The Most Influential Comic Creators of all-time. Episode 1 – Frank Miller

This is going to be episode 1 of a mini-series I’m wanting to cover. Of course, the main comic creator I had to add first was Frank Miller. Why? I admire the hell out of the man. His style captures both main stream and comic audiences. And he has that sort of, ‘no fuss’ attitude I so love.

 

 

In a recent interview Miller says just that. They ask him if Marvel should pay him for creating Elektra, to which he responds:

“I’m not running for president. I don’t want to be one of those cranky old guys grinding an ax, wishing I got paid better. I’ve done my best to pave the way for artists in the future to be treated better than I have. And that’s all I can do. Beyond that, I’d be pissing and moaning about things I have no control over. I’ve signed every contract that I’ve signed and agreed to the working conditions that I’ve worked in. And I’m not going to whine about this. I make a good living.”

Why else? Miller is soft spoken, but extremely intense. Which are two combinations, I can completely relate to. Being a fairly intense person myself, I can understand the need to really work hard on something that you love. My stories are no different. You have to know the balance between your own bias, and what the public will want to read. Sometimes, it gets rough. But Miller has proven that you can walk that balance by putting your own style and touch to something others can relate to.

To date, I’ve yet to find a Batman that really speaks to me like Frank Miller’s version. He’s real, he’s raw and gritty─ and he cares. Though it has it’s interesting moments, the earlier versions of a more jovial Batman from the 1940s-1970’s just never spoke to me. He [Bruce Wayne] had been through a lot, and watched it all. This would profoundly affect a person and how they behave. Having been through many tragedies of my own in life, I can testify that you can go one way or the other with all the bad things that happen that you can’t control.

In the recent interview in March, just before the release of Batman vs. Superman on the 25th, Miller spoke about how he drew from the Dark Knight returns and what inspired him with the original gritty character. He explained that he knew what it was like, losing control and being mugged─ having a gun waved in his face. He had been involved in a few muggings in Manhattan. It made him angry, and that anger transferred to the Dark Knight.

One of my favorite quotes, was one in Holy Terror, Batman! that sounds suspiciously like Miller’s inner monologue:

“All my life there’s been something wrong. Something missing. A sense that everything I’m seeing all around me isn’t entirely true. That this seemingly ordered world of laws and logic and reason is nothing but a shroud, a chimera. A mask. But every once in a long while, the mask falls away. Every once in a long while, the whole world makes perfect sense. The world reveals itself. I am at peace. And at war.”

Like this? Stay tuned for my next show covering Manga creator and horror grand-master, Junji Ito. His haunting imagery and wickedly crafted tales will keep you awake for hours.

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DM Guide: How to Enhance Your Players Game

You can watch my Livestream here:

 

Here are my links for everything I cover in the video:

 

Dungeon Map Making

https://sourceforge.net/projects/auto… AutoREALM (free) – This mapping resource is a simple but powerful map-maker, however, the maps it makes are still lovely and versatile!

http://pyromancers.com/dungeon-painte… Dungeon Painter (free) – This one I highly recommend. It is a battle-map maker. It is basically as simple as using Paint.Net, but comes loaded with resources.

Have a map made for you!

http://donjon.bin.sh/ Donjon RPG Tools (free) – This a great character generator, however, there are a mixture of tools for map generating as well.

http://www.gozzys.com/ Gozzy’s Cartographic Emporium (free) – Their multiple-map generators allow for the DM to have a lot more specific details he or she wants in a map.

http://www.mathemagician.net/index.php Mathemagician! (free) – Very user friendly and simple generator, can pretty much instantly populate tiny areas with however many beasties you desire. Great for when your group insists on stopping at that abandoned tower that you just mentioned in passing two minutes ago. -_-

https://play.google.com/store/apps/de… ProD&D (free) – Android app for the Dungeon Master who needs to generate creative dungeons and random terrains at the flick of a finger.

Podcasts:

http://dungeonmasterblock.podbean.com/ Dungeon Masters Block: A podcast that focuses on tips and information for Dungeons Masters, by Dungeon Masters.

Godsfall: https://soundcloud.com/godsfall – 5 Adventures in 5th ed custom campaign setting

DM Minion: https://play.google.com/store/apps/de… A great way to track your party, your NPCs, your monsters, and initiative.

Neat Stuff to add to your campaigns:

Pazio’s Bestiary Boxes: http://paizo.com/products/btpy8tj5?Pa… are an excellent way to have tons of miniatures without straining your wallet.

https://www.onenote.com/ OneNote for notes for DM’s

http://adventurescents.com/front-page… Adventure Scents – Any scent you want made, or design your own scent for your dungeon adventures!

WEBSITES

http://fantasynamegenerators.com/ Fantasy Name Generators: Names for anything – NPCs, towns, your champions of justice, lands – all wonderfully presented.

Myth-Weavers: http://www.myth-weavers.com/ When you don’t want to label every town, here’s your generator.

https://www.reddit.com/r/DnD/: The community is warm and welcoming; you’ll even find better storylines than you think you can come up with. All beautifully detailed! If you have any questions over the rules at all, post it – you’ll have answers within seconds.

Newbie DM: https://newbiedm.com/ An awesome resource for inexperienced DMs.

Sly Flourish: http://slyflourish.com/ The site has one agenda: building better Dungeon Masters. 🙂

Like what you saw? Suggestions? Add them below!

Moonglowe – Children’s Book WIP

Just in time for the new year, I started out wanting to release my first children’s book.

 

I really wanted the readers to feel a connection with the animals.

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Started by artist Jessica Swenson─ her palette conveys this writing style beautifully. Sadly, Jessica was not able to finish it, however, I am personally finishing the art and hope to have it out by this coming 2017 year.

 

Jessica’s dream-like energy was exactly what I was hoping to embody, however, like most individuals, I lacked the time to do it. Now, I’m proud to say that I am able to finally work on this project along with a few other stories I have planned this coming year.

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Excerpt:

  1.   Just in the mid of night, many hours after the town drifted to the land of nod,

A small clearing of wood just to the north twinkled in the glow of the Moon.

Tiny lights flickered, a welcome site to the creatures under the canopy.

A soothing hum emitted from the Great Spirit as it patiently waited for Its children.

  1. Timidly at first they entered, their paws tattered, their wings weary. All arrived, both friend and foe. They waited as the blessed glow of the moon washed over them and the Spirit’s voice echoed through their souls. They sat and waited, their eyes gleaming at one another as they were restored, one by one. They bowed respectfully for the comfort of the wood and the bounty of food.
  2. One by one their voices raised in song. The wood filled with their humble and broken stories; some of sorrow and some of joy. The Great Spirit listened silently, never interrupting at each concern, fear, and delight. Creatures from young to old began to shine as the colors of their burden rose above, combining with the Moon’s glow. The songs careened overhead in their haunting beauty, a sea of discord reflecting the vivid array of colors in the eyes of Its children.

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The story is about man’s re-connection with nature. Think: Miyazaki meets Native American folklore. I adore meshing Eastern and Western styles together, and what better example to think of than Hayao Miyazaki? He was inspired by many Western tales, as I am inspired by many Eastern stories I grew up with as a child. I wanted it to really bring that fantasy element and child-like feeling to life as we journey together with a young boy named Peter, the town of Nod, and the Spirits of the Forest.

In the end, he teaches something to us all. Zoe teaches me each and every time that I listen. So, to celebrate children everywhere I wanted to really capture that innocence that only a child could know. ❤

 

Like this? Want more Eastern vs Western culture? Join me on my podcasts or on my Sunday Livestreams.