I really owe anyone subscribing to this blog an apology. The days go by pretty quickly around here lately, and every time I start a new entry, I get about half way through, wander off onto tangents, and then leave it to sit in my “drafts” folder indefinitely. It’s a far cry from the days when I maintained a LiveJournal, posting updates daily, if not two or three times a day. But I guess that’s what I’m doing on Twitter all day, and sometimes even Facebook, so if the tools have changed, the message is the same: Pj does stuff, and sometimes it’s cool.
Most of my spare time has been sucked up by producing two pages a week of The Utopian, a webcomic that, on the outset, appears to be about a bored high school kid trying to shake things up a little, but as regular readers will learn, nothing about the strip remains constant. I’m about to majorly shake up things again, so I’d recommend getting caught up if you’re at all interested, because the roller coaster is making its big climb starting this week.
It may not be obvious to anyone outside the comic industry just why writing, illustrating, coloring and lettering two comic pages takes up so much time, but it helps to know these tasks are typically broken up amongst at least five people, all specialists in their respective roles. For more insight on that, check out the blog post I wrote on the process back toward the start of The Utopian.
In much more exciting news, pre-order sales have opened on the first print issue of The Utopian, for both consumers and retailers. This means the covers for the standard (black & white) and deluxe (full color) versions of the debut issue have been released finally! The standard edition features a cover by Mark T. Zeilman, who, aside from being an acclaimed local artist and former gallerist, is also the bass player in As Yet Unbroken. The deluxe edition’s cover is by Hernan Valencia, a stellar graphic designer, former co-worker in my pre-awesome days, and coincidentally, also a bassist himself. Check out their work:
Two very distinctive, very diverse styles, right? Which both put to shame my mediocre scribblings inside. But that selling point thrown out there (ha!), why else would someone want to buy a copy of The Utopian when they can get the story for free online? Glad you asked. I give about a half-dozen real good reasons on the pre-order page, including a whole bunch of exclusive material in the print version not found elsewhere. Plus, I don’t know about you, but I like to have a real comic in my hand when I’m eating lunch, riding the bus or visiting the men’s room. That’s right, kids: The Utopian is great bathroom reading. Buy extra copies for every toilet in your house!
In the event you like to get your comics the old-fashioned way, from a comic book store (though I guess “old fashioned” would be more likely a grocery store spinner rack), you are strongly encouraged to ask you favorite shop keep to pre-order The Utopian from Haven Distributors ASAP. The item code is UTOPPOP001 and the more comic store pre-orders we get, the more likely Haven is to continue carrying Pop! Goes the Icon comics.
Speaking of which, you may be ready to accuse me of launching Pop! Goes the Icon simply as a means to foist more Pj-spawned media upon the world. Well, to you I say: OK, you’re half-right. But the half-wrong part of you may want to pay attention. PGTI is launching a new comic book anthology series as soon as humanly possible, and that means I am now accepting pitches from creators or creative teams to be featured in the proposed quarterly series. If you are one of, or happen to know, those creative-types out there, please let them know about this endeavor. I’m really trying to push new talent out there, and help out using the distribution and publishing channels I’ve already established. Plus: 100% creator owned and royalties are paid on all sales.
OK, I think that’s all the comic-related news you can handle. Stay tuned this week for more on my journalistic endeavors (yes, I still do that!), upcoming As Yet Unbroken performances (yes, that too!) as well as … OK, more comic book stuff. And thanks. For reals.