BOOM Studios' & Isotope's Trailer Contest Funnybooks (and Fame?) in Your Future
(San Francisco) Your amigos at Isotope - the comic book lounge announced today a sexy create-a-trailer contest for BOOM! Studios' new release LEFT ON MISSION. Isotope is inviting comic fans everywhere to produce a adenaline pumping widescreen trailer utilizing art from the comic and a musical theme by Mike Griffen, guitarist of the legendary Tsunami Bomb.
Entries will be judged by a panel which includes Keefe Boerner, visual effects producer on Sin City, and Brad Blondheim, producer of the turntablist documentary Scratch.
The Grand Prize Winner will receive a limited edition, signed and numbered hardcover copy of LEFT ON MISSION #1 along with signed copies of LEFT ON MISSION issues 1-5 when they are available. The Grand Prize Winner's trailer will be showcased on the Isotope and LEFT ON MISSION websites and also their trailer will be used as part of the LEFT ON MISSION advertising campaign.
"Trailers are an entertainment classic. They hit all your sensory hotspots while pushing you at pulse-quickening speeds into a frenzy of curiosity and excitement. And who hasn't wanted to try their hand at putting one of these bite-sized packs of entertainment dynamite together? Well, now you've got the chance to make a trailer for LEFT ON MISSION," said James Sime, proprietor of Isotope - the comic book lounge, "And let me tell you, this book will be a dream to work with - great art and a high-octane story - if you can't make a great trailer for this book, you aren't even trying!"
"I am really stoked about this contest. We have a great musical theme by Mike Griffen, the former guitarist of Tsunami Bomb. We have great judges, with a diverse background - Keefe Boerner, the visual effects producer on Sin City and Brad Blondheim, the producer of Scratch. And to top it off, we have a one of the kind prize to give away with the limited hardcover of issue #1," Chip Mosher, LEFT ON MISSION's author enthused to cool comic media outlets the world over. "I can't wait to see what people come up with!"
Entrants will be given the ability to download a wide selection of artwork from LEFT ON MISSION, with art by Francesco Francavilla and colors by Martin Thomas, a script for the trailer by writer/creator Chip Mosher, and the musical theme by Mike Griffen. The entrants will need to create a 45 to 90-second trailer using at least fifty percent or more of the artwork, script and music provided. The Trailer may also include sound effects created by the entrant, voice-over narration, and actors.
"You've got the music, you've got the art, and the sky's the limit! Knock our socks off, people!" said James Sime.
Break out your editing software, grab ahold of all the supplies you need, check out the official contest rules, and start rockin' in the You Ess Aye, people!
LEFT ON MISSION # 1 will be hitting store shelves on May 16th, 2007. Created and written by Chip Mosher, LEFT ON MISSION features stunning pencil and inkwork from rising star Francesco Francavilla of Sea of Red & The Black Coat fame, with colors by Martin Thomas and covers by Steph Stamb.
A spy thriller in the vein of The Bourne Identity, LEFT ON MISSION spotlights former agent Eric Westfall who has been called out of his perfect suburban retirement to recover an agent gone rogue. LEFT ON MISSION is a monthly limited series for fans of gritty, dark espionage thrillers like Casino Royale!
Spinal Tap, the Biggest Rock Band Ever Cranks it to 11 to Combat Global Warming
We love it when our heroes work together to help save the world... and what could be cooler than the mighty Spinal Tap re-grouping to fight global climate change?
Setting aside exciting lives as hip hop producers in colonic clinics, raising jockeyless miniature race horses, and being live-ins at rehab clinics for internet addiction, the members of Spinal Tap have decided to let bygones be bygones for the fate of the entire planet. And we here at the Isotope applaud them!
Riffner's Quick Step Takes Home the Gold Fifth Annual Isotope Mini-Comic Award
The internet comics news sites are alight with the news that many of you already knew, the talented Max Riffner has won the fifth-annual Isotope Award for Excellence in Mini-Comics for his fantastic Quick Step.
Max was the hit of the convention and the star of the night during our beloved and massive Ape Aftermath bash, where he received the love of the assembled mini-comic aficionados in attendance. Speaking of which, if you missed this year's festivities you really missed out... our staff and guests were all in agreement that this was our best APE event yet. Thanks to all who attended!
We could tell you more about Max's book, our award ceremony, and how much fun everyone here, but why not see what the comics press has to say?
Web2.0/Web2Open Conference Plugging In with the Big Brains
The ever-changing landscape of the web has been studied, monetized, experiemnted with, and theorized upon by cutting edge business big brains since the dawn of the internet. And latest holy grail for these folks is what the cool kids are calling "Web 2.0." Don't worry, you won't have to go out and buy a new computer to access this new world of the web, Web2.0 is just a sexy way of describing those socially interactive virally-spreading websites (MySpace, YouTube, Twitter, LiveJournal, etc) that have been eating up all your free time recently.
What does this have to do with the Isotope, you might be asking? Imagine, if you will, a convergence of these tech taste makers into the Moscone Center for a week-long Oolong Island human think tank straight out of an issue of DC's 52 comic. That's exactly what the Web2Open and Web 2.0 Expo was.
And although your friends at the Isotope aren't exactly Will Magnuses, Web2Open organizers Tara Hunt and Chris Messina thought it might be interesting to put James Sime under the tech industry heat lamp hosting a seminar called "How I Use Web2.0 to Make My Offline Business Kick Ass." The best part? It was the day after he got back from judging the Eisners!
Apparently Sime at least has the hair to hang with these mad scientists of technology... because the talk was very well attended and apparently quite popular. Here's a excerpt from WebProNews.com's report on the event.
if it wasn't for Web 2.0 Expo trying a hybrid open source business model with Web2Open, I wouldn't have found it or a way to contribute. One person told me that a session by a guy who runs a comic book store was the best he saw in the event overall. Wouldn't it be interesting if it became a feeder for the big stage.
UPDATE: Who'da thunk? Looks like people enjoyed more than just the hair and the suit! The Yahoo Publisher Network Blog has another Web2.0 Expo report which features the talk pretty heavily, calling it "a real breath of fresh air." Sure they got the name wrong, but as long as folks got something out of it all (and spelled the shop's name right), we're happy!
Can you feel that? It's your heart racing with the knowledge that we're right on the edge of the best weekend all year here in San Francisco... the weekend of the Alternative Press Expo. We here at the Isotope love APE for far too many reasons to list, but most of all we love APE weekend because it's the weekend that's all about the love for comics.
As usual, there's a ton of things going on during APE weekend, as the convention spirit always spreads through the city offering comic creators and fans an excuse to launch gallery shows, set up workshops, and throw parties in celebration of comics. It's easy to fill up your schedule with so much going on, so allow us to select out a few events to recommend. There's some stuff going on at othershops and at a few galleries and cool spots we like as well... but a body can't do everything, so here's our suggestions:
Inside the Psyche of Hank Pym iFanboy's Tribute to Civil War
Captain America is dead and even CNN knows that blood-thirsty comic book author Ed Brubaker killed off the living comic book embodiment of the American dream. What's a fanboy to do to celebrate this fallen hero?
Well if the fanboy in question is iFanboy, they document the conflict that had the nation torn asunder.
Our Hearts Go Pitter-Patter Dollyrots @ Bottom of the Hill
Anyone who knows us will testify that when we like something we're going to show our appreciation with a full-court press of white-hot passion. And when we first heard band The Dollyrots it was a head over heels obsession on a sugar high from that moment on.
Outrageously catchy songs with helium voiced vocals and cranked up buzz-saw guitars straight out of the academy of Johnny Ramone are this infectiously cute pop punk trio's stock and trade. Give your ears a sweet, tasty Dollyrots snack with Kick Me To The Curb, Dance With Me, and Because I'm Awesome... and come check them out with us when they hit The Bottom of the Hill next Tuesday.
Dollyrots @ Bottom of the Hill 1233 17th Street (17th @ Missouri) April 24. Doors at 8:30pm
Hi, I'm James Sime. I have funny hair and wear lots of flashy suits and am the proprietor of what I humbly think is the world's most wonderful comic book store, Isotope - the comic book lounge. But did you know I'm also one of the five Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards judges this year?
Since Friday, I've been locked in a palatial meeting room downtown San Diego bashing out 2006's best, back-to-backing days that didn't end until 5am with ones that begin again at 8am, and doing my part to ensure that this year's crop of nominations truly represent the diverse and ever-expanding world of comics and graphic novels. Hey, this is the comic industry's Academy Awards we're talking about, what good is it unless it's reflecting the very best of the best?
I gotta tell you, going into this weekend I was a bit worried that one or two of the other judges would stick in the mud and we'd end up seeing a year of vanilla and the same-old same-old like we've seen once or twice before. Boy was I wrong!
My fellow judges Jeff VanderMeer, Whitney Matheson, Chris Reilly, and Robin Brenner were a dream come true and I knew right from the first day that I was going to really, really have a good time spending three days talking comics with them. And what's more... that Eisner nomination list was going to be damn good.
And of course we can't tell you who was selected for what just yet, but I will say our noms will indeed be "bringing the awesome" and our group has a couple of real firsts in Eisner Award history that are going to knock some socks off. It was a pretty intense weekend that even included a horrific emergency visit to San Diego's "bowery" emergency room where Steven Segal movies are played in the waiting room (don't worry, I took pictures). No one died, but it definitely got pretty not so funny for a bit there.
But I can say that in my fellow judges I found some really great folks who have incredible taste in comics, and some real kindred spirits I think I'm going to have as friends for years to come. Oh, how cheesy, I miss them already!
And now that my six-hours-of-sleep-do-not-a-three-day-weekend-make is finally over...
UPDATE: A post-sleep edit for a bit of de-rambleization and to acknowledge Bill Reed for putting the pressure on with the quote "James Sime. I trust him to BRING THE AWESOME."
Great Comics and Great Cocktails Top Shelf's Brett Warnock Serves Them Up
You already know Brett Warnock as the man who, with his co-publisher Chris Staros, has been serving up top shelf comics like Lost Girls, Blankets, From Hell, The Surrogates, and Unlikely for ten years now. But unless you attended last year's APE Aftermath Top Shelf Happy Hour, you may not yet know him as a man who serves the finest in top shelf cocktails.
Join us at APE Aftermath from 7pm until 8pm for the Top Shelf Happy Hour and witness one of your favorite publishers making one of your favorite drinks. Trust me, folks, Brett's margaritas are not to be missed!
The Bash of the Year Just Got Better Goodbrey Flying in From London
He's been called "the Grant Morrison of mini-comics" and anyone who has checked out his minis or has encountered his on-line hypercomics will know why. Goodbrey's experimental road trips through a psychotropic Unfolded Earth took home our third-annual Isotope Award for Excellence in Mini-Comics as well as an International Clickie Award.
And it is with great happiness that we announce that Mister Goodbrey will once more be flying in from London to attend APE and the Isotope's own APE AFTERMATH... where he will once again stand atop the world's highest stage and help us and Danica Novgorodoff present the fifth-annual Isotope Award for Excellence in Mini-Comics to this year's lucky winner.
With his amazing experiments in surreal graphic fiction hitting store shelves in graphic novel form (courtesy of publisher AIT/PlanetLar) mere days before APE, what could be a better time than during APE AFTERMATH to congratulate Goodbrey on his success and pick up a freshly printed copy of Last Sane Cowboy & Other Stories?
The 2006 Isotope Award Winner Returns to Scene of Her Triumph
With a quiet little book about a bear, a robot, and a stuffed frog Danica Novgorodoff wowed our judges, dazzled the comics industry, and took home the much-coveted 2006 Isotope Award for Excellence in Mini-Comics... and let's face it, she stole our hearts while she was at it.
An artist, designer, painter, author and photographer her work has been popping up like crazy this past year. From cover design on Gene Yang's oh-so popular American Born Chinese and Gipi's gorgeous Garage Band (which just hit comic store shelves this week) to designing fliers for the band Wilco for the Barrymore Theatre in James Sime's hometown of Madison, Wisconsin. Danica's been everywhere!
Not only is our beloved Danica a featured guest for this year APE AFTERMATH, she will also be attending next weekend's Alternative Press Expo with copies of the amazing A Late Freeze in hand, and you won't want to miss seeing her soak up the love when she once again stands upon the world's highest stage and helps us present the fifth annual Isotope Award for Excellence in Mini-Comics!
And could we be among the very first to see top-secret pages of her as-of-yet-unannounced original graphic novel The Crossing? Oh, my dear friends, I think we might be!
ThankYouThankYouThankYou You Crazy Wonderful People!
Forgive me while I gush...
When you get to devote your days to doing something you really, really love life is pretty darn good. Take it from me, I'm James Sime, and I sell comic books for a living in the greatest city on Earth. And thanks to the hard work of my staff and a few close friends I get to do it in a comic store that still takes my breath away. No matter how corny it might sound, getting to meet so many wonderful, inspirational people who walk in the Isotope front door that I already know I share a common bond with is a delight. Having the opportunity to share my appreciation of the artform (both the high art and the low) with so many other people brings a big stupid grin to my face each day. And scrambling to find just the right book for just the right reader is quite honestly the most fun and rewarding job I could ever imagine.
I'm really happy doing what I do. But man, it sure is nice to know you're appreciated in this life.
Something must be in the air, because kind and generous people have been going way above and beyond the call of duty lavishing the love and rocking my world with spontaneous bouts of kindness of late. Between last week's unexpected Isotope appreciation day, several entirely different groups of people randomly buying me lunch, a literal tsunami of pulse-quickening consumer reviews jam-packed with appreciation for what my staff and I do over on Yelp, and a sudden in-flux of sweet phone calls and emails from all over the country the past few weeks... it's honestly been taking my breath away.
In an effort to not bust out weeping tears of joy like Nancy Kerrigan with her first silver medal, I've decided to share one such story with you, and say "thanks" to a friend for doing something that really made my day.
Now my love for the weekly British comic anthology 2000ad is no secret. I'm often heard waxing poetic about how the combination of bad, ugly bands and this weird funnybook from the other side of the ocean warped my young mind just like I did in this column. Honestly, what modern day comic reader couldn't adore the home of never-reprinted early strips by folks like Grant Morrison, Kevin O'Neill, Garth Ennis, Bryan Talbot, Alan Moore, Frank Quitely, Jamie Delano, Carlos Ezquerra, Mark Millar, Steve Dillon, Neil Gaiman, Mark Buckingham, Mike Carey, Sean Phillips, Peter Milligan, Ian Gibson, and Rian Hughes? That's damn good comics, people!
Today my pal Larry Young presented me with the single most difficult issue of this 30 year old series to get. The notoriously elusive and legendarily expensive Prog #2. And why? "Just because I appreciate all that you do, James" was his answer. I told you people were being crazy wonderful nice to me recently!
For those of you out there who know what it's like to feel your heart soar at the sight of crusty old newsprint comics as much as I do, go ahead and click to check out the cover from this classic issue. For your mid-70's nerdly pleasure I've also scanned the free gift... yellowed, three decades old stickers that were meant to be affixed to young British kids arms and faces! It's raw, it's enthusiastic, it's sloppy, it's uncommon, it's sexy, it's adventurous, it's nerdy, it's idiosyncratic, it's meaty, it's quaint, it's kitchy-cool. It's everything good in the world.
What can I possibly say? Except "AIEEEEEE! It's... the THING from the HELL PLANET!"
Thank you to Larry and all you other crazy wonderful people who have been so kind recently for making a kick ass life ever better. You rock.
It's a Big Wheel Time of Year Again Downhill Danger on Easter Sunday
Here at the Isotope we like folks who break out from the pack of do-nothings to throw caution to the wind to embrace the white-hot dangerous stuff of living.
Whether they be life's glorified champions or the spectacular crash-and-burners we celebrate the true beauty that is those rare daredevil individuals who steel themselves against the terror of the unknown to blaze down cobblestone trails of their own dangerous making.
Which is why you'll find us this Sunday at one of our favorite annual San Francisco events, BYO Big Wheel. Like a mini Burning Man on the coolest of 80's children's toys, BYO Big Wheel is a reckless white-knuckle high speed race down SF's famous Lombard Street.
Watch the video, feel the glory, taste the danger... see you there!