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!