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

Thursday, August 23, 2012

A Word About ADA Issue Two From Artist, Jacqueline Taylor.

The Elusive Artist, Jacqueline Taylor
Hi ya'll MEGABRAIN & AMERICAN DARK AGE fans!

Now before I start babbling on like a moonbrain, I want to apologize for the long wait of AMERICAN DARK AGE issue two, and thank you all for your patience. The book is still going through its final finishing touches, but it shouldn't be too much longer. Issue two took a little more preparation than the first and was slightly more complicated- we're really starting to get into the nitty gritty of Katherine Brody's character development before she becomes that ass-kicking, sword-wielding warrior and I've gotta say it's been a lot of fun playing with teenage Brody. It felt a lot like I was drawing myself at some points.

As you all may or may not know, I'm contracted with a couple other independent comic book publishers. Along with ADA, I'm finishing up 'HAPPY FUN-TIME ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE SLAYER GIRLZ' by Excel Comics: an action packed adventure with five girls kicking some serious zombie-fied booty and that book will be available for Amazon Kindle when it's completed. I also have another fantasy series starting near the end of this month which I'm not at liberty to discuss right now; so don't ask, because I'll have to get all black bag & wet-works on your ass. To top it all off, I'm also in negotiations with a local comic book publisher regarding a contract for next month.

Why the hell would I pile all of that on my plate at once, you ask?
I need the money for rent, groceries (Eating pencils and living under bridges isn't as attractive as the movies make it out to be) and I'll be making a trip down to New York again for this years Comic Con, in October. I essentially need to work my ass off until then unless you happen to know about a good bank heist crew that needs a caffeine fueled illustrator on their team.
The ups, downs and CRAZIES of being a freelance artist.

Yep. No life for Jac.

Things have been hectic around here for the longest of time. Moved out a couple of weeks ago into a nice new place.
I'm telling you, sleeping under that bridge was just far too noisy.
Also got a spankin new workplace. Super spacious. Completely different from my old cramped and cluttered office space. Of course there were electrical complications that took a while to fix, but every thing is just shiny now. I'm looking forward to finally settling down and getting back on schedule.

As for NYCC (New York Comic Con) I've got a table reserved in Artist Alley with the Megabrain folk. We'll be selling and signing Issues 1 and 2 there. I'll also have a variety of other things there- prints and original artworks aplenty. If you're at the con, don't forget to stop over to say hi.

Anyways, that's all for now. Thank you all again for all of your support and patience.
-Jac Taylor
Artist of American Dark Age

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

The American Dark Age Revolution, Has Begun!

Many of you have been privy to the spirited debates happening on Twitter and Facebook in regards to similarities between, our comic book American Dark Age and NBC televisions new Fall series, Revolution by JJ Abrams, Jon Favreau and Eric Kripke. Being the creator of American Dark Age, I just wanted to go on record with my true feelings about the whole thing, so there's no question.

For those of you who don't know what I'm talking about just watch the trailer for American Dark Age here:
http://megabraincomics.com/comics/american-dark-age/
and the trailer for NBC's Revolution, here:
http://www.nbc.com/revolution/



Once you're done, you'll be up to speed.

For The Record: I just want to say that I'm a huge fan of JJ, Favreau and Kripke's work. I honestly hope their show, Revolution is really good. It could only benefit Megabrain and American Dark Age if that show is a success and I'm also tired of bad TV.

That said, given the fact that all of us here at Megabrain are all snarky ass smart alecs, we will very likely give that show a bucket load of snide remarks, good natured ribbing, and all kinds of sarcasm dripping criticisms. It's all in good fun and in the spirit of healthy competition within the forum of artistic entertainment. 

I say good luck this Fall to NBC, JJ, Favreau & Kripke and I hope their feelings aren't hurt when everyone tells them how much more our story rocks than theirs.
Just as my feelings aren't hurt that they could care less what I think and can't hear any of this, anyway while swimming in their money bins.


I'm not upset and I'm not going to try and sue them. That's just dumb. There have been many other similar ideas to both our stories through the years such as Visionaries, Thundar The Barbarian, The Book of Eli and one that was just brought to my attention which I can't wait to read, The Dies the Fire series by S.M. Sterling.

The differences between our stories are significant and interesting enough to keep me engaged in writing my books and watching their show.  


I just hope that their show brings us some new readers (and shoppers) just as perhaps my story will turn some people on to their work, who may not have given it a chance before.


Good luck gentlemen and may the best creative team win by getting a big fat endorsement check and option from Hollywood for a series of films based on the independent comic book series they created about punk rock, the end of the world and a young girl from Oregon.


Sincerely,
Jean David Michel
creator of American Dark Age



Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Some people juggle geese...


Just another quick update to see what Jac's been up to! It's not all champagne and caviar for Jean & myself. We also spend time cracking the whip over our Canadian wünderkind. (There's an ümläüt in that wörd, rïght?)
Jac's been hard at work on a whole passel of projects. It seems the world noticed what we've known for a long time, JAC TAYLOR IS FREAKIN' AWESOMEShe's juggling work these days like a court jester trying to impress a wicked evil king who is only impressed by people who can juggle goslings
But really, we both know which of her projects you care about, so here's a sneak peak of what's in store in ADA #2.

Ouch. That's gotta hurt. Luckily Brody's got a hard head.

Release the Kraken!


Guess what? We have a release date! And a confirmed upcoming convention!

The elves we keep chained to giant gears have been pushing their hardest to get ADA #2 done, and there's finally an end in sight! (For the issue, not the elves. They're bound for an eternity. Also, it turns out, elves sweat agave nectar.)

American Dark Age #2 hit a few bumps in the road, mostly due to growing pains. After the successful launch of #1, we found ourselves so busy with interviews, other work, and self-adulation that it's taken us a little longer than originally planned to finish this one. 

So when does the subsequent issue finally land? Did Ben ever find out what happened on his soap operas? Where did Brody go? What's with the owl? Find out June 25! Mark it on your calendars, folks, for it will be a magical day, indeed!

This is what you get when you Google image search June 25. 

"But wait," you say. "I cannot wait so long for another taste of Megabrain goodness... I shall be woeful, pining until that day."

FEAR NOT! You can taste us on May 12! 

...

That didn't come out right. 


Listen, what I was trying to say is we'll be hanging out at our table at the Asbury Park Comic Con! If you're in the area, you seriously don't want to miss this one. It's in a bowling alley. Really. I can't wait to show off how bad of a bowler I am. If you bowl a strike on demand, you'll win a free t-shirt!

In other news, production is coming along well. The Kickstarter rewards are nearly all in from our vendors, and they look great. I can't wait to hear your reactions when you get your mitts on this sweet swag. 

As always, we're dying to hear from you, so write to me. I'm still looking for one or two more letters for the letter column, so sound off and get your name in print!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Hey Kids, Talkies!

It's like ghosts screaming from inside a little box...


You've read our words, now hear people talk about us! Like, actual talky words for your ears!
Jean's deep gravelly tones creep up your back like a dead hand in this interview from our pals at ComicBooked.com!
http://podcasts.comicbooked.com/cbp-13-interview-with-jean-michel/
True story, Jean told me he was nervous during the whole thing because he was talking to a girl.
And a chance encounter at a greasy fast food joint turned fortuitous as Megabrain collided with Gavin from KGBCast!
It's all good, but skip to 0:32 minutes to hear the lads talk about me being a weirdo.
http://traffic.libsyn.com/kgbcast/KGBcast43.mp3
Be cool and follow both of these podcasts after you give them a listen.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Spoilers!

Oh man... I wish you guys could see the pages that Jac's knocking out. The finished art for American Dark Age #2 is starting to roll in, and I'm just more impressed with each page I see. I wanna show you so bad, but I really can't yet.

Y'know what? Don't tell Jean, but I'll give you a sneak preview.

Sshhh....


Monday, March 5, 2012

Who's that girl?

It's the Comic Book Grrl, Blake Northcott! 

Hey, how you doin'?
We sent Blake a copy of American Dark Age #1 to review on her excellent site, http://www.blakenorthcott.com/ . If you don't know her, this is from her own site:
Author. Twitter-er. Slayer of vampires (only the ones that sparkle). I love reading, cooking, traveling and mixed martial arts. Dislikes include Wheel of Fortune and Ke$ha.
I live in a small, quiet town west of Toronto, and at the moment I'm writing and blogging full-time.
How can you not like someone who hates Twilight enough to list it as a profession? 
This picture makes me feel very small, but I kind of like it.
I highly recommend following her on Twitter and Facebook, especially so you catch her review of ADA when it hits the interwebs. And of course, make sure you check out her book, Vs Reality, because it's knock your socks off cool. 


Sunday, March 4, 2012

Chugging Along... Issue #2 Production update



Hoo boy, has it been busy behind the scenes here at Megabrain HQ! 

If you got here from googling "wet beavers" you may be at the wrong site.
With our funding now successful, it's full steam ahead. Let me elucidate what's been going on over here, and try to give out an idea of when some of the awesome will be in your hands. 
Jac's been burning the candle at all three ends to finish up the inks. Of course, she's no longer the insanely talented unknown we found in a lonely drainage ditch, mewling for milk on a rainy night all that time ago. (not a true story. Wanna know how I got these scars?) These days, she's an insanely talented up and comer, angrily demanding Scotch and poutine covered fries when she has a moment to breathe through the multiple projects she's working on. (completely true.) So when that's closer to done, we'll definitely give you a better idea of exactly when issue #2 is landing.
Of course, once she's done, there's printing, which takes about 2 weeks. I'm super excited with the new printer we're going with. They're a local company who's customer service is insanely good, and the samples they sent are outstanding. Once a contract is inked with them I'll post links. If you're looking to print your own comic (you totally should, it's a f&^%ing rush) then I'd use these guys in a heartbeat. If you need their name sooner, shoot me an email, k?
Speaking of vendors, our shirts and messenger bags ought to be heading to print any day now. Like last time around, we're working with the fine chaps at Silky's Brooklyn. Rob & Steve have been two tons of cool stuffed into a one ton bag, and you will love the quality of these products.
Stickers and posters are likewise getting sorted, and we should have the first round of rewards out to you pretty soon. The plan right now is to get out all the non-comic rewards first, and the comics following in a couple of weeks.
In non-reward news, Jean & I have been working on expanding our retail base. We're in 8 stores around the NYC area now, check if yours is on the list by clicking here. If your store isn't on the list (yet), then you're in a pickle, my friends. Luckily, we've provided a fork so you don't have to get brine all over your fingers to eat that delicious pickle. Just print out this handy dandy order form and bring it to you local peddler of funny books, slam it on the counter and demand some ADA!
Do it... do it now!
Also, we've been hitting the twitterverse and blogosphere, and are looking for comic and media podcasters who are masochistic enough to sit down and talk to us for a bit about our book. If you've got any suggestions, or you're a journalist/podcaster/stalker who wants some face time, drop us a line at.. uh... well at dropusaline@megabraincomics.com. Damn fine original email address, that is right there.
I'm still on the prowl for fan letters, fan art, letter column naming suggestions, and any other drunken proposals you send our way, so send those in to mike@megabraincomics.com, and I'll about getting them printed!
As always, keep an eye or ear on this space, Twitter, Facebook, Megabraincomics.com, the voices in your head, and the dirty, dirty rumor mill for news about American Dark Age. Until next time, my dear friends,
-Mike Vuolo, Editor-in-Chief

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Fan Letters!


Did you love Issue #1? I knew it! So why not share some of that love and show off what a big fan you are by writing a letter to the editor! I'm looking for love letters, fan mail, illicit propositions, fan art, cosplay pics, dirty pics, or pretty much anything you want to send our way and have printed. 






Just shoot me an email at mike@megabraincomic.com and mark it "OK TO PRINT" in the subject line. 
While you're at it, do you have a great idea for a title for the letters page? We've got a couple of great submissions for that one already, but I want a few more to widen the field. Get them in by midnight on Friday, and this weekend we'll pick our favorites for you guys to vote on. 

Monday, February 27, 2012

Kickstart My Heart


Whoa... yeah! So there's 10 hours to go on our Kickstarter to fund printing of issue #2. This one has been a quiet rollercoaster for us. With issue #1, we publicized the hell out of it, we were at NYCC to celebrate, we begged, pleaded, tweeted, Facebooked (pretty sure that's not a verb), and yelled it from the rooftops.

This time around, not so loud, at least not til the end. I mean, it's issue #2, so there's less of a launch party vibe. But that doesn't mean that for us it hasn't been as nerve wracking and exciting. You know what? More so.

We were worried about a sophomore slump. We were worried about keeping the momentum. We were worried about looking unsuccessful if we were asking for pledges again. We were worried that we'd have less time to raise the cash. We were worried that we were going to have to only distribute digitally instead of print. We've been just a ball of nerves with all these things to think about.

But you... oh you... C'mere you! Give us a hug!

With just about 10 hours to go, we've exceeded our goal and are so close to $3500. And that means we're alive to deliver to you another pulse pounding, tear jerking, head scratching tale of Katherine Brody in the post-Blackout world. I can't wait til you read it.

No, screw that. You'll be able to read it online. I really can't wait til you smell it. Til you feel it in your hands, til you slide it into a board and bag and add it to the library of all the legendary comics and creators that keep you dreaming. Because that's what this is about.

It's about making comics.


Go see what the hell I'm talking about on our Kickstarter page. You've got 10 hours left to get in on the ground second floor
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