Tag Archives: Ink’d Well Comics

Kraig Nicol @ Hal Con 2012

Art by Kraig Nicol
Art by Kraig Nicol

This piece is by yet another Ink’d Well Comics alumni, Kraig Nicol, once again proving the deep pool of talent that Ink’d Well has. Kraig’s been working with Jay Paulin on his charity anthologies and he does a great job.

Like all the artists in this series, I gave him the standard pitch and he came back with probably the closest sketch to what’s in my mind for the character of anyone yet. Whereas with others I can look at it and think of specific moments within the series when an image might have been captured from, this image really could have happened anywhere. It is the Womb. Not the Xander-in-control-Womb either, this is the full fledged Black Womb. You can see it in the eyes.

The teeth and the claws are great, as well as that one tendril whipping off the arm. It’s interesting how different artists handled the tendrils. Some ignored it completely, some focused on it, Kraig here has split the difference. It seems like this is right after the transformation has taken place, with the ooze having whipped its way around his whole body and then snapping in the join at the wrist again. Really top notch stuff.

I feel the need to thank all the artists, not just Kraig. It’s been a while since I’ve been actively writing Black Womb (not due to block, but due to the sheer amount of time other writing projects have been taking up). Since I got back from Hal Con I’ve been going mad with it, and in the last two days alone wrote almost 10,000 words. I think it’s because artists like Kraig inspired my thought processes back into the character.

This is a great piece, and it’s bigger than it looks here. It’s going on my wall. I’m glad I asked him to draw it.

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Sci-fi V Celebration!

Ellen Curtis at Sci-Fi on the Rock
Ellen Curtis at Sci-Fi on the Rock

April 15th-17th, 2011 saw the fifth annual Sci-Fi on the Rock at the Holiday Inn, and Engen Books was there in full force to help ring in the anniversary.

Sci-Fi on the Rock is an annual science-fiction, fantasy and horror convention held in St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canada. It was founded in late 2006 and held its first convention in April 2007. This year’s convention saw the implementation of several new elements to the convention, including and third day comprising of a film festival to celebrate the province’s growing independent film community.

This year’s lineup saw a stunning array of authors, artists, and

Ink'd Well Comics @ Sci-Fi on the Rock
Ink’d Well Comics @ Sci-Fi on the Rock

actors from all ranges of the science-fiction, fantasy and horror genres. Guests included Robert Axelrod (Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers), Suzie Plakson (Star Trek: The Next Generation), David Nykl (Stargate: Atlantis) and Thomas Gofton and Tom Brown (Synn Studios, Mind’s Eye: The Series), as well as comic creators Kevin Woolridge (The Little World), Paul Tucker (The Underworld Railroad) and Jay Paulin (Ink’d Well Comics).

All seven Engen authors were also present to celebrate the release of two new Engen Books: Becoming (the seventh book in Matthew LeDrew’s Black Womb series) and More Sci-Fi from the Rock, the sequel to 2010’s Sci-Fi from the Rock.

New Authors join Engen Team !
Two new authors were added to the Engen stable at this convention, with the addition of Justin Foley and Mark Todd to our team of skilled professionals. Both authors were featured prominently in More Sci-Fi from the Rock, Todd in the short story Grimspound and Foley in the short Earthdeath.

Book Launch: Becoming and More Sci-Fi from the Rock !
April 16th saw a double book launch featuring Engen authors Matthew LeDrew, Ellen Curtis and Mark Todd.

“The launch was a complete success,” commented LeDrew. “People always seem happy to see a new Black Womb book, and this time an old fan even brought a ten-year old copy of the original Black Womb book to be signed, of which less than 50 exist. It was wild.”

There was also positive reaction to More Sci-Fi on the Rock, and to Mark Todd’s presence at the launch.

“Mark was great as always. We hope to see a lot more of him in later volumes… here’s hoping!”

Engen Books Cake!
Engen Books Cake!

But an Engen launch is more about books and writing… it’s about cake! Ellen Curtis crafted a wonderful cake portraying the Engen symbol in all its glory. Chocolate, gluten-free and frosted in sweet fondant, the cake was enjoyed by all in attendance.

Infinity tour concludes!
After six months, the tour that began at October 2010’s Hal-Con comes to a close as Engen authors Matthew LeDrew and Ellen Curtis conclude their tour of Infinity.

Since its release, the novel has risen to become one of Engen’s top sellers and has been hailed for its power to draw new readers into the company, a high percentage of whom stay and sample other books in the Engen fold.

“I’m happy its been so successful,” said Ellen Curtis, co-author of the novel. “The reaction has been phenomenal. We’re still going to focus on Infinity for a while yet, but it’s a relief to have the brunt of our tour over.”

Engen Books would like to thank Sci-Fi on the Rock for again allowing them to participate in their grand convention, and hopes to see all involved again next year.

Engen Special Report: Hal-Con

Matthew LeDrew @ Hal Con
Matthew LeDrew @ Hal Con

 Sometimes, all the right things come together. Sometimes fate steps in and you get the right people together at the right location and at the right time and creates something magical, like lightning in a bottle.

From October 29th – October 31st 2010, the Engen Books staff was present for such an event during the first ever Hal-Con.

In a convention so huge and successful that it was covered by Haligonian, Inner Space, The Coast, Eastlink TV and several other news outlets and is being praised as the greatest science-fiction convention Canada has ever seen by those in attendance, Engen Books did its best to make its mark and make it as memorable as possible for those in attendance.

Hal-Con: Author’s Corner

Jay Paulin, Heidi Paulin, and  Matthew LeDrew at Hal Con
Jay Paulin, Heidi Paulin, and Matthew LeDrew at Hal Con

Expertly laid out and organized, Hal-Con featured an entire dealer’s room specifically for authors called the Writer’s Corner. This was a convention-long event where fans and fellow writers could come to talk about their work, buy books, and share stories with peers.

From the Engen booth both Matthew LeDrew (author guest of honour at Hal-Con and author of Black Womb and Infinity ) and Ellen Curtis ( Compendium, Infinity) were in attendance. In addition long-time friend Kenneth Tam ( His Majesty’s New World ) and Jacqui Tam ( Standing Tall: A Daughter’s Gift ) were in attendance from Iceberg Publishing.

“I enjoyed an excellent weekend in Halifax,” said Kenneth, in a post to the Hal-Con website. “The HAL-CON: Sci-Fi / Fantasy / Comic Convention was a tremendous success for everyone involved, and was an event befitting such a great city.”

Other authors included PJ Haarsma, author of the Softwire series, and Nancy Metzger of Third Person Press.

“The Writer’s Corner was awesome,” said Infinity author Ellen Curtis. “It really gave us a chance to interact with people and fans and press on a real person-to-person basis.

Hal-Con: The Guests

The main guests of the evening though were Denise Crosby ( Star Trek The Next Generation, Dexter ) and Walter Koenig ( Star Trek, Babylon 5).

“Walter and Denise are among the funniest, most approachable people I’ve ever met,” said LeDrew. “Denise joked a lot at the group signing… you don’t expect someone like that to be as fun as she is, but she was having fun. I hope to see her again.”

Other guests included celebrity model Drakaina Muse and Kill Shakespeare author Conor McCreery.

“Conor is one of the most fun people I’ve met at any of these things. He doesn’t seem to realize he’s a celebrity. Kill Shakespeare is one of the best, most inventive comic books in years. Everyone should be reading it, and most people are.”

The Con was so big that some talent made their way there not as guests, but just to attend.

Local comic writer Jay Paulin of Ink’d Well Comics was present in the main dealer’s room and selling copies of he and artist Julie Heffernan’s amazing underground series Messiah.

” Messiah is one of those comics you have to read to believe,” said LeDrew. “Jay Paulin is an amazing writer who pours his soul into this series, and it shows. He and his wife were there, and they’re both so humble about what they do. I’m a comic fan from way back, and to have he and Conor around was just heaven for me.”

Hal-Con: The Panels

Matthew LeDrew and Ellen Curtis at Hal Con
Matthew LeDrew and Ellen Curtis at Hal Con

Ken, Matt and Ellen taught their standard panels ( Get Published, Writer’s Toolkit and Writer’s Circle ) to uncommon results.

“We always get some attendance, but this was incredible,” said LeDrew.

“There was standing room only,” elaborated Curtis. “Every chair was filled and people were standing besides, all just to listen to us and ask us about writing. It was an amazing experience.”

Kill Shakespeare writer Conor McCreery even stepped in half-way through Writer’s Circle to join the discussion.

“That’s what these things are all about, connecting with writer’s,” said Curtis.

Hal-Con: Infinity Launch

Matthew LeDrew and Ellen Curtis at Hal Con
Matthew LeDrew and Ellen Curtis at Hal Con

After two days of build, Infinity launched on Sunday, October 31st. (That’s Halloween, folks!) to much applause.

The launch featured a reading by Ellen Curtis and Matthew LeDrew to the convention hall, followed by a packed reception including comic writer / journalist Mika McKay ( Freaks with Feelings ) author Nina Munteanu and (there’s that name again) comic author Conor McCreery.

“The reception and launch was just a great joy for me,” said LeDrew. “About twenty minutes in it changed from polite conversation to an odd game of tag, and it was wonderful. Just people getting together to have fun and celebrate Infinity. I couldn’t have asked for anything better.”

Hal-Con: The Awesome

R-L: Conor McCreeny, Walter Koenig, Kenneth Tam, Ellen Curtis, Matthew LeDrew, PJ Haarsma, Drakaina Muse.
R-L: Conor McCreeny, Walter Koenig, Kenneth Tam, Ellen Curtis, Matthew LeDrew, PJ Haarsma, Drakaina Muse.

R-L: Conor McCreeny, Walter Koenig, Kenneth Tam, Ellen Curtis, Matthew LeDrew, PJ Haarsma, Drakaina Muse.

There simply isn’t enough space to tell all the wonderful stories and things that happened at Hal-Con. There isn’t even enough space to tell the ones that just happened to our authors.

Robert S. LePine made a giant replica of Hal’s ship from 2010: A Space Odyssey that spun in the entrance to the con to the awe of all.

Engen Books very nearly sold out of every title they had in stock after bringing twice what they normally do to similar conventions.

Kenneth Tam battled for the fate of Geekdom in Geeks vs. Nerds celebrity edition… including a surprise phone call from Nathan Fillion himself!

Hal-Con surpassed all attendance expectations to the point where one could almost not move in the main suite and reception area.

Dr. Who fed Optimus Prime french fries.

And most importantly, Jennifer Lambe, Jen Johnston and Amanda Schreiber put off what was not only the greatest event in recent memory, but also the biggest weekend for Engen Books in its brief history.

“This is a weekend we won’t forget for a long time. Words can’t describe it. This article doesn’t do it justice… nothing can. You’d just have to be there. Come next year,” said LeDrew. “We will be back next year.”