Wednesday, September 28, 2005

More Variant Covers

Digital Webbing Presents #26 is done! Finished! Turned in! Ready to print! Whew. I've been banging away on this book for the past 3 days. I actually turned it in a few minutes ago. I need to schedule this stuff better so I'm not staying up until 4AM on weekends lettering and pre-pressing a book!

By now you should be familiar with the Prometheus Effect regular cover, but did you know we have two others which will be available from the creators themselves? That's right. At this year's Mid-Ohio Con, it's a 4th Anniversary party! Every creator/writer involved with our 26th issue will be sitting behind the DW booth this November. Be sure to swing by and pick up these limited edition covers if you dig 'em!

Click 'em to see a larger version.

Monday, September 26, 2005

The CGC Press Release

Here's filler for today while I try to bang through finishing DWP26 for the printer!

Digital Webbing Signature Series Signing at Wizard World Boston

CGC is proud to present an exclusive CGC Signature Series signing with the amazing Digital Webbing creators from Digital Webbing Presents #24 Dan Berger (TMNT), Ron Fortier (Mask of the Gargoyle), Ed Dukeshire and Mike Imboden (Fist of Justice). Also, artist Kody Chamberlain of the red hot BloodRayne: Seeds of Sin and BloodRayne: Raw will be on hand for the prestigious CGC Signature Series Signing.

They will be signing at the CGC booth (507) Saturday, October 1st from 2 pm to 3pm. A CGC deputy will be on hand to witness the signings. The signed comics can be submitted that day to CGC for encapsulation, grading and the prestigious CGC Signature Series label. Copies of Digital Webbing Presents #24, BloodRayne: Seeds of Sin and BloodRayne: Raw will be available at the Digital Webbing booth (830).

Make sure to visit the CGC booth (507) at Wizard World Boston and get your copies of Digital Webbing Presents #24, BloodRayne: Seeds of Sin and BloodRayne: Raw signed for the prestigious CGC Signature Series!

Signing: Saturday, October 1st from 2pm-3pm

For more information about CGC and the prestigious CGC Signature Series, visit www.cgccomics.com

Sunday, September 25, 2005

The Great eBay Mystery

Some eBay'ers have me scratching my head wondering why they do the things they do when they have a choice. A quick search will show they have options. Options like purchasing the book they want with a "Buy It Now" that's cheaper than the ones that are being bid up. But, hey -- if they want to give me their extra money, who am I to complain?

Speaking of auctions -- check out my latest wins! Sweet bronze age comics! George Tuska and Gil Kane! $10 a piece, but totally worth it! Wish I could find more stuff like this!

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Torn Between Two Covers

Anthony Castrillo pulled a fast one on me. He teased by posting a Fist of Justice reference shot for our DWP Draw-Off (see image posted on Tuesday). The drawing rocked so much, I asked to use it for a cover. "No sweat," he says, "you just have to find someone to ink it." That was a few days ago. Logging into my forums this afternoon, I see he's uploaded a fully inked version! A-M-A-Z-I-N-G-!


Now here's the thing... I love the logo being a part of the art. But I also love the Marvel retro-look we've been using since issue 20. What are your thoughts?!

Maybe using both? Mike and I are putting together a Fist of Justice behind-the-scenes type book for Mid-Ohio... maybe we should use the non-dressed version on that and the retro dress for DWP. Hmmm.... I think that may be the answer!

Need your Links!
A couple of you wrote me telling me about your blogs -- I want to link to them, but sorting through my hundreds of e-mail would drive me nuts. If you could reply to this and I'll click your avatar to grab your info, that'd be sweet! And thanks for the link back, guys! Now if I can only get Kirby to add me. ;)

Friday, September 23, 2005

Bloodsuckers Galore!

I just realized something while finishing off Hero Squared #3 and Vampirella: Revelations #1 today... I letter several vampire books. Check it out --
  1. BloodRayne
  2. Sea of Red
  3. Vampirella
  4. Sword of Dracula
Hmmmm... I thought I liked werewolves?!

Speaking of bloodsuckers -- last night the city sprayed the school yards behind my house to control the mosquito problem in Massachusetts. Not only do we have to worry about the West Nile Virus here, we can now add EEE to the list. EEE is short for "Eastern Equine Encephalitis." What does EEE do to the human body? Good question, I had to look it up to find out. Symptoms emerge 3-10 days after being bitten; high fever, stiff neck, headache, and lethargy. EEE has a 50% death rate and many that survive suffer disabilities or paralysis. Earlier this month, Boston health officials announced two residents of Massachusetts; a 5-year old girl from Halifax and a 83-year old man in Kingston both died of the disease. Oh, great.

Moving the Blog
In the next week or so, I'll be moving the blog off the BlogSpot server and onto dukeshire.com -- figured it'll be much easier to deal with. Lately it's like BlogSpot is just too slow and it's starting to annoy me.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Crossover City with the Fist of Justice

Couldn't do a Monday update, was pushing fonts and balloons around all day.

So, you know I'm bugging Mike Imboden to write more Fist of Justice so we can become rich and famous. You guys are in for some shockers -- you think you know what this character is about, but you'll soon see -- you know... nothing!

Mike and I have some wild ideas brewing. One of them is pumping out all these crossovers. In early 2006, the first crossover hits -- Fist of Justice and Ian Ascher's The Last Paladin (from DWP for those who don't know). The very talented Yilderay Cinar has been banging away at it -- I'll post some panels soon. The cover rocks, no pun intended -- yeah, it has him punching through a wall, y'know, they turn into rubble, like little rocks? Nevermind.

The image on the right is a quick sketch by Anthony Castrillo (who drew the first Fist of Justice story in DWP #24). I'd like to use this as a cover for his next adventure, but it depends on whether or not I can find an inker to do this justice... must fight urge to say 'no pun...' -- ah, too late.

Anyways, I just conned convinced a well-known creator to let us borrow his character for a crossover. Man, it's gonna be awesome! I have other creators I'll slowly be bribing talking to about crossovers. So, stay tuned -- we've only started!

Friday, September 16, 2005

DWP CGC'ed @ WWBoston

Just informed that the first batch of Digital Webbing books submitted to CGC will be waiting for me at Wizard World Boston. CGC also asked if a "Signature Series" signing at their booth could be co-ordinated. I have to get an inventory of who's going to be at the show, but I'm hoping it falls into place. Could be fun and bring some more awareness to the book.


The Un-Cursed Dracula!
Yesterday I babbled on about not having Sword of Dracula in time for WWBoston. Turns out, the books are on the way. Yay! Actually, everything is on the way, Sword of Dracula #1, DWP #25, Battle for Earth #2 and BloodRayne: Raw. I'm happy!

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Smokin' Hot Evangeline

While browsing through a fellow DWPer's blog, he revealed his secret desire for Evangeline Lilly... okay, I'm exaggerating. A little. Or not. heh. In last week's Entertainment Weekly or the week's before, can never keep track because it seems like they come out weekly... oh, wait... :D

It was this special issue on the new fall season which had this section on LOST. There was this shot of Evangeline Lilly that tripped me out because she looks exactly like my sister's friend. Man, I should have paid attention to her a little more. Lost opportunity there... okay, bad pun.

The Curse of Dracula?!
Received this email from the printer yesterday... turns out Sword of Dracula #1 is taking longer to arrive than anticipated. There's a very good chance I won't have copies for Wizard World Boston. That messes me up a lot since I planned on unloading all the incentive covers to generate some money to pay the printing bill.

Well, good news is Battle for Earth #2, DWP #25 and Warmageddon #1 will all be out in stores this month. Dracula should hit around the 2nd week of October. BloodRayne: RAW should be in my hands any day now. Sigh of relief there.

DWP #25 Coming Soon!

Received my comp samples of DWP #25 today. Diamond already has the books so it should put it on the rack around the 28th. That'll be awesome if it comes out that day. It'll be marked as the day DWP finally nailed an actual 'planned' release date. See, with the new retro design I'm been using on the covers; there are a bunch of numbers hanging around under the issue and month -- ie; 092805 -- THAT'S the intended release date of that particular issue. Since I've implimented this design, we haven't nailed a single release date! Ouch.


So, we know there's a very solid chance DWP25 will hit on time... now, DWP26 is a different story. Remember me mentioning that deadline last month when I first started this blog? Well, here it is, 14 days afterwards and I'm still waiting on 3 stories. There is no way that issue is coming out in October now. Ah, but I expected to release it in November anyways. I know these guys way too well. ;)

The Variants Keep 'a Coming
With my comp samples, I get to see the other 2 DWP25 covers... yes, it's the 90's again. We publish alternative covers. But, hey, choice is good. No one is telling you to buy EVERY single copy that's out there. The variants this issue are below; The Mask of the Gargoyle and The Last Paladin. Expect to see more variants coming your way for a couple more issues before I get sick of producing them. Now, if only these would sell for $51 on eBay like that last TMNT variant. Hmmmmm...


Speaking of variants... Batman and Robin #2 hit shops today. My comic shop set aside the Frank Miller cover... I had to switch it out with the Jim Lee one. Tommorrow... SURVIVOR!

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

DWP and the GOON Wraparound!

Hot seller on eBay lately has been DWP #5 featuring Eric Powell's The Goon. I've sold 5 copies within a week's time. Do you see this, Wizard Magazine?! Are you paying attention?! If I have a #21 sitting right next to it, it usually hops along for the ride to the buyer's house. Wheeee. I'm thinking people are finally becoming more aware of DWP's existance. Phew. We definitely need it because it's been a rough ride this year. We need to have a run of "all-star" creators for a year, I bet that'd make people really pay attention.

Prison Break
I watch way too much television... correction, I Tivo way too much television. But one show I actually watch while it's airing is FOX's Prison Break.

This show is so out there that I'm glued to it. Not as intense as Fox's 24, but close enough. That first episode where they cut off Scofield's little toe made me go "No way! That's awesome!" Usually with TV shows, you'll see the main character get into a situation and make it out fine. Not sure how many episodes this will hold up, but I'll keep tuning in. And, hey, I'm hooked into Nielson ratings so at least me watching could help keep it going.

Monday, September 12, 2005

More BloodRayne Art

Since I have a very busy morning, figured I'd put up Monday's update before I hit the sack. I know I said I was gonna go on a werewolf pimping frenzy, but I haven't had much time to scan any art. Hey, Raph Hedon just turned in another batch of pages for BloodRayne: Lycan Rex and they have werewolves in 'em! Yeah, here you go!


Picked up the BloodRayne 2 video game over the weekend. I like it much better than the first one... there's some amazing killing potential in this one. Seeing the BloodRayne comic book ad in the manual, rocked. SteveO did a GREAT job designing it -- really stands out!

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Are you ready for more Fist of Justice?!

Of course you are! Mike [Imboden] and I have another Fist of Justice tale for you in Digital Webbing Presents #28 due out around February. So I'll use this blog to show you sneak peeks here and there. We have the talented Chad Hardin onboard while Anthony Castrillo (the penciler from the debut story in DWP24) takes a break. Anthony has already agreed to do the cover. Chad Hardin is a great find and excellent to work with! He hasn't complained one bit about my hard-ass editorial control over his work. hehe.

Funny thing about this story... Mike and I were banging away with ideas to flesh out the character for his full-length feature in DWP, but while we're hammering away on that, we needed to squeeze out another little tale so you guys could get your Fist fix. The plan is to have our favorite hero in every issue of DWP from #28 on, rotating between features and shorts and crossovers. Fist of Justice all over the place. Also... can you say... "Fist of Justice action figure" ?! -- I'm not kidding. More later.

Friday, September 09, 2005

What a Difference a Day Makes

Was bummed a little with the lackluster performance of said title mentioned yesterday. What a difference a day makes. Received the purchase order for BloodRayne: Lycan Rex today and orders virtually doubled from the previous issues. That's pretty unheard of considering, technically, this is BloodRayne #3. Don't mind me... I'm floating on air a little right now. Now back to work for me!

Thursday, September 08, 2005

The Giant-Sized Anniversary Experiment

If you follow DWP (Digital Webbing Presents), you'll know we're approaching our 4th year in publishing the anthology. Our focus lately has been on recurring characters and concepts to help build a readerbase that has a reason to pick up the next issue. To help meet that goal, we got the creators of The Revisionist (from DWP10, 15 and 20), Dreah (DWP12, 22), Warmageddon (DWP17, 18) and The Last Paladin (DWP20, 25) to contribute new stories to make the anniversary issue something special. Smooth.

Now, Diamond quota has always been a struggle with the exceptions of a few issues here and there. There's always the danger of losing distribution if your sales fall below the quota requirement. As mentioned in a previous blog post, it's been a while so I was grasping for help (still no luck in that department, by the way). Well, the purchase order rolled in a few hours ago -- sold around what I expected. Just slightly below quota, but enough where the book isn't being canceled with this particular issue. Diamond's new policy is; if a book doesn't sell a certain dollar amount, no purchase order will be created, so virtually your comic is canceled without warning. Is that a bad thing? Not neccesarily -- because some creators just don't know when to stop producing a comic series. If the sales aren't there... they just aren't there and they should move on. Sucks that you're forced into losing distribution, but ultimately, the distribution system needs to make money or they lose money.

Where's this bring DWP since we haven't hit quota in a while? On that dangerous line of cancelation. I have something planned to maybe boost the numbers for like 3-4 issues in a row -- I'll know if I can make it work once I come back from Wizard World Boston. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

MegaCity 909 - Finale

For the past year I've had the pleasure of working with Andrew Dabb and Studio ICE on MU and MegaCity 909 -- two great comics you should be checking out. They started as monthly series published through Devil's Due, but the realities of the comic market helped drop these titles down to mini-series format. Both titles sell in the 4-7 thousand range, but for a comic to really succeed with a fully paid staff, you need a little more than that.

Tomorrow, the final issue of MegaCity 909 #8 hits racks. Some shocking stuff. I even gave Dabb shit about what he did to some of the characters. Of course he just laughed it off. He's evil like that. ;)

There is talk of revisiting the book in a new series further down the line and after ICE completes their next top secret projects. I'm not sure if there are plans for a TPB collection (I know the comics were published in the foreign market). So if Devil's Due or ICE decide to go that route... be sure to check 'em out!

Motivation is key.

Thanks for keeping me motivated with this thing. I've received several emails since I've started it up, and the fact that people are adding comments helps a great deal. So today I tossed on a hit counter to track the traffic. Pretty shocked at the results so far. It's not Digital Webbing numbers, but it's a cool couple dozen in a half day's time. If anyone is looking for a FREE hit counter, try MindViz Tracker -- it has neat little charts and graphics and even tells you how people are coming to your blog.

Be careful with it though. I had Digital Webbing set up but someone hacked into it and took it over. So I removed all the tracker codes so that site couldn't claim my traffic as their own (a healthy 4-6 thousand per day).

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

In the Blood - Movie Poster

Check it out -- Ross Richie (Boom! Studios) just forwarded me this cool movie poster. Yes, another Steve Niles project crosses over. I have most of the pages ready to letter as soon as the script rolls in (hint, hint). And I gotta say, Josh Medors is doing a great job on the art! Werewolves just rock. I have faith in Niles delivering a great werewolf flick -- it's been far too long since hollywood released one that didn't suck ass.

I think I'm gonna go on a werewolf pimping frenzy this week. Not only does BloodRayne: Lycan Rex hit shops in late October, but I'm slowly building a collection of sketches by my favorite artists dipicting their rendition of Marvel's Werewolf By Night character. Yeah, my collection is small with only 3 sketches, but give me time.

I also have a project in the works with Troy Wall featuring -- yes, you guessed it -- werewolves. We decided to call it Lycan Rex even though it's not based on the BloodRayne one-shot. Lycan Rex is going to be our version of Werewolf By Night. I'm still scouring the globe looking for the perfect artist -- I have someone in mind, but he may be out of my budget -- he has a very Mike Ploog'ish style.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

TMNT Variant Booty Kicking!

eBay is showing me there's some interest in DWP #24. First one sold for $37, second one sold for $27, and the third one is currently at $26 and there's still a few days left. I tossed another up. This is making me happy -- I'm banking on these selling at Wizard World Boston or I'm screwed. That $1,100 exhibitor table fee is killer.

I'm also hoping these two books below will help generate money for my table fees. The Sword of Dracula book is the incentive cover shops could purchase through Diamond, the BloodRayne: Raw comic is exclusive to the show. If you plan on attending, be sure to pick these up. I'll also have Digital Webbing Presents #25 featuring Jay Faerber's Firebirds available.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Sword of Dracula -- the Reprint?! Wot?!

Turns out a major SNAFU happened with Sword of Dracula the new series we're publishing this year which is a follow-up to the Image Comics mini-series. I was scratching my head on why the numbers came in about half of what I anticipated. Mind boggling. Turns out many people thought the new series is just a reprint of the old Image series "in color."

Jason and I were so happy about having a color Sword of Dracula it never even crossed our minds that people would confuse the new series with the older one. That's a big f'ing D'oh! Re-reading all the press releases and solicitation copy, which had no clear mention of this being ALL-NEW, ALL-DIFFERENT Sword of Dracula. Like I said, big f'ing D'oh!

Well -- I guess we just say "Here we come, back issue market!" Actually, the plan is to figure out the best way to re-release the first two issues. I may package both into a "Bumper" edition and solicit alongside #3. My Diamond rep seems to think this is a good idea (even he thought this new series was a reprint).

Look for the first issue to hit shops towards the end of the month (that is, if you can find it).

Thursday, September 01, 2005

DWP #28 featuring ???

I'm stumped. Diamond solicitations for product shipping in January have to be turned in next week. I've pretty much decided to put Digital Webbing Presents back on a bi-monthly schedule... so January will be a skip month. That's a good thing since I have no idea what to put in the issue.

Here's the thing -- Diamond will drop a title if the sales aren't meeting their $1,500 quota (that's wholesale). DWP hasn't hit Diamond quota since issue 21 (the Zombie issue with the Bernie Wrightson cover). So what am I going to do with #28? I need something big. Something to help push the numbers up. I need a pro with a huge fanbase to draw some attention towards the book or we could be looking at the end of DWP. Suggestions? Ideas? A pro with a story that's never been published and wants to donate it? Or someone that wants to spend $1,500 stocking their store with several copies?