Wednesday, August 26, 2015

BW&R Episode #77!

We've got a NEW episode of Black, White & Read ALL OVER!  It was SUUUUUUCH a good week for books -- I can't even deal.  Can't.  Even.

Check it out...





Here's what was on the talking block:

Civil War #3 (Marvel) - Charles Soule (w) and Lenil Yu (a)
Hank Johnson: Agent of Hydra (Marvel) - David Mandel (w) and Michael Walsh (a)
Godzilla in Hell #2 (IDW) - Bob Eggleton
Fight Club 2 #4 (Dark Horse) - Chuck Palahniuk (w) and Cameron Stewart (a)

Honorable mentions:

Old Man Logan #4 (Marvel) - Brian M. Bendis (w) and Andrea Sorrentino (a)
Lando #3 (Marvel) - Charles Soule (w) and Alex Maleev (a)
Superman #43 (DC) - Gene Yang (w) and John Romita Jr. (a)
Ant-man's Last Days #1 (Marvel) - Nick Spencer (w) and Ramon Rosanas (a)

Sunday, August 16, 2015

The Samaritan: Abridged for Younger Readers


The Samaritan -- the BEST SELLING, award-nominated, indy, hit title from Vantage:Inhouse Productions just got even more ACCESSIBLE!  


As an African-American creator, I understand an inherited responsibility to use my projects to speak for and to the often overlooked minority readership of comics.  And though I don't aim to with every title, it has been with a measure of pride that I have successfully touted The Samaritan as a specifically 'black comic'; marketing it to those who are seeking to see themselves on the pages as viable heroes, making a difference.

But, I've always felt that the audience that may need to read it most, has been denied access due to the gritty realism of the heavy-handed language and content: urban youth.  Granted, with music and other forms of entertainment -- heck, even their very own lifestyles -- they PROBABLY have already been exposed to much of what The Samaritan has to offer.  But that doesn't mean I need to continue that cycle of familiarity.

So with the help of series artist/collaborator, Ren McKinzie, I've put together an abridged version, edited for language, but also undergoing a sort of "Machete Cut" -- nixing a whole issue and parts of another, whose content would prove a little too graphic for the intended readers.

But wait...there's more!

To further our readership goals, we're aiming to entice educators to support this title by adding follow up reading questions to the end of every chapter, highlighting the true literary merits not only for The Samaritan as a title, but comics as a medium.

If you're a teacher, librarian, administrator or parent and you'd like to receive notification for when this book will be available, feel free to contact me at vantageinhouse@gmail.com.

-Victor Dandridge

Friday, August 14, 2015

(re)Introducing...Origins Unknown: Who pt.2

Earlier this year, I posted about the updates I had enacted for Origins Unknown, both on a visual basis and where it stood, conceptually within the growing V:IP Universe.  As I stated then, the books really seemed to lack the visual appeal that some of the other titles maintained and it hurt sales tremendously because of it.  So, now, we've had a few months with the new cover (and boasted Secret Origins-like position of the series as a whole) and I can tell you that while sales have boosted, but the cover's created a NEW problem for consideration.

When laid out across the table, I have to admit, the new cover for Origins Unknown looks GREAT!  Granted, the new design called for leaving behind the tag-line that defined the series: "You can't be what the world needs until you know what you are."  But it really stood out well and drew the attention of many potential readers.

Updated to reflect the "WHO" theme of the volume.
But that's where the biggest problem laid.

They'd be very earnest in coming to check out this vibrant, bright cover, so proudly (and prominently) featuring its female lead.  But when they began to flip through the pages, you could almost see the dismay on their faces as they looked into...a black and white book...:(

Obviously, I'd hate to believe fans to be so discerning, but I had to admit the possibility that we would've moved even more units if the interiors held any sort of the colorful splash that the cover initiated.

I only had the intention of coloring Somewhere I Belong, so the coloring style had to be something that would serve, not only the story, but the interest of the book.  Too dynamic and I'd HAVE TO get the rest of the book colored; not enough and well...I might as well have left it black and white.  So, with that thought in mind, I went on a feverish search for a solution and I found it in the pages of Marvel's Hawkeye!  The muted colors (by Matt Hollingsworth) was exactly what I was looking for -- a range of operation that was easy to look at, but interesting.  And it wasn't too domineering -- Jacob's line, while very thin and delicate on this issue, were still the hard selling point and should be protected (if not projected) above anything else.

And here's the final result!






































And it just so happens, I finished production on these just as this review from Chris Ventura of Dark Avenger went live on YouTube (subscribe to his channel!):


Well...like I said in that first post, we ARE following up with three NEW stories (Pursuit of Happiness, No One Believes Me, and I Make Her Say), which will likely see publication next year.

But the best news of all...




...wait for it...







JACOB IS COMING BACK TO DO THEM!!!

That's right -- my right hand for the Origins Unknown project is laying down some serious awesome.  Check out some of the sketches he's sent me already...










Thursday, August 13, 2015

Episode 75!!!! #BlackWhite&ReadAllOver

Watch me!!!



75 Episodes!!  How did this happen?  And so much fun STILL!

While we didn't make a HUGE deal of it (aside from the AWESOME dance party at the beginning!), I've gonna confess that I'm INSANELY proud of what we've accomplished with this show!  We're having fun -- like ALL THE FUN -- and it shows with every filming!  A tremendous thanks goes to Ryan and Shelby for their brilliance and interest!  (You guys have brought me along on a tremendous ride!!)

This week's reads:
Phonogram The Immaterial Girl #1 (Image) - Kieron Gillen (w) and Jamie McKelvie (a)
Lando #2 (Marvel) - Charles Soule (w) and Alex Maleev (a)
Secret Wars #5 (Marvel) - Jonathan Hickman (w) and Esad Ribic (a)
Walking Dead #145 (Image) - Robert Kirkman (w) and Charlie Adlard (a)

Honorable Mentions:
String Divers #1 (IDW) - Chris Ryall (w) and Nelson Daniel (a)

A-Force #3 (Marvel) - Marguerite Bennett (w) and Jorge Molina (a)

Trill League #0 - Anthony Piper (w/a) -- You NEED this book (its wack)!  I LOVED everything about it (Hot Gar-Bage)!

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Weekender

I can certainly attest, being self-employed is cause for many long working hours, late nights and no days off.  But while the grind of following my dreams and passions can be daunting, they aren't without their cushions of fun, experience and prestige!  This past weekend, DEFINITELY counts as such -- with so much happening, it kinda illustrates why my banner says I'm "The Hardest Working Man in Comics"...! (LOL)

Thursday:

One of the perks of my AMAZING partnership with Comic Town (in addition to co-hosting Black White & READ All Over and them carrying V:IP titles) is working together on joint outreach opportunities!  The latest saw us returning to the Gateway Film Center, as part of the Geek Sneak event for the release of Ant-Man!

All work and no play...actually its all fun!
Built to add a commemorative experience to the initial showings of pop culturally viewed "Geek" movies, the Geek Sneak had scientist doing live demos on ants, experiments showcasing size augmentation and compression (with MARSHMALLOWS!!!), a specialized menu (featuring Pym Particled Popcorn Shrimp) and a Comic Town pop-up shop!

I was on hand, signing books for a number of generous readers (thank you all!).  It was a test of my tenacity as a creator, because while I was out in the lobby, my family was happily watching Ant-Man...without me....(tears).  But at least they were able to snap this quick shot of Ryan and I promoting BW&R, right before the trailers started!

Friday:

Coming back to the theatre, I manned the CT pop-up, selling my books and promoting my appearance at S.P.A.C.E. (Small Press & Alternative Comics Expo).  I think Ant-man kinda lost out to Trainwreck, but I still had quite a few people swing by to chat me up!

Artwork for Colonies!
The ease of traffic DID afford me the opportunity to finish the artwork for the mini-comic "Colonies," I had started -- a kind of autobiographical story about my time as a comic creator...told through the lens of being an ant.  Its a bit more alternative than what I'm known for, but I think stretching those muscles is always an attempt to improve!

And to make it all EVEN better, I got to see Ant-man myself!  It really is a good movie -- full of the heart and charm that I think won me over with Thor and fit better in the Marvel Cinematic Universe than Iron Man 3 did!

Saturday:

Me and the Indy Huntress, Crystal O'Rourke!!!
Ugh...I hate -- Hate -- HATE being late.  Especially for shows.  But as luck would have it, car issues kept me from arriving and setting up at SPACE until nearly 10:30 -- a whole half-hour after the show opened.  But luckily, I was able to setup pretty quickly and get a nice walk around, saying hey to all the people I know.

If you've followed me on social media, you may note that SPACE genuinely has a special place in my heart.  Though not necessarily the most lucrative of shows I regularly attend, its a hallmark of my city AND my career.  Its a home to me and just like with real families, the people that live there don't always see eye to eye, nor do we always like each other.  But we're there for something bigger than any us and its always good to feel that creative energy.

I got to see a few people I hadn't in a while, and others I hadn't seen BEHIND a table even longer.  Its good to know that even though so much life has happened, comics (and SPACE) are never too far away to help bring them back in.

Sunday:

It's finally HERE!  After WEEKS of hype and promotion, the fateful day of Ol' Crazy & the 40oz of Death release has finally arrived!  With a scheduled signing with series artist, Bryan Moss, we FINALLY had Ol' Crazy join the ranks of The Samaritan and The Trouble w/Love on our table.  The response to it has already been phenomenal (we actually have it available for digital download RIGHT NOW through Peepgamecomix.com), but seeing it in person FLOORED everyone, both creators and readers, alike!
Local artist, Brian Williams grabbed the FIRST copy!

While I'm not usually on panels at SPACE, I was asked by Bill Campbell of Rosarium Publishing to take part in a discussion on diversity -- one of the hot button issues in the industry right now.  Joined by Canada Keck and Dara Naraghi, we did our best to use our individual experiences to voice both the conundrums and advances with regards to such challenging subject matter.  I think it was a healthy representation of the different viewpoints, but one that is innately limited in its affectively, because we ONLY have so long to talk about it!

And THAT was my weekend!  I know, I know...I live a VERY awesome life!  Be on the look out for more from V:IP -- we've got plenty of things in the works, as well as the upcoming release of Wonder Care Presents: The Kinder Guardians #3 -- BEWARE THE KID NAPPER!!!!!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

COMING SOON: Wonder Care Presents: The Kinder Guardians #3


In just a few short weeks, the Kinder Guardians will return in a brand new adventure!


 Wonder Care Presents: The Kinder Guardians #3
"Beware the Kid Napper!"

Written by Victor Dandridge
Art by Justin Castaneda

Quickly; quietly -- SNEWZ HAS COME!  Can the Kinder Guardians stand up to their first big-baddie in this thrilling issue that begs to ask, do you believe in monsters?

12pg (8pgs of story + activities)
Full Color
$2.99 USD





But you don't have to go COMPLETELY without -- here's a sneak peek -- straight from Justin's drawing station:




And don't forget to  see our newest #DareToCompare campaign, where we're offering a free read of Wonder Care Presents: The Kinder Guardians #1!


Wednesday, June 10, 2015

BLACK WHITE & READ: Ep. 67





The laughs abound aplenty in this week's episode!  I don't know what happened, but Ryan and I were clearly in our LESS mature frames of mind!  (LOL!)  But besides our taste for debauchery, we share our love for some pretty spectacular comics!

WeirdWorld #1 (Marvel) - Jason Aaron (w) and Mike Del Mundo (a)
Batman #41 (DC) - Scott Snyder (w) and Greg Capullo (a)
Chrononauts #4 (Image) - Mark Millar (w) and Sean Murphy (a)

Honorable mentions:
All Star: Section 8 (DC) - Garth Ennis (w) and John McCrea (a)
The Mantle (Image) - Ed Brisson (w) and Brian Level (a)