Wednesday, November 19, 2014

PoV - Two Day Catch UP!

Sometimes, there just aren't enough hours in the day!  As I got my final preps together for Wizard World Reno, I found like NO TIME to write my PoV post yesterday -- AAAAAND as you can see, am barely squeaking by for today.  But alas, it's my own fault for doing soooo much!  Without further ado -- here's a quick run down of what's been happening!

Back in 2012, I launched "On the Horizon," a brand-centric, digital magazine.  Taking cues from Wizard mag, Previews and CLiNT, it was a marketing platform that I thought would be remarkable in building awareness of Vantage:Inhouse and its products, my convention schedule and anything else I could think of.  Unfortunately, we only ran publication for that year -- the workload of it all a bit TOO cumbersome to advance with at the time.  But, bringing it back has been nestled in my mindscape for some time and like an itch I couldn't reach, just wouldn't go away!
So, I'm bringing it back!  Work has already begun on our "Year Book Issue" that will herald its relaunch in the first quarter of 2015 -- my goal is to keep the party moving every 2-3months, but we'll see how well that works out.

In the meantime, I did some reworking of our third issue, "Brick & Mortar" the first to serve as a specific ordering platform for shops and retailers.  I've got a few accolades to add in, but for the most part, this is what the book will look like!

 I'm having a few test copies printed up to hand out to some of the shops out west, this weekend!  Take a gander and go to YOUR comic shop and tell them you want the V:IP Treatment RIGHT NOW!

One shop you WON'T have to beg to get V:IP on the shelves is Comic Town in Columbus, OH!  Ryan [Seymore] and I go waaaaaaaaay back and he's been astoundingly supportive of my endeavors.  So, when he asked me to partner up with him on a weekly review series, "Black, White & Read All Over," it was kind of a must that I join the party!  We've filmed most of the year, but like a L-O-S-E-R, I'm just not giving it a weekly nod on my page (Boooooo, Victor!).

On this week's episode, we were flabbergasted by the sheer BEAUTY of Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely's Pax Americana #1 (DC Comics).  It may seriously be the best comic of the year, even though it is CLEARLY not for the casual comic book reader.  I can't recommend it enough for those already initiated.

In fact, I was so smitten by the idea, Ryan and I did a live-tweet session about it this morning!  We nuanced.  We geeked.  We gushed!  We even got the attention of Nathan Fairbairn, series colorist -- him chiming in was definitely a highlight!  If you get a chance, jump onto twitter and check the #PaxAmericana -- feel free to throw out some observations of your own!

Another bit off my to-do list was to finalize my considerations for the 'Dare to Compare' campaign I want to showcase my books through.  In a nutshell, I'm comparing my current run of books against relatable, previously published titles/characters.  I figure, to give, both retailers and buyers, an honest gauge on if they'd be interested in reading our books is a great way to build trust in our brand.  We're not going anywhere for some time and we want to make sure people know to expect great things from us!

Right quick, before I sign off -- I want to give a round of applause to ALL of the 2014 SPACE Prize nominations!  Though I haven't read a lot of the work that was nominated, I'm always impressed by the caliber of talent that show always attracts!  And for my FELLOW FINALISTS --  That's right, V:IP has earned a finalist position for the THIRD YEAR IN A ROW -- CONGRATULATIONS!  I know competition will be stiff, but there's nothing like going up agains the cream-of-the-crop to really test your mettle!  Thanks to Bob Corby for all his hard work to make S.P.A.C.E. a better show than it was the year before!

Well, that's about it -- the next time you hear from me, I'll be under the twinkling lights of Reno, Nevada!  Until then -- buy some comics!

Monday, November 17, 2014

PoV: 11/17/14

Vantage:Inhouse aims to not just entertain, but to INSPIRE new creators!  In my outings across the country, I've endeared myself to a number of fans who've shown a proclivity towards making comics and I do what I can to support them!  This weekend, we've sponsored Josh Christopher's FIRST convention appearance at Derby City Comic Con's Cavalcade of Comics!
Poster features the artwork of The Trouble
w/Love co-creator, Harold Edge!!!

Unfortunately, I won't be there to help celebrate Josh's first step on to the comic convention stage. :( Instead, I'll be hob-nobbing it out west at Wizard World Reno -- where I'll be ENDING my 2014 convention season!  I'm covering new ground with this show, having NEVER visited the great state of Nevada before -- but I'm SURE it'll go with a bustle of fanfare and acclaim!

So, I've stated it before and it's finally come to effect -- Wizard World Reno will be my LAST pixel-art focused convention appearance!  My goals as a comic book creator and publisher need to put back in the forefront and that's JUST what I've already set into motion!  Not one to wait, I've created a care-package for Reno-based comic shops owners -- a way to introduce what I'm doing thru V:IP to some eager new markets!

It's been a BUSY day (some announcements you'll have to wait just a wee bit longer to hear) -- but tune in tomorrow and find out what more we're sharing!!

Sunday, November 16, 2014

PoV: 11/15/14

What's in a day?  If you're constantly in the mix, on the go and as busy as I tend to be -- a day's real estate can be a pretty fruitful plane.  To keep my (growing) list of readers in the loop on my daily goings-on, I'm launching this recap of events -- ideally, jotted down in the moment -- but at worst, remembered to the best of my intent!

After a family breakfast, I squirreled a way time to finish reading Words for Pictures, the BRILLIANT book by Marvel Comics mainstay, Brian M. Bendis.  

I've had the privilege of reading some inspiring books on the craft of comics, but this one is probably the most inclusive to bridging the gap between the independent and professional/mainstream markets for creators.  Do me a favor -- breathe it.  Don't just read it, take it in and let inform and change you.  It's a brilliant piece and I'm rating a MUST for your collection!

Work has begun, in earnest, on Wonder Care #2!  But locking down the story has been a bit of a task.  I THINK I've got it now...but it's kind of required a complete revamp of the plot and execution.  Stay tuned to see how it all fares!

This was supposed to be a light-week in terms of events for me.  But I got a message that Twilight Star, a local publishing studio to Springfield, Ohio was celebrating their fifth Star Con (a brand-centric convention, hosted at Main St. Comics & Games), with a standing invite to come.  I've lettered a few of their short stories and even licensed them to publish The Villain in one of their anthology titles.

It was a pleasure to stop by and I ended up staying FAR longer than I had intended (even skipping out on my planned attendance of the Jeff Smith/ Tim Spurgeon convo).  But hey -- that's what happens when you're involved with other passionate creators!

So, that was basically my day!  A mix and match of comic business education, new ideas, entertainment and showcase.  I'd be lying if I said it DOESN'T have me all excited for what I WILL do tomorrow...  

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Wizard World Ohio Presents: HEARTLAND

    When it comes to comic books, its easy to think of states like New York and California having the most impact.  With being home to the two LARGEST publishers of mainstream content, as well as coastal rivals over hosting the LARGEST conventions in the US, both put up a compelling argument for being the most notable state in comic production.  But looks can be deceiving.

    OHIO!  Not Krypton or even Kansas can claim being the birthplace of THE first superhero -- but the Buckeye State can!  Legendary creators, Jerry Seigel and Joe Shuster were residents of Ohio (in Great Lake bordering city of Cleveland to be exact) when they crafted, SUPERMAN, the cultural phenom that kickstarted the superhero mythos as we know it today.  And that air of creativity has lasted and flourished in a number of capacities, through a multitude of hands and an undying love of the comic form.

     At this year's Wizard World Ohio, I aim to shine a spotlight on those creators -- both past and present, who call Ohio their home and bring their characters and stories to life, right here in "America's Heartland."  On Saturday, from 12:30-1:15pm, I'll be joined by creators from across the state as we share our work to existing fans and new ones alike!

The marriage between comics and Ohio has been long and fruitful, with many comic notables from Joe Shuster, Jerry Siegel, Harvey Pekar, Paul Pope and MANY more, calling the Buckeye State their home. That tradition of creativity and innovation continues on both the mainstream and alternative fronts, with new and established voices for the comic medium. Introduce yourself to the creators who live just next door and their wonderful works!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

4 Years Later...

4 years, man.  A time frame typically revered for the summer Olympics and Presidential terms, now quantifies how long I've been on this journey of making comics as my full-time, one-and-only gig.  I took that step.  I made that leap.  I shuffled loose the mortal toil of the 9-to-5 daily grind, FINALLY setting myself free to realize my wildest dreams…and let me tell you, a great many of them have come true!

In just these last four years, I've EXPONENTIALLY outpaced the earnest start of my comics career that I THOUGHT I had mustered in the years prior.  The idea that you don't really know how far you've gone until you get there is so much MORE than true for me.  I thought I had done something.  Been somebody.  I was decently known in my little sector of the 2814 (or so I thought), having racked up some fans, friends and comrades in the continually growing comics mecca of central Ohio.


 I hadn't done nuthin' (if you'll pardon the double-negative)!  Not socially, not creatively, and certainly not professionally.  Don't get me wrong; my aim ISN'T to discount the connects and creations I had made up to that point -- just recognizing, with a little retrospective recognition, how large that ripple grew to be! 

Then vs. Now BY THE NUMBERS:
Average shows a year - 4 to 15.75 (Growth of 393%)
Books with my name of them - 7 to 34 (Growth of 485%)
Max distance traveled (for a show) - (then) Chicago, IL (now) Seattle, WA (Growth of 634%)

Things grew, as I said, exponentially -- a verbose term usually, but I promise -- if those numbers don't wow you at least a little, you may already be dead...or superstar colorist, Jeff Balke!  
NOW!  Well...sorta...Appleseed 2013!  But still!

It's true; I have seen some things and been some places.  But, it's only informed me of how truly far STILL, I have to go before my name resonates with the Geoff Johns, Brian Michael Bendises, Jim Lees and Joe Quesadas of the world!  That's why, despite my growth and accomplishments thus far, I'm calling this the "High School Years" of my career!  In fact, I'm reviving our brand magazine, On The Horizon with 'The Year Book Issue' -- a COMPLETE editorial of my take on what these past four years have done and mean. 

At its core, I believe this gave me a taste of what life has in store, IF I can maintain my focus and dedication.  These years have been wonderful and dynamic!  I look forward, not just to four more, but DECADES -- all spent in pursuit of story and with all the love of comics I can muster! 

But...before I go.  How about a hint of what's to come...?

Oh my?!

Saturday, August 16, 2014

WONDER CARE Presents: THE KINDER GUARDIANS#1 Premieres @ WizardWorld Chicago!!!

At long last, the first issue of this EXCITING all-ages title will premiere at Wizard World Chicago (Aug 21st-24th)!

Wonder Care Presents:
The Kinder Guardians #1
Can you break the sound barrier or shoot lasers from your eyes, then join the school for the EXTREMELY gifted and talented -- Wonder Care!  Where training the next generation of heroes isn't just our job -- IT'S OUR PLEASURE!!

"How Far is Up?" - Pep, the resident speedster, has a goal to run through the sky!  But supporting it puts super-twins, Castor and Pollux, at odds.  Is better to let reality anchor your dreams or encourage the impossible?

Written by Victor Dandridge
Art by Justin Castaneda


JOIN US: SATURDAY, Aug. 23rd for an exclusive signing (time to be determined)!!