Breaking News: Comix gets Geekscaped!

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Whoever thought being a geek was so cool?  We do!

 I’m so excited about this great write up we received from Shane O’Hare on Geekscape.net - a really cool site for podcast, news, and feature site on all things Geek! :) 

There’s a lot of excitement around this film and I couldn’t be prouder. Please help us spread the word. With 12 days left, you can make a difference!

Thanks, Michael 

CLICK ON http://www.geekscape.net/http://www.geekscape.net/crowdfund-this-comix-beyond-the-comic-book-pages

IN SEARCH OF THE ULTIMATE COMIC BOOK FAN (PART 2 OF 3)

UCBF_2nd Picture

Hey, are you the Ultimate Comic Book Fan?  COMIX wants to know!  Here are some awesome fans who let us know why they are the Ultimate Fan and why comics mean so much to them. The second of a three-part installment, you’re gonna’ like this one!

If you haven’t seen the trailer for COMIX - please check out our website at www.comixthemovie.com.  We are almost done with the movie and are looking for support for our Kickstarter campaign.  There are all kinds of cool rewards, including getting the chance to score yourself a pre-release copy of the movie.  Check out https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1732480229/comix-beyond-the-comic-book-pages-the-movie

LOVE LETTER TO THE FANDOM

FAN-LaraCroft2 FAN-IronMan1 FAN-ChrisGutierez-BobaFet1 FAN-SailorScouts-Micheal&Mic

It shouldn’t be a surprise that I, a comic book fan, wanted to meet and get to know other comic book fans for the filming of COMIX.  I knew their stories were an essential part of the COMIX story. With crew in tow, we interviewed as many fans as we could at conventions like Comic-Con, Wonder-Con, Anime Expo, Wizard World, and Comikaze…and kept coming back for more!  I knew that the fans are the driving force of these conventions, but what completely blew me away is their integrity, kindness, loyalty, sincerity, intelligence, and passion for the art form.  These are the qualities that I admire and frankly, the fans have helped me to persevere over the last ten years.

It is amazing how fans can be seen as geeks. What is a geek, anyway?  I decided to look it up.  A geek is described as “a boring and unattractive social misfit.”  This can’t be further from the truth.  Consider that all of these conventions ARE places where interaction, in some form or another, whether in costume or not, are places where fans can socialize.  There is nothing boring nor unattractive about those fans who have the courage not only to dress up but also have the intelligence to create their costume or their “look.”  Their cosplay is indeed their expression of love.  For instance, take Chris Gutierrez, a school teacher by day, a cosplayer by night.  He makes his costumes from scratch and his attention to detail is genius.  He talks about how he uses things like old carburetor parts from engines to make his costumes.

Devotion and courageous-abandon are words that I would use to describe fans.  They let their imaginations run free and are not afraid to express themselves and show loyalty to what they love.  It’s these fans that any genre would be lucky to have.  They are the reason that the phenomenon has become the phenom that it is. I am proud that they are a part of my film and to be one of them.

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COMIX: Beyond the Comic Book Pages is an exciting new feature film documentary about the world of comic books told through the thoughts and images of the creators, artists, writers, collectors, store owners, independent publishers, and especially the passionate fans who have made it the phenomenon that it is today.  Please support our Kickstarter campaign to help finish COMIX.  We are almost there!  You will receive all kinds of amazing rewards, including being the first to receive the movie!  The link is below:

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1732480229/comix-beyond-the-comic-book-pages-the-movi

COMIX KICKSTARTER FIRST WEEK UPDATE!

A HUGE THANK YOU to those who have donated to our COMIX Kickstarter campaign in its first week!  I am so deeply grateful to you all.  We just wanted to remind everyone about the cool Kickstarter Rewards, including receiving a pre-release limited edition copy of the movie to one-of-a-kind rewards like a signed and sketched Batman book from legendary artist Neal Adams, signed books by writer Mark Waid, artist Marc Silvestri, and artist Amanda Conner, as well as limited edition and numbered hand-painted statues of Top Cow characters sculpted by Clayburn Moore.  Here’s a reader’s digest of the rewards…click on the graphic to zoom in:

Kickstarter Rewards_to 100 v4

For a look at all the rewards, check out

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

 

COMIX IN SEARCH OF THE ULTIMATE COMIC BOOK FAN

AreYouTheUltimateComicBookFan

Taking a break from the movie, the COMIX team went to Comic-Con in San Diego and had a blast (like always), but this time, in search of the “Ultimate Comic Book Fan.” They interviewed many really cool fans who got to express why they felt they were the Ultimate Fan and why comics mean so much to them. This is the first of a three-part installment, and the fans are awesome!  They are the real heroes of this world.  Are you the Ultimate Comic Book Fan?  We intend to keep searching for the UCBFs so keep an eye out for us.

Speaking of eyes – if you haven’t seen the trailer for COMIX - please check out our website at www.comixthemovie.com.  We are almost done with the movie and are looking for support for our Kickstarter campaign.  There are all kinds of cool rewards, including getting the chance to score yourself a pre-release copy of the movie.  Check out https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1732480229/comix-beyond-the-comic-book-pages-the-movie

A DREAM COME TRUE: MEETING STAN LEE

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My dream came true when I got the chance to sit across from Stan Lee.  I worshipped every strand of Spider-Man when I was a kid and being given the chance to interview him was like interviewing a universal life force.  It was like interviewing…a Beatle!! To hear all of his great stories about creating legendary characters was so inspiring and I felt like a kid again.  Can you believe that he and other comic book icons like Frank Miller, Neal Adams, and Mark Waid are a part of this film?!?

Stan is the nicest guy in the world and showed me nothing but kindness. When he agreed to be a part of this film, I had my A-ha! moment of knowing that COMIX was now bigger than me.  I was making it for everyone who believed in the power of superheroes and comic books and knew there was no looking back.  Stan was super nice, fun, fascinating, and energetic.  He talked about creating Spider-Man and the Fantastic Four with such passion.  He talked about all the legendary characters he created and the artists who helped him bring them to life. You could tell how proud he was of his career. Hearing and seeing him talk about how his publisher hated the idea of having the name Spider-Man as a superhero and doubting if Stan knew what a superhero was…and all I could saying to myself was, “Are you kidding me?” If ANYone knows who a superhero is, it’s Stan “The Man” Lee!

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COMIX: Beyond the Comic Book Pages is an exciting new feature film documentary about the world of comic books told through the thoughts and images of the creators, artists, writers, collectors, store owners, independent publishers, and especially the passionate fans who have made it the phenomenon that it is today.  Please support our Kickstarter campaign to help finish COMIX.  We are almost there!  You will receive all kinds of amazing rewards, including being the first to receive the movie!  The link is below:

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

PLEASE SUPPORT COMIX THE MOVIE!

The Kickstarter link is live!  Check it out:

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

I have always loved comic books.  About ten years ago, I had an idea to make a comic book.  This idea led me to create the feature documentary film, COMIX: Beyond the Comic Book Pages which is about comic books and the phenomenon surrounding them.  I wanted to make a film about the heroes of the comic book world:  creators, artists, writers, publishers, store owners, and especially the fans, many whom I found were just like me.

To be honest, it’s taken ten years to make this film because I have actually funded all of it on my own. I have invested tens and tens of thousands into this movie and am now at a point where I need help to finish the color correction, sound mix, and to pay for the use of hundreds of amazing comic book images that are crucial in telling the story. I am hoping that you will consider being a part of a film that I believe is special.

Our goal is to raise $35,000 in 30 days. The way Kickstarter works is it is all or nothing. In other words, if we don’t reach our goal during the 30 day funding period, we get nothing.  This is where you come in, a true fan and COMIX crusader!   We are offering some pretty cool rewards, including being the first to own the movie on up to being an Associate Producer, so please support our campaign!

Please…help fund COMIX and just as important, please share this message with everyone you know.

I appreciate your support.  Thanks, Michael Valentine

HANGIN’ AT TOP COW PRODUCTIONS AND MARC SILVESTRI, FOUNDER OF TOP COW PRODUCTIONS AND CO-FOUNDER OF IMAGE COMICS

The late 80’s and early ‘90s were a turning point for comics. Independent comic book publishers came into the scene with the idea that creators could publish their comic books and retain the copyrights for the characters they created. Image Comics began with a vision of seven artists who had already made a name for themselves in the industry – Marc Silvestri along with Todd McFarlane, Jim Lee, Whilce Portacio, Rob Liefeld, Erik Larsen, and Jim Valentino. Their vision was to do something different by breaking away from the mainstream and creating unique characters that they owned. It was Image Comics, as well as companies like Dark Horse Comics, that forged the spirit of independence in comic books, which, up to that time, was mainly led by the two largest comic book publishers, Marvel and DC Comics.

One of my all-time favorite comic book artists is Marc Silvestri. Some of my favorite early works from him are Uncanny X-Men and Wolverine. Marc also founded Top Cow Productions. Top Cow’s successes include Witchblade, The Darkness, Tomb Raider, Hunter Killer, and more.

One of the earliest interviews we did for the film was at Top Cow Productions studios in Century City. We interviewed President/COO Matt Hawkins, then Editor-In-Chief Renae Geerlings, artist Mike Choi, and many others, but on that day, I did not get a chance to interview Marc Silvestri. For the next few years, our schedules did not align for an interview, but I was persistent and really wanted to connect with him, not only as a huge fan, but because I knew how important his contributions helped shape the face of independent comics into the mainstream.

I wasn’t sure if he was going to be a part of the film but finally, he was available last year. Man, what a great interview! From telling stories of how he co-founded Image and Top Cow, to collaboration with writers like Mark Waid, to his earliest influences and more, I was a sponge. He also spoke about comic as an art form itself, saying “…the best of the best will make you feel something in one single drawing…you have to make people feel something panel after panel, page after page.”

I was hanging on his every word.  I can’t thank him and his team enough for being a part of this film. 

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Marc Silvestri and Top Cow Productions, in support of COMIX, has also kindly provided some of the amazing rewards for our Kickstarter campaign including some amazing limited-edition and numbered hand-painted statues sculpted by Clayburn Moore. One of the rewards is “Hunter Killer” signed by Marc and writer Mark Waid.

POWER GIRL AMANDA CONNER

 

MV smiling thumbs up while Amanda Conner signing book_PR_2

Artist, Writer, Penciler, and Inker Amanda Conner is one of my favorite and one of the most talented comic book artists in the business today. I love her work on Vampirella. How would I describe her art?  She says it best, it’s “fun, irreverent and out there” and it is truly refreshing! Amanda is probably best known for her work on Powergirl and Gatecrasher. I highly recommend you check out her work.

 

Amanda is so sweet, kind, and really great with her fans.  She stops and talks to each and everyone of them. It was an honor to get my chance to interview her at Wizard World in Los Angeles. She shared some great insights in the film that I can’t wait for everyone to see.

 

When asked why there are so few females in the business, she said candidly, “Just doing comics itself, it’s definitely a labor of love.  And there are some women that love it…all nine of us! (she laughs).”  She offers a lot of wisdom and advice in the film, you gotta’ see it!

 

Amanda was kind enough to sign and sketch in her hard cover book, “Sequential Art of Amanda Conner” for our Kickstarter campaign which launches next Wednesday, October 15. For more information, visit www.comixthemovie.com and to receive COMIX news and updates, click here.

MEETING ONE OF MY HEROES: NEAL ADAMS

My love for comics started at age 8 when all I wanted to do was draw John Romita Sr.’s Spiderman and Neal Adams’ Batman. I would go to the local 7-Eleven to read comic books (when they sold comic books) and to drink Slurpee’s out of the Superhero cups. I had many a good brain freezes while staring at the art and reading very cool stories.

During the making of COMIX, I got the chance to interview creator, writer, artist, and film director Frank Miller, known for his dark comic book stories and graphic novels such as The Dark Knight Returns, Sin City, and 300. Frank kept mentioning Neal Adams, and it struck me…how cool it would be to interview Neal, have him talk about Frank, and share stories about himself and his contributions to the comic book world.

After a few attempts, I found myself interviewing the man whose comic book art I idolized as a kid. I went to his studio for the interview. Neal, his wife Marilyn, and their sons were so gracious of their time. They fed my crew and me, and were patient while we set up, did the interview, and struck the set. I was so fortunate to talk to him for over two hours. We talked about everything and I gained insight into his life and legacy. He was brutally honest, didn’t hold back, and just told it like it is. It was awesome!

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