Archive for Comics

8.6 Reasons to Buy In the Dark

In the Dark is available for preorder on Amazon, and I’d say an 8.6 out of 10 review is a pretty good reason to make with the clicky, no?

Featuring 368 pages of horror!

Featuring 368 pages of horror!

I was especially pleased to see the reviewer, David Henderson, mention my short story “All Things Through Me”. I felt the art by Mike S Henderson and colors by Jordan Boyd really made me look good, and David agreed:

This is one of the better stories in the collection thanks to the faith the two Mikes have in their story to let it play out how it does and even give it a heartfelt ending.

Score. Thanks for the kind words, David. And thanks once again to our intrepid editor, Rachel Deering, for putting this book together.

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.

In the Dark Now Available for Pre-Order

The In the Dark horror comics anthology will hit shelves on April 23rd, but you can preorder your copy today with Diamond/Previews order code FEB14 0452.

Featuring 368 pages of horror!

Featuring 368 pages of horror!

In the Dark had a successful Kickstarter campaign around Halloween last year and will be published by IDW Publishing. The backers already have their copies reserved, and now preorders are available to the general public. Simply stop by your favorite comic shop within the next couple of weeks, give the guy behind the counter the FEB14 0452 order code, and you’ll get your copy in April.

Don’t know where to find a comic shop? Check out the Comic Shop Locator Service.

Congrats to editor Rachel Deering on getting this monster anthology funded and published. I’m looking forward to reading it myself!

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.

On Comic Scripts

This morning, I posted the following on Twitter:

It prompted a further conversation with a friend about how I handle scripts, so I thought I’d expand on it here.

Let’s get the obvious difference out of the way first: with a script, it’s more about art direction than painting the picture itself. Prose can create atmosphere and mood and paint a picture in a reader’s head, but in most cases, the only people reading a comic script are the artists and editors. (And I will say here, “artist” includes penciler, inker, colorist, and letterer, sometimes even the cover artist and the book designer. Anyone doing anything you actually see in or on the book? Artist.) There’s no need for all that detail, and aside from dialog, there’s a lot less laboring over word choice and sentence structure.

That said, the writer should accept the fact his art direction may be limited. Sure, I can drill down to camera angles and hyper detail, but a good artist can usually do all of that better. This is where the conversation comes in: I explain what’s happening, and he (or she) shows me how to best present it to the reader. If I get to see layouts and thumbnails, great, that’s a conversation. If it’s someone I trust, they may go straight to work, and their response is still via their brush.

It’s also important not to put ridiculous demands on the artist. The comics page is so big, and the artist only has so much room. When he’s done, the letterer has even less room. Cramming a massive crowd scene or a long conversation into panel six just isn’t going to happen.

Understand, too, that comics are single frames of action. When scripting, the writer has to be aware of spatial relationships between characters and/or objects. An artist can draw a character walking and chewing bubblegum at the same time, but he can’t draw the character running across a room to a table and snatching a knife off the table in the same panel. If the artist cheats it with a blur or similar effect, it looks like the character’s running at super speed. If he just draws the guy with the knife on the other side of the room, it looks like the character teleported.

In the end, this changes the language of the script. In prose, one might say, “Jimmy sprinted across the room and snatched the knife of the table.” In comics, I’ll break it into two panels:

  1. Jimmy is running across the room toward the table.
  2. Jimmy has snatched the knife off the table and turned back.

I might get a little flashier to convey feeling or extra detail (is Jimmy scared or angry?), but the idea is these are in present tense. Jimmy is doing this. Jimmy has done that, thus is doing this. If we previously established the knife is on the table, we know what Jimmy is running for, whether or not the artist decides to show us the knife in the running panel. In panel 2, a simple motion line can show the snatching of the knife, or the artist might even break it into an additional panel with Jimmy grabbing the knife and then turning back in a third.

Finally, don’t be a dick. The script is not written in stone, nor so precious that it shouldn’t be deviated from. All I ever ask is my artists not alter my plot or dialog. If he wants to rechoreograph an entire fight scene, cool. Just don’t kill a different character. If a page of conversation is too boring and full of talking heads, and he condenses it into two panels, then I hope he left room for all the dialog that went with it.

That’s my take, anyway. The easiest way to learn this is to collaborate with an artist. They’ll tell you what they need to know, or what does and doesn’t work, because they need the book to look good, too. If the artist ragequits and goes back to work at Home Depot, then you definitely asked for way too much and need to back off.

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.

The In the Dark Kickstarter is Live!

Horror queen Rachel Deering has put together a stellar lineup of creators for the hardcover horror comics anthology In the Dark, which has just gone live on Kickstarter! There are a lot of great rewards, and less than 24 hours in, many of them are going fast.

In the Dark includes my short story “All Things Through Me”, featuring artwork by Mike S Henderson. I previously worked with Mike on “Big Bad Wolves” for Evileye Books, and it was great to partner up with him again. “All Things Through Me” introduces Tristan Yates, a character with a unique way of helping the dead. If you enjoy his story, I intend to do more with him.

A panel from "All Things Through Me". Art by Mike S Henderson.

A panel from “All Things Through Me”. Art by Mike S Henderson.

Other contributors include Brian Keene, Cullen Bunn, Duane Swierczynski, Tom Taylor, F. Paul Wilson, Matthew Dow Smith, Christopher Sebela, Drew Moss, David James Cole, and many more! It’s definitely a packed lineup, and from what I’ve seen so far, everyone is bringing their A-game. I’m thrilled to be a part of it, and I’m looking forward to reading it myself.

In the Dark will be a full-cover, hardcover book and a gorgeous addition to any horror or comics fan’s library. Please support the project!

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.

FCBD: Big Bad Wolves

Big Bad Wolves page 1

“Big Bad Wolves” Page 1. Henderson killed on this.

Not going to make it out to a comic shop for Free Comic Book Day? No problem! Click on over to check out my short comic Big Bad Wolves for free on Indie Pulp.

Featuring artwork by Mike HendersonBig Bad Wolves introduces some of the characters from the first book in the Pack series, Winter Kill. In fact, it sets up the incident that kicks off the opening events of the novel.

If you’d prefer a shorter (and, let’s be honest, cheaper) introduction to The Pack, check out the short story “Bravo Four” for only 99 cents. Set in Vietnam, “Bravo Four” dips a little into the back story of the series, and it includes an extended preview of Winter Kill.

Enjoy!

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.

A Dark and Stormy Night Arrives

A Dark and Stormy Night, the debut anthology from Kaleidoscope Entertainment, launches next weekend at Wizard’s Chicago Comic Con!

A Dark and Stormy Night

Featuring my short story “Pig Money” with art by Jorge Fornés

This will actually be a flipbook, with A Dark and Story Night showcasing crime and thriller stories and then the flip side, Pandemonium, including horror and supernatural tales.

The guys from Kaleidoscope Entertainment will be located at booths 4051 & 4053 for the convention. Stop by and pick up a copy! If I can make it, I’ll be there Saturday and will spend some time at the booth. At the very least, though, I hope you’ll drop by and talk to Greg Kishbaugh and Rafael Nieves, the two main talents behind Kaleidoscope.

Won’t be at Chicago Comic Con? No problem! As soon as the completed book is available, I’ll have links and purchasing information. I’m looking forward to the final product myself!

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.

Coming Soon

You will soon, at last, have some new Oliveri work in your hands.

First up, Evileye Books this weekend released a cover teaser for a new The Pack project, “Bravo Four”:

Bravo Four short story cover

I think you’re gonna dig this one.

I don’t have a firm release date as we’re still wrapping up some of the ancillary materials, but the true content of the piece is done and ready to go. Fans of The Pack will dig this one, and it will also be a good introduction to the series for anyone who hasn’t read Winter Kill (or, for that matter, Call of the Wild). As soon as it’s ready to go, believe me, you’ll hear about it.

Also, my editor had this to say:

https://twitter.com/ommus/status/219267387269201921

“That’s great, Mike, but what about Lie with the Dead?”

I’m glad you asked. Lie with the Dead is on track, despite delays. I’m wrapping the current round of revisions as I type this update, and then it will go back to my editor to kick around for the final draft. I apologize for the delay on this, but I still believe in this series and hope to keep it going for a long time.

In comics, I’m told this will be available in August:

Pig Money

Art by Jorge Fornes

When Greg Kishbaugh at Kaleidoscope Entertainment asked me to send in a short comic script, I was happy to oblige. The result is “Pig Money”, an 8-page crime piece which will appear in the debut of the A Dark and Stormy Night quarterly anthology. I’ve worked with Greg a bit through Evileye Books, and his biz partner Rafael Nieves has a long history with comics. Both are sharp guys, and I’m looking forward to seeing what else they’ve got up their sleeves.

I will, of course, supply purchase information when it becomes available.

Finally, I’ve been told The Burning Maiden will drop on Kindle in the middle of this month!

The Burning Maiden

Complete with a new cover illustration by Daniele Serra

Folks have been waiting for this one a while now. It’s had its challenges on the back end, but I believe you will find it well worth the wait. I’m very excited to be a part of the lineup Evileye has put together for this one.

Unfortunately I have no further updates on some of the other projects I’d expected to appear by now. Publishers have gone incommunicado, things have been canceled, or there have just been general delays while editors and publishers assemble the books. There are at least three more anthologies I was hoping to have in your hands by now.

More news soon.

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.

Flicks I’d Like to See Made

The Kickstarter campaign for The Search for Count Dante failed, but I would still love to see this flick get made. The subject, John Keehan (aka Count Dante), was part of the crazy period of the martial arts world of the ’60s and ’70s, and he would have made a great comic book or pulp novel character.

I’ve also just learned there’s a Count Dante app on iTunes. 99c to help support the flick? I’m in. I was hoping it would include the actual Black Dragon Fighting Society book Count Dante peddled through comic books, but instead it has information about Count Dante, the film, and a few other bonuses like a jujitsu for women film from ’40s.

Meanwhile, the sample footage for the proposed The Goon flick is making the rounds again.

I don’t care who you are, the trailer sells itself. If goddamn Battleship can get green lit, how can The Goon not get just a portion of its budget?

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.

Pulse Check

Yes, I’m alive.

It’s been a long week, followed by a long weekend of travel.

This happened:

Cerveza Rita!

BRILLIANT!

I enjoyed it with Cullen Bunn, who deserved to celebrate because this happened:

The Sixth Gun vol 3

You must buy it.

My copy arrived from Amazon today. I may crack it open tonight.

The Cerveza Rita/Corona Rita followed a night of Irish Car Bombs. A night in which I intended to be a good boy, but B had a bad day and a birthday and there was much commiseration and celebration (and he got his ass handed to him by a waitress).

Like I said, long weekend.

Also, I saw these:

Brand new classics.

Homina homina homina

Brand spankin’ new with the 103 engine. I kept hoping the owners would come out while we were waiting, see if I couldn’t try one for fit, or at least hear them fire them up. Lenore’s a good bike, but her engine doesn’t hold a candle to the 103 and she isn’t made for long hauls.

My son kept eyeballing that Ninja in the right of the fame. We explained to him the error of his ways. “But Dad, it’s called a Ninja!” Some kids have to learn the hard way. We can only hope he’ll figure it out when he sees the insurance quotes.

We have three weeks of school left, so things will quiet down soon. Then I can get back to some real business around here. Photo Friday pics were taken, some writing got done, but for now I figured I’d best close out April with something on the page.

More later.

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.

Welcome, Broken Frontiersmen

Many thanks to the crew at Broken Frontier for spreading the word about my free comic, “Big Bad Wolves”, hosted by Indie Pulp and illustrated by Mike S Henderson. For those of you just visiting me for the first time after reading Broken Frontier or visiting Indie Pulp, I’d like to take a moment to introduce the series behind the comic.

“Big Bad Wolves” is a prequel of sorts to Winter Kill, the first prose novel in the The Pack series published by Evileye Books, and it explains an event at the beginning of the novel.

Long-time Broken Frontier readers may recall when they first covered a comics miniseries called Werewolves: Call of the Wild published by Moonstone Books some years back. The Pack and Winter Kill are the follow-up series to those comics, and they feature the same characters. In fact, the second prose novel, Lie with the Dead (due next year), will tie back to events in that miniseries as well as Winter Kill.

Dubbed werewolf noir, The Pack features a strong crime/thriller element as well as traditional horror. Fans have reacted very favorably to the series, and I’m happy to say werewolf fans have been eating it up as well. There is another short comic in the can and more comics work planned, but the backbone of the series will be the prose books.

Stay tuned for more news on the third book in the near future. Thanks for reading “Big Bad Wolves”, and I hope you dug it.

If you’d like to check out Winter Kill, here are a few quick links:

Amazon Kindle
Amazon Trade Paperback
Barnes & Noble Nook
Barnes & Noble Trade Paperback
Apple iBooks

Winter Kill is also in the Barnes & Noble retail system and available for special order at any of their stores. If you order your copy through an independent bookstore, please contact me and let me know which one; I would love to thank them for supporting my book!

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.

Free Comic: Big Bad Wolves

Just in time for Halloween, Evileye Books is offering up my 12-page comic “Big Bad Wolves” via Indie Pulp.

Big Bad Wolves page 1

"Big Bad Wolves" Page 1. Henderson's art rocks!

Illustrated by Mike S Henderson, this short story explains the back story of an event in Winter Kill. Fans of the book will dig it.

If you don’t have Winter Kill but you enjoy this piece, then jump in while the series is just taking off! Book 2, Lie with the Dead, is coming soon!

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.

The Mailman’s Been Good to Me

Check this out, hot off the Lulu presses:

Needle Mag, hot off the presses

Needle Magazine, Fall 2011

The latest issue of Needle Magazine, including “With This Bullet” by yours truly and some kick-ass crime fiction from guys like Ray Banks. I look forward to digging in.

A day later, an Amazon order arrived:

Today's mail haul

Sweets and Blue Estate

I’ve been wanting to read Sweets and Blue Estate for some time now. I can use some good criminal inspiration, and lately I just haven’t been reading enough (in comics or prose). I finally caved and ordered, and I plan to read them both shortly.

It’s important to keep reading if one is going to keep writing. For me, it’s not just about studying the craft, it’s about staying in the creative mindset and drawing inspiration. It’s about being challenged by other creators and raising the bar myself.

I had a good day of writing Monday. I need to stay supercharged. This is my fuel.

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.