WDb // Graphic Content

GRAPHIC CONTENT is a comic book review and recommendation show hosted by myself, Ted Kendrick, on the Watchtower Database YouTube channel which premiered on Wednesday, February 20th and runs biweekly, ongoing for the foreseeable future. The first episode featured the SHAZAM! comic written by Geoff Johns with art by Dale Eaglesham, symbiotic in tone with the upcoming film. DICK TRACY: DEAD OR ALIVE mini-series was featured next, the resurrection of a near century old character from artists Mike, Laura, and Lee Allred, and Rich Tommaso.

Stick around as GRAPHIC CONTENT continues to evolve as I develop my style, get the hang of the format, and generally adjust to being featured on camera. Not shy, but not too seasoned yet either. We’ll take this journey together as I tap into my ENFP personality potential as an outgoing yet reserved entertainer type.

STEAMPUNK EDDIE cover reveal

Escapist Comix unveiled the cover to the STEAMPUNK EDDIE comic series that I’m co-writing with Jarrett Rutland, who is also on art duties. We’ve been developing this book for a little over a year now while Jarrett was deep in the creation of his ROBOT SAMURAI PENGUINS series. STEAMPUNK EDDIE will run for an initial 5 issues with further story possibilities down the road if the readers are there.

On the cover, you will notice Eddie and his dog Oscar, front and foremost, with a tire garden bed and water-tower in the background, as well as the blue streak of what might be a comet. You’ll have to read the issue to find out what it is for sure. The cover art is framed by two lampposts on the sides, one light on and the other off, as well as traffic lights below bracketing the credits, one on go and the other on stop. The Escapist Comix logo of a key can be seen in the bottom right corner.

Cover art for forthcoming STEAMPUNK EDDIE, new from Escapist ⚙🏭⏱🗝

Posted by Escapist Comix on Sunday, April 22, 2018

12th Level Intellects: Expectations for “Justice League”

James Strecker and I recently debuted the first episode of our new podcast 12TH LEVEL INTELLECTS, named after the DC Comics term for a cosmic genius, and an offshoot from the fan theory discussions of the same name we recorded for the WATCHTOWER DATABASE. We focus the conversation specifically on niche topics relating to DC Comics and DC Animation. Adam Mullen composed the intro music.

We hope to release an episode every other week where we discuss relevant news, comic book recommendations, and dive into a random topic, the first being our expectations for the upcoming JUSTICE LEAGUE feature film. Listen to the episode embedded below via YouTube or find us for streaming on Soundcloud.

ESCAPIST COMIX on 103.3 Asheville FM

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 live launch

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.

ESCAPIST // stamps and stickers

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.

CIGARETTE CITY: RUDE AWAKENINGS // short comic

CIGARETTE CITY: RUDE AWAKENINGS is an upcoming 12-page short comic written by myself and drawn by Gabriel Fobert (@crypt_crow), one of the artists on Project Gloom. Frank, a mild-mannered fax machine salesman, wakes in a taxi cab and exchanges small talk with the driver through a series of disasters. After each event, FRANK reawakens as if from a dream, until the next disaster hits.

CIGARETTE CITY began as a feature film concept I brainstormed with writer Scot Langland, essentially putting our own spin on the gritty tone that Frank Miller popularized in his works like DARK KNIGHT RETURNS and SIN CITY, as well as a few nods to Alan Moore’s WATCHMEN. This dark noir world of crime and mystery became like something from a 1980s dystopian city where every potential nook and cranny might reveal some insight into humanity’s inner conflict of good versus evil.

I began to explore the far corners of CIGARETTE CITY by writing various short stories set in this universe. RUDE AWAKENINGS was a rewrite of a short story I wrote while studying at UNC Asheville’s Creative Writing program. There was originally another artist onboard this comic, and we developed the idea for a few months, but he dropped out to pursue other opportunities.  I generated the following panel layout scheme to assist in the comic’s construction as the story heavily involves a series of repeating panels to illustrate the character’s looping events.

 Image by Ted Kendrick

CIGARETTE CITY: RUDE AWAKENINGS will be self-published in a limited run and available for purchase later this year. Should it be well received, there is plenty of potential for more stories set in the CIGARETTE CITY universe.

WDb // COMIC RELIEF

Over the last few months, on every Wednesday afternoon, I’ve maintained a column called COMIC RELIEF where I recommend comics and graphic novels I’ve enjoyed over the years. The segment was originally posted to the LEGACIES OF THE DCAU Facebook page of which I was a curator, though the page has now been taken offline due to low traffic.

COMIC RELIEF will instead accompany the WATCHTOWER DATABASE social media outlets starting at the end of November and will post every Wednesday, the same day new comics arrive at local stores. I intend to mix old reviews with the new, sharing all in a more visual aesthetic rather than the plain text I used before.

I’m excited for a continuing platform to share some of my favorite books from an ever expanding medium. Be sure to hit ‘like’ on the WATCHTOWER DATABASE Facebook page so you don’t miss each weekly update of COMIC RELIEF!