Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Round 5: There Can Only Be One.....

Welcome to the final round of The Illumi-Nerdi: Artist 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 artist to the right ---->

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

And here is the description of the scene for this week's contest:

"Everyone is in the gym, posing for a class picture. Matt crouching on top of the basketball hoop waving at the camera. Mary is engulfed in a glowing aura, with metal objects sticking to her as she looks very displeased. Viola is half-cheerleader, half-witch (split right down the middle) as she looks horrified into her pocket mirror. Dave has one hand reaching out to Mary with the same aura around him (as he absorbs her power) and in the other hand is electricity in the shape of a ball. Tommy is covered in mud, looking guilty, staring down at his hands which are bright red and scalding. Ron is smiling as he runs into the picture with a trail of dust and debris aiming towards the camera. Alex is looking around at all of his friends with powers, one hand is engulfed in rock and the other hand is in engulfed in water. Joe is wearing a lab coat, holding the camera in one hand and a bottle of Jack in the other, pouring whisky into his mouth."

                                                              Peter Vazquez

                                                              Greg Kimmett 

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

David Letterman's Top 10 Reasons Why You Should Read Our Comic Book

After we went public with our “Behind the Writing”, we were scared. How would our supporters react? Would the typical fanboy be interested? As of right now, our support is growing and we are hearing amazing advice and criticism (which is exactly why we did this). When we first decided to create a comic book, we had no idea our concept could go this far. Maybe it would last a month or two and then we would be on our merry way. So, we created a blog hoping fans would have an interest in our comic book.  Nine months later, our blog has hit 35,000 views and people are asking for more. For the record, we aren’t professionals. We are amateurs but we will be the best god damn amateurs you’ve ever read. Tell your friends, your family and your therapist about us. We hope you give us this opportunity because we have big plans. Our story won’t stall and we vow to keep you guessing. We say this with a slight ego, “You have never seen anything like this before”. So, in the continuation with Phase Two of the Illumi-Nerdi’s “Behind the Writing”, fasten your seatbelt, because you’re along for the ride and we don’t know where the road will take us….

10. How often have you read a superhero story and wondered where this character really came from? The character is already established as a superhero and as we all know, at the end of the day this character will remain true to his heroic roots. Our comic is a Smallville type story that watches the development of characters; some of which try their hardest to be heroes and succeed while many others fail and go a much darker route. Each character has their own, individual voice and we try like hell to make sure no character is predictable. 

9. Our story is a lot like a TV show. It has premiers and finales with stunning conclusions and cliffhangers. 

8. Each issue ends with a flashforward that shows our characters ten years later. It reveals select info about the characters without giving away too much about their past (one character fakes their own death, one completely over embraces their powers, another is institutionalized, another tries like hell to completely avoid their powers, and the other attempts suicide through a mix of drugs and alcohol. Several of the other characters are working abroad for the government, attempting to lead living normal lives and a number of these beloved characters are already killed off by this point). 

7. Do you like superteams? Well we got a badass one. But don’t get used to it because….

6. There are deaths. LOTS of deaths. While there are characters you’ll grow to love and we consider “safe” from being killed, there’s a whole mess of other characters that you'll fall in love with that are not so lucky. Speaking of deaths, how do you feel about the undead? We have an entire issue dedicated to a Thriller type reanimation of corpses. 

5. It is loaded with charming pop culture references ranging from the the uber-nerdy Star Trek to the sheer ridiculousness of The Facts of Life (how could you not like love a Tootie allusion?)

4. Looking for a story with awesome super suits, tight spandex and colorful underwear on the outside of your pants? Well this story is NOT for you! These aren't billionaire entrepreneurs like Bruce Wayne or Tony Stark, these are 17 year old kids; they're wearing whatever is available to them: lacrosse pads, football helmets, Under Armor and jock straps.   

3. You know how every high school TV show and comic book has strangely mature characters? Didn’t Pacey, Joey, Jen and Dawson seem a little too world-weary and mature? Well this one features realistically flawed teenagers with real teenaged problems and real teenaged insecurities while still maintaining an interestingly adult story. How would a teenager deal with studying for a Chemistry final while still having to patrol against the evils of the city?

2. If you don't like any of the other reasons you should be interested in this story because it has a soul. This story has all the drama of The Sopranos, blended with the comedic pop culture references and one liners of Lost, while remaining true to a damn good superhero story. This story is about, more than anything, characters and relationships.

1. Because this story is written by two people who truly love comics and geek culture in general. We've seen all the boring, unoriginal stories out there and are truly excited for the world to read a story where the writers try to avoid all the pitfalls of comic books and maintain a unique, fresh narrative for a story.

What more do you need??

Thursday, July 12, 2012

The Artist Deathmatch 2.0: Round 4

Welcome to Round Four 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 TWO 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 is the description of the scene and character descriptions for this week's contest:

"This scene will focus on three characters. The scenery it is all up to the artists. On the left side of the panel is Alex looking angry and standing sideways. He has one leg in front of the other, as he squares off to Henry. His hands are out in a clapping motion. In front of Alex is a straight line of the cement and gravel rising up towards the other characters. In front of that line of rock is Henry Wells. Henry is clutching Joe’s throat as he holds him above the ground and the rock approaches and comes nearer to making contact with them. Joe is wincing in pain as Henry squeezes his throat".

Alex Reese (Justin Chatwin)
Powers: Manipulation of Earth and Water.
Physical Characteristics: Height-5’11”, Weight- 165, Hair- Shoulder length, dirty blonde. Wears band t-shirts, torn jeans, grungy look.
Personality: Alex is sort of your “rebel without a cause”, except he has a cause. He hates his stepfather (who abuses him and his mother) and has serious daddy issues apart from that. He is best friends with Nate, as well as Matt, although he often clashes with Nate. He finds a surrogate father in Joe (similarly to Matt) but consistently finds himself disagreeing with Joe and the rest of the group.
Weaknesses: electromagnetism, electricity.

Henry Wells (John Terry with a beard)
Powers: Invisibility, telekinesis, above average intelligence
Physical Characteristics: Height-6’1”, Weight- 165, Hair- graying.
Personality: Henry is something of a madman. He is a brilliant man who has worked with Joe McCoy before on Extras, but has definitely taken it in a different direction (namely, an evil direction). He has a vested interested in the Extras and particularly Joe.
Weaknesses: When making physical contact he cannot remain invisible.

Joe McCoy
Powers: Understands the “Extras” powers. Super-intelligent. Formerly experimented with Extras.
Physical Characteristics: Height- 5’9”, Weight- 170, Hair- Salt and Pepper.
Personality: Joe is the leader of this ragtag group of Extras. He has studied and has done research on Extras before, so he is one of the few characters that are familiar with the powers before they show themselves in these teenagers. He becomes the leader of this group despite being an alcoholic and showing a genuine inability in taking care of himself.
Weaknesses: Love for his niece, Jack Daniels and easily tricked by those he trusts.

Peter Vazquez

Greg Kimmett

Kevlen Goodner

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

The Illumi-Nerdi's Behind the Writing

When we first started this blog, we thought we would find an artist, publish the book, and become the voice of our generation. I kind of wish someone bitch slapped us with a hint of reality. This is the story of our rise, our downfall, and now our rebirth. We might be amateur comic book writers, but we will be the best amateur comic book writers you have ever read.

The blog has been doing amazing. We’ve reached 35,000 views in 9 months. Who would have thought two young adults from Long Island would have interviewed incredible writers (Anthony Ball, Scott Lobdell, Kurtis Wiebe and Adam Beechen) and one awesome artist (Steven ‘Sash’ Scott)? When we first started the blog, we had one goal, and that was to slowly but surely introduce our comic book. We have done a little bit of that, but not as much as we hoped. Truth be told, we’ve had too much fun reviewing books, coming up with top ten lists, and interviewing comic book creators.

When Brian and I first started writing comic books, we thought we knew what we were doing. We had a notebook, a pen, a little bit of ego, and dreams of creating characters that people would beg to read. A few months ago, we submitted our first ever comic book script to be critiqued by Comix Tribe’s Steven Forbes and Yannick Morin. Brian and I were so excited. We had this idea in our heads that they would say “You guys rock, this is inspirational…yada yada”. Well, that was so far from the case. We sucked and it bit hard. Several emotions ran through me: denial, anger, sadness and finally reorganization. After a day, we realized that we needed this critique. We weren't as good as we thought we were and we are determined to change that.

Recently, we realized that we had strayed away from our original mission. For the rest of the summer, we will be introducing Phase 2 of the Illumi-Nerdi's Master Plan. Our master plan consists of 100% interaction with fanboys worldwide. Unlike professional and amateur creators, we are doing what has never been done. You, the fan, will be able to see our failures, our achievements, our fights and the construction of our comic book.

Here are a few of our plans for the rest of the summer:

1. Artist Deathmatch: If you aren't aware already, we are in the final stages of the Illumi-Nerdi's Artist Deathmatch 2.0. Unlike the first Artist Deathmatch, we are having the artists create our characters. If you haven't voted for your favorite, do it now...or we will hunt you down.

2. Vote for Our Comic Book's Title:The People's Choice: At the moment, we are asking our fans to vote for the title of our comic book. Here is the link to our comic book's concept. We've heard people's complaints about the choices and there is a good chance we will be doing a new comic book title poll again in the future. Until then, vote for your favorites. Our comic book is "superheroes minus the costumes and add the drama that can be found on The Sopranos or Lost". Our goal is for the reader to realize that superheroes are just like us. They have thoughts on politics, abortion, sports, and more.

3. A Possible Movie Trailer: For the past week, I've been intrigued in doing a movie trailer. It would be like a reintroduction to the creators of the Illumi-Nerdi. Does anyone know how to use the IMovie application?

4. Movie Posters/Pin ups: This has been something I've wanted to do for a few months now. It is a simple tease with one character on each poster. For example, one of our characters would be drowning in a pool of money. The sentence would say something like" Shepherd: Where Corporate Sellouts are Born".

5. Videos, Videos, Videos: We actually tried this once but the internet went down and the video was never saved. I think it is important to ensure that each video is no longer than 3 minutes long. The average American is bored within 3 minutes into a 10 minute long YouTube video. In these videos, we will discuss and debate the importance of certain characters.

6. Creation: Each week, one of us will write up a quick post discussing something from the story. It will include our hopes, our dreams and our fears.

7. Our Top Ten: Usually, people want three reasons why they should read a comic book. Well, we give you ten! For example: Death means death. Yes, we are serious! Now, give us your money and enjoy the book.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

The Artist Deathmatch 2.0: Round 3

Welcome to Round Three 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 Three 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 is the description of the scene and character descriptions for this week's contest:

"Nate is on his knees, looking furious as he manipulates the ground and rocks around him, shooting rocks towards Tommy. Tommy is smirking, while holding his hands together, blasting flame towards Nate's rock attack (meeting somewhere in the middle). Scenery is up the artist."

Nathaniel "Nate" Dunham (Josh Hutcherson)
Powers: Ability to absorb and keep other’s superpowers.
Physical Characteristics: Height- 5’7”, Weight-165, Hair- Brown, unkempt. Plain hoodie, plain shirts, plain jeans. He’s a little bit bigger for his age, not fat but not fit. He’s a pretty average seeming
kid, but wizened beyond his years.
Personality: Nate is completely average in life. Average student, average looks. He is occasionally bullied but does his best to blend in.
Weaknesses: As well as absorbing powers, he absorbs weaknesses from people. Unable to attack someone with the same powers (with that particular power). When he touches someone again he loses their powers.

Tommy Bartowski (Anton Yelchin)
Powers: Ability to control and manipulate fire. Oh and by the way, he’s undead.
Physical Characteristics: Height- 5’4, Weight- 125, Hair-Brown, black in undead form. Tommy is scrawny for his age and seemingly very weak.
Personality: Tommy is a meek teenager. He is a kind, but bullied kid. He has a strong desire to fit in with a group and to feel protected.
Weaknesses: Water and can be controlled by Viola’s book (the Necronomicon). In life he has a strong need to belong and to please his friends.

James Wisinger

Greg Kimmett 

Peter Vazquez

Kevlen Goodner 

Monday, July 2, 2012

The Possibilities and Impossibilities that We Would Love to See in Joker's Return

For the past few months, fanboys have all been asking the same question, "Who will be the next villain in Scott Snyder's Batman?". To be honest, I was praying for Clayface. Yes, I am aware that DC Comics has done little with him as a character. Lets be realistic, Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo would have made him into a respectable Batman villain.  Recently, it became public that Tony Daniel was leaving Detective Comics. Right away, the two questions that hit me were: 1. Was DC Comics going to forget about the Dollmaker? 2. Why was the Joker thrilled to have his face cut off? Well, our second question has been answered. Starting with Batman #13 (Story arc is called Death of a Family), Snyder and Capullo are bringing back the Joker and they promise that Gotham city will be bleeding red. Scott Snyder has stated that the readers will finally learn why the Dollmaker cut off the Joker's face. According to Newsarama and Comic Book Resources, this story will be crossing over into Nightwing, Batman and Robin, Batgirl and Red Hood and the Outlaws.

Like every fanboy, I dream of the awesome possibilities that will happen during and after this storyline. Some dreams might be possible, others may be very much impossible. Here is a list of my dreams.

1. Barbara Gordon and Jason Todd confront the Joker:  Joker paralyzed Barbara Gordon (formerly known and once again known as Batgirl) and killed Jason Todd (formerly known as Robin and now known as the Red Hood). When Joker shot Barbara, he was clueless that she was Batgirl. Joker is a psycho, so he knows which of his victims survive, die and suffer. Don't be surprised if he confronts her and attempts to complete his original mission. I can't wait for Gail Simone to write Barbara reliving her biggest nightmare.

The purpose of Scott Lobdell's Red Hood and the Outlaws was to show Jason Todd's journey of redemption, in which he was letting go of his past and embracing his future. Luckily, Scott Lodbell participated in Snyder's first story arc "Court of Owls". Even though some of us were disappointed by the complete lack of Red Hood and Batman's bonding scenario, we were thrilled to see Red Hood vs Batgirl. During their first confrontation, no one even dared to mention the Joker. In Joker's return, I expect to see Red Hood and Batgirl talk about their fears and protect each other from breaking down. I would love to see Red Hood have the opportunity to kill the Joker, and Batgirl is the one to talk him down from it.

2. Who Will Die? The story arc is titled "Death of a Family". Who exactly is Joker going after? Here are a few choices: The Gordons, Bruce Wayne, Alfred and his wards or the Bat-family (For new readers, Joker hasn't made that connection). I don't expect Damian to be killed because he is the main focus in Grant Morrison's Batman Incorporated. Nightwing, Batgirl and Red Hood have their own titles but two people do not. Alfred has been around a long time but maybe its time he passed away. Fanboys would cry for about this for months but it is Scott Snyder, so it will be easy to forgive him. Our second guess is Tim Drake. At first, I would be devastated because as I went through elementary, middle school, college and now grad school, I saw the  development of Tim Drake as a character. If he dies, it better be emotional, awesome and heart breaking.

3. The Return of the Dollmaker: 9 months ago, Tony Daniel, writer of Detective Comics, introduced us to the Dollmaker. He was a new villain and he was fun to read and the Joker let him cut off his face. Since then, there has been no word from the Dollmaker. With the Joker returning, we need to see the Dollmaker. But, he better not be killed off. Maybe, Snyder tells us the origin of the Dollmake?. Maybe, the Joker created the Dollmaker? If that is possible, here is my guess: the Dollmaker was a suregon and the Joker kidnapped him and his family. The Joker didn't want to kill the Dollmaker, instead he wanted the Dollmaker to torture and kill his family. In the end, Dollmaker cracks and creates a new personality. This personality believes the Joker is his god and creator.

4. Do we need a new Joker Origin? Does anyone actually know Joker's true origin? I've read that he was married, was having a kid and worked for the mob. He was in a desperate need of  money, put on a red hood as a disguise, attempted to rob a factory and fell into a container of ooze, maybe acid. I am pretty sure that is everything that happened to the Joker prior to becoming a psycho. We watched him go from petty criminal (The Killing Joke) to absolute psycho (in pretty much everything), but we haven't seen his in-between phase. Never before have we been introduced to Joker's mindset in the true creation of the character (after petty criminal, before murderous psychopath). If Snyder was to capture the first days of the Joker, I hope he tells the story of the Joker's first few killings and the mindset he was in. Maybe Joker didn't truly become a psycho until his first battle with Batman.

5. Who else wants to see Bruce end up in Arkham? This needs to happen. I want to see Bruce to lose his shit, end up in a straight jacket and hit his head against a paddled wall. Wouldn't it be spectacular with Batman ending up in Arkham because he couldn't deal with allowing the Joker to survive after he killed Alfred or Tim Drake. A great twist to this story would involve Batman getting locked away (much as Joker was) and being just as crazy as Joker (although probably not quite as murderous). This would be a complete 180 for the character (the same level as Bane breaking Bat's back) that would show more of the Bruce Wayne side of the character while he dealt with the madness and attempted to deal with/escape from the asylum that he helped populate (and who wouldn't want to see Bruce in contact with some of the inmates he was responsible for incarcerating?).