Tag: Cully Hamner

Comics for Tots 2013

Once again, I’m putting together what has become known as Comics for Tots, an effort to raise funds for Toys for Toys. The idea started simply enough: I offered up autographed comics and collected editions that I’d written, and used the proceeds to purchase toys and books which were then donated to Toys for Tots. If you’re unfamiliar with Toys for Tots, it’s a national program run by the U.S. Marine Corps Foundation to get new toys into the hands of needy children for the holidays.

This will be the fourth year for Comics for Tots, and each year has brought in more donations that the last. In 2012, we were able to raise more than $2,300 to purchase toys and books, thanks in large part to generous donations from many of my friends in the comic industry, including a number of pieces of original art.

This year, I’ll be offering up signed books; some signed, original scripts; and comic script reviews from myself and Vito Delsante. There will also be original art and signed books from a lot of my very kind friends in the business, including Stjepan Sejic, Dan Jurgens, Bart Sears, Andy Smith, Darryl Banks, Cully Hamner, Phil Hester, Ande Parks, Jennifer Meyer, J.M. DeMatteis, Chris Eliopoulos, Richard Clark, Paul Harding, Matthew Dow Smith, Saurav Mohapatra, Steve Niles, Scott Kolins and many others.

kyle_banks

thanos_stjepan

doompatrol_Kollins

HB_stjepan

This year, we’ll be offering the items on Ebay, to reach as wide an audience as possible, and to hopefully make the logistics a bit easier. I’ve opened a seller account in the name “ronmarzstore” on Ebay, which should lead you to all the items.

Direct link: http://www.ebay.com/sch/ronmarzstore/m.html?_nkw=&_armrs=1&_ipg=&_from=

Donations of artwork, signed books or other items can be mailed to a post office box I’ve set up. The address is:

Ron Marz
P.O. Box 144
Duanesburg, NY 12056

Thanks in advance for any contributions, as well as any donations. If anyone wishes to make a simple cash donation, the Paypal address remains the same:

kmarz@nycap.rr.com

Please be sure to mark the donation as specifically for Comics for Tots. Many thanks!

Cheers,

Ron


Man of the hour

HourmanOne of the cool aspects of working in comics is that you very often wind up working with your friends. Of course, your friends are likely scattered around the country, or even the globe. Probably the best part of being at CrossGen in Florida for a few years was working in the same studio with guys who were not only my friends, but some of the best artists in the business. Seeing new pages by Jim Cheung, Steve Epting, Butch Guice, Bart Sears and everyone else was the main attraction of going into the office every day.

I’ve known artist Cully Hamner for about as long as either of us has been in comics. He’s one of my best friends in or out of comics. We’ve worked together a number of times, though always on something of a single-issue nature rather than an ongoing. If you’re not checking out his current “Question” stuff in Detective Comics, your life is not complete. Cully was actually a candidate to draw my year-long run on Thor early in our careers. Maybe if he’d ended up on the book with me, my run wouldn’t have been so dreadful. I still have Cully’s pitch piece for the series, featuring one of the more kick-ass Thor versions you’ll see. I’ll dig that out and show it off soon.

Back early ’90s when Cully and I were eager, young know-it-alls (as opposed to the jaded, older know-it-alls we are now) we got it in our heads to pitch an Hourman revamp. I truthfully can’t remember the specifics, like which editor it was for, or even if it was intended to be a stand-alone mini, or maybe part of an anthology series. Hell, I don’t even remember if we ever officially pitched it or not. But I did save the faxes – yeah, this was before e-mail – of Cully’s character designs, which you can see here. Still pretty damn cool, huh?

Hourman

So the pitch never went anywhere, but one aspect of it stuck in my head ever since. Our Hourman story was going to take place over the course of one hour, and count down each minute of his Miraclo pill-induced powers (with interspersed flashbacks). Imposing that kind of storytelling structure would have been a real pain in the ass, but worth it.

Flash forward to last autumn, when I was pondering a proper story for the Velocity four-issue mini. I live adjacent to a lake, and the road that loops around it is 2.5 miles. I do a lot of my thinking on daily walks around the lake. And I thought of … Hourman. Or more specifically, using that one-hour framework in which to tell a story. It worked for Hourman for obvious reasons. But I thought it would also work for a speedster character like Velocity, a literal ticking clock she’d be racing against. How much could she accomplish in an hour? I called Cully, made sure he was cool with me resurrecting the idea on something he wouldn’t be drawing. He was.

So the controlling element of the Velocity series is going to be one hour: four issues, told in just a little more than 60 minutes, each page counting down the time she has to save not only her own life , but those of her Cyberforce teammates. One more tidbit: the opening sequence is an homage to a Bond movie, though I’m not saying which one. Velocity #1, by me and Kenneth Rocafort, hits stands in May. Hope you have an hour to spare.

Cheers,

Ron


What’s the story?

Okay, so it’ll be the next update that has the story of a long-ago pitch by me and Cully Hamner, and how it plays into the upcoming Velocity series. But this was too interesting for me to pass up without comment. What you’re looking at is a visual representation of how the first week of this website appears to a program crawling the web. Or so I’m told. Not like I understand how half this stuff works.

RonMarz.com wordle
generated via wordle.net

There’s almost an artistic quality to the typography display. Yeah, very cool to look at in an art-project sorta way. But the thing that jumped out at me, the thing that struck me as important and fitting and wholly satisfying to me, is that “story” is the largest, most prominent word. Because that’s really what this is all about.

Cheers,

Ron


Speed Reading

Velocity 1 CoverI’m working on the script for the Velocity four-issue series that will debut in May from Top Cow. It’s been a while since I’ve written a straight-up superhero story, which was what I wrote almost exclusively for the first decade of my career. In the years since, I’ve been able to explore a wider variety of genres, and I’m a big proponent of the comics industry offering a great deal more than capes and tights. But I still love a well-told superhero tale, just like everybody else. And that’s what Velocity is intended to be: a classic superhero adventure. No post-modern irony, no dark underbelly, just a straight-up story about a cute redhead who runs really fast.

Velocity 1 CoverOne of my favorite monthly reads was Mark Waid’s Flash. It was great superhero comics. To be honest, Mark’s take on Wally West’s adventures influenced how I approached Green Lantern when DC handed me the reins and asked me to create a new GL. There was a lot to like. Wally was a “legacy” hero, living in the shadow of his predecessor, trying to be worthy of inheriting the mantle. The first-person narration allowed the audience to identify with the hero, to relate to the man under the mask. There was an accessibility that wasn’t quite as present in most of DC’s Silver Age heroes.

Velocity 1 Cover Now, to be fair, there’s more Peter Parker than Wally West in Kyle Rayner’s pedigree. But I always liked the Wally-Kyle relationship, the next generation of the Barry Allen-Hal Jordan friendship. I liked that Wally wasn’t even very fond of Kyle, feeling that Kyle had won the lottery to take his heroic role, while Wally had earned his. I liked writing them together, which is where the Green Lantern-Flash: Faster Friends project came from. Where would “Lost” be without that issue, right?

Anyway, as far as I’m concerned, Mark and his artists – chief among them the great Mike Wieringo – set the standard for how to do a speedster in comics. Which brings us back to Velocity, winner of Top Cow’s first Pilot Season contest and therefore due a mini-series.The original creative team was excused from the project; we’ll say “creative differences” and leave it at that, since I don’t think it’s cool to air somebody else’s business in public.Velocity 1 Cover

So the project went on a backburner for a while, until last year when Top Cow Publisher Guy Filip Sablik asked me if I’d like to take on the series. He didn’t have to ask twice. Schedules matched up and artistic genius Kenneth Rocafort became available to draw the book. I couldn’t ask for anything more. Except a story idea.

Next time, a little more on Velocity, including how an aspect of the storyline dates back to a long-ago pitch by me and artist Cully Hamner for another character entirely.

Cheers,

Ron


You wanna read something for free?

If you happened to be checking out my Twitter stream earlier today, there was yet another discussion of pirating and illegally downloading comics. I won’t belabor the point here. Suffice to say that I’m wholly against downloading, and I’ve yet to see an argument for it that holds any water. If you want a comic, support the industry and pay for it. Or, if you’re just looking to read something for free, there are plenty of choices available. Even some by me. Last time I looked, Top Cow has various complete issues of my Witchblade run online, as well as the First Born #1 and number of other offerings. You can peruse them here.

Samurai Vol 1 on AmazonYou can also check out an 8-page Samurai: Heaven and Earth story that appeared as part of the first Dark Horse Presents “issue” on MySpace. Dark Horse was looking for something a little more visceral to run with Joss Whedon and Fabio Moon’s Sugarshock, and Gerard Way and Gabriel Ba’s Umbrella Academy (not to mention a short Rick Geary story). A guy with a sword fit the bill, so artist Luke Ross, and I put together a brief, violent tale of our displaced samurai, Asukai Shiro.

Samurai: Heaven and Earth is a creator-owned series by Luke and myself from Dark Horse, with two volumes in print thus far. It’s also absolutely my favorite project ever. The story follows a lone samurai who crosses the globe from East to West, following his kidnapped love, the lady Yoshiko. His travels bring him all the way to the halls of Versailles in Volume 1, where he meets some very familiar swordsmen. Volume 2 takes him to the sands of Egypt.Samurai Vol 1 on Amazon

I think the DHP short story, “The Forest,” stands on its own well enough. But chronologically it takes place between issues #2 and #3 of Volume 1, when Shiro begins his journey westward from China. At one point, I had toyed with the idea of a series of short stories, drawn by various artists, which would fill in the “untold tales” of Shiro’s journey. Luke is the artistic heart and soul of Samurai, but I’ve always liked “themed” anthologies, like Gaiman’s Sandman: Endless Nights or the Fables: 1001 Nights of Snowfall volume. Maybe that project will still happen at some point. But for now, “The Forest” is what you get, with beautiful art by Luke and colorist Dan Jackson.

For anybody that’s already read Volumes 1 and 2, thanks. Yes, there’s a Volume 3 planned, taking place in the Caribbean, but we’re waiting for Luke to find time amidst his Marvel schedule to draw it. For anybody that hasn’t read the first two volumes, I know they’ve been pirated and offered up online. But please, if you’re interested, do right thing and buy ’em:

Samurai : Heaven and Earth vol 1 Amazon Listing

Samurai : Heaven and Earth vol 2 Amazon Listing

Read “The Forest” at Dark Horse Presents / MySpace


Thanks. In the future, I’ll be running some of the pin-ups that have appeared in the collected editions, pieces by buddies of Luke and mine, like Jim Starlin, Greg Land, Mike Deodato Jr., Cully Hamner, Lee Moder and plenty more.

Cheers,

Ron

NOTE

For some reason the link to “The Forest” doesn’t take you directly to the story (it’s supposed to). You can read the story by scrolling down and selecting Issue 1 / Story 3 at the bottom of the page


  • Featured Content

  • Mail Marz

  • Ramblin’ Ron @Twitter

    Error: Twitter did not respond. Please wait a few minutes and refresh this page.

  • Categories

  • Copyright © 1996-2010 Messages from Marz. All rights reserved.
    iDream theme by Templates Next | Powered by WordPress