Tag Archives: Comics

PRO-LIFIC! Chatting with creator Phillip Russertt

Welcome to PRO-LIFIC where I interview professional artists, writers, and creators to delve down deep and find out what makes them tick and find out tips-n-tricks for being successful as a creator! Everyone has a different story to tell, and every artist has their own unique style, but what are the common threads that we can find to help us on our own journey? Join me as we glean new insights into becoming the next PROLIFIC writer, artist, or creator!

Today I have the privilege of talking with a gentleman who has an incredible story of going from comic collector, to art collector, to convention runner, to art rep, to beating COVID (barely), to CREATOR and WRITER! At 48 no less! That is Phillip Russertt! Not only does he have an amazing inspiring story but he has a huge heart for people, a love for art and artists, and it really shows in everything he does. Once you hear the line-up of artists he has on his covers, you’ll quickly understand why! He’s a fantastic lovable guy, so without further ado, let’s get to the interview with him!

Tyler Kirkham cover

ERIC: Hey Philip! I was really shocked to hear your story, I had no idea that it took a crazy run-in with COVID to get you to pursue your lifelong longing to create and write! It’s inspiring in so many ways, but tell us about it and what happened.

PHILLIP: Hi Eric.  As far as the comic book industry goes, I’ve been an art collector for well over a decade and a comic collector for forty years. Throughout the years I had built relationships with major, well known artists and writers in the industry. In 2017 I started my own comic book convention focused on comic books and their creators. I had three successful shows before the Covid pandemic lock down changed everything. I always try to utilize my time wisely and never waste it, so while stuck at home I started my own livestream interview show with indie and main stream creators. It was getting a lot of attention and without realizing I was connecting with a lot of people on social media. I then decided to become an artist agent. Shortly after I got Covid in January 2021 and to be honest it was almost fatal.  I was hospitalized with Covid, Pneumonia and multiple blood clots in both my lungs. I was on Oxygen continuously and lost over 35lbs. I was bed ridden for 6 weeks. During that time I reflected on my life being that I was reminded how precious it is. Upon reflection I thought of the growing, nagging feeling that always haunted me. It was a frustration built out of feeling I wasn’t reaching my potential. That potential was to create. I was a musician in my youth but it wasn’t satiating my passion. I lay there in bed and realized I need to write a comic book.  Time is the one commodity we never get back. You can always make more money but you cannot make more time. We don’t now how long we have so I wanted to make the best of it and finally do what I always wanted to do. I had a vision of my protagonist in my head and decided to write and not look back.

Interiors by Ricardo Silva, and colors by Chris Sotomayor

ERIC: Please tell us, what motivates you to create/ write, and what fuels your passion? What keeps you going with everything constantly going around you?

PHILLIP: The idea of world building and creating characters was always appealing but yet intimidating.  Once I overcame that fear and lack of confidence I wrote a story that is motivated by the human condition and our behaviors. My protagonist is a female and I don’t know about you, but I’ve never met a female who realized how strong, beautiful or smart they were and certainly not how capable they were. Being a father of two beautiful little girls and wanting them to grow up loving themselves and never doubting their worth, I wanted to write something that addresses that. Tragedy is based loosely on my wife, but yet also myself. As humans we tend to feel we are different but at the core we all want the same thing. We want to feel relevant; to feel like we matter. I wrote a story that touches on those things. I was always fascinated with human psychology. I observed and studied how and why people react and behave the way they do and my character is grounded in that reality.

ERIC: What where some of the most influential factors or circumstances that brought you to where you are today as a creator/ writer? Then also please tell us some of the most influential people who have inspired you along the way. What creators and writers spoke to you on your journey.

PHILLIP: First and foremost I have always been a driven and motivated man. I always want to be better tomorrow than I am today, whether it be as a person or for what legacy I leave behind. Some of my major influences are Chris Claremont, John Byrne, Dave Cocrum, Peter David, J.R.R Tolkien and of course my wife. Chris Claremont and Peter David, to me were amazing. The way Chris wrote for the long game with his amazing 17 year run on Uncanny X-Men and how Peter David could write characters so real. I remember in X-Factor Peter wrote Quicksilver and explained why he’s such a jerk and it was brilliant! He basically said, paraphrasing of course, imagine living in a world where everyone is slower than you and just getting in your way. His analogy was standing on line as an old woman counted her change at the register for ten minutes. There writing inspired me to meld the fiction of superheroes with the real human element that is people.  Reading Tolkien was an education on world building, after all he created an entire Elven language. My wife has been an influence as far as that real human element of self-doubt but yet at times a quiet confidence. It’s the battle we all face at some point.

IDAN cover

ERIC: Of all the different mediums out there, what was it about comics that lead you to create your work in that medium?

PHILLIP: I hated reading as a child and I realize now it was because, the thought of a 300 plus page book intimidated me. I also didn’t have the patience to enjoy the journey of reading. At nine years old I picked up Uncanny X-Men #115 & #126 and fell in love with the aesthetics of the characters. I would constantly flip through the books enjoying the art but still wouldn’t read them. I finally said to myself “I don’t even know who these characters are”. I wanted to know so I started reading and never looked back. Comic books are a great gateway for kids to love reading and the art was always beautiful to look at.

ERIC:  Why did you choose to write this story? If you’re like me, you have many that you could have told, but why this one. What is it about this one that excites you?

PHILLIP: This story is very close to home as far as the protagonist. I think writers just starting out always write from themselves or those closest to them. It’s the easiest way to understand and portray your character. Once I realized who Grace O’Connor was, I realized she was me and she was my wife. I want to tell our story through her.

Ryan Kincaid cover

ERIC: As a first time creator, just starting out, how hard was It to find the team you are working with? Also, what was It that drew you to them specifically for your project?

PHILLIP: I was already an artist agent with my company Legendary Illustrations and the artists I represent are not just artists but people I invest in. Having said that, I was representing Ricardo Silva first as I loved his art style immediately. I love the art style of the 90’s tight pencils. That’s why I love your art Eric! Ricardo had the tight pencils and the style I felt would best suit my book. I also hired the colorist I represent, Sigmund Torre for the first book. This new book has famous Marvel, DC and Image colorist, Chris Sotomayor on interiors. Jason Meadows is the letterer and I also represent him. The thing about them is there is no ego. We all understand what our roles are and we have the singular focus on making the best book possible.

ERIC: What have been some of the biggest challenges in getting your book(s) done?

PHILLIP: Finances are always a challenge. Other than that I honestly don’t feel any challenges and really enjoy making my book with the team. Marketing and distribution are a huge challenge but not in making the book.

ERIC: What are some words of advice you would give to someone who is looking to get into writing, creating?

PHILLIP: Believe in yourself and don’t be intimidated. Just go find your passion and do it. We can always find reasons not to do something but there is really one most important reason to do something…love for it.

ERIC: One question I love to ask creators is, if you could do it all over again what would you do differently? Or if you could speak with 15 year old you, what would you say to yourself when it comes to pursuing your dreams?

Ale Garza and Alex Sinclair Cover

PHILLIP: I’d say start earlier in life but honestly I feel things happen when and how they are meant to happen. I didn’t have my direction until 48 years old but everything I did until now led up to it so I could. I didn’t realize it as it was happening, but here we are!

ERIC: Great stuff man! I’m inspired by your story, and it is a great lesson that it’s really never too late to pursue that dream or do what’s been laid on your heart to do.

Anything else you’d like to add before we call it a wrap!?

PHILLIP: My life has been tough. I had a bad childhood and comic books saved me from that misery and pain that was a daily torment. They also taught me right and wrong, how to be a hero and what real sacrifice meant. Comic books gave so much to me and I want to be a part of that. If my characters can reach and relate with someone who is struggling then I am happy to make that small difference in someone else’s life. I also want to show my amazing little girls that with true sacrifice, hard work, and determination they too can live their dream.

For more from Phillip and Eric check out the live interview with him on YOUTUBE here… 

Today is the last day of the campaign for TRAGEDY book 2 (26 pages) on Kickstarter!! If you are interested in any of the amazing covers Phillip has to offer… don’t wait!

HEAD THERE NOW!

Also book 1 is still currently In-Demand on Indiegogo (30 pages) with some awesome covers still available to get your hands on! They won’t be around forever!

BOOK 1 on INDIEGOGO

If you want to follow Phillip Russertt and his team, check them out

www.belegendaryillustrations.com

FB: Phillip Russertt

IG: @philrussertt

IG: @Tragedy_comic

Pencils/Inks: Ricardo Silva  IG: @ricardosilvaart

Colors: Chris Sotomayor  IG: @Sotocolor

Letters: Jason Meadows  IG: @ksscomics

 

 

FREE 14 PAGE PREVIEW!

Sometimes trying something new isn’t always easy.

Hopping on board a train that has already started moving can be equally challenging! In an effort to help you out and lend you a hand to give my new series, SHADOW SENTRY a try; I put together a preview to give you a little taste. The first 14 pages of Book 1: Into the Eternal.

Keep in mind this has been an independent creation, no big names, no flashy company, just us little guys, with support from folks like you! I’m really proud of what we’ve created and think you’ll quickly see the passion that went into creating this first installment of SHADOW SENTRY.  I think it’s something new and old readers alike will enjoy! And I’ve already gotten great feedback and am very happy to report Book 1 has been well received!

But sometimes seeing is believing! So in an effort to make a believer out of you… check it out, see for yourself! Hit the link below to check out and download your free 14 page preview!

CLICK HERE

Shadow Sentry book 2 has been fully funded! I will deliver! So if you’d like to pre-order Book 2 (and get Book 1 while you’re at it, while supplies last!) and see where this story goes, please consider backing today! More backers unlocks more stretch goals, which means more cool freebies for everyone! Digital copies are an option too, but just a heads up, only physical backers of the book get the stretch-goals come fulfillment time.

WANT TO BACK THE BOOK OR JUST FIND OUT MORE? CLICK THE LINK BELOW!

CHECK OUT BOOK 2!

Thanks so much! I hope you enjoy what you see and please feel free to reach out with any questions via the campaign page on Indiegogo! (The link above)

 

PRO-LIFIC! Chatting with writer Chael Roberts

Welcome to PRO-LIFIC where I interview professional artists, writers, and creators to delve down deep and find out what makes them tick and find out tips-n-tricks for being successful as a creator! Everyone has a different story to tell, and every artist has their own unique style, but what are the common threads that we can find to help us on our own journey? Join me as we glean new insights into becoming the next PROLIFIC writer, artist, or creator!

Today we’re talking with Chael Roberts, who has been a comic creator for a little over three years and is currently on Volume Three of Guardians of Erloth: The Last Leopard King. He started the first volume with artist Ryan Best in the Spring of 2018, the world, however, has been in the making for almost 20 years and Chael is ready to release a series of novels based in the vast world of Erloth in the coming years. The novels will coincide and tie into the Guardians of Erloth comics.

Volume 2 Cover by Caanan White

 

ERIC: First off,  tell us what motivates you to create/ write, and what fuels your passion?

CHAEL : What motivated me to start writing comics and novels was my interest in storytelling. Growing up I read stories by great storytellers such as Louis L’Amour, Jack London, Timothy Zahn, and Brian Jacques. I admired how in-depth their worlds were and how they could take you on such an exciting journey that would cause many late nights and sleepless hours because you couldn’t help but keep turning the pages.

ERIC: What where some of the most influential factors or circumstances that brought you to where you are today as a creator/ writer? Then also please tell us some of the most influential people who helped as well.

CHAEL: The most influential factors for me as a creator was being dissatisfied when reading stories and how the characters and plot ended in places I wasn’t happy with. It made me want to explore similar themes and make those endings more substantial or more emotional. I also was influenced by a creative imagination I’ve had since I was very young. In high school, I took a science fiction writing class. It was the first time I saw Blade Runner. The final project was a short story consisting of 7,000 words. It was writing that short story that I found my passion for putting my love of storytelling on paper.

Volume 1 Cover by Caanan White

ERIC: Of all the different mediums out there, what was it about comics that lead you to create your work in that medium?

CHAEL: I was an avid reader of the Star Wars Expanded Universe in the ’90s starting with Timothy Zahn’s, Heir to The Empire Trilogy. Also being a comic fan I was able to visually see these worlds and creatures on the pages of Dark Horse Star Wars pages. Having written short stories, but having difficulty figuring out how to publish, I found that comics as a visual medium would help bridge that gap and introduce my world to readers.

ERIC: Why did you choose to write this story? If you’re like me, you have many that you could have told, but why this one? What is it about this one that excites you?

CHAEL: This particular story was born out of a much larger story. I created characters that were from a far off exotic land. I wanted to create a background through a short story for these characters and I found that a visual medium such as comics was a perfect way to do that.

Vol 3 page art by Ryan Best

ERIIC: What’s the future hold for this series? Is it on-going? A one-shot? In other words, what are your long term plans for it?

CHAEL: The future for Guardians of Erloth will be expansive. On Erloth there are many Guardians and they each have their own tale. The Last Leopard King just happens to be the first in a long line.

ERIC: Let’s talk about your team. How hard was It to find, and/or how did you find the team you are working with? Also, what was It that drew you to them specifically for your project?

CHAEL: I found my artist online. I was able to see his portfolio and published work before I approached him. I found his style fit the type of storytelling I wanted to achieve.

ERIC:  What have been some of the biggest challenges in getting your book(s) done?

CHAEL: Time management and patience. I am not an artist so understanding that my artist has other projects takes a lot of understanding and patience. Also, setting deadlines and meeting those deadlines can be tricky. Giving yourself more time than you anticipate can always help alleviate pressure and stress.

Doube page spread from Vol 3 part 1 art by Ryan Best

ERIC: What are some words of advice you would give to someone who is looking to get into writing/ creating/ or illustrating?

CHAEL: Find the method you write or illustrate the best and find time to do it often. There is no one right way to write, but if you can do it consistently you will achieve goals more often than not.

ERIC: If you could do it all over again what would you do differently? Or if you could speak with 15 year old you, what would you say to yourself when it comes to pursuing your dreams of writing/ creating/ illustrating?

CHAEL: Don’t wait so long to jump in with both feet. I have been writing the same series for a long time. If I had been more serious and had more confidence I may be in a better situation today, as far as my published work is concerned.

For more from Chael and Eric check out the live interview with him on YOUTUBE here…

If you want to take a look at his book Guardians of Erloth Volume 3 you can check out the INDIEGOGO campaign which will be live only for a short while longer! Don’t miss it!

CHECK IT OUT!

To follow Chael on social media and keep up to date on the latest, here are some links!

Twitter: @chaelroberts

Instagram: scribeoferloth

Facebook: Chael Roberts

For more on the other books… you can find images, info, and reviews…

VOLUME ONE: HERE

VOLUME TWO: HERE

SHADOW SENTRY BOOK 2 – is now available to pre-order!

Book 1: Into the Eternal was a hit!

Book 2: Belly of the Beast promises to be even better! Following right on the heels of book 1— The Shadow Sentry are about to throw down and clash with BLOOD BANE and the HELL BORN in an all out BATTLE OF EPIC PROPORTIONS!

You won’t want to miss it! PLUS we have some fun surprises along the way! BLOOD BANE has a new look that we have yet to see, and there are some fun and new characters we get to meet as well!

It all happens in BOOK 2: BELLY OF THE BEAST!

CHECK IT OUT NOW!

WHAT DID FOLKS HAVE TO SAY ABOUT BOOK 1??

WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR!?

RESERVE YOUR COPY TODAY!

Books are In!

The Shadow Sentry campaign for book 1 is drawing to a close! All books have been mailed out! The 31st of May will mark the end of the first campaign! I want to say a big thank you to all who backed and made the first book a huge success! But this is only the beginning!

WHAT NOW!?

Here’s what’s in store for the future!!

For a limited time (till the end of May) I’ll be offering a BLACK&WHITE Hard Cover Astist Edition of Book 1.

This will be a special edition that will not only include the inks of book 1 but also 20 pages of extras! Extra’s like sketches, concept designs, unused art, breakdowns and pretty much all that went into making the book! It’s going to be something special for the art lover who enjoyed the line work without the distraction of the colors! Backers of this special edition will also be able to add on a quick sketch on the inside cover, or a detailed sketch, at a pretty reasonable amount!

Head There Now!

Here’s a peek at some black and white pages that you’ll see in the Artist Edition (the pages will be lettered of course! Not seen here)

GRAB YOUR COPY NOW!

So what about Book 2 you ask!?

Book 2: Belly of the Beast will be available in June when the campaign launches on Indiegogo! Specific date TBA! But if you’d like to be notified when the campaign goes live and be the first to grab your copy – sign up now for the pre-campaign – AND – get a FREE LIMITED EDITION TRADING CARD WHEN YOU BACK!

SIGN UP NOW!

Here’s a peek at my cover for book 2! It may look familiar to you, it’s a homage to an oldie but goodie! Check that out below as well!

I can’t tell you how excited I am to keep the train rolling in this new Shadow Sentry saga – there’s some really fun things coming in Book 2, but till then… that’s all the news for now! I will send out another update as I get ready to launch, but remember to sign-up and stay in the loop and get that trading card!

Till Next Time!

-E

 

 

Shadow Sentry- Book 1 Almost complete!

Just around 10 more pages to go and then the book will be complete! I’ve been hard at work these past months penciling and inking some of my best work EVER and I’m so excited to get it out to you! Thank you to everyone who has backed my first CREATOR-OWNED Comic, launched this past February on INDIEGOGO! The campaign itself is still In-Demand, which means if you haven’t hopped on board yet, there is still time! The campaign will probably only remain open a few more months while I wrap up the book so don’t wait!

I want to show you some pages that are about 99.9% finished with the exception of final edits, that have been re-lettered by Eric Weathers, comic letterer extraordinaire! These have colors by the talents of Kid Ikaris as well as Carbon Graphics, and as you can see they are coming out stunningly great!

If you haven’t yet, head on over and check out the campaign on …

INDIEGOGO <—- CLICK ME!

There are some great perks to get on the campaign, but if you want JUST the comic, it’s only $20! Other perks include a signed copy of the comic, prints, metal prints, as well as some original art! But every physical backer of the book will be getting some sweet freebies, including stickers, trading cards, a poster, and a metal bookmark!

Thanks so much, now, please enjoy the first 8 pages!

  

 

My New Comic Campaign is currently Funding!

Book 1: Into the Eternal-

is currently available to purchase and support on INDIEGOGO! Check out this promo video to get a taste of what it’s all about!

Check out the campaign and all the goodies I’m offering…

Click the image to head to the campaign now!

Here are some of the finished pages fully lettered and ready to go so you can get a feel for what’s in store for the wide world of the High Born and Hell Born! (Click on the images for a larger view!)

The story and art will be done by yours truly, with colors by Kid Ikaris, and Carbon Graphics!

I’m super excited to finally get this out there and make it available. If you are interested in backing the book I guarantee it will be worth the little extra (than a typical comic today) and not to mention it will be an nice thick 48 page book so… Double Sized! Full of quality and top notch art sure to please the avid and novice comic fan!

Please head over and take a look at the perks as well check out the amazing covers by artists like: Mike S. Miller, Matthew Weldon, and Kevin Sharpe, all amazing artists with sweet styles! Colored by the amazing talents of Carbon Graphics!

Head there Now!

INKtober and Shadow Sentry

So hopefully you’ve heard by now, but my characters from SHADOW SENTRY have made their debut. If you haven’t… not to worry, I’ve got you covered and it’s not too late to get in on the action! Shadow sentry is my creator owned comic that I will be launching later this year, it’s an X-men meets the Martrix superhero book with a hint of Supernatural mixed in there for good measure.

Cover to INKtober 2018

I recently launched an Indiegogo campaign to give everyone a foretaste of what’s to come and let you see the characters up close and personal. Although the campaign has ended I will be making the book available in my online store to make sure my fans (and new ones!) have access to this exclusive sneak peek!

Why it’s important?

Not only is it an exclusive sneak peek to brand new characters, but launching a successful indie comic, or creator owned comic, is a tough task to be sure, and it takes a lot of capital. But with the help of my faithful fans, and those that just want to get their hands on good comics again, we can make this happen… together. That’s why I made INKtober 2018, it’s a small sampling of 21 images of my favorite 90’s comics characters from Image, Marvel, and DC, to remember the awesome that was the 90’s, and then give you a taste of what’s to come with 10 characters of my own creation from the SHADOW SENTRY. You’ll get a brief run down of the story and concept as well as the final full color promo art!

Check this beauty out! Are you ready for some awesome?

For only $15, not only will you getting a great little art book, but you’ll be helping me actualize my life-long goal, and get into production for this soon to be highly coveted book. It really is a WIN- WIN!

It’s a team effort, and I appreciate your help and support, and I look forward to bringing you GREAT ART, AMAZING STORY, and a whole new team to add to your list of favorite books! – Thank you!

Click the images, or here are some links to get you going…

INKtober 2018 in the store

Follow Shadow Sentry on facebook

See more images from the book here

Check out my Indiegogo Campaign!

—THE CAMPAIGN HAS ENDED! —

But that doesn’t mean you can’t get in on the action. I will be offering In-Demand books on my website so you can still get the book and help me launch my SHADOW SENTRY comic slated for later this year! Just click the link and ——->Head there now to get your copy!

If you’ve known me for a while, you probably know I’ve always wanted to create my own content when it comes to comics. Since I started drawing, I’ve always wanted to create my own stories and my own characters to dawn the pages of comic books!

With the decline of current titles and publishers turning our most beloved characters into villains and politically correct heroes, the time is ripe for independent creators to take to the shelves and revive this declining medium! As a fan of the 90’s and as an artist who has been inspired by that blooming era, I want to introduce a book that will give readers – longing for good content , and the flare of those 90’s books- hope again. Books my kids can read and that they can get excited about.

ENTER: INKtober 2018-

INKtober 2018 is a collection of all 31 illustrations from last years Inktober challenge. In the book you’ll see my take on some of the coolest characters from Image comics, Marvel, and DC (but heavy on the IMAGE!). In this book you’ll get an exclusive look at some of the characters I’ve created for my new and upcoming comic series called: SHADOW SENTRY.  You’ll take a look back, but also take a look forward at what is to come, and my hope is that you will get as excited as I am!

click the image to go to the Indiegogo campaign page

By supporting this campaign not only will you be getting a sweet book of classic 90’s characters and top notch art, but you’ll also be helping me jump-start my ultimate goal of writing, penciling, and inking my own book series. Shadow Sentry is an X-Men meets the Matrix superhero comic that is classic Good vs. Evil, with a Supernatural twist. It will bring back that awesome 90’s vibe of great dynamic characters and that creator-owned passion that made the 90’s what it was. Here’s a look at some of the Shadow Sentry character art you’ll see in the book…

As with any endeavor, there is always a need for capital to get it going.

After I finish the current comic project I’m working on for a client, my goal is to start working on Shadow Sentry more full-time and prepare for that launch. So with this campaign I’m hoping to raise enough funds to provide a buffer and allow me the time and money to get started and not have to work on other things during that period that would require my time and energy. So I would greatly appreciate your support and consideration, as I ask you to partner with me as I get things rolling and as I seek to create comics once again that fuel the fire, scratch the itch, and inspire once again!

https://igg.me/at/inktober2018

Subscribe and Follow!

Howdy fans, wanted to let you know I’ve been steadily posting videos on my YouTube channel where I Live Stream drawings in progress. You’ll find me as DIVINE FIRE STUDIOS. I’ve also been setting the stage to launch my creator owned comic called the Shadow Sentry early next year via Indiegogo! So if you like seeing live art, and learning a bit about my process, tools, and techniques… and want to follow the creation my my comic… head over and subscribe to my channel!

Click the image to head to my channel now!

I’m excited about bring cool content and about bringing back the joy and fun that was once Comics. It’s hard to find these days, but I want to bring back that passion for comic lovers like I had back in the early 90’s when comics where exciting and enjoyable, the art was great, and the stories were fresh. That’s my passion, and want to share with you what has been born out of that. So here’s a little preview of my Shadow Sentry creation that I’ve been working on for a long time and want to get into your hands Soon!

Check it out and Join the team!