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FREE COMIC BOOK DAY! (See you next THORSday...?)

Posted On Friday, April 29, 2011

In addition to the weekly holiday we comic book minded folk celebrate every Wednesday, there's a yearly day of revelry, where we extend our welcoming arms to the unconverted masses in an attempt to awaken them from their sinful obliviousness to the greatness of COMICDOM -- FREE COMIC BOOK DAY! On this most glorious of days, scores of comic book specialty shops across the nation open their doors with the allure of FREE COMICS (the name really does say it all, doesn't it?!)! In its 9th year, FCBD falls on Saturday, May 7th 2011 (its ALWAYS the FIRST SATURDAY in May!) and I'm quite proud to say that I'm taking part in a few celebrations throughout the day!

I'll start my rounds at about 10 in the morning at COMIC TOWN, where I expect to have a little fun with Ryan and the gang! I'm VERY excited to see what my pal, Mike Eshelman has in store with his Perler Beads -- he's done some AMAZING pieces that he's debuting that day!

From there I'm heading out west where the party will be in FULL SWING at PACKRAT COMICS, where Jamie and Teresa will have guests GALORE packing the build (pun intended)! I'm giving it only 15mins before I'm busting a robot with my buddy, author of the horror anthology, Nightmare World and the "Write or Wrong" columnist at Newsarama, Dirk Manning -- its an Ohio thing...!

But as much fun as I'm going to have there, I'll have to tear myself away to make sure that I'm all setup around 2pm at THE MOVIE TAVERN! There, I'll be bring the FCBD magic to the people -- specifically those going to see Marvel Studios newest release -- THOR! I'll have a whole barrage of stuff with me -- including 200 copies of the official FCBD Thor book to pass out to movie goers!

Sounds AWESOME, RIGHT?! (Psssst! Let me tell you a secret -- at Vantange:Inhouse, FCBD will actually begin THURSDAY NIGHT (5/5/11)! We'll be at the AMC Lennox 24 Theatre doing sketches for those BRAVE SOULS venturing to the midnight screening of THOR! In honor of this event, I'm "renaming" the day (verily) -- THORSday!

So come out -- get FREE comics, see an AWESOME movie, get an ORIGINAL sketch AND MORE! This is guaranteed to be the BIGGEST and BEST Free Comic Book Day of the YEAR (lol) -- but it'll be NOTHING without YOU!!!

Samaritan Graphic Tees NOW AVAILABLE!!!

Posted On Thursday, April 28, 2011

EXCLUSIVELY thru, you can snag your own graphic tee featuring artwork from our hit series, The Samaritan! Visit the VANTAGE:INHOUSE store and get yours TODAY!!!

The Samaritan #2 READ IT HERE!

Posted On Wednesday, April 27, 2011

For your reading pleasure, the next chapter in The Samaritan story is available -- AND FOR FREE! We're already working on issue 3 and beyond, but want to offer a heartfelt thanks to everyone whose shown support for our work thus far!

*PARENTS: Please be aware that this series is meant for mature audiences due to adult language and themes!

8 Mins Presents...4/20/11

Posted On Thursday, April 21, 2011

I just finished the new 8 Mins feature, The To Do List. An inspiring gesture, its not something I had ever considered before, but would LOVE to begin the tradition with my family! I hope you enjoy it!

Years ago, while resting in the arms of her grandmother, she was given a challenge. Taking days to begin and years to complete, this task should not be entered into lightly as it represented a strong family tradition; an invisible heirloom passed down through the matriarchs to instill a sense of pride and purpose in their daughters. But despite the intricacies and the longevity of it all, the task was simple: Make a list of what you want to accomplish in life and repeat that list, everyday, leaving off only what you've accomplished the day before. Read more...

On The Horizon 4/18/11

Posted On Monday, April 18, 2011

Ugh...! Every so often, I get locked out of my brain -- quite possibly my brain's response to my EXTREME workload, it beckons for a rest and consequently, I operate on an autopilot function. I don't like it, but I've gotten used to it and try and accept its value -- BUT DOES IT HAVE TO HAPPEN NOW?! LOL!

Last week I posted that I've finally figured out what the V:IP 15 are going to be -- I spent the weekend working out the production schedule for the whole shebang, which extends ALL THE WAY to November! I swear, it was SOOOOO hard just to pick which projects to work on, but trying to decide which order I was going to work on them was PURE MENTAL MURDER (might be why I've got the lockout now)! Here are a few who made the list:

1.) The Samaritan - Obviously our first piece of the year was gonna make the list, right?! Ren's turned in pages for issue 2, with the last few scheduled to be done by this Friday and letters by next Monday. We've gotten A LOT of love with the first chapter and can't wait to see what you guys think of the next two installments!! Release Date: 4/27 (Final project release: 6/15)

2.) Omnibus #2 -- I'm returning the series that kickstarted my solo-selfpublishing career! Picking up on the next issue of Chronicles of Legend, but am introducing a new series, THE SEVENTH DIVINE!!! Release Date: 5/18

3.) Strongman Legion Plus -- I've been toying around with making this a weekly web-comic, though I have to find a way to protect my younger audiences (it has some mature content within) with some age-verification functions.

4.) The Trouble w/Love -- I CANNOT WAIT UNTIL THIS COMES OUT. Release Date: 6/29

5.) 8 Mins -- Our first prose book, this is a collection of the first 15-20 stories in the 8 Mins franchise! Release Date: 7/6

6.) SPECTRUM -- I've made some great leaps ahead with this series and hope to announce a VERY SPECIAL cover artist soon!!! (I'm CHEESING so hard about this one!!) Release Date: 7/20

7.) It Came from Space pt 2&3 -- I'm finishing the Half-prints series, featuring the Wonders of the Great Beyond! This one is kind of a personal piece; something that I can get my sons to help me do! Release Dates: 6/30 and 8/5

Only halfway thru the list and we're already hitting AUGUST! I hope to set a new precedent for what a self-publisher CAN DO and can't see what you think of what we've got in store! Ooh...the fog is beginning to lift -- BETTER GET BACK TO WORK!!!

WTF is the V:IP 15...?

Posted On Friday, April 15, 2011

When I decided to make the move to create full time, I KNEW that I was going to have to do something both drastic and dynamic to truly make a name for myself, amidst the literal THOUSANDS aiming to do the same! I've considered crafting a "convention personality;" a sort of showman's identity to build/boost my recognition and presumed popularity. Campaigns have been on the table too -- whole-scale acts to drum up sales and all that goodness. But, of all the ideas I had, nothing resonated more succinctly than simply producing the best work I could and a lot of it!

Now, those of you who create comics know the laborious process it tends to be -- ESPECIALLY if you're collaborating with anyone else. At times, it can be hard enough to manage more than one project within a year, right? Still, Vegas' odds say to win BIG you've gotta play BIG -- so I've decided that in 2011, Vantage:Inhouse Productions will produce no less than 15 projects! Mind you, that's not 15 ISSUES -- no, PROJECTS -- 15 different titles, concepts and stories -- all in one calendar year!

So that's what the V:IP 15 is -- my personal challenge as a publisher! I know it won't be easy, but I can't even begin to tell you how excited I am for the journey ahead!

8 BIT POSTER FOR SALE - Who can YOU name?!

Posted On Thursday, April 14, 2011

Due to POPULAR DEMAND, I just HAD to offer my 36x24" 8 Bit poster FOR SALE! At only $20.00 USD, plus $5 for shipping, you can start your 8 Bit collection STRONG, with over 170 DESIGNS! Featuring the collections from both, Volume 1 and 2, each design is showcased in ALPHABETICAL ORDER and you can AMAZE YOUR FRIENDS with your skills of GEEKY RECOGNITION!!!

To purchase, just click on the POSTER IMAGE to your RIGHT!! Get yours TODAY!!!!

If I were EiC 4/12/11

Posted On Tuesday, April 12, 2011

I've never been an avid Punisher fan -- it's not to say that there's anything wrong with the character, in fact, he's one of the most honest portrayals of "heroics" in comics today. But with the PLETHORA of characters in the Marvel U (and comics in general, the exploits of Frank Castle have kinda fell by the wayside. I have eagerly poured through the GENIUS that is "Welcome Back, Frank," the epic character-resurrection by craftsmen, Garth Ennis and Steve Dillion. That sort of rawkus ride definitely has a firm grip in my psyche of what the Punisher is (though castrated, BRUTALLY by the 2004 feature film that friends have aptly called, The Reprimander) -- a quick witted, tough as nails, single solution to the rotten side of crime (Let's be honest, Ennis proved himself a Da Vinci of mayhem with that bit with the polar bears)!.

But as awesome as that run was, you know whose unique brand of vigilante justice and subversive intellectual content would trump ALL that has been said about the Punisher: FRANK MILLER! C'mon -- imagine the "rumored" megalomania of Frank Miller, running wild on the inner monologue of the one hero whose dark overtones unsheathe with merciless precision! He's the killer Batman would never be, the animal Wolverine abhors and on top of that, he's been shown to be the antithesis of all that Daredevil stands for! I'm calling it the greatest "challenge" of Miller's career!

Still, that's only half of the equation! Though Miller is MORE THAN a capable illustrator and visual storyteller, when he's forced into only articulating with words, HE truly seems challenged to have to work the story more -- but to pick up that visual "slack," I want to bring on the mastery of EDUARDO RISSO! His style is more line-centric than Miller's Sin City work, but he captures the drama of chiaroscuro equally as well! That added measure makes the work run a bit more smoothly and that makes the splash of CRAZY that will fill every page that much more AWESOME!!!

On the Horizon 4/11/11

Posted On Monday, April 11, 2011

Some times, you truly need to step back and regroup! After last week's post, I spent the week trying to figure out how to induce larger viewership, interest and all around "acclaim." I've reached out to some local people who DEFINITELY have a lock on their own marketing and PR to get some help and I'm SO GLAD I DID!

One of the first changes is that I will NO LONGER be posting the daily art exercises on this site. Wanting to gear this page more towards the publishing side of things, I think is a much better home (singularly)! Don't worry, if you enjoyed checking those out, I've included a link to the Deviant pg just over to the right!

I will be keeping both the "If I were EiC..." articles, as well as excerpts from the 8 Mins posts alive here, as they're much more editorially friendly.

There's an updated CALENDAR on the site, now featuring ALL of the scheduled appearances for V:IP, INCLUDING, the Columbus Metropolitan Library's Summer Reading Program, using the U Cre-8 Comics Line!!!

So, having said all that -- what's on the menu for this week?!

I've gotten back on the grind for drawing Omnibus #2 -- in fact, I recently shook a magic 8 Ball and IT said that I'll have the book finished by May -- so here's hoping its right! I'm trying to challenge myself artistically, sampling different processes to see which will work the best for me. I'm certainly not reinventing the wheel (this time), but trying to find that perfect fit of a process is both a little daunting and exciting all at once!

I'm going to be starting the plots for LAST FOUR installment of The Samaritan -- for those of you waiting with bated breath for chapters 2 and 3, your patience will SOON be rewarded!

I've got the outline completed for SPECTRUM, hopefully able to make an announcement for the cover artist SOON (SUPER-EXCITED ABOUT IT)!! Final plots will be hammered out this week along with the initial character designs.

Definitely have a big week ahead of us, with A LOT of work to do to get these books out! Wish me luck and KEEP CRE-8ING!!!


Posted On Sunday, April 10, 2011

I know I mentioned this just a few weeks ago, but with April being Child Abuse Awareness Month, I wanted to bring it up again! As the flier says, ALL the proceeds from our digital sales of The Samaritan #1 through will be donated to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children! The book is GREAT, the cause is BETTER!!! I can't think of a better way to spend a buck -- can you?!

The Dark Land Available 4/13/11!!!

The Dark Land
Writer: Andrew Salmon
Illustrator: Victor Dandridge
Cover Art: Mark Maddox
Publisher: Airstrip 27

The newest release from pulp-imprint, Airstrip 27, The Dark Land is NOW AVAILABLE! Written by Andrew Salmon and featuring spot illustrations by Victor Dandridge (ME!), The Dark Land is a crime-noir, sci-fi drama that follows C-Peter Reilly, a newly awakened cloned trying to find his footing in a world devastated by a series of natural disasters. Currently available for digital download, for only $3.00; hard copies will be available, April 13th, 2011 (Retail price $24.95)!

On The Horizon 4/4/11 (We Need a Resolution!)

Posted On Monday, April 4, 2011

I LOVE hanging out with my creator friends! Its a chance for us to catch up and see where life has taken us, what projects we're working on, how and with whom -- its a good way to escape the batcave and get some fresh air, once in a while. I implore EVERY CREATOR out there -- FIND SOME KINDRED SPIRITS! It can be an uplift and enlightening experience for all!!!

So, I'm post-Gem City Con, (which was a wonderful show, you should DEFINITELY put it in your rotation!) and I'm left with this feeling of...we'll call it "dissatisfaction." The feeling has NOTHING to do with the show itself, but more of a pointed realization: NO ONE KNOWS WHO WE ARE! At C2E2, the sheer immensity of the show and being so far from home, I had conceived it as an acceptable situation that few people walked up to my table already aware of what we had to showcase. I mean, let's be fair, this was a show where mainstream publishers made announcements for big events and announced new creators and I was just a little guy, sharing the same pool. But GC is a much more intimate, creator-friendly show AND only an hour away from our homebase of Columbus, OH, so that allowance just doesn't hold water!

I'm forced to go back to the drawing board and really look at what's going on here. Is it possible that we're not trying to reach the masses enough? Is it possible we just haven't figured out the right vehicle for mass promotion? I believe its quite possibly both! So, for this week, that will be the MAJOR challenge -- divining a proper Pre-Show/Post-Show promotional engine that will make V:IP a brand people look forward to finding and will continue to follow for years to come.
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