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TTwL SPOTLIGHT: Victor Dandridge

Posted On Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Name: Victor Dandridge (Writer of The Trouble w/Love)

Age: 30

Base of Operations: Columbus, OH

Top 5 Writing Influences: Chuck Palanihuk, Kevin Smith,
Quentin Tarantino, Stan Lee and Mark Millar

Weapon of Choice: My keyboard -- I'm a surgeon, cutting to the soul, with that thing!

About this project: What makes The Trouble w/Love so special to me is that it's a bit of a confession -- I "was" Apex Prime.  A few years ago, though married and with a loving family, I fell in love with someone else.  It was a VERY trying experience, for all involved, but one that I'm truly thankful for going through.  I'm especially thankful for the women I went through with it, both on the good and bad side of things.  They mean more to me than most COULD understand and while life has taken us on a myriad of ups and downs, they will be the shining light in my heart until the end of all things.

Best experience at a convention: NYCC last year -- it was the cap to my first year as a self-publisher.  I kicked off my making comics full time with going to NYCC in 2010, so to return a year later, not only as an exhibitor, but also a panelist, was a crowning achievement to what I had done in that first year.

If the zombie apocalypse started tomorrow, what are your must haves: Me, Her, She and Them...everything else we'll get along the way.

What book made you want to make comics: That's hard to say...I've wanted to for SO LONG, I can't quite remember if there was ONE particular book that put the bug in me.  But I can say my favorite comic book moment -- that which I hope to create in someone else one day, is Avengers #22 (vol 3) -- where Thor delivers the line, "Ultron, we would have words with thee."  One of the coolest 7 word exchanges EVER.  


Posted On Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Name: Harold Edge (Illustrator on The Trouble w/Love)

Age: 34

Base of Operations: Yonkers N.Y.

Top 5 Art Influences: Koji Morimoto, Jason Pearson,
Andrew Robinson, Claire Wendling
Yoshiyuki Sadamoto, 

Weapon of Choice (take how you will): My highly active visual imagination.  It's hard not to see things happening in my minds eye... 

If you had to sum up our project together, what would you say:
This Project has been a growing process in the literal sense. It allowed me to see how far I've come as an artist.  This as got to be one of my favorite scripts I've worked on thus far. 

Best experience at a convention:
There's two actually. The first just occurred this past year when I met Jason Pearson who is my favorite American comic book artist. The second would have to be watching Adam Hughs using an eraser just as much as I do.   

If the zombie apocalypse started tomorrow, what are your must haves:
Weapons that don't need to be reloaded. My car with a full tank of gas and my wife at my side. Uninfected of course...

What book/artist made you want to draw comics:
I have to say it's the third issue of Body bags by Jason Pearson. When I opened that issue up I was about to stop drawing all together because I felt like there was nothing I had to add to the art form. When I saw how much movement and emotion Jason Pearson put onto a page it made me want to create.  I've been doing ever since...  

-- Though we started working together on this project in Feb '11 (I think), I only met Harold in person this past Oct at the New York Comic Con.  I have to admit near idol worship of his art skills (I would be the creative Stan to his Jack) and an IMMEDIATE friendship. He is the epitome of cool, a stellar talent and truly earmarked for successed!  You can check his art regularly on the hit webcomic series, Dynagirl (Red-Handed Studios), follow him on or his Blu Lines art-blog.  Or be like me and stalk all three!  

-- Victor

PRE-ORDER The Trouble w/Love!!!

Posted On Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Thanks to EVERYONE who purchased their copies -- your support warms my heart to the FULLEST!
Didn't pre-order?!  That's okay, you still get your copy NEXT WEDNESDAY (July 25th)!

ANNOUNCING: For the next 32 HOURS, pre-order your copy of The Trouble w/Love -- the NEWEST RELEASE from Vantage:Inhouse Productions!

The Trouble w/Love: Apex Prime, one of the GREATEST heroes of Earth, had a wife and a family...and then he fell in love.  Now, he must explain how truly human he is to the one person who should know it best -- his own son.

The Trouble w/Love
Written by: Victor Dandridge
Art by: Harold Edge
Colors by: Ryan Carter
Full Color/ 32pgs 
Pre-order: $5.00 (+$3 for shipping)


TTw/L Variant Cover A
TTw/L Variant Cover B

The Trouble w/Love Spotlight: The Ladies!

I've likened The Trouble w/Love to Marvel's Spider-man:Blue (Loeb/Sale), one of my FAVORITE comic series of the last 20yrs, because of its almost BRUTAL handling of life's most precious commodity -- LOVE!  Love doesn't just "work" -- it's a lesson I've learned first hand; you need to be ever vigilant and thoughtful to make love work for you the best you can.  But sometimes, it CAN and DOES get away from you!  What I find most interesting, at least comparing the two, is that Spidey:Blue looks at love in absence and TTw/L focuses on love in abundance.  Both can drive  you to ruin, quite honestly, but only one is considered socially acceptable (or even possible).

In either case, it requires VERY strong romantic counterparts to the hero in question.  Though they play "only" ancillary roles, we tried to make that the case with both Melissa and Angie in The Trouble w/Love.  Unfortunately, there's not a lot of characterization played out for either (Melissa getting the shortest end of the stick -- but then again...not quite), but each had to have their own dynamics, which I think Harold captured PERFECTLY!

There are personal pieces written into each one, the kind I will reveal in a later post; representations of two VERY IMPORTANT women in my own life.  I hope I've captured enough of both to showcase how special they are to me -- this book being a love letter to each in it's own special way...

The Trouble w/Love Spotlight: John Smith

Posted On Thursday, July 12, 2012

Character Designs by Harold Edge
The beginnings of a "supervillain"...?
The elevator pitch  for The Trouble w/Love  has always been "The World's Greatest super-human has to explain how truly he human he is to the one person who should know it best -- his own son."  

What we've created in John a near PERFECT antagonist!   He's basically Superboy, but with a sincere axe to grind against his old man -- that's a big ball of 18yr old angst and rage, tucked into a steely frame!  So there's a physical threat, though Apex Prime is certainly stronger, but that leveled out by the emotional threat he represents!  While Omniman (Image Comics) proved capable of giving his son, Invincible, a world-shattering beating, AP seems SIGNIFICANTLY LESS capable of following suit.

But beyond both of those attributes, John's greatest weapon -- is that he's RIGHT!  There are few things as cool as villains with a point -- except for maybe a villain with a point you AGREE WITH!  And believe me, John's got QUITE the point to be much so that Apex Prime agrees!

I absolutely LOVE what Harold did with John's design -- he added such personality to his characterization!  It's the stretched earlobes that do it -- there's something specific about it -- like we're grounded in modern-day culture.  Something that makes the story a bit more tangible.  He just might be my favorite character of the entire book!

Such wanton DESTRUCTION...or is there something else going on here...?

TTw/L Spot Light: APEX PRIME

Posted On Monday, July 9, 2012

Harold's Apex Prime designs
Man, trying to create a NEW analog of the Superman archetype has got to be akin to reinventing the wheel.  What hasn't been done, since the Big "S" first donned the page some seventy-five years ago is certainly sparse and I had to exercise quite a bit of creative muscle to get this one to take shape.  Luckily, I have an artist worth more than his weight in gold to help me out!

Harold's work on Fallen Justice (Red-Handed Studios), which features its own Superman nod in Justice Theta, made him THE CHOICE for fleshing out Apex Prime in the The Trouble w/Love...and here you can see why!  Together, we've built a hero who can proudly stand among the ranks of the "inspired-by," but one that stands out from just being one of the guys!

Apex Prime in action
We employed a different color-scheme -- making the true blue and red aspects of Superman's costume only accents to the stark white.  It's a bold design, leaving A LOT of open space and creating a very clean silhouette -- no belt or trunks (like the original Supreme design).  One of my favorite parts of the design is the 3/4s sleeve that gives way to the over-sized gloves -- they're somewhat gaudy -- like the over-designed ideas from the 90s, but I  that specific time period holds a special place in my heart!  

One of my favorite images!

Since this is more of a love story, there aren't many places to show off Prime's powers, but we kept them pretty standard for the Superman base: strength, speed, flight, "heat vision" and super-breath.  I think you'll all get a kick out of the use of the BLAZER SIGHT in just the opening pages!  I hope you enjoyed this quick look at Apex Prime and look forward to hearing of his LOVELY exploits later this month in The Trouble w/Love (July 25th!!)
This is one of the first colored pieces showcasing Prime's color scheme!

It's International Kissing Day!

Posted On Friday, July 6, 2012

In honor of International Kissing Day, we're showcasing a SNEAK PANEL from The Trouble w/Love, featuring the KISS HEARD 'ROUND THE WORLD! Wanna know more -- Get your copy of TTwL July 25th from Vantage:Inhouse Productions!!

Art by Harold Edge and Ryan Carter

What is Love...?

Posted On Monday, July 2, 2012

The Trouble w/Love celebration continues!  Featured in the inaugural issue of On the Horizon, here is the initial pitch for TTw/L*:

An Affair to Remember

     There's something intimidating about Superman.  Sure, he's a physical phenom, with a classically athletic build, able to carry the weight of the world and ore, but that's not it.  It's not JUST the powers either, which render him impervious to harm, able to see the stars up close and fly amongst them.  Much more, namely, his staunch moral code -- a set of values that have remained wholly unaltered for most of his storied seventy-plus years.  He believes in the greater good: the decency in all human beings; the unshakable merit of honesty and the inherent justice with which the universe operates -- and he's pledged himself to uphold its value to near perfect execution.
     The "do-good" nature of our oldest and most world-renowned superhero has been said to be too obtuse in our modern society.  With our interpretation of moral values and ethical codes of conduct, his attitude towards truth, justice and the American way, come off as archaic; an antiquated platitude from a time go by, that today's readers can't relate.  In essence, that which has defined him as the penultimate hero, setting him apart from the THOUSANDS of heroes who've followed in his wake, has now set him apart from US as well.

     What we've shown, time and again, is a favoring of a super-man who's willing to get a little rough; act a little dirty and cross a line or two.  We've molded the archetype, starting first with the ambiguous "vigilante," -- a person who takes up their own effort to fight crime and tyranny -- then taking that to the rather prolific form of the "anti-hero" -- a figure whose mannerisms are FAR from righteous, but guided by a deep sense of justice and good intention.  We do REQUIRE that socially acceptable goal to be the light at the end of the tunnel.  Sure you may maim, you may torture and you might even KILL a villain or two, but it's all in pursuit of creating a better world than the one that's made you.  
     Our need to do what's right is a vestige of our own humanity...or specifically, a counteraction to it.  Though we've admittedly strayed from the level that Superman maintains, we do aim for some sense of righteousness to compete with the character flaws we've come to accept as being "human."  As a civilized society, we've held certain mores in the highest regard; social linchpins that keep us from descending into TOTAL hedonistic chaos...things like life, freedom and love.  But, is it possible for a HERO to defy those unalienable precepts?  Can they choose a path that doesn't coincide with our idea of the greater good and STILL maintain their heroic status?  
     In The Trouble w/Love, I explore that notion through the backdrop of infidelity -- one of the few social aberrations to exist.  In this series, the main character, Apex Prime (himself a Superman analog), during his exploits of saving the world, managed to settle down, marry and start a family.  And after a few years of this life, after being set on the path that should last him to the end of his days, he falls in love...with someone else.  What of his role as a hero?  What of his family?  People struggle with the bonds of love all the time, why should a super-man be exempt?

*Edited slightly for clarity!

July is The Trouble w/ Love Month!

Posted On Sunday, July 1, 2012

Promo cover for TTw/L
After a little more than a year of production, the HIGHLY ANTICIPATED graphic novella, The Trouble w/Love is FINALLY READY -- to celebrate, July is OFFICIALLY The Trouble w/Love (TTw/L) month here at Vantage:Inhouse!

As you can see, we've already updated our website in honor of the occasion and here, we'll be bringing you sneak peeks and behind-the-scenes info, while the V:IP Facebook page will feature forum topics and special promotions, all leading up to the series' JULY 25TH release!

Get the inside scoop on one of the BEST indie titles OF THE YEAR!


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