Tag Archives: chandra free

The God Machine Gets a re:Vision on Kickstarter

The God Machine by Chandra Free was originally released in 2010 and earned a glowing review from us for its beautiful art and unique style. A decade later, it’s back with The God Machine Volume 1 re:Vision now being published through Machina Corpse, the publishing company of Free and Stephen Emond. A Kickstarter is currently underway.

Guy Salvatore is stricken with sadness and guilt. His world no longer makes sense. His girlfriend has died and he’s seeing monsters. Are they manifestations of grief or something more? A strange man in a graveyard tells Guy that his girlfriend is indeed alive, floating in and out of the “Dream Worlds” and that only Guy can save her! However, the Gods stand in his way of happiness. Could this be the uniting of young lovers, or the end of everything else?

The God Machine Volume 1 re:Vision not only kickstarts the original release but will lead to volume 2 and beyond. This version is the “definitive” version with new content throughout. The series features a new logo, new lettering by Taylor Esposito, refined dialogue, overall, it’s a lot more polished with extended scenes, new pages, new characters… it’s a re:Vision.

You can get a PDF copy for $15 and the physical hardcover is at the $35 level. Other pledge items include pins, prints, and so much more.

The Kickstarter campaign has raised over 1/3 of its goal of $24,000 in its first day. The campaign ends on April 8 at 10:30am EDT.

The God Machine Vol. 1 re:Vision

Preview: The Mice Templar V: Night’s End #1

The Mice Templar V: Night’s End #1

Story By: Bryan J.L. Glass
Story By: Michael Avon Oeming
Art By: Victor Santos
Art By: Serena Guerra
Cover By: Michael Avon Oeming
Variant Cover By: Victor Santos
Variant Cover By: Chandra Free
Price: $3.99
Diamond ID: JAN150606
Published: March 25, 2015

“SIEGE” The restored Templar bring their final battle to the very gates of King Icarus’s stronghold—the fortress city of Dealrach Ard-Vale, where the doomed insurrection of its desperate inhabitants await rescue. But as the armies of salvation go to war without the guidance and leadership of Karic, the heroic young mouse who overcame their generations of prejudice and division, under which banner will they fight? Five Issues. One Night! One glorious, terrifying battle! Where every Legend—Dream, Destiny & Prophecy—will collide for the fate of the world they know! The grand finale of an eight-year creator-owned vision! The two-time Harvey Award-winning series concludes, from the acclaimed creators of Powers, Polar, and Furious!


Preview: The Mice Templar IV: Legend #14

The Mice Templar IV: Legend #14

Story By: Bryan J.L. Glass
Story By: Michael Avon Oeming
Art By: Victor Santos
Art By: Serena Guerra
Cover By: Michael Avon Oeming
Variant Cover By: Victor Santos
Variant Cover By: Chandra Free
Price: $5.99
Diamond ID: JUL140559
Published: October 15, 2014

“KARIC THE MANY” Possessed by the Red Ant god, Karic’s long-prophesied doom becomes reality as the would-be savior of the mice becomes an instrument of vengeance for the great demon lord Donas the Nathair! On the very brink of restoration, the Templar find themselves trapped between the insatiable hunger of The Many…and the unstoppable insect Guardians of the Dusk and Dawn! PLUS…HAMMER OF THE GODS returns to Image Comics in a three-part story: “HANDS OF THE DWARF” by MICHAEL AVON OEMING and MARK WHEATLEY. The mythical Rattatosk the squirrel that lives in the World Tree provokes a war, and uses the cursed Modi to do it!


Preview: The Mice Templar IV: Legend #13

The Mice Templar IV: Legend #13

Story By: Bryan J.L. Glass
Story By: Michael Avon Oeming
Art By: Victor Santos
Art By: Serena Guerra
Cover By: Michael Avon Oeming
Variant Cover By: Victor Santos
Variant Cover By: Chandra Free
Price: $3.99
Diamond ID: JUN140557
Published: August 27, 2014

“DEFIANCE” The fate of the Mole Goblins is revealed—and are they Karic’s greatest betrayal or one of his darkest tragedies? But while Templar forces regroup against the deadliest threat they’ve ever faced, Karic’s family and friends trapped within the walls of the capital city unleash youthful insurrection against the very heart of King Icarus’ stronghold!


Interview: Women of BOOM! – Chandra Free

Chandra Free 2It’s Thursday which brings us a new interview and our 13th “Women of BOOM!” feature, spotlighting the many kick-ass women that work at BOOM!, Archaia and KaBOOM! We’re focusing on everyone, editors, designers, writers, artists, you name it! We’re making sure to include the hard-working folks whose contributions are often overlooked in the process.

BOOM! (and KaBOOM! and Archaia) has given us unprecedented access and the chance to ask questions to their staff, and creative teams, to find out why the publisher is so successful in hiring women and their experiences in the comic industry as women.

Chandra Free is an independent creator, writer, illustrator, artist, and is up to the plate this week. She released her creator owned series The God Machine through Archaia, acting as both artist and writer. She’s been an illustrator on Fraggle Rock Vol. 2 and artist for Conspiracy of the Planet of the Apes, both for Archaia.

Graphic Policy: How did you get involved in the comic book industry?

Chandra Free: It was always destined to happen. When I  got out of high school, I already wanted to put my book The God Machine out there. Of course, college got in the way, and I grew as an artist. In 2005, I “took a break” from college and started to discover my own artistic voice…  one that wasn’t my professors. With this, I was producing new digital illustrations, and one in particular was a piece of fanart for Gloom Cookie. I sent it along to Serena Valentino (the writer of Gloom Cookie) for her to see. She was so excited about my artwork that she asked me to try out for her upcoming comic, Hell’s Cafe! I did sample pages and everything! Sadly the project didn’t go forward during that time for many reasons, but it was my sample pages that she ended up posting online that caught the eye of Drew Rausch. Now, Rausch wanted me to do a pin-up for him, which I did. So impressed, he asked me to be his colorist on his book, Sullengrey. I did the first two issues of his second volume. This was my “initial” involvement with the comics industry. All creator-owned endeavors.

GP: Did you read comics growing up? Do you read them now?

CF: I did, all kinds of comics too. When I was in grade school I read things like Garfield, newspaper comics, Disney Adventure, then later the weird stints Marvel had with the “then current” Disney movies. My mom always collected weird comics like Tom & Jerry, Heckel & Jeckel, The Three Stooges, and a bunch of old Marvel and DC titles that I’d always look through when I was a kid– but I never read them, just gazed at the pictures. I tend to gaze even to this day! FYI My mom also bought several copies of the Death of Superman when that came out…hahaha! Oh…

When I was about thirteen years old (this is around 1995), Marvel put out 11 issues of Disney’s Gargoyles. Oh man! I LOVED that comic so much! It featured Amanda Conner as the initial artist, and it was a more adult story. Conner made Elisa look so cool! Like kick your ass kind of cool. I would try and draw Conner’s version of Elisa all the time! I wanted to get an edge to my drawings (granted I was in middle school at the time.) The writing in that series made Elisa a multifaceted character, more fleshed out, filled with guilt and justice, and she wasn’t afraid to right the wrongs of her past by putting herself in danger! I collected all of those issues! I still have them bagged and boarded too. I was heartbroken when the next issue didn’t come out. I’d visit all the comics shops and turnstyle racks to no avail!

Around the time Gargoyles was coming out I was also getting into X-men, and I needed to know everything about them. I had seen the cartoon, but I really wanted to know what i was missing out on– the real lore! I don’t know how we did research back then; there was internet, but that was all bbs’ and various pages with info on them! In addition to all of that, I wanted everything with Psylocke! Don’t ask me why… maybe because she reminded me of anime characters? The issue that stands out the most was Psylocke vs. Sabertooth with Joe Madureira doing the art – and you can really see the anime influences there! I was so infatuated by Psylocke that I wanted the Sega Saturn game with her in it, until I learned it was a terrible port of the original arcade version, then I snubbed it and went on with my life!

I picked up the early issues of Archie’s Sonic comics. I didn’t make it past #50, I was getting tired of the story! I think I was mainly into those comics because I was going nuts over the original 16-bit games. They’re still making Sonic comics…

I never stopped reading comics. I had my time with manga and SLG titles during my teens and early ‘20s.

Currently when I find the time, I will read my friends’ comics, slice-of-life comics, and dark bizarre comics. My all-time favorites currently are Daytripper, DE:Tales: Stories from Urban Brazil, In the Flesh, Fell, Sleepwalk (Optic Nerve), Shortcomings, The Killer, From Hell, Courtney Crumrin, Paradise Kiss, and Critical Millennium (that has nothing to do with the fact my boyfriend wrote it, it was in my pullbox before I even met him! PLUS! It’s an original science fiction story! You don’t find those that often!)

The God MachineGP: How did you come to work with BOOM!/Archaia?

CF: In 2007 I was pitching The God Machine at New York Comic-con. I had six packets to give to potential publishers. Each packet had everything in it, my black and white comic pages, my synopsis, character designs, full color illustrations– the works! I pitched to Mark Smylie (then owner of Archaia), and he immediately wanted to publish me based on my pitch package and my colorful illustrations! The only thing was that I needed to make my pages like those color illustrations in order to make it happen (Archaia only did color books at the time). I was mortified! I had picked out black and white as the format so I could be quick and produce my pages at a fast rate. Color wasn’t a fast thing for me to do. I wouldn’t take up Mark’s offer to publish me until seven months later when I had a break-down about what I wasn’t doing with The God Machine. I contacted my friend Alex Eckman-Lawn about what he thought of Archaia, and he said Mark had been asking about me the week before! I made that much of an impression. I took this opportunity immediately! If Mark Smylie wanted full colored pages, then by golly that’s what he was going to have! In late 2007 I would sign with Archaia as my publisher for The God Machine. It’s worth mentioning that Mark was right. My book looks and reads much better than it ever did in black and white. I have never regretted making it this way.

GP: How would you describe your job for people?

CF: I’m a freelance creator and illustrator. I create my own stories, in which I write and draw them. My primary focus is my title, The God Machine. I have done other projects , as well. On Fraggle Rock, I worked as an illustrator, and for Mice Templar, I have been a cover colorist.  I have adapted two stories for the anthology series Graphic Canon, and illustrated for Conspiracy of the Planet of the Apes. I have done numerous pin-ups, album covers, and personal commissions. I’m also the Art Director at BLAM! Ventures, for books like SPACE:1999, and FRENZY. I’ve also made sure there was visual continuity with SPACE:1999 with dealings of likeness rights.

GP: For people who want to pursue a career in what you do, what advice would you give them?

CF: Make sure you understand what it is to tell a sequential story. It’s more than pretty pictures, it’s about capturing the right moment. It’s more than a battle scene with zippy dialog, it’s about capturing character and story arcs that will bring your readers further into your story. Know the jargon– what’s a panel? What’s line weight? What’s a splash page… all this and more! Educate yourself! There are tons of books out there that are literally titled, “Understanding Comics.” Pick them up, read them! Make sure you know how to write and/or draw, too. The fundamentals!

Moving on from basics– so you want to break in?

Have a great portfolio! Find out what the publisher you’re pitching to wants from you, and make sure you have that. Meet the editor of the publisher you’re looking to pitch to at a convention. You’ll more than likely you’ll get more out of that than by sending in a submission. Be prepared for criticism from the editor! It is not an attack on you personally; it’s to help you get better or even understand what the publisher is looking for. Most importantly, NEVER show work that you’re not happy about, that’s  incomplete, old, or anything that shows your insecurities. Show them your best and newest stuff. Exude confidence in your work, but not to the point of smugness. Listen to what they have to say, be receptive, and courteous. All of these things will take you far.

Don’t expect fame, fortune, and an easy ride. It’s hard, laborious work that will tax your nerves, your esteem, your free-time, and will barely reward you in the end. But I have to say, there’s something to be said for making your own title and reaching people. Something that is intangible and amazing! Trust me on this, it’s worth all those tears smeared all over your comic page at 3am when your deadline is at 10am.

GP: We notice that when it comes to women in the comic industry, BOOM!/Archaia has a lot of diversity present. Why do you think have they succeeded when so many other publishers struggle with this?

CF: Companies like BOOM!/Archaia, and other indy comics companies, seem more geared to diversity and unique titles that usually comes from one creator or a small group of people. Gender doesn’t have anything to do with their selection, but instead, its what  title the creator is bringing to the company. It’s based on: 1.) if the title is right for them, 2.) if it’s great, 3.) and if the market is looking for something like it (or even if they want to strike out with something different and daring!). Indy companies are interested more in stories than meeting status quo, otherwise they would be in direct competition with the big two who have corner the market in a lot of ways.

GP: We’ve heard horror stories concerning women in the industry, have you ever seen or been discriminated/harassed and if so, how did you handle it?

CF: I haven’t exactly faced it internally in the industry itself, yet, but externally online, and at conventions, I have.

I once had a book review that focused on me, personally, where the reviewer said he was in love with me and messed up my lead character’s name in the process. Not sure how I feel about that. It wasn’t professional at all. I have no issue with somebody saying they loved my work, but don’t make it about me.

I’ve also been confused as being a “booth babe” instead of the creator, so much so that a dude went behind my table at Archaia and came and kissed me on my arm! He went back to the front of the table and asked me why I was there. I never felt so violated before! It wouldn’t have been cool of him to do that even if I had been a booth babe! That kind of behavior is unacceptable. Learn some respect for your fellow humans, who happen to have different sexual organs than you.

Other times, when I had my ex-husband at my booth, everybody would go to him first and ask if he did my work. This would happen a lot. I can also be the only person at the booth, explain my book, have by banner with my name on it, and still be asked if I did it. In some cases, I don’t know if it’s just that the people didn’t use common sense, or if I’m being discriminated against. I often do get surprised looks, though, as if I just blew their minds. I hate it.

In all of these instances, I haven’t had much in the way of handling it, other than to continue on. But you know what’s really awesome? When a father continues to bring his daughter back every year to show her that, she too, could be a comics creator… and all the BS of all the other events melts away. It’s the other girls and young ladies that I have effected in one way or another, and have inspired to create their own comics, that make everything okay. Heck, I think I’ve inspired some boys out there, too! That’s what really matters at the end of the day.

GP: What advice do you have for women looking to break into the comic book industry?

CF: Don’t give up hope. This industry will try and test you, but you have to come out stronger. Your gender has nothing to do with your skill, talent, and intellect. Focus on what matters the most to you, whether it’s creating your own epic, writing a webcomic, or drawing a fantastic comic– you do it! Don’t let anybody else tell you otherwise. Be wise and take real criticism in mind, but don’t let it drive you away.

And most of all, LOVE what you do. It will take you far.


Kickstarter Spotlight: Fandom, Gender, Free Comics and Sharks!

Welcome to the first edition of a new regular Thursday feature where we spotlight cool projects you can find on Kickstarter!

Keep in mind we do not guarantee the completion of any of these projects and are not responsible for the end result. We do include a warning of what we think the likelihood of issues are and how risky the project is.

Don’t Feed the Trolls

dont_feed_the_trollsWhen you think of “fandom” it’s not always in the flattering of lights. Society paints fans, especially those of comics, science fiction, etc., in a negative way, depicting them as geeks and nerds. This film will delve deeper into these communities to show there’s more to them.

The film will focus on Nicole, both a fitness professional and a die-hard fan. Her two very different worlds will blend together to show that there is more to belonging to a fandom than the “fanatic” stereotype society has given us.

The two folks behind it, Nicole and Liz, both went to film school and between the two of them they’ve worked on dozens and dozens of films and projects. They know that in the film world, anything that can go wrong will go wrong and they’re more than ready to tackle anything that comes their way.

I like the idea of shedding a positive light on fandom, and doing so with a focus on a female fan not only takes on the stereotype of fans, but also women’s roles within it. The project has a modest goal of $3,000.

Best Pledge: $25 – You get updates of the film, but also a DVD of the film and a link to an early version of it. The price is about right for what I’d pay for a DVD movie. There are some cooler levels at higher amounts.

Risk: MEDIUM – This is the first Kickstarter project for the two. While I think they know production, things might happen, so if anything I’d expect a delay from the delivery date of this September.

Comics Undressed

ladydrawerOur friends over at Ladydrawers are putting together a different documentary. This one is an ambitious project with the primary aim of addressing media justice in comics and popular culture. They intend to portray the underlying forms of discrimination that impact representations of women, queers, trans folk, non-binary gender people, and people of color in comics. They seek to support a diversity of racial, gender, and sexual identities that make up our society as well as unveil the surprising economic injustices and cultural biases that occur. Their goal is to present a sincere heartfelt documentary that captures their love for comics while critiquing the structure of the comics industry. They intend to implement an experimental process to give form to their extensive original research that mirrors the comics themselves. Through a myriad of interviews with comics creators, readers, bloggers, vendors, fans, and the general public, they strive to foster a multiplicity of viewpoints in the comic-book world and our culture at large.

It’s great to get a critical look at our comic culture, and Ladydrawers does just that with thought and research. This isn’t a knee-jerk reactionary group, these are folks who think things through and make their arguments with facts and research. It should be very interesting to see what they come up with and the end of the result of the project.

Critical analysis of the representation of individuals in comics is good. Different viewpoints are good. Research is good. Discussion of these issues is good. So of course this is a project I can get behind.

Best Pledge: $35 – This gets you a digital copy of the movie and some other items. It’s the one I chose when I pledged. So yes, my money is in on this one.

Risk: LOW – This is the first Kickstarter project for the group, but they’ve put out other items in the past. While I have no idea if the December date is realistic, I feel confident the project will be completed within a reasonable amount of time.

Rocksalt “Back to School” edition

rocksaltRocksalt Magazine is a free comics anthology out of Austin.  They print three thousand copies of each issue and distribute it at about two hundred locations around town.  They’ve been doing it for two years now, and it has been successful beyond their wildest dreams.  The next issue, #9, will be the back-to-school special and it will be their “best issue yet.”

It’s that simple, a great way to get comics into the hands with folks and with only hours left, a guaranteed one to get funded.

Best Pledge: $25 – This gets you a copy of all nine issues mailed directly to you. It’s a great way to check out some indie comic creators from the Austin area which has a great track record for churning them out.

Risk: LOW – This is the first Kickstarter project for Geoff, but he’s released items before. The time frame might be tight, so I’d expect it to slip by a month or two.

FRENZY – An Illustrated Novel

frenzySharks…. is there any other reason you need to give to this?

Frenzy is an original illustrated horror/thriller novel about one of the world’s most beloved animals… sharks! It is an original novel authored by Andrew E.C.Gaska, and will be produced by guerrilla design studio BLAM! Ventures, LLC. Frenzy is a special project because while it is a prose novel (not a graphic novel), the book will have over 20 paintings and another 20 pen & ink illustrations from a diverse array of talented artists to help tell the story. These talents include AMAZING artists such as menton3, Bob Eggleton, Dave Dorman, Erik Gist, Steve White, Aaron Miller, Dan Dussault, Chandra Free, and more to be announced!

Not only do you get a cool story, but that’s a hell of a roster of talent when it comes to the art. You can see some examples of their skills and talent on the Kickstarter page. I’ve also read a lot of Gaska’s previous work, and the man is a talented writer. Plus there are sharks, that alone is enough reason to pledge to this one.

In full disclosure, I’m marrying one of the science advisers. I would have given to this no matter what though.

Best Pledge: $25 – This gets you a digital copy of the book, but I’d go higher than that, there’s some very cool higher pledges. I myself am going with the $70 pledge to get a sketch from Chandra Free.

Risk: LOW – Drew is a long time vet when it comes to producing items and releasing them and he’s given himself a long lead time for this. I fully expect this one on time and as promised. (No pressure)

Preview: The Mice Templar IV: Legend #3

The Mice Templar IV: Legend #3

Story by: Bryan J. L. Glass & Michael Avon Oeming
Art By: Victor Santos
Cover By: Michael Avon Oeming
Variant Cover by: Victor Santos & Chandra Free
Price: $2.99

Karic returns to where his saga began, within the cavern of the Fish gods, where the young hero of prophecy and destiny demands an answer regarding his fate. Meanwhile, his old friend Leito, who believes Karic died as a youth, discovers unexpected love in the town of Bluth. Yet the insidious manipulator Pilot the Tall weaves tales of deception that may doom the one-armed storyteller forever. And the growing “Legend of Karic” reveals an insidious darkness within those who follow his cause!


Archaia Is Off to Emerald City Comicon!

ArchaiaArchaia Entertainment is excited to announce it will be exhibiting at Emerald City Comicon, taking place March 1-3, 2013 at the Washington State Convention Center in Seattle, Washington!

Several Archaia creators will be on hand to sign copies of their books or promotional items at the Archaia booth #808, including: Andrew E. C. Gaska; Chandra Free; Charles Soule; Dave Marquez; David Petersen; Royden Lepp; Yehudi Mercado.

Special advance copies of the Hawken: Genesis anthology graphic novel hardcover, which is based on the hit online, free-to-play mech game from Meteor Entertainment, will debut at ECCC and be available for sale. Writers Khang Le and Jeremy Barlow will be on hand to sign copies at the Archaia booth and at the Meteor booth in the Gaming Area.

In addition, a promotion through FourSquare will give fans the chance to win a prize pack comprised of autographed copies of Mouse Guard Vol. 1: Fall 1152, Rust Vol. 1: Visitor in the Field, and Hawken: Genesis. Just be sure to check in at the Archaia booth through the FourSquare app on your iOS or Android phone once you’re at the show and you’re automatically entered!

For programming, Archaia will put on an exciting, entertaining panel at the show:

Archaia Presents: How I Broke in to Comics (and How You Can, Too!)
Friday, March 1, 4-5pm, Room 3AB
Ever wonder how some of your favorite creators broke in to comics, or were curious how some up-and-comers get to be “up-and-comers”? Join some of Archaia’s creators for a lively discussion of how they got their first break in comics, and to hear their advice on how you can, too! Panelists include Chandra Free (The God Machine, Fraggle Rock), Andrew E.C. Gaska (Space: 1999: Aftershock and Awe, Conspiracy of the Planet of the Apes), Royden Lepp (Rust), David Marquez (Syndrome, The Joyners in 3D), Yehudi Mercado (Pantalones, TX), David Petersen (Mouse Guard), and Charles Soule (Strange Attractors).

Archaia Blows Into the Windy City for C2E2 2012


Over Two Dozen Creators, Two Panels and a Large Booth Highlight the Publisher’s Presence at the Midwest’s Largest Comic Book and Pop Culture Event

Chicago, IL (April 12, 2012) – Award-winning graphic novel publisher Archaia Entertainment announced its plans for the Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo (C2E2) (www.c2e2.com), which includes a 20’ x 30’ display with a huge selection of product for sale on the show floor; hosting over two dozen creators for free autograph signings, including Chad Michael Murray (Everlast), David Petersen (Mouse Guard), Jim McCann and Janet Lee (Return of the Dapper Men), Nate Cosby (Cow Boy), Ramón K. Pérez (Jim Henson’s Tale of Sand), and Royden Lepp (Rust: Visitor in the Field); presenting two panels, one making several exclusive announcements and one to advise aspiring storytellers on proper world-building; and distributing thousands of free giveaways, including single issue comics, mini-posters, and bookmarks. C2E2 will take place April 13-15, 2012 in the North Hall of McCormick Place in downtown Chicago.

In addition, C2E2 will mark the debut of exclusive, limited signed editions of the highly anticipated, all-ages graphic novel hardcover, Cow Boy: A Boy and His Horse, by Nate Cosby and Chris Eliopoulos. Attendees can also obtain the first of four, limited-edition Hawken posters featuring art by Eisner Award-nominated writer/artist Khang Le. Hawken is an upcoming, free-to-play mech FPS developed by Adhesive Games and published by Meteor Entertainment (12-12-12), and Archaia is producing an original graphic novel prequel (March 2013). The other three posters will be distributed at other key conventions later this year, and together, all four posters will join to form a QR code that will lead fans to a special feature when the game’s closed beta release debuts in October 2012.

Creators scheduled to appear at the Archaia booth (#529) throughout the weekend include:

–Andrew E.C. Gaska, writer, Conspiracy of the Planet of the Apes, Critical Millennium, Space: 1999: Aftershock and Awe
–Andrew Rostan, writer, An Elegy for Amelia Johnson
–Ben Templesmith, artist, Bleedout, Immortals: Gods and Heroes
–Brandon Thomas, writer, The Many Adventures of Miranda Mercury
–Brent Schoonover, artist, Mr. Murder Is Dead
–Chad Michael Murray, writer, Everlast
–Chandra Free, writer/artist, The God Machine, Fraggle Rock
–Charles Soule, writer, Strange Attractors
–Dave Rodriguez, writer, Starkweather: Immortal
–David Petersen, writer/artist, Mouse Guard
–Dennis Calero, artist, Immortals: Gods and Heroes, Jim Henson’s The Storyteller
–Gene Ha, artist, Mouse Guard: Legends of the Guard
–Janet Lee, artist, Return of the Dapper Men, The Wonderland Alphabet: Alice’s Adventures Through the ABC’s and What She Found There
–Jeremy Bastian, writer/artist, Mouse Guard: Legends of the Guard, Cursed Pirate Girl
–Jim McCann, writer, Return of the Dapper Men
–J.K. Woodward, artist, Everlast
–Joanna Estep, artist, Fraggle Rock
–Joe LeFavi, writer, Fraggle Rock
–Katie Cook, writer/artist, Fraggle Rock, Jim Henson’s The Storyteller, Mouse Guard: Legends of the Guard
–Mike Kennedy, writer, Bleedout
–Nate Cosby, writer, Cow Boy, Jim Henson’s The Storyteller
–Phil Hester, writer, Days Missing; artist, Immortals: Gods and Heroes
–Ramón K. Pérez, artist, Jim Henson’s Tale of Sand
–Royden Lepp, writer/artist, Rust
–Sam Humphries, writer, Fraggle Rock
–Sean Rubin, artist, Mouse Guard: Legends of the Guard; writer/artist, Bolivar
–Tom Pinchuk, writer, Hybrid Bastards!
–Yehudi Mercado, writer/artist, Pantalones, TX

Visit this link for a complete schedule of signing times: http://www.archaia.com/2012-c2e2-signing-schedule/. (Times and appearances are subject to change.)

Here are the descriptions of the two panels Archaia will present at C2E2:

Friday, April 13
Archaia Presents:  Coming Soon from Archaia Entertainment…
Friday, 2:45-3:45 p.m.
The publisher behind Mouse Guard, The Killer, Return of the Dapper Men, Jim Henson’s Tale of Sand, and other great titles is gearing up for another spectacular year, and here’s where you get to hear all about it! Get the inside scoop on upcoming titles, new projects, and exclusive announcements as Archaia sets its sights on the rest of 2012 and beyond. Join Archaia Editor-in-Chief Stephen Christy, Nate Cosby (Cow Boy), Andrew E. C. Gaska (Space: 1999: Aftershock and Awe), Joe LeFavi (Hawken), Janet Lee (The Wonderland Alphabet: Alice’s Adventures Through the ABC’s and What She Found There, Time of the Dapper Men), Royden Lepp (Rust Vol. 2: Secrets of the Cell), Jim McCann (Time of the Dapper Men), David Petersen (Mouse Guard Vol. 3: The Black Axe, Mouse Guard: Legends of the Guard Vol. 2), and Charles Soule (Strange Attractors) as they give you a sneak peek of what’s to come!

Sunday, April 15
Archaia Presents: How to Tell a Better Story Through World-Building
Time: 10:45 – 11:45 a.m.
Are you an aspiring storyteller? Want to know the keys to world-building and telling a good story? David Petersen (Mouse Guard), Jeremy Bastian (Cursed Pirate Girl), and Sean Rubin (Redwall, the upcoming Bolivar), three accomplished storytellers that have published or are publishing books through Archaia, present an informative, entertaining panel to see how world-building can help you write and/or draw a better story.

“For the third year in a row, we are excited to return to C2E2 in Chicago with a strong presence to show our Midwest-area fans how much we appreciate their support,” said Archaia Marketing Manager Mel Caylo. “We look forward to a fantastic weekend, and hope you can join us!”

About Archaia

Archaia is a multi-award-winning graphic novel publisher with more than 50 renowned publishing brands, including such domestic and international hits as Mouse Guard, Return of the Dapper Men, Gunnerkrigg Court, Awakening, The Killer, Days Missing, Tumor, Syndrome, Artesia, The Engineer, and an entire line of The Jim Henson Company graphic novels. Archaia has built an unparalleled reputation for producing meaningful content that perpetually transforms minds, building one of the industry’s most visually stunning and eclectic slates of graphic novels. Archaia was named Graphic Novel Publisher of the Year according to Ain’t it Cool News, Graphic Policy and Comic Related, and was honored with nine 2011 Eisner Awards nominations. Archaia has also successfully emerged as a prolific storyteller in all facets of the entertainment industry, extending their popular brands into film, television, gaming, and branded digital media.

Baltimore Comic Con 2011 Recap

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It’s not even 24 hours since the end of 2011’s Baltimore Comic Con which took place near the harbor of Baltimore, Maryland.  The convention was packed, seeming to draw record crowds for the weekend.  Saturday was wall to wall people making it at times difficult to make it through the crowds.  It seems legends like Stan Lee did their job, sparking people to come downtown and check out the convention.  Even with the massive crowds, I constantly heard from those exhibiting that sales were down slightly from last year.  No matter, you couldn’t help be impressed by the crowds.

But, what I like about Baltimore is the focus on comics.  It’s one of the few big name shows that keeps it’s focus on it’s roots.  You won’t find movie or television celebrities here, but what you will find is writers, illustrators and publishers interacting directly with the fans.  This is a perfect show to come to where you can shake hands with legends, get autographs and photos and interact directly with creators.  Fans are able to ask directly what they’re working on and you can often find the greats hanging out during and after the show, completely approachable.  I might be a blogger, but I’m a fan first, and it’s such a fun time to talk comics with those who are involved creating them.  It’s often eye opening and you learn a ton.

But, the show isn’t all dealers, publishers and artist alley.  There’s also a decent selection of panels where you can catch some industry titans talking about history or what’s coming up.  There were a few bumps this year, but after sitting through Saturday’s spotlight with Shannon Wheeler, I’ve made a promise myself to attend more panels at future shows.  It’s entertaining and you get stories you’ll hear nowhere else.  I also had the pleasure of moderating the BOOM! 6th Anniversary Panel with BOOM! Studios founder and CEO Ross Ritchie.  1) being on panels are fun; 2) I really need to get better at it; 3) I learned a hell of a lot.

You also get to see so much you won’t necessarily find at your local shop.  Small publishers, self-publishers line places like Artist Alley.  You also get to find new ways people are telling stories.  This show Heretic City stood out to me.  It’s not the traditional comic book, instead, it tells a graphic story through t-shirts.  A great idea and very unique.  It shows graphic story telling can happen outside of the traditional panel format.

But, in the end, for some one like me it’s all about catching up with old friends and making new ones.  Here’s the rundown.

Old friends:

  • Len Wallace and Jessica – always great hanging out with you two.  I think we’ll have to make Saturday dinner a tradition.  Look forward to seeing you both at NYCC.
  • The Top Cow crew – Atom! and Filip – always great catching up, and hope to hang at at NYCC.  Top Cow has a special place as the first company we really covered and I look forward to continue to support them.  Great guys, great product, great attitude.
  • Ron Marz – I promise to get you the script – folks, one of the nicest people you’ll meet at a con, great with the fans.
  • Drew Gaska – a true talent and awesome guy.  Love his writing and ideas and so happy the person behind them is so smart, fun and friendly.
  • The Kill Shakespeare guys – Anthony and Conor, so talented and I can’t wait to see what they have coming up.  You want to watch a great pitch and interaction with fans, go see them at cons. You can’t help but dig Shakespeare after.
  • The BOOM! Studios crew – Ross and Chip, always fun. Let me know when I can moderate another panel… The product is fun and quality, they’ve got a great attitude, it’s no wonder I’m looking forward to shining the spotlight on them more and more.
  • ComiXology – Taking five minutes talking to this team and you can’t help be excited about the future of digital comics.  John and the team are brilliant and will win you over on the digital medium.

New friends:

  • Shannon Wheeler – the creator of Too Much Coffee Man is a legend, and hilarious. If he’s on a panel, go see it.
  • Denis Kitchen – All I want to do now is sit this industry legend down and just film him talking. Amazing stories.
  • CBLDF – I finally connected with the CBLDF team and look forward to helping support them more and more in the future.
  • Chandra Free – the writer and artist of The God Machine is so talented and being able to watch her sketch is amazing.  It just solidifies my opinion of her talent.

Twitter/Digital friends now in person!:

  • PLB Comics – a small publishing company, their book The Fall is a great read.  They’re also very friendly in person and I’m feeling really good after meeting them to support their efforts.
  • Joshua Hale Fialkov – the writer of Echoes and Tumor is a talent and his upcoming book The Last of the Greats is just as solid.  We were early supporters of his, and so happy to continue to do so.
  • I loved Rahsan Ekedal art on Echoes and was so happy to meet him at the show as well.  You better believe I’ll be picking up some of his original work at NYCC.

There’s also a bunch of indie books I picked up and you better believe I’ll be letting you know my thoughts in future reviews.  Next up is SPX in two weeks!

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