SYSTEM S.H.O.C.K. “Change Of Ideas” Episode 2 is GO!

Posted in Uncategorized on 02/24/2014 by gdwessel

Episode 2 of SYSTEM S.H.O.C.K.’s second serial, “Change of Ideas,” is now LIVE at Aces Weekly.

SYSTEM S.H.O.C.K. is written by ME, drawn by Neil Ford & lettered by Jim Campbell!

Subscribe to Aces Weekly Volume 9 NOW! for the low low prices of £6.99/$9.99/€7.99 for 7 issues over 7 weeks! 210 pages of international comics talent for less than a tenspot!

This issue ALSO features:
* Blue Cat by James Hudnall & Val Mayerik
* Dungeons & Burglars by Rodolfo Santullo & Jok
* The Ballad of Cuthbert & Kaye by Chris Geary
* Stupidface by Steve Marchant
* Bullhawk by Mal Earl

SYSTEM S.H.O.C.K. continues HERE! Enjoy!

SYSTEM S.H.O.C.K. Second Serial Begins NOW!

Posted in Uncategorized on 02/17/2014 by gdwessel

Volume 9 Issue 1 of the Digital Comic of the Year (according to readers at Pipedream Comics) Aces Weekly is now LIVE. Last volume, the techno-terrorist organization S.H.O.C.K. held a “Bloodless Coup.” Now it’s time for a “Change of Ideas”!

SYSTEM S.H.O.C.K. by ME, Neil Ford & Jim Campbell is BACK in Aces Weekly!

Subscribe to Aces Weekly Volume 9 NOW! for the low low prices of £6.99/$9.99/€7.99 for 7 issues over 7 weeks! 210 pages of international comics talent for less than a tenspot!

You will also find in this issue alone:
* Blue Cat by James Hudnall & Val Mayerik
* Dungeons & Burglars by Rodolfo Santullo & Jok
* The Ballad of Cuthbert & Kaye by Chris Geary
* Stupidface by Steve Marchant
* Bullhawk by Mal Earl

SYSTEM S.H.O.C.K. is back! Are YOU ready for it?!

My First Ever Writer’s Retreat

Posted in Uncategorized on 02/02/2014 by gdwessel

Last weekend (it’s Super Bowl Sunday 2014 as I write this, so that’s January 24-26, 2014) I made a snow-and-wind-fraught drive from Indianapolis to the town of Converse, Indiana, about half an hour or so northeast of Kokomo. The town itself has one “notable resident” listed in Wikipedia, Monte Towe, the former Denver Nuggets player who is generally co-credited with devising the alley-oop play.

The purpose of this, other than to regale my grandkids with a story of how I braved wind ice and snow all by my lonesome a long way from home, was to attend the IHW Winter Retreat, hosted by writer/artist Bob Freeman, at the current building of the Eastland Woodcarvers Club. I’d never been to a writer’s retreat before, and my friend and local fantasy author Maurice Broaddus invited me to come along to this one. So, away I went.

I’m just going to cut to the chase here: the attraction of the building we stayed in is, the second and third floors are legendarily haunted. Before the woodcarvers moved in, the building had also been home to a brothel, an office of the Ku Kux Klan, a speakeasy that held a regular poker game that John Dillinger would play at (downstairs, there is, just laying out in the open, a copy of the Indianapolis Star from the day Dillinger was assasinated, see below), and the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. So, between this varied mishmash of various cults of personality, there are ghosts in the building. I’m not sure if they were there or not. I personally didn’t experience any such phenomenon whilst I was there, and I slept like a log even on the second floor (it was, however, absolutely freezing those nights). That said, author Michael West had twice left his laptop open while away (once when he was asleep Friday night, the other when he, myself and writer/editor Rodney Carlstrom had popped off for dinner on Saturday) and when he next went to them words he didn’t type in places he wouldn’t have typed them were there. At one point, Bob and Michael were in Michael’s room with dowsing rods, detecting the presences. Late Saturday night, we did make our way for a tour of the third floor, where most of the manifestations tended to happen. We saw both “Demon Closets” as Bob called them. I will say, the third floor did look much like you’d expect a haunted place to look. About the only manifestations I’d personally seen were a dead bird or two on the floor (and a live one on the wall). It was an interesting look in, however, even if I didn’t see any evidence one way or another of ghosts. We were supposed to have a ghost hunting crew come meet us on Saturday night to join in, but they cancelled due to the weather.

As far as writing went, it was mostly discussed, but some of us did get some work done. Maurice and fellow attendee Jerry Gordon, whom together co-edited the Dark Faith anthology from Apex Publications, talked quite a bit (and monitored the progress of!) their Kickstarter for their new anthology Streets of Shadows, a compendium of urban fantasy crime/noir/detective stories that yeah, I may or may not be contributing to. (Yes I am!) I also managed to discuss things with artists, show off script formatting and script writing to anyone who was interested (I was really the only “comics person” in attendance, although Bob certainly has a background in comics; the first time I ever really talked to him, a couple of years back on Twitter, we discussed John Byrne a bit), and even got some feedback on the next serial of SYSTEM S.H.O.C.K. and how it will inform the one following it.

We also talked about The Wire versus The Shield versus Breaking Bad, got almost unanimous recommendations for True Detective which I have since recitified (ahem). We talked about a forthcoming novel adding a fantasy maguffin to a concept I don’t even really think NEEDS to have one, written by someone who may or may NOT be qualified to write about such a topic. (Hint: the concept was also dealt with in Big Black’s song “Passing Complexion” on ATOMIZER a long time ago) That being said, I’m not going to judge a book before I’ve read it, but I am already gearing myself up for the internet backlash for it. Because believe me, there will be some. There always is.

Magic: The Gathering was played (I feel bad having barely talked to Kyle S. Johnson while there but he arrived late and spent a chunk of it playing Magic with Maurice and Jerry!). Meat was consumed. If you like meat, go to Converse; not only does Mickey’s Pub have ginormous burgers for $3 a pop, there’s also the Jefferson Street BBQ, which was glorious – all dry rub, all good. Delicious. If I can’t find a similar place here in Indy that’s all dry rub, I will have to drive back up there for the privelege. After the haunted house tour, we hunkered in with a bottle of Glenmorangie, read “Tam O’shanter” by Robert Burns (as it was Burns Night in Scotland!), and people read from their various works in progress. We also took turns writing a story, one line at a time; it took three lines before Maurice took it in places it shouldn’t have, hahaha.

In the end, we bugged out before noon on a snowy Sunday, and I erroneously thought going to IN-31 through Kokomo would be a safer route home. HA HA HA HA. All that said, made it home OK. Along the way home, I drove through Swayzee, IN, which featured a statue of Garfield in a basketball uniform in the town center. Ah, Indiana.

It was a great, informative, entertaining time, and I dearly hope I can see everyone again. And more.

Cheers, gang.

Why I Am Not Attending Indiana Comic Con

Posted in Uncategorized on 02/01/2014 by gdwessel

Before I get too far on this particular post, I’m just going to caveat it with, I wish I didn’t feel the need to write it. But after yesterday’s debacle, I feel it’s better served by getting it out there rather than letting it fester like a boil.

Indianapolis, the city I’ve lived in for pretty much my entire adult life, has two debut comic conventions this year: Indiana Comic Con (March 14-16) and Indy Pop Con (May 30-June 1). Seems strange we get not one but two major shows debuting in 2014, but there you go.

Thursday night, Indiana Comic Con announced on their Facebook they were holding their “Official After-Party” at a place in downtown, called Bartini’s, which, to put it mildly, isn’t really my scene, but that’s beside the point. A party I was taken to during GenCon was at a place that wasn’t really my scene either, yet I attended regardless. Anyway.

As part of the announcement, they included a picture of Mystique from the X-Men movie franchise, with the text that there would be “dancers painted as superheroes!” I’m guessing bodypainted, possibly topless. The text of the announcement called them “shot girls,” meaning, to me, the Indiana Comic Con nor Bartini’s really knew what the Hell they were dealing with. I’d show you the exact ad, except… well, I get ahead of myself.

Be that as it may, as an official Indiana Comic Con event, this says to me that their opinions of the female attendees (and sparse invited guests) came down to “We got LIVE DANCING NUDE GIRLS.”

Naturally, people objected. And, when the notion of being able to see naked breasts is at stake, people objected to the objections. I personally was on the side saying this was ridiculous:

As an actual member of the comic creation community (you know, the people who make the produkt geek culture is all about celebrating) who also lives in the city of Indianapolis, allow me to also voice my dismay at this. There is no need for this, and it does give the comic community a bad image. There are events like this that happen all the time at other cons around the country, sure, burlesque shows and the like; the difference is, they are not the official con-branded after party. This says, to me, that what we (yes, WE) are all about is painted up dancing naked ladies, and that’s Indiana Comic Con for ya. Well, horsehockey. Comics people, especially comic makers, already have a bad enough rep of being overgrown manchildren obsessed with superheroine boooooobies, and this does nothing to stop that. Especially in contrast to a growing number of sexual harrassment stories from women finally brave enough to step forward, in this environment. The response from this con is “Look, Supergirl’s tits, officially endorsed!” If this is how this show, that I was looking forward to as being in my backyard with a chance to catch up with friends, is presenting itself, count me out.

Which is still my stance, honestly. I could give a shit if a con-related event happened with naked superheroines (or superHEROES, let’s get equal here; I agreed, let’s have mostly naked men at the event too for equal time) because it happens all the time. The main difference here being, this was the Official After-Party. The Indiana Comic Con’s branding was on the ad, and they announced it on their own Facebook page.

Well, some time later, the post (and the shares of it) suddenly disappeared, and Indiana Comic Con announced the cancellation of the event entirely. Which is NOT what anyone had wanted, merely the removal of the Painted Naked Ladies, OR an equal chance for Women/Non-Heterosexual Men to get something to gawk at too.

And thus opened the floodgates of hate speech towards anyone who objected.

And yes, hate speech. It’s all a LGBTQ conspiracy. Political correctness at it’s worst. We’re all just trying to ruin this con. Women being groped at cons is a myth. Sexual harrassment at shows doesn’t happen. Women are trying to ruin OUR fun activities. We’re all the same as those who are in favor of HJR-3 (while others are claiming a Gay Conspiracy. Really. You can’t make this up.) You’re not a REAL professional was something lobbed at me more than once. Which, hilarious, but… hardly the worst that was being said.

And as is usual when something happens, and Boobs are terkin erwray, absolutely nobody wanted to listen to reason. Why if this was an official convention of your field of work, maybe it might not be such a good thing to advertise a pseudo-stripshow under the official trade dressing of your show.

Instead, hate speech, threats, and the like, were the majority. With Indiana comic Con’s FB moderators seemingly doing fuck all about the threats towards anyone.

So, at that point, rather than belabor any further, I’ve decided that instead of dropping $150 for a table at Artist Alley (when, really, I have nothing to sell ready), or even the ticket price to attend (and my kids can get in FREE all days too), I really have absolutely nothing in common with the show, or the people attending if the people hurling abuse at anyone who, heaven forbid, wanted to feel welcome at the show, or it’s Official After-Party, are anything to go by, then they can have their show.

And I’m not the only one who is a creator in this city who’s abstaining. I’ve already been reached out to by several other comickers in Indianapolis who are pulling out of the show, or reconsidering doing it.

It’s a shame. There were a few people I would have loved to reconnect with at Indiana Comic Con, and who knows, there’s always the Hilton bars right nearby. But that will be done after-hours, or away from the show entirely.

Feel free to spread this around if you want. I’m not going to advocate a boycott of Indiana Comic Con. But I also don’t think the show has done anything very impressive in proving they are willing to provide a safe, welcome environment for ALL who want to attend, professional or otherwise. And again, it’s another black mark against the fan culture that goes part and parcel with the artistic profession I’ve chosen to be a part of.

If anyone from Indiana Comic Con happens to read this, and wishes to reply, be my guest, I will run it here. But frankly, from what little I’ve seen, your show doesn’t impress me much.

(And yes, I am still due to exhibit in Artist Alley at Indy Pop Con)

Thanks for your time.

SYSTEM S.H.O.C.K. Episode 7 NOW LIVE!

Posted in Uncategorized on 01/27/2014 by gdwessel

Volume 8 Issue 7 of the Digital Comic of the Year (according to readers at Pipedream Comics) Aces Weekly is now LIVE. It features the conclusion to “Bloodless Coup,” the first serial of SYSTEM S.H.O.C.K. by ME, Neil Ford & Jim Campbell!

You will also find:
* Blue Cat by James Hudnall & Val Mayerik
* Parassassin by Jasper Bark, Alfa Robbi, Yel Zamor and Bolt 01
* The almighty Combat Colin by Lew Stringer!
* Stupidface by Steve Marchant
* Dark Utopia by Mark Montague

SYSTEM S.H.O.C.K. is due to return on February 18th in Volume 9! Stay tuned, check it out, and come on back! Thanks for reading our debut!

SYSTEM S.H.O.C.K. Episode 6 now LIVE at ACES WEEKLY

Posted in Uncategorized on 01/20/2014 by gdwessel

Volume 8 Issue 6 of the Digital Comic of the Year (according to readers at Pipedream Comics) Aces Weekly is now LIVE. It features SYSTEM S.H.O.C.K. by ME, Neil Ford & Jim Campbell! Only one episode left in this serial!

You will also find:
* Blue Cat by James Hudnall & Val Mayerik
* Parassassin by Jasper Bark, Alfa Robbi, Yel Zamor and Bolt 01
* Panzer Tripod by Reza Benhadj
* Cryptoons by Martin Divel
* Dark Utopia by Mark Montague

Come see what made Aces Weekly Pipedream Comics readers’ Digital Comic of the Year today!

SYSTEM S.H.O.C.K. Episode 5 Now LIVE!

Posted in Uncategorized on 01/13/2014 by gdwessel

HEY GANG. Aces Weekly Volume 8 Issue 5 is now LIVE. It features SYSTEM S.H.O.C.K. by ME, Neil Ford & Jim Campbell, and things are coming to a head here!

You will also find:
* Blue Cat by James Hudnall & Val Mayerik
* Parassassin by Jasper Bark, Alfa Robbi, Yel Zamor and Bolt 01
* Panzer Tripod by Reza Benhadj
* Cryptoons by Martin Divel
* Dark Utopia by Mark Montague

Come along for the ride!

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