Sequential Underground #85 – Go F*ck Yourself

The final podcast by indie comics creators for indie comics creators!

Sequential Underground
Listen to Sequential Underground #84 right now:

Hosts:
Shawn Atkins and Nick Marino

Show Notes:

It’s the last episode of Sequential Underground from the AudioShocker! We kick things off with some regional Culinary Underground conversation, discussing the food on S Craig St in Pittsburgh, PA (where Shawn just started a new job).

Nick is pitching “The Graphic Novel Formerly Known As The Bible 2” to publishers and we recount some of our failed pitches from the past. Among those is Shawn and Nick’s failed animation pitch for Li’l Bastards, which was rejected by Frederator Studios for being too much too soon after the Sandy Hook shootings.

Shawn also shares the finished version of his Gello Apocalypse / Star Wars mashup! Last week, he posted the inks for this piece on the Gello blog.

Speaking of last week, HaterMania body slammed the internet with its muscly goodness! Shawn and Nick recount the long and winding journey of their Super Haters collaboration, discussing the prolonged creation process from start to finish.

So what’s next for Sequential Underground? We dunno! Shawn might continue it on another website or this episode might be THE END. Either way, you can always access all of our past episodes on the Sequential Underground archives page.

Confused about why Sequential Underground is wrapping up? Check out this podcast from last week and then come back to AudioShocker.com this Wednesday, February 26th for a special announcement about the future of our podcasts!

Sequential Underground #84 – Am I An Artist?

The podcast by indie comics creators for indie comics creators!

Sequential Underground
Listen to Sequential Underground #84 right now:

Hosts:
Shawn Atkins and Nick Marino

Guest:
Devon Purkiss

Show Notes:

Devon, creator of The Cowboy and the Goliath, inspired this episode’s topic with his recent deviantART journal where he asked: Am I an artist or do I just ‘like’ art?

Shawn and Nick help Devon explore his existential question, pondering the implications of influences, artistic movements, work habits, and the process of transitioning from a comics fan to a comics creator.

Also, don’t miss Shawn and Nick’s new collaboration (a six-page Super Haters story) starting next Monday, Feb 17! It’s called HaterMania. Here’s a trailer for it.

Sequential Underground #83 – Comedy vs. Tragedy

The podcast by indie comics creators for indie comics creators!

Sequential Underground
Listen to Sequential Underground #83 right now:

Hosts:
Shawn Atkins and Nick Marino

Guest:
Brian John Mitchell

Show Notes:
Brian asks: “What comes easier to you… writing comedy or writing tragedy?”

Shawn finds writing comedy much easier. He can improvise the jokes in his comics while he’s drawing the story, but he needs to plan his drama out ahead of time.

Nick is also drawn to comedy. He has to make conscious decisions to include serious moments in his stories whereas writing comedy just flows naturally.

But Brian defaults to tragedy instead of comedy. For him, writing a serious script takes only a fraction of the time that it takes to write a funny one.

So… what about you?

Sequential Underground #82 – Establishing a New Collaboration

The podcast by indie comics creators for indie comics creators!

Sequential Underground
Listen to Sequential Underground #82 right now:

Hosts:
Shawn Atkins and Nick Marino

Show Notes:
We start off the episode with some Culinary Underground conversation, including fantastic sandwich recipes and preparation suggestions by Rare Earth Comics, Angela Capel, and Bernie Crowsheet.

Then we bring on the main course: a conversation about establishing a new comics collaboration. Shawn recently wrapped work on a new Thundergirl story featuring a collaboration with Harold Cupec. He enjoyed the experience and now he’s hungry for more artistic collaborators. But he’s almost always drawn his own stories, so it’s a challenge for him to find other artists who’d like to tell stories with him.

Nick and Shawn talk about how they met and began collaborating on Time Log, which resulted in a great experience and fantastic friendship. That sends Nick on a rant about why new comics writers should focus on making artistic friends and drawing their own comics before trying to find unpaid collaborators to draw their stories.

And after the end theme, we switch back to Culinary Underground and give the 2013 YOU DON’T SUCK Award for Best Condiment to Some Dude’s Fry Sauce.

Next Episode:
Brian John Mitchell joins us to answer the question: “What comes easier… writing drama or writing comedy?”

Sequential Underground #81 – Taking Part

The podcast by indie comics creators for indie comics creators!

Sequential Underground
Listen to Sequential Underground #81 right now:

Hosts:
Shawn Atkins and Nick Marino

Related Posts:
Kickstarter campaigns for the Love & Monsters Anthology, Memory Anthology, and Artist Button & Magnet Sets.

Show Notes:

With Kickstarter now an accepted part of promoting and publishing indie comics, it’s become common for cartoonists to take part in communal crowdfunding campaigns for anthologies and other group projects.

On this podcast, we discuss our experiences as participants in group campaigns that were run by someone else. We also have a call-in from a manager of community Kickstarter campaigns, Brian John Mitchell. He’s a cartoonist and self-publisher who’s run multiple campaigns featuring the work of many different artists.

Along with detailing our personal experiences, we also share our tips for navigating the ups and downs of crowdfunding for a group project, including our opinions on promotion and social media outreach.

Sequential Underground #80 – Stripped Down

The podcast by indie comics creators for indie comics creators!

Sequential Underground
Listen to Sequential Underground #80 right now:

Hosts:
Shawn Atkins and Nick Marino

Show Notes:
Shawn assisted cartoonist Rick Stromoski, creator of Soup to Nutz, at the Steel City Con and that got him thinking about comic strips. See, Shawn’s comics foundation is in creating comic books. Here’s some of his early Gello Apocalypse work:

But Nick’s foundation is in comic strips. Most of his early comics were three, four, or six panel gags. Here’s one of the comic strips he did for his college newspaper:

In this episode, we share our experiences with comic strips. We discuss the differences in writing, drawing, pacing, and distributing comic strips vs. comic books (or whatever you wanna call comics made up of pages!).

Shawn and Nick have even collaborated on comics strips in the past. Shawn wrote and Nick arted a seven-part series of Super Haters comic strips in 2011:

We’d love to hear your experiences creating comic strips, so make sure to comment with your thoughts on the comic strip creation process and we’ll read your comments on the next episode.

And finally, after the end theme… more Culinary Underground!

And…
At the time of this recording, the Love & Monsters Kickstarter campaign (featuring comics by Shawn and music by Nick) hadn’t been funded. But in the past 24 hours, thanks to the generosity and support of our listeners and friends, the project has reach it’s funding goal. THANKS!

Sequential Underground #79 – Swiping

The podcast by indie comics creators for indie comics creators!

Sequential Underground
Listen to Sequential Underground #79 right now:

Hosts:
Shawn Atkins and Nick Marino

Show Notes:
Our topic for this episode comes from a listener named Tomo, who’s asked us to discuss swiping in comics.

Tomo made a wild web chart to convey his sprawling thoughts about swiping.

Tomo’s definition of swiping is pretty broad, going so far as to include retold stories like Romeo and Juliet. So we begin our discussion by trying to nail down our personal definitions of swiping.

What’s the difference between plagiarism, swiping, imitation, homage, and parody? Are there clear distinctions between these concepts or are they basically the same thing?

And how does swiping work itself into the pages of indie cartoonists vs. mainstream comic book artists?

Ninja Turtles vs. Black Belt Hamsters: is this swiping, homage, or parody?

After the end theme, we turn into Culinary Underground and share some more sandwich recipes.

Sponsor:
This podcast is brought to you by Kitty & Batz: Hypnotic Homicide.

Artists Kristi “Batz” Zerga and Dianna “Kitty” Spain are collecting the first three crazy issues of their Kitty & Batz comic book series into one twisted, brightly colored graphic novel called Hypnotic Homicide. It’s currently on Kickstarter and they’e got some amazing rewards including t-shirts, prints, posters, variant covers by legendary artists, and more. Check it out!

Sequential Underground #78 – Motivations

The podcast by indie comics creators for indie comics creators!

Sequential Underground
Listen to Sequential Underground #78 right now:

Hosts:
Shawn Atkins and Nick Marino

Related Posts:
“ALIEN #1: Mayday” by Huslik and Love & Monsters on Kickstarter

Show Notes:
We kick off the episode with some listener feedback from Huslik. After listening to Sequential Underground he decided to research zine shows in Germany, which led him to last month’s Zinefest Berlin 2013! Huslik shares a short report about his awesome Zinefest experience.

Then we talk about Love & Monsters, a comics and music anthology including work by Shawn and Nick (under his musical pseudonym, Nik Furious). It’s a visual and sonic collaboration featuring crazy creature romance. The project needs your support so please check out our Kickstarter page and become a backer!

After that, we dive into this episode’s topic which comes from Huslik. He asks: What are your motivations to write and draw, and how important do your characters become in the process?

Shawn talks about how he loves his characters but really enjoys torturing them too, as seen in this scene starring Kat from Gello Apocalypse

Nick reflects on his recently-completed script for [working title “The Bible 2”] and how he loved torturing the story’s characters but doesn’t necessarily find that he loves them. We also dig deep and explore our motivations to make comics and tell stories rather than creating art in different mediums.

Also:
We wanna know why YOU create comics — tell us your motivations in the comments or in an email. Plus, we share more sandwich recipes!

Sequential Underground #77

The podcast by indie comics creators for indie comics creators!

Sequential Underground
Listen to Sequential Underground #77 right now:

Matthew Burke/Terry and Chris Ness of Sloth Dojo join Shawn Atkins and Nick Marino to talk about their Kickstarter-y revival of Biker Mice From Mars.

Biker Mice From Mars was an early 90s animated series than rode the Ninja Turtles wave of popularity. These rookie indie comics creators have procured the blessing (and a license of sorts) from Rick Ungar, the creator of the property.

BUT THESE AIN’T YOUR DADDY’S BIKER MICE FROM MARS! (Though chances are your dad’s never even heard of the Biker Mice From Mars…)

Opting to leave their mark on this nostalgic licensed property instead of their own original characters, Matthew and Chris bring a lot of passion to this comic book about giant mutant cyborg alien mice with big guns.

Chris and Matthew regal us with stories of Rick Ungar’s luxurious yacht, their previous foray into self-publishing (a secret anti-hero story!), and their extreme love of extraterrestrial rodents.

SPECIAL OFFER! If you back the Biker Mice From Mars campaign after you hear this episode, let Matt and Chris know that Sequential Underground sent ya! Chris will include three exclusive trading cards with any pledges of $5 or more.

After the end theme, we each share a personal sandwich recipe to help you get your chomp on for a belated National Sandwich Day celebration.

Sequential Underground #76

The podcast by indie comics creators for indie comics creators!

Sequential Underground
Listen to Sequential Underground #76 right now:

Shawn Atkins and Nick Marino share their experiences creating titles and logos for their webcomics and self-published comic books.

Before we dive into things, Nick talks about some recent emails he received promoting comics Kickstarter campaigns. He shares honest opinions about Avalon’s Destruction: Prologue, Sons of Fate (Origins), and an upcoming project by Red Rage Comics. Plus, Shawn and Nick tease their own upcoming Kickstarter campaign!


Then it’s time for titles and logos talk! We cover Shawn’s Gello Apocalypse, Thundergirl, and Explorers of the Unknown (plus the new EotU design).

And Nick talks about the development of titles and logos for Time Log, Super Haters, Zombie Palin, and Stick Cats.


We also share our own personal tips for creating an original title and an attractive logo that you can use over and over again.

Sequential Underground #75

The podcast by indie comics creators for indie comics creators!

Sequential Underground
Listen to Sequential Underground #75 right now:

Nick Marino and Shawn Atkins share their thoughts about the most overlooked aspect of comics creation: lettering.

Nick Marino’s awkward lettering from Zombie Palin (2008) vs. his more refined lettering from Super Haters (2013, art by Brandon Williams)

Both Shawn and Nick agree that it’s fine to break the rules of lettering if it looks good and reads clearly. But it still helps to understand the rules before you break them! Check out some of these awesome comics lettering resources:

Shawn Atkins uses hand-drawn word balloons with both digital and hand-lettering for this Cathy parody sequence in Gello Apocalypse (2012)

We discuss Shawn’s experimental blend of lettering techniques in Phoenix 9. Plus, shoutouts to Ed Piskor for meticulously lettering his pages by hand and Ross Campbell for blending digital techniques with hand-drawn personality.

ALSO. . .
Make sure to visit our friends from the Comic Book Pitt podcast at Booth AA6 in Artist Alley at NYCC this weekend!

And check out Nick’s “The Top 9 Things I Wish Somebody Told Me Before I Exhibited At New York Comic Con” if you’ll be exhibiting at NYCC for the first time.

Sequential Underground #74

The podcast by indie comics creators for indie comics creators!

Sequential Underground
Listen to Sequential Underground #74 right now:

Shawn Atkins, Jared Catherine, and Cynthia Lee share about their experiences at two different indie comics festivals that went down this month.

Shawn tries to cram his comics into a wee 1/6 of the table at SPX.

The three amigos split a half-table at the 2013 Small Press Expo in Bethesda, Maryland. They had a wonderful time meeting new cartoonists, interacting with attendees, and heckling people who walked past their table.

Shawn and Jared also teamed up for the 2013 Pittsburgh Zine Fair. It had a distinctly different vibe from SPX but it was just as rewarding as they peddled their comics and interacted with cartoonists (and zinesters!) in their local community.

Shawn publicly tortures his reluctant intern Bruce at the PGH Zine Fair.

For more about these two indie comic conventions, check out last year’s Sequential Underground #50 where we pitted SPX vs. the PGH Zine Fair in a battle for 2012 indie con supremacy!

Sequential Underground #73

The podcast by indie comics creators for indie comics creators!

Sequential Underground
Listen to Sequential Underground #73 right now:

The winner of last episode‘s Cartoon College DVD giveaway is Brandon Williams, who KO’d the competition with his CCS thesis idea for Dragon Fist, a manga tale full of passion and punching. Thx to everyone who entered the contest!

Our topic for this episode is creating collected editions of your webcomics or self-published single issues. Shawn Atkins and Nick Marino chat about the books they’re currently compiling and the difficulties that come with collecting widespread work into a book-length volume.

This is Shawn’s cover for the upcoming Gello Apocalypse v1 collection, which will be available for purchase at SPX in September!

Shawn just sent the first collected edition of Gello Apocalypse off to the printer. The book is a culmination of years of hard work, not to mention two years alone spent crafting the collection itself.

Here’s a sneak peek at a reformatted and remastered page from the Time Log collection, which Nick will finish during the AudioShocker hiatus.

Nick’s been slowly toiling away on a collected edition of Time Log since the end of 2011. To compile it, he has to chop up and color part of the story that was originally published as a black and white comic book. Why? Because the rest of the tale was released as a widescreen webcomic in color.

The guys both agree that it’s a pain in the ass creating collected editions, but the final product is worth it.

Sequential Underground #72

The podcast by indie comics creators for indie comics creators!

Sequential Underground
Listen to Sequential Underground #72 right now:

First up we announce the winners of our Sabertooth Swordsman giveaway from last episode!!! JoBeth Butcher takes home the 2nd Place prize for her crazy villain names, and Ryan King snags 1st Place for his insanely creative alliteration.

On this episode, Ross Campbell joins Shawn Atkins and Nick Marino to review Cartoon College, a recently released documentary film that follows the lives of students at The Center for Cartoon Studies.

Annndddddd… WE’VE GOT ANOTHER SWEET GIVEAWAY!!!

One lucky listener will win a DVD screener of Cartoon College and an 11×17 movie poster! To enter, hit up the comments on the AudioShocker and tell us the title of the crazy senior thesis comic book you would create if you were a student The Center for Cartoon Studies. Entry deadline is Thursday, August 8th.

We discuss the movie’s narrative, a winding path which takes us down the hard road of cartoonists studying in White River Junction, Vermont. The film chronicles the ups and downs of the self-publishing process for these comics creators.

This documentary gives us a glimpse inside of the CCS classrooms and studios while detailing the process behind the creation of minicomics and graphic novels.

Sequential Underground #71

The podcast by indie comics creators for indie comics creators!

Sequential Underground
Listen to Sequential Underground #71 right now:

Nick Marino talks to Aaron Conley (artist), Damon Gentry (writer), and Brendan Wright (editor) about Sabertooth Swordsman. It’s a new genre-defying story published by Dark Horse Comics, currently serialized as six $0.99 digital comics that will become a hardcover graphic novel this November.

AND WE’VE GOT AN AWESOME COMICS GIVEAWAY!!!

In honor of the story’s antagonist, the Mastodon Mathematician, we want to hear your best alliterative villain name. Leave it in a comment on the AudioShocker by July 25th. The runner-up will get all six digital issues of Sabertooth Swordsman. The grand prize winner will get all six issues PLUS an awesome sketch by Aaron Conley!

But enough about giveaways! From pitching to printing, we discuss each and every step of the Sabertooth Swordsman production process on this profound podcast. (See, that’s the magic of alliteration right there.)

We take a bite out of some big issues, from the story’s use of female characters to tale’s cultural background to Aaron’s visual influences to Damon’s bright and punchy dialogue. Also, keep an eye out for September’s Dark Horse Presents #28, featuring a lush Sabertooth Swordsman short story in full color!