Tuesday, July 26, 2016

SDCC Wrap Up

Well, another San Diego Comic-Con has come to a close. The big event took place last weekend, ending on Sunday, July 23.

It was a huge show, filled with lots of fun and excitement, and it's going to be a big year for comic & sci-fi fans.

I'm looking forward to seeing everything new that is just around the corner, and there couldn't be a better time to be working in the world of comics & sci-fi.

There will be lots to talk about next week!

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

New MPSS Costumes

Today I find myself finalizing new costumes that will be appearing in an upcoming episode of Mission Park Street Stories.

Balancing look and functionality is the hardest part of the design.  The costume need to look great on camera, as well as being easy enough to wear while performing stunts and action.  If the costume is too restrictive, complex movements won't be possible.

I like designing superhero costumes, and I like finding that balance between form and function.  It's an exciting process, and I'm looking forward to seeing audience reactions when the new costumes make their debut in episode 4!

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

San Diego Comic-Con 2016

San Diego Comic-Con is just around the corner... July 21-24... And if you can't be there in person, you can watch it on television on the Syfy Network. (Check your local listings for dates and times.)

This is the 49th convention, and SDCC has evolved considerably since Comic-Con #1, which was held on March 21, 1970 at the U.S. Grant Hotel. That year, 145 people were in attendance, and special guests Forrest J Ackerman and Mike Royer made appearances.

Last year, over 160,000 people attended SDCC #48, and numbers this year are expected to be even bigger. Today, SDCC is more than a comic and sci-fi convention.  It's an important entertainment event, not just for comic and sci-fi fans, but for major entertainment companies, celebrities, and brands, who are ready to showcase their latest works.

It's very exciting to see more and more people discovering the wonder of comic & sci-fi entertainment, and the SDCC attendance numbers show just how far we've come. SDCC #1 had 145 people in attendance. Every year, the number of attendees grew incrementally. SDCC #2 had 300 people in attendance. SDCC #3 had 800. The year after that, close to 1000.  

The growth has been gradual, and at no point did comic and sci-fi entertainment become suddenly popular.  I think it shows that this amazing form of entertainment is no passing fad, and as the number of comic and sci-fi readers grows, the SDCC is only going to get bigger.  

With that, I want you to enjoy SDCC this year, and know that we, as comic and sci-fi fans, are a growing number!

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

The Continuity Dumper

When creativity is lacking, many comic writers will begin crafting a very specific kind of superhero story. It's a poorly written story. An ugly story. And it hides in plain sight.

Readers don't care for this kind of story, but it sells comics because it promises big changes. That's the first lie, and you shouldn't be fooled. What I'm about to share is a deep dark secret lurking in the bowels of every major comic book company. A bad stock story that has been re-told countless times...

And I've given it a name: The Continuity Dumper!

The "Continuity Dumper" is an ugly beast of a story that promises so much, and delivers absolutely nothing. It's a poorly written scam designed to collect your hard earned money, that could be better spent on quality comics.

The best way to expose the "Continuity Dumper" is to show you how it works through story. We're all familiar with comic book solicits - They're advertisements, often featured on comic book company websites, that show the cover art for future comics, along with short blurbs that describe what will be happening in the issue. Put simply, they're previews.

Below, you'll find solicits for a fictional upcoming Tessa Faux Adventure, written to expose the "Continuity Dumper."

So without further ado, I present:



Tessa Faux:  Issue 235 - "Space Truth - Part One"

Tessa Faux has a simple origin: Watching the world crumble around them, society elites Myles and Sarah Faux vowed to turn their only daughter into a powerful crimefighter.  Everything changes in this thrilling issue when we reveal the truth of Tessa's past, and her shocking new origin that begins in space!!!  This issue will be released with five special glow-in-the-dark variant covers!

The Fan Reaction:

"Are they seriously changing Tessa's origin?  This is huge.  I have to get this comic the day it comes out, and you better believe that I'll be buying all five variants!"

The Truth about this issue:

Due to a lack of creativity, the writer has chosen to tamper with a firmly established origin, and changed the character for the sake of change, rather than writing an original adventure with a popular pre-established superhero.  Should these changes be a hit with readers, they'll be permanent.  More likely, readers will hate the changes.  This comic sells, not because the story is good, but because it promises change.

Tessa Faux:  Issue 236 - "Space Truth - Part Two"

Tessa Faux - The Space Phasing Vixen!  Tessa's new status quo creates ripples throughout the PWC universe.  After learning that she is truly a Space Phasing Vixen, with the ability to phase through solid matter, Tessa must break the news to her sidekick, Apple Orchard.  How will Apple respond to Tessa's shocking reveal?

The Fan Reaction:

"Oh no! They completely retconned Tessa's origin. Now she's a genetically engineered warrior from space, and not the down to earth vigilante we all knew and loved.  And why on earth did they give her the ability to phase through walls!?!"

The truth about this issue:

Tessa's new origin is shocking, poorly crafted, and without a doubt it won't last. But for the moment, the comic is seriously selling, which makes the writers think their work is a hit.

Tessa Faux:  Issue 237 - "Space Truth - Part Three"

Still in shock from Apple's sudden departure from "Team Faux," Tessa decides that the best way to move forward is to embrace her new identity with an all new black-leather costume. Great timing, because Tessa Faux - The Space Phasing Vixen - is needed when an all new super-villain comes to Boston.

The Fan Reaction:

"With such a great origin, I don't get why they're pushing this whole "Space Vixen" angle.  And No, no, no!  Tessa's new costume is terrible!"  She doesn't wear black, she wears red!

The truth about this issue:

The new costume is terrible, and fans will hate it. But it will sell issues, and you better believe that tie-in toys will be sold, featuring Tessa in her new duds. The fan-response is already proving that this retcon is a disaster. While it was selling great in the beginning, the comic is now losing readers, so restoring the original status quo will need to happen soon.

Tessa Faux:  Issue 238 - "Space Truth - Part Four"

Tessa Faux investigates a series of grizzly murders. Can the Space Phasing Vixen find the killer lurking in the shadows? And who is the mysterious shadow woman who seems to be following Tessa wherever she goes?

The Fan Reaction:

"I hate Tessa's new status quo since the retcon. She was never supposed to have superpowers, and her new ability to phase through walls is stupid. If things don't go back to normal soon, I'm done reading, but I'm going to continue to be very vocal about my dislike of the new direction."

The truth about this issue:

The actual story about Tessa stopping a killer is unimportant because readers can't get past the changes made to Tessa's character. Surprised by the lack of interest in the new direction being taken for Tessa Faux, getting Tessa back to her old self is top priority. An explanation will be provided in the next issue.

Tessa Faux:  Issue 239 - "Space Truth - Part Five"

Tessa Faux meets Tessa Faux!?! Doppelgangers run wild! What is happening!?! Have we gone mad! The mysterious shadow woman reveals herself to be the original Tessa Faux. But if she's Tessa, who is the Space Phasing Vixen we've all come to know and love? Do not miss the thrilling penultimate issue of "Space Truth!"

The Fan Reaction:

"I'm so happy that the Phase-Tessa is actually an imperfect duplicate of the real Tessa. Now the real Tessa needs to take out her doppelganger and bring an end to this lousy story."

The truth about this issue:

The cloning story was a last minute editorial decision to facilitate the return of Tessa's original origin and costume. Had the "Space Phasing Vixen" idea been a hit with readers, the new status quo would have remained in effect.

Tessa Faux:  Issue 240 - "Space Truth - Part Six"

It's Tessa VS Tessa: Who will win? And which Tessa Faux will be left standing?

The Fan Reaction

"Epic! The real Tessa is back! Loved, loved, loved this issue! And you know, it's pretty cool that "The Space Phasing Vixen" will be getting her own title. Knowing that she's not really Tessa makes her kind of cool. I'll check out the first issue!"

The truth about this issue.

The end of a disliked, but profitable storyline. A trade collecting this adventure will soon be released with an introduction by the author. The "Space Phasing Vixen" is getting her own title (which won't last 10 issues before being cancelled) and a new adventure featuring the original Tessa Faux is on the horizon.

Tessa Faux:  Issue 241 - "Jungle Woman - Part One"

After the riveting conclusion of Space Truth, we go back to basics... Literally! Why is Tessa Faux living in the Jungle? What is with her new forest costume? Who are the mysterious Forest People and where is Apple Orchard? All these questions and more will soon be answered.

The Fan Reaction:

"WTF!?! First she's in space, and now she's in the jungle? Why do they keep messing with Tessa's continuity!?! If these changes are permanent, I'm going to be seriously angry."

The truth about this issue:

The Continuity Dumper begins again...