February 18, 2011 § 3 Comments
Megan Levens’ webcomic Somewhere in Between WILL BE an official honest-to-goodness AudioComics Company production, recording at the end of this year in Monterey, CA, with a 2012 release on compact disc and pay-per-digital download, adapted by Megan and directed by Lance Roger Axt. More details to come, but for now, please send Megan your congrats!
Don’t ya just love it when a plan comes together?
February 16, 2011 Comments Off
For those of you left hanging on the edges of your seats, remember that WMPG FM 90.9 and 104.1 in Portland and Gorham will air Act II of Starstruck this Thursday February 17 at 3pm on the dot!
February 15, 2011 Comments Off
A Batson is a Batson and that’s all there is to that!
The AudioComics Company brings new children’s series The Batsons to Audio
What if someone crossed The Munsters with The Addams Family— and dumped this crazed creation in a place where monsters are normal, bad is good, and ugly is in demand? You’ll find out this spring, when The AudioComics Company records its first full-cast audio comedy for children and creatures of all ages! Meet…The Batsons!
The Batsons are a spooky-kooky family of misfit monsters who reside in Flemme Falls, the capital of Halloween where “awful is lawful and everyone’s mean.” Tweenage Fang Batson fails to fit in because, to his family’s great shame, he tends to be nice. Fang’s teenage sister, Carmilla, is a champion sneak and sulker, but can’t raise a decent crop of zits, much less warts, horns, and scales like the cool ghouls at school. Mad scientist Dadula’s world domination schemes always fizzle. Momula hides her natural neatness behind compulsive dusting—as in spreading dust around the Batsons’ bizarre mansion, Tooth Acres.
Think your family’s strange? Try spending time with The Batsons, the backwards bunch of green-skinned ghouls hatched by the demented brains of best-selling children’s book writers Justine & Ron Fontes.
AudioComics Company co-founder William Dufris will direct the first two episodes, “The Trouble with Fang!” and “Carmilla’s Crush” later this year in South Portland, ME, with a projected late spring release (2012) as pay-per-Mp3 downloads, available through the AudioComics digital store, and through selected outlets; a CD collection will be available later, paring the “Fang!” and “Crush” episodes with various Batsons short stories and other ghoulish surprises. And yes, a Batsons Christmas audio special is also in the works…and trust us, Tooth Acres during the holiday season has to be heard to be believed.
Google Justine & Ron Fontes and you’ll find tens of thousands of listings for children’s books: movie and TV tie-ins like the top-selling Lion King Little Golden Book; the popular Grumpy Bunny series from Scholastic; the award-winning Captured by Pirates choose-your-adventure graphic novel from Lerner, and many more! Artist/author Ron worked at Marvel Comics before the couple moved to Maine. Justine graduated Phi Beta Kappa from NYU while working in publishing. Together they are well on their way to achieving their goal of writing 1001 tales.
The AudioComics Company provides superior audio entertainment with its professional full-cast audio theatre productions of both licensed properties and original works from the world of comic books, graphic novels, and related media, accessible in today’s market with today’s sound. Co-founder Dufris is an award-winning, critically-acclaimed voiceover artist, best known for pioneering the voice of Bob the Builder and for the role of Peter Parker, The Amazing Spider-Man for BBC Radio. Co-founder Axt is the Vice President of the National Audio Theatre Festivals, and a member of the Norman Corwin Excellence in Audio Theatre Award Committee.
February 13, 2011 § 6 Comments
Some of the best graphic novels I’ve read have nothing to do with superheroes or science fiction. They’re the mirrors to the real world, the books that re-connect me to my theatre years: Hope Larson’s Mercury and Gray Horses. Daniel Clowes’ Daniel Boring. Maus. The Road to Perdition. One of Latchkey’s co-founders, the lovely Megan Levens, created a webcomic with some serious potential as an audio comedy (something we need more of):
Life, love, Los Angeles, unemployment, and self-discovery in South America. The first 14 episodes of this strip are up at Somewhere in Between. We’re very seriously looking at this as an AudioComics show.
February 12, 2011 § 1 Comment
On Thursday my day was spent, as it had been in the week before it, glued to CNN and MSNBC witnessing a populace say “enough is enough.” A dictator proclaimed that he would he would be buried in his country’s earth, and the air was punctuated by cries of retaliation. The mext day the Egyptian people took our President’s mantra and made it their own, in part because of the events in Tunisia the month before: Yes We Can. 30 years of Mubarak ended after 18 days of blood, tear gas, and molotov cocktails. Far be it from anyone to say, though, that the worst is over; these are ripples in a much larger lake. Chaos makes for headlines; it’s the uncertainties that lie in the aftermath that alternatively interest me and leave me with the sense of uneasiness. To paraphrase Pete Townsend, will the new boss be the same as the old boss? So, in between watching the end unfold, playing peacekeeper, and re-writing my television pilot outline…I listened to The Cleansed again.
I’ve stated it before, I’ll state it again, Fred Greenhalgh is one of our country’s leading audio evangelists. His technical know-how is only matched by his ambition, and The Cleansed definitely falls into that category. Moreover, what he has created, and I know some of his plans for future installments; it’s a series about who we become because of who we are now, and the repercussions, the ramifications of our actions that our children and our children’s children will have to overcome. Yes, it has elements of sci-fi and Stephen King, but it’s still grounded in a place of truth. And as Fred put it, “truth is frighteningly too much like fiction.” Recently, Bill and I heard from Fred, who is re-mixing the pilot episode for download and compact disc (partly because of the REM and CCR music opening and closing the piece – fine when it’s on WKIT, not fine when selling the product). We’ll be meeting, the three of us, in the next few weeks to discuss the series and where it goes from here.
In the meantime, the re-mixed pilot will be ready for download on March 1, 2011 through FinalRune’s website and the site specifically set up for The Cleansed. Fred is headlong into fundraising, as has, we’re happy to say, raised $500 of the $5000 that needs to come from individual donations out of the $35,000 he’s shooting for in order to make Season One happen. Here’s where you can come in. “The ‘First 50′ individual donors will be given a special place in the production in perpetuity, being recognized as early supporters in the project regardless of level of donation.” This means $15 or $500, every bit counts. www.thecleansed.com/support. And finally the $64,000 question for the day: how else can The Cleansed‘s message be told to the masses beyond audio? Webcomic? Live action web series? Series of T-shirts with “The revolution’s in Bangor?” Let us know. We’ll pass along the best ideas to Fred.
February 12, 2011 Comments Off
Well, the first act of Starstruck aired on WMPG FM 90.9 and 104.1 in Portland and Gorham on Thursday February 10 at 3pm on the dot, and we’re happy to say that it was a resounding success! Bill Dufris and General Manager Dale Robin Goodman met in the studio for a little “pre-game” fun before the rilly big shoe; apparently volunteers working at the station had to stop what they were doing at times to get it all in! Not to mention the phone calls after asking: “when’s Part Two again?” Answer: next Thursday, February 17, again at 3pm. “Sound Affects” and “Firehouse Theatre” are next on the hot list, and we may have yet another station…or two…in June!
February 7, 2011 Comments Off
The AudioComics Company and Starstruck come to I-Con 30
AudioComics makes its convention debut at New York’s I-Con with world premiere Starstruck audio play
The AudioComics Company is proud to announce that on the afternoon of April 16, 2011, they will present, in association with Starstruck co-creator Elaine Lee, a world premiere audio play set in the universe of the comic book series Starstruck at I-Con 30 in Stony Brook, NY.
Written by Elaine Lee and directed by AC co-founder William Dufris, this 20 minute audio drama will unveil a previously unknown chapter in the diabolical history of Starstruck nemesis Verloona Ti, who will be portrayed by Denise (Æon Flux) Poirier, reprising her role from the critically acclaimed AudioComics release of Starstruck, adapted by Lee from the original off-off-Broadway play.
Also reprising their roles of Jimmy the Snout and NORM will be Brennan Lee Mulligan and AC co-founder Lance Roger Axt; the ladies of the NYC-based comedy troupe Pink Axe will portray the Galactic Girl Guides, with additional roles to be played specifically by I-Con attendees as part of a “talent search” exclusive to I-Con. Lee, Dufris, Axt, and Poirier will also be present for panel discussions and signings of the Starstruck hardcover collection, along with legendary Starstruck artist (and fellow I-Con guest) Michael Wm. Kaluta.
This “very special episode of Starstruck” will be recorded before a live audience in the Javitz 100 theatre on the University of New York at Stony Brook campus, with two performances on the afternoon of April 16 (exact times TBA), with a potential free Mp3 download from the performances (barring all potential disasters). More information on the talent competition will be found on the I-Con website in the coming months.
Celebrating its thirtieth anniversary this year, I-Con (short for “Island Convention”) is one of New York State’s longest running science fiction conventions. Its eclectic programming includes panels with both leading and up-and-coming science fiction authors, gaming events, movie showings, Anime-related programs, medieval recreations, and signings with personalities from the worlds of film, television, comics, fiction, and related media. In addition to the Starstruck crew, I-Con will welcome actor Thomas Jane (The Punisher, HBO’s Hung), comics and fantasy artist Tim Bradstreet (RAW Studios), Daniel Logan (Cartoon Network’s Star Wars: The Clone Wars), and horror legend Joe Lansdale. I-CON is jointly held by ICON Science Fiction, Inc., a tax-exempt educational foundation, and the I-CON Campus Chapter of Stony Brook.
The AudioComics Company, under the direction of Producing Directors William Dufris and Lance Roger Axt, provides superior audio entertainment with its professional full-cast audio theatre adaptations of licensed properties and world-premiere productions featuring characters from the worlds of comic books, graphic novels, and related genres. These classic, contemporary, and world premiere properties will reach new audiences through the universally popular entertainment medium of multi-track recorded sound on compact disc and in downloadable form, accessible in today’s market with today’s sound. Their debut production of Starstruck, adapted from the play-turned-comic book series, was released on CD and pay-per-Mp3 download in late 2010, and has received critical acclaim from both audio drama and comics professionals alike.
February 5, 2011 Comments Off
Almost forgot: in addition to KFAI’s “Sound Affects,” we have another station airing Starstruck in May: Rich Fish’s Firehouse Theatre on WFHB FM in Bloomington, Indiana.
That’s three so far: WMPG, KFAI, and WFHB. Any other takers?
February 5, 2011 Comments Off
Before the tirade, just to let you know there will be more changes to the website in the coming months; actually, the site will be evolving as we go, with funkier page names, expanded info, photos, and a lil’ somethin’ on that there screenplay concept. Also, we are developing an AudioComics Confidential e-mail newsletter in place of the podcast. We’ll let you know when the first issue’s ready for those of you interested in being part of an e-mail list.
Well, we have chosen our projects for the new year! It will be a light year, where we will record and release a handful of titles, primarily on Mp3, but also on compact disc (some for general release, some specifically for comic book conventions). In addition to our continuing exploration of Starstruck, Bill and I will put together a pulp audio series, a children’s line of titles, and on the other end of the spectrum, we’ll be recording an amazing title from a connection made at San Diego Comic Con (although we are familiar with one their earlier releases). And another title would come from one of the fine folks from Latchkey Studios! Plus, we’re about to hit our first ever science fiction convention with a live recording. Details to come!
Now obviously we could do more titles, but there are certain economic realities in place: we are a start-up with two partners and several collaborators trying to create great audio in one of the worst recessions in decades. To pay our actors, artists, technicians, musicians, much less ourselves, is a challenge. We’re not making movies, we’re not doing TV, to be at a point where we can call this the day job will be a while in coming. It’s going to be a challenge for at least another year or two, so right now the best thing to do is to persevere by focusing on a few titles at a time, market them as best as we can, and look into more convention appearances: the live interaction is as, if not more, important than internet interaction. In addition, we will be developing projects for 2012 (one to be recorded in Chicago) and even 2013, so even with four titles, we will still have full plates this year.
I do say “Bill and I,” which brings up another development: those of you who have followed this blog from the beginning may have noticed that AudioComics member Dan Bernard is all but invisible, both here and on the website. The unfortunate reason for that is that Dan is no longer a partner in the LLC that is AudioComics. We have kept things quiet simply because the legal separation of a member from a partnership is a private one, and should be treated as such while the process is unfolding. Dan Bernard is a very talented and busy artist with many projects under his belt, including a number of screenplays, the result of which being that thing that writers dream of: Hollywood representation. It was determined after the recording of Starstruck that he simply could not continue the pace of both working with AudioComics and developing and finishing his creator-owned projects. We’re sorry to see him go, but wish him the best in his future endeavors.
But, as the saying goes, when one door closes, another opens. In this case, four doors have opened. We are thrilled to announce that several collaborators and close friends will be working with AudioComics over the course of the next few years. We’ll announce who they are at a later date, once schedules have been confirmed. And if that were not enough (if that wasn’t enough for you), we may be partnering on several projects with one of the greatest living names in audio theatre and his UK-based production company. This man is certainly no stranger to the world of comics-to-audio, and he’s one of the best producers and directors working in the medium today. Not to mention our continuing collaboration with Fred Greenhalgh on The Cleansed, one of the few original projects on our slate, and Latchkey Studios, and some potential Hollywood connections, and a collaboration with one of the best indie publishers in comics today - like I said, full plates!
Okay, the quickie tirade. For those of you expecting us to do something, anything featuring zombies or vampires or zombies fighting vampires or good looking vampires and zombies…forget it.
Right now, the big “thing” is zombies. I would think that The Walking Dead has more than a little something to do with that (although, if you think about it, Dead is not so much a zombie book/series as its how human beings react to the end of the world, undead or otherwise). We want to see a million downloads of our productions; the We’re Alive podcast has hit two million. I recently read about a Hollywood studio optioning a web series; you guessed it, it’s about a zombie invasion. Today, it’s zombies. Yesterday, it was vampires, thanks in part to, or maybe no thanks to depending on what you thought of it, Twilight-mania. Not to mention True Blood and Vampire Diaries (push the sex). With a vampire here and a vampire there, here a vamp there a vamp, everywhere a vampire.
Bill and I have received many a request from small publishers and fans: “would you like to adapt my title? It’s about vampires!” And yes, we have had more than one request to turn Walking Dead into an audio series. I have one word regarding that: overkill. Oversaturation of anything has a nasty side-effect: people will eventually get freaking sick of it. We are going to do what we want to do not because its the popular choice, but because the property interests us. If we are going to be spending a year of our lives devoted to a project, it has to be worth our while, and not simply because it’s “the current flavor,” whatever that is at the moment. If there is a vampire element involved, okay: what makes this different from every other vampire story out there? What hasn’t been done with this genre? That’s what’s interesting!
So you have a better idea into our plans: what we’ll do now and into the future, what we won’t do unless there’s a damn good reason to do it. The AudioComics Company has the potential to SOAR. We feel we have the ability to make the same impact as a Hollywood feature film or television series featuring your favorite property. We just have to be true to ourselves. And really, isn’t that how all artistic endeavors should go?
February 4, 2011 § Leave a Comment
WMPG FM will not be the only radio station to air Starstruck, my dears, oh no; we have quite a few radio drama showcases in the wings and waiting, and one of the first shows to air Starstruck post-Portland will be Jerry Stearns’ Sound Affects on KFAI, which serves the Twin Cities, this May. http://www.kfai.org/node/112 Dates to be announced shortly!