Best Time to Attempt DIY Mold Remediation

Mold on Wall
Mold on Wall

You can get rid of that mold by yourself at home without inviting any professional to get things done for you.  This way, you can save the money for professional hire and spend it on other very important things. You should explore this possibility especially if you are living on a budget. It will do you a world of good financially. The truth is you are not alone in search of DIY mold remediation methods; many home owners are also searching for ways to get things done by themselves; I mean, who does not like the idea of saving money? Doing it yourself also comes with huge satisfaction. If the truth must be told anyway, there are some very important situations that would require you to invite professionals to help get rid of the molds in your home.

When can you handle the job by yourself?

As hinted earlier, it is not all cases of molds that you can handle by yourself. If the mold growth is not yet at advanced state, you will not need to invite any professional to help get things done. If for example the growth area of the mold is still very small, the mold can be removed easily without external help.  If you find the mold growing on very easy to clean surfaces in the home, like the sinks, tubs, tiles, metal and glass, you will also not need to invite a professional to help get things done. Just wipe it off using bleach solution and that will be all.

You can also carry out the DIY mold remediation by yourself if the mold is growing on such areas like carpet and furniture. It is hard to remove mold from these surfaces, but such materials can be easily removed and replaced. If you know how to replace such materials, then there is no point in calling in a professional. Before you ever attempt to carry out mold remediation, first consider your health status. Never get involved in this if you have any health condition like asthma, which may be complicated by the mold. If you have any health condition whatsoever, first check with your doctor to find out if the condition will not be complicated by exposure to mold. If any complication will arise, then it is better to invite an expert to help get the job done.

In contrast to the information given above, the DIY mold remediation idea may not be an entirely perfect one if the mold is growing across a larger area, something more than 3 feet in diameter. In this situation, you may have to invite a professional to help out. If not, you may risk spreading the mold to other parts of the home. You may also have to call in the professionals if the mold growth is consequent of earlier flooding incident. In the course of the flooding, contaminants and infectious agents might have been brought into the home and the atmosphere in the home would not be safe. The professionals will help get rid of the mold and also help to decontaminate the home.

More about San Diego water damage cleanup

A Gorilla With a Gun and an Interview with Jeff Stokely

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Six-Gun Gorilla might be my favorite book of 2013. Rarely, and I mean it, do I pick up a book based on title alone these days. Nine times out of ten if it isn’t in my pull list, I’m leaving it on the shelf. It’s just the way things work when you’re broke. That tenth time though, that’s the big gamble. The facedown card that’s about to determine whether you just wasted $2.99 on a comic or just added something new to your loaded pull list. Six-Gun Gorilla was that tenth time . Alternate history featuring gunslingers and ghouls — check. Genetically altered gorilla with cinder block-sized revolves — check. Insane artwork via one of the best up-and-coming artists around, Jeff Stokely, — that’s a check.

Nearly every day of the week you can find  Stokely posting to his blog Sketch Goblin for a taste of his beautiful, contemporary style. But aside from web clippings, Stokely has also lent his talent to the Fraggle Rock comic and the recently released Archaia title The Reason for Dragons. Stokely has partnered with some wonderful writers, but in all honesty, even if he was drawing Bazooka Joe comics, his style would blaze through like a lit match.

I caught up with the artist to talk about, well, his amazing artwork and what it’s like drawing a six-gun slinging gorilla for a living.

How did you first get involved in comics?

I’ve always loved comics, and I’ve always wanted to draw them but my first brush with published work was with Archaia on their Fraggle Rock series. At the time I was interning with them and remember Stephen Christy looking at me one day, saying “Huh, you’re the first artist approved for a Fraggle Rock comic in close to 30 years, you’re the main artist on issue 1, and you’re the one person who’s never been published! So you’re the wildcard.” It was playful but also like saying “NO PRESSURE DUDE BUT YOU’D BETTER KILL IT!” I’m still very much proud of that work, oddly enough.

You and writer Simon Spurrier built such an interesting world around Six Gun Gorilla. What process went into crafting the SGG atmosphere and characters?

When I read the pitch for this book (and very much the same with Dragons) the world, the characters, the overall atmosphere was very much present. Si has a knack for conveying the right tone and I felt it was all relatively easy to visualize, probably because it’s exactly the kind of book I’ve always wanted to draw. When designing the characters there was a bit of back and forth, a lot of it was everyone really encouraging me to to make the gorilla more of an animal with less human-like posture and that sort of thing. World building and concepts are always one of my favorite parts of making a comic.

Js02

When a writer approaches you to work on a comic, what do you like to see from them? Full scripts? Rough ideas?

Generally it’s nice to know the specifics first, like the genre, the tone, and the length of the project before diving into the script. But if it’s longer than a short, like a mini series, I like to read a more fleshed-out concept, usually in the form a full page of the overall plot, characters and setting. Then the script.

As an artist, do you prefer a writer give you detailed scene descriptions or do you like them to keep it slightly open?

I’ve worked from all kinds of scripts, in Dragons it was very much left to me to determine the staging and compositions, which I absolutely loved. In 6GG a lot of the descriptions were more lengthy but never too much, always used for world building purposes and I would rarely do something different than what Si had written because I knew he was just dead-on. Never overly verbose. If you’re working on a sci-fi book you obviously need the descriptions to know what the setting is or how extreme to go, fortunately Si and I seem to have really similar influences and we jelled really well together. Chris would also come over and we would really discuss how things should move on the page and he would just give me chunks of pages with no dialogue. So truth be told, I love both forms but only when they’re done right, which is very hard to do.

JS01

You regularly upload sketches to your blog. How often do you draw? How does it help you as an artist?

While working on Six Gun Gorilla I had 2-4 days off a month, so that’s a good example of how often hah! This sounds terrible and was in no way BOOM!’s doing, sure it was draining but I always told my editors that if it weren’t for my physical well-being I wouldn’t sleep. I’d just work because I love it so much. I’ve definitely grown while working on 6GG, it’s the biggest volume of work I’ve put out so far and it’s easily my best work. Hoping to continue pushing my self and try new things with each book, though. I do try to keep my work out there for everyone to see, without spoilers of course! The feedback is always really helpful and I think having it out there helps keep people aware that I’m still alive, even if it’s just a snapshot or something.

Any advice for someone who wants to get into illustrating comics professionally or otherwise?

I say this often but I stand by it: Draw what you want and do it a lot. If you want to draw monsters, draw monsters. If you want to draw superheroes don’t let anyone stop you. Do it long enough and eventually you’ll get better and the better you get the more recognition you will receive so it might as well be recognition for something you love doing. Also, learn the basics, it never hurts and only helps.

Talking Space Sadness & Kickstarter With Lee Milewski Creator Of ‘With The Earth Above Us’

Every so often, we either come across or are sent an independent project that we feel – being starving artists ourselves – deserves a little recognition. Recently, comic artist and writer Lee Milewski tipped us off about an independent comic beautifully titled With The Earth Above Us.

With The Earth Above Us is somewhere between Blade Runner and 2001: A Space Odyssey mixed with an oppressive air of isolation and rendered in grey scales.

Lee is currently seeking funding over at Kickstarter to help him complete this 70-page B/W graphic novel. It is really a beautiful tale of isolation and paranoia wrapped in the cold metal hull of an interstellar spacecraft. That said, check this book out, give Lee some support and head over to the official Kickstarter.

To help flesh out this comic a little more, we got together with Lee via the magic of email to talk about With The Earth Above Us and the perils and perks of self publishing.

Why did you choose Kickstarter over Indiegogo?

IndieGogo has many limits towards it’s overall presentation, though I’d say the primary reason is due to popularity. Kickstarter has so many projects going on at once, which means that you have tons of people who come to the site and check out your project as well. I also enjoy the “all-or-nothing” concept that Kickstarter goes by, which makes it a much more intense and exciting thing to be apart of.

Why did you choose to self publish?

Self publishing allows me to keep my identity, I guess. I love that my book can look, feel, and go exactly where I want it to; And the fact that my ideas are the only ones which affect the end result is great!

What are some of the difficulties you have encountered?

The main thing that I’ve found to be the most difficult for my own personal growth, which probably comes off as a little odd, is getting my name out into the wide world of independent comics. In fact, before this campaign, I hadn’t really shown my stuff around. It really was a challenge to get out of my comfort zone.

What do you think are the benefits of self publishing?

The benefits largely consist in being able to direct your project whichever way you choose, which is great. Unfortunately, you do lack advertising (unless you shell out your own money), but you can make that up by joining in on the many conversations that consist to help spread the word on independent comics. There are many forums to use, along with Facebook/Twitter/etc., which allows for a person like myself to reach a wide audience.

‘Don’t avoid pain’: An Interview With Eleanor Davis

diplopia2

I was first introduced to Eleanor Davis’ work after someone posted one of her short comics at an illustration blog. The comic, The Beast Mother, is a black and white mini-comic about a monstrous creature who seems to have kidnapped children and is now raising them as her own. While its cutlass and pistol-wielding hero echoed sword and sorcery, the comic resonated on a deeper level for me. It’s a strange mix of a stand alone hero story blended within a universe that is deeply grim and brimming with untold history.

The same can be said for much of Davis’ work. Her projects, even when presented as simple story, are loaded with a sense of a real past. We are rarely told the whole tale, but that’s the point. Her comics are meant to present us with a portion of time, a sliver of history shadowed and hidden. We aren’t the archeologists digging into Davis’ work. Instead, we are the museum patrons gazing at dinosaur bones from a distance.

I spoke with Davis recently about her career as an independent illustrator and artist. She imparted some really brilliant knowledge about creating not only comics, but artistic expressions. Davis also included an FAQ she shares with students, which includes some choice advice regarding a career in illustration. We’ll add a few questions from that at the bottom of the page.

I’ve read that you’ve been drawing and writing comics practically your entire life. What attracted you to comics as a young person?

 

My family has always been into comics. I grew up in a house full of them – my mom collected Little Lulu, my dad was really into Pogo, Popeye, Little Nemo and all the rest. I read and re-read all those comics until I had them memorized. I’m not sure if I was drawn to them because I had an innate love for comics, or if my love for comics came from reading them so much?

You’ve primarily worked in independent comics or self-publishing. What about indie comics appeals to you over something more mainstream?

I’m not a mainstream lady, I guess. I like the rawness and punkiness of indie comics. I like that indie comics don’t tend to be gender-normative; that’s very important to me. And although I see the value of fantasy & escapism, it’s not what I’m interested in exploring in my own work most of the time. I’m mostly interested in making art as a form of self-expression, & indie comics has a strong tradition of that.

beastmom1

You style has a dream-like quality akin to that of Winsor McCay. How did you develop your specific artistic style when drawing comics or creating illustrations?

Thank you! That’s high praise. I draw what feels true. I draw dream-like images because life is dream-like.

Do you first remember when you knew you wanted to pursue comics professionally? Was there a watershed moment that steered you in that direction?

I’m not actually a professional cartoonist, depending on your definition of professional. I’ve tried living off of the money I’ve made making comics in the past, but it was too hard! Too much work for not enough pay. Now I make a living doing illustration and I make comics for myself.

I think I realized that I was making comics that were good enough for other people to be interested in reading maybe my Junior year of college. Some cartoonists I really admired – Chris Wright, Lance Simmons and David Youngblood – asked me to put together a mini with them. That was thrilling, to get that sort of affirmation. But before that, I never doubted that I would be making comics. I just didn’t know if anyone would be reading them.

We have readers who are artists and would likely be interested in your process. How do you develop a comic like The Beast Mother from start to finish?

I did the Beast Mother my junior year of college, I think. I was in a psych 101 class & drew this image of a giant woman-beast covered with babies. As soon as I drew that image, I knew what the story would be. I just had to sort of shake it out. I thumbed the comic out in a day, then had my husband (boyfriend, then) Drew Weing read them & I edited it a bit. Drawing the whole thing took about a month, I guess. I wasn’t very fast back then. I remember all those pine trees being a real headache.

Davis-TNY-desks

Do you have any advice to impart on up-and-coming comic creators? What would you go back and tell yourself? Would you go back and tell yourself anything at all?

A young illustrator just asked me this question; it’s a good one. Here’s what I told him, about a month ago – not much has changed since then, but ask me again in another month!

I don’t know what advice I’d give myself. My career trajectory so far has been irritatingly round-about and inefficient, but I think maybe I had to do it like I did. The big mistake I made was rush into things too fast at first & burn myself out. I tried to embark on a long series of graphic novels – my kid’s GN The Secret Science Alliance was supposed to be the first in a series – when I wasn’t fully developed as an artist yet. I signed a two-book contract & only did one book and it’s been a real headache since then. But that’s a choice other artists have made and it’s worked out very well for them.

Figure out how to be happy and have fun. There are easier ways to get love and money so if you aren’t having a good time you should rearrange your life and work process so you are having fun, or you should quit.

There’s no shame in getting a part-time job. If you aren’t strong & developed as an artist & you’re trying to make a living right away, you’re not going to make the work you want, you’re going to make work you think other people want. And that work will not be very good. If you focus on making the work that excites you, that’s important to you, that will be your best work. And then you’ll get jobs. You might need to buy time to focus on that, and in that case getting a pleasant low-key job that will get you out of the house & around people will take a lot of the pressure off.

“Don’t try to imitate another artists’ voice. Find your own voice. And don’t go looking for your own voice. Just draw and think and draw and think. Don’t harden your heart. Don’t avoid pain. Feel those feelings and draw them. Your voice it will come out on its own. Then, when it comes out, trust it.” That’s what I would tell myself. That’s what I would tell anyone, I think.

From the FAQ:

What advice would you give to an illustration student?

My advice is to have a simple, professional website that you update frequently, a decent web presence, and constantly, constantly strive to produce the best, most interesting, most honest work you’re capable of. Don’t try to do what you think other people want. You simply won’t be able to produce your best work that way. Make art that speaks to you and comes from your heart. Be true to yourself. Remember why you’re doing this. Also, live cheap and get a part-time job. Don’t think you have to make a living on art right away. It’s okay not to. Once you build up enough clients decide if you’re ready to live off of art alone.

What do you think of the current trends in illustration and where do you think this field is heading to?

I have absolutely no idea. I don’t think anyone does. People have told me I’m part of a new wave of illustrators who get more professional jobs through art directors seeing their personal work. I think that’s really neat and I’m excited to have had the opportunities I did.

Don’t avoid pain’: An Interview With Eleanor Davis

diplopia2

I was first introduced to Eleanor Davis’ work after someone posted one of her short comics at an illustration blog. The comic, The Beast Mother, is a black and white mini-comic about a monstrous creature who seems to have kidnapped children and is now raising them as her own. While its cutlass and pistol-wielding hero echoed sword and sorcery, the comic resonated on a deeper level for me. It’s a strange mix of a stand alone hero story blended within a universe that is deeply grim and brimming with untold history.

The same can be said for much of Davis’ work. Her projects, even when presented as simple story, are loaded with a sense of a real past. We are rarely told the whole tale, but that’s the point. Her comics are meant to present us with a portion of time, a sliver of history shadowed and hidden. We aren’t the archeologists digging into Davis’ work. Instead, we are the museum patrons gazing at dinosaur bones from a distance.

I spoke with Davis recently about her career as an independent illustrator and artist. She imparted some really brilliant knowledge about creating not only comics, but artistic expressions. Davis also included an FAQ she shares with students, which includes some choice advice regarding a career in illustration. We’ll add a few questions from that at the bottom of the page.

I’ve read that you’ve been drawing and writing comics practically your entire life. What attracted you to comics as a young person?

 

My family has always been into comics. I grew up in a house full of them – my mom collected Little Lulu, my dad was really into Pogo, Popeye, Little Nemo and all the rest. I read and re-read all those comics until I had them memorized. I’m not sure if I was drawn to them because I had an innate love for comics, or if my love for comics came from reading them so much?

You’ve primarily worked in independent comics or self-publishing. What about indie comics appeals to you over something more mainstream?

I’m not a mainstream lady, I guess. I like the rawness and punkiness of indie comics. I like that indie comics don’t tend to be gender-normative; that’s very important to me. And although I see the value of fantasy & escapism, it’s not what I’m interested in exploring in my own work most of the time. I’m mostly interested in making art as a form of self-expression, & indie comics has a strong tradition of that.

beastmom1

You style has a dream-like quality akin to that of Winsor McCay. How did you develop your specific artistic style when drawing comics or creating illustrations?

Thank you! That’s high praise. I draw what feels true. I draw dream-like images because life is dream-like.

Do you first remember when you knew you wanted to pursue comics professionally? Was there a watershed moment that steered you in that direction?

I’m not actually a professional cartoonist, depending on your definition of professional. I’ve tried living off of the money I’ve made making comics in the past, but it was too hard! Too much work for not enough pay. Now I make a living doing illustration and I make comics for myself.

I think I realized that I was making comics that were good enough for other people to be interested in reading maybe my Junior year of college. Some cartoonists I really admired – Chris Wright, Lance Simmons and David Youngblood – asked me to put together a mini with them. That was thrilling, to get that sort of affirmation. But before that, I never doubted that I would be making comics. I just didn’t know if anyone would be reading them.

We have readers who are artists and would likely be interested in your process. How do you develop a comic like The Beast Mother from start to finish?

I did the Beast Mother my junior year of college, I think. I was in a psych 101 class & drew this image of a giant woman-beast covered with babies. As soon as I drew that image, I knew what the story would be. I just had to sort of shake it out. I thumbed the comic out in a day, then had my husband (boyfriend, then) Drew Weing read them & I edited it a bit. Drawing the whole thing took about a month, I guess. I wasn’t very fast back then. I remember all those pine trees being a real headache.

Davis-TNY-desks

Do you have any advice to impart on up-and-coming comic creators? What would you go back and tell yourself? Would you go back and tell yourself anything at all?

A young illustrator just asked me this question; it’s a good one. Here’s what I told him, about a month ago – not much has changed since then, but ask me again in another month!

I don’t know what advice I’d give myself. My career trajectory so far has been irritatingly round-about and inefficient, but I think maybe I had to do it like I did. The big mistake I made was rush into things too fast at first & burn myself out. I tried to embark on a long series of graphic novels – my kid’s GN The Secret Science Alliance was supposed to be the first in a series – when I wasn’t fully developed as an artist yet. I signed a two-book contract & only did one book and it’s been a real headache since then. But that’s a choice other artists have made and it’s worked out very well for them.

Figure out how to be happy and have fun. There are easier ways to get love and money so if you aren’t having a good time you should rearrange your life and work process so you are having fun, or you should quit.

There’s no shame in getting a part-time job. If you aren’t strong & developed as an artist & you’re trying to make a living right away, you’re not going to make the work you want, you’re going to make work you think other people want. And that work will not be very good. If you focus on making the work that excites you, that’s important to you, that will be your best work. And then you’ll get jobs. You might need to buy time to focus on that, and in that case getting a pleasant low-key job that will get you out of the house & around people will take a lot of the pressure off.

“Don’t try to imitate another artists’ voice. Find your own voice. And don’t go looking for your own voice. Just draw and think and draw and think. Don’t harden your heart. Don’t avoid pain. Feel those feelings and draw them. Your voice it will come out on its own. Then, when it comes out, trust it.” That’s what I would tell myself. That’s what I would tell anyone, I think.

From the FAQ:

What advice would you give to an illustration student?

My advice is to have a simple, professional website that you update frequently, a decent web presence, and constantly, constantly strive to produce the best, most interesting, most honest work you’re capable of. Don’t try to do what you think other people want. You simply won’t be able to produce your best work that way. Make art that speaks to you and comes from your heart. Be true to yourself. Remember why you’re doing this. Also, live cheap and get a part-time job. Don’t think you have to make a living on art right away. It’s okay not to. Once you build up enough clients decide if you’re ready to live off of art alone.

What do you think of the current trends in illustration and where do you think this field is heading to?

I have absolutely no idea. I don’t think anyone does. People have told me I’m part of a new wave of illustrators who get more professional jobs through art directors seeing their personal work. I think that’s really neat and I’m excited to have had the opportunities I did.

Read This and Live Forever: ‘Mars: Space Barbarian’

Not much can be said about Mars: Space Barbarian that isn’t already conveyed by its title. It’s a webcomic about, well,  a space barbarian doing what space barbarians do best: stabbing things with a spear while looking like a real badass.  With razor-sharp artwork by the Andrew MacLean, a killer opening arc by writer Jim Gibbons, and insanely vibrant colors from Ryan Hill, Mars: Space Barbarian is out of this world… sorry about that.

Check out a little of the comic below and read the rest here.

MSB

Review: Jason Walz’s CRAP SHOOT

First off, I would like to say that Mr. Walz has the patience of a saint.  Not only have I told him on multiple occasions that this would be published ASAP, I also gave him direct dates and totally just forgot.  So to you, Jason, thank you for putting up with little old me.

Now to the nitty gritty.  Jason Walz is the author and artist of a new comic by the name of Crap Shoot.  Two issues are currently out on his website, with an option to pay what you want option, as well as through Comixology.

The art style in this story is almost reminiscent of Charles Burns’ Black Hole, with a heavy contrast of black and white and definitely does not make the mistake of over working the smaller details.  What I thoroughly enjoyed regarding the connection between the story and the art, was the fact that it isn’t as grown up.  The faces and movement of the characters could easily translate into a Calvin and Hobbes-esque strip.

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It really is a cross between an actual graphic novel and a strip.  Short stories punctuated by longer narratives and small guest drawings and panels really bring a unique twist to the first issue.

Overall a charming read with some wonderful guest art, my favorite being the last piece by Trungles.  Jason Walz’s story telling is surprisingly innocent and light.  If you’re looking for something a little different and nothing too heavy to pick up and breeze through, this is it for you.  I genuinely enjoyed this read.  I’m even going to go back and purchase the second issue.

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Thank you again, Jason, for that unbelievably calm demeanor and a lovely read.

Josh Tierney And Kyla Vanderklugt Drop By To Talk The Wonderful World Of ‘Spera’

Spera is one of the most innovative comic projects out right now. This combined effort of multi-artist storytelling continually, in the best possible way, astounds both comic readers and the media as well. Last year, Publishers Weekly had this to say about Volume One of Spera: “With beauty as its tool and mischief in mind, this book is a winner all the way.”

It’s truly no surprise critics and readers are flipping their proverbial lids of this series as it’s unique blend of vignette-style storytelling is like nothing you’ve ever read. Instead of telling a straightforward narrative, writer Josh Tierney with the help of dozens of artists, has crafted three volumes of Spera like a photo album full of snapshots detailing his characters’ journey.

This series isn’t always on track (the key storyline involves two rogue princesses searching for adventure), however, Spera shines for its flights of fancy with brilliant writing and an extremely rich sense of the world it inhabits. I can’t praise this series enough.

Luckily, Tierney and a key Spera artist Kyla Vanderklugt took some time out of their naturally busy schedule to catch up and chat with Panel Bound about Spera, webcomics and everything inbetween.

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Spera is one of the more innovative comics to come out in the past few years. How did this project get started?

Josh Tierney: I had written a novella of the original story in 2009 and wondered what it might look like as a comic. Before Spera I worked on various online projects that combined prose and illustration, where different artists would illustrate different chapters of novellas that I wrote. Comics seemed like the most natural extension of this format, and so I brought in many of the collaborators from the previous projects to help adapt the novella into comic form. Since then I’ve focused my writing efforts almost entirely on comic scripts.

Each volume of Spera features a wide range of artists. How has this changed the way this comic is written, if at all?

Josh: If the artists are set beforehand, I’ll write each chapter to what I believe are the artists’ strengths, or at least what I like most about the artists’ works. If the scripts are written beforehand, I try to give each chapter a different feel, so that I can then seek out the most suitable artist for them from there.

Kyla, as an artist on Spera how do you maintain the continuity and tone of this story while working with several other artists.

Kyla Vanderklugt: A lot of the credit for this has to go to Afu Chan. His distinctive character designs are easy to recognise throughout all the shifts in technique and style, and that really helps to tie the chapters together. As for the environments, the designs are often established by the first artist to tackle a particular section. When I drew my pages for the second chapter of Vol. II, I used Giannis’s interpretation of Kotequog as reference, since he’d already finished the first chapter.

The lore and world of Spera is so expansive and detailed, it almost reminds me of a fantasy-driven Prophet, where is inspiration coming from for this book on both the written and art departments?

Josh: Old school console RPGs on the writing side. Spera is a chance for me to indulge in everything I like about RPGs, such as town exploration, treasure hunting and random monster battles. The characters are basically leveling up with each book. I’m also a fan of Studio Ghibli films, and their sense of magic and mystery, along with their amazing female protagonists, have been an inspiration for sure.

Kyla: One of the great things about this project is that all the artists come from completely different backgrounds, so what inspires and informs Spera’s art style changes with every chapter. A common thread, though, is that we all love fantasy in some form or other.
It’s also getting to the point where I can refer back to Spera’s lore itself for inspiration. Some background characters in my Vol. III comic are decorating a cake with bugs – Pira and Lono ate enough bugs in earlier chapters that I figure bugs-as-food counts as Spera canon, now.

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Josh, why work so many different artists on this book? Wouldn’t it in some ways be easier to work with just one artist?

Josh: Having multiple artists means less pages for each artist, which means each artist can put the maximum amount of effort into their chapters. There are also a great many artists I’d like to work with, but it would be impossible to work with them all on individual projects. On Spera, I can work with everyone all at once, and do it on a project I’m very passionate about.

I also personally find it fascinating to see the same characters rendered by different artists within the same story. Everyone sees the world differently, and I feel like Spera’s structure is a kind of visual approximation of this.

Volume three of Spera is now being collected on comiXology, how has the process of putting together this comic evolved since Volume one?

Josh: The more I work with artists, the more I learn what to put into scripts, including what not to put into them. The Vol. 3 scripts are probably the most detailed so far, leading to comic pages that are more in line with what I was thinking when I wrote them.

As both a writer (Josh) and an artist (Kyla), do you recommend aspiring creators start on the Web? What benefits does web publishing offer?

Josh: Publishing on the web is the best way to get your work to as many people as possible. Most of the published artists I know today were first discovered on the web. Webcomics are being treated as seriously as print projects by every editor I’ve spoken to, and are often the first place independent comics publishers will look to for new projects to pick up or creators to hire.

Kyla: There are probably as many different ways to start a career in comics as there are comic creators, but sharing your work on the web definitely does give you a big advantage. Aside from the exposure, it puts you on common ground with other comic artists, art directors, and editors. Everyone browses the web, after all.

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Any advice for aspiring comic creators?

Josh: Don’t give up. It could take years before you have a successful project, but during those years you’ll constantly be improving. Post your works on whatever social networks are available to you — this is the best way to gain support for what you’re doing.

Kyla: Take inspiration from everywhere. I mean, from other comic artists, obviously, but don’t stop there. Don’t be insular.

If people haven’t checked out Spera yet, why do you think they should, and where can they pick up a copy?

Josh: If you like the sound of princesses going on dangerous adventures with a giant flaming dog and super tough warrior cat, all of it illustrated by some of the coolest artists on the planet, then Spera is the series for you. It can be found wherever comics and books are sold, including online retailers such as Amazon and the Archaia store.

Kyla: There really isn’t anything else quite like Spera on the market. And aside from the novelty aspect… there’s a fussy middle-aged man who turns into, yeah, a giant flaming dog. Something for everyone!

Josh Tierney And Kyla Vanderklugt Drop By To Talk The Wonderful World Of ‘Spera’

Spera is one of the most innovative comic projects out right now. This combined effort of multi-artist storytelling continually, in the best possible way, astounds both comic readers and the media as well. Last year, Publishers Weekly had this to say about Volume One of Spera: “With beauty as its tool and mischief in mind, this book is a winner all the way.”

It’s truly no surprise critics and readers are flipping their proverbial lids of this series as it’s unique blend of vignette-style storytelling is like nothing you’ve ever read. Instead of telling a straightforward narrative, writer Josh Tierney with the help of dozens of artists, has crafted three volumes of Spera like a photo album full of snapshots detailing his characters’ journey.

This series isn’t always on track (the key storyline involves two rogue princesses searching for adventure), however, Spera shines for its flights of fancy with brilliant writing and an extremely rich sense of the world it inhabits. I can’t praise this series enough.

Luckily, Tierney and a key Spera artist Kyla Vanderklugt took some time out of their naturally busy schedule to catch up and chat with Panel Bound about Spera, webcomics and everything inbetween.

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Spera is one of the more innovative comics to come out in the past few years. How did this project get started?

Josh Tierney: I had written a novella of the original story in 2009 and wondered what it might look like as a comic. Before Spera I worked on various online projects that combined prose and illustration, where different artists would illustrate different chapters of novellas that I wrote. Comics seemed like the most natural extension of this format, and so I brought in many of the collaborators from the previous projects to help adapt the novella into comic form. Since then I’ve focused my writing efforts almost entirely on comic scripts.

Each volume of Spera features a wide range of artists. How has this changed the way this comic is written, if at all?

Josh: If the artists are set beforehand, I’ll write each chapter to what I believe are the artists’ strengths, or at least what I like most about the artists’ works. If the scripts are written beforehand, I try to give each chapter a different feel, so that I can then seek out the most suitable artist for them from there.

Kyla, as an artist on Spera how do you maintain the continuity and tone of this story while working with several other artists.

Kyla Vanderklugt: A lot of the credit for this has to go to Afu Chan. His distinctive character designs are easy to recognise throughout all the shifts in technique and style, and that really helps to tie the chapters together. As for the environments, the designs are often established by the first artist to tackle a particular section. When I drew my pages for the second chapter of Vol. II, I used Giannis’s interpretation of Kotequog as reference, since he’d already finished the first chapter.

The lore and world of Spera is so expansive and detailed, it almost reminds me of a fantasy-driven Prophet, where is inspiration coming from for this book on both the written and art departments?

Josh: Old school console RPGs on the writing side. Spera is a chance for me to indulge in everything I like about RPGs, such as town exploration, treasure hunting and random monster battles. The characters are basically leveling up with each book. I’m also a fan of Studio Ghibli films, and their sense of magic and mystery, along with their amazing female protagonists, have been an inspiration for sure.

Kyla: One of the great things about this project is that all the artists come from completely different backgrounds, so what inspires and informs Spera’s art style changes with every chapter. A common thread, though, is that we all love fantasy in some form or other.
It’s also getting to the point where I can refer back to Spera’s lore itself for inspiration. Some background characters in my Vol. III comic are decorating a cake with bugs – Pira and Lono ate enough bugs in earlier chapters that I figure bugs-as-food counts as Spera canon, now.

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Josh, why work so many different artists on this book? Wouldn’t it in some ways be easier to work with just one artist?

Josh: Having multiple artists means less pages for each artist, which means each artist can put the maximum amount of effort into their chapters. There are also a great many artists I’d like to work with, but it would be impossible to work with them all on individual projects. On Spera, I can work with everyone all at once, and do it on a project I’m very passionate about.

I also personally find it fascinating to see the same characters rendered by different artists within the same story. Everyone sees the world differently, and I feel like Spera’s structure is a kind of visual approximation of this.

Volume three of Spera is now being collected on comiXology, how has the process of putting together this comic evolved since Volume one?

Josh: The more I work with artists, the more I learn what to put into scripts, including what not to put into them. The Vol. 3 scripts are probably the most detailed so far, leading to comic pages that are more in line with what I was thinking when I wrote them.

As both a writer (Josh) and an artist (Kyla), do you recommend aspiring creators start on the Web? What benefits does web publishing offer?

Josh: Publishing on the web is the best way to get your work to as many people as possible. Most of the published artists I know today were first discovered on the web. Webcomics are being treated as seriously as print projects by every editor I’ve spoken to, and are often the first place independent comics publishers will look to for new projects to pick up or creators to hire.

Kyla: There are probably as many different ways to start a career in comics as there are comic creators, but sharing your work on the web definitely does give you a big advantage. Aside from the exposure, it puts you on common ground with other comic artists, art directors, and editors. Everyone browses the web, after all.

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Any advice for aspiring comic creators?

Josh: Don’t give up. It could take years before you have a successful project, but during those years you’ll constantly be improving. Post your works on whatever social networks are available to you — this is the best way to gain support for what you’re doing.

Kyla: Take inspiration from everywhere. I mean, from other comic artists, obviously, but don’t stop there. Don’t be insular.

If people haven’t checked out Spera yet, why do you think they should, and where can they pick up a copy?

Josh: If you like the sound of princesses going on dangerous adventures with a giant flaming dog and super tough warrior cat, all of it illustrated by some of the coolest artists on the planet, then Spera is the series for you. It can be found wherever comics and books are sold, including online retailers such as Amazon and the Archaia store.

Kyla: There really isn’t anything else quite like Spera on the market. And aside from the novelty aspect… there’s a fussy middle-aged man who turns into, yeah, a giant flaming dog. Something for everyone!

‘Comeback’ Writer Ed Brisson On His 19-Year Career And The Upcoming ‘Sheltered’

Ed Brisson recently hit mainstream comic audiences like a kick to the jaw (metaphorically in most cases) with his recent five-issue run on the Image title Comeback. While his name may be new to some, Brisson has been working in comics since the 90s as a letterer, writer, artist and publisher.

If all of that still isn’t impressing you, Brisson has new title with Image dropping in July 10, 2013 titled Sheltered. It’s shaping up to be one of the most innovative books of the year, especially as Brisson has an incredible sense for dramatic tension, which more often than not, is built at the end of a loaded gun.

I caught up with the comic maven recently to talk Sheltered and the mysterious (or not so) circumstances that lead to getting a book picked up by Image Comics.

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Okay boring question first, how did you first get into writing comics?

Not boring at all!

I’ve been making comics for about 19 years. Back in the 90s, I used to make mini comics that I’d photocopy and sell through record shops and out of my backpack. Initially, I wanted to be an artist and only wrote comics so that I’d have something to draw.

From there, I just kept on. I did mini-comics, zines, comics for college papers, webcomics, you name it.

At some point around 2007ish, I started to cut back on illustrating comics and focused on writing. I didn’t have time for both and, by then, was more interested in the writing side of things than I was illustrating.

You started a small press, New Reliable Press, in 2005. Why dive into publishing?

Looking back, I’m not sure. I guess I was fresh out of school, where I’d gone to learn publishing (from technical to promo) and thought that I’d try publishing other people’s work for a bit.

However, it was tough going and I folded it a few years later because it was hard to get retailers interested in a newer publisher and because I wanted to focus on my writing.

Murder Book is an extremely interesting project. How did that first get started?

I’d done a few pitches that hadn’t made it through with any publishers and was frustrated with the process. With pitching, I was expending a lot of energy on something that only a few editors would see and ultimately pass on. I didn’t want to keep doing that.

So, one year (on my birthday), I decided that I was going to stop pitching and just start writing. I’ve always loved crime as a genre (books, comics, film, everything), so decided that I’d try my hand at writing it. I sat down that day and wrote most of the first draft of Catching Up. From there, I just kept going.

The important thing, for me, was that I was just doing what I wanted to do. Writing stories that I’d want to read. I think that showed through because it wasn’t until I started doing Murder Book that I started to get attention from publishers.

Was Murder Book in any way a successful means to get your work out there?

In a lot of ways, posting short stories was almost like having a writing portfolio. If you want to be a comic writer, you need to have something to show and you’re not going to get very far by just posting your scripts. Having completed comics helps get the word out there. As mentioned above, it’s MURDER BOOK that seemed to have put me on the radar of publishers and editors.

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You write the stories for Murder Book and other artists illustrate them. As a writer, how do you typically approach an artist to work on your scripts?

I don’t think that there’s been a “typical” approach, to be honest. I knew Simon Roy from my New Reliable days and approached him about working on the first couple stories. Vic Malhotra and I met through a book he’d illustrated and I’d lettered. Michael Walsh had initially hired me to letter something of his. I really liked his work and we got to talking and really hit it off. Jason Copland is a local artist who I’ve known for years and we were basically just looking for an excuse to work together. Similar with Johnnie Christmas.

You just finished a five-issue run on Comeback with Image. How did that project get picked up by Image?

I wish there were a sexier story beyond “I pitched it to them and they picked it up”, but there isn’t, really. I just followed the pitching guidelines for Image/Shadowline.

Michael and I had been grinding out some pitches. Comeback just happens to be the one that happened to catch Jim Valentino’s attention.

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You have a new book coming out, Sheltered, the premise seems extremely innovative and a step away from the true crime genre you primarily worked in. Can you tell us anything about it?

It’s a book about survival and living with consequences of your actions. SHELTERED follows the children of an off-the-grid survivalist community. Their entire life has been about training to survive any sort of apocalyptic scenario – from nukes to societal breakdown. I wanted to put them in a situation where they’re faced with a potential threat that they’ve prepared for, but then realize that they’re not as ready as they thought. They won’t all survive and they have to make some choices, quickly, about who will and why.

I don’t want to give away too much right now, for fear of spoiling the first issue.

You’ve lettered several issues of Prophet. Do you ever read the scripts for that insanely good space opera and think “what the hell is going on here?”

Haha. Nope! I know Simon and Brandon, so usually know what’s coming up well ahead of time. I really love working on that book.

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Any last minute advice for aspiring comic creators?

Worry less about getting a publishing deal and more about making comics. Get your work out to as many people as possible. Don’t pander. Put your work online for free. When you’re starting out, there’s no money to be made anyway. Do it for the love of creating.

Where can people catch up with you and your work?

My website is www.edbrisson.com. People can find me on twitter as well: @edbrisson. Obviously, be sure to pick up SHELTERED at your L.C.S. on July 10th!