Thursday, May 30, 2013

The amazing adventures of Erik Hendrix and the Steam Engines of Oz!


Welcome to the InDiY Hunter interview here at the League, with creator Erik Hendrix discussing his new Steam Punk inspired kickstarter project: The Steam Engines of Oz! Set 100 years in the future, and  placed in the world of L. Frank Baum's Oz.  

Every story has a beginning. Author of the World of Oz series L.Frank Baum began this story. What was the inspiration for taking it further and continuing this story? What were the origins of your involvement?
Sean has wanted to do a SteamPunk-infused Oz for well over a year. Several months ago, he approached me about collaborating with him and writing the book. I've always loved the World of Oz and jumped at the chance... I can remember flipping through some tattered hardcovers my sister and I had as kids, reading about the early adventures Baum wrote. We didn't have a full collection, but I recall loving what I did read very much.  

For fans and tinkerers alike, Talk to us about the difference between coming up with a concept from your own mind, your own story and working on a story or mythology who’s conceptual world was created before hand?
I'm a big world builder. It's a part of the process of writing that I've loved since my old RPG days. After spending a couple of dozen years designing worlds for players to run around in, and running around in worlds created by others, transitioning that knowledge to writing came naturally. When it comes to writing in someone else's sandbox, however, you have certain rules you have to play by. In the case of Oz, Baum put an amazing foundation down of how things are in the world, and it's much darker than people think. The other writers who picked up the baton after he passed away kept the spirit alive. When it comes down to it, we're trying to do the same thing in our own way. The benefit to tossing the book a hundred years in the future, however, is that we can do pretty much anything we want within reason, as long as there is a logical path to take you there. That was part of the fun. You look at the events that happened in Oz's past and think, well, where does that put this character in a hundred years? The amazing thing about Oz is that, based on Oz history, people don't die of old age... In fact, at some point they stop aging! It's rarely discussed, but is one of the little gems of the Baum books I personally latched on to. In a world of Magic AND SteamPunk (a form of technology), how do these things come into conflict?

Is it easier or more difficult in your experience?
Now, is it easier or more difficult to write in someone else's sandbox? I'd say more difficult as long as you want to show respect to the source material. If we threw the rules out, it would have been easier, but the magic of Baum's work is something that HAS TO be retained. It's unfortunate just how many books try and re-invent the wheel, re-telling old stories, rather than trying something new with the challenge of accepting the past as canon.
Before we get to this specific kickstarter effort and your goals please give our readers and potentially new supporters of your work a brief background of works and books you’ve done already Erik.
I've been writing since I was six... so, over thirty years. Now, I wasn't trying to get published for a long time, rarely even considered it aside from a pipe-dream. The comic side of the story was that I was working on a novel through 2008 and had a ton of ideas mulling in my head that needed to get out. I decided I would try to write comics, since I have been reading them for decades anyway. So, I checked out some sample scripts, and off I went! Over four years later, I've published a nice chunk of work. After self-publishing a couple of things that are currently being rebooted with new artists (Faction and Citizens), I've released SideShows, The Evil Tree, Champions of the Wild Weird West, Deadly Harvest, The Book, The Intrinsic, Zipper Vs Dominatrix: The Slave Trade, some anthology shorts, and a bunch of other things in development aside from The Steam Engines of Oz.

Now the Kickstarter!

What’s this one about and what can people expect from your current kickstarter effort?
We are releasing the first arc of The Steam Engines of Oz regardless of how the KickStarter resolves itself... Those books were already in the works. The KickStarter is to put the decision in fans hands if they would like our story to continue beyond the initial story. 
What are some of the goals?

Basically, the more we get with the KickStarter, the more we get to do! The funds are to pay for printing incentives, pay the art team, printing, etc... This way, regardless of how the book does in the retail channel, people will get the books, we'll finish them, and fans of SteamPunk, Oz, and our interpretation will get to keep on reading.
What are some of the rewards?
Everything from digital and print copies of books to t-shirts, SteamPunk goggles, original artwork, and more. There are a slew of cool options.
And a couple of the stretch goals if you make it?
The first one is if we hit a goal of $10k, everyone who pledges $75 or more will get a Join the Tin Man's Army shirt I designed... It's pretty fun and I can't wait to wear it around myself. We also have a radio play we'd like to do, motion comics, and more.

Talking about the book itself, who’s the creative team? What I’ve seen so far looks stunning!
How’d you all hook up?

Sean Patrick O'Reilly and I are the creators, plotters of the story and I'm writing the scripts. Yannis Roumboulias is the artist, and Chandran does colors. Amanda, my wife and also Sr Editor at Arcana, is doing the letters (except the first part, which I did myself), and Amanda is also editing. 
I've been working with Arcana since late 2009, taking a more and more active role in the company, so my involvement comes from that, plus Sean thinks I'm a good writer, which helps. Yannis and I have been working together for a few years, first on Deadly Harvest and then on to Zipper Vs Dominatrix: the Slave Trade. We'll take any excuse to work together. Chandran came into the picture, because he is the go-to colorist for Arcana... Love his work.

Finally what do you want people to take away from your efforts with this project? When it’s finally in their hands what would satisfy you and your team from a creator’s stand point?
We just hope people enjoy the story we're trying to tell and see our love of comics, of course, and of Baum's Oz!

Thanks for taking the time to speak with us Erik Hendrix. Where can people find your kickstarter online?
Here's the link ~

Where can they find you and your other works?
All of my graphic novels are available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble web sites, plus on My personal web site is, which has info on all of my projects, and you can learn more about The Steam Engines of Oz over at! 

Best of luck to you all this looks like a worthy project!
Thank you,
Erik Hendrix
VP of Publishing
Arcana Comics
With only a few days left to go on their kickstarter if you liked what you read here and are interested in helping Erik and his crew meet their goal, do not make waste, but set to haste and head over there now and pledge! Pledge I say! You can check out a six page preview of The Steam Engines of Oz Free Comic Book Day special below...

I'll be over here, waiting, still J.M., still The Indy Hunter! 

And feel free to continue the discussion over at the League boards!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

WEEKLY LEAGUE NEWS : Art Contest Update

We have another winner in the Weekly League News Art Contest! A drawing, "...of a certain bunch of Hollywood types," was submitted by artist and League Member, Kurt Wilcken, via email.

Check out Kurt's website for more! And here are a few more pieces sent in by Kurt...

Help us make up the news! Keep sending us your art, photoshop, cartoon, sketches, paintings, whatever medium you like, OF ANYTHING, make your own fun twist on anything going on in the world of comics, sci-fi fun or collecting, and as Kurt can tell you, winners will be featured right here on the blog! You heard me! Winners to be featured on this very blog!

Submit as many entries as you'd like, post them on the contest discussion at the League message boards or email them to me at

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Vol. 1, No. 5


We have are first look at Marvel's long rumored, new company-wide cross-over event, "Superior!" Artist Ed Quinby, sent us this diabolical twist on the theme, with Ant-Man's Arch Nemesis Egghead, switching places with THE WASP!

Submit as many entries as you'd like, post them on the contest discussion at the League message boards or email them to me at


Superman's red briefs won't be the only thing missing from a crotch in this years Man of Steel. Rumor has it Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen has been rewritten as "Jenny Olsen."

When reached for comment, Jimmy Olsen's penis seemed resolute. "I can't complain, some say I should. Shatner called, said they have this support group." But the long time sidekick's penis said he's not angry and won't be seeking the spotlight, "I wish them well, it's a tough industry to be in, and I've had a long run, I can't complain. Jimmy Olsen wasn't even in the original comics. They squeezed us in later, when they needed someone for Lois to talk to in sticky situations." I think it was in the radio show, or was it the cartoons, y'know Kryptonite was my idea..."

"Times were good, and I was happy for the work."


The new Principal at a suburban Philadelphia pre-school has taken action against  children, whose “imaginary play” often ends up “causing injuries.”  New Principal Mr. Darkseid could not be reached for comment, but both Vice Principal Desaad, and Guidance Counselor, "Granny" Goodness, would only go on record to say the memo speaks for itself. (Memo pictured above, note the typo, way to go educators!)


Producers of the web series Zombieland, blame "hate" for the series failure. Zombieland based on the 2009 hit movie, was to be a web based series distributed by Amazon. Until hate reared it's ugly head.  "I'll never understand the vehement hate the pilot received from die-hard zombie fans," said producers via Twitter, "You guys successfully hated it out of existence."

This isn't the first show to fall victim to hate. Apparently, television networks have often used viewer preferences when deciding which shows to broadcast. Going so far as to develop advanced technology to allow them to study audience reaction to shows. Stalwartly refusing to broadcast shows with low likability.


Two identical twin sisters Camille and Kennerly, playing the theme from Star Trek TOS, while wearing Trek uniforms. Is it wrong I find this hysterical, and just a little hot? They also do Dr. Who, The Hobbit, Game of Thrones, some video game themes, Final Fantasy, Zelda, Blue Oyster Cult's Don't Fear The Reaper, The Rolling Stone's Paint in Black, Aerosmith's Dream on, AC/DC's Highway to Hell, Ghost Rider's in the Sky, Stairway to Heaven, Iron Maiden, Pink Floyd, The Beatles, U2, Journey, Bon Jovi, Guns & Roses, and all in costumes and on location.


This is the last full episode of The Weekly League News until August! I'm on vacation, see you when I get back! But keep sending in your art contest pieces, I have been assured they will be posted as soon as they come in...


Email me at or just join the boards already so you can PM me there, and take advantage of all the other great membership perks! So go sign up and start a thread, I'll see you there!


Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Sunday, May 19, 2013



A Legend Remembered

Alter Ego no. 116, from Two Morrows, is a tribute to the legendary Joe Kubert.
The issue is just stuffed with interviews and articles spanning Mr. Kubert's career, and pages and pages of art. Included in the issue is a 2010 in-depth interview by Richard Arndt, an interview by Danial James Cox focusing on Enemy Ace, and excerpts from Bill Schelly's interviews with Kubert for the Kubert biography Man of Rock. Michael Gilbert's column features a special Joe Kubert sketchbook, and there is a touching tribute to Mr. Kubert as Alter Ego reprints a speech by Kevin Brogan at the 2012 Harvey Awards ceremony held at the Baltimore Comic Con, where Kubert was posthumously given the Dick Giordano Humanitarian of the Year Award.

Click here for a Flash preview, or to download a PDF preview from Two Morrows.

First Issue Collector's Item

The very first issue COMIC BOOK CREATOR hit my local comic shop this past week. It seems both new and familiar. Helmed by former Comic Book Artist editor Jon B. Cooke, this has all the makings of what could be my new favorite comics magazine. Yes, it's all the goodness of Comic Book Artist without boundaries, no single niche, no restrictions, it's all over the board, and genres of the medium. But the thing that struck me right from the start was Cooke's column pledging to be a crusading publication dedicated to creator rights.

Featured creators go from Alex Ross and Todd McFarlane, to Derf, and a Frank Robbins retrospective, sure, but it's not just the range it's the focus. The cover story, featuring Jack Kirby, "Kirby's Kingdom: The Commerce of Dreams" it asks the question, "if Kirby is the King, why haven't Jack's heirs made one measely thin dime out of the billions of dollars generated by his creations in Hollywood motion Pictures?" and aims squarely at the business of comics. Alex Ross in a revealing interview focuses on his struggling with his career direction, discussing the angst of choosing between creator owned work or avoiding financial risks in a sluggish economy.

Plus there are fascinating portraits of legendary collaborators Neal Adams & Denny O'neil, and comics historian Les Daniels, and Astro City's Kurt Busiek.

If you love American comics as a medium, and are mindful of creator's rights, you will love this magazine. It needs to succeed. Every time a publication willing to take a stand like this fails, no matter how weak or strong, a corporate lawyer gets his horns or slime or whatever lawyers would get that would be the opposite of angels getting wings every time you here a bell. Buy this magazine, it is stuffed full of everything you want to love about American comics, encourage it to be all it could be.

Click here for a Flash preview, or to download a PDF preview from Two Morrows.

Old school

During a recent hunt for trades at my local Half Price bookstore, I found these great hard cover archives from Dark Horse. Believe it or not silver age characters Nemesis and Magicman are goofy, fun comics, and pretty obscure for some of us. I was truly delighted to find them and at such cheap price. Keep a look out for them at your local used bookstore or you can find them under ten dollars online.

They are great, silly fun, and if you are like me, some of what you loved about comics in the first place.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

WEEKLY LEAGUE NEWS : Art Contest Update

We have our first winner in the Weekly League News Art Contest! This amazing tribute to Ray Harryhausen, (who we had a little fun with last week), was submitted by artist Ed Quinby, via message board post.

Ed noted, "It's been heartwarming to read all the tributes to Ray Harryhausen on the internet. Almost none of them coming from people who knew him personally, just fans like me who were touched by the, I don't know, sheer sincerity and invention of his work."

Help us make up the news! Keep sending us your art, photoshop, cartoon, sketches, paintings, whatever medium you like, OF ANYTHING, make your own fun twist on anything going on in the world of comics, sci-fi fun or collecting, and as Ed can tell you, winners will be featured right here on the blog! You heard me! Winners to be featured on this very blog!

Submit as many entries as you'd like, post them on the contest discussion at the League message boards or email them to me at


Thursday, May 9, 2013

Vol.1, No.4



Legendary special effects pioneer, Ray Harryhausen, died this week, at 92. Before computer effects we thrilled to his sword-wielding skeletons of Jason and the Argonauts, the great ape of Mighty Joe Young and several voyagers of Sinbad.

Harryhausen inspired generations of Hollywood special effects artists, creating so many of the best monsters, myths, aliens, and dinosaurs in film.  The original Clash of the Titans, It Came From Beneath the Sea,  Earth vs. the Flying Saucers, even a whole island of amazing creatures in Mysterious Island.

Harryhausen’s effects work stunned the world in 1967's One Million Years B.C. were Harryhausen created his most challenging special effect, Raquel Welch. The animated actress was so popular and lifelike she went on to star in many movies her own.


Warner Brothers has blocked the Kickstarter campaign set up to revive both Green Lantern: The Animated Series and Young Justice. ", which met the studio to discuss plans for funding the canceled DC Nation series, said that it has met with resistance."

If you include the initial cancellation of the show, this marks the fourth attempt on the heroes life.

DC Comics first killed Hal Jordan during some Crisis back in the '90's, although much of the evidence pointed to suicide. Somehow he survived only for him to be killed yet again years later in 2011, by Ryan Reynolds. And despite nearly two-hours of video connecting the actor to the murder, Reynolds remains free.




Free Comic Book day has seen it's first casualties. Outside of a comic shop in Portland Maine, a drunk civilian when confronted with grown men dressed as a Stormtrooper and a Ghostbuster reverted to his high school training and proceeded to beat them up. When confronted shortly afterward by men dressed as police officers, he reacted much the same way, and was promptly tasered, because they were REAL cops.

One customer we spoke to, noted, "This was way cooler than high school, instead of a gym teacher snickering and laughing at you, while you try to get your own pants back from three guys way bigger than you. When you're a grown-up you get to call real cops and watch 'em taser the asshole. Very cool." Very cool indeed.


The film rights to Ghost Rider and Blade join Daredevil back at Marvel Studios. Yea, one step closer to a Champions movie!


Help us make up the news! Send us your art, photoshop, cartoon, sketches, painting whatever you can do, OF ANYTHING, you heard me, anything, you can illustrate stories featured right here OR make your own fun twist on anything going on in the world of comics, sci-fi fun or collecting, and winners will be featured in an upcoming Weekly League News column! You heard me! Winners to be featured on this very blog!

Email as many entries as you'd like, to me at for either rumored series below...


Email me at or just join the boards already so you can PM me there, and take advantage of all the other great membership perks! So go sign up and start a thread, I'll see you there!


Thursday, May 2, 2013




Greetings, I'm The Indy Hunter, and with me today is Bob Cordy. Bob's been running SPACE, the Small Press & Alternative Comics Expo for 14 years now.


Hi Bob (DRINK!), thanks once again from taking time out of your busy schedule setting up for this year’s SPACE show. How are things going so far for this year’?

It’s the usual disaster behind the scenes but we’re getting there. I work best in the midst of chaos. Right now I’m waiting for about 4 different things to be delivered, hopefully on time.

Bob, you’re among a solid group of today’s Indie-friendly, small-but-mighty press publishers and event organizers.

I’m talking about yourself, Top-Shelf’s Chris Staros, Jeff Mason of Alternative Comics, not to mention the Sequential Artists Workshop that Tom Hart helped set up and many others as well!

Thanks, I’m honored to be included in that group.

Do all of you ever talk, work together or discuss strategies on how to get the Independent comic scene to the next level?

Actually, I’ve met Chris and Jeff before and will meet Tom at this year’s show but no, I’ve never been part of some Small Press Illuminati. I think we’ve all been doing stuff separately with similar goals. I don’t know about the other guys but my goal originally was just to increase the awareness of the local small press comics scene with a small show but it just kind of took on a life of its own. I just set it up each year and watch.

What’s it like being one of the recent pioneers of the scene within the last decade? No pressure right?

I've never looked at myself that way. Just want to sell some comics and have a good time. If we upset an apple cart or two on the way, I guess that’s okay. The only pressure I feel is to make sure the show runs as smooth as it can and everybody enjoys themselves.

SPACE 2011 vs. SPACE 2012...

Last year I asked what the difference was between the SPACE 2011 and SPACE 2012 shows. You rightly pointed out that you’d have to wait and see till 2012’s show had ended. This year? Same question.

In 2011 we seemed to be keying on the past with exhibitors like Steve Willis, Collin Upton and John Porcellino (not to say these guys work still isn’t vital). In 2012 the focus seemed to move to the women. We had the premiere of the Indie Ladies Comics Anthology and panel. 6.5 of the 9 SPACE prizes were awarded to women cartoonists. Once again it’s nothing I did to influence things, it just the direction the show and the exhibitors take.

How was last year’s show?

Great! Everything seems to have gone off without a hitch. The Live Art Event in the bar was a big hit. I just finished my taxes and on paper it looks like the show made more money than ever. I’m not sure where it went but on paper it worked. Attendance seemed to be our usual 10% growth.

Is there anything different in store for this year’s show that you want to tell people about?

We have a full day of pre-show events on Friday this year and two events going on Saturday night. We also have two exhibits going on in the exhibitor room instead of just one. Friday goes 1-5PM Panel in Pink Exhibit at the Wild Goose Creative, 5-7PM Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum Open House and at 7:30 the Laughing Ogre Pre-Party. Saturday night at 8PM both the Drink & Jam in the hotel bar and the S.P.A.C.E. Polymaths After Party Pageant at the Kerouac Café. There is more info at

SPACE Anthology..

Last year was the first year that the SPACE anthology was made available in print form. Will this year's anthology also be available in print form?

Yes there will. They're set in boxes in my living room as I type this. We had a successful Kickstarter campaign so we have already paid for all the contributor copies. All the proceeds from this book will go to fund the SPACE prize.

Will you ever collect the prior years in print?

That would be difficult since we only have low rez digital files suitable for the web. Also we would need to get all the contributors’ permission. We still haven’t made a profit on last year's book but I’m hoping the success of this years book will increase interest in it.

Brian John Mitchell originally came up with the idea. Who works behind the scenes on these anthologies? Any unsung heroes?

Well, Brian is still putting it together. He’s the hero. Also, I think Ed Delaney’s great cover helped us a lot. All the contributors sent great stuff.

2013, This Year’s SPACE..

For those that are just now hearing about SPACE, what can people expect?

About 180 comic artists, writers and publishers charging a room with a great atmosphere of creativity. It’s what I love the most about it. I feel like I need to get home and get another project going.

How does it differ from a show like San Diego Comic Con?

It’s about comics and the people who make them.

SPACE Weekend..

My particular interest besides the actual show of course is the SPACE Drink & Jam. Can you talk about that a little bit?

Last year Justin Stewart asked if he could do his Live Art Event in the hotel bar so I worked it out with the hotel and it was great! There had to be about 50 or 60 people in there all drawing on 6 boards. There’s a lot of great pictures of it up on Facebook at

Unfortunately Justin isn’t coming this year so I jumped in to set it up. I hope I can do as good a job.

I noticed you’re supplying lots of sharpie markers. Can we expect any heated competition resulting in duels of marker mustaches?

I would recommend not falling asleep in the bar. There’ll be a room full of cartoonists. Who knows what could happen.

What’s the atmosphere like for you watching all these artists in the same small space, slinging ink?

It was kind of mystical. They even turned on the theatrical smoke.

For those that have never attended a drink’n’draw or a jam, what can they expect?

A lot of drinking and drawing. Last year we even had some painting going on. There was both individual illustrations and true jam comics where the first guy draws the first panel and the next guy draws the second panel and on and on until you hit the end of the paper and hope you have a good punch.

It Takes One to Know One, A Creator Himself…

You started out actually creating comics yourself. Did you both write and draw when you published OH, Comics? Do you still find time to create comics yourself?
I did manage to get a strip in both the SPACE Anthology and my own Oh, Comics! anthology this year. I missed finishing my long running mini-series Bunny Blues/ Leaves by a few pages.

What are your favorite go-to tools to create?

The Pentel pocket brush pen. Although I’m still pretty bad at controlling it.

Flight for the Future and Yesterdays…

This is the 14th year that SPACE has been going on….can we expect something even more special for year 15? Is it too soon to say?

I really haven’t thought about anything beyond this year. We are penciled in for the same weekend next year at the same location.

I’d love to see more shows like this pop up in other areas. I think people, especially creative people are really missing out. What advice can you give someone who may have an interest in starting up a show?

Make sure you ask a lot of questions from anybody you’ll be dealing with. There’s always hidden costs. Get a contract with everything itemized. Read it.

Looking back anything you would do differently?

We kind of dodge and weave every year so there’s been changes and compromises every year but overall I probably wouldn’t change anything. The program book is “Minicomic digest” size and all the tee shirts are hand-printed so I want to keep things traditional small press for the most part. Although we’ve taken advantage of technology as we go.

What else do you have coming out that people should know about?

Once I finish Bunny Blues / Leaves I hope to be working on my webcomic, Vugz.

I’ve done a few strips with the characters in the SPACE Anthologies and Oh,Comics! and I’ve been playing around with acrylic paint. I can’t compete with the glitzy digital stuff out there so I’m going hand-made just glopping paint in quick messy strokes. A Vug is a hollow rock. One of the main characters, Vugz, is made up of hollow rocks that are mysteriously animated. The other main character is Ti, a guy who recently lost his wife and is an alcoholic. I’m heading in a little deeper than usual so I’m not sure where it will head.

Lastly where can people find out more about you and SPACE on the web? 

Once again Bob, it’s been an honor. Thank you sir!

-InDiy Hunter

April, 2013 

Originally published at reprinted with permission of the author.

For more of The Indy Hunter, check out

And feel free to continue the discussion over at the League boards!