ARCHIVES of news items from WCG Comics...
Read excerpt reviews of ROB HANES ADVENTURES in our new Reviews section!
WCG on Hiatus (April 1999)
ADVENTURE STRIP DIGEST from Image Cancelled (March 1998)
Randy Reynaldo Named Top Small Presser (Summer 1997)
WCG Comics Awarded Xeric Grant! (March 1995)
e-mail address: WCGComics@wcgcomics.com
copyright by Randy Reynaldo
|ARCHIVES OF NEWS ITEMS|
WCG on Hiatus
(April 1999) -- WCG Comics is on hiatus for 1999.
My preference would have been a spring release, but I was reluctant to re-launch the series without a firm plan in place. I am now aiming for a Y2K release.
While no definite plans are in place yet for a re-launch, I am still working on new stories and will post works-in-progress and updates on a regular basis. When Rob returns, the debut issue will re-introduce the character and the series, taking into account the time Rob has been away. I hope the new spin I have in mind will re-vitalize the series for both new readers and longtime fans.
Check in at this website for updates -- or e-mail me at WCGComics@wcgcomics.com to get on the distribution list of my occasional e-mail newsletter, WCG Comics Online!
And if you just canít stand the wait, the two newest stories are currently available as "beta" issues (#1 and #2) for $2.50 postpaid.
(Jan. 1999) -- A new Rob Hanes story will be published in Love in Tights #2 due in February 1999. The series is a superhero romance anthology series published by Slave Labor Graphics and edited by J. Torres.
In the 8-page story entitled "The Secret Life of Julianne Love," Rob becomes romantically torn between a secretary he works with at Justice International and a superheroine known as Guardian Angel. Unbeknownst to Rob, however, Julianne and Guardian Angel are the same person! Things come to a head when Rob and Julianne are sent to Paris on assignment and are attacked by the Sapphire Witch and her minions!
At left is a thumbnail image of the splash panel for the story. Click on it to review in more detail and in larger size.
For more information about the anthology series, check out the Love in Tights website.
(Nov. 1998) -- Two "beta" ashcan issues of ADVENTURE STRIP
WCG has not released a new story since 1997 due to agreements
that were signed with, first, Caliber Comics and, later, Image, that
were not successful
"A lot of people have been patiently waiting for the next
issue of Adventure Strip Digest to come out, only to see one setback
after another delay the
Reynaldo said that before he goes back to self-publishing, he
hopes to build a
In issue 1, Rob goes to Hong Kong, which is now in Chinese hands, to investigate smuggling and piracy. He also comes to grips with Justice International's new corporate owners, Drakorp Oil. Reynaldo said the tale begins a new story arc for the series.
In issue 2, Rob is sent to the Balkans by the United Nations to find out who is supplying a local warlord with supplies and fuel intended for U.N. military forces.
See the Catalog for ordering information.
Adventure Strip Digest from Image Cancelled
(March 1998) -- Well, now that the news about Jim Valentino's "non-line" of independent comics published through Image Comics has officially broken , I guess it should come as no surprise that my own title, Adventure Strip Digest starring Rob Hanes, which was scheduled to debut in April 1998 from Image, has been cancelled. I'd like to use this opportunity to express my own feelings about this latest setback and to inform those fans who have patiently waited for a next issue of my series about my future plans.
First off, I want to say that this is NOT the end of the series. I have always said that even if I was unable to publish Rob Hanes as a traditional comic-book, I would always continue to write and draw the series - I remain committed to the series and its viability.
At the moment, I am considering my options. While I have
not ruled out another publisher, given my experience over the last two
years with two separate,prominent companies, I am understandably a bit
gunshy at the moment. Returning to self-publishing remains a strong
possibility, but at this time, given the state of the market and the
financial situation of my self publishing
In the interim, I will most likely release the book as a limited edition ashcan/fanzine - in fact, for those of you who may not already know, this is how I began the series many years ago (hence, the title, Adventure Strip Digest). While this may seem like a step backwards, I believe that this is for now the best way to release the book and to get it quickly into the hands of those fans who have been waiting for the release of another issue. The ashcans will also let people know that I'm still hard at work on the series. They will also give me an opportunity to build a backlog of stories that can eventually be released on a regular schedule in comic-book format for direct-sales distribution.
I am, of course, greatly disappointed, especially because I know many of you have been longtime supporters of the book and have looked forward to new issues. I'm grateful for the great interest and support that I've received for Adventure Strip Digest and Rob Hanes from fans, distributors, retailers, and other industry professionals. I like to think that this is an acknowledgement of the quality of the book and, more importantly, because the series filled a real void in the market. There is a dearth in the current comics market of topical, entry-level adventure stories told in a classic, traditional manner, and I think the enthusiasm for ASD reflects that.
I do not hold anyone or any event "responsible" for my current dilemma. In fact, I admit to being part of the problem - because the book has not been able to support me, it has been always difficult for me to publish the series as regularly as I'd like, and my work does require some research. I do agree with the pundits and gurus who insist that a regular schedule for any self publisher (at minimum, bi-monthly) is essential for building an audience and maintaining good will. Without that constant presence, fans do forget you and will move on to something else. This is a periodical market after all.
And as cliché as it sounds, I recognize that this is a business and comics do not succeed solely because of quality. I've always appreciated the willingness of retailers and distributors to carry my book - again, I believe, a tacit show of support for what I was trying to achieve and for the quality of the book. (The one thing that helped keep me going, aside from the encouragement of my peers and fans, was the fact that when I was self-publishing, my sales never really dipped precipitously and, in fact, the numbers actually increased for some issues! We're not talking big numbers here, but this is not the norm for many series and was a positive sign.)
Nor do I think that there is any unwillingness or resistance
on the part of readers, fans and retailers to try new work - if a book
is good, provided it's released regularly, I'm confident that fans will
support it. I do not pretend that my book was "art," and certainly not
"high art" - nor was it, in the generally way the term is accepted,
"alternative." I simply tried to tell good, intelligent adventure
stories that used modern-day headlines as the inspiration for stories,
and foreign locales as my settings, with memorable characters and a
dash of humor, sex appeal and fun. I haven't entirely fulfilled my
vision for the series yet, but I like to think that as the series
Was it a mistake to move from self-publishing to looking for an umbrella publisher? Hindsight is 20/20, so one can't tell. But I made my decisions based on the best information I had at the time. And they were not made lightly - I had been actually approached by a publisher a full year before I signed any agreement, partly because I wanted to see what I could do on my own. Changes in the distribution market - and the appeal that someone else would take care of the logistics and bookkeeping side of publishing my book - were the main reasons for my decision.
Unfortunately, my brief, unconsummated agreements with other publishers have cost me more than a year in downtime - time that I could have used, instead, to release new work.
I essentially created Rob Hanes because this was the kind of comic-book I wanted to read, and aside from reprints of classic adventure strips, there were very few artists who were working in this tradition. A fellow pro said about my work, "When I read my last volume of Wash Tubbs and Captain Easy, I thought I'd never have that same hit of entertainment again." That is exactly why I created Rob Hanes and Adventure Strip Digest - I had a similar experience when I finished the last available volumes of Milton Caniff's Terry and the Pirates, Roy Crane's Buz Sawyer, and the works of Alex Toth. Rob Hanes, while set in the present day and not meant as a nostalgia book, was my way of filling that void. The response to my work suggests to me I was not the only one looking for that same "hit" of entertainment.
In any case, it's back to the drawing board - literally. In the meantime, I will most probably return to publishing the series as an ashcan digest again, until I decide how to re-enter the independent arena once again.
Meanwhile, if you are someone who was looking forward to the release of Adventure Strip Digest #1 from Image Comics, please feel free to contact me about getting an ashcan copy of the book. For now, I expect it to be $2.50 postpaid, or send a SASE for a catalog. (I'll also be pleased to provide copies to retailers at 50% cover price.)
See you in the funny papers!
(Summer 1997) -- Rob Hanes creator Randy Reynaldo was named one of the top 25 most influential small press artists to come out of the fan press in recent history by Self-Publisher.
(March 1995) -- WCG Comics has been awarded a grant from the Xeric Foundation to support the publication of Adventure Strip Digest , an action-adventure comic-book series featuring Rob Hanes, which cartoonist Randy Reynaldo has been self-publishing since 1990.
"Given the quality of past recipients, I'm proud to be a named to this prestigious award," said Reynaldo, "I'm very grateful for the support for my work that this grant represents."
The Xeric Foundation was founded by Peter A. Laird, co-creator of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, one of the biggest success stories in self-published comics, for the purpose of assisting comic book creators with some of the costs in self-publishing their work. Grants are awarded for a maximum of $5000.
Most of the funds will be used to generate awareness for the series among readers and retailers. This will include a newsletter. According to Reynaldo, everyone who has seen the series has been impressed by Adventure Strip Digest, but given the enormous amount of product currently available in the marketplace, it has been difficult raising awareness for the series with limited resources.
"Given the concern expressed by the mainstream press and audiences about the lack of positive' heroes in today's comics, Rob Hanes is part of a growing movement in the marketplace for more accessible and fun comic-books, like Wolff and Byrd and Bone," said Reynaldo. "Rob Hanes is aimed at a broad, general audience and many fans of the series include industry pros who are familiar with the classic adventure strips as well as younger readers who are looking for something fun and different."
In order to plan for the most effective use of the grant, Reynaldo said that Adventure Strip Digest #4 has been postponed to develop a campaign to promote the series and the award.