Welcome back my friends! I know I haven't been putting our nearly as much material lately. However, I have brought you a very special treat. FREE COMICS. Yay! I rounded up a handful of creators to provide some PDF's to you (my wonderful readers) for the holidays. A big thank you to all of those that participated. There are a few that are not PDF's, but are free webcomics for you to check out as well. I have been a big advocate for independent comics for just over a year now. These are the guys and gals that are in the trenches, working so hard to make their dreams come to life. Making comics is not easy. Only the strongest survive the ordeal. There is a lot that goes into making them: blood, sweat, tears, and money. Truck loads of it. I am proud to call many of these people friends, and am beyond pleased to see them accomplishing their dreams. I hope all of you have the best holiday you possibly can.
The first book I am bringing you is The Sheperd from Andrea Molinari. This book is the first issue from the series. We start out following a man named Lawrence, who seems to be stuck between the planes of the living and the dead. Lawrence isn't there by chance, though. He came to this world through means of desperation on a mission to save his son. The first issue lays out the story of how Lawrence came into this alternate dimension, and why he is there. I won't spoil that portion for you. However, it involves loss. Andrea writes in rich detail about the grief that Lawrence faces. Grief is not something that is easily explained. It is many emotions hitting a person like a truck. Andrea captured the agony, confusion, and listlessness that is often associated with the grieving process. The illustrations provided by Ryan Showers were a solid fit for this story, the pacing was matched well and the emotions were drawn beautifully. The color work provided by Heather Breckel was interesting, I was particularly fond of a few panels that included candlelight, and the panels that used a television as it's only lightsource. The blue hues used there were perfect. The Sheperd is published through Caliber Comics and is available from Diamond distribution.
CREATIVE TEAM BIOS for The Shepherd: Apokatastasis
Andrea Lorenzo Molinari (writer/ creator) – Molinari received his Ph.D. from Marquette University (New Testament and Early Christianity, 1996). His previous writings vary considerably in genre and include four books, two scholarly monographs; an illustrated novel with Tyler J. Walpole: Climbing the Dragon's Ladder: The Martyrdom of Perpetua and Felicitas (2006); and a role-playing game: Romans and Christians A.D. 64 (2009). In addition, he has published numerous scholarly articles as well as a variety of popular pieces. Other media projects include three audio courses all through Now You Know Media and a television documentary with BBC/ Discovery.
Roberto Xavier Molinari (writer/ creator) – Roberto, Andrea's son, is an avid gamer and reader of adventure novels. Though young, he has saved many worlds in his time; among these are Nirn, Faerûn, and Sera. In his spare time, Roberto is pursuing an undergraduate degree in English at the University of South Florida, Tampa, FL.
Ryan Showers (pencils/ inks) – Showers is a young artist. Despite his youth, he has been responsible for the pencils and inks in Shamantra #1 (self-published); Forgotten Tales #1 and Kreepy Kofy Movie Time #1 both published by Scattered Comics of Sacramento, CA. In addition, he has provided all pencils and inks for The Shepherd: Apokatastasis (both for the five issues as well as the covers). Finally, Ryan has done artwork for several bands in his local area (Omaha, NE) and also stays busy with commission work on the side.
Heather Breckel (colorist) – Among Breckel's extensive coloring credits are dozens of issues of IDW's My Little Pony; almost thirty issues of IDW's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles; six issues of Image's Peter Panzerfaust; and three issues of Dark Horse's Never Ending. Recently, she has been commissioned by both Marvel and DC. See:
Jacob Bascle (letters and logo design) – Raised in the swamps of Louisiana and trained in the finer points of graphic design in Minnesota's frozen tundra, Jacob now calls the beaches of Southern California home. He likes putting letters on top of other people's artwork and on front of their comics. When not handling lettering, logo and layout design and production for Visionary Comics, Space Goat Comics, and Big & Tall Tales, he's either doing graphic design through his freelance company Freemind Graphx, or gaming and hanging out with his girlfriend Katie, son Xander and their cats Mischief and Mayhem. https://www.facebook.com/jacobbascle
NOTE: The COLORS for the COVERS for Issues 4 and 5 were done by Mike Stefan. Stefan is a comic book and digital colorist who goes by the name Scar. He works for Scattered Comics Studios.
Creative direction and art production services for The Shepherd: Apokatastasis were provided by Jason Dube and Scattered Comics Studios of Sacramento, CA http://www.scatteredcomicsstudios.com/.
Websites and Social Media for The Shepherd: Apokatastasis
Caliber Comics: http://www.calibercomics.info/the-shepherd.html
Up next I have not one but FOUR titles from Source Point Press publishing to give to you! A few weeks ago I had done an article introducing this company, and some of its affiliates. You can read about them by clicking here. SPP is a company that seems to be expanding frequently and includes several titles under their label. I have personally spent a lot of face time with several of the writers and artists from this company and they are phenomenal people. You'd be hard pressed to find a greater group of guys and gals. From what president Travis McIntire tells me, 2016 is going to be a full year with several titles slated for release. The one I am looking forward to the most though, is Norah from Kasey Pierce. That woman can write some damn fine horror and sci-fi.
One of the titles available is Hank Steiner: Monster Detective. Script by Scott Schmidt, and illustrations by Tyler Sowles, with coloring and letters by Sara Sowles. The story is about a monster that is similar to Frankenstein's monster in a sense through his looks. That's about where the likeness ends, though. Hank is a detective in this strange world that is split between monsters and humans. He tends to use brute force as his way of stopping crime and getting a case solved. A vigilante of sorts. Masterfully illustrated and written with grime (as it should be), I look forward to whatever this series will bring next. I actually felt a little robbed at the end that there wasn't more.
You can find everything your heart desires from Source Point Press here:
You can check out Hank Steiner: Monster Detective, RottenTail, Up The River, and Carmen for FREE here:
Have you ever wanted Voltron to crash your sister's tea party? Did you want to take your brother's Optimus Prime and put him in a tutu? Robots vs. Princesses is the comic for you.
Robots vs. Princesses is the tale of Princess Zara who meets a war robot named Wheeler. When Wheeler goes to live with Zara at the Royal Palace, it sets into motion a chain of events that will smash two societies together in a battle like no other.
Created by writer Todd Matthy (Wicked Game, The Ice Queen) the story has its roots in his day job as an Elementary School Teacher when his students found out he was a writer. Realizing he didn't have anything appropriate to show them he set out to write something for his students, but didn't know what to make. Then it him. A first grade class was doing a coloring activity, boys were coloring robots, girls princesses and a story was born.
On art is Nicolas Chapuis and he's pulling triple duty as penciller, inker, and colorist. Nic's coloring graced Dynamite's Wheel of Timeadaptation. Whether it's princesses having afternoon tea or a robot battle, Nic's art bursts from the page with the vibrancy of the finest animated features.
Lettering the book is Sean Rinehart and he's a force to be reckoned with. Sean's lettering for the robots is reminiscent of Richard Starking's work on Transformers Generation 2. It's really cool and adds an otherworldliness to the robots, making for a much more exciting read.
My thoughts? Basically every Disney princess is sitting in a room and robots came out of nowhere. I am not sure what is happening to be honest. There isn't really enough given in the first issue for me to make a solid stand on it. However, I am interested in reading more of it.
You can read the preview to this comic here for FREE:
I script a comic called Dadtown that's drawn by Raben White and coloured by Jess Parry. We're based in Nottingham, UK.
Dadtown is a science fiction comic that features toddlers with shotguns and dancing robots. It's very much influenced by 2000AD, the anthology comic that introduced many talented creators to comics readers. That influence is partly there in terms of subject matter – a colony planet with just one town, ruled by a despotic mayor. And it's there too in the fast pace of the story, which we put up in 4 page chunks every couple of weeks. The protagonist is the mayor's daughter Mallory, who it's fair to say is messed up by having grown up in a family where her dad her mom killed after she tried doing the same to him. Can she take him on without becoming like him in the process? And can the planet, Pria, establish an identify of its own rather than emulating Earth, which they've had no contact with for centuries?
There are about 100 pages up at http://dadtown.net at this point, and the complete story of around 140 is set for publication by Under Belly Comics next year. Adam Jack of Under Belly got in touch after checking us out online and made us an offer we couldn't refuse. We talked it through as a team and liked what Adam had to say, plus we really like the range of titles that he's put out – see www.underbellycomix.com – and the fact that he comes from a television background. Having already had some professional success in that field is a signifier of Adam being someone whose reference points extend beyond Marvel and DC.
I'm a lifelong reader of comics, and attended London Cartoon Centre when I worked in the city in the 90s. Tutors including David Lloyd (most known for his V For Vendetta art) presented classes there, and I was asked by Marvel UK to pitch to them on the basis of scripts of mine they'd seen. Nothing came of that, and instead I got into screenwriting, and have scripted TV and short films – there's industry interest in a feature I wrote this year.
Raben grew up in Hong Kong, where he read a lot of manga, which is part of what you'll see in his work. Professionally, he's been involved in advertising and computer games, and now teaches the art side of gaming, with an approach influenced by his interest in semiotics as much as specific artists. Raben's look for Dadtown took it somewhere beyond what I'd originally conceived of, and the comic is all the better for it.
Jess was one of Raben's students, and hadn't coloured a comic before we teamed up. Our meetings influence the shape and tone of the story and details within it...no accident that Jess is a fan of Cards Against Humanity, which captures the kind of wrongness of those team sessions pretty well. She's in the final year of her course, and we just did a fun Team Dadtown Christmas Bonding Exercise, in which we were locked up in a basement and had to escape before an earthquake messed up our underground laboratory – see www.escapologic.com. That's how we roll.
My thoughts: Well I can tell you that exactly thirty seconds ago, I muttered the words, "This is actually pretty f***ed up," as I was reading Dad Town. Making a mental note to ask Adrian why he opted to call it dadtown. The interesting thing is the clone portion. You know I feel that is a topic that is not nearly as explored as it should be. Clones. The one in this comic looks like it has a bunch of glow sticks coming from its head. Not to mention the fully automatic weapon he seemed to pull out of a heap of stuffed animals and take out several sentient robots. Oh yeah, and some evisceration. I really dig the art style going on here. That manga and dirty way that I enjoy. Forgive me for not being overly technical with the terminology. If it's dirty and out there, chances are I will fall in love with it. I am definetly going to want some more of this soon.
You can read a rather hefty chunk of this comic (a whopping 140 pages!) FOR FREE here:
This is an anthology of short stories. 47 pages. Underwater aliens... Time travel... Con games... Murder... Welcome to the world of ALIBI JONES! Come along for the ride as Humankind expands into the stars. Alibi is a Mediator in The Solar Alliance Interplanetary Force (SAIF) in the year 2135, negotiating treaties and agreements between humankind and alien races.
MIKE LUOMA (writer) writes and publishes science fiction, comic books, the weekly "Glow-in-the-Dark Radio" podcast, and hosts middays on "The Point", Vermont's Independent Radio Network, where he's the Music Director. His science fiction novel Vatican Assassinintroduced "BC", a killer for the New catholic Church in 2109. BC's story continues in Vatican Ambassador and Vatican Abdicator. Mike now writes The Adventures of Alibi Jones, BC's son: Alibi Jones, Alibi Jones and The Sunrise of Hur, Alibi Jones and the Time War of The Devrizium, the comic book The Adventures of Alibi Jones and latest novel Alibi Jones and The Hornet's Nest. Mike's comics' work includes Earthbound Comics' Souverain, Introducing... Red Hot!, Good Samaritan: Unto Dust, and Vatican Assassin - The Graphic Novel. More at http://mikeluoma.com - http://twitter.com/MikeLuoma - http://facebook.com/MikeLuoma
FEDERICO GUILLEN Argentinian artist on the cover, and interior pin-ups "The Dakhur" and "The Flaze" Alien Portraits, and the "Alibi Under Fire" action shot. He's the artist on Good Samaritan: Unto Dust as well as the cover artist for Mike Luoma's Alibi Jones novels. https://www.facebook.com/BboyDeadZLosOdioATodos?fref=ts
MEISHA Tokyo-based artist on "Blind Eye" and "About Time".
RHYS AP GWYN South African-based artist on "Father's Day". Artist on "Introducing... RED HOT!" #1. https://www.facebook.com/rhys.apgwyn
JUAN CARLOS QUATTORDIO Argentinian artist on"Alibi Jones In Over His Head". Artist on "Introducing... RED HOT!" #2, "Panthea Obscura" and "Everybody Lies" from Glow-in-the-Dark Radio Comics. https://www.facebook.com/juancarlos.quattordio
Websites and Retail for ALIBI JONES:
Indy Planet: http://www.indyplanet.com/front/product/88684/
Listen to free audio versions of the stories:
You can read Alibi Jones FOR FREE here:
Up next we have Lilith Dark from Charles C. Dowd, who is the creator and magic man behind this book. He took on everything from writing it, illustrating, coloring and lettering the whole deal. It always amazed me when people are willing to take on all hats in a comic like Charles has here. I have featured Charlie a few other times here on The Outhouse, during his campaign for Kidthulhu with Martin Brandt, his kickstarter for The A-Z Job Guide for Girls, and during The Indie's 50 promotion. He tells wonderful stories that are kid friendly. He offered up a PDF of his comic, Lilith Dark for this promotion. A cool kids story about a little girl fighting monsters and such. It' all imaginary, though. It reminded me a lot of the parts in Calvin and Hobbes, where Calin has reimagined himself fighting with dinosaurs or as spaceman Spiff. Charles has this great style of drawing that is animated, for this particular story the palate of colors is dark and fitting. Clearly, Lilith faces some other struggles that we are not aware of yet, by the end of this issue.
Charles C Dowd (writer/ illustrator/ creator) – Charles is a writer and artist located in Baltimore, MD. His focus since 2009 has been to create comics and children's books with empowering messages for young girls. "Lilith Dark" is Dowd's comic book series about a girl who dreams of being a monster slayer, and then gets the chance to pursue that dream in the real world after her big sister is kidnapped by hungry beasties. "Lilith Dark" was written and illustrated by Dowd and published by Alterna Comics in April, 2014.
"Lilith Dark" is available on Amazon (http://www.amazon.com/dp/1934985406/) and ComiXology (https://www.comixology.com/Lilith-Dark/comics-series/15664).
You can read issue #1 of "Lilith Dark" for free here:
"Chris decided to create a comic after several years of reading webcomics and deciding he could do one himself. Once he came up with the idea of using his dogs as muses, he set out to teach himself how to draw rather than find an artist to collaborate with, because he is shy and lazy. Having only ever drawn a bunch of X-Wings and TIE Fighters in his notebooks in school 30 something years ago, this was perhaps his biggest hurdle in creating this comic, as you can see as you go through the archives.
Originally from upstate New York, Chris now lives in Richmond, Virginia with Hunter and Gillian, a cool but evil cat, his awesome wife and adorable little girl."
"That's the obligatory self written third person bio on my website. I need to write a new one, because honestly, I hate that third person thing. Everyone knows you wrote it about yourself. Why hide it? Take pride in yourself!
It does pretty much sum up how my comic started. I spent a decade or two going through severe creative ADD. One year I taught myself guitar for a few months. The next, drums. Then writing. Then card tricks. Then guitar. Then writing again. Then...oh, you get the idea. When I was 39, after falling in love with comic strips on the web, I decided I wanted to create my own. I wanted to try to make people as happy as the strips I read made me. The introvert in me (which is probably the creative part) went and cowered in a corner deep in my lower intestines when I brought up finding an artist to collaborate with, so I coaxed him back out with a sketch book and some pens. I always thought I would love the writing part of the comic and skate by with the drawing part, but as time went on, and especially after my first convention, I discovered that I LOVED drawing. I really do. It's the weakest part of my comic, I think, but it's always evolving and, dare I say, improving pretty well. You can judge it yourself with my first two books, courtesy of The Indie Huntress. The links will be up until January 1, 2016, or a bit longer when I likely forget to take them down."
You can read not only one but TWO of Chris' books for FREE here:
Book One: No Shenanigans:
Book Two: Bark To The Future:
A Dog's Life is the ongoing saga of a chocolate Labrador named Hunter S. Thompson and his adopted mutt sister, Gillian, as they go through the average lives of dogs. You know; belly rubs, eating, fetch, time travel, evil twins from alternate universes, training montages, musical numbers; typical dog stuff.
I hope you enjoy them as much as I enjoy making them, and if you dig the books and want more, check out http://adogslifecomic.com. You'll find a whole lot more strips there, and you can get real paper books there too! Share and enjoy!
I met Chris through Facebook. I remember beginning to speak with him through a mutual friend. We had actually done a swap. I sent him a couple of sketch covers in exchange for books. It worked out fairly well. Chris is a good fella that does a lot of good for kids everywhere at conventions. His books are a fun read and I hope you enjoy them.
Dustin Taylor (writer/creator) - Dustin has had a passion for comics ever since his dad introduced him to Wolverine at a very young age. He has been drawing ever since, but only recently began his pursuit of doing what he loves for a living. Through a lot of trial and error he ended up with Retail, a comic about best friends trying to make it in life. He also does commissions and is always looking for additional comic projects to be a part of. While not making comics, he spends his time playing video games, reading comics, and watching movies.
You can read his Webcomic for FREE here:
Martin Dunn (Writer/Creator) - Martin is a comic book Creator/Writer/Artist
as well as a web-caster and Convention Panelist, from Tampa, Florida.
He currently acts as Chief Creative Officer of CAE Studios.
His body of work includes his creator-owned properties 'Joshua Black',
'Project: A.P.E.X.', '#IFightGhosts', and 'FETCH: An Odyssey'.
In addition to his work for various publishers such as IDW Publishing,
Darkhorse Comics, and Hashtag Comics. Martin appears regularly on
several "Breaking into Independent Comics" panels at conventions
around the southeastern US. He also writes the blog "The Cynically
Pragmatic Guide to Making Comics" in which he gives all his 100%
honest opinions and knowledge on all the ups, downs, and pratfalls of
breaking into comics. His knack for stirring up controversy due to his
abrasive opinions and passionate beliefs, has positioned him as well
known advocate for creator rights, in the indie comic scene.
J.T. Hurst (Pencils) - J.T. is a comic book penciler from
Los Angeles, California. He attended El Camino College for Art,
and has a background as a storyboard artist. His work includes
'Joshua Black', and a one-shot of 'Project: A.P.E.X.'s 'Charlatan'.
Matt Storer (Inks) - Matt is an inker from Nuneaton, UK.
Joshua Black is his first published work. Matt likes turtles.
Jeremy Calderon (Colors) Jeremy is an Illustration major at The Academy of Art University. His body of work as a colorist includes #IFightGhosts, and Joshua Black, from CAE Studios. He also plays guitar in a ska bad (Send Out Scuds), and enjoys art, music, Chinese food, comics, and a good B.M. He doesn't; however, enjoy writing biographies, and hopes this blurb reflects that.
MaGnUs (Letters) Martín A. Pérez (AKA MaGnUs) hails from Montevideo, Uruguay, and is a writer, letterer and radio host/producer. He has published in print and online, writes articles and columns about role-playing games, comics and scifi, and hosts a radio show (Perdidos En El Eter) about the same nerdy subjects. His work spans over 88 different titles.
CAE Studios can be found online and on social media at the links below.
CAE Studios Website: http://www.caestudios.com
You can purchase 'Joshua Black' and other CAE Titles at the below links.
Official Swag Store:
You can read issue #1 of Joshua Black FOR FREE here:
(if that link doesn't work for your mobile device, click here)