Friday, October 29, 2010

popular titles, the art of the short story, the unofficial Inkbot Halloween challenge, and more...

Hey Inkots,

This past week has been a real challenging one for me on a personal level, but I made it through and the first issue of the new Blue Bullet arc is better because it (oh yeah). It’s funny because sometimes as creators we forget just how rewarding our work can be, especially when you have to meet a deadline ;)

On that note I am pleased to say that the site’s numbers have continued to grow. Odessa and Zomboy are still our most popular monthlies but Revolvers is quickly becoming the most popular title on the site (which is a real testament to the outstanding work Brent and Clay deliver on a weekly basis).

Also, speaking of huge numbers, I want to thank everyone who checked out the fourth issue of Odessa. Louie and I have been working non-stop on this story since we first met (literally) and we have grown quite attached to these characters over the course of 7 months (wow, its been that long already). I also want to thank all the loyal Odessa fans that keep us on our toes. I swear more information will be revealed as the title progresses and I’m confident that you’ll appreciate Odessa’s Birth of a New Nation’s 16 page finale ;)

The beauty of the short story: You know one of the questions that I’m often asked is whether I regret the fact that most of my stories have to be told in a short story format. Well, the truth is that I never really considered my format to be too much of a handicap. Now obviously If we could push out an infinite amount of pages in a relatively short amount of time our issue page count would probably increase by a few pages, but the truth is that I like releasing a slew of different titles on different subjects, and in order for me to that, with a limited budget and a pair of artists, I have to keep the page count to a minimum. I also consider a short story to be more challenging to lay out than a full 22 page comic, especially when I’m writing in serial format. Therefore I believe that if I continue to try and master the art of writing a compelling short  then my pacing and character development will grow to  where I can easily write an engaging 22-pager  (which I have the few times that I have written one). So again, do I regret the fact that my titles are told in shorts, absolutely not. As a matter of fact I would urge all new writers to do the same, as everyone tends to want to write The Lord of the Rings their first time out ;)  

On that note check out The Devil Died Different and Crying Rainbows! They are my first two shorts here on the site, oh and the art is pretty swell as well ;P

Halloween: OH YEAH, my favorite time of the year has finally arrived, and in good time too. I mean I was tired of everyone looking at me for “dressing funny” year round. I am also pretty excited about getting to scare old ladies and little children for the first time without getting arrested (don’t shake your head in disapproval; you know you do it too).  Still, what I’m most excited about is…SEEING ALL OF YOUR COSTUMES (and yes feel free to make a homemade inkbot costume if you’d like)! Now don't worry you cynical bastards you, I know what you're thinking " HOW THE HELL ARE YOU GOING TO SEE THEM"…easy…POST YOUR  PICTURES IN THE FORUM (remember those popular pre-facebook things that I’ve been telling you to post in for the last six months, yeah, those are called forums ;P )!

Well, with all that out of my system, I do hope you all enjoy your weekend AND I hope you all come back this Monday, November 1st, when we post the finale of Revolver's second issue! PEACE!!! 

Sunday, October 24, 2010

INKBOTS R US update, Odessa 4, re-archiving the site and other random thoughts

Hey Inkbots,

We're a little under a day away from the debut of Odessa #4 and I couldn't be more excited. Odessa has been one of my all time favorites to write so far, and I think its safe to say that it's certainly one of my best. For those of you who have been following the series you'll be glad to know that the fourth and fifth issues (the last two of the first arc) not only advance the plot but also explain a great deal of the history behind the title (something that I think alternate history fans will really appreciate). Now, if you haven't checked out Odessa, I strongly suggest that you do. It's a historical fiction that focuses heavily on race relations and geo-politics, but it is also a lot of fun ;)

INKBOTS R'US update: Well, as promised we are working feverishly around the clock to make sure that our creators have a beautiful marketplace where they can sell their merchandise and where you, our loyal Inkbots, can take home something from your favorite Inkbot title ;) UNFORTUNATELY, we're all going to have to wait another week. The reason, well, while testing our new marketplace the site coordinator discovered more ways in which she can make the marketplace more "Inkbot like" and how she can make the merchandise  MORE AFFORDABLE (always a good thing in my book). So again, know that we will be launching the store, it is just going to take us another week to make sure that it's just right (nothing but the best for you me love....don't tell my wife). 

Re-archiving the site: Ask and you shall receive. For a while you Inkbots have been dreading the fact that you have to use the drop down menu to access the newest issue/update of your favorite title. Well, DREAD NO MORE FELLOW INKBOTS, because come Monday morning not only will the newest issue be available for viewing right away, but all past issues will be archived separately on the top left hand side of the viewer (meaning that you can click on them when you want to read them, but you don't have to surf through 8 million pages to get to the newest issue anymore). 

Random thoughts: 
MMA- Brock lost and Cain Velazquez is the first Mexican American Heavyweight champion, what else needs to be said ;)

Movies: I still haven't seen The Social Network but I have heard nothing but great things about it.I assume that its commentary on our current culture has left some rubbed the wrong way, but I am super excited to see it. 

Music: Can't wait for Lupe's new album. I like Kanye's instrumentals but his lyrical content has gotten dumber and dumber since the second album. 

Politics...somewhat: Rally To Restore Sanity this upcoming Saturday, be there...or not its your choice ;)

The Wifers (warning, you're about to read some mushy, aww I can't believe this guy has feelings crap): 
I want to take this opportunity to thank my beautiful and intelligent wife for always pushing me to be at my best and for working extremely hard on in between her 246 other jobs. As I said before, I would not be where I am today with out her, and if I was I certainly would not be as happy. My love, I promise to try to never take you for granted, and to always appreciate what we have rather then obsess over what we don't. I love you mi vida, and I can't wait till the day where we can lazily sit side by side and discuss all the projects that we have created over the years. Here's to another year of happiness!

On that note stay thirsty my'm sorry I always wanted to type that. What I meant to say is...PEACE!!!

Monday, October 18, 2010

More Comic Con experiences, embarrassing story, INKBOTS R 'US

Hey Inkbots,

On my facebook page I kept promising everyone that I would post a blog on Friday, then Saturday, then Sunday, and now look, here I am finally fulfilling my promise ;) Fortunately, I do have three good excuses for missing my last blog update a) I locked myself in isolation so that I could finish a script on time, b) I was working on a film project with Inkbot film's very own Robert Vicente and c) I was building an evil robot capable of deleting my wife's dvr'd episodes of biggest loser. Now, aside from where can you buy this evil robot, I know what you're thinking, WHEN ARE WE GOING TO SEE THESE PROJECTS?! Well, my guess is that by December we should have the Inkbot Film site up and running, AND we should at least have TWO film shorts ready for your viewing pleasure (pretty ambitious huh). No, but in all seriousness we are taking our projects very seriously which is the major reason why my blog updates are always a day or two late (that's my story and I'm sticking to it) ;)

Memories from the Con: Talking with Jan this past week , its amazing to note just how fast the big convention came and went. I mean it felt like just two weeks ago that I feverishly planning to crash into the main floor and take it by storm...oh wait...oh crap it was just two weeks ago. Anyway, my point is that it all went by very fast, but, that doesn't mean that we don't have some cool memories to share. 

Meet & Greets: Probably the best experience was meeting those of you who email me regularly or who visit the site on a regular basis. I must say that all of you were surprisingly way more attractive than your type font would suggest, and that's a good thing as I had to stay in a booth with Clay (co-creator of Revolvers) and his stupid hat all day long. Another cool part of the Con experience is talking with potential new fans at the conventions and then forgetting their names later on when I see them again lol. Any of my former students will tell you that I'm horrible with names, which is why I give everyone a stupid nickname (then again, if all the names are stupid THEN NONE OF THEM 

Commission drawings: I know I posted about this last time but I just feel compelled to share again just how great it was making Jan and Clay bust their respective asses (and not in a gaseous, only funny to a third grader and twenty something year old male  kind of way). I mean if you would've seen their faces when two fans, just five minutes to closing, came up to the booth and asked for two of the most difficult drawings anyone can draw in under five minutes, you too would be blogging about it two weeks later. ;) 

Spike in interest: Outside of the meet & greets the greatest thing to come out of The NY Comic Con is the spike of interest that our site has gotten. I mean to say that all our titles have quadrupled in viewings this past week would be an understatement. As a matter fact, interest in the site has been so high as of late we might just have to keep posting great stories ;P

And with that said, I really hope that everyone reading this has checked out Zomboy and American Ambition. Issue 2 of Zomboy is really going to throw everyone for a loop (just in case you weren't a fan of it's methodical first issue) and I know for fact that Brent & Clay have some remarkable things planned for American Ambition.

Speaking of American Ambition, for anyone who brought one of our exclusive comic con trades, I'm sure you were entertained by one of Clay's two hilarious advertisements. I mean its amazing just how talented this kid is (which is why we pay him in grape flavored bubble yum from time to time ;)

INKBOTS R US: Some of you have asked, most of you have wondered, and now, we're finally getting our act together. Yes, by this time next week should have it's own online shop up and running. SO, WHAT'S GOING TO BE AVAILABLE IN THIS ONLINE SHOP? Well, funny you should ask, EVERYTHING....what...EVERYTHING...really...yes, EVERYTHING minus Allen Shrugged branded panda bears. What, you thought Jan was kidding when he said we were going to put Inkbot's great titles on everything visible by human sight, except endangered species (unless they shit in my yard, then we're going after their fluffy asses). YES, come this time next week we will have lots of things available for purchase (in an extremely affordable price) including t-shirts, art prints, mugs, hats, and thongs (I wish I was kidding). Btw, in case you're wondering if we will be selling our books online, yes we will, but not just yet. No, as of now we are still shopping for a publisher (hint, hint, for any interested publishers out there) but we will definitely be printing our titles in the not so distant future. 

Embarrassing Story: Ok, now this isn't so much a specific story as it is an embarrassing commentary on what I did when I first started in this industry about five years ago. You see, I have a problem. I am extremely ambitious. How Ambitious? Well, I'm so ambitious that I often don't know my place, which means that I can be pretty f'n annoying sometimes. How so? Well at my first comic book convention, as a fan, not as creator, I tried to stuff my dreadful, and I mean dreadful, 72 page script in Joe Quesada's face while he was leaving one panel to attend another, AND I tried to give it to him again a few hours later (as if one rejection wasn't enough), AND when he politely rejected my attempt for a second time I tried to give it to Brian Michael Bendis (who is the sweetest guy you can meet), AND when he politely rejected my script, I then tried to hire Brian Kong, the king of trading card art (another amazingly nice guy) as my artist lol (all  this in the same day I might add).  Yup...well, needless to say I didn't end up working for Marvel, but I did learn a valuable lesson STOP BEING ANNOYING AND EARN YOUR DAMN PLACE! Which honestly, is one of the best lessons I could have ever learned, because, without that lesson Inkbot would have never been created (and poor Joe Quesada would've probably had me arrested). Now, with that said, I have absolutely no problem with you stalking us and/or asking us questions. Just this past week I helped at least three different people to be well on their way to starting their first projects, which is a thrill for all us here at Inkbot ;) 

And on that note, I hope you all have an awesome week and that you keep me out of jail by reading my stories and making fun on me in the forums ;) PEACE OUT INKBOTS!!! 

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

News from the con,the forums, and the world at large ;P

Hey Inkbots,

It's been a while since my last post, but now that The NY Comic Con is over I'll be able to update much more frequently (or at least that's what I tell myself). 

The Con: To say that the NY Comic Con was an amazing experience would be a huge understatement because not only were we able to SELL OUT OF ALL OUR BOOKS but we were also able to meet and greet with fans (both old and new) and pick up some new friends along the way. Now, before I continue, I also want to take this time and thank the whole Inkbot crew (Jan, Clay, Louie, Gary, Jess, Brent, Ralph, Rob, and Julie) for busting their asses this weekend. We did it guys. We took our section by storm, and if we keep delivering quality work on a consistent basis I have no doubt that we will all get where we want to be. 

Commissions: Part of the reason that we did so well with our books was because of the attention garnered by our ridiculously affordable commissions. That's right, for just a mere $5 Jan, Clay, and Louie were all drawing things such as robot pirates, Silver Surfer vs. Adagio, Wonder Woman, and Archie sharing a hamburger with Johnny Raiker in Hot Topic (I wish I was kidding). The only other thing that played a bigger role in bringing people to our table was the quality of our books (I wish you all could've been there Inkbots).

To all our new fans: Looking at this site's numbers for yesterday I think its safe to say that we have a lot of new fans joining the inkbot family, which is great since my next topic of discussion is....

Revitalizing our forums: HEY YOU, YEAH YOU, YOU WITH THE EYEBALLS, stop wishing that our forums were buzzing with interesting conversations, debates, and arguments and DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT! Thats right, I'm calling each and everyone of you out (unless you can kick my ass, then I'm just calling out your name in a comforting tone). I WANT YOU TO HELP SAVE OUR FORUMS. THAT'S RIGHT I WANT YOU TO REVITALIZE THEM. I want you to tell us, and the world, what you think about comics, the site, my blogs, the fact that I'm calling you out, your sex life, anything, just post dammit, and make sure you curse me out for having you break your daily routine ;P

Fan interaction: While on the subject of the forums, I do want to stress that we love getting feedback from you guys (whether positive or negative). I mean sure sometimes its hard to see our baby being torn apart by someone who isn't our significant other, but its part of what we do, and most importantly it is what we live for. Also, if ever you have a project that you want to push on our forums don't hesitate to do so. We've all been there, and we all know what its like. Plus, I told you already, like it or not you're part of our Inkbot family (and that goes for all of our fans outside of the U.S too. SHOW US SOME LOVE). ;)

ZOMBOY: It's finally here ladies and germs. The Conspiracy has begun in good time (just a day after the con). Zomboy is truly a different kind of story than anything I have attempted to tell before, because Jan has created a world that is so complex, it just might come off as a commentary about humanity ( dare we). ;)

Merchandise: By the end of next week we should have a good portion of our online store up and running. Right now we want to call it INKBOTS R' US, but if anyone has a better suggestion then please post it on our forums. You'll get credit for it, I swear ;)
BTW, just so you know,in this store we plan to carry things such as T-shirts, mugs, prints, and THONGS...what...thongs? Yes, ladies and germs, the online store which we have partnered with has actually pitched the idea of selling THONGS based off of our characters (just be happy they aren't wearing them). 

American Ambition: The new issue of American Ambition is up and if you haven't already checked it out, then you really should UNLESS YOU'RE ALLERGIC TO FUNNY. Yup, American Ambition is easily one of the funniest comics on the web, which is saying something since comedy is easily the most popular genre when it comes to web comics. 

Consistency: I said it before and I'll say it again. If there's one thing that separates us from the other half a million web comic sites is that we update on a consistent basis, AND we have some of the greatest fans in the world (ok two things). Oh and did I mention that we have some top quality titles (ok three things).

Well, that is all that I have for you guys today. But don't worry I'll be back on Friday with some more updates and some more EMBARRASSING STORIES!!! So, until then, read comics, stay safe, and try not to suck ;P

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Last blog before Comic Con

Hey Inkbots,

As the title suggests, this will be my last blog before Comic Con, which is a great thing if you're going to Comic Con, and still a great thing if you're not (you can check out the rest of our great stories). 

Comic Con: Yes, it's finally here. This Friday October 8th, in NYC the second biggest comic book convention in the world starts, and yours truly (don't tell my wife) is going to be there live and in color (doesn't make sense but I always wanted to say that). So, what should you expect? EVERYTHING! Wait...what do you mean everything? I mean expect the unexpected because one minute we might be passing out one of our many freebies and the next minute we might be hopping on our tables doing a song duet (much to the pleasure of Revolvers' creators Brent & Clay). freebies? Yes, you read correctly. We will be giving away lots of stuff (worth keeping I might add), and selling stuff for insanely cheap prices (How's a t-shirts for $5 and comic books from as low as $1 to $5). So again, make sure you stop by our table (Booth # 2566) because we're going to have a great time (or in the words of 50 cent, "die trying"). 

Changes to the site: I may have mentioned this before, but in the next few weeks we're going to be making a few changes to the site. One of the major ones will be changing the way we catalog back issues. Right now, the scroll down menu, on the top left corner of the viewer, is the only way to reach the latest page, which can be a hassle when you have weekly multi-page updates like Revolvers (best weekly on the web). So, what we're going to do is separate the issues in a way that you can just click on them when you want to read them (it works better than it reads). 

Another change or rather new addition that we will be adding to the site is MERCHANDISE!!! That's right, for the first time in our brief 6 month history, will be carrying Merchandise for all its top brands including Odessa, The Blue Bullet, The Devil Died Different, Zomboy, and if Up-comics are interested then REVOLVERS TOO!!! 

Video previews: We are also in the process of making a few video previews for our stories. Since most people have to be tricked into reading something new (not you guys of course) we have decided to entice people to read BY SHOWING THEM VIDEO ( a quirky campaign If I do say so myself). So, stay tuned for that as well. ;P

Random Thoughts:
Boxing: Man what a horrible year its been for boxing. Our two biggest fighters refuse to fight each other, matches are being canceled and postponed left and right, and Roy Jones is still fighting (I kid Roy Jones, I kid). No but seriously, GET IT TOGETHER BOXING!!! I mean I know November is looking like a good month, but no one month can make up for a bad year (unless of course the world's ending a week later, and if so, you heard it here first lol). 

Wrestling: After seeing Daniel Bryan (Bryan Danielson) get destroyed by Sheamus in three seconds, this past Monday Night, I just couldn't take it anymore. For the first time ever, I shut off the TV and refused to watch anymore of Raw for the rest of that night (which should tell you something when I'm a lifelong fan). Now, let me make this clear, I have nothing against Sheamus (who is a great young wrestler), but I do have something against WWE creative, who feels the need to constantly squash so many of their up and coming stars (and they wonder why their buy rates are dropping). 

The Rally To Restore Sanity: If you're a Jon Stewart fan, you know what it is, if not, check it out, you might like it ;) 

Well, that is all I have to say for today, but don't worry, If you come to comic con you can roll your eyes at what I have to say in my face ;)

Live long and prosper Inkbots....PEACE!!!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Comic Con, our weeklies, Zomboy, and other randomness

Hey Inkbots,

With the NY Comic Con just under a week away our work load has quadrupled, however, with that, so has our enthusiasm (not that we have ever been known as emo). YES, with only a week to go we can't wait to meet everyone, give stuff away, talk comics, and make fun of your ridiculous costumes (seeing as how we're going to be wearing a few ourselves) ;) 

Speaking of enthusiasm, if there's two things that I'm most proud of, when it comes to this site, it is our consistent update schedule and the variety of our titles. Allen Shrugged and Revolvers update on A WEEKLY BASIS and they are two completely different titles. Allen Shrugged is a funny Monday and Wednesday single strip centered around wine tasting and marriage (hmm....I assume you would need alcohol to stay married), while Revolvers is a witty gun slinging adventure strip which is already 50 plus pages deep ;)

Zomboy: Only a little under two weeks till the debut of Zomboy, Inkbot's monthly title exploring everything from humanity and government conspiracies (hehe, not very specific is it). Zomboy is also a labor of love for our very own Jan Velazquez, who has been designing and writing the character since high school (might explain his lack of sexual expoloits....j/k) 

Inkbot films: This weekend the Inkbot film crew and I are holding a second round of auditions in NYC for Inkbot's first short film called "Childhood in a stream." Now, based on some of the more disturbing stories that I have written in the past, most people tend to think that this story is about drowning children. Well, I assure you that it is not, but still, damn you for stealing one of my future ideas ;)

Last weekend was my wife's birthday (yes, she was born over the course of three days), so I posted a very special piece that I wrote for her here on my blog. I hope you guys enjoyed it. It meant a lot to her (oh so she says). 

Podcasts and U streams: I'm going to try to make more of an effort to get the whole Inkbot crew out there, as far as web based media is concerned. Now a days you have lots of creators talking directly to their fans via U stream, You tube, and podcast, so, I figure we can do the same (Plus, who wouldn't want to hear Rob's sexy voice again). 

Well, this wraps up this Friday's edition of "I'm coming out of my cave to talk to people again." I hope you guys enjoyed it and I hope you all have a stellar weekend....unless you're not a fan of my writing, then I hope that you stump your toe on the kitchen door. ;P