Author - James Powell

Live on Kickstarter: House of Fear, Lovecraft, and Shoggoths!

Our second Kickstarter is now live. It’s Kids vs. Shoggoths! When Lovecraftian monsters descend on their school, three students fight back in this 24-page stand-alone comic.

We’ve got some great rewards, both digital and printed, so check out the campaign. There, you’ll find preview pages, information about the project, and plenty of other great stuff to scratch your scary comics itch.

Be sure to check it out!

Comics in the Classroom

One of my goals for the House of Fear Kickstarter campaign was to talk with a class of students about making comics. I also wanted to hand out copies of The Curse of Cottonwood Ct. to everyone in the class. Last week I did something even more exciting.

A friend of mine invited me to participate in Career Day at an elementary school in a neighboring town. How is that more exciting? Well, instead of just one class, I ended up talking to three separate groups! And I handed out nearly 80 comics!

I walked groups of 3rd, 4th, and 5th grades through the process of creating a comic: from original idea to scripting, from sketches to inks, and colors to lettering. I also discussed the printing process. The kids were very engaged, and they were eager to know about every step. I could’ve talked with each group for twice as long and not lost their attention!

The kids were excited to share their interests, too. Some said they’d want to write, others said they’d want to draw or color. And a few said they’d want to do the entire process themselves. We also had a great discussion about the pros and cons of each approach.

I had a blast, too. Talking comics with kids and sharing something I love with students who are eager to learn is one of the great joys in life. I can’t wait to do it again.

Here’s to the future comic creators of the world!

Grumpledowns Gang Teaser Trailer

It’s kids vs. shoggoths in the latest issue of House of Fear: The Grumpledowns Gang and the Case of the Mail-Order Shoggoths. Check out the teaser trailer for the comic which hits Kickstarter in May, 2017.

House of Fear: The Grumpledowns Gang and the Case of the Mail-…

Check out the teaser for our upcoming comic, House of Fear: The Grumpledowns Gang and the Case of the Mail-Order Shoggoths.

Posted by TEN31 Publishing on Wednesday, April 26, 2017

First Look: Attack of the Ice Giants

Jethro Morales is hard at work penciling pages for the third issue of House of Fear. The working title for this issue is: Attack of the Ice Giants. We’re also considering Attack of the Killer Snowmen. Only time will tell.

While I’m debating the merits of my titles, feast your eyes on these pencils.

Preview – House of Fear: The Grumpledowns Gang and the Case of the Mail-Order Shoggoths

Matt Krotzer is finishing the letters on the next issue of House of Fear, which means production is just about finished. That means the Kickstarter campaign is just around the corner, making now a perfect time to present a preview of House of Fear: The Grumpledowns Gang and the Case of the Mail-Order Shoggoths.

This complete, stand-alone story is written by Brandon Barrows, with art by Rafael Loureiro. Josh Jensen once again provides colors, and Krotzer handles the design and letters.

Calling All Teachers and Librarians

I love to write comic books, but sharing my love of storytelling and helping young people find their voice is even more important to me. The biggest thrill for me as an editor is helping a writer find his or her story. Sometimes that’s done with simple suggestions to action or pacing, but other times, it’s more about discussing the heart of the story and uncovering why the writer wants to tell this particular story at this particular time.

While guiding a writer is rewarding, talking about the creative process with younger kids is, in a way, even more exciting. I recently spent 30 minutes with my son’s first grade class, talking about the process behind making comic books, and I’ve got to tell you, I have never felt more alive or at home. Seeing those boys and girls wide-eyed with excitement, eager to learn about creating, absolutely energized me. Some were interested in the cool art, while others were captivated by the scary ghost story, but all of them were taken by the idea that anyone can create a comic book. All you have to do is try.

Anything that gets a child reading is a good thing. And if it’s something that also helps them find their creative, artistic side, then that’s even better. Which is why I want to give away copies of House of Fear: The Curse of Cottonwood Ct.

I’m happy to say that our first Kickstarter campaign has reached its funding goal. I had originally planned to provide a few simple stretch goals for backers: adding a PDF of the script to the Deluxe Digital tier, improving the paper quality of the printed comic, and providing a preview PDF of House of Fear issue 2. Instead of making those stretch goals, I’ve gone ahead and added all of that to the campaign. Those will be included regardless of the final funding number.

So now I want do something a little more fun with those stretch goals. For every $400 over the funding goal, I will send 15-30 copies of House of Fear (enough for the entire class) to a teacher or librarian who has backed the campaign. I’ll also work with that individual to see if I can participate in the class in some way, either in person or via Skype or a pre-recorded video. Depending on the age group and class topic, we can talk about the art, the storytelling, or the collaboration process. We can discuss how to read comics, how to make them, or, since we’ve got a scary comic here, we can even talk about fears and how to overcome them. I want to help bring comics into the classroom, and I’m willing to provide any help that I can.

So if you’re a teacher or librarian who thinks comics can be a benefit to your classroom, please let me know. Or if you know of a teacher who might be interested in bringing comics to his or her classroom or library, send them to the Kickstarter campaign or have them drop me an email. And please share the Kickstarter link with friends and family, too. The more support the project gets, the more comics I can send to classrooms.

DIY Halloween: Making a Plastic Skull More Realistic

Here’s a simple process for making those cheap plastic skulls from Dollar Tree look more realistic and scary. It’s something you can do in a few hours, and most of that is drying time. And if you already have the skulls, the entire process won’t cost you more than $10.

DIY Realistic Plastic Skulls

Here's a simple process to make cheap plastic skulls look more realistic and scary.

Posted by TEN31 Publishing on Wednesday, October 26, 2016

DIY Halloween: Hanging Ghost Prop

Here’s our first do-it-yourself Halloween prop video. For our first tutorial, we’ll show you how to create creepy ghosts that hang from the ceiling. It’s easy, doesn’t cost too much to put together, and in the end, can provide a pretty scary effect for your Halloween haunt.

DIY Hanging Ghost Prop

Our first DIY Halloween prop video: Ghosts made easy.

Posted by TEN31 Publishing on Tuesday, October 25, 2016