Off Registration August/September 2013
Off-Background: Joe Caramagna pg 6
Comics: Excerpt from The
Further Travels of Wyatt Earp
pg 10 Randy Babylon in Penguin Derby pg 18 Reach for the Sky pg 30 The Last pg 40
Comics Nation: Washington, DC by Matt pg 57
Eagleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Eye Review by Paul pg 60
Bonus Comic: Fargo pg 62
Founder & Publisher April Brown
Editor in Chief Scott O. Brown Reviews Paul Hanna Photography & Design April Brown Digital Content April Brown Cover Art Daniel Govar Contributors: Joe Caramagna & Scott Koblish Excerpt from “The Further Travels of Wyatt Earp”
Marc Bryant & Mal Jones
“Randy Babylon in Penguin Derby”
Ricky-Marcel Pitcher & Todor Hristov “Reach for the Sky”
Dan Mazur “The Last”
Stu Chaifetz “Fargo”
OFF-REGISTRATION is trademark and copyright © 2013, Bronco Ink Publishing, LLC. All rights reserved. Free pdf subscriptions are available by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org with the word SUBSCRIBE in the subject line. For permission to reprint any portion of this magazine, please write Bronco Ink Publishing, LLC at email@example.com. “The Further Travels of Wyatt Earp” copyright © 2013, Joe Caramagna & Scott Koblish “Randy Babylon: Penguin Derby” copyright © 2013 Marc Bryant & Mal Jones. “Reach for the Sky” copyright © 2013, Ricky-Marcel Pitcher. “The Last” copyright © 2013, Dan Mazur. “Fargo” copyright © 2013, Stu Chaifetz.
Dear Loyal Readers, I canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t believe we only have two more issues left for the year. This year has gone by so fast. I hope that you have enjoyed reading Off Registration. For year two, we have some big plans. We are updating the website with interactive features, adding more comics, and conducting more interviews with your favorite writers and artists with reviews of their books! But to do all this we are asking for your support. Last week, Off Registration launched a Kickstarter campaign to help raise funds so we can keep this magazine free for YOU our loyal readers. Please visit our Kickstarter at http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/acbrown/keeping-comicsfree The campaign will end on August 28, 2013, so please pledge whatever you can so we can keep our comics free. Together I know we can make this a great success! Thank You! Sincerely, April Brown Publisher/Owner
by: April Brown
Off-Background: Joe Caramagna But I also pick up a lot of things that I like and incorporate some into my own work. 2) What is it like trying to work from home and having kids around? It can’t be easy.
It’s much easier now that all three of my kids are in school, but it used to be real tough. But my wife is a swim coach and has swim meets some weekends where she’ll be gone all weekend long, and those always happen to be when I have a busy work weekend. The kids old enough to entertain themselves with video games and things, Joe Caramagna is the writer of MARVEL UNIbut they fight constantly. I’m a guy who feeds on VERSE ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN, AVENGERS: EARTH’S MIGHTIEST HEROES, and the upcoming momentum, the longer I’m in my chair, the faster and better I go. If I have to keep getting up to self-published FURTHER TRAVELS OF WYATT referee fights, it could mean a long night of work EARP. Joe also letters multiple Marvel Comics titles every month including DAREDEVIL, UNCAN- after everyone goes to bed. But like I said, as they get older it gets easier. NY X-MEN and CAPTAIN AMERICA and BLACKACRE for Image Comics. But at the same time, I miss them when they’re Joe took a few minutes out of his schedule to talk with us about his work.
at school because I’ve gotten used to the noise around me. It’s so quiet here all day now.
1) Being a writer/letterer do you find yourself critiquing how others letter your work? Do you ever want to stop and just do it yourself?
3) You got your start in lettering the old fashion way, not taking no for an answer. How did you get into writing for comics?
Not on comic books that I write. Books I write are usually lettered by Clayton Cowles who works with me at Virtual Calligraphy, Chris Eliopoulos’ lettering studio. Clayton knows me pretty well and knows the way I like things - I actually trained him to be a VC letterer. He does a great job, I’ve never had problems with it.
Pretty much the same way. I just started pitching stories to editors whether they wanted me to or not. I always got rejected, of course, but I didn’t stop. I knew that’s what I wanted to do, and if I didn’t keep pushing for what I wanted, I wasn’t going to get it. Eventually, Nate Cosby who worked with Marvel at the time, got into a bind and needed a script right away, and remembered all of the pitches I had sent him, and he took a chance on me. But what’s harder than breaking into comics is staying in comics, so I still do the same thing today - I push pitches on editors whether they want them or not, haha. Most of them are editors that I work with as a letterer
But I do critique lettering in books that I read all the time. It doesn’t drive me crazy the way it might other letterers - for the most part I can turn it off and enjoy the story - but I always find ways I would do things differently.
also, so I know they can’t totally ignore me. That helps! 4) You went to The Kubert School, so you were heading to the comics industry. When did you know that you wanted to work in the field? I’ve always known it. Well, I don’t know if I necessarily knew I wanted to be in comics, but I wanted to tell super hero stories. I was a pretty decent artist growing up, and wrote and drew super heroes very early in life. I guess my focus narrowed after a friend gave me my very first super hero comic, an issue of Amazing Spider-Man, that turned me into a comic book junkie (I was already a big Spider-Man fan because of Spider-Man And His Amazing Friends). When I got to college age, I decided that my art needed more work that my writing so I enrolled at The Kubert School. My art did get better, but I learned a lot more about comic book writing there than I ever expected. 5) You have made your ‘man-cave’ in the basement where you spend most of your time working, but do you ever go there saying your going to work and just block out the world? Calling it a “man-cave” is giving it a lot of credit, it looks more like a 13-year old’s bedroom, haha. Comic books, super hero and hockey posters, etc. Actually, because I like to work a lot and I keep as heavy a workload as I can handle, I don’t use any of my free time trying to block out the world, I use it to re-engage after spending so much time alone. When I work, I stick to a scheduled to-do list. When I’m not working on that to-do list, I’m usually jumping on the trampoline with the kids, or playing video games with them or something. 6) What do you think about a writer that has dialogue that does seem to end that goes into a small area? Do you ever just want to scream at that? Oh, of course. But the blame doesn’t always fall with the writer. If the artist works from a full script and knows there’s a lot of dialogue there, he should leave the space for it. But space isn’t
me busy, but it really stinks to have two weeks without getting paid. A lot of times the freelancer lifestyle is glamorized, but it can be a very scary thing and most people aren’t suited for it. My dad was self employed for most of my life so I was sort of born into it and working for someone else at a nine-to-five doesn’t work for me at all, but the fear of not being able to take care of my family next week or next month or next year is always there. You get through it by not taking things for granted and diversifying so that your chances of finding work are increased. 9) As a child what hooked you on comics? Do you hope that your kids get hooked on comics or is it took late and they already are? always the issue, many times artists will draw characters out of speaking order, and the balloons have to be placed in a more distracting way for the dialogue to read properly. That’s a more common problem. (ZOMG, yes! --Ed. Note) 7) What are you working on now, writing wise, that you can talk about? This past fall, thanks to the generosity of over two hundred online donors, I got a Kickstarter funded for my upcoming series of single issue stories about The Further Travels Of Wyatt Earp! After writing super hero stories for a few years, it’s been a lot of fun to write, especially since it’s historical fiction based on real times, places and even events in the later years of Wyatt Earp. Also for the past year I’ve been writing a series of Spider-Man young readers novels for Marvel. Four of them are on sale now, and two more are coming up soon. 8) What is the longest you have been without a work and how did you make it through it? I’ve been very lucky in that all of my time as a comic book pro I’ve worked for Virtual Calligraphy, so I haven’t been short on work. But we just had a two week break for the holidays and it was awful. I had a little bit of writing work to keep
My kids are total geeks already. My daughter Julia loves Star Wars and Joey is a super hero nut, and he and Lily make me read comics to them all the time. The only reason I hoped they got into comics is so that I could have something in common with them. I don’t know what it was that hooked me on comics, I mostly liked to read and draw, so I guess it had to be the combination of story and art. 10) How do you relax from working on a computer all day? Do leave house? Take a nap? I play around on Twitter, actually. I have a great time chatting with comic book fans about comics, about writing, about politics, about sports, etc. It’s one of the ways I get to re-engage with society after working all day. You can follow me @JoeCaramagna if you like to play around on Twitter too! Thank you, Joe! We’ll see you on Twitter. Meanwhile, we appreciate your time as well as this sneak peek of the first scene of The Further Travels of Wyatt Earp.
MONSTROLOGY is a collection of horror stories that mix and match monsters in different milieus to bring out new and interesting twists in an anthology of monster stories unlike any other. “Read these stories... Good people scared. Good people hurt. Good people dying. Good people damned for all eternity.” -from the introduction by Dave Elliott, MONSTER MASSACRE, A1 “...the right amount of scares, and any fan of horror books will fall in love with it.” -Nevin P. Jones, theweeklycrisis.com Available now from
www.off-registration.com or on the http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00E35Y20W
The Further Travels of Wyatt Earp
Writer & Letterer: Joe Caramagna Artist: Scott Koblish Colors: Andrew Edge
Randy Babylon in PENGUIN DERBY
Writer: Marc Bryant Artist: Mal Jones
Reach for the Sky
Writer: Ricky-Marcel Pitcher Artist: Todor Hristov Letterer: Scott O. Brown
THREE AGAINST ONE AIN’T NO FAIR SHOWDOWN...
IT DOESN’T MATTER.
THIS IS MY TOWN!
THEY NEEDED AT LEAST ANOTHER COUPLE OF GUYS TO MAKE IT HALFWAY EVEN.
SOME GANG SOME WANTS GANG CONTROL WANTS OF MY CONTROL TOWN. OF MY I MIGHT TOWN. NOT HAVE I MIGHT A BADGE NOT HAVE ANYMORE, A BADGE BUT I'M ANYMORE, STILL A BUT I'M LAWMAN. STILL A LAWMAN.
THEY'RE SENDIN' EVERY HIRED GUN THEY CAN FIND TO TRY AND RUN ME OUT.
BUT I'LL NEVER LEAVE.
THESE PEOPLE ARE SCARED OF ME.
I CAN’T BLAME ‘EM. I KILL, I GUN FOLK DOWN DAILY, BUT IT’S ALL FOR THEM.
AIN’T YOU GONNA ASK FOR NO MONEY?
I AIN'T LEAVING! I'M THE ONLY THING KEEPING THIS TOWN SAFE. I DON'T CARE HOW MANY KILLERS THEY SEND FOR ME.
N..N..NO CHARGE FOR YOU, SIR.
IT’D BE A COMPLIMENT IF JUST ONE OF ‘EM COULD LOOK ME IN THE EYE.
HE’S NEVER CHARGED ME A BILL ONCE, NO ONE ‘ROUND HERE HAS.
THEY DON’T LIKE ME, BUT THEY NEED ME... NEED THE LAW.
HEY, GUNSLINGER! |'M GONNA TALK, YOU STAY CALM NOW.
WHY CAN'T THEY JUST LEAVE MY TOWN ALONE?
MY EMPLOYER JUST WANTS YOU TO LEAVE TOWN, YOU’RE NOT SHERIFF NO MORE, WE DON'T NEED ANY TROUBLE OVER THIS HERE.
OH, |'M PLENTY CALM, STRANGER. AND AS FOR TROUBLE... WELL, | CAN'T SEE NO OTHER WAY THIS CAN GO.
THIS ONE’S FAST...
...FASTER THAN MOST!
THE BEST THEY'VE SENT YET... ...BUT NOT GOOD ENOUGH.
THIS IS MY TOWN!
|T'S YOU AIN’T IT? SENDING THESE HIRED GUNS!? WHY DON'T YOU SHOW YOURSELF!?
GIVE IT UP! TURN YOURSELF OVER TO US AND YOU WON'T BE HARMED!
| DON'T WANT YOU HARMED, BOY! YOU CAN SURRENDER TO US OR JUST LEAVE TOWN NOW!
THAT LAST ONE YOU SENT, WHAT IN GOD’S NAME WAS HE?
WHAT WAS HE DAMMIT!!??
WE DON’T WANT TO HARM YOU!
HOW COULD I BEAT A THING LIKE THAT?
HOW COULD | OUTDRAW THREE DAMN MEN AT ONCE??!!
STAY CALM BOY, WE DON’T WANT YOU TO DO ANYTHING…
MY GOD, THIS ONE SURE MADE A MESS.
ANOTHER DEFECTIVE SECURITY DROID, LOGIC CIRCUITS AGAIN.
YEAH, KILLED HALF THE BUILDING’S RESIDENTS AND EVERY REPAIR CREW WE SENT! WHO KNOWS WHAT HE THOUGHT HE WAS DOING?!
| TRIED NOT TO CONFRONT HIM WITH THE TRUTH. YOU HAVE ANY IDEA HOW MUCH THESE THINGS COST?!
| GUESS REALITY JUST BLEW HIS MIND.
“A genuinely creepy story...delightfully gross in some parts, and unsettling tense the way through.” -- Fiona Staples (Saga) “...Lalia’s gritty, atmospheric artwork provides the perfect environment for Brown to explore his themes to their disturbingly bleak fullest.” -- Andrew Foley (Cowboys & Aliens)
From writer Scott O. Brown (Nightfall, Atlantis Rising) comes the Lovecraftian teen horror of They Do Not Die! A teenage girl must save her little sister when she discovers that once anyone in her small hometown turns eighteen, their souls are bartered for immortality in this lurid, horrifying tale!
Available on Amazon
Story and Art by Dan Mazur
Comics Nation: Washington, D.C.
get-together. We scheduled to meet at Whitlow’s on Wilson, a local bar in Arlington, Va. A foot of By Matt Dembicki snow prevented a number of folks from attending, including Evan. In fact, there were only four The D.C. Conspiracy has Edward Gorey to thank people there that day: myself, Art Haupt, Bram for its existence. It was his work that got Evan Keeling and Carol Dembicki chatting in 2004 at the Meehan and Monica Banko Meehan (Bram and Small Press Expo, the nation’s largest independent Monica later moved to Santa Fe, N.M., where and self-published comics show held annually just they joined the comics collective there called 7000 B.C.) outside of Washington, D.C. A Comics Conspiracy In The Nation’s Capital
Taking a break from volunteering at the expo, Evan sat on a bench inside the hotel venue to thumb through a recently purchased book of Gorey’s art. Carol was there with me, her husband, to sell our self-published minicomic Mr. Big. Carol was strolling around the maze-like exhibit area of the Holiday Inn and, needing to sit (she was pregnant), sat next to Evan. She immediately saw the Gorey book and told Evan how much she enjoyed Gorey’s work. The two struck up a conversation about comics. When Evan mentioned he lived in D.C., Carol said he should meet me. Carol introduced us and we hit it off. We talked about the local comics scene and how fun it would be to create a local comics creators group to get to know other folks in the area. The idea of the D.C. Conspiracy was born. However, it wasn’t until January 2005 that the group actually first met—and a snowstorm almost quashed that
That small turnout concerned me. I thought maybe we wouldn’t be able to get these monthly meetings going. A couple years before, I tried starting a similar group in D.C. called Sequentially Speaking, following something comics writer/artist Max Ink was trying to start in Columbus, Ohio. Max wanted to start these pockets of Sequentially Speaking groups across the country, but we just couldn’t get it rolling in D.C. For February, we moved the meeting to larger bar down the street called Dr. Dremo’s Taphouse. We posted about the group on Craigslist and Yahoogroups and emailed local friends, hoping we would get a good-sized group. About 10 folks came to the meeting. In March, it was about a dozen. And it stuck. We have been meeting nearly monthly ever since. And even though D.C. is a transient city, we’ve managed to keep a core group of comics creators through the years, including Andrew Cohen, Rafer Roberts, Dale Rawlings and Jake Warrenfeltz and more recently
Through all our publishing endeavors, but especially through Magic Bullet, media—from Regarding what we do at the meetings, it’s what local bloggers and newspapers to national pubyou’d expect: eating, drinking and showing projlications—have taken notice of our work. Next ects we’re working on. But it’s also an opportunity month, a local arts facility called Artisphere is to discuss potential group projects. The bar that hosting a two-month exhibit of Magic Bullet that would serve as our home for three years before it will feature MB original art, hands-on comics closed was the namesake of an exquisite corpseactivities and a reading area for our self-published like comics project called Dr. Dremo. With Evan work. It’s a big deal because the adjoining gallery and me alternating as editors, we published four will feature an Andy Warhol exhibit—and to get of these mini-comics, with participating creators to it, visitors will have to walk through our exhibit. writing/drawing four pages before passing it (Content-wise, it seems like the two exhibits will along. fit well together given the pop-culture focus.) After the Dremo books, we moved onto magazine-sized anthologies with a theme: war, science fiction and love. Evan edited the brief series, which we ended because of the usual challenges in putting together a printed anthology: cost and time corralling contributors to meet their deadlines. As we were wrapping up this series, Evan and I mulled the next group project: comics newspapers. Evan liked the idea of publishing on a bigger canvas than a minicomic or even magazine comic, something reminiscent of newspaper broadsheets from the 1940s and ‘50s. I liked the idea of newspapers being cheap to print, disposable and having more options for local distribution. We were both a little burned out on organizing projects for the group—Evan carried most of the work of organizing our successful annual Counter Culture Festivals (comics, zines, crafts, bands, entertainment, tattoos, etc.), which we ran for four years. Rafer Roberts, who self-publishes Plastic Farm, stepped up to serve as editor of the first 16page issue of Magic Bullet, our free, semiannual, tabloid-sized comics newspaper. Rafer’s day-job is in printing, so that knowledge was crucial in selecting a printer and just getting specs set. Rafer was at the helm of MB through issue #3, and then I took over for issues #4-5. Carolyn Belefski has served as editor since (we’re going into #7, out next month).
For 2014, we hope to kick off a smaller comics fest that will complement SPX, on a smaller scale, in the winter. It’s still in the planning stages, but we hope to feature the works of local comics creators, perhaps some out-of-town friends and a few comics-related workshops, for kids and adult alike. Dembicki is co-founder of the D.C. Conspiracy, a comics creators collective in Washington. His has edited and contributed to the comics anthology Trickster: Native American Tales: A Graphic Collection (Fulcrum Publishing), which was a 2011 Eisner Award nominee and Aesop Prize winner, and District Comics: An Unconventional History of Washington, D.C. (Fulcrum Publishing), which was named by the Washington Post as one of the top books of 2012. His other books include Xoc: The Journey of a Great White (Oni Press) and Mr. Big: A Tale of Pond Life (Sky Pony Press).
Eagle’s Eye Review By: Paul Hanna Paul Hanna is a cartoonist who lives in Massachusetts. His interests include basketball, baseball, and finding a bigger role for comics in academic libraries. Follow him on Twitter at @paulhanna.
“One Lock, Many Keys” Batman 80-Page Giant #1 Writer: Joe Caramagna Illustrators: Joe Lalich, Jack Purcell DC Comics $5.99
emotional one. Reading a specific title can become compulsive behavior. When that happens, readers can detach from fandom and enter into obsession. I’ve read a lot of Batman. I have obsessed about it. But Joe Caramagna’s Batman story, “One Lock, Many Keys,” in 2011’s Batman 80-Page Giant #1 brought back some of the emotion. The story is about a child with autism, Lucas, who reads Batman comics, the value of which his parents argue about. After the parents go to bed for the evening, Lucas is in his room alone. Outside his window, Solomon Grundy suddenly appears, holding a ring of keys – many keys, presumably for one lock. Batman suddenly appears and fights him; the bulk of the story is a fight scene in which Batman overcomes Grundy and saves Lucas. At the end, we find, the battle was in Lucas’s imagination – a metaphor for his personal struggle with autism. It is a sweet story. Using superheroes as a means for a topic like autism is risky because it is an unusual fit, but ultimately the story works; it is a very emotionally positive story. I am curious to see how a character like Lucas would interact with or visualize a character like Green Lantern, whose power is to create objects rather than use direct brute force on the obstacles facing him. Even Batman’s own superior intellect does not necessarily factor into the story as a means to victory, even though he manages to defeat the bad guy, anyway. Sometimes the struggle is like a physical fight, but other times it is more complex.
After years and years of reading them, it becomes difficult not to allow enjoying superhero comics to be more of an intellectual exercise and less of an
“Dragon Me Down!” Marvel Ultimate Spider-Man #8 Writer: Joe Caramagna Illustrators: Ramon Bachs, Raul Fonts Marvel $2.99
Comics that can make you smile in addition to providing some excellent action are pretty underrated. Reading “Dragon Me Down!” adds hope for the next thing Caramagna brings to the realm of Marvel Ultimate Spider-Man. Here, he is clearly building towards some real A+ fun.
Submissions Guidelines: We are always looking for short stories of all genres! Your submission should contain the following 1. A typewritten cover letter with all contact information (name, e-mail address, address, and phone) clearly printed on the TOP of the page. Introduce yourself and move on with it, we don’t need your résumé. Also, if you DO NOT include an e-mail address with your submission, you WILL NOT receive a reply. Also, this is a good spot to give us a short, onesentence description of your story. 2. Email FULLY COMPLETED pages. We’d like to see your completed story if it is twelve pages or less. If it’s longer, show us AT LEAST twelve pages that are complete and lettered, and let us know how long it is. If we like it, we’ll talk. We prefer full color or gray tones to straight black & white. We won’t turn down something brilliant, but keep that in mind. 3. If submitting a serial, send over a ONE PAGE, synopsis of the overall STORY. We want a synopsis of the ENTIRE series or story arc not what is just happening in the pages that you send over. As concisely and as succinctly as you are able, TELL US THE STORY, make us interested, and KEEP IT SHORT! We don’t want a lot of serials, so to be honest, unless you are the second coming of Neil Gaiman (or Neil himself), please stick to short stories.
The main thing is this: Spider-Man puts on a Boba Fett jetpack and fights a dragon. If you do not like that, then do not read any further. There is not much to dislike in “Dragon Me Down!” Joe Caramagna's story from January 2013's Marvel Ultimate Spider-Man #8. In what is hopefully a build toward more madcap stories, this story is a definitely a step in that direction of plotheavy unseriousness (not a real word), goofy fun, punctuated by a pivotal character moment at the Send your submissions to: story's climax. You know, for kids – and maybe firstname.lastname@example.org for adults who might have to read to kids.
Created & Illustrated by: Stu Chaifetz