Thursday, July 3, 2014

SpongeBob Comics + Mermin Halloween Special + SC Comicon All-Ages Panel
SpongeBob Comics #32 and #33 are out, and both feature comics that I've written.  If you'd like to see SpongeBob get a haircut, or Gary the snail go to wilderness survival camp, track these down!
Comic book stores have started doing a yearly event, similar to Free Comic Book Day, called Halloween ComicFest, where they will stock special comics to give to trick-or-treaters.  This year, Halloween ComicFest will include the Mermin Halloween Special!
Mermin, the Mer-Man from Mer, returns! In this special Halloween-themed one-shot, Mermin and his human friends introduce Halloween customs to Mer. How will the undersea inhabitants embrace the dry land holiday? What kind of treats will they exchange in place of tricks? And, most importantly, what costumes will everyone wear?
Available for FREE* from most comic shops on Halloween ComicFest, October 25th.
Also available in a pack of 20 for you to purchase and hand out to your trick-or-treaters. Be the coolest house on the block-cause comics and the gift of reading lasts longer than candy!
(*Check with your local retailer on rules and availability.)
Tell your local comic retailer you'd like them to stock this!  Or order some for yourself to hand out at home!

In May, I went to SC Comicon in Greenville, South Carolina.  I had a great time, and look forward to returning next March.  I took part in an All-Ages Panel with Andy Runton and Jeremy Dale, where we discussed creating comics for everyone from kids to adults, and get into things like our inspirations and even answered some questions from audience members interested in how to make it as a cartoonist.  It was a good panel, and if you missed it, you can listen to it thanks to the Dollar Bin podcast who posted a recording!

Thursday, June 5, 2014

HeroesCon + One Piece Podcast Interview
I'll be at HeroesCon in Charlotte, NC June 20-22!  As usual, I'll be part of Indie Island, table AA-1118, right next to Brad McGinty!  At Heroes, I sell ink drawings, about 5.5"x7", for $10!  Check out some examples from the past few years!  If you'd like to commission me beforehand, either for a $10 drawing, or to discuss buying original pages or custom commissions, please email me at  I've got some premade drawings from the past few years, as well as most of the originals of the Kaijuphabet series for sale as well.  And, of course, I'll have the first two volumes of Mermin, as well as my other graphic novels and mini-comics.  See you there!
Also, I was recently a guest on The One Piece Podcast! Yep, a podcast dedicated to one of my favorite manga series, One Piece!  My interview is 1hr 16min into the show.  We talk about my history with the series, and there's quite a lot of talk about my work, covering some influences and ideas behind Mermin and also what's coming up with Mermin Book 3: Deep Dive (coming this Fall!).  All the One Piece talk is in pretty general terms, for the most part, so I wouldn't say it's completely out of the question for someone who isn't familiar with the series, or totally caught-up, to listen.  Although, I did drop a pretty big recent spoiler, so you've been warned.  Of course, if you're far enough behind, it probably won't even register, and you'll be safe!

As you can see on that link to their site, they have several segments.  I also appeared on the Intro, Manga Recap, Piece Together (fan Q&A), and To Be Continued segments, so if you're a fan of One Piece, and up-to-date with the manga as it's serialized in Shonen Jump, you should check those out too!  Anyway, it was a lot of fun to be on that show.  Thanks to the OPP crew for inviting me!

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Mermin 3 in Previews + Upcoming Convention Schedule
Mermin Book 3: Deep Dive is in the current issue of Diamond's Previews catalog!
No one knows much about Mer, the underwater kingdom where Mermin the Merman was born, but due to a rising conflict with the people of Atlantis, Mermin is needed back home immediately. Which means that his human friends get to accompany him and see all the aquatic wonders of Mer. But once again, Mermin is tight-lipped about his past - even when it's swimming right in front of him. And there are enemies lurking in the seedier depths of Mer who've got their sights set not only on Mermin, but on Pete and his friends!
This volume is a good jumping-on point for new readers, but you've also got a few months to catch up if you haven't read volumes 1 or 2 yet!  Here's a 6-page preview on Comics Alliance.  The Diamond order code is MAY141499.  Tell your local comic shop that you want it!  It's also up for preorder from online retailers like Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

I've also got a couple conventions coming up this month!  First, May 10-11, I'll be at the Toronto Comic Arts Festival! I'll be on the second floor at table 209Here's a map, this con is packed with great cartoonists!  Also, Saturday I'll be participating in the TCAF Draw-Off!
10am-11am: TCAF Draw-Off!
2 teams enter… but only 1 shall leave! Join cartoonists Jeremy Sorese (Little Heart), Liz Prince (Alone Forever), Britt Wilson (The Greatest Book On Earth), Joey Weiser (Mermin), as they draw against each other (with audience participation!) in a battle of the sharpies! Hosted by R. Sikoryak (Masterpiece Comics)
I'm a little nervous about competing against these titans, but it'll be fun!  Come by and give me your support!  Here's a list of all of TCAF's programming.

Then the next weekend, May 17-18, I'll be at SC Comicon in Greenville, South Carolina!  I'm excited about this new show, it seems like it's going to have a lot of cool folks at it.  Similar to Heroes Con, I'll be selling my books and minis as well as $10 ink drawings.  See you there!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

My Writing Process Blog Tour
Here's a little something different!  I usually reserve the updates on this blog for news and announcements, but Eleanor Davis tagged me in this fun thing that's going around where you answer a few questions about your writing process!  Here is her entry.

1.  What am I working on?

I am currently finishing up Mermin Book 3: Deep Dive, the third volume of my graphic novel series from Oni Press.  My wife, Michele, and I are working on coloring the book right now.  After that's complete I will take some time to write some new stories for SpongeBob Comics, do some freelance work, and then it's time to write Mermin 4!

2.  How does my work differ from others in the genre?

I think each author brings a unique mix of influences and life experiences to their work.  I don't like to think too hard about my work in comparison to others, and hope that it comes out more naturally and subconsciously.  I suppose one thing that might set my work apart is that the humor I write comes from a history of American comic strips, while the action and pacing (of Mermin especially) stems more from my love for Japanese comics.

3.  Why do I write what I do?

I just write what I think is fun and interesting, and hope others feel the same.  Again, I try not to analyze it too much, and rely on the subconscious to do its thing.  However, I want my work to be sincere, and make others happy.

4.  How does your writing process work?

Usually, I write a lot of outlines, which develop from spotty lists to pretty detailed descriptions of scenes.  And then when I have a pretty tight idea of how everything works I move to sketchy "thumbnail" versions of the comic pages, where I let scenes play out as they will and develop the dialogue.  I find this allows for my characters to "act" out parts more than when I try to write in a movie script style, like I know some other cartoonists prefer.

For a more detailed look at how I work, from outline to finished page, check out this blog post from when I was working on Cavemen in Space.  This is from 2009, but it's more-or-less how I still work to this day!

Next up, I tag Chris Schweizer to continue the chain!
Chris Schweizer was born in 1980, grew up in Louisiana and Kentucky, and went to college at Murray State University.  He majored in art, then theater, then history, then English, then ended up back with art, earning a BFA in graphic design.  
The first book in the Crogan Adventures series, Crogan’s Vengeance, came out in 2008.  Chris made the book while he was in graduate school, studying Sequential Art (that’s the academic name for comics) at SCAD-Atlanta, the metropolitan branch of the Savannah College of Art and Design.  It was nominated for an Eisner award.  He received another Eisner nomination a few years later for Crogan's Loyalty.  He divides his time between the Crogan Adventures and the Creeps, a middle-reader horror/mystery series coming from Abrams Amulet in fall of 2015.
Chris and I have been collaborating on something, and he's been great to work with!  I look forward to seeing what he has to say about his process next week!