Early Morning Art Reveal

newart
Illustration by Emiliano Correa

New sketch art for an upcoming HPC book. When an artist totally gets your character descriptions: priceless! All will be revealed soon, my friends!

Dwight

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Download Your Free Comic!

Sounds like the subject line of a spam e-mail, but I’m going with it. And I promise to say nothing of Viagra (get your free sample here).

Anyway, as a special “thank you for reading” gift, I have decided to make a PDF copy of my horror anthology Dwight L. MacPherson’s Basement of Horror available to YOU, dear reader, absolutely free. But only for seven days.

If you do not download the book within that time… You. Will. Die.

Well, not really, but the link will cease to exist. So, in a sense, the link will die, right? (Work with me.)

Warning: This book contains disturbing imagery. Recommended for adult viewers.

You have been warned!

DOWNLOAD BASEMENT OF HORROR HERE!

America: Land of the Free, Home of the… Illiterate?

I read a disturbing bit of information on the Mental_floss blog today. Check this out:

• One-third of high school graduates never read another book for the rest of their lives.

• 42 percent of college graduates never read another book after college.

• 80 percent of U.S. families did not buy or read a book last year.

• 70 percent of U.S. adults have not been in a bookstore in the last five years.

• 57 percent of new books are not read to completion.

I don’t know about you, but I find these numbers staggering. Looking at them makes me irritable and downright furious.

It would be easy for parents to blame educators, our culture, or the entertainment industry. But the real blame lies directly–and wholly–upon us: the parents.

Listen up, parents! The chances of your children becoming habitual readers is greatly increased if introduced (yes, you reading to them) in infancy, rewarded in youth, and strongly encouraged throughout early adulthood. So get off the internet, put down the video game controls, step away from your 3-D TVs and your busy little lives and pay attention! You are failing your children.

But you have the power. Make reading a priority in your home. And let them see you reading, too! Set the example. Limit video game, television and internet time (for them AND you). Create a “Reading Time” in your home where reading–and only reading–is the acceptable activity. Make it rewarding for younger readers (i.e. read a book and get a new one, an ice cream cone per book, etc). There’s nothing wrong with a little positive reinforcement–unless it’s your 15-year-old who expects an ice cream cone in exchange for reading a book. (My 15-year-old just read this and said “Dad, I don’t expect an ice cream cone!” I responded “Exactly.”)

Oh, and if your children are already teens, that’s no reason not to try. Buy your son or daughter a new book for their birthday or Christmas. Meet up regularly at a bookstore or library. Try. You may be surprised with the results.

CUT!

As you can see, I could post a long diatribe on this subject (I may already have). Literacy is a topic that I feel extremely passionate about. And I’m even more passionate about a parent’s (oftentimes neglected) role in literacy.

Deep breaths…

Signing Off

I need to get back to work, so I’ll say so long for now. Thank you for reading, and I hope you enjoy Basement of Horror!

SIDEWISE Commentary Page 45 (Thursday, June 17th)

Salutations, Lords and Ladies!

This has been an extremely busy week. So much good stuff going on, it’s a pity I can’t share any of it yet.

But I will spill the beans very, very soon.

Sidewise Logo

SIDEWISE Page 45

Gascoine would make a great host for the Inquisition–don’t you think? “My name is Gascoine. I’ll be your torturer today.”

Sadly, the storm will bring much more than a Tesla-powered dirigible.

Until Next Week…

Sorry for the short entry, but I have a lot of exciting projects to get to work on (including a second novel).

Oh, and thank you for supporting SIDEWISE! I appreciate each and every one of you.

SIDEWISE Commentary Page 27 (Thursday, February 11th)

Full Steam Ahead!

Good morning, good afternoon and good evening, Lords and Ladies, and thank you for joining us for another page of SIDEWISE commentary! If you have not already read the newly-posted SIDEWISE Page 27, please do so now.

We’ll hold the dirigible until you return.

Me

Page 27 Commentary

Sometimes there is no choice but to trust. Especially when hope is fading and the immensity of a situation begins to sink in. Adam is in such a situation. Despite what he has learned about Nikola Tesla–which will remain a mystery for now–Adam appears to have an insoluble problem. Even with the assistance of one of the greatest scientific minds the world has ever seen, can he actually repair the device in 1902 London?

And what has Wells and Hopping–well–hopping?

We shall see.

Nikola Tesla – El Mago Olvidado (The Forgotten Magician)

Check out this wonderful Tesla mini-documentary sent to me by my friend Juan Felipe Salcedo.

I’m always on the lookout for cool Tesla videos and pictures, so please feel free to post cool links on my blog.

MacPherson Media News

I can’t share much… yet, but here are a few (of the many) things I’m currently working on:

  • * A secret project with my lovely wife and writing partner Rebecca MacPherson and phenomenal artist Michael Stearns.
  • * A project with good friends and Zuda alum Juan Felipe Salcedo and Gus Higuera.
  • * My first novel (with Rebecca), which shall remain nameless for now.
  • * A comic book project with (my big brother and) co-writer Bruce Brown, artist Randy Valiente and colorist Erik Fokkens.
  • I Believe It’s Time For Me To Fly

    Sorry for the REO Speedwagon reference, but I’m old.

    *AHEM*

    Thank you for reading! See you next week with a brand new commentary post.

    Read Morbid Milton Absolutely Free

    Prepare to be Amazed!

    Morbid Milton

    Would you like to read a comic short story by yours truly? What’s that you say? Only if it’s free? Well, I’ve got some good news, ya cheapo. I just uploaded the Morbid Milton short to yousendit.com.

    Listen, all I ask is that if you enjoy what you read, please pass the link along. So thanks in advance for doing that.

    DOWNLOAD AND READ MORBID MILTON NOW!

    **NOTE: This download will only be available for 7 days, so please download it now! ***

    Morbid Milton appeared in the now-defunct Cryptic Magazine and is ©2010 Dwight L. MacPherson.

    Sidewise Commentary Wrap-Up or Better Late Than Never

    Yes, I fell behind, but I intend to get caught up and post a new SIDEWISE commentary page Thursday (TOMORROW!) when Page 23 goes live on Zuda’s site.

    Thank you for bearing with me.

    PAGE 11

    Major Wilson is a fun character to write. Tempestuous, volitile and forthright, he always lets others know exactly what he thinks. Whether they want to hear it or not.

    As we learn on this page, the Queen reluctantly decides that Tesla should be questioned because of the Tesla building’s close proximity to the incident. Why is she reluctant? Well, Panel 4 is a whopping hint.

    PAGE 12

    Minister Moriarty’s castle. This is a particularly important set-up, but I won’t say why. You’ll just have to keep reading.

    Aw, come on. You’ll thank me later.

    PAGE 13

    Igor really nailed this page. As you can see, Minister Moriarty is involved in the occult. Given the fact that he has the ability to teleport, this calls his very being into question from the onset.

    Oh, and the “DOOM!” sound-effect was artist Igor Noronha‘s idea. Brilliant, isn’t it?

    PAGE 14

    Adam’s quite bright–don’t you think? Of course, this exchange was essential to establish Adam as an intellectual. After all, he did help his parents create a time device.

    Tesla’s not going to be able to pull a fast one on Adam Graham.

    Or is he?

    PAGE 15

    “Intellectual pugilism.” What other webcomic uses such witty metaphors? Okay, you can probably name a few. Still, a wonderful exchange between Lord Tesla and Adam.

    PAGE 16

    Oh, my! This can’t be good!

    Or can it?

    (Yes, I’m full of rhetorical questions today.)

    PAGE 17

    This is another excellent page, and a wonderful glimpse of the other members of Tesla’s band of exo-suited soldiers: Fawkes, Raleigh and Boudica.

    “For Food!” Is actually the MacPherson Clan’s war cry.

    As you can see, Tesla is occupied and does not hear their transmission. This will be important later.

    PAGE 18

    Ah, Scotland. Land of my ancestors.

    I’m told that roast boar doesn’t actually fall from the sky in Scotland, but wouldn’t that work miracles for tourism? “Come to Scotland, where roast boar falls from the sky!” I can picture a burly man with mutton chops, kilt and… okay, I’ll stop.

    PAGE 19

    Yes, these men are exiles from England. The reason for their expatriation will be explained as the story progresses. We know who deported the men, but we don’t know why.

    And who is this mysterious “Mr. Conrad?” Hmm.

    PAGE 20

    “Shoot their weapons?! Why in the world…”

    You’ll find out shortly.

    PAGE 21

    I love the reaction of the Knight of Hanover. Of course, our mate Major Wilson is the only one insulted by the Minister’s sleight. The others want to stay as far away from him as possible. And for good reason!

    PAGE 22

    Was that fire…?!

    Again, questioning the being of Minister Moriarty. Is he human–or something else?

    Read on, my friends. Read on.

    You Make the Steampunk World Go ‘Round

    Thank you for reading and supporting SIDEWISE. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate each and every one of you who has taken the time to read, comment, or pass along a link to the webcomic. If we keep this up, we will definitely see a Season 2. The power’s in your hands.

    See you tomorrow with another update!

    Sidewise, Interagents and More

    Sidewise Update

    The script for SIDEWISE Season 1 is complete and has been turned in to my editor at Zuda Comics. Artist Igor Noronha has completed the art for the next ten pages and we’re moving on. Our hope is to launch Season 1 in the next couple months, but that decision lies with our wonderful editor and the Zuda staff (feel free to beg them for SIDEWISE!), but I wouldn’t encourage you to badger them for a quick launch.

    *Ahem*

    Right, then. How about a few teaser panels?

    Sidewise Teaser Image 1
    Sidewise Teaser Image 2
    Sidewise Teaser Image 4
    Sidewise Teaser Image 3

    I cannot begin to tell you how pleased I am with this story! I’m dying to share the new pages with you, and I’ll be sure to announce the launch date as soon as I have it.

    Remember The Interagents

    We are currently putting together the material for an Interagents trade paperback. This trade collects the first story arc (issues 1-3) and will feature a foreword by a New York Times Bestselling Author and a back-up story by 2000AD artist P.J. Holden.

    Interagents Teaser by P.J. Holden

    Trust me: You do not want to miss the trade collection! The back-up story is a must-read for all Interagents fans!

    What’s Coming Up

    Sadly, I cannot discuss other projects I am currently working on. You can rest assured, dear reader, that you will be the first to know as soon as I’m allowed to spill the beans.

    Appearance/Signing June 27th

    Signing With a Legend

    I will be making an appearance and signing books at the Bristol Mall on the 27th of June. I’m extremely excited because I’ll be sharing space with legendary artist Charles Vess. Vess–an Eisner Award winner–is most widely known for his amazing work on Stardust, Sandman and Swamp Thing.

    To say I’m excited about this appearance is an understatement.

    Zuda Competition Down to the Wire

    As you may or may not know, I have an entry in this month’s Zuda competition. With the month–and the competition–drawing to a close, I’m asking for your vote. I’m also asking you to please tell someone about the strip if you enjoy it. We’re going to need every precious vote we can get to win this thing.

    VOTE FOR SIDEWISE HERE!

    We also have DYNAMIC SIDEWISE WALLPAPERS and BANNERS AND AVATARS that you can use to help spread the word. Please, feel free to use them at your discretion.

    Virtual High-Five

    A big thank you to everyone who’s taken the time to support SIDEWISE, American McGee’s Grimm and all my projects. I can’t even begin to tell you how much I appreciate YOU.

    SIDEWISE and Beyond: The Creative Process

    A Word From Our Sponsors

    Before I begin discussing my creative process, I would like to direct your attention to my Zuda entry. It’s called SIDEWISE, and we’d sincerely appreciate your vote. It only takes about 10 seconds to register. It’s probably the least lame registration process I’ve experienced on the internet.

    So please, VOTE, ADD TO YOUR FAVORITES AND RATE SIDEWISE!

    It will be necessary to check out SIDEWISE before reading the rest of this blog entry. Or you can pretend you’re a visitor from the ancient past: bewildered and anomic. Your call.

    The Set-Up

    After reading some of the SIDEWISE reviews, I began contemplating some of the various criticisms of our 8-page prologue. After much thought, I decided to use these critiques as a springboard to share a bit of my creative process. The purpose of this post is not to belittle these well-intentioned fans.

    Long Form Vs. Short Form

    Before I begin writing a story, I complete a bullet outline of the complete story: beginning, middle and end. As I continue conducting research and fleshing out the big picture, the bullet outline becomes a much more detailed document accompanied by image references for the artist.

    By completing this outline, I can ascertain the length of the story: a one-shot, graphic novel or mini-series. Once I have made the call, I move forward and begin writing the script.

    When I begin scripting, I have already mapped the story in its entirety. As such, I write for the long form. That is why you may see a character (Fawkes, for example) or event (“If I’d known then what I know now…”) mentioned early in the story and further introduced or explained as the story progresses. I don’t believe in spoon feeding. This is a story, not a gag strip. Buckle in, read along and watch the story unfold.

    I never write 5 or 8 pages of a long form story and stop. That is both counter-intuitive and lazy writing in my estimation. It’s one thing if I’m writing a 5 or 8-page short comic story, but why in the world would I write a prologue for a long form story with no idea where to go from there?

    Writing by the seat of your pants can be exhilarating, but it can also get you into a pickle. It’s better to avoid the stress and plot your story beforehand.

    Tune In!

    I will be discussing SIDEWISE, American McGee’s Grimm and my other projects this coming Sunday night (June 14th) on Fanboy Radio. Please join me LIVE at 7pm EST / 6pm CST / 4pm at Fanboy Radio for a spirited conversation.

    Sidewise on Zudacomics.com

    Hear Ye, Hear Ye

    Lords and Ladies, I am proud to announce that my webcomic (along with artist Igor Noronha) SIDEWISE is in first place in Zudacomics.com’s monthly competition! If you haven’t already read our entry, you can do so HERE.

    I’m billing SIDEWISE as “Sublime Steampunk for the 22nd Century.”

    SIDEWISE promo image by Igor Noronha
    SIDEWISE promo image by Igor Noronha

    Whot’s This?!

    Special thanks to my mates Steve Ekstrom for the wonderful interview on NEWSARAMA and Gus Higuera for his masterful interview for ComicNews.Info. I have a couple more interviews I’m completing, so I will make links available as they are posted.

    I Need Your Help

    I’ve had several friends and fans say that they have not voted because they believe we will most assuredly win. My response has been “Ah, don’t underestimate the power of the internet.” This competition is as much (if not more so) about generating votes as it is about creating a winning entry. So please, if you have not yet voted, please head over to zudacomics.com, read SIDEWISE, vote for us, add it to your favorites and rate it. And–if you’re so inclined–please send me an e-mail at dwightmacpherson at gmail.com if you would be so kind to post a SIDEWISE banner to your site. Trust me: It all helps.

    Happy Grimm Day!

    Don’t forget to pick up your copy of IDW’s American McGee’s Grimm #2 at your local comic shop today. It’s Grimm vs. romance comics in this newest installment and you do not want to miss it!

    American McGee's Grimm #2 Cover by Grant Bond
    American McGee's Grimm #2 Cover by Grant Bond

    I’m History

    Thank you for reading my newest blog entry. I know I haven’t updated as often as I’d have liked to, but please be patient with me. I intend to talk more about SIDEWISE in the coming days. That alone should be worth the wait.