Thursday, May 6, 2010

Reviews, submissions and new projects

Howdy.

First some words about American Sinner. I sent it out to a few more reviewers in January and the results were more than positive.

Karyn Pinter at ComicsBulletin.com gave it three and half bullets out of five. She praised the concept, thought that the writing was okay and that the art did the job and not much else.

Richard Vasseur of Jazma Online gave the book four stars out of five stars. He found the characterisation of Frank and Kevin to be frightening and was more positive to Edson's pencils. This review also led to an interview with yours truly, and I got to answer some questions about the characters and snuff films in general. I wish I had sent him another picture though, but too late to worry about that now.

Carl Doherty of Shelfabuse.com liked the comic and gave it seven points out of ten. He found the book to be "undeniably well written, and more than adequately illustrated", making the review the most positive one of the bunch.

The most critical review came from Bruce Cashman, in the third issue of (the most excellent) SP! Nexus Magazine (Page 60), but he still gave the book three and a half stars out of five. He thought the story didn't lead anywhere productive, though he did misunderstand from the get-go, thinking that American Sinner was the first installment in a series of many Frank Manning adventures. The hardest blow for me was that the book reminded him of the Hostel movies. That hurt, Bruce.

So overall the book has been received very generously by the critics. Since this was my first comic book I had no idea on what to expect, but I'm happy it went over so well and it inspired me to do more books.

With those reviews in mind I thought it wouldn't hurt to submit the book to some publishers. And so I did. And it didn't go very well.

First off, over half of the publishers I sent the book to didn't respond. Now, that may change in the future, as I know that some of my e-mails might not even have been read yet. God knows that fanboys wanting to make comics are not difficult to come by in this business. So I may get a few more answers, maybe a week, month or even a year from now.

Those that did respond gave me a very polite "thumbs down", though some used more words than others. One editor found it to be too heavy and dark, though he liked the writing and the art. Another editor didn't think he could exploit it much, since Diamond would probably not carry it because of the violence. At a glance, he said, it comes across as self-indulgent, and it would be difficult to make fans, retailers and Diamond to take a closer look at it.

This means that it's most unlikely that American Sinner will ever get a life beyond the print on demand stage. Now, this isn't so bad as I had never imagined getting my money back on the project, but I would have loved to reach more comic book readers with it. Next time, I guess.

Which brings me to Homecoming. The book is nearly completed, I'm receiving new pages every day now, and I've decided to submit it to various publishers before putting it up for sale at IndyPlanet. If any of them think that this crime drama has any commercial appeal and would want to take a chance on it, the book will find its way to the Diamond catalog and (hopefully) to the retailers. If not, it will share the same fate as American Sinner. Here's hoping for the former.

Before I go I might as well announce my new project. I mentioned The Hit earlier, which was supposed to come out after Homecoming. I'm about halfway done with that script, but it's been put on hold for now. The reason is that I'm writing on a new book, which will be called Partners. It is being illustrated by the very talented Marcelo Salaza, who asked me if I had any projects on my plate that suited his style. I came up with Partners, which will be around 40 pages in length. The tale is about two police detectives in a homicide unit and is loosely based on these guys. I'm having fun writing it and I can't wait to see the final result.

That's it for now. Keep reading good comics and check back later for more news.

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