Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Secrets, Like Dragons… Are Tales Untold: Or, The Coolest New Kickstarter Project Ever.

Fans! Readers! Moviegoers! Fantasists of all shapes, sizes, ages, etcetera, I sound this clarion call to thee! If heroic fantasy is your most cherished fare, then heed my rallying cry, for I sound my large flipping horn to thee! Spread the word! Unlock thine coffers! For a Kickstarter project hath swooped ‘pon us swift and true, one of great verve and pith, one that ushers in a powerful new order, one that will—pardon the cliché—shake the very foundations of the earth! Or, in this case, of Kharndam!

So, uh… what?

Okay, here’s the dilly. In case you've been living under a rock—you know, with those fellas who just found out how they can save up to 15% more with Geico?—you’ve likely heard of Kickstarter, the largest funding platform for creative projects in the world. Right?

Well, author STEVEN E. SCHEND (Blackstaff, Blackstaff Tower, and numerous gaming credits) has envisioned the world of Kharndam and gathered about his e-person a jaunty group of fellow creators and writers to be his creative braintrust. Among them:
The “uncontained” ED GREENWOOD (Elminster in Hell, Elminster Must Die, The City of Splendors, The Band of Four, the Falconfar series), creator of the popular Forgotten Realms settings for Wizards of the Coast and, according to Amazon.com, “best-selling author of hundreds of novels, game products, and articles.”
ROSEMARY JONES, writer of novels for Wizards of the Coast including City of the Dead (an adventure set in the graveyard of Waterdeep) and Crypt of the Moaning Diamond, with short fiction in numerous anthologies.
JALEIGH JOHNSON, yet another excellent Wizards of the Coast writer, credited with Unbroken Chain, Mistshore, and The Howling Delve, as well as short stories in Realms of the Dead, Realms of the Dragon II, and Sails & Sorcery anthologies.
And rounding up this announcement there would be, well, me… J.M. MARTIN, if I must remind you! In addition to sharing space between the covers on Sails & Sorcery with Jaleigh Johnson, you can see the rest of my bibliography here.

So, about that Kickstarter project—now that you know the principle folks involved—Steven plans to launch Vistag Media, a new publishing house. To get things off the ground he’s trying the creative funding route via Kickstarter (link below). I’ve taken about three minutes of your time (if you’ve made it this far), and now I’m asking for just a few more. Watch Steven’s video at the project page where he talks about his plans and aspirations.

More from the Kickstarter page:

How is this book different from other fantasies currently on the market?

1) There are no longer any elves, demons, dragons, or dwarves in this world. Secrets, like Dragons… is just a simile title to speak to readers looking for good fantasy tales. It's not a matter of disliking any of those fantasy tropes, but we wanted Kharndam to feel different from the start.

2) The focus is on characters and their stories, not overused plots or hoary stereotypes. You won’t read about stable boys destined for royal thrones, and you shouldn’t expect grand quests by motley parties of heroes or villains driven to save or destroy the world either.

3) There are no moral absolutes pointing out which are the good guys or the bad guys here. Each character believes himself or herself in the “right” at the heart of things, and it’s up to readers to decide how they view characters and their actions.

Point #3 is the one that especially intrigues me, and I look forward to tackling a project writing a morally ambiguous anti-hero type! If this all intrigues you to the point where you want to learn more or are convinced you can part with at least one dollar, visit Secrets, like Dragons...are Tales Untold now!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Comic Book Database Profile Discovered

I just came across this Web site called comicbookdb.com and I’m tickled to see they’ve logged pretty much my entire comic book career! Here’s a chronological listing of nearly every comic that I took part in to some degree, either writing, art, editing, lettering, or otherwise. I see a few things missing, among them several issues of ARENA MAGAZINE (of which I was the editor, designer, reviewer, interviewer, press liaison, you-name-it!), some un-credited works I did layout and/or design work on (a couple issues of DEADWORLD come to mind), and some comics I did artwork on, the absence of which I don’t mind one bit!

Visit the ‘Joe Martin – Main Profile’ or, more impressively, see the ‘Joe Martin - 'J.M. Martin' - Chronological Listing.’

If you’re curious about the covers here, the cover on the left is of a one-shot called HELLGIRL: DEMONSEED (Knight Press, 1995), mainly to take advantage of the “bad girl” phase in the industry (yeah, call me a sellout, if you will, though I took the character and storyline just as seriously as I do all my work). The other cover is FRANK FRAZETTA FANTASY ILLUSTRATED #6 (Quantum Cat Entertainment, 1998), which featured a story I wrote called “The Horned God: Boudicca’s Tale,” with art by Philip Xavier and colored by Richard Isanove.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

QuickPortraits by Joe!

My PortraitBasically, I got this new Wacom tablet and I’ve gone absolutely jack-nutty! After doing a couple of quick portraits yesterday, the feedback I received inspired me to offer “QuickPortraits” as a service! I mean, why not? I have the tablet. I have the skillz. Do I have the time? Hmmm… well, if I start getting orders, I’ll make time, by gum! May as well strap it on and see what happens, right?

I’ll be adding more samples as I go (likely another one or two later tonight).

Go check it out! And, of course, feel free to place an order. Heh.

No, really.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Rogue Blades Entertainment launches the ‘Home of Heroics’

Excerpted from Adventures Fantastic:

“Hey, everybody, just a quick word to let you know that Rogue Blades Entertainment is about to launch a new feature at their website.  Tomorrow morning, April 4, at 8:00 a.m., Home of Heroics makes its debut.  This will be a page focusing on heroics in any and all forms, fictional and historical, reviews and analysis, and general discussion. 

“There are 26 regular contributors, posting Monday and Friday, with guest contributors posting on Wednesdays... Jason Waltz has assembled an impressive lineup of writers and an aggressive schedule of new content…

“Also, he's got some upgrades and changes to the RBE website that will be going live over the next week or so.  Check it all out.  You'll be glad you did.  As much variety as Jason has planned, you're sure to find a number of things that will appeal to you.”