12/22/09

Brand New Tyler James Comics Website!


Just want to let readers of this blog know that I have an all-new, all-awesome personal website...the revamped and improved TylerJamesComics.com!

Blogger has been a wonderful host for my musings and content over the past two years or so, and the archive won't be going anywhere. However, it was time I moved to a new home with more features than Blogger could provide.

At the new site, you'll find a STORE with all of my books available for purchase. I'm also running a new bi-weekly column, The ComixStreet Recap exclusively at my site. tylerjamescomics.com will be the best place to keep up with me and my projects.

Thanks for reading, and we'll see you over there!

Best,

-Tyler James

11/24/09

November 2009 Projects Update!

Wow, it's been a long while since I've done a projects update. Guess that means I'm busy, huh? Let's dive right into it, shall we?

The 30 Characters Challenge
  • We're sitting here on day 24 of the challenge to create a new character each day for 30 days. Though we've still a week to go, I have to call the challenge a resounding success. Hundreds of new characters have been created and some of the artwork has been simply astounding. If you haven't checked it out, what the hell are you waiting for? Click here immediately!
  • I am looking forward to the completion of the challenge, however, because, low and behold, it IS a challenge... and I haven't even been cranking out top caliber artwork like some of the creators. But it's done exactly what I hoped it would...encourage experimentation and creativity. (Case in point, Jot and Nub here.)

Over
  • Over soldiers on. My first foray into online graphic novels continues to pay dividends. Slowly but surely, I'm adding readers and am always surprised to find how many people are digging my story. It's been a quality experience for me and I'm learning a lot committing to the story and delivering it consistently. Glad people are enjoying it as well.
  • That being said, Over will be taking it's longest break of it's run shortly. I don't want to post throughout the Christmas holiday, because let's face it, people have better things to do than read my comic. And I also want to break on a good stopping point...luckily, I have that stopping point, but it will probably be the second week in December that we pause our update schedule until the new year. The good thing about this is that it will allow me to build my buffer again. And the pages that will start the new year...they're some of the funniest stuff in the entire book. It'll start the new year with a bang.
  • I'm starting to do some prep work and research into printing costs for the Over graphic novel. My goal is to have the book ready for the New York Comic Con. We'll see if I can make that happen.
Tears of the Dragon
  • I want to finish chapter 1 starting mid-december, and have been coloring the new pages myself. I will probably need to pull on a new color artist to make it happen, and will be looking for one over the Thanksgiving holiday.
  • Received some dazzling new pages from Koko Amboro over the weekend. I love his art and I love this book. Hope you all do too.
  • If you haven't read any Tears yet, you can read the first 10 pages with a killer cliffhanger (literally) here.


Colosseum X

  • Colosseum X will be my next (and final?) Zuda Comics submission. The script is written and it's gotten positive feedback from a number of creators, which is great. I've delivered it to the artist and co-creator I'm working with, local talent Erique Savory, Jr. He's been working on concept sketches for characters (there are a TON of characters), and I have too. This is a "go big or go home," ambitious as hell project. If done right, it could be really huge. So, I guess we better do it right.
Creating Comics! @ Comic Related
  • You've been reading my articles, haven't you? If not, here's the archive. I'm 27 articles in.
  • I continue to get a lot of positive comments and feedback from people who tell me the articles are helpful. That means a lot, as do the retweets whenever I tweet a link to my latest column. Thanks guys!
  • Haven't announced it over there yet, but next week's column will be my final column for 2009. No, it's not that I've run out of things to say...it's more that I have some other things that I need to direct some effort into that will also help the larger comics community, and I need the writing time to do it. So fear not. If people have found my articles useful this year, just wait until 2010...I've got some BIG ideas I want to implement that I think will be a serious help to a lot of creators.
Other Stuff
  • TylerJamesComics.com will be getting a total facelift. I hope to unveil a brandnew personal webpage in time for the new year. Blogger has been a great home for the past two years, but it's time I stepped up my presentation to the world at large. I want a clearer, more professional site that showcases my comics, links more clearly to all of my work, highlights the colloboraters I work with, and has an appealing storefront for me to sell my wares.
  • Several projects are still sitting on the backshelf, including Super Seed, ICE, CounterTerror, and a very cool horror/sci-fi/mythology series tentatively titled "The Box" (although probably gonna have to change it since there's currently a big budget movie out with the same name.) If I had unlimited time and money, I'd be working on them all. Since I have neither, I'm just trying to pace myself. Once I finish the art on Over, I'll be taking a few months off from drawing to WRITE MY ASS OFF. In that time, I'd like to finish both the Super Seed and ICE screenplays and write at least 64 pages worth of "The Box." That way, I'll have those done and out of the way, and can turn my attention to drawing the remaining pages of the Super Seed graphic novel, without being held up by the writing of my other stories. Between that and writing Colosseum X for Zuda next year (play to win, remember) I'll be very busy.
  • Continuing to look to other avenues of getting my name and work out there in the public eye, and am lining up podcast appearances. I also hope to have an aggressive convention schedule in 2010. Should be a big year for me. Can't wait.

That'll do it for the update! Thanks for reading!

11/16/09

Lightbox Podcast Interview


Rob Chandler, Chris Flick and Matt Stout were nice enough to have me on The Lightbox Podcast last week. I had a great discussion with those guys, and talked about my take on and experience with Zuda Comics, my Creating Comics! column over at Comic Related, and the 30 Characters Challenge.

Those guys put on an enjoyable show. If you'd like to listen to the entire interview, it's Episode 7, available on the widget below. And, for your added viewing pleasure, I made a video clip from the interview where I discuss 30 Characters along with art from all of the challengers.



11/9/09

30 Characters - 1 Week Down

So, I've made it through the first week of the 30 Characters Challenge! So far I've continued to push out new characters for Colosseum X and did some designs for upcoming Over characters as well. The creations others are churning out are pretty amazing as well.

I was inspired to cut the following video. Check it out, then head on over to the site!



11/2/09

30 Characters is Live!


Well, it went from a germ of an idea to a full-fledged month-long comics event in less than two weeks! That's right, November is 30 Characters Challenge Month.

We're up to 25 participants, and there are already 30+ characters posted on the site. How about that? Pretty cool, no?

My first two are up...characters from Colosseum X, my 2010 superhero slugfest I'm working on with Enrique Savoy, a local artist with major chops.

Check out Kurt Blackburn and Cason Cole, the antagonist and protagonist respectively.

10/29/09

30 Characters Challenge


Wow, have I been busy. Another month without much in the way of TJC blog updates...what with webcomics and columns and twitter and the behind the scenes things I'm doing, yeah, this blog is getting the short shafterino.

Which is a pity, because this is really my place of record for my journey doing this comics thing. As such, I'd be remiss not to mention the upcoming "30 Characters Challenge" I've gotten off the ground.

Next month, myself and a group of [brave, ambitious, foolish, insane] creators are challenging ourselves to create 30 new characters in 30 days...one for every day in November.

Why? Because the world needs new characters! (And I'm sure a whole host of other reasons as well.) For me, it's going to provide a structure around which to get off my duff and start populating the characters for the Colosseum universe.

You remember Colosseum, don't you? It's getting off the ground in a big way, and as soon as art starts coming in, I'll fill readers in on all the details. I'm working with a very strong artist on the project and researching the heck out of the thing. I'm hoping it has just the right combination of catchy high concept, killer visuals, and edgy, in your face writing that will make it a hit.

Anyway, here's a link to the 30 Characters site. Check it out! And sign up, if you dare!

10/14/09

Baltimore Comic-Con Photo Flood- Part II

More pics from Baltimore!
Had to throw up another shot of that Wolverine costume. This dude was not messing around.
Image had a big presence at this year's show, and the giant Image United banner could not be missed upon entering the convention hall.

I stayed for awhile to see the art auction held after the show ended on Saturday. Some serious money was being spent. You can't really see it here, but the auctioneer is holding up a Neil Adams Batman sketchcard. It went for $500. Wow.


Two really nice pieces. David Peterson was in attendance at the auction, and was there to hand it to the purchaser. That one went for around $500 as well.A Mike Oeming Thor. Apparently, this was done at the show. Someone handed him a marker and he just went to town on it. Dude has some serious chops. $450 or thereabouts.

And this was the highest selling item I saw at the auction. A fully painted Frank Cho Poison Ivy. Could have been yours for the low low price of $4250.

10/13/09

Baltimore Comic-Con Photo Flood- Part I

Hey everybody!

Still catching up on sleep and rest after a wild Baltimore Comic-Con. I'll be doing a full write up on my con experience over at Comic Related, but here I'm going to post all the pics I took.


Here was my Saturday set-up. As you can see, I had a whole lot of merchandise to sell.


Early Saturday, this was the view from my table.

The happiest Sith warriors you'll find anywhere.

I don't think you can label where my table was as in Artist's Alley. It was more like we were in Artist's Lane, which was along the back wall of the convention center (near the restrooms) and close to the vendors.


Some really great costumes this year.
You know what they say...Couples that dress up as psychopathic super villians together, stay together.

This Wolverine was not messing around.

Back with more pics soon...

10/1/09

Interviews and Mentions in the Blogosphere

Don't we all love to feel relevant? Comics reviewer extraordinaire MPD57 had some nice things to say about my work over at his blog recently when he took up the Herculean task of recapping/reviewing every Zuda Comics competitor to date. Thanks Mike! (And by the way, if you missed out on Mike's recent post Thirty Golden Rules for Submitting to Zuda, it's must read stuff for anyone thinking of giving the Zuda gauntlet a try...and some generally good advice for comics creators.

In other news, I spent a good deal of time at the recent New England Comic-Con talking to Scott Harris from The Vault, a solid comics blog. So much time, in fact, he broke up our conversation into a two part interview. Read Part I and Part II at your leisure.



9/18/09

Attending the Baltimore Comic-Con? Get a FREE SKETCH!


Saturday and Sunday, October 10th and 11th, you can find me in Artist's Alley at the Baltimore Comic- Con taking place at the Baltimore Convention Center. It's going to be a HUGE show, and as a special treat for con attendees, I'll be doing a number of absolutely FREE SKETCH CARDS!

Want one?

Here's the deal:

If you are attending the Baltimore Comic Con and would like a FREE SKETCH Card, email the following information to tylerjamescomics@gmail.com:
  • Your name
  • Sketch character request
  • The day (or days) you'll be at the Con
I'll be drawing FREE SKETCH CARDS for a limited of comic fans who request them, so act fast. First come, first serve!

All you'll have to do to get your card is stop by my table in artist's alley at some point during the show, say hello, and pick up your FREE SKETCH CARD. Not a bad deal, huh?

...WANT AN EVEN BETTER DEAL?

Get your FREE SKETCH CARD + a FULL CHARACTER SKETCH (7 x10.5 cardboard) for just $8.00. You name the characters! They'll both be bagged and ready to pick up and pay for at the show.


...AND STILL YET A BETTER DEAL?

Get your FREE SKETCH CARD + an ORIGINAL FULL CHARACTER SKETCH COVER to the Tyler James Sketchbook, Vol. 1. Have the character of your choice adorn an original cover to my first 32 page sketchbook of great pinups, cover designs, and sketches from the past five years. All this for just $15.00. Order now by email, and pick up and pay at the show.



Remember, the free sketch cards are being given on a first come, first serve opportunity, so if you're interested and definitely plan on attending the show, send me an email now at tylerjamescomics@gmail.com.

9/9/09

Look What I Made!


With the help of two delightful gentlemen from Home Depot, I made this easy-to assemble, easy-to-break-down, easy-to-store, and lightweight banner stand out of PVC pipe! Total cost for the stand ~ $12.50. The thing stands a good 7 feet tall and is 3.5 feet wide...It's huge.

At the last convention I tabled at, there was a guy who was unable to find my table and thus went home without the sketch I drew for him. Ha! Never again!

9/4/09

How to Write for Marvel!


No, don't take my word for it. Take Marvel editor CB Cebulski's. If you're an aspiring comics professional, you should really be following CB on Twitter: @CBCebulski He routinely drops absolute gems of knowledge.

Case in point, this series of Tweets on 9/4/2009:
  • Simply put, all Marvel editors handle their own writer recruitment on their titles & you need to get your PUBLISHED work into their hands.
  • Marvel no longer has an open submission policy. Do not send us your scripts/ideas. You can't submit to Marvel unless you're asked to submit
  • You get asked to submit by getting published elsewhere, or self-publishing, making a name for yourself and sending us your PUBLISHED work.
  • Then, if an editor likes what he or she reads from you, they may reach out and ask you to pitch them on Marvel comics. That's how it works.

And there you have it. There's no magic bullet. Hearing this kind of thing is really encouraging actually. It puts the onus on you and your work. No one is going to make you a star and no one is going to just hand you a job. It's about earning it.

8/27/09

ICE Gets Thumbs Up from Digital Strips Podcast!



Stumbled across the Digital Strips Podcast the other day, and listened to their Zuda Watch review from July. As most of you probably remember, ICE was featured in July's Zuda competition. It was nice to hear at very positive review from these guys, and I think they put on an enjoyable show.

Listen here. (They start talking about ICE at the 17:40 mark.)

8/23/09

Attending Boston Comic Book & Toy Spectacular? Get a Free Sketch!

Sunday, September 20th, I'll be tabling at the Boston Comic Book & Toy Spectacular taking place at the Boston Radison Hotel. As a special treat for con attendees, I'll be doing a number of absolutely FREE SKETCH CARDS.

Want one?

Here's the deal:

If you are attending the Boston Comic Book & Toy Spectacular and would like a FREE SKETCH Card, email the following information to tylerjamescomics@gmail.com:
  • Your name
  • Sketch character request
I'll be drawing FREE SKETCH CARDS for a limited of comic fans who request them.

All you'll have to do is stop by my table in artist's alley at some point during the show, say hello, and pick up your FREE SKETCH CARD. Not a bad deal, huh?

...WANT AN EVEN BETTER DEAL?

Get your FREE SKETCH CARD + a FULL CHARACTER SKETCH (7 x10.5 cardboard) for just $8.00. You name the characters! They'll both be bagged and ready to pick up and pay for at the show.


...AND STILL YET A BETTER DEAL?

Get your FREE SKETCH CARD + a ORIGINAL FULL CHARACTER SKETCH COVER to the Tyler James Sketchbook, Vol. 1. Have the character of your choice adorn an original cover to my first 32 page sketchbook of great pinups, cover designs, and sketches from the past five years. All this for just $15.00. Order now by email, and pick up and pay at the show.



Remember, the free sketch cards are being given on a first come, first serve opportunity, so if you're interested and definitely plan on attending the show, send me an email now at tylerjamescomics@gmail.com.

8/20/09

Over Chapter 2 Preview



I've posted a new youtube video that gives a preview for Over Chapter 2, which will kick into gear next Monday.

8/17/09

Over Chapter 1 Finished! Read it Here:

The first 34 page chapter of Over is finished! The first chapter is essentially act I of a standard three act story, and my task now is to get as many people as possible to read the first chapter. My wager is that the story will hook you in if you give me 30 pages or so.

One of the strategies for spreading the word about Over is to use some of the new E-Book reader technologies to deliver it. The cool thing about this tech is that the full comic can be embedded in other websites, just like Youtube videos. Check it out, you can read Over right here in the blog. (Use the fullscreen mode.)




Want to put Over on your site? Grab the html code right here and paste it on your blog or site.

8/16/09

WCRI Podcast Interview Now Up. Give it a Listen!


Last month I chatted once again with Jamais Jochim of Webcomics Reviews & Interviews. We talked a lot about Zuda and I tried to plug my other projects where appropriate.

Listen to the full interview here.

8/12/09

Catching My Breath...Or Not

It's been a few days since I posted something on this blog. Part of the reason is that I've barely had time to catch my breadth after last month's Zuda competition. Once again, my comic came up short and once again, I finished 4th. However, the reaction from the public at large was very strong to Interrogation Control Element and I think the team and I can be proud of our work on this project.

I can't say exactly what is next for ICE. I will be printing up a new version of the initial story and plan on talking to some publishers about it. I'm going to take a few weeks of downtime away from the project to clear my head, before coming back with a new game plan on it. But I'll keep you posted here.

Besides that, I'm plugging away at "Over" which is in it's third month of 3 times a week updates. I'm also writing more Tears of the Dragon, posting pages every Tuesday and basically executive producing that project. And I've recently dusted off "Friend Request" a horror short I drew but never completed last year. Looks like it's got another chance to get published by Arcana, so I'm doing my damnedest to get it done. And if all of this wasn't enough, my weekly column at Comic Related continues to keep me busy.

Yes, I'm a little fried. And yes, I could use a vacation. But, in the immortal words of Lil' Wayne "You ain’t grindin’ til you tired." And so it goes...

7/30/09

Pigs of the Industry Review of ICE


RKB at Pigs of the Industry posted a review of Interrogation Control Element on his blog the other day. RKB has been a big supporter of my work in the past (He reviewed Over recently as well,) and I'm pleased to read from his review that I didn't let him down this time around.

Here's an excerpt:

Handles the subject matter better than some (allegedly) non-fiction books I have read

I've read any number of books, blogs, and saw any number of news reports about the real life policies/actions this story is based on. My view is I.C.E. does an excellent job at idealistic-realism. A fiction story, but what it's based on is all too real. I.C.E. follows in the foot steps of comics like Two-Fisted Tales, Front line Combat, and Blazing Combat. Comics are just as suited to this type of story as any other medium. Shallah (the other force of opposition) , is introduced on screen 5. The two guards we see could have just gotten the Star Trek red shirt treatment, but they didn't. A few lines of dialogue about how one character wanted to marry a girl (if the father agrees), showed readers this man had a life planned for himself. When he is killed in the last panel those words come back to you and give his death meaning in the story. It was also damn impressive to me. One problem with this page Ba-Boom! as a see through sound effect doesn't work. Either give it real impact by making it non-transparent, or go another direction and leave it out completely. Screen 6 shows use the villain Shallah getting out of jail and setting up the future conflict. [Could be a battle of wills forthcoming: can Trip 'break' Shallah?] These screens really added to making this a well rounded Zuda submission. Screen 7 had some more well written dialogue, but I'll believe Gitmo is closed when it happens -maybe a little too hopeful. It does provide a interesting contrast with how things are now in the real world. The dialogue on the last two screens is amazingly done, and so is the art to help avoid 'talking heads', and add to the drama. The resolution provided for 'what do we do with them?' shows politicians in this comic have more guts than real life -as of now. Its a bonus to this story looking at the comic, then looking back to the real world, and seeing just how much they diverge. Realism was the initial draw for me, but by the end it became something different. The real hook here for grabbing readers with this story isn't showing us the way the world is, but the way it could be. I hope the story lives on and thank you/congrats to all the I.C.E. team for a great read.


Read RKB's full review here.

7/29/09

Appearing Live! on Webcomics Reviews & Interviews Tonight!

Hey everybody! The crazy month of July is almost complete! As a nice capstone to this, probably my biggest month in comics, I'm going to be appearing on Webcomics Reviews & Interviews tonight (Wednesday July 28th, 8 PM EDT ) talking to Jamais Jochim about my Zuda experience, ICE, Over, Tears of the Dragon and anything else he wants to chat about.

Listen live and you can call in or chat in questions or comments about Over or any of my other projects.

Here’s the link to bookmark:

http://www.talkshoe.com/talkshoe/web/talkCast.jsp?masterId=33290&cmd=tc

7/23/09

T-Shirts Coming Soon!

One of the big things I plan on doing after the craziness of Zuda month dies down is opening up stores for both Over and Tears of the Dragon.

Both regular and Artist's Editions of Over chapter one have been sent to the printers, and I hope to do the same for the first chapter of Tears relatively soon.

In addition to print books, I'm planning on making some t-shirts available for purchase. Here is a preview of the first Tears shirt that will be available. Again, a special thanks to Andrew Jarvis for the killer logo design.

7/20/09

The ICE Robot 6 Interview!

Over the weekend I talked to the fine folks at Robot 6 @ Comic Book Resources as they covered all 10 Zuda contestants. You can read the full interview here, but since this is my blog, I'm re-posting my portion of the interview. Give her a read...

*****************************************************************

JK: Tell me a little bit about yourself — is this your first comic-creating experience, or have you done other work in the field? What do you do when you aren’t creating comics?

Tyler: The Interrogation Control Element (ICE) creative team is four strong. It was conceived and written by me, Tyler James, who Zudaheads may remember from April 2008’s competition, where my comic Super Seed finished 4th (behind two eventual Zuda contract winners.) I’ve been writing and drawing comics for most of the last fifteen years, and am currently the writer/artist of Over, a romantic comedy online graphic novel that debuted last month, and Tears of the Dragon, a fantasy epic, which began its weekly run the 14th of July. When not making funny books, I work as a video game designer and content produce for a small software company, and teach making comics to kids and adults.

I’ve been joined on ICE by the kick ass art team of penciller/ inker Damian Couceiro and colorist Paul Little. Damian is an award winning artist from Argentina, who is most known for his work on Joe Casey’s Full Moon Fever, for AIT Planet Lar. Paul is a workhorse colorist who has made pretty such titles as Bomb Queen (Shadowline/ Image Comics), Dynamo 5 (Image Comics) and The Matriarch (Arcana Studios). (I’ve also grabbed him for work on Tears of the Dragon. He’s too good!) And rounding out the team is editor Steven Forbes, who is copy-editor of Warmageddon Quarterly, co-writer of indy hit Fallen Justice, and writer of two must-read columns for any aspiring comics writers, Bolts & Nuts and The Proving Ground.

JK: What’s your comic about, and where did the idea for it come from?

Tyler: ICE is a story that was inspired by a New York Times article about Deuce Martinez, the CIA interrogator who broke Al Qaeda mastermind Khalid Shaikh Mohammed. Unlike his colleagues, who were using “enhanced interrogation techniques” to try to break prisoners, Deuce took a different, more cerebral approach. And he was incredibly effective and got the guy talking.

I thought such a character could make for a compelling protagonist. And as I started doing my research on interrogators in the war on terror, it was clear there was a very powerful story to be told here, and one that we haven’t seen much of in film or comics.

As for the story, ICE takes place in a post-Guantanamo Bay world and tells the story of Trip Higgins, a brilliant senior interrogator for the U.S. military. Trip was one of the most effective interrogators in Iraq and Afghanistan earlier in the decade, a by the book kind of guy who used his wits, psychological ruses, and other legal means to consistently break prisoners and provide valuable, accurate intel to his superiors. However, as other interrogators seemed to rely more on those so called “enhanced interrogation techniques” and his superiors turned a blind eye, Trip became disillusioned with his work and left the military.

Jump forward several years and a new administration, and Trip is chosen to become the senior echo (chief of interrogators) of a new Interrogation Control Element on American soil. Here, Trip will be training a young group of ‘gators how to break the nation’s most valuable (and in some cases deadliest) prisoners, within the bounds of the Geneva Conventions. Some of the young interrogators will be extremely wet behind the ears, while others have done this job in the past and may have a different view on the effectiveness and legality of enhanced interrogation, creating conflict with Trip.

Trip’s counterpoint is Fazul Shallah, a brutal extremist who, after an eight month stint in an Afghan prison, decides to eliminate the leadership of his multi-national terrorist organization and assume control himself. Once he’s solidified his control, Shallah coordinates a series of terrible terrorist attacks and soon becomes Trip’s team’s number one priority. When faced with such a ruthless enemy, Trip’s by-the-book tactics and respect for the rule of law will be tested, and the two men with diametrically opposed views are set on a collision course.

JK: How much of your story do you have mapped out at this point, beyond the eight pages that you submitted to Zuda? And how did you decide what to put into those eight pages?

Tyler: Well, there are another couple of pages already drawn by Damian and ready to go, but that was more because I decided I wanted to swap in a different short scene within my crucial eight submission pages. The story is mapped out. I’ve written it as if it were a limited graphic novel series or a feature film. So, all of the major beats, highs and lows, beginning middle and end, etc. are mapped out and a few choice sequences are detailed. Damian’s also been working on some character designs for the rest of our cast who didn’t make the initial 8 pages. But, should we win, I’ll definitely have some full-scripting to do. (But hey, that’s what they’re paying us for, right?)

As for what to include, I think I was able to squeeze as much story into the initial eight pages as I could without going overboard. I felt I needed to set up the world, firmly establish the protagonist, introduce the main antagonist, and set the table for what’s to come. It was important I also gave Damian the chance to show off his chops artwise, and I think he delivered.

JK: What are you doing to market your comic this month?

Tyler: What aren’t I doing to market this thing? I pretty much feel that’s all I’ve been doing for the past week. There’s Twitter posts and updates (you’re following me at @tylerjamescomic, right?) I’ve been doing some on the fly contests through Twitter and hooking people up with some gorgeous ICE prints. I’ve been running some Project Wonderful ads, but I’m determined not to blow my whole DC Comics check on marketing this time around. (That’s the sneakiest thing about the Zuda business plan. Their outlays paying contestants for their work double as advertising. Pretty brilliant.)

Additionally, I whipped up a super cool trailer that has gotten a ton of hits over on YouTube. Watch it. It’ll tingle those patriotic goosebumps Americans get when we here The Star Spangled Banner. I’ve banner ads on all my comic sites, and I’m currently running new content on FOUR different comic sites concurrently with the Zuda contest. So, check out Over, Super Seed, Tears of the Dragon, and CounterTerror if you need more comic goodness from me.

You know, despite the international nature of Zuda competitions, this is not American Idol. It doesn’t take a million votes to win. In fact, it’s more like a high school student body election. But you gotta work for those votes. The “best” comic has no guarantee to win. In fact, you can guarantee the “best” comic won’t win if they don’t match the intensity and hard work they put into the submission with beating the bushes to get the word out.

JK: So no matter how great all the submissions are in a given month, there can be only one. Even if you don’t win, do you plan to continue with your strip in another venue?

Tyler: That’s a great question. You know, the sad part of Zuda, is that there are a whole host of comics that were well-regarded, found an audience, clearly of quality, and yet came up short. The graveyard of Zuda runner-ups is full of a lot of good comics.

From a creator’s standpoint, something bugs me about creators putting a ton of work into their comic, promoting the holy hell out of it, getting positive, constructive feedback on it, and then abandoning it completely because they aren’t going to get the Zuda contract. As if Zuda is the be all and end all of webcomics.

Don’t get me wrong, I love Zuda and I think it would be a tremendous opportunity. But there are SO many other things you can do with your comic properties! For example, I launched Over, a webcomic I’m self-publishing on its own site, overcomic.com, last month and it ended up getting about three times as many page views in a month as Super Seed did when it competed on Zuda. And that’s without heavy advertising, the draw of the competition and the marketing might of DC/Warner Bros. Yes, Zuda is good exposure, but it’s still just a small portion of the vast ocean that is webcomics.

All that being said, we may not choose to go full steam ahead with ICE should we not win the Zuda contract. This is for two reasons. First, ICE is a hard book to write. Writing realistic fiction, dealing with highly controversial, straight from the headlines topics, without any supernatural, suspension of disbelief stuff, is very very difficult. Because, the more realistic the world setting you’re writing, the quicker people are to call bullshit on something that seems far fetched or inaccurate. With a jovial ribbing, this isn’t a problem with entries where you have a talking lab rat and a car-driving monkey. Pretty much anything goes at that point. (I am a fan, though, Mr. Bivens.) Second, ICE is an expensive story to produce. Regardless of whether or not ICE is your favorite submission, from the comments thread on Zuda, there is pretty much universal agreement that this is a professional, quality submission. Professional work costs money. Damian and Paul both cut me a deal on page rates for the Zuda submission and were awesome to do so. Guys, Damian is a star in the making and the sky is the limit for this guy. And Paul is coloring God knows how many books every month. These guys more than earn their paychecks. Unfortunately, at the moment it would be awful tough for me to pay them what they’re worth and foot the bill for a run of the full mini-series/graphic novel, without a publishing deal lined up. (Hint, hint, publishers.)

Regardless though, the story will get told. This will probably be the next feature length screenplay I write. (Everyone says you need at least two spec scripts…I only have one at present.) But I would absolutely LOVE to continue it on Zuda, and for the rest of the month, I’ll be doing everything in my power to make that happen.

7/16/09

Tears of the Dragon Starts Its Run!


At long last, Tears of the Dragon, the fantasy epic I've been working on for the past year, has made its online debut. Tears is written by Indonesian artist Koko Amboro, colored by Canada's finest Paul Little, and written by All-American boy Tyler James (that's me.)

Tears of the Dragon will update with a new page every Tuesday! So add it to your weekly webcomics rotation, boys and girls.

7/15/09

ICE Covers ComicsNews.Info

Thanks again to Gus Higuera, as his Interrogation Control Element interview was picked up by ComicNews.Info and featured as their cover story.

Very cool stuff. Read the article here.

How's the contest going? ICE is currently in 4th place. The first two comics seem to be doing a hell of a marketing job. It'll be interesting to see how this thing plays out.

Also worth checking out is MPD's review of ICE. Never one to gush, MPD has an interesting take. While ICE didn't quite work for him as a Zuda comic, as always, provocative thoughts and Zuda related conversation prevail on his site.

7/6/09

Interrogation Control Element Needs Your Vote!

video

Follow this Link to read Interrogation Control Element.

Sign In to Vote, Rate, Make a Favorite, and Comment!

Every vote counts. Every Vote helps. Especially yours!

Thanks,

Ty

6/26/09

CC!TA+C@Comic Related #4: Research Part II

Another Creating Comics! article at Comic Related is now up. In it, I talk about the development of a research plan for Interrogation Control Element.

If you missed any of my earlier articles, you can always check them at over there, or follow these links:

1: Big Goals

2: Resolutions

3: The Great Idea

4: Research- Part 1

6/22/09

June Projects Update!

Here's the monthly round up of all things Tyler James Comics!

Over
  • Kick-off month has been a success! With very little advertising outside of my Twitter/Facebook updates reminding folks a new page is up every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, Over has already gotten off to a promising start. Some 2000+ unique visitors have stopped by overcomic.com, and the story has yet to get into full gear. Additionally, I'm pleased with the response Over is getting, especially from folks who aren't your typical comic book readers.
  • I was also happy to have Over score a positive first review from RKB and Pigs of the Industry. If you haven't read the review, make sure you check it out.
  • I'm on schedule to wrap up the first 34 page chapter before the end of the month, and will then start the printing process. More details on how you can get your hands on a print copy of Over next month.
ICE
  • You know the old saying, "A trailer speaks louder than words?"






Tears of the Dragon
  • Still on schedule for it's July 14th kickoff. Colored pages are starting to come in from Paul Little, and I'm expecting another batch of pages from Koko very soon.
  • Here's just another glimpse at Tears for ya.
  • I need to budget some time to work on the script for the second issue of Tears, so that Koko can pick right up with it as soon as he finishes the latest pages.


Creating Comics! The Art + Craft
  • I'm now four articles into my run over at Comic Related. So far so good. It'd be nicer if I could get more comments and discussion going in the comments fields, but it's still early in my tenure as a comic columnist. Hopefully some people are finding my articles beneficial.
  • If you needs to get caught up on the articles, here is a link to the latest column.
Other Stuff
  • Sure, there's other stuff going on. Lot's of it. Another Creating Comics! class in the fall, conventions stuff to plan, promotions galore for my various endeavors. I'm a busy kid at the moment. But busy is good.

6/21/09

Pigs of the Industry Interview!

In addition to his review of Over, which I mentioned the other day, Pigs of the Industry blogger RKB interviewed me for his blog, asking questions about Over and some of my other projects, and about how I do the voodoo that I do.

Read the full interview at his site here.

6/19/09

Over #3: Pigs of the Industry Reviews "Over"


I just read Pigs of the Industry's review of Over, my romantic comedy online graphic novel that launched at the beginning of this month. Pigs' blogger-in-chief RKB usually reviews Zuda competition submissions, but I was pleasantly surprised to hear he was going to be reviewing my self published title this week.

RKB was a big supporter of Super Seed when it had a go in the April 2008 Zuda comp, and I was pleased to read in his review that he is also really enjoying Over. A snippet from his review:

The dialogue and Felix's interactions with the people he knows has some funny lines and real feelings in just the first few pages. What puts Over over the top with me is the color scheme, and the letters. The tonal coloring matches the moments in the story....

The best thing for me about the story is the 3-D characters I'm seeing on my flat screen. I have no idea how this story is going to end. Will Felix get Faith back??? I doubt it, but it could happen. Will Gwen become a new love interest for Felix? Will Sootch become a quaterback in the NFL??? Will Tony ever get those pages of 'Fire of the Pendragon'? The fact I care about what happens to all these characters (not just Felix), is proof Tyler did a amazing comic you should be reading.



Read RKB's full review here.

6/16/09

CC!TA+C@Comic Related #4: Research Part I


My latest Creating Comics! article at Comic Related is now up. I discuss the importance of research and gives some tips for researching for your comic stories.

If you missed any of my earlier articles, you can always check them at over there, or follow these links:

#1: Big Goals

#2: Resolutions

#3: The Great Idea