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ComicsBeat on email newsletters with quotes from me & Warren Ellis

A few days ago, I wrote about the precarious state of social media and internet services and how creatives and freelancers might consider revamping their email newsletters in order to maintain contact with readers and fans. That same day, Warren Ellis sent out some similar thoughts in his own email newsletter. And now Heidi MacDonald at ComicsBeat has written about both of those pieces!

Check it out — lots of great food for thought!

And please do sign up for my newsletter, natch!

And you can sign up for Warren Ellis’s legendary newsletter right here.

Smash Pages interviews Tak Miyazawa about MECH CADET YU and designing robots

Smash Pages has interviewed my buddy and frequent collaborator, artist Takeshi Miyazawa! It’s a great interview that touches on his introduction to comics and his current work on MECH CADET YU. Here’s a cool excerpt:

You’ve been drawing comics for years and you’ve drawn robots over the years. Do you want to talk about how you designed the Robo Mechs for the series and how to give their own design and personality?

Like any kid from the ’80s, Transformers and Gobotswere properties I was obsessed with. Throw in some Gundam and old-school robot anime, stir it up, and that’s about where my brain is at with robots and robot design.

For this book, I paid particular attention to the generational aspect of the mechs in the world of Mech Cadet Yu. Skip Tanaka is the first to bond with a robot, therefore, his robot is square and blocky like an old Volvo. A real workhorse. The later robots that come to Earth become sleeker and more specialized in their strengths. Olivetti’s mech is a huge bruiser type while Sanchez’s mech has razorlike fins and sharper features. The man-made mech that Park controls is all angles and edges, something completely foreign to what we are used to seeing. So, playing with the various contrasts has been a great way to differentiate each mech from each other.

Read the whole interview here, and be sure to ask your local retailer to order you MECH CADET YU #5 and the first collected trade paperback, both in stores on January 3!

Rethinking social media, the internet, and email newsletters for creators in 2018

I’m just old enough that email newsletters made my career possible. And I’m starting to think that they’re going to save us indie creators and freelancers all over again in the coming years.

Back in 2002, when I was taking my feature film Robot Stories around to film festivals, I’d pass around a notebook and collect email addresses from every audience I spoke to. By the end of our festival run, we had no real budget for publicity for our theatrical run, but we had a few thousand email addresses. And that was better than gold. I sent out email newsletters every week, asking our amazing supporters to get their friends in whatever city we were visiting next to come see, come see! And they did!

As the years passed, I sent out fewer and fewer newsletters and spent more and more time on social media. Social media was easier, and let’s be honest — it was more fun. At first it seemed like we were all just goofing around on Twitter, telling ourselves it was good publicity but mostly just cracking jokes. But Twitter proved its enormous value when I started doing Kickstarters. Without Twitter, we’d have been hard pressed to drum up the kind of support we did for Code Monkey Save World, The Princess Who Saved Herself, ABC Disgusting, and Kickstarter Secrets.

But with each passing day, the culture and administration of Twitter seems to get more overwhelmed with negativity and harassment. Something’s going to break. And when it does, where does that leave all of the creatives and freelancers who have put so much of their outreach efforts into the site?
read more »

2017.12.13 – WEAPON X #12, in stores today!

WEAPON X #12 hits stores today, with gorgeous art from Yildiray Cinar, colors by Frank D’Armata, cover by Razzah, and letters by Joe Caramagna. Check out the preview and go get it today!

CBR interviews Greg Pak about WEAPON H, the Marvel Universe’s most dangerous hero!

CBR has just posted an interview with yours truly about the new WEAPON H book I’m writing and Cory Smith is drawing, along with some of Cory’s gorgeous art! Check out the excerpt below:

CBR: As a reader, it’s been interesting watching the development of Weapon H as he moves from mysterious character to antagonist to hero of his own story. What can you tell us about the evolution of the character from a creative and editorial standpoint? When you were first working on the character, did you ever think you’d be writing him in his own series?

Greg Pak: As a Wolverine/Hulk hybrid, Weapon H looks like a marketer’s dream, right? But the character developed organically through the story. Back when we were developing the “Weapons of Mutant Destruction” storyline, we established that the Weapon X scientists were collecting DNA from various mutants to turn people into killing machines. I said, “Well, we’ve got the Hulk in the book now. Seems like they’d want to collect Hulk DNA, too.” Suddenly, we had a Wolverine-Hulk hybrid on our hands.

We eventually revealed this Wolverine-Hulk hybrid as the ultimate weapon that Weapon X had been developing. And in the subsequent story that Fred Van Lente and I cowrote in Weapon X, we revealed that the man who was turned into this Wolverine-Hulk hybrid was Clay, a former soldier turned Eaglestar military contractor who’d been drugged and shipped out to Weapon X when he started challenging Eaglestar’s brutal operating procedure.

I loved all of this because it was a chance to explore familiar tropes of Wolverine and Hulk through a different kind of character. The big danger of both Wolverine and the Hulk is, traditionally, that they can lose control, go berserk. But Clay was chosen for this procedure because he has intense military discipline. The idea is that he’s the perfect weapon because he can control this tremendous power. But now Clay’s free from Weapon X — so the question is what a person with this tremendous discipline is going to do with this terrifying power?

Read the whole interview here!

New MECH CADET YU interviews from Comicon.com and Outright Geekery!

Interior art from MECH CADET YU #5 – line art by Takeshi Miyazawa, colors by Triona Farrell.

I’ve been interviewed by a few more folks about MECH CADET YU! The MECH CADET YU Volume One collected trade and MECH CADET YU #5 both hit comic shops on January 3 — please do call your local comic shop today and ask ’em to pre-order a copy for you!

Here’s an excerpt from the Comicon interview:

HMS: I think that as fun as giant robots are and can be in comics, animation, and film, they will fall a little flat if there’s not a bigger emotional component in some lead characters. In creating Stanford Yu, what main elements did you feel were core to his character? How did you develop those for the reader without getting too deeply into back story?

GP: Oh, the emotional story is always everything. We’ve all been to movies that are just spectacular in terms of action and visuals, but leave us totally cold and unmoved. Nothing’s more important than digging deep into your characters’ emotional lives and goals and conflicts. That’s the only reason we really care. In terms of Mech Cadet Yu, the most important details for us to establish were that Stanford’s an underdog–a janitor’s kid at an elite military academy. It’s also a subtle but important part of his story that his mother’s an immigrant and speaks to him in Cantonese, and his father died years ago, sickened by his work conditions, helping clean up in the wake of the first Sharg War.

This is a working-class immigrant family trying hard to make it in a world steeped in crisis and dominated by elites. We revealed those details mostly through showing rather than telling, bit by bit over the first few issues, doing our best to make it as organic and seamless as possible. The hope is that those elements help amp up the stakes for Stanford as he enters the Sky Corps Academy and provide depth to the conflicts he has with his fellow cadets–the General’s daughter, Park, in particular.

And here’s an excerpt from the Outright Geekery interview:

OG: How often do you and series artist Takeshi Miyazawa have the same vision of the mechs, the cast, and their first true threat, the Sharg?

GP: Tak’s one of my favorite collaborators on the planet. We co-created Amadeus Cho for Marvel back in the day, and from the beginning I knew we had something special going on. He just kind of gets everything I write. All the little character details, all the tiny bits of body language, all the subtle drama and humor… Tak gets it all. So whenever he sends in character or robot or monster designs, I pretty much just cheer him on. He’s soooo good.

This is a good place to plug the rest of the creative team. Colorist Triona Farrell and letterer Simon Bowland are doing tremendous work, and my BOOM editors Cameron Chittock and Eric Harburn have just been fantastic. Everyone just gets this story and is doing everything they can to make it sing.

Review of the MECH CADET YU Vol. 1 trade from Geek Out Book Club!

The Geek Out Book Club podcast has released a rave review of the MECH CADET YU Volume One trade collection, which hits comic book shops on January 3.

Check out the review here — or play it below!

And call your local comic shop to pre-order the MECH CADET YU Volume One trade and MECH CADET YU #5 today — both come out on January 3, and today is the deadline for preorders for comic shops!

I’m upgrading my email newsletter! Sign up today!

 

Art by the great Marie Severin

Hey, fun news! I’m upgrading/relaunching my email newsletter and now’s the perfect time to sign up!

The newsletter goes out around one to four times a month and it’s the best place to get the very latest news about my comics, films, and other projects.

Just enter your email in the form below, and then please be sure to check your email and click the confirmation link in the note we’ll send you. Please check your spam folder if you don’t see the email right away — it might have gotten redirected!

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Vote for MECH CADET YU in the IGN Best New Comic Book Series poll!

IGN has announced its nominees for Best New Comic Book of 2017 — and MECH CADET YU made this list! Please do feel free to check it out and VOTE for your fave today!

MECH CADET YU comic book trailer!

Hey, friends! Here’s the brand new trailer for the MECH CADET YU comic book, written by yours truly, with art by Takeshi Miyazawa, colors by Triona Farrell, letters by Simon Bowland, and published by BOOM! Studios. Music for the trailer is by the great David Libby.

MECH CADET YU tells the story of a janitor’s kid who bonds with a giant robot and joins the elite Sky Corps Academy — and ends up taking on the deadly Sharg invaders from outer space. It’s probably the best reviewed book of my career and I just love it and hope I can keep writing it forever. Hope very much you get a kick out of it, too!

The first collected trade and issue #5 both hit stores on January 3 — please do pre-order them from your local comic shop by December 11, the final order cutoff date!

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