Thursday, September 9, 2010

AND NOW...MONSTERPLEX PAGE 18...AND 19 AND 20 (sort of)!



Annnnnd...that's all, folks! I know that's a horrible, horrible place to stop. No cliffhanger, no nothing. So, let me give you a little more. Here's the pages I had scripted that David never got a chance to draw:

Page 19-

1- Lina out from behind the podium and walking in front of the staff. She’s on the left side of the panel. In the foreground of the panel, in the right side, we see Bitsy and Ken. Ken is stretching (as if he’s yawning—he’s trying to do the cheesy move of putting his arm around Bitsy)

LINA
You shouldn’t see
me or the Ishiro Corp.
as your enemy.

We’re here to help.

KEN
Yawn!

2- Ken now has his arm wrapped around Bitsy’s shoulders.

LINA (from off-panel)
It has been many
years since Corman
Cinemas turned
a profit.

3- Bitsy pushes Ken’s hand off of her.

LINA (from off-panel)
I believe that by
thinking outside of
the box that can
change.

4- Bitsy punches Ken in the stomach and he doubles over in pain. A worm flies out of his mouth.

LINA (from off-panel)
Together, we
can turn things around.

5- On Lina. An angled-up shot on her face. Think Hitler and Citizen Kane. A real dictator-like shot.

LINA
There’s an obvious
revenue stream that Corman
has never tapped into.

Here this now:
Size. Matters.

I think it’s time for
Corman Cinemas to
start showing high profit
Giant Monster
Movies.

6- Ryan is up out of his chair. He can’t believe what he’s hearing. The glasses on his head are about to fly off. Priscilla next to him is surprised and recoiling.

RYAN
WHAT!?!?


Page 20-

1- Medium on Ryan still out of his chair and shouting. He tosses aside his sunglasses angrily.

RYAN
Lady, are you off
your nut?

You can’t show Giant Monster
Movies in here!

2- Medium shot on Lina. She’s smallish in the panel.

LINA
And why not?

3- Ryan making his way down the aisle towards Lina. He’s clearly upset. The other employees watch with fear and shock as he walks by.

RYAN
Do you have any idea
what would happen if a giant
lizard or ape came through
the portal?

They’d tear this place
apart in minutes!

4- Lina and Ryan now face-to-face. It’s a stare down. (Not a profile shot though. Let’s find another approach.)

LINA
That won’t be a problem.

RYAN
How do you figure?

LINA
We’ll simply show
the movies without
the monsters present.

5- Ryan looks like he’s going to pop a vessel on his forhead.

RYAN
“Show the movies
without the…”

6- Lower on Ryan now, and looking past him to Ken with Sludge right behind him.

KEN
Go to your happy
place, boss.

Imagine
Sludge going
down the toilet.

SLUDGE
Hey!

And that's truly all that was scripted. In then next several pages you would have seen Lina trying to enforce her rules even while all the Corman employees appealed to Ryan to "do something about this." Then, the worst possible thing was going to happen. Aunt Ant was going to make a run for it and escape Corman Cinemas. Lina then would have split everyone up into teams. She and Cooper would go east and Ryan, Priscilla and Wolf would have gone west. Bitsy and Ken would have stayed behind to "mind the store" and make sure Sludge stays out of trouble. The stakes were gonna get high--we were going to learn from Cooper that a monster escaping had only happened one other time before, during 1970's. That monster's name? Well, we knew him as the Zodiac Killer. 

Needless to say...Season One of Monsterplex was not going to end well for one of the staff. 

But the hunt and its consequences were all in the second half of the Season...which you, for the time being, will not be seeing. Will there be more MONSTERPLEX? I still don't know. There wasn't a huge response to these pages and traffic was low, which tells me that if we were to start MP back up then there would be a lot of work to be done not only in production, but also, just like any other webcomic, in getting the word out and promoting it. Without the Zuda Machine behind us, it would be tough going. 

I said after we won that it felt like I was suddenly living in my own alternate reality. I was a surreal--and good--feeling. Maybe there's another reality where the contract wasn't pulled away from us and all of our plans got to come to pass.

A big shout out to my co-conspirators, artist David Schlotterback and colorist Michael DeVito. They did  the kind of work I was so proud of and so excited to share with all of you.

A hearty thanks to all of you for your support and enthusiasm. That's the thing I take away from this in the end--all the goodwill that rose up in our favor and the time and effort you all put into it for no other reason than you liked what we were doing. It was tremendous. 

-Brock

P.S. I can always be found doing my thing over at superfogeys.com. Hope to see you there. 




Wednesday, September 8, 2010

AND NOW...MONSTERPLEX PAGE 17!



Hey Everyone,

I want to thank everyone who has taken the time to comment. Some of you are really enthusiastic about MONSTERPLEX and that's great to see. Would be nice if there were more of you...but this is a burn-off so I suppose I can't expect too much. 

More tomorrow!

-Brock

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

AND NOW...MONSTERPLEX PAGE 16!

Monday, September 6, 2010

AND NOW...MONSTERPLEX PAGE 15!

Friday, September 3, 2010

AND NOW...MONSTERPLEX PAGE 14!


(Click to embiggen!)

How great is David at designing monsters? I love this page.

More on Monday. Have a great weekend!

-Brock

Thursday, September 2, 2010

AND NOW...MONSTERPLEX PAGE 13!



(Click to embiggen!)

If any page suffers from a lack of color, it might be this one. I think the air of mystery is there, but it would have been cool to see this one with the dark tones that were originally intended. Still, I love the detail in Dave's art here. This is one you really need to click on and see bigger. No doubt about it--this was Ryan's office!

In non-MONSTERPLEX news, SuperFogeys Chapter 10, Bubbles of Light starts today. This is the strip I both write AND draw. It's a great jumping on point.

More tomorrow.

-Brock

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

AND NOW...MONSTERPLEX PAGE 12!


(Click to embiggen!)

All the MONSTERPLEX pages from here on out will be in black and white. Better that than nothing, right? And besides, I think Dave's pages hold up well in black and white. 

This page and the last set up the two little romances I was gonna be playing with over the course of our woulda'-been first season. This is the first and last taste of the Ken/Bitsy relationship that you'll be getting  for now. Shame, that. Their story was my favorite thing of everything we had planned.

Well, that and the plans I had for Aunt Ant.

More missed opportunities revealed tomorrow!

-Brock

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

AND NOW...MONSTERPLEX PAGE 11!


(Click on the image to embiggen!)

Welcome to page 11! Those of you that are taking the time to comment and let us know what you think, we thank you. We worked hard on these pages and hope you dig where the story is heading. Remember,  Monsterplex is not continuing past page 18 (for now), so please enjoy these with that in mind. 

If you are looking for a continuing story written by me and drawn by someone far better, you could do a lot worse than the Spy Gal origin that starts today over at my primary webcomic, The SuperFogeys

More tomorrow.

-Brock

Monday, August 30, 2010

AND NOW...MONSTERPLEX PAGE 10!


(Click to embiggen!)

Welcome back and happy Monday! You'll notice that this is the first MONSTERPLEX page in black and white. The MP Team was going full steam ahead on production until the editors at Zuda told us to stop and wait until they could take a look at our plans for the story. Which they never did. I had it ready to go, my outline was ready--but they wouldn't look at it. And then everything fell apart.

As it stood at the time of stopping, we had 10 pages inked and lettered and only two of those pages were colored (the next colored page is tomorrow). We hope you can enjoy the uncolored pages anyway as they will at least give you an idea of what we were up to.

If you get a chance, please do leave a comment. We're partly using this unveiling to gauge just how much interest there still is out there for MONSTERPLEX and we'd appreciate you letting us know what you think of the new pages. 

More tomorrow!

-Brock

Friday, August 27, 2010

AND NOW...MONSTERPLEX PAGE 9!


(Click to make it bigger!)

This is it, the first MONSTERPLEX page since February, 2010! Now you finally get to see where we were taking this thing. My team is watching and we would most definitely appreciate your feedback.

For those of you who still have questions about Zuda shutting down and letting us go, I recently did a VERY candid interview with Tom Racine over at Tall Tale Radio about the shut down, the money involved and why I think Zuda failed. It's an interesting listen and it's actually the back half of an interview primarily about the big, BIG things happening in my first webcomic, The SuperFogeys, right now. Give it a listen here!

Don't forget! We're posting one new MONSTERPLEX page every weekday until we run out. More on Monday!

-Brock

Thursday, August 26, 2010

AND NOW...THE COMPLETE MONSTERPLEX

Hey ladies and gents,

So. I've been trying for weeks now to create a bare bones site to host the MONSTERPLEX pages on and, logistically, it's just not happening. So, since you're all familiar with this blog already, I figured why not post them here? It's not the easiest way to browse through the pages, but it's better than nothing, right?

And nothing is about all we have right now besides this. At this time, no decision has been made as to whether or not MONSTERPLEX will continue. Sorry to be so lame, but that's the truth. I can tell you though that the entire team is anxious to see what you think of these pages!

Here's how this is gonna work. Today you get the 8 pages you've all already seen. Then, starting tomorrow, I'll be posting one new page every weekday until I run out. That's right, RUN OUT. The MONSTERPLEX team (myself, artist David Schlotterback and colorist Michael DeVito) only produced 10 pages of MONSTERPLEX that you've never seen (in various stages of completion--more on that on Monday). We had great plans for stuff after those 10 pages, but, well, you all know how that went.

And now...the first 8! (Click on the page to make it bigger, as always.)















More tomorrow!

-Brock

Monday, July 19, 2010

UPDATE ON WHEN AND HOW YOU CAN SEE MORE MONSTERPLEX

My plan was to start posting the new Monsterplex pages today. We now have the rights back and there's nothing to stop us from showing you the 8 pages you're already familiar with, plus the 10 mostly completed additional pages you've never seen.

Then, over the weekend, I got to thinking that this blog wasn't really the best place for that. I talked it over with colorist Mike DeVito and he agreed to set up a temp site over at www.th3rdworld.com so the pages can be read and accessed easily. Mike is one of the co-publishers of Th3rd World Studios (which also publishes The Stuff of Legend, Space Doubles, Pinkerton and, of course, The SuperFogeys), so it's not really a big trick to get this done in a hurry.

The problem is the San Diego Comic-Con. Until the Con is over, this isn't happening. There's just too much to do.

So, I'm going to ask for just a little more patience. Once the new Monsterplex site goes live, I'll be able to post commentaries to each strip and you'll be able to leave comments, page easily through the archive, etc. It's going to look at lot like this.

For now, www.monsterplex.com still takes you to Zuda. When the new Monsterplex site is ready, it'll take you to there. Bookmark now if you haven't already!

Update on the San Diego Comic-Con: I will now not only be packin' some SuperFogeys trades to sell, but I'll also have some brand spankin' new SuperFogeys bookmarks to hand out. Cool, right? If you can find me, hit me up for one and I'll gladly oblige. Or you can find me at the panel on Digital Comics in Room 7AB on Friday at 11:30am.

Thanks for everyone's support lately. Your faith in us and MP is tremendous.

More later.

Brock

Monday, July 12, 2010

COMIC-CON APPEARANCE!

Before Zuda went belly up, Mike, David and I were all looking foward to this year's San Diego Comic-Con and spending some quality time at the Zuda booth inside the DC booth on the main floor. I remember going last year and saying high to some of the Zuda creators and feeling envious and thinking "Next year, that's gonna be me..."

And then...it was!

And then it wasn't.

Still, the plans were all made and the tickets were secured a long time ago so all three of us will still be going to Comic-Con, we just won't really have anywhere to sit. Not over at the DC Booth anyway.

However...on Friday morning I will be putting in an appearance at the Digital Comics panel! Check it out:

11:30-1:00, Friday July 23rd Comics Arts Conference Session #6: Digital Comics— Nick Langley (Rocket Llama) gives a brief history of webcomics and evaluates online economic experiments from subscriptions to micropayments. Neil Granitz and Steven Chen (CSU Fullerton) examines consumer attitudes toward comic book digitization and argues that comics could enjoy a period of technological convergence due to the hedonic qualities enjoyed by readers. David B. Olsen (Saint Louis University) explores the implications of moving comics from the page to the screen and considers the ways in which print comics have always been multimedia. Room 26AB

Reason you don't see my name up there is because I'm such a late addition. Nick Langley of Rocket Llama asked me to participate with him in the first part of panel dealing with the economics of webcomics. I think it's fair to say I was asked to help out based on my Zuda experience. I've been told there will be a Q&A portion, so if you're gonna be there...bring it. If nothing else, stop by and say hi.

Also, I'll have a limited supply of SuperFogeys Vol. 1 (created, written and drawn by me--yes, the writer can draw) for sale if anyone is interested. (No hard sale here, they'll be in my bag unless you ask.)



Hope to see you there!

More later.

Brock

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

GETTING OUR RIGHTS BACK and WHAT ABOUT PAGES 9-18?

I'm pleased to report that we are now in active negotiations with Zuda for getting the rights to Monsterplex back. Given the terms we've already been discussing, I don't see anything that will prevent us from having full ownership of Monsterplex very, very soon. There will come a time when I can discuss the details and terms of the negotiation, but that time is not quite here.

One of the first things I did once negotiations began was to express my anger and frustration at not being able to continue Monsterplex as per our contract. It felt good to say that out loud, but I was also quick to point out that what I'm feeling isn't really directed towards anybody. I think that, as far as Zuda goes, there was no one who wanted to see things go this way with the site shutting down and so many creators set adrift. I'm not even entirely sure that those who remain--from the creators to Zuda Editorial--think that this Zuda 2.0 (folding the Zuda titles into the DC Digital Initiative) is at all an improvement. They very well may, but I can't agree with that in the least. Zuda, effectively, no longer exists. Now that I know we're getting our rights to Monsterplex back, I'm almost glad we weren't chosen to move on to Zuda 2.0. Almost. I'm getting there.

Speaking of being chosen, I found out why we weren't. It has been made clear to me that quality and talent truly WAS NOT part of the equation. I must say, I had my doubts. I had been feeling like the rejection of Monsterplex was truly a rejection--that we were simply deemed not good enough to continue. I imagined a scenario in which Zuda Editorial sat around, looked at what they had with Monsterplex, and declared, "These pages suck." Turns out, that's not true.

The real criteria for choosing which titles made it into Zuda 2.0 had entirely to do with where the comics were in their life cycle. Comics with a significant number of screens (pages) were chosen to move on, and those that didn't have that, weren't. This means that every winner from this year, including us, was let go, and a number of winners from last year as well. Don't ask me the exact titles because I don't know; that's just he basic criteria. In a lot of ways, this makes me feel better. We're all feeling less rejected now.

So, what now Monsterplex? Mike, Dave and I are exploring our options. I'll report more on that when I can. However, I will tell you that we've reached a decision about the 10 additional pages that we created that you haven't seen yet:

We're gonna show them to you.

As soon as negotiations are completed, I'll be posting the initial eight pages all together. Then, in the next 10 weekdays afterwards, I'll post the rest of the pages one at a time, bringing you right through page 18. You'll finally get a good sense of where we were heading with this thing and I can't wait to see what you guys think.

So, that's something to look forward to at least. Does this mean that Monsterplex as a comic will continue past those 18 pages? Nope. It doesn't mean anything, really. This will simply be our gift to you for fighting the good fight back in January and for being so patient all these months.

More later.

-Brock

Friday, July 2, 2010

ZUDA POST MORTEM ROUNDTABLE

Yesterday, David Harper of Multiversity Comics interview myself and a bunch of other Zuda creators about the demise of Zuda as we know it and what's next. Participating in the article are creators who are both sticking with Zuda and those who, like myself, were kicked to the curb.

You can read the entire article here.

I think I come off as a bit of Grumpy Gus when compared to the others, but that certainly was not my intention. I was just doing my best to be honest about my feelings and perceptions. See what you think at the link!

In other news, Mike, David and I talked for the first time yesterday about the possibility of continuing Monsterplex in the wake of what's happened. A lot of pros and con were tossed around, but one thing we all agreed on was that none of us are in a place, emotionally, where we can make this decision this week. So, the discussion has been officially tabled...for now.

Thanks to everyone for the outpouring of support and love in the past 24 hours. The response has been encouraging and showed me that everyone who was with us back in February is still with us now.

More later,
Brock

Thursday, July 1, 2010

MONSTERPLEX IS DEAD, LONG LIVE MONSTERPLEX

The news has traveled fast and is more or less official, so let it be known: MONSTERPLEX is dead.



Zuda Comics announced today that it would be shutting down its website and that some titles would be moving over to DC Comics' digital initiatives. Sadly, MONSTERPLEX is not one of them. Safe to say that MONSTERPLEX never quite proved itself to be a viable property for the company. Of course, it never really got the chance to either.

That's the one consolation in all of this, the thing that makes it a little less personal: we never got a chance to prove what we could do. I don't see this as a rejection of my team's talents or abilities. We had great stuff planned and it never saw the light of day. Would we have been wildly successful if we had had that chance? Well, duh. Why not? It's my alternate possible future, I'm saying 2012 would have seen the debut of the MONSTERPLEX animated series!

My feelings are pretty raw right now. I'm sorely, sorely disappointed and saddened. Winning Zuda and signing a contract with DC Comics was the fulfillment of a dream. It honestly didn't seem real. Heh.

My heart goes out to all the other Zuda creators and Zuda Editorial. I know this change isn't what any of us wanted. Here's hoping we all land in a better place.

So, what now, MONSTERPLEX? The big question everyone has been asking me since the news broke is: Who has the rights? The short answer is DC Comics. Is that the way it's gonna stay? That's something that will be determined soon. It's certainly the next, most important item on mine and Zuda's agenda. Until that question is settled, you won't be seeing MONSTERPLEX anywhere.

A lot of people have already told me how much they were looking forward to seeing where the MONSTERPLEX story was heading. Me too. David and Mike and I worked well beyond the 8 pages you saw. 10 additional pages are scripted and drawn, and three of those pages are colored. Additionally, the entire first season of MONSTERPLEX - 60 pages! - have been outlined and detailed plans were made for what comes after that. If nothing else, I'll share those plans with all of you at some point. You deserve to know what could have been. Let me tell you though: it's friggin' awesome.

I simply must take this opportunity to thank my co-conspirators, artist David Schlotterback and colorist Michael DeVito. These two guys are class acts and they made the creation of this comic a real pleasure. Will we continue working together on it if we get the rights back? I'm not even in a place where I can begin to answer that question, but I know that if we do it will be a blast. Because it's all about who you let into your life, and these guys are among the very best I've ever known.

I also want to thank all of you who supported, voted and have been rooting for us. The love that was thrown our way during the competition was incredible. We couldn't have won without you. At the end of the day, we'll always have that. I'm just so sorry that we couldn't make good on the promise of our win.

The future is a funny thing. Every time I've suffered a setback or a disappointment or a tragedy in my life, it's always been as a precursor to something great. I look forward to seeing what comes next. All this really means is that there's great stuff ahead.

For the time being, the best place to find news on MONSTERPLEX is right here in this blog. I'll be updating it further as I have news to share. And, just because I can get away with it today and no one will fault me, you can always follow my other comic, The SuperFogeys, which updates every Tuesday and Thursday. I post great comics and more general news on that site.

Thanks again everyone for all the support and love! I know Mike, Dave and myself will be following this blog today, so if you have any questions or declarations of love, you can pass them along in the comments.

More later,
Brock

P.S. Before all this went down, all three of us were planning to attend the San Diego Comic Con and spend some time in the DC Booth. I can't imagine you'll be seeing us in the booth, but you can bet we'll still be roaming the halls of San Diego. If you see us there, say hi. We'll be the ones with the DC badges with nowhere to sit!

Monday, May 10, 2010

WHERE'S MONSTERPLEX?

It seems like not a day goes by that someone doesn't ask me "Where's Monsterplex?"

I mean, we won the Zuda competition back in February, right? That was almost 3 months ago! Does it really take that long to produce new pages? "Hey," I hear you saying. "Aren't we supposed to get a new page a week?"

To answer those questions in order: yes, no and yes.

Typically, after a comic has won a Zuda competition, there is somewhat of a delay between the win and the official launch the comic. How much of a delay can vary and from talking with my fellow Zuda winners it seems that 3-5 months is not unusual.

I can tell you that David, Mike and myself are all ready to go just as soon as it's the right time. We've made some big plans for the remainder of the first season (the next 52 pages you're GUARANTEED to see) and as soon as we get a chance to get together with Zuda Editorial to discuss those plans it won't be too long afterwards that you'll see the official Monsterplex launch.

In short: it's coming. It's coming.

IN OTHER ZUDA NEWS

Did you hear the monthly competitions have ended? It's true. April was the last regular Zuda competition. Now, that doesn't mean that you won't be seeing new talent on Zuda anymore. Far from it. While the new submission guidelines have yet to be released, my understanding is that new submissions will be reviewed by editorial for a possible "Instant Win." Basically, some good comics have slipped through the cracks with the voting system and now Zuda will be determining for itself which comics make the cut.

I'm a little sad to see the voting disappear and all the fan participation that went with it, but this is kind of exciting. I don't know what this means for Zuda's future or what, if anything, this means for Monsterplex. I'll say this though: February of 2010 was one of the most stressful months of my life! To make it through that with a win...well, we were in rare company before. Now that there's a finite number of us, I feel like we need badges or something.

Stinking badges, preferably.

FROM THE VAULT
Can't leave you on that note. I want to resume the behind-the-scenes blogs soon, but I thought it would be best to wait on that until I know exactly when Monsterplex will be back. Still, I don't want to be too stingy so here's a unique little artifact from the production notebook:



One of the early challenges David had when drawing the first 8 pages of Monsterplex was trying to figure out what Corman Cinemas looked like and where the action was taking place within it. Since in my head Corman looked just like the movie theater I worked at back in college (which has, sadly, since closed down), it was easy enough for me to draw a crude (VERY crude) map of the place. I showed David, using my fingers, where the action was taking place and where the various characters were on any given page.

Dave took that instruction one step further by then color-coding the action on each page onto different layers in Photoshop, making it easy to see what was going on and how people and monsters were getting from one place to another. The above drawing is with all of those layers turned on.

Thanks to those of you that are keeping the Monsterplex flame going strong. Never stop asking me when it's coming back. One of these days...I'm gonna say a date instead of "I don't know." Count on it.

MUCH more later.

-Brock

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

THE FIRST CHECK!

So, this is a banner day. Or rather yesterday was. We got our first Monsterplex check from DC Comics! This stuff just got real.

This is the check that we got just for being in the competition--all the competitors got one just like it. Check it out, it even came in an official DC envelope! (In my head, I imagine our mail carrier--a devout comics fan, no doubt--looking at the envelope and saying to him/herself, "Lucky.")



The best part? There's more checks to come! Thanks again to everyone for their support. Today the dream was fulfilled just a little more.

More later.

Brock

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

FROM SCRIPT TO PAGE: PAGE 5

Hey everybody!

Sorry all has been quiet on the Monsterplex front lately. We're working hard to get new pages to you as soon as possible and as soon as I know when that will happen, I'll let you know. Right now, our contracts are signed and mailed and we should be hearing from Zuda Editorial any day now. That's when the real work will begin.

For now, let's look back again the first 8 pages. This time, page 5. First, the script:

Page 5-

1- Ryan helping Lina up, who is none too pleased.

RYAN
You mean you don’t
know?

LINA (coldly)
Why don’t you
explain it to me?

2- Ryan escorting Lucy and Lina through the theater. Ryan is sweating bullets. We see some beetles crawling on the wall nearby. This is the mighty exposition panel. Panel doesn’t need to be very large, but I need some space for the dialogue.

RYAN
Happy to oblige!

Here at Corman Cinemas
we cater to a very specific,
thrill-seeking clientele.

We pride ourselves on
the chillingly authentic experience
only we can provide.

We don’t just exhibit
monster movies, we show
you real monsters!

3- This is the showcase of this page. Panel 3 is really a series of 4 panels as Ryan and the ladies walk by the four posters outlined below. The posters themselves are free-floating on the page, like panels. Ryan, Lina and Lucy walk by the posters. (See SuperFogeys 45 from Chapter 2 to see how I did a similar thing—though I would not recommend going full body shots on our trio, from about the chest up should do it.)

panel a – “It Came From the Back Nine” – Show the swamp monster from page 4 terrorizing golfers. Tagline: They Never Should Have Gotten a Hole-in-One.

panel b – “Aunt Attack” – Show aunt wielding a knife and scaring kids. Tagline: Where’s the Fun Uncle When You Need Him?

panel c – “Beetles in the Breadbasket” – Show Beetles spilling out of breadbasket on fine restaurant table, much to the horror of the couple in formal wear sitting there. Tagline: Shh! This is One Ingredient That Should Stay Secret!

panel d – “Vampire Love Boat” – Show a Titanic Poster spoof with Vampires. Tagline: Love. Blood. Boat.


RYAN

Imagine watching a vampire
on screen, even as you avoid
him in the aisles!

At Corman Cinemas
we import monsters
of only the highest quality from
the lowest of dimensions.

Our mission is to turn your
hair white with fright, all
within a safe and controlled
environment!

LINA
Controlled!?
I ate a bug!

4- Ryan and the ladies at the door to “Vampire Love Boat.” Ryan is reaching for the door, as though he is about to open it. Let’s be sure and see the marquee above the door or the poster or something, if possible.

RYAN
Yes, well, I won’t say we
haven’t had some…issues
lately.

No worries!
Our staff is well-trained and
I doubt we’ll be seeing
any more trouble today!

5-
Same as 4, but now the door has flown open and a stream of vampires is rushing out of the auditorium, completely obscuring our view of Ryan and the ladies. Vamps shouldn’t be in tuxedos, ala Dracula. Should be more pedestrian looking. Like a modern gang with fangs, pointed ears and the same reversed-out look to their eyes that Priscilla has.


This first layout was a little boring. This was back when Dave was still doing his own layouts (now we do them together) and I felt like, on this first pass, there was a more dynamic way to present the posters.

This page was a real butt-kicker. Not only was it unconventional, but each of the posters had to be designed individually. Easy to script, but lots of work for both Mike and Dave.


That did it. Just putting the posters slightly askew made it feel more like the trio was walking in an abstract space instead of past a boring wall. It gave Ryan's monologue kind of a "montage feel." I really liked that.


Here Dave is fleshing out his layout. It always amazes me how rough his pencils are in light of how exacting the inks are. Here, see for yourself:


Pretty nice, huh? Dave's inks always blow me away. You'll see the posters have been dropped in now as well. Dave does a great job with those. We need to make more! For the record, the one Ryan is covering up is called "Beetles in the Bread Basket."

More later.

Brock

Monday, March 15, 2010

SWAMPY FAN ART BY JAMES LEE!

Morning, all! I've been lax on updating this blog the past couple weeks (trying to give you all a break), but I'm hoping to fix that this week. There's still lots of production sketches and "From Script to Pages" to share with you.

Today's fan art comes to us from James Lee over on Deviant Art! Check out Swampy:



Pretty sweet, huh?

More later.

-Brock

Monday, March 8, 2010

MONSTERPLEX FAN ART BY BRIAN ANDERSON!

Man, have I got a sweet piece for you this morning. Brian Anderson is the powerhouse cartoonist behind the adorable, family-friendly (and really, really good) syndicated cartoon strip, Dog Eat Doug. This is important to understand, because that fact will make this fan art all the more shocking:



Brian is a HUGE Zuda junkie and jumped on the MONSTERPLEX bandwagon immediately. Brian and I also founding members of Tall Tale Features, an online cartoonist collective that is worth your valuable time to check out.

And don't forget to check out Dog Eat Doug! It's hilarious.

More later.

-Brock

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

NEW, POST-WIN MONSTERPLEX INTERVIEW!

Morning, all! I've got something really special for you today. This latest Monsterplex interview really dives into what's coming up next in the MP story. I also reveal what I believe are the two most important things for any creator just starting out to keep in mind.

Big thanks to David Harper at Multiversity Comics for this great in-depth discussion!

Here's a teaser:

David Harper: While we've seen plenty of monsters so far, are we continously see new classic movie monsters shuffle in and out of the title (as allowed by copyrights of course)?

Brock Heasley: Heh. Yeah, that's something we have to be careful. We get around it by being real general in our designs. Our Swamp Monster doesn't look anything like the Swamp Thing, for example. And our vampires don't sparkle. You'll see a lot of monsters pop up here and there, some that you'll recognize and some that are entirely new creations of artist David Schlotterback.

Read more here!

More later.

-Brock

Monday, March 1, 2010

A SPECIAL MESSAGE FROM CAMI

Morning, all! Well, it's been a few days and I think it's fair to say I've settled down a little after our win, but I'm still completely pumped. It's just that now...now I realize how much work I have ahead of me! All fun stuff though.

Been thinking a lot about what to do with this blog between now and our official launch on Zuda (most likely about 2-3 months from now). I don't want to lose our momentum so expect regular progress reports, artwork, teases, etc. I'll even post fan art here if you'd like to send some along.

Of course, I will be most active over at my other comic, The SuperFogeys. If you haven't checked out SF yet, might I recommend it? I think if you like MONSTERPLEX, you'll like SuperFogeys.

The outpouring of support and well-wishes has been tremendous. As a thank you, today I bring to you a very special message from Cami, my youngest daughter (with a little help from her grandma).




More later.

-Brock

Friday, February 26, 2010

WE WON AND WE THANK YOU

"Promise me you're never going to do this again!"

That's what my wife Erin said to me over the phone as soon as she found out. And after she screamed with delight. My response?

"You got it."

This month has been a whirlwind of hard work and emotions for me and my family. In my adult life, I learned a long time ago what it really means to work hard for something. You almost have to not care about the outcome. You just do the work that needs to be done. Focus on that and, even if it doesn't work out, you'll at least know you did everything you could. Most of your satisfaction will come from just knowing that, no matter what the result.

But...sometimes things come together perfectly and you win one! Now that's a sweet feeling. MONSTERPLEX has been a 2 year journey for me. 2 years. David came on around the same time, and Mike about a year later. Having now won...I'm still in a kind of shell-shock.

Mike was the first to tell me. I didn't see it through the refresh. I instantly got chills and they lasted for about a minute solid. Have you ever had chills for that long? You start thinking you might be sick. But, I wasn't. I was on cloud nine.

I'm still there and if there's one feeling that's overriding all others it's this: gratitude.

You are all awesome. If someone asks you today, "Are you awesome?" You will be able to say "Yes, I am awesome." If that same person fires back with "How do you know?" you will turn to that person and say, simply, "Because MONSTERPLEX won."

I really, truly feel as though this win is because of all of you. Yesterday, we had given up. No, no, we had. We talked about what we'd do with MONSTERPLEX after losing. But you guys just kept at it and pulled off one of the biggest upsets I think any of us have ever seen.

I wish I could thank you all individually, but there's no way I possibly can. There's too many of you! We're humbled by that. Truly humbled. We could not have done it without all of you and I'm just so amazed by how everyone came out to support us. I see all of you as a part of this thing with us.

I do need to name at least three people that were INTEGRAL to this success:

To our wives Erin, Tracy and Lauren. They took this journey with us, fought for us and, in some ways, it meant even more to them!

Also, thanks to David Schlotterback and Michael DeVito for doing this thing with me. They make it look like I can write.

Guys, you have the floor.

David Schlotterback
says:

I want to personally thank all of my friends, family and anyone who came out to support us in this! I'm truly indebted to you all! Extra-special thanks goes to my wife, Tracy!


Michael DeVito says:

I want to thank everyone who helped to get us to this point. If it wasn't for all the support you guys have showed we wouldn't have been neck and neck with our competition, who put up an amazing fight. I'll be honest I thought we were done for weeks ago. That said we never stopped trying. Thanks Brock and Dave for making me a part of this great collaboration. And, of course, big thanks to Zuda.

A special thanks also goes out to my wife Lauren, and kids Matteo and Luca for their support and putting up with the late nights to come.


To that I would also like to thank my girls, Elora and Cami for putting up with Dad spending hours at the computer and in the bedroom doing interviews. I hope they enjoy Monsterplex for many years to come.

Now...a lot of you are asking, what's next? What's next is that we're going to disappear for a little while. Maybe 2 or three months. During that time, we'll going to be heavy into production on MONSTERPLEX. Then, soon, Monsterplex will restart on Zuda and you'll get one new page a week for one solid year. We have a contract. We will fulfill it. (We will be paid!) We are excited.

During that time, we hope the popularity of MONSTERPLEX can grow. If it does sufficiently, DC/Zuda will renew our contract and maybe one day you'll see it in print! We hope so! This thing is for real now and we want to make good on the promise we've shown this past month.

But besides all that...we think you're in for a real treat. We have a fantastic, fantastic story planned. It's got twists, turns, suspense, cliffhangers, romance, violence, comedy, monsters galore, mystery...man, MONSTERPLEX has it all.

Stick with us. It's gonna be one heckuva ride!

One more time...THANK YOU!

More later. Much more.

-Brock

P.S. Keep your eye on the blog, you never know when it might update!

IT'S ALMOST OVER! 1/2 HOUR LEFT!

Morning, all! There's only 1/2 hour left in the competition and we need those last few people to get in there and vote DESPERATELY.

Please, if each of you could just help another couple of people go over and vote and favorite and star rate, IT WILL MAKE A DIFFERENCE. Tell 'em to go here!

Thanks!

See you again after the final results!

-Brock

Thursday, February 25, 2010

MONSTERPLEX BOUNCES BACK!! (NOW WE'RE REALLY IN TROUBLE)

Afternoon, all! Sorry for the lack of posting today. It's been a little crazy as I've been working and promoting since yesterday. And, yknow--

DID YOU SEE THE RANK UPDATE ON ZUDA!?!?!???

That's right, WE'RE BACK IN FIRST PLACE! We haven't been in first place since the first week of competition. Can you friggin' believe this? We stand at 17267 views, 381 favorites and a solid 4 1/2 star rating. And, oh yeah, WE'RE IN FIRST PLACE!!

As of this writing, we're 18 hours away from this whole thing being over and the winner being called. Of course, what's nice is that now that we're in first place we can just sit back and coast. It's pretty much a done deal at this point, right?

Um, no.

No, we're actually in an even more precarious position than we were before! NOW WE'VE GOT A BIG HONKIN' TARGET ON OUR BACKS! Seriously, I'm freaking out. We're so close, but there's still plenty of time to lose this thing. PLENTY of time.

I'm gonna be honest with you here. I've been asked a lot this past week about what we're going to do with MONSTERPLEX if we don't win. Publicly, I've refused to answer this question. But privately...I'll tell you right now that privately David, Michael and I were all resigned to losing yesterday and we were talking about precisely what we would do with MONSTERPLEX when we lost. No "if"--WHEN. We all talked about what we'd like to see happen and under what conditions we'd consider going forward with this thing. Decisions and plans were made.

And in all likelihood I'll never have to share them with you! I mean, that's actually possible. That's mind-blowing to me.

To live this dream--to produce a comic for DC Comics...well, that's just something that would be very special to me. And to David. And to Michael.

Thank you. Thanks to everyone who has cared and supported and championed us. Your enthusiasm for us and for MONSTERPLEX has been amazing. And humbling.

But it's not over yet...now is the time when the word must spread as far as it possibly can. We need votes, yes, but also favorites, star ratings, etc. You know the drill. I've gotta think we're on the razor's edge here. We just need you for 18 more hours! It all ends at 9am PST/Noon EST.

Go TEAM MONSTERPLEX!

More later.

-Brock

Monsterplex

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

THE MONSTERPLEX/RE-EVOLUTION CROSSOVER!

Morning, all! I have something incredibly cool to share with you, but first a quick update. As far as I know, this is the last full day of competition. We stand at 15306 views, 320 favorites and our star rating is very nearly 4 1/2! This puts us way ahead of most of the competition, but still far behind the leader in favorites. Hoping we can see a last minute save. It could still happen.

Now, the coolness. Re-Evolution is a winning comic on Zuda and one of the very best comics Zuda has to offer. Writer Gus Higuera and artist Juan Felipe Salcedo are good guys who took the time to talk to me at the DC booth at the San Diego Comic Con this past year. They even said they were fans of the SuperFogeys! That was humbling.

Gus and Juan have thrown their support behind MONSTERPLEX and David and Juan got together for this great jam piece featuring characters from both Monsterplex and Re-Evolution! I'm impressed with how well the two art styles mesh together--totally did not expect that.


I love it! Be sure and go on over to Re-Evolution to give it a read and favorite it! Also, Re-Evolution needs your support to continue for another season. Be sure and go and sign the petition if you like what you see. Thanks!

And thanks again to Gus and Juan!

More later.

-Brock

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

FROM SCRIPT TO PAGE: PAGE 4

So little time left! We've seen a 15+ jump in favorites since this morning, but we're still WAY off he leader. We need those votes and those favorites. Although, I'm guessing that if you're reading this blog then you've probably already done both!

Today, let's look at the creation of Page 4. First, the script:

Page 4-

1- Now you go big. Big action panel here. The swamp-like monster tries to pound Ryan, Lucy, Lina and Bitsy. Ryan tackles Lucy and Lina to the floor so that the monster just misses. Bitsy keeps playing with her hair and just kind of leans out of the way. She’s entirely nonplussed.

MONSTER
RRRARRRR!!

2- Lucy and Lina are on the floor as Ryan crouches low, the only thing standing between them and the monster. His arm is outstretched, as if he expects something to be in his hand. A large sword is spinning and flying towards that hand.

RYAN

Bitsy!
Sword!

3- Ryan’s hero shot as he faces down the monster and the monster rears up to hit him. Ryan holds his sword in front of him, towards the monster. Total Conan the Barbarian pose.

RYAN
We just had these
carpets cleaned.

I swear if you’ve tracked
in any mud…

4- The monster takes a swipe at Ryan and tears off the back of his suit coat as he leaps away.

5-
Ryan puts his sword into the monster’s back. We see the monster’s comical expression of surprise.

6-
In the foreground we see the monster face first on the ground with the sword sticking out of his back. Ryan has one foot on the monster and holds the sword, trying to get it out. Beyond him and the monster are Lucy and Lina, still on the floor and looking up at Ryan. Lucy looks up admirably at Ryan, while Lina is screaming at him.

RYAN

Are you ladies alright?

LINA

JUST WHAT
IS GOING ON
HERE!?

-------------------------

This page was pretty straightforward and didn't require a ton of revision. However, we do have a pretty good record of David's process to share with you. Check out the evolution of Page 4:







Don't forget to check out MONSTERPLEX today! More views and more comments will help!

More later.

-Brock

MORNING UPDATE AND THE INTERVIEW THAT NEVER HAPPENED

Morning, all! Sorry for the lack of updates yesterday. I was very much under the weather AND my daughter's IEP was yesterday. (An IEP is an annual meeting that parents with Special Needs children have with the school to assess progress and needs--an emotionally draining and event to say the least.)

As of this writing, MONSTERPLEX stands at 13931 views, 308 favorites and almost 4 1/2 stars. This morning on Twitter and Facebook we're playing a little game where I'm asking everyone to go visit MONSTERPLEX one more time to see how fast we can get those views to rise. 150 in about 3 minutes is what we're looking at right now! Wow! Zuda, you seeing this? You see the support we have here?

There's only two days left. We're 100 favorites and who knows how many votes behind. Can TEAM MONSTERPLEX do it? It's up to you at this point!

Something that I look forward to reading is the monthly round of interviews JK Parkin over at Comic Book Resources does with all of the contestants. Well, for some reason, this month JK appears to have sat out. (I know I haven't been contacted at least.) However, his questions are always standards so...on the suggestion of Zuda Reader mookieblaylock...I figured why not give myself the interview and post it here. Right? Right?

Here we go:

JK: Tell me a little bit about yourself -- where you're from, other comics projects you've worked on if this isn't your first, what you do when you aren't doing comics, etc.


Brock: Born and raised in the Central Valley in California (nowhere near the beach). In addition to MONSTERPLEX, I'm also the creator of both The SuperFogeys (which I write and draw) and SuperFogeys Origins (which I only write and many other artists draw, primarily T.L. Collins). You can find both of those at www.superfogeys.com For my day job I'm a graphic artist/illustrator for a non-profit education company that helps teachers teach math and science better.

JK: Tell me a little bit about your strip and what it's about. What makes it unique when compared to the other strips in this competition?

Brock:
MONSTERPLEX could not be any simpler. In a movie theater that doesn't just show you monster movies, but also real monsters, hilarity and complications ensue. MP is about the people and monsters that work there and mysterious corporation that has recently bought out the theater. The thing I hear a lot about MP is that people like that we're using familiar elements (the monsters and monster movie conventions), but in an original way. I don't think anyone has ever quite approached monsters the way we are. Plus, it's just a whole lot of fun. At the end of the day, I just want people to have a good time when they read it.

JK: How are you promoting your strip this month?

Brock:
Oh man, how AREN'T we promoting the strip? We're on Twitter and Facebook relentlessly. I'm continually pumping it on my own site. We have an ad campaign making the internet rounds. We've been doing numerous podcast and online print interviews. We also have the MONSTERPLEX production blog (which you're reading right now because JK sat out this month--thanks dude! Saved me from having to do another link!).

JK: What have you learned from participating in Zuda so far and what do you hope to gain from the experience over the long run?

Brock:
What have I learned? Campaigning sucks! Seriously, it's hard work. I don't like getting into people's faces, but, with the limited time frame, you kind of have to. I've also learned that there's not better feeling than putting a new comic in front of people that they dig. Been a long time since I created the SuperFogeys, so it was cool to get back to that initial rush. Plus, I've learned that I've got some really great poeple in my life. The support has been amazing.

JK: What do you plan to do with your strip if you don't win? Will you continue with it somewhere else?


Brock: I don't really want to talk about not winning. Right now, I've gotta think positively. We've only got two days to get the vote out and I still think it can turn around for us. Ask me again on February 26th!

More later.

-Brock

Monday, February 22, 2010

FINAL WEEK! TWO NEW INTERVIEWS!

Morning, all! With the weekend over and the last few days of voting before us, let's check in and see where we're at... 13155 views, 297 favorites and just over 4 stars. This puts us 103 favorites behind the number one ranked comic and just under 100 views. You know what that means?

NOW IS THE TIME!

If you've been waiting to join TEAM MONSTERPLEX or haven't yet done all of the big four--voted, favorited, star rated and commented--then you don't have to wait any longer. It's crunch time! Only 3 days to go!

Please, please, please let everyone know how close we are. I know the gap between us and first place is ever-widening, but it's not so wide that we can't still overcome. It's entirely up to you!

Now, with that out of the way, I've got a couple of great interviews to share with you. First up is MONSTERPLEX artist David Schlotterback's first solo interview over at Rocket Llama! He talks about what it's like to work with me, what his experience with comics has been and what he likes most about drawing Monsterplex. A fun read!

Secondly, be sure and check out my audio podcast interview with Byron Wilkins and Kurt Sasso over at TGT Webcomics. We talked for about an hour and half about both MONSTERPLEX and SUPERFOGEYS. This was one of the best interviews I've done, I think (haven't listened back to it yet).

For the first half, I talk about the creation of MONSTERPLEX and break down just why it took two years for it to arrive one your screens. I also drop a lot of hints about future storylines!

After that, we turned out attention to SuperFogeys, talking a lot about the chapter that just wrapped up, Chapter 7, "Visiting Day." It was great talking with Byron and Kurt because you could tell that they are true fans of SF. They had some good questions and some good observations to make and prompted me to share some things about Cami and Swifty that I've never touched on anywhere. We also talked a bit about the Third Man and Kurt offered some theories on what his possible motivation might be. If you're a die hard SF fan, then you don't want to miss this one.

You can listen to all right here!(scroll down to the bottom)

More later.

-Brock

Friday, February 19, 2010

MONSTERPLEX/SUPERFOGEYS LIVE CHAT ON SUNDAY, 9PM EST

Hey all, just a quick note to let you know about a Live Chat and Podcast I'll be doing with the guys over at TGT Webcomics this Sunday at 9pm EST/6pm PST. The chat will be done through Talk Shoe, so anyone who would like to be able to participate in the call can do so, and there will also be a simultaneous chat going on that you can join in and lob questions through.

Hit this link Sunday night to listen in and/or participate. We'll be talking MONSTERPLEX, of course, but also SuperFogeys. And, given what's gone down this week over at the SuperFogeys, we should have lots to talk about.

Also, the good guys over at the Digital Strips have just posted their monthly Zuda Watch podcast in which they review all of this month's entries. Haven't listened to it yet, but it's always a good time. Looking forward to what they have to say about MP!

More later.

-Brock

THE EVOLUTION OF KEN "ZOMBIE" WATANABE

Morning, all! We're seeing a bit of a rebound in the MONSTERPLEX numbers today. Not a lot, but we have a good trend going with about 10 times more comments than usual during the overnight and favorites are on the rise as well. As of this writing, we're at 11429 views, 268 favorites and just over 4 stars. Will that increase steadily over the course of the day? We'll see...

Let's take a look at Ken today. He started out quite a bit different from what we eventually ended up with!


DAVID SCHLOTTERBACK (Monsterplex Artist): This was my first attempt at good ole Ken. I’ll admit, I didn’t truly understand the character at first. I think of zombies as creatures that are void of personality, so bringing personality to a zombie seemed a tough task. My attempt was a little too gross for Brock. Fun to draw, but hard to look at. You can see from the notes along the edge that we wanted a “little scrapper, make him a little more … anime.” He is an unusual zombie in that he actually has personality and can spill out a little action.

BROCK HEASLEY (Monsterplex Writer): First pass was a great zombie, but not a character I'd want to follow and care about. So, I hunkered down and showed Dave what I had in mind.


DAVID: Once I saw that, I knew I was waaaay off the mark in my interpretation.

BROCK: I wanted Ken to have an element of cool. It was basically all in the hair with my design. I think I went a little too far with the nose.


BROCK: Once Dave could see better what I had intended, he had no problem adapting it to his style and giving Ken a modified Corman uniform. My favorite part was his left arm being exposed bone. Wolf will have a lot of fun with that once the fight settles down.

More later.

-Brock

Thursday, February 18, 2010

SKETCH REQUEST: PRISCILLA THE PRINCESS

This request came to us from Kristie, a big MONSTERPLEX supporter. Thanks, Kristie!



Dave will be taking sketch requests right up until the end, Feb. 25th. What do you want to see the MONSTERPLEX characters doing? Tell us in the comments below!

More later.

-Brock

MONSTERPLEX FAN ART BY WILLIAM "THUNDERCHICKENS" BLANKENSHIP!

William Blankenship is one heck of a cartoonist. His work on last month's Zuda entry, "The Thunderchickens," was top notch. He's got a real kinetic and loose style that belies the firm grip he has on the fundamentals of illustration. I WISH I could draw like him.

Check out his great Priscilla and Ken piece! (As always, click to see it bigger.)



Man, that's good stuff. You can follow William on his Twitter feed.

Stop on by MONSTERPLEX to see Priscilla and Ken in action. We still need more votes! (Lots more!)

More later.

-Brock