RevolveR, the web comix anthology of Salgood Sam

Feb 21, 2008

014inks

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posted by max at 2/21/2008 09:11:00 PM 0 comments links to this post

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Feb 20, 2008

Therefore Repent! @ The Geek OUT! Saturday Feb 23rd

Hey, so I'm going to be giving a projected dramatic presentation of the book at the next Geek OUT! Here in Montreal.

I'll have copies of the book for sale as well, and theres other stuff going on, check this site for the details.

Location: MUCS Dining Coop, 2000 Northcliffe, suite 218 (corner De Maisoneuve, near Vendome metro)

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posted by max at 2/20/2008 04:20:00 PM 0 comments links to this post

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Therefore Repent! Makes it to #16 of the Sequential All-Canadian Top 25 and NMK offers deep discounts.

Bryan over on Sequential has been compiling a best sellers list via the BookManager database for a while now, and for the last few weeks the NMK edition of the book has been fluctuating around the top 20 of the All-Canadian list [All-Canadian creators].

This week we made it to our lowest number yet, 16th over all! Perfect timing for the spring cleaning sale Jim is holding this month at
NMK...

I have SLASHED SLASHED SLASHED prices on my books -- as much as 50% in some cases. Go check out the AMAZING deals: And, for people who buy 3 or more books, you get a No Media Kings t-shirt. FREE!

Whaa? I know! I know, you just lost your mind. I'll wait while you find it. OK?

PLUS if you're a book club or an educator or an indie bookseller or just a really big Munroe fan, email me for purchases of 10+ -- just be prepared to redefine your def of "deep" discounting. I don't want you to die from the shock of the INSANELY LOW PRICES.


Yeah, Jim is doing shtick :).


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posted by max at 2/20/2008 04:09:00 PM 0 comments links to this post

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Read About Comics reviews Therefore Repent!

Got a couple reviews this week and a mention in a pod cast, going to stick to this, the best by Greg McElhatton for the clippings pile here. I've had my art compared to Farel Dalrymple's before, i always take it as a complement, he's an excellent artist...

It's very strange when you're reading a graphic novel and feel like it was formed by an entirely different set of creators. In some ways it's a little unfair to do so to the actual creators, almost like you aren't giving them their fair credit. None the less, if you'd asked me who'd created Therefore Repent!, I'd have probably guessed Jonathan Lethem and Farel Dalrymple (who coincidentally really are collaborators on Marvel's Omega the Unknown revival). I'd like to assure Jim Monroe and Salgood Sam, however, that such a comparison really isn't a bad thing at all.

The Rapture came, and billions of people rose up into the sky to go to Heaven. Now, the rest of the world is in chaos, some claiming this to be a time of tribulation with a second chance at salvation eminent, others just trying to survive as best they can. With an army of angels trying to purge the world of survivors, and strange powers manifesting left and right, can Mummy and Raven find a way to just live in peace?

Monroe's story reminded me a lot of Lethem's early novels, with its fantastical events and ever-shifting status quo being presented almost matter-of-factly to the reader. This isn't the sort of story where characters spend half their time continually gawking at their situation, but instead just move on as if it's part of their lives these days--which of course it is. The end result is that as a reader, I never felt like I was being condescended or talked down to, and picked up the sensation that this was somehow a very real world that I was getting a glimpse into. The setup for Therefore Repent! is clever, in both how Munroe imagines what the remaining infrastructure would look like, but more so in the changes in humanity. This is the sort of setting I could easily see sustaining a long series of stories if Munroe chose, dipping into different locations and lives all over the globe. As it is, I feel like there's still so much more that could be told about the book's existing cast. There's a lot in their past left nebulous, and it's the arrival of Mummy and Raven into a neighborhood of Chicago that not only asks questions of all the supporting cast but of them as well. Likewise, some parts of the story itself are never really explained; the actions of some characters are left blank, which can be frustrating to anyone who is expecting everything to be explained or wrapped up neatly.

The art in Therefore Repent! is a lush, thick-inked creation. I really love the way that Sam illustrates an urban sprawl, with its streets and buildings and alleyways. It's a wonderfully full art style, and in some ways I think it's more effective here as pure black and white versus the red-tinged art of Sea of Red. Here, the darker color against a white background carries a stronger visual weight, and that's especially important when Sam draws the fantastical elements of Therefore Repent!. Because they're so different, they need to really stand out and pop off the page at the reader, and that's exactly what happens. My only one complaint is that some of the more action-oriented scenes came off as a little muddled and hard to follow--I can't help but feel that they don't really play to Sam's strengths as an artist. Fortunately, they're a very small part of the greater whole. I do wonder if the smaller dimensions of the book, which normally works well in compacting Sam's art, somehow worked against him there.

Therefore Repent! was a nice surprise for me as a reader--a book full of enough ideas to fill up an entire series, and with a beautiful illustration style in the narrative. Add in an unpredictable (but good) ending and lots of little surprises along the way and the end result is a book that would make me definitely seek out further collaborations between Munroe and Sam. I might have confused their synergy with other creators in the past, but I certainly won't make that mistake again.

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posted by max at 2/20/2008 03:52:00 PM 0 comments links to this post

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Feb 13, 2008

Inking Dream Life

Taking a few days to ink, then back to Top Secret project.

Blocky thing takes forever to ink, I'm telling you, Boyo.


Having some interesting conversations with a few writers right now, considering illustration a sort of philosophical picture book, been approached about a couple of comic book ideas that if not too big I might end up doing, and maybe even seeing if I cant think of an interesting animation idea - had a studio contact me about the possibility of talking about developing an idea with them, pretty exciting the more I think about it. Pondering what concepts i've been kicking around might make the leap well, or if I have any new notions that might be worth pitching....hmmm.

Also making small steps towards writing a new Sea of Red project, that i've pretty much decided I'd like to do sooner than I can draw it, so looking into other artists for that maybe.

Been making plans

to tour for Therefore Repent!


It's looking very good for me going to the NYCC, and Paradise, and by hock or crook my first visit to the San Diego Comic Con. Also Windsor/Detroit as well in the next 6 months! Maybe more yet, haven't got a confirmation but might be giving a presentation here in Montreal at the end of the month as well in NDG, hosted by geekmontreal.com

Jim's going to hit the road as well a little bit, stay tuned and i'll have dates and places for all that.

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posted by max at 2/13/2008 05:08:00 AM 0 comments links to this post

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Feb 7, 2008

Dream Life lucky number 13.

Well, i had wanted to be further along with the book than this by now, but a cool 7 page story came across my desk that i could not pass up - it will be in a very very big, high profile book this summer, just had to do it. But just the same, progress on Dream Life, while slowed a bit the last two weeks, has been very gratifying.

This character and the giant woman who appeared in Charlie's dream just before were inspired by some reading about Pablo Picasso i did a while back, and some of the interpretations of his use of the Minotaur and the Maiden motif in his work.

When John and i first worked on this story together years ago [at the time called 'Nuts'] he came up with the idea of a 'blocky thing' that would torment Charlie at different points though the story, play tricks on him and challenge his assumptions. At the time it was a great but unspecific creature, with no described form. I loved the idea of it, but it was always a shady non specific idea at the time for me.

Later when i dusted off those old bits of story we had worked on together and started re-working it into Dream Life, the blocky thing - while a very cool abstract literary idea, was really hard to give form to as a character for the comic.

I tried a lot of different approaches but none of them ever resonated for me that strongly.

It wasn't till reading about Picasso's minotaurs that I worked it out. I forget who it was who wrote the notes that cinched it for me, but their descriptions of what it stood for was exactly dead on for my interpretation of the Blocky Thing.

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posted by max at 2/07/2008 12:35:00 AM 0 comments links to this post

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Feb 6, 2008

Therefore Repent! Review on the Comics Reporter and news of good sales!

Good news, i've been talking with a variety of shops to compile the list, and a good number have been telling me they are selling out of their first cautious orders and reordering, in some cases quite a lot!

So here's hoping that's reflected in the next few months from Diamond, we moved about half the run in the first month, so if this keeps up, maybe we can clear out the first run in the next two.

A few managers have really taken to advocating it; heard that the Manhattan Jim Hanley's Universe is nearly sold out in part due to the guy i talked to there pushing it
[sorry, was so pleased with the good news you were giving me I forgot to ask your name! get that when I talk with you next] and my old friend George Rizock in Windsor at the Rogues Gallery Comics Shop has moved 30 and has another 30 on order! Thanks man! So it seems the book is finding a good reception.

I've also made some arrangements to be in NY for the April NYCC, and it looks like some kind of signing is going to happen, I'll post details on that soon as it's settled.


So a good day, and not too tempered by this, a qualified review from Tom Spurgeon here on his site. Not bad, i really appreciated the thoughtful consideration he gave it and some of his observations of Jim's writing and my art were very faltering.

"Jim Munroe and Salgood Sam's Therefore Repent! bills itself as "a post-Rapture graphic novel." This is obviously a reference to the story's plot, which details the lives among those left behind when a number of Christian believers around the world ascend into heaven via a scenario that seems to prove the popular Christian Right public prophecy to be 100 percent true. It could also be a joke about this being the kind of book that would come out after such an event, in the same way that a few books and plays wrestled with 9/11 either directly or indirectly in a manner that placed the book within that specific historical context, or even a reference to the Rapture as a series of beliefs by millennial-obsessed Christians that many have processed and come to a different set of conclusions. I think there are elements to all three, and as a tribute to the sturdy, focused quality of the dark fantasy in the book, multiple interpretation aren't only possible they're kind of the point."
"The most affecting part of the book shows their daily routine as they deal with the strain on their affection and the general breakdown of society that followed the departure of the various believers."
"Munroe's strengths as a writer seem to come through most overtly in this section: his way of delineating Mummy and Raven's relationship through incidental moments rather than explication, and the way he uses fantasy to craft a large metaphor about widespread, post-event trauma, such as the feelings of rootlessness, fear and desire to function on a very basic level (staying home, watching the news, going out for food only) that enveloped a lot of people after 9/11."
"Salgood Sam's work proves mostly strong throughout. There are moments of visual sumptuousness that should keep the reader's attention, and those readers who feel an artist should draw everything and not drop backgrounds or atmosphere for a lighter workload or to emphasize certain foregrounded actions should be pleased with the pages placed in front of them here."


But he goes on to sight some issues with it, and seems to have been not totally taken with it on the whole. It's an ok review but he wasn't totally into it. And the last somewhat back handed praise their about the backgrounds, you know, I pretty regularly dropped the backgrounds to do just both those things. Never to the point of loosing the sense of place i felt, but he makes it sound as though I was exhaustive in my background art! I don't know about that, not by my standards.

It's been interesting, the different reactions the books getting.

More mainstream folks seem to totally go for it, and some are taking it as an Indy version of the sort of book Grant Morrison would do, which in mainstream circles is high praise.

Indy and literary people are often having a mixed reaction. Mostly good, near everyone has liked the story at least - But a good number seem to not be sure how to take the way we handled stuff, some more so than others and in some cases i can't help but think they are thinking too hard about some things. And some are just not keen on my detailed representational art, or how I mix some of the cartoony stuff in there with that as in the case with Tom.

On this, for myself I like the verity of texture mixing things up brings to a book, I'm not into the notion that the art style needs to be homogeneous. And while I don't think it was Tom's issue, some seem to simply dislike that I'm not keeping to an certain Indy, or literary look for the art. Oh well.

Many seem to be wrestling with what we 'Intended' with the story a lot.

Like Tom's note that

"it could also be that the artists are overtly making a case for diversion over significance in narrative art."


That was a bit odd to me. I don't think we had intended to make such a case.

But if one were to be made, i don't think those are mutually exclusive goals. We were working on a medium length graphic novel, 160 pages, that lets you tell a lot of story but not so much that you can go crazy, at least not the way I or Jim wanted to tell it. Which was to emphasize the quite moments, the time of small things over grand things. Or at least that's what I got from Jim's script and his choices there in.

That was something I had always liked in his books, so I took that idea and added my own two bits along those lines to it. In my breaking down of the script and layouts, I reduced the action sequences to minimal staccato hits, bam bam bam sequences of events to try to capture the way those moments in life fly - and yet I gave the most physical space on the page to that stuff, big splashes and large panels - so you could get lost in the frozen seconds of time. Get a distended feeling of short moments of time moving like molasses.

On the other hand I took the quite stuff and gave it multiple panels, pages, beats, to stretch it as much as I could. I wanted those moments to be as significant as they needed to be, each in their own way.

The story is both commentary on big questions of how people deal with traumatic events, and each other in their wake. And it's a fantasy adventure, a lark, at the same time.

I don't think we thought we needed to make a case for that, it seems that both are things the medium can do, and at the same time even.

I was talking tonight with a fellow creator via email, and I think I agree with him, that if we're getting a mixed and even off put reaction from some of the folks who take stuff supper seriously, it means your doing something right. And one thing is true. I was hoping it would be hard to peg. Seems we have made a slightly difficult book! :) Be nice if every one loved it but I'm liking the mixed reviews we sometimes get.

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posted by max at 2/06/2008 12:02:00 AM 0 comments links to this post

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Feb 4, 2008

Page 12 - the blocky thing

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posted by max at 2/04/2008 08:19:00 PM 1 comments links to this post

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Therefore Repent! in RAZORCAKE

Jim sent me a clipping from RAZORCAKE, a non-profit music magazine dedicated to supporting independent music culture [and comics it seems too! :) ]. Nice review by Keith Rosson.

Therefore, Repent! (A Post-Rapture Graphic Novel)
By Jim Munroe and Salgood Sam, 164 pgs.

A little over ten years ago, I had one of Punk Planet's "DIY Files" tacked up over my desk. I stared at it religiously, nightly, every time I sat down to Work or answer mail.

It was titled "How to Write a Novel," and was written by Jim Munroe. He'd written one himself and gotten it picked up, I believe, by HarperCollins. A few years later, he'd grown pretty firmly disillusioned with the mainstream publishing industry and has remained entrenched in the DIY publishing world ever since. So, I finished my novel and yeah, it was a piece of garbage, entirely unpublishable and probably more cathartic than anything else. Point is, Munroe was a punk who had walked down that path before me and had given me--if not a working blueprint on how to write a decent book--at least the impetus and inspiration to follow through and keep working even when the words weren't coming well. So it's great to see him still kicking around and, more importantly, successfully tackling the graphic novel format.

I really don't want to give too much of the plot away, as much of the joy of reading this thing comes from the fact that things get increasingly weird as the chapters go on. I will say that the story begins in an apparently post-Rapture world; hundreds of thousands of people have literally floated from the earth and disappeared, ascending into the sky. Jesus Christ is campaigning with George Bush--solely, of course, in red states. Angels (dressed in Vietnam-era fatigues and carrying M-16s) are systematically attempting to wipe out the remaining inhabitants of earth and facing resistance. Within the story, there are talking dogs, gay angels, resurrected homeless men, cyber-psychic lesbians, bikers that turn water into wine, a woman who turns ash into attack-birds, invisible Korean convenience store owners, and more. Like I said, I don't want to give too much of the plot away, but apart from the terrific pace of the story and Salgood Sam's gorgeous artwork, it's this attention to detail and bizarre bending of reality
that makes Therefore. Repent' such a blast to pore over.

Salgood Sam (dude's real name is Max Douglas--it's backwards, get it?) has worked on titles for Marvel, DC, and Image, as well as a host of indie tines and comics; his work is somewhat suggestive of Derek Hess, but is much more refined. His sense of perspective and value is top-notch--as far as I can tell, his illustrations must be a mix of brushwork, charcoal, pencil, and ink washes. Absolutely gorgeous stuff. Munroe's gotten the pacing of the story down tight and every chapter's got a cliffhanger that kept me turning pages--I read Therefore, Repent! in one sitting and still find myself thumbing through it well after the fact.

All told, this one's a keeper; the ending ties everything together nicely, but it's one fuck of a weird ride before you get there. -Keith Rosson (No Media Kings, 10 Trellanock Ave., Toronto ON, M1C 5135, Canada)

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posted by max at 2/04/2008 04:57:00 PM 0 comments links to this post

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Feb 1, 2008

lasvegasweekly.com thinks Jack Chick would not approve

One more for the clipping pile! LV weekly no less, cool!
Our book has made it to the city of sin! ;)


January 31, 2008
By J. Caleb Mozzocco [personal blog]

When a huge swath of the world's population suddenly rises bodily into the sky, disappearing into the heavens, it's popularly assumed that the Rapture has occurred, and that those Christians who believed in it were right all along. Writer Jim Munroe and artist Salgood Sam's new graphic novel Therefore Repent! (IDW Publishing) is set in this post-Rapture world, focusing on those who are--ahem--left behind.

I hear there's a real market for books about people left behind.

[max:Rimshot! ba-tish! he he.]

Munroe and Sam's leads are a weird-looking couple who answer to the names Mummy and Raven; he wraps himself in gauze bandages like a mummy, and she wears a raven mask that covers her whole head. A half-hearted reason for this is given at one-point-they were at a Burning Man-like arts festival when the Rapture happened, and kept their costumes on from then on to commemorate the event-but I think they just make for more interesting character designs for Sam to draw dressed like that.

[max: well yes and no, they are more interesting like that, but...]

We follow them as they arrive in Chicago and try to start a new life there. Writer Munroe seems to have grossly overestimated the number of Christians who actually believe in a physical Rapture, as Chicago is apparently depopulated to the point where there are plenty of nice apartments around for squatting purposes.

[max: true, but for fiction, it depends on who's numbers you use when you start out on your literalists' take on the idea ;) ]

The existential questions such an apocalyptic situation would raise are built into the setting, often in rather incidental ways (the press conference in which the president offers a rationale for why he's still on Earth is amusing), and hang over the narrative, an unspoken conflict informing all the other conflicts.

Among these are the one between Raven and Mummy, whose love for each other was tested in a way that is a testament to its incredible strength, but also leaves a lingering resentment.

In their new neighborhood, they seem to quickly be drifting apart and are soon on the verge of breaking up. Apparently, the Rapture was only the beginning of the weird things going on, as dogs begin talking, magic becomes real and fairly easy to practice and squadrons of angels patrol the cities machine-gunning down sinners.

The story is rather oddly paced, turning from a serious slice of post-apocalyptic life focusing on a sprawling cast into something of a fantasy action piece in the second to last chapter, but it has a few killer twists at the end that turn the whole story on its head, and seem well worth waiting for (one twist, in particular, forgives what seems like lazy research at certain points).

Sam's highly textured black-and-white art serves the script well, and he's able to sell people mutated by magic just as easily as the everyday feel of bars, shops and street corners.

And hey, isn't it nice to see a comic book about the end of the world that doesn't involve zombies?

Not bad, not bad at all and if his blog post is any indication we got him thinking so that's cool. The "lazy research" was kind of the point on our behalf, but i think he got our intention in the end. Hate to disappoint him though, there are a few zombies in the story. :)

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posted by max at 2/01/2008 08:54:00 AM 0 comments links to this post

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RevolveR, the web comix anthology of Salgood Sam

Sadax Golum. Get yours at bighugelabs.com/flickr

Dream Life | a late comic of age. a web comic by Salgood Sam