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Announcement: VIKINGVERSE COVER ILLUSTRATION RELEASED!

ANNOUNCEMENT Official summary of ALL FATHER PARADOX along with color cover illustration! What if an ancient god escaped his fate…and history was thrown to the wolves? Churchwarden Michaels thought it was just a run-of-the-mill crazy old man who stood in the graveyard,...

Announcement: New Comic Coming from Outland Entertainment!

ANNOUNCEMENT: Announcing Riddle of the Loremaster, an all new original comic series written by Melanie R. Meadors, with art by Nicolás Giacondino! Here is a sneak peek at some of the promo art: Riddle of the Loremaster is a comic for mature readers set in a fantasy...

Women in Dark Fantasy Have Changed by Linda Robertson

In doing a bit of research looking for a dark-fantasy-related topic for this article, I sought something that I knew at least a bit about, something I felt strongly about, and something where I could add meaningfully to the conversation. Many things were considered,...

Alethea Kontis on Imposter Syndrome

Earlier this year, I met the only student Katy Kellgren ever had. He told me he just about had to bully her into being his teacher. This amazing, multiple award-winning voice actress with hundreds of audiobooks under her belt truly didn’t believe she knew anything...

Announcements: HATH NO FURY Has Arrived in the US!

Backers of the paperback and hardcover editions of Hath No Fury will be happy to learn that the books have arrived at the printer's headquarters in Chicago! Now, they just need to be sent to our head honcho Jeremy Mohler, and then they will be sent out to backers...

Fairies with Dark Faces by I.L. Cruz

I like fairies—not a difficult admission for a fantasy writer—and I don’t mean the safe Victorian ones with gossamer wings that spread sparkles when they walk. I mean the ones that steal little children and make Faustian bargains. They were ancient and magnificent and...

Announcement: Launching New Transmedia World, VIKINGVERSE

Announcements Introducing the beginning of a new transmedia project with fiction, comics, and games in development! VIKINGVERSE From a concept created by Ian Sharpe, Vikingverse is going to launch this fall with a novel called All Father Paradox. Here is the line art...

The Secret Origin of “Daughter of Sorrow” by Maurice Broaddus

“Mr. Broaddus, you need to start a Creative Writing Club.” Thus began a four week campaign in which different members of my eighth grade class wore me down and I agreed to run an after school program. We ended up with nearly a dozen intrepid souls in our merry band,...

Knaves Has Funded, and Then Some!

Thanks to our awesome backers and readers, the Kickstarter for our anthology, Knaves, has been a success! Four hundred eighty-nine backers came together and invested $15,342 to make Knaves happen. Not only will this anthology be produced, but the authors will all get...

You Like Me Because I’m a Scoundrel

I remember watching Phantom Menace in the movie theater wondering what the movie was missing. There was awesome Jedi action (and way better choreography than the original trilogy). The music was fantastic. Tatooine looked pretty much the same, and pod racing was...
Shogun Knight Dyson V – Issue 01 Preview

Shogun Knight Dyson V – Issue 01 Preview

SHOGUN KNIGHT DYSON V is the next project we’re publishing through OUTLAND.

Anybody who has been following OUTLAND the last year or so will know that we’ve partnered with Mat Nastos on a variety of projects, AEGISTEEL, ELFLORD, and the re-release of The Barry Blair Library. Almost since the beginning of our partnership, Mat has been talking about an idea for a giant robot book. Well, SHOGUN KNIGHT DYSON V is it.

From Mat –

This is one of my favorite pieces of work I’ve ever done, and is based on my love for the giant robot comics and cartoons of the 70s and 80s. If you love Shogun Warriors, Tranzor-Z (or Mazinger Z in other countries), Giant Robo, Big 0, Grendizer, Getter Robo, or any of their cousins, then you will be blown away by SHOGUN KNIGHT DYSON V! Not only is it full color, but it is printed OVERSIZE at 9″x12″!! The book is a beast and simply beautiful.

Written and created by Mat Nastos, with artwork from Nicolás R. Giacondino, Mat Nastos, and Chunlin Zhao and letters from Ed Dukeshire.

Here is the official blurb –

With the corrupt Titan, BLACK ODIN, on a rampage, it is up to Lieutenant Jonathan “Hightower” Harmon and his team to awaken the guardian robot, DYSON-V, to stop him. Full color, Super Robot action in the vein of Shogun Warriors, Mazinger Z, Giant Robo, and Grendizer.

You see a preview of the first six pages below –

It will be premiering at the Amazing Houston Comic Con September 4 directly from Mat Nastos, but will be ready for pre-order from OUTLAND soon!

Aegisteel – Issue 00 Preview

Aegisteel – Issue 00 Preview

AEGISTEEL is the first wholly original property published by Outland Entertainment, written by Mat Nastos, illustrated by Alan Gallo and myself (Jeremy Mohler), and lettered by Ed Dukeshire.

I can’t begin to express how excited I am to have Outland publishing this beast and to have helped design and bring Mat’s world to life. It’s been a lot of fun having the chance to play in this world and I’m looking forward to sitting down and digging into the actual main series. I’m just now getting started on layouts for the first issue and man, it’s going to be fun!

AEGISTEEL has had something of an interesting course to life. I talk a lot about it over here, actually. I also share a lot of the character designs and concepts that I worked on with the writer, Mat Nastos, so be sure to check out that blog post.

A little bit about the world –

AEGISTEEL is a spellpunk adventure set in the world of the Aegisteel Empire, a society of steel and magic built on the backs of its soldiers and terrible war machines. Think of it as DIRTY DOZEN meets SMOKING ACES set in a war-torn SPELLPUNK world.

When the Theln Empire captures the ancient Aegisteel forges at Nelvynnal, veteran marksman Broderick Longbarrel is released from Blackgate Prison and given one last chance for redemption. Tasked with infiltrating the ancient and impenetrable fortress, Longbarrel ans five former death row inmates must succeed before the Theln can begin production of the giant war-golems that could shift the balance of the war.

Below are the layouts and some additional designs I did for the project –

And below are the first eleven pages, fully colored and lettered!

The book is also now available digitally over here!

You can also purchase the limited edition Amazing Las Vegas Convention cover in print here!

And you can also get a 14″x20″ poster over here!

Hope you like it!

JM

Dark & Day: Soldiers & Knights

Dark & Day: Soldiers & Knights

So last October, I came across an ad looking for an art team for a new comic project called Dark & Day: Soldiers & Knights. Little did I know when I reached out just what a really cool project this was.

Here’s the basic premise –

A distant future Earth is now split into permanent Ends of night and day. The night/Dark is a culture of machines, technology, soldiers and logical science (science fiction style). The Day is a culture of magic, mythical creatures, knights and belief in wonder (fantasy style). Both sides fear the other and want to protect their people and their way of life.

Jake Grey, the creator, and I started talking and he began to share some of the concept art for the project he’d already developed and scope of the world started to come into focus. I was really floored. If I hadn’t been sold on the premise alone, seeing it brought to life and getting a sense of where Jake wanted to take the project really brought it all home. I knew that this had to be an Outland project.

You can read more about the project and see more art samples over on the project page.

Jake is also currently running a Kickstarter to help fund the next book of the project. You should go over and check it out and help fund the project!

Check out the project and help fund it!

JM

Novel Cover: Skorch

Novel Cover: Skorch

Here is a cover I completed for Kraig Dafoe’s latest novel, Skorch, earlier this year.

It was a fun piece to do – I don’t often get asked to just do images like this with a single figure and a fairly uncomplicated background.  Though, perhaps that’s partially my own fault for making many images more complicated than they need to be, I dunno.  Anyway, I think the most fun I had with this piece was the background, which admittedly, isn’t that abnormal.  Especially when it comes to drawing nature, which I love.

Part of the fun is doing the research and looking at all these inspiring images of forests – I take a lot of inspiration from nature and I absolutely love doing pieces that have trees, rocks, leaves, etc.

Below are my initial sketches, the drawing, and the final with type.

You can see that this went through a variety of different approaches until we landed on something the client liked.  Personally, I would have loved to do the second background with the twisted up old forest with mossy rocks, but ultimately, it didn’t fit the material as well.  With that said, I do really like how the trees, vines, and leaves in the final turned out.  And over all, I’m pretty darn happy with the colors.

I’m also not a designer myself and I always feel a little nervous about sending something out that I set the type on.  It’s nothing too fancy and the client was happy, so at least there’s that!

JM

Goodman Games: Maximum XCrawl Cover

Goodman Games: Maximum XCrawl Cover

Over the years, I’ve done a variety of work for various publishers of RPG’s, spot illustration, both black and white as well as greyscale, and many full color covers.  Eventually, I started moving away from all the spot illustration to doing mostly covers.  And there is no other line of products out there that I have consistently completed so many covers for than Goodman Games XCrawl line of books.

For that matter, I’ve also rarely come across any group of illustrations more challenging either!

Anyway, Goodman Games just released their latest in their XCrawl line – Maximum XCrawl, which moves XCrawl over to the Pathfinder system.  I completed the cover for this book earlier this year.  Below is my process!

In order –

  • My initial sketches.
  • The finished pencils.
  • My first pass at color – which wasn’t quite bright enough.  They wanted something that would really jump off the “rack.”
  • So, I came up with the final, which I think ended up pretty sharp and definitely a lot brighter!

One of the things I like about XCrawl is the combination of present day with fantasy/medieval elements.  You’ll see the characters wearing blue jeans and sporting heavy armor.  Or wearing sports pads and carrying hand axes.  Or even a group of adventurers being attacked on a roller-coaster!  It’s just a fun mash-up of genres.

I’m going to also go ahead and include many of the past XCrawl pieces I’ve completed over the years!  I don’t think I have these all in one place.  Lots of fun stuff!  Images two-four were colored by Tom Scholes.

I’m currently working on another XCrawl cover I expect to have finished later this week.  Hope you like these in the meantime!

JM

Norseman Colors

Norseman Colors

A big project I worked on last year was with a fellow named Henrik Jonsson and his graphic novel project The Norseman (scroll down to see pages).

Henrik is a graduate of the Joe Kubert School, where I attended from 1999-2001.  I have fond memories of my first year at the JKS and I generally keep an eye out for talent coming out of the school.  I’m not sure how, exactly, I ended up on this project, whether it was from an inquiry for work through Outland or whether I responded to a possible call for colorists, but I knew from the moment I saw Henrik’s work that I’d love to work with him on something.

There’s something quite stunning about his work and his use of blacks and I had a ball coloring pages.  I think to date we’ve completed almost 70 pages – a graphic novel and a short story.  These were released in sections through Fantomet in Norway.  We’re hoping to bring the series over here (to the US), but we’re still working out the details on that.

As it stands, it looks like we’ll be doing a short story this summer and next year another graphic novel set in the world of The Norseman.  I’m also scheduled to do a pin-up, which I really need to find the time to get done!

It’s a fun story I’m seriously proud to have been involved in.  Hope you like some of the samples!

The above are samples from the last short story that we completed!

JM