Hey, everyone, Lance Danger here once again, and I'd like to write briefly about going back to school to learn my craft better. It was back in 2014, when I decided to go to SVA, it was decided that the only way really to get there was going through KCC first in order to have the credits necessary and the grades necessary since my high school messed up my transcripts a bit.
I had to take a test to get in, which was a bit nerve wracking since I hadn't taken a test in forever. And I also had to write an essay on the spot as part of the test. Thankfully, I passed with flying colors, and this new adventure began.
I majored in an associates degree in fine arts. I took as many classes relevant to compliment the art classes. I started with figure art and painting.
The figure drawing class was the first time I ever drew with models and forcing myself to draw objects I had never done or wasn't too bothered with trying. And it was amazing. To be in a room with other artists, drawing the same thing at the same time and yet seeing so many different styles and interpretations was really inspiring to me.
With the painting class, it was more difficult because my experience with painting was, in a word, lacking.
But the professors were top notch and really knew their thing. I was doing great. Until I fractured my right hand close to finals!
So, I had to do art AND paintings finals with a fractured hand. So, I used mainly my left hand because I did not want to quit, I couldn't, I had come too far to just give up. Sometimes I'd even still use my right hand through the cast. Sure, t did eventually slow down my healing, but I had a few weeks to heal after the semester ended and the special winter classes began.
As a result, I got one of my paintings from my finals to be exhibited at the student exhibit at the campus museum, and I passed my classes with better grades than I would have thought considering, you know, having a fractured freaking hand.
Then for the second semester, I took the advanced drawing and painting classes along with sculpture. Sculpting was completely new to me, so that was interesting, and luckily enough, I got the hang of it pretty fast! I was in a good upswing in my drawing and painting classes....and towards finals again, I fractured a finger on my LEFT hand.
Again, I battled through the pain, and one of my sculptures was selected for the student exhibit as well! Hey, I'm an artist, it's natural to work through pain!
In my final semester I took modern art and social art, where one of the mock posters I made for the book "Just Mercy" was presented in a big screen and I spoke of the inspiration behind it during a panel at campus discussing the book and it's cultural impact. I had NEVER seen my art displayed on something so...large. Also, no broken bones at the end of my journey through KCC, so, yay!
I ended up graduating with honors and having had my art exhibited at an actual museum, which is MIND BLOWING to me. If you're young and wondering if you want to go to art school, definitely give community colleges a try at least to save up on money compared to starting from scratch at a big art school like Cal Arts, RISDI, or SVA.
I wouldn't trade my experiences at KCC for anything in the world, and I actually still in contact with some friends I made in my time there, talented artists in their own right.
And if you're reading this, this is my message to you:
Don't stop pursuing your dreams, your happiness. If it's something you're passionate about and you truly believe in, you have an obligation to yourself to share those talents and dreams to the world. Lose, draw, or win, it's better to try and let the chips fall where they may than not try at all.
Hello, everybody! Your pal Lance Danger here, been a while!
So, let's talk indie, ok? On Wednesday I was lucky enough to go to the release party for the crossover comic Tales of the Night Watchman/The Red Hook at my LCS, Anyone Comics. That in itself was a blast, but to make it even cooler, writer Vita Ayala popped up and randomly did and impromptu signing! This guy right here got the new James Bond #1 signed by her and the artist, SWEEEET!
Tales of The Night Watchman I have been following for a while now. I first saw the comic at Strand Book Stores. I didn't get it at the time but I was always curious. Then when I enrolled at SVA, I saw it in their library as well! I didn't get to flip through it because I was always swamped with work. Then when I moved and happened to run into the comic shop Anyone Comics, I ran into the comic AGAIN, and I got it. I've had it on my pull list ever since.
The Red Hook is a comic I found through the announcement of this crossover. The announcement came . out about the time volume 1 of the webcomic came out through Image Comics. I've been a steady reader on Webtoons ever since.
This release party was amazing! The creative team for the book was on board as well as the respective creators. It was a night of comics, drinks, and camaraderie that makes me feel happy and proud to be a geek. I got my copy from my pull list (of course) and got my stash as well, so I'm going to be well read over the next few days.
Activities like this are important for the creative community and I'm so happy that places like Anyone Comics exists and gives a space to indie creators like this.
If you want to check out these comics, check out www.sowhatpress.com/ and www.webtoons.com/en/super-hero/the-red-hook/list?title_no=643&page=1
Enough words, though, check out the pics! And until next time, see ya' when I ya'! -Lance Danger
Last week Manuel A. Carmona (Project: New Wave) promised to reveal the finished cover art to Project: New Wave #2 for the first time on Thanksgiving Day 2019 as a thank you to all the fans who have shown support to him as well as Truthful Comics in general. Manuel illustrated the cover and colors extraordinaire Francisco J. Rivera digitally colored the cover. Project: New Wave #2 will be written by Alvaro Cortez Ortiz Jr., illustrated by Manuel A. Carmona and colored by Francisco J. Rivera as are the subsequent issues. Issue #2 is scheduled to be released in early 2020. Stay tuned to be informed as soon as the release date is announced. Now, without further ado...
La semana pasada, Manuel A. Carmona (Project: New Wave) prometió revelar por primera vez la portada terminada de su comic Project: New Wave #2 en el Día de Acción de Gracias como agradecimiento a todos los fanáticos que le han dado su apoyo tanto a él; como Truthful Comics en general. Manuel ilustró la portada y el extraordinario pintor Francisco J Rivera la pintó digitalmente. Proyecto: New Wave #2 fue escrito por Álvaro Cortez Ortiz Jr, ilustrado por Manuel A. Carmona y coloreado por Francisco J. Rivera al igual que los números posteriores. El comic #2 está programado a ser publicado para principios del 2020. Manténgase en sintonía para estar al tanto tanto pronto se anuncie la fecha de lanzamiento. Ahora, sin más preámbulos...
I've been watching horror movies for as long as I remember. By the time I was 12, I had already watched The Shining, Salem's Lot, It, Carrie, Christine, Pet Semetary, Cat's Eye, and, yeah, I guess there is a pattern right there.
Stephen King pretty much defined my childhood. And of course, later on, I started reading the novels. I actually have a first edition of Doctor Sleep. So, after writing super hero stories, slice of life comics, philosophical, and comedy/satire, I realized one thing I grew up on I never really tackled: horror.
I have some horror elements from time to time on Warlord and DTF6, and a smaller extent Exorcist, but nothing full blown horror/suspense. I've always had ideas, but they never went as far as a daydream of a story. But I got the bug while being a student at SVA two years ago.
I had to draw an original story for Klaus Jansen's storytelling class. To stretch out of my comfort zone, I decided to do a short suspense/ghost story that was floating in my head for years. I was actually really encouraged to try my hand at doing more writing than what I do, and it started turning the wheels in my imagination.
"What if I do an actual mini-series, or a novel?" A title came to mind while I was daydreaming again: "Hell Beneath You". But with like other ideas, it never really got out of the daydream stage.
That is, until this past summer. I saw that while we are having great success with the newly released Project: New Wave by brother and co-founder, Manuel Carmona, and Warlord hit a HUGE milestone reaching chapter 25 and celebrating 13 years on the internet, I felt a calling. An itch. And I thought to myself "well, horror is one thing we don't have at TC yet, so, who knows, maybe it's time." And not too long after, the first trailer for Doctor Sleep came out.
I was mesmerized by it. The clips combining clips from The Shining conjured up all those childhood memories of watching the Torrence family disintegrate at the Overlook Hotel. All those emotions as a child watching Danny running through those halls and that maze came back. I was a kid again in a small apartment in Williamsburg watching horror movies in a cold winter night with snacks and hot chocolate. And so, I thought, "it's time."
Hell Beneath You has finally gotten out of the daydream stage and into the pre-production stage. The story tree, titles for the issues, beginning, middle, and ending, have already been visualized and drafted.
Two promotional posters are already up, and I made an exclusive image that will only be here on the blog (at least for a long while). Warlord, Exorcist, DTF6 are my love letters to the super hero comics I grew up with. The Cannon Girl is my love letter to the indie comics that expanded my horizons. Weepaman y Weepito and Stupid the Cat were my love letters to irreverent comedy.
Hell Beneath You is my love letter to horror. It's the kid in me that watched all those Stephen King movies, and for good measure, other movies like Witch Board, Halloween, Hell Cop, Silent Night Deadly Night, Nightmare on Elm St, Hell Night, The Exorcist, CHUD, Alien, and many, many others.
My hope with story is not just to scratch that horror itch I've had for a while, but that who knows, maybe one day, somehow, some kid will happen into this story, become a family thing to talk over hot chocolate, and maybe even help them bring out stories of their own some day. And I can't wait for those stories to come out long after I'm gone.
To those that read all of this, as always, thank you for reading my ramblings, and I hope to spook you soon!
Written by Manuel A. Carmona
Yesterday I was one the authors invited to be a part of this year's Indie Author Day at Slover Library in beautiful Downtown Norfolk. The authors invited were as diverse as the genres they write about which was refreshing and so good to see and be a part of. I was the only illustrator featured at the event, which made me feel a bit nervous; but honored as well. I did realize that I have to be more sociable at events and actually make an effort to approach the other authors, granted I don't stay at my table because I'm arrogant; it's just that honestly I don't know exactly how to approach other creators without coming off as a weirdo. LOL!
A few of the creators approached me and we had some good interactions. A few of them actually reached out because they need a cover artist for their upcoming books, so being the only illustrator there gave me a good opportunity to (hopefully) land a few cover art jobs in the near future; as well as make. Another author is writing an all ages book and needs, not only cover art; but the interior art as well! What's even more exciting for me is that the topic is one I've never done before. The attendance wasn't crazy like a comic book convention, it was rather calm and relaxing (it was inside a library after all), which allowed me to catch up on my Inktober sketches; but people still came in and I managed to sell a few books in the process. All in all it was a cool experience and I wouldn't mind being a part of it again. -MC
Ayer fui uno de los autores invitados a ser parte del Día del Autor Independiente en la Biblioteca Slover, en el hermoso centro de Norfolk. Los autores invitados eran tan diversos como los géneros sobre los que escribe lo cual es refrescante ver y ser parte de ello. Fui el único ilustrador invitado al evento, lo que me hizo sentir un poco nervioso; pero también muy honrado. Me di cuenta de que tengo que ser más sociable y hacer un esfuerzo para acercarme a los otros autores, en realidad no me quedo en mi mesa porque soy arrogante; me quedo en mi mesa porque no sé exactamente cómo acercarme a otros creadores sin lucir un tanto molestoso. ¡lol!
Algunos de los creadores se acercaron a mí y tuvimos algunas buenas interacciones. Varios de ellos se acercaron porque necesitan un artista para ilustrar portadas para sus próximos libros, así que ser el único ilustrador en el evento me dio una buena oportunidad de (esperemos) conseguir algunos trabajos de arte en un futuro cercano. Otro autor está buscando escribir un libro de todas las edades y necesita, no sólo arte de portada; sino también el arte interior! Esto es muy emocionante ya que nunca he trabajado una historia sobre el tema. La asistencia no fue una locura como la de una convención de cómics, en realidad estubo calmada y relajante (fue dentro de una biblioteca después de todo), lo que me permitió ponerme al día con mis bocetos de Inktober; pero la gente siempre llegó y pude vender algunos libros en el proceso. Al fin, fue una experiencia genial y no me molestaría ser parte de ella en algún otro momento.
As most comic fans by now know, legendary artist Tom Lyle is in a medically induced coma after suffering an aneurysm. Last I read doctors will perform a surgery on Wednesday to clear the blood clot.
Doctors are hopeful that it will be a success. As we all send our positive vibes to him and his loved ones, I want to talk comics about him.
I had the incredible honor to talk with him in person last year at NYCC. He's an incredibly humble, nice, and funny person. After a nice conversation he jokingly tried to convince me to move to Atlanta and attend his art class. He was very humble when I told him his Robin MY Robin.
My introduction to Tim Drake was actually the first Batman comic I bought as a preteen. Batman #469, "Shadow Box" part 3. I was BLOWN AWAY. From the writing by Chuck Dixon to the art by Tom Lyle, I was enamored by this comic. I was able to get the final copy of issue 467 left. I immediately started copying his Robin. That final two pages from issue 469 was the first comic book pages I tried to copy.
And not too long after that, to my surprise, Robin II: Joker's Wild came out.
I was like "HOLY S___!!!! Robin TWO!? There was a Robin ONE!?!?!?!" Yeah, internet was not like it was back then, and I could only buy comics at my local pharmacy at the mall, so no comic book shop talk about all that stuff. Every month the miniseries came out, I ran into that pharmacy. At that time, that was the greatest thing ever in my life. EVER. To this day, there are STILL remnants of the Tim Drake hair on my own character, Fred Peterson.
I tried to follow his art wherever I could. From Batman, Detective Comics, The Comet, Spider-Man, and of course, Robin III when it came out.
And even though I LOVE Tom Grummet's art, part of me did hope Lyle would do the art for the Robin ongoing series. He went on to do Punisher for a while, then it became a bit harder to find his art.
But that didn't stop me from reading page from page all the older comics.
I traded comics with friends to get the first Robin miniseries. I would read and reread them. And after they fell apart or got damaged by the latest hurricane or storm attacking Puerto Rico, where I grew up in my teens, I would hunt them down and buy them again.
To me, back then, his art was unlike ANYTHING I had ever seen before. As a kid that grew up on Archie Comics, I saw that Batman 469 cover, and it became an important part of my life. Nothing was the same after that comic. With Archie, I'd look at art and say that was fun. With Lyle's Batman cover, that was the first I ever saw a comic and thought that the art looked COOL.
And all though back then I'd still get some Archie, I found myself getting more and more the "edgier", more "adult" comics. If Archie Comics symbolize my childhood, Tom Lyle's Batman and Robin symbolize that growth into a teenager. To Tom Lyle, once again, thank you from the bottom of my nerd heart. You were my gateway into the wonderful world of superheroes, the comics that in many ways saved my own life. Thank you.
-Alvaro Cortes Jr
Earlier this month I was approached by a fellow comic book creator about the possibility of adding some of my work to an indie comics art exhibit. Immediately I told her I was open to the possibility of adding some of my artwork to their exhibit and today I sent them photos of the pieces I'll be adding to the exhibit, the response was overwhelmingly positive. Obviously the pics don't do the artwork justice but you'll have to attend the exhibit to see them up close. Hope to see you there. -MC
A principios de este mes, un compañero creador de cómics me habló sobre la posibilidad de añadir parte de mi trabajo a una exibición de arte de cómics indie. Inmediatamente le dije que estaba abierto a la posibilidad de añadir algunas de mis piezas a su exposición y hoy les envié fotos de las piezas que añadiré a la exposición, la respuesta fue abrumadoramente positiva. Obviamente las fotos no le hacen justicia a las piezas, tendrán que asistir a la exposición para verlas de cerca. Espero verte allí. -MC
Como la mayoría de ustedes ya saben que el mes de octubre significa más para los artistas que Halloween, octubre significa Inktober! Por lo tanto, como usted podría haber imaginado; Truthful Comics participará en el desafío Inktober de este año. Alvaro Cortez Jr. (El poderoso señor de la guerra, exorcista misterioso) y Manuel A. Carmona (Proyecto: Nueva Ola) se unirán a los miles de artistas de todo el mundo que abordarán este desafío artístico. Si no sabes lo que es Inktober, dejaré que su creador, Jake Parker (Skyheart, Lil' Bot y Sparrow) explique de qué se trata el desafío.
Reglas de Inktober:
1) Haga un dibujo en tinta (puede hacer un lápiz bajo dibujo si lo desea).
3) Hashtag con #inktober y #inktober2019
Nota: puedes hacerlo todos los días, o ir por la ruta de media maratón y publicar cada dos días, o simplemente hacer el 5K y publicar una vez a la semana. Lo que tú decidas, sé consistente con él. Inktober se trata de crecer y mejorar y formar hábitos positivos, por lo que cuanto más seas consistente, mejor.
¡Eso es todo! Ahora ve a hacer algo hermoso!!!
*Publicarlo en cualquier cuenta de redes sociales que desee o simplemente publicarlo en su refrigerador. El punto es compartir tu arte con alguien. :)
PD. Los sketches de Inktober de Manuel y Alvaro se publicarán directamente en nuestra página de Instagram de Truthful Comics. ¿No nos sigues en Instagram? Bueno, aquí tienes la oportunidad de arreglar eso, ve a seguirnos @truthfulcomics y sé el primero en ver sus dibujos de Inktober tan pronto como se carguen. ¡Mantenlo Truthful!
As most of you already know the month of October means more to artists than Halloween, October means Inktober! So, as you might've imagine; Truthful Comics will be participating in this year's Inktober challenge. Alvaro Cortez Jr. (The Mighty Warlord, Mysterious Exorcist) and Manuel A. Carmona (Project: New Wave) will be joining the thousands of artists throughout the World that will be tackling this art challenge. If you don't know what Inktober is, I'll just let it's creator, Jake Parker (Skyheart, Lil' Bot and Sparrow) explain what the challenge is all about.
1) Make a drawing in ink (you can do a pencil under-drawing if you want).
2) Post it*
3) Hashtag it with #inktober and #inktober2019
Note: you can do it daily, or go the half-marathon route and post every other day, or just do the 5K and post once a week. What ever you decide, just be consistent with it. Inktober is about growing and improving and forming positive habits, so the more you’re consistent the better.
That's it! Now go make something beautiful!!!
*Post it on any social media account you want or just post it on your refrigerator. The point is to share your art with someone. :)
PS. Both Manuel and Alvaro's Inktober sketches will be posted directly on our Truthful Comics Instagram page. You don't follow us on Instagram? Well, here's your chance to fix that, go follow us @truthfulcomics and be the first to see their Instagram sketches as soon as they're uploaded. Keep it Truthful!
Today we're doing something fun, we're going to talk about one of the most recognizable comic book characters outside of Marvel and DC Comics; Todd McFarlane's Spawn! In case you've been living under a rock for the past 25 years here's a brief history of the character...
Spawn is a fictional antihero appearing in a monthly comic book series of the same name published by Image Comics. Created by Todd McFarlane, the character first appeared in Spawn #1 (May 1992). Albert Francis Simmons was born in Detroit, Michigan. He is the second eldest of three children (Marc, Albert and Richard) born to Bernard Simmons- a traveling salesman- and Esther Simmons- a devil worshipper. Simmons is a highly intelligent and physically strong Lieutenant Colonel in the United States Marine Corps. He later joins the United States Secret Service and becomes a highly decorated member. This leads to his recruitment to the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). Once in the CIA, Simmons joins the U.S. Security Group- an umbrella agency encompassing the CIA, the NSA, and the NSC- commanded by Director Jason Wynn, and becomes a highly capable assassin.
After being murdered during a mission in Botswana when Director Wynn hires Simmons' friend and partner, Bruce Stinson (codename Chapel), to kill him, Simmons is sent to Hell due to his life as an assassin. Making a deal with the devil- known as Malebolgia- Simmons agrees to become a Hellspawn and serve Malebolgia if he is allowed to see his wife, Wanda, one last time. Malebolgia agrees, and returns Simmons to the living realm, but stripped of nearly all his memories, with a badly burned body, and a demonic guardian, named the Violator.
The series has spun off several other comics, including Angela, Curse of the Spawn, Sam & Twitch, and the Japanese manga Shadows of Spawn. Spawn was adapted into a 1997 feature film and portrayed by Michael Jai White, an HBO animated series lasting from 1997 until 1999, a series of action figures whose high level of detail made McFarlane Toys known in the toy industry, and a 2019 reboot film starring Jamie Foxx and Jeremy Renner, alongside a sequel animated series. The character also appears in annual compilations, miniseries specials written by guest authors and artists, and numerous crossover storylines in other comic books. And if that wasn't enough... the series just reached it's 301st issue of publication!
But what is the big deal about Spawn? To answer this (what we think anyway) I decided to join my brother-in-arms Alvaro Cortez Jr to discuss just that, what does the character mean to us, what does it mean for comics and how do we feel about Todd McFarlane and/or Image Comics.
Manuel Carmona: So, Spawn reached and surpassed it's 300th consecutive issue, that's mighty impressive wouldn't you agree?
Alvaro Cortez Jr: It is, especially considering most of the "Big 2" series barely make it past 12 issues lately.
MC: Ha! That's true though. Honestly putting together ONE comic book independently takes a Herculean team effort, publishing 10, 20, 30 is almost unfathomable for indie publishers in general; reaching 300 issues??? It's unthinkable!
AC: Especially when you wear as many hats as McFarlane does. Not only is he still involved with Spawn, he oversees McFarlane Toys and trying to get the movie produced as well. It's crazy how he's able to do so much.
MC: And what do you feel Spawn reaching 300 issues mean to the industry, especially to indie publishers like ourselves; who are going on this journey of self publishing their books?
AC: It's very inspiring. He always states that now is the time for indie comics and encourages creators to keep creating and pushing the boundaries. This landmark event is so important because it shows he talks the talk and walks the walk. Sure, there's a case that can be made that he already had his fame from Marvel, and Image is the #3 company and is seen as a fine line between indie and commercial; but I still admire the HUGE chance he took and the fact that he has made mistakes along the way but he keeps bouncing back. That's admirable.
MC: It absolutely is! Spawn always had a special place in my heart for many reasons, for example showing the comic book world that it could be done; you can build your niche if you work at it tirelessly and stay true to your vision. I looked at what McFarlane did with Spawn and it was a revelation, he became my role model as a comic book creator; he showed me it could be done. For that I'll always be on his corner.
AC: I like that he took chances. Contrary to the other creators for the exception of maybe Larsen and Valentino, he made something so dark and so gutsy and so different from what the others did. I loved WildCATS and Cyber Force, Wetworks, Youngblood, etc, but they really felt like variations of X-Men. Which I don't fault them for it, and eventually they grew out and got out of their comfort zone, but McFarlane came out swinging from the start and kept going strong.
MC: I remember reading those first issues as a teenager back in the early 90s and thinking to myself "this book is dark as hell (no pun intended!) and gritty and mysterious and beautiful. I devoured every issue! Then Greg Capullo came on board with an art style very similar to McFarlane's, and slowly but surely broke out of the mold and created his own unmistakable art style and became one of the greatest artists in comics in my opinion! To me he drew the definitive Spawn, even more so than McFarlane!
AC: Even McFarlane admits the book became Capullo's during that time, to the point he altered his own style for issue number 50, which is one of my all time favorite issues of any comic EVER. I mean, Capullo and McFarlane drawing at the height of their careers on Spawn? Amazing. Tony Daniel had a short stint also alternating with Capullo before Capullo completely took over and Daniel went on to make his own studio F5.
MC: And how do you think independent creators should feel about this tremendous accomplishment?
AC: Feel inspiration about it. For the longest time he helmed this creation pretty much on his own and he did something we all must be aware of: the business aspect of it. Especially in a time when you can basically have your own store online to sell your comic, merch, even indie animation/movies, the internet has changed everything. Depending on how you want to handle your creation, he has left us the blueprint for it and the encouragement, so nows the time to push forward.
MC: Yup, I see it as a near unreachable goal to strive for; sort of like wanting to be bigger than Kirby in comics. More than likely never gonna happen but you strive for it. The way to reach that almost impossible goal is one step at a time, one issue after the other, be consistent, be diligent, be truthful to your craft and to your peers, don't take shortcuts; impossible is a word cowards throw around because they're too scared to fail. McFarlane showed us the way, now let's arm ourselves with that knowledge and reach for the stars. Keep it Truthful!