Tuesday, May 09, 2006

JETTA: TALES OF THE TOSHIGAWA - RAIN AVAILABLE NOW!!!

Our new graphic novel, Jetta: Tales of the Toshigawa- Rain is available today!! This is THE story that readers have waited for!!!

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ABOUT THE STORY:
Destiny.

Peasants have been made into kings in it’s sway. Wars have been fought and lives have ended in it’s flames. It has haunted Shianndrea Toshigawa her entire life. The dread of destiny burns within her heart. And now it seems to have torn apart the only thing she had total faith in: her relationship with her sword brother, Kim.

Shianndrea has had enough. This time she makes the decision to be the master of her own path. Turning her back on her sensei, Gaudient, Kim, and everything the Toshigawa taught her, she looks forward to a new beginning.

However, destiny will not be denied. Just as Shianndrea makes the decision to leave behind her path in life, Terminus makes the decision to launch his Knave army in an all out assault on Gaudient, Kim, Cat, and everyone else that Shianndrea holds dear. Will the flames of destiny engulf them all?

GO TO http://www.toshigawa.com TO ORDER!!!

JETTA REVIEWS!!!!

I'm going to be getting reviews in soon on our newest graphic novel, Jetta: Tales of the Toshigawa - Rain. But, before the flood gates open up, I would like to calm my nerves and post the last review that we got on our last graphic novel, JTOT - DEFIANCE.

It makes me smile.
Martheus

Jetta: Tales of the Toshigawa - Defiance (80 pages/Black & White)
By Martheus Antone Wade and Janet Wade
Review by: Chris Hansbrough

Originally I was going to review this book in a manner that could be considered comedic. I think the book deserves more than that though.

STORY:
The book Chronicles the tale of Shianndrea Toshigawa. Who has fled to America to escape her father the Emperor Terminus who is attempting to wipe out the Toshigawa clan. Throughout the course of the book we are introduced to many interesting and fun characters such as Kat; the former thug who became Shianndrea's training partner and friend. Dan, the rock star, who after almost being killed by Shianndrea falls in love with her and gives her the name Jetta. The book builds and builds its way to the climax but keeps you guessing all the way through. Will she survive?

This is where it gets tricky. The people at shooting star described it as Buffy the Vampire Slayer with ninjas. I describe it in a different way. Well done. Is it the greatest story in the world? No. But you know what? It works. And with the style of the book it works even better. At no point in the book was I ever bored. Whether it was the fresh and interesting characters or the funny jokes every now and then it was a great read from start to finish. There were a couple points where the dialogue felt a little forced but they were few and far between.

Having a strong female character helps too. I've always been a fan of strong female characters and Shianndrea Toshigawa fulfils all those requirements as the rebellious beauty and central character of the story. Another important aspect of the book is the well-developed supporting cast that consisted of some very fun and interesting characters. From Gaudient the Master and protector of Shianndrea to Kat, the thug turned friend, every character feels rich and is well developed in the story.

RATING: 8.5/10

ART:
I think I have to preclude this by saying that normally I despise the "American manga" style art. Notice how I use the word normally because this book is absolutely gorgeous. If I had to compare it to any artist going I would consider the work of Martheus Wade to be something akin to Mike Turner if Mike could actually put meat on a woman. Yes I do absolutely love not just the look of this book but the way it uses style to it's advantage in many places. A scene that would normally be somewhat boring can be made entertaining when you can actually see the emotion on the characters face and an action scene can be better when the art works for it. The first real big fight about half way into the book shows exactly what I mean by that with some of the funniest facial expressions I've seen in a while. Not only that but Martheus shows that he has a grasp of both anatomy and true martial arts. Nothing really seems forced or fake during the hand-to-hand fight scenes. Is the art perfect? Of course not. While he shows a fantastic grasp of anatomy and perspective there are times when it seems a little off. There are 2 kisses in the book that for some reason just feel a little strange. I don't know why it is but the perspective just felt off to my eyes. The different inkers had an effect as well. You could tell the difference between Martheus' inks and Janet’s inks. They both still look fantastic and it doesn't detract at all however you can still tell the difference between the 2. When all is said and done though some of the pages I can only think to myself one thing "This is what Mike Turner wishes he could be."

Rating: 8/10

Overall: 8.25/10

This was a fantastic book that will keep you guessing right up until the end. Will Shianndrea survive? Find out by ordering Jetta: Tales of the Toshigawa - Defiance today.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Anizona Con

I have an excuse for not posting.
It's convention season!. Which means I won't be around a lot because I will be at different comic book conventions trying to turn new readers on to my book. I love conventions because you get to talk directly to the people that read your book. Some love you for it while others bring tomatoes to throw. Either way, you have to suck it up and keep on trucking to the next one. About this time last year, I was bumming because I thought that my book was not doing well. My first con of the year last year was not a very good experience and my signings in my home town were not going very well.

(Sidenote: If you are a comic books artist or creator and you are doing a signing somewhere, remember to promote the damn thing yourself.)

Anyway, it wasn't until San Diego con in July that I actually saw how the book was catching on outside of my little bubble in Memphis. That got me hyped for this new book that will be out in May.

(Sidenote 2: If you have not checked out the book, shame on you. This is the perfect opportunity to read it as JETTA: TALES OF THE TOSHIGAWA - RAIN will be out soon. PICK IT UP!!! PICK IT UP I TELL YA!!!)

I'm glad that I didn't just stick around here this time for Con season this year. I have been trying to expand my convention horizons a bit. My first con of the year, MIDSOUTH CON, went surprisingly well. Just when I thought that Memphis had no love for me, convention goers prove me wrong. Thanks for coming out.

Which leads me to my second con of the year, ANIZONA CON 2006. I have to say, I did not know how the attendees would like my art. I love manga and anime as you can see in my art. But I have had some wired brushes with manga purists who hated what I was doing. But at Anizona I was embraced as the manga fan that I am and I loved it. I loved seeing the cosplayers and I voice actors that portrayed some of my favorite characters on the big (or small) screen. The best part is that I made a ton of new readers. After all, that is what it is all about for me. I want people to read the book!!! I have tons o pictures on my message board (www.toshigawa.co) so hop over and take a look.

Next Convention stop: Superman Celebration.
That reminds me, I need to start working on my Supergirl tribute!!

Now for everyone's favorite...
Jean Claude Van Damn!!!!!

(Sidenote 4: Cue the Muppet Show music.)
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Tuesday, March 28, 2006

ROLLER COASTER MARCH!!

This month has been a roller coaster of emotions concerning my book.

First things first: Shooting Star is no longer publishing Jetta: Tales of the Toshigawa.

Yeah. That one is a big one. Well... sort of. We parted on good terms so it was a mutual break-up. (Break-ups still suck non-the-less). Creatively, our two houses were going our separate ways. To tell the truth, I kind of saw that happening and it wasn't a surprise when the announcement was announced. It also does not help that Diamond Distributors changed their policies concerning sales and dollar amounts for sales. That change will be and has been felt throughout the industry.

So... Where does that leave Jetta you ask?

Right back where she was before; in my hands. I've done this before. I've self published and promoted Jetta before. So, this is familiar territory. While I will miss the team effort of being with Shooting Star (they are a great bunch of guys), I'm not afraid to do what I have to do, which is pull up my sleeves and start pushing again.

Jetta: Tales of the Toshigawa - Rain is slated to be available in May. I'm still excited because I feel this is our best work yet!Wish me luck!

Con season is off and running and if Mid-South Con is any indication as to how the rest of the cons will be, then this stands to be a banner year for our little ninja girl.

We had a lot of fun this weekend! Our panels went over well as I think I might have picked up a few new readers. More importantly, I got a chance to support the creative talent that is right here in our fair city. My wife and Penny Register Shaw (one of our business partners in a new company called Delicious Elixir) had a successful panel about strong women in comics. That was really good to see my wife step from the shadows and into the lime light for a change. I even got an award for first runner-up for the Darrell Award for outstanding science fiction in the south. All in all it was a very successful con for us.
Next up: Anizona! If you are in the Phoenix area, come out to see us at Anizona Con April 14-16, 2006.

Con-Sequential will be huge!!!
I guess it's safe to announce now!! Welcome to the home of the Mid-South’s Premiercomic bookk Convention!

What is Con-Sequential?
Like any normal comic convention we have some great artist guests:

Mike Norton (G.I. Joe, Voltron, Teen Titans Go!)
Steve Stanley (Batman, Star Trek, Spiderman)
Greg Cravens (The Buckets)
Adam Shaw (Bloodstream, Dead in Memphis)
Dave Beaty (Bushi Tales, Stargodz, Captain Value)
Lin Workman (Bushi Tales, Stargodz)
Martheus Antone Wade (Jetta: Tales of the Toshigawa)
Kevin L. Williams (Muley the Mule)
More guests to be announced…

Unlike most normal comic conventions all of our artist guests will be providing some great “hands on” classes for aspiring artists and comic creators. By attending the Cartooniversity program classes you will have an opportunity to complete a Sequential Storytelling Certificate. You can attend classes in Writing, Cartooning, Figure Drawing, Painting, Storyboards, Penciling, Inking, Coloring and everything that will help aspiring and professional artists alike need to know. Please visit the Programming section of the website for a list of classes and more information. Be sure to register early since spaces will be limited for these great classes.

We will also be hosting the first ever Con-Sequential art show. This show will be open to the general public and will showcase original comic art produced by our esteemed guests and members of the Mid-South Cartoonist Association.
Please visit www.Con-Sequential.com for more exciting announcements in the coming weeks.


If you have supported Jetta: Tales of the Toshigawa I would like to also say thanks!
You guys haven't seen nothing yet!!

And now for my favorite subject:
Jean Claude Van Damn!!!

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Friday, February 24, 2006

Free Web Comic!!

As you probably know, I publish a comic book called Jetta: Tales of the Toshigawa©. However, what you don't know is that I also publish a free web comic that deals with the same characters on my web site.

JETTA: TALES OF THE TOSHIGAWA is the futuristic story of war between the Toshigawa clan and the evil Knave all seen through the eyes of Shianndrea Toshigawa, the "chosen one". However for the web site, I have free small stories that relate to the main comics that are in stores. This helps to fill the gaps between my graphic novels as well as offer more information into he lives of the characters. You can read about the warriors and heroes on both sides of this epic war of good and evil. Take a second to read them here. http://www.toshigawa.com

Here is a rundown of what you will find there.

JETTA: THE FIRST TIME
takes a close look at the relationship of Shianndrea Toshigawa© (the main character) and her sword brother (KIM) as they go from being friends to much more for the first time. This one is for the love birds out there.

STYX
This is a small story that weaves directly between The graphic novels "Jetta: Last Chances" and "Jetta: Defiance"that can be purchased at your local comic book store. Written by Janet Wade with art and plot by Martheus Wade, this story follows Shianndrea Toshigawa, her best friend Turra Shibata and her master Gaudient© as they journey to their new home in America.

SECURITY
For all you blood lovers, this one is for you.
If you like the evil character Terminus, this one is for you.
Written by Jay Davis and illustrated by Stanley Weaver Jr, this story finds Terminus smack in the middle of a gang of ninja assassins. Check it out on our main site at www.toshigawa.com

BLACKSHEEP
I have to say that this is one of our favorites! Illustrated by Alex Zemke (www.dirtylittletees.com) and written by Martheus Wade, this story is sure to heat up the winter as the renegade ninja TURRA SHIBATA© takes center stage.

Log on to www.toshigawa.com to read the free story!!!

Let me know what you think.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

WOLFS RAIN - HEAVEN'S NOT ENOUGH

There are few songs that I have come across that symbolizes a state of mind. They lock your life at a specific moment and never let you forget that space in time. Never have I encountered a song that symbolizes an entire life until now.

This song (by Yoko Kanno performed by Steve Conte for the anime Wolfs Rain) does just that. It symbolizes an entire life that only leads you to more questions.

If you have ever wanted to accomplish something so badly but you seem to fall just short.
Or, if you have known loss but you have kept striving forward and you really don't know why.
If your life is more than just the clothes on your back or how much "bling" you have around your neck.

then this song is for you.

This is what music should be.

Performer: Steve Conte
Composer: Yoko Kanno (w00t!~)
Title: Heaven's Not Enough

Heaven's not enough
if when you get there...
just another blue
and heaven's not enough
you think you've found it
and it loses you

you've thought of all there is
but not enough
and it loses you in a cloud

"there" most everything is nothin'
that it seems
"where" you see the things you only wanna see

I'd fly away
to a higher plane
to say words I resist
to float away
to sigh
to breathe.... forget

and heaven's not enough
if when I'm there I don't remember you
and heaven does enough
you think you know it
and it uses you

I saw so many things
but like a dream
always losing me in a cloud

cause I couldn't cry
cause I turned away
couldn't see the score
didn't know the pain
of leaving yesterday really far behind
in another life
in another dream
by a different name
gave it all away
for a memory
and a quiet lie
and I felt the face
of a cold tonight
still don't know the score
but I know the pain
of leaving everything really far behind
and if I could cry
and if I could live what truth I did then take me there
heaven goodbye

Friday, February 10, 2006

STATE OF THE INDUSTRY

I was reading a discussion about comic books moving toward online sells and downloadable files and I had to add my two cents. I have posted the discussion with responses


Downloading Comics: Uncompensated Downloading

Great parallels will probably be drawn in the future between the music industry and the comic book industry with regard to uncompensated downloading. The music industry ignored what was happening with its product until it became a societal norm to swap music and therefore a habit impossible to change. The comic book industry seems to be doing the same with the torrent of its material being digitized and exchanged weekly. Lawsuits may be filed by various publishers sooner or later, but those will not stop people from continuing. Unlike the music industry that has dealt with bootlegging for decades, the comic book industry has never ever had to deal with something like this. This can not excuse ignoring the increase in uncompensated downloading. Unlike the overblown nonsense of the music industry, if uncompensated downlaoding is left unchecked in the comic book industry, it has an actual chance of bringing it down.

Why? Because the comic book industry does not come close to reaching the revenue levels of other media industries. Consider that when Infinite Crisis from DC nearly became a million dollar book (link), it was noticeable and record breaking. To the music and movie industries, a million dollars revenue on one offering is practically routine and uninspiring. Therefore most elements of the comic book industry are small businesses. While Marvel and DC dominate the industry, the heart, the growth, and the creative center is small publishers and enthusiast-owned retail outlets. The slightest reduction in revenue would be immediately felt.

Despite the industry's inexperience with bootlegging, it must come to terms with what is happening. While the idea of downloading comics is a good idea, all the publishers and retailers will have to cooperate, which seems nearly impossible. An iTunes for comics could be a business concept to follow. Ironically, this will work for some of the very reasons that make the industry vulnerable. Most comic book consumers are enthusiasts and appreciate the efforts of publishers, creative talents, and the small business owners. That is why these consumers are called fans, and they are willing to pay for a good product. However, even they have limits. Whether the comic book industry supports it or not, with increases in average comic book prices, downloading comics will invariably become an option. So, the comic book industry better learn to support it. The faster it embraces the idea, the better chance it has at setting the rules.

Comment: Martheus Wade

Interesting.
I will have to agree with you. It is time for some changes to take place. I think that the new media, which make it easier for small guys to publish, are not being utilized at the large DC or MARVEL levels. If they embraced the idea, others would follow.
I would like to know what you think about Diamond tho'.


Answer: Comic Books Commentary

Hi Martheus,
Thanks for visiting the site and posting a comment.
You're right to bring up Diamond. I don't think anyone has the power to create one uniform format and system for online comics except for Diamond. Their position as the only distributor of comics gives them the advantage of having everyone's ear. If they were smart, they could take that power and push the industry into a new direction. It would be tricky, but I believe only they could do it. Of course Diamond is a distributor and not an innovator, certainly not in the world of computing. So it would be a great effort on its part and hopefully one not undertaken haphazardly.

What do you think?



Response: Martheus Wade

Thanks.
I'm glad that someone is taking the time to look at this from a perspective that would allow growth in the comic book industry. As an independent comic book creator, I find that I have a different view on the industry sometimes than that of others. Most people (bigger names in the industry) do not like the fact of using the net and other similar methods to promote or publish a book. This is because:

1) In their eyes, the medium of comic books (printed) would be lost. That is a key factor in many arguments for and against such a move.
2) The creation of entities that print comics digitally and on demand via the internet will allow for more competition for the dollars of mainstream books.

Bringing to light the importance of the comic book industry to grow towards this new source of media will allow the industry to grow. But that growth would be at the expense of major dollars from the big guns of the industry.

I for one have a love hate relationship with Diamond. As you said, they alone hold the key to the industries growth in whatever way they deem fit. However, certain institutions that they are putting into place to keep smaller books out of distribution ( thus keeping the industry from growth ) are contrary to the important roll that they should be playing in the greater game of comic books.

Bottom line:
Until the comic book industry can come together instead of continuously working against itself, growth (in any form) will be impossible.

Martheus Wade

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Non-creativity in the city AND KICKING PEOPLE IN THE HEAD!

I have 2 things t talk about today.
First up: Bass Pro Shop is taking over the Pyramid.

Well...
We don't really know if that is the case yet but it looks like that may happen.

If you don't know, I live in Memphis, Tn. I know that most all city's have something to complain about. But this city is a trip. I swear. We have crime and underhanded politics that would give New York a run for it's money. The number one reason I think it is the way it is here is because of the lack of motivation to change. The city wants to be big time. There's a trolley here and the FedEx Forum. We have an NBA team. All of that is well and good. But, if you look deep down, The city is just small time at heart and all ways will be because of the way people in power think.

We have the Pyramid. A beautiful building that is a monument for the city. (Brief history: Memphis in Egypt used to sit on the Nile. Memphis in TN sits on the MISS. River. Egypt = Pyramid. Memphis Tn has a Pyramid.)

This could be pretty deep. It could be a place for culture. It could be a place to bring a little modern thought in the lives of the people here who crave something different. Instead, Bass Pro Shop ( a sporting goods store ) will most likely take over. No art. No culture. Only hunting and fishing.

I don't have anything against hunting, fishing or outdoorsmen. I don't have anything against Bass Pro Shop. Actually it's a pretty handy store. But, this is an opportunity to change the way Memphians see ourselves and the rest of the country sees us. But that's where the old thinking shines through. Leaving everyone else here that craves something new, different and potentially uplifting for the city stuck in our usual rut.

None creativity will kill a city.

Oh well. What can you say?

Alright. On to something happier; KICKING PEOPLE IN THE HEAD!!!
It is official. TONY JAA is the deadliest man in martial arts movies. I became a fan of him in Ong Bak. (If you haven't seen this movie, GRAB IT!!!) Last night I got to catch some of his newest movie TOM YUM GOONG. This movie's action is the BEEZ NEEZ I tell ya. Since the dvd skipped around and crap, I didn't get to see all the movie. But I got to see the action. Tony Jaa must pay his stunt men overtime because he was killing them.

For your enjoyment, I have put a small short here. Take a look.
I'm sure you will enjoy!!!!