Thursday, June 28, 2012

Spider-Man's Sidekick and a Twist of Deja Vu



Damn, Spider-Man has existed for fifty years. Since his creation, he has been to hell and back. His uncle and girlfriend died, he was a clone and then wasn't, his wife was pregnant and then the baby was erased, he was married and then it was annulled (Long story. Just wiki One More Day) by the Devil.  In recent years, he has joined the Avengers and the Fantastic Four. Anyways, I am here to tell you about Marvel’s big Spider-Man announcement.

People enjoy reading Batman because of his kung fu moves and his awesome gadgets. Thor is popular because he is a god and he sounds funny with his accent. Everyone wants to be buddies with Wolverine. He drinks beer, doesn’t take anyone’s shit and when his claws pop, it sounds like ‘skit’. Spider-Man is popular because he is just like us. His parents were never around, he lived in Queens, he is always worried about paying bills on time, and he usually strikes out with the ladies. All in all, Spider-Man is the people’s hero. Even if you refuse to accept it, we all see a little part of ourselves in Spider-Man.

For the past few weeks, Marvel has been advertising a new character in Spidey’s life. His name is Alpha. Today, Marvel announced that Alpha is 15 years old, Andy Maguire. (BTW, two actors that played Peter Parker are Toby Maguire and Andrew Garfield. Do you see what I see? If you don’t, go see your eye doctor). Sometime in August, the world will meet Andy Maguire in Amazing Spider-Man #692. The cool concept about Andy Maguire is that his superpower origin is sort of a retelling of Spider-Man’s origin but with a wild and crazy, and I mean crazy, twist. Andy Maguire walks into a lab and is zapped by an experiment gone wrong. Guess whose experiment it was???? You boys and girls are smart, so I have a feeling you already know. The answer is PETER PARKER. O-M-G.

According to Marvel, Andy Maguire will be Spidey’s first sidekick. Unlike Peter at the age of fifteen, it is being said that this new kid is a punk with an ego. According to Marvel Editor-in-Chief, Axel Alonso, "He's (Spidey) older, more seasoned, but young at heart. He's still a young man, but he's been around. It's interesting because it flips the paradigm. Teen hero Spider-Man is now responsible for this teen hero sidekick.” Since Peter feels guilty about pretty much everything, he is determined not to let this kid get lost in the superhero shuffle.

Why Fanboys might be angry: Alonso states that the reason for Maguire’s creation is because "Part of it is that Spider-Man is grown up.” I just wanted to make sure that Marvel is well aware that he used the term “grown up”. Do fanboys remember why Marvel annulled Spidey’s marriage to Mary Jane Watson? It was because Marvel believed Spidey was getting too old too fast and they wanted to slow down the age of the character.

Why Fanboys (like me) might be happy: Before Spidey’s wedding was annulled, he lacked a supporting cast and the stories were no longer new and exciting. That certainly has changed. JJJ is now the mayor of NYC, Peter was dating a cop (who discovered his secret), joined the F.F. and slapped Al Gore (actually Chameleon) in the face. Personally, I am excited to see Spidey teach someone who is very much the opposite of him, the skills it takes to be a true hero.

I know some of you might be rolling your eyes over the creation of Maguire, but you should be really excited about it for a few reasons:

1. Spidey always wanted a brother and a son, and now Marvel can use him in that role.

2. I hope they make Maguire a little dark, which makes this task very difficult for Spidey to accomplish.

3. In the end, I believe Maguire will die and this will push Spidey over the edge. My guess is that this will be the beginning of Spidey’s greatest tragedy. He was unable to save the one person he created.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

The Artist Deathmatch 2.0: Round 2

Welcome to Round Two of the Artists Deathmatch 2.0! As we've mentioned before this contest features brand new characters from a story created by us, the Illumi-Nerdi (which can be viewed here).


Vote for your favorite FOUR artists to the right ---->

And also vote for the THREE most interesting titles of the comic book that this contest is based on! --->


And here are the character descriptions and description of the scene for this week's contest:

Scene: Mary is hovering above the ground, her arms are straight up and she is standing in an aura like glow (with electric current running through it), which is encompassing her. Electric shocks are shooting out of her open-palmed hands, directly in front of her. Her hair is in a ponytail and she is wearing glasses, jeans and a sweater. For Ron, however the artist can best convey Ron’s super-speed power, running around Mary as she uses her power. Ron is wearing mesh shorts and a plain t-shirt (gym attire). Facial descriptions and scenery are completely up to the artist.

Mary Carter: (Think Rachel Leigh Cook in She’s All That, but hasn’t fully…ahem… developed yet]
Powers: Electricity, electromagnetism
Physical Characteristics: Height- 5’2”, Weight 90, bookworm, geeky.
Weaknesses: Water (obvisouly; think any Pokemon with electric powers) and terrified to develop her powers because of her lack of control.
Personality: Mary is certainly a bookworm. She is incredibly smart and with that comes a bit of an ego, as well as many insecurities. She is arguably the most powerful and probably the least in control of her powers.


Ron Darius: (Donald Glover) Powers: Speed, hard skin
Physical Characteristics: Height-5’10”, Weight-155, Africa-American, athletic, constantly smiling.
Weakness: trouble stopping (early on in his development), high-pitched noises (particularly from his arch-rival).
Personality: Ron is consistently light-hearted and ready to make the others laugh. He is the heart and soul of the team and the glue that keeps the group together.


Justice Goodner


Peter Vazquez



Greg Kimmett

Kevlen Goodner


Christopher Chamberlain


James Wisinger


A Renaissance Man: Ed Brisson

Ed Brisson is the brilliant letterer of such titles as Prophet, Peter Panzerfaust, and The Secret History of D.B. Cooper. He is also the writer of several spectacular creator-owned projects, particularly Murder Book (which can be viewed here). Mr. Brisson was kind enough to answer a few questions for the loyal fanboys of the Illumi-Nerdi.



Who is Ed Brisson?

I'm a comic book writer and letterer, living in Vancouver. Make money as a letterer, lose it as a writer.

As a big fan of Prophet, your lettering feels like the final beautiful touch in a phenomenal comic (particularly in the labeling of John Prophet’s tools). What kind of impact do you think a good letterer can make on a comic that an average one could not?

I think that a good letterer tries to match the style of a book as naturally as possibly while trying to remain as hidden as possible. The last thing you want, which a few intentional exceptions, is for the lettering to jump out at people.

What suggestion would you give to a writer trying to get started via IndieGoGo?

I would say that IndieGoGo and Kickstarter are not a place to start. A much as you can, build up a readership first. Both sites are littered with failed campaigns all started by people who thought that anyone could come out of the gate with a campaign and make enough money to do a book.

Get to know people online. Talk to them, show them your work. Put it up for people to read. If people like your work, they're more likely to kick in.

If you've already built up some sort of cred or readership, here's my advice:

-Get EXACT as possible costs for shipping. I underestimated my shipping by HUNDREDS of dollars.

-Try to give someone something at every level. In my opinion, a "thanks" in the front of the book isn't satisfying enough. Make it a physical item that people can hold in their hands. Or, at the very least, a digital copy of the book.

-Don't over-spam. If you're reminding people 5 times a day, knock it off. A lot of reminders at the start of the campaign, then some throughout (try to couple the reminder with a new perk) and then in the last few days. You'll see 90% of the action in a campaign in the first few days and in the last day.

-Be as transparent as possible about what you're using the money for. There's nothing wrong with MAKING money, but be honest about it.

What can you tell us about the horror story that mentioned on your blog?

Right now, not a whole lot.

I've been planning for about 2-3 years to launch a second series of self published comics that would be an ongoing series of one-shot, self contained horror stories. Something between The Twilight Zone and Tales from the Crypt.

I've got one script that's in development. It's been outlined, but I haven't had as much time to work on it as I'd like to. Soon!

What is your biggest influence on the crime stories you write in Murder Book?

Probably the earliest influence was just my home life. My father was a cop and my mom worked for a time in victim services (she was a Registered Nurse). I'd hear stories about their day at work and it was always fascinating to me. So, even from a very young age, I was aware of that "other" side of life.

When I was older, probably in my late teens, I discovered Elmore Leonard. In the month after reading my first Elmore Leonard book, I quickly devoured 30 more of his books and was hooked. The dialog and the characters were... just so good. Elmore Leonard still writes some of the best dialog in literature. Through his work, I discovered Richard Stark (aka: Donald Westlake), Jim Thompson, Carl Hiassen, Charles Willeford, and eventually George Pelecanos, George V. Higgins and Richard Price.

Not too long afterward, I really got into a lot of crime film. Started with the standards: The Godfather, Goodfellas, Scarface, etc. I tried a lot of the older noir films, and they never really clicked for me. Instead, I gravitated toward things like Straight Time, Dog Day Afternoon and The Mechanic. Eventually, I got turned onto the Italian crime films by a good friend. Things like Violent Naples, The Boss, Milano Calibro 9, The Family -- I could go on. The Italian crime films were essentially modeled after the popular US crime films, but were much grittier, much more violent and often crazily over-the-top. But, I enjoyed the hell out of them.

Obviously in comics, I'm a fan of Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillip's Criminal, but the bigger influence on me is probably David Lapham's Stray Bullets. When I first discovered Stray Bullets back in the mid-90s, it blew my mind like nothing I'd ever read before. The characters, the setting, everything. The hot summer days in that book, the pages were practically dripping with sweat. David Lapham got across mood and a real, genuine feel for the environment in a way that still leaves me slack jawed.

Why do you believe in comic books?

Because in comics, anything is possible.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Comic Preview TIMEEEEEE: Out on 6/20/11

Nancy in Hell on Earth #3 of 4 
Story by El Torres
"The whole world will be annihilated and consumed by Hell. And the Angels want to cut out that cancer... and that means to destroy the Earth. Nancy and Lucifer must join forces with their worst enemy, Mr. Macabre, to stop Gabrielle... and the nuclear devices she's ready to detonate."




Grim Leaper #2
Story by Kurtis Wiebe. Art by Aluisio C. Santos 
"Lou Collins: Serial Leaper. Lou desperately tries to find Ella, the woman with an identical curse, before his next horrific death. But, there's malevolence waiting in the darkness, something that wants to kill Lou before he even gets the chance. Something alive."


Rebel Blood #4 
Story by Alex Link & Riley Rossmo. Art by Riley Rossmo
"The terrifying conclusion to a night of carnage, with the trail of blood leading to your own front door." 














Artist Deathmatch 2.0: Round 1

Hello Everyone!! Welcome to The Illumi-Nerdi's Artist Deathmatch 2.0. As we have mentioned, this contest will not focus on characters like Superman, Spider-Man and Batman. Instead, the artists will be creating our characters. You are probably wondering, "Who the hell are your characters?". Here is your opportunity to check out our comic book's concept

To the right are two polls.

The first poll is the Artist Deathmatch 2.0: First Round Poll-----> Vote for your favorite 8 Artists 
                                                                                                                     
For the second poll, we decided to let the fans vote for our comic book's title.----> Vote for your favorite 3 Titles. 

Here are the descriptions of the characters and the scene that we asked the artists to create.

Viola Proctor 
Powers: Wiccan, from the book (Necronomicon) that she finds in her attic.
Physical Characteristics: Height-5’4”, Weight-100, Hair- Long blonde. In normal Viola form, she is that beautiful, standard cheerleader. In Wiccan form she has black hair and extremely pale skin. She has a long black cloak and always carries a satchel which contains her book (the source of her power).
Personality: She seems to have the bitchy, won’t-give-you-the-time-of-day cheerleader attitude. But deep down (deep, deep down) she has a heart of gold. As the witch, she has a much harder skin and is sometimes prone to overuse her powers (as she has done being the most popular girl in school).
Weaknesses: Overuse of the book and her powers drive her mad, as it did her grandmother. 

Matt Dunham
Powers: Agility, extrasensory hearing, sight and smell.
Physical Characteristics: Matt is tall, handsome, well-built and has the square jaw of a movie star with none of the cockiness. Everything about his appearance forces you to like him.
Personality: He looks like your standard jock but his personality is the complete opposite. His interests are on the geeky side. He has a relaxed, fun attitude, sometimes taking his lack of seriousness too far.
Weakness: He has a strong need to belong, occasionally without consideration of right or wrong. Occasionally his feeling of abandonment can exceed his righteousness.

Here is the scene that the artists will be creating:

"Matt wearing his football jersey and athletic shorts, smiling as he leaps off a brick wall, dodging Viola’s attack, as it blasts into the wall next to him. Viola, pale skin, witch attire (black sweeping cloak, some artistic freedom regarding Viola’s getup). Satchel around her shoulder at her waist containing the book. Viola is levitating, shooting a spell at her boyfriend, Matt".
                                          
 Jorge Ivan CedeƱo Clare

Ward Vaughan 
   
Greg Kimmett
 

















Brandon Noel 


















James Wisinger 






Justice Goodner 




Kevlen Goodner

        



Peter Vazquez


Alyssa Dalangin


















Chris Chamberlain




Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Comic Book Preview Timeeee


Are you going to your local comic shop this week???

If that is a yes, check out Alpha Girl #3 and Planetoid #1! 

Alpha Girl #3 
Story JEAN-PAUL BONJOUR & JEFF ROENNING

"After last issue's blackout ending, Judith wakes to find herself trapped in a freaky new world. Who are the men in rubber suits? Will she escape her clinical cage? What waits for her in the outside world, and who the hell is Frank? Suburban Wasteland not only brings the terror, but will have you spitting beer out your nose." 







Planetoid #1
Story by Ken Garing

"Silas, an ex-soldier turned space pirate, finds himself stranded on a mysterious planet in alien territory. As he explores the long-abandoned industrial ruins of the planet's surface he will have to fend off rogue mechanical creatures, roving cyborg militias, and a hostile alien military with a bounty on his head. Silas will have to rely on resourcefulness and bare-bones survival tactics in order to stay alive and ultimately unlock the secrets of a planet where survival is a luxury and escape an impossibility."



P.S. Check out our new poll ------------>

The People's Choice: Our Comic Book's Title

We at the Illumi-Nerdi have written the first five issues of our comic book. We realized recently that we might have problem with the name (we won't mention what the original name was so that we don't influence your voting). We figured we had this blog at our disposal and thought we'd ask you, our faithful viewers, what you thought about it. 

So, we thought we'd give you the synopsis of the story (for those that haven't seen it yet) and give you the titles we've been thinking about. 

Our comic book is not about superheroes punching super-villains and colorful spandex. In our comic book, true heroes do not last, despite how desperately they really are needed. Our story focuses on the failures and rare achievements of each character.  A special group of teenagers gained their powers because their ancestors were part of a terrible Nazi experiment. However, it took 70 years for the Extra serum to take affect. Starting in issue one, the abilities that each character possesses instantly causes danger and anguish to themselves and the ones they love. A best friend is murdered, a father is accidentally killed and the main protagonist is shot, kidnapped and trapped in a fun house. By the end of the miniseries, one character has the ability to raise the dead which coincidentally creates a “Thriller” like scenario at the Halloween dance. When our group of teenagers comes together, it isn't just to fight an impending doom. It’s out of necessity and need for each other. However, this group will not last. These are deeply flawed, realistic characters without any discernible, clear-cut path. All of the characters constantly struggle between the allure of the light and the temptation of the dark while developing their own unique abilities. Each issue ends with a flash forward of 10 years later. The flash forwards explore our characters’ adult lives and their failure to cope with their abilities and the disillusionment of the family that this group provided. In the future, one character fakes his death, one completely over-embraces her powers, another is institutionalized, one tries like hell to ignore his powers and one tries to kill himself with a mix of pills and alcohol (oh, and quite a few of our beloved characters are already dead by this point).


The Extraordinaries
The Extras                           
The Extra-Ordinaries       
Extraordinary

(All of these names reflect the same general idea we had for our comic and the possible eventual name of the group that our heroes eventually take on).

Tomorrow Never Knows (All of our issues end with a crucial flashback that reflects on the characters now and the which side the characters will eventually choose. When reading the present day versions of the characters, the reader really doesn't know where these characters will end up. Plus, The Beatles are a pretty sweet band).

Heroes and Zeroes (These characters are truly flawed and each character has their own positive and negative characteristics, some much more than others. The future of these characters are undecided and many of these super-powered kids end up going absolutely nowhere [whether through choices or through their demise])

Shepherd (This is the town most of our characters have grown up in. It certainly reflects where these kids come from, both literally and figuratively [regarding who brings them all together, and why], as well as a pun in the town's name).

Comic Time with Phil and Brian!! (....cuz it's Comic Time with Phil and Brian)

Generation Y (This is a not-so-subtle hint to X-Men and [to a lesser extent] Y:the Last Man as well as a reflection of the age/generation of the main characters).

Echo Boomers 
The Millennials
(The final two possibilities are also nicknames for the generation that our characters come from as well as being pretty bad-ass sounding names. Our characters will possibly eventually take one of these names on as their "crime-fighting" moniker).

Please take the time to vote on the poll for our story name. We truly value your opinion in this matter. --->




Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Let the Games Begin. The Artist Deathmatch 2.0!


It's officially here! The Illumi-Nerdi Artist Deathmatch 2.0! 

As we've mentioned before, this contest doesn't feature overused Marvel and DC characters. This new contest features original characters from the Illumi-Nerdi in an attempt to see what artists can make of completely fresh, new personalities. This puts everyone on the same playing ground: completely in the dark (until the week of each round).  Each combatant receives the descriptions of the characters that everyone will be constructing and the scenario they will be creating. There will be no use of colors for this contest (just as there weren't in the previous one), just pencils/inks. Unlike the last contest, this one is worth some serious cash dollars. $30 USD. That's 20 British Pounds! 216 Swedish Krona! 426 Mexican Pesos! 156,786 Zambian Kwacha! Submissions for Round 1 are due next Tuesday, June 12th, at 10 pm EST.


Viola Proctor 


Powers: Wiccan, from the book (Necronomicon) that she finds in her attic.
Physical Characteristics: Height-5’4”, Weight-100, Hair- Long blonde. In normal Viola form, she is that beautiful. She is your standard cheerleader.. In Wiccan form she has black hair and extremely pale skin. She has a long black cloak and always carries a satchel which contains her book (the source of her power).
Personality: She seems to have the bitchy, won’t-give-you-the-time-of-day cheerleader attitude. But deep down (deep, deep down) she has a heart of gold. As the witch, she has a much harder skin and is sometimes prone to overuse her powers (as she has done being the most popular girl in school).
Weaknesses: Overuse of the book and her powers drive her made, as it did her grandmother. 

Matt Dunham


Powers: Agility, extrasensory hearing, sight and smell.
Physical Characteristics: Matt is tall, handsome, well-built and has the square jaw of a movie star with none of the cockiness. Everything about his appearance forces you to like him.
Personality: He looks like your standard jock but his personality is the complete opposite. His interests are on the geeky side. He has a relaxed, fun attitude, sometimes taking his lack of seriousness too far.
Weakness: He as a strong need to belong, occasionally without consideration of right or wrong. Occasionally his feeling of abandonment can exceed his righteousness.

Here is the scene that the artists will be creating:

"Matt wearing his football jersey and athletic shorts, smiling as he leaps off a brick wall, dodging Viola’s attack, as it blasts into the wall next to him. Viola, pale skin, witch attire (black sweeping cloak, some artistic freedom regarding Viola’s getup). Satchel around her shoulder at her waist containing the book. Viola is levitating, shooting a spell at her boyfriend, Matt".

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Say Hello to Martin John

You fanboys have all heard of Grant Morrison, Robert Kirkman and Jason Aaron. Hopefully soon, you will hear the name Martin John in your local comic shop. In this interview, he shares his darkest and deepest secrets...ok, maybe not.


Who the hell is Martin John????

Martin John is a Canadian fellow that likes comics a lot. I make superhero comics for consumption at: http:www.foreignmattercomic.com because I love the creative process and because I am partially insane. 

What is the concept for Foreign Matter?

Think of it as The Isle of Doctor Moureau meets Superman. The first volume is a murder/mystery as allies/friends of this world's superteam start dying, and the first volume ends with a shock! Honestly, it is just German Ponce (my artist), and me having a great time making comics that we would want to read.

What has been your biggest obstacle in publishing your project?

I think this question should be "What hasn't been an obstacle?" I am producing a superhero comic in an industry that is overflowing with superhero comics and has a distribution method that is so restricted and utterly insane that it is enough to drive you mad. So, I guess my biggest obstacle has been getting eyes onto our comic. I consider myself a writer, but here is a list of things that I have (partially in some cases) had to do to produce my book: learn comic lettering, design multiple logos, design a webpage, become a marketer, become a publisher, try and become a distributor, design a graphic novel, learn how to make a graphic novel, learn how to desktop publish, and some other things I am probably forgetting. This is a tough little industry to make a go in.

Have your ever killed someone you really disliked in any of your stories?

No, but I have killed some people that I have really liked. I don't really like killing my characters, it kinda makes me sad. 

Who do you think will be DC’s new gay superhero?

Well, um...Alan Scott (answered this after the BIG reveal). Such a non-issue for me I can't even express it in words. I'll let Karl Lagerfeld from his interview with Vice Magazine do the talking for me: When I was a child I asked my mother what homosexuality was about and she said—and this was 100 years ago in Germany and she was very open-minded—“It’s like hair color. It’s nothing. Some people are blond and some people have dark hair. It’s not a subject.”

Which comic books must you have in your pull list, each and every month?

Mostly creator-owned books. I love Prophet, Brian Churilla's DB Cooper, Rachel Rising, anything new by Richard Corben (Ragemoor is absolutely genius), Peter Panzerfaust, Glory, all the books by Comixtribe, RASL, Chew. I could go on forever. There are so many incredible creators making comics that would appeal to every type of personality.

Will the world end on December 21, 2012?
I don't know. The Mayan calender is cyclical and has restarted many times already so...it seems like a good reason to have a really good End of the World party with fire-breathers, jugglers and burlesque.

Why do you believe in comic books?

This medium is communicates ideas in such a unique way. I love art and I love novels. Comics take those and combines them for me. I also love genre and genre tropes, and comics are steeped in pulp and unique ideas.


Follow Martin John on Twitter.