Wednesday, July 1, 2015

COMING SOON: Wonder Care Presents: The Kinder Guardians #3


In just a few short weeks, the Kinder Guardians will return in a brand new adventure!


 Wonder Care Presents: The Kinder Guardians #3
"Beware the Kid Napper!"

Written by Victor Dandridge
Art by Justin Castaneda

Quickly; quietly -- SNEWZ HAS COME!  Can the Kinder Guardians stand up to their first big-baddie in this thrilling issue that begs to ask, do you believe in monsters?

12pg (8pgs of story + activities)
Full Color
$2.99 USD





But you don't have to go COMPLETELY without -- here's a sneak peek -- straight from Justin's drawing station:




And don't forget to  see our newest #DareToCompare campaign, where we're offering a free read of Wonder Care Presents: The Kinder Guardians #1!


Wednesday, June 10, 2015

BLACK WHITE & READ: Ep. 67





The laughs abound aplenty in this week's episode!  I don't know what happened, but Ryan and I were clearly in our LESS mature frames of mind!  (LOL!)  But besides our taste for debauchery, we share our love for some pretty spectacular comics!

WeirdWorld #1 (Marvel) - Jason Aaron (w) and Mike Del Mundo (a)
Batman #41 (DC) - Scott Snyder (w) and Greg Capullo (a)
Chrononauts #4 (Image) - Mark Millar (w) and Sean Murphy (a)

Honorable mentions:
All Star: Section 8 (DC) - Garth Ennis (w) and John McCrea (a)
The Mantle (Image) - Ed Brisson (w) and Brian Level (a)

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Kickstarting: A Road Less Traveled...?! Pt. 1

Last round of edits.  Survey responses.  Printer follow-ups.  I am in the midst of an aftermath!  As announced just a few days ago, our Kickstarter campaign, From Bits to Books, successfully ended at 1074% of our funding goal!  (Yaaaay!)  More than anything, I owe a great deal of thanks to the 44 very GENEROUS backers who lent their support financially (and the scores of others who diligently shared it!) to put this venture on top.  Your efforts are responsible for all the joyous feels I have, right now!
I just CAN'T figure it out!

It took me quite a while to build up the courage to launch this project.  Previously, I've written about my absolute FEAR of Kickstarter and other like crowd-sourcing programs.   While curious and admittedly envious about the multitude of other campaigns that have literally broken molds over the last few years, I had settled on spying them from afar, unsure of how to stick my toe in those proverbial waters.  They were creatures I couldn't quite wrap my head around -- I couldn't see how they worked, at least within the scope of my own publishing ideals.  And it wasn't just the "WHAT TO FUND" question that plagued me, but also the "what does it all mean" questions in the realm of production responsibility, customer service and brand building.  I'll be the first to admit that maybe I was over thinking it a bit...

CONFESSION TIME...if you've run a Kickstarter or Indiegogo campaign, I've probably judged how you did it.  Even if I put in on it.  Sorry.

I've had my own thoughts and theories about how to navigate business in this wonderful world of self-publishing comics.  And for a time, those ideas seemed to make me stand out (in very specific instances) from a lot of my publishing peers.  So when I saw countless of creators asking for THOUSANDS of dollars -- no matter how clever the campaign or how awesome the team behind it, I couldn't help but think, "No, no, no...you're doing it all wrong."  

Lol.  I know -- how can someone whose only other KS venture was a half-hearted plea for money that didn't do diddly, possibly know what he's talking about?!  Well, here was my concern, laid out and made plain: longevity.  With the sums that quite a bunch of these campaigns were going for, I couldn't fathom anyone needing to return to that well for some time!  But sure enough, those same creators would be back at it, months later either for the next installment or some other measure.  To me -- and take that for what it is -- that shows a lack in forward thinking or planning, and that doesn't make for long-term business.  Again, take that for what it's worth.

Imitation is the HIGHEST form of flattery...or so they say!
But I couldn't ignore the numbers.  Kickstarter has funded thousands (if not millions) of comic book projects at this point and while I might have had apprehensions for myself, it was quickly looking like I was the ONLY one.  So I decided to take action and launched a private campaign, aimed at piggybacking on the rewards concept crowdfunding seemed built around, Kickstarted Forever.  By offering a series of prominent rewards, but eliminating the based funding goal aspects, I thought I had THE most clever marketing campaign that would allow for me to slowly fund upcoming projects through the open promotion of existing ones.  For two years I ran it on this very website and the results were ABYSMAL!  Lol!  I think I MAY have collected a sum total of $50, even after assigning projects like Wonder Care and Ol' Crazy as the financial goals.

Still, all was not loss and I found new inspiration in the most unlikely of places.  The infamous "Potato Salad" campaign, which seemed all at once both utter genius and a mockery of the ENTIRE crowdfunding process, locked in the notion of what I thought was necessary to truly do this thing right: MARKETING.  With PS, the goal was a minuscule $10, which I'm sure it made in a matter of minutes.  But due to word of mouth, tomfoolery or whatever you attribute, it had garnered some $70,000 before the public tide began to turn on it (and still ended somewhere above the $50K mark).

That was my hook right there!  Just like with Kickstarted Forever, my focus wouldn't be to build capital to launch new works...at least not yet (;-P).  First I had to shine some light on what V:IP had already managed to eek out into existence.  And using Kickstarters VAST outreach of some 2M (that's TWO MILLION) users -- I thought that maybe...just MAYBE...I might be able to pull off a marketing campaign of Potato Salad like proportions!  And thus, From Bits to Books was born...

To be continued.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Weekend Recap...!



- It was return to the show stage for me, where I was joined by my WW Vegas contestants, Buzz and Mike Vasquez (and new pal, Beau Wilkens).  We had quite the lively crowd -- full and engaging, making the 5 lines challenge a fun way to kick off the show.
   Just hours ago, my flight landed, ending my inaugural trip to Minneapolis for the Wizard World Comic Con!  The Twin City was a wonderful pl
ace -- a lively metropolis, whose citizens are FULL of pride for their city!  And as always, I never have a bad time when I'm at a show -- so how about a few of the highlights that made my weekend so great!

- At the Marvel vs. DC panel, I turned some heads with my thoughts on the newly released Avengers: Age of Ultron!  I'll be sharing my thoughts soon -- with appropriate spoiler warnings!!!

- We DEFINITELY had some fun at the Drink&Draw -- I was on hosting duties (I'm growing quite fond of that, btw), buuuuut...I have to admit, I was a little disappointed that Kevin Smith's "An Evening With" event ran at the same time -- I TOTALLY wanted to go to that!!!

- Saturday, was a fun mix -- we did the Tac-au-Tac challenge, with Buzz and Mike returning, as well as new friends Gordon Purcell and Joey (from Toxic Comics).  There were a few awesome drawings that came outta of that one and some VERY lucky fans to win them.

- I returned as a guest judge of the costume contest!  That's becoming a highlight to me -- seeing so much creativity and ingenuity at play!

- My U Cre-8 Comics panel was Sunday and though we ran out of workbooks, we still managed to have an AMAZING session!  It's always amazing to me the way participants get into the project, asking questions and exploring aspects of comic book making they'd never considered before!

- And just to punctuate the coolness of it all, I had a little chat with View Askew celeb, Jason Mewes at the airport, about being on the con circuit and seeing when our schedules will line back up.

Definitely a good weekend.

AND DON'T FORGET!!!  We launched our Kickstarter: From Bits to Books last week and we're already over 300% of our goal!  Take part AND tell a friend!

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Let's Get KICKSTARTED...!



For years, I've been leery of Kickstarter.  Even as it had grown to be a viable resource for creators of every magnitude, literally helping them raise MILLIONS of dollars towards their creative efforts, I was still unconvinced.  It's not that I thought it was a sham, or anything -- exactly the opposite.  My fear was that it was wellspring that was TOO good.  One that had the potential of being overly tapped and FAAAAAR too often!

So, I went about every which way I could think of to NOT use Kickstarter.  But then I got an idea that was just too good not to.

What if it wasn't about fundraising...per se?  What if, and thanks to Danger Brown, I truly believe this is possible -- what if, you could use Kickstarter as a means of marketing already completed projects, to the MILLIONS of backers who have shown interest in vetting Kickstarter projects?

That's when I realized, that's EXACTLY what I want to do.  No, scratch that.  That's exactly what I've DONE!

ANNOUNCING: FROM BITS TO BOOKS -- A KICKSTARTER CAMPAIGN!!!

The goal here is simple -- to use Kickstarter as a focused means of telling the world about my books!  Sure, I've gained some fans over the years, but there's (literally) a WHOLE WORLD of potential readers out there and right now, Kickstarter has their attention!  So, take a sec -- watch our video and get some books, if not for yourself, then for someone who'll love them!


Monday, April 27, 2015

It's Vegas, baby...and those are the stakes!!!

*Apparently, me am no talk good when I'm con-exhausted, jet-lagged and flying home.  I've gone through and corrected my bumbles to have a better stream of words!  

Wizard.  World.  Vegas.  This past weekend, the glitzy allure of Sin City called V:IP into its midst and while a good majority of the comic book world attended C2E2, myself (and quite a few other notable creators and personalities), headed out west to take part in Wizard's inaugural show in Viva Land!

Now, if you've followed my other media posts (and I sincerely hope you have!!!), you'll know I'm FAAAAAR from a critic of shows themselves, favoring a more...self-evaluating approach to exhibiting.  What I mean by that is if I attend a show and don't make what I "expected", then rather than blame the show -- IN ANY CAPACITY: not on celebs, not on Cosplay (NOT ON ANYTHING!!), I aim to evaluate my OWN performance!  What did I not do to ensure those sales?? In my mind, the only responsibility a show has is bringing people in the door; getting them to buy something...well, that's my job!!

Unfortunately, it's not a philosophy shared by A LOT of my peers and this show could've used a bit more consideration of its unique experience.

First I want to commend Wizard for taking a chance in a new market, especially one like Vegas -- a city seemingly known for everything BUT comics!  For a city built on touristy-attractions, opulent boutiques, and celebrity music stars, it was a bold move to consider that the Wizard World brand could find success here.  Even more so considering how much content they had planned to capture for their recent partnership venture, CONtv.


So the show may not have been PACKED.  Far from, actually, but that's not to say that there wasn't good attendance, just that it was spread out over the course of a VERY LONG convention hall that didn't give the best impression of the numbers on hand.  

From what I could tell, there was a mix of locals and people who travelled in just for the show (the promise of meeting media stars enough to prompt travel even across states).  And that means that Wzard's brand wasn't defunct, though it did seem that even they were hoping to pull more from the general visiting populace, which has an international range.  

Essentially, they took a gamble.  And as it sometimes happens in Vegas, it didn't really pay off.  But this was just Year One.  And even Batman's first attempts at vigilante heroism fell a few feet short of success.  I'm hoping they return next year, with a renewed gusto and fervor.  Because if you don't play BIG, the house ALWAYS wins.

As for myself, well, I had an INCREDIBLE weekend.  Maybe I didn't net the financial successes of previous shows, but I was able to expand my media presence -- doing an early morning interview for the show with ABC13 Action News, filming a CONtv segment with Damian Beurer (of Super Power Beatdown fame) and was a fill-in judge for the Wizard World costume contest!


 

And THAT was my weekend recap!  Follow my other social media outlets to catch other quips and pics from the weekend!!