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.
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.
Over the last few months, I’ve worked with Asheville based artist Jarrett Rutland in the development of his comics brand ESCAPIST, named for the art of escaping into your imagination in order to enrich your perspective on the world. Jarrett is known for his work in kids’ lit and ongoing series ROBOT SAMURAI PENGUINS as well as the upcoming LITTLE PREACHER, seen below with the ESCAPIST logo.
Image by @jrutlandart
I assisted in the design of the ESCAPIST name and logo, seen below in a larger format in the shape of a skeleton key, as if to unlock the potential of the mind. The four basic colors on the end of the key represent pure creativity, and the levers on the bottom create the letter ‘E’, occasionally spelled out in full as ESCAPIST.