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X-BABIES #1: Official Release Day!

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And so, after many months of preamble and build-up, previews and chatter, X-BABIES #1, my Marvel Comics writing debut, is finally available at comic shops everywhere…and that’s pretty cool.

You’d think having drawn Marvel Comics already…and having written and drawn SpongeBob comics…and having written and drawn my own comics, it shouldn’t be such a big deal. But it’s a different thing now as I’ve not drawn anything this time. I’m the writer, a credit I’ve never really had. Or rather, I’ve never had anything published that I wrote but didn’t draw myself.

It’s generally accepted that in the already difficult task of “breaking in to comics”, it’s harder to do so as writer than as an artist. An editor can assess the skills of an artist, be it pencils, inks, colors, even lettering, very quickly by looking at it. But writing…writing requires more time and attention from an editor, time and attention editors aren’t always able or willing to give. As an assistant editor at Marvel I sometimes didn’t have a chance to read plots and scripts for books I was working on, let alone submissions. Add to that that one writer can write several comics at once, where as typically an artist can work on one book at a time, it means there are fewer opportunities for new writers to find a slot.

So to have somehow gotten to the point now where a comic I’ve written is being released, today and for the next four months, it’s pretty cool. On top of that, for this comic to be drawn by Jacob Chabot, a good friend whose talents as a cartoonist and storyteller are such that I don’t need to sweat it, that’s even cooler. And on top of that…the story we’re telling and the characters we’re using, some of whom haven’t been used or even seen in over 20 years…again, that’s wicked cool.

I guess at this point I can only hope that readers think the comic…the story, the art, the dialogue…that that’s all as cool as we tried to make it.

In the coming days I’ll post links to whatever reviews might pop up wherever they may pop up, be they positive or negative. Hopefully they’ll be positive.

And if you’ve picked up the book and found your way to this site, feel free to leave comments; I dig feedback.

P.S. – If you’re in NY, I’ll be at Jim Hanley’s Universe (4 West 33rd Street)  from 6pm to 8pm tonight, 10/7.

X-BABIES: 5 Page Preview

So October is here, which means X-BABIES #1, long discussed on this news feed, arrives…in just 3 days! Very exciting.

Meanwhile, Marvel Comics has released a six page preview of said comic book, so if you want to read the first six pages of X-BABIES #1 before you can get the whole thing on Wednesday, 10/7, click HERE.

The October Plan – 2009 Edition

As of today, we’re two weeks away from the release of X-BABIES #1. October 7, 2009. If you haven’t marked your calendars, mark ’em now!

But wait, that’s but one piece of the big October ahead. With the release of X-BABIES artist Jacob Chabot an I will be on a whirlwind mini-promotional tour, if you will.

On release day, 10/7, Jacob and I will be appearing at Jim Hanley’s Universe in New York City (4 West 33rd Street) from 6pm – 8pm, signing copies of our first issue. Drop by and say hello and buy a copy; we’ll sign it!

The weekend of 10/16 – 10/18, we, along with Chris Giarrusso and Tim Smith 3, will be in Artist Alley at the Big Apple Comic-Con at Pier 94 on 55th Street at 12 Avenue in NY. Jacob and I will be at Table 24, doing sketches and commissions as well as selling and signing copies of X-BABIES #1.

The weekend of 10/23 – 10/25, a whole mess of us cartoonist folks will be descending on Greensboro, NC for Acme Comics‘ the “G-MAN’S GREENSBORO CAPE CRISIS with Chris Giarrusso, Jacob Chabot, Gregg Schigiel, Brian Smith, and Art Balthazar” event. The folks at Acme have been big supporters of our work and are helping us celebrate and promote X-BABIES #1 as well as Chris Giarrusso’s G-MAN: CAPE CRISIS book (in which I’ve been doing the Pix: Teenage American Fairy back-up story). So if you’re in the vicinity of Greensboro, stop by. AcmeComics.com is also home to the weekly comics discussion column I write with Stephen Mayer, “Re: Comics”, in case you want to read more about what I think of stuff (recent discussions have included collected editions and original graphic novels, superhero cartoons, and Marvel Comics’ Star Comics imprint from the mid ’80s with characters featuring prominently in X-BABIES (see how it’s all connected?)).

And THEN, October’s capped off by an appearance by Jacob and I at The Peoples Improv Theater (The P.I.T.) on Tuesday, 10/27, as guests on Comic Book Club, “a weekly comic book talk show featuring the best comedians in New York talking shop with industry professionals from all corners of the comic book world.” I’d be considered an “industry professional”…not one of “the best comedians in New York”…in case that wasn’t clear. Tickets for that show are $5 and are available at the theater web site.

And that, folks, is October…at least until I have new announcements to make (anything’s possible).

In the meantime, as a prize for patiently getting through all of this self-promotional-promotion, here are some random panels from X-BABIES #1, colored by the very talented Emily Warren (think of this like a movie trailer but without any dialogue, soundtrack, or movement):

And lo, there was a Comic-Con!

San Diego’s Comic-Con International begins Wednesday night, July 22nd, with Preview Night and runs through Sunday, July 26th. When I’m not eating burgers, barbecue and fish tacos, I’ll be stationed in Artist Alley at table GG-12. I’ll be selling sketches, mini-comics, and original art from SpongeBob comics and some animated-style Batman books, as well as doing sketches.

In addition, I’ll have previews of both my PIX: TEENAGE AMERICAN FAIRY story that’ll be serialized in G-MAN: CAPE CRISIS as well as a full set of pencils (all 22 pages + cover art by Skottie Young*) to check out from X-BABIES #1. And speaking of X-BABIES #1, stop by for a FREE promotional bookmark (which’ll also serve as a friendly reminder of when the first issue comes out and how much you’ll want to buy it when it does).

And if that’s not incentive enough, I’ll be sitting, as I often do, with my good friends and fellow comics creators Jacob Chabot (to my right) and Chris Giarrusso (to my left). Three cartoonists in one fell swoop. Something this exciting hasn’t happened in threes since the last time the Ringling Bros. Barnum and Bailey Circus did their thing!

And finally, for those of you wondering, yes, THE MILLION DOLLAR CONAN O’BRIEN will be making its triumphant return to San Diego in recognition of Mr. O’brien’s new position as host of “The Tonight Show”. Come see it with your own eyes!

Sunny San Diego. 7/22-7/26. Artist Alley table GG-12. Let’s go!

*as far as I know this information hasn’t been released, so you can call that a real live “exclusive” for those of you reading this.

Plugs, Pics, and Pix

Golly Gee, so much going on…

Let’s start with some plugs.

First, plug-plug for G-MAN: CAPE CRISIS #1, the first issue of an all-new, 5-issue series by my friend and comics’ superstar Chris Giarrusso, who’s best known in comic book circles as the man behind Marvel Comics’ MINI-MARVELS. G-Man is Chris’ own creation, but it’s in the same spirit of the work he’s known for: kids with superpowers being awesome and funny. I’ve read the first issue and it’s great and when it hits comic shops in August, do yourself right and pick up a copy. And if that’s not incentive enough, the book’s got all kinds of back-up strips in it, a couple by yours truly (more on that in a bit).

gman_cc_miniseries_1Buy this starting in August!

Next plug: KIRBY KRACKLE is a “comic book rock band from Seattle” who I happen to be friends with (that’s right, I know rock stars). They just released their Summer Single titled “Ring Capacity”. And in as much as it’s about DC Comics’ superhero Green Lantern, it’s also a straight-up catchy rocker of a song. And it’s FREE! For serious. Go here, sign up for their mailing list, and boom, they e-mail you an mp3.

single_colorDig it.

X-BABIES Press Round-Up!

With the announcement of the X-BABIES mini-series coming out October of this year, there was a flurry of press releases and interviews on a number of sites. For easy access, here’s a rundown, complete with links, so you can read a bit more about it and see the way my name has been misspelled (sometimes in the body of the same article).

First up, there’s this piece from Marvel.com, where my name was only misspelled once.

Next, here’s a bit from the Robot 6 blog, short and sweet with a link to the marvel.com piece above.

Newsarama.com posted an interview I did with them. They only got the spelling of my name wrong in the headline.

The article at comicbookresources.com attributed one of my collaborator, Jacob Chabot’s quotes, to me (the one about having read EXCALIBUR: MOJO MAHEM a million times).

Here’s a Q&A up at ign.com…who somehow credit Jacob and I for works we’ve never done (Deathlok for me and 2000AD for Jacob – never happened).

My friends Rob and Craig hipped me to this piece at io9.com, which also reports off the marvel.com release.

Someone even blogged about it at their blog, Full.Body.Transplant.

And here’s a site, superpouvoir.com, translated from French, talking about it (they don’t seem to excited…and apparently Jacob Chabot translates to Jacob Chub, which made me chuckle).

And here are some folks on a newsgroup talking about it, not all of it in glowing terms.

So that’s a whole lot of X-BABIES stuff right there. Soon, I might even talk about some of the other stuff I’m working on…

X-BABIES Announced!

Just back from Heroes Con in Charlotte, NC – a great show to be sure – where finally, the project I mentioned a while back was officially announced.

So now it can be told: Starting in October I will be writing a 4-issue mini-series for Marvel Comics starring the X-Babies.

(for the uninitiated, the X-Babies are kiddie clones of the X-Men who live on a world where (a) virtually everything is a TV show and (b) the X-Babies are the top rated program)

Drawing this series will be the super-talented Jacob Chabot, who, if you’ve been reading, know was with me in our effort to pitch the Marvel Animals/Spider-Ham story that didn’t fly.

All of that said, there are a few articles popping up on various comics news sites…at some point I’ll post a series of links for easy access.

That and a few more updates to come. Lot’s going on these days…

x-babies_lineup

Comics Chatter

RE: COMICS!, a column/conversation about comics with Stephen Mayer over at Acme Comics in Greensboro, NC, is up and rolling, for those who care to read my thoughts on, well, comics. So far there’s been an intro column, a discussion of comics’ prices, and this week, talk of decompressed storytelling. If you’re interested in comics, my blathering, or some combination of both, check ’em out.

With Memorial Day behind us, for all intents and purposes, summer has begun. This means summer conventions, of which there are many. I will be at Heroes Convention in Charlotte, NC from June 19-21 and Comic-Con International in San Diego, CA from July 22-26. I’ll post details as to where I’ll be specifically when I know.

And just following up on some earlier bits and pieces:

The aforementioned project with Marvel Comics is moving along. It looks like we’re shooting for an October release, but more importantly, we’re looking at this being “officially announced” in the next two months…possibly even in Charlotte at HeroesCon (see above). Once that happens we’ll be able to talk about it more openly.

And finally, a recommendation: G-MAN: LEARNING TO FLY is a new collection of the creator-owned work of friend and fellow cartoonist Chris Giarrusso.

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It just came out last week and it’s great, funny, and fun for all-ages. You can get it at your local comics shop (if they don’t have it, ask them to order copies), Amazon, or you can save a few bucks here. Either way, check it out. It’ll be a nice warm up for his new mini-series coming later this summer (more on that another time as yes, I might be connected in some capacity).

“IT IS ON! We are approved.”

Remember that story about the “NEW Marvel Tails” project that never happened? (if you don’t, scroll down two entries and learn all about it)

Well, following that second attempt, the editor we spoke to had suggested possibly exploring another Marvel Comics property for any potential story ideas. After a bit of brainstorming, a new proposal was developed and pitched. And today we got word: “IT IS ON!  We are approved.”

It’s still way too early to talk details as this project’s not on any official schedule as of yet (and even then, you never know; more on that another time)…matter of fact I’m not even going to say what the characters or property are. But it should, when it’s all said and done, be a fun, action-packed, and sometimes even funny bit of comics.

I can say that I’ll be writing. Jacob Chabot will be illustrating. And hopefully you all will be buying/reading.

More news as it becomes “safe” to reveal it.