Saturday, December 31, 2011

KAV'S DVD REVIEW OF APOLLO 18


I could say spoiler alert but there's nothing to spoil here so read on.

Ok another suckfest from Hollywood. This film suffers from the fatal flaw of the passive protagonist. He does nothing to try to get out of his predicament, merely repeating over and over, 'Houston can you hear me? Liberty do you copy" etc etc ad nauseum. A third of this movie seems to be the doomed astronauts shouting, "HOUSTON DO YOU COPY? LIBERTY DO YOU COPY?" Not the stuff of interesting films, boys. Don't any screenwriters read books on screenwriting? The passive protagonist is the death sentence for drama, guys.

Anyway, this movie is about a secret 18th mission to the moon. It's kinda like Apollo 13 meets Cloverfield meets Alien. These are the lost tapes. Dudes go on a secret mission to the moon to install some sort of transmitters to spy on the Russians or something. The film doesn't make it any clearer than that.

So two astronauts discover a Russian lander close to where they landed, which looks like a bunch of hobos have been living in it and who stripped all the wiring out. But the pod still functions for some reason. Go figure. Maybe the Russians discovered some wireless method of power transmission. So then they find a dead cosmonaut in a crater.

Back at the lunar excursion module (LEM), a dude discovers that some sort of space crab has entered his body in true ALIEN fashion. Apparently the space rocks transform into space crabs that infect you then make your eyes bloodshot and drive you crazy. Go figure. Space crabs, Hollywood? That's the best you could come up with?

So at first the guys on the moon are bouncing around in lunar gravity. Then later, I guess due to budget cuts or a sleepy director or both, the gravity becomes Earth's, reminding everyone that this is filmed on EARTH in a SOUNDSTAGE. Way to kill the willing suspension of disbelief guys.

The suckfest continues as one dude gets dragged into a crater by space crabs (I'm not s******g you) and other dude heads for the Russian LEM for Oxygen. He contacts the Department of Defense (DOD) on Earth via a VERY quick patch through to the Russian Space Agency. Go figure. DOD dude tells him that with the 'infection' they can't come rescue him. No mention is made of the fact that such a rescue would be impossible even IF they had a Saturn V waiting to blast off with an Apollo craft on it just lying around, the four days it would take to reach the moon would be about three and a half more days oxygen than dude has, also it is IMPOSSIBLE to land in the same spot on the moon within say a hundred miles. But the director didn't wake up long enough to get such info from NASA so the movie breezes right along with stupidity piled upon stupidity.

I'm just glad I had a $1 credit at the Blockbuster kiosk so didn't have to waste the full $3 on this suckfest. But I'm tempted to call customer service and lie and say the DVD was scratched to get a refund. I can't bring myself to do that, but I did leave a sticky note on the kiosk stating 'Apollo 18 sucks. Bad'. If I can prevent one person from spending money to be tortured, that's practically like saving someone's life, I figure.

Then there's the touching scene where the doomed astronaut listens to his son's tape recorded message for him over and over. Only it's not touching. Because by now everyone hates this movie and couldn't care less about the actor, I mean astronaut stranded on the soundstage, I mean moon. Then they do the old horror movie cliche where the dead guy's not dead - the deranged astronaut attacks the Russian LEM with a hammer. (Ironic) But then the space crabs chew through his helmet and his face explodes. Why they hadn't chewed through his faceplate back at the crater when they were swarming on him is a mystery. Wait no it's not-it's because the director is a FORMULA DIRECTOR and the dead not dead deranged guy comeback was a MUST for this artistic genius of originality.

So then dude straps himself in because suddenly he reads Russian and has been FULLY TRAINED to operate Russian spacecraft! I'm not s*****g you! They went there! So they were too cheap to show the Russian LEM blasting off so there are no exterior shots of this at all, just happy dude strapped in his astro-chair. It's a sad day for science fiction films when Lost in Space is twice as realistic. (and I'm talking about the TV show not the movie) DANGER WILL ROBINSON! DANGER!

And how are you supposed to admire or care about a cowardly protagonist? He knows he's been exposed to the space crab disease, and is fully aware that this could be a human ending contagion, but damn it HE WANTS TO GO HOME! NASA-well, what used to be NASA when we had a space program, should be pissed at the depiction of astronauts as cowardly.

The ending is dumber than dumb-a lot of yelling and a crash. That's it. That's the movie.

From henceforth I call for this movie to be referred to as Plan 10 From Outer Space.


A. Kaviraj is an artist and writer at Champion City Comics. His works include Dr Death vs The Vampire, Doctor Death vs The Zombie, and The End of Paradise.

Friday, December 30, 2011

BLAST OF SILENCE: A MOVIE FOR CRIME NOIR WRITERS

Sean Phillips Artwork for The Criterion Collection


If you are going to write a crime noir comic book then you better immerse yourself in the classics to understand the genre. A few writers get it right and too many get it wrong. Let's correct the mistakes. There are plenty of books and films to read and watch and my first film suggestion is the 1961 cult classic, Blast of Silence. Written and directed by Allen Baron, Blast of Silence, follows a hitman named Frankie Bono (Allen Barron) who is hired to take out a New York City mob boss named Troiano during Christmas.

This film has everything for a crime noir education. First, there is the hard boiled narrator who is perfect throughout the entire film. He has many great lines like, "The target's name is Troiano. You know the type, second-string syndicate boss with too much ambition and a mustache, to hide the fact that he has lips like a woman. The kind of face you hate."  Perfect. That's the kind of stuff one needs for a perfect crime noir tale. You need that gritty style of writing for it to work. Secondly, the cast has two very strong characters. First, there is the lead, Frankie Bono, who is a man of few words but has the cold look of a hitman. Bono does not spew out action movie cliches but keeps his words short and sweet. Also, watch Frankie's facial expressions. A character does not always need to say something in every panel. Allow their facial expressions to do the talking. Secondly, we have Big Ralph (Larry Tucker), a rat-loving contact who somewhat resembles the Orson Welles of the Paul Masson era. Ralph is scummy and you are not sure if he can be trusted. He plays innocent but you know Ralph could rat you out for some dough. Finally, we have the great setting of New York City. Director Allen Baron worked with cinematographer Merrill S. Brody to deliver some fantastic noir visuals for this film.

I strongly encourage you to watch this film, which in my opinion is a masterpiece of crime noir.    







TonyDoug Wright is the owner and editor of Champion City Comics. His webcomics include Dr Death vs The Zombie, The End of Paradise, and Day 165.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

PROMETHEUS TRAILER (2012)

Fans of the Alien franchise can rejoice. Ridley Scott, the director of Alien, has returned with a movie that's sort-of-not-really an Alien prequel. Watch the trailer below and then feel free to read my thoughts. 






I read online last year that Ridley Scott was filming an Alien prequel and was very excited about the news. Yesterday, I saw the trailer online and it was awesome. I'm feeling good about some of the films that are planned for a 2012 release like The Dark Knight Rises, The Hobbit, The Avengers, and Prometheus.  

As stated earlier in this post, the film is a prequel of sorts that takes place in the Alien franchise universe. Prometheus will give us some clues to what the crew of the Nostromo discovered in Alien, especially that giant crashed spaceship with the freakish alien skeleton inside.


click to enlarge

Let's talk about the director, crew, and actors. Ridley Scott is the director and this guy knocked it out of the park with Alien. If you want to know how to do a horror movie then check out Alien because that's how it's done right. I'll admit that I'd be very worried if a director other than James Cameron (Aliens) was at the helm of this project. Scott did a great job and so did Cameron. Yes, I know David Fincher was the director of Alien 3 and I have nothing against him, but I'll admit that Alien 3 was not that great of a film and I will not even talk about the dreadful Alien: Ressurection. The cast is very impressive. We have Noomi Rapace (The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo 2009), Charlize Theron, Michael Fassbender (X-Men: First Class), Idris Elba (The Wire), and Guy Pearce (Memento). That cast seems pretty solid to me and I don't see a weak link among the actors. The writers for Prometheus are Damon Lindelof (Lost) and Jon Spaiths (The Darkest Hour) which gives me further hope that this movie will be a summer blockbuster.


What are your thoughts? Feel free to share them in the comments section below!


Official Movie Site: http://www.prometheus-movie.com/


TonyDoug Wright is the owner and editor of Champion City Comics. His webcomics include Dr Death vs The Zombie, The End of Paradise, and Day 165.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

WEBCOMIC WEDNESDAY: UPDATE FOR WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 28, 2011

Welcome to the last webcomics update for 2011 and we at Champion City Comics want to thank you for supporting us and our webcomics. This year, we have been privileged to have over 100,000 visitors. Thank you!

This week, we have an update for Red Devil. The internaytional crime-fighter has tracked down Silent Noise in Prague and has discovered he's working for someone or something demonic.


THE RED DEVIL

Writer: TonyDoug Wright

Pencils, Ink, Color, and Lettering: Erik Roman & Joe Haemmerle

Synopsis: Dublin O'Darby (The Red Devil) is an international crime-fighter who works for Sebastian Coronado, the director of an organization dedicated to combating cartels of evil. Joining The Red Devil is teenage sidekick Charlotte Murphy (Kid Diablo). In the exciting first issue, Red Devil and Kid Diablo track down a dangerous ninja, Silent Noise, who has stolen a mysterious ring which once belonged to a diabolical group of demon worshipers known as the Order of Methalius.

CLICK ON IMAGE TO VIEW




Tuesday, December 27, 2011

KAV & TONY BREAK IT DOWN: SUPERMAN #171 'THE CURSE OF MAGIC' (PART 1)

Kav & Tony Break it Down is nothing more than two long-time comic book readers making fun of the Golden and Silver Age Superman comics. We understand that these books were written for a juvenile audience but we could not resist reviewing these classics. Please note that no comic books were hurt during the review. 

Kav and Tony Break It Down has returned! Consider it a late Christmas gift from Champion City Comics. We will be reviewing Superman #171 which featured the story 'The Curse of Magic'. The writer was none other than Jerry Siegel, the penciler was the legendary Curt Swan, and the inker was George Klein. Enjoy!

RIGHT CLICK ON EACH IMAGE TO ENLARGE


COVER

PAGE 1


KAV: Ok, here we see Superman acting as a sort of general handyman for the people of Metropolis. Maybe he should see if there are any life/death situations in OTHER CITIES once his 'chores are done'. We see Mr MXYVDYTFHGJX (or whatever) informing Supes that everything he says will come true. Easy solution? Just don't talk. Possible for Stuporman? Nope.

TONY: You know it is going to be a doozy when Mr. Mxyzptlk, the silly sprite from the fifth dimension, is the featured villain. And how does Superman always defeat this dastardly villain? He has to make him say his name backwards. Lame. The first panel has Superman thinking about time on his hands and the face of the clock falls. Mr. Mxyzptlk says, "Be careful what you say!" OK, he THOUGHT about time on his hands, so why did the face of the clock fall? He did not SAY ANYTHING!  Come on, Siegel.   

PAGE 2



KAV: Perry sends Lois and Clark to Smallville to come up with an interesting story. They uncover the amazing facts that he helped Chief Parker and the dude living in Luthor's old house isn't upset about it. This is Pulitzer level stuff Perry-good call. Clark mysteriously starts levitating but in order not to make Lois suspicious that he's Superman, he whips up a mini tornado to explain his floating. That he was floating before the tornado doesn't faze him.

TONY: Lois and Clark travel to Mayberry to dig up dirt on Superman. Those two are no TMZ. Did Clark really get a call from a Planet re-write man on winning the National Publishers' Prize or was he scammed by some dude in Nigeria? Two pages into the story and Siegel has taken liberties with the power of the human breath and weather. Superman can just whip up a tornado with his breath? If that were the case then he'd kill people if he sneezed. Just stating some facts, folks.   

PAGE 3



KAV: This is a real doozy-for the first time in the DC Universe they changed the rules about Mr MXYRHYFUFUFUGX's (or whatever) magic which usually disappears when he does, but the writer was too lazy to handle two plots in one story so they just had him voluntarily leave our dimension so Stuporman wouldn't have to come up with a clever way to make him say his name backwards. Then Supie says he's as hungry as a horse and of course a horse appears (hey wait-shouldn't Supie have turned into a horse? Anyway). This completely ruins the dinner party, as we learn in the next panel. Apparently even Superman, with all his powers was unable to get rid of a HORSE so the dinner could continue. Maybe he should have called in the Justice League. All together, they might have been able to get rid of a HORSE.

TONY: Did someone have a horse problem? Click here to see how you take care of a horse, Superman. You're welcome.

STAY TUNED AS KAV AND TONY BREAK DOWN MORE PAGES!  


A. Kaviraj is an artist and writer at Champion City Comics. His works include Dr Death vs The Vampire, Doctor Death vs The Zombie, and The End of Paradise


TonyDoug Wright is the owner and editor of Champion City Comics. His webcomics include Dr Death vs The Zombie, The End of Paradise, and Day 165.

Monday, December 26, 2011

KAV'S HELPFUL TIPS FOR ARTISTS (AS SEEN AT COMIC RELATED!)

Our artist and writer, A. Kaviraj, made the front pages of Comic Related with an article providing some helpful tips for artists. You can read the article here or just read below.

Okay, this article addresses the issue of getting paying work, the holy grail of the comic artist. Until you get picked up, hopefully, by a publisher, this should allow you to avoid some of the pitfalls of the aspiring artist.

First of all, you respond to ads on sites like Digital Webbing, Penciljack, Deviantart, or, COMIC RELATED. If you are lucky enough to be selected-because for every paying gig there will be at least a hundred applicants-here is how you should handle it.

Many artists have unfortunately experienced being 'hired' to do a book, with payment upon completion, and they never get paid. So they basically drew 22 pages for someone, for free. A good policy is to ask for payment every 5 pages. Anyone not willing to accept these terms will probably screw you anyway, so no loss. Another strategy is to send the pages at 72 dpi until you get paid - that will make the pages worthless to any miscreant trying to cheat you. You can also use strips of paper to block off parts of the pages so the writer doesn't have complete artwork until payment arrives.

Another thing is to be flexible. If the writer wants changes, be happy to supply them. Never argue that what you drew was correct, and the writer is simply wrong. Hey, he's paying you, and this will give you experience for the big leagues, where changes are expected to be no problem. Of course, if you run across someone who wants too many changes, over and over, well, it may be best to part ways. Make your own decision on this. You definitely do not want to get a reputation for being difficult and unwilling to accept critiques of your work.

You will probably experience writers who ask you to draw the impossible, like a back view of a guy with an angry expression on his face, or a long distance view of someone with a detailed facial expression. At long distances, eyes are just dots. Or someone may script you drawing someone showing their thoughts, eg 'John enters the room. he is thinking about Marie, and the difficult way they parted.' Now how the hell are you going to draw that? So a good rapport with the writer is essential when you have to explain why something is undrawable, and you can offer alternate suggestions for the panel in question.

Also, writers sometimes script several actions in one panel. EG 'John enters the room, walks over to his desk and opens the drawer to see a rat inside!' Okay, there are 3 seperate actions here. ONE PANEL, ONE ACTION! Break it to the writer gently. Also be on the lookout for writers who script without using any of the characters' names. This is actually fairly common. It will be up to you to remind him or her that the reader will not have a script showing who is talking, so it is up to the dialogue to provide this info. Most writers will appreciate this input.

How much should you get paid? Most amateur level work for pencils and inks is $20-$30 per page. When applying for jobs make sure you send LINKS to SEQUENTIAL ART. No pin-ups! Nobody wants to see pin-ups and they are a sure sign of an amateur not ready for prime time! Also, if you are a non-American artist, it is critical that you are fluent in English. No matter how good you are, the language barrier will be too much to overcome. It's hard enough grasping panel descriptions as it is sometimes! And don't try to trick a potential employer about your language status!

Production: if someone is paying you to draw, you should be motivated enough to produce at a bare minimum two pages per week. Four is better. I do seven myself. If you can't produce a measly two pages per week you are not ready for paying work yet. This is critical-DO NOT BECOME EMOTIONALLY ATTACHED TO YOUR WORK. People are going to be saying things like 'the guy in panel two-his face looks off somehow-goofy' or 'the perspective is weird in panel 5.' This should not upset you at all; in fact, you should WELCOME and ENCOURAGE criticisms-that's how you learn-and learning is how you get better-and getting better is how you break in with MARVEL or DC or DARK HORSE. A lot of artists get upset and their heart starts beating really fast when someone criticizes their work. This is a BUSINESS, pal, leave the emotions at home with your wife.

When sending your pages, use 300-600 dpi jpegs if that's okay, and it usually is. Tiffs are for big time publishers where your work will end up being colored, never for webcomics. And dont forget to leave room for the word balloons at the top! Find some system that works for you!

Ok I hope this helped!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

CHAMPION CITY COMICS RETURNS DECEMBER 26, 2011!

Merry Christmas! We at Champion City Comics are going to be spending time with family and friends. We will return on December 26, 2011! Please enjoy a Doctor Death Christmas below. Thanks to A. Kaviraj for the image.


CLICK ON IMAGE TO ENLARGE



Friday, December 23, 2011

COMING SOON: RAPID CITY ISSUES 1 & 2

Writer: Josh Dahl

Pencils and Inks: A. Kaviraj

Rapid City has returned! For those of you that enjoyed Rapid City: Escalation then you are in for a treat. Rapid City: Escalation was the 11th issue for the series, so Josh Dahl has decided for you to read the first two issues where we see the beginnings of Kinetic, a young superhero that defends Rapid City.

CLICK ON PAGES TO ENLARGE




Thursday, December 22, 2011

RED DEVIL UPDATE

We have a new page to add to our webcomic, Red Devil!

>Writer: TonyDoug Wright

Pencils, Ink, and Lettering: Erik Roman & Joe Haemmerle

Synopsis: Dublin O'Darby (The Red Devil) is an international crime-fighter who works for Sebastian Coronado, the director of an organization dedicated to combating cartels of evil. Joining The Red Devil is teenage sidekick Charlotte Murphy (Kid Diablo). In the exciting first issue, Red Devil and Kid Diablo track down a dangerous ninja, Silent Noise, who has stolen a mysterious ring which once belonged to a diabolical group of demon worshipers known as the Order of Methalius.


CLICK TO ENLARGE PAGE 15!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

WEBCOMIC WEDNESDAY: UPDATE FOR WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 21, 2011

This week, our webcomics update features two teasers for some upcoming webcomics, The Hell Fighters and Red Racer. 

THE HELL FIGHTERS

Writer: TonyDoug Wright

Pencils, Inks, and Lettering: Victor Pozzi

Coming soon to Champion City Comics. Grand Harbor, Michigan is a city overrun with super villains. To combat the villainy, a group of special agents known as The Hell Fighters have been assigned the task of cleaning up Grand Harbor by any means possible. Please view the preview logo and pages below!

CLICK ON IMAGES TO ENLARGE





RED RACER

Writer: Michael Knoll
Artist: Rick Caradine

Red Racer is a tale of four celestial beings that are the survivors of Morrock, a planet destroyed during an interplanetary war. The beings need hosts in order to survive so a Morrock survivor known as Pan finds his new host in an earthling named Jake McCoy.

CLICK ON IMAGES TO ENLARGE




Tuesday, December 20, 2011

A CHAMPION CITY COMICS TUTORIAL (PART 2): TIPS FOR COMIC BOOK WRITERS (AKA THE WAITING)

TonyDoug Wright is the owner and editor of Champion City Comics, a creative community dedicated to showcasing the best webcomics. This is the second installment of a series of tutorials on writing your comic or webcomic that will provide helpful tips for writers of all levels and is merely advice from someone who has experience.

My first blog entry titled 'A Fine Line Between Stupid and Clever' discussed basic problems with development ideas for your webcomic. This second article will examine the length of your work and the time it will take to be completed because writers have an idea for a comic book, graphic novel, or webcomic, but create an unrealistic goal for completion.







I've had comic book ideas sent to me from aspiring writers who have proposals for comics that will span over 200 pages over ten, twelve, or sixteen issues. Why is this an issue? In my opinion, a failure to understand the basic concepts of developing a comic book or webcomic using the do-it-yourself philosophy is problematic.

Writers have informed me that they have a twelve or sixteen issue proposal for me to review. Although they want to produce a comic book, they are willing to have it posted to Champion City Comics as a webcomic to seek input from readers or to gain interest from publishers. Nearly 100% of those writers will be searching for an artist to collaborate with on their project. An estimated 99% of those writers never submit a single page of completed work to be posted. So what's the problem? The artist or the writer? Let's examine the writer.

A common mistake is that writers come up with grandiose ideas for their work. They are under the impression that an artist will work for free to knock out an issue per month and in the end they will be famous or at least offered a job with a publisher. You may think I'm exaggerating but those people are out there. No matter what advice I give them, they don't listen.

Let's say you have twelve issues of a comic book series written. If you do not have the artistic skill to do it yourself and do not have the resources to pay someone, then there is a very high chance that you'll barely get one issue completed. In rare cases, we see this happen. Great scripts have come my way and I've been able to put a writer and artist together. However, the project ends after the artist takes five months to complete half a page. The writer is angry and goes back to square one.

When I started writing, I had a six issue comic book series titled The Champion City Fire all laid out. I had no artistic ability and did not have the financial resources to pay a skilled artist. Joe Haemmerle decided to collaborate with for free because he was my cousin and he was willing to help me out because he believed in the project. But the reality was Joe was going to college and had a full-time job which meant he did not always have the free time to work on The Champion City Fire. One year into our collaboration, we had four completed pages. I thought we'd have twenty two pages knocked out in a month or two. The experience was definitely an eye-opener.

Within a year, I decided to take our work online and develop a webcomic. I thought creating a blog about my experience developing a comic book would be fun. The blog became Champion City Comics in 2009, but I then decided to work on other webcomics projects and create a webcomics community. Within six months, I had developed two webcomics titled The End of Paradise and Westwood. Instead of writing ten comic book scripts for each title, I decided to work with each artist to see how many pages they could produce per month. A. Kaviraj, the artist for The End of Paradise, could produce three pages per week while Victor Pozzi, the artist for Westwood, could produce two to four pages per month. By the end of 2010, I had my first issue of Westwood completed while The End of Paradise turned into a 130 page tour de force. On a side note, A. Kaviraj produces one to two pages per day. 

It may take a year for a project to be completed but most importantly, do not give up because the waiting is the hardest part.


 TonyDoug Wright is the owner and editor of Champion City Comics. His webcomics include Dr Death vs The Zombie, The End of Paradise, and Day 165.

   

Monday, December 19, 2011

KAV DEBUNKS SOME COMMON HOLLYWOOD MYTHS

Hollywood Fakery Can Cost People Their Lives!

Ok, this is kind of a strange article but yet another news story has prompted me to write it. See, yet another person has died trying to respond in a crisis the way they do in the movies...but real life is not the movies so, he died.

Ok what happened was a guy was in a quickie mart when a robbery went down. He figured he'd be a hero and smash the guy in the head with a beer bottle, thus knocking him out. Well, he busted the bottle across the guy's head, but it didn't knock him out, it only pissed him off so he turned around and shot dude.

I have a good friend who got in a bar fight and smashed his beer mug against the guy's head. What happened was the mug split in two and sliced my friend's flexor tendon on his third digit. That finger is currently unmovable and stiff, as a Huntington Rod tendon graft is a pretty difficult surgery and he had no medical insurance.

People died in the San Fransisco earthquake of 1989 when the Bay Bridge collapsed. See, the bridge was shaking, and there was a gap in the bridge-they wanted off, so they figured they would rev their engines and jump their car across, like in the movies. Well, the moment their cars left the pavement it began to fall at 9.8 meters per second squared. And they fell to their deaths. See, without a ramp then the surface is fairly level and you will not soar through the air like in the cop movies and make it to the other side.

Also, when a bullet hits someone, do not expect them to go hurling through the air from the impact. Do not expect them to move at all. A bullet hits the receiver with the same force that the gun kicks back-an equal and opposite reaction. The guy shooting the gun doesn't go flying through the air, does he? I have seen people shot and not even know they were shot and continue walking.

I wonder how many people have been annoyed late at night when their spouse tries to kill them by injecting an air bubble into their vein. "What the hell are you DOING, Barney? Let me sleep." An air bubble is completely harmless. I have watched a two foot long air bubble enter my vein through an IV line and my heart didn't explode. I just yawned as I watched the harmless event.

In the movies, when a killer attacks someone and they smash a statue or something into the killer's head, stunning him, the victim always runs off in a panic, and the killer gets to recover and renew his attack, thus killing the victim. I wonder how many people have died mimicking this Tip: if you have your proposed killer stunned on the ground, begin smashing him as rapidly as you can with the nearest hard object until he's a dead, bloody pulp. Do not give him 'time to recover'. Cripes.

I had a friend once get in a minor rear end collision and she immediately leaped out of her car and began running. She thought it was bound to explode, like in the movies. Whenever two cars impact in the movies they immediately explode. This virtually never happens in real life if it ever has happened. The car may slowly ignite, begin burning, then blow up after the fire catches hold ....but....an immediate explosion? Not likely. Wonder how many people died leaping out of their cars into traffic.

Hollywood has a lot of blood on it's hands, man. Hey guys-what you do people take as real. They model their lives on your output. Example, Taxi Driver and HINCKLEY? Take a little more care, man. Ok, I hope I have saved some lives here. And made movies better in the process. A twofer.

That's a wrap.


A. Kaviraj is an artist and writer at Champion City Comics. His works include Dr Death vs The Vampire, Doctor Death vs The Zombie, and The End of Paradise.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

SUNDAY SONG SELECTION FOR DECEMBER 18, 2011: THAT'S WHEN I REACH FOR MY REVOLVER BY MISSION OF BURMA

I listen to this post-punk classic when I develop a script for a crime-noir story. Brilliant.



Saturday, December 17, 2011

ACTION COMICS #4 REVIEW



Writer: Grant Morrison

Art: Rags Morales

What horrible fate awaits Superman and the city of Metropolis? The true scope of Grant Morrison and Rags Morales' Action Comics run begins to come into view, so get those sunglasses ready, 'cause it is gonna be blinding! And in a backup story that spins out of Action Comics #2, John Henry Irons takes his first steps toward becoming the hero known as Steel!

It's been four months now since the release of the New 52 and I think it's safe to say that while some issues have really broken the molds, other have really lacked in what a majority of the regular fan base has desired. I have found some seriously awesome titles (Animal Man, Green Lantern, Aquaman, Red Lanterns, Superboy, etc.) and read some seriously lacking titles (Stormwatch, Green Arrow, JLA Intl. and Superman regrettably.) But finally, Action Comics #4 is going somewhere. I have enjoyed the art of this series, and have found some clever re-imagining, but as you may have read in earlier reviews, I'm not a fan of the cape, I loathe Lex Luthor's new persona, I have just felt this series was better than the worst, but not really worthy of being on the top of my list. Surprisingly enough this issue changed my mind. While Supes is still wearing his sweater vest cape, his shirt has taken a noticeable turn from blue, to white. I don't know if this is just the coloring style of the colorist, but I like the white shirt much better with the jeans and boots Superman has been wearing.

My god, the cape. I can see the story of how the cape, being kryptonian, may grant Superman some special properties and what not, but there are some serious inconsistencies with why Superman is even using it as a shield against bullets. Back in Action Comics #2 when Superman escapes from the base, he's surrounded by a mob of solders brandishing machine guns that have clips. I emphasize clips because if in the following scene these guns were lasers so there would be no need for the clips.

While this inconsistency drives my comic nerd raging brain in overdrive, I bite my tongue, and continue to read because I know this comic is turning out to be interesting. I am enjoying Braniac. I like how Rags has drawn him up as a caterpillar, and the conclusion of this issue really gives you an “Oh S&^%” exclamation. Finally Superman is being tested, and it's not all cheese and fill. I give this issue my highest rating of all the issues so far because, frankly, it deserves it.

While it has been horrendously slow at getting started, it's finally going somewhere. But before I end this, I wanna touch on the “first” appearance of Steel. John Irons has a nice little back story at the back of the book which kind of confuses me because it gives a solid background to Steel, and a nice look into his new persona. A persona that I feel has been done correctly. He's a super smart guy from a shitty childhood, who seems to be a good version of Lex Luthor. He makes his steel soldier suits, has his own, and can kick some ass in it too. But I would be a liar if I said I loved the suit. Not only does Metallo rip off Apocalypse, but Steel practically rips of Iron Man. Come on Rags, you had a chance to make some serious renovations to these toon's appearance and you went with imitation. Tsk Tsk.


4 out of 5

Bret Kinsey is a contributing writer at Champion City Comics, and part time Superhero of women panties.

Friday, December 16, 2011

KAV'S TIPS FOR COMIC BOOK ARTISTS

 Comic book artist, A. Kaviraj,continues his series of providing useful tutorials for comic book artists. If you missed his article on comic book inking then click here. This week, he gives artists tips on sequential art, shadows,splash pages, and panel design.   

Sometimes regular artists decide they want to draw comic books and don't realize that sequential art is a COMPLETELY different skill set, and even if you can draw like Michaelangelo, your pages will still be sucky or you will get frustrated and quit right away because you have no experience telling a story with your drawings. You have to think four-dimensionally, McFly.

You have to be able to draw well AND tell a clear story with your images. You have to know how to depict in an interesting yet clear manner the story which the writer has scripted. You have to think like a cinematographer, using interesting camera angles, and close ups when the drama requires it.

You may have to choose to draw something less awesome, yet more clear. Always choose clarity over anything else, even if you have an awesome picture in mind. Panel design is also critical, and study of how other artists have successfully designed panels is required. If its an establishing shot of a guy in the city, for instance, you should use a panoramic horizontal panel (see panel below from Dr Death vs The Zombie below).  Characters talking in panels can be square or mostly vertical.

CLICK ON IMAGE BELOW TO ENLARGE



If two characters are talking, use the over the shoulder shot (see image below from Rapid City) favored so much in films. For mechanical or human built artifacts it's a really good idea to use photo reference. No one can remember exactly every part of something like a helicopter, so don't fake it. (see image below from Doctor Death vs The Zombie).

CLICK ON IMAGES BELOW TO ENLARGE

Rapid City

Dr. Death vs The Zombie
 
Shadows are a completely separate study-it takes a lot of hard work and observation to get them down, but without them your work will never have that realistic dramatic solidity. Facial shadows, clothing shadows, and environmental shadows (buildings, trees, etc) are three separate areas of study. Study that will pay off big-time. Never ever try to make up facial shadows. When you've done hundreds of facial shadows then you can draw them free hand to some extent but never before.

I see a lot of industry artists faking facial shadows and it always stands out as bad. If you are unwilling to do the study, just leave them off, man. Curt Swan, my favorite silver age artist, never used facial shadows and he was awesome. I have redrawn some of his stuff adding facial shadows though, and it looked five times better! Facial shadows are powerful stuff. Sean Phillips is the undisputed master, but I'm catching up!

Splash pages are my personal nemesis. (see image below from Frater Mine) Enjoying drawing panels like I do, it's hard to re-gear for a 'pin-up' style drawing. There's so much space to fill! My only advice is don't take shortcuts and go piece at a time. It'll be done before you know it.

CLICK ON IMAGE BELOW TO ENLARGE 

 

A whole 'nother ball of wax, and possibly the most important, is composition. Where to put everything so it's pleasing to the eye. Luckily for me I had an excellent design teacher in college so this is second nature to me. I see a lot of covers and go 'ouch'-because it's a bunch of superheroes and spaceships all around in a senseless jumble. Get a book on design and study it or you'll be sorry.

Finally, here is a great aid to sequential artists: Wally Woods 22 Panels That Always Work! (see below).

 CLICK ON IMAGE BELOW TO ENLARGE



Now start drawing! Wait-study first, then draw!


A. Kaviraj is an artist and writer at Champion City Comics. His works include Dr Death vs The Vampire, Doctor Death vs The Zombie, and The End of Paradise.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

G.I. JOE: RETALIATION TRAILER

Below is the trailer for the upcoming movie, G.I. Joe: Retaliation. Watch the clip and then read my thoughts.



My initial thought was, "Wow, this looks terrible." The first film, G.I. Joe: the Rise of Cobra, was really bad and I feel by saying "really bad", I was being kind. Larry Hama, the genius behind G.I. Joe comics, had to be brought on to salvage the script of G.I. Joe: the Rise of Cobra from being the next Spawn. The great Mr. Hama could only do so much for the first movie, which irritated many old-school fans like myself for not staying true to the comic book or even the cartoon. The end result was nothing more than a plot-less waste of time that followed the nonsensical mind-numbing formula equal to the Mission Impossible franchise.

The trailer for G.I. Joe: Retaliation shows us that Zartan is still playing the role of the President of the United States and has decided to take out the Joes once and for all. Somehow, a handful of Joes survive an attack, including newcomers Roadblock (Dwayne Johnson) and Lady Jaye (Adrianne Palicki). I wonder if this was needed since a majority of the cast of the first movie is not in this film. Salary issues? Filming issues? Don't want to be tied to another stinker? However, the missing bunch of actors has been replaced by one Bruce Willis. Interesting. Was this the plan from the beginning or an act of desperation?

G.I. Joe fans, please share your thoughts.



TonyDoug Wright is the owner and editor of Champion City Comics

CREATIVITY: A CALL TO ARMS


Were I a somebody, I probably wouldn’t be writing this. Wouldn’t have to. Not that I’d be Hef-ing it up and lounging in silk PJs next to any one of my stripper soon-to-be-ex-wives, but I know, at least from a professional standpoint, there certainly wouldn’t be any uncertainty. I’d have it made: traveling the Cons, writing modern masterpieces, basking in the glory of the loved masses—y’know, like Warren Ellis.

Yet here I am, trooping onward toward 40, grayer around the muzzle but possessor of this little gem of comics writing knowledge that was, when realized, an eye-opener: it’s a damn slow animal, that’s for sure. Other guys here on the site already have a few projects under their belts. Me, I’m still climbing the ladder, networking, honing the craft, spit-shining the scripts I have in hopes that one day I can slouch toward Bethlehem to be born and proudly call myself PUBLISHED. Do I have a shot? Do any of us? I dunno, but that’s the grail I’m after, and I’m not alone: there are plenty of us out there, whatever the creative talent, be it penciling, inking, letters, or (God help ya) writing, and there’s plenty of wreckage along the road to prove pursuing a dream isn’t without casualties. Add to that, industry insiders that keep tolling comics’ death bell and it’s enough to make even hardened vets scrap any future project plans and toil away the days in a “real” job. Makes you wonder if it’s all worth it.

Thing is, it is. Comics aren’t going anywhere, it’s just that the decades-long industry is going through some growing pains as it reluctantly begins to recognize that online, web, digital comics—whatever you want to call them, you pick—are the future. Physical copies still are the now, and will forever be cherished by collectors but in today’s gadget-rabid society, Web is the way. And it’s the exact place for you for to display your own stories.

See, the more we create, the more we breathe life into the industry. We’re the cogs, we hopefuls—without us, there’s no industry. We’re the base of the pyramid. The more you create, the more I create, the more that great wheel turns and ups the chances of catching the attention of new fans that in turn may be led to create on their own. It’s success though perpetuation. Eventually some manage to make it through the filter and hit the big leagues, but they did so starting out like you will. Like I am. Maybe I’ll never make it, never score that contract with Marvel, DC, IDW, Image, etc. But with the freedom from constraints web comics allow, maybe someone will one day read some of my work and be inspired enough to give it the ol’ college try and maybe they’ll score bigger than I ever did or will. Maybe that person is you.

Got a story? The online world is waiting.


Brian Cee is a contributing writer at Champion City Comics

MARVEL ULTIMATES #4 REVIEW


Writer: Jonathan Hickman

Art: Esad Ribic

Thor’s miffed and who could blame him? I’d be mad too if some advanced race decided to wax my entire homeland and all of its inhabitants. What occurs is a fierce battle in which the Asgardians had their godly arses handed to them and a battle that turned him from Thunder God to Instant Orphan in about six pages.

That’s the setup for Ultimate Comics Ultimates #4, which mostly spotlights Thor’s suicide mission to take the hammer to those responsible while Fury, Stark and Hawkeye lick their wounds after last issue’s vicious dogfight and monitor from a safe distance. As a whole, it’s continued excellence from Hickman, although I admit there’s some confusion trying to figure out who’s who between the People (debuted in Hawkeye mini-series) and the Children, the techno supers hellbent on reshaping the world to suit their needs. The face-off between the two factions is pretty much inevitable and will probably happen at some point down the road, but for now, Thor wants blood. Trouble is, he’s not going to get it. Why? After a pep talk from Valhalla’s ghosts that got him going, he’s confronted by the leader of the People who reveals his identity, an act that leaves Thor a beaten man despite neither one of them exchanging blows. Yeah, this secret guy’s real lightweight in terms of stature but a heavyweight in all other areas, leaving Thor to skulk back to home base with his proverbial tail between his legs.

With Hickman on point, Ribic’s art simply pops—same as he’s done in the previous issues. The angles are great, environments look alien enough, but this guy’s bread n’ butter is facial expressions: when someone is mad, they look MAD. When it’s hitting the fan, you know it by the look of terror or exasperation or any gamut of emotions the characters go through. I’ll say it now: no disrespect to those that have come before, but his Thor is the best, beard and all. Don’t give me a clean shaven jovial Asgardian god, give me a battle-hardened roughneck that won’t hesitate to ram a hammer up your backside for looking at him cross-eyed. Ribic does that perfectly.

Digging this series very much, but can’t wait till Cap and Hulk make their first appearances.

Verdict: 4 out of 5 stars.

Brian Cee is a contributing writer at Champion City Comics

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

WEBCOMIC WEDNESDAY: UPDATE FOR WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 14, 2011

We have two webcomics updates for this week, so please enjoy our international crime-fighting story, The Red Devil and our Dungeons & Dragons meets zombies comic, The Burning Blade.

 CLICK ON THE TITLES BELOW TO VIEW OUR WEBCOMICS

THE RED DEVIL




Writer: TonyDoug Wright

Artist: Erik Roman

Color & Lettering: Joe Haemmerle

Dublin O'Darby (The Red Devil) is an international crime-fighter who works for Sebastian Coronado, the director of an organization dedicated to combating cartels of evil. Joining The Red Devil is teenage sidekick Charlotte Murphy (Kid Diablo). In the exciting first issue, Red Devil and Kid Diablo track down a dangerous ninja, Silent Noise, who has stolen a mysterious ring which once belonged to a diabolical group of demon worshipers known as the Order of Methalius.



 
THE BURNING BLADE


Writer: Bret Kinsey

Art & Lettering: Bret Kinsey & Tun  Myo Hlaing 

SYNOPSIS: An ancient evil has returned to the lands of Thordasha. Daemon Devilwood, an orphan of a decimated race of wood elves, and a young mercenary, Rivek, must battle the hordes of death to face an enemy of unfathomable horror. Will the companions survive the darkness that follows them? Only time will tell in this dark fantasy of revenge, death, and redemption.
 

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

KAV'S DVD REVIEW: BOY WONDER



This is a great realistic superhero movie! Sean Donovan sees his mother murdered when he's eight. In a Bruce Wayne moment-this changes his life-he begins training himself physically and mentally to FIGHT CRIME! The movie really starts when he is in high school as the quiet, reserved "A" student, but he's BROODING. He wants PAYBACK.

Twice he walks away from conflict-once when he sees a fellow student bullied by the 'popular kid', and once when an aggressive psycho eyeballs him on the subway. He hasn't experienced Joseph Campbell's 'call to act' yet. The "Hero's Journey" is just beginning. Finally he ACTS. He watches two ghetto rats in the park at night and he stares at them. They come up with the old, "WTF you lookin' at bitch?!" routine and start to beat him up, but he snaps out of it and...bad news for the ghetto rats. This kid is TROUBLED, but he's INTELLIGENT and DETERMINED.

Cut to the tough detective chick, TERESA AMES. She knows Sean because he hangs out at the police station after school. He spends his time researching CRIMINALS. Sean helps detective Ames with some stubborn lug nuts on a flat tire. "You're stronger than you look," she says.

The kid trains in his basement like a young Batman. You feel for this kid-his character pulls you in...you want his suffering to stop. But you also don't, cause you know it's gonna be a good story man. His second mission-an abusive pimp-is AWESOME. Batman strikes again, leaving some business for the undertaker. Just like the original Batman, he KILLS. Charles Bronson would be proud.

The atmosphere of this movie is dark, hyper real....disturbed. As you watch the story unfold you can FEEL the lines of plot tension coalescing like distant headlights from a serial killers car on a lonely country road. (How do you like THAT simile?).

Sean and detective Ames bond, but there's a tense conversation where she tells him that sometimes murderers get away with it if there's not enough evidence. This little tid-bit doesn't sit well with Sean. Like Batman, he wants killers to PAY. The plot unwinds like a precisely made Rolex watch (another simile for ya). The clever way Boy Wonder kills his mother's killer is worthy of Dr Death (Dr Death vs The Vampire & Dr Death vs The Zombie). 

12 OUT OF 5 STARS.

Writers of the Green Lantern movie: (Kav's review) please study this script carefully. That's how it's done, boys.

That's a wrap.


A. Kaviraj is an artist and writer at Champion City Comics. His works include Dr Death vs The Vampire, Doctor Death vs The Zombie, and The End of Paradise.

Monday, December 12, 2011

A CHAMPION CITY COMICS TUTORIAL: WRITING TIPS FOR WEBCOMICS AND COMICS (AKA A FINE LINE BETWEEN STUPID AND CLEVER)

This is the first installment of a series of tutorials on writing your comic or webcomic.This series will provide helpful tips for writers of all levels and is merely advice from someone who has experience.   

I will start off this post with a brief bio because you might be wondering, "What does this guy know about writing?" I have seven years experience of writing scripts for comics and webcomics and those stories fall under the following genres: crime noir, war stories, superhero tales, humor, and sci-fi. Overall, I have developed twelve titles for Champion City Comics and you can review my work by clicking here. Also, I HIGHLY recommend that you find a copy of Alan Moore's Writing for Comics Volume One. It helped me and it might be of use to you.

Are you interested in developing a webcomic or comic? Great! Every story begins as an idea and this first post will give some helpful writing tips on developing your story. When it comes to developing a story, I would like for you to click on the YouTube clip below to hear some priceless advice from This is Spinal Tap.





There definitely is a fine line between stupid and clever. As owner and editor at Champion City Comics, I receive scripts from writers on a monthly basis. Some scripts are good, but a majority of scripts are not that great because of numerous issues. The first issue I come across is a poorly devised story.

If you want to write a comic or a webcomic then you should have an idea of what type of story you want to develop. Let's go through the process step by step so that you can avoid some common writing problems.

I want to write but I can't think of an idea for a story.

Don't worry because this is common. You're inspired but don't know what you want to do at this point. First, you should always develop an idea or write when you feel inspired. Forcing yourself to write is not productive so wait until the time is right.

When that moment hits, think of your favorite comics, novels, movies, and television shows. Does something stand out as a source of inspiration? If you love Star Wars then would you be willing to develop a comic that's a space fantasy tale? Do you enjoy titles from Vertigo? Would you want to develop something gritty like 100 Bullets? Once you find your genre then you're on the right path.

I have a story, but will people like my story?

Are you writing to please the world or are you writing from your heart? In my opinion, someone who develops a story that is 100% fueled by their desire to please the world is foolish. Some people will like your story and some people will hate your story. Deal with it. What's important is that you love your story, plus you'll find others that really like your story.

When I develop a story for a comic book or webcomic, the first thing I think to myself is, "Would I purchase this title?" Take that into consideration when you start your project and everything will fall into place.

My idea involves zombies and/or vampires. Is that bad?

Because something is trendy does not necessarily make it a bad idea for a story. There are great zombie and vampire stories out there like The Walking Dead and what you need to do is bring something fun/creative to the table. Superhero stories have been around for over half a century and people still write excellent superhero stories.

We've developed a couple of vampire and zombie tales at Champion City Comics. Dr Death vs The Vampire is a story by Aaron Schutz and A. Kaviraj where an "almost a superhero" type of character named Doctor Death encounters a vampire on a trip across the Oregon desert. The vampire in this story is a psychic vampire that feeds off the pain and suffering of an individual. The vampire is not the Bram Stoker or Anne Rice variety, but it is still a fascinating villain that's a mathematical type of predator and is completely creepy.

The sequel to Dr Death vs The Vampire is Dr Death vs The Zombie which was written by myself and features the artwork of A. Kaviraj. In this story, we do not use the typical George A. Romero zombie, but the old West African variety that was blended with Tor Johnson's character from Plan 9 from Outer Space. Kaviraj and I were pleased with the take and have enjoyed working on this project because we took a fun twist on a zombie story.

I want to write and I have my story developed.

Great! Now when you say your story is developed, have you written out a summary or a complete version of the plot? Have you written brief or detailed descriptions of your characters? If you've answered no to one of these questions then stick around because we'll need to address a common error I refer to as "script improv".

Has anyone reviewed your idea? It's good to pitch your idea to someone that will give you their honest answer. They'll find plot holes and ask you address them to clarify a plot issue. I do that all the time with my stories. I pitch them to the artist and they'll have questions like, "What's the goal of the villain?" or "Why does he agree to help the main character?" Sometimes I get annoyed with those questions, but in the end I know they want the script to be solid. 

Writing out a plot summary is very helpful as it provides a blueprint for success. It shows the beginning, middle, and end of your story. However, you should give yourself some creative space for allowing certain secondary characters to flourish, etc. I've had some secondary characters steal the show and have gone back to my plot summary and have made changes to give them the opportunity to shine.

Do you have any other tips?

When I come up with a story, I will write down a summary in a notebook  or type it out on a Word document. I walk away from the idea for a day or two, sometimes a week. When I'm ready, I'll go back and read what I wrote down to see if it still sounds like a good idea for a story. If so, then I'll start working on the setting, the characters, plot, and other aspects of the story to make it great. If it doesn't sound so great then I will either improve upon the story or put it on the back burner for the time being. Perhaps I could use an aspect of that story and blend it with another story I have on the back burner to create another story.

As I mentioned earlier, write when you feel inspired. You'll be pleased with our creative output and forcing yourself to write is counterproductive because you'll more than likely go back and edit nearly all of your work. Why waste time? Write when it's right.

It's an old standard but write what you know. Were you born and raised in Montana? You'd be very comfortable setting your story in the Big Sky State than a place you've never visited like Florida. If you studied physics then use physics in your story. We're you a bartender? Add it to your story if possible. If you have no experience with an occupation then do some serious research because writers make too many basic errors when writing about doctors, lawyers, and detectives. That is an article I'm going to develop because writers take too many liberties with those professions.

You must be motivated. This is a very competitive world and there are writers out there improving their skills daily and are making contacts in the industry. Get motivated, get moving, and stop making excuses. 

It might take you a week, month, or even a year to get your story to a point where it is ready for prime time. Be patient and make sure that your story is solid because readers want to be entertained and not bored. Frustration and writers block is common. It'll pass and you'll be back on track soon.



This is a good place to end today's post. Next time, I will write about pages. How many do you need for your comic or webcomic? How long is this story going to be from start to finish? Take care and write!


TonyDoug Wright is the owner and editor of Champion City Comics. His webcomics include Dr Death vs The Zombie, The End of Paradise, and Day 165.


   

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Saturday, December 10, 2011

KAV'S TIPS FOR COMIC BOOK INKERS



More and more you need to be an 'all-in-one' artist to break into the industry, which means penciling and inking your own stuff. The reason for this is it's so hard to find actual producing artists at the amateur level, so finding a penciler to ink or vice versa can be impossible. But that being said, here's some tips for inkers or pencilers who ink their own stuff.

First of all, every inker seems to prefer his or her own tools. I like to use Pitt markers and brushpens myself. I don't like dipping a brush in ink or the smears that can follow. Sean Phillips likes to use a Pitt pen to outline, then he uses a brush and ink technique with devastating results.

There are two styles of inking-the slick 'comic book' style and the fine art 'painting' style. I much prefer the latter as I feel the slick look is overdone. Almost every superhero book uses this style and I am sorta sick of it. But if that's your thing, go for it. Andrew Currie, Bryan Hitch's inker on the Ultimates is a good middle-of-the-road inker, part slick, part painter. Awesome.

I like to outline everything first, then color in the blacks, and then do the detail work. For cleanup I use white gauche. Whiteout cracks and smears-I don't like it at all. One thing new inkers seem to need to work on is the proper balance of black and white. They seem reluctant to blacken in areas-resist this reluctance. A half/half black/white balance seems to work really well. Don't be afraid of 'covering up' your beautiful artwork with black. Black ads solidity to your images.



Also, never try to fake facial shadows. Either study actual faces or leave them off. A lot of inkers use a 'shine' style to depict facial shadows-this looks lame. A shadow is not a shine-it's the exact opposite of a shine actually.

To get to the point where your inking looks pro just takes a lot of inking. I inked about 100 pages before my lines really got that solid-non scratchy unhesitating look that publishers demand.

A. Kaviraj is an artist and writer at Champion City Comics. His works include Dr Death vs The Vampire, Doctor Death vs The Zombie, and The End of Paradise.

Friday, December 9, 2011

SO YOU WANT TO BE A WEBCOMICS STAR: A FEW TIPS ON DEVELOPING YOUR OWN WEBCOMIC

I want to start off this post by stating that what you're about to read is my own personal opinion and should be taken as advice and not gospel. Also, what you're about to read is based on my personal experience developing Champion City Comics into a webcomics community that went from less than 5,000 page views in 2010 to 100,000 page views in 2011.

I hope that at this point you have a concept for your webcomic(s) project. If not then that is fine and I hope this article sheds some light upon the world of webcomics.

As far as web hosting is concerned, I do recommend Blogger but there are also other sites to consider like Drunk Duck or Webcomics Nation. That is the tip of the hosting iceberg and I encourage you to find a site that fits your budgetary needs and your HTML skills.


You're interested in developing a webcomic. Are you motivated?

If you want to have your own webcomics site then you better be motivated because I've seen one too many webcomics sites out there that were developed and then abandoned shortly after their launch. Also, I have seen numerous sites post five, eight, or ten pages of a webcomic and call it a day. There are webcomics sites out there updated on a weekly or daily basis. Those people are highly motivated and if you have dreams of working in the comics industry then you better be prepared for the work required. I work two jobs, I have a family, I have plenty of to-do projects around the house, and I find time to update this site on a daily basis.


Consistency is key.

If you update daily then you better update your site daily. Readers are irritated when sites do not live up to their expectations. This is a world where people with short attention spans are looking for a new site to add to their list of favorites. If you deliver then you're golden. If you fail then you are doomed. If you choose the weekly route then set a day and time so that people know when to stop by your site for your weekly update.

Do not think that posting ten pages of your project is good enough to have on the web for a few months or even a year. That shows people you have no motivation and are not taking this seriously. Remember that industry people might check out your site and they are looking for people who can meet monthly deadlines and not someone who can crank out ten pages and call it quits.      


Can you handle a tough crowd? 

Your skin better be thick because it's a tough crowd in the webcomics community. I've learned the hard way at times not to let comments get to me, but I feel I've learned some lessons about improving my writing and managing this site along the way. Remember that there are critics and there are "critics". Know who's opinion is worth a damn and in the words of Kris Kristofferson, "Don't let the bastards get you down."    

Also, you need to allow comments on your site. I'll admit that it is nice to see a positive comment but it is tough reading some harsh comments. Allow to people to be heard. If they see you're not afraid to have bad comments then they'll have some respect for you and your site. 


If you build it, they will NOT come.

I was of the mindset that if you develop a webcomics site then thousands of people would stumble upon it while surfing the web. Wrong. You need to get to the forums and bring the people to your site. Where can you go? My suggestions are the forums at sites such as The Webcomic List, Comic Related , Comic Book Resources,  and Top Webcomics. Go there and introduce yourself and your webcomic(s) but be prepared for some criticisms.

Advertising is a must and you can check out comic book related sites for advertising rates or advertise at other webcomic sites by checking out Project Wonderful. You can also work out deals with other webcomics sites by having them provide a link to your site if you provide a link to their site.

Also, knowing a thing or two about search engine optimization (SEO) is key to your success. Knowing what keywords to use will bring people in when they do a search at Google or Bing. I've found ways of bringing in traffic when someone does a search for "Adult webcomic" or "Cool webcomic". You might get one or two people a day that way but you'll more than likely make those people a fan of your site. 

I'll have more tips for webcomic developers soon. I hope this was helpful to you and best of luck in your webcomics conquest.

TonyDoug Wright is the owner and editor of Champion City Comics. His webcomics include Dr Death vs The Zombie, The End of Paradise, and Day 165.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

MORE CHANGES FOR CHAMPION CITY COMICS

Dear Champion City Readers,

This is just a brief message to inform you that a few changes are coming to this site. We are dedicated to providing you with the best webcomics and that will not change. However, we are looking to add more articles about the history of our webcomics, tips for artists, tips for writers, and much more. We would like to shift our focus from reviewing comic books to reviewing webcomics.

We appreciate the support we've received since 2009 and keep on reading!


Sincerely,

TonyDoug Wright
Owner and Editor at Champion City Comics

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

WEBCOMIC WEDNESDAY: UPDATE FOR WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 7, 2011

We have three webcomics updates for this week, so please enjoy our international crime-fighting story, The Red Devil, our superhero tale of suspense, Dr Death vs The Zombie, and our awesome sci-fi anthology, Tales From The Future.

Also, we are approaching a total of 100,000 viewers for this year and we appreciate your support!

THE RED DEVIL

Writer: TonyDoug Wright

Artist: Erik Roman

Color & Lettering: Joe Haemmerle

Dublin O'Darby (The Red Devil) is an international crime-fighter who works for Sebastian Coronado, the director of an organization dedicated to combating cartels of evil. Joining The Red Devil is teenage sidekick Charlotte Murphy (Kid Diablo). In the exciting first issue, Red Devil and Kid Diablo track down a dangerous ninja, Silent Noise, who has stolen a mysterious ring which once belonged to a diabolical group of demon worshipers known as the Order of Methalius.

CLICK ON PAGE TO VIEW

 


DOCTOR DEATH VS THE ZOMBIE

Writer: TonyDoug Wright

Artist and Letterer: A. Kaviraj

Dr. Death character based on the story Dr Death vs The Vampire by Aaron Schutz

Champion City Comics is pleased to present the exciting conclusion to Dr Death vs The Vampire. Dr. Death has taken refuge in Las Vegas following a brutal encounter with a vampire clan. However, his refuge is short-lived due to the presence of a zombie that is terrorizing the city.

Phreaker explains to Dr Death the fate of their ally, Shade.

CLICK ON IMAGES TO VIEW

 





Writer, Artist, and Letterer: A. Kaviraj


The first issue of Tales From The Future has been completed and we are pleased to bring you the last story of this anthology titled The Impossible Box. A young man named Alex has broken the laws of physics for this universe which has given him access to a whole new world.

CLICK ON IMAGES TO VIEW








Tuesday, December 6, 2011

TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES #4 REVIEW


Writer: Kevin Eastman and Tom Waltz

Art: Dan Duncan

When last we left our intrepid turtles, Raphael and Casey Jones had fallen into the clutches of the evil Old Hob, while the other three Heroes in a Half Shell combed the city looking for their prodigal brother.There wasn’t much to this issue, a lot of action that led to the four brothers being reunited at last.

The action was pretty tight and didn’t feel superfluous. Likewise the flashback sequences lasted just long enough to learn that the lab, Stockgen, that was experimenting on the turtles and Splinter hired Old Hob to hunt them down so they could get an untainted mutagen sample from their blood. April has her obligatory page, even though it’s not really relevant to this issue’s story, where it seems like she’s starting to think maybe Splinter is intelligent.

The real twist of this one is the flashback that shows Splinter, Leo, Donnie, and Mikey just after their mutation. Splinter is talking to them and is dropping phrases like, “Fate and Destiny have provided for our reunion” and “There is much you don’t recall, all of you.” And the most foreshadowing of them all “…There are many things I must teach you- many things for you to learn once again”.

WHAT?! Again? Alternate universe? Space time warping? What’s going on? So many questions to be answered and now we’re finally getting to some answers. As always the gritty art by Dan Duncan fits perfectly with the tone and story.

If you’re not reading this series yet… I weep for you

5 out of 5.



Michael Knoll is a contributing writer at Champion City Comics