Comic Odyssey: Post-Kickstarter and Post-NYCC report

Now that the dust of New York Comic Con has settled and the Kickstarter for Patriot-1: Ultimate Edition is complete, things can get somewhat back to normal and I get back to the focus of making comics. For the past year, I have been feverishly working on Patriot-1: Ultimate Edition – remastering every page, relettering the book and working with Dexter and Donna to add NEW pages to the story. There were some breaks in between for The Atomic Thunderbolt #3 and getting #4 started, but I was laser-focused on getting Patriot-1: Ultimate Edition finished.

I’m extremely happy with how it turned out and I am eternally grateful to everyone who supported it on Kickstarter. I also need to apologize to Atomic Thunderbolt #3 backers who are still waiting on some rewards, they are coming!

Patriot-1: Ultimate Edition is not only something of a reboot for that story and world; it’s kind of a reboot for me as well. I needed something to light a fire under my seat and reinvigorate my passion of creating comics and while I love The Atomic Thunderbolt and can’t wait to show you where that story goes, Patriot-1 is my magnum opus and I wanted to challenge myself to make it bigger, better and bolder.

In my efforts to complete the task, certain things like took a backburner. However, in the coming weeks the site will undergo a slew of updates and pre-order links will be added for those who missed out on the Kickstarter. I’ll also be setting up a retailer hub for retailers to get the book directly from me. More to come on that front.

New York Comic Con was this past weekend and it was my third consecutive year in the Small Press section. Before I continue, I just wanted to acknowledge something. A couple times during the show, I tweeted about my distaste of certain attention-seeking and sales tactics of certain vendors. This was a tweet broadly directed at a number of vendors who shouted at passers-by or just out into the void of the crowd, typically of the types having contests and raffles or who didn’t necessarily have any prospective buyers in sight. This was prominent when I was away from my table and browsing in the morning or the middle of the show. I was vague and unclear with the tweets and towards the end of the show, a creative team – who were absolutely lovely people – thought I was referring to them and they got rightfully upset. Looking back at the tweets, I could see how they could be misconstrued and I was totally mortified that they believed I was referring to them, which I was absolutely not. I apologized and talked to them after, owning up to my mistake and realizing (albeit too late) how said tweets could be and were misinterpreted and deleted them. Cons can be tough and big cons like NYCC, especially in Small Press, can be tougher and frustrating but I do respect the hustle of everyone that tries to get their stuff out there. Comics is small and we need to prop each other up, the fog of a big venue like NYCC can sometimes cloud that basic fact.

Which also brings me to my next point, after three years in Small Press; I’m ready to go back to Artist’s Alley. TJ Comics is a publishing house, yes, but more than that it’s my studio, it’s just me. So next year, if I’m going to do NYCC for four days and leave my wife to deal with our three kids with little to no backup, I need to find a way to get back down there. I also do believe, however, that Artist’s Alley and Small Press at NYCC need to be merged. Small Press was downsized significantly this year, and while I appreciated the effort to put a spotlight on a curated set of publishers, the location of Small Press is detrimental. Numerous times I had friends and customers telling me they couldn’t find me, or that Small Press wasn’t on the map. After three days of hearing that, it just became frustrating. At one point, I even had to flag down a co-worker who was walking by as he was looking for me.

The first time I did Small Press (or even exhibited) at NYCC was in 2011. That was when the show was still small enough to fit on the main floor and Small Press was sandwiched between Artist’s Alley and the comic vendors. After a day, my friends and I noticed that no one was really buying in Small Press and it was a pass-through between Artist’s Alley and the vendors. I did so poorly at that show and took such a bath that I almost quit comics entirely (and took a year off from creating anything). But that “pass through” vibe is the same feeling I got this year. I didn’t get that feeling the last couple of years.

I love New York Comic Con. So much so that I’ve made sure it’s the only show I’ve done in recent years and I want to continue doing it, but Artist’s Alley is notoriously difficult to get into, so here’s hoping I can do it for next year.

With that said, next year will likely also see my return to smaller shows. I’ve wanted to do them for some time, but with three kids that are essentially all the same age it’s tough. So hopefully with Patriot-1: Ultimate Edition in tow, I’ll be back in the fray to the more intimate settings that allow better engagement with readers and fans.

That’s all for now. All is well, I feel good about the direction of things and will be updating this more frequently in the coming weeks and months.

Thanks all!


Comic Odyssey: Back in the game

If you follow me on social media, or you know me… or you keep up with TJ Comics, you’ll notice that I’ve **finally** launched the Kickstarter campaign for The Atomic Thunderbolt #3. I REALLY like this issue as it’s pivotal for world-building and because of a really wild twist at the end.

What you may also notice is that it’s been about a year since the campaign for The Atomic Thunderbolt #2. Whoa, time flies. But there’s actually a reason for this that I wanted to take some time to address.

After I finished The Atomic Thunderbolt #2, I start production on #3, but moved slowly. Around this time I had Baltimore Comic-Con and New York Comic Con coming up. One right after the other. Between running a Kickstarter, raising three kids and having a fast-paced full-time job, I was feeling a little burnt out. I ended up not making it to Baltimore at the very last minute, and while I had a blast at NYCC (as usual), I was fried. Although, I don’t think I realized it at the time.

There was also another project I was working on in the first half of last year that I prioritized because it was long overdue – Patriot-1: Conviction. Currently in production, Patriot-1: Conviction is the sequel to my award-winning graphic novel Patriot-1. I think Conviction is really, really great and there’s more to come regarding it’s impending arrival.

But speaking of Patriot-1, for the past few years I’ve been working tirelessly on a screenplay version of the book. This has long contributed to creative burnout, but through the process, I came to a realization in the middle of NYCC last October… I wanted to updated and re-release Patriot-1. There are certain changes I made in the screenplay that I felt elevated the story overall and I decided to ADD pages to the original book.

Essentially, it’s just a new and updated edition. Some pages are coming out, a lot are going in, but the story beats are all the same, there are just some new twists and tweaks.

Additionally, Patriot-1 isn’t the only book to get an upgrade… The Atomic Thunderbolt was originally planned to run 5 issues… but after I re-examined the second half of the story, it’s now going to go 6.

But all of that became quite time consuming, not to mention restructuring what exactly the mission of TJ Comics as I approach the 10th anniversary of when I established it.

And that’s where it all stands today. The Atomic Thunderbolt #3 is LIVE on Kickstarter, #4 is already in production… a new edition of Patriot-1 is on the way with Patriot-1: Conviction hot on it’s heels.  And last but certainly not least, ExtraOrdinary is still in motion.

Feels good to be back in the game.

More to come…

You can follow me on Twitter: @kevinpowers70
I’m also over on Instagram: kevinpowers70

The Atomic Thunderbolt revived!

TJ Comics is proud to announce the long-awaited return of the greatest one-hit wonder in all of comics – The Atomic Thunderbolt!

IPPY Award winning writer Kevin Powers teams up with talented newcomer Matt Gaudio and colorist Donna Gregory to revive this classic Golden Age hero.

The atomic age hero made his first and only appearance in “The Atomic Thunderbolt #1” in 1946. Featured in two stories – one detailing the character’s origin and the other in a slapstick tale with two aloof scientists – The Atomic Thunderbolt disappeared and was never seen again in mainstream comics.

In the 70 years since his initial publication by the Regor Company, The Atomic Thunderbolt has achieved a cult status among Golden Age and Public Domain superhero enthusiasts.

One of the more unique aspects of character is the year he was created. Following the debut of Superman in “Action Comics #1” in June 1938, every publisher under the sun created characters like the Man of Steel in an attempt to capture that same lightning in a bottle – especially during World War II. Some of those characters have endured, while others have faded into obscurity. The Atomic Thunderbolt came after the height of the early-1940s superhero craze. The war was over, the Cold War had yet to begin and many superhero comics had begun to cease publication while the precursors of Marvel and DC continued to evolve.

This summer/fall, TJ Comics will release a brand new “The Atomic Thunderbolt #1” that continues the story of the original and sets the stage for further adventures. The sensational first issue will contain 30 fully colored pages of story bringing the titular hero back to life. In addition to the standard cover by series artist Matt Gaudio, TJ Comics will debut its first series of variant covers for this first issue including a re-mastered version of the original, a variant by the incredible Lord Mesa and more!

Following the release of the first issue, TJ Comics will follow the success of “Patriot-1” and “The Argonauts” and launch a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds to produce an all-new, original story entitled: “Whatever Happened to The Atomic Thunderbolt?” The story will pick up following the events of the first issue and reveal what really happened to not only The Atomic Thunderbolt, but many other superheroes of the era. Each chapter will be broken into four issues, digitally released, before being collected into one edition that includes the first issue.

Although the story will stand alone, it will also serve as a precursor to TJ Comics’ ExtraOrdinary superhero universe. The campaign will feature an exclusive variant of the first issue as well as a number of other exclusive rewards and incentives.

Follow TJ Comics on Facebook and Twitter to keep up with all the latest updates on the project including previews, release dates and more!




Patriot-1 Available Now





Written/Created by: Kevin Powers
Art by: Dexter Wee
Colors by: Donna Gregory
Full color, 202 pages
Delta Force Operator Ken Baker is the lone survivor of an attack in Afghanistan. Upon escaping captivity, he finds himself embroiled in a conspiracy that results in a team from the CIA’s Special Activities Division seeking his help to unravel the mystery of Operation Quisling.

Lies, deception and betrayals leave Baker wondering what he fights for and who he can really trust. As the war in Afghanistan has all but ended, the conspiracy soon reveals a new and bigger threat, one that prompts Baker to make a unique statement in super-heroic fashion.

Features character files and alternate cover gallery.


2015 IPPY Award Winner: Graphic Novel – Drama/Documentaty

Patriot-1 has all the elements of a summer blockbuster – big explosions, major fights, even a romance. But in the way it’s grounded in the real world and the thoughtful way it builds characters, events and action, this fun graphic novel delivers something more memorable than that. – COMICS BULLETIN

[Patriot-1] is a tense, gripping thriller filled with visceral action and a very well rounded cast. At times it reminded me of what I’ve been missing in a military action comic since the end of Andy Diggle and Jock’s The Losers (which turned into a flick that also featured that Captain guy). GOD HATES GEEKS

Outstanding graphic novel in every way. Well written, intelligent, great clear art. Can’t wait to read the next story with these characters. – Allen (Amazon review)


Catching up with Shard’s Lesson

TJ Comics’ first story of our webseries Presents is well underway. The first story, Shard’s Lesson tell a tale outside of the main Argonauts title and presents a focused look at Shard, offering insight into what makes him tick, the perfect supplement to The Argonauts.

Updated every Monday and Thursday at 12 Noon, Presents: Shard’s Lesson is a quick way to escape the woes of the week and step into an alternate world!

Read Shard’s Lesson now!

Mack Turner: Slayer of the Dead Returns With a New Look!

Following an unfortunate delay, Mack Turner: Slayer of the Dead returns this summer with issue #4! The issue picks up right where issue #3 left off with Mack apparently suffering his demise after General Horn ordered the destruction of a zombie-infested school.

Finally, Mack and company return with new artist Chandra Kelly. Chandra is a very talented artist who brings a new style to the series, while retaining the same spirit as original artist Israel Gonzalez.

Series creator and TJ Comics publisher Kevin Powers found Kelly’s art amongst submissions for The Argonauts.

“Israel and I were in the process of searching for someone to assist him with the series,” Powers said. “Either way, we were faced with more delays and that was something I wanted to avoid. It’s a pitfall of creator-owned books, but when I saw Chandra’s submission, Israel and I agreed he could take over the series.”

Gonzalez remains part of the Mack Turner team and will continue to provide stunning covers and serves as the title’s art director. Time constraints and opportunities he could not pass on resulted in his relinquishment of regular art duties. Gonzalez offered his blessings to Kelly saying, “The style is a great fit and reminds me of Carlo Barberi.”

Kelly will remain on the title until it’s conclusion. For more, visit the official Mack Turner page!

Keith Dallas in IDW’s Ghostbusters Omnibus

IDW Publishing has released their September 2012 solicitations featuring the Ghostbusters Omnibus which includes a tale co-written by The Argonauts creator Keith Dallas.

In 2010, Dallas and co-writer Jim Beard teamed up with Josh Howard and took the Ghostbusters to comic-con. The one-shot was met with a great deal of critical acclaim and is currently difficult to come across in standalone form.

Of his one-shot titled “Con-Volution,” Dallas told, “”What a thrill to see ‘Con-Volution’ collected in an Omnibus! Jim, Josh and I seriously had too much fun collaborating on that story! Talk about a group of characters that write themselves, the Ghostbusters are it!”

The full solicitation can be seen here:

Ghostbusters Omnibus
Keith Champagne, Scott Lobdell, Dara Naraghi, Keith Dallas & Jim Beard, Peter David, James Eatock, Rob Williams (w) • Tom Nguyen, Ilias Kyriazis, Salgood Sam, Josh Howard, Dan Schoening, & Diego Jourdan (a) • Nick Runge (c)
Get ready GHOSTBUSTERS fans, because three complete tales are collected here in the Ghostbusters Omnibus! Including “Displaced Aggression,” “The Other Side,” and “Haunted Hollidays,” you’ll see Peter, Ray, Egon, and Winston travel across time, venture to hell, and celebrate the holidays as only the Ghostbusters can.
TPB • FC • $24.99 • 280 pages • 6” x 9” • ISBN 978-1-61377-441-0

Bullet points:
    • 3 Full length graphic novels in one volume!


The book is available for pre-order on Amazon. Check out The Argonauts page for more by Keith Dallas.