Monday, July 12, 2010

The Impossible Hype of Issue Two; and how long will it take for it to actually be produced?

My name is Brian Williams and I am the author and creator of Lucius Hammer. For a long time I have been heralding the coming of Lucius Hammer's second issue on all of the internet venues and in responses to critiques. It was my way of saying, " You aint really seen nuthin yet so stop yer gripin." I wrote this issue 2 a year ago and the fact that it has not been yet illustrated by my painfully complicated yet immensely talented illustrator and co-creator, Christian Colbert, is an amazing topic and one that has led me to a big self discovery. When I first dreamed up Lucius Hammer I had visions of quitting my job and heading out to Hollywood to sign some ridiculous deal that would have myself and my family sitting pretty for the rest of our days and creating similar properties from now until I check out. But when you are just the writer and you have a million dollar idea like Lucius Hammer, you gotta find a stud of an illustrator. Someone who is distinctive yet accessible... an artist who understands what people like to see, the beauty of the line and it's subtle synchronicity that makes a story flow so smoothly that the reader is not distracted but transported. I found "that" guy and his name is Christian Colbert. Initially I was lobbying for a few other artists to be the main visual illustrators of Lucius Hammer (Billy Dallas Patton and Greg Titus) but Christian knocked me out cold with a rendition of Lucius that he put together one lazy afternoon that captured everything I dreamed the character would be. It would have been an extreme mistake of me to choose another artist after having seen Christian's complete mastery of a fictional character I had only described to him as a mixture of Jim Brown, Fred Williamson, with the voice of Ving Rhames. I was so inspired and excited by this spot-on rendition that I went out seeking investors to help us acquire a MAC for Christian and sponsor the publication of our first issue. Things were exciting last summer as we rolled into Chicago with an extra-hip ash can sporting what I think was the best cover and interior art (not to mention my story!) present at The Wizard World CON 2009. On October 24, 2009 we followed the ash can up with a full color Issue One that was breathtaking in terms of Christian's color work in wasn't any longer than the ash can, but the colors added the depth and dimension to Lucius' world that was reminiscent of one the old Disney films or those original Fleischer Superman shorts. I still look at that book and think to myself, " Wow. We kinda bottled a little magic here." But when all the fuss was over, the thought of Issue 2 loomed ominously over Christian and of course the spotlight was now on him because I had written 6 issue at this point. Months passed. No apparent sign of any work getting done but fortunately in May we were able to produce some trading cards and a Lucius Hammer character index that included some of the main characters that will be appearing in the comic book. These character sketches although just mere pin-ups in the end were brilliant representations of the heroes I had envisioned when I originally formulated the plot. Sometimes I wonder how he is doing it?How he can see so clearly what it is I am seeing and then reproduce it on paper? I was of course disappointed that Issue 2 wasn't completed in April in time to be printed for ECBACC 2010 Con in Philadelphia but the character sketches and his arresting cover for my spin-off character's debut, The Harlem Shadow, caused literally everyone's head to turn at the convention and take notice. Unbeknownst to a lot of people out there, I am an ambitious prick. I have been dreaming of turning my comic book stories and characters into movies since I was eight years of age. Christian's inability to churn out this amazing work he was doing at a more accelerated speed was frustrating me, pissing off investors, and making us look like every other independent publisher out there...slow, unreliable and possibly never to be seen again. But in my reflections on what has come to pass...I have decided to look at the glass half full. Christian Colbert is a hell of an artist. In fact, it befuddles greatly that the Marvels, The DC's and The Images of the world have overlooked him. He is just as good if not better than most of the people they employ. He is a perfectionist to a fault, but damn you have to respect that when you see his final product because it is awe inspiring what he does. I have bitched, moaned and cried about Issue 2. I have lost sleep and battled depression during the making of Issue 2. At one point Christian even offered to send back the MAC because he didn't want to hear any more complaining about the rate of speed with which the book was being produced. Of course we hashed all that out and everybody's cool...cause the show must go on. We've come to far...and our project is too special for us to let it go out like that. I say all this to say that Issue Two is coming. And it's going to be something that will be an enormous accomplishment for both writer and artist. You have to understand that neither of us are independently wealthy; we both have daytime gigs, I have a wife and three kids, and there's no money tree in either of our backyards. We are doing this whole thing based on our passion and love for comics. It doesn't matter if we get optioned today by Cartoon Network or picked up by Image or Dark Horse...what matters is that we finish Issue Two and that it looks like it's supposed to look. I am satisfied and humbled by Christian's natural artistic fluency in a world birthed by my imagination...and right now I'm just very happy that someone with this type of ability believes in my ability. Issue 2 will come...and it will be grandiose. And we will be euphoric and hopefully so will all the folks who have started to get a hankering for Lucius Hammer. But then the completion of Issue 2 brings up another topic that I'm not going to start worrying about just yet....ISSUE THREE.


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