Portsmouth Comic Con

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We’ll be appearing at Portsmouth Comic Con this weekend (4th-5th May), taking part in a live panel discussion on entitled ‘Writing America’, in which we’ll talk about how we’ve been inspired by moments from history and our process of turning elements of classic Americana into comic book narratives with a twist.

The panel takes place on Sunday, 1pm, panel room 3.

https://portsmouthcomiccon.com/matt-fitch-chris-baker/

https://portsmouthcomiccon.com/panels-2019/

Dan Slott on Apollo

We’re very pleased to say that one of our favourite comic book writers, Mr Dan Slott, has read Apollo and given us this fine endorsement…

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The Our Land process

We’re almost at the midpoint of issue #1 so we thought you might like a little peek behind the scenes to see how we put a webcomic page together…

We start, of course, with a script. All four issues of Our Land are already written and sitting safely on our google drive, but we like to revisit each page before Joe starts to draw. Here’s what Page 8 looked like when we were done writing it:

OUR LAND 8AOUR LAND 8B

This page is all about the relationship between Kasa and Sheriff Kirkwood. He fought in the war with her Dad, and has become somewhat of a Father figure to her following his death. It’s quite a ‘talky’ page, but contains lots of important exposition and character development, so it’s over to Joe to figure out how to bring it to life.

First, he does some roughs (including lettering) which we feed back on and sometimes make small dialogue tweaks based on how things are flowing:

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Once we’re all happy with how the page is working, Joe moves on to inks:

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And finally, colour. Joe does all his colouring himself, which makes releasing a new page twice a week all the more difficult. Luckily, we have a great flatter, Rob Cloma, who helps speed up the process.

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As if that wasn’t enough, Joe had an extra task for page 8… designing the Dunn’s Donuts logo. It’s a small background detail, but we wanted to show just how difficult life is for Kasa when even the donuts are racist!

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We spent a lot of time debating what the Dunn’s logo looked like and how far we should take it… after researching 1940s logos and mascots we landed on this ‘cute’ but offensive image of a cheeky Native American stereotype holding a donut tomahawk.

Welcome to Our Land

Today we’re excited to announce the launch of our new webcomic, OUR LAND.

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Illustrated, coloured and lettered by the maestro J Francis Totti, Our Land tells the story of Kasa and Dena, native American siblings living in the shadow of white society in 1940s New Mexico. But when a close encounter with a crashed alien craft grants Dena strange and dangerous powers, the status quo takes an unexpected turn. A high concept ‘what-if’ that blends sci-fi, action and vintage Americana to tell a story about family, racial tension and what it means to be human.

This is our first foray into the world of webcomics and we can’t wait to get stuck in. Working in partnership with our friends at Dead Canary Comics, plan is to drop a new page every Wednesday and Thursday.

Read Our Land HERE.

Trevor Beattie on Apollo

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Trevor Beattie is an ad man, filmmaker, and producer of the Bafta award-winning movie Moon, directed by Duncan Jones . He is also devising the marketing campaign for Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic Space Tourism Programme. Here’s his thoughts on Apollo:

“As a child of Apollo, I grew up bedazzled by Buzz and Neil. This really was a cartoon adventure, of epic proportions. Happening in my living room. And my imagination. How apt then that those superhuman escapades should now be represented and captured so lovingly as a Comic Book. This book is a thing of beauty. It takes me back, yet projects me forward. The spirit of endeavour depicted here is the very reason I now possess a ticket to fly to Space with Virgin Galactic. Space is the ultimate comic adventure. It started with Apollo 11, and it’s never left me.”

TREVOR BEATTIE, FILM MAKER, AD MAN AND VIRGIN GALACTIC FUTURE ASTRONAUT.

Comic News Insider Interview

Back in September, we attended Thought Bubble and took part in a panel discussion with Apollo artist, Mike Collins and Comic News Insider host, Jimmy Aquino. Listen to the whole damn thing HERE (not to be missed if you want to hear Chris’s David Lynch in space impression).

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A Tribute to Stan Lee

This week, we were asked to write a tribute to Stan Lee for creative website Little Black Book. You can read our contribution as well as those of a number of other creative industry folk on this link, but if clicking’s not your thing we’ve helpfully cut and pasted our tribute below. RIP Stan.

It’s very hard to talk about working in comics without mentioning Stan ‘the Man’ Lee. In a sense, Stan was the pusher of a gateway drug that leads to harder stuff. Ask around and everyone has that story, the one where they picked up their first comic, maybe on some holiday in an airport or in a grimy newsagents that had this imported American stuff.

Our generation wasn’t as fortunate as today’s (they said sounding old) – comics were on the periphery of culture – but there were still a few recognisable titles we all gravitated to. Spider-Man was one of Stan Lee’s greatest achievements. He wrote a relatable outsider kid that suddenly gains incredible power, more importantly, he struggles with that and it’s compelling even to readers today.

Stan the Man implanted important messages into fantastic settings and it changed comic books. As writers we too try and enhance the human aspects of fantastic tales. It’s as important to us as it was to Stan. It’s very hard to even think that he is gone, but there is so much of him out there in the DNA of our culture. The power of comics is Magick. EXCELSIOR!

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Apollo goes international

We’ve had a lot of requests from overseas readers asking how they can get hold of Apollo, and we’re now very happy to be able to give details of all the foreign editions that are going to be available very soon!

So far, we’ve secured overseas publishing details in the following territories:

USA

Published by Abrams Books

Out now

FRANCE

Published by Editions Dunod

Out Now

GERMANY

Published by Knesebeck Verlag

Due for release early 2019

SPAIN

Published by Norma Editorial

Due for release June 2019

CHINA

Published by Post Wave

Due for release early 2019

Thought Bubble 2018… in pictures.

It’s the Monday after Thought Bubble. We’re tired, groggy, and still nursing a three-days-of-drinking hangover, but we’re also feeling energised and happy. Old friends were seen, new friends were made, and good times were had. Here’s our photographic highlights of an amazing rock n roll weekend of comics and good times in Leeds…

IMG_7022.jpegFirst beer of the weekend with John Harris Dunning bringing the class.

IMG_7092.jpegSigning at the SelfMadeHero table.

WhatsApp Image 2018-09-24 at 12.16.50 (1).jpeg They have a Hulk, we have a J Francis Totti.

IMG_7040.JPG The first hangover. Coffee required.

IMG_7090.jpeg SelfMadeHero crew.

WhatsApp Image 2018-09-24 at 12.16.52.jpeg Taking a break from beer.

IMG_7050.jpeg Mike Collins drinking Mike Collins.

WhatsApp Image 2018-09-24 at 12.16.51.jpegBeer launch and book signing at OK Comics.

WhatsApp Image 2018-09-24 at 12.16.50.jpegThings are starting to get blurry now…

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Krent Able, JAKe Detonator and Carolyn Craggs bringing some style and glamour to the Chris Baker party.

WhatsApp Image 2018-09-24 at 12.16.48.jpeg Photo-boothing with Laura Bailey and Mr Dunning.

IMG_7072.jpeg The results.

WhatsApp Image 2018-09-23 at 20.34.18.jpegWho would have thought so much fun could be had in the food court of a shopping mall.

IMG_7074.jpeg Only Laura Bailey has what it takes to pin The Totti.

7d3c9e89-4d7b-447a-89b3-6b6080010fa5.jpgThe morning after. Sunglasses and Advil.

IMG_7076.jpegNow we have to pull ourselves together to do a panel discussion with Jimmy Aquino…

WhatsApp Image 2018-09-23 at 20.34.17.jpeg Ok, let’s do this.

IMG_7078.jpeg Mission accomplished. Time for a post-panel selfie.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, was our Thought Bubble. Without a doubt our favourite con experience yet. So until next time, we’ll leave you with this…

John Dunning proving that he is, in fact, a basic bitch just like the rest of us by consuming a KFC. Classy my ass.

DnyY5KJXkAElYZU.jpg No champagne, John?

 

Apollo @ Thought Bubble

Here’s everything you need to know about our panel at Thought Bubble in a few weeks. We’ll be joined by Mike Collins and will be taking all about our creative process. The discussion will also be recorded for the Comic News Insider podcast. Exciting stuff.

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Fitch & Baker Vs New York Comic Con

Hey gang, we’ve been busy boys working away in our respective caves these last few weeks but we can now announce a few things… the first is our exciting news about New York Comic Con!

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We shall be on a panel talking about non-fiction comics with some other fantastic creators including Peter Tomasi (The Bridge), Nathan Hale (Lafayette!) Ted Fox and James Otis Smith (Showtime at the Apollo) and Mikaël (Giant).

The panel takes place on Saturday 6th October at 2:30pm in Location 1C03. More details to follow as and when we have them!

We will also have a few signing slots at the Abrams & Chronicle booth so if you’re at the con, please come say hi!

THE ART OF APOLLO AND TUMULT PLUS LIVE Q&A

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From August 15-30th, The Orbital Comics Gallery will be hosting an exclusive exhibition of artwork by Mike Collins for Apollo, and by Michael Kennedy for Tumult.

The creative teams behind both books will also be in store on Thursday August 16th from 7:30pm for a Q&A, discussing how graphic novels are created from beginning-to-end. We’ll be joined by SelfMadeHero’s sales and marketing director Sam Humphrey, who’ll also be sharing rare and valuable insight from a publisher’s perspective.

If you’ve ever wanted to learn about the craft of storytelling, the art of collaboration, and pitching your idea to a publisher, this FREE event is for you!