Evil At Baldur’s Gate #5 Arrives in August!

Dungeons & Dragons: Evil at Baldur’s Gate #5
Jim Zub (w) • Francesco Mortarino (a) • Max Dunbar (c)

Brave Boo—Hamster Quest

Boo has traveled far and wide as companion to Minsc the Beloved Ranger, but there comes a time in every hamster’s life when they must stand alone and face the darkness. If you read only one comic about a miniature giant space hamster this year, make sure it’s this one.

Evil at Baldur’s Gate acts as a perfect jumping on point for new readers and D&D fans. Each story is self-contained and introduces readers to the world of D&D.
• Fan favorite writer Jim Zub (Samurai Jack, Avengers) continues his run on D&D paired with a top-notch group of artists for Evil at Baldur’s Gate.
• Variant covers by Adam Kosh of Code Name, and Max Dunbar.

Rick and Morty VS Dungeons & Dragons Launches in August!

Arriving in August, pre-order now at your favorite local comic shop!

Rick and Morty vs. Dungeons & Dragons #1 (of 4)
Patrick Rothfuss & Jim Zub (w)
Troy Little (a & c)

When Morty needs to learn how to play D&D to keep up with the cool kids, his hard-drinking, old school-gaming, mad science-making grandpa is happy to teach him how to roll the dice, but neither of them is prepared for the saving throws they’re about to fail or the true quest yet to come. Strap on a +1 longsword and grab your 10-foot pole, because this is going to be a gaming gauntlet like no other.

The world’s greatest role-playing game.
Reality’s most dysfunctional family.
What could go wrong?

• Presented in conjunction with ONI PRESS.
• Patrick Rothfuss, the multiple award-winning, bestselling author of The Kingkiller Chronicle series, joins Dungeons & Dragons fan-favorite writer Jim Zub (Avengers, Wayward) on a tri-dimensional fantasy adventure.
• Troy Little is the multi-Eisner nominated artist of Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas, Angora Napkin, and The Powerpuff Girls.
Rick and Morty is one of the most popular shows in Adult Swim history, with a steady fan following since it debuted in 2013. This is the first official Rick and Morty team-up story and should have deep traction in fan circles.
Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition sales continue to grow each year and the Baldur’s Gate video games have sold millions of copies around the world. D&D has returned as a cultural force in bookstores and online.
• Variant covers by Sara Richard and Tess Fowler.

FC • 32 pages • $3.99

Wayward #28 Arrives in August!

WAYWARD #28
WRITER: JIM ZUB
ARTIST / COVER: STEVEN CUMMINGS, TAMRA BONVILLAIN
VARIANT COVER: KIDCHAN
AUGUST 29 / 24 PAGES / FC / M / $3.99

“BOUND TO FATE,” Part Three
Hell on Earth and a hell of a fight. The strings of fate are pulled ever tighter…

CBC Radio One Fresh Air Interview with Karen Gordon

On May 17th, 2018 I spoke to host Karen Gordon on CBC Radio One’s Fresh Air program. We discussed the comic industry, writing comic stories, and what it’s like working on Marvel’s Avengers series. Give it a listen!

Two Marvel Zub Comics in August

CHAMPIONS #23
JIM ZUB (W) • KEVIN LIBRANDA (A)
Cover by R.B. SILVA
• While Ironheart and Amadeus Cho take major steps forward in their super hero journeys, Nova takes a step back.
• As the team faces a complicated and dangerous threat, Sam Alexander wonders: is there a future for him with the Champions?
32 PGS./Rated T+ …$3.99

HUNT FOR WOLVERINE: MYSTERY IN MADRIPOOR #4 (of 4)
JIM ZUB (W) • THONY SILAS (A)
COVER BY GIUSEPPE CAMUNCOLI
VARIANT COVER BY CHRIS BACHALO
ONE OF THE X-MEN IS CHANGED FOREVER!
Past and present clash in final battle on an island of secrets and sin!
What darkness lies within Sapphire Styx?
Can a ghost from the past save Psylocke from oblivion?
32 PGS./Parental Advisory …$3.99

High Country News Talks About Representation

Graham Lee Brewer at High Country News has a new article about indigenous heroes and Snowguard. Give it a read!

APTN News Talks About Snowguard

The Aboriginal People Television Network has a new article up all about Snowguard, the new Inuk superhero joining the Champions. Check it out!

CTV News Covers Snowguard

CTV News has an article and video about Snowguard, Canada’s new Inuk superhero debuting in Champions. Check it out!

Zub at TCAF 2018!

Spring in Toronto means it’s time for TCAF, the annual Toronto Comic Arts Festival, a wonderful comic and graphic novel event happening at the Toronto Reference Library that’s FREE to attend!

I’ll be there, set up on the second floor in the Salon at TABLE 249 with copies of Wayward, Glitterbomb, Skullkickers, and Makeshift Miracle. You can purchase those to get signed or bring any of my other books on by to get signed as well.

If you’re in the city over the weekend I hope to see you there!

Comic Feedback

I’ve mentioned before that I generally don’t do one-on-one critique because I don’t have time. That’s still true, but occasionally there are exceptions. I did a presentation for Seneca’s Illustration program about comics and one of the students followed up to send me their 8-page comic story project. They wanted critique that dug into where they could improve to make it professional quality and didn’t want me to hold back, so I didn’t. Here’s the feedback I gave. Some of it is specific to their story, but it also contains overall advice I would give a lot of new comic creators, so I thought I’d post it here as well:


ART:
The panel to panel storytelling is relatively clear. The lettering doesn’t feel like it fits well in many panels (which I’ll get to later), but the general storytelling makes sense and I can tell what’s happening in sequence. For many first time comic creators, that’s a problem, so it’s a good start. I’m not personally a fan of panel gutter sizes changing drastically from page to page, but that’s an aesthetic choice.

The artwork is not professional publishing quality. The backgrounds look rushed and incomplete and the perspective is inconsistent. It’s the quickest way for me to tell that the work is not yet at a pro level.

The characters work from certain angles and look rushed in others. It’s obvious you drew some panels more detailed and scaled them down, which looks odd beside thicker lines and less detail in some of the larger panels. It’s a common problem with digital drawing/coloring when you’re not consistent with sizing and scaling. Zoom in on a professional published page from an artist whose work you respect and see how much detail they put in and when they leave elements out.

The colors are quite saturated without any rhyme or reason and there’s no consistent sense of light and shadow. The powerful hues when magic is being used has some mood, which is better than completely generic colors, but the rest of the time every character is lit as if it’s neutral-flat-middle of the day without any light direction or local color creating mood or volume.

LETTERING:
The lettering is not professional. There’s general flow and I can follow the balloons in order, which is good, but generic digital ovals are not how professional balloons actually look and instantly mark the pages as amateur. Same goes for big changes in font size because you’re trying to cram more words into a space where they don’t fit. Your pages should be roughed out with the lettering already in mind, not drawn fully and then lettering getting crammed in over top. Avoid having lettering cover characters, especially heads, as much as possible. It happens in pro pages, but is avoided wherever possible.

The uppercase/crossbar letter “I” should never be used in the middle of words for comic lettering. That and other comic lettering tips to look out for can be found here:
http://www.blambot.com/articles_tips.shtml

You have spelling mistakes in your text! Again, instantly comes across as unprofessional and sloppy.

STORY:
The story is clearly a small part of something much bigger and that leaves this feeling really unsatisfying as an 8-pager. There’s a much larger back story and a world but we barely get any of it explained to us. Also, because this story is primarily told in flashback, there’s no immediate drama. There’s no sense of danger or stakes because it’s a tale being told about past events. We don’t get a sense of character personality or any feeling of why they do what they do. Huge elements of this fictional world are glossed over so two characters can tell us someone else’s story.

For a short story like this, you almost always want smaller scope and more focus. A simple idea clearly told. The more world-building and back story you have to impart, the harder it is to deliver that effectively with such a small page count.

Also, what is the story about? I don’t mean in terms of events that take place, I mean in terms of what you want the reader to feel when they’re done reading it – A theme, a core idea. In your story a pair of characters tell us about another character who kicks ass, dies, and then comes back more powerful than before. We just met these people and have no connection to any of them. Why should we care? What is this story trying to say other than “cool magic is neat” or “this character is kind of scary now”?

Story is more than just events that take place. Characters are more than just physical traits.

Okay – You read all that critique and you probably feel like crap. Here’s what’s most important: at this early stage of your creative development, it’s really important that you started and finished a project. That is crucial! The only way you can improve is by finishing work, learning from it, and then making more. Keep going and keep growing.


That’s a quick critique. I wouldn’t say that it’s kind, but it’s not meant to be insulting either. Thankfully, the student took it in the spirit I intended it and I hope their next comic story is stronger for it.