Issue #3 update and sneak preview!!

Well, it’s been awhile since the last update, thanks in part to our old enemy COVID-19, and in part due to the fact that I’m doing something a bit different with issue #3. For the first two issues of The Crimebusters, I basically did the books in the Marvel Method — I drew all the pages and then went back and wrote all the dialogue

This time around, though, I decided the story was too complex for that, so I needed to do all the dialogue first. And that’s taken a lot longer than usual, as changes to the text necessitated reworking significant portions of the story.

After a couple extensive rewrites, though, issue #3 is finally in place to be drawn. And the good news is that the art is now the last step, so once the art is done, the book will be done and ready to go to Kickstarter!

Just when that will happen I’m not quite sure, as I don’t want to commit to anything given the nature of the world right now. But I have finished the first three pages in addition to the two covers I’ve shown previously, so I thought I’d give a little sneak preview of “The Spell of the Sorcerer!”


And the covers!

And the back cover!

Work on issue #3 is now underway!

It’s been quite a while since I’ve had the chance to update the blog here on the website, so I apologize for the long delay between updates.

Hopefully everyone by now has had the chance to sign up for the Crimebusters Case Files, where I send updates directly to your email every month. But if you aren’t signed up yet, well, things have been pretty hectic since last fall — I got married, went on my honeymoon, battled several illnesses, finished issue #2 and successfully Kickstarted and printed it, and, oh yeah, there’s this whole pandemic thing. So it’s been pretty busy for everyone!

But I do want to share with everyone the exciting news that I am now hard at work on issue #3, and have finished both the regular cover and the Kickstarter exclsuive legacy number variant. Here’s the first look at both!

The regular cover:

And the Kickstarter exclusive legacy number variant featuring the return of the greatest Golden Age sleuth of them all, Granny Gumshoe!

It’s still going to be quite a while before issue #3 is ready, but hopefully in the near future I’ll be able to share a sneak peek of the first three pages of the stpory. I’m tenatively aiming for a late fall release for issue #3 — and I’m also working on another surprise project that may arrive some time this year as well.

Sounds like the next year might be just as busy as the last. Maybe I should take a nap at some point!

See you next time. And… Adventure Awaits!

Happy Halloween!

First, let me apologize for how infrequently I’ve been posting updates of late. Life has been really extra all year, and though I have a ton of updates I really want to write — things like the long-awaited Kickstarter post-mortem, as well as reviews of other Kickstarter projects I’ve been backing, plus the usual process updates on creating issue #2 – I just haven’t had any time to do it.

And to be honest, I don’t think I’m going to get much more time until January, as we get ready for the Kickstarter campaign for The Crimebusters #2. Te next two months are looking to be among the busiest of my life, and though I have a lot I want to share with you, I just am not sure how much time I will have.

For now, though, I did want to briefly update everyone to let you know that The Crimebusters #2 is still on track for a January, 2020 Kicksarter launch. I’m not as far along as I had hoped to be at this point, but given the delays (and the nature of those delays) I’m happy enough with the progress. I am currently doing the linework on page 26 of 31 and hope to have the linework done for the comic by Thursday, November 7. I’m not sure that’s realistic, but I’ll be out of town from the 8th through the 19th, so I’d love to have this main thing socked away before then.

I’ve also taken a little time off from working on the story itself to color the regular cover for issue #2. The story for issue #2 takes place on Halloween night, 1956, so I wanted to be able to share this with you in time for this Halloween.

I’ll be back with another update as soon as I can, but for now, Happy Halloween, and enjoy the cover for The Crimebusters #2 – “The Secret of the Ghost Bride!”

Catamount Comics Expo convention report!

My report from the first ever Catamount Comics Expo!

On Saturday, September 14, 2019, I had the chance to table at my first convention, the Catamount Comics Expo in Burlington, Vermont!

It was a fun experience, very rewarding personally, though not so much financially. That’s mainly because there weren’t very many attendees. The showrunner actually put on a nice show, but the one area that seemed a bit lacking was promotion. The venue was nice, and the selection of comics and stuff was pretty good for a show this size, so I think if there had been more awareness of the event it would have been a big hit with fans. Unfortunately, it didn’t seem like many people knew about it, so not many fans showed up.

However, those who did got to have a fun time, and I really enjoyed meeting the fans. I also really enjoyed meeting other creators, especially my table mate, Michelle Abreu. We had met once or twice before briefly as members of the Boston Comics Roundtable, but it was really fun to talk to her about her many cool projects, including custom made dice and dicebags that proved to be a big hit with gamers at the convention.

As for me, I went into the show with a few goals, basically none of which were met. But a couple came close! I was hoping to sell 10 copies of The Crimebusters #1, and I was also hoping to get 10 people to sign up to my mailing list. I actually sold 8 copies, and had three people sign up for the mailing list, so I came up a little short. But I’m very happy with that support and interest!

I also tried something new, which is prints. I’ve heard that prints are a big source of income for many small creators a shows, so I made up a bunch of prints. My goal was to sell enough to make back my money for printing them. Alas, this wasn’t even close. I did sell one print, to a friend who surprised me by showing up even though the con was over 3 hours from home for both of us. So that was a great treat! And now I have a bunch of prints, which I will be rolling out on my online shop over the next few days, so that’s cool too.

All in all, though I didn’t make much money, I did meet some cool new people and learned a lot from the experience. And I also met some other creators living their dreams, and even traded comics with some of them. I will be highlighting some of those books on my Instagram feed over the next couple of weeks, so check them out!

This was a cool experience, so I am looking forward to my next show, which I am happy to announce will be at the Northeast Comic Con in Boxboro, Massachusetts, from November 29 through December 1. It’s the holiday weekend, so if you need some gift ideas, come by and say hi! And of course I’ll be posting a lot more details in the weeks to come.

See you there!

A personal note

There’s a lot of things happening right now here at Crimebusters central. I had my first brief convention experience in August, and have my first solo shows coming up, first at Catamount Comics Expo in Burlington, Vermont on Saturday, September 14, and then at Northeast ComicCon in Boxboro, Massachusetts on Thanksgiving weekend. For those, I’ve been working on a ton of new stuff, including my first prints. And meanwhile I’ve also been plugging away on the second issue of The Crimebusters. Not to mention I finished fulfillment on the first issue Kickstarter!

So all of that is interesting and exciting and normally I would be spending the rest of this update giving you all the details and sharing images and everything. However, over the last few weeks, my comic book stuff has all been put on the back burner because of some real life stuff. Today, then, I’m going to get personal and talk about something important to me.

Those of you who backed the first issue of The Crimebusters on Kickstarter probably read my project update talking about my Dad’s illness. For those who didn’t, on June 21, about halfway through the first issue Kickstarter launch, I got a call that a family friend had found my Dad passed out in his car. He had been in his car overnight, delirious from what turned out to be a blood infection. It turned into septic shock, and at the time I posted, things were very touch and go and it was unclear if he would make it.

Unfortunately, my father passed away on Monday, August 19.

Those two months between his initial illness and his death were very difficult for me, for my family, and most of all, for my Dad. He was in the hospital the entire time, recovering from one infection only to get another, and then another. Treatment was very difficult due to complete renal failure, as Dad had been on a kidney transplant list for nearly two years prior to his illness. That would have been his second kidney transplant, as he previously received one in 1997.

The ultimate cause of his kidney failure was a severe wound he received in combat during his second tour of duty in Vietnam on the night of February 29, 1968. He spent the next 18 months in recovery in one military hospital after another. He regained his ability to walk, got married, had kids, and lived a full life over the next 51 years. But the strain on his system, including recurring infections at the time (and possibly exposure to Agent Orange), ultimately led to his kidneys failing.

That, for me, is emblematic of the man my Dad was. He was quiet and unassuming, but he gave everything of himself for the people he loved. When he finished his first tour of service in Vietnam, he signed up for a second tour because he didn’t want to leave his friends behind. When my mom fell ill with cancer, he gave all his his strength caring for her; it’s no coincidence that his kidneys failed again in the year following her death. He wore himself out for her, and never complained.

And he did the same, in small ways and large, for my brother and myself. He wasn’t demonstrative with affection, but he was always present. When he entered the Marines in 1966, he became an OG Marvel fan, reading comics like Thor with his buddies in the service. So when I became obsessed with comics as a kid, something that didn’t necessarily sit well with certain people in my conservative religious community, Dad was always supportive.

When I just had to go to a comic book show in New Hampshire, even though I didn’t have a dime to buy comics, he drove me there. When I just had to have the latest hot comic — Batman #427 — he drove me to Rhode Island to buy the only overpriced copy I could track down. There’s an auction in Connecticut that might have comics? We went, and wasted a whole day for the chance to lose a low bid on a trashed copy of House of Secrets #92. When I wanted desperately to meet Stan Lee at a show in 1989? He drove me to Boston, and then waited for hours with me until Stan finally arrived.

He’d sit down with me and go through my comics, helping me strategize which back issues to buy next. And he’d read them with me too. Every month, after I finished reading the new issue of Groo the Wanderer, I’d pass it to Dad so he could have a laugh as well.

Right to the end, Dad was supportive. As stressful and trying as the past two months were, I’m grateful I had the chance to send those days with Dad, even as sick as he was. We were able to talk about things and say things that whenever had the chance — or the pressing need — to talk about before. And I also got to give him a copy of my first comic, which was a dream come true for me.

I don’t know whether Dad actually cared about comics, but he cared about me, and showed it by spending his time with me doing what I loved. That was Dad.

I miss him.

My Dad in 1978.

The adventure continues!

The last month has been a bit of a whirlwind, but I’m finally catching my breath — which means it’s time to catch all of you up on what’s going on with The Crimebusters! I do still plan on doing a full post-mortem about my Kickstarter campaign — how it went, what went well, what didn’t quite work, what I am going to do differently next time — but for now, here are some quick highlights.

First mystery solved!

I’m happy to say that I have received all the copies of The Crimebusters #1 from the printers and have sent out rewards to almost everyone who backed The Crimebusters Kickstarter. The only thing left is to make a few hand-crafted items such as custom Funko Pops and sketch covers. But most backers have already received their copies of the book, and I’m really excited every time someone sends me a photo or other feedback about the book, like Cameron and Damon here! Thanks everyone, I really appreciate all the support and I hope you are enjoying the comic as much as I enjoyed making it!

Follow the clues…

I’m also really excited to enter the next phase for The Crimebusters #1, as the book has been picked up by its first two comic book shops, That’s Entertainment in Worcester, Massachusetts, and Bedrock Comics in Framingham, Massachusetts!! I am in talks with several other stores, so I hope that The Crimebusters will soon be available at comic book shops across Massachusetts and southern New England. I’ll be announcing new venues as they open up!

The Secret of the Green Mountain Monster

I’m super excited to also announce my first two comic book shows!

First up, I will be helping staff the Boston Comics Roundtable booth in artist’s alley at Boston Fan Expo on Saturday, August 17, from 2-7 pm. If you’re attending Fan Expo, stop by and say hi!

I will also be attending the Catamount Comics Expo in Burlington, Vermont, on Saturday, September 14. So if you’re in the area and want to talk about comic books, come on down! I am hoping to have some cool prints and stuff in addition to The Crimebusters #1, but we’ll see.

The mystery of the online shop

Finally, the mystery of the online shop has been solved. And by that I mean setting up an online shop was a total mystery to me. But after a lot of effort and confusion, I have managed to set up a store online where you can buy copies of The Crimebusters #1 — both digital and physical editions — as well as the Fan Club Membership Kit and other cool stuff. I’m hoping to add more stuff as time goes by, so if there’s something you’d like to see, let me know and I’ll do what I can to make it happen!

Adventure awaits!

Quick update

Hello, friends!

Whew, it’s been a whole month since last time I wrote anything. And unfortunately, it’s going to be a little bit longer before I can really get into all the stuff happening right now.

That’s because The Cirmebusters #1 was fully funded on Kickstarter! Which is awesome, but it also means I’m neck deep in fulfillment, publishing and shipping issues, social media posts, and trying to set up a store as part of this website so you can actually buy and read this comic!

Once that stuff calms down a little, I’ll be posting a long update with all the details — how to buy the comic, plus a complete in-depth look at the Kickstarter process. I’ve been transparent throughout about my creative process, and I know some of you are interesting in the nitty gritty details of how this comic is made, so I’ll be diving in to give you the unfiltered look at what went right, what went wrong, ad what I need to change before my next Kickstarter.

That, by the way, is tentatively slated for January, because I have started working on issue #2! So you’ll also get a sneak preview of the second issue soon.

Whew! That’s a lot! I can’t wait to share it all with you, but first I need to actually share the comic itself with everyone who backed The Crimebusters, so… back to work!

See you soon!

Kickstarter Update and Media Round-up!

The first issue of The Crimebusters is currently live on Kickstarter through July 2, so I thought I’d give an update on how things are going as we approach the halfway point of the campaign.

So far, everything’s going great! I set my initial goal at $500. In truth, when I did my initial calculations for the project, I figured I would need $800 to accomplish my goal with this issue, but I set the goal intentionally low to make it more likely that the project would succeed. I figured that if necessary, I could pony up the shortage out of pocket.

That won’t be necessary, though, as we just passed the $1000 mark! I’m super grateful to everyone who has supported this project, it’s really been humbling. I just hope that everyone like the comic once they receive it!

From day one of this project, I’ve been very transparent about every phase of the process, so I think it’s only fair that I continue to give an inside look at the world of self-publishing. I know it’s a bit unusual for people to open up about the financial details of publishing, or Kickstarter, but I know there are some people reading who are hoping to one day do their own projects, so maybe this will help.

After the Kickstarter campaign ends and I’ve completed fulfillment, I will do a complete rundown of the whole process — what I learned, what I did wrong, strategies that worked or didn’t work, the costs involved, etc.

For now, I’ll say that peripherals are proving to be surprisingly expensive. This stuff adds up, and quickly. And it’s important to remember that between Kickstarer’s own fees, and the fees of their credit card service, you lose about 10% of your pledged money right off the top.

As a result, I’m only going to get about $900 of the $1000. I’ve also spent more money than I anticipated on rewards — things like buttons, stickers, etc. — and I still have the fairly large cost of shipping to deal with. The upshot is that for my expenses directly relating to the Kickstarter campaign (I’m not including startup stuff like the cost of filing for copyright, or hosting this website), printing the actual comic is going to be less than half of my total expense! And since these costs were higher than I originally budgeted for, I think at this moment I’m just about at the break even stage, even though I have doubled my original goal.

Definitely a learning curve!

Okay, with all that said and done, let’s get to the meat of the thing here: a Kickstarter media roundup!

First, my good friends at Nerd Caliber were nice enough to have me on their YouTube channel for an interview about The Crimebusters. I look like I just fell off the back of a moving train, but here’s a look. Thanks, Nerd Caliber!

Here’s the Kickstarter campaign video, in case you haven’t seen it yet:

I also made a short video to advertise the Kickstarter campaign on Facebook, so here’s a look!

I also made an unboxing video to show off all the sweet swag you get if you choose to join the Crimebusters Fan Club!

And finally, my brother was nice enough to have me as a guest on his podcast, the CMass Politics Podcast, which usually covers local politics in Central Massachusetts. But this time, we’re talking about comics — though we do get into some political stuff discussing the 1950’s setting for The Crimebusters, with stuff like the Red Scare and more. You can check it out here on Spotify!

Thanks, everyone!