Monday, September 03, 2007

Boneyard Days: My Comic Book Past

Kill Marvel Issue 1 signed by Stan Lee. This was my crowning acheivement in my Boneyard Thug Status. At the time Stan Lee was fairly old, and after I had finished plopping down the issue for him to sign, he grabbed it, squinted at it, and asked me if it was "One of theirs." I replied, "Yes, Yes sir, Mr. Stan Lee Sir." He smiled back and with his shaky geriatric hand, proceeded to autograph my copy of Kill Marvel.

Okay. I admit it. I tried out the WAYback Machine. I searched the old Comic Book Company's site I used to work for. Boneyard Press. It sure did bring back some fond memories.

For Instance: Here are the Boneyard Press Booth B*tches, Ginger Hill & Xavier something or rather. See the little dude behind them in the black t-shirt? That's me, working the booth and chatting up the fans. I believe that was Wizard World Chicago circa 1997-1998.
Fun Times.
So naturally, my next step was stalking Boneyard on Youtube and seeing what came up.
To my surprise I found this:
Warning- Don't watch if you're squeamish to Blood, Serial Killers or hard rocking music.

Hart D. Fisher, the publisher, sliced in a few Pinups and Pages from my Dark Angel Adaptation from his Dark Angel/Bill the Bull Issue 1.
Funny reading that Hart had a meeting with people interested in turning Dark Angel into a Japanese anime and manga, especially since I suggested it to Hart and his brother Adam, way back in 1995.
It was met with Hart's hearty guffaws and his brother walking away snickering and shaking his head! I guess I've always been ahead of the game.
I've been thinking alot about Boneyard Press lately, in relation to my life and career now, and realized that Hart was my first mentor and was teaching me many of the self promotion methods I still use today.
I wrote newsletters, corresponded with the fans and artist submitters, talked with distribution partners, took care of book orders, assigned artists to writers, writers to artists, managed our crack team of Interns (which was just one), and also working on a comic myself during that time period. I handled the nuts and bolts of the machine, while Hart took a step back. Hart also tried teaching me Photoshop and Quark Express, and I acquired a basic working knowledge on them, but was too much of a technophobe to sit down and learn more.
All this was before the Internet really became the beast it is today, so a lot of that work was via snail mail and actual phone calls.

Hart was featured in Wizard Magazine.

Though small, It was still thrilling to know my name (back when I was known as "JOE" Janovsky) was in print, and that hundreds of comic fans everywhere glanced at it. If you squint really hard, look for the yellow hi-lited part where you'll see my name.

These days, I write newsletters, correspond with the Frederator fans and animator submitters (via the magic of Ichat, email, myspace, Channel Frederator Raw, Youtube, Blogs, etc.), talk with distribution partners (email, phone calls), manage our crack team of Interns (which is a bunch), and also working on mini-comics (encouraged by Fred, actually), where I have access to a photocopier, color photocopier, and poster size printer that I am free to use whenever I want.
In addition to all this, I am forcing myself to learn Flash and refuse to be the annoying technophobe I was many years ago.
(My photoshop skills have gotten a lot better too.)
I am learning so much in terms of business and marketing, statistics and networking, programming and promo making from Next New Networks, but I am very happy that I had Hart guiding and mentoring me to use as a springboard into this next level.

Though my art style isn't as dark as it used to be during those Boneyard days, sometimes you can catch glimpses of the tiny bits of darkness that are still in me just underneath the surface, bubbling up.

Thanks for everything Hart. I can't tell you how much I appreciate and miss those Boneyard Days.
-Jeaux Janovsky

Compooter Animation by Avi Tuchman based on art by JEAUX Janovsky!