Tuesday, December 28, 2010

2010 - The Year That Was

So despite the fact that this blog has become horribly neglected, I still want to do my look back / look ahead posts as we approach the New Year. 2010 has turned out to be quite different than I imagined it would be last year.

I do take pride in the fact that DYNAMO 5: SINS OF THE FATHER hit every solicited ship date, as did the recently released DYNAMO 5 HOLIDAY SPECIAL. The reasoning behind our decision to switch a series-of-mini-series format was so that we could release the book on a more reliable schedule, and it would've looked really bad if we'd missed the ship dates on a mini-series. Fortunately for us, that wasn't the case. And as of this writing, artist Julio Brilha is already hard at work on our next mini-series, DYNAMO 5: CERTAIN DEATH. And I'll confirm right here, for the first time, that one of the five Dynamo kids is going to die. Who will be it? That's for me to know and you to find out!

As 2010 began, I really thought that I'd be focusing a lot more on prose. See, I've always considered myself a writer. Not just a comic book writer, or a screenwriter, or a prose writer. But a writer. Of lots of different things. In 2009 I wrote a TV pilot and a feature film and because things move so slowly in Hollywood I wanted to mix it up a bit more. To that end, I was determined to try my hand at prose. And I did. I wrote two short stories that I think turned out pretty well. They're both mystery stories, and maybe I'll put them online somewhere, sometime.

But in addition to prose writing, I had one more screenwriting-related goal. Many TV networks and studios have writing programs designed to train the next wave of TV writers, so I decided to apply to some of them. I ended up applying to the NBC / Universal "Writers on the Verge" program, the ABC/Disney Writing Program, and the Warner Bros TV Writers Workshop. I applied in May and then promptly put it out of my head and went back to work on comics and prose. But then in October I got a call that I'd made it to the interview stage in the Warner Bros program. So I flew down to LA, had my interview, and then flew home the very next day. Then the waiting began. I think it was only a little over a week, but it sure seemed longer. It was worth it, though, because I was accepted. Out of roughly 1,300 applicants, they chose 9 of us to be in the program. It started in early November, so I had to relocate from Washington state to LA in record time. Which I did. And I've been in the program for two months now and so far it's been an amazing experience. My classmates are all really nice, talented people and our instructors are awesome. As a comic book writer, I spend most of my time alone at my desk. So this is a really nice change, to be surrounded by like-minded writers who love TV as much as I do. It's really exciting. So if things go my way, I'll be on a writing staff for one of Warner Bros shows in the 2011 Fall season. But more on that in my next post, regarding what's ahead in 2011...

Monday, August 23, 2010

Everything Must Go!

*UPDATED ON 01/02/11*

I'm trying to downsize and in doing so, I realized I've got a ton of comics. And I don't mean comics from my collection, that I read for enjoyment. I mean comics that I created. Overstock, really. So here's the deal: I'm offering everything half-off the cover price. I've got pretty much everything I've ever written at Image Comics (I don't have stuff for sale from Marvel or DC).

Bottom line, it's all half off. I'll autograph stuff, of course, and ship it out via Media Mail (the cheapest way possible).

Here's a price list of the TPBs that are available as of this writing (although it's subject to change at any moment):

Noble Causes TPB #1 - $6.50
Noble Causes TPB #2 - $6.50
Noble Causes TPB #3 - $6.50
Noble Causes TPB #4 - $7.00
Noble Causes TPB #5 - $7.00
Noble Causes TPB #6 - $8.00
Noble Causes TPB #7 - $8.00
Noble Causes TPB #8 - $8.00
Noble Causes TPB #9 - $7.50
Noble Causes TPB #10 - SOLD OUT

Dynamo 5 TPB 1 - $5.00
Dynamo 5 TPB 2 - $7.50
Dynamo 5 TPB 3 - $7.50
Dynamo 5 TPB 4 - SOLD OUT

So if you're interested in anything I've got, drop me a line and we'll work out shipping rates and the final price. I prefer PayPal, but I'm also willing to take checks and Money Orders. Write me at jay dot faerber at gmail dot com.

P.S. -- Idgie the cat is not included in this offer. Although if the price is right ...

Saturday, July 17, 2010

New Stephen J. Cannell DVD

If you're a regular reader for my "Under the Influence" columns (which appear in my Image comics), it'll come as no secret to you that I'm a huge fan of Stephen J. Cannell, the TV producer-turned-novelist. Cannell created (or co-created) tons of memorable TV shows from the 70s and 80s, including The Rockford Files, 21 Jump Street, Hunter, The Greatest American Hero, Wiseguy, and many, many more.

All of those shows have been released on DVD, but the upcoming release that has me really psyched is Mill Creek Entertainment's Prime Time Crime: The Stephen J. Cannell Collection. It serves as a Cannell primer by featuring one episode each of the following shows: Wiseguy, The Commish, Hunter, Cobra, Tenspeed & Brownshoe, Silk Stalkings, 21 Jump Street, Booker, and The Greatest American Hero. But that's not the kicker. The kicker is that this set includes four complete (albeit short-lived) Cannell series that have never been released on DVD before.

The unreleased series are:

Missing Persons, a procedural drama about the Missing Persons unit of the Chicago PD, starring Daniel J. Travanti (Hill Street Blues) and Jorja Fox (CSI). This show ran for 18 episodes and was really ahead of its time. It's essentially Without a Trace, only, you know, ten years earlier.

UNSUB, a crime drama about the Behavorial Sciences Unit of the FBI. An "UNSUB" is an "Unknown Subject." This one ran for 8 episodes and is kind of a combination of CSI and Criminal Minds, but again, it predates those shows by at least ten years.

Palace Guard, about a reformed thief who goes to work as head of security for the Palace hotel line. Each week he's at a different luxury resort, investating some theft or murder. 9 episodes were produced, but it was cancelled after only 3 aired.

Broken Badges, a comedy about a bunch of police officers with various "quirks" who end up saving the day. This one ran for 7 episodes, although it's not really my cup of tea.

This entire set retails for $29.98 -- an impossibly low price, considering everything you get. I bought Mill Creek's Wiseguy Collector's Edition, which was also shockingly cheap, and much to my surprise, it's a good product. The packaging is pretty cheap, but the DVDs themselves look and sound good, considering how old the source material is.

Anyway -- if you're a Cannell fan, I highly recommend picking this up to see some of his lesser-known shows.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

The all-new, all-different Dynamo 5 website!

I know, I know ... I've been neglecting this blog big-time lately. But it's for a good reason. We've been hard at work on the new Dynamo 5 website. And when I say "we" I mean Charles Pritchett, the dude who letters and designs Dynamo 5 each issue.

So from here on out, this blog will be where I post about non-D5 stuff. Other projects, personal stuff, whatever. But for all the latest on Dynamo 5, please check out the new website. Like, now!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Notorious banners & wallpapers

The amazing Tim Daniel was kind enough to create some web banners and wallpapers based on NOTORIOUS, the new back-up feature that will run throughout DYNAMO 5: SINS OF THE FATHER. And when I say "kind enough," I mean Tim demanded that he be allowed to create them! I make it a point never to turn down a man with a plan, so here we are:


Dynamo 5: Sins of the Father #2 cover

I really shouldn't reveal these covers so far ahead of the solicitations, but damn ... if you got this cover in your inbox, would you be able to just sit on it?

By Mahmud A. Asrar and Ron Riley, as always.

Saturday, March 6, 2010


DYNAMO 5: SINS OF THE FATHER is going to feature a back-up series called NOTORIOUS that will run in all five issues. It's five pages each issue, so that makes it a 25-page story in all. I've been writing short back-up stories ever since the original Noble Causes series, and I enjoy them. It's a fun writing challenge to tell a story in such a short span of pages, and in the case of Notorious, it's a serialized story which has its own unique challenges and rewards. On one hand, I don't have to wrap everything up at the end of five pages, but on the other hand, I have to have a compelling cliffhanger each chapter.
Joining me on this project are Joe Eisma (artist), Paul Little (colorist), and Charles Pritchett (letterer). Because of the small amount of pages in each chapter, I don't want to spoil too much of it, so I'm only showing one page as a teaser, but I think it's a good one.
DYNAMO 5: SINS OF THE FATHER will be on sale in June.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

On Sale in June

At last, we're soliciting DYNAMO 5: SINS OF THE FATHER for a June launch. You'll get the full details when Image's June solicits are revealed, but here are the covers for the issue.
The main cover is by Mahmud Asrar & Ron Riley.

The incentive cover is by Kelsey Shannon & Marc Deering.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

The Commune: reviewed

Last month, I mentioned that I'd ordered an indie horror film called The Commune, and I got a chance to watch it this week. First, I'm not even sure if I should call it a "horror" movie. Yes, it involves a few horrible acts, but when I think of a "horror" movie -- especially by today's standards -- I picture some PG-13 crap with a bunch of teenagers running away from an unstoppable killer for 90 minutes.

This isn't that kind of movie, not by a long shot.

And when I say it's an indie film, I don't mean it's indie compared to Transformers 2. I mean it's indie in the truest sense of the word. It appears to have been created by a bunch of like-minded people motivated by their love of movies and devotion to the story they wanted to tell, not by profit.

This is a mindset I can relate to, of course, having created comics for so long at Image. In fact, I was going to compare what I imagine this filmmaking experience was like to creator-owned comics, but then I realized it's not a true parallel. With Image, we're creating the comic in a grassroots kind of way, but we have the benefit of Image's production and distribution deals. So we're able to compete on the same comic book shelves as Marvel and DC. This type of indie film is really more akin to self-publishing comics, where you're doing everything on your own.

I have no idea what the budget was for this movie, but I'm guessing it was pretty small. And yet that doesn't come across on film. It's a "small" movie, in that there aren't a lot of locations and the cast is small and there aren't any special effects. But it never feels like a "cheap" movie. It's well-shot, the sound is good, and the music was particularly strong.

The story involves Jenny (don't call her Jen!), a 16-year old girl forced to spend time with her estranged father as part of a custody agreement. Her father's some kind of hippy guru and lives in a weird commune. Jenny arrives at the commune and we initially get a lot of fish-out-of-water / culture clash humor. But the humor's offset nicely by an undercurrent of creepiness to everything.

Jenny soon meets Puck, a kid who lives in the nearby town. They strike up a friendship, and spend more and more time with each other as Jenny is continually creeped out at the commune.

I won't spoil the rest of the film. As I said before, it's not what I'd call a "horror" film, per se. Maybe more of a psychological thriller. But it's also got strong elements of black comedy. It's my kind of movie, in that it slides quite comfortably back and forth between genres.

I found the high point of the film to be at the beginning of the third act, in a prolonged scene between Jenny and Puck. Elisabeth Fies, the writer / director / co-star, establishes a really intimate, genuine, raw moment between her two characters.

If you're in the mood for something different, and want to support truly independent filmmakers, check out The Commune. You can buy the DVD directly from their website.

The Slow Boil

I've got two Image mini-series that are developing very slowly, and I thought I'd show you some progress. One is a crime mini-series called POINT OF IMPACT, drawn by Koray Kuranel. Here's a page of pencils from the 2nd issue.
The other is a horror/romance/mystery mini-series called UNDYING LOVE, drawn & colored by Fran Bueno. Here's a finished page from the 2nd issue.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

DYNAMO 5 teaser

Here's a look at a double-page spread from DYNAMO 5: SINS OF THE FATHER #2. Art by Julio Brilha, colors by Ron Riley.
Julio's almost finished with issue #2, and right now we're hoping to solicit the first issue for a June release. We won't make a final decision until the June Previews deadline, which is in mid-February. But as you can see from this fantastic page, (1) work is continuing and (2) we've got some very cool guest stars in this arc.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

RIP: Robert B. Parker

I've blogged before about my feelings towards Robert B. Parker, certainly the earliest -- and possibly biggest -- influence on my writing, and to say the news of his death came as a shock would be a severe understatement. It's no secret that I've felt his books over the last few years have left a lot to be desired, especially where the plots (or lack thereof) were concerned, but I still eagerly awaited each new Spenser or Jesse Stone novel. And way back in high school it was the Spenser novels that showed me how fun reading -- and writing -- could be. I've literally never been the same since I read Ceremony, my first exposure to Parker's books.

The cause of death has yet to be determined, but it sounds like Parker went out doing what he was most known for: writing. He was literally found dead at his desk.

He'll be missed.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

X-MAS update

I mentioned awhile ago that I'd written an 8-page Christmas story featuring the X-Men that was scheduled to be available on Marvel's digital comics subscription site the week before Christmas. Those of you who subscribe to that service have probably realized that the story never materialized.

Obviously, the story's been delayed due to some unfortunate circumstances. It's currently nearing completion, but the jury's still out on what Marvel's going to do with it. The window of opportunity has kind of passed, since it's a Christmas story. So they may end up holding onto it until next Christmas, or they may go ahead and run it sooner than that. I really don't know.

But the story will be published. Somewhere. Someday. And I'll be sure to give you a heads-up whenever that happens.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Republic of Doyle premiere

Back in November, I blogged about an upcoming show on Canada's CBC channel, called REPUBLIC OF DOYLE. Well, it premiered last night and was everything I hoped it would be. Smart, funny, fast-paced, with likable actors and a great setting -- St. John's, Newfoundland. The show follows a father-son PI team, and as the CBC's website describes, "REPUBLIC OF DOYLE combines the retro cool crime vibe of classic investigative shows like THE ROCKFORD FILES with the contemporary dramatic/comedic edge of RESCUE ME and CALIFORNICATION, producing a blend of intriguing episodic mysteries woven with the always evolving (and sometimes regressing) relationship turmoil and dynamics of the fiery Doyle clan."

I think that's a pretty apt description, although I think it has even more in common with USA's slate of character-driven shows. In fact, if the people at USA Network were smart, they'd snatch this show up. It would fit in perfectly alongside WHITE COLLAR, BURN NOTICE, IN PLAIN SIGHT, and the rest of their line-up.

I realize most of the people reading this won't have access to CBC, but the channel's getting better about releasing their shows on DVD, so if/when that happens, I'll be sure to post another heads-up.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

The Commune

A couple months ago I blogged about a great new horror movie I saw called HOUSE OF THE DEVIL. Along those same lines, I've been meaning to pass along another intriguing horror movie with a 70s vibe. It's called THE COMMUNE and it looks fantastic. It's written and directed by Lis Fies, and is a true indie movie. I haven't seen it yet (my DVD's on the way), but it looks fantastic. As soon as I get a chance to watch it, I'll be sure to post a follow-up.

In the meantime, check out the trailer:

Sunday, January 3, 2010

2010 - The Year To Come

Since my last post looked back at the past year, I thought now would be a good time to look ahead. I won't be making predictions, of course. Instead, I'll be talking about what I plan and hope to do.
DYNAMO 5: SINS OF THE FATHER will debut this summer. It's a 5-issue mini-series that continues the adventures of everyone's favorite dysfunctional super-hero family. It also features some damned cool guest stars from across the Image universe.

If we're lucky, GEMINI will finally wrap up this year, too. I know Jon and I are certainly trying to make that happen.

That's probably all you'll see from me at Image this year. I've got a couple other Image projects in the works, but they're on very, very slow boils and we won't be soliciting until we have considerable work done on them. So it's possible we might see these projects start by the end of the year, but I wouldn't bet on it. The artists involved all have other priorities, and they're working on these things in their spare time.

I'm also talking with a couple other publishers about various work-for-hire projects, but it's impossible to tell how these things will turn out.

Diversity is the name of the game for me in 2010. I really want to branch out into other mediums. Last year, I wrote a TV pilot and the first draft of a feature spec, and this year I plan to revise them and try to get them sold somewhere.

Another goal of mine is to get a short mystery story published somewhere. I've been a fan of crime and mystery novels since high school, and I spent most of my time in college working on mystery stories with the intention of pursuing it as a career. But shortly after graduation I got bit by the comics bug and comics has been a distraction for me for over a decade. Not an unpleasant distraction, of course. And not something I regret in the least. And as I've said before, I have no plans to leave comics. But it's about time I turned some of my attention back to my love of prose. As fun and rewarding as collaboration is, there's something to be said for prose work. Succeed or fail, it's all up to the writer. I can't pass off a mediocre script to a great artist and have him save me. With prose, there's nothing between the writer and the audience. No one to hide behind. So the idea of jumping back into that pool has me both excited and, frankly, nervous.

This isn't quite related to writing, exactly, but I hope to do some more traveling this year. I'll almost certainly be attending the New York Comicon in October, and I might even do Comicon in San Diego this summer. I'll certainly be at the Emerald City Con in March. There's also a chance I'll be attending the Roanoke Comicon in April, but that depends on some circumstances that are beyond my control. And with any luck I'll be visiting my friends in Los Angeles sometime this spring, as well. I'll be sure to update the blog with my convention appearances as they become confirmed.

Here's hoping all you guys have a great 2010!