Editing Indie Comics and Editing Marvel Comics: The Different Worlds of Heather Antos

Saturday, May 23rd, 2015 | Posted by Derek Kunsken

Star_Wars_Princess_Leia_Vol_1_3_TextlessI’ve had a chance to e-chat with Marvel Comics editorial staff Xander Jarowey and Jake Thomas, as well as the indie comic creators from Mirror Comics. Now, I’m e-sitting down with Heather Antos, a newly-minted Assistant Editor at Marvel who also spent a year editing indie comics.

Heather got noticed by Marvel with her biggest indie credit, a comic anthology called Unlawful Good: An Anthology of Crime, which mixed together the innovations of creator-owned, anthology format, and Kickstarter crowd-funding. Crowd-funding takes a lot of work; check out its completed Kickstarter page and youtube promo video.

Kickstarter in prose as well as in comics is still relatively new as a business model, so New York Comic Con invited her to speak on a panel, which led to her hiring as assistant editor on Night of the Living Deadpool, Star Wars, Darth Vader, Deadpool and others.

So, some of your indie editor work still hasn’t come out yet. Are you able to talk about any of those works? Can you talk about Unlawful Good and how that was different for the industry?

Sure! My time in the industry as an editor is actually quite short. It was a little over a year ago that I began freelance editing. In fact, the whole point of UNLAWFUL GOOD was a bit of an experiment with myself to see even if comic editing was something I was capable of (I was a recent college grad trying to find ‘my place in the world’).

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Professor Patrice Caldwell on Exploding Cows, Peanut Buster Parfaits, and Why Grand Masters Flock to Portales, New Mexico

Saturday, May 16th, 2015 | Posted by Emily Mah

JackW1photo patrice 600The Jack Williamson Lectureship is a little known, hidden gem of science fiction. Taking place every April in Portales, New Mexico, it always attracts an impressive list of authors, who gather in an unnaturally high concentration in places such as the local Dairy Queen.

I’ve attended the Lectureship for over a decade, so I remember the days when Jack was alive and we held events in his house. He was a brilliant, unassuming man who was one of the founding fathers of science fiction. Words such as “psionics,” “terraform,” and “genetic engineering” had their first appearance in his fiction, and he also coined concepts such as The Prime Directive and androids. He was the second ever SFWA Grand Master and holds the record for publishing stories in more consecutive decades than any other author (nine decades in total!)

This year I sat down with Professor Patrice Caldwell (far right in the picture above, next to Connie Willis and Betty Williamson, Jack’s niece). Patrice coordinates the Lectureship every year, and we took a moment to discuss Jack’s legacy, and this annual event that honors him. If you’ve never heard of the Jack Williamson Lectureship, listen up! It’s an event you won’t want to miss.

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Read An Interview With Author Christopher Moore, Windycon 42 Guest of Honor

Sunday, April 26th, 2015 | Posted by John ONeill

Christopher Moore-smallMy Guest-of-Honor interview with Christopher Moore, author of Bloodsucking Fiends, Coyote Blue, and many other fine fantasy novels, has just been posted. Here’s a sample.

So, did you became a full-time writer with your very first novel? Because, damn.

I did. Disney bought the film rights to Practical Demonkeeping before the book rights ever sold and that gave me enough money to quit my job as a waiter and go to writing full time. Although I didn’t get paid for six months and I ended up kiting credit cards and eating grilled ham and cheese sandwiches on credit at my friend’s diner… I wrote my first three books in his diner.

I’m interested in what you felt you were writing. What genre, I mean. I frequently hear you described as a “comic fantasy” writer. Did you set out to be a fantasy writer?

I didn’t really think about genre. I knew what I was doing would be “between genres.” I had read an essay by Kirby McCauley, who was, I think, Stephen King and George R.R. Martin’s agent at the time, that said, “any genre can be combined with horror except for whimsy. Whimsy and horror just won’t work.”

Something like that. So I decided, “Hey, I think I’ll write a whimsical horror novel.”

Read the complete interview at the Windycon 42 blog.

Susan Kaye Quinn on Mind Control, Cashing Out Souls, and Publishing Your Own Way

Sunday, March 29th, 2015 | Posted by Emily Mah

The Legacy Human-smallSusan Kaye Quinn is an author and a rocket scientist who hails from the Chicago area. It’s hard to say what she’s best known for. Her YA science fiction Mindjack trilogy, noir science fiction Debt Collector serial, South Asian steampunk Dharian Affairs trilogy, and middle grade fantasy Faerie Swap have all been well received.

Her most recent release is dystopian cyberpunk The Legacy Human, which is the first book of her Singularity series. A member of the Indelibles (one of the first indie author groups to take off, back in the day) and the Emblazoners (an equally pioneering middle grade indie author group), she is also the author of The Indie Author’s Guide.

Now, this interview is a little out of sync with reality. I conducted it in September 2013, and then hit some technical difficulties, and then got buried by my startup business, so I apologize that the projects she’s talking about are now all published (but that means you don’t have to wait to read any of them.)

I have the privilege of sharing a German translator with Susan, and we both started our indie careers at around the same time (I’m E.M. Tippetts in indie world, a chick-lit writer). Together we’ve seen indie publishing evolve from an unheard of option with a strong stigma, to what it is today, providing both her and me a living. I’m just lucky.

She, on the other hand, is good, so I strongly recommend you hear what she has to say!

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Developing a Voice, Fine Tuning Scripts, and Getting Neurotic About Hair Color: An Interview with Marvel Comics Assistant Editor Xander Jarowey

Saturday, March 14th, 2015 | Posted by Derek Kunsken


Did someone say “press gang”?

life after wolverineI recently interviewed Marvel Comics Associate Editor Jake Thomas, and now I’m having an e-conversation with Xander Jarowey. Xander is the Assistant Editor on All-New X-Men, Amazing X-Men, Uncanny X-Men, Guardians of the Galaxy and Legendary Star-Lord (all under Editor Mike Marts), Nightcrawler, X-Force and Magneto (under Editor Daniel Ketchum), and All-New X-Factor and Guardians Team-Up (for Editor Katie Kubert). He’s recently become the editor on Amazing X-Men and has also edited the Death of Wolverine: Life After Logan, and is the Editor of the upcoming X-Tinction Agenda.

Thanks for taking the time for the interview, Xander. How long have you been with Marvel and how did you get in? Internship? Job application? Press gang?

Thanks for having me! My path to Marvel was circuitous. I moved to New York to work in theatrical management. I worked a few internships and had a ton of fun, but I came to a point where I wasn’t 100% sure that I wanted to stay in the industry. I’m a huge comics fan and Marvel has always had a special place in my heart. Maybe I should blame it on the X-Men cartoon?

I looked at the Marvel site on a whim and saw an editorial assistant job. It sounded a lot like what I’d been doing in theatre. I got an interview, but lost the job to Devin Lewis (who is now the assistant editor for Nick Lowe on Spider-Man). He doesn’t know it yet, but payback is coming one day. Marvel got in touch with me after the interview and asked if I’d be interested in interviewing for an assistant editor position. I had to hold in my fanboy squeal. They gave me a script and a day to give them notes. After that I went through a series of interviews and somehow hoodwinked them all into hiring me. It’s been a fantastic year and a half ago since then.

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The Middle Child of Editorial: An Interview with Jake Thomas, Associate Editor at Marvel Comics

Saturday, February 14th, 2015 | Posted by Derek Kunsken

I’m having an e-conversation with Jake Thomas, an Associate Editor at Marvel Comics. punisherHe’s got a ton of editorial credits, as Assistant Editor on titles like Captain America, Avengers, Age of Ultron, and many others, as well as Editor on Iron Fist the Living Weapon, Deadly Hands of Kung Fu, The Punisher and others.

Let’s cover some of the basics first. Jake, you started at Marvel as an Assistant Editor. Editors oversee production. What do Assistant Editors do for the production process?

Marvel editors are involved in a lot more than just production.

A main Editor helps develop projects, gives story and art notes, helps with the marketing of the books, all kinds of things. The nuts and bolts of production are by and large the purview of the Assistants. Assistant Editors keep files moving, track schedules, write recaps, do ad lineups, gather reference, run proofs through our various checks and balances, a bunch of the behind-the-scenes work that allows the machinery of comics to keep functioning.

They also act as another set of eyes; they can give script feedback to their editors, check the art as it comes in to make sure the storytelling is solid and everyone’s in the correct costume. Important stuff!

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Goth Chick News Catches Up With Our Favorite Comic Horror Crush: Dirk Manning

Thursday, February 5th, 2015 | Posted by Sue Granquist

Dirk Manning

Dirk Manning

We first introduced you to Dirk Manning way back in 2011, courtesy of his nationwide tour promoting Nightmare World, his horror comic series.

As someone who spent a significant amount of my childhood reading contraband horror stories by flashlight under the covers, Manning’s work struck a chord with his vintage-look illustrations and old-school storylines.

So it’s no surprise that his work holds a place of honor on the bookshelves in the underground offices of Goth Chick News.  Nor is it probably a shocker that due to his genre of choice (not to mention the black top hat), that he’s become a personal favorite as well.

When I learned about Manning’s latest installment of his paranormal Mr. Rhee series, I had to ask him to spill some double-secret details just for you.  And being my favorite goth guy, horror-comic crush, he graciously complied.

Let’s wade in shall we?

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Goth Chick News: 13 Questions for Exorcist… er, Depossessionist Marcus Wynne

Thursday, December 11th, 2014 | Posted by Sue Granquist

Marcus Wynne

Marcus Wynne

Back at the end of October, we here at Goth Chick News wrapped up “the season” by reviewing a new release The Sword of Michael, written by a truly unique author, Marcus Wynne. You see, apart from being ex-military and the current CEO of a military consulting firm, Wynne is a “depossessionist” (not to be confused with an exorcist, so my bad in the original write up).

Now before I start getting jokes about working with the government and casting out demons, know that Wynne is dead serious. Since beginning his spiritual career, Wynne has dealt with (offed? banished? eradicated?) over 1,000 entities all over the US. When coupled with his job in the US Air Marshals, that pretty much constitutes covering our backsides on multiple fronts.

It’s probably pretty obvious why we all needed to know more about Mr. Marcus Wynne, so allow me to introduce him:

Everyone, this is Marcus – Marcus, meet everyone.

With the pleasantries out of the way, let’s get down to the serious questions…

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Attack of the Gnomes: An Interview with Kenny Soward

Wednesday, December 10th, 2014 | Posted by John R. Fultz

Tinkermage-smallSend in the Gnomes! No, wait, Kenny Soward has already done that.

Tinkermage, the second volume of his GnomeSaga trilogy, was recently released by Ragnarok Publications. The Ragnarok edition of the series’ first volume, Rough Magick, has been available since October, and the concluding volume, Cogweaver, will be released in February 2015.

Ken’s first novel has been praised as “The Hobbit meets Aliens meets Dirty Old Man” and “a bone crushing, blood gushing visceral experience.” Reviewers also called it “a bit quirky and certainly brilliant.” He’s making the fantasy world stand up and take notice, not to mention coining the term “#gnomepunk.” Yes, this could be the start of a whole new fantasy sub-genre.

I first met Kenny at Haggin Hall, the sophomore dorm we shared at the University of Kentucky in the late 80s. We shared an interest in heavy metal music, Conan the Barbarian, and David Letterman. Ken lived just down the hall from me for two semesters and we had some good times. I remember Ken’s daily Top Ten lists (his sense of humor is irrepressible), playing a few killer sessions of Call of Cthulhu, and driving through a snowstorm looking for a practice space so we could form a band. (We didn’t find one.)

Cut to 24 years later — lo and behold we’re both fantasy novelists. Turns out we both studied creative writing at U of K under Gurney Norman, and both of us went through a few years dedicated to playing in different rock bands in separate cities (him in Cincinnati, me in Lexington). But I hadn’t seen or heard ANYTHING from Kenny since our sophomore year of college, since I had moved out of the dorm after that year. Then, earlier this year, I discovered Rough Magick and suddenly realized this was the same guy I knew in college. Thanks to the magic of social media, our friendship resumed immediately.

Naturally, I wanted to interview Ken for Black Gate, and I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to do it! So let’s get started…

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Goth Chick News: From Hell Gets the Small Screen Treatment from FX

Thursday, November 20th, 2014 | Posted by Sue Granquist

From Hell Alan MooreThe FX Network is making bank giving us the creeps.

Earlier this week, IMDB reported the network responsible for the nightmare-inducing American Horror Story is developing a TV series based on Alan Moore and Eddie Campbell’s critically acclaimed graphic novel From Hell.

From Hell was published in comic form from 1989 to 1996. It totals 572 pages and I own every one, having purchased the entire series in mint condition at a flea market.

Do not underestimate the opportunities at a flea market.

The comic book series depicts a fictional account of the gory Jack the Ripper killings in Whitechapel, London as part of a conspiracy by the Freemasons and the royal family. The series also used some historical facts and actual people involved with the case to create a narrative for the story.

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