Sunday, January 22, 2012

Con wars! (zombie comic style)

Since I have lots of ideas for comics, concepts, characters, and stories, many get through various stages of development, from ideas, to plots, to production art, and beyond. It's often the case, where some time will go by, and I'll eventually see those ideas show up in other places, be it TV, movies, or comics (and I'm sure it's not an occurrence exclusive to myself). It's always frustrating to see new fun ideas you came up with though, creative gold, being mined by someone else, but I've gotten pretty used to it.

Well, it's happened again, but this time it's especially stinging for a few reasons.

 A couple years ago I had an idea for a zombie story centered around San Diego Comic-Con, that I quickly dubbed CON of the DEAD. Plotting a graphic novel, scripting, and actively looking for an artist to partner with (as, at the time I was still finishing Super Real, and also developing Pulp Girls). For a time there were a couple different artists even potentially attached, and I even promoted the title with flyers at Comic-Con, created a page on the SRG site/blog, and again a bit later with a nice poster at the inaguaral ZomBcon (I even ran an ad for it in the SRG Presents: Wolves of Odin GN). So with the various promotional materials and efforts, the concept has been pretty public - an independent comic company hires a booth babe to portray their bad girl comic character, Vampblade, complete with twin 30" replica blades, at Comic-Con International, when a fanboy zombie outbreak occurs, and the model is forced to fight for survival alongside some other rather unique equipped con-goers.

 Now, it turns out, as reported by, Boom! has a comic book coming soon called Fanboys VS Zombies, with the concept being that a group of fanboys band together to fight off a zombie outbreak at Comic-Con International. I'm not frustrated that the concept is so similar, as much as I am that it will likely come out before mine. I don't really think the folks behind this idea stole mine or anything. I mean, it's entirely possible, I've had it out there for the taking, but it's just a cool idea, that I think it was just a matter of time before someone else came up with or executed it. It does make it extra rough to know it's set up as comic book though, and that the cover art is so similar to the poster we created for Con of the Dead...

Their cover art (by Humberto Ramos no less)
Our promo image

Our image, to be precise, is from October 2010, just over one year ago, and was posted to DeviantArt as well as my blog. Notice how both covers feature fanboys and zombies pictured outside the actual San Diego convention hall... Again, I don't really think this is swiped or taken from our work, it's a pretty easy image to create for such a concept, but it is at least annoying to see such similarities.

 However, to further make this a tough one to swallow, the artist that's attached to the project also happens to be a good friend of mine in the industry!

 Rub it in fellas!

 So yeah, I know this is all on me for not getting my project out there sooner, but unfortunately, it never came together like I wanted (anyone who follows me, knows I've been talking about this for some time). All that said, I by no means am throwing in the towel here, or conceding to this other nefarious doppelganger!! Con of the Dead is, beyond it's fun concept, a cool story and cast of characters, that stands on it's own (and also sounds somewhat different from this new concept), and I look forward to competing in the market with it. (And it should be noted, I'm not exactly a stranger to rolling out a concept that has rival projects breaking similar new ground... Super Real wasn't the first or only mash-up of reality TV and comic book superheroes to hit the racks in the mid/early aughts when it finally saw full release.)

I guess it should also be mentioned, that it certainly won't hurt to be clear up front that I've got a similar concept to this new one, should there be any eyebrows raised in a similar fashion on the other side of this zombie Comic-Con coin.

The lesson here is one I've known for far too long, get stuff out asap before someone else beats you to the punch! For once I just wish this didn't come true.

 More to come!

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