Our friend Jeff Balke released a video trailer for his Urban Legends #1 comic book.
He’s been an InvestComics supporter for a long time and we have been a huge supporter of his creative endeavors and NOW He has his own comic book line!
Our friend Jeff Balke released a video trailer for his Urban Legends #1 comic book.
He’s been an InvestComics supporter for a long time and we have been a huge supporter of his creative endeavors and NOW He has his own comic book line!
Long time friend and supporter of the InvestComics website, Colorist Jeff Balke has released his first ever publication! Check out the awesome cover to the Urban Legends ashcan special!
Here is what Publisher Jeff Balke had to say:
“Right now our Preview Ashcan is out and ready for purchasing, and also with an exclusive 11×17 limited print (you can ONLY get with purchase of the ashcan). If you didnt want the print, we of course are also selling the ashcan by itself. Anyone can purchase the ashcan from my website using this link: http://www.jbalkesart.com/
“The actual 1st issue doesnt come out until MegaCon (Orlando) in March, where we’ll have an exclusive for the show and 2 other covers. Myself, Brandon Filbert, and the artist of the issue will be there at MegaCon!”
Does Jeff sound excited or what?! We are too! Be sure to get your copies of the special limited edition ashcan today! Then visit Jeff and the gang at the Orlando MegaCon in March to pick up the first issue!
InvestComics interviews Colorist Jeff Balke…..
The last time we left Jeff Balke (in our first interview back in October of 2012 on InvestComics) he was a traveling man, traveling across the country to various shows to many adoring fans. If you’d like to read that interview click right HERE! He was quite a busy man back then and these days there seems to be no slowing down for the Balkenator! Let’s see what Jeff is up to these days.
Art: Joe Romano – Colors: Jeff Balke
InvestComics: You mentioned in our last interview that you were traveling via an automobile to all of the conventions you are appearing in, are you still getting around from show to show this way?
Jeff Balke: Yeah for the most part. This past year (2013) we had traveled EVERYWHERE with our car. Even to San Diego, Portland and Seattle. And let me tell you, our car took a beating with the NorthWest travels..lol! Mainly because of all the mountains.
But for 2014, we are going to be flying to a couple of shows including a couple in Canada.
IC: Tell us one of your most memorable road trip stories. We’re quite sure there are many, but share one that is family friendly.
JB: I don’t know if there really is one..lol! But not really…some had more exciting things to look at than others..lol!
IC: So how many shows would you say you frequent a year?
JB: This past year, 31. But I average 27 a year…and it looks like next year is going to be about the same at this year.
IC: You must have met some incredible fans over the years. Is there a particular moment that remains the most memorable for you? What about media talent, is there a moment there too?
JB: Ive had a lot of awesome moments..but one that I can remember was the first time I had a girl and mom cry at my table (but in a good way..lol)
To make a long story short, the entire weekend at the Wizard World Chicago show, a mom and her daughter kept coming up to my table in artist alley checking out the prints and the books I’ve worked on. Sunday, the last day of the show, they came back up, looked around again, we all talked for a few mins, then were just about to leave..and the daughter picked out a couple of prints she really wanted. The mom said no, because they didn’t have enough. So I told the daughter (she was about 14-15ish) to show me which ones she liked, and which book(s) her mom liked.
She showed me what they liked, and I gave them everything they were looking at. Why? Because I wanted too.
The daughter started crying..wanted a picture with me, and the mom started tearing up and also took a picture with me.
That is a moment I will NEVER forget.
For media talent, Ron Pearlman liked the Hellboy pic I colored and Chris Sarandon, who I met at my first Canadian show this year, loved the Nightmare Before Christmas print I colored. He liked Sally..lol! More grown up looking..lol!
IC: When fans see you at your shows, you always have the coolest items for sale. What new merchandise do you have going on these days at the Balke table? Anything coming up?
JB: OH, I have a TON of new things coming up for 2014! Including some NEW 3D prints and convention exclusives for ONLY $2 each!! AAWW YEAH!! You read that right! All the other stuff, you’ll have to come to the shows and check them all out 😉
IC: The last time we spoke, you were working on a lot of things for Zenescope Entertainment. Are you still working with them and what else have you worked on lately that fans should check out?
JB: I’m still working freelance with Zenescope, but as of lately, I’ve just started working on my own projects which will be released in Feb., but next month we have a preview coming out of our first series from our own publishing company.
IC: Speaking on you’re on publishing company, on your Facebook page you mention that you are working on stories and looking for an artist. Can you give some details on this?
JB: I’m not going to go into a ton of detail as of yet, but what I can tell you is..the rumors are true. I’ve stated my own publishing company where our first book from our first series is coming out in Feb, but have a preview coming out next month of that series. So far we are written up to issue 6 and have the first issue done, and currently working on the 2nd. The artists we have working on the books, are people who have NEVER worked in the industry before. And I can tell ya, the 2 cover artists and interior artists we have are ROCKING it!! And our writer..WOW, he’s taking the series to the next level!
IC: Can you tell us what genre your first book will be? Will it be Superhero related?
JB: I can say very comfortably, that is will not be a superhero book..lol! This is more along the lines of the supernatural/myth type of series. There will be good and bad guys..but no one making capes..lol!
IC: Will you be doing any of the coloring on your books? Fans really dig your coloring Jeff!
JB: Awww…thank you. Actually yes. The first few issues will be my coloring on the interiors..and some of the covers.
IC: When can fans expect to see a teaser or a sample of your publication gig?
JB: Well for sure, in Jan, we’re releasing a preview of our first series. AND of course on my Fan Page in FaceBook (JbalkesCOLORS), I’m going to be posting a couple of smaller teasers and leading up to Jan.
AND, I’ll also be releasing who our artists are and the name of the book later this month.
IC: Can you give the InvestComics fans an exclusive regarding your publication gig?
JB: I had just sent you a picture of one of our variant covers. This is our “Art Gallery” variant.
InvestComics Exclusive! Jeff Balke Publications Variant! Art by Adam Dresden
IC: Fans should still check out the JbalkesCOLORS Facebook page to be up to date on everything Balke. Anyplace else you’d like us to visit?
JB: The Fan Page is best, but you can always check out my website too: www.jbalkesart.com..which now also has my 2014 GET BALKED TOUR poster!
IC: Thanks for giving us some of your valuable time Jeff. Be safe driving!!
JB: Thanks IC! I really appreciate it. And I’m looking forward to seeing you soon at a show =D
“Get Balked” Tour Poster 2014
Ghost Rider – Art: Cory Smith – Colors: Jeff Balke
Quinn – Art: Rick Bascaldua – Colors: Jeff Balke
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New York Comic Con 2013 rundown: (don’t fret, InvestComics Hot Picks below too!)
Back from the New York Comic Con! Another year in the books, and boy was this year’s show spectacular. InvestComics along with Rafael Rosario of RatchetCity Comics dominated the floor with images, as well as come away with a few interviews. Interviews with the creative team of the hit animated series on Fox Bob’s Burgers, Late night host Pete Holmes (TBS), WWE stars Kane and Hornswoggle, WWE studio president Michael Luisi, Directors Jen and Sylvia Soska, Animal Planets’ Finding Bigfoot cast, and the SECOND (with a microphone this time!) interview with Stan “the man” Lee!! Yes it was a great time to say the least.
InvestComics put together a short video montage of various awesome photos taken by Rafael Rosario (with some bad photos taken by yours truly!). Many of the photos in the video do not give the viewer a “full display” of the picture. So there will be a post on InvestComics with a gallery of full displayed images coming soon. Until then, check out the video below. Some of the cosplay this year was simply outstanding. If you see someone you may know in the video, please share it with them.[bliptv AYOXlRIA.x?p]
The crowds were plentiful as always at the show. Expansion will probably happen again either next year or shortly thereafter. The show itself is definitely becoming the San Diego Comic Con on the east coast. It’s more about the glitz and glamour of the media world rather than the comics themselves mostly. Yes the Image Comics/Marvel Comics booths were absolutely a mad house as they always are, but no signs of an actual “mad house” around the comic book booths tucked away in 3 aisles if that many. The comic booths did have some traffic, but it was nowhere as near as it was everywhere else. Yes the media outlets have taken over, and that’s okay too because it gives the comic book world extra juice. Especially small media…..
Small publishing media were doing their thing too! Creature Entertainment was constantly busy, as were their neighbor Cosmic Times. Be sure to look for those publishers at your local show, they are always making their rounds in the circuit. Our pals at Unstoppable Comics were doing very well as we checked in from time to time, as was our bud, our favorite colorist Jeff Balke! Jeff Kaufman of Big City Comics Studio was drawing all sorts of attention with his stellar graphic novel Angel Falling and his Whore book. And our friend; media mogul, owner of Hound Comics Brimstone was uber busy signing and making appearances everywhere. All and all, it was a busy show for everyone.
One of the more puzzling questions at the New York Comic Con this year; what happened to DC??! Yes DC Comics were nowhere to be found. Yes they had their little signing area WAY in the back area in artist alley, but no booth?? Very odd. Many fans were perplexed by this move. DC however, did have the “75 Years of Superman” display in the court by the coat and luggage check! Displayed in glass cases were all of the Superman costumes worn throughout the years from various Superman movies. Once you were over the amazement and coolness of it, it quickly became, “that’s it?” DC dropped the ball here. They could have had various Superman creators along with the displays present. It would have been a nice token/gesture to recognize the artist and writers of the past that have worked on making the Superman comic throughout the years. Have a free giveaway comic, have them sign it or talk to fans, take pictures. It’s quite absurd that Neal Adams (and many others) were sitting in the next room and he (they) weren’t sitting there for a little while to honor this momentous occasion. Rant over!
InvestComics got a hold of some very rare Walking Dead variants from the Image Comics booth. The Walking Dead #1 New York Comic Con variant has a print run of only 2000!! If you’re interested in buying one, you can head over to the InvestComics Ebay page right HERE and bid away! Remember only 2000 of these exist! Rare indeed.
Before heading off to New York Comic Con, InvestComics released our first ever InvestComics Publications comic The Dawning #1 by David Whalen. There have been many sales of the book and we will be shipping them out this week. So if you ordered please be patient. Thanks! Oh and just in case you missed the ordering details, click right HERE to order now!
Also before heading off to New York, InvestComics announced a new contest to win a SIGNED Chris Claremont Excalibur #1! That’s right, legend Chris Claremont! If that doesn’t entice you, how about this? How about your chance to grab one of the hottest books out right now signed by the artist? How about Batman The Dark Knight #23.4 Joker’s Daughter #1 SIGNED by artist Georges Jeanty?!! Yes this comic can be WON by YOU! Share the InvestComics website/Facebook/Twitter/Instagram and all other social media anywhere and you will be entered to win! Be sure to (hashtag) #investcomics when you share. Each contest is separate though, The Excalibur and the Batman comic, so be sure to specify which comic you are after! Also alert InvestComics via Facebook or Twitter or here that you shared!
Onward we go!!
So you missed that number one issue that InvestComics recommended you pick up. What were you thinking?! So now the question you may ask is what’s worse than a number one issue selling out and missing it? Well a number two issue selling out and missing it! Often times after a number one sells out, the interest tends to make the second issue a sellout as well. The tricky part here is, will the second issue hold up the series or will fans toss it because the story simply is not enough for them to stick around. If the story holds up, then you are definitely onto something as far as the aftermarket is concerned. Case in point this week with Rat Queens (2013 Image) #2, Sex Criminals (2013) #2, and Other Dead (2013 IDW) #2. Image Comics are simply killing it. They have put out more aftermarket greatness in the past couple of years than many can count. They continue to do so this week with these releases. Do not get caught short here, especially with any of the hot books that contain any variants. Get the variants CGC graded (9.8 or better a must), signature series (9.8 or better a must), and sell them for double/triple the value easily.[scrollGallery id=313]
While we are on topic of number two issues, what gives with DC Universe vs Masters of the Universe (2013) #2? A “Top Secret” black cover obviously reveals nothing and because of this it’s essentially sold out already? Justice League makes an appearance, but wow, it’s a He-Man comic and it’s sold out. Let that sink in folks. But with a legend writer Keith Giffen on the book, it makes sense too.
DC’s lone number one comic to make it to the Hot Picks this week is Beware The Batman (2013) #1. An all ages Batman comic that has the SOLD OUT sign up on the variant. No sold out sign for Marvel’s Marvel Now What (2013) #1, but a fun comic read nonetheless! Marvel will “change things FOREVER” in Iron Man (2012 5th Series) #17. The last part of the Secret Origin of Tony Stark storyline. And going back to DC, we have Justice League Dark (2011) #24 with the New Justice League Dark. Is that really the cover? The white sound? Hmmm, okay.
Samurai Jack makes his triumphant return in Samurai Jack (2013 IDW) #1. Jack’s first comic appearance came back in DC’s Samurai Jack Special #1 (2002). If the world is ready for Jack in a big way, the number one special will be……special.
Pretty Deadly (2013 Image) #1 and Velvet (2013 Image) #1, both from Image Comics are…..you guessed it, SOLD OUT! Velvet #1 includes writer Ed Brubaker and artist Steve Epting! Each week the same format rings true here; buy Image Comics. Be sure to stay on top of these Image Comics, it won’t be long before they open that huge movie studio and start cranking out these comics into cinema beauty. Hey, you never know!
Another zombie book will make its way into the comic book world this week. On the verge of a sellout, be sure to check out Zombie War (2013 IDW) #1. And Conan fans get a new book to read this week from awesome writer Fred Van Lente, Conan People of the Black Circle (2013 Dark Horse) #1.
See you next week! Don’t forget to hit that contest up! And sign up to the InvestComics newsletter too![wysija_form id=”1″]
The inaugural ribbon cutting ceremony of the Wizard World Nashville Comic Con will take place October 18. Guess who the Mayor invited?! Colorist extraordinaire Jeff Balke!! Jeff will join an already star studded list; Lou Ferrigno, Henry Winkler, and Stan “the man” Lee! The show will take place from October 18 – 20.
InvestComics has always supported colorist Jeff Balke and the fans should show their love to Jeff in this monumental, very cool moment! Go to Jeff’s Facebook page right now by clicking right HERE and congratulate him!
Jeff Balke travels to so many different cons throughout the year. Check out his Facebook and web page to see if he’ll be in your area! If he is, you must go see him! Let him know that InvestComics sent you!
Visit the Wizard World website to see find out more info on the show right HERE.
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Welcome to the InvestComics Hot Picks for new comic releases on 5-29-13
(Disclaimer: all comic recommendations are from a speculative vantage point. Not all comics are to guarantee a return on your investment. This article is used as a guide for investments and entertainment purposes. Please use your own discretion when investing.)
This week for the first time in a long while, the InvestComics Hot Picks sees no regular issue numbers appear. Only number one issues this week fans, oh and one zero issue. Let’s jump right in.
First and foremost, personal friend and big supporter of InvestComics, colorist Jeff Balke will be displaying his amazing work in Asylum (2013 Storm King) #1 coming out this week. I learned about this book about a year ago and have seen the progression of a fantastic comic. This is some of Jeff’s finest work to date. Mr. Balke was tapped recently to be a guest speaker at the University of Texas Arlington! Yes Jeff is boss. If you ever see him at your local comic convention, be sure to stop by and say hello to him and to Brandon. Two of the finest people you will ever meet at a show. If you want to check out everything Jeff Balke, click right HERE to jump to his website. I’m not just saying this because he’s a friend of mine, but Jeff Balke is one of the top colorist in the industry today. Take a look at his work and judge for yourself, you will arrive to the same conclusion I did years ago. This guy rocks! You know what else rocks? “John Carpenter’s” Asylum #1; written by the one and only Bruce Jones, with beautiful artwork by Leonardo Manco. Pick this comic up fans, it’s a winner!
Marvel Comics gives fans a $7.99 reprint comic this week called Captain Universe The Hero Who Could Be You (2013) #1. Captain Universe? Really? Okay cool…. we’re in! The comic covers at least seven different comics that the Cap has appeared in. You probably could get all seven issues out of some 50 cent long box, but who would want to go through that trouble right? So what’s the next best thing? What does this comic NOT cover? How about Captain Uni’s first appearance? Well lucky you have us right? Look for Micronauts #8 (1979). This once very hot series was at the forefront of many collectors’ pull list. With creator names like Michael Golden, Bob McLeod, and Bill Mantlo attached, it’s easy to know why now. Here’s the scoop with this comic, the Micronauts #8 issue. The CGC censes only has 33of these bad boys graded. That’s not a bad number right? Well with good, some bad sorry. Out of the 33 graded, 15 sit on the 9.8 scale. That’s a bit top heavy for only 33 books you may say. A couple of things to point out though, what if there are not that many 9.8’s left sitting out there? With the Marvel cosmic movies about to take center stage in the third phase (Yes the third phase will include the cosmic universe folks, you do know that right?) Who is to say that Captain Universe won’t be a part of it?? I personally will be adding this comic to my collection, because for a mere $9 book, it could pay large dividends down the line. Micronauts #8 is a comic you buy now and hold on to it for a while. Don’t expect anything big, until maybe Marvel announces Captain Universe will be a player on the big screen. And if none of this ever come to fruition, well then you have a nice first appearance to add to your collection from the creator’s mentioned earlier for only $9.
Staying on topic with legendary names like Golden, Mantlo, McLeod, Jones, and Carpenter, we also get Clive Barker into the mix this week. Check out New Genesis (2013 Boom) #1 and witness the new original series from Clive Barker that has nothing to do with Hellraiser. There is a limited signed edition (variant) and painted cover by Mr. Barker himself. See if you can get your hands on that. It’s a rare thing to get a signed comic from one of the masters of horror like Clive.
DC Comics has a bunch of number one issues to check out this week. There are six here on the InvestComics Hot Picks to be exact, 4 of which are annuals. One number one issue is a standout, but the quick list of annuals are: Red Hood and the Outlaws (2011) Annual #1, Batman The Dark Knight (2011 2nd Series) Annual #1, Earth 2 (2012 DC) Annual #1 (New Batman Earth 2 debut!), and Catwoman (2011 4th Series) Annual #1. Adventures of Superman (2013) 2nd Series #1 round’s out five number one issues. Whew, that’s a lot huh? There is that ONE number one issue that you will need to get before it flies off the shelf. Wake (2013 DC) #1 written by Scott Snyder, this all new story will touch on horror, discovery, and the birth of human life. Yes Scott, we will buy, read and watch the demand go up in the aftermarket for this comic. True story, you’ll see.
Marvel Comics offers up the first ALL woman X-Men team book in X-Men (2013) 3rd Series #1. An all-female team in an X-“MEN” #1 comic, hmmm………female postal workers are called mail persons, not mailmen right? Just saying.
And wrapping thing up with our free-for-all number one issues this week are; Westwood Witches (2013 Amigo) #1 (don’t sleep on this one), King Conan Hour of the Dragon (2013 Dark Horse) #1, Adventure Time (2012 Kaboom) Annual #1 (remember what happened with the first issue of this series, won’t happen here though, but still a buy nonetheless), Realm Knights (2013 Zenescope) #1, and the lone zero issue from our friends at Action Lab Comics Pirate Eye Pirates Life (2013 Action Lab) #0!
That’s it for now. Be sure to sign up for the InvestComics Newsletter on the front page of the website, or below!
Have a great week. Invest wisely.
A Press Release recently came out about a personal friend of InvestComics. Jeff Balke is responsible for coloring Jay Katz’ very first comic book work in Vincent Price House of Horrors #1 (Bluewater Comics). Below is the Press Release. Congrats Jeff! And here is to the next 100!!
PRESS RELEASE – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 20, 2012
Comic Colorist Balke Hits 100 Book Milestone
Jeff Balke, a comic colorist, has completed work on his 100th project. This is a marker of having the drive, dedication and motivation to make it in this field.
A colorist is an artist who adds color to black and white comic images. The use of color as a special effect, shading, and lighting helps express the mood, setting and scene in the comic.
He works with Zenescope Entertainment who creates books such as Charmed, Grimm Fairy Tales, and Tales from Neverland. He is also working with John Carpenter, the creator of the films Halloween, the Fog, and the Thing amongst others who is also putting out books with his wife, Sandy, and her company, Stormking Productions.
Jeff has been nominated twice for the Eagle Awards – the comic industry’s oldest and most prestigious award. He has also been nominated twice for the Shel Dor Awards for Colorist of the year winning in 2011.
Jeff states, “I am extremely proud to be working in this industry. I strive every day to one day work fulltime with any one company. But until that time comes, I’m going to continue to work as a freelancer. It’s a HUGE honor to be working in the field I’ve always wanted to work.”
Plans for the upcoming year include 27 comic book conventions all over the country including Arizona, Orlando, San Diego Comic Con, and New York Comic Con. He is calling it his, “Coloring with Jeff” tour.
Jeff is a graduate of Warren Township High School in Gurnee and attended Columbia College Chicago. He graduated from Disney University in 1999 with a DUCTorate degree. When not traveling, he resides in Elkhorn, Wisconsin.
# # #
(JK): “Baby Balke” had fun with coloring, but having met Stan “The Man” Lee in 1993, you say it was a defining moment for you. What sort of inspiration did Stan give you and have you met him since?
(JB) Honestly, with meeting Stan in 93 and having him sign my Amazing Spiderman #41, that was inspiration enough. But I think it was when he looked at me with his “Stan grin”, and said “Keep going true believer..dont ever give up…”. Right then and there, its like he saw something in me that I didn’t see. I didn’t really realize what he was talking about until I got home that evening and figured out..I want to work in comics.
(JK): You’re not only a colorist by trait, you’re an artist as well. Do you prefer coloring over pencils? If so, why?
(JB) I do like coloring much better now. I always (like a LOT of people), doodled and drew when I was younger, but after I started coloring (when I got older..lol), I just seemed to like it better. My colors stay more consistent panel to panel…lol! Sometimes when I was drawing a comic page (way before I got into the comic scene), I couldn’t stay consistent. Like I would draw Lady Death (as an example), like LD in the first panel, then the 2nd she would look like Miss Piggy, then the next panel she would look like Cher..lol! So it was safe to say that I was more comfortable coloring. But from time to time, I do still illustrate…just haven’t illustrated any books.
(JK): You’re first pro work; Foxwood Falcons (2005?). What was that like to be working as a “professional” for the first time? Do you remember the book vividly or vaguely?
(JB) Yeah I remember that book..lol! I remember being picked up to do that book on Myspace (LOL..yes, I said Myspace..lol). It actually came out in 2007 (it was a Wizard World Chicago show). When I got behind the table and sold my first copy, I was walking on clouds. It was EXTREMELY exciting! I still get that way today!
(JB) A Sketch Coloring Print is pretty much like a Sketch Coloring. It’s a b/w print in which I color up by hand but leave a little bit of it still b/w (but not too much). Its meant to make that cover or print POP more and just look BAD ASS!
(JK): It’s extremely rare to find any colorists that do as many shows as you do…if any at
All. How do you do it? What’s your secret?
(JB) Honestly, I just LOVE going to shows and meeting the fans! I’ve said it before and I’ll keep saying it..if it weren’t for the fans, I wouldn’t be in this industry. So I just make sure I make time for them. And shows do just that.
But I love to come up with different unique things for people to purchase at shows. Like 3D prints, special posters, Chrome posters and so on.
(JK): What really gets you motivated to work in this industry?
(JB) I think just the recognition you get from most everyone in the industry and a simple, “WOW, I worked on that” type of feeling.
But also (for me), I feel, the more comics I make, the more shows I can go too and share it with the fans.
(JK): You have a pretty sweet t-shirt called “Have you been Balked”. How did that come about?
(JB) When I first started up Sketch Colorings, a buddy of mine created a flier that asked “Have You Been Balked?”, and it was a comic book cover which he had the progression of a Sketch Coloring cover I worked on for a fan going from the b/w cover, to almost finished to fully Sketch Colored. I loved the saying, so I kept it..lol!
(JK): How many comics have you worked on in your career thus far?
(JB) So far, I’m worked on 88 comics which are all available in comic book stores. Comics from Zenescope (Grimm Fairy Tales, Charmed, Wonderland and so on), MoonStone Books (Zombies vs Cheerleaders), Image and Storm King Productions (John Carpenter’s Asylum).
(JB) Just like stated above, Zenescope books, Image comics, Moonstone Books and Strom King Productions. There are some other smaller companies, but unfortunately, they have closed up shop.
(JK): Has one of the “Big Two” come knocking on the door yet? Do you care or would you want to work for either Marvel or DC? Is that the ultimate achievement for you?
(JB) No, neither has come a knockin yet..lol! But as I always tell newbies who want to get into the industry, you don’t have to work for the big 2 in order to make a good career for yourself. I’m actually pretty happy working for Zenescope and a few other Indy companies. Although, I wouldn’t mind getting a full time gig somewhere..lol!
One step at a time 😉
(JB) Well currently I’m getting ready for the NYCC coming up next week and a 5 week road trip. From NYCC, I’m going to be in Dallas the following week for Fan Days, then the week after, I’ll be at the Wizard World Austin show, followed by the following week at the Long Beach Comic Con..THEN finally, taking a little time off for myself in Vegas to relax and unwind..lol! OH, and did I mention I drive to all the shows. So literially, I wont be home AT ALL for 5 weeks. Kind of looking forward to it (seeing parts of the country I couldn’t see in an airplane).
But I also have a few new books coming out from Zenescope the next few weeks including my first cover I colored for Zenescope (Myths and Legends #21). Pretty sweet!
(JK): Where can fans find you? Stalk you….
(JB)They can ALWAYS find me on FaceBook..lol on my Fan Page (JbalkesCOLORS), my website (www.jbalkesart.com) and on Twitter (Jbalke08).
Thank you Jeff, continued success!!
InvestComics’ good friend Jeff Balke, Shel Dorf Colorist of the year 2011 is nominated again for the award this year. Let’s make it 2 years in a row for the hippest, coolest, awesomenesst Colorist in the comic book industry! Scroll through some of his works below and make your VOTE count!
Click this link right HERE and VOTE now!
Check out the press release InvestComics received from the awesome publisher What The Flux Comics!
Press Release 7/24/12
Death Fox Exclusive Limited Edition Comic
from What The Flux Comics Publishing
Trina Mason Model/Wrestling Diva/Actress gets her Own Steampunk Comic. This limited edition, signed & numbered from 1 – 150; slated for a scheduled October/November 2012 release date. The limited edition is being sold for $20.00 per copy and once these books are sold out they will not be reprinted.
The book is being written and penciled by Larry Jarrell, Inked & Colored by Amanda Raquel, Lettered by ET Dollman. Exclusive Cover Edition colored by Jeff Balke.
independant comics publisher
Welcome to the InvestComics Comic Hot Picks 3-21-12
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Check out the latest InvestComics TV addition; Orlando MegaCon 2012 Indy Panel. The panel features some great talent within the Independent circuit. Featured are Juan Navarro, Martin Pierro, Ricardo Porven, Brian Pulido and with host Terry Cronin. If you are an aspiring artist, writer or publisher then this panel would be for you. You’ll find a lot of great advice, information and tidbits regarding the Independent Comic scene. Check out the video either right HERE or click on the video to the right of this page and never leave here!
(Click on covers to enlarge)
If Marvel can deliver on time with their new series SuperCrooks #1 from Mark Millar and Leinil Yu, they will have a hit on their hands. If not, well you know how that goes. Delayed books equal lost interest, equals who cares.
The next “big” Spider-Man event will begin this week (Didn’t we just have one for Spidey?). Amazing Spider-Man #682 brings in the storyline “Ends of Earth”. With all of the events Spidey and the rest of the Marvel Universe has endured in the past few years, it’s a waiting game to see how long before Marvel pushes the “restart button”.
IDW Publishing will bring back The Rocketeer again in Rocketeer Adventures 2 #1. This popular character created by Dave Stevens first appeared in Pacific Comics’ Starslayer #2 in 1982. This little gem is only $8! Not too shabby.
Our good friend Jeff Balke colors what will probably be an instant sell out in Dead Pooh from Antarctic Press. Yes its Deadpool meets Pooh. The cover is awesome, the character is awesome, and yes this is awesome.
Here are some other books to check out this week. IDW’s Dorothy of OZ Prequel #1, Image Comics’ Hoax Hunters #0 and Rebel Blood #1, Bluewater’s John Saul’s God Project #1, and Zenescope’s Grimm Fairy Tales Presents The Jungle Book #1.
That’s it for this week. See you soon.
Jay Katz[imagebrowser id=101]
Welcome to InvestComics Comic Hot Picks 3-14-12 Join the InvestComics Facebook page right HERE
As promised, the InvestComics Stan Lee interview will be coming. It’s in the stages of transcribing (audio not all that good) and will be here shortly. So hang tight!
The second release of the latest MegaCon 2012 Q&A came out. It’s a quick watch and it’s funny! Click right HERE to watch that OR click on the video to the right of this page, you won’t have to leave here! The video features; Jimmy Palmiotti, Billy Tucci, Tony Bedard, Frank Tieri, Jeff Balke, Sebastian Piccione, Jason Metcalf, Mike Wagganer, Brian Wolf, Karl Moline, and James Whynot. So go check it out!
Brian K. Vaughan will be returning to the comic book scene this week with a new ongoing series. InvestComics suggests that you check out You Tube’s Famous Faces & Funnies video’s regarding the new comic. Very funny videos featuring FFFIC’s very own Shaun Sorenson, Sebastian Piccione and Famous Faces & Funnies comic store owner Rick Shea.
Saga #1 from Image Comics will come with 40+ pages and no ads at a nice easy price of $2.99. Okay so you get all of these pages from a premiere writer in industry, a solicit that mentions “Star Wars action that collides with Game of Thrones”, written by Brian K. Vaughn, what more do you need here? This is a no brainer folks.
Brian K. Vaughn is well known for his epic comic series from Vertigo; Y The Last Man. If you’re looking for a nice collector’s item, the number one issue will cost you about $40. But buy the trade if you want to read the best written comic material in some time. A nice collector’s piece to own from Brian would be one of his first published works. Marvel’s Tales From the Age of Apocalypse #2 from 1996 would be the one! This comic should (unfortunately) be found in one of those 50 cent boxes at your local shop. Pick this up and brag to your friends that you own Brian’s first work.
Brian (unfortunately) was a part of one of the biggest errors to ever occur in comic book history back in 1998. Wolverine #131 had an anti-Semitism word that rocked the comic book industry. Brian did NOT have anything to do with this error, but Marvel quickly retracted the comic and reissued the correct wording. The comic commanded some serious cash in the aftermarket after word got out about the error, but cooled down tremendously over time. The error book is only $6 these days.Marvel Comics will milk the new Avengers movie for all it’s worth with a new Avengers title Avengers Assemble #1. Will the big “reveal” happen that everyone suspects in Battle Scars #5? If you don’t know what that may be, pick up a copy and found out!
DC’s Suicide Squad #7 gives the reader the origin of Harley Quinn. Her first appearance of course is in Batman Harley Quinn from 1999. Vertigo will offer up an interesting look into politics, intrigue, and aliens. Yes it’s an election year folks! Saucer Country #1, sounds like fun!
See you soon. Invest wisely.
Jay Katz[imagebrowser id=98]
Part 2 of InvestComics at the Orlando MegaCon 2012. Simple task, ask several creators some simple questions and come back with some fun results. This Episode: What Celebrity/Person would you like to meet? And tell us a Joke! Again, check out answers from Jimmy Palmiotti, Billy Tucci, Tony Bedard, Frank Tieri, Jeff Balke, Sebastian Piccione, Jason Metcalf, Mike Wagganer, Brian Wolf, Karl Moline, and James Whynot. Special thanks again to Michael Frick Weber for the Inspiration.
Filmed By: Jay Katz
Video Edits & Graphics: Jay Katz
We want to share with everyone some AWESOME news. Colorist extraordinaire (and our friend) Jeff Balke has been nominated for an Eagle Award for Favorite Colorist! Jeff has colored such books as..Grimm Fairy Tales, Tales from Neverland, Zombies vs Cheerleaders and the hit NEW ALL ages series, Jurassic Strike Force 5 (just to name a few).
The Eagle Awards have been around since 1976 and are the oldest comic book award. So this is a huge honor to be even nominated. Way to go Jeff!!
So do us a big favor, “ROCK THE VOTE” and vote for Jeff Balke for Favorite Colorist (question #8 in the survey). The survey takes about 5 minutes
to complete and you do not have to vote in every question. You can just vote in the questions you know (or just in question #8).
When you are done submitting your votes, the awards will send you an email to
verify your votes. You MUST verify your votes or your votes won’t count. So don’t forget to check your spam/junk mail folders as well (you should get the email w/in 1 minute after you submit). You can vote on your phone, ipod, ipad and computers.
Voting ends April 2nd, so its creeping up fast. Please help spread the word to ROCK THE VOTE and vote for Jeff Balke (question #8) for Favorite Colorist!
Thank you everyone! And GOOD LUCK Jeff! You’ve got our support!
Be sure to visit Jeff Balke’s website and join his Facebook page too!
Welcome to InvestComics Comic Hot Picks 3-7-12.
First off, in case you missed the release of the latest InvestComics You Tube video you can catch it right below! Wow look at that, technology! Just sit back and we’ll bring the entertainment to you!
This particular video was by far the most fun I have ever had putting together a montage. Although my video by no means is a new innovation with the piecing of questions together, but it’s “new” to InvestComics! I seriously owe much thanks to Michael Frick Weber for the inspiration to put together such a fantastic video. I’ve seen Michael work his magic with numerous videos and they are absolutely awesome. Check out Michael’s Videos on You Tube or just follow him on Facebook, great stuff.
Here’s the Video and description from the You Tube Page:
InvestComics goes out to ask several creators some simple questions and comes back with some fun results. Check out answers from Jimmy Palmiotti, Billy Tucci, Tony Bedard, Frank Tieri, Jeff Balke, Sebastian Piccione, Jason Metcalf, Mike Wagganer, Brian Wolf, Karl Moline, and James Whynot. Special thanks to Michael Frick Weber for the Inspiration.
Filmed By: Jay Katz
Video Graphics & Edits: Jay Katz
Image Comics gets the spotlight this week with their release of Hell Yeah #1. With a very “Millar/Bendis” feel to this comic, it may sell out due to that factor alone. But with award winning writer Joe Keatinge at the helm, along withElephantmen artist Andre Szymanowicz, this comic does not need much help to sell out anyway.
DC Comics brings back something old something borrowed. Marv Wolman returns with his original series from 1982 called Night Force. If you’d like to check out Night Force #1 from 1982 it would only cost you a dollar more than the new number one coming out this week. Actually you would probably find it in the 50 cent boxes at your local shop if you look hard enough.
DC’s Vertigo line will have a hit on their hands with Fairest #1. Built around the hit Fables series, creator Bill Willingham brings the Females from Fables into their own book. A beautiful cover from Adam Hughes will catch the buyers eye while Phil Jimenez’ pencils on the inside will keep the buyers around for more.
A few number one issues to possibly pick up this week include the latest in IDW’s Infestation 2 Event. The Turtles are in Infestation 2: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #1. If you yearn for more of the Avengers movie after seeing the latest trailer (WOW), check out Marvel’s Prelude to Avengers #1……and rounding out this week, make sure to pick up Red Wing’s own Jonathan Hickman’s latest book Manhattan Projects #1.
Also as a reminder, my first written comic will be coming out from Bluewater Productions. Vincent Price: House of Horrors #1 is now available through your Previews catalog or any comic shop on line. You can catch a 5 page preview on Bluewater’s web site right now!
Check out some fantastic covers coming to a shelf near you this week below.
And yes the Stan Lee Interview from InvestComics will be here soon!
Have a great week. Invest wisely.
Jay Katz[imagebrowser id=97]
InvestComics goes out to ask several creators some simple questions and comes back with some fun results. Check out answers from Jimmy Palmiotti, Billy Tucci, Tony Bedard, Frank Tieri, Jeff Balke, Sebastian Piccione, Jason Metcalf, Mike Wagganer, Brian Wolf, Karl Moline, and James Whynot. Special thanks to Michael Frick Weber for the Inspiration.[bliptv AYOaoAkA.x?p]
MASTER OF HORROR VINCENT PRICE’S NEW COMIC BOOK SERIES HAUNTS THIS MAY
A brand new Vincent Price horror limited series comic book to debut from Bluewater Comics in May; Vincent Price’s “House of Horrors”, will be a four issue mini series. This series is spinning off from the Rondo Award nominated, “Vincent Price Presents”.
“This new series will focus on one shot stories that will have you at the edge of your seat,” said President of Bluewater Comics, Darren G. Davis. “The stories are all new and have a certain horror element about them that hasn’t been seen before.”
The very first issue starts off with the debut of new writer Jay Katz of the energetic and wildly popular web site InvestComics (www.trendingpopculture.com)With art by a Bluewater mainstay Stefano Cardoselli, and colors by Industry star colorist Jeff Balke. It features a painted cover by LP Dopp.
“I am very proud to have this new Vincent Price series for everyone to enjoy”, said Daren Davis. “It’s going to be a spine tingling experience, so get ready for some great horror stories!”
The comic will be available through comic book stores only and other fine established comic book ordering web sites. Check with your retailer and ask about Vincent Price: House of Horrors #1.
About Vincent Price:
Vincent Price was born on May 27, 1911 in St. Louis, Missouri. His father owned the National Candy Company. His acting career began onstage in London in the play Chicago. He also performed with Orson Welles <http://www.biography.com/people/orson-welles-9527363> ‘s Mercury Theatre. Actor Vincent Price starred as the villain in the 1953 film House of Wax. It was one of the first films shot in 3D and revitalized the horror genre.
About Bluewater Productions
Bluewater Productions Inc. is one of the top independent production studios of comic books, young adult books and graphic novels. Its extensive catalog of titles includes the bestsellers 10th Muse and ³The Legend of Isis Bluewater publishes comic books in partnership with entertainment icon William Shatner (TekWar Chronicles), legendary filmmaker Ray Harryhausen (Wrath of the Titans, Sinbad: Rogue of Mars, Jason and the Argonauts, et al) and celebrated actor Vincent Price (Vincent Price Presents), Additionally, Bluewater publishes a highly successful line of biographical comics under the titles Female Force and Political Power.
Bluewater aims to unite cutting-edge art and engaging stories produced by its stable of the publishing industry¹s top artists and writers.
For more information, visit www.bluewaterprod.com
Usually when you think Zenescope, you thing a whole lot of HOT ladies on covers doing what they do best. But there’s a different side of Zenescope you’ve most likely never seen before (mainly because its new..haha)! But Zenescope has teamed up with the Discovery Channel and are marketing books for kids ages 9 and up. YES, you read that right! ALL AGES BOOKS!! How AWESOME is that??!! The imprint company is called Silver Dragon Books! Jurassic Strike Force 5 is just one of the books they’ve come up with.
Awakened from his 65 million year hibernation, the evil alien overlord Zalex is ready to resume his conquest of the universe and he’s starting with the earth. Backed by his army of evil, mutated Dino-soldiers there’s nothing that can stop him…nothing but Dino StrikeForce! Don’t miss the seminal issue in the first original series under Zenescope’s Silver Dragon Books imprint.
…..And the cherry on top of this awesome cake, our good friend and award winning colorist Jeff Balke is the colorist on the series! This is something NOT to be missed (Balke meets Dinosaurs)!! Issue 1 is due out early February. Grab yours before they all go “extinct”.
Welcome to InvestComics Comic Hot Picks 12-7-11.
First thing on the agenda today (some self promoting!) will be pointing out that the new Vincent Price Present #36 comic coming out this week will be my very own first published work. A word of warning here before all of the animal activists gets their panties in a bunch. It’s a horror story that in no way depicts the boundaries of who I am as a person. I love animals, and so does Stephen King.
So moving on from the unnecessary explanation, I want to thank once again a fantastic team that helped my story come to life. The President of Bluewater Productions Darren Davis, the awesome artistry of Stefano Cardoselli, and colorist extraordinaire Jeff Balke. All of you guys rock, and thank you for making my dream a reality starting point.
So technically Vincent Price #36 falls under the Hot Picks umbrella. It’s the first published work of a newbie. I’m picking one up!
Marvel Comics is daring to change the Marvel Universe landscape once again. If everyone received a penny for each time marvel has thrown out the phrase in one of their solicits “this will change the face of the Marvel Universe”, or something close to that, Marvel would probably be filing for Chapter 11 again. That being said, will this mean that we will not be checking Hulk #45? Of course not, we have to, curiosity killed the reader no? Hopefully not a big letdown……
The Defenders comic is back! Remember back in the day how much fun this comic was? Well it’s back with another go-around. However, this Defenders team features the original ensemble minus the big green guy with some added members. Another minus to point out has to be the ridiculous 6 variant covers.
The 2011 version of the Defenders will be brought to you by writer Matt Fraction, and artist Terry Dodson. The defensive teams first appearance can be found in Marvel Feature #1 (1971) for $200. Four years ago this comic was within the $70 range. I know this personally because I bought it back then. Not a tremendous turnaround, but a decent one at the very least.
This week on the new comic book shelf you will find a comic that will feature some of the lamest third rate villains ever assembled in a comic. Villains For Hire #1 has a lineup that will make some say “who? what?.” Since Marvel was so kind enough to even give us this book, we should have fun with it too. There are a total of seven villains appearing in this book. If you decide you want to have some fun hunting down their first appearances, be very prepared to pay your deductable and then some. Here is the list you’ll need to have on hand.
Daredevil #4 (1964) – First appearance of Purple Man. Purple is an expensive color. $800
Amazing Spider-Man #46 (1967) – First Appearance of Shocker. Not too bad of a jolt at $300
Uncanny X-Men #141 (1981) – First Avalanche. This comic is the best of the bunch. Not because of the Avalanche appearance, but because of everything else in this comic. John Byrne art, first appearances of Rachael Summers, Pyro, and a classic cover from Byrne and Austin to boot! No chill here.
The Sub Mariner #5 (1968) – First Tiger Shark. Too much of a bite here at $60.
Marvel Premiere #21 (1975) – First Misty Knight. A soggy $20.
Amazing Spider-Man #222 (1981) – First Speed Demon. No quickie here at $16, but a great Walt Simonson cover!
Thunderbolts #34 (1997) – First Scourge. Find this one in the 50 cent bins at your local shop.
Another X book from Marvel tests the waters this week, X-Club #1. The X-Men Science Team gets a comic. Yes that’s right, the X-Men Science Team.
Two Independent comics (Editor Note: 3 not including Vincent Price Presents #36) to check out this week. Irredeemable #32 will start a mini crossover event with Incorruptible. A lot of fun here because these two comics rock on their own. Also check out that ridiculously awesome cover from Trevor Hairsine! Anyone remember Voltron? Well they’re coming back in Voltron #1 from Dynamite Entertainment. The first take on a Voltron comic appeared in 1985 from Modern Comics. A $3 book.
Usually we don’t cover posters, but the new Carnage USA poster is a beauty from Clayton Crain. Click on the image to enlarge and admire the glorious piece.
See you next week.
We would like to give a SHOUT OUT and CONGRATS to Jeff Balke “colorist
extraordinaire” for winning the Colorist of the Year award in the Shel Dorf Awards! CONGRATS buddy! You really deserve it!
Jeff has worked on numerous covers and, I cant even keep track of the books..haha!
If you’re not familiar with Jeff’s work, check out his website at www.jbalkesart.com
or his fan page on FaceBook called (JbalkesCOLORS).
Congrats again Jeff..and keep up the GREAT work!!
“Founded in 2010, along with the inaugural Detroit Fanfare, the Shel Dorf awards are dedicated to recognizing the comic industries best and brightest talents. Like Shel, another Detroit native, the awards are most concerned with the fan perspective, giving the fans unprecedented say in the nomination and voting process.
The Shel Dorf awards proudly celebrate the best of our industries present while honoring the unique place that Detroit has in comic fandom’s past.” – Shel Dorf Award Website Jeff, besides being an amazing color artist, is also one of the greatest guys you will meet in the business. If you get the chance to meet him at any of the shows this year (check out his website jbalkesart.com), do it! He takes his fans to heart and REALLY loves what he does.
So vote today for Colorist Jeff Balke at ShelDorfAwards.com
Well here it is folks, my first published work. It’s kind of surreal. Special thanks to Stefano, Jeff, Adam and Darren. Vincent Price Presents #36 will be in the next Previews, be sure to get your comic shop to order some!
Click on the cover below to see a full size image.
Mom, Dad…..check out my comic.
Our friend Jeff Balke (Colorist) was kind enough to share a little bit of his NEW project with InvestComics! He’s working with John Carpenter! Yes THAT John Carpenter! IC will post a couple of things, but MORE to come!
CLICK on the PDF above to check out the amazing creators on this project.
Thomas Ian Grifith
….and of course our friend Jeff Balke!
If you haven’t heard by now, I will be writing a one shot for BlueWater Productions under the Vincent Price Presents title book. It’s called “Good Boy” and will feature an extraordinary talented team of Stefano Cardoselli on pencils/inks and Jeff Balke on colors. If you’d like to see the full press release, you can click here. If you’d like to see a preview page that is completely finished click here.
A special thanks to all of those who supported me when this news broke. I truly appreciate it, and look forward to sharing the process of building the comic with all of you.
Now off to the Weekly Hot Picks! Here’s a nice little quick nugget; Did you know it’s been over 5 years straight of the Weekly Comic Hot Picks in the magazine and InvestComics.com combined?!
DC Comics; Supergirl #60 gets a new creative team. Artist Bernard Chang (Superman, Wonder Woman), and writer Nick Spencer of the wildly super hot series Morning Glories! A new and very cool animated series will coming out called Young Justice. Check out the first comic based off of this soon to be hit cartoon. Have to mention that Tony Daniels cover for Batman #706. That’s super cool.
Marvel; Amazing Spider-Man #652 brings back an old foe Alistair Smythe, a.k.a. Spider-Slayer. Check out Slayers first appearance in Amazing Spider-Man Annual #19 (1985). You probably could find this comic lying around in some $1 bin at your local comic book convention. Iron Man celebrates his anniversary issue with issue #500. Anniversary issues usually don’t fare that well in the aftermarket, so don’t look for the “regular issue” to command much on ebay, except for the variant from Joe Quesada. A steep $130 at some comic shops makes this a rare and hard book to get.
Independents; 3 books are highlighted this week. 27 #1 sold out quickly, so a second print variant will be hitting the shelves this week. Also check out Image Comics Memoir #1, a very interesting looking book with John Cassaday’s name attached to it, and Boys reaches its milestone 50th issue.
InvestComics TV will be releasing Part 4 of 4 with Neal Adams this Wednesday! What a great series!
That’s it for this week, see you next week. Invest wisely
10 For The Pros
Jeff Balke – Colorist/Artist
Name: Jeff Balke
Date of Birth: July, 31 1979
Recently, I’ve created something called Sketch Coloring. This is where I take a sketch cover of any comic book and color right on the actual cover with special markers. This is my way of creating a sketch. Since most colorists really don’t sketch “traditionally” (like Jim Lee, Micah Gunnell and so on…) I wanted to come up with my own way to give something to the fans so they can take home and have a “one of a kind”. Sketch Colorings do just that. No two Sketch Colorings are alike (even if I color the same cover 100 times for 100 people).
1. What comic (character) would you love to have total creativity control over? And why?
(JB) Green Lantern. He’s just awesome.
2. If you could have 1 superpower, what would it be?
(JB) To become any character.
3. Do you have a routine that you follow before or during work?
4. Who is your favorite creator to work with?
5. In your opinion, do you feel that the movie industry is doing a good job with the Comic Book movies?
6. What comic book hero/villain do you want to see on screen?
(JB) Red Lantern.
7. “If I wasn’t in the comic book industry, I would be working….”?
(JB) Working retail…yuk!!
8. What advice could you give a creator trying to break into the industry?
(JB) Keep going.
9. “My Best investment in life was……”
10. Have anything you’d like to plug?
(JB) Foot Soldiers Graphic Novel coming out this summer!
Who were your influences breaking into the Industry?
(JB) Mike Turner, Peter Steigerwald.
Digital or Paper?