Saturday, April 25, 2009

Awakening Pre-Order Initiative: Week Four

Alright sure, it's not Friday - the week got away from me in a hurry. It's gotta be Friday somewhere though, right?



Perapanauts: Triangles (written by my good pal and hetero lifemate Todd Dezago) is out in stores NOW! While it's the third trade in the series, it's actually the first one from the run recently begun at Image and works as a great starting point for new readers!

In fact, you can get it for the ridiculously low price of $8.99 at DCBS! Maybe just add it to your order of, I don't know, AWAKENING VOLUME ONE FOR ONLY $10.97 WITH AN EXCLUSIVE SIGNED ART PRINT!!

Lest ye forget, Alex and I have a two-part back up story debuting in issues 10 and 11 of Perhapanauts later in the summer - this would be an excellent time to jump on and get to know these guys!

Todd also just posted a funny pinup my fiance, the talented Jackie Santiago ( did for him - behold, THE PERHAPAPALS!

Check out his blog for more about Perhapanauts, Todd, and a wicked cool Friday Trivia contest posted, you guessed it, every Friday.

The Perhapablog!


Recently, Alex and I did a great interview over at Omnicomic which I linked to last week (and just now again). A reader left a comment and question up there which I've discussed here briefly in the past but want to bring up again. His questions and comments were:

"So what do I do with my three issues of the Awakening comic book? Now it seems I have to buy the same thing again. And how do I know the second volume will be published, when the comic book version was discontinued?"

I think those are valid concerns and good questions - below is my response:

"Thanks for the comment and double thanks for being one of the pre-hardcover supporters of the book! The decision to go exclusively to two hardcover volumes from floppy issues was based on a number of factors and was made by both Alex and I and Archaia.

For any number of reasons, indie floppy books, especially from smaller publishers which are only just beginning to grow a strong and consistent line, have difficulty finding success in a comic shop. After all, when shelf space is as limited as it is in most shops what are you going to give the slot to - a new, unproven book from a small publisher and a brand new creative team or the 81st tie in to Secret Final Civil Identity Crisis Invasion War? One of them has guaranteed sales. The other is a risk. Unfortunately, it's just smart business on the retailer's end. We bore the brunt of that uphill battle for three issues before Archaia began undergoing its reconstruction and, if not for said reconstruction, would have continued chasing that for seven more issues.

However, between the year-long restructuring (it's complete now and the company is in an excellent position going into the June re-launch) and taking those very obstacles mentioned above into consideration, it didn't seem prudent to return with issue 4 after being absent for a year and a half. Further, releasing in hardcover volumes allows us instant access/exposure to the book trade market (Amazon, Barnes & Noble, etc) which gives us even more avenues to offer the book. In turn, that gives us a much better chance of putting the book into a reader's hands.

As for buying the same thing again - yes and no (and isn't that the very nature of a collected edition release?). Sure the first three issues are included, but so are 10-pages of supplemental material that are story based and deal heavily with the time between events in the issues, as well as five brand new pinups from fantastic artists. In addition to that you get two more chapters and, if you order through DCBS, you're getting all this in a 144-page hardcover volume (with dust jacket) AND an exclusive signed print for just $10.97 - that should ease any pain of the money previously spent on issues.

I don't control the fates, the winds, or the fickle publishing industry so no, I can't guarantee beyond any horrifying doubt that Volume Two is coming. I can tell you that Archaia is an incredibly strong company, that the book is written and artwork has begun, and that we're on track to put it out in June of 2010. The surest way to make certain it DOES come out isn't to second guess it but to support the book - even if the very worst happens and Archaia isn't around in a year, strong sales would make certain another publisher would happily snap the book up for the final volume.

And hang on to those issues - supporting the book is one way to guarantee that those limited copies of issues 1 - 3 in the market might actually be worth more than cover price some day! :)"

The bottom line is that Alex and I are doing everything in our collective powers to make sure you're getting a great book and that you'll get another one a year from now. And then an entirely different story a year after that, one with nothing to do with zombies. And another book a year after that. And so on...


Last week you got a pinup from the amazing Patrick McEvoy which is being included in the Volume One hardcover. This week, I thought maybe you'd like a look at some actual pages you may not have seen yet...


If you haven't already pre-ordered the book, do it now! Get to da choppa! Currently there are two ways you can do this:

- Print out the pre-order coupon below and bring it to your local comic shop to guarantee your copy this June!

Awakening Pre-Order Coupon!

- Go to DCBS and order the book through them at 45% off to get yourself an exclusive signed art print! The direct link for Awakening is

The print is below, if you're curious...

Free Print with DCBS Order!

We'll have links to Barnes & Noble, Amazon, etc. once they update the listing.

We love you.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Awakening Pre-Order Initiative: Week Three


Wondering what the EXCLUSIVE FREE SIGNED PRINT is that comes with every DCBS order?


Don't forget to get those orders in to secure your copy of AWAKENING VOLUME ONE AT DCBS FOR ONLY$10.97 INCLUDING AN EXCLUSIVE PRINT!!


Jonathan Pilley over at Omnicomic has been spreading the word around town like the dedicated Awakened he is. Below is the Omnicomic advance review of Awakening Volume One. Below that is a link to a sweet interview we did with him this past week.

"Review: Awakening Volume 1

Ok folks. Today I am bringing to you my review of Awakening Volume 1, published by Archaia Studios Press and written by Nick Tapalansky, illustrated by Alex Eckman-lawn and lettered by Thomas Mauer. Now with this title you can come to different conclusions as to what this series might be about, but after reading it came to the conclusion that I applaud how the work was done and the direction they took.

It all boils down to zombies. Yes I said it: zombies. But in a new way. Were this your typical zombie comic there would be tons of flesh-eating action and mindless violence. No my friend this zombie story was written with suspense and mystery in mind, letting the story slowly unfold for you in a small town where mysterious murders start to happen and the bodies are savaged in a manner that has the local police baffled. Thus enters our protagonist, a private investigator named Derrick, who has his own sort of mystery about who he is and what happened to him that makes him a private investigator.

With only one witness to work with, Derrick begins the long journey to figure out what is going on in his small town that has large implications. Recently, a pharmaceutical company came to town and then just up and left, firing everyone and leaving their building abandoned and questions as well. What sort of things did they work on there? Could they be the cause of this zombie madness?

Soon enough an outside source is sent by the government to help the local police solve the baffling murders in the form of Doctor Daniel Howe. Eventually Derrick and Doctor Howe team up at the behest of the chief of police, as Derrick used to be the best man on the force until something happened that made him a civilian. Slowly the two begin to work out the mystery of the missing drug company and what is driving these vicious attacks. How the story is laid out is done in a manner that lets you piece together things slowly and not reveal too much at once so that you can't really anticipate what’s gonna happen next. I know while I was reading it there were some things I didn’t expect to happen, but they did and now it has me hankering for the next volume.

The style of drawing also helps inspire the sense of mystery and danger with appropriately placed foreboding shading in certain panels. The zombies are drawn magnificently as they aren’t drawn as your run of the mill, half-eaten, "blood all over me" type zombie. Rather, they look almost human with a touch of feralness. Another part of the whole package that was done well is that they don’t rely on zombies to be the shock factor or constant gore to move the story. Following our protagonist propels the story most of the way, with a bit of inner monologue and notes at the beginning of each new chapter to recap what’s been said and occurred. This format really helps keep you involved in the story.

Overall it was not what I expected, and that's a good thing. I was surprised greatly in reading it and want more, especially with the cliffhanger ending you are left with at the end of the Volume 1. The style of writing and artistic approach are both a welcome change to the usual graphic novels and comic book genre. Hopefully more artists will go in this direction when completing mystery and horror style comics. I am sorry I missed this series when it first came out back in 2007, but now I've (and you've) been given a second chance to pick this volume up with a special coupon to order it."

Next up was a fun interview Alex and I did with these guys - the thing is pretty long, so I'm only going to post a link (plus I want to make sure you guys check the site out too!)

Nick and Alex talk Awakening Volume One with Omnicomic!

I also want to give a big shoutout to his royal evil, Lord Shaper, for spreading the word like a madman about the pre-order coupon and DCBS discount. He's been all over the web with it, including his own site, Kryptographik, and going so far as to give us a great send up on the Comic Book Page April Previews podcast. Be sure to check out both his site and the podcast by hitting up the links below:

Comic Book Page - April Previews Podcast (Talk of Archaia relaunch begins at 54.05 while the coverage of Awakening begins at 58.34)

Damian a.k.a Lord Shaper on Twitter!



It's occured to me that I don't think I've mentioned much here about one of the loveliest ladies we know, Chandra Free. She's the creator of the upcoming The God Machine comic being published by Archaia (preview due this July at SDCC, first volume TBA). She's an amazing artist, a great friend, and a lover of Venture Bros. What's not to love?
Find her on
deviantArt and MySpace and friend the shit out of her.

In other Archaia family news, Josh and Kat of Titanium Rain fame have posted up a pretty cool trailer for their upcoming July release. Check it out below!

What's that you say? You want MORE previews from inside Awakening Volume One? Didn't I put something up just last week? Alright, alright, settle down. Hmmm...

How about a pin-up by fellow Archaia creator Patrick McEvoy of Starkweather: Immortal fame?

We love you.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Special Offer! Free Print! Discount! Awakening Pre-Order Initiative: Week 2

Big news, ladies, gents, and everybody else - Awakening Volume One is now available at a HUGE discount over at Discount Comic Book Service (DCBS for short). Not only does every copy you order come with an EXCLUSIVE print signed by Mr. Alex Eckman-Lawn himself, but it's also on sale for 45% off!!!

What's that now? You want to know how much the book will cost then?


Oh, and the icing on the cake? They ship internationally.

Awakening at DCBS for only $10.97!! Includes a signed print exclusive to DCBS!

Don't miss out guys - Get over there and pre-order your copy TODAY to guarantee your exclusive signed print and take advantage of the insane discount!!

**For those of you holding out for an online retailer you know, like Barnes & Noble or Amazon, just sit tight - as soon as the book is available for pre-order through them I'll pass that along. Of course, they won't have the discount OR the exclusive print... But I'll post the info up as soon as it's available.


Let's see, let's see... What else do I have for you? Hmm...

Ah! Here's a fun one - this news story popped up a day or two ago. Give a read and you tell me: Just a strange happening or Awakening viral marketing? Hmmm...

Stranger takes bite of gardener's arm
Victim says attacker chewed, swallowed
Tuesday, April 07, 2009
By Michelle Hunter
East Jefferson bureau

A Metairie resident is recovering after a stranger bit a chunk of flesh out of his arm, and swallowed it, Saturday afternoon.

Joseph Lancellotti, 67, told authorities he did not know the suspect, later identified as Mario Vargas, 48, or why he was attacked in his front yard.

Lancellotti was gardening at his home in the 4400 block of Kawanee Avenue about 2 p.m. when he noticed a man walking toward his house, shouting angrily, the report said. Lancellotti said he couldn't understand the man because he was yelling in Spanish. But when the man got within two feet, he slugged Lancellotti in the head, the report said.

Lancellotti said he tried to defend himself with a garden rake. As the men struggled over the rake, the stranger bent over and bit Lancellotti on his right forearm, the report said. Lancellotti's flesh ripped away as he fell to the ground. The man then got on top of Lancellotti and began choking him, the report said.

It was then that neighbor Chantal Lorio, a podiatrist and director of the Wound Center at East Jefferson General Hospital, came out to check on Lancellotti. Lorio said Monday that she first thought Lancellotti was having a heart attack and the other man was trying to help him.

The stranger was still gripping Lancellotti as Lorio noticed her neighbor was lying in a pool of blood. She didn't learn what happened until she began dressing the wound -- with the stranger still clutching her neighbor's shirt.

"He said, 'He bit my arm, chewed the flesh and swallowed it in front of me,' " Lorio recalled. She said the bite measured almost 3 by 1 1/2 inches, and was less than 1/4-inch deep.

The pair tried to calm the stranger, who never made any attempt to run away. He eventually let go of Lancellotti and walked two blocks to a parking lot, where he hovered near an empty police car, the report said. The suspect was still standing there when deputies arrived and took him into custody.

Vargas, of 724 Camp St., New Orleans, was booked with second-degree battery. He was being held Monday at the Jefferson Parish Correctional Center in Gretna in lieu of $25,000 bail.

Lancellotti's wife, Bonnie, 60, said Monday that her husband was recovering from the bite, physically and mentally. She said his sense of safety in his neighborhood has been shaken.

With all the bacteria involved, Lorio said a bite from a human is worse than an animal bite.

Bonnie Lancellotti also has concerns about the suspect, who apparently had been treated at East Jefferson General Hospital earlier in the day for a finger injury. Vargas was released 45 minutes before the attack, according to the incident report.

Bonnie Lancellotti wondered whether hospital staff noticed anything amiss while treating Vargas. "This person's clearly lost his sense," she said. "I mean, what else can you say, eating people's skin?"

Keith Darcey, spokesman for the hospital, said, "We cannot comment on any individual patient because of privacy laws. But as a matter of general hospital policy, the emergency department has behavioral health nurses available to help diagnose patients who might require mental health assistance."


We've got tons of pending interviews and advance reviews in the pipeline but nothing I can link to just yet... Next week could produce some fun stuff though. I'm happy to report, for those of you who've been patiently waiting for this book since LAST April (or longer) that the book was uploaded to the printers today! We're en route to a big splash in June and, yes, we're really coming this time.

Maybe you need a little preview though, just something to whet your appetites a bit. I've got to have something lying around here...

For those of you who picked up the issues, this journal supplement comes before issue 1. Each issue in the book is supported by an entry like this which fills in some time gaps within and between issues. Read 'em carefully too - you never know what may prove important in Volume Two...

See you next Friday, kids.

We love you.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Awakening Pre-Order Initiative: Week One

Alright, depending on who you're going by, we're anywhere from 9 - 12 weeks away from the in-store release of Awakening Volume One! Last week we launched Mission: Existential Horror Zombies In Your Face (or, EHZIYF for short) with our pre-order coupon, a.k.a. Phase One, that you can just print and bring to your local comic shop to pre-order a copy of the book.

Phase Two is coming next week and is a pretty cool one if you ask me... More on that next Friday.

Speaking of Friday's, keep checking back every Friday for updates, including online pre-order info (we've got something really cool in the works), advance reviews and interviews, blogs, forums and message boards of note, some really cool previews, convention and signing announcements, info on other books you should check out and more! It'll be a one-stop shop for all things Existential Horror Zombies In Your Face.

First up this week - the first advance review for Awakening Volume One is in! This one brought to us courtesy of Marc Mason and Avril Brown over at Comics Waiting Room 3.0:

Posted by Marc Mason at 3/31/2009 8:43 PM
Categories: archaia studios press
Written by Nick Tapalansky and Illustrated by Alex Eckman-Lawn
Published by Archaia Studios Press

Zombies really freak me out, and it is stories like AWAKENING which do not let me forget that fact. More than just another scary monster story, this is one of the most incredibly illustrated and uniquely written comics I have ever read. Zombie, comic and art fans of all sorts should not hesitate to pick up this book and marvel at it for years to come.

Tapalansky takes his time effectively building suspense surrounding the strange and gruesome things happening in Park Falls and keeps the mystery alive, even after encountering several ‘zombies,’ of what exactly is causing these horrific events. This is not an instant epidemic or ‘guy wakes up in a coma after several months’ type of zombie story. Things are gradually getting worse, spreading slowly out from Park Falls, and there is no real pattern to explain why. The main characters are likable and easy to become invested in; an important aspect of a zombie story since you’re never sure how long someone is going to be alive. The journal pages of Derrick Peters, a cop-turned-private detective and the story’s leading man, add a personal touch and insight to the narrative.

The artwork in this book is simply stunning. The amazing mosaic of different media displayed throughout the pages completely vibes with the story and is a veritable feast for the eyes. The mixture of standard comic panels with gritty lines and noir color schemes and full pages of artwork so fine and beautiful you cannot tell whether it was hand drawn or a photograph from the early 1900’s creates a hazy, dark mood suiting for the story. The whole effect is, quite frankly, completely cool.

AWAKENING is a fantastic creation of unlimited imagination, superb writing and pure talent, and is without a doubt highly recommended for anyone with a taste for a slightly different kind of scary story that grips your brain and doesn’t let go."


How's THAT for a great start?! Now, as soon as Alex stops strutting around with a mirror and telling his reflection that he's "simply stunning" and I stop dancing to Joe Esposito's "You're the Best (Around)" we'll get back to work...

Also, if you want to check out a fun interview I did with Comic Book Monsters (awesome site with a great forum), you can find that here:

Nick Tapalansky talks Awakening


The word about our impending release has been spreading, thanks in no small part to all of our friends and supporters out there picking up the ball and running with it. I want to call out a bunch of them here and encourage you to check out their books, blogs, or anything else they've got going on:

First, our buddy Todd Dezago (Tellos, Perhapanauts, Spider-Man) was great enough to post up our pre-order coupon and gush openly about Awakening in his thrice-weekly Perhapablog! Get over there and check it out! Don't forget, Alex and I have a two-part back-up story in Perhapanauts #9 and #10 due out over the summer. If you haven't been reading the book - get on it!

Also, just got turned on to Omnicomic, a blog run by Jonathan Pilley. He jumped on the Awakening train and ran with it hardcore! Check out his pimping of the book on his blog and watch that space for an advance review and interview soon!

Next up, our pals Kat Rocha and Josh Finney, creators of Archaia's Titanium Rain (Coming this summer!! Can't wait!) were awesome and posted up a little press release I threw together about the pre-order coupon. Visit their main site for their book by clicking here - Titanium Rain - and their blog here - The Hangar. If you dig some deep and thoughtful sci-fi (think Ghost in the Shell: SAC) then you owe it to yourself to get in on the ground floor here.

Speaking of Archaia creators, your buddy and mine Alex Sheikman (Robotika) has a double-sized issue of Robotika: For A Few Rubles More coming out in June too! And, what's this? A pre-order coupon you can print and bring to your comic shop (along with your Awakening coupon of course)! Click the image and download that sucker to get yourself a double-helping of the second Robotika mini (and, if you missed it, the first hardcover).

You can find out more about this amazing Sushi Western (as opposed to Spaghetti Western, get it?!) by checking out Alex's blog - Moonstruck.

Also from Archaia in June, while we're on the subject: Some New Kind of Slaughter! You can find author A. David Lewis (Lone and Level Sands) over at his website, Caption Box, with more info about his second collaboration with artist mpMann, a really unique book bringing together diluvian myths - that's flood stuff for the nonedumacated (like meself). More on this, Robotika, Titanium Rain, and more as the releases get closer...

That's it for this week...

So, our first week of straight pimping has kicked off strong. We've got tons of cool stuff lined up and you'll be seeing it all here over the coming weeks so stay with us as we blaze a trail of glory all the way to our exciting June release! In the meantime, please keep on helping us spread the word: put the coupon up on your blog, show your retailer our listing in Previews, tell your friends and send e-mails, text messages, and twitters about it - this release is going to be an EVENT and everybody's invited!

Seriously, we couldn't do this without you. Keep doing what you're doing and we'll keep putting books in your hands.

We love you.