So... a while back I reached out to a bunch of colleagues to discuss the possibility of working together on a brand new project as a collective. This is the first time in the 13+ years I've been living in Virginia that I've actually gone out of my way to collaborate with local artists. Now you may be asking yourself why now? Why after 13+ years is he finally reaching out to other comic book creators in the are? Well, I did this for a variety of reasons:
1. I (like many comic book artists) tend to keep to myself and I'm trying to change that. Being a comic book artist is a lonely endeavor, you spend hours upon hours working on your books, you tend to become a hermit; especially if you do most of the work yourself. But in order to build community you need to socialize, create a network for yourself; at least that's what I'm hoping for.
2. I've been meaning to work on a project with brand new characters and add it to the Public Domain. I know for a fact that thousands of artists would love to work on a project and be allowed to use Batman, Superman or Spider-Man but obviously can't. I also know there's thousands of characters in the Public Domain that can be used by anyone, although there's no way to know for certain which characters you can use on your own projects and how; even though they're in the Public Domain.
So I thought to myself, why not come up with a new legend, a new story and new characters and allow anyone to use them? I reached out to my colleagues and to my surprise a few of them really liked the idea... so we went to work. We came up with a main character, a main villain, supporting cast and a fun concept that will allow for any artist to jump in at any time and not be jarring. I can't give you all the details at this moment but as soon as we have something more concrete we'll let you know, just know that we already started drawing pages, so this is coming sooner rather than later.
3. Why add it to the Public Domain? Simple, I want these characters to live on forever, I want people years from now to be able to use our characters and come up with their own adventures; I want these characters to live on through the minds of generations to come. I love the idea of creating these brand new characters whose stories will be written for years to come. Maybe they'll be set in a parallel universe, maybe on a different planet; but all part of the same legend. And lastly, it isn't all about money for me. If it comes great, but money doesn't drive me; creating a legacy that will live on through the ages does. I'm sure my colleagues feel the same way I do.
From the minds of C.L.Zeno, Manuel A. Carmona and Brian Lacy comes...
THE AVANDRUS THEORY!!!!
As you may or may not know I had already released a cover for issue #2 of Project: New Wave but upon further review I realized that, although cools heck; the cover didn't fit theinteriror art so... we decided to use said cover for another issue and create a new cover for issue #2. The issue will be a very personal story regarding Jason's past and why he acts the way he does, so I came up with the three main characters this issue focuses on: Jason, Ran and Commander Maldonado.
With that said, I illustrated the cover as best I could but when Francisco rivera sent me the finished version it exceeded all my expectations! But don't take my word for it, judge for yourselves and let us know what yo think in the comments. Project: New Wave will be released in August, if I'm ever able me to publish it online through Indy Planet that is! Either way we'll figure it out and bring you the goodness. For now... enjoy!
As always... keep it Truthful!
Como pueden saber o no, ya había publicado una portada para el ejemplar número 2 de Project: New Wave, pero después de una revisión adicional me di cuenta de que, aunque es genial; la portada no se ajustaba al arte del interior así que decidimos usar dicha portada para otro número y crear una nueva portada para el número 2. El tema será una historia muy personal sobre el pasado de Jason y por qué actúa de la manera que lo hace, así que me base en los tres personajes principales en los que se centra el comic: Jason, Ran y el Comandante Maldonado.
Dicho esto, ilustré la portada lo mejor que pude pero cuando Francisco Rivera me envió la versión final, ¡superó todas mis expectativas! Pero juzguen ustedes mismos y háganos saber lo que piensan en los comentarios. Proyect: New Wave se lanzará en Agosto, si al fin puedo publicarlo online a través de Indy Planet. De cualquier manera lo resolveremos y les traeremos el comic. Por ahora... que lo disfruten!
Como siempre... ¡mantenlo Truthful!
On Sunday June 7th The Hampton Roads City Collective (HRCC) hosted a peaceful Prayer March in downtown Norfolk to celebrate the diverse expression of God’s image in humanity that affirms the dignity, value and worth of every person. They called on faith communities in Hampton Roads to stand united, seek justice, and love mercy; and thousands answered the call!
The Desired Outcomes were:
Turning our hearts away from racism, inequality, and silence to focus on God as the source of reconciliation
Encouraging all to develop deeper relationships and love for each other
Seeking cultural change through policies and practices that continue to build a more just community
It was a wonderful experience and hopefully it won't be the last time an event like that happens. Me and my family joined the march, interacted with people we hand't met before and even exchange numbers with a family that loved our spirit and wanted to get to know us more. We couldn't have been happier with the outcome. Which events have you attended in support of unity, against police brutality and in favor of change? Let us know in the comments.
As always... Keep it Truthful!
On May 29th, 2020 Manuel and his family joined #BlackLivesMatter757 along with hundreds of Virginians in a peaceful protest against police brutality, demanding justice in the aftermath of George Floyd's death at the hands of 4 police officers in Minneapolis. This is the latest in a long list of African Americans who have been brutalized and/or killed at the hands of the very same people who are opposed to serve and protect them, when Mr. Floyd drew his last breath... millions around the World said enough is enough; change is coming peacefully or by force!
Protests have sprung throughout the United States, some peaceful like the one Manuel and his family were a part of; some like in the city of Minneapolis and Atlanta have turned violent. Now a certain part of the population is trying to shift the focus on the riots, looting and such claiming that violence is not the way to get the change needed, I beg to differ and here's why...
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. tried marching peacefully. The result? He was beaten, persecuted and eventually assassinated because of it. Fast forward to 2016, Colin Kaepernick kneeled in peaceful protest against police brutality. The result? Kicked out of the NFL, attacked by the Right, even the so called President called him an S.O.B. and to this day has never played in the NFL again. Fast Forward a few years later, more police brutality. Eric Garner choked to death by a police officer, Sandra Bland killed in custody of the police, Philando Castile killed in front of his girlfriend and her daughter for reaching to get his wallet and the list goes on and on and on... nothing changes. Athletes peacefully protest, no result. Celebrities peacefully protest, no result. The people peacefully protest... no result.
Now here we are, May 2020 in the middle of a Global Pandemic, cities burning, property destroyed, more innocent lives lost and we're still at war with the worst virus on the face of this Earth... RACISM!!! But this time change will come, because this time we're not asking for change, that time has past; we're taking it... by force if necessary! Now it's not Blacks against Whites, nah... now it's US against Racists; and we're going to WIN! Love trumps Hate and trust me, there's more of us than there is of them; we'll stand side by side with our Black brothers and sisters till the end.
Keep it Truthful!
Hace unas semanas me informaron que me habían incluido en una exhibición de arte virtual que destacaba a los puertorriqueños que dejaron una marca en la industria del cómic, no solo localmente en la isla de Puerto Rico; pero en el extranjero también ¡Me sentí extremadamente honrado de ser incluido con tantos creadores talentosos como George Perez, Kenneth Rocafort, David Alvarez, Edgardo Miranda-Rodriguez y muchos más! La exposición se llama Puertoricans in the Comic Book World: A Virtual Art Exhibit y está comisariada por Manuel Miranda-Nazario. Pero dejaré que te lo explique mejor ...
Esta exposición fue concebida inicialmente como una de las actividades de la Tercera Feria del Cómic del Sistema de Bibliotecas del 24 al 26 de marzo de 2020. Antes del cierre de la Universidad de Puerto Rico, Recinto de Río Piedras, debido a la cuarentena por el coronavirus, y decidí hacer la exposición virtual.
Ahora sería casi imposible para mí encontrar todos los cómics que haya hecho un puertorriqueño, pero al menos me gustaría darles una pequeña muestra del tipo de trabajo que mis colegas y yo hemos estado produciendo en la isla y en el extranjero. . Estos son solo algunos títulos, si desea presenciar la visita virtual completa de la exhibición: Exhibición Virtual: Puertorriqueños en el Mundo del Cómic.
Hay muchos creadores puertorriqueños increíblemente talentosos, algunos de los cuales quizás conozcas y otros que quizás no hayas escuchado, esa es una de las razones por las que esta exposición de arte es tan importante, porque no solo muestra los libros que se están produciendo, sino que también Una referencia histórica desde el comienzo del arte secuencial en Puerto Rico hasta hoy. Estos son solo algunos de los creadores mega talentosos nacidos, criados o con linaje puertorriqueño.
1. George Pérez ha trabajado como artista y escritor en títulos como The Avengers, Teen Titans, Superman, Wonder Woman y muchos otros. Ha ganado los Premios Eagle por Mejor historia continua en 1979, Mejor portada en 1980 y Artista favorito (dibujante) en 1986, así como innumerables otros premios. Hasta el día de hoy, George Pérez es uno de los artistas de cómics más respetados del mundo. Para obtener más información sobre George visite: George Perez en Facebook
2. Rubén Moreira fue un artista / escritor de cómics puertorriqueño mejor conocido por su trabajo en Tarzán y como artista de DC Comics. Se le atribuye la creación de al menos tres personajes: Black Terror, Puzzler y Beggar King. Se hizo cargo de la página del domingo de Tarzán de Burne Hogarth en 45 'y fue su único artista / escritor hasta los 47', usando el seudónimo Rubimor. Para obtener más información sobre Rubimor, visite: El Grupo de Apreciación Ruben Moreira en Facebook.
3. Ernesto Colón Sierra fue un dibujante de cómics puertorriqueño en los Estados Unidos, conocido por su amplia carrera ilustrando cómics infantiles, de superhéroes y de terror, así como la no ficción convencional. Su carrera abarcó más de treinta años trabajando en Harvey Comics, Marvel Comics, DC Comics y muchos más.
4. Kenneth Rocafort tiene y está trabajando actualmente para DC Comics y Marvel Comics, así como para Image Comics haciendo diseños de personajes, portadas y arte interior, conocido por su trabajo en títulos como Superman, Red Hood and the Outlaws, Astonishing Tales: Wolverine / Punisher, Teen Titans y The Ultimates. Para mantenerse al día con Kenneth visite: Mitografia en Tumblr.
5. Ricardo Álvarez-Rivón es el creador de Turey el Taino, la serie de cómics producida localmente más exitosa de Puerto Rico de todos los tiempos. Ricardo también es un músico consumado. Para obtener más información sobre la visita de Turey: Turey El Taino
6. David Alvarez ha trabajado para Warner Bros y Disney. Actualmente realiza trabajo independiente como artista de guiones gráficos, ilustrador y diseñador de personajes. Es el creador de Yenny, una serie de dibujos animados de comedia sobre una voluptuosa chica boricua que se encuentra en las situaciones más precarias. Para obtener más información sobre los proyectos de Dave, visite: dascomics.com
7. Edgardo Miranda-Rodriguez ha trabajado para Marvel Comics, es el creador de la súper heroína puertorriqueña La Borinqueña. Edgardo también es editor en jefe en Darryl Makes Comics. Para obtener más información sobre La Borinqueña, visite: www.la-borinquena.com
8. Manuel A. Carmona ha trabajado en personajes como Captain Action, Phazer, Black Terror, El Gato Negro y muchos más. También ilustró Life with Zombie, una tira cómica divertida sobre un zombie que intenta vivir una vida normal y también colaboró en la Antología Ángeles de las Siete Luces. Actualmente está trabajando en su creador, Project: New Wave, publicado bajo Truthful Comics.
9. Alvaro Cortez Ortiz Jr. ha trabajado como escritor para varios editores en diferentes títulos. Actualmente es el Editor en Jefe de Truthful Comics y todavía realiza trabajos independientes entre sus propios proyectos. Para mantenerse al día con los proyectos de Alvaro, visite: trueful comics.com
Y la lista sigue y sigue ... estos son solo algunos de los talentosos creadores que Puerto Rico ha producido. Si conoce a algún creador (s) puertorriqueño (s) que haya publicado trabajos de cómics, comuníquese con: Manuel Martinez-Nazario y no olvide consultar Puertorriqueños en el Mundo del Cómic: Una Exhibición Virtual.
Como siempre ... ¡Mantenlo Truthful!
A few weeks ago I was informed I'd been included in a virtual art exhibit highlighting Puertoricans who've left a mark in the comic book industry, not only locally in the island of Puerto Rico; but abroad as well. I was extremely honored to be included with so many talented creators like George Perez, Kenneth Rocafort, David Alvarez, Edgardo Miranda-Rodriguez and many more! The exhibit is called Puertoricans in the Comic Book World: A Virtual Art Exhibit and it's curated by Manuel Miranda-Nazario. But I'll let him explain it better for you...
This exhibition was initially conceived as one of the activities of the Third Comic Fair of the Library System from March 24 to 26, 2020. Before the closure of the University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras Campus, due to the quarantine by the coronavirus, I decided to do the virtual exhibition.
Now it'd be nearly impossible for me to find every comic book ever made by a Puertorican, but at least I'd like to give you a small sample of the type of work me and my colleagues have been producing in the island and abroad. These are only a few titles, if you'd like to witness the full virtual exhibit visit: Exhibición Virtual: Puertorriqueños en el Mundo del Cómic.
There are many incredibly talented Puertorican creators, some of whom you might know and some you might not have heard of, that is one of the reasons why this art exhibit is so important, because not only does it show the books being produced but it's also a historic reference from the beginning of sequential art in Puerto Rico until today. Here are just a few of the mega talented creators either born, raised or with Puertorican bloodline.
1. George Perez has worked as an artist and writer on titles such as The Avengers, Teen Titans, Superman, Wonder Woman and countless others. He's won Eagle Awards for Best Continued Story in 1979, Best Cover in 1980 and Favourite Artist (penciller) in 1986 as well as countless other awards. To this day George Perez is one of the most respected comic book artists in the World. To find out more about George visit: George Perez on Facebook
2. Ruben Moreira was a Puerto Rican comic book artist/writer best known for his work on Tarzan and as a DC Comics artist. He is credited with creating at least three characters: Black Terror, Puzzler and Beggar King. He took over the Tarzan Sunday page from Burne Hogarth in 45' and was its sole artist/writer until 47', using the pen name Rubimor. To find out more about Rubimor visit: The Ruben Moreira Appreciation Group on Facebook.
3. Ernesto Colón Sierra was a stateside Puerto Rican comic book artist, known for his wide-ranging career illustrating children's, superhero and horror comics, as well as mainstream non-fiction. His career spanned thirty plus years working on Harvey Comics, Marvel Comics, DC Comics and many more.
4. Kenneth Rocafort has and is currently working for both DC Comics and Marvel Comics as well as Image Comics doing character designs, covers and interior art, known for his work on titles like Superman, Red Hood and the Outlaws, Astonishing Tales: Wolverine/Punisher, Teen Titans, and The Ultimates. To keep up with Kenneth visit: Mitografia
5. Ricardo Álvarez-Rivón is the creator of Turey el Taino, Puerto Rico's most successful locally produced comic book series of all time. Ricardo is also an accomplished musician. To find out more about Turey visit: Turey El Taino
6. David Alvarez has worked for Warner Bros as well as Disney. Currently doing freelance work as a storyboard artist, illustrator and character designer. He's the creator of Yenny, a comedy cartoon series about a voluptuous Boricua girl who get's in the most precarious situations. To find out more about Dave's projects visit: dascomics.com
7. Edgardo Miranda-Rodriguez has worked for Marvel Comics he's the creator of the Puerto Rican super heroine La Borinqueña. Edgardo is also the Editor-In-Chief over at Darryl Makes Comics. To find out more about La Borinqueña visit: www.la-borinquena.com
Manuel A. Carmona has worked on characters such as Captain Action, Phazer, Black Terror, El Gato Negro and many more. He also illustrated Life with Zombie, a funny cartoon strip about a zombie trying to live a normal life and also collaborated in the Angels of Seven Lights Anthology. He's currently working on his creator owned Project: New Wave published under Truthful Comics.
9. Alvaro Cortez Ortiz Jr. has worked as a writer for various publishers on different titles. He is currently the Editor-in-Chief over at Truthful Comics and still does freelance work in between his own projects. To keep up with Alvaro's projects visit: truthful comics.com
And the list goes on, and on and on... these are just a few of the talented creators Puerto Rico has produced. If you know of any Puertorican creator(s) that has published comic book work please contact: Manuel Martinez-Nazario and don't forget to check Puertorriqueños en el Mundo del Cómic: Una Exhibición Virtual
As Always... keep it Truthful!
For my first #FridayFlashback on the website I'm going back to the time I got a first look at my inked pages for Phazer #6 featuring Captain Action and Action Boy. I remember vividly how excited I was at the chance to work on a character like Captain Action and so many public domain characters like El Gato Negro, Black Terror and many others.
What should've been the beginning of my art career in comics, working for other publishers quickly evaporated and I realized the grim reality of the comic book industry; that many people are in this business to take advantage of creators. What sucked the most to me was that the person in charge sold me on the idea that they were gonna do things the right way because like me, they hated what Marvel did to Jack Kirby throughout his career; so they were gonna make sure creators were treated fairly. Yeah... right. Lesson learned though.
Regardless, it was a valuable experience and the main catalyst for me to go out on my own and make Truthful Comics a reality alongside my brother Alvaro Cortez Ortiz Jr.; so for that I'll be forever thankful... in a messed up kind of way. Now I'm curious, from the creators that are reading this blog; do you remember your first professional work in comics? Which comic book series was it? Was your experience more enjoyable than mine or was it a nightmare? What lessons did you learn from working with a creative team compared to working solo on a project?
As always... keep it Truthful.
So here's where I'm at with my comic book collecting, I've decided to focus exclusively on buying and collecting independent comic books; be it from small publishers or indie publishers as big as Dark Horse or Image Comics. There will be a few exceptions though, I’ll keep buying/collecting a small percentage of "Big 2" titles/characters like Miles Morales (aka Spider-Man), Lady Sif, Valkyrie and/or The Mighty Thor. These are some of my favorite characters in any form of media and I’ll always have a soft spot for them. My reasons for doing this are many, but I’ll try to list my Top 5 for why I’m changing my comic book collecting habits moving forward:
1. My interests have changed- More and more I find myself loving independent books and disliking Marvel and DC Comics books, I just don’t see the point in giving them my money anymore.
2. Price Point- Paying $4.99 for twenty pages of an extremely decompressed story, inevitably taking 6 - 10 issues to wrap up and have a more than likely disappointing conclusion; it just isn’t a good proposition for me anymore.
3. Not MY Characters- At least not the characters I’ve followed for years, those aren’t the ones I see on the page today. I know characters should evolve, but when you retcon incessantly and continue to disrespect the legacy of those who created these characters just because you think that’s what fans want or you’re trying to appease a section of society that just doesn’t buy comic books; I’m out.
4. Indie Comics Rock!- I shouldn’t even have to say this but in case you reading this haven’t noticed, indie comic books are not only on par with the "Big 2" in every sense of the word; a lot of them have surpassed the "Big 2"! There’s a difference when you buy a book by someone who just doesn’t care about the characters they’re working on and/or who only see a paycheck, compared to someone who’s writing and/or illustrating a character they created and they’ve put their heart and soul into; it shows when you care about a property and when you only care about a paycheck.
5. Creator's Egos- I don’t mean that every creator who’s “made it” has an inflated ego because that just isn’t the case, but more often than not I see creators talking down and even disrespecting fans; which is crazy to me since the only reason they find themselves in the position they’re in is BECAUSE of fans! I’d rather help out an up and coming indie creator who appreciates the fans than creators who "made it", think they’re “celebrities” and look at everyone over their shoulder like they're better than them. You aren't getting my hard earned money acting like that.
The truth of the matter is that comic books are too expensive for me to justify buying them consistently, especially when I KNOW many creators couldn't care less about these characters and even if they do, they have to follow the direction and agendas of higher ups; ruining our favorite characters in the process. At least when I buy an indie comic book I know the story, good or bad; it's exactly what the creator(s) intended it to be. That's something I can get behind. I'll always buy comic books, the only difference is that from now on I'll be buying 90% indie comics and 10% from the "Big 2"; oh and 7% of that 10% will be back issues to fill out gaps in my collection. Yeah, this is the way I'll be buying comics from now on; I know this because I'm smiling as I type these words just thinking about it.
My suggestion, buy what makes YOU happy; don't buy only because you need to support your LCS or because you can't let the industry you love so much die. You can support your LCS buying many other things like indie comic books, buying back issues, trade paperbacks, hardcovers, action figures, statues or clothing; don't buy comics you know won't satisfy you and you'll eventually end up getting the trade paperback because it just makes more sense. Same thing goes with supporting the "Big 2", don't buy like a zombie just because you think they'll go out of business if you don't; they won't. Marvel is owned by Disney and DC Comics is owned by WB, comic books are nothing more to them than promotional material to keep these properties alive in the public's eye; whenever they want comic books gone they'll go away... no matter how much we love them. For that reason alone... SUPPORT INDIE COMICS!!!
PS. The one publisher/group I'll NEVER support is Comicsgate, I'm sure you all know why but if you don't go do a quick Google search; basically they go against everything I stand for as a creator and as a human being and I'll give the a dime of my money. The End.
As always... keep it Truthful!
Indie Creator Spotlight