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.

Escapist Comix Live Launch w/ Jarrett Rutland and Ted Kendrick ☠️🤖👾👽👓💡📽🗝

Posted by Escapist Art on Friday, May 19, 2017

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.

CAT FLY // festival follow up

Cat Fly Film Fest held its inaugural event over April Fools weekend in Asheville, North Carolina. The festival was an immense success, not only because it was a wonderful event for networking with other emerging filmmakers, but because it sold out all three nights! I know how hard the founders– Brittany Jackson, Madeleine Richardson, Keeley Turner, and Cat Wityk– worked to make the festival such a meaningful and memorable event, so the hype was all well deserved!

Opening Night presented a slew of dramatic shorts such as THE SMOKE TRILOGY which was co-directed by MJ Slide and GOOD HAIR’s own Catherine Dee Holly as well as BEATERS which I produced and Rome Widenhouse directed. The rest of the lineup was filled out by Asheville based filmmakers Kira Burksy, Katie Damien, Kendra Warren, Ryan DuVal, Wayne Wandering, and Amplified Media‘s Jared Kay.

The Asheville School of Film was gracious enough to allow us to host a workshop in their classroom space on Saturday morning which was led by myself and the aforementioned MJ Slide and Catherine Dee Holly. We talked about how to produce short films on a tight budget, focusing on the legal and logistical aspects of the production process that you simply can’t skimp out on no matter how large or small your budget, specifically how to strategize for indie films below or around $10,000 which is considered ultra-low budget by SAG-AFTRA standards.

Comedy Night!! Photos by @threeregionnc #catfly #catflyfilmfest #aprilfools #comedy #indiefilmfest #ncfilm #avl #asheville

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Comedy Night was an absolute blast, especially with standup from Asheville locals Cory Thompson and Minori Hinds as well as Atlanta’s own Dedrick Flynn and Fray Forde, both primary actors in GOOD HAIR which screened later that night under the COMEDY & CURLS umbrella. The first film was my directorial debut THE REPLICA RAID, starring Jeff Alexander who hosted the event. Multiple web-series were also showcased, including Stefan Liner’s WHEN FACT MET FICTION which also starred Jeff Alexander across from Rebekah Babelay, and Andrew Vasco’s TRANSPLANTING, a series about a woman who adjusts to Asheville after moving from New York. Keeley Turner and Katie Damien also played comedic shorts.

The Filmmakers’ Brunch on Sunday morning was one of the more heartwarming and intimate affairs of the entire weekend. It was a pleasure to casually hang out over breakfast and mimosas with all the amazing creative people pictured above. I could list everyone in the photo, but I bet if I allow a few years, many of these faces will become very well known as the filmmakers and artists they strive to be.

so proud of these people @catflyfilmfest #catfly #filmfestival #indiefilm

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The entire weekend was simply amazing, and it was all thanks to the talented team pictured above, especially the founders. None of this would have happened without their coordinated efforts and talents for marketing and event planning, as well as everyone who volunteered their time as festival staff. If the Asheville community didn’t want a classy film festival that honored local talent before, they surely recognize now that it was a niche that needed to be filled. Here’s to next year!

NC Comicon Oak City 2017

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.

NC Comicon

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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.

comical comics creators @nccomicon #artistalley #escapistcomix #comics #comicon #ncart #kidslit

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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.