Here are several sketch studies by Dan, exploring the world of Kings and Canvas. We’ll post more as we get close to releasing the first installment. In the meantime, enjoy!
My #SDCC announcement — check out my new digital series, starting soon…
Once upon a time, after ten years of trying, an exiled boxer punches his way out of prison. Walking across America, he trains a grassroots army of pirate champions, irritable sea dwarves and talking, boxing polar bears to dethrone an unjust king and the evil councilor who’d exiled him years before.
What happens to a man whose life and purpose leave him behind, and how might he create new purpose in an ever-changing land in order to win back his family and punish the unjust? KINGS AND CANVAS—a tale of dynasties, boxing, family and revenge—explores a new world where honor is gained with fists and wits, and one exiled boxer must prepare himself for a war in which he will raise his arms in triumph…or taste canvas in defeat.
Follow us on Twitter: @KingsAndCanvas
““If you don’t like what’s being said, change the conversation. Failing that, change the world.”
Don’t forget to preorder KRAVEN’S LAST HUNT from the July PREVIEWS for September! Item Code: JUL140722
Eight years ago, Marvel Comics published my first mainstream comic book work, a short X-Men story. Now I’m excited to announce my return to Marvel as writer of KRAVEN’S LAST HUNT, a novelization of the classic Spider-Man storyline by J.M. DeMatteis and Mike Zeck!
I’ve been fascinated with this dark, psychological tale ever since first reading the original issues back in 1987, and I’m humbled that Marvel handed me the reins to translate this seminal work into a whole new medium. The novel comes out in October 2014, right around Halloween, and you can preorder it now on Amazon.
Thanks to everyone at Marvel for the opportunity, and specifically the amazing Stuart Moore for bringing me aboard!
My name is Neil Kleid. #iamcomics, and so is my family.
Growing up an Orthodox Jew in suburban Detroit, I had little connection to comics other than the bag of books my Dad tossed into our room each Friday to keep us quiet and occupied. Those bags turned into boxes of issues. The issues found their way under tracing paper, on which I’d dutifully copy x-men, ninja turtles, teen titans and more, slowly teaching myself to draw. Despite being told by anyone with an opinion that I could never make a career of it (lack of opportunities, religious obstacles and limitations, I have to live in New York), I never gave up my dreams of drawing comics, despite the naysayers in my community.
Well, the community was right — I couldn’t make a career of drawing comics. But I did just fine as a writer.
I’ve written for nearly every company in the biz, and have illustrated and self-published my own graphic novel. I make comics, and I make them all: mini, web, with a spine or without.
I’ve been comics the day Dad came home with that first bag, and I’ve been comics the day I first came home with one for my own kids. One son’s middle name is Parker, the other’s initials happen to be OCK, and so I have pit them against one another AND I DID IT FOR COMICS. These are kids who share the thrill of a Sunday browsing the racks, they’ve shared the thrill of creating their first panel, and I can’t wait until they grow up and find their own muses and decide what — if any — comics they might want to create. I am comics, and so are they. So are you.
Don’t let anyone tell us otherwise.
I wish I had shaved for this, but if you’re not following the We Are Comics Tumblr, you really should…and if you are comics, please submit your own story.
AHEAD OF HIS TIME
MASSIVE SPOILER FOR TRUE DETECTIVE
AND BY THAT, I MEAN, THIS IS HOW I WOULD SPOIL THE SHOW
Ralph Kiner, RIP
To Seth Myers from Gabriel Rodriguez
Awesome. By Gabriel Rodriguez, the immensely talented artist of IDW’s LOCKE AND KEY
The Wolf of Sesame Street
So, yeah. 2013 is coming to a close and I don’t really want to belabor it, choosing to look forward for the most part instead of backwards. But, sure. it was kind of a roller coaster.
2013 started with a good deal of potential—I had a handful off high profile comic book projects on my plate…and I had just been given a sizable promotion at ye olde day job, so I was confident and optimistic…and for the most part, it’s been pretty good to look at it as a year that laid some groundwork, but in which projects came and went, slipping through my fingers due to editorial mishaps and back office logistics beyond my control.
I wrote three anthology stories for 2013. One came out, the MARS ATTACKS Robinson Crusoe mashup which was, in itself, the result of some other back office shenanigans that took some projects from my hands, passing them out along above the clouds, to wherever it is failed projects go. The second anthology story got bumped off from a book whose page count had mutated in size and threatened to devour Tokyo ; I understand it may see print in the anthology’s third volume sometimes late ‘14, but who knows?
The last story was Batman. The less I talk about that one, the healthier I remain. But yeah, I was contracted (and paid to write the first installment) of a Batman story this year that for circumstance beyond my control, did not come out. No worries; I bear no ill will one way or the other. It was just one of those things, and the only thing I regret is that you fine folks won’t get to see my favorite bit of writing this year, a rooftop Batman/Gordon exchange.
And yeah, a few more like that. Graphic novels that came and went. Pitches that were green lit and then put into review. Hell, I got paid to write a MARS ATTACKS TV treatment this year. Who else can say that?
Artists bailed and were replaced. And in the end, I had very little on the shelves in 2013…something I’m working hard to change in 2014 and 2015…and, in fact, am again confident and optimistic that will happen. KINGS AND CANVAS will appear sometime around San Diego Comic-Con 2014. TAPESTRY and a new WWII/horror digital series are both currently in production. There are pitches in play with cautiously positive feedback. And the two largest writing projects on my plate, both for early 2014, aren’t even comic books — a novel and a screenplay, neither of which are spec projects, neither of which I can really discuss yet but both of which could yield in some amazing opportunities. Hopefully you’ll hear about both this Spring/Summer. Unless you don’t. And that’s all right.
I’m also gearing up for a massive overhaul to all three Topps apps — BUNT, HUDDLE and KICK — as well as an exploration into two more, both of which could be really special. So, yeah, the day job is still pretty freaking awesome.
Most importantly, though, I have an amazing family and this year all of them accomplished so much — from the responsibilities Mrs. SodaBlog has been given and the and successes she has achieved, to the educational and emotional growth of all the SodaBlog kids, all three of who are happy, healthy, smart and funny (two of them are sitting next to me as I write this, engaging in a raspberry contest, spitting into each others faces as they giggle and laugh).
So, sure, comics may have raised me up and shot me down…but compared to a lot of other people out there? 2013 coulda been a lot worse.
Aw hell, I should really show you the Batman dialogue…but I might get a chance to use it one day. Instead, here’s some KINGS AND CANVAS, including the dialogue for the above page by artist Dan Glasl. You’ll get more this summer:
Page 1 (2 PANELS)
Inset into Panel Two — Close-up shot of MAMMOTH, laboring and sweating (at what we can’t really see) and we’re looking at him from behind—he looks back at us over his left shoulder, focused on his work but distracted by a question.
1 PENDERS (OP):
Tell us a story, Mammoth.
EST. SHOT—GAOL, THE PRISON CITY, MID-AFTERNOON
Large panel. We’re out in the ruins of Manhattan, moldering and blackened, shattered glass and piles of dirt, broken pavement, demolished steel and garbage everywhere you look. Feel free to go nuts here. This is New York after the world went to fucking hell and now it’s a vast destroyed, discarded garbage dump being scavenged and sifted through by Gaol’s prisoners in teams of four. In our foreground is Mammoth (you remember Mammoth, right? Bald, wiry and muscled, bandages on his knuckles? But here he’s scruffier—rough and tumble five o’clock shadow, dirt and filth on the bare skin visible through prison-issue rags (as is his “exile” tattoo), leading his team as they scrape and shovel through the dirt. They’re using wooden shovels and stakes—no metal, which is KEY—and dripping with sweat and blood. There are three other men: PENDERS (scrawny and shifty, like Steve Buscemi in “The Big Lebowski” sans creepy mustache), SMEE (a filthy looking pirate, shaggy white beard and wooden eye, crossbones do-rag over his skull, boils and sores along ears and neck) and MANCINI (bulky, bearded, short and powerfully built—a dwarf, but that’s left unsaid—and he wears a wooden dwarven charm hanging from a thin, wire cable around his neck. The charm is expertly carved and an arcane rune that’s a little blocky and beautiful. MANCINI hefts his tools with ease). Mammoth digs in, shifting around garbage and decay as his fellow prisoners take a breather, resting on shovels. Behind them, striding like kings atop the broken streets and buildings, we can see guards patrolling and overseeing as if they own the place. Every guard holds a weapon—either a long crowbar or a wooden crossbow—and every guard looks mean and filthy, goblins in human skin. We can see into the background that there are many guards and many teams of four, digging and working and imprisoned in the bones of New York. Far above we see the sky is blue and the sun shining, warming the prisoners with oppressive heat. Whew. That’s a lot of description for a single panel, Time for a drink. There we go. Aaaaah.
Gaol. The largest prison city on the Exiled Coast
This is no place for stories.
Page 2 (5 PANELS)
Penders grin as he wipes his brow, and next to him, Mancini picks up his shovel with an eye behind where we see a pair of hobnail boots making their way down the refuse—a guard coming up from behind, and on Penders unaware.
1 PENDERS :
Come on. The sun’s hot, the work brutal. A story’ll quicken both.
Leave it, Penders. Drop yer trap and lift a shovel, eh?
Close on Penders as he points a peevish finger at Mancini, squinting in annoyance. The guard has come up behind, lifting his crowbar, ready to strike.
You drop yer under-the-mountain, dwarvish mouth trap, Mancini!
Mammoth here tells a fine story, and we all deserve one, so why not—
The crowbar descends, swiftly and viciously, and Penders throws his arms up to try and defend his head. The guard is out for blood and Penders squawks as the crowbar pays it’s due.
—gnyah! Nono, wait…!
Want a story, d’you?
‘ow ‘bout a ‘orror story?
Shot of Mancini and Smee, putting their backs into the work, doing their best to avoid hearing the beating happening behind them. Blood flies in from off panel, tossed off the crowbar. We can see the guard’s arm and the crowbar pulled back, ready to rain down on poor Penders’ head.
8 GUARD (OP): ‘
ere’s one. A lady bore a fool what ain’t worth a monk’s fart, who stole and lied and ended ‘ere…
9 GUARD (OP):
…where I beats him when he flaps his gums, like the fool he be.
Shovels dig into the pile, pushing and shifting pavement, dirt and broken metal.
10 GUARD (OP):
An’ we all lived ‘appily, to the end of our days.
11 GUARD (OP):
Pick up y’teeth an’ get back to work.
Page 3 (3 PANELS)
Inset into Panel Two. Close on Penders—beaten, bloodied, a bandage covering his face, held in place by Smee’s hand to sop up the blood and gore. Penders is smiling through his broken teeth.
1 MAMMOTH (OP):
What kind of story?
Ah, now. Anything. Everything. Villains. Heroes.
EST. SHOT—PRISON CELL, NIGHT
We’re on the ceiling of a prison cell — a dirty room composed of stone bars—we’re looking down at the floor (also made of bars) and our foreground shows two bunks— affixed to the left and right sides of the room—Penders is laid out and recovering on his left-side bunk, bruised and bandaged… Smee on the right, reaching across to hold the bandage against Penders’ face. Past them, below, we see through the bottom of their cage into one below (the prison residences are a series of cages stacked on top of one another, eight across and two down, so there really isn’t much in the way of privacy). The cage below has two more bunks and Mancini is on one, turned away and sleeping, and the other holds Mammoth, stretched on his back with his hands behind his head, eyes open.
Princes and damsels.
Pirates and cursed steel.
5 UNSEEN PRISONER (OP):
6 UNSEEN PRISONER (OP):
7 UNSEEN PRISONER (OP):
Champions and dragons.
Inset into Panel Two. Close on Mammoth’s face, wistful and looking directly at us…but thinking back into memory, into the folds of story.
I knew a man who slayed the last dragon.
10 PENDERS (OP):
You hafta start with “once upon a time.”
All, right. Once upon a time there lived a dragon, and a man nearby who coveted it’s heart.
Seeya in 2014, Soda Nation
"A BIG CAN FOR THE BIG MAN"
Okay, so you’re looking for something to drink in 7-11, and your eyes glaze over the same old same old sitting in the fridge…and suddenly, Shaquille O’Neal jumps out you and your sense of thirst takes a Shaq Attack.
But that’s exactly what happened to Mrs. Sodablog and I this weekend as we trolled for drinks, getting our adventure on with Arizona’s tall Soda Shaq cans. Now, I know that Shaq isn’t exactly what you want to be thinking about when you obey your thirst, nor is his smiling mug the one thing that will entice you to try new flavors…but we are Soda Adventurers and so, the Mrs went for the Orange Cream flavor while I sampled Strawberry Cream.
The verdict: 1 out of 2. Orange Cream has a very Stewart’s Orange & Cream flavor to it but with a slight sour after bite that ruins Stewart’s pleasant, summer afternoon creamsicle experience. While the first quaff was interesting, consecutive samplings proved fairly unpleasant and I had to stop pretty quickly.
The Shaq Strawberry Cream, however, pulled off an interesting feat: it reminded me of one of my favorite sodas, Faygo Redpop, but with a hint of cream on the finish. This can lasted until the final tenth when the cream started to overpower the strawberry bite I dig from Redpop and I had to set it aside.
Still, 1 out of 2 ain’t bad when you’re considering the source — who knew Shaq could give my taste buds a jump shot and —KA-ZAAM—add a new drink to my roster.