So I have a new comic coming out in September. It’s currently out in Diamond Previews in July and it’s available to order. Learning from past mistakes, I’m pimping it like hell now as I want my readers to know I have something new coming out when it can be ordered rather than bought. This is a lesson I learned from PIROUETTE, which is set to be published very soon from Black Mask.
GRAVETRANCERS is about Maribel and Anthony who are in search of the grave of their dead father, not knowing that they are stumbling into a graveyard owned by an eccentric clan of grave-robbers who’ve devised a highly-addictive drug made from human remains–and the fresher the corpse, the stronger the dose. What started out as an attempt to reconnect with the past becomes a descent into a psychedelic, neon-colored nightmare—will Maribel and Anthony find their way through the hallucinogens or will they become the next hit?
The four issue miniseries is written by me with art from of James Michael Whynot, psychedelic colors by Dee Cunniff, and bold and beautiful letters by Jim Campbell! I am so stoked about the team I have put together for this series as everyone brings something unique and different to the project. I can’t wait until I can share more about the book. And I plan to try to update everyone about it daily here as well as when news breaks about it. Until then, the order code is #JUL171455. Please pass it along and talk to your local comic shop and have them order it a plenty. It’s a grisly horror story like no other.
Check out the announcement from Bleeding Cool here!
Here’s the cover below. I’ll share more soon.
A few websites worth checking out:
James Michael Whynot’s webpage
Jim Campbell’s website
I recently stumbled across the below play by play video recapping my Zenescope series THE JUNGLE BOOK which I wrote back in 2011. Having just finished a few series for another indie company, I was trying to begin the arduous climb up the corporate ladder that is the comic book industry. One of the the most important rungs was this series which brought my writing to the attention to Zenescope’s thousands of fans. While the company is known for it’s cheesecakey covers focusing much on T&A, I was given free reign to take the concept of one of my favorite stories as a kid and adapt it in any way I sought possible. The only guideline was that I had to change Mowgli, the Man Cub from Kipling’s Classic to Mowglii, the Woman Cub. And while this gave the series a chance to show off it’s trademark T&A covers, I found changing the sex of Mowglii opened up many more possibilities for directions this story could take. After all, “the female of the species is the more deadly than the male,” or so the Space song says. But also, the quote is from Kipling’s writing itself, which I thought was a nice omen.
So having my female Mowglii, I set out to write a story of warring animal tribes and adopted children, an aspect I was all too familiar with since I had been working by day as a Licensed Therapist at a Residential Home for boys and girls. Seeing children every day taken from their families and being reared in an environment not their own with parents often looking nothing like themselves lead to some interesting observations about the concept of nature vs. nurture. Seeing that the environment very much molds the adults these children become, I explored that by adding three other children to the mix in my JUNGLE BOOK story and giving them attributes of the animal tribe which reared them. So Bomani, who was raised by ferocious tigers of the Shere tribe suffered from constant abuse for not living up to the ferocity his tribe exuded and had difficulty making a kill. Dewan was raised by apes of Bandar Log, who not only lived and manipulated things (mostly in wrong ways) that crashed on the island in the pirate ship, but also was a victim of parents who were unpredictable and addicted to an opiate that was on board the vessel as well. So he was unpredictable. A friend one minute, an enemy the next, based solely on the impulse he had in the moment. Akili was brought up by the Tavi tribe (referencing Rikki Tikki Tavi, another Kipling story), which are immensely strong in numbers, but their small stature compared to Akili’s has rocketed her up to be a hero and savior of the tribe. She now patrols the jungle as a sort of superhero with her trusty sidekick Tobaqui the Fox, another character from Kipling’s stories who was ignored in the movie versions.
Lastly, there is Mowglii, a product of a pretty strong upbringing with the nurturing wolves and overseen by Bagheera the Panther and her “coach” Baloo the Bear. With this type of guidance, she would be the most stable of the group and the below story is how they all discovered one another on the vast island of Kipling. While the reenactment in the video below misses some of my favorite nuances and story beats, the broad strokes are all there. I’d love to get feedback on this, one of my favorite writing experiences so far in comics.
I have much more to talk about this series, specifically my work with artist Carlos Granda, and how we developed a language that melds the script and art together, but that is a post for another day.
I had the privilege of working with Black Mask Studios publisher Matt Pizzolo through the years and actually accompanied Matt when he journeyed into the masses accumulated in Zuccotti Park for the Occupy Wall Street Movement, which coincidentally occurred at the same time during the New York Comic Con in September of 2011. While I can’t say I agreed with everything the Occupy Movement stood for, there was definitely excitement in the air at the time and I liked the idea of challenging the flawed politics of the day. Matt was inspired to create OCCUPY COMICS, a collection of short stories and essays that focused on the turbulent and fluid political climate of the moment. Seeing an opportunity to have my work in the same tome as Alan Moore, David Mack, Mike Allred, David Lloyd, Charlie Adlard, Art Spiegelman, and scores of other talented folks in comics, I jumped at the chance to throw my contribution into the mix. Below is what I came up with; OCCUPY, an allegory I wrote and drew on scratchboard about the current flawed two-party political system. You can find out about OCCUPY COMICS here (http://blackmaskstudios.com/).
Cover OCCUPY COMICS Trade
Occupy page 1
Occupy page 2
Occupy page 3