Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Faction meets Herospy.com and MakeItSo!

I've got to send a big thanks out to Shawn from Herospy.com and Michael from MakeItSo's Pop Culture Blog for reviewing Faction 0... and they liked it!


Shawn was dragged into the SPI mix back in Round 2, I believe, and has been watching what's going on since. I've spoken with him a few times, but with everything going on, you know how it is. I was glad to hear, though, that he has been following my rambles on here and enjoyed the read. :)

So, to the review... It doesn't seem that he had a bad thing to say and that's a good thing! In particular, yeah I'm going to focus on what he said about the writing!

"Faction’s plot-line, character development, and dialogue is wonderful. Some new writers come off pretentious, as if they are talking down to you. Erik on the other hand has done an incredible job of writing a script that, while having complex characters, and concepts, never seems to become overwhelming... I’m intrigued. I’ll be interested in following the career of Mr. Hendrix, I’m sure that his comic book career will abound with cool surprises."

No one is quite sure what to expect when it comes to creative writing versus rambling on a blog. I can talk about tricks of the trade, how to do this and that, etc, but when it comes down to it, the proof's in the pudding, so I totally understand the comment. I'm excited that after all is said and done, Faction delivered!

Now for the art...

"Arnie’s artwork is awesome! The characters are crisp, tight, well thought out designs. The book is black and white, which for some artists seems to pose a real dilemma, but Mr. Gordon’s work thrives in this monochrome world. I hope that one day, they reprint this issue in color. If it looks this good in gray I can only imagine how incredible color will make it."

All I can say in this regard is that Arnie Gordon plus Michael Nelsen's colors and "nuances" (that's what I'm calling the work he did that isn't obvious but made a TON of difference) really made the art in the book pop!

"Faction #0 is a great book. It does what an issue #0 must do. It’s an introduction to the characters and the world that they inhabit. Faction is a fantastic first effort. Where does it go from here? I guess we will find out with issue #1."

And I hope that people will track down issue 1 when the time comes! ;)

As for Michael Hamersky's review on his pop culture blog, I managed to meet Michael a couple of months ago at an art show in San Marcos and he was able to see things no one had to that point, so he had a little insight to my brain even then. From brain to page, however, is what really makes the difference! No matter how great a concept is, if you can't get it out on paper well, you're out of luck. Somehow you have to channel it into a medium and in comics, you either have to know how to draw or be able to convey in written format well enough for an artistic team to really interpret it.

"So what has occured so far in the four rounds? Well, this is what each Round consisted of:

Round 1: The Basic Premise/Talent
Round 2: Characters, Please
Round 3: Sequential Primers
Round 4: Origin or #0 issue

With Round 4 we now see a 'finished product', which is also available for sale either as a download or a hard copy, Your choice of format.

Basically, if you haven't been through Small Press Idol from the beginning, you have to go through the entire process of creating a world and showing the world as you go. In "the real world", you'll often have to create everything in rounds 1-3 without input from people who've done it before. In SPI, you get some guidance from judges and other professionals along the way who help tell you what works and what doesn't work. By the time it comes to round 4, if you've paid attention, you have a shot at making something a bit better than it could have been.

In the case of Faction, well, some of those changes come down to vision and ability to deliver what's needed for a project like this.

"The artwork shown in the early rounds was just a little different, and possibly didn't go with the storyline as well as it could have. Erik must have realized that and had a change in artists partway through the rounds. The artwork for this published issue is much stronger and has been re-imagined by Arnie Gordon. The finished artwork complements the story more than the earlier artwork IMHO.

Michael Nelsen's colors on the cover makes the issue stand out. Which is what is needed when the comic hits the LCBS for more exposure. Good job there Michael!

Though the reasons for KT and I parting ways have been discussed, I can't deny that Arnie coming on to the team was a blessing. Michael jumping on to rescue us with his brilliant colors? That made ALL the difference in the end. I'm glad that Michael (the reviewer) recognized the power in the colors on the cover and interior!

"I would have to say after reading this issue, that it is one that I would recommend to You to vote on! Remember though, that in this Round 4, 'voting' means buying the issue!"

I would recommend it, too! What are you waiting for?!?

FANS - There are two ways for fans to get Faction Zero.

1. Order direct - Note: FACTION is item DSP-I09-F0. You can download for $2.00 or purchase the printed version for $3.50 plus postage BEFORE AUGUST 31st!
PRINT COPY - http://www.dimestoredistro.com/products/spa-comics/small-press-idol/2009/faction-0/
PDF DOWNLOAD - http://www.dimestoredistro.com/products/spa-comics/small-press-idol/2009/faction-0-dl/
2. Go to your local comic book store and give them the below retailer information, explaining that you want them to carry the book and, well, hopefully they will! Make sure they place their orders ON OR BEFORE AUGUST 31st!

RETAILERS - There are two ways to get copies to your store.

1. Order from Haven directly by going to http://www.havendistro.com/ , sign up, send a mail to Haven requesting to be set up as a retailer account, gather pre-orders from your store and then search for Faction to order. All orders must be turned in for Faction on or before AUGUST 31st! Issues will deliver in September.
2. Order from DimeStore directly by going to http://www.dimestoredistro.com/, sign up, send an email to DimeStore requesting to be set up as a retailer account, gather pre-orders from your store and then search for Faction DSP-I09-F0. Issues will deliver in September.

Please note, the order code DSP-I09-F0 is Case Sensitive DSP-I(letter)0(zero)9-F0(zero).

If you're not keeping count, below are the reviews for Faction so far and so far, so good!


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