Wednesday, April 28, 2004

Back in Portland... 

...and boy did my cat shit the place up. Unbelievable. Let's take care of some updates and ignore the weird gurgling sound that overheating steam cleaner is making in the background.

I just heard from Drew Johnson that that, by editorial demand, he will be attending Wondercon. This is great news for Wonder Woman fans, because that means the entire creative team will be there: Greg Rucka, Drew, Ray Snyder and Moose Baumann. I'm sure they'll be doing some kind of signing at the DC booth. Matthew Clark will be there too, as I mentioned below. Not sure if Drew will have space in Artists Alley, but Ray will, and he'll know where to find Drew.

Ron Randall worked on a couple of John Constantine's earliest appearances, back during Alan Moore's run on Swamp Thing. It's been awhile, but he's finally returning to the character as penciller on the CONSTANTINE film adaptation. Cool.

Paul Guinan has been quiet about his current project, but the last time we spoke with him he had just returned from Tilamook Airport carrying several books on piloting vintage aircraft. More on this as we pry it out of him.

Last week, friend of the studio Ezra Claytan Daniels put together the first Comic Art Battle to kick off his promotional tour. It would have been nice if I could have gotten you the news earler, but I was over on the other side of the country, where cartoonists still peacefully co-exist.

BITE CLUB #1 is out, and the reviewers have been lavish in their praise for David Hahn's illustration. David's also got a very cool illustration project on his table, but I'm not sure if I'm allowed to talk about it yet. More when I know it's okay to blab.

On the recent calls for activism 

There's been a lot of talk online recently about getting active to rescue (or prevent the need to rescue) titles like Wildcats and Stormwatch. What I have to say runs contrary to the current push, but now is as good a time as any to present it.

Those of you who are interested in activism will get a lot more bang for your buck if you put your energy into supporting small press and self published titles. Let's say that a well-organized and sustained push could raise a book's sales by five hundred or a thousand copies. That's not enough to keep a corporate publisher from cancelling a moribund series. It simply doesn't represent a big enough slice of their expenses. But that same increase on a small press book makes an unbelievable impact. It can push a book out of the red and into the black, It can significantly increase the buzz on a title, making fence-sitting retailers more likely to order that all-important first copy, and most importantly, it can keep a cartoonist working on his or her comics instead of moving off to do commercial art.

So, to those of you who want to make a cause of a comic, I say pick a worthy black and white title - something you can really get behind like Finder or Scooter Girl or (your favorite indie here), and make that the beneficiary of your activism. It may be almost impossible for a small clique of fans to change the fate of a color comic from one of the big publishers, but the economics of small press publishing are such that a relatively small number of fans can make a very big difference.

Reprinted from a discussion on Millarworld.

Friday, April 23, 2004

Being Jeff Parkervich 

Charlie Chu, maximum leader of the Grammarporn motorcycle club has done the unthinkable: He's crawled inside Jeff Parker's head to understand how the guy's demented brain operates.

In this post on the Grammarporn weblog, Charlie has carefully broken down and analyzed the choreography of an action scene from Parker's Eisner-nominated graphic novel The Interman. It's a readable and well thought-out disection, the sort of craft-study that other aspiring professionals would do well to check out. I've gone on elsewhere about how good Parker's storytelling is. Here's a fine explanation of why it's good.

Wednesday, April 21, 2004

Picture my head popping up out of the ground like a prairie dog. 

Parker and I have finally put together that con report we'd promised. What's in it? An interesting bit of news about my next project, some goofy pictures of comic book professionals, some embarrassing anecdotes, the Last Galactus Story, and best of all, an adorable tyke we like to call "The Little Porn Boy." Read all about it.

I'll be back in the real world in a few days. With any luck, I'll soon be able to forget all this nonsense about meeting deadlines and dealing with family and get back to important things like farting around on the internet.

Thursday, April 08, 2004

Here's what's up. 

The Mercury Studios weblog be slow on the updates for a couple of weeks. This isn't a personal site, so I'll just say that I'm back east dealing with some family stuff. For those of you who know what I'm talking about, things started out rough but seem to be improving now.

Because of these difficulties, It doesn't look like I'll be able to attend the Pittsburgh Comicon this year. I'm disappointed by this because I always have a good time at this show. Don't let my absence keep you away. The con is always well run and friendly, with easy access to a terrific variety of guests. Another reason to attend: The show is held at an expo center right next door to the Monroeville Mall, where the original Dawn of the Dead was filmed, and George Romero is one of the guests. This is your chance to find out why every kid from Pittsburgh wants to be a zombie when he grows up.

Over on the coast I love, and miss horribly, Wondercon is coming up in a couple of weeks. Matthew Clark will be a guest. Stop by his table in artists alley and get an eyeful of the astounding work he's doing on Adventures of Superman.

And here, just to annoy Matthew, is a quote from one of my favorite writers. This is from page 246 of Volume Four of The Collected Essays, Journalism and Letters of George Orwell:

"Who would bring up a child on the coloured "comics" in which sinister professors manufacture atomic bombs in underground laboratories while Superman whizzes through the clouds, the machine-gun bullets bouncing off his chest like peas, and platinum blondes are raped, or very nearly, by steel robots and fifty-foot dinosaurs?"

Um... yeah.

Finally, I can't say for certain because they're all twenty-five hundred miles away, but I think I speak for everyone at the studio when I say congratulations to Friend of Ol' Mercury, Jeff Parker, for his Eisner nomination. On the strength of his , 2003 self-publishing debut. Industry insiders have been praising Jeff's book for a some time now, and here's hoping that this will spread the word even further.

If you haven't read it yet, read it. I'm not giving you a choice here. You have to. Go to your local store and request a copy, or mail-order one from khepri.com (scroll down)

That's all. I'll put up more when I can.

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