Tuesday Kickstarter – Merrick – The Gambler’s Cards

Morning all,

This week I would like to share a new Kickstarter that I came across. If you are unsure if you want to support the project, the creators have offered their first issue for free online.

All the best,

N.S. Paul

Monday Review – Baltimore TPB Vol. 1 – Vol. 4

Good morning,

I recently binge read the first four volumes of this series created by Mike Mignola and Christopher Golden, with art by Ben Stenbeck. Baltimore follows the story of Lord Henry Baltimore and his hunt for the vampire that killed his family in years surrounding World War 1.

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Story

The first four volumes of Baltimore (Vol. 1 The Plague Ships, Vol. 2 The Curse Bells, Vol. 3 A Passing Stranger and Other Stories and Vol. 4 Chapel of Bones), follows the titular characters hunt for the vampire that he met in the trenches during his time in the Great War. The plot is an alternative history story that follows a new plague that causes most soldiers to desert to spend time with their families before people all fall victim to this supernatural illness.

Writing

The writing of Baltimore is very much like Mignola’s other work were there are lots of allusions to Lovecraft and Poe whilst putting a twist on the usual vampire stories we are so prone to seeing in the media nowadays. However unlike his previous works, Baltimore was originally an illustrated novel that was co-written by Golden.

I have also come to quite appreciate Mignola’s oft sparse writing style against Bendis who I have personally come to find reading difficult due to the shear amount of dialogue he places in his panels. With Bendis I often find myself skimming his writing just to get to the important pieces of information. In fact in the first TPB of Baltimore there is six or seven pages were there is no dialogue and the art paints the story which was really nice to ‘read’.

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Art

Stenbeck’s art is beautiful. Not much I can say about it. It feels very much a Mignola story. The interpretations of how the monsters look seem like they have come straight out of Mignola’s subconscious. It clear, the characters are distinctively different allowing me not to have to guess who I am looking at and overall it just works. I can’t fault it.

Colouring

So the colouring is one of the reasons you know your reading a Mignola book. Dave Stewart is on colouring duties as he has been doing for years now with Mignola on the Hellboy universe. And the very stark contrast with one colour backgrounds and use of blacks really makes the story feel dark and scary.

btcb3p4Lettering

I’ve talked about Clem Robins in a previous blog and once again he really makes his mark.

Conclusion

This was a great read and I would recommend you pick up the first four volumes if you fancy reading a horror story set during the Great War.

Regards,

N.S. Paul

Friday comic – Woodlife

Good morning,

This Friday I bring you a another one page short that I am working on for the Reddit Collab group. The theme this week was ‘the wood’.

Download the script here.

Regards,

N.S. Paul

Wednesday Support – Why You Should Letter Your Comics – Carman Kay

This post is a repost of another blogger I came across in my searches for resources for aspiring comic artists. Please enjoy and check out Carman Kay’s website here.

Out of everything I have been passively practicing on in my recent comics, I have not thoroughly garnered such a sense of love for this until just recently. And that is: the awesomeness of Lettering. Lettering comics nowadays, especially in webcomics isn’t as common as it used to be with the fact that it’s a […]

via Why You Should Letter Your Comics — Carman Kay

Monday Review – Comic Review: These Bombshells are THE Bomb!

This post comes from another blog that I came across when I was recently suggested some female comic writers from a Twitter dialogue I had with author Jim Zub. This blog post covers one of those authors I introduced to and thought I would share. You can check out the original posters blog here.

by Jennifer If you read my article a couple of weeks ago, you might remember that I’m a former comic book girl looking to get back into the genre after a kid-induced hiatus. The prospect of finding new books to read has been daunting since most of what I enjoyed back in the day is […]

via Comic Review: These Bombshells are THE Bomb! —

Friday Comic – Minos in The Banshee of Donegal (Script)

Good morning folks,

So the following script was one my earlier attempts at writing a short comic. This was originally designed to be a one off five page short to introduce the titular character and the universe in which he lives in.

The script then developed into a trilogy of stories following Minos, a very old mercenary minotaur and his travels in Ireland. It is my hope to revisit this title after Resurrection Men.

Check out the script here.

Regards,

N. S. Paul

Wednesday Night – Why I blog

Evening all,

I was recently asked by a computer of all things, why I blog. So I thought I would share with you all my vision for this website and why I blog.

I am aspiring to be a comic writer. Writing a blog is a means to an end.

  1. It helps me develop my craft.
  2. It’s an outlet to meet other creative minded types.
  3. I like sharing resources and guides that have been shared with me or that I have come across.
  4. And It raises my own profile as a writer.

I know that on my site I also mention that this blog is also about my musical side which is something that I’ve been doing for over 15 years. So this site will host another aspect that I wish to share with people. The reasons;

  1. It encourages me to compose for new mediums out width of popular music.
  2. It gets me to develop my musical ability full stop.

So were do I see this blog going? Well I thought I would put some measurable targets for my career in comics. I hope to revisit these when I get to these milestones but this will shoe you were I want to go. So here we go;

  1. 12 months from the completion of this post I will have one finished 22 page comic of Resurrection Men available to the viewing public on this site that will be released one page at a time over the course of 22 weeks. I hope to have lettered the comic myself.
  2. 24 months after this blog post I hope to have at least two issues completed  of Resurrection Men available to view online and maybe consider running a kickstarter where I will get the remaining two issues of the series drawn up and hopefully have people who would like to purchase a trade paperback of all four issues. I hope to have lettered my comic again but also offer my services to other creators.
  3. 36 months after this blog post I hope to have four issues of my comic Resurrection Men published digitally (for free through my website), have run a successful Kickstarter campaign that allows supporters of my project to be able to buy a trade paperback of the series and have started a new second series and also have enough money saved/earned through my own savings and hopefully through Kickstarter to pay for the next issue of the new series. I would also like to share my work at the London Comic Con if I’m still based in East England. The idea being that the previous Kickstarter will fund the next. I should point that I intend to finance my first series of four issues from my own savings.

So yeah there we have it. Hopefully, this will show you were I see this is going.

Regards,

N.S. Paul

Wednesday Support – Breaking into Comics and Others

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Good morning,

This weeks support comes from many different threads and web searching. I remember when I started writing seriously and I found it difficult to find concise help and information so I do hope this Wednesday blog does that. Thanks for all those that have submitted or shared links.

The first is an article about breaking into the comics industry by Dark Horse Editor Jim Gibbons.

Breaking into Comics by Jim Gibbons

The next link comes from Fred Van Lente who has create a really cool info graph about common errors new writers make. Would recommend you check it out.

The top 5 mistakes people make when creating comics by Fred Van Lente

The next link has to do with writers learning to appreciate their artist collaborators which I think is oft over looked when you are new to comics.

The reality of drawing by John Chalos

Sticking with the theme of today, I though this was a great little comic about breaking into the industry by C. Spike Trotman.

This is Everything I I Know by C. Spike Trotman.

Writers, don’t be like this.

Illustrations of the People Who Want You to Work For Free by BOOOOOOOM.

The real cost for paying someone to work on your comic.

Scott Snyder Makes More on Wytches than Batman – The Price of Working in Comic Books by Rich Johnston.

The last post today comes from Charles Soule and Jim Zub.

So you Wanna Write Comics? by Patrick Dane.

All the best,

N. S. Paul

Monday Review – B.P.R.D. Vol. 14 – The Exorcist

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Bassed in the general Hellboy universe, B.P.R.D. Vol. 14 – The Exorcist is a standalone read that collects the aforementioned three issue short as well as issues #140 to #142 of B.P.R.D. – Hell on Earth. Ashley Strode, our protagonist and recent new player to the Helloverse (till I can think of a better name) finds herself over her head as she goes from green recruit to seasoned exorcist pro.

Story

*Minor spoiler ahead*.

I have a confession, I am avid lover of everything to do with Hellboy and its expanded universe. In fact I say its one of my biggest influences in my own creative writing. This collection is a classic tale from the Helloverse (is it sticking yet?) which see’s Ashley Strode, a minor named character from a previous story, get the limelight. The story itself is enjoyable as a standalone read and you do not need to have read any other material to fully enjoy this book though it will make you want to read more of Mignola’s Helloverse. Written by Mike Mignola, Cameron Stewart and Chris Roberson and illustrated Mike Nortan, The Exorcist is a great volume that everyone should read.

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The story had an excellent sense of pace and I was loath to put it down when I had other house things to do. Ideas like having a spiritual sword, whilst not a new one, fits very nicely into the physical and spiritual conflicts Ashley finds herself in. Or even taking the classic haunted house idea and giving it a new lick of paint works wonders here.

Art

The artwork is very much like the other art that has been seen in B.P.R.D. even though Mike Norton is not the usual B.P.R.D. artist. I do have to praise Nortan for unlike John Arcudi whose art can be difficult to follow sometimes (don’t get me wrong I love it), Nortan has fused the best styles of Mignola and Arcudi and given us a very clear and concise visual storytelling that suits the overall Helloverse.

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Another thing I quite liked about Norton’s style was that the panels all had this, almost corrupted edging which I thought could be interrupted to show the edging of the demonic world onto the material human plane. Of course I could be reading more into it than is actually there.

Colouring

The colouring by veteran B.P.R.D. Dave Stewart was excellent and regardless of the shifting art styles the consistency in the colouring does make it feel like it is a Helloverse comic. Really makes want to try colouring myself as it does really add so much to a comic.

Lettering

The lettering was neatly done by Clem Robins and I was surprised and how large the lettering was. I have become increasingly aware of how little dialogue there is in a comic unless you are Brian Michael Bendis (go ahead, have a look, the blog will still be here). It does make the letterers job much more important as too much dialogue can cloud the art.

I also really liked how Robins uses ineligible writing to suggest alien languages or characters communing with something dark and terraible. Robins, like Stewart, has been a long term contributor to the Helloverse and his specific approach to lettering again gives consistency to the different writers and artists.

 

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Side note, I am really surprised by the lack of followers Robins has on his twitter account. Go now and follow him!

Conclusion

I really enjoyed this next instalment to the B.P.R.D. franchise which is growing quite rapidly. If you are a fan of mystery supernatural stories then pick up this book and whilst your at it, pick up Hellboy Vol. 1!

Join me next Monday for our next comic review.

Regards,

N. S. Paul

Friday Comic – My Teeth! (Comic)

Good morning everyone,

I am very proud to showcase my second finished comic. The script for My Teeth! was shared last Friday and you can pick it up here.

Like my last finished comic, My Teeth! was created through the comic creators group I work with and this theme was all about dinosaurs.  I changed the title of the story to be named after the character of the story.

Like the previous comic, I took a stab at lettering. I was having to rush on this one so I could meet the deadline for releasing it in a week. I would have looked to move some sound effects behind the characters but its currently beyond my skill level at the moment. Hoping to make improvements moving forward for the next story.

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You can download it here in higher definition.

All the best,

N. S. Paul