Archive for November, 2010

Artifacts #3 Scorecard

As with the past two issues, here’s a collection of the reviews I’ve come across for Artifacts #3. If you happen to know of any reviews that aren’t linked below, feel free to post a link in the comments. Artifacts #4 should be in stores in a few weeks, bringing the first act of the storyline to an explosive conclusion. Literally.


  1. Comic Geek Speak :
  2. Image Addiction :
  3. Weekly Comic Book Review:
  4. Newsarama:

  5. Comic Attack:
  6. Crave Online:
  7. Behold the Geek:
  8. Newsarama’s Best Shots:
  9. Graphic Policy:
  10. Panelramic View:



Conan, by Crom!

I grew up on Conan. I devoured the Ace paperbacks that gathered the original Robert E. Howard prose tales with pastiches by L. Sprague de Camp and Lin Carter. I’m sure the initial attraction there was the Frazetta cover imagery; what boy could resist those? In fairly short order, I discovered Conan in the comics, drawn to the black-and-white magazine Savage Sword of Conan more than the color Conan the Barbarian monthly (both from Marvel). Presumably this had more to do with the higher quotient of violence and nudity in Savage Sword. I kept up with a few comics at the time, like Avengers and Uncanny X-Men, they were a distant second to bloody swords and heaving bosoms.

Conan was always a “checklist” character for me – one of those characters I wanted to write at least once in my career. I’ve been able to put a mark next to a lot of the character on my personal list: Tarzan, the Phantom, Batman and a number of others. But an opportunity to write Conan hadn’t presented itself until now. My editor at Dark Horse, Dave Land, offered up the chance during the San Diego con, asking if I might like to do an eight-page story that would see print in USA Today. He didn’t have to ask twice, especially with my friend Bart Sears in place to draw it. The result can be seen here:

Obviously eight pages is not a huge amount of space for a one-and-done story, especially one that needs to introduce the main character to an audience that might not be familiar with him. Thus, the use of the familiar Nemedian Chronicles passage on page 1. The rest shows off Conan as he’s meant to be, complete with the trappings of a lovely maiden and some horrific opponents who need killing.

I can’t think of an artist whose sensibilities mesh better with Conan and his world than Bart. He and I have talked about doing a Conan story numerous times through the years, but it never came to fruition until now. Here’s a pretty fascinating blog piece from a Bart fan site, showing off the process of putting together the story’s art, with lots of previously unseen images:

I’m happy to report this won’t be the last time Bart and I tackle Conan. And next time we’ll have a few more pages to tell our story. More news on that as soon as I can.



One more video

An additional video interview from the New York Comic Con popped up on Newsarama, so here ’tis. As I recall, I could barely turn my head most of the weekend, as I’d somehow slept wrong and woke up with a stiff neck the night before heading into NYC. One of those chair massages managed to loosen the muscles in my neck just enough to make the weekend tolerable. But probably not enough to keep me from looking awkward in these videos.



Mail Marz vol 2 – the mailbag

Q.: Was wondering what your policy is on sketches and autographs at conventions:

Do you charge for autographs? If so, how much and after how many, and do you have a limit?

Do you charge for any type of sketch, and how much, and for what do you charge for? (eg. head sketches, mini-bust type sketches, full body sketches? What would you charge per different one?)

That’s all that I am wondering. If you could get back to me that would be great because I would like to know before Emerald City Comic Con.

Brian Jarrell

Ron says:

I thought this was worth answering on the blog, just so everybody knows what’s what. I don’t charge for autographs. Never have, never will. If you bought the book, the least I can do is sign it. I’m also more than happy to personalize books, so don’t hesitate to ask. I also have no limit in terms of number of items I’ll sign. If you bring a hundred books, I’ll sign a hundred books. However, if you do bring a large number of books, I might ask that you bring them to me in batches, if others are waiting to get things signed. But I’ll absolutely sign everything you’ve got.

I don’t really do sketches, since I can’t draw to save my life. I can manage a Green Lantern symbol, or maybe a samurai sword, but anything other than that is pretty much beyond my skill level. Sad but true. Obviously I don’t charge for these, uh, “sketches.”

My convention schedule for early 2011, thus far, is Emerald City (Seattle) and MegaCon (Orlando) in March, Albany Comic Con in April, and then something overseas in May that I just accepted but hasn’t been announced yet.


Preview Package

Both Angelus #6 and Witchblade #139 will hit stores this Wednesday, Nov. 10. Preivew pages of both can be found below.

Angelus #6 is the finale of the mini, bringing the storyline to a (hopefully) satisfying conclusion. After some health concerns that landed him in the hopsital, artist Stjepan Sejic is back to full strength on the issue, and I think it shows in the art, including that fairly stunning spread on pages 4 & 5.

The art for Witchblade #139 is by Eisner winner Michael Gaydos, probably best known for his work on Aliaswith Bendis. Michael had an available slot in his schedule, which made the decision to bring in a pinch-hiiter for regular WB artist Stjepan Sejic a bit easier. While Stjepan concentrated on Angelus #6, Michael penciled, inked and colored #139, and turned in a gorgeous job. The story follows up on the tragic events in Sara’s life revealed in Artifacts #1, showing the emotional fallout for Sara and those around her. You don’t need to have read Artifacts to fully grasp the Witchblade issue, and you don’t need to read the Witchblade issue to “complete” Artifacts in any way. But if you read them both, I think you get a bit richer story experience.

Hope you check ’em out.

Angelus #6:

Witchblade #139:



Video Killed The Radio Star

Three video interviews shot at the New York Comic Con have gone up, so I’ve embedded them here. First up is a piece with CBR’s Jonah Weiland, which incudes some discussion of my column for that site, which will start later this month. After that, interviews with The Quarter Bin, and brand new site Pop Galaxy. The convention floor is never an ideal venue for an interview, as there’s so much going on around you. But the floor interviews do at least give a sense of the energy level and, frankly, chaos at a big show.

Pop Galaxy (original link)


Quarter Bin

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