Introducing Transfuzion CAP
One of the hardest things for a small publisher is promotion. The mechanisms for promoting a company or titles have changed considerably from the time I started Caliber to the advent of Transfuzion.
When Caliber launched, there were only a few outlets for promotion. There were some magazines such as Comic Buyers' Guide, Comic Shop News, Comics Journal, and a few others. There were over a dozen distributors and each had their own catalogs and many had consumer versions. At Caliber, we ran ads periodically in CBG and occasionally in CSN and the Journal. We received a fair amount of coverage in the distributor catalogs and of course, took ads out in those.
One of the more successful promotions that Caliber did for a long time was our Caliber Rounds. This was a monthly tabloid that ran 8-24 pages each issue and featured previews, interviews, advance art, news, and other information. We sold them in bundles to stores and moved 1000's each month.
It's a little ironic now that there are just so many opportunities to "spread the word" yet it is increasingly harder to get notice. There are an incredible number of websites that report on just about anything to do with comics but like most stores, they're geared for whatever Marvel and DC are doing. I'm not complaining about it as that is pretty much what the majority of the market is, whether people want to admit it or not. So, the success of any kind of promotion, whether it is forum posting, press releases, or mentions in blogs is tied into the separation of all the "noise" that is generated. More avenues but a lot more to pick through. There's such an overwhelming sense of fleeting impressions that it is hard for people to discern what actually is of interest to them.
Transfuzion CAP (Catalog and Previews...clever, hey? The things you do when you can't think of a name....) The idea of doing Transfuzion CAP was two fold. First off, it was a way of getting a catalog together that was available to everyone. Secondly, it gave a chance to show previews and feature some different titles and creators. The first issue gives previews on five upcoming titles and has various editorial features such as how Rafael Nieves finally got The Apocalypse Plan off the ground, a profile with Don Lomax of Vietnam Journal fame, seven things you should know about Sin Eternal, a look at my long history with Deadworld and Vince Locke, and an interview with Aleister Gilgrim of the upcoming Ferrymen.
It is my hope that people can see what's upcoming from Transfuzion and get a better sense of things. Of course, the forum on ComicRelated.com will continue to be updated with news and information as well as the Transfuzion Page on Facebook.
Transfuzion CAP is not on any particular schedule but issues will probably run bi-monthly or quarterly, depending on the output of Transfuzion. The first issue is available now and of course, is totally free. You can get it here at TRANSFUZION CAP via myebooks.com
Sherlock Holmes: Cases of the Twisted Minds
This is a collection of a one shot and a two issue mini-series that came out from Caliber. At that time, I was a big Holmes enthusiast and wanted to launch a number of Sherlock Holmes pastiches. I just didn't have the time, so I enlisted Steve Jones who was into quite a bit of the literary works and so he wrote the stories. Holmes and Watson must solve the mystery of the haunting of the great theatre as they search for the mysterious Phantom of the Opera. In the second full length feature, Holmes attempts to help a desperate friend who is plagued...by himself in the tragic story of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Collecting the series released by Tome Press in stories written by Steve Jones and illustrated by Aldin Baroza and Seppo Makinen. There is also a short story written by me and illustrated by Wayne Reid which originally appeared in The Sherlock Holmes Reader and deals with Holmes being tested by Lestrade in The Amazing Sherlock Holmes.
Steven Philip Jones is a writer. Any medium. Any genre. Non-fiction doesn't scare him and neither does copywriting. He's written adaptations of literature and film into comic scripts, created advertising scripts about concrete homes, and wrote test questions for MS Word. He loves working with words. And when it comes to fiction, he works by one rule: if nothing impossible happens at least once during a story then that story isn't worth writing. Why bother writing about what is real when everyone lives in reality every day. Fiction taps into the imagination and the imagination should be allowed to soar. A story should be the documentation of that soaring...in riveting prose, of course. Jones has been writing professionally since 1987 and his credits include over 60 comics scripts for such publishers as Transfuzion, Caliber Comics, Malibu Graphics and Sundragon Comics. He is also the author of the novels Talismen: The Knightmare Knife, King of Harlem, Bushwhackers, and Wizard Academies: The House with the Witch's Hat. Jones has also written several pieces of shorter fiction and various types of nonfiction, including how-to articles on comics writing. Jones is a graduate of the University of Iowa, where was accepted into Iowa's prestigious Writer's Workshop MFA Program, and a proud father of a terrific daughter.
Q & a x 5
1. What do you consider your first major project and your thoughts on it?
Dracula. This was my second professional comics job and a lifelong dream of mine. I have loved Bram Stoker's novel since I was a kid and am a student of it, and I couldn't believe it when Malibu agreed to my suggestion to adapt it. I remember putting everything I had in to that script, from extensive research to dedicating four months writing time while attending college, and I think I show quite a bit of development as a writer and a comics writer over the series. I remember I was taking a college class in film studies at the time and what I learned there played a major influence on the scripts. There is a huge Orson Welles influence in my breakdowns, for example. Robert Schnieders and Craig Taillefer did a fine job on the art, improving as an art team with each issue. The lettering was good, too. And the darn thing sold well. The first issue sold out and went back for a second printing, the only time that's ever happened to me. But what I'm most proud of to this day is that this Dracula was the first faithful completed adaptation of the novel into any media. That's something nobody can take away from me.
2. Of all the projects you've worked on, what was your favorite?
Nightlinger. Best thing I have ever created or will ever create. Period. That character and his series is the amalgam of everything I love about heroes and monsters, and I was really blessed to have as talented a collaborator as Aldin Baroza on the two issues. He is a one man gang, doing the pencils, inks, and letters, and he is a fabulous storyteller, so I could press him with a couple of tough scripts and he not only delivered but exceeded my expectations.
3. If you could return to any of your previous projects, which would it be?
I have a split answer. I would love to return to Nightlinger to more scripts, but if you're asking if there is a project I would love to rework, that would be Dracula. When it comes to Nightlinger I have a lot more adventures I want to write. As for Dracula, I would like to take a stab at adding more material from the novel but doing so in a more streamlined presentation, less words and more emphasis on atmospheric art. The end result of that adaptation would not be as faithful as the Malibu adaptation in a technical sense, but it would stay one hundred-percent faithful to the spirit and themes of the novel.
4. If you could do any project, what would it be?
Adapt a Clive Cussler Dirk Pitt adventure into comics, and while I'm dreaming I want Al Williamson doing the art.
5. Who has worked in comics for awhile and should be much better known?
Chris Jones. That's easy. Chris is a damn good artist who understands the technical and storytelling elements of comics better than 99% of the people working in the industry today. I really do not understand why he isn't a superstar.
Where people find out more about you and your projects.
The latest news about me can be found at www.stevenpjones.com.
Talismen: The Knightmare Knife came out at the end of July from Mundania Press This is the first illustrated novel in a Young Adult fantasy series created by me and Barb Jacobs (XYLIA Tales). If you go to my website you can find all the info you would want on it plus a link to a Talismen webcomic. After that I have several shorter prose and comics work coming out through Mundania's new electronic press department, which has already put out my short story "Expiration Date." Again, all the information you could want is at my website.
Gary Reed is the publisher of Transfuzion Publishing and was the former publisher of Caliber Comics. As a writer, he has written a number of graphic novels and comics including Saint Germaine, Deadworld, Baker Street, Renfield, Raven Chronicles, A Murder of Scarecrows, and others. Outside of Talking Transfuzion, he has his regular blog covering a wide variety of topics at reedgary.blogspot.com and his website www.garyreed.net
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