Got a good one for you guys today!
Last week, Jim Zub of Skullkickers fame dropped me an email, offering up some awesome treats for the CBSA.
Jim’s twitter feed and blog features treasure trove of valuable comic industry information– particularly for those of you who are focusing on Creator Owned material. In particular, his three-parter on the economics of CO material is very eye-opening. If you’re an aspiring comic creator, those links need to be in your bookmarks!
Skullkickers is a great, entertaining read. It really brings me back to sitting around a table, as a 12-year old, playing classic D&D – cracking jokes and just taking the carefully plotted “serious” adventure completely off the rails. Everything about this book, from the story, to the characters, to the fantastic art just has a sense of unabashed, lighthearted fun to it. Point being, it’ll make you smile, and if you have fond memories of rolling funny-shaped dice, it’ll make you smile even wider.
If that doesn’t sell you, here’s Zub’s pitch for the series:
by Jim Zub“No magic. No problem.”
In a backwater fantasy world filled with all manners of magical beasts, poverty, disease and other horrifying threats, it’s a daily struggle to survive. Most people keep their head low, stay in the village they were born and eke out a life as a farmer or simple trades person. The only ones strong enough to have anything else are protected by sorcerous powers or are in the employ of the demonic.
Except for our two protagonists – They thrive by being stubborn and tough as Hell.
No one knows where this human and dwarf came from or how they’ve survived so long without using a speck of magic. They travel the land slaying every kind of beast in their path with sheer physical grit and vicious trickery. They’re not heroic or even nice – in fact they might be two of the most irritating and ornery assholes to ever heft a blade. No matter how obnoxious they may be, no one can argue with their results and the huge trail of corpses left in their wake. In a world of the weak, they’re fighters.
Some folks will despise them, others will praise or even worship them – they don’t care. They’d kill anything for 2 copper pieces.
Skullkickers is a fantasy parody on steroids. It revels in the clichés of sword and sorcery while injecting them with an extra spark of sass and violence. It’s not deep and meaningful by any stretch, instead keeping readers engaged with snappy dialogue and inventive use of monsters and action. Like Ash from the movie Army of Darkness, our “heroes” are so full of themselves and yet incredibly capable that readers will like them even when they’re being absolute jerks.
Our two jackasses become entangled in the plot of an evil necromancer who is gathering together an army of skeletons, shambling dead and stitched-together horrors to conquer the local countryside. What this death mage doesn’t know is that the rituals he’s using to build his army of the dead are actually binding demonic spirits to corpses, not just animating them to life. The forces he’s set in motion lead to a full-on demonic invasion from the nether regions and the only thing standing between burning hellfire and the kingdom are a pair of death dealing mercenary assholes.
And finally, if THAT doesn’t sell you, why not check out the comic itself, which Zub has been syndicating as a webcomic, in addition to the printed version!
Once you’re all caught up, head over to Jim’s site to check out a gaggle of really helpful articles on everything from writing to press lists:
How to Break into Comics
How to Find an Artist
Comic Writing 1- Brainstorming
Comic Writing 2- Pacing
Comic Writing 3- Page Planning
Comic Writing 4- Scripting
Comic Writing 5- Dialogue
Comic Writing 6- Action
Comic Story Pitching 1- Reality
Comic Story Pitching 2- Summarizing
Comic Story Pitching 3- Sections
Comic Story Pitching 4- Do’s and Don’ts
Comic Story Pitch Critique
Comic Inking Critique
Comic Q&A: Rates, Cons, Distribution
Comic Q&A: Brand New Writers
Creator-Owned Economics: Retail Sales
Creator-Owned Economics: Digital Sales
Creator-Owned Economics: Sales Trends
Web and Print Working Together
Comic Promotion: Key Retailers
Comic Promotion: Your Press List
And finally, here’s what you came for in the first place, Jim’s script for SKULLKICKERS #1!