Coming soon …
A New Story Collection
Written by the Sun Bros
Illustrated by Ali Cantarella
And also featuring Artwork from …
Jonathan La Mantia
and Brad Sun
2017 has arrived … and with it, a brand new con season approaches. Wesley and Brad have been hard at work at a brand new comics collaboration, but that hasn’t stopped us from booking shows and planning our convention schedule for this year. If you haven’t checked out the Sun Bros Con Schedule 2017, be sure to take a look and see when we’ll be at a convention near you. We’ll be updating the list as we confirm more cons throughout the year, but we’ve already got quite a few lined up in the coming months.
More shows are being added every week, and we’re busy organizing carpools, plane tickets, couch surfing, and hotels! And although we’ve been splitting our busy convention schedule to cover more ground, the Sun Bros will also be reuniting for some of our favorite shows in our favorite cities – including C2E2 in Chicago and TCAF in Toronto!
And stay tuned for more Sun Bros news! In just a few days we’ll be announcing our new comics project, revealing some amazing new artwork, and setting the date for our brand new Kickstarter campaign starting next month!
For those of you who don’t know me, I’m Luc, the new intern with Sun Bros Studios. I’m a starry-eyed college kid, and I also happen to be an aspiring comics writer. In a turn of events that’s remarkable to me if no one else, I went from going to my first con ever a little less than a year ago to selling comics of my very own at comic cons around Chicagoland. And my debut show? None other than the Chicago Comics and Entertainment Expo – that’s right,C2E2! What’s crazy is that C2E2 was only the fifth show I’d ever attended and the second show where I’d been behind the table. Wesley has spoken about the low barrier to entry in the business of comics, and I can tell you firsthand he’s not making it up.
So these past months have been incredibly exciting for me. For those who picked up my debut story “Bathroom Comics,” you may have seen some of this excitement spill out as I routinely knocked over parts of the table display whenever someone tried to buy a copy of my work. You see, people were actually offering to pay me to read my book. To someone who’s just starting out, this seems like the opposite of what should be happening. Overall, C2E2 went much better than expected: I sold out twice and had to run to the FedEx Office in the basement of McCormick Place to print more copies, which is a story in its own right.
The trend I started to notice was that quite a few people who were interested in “Bathroom Comics” were comics illustrators or writers themselves who wanted to support an aspiring creator. Many other patrons bought my book simply because it was my first comic ever. That in itself surprised me – it seemed like my fellow cartoonists as well as mere strangers genuinely wanted me to succeed. In a way, I was selling more than “Bathroom Comics”: I was selling people on my own story, and the pleasant shock was that people for the most part were willing to be a part of it.
The problem is, there’s only one convention where you can say, “This is my first time selling comics ever.” Which is not to say that my marketing strategy went defunct after one show, but it means that the story I tell about how I got there and how my comics got there is a constantly changing one. It’s up to me to craft an ongoing narrative around myself and my work if I want to continue bringing books to conventions. The tricky thing is that, without the Sun Bros, I wouldn’t even have had the chance to sell at C2E2. Yes, I did fairly well, but these books were priced at $2 a pop. There’s no way I would have been able to cover the cost of the table with my 8-page black and white short story.
That being said, C2E2 is the biggest show in Chicago. Since my debut show, I’ve been on the road with Sun Bros Studios and seen a much wider spectrum of comic cons. There are many other shows where tables don’t cost nearly as much – not to mention the library shows where tables are free. So it’s just a matter of finding the right shows to distribute my work. Luckily for me, I’ll have the opportunity to continue exhibiting my comics over the Summer months with the Sun Bros now that the convention season’s hit full tilt. And thanks to a grant program through the University of Chicago, I now have the resources to travel with Wesley and Brad, exhibit my work, and of course – keep creating more comics!
No doubt my salesmanship skills, my body of work, and my readership will continue to grow. But what I’ve learned so far is that if you’re excited about your work, other people will be too. And if you’ve got a story to tell, you’ll be able to find people willing to listen. The next step now is finding those people in order to continue building an audience.
All my work may be found at www.yungskolla.com. Enjoy!
Now this isn’t a rant against inkers or colorists or computer effects (but seriously, motion blur?). It’s just a thought I’ve had since I was a kid and got my first look at original comic art and uninked pages. Admittedly, part of this is a matter of personal taste, and yet there is undeniably some vitality and pure raw energy that often seems to get lost in translation through the long process from pencils to print. Some of this is because until quite recently, it has been difficult to reproduce subtle line work and value in print. But I think there’s a larger conceptual problem at play for a lot of comics professionals, and it comes down to this:
I don’t mean that in terms of “body of work.” I mean it in the way your math teacher used to take points off if you didn’t write out the steps that led to your answer. And I also mean it in terms of “labor,” the actual physical process one undergoes to create something. There are notable exceptions of course, but there seems a desire in the vast majority of comics, especially superhero comics, to eliminate all smudges and scribbles in favor of an ultra smooth and shiny finish, as if each page was designed by a super sophisticated and efficient arting machine. It’s a strange quirk of the medium and one that derives from a number of factors – the aforementioned technological restraints, the inherent nature of massed produced images, and one particular philosophical issue that seems most pronounced in sequential storytelling specifically.
Dark Knight III: The Master Race continues to be a series filled with great ideas and hit-or-miss execution. It’s the dynamics that are off. The creative team consistently nails the understated quiet moments but fumbles the big action spectacles. One could argue which aspect is more important to a story, but ultimately both are needed to make a fully satisfying and suitably momentous miniseries like this one feel whole. So here’s the good news:
The previous issue ended with the promise that Bruce Wayne would finally take center stage, leaving me wondering exactly what kind of Batman would appear in this series. The gleeful lunatic seen in Dark Knight Strikes Again and All Star Batman would be out of place in the more grounded world of DKIII, but a retreat to the more disciplined and stolid Bats of DKR or Year One would feel like a cop out. Most importantly, I worried the dour and mostly humorless tone of DKIII would leave no room for a crucial but often overlooked aspect of Miller’s take on the character. That is, he loves being the goddamned Batman.
And while talk of Miller and his Dark Knight legacy invariably focuses on the “grim ‘n gritty” aspects, the pure joy Bruce gets leaping from rooftops, punching out bad guys, and generally striking terror has always been one of his defining characteristics. So in a story centered around themes of failure and regret, would there be a place for a Batman that’s just so damn jolly?