Glitterbomb: The Fame Game #4 Reviews

The final issue of our second mini-series arrived between Christmas and New Year’s. What did the critics think?

Adventures In Poor Taste: 8.5/10 “Unexpected twists and impressive artwork close this series on a high-note; the Glitterbomb team continues to impress.”

Comic Book Corps: 9/10 “…do yourself a favor and read this. It is entertaining, the art is amazing, and it is also educational due to the informative back matter.”

Horror Talk: 8/10 “…a timely, unsettling look at how we perceive fame in today’s society. It will have you thinking twice before tuning into the local news or clicking on that juicy headline.”

Outright Geekery: 9.4/10 “If you love horror, crime, or suspense this is the book for you. This was tailor made for the mature reader and it’s such a great chance to read something out of the norm.”

Oregon Live: “Glitterbomb has been about darkness, discomfort and dissatisfaction, about how pop culture and tabloid media are a sickness. It’s a depressing book, but it’s one we need right now.”

Avengers Article on Seneca College

Seneca College, where I coordinate and teach in their Animation program, just posted a new article talking about my involvement in Avengers: No Surrender. Getting a shout out from the school was a wonderful way to start off the new year. Thanks, Seneca!

Cliff-Diving

Received a message from a gent in his 40’s asking me for some fiscal numbers to help him decide if he should cash in his 401k (US retirement fund) to become a full-time writer for 3 years so he doesn’t regret not having fully committed himself to it before he gets too old.

Part of me just wants to type “NO” and send it, but that would be crass and awkward.

Everyone is different.
Everyone’s risk/reward threshold is different.
Everyone’s creative needs are different too.
If I had to sum up some advice in this situation, I’d say:
“Hope for the best, but plan for the worst.”

Dude, it’s exciting to imagine it all works out and you have a solid full-time writing income at the end of that 3-year journey, but plan for the exact opposite:
You just blew your retirement fund and have no career to show for it.
How does the future look?

Is fearing future financial disaster the motivation you need to create stories you claim you’ve wanted to do for the past 30 years? I don’t know you, but I’m not buying that.

The romanticised ideal of the inspired artist sacrificing everything as they cast themselves off a cliff waiting for destiny to kick in and save them is Hollywood-esque Survivor’s Fallacy Bullshit™.

Look at the corpses on the rocks below. Chances are that’s you.

On the one hand, I’m sort of thankful this guy is asking me, someone who still teaches at a college full-time while I write 3+ comics per month because I don’t want to financially hook myself when it comes to creative endeavours. When it comes to crazy comic dream sacrifice plays, I’m about as pragmatic as you can get. If I was a superhero, my name would probably be Schedule Guy. Asking me if you should expose your financial underbelly for the Arts is not going to go far.

Dude, I’m writing the Avengers and I still haven’t quit my day job.
Cash in your 401k? Fuck, no.

“If only I had time-“
Make time. Set an alarm and wake up an hour early or spend an hour each night before bed. Write.
Make it 2 hours on Saturdays. That’s 8 hours per week.

“If only I could dedicate myself-“
You can and it doesn’t have to be with the shadow of financial ruin looming over you.

“I’ve always wanted to-“
Cool. Do it. Make a thing. Finish it.
Learn from it. Do it again. Keep doing it.

You can’t control how people react to the work or where it ends up taking you, but you can control your ability to do it or not. That’s the baseline.

Fully committing” to a creative pursuit means doing it despite other distractions in your life, not futilely trying to create a fantasy where you’re insulated from real world concerns while your future stability disintegrates.


(-Built this post from a Twitter thread because it seems like the kind of thing I’ll want to point to at a later date and because Storify is going bye-bye in the near future-)

Year In Review

As I’ve done in years past, I try to sum up the year that was in a post here on my site. 2017 was a strong year for me on a personal level and that felt a bit odd compared to the tumultuous and difficult state of the world at large.

We celebrated 10 years at our house in Toronto. I can’t believe it’s been a decade living downtown at the same address. It’s our home base in the middle of the city and, now that the subway extension to York University is finally up and running, it’ll be even easier for me to get to school without worrying about traffic snarls and parking hassles.

Speaking of school, teaching at Seneca was unexpectedly rocky with the Ontario College Teacher’s Strike lasting five weeks, throwing our schedule and finances for a bit of a loop, and creating challenges for the many students I coordinate in Seneca’s Animation program. Keeping our facilities open with computer labs and life drawing sessions running helped give some semblance of structure to the strike period and that helped our students weather the worst of it, but there are still ripple effects to the curriculum and schedule that will make the Winter term more hectic than usual. Thankfully we have a wonderful staff and community of students working together to move things forward.

On the creative front, I made deeper strides at Marvel, wrapping up Uncanny Avengers and plugging away on Avengers: No Surrender, a special weekly story line that starts January 10th, co-written by industry superstars Mark Waid and Al Ewing, with art by Pepe Larraz, Kim Jacinto, and Paco Medina, with editors Tom Brevoort and Alanna Smith keeping the whole thing running smooth. It’s the biggest project of my career so far and, with the extra attention being shown to the Avengers leading up to the May release of the Avengers: Infinity War movie, I’m hoping No Surrender does well with new fans and old. Beyond that, I have a new monthly Marvel series I’m taking over in April that should be announced soon. Exciting times!

Wayward was optioned by Manga Entertainment for a possible animated or live-action series and is being turned into a co-op board game by Jon Gilmour and the crew at IDW Games. I don’t have any more official news on the show front, but everything seems to be moving forward bit by bit. All this media stuff takes time to get rolling, even in the best of scenarios, so I’ve learned to just let it happen at its own pace while Steven, Tamra, Marshall, and I stay focused on building the comic.

The Glitterbomb: The Fame Game mini-series just wrapped up this week and we’ll have a collection for it in the new year. With so much abuse and harassment in Hollywood finally coming to light we struck a chord with readers, but those collection sales will determine whether we’re able to come back for a third and final mini-series in the Fall of 2018. Whether or not we do, Djibril and I are talking about working together on future projects.

Working on the Dungeons & Dragons comic series has been a blast but getting the chance to spend a few days in the D&D offices brainstorming story material for an upcoming RPG product was an extra-surreal thrill. I’ve always felt closely connected to the RPG industry and having another chance to make new friends in that space and find like-minded storytellers passionate about what they do is always inspiring. There’s more good stuff coming on the D&D front in 2018 and I can’t wait for you to see what we have planned.

Stacy and I are in Japan for the holidays and that’s come with its own set of challenges. On the morning of December 24th she took a bad fall and injured her back and we’re still riding out the aftermath of that as we get ready to head into New Year’s Eve here in Tokyo. Stacy’s injury put a damper on part of our trip, but thankfully we’re here for each other and in the end that’s what matters most. Together I know we can overcome any of life’s many challenges.

On the whole, I’m heading into 2018 hopeful and thankful – Hopeful about where things will go and thankful for the wonderful opportunities and events happening in my life. I hope your holidays have been relaxing and prosperous and that the year ahead looks bright.

Avengers Sketchbook: The Lethal Legion

Pepe Larraz, the artist for the first month of Avengers: No Surrender, has a great interview on Marvel.com where he shows off designs for the new Lethal Legion, a team of villains we created for this storyline. It’s always cool seeing process stuff like this and Pepe’s designs really level up the character ideas Mark, Al, and I had so go on over and check it out!

Glitterbomb is One of B&N’s Top Comics of the Year

Glitterbomb Vol. 1: Red Carpet was picked as one of Barnes & Noble’s Best Comics & Graphic Novels of the Year:

Jim Zub and newcomer Djibril Morissette-Phan’s Glitterbomb is a horror story for our times, and one that becomes sadly more relevant every day: it’s set in modern-day Hollywood, where washed-up actress Farrah Durante is trying to get by despite being one of the worst things you can be in the entertainment industry: a middle-aged woman. Worse: someone who’d been a little too vocal in rejecting the advances of a popular co-star. Then, a dark power finds her and feeds on her repressed rage in order to enact brutal revenge. When we say dark, we mean it: the book is fueled by a righteous anger at the things the famous and entitled think they can get away with.

Word Balloon: Avengers, Glitterbomb, and More!

Talking to John at Word Balloon about comics is always a blast and we cover a LOT here: Avengers, Glitterbomb, Wayward, online interactions, and a whole lot more. Give it a listen!

Brevoort Talks to CBR About Avengers: No Surrender

Dave Richards at Comic Book Resources has just put up a great interview with Avengers Editor Tom Brevoort discussing Avengers: No Surrender, including information about new characters created for the epic story and how the project was put together. Give it a read!

Wayward #24 Reviews

Geeked Out Nation: 8.9/10 “…everything exciting that you could ask for from a journey into the unknown, but also painful when you now know the depths in madness that comes from a fight for magic.”

TM Stash: 9/10 “The most beautifully written and illustrated book in comics today continues with an amazing battle that takes us to Tír Na Nóg!”

Under the Comic Covers: “This issue was so shocking but also so powerful.”

Glitterbomb: The Fame Game #2 Reviews

Adventures In Poor Taste: 7.5/10 “the creative team has delivered solid work yet again, and the series continues to be worth checking out.”

Bad Manta: 8/10 “…a real good story on their hands and I can’t wait to see how it all ends. The first issue did a real good job of setting up the story and this issue does a nice job of moving the plot along.”

Daily Indie Comics: 10/10 “The second story arc better showcases horror sequels than actual successful horror franchises do by exploring the same ideas, all the while, shifting focus in a purposeful way.”

G4ME (Dutch): 8/10 “This second chapter is even stronger than the first.”

Lyles Movie Files: 9/10 “Original, tense, heavy, and strong social commentary towards the core of fame makes Image Comics’ Glitterbomb: The Fame Game a story that is not to be missed.”

Newsarama: 10/10 “…one of the most powerful (and perhaps vital) books on the stands.”

The Oregonian: “…the winning thing here is how natural and real the series feels. While the media and Hollywood are stretched to an extreme, the portrayal is believable, which is the nauseating thing about it all.”

Outright Geekery: 10/10 “The horror elements work perfectly and Jim continues to be a fantastic writer. Djibril and K. Michael have a wonderful partnership resulting in beautiful artwork.”

Reading With a Flight Ring: “Stunning in its scope and brevity there’s a haunting beauty to what we see playing out and I can’t look away for the life of me.”

Retcon Punch: “Are our we virtuous for virtue’s sake, or do we get some kind of perverse joy out of feeling like saviors? Are the monsters better or worse than the people they’re killing, or are they all just part of the same cycle?”

Snap Pow: 9/10 “…this is a smartly written piece adorned with pretty pictures that demand and earn your attention.”