Long Beach Comic Expo – Workshops Announced!

Hey folks,
Similar to last years two hour workshop with Mark Waid, I’m going to be hosting a couple of them for the show, this time with editor, writer, and gentleman extraordinaire, Rob Levin. Here’s the press release with details and you can buy seats in the class at this link.

Long Beach Comic Expo Announces Workshops!

Fialkov and Levin to Host In-Depth Seminars

LOS ANGELES, CA, April 20, 2012. Long Beach Comic Con presents the Comic Expo on May 12th at the Long Beach Convention Center with special workshops by critically-acclaimed writer Joshua Hale Fialkov (I, Vampire, Last of the Greats, Doctor Who, Echoes) and veteran writer/editor Rob Levin (7 Days From Hell, Abbatoir).

Fialkov and Levin will be hosting two seminars on May 12th. The first one is titled ‘Intro to Careers in Comics’ and will last for 2 intense hours. This session will feature the art of breaking in, the process of writing, finding collaborators and getting your book made. The second 2 hour workshop will be titled ‘Advanced Careers in Comics’ and will provide an in-depth look at the business side of writing and producing comic books. Advance registration is required and there is an additional fee. Seating is extremely limited to only thirty people and tickets are available on the website now (www.longbeachcomiccon.com).

“Rob and I have twenty years combined experience in the comics business, and we’re thrilled for the chance to share our years with another great crop of Long Beach Comic Expo attendees.” said Joshua Hale Fialkov (Eisner, Harvey, and Emmy nominated writer of the graphic novels ECHOES, TUMOR, ELK’S RUN, and the LAST OF THE GREATS).

“When we decided to add programming to the one day Comic Expo, we were thrilled with the response from both the creative community and the attendees. Having the chance to collaborate with industry veterans like Josh and Rob on programming is one of the biggest perks of my job.” said Phil Lawrence, Director of the Long Beach Comic Con.

For a complete list of events, guests, activities, ticket prices and times, visit www.longbeachcomiccon.com.Tickets for Long Beach Comic Expo are on sale now through the website and will also be available at many Southern California comic book and hobby shops, including WSS Shoe Stores and their Geeky Mamma stores.

Harvey Awards Deadline

Hey folks,
Just a quick reminder that quite a few of my books are eligible for the Harvey Awards. If you’re an eligible voter (comics professionals of all ilks) I’d greatly appreciate your votes. My (and my collaborators) are eligible in the following categories:

BEST WRITER
Joshua Hale Fialkov – Echoes, Last of the Greats, I,Vampire

BEST ARTIST
Andrea Sorrentino – I,Vampire
Brent Peeples – Last of the Greats
Rahsan Ekedal – Echoes

BEST LETTERER
Troy Peteri – Echoes, Last of the Greats

BEST INKER
Matthew Waite – Last of the Greats

BEST COLORIST
Mirka Andolfo – Last of the Greats
Marcelo Maiolo – I,Vampire

BEST COVER ARTIST
Brent Peeples – Last of the Greats
Rahsan Ekedal – Echoes
Jenny Frison – I,Vampire

MOST PROMISING NEW TALENT
Brent Peeples – Last of the Greats

BEST NEW SERIES
I, Vampire – DC Comics
Last of the Greats – Image Comics

BEST CONTINUING OR LIMITED SERIES
Echoes – Top Cow Productions
Last of the Greats – Image Comics
I, Vampire – DC Comics

BEST GRAPHIC ALBUM – PREVIOUSLY PUBLISHED
Echoes – Top Cow Productions

BEST SINGLE ISSUE OR STORY
Echoes #5 – Top Cow
I, Vampire #1 – DC Comics

SPECIAL AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE IN PRESENTATION
Echoes – Top Cow

Feel free to vote for any or all of those with the form at this link: harveyawards.org/2012ballot/Harvey_2012_nom_ballot.txt

Voting ends on Monday.

Thanks as always,

j.
www.thefialkov.com

Grind – On Writing for a Living

Probably the most frequent thing I’m asked is about how to ‘go pro’ as a writer, and I frequently answer more or less the same thing. I realized it’s something that I haven’t actually written about extensively (or at least haven’t in a while) so, here we go.

First off, writing for a living is amazing. It’s the best job I’ve ever had, and I hope to never have to have any other job (unless it’s, I dunno, directing and writing, or producing and writing, as long as it’s something with a writing component, I’m happy). But, here’s the thing. It’s a non-stop fight. I’ve yet to met a writer including some of the most successful screen, tv, and comics writers in the world who’s not over-worked and slightly over-whelmed. It’s just par for the course.

Part of being a writer is learning to grow and change and flex muscles that nobody else is interested in helping you stretch. Becoming better is nobody’s job but yours, and, again, no matter how supportive the people around you are or how much anyone has your back, the weight remains firmly on your own shoulders.

And, part of being a writer, at least, y’know, now, is fighting to keep the work coming. I spend almost as much time looking for work as I do actually writing. It’s something that I constantly think I’m going to ‘grow out of’ but have yet to actually do. And it’s one of the most frequent topics of conversation I have with my writer friends.

The truth is that when you’re working freelance you’re at the mercy of the people with the jobs. Which, of course, is the problem with breaking in. You need to prove that you’re worth the risk of the people who hold the purse strings. You need to do this in a couple of ways.

Step one is to have produced a TON of original material that is beloved critically (or, even better, successful financially.) This, of course, is not particularly easy at all. But, you spend a few years (or decades) honing your craft, and, hopefully something great comes out the other end. Which leads us to…

Step two, having pre-existing relationships with those people of power. This, actually, is a bit easier. Unfortunately, you still need to do the other thing first. Because Editors, Publishers, Executives all want to be around success.

They want to feel like they’re gleaning some of your golden glow and in their way are helping you to glow brighter. They want to meet people who’s books they’ve enjoyed. They want to grab a beer with the person who made that book that everyone is talking about. It’s just human nature, and, it’s business sense. But even with both of those things going for you?

It’s still damn hard. Maybe I’m wrong (or I just don’t have a high enough class of friends) but, it never gets easier. There’s no short cut. There’s no secret way in. You just have to do good work and get in front of people, some of whom, hopefully, are the right people.

Nobody can do that part, unfortunately, except for you.

So, get working and get used to it, bucko.

WONDERCON

Hey folks,
This weekend I’ll be in Anaheim at Wondercon. I’ll be set up alongside Convention pal Tony Fleecs at Artist Alley Table 12 all weekend. Additionally, you can spot me here:

Friday
3pm Signing @ DC Comics

Saturday
10:30am Hosting the Spotlight on Richard Starkings Panel
1pm DC Comics Panel
2pm Signing @ DC Comics
4pm MTV Geek Panel

Sunday
12:30 Hosting the Spotlight on Steve Niles Panel
4pm Signing @ DC Comics

I’ll have advance copies of the Last of the Greats TPB on hand, as well, as ECHOES, TUMOR, DOCTOR WHO, and of course I,VAMPIRE!

See you this weekend!

j.

www.thefialkov.com

And another thing… – On Why We’re the Assholes

The thing I didn’t get into, mostly because it’s a different (if connected topic) below, is that a lot of the problem is our fault, too. We haven’t actually held up our end of the bargain as content producers. The pricing on digital comics is still outrageous, especially considering many people think the print versions are too expensive, too. While the fine folks at Comixology and Graphic.ly have done a stellar job on their apps and web presence, because of content restrictions, it’s still far from the seamless experience that is iTunes. Obviously, there’s the content argument (as so many very kind people have made about my books elsewhere) and the problems of insularness, and so on, and so on, and so on.

Is piracy the only reason the comics industry is in serious trouble? Of course not. Is it a major one? Absolutely yes.

BUT, ultimately, it’s our responsibility as content producers to figure out a solution. Now, let’s get to work.

What’s So Funny – On Being an Asshole

I’m sorry. You can’t be an asshole anymore. For years, decades even, being a comic book reader came with it an elitist attitude that allowed you to look down your nose at those who probably beat you up in high school. We kept our cliques small and self-serving, and we’ve encouraged the publishers to do the same.

Well, sorry, folks, but, that’s over. SOPA or PIPA or arresting website developers is not going to change the world that we now live in. There’s no amount of threats, either legal or brow-beaterly that will change the fact that many more people are unwilling to pay for the intellectual property than those who are happy to plunk down the cash.

And, of course, the economy is horrible! And you’re un (or under) employed! And you have to see/read/listen or else. I’m sorry. That sucks. But you’re being an asshole. Stop it.

We’re all spoiled brats, myself included, but, we can’t do that anymore. We have to get over our greediness (just like we keep bitching about the bank executives doing) and put something ahead of our own (incredibly trivial) needs.

Comics ARE expensive. Games ARE expensive. Movies ARE expensive. Music… not so much, but, for the sake of argument.

Here’s the thing. Up until a few years ago, there was still enough of an audience to make up for the percentage of you who are stealing. But, not anymore. Now, everybody steals, or, at least a higher percentage of the total audience than those that pay.

The comic market consists of about 200,000 people, on the high end. Now, certainly, you’ll have your Justice Leagues and Batmans and Flash’s that do amazing sales and are generating profits. But almost every other book that isn’t up there in the top 25 or so titles is almost certainly losing money.

So, if I’m Warner Bros or Disney, or, in the case of Last of the Greats, ME, and I see that we’re busting our asses monthly on something that’s not only not profitable but is actually losing money, what other choice do I have but to shut it down?

Very few of us (from Writers to Publishers) are in this for the money. We’re all here because this is something we worship and love and it’s something that drives us to the point of obsession. But, we all have mouths to feed.

If you keep on letting the world slip on by, then you’re helping to guarantee the demise of something you love.

So, while I’m telling you to stop being an asshole, I need you to do something for me. Be an asshole. You know how when someone you’re talking to makes a horrificly offensive racist comment and you immediately tell them to watch their mouth (or smack them or what have you…)? Well, I want you to do that about Piracy. Call them a fucking cockhead. Tell them that they’re singly responsible for ruining the comic book industry (or the film industry or whatever.)

Folks, the ship is sinking and we all need to stand up and fight.

j.

NYCC Signing Schedule

Hey guys,
You can catch me in NYC all week for New York Comic Con at the following times and places.

Thursday
NYCC Preview Night Party – 8pm – Signing with Eric Wallace, Kyle Higgins, Sterling Gates, Mike Costa, and Brent Peeples – Jim Hanley’s Universe – 4 West 33rd St.

Friday
12pm – Image Comics Signing – with Rahsan Ekedal and Brent Peeples
1pm – #ComicMarket Tweet Up – Booth 1969
2pm – DC Comics Signing

Saturday
12:15pm – Image Comics Panel – Room 1A15
2:30pm – Dc Comics Dark/Edge Panel – Room 1A22
5pm – Image Comics Signing – with Rahsan Ekedal and Brent Peeples

Sunday
11am – Image Comics Signing – with Rahsan Ekedal and Brent Peeples
2pm – DC Comics Signing

There will also be an exclusive NYCC #comicmarket Variant cover of Last of the Greats #1 from LarrysComics.net, more information on his twitter account twitter.com/larryscomics.

See you all at the show!

j.

Where’m I Gonna Be?

I created a whole new contraction up there.

Okay, big couple of weeks with the release of I,VAMPIRE #1, IRON MAN 2.0 #9, and LAST OF THE GREATS #1 coming up. I’ll be appearing all over L.A., and would love to see some of you! Schedule as follows:

WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 28th
11am – 2pm Meltdown Comics w/ Mike Costa
5pm – 8pm Collector’s Paradise – Pasadena – w/ Mike Costa & Phillip Tan

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 30th
7pm – 10pm Golden Apple Comics w/ Kyle Higgins, Sterling Gates, Scott Lobdell, Bernard Chang, and more!

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 2nd
12pm – 2pm Emerald Knights Comics w/ Brian Buccellato, Norm Raspund, and Mike Costa

WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 5th
5pm – 8pm Corner Store Comics – Anaheim w/ Kyle Higgins, Brian Buccellato, and Mike Costa

Hope to see y’all at the shops, and make sure to check out all of the new books and scream your heads off about them!

j.

End of an Era or What a long strange trip it’s been…

This week marks the release of ECHOES in Hardcover form.  It’s a uniquely beautiful package that I’m immensely proud of.  It’s twenty bucks and worth every penny, if I do say so myself.

It’s also the last creator owned book I’ll do before the launch of I,Vampire, Iron Man 2.0, and assorted other work for hire books.  The past six months or so have been massively busy between all of my corporate work and work on LAST OF THE GREATS and DEEP VALLEY (both of which are discussed along with my mainstream work in these video pieces over at MTV Geek.)

That’s something I’ve been working towards for almost a decade.  It’s been an arduous, at times frustrating, process that, frankly, I wouldn’t change for anything.  I mean sure, I could probably live without Speakeasy going bankrupt or the nine month, ahem, printing process on TUMOR, or the fights and falling outs and fucking overs… But…

I’m a better writer.  Every one of those experiences taught me something else about being a writer, both from a creative and a business stand point.  Had I been given these opportunities even as recently as two years ago, I don’t know that I’d be as able to meet the challenges as I am now.

I’m exactly where I should be doing exacty what I was born to do, and honest to god, I love every minute of it.

In housekeeping news – be sure to preorder LAST OF THE GREATS, I,VAMPIRE, and IRON MAN 2.0, yes?