There was only one requirement for entry into this special edition of Ambidextrous…blatant and unabashed self-promotion.

The kind of online publicity that inspires understanding among those still puzzled over the potential windfall that the Internet can offer the comic industry. Only by utilizing the World Wide Web could a rogue columnist such as myself assemble a collection of independent talent for the express purpose of bringing you the truth. There are great products out there being delivered by devoted creators not blessed with corporate accounts, and last week I introduced you to six such works. This week through the novel invention known as electronic mail, they’ve come by personally to give you people the business. If my hollow posturing last week didn’t provide sufficient incentive to personally check out these stories, perhaps the following preview material will loosen the grip on your respective wallets.

Gentlemen the floor is yours…

 


 


SECOND 2 SOME STUDIOS (Publisher of “Fade From Blue”)

Looking for a comic book you could get anyone into?

No, we mean it. Anyone.

Seriously!

Meet Fade From Blue (published by Second 2 Some Studios) and its stars Elisa, Christa, Iya and Marit, four half-sisters drawn together by the unexpected deaths of their mothers and the disappearance of their polygamist Dad. Sound quirky? It gets better. Years later, the truth of what really happened in their past threatens to unravel the existence they’ve created for themselves in the present. And expose the lies they’ve been keeping from each other since that fateful day.

Written by Myatt Murphy and drawn by Scott Dalrymple, Fade From Blue isn’t like “any other comic” you’re read before. Yeah, yeah, yeah…we know, we know, you’ve heard that before, right? But it’s true! Instead of being written like a comic, Fade From Blue is written more like a TV show, letting anyone from either sex dive right in and enjoy its’ mix of unconventional and all-too realistic storylines. Fade From Blue takes the drama of Alias, the frank honest humor of Sex and the City and the girl power attitude of Buffy, then adds the multi-level relationships of Japanese manga for a read that universally appeals to every reader.

Oh! Did we mention it’s only a buck? More on that later.

Maybe you’re a comic reader that’s never been able to get your best friend or girlfriend into comics. Or maybe you’re a retailer that’s watched the ‘curious’ step in and right out of your store and wished you had something new to offer them. Or maybe you just want something different to read all for yourself. Fade From Blue’s the answer for all three of you.

Described by one reviewer as “tragically sad-irresistibly funny”, Fade From Blue #1 has already sold out of its entire 5,000 first printing only three weeks after its’ debut at Wizard World East. Why? Well, for starters, remember that $1 cover price we talked about? Issue #1 is only a buck, with every issue after that priced at $1.50 (half the price of most independents on the market.) But don’t let the cheap price fool you. We’ve had one reviewer say Fade From Blue “contains more story and better art than you get in three-quarters of comics on the stands costing three times that or more.” Want proof? Check out http://www.secondtosomestudios.com/ and see for yourself!

Our site lets you check out 4 complete pages as soon as each issue hits Previews (‘complete’ means with balloons with words, guys…no more trying to figure out what the hell is going on from just a bunch of panels that make as much sense as a Warhol painting). That way, you can sample an issue TWO MONTHS before it even comes out. We have pages from issue #1 and #2 up there right now, so jam our server, take a peek and meet the girls right now…

…we guarantee you’ll never forget them.


Issue Two, Out July 10th

Christa deals out a little public humiliation when she thinks she’s being hit on while waiting at the STD clinic:-

Marit reveals a piece of the past…the morning she found a cell phone of the man that that murdered her mother:-


Issue Three

Elisa learns that the odds of meeting Mr. Right are actually only 1 in 23 from the ever cynical Christa:-

Elisa asks relationship advice from best friend Daggy (not the right thing to do to the poor nerd that’s infatuated with you. If you listen close enough, you can hear his heart shatter like drywall):-

Marit discusses her dangerous plan to find her father with Uncle, the criminal that helped the girls hide from danger years ago:-

A flashback of the girls when they first came together as a family reveals pieces of who they once were. Meanwhile in the present, Iya’s depression begins to surface while Christa is in rare sarcastic form when Elisa asks her for dating advice (let’s just say the poor sucker never had a chance):-


 


FINTAN STUDIOS (Publisher of “the forgotten”)


Thanks to Brandon and his Ambidextrous column for bringing its unique brand of enlightenment to the masses.

So… why read “the forgotten”?

Because it kicks ass.

And if you don’t believe us, go to our website (http://www.fintanstudios.com/reviews/htm) and check out some reviews that other industry professionals have given our premiere issue. You’ll see that Brandon here isn’t the only one who enjoyed our book, but, in fact, everyone else who has read it that cares about comic books in this industry has enjoyed it as well.

These reviews can say more than I could ever possibly say, and they all carry real, true, legitimate weight – as opposed to me spouting off about how great my own comic book is.

However, for those interested in the premise of “the forgotten”, then here goes:

An exotic dancer is found murdered in a seedy motel room in South Philly, and it attracts the attention of a long-since forgotten superhero. The son of a close friend stands accused of the crime… and Philadelphians are about to learn that the city’s newest hero may actually be an older hero from an era gone by.

If you buy this book, you’ll be swept up into a noir, supernatural murder mystery with elements of the superheroic running throughout.

And you won’t be disappointed.

Some nuts-and-bolts info: “the forgotten” is a four-issue limited series published by us here at Fintan Studios. Issue 1 was released on April 10th, 2002. With 32 pages (25 of story), it retailed for $2.95, and is still available on backorder through Diamond (product #FEB022486). If you have trouble getting it through your retailer, please feel free to contact us (all our info is available through our website; click on the link above).

Issue 2 will be out in a few weeks (June 2002), and was solicited in PREVIEWS in the April catalog (product #022326). Issue 2 is 24 pages at $2.50.

Issue 3 will be out in August, and is now being solicited in the June PREVIEWS, 32 pages (30 pages of story) at $2.95.

Issue 4 will be out in October, and goes up to 40 pages (36 pages of story), but will stay at $2.95.

All four issues are finished, which means that we will be coming out on time no matter what, and that our fans can rely on us to finish this series and keep on coming with more “forgotten.”

The images you see on the right are the four cover images, and below we have a sample panel from our second issue (pencils by Jason Cheeseman-Meyer), followed by a sample page from our first issue (pencils by John Forcucci).


 


GRIOT ENTERPRISES (Publisher of “The Horsemen”)


Hello one and all. As I’m sure you don’t know (and probably don’t care), I’m Jiba Molei Anderson, publisher of Griot Enterprises and creator of The Horsemen.

First of all, I’d like to thank Brandon Thomas and the cats at Silver Bullets for the review and the opportunity to plug Griot’s flagship title. As you might’ve guessed by now, The Horsemen ain’t your average superhero comic, nor is it supposed to be. Don’t get me wrong, I love the superhero genre, but a lot of avenues in the exploration of the genre are, to put it bluntly, played out. I wanted to bring something new to the table. I wanted to explore themes and draw from sources that either haven’t been tapped or, sometimes worse, scanned over in a cursory manner. The Horsemen is that book.

If you’ve gotten the first issue, I thank you. If not, here’s the summary
in a nutshell:

Issue 1:
Three witnesses tell their story to a shadowy figure. The players may change, but the story is the same: The gods of Ancient Africa have returned and an ages old war begins
anew.

Did that pique your interest? If not, here are some tasty tidbits from upcoming issues:

Issue 2: We meet The Horsemen as we see some players removed from the chessboard while new players are introduced and one man pays the ultimate price for breaking his word to one of the Divine.

Issue 3: Doors are closed as new ones open as we are introduced to those who rule the earth…those who are the ones that The Horsemen have been called to battle once more.

Issue 3.5: This issue sets the tone for the next Horsemen mini-series. It’s a perfect jump-on point for new readers.

Got the picture? Good. Now, go get the book.

Oh, and stick around. This is only the beginning.

Griot Enterprises, the look of the future…you better recognize.


 


INFINITE KUNG-FU


With a nod to Shaw Brothers 70’s exploitative Kung-Fu flicks and dashes of sci-fi, horror, 70’s blaxploitation and the most violent slapstick since the Three Stooges, Infinite Kung Fu is here! This three issue mini-series is set in a near future that more closely resembles Imperial China, as man’s scientific abuses upon the planet forces the earth’s population to abandon technology to live as they once did hundreds of years ago. True to the standard good-vs.-evil format, an cruel Emperor rules this land with his army of evil generals and willing foot soldiers, wielding martial arts on weak villages of peasants in search of a mystical armor. If these people don’t have it hard enough, even the afterlife is nothing to look forward to, as the over-crowded realm of the dead vomits spirits back into rotting bodies who roam the countryside seeking fresh bodies to inhabit!

Infinite Kung Fu is the project of Kagan McLeod, a Toronto-based art entrepreneur who wrote, drew, and lettered, and self-published this 100% independent book. Issues 1 (JAN022477) and 2 (MAR022265) are currently available through Previews, a 48 page third issue hits the catalogue this summer. Infinite Kung Fu was featured in Wizard Magazine’s ‘Secrect Stash’ column in January, and McLeod was named one of Wizard’s top 5 buzz creators in February. Ain¹t it Cool News, Savant Magazine and the Boston Weekly Dig have all written favourable reviews of Infinite Kung Fu, and this summer Gear Magazine, Too Much Coffee Man and even Penthouse Magazine have agreed to do the same! Currently McLeod is working on a 10-page story for DarkHorse comics’ Star Wars Tales, scheduled to hit stores in the fall. If this isn’t enough to convince you to give it a look, witness the website of this kung fu creator: http://www.kaganmcleod.com/infinitekungfu


Issue Three, Page Seventeen:


 


SPECWAR


First, I’d like to thank Mr. Brandon Thomas for choosing SPECWAR as one of his independent publisher selections (obviously, the man has impeccable taste!)

Now that that’s out of the way I’d like to say that I’m very proud of my new comic book series – SPECWAR and I want everyone who is reading this to buy one and have at least five of their friends go out and buy one, and five of their friends…., well you get the idea..

But seriously, I created this comic book series because during my twenty years as a Navy SEAL I realized that from hearing all the “Now this is no shit” war stories from my fellow special operators, and swapping lies, I was gathering some pretty remarkable stories. What was pulled off, often against incredible adversity was amazing and certainly beat the hell out of any fictional adventures. Why? Because it was real! Reality beats out fiction any day of the week! These were true stories of men who stood their ground and won, time and time again. I wanted to tell their stories. Not just the operational adventures but the misadventures as well.

In addition to the high speed, low drag special ops missions that will take place, I want to bring the human side of the operators in to the stories. How they relate to one another as only those who have depended upon one another for their very lives can. There is an intimacy among soldiers that in many ways is closer than those of a family. There are no secrets when you are behind enemy lines at night, straining to see the enemy before he sees you, when you’ve already been awake for three days straight, and know that death can come in a hundred different ways at any second. You share the terror that you feel and when you survive because of your training, because you don’t want to let your patrol mates down, because of some luck, and because your fellow soldiers watched your back while you watched theirs, a bond develops that is unlike any other. This is part of what I want to show in the pages of SPECWAR.

I began writing this series in the spring 2001. Coincidentally, the first book revolves around an attack on New York City. The second book, due out this month is an opportunity to meet the men of the SPECWAR Team. The third, which will be available in August, takes place in Afghanistan and (I swear this is true), I finished the script about three days before September 11th. Future adventures will take place everywhere – The Middle East, modern pirates in Africa, drug kingpins in South America, and barroom brawls around the globe.

I am assisted in this endeavor by a great team that has come together: Michael Docherty the esteemed penciler, Oscar Lopez on the inks, Mike Harris working his color magic, and finally Michael Thomas for letters. Without them I would just be a writer but together, with them, the special operators of the comic book world, we create something that I hope tells a story that many can enjoy.


Issue One, Page Seventeen:


Issue One, Page Twenty-Eight:


 


TEENAGERS FROM MARS


Hey gang, Rick here from TEENAGERS FROM MARS, and how’s everybody doing today? Good? Good. First off, Mr. Rob G. is busy cranking out TFM #3 or at least that’s his story, so it’s just me tonight, but that’s cool, I got THE CLASH rockin’ and 500 words so, let’s get this started-

OK, TEENAGERS FROM MARS is an 8 issue limited series that Rob and I self-publish. #1 is out and #2 will be out in July. What’s it about? Well, it’s about kids – it’s about comics – it’s about falling in love- it’s about smashing shit up. It’s the comic I got tired of waiting for so I just fucking wrote it myself. And then along comes Rob. Rob draws his ass off and colors the book with PhotoShop. To see how we work go check out the production page on our website http://www.teenagers-from-mars.com/. Also on the site there’s a free online comic (more coming soon) and other goodies.

If you do the comic book con thing, Rob and I will be at the MOCCA June 23 in NYC – hopefully at the San Diego comic con in Aug (It’s still up in the air) – and the EXPO in Bethesda, Maryland Sept. 6-8. If you’re in town stop by and say hi.

We’re getting a lot of great feedback on TFM #1 and we’re planning big things for the future. After the 1st series ends we have two more tentatively titled; The TEENAGERS STRIKE BACK and SON of the TEENAGERS FROM MARS. We also have some other TOP SECRET projects in the works so keep a look out.


Here’s a tease for TEENAGERS FROM MARS #2-

Night falls on the town of Mars and the kids come out to play. Chris is throwing a party and he’s thought of everything. Stereo’s kicking – CHECK. Fridge full of frosties – CHECK. Hoards of Zombies – CHECK. Add a few boys, a few girls, a couple nerds for color and cook till done. You know those wild nights where your life changes forever? Yeah, you’re getting the picture. So for a little blood-splattered romance and a whole lot of vandalism come hang out with Macon, Madison and all the rest of the mighty Teenagers from Mars.

Again, Teenagers From Mars #2 is out in July so check it out and if you have any questions, comments or anything, drop us a line: rick@teenagers-from-mars.com or rob@teenagers-from-mars.com

Thanks for checking us out and we’ll see you in the trenches.

OVER AND OUT—
Rick


 


I’d like to thank everyone who participated in this week’s edition and urge you all to check out their varied efforts whether through your local retailer or on a more direct level at one of the summer conventions. Watch this space over the next few weeks for updates on which camps will be attending which conventions so you can get on the train.

And since I’m plugging things this week…

Be sure to check out the remainder of SBC’s fine columnists as everyone on staff did an exceptional job on their pieces this week. (Which they usually do of course, if you don’t count my own contribution bringing things down into the basement.) Anyway, from Regie’s firsthand account of his trip to the Bristol convention (http://www.silverbulletcomicbooks.com/fool/index.htm), a trip which my back account prevented me from taking, to Simon’s diatribe concerning the rigors of dating and the glorious prospects of what he lovingly refers to as ‘naked friends’, which is sometimes more commonly referred to as ‘friends with benefits’ (http://www.silverbulletcomicbooks.com/monkey/index.htm) to Mark Bittman’s opinion of the failure of Star Wars: Episode II to salvage any hope that creator George Lucas still possesses one iota of the storytelling ability that made him famous (http://www.silverbulletcomicbooks.com/dgms/index.htm), (which I personally don’t agree with, but it’s well-written and strangely hypnotic) everybody really brought their A-game this week. Hopefully, I haven’t brought things too low.

One last great bit of thanks goes to ace editor Craig Lemon who ensured this whole thing made sense and performed the lion’s share of the work. Good show.

Back to form in seven days time…

Peace,
Brandon Thomas

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