Thursday, May 17, 2012

Free Comic Books and A Change in the Wind

May and June are going to be crazy! There is a change in the wind for us with the way we will be producing comic books as well as hitting a lot of conventions and signings in the next few weeks. And we've already started. This past week, Janet and myself where attending FCBD in Lexington KY, at Collectibles, Etc. Meanwhile, Kevin Williams found himself setting up shop at The Comics Cellar in Memphis, TN! This weeks post is all about Free Comic Book Day and how it went for us. Janet Wade gives you a rundown of the festivities in KY, while Kevin gives you the blow by blow action from TN! Afterwards, I'll be back to let you in on what changes we have coming down the road, why this new step is important to us, and what you guys should expect concerning the publication of our favorite ninja of the Toshigawa Clan!

From the desk of Janet Wade

So aside from May 5th being Cinco De Mayo, it was also what's known in the realm of comic books as FREE COMIC BOOK DAY.  Yes, that magical time of year where comic book fans bumrush their local comic book shops & score free books, maybe meet an artist or 2, & make geeky purchases.  :)  It's almost like Christmas, except there's no pesky wrapping paper to keep you from your stuff.

Mr. Wade & I were invited to Lexington's Collectibles Etc for their fcbd event.  We got to hang out w/ Action Lab Comics' very own Shawn Pryor (always fun) & met with some awesome fans.  Well, here, I'll let the pix do the talking...

the cool kids' table.

princeless!!!  i <3 this series.  :)

free cd w/ 200+ pgs of previews from Action Lab

they had cake!

we had a staring contest.  i won when i ate him.

dawww!

young & spry cap'n.


tressa bowling & her Jetta chibi sketch.

packed!
Aside from downing margaritas, I hope ya'll had a great fcbd!
~~Janet 'Saltygirl' Stone Wade


From behind the stage with Kevin Williams

Free Comic Book Day. Whether you're in Walla Walla, Washington, Cucamonga, California, Lexington, Kentucky, or Memphis, Tennessee, you're bound for a great day. After all, Free fits everyone's budget, and what better things to get for free than comic books?


MAW Productions' crew was found in two locations, and you'll know from Janet's that half the team was in Lexington, and the remainder was in Memphis at the fun and fabulous Comic Cellar! There, we had on hand several Jetta books and more, with a great opportunity to visit with fellow artists, writers, and fans. It is always more than great to meet new people and hear their take on how great it is to have a female lead in an action story, comment on the art and use of actual martial arts moves, and to have people buy full sets of the series.



Attendees were treated to an appearance by Muley the Mule and Turra Shibata who greeted folks at the door, and attendees were able to learn some pointers about the craft of cartoon art from the artists on hand, including Marvin Cheveallier and Charles Ettinger, both of whom have done art for MAW Productions Studios.



As always, it's great to step out from behind the drawing table and meet everyone in person. For those of you who purchased books, we're still hoping to hear from you soon with your 
thoughts! 


~~Kevin L. Williams




From the Art Table of Martheus Wade

There is a big Change in the air. Today, May 18th, our first omnibus titled Jetta: Tales of the Toshigawa – Beginnings will hit the digital market by storm! Published by Action Lab Entertainment in conjunction with MAW Productions Studio, this book marks the first time Jetta and company has been released entirely in color and specifically for digital release. Jetta: Beginnings is the first book in a series of digital omnibi that will hit periodically over the next two years. At 123 pages of martial arts action, we can’t be happier with the results! For new readers, this is THE jumping on point. For older readers, this book has new information and extra scenes that put a big spin on what you think you know about the Toshigawa Universe. The books will be Available at these digital partners
ACTION LAB ENTERTAINMENT, GRAPHICLY, NOOK, GOOGLE BOOKS, The iBOOKSTORE, AMAZON KINDLE, COMICS +, DRIVETRU COMICS, KOBO

Why is this important to us?

One of the driving forces behind why I wanted to do a tutorial blog is because I love real talk. Not enough of that is found when talking about indy comics. It's a hard business and, through Janet, Kevin and myself, I felt that we could offer that realism to aspiring comic book hopefuls and fans alike. Part of the thoughts that we wanted to share with you is the business of indy comics. Here is where the move to digital is important to us. 

Comics are a medium with a distribution system that does not allow for new properties to enter the market easily. That has been the one thing that has and continues to hurt the growth of our printed books. Most new readers look for our books in the comic book shop. When they can't find them, they forget to check the website (www.toshigawa.com) to pick up the book they where looking for. We have been very fortunate to earn our own fan base through convention appearances, book signings, podcast interviews and by trying our best to produce quality work. Our readers have and always will come first. Through the digital market, we have the opportunity to make our books more readily available for our fan base. This will help us to more frequently attend to our readers with new stories as we intend them to look, read and entertain. 

We jumped into the industry publishing original graphic novels right at the beginning of the trade paperback boom and it helped us to grow even faster. Now, we feel it's time to do so again. The digital book market is growing fast. New readers jump on with every e-reader or tablet that hits the market. As an indy publisher, it is most important that we be at the front of this new wave of entertainment. By being able to gather new readers, we ensure our longevity in thins tough industry. As well, we make sure that the future of MAW Productions Studios is not left to the wind.

Does this mean we are leaving the printed medium behind?

No. We look at this new way of publishing as an extension of what we are already doing. Our final book in the series, Jetta: Tales of the Toshigawa - Omega, is in high production and will be published in both print and digital form in early 2013. After that book hits the shelves and net, we have a few surprises for everyone that I'm sure you will enjoy whether you are a print of digital fan.

So, as you can see, this is a huge deal for us. However, we can't do this without the readers. We invite you to come on this new journey with us. Download a copy of Jetta: Tales of the Toshigawa - Beginnings and give it a try. I'm sure you will not be disappointed! 


~~Martheus Wade




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