Thursday, November 7, 2013

Back To The Drawing Board

Sad news Megabrainiacs. After the release of issue two of American Dark Age, Jacqueline Taylor will no longer be illustrating the adventures of Katherine Brody in ADA.

This is not the end of the series, but unfortunately it's the end of something that was pretty fantastic.

You will get to continue enjoying Jac's work in the other books she's working on including her own creator owned series, The Elements. 

You can always find out what's going on in the world of Jac by visiting her DeviantArt page here: http://nebulainferno.deviantart.com/ or her Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/theelementscomicbook

I'll be speaking to some artists in the coming weeks to see who will be a good fit to continue visually telling the story in American Dark Age and I will keep you all up to date on how that progresses.

I'll also be finishing up the lettering on issue two when I get back from my brothers wedding in Florida this week and then we'll be going to print once that's done and your extremely long and patient wait time for American Dark Age issue two will be over.

Thanks, for your attention and your continued support.

Your friendly neighborhood comic book writer,

Jean Michel

Sunday, October 13, 2013

A Megapology from Writer Jean Michel


Comic Book Writer & Megabrain Founder, Jean MichelI have not been doing my job as well as you deserve and for that I am truly sorry. I had told you all that we would be dialing back Megabrain a bit due to so many changes in all of the lives of our staff members, but I think in hindsight what I’ve been doing has verged on neglect.
I’m not going to apologize for what I’ve been doing with my time away from Megabrain, but I am apologizing for not fitting Megabrain and your needs in to the mix of my life more efficiently and effectively and that is changing today.
The day to day operations of Megabrain for the most part has become a one man operation while much of the staff is on maternity and academic leave, and this one man is coming to you in hopes that I haven’t completely lost your faith in what it is we’re trying to do here.
I’ve received a few emails asking some basic questions that I’m sure many of you would like to know the answers too and I am going to address and answer these issues right now, such as:
• Dude! Kickstarter rewards. Where are they and when am I getting them?
• What is the big surprise you keep yammering about?
• Why is everything taking so long?
• Am I getting anything from you for my troubles, numbnuts?
• What can I expect from you and Megabrain in the future?
So let’s get started.

Where are your Kickstarter rewards, you ask?

When we ran our last Kickstarter campaign we honestly couldn’t have predicted or projected that issue two of American Dark Age would take this long to produce. With so many unforeseen speed bumps, events and hiccups - this past year has been a virtual publishing gauntlet. Issue two is still being inked, but instead of having everyone wait on just the book, this week I will start to send out the other rewards little by little and when the book is complete, it will follow to your home.

Wanna know what the surprise is that I’ve been hinting at for two months now?

While Jacqueline and I didn’t exhibit at NY Comic Con this past year, I did go down for one day in order to support my friends in Artists Alley. While chatting with my friend Erica at her table about some of my publishing woes, the gentlemen to her left overheard a bit and asked if I needed an inker for our series. I told him a bit about the story and gave him a copy of the issue two preview. He dug the art and was intrigued by the story. Long story short,...uh, shorter - that gentlemen turned out to be none other than the two-tone master himself, Bob Wiacek and he is currently fitting American Dark Age in to his very busy schedule in order to help us get back on track.
That’s right! Bob Wiacek is inking your copy of American Dark Age issue two, as we speak. It takes all my force of will not to absolutely geek out on the man whenever I speak to him. That all leads in to the next question...

Why is everything taking so long?

As I said, Bob is on board with us, but the truth of the matter is, we can’t compete with his previous deadlines for the Big Two, so he is eking our project in whenever he gets a moment or two. Unfortunately that means I can’t give you a definitive date on issue two’s release, which leads me in to my peace offering.
It’s a logical thing to ask. Are you getting anything for all your patience and trouble?
Yes! Although Bob is in the midst of inking, I’ve decided that I’m taking the issue two preview even further. I’m going to have a limited run of issue two sketch variants printed up. That means, a full sized comic book, fully lettered and edited, but all the artwork inside will be Jacqueline’s pencils with no inks. Everyone who is supposed to receive an issue two copy from Kickstarter and anyone who has pre-ordered a copy from our website will be receiving one of these limited edition issues, signed by yours truly. I know it doesn’t take back all the time you’ve spent waiting or restore some of the faith you may have lost in me as a comic book writer and publisher, but I just hope it’s something that you at least enjoy.
Making comics is hard and there are times, when I feel overwhelmed by our tiny little operation, but I realized (with some words of wisdom from a dear friend of mine) that even though it can get difficult and even frustrating at times, there is nothing that I would rather be doing with my efforts than creating books for you to enjoy. I love every bit of it, from conception, to execution, and all the way to the rockstar moments of going on tour to a con and being able to meet all our fans and introducing newer readers to what we’re doing.
Making comics is hard. Especially when it needs to take a backseat to family and day jobs, but I am not quitting and I promise I will be doing my best to regain your faith and support for Megabrain, American Dark Age and everything that we do here.

What can you expect from us in the future?

You can expect that we’ll continue making comic books that have strong stories, characters and amazing artwork. You can expect us to continue working hard to entertain you and hopefully you’ll keep a spot open for us in your long box.
Thanks for your time and patience, Megabrainiacs!
--Sincerely
Your friendly neighborhood comic book writer
Jean David Michel

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Ladies & Gentlemen! We give you, Charles Barnett III

...and in American Dark Age production news:
Just a modest example of the work Charles is doing
on issue two of American Dark Age
Although, we announced Bob Wiacek as our new inker, that was a bit pre-mature. Unfortunately Bob is swamped with other commitments from "The Big Two", BUT that did NOT deter us, because we have retained the skills and prowess of Charles Barnett III as our inker extraordinaire! You may have seen some of our recent teaser pages that we've posted on Facebook and I think you'll agree as we do, that Charles and Jacqueline's work together is just beautiful.
He is currently hammering away at pages with the might of an Asgardian thunder god and sooner than you think, issue two of American Dark Age will be shipping in to your eager hands.
So help welcome Charles in to the Megabrain family and feel free to drop him a message on either of our Facebook pages or our Twitter page.
All of us here at Megabrain thank you so much for all you've done.
We'll see you in the funny papers!



There's No Greater Gift Than Those You Receive From An Artist!

I just woke up to the greatest gift from Jac this morning and I have to share it with you guys.
-- JM


Tuesday, February 5, 2013

MEGAPOLOGY

I have not been doing my job as well as you deserve and for that I am truly sorry. I had told you all that we would be dialing back Megabrain a bit due to so many changes in all of the lives of our staff members, but I think in hindsight what I’ve been doing has verged on neglect.
I’m not going to apologize for what I’ve been doing with my time away from Megabrain, but I am apologizing for not fitting Megabrain and your needs in to the mix of my life more efficiently and effectively and that is changing today.
The day to day operations of Megabrain for the most part has become a one man operation while much of the staff is on maternity and academic leave, and this one man is coming to you in hopes that I haven’t completely lost your faith in what it is we’re trying to do here.
I’ve received a few emails asking some basic questions that I’m sure many of you would like to know the answers too and I am going to address and answer these issues right now, such as:

• Dude! Kickstarter rewards. Where are they and when am I getting them?
• What is the big surprise you keep yammering about?
• Why is everything taking so long?
• Am I getting anything from you for my troubles, numbnuts?
• What can I expect from you and Megabrain in the future?

So let’s get started.

Where are your Kickstarter rewards, you ask?


When we ran our last Kickstarter campaign we honestly couldn’t have predicted or projected that issue two of American Dark Age would take this long to produce. With so many unforeseen speed bumps, events and hiccups - this past year has been a virtual publishing gauntlet. Issue two is still being inked, but instead of having everyone wait on just the book, this week I will start to send out the other rewards little by little and when the book is complete, it will follow to your home.

Wanna know what the surprise is that I’ve been hinting at for two months now?


While Jacqueline and I didn’t exhibit at NY Comic Con this past year, I did go down for one day in order to support my friends in Artists Alley. While chatting with my friend Erica at her table about some of my publishing woes, the gentlemen to her left overheard a bit and asked if I needed an inker for our series. I told him a bit about the story and gave him a copy of the issue two preview. He dug the art and was intrigued by the story. Long story short,...uh, shorter - that gentlemen turned out to be none other than the two-tone master himself, Bob Wiacek and he is currently fitting American Dark Age in to his very busy schedule in order to help us get back on track.
That’s right! Bob Wiacek is inking your copy of American Dark Age issue two, as we speak. It takes all my force of will not to absolutely geek out on the man whenever I speak to him. That all leads in to the next question...

Why is everything taking so long?


As I said, Bob is on board with us, but the truth of the matter is, we can’t compete with his previous deadlines for the Big Two, so he is eking our project in whenever he gets a moment or two. Unfortunately that means I can’t give you a definitive date on issue two’s release, which leads me in to my peace offering.

It’s a logical thing to ask. Are you getting anything for all your patience and trouble?

Yes! Although Bob is in the midst of inking, I’ve decided that I’m taking the issue two preview even further. I’m going to have a limited run of issue two sketch variants printed up. That means, a full sized comic book, fully lettered and edited, but all the artwork inside will be Jacqueline’s pencils with no inks. Everyone who is supposed to receive an issue two copy from Kickstarter and anyone who has pre-ordered a copy from our website will be receiving one of these limited edition issues, signed by yours truly. I know it doesn’t take back all the time you’ve spent waiting or restore some of the faith you may have lost in me as a comic book writer and publisher, but I just hope it’s something that you at least enjoy.

Making comics is hard and there are times, when I feel overwhelmed by our tiny little operation, but I realized (with some words of wisdom from a dear friend of mine) that even though it can get difficult and even frustrating at times, there is nothing that I would rather be doing with my efforts than creating books for you to enjoy. I love every bit of it, from conception, to execution, and all the way to the rockstar moments of going on tour to a con and being able to meet all our fans and introducing newer readers to what we’re doing.
Making comics is hard. Especially when it needs to take a backseat to family and day jobs, but I am not quitting and I promise I will be doing my best to regain your faith and support for Megabrain, American Dark Age and everything that we do here.

What can you expect from us in the future?


You can expect that we’ll continue making comic books that have strong stories, characters and amazing artwork. You can expect us to continue working hard to entertain you and hopefully you’ll keep a spot open for us in your long box.

Thanks for your time and patience, Megabrainiacs!

Your friendly neighborhood comic book writer,

Jean Michel





Monday, November 5, 2012

To Friends, Family and Everyone Affected by Sandy

Georgia Horesh
Operations Manager
With all that has happened in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, we wanted to take a moment to send our condolences to those who have lost family or friends in the wake of the storm. We also send our most heartfelt wishes for a safe and fast recovery to those who have lost homes and businesses to the wrath of the hurricane. We also hope those without heat, water, gas or power soon receive the help and aid they need.

When doing a comic book like American Dark Age where the fantasy of the idea of all power and electronics being gone, it is easy to sit in your chair in your home, warm and comfortable and spin tales and episodes. The reality, while not hard to imagine, is still kept at arm's length. Even if the power goes out for a few days (as it did for our writer Jean last year) there is less fear and worry and more frustration and anger that the power company is not fixing it faster. We live in a world where television shows have horrible things happen at the end of an episode, but next week all they need is a caption saying ‘two months later’ and everything is back to normal. Even when making a comic book, you can write ‘two years later’ and the time passes in a snap – we get on with our lives and move forward. All the nitty-gritty is glossed over.

Unfortunately, in the real world, that isn’t the case, as is being made apparent by images of the destruction Sandy left behind.
 
Most of the Megabrain staff reside in New York state and have been dealing with the aftermath of the storm. Luckily, the majority of that has involved losing power or water for a period of time and trying to get access to gas. I am extremely thankful that they and their families were spared some of the worse that Sandy had to offer.

I live in the mid-west, so most people would think that what happened, outside of worry for my friends, wouldn’t bother me. They’d be wrong of course. I lived most of my life and grew up on the Jersey Shore. I have family there and friends. Again, I am very lucky they got through it alive.

But there won’t be a caption to jump cut over to the rebuilt houses and businesses. There won’t be a quick cut to things being set right again.

Photo courtesy of NAB (Not A Benny)
Whole towns are gone. Neighborhoods are destroyed. Landmarks are wiped away. This is the reality.

My cousin has ten families staying with her because 95% of her neighborhood was destroyed. My sister-in-law will be gone from her family for another month or more since being deployed before the storm hit to help New York to recover. Mike, (Megabrain Editor-in-Chief), and his wife Mandy (Megabrain Officer of Creative Development) are organizing and helping with donations and aid to those in need. People are on long lines waiting for gas to either be able to get to work or heat their homes. Some are in their homes waking up freezing while waiting for the power companies to get their house back on the grid. Aid is having difficulty getting some places because there are no more roads. Families are still in shelters because they have nowhere else to go and the insurance companies haven’t gotten to them yet. The list could go on...

And there will be places that never recover. Having grown up on the Jersey Shore, I have seen the pictures of the devastation and it is heart breaking. This is where I grew up. This is where I spent my days. There were businesses we knew. The familiar sights are washed away. It is hard to fathom that they are simply… gone.

But as written in American Dark Age, there will be new life after this storm. New York will recover as it does in the face of adversity: Its people determined to get on with things as Sandy becomes just another notch in the belt of trauma that the city and state has dealt with. New Jersey will rebuild its shoreline. No, it won’t be the same, but they will rebuild and they will continue to have the same attitude of fortitude they always had. Nothing will keep them down.

So, I suppose that I just wanted everyone to know that here at Megabrain, to all those out there… We know. We know what you are facing and we are sending our support and aid in what ways that we can.

We are also hoping that you are doing what you can as well. Check out some sites that provide help and aid to those who need it. Find the Red Cross site to see what you can do. If you are far away from the East Coast and want to help, organize care package shipping to send needed items. Below are some sites with links to organizations.

http://www.wnyc.org/articles/wnyc-news/2012/oct/30/how-help-hurricane-sandy/

http://gothamist.com/2012/10/30/heres_how_to_volunteer_time_money_t.php

http://www.cnn.com/2012/10/30/us/iyw-how-to-help-after-sandy/index.html

As we go through the nitty-gritty, we have to remember, we are all in this together and with support, patience and understanding, we can rebuild and move forward.

--Sincerely
Georgia Horesh
Megabrain Comics Operations Manager

Friday, September 28, 2012

JD Michel talks about Megabrain and the future of American Dark Age

Can you smell the leather bound books & fine mahogany?
Let me start by letting everyone know a few things.

• Megabrain is not folding.

• American Dark Age is not being canceled. Issue two is coming, if not a bit slowly.

• Kickstarter rewards WILL BE shipped as soon as issue two is printed.

• Unfortunately, we ARE canceling our appearance at the 2012 NY Comic Con

Now that that's out of the way, I shall regale you with stories of the sea and of men killing things, but first let me speak to you about comic books and my folly.

When I first started writing American Dark Age a few years ago, I really had no idea how or even if it would ever get produced. All I knew was that I had an idea and a story in my head about a girl with a sword and an apocalyptic event that few could ever imagine. I didn't know how to produce a comic book and I didn't think anyone would take the chance on producing it for me. If I wanted it made, I would have to figure it out myself. Thanks to the help of my friends and the support of my lady, we were able to create a book that reached far beyond my expectations.

Our first Kickstarter campaign really set the pace and the scope of how we began to operate and our successful debut at the 2011 NY Comic Con gave me the confidence...or I guess I should say, overconfidence to assume I had my fingers on the tip of success. What can I say? Roger Hodgson told me I'm a dreamer. I never anticipated the amount of accolades and fanfare that American Dark Age received and for someone to go from living his life in relative obscurity and anonymity to being interviewed, critiqued, and reviewed within the span of a just a couple months…lets just say my ego took a ride on the Ron Burgundy express. "Hey, everyone! Come see how good Brody looks." 
I immediately began to increase the amount of merchandise and marketing that we had budgeted and started spending a LOT of time chatting to people all over the world about ADA and Megabrain instead of concentrating on making comics. I figured the more money and time we spent on getting people to our website and our book, would help to propel Megabrain and ADA to BK Vaughan proportions. I don't think any of those decisions were bad ones, but in retrospect, they may have been ill conceived. We're not a company that can operate at that type of level. We're just a bunch of friends trying to make comic books in between our day to day responsibilities. All we really needed to do, was let our work find it's fans on it's own. 

So, because hindsight has something to do with Barbara Walters & Hugh Downs, we've decided to dial back the operations of Megabrain to only producing and selling our comic book until a time comes when we have the man/woman power and money to operate in the higher echelon of publishing. I began all of this because I've wanted to make comic books all my life and that's what I'm going to do. Concentrate on writing and working with Jacqueline on producing our book.
In the coming weeks, we'll be removing everything from our online store except for the comics and once issue two is completed & printed and the Kickstarter rewards from our last fundraiser are all shipped, I will be purely in writer mode.

And now to the business of issue two of American Dark Age. All I can say about it is that all of us at Megabrain are regular folk with regular folk lives. We've been working on issue two for a while, but life has a funny way of interrupting the creative process and asking you to do silly things like pay for stuff and take care of yourself. As a lot of you know, my girlfriend and I recently bought a house and that has taken up a lot of my free time that I would usually use for comic book making and Jacqueline Taylor not only recently moved in to a new place (I'm not sure what type of homes Canadian's live in, but I think there's a lot of bear skins and ice involved in creating them), but unfortunately she has also had some serious health concerns (She has an evil foot, like Jeff Fahey's arm in that movie) which have arisen and slowed her art schedule down considerably. All of these things and more have delayed the release of issue two quite a bit and I can tell you all that we are very sorry and are working to get it to you very soon.
Add all of that up, carry the two and it equals us not being prepared for our appearance at the 2012 NY Comic Con next month which is yet another major bummer.

So there you have it, campers. We're still creating your "New Mythologies", but at a highly conservative pace. We will continue to keep you abreast (Hehehehe) of everything as it happens and as soon as we know when issue two will be printed, you'll know. As always, I can not thank you enough for your support and for sticking by us. I'll meet you between the pages.

Sincerely,
JD Michel
writer of American Dark Age

There was an error in this gadget