Categories
"COPRA" Comics I Make

COPRA: Round One – Announcement

Copra_RoundOneBack_Large-665x1024

 

COPRA: ROUND ONE  is to be published by Bergen Street Press! It collects issue 1 – 6, available for pre-order this summer, and will be on sale September.

Unfamiliar with COPRA? READ ISSUE ONE FOR FREE, drop in on Comics Allianceor just go by this trusty description:

“They’re ugly. They’re mean. But up until today, they’ve always been loyal. So when one of their own betrays them, the men and women of COPRA have no choice but to turn their nightmarish skills back on every son of a bitch who ever looked at them funny.”

Categories
"COPRA" Comics I Make

C O P R A # 14

COVER.14.FINAL

Copra #14 is here! That’s right – as in available at your usual Copra comics merchant; buy it!

I’m really excited about this issue, I have to admit. Ever notice how sometimes comic titles warn you that “this issue’s a little off-beat, a l’il different”? Well, that would be this one. Last thing I wanna do is spoil it for you, so I’ll just keep it short. Here are a few shots of the comic itself.

COPRA.14.Etsy.B

COPRA.14.Etsy.C

Here is one of the pages featuring Patrick ‘WIR” Dale and his hometown pals.

11

RANDOM EXTRAS 

Here are some cool bits of Copra related arts:

A Man-Head custom toy…

Man-Head toy

… and a super cool Vincent drawing, both by Michael C. Kappeler!

VINCENT

And check out this bit of graffiti featuring old school nemesis Vitas by Satellite Mind!

Vitas Graffiti

I want to point out these wonderful reviews that Copra #13 received in the last month. I’m really appreciative that this title’s return has been well received, especially by these fine folks:

The Blackest of Suns – Omega Level – Nothing But Comics! – So Much Yelling

Here are a few short video clips I took while drawing the splash page for this new issue. Inking & holding a camera isn’t the most practical approach, so I kept it brief.

Oddly enough, the rest of the issue looks nothing like this. It’s very clean, meticulous, very… very — aw, you’ll see. So go SEE — Copra #14!

And I’ll see you here next month!

–Fiffe

Categories
"COPRA" Comics I Make

C O P R A # 13

Copra 13 Cover

COPRA is back! Issue thirteen is here and ready to go. I’ve been wanting to get to this issue for the longest time and I’m happy to finally get it out into the world!

Blamm

Did I mention that half the print run comes with a free fold out poster?

ETSY.13.A

ETSY.13.B

There’s a  lot of COPRA news brewing. Collections are beyond the planning stages and are being made — physically made! Super exciting! I’ll drop the details as soon as I know them. Compendiums are gonna happen, too, the 4th one at the very least.

CHAK

In case you’re stopping by for the first time, make sure to check out COPRA #1 – the very first issue posted in its entirety for your reading pleasure. Get acquainted, look around, tell your friends and check in every month for new issues.

One last time: COPRA #13it’s here.

Categories
Comics I Make

All-New Ultimates

all_new_ultimates_1_mlskql

Variant #1 (Marquez)

Serpent Skulls Fiffe

Characters Sketch

ALL-NEW ULTIMATES is a superpower teen crime Marvel comic written by me, drawn by Amilcar Pinna, colored by  Nolan Woodard, and lettered by Clayton Cowles, debuting April 09, ’14.

You can get them at your local comics store (find your nearest one) or read them digitally. Look for covers by David Nakayama or variant covers  by David Marquez Ron Wimberly. Here’s a preview of the first issue!

To tide you over, here are some more preview/interviews at Comic Book Resources (OneTwo) and Newsarama (OneTwo).

all-new_ultimates_1_np6sks

Issue #1 (Nakayama)

Wimberly

Variant #2 (Wimberly)

Categories
Art & Illustration Comics I Make

G. I. Joe Samples

G.I Joe sample pages I staged, pencilled & inked back in 2011. Featured: Roadblock gunning some Cobra Troopers, Snake Eyes vs Storm Shadow, Baroness & Destro being voyeurs.

Fiffe's G.I. JOE page 1 ink

Fiffe's G.I. JOE page 1 pencils

This was pre-Zegas, pre-self publishing, trying to work the work-for-hire hustle one last time before submitting to the notion that cartooning was gonna have to be a hobby. I set my scope to IDW thus (I’d worked for them before & they seemed to hire from a wide spectrum of ability that accommodated relative newcomers). Since G.I. Joe was the only title they published I was [very loosely] familiar with, I drew a sequence I thought would show my “strengths”. I don’t remember whether IDW rejected or flat out ignored my knocking on their door, but thank god they did either way! Not being able to land a job I knew I could crush was becoming my personal industry standard, but I wasn’t gonna let that dopey job get me down (no offense). Hence, Copra Press.

Fiffe's G.I. JOE page 2 ink

Fiffe's G.I. JOE page 2 pencil

Anyway, I think I would’ve had a great time drawing Snake Eyes kick the crap out of anything, actually (and c’mon: Baroness). But as it stands, these pages represent the end of an era and the beginning of a new one.

Categories
"COPRA" Comics I Make

C O P R A # 8


COPRA EIGHT cover

COPRA #8, it has arrived.

It is ready to be ordered and read and held close to your beating heart.

Remember last issue’s breather? We chucked that plan out the window with “Otros Mundos”, our latest multi dimensional adventure.

But wait… here’s something I don’t do enough of: process pics!

ROUGH.1

These are probably the tightest layouts I’ve done in a while… and only for a mere 2 pages, for the most basic staging purposes (the rest of the issue was planned out in a series of notes, not thumbnails). I make the majority of the decisions while I’m pencilling, then I quickly commit to those decisions when I ink (usually on the same day, which is why I don’t get a chance to scan that particular stage).

ROUGH.2

That was a two page spread. This is what the pages look like before they get colored:

A

B

C

As for this month’s guest art spot, it features the work of Adrian Johnson, illustrator, cartoonist and 1/3 of the great Sidebar comics podcast (I direct you to their immense Barchives).

ADRIAN

I’m diggin’ this fauX cover, Adrian. Believe me, I wish I could charge fifty cents an issue!

* * * * * *

Attn: Readers in the UK and abroad! Impossible Books is now open for business and they’re carrying all of your future favorite small press books.

* * * * * *

So there you have it, folks, your midsummer funnybook. Flexible enough to be rolled into your back pocket and sturdy enough to survive beach conditions. Whatever you do, you must get it first, so do precisely that!

See you in August.

–Fiffe

Categories
"COPRA" Comics I Make

Copra Compendium 2

COMP 2

The second Copra Compendium has arrived and you can buy it here! Bergen Street Comics Press has collected Copra issues four, five and six, coming in at 76 pages colorful, loving brutality.

See that group shot up there? I bet you can tell that’s new art for the cover… and it is (the compendium also includes the original covers, but I wanted to do something new).

WIR

Also available is the new printing of the first Compendium (collecting issues one, two and three). That one’s also a 76 pager and includes a new back cover, too.

So catch up on your Copra and check back in for further issues (#7 is already on sale). The eighth issue will be available very soon, it just needs to get printed and shipped right after I color it! Here’s a brief look at the home stretch.

Thanks to the established readers of the series – I hope you don’t get tired of me saying how much I appreciate your support – and thanks to those of you trying out Copra for the first time. We think you’ll love it, but let us know what the verdict is.

–Fiffe

Categories
Comics I Make

ZEGAS #2 Sells Out!

x.Emily Bullet

The second issue of Zegas has sold out! Even with its very limited print run, I never thought the moment would come (I always saw myself as an old man sitting on a throne made up of unsold copies of Zegas #1 and Deathzone!, actually). I’ll be honest: selling out is not ideal if you want your work to get out there and reach new readers, and since I can’t quite add Zegas to my self-publishing schedule and budget, these first two issues will remain out of print for the foreseeable future. A collection may be in order but again, not for a while.

Borrow a copy from a friend, check it out from a library, or look over some of the pages here. In fact, there’s a list at the bottom of that post of comic shops that carried issue 2, and they may still do. Might be worth asking.

Of course, Zegas #0 is still available, which is just a good a starting point as any.

Zegas #2 will always remind me of my brief flirtation with crowdfunding, and of all the support I received throughout its entire process. I’m really proud of the results, and I have many of you to thank for that.

 

 

Categories
Comics I Make

Post DEATHZONE!

I brought forth my Deathzone! comic a few weeks ago, and the world responded:

First off, big thanks to Tucker Stone and his Factual Opinion for contributing to the actual comic in question, and for discussing it some on his Comics Are Burning In Hell (Episode 0.3) podcast, co-hosted with greats Joe McCulloch and Matt Seneca, entrusted comix allies all.

Another podcast that favorably mentioned us was War Rocket Ajax (Episode #115), hosted by Chris Sims and Matt Wilson. Chris, a huge fan of the Squad himself, also wrote a piece on Deathzone! over at Comics Alliance before seeing the final product, so I’m really glad he liked it. Oh, and the Mindless Ones had some really nice things to say about it upon my revealing the comic [and after receiving it as well!]; they always come through with support.

Reviews, too! The first one came in straight from Siskoid’s Blog of Geekery, a blog which has extensively covered the Squad throughout its exhaustive blogging schedule. I appreciate It’s a Dan’s World and Nowhere / No Formats for taking note of the comic, too. Further thanks to Comics Reporter and Spandexless for mentioning Deathzone! And big thanks to Zack Soto for dropping the name and the love all over the webs. A special shout out goes to Annie Koyama, who has helped and supported me in more ways than I can ever repay.

And of course, thank you ALL for checking out, inquiring about, and referencing Deathzone! … and for buying its accompanying print.

Having this comic out there has also connected me with other Suicide Squad fans, such as Brannon Costello, who remarked on John Ostrander’s work over at Pretty Fakes, as well as blogs such as Subject: The Suicide Squad (Task Force X) and Omega Agent 1’s Bronze Tiger.

In other news, I will be at Heroes Con in Charlotte, North Carolina this June 22-24!

I’m quite excited to be able to exhibit at Heroes Con; I’ve been wanting to simply attend for years. This will be a fun show, so drop by Indie Island and say hi!

–Fiffe

Categories
Comics I Make

D E A T H Z O N E ! my Suicide Squad comic

I told myself that it was a silly idea, that it was nothing but a distraction, a nostalgic impulse at best, and that I had more important things to do. Next thing I knew, I had written, drawn, and colored sixteen pages of my very own Suicide Squad comic. I called it DEATHZONE!

You know about the Suicide Squad already, right? I’ve gone on about it before, and always kept a close eye on those who did the same. It was one of my very first and favorite comics as a kid, and during the tail end of my previous project, I couldn’t get them out of my mind.

Recap: Suicide Squad was DC Comics’ version of the Dirty Dozen. John Ostrander wrote it, Luke McDonnell drew it, and John’s late wife, Kim Yale, joined in on the writing chores early on. Suicide Squad was a task force made up of C-list bad guys and obscure, throwaway characters used as fodder for dangerous government missions. Some of them didn’t always make it back. Turnover was pretty high as a result. Just look at the line up below… that’s only the first year’s roster. Also, they lived in a prison in the middle of a swamp.

One of my favorite issues is #10 (Feb. ’88), “Up Against The Wall”, where Batman pretends to be a prisoner in order to get some dirt on the Squad. He’s then outed, hunted, and taken to task… all neatly wrapped up in 22 pages. No issue better illustrates Amanda Waller’s verve as a leader, the Squad’s rag tag group dynamics, and the visual cool of their Belle Reve headquarters.

Oh, man, look at that last panel… arghk!… classic McDonnell. Anyway, I couldn’t articulate all that as a 9 year old, but I had to channel my excitement somehow back then. I took the weird relationship that Batman seemed to have with the Squad and made up my own ending to “Up Against The Wall”. In my version, Batman still gets away but has at least a few cuts and bruises.

Shown: stairs, rooftop, Batarang, home, bed, in that order. Shortly thereafter, I made another comic that featured an exhausted, pummeled Batman, this time against Shade the Changing Man (another Squad member). Shade, who is usually a good guy in the regular comics, stands as a redesigned, demonic villain under my direction. Shade’s mission was to take Batman and his Justice League teammates into a hellish dimension in order to torture them… slowly!

What you’ve witnessed here is the classic example of a cartoonist’s typical pattern: falling in love with this stuff at an early age, wanting to replicate that thrill, and then stubbornly trying to follow through on that desire as best one can. That’s the spirit of the industry right there.

That’s how I’ve ended up with DEATHZONE! A sixteen page, full color comic that’s been over 20 years in the making.

Here’s the line up…

… and here are some preview pages…

As if that wasn’t enough, Tucker Stone came through with a treatise on the last super hero comic that mattered, an essay which could only be titled:

So don’t delay any longer… get it now!

Finally, here’s the last page of my Shade vs Batman story.

 

–Michel Fiffe