The Story of Comix Book

comix-front-magYou may or may not know that COMIX started because I had a vision of creating my own comic book. The irony is that COMIX actually made that dream come true. My distributor Kino Lorber and I wanted to make the COMIX 2-DVD set even more special, especially for comic book fans. I remember the if-you-build-it-they-will-come moment I had. It was like a thunderbolt moment really. “Make a comic book,” my inner voice said.

Unfortunately, reality hit. Kino Lorber said that I had only two weeks to create it from scratch and I didn’t even have a concept yet. Anyone who has ever made a comic book knows that to flesh out the story, do story boards, have an artist draw the vision, write the dialogue, ink, color and create the cover in two weeks is practically impossible. So, of course I said, “Why not?”

Enter two great human beings, my friends Julian Aquino and Paul Limgenco, the amazing and experienced artist who also created the movie poster.

The poster centered around a little boy named Jack who appears in the film, so it made perfect sense that he was also the inspiration for the comic book. The storyline is a young boy’s discovery of comic books and his adventures that come to life with every turn of a page.

 

Julian and I are kindred spirits. We talked comics all the time. When I told him that there was only two weeks to complete the book, he looked at me like I was crazy, and then said, “I’m in!” So we went to work creating the details, including a rough draft with sketches of each panel and the pacing for each page. Even though we had little time, the story just came out so naturally. We worked day and night to get it to Paul so he could start working on penciling the real drawings. Paul worked into the late hours making sketches and sending them to us to approve. We had many Skype calls discussing everything from facial expressions, coloring, shading, body movements, even the way a chair looked, just to get it right. It was an exhausting race but, the truth is, we enjoyed every minute of it.

With a few hours to spare, we made the deadline. Paul and Julian really stepped up their game and came through BIG time! I am so proud of our COMIX comic book. Hope you enjoy it and that it taps into the child inside you and that wonderful feeling of discovery.

COMING SOON…COMIX THE TWO-DISC DVD!

Can we get a drum roll, please? COMIX the two-disc DVD is coming on July 19!

We wanted the DVD to be really special for the fans, so we included a BONUS disc that includes extended scenes, out-takes, and complete hour-long interviews with Stan Lee and Frank Miller. Yep, that’s FOUR hours of Bonus material exclusively available only in this two-disc set, including the entire Stan Lee, and Frank Miller interviews as well as bonus features that did not make the final film. Also included is a 8-page mini comic book I co-created with Paul Limgenco and Jullian Aquino. As I am writing this, I am having an out-of-body experience. I first started this project wanting to create a comic book and BAM, there it is! Stay tuned to find out where you can get your own copy.
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FEELING SO THANKFUL

It has been a while since my last post and things have been heating up! As you can see from my last post, COMIX: Beyond the Comic Book Pages was released on demand in February and very soon, the two-disc DVD will be released.

Last year, I signed a distribution deal with Gravitas Ventures, the distribution arm that is coordinating domestic and international distribution for the film. After all the time and effort to making COMIX, It was so important for me to work with a distribution company that could see the vision and direction for this film and all the possibilities. Gravitas is a perfecy fit. Because of their efforts, COMIX is now available nationwide and internationally, on cable providers like Time Warner, Dish, and Comcast, and on iTunes USA | iTunes Canada | Vudu | Google Play | YouTube | Amazon Video | Microsoft | PlayStation Network.

Along the way, we have been getting some positive press, like AXS Examiner, The Geek Speak Show, and First Comics News.

I always envisioned COMIX on the BIG screen, in theaters, and transforming these screenings into events where the movie could be shown along with contests, giveaways, and special guests. After months of trying to organize my own screenings, getting theater rental rates in various towns, and trying to promote all out of my own pocket, I discovered Tugg. Tugg is a web-based platform that brings COMIX to just about any town in the nation. It is a great platform for this film because anyone from fans to organizations can become hosts and have their own screening, in their own towns, where the host picks a theater, date, and time, and once approved, can begin to reserve tickets. Check out https://www.tugg.com/titles/comix.
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We have the honor to partner with comic book organizations like Cartoon Art Museum and comic book stores like Heroes and Fantasies in San Antonio and Sci Fi Center in Vegas, as well as Orlando, Muncie, and more. My big thanks to Adam Conley at Heroes and Fantasies and William Powell at The Sci Fi Center Vegas for hosting some terrific screenings. We also had a very cool screening hosted by Aw Yeah Comics in Muncie where the super awesome Mark Waid did a Q&A afterward the screening of the film. We are also working on screenings at some upcoming conventions like Wizard World and Big Apple Con.

It was always my goal to make a movie that inspires and brings out the best qualities in all of us. I hope that we’ve done just that. The journey I took making this film taught me so much, from the filmmaking process to collaboration. The biggest lesson is to never give up, and that by believing in yourself, you can accomplish anything. I am so thankful for all these amazing opportunities that have happened, that are happening now, and for those to come.

COMIX GETS Comikaze’d!

COMIX had an exclusive screening at Stan Lee’s Comikaze Expo in Los Angeles on October 30th. It was so honored when CEO Keith Tralins asked for COMIX to be part of the show line-up. Comikaze is an awesome event spanning over 3 days and screening the film was my way of saying thanks to Stan Lee for being a part of this film. With so many names in the comic book industry there and thousands of fans dressed in costume, it was the biggest Halloween party ever! It was so exciting to see people enjoy the movie.

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We also had a well-attended panel on October 31st focusing on COMIX and the key people who worked on it, including Brian Ging (Editor/Producer), Michael Crane (Film Composer), Walt Gorecki (Motion Graphics), and Matt Hawkins (Featured Cast) who is President/Chief Operating Officer for publisher Top Cow Productions and a fantastic comic book writer. Mike Wellman from the comic book store Comic Bug was the moderator. Thanks guys for making the panel so awesome! And thanks to everyone at Comikaze, from Keith to the helpful staff, for having us.

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COMIX Movie Premiere July 2015

 

It was an amazing July evening and the stars were in alignment for the premiere of COMIX at the Regent Theater in Westwood where 200 fans, friends, and family turned out to support the film. What a blast! People applauded and cheered at the end, and I was so touched by all the great and positive responses. I heard people describe the film as inspiring, fun, and informative, and I can’t wait for everyone to see this film.

 

 

 

 

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The Valentine’s hangin’ with Marc and Bridget Silvestri

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We had some of the cast of the film there as well, like Marc Silvestri, co-creator of Image Comics and founder of Top Cow Productions. He is a legend in the comic book world and we were honored that he and his lovely wife, Bridget, were there. Fans and cast members, like the Vera Vanguard and Christopher Dennis, also known as Superman, came in full support. We had puppets there, and there was even an Elvis sighting!

 

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Wonder Woman Vera Vanguard

Superman, Michael Valentine, and Brian Ging want YOU to be a COMIX Crusader!

To see the film on the big screen was a very emotional experience that represented twelve years of hard work. The night was topped off by an after-party next door complete with a COMIX cake and COMIX candy bars. I was even asked to autograph a few of them. It was a night that I will never forget!

COMIX Podcast Interview from Stan Lee’s Comikaze

Just wanted to share my podcast interview at Stan Lee’s Comikaze last month with The Brothers Bear Podcast.  Enjoy!

 

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Please help us spread the word about our COMIX Kickstarter campaign! There are all kinds of cool rewards, including getting the chance to get a pre-release copy of the movie.  

Join us at https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1732480229/comix-beyond-the-comic-book-pages-the-movie.  

You can make a difference!

THE TRUE DARK KNIGHT SPEAKS

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 Frank Miller has had a universal impact on comic books, not only in the evolution of  Batman into The Dark Knight, but especially in the indie world with his titles like Sin  City and 300. He is an artist, writer, film director, and creator. He changed Batman   forever in his Dark Knight series and created the stylized Sin City which, for me, is the  closest looking comic book turned into movie I have ever seen.

 I was fortunate enough to get an interview with this legend never having spoken to him  beforehand and not knowing how it would turn out. Frank is kind of a recluse so there  was a bit of mystery, mystique, and I must admit, trepidation mixed with excitement, in  meeting him.  After all, it had taken a good year or so of coordinating it with his team,  with a whole lot of back and forth on the date and the time.  Truth be told, our interview  was nearly canceled just before our flight over from LA to NYC.

 With the final green light, my good friend and amazing cinematographer Douglas Brian  Miller and I flew to New York on a rainy day. We were greeted by a chauffeur that  Frank’s assistant recommended who showed us the city before making our way to Frank’s loft in Manhattan to interview him.

When we arrived, we were told that Frank had 45 minutes and all I could think of was “Oh Sh** We just flew over for this interview!”  I was already so nervous because – well, he’s FRANK MILLER for crimeny’s sake!  But Frank was gracious – he gave me two hours of his time and I will never forget this experience.  A bit reserved at first, he opened up about his work on Batman and his take on making him look older and darker.  He also talked about how another industry icon, Batman artist Neal Adams, was his mentor. I was sOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAurprised to find out that Neal, in the early years, told Frank to give it up and move back to New Hampshire. He also went into depth about his Sin City characters, and even though set in a dark city, most of the main characters represented characteristics like love and honor. Speaking of which, it was indeed an honor to meet this comic book hero who changed the face of the comic world.

We flew in to meet and interview this true dark knight on a rainy city, very reminiscing of the dark city that Frank just talked about, and flew out all in one day!  It turned out to be a great day that I will never forget.

 

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Please help us spread the word about our COMIX Kickstarter campaign! There are all kinds of cool rewards, including getting the chance to get a pre-release copy of the movie.  

Join us at https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1732480229/comix-beyond-the-comic-book-pages-the-movie.  

You can make a difference!

IN SEARCH OF THE ULTIMATE COMIC BOOK FAN (PART 3 OF 3)

And so, here it is…the third of a three-part installment where feature some awesome fans who let us know why they are the Ultimate Comic Book Fan.  Hey, are you the Ultimate Comic Book Fan?  COMIX wants to know!  Keep spreading the love!

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Please help us spread the word about our COMIX Kickstarter campaign! There are all kinds of cool rewards, including getting the chance to score yourself a pre-release copy of the movie.  

Join us at https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1732480229/comix-beyond-the-comic-book-pages-the-movie.  

You can make a difference!

To Comikaze and Beyond!

Reunited with John Romita Jr!

The COMIX crew and I went to Stan Lee’s Comikaze Expo in LA this weekend and had a blast!!!  We met up with some old friends like Stan Lee and John Romita, Jr. and met new friends like Image Comics Co-Founder Rob Liefeld (Youngblood, X Force, Deadpooland hip hop legend/comic book entrepreneur DMC who just released his first comic book!    We also got to see J. Scott Campbell (The Amazing Spider-Man, Wildstorm Comics), the guys from Comic Book Men, and more.   We almost had a chance to eat the Hulk!  Actually, it was about a 15-ft. cake for display, ginormous and smelled so good!  

Among the many highliMV_Podcast Interview1ghts was that I had my first Podcast interview  and will share out when it broadcasts.  Another personal highlight was giving my very first autograph to a fan who heard about the film.  It was a truly humbling and awesome moment for me.

It was great getting to spend time with Stan Lee fans while we waited in line for Stan.  I want to thank them for being so cool about letting me share COMIX with them.  As for me, seeing Stan was like being a kid in a candy store all over again.  I was just so happy to share the movie with with him, and so I wanted to share this moment with you.

Please help us spread the word about our COMIX Kickstarter campaign! There are all kinds of cool rewards, including getting the chance to score yourself a pre-release copy of the movie.  

Join us at https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1732480229/comix-beyond-the-comic-book-pages-the-movie.  

You can make a difference!

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