bank account will be $7.98 (+ tax) fatter every month.  Enough said.

Random Thoughts of an Honest Comic Blogger

Thor: The Dark World

Although I enjoyed the movie, I didn’t like the Jane Foster love story. I wanted the ale drinking, womanizing Thor that I read about in my comic books. Jane Foster. Yuck. I also didn’t like Pepper Potts in the Iron Man movie. Since I’m on a roll I might as well keep going. I didn’t like that couple in Star Wars: Return of the Sith either. Superman and Lois Lane, Spider-Man and Mary Jane/Gwen Stacy. Could it be that I’m one of those females that’s jealous of the love interest of these handsome heroes? Nope. Not at all. I just don’t want to see romance in action movies. Fights. Superpowers. Explosives. Destruction. Save cities, countries, galaxies or whatever. Just keep those women at a distance.

Mighty Avengers Gets New Artist

Social media sites have been buzzing with news of Valerio Schiti replacing Greg Land on this title. Though I’m not certain if the change is permanent, I’m hoping this will silence the complainers for now. I’m talking about those who claim they weren’t going to read the book because Land was the artist. I posted on a thread that I want people to put their money where their mouth is and buy the book, if Land was their ONLY reason. All I’m saying is this; if 500 people claim that Land was the only reason for not buying the book, then I would expect those 500 to buy the book. That’s all I’m saying when I talk about sales. That and the fact that I’m hoping retailers will order more books, and actually push the book instead of being quiet as a church mouse.

I stand by the statement that I wrote in my Mighty Avengers #1 Review that Marvel has set this title up for failure. That’s why I’m making it my personal goal to be a watchdog on this book.

Oh wait. Uh-oh. I’m looking in Marvel Previews for February. Schiti is the artist for issues #6 and #7, but Land is the cover artist. I guess those 500 won’t be buying the book after all huh? And the retailers will continue to order an extremely low number of the books, and blame it on readers not liking Land’s covers.

Trade Paperback

If you can help it, please don’t wait until trades are released. Pre-ordered singles is the key for the success of a comic. Twitter followers of creators occasionally tweet, on the creators feed, that they’re going to wait for the trade. Or they will ask if it’s okay if they wait for it. It’s okay to wait for a trade if you really need to. But it’s not okay to ask if you can wait for it. If I was a comic creator, my feelings would be hurt if a follower ask if it was okay to wait for a trade, because that’s telling me that person is not that interested in my work.

Support the Creators of Your Favorite Titles

Comic creators tell readers to talk about a book if they like it. A Big 2 publisher will drop a book faster than the blink of an eye, so we all need to start pushing our favorite books and its’ creators. That goes for indies as well, because Marvel and DC aren’t the only publishers with well-liked titles.

Strike up a conversation at your local comic shop. Tell the owners why you like the book(s) and ask them to pass the information along to their other customers. Talking with other customers could prove valuable as well. Over the past 5-6 months, I’ve gotten 3 customers to try a book I was reading. The customers had already intended to try the books, they just hadn’t gotten around to it. If you’re a female it’s even better! Besides the owner’s wife, I’m usually the only other female in the store when I visit, and I get a lot of attention from the guys! A lot of talking and laughing goes on, but we always exchange information on books we’re reading.

Social media sites are great for talking about the books you like, and why you like them. Mention the names of the creators as well. Talk about the writers, artists, and the colorists, because they give life to those pencils and inks.

We need to push our favorite creators. Put them up on a pedestal. Not only will your favorite books be around for a long time, but you will feel satisfied in knowing that you was a part of the movement. I would love for all the creators on my favorite books to succeed, so they all can have thousands of Twitter followers rushing to comment on their tweets before they can even send it. Or for them to have hundreds of followers begging for a re-tweet or follow! (sorry but I had to throw that in)

Brian Wood / Tess Fowler Scandal

After I read Tess Fowler’s statement, all I said was, “So what.” I can’t believe the number of comments I’ve read on the internet about something that happened about 8 years ago. Most of the comments I read talked negatively about Wood, and sided with Fowler. I skimmed over several comments before leaving the site in disgust. I visited the site the next day, and there were even more comments posted. Again, I skimmed over a few and left in disgust.

I’m not taking sides with anyone, but come on. It’s pathetic how people in this world thrive on controversy. Fowler is playing the innocent victim and people are falling for it. No one knows what happened but Fowler and Wood, and it’s not our business anyway. Now a man’s career and personal life could be in jeopardy, and Fowler appears to be enjoying it.

It sounds to me like Wood was trying to talk to Fowler, but she turned him down. So what. That happens all the time between men and women. Besides, my mother always told her daughters that if a man don’t look at a woman twice, then something is wrong.

We all need to make sure our own house is in order before trying to run somebody else’s. That’s all I have to say in the matter. X-Men will continue to come into my home.

Comic Workshop/Conference

I’m getting pretty tired of reading about not enough blacks and women in comics, and there’s no way for us to break in. Well it’s not about being black or a female, it’s about how to break into the industry. I’ve listened to a few writers share their stories, and they all had one thing in common; they were all at the right place at the right time. So I think it would be a great idea if there was a comic workshop or conference. I am an aspiring writer and I would break my neck to attend. There could be:

  • Panels (breaking-in, submissions, legal issues, etc.)
  • Track specific panels (writer, artist)
  • Networking
  • Pitchfest

There should be representatives from the Big 2, indie publishers and web comics. I have attended writing workshops in the past for both screenplay and novels, and there was always a large turnout. Guests would include writers, artist, colorists, letterers, editors and everyone else involved in creating comics. Of course not everyone would want to participate, because some creators would fear the aspiring conference attendees are out to get their jobs. I can’t answer for others, but I don’t want to take anything from anyone. Instead I would love to work side-by-side with a published writer.

Well that’s my thoughts for now. I don’t know what my next post will be about, which is probably why this one is titled Random Thoughts.