Just three weeks young and already 2015 has been a breakout year.
Hours into its first day, saw the release of my first strip in the Columbus Alive’s Sketch in the City series, a highlight for local cartoonists and creators operating in central Ohio (Thanks to Ken Eppstein of Nix Comics for curating!!). My first solo sequential work in some time, Any Which Way But Snewz, allowed me to flex some creative muscles I wasn’t sure I had anymore. But finishing the work -- and two weeks ahead of schedule at that -- has boosted my confidence tenfold, with the promise of seeing more work from my mind and hands in the very near future.
I followed that up with a return to the classroom. A guest instructor at Marburn Academy, my charge was in taking students through the creative process of creating a page of “original” content. Using fan-fiction as the source, over two weeks, we talked about narrative structure, broke down storytelling tactics and illustration, with a 100% completion of the project from each participant, including staff! A showcase is scheduled with Comic Town, one of my favorite local comic shops (and home of Black, White and Read All Over!) at the end of the month.
And then there’s “8 Bit Guy No More.” With the convention season already started, I’m putting my words to the test, shining the spotlight on the established line of comic book titles through my imprint, Vantage:Inhouse Productions, instead of the pixelized artwork I’ve become known for. My first appearance of the year, Wizard World New Orleans, was an PHENOMENAL -- proving more than anything that now is the right time for me to make this transition, embracing its challenges with open arms!
With all this, new books and projects currently in production, I can truly say 2015 is shaping up to be something special for me and V:IP. But with what I’m about to announce, you could easily say I was just getting started...
WIZARD WORLD COMIC CON IS PARTNERING WITH VANTAGE:INHOUSE PRODUCTIONS TO DISTRIBUTE U CRE-8 COMICS!!
In a deal brokered over the holidays, Wizard World will feature a custom piece of my U Cre-8 Comics line, through their Kids Day events. U Cre-8 Comics, a series of projects and programs designed to bridge comics with classroom fundamentals, has been a fan-favorite panel of the Wizard World circuit since 2013. With this partnership, thousands of young creators will be given a chance to create their own comic book characters; inspiring them to not only consider being comic readers, but creators as well!
Over the remainder of the 2015 convention season, attendees, ages 10 and under, will receive a complimentary U Cre-8 Comics Character Crafter postcard when they check in (while supplies last). Through the Character Crafter postcard, an abridged version of the workbook of the same name, they’ll be able to create their own, custom comic book character. Designing everything from power sets and costumes, we’re giving a new generation of creators some initial tools to go from being comic book fans to creators in their own right.
The Cre-8-ivity begins this weekend, January 23-25, at Wizard World Portland (Oregon Convention Center)! Remember, children 10 and under are FREE when accompanied by a paying adult (limit two per admission). Learn more about U Cre-8 Comics at www.ucre8comics.com and keep following Vantage:Inhouse Productions (www.vantageinhouse.blogspot.com) for our growing line of comics and other projects!
The UnConventional BIG Picture:
Vantage:Inhouse Productions is admittedly small-press, but far from small thinking. I’ve aimed to affect the comic book industry in a meaningful way, despite my apparent lack of size, finance or notoriety. And its working! You too can find a way to make an impact on this medium we love -- you just have to be diligent and dedicated to your own goals. It’s YOUR responsibility to make your own way. Along the way, you may find some assists from like-minded allies -- but consider that an added bonus, not a crutch to rely on. You can do it. Believe me.
Corporate comic conventions are NOT your enemy. Shallow thinking and self-imposed limitations are. If you feel the focus isn’t on the medium as it should be or that there isn’t enough effort to promote it, do what YOU can to shine that spotlight. No more excuses or finger wagging. Trust and believe that they DO love comics just as much as we do, but they’re a business and they have their own needs to fulfill. Try adjusting your perspective and see what you can do for THEM, instead of looking at what they owe you...because all they owe is getting people in the door. And they tend to do that pretty well and by the tens of thousands.
I can’t stress this enough -- BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE. It’s your job!!! You can’t just wait for the change to come; you can’t ask anyone else to step up where you won’t. We have the immense power of creativity in our hands and we all know what comes with great power...