Before Fred Peterson, The Mighty Warlord, there was a small webcomic called Never Mind (back then eventually shortened to NVD).
Never Mind was the first webcomic that started running at internet forums in Puerto Rico, PR Comix and later Paquines.com. This webcomic means a lot to mean, it's the most personal comic I've ever done, being an autobio webstrip. So it was at the time one of the first PR webcomics.
I was inspired by the works of Tom Beland's True Stories Swear to God zines. Many times friends have told me that so many outrageous thing have happened to me, that I should make a comic some time. So I did, HA!
But there was a bit more to it. At the time I had already published an extremely small batch of printed copies of Warlord, and I was contemplating uploading it as a webcomic. I started doing my homework on this new way of publishing comics, and I thought "well, I want to keep working on Warlord, but what if it doesn't find an audience online? What if I mess it up?"
So, while I was trying to just get my mind off things, I started binge reading True Stories Swear to God (and the full comic True Story Swear to God). And that's when it hit me. "I'll test the waters with an autobio strip". I was also listening to Nirvana, hence the title Never Mind.
I started uploading the strip on the PR Comix internet forum. The plan was to do 12 strips, and later on collect them into a zine. I was actually discouraged by a few people. "Webcomic!? You mean you're giving away the comic for FREE!?" "Huh, interesting, but this looks VERY indie, it's not going to do well. Stick to doing heroes and sell them, don't do this for free." "Webcomics is amateur hour, kid, no one will ever take online seriously."
I uploaded anyway. It caught on very fast. The post views and comments got big, so slowly others felt encouraged to upload webcomics to the point the forum decided to do a subsection dedicated solely to webcomics. I eventually did do a small print run zine style and took it to the first convention I ever attended as a creator. The zine sold out.
Through the years I would do four more "seasons" of Never Mind. I was planning on doing zines as well, but a string of bad luck happened.
The CD where I saved the files for the first 2 seasons shattered inside the disc drive in my PC. Then a storm hit PR that caused floods, and it damaged the original artwork. So I gave up on publishing it and decided to just post it online. But by the time I was doing season five, I was burning out, and the bad luck bug hit again.
I had moved to NYC and the PC I was using to work on the strips broke down. Then the apartment flooded twice in the span of a week and it destroyed the original artwork I had done and the laptop I was using got it's hard drive fried, so I went on a extended hiatus with Never Mind season five just starting out.
After a few months and getting my footing again updating Warlord, I started feeling nostalgic for Never Mind. So I resumed updating season five every moment I could spare the time and one year later I finally finished season five. It's been nearly six years now since I've worked on Never Mind.
I was catching up on other webcomics that eventually I finished due to participating on the 100 Days of Making Comics challenge, and I got the bug again.
During the challenge, I actually did a sixth season of Never Mind. I did the artwork of all twelve strips for it, but I kind of didn't like the art side of it. And it made me think back to the first season.
That's when I started thinking about redoing it from the start. I had already started the first steps in remaking early Warlord comics, so I thought "why not?" There would be no Warlord today if there was no Never Mind.
So here we are, I am remaking Never Mind into the Truthful Comics Edition. Reworked art and editing the dialogue. I am uploading it once again as a webcomic and will print it in zines as well again.
I am excited to be working on a comic that means so much to me personally, especially now that the art and story is a lot closer to how I originally envisioned it and never did due to lack of time and in a way the discouragement I had initially received. And hopefully you all will enjoy it as well, wether you read the original ones or for the first time, thank you all SO much, I will keep doing my best to keep improving and growing.
-Alvaro "Lance Danger" Cortes Jr
Written by Manuel A. Carmona
-MC For my first #FridayFlashback on the website I'm going back to the time I got a first look at my inked pages for Phazer #6 featuring Captain Action and Action Boy. I remember vividly how excited I was at the chance to work on a character like Captain Action and so many public domain characters like El Gato Negro, Black Terror and many others.
What should've been the beginning of my art career in comics, working for other publishers quickly evaporated and I realized the grim reality of the comic book industry; that many people are in this business to take advantage of creators. What sucked the most to me was that the person in charge sold me on the idea that they were gonna do things the right way because like me, they hated what Marvel did to Jack Kirby throughout his career; so they were gonna make sure creators were treated fairly. Yeah... right. Lesson learned though.
Regardless, it was a valuable experience and the main catalyst for me to go out on my own and make Truthful Comics a reality alongside my brother Alvaro Cortez Ortiz Jr.; so for that I'll be forever thankful... in a messed up kind of way. Now I'm curious, from the creators that are reading this blog; do you remember your first professional work in comics? Which comic book series was it? Was your experience more enjoyable than mine or was it a nightmare? What lessons did you learn from working with a creative team compared to working solo on a project?
As always... keep it Truthful.
Written By Manuel A. Carmona
This morning as I browsed through my emails I noticed one from Natalie Sifuentes, the Youth and Family Coordinator at the Morgan memorial Library in Suffolk, Virginia. It was in regards of the status for their upcoming convention Iconicon. I opened it immediately hoping for the best but fearing the worst since the event had already been postponed, needless to say my fears were warranted; but there's a silver lining to all of this.
It sucks that yet another comic convention has been cancelled because of Covid-19 but at least they're trying to be proactive and reached out to the creators to lend a helping hand. That is much appreciated. I replied with my information and informed them that because of their efforts and being up front about the situation I'd like to be involved with their events moving forward because that type of dedication and responsibility deserves to be rewarded. So, count me and Truthful Comics in for Iconicon 2021... unless we get hit by another Pandemic or life altering event; we'll be there!
As always... keep it Truthful!
What you're about to read is the first soon-to-be-published work by the young author Jason Alexander Carmona. He wrote this as a fun "challenge", to see if he could come up with an original story based on some prompts his mom and dad picked for him. He quickly began to develop a story with elements that didn't necessarily fit, but because of the "challenge" he had to make it work; we think he succeeded. But it's not up to us to judge, it's up to the audience to say if he did a good job or not. So, we decided to post his story for everyone to read, after you read it; please leave him your thoughts so he can get his first taste of what being an author is all about.
PS. This story is going to eventually be published as an illustrated children's book.
The Endless Forest
There was once an endless forest, dark and mysterious like the night; evil dwells there. There were giant bats hiding there as well as well as dangerous pirate. he had a patch over his eyes, long dirty hair, tattered clothes, a sword, two pistols... and very teeth! He wasn't too bright but he was astute, he talked loudly and often but never said too much about things he cared about; like his treasure.
But the pirate wasn't the only one living in that forest, two mean witches lived there as well. One of the witches had just one ear, the other had none; nobody knows why. Very few people go into the forest these days, the witches scare them away which makes the pirate very happy; less people go wondering in the forest... less chances of anyone finding his treasure! Oh, remember the giant bats hiding in the woods? Those were the witches' pets! Not surprising.
So the witches hid alongside their giant pet bats and walked the forest looking for food and scaring people away, they didn't want anyone to know where they lived; or what they did. The witches were bad, the giant bats were bad, the pirate was bad; but the forest was good. That's another reason why the witches and the giant bats hid away, the forest would hurt them because it knew they were evil; and he wanted them gone!
Just outside The Endless Forest lived a good man, someone kind to humans and animals alike, someone who even the plants recognized and protected; The Ancient Emperor! He was once a great sorcerer who protected travelers trying to get across The Endless Forest and who fell victims to the evil witches. The sorcerer had two loyal companions, a red monkey and a dragon! The dragon had saved the monkey from snake years ago, breathing fire and scaring the snake enough that it let go of the red monkey; after that day the two were inseparable.
Legend has it the red monkey only eats a special kind of apples that only grow in The Endless Forest, so even though it's very dangerous for anyone to go through the woods; the red monkey has to go or he'll starve. So the dragon found out about this and he gets apples for the red monkey every day and brings them to him. They're best of friends. On one occasion, while the dragon was picking apples for the red monkey, the witches trapped the dragon and if it wasn't for the sorcerer it would've been fatal for the dragon. Thankfully the sorcerer is very powerful so he could fight off the witches wh ran away into the woods not to be seen again for a long time.
The sorcerer's power comes from a powerful warlock named Jayden The Great! Jayden The Great was slain in battle fighting the evil witches when one of them attacked him from behind, but before dying he transferred his power to the sorcerer and from that day forward; the sorcerer became the protector of the land. The End?
Written by Alvaro Cortez Ortiz Jr
Comic books have been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. I learned to read thanks to comic books and picture books before I even started going to school as a child thanks to my father.
My father, who migrated from Mexico to New York, did not speak English too well, just well enough to get by. But he would buy picture books and kids comics and would read them to me as a kid because my parents of course wanted me to grow up knowing English.
My parents divorced by the time I was around five years old, and though I saw my father much less, I still kept that hunger of wanting to read more books and comics. My mother would occasionally buy me comics, which were mostly Archie Comics, Muppet Babies, and these digests that had a bunch of different titles all in one big comic, like Monster Balls, Alf, Heathcliff, and other kid friendly characters.
One time while I was exploring in that small Williamsburg apartment where we lived, I ran into a big trash bag in the closet, and when I opened it, it was full of of comics in Spanish, translated versions of Archie Comics, Little Lulu, Memin, Casper, and some more adult comics that actually belonged to my mother when she was a kid and as she grew up.
Comics are a connection. They're a connection to my father, to my mother, to my best friends I grew up with and still have contact with, a connection to many, many talented peers, a connection to other fans, to people I'm getting to know and to people I'm yet to know.
To all the people that I know, that I have collaborated with, to the people that I love, to this medium that I love, thank you. For as long as it is humanly possible, I will always try to give back to comics what it has given to me, and hopefully to all the lone wolves out there, don't feel too lonely, you are always welcome in my pack.
Written by Manuel A. Carmona
If you're reading this then you probably already know that yesterday Comic Crusaders hosted the very first Virtual Con and it's safe to say that it was an absolute WIN any which way you look at at it! Dozens of creators and podcasters from around the World "came together" and celebrated an online comic con and it all happened Live in front of our eyes. Talents like Joe St Pierre, Stephanie Phillips, Sebastian Bendix and Jennifer Yarbrough among others showed up and talked about their upcoming projects, their creative process and had an all around good time.
Al Mega, Johny "The Machine" Hughes, Lucas Fashina and the rest of the gang did an amazing job putting this first of it's kind event, bringing together incredible talents and actually doing something for the indie comic community rather than talk about it. I tip my hat to those guys for their hard work pushing indie comics to the masses, not only yesterday; but all year round' through their podcast network. If you haven't listened to their podcasts you're doing yourself a disservice so in order to change that here's their website where you can find all their podcasts and everything related to Comic Crusaders.
I was invited to join them briefly to talk about our Buy Indie Comics Day initiative. What's Buy Indie Comics Day all about? How can indie creators get involved? How can Retailers get involved? And here's what went down...
We talked for a short while which was cool but the best part is what happened as we were talking, they liked the BICD idea, they believe in the idea and they decided to join forces and push the Buy Indie Comics Day initiative with us and try to make it THE MOST IMPORTANT DAY FOR INDIE COMICS!!! I couldn't be happier and more thankful with those guys than I am right now. Such a pleasant experience, even though I had technical difficulties from beginning to end; it was all worth it. I want to thank the entire Comic Crusaders crew for the opportunity and I hope this will be the beginning of a beautiful friendship.
Like always... keep it Truthful!
Written by Manuel A. Carmona
Well, I guess the cats out of the bag; The Truthful Comics Podcast will be coming back this Summer! Alvaro Cortez Ortiz Jr (The Mighty Warlord, The Mysterious Exorcist, Project: New Wave) and Manuel A. Carmona (Project: New Wave, Captain Action) will be joining forces once more to bring you a monthly podcast dedicated to bring you all the news regarding Truthful Comics for your listening pleasure. The format will tentatively be one monthly episode, around 30-45 minutes long and the hosts will fill you in on everything that's happen the previous month and will give you a preview of what's coming next month from Truthful Comics.
The episodes will be posted exclusively on our website the last Monday of the month but a slide show version will be posted the next day exclusive on the Truthful Comics YouTube page. Besides telling you what went down and what's will be happening with Truthful Comics, Alvaro and Manuel will also be recording individual episodes that will range from in store signings, Q&As, Live streams, maybe do an episode talking about their artistic inspirations, etc. They'll also be discussing more in depth some of the blogs they've written on the site so that way, maybe people that are on the go don't have time to read a long blog but they can listen to it instead.
We'll be letting everyone know the exact launch date exclusively on our website so stay tuned!
Well, the hits keep on coming thanks to the Covid-19 Pandemic. An event we were very excited to be a part of has been cancelled making this the third cancelled event this year. Here's their press release:
Written by Manuel A. Carmona
These are scary and uncertain times we're living in these days, but it's nothing new; we should've been ready for it by now. I'm not saying we should've known how to handle a virus that we didn't even knew existed, much less that it had the capacity to cripple society like it has; I meant that we've dealt with enough tragedies in our lifetime to have learned our lesson and always be prepared. Obviously, by the chaos we're seeing from people fighting each other over toilet paper, people partying during Spring Break while being warned there's a virus swallowing the entire Planet and there's no cure in sight or people camping outside of supermarkets to buy everything they can get their hands on without even realizing most of that stuff will go bad in a week; we've learned nothing from our previous mistakes.
In my household we live under a certain... code that we follow religiously: Love God, Love One Another and Love Our Neighbors. I however, taught the wife MY personal Mantra, one I've lived by since I was very young: Hope for the best but ALWAYS prepare for the worst. Because I live by that Mantra we're always one step ahead of bad situations. We have means to store food, medicine, cleaning products, weapons, B.O.Bs (Bug Out Bags), maps, alternative routes; etc. So when this whole craziness of people going to stores desperate trying to buy the last roll of toilet paper began, we sat at our house thinking to ourselves how clueless some of these people are, how unprepared and/or unaware some people live their lives and it's sad but I guess we're witnessing Darwinism at it's finest... some people have learned from their mistakes and evolved while others are flocking supermarkets under a contagious pandemic trying to buy cases of toilet paper and Lysol.
So, since we were prepared from the start, I've taken advantage of this quarantine to work on a few projects I've been putting off because of lack of time. It's been a stressful time for everyone I'm sure, especially those in high risk areas but me personally; I've tried to not be overwhelmed with the situation and used this time to stay productive and creative. I've been busy finishing a short story I did for last year's 12 Hour Comics Day tentatively titled Spaceboy 2020, which will be part of the upcoming Truthful Comics Presents relaunch later this year.
I've also seen many of my colleagues doing the same, trying to stay positive and focusing on their projects although I know it's been extremely hard for some of them due to all the event cancellations because of this Pandemic; since they make a big chunk of money at these conventions. So, if you know any creators who've mentioned on social media that their upcoming events have been cancelled be a blessing to them by supporting them, buy one of their books, t-shirts, prints or anything else they produce; we all need to help each other out during this difficult times. Stay safe, stay indoors as much as possible and stay informed; we'll get through this together. As always... keep it Truthful!
March 28th - North Suffolk Public Library, Suffolk, VA
Join us for the 5th Annual IconiCon! This multi-fandom event is free to attend and open to all ages. We'll have vendors, panels, a cosplay contest and fan art contest, themed storytime and activities for kids, gaming tournament, family-friendly DnD, trivia contest, karaoke and more. Stay tuned for event details and special announcements!
Confirmed Vendors and Groups: Hampton Roads Droid Builders, Hampton Roads LEGO User Group (HARDLUG), The Rebel Legion Freedom Base, Darkon: Realm of Orcs, DreamPunk Press, CriAtions and Hats, Fehu Studio, 21st Century Sandshark Studios, Toonopolis with Jeremy Rodden, Ubercross/Guilded Age, Fauntroy Comics, Seppuku Comics, Millennial Comics, Author Katherine Bond, Saberdog Art (Comic Creator Kristin Mehaffey), Miguel Draws, Sinister At Arms Cosplay,
Jeffrey Onwularu, Comic Artist/Cartoonist/Animator, Toons by Troy, Truthful Comics and many more!
April 18th - Regent University, Virginia Beach, VA
Regent Con is returning for its 5th year on Saturday, April 18th, 2020 from 11 am to 7 pm! This convention is a family friendly event for all those LOVE comics, anime, cosplay, and fantasy!!
May 9th - Virginia High School, Bristol, TN
Join us at the newest, most exciting comics convention in Northern, Tennessee! Comic books, Cosplayers, toys, sci-fi memorabilia and lots of fans; it doesn't get any better than this!
"A fun convention with proceeds going to local scholarships. I suggest everyone check it out!"
PLASTIC CITY COMIC CON
August 1st - Wallace Civic Center, Fitchburg, MA
The Plastic City Comic Con Returns for our fifth and best year!
$5 Admission and Kids 12 and under Admission is Free! Bring the family down and share our love of comic books with celebrity creators, local talent and vendors! Free Parking! Plastic City Comic Con is the premier event for comics, toys and pop culture fans in North Central Massachusetts! Jam packed with comic artists, writers, creators and comic celebrities!