Tag: Matthew Dow Smith

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


Albany Comic Con this Sunday

I’ll be appearing at the Albany Comic Con on Sunday, Nov. 11, in Albany, NY. The show is once again being held at the Holiday Inn on Wolf Road in Albany; the show has filled all the available space and continues to grow. Show hours are 10 a.m.-4 p.m., and admission is only $5.

Albany Comic Con is my “hometown” show, and easily one of my favorite events. It’s an entirely comic-oriented affair, put on for the purpose of growing the hobby and attracting new readers (especially kids) to our medium. As always, the guest list is long and impressive, including legendary inker Joe Sinnott, writers J.M. DeMatteis, Ben McCool, Charles Soule, David Rodriguez, artists Lee Moder, Tom Raney, Matthew Dow Smith, Fred Hembeck, Richard Clark, Mark McKenna and many more.

I’ll be doing a panel discussion in the afternoon with J.M. DeMatteis about writing fantasy in comics. It’s one I’m looking forward to, as I’m a real admirer of J.M.’s work, especially the fully-realized fantasy worlds he constructs.

I’m also happy to announce that Lee Moder and I will have copies of the Shinku Volume 1 trade paperback available at the show, prior to its release in comic stores on Nov. 14. The collection includes the first five issues of our creator-owned series, plus more than 35 pages of extras, including sketchbook pages, pin-ups and the original black-white-and-red ashcan, all for $15. I’m very proud of what we’ve put together.

I’ll be bringing other items for the table, so if you’re looking for something in particular, please let me know in the comments section. I’ll also have free promotional posters for Blackburn Burrow (the Amazon Studios series by me and Matthew Dow Smith), and free cards for The Protectors, the 2013 series by me, Bart Sears and Israel Idonije of the Chicago Bears.

Lastly, Albany Comic Con will also be conducting a silent auction of numerous pieces of original art to benefit Ronald McDonald House. Many of the artists attending the show contributed new Superman-themed pieces, including Joe Sinnott, Lee Moder, Matthew Dow Smith, Paul Harding, Richard Clark and others. How often do you get a chance to see Joe Sinnott draw Superman?

Complete information on Albany Comic Con can be found at the show’s website: http://www.albanycomicbookshow.com/

Hope to see you Sunday.

Cheers,

Ron


Creating Comics Class For Charity

I’ll be teaming up with my buddy, writer/artist Matthew Dow Smith, to offer a Creating Comics class as part of the Project Lift Fundraiser to benefit the after-school programs at the Franklin Community Center in Saratoga Springs, NY. The class will be held at Comic Depot in the Wilton Mall in Saratoga Springs, date to be determined so it’s amenable to everyone who signs up.

A fundraising event will be held Thursday evening, Oct. 11, at Longfellows in Saratoga Springs. For $75, attendees are wined and dined, and have the opportunity to sign up for various classes and events (for varying fees). The Creating Comics class is $60 per person, and will include some special, autographed items. All proceeds benefit the Franklin Community Center. The class will provide a step-by-step tour of the comic creation process, from script to pencils, inks, colors and letters. There will also be a Q & A session.

If you’re not able to attend the Oct. 11 event, you can still sign up for the Creating Comics class, if any slots remain. Complete information can be had here:

http://www.franklincommunitycenter.org/fundraising-events/project-lift-university/

The flyer/invitation for the event (click on the images for the hires PDF version)



Hi-res PDF Flyer

I’m unfortunately not able to be at Longfellows, because of commitments at the New York Comic Con the same evening. But Matt and I are looking forward to the class, and raising some needed funds for a worthy program. If you have any questions, feel free to post them in the comments, and I’ll do my best to answer them.

Cheers,

Ron


Blackburn Burrow For Free

Free comics are good, right? Good free comics are even better. Available right now from Amazon Studios is Blackburn Burrow #1, by me, artist Matthew Dow Smith, colorist Jordie Bellaire, letterer Troy Peteri and cover artist Brian Stelfreeze. The package was put together by 12 Gauge Comics. Blackburn Burrow is a four-issue adaptation of an Amazon Studios screenplay, and the issues are being offered free.

Set during the waning days of the Civil War, Blackburn Burrow is the story of a man known only as Mister, who is engaged in an ongoing battle with the supernatural. In a remote Georgia mining town, Misters finds terrors beyond any he has ever faced, as well as shocking secrets to his own past. There’s adventure, there’s horror, there’s even a little romance.

At Baltimore Comic Con, Matt Smith and were on hand along with the Amazon Studios team to give away special print editions of issue #1, as well as posters featuring the great Stelfreeze cover. For anyone who wasn’t at Baltimore, issue #1 is available free in a number of digital formats. You can download the issue for Kindle here:

http://www.amazon.com/Blackburn-Burrow-Issue-1-ebook/dp/B005CRQ4AQ/ref=sr_1_4?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1347512293&sr=1-4

View it on the Amazon Studios Facebook page here:

http://www.facebook.com/amazonstudios/app_105395256203337

Read it on the Amazon Studios site here:

http://studios.amazon.com/projects/2705

Or grab it from the Graphic.ly here:

http://graphicly.com/12-gauge-comics/blackburn-burrow/1

To make it even more enticing, Amazon wants your feedback on the story, and is offering $5 gift cards for completing a brief survey after reading the issue. That’s right, you get $5 for reading a free comic. Pretty great, right? The survey can be found here:

http://studios.amazon.com/blackburnburrowsurvey

Ensuing issues will be released on a monthly basis. I’m proud of Blackburn Burrow #1, and happy to be working with such a great team. Please give it a look.

Cheers,

Ron


October in March

This Saturday, I’ll be at easily the best store signing I’ve ever taken part in. From 1 to 4 p.m. on March 12, the October Country at 246 Main Street #5, Cherry Hill Center in New Paltz, NY, will offer up a signing with a dozen creators. In addition to me, the guest list includes:

  • Walter Simonson
  • Louise Simonson
  • Jim Starlin
  • Joe Sinnott
  • Terry Austin
  • Ramona Fradon
  • Joe Staton
  • Fred Hembeck
  • Todd Dezago
  • Matthew Dow Smith
  • Dan Green

Hell of a list, huh? Hope you can stop by. Contact October County at (845) 255-1115 for more information, or visit the store’s site at: http://www.octobercountrycomics.com/

Cheers,

Ron


Albany Comic Con this Sunday

One benefit from having to miss the Armageddon Expo event in New Zealand this weekend is that I’ll be able to attend the Albany Comic Con again, at least for a few hours. As with previous shows, it’s being held at the Holiday Inn on Wolf Road in Albany, NY from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 24.

Other guests include artists Mike McKone, Matthew Dow Smith, Herb Trimpe, Joe Staton, Fred Hembeck, Mike Borkowski, Declan Shalvey, Mark McKenna, and Bobby and Peter Timony; sculptor Paul Harding; writers Todd Dezago, Keith Dallas and Nick Tapalansky; and plenty more. Legendary Fantastic Four inker Joe Sinnott, still recovering from surgery, is scheduled to stop by to sign for a few hours in the afternoon. Admission is only $5. The show site is here.

I’ll only be at the show until around 2 p.m., when I have to leave to coach my son’s final fall baseball game. I’ll have some Magdalena posters and Artifacts bookmarks to give away, a stack of Artifacts #1 copies to unload, and some other goodies. Hope to see some of you.

Cheers,

Ron


Con in Conn


This Saturday, May 15, I’ll be appearing at the first ComiConn in North Haven, Connecticut. The show runs from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Holiday Inn at 201 Washington Avenue in North Haven. Admission is $10. More information here

It’s a one-day show with a pretty nice guest list for a first-time affair, including my buddy Matthew Dow Smith, as well as Jamal Igle, Jerry Ordway, Frank McLaughlin and quite a few others. One of the real draws, as far as I’m concerned, is a tribute panel for the late, great Dick Giordano, featuring Ordway, McLaughlin, Bob Greenberger and Mike DeCarlo.


The show also features a con exclusive edition of Magdalena #1, with a cover by guests Eric Battle (pencils), Jack Purcell (inks) and Tom Chu (color), all of whom will be present to sign the cover (shown with this post). A little news:
Magdalena #1 has already sold out at the distributor level, so copies are not that easy to come by. A little more news: a percentage of the ComiConn exclusive books were damaged in shipping, making the edition even a little more exclusive than planned.

ComiConn will be my last appearance until the ordeal known as the San Diego con in July. Hope you can make it to North Haven on Saturday.

Cheers,

Ron


Magdalena graces Albany

Had a great time at Sunday’s Albany Comic Con. Caught up with old friends, made some new friends, and signed books from Silver Surfer to Green Lantern right up to Magdalena #1. The GL-centric panel with my buddy Joe Staton was a lot of fun, as we compared notes about our respective runs, and “our” respective Green Lanterns. David Pepose of Newsarama was in attendance, so there should be a report on the panel online sometime this week. David Pepose of Newsarama, who was in attendance, has posted a report on the panel.

The end of the GL panel was interrupted by the local chapter of the 501st Legion, who strode into the room to bestow Honorary Membership upon me. More on that in a post later this week, but suffice to say I was very flattered and pleased. It’s not every day you get a laser-etched plaque handed to you by a Stormtrooper in full armor.

I also got to meet the real Kyle Rayner at the show. He’s 4 years old. His mom and dad brought him by, and I have to admit, I was pretty stunned that someone thought enough of our everyman GL to actually give their child his name (“Kyle Rayner” is his first name and middle name). How cool is that?

The other highlight of the show was a cosplayer named Jen Wicks who wore a kick-ass Magdalena outfit all day. She posed for photos, including this one with me, as well as a group shot of me, Terry Austin and Matthew Dow Smith (who of course provided the art for the con exclusive cover of Magdalena #1). Yes, I know I need a haircut.


One of the nicest things about the Albany Con is the burgeoning local and semi-local comics community that’s developing around it. I’ve known guys like Terry Austin, Matt Smith, Todd Dezago, Joe Staton, Fred Hembeck and Lee Moder (who made it to the conn all the way from Pittsburgh) for years. But it’s been great to meet or reconnect with other creators like Dave Rodriguez, Nick Tapalansky, Saurav Mohapatra, Paul Harding, Declan Shalvey and the Timony Brothers, as well as critics/journalists including CBR’s Tim Callahan and Newsarama’s David Pepose. Virtually all the guests who attend the show end up wanting to come back, so I expect many of them will return for the fall show, which is scheduled for Sunday, October 24. Hopefully the guest list will include a few surprises. As always, you can watch the Albany Con MySpace and Twitter feed for updates.

Cheers,

Ron

P.S.
Saurav Mohapatra also posted some photos he took during the conn on his blog.


In living color

You’ve seen Matt Smith’s pencils, you’ve seen Terry Austin’s inks, now here’s the final color for the Albany Comic Con exclusive Magdalena #1 cover. Matt’s previous Albany Con cover was a Witchblade image, with color provided by Matt’s Doctor Who colorist, Charlie Kirchoff . Charlie wasn’t available for the quick turnaround this time, so we had to look a little further afield for the color. Actually, a lot further afield.

When I did some work for Virgin Comics (now reborn as Liquid Comics) a few years ago, I worked as both editor and writer with a number of extremely talented India-based artists. The vast majority were adept at pencils, inks and color alike, and could work in a variety of art styles. So with assistance from my writer friend Saurav Mohapatra, the call went out for somebody who could leap heroically into breach and color the cover. Coming to the rescue was Saumin Patel, whom I had worked with when I edited Devi for Virgin (written by Saurav, in fact). Saumin provided interior art (but not color) on Devi, drawing in a unique style and exhibiting a sophisticated storytelling sense. He and Saurav had also collaborated on Mumbai Macguffin, which Saumin drew, inked and colored. The breadth of his talent is pretty impressive, as he’s worked in comics, animation, magazine illustration, advertising, storyboards and more. You can, and should, check out his blogs here and here.

Saumin volunteered to take a run at coloring Matt and Terry’s cover. As you can see here, he came through with a killer version that really pops forward the main figure of Magdalena, without losing the signature Albany towers and Egg in the background. The strong red of her costume highlights and inner cloak is going to be recurring color motif in the monthly series, and Saumin captured that aspect as well.

Saumin also offered up a second, slightly different version, this one with a violet overlay, giving the tones a bit flatter look. Both versions work well, but we ultimately decided to go with the brighter piece. I’m very much in Saumin’s debt for his work here.

The exclusive Magdalena #1 edition will be on sale at the Albany Comic Con on April 25. The con site is here. Hope some of you will be able to come to the show. If the cover doesn’t sell out, a few of the remaining copies might show up for sale online.

Cheers,

Ron


Sharp Pencils

Last time, I showed off Matthew Dow Smith’s roughs for the upcoming Albany Comic Con variant cover of Magdalena #1 (with Matt’s kind permission, I might add). As you see now, the consensus pick was the “perched on a cross” image, as it allowed for a large, striking figure of Magdalena, and utilized the Albany skyline in the background.


Rough Layout

Once the selection was made, Matt revised the image into a more refined rough (above), adjusting the pose and adding the Spear of Destiny in her hand. That completed and approved, Matt moved on to the actual pencils on a full size board, “full size” for comic originals being roughly 11 inches by 17 inches.


Rough Pencils

The second image shows Matt’s rough pencils, more of a work in progress. Magdalena’s pose was revised again, albeit slightly, and the Spear switched hands. The perspective for the background was also worked out, arranging the towers and uniquely-shaped Egg performing arts center.

After a quick approval, Matt completed the finished pencils, adding detail to Magdalena’s ornate costume as well as the towers. A final note from Top Cow’s Filip Sablik asked for the Spear to be a little longer, and for Magdalena’s face to be given a slightly more delicate look. Once those revisions were made, the pencils were complete and ready to go to inker Terry Austin. Since Terry lives only an hour away, I met Matt for coffee, got the cover from him, and delivered it to Terry.


Final Pencils (revised)

Since Terry had never inked Matt before, the cover was virgin territory for both of them. I know I was really anxious to see what the collaboration would look like. Next time, I’ll show you how it turned out.
Cheers,

Ron


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