Weekly Visions: Baltimore Double-Header This Weekend!

Two of our favorite events are held in Baltimore every year, and this year, they are the same weekend!
Check out all the details below for both the Baltimore Comic-Con & the Baltimore BookFest! Join us at one or both!

9/22-24 Baltimore Comic-Con @ Baltimore Convention Center / Table A211
9/22-24 Baltimore Book Fest @ Baltimore Inner Harbor

This is a huge double-header event for Visionary, as we will be at the Baltimore Comic-Con, our own home show, at the Baltimore Convention Center AND at the amazing Baltimore Book Fest just a few blocks away at the Inner Harbor! Come join Visionary’s top crew, check out our new releases, new art prints, and other merchandise at either or both events all weekend!

Baltimore Book Fest Panels – Held at the Artway Alliance Space at the  Comics Pavilion
Friday 12:00pm-1:00pm – Be Your Own Superhero(ine) (for kids)
Sunday 3:00pm-4:00pm – My Comic Life: Building a Comics Career (teens to adult)


ITEM! Visionary’s Brian Augustyn traveled to Burbank this week to do a recording session for a commentary and bonus material on the upcoming Gotham by Gaslight!
We showed a teaser last time, this is DC’s next upcoming animated direct to DVD release, based on the award-winning first ever Elseworlds special – taking popular DC characters and placing them in other times and other places. The original graphic novel featured art by Mike Mignola and pitted Batman against Jack the Ripper! The new animated film will be release later this year!


ITEM! Visionary’s Mike Munshaw and C. Edward Sellner both have announced signing a Marvel project deal with Upper Deck! Details are under wraps for now, but more will be forthcoming by November!


ITEM! Pinnacle Kickstarter for Doomtown Reloaded!
Pinnacle continues dominating the game market and Kickstarter with the Doomtown Reloaded campaign now running until September 25th! This relaunch of the card game has lots of new content, new surprises and tons of additional perks for joining the campaign! Among them will be a new game card for Raven featuring the Raven graphic novel cover by C. Edward Sellner!
Check it out here>>


ITEM! Visionary continues it’s support of local libraries with upcoming events at both Odenton and Silver Spring branches! Look for more details later this month!


ITEM! Visionary’s C. Edward Sellner returns to the classroom in 2018, joining forces with the University of Maryland!
Starting in February of next year, Sellner will begin teaching semester classes through the Art and Learning Center at the University of Maryland at College Park! Look for more details before the end of the year, including links to register for the first session! Sellner will be making his first UofMD appearance at a special event in October! Details on that coming soon!


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Weekly Visions 7.27.17: And the Winner Is…

This week’s update has a pretty cool theme: Awards! Namely winners from Visionary’s circle of creators, nominees from our friends in the industry, a brand new one and a chance to support one of the long-standing ones and get cool art in the process!

Read on, and you might just feel like the real winner!

 

 

ITEM! First, a quick events update, we just added our October 2017 schedule to our Events Page including our return to Hampton Comic-Con and the first ever Ocean City Comic-Con! Check it out for details!

 

Awesome Con LogoITEM! While it may not be an award, it’s still a pretty nice spotlight – the folks over at Bleeding Cool did a nice feature article on Ben Penrod, founder of Awesome Con, and friend of the Visionary crew since forever! Awesome, of course, has grown exponentially in its main show in DC, but also sponsors some of our local shows we support, like Southern Maryland Comic-Con and Annapolis Comic-Con. Go read it now!

 

San Diego Comic-Con Report!

We had an utterly amazing time at the San Diego Con this past week, exhausting but lots of fun! We reconnected with old friends, make a lot of new friends, and met with several potential new partners and clients! It was a whirlwind week of excitement! If you didn’t see our special focus last week, including a list of some of the folks we ran into, and a spotlight on our featured art in the Souvenir book, you should check out last week’s update and catch up!

 

Related imageEisner Winners Announced

Of course, it’s not San Diego without the celebration of the comics’ industry own Oscars, the Eisner awards! An utterly amazing list of creators, publishers, and series got nominations, making for tough choices, but final winners were presented with their awards at a gala event! You can find the full list, including a lot of our personal favorites, right here!

 

 

ITEM! Speaking of SDCC and awards – One of our favorite authors, New York Times bestselling author Jonathan Maberry, won a coveted Inkpot Award and was a Guest of Honor at the show! Jonathan wrote our first Deadlands novel, Ghostwalkers, and stopped by the Visionary booth during the show! It was a well-deserved win for an awesome writer and great guy!

 

Presenting the ‘Ringo Awards

Our proudly claimed home convention has always been the Baltimore Comic-Con, and they announced earlier this year a brand new award for the comic industry – the ‘Ringo Award. Named after the nickname for Mike Weiringo, an amazingly talented artist who passed away a few years ago, the new awards seek to celebrate the comic arts and the best of content and creators! The list of this inaugural year’s nominees has been released, and final voting is taking place now! Awards will be presented at the September Baltimore Con. Go VOTE for your favorites!

 

 

Inkwell Auctions Return!

Visionary has long been a supporter of the Inkwell Awards that celebrate ten years this year, and we’ve got news of their latest fundraising auction that includes signed prints and original art from amazing creators! Check it out!

Want to make sure you get all the latest news and announcements straight to your email? SUBSCRIBE!

 

My Comic Life Sundays: Breaking-In and Cons Galore

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Hey all, we’re back. I’ve been on the road a lot with many, many Visionary shows, and it’s thrown the schedule a tad, but we should be consistent from here!

Speaking of shows: we’ve had a great time at shows like Baltimore Comic-Con, Maryland Seafood Festival, and Annapolis Comic-Con this month. And we are live right now at Baltimore Book Festival at the Inner Harbor – in the Geppi’s Comics Pavilion right in front of the Maryland Science Center! We’re here until 7pm this evening, come by and check it out!

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Catch up with the My Comic Life Comic Strip on our Reader>>

Catch up with the My Comic Life Column at our Archive and Resources Page>>

 

My Comic Life Column 002: The Breaking-In Myth

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As someone who’s been in the industry a while and who now heads up my own studio/digital publisher, you can imagine I’ve come into contact with a LOT of people who are wanting to “break-in” to comics. It’s a phrase we hear a lot, in a lot of different settings. There are books, articles, columns and blogs online about it, and usually a couple of panels at any decent-sized convention focused on it. It’s an entrenched, mainstay phrase about comics, as well as other creative media.

And I hate it.

 

 

 

 

Breaking… Bad

See, I’m a writer; I love words. As a writer, I recognize the power words carry and how they shape our perceptions. Likewise, I know how a bad phrase can seriously misconstrue those perceptions. As Mark Twain said, “the difference between the right word and the almost-right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug.” To me, using the phrase “breaking in” does no one, on either side of the industry, any favors.

When I hear that turn-of-phrase, I think something fast, and then it’s over and done. It sounds like a process that is more an impulse than a thought-out plan. It feels fast and furious; it also sounds final, as if it represents the beginning and ending all in one.

Now, clearly, folks in the know don’t intend for that perception, but I often hear many shades of this mentality from aspiring creators. So it’s apparently at least some of what they hear in that phrase and now, on some level, believe that’s how it is as they seek that elusive magical formula.

005 Breaking In

Not how you Break-in to Marvel…

The truth is NONE of that has much to do with working in comics, on ANY level.

While there may be those who truly “break in”, my guess is you could count them on one hand and still have fingers left over. When there are creators that seem to burst literally onto the scene as full-blown, full-time pros? Chances are there is a large body of work that preceded their “overnight success” that you never heard of, much less read. While every creator has a unique story of how we got where we are today, most all of those stories have common touchstones, common themes that clearly show comics are anything but a “breaking-in” business.

Nevertheless, we foster that mentality in a lot of ways, from our use of the phrase itself to settings that lend themselves to quick reviews and polite feedback instead of in-depth, critical input, all the way down to a skewed media and marketplace that focuses primarily on the upper tiers of our industry. It seems at times as if all the laboring little guys, struggling to make it happen, don’t exist, much less form the vast majority.

Now obviously it’s the responsibility of any aspiring creator who wants to pursue it to learn how truly to go about “breaking- in” to comics. That said, what are the specific elements of the myth that we can dissect and counter with the facts as we better come to understand this process?

companiesThere Is No Simple “IN” or “OUT”

People’s perceptions of what it means to be “in” comics vary tremendously, and those layers of meaning make a huge difference to many other areas of life that often get overlooked.

Am I “in” comics when I make my first comic ever? Yes. Making comics, making sequential art, means you’re a comic creator. It’s a starting point and the only true “breaking-in” point because it fits. A person becomes a comic creator the second they create a comic, even if it’s a single panel doodle. By this definition, I’ve been a creator since about age 5, and started big time, with Superman. Not bad. However, simply creating comics, in itself, is most likely not your ultimate goal, right? If it is, awesome! Go, do, stop wasting your time reading this column and create! (Keep checking back, though, else we’ll miss you!)

For the rest of us, the problem is the second we move past this starting point, defining when someone has “broken in” becomes a lot more complicated. Is it when they’ve produced a complete issue or story? How about when they’re producing comics on a regular basis? Is it once they’ve established a solid fan base? Is it when their first work is published digitally or in print by an actual publisher as opposed to on their own or a vanity press? Is it when they start making any money? Is it when they’re making enough money to cover their costs for making comics? Is it when they are making enough money to support themselves? Is it when they are working full-time in the mainstream industry?

There are folks who would define “breaking-in” to be at any of the above points, and more in between, and none of those points are always inclusive of all the others before it, except mostly for that last one. There are plenty of creators who produce work regularly, or have a solid fanbase, may even be fairly well-known for their work, with books from top publishers, who essentially operate at a loss to produce those books. Or if not, certainly don’t make enough to support themselves, much less a family.

Jim Zub, creator, and writer of Skullkickers and Wayward, has posted a lot of discussion and detail on creator-owned publishing from Image – Check it out here.

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There’s More Small Steps Than Big Breaks

Again, “breaking” gives that image of fast, done and over. A career in comics is much more about taking small steps, one at a time, and then having to push through multiple challenges to take the next small step. That feeling may never quite end no matter how long you’re in the industry. To use another analogy, it’s not a sprint, but a trudging marathon uphill in mud to your knees, carrying a 50-pound pack on your back.

There is no single moment that it all comes together, but lots of smaller moments when you realize you’re making headway. And yes, there are those “big breaks” along the way, but they mostly come to the folks who are steadily taking those small steps, landing them in front of the right connection at the right time, and representing a payoff of long hard work as opposed to strokes of luck or brilliant talent.

Folks who think their first positive portfolio review will mean an instant job, or who think their first paid work automatically means steady work, are in for a surprise because none of that is a given. C.B. Cebulski, perhaps the best-known talent scout in comics, has worked over a decade recruiting talent, and once commented on Twitter that he’s only hired a small handful of artists on the spot.

CebulskiHe also regularly gives AWESOME advice to folks wanting to work in comics – FOLLOW HIM!

At best, creators whose work really makes an impression will usually start a process of grooming that in itself could take months or years. Any decent talent scout or editor will look for much more than just a nice portfolio. First, they will do their research. Has this creator done actual, published comic work? Do they regularly produce new content? Do they conduct themselves professionally online and at conventions? Etc. etc. If what the editor finds hits the right marks, then the creator might be asked to do tryout pages. If the first round is solid, most often, those pages will be returned with comments focused on areas needing improvement and another round will then begin. All the while, the editor will stay up on what that creator is doing elsewhere as well, tracking their progress and growth.

In short, editors are looking for far more than a spark of talent. They are looking for skills, consistency, productivity, professionalism, persistence, growth, and dependability, as well as the ability to work under direction. They test, sometimes for extended periods, before making any offer, which means even getting on the radar usually still means a long road ahead.

The Biggest Break is at Best a Crack

This mindset is something I find even among folks who’ve been in the industry a while, and it is a set of expectations seriously skewed to the reality. Anyone who thinks their first gig for Marvel will be the X-Men, or for DC, Batman, or in fact any ongoing monthly, much less a high profile top seller, hasn’t been paying attention. Creators who get that shot at the big time will first land a short story, or an annual or special, or at best maybe a mini-series, something to “test the waters.” These provide a first opportunity to work together and to show an editor they can deliver. It also provides a gauge of how fans will respond to the creator’s work, with a limited risk investment from the publisher. Once completed, some creators then sit back and wait for the steady work to roll forth, and it doesn’t, which is why many then quickly break right back out of comics.

Visionary_CollageOnce You’re “In, You’re Just Getting Started

I’ve heard it said that as hard as breaking in to comics is, staying in is even harder, and it’s very true. No matter what level of the industry one might reach, falling by the wayside is always a possibility. I’ve known some creators whose work I grew up with and respected tremendously, who now are often struggling to get any paying work in comics at all. Some make a comeback; others don’t. Some move on to other creative fields by choice, others end up taking regular jobs just to get by. Far too many end up being the tragic stories we hear of creators whose work inspired us, who end up spending their golden years in poverty.

I’ve noticed among my circle of professional friends that the ones who keep working the most are the ones who are constantly selling themselves. They’re the ones promoting their work, doing conventions, looking for opportunities, getting their foot in any and every door they can so they can have a variety of options for ongoing work. They recognize the need to have many irons in the fire to keep steady work coming in. They know that you’re not competing once for a career with job security, you don’t get handed the chance to write the X-Men for fifty years then get a gold watch. No instead, you’re competing for every gig you will ever get, often against more experienced, connected, and published creators than yourself, so you best be ready to prove yourself each and every time.

Even once established, chances are, a majority of leads a creator encounters will end up never materializing. A fair number of others will end up being far less than originally promised. Even that elusive ongoing monthly? Well, books get canceled all the time, right? So, it’s important always to have multiple options to help ensure at least one pays off. All of which means it is an ongoing process to “stay” in comics, and one that requires regular effort and attention, and always includes a gamble.

Now That I’ve Burst All Your Bubbles…

Take heart! Because if you’re willing to shift your mindset and change your way of thinking, next week I’m going to start telling you the secrets of NOT BREAKING in, but instead BUILDING UP your comics career. Because if you make the right moves, you will vastly increase your odds of reaching your dreams. You’ll start your first lesson this week – be patient and wait to read the next column. In the meantime, go, soak in Cebulski and Zub, and tell ‘em I sent you.

NOW DISCUSS…

Do you hate me? What was the hardest pill to swallow here? If you’re a comics pro or aspiring talent, share your own experiences. If you can prove me wrong with your story, go for it! If not, what has been the story of your journey? Let’s get some stuff rolling on the conversation front!

About C. Edward Sellner

A full-time professional freelancer, Sellner has credits as a comics writer, prose author, colorist, artist, and editor from multiple publishers. He is the co-founder and Chief Creative Officer of Visionary Comics, one of the best known comic studios and digital publishers in the industry. The studio opened in 2006 and since then has published over 70 different titles in its digital line, and been involved in over a hundred different projects in production. Its clients range from Hollywood producers to international sports stars to other studios and publishers. It became the first independent studio to enter the licensing game with the announcement of its Deadlands license, which has since been published in comics from Image and IDW and novels from Tor Books. The studio also hosts a successful internship program where interns get practical, real-world freelancing experience, including paid work on actual jobs fitting their skill levels. Learn more at www.visionarycomics.com!

Weekly Visions 9.8.16: Powers, Harveys and Making Comics!

Visionary has a LOT of exciting things happening, with even more to come over the next few months! Here’s the hottest pieces of news at the moment…

 

Power Scourge KS Banner

Visionary Kickstarter: Power Scourge is LIVE and needs YOUR Support!

We’re launching our own universe, with a star-studded cast of creators, doing an origin story by way of epic crossover event. What happens on a normal world much like our own, when a plague of superhuman powers sweeps the planet, thousands manifesting extreme abilities, and ALL of them totally out of control? The Power Scourge is coming! Find out how you can gain out of control super-powers and be forever memorialized in the Visionary Universe!

Read a Comic – or be Part of One!


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Visionary had an AWESOME show at Baltimore this year! great response to our new books, our Kickstarter and our studio as a whole! Thanks for keeping it real Baltimore!

Missed our Visionary Panels?
Never fear, you can catch them on our Facebook Page:
Power Scourge – Super Powers Gone Wild Panel

The Weird West – Journey to the Weird Side Panel


Deadlands Thunder Moon Rising Cover ArtWe are in the last stretch before our second Deadlands novel, Thunder Moon Rising, from Jeff Mariotte hits stands! On sale in finer bookstores everywhere as of September 20th!

You can still pre-order your copy NOW!

We’re also thrilled to report the manuscript for the next novel, Boneyard, by Seanan McGuire is now in Pinnacle Editorial for final tweaks to make sure its 100% Deadlands! This is an awesome story about a carnival of freaks roaming the Deadlands!

Also, an update, while our first book, Ghostwalkers, by Jonathan Maberry  got nominations for both the Scribe Award and the Dragon Awards, we are sorry to say it didn’t win. But the fact our first book out the gate has done so well is great news! Many thanks to all of you who supported it in various ways!

If you haven’t read it yet, you really should fix that NOW!

 

 


Image result for crimson hardcover volume 1Speaking of Baltimore, and awards, a big round of applause for two of our Visionaries whose work from some time back got a very nice award win this weekend at Baltimore! Years ago, artist Humberto Ramos teamed up with Brian Augstyn to create the popular series Crimson. Jeff Mariotte, during his stint at Wildstorm, worked with the team on the original run. BOOM Studios did a beautiful hardcover collection of the series – and this weekend it won a coveted Harvey Award! Well deserved gents!

 


Meanwhile, our Chief Creative Officer has posted his latest and LAST public My Comic Life Column, as he continues breaking down the basics of building a comics career as a freelancer. My Comic Life has become a popular regional convention panel, being featured at several shows the second-half of 2016 alone! Get more of his in-depth insight every week by supporting his Patreon!

 


Visionary continues a massive run of shows this Fall, with multiple shows, including the Seafood Festival, Annapolis Comic-Con, Baltimore Book Festival, New York Comic-Con, and Hampton Comic-Con! Get the Details HERE!

If you haven’t subscribed to our weekly updates yet… why the heck not? Do the thing>>

News & Feature Roundup – 10/11/14

There’s been a LOT going on with Visionary the last few weeks, so just in case you missed any of the good stuff, we’ve compiled everything together in one handy place! Check it out!

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-Visionary Announces New Partnerships & Deadlands Expansion!
New Partners! New Collections! New Content! Deadlands on the Move!

Webcomic Kickstarter Screen-Visionary Creation Series Headlocked Returns to Kickstarter!
Our First Official CREATION Series, Headlocked Returns in Force! Wrestling and Comic Superstars are Keeping the Dream Alive!

-Visionary Opens the Doors for New Interns!
Want to Make Comics and Live in the DC-Metro Area? Be a Visionary and Join Us for Practical Guidance and Direction on Professional Projects!
Download the Interns Job Description and Overview

-Visionary Launches Web-Comics Portal with New Content!
Headlocked Short Stories! Deadlands Originals! My Comic Life! Oh My!

Oct14 Cons-Visionary Supports Local Shows United FanBoyz & Annapolis!
Get the Latest on Our Next Cons, Two Awesome Local Shows!

NEWS ROUNDUP
Check out these Spotlights on Visionary from the Comics’ Media!
Broken Frontier, Bleeding Cool and ICv2 Report on Deadlands!
Times Union shines the spotlight on creator Michael Kingston!

Watch this GREAT Interview with Visionary Co-Founders, C. Edward Sellner and Charlie Hall with Gina Geppi, from ComicsWow!

Stay tuned for more from Visionary Central!

Baltimore Comic-Con Report

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Special shout out to the Baltimore Comic-Con for another GREAT show! Thanks to those who put it together every year, and special thanks to the panel crew who helped make sure everything ran smooth!

The whole Visionary team had an amazing time, and it was great having our special guest, Jerry “The King” Lawler.

Even bigger thanks to all the fans who stopped by our booth or the huge numbers of folks who attended one of our sponsored or participating panels! You all are AWESOME!

We made a LOT of announcements at our This is Visionary Panel on Saturday, and we’re going to be rolling out that info on our sites and into the press/media over the next few weeks.

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You can find us next at the Annapolis Comic-Con, details on our main site EVENTS page.

Baltimore Comic-Con Report

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Special shout out to the Baltimore Comic-Con for another GREAT show! Thanks to those who put it together every year, and special thanks to the panel crew who helped make sure everything ran smooth!

The whole Visionary team had an amazing time, and it was great having our special guest, Jerry “The King” Lawler.

Even bigger thanks to all the fans who stopped by our booth or the huge numbers of folks who attended one of our sponsored or participating panels! You all are AWESOME!

We made a LOT of announcements at our This is Visionary Panel on Saturday, and we’re going to be rolling out that info on our sites and into the press/media over the next few weeks.

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You can find us next at the Annapolis Comic-Con, details on our main site EVENTS page.

A New Creation Dawns

Creation Dawns

On Saturday, September 6th, at 12pm, at the Baltimore Comic-Con, a new creation is about to dawn! When we launched Visionary seven years ago, this was why. Join us as we bring new worlds, new stories, new characters to life! We officially announce our new line of comics at our exclusive panel in room 349-350. Do not miss it!

Visionary Convention Tour 2014!

Event Cons 2014Visionary will be attending our two mainstay shows this year!

GENCON INDY – August 14th-17th
Visionary Co-Founders C. Edward Sellner and Charlie Hall will be in attendance, as we join up once more with Pinnacle Entertainment for a great Deadlands show! Books will be on sale, and we’ll be announcing all the latest on the comics, books and new TV series!

BALTIMORE COMIC-CON – September 5th-7th
This year will be our biggest Baltimore show ever! Headlocked will be the star of the show, with the latest TPB Headlocked: The Last Territory available, and special guest Jerry “The King” Lawler in attendance! Series creator Mike Kingston will be your host! Visionary founders, Charlie Hall and C. Edward Sellner will be up to their usual insanity.

DEADLANDS: THE WEIRD WEST’S WILD FUTURE Panel
Saturday, September 6th
– High Noon Partner!
Join us for an exclusive BCC Panel event, as we roll out all the latest news on Deadlands, from comics, upcoming novels and the recently announced TV show in development.

More show details, exclusives and announcements for both shows will be rolling out over the next few weeks! Stay tuned!

 

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