Friday, June 26, 2009

It just ain't in the cards...

I'm sad to report that we are not going to be able get our first issue out in time for SDCC. There just isn't enough time to do everything we have to do and for me to learn what I have to learn in time to get the whole package together. So... we have re-adjusted our schedule and will be printing the book for release at the 1st Long Beach Comic-Con in California the weekend of Oct2-4th. It will still have the cover inked by Walter Simonson, in fact we may end up having that cover be an exclusive for that convention. Seeing as we will be doing our best to have Walter there in person to sign copies for Square 1 Press. If things don't work out the way we like, then we will definitely have them the following weekend at the Baltimore Comic-con as well, where Walter will absolutely be attending.

As Square 1 Press, we are learning this business as quickly as we can and there are just some things that we can't rush.

This actually works out better for us as a whole. This allows a couple things to happen, seeing as S1P had planned on setting up at the con, we will be able to have the "Valkkadia" writer/artist Hassan Godwin at the show as well. I will be working for the convention itself, S1P will need to have some extra help on hand so this goes great leaps to this end. Hopefully we will have more products available for sale at Long Beach as well. There are several other sketchbook opportunities and a possible limited lithograph run as well. More to come on that front as it develops.

I do have the finished "Valkkadia" logo to show off, courtesy of the awesome Brian Jouan. A link to his website is available at the upper right of this blog. And it looks a little like this...

There may be some small tweaks to the finish and such, but the core is there and we really dig it. Brian, we can't thank you enough. We really appreciate the help.

Tuesday, I'll be having dinner with a couple of guys who are bringing me a story they want adapted visually. More on that next week.

So, there it is. We still have the Howard Chaykin and Walter Simonson sketchbooks available at the webstore here.

Thanks for everyone's continued support, we truly appreciate it.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Script is in my hand!

OK, I got the finalized script for Valkkadia#1 tonite. which means...

I need to get my ass movin...I have 6 panels to finish inking and the whole book to letter and balloon. I may be up for awhile.

Also, above is the latest version of the "Valkkadia" logo as being developed by my good friend, Brian Jouan. There is more to be done, I'll try and keep everybody up to speed. But now, back to the drawing board, literally.

A quick apology to a friend...

Just this morning I was checking out the comment threads on some of the stories posted about this past weekend and I ran across one posted by Joe Rybandt from Dynamite Entertainment at the post.

I quote Joe "It was always our intention to have Howard upfront with us and any confusion comes down to miscommunication between us at Dynamite and Howard, but no fault to Wizard on this one."

Joe, this was not how it was explained to me on Friday, so I only got part of the story. No offense was intended to you or Nick, you guys have always been very good to me and extremely supportive. Clearly, I assumed the part I heard to be true and the source was also not completely clear on the details. However, I'm the one who put it out there, so I'm the ass here.

Sorry , guys, I sincerely apologize.


Monday, June 22, 2009

Aftermath and Thanks

Wow. It has been a strange 48 hours.
After the events at the WizardWorld Philadelphia gate and my posting of the events here, I went out to dinner with my lovely girlfriend and enjoyed a delicious Thai meal. Upon arriving back at the Philadelphia Marriott, I was besieged by disbelieving well-wishers and friends wanting to know the whole story. I won't name names here, because honestly, this was never about publicity (at least, not the way it turned out) or anything like it. All I wanted to do was sit in artist alley this weekend and sell some sketchbooks, talk to some friends and enjoy the world of comics that I truly love.

Apparently this was not meant to be. If you haven't heard the story already, then just read the previous blog entry or check out any of these links:

The Beat

A lot of good folks have sent emails, twittered, and called me. All of us here at Square 1 Press have been honored at the outpouring of positive sentiment. Thanks so much, and we appreciate it all.

I think one of the things that Wizard has lost sight of in the last couple years is the fact that, in this constantly changing and evolving industry, a successful convention or product line isn't just good for the company, it's good for the whole industry. It seems like they've become so focused on becoming the ONLY convention business in town, they've slowly, but surely continued to alienate SO many people in this industry, that soon no one will want to come to their shows, creator-wise. The comics industry is a pretty small world, alot of these folks see each other every few weeks at shows all over the country and word travels fast, especially the stuff that's too sensitive to ever make into the blogs and online articles. The "rumors" that fly around cons have always had a toe anchored in the truth.

So, barring (pun intended, sorry) any unforseen difficulties, the 1st issue of "Valkkadia" will be ready for Comic-Con International in San Diego in July. The sketchbooks are both available at the website store here.

A special shout out to my new friends at Enigma Works, for offering to make me an editor for the day on Sunday to get me back into the show. Thanks guys, the gesture was truly appreciated.

So, all I can say is stay tuned for more product announcements, appearances and what shows we will be setting up at and where our products can be found.

Again, a huge thanks to all who have continued to support us

Saturday, June 20, 2009

BARRED! Wizard World denies entry to Square 1 Press

Well, interestingly enough, I am not as upset about this as you would think.
Wizard Entertainment, in their infinite wisdom, (are you catching the sarcasm? I hope so, I'm laying it on pretty thick) have decided to bar my entry back into the Philly Wizard World con today. I attended the show all day on Friday, was setup in Artist Alley and generally had a decent time. Peter Katz, #3 idiot in charge over there at Wizard even walked past our setup in AA not once, but twice and never said a word to us. I can only guess that he was so involved with whatever he was doing ( i.e. nothing) that he didn't stoop low enough from his perch-on-high to notice us down in the depths of AA. We even saw Gareb Shamus, #1 idiot-in-charge, 1 row over and we were sure he saw us, but apparently not. Or maybe they didn't want to make a scene on the show's 1st day to the several hundred fans in attendance. Who knows.

I approached the entry gate this morning bright and early ready to go, offering up S1P's sketchbooks to the masses. Howard Chaykin, after having been tricked by Wizard, had to sign all day at the Dynamite Entertainment booth, apparently as some sort of deal setup to lure Dynamite to the show, as they were not going to setup there, or at least not as big a setup as they had this weekend. He had fixed the gitch tho, and was all set to sign in AA the rest of the show with Walter Simonson, our other attending artist.

I was asked my identity as I approached by a rather average-looking gentleman claiming to be Wizard's "head of security" I told him my name, and at this point he informed me that I was barred from entry to the show by mgmt. I asked to speak to someone over his head, he said re-iterated to me that he was the "Head of security". I informed him that I used to hold that distinction myself, and that he needed to contact either Peter or Stephen (Shamus:#2 idiot-in-charge and driving force behind the fall of Wizard Ent.) He then called Peter. Peter appeared moments later and approached us slowly shaking his head. I asked what the problem was, explained my attendance on Friday and that I was there representing my 2 artists and selling sketchbooks for them. He then, said to "hold on for a minute" and hurried off, I assume to double check with Stephen, to reinforce my barring. He then called the security guard to inform him that yes, I was indeed barred. He didn't even have the guts to return and tell me himself.

I was able to contact my artists before they entered the show and inform them as to what had taken place were both dumbfounded at Wizard's incredibly childish behavior.

They have yet to give me reason as to why I was asked to leave.

More as it transpires.

Either way, I apologize to anyone looking for the sketchbooks this weekend, they will be available at the Square 1 Press website for sale here as of right now. Walter Simonson sketchbooks are also available.

Friday, June 19, 2009

at this last minute...

So, I thought you might like this shot. I had just picked up the Howard Chaykin sketchbooks from the printer and I needed to count them to make sure they had printed the correct number. They did, even made a couple extra copies. Anyway , I thought you might like to see a shot of all the sketchbooks. The last time these little fellas will be all together ever again.

Well, I finished making some flyers to hand out at the show with website and facebook info. I made table signs showing prices for the sketchbooks. With the help of my wonderful girlfriend, we even got all 300 copies of the sketchbook numbered and re-boxed, ready to pack up and hit the road tomorrow. If all goes as planned tomorrow morning, we will hit the road about 9am and get down to the show in Philly right around start time. So, if yer waiting for us, relax, look around, we'll be there shortly.

Also, if yer coming to the show I'll have copies of the pages for Valkkadia #1 with me to show off.
Also, seeing as the artist, my good friend Hassan, got laid off last week, he should be ready to turn around some pages like you would na' believe, cap'n.

I look forward to meeting some new friends and contacts this weekend and to re-connecting with some old friends who I know will be there. Make sure and mention if you happen to read this blog, when you stop by the table this weekend, not that you'll get anything, but it would be nice to know I'm not just writing this thing to hear myself ramble.

Remember, we are in Artist Alley with Walter Simonson and Howard Chaykin, stop by and say "whats up?"

Hope to seee you all there.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Hey there...

Well, hello there. I was at the Big Apple Con's free 1-day show today with Walter and we had a pretty good time. A small show by any measure, but still a lot of quality packed into a small space. Essentially split into 2 rooms, Artist's Alley and a dealer room, the show, held at the Pennsylvania Hotel in Manhattan, was abuzz with folks when we arrived about noon. We quickly ran down one of the organizers and were shown to a good table spot in the artist's room. I set up the sales area for Square 1 Press items, which only consists of the Walter Simonson sketchbook right now, but nonetheless. I also had the print proof of the new Howard Chaykin sketchbook there on display and got a lot of good feedback on it. I think Philly should go well, possibly selling out of the Simonson sketchbooks. So, if yer there, or you haven't go yours yet, then you bettter grab one while you can, either online here or at the show in Philly next week. We also had a flyer I made last night to handout that looked like this:
We met alot of great fans of Walter's and even though he wasn't planning in sketching at all, of course, he relented and began sketching for some fans.
In the afternoon he had a 45-min panel with Gene Colan and spent the time relating great stories to the small roomull of fans alongside Gene. Afterwords, Walter introduced me to Gene and his delightful wife, Adrienne. I have to say this was a great honor for me, along with Walter, Gene Colan's artwork was another of the great influences on early comics education and it was real treat for me to meet this legend. In addition, I also got to meet the great British artist Kevin O'Neill, creator of "Nemesis:the Warlock" and "Marshall Law" and artist on the "League of Extraordinary Gentlemen" graphic novels.

I also met a young artist trying to break in to the comics biz. His name is Dominic Orologio and here is small sample of his work. More can be seen at his web gallery here. Some fun stuff there, check it out. If you want even MORE, then go here. Click on the "Illustrations" tab on the lower right of his homepage.

All in all, a good day. I sent the Chaykin sketchbooks off to print yesterday, should be picking them up mid-week.

One bit of sad news, albeit one with a small upside. Hassan Godwin, the creator/writer/artist for the "Valkkadia" project was let go from his job this past week. The latest in a long line of good folks from this particular company. The upside? He has lots of free time to draw now, and we're gonna get a lot of stuff done in the next couple months.

Anyways, I'm out, enjoy your weekend, talk to ya soon!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Friday-rain day-good for stayin' in

OK, I said yesterday that I had gotten the replacement page for the 1st issue of Valkkadia. Well, I spent today inking it and now it's done. I'm gonna post both the original page and then the new replacement version so you can see the changes more obviously.

In the original page, with the amount of dialogue and the way it was laid out, (reading all the way down the left side before going back up to the top) it just wasn't gonna work out properly.
That and the panel with the heads in the lower right column became unnecessary. So, the decision was made (no prompt from me) to just redraw the page and the new page is the 2nd image.
I'm supposed to get the last of the replacement artwork tonite. Which consists only of a few panel replacements. Quick re-inks and photoshop edits and the book is as good as done, artwise. PHEW!

By next week, I should have the final edit of the script and I can balloon this bad boy and have it ready to print by next weekend. If I'm lucky, I might have the finished cover as well. Then all I have to do is get it colored and setup the intro/credit pages and get one ad page squared away.

It's been a fairly long road to get this 1st issue finished, but we're almost there. It only gets easier, right?


Thursday, June 4, 2009

been a few days...

OK, it's been a few days since I had anything new to update, with the WWPhilly sketchbooks ready, and Valkkadia #1 waiting for some revisions, I'm kind of at a stand still. I have some new ideas for projects, an outline/script from a new writing duo that will cross my path in a couple weeks (so I'm told) and the possible rebirth/reinvigoration of one of my original project ideas when I first started Square 1. (Thanks, Bob)
Additionally, I have fleshed-out some ideas I had about another of my original project ideas that had been sort of frozen until I can make contact with the original rights holder. Now, after some thought, I have realized that I may be better off getting some material together and moving ahead on the project without approval or licence so I have something substantial to present as compared with just presenting a concept. Especially to this particular individual.
Last night I did get the replacement page for Valkkadia #1. When I finish inking it, I will post up a shot of the 2 pages, old and new, so you can see the differences.
Our pencil/inking style has solidified so much from the first pages of the 1st issue, I hope that this replacement page doesn't stick out too much when inserted among the older ones.

I think that's all, I have one other original story idea I'm working on as well. I just need to do a little research to get the setup correct. As it's historical in nature, I need to make sure my facts are straight. Otherwise, I'll get a boot to the ass from Simonson, and as great as that may sound, it's still a boot to the ass.