Friday, April 30, 2010

Unknown God----Preview Pages!

Get an advance peek at a sampling of pages from the upcoming Eye Witness: Unknown God, graphic novel.

This is the fourth and final book in the award-winning Eye Witness series. The book will available nationally in book and comic outlets in July 2010.

Click here for your preview!

R.J. Luedke

Thursday, April 29, 2010

The Unknown God Lives!

I know I haven't been doing a very good job of regularly posting here at "Eye Witnessed", but I had been working my tail off for months to get the fourth book in the Eye Witness series...Unknown God...finished and ready for press.

But I'm happy to announce that the book has basically been completed and we are now in the final stages of editing and proofing. So now I have a bit more time to share what we have coming up over the rest of 2010. First things first.


Unknown God is the final chapter of the Eye Witness series, which has been eight years in the making. People will ask me, "why has it taken so long between books (on average, 2 years)?" The answer is simple! Since I do most of the work involved in the books myself (writing, illustration, inking, coloring and production) there is no way I can rush the process on these books, that run from 96 to 120 pages each. The artwork for each book is what consumes about 14 months for each book and I'm pretty consistent that I can pencil or ink 1-2 pages each day I work. I just feel blessed that God has allowed me physically to complete this project, which took close to a decade of my life to complete.

The book is schedule to hit store shelves and websites in July 2010, but I'll start selling copies direct at my convention appearances begining in June (see upcoming post for my summer schedule).


Like a number of small and indy press publishers, we learned this spring that we have become a causualty of the more restrictive Diamond Distribution order thresholds. These new minimum order levels (established in 2009) have resulted in lots of wonderful indy comic titles to virtually disappear from many comic store shelves over night. Despite the fact that Diamond had filled orders for more than $10,000 of books in the Eye Witness series, it was not enough and now Head Press Publishing has formally severed our distribution with Diamond, ending a 15 year business relationship.

I'll put my prophet cap on for a moment here...when I owed a pair of comic shops back in the 90's, I became concerned when Diamond started signing exclusive deals with publishers (as a way to combat Marvel's move to self distribution at the time) because you could see it immediately started to put a strain on their competition. This trend continued, even after Marvel returned to their ranks, until almost all the major large to medium sized publishers had become exclusive publishers with Diamond.

Now, there is virtually no competition for Diamond and they are pretty much free to do whatever they like where distribution is concerned and we have situations like you see today... that they now determine what publishers and creators are made available to the retailers (hence the readers). And that's not right! I said it 15 years I sold my shops, because I didn't like how the business landscape for stores was changing....and I continue to say it today, as a publisher effected by their monopoly. Where's Teddy Rosevelt when you really need him?

But the good news? There are more ways to get your comic/gn novel fix then ever before!

Eye Witness is available to the general bookstrade through STL Distribution North America, which makes our books available through basically any book stores, (whether mainstream or Christian), big-box retailers who carry books and/or websites which sell books (including Amazon of course).

We have entered into a deal with Haven Distribution, which is catagorized as a restock other words they do carry product/publishers that Diamond no longer carries, but they do not publisher or market a regular monthy order catalog. Retailers go to their site and see what they are stocking currently. So any comic retailer can now get they Eye Witness books from Haven!

And finally, we make all of our books avaible for direct wholesale purchase to the retail community through our website. To help overcome the additional work from ordering direct, we've even upped our wholesale discounts to put more money in the store owners pockets!


I'm excited to announce that over the past few months I developed a friendship with comic legend, Brian Augustyn, and he has agreed to supply the forward for Unknown God! If you're not familiar with Brian's work, he has been involved as a writer and editor for some of the best crafted issues of: Batman, Superman, Wonderwoman, JLA, Flash and the X-Men.

More to come....

Sunday, April 04, 2010

A Time to Show What/Who You Are?

Hey Gang....

Let me start out by saying how sorry I am that I've not been able to post much anything here lately. But the production of Eye Witness: Unknown God, has literally been consuming my life.

In fact, I just wrapped up the principle artwork on the project by completing the coloring yesterday. So the major hurdles have been cleared and now all that's left is to do the lettering and final editing. So we're still on schedule for a later June, early July release. I'll start posting more regular information and thoughts once pre-production begins to wrap up. Promise!

That being said let me share a few thoughts about Today....Easter Sunday, or ressurrection day, as I like to call it*:

To me, this seems like the holiday we should be celebrating above all others, (as opposed to Christmas), since as Christians it is at the core of what we are all about.

Sure Jesus birth into the world is significant, but his death, (Good Friday) and rebirth, (Easter), are what we are all about. Without them, Jesus would have been just another prophet...not the Son of the Living God, whom walked the earth and helped us to know God, because he was God.

It's Jesus ability to overcome death, (which was witnessed by the way, in over 500 separately reported incidents all around Palestine, over a 40 day time period), that separates him from every other Holy Man or figure, in every other religion. So this event should take on massive importance, (like in the same type of level Islam celebrates their holy week in Mecca, with hundreds of thousands of people taking to the streets in every city in the world where the Church exists).

But when it's all said and done...the public display of worship is just that! Jesus talked about it in fact, that men who worshipped primarily on the street corners were the ones to be weary of, since they were doing it for man, rather than for God. So, as a spiritual person....yes, attending corporate Easter worship at your local church is important, especially in Fellowship with your brothers in Christ...but more important is your personal worship this weekend. I worship God and especially his son Jesus with a personal fervor during this time, that rivals Islam in their shows of public prayer, in compassion shown to everyone I come across, and in trying especially hard to honor Jesus this weekend with a sacrificial act for someone in need. For our love and compassion will show who (and what) we really are.

As Christians we all should hold these qualities within our hearts year-round, but especially during thise three day period... the most important of days in the history of mankind.

RJ Luedke

*These thoughts were a repost of an entry on this blogg from 4/09