The works of Award winning author, Rick Pipito, and more

Posts tagged “graphic novel

Day 10 LEGENDS OF VAMPIRE

IMG_E2583[1]Day 10 of #scrypthalloween goes way back to my spinoff book LEGENDS OF VAMPIRE. Some facts: 1) It was originally published as a graphic novel on February 2, 2012 and later in 2016 converted to text. 2) a day before our final submission was due one of the artists backed out with no warning. We were left scrambling because those pages were an important element. So we ended up using storyboards in the missing pages stead. 3) the story of Sampson and Delilah as well as the reason and how the Great Sphinx of Giza was built get a vampiric twist in the story. 4) for the cover @dpipito took a photo of a friend of ours as if she’s been bitten while sipping wine. Then we passed it through an oil canvas filter to give it a rustic feel. 5) the character of Cory Wright is the only character I’ve created to date where his fate is left unaddressed. I left it up to the reader to ponder and discuss. #book #shortstory #vampire #vampires #wine #dracula #authorsofinstagram #graphicnovel

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Day 4: IN CASE OF WEREWOLF

IMG_2556[1]IMG_E2558[1]Day 4 of #scrypthalloween is all about IN CASE OF WEREWOLF. Here are some facts about my short story spinoff: 1) it was originally published as a graphic novel featuring artists from all over the United States, 2) October 29, 2012 was its debut in print, 3) the cover was done as a photo using various filters as well as medical model bones, hair and black coffee by @dpipito . 4) Norse mythology, The Moonlight Battle of 1780, Jack the Ripper, Beauty and the Beast, and Dr Jekyll and Mister Hyde are the historical and fictitious elements paid tribute to within the pages. 5) I wrote one of the chapters while observing a full moon outdoors in the frigid cold of early January to properly capture a scene I was describing. #book #spinoff #werewolf #authorsofinstagram It’s available in print and digital forms at lulu.com and Amazon as well as part of the Eden’s order trilogy at Barnes and Noble.


Day 2 – Zombie Incidents

#1 Zombie Incidents - sCrypt Comics
#scrypthalloween Day 2 takes a look at the spinoff to yesterday’s post. ZOMBIE INCIDENTS came about when readers demanded more from my first novel. @dpipito helped with the cover and organization of the content. I wrote it originally as a graphic novel, and worked with 10 amazing artists that you can read about on my www.rickpipito.com. Since then it has been released also in short story text format and is available at lulu.com or as part of the Eden’s Order Trilogy on Amazon and Barnes and Noble sites……
official description: t’s dark. You can feel the presence of something reeking of death. Then there are more of them. You look around and find that you are surrounded by zombies that want to devour you. This is the world of Flesh and Leftovers.

 


Review: Batman The Dark Knight Returns Part 2

batman-the-dark-knight-returns-part-2-poster1review by Rick Pipito

Where do I begin?  I had the opportunity to see an early release of Batman The Dark Knight Returns Part 2.  If you have been with me for a few months, you may have caught my review of the first part.  In that review, I gave it many compliments and more than my seal of approval.  So what did I think of the second part?  There are SPOILERS AHEAD, so if you want to judge for yourself, skip down to the last paragraph for my spoiler free rating.

I’m not sure what happened with this, but it is definitely a case of “the sequel didn’t stand up to the standards the first one set.”  Voice casting was horrible.  I still enjoyed Peter Weller as an older Batman, and even the Joker had his moments, but overall it was nothing to write home about.

Portrayal of the Joker was wonderful, aside from the fact that he barely laughed.  He was a psychotic maniac killer with no remorse.  Other than him though, everything was wrong (and like I said, the voice could have been better – he’s no Mark Hamill).

The story begins with Batman disguised as an old hag in a store.  A thug boss named Bruno robs a convenience store.  Bruno was drawn horribly.  The design was terrible.  She wore no shirt with only swastikas over her nipples, and looked like a man.  In fact, every female in this cartoon looked transgendered.  At the same time, most of the men could have been drag queens.  I’m not sure why this was done, but it was annoying.  So Batman as the old hag takes out the goons and Bruno, but for some reason never takes a second to remove his old lady disguise.  hmmm.  Wierd at that.

Then we get to a scene with Clark Kent meeting with Bruce Wayne.  Of course Clark hasn’t aged because he is Superman, while Wayne is old.  Anyway, Clark is standing on a hill with an eagle on his arm and his shirt unbuttoned.  Hair blowing in the wind, this iconic pose makes him closely resemble Fabio more than the hero he is.  It is so cheesy, it forced me to shake my head.  At the same time, Clark is now working for the President of the United States.  By the way, this story is taking place in the 1980s with Ronald Reagan as president.  President Reagan’s portrayal is downright awful.  From voice acting to design to seeming like a dimwit, it is off on all accounts and downright offensive for some viewers I’m sure.

Finally, we get to a great scene.  When the Joker appears on a television talk show, he murders everyone there.  I can’t express how great this scene was, and you really get the feel for who the Joker really is.  On another note, Batman is a fugitive and facing off against the Gotham City Police Department.  On the roof of the building where the murders are happening, the real heroes can’t work together for five minutes, and they just leave the scene without investigating below.  Oh, did I mention that Gotham police department is terrible.  They can’t hit the broad side of a barn, and never catch their targets.

Apparently Selina Kyle, who is old and obese at this point, is running an escort service.  Her cameo here was a little misplaced, but nice to see.  While the GCPD is more focused on taking down Batman, he is chasing Joker into a tunnel of love.  The amusement park sees its share of death.  Joker killing everyone by shooting everything that moves is awesome.  Robin’s battle, though short lived, with Joker’s goon ends greatly as well.

Now we get to the battle between Joker and Bats.  When Joker gets a batarang in his eyeball, he barely flinches.  No pain at all for some reason, and he continues on as if he were wearing an eye patch.  At the end of the battle, Batman breaks Joker’s neck, but it doesn’t kill him, it only paralyzes him.  Somehow even though he can’t move, Joker manages to finish himself off by making his own neck break sideways.  Batman burns his body and is losing his grip on who his is because Joker stabbed him a dozen times in the stomach.

BATMAN SHOULD BE DEAD!  but somehow he is immortal and manages to live only to fight Superman a few days later.  That’s right I said Superman.  After being caught in a nuclear explosion (the animation here is amazing by the way), Superman has not fully recovered.  Bats and Supes duke it out, and with a little help by Green Arrow (who now has one arm), Batman beats Superman.

There is a lot I’m leaving out here, because the build up to this moment is great, but I’m not sure how he can even stand against the man of steel since his guts are still sewn together.  Ridiculous and useless fight that proved only that Batman is still a force with which to be reckoned.

What really gets me is that Alfred dies of a stroke, which makes sense, and the Wayne manor is burned to the ground.  Oh, Bruce Wayne also dies of a heart attack, but at his funeral we find out he faked his death.  Not sure how he did this cause it doesn’t explain it.  In the end, Wayne, Robin, Oliver Queen and the leftover mutants from part one build a new hideout/cave underground as a Bat-army.

SPOILERS ENDED.  Okay, so I skipped a lot of detail, but didn’t want to waste any more of my time talking about something that really disappointed me.  Bruce Timm in my opinion is the king of superhero animation, but sadly this interpretation of the graphic novel is not worth the time.  Granted, this is only my opinion, but I’m a HUGE fan of ALL the DC animation series and films, and this one has officially replaced “All Star Superman” as the worst one yet.  So here I sit, disappointed in something I had very high hopes for.  I still recommend checking out part one, but with my rating of 3 out of 10 stars, I can’t say many great things about part 2.  Please chime in with your thoughts if you check this one out.


Teaser page for Bones at breakfast in case of werewolf

Here is a teaser by artist Kelly Swann for her work in the upcoming sCrypt Comics venture “Bones At Breakfast: In Case Of Werewolf.” Her title page is amazing, but the story itself is really where she shines. Stay tuned for where you can get your copy, and thanks again to Kelly Swann.

WWII GIs

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Interview with sCrypt Comics about BTSH: Legends Of Vampire

Blood, The Second Helping: Legends of Vampire – Interview with Rick and Dan Pipito

The following are questions submitted by fans to Rick Pipito and Dan Pipito, co-founders of sCrypt Comics

 

Q1: This is your second installment for sCrypt Comics.  Have you two always wanted to create comics?

Rick: Yeah.  We spent a great deal of our childhood reading comic books, watching the cartoons and playing with action figures based on those characters.  I always loved to tell stories and come up with how we would play out a scenario.  Dan was the art guy.  He has drawn for as long as I can remember, and always had a knack for making obstacles and backgrounds for the little figures.  I think it was just something that we always thought about, but never thought would happen or take seriously until recently.

Q2: How does sCrypt Comics differ from other comic book companies?

Rick: We (at the moment) can’t compete with the major companies like Marvel, DC, Image, Darkhorse etc., but I think what draws audiences to us is that we are more adult oriented.  Horror is our major outing right now and always will be, but we have other stuff (non-horror) in the works as well.

Dan: Independent talent is our workforce.  Our focus to start was to get talent out there.  We wanted all those who had an interest in art to have an artery for exposure.  I think in the independent world at least, we have learned a lot and continue to grow.  Each comic becomes a bigger outing with more experienced talent as well.

Rick: Another thing is that we are working with stories that are already in an established universe.  Each graphic novel includes spinoff stories from the novels I have written.  There are nine novels planned out in the series, and though we are behind them in publishing, we plan to have a graphic version of stories to expand each of those books’ plots.  Like I said too, there are other ideas in the works as well.

Q3: What are your goals?

Rick: We’d love to get major sponsorship and exposure so that we can not only pay out artists on a more professional level, but spread their talent (and ours) also.

Dan: We also reached out to Marvel and DC as well as a few others, to create some competition.  We want to know what they would say about our stuff.  On our blog, we review comics too, so even if they wanted us to see what we think about certain stories, we’d be more than willing to scratch their backs, so to speak.  Most of those comic companies started as small or smaller than we are, so I think we have the advantage there, it is just a matter of getting some recognition.  The definition these days of Independent is sort of loose, but all in all it means someone who is self sufficient.  And that is what we’d like to become.  We’d love to be able to sew the holes in our pockets.  The cost of each comic we do comes straight from our wallets, and that is why it takes us months to do one issue.  We’d love to change that. 

Rick: In the long run too, I think Dan wants to be able to draw, paint and express himself through his art for the world to see.  I want the same with my writing.  My novels are selling, and getting great reviews, but without a big time publisher or agent, everything is a lot of work.  We don’t need to be rich off of it, but if we could bring a couple people with us along the way and all be able to support our families, that would be the icing on the cake.

Q4: Who are your artists this time around?

Dan: Well, if you consider it art, we changed printing companies.  We won’t say names, but our previous printer gave us and a lot of our fans the shaft if you know what I mean.  We were tired of bending over and taking it. 

Rick: The new printer has been awesome.  They have great personalities, and are fun to work with.  Not to mention they put out a great final product and work with you to achieve the best.  As far as artists though, we brought back Joe Parisi from the first comic.  He emailed me and said he would be interested in another outing with us, and we were more than happy to oblige.  He got more time to do it this time, and he wanted to do a different style, which was a completely different look from the first.  I couldn’t believe it, but he literally nailed the story to a point where I swear those images jumped right from my head to the paper through his art.  Everything I envisioned in that story he got down to a T.

Dan: Asher Humm was another artist who came back.  He presented it to us at first as a finished product in black and white, but there was just so much visual that with text he thought it would be too hard on the eyes.  He didn’t have much time in his schedule to do more than the massive amount he already had.  We didn’t feel comfortable getting another artist to fill in color on his work, so… We told him to add some shading, and the next thing you know, he emails Rick and says, “Happy Birthday, man.  This is for you.”  I think Rick crapped himself when he saw the thing in full color.  It was epic.

Rick: Dan did two stories again in this issue that were as impressive as the first, and he helped me with the covers and layout.  Phillip Allie returned too using pencil type work instead of the full on color digital from last time.  I guess it is a good thing when all these artists want to come back, because Leanne Wiedmeyer did as well.  She was able to really take her time this round and do a full color spread.  After coming in at last minute for Flesh, she really earned a spot without even asking for this one.

Dan: Sakura Jones is a new addition that we found through craigslist.  Her portfolio was amazing right off the bat.  She just graduated college and I can tell she is going somewhere with her art.  She captured ancient Egypt nicely.

Rick: Another craigslist addition is Angela McQuillan.  She is very involved in the independent comic scene, and helps run Philly Indy Comiccon.  We were invited last year where we met her and were eager to show her what the first issue looked like.  Her style is unique to these comics in that it is full of vibrant colors.  In horror you don’t usually see that, but it works well in the way she portrays it.

Dan: Her product was very finished and professional looking.  The depth was great in the final print.  A friend of mine, J.C. Spence, also got involved this time.  We had an emergency switch of personnel and called him up to give us a hand filling in.  It was last minute, but he had the experience and knew what he was doing.  He’s been around the major comic book scene for a year or two and knew just how to work the look into the frames.  I actually worked with him in college.  He was a few years ahead of me and graduating, but he asked me to do some background animation work with him on a project, so it isn’t the first time we’ve teamed up on a project.

Rick: With this graphic novel, we had more bumps in the road than the last one.  When we got to a point where we were well beyond our original goal date, we had to fire another artist.  There wasn’t enough time to have a replacement, and the book would have been incomplete without this story.  Dan and I worked with our original storyboards and he arranged it with the script so that we could show the fans what the artists work with.  On the title page for this one we wrote a little note to the fans about the storyboarding.  My wife knew I was really let down by the artist and when I came home from work, she had drawn out a crayon drawing of a scene from that story.  She did it as a joke to cheer me up.  Instead, I laughed, immediately called Dan on the phone and said, “I have our cover for that story.”  The look on her face was priceless, but she let us use it to complete the abomination of my horrible stick figures. <laughs out loud>.

Q5: Did you come into any obstacles with this outing?

Rick: Early on, we had someone say that they wouldn’t be able to do it after committing.  We got someone to replace him fairly quickly.  Two weeks later, the artist who backed out swore that he had time, and me being naïve and trusting, gave him another story from another artist who we had to fire for lack of communications.  Of course, then that same first artist who backed out and came back, was then unable again, so we canned him for good.  It sucked.  I hate firing people.  Now we were down two artists, but Dan filled in for the Samson and Delilah story, and JC Spence took the other story as our saving grace.  When we were just about ready to go to publishing, like we said, we had another unexpected and unprofessional artist screw us.  That is when we had to use the storyboard story.  It’s frustrating when people do this on two levels.  1) they don’t care about other people they are affecting. And 2) It’s my name that has to let the other artists down that they aren’t getting the comic right away because of a delay.  I understand that there are things that come up, and that would be acceptable, but to just ignore a contact attempt or numerous ones, tells me that that person really doesn’t give a shit.

Dan: Yeah, it seems that with this outing we sort of pissed off one of the artists who submitted their material early on.  He never said so, but we got that feel from talking with him.  It’s very hard to run a venture like this with a time schedule and little funding.  We learn each time though and hope to correct our mistakes as well as have forgiveness for our learning.  It’s very difficult to maintain professional attitude when these things happen, but we have to keep our heads about us and move on.  We are positive about our work, and negativity isn’t the way we handle it, so it can be extremely frustrating.

Q6: Tell me about the cover.  Where did you get the idea?

Rick: We wanted to keep with a real photograph like in the first one, and I thought that since vampires are sexy creatures, we had to have a woman’s neck bitten.  Since our theme with titles involves food, ala “The second Helping”, we decided to add the wine glass as if it were filled with blood.  Wine helps us quite a bit in writing and analyzing our ideas, so paying tribute was the least we could do.  The back cover was a little more simple as we just placed some fake blood on a couple glasses and jugs of wine.  It didn’t need to be something that eye catching for the back because there would be text over it.  The inside credits page was also a photo concept by Dan.  We took a glass of water and dropped some fake blood into it.  As it dispersed we had to snap the perfect photo.  It took probably thirty times to nail the shot we wanted, but we got it.  The front again has an old gothic oil painting look to it.  We wanted that filter on there to make it seem a little more horror related.

Dan: Photographing the cover for the first set our precedents.  We needed the theme to stay the same or not stray too far.  Consistency matters.  There was a brief concept of having each artist draw a part of the one character, Cain’s face and making it look like a shattered mirror.  It would have been too difficult to control and we don’t know if that would have been as real looking.

Q7: Where are these comics available, and the books from which they originated?

Rick: www.indyplanet.com and www.comicsmonkey.com have print and digital versions of the graphic novels.  For the novels, www.lulu.com has print versions, and www.amazon.com has digitals.  The itunes store also has a digital of the first novel as does Barnes and Nobles website.  We are working on getting digital versions of the comics up on amazon as well, so that they are available for Kindle.

Q8: Dan, what is it like working with your brother?

Dan: Well, on this comic in particular I was able to co-write a few stories.  Rick gave me the plots and I was familiar with the books, so as he directed I took many liberties in storyboarding and telling the art direction of a few.  For as much as it can be frustrating it was a lot of fun.  The opportunities were… <pauses>

Rick: Are you going to cry? <laughs>

Dan: <chuckles> No.  It is just amazing to do such a unique thing.  Funding to get a few more people on board for post production would be ideal, but I think we’ve got a great thing going.

Q9: Rick, same question to you about working with Dan?

Rick: You know, Dan’s an amazing artist and a lot of the inspiration for my stories.  I always wanted to work alongside Dan, because we seemingly ruled the world when we were younger (at least in our minds).  I did have the opportunity to work with him other than through this venture, and though we’ve had our differences at times, I think our heads have always been clear in our business.  Our minds think a lot alike, so the stories may be my creations, but I think he can relate to them a lot as if they were from his personality as well, and that is why I really wanted him to co-write and write a few.  I trust him to do so.  When we have our butting of heads it is rare, but it’s okay because I’m the older brother and can still beat him up. <laughs>  All in all the co-writing experience was great too.  We sat down frame by frame and talked about what was going to happen.  I even did that for one story with my wife, and it’s neat to see how others that you trust would interpret what you see.  I just feel bad sometimes asking him to do so much in the post production process.  I never know how he is going to take it, even if he immediately agrees.  Sometimes I wonder if he gets pissed off at me for being so “in charge”.

Dan: It’s all part of the production and I realize that.  Having two brothers work on something such as this is great.  Our creations are collaborative and it’s interesting to see where it goes from start to finish.  One of us may come up with an idea and the other will say, “No way.  I don’t like it.”  Basically we knock each other down for ideas where we don’t agree, but then we work to try to make that idea work for both of us.  I think it makes for better arrangements of the stories. 

Rick: In that line of thinking, Dan is never afraid to call me out where I may be wrong.  Even with the novels, he approves of the stories before anyone else sees them.  He’s told me where he thought some things might need to be changed and I value that input.

Q10: How was the concept art page done?

Dan: We kind of threw together some scrap ideas we had, but we want it to get to the point where every artist contributes some of their early stage ideas to the page.  Most graphic novels have a concept art section that is extensive.  It would be nice to have a little more than what we have now and for the next issue we are definitely headed in that direction.  In the art world process is huge, and this is a work of art that should display that.  The stick family that we put in there is kind of a joke.  Everyone has these stick figure families on the back of their cars, and the trend began to annoy me.  I created that zombie stick figure family for my car as a counter joke.  Then Rick made it a standard.  It’s kind of fun creating such a simple thing out of complex characters.  I love the challenge and want people to see it and go “damn, that’s cool.  I want one on my car.”

Rick: Yes, it is a must.  I love them.  Dan took something that we both found stupid and made it an enjoyable joke for us both.  So we have zombie and vampire stick families, but there will be a stick family with each issue hopefully.  Stay tuned for his werewolf one in volume three.


Interview with sCrypt Comics about F&L: Zombie Incidents

Here is an interview featuring sCrypt Comics creators, Rick Pipito and Dan Pipito.  They answer fan questions about issue #1: Flesh And Leftovers: Zombie Incidents.  We’ve included a picture of the back cover to show the synopsis.  Enjoy!

 

Q1: There is so much talent involved with all of your artists.  What kind of agreement do you have with them?

Dan: It’s an independent venture without funding behind it.  We want to get artists involved who have talent and like us are struggling to get their names out there.  Working for free is hard this day and age, but sometimes it is the only way to get where you need to be in the end.

Rick: I’ve written up a contract for the artists so that they understand about the “pay.”  Basically it is agreed that they will take the storyboards and make it their style while keeping the story the same.  Once it is completed our end of the bargain must be fulfilled.  We give each artist a copy of the final product as well as any contact info that they want attached to their name in the book.  The new blog also will feature artists of the month, which will give them more exposure when they are chosen.

 

Q2: Tell us about the cover art: front, back, and credits page.

Rick: I came up with the concept based on the title.  The first thing a lot of people think, when they hear “Flesh and Leftovers” is Hannibal Lecter.  So we took some leftover pasta, Tupperware, and Halloween props and took a photo in the fridge for the front and back at different angles.  The credits page was a picture of fake skin stretched over a board and placed under the words.

Dan: We wanted it to be a photo.  Photography is an art form as well, and we didn’t want any one particular cover artist doing it for fear that it would represent all of what is inside.  This way, with the photo passed through a “saran wrap” style filter, it calls out to the viewer to take a peek.

Q3: What is the whole process from hiring to finished product like?

Rick: We took an ad out on Craigslist and immediately got a dozen hits.  Most of the responses we got were enthusiastic.  We chose the ones we liked based on pieces of art they had sent us.  Then the stories, which are already written and copywritten, are turned into storyboards.  I am a horrendous illustrator.  So what the artists do with the storyboards I give them is amazing.  To explain what I am trying to portray I also send them a document with the script and explanations of what is going on.

Dan: Once the artists submit their work in the allotted time, we filter and do basic editing of page sizes and making sure there is bleed along the edges.  We are learning more each time ourselves, because the publishers have terminology and things that we have to sometimes work around.  Our first publisher probably won’t be around much longer only because they just don’t know how to run a business, but we switched to IndyPlanet and have since been overjoyed with the process.

Rick: When the files are ready to be printed I pay out of pocket for each of the artists’ copies.  The payoff is actually getting to meet some of them in person.  Obviously not everyone is from around our area, but if I can’t physically meet them, we send it in the mail.  Everyone is understanding and patient, which helps a lot.  When one person submits art late, it screws every artist on the team, but looks bad on my part.  We do our best to avoid any problems, but sometimes it is inevitable and you have to just roll with it.

 

Q4: Where did you guys come up with the sCrypt Comics name and logo?

Dan: We wanted something cool and catchy, and we had a horror theme.  I grew up watching Tales from the Crypt the TV series, so when Rick handed me a script for one of the stories it reminded me of the old show I used to watch.  I took the word script and made it sCrypt.  The coffin logo had to be simple.  I used to draw old logos and I wanted it to be something we could do on the spot if need be.  It’s easy but catchy and that is what we wanted.

 

Q5: So are all these stories just graphic versions of your existing novels?

Rick: yes and no.  I didn’t want to repeat anything from the novels or change the image that people may get in their heads when reading them.  That is the beauty of a novel.  It’s that you can picture the story in your head, and it becomes personal for each reader.  I had a lot of reader requests for more zombie stories, but I had already done what I wanted for zombies. Dan was a fan of the book, so I went to him with the idea, and he liked it.  There were a few ideas that I cut and some back stories with characters and settings that I thought a comic book version would be the perfect place for.  These stories are more of an accessory to the Flesh and Leftovers novel.  Both go hand in hand, but you don’t need one to enjoy the other (though I highly recommend the full experience).

Dan: At first, I thought it would be great, but it was too big of a task for just the two of us.  That is when Rick told me about getting other artists on board for the stories as a collaborative effort.  It was a genius idea really.

 

Q6: Where can I get the comics?

Rick: The graphic novels are available at www.indyplanet.com and the novel that started it all is at www.lulu.com.

Q7: What kind of obstacles did you face with “Flesh and Leftovers: Zombie Incidents”?

Rick: It’s a trust thing really.  Everyone agrees to a deadline and they commit themselves to it, but there are always bad seeds.  Something comes up and then suddenly your artist is afraid to communicate with you or they back out.  We had to get rid of a couple people, but we scrambled last minute to fix the problems.

Q8: Dan, what is your input in the writing process?

Dan: I had loved the stories Rick had written and he basically came to me for criticism and advice.  So when we wanted the new stories to be in the comic, we really sat down together and took notes on how we would lay it out in the easiest way for the artists.  I co-wrote the circus story using faces of some people I knew or at least some inspiration.  I had never written before, and though Rick came up with the whole story, he basically gave me a beginning and an end and let me do the in between based on his narrative and dialogue.  It’s a lot of fun, but takes time to get right.

Q9: I see that there is a concept and sketch art page in the back.  Why did you include this as well?

Rick:  I hadn’t read comic books in years, so when we started I had to do some research in the library.  I must have taken out thirty or so graphic novels for their layout ideas and stories, but then I noticed that they all had one thing in common.  There was at least one concept art page at the end, and that was something I thought would be cool.  Dan had some art lying around, as well as a couple other people, and my storyboard stuff was filtered through to select a couple of those.  It’s really to show our progress, but at the same time is funny to look at.  Dan also put up the zombie stick figure art, which in my mind was perfect.

Dan: Yeah, everyone in the world seems to have those stick figure families on the backs of their cars.  It drove me crazy as I thought it was a stupid trend, but then I got sucked in and made my own parody family with zombies.  It had nothing to do with the comic, but they had to be presented.  The sketch art page is basically the director’s cut of things that didn’t make it.  As bad as some of the sketches are, they are all responsible partly for the final product.

Q10: What can you tell your fans about the artists?

Rick: Like I said, we took out an ad on Craigslist, and the first response I got was from Phillip Allie.  He had a pretty cool portfolio with skulls and zombie heads.  It was dark and a unique style of art, so I didn’t hesitate to bring him in.  Asher Humm contacted me next and I was immediately blown away.  He had a published comic book already and his style was exactly what you see in the professional industry.  He also has some great ideas and criticism on how the whole process goes, so I’m glad to have his input as well.

Dan: Sequential art amazes me as well, and when I saw Asher’s work I was super excited to have that skill level involved.  We both worked with Fred Loeffler.  It took some convincing, but he was on board eventually and brought a more retro style to it.  He is from a different generation and has more experience than the rest of us, so it worked well with his talent.  We had two high school girls who were trying to build their portfolios.  TJB and Tiff Pugliese had seen the ad and were in the process of college hunting.  We had seen their portfolios and were happy to add their styles to the collection.

Rick: Our cousin, Vince Pipito, came in and hadn’t been a practicing artist in a few years, but he had loved the novels and wanted to work with us.  He needed help scanning and laying out the panels, but the art looks sweet and really captured the feel I was going for.  Joe Parisi was a guy we had ready to go for the second graphic novel, but we had to fire a couple of artist last minute and he was more than ready to jump in the slot.  He had the zombie children story and contacted me and said, “Hey, man, it’s your story, but I was thinking since it involves children, I’m going to do it in crayon.”  I called Dan and said, “This guy might be crazy, but his art is fantastic.”  We laughed and wondered how he was going to pull off crayon in a very limited amount of time, but it is one of the fan favorites now.

Dan: Leanne Wiedmeyer also came in to save the day.  We put up a status on facebook that we were looking for an artist last minute to help us out in two weeks’ time.  We didn’t expect anyone to actually do it, but Lee was also on standby for comic 2 and she said she’d do it.  Using pencil, she got back to us in a week and a half with a finished product that blew us away.

Rick: Dan also had to pick up a last minute add on for the third artist we fired.  So he has 2 stories in this one, but each was done in a different style.

Dan: Sure, there were a few that might not have lived up to some of our expectations initially, but it was the passion of the group of artists that really gave us the final product that we were hoping for.

The series so far includes the novels available at www.lulu.com: “Flesh and Leftovers,” “Blood, The Second Helping,” & “Bones At Breakfast”

The graphic novels available at www.indyplanet.com and www.comicsmonkey.com: Flesh and Leftovers: Zombie Incidents,” & “Blood The Second Helping: Legends Of Vampire”

DIGITAL FORMS OF THE ABOVE NOVELS AND GRAPHIC NOVELS ARE AVAILABLE AT THE ABOVE SITES.  YOU CAN ALSO GET THE PRINTED NOVEL OF ALL OF THE ABOVE PLUS MORE IN THE “Flesh And Leftovers: Eden’s Order Trilogy”