Friday, February 24, 2017

Doug Mahnke exclusive alternate cover revealed! plus The Switch takes over Chattanooga!

The official art for ConNooga's 10th Anniversary 
 It's true, after a grueling flight over a day-and-a-half, I am back on United States soil!  And after just one day of rest, I am back on the road for the weekend, this time to the great city of Chattanooga, Tennessee.  This weekend will be an exciting one for me for two reasons:
1.  It will be the second time that I will be a featured guest at ConNooga (the first time was 2 years ago), and
2.  Characters from the Switch are used as the exclusive, official artwork for this year (which you have seen above before)!

But the really cool part is that this art is featured everywhere on convention grounds!  Here are a few shots:

My favorite are the special hotel keys made for the guests of Chattanooga Choo Choo Hotel! 
For guests attending, there's a free ConNooga app for iOS and Android that will have all the information about the show at your fingertips including show hours, panels, and more!  The cool part about this app is that you can create a profile and connect with other attendees of the show!  Just search "ConNooga" and you should find this app easily.
The ConNooga app.

Finally, it is our pleasure to finally reveal an exclusive peek at the Doug Mahnke alternate cover artwork for our graphic novel The Switch:
Pencils: Doug Mahnke, Inks: Keith Champagne

I really love it, I literally just saw this yesterday.  It was a great "welcome back home" gift.  The mirror image of my regular front cover is a cool idea, and Keith--being no stranger to inking Doug on Green Lantern among other titles-- did a bang-up job with the inks.  Major thanks to Doug for his generosity--being friends with him for over 25 years has its perks! And I can't forget to thank Switch backer Eric Marshall --who pledged at this reward level to keep the original Mahnke cover art!

See you guys next week!

Friday, February 17, 2017

A smorgasbord of a blog post

Hey everybody, Happy Friday! Glad to see we've all made it to the end of another week (and another update to the Switch production blog together.

I was going through some Switch files on my computer to find some art to share this week and was struck by the absurdity of the above panel. The Ghost of Ronald Reagan and Bigfoot sprinting down a hall together. To me, that image is endlessly amusing and encapsulates the "anything goes" feel of this story. If it amuses you too, then we probably should be best friends.

Earlier this week, I shared a link to download one of the digital rewards from the Kickstarter campaign, the PDF of the Armor X graphic novel by Andy Smith and myself. A few people have touched base that they haven't been able to download it so I'm sharing the link here for anyone that has had difficulties or maybe didn't see the update in the first place.

This is kind of on the honor system so if you stumbled on this blog but didn't support the Switch Kickstarter, Tom will hunt you down and kiss you softly if you click on this link. The rest of you are safe.


On the actual production side of the project, I finally settled on the definitive, final ending for this story a couple of weeks ago and uploaded the final version of the script for our beloved Tommy. Before lettering begins in earnest, I'll take one more pass through the script to see if any of the dialogue feels clunky but overall, I feel pretty confident that it's 97% percent all locked down and good to go. I've lived with the script for so long now that it feels pretty good to finally exhale and start to let it go.

If you follow me on social media (and you probably don't considering how many followers I have. Do me a favor and follow thepretentiouskeithchampagne on instagram, would you?) you may have noticed that, while Tom finishes up on The Switch, I've started posting about a new Kickstarter project called Barbaric that Andy Smith (the Armor X artist) and I are going to launch next month. Here's a peek at the logo:

I'm still in the process of figuring out rewards (does anyone want to oil wrestle with Tom? Thinking out loud here...) and the such but wanted to mention that any Switch supporters that are brave enough to enter the world of Barbaric (this is very much a rated 'R' project, similar in content to Game Of Thrones...on steroids) will automatically receive a special bonus reward that won't be offered to anyone else. Part marketing tool, sure, but mostly a sincere thank you. The way all of you have supported The Switch has given us the moxie to dream larger and try to bring those dreams to life. A little extra thank you seems warranted. 

I think I've rambled on long enough today. Next week, Tom should be back in the states and will take his turn entertaining us on the blog. 

Thanks for reading, everyone. Have a great week!

Friday, February 10, 2017

Last Switch Update From Vietnam!

The past few weeks I (Tom) have been updating The Switch from Vietnam.  This post will sadly be my last here as I prepare to head back home to the U.S. in less than two weeks to finish the book.

The original intention was to finish the book here; after all, I had 2 1/2 months.  But nothing in (my) life ever really works as planned.  Being out of the country on vacation, no matter how well-meaning your goals are, makes it less easy especially when there are plans to see and do things with extended relatives.  As you well know by now, the book is pushed back another month.  But things will be smoother when I'm finally in the comforts of home with no distraction/itinerary.

With that said, I've still been very consistent updating my vlog at my YouTube channel where you can see almost-daily snippets of me working on the book.  I know that some of you really dig the behind-the-scenes stuff.  And I know a lot of you have been watching; I've surpassed the 1,000 subscribers milestone.  So THANK YOU!  :)

Finally, what most of you came for: some more sneak peek art!  Enjoy...

Saturday, February 4, 2017

For anyone that might be interested, I've started a small online store offering original comic book art and assorted shenanigans. The address is Please continue to scroll down for yesterday's update.


Friday, February 3, 2017

schedule update

Hey everybody, welcome back to the blog this week. Hope you've all been well out there. Here's what has been going on in the world of The Switch over the past seven days.

I spoke with Tom yesterday who, you'll all be glad to know, survived his adventure through the killing fields of Cambodia and made it safely back to Vietnam, where he continues to produce some nifty artwork for our little project. The problem is that in spite of his best efforts, Tom is still behind schedule. It's an incredible amount of work to produce a 90-page graphic novel while keeping the bar set consistently high for the art. A lot of people who don't draw for a living think this stuff just flows out like water but believe me, it's a painstaking, grueling process. 

Anyway, long story short, Tom asked if he could extend the deadline back into March to finish the art and we decided it would be in the best interest of both the project and his health that The Switch gets pushed  back a bit more. I know Tom feels like he's letting everyone down but I can guarantee no one will feel disappointed when the book finally arrives, which will now be in June or July, depending on how soon it's printed and shipped back from China, which is a 6-8 week process. 

Pushing it back will also make my life a little easier because, unfortunately, I found out yesterday after a CT scan and consultation that I require another surgery on my leg. The metal plates and screws holding me together are a constant source of pain and my surgeon feels removing the hardware now that my Tibia is stable enough will alleviate much or the pain, knock on wood. So once I schedule that, I'll be immobilized for a while again post-surgery. Sucks but in the long run, hopefully it'll be worth it.

I guess this isn't exactly the most uplifting and positive update we've sprung on you so I wanted to include something pretty to look at and end on an up note. Here's the art for Page 45 of The Switch, featuring Nasty Cat. I feel like Tom killed it on this page and hope you do too!

Next week, we should be able to show off the Doug Mahnke alternate cover. Something to live for there, very few people are as talented as the great Doug Mahnke.

Have a great week, everyone!