May 10, 2011
In case any of you have been checking back to this website, I abandoned the story mentioned below, TWILIGHT EARTH, after getting 80 pages in. The zombie craze has been huge the last few years, and I decided it would just get lost in the shuffle, and concentrated on other projects.
What you may be pleased to know is that I have started a novelization of NETHER. It is only in the very very very early stages (about 20,000 word count, 4 chapters done). Prose will provide me more options to tell this story. I had a lot planned, and in comic form, it would have taken more than a decade to tell all of it. Of course, it has almost been a decade since the first issue came out.
It's called TWILIGHT EARTH. Looks like it will be a 72 page
I changed my mind. I'm allowed to do that, you see. It's my
frickin world. The mannikin story is on the backburner as I
am in the process of resurrecting an old project that takes
place during the very first years of the world of Nether.
This is the era when the demonpox had scraped across the world,
killing and transforming most of the people into essentially
zombies. Okay, yes, I admit, I recently saw 28 DAYS LATER, and
loved it, but this project was around a long time before that.
My original inspiration came from a series of dreams I had back
in the late '80's about walking through suburbia, cracking skulls
of zombies. A little of that was inspired by THE OMEGA MAN film
which I loved as a kid.
So, there is one guy left alive (or so he thinks) and is trying
to survive the apocalypse by (re)killing all the zombies he
can find. As the months wear on, he progressively loses his
humanity, and becomes just an angry husk of a man.
I'm not going to give away the story, but there are creatures,
demons, a little insanity, and a lot of fun. Well, fun in the
sense of gory zombie-bashing fun in a grim depressing post-plague
kind of way. The focus on the story is obviously on him and
his transformation into the leader of the Human rebellion against
The details are sketchy, but it looks like it will be a 4-issue
mini series. When? Oh, jeez, I don't know... I'm getting laid
off from work next month, so I might have a lot of time on my
hands to put a big dent in it. Each issue might be 48 pages,
the way it's going. Working title - "THE GLOAMING: a tale
Oh, here is a sample page I started of the Mannikin story.
I just got back from the Pittsburgh Comicon and had the full
intention of it being the last con I would be attending. I was
fed up with the industry, and sales of Nether 4 were just awful,
and I was ready to call it quits for good. No more comics for
me. I was sick of the whole thing.
Several things happened. Someone out there - I never got her
name - she was the first person to stand at my table on the
first day of the con. I gave her an unenthusiastic shpeel about
the comic, and she just said, "I already have all of those,
I hoped you had something new." Usually, I have to lure
people in to sell them the book, but what were the chances that
the first person who stood at my table already had all my books??
I don't know... I took it as a sign. Between that incident
and talking with Mike Oeming, David Mack, and Dave DeVries over
the weekend, I just knew that this damn comic shit is in my
blood, and I don't want to be one of those 50 year olds who
regretted not following their dreams. I'm still here. Still
going to fiinish Nether.
Got a new gameplan. I will finish Nether 4 & 5, eventually
releasing them in a trade paperback collecting issues 1-5. I
just started working on a one-shot adventure starring the mannikins.
The comic industry is still run by a bunch of idiots, but I
do love the medium. That's what it comes down to.
Oh, and for those of you out there considering making a PDF
Yeah, yeah, I know, I know. I'm a loser. Nether #4 has been
stalled until the end of June. No, really. Seriously!
I apologize for the delay in #4. I should have it done in the
next couple of weeks. A series of personal problems came up
that interefered with production.
Almost done inking #4, and finished inking the cover to #4.
I will post it in a few days.
Also, I have been finishing up writing the prologue, and simultaneously
writing Cambal's Journal. There will be a lot to read this year.
Just got word of two more reviews:
Dara Naraghi gave me the "Still Kicking Myself for Not
Trying This Book When it First Came Out award" in his 2002
OFF PANEL Awards. Read it here.
The other was from Ed Cunard of ComicWorld
I added a little to the world map (see MAPS) and updated the
Returned to work on #4 with a slightly different style halfway
through the book. What can I say, I'm schitzo that way.
Got another small reorder from Diamond.
Feedback has been pretty remarkable. Everyone has been telling
me not to give up on the project. So, I won't.
Nether will continue as a PDF comic. After a few more issues
are done, I will collect them into a trade paperback and sell
them. I still have plenty of copies of 1,2, and 3, so, I'll
be selling them at the cons.
Another review appeared here!
Oh, and HERE,
too, after a good time at Mid Ohio Con. A picture of me and
the Fraim Brothers ended up on this page. Beware!
Look for the Nether ad in the November issue of the COMICS
JOURNAL! I used some of the reviews that readers wrote in to
me. Thanks, guys... now you are published!
I also sent out a batch of copies to reviewers this week. Hopefully,
there will be some positive press in the weeks to come.
A few weeks ago, I was asked to appear at a comic
store in Selinsgrove, PA. It was a 3 hour drive to get there,
and once I was there, only about 3 people showed up. I was disappointed,
but Stan, the owner was a great guy to talk to, and got caught
up on some of the stuff going on in the industry.
Anyway, he wrote this
article about me. Since then, I've had a bunch of new orders
coming in. Diamond ordered some more #2's for England distribution!
See, just when I get all pissed off at comics and the industry,
things like this happen to keep me going.
Due to sales too low for them to support, Diamond has stopped
carrying Nether after issue 3. I'm not sure what this means
for the future of the comic. I can no longer afford to self-publish
unless something changes. As I see it, I have 3 options. If
I can't find a publisher, I need help to choose what to do next.
Please VOTE, and click on the OPTION you want me to do...
Option ONE: (not a votable option, because
it's not up to you guys... I wish it were) publish the remainder
of the series with another publisher. I will be sending out
samples to some independent publishers. Diamond, however, has
told me that it depends on the sales record of the publisher
whether or not they would list Nether under that new publisher.
TWO: continue to create Nether, but publish the
remaining stories DIGITALLY, as a PDF file that I can email
to you if you pay me a dollar. One dollar! After a few issues,
I would collect them in trade paperback format, collecting three
or four issues at a time in a 96-page perfect bound book, including
some of the content from the website. Diamond likes TPs, because
they tend to sell better than individual issues, make more money,
and would most likely carry it again. Publishers like it, because
they are cheaper to print per book than a comperable page count
of individual issues.
THREE: tell the origins of the world of Nether.
I always intended to do this eventually. My vision is a three-issue
mini-series of about 48 pages each. It tells the story of the
guy who organized the rebellion against the demons in a DAWN
OF THE DEAD/OMEGA MAN kind of story. The working title is: THE
GLOAMING: DAWN OF MAGA. I have most of the story plotted
and thumbnailed but would take about a year to get them published.
I do have a
few pages done from a long time ago, but I would re-do them
in my current style.
In any case, this does not mean I am going to discontinue Nether.
I'm a little pissed-off at the world, and frustrated, and uninspired
to continue at this point, but I know me. I invested 7 years
in this project, and it's not going to go away that easily.
I just can't afford to continue right now without the support
of the evil monopoly... oops, did I say that?
It's been a while since I added to the log. Here is a recap:
Nether went to print in early-mid May, and was very well received
by readers around the world. Then, issue 2 had really bad orders.
Less than half the numbers of #1. Diamond got cranky and said
they would drop Nether unless orders pick up. On top of that,
all the copies of #2 got mis-shipped to Brooklyn (one Maelstrom
Comics), and had to wait two extra weeks for everyone
to get them shipped to the right places.
I just mailed out a batch of copies to retailers across the
globe this morning. Hopefully, I will get some last minute bites
to get those orders for #3 going.
In two weeks, I find out whether the orders for #3 are good
enough for Diamond to continue to carry Nether. If not, I will
have to come up with a new plan. Maybe find a publisher. Maybe
just try to go direct market (sigh). I can't afford to print
this without big daddy Diamond!
The torments of the self-publisher are never-ending..