Q & A with Shadowline and GrayHaven's own Marc Lombardi! ~ What'cha Reading?

Q & A with Shadowline and GrayHaven’s own Marc Lombardi!

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Hey What’cha Reading, check out who stopped by to chat! We’ve got Marc Lombardi, Promotions/Social Media Ninja at Shadowline Comics, Writer and Editorial Genius at GrayHaven Comics and all around nice guy!

He gives great interview, I just had to give him room to tell us all this great stuff! Be sure to check out some of the links toward the end of the interview, script submissions, kickstarter info, convention appearances there’s a ton of info in this interview, enjoy!

Marc can you tell us a little about Shadowline Comics and what you do for them?

Sure! Shadowline Comics is Jim Valentino’s partner studio of Image Comics. It is and was home to comics like PETER PANZERFAUST, BOMB QUEEN, GREEN WAKE, DEBRIS, REBEL BLOOD, DIA DE LOS MUERTOS, HARVEST and many others. While Shadowline is under the Image Comics umbrella, the main difference here is that Jim Valentino and Laura Tavishati are a little more hands on with creators than at Image Central.  My role with Shadowline is Promotions & Communication. That’s a fancy way of saying that I help maintain the content on our website, control our social media content and help to spread the word about all of the Shadowline goodness.

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What’cha Reading’s readers love Peter Panzerfaust. Any news you can pass along? Any comment on the rumored TV show?

First, I love it too. It’s one of my favorite comics and it’s caught me by surpise because I’ve never been the biggest Peter Pan fan. This was like finding a way to prepare something icky like liver and make it delicious to the extent that I want to eat it all of the time. As for news on the book, there has been some really great momentum on PETER PANZERFAUST, which means that the past three issues  have all sold out and are going back for second printings. As for the TV show, I know very little on that — but what I can say is that I  know BBC’s initial deal was for a motion comic and then a TV show.

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Are there any upcoming projects from Shadowline we should be on the lookout for? Anything you’re really excited about?

Absolutely! FIVE WEAPONS comes out at the end of the month, which is Jimmie Robinson’s all-ages friendly mini-series following his  work for years on BOMB QUEEN. There’s also a new Ted McKeever book called MINIATURE JESUS, which, whenever I read the solicits, just blows my mind. Colleen Doran’s A DISTANT SOIL is coming to Shadowline to finish out it’s run and as someone who always wanted to read it, this is just amazing news.  Shadowline will also be reprinting the older issues for those like myself who missed out on the initial run. DIA DE LOS MUERTOS is a really neat idea, teaming artist Riley Rossmo up with nine different writers, and the first issue was fantastic. Lastly there is the aforementioned PETER PANZERFAUST, which has now brought Captain Hook into the mix, so you know things are going to get really crazy, really fast.

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Let’s take a minute to introduce our readers to GrayHaven Comics, can you give us the lowdown?

GrayHaven was the brainchild of Andrew Goletz and a bunch of folks on the Brian Michael Bendis Jinxworld messageboards. After years of seeing people from various comic book messageboards over the years talk about putting out a comic and failing, Andrew and a number of other board regulars decided to give it a try and came up with an idea for an anthology about Hope. That first issue of THE GATHERING was born and caught the eye of Gail Simone who happened to not only give the gang a tremendous amount of feedback to all of these first-time comic creators but also helped promote the book.

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I joined GrayHaven about a year ago after I had a couple of stories approved and started out as an Assitant Editor and Assistant Art Director.  Now THE GATHERING is up to its 17th volume, we’ve moved on to adding other anthologies such as TALES OF THE ABYSS, mini-series like OF WOLF AND WOMAN and MOTHER AND SON, as well as our “Phase Two” projects like Victor Gischler’s creator-owned series, TITANIUM STAR. We already have things mapped out well into 2014.

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You’ve both written and edited books for them, what projects are you particularly proud of?

I’m very pleased with some of my own personal work — namely my mystery story in THE DUNES with artwork by Renzo Podesta (of Shadowline’s 27 fame), and my very first story, an autobigraphical story of how I met my wife, which appears in the Love Letters (Romance) issue (volume 5).

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Upcoming projects in which I’m involved and really excited about are three of the upcoming issues that I’m editing. THE COLLECTED TALES OF A SUPER ANNUATED ADVENTURER, which is the collection of Gary Hogan’s & Blake Sims’ webcomic that ran on the GrayHaven site, is a collection of one of my favorite webcomics with some added material. TEST DRIVE is a great project that contains two 14-page stories (one by Thomas Mets & Lars Kramhoeft, and the other by Timothy Nakayama & Shawn Langley). Fans will get to vote on which story they like most and that tale will receive its own additional one-shot or mini-series.  The last one is NIGHT OUT, which is a bit of a cross between The Hangover, Clue (the movie) and a little bit of Tarentino thrown in for good measure. It’s different versions of the same story told from the perspectives of six friends after a crazy night out.

I also hope readers keep in mind that GrayHaven is ALWAYS looking for artists to contribute, and during certain times of the year we have open sibmissions for writers for certain themes.  Right now is one of those submission periods for five different volumes (Public Domain, Paranormal Romance, Alternate History/What If?, Survival and Steampunk) . Submission guidelines and details can be found here: http://www.grayhavencomics.com/submit

There’s been a lot of good buzz lately behind the “YOU ARE NOT ALONE” Kickstarter campaign from GrayHaven Comics, what can you tell us about it?

We’ve said it a number of time already in various interviews, but all of us at GrayHaven agree that this is by far our most important comic yet.  YOU ARE NOT ALONE was born from what happened in Aurora and in Sandy Hook last year. We wanted to reach out to kids who are either the victims/survivors of bullying, hate, racism, sexism or even depression and let them know that they are not alone. The idea is to offer stories of hope and give them information on who to contact if they are having problems. After receiving a tremendous amount of support from comic professionals like Gail Simone, Dirk Manning, Raven Gregory and others, as well as an unprecedented number of proposals from aspiting comic creators and writers, we decided that we needed at least 200 pages to tell all the stories. And even then that’s not enough, because we want to give it away for free in order to reach as many kids as possible.

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The Kickstarter campaign was a great way of helping to offset some of our print costs and publicity for the book so that we can reach as many readers as possible. We hit our goal before the 3rd day and every stretch goal we hit helps bring either more copies to fruition, or unlocks our ability to offer variant covers, such as the one provided by HARVEST artist Colin Lorimer.  We’re hoping to get noticed by mainstream media not so that we can make a name for ourselves but so we can get these uplifting stories into the hands of as many school age students as possible.  A print run of 1,600 copies is great – but can you imagine being able to give away 16,000 copies?  The more we receive through Kickstarter the more that’s possible.

(Check out the kickstarter here)

Ok, so you’re obviously a fairly busy guy! Do you have any other projects or companies you’d like to tell us about? Are you attending any conventions this year?

Aside from all of this work for Shadowline and GrayHaven, I’m also taking up learning lettering, as well as some production duties I have with GrayHaven.  And then there’s my 9-to-5 day job in international transportation which takes a good nine or ten hours of my day every weekday.

As for conventions, I’m really hoping to make it up to the Asbury Park Comic Con with some of my GrayHaven compadres. Wizard World Philadelphia and the Allentown Comic Con are always on my list since they’re my hometown conventions. And I plan to attend either Baltimore Comic Con or New York Comic Con (as both are not in my budget). Shadowline’s creator convention appearances can be found here Shadowline’s 2013 Convention Appearances and GrayHaven will be represented at ECCC, Asbury Park ComicCon and Boston Comic Con as well as a few other that we’re trying to hammer out in the near future.

Marc thank you so much for spending some time answering these questions. We can’t wait to see what comes next for you and the great companies you work with, where can people keep up with all the goings on of Marc Lombardi?

No..thank YOU for taking the time to talk with me.  People can always find out more about Shadowline at shadowlineonline.com and GrayHaven at grayhavencomics.com. They can  also follow me on twitter at @marclombardi

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About Author

Chuck Suffel is the Owner/Editor-in-Chief of Whatchareading.com. He loves comics, movies, tv shows. When it comes to comics his first loves are independents and small publishers. Feel free to drop him a note anytime at chuck@whatchareading.com

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