STEAMPUNK EDDIE #1 has hit the printers, and will be available soon at Asheville based comic book shops, such as Comic Envy, Haywood Comics, and Orbit, as well as digital streaming services like ComiXology and Patreon. The series is written by myself Ted Kendrick, with watercolor art by Jarrett Rutland, and published by Escapist Comix. Issue #2 is in production.
Sagan Thacker, host of the Radio Active Kids program on 103.3 Asheville FM, had myself and Jarrett Rutland on the air to discuss the Escapist Comix emerging line of children’s comics. Despite being such an early morning that Saturday, July 24th, we had a great time promoting the brand, discussing the comics medium, teasing upcoming work, and plugging our online platforms like Patreon and ComiXology.
Image by Sagan Thacker
Listen to the entire broadcast, or skip to 31:00 for our interview through 43:00.
ESCAPIST COMIX held a livestream event on Friday, May 19th in celebration of its launch of digital reading platforms on sites like Patreon and ComiXology. As the Marketing Director, I joined Jarrett Rutland, CEO and founding artist, to broadcast a live stream on Facebook where we shared info on the brand, took questions and comments from the viewers, explained the new services, and teased upcoming projects and ESCAPIST’s convention schedule. We had a little over 100 people jump in and join us live, with close to 700 total views at the time of this post.
Video by ESCAPIST COMIX
We introduced STEAMPUNK EDDIE, a time travel adventure series that I am writing with Jarrett Rutland on art, who brought me on to develop his original concept. The story revolves around Eddie, a pre-teen from a country town with a knack for exploration, joined by his dog Oscar, in a high stakes mission with drastic consequences that threaten the entire space/time continuum, at the direction of the robotic time guardian Wing who must return stolen items, scattered throughout the past. The first issue is in production, and set to be published in a few months.
On Saturday May 20th, Jarrett and I attended the inaugural Asheville Comicon which was held at the WNC Agricultural Center. We ran a table with the usual books and merchandise, talked with fans and newcomers, and promoted the brand to more Asheville locals, some of which had seen the books on display at stores such as Orbit, Comic Envy, and Haywood Comics, who were also present at the convention. I thought it was an extremely successful event for its first year and look forward to returning next time, hopefully with a few printed books of my own.
I joined Jarrett Rutland in Raleigh, NC over the weekend of March 18th for the two day NC Comicon Oak City event to promote the all-ages ESCAPIST COMIX brand. We worked a table in Artist Alley where we sold copies of the first four issues of ROBOT SAMURAI PENGUINS, and first issues of new releases LITTLE PREACHER and DARK PLOTTER, along with extra swag like stickers, high quality prints, and T-shirts. It was a great success and so much fun to get feedback directly from fans.
Jarrett has been building his line of books over the last two years, but I came onboard as the Marketing Director only a few months ago to help with the technical aspects, hone in on the branding such as the name and logo, and develop an online presence, primarily through Patreon for monthly crowdfunding and ComiXology for digital sales. I’ve also started writing an upcoming series that will be announced down the road, but I can say it has a very exciting premise. I’ll come up with a fun Project Codename whenever I discuss the development process in a later post.
As this was my first convention on the other side of a table, I learned all about the patience required by artists when waiting for crowds to both arrive in the morning and leave in the afternoon. Comic conventions are always colorful, exciting, but sometimes overwhelming events, especially when high profile creators are involved. I briefly said hello to Neil Adams, known for his work on characters like Batman, Green Arrow, and Green Lantern in the 1970s, also had my issues of MOTHER PANIC signed by artist Tommy Lee Edwards, and picked up multiple signed copies of the BATMAN / TMNT ADVENTURES #1 Director’s Cut as gifts.
Attending discussion panels is also a fun element, and I found myself at two this time around. One was an action choreography panel from BEAT DOWN BOOGIE, the Raleigh based YouTube channel known for MARIO WARFARE, and the other was a discussion by the BATMAN / TMNT ADVENTURES team of Matt Manning, an Asheville based writer and friend who I had previously interviewed about the book for the WATCHTOWER DATABASE, and Jon Sommariva, an Australian based artist who had flown all the way to Raleigh to meet Matt in person (after completing the 6-issue mini-series together) and hang out with their publishers at IDW Comics.
While on the topic of Jon Sommariva, I commissioned him for a sketch on a blank cover of Superman / Batman #30. As the cheapskate I am, I couldn’t afford two characters, so I compromised for the oddball Composite Superman mashup villain whose face is half Superman, half Batman, as a way to cheat the system.
NC Comicon was an incredible event. Since they hold two per year, Oak City in March, and Bull City in October, I have no doubt I will surely return soon enough.
Images by J. Rutland
Escapist Comix has been busy these last few months growing in scope and size. Jarrett Rutland is preparing to add two books to the line-up: spiritual coming-of-age story LITTLE PREACHER and sci-fi, fantasy mashup DARK PLOTTER, while continuing to regularly release new issues of the steampunk action / adventure series ROBOT SAMURAI PENGUINS.
I’ve been helping strategize ways to grow the Escapist Comix brand lately, including the creation of an online presence and moving the books to other parts of the country. A beautiful wax seal was created for shipping purposes, which I think will make a great first impression on anyone receiving the merchandise above.