Get Thee to the Comic Shoppe!

It's that day again, New Comic Day. But this day, much like Passover, different than every other. And that's because of one very special book. I've typed it before and I'll type it again, but this is the day that BROKEN TRINITY: PANDORA'S BOX #1 hits stores.

This has been a very long journey for me. I could say it begins last May/June when Filip approached me about pitching the series. Or more than two years ago when I edited the initial event helmed by the incomparable Ron Marz and friends. But as this is my first series (to actually see print, which is a longer story for a different time), it's the culmination of a dream I've had since my cousins first introduced me to comics in a Florida time share and the purchase of my first comic, Marvel Comics Presents #85 by Peter David and Sam Keith.

My short-form work (backups, one-shots) have been a fantastic experience for me, but this is the first shot I've had to tell a full story with space for characters and real moments. We're all doing our best to make sure each one delivers. I am both honored and humbled by anyone who chooses to plunk down their hard-earned cash and buy the book today (or at any point in the future).

For those in the LA area, just a reminder that I'll be signing this and anything else you'd like (preferably babies) from 2-5pm at Dream World Comics in West LA (details here). Bryan Edward Hill will be signing in St. Louis at Star Clipper (details here).

In case you need more convincing, here are a few choice tidbits for you:

Also, I'd like to give a shout-out and a hearty thanks to everyone who worked on this book: Alessandro Vitti, Sunny Gho, Troy Peteri, Tommy Lee Edwards, Phil Smith, Filip Sablik, Ron Marz, and of course, the man that needs no introduction... Bryan Edward Hill, without whom this book wouldn't sing.


iFanboy says BT:PB is Not to be Missed

iFanboy had us on the podcast last week to talk all things Broken Trinity: Pandora's Box (which I'm sure you're tired of seeing all the way spelled out). They really dug the book and named it a Don't Miss pick for this week.

And don't forget to pick up your copy this Wednesday in finer comic shops everywhere.

Bad Tropes - Enhance That Image

Bad Tropes is going to be a new recurring feature on here where I point out things in fiction that piss me off, and things you should avoid in your work if you're an aspiring (or working) creator.

I'm watching last week's Human Target, and perhaps my least favorite trope ever was just used. The Bad Guys are trying to see how the Hero was able to kidnap the Scientist, only the Hero knows where all the cameras are so they can't see his face on the security video. Except he goes to the window, so there's a hint of his reflection in it when they zoom in on the tape. And then the Big Bad says, "Clean up that image."

Okay, in theory there's nothing wrong with it. If you don't mind cliches and fake technology.

We've seen this particular bad trope some 1,200 times since 1990 (I've been counting). There's no reason to resort to this in 2010. And we still don't have the technology to take a shit image (especially now that we're talking pixels, not blowing up from a negative) and make it pristine and perfect. We can enhance images, sure, but in most cases they don't lead to much but a blurry, pixelated something that you infer meaning from.

This is bad writing. Why not just show the damn thing and not have technology save the day. Yes, people mess up, and we don't become less interested in our heroes because they have a flaw or a make a mistake.

If you ever find yourself needing to "enhance an image" either as a key plot point or something throwaway...


Edited 5:31 pm - Thanks to Matthew Waite, we also have this video, proving that despite warnings from others, people just love this damn trope.


ComiXology Podcast - Hill/Levin talking BT:PB

I think between the two of us Bryan and I did at least 5 podcasts last week. The Meltcast I did solo is already up, and here's the first of many joint podcasts with the fine folks at ComiXology (who have my favorite mobile comics app).


Upcoming Appearances

Saturday - 2/20

I'll be hanging out and signing at the Long Beach Comic Expo (1 Day Only!) tomorrow. I'll be signing at Top Cow's booth from 1 - 2:30 pm. We'll have some copies of BT:PB #1 for you guys to check out, but I'm not sure if they'll be on sale.

Wednesday - 2/24

Join me along with Top Cow marketing wiz Christine Dinh for the release of Broken Trinity: Pandora's Box #1 from 2 - 5 pm at Dream World Comics. Please stop by, grab the book and let me know how we did.

Dream World Comics
12400 W Washington Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90066
(310) 390-7860


BT: PANDORA'S BOX #1 Preview

The first lettered preview of my much beloved mini with Bryan Hill, Alessandro Vitti, Sunny Gho and Tommy Lee Edwards (still can't believe how good the art is from cover to cover) is live. Get your fix at CBR.

Don't forget to get your purchase on next Wednesday, 2/24.

Meltcast w/Rob Levin

The fine folks at Meltdown Comics in Hollywood were nice enough to invite me down to discuss Broken Trinity: Pandora's Box and a few other things on their latest Meltcast (which you can also subscribe to via iTunes).

It was a fun show to do, great guys, and they sent me home with a cupcake, so I can't wait to return for another go. Of the four or so podcasts I'm recording this week, this is the only one I did solo, so there's that. The others are not live just yet, but they'll be getting posts here as well.

I'm there for the whole thing, but the BT segment begins around the 46:30 mark if you're pressed for time. I also talk (very quickly and with lots of "umms" and "uhhs" about my collaborative process with Bryan at about 37 minutes).


#MakeComics Wednesdays

Since I hadn't posted anything about it here, I wanted to make it known that for the time being, every Wednesday (aka New Comic Day), I'll be doing a twitter-based Q&A as well as posting any random advice I can squeeze into 140 characters.

There are a lot of folks that want to break into this industry, and quite frankly many of them are going about it the wrong way. While there are some excellent comic pros on twitter giving advice, it's sporadic at best and there's no guarantee your question is going to get answered. And as someone who has worked on both sides of the desk, I know a thing or two. I'm like the less-prolific and more xenophobic C.B. Cebulski...

Every Wednesday I'll announce when I'll be doing the Q&A, which will run about an hour, and I'll take questions of all kinds from pitching to script format to whatever comes into your head.

Here's a transcript of the first Q&A from two weeks back.

You can follow me on twitter @roblevin or search for the #makecomics hash tag for advice from some of the best and most helpful pros around. Keep in mind, no bit of advice is 100%, and this is the Internet so keep your thinking caps on before you charge blindly into battle.


BROKEN TRINITY on Ain't It Cool News & Newsarama

The press onslaught continues! I'm sure I've missed some stuff in my haze of apartment flooding, work, and trying to make a living. But I'm back with the two latest (and perhaps greatest) press updates OF ALL TIME!

First, Bryan Hill and I talk about everything we've ever learned about anything. And one of us is more learned than the other. And Ain't It Cool News was nice enough to post it.

Next, Bryan and I take you behind the scenes of the players of the BT: Pandora's Box universe. We're introducing a lot of new faces, and you should know who's who. So we wrote a lil' somethin' somethin' for you.

Been behind with the updates but the twitter is going strong. Follow @roblevin for the up-to-the-minute low down on the down low. More blog soon.