Well, once again Western Massachusetts (home of the Secret Identity Podcast) was smashed with a disaster of epic proportion!
Recap! Since June we have had a tornado, earthquake, hurricane, a micro burst and now a blizzard! This blizzard hit us hard with wet snow and ice that weighed down our trees (full of award winning foliage I might add) and snapped power lines, cable and everything else. As of a few minutes ago, 33% of Springfield is without power. Probably 1/4 of Massachusetts is in the same boat and Northern Connecticut is not looking good either.
The good news is Brian and I (as well as our wives, kids and pets) are all safe. We are just a bit inconvenienced since you get used to things like hot water, food and heat in your house. Not to mention the temps outside won’t pass 40 degrees today.
But, what doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger and we will
survive! It will be a bit of a tough road until power gets restored. The best guess is next week and that sucks, but there is nothing we can do about it except live! We have tons of blankets and love to keep us warm and the Rescue Mission kitchen to make a hot meal.
Keep us in your prayers and thoughts and we hope our recording schedule won’t be interrupted but it doesn’t look good as of
We will update the site as much as we can and remember this…
Western Mass is still an incredible place to raise your
This message brought to you by the Western Mass. Chamber Of Commerce!
Matman and Brian!
It’s that time of year again, gamers! AnonyCon is almost upon us. Every year our good friend Max Saltonstall and his team of amazing staff bring us a fun-filled weekend of gaming down in Stamford, CT. This year’s AnonyCon will be taking place December 2-4, 2011 at the Sheraton Stamford, located at 700 East Main Street in Stamford.
The show kicks off on Friday afternoon and runs through Sunday evening with games of every kind. 4-hour slots of RPGs like Dungeons & Dragons (all editions), Pathfinder, Fellowship of the White Star, Primetime Adventures, Mutants & Masterminds and more run throughout the show. There’s an entire room dedicated to board and card games, featuring a library that you will not see anywhere else. A video game room plays host to consoles and games from past and present generations, and there’s also a dealer room where you can stock up on gaming supplies. All of this gaming greatness is wrapped in a friendly atmosphere, helpful staff, and friends to be made at every table.
Registration for AnonyCon is now open, and you can find details over at www.anonycon.com. Details on all of the weekend’s games and events will be sprouting up on the site over the next few weeks, so you can start planning out your schedule!
You can also join the AnonyCon Facebook group here.
Press ReleaseIn the pantheon of musical legends, John Lennon is at the top of the mountain, if not the king of the mountain. From his time with the Beatles and his solo projects, he asked the world to ignore borders and divisions, and instead he encouraged the average person to embrace what brings people together. And when his life ended viciously from an assassin’s bullet in 1980, the music industry, and the world, lost an advocate for peace, love and true musicality.
Now Bluewater shares Lennon’s story as part of Bluewater Comics “Orbit” series. Orbit: John Lennon will hit comic book stores in Dec. 2011 in time for the anniversary of his passing.
“No one could begin to estimate the contribution the Beatles have had on our world,” said Darren G. Davis, president of Bluewater Comics. “And John Lennon is the perfect choice for our ‘Orbit’ series. He was so much more than just a rock star, because he used his stardom to make the world abetter place.”
Comic book writer Marc Shapiro (Selena Gomez: The Graphic Novel, Female Force: Cher) said he painstakingly worked to capture the essence of Lennon’s story. “I approached writing Fame: John Lennon as an exploration of a life full of potential and promise that was, sadly, cut short,” said Shapiro. “We all know the importance of John Lennon as part of The Beatles. But I felt it was more important to concentrate on his post Beatles' life and career, both good and bad, so that readers would get the clearest possible idea about who he was as a creative entity,husband and father.”
However, Shapiro takes the next step and explores “what might have been.”
The 32-page comic bookfeatures the art and cover by the Brazilian based artist Luciano Kars and will sell for $3.99.
For more information on Orbit: John Lennon and other comics from Bluewater Productions, go to our comic’s section or check them out in your local comic book shop, Barnes & Noble and Amazon.com.
Press ReleaseEarlier this year, Usagi Yojimbo creator Stan Sakai was named the 2011 Cultural Ambassador by the Japanese American National Museum. Shortly thereafter, the JANM opened their Year of the Rabbit exhibit—the most comprehensive collection of Sakai’s work to date.
Stan Sakai has won several Eisner Awards and has received over twenty Eisner Award nominations. Prior to Dark Horse’s long run on the series, there were thirty-eight Fantagraphics issues, sixteen Mirage issues, a summer special, and four color specials. Dark Horse’s Usagi Yojimbo #141 marks the landmark two hundredth overall issue of master storyteller Stan Sakai’s beloved series, and the rabbit ronin celebrates with a special story perfect for new readers, “200 Buddhas”! With a ruthless gang terrorizing his small town, a humble stonecutter receives a vision and sets out to carve two hundred stone figures. Just as he has finished the 199th, a long-eared stranger comes to his door seeking shelter from the rain!After you check out this landmark issue of Usaji, make sure to listen to Issue #23 of Secret Identity, featuring the Stan Sakai panel that Matt moderated at Boston Comic Con 2011!
Some of the most unique and interesting comics hitting store shelves right now are coming from Image! When Image was founded in the 1990’s, they were an alternative to the mainstream books; fresh and unique with creators in full control! Now, a bunch of years later Image is still living up to this model and telling some incredible stories and there are none better than ‘Pigs’!
“Pigs’ is written by Nate Cosby and Ben McCool and tells the story of a second generation sleeper cell that was just awoken! But this is not what you would expect… this cell is from Cuba and their origin and fanaticism stem from the 1960’s!
“Every page seemed to get better and better,” said a very excited Matman! “Pigs has everything; intrigue, action and a seriously disturbing under current that you just want more of. I’ve been waiting too long for a book to make me count the time until the next issue!”
The visuals are handled by Breno Tamura whose dark gritty style just adds to the suspense and mystery of what is going on. He has a very cinematic approach that makes you feel like you’re not just reading the book, but are involved and in danger.
“This book, like ‘Morning Glories’ came right out of nowhere and caught me,” added Matman. “I reviewed in for the next show but I felt the need to get everyone on board with this book. And Pigs # 3 will feature a tasty cover by Amanda Connor!”
To find out more, go to www.imagecomics.com and search for ‘Pigs’!
A big thank you to Sarah for supplying this ‘4 color drug’ to Matman! He needs to get excited about another comic!
Press ReleaseHappy Halloween from Kurt Busiek, Daryl Gregory, Scott Godlewski, and Damian Couciero -- who have a trick for the bags of comic book fans worldwide with the launch of the DRACULA: THE COMPANY OF MONSTERS webcomic! Launching right now with 11 pages ready to be read, www.draculacomic.com will update daily with new content, serializing the critically-acclaimed print issues while introducing new digital-exclusive story pages and creator commentary. It’s another ground-breaking industry first for BOOM! Studios as DRACULA: THE COMPANY OF MONSTERS migrates from print to digital!
Fright fest DRACULA: THE COMPANY OF MONSTERS showcases the talent of Eisner and Harvey Award-winning creator Kurt Busiek (ASTRO CITY), World Fantasy and Locus Award Finalist writer Daryl Gregory (PLANET OF THE APES), artist Scott Godlewski (CODEBREAKERS), and Harvey nominated artist Damian Couceiro (RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES).
Serializing the print comic first, the DRACULA: THE COMPANY OF MONSTERS webcomic will soon showcase new, original digital pages not seen in print and host commentary from the series contributors that gives fans an inside look on how the comics are created.
The site updates everyday, including weekends.
A digital innovator, BOOM! Studios’ DRACULA: THE COMPANY OF MONSTERS will be the first Direct Market comic book series that launches in print and then migrates to the web. Continuing to lead the market, BOOM! Studios was the first company to release day-and-date digital download content in 2007 and was one of the first comic book publishers to have their own downloadable app.
DRACULA: THE COMPANY OF MONSTERS tells how a powerful, predatory corporation acquires a valuable asset - Dracula! They think they own him, but no one can own the Son of the Dragon. There's a monster in their midst that puts Hannibal Lecter to shame - and he plans to gain his freedom in blood. It's bloodsuckers vs. bloodsucker, as Busiek, Gregory, Godlewski, and Couceiro bring an incredibly modern spin to the Dracula mythos.
Don't miss this Halloween's hottest free webcomic at www.draculacomic.com! Starting October 24th and updating each day!
I’m writing a book about how to market yourself if you’re a comic book creator!
(excerpt from the already written forward)
What makes me qualified to write a book about comic book marketing?
Well…I do have a real degree in Marketing from Springfield Technical Community College (MA). I co – host a comic book podcast called Secret Identity that as of this writing has provided comic book news and entertainment for over 6 years. I have a personal collection of over 25,000 comic books so I do know comics. But more importantly for this book, I have gone to hundreds of comic shows and spent time with literally thousands of indie creators. For them, once their book is done, the real job begins. How do they get it into the hands of fans or the professionals that may give them their first chance at work at a ‘big company’?
At New York Comic Con 2011, I was walking with my show partner Brian LeTendre when all of a sudden a creator caught our attention. This guy was fired up and passionate about his books and wanted us to know all about them. So far so good! He then opened up one of the comics and began to tell us how much better they were than any other indie books around. As we looked at the pages we clearly saw they weren’t. His insulting comparison made us look beyond the colors and words and brought the mistakes in his books to the forefront.
Then, the big mistake!!!
When Brian asked him if he wanted to be interviewed for our show he said ‘no’! Saying no isn’t the sin he committed because not everyone feels comfortable talking to the media. Where he blew it big time was telling us how and I quote “if I take the time and talk to you, that is money out of my pocket. That is sales I won’t make.”
Yes, time is valuable, but how could this exchange have been handled differently?
One of the people I was fortunate enough to meet at NYCC this year was Micheal Andrew, creator of the web series Love and Comics. Micheal and his partners at Stillmeadows Productions are now two episodes into this new series, which chronicles the misadventures of a college dropout who is trying to break into the comic business and find a woman to share his dream with.I know we have a lot of fans of Hero Envy and The Swass Adventures in our audience, and I think Love and Comics will appeal to everyone who enijoys those shows. It's well-acted and produced, and hits on a lot of topics we talk about all the time.
You can check out the first episode of Love and Comics in the player below, then head right over to www.loveandcomics.com for the second episode, which debuted this week.You'll be able to hear the interview I did with Micheal in an upcoming episode of Secret Identity. --Brian
Returning for a SIXTH year with a new name and an expanded mission! Images of the World's Most Iconic Heroines Will Help Benefit Domestic Violence Prevention-Intervention Agencies in Oregon, New Jersey, and Texas!
From October 2006-2010, five annual Wonder Woman Day events raised over $110,000 for Domestic Violence programs in Portland, Oregon and Flemington, NJ. The five-year combination of auctions of over 1,100 original art pieces, plus collectibles, autograph signings, and photo opportunities garnered spectacular turnouts and four Portland Mayoral Proclamations!
This year, the event will take on a new name and an expanded mission! On October 30, 2011, the new Women of Wonder Day - again as a part of National Domestic Violence Awareness Month - will take place, returning to Excalibur Books in Portland, Oregon, and Comic Fusion in Flemington, New Jersey, as well as at Heroes and Fantasies in San Antonio, Texas!
This year's contributions for auction include not only artwork featuring heroines from the world of comics - Wonder Woman, She-Hulk, Storm, Michonne from Walking Dead, Leetah from ElfQuest - but also from the world of media as well, including Lisbeth Salander, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Hermione Granger, and others! Plus, TV series such as Glee, Nikita, Big Bang Theory, Castle, and others have donated special items as well! And the all-ages events will include artists and writers signing autographs at each event, as well as costumed characters with whom you can take photos! And in Portland, white-hot writer Brian Michael Bendis is auctioning off a role in one of his upcoming comics!
Details about the three events follow:
Excalibur Comics, 2444 SE Hawthorne Blvd, Portland, Oregon
Sunday, October 30, 2011 - noon-6pm, FREE
An ALL AGES celebration and benefit for domestic violence prevention-intervention agencies! Proceeds of the event will benefit Bradley Angle, one of Portland's leading domestic violence agencies. The free all-ages event will include local and national artists signing comics and special edition prints, as well as a silent auction of original art and collectibles. There will be costumed super-heroes, pirates, and science fiction characters on-site, raffles and prizes, and more.
Andy Mangels is chairing the Portland event, with Debbie Fagnant and Bradley Angle's Rebecca Norman. "Women of Wonder Day is so special to our agency,” says Norman. “For the last six years, it's not only been a key part of how we fund our domestic violence programs, but it's also become a day that brings a different kind of energy and excitement into the work we do. Women of Wonder Day helps us reach out to an audience that might not know our services are available or might have wanted to get involved with charity work but never knew how. And the new format of the event just increases the potential to spread awareness--it means we're going to be able to celebrate even more heroines, and involve even more fans!”
“In 2010 alone, more than 40 Oregonians lost their lives due to domestic violence, which brings the number of victims since the downturn of the economy to over 100. During Domestic Violence Awareness Month and on Women of Wonder Day, we remember that countless men, women, and children continue to live in unsafe situations and fighting for survival--and we celebrate everyone's potential to be a hero. How can you be a hero? Tell a friend or family member who you believe might be experiencing domestic violence that they deserve to be safe and help them find resources like Bradley Angle; bid on one of the amazing pieces of original comic book art that we're auctioning off on EBay and at Excalibur Comics during Women of Wonder Day; and bring your family to the event and talk to your kids about what healthy relationships look like. You can be a hero, too!”
Comic Fusion, 42 Main St., Flemington, New Jersey
Saturday and Sunday, October 29-30, 2011 - noon-5pm, FREE
An ALL AGES celebration and benefit for a domestic violence shelter will take place on Saturday and Sunday, October 29th and 30th, in Flemington, NJ, at Comic Fusion, as part of their “Super-Hero Weekend.” Proceeds of the event will benefit Safe in Hunterdon, a domestic violence shelter in New Jersey. Comic creators will sign and sketch, and costumed characters will be available for photos.
Stacy Korn is chairing the New Jersey event with Beth Delaney. Korn says, “From our first small event, this has grown into a Super Event our community loves! Super Heroes, Super Artists and Super Volunteers are all ready to put some smiles on faces. We look forward to raising money for such a worthy cause as SAFE in Hunterdon!”
Heroes and Fantasies, 4945 NW Loop 410, San Antonio, Texas
Sunday, October 30, 2011 - noon-5pm - FREE
An ALL AGES benefit and celebration for Domestic Violence programs at Family Violence Prevention Services of San Antonio! The free all-ages event will include local and national artists signing comics and sketching art, as well as a silent auction of original art and collectibles. There will be costumed characters on-site, raffles and prizes, and more.
For additional information about any event, or print-ready images, contact:
Andy Mangels AMangelsSW@aol.com
For additional information about the New Jersey event, contact:
Stacy Korn firstname.lastname@example.org
For additional information about the San Antonio event, contact:
Fred Bronaugh email@example.com
Partial list of contributors (all contributors shown at WomenOfWonderDay.com):
Brian Michael Bendis - Dan Parent - David Lloyd - Gilbert Hernandez - Nicola Scott - Wendy Pini - Yldiray Cinar - David Mack - Ethan Van Sciver - Jamal Igle - Katie Cook - Michael Golden - Neil Vokes - Terry Moore - Ben Dunn - Billy Tucci - Bob Layton - Charlie Adlard - Don Kramer - Doug Mahnke - Humberto Ramos - Jeff Moy - Joe Benitez - Phil Hester - Scott McDaniel - Stephane Roux - the cast of GLEE - the cast of BIG BANG THEORY - the cast of CHUCK - the cast of NIKITA - the cast of CASTLE - Patton Oswalt - Robin Williams - Rick Riordan - Lynda Carter - and many, many more!
by Brian LeTendreThose who were unable to attend New york Comic Con in 2010 missed out on a wonderful coloring book put out by Mr. Jason May. Fortunately, Jason recently put that book up on Drive Thru Comics, so parents everywhere could download some robot goodness for their kids.
He did not stop there however, as Jason debuted a brand new Robot Coloring Book at NYCC this past week, and it’s available right now at Drive Thru Comics.
The 2011 Robot Coloring Book features 19 full-page robot sketches (and 22 sketches in all) that range from cute to surreal. While there is an overall theme to Jay May’s robot design, there a plenty of variations, not just in the robots themselves, but in how they are inked and shaded. Even if you didn’t color these things, you could print them out and hang them on your wall--they are all that good.
In addition to the sketches, there are a couple of kids’ activities included that round out the whole coloring book experience. All in all, the book is easily worth the $5 cover price, and with the digital version, kids will be able to print out and color them again and again. 5 out of 5 Robots, Robots, Robots