Archive for the Comics Category

The PNP Crew Q&A Series, #3: GRAEME JACKSON

The PNP Crew Q&A Series, #3: GRAEME JACKSON

BULLET GAL_US_trade comic collection_cover by Graeme JacksonHaving set ourselves a mission (of sorts) to raise the profile of the people we work with — both creators and admin — our next victim interviewee is Australian artist Graeme Jackson, the creator behind the sensational wraparoud cover for the Bullet Gal trade. He also currently works as artist and co-scripter on the upcoming Crash Soirée.

[BTW, if you missed #1 with PNP’s Galo Gutierrez you can check that out here, and the one with Matt Kyme here]

 

Who are you, and what do you do?

My name is Graeme Jackson, and I am an illustrator working primarily in Photoshop, utilising what I hope is a realist style.

I currently reside in Australia. To be more specific, I live in a suburb of Bendigo, approximately 180 kilometres north of Melbourne, known as Kangaroo Flat. Really — I kid you not. My partner Lyndall and I have two children, Hannah and Ethan. We also have a dog named Abbey who, on most days, is never more than three feet away from me. Those other days? She’s asleep in the next room. Safe to say, we’re kind’a close.

How did you become involved with Project-Nerd Publishing?                        

I’ve been lucky enough to be collaborating with Aussie expat Andrez Bergen on a comic called Crash Soirée for the past half-year. When Project-Nerd offered to publish his 12-issue Bullet Gal comic as a collected trade paperback, Andrez asked if I would be interested in providing a cover. I was. Bullet Gal’s a cracker.

Junie Bullet Gal article hi-resWhy are indie comics so damned important?

Lack of corporate oversight? [laughs] I’m serious, though. Indie comics, by their very nature, provide access to a range of ideas and styles never to be found in mainstream comics. Work that just wouldn’t fly if governed by the bottom line or any reticence regarding its acceptance by the majority. In indie comics, no one is watching over your shoulder and the gloves are off. Pure artistic vision. Sometimes the vision falls a little short, but it’s mostly propped up by the sincerity and passion of its creators.

Not only that, indie comics are where tomorrow’s talent refine their chops, and learn how to make good comics. Today’s comic superstars were indie not that long ago. Bendis? Rucka? They had stories to tell before the big two came calling.

Who are your favorite three comic book artists, and which titles of theirs are the best, so far as you’re concerned?

Ahh, the desert island question… Too many to narrow down to three. Kirby, Gibbons, Perez, Swan, Steranko, Adams (Arthur and Neal). All wonderful. Gary Chaloner was a revelation to my younger self. Huge fan of Steve Epting and Sean Phillips. I’ll always check out new stuff by Steve McNiven. Love me some Steve Dillon, Mike Mignola and Frank Quietly.

That’s not to mention the legion of talented men and women whose names I just can’t remember at the moment. In terms of personal influence? John Byrne, Bryan Hitch and Alex Ross. My apologies to those artists; it’s not their fault…

DC, Marvel, Image, Dynamite, Dark Horse, all of these — or something else?

A bit of everything really. At my core I’m a DC guy, but I can’t disregard the amazing run Marvel had through the ’60s to the ’80s. Fantastic characters, fantastic stories, and really ballsy work. Marvel, maybe by virtue of youth, showed readers what could happen in comics if characters were allowed to evolve. I wish they still did that.

Right now, I’m an Image reader, which is amazing to me. I was there when they formed and I read a lot of their initial… product. If you told me 20 years ago that one day, I’d hold Image up as the reason why I still read comics, I would have laughed my head off at you. But there it is.

Lazarus, Southern Bastards, Saga, Bitch Planet… Yummy. And so much more. Personally, I think Invincible is the greatest superhero title published in the last decade. It’s that good. I know Robert Kirkman doesn’t need the money, but I still encourage everyone to try it. It will remind you not only of why you love superheroes but, by extension, comics. Every time.

13055714_561659937349344_1635347955138465981_oWhat style/genre of comics do you prefer to read?

I’m generally up for anything. I know that sounds wishy-washy, but it really, I read everything I can, and only judge later. I truly love superheroes, and the heroic ideal, but as time passes I see less and less innovation within that genre. Maybe it’s my age, maybe it’s my need to have less dumb in my life (a never-ending battle), or maybe the market just isn’t the same for me any more.

I remember when Grant Morrison started a wee series called Animal Man in 1998. I was only 12, but it forever changed my reading. After that, the usual monthly fare seemed… diminished somehow.

Thank goodness for Karen Berger. She pretty much curated my ’90s library… These days? I’m a huge fan of espionage/spy fiction, so right now, Velvet is ticking all my boxes. I’ll always pick up anything Ed Brubaker thinks worthy of his time, and especially when Phillips or Epting are on board. I need more Criminal. I also love Saga — which, at a glance, wouldn’t normally be on my radar but I’ve learned that genres, by definition, are too divisive. I just want to read good comics, so I do. I’ve already mentioned a few. Invincible is my go-to book for super-heroics. Cracking good fun, and surprisingly poignant at times.

In terms of your creativity, which styles/genres do you prefer to work with?

I tend to work in a fully “painted” (it is digital after all) style. After a few years of working out how to use Photoshop, it’s the style I’m most comfortable with. It also hides a lot of my errors as an illustrator. I’m just not good enough to pencil and ink. I need to use tones and shape, rather than line, to depict what’s in my head. I’m still amazed by artists that can use just two values (black and white) to render an image. Mignola, Nowlan, Chaloner, Austin, Russell… I’m in awe. That confidence I have some doubts I’ll ever achieve. But really, I just love every stage of comic art, from script to colors. One day I hope to get one of them right.

11215727_223443367991665_2494244175411525755_nWhat is the most innovative, landmark comic book title (or graphic novel) in history — and why do you feel this way?

Historically or personally? I’ve read a lot of comics, and while I have to put Watchmen down as the best, it’s not necessarily my best. For myself, I’ll still say Animal Man. I never laughed as much, scratched my head so much, or generally had as good a time reading anything else (maybe Giffen’s Justice League). Really, it was only three years after Crisis and Morrison was already bringing the weight of the newly-jettisoned multiverse to bear on the DC Universe. Take that.

I also need to mention the Man Of Steel mini-series by John Byrne that pretty much cemented my love of not only Superman, but collecting in general. All of a sudden, my favourite hero was international news, and a bad-ass. And only two weeks between issues? Super-sweet.

Who is your all-time favorite comic book character? How did he/she/it achieve this status?

Superman. Can’t help it. The first and the best, at least in term of heroism. As a kid learning to read, watching the George Reeves [TV] series, then finding the comic in the local newsagent was a joy. Superman is just that pure kind of hero. Sure, it’s kind of hokey, but hokey in the best possible way. Even with all that power, he’s a hero, because that’s the best possible thing thing you can be. He actually likes humanity. What a fantastic motivation, unlike say, Batman or Spider-Man, who are motivated by vengeance and guilt. For me, it all boils down to the purpose of the hero, what it is he does at his core. Sure, Batman’ll find your fresh corpse, deduct the method of murder and find who did you in, but Superman don’t play that. With Superman, you don’t die. He saves your butt, winks, and makes everything OK. I like that.

Favorite non-comic book artist?

Drew Struzan, no question. You know the guy — he produced some of the most famous movie posters for the most popular franchises in cinema history. The Muppet movies, Indiana Jones and Star Wars, to mention just a few examples of his magic. I’m a child of the ’80s, which was almost a golden age of film poster illustration, before the industry decided that Photoshopped ones featuring fairly bland compositions were cheaper to produce and therefore preferable. I was exposed to and became a huge fan of his art long before I even knew his name. His work has arguably been seen by more people on the planet than any other artist, and most of it just looks cool as hell.

Why is a colorist important in comic books?

Mood, baby. A good colorist adds that extra layer of atmosphere to a page, while helping to separate the elements of the composition. Color plays a huge part in making that emotional connection with the readership.

Who’re your favorite three comic book writers, and why? Which titles of theirs are the best, so far as you’re concerned?

Alan Moore would probably be my favorite comic writer of all time. His impact in the 1980s is undisputed, and changed the way people thought about writing in comics. Watchmen, of course, is his most famous and acclaimed work, but before that on titles such as Miracleman, he was kicking serious tail. Even his more recent works such as his America’s Best Comics line, were a breath of fresh air. Top 10 made me laugh out loud every time I read it. Galactapuss…[snicker]. Other writers I enjoy immensely are early Grant Morrison (I’ve already mentioned that incredible Animal Man run) and Ed Brubaker. Robert Kirkman also deserves a nod for the always entertaining Invincible.

Self-portrait by the artist

Self-portrait by the artist

What are your creative plans for the future — what can we expect from you?

For now, I’m really enjoying working on Crash Soirée. I can’t wait for people to see it. I also get to fit in the odd cover or poster here and there, so that’s something that I’d like to continue.

If Netflix or the Syfy channel made a TV series of your latest comic book, which actors would you cast in the key roles?

Honestly? If Crash was made into a series, I’d love it to be an animated project, in the vein of Batman: The Animated Series. Not necessarily that style, but that mood and feel it had.

The future of comic books — what’s really going to happen in this industry?

I’ve seen some really interesting things done with Augmented Reality by Australian artist Sutu [Stu Campbell], which absolutely takes my breath away. These aren’t comics you read, rather they are experienced. Ground-breaking stuff, and I urge everybody to check them out.

I sometimes worry that comics are going to price themselves out of existence, and wish that the big publishers were using digital distribution and the inherent cost saving as a means of building readership. Remember the old days when comics were 60 cents? Nowadays, you need a second mortgage to keep up with the big publishers. You can’t tell me that a book you no longer need to print or distribute should cost the same as a physical copy. It’s ludicrous. Unfortunately, they still seem content to grab as much cash as they can from as few people as they can. I don’t get it. I’d rather have 100 people give me a dollar, than 10 people giving me five. Make them cheaper, and get them into the hands of as many people as you can. It also kind of annoys me that the strength of the most powerful man in comics comes not from a pencil, brush or word process, but comes from his trucks. I was kind’a hoping that digital distribution would destroy that existing structure. Alas, no luck so far.

I dunno… I honestly have no idea, but I’m sure that comics will always be around in some form. There’s a certain purity in telling a story in this most direct, undiluted way. Just words and pictures on a page. Magic. And anyone can have a crack at it.

What’s the freshest, greatest comic book title this year?

I’m still enjoying the heck out of Invincible. It has managed to evolve and change over the course of the last decade, without ever feeling the need to return to some stagnant status quo. Unlike nearly everything else on the rack, Invincible still manages to delight and suprise me nearly every issue. To maintain that level of quality for 120-plus issues is a remarkable feat.

Who’s your favorite non-comic book writer, and why? Which book of his/hers is the best, so far as you’re concerned?

Again, far too many to whittle down to a single writer. I enjoy such a range of styles and genres that it’s impossible to pick a favorite. I can easily go from Cormac McCarthy to Lee Child, and on into John Grisham during the course of a week — with a bit of LeCarre and Ludlum thrown in for flavor. Recently, I’ve been reading a bit of Don Westlake’s Parker novels, and enjoying them immensely.

 

Bullet Gal — the Comic Series — Gets the Novel Treatment

Bullet Gal — the Comic Series — Gets the Novel Treatment
BG to BGWe just heard from Andrez Bergen, the writer/artist behind PNP titles Tobacco-Stained Mountain Goat and Bullet Gal, that the latter — which we recently optioned and released as a trade paperback collection of all 12 critically-applauded issues — has been novelized by Andrez… and accepted for publication through U.K. publisher Roundfire Books later this year.

That’s right: Bullet Gal, an innovative noir/crime/sci-fi journey, will come out minus the pictures.

Comics converted into movies is dime-a-dozen, but taking a 12-issue comic book run and making it into a novel is a little unusual — what a great step to see! We will keep you informed.

Meanwhile, go check out the original 250-page graphic TPB via our store, with an original cover by Graeme Jackson.

The PNP Crew Q&A Series, #2: MATT KYME

The PNP Crew Q&A Series, #2: MATT KYME

As mentioned on the weekend, over the next few weeks we here at Project-Nerd Publishing have set ourselves a mission (of sorts): to raise the profile of the people we work with, both creators and admin — and to address any questions you might have about our directions, interests, goals, home-truths, influences, ideas, and not-so-hidden agendas!

Next cab off the rank is Australian artist/writer Matt Kyme, the man behind That Bulletproof Kid.

[BTW, if you missed #1 with PNP’s Galo Gutierrez, you can check that out here.]

 

That Bulletproof Kid version 1Who are you, and what do you do?

Matt Kyme here, a comic book writer from Melbourne, in Australia. I’m probably best known for my superhero series That Bulletproof Kid, but I’ve worked on numerous other titles including Tales To Admonish, Gaining Velocity, Carmen and Decay.

I have a reputation for being very productive and prolific. I am ambitious and I want to make great comics. I aim to make my characters and dialogue seem genuine and realistic. I weave important issues into the subplots involving the lead and supporting cast such as bullying and harassment, self-esteem and body issues, family breakdown and a plethora of other common concerns but balance them against world shaking superhero action and diabolical villains. My stories range from grounded realism to way out fantasy. I delve into the rich history of comics and literature but aim to be progressive.

Other than writing I have some experience with various art forms, most notably oil painting, drawing, printmaking, ceramics and sculpture. I have exhibited paintings, drawing and sculptures. I studied Art at University and have a decent knowledge of art history and I remain interested in modern art.

How did you become involved with Project-Nerd Publishing?

I’m immensely proud to be associated with Project-Nerd Publishing. I was very fortunate to have had some terrific supporters in the U.S., including the charming Mr. Galo Ramiro Gutierrez, who invited me to submit That Bulletproof Kid for consideration. I was equally lucky that the big boss — Iggy Michniacki — saw something in it that he liked… and the rest is history.

Tales to Admonish_Vol 1_cover_IF COMMIXWhy are indie comics so damned important?

Because they are made with blood sweat and tears. They are created by people who feel compelled to make them and don’t have the resources and backing of major companies. Indie comics often don’t make money, but the creators persist because they feel duty bound to continue – their stories are so important to them they must be told. That’s how it is with That Bulletproof Kid. Nobody interferes with the direction of the comic, it’s not controlled by a board room full of suits who have data from focus groups. If Indie comics do make money, it goes into the creation of the next project, it doesn’t fine the pockets of some CEO.

Who are your favorite comic book artists?

This answer is probably based on sentimentality more than the artists’ ability, but here we go: Rick Leonardi, Norm Breyfogle, Frank Quitely, Jim Lee, JR JR, Frank Miller, Hans Lindahl, Greg Capullo, Dave Johnson, Chris Samnee, Becky Cloonan, Travis Charest, Cliff Chiang, Ryan Ottley, Mike Allred, Jamie McKelvie, Stanley Artgerm Lau, Adam Warren, Phil Noto, Sami Basri, Will Eisner, Jack Kirby and Ray Moore. Plus more. There are so many more.

What style/genre of comics do you prefer to read?

That Bulletproof Kid version 2Superhero is my favourite. Why? Who knows. I don’t like violent or gory horror comics, or anything that looks smutty or sexist. I like good old fashioned ‘white hat’ superheroes. I read a lot of different stuff and enjoy a lot of different types of comics and genres. I guess it’s like music. Open-minded people can appreciate a wide range of music genres and it’s the same with comics. My personal preference is superheroes. I know they are daggy and old fashioned now — but whatever.

What is the most innovative, landmark comic book title (or graphic novel) in history? Why do you feel this way?

It’s a huge cliché but you can’t understate the importance of Maus, The Dark Knight Returns and Watchmen. It’s just a fact that these three comics are giants in the field. They had a huge impact on comics and on the market, as they helped usher in the age of graphic novels and trades which resulted in new readers investigating the medium. What’s unfortunate is that their impact on the comic industry wasn’t necessarily good — as grim and gritty became the flavour of the next few decades. There are lots of comics that have made an important impact such as Lone Wolf and Cub, The Walking Dead, The Spirit, Promethia, Blankets, Love and Rockets, Sandman and All Star Superman. Lots more.

Who is your all-time favorite comic book character — and how did he/she/it achieve this status?

Matt (left) with Paul Bedford—creator of 'The List'

Matt (left) with Paul Bedford—creator of ‘The List’

The Phantom. The original and the best. When I was a kid, I had some Asterix, Tintin, Peanuts and Footrot Flats comics. Even some Donald Duck. But it was The Phantom that really grabbed me and dragged me into comics. Go out and read the original 1930s stories by Falk and Moore.

Who’s your favorite non-comic book writer, and why? Which book of his/hers is the best, so far as you’re concerned?

I find it impossible to pick a favourite, so here is a short list: Hemmingway, Fitzgerald, Salinger, Harper Lee, Wyndham, Steinbeck, Angelou. Why? Find out for yourselves. You won’t be disappointed.

 

‘Blue Moon’ Graphic Novel Announced

'Blue Moon' Graphic Novel Announced

Denver, CO – December 14, 2015 Project-Nerd Publishing is pleased to announce the release of its first Graphic Novel, Blue Moon.

“Growing up is never easy, because it’s about making choices. Who you want to be, what to leave behind. But for Tim it’s an impossible choice. Because of  her. His best  friend. The only one who really knows, truly understands him. The one only he sees and hears. He can’t let go of her. And she won’t let him.”

Written and drawn by Ben Gilboa, Blue Moon is a psychological horror story about growing up and making choices. Following the main character Tim, the 100-page story tells a non-traditional comic tale with a haunting arc and climactic finish that is accompanied by amazing and stylized black-and-white artwork.

“Ben’s story tackles a new topic you don’t see in traditional comics,” commented Iggy Michniacki, Project-Nerd Publishing Founder & CEO. “This is unlike anything else we’re publishing or even reading.”

Blue Moon is set to be released digitally in January on the Project-Nerd Publishing Shop, with additional outlets soon to follow. The goal is to have the title available in print, both as a standard trade paperback and a deluxe collector’s edition by May.

For more on Blue Moon and the many other amazing titles available through Project-Nerd Publishing, visit pnpublishing.com.

About Project-Nerd Publishing
Founded in 2015, Project-Nerd Publishing is Project-Nerd, LLC’s newest division offering original and independent comic books and geek literature. The division was founded with the intention to move the company from simply covering and reviewing comics and books to actually creating and publishing their own while maintaining a balanced focus on both fans and creators.

About Project-Nerd, LLC
Housing Project-Nerd, Project-Nerd Productions, the ProNerd Gear product line, Project Cosplay, and now Project-Nerd Publishing, Project-Nerd, LLC is a geek and entertainment company founded by Iggy Michniacki. The brand reaches millions of people through online entertainment, both shared and original, as well as in-person events and the company’s products. Project-Nerd’s focus includes cosplay, comics, movies, gaming, books, as well as everything and anything else geeky.

Web Store Now Open

Web Store Now Open

A few months back we announced our exciting new division, Project-Nerd Publishing. With this new adventure Project-Nerd is now your source for comic books and geek literature, including Barrens which is currently on Kickstarter.

But besides the Barrens #1 Kickstarter, we are celebrating Small Business Day and Local Comic Shop Day by launching the brand new Project-Nerd Publishing Store, featuring four awesome titles ready for preorder.

Today is the first day that you can order Tobacco-Stained Mountain Goat #1 from Andrew Bergen and Radiation Day #1 in full-color from Brett Jones and Chris Yarbrough. They join Barrens #1 and That Bulletproof Kid #1, all available for pre-order on the webstore.

PNP-Store-Screenshot

Head on over to the store, and just for this weekend (November 28th and 29th) you can get an extra 10% off by using the code PRONERD10.

SHOP NOW