Sunday, June 24, 2018

A Week in Writing #200

This week was mostly, though not entirely, about Powers Squared. As confirmation, the next three issues, the story arc With Great Powers Comes Something, Something, Something..., will be published on Wednesday, June 27 on To that end, we spent part of this past weekend answering some questions for an interview on Freaksugar that should appear on Wednesday. We also edited and posted a video to our YouTube channel and shot another one we'll put up later of Paul, Trevor and I answering Freaksugar's questions. We're also planning to do a Google hangout with our artist, Rachel Wells. So much still to come.

Also, Adventures in Poor Taste is confirmed to run an exclusive preview of issue #3 tentatively on Monday, 6/25 and our good friends at First Comics News is confirmed for review coverage to tentatively run on Wednesday, 6/27.

Okay, now that the shilling has stopped, there was also work done on Powers Squared the project as well. Our artist completed her inks for Issue #7 and we're now moving on to Issue #8, which starts a new story arc, Mathemagical. We're bringing back Dr. Atlas and introducing a new villain, Professor Theorem. Rachel has done some preliminary character design work on her already. We're basing her on alternative rock musician K.Flay, for whom I'm a big fan, as an homage.

We've written the scripts for this story arc and the one to follow, What's In a Name?. I haven't yet started to make revisions on The Imposter, the arc to follow that based on feedback from Paul and Trevor. It's been more a matter of time than any disagreement on making them. In fact, their suggestions should make it better, which as a writer I'm always after.

Rachel has also come back with some comments and suggestions on Mathemagical, all of which are welcomed. We've always meant for the creation of the book to be an interactive process.

On Thursday night, Paul, Trevor and I attended a local gathering, Koffee and Komics at a cafe on Tujunga near Universal City. I had been a member of the group for a couple of years but had never attended one of the functions. It was a small group and the Hankins men do what we do best, sit on the side and talk to one person at a time. We're not great socializers. We did come away with a few ideas, including looking into Printing on Demand for Powers Squared.

We only stayed about an hour and a half as there was work to be done. When I got home I also registered the script for Mathemagical with the WGA, made some updates to files to keep my thumb drive and hard drive in sync.

I also continued editing on Paperback Detective. I've edited through page 436. The next section requires some rewrites, which is why I originally put it aside to finish later.

No new reviews from me this week, though Trophy Unlocked did post Paul's Batman Ninja as our Saturday Morning Review. We are going to work on new ones, including one for Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, which we saw this afternoon at the Cinerama Dome, so look for that coming soon.

Next week, in addition to seeing our comic book get published, there will be other writing involved, including more rewrites and reviews.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

A Week in Writing #199

If you're a regular reader of this blog, you know that a lot of what goes on revolves around Powers Squared, the comic book my sons and I created several years ago. And I know I've been begging, yes begging, for you to check out us out on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. It's all part of trying to grow our brand and its been a struggle all the way. Organic growth is best, but it is slow and all that work doesn't necessarily end up with increased sales. To that end, we received an accounting update from comiXology this week and we've sold exactly 1 issue in the past two months.

But hopefully, that will change in the very near future. Don't know the details, but we're hopeful that our next release, on June 27th, will be getting more of a push and hopefully, more people will hear about Powers Squared. We're supposed to find out more next week and I will be certain to fill you in here, as well as the other social media outlets I've listed above.

Work continues on the book, as Issue #7 is nearing the end of the art phase and its fairly far along with coloring as well. I'd like to think we'd have the issue ready to go in a couple of months. We've worked out the scripts for the next two issues and we'll probably start working on them next month with the artist.

I'm still giving serious consideration to kickstarting or some other crowdfunding method to help with some of the expenses of the production. Nothing concrete, yet but I'll be sure to let you know if it ever comes to fruition. It's not a make or break issue for the comic book, but it would be a big financial relief to not have to carry it all on my biweekly paychecks.

We posted another video this past week on our YouTube channel, one featuring Paul and Trevor, the co-creators and the basis for Marty and Eli Powers in the comic book. We have more footage, so hopefully, there will be more forthcoming, as well as a chat with our current artist, Rachel Wells, yet to be scheduled.

Finished a review this week for Conflict (1945) and published one on Trophy Unlocked for Buster Keaton's Seven Chances (1925), the latter in honor of Saturday being Buster Keaton Day in Los Angeles. Besides the proclamation, I don't think there was really much else done to commemorate one of the greats of silent film comedies.

Still no word from my editor on Familiar Stranger. Not wanting to let the grass grow under my feet, I decided to re-edit another in the yet to be published J.D. Barrister series of private investigator mysteries. This one is called Paperback Detective. I started working on it on Friday and I'm about 134 pages into editing it. I know there will be needed work at the end of the book, as I decided to change the location, but right now I'm enjoying the work. I'm printing out forty pages at a time and working on it in odd moments during the day.

Sunday, June 10, 2018

A Week in Writing #198

Another week spent mostly but not exclusively on Powers Squared.

No new pages from anyone this week which is no big deal, but work was still done on upcoming issues. I finally finished a draft for the script for The Imposter, so after feedback from Paul and Trevor, I'm hoping to put that writing to the side. We would then have three story arcs and seven issues worked out so we should be good for a year or more, based on our rate of production.

Paul and I had a brief conversation with our contact at comiXology on Monday with the promise of more information later in the week but now pushed back to tomorrow, so we'll see. Still sounds like there would be some sort of push for our next few issues that are supposed to be published soon, still don't know exactly when. Again, it is something they control, not us. Hoping to hear something on this coming Monday.

Still working on trying to build some following. Published our third video on our YouTube channel featuring me talking about the comic book the origins and future. You can watch it here: Powers Squared Interview Part 3. Would really appreciate your patronage and would welcome feedback either on the channel or here.

Also posted some images on Instagram, which you can also follow if you choose to: Trying to be somewhat active and post every day or so to keep it fresh and interesting.

In other writing, did finish and publish a 2000+ word review of Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets for Trophy Unlocked's Saturday Morning Review. Also this week, we published  Trevor's review of Epic Mickey.

I don't mean for this to turn into selling my brand but that is part of the job of writing. You write hoping someone will read you and the best way to do that is to put yourself out there to be judged. It may not be the noblest of efforts but it is a necessary evil I hate to tell you. I'm not really sure how good I am at it as growth in followers seems slow but you've got to try.

No word again this week from my editor on Familiar Stranger, despite my reaching out to him. Not really concerned since this is sort of typical. He'll get back to me when he's ready not before. Nudging doesn't always mean success I'm afraid.

Hoping this week to finish a review I started of Conflict (1945) for future publication. Also, want to find out when we're being published and what PR effort awaits us. Maybe there will be news from my editor and there will be more rewrites or else I might start a new story. So much potential for the next week.

Sunday, June 3, 2018

A Week in Writing #197

It's been a productive week but without any real breakthrough moments. Most of the time has been spent on various aspects of Powers Squared.

We received eight new pages from our artist for Issue #7 and thumbnails for the last four pages of the issue and the cover. Things seem to be moving forward on those. There were some lighting concerns which she diagramed and which we sent to our colorist.

Most of the writing has been on the last two issues of the story arc we're hopefully starting in July. These issues are called The Imposter and come after two other story arcs, Mathmagical and What's in a Name? which are two and three issue arcs respectively.

Just trying to be prepared. It's sometimes hard to keep everything straight. We're trying to do some planning for the upcoming release of With Great Powers Comes Something, Something, Something... which is supposed to be published later this month. BTW, we released the second of our videos about the creation of the comic book. You could be a real hero and take a look at it, here:

And by hero, I mean you could be the first one on your block or any block, for that matter, to take a look. We have one more of me to go, which will probably be next Friday, if you want to wait and binge watch them all.

I think I finally got my cellphone fixed, so I should be getting back to more Instagram as well. I'm having a bit of an issue though, with multiple versions of those posts showing up on the @MartyandEli twitter feed. Hopefully, I've got the right setting on IFTTT, so that doesn't happen again.

Also, as part of the process, we also wrote a press release. We're supposed to have communications with Comixology this week, perhaps Monday, about what they might have prepped, but I thought we should be ready with our own just in case. You might have watched, as we did, their big announcement about Comixology Originals on Twitch on Friday. Big, I meant Epic.

Didn't write any new reviews this week, though we did watch Valerian on Friday night, so there may be something a-coming about that in the near future. Published Trophy Unlocked's Saturday Morning Review of Sky High. You can be a real hero and read that one as well.

No word, so far, from my editor on Familiar Stranger but I'm not worried, at least not yet. Haven't decided what to work on next, sort of dragging my feet until the writing is done on Powers Squared and there is some time.