Weekly Visions 8.17.17: Dover and a Steady Hand

Hey Everyone! Welcome back!

We’re short and sweet this week, with a quick spotlight on this weekend’s Dover Con, and a new project from our friends at Riot Scene Pictures! Enjoy!

 

 

 

Upcoming LIVE Events

Dover Comic-Con Logo8/19 Dover Comic Con 10am-5pm / Booth 047 / @ Dover Public Library
1:30pm – Join CCO C. Edward Sellner’s My Comic Life Panel in the Children’s Programming Room!
Visionary returns to Dover Comic-Con for the third year mega event! Join Visionary’s CCO for his rousing panel on building a comics career, check out all our new releases and enjoy a day soaking in the pop-culture!

Dover remains one of our favorite shows. It’s one of several library sponsored and supported shows we do, meaning it benefits great programs and services from the Dover Public Library. It’s also part community festival and part comic-con. There is no cost for entry, and the programs, live events and vendors fill the Library, a couple other civic buildings, and the downtown Dover municipal square! Plus, food trucks galore!

If you’re anywhere near, come spend the day and bring the whole family!

 


Image result for riot scene pictures

Visionary has always been about shining a spotlight on new and upcoming talent and their dynamic projects! Well, this week we want to take you to the movies with a new film from a great new director and small indie studio based in Baltimore.

Riot Scene Pictures is the brainchild studio of director Taylor Young, who already has a few films under his belt. For his latest work, he is currently raising funds to enter the finished film in various Film Festivals and you can help out. Check it out!

“Who’s in control? The writer or his characters?”

This psychological drama stars Tray Chaney (HBO’s “The Wire” & Bounce TV’s “Saints + Sinners”), Taylor Young, Michelle Jones, Steve Malm, and Cameron Martino.”

When writer Morris Kennedy (Taylor Young) isolates himself to write a screenplay commissioned by famous rapper T. Pryor (Tray Chaney), he gradually loses his sanity and finds himself face to face with his characters. He struggles to solve the mystery while his characters, sharing the faces of his loved ones (Michelle Jones, Steve Malm, Cameron Martino), compel his attention.

Steady Hand was written and directed by Taylor Young and shot in Baltimore, MD. Riot Scene Pictures aims to produce original, entertaining, and thought-provoking motion picture content of all genres. The group of friends behind Riot Scene Pictures has been working together for over a decade and are excited to share their latest project, Steady Hand, with film festivals both domestic and abroad.

Support the Kickstarter campaign NOW! >>


Just a friendly note, the next several weeks are very ‘show heavy’ with multiple events. So, we may or may not miss a week, we’ll try our best to at least check in, but if we don’t, don’t worry, we’ll be back by the next week!

Make sure you never miss a thing by Subscribing Now!

Weekly Visions 8.3.17: Wanna Fight?

Welcome back to the Visionary Ring! As the bell sounds, the latest and greatest steps up to the bout, so check it all out!

ITEM! If you ever miss any of our updates as they go live, you can always check out our main site on our Blogs Feed to get the full stories! Comes complete with full listing, searchable database and tags. If you want to make sure you DON’T miss an update, well then, all you gotta do is SUBSCRIBE NOW!

 

This Weekend, Catch Us Live at…

8/5 Washington County Free Library Con @ Washington County Free Library
11am-4pm  :
: CCO C. Edward Sellner will be doing his My Comic Life Panel 11:30 am- 12:30 pm / Located in Conference Room #334

Join Visionary for the third year of Washington County Free Library Comic-Con! CCO C. Edward Sellner will be doing his My Comic Life panel, and we will have all our latest releases and merchandise on hand!

We’ve also added new details to several shows and included the rest of our confirmed 2017 shows scheduled on our Events Page!

 


 

Visionary_CollageITEM! We keep getting queries about our Deadlands titles and where to get them! Well, just a reminder, our novels are still available in finer bookstores everywhere as well as online sites like Amazon, Barnes & Nobel et. al. and our digital comics are directly available from us anytime! Check out our Complete Deadlands Checklist to fill any gaps in your collection!

 

 

 

 

 


Kickstarter Spotlight: Fight of the Century 

Fight of the Century is a 120-page biopunk, MMA, original graphic novel, now live on Kickstarter through August 11.

In a futuristic Brazil, performance-enhancing drugs have gone from behind-the-scenes banned substances to front-and-center game changers. The sports world as we know it has been revolutionized! Nowhere is that more on display than inside Neo-Rio, a mega-city that serves as the home to the Fighters Ultimate Exhibition League (FUEL). Men are becoming monsters in minutes as fighters are putting their lives on the line in the octagon.
FOTC is an action-packed drama that examines humanities desire to become bigger, faster and stronger; while exploring the price we’re willing to pay to reach our maximum potential. With influences from ROCKY to AKIRA to FRANKENSTEIN, it’s a comeback story about a man whose unlikely return will inspire a nation.

You can also follow their posts on Facebook!

 

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!

 

Weekly Visions 01.05.17: Partnerships and Bringing it Local

WV Generic

Welcome back for another weekly news update on all things Visionary!

Reminder: You can now find us at our new online address:
http://visionarycreativeservices.com/

This time around we put a spotlight on our new and expanded partnerships for 2017, as well as our panel / presentation / workshop services, which are now available for all kinds of events, including local community-based festivals and even small groups! Read on!


Creating Comics – The Visionary Way

Last year Visionary expanded it’s slate of conventions, shows, and other events to twenty-six! That’s an average of one every other week! Even as we are now finalizing our 2017 slate, Visionary is proud to introduce a new tier of events and scheduling.

You can now book Visionary for a local event, small group, or special function! Want to host a portfolio review exclusively at your retail shop? Looking to come up with a different and exciting evening program for your scout troop or youth group? Want a guest speaker at your after-school program or for an arts class you teach? Visionary’s got you covered!

Members of Visionary lead workshops at the 2015 Girl-Con sponsored by the Girl Scouts of America

Members of Visionary lead workshops at the 2016 Girl-Con sponsored by the Girl Scouts of America

“As we expand our services, we want to continue to deepen our ties to our local communities and share our excitement for comics as a medium, an art form, and a dream job,” CCO C. Edward Sellner shared. “This is the next logical step for that process.”

Visionary will book a very limited number of local events, both near our central offices in the DC metro area, as well as around larger shows we send our teams to. These can include art workshops, to overviews and history of comics as an art form, and can be geared for any age group. Workshops and presentations can be a single session, or multi-part sessions depending on the setting and availability. All workshops and presentations will have minimal costs for expenses, but the primary goal is to provide opportunities for small groups in various settings to explore the wonderful world of comics.

If you are interested in booking a portfolio review, workshop, or other session, book now!! >>


New and Expanded Partnerships for 2017

Visionary will be expanding and announcing new partnerships throughout the year, we’re pretty excited about some of the things on the horizon from these great collaborations!

Artway Alliance Logo

Artway Alliancea Maryland-based educational and interactive outreach that provides opportunities for children and youth to learn about the media arts, and encourages their own creativity and imagination will be expanding their partnership with Visionary, bringing our art and empowerment workshops to more conventions!

 

 

 

Girl-Con LogoGirl Scouts of America – Girl-Cona local pop-culture and comics event sponsored by Girl Scouts of America for young girls to experience the power of comics! Visionary will be sponsoring workshops once again this year and we will soon be announcing a special promotion for the event in 2017!

 

 

ASU CSI

Arizona State University – Center for Science & the Imaginationa special program of ASU, the Center does creative mergers of science with the power of imagination to inspire and empower students. Visionary is proud to be the first partner with ASUCSI to produce original comic-related content as part of their mission! We will be debuting our first full-length comic later this year.

 

 

NMLThe National Museum of Languagea museum focused on the development, diversity, and rich heritage of language from all over the world. Visionary’s 2017 Intern Class is partnering with the museum for a special online exhibit celebrating regional language in the United States, that will go live sometime this year.

 

 

 
inkwellInkwell Awards a non-profit organization dedicated to the awareness, education, and celebration of the art of inking. Annual awards are presented to the best inkers in the industry, and legacy and hall of fame awards celebrate the legends who shaped the art form and by extension the comics industry. Visionary is partnering to help spread their message, with CCO C. Edward Sellner joining their committee, and by providing a special participation opportunity for our 2017 interns. More details coming later this year.

 

More to come soon! It’s going to be a truly Visionary year!

Weekly Visions 11.10.16: Get Creative!

get_creative

We’re going to be launching a brand new weekly feature right here at Visionary Central first part of 2017 – and we need your help! This new weekly posting will be our own online magazine – each post containing links to content and features both on our own site and elsewhere – interviews, reviews, webcomics, articles, opinion pieces, galleries, prose fiction etc. Each week we’ll bring you a select smorgasbord of content, including original content from our own creative staff and interns, as well as feature looks at work from our partners and other creative happenings in and around Visionary’s home base of the DC Metro area and other ports of call.

We’re working with our talented crew in putting together some initial content now and we’re already overflowing with ideas!

But we want to hear YOUR ideas! What would you like to see featured right here? Even more, we’d love YOUR contributions! Doing something cool in comics, prose or film and TV, let us know. Doing a great event for families or kids to promote comics, books and pop-culture? Fill us in! Submit reviews of your favorite things, tease upcoming projects etc. Our Feature Editor – C. Edward Sellner will review everything and choose the best goodies to run every week. We’ll also do special promotions and prizes for submissions and readers to make it more fun.

First up, we need a great name for this new venture – we’ve got Weekly Visions for our weekly newspost, My Comic Life Sundays for, well, My Comic Life… on Sundays – now we need to coin something awesome for this feature! You know how we love our name, so bonus points if you can catch a vision in your suggestions!

Feel free to post suggestions for content and the name in our comments, or email them directly to CCO C. Edward Sellner at [email protected]. We’ll be announcing the winning title and launch date before the end of the year!

 


Visionary’s LAST EVENTS of 2016 are HERE and NOW! This Weekend…

 

TusconTuscon Sci-Fi Con
November 11th-13th, 2016
@Radisson Hotel, Tucson Airport, Tucson AZ

Tuscon Sci-Fi Con will your last chance to meet Visionary EiC Jeff Mariotte and Marsheila Rockwell this year! They’ll have copies of all their original and licensed novels for sale, and doing signings on their books.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Southern Maryland Comic-Con LogoSouthern Maryland Comic-Con
November 13th, 2016 / 10am-4pm
@Hollywood Vltr Fire Dept, Hollywood, MD

Join the Visionary Crew for the single-day event! We’ll have our regular stock, plus new titles, and an exclusive preview of new projects coming from Visionary!

My Comic Life: Building a Career in Comics Panel
11:30am-12:30pm Panel Room

Join Visionary Comics’ CCO C. Edward Sellner for a frank and honest conversation about building a career in comics. What does it take to build a career as a freelancer, creator, and comic professional? Sellner discusses the importance of defining your goals, your definition of success, and seeking out opportunity.


DLGX10

Art by Steve Ellis

 

And that’s a wrap for this year folks! Thanks to all our fans, fellow creators, vendors, and convention crews for a wonderful year, our best ever!

Where will your vision take you?

Subscribe now to make sure you don’t miss our first convention annoncements and new feature debuts in 2017!

Weekly Visions 10.27.16: November Events -Last Call!

Upcoming LIVE Events

Just a reminder on our upcoming events, we have double-coast bookings for the first two weeks in November and then we are a wrap for the year! So, if you want to get your Visionary Meet-n-Greet fix before 2016 winds up, choose your play now!

 

TCC_Jeff_Mariotte_Marsheila_Rockwell

Tucson Comic-Con
November 4th-6th, 2016
Friday 4-8pm
Saturday 10am-7pm
Sunday 10am-5pm

@Tucson Convention Center, Tucson AZ

Check out the Tucson Comic-Con to meet Visionary Editor-in-Chief Jeff Mariotte and Marsheila Rockwell! They’ll have copies of all their original and licensed novels and comics for sale, and will be doing signings.

 

 

 


C. Edward Sellner croppedDC Author Festival
November 6th, 2016 / 2:30pm – Room A-5
@Martin Luther King Memorial Library, Washington DC

My Comic Life: Building a Career in Comics

Join Visionary Comics’ CCO C. Edward Sellner at the DC AuthorFest for a frank and honest conversation about building a career in comics. What does it take to build a career as a freelancer, creator, and comic professional? Sellner discusses the importance of defining your goals, your definition of success, and seeking out opportunity.

 

 

 

 


TusconTuscon Sci-Fi Con
November 11th-13th, 2016
@Radisson Hotel, Tucson Airport, Tucson AZ

Tuscon Sci-Fi Con will be another chance to meet Visionary EiC Jeff Mariotte and Marsheila Rockwell! They’ll have copies of all their original and licensed novels and comics for sale, and doing signings.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Southern Maryland Comic-Con LogoSouthern Maryland Comic-Con
November 13th, 2016 / 10am-4pm
@Hollywood Vltr Fire Dept, Hollywood, MD

Join the Visionary Crew for the single-day event! We’ll have our regular stock, plus new titles, and an exclusive preview of new projects coming from Visionary!

 

My Comic Life: Building a Career in Comics Panel will be held at the show! Details TBA.


Get all the details on our Events Page and if you use Google Calendar, remember you can subscribe to ours and get events added automatically to yours! Subscribe to our news mailer to get these updates direct to your inbox!

Weekly Visions 10.13.16: Reviews & an East / West Weekend with Visionary

Deadlands: Thunder Moon Rising headerDeadlands: Thunder Moon Rising

We love great reviews, and our books have gotten quite a few, but this recent one at Geeks of Doom really stood out to us.

It not only talks about the great story by author, Jeffrey J. Mariotte, but takes note of the amazing art team that’s been working on our Deadlands novels.

So, we thought we’d share a few excerpts!

“So, here we have a tale of what is on the back book cover affectionately called the Weird West. That couldn’t be more accurate, if you ask me. Strange things are happening in a tiny town in the Arizona Territory. It starts with animals being slaughtered in the most horrific ways and is soon followed by macabre slayings of local townfolk and ranch hands. As the story moves forward we get glimpses of what is causing it, though it makes no sense to the locals or the reader, for that matter. It gets progressively more violent until it almost seems that walking outside will get you killed. Only one man seems brave enough to follow the trail of death and destruction to its source, even though he might forfeit his life doing so. That man is Tucker Bringloe, former Union Officer turned drunken vagabond.”

“Bringloe stumbled upon the problem, quite literally, after one of the murders. Following a dangerous and deadly chase, he comes away with a healthy respect for the killer and though he tries to rally the town and gain information, he finds many people reluctant, or even resistant, to helping him track down those responsible.”

“I expected a fun story that revolves around the game setting or maybe even forces a few of the game mechanics into the thread, helping to tie it into the system itself. I was pleasantly surprised to find none of that at all. No trappings of RPGs exist within this tale. Instead, we get an expertly written novel from Jeffrey J. Mariotte that redefines the concept of the western story. Heavily laden with mysterious undertones and dank, dark settings, this tale circles around and around like a maelstrom pulling the reader deeper within its clutches, disallowing any retreat. You’ll find yourself forgoing sleep in order to read just one more chapter, only to leave you wanting to read even more.”

“And unlike the vast majority of books in this day and age, this one comes with illustrations scattered throughout. But not just some pencil and ink drawings; no, these are more like old wooden carvings, expertly rendered by Steve Ellis to show depth and emotion in the simplest of ways. In fact, were it not for the publication date in the book, I would have thought they were copies of something from the nineteenth century. That’s how expertly era-oriented they are!”

‘This book has such broad appeal that I hesitate to mention any one demographic that might enjoy it more than another. Within this story we have a variety of genres: horror, fantasy, western, romance, historical fiction, and more. Plus, you don’t have to have any connection with the game to enjoy this. I say that because I know almost nothing about the bestselling role-playing game. I will, however, be looking into it along with this particular author and other books in this series. It has made me a fan and I’ve never even played the game! That’s how convincing this writer has been. He has managed to create within me an interest in all things Deadlands.”


A Weekend with Visionary – East and West

Last week we updated everyone on our full slate of shows through the rest of the year. But we still wanted to remind folks this coming weekend is a chance to meet Visionary creators on opposite sides of the country – from Hampton to Tucson!

Hampton Comic-ConHampton ComicCon Logo
October 15, 2016 / Saturday 10am-6pm
@Hampton Convention Center, Hampton VA

Join the Visionary Crew for the single-day event! We’ll have our regular stock, plus new titles, and an exclusive preview of new projects coming from Visionary!

 


 

Barnes&Noble

Barnes & Noble Book Signing: Jeffrey J. Mariotte & Marsheila Rockwell
@Chandler Fashion Center, Chandler, AZ / October 15, 2016 / Saturday 4-6pm

Join Visionary’s Edtor-in-Chief and Book Division Chief, Jeffrey J. Mariotte and Marsheila Rockwell for a book signing! They’ll be signing their 7 Sykos novel and Jeff will be signing copies of Deadlands: Thunder Moon Rising!

Now available on Amazon, and at finer bookstores EVERYWHERE!
Check out the Official Publisher Page!

 


You can now find Visionary at the classic Visionary Comics URL: http://www.visionarycomics.com/

But, now you can ALSO find us at our new URL: http://www.visionarycreativeservices.com/

Check out our main site for more news and updates on everything Visionary!
Get our full list of the remaining events in 2016 on our Events Page and Subscribe to get updates straight to your inbox!

My Comic Life Sundays: Breaking-In and Cons Galore

MCL Banner

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!

MCL019

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

C. Edward Sellner cropped

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.

Zub

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 8.18.16

CacklerCoverDeadlands: Cackler EXCLUSIVE Convention Edition On Sale NOW!

Our next volume of Deadlands has at long last arrived! Shane Lacy Hensley, creator of Deadlands, and superstar artist Bart Sears bring to life the long-held secret origins of the maniacal menace known only as The Cackler! Driven by an insane quest to find the one person who can unlock his past and his power, he has scoured the Weird West – and now… at long last… the final confrontation begins!

The Direct Edition of this volume is gorgeous, and we’ll have copies through the rest of our shows this year! Want your copy? Find an event near you!

Print and digital copies will soon be available through our venues.

 

 


Deadlands Thunder Moon Rising Cover Art

Just One More Month Until Thunder Moon Rising!
Pre-Order NOW!

Fear is abroad in the Deadlands as a string of brutal killings and cattle mutilations trouble a frontier town in the Arizona Territory, nestled in the forbidding shadow of the rugged Thunder Mountains. A mule train is massacred, homes and ranches are attacked, and men and women are stalked and butchered by bestial killers who seem to be neither human nor animal, meanwhile a ruthless land baron tries to buy up all the surrounding territory – and possibly bring about an apocalypse.

Once an officer in the Union Army, Tucker Bringloe is now a worthless drunk begging for free drinks at the corner saloon. When he’s roped into a posse searching for the nameless killers, Tuck must rediscover the man he once was if he’s to halt the bloodshed and stop occult forces from unleashing Hell on Earth … when the Thunder Moon rises.

 


My Comic Life – The Comic Strip Returns and The Column Debuts!

We’ve mentioned our CCO C. Edward Sellner’s Patreon a few times now. He’s still running a special promotion, pledge now and get a free digital copy of Deadlands: The Kid and for every 10 patrons, he’ll add another of his art prints for a hi-res download and print your own pack in September!

Today marks the next phase as his comic strip My Comic Life returns! He’ll be posting a strip EVERY DAY now through September 4th until he catches up to where it left off in its previous run, and then brand NEW strips EVERY Sunday! Here’s the first, and you can check out our snazzy new online reader, courtesy of Madefire, here>>

001 It Should Be Funny

Our daring CCO is also getting back into the weekly column biz, with the debut of the My Comic Life Column, a weekly column all about creating comics, and building a creative freelancer career, filled with helpful tips, insight into every side of the business, and tons of resources! The first few we’ll share publicly, but then, this resources will be exclusive to Patrons only. Enjoy his opening round here>>

Print God Whole World Art by C. Edward Sellner

(And yes, this was originally starting last week, and then our Creative Offices had a string of technical and internet issues, so, we had to push it back a week, but we are live!)

UPDATE: Just one more pledge and everyone gets this God: Whole World Print in September, and we’ll unveil the next one up!


Next Week – Get more details on our upcoming Fall shows, and meet the first new characters of the Visionary Creation as we begin teasing The Power Scourge!

Subscribe NOW to not miss a thing!

Weekly Visions 8.11.16

Deadlands Ghostwalkers MMP CoverDeadlands: Ghostwalkers Nominated for Dragon Award!

New York Times best-selling author Jonathan Maberry keeps racking up prestigious award nominations for the debut Deadlands novel, Ghostwalkers! The book already garnered a prestigious Scribe Award nomination from the International Association of Media Tie-in Writers, and now it’s on the shortlist for the coveted Dragon Awards!

You can find the whole list here>>

And if you haven’t picked up your copy yet, well… now you can>>

And if you already have, well, be sure and pre-order Thunder Moon Rising here>>

Or if you’re feeling lucky you’ve still got a few days left to enter to win it here>>

 


PR Banner Events 2016Visionary Hits Record Number of Shows in 2016!

Last year we set out to grow our show schedule, and as of this year, we’ve hit 26 annual shows we participate in! That’s an average of one every other weekend! WOW! Thanks to the great folks at Dover Comic-Con for another great show last weekend. This weekend, you can find the crew at the Washington County Free Library Con, and then we have a huge run of shows kicking off with Baltimore Comic-Con September 2nd!

Get the latest on all our appearances and panels here>>


My Comic Life – The Comic Strip Returns and The Column Debuts!

We’ve mentioned our CCO C. Edward Sellner’s Patreon a few times now. He’s still running a special pledge promotion, of pledge now and get a free digital copy of Deadlands: The Kid and for every 10 patrons, he’ll add another of his art prints for a hi-res download and print your own pack in September!

Today marks the next phase as his comic strip My Comic Life returns! He’ll be posting a strip EVERY DAY now through August 28th, until he catches up to where it left off in its previous run, and then brand NEW strips EVERY Sunday! Here’s the first, and you can check out our snazzy new online reader, courtesy of Madefire, here>>

001 It Should Be Funny

Our daring CCO is also getting back into the weekly column biz, with the debut of the My Comic Life Column, a weekly column all about creating comics, and building a creative freelancer career, filled with helpful tips, insight into every side of the business, and tons of resources! The first few we’ll share publicly, but then, this resources will be exclusive to Patrons only.

Enjoy his opening round here>>

Want to make sure you never miss an update? Subscribe Now!

 

 

 

Pin It on Pinterest