Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Digital Comics: Eye Witness

Hey gang,

Last year about this time I posted my thoughts on the fact that I thought 2011 would be the year that digital comics exploded on to the scene.  Turns out that prediction was fairly accurate, since now all the major publishers are releasing their new material digitally as well as through the traditional printed versions...with some even doing so simultaneously (which was unthinkable just a year or two ago).

At Head Press Publishing, we also fell in line with the changing reading habits of young people (who I think are dominating this new trend, if my son is any indication), as my Eye Witness series is now available for virtually any type of digital platform or device you could mention (outside of Amazon's....due to their behind the times spec. requirements).

But for those of you who might have joined the digital reading movement by getting a reader or tablet for Christmas, here's some places to check out that provide digital versions of the award winning Eye Witness series:

Graphicly ....which I list first for a couple reasons.  1. The offer versions of all four books that come with exclusive production art and commentary by me about the making of the series...and 2. because they offer the material in multiple formats for the widest variety of hardware.

Publit ....which is the site to get books-comics for your Barnes & Nobel, Nook readers.

DriveThruComics ....which is a very popular site for a wide variety of titles and THE EXCLUSIVE distributor of the HARD COPY EDITION of  Eye Witness: Book One (Revised Edition).

Comixology ....another very popular site for a huge variety of titles.

Enjoy....and in 2012 watch for an announcement...coming soon.... about my latest launch (or relaunch) into the world of digital publishing!

Happy New Year!!!

RJ Luedke

Saturday, December 10, 2011

My 2012 Appearance Schedule

Hey gang:

I'm putting the finishing touches on my initial 2012 travel/appearance schedule.  One or two of these may drop off and there will most definately be a couple more added as we move into the new year.  But this gives you a good idea of where I'll be planting my flag in 2012!

Jan. 6th-8th    Amazing Arizona Comic Con (Mesa, AZ)

Jan. 28th-29th   Wizard New Orleans Comic Con

Feb. 11th-12th    Sci-Fi Expo (Irving, TX)

Feb. 17th-19th    MegaCon (Orlando, FL)

March 16th-18th   Wondercon (Anahiem, CA)

March 23rd-25th   Aggiecon (College Station, TX)

April 13th-15th    C2E2 (Chicago, IL)

April 20-22nd     CapeCon '12  (Cape Girardeau, MO)

May 18th-21st    Dallas Comic Con (Iriving, TX)

May 25th-27th    Comicpalooza (Houston, TX)

June 1st-3rd    Con Carolinas (Charlotte, NC) *Artist Guest of Honor and program cover artist!

June 9th-10th    Albuquerque Comic Expo

June 15th-17th   Denver Comic Con  (Denver, CO)

June 22nd-24   Texas Comic Con (San Antonio, TX)

June 29th-July 1st     Florida Supercon (Miami, FL)

July 11th-15th     Comic Con International (San Diego, CA)

Aug. 9th-12th     Wizard Chicago Comic Con

Sept. 8th-9th    Baltimore Comic Con

Sept. 14th-16th    El Paso Comic Con

Sept. 29th-30th    Wizard Mid-Ohio Con (Columbus, OH)

Oct. 11th-14th    New York Comic Con

Oct. 19th-21st   Fan Days Dallas (Irving, TX)

Oct. 26th-28th  Austin Comic Con (Austin, TX)

Nov. 9th-11th Memphis Comic Con

Nov. 30th-Dec. 1st   Wizard Nola-Con (New Orleans, LA)

Also....Wizard's Big Apple Con dates TBA. Other events will be added as they are scheduled.

Hope to see alot of old and new friends out there this year!

RJ Luedke &

Sunday, November 27, 2011

2011: Year in Review

Hey gang,

Now that I've finally processed the pounds of turkey and pumpkin pie in my system from our Thanksgiving feast, I thought I'd take a pause to reflect on 2011 from my perspective.

This time last year I was considering whether I wanted to take my talents and experience toward doing public speaking to church and christian youth oriented groups about Eye Witness and my decade long journey with it, or focus more on creating new artwork and working primarily on the comic/pop culture convention circuit...which would still allow me to promote and sell EW to those it was designed for (mainly the unchurched and skeptical comic fan out there).  After much deliberation on this, I went with the latter!

So...what this the right decision for me?  Hmmmmm....

I speak with a lot of young aspiring writers, artists and self-publisher's at my appearances and through my various pages on the web and get a lot of questions in regards to the financial viability of creating your own comics and graphic novels.  Truth be told, like any indy creative endeavor (film making, music recording, fine art, novel writing etc....) creating and publishing comics/gn's is a risky endeavor where there is no guarantee of financial bounty...or for that matter, breaking even.  If one decides to go down this creative path, it must be with a clear understanding that this is something you feel compelled to do, a project you feel passionate about and that you have funding in place you can afford to do without (kind of like how my Dad always told me to approach going to Las Vegas..."don't gamble what you can't afford to lose").  In other words, it should something you'd do 24/7, even if no one ever paid you for doing it!

In most cases if you're approaching the comic/gn publishing industry from an indy perspective with the belief that your creative properties going to make you rich, (or just maybe financially independent) then you're setting yourself up for a rude awakening.  Is there precedent to the contrary?  Sure... Jeff Smith (Bone), Todd MacFarlane (Spawn), Dave Sim (Cerebus) to name a few...but when you look at the shear number of indy comics that have come and gone each and every year for the last couple decades, these are truly close to "one-in-a-million" scenarios! Am I sharing this because I'm trying to keep young talent from even trying?  Absolutely not!  I'm merely sharing what is (from a financial perspective) the reality of what you're taking on when you go down the self-publishing route. 

If you have a burning desire to tell a story in comic/gn form, then sometimes self publishing is your only, and best, option (especially with the rise of digital publishing...but that's another topic all together).  But just go into it with a firm grasp on what your goals are.  For me with Eye Witness, it wasn't about the financial return I might make (though everyone who heard about the concept I was undertaking or saw the advance artwork assured me I was going to sell millions of copies....I kid you not).  It was about my fulfilling what I saw as a divine directive for my creative talents.  I was extremely passionate about this project and set down the path to create the book (then the series) no matter how much it costs me, or how much I received in return.  My main payoff was determined by how many people I would touch with the story!

I was fortunate that the Lord was at the helm of this particular endeavor and more times than I'd like to admit, He helped keep food on my table and money in our bank account.  But for the better part of a decade I slaved feverishly to complete what became something of an epic (400+ fully illustrated pages) while basically earning enough for the publishing to pay for itself.

Getting back to my original point (in a real round about fashion)...I decided I needed to create a model where I could continue to share Eye Witness with people (since most people still are unaware of it, despite my efforts) while earning extra income from other creative work I was producing.  And since, my target audience for Eye Witness was mainly the unchurched it just made more sense that I should continue to have a presence at comic/pop culture events, rather than "preach to choir", so to speak, by limiting my self to only Christian events and churches.

So yes, this was the right decision for me!  In 2011, it has allowed me to create a decent income from sales of my prints/posters and landing of commissions and contract assignments, while still being able to not only sell Eye Witness, but also continue to inspire and counsel other writers and artists I meet that likewise feel compelled to use their talents in the service of the Lord, but just don't know how to do it.

Will I one day travel down the other path and begin to speak with young believers about my mission with Eye Witness?  That's always possible and like I've operated pretty much for the last decade...I'm leaving that in God's hands.  He'll let me know when it's time to change gears!

Hope to see many of you all again in 2012.  I've have a bunch new comic and pulp culture inspired prints and posters to share (like this one):

RJ Luedke

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Eye Witness Now Available to Even More Digital Readers!

Hey Gang,

I just heard, that my Eye Witness series is now available to users of the New AMAZON KINDLE FIRE, through the Graphicly app on the Head Press website, as well as the BARNES & NOBLE NOOK TABLET...also through Graphicly!

The versions of the books on Graphicly, contain previously unreleased behind the scenes commentary and artwork, from your's truly...exclusive to that app.  For more info, visit:
RJ Luedke

Monday, November 14, 2011

A Girl I'll Never Get Over!

More Than a Pet

Almost 12 years ago a dog was born from unknown parents, to unknown owners who decided they couldn’t care for this puppy. So, like a lot of unwanted pets she found herself left with an animal sanctuary in the Austin, TX area….best know for housing a colony of monkeys.

After almost a year when the shelter became overwhelmed with dropped off animals this year old dog was taken to the downtown Dallas branch of the SPCA. There she waited patiently week after week for the right family come along and adopt her….and a wait of months it eventually became, as most perspective dog owners…it seems…were more drawn to the ample supply of puppies available, rather then the more mature dogs.

With her time at the shelter coming preciously close to when she’d be euthanized, in August of 2001 a family in search of a new companion to replace a dog they recently lost to old age was touring the facility. They already had went the route of trying a puppy, with disastrous results (since it was discovered within weeks to be very sick and only lived a couple months) so now they were open to the possibility of adopting a more mature dog…one that was proven to already be in good health.

Walking through the isles our family was struck by the one particular dog who just stared at us with the most piercing and beautiful bronze eyes. After taking her out on the dog walk area of the facility it quickly became apparent that this sort of odd mix of who-knows-what kind of parents was the dog for us. Lacy she was named and Lacy she stayed!

After trying for months to figure out just exactly what kind of dog Lacy was, we more or less settled on the fact that she appeared to be mostly some sort of border collie/sheep dog mix. Incredibly smart, she quickly took to our family and new environment and before you knew it became a member of our household.

Lacy passed away today, after wrestling with arthritis for many months.

She was more than just a pet to us, she WAS like one of our children!
In a long lifetime of having dogs, I never met one that was so gentle! You literally couldn’t make her angry or get her to growl, let alone bite anybody or anything (a watchdog she was not)! The closest thing I ever saw to her being pissed off, is when Sandy tried to move her over in our bed (where she slept her whole life) to make room for her feet…and even then, it was just sort of a low moan deep insider her chest as she did her “dead dog” routine…which is where when you tried to move her when lying down, she’d go limp like a possum and you’d have to literally push her to move her 50 lbs over!

She loved taking car rides where she's hang her head out the window to get the maximum number of smells and taking walks at the local parks and lake Grapevine and chasing rabbits was always on the back of her mind. I loved to watch her hunt and chase them, but fortunately she only ever caught one!

All of our family spent time with her today, loving on her, holding her and giving her her fill of her favorite bacon flavored dog treats! Sandy and I were with her right to the end and held her and she gave her one last breath…a big peaceful sigh.

I’ve lost dogs before my life, but I just cannot remember one being so hard to now live without. She was there for me during the last 12 years…which was some of the hardest of my/our life and was a constant for me. She could always be counted on to give me a wiggle of her tail to cheer me up even when things seemed the blackest and let me hug and kiss on her big black soft ears, with never a complaint. Amazing as it may seem I think I can count on one hand times when I had to ever give her a slap on her behind or yell at her in 12 years…’cause she was just…that good….that smart…that well behaved!

As with all dog owners I hope there is a place for them in heaven and if so they surely welcomed Lacy this afternoon and she will be waiting for me to show up with her “saddle” (which is what we’d call her body collar) and take her for a walk!
"Lacy, riding in the car with her 'saddle' on, headin' for the lake".

Rest in Peace Lacy-girl…we will never forget you!
R.J. Luedke


Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Coming To ComiKaze Expo

Hey gang,

Just added a new event to my appearance schedule...the Comikaze Expo, which is going to be held the weekend of November 5th and 6th at the L.A. Convention Center.

Stan (The Man) Lee's going to be in the house, along with a whole bunch of movie and TV stars, not to mention some top flight comic artists and writers.

I've been commissioned to create this promotional poster for the event (see below) which I believe will be given out to certain VIP ticket holders and available for purchase for others (but I'll update that as more info becomes available).  But either way, there will be only limited quantities of the design available, so make sure to bring your copy by my table in artist alley to have me autograph and personalize it for you!
I look forward to meeting all my friends from the west coast! For more information or tickets, see:

RJ Luedke

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

An October to Remember

Hey gang, after a relatively quiet couple weeks...which fortuitously came at a perfect time, because it allowed me to work on storyboards and character design for a Christian animation series...I'm fixin to go back out on the road and hit 4 different conventions in 4 weeks during the month of October.

Here's the rundown:

The Nashville Comic Con

At the TN State Fair Grounds

Oct. 1st-2nd.

For more info:

Fan Days Dallas

At the Irving Convention Center

Oct. 8th-9th

For more info:

Memphis Comic Con

At the University of Memphis

Oct. 14th-16th

For more info:

Wizard's Mid-Ohio Con

At the Greater Columbus Convention Center

Oct. 22nd-23rd

For more information:

If you live in or around one of these fine cities and are interested in a one-of-a-kind commission or sketch, make sure to message me in advance and I'll make sure to have it ready for you at the show!  Also, I'll have plenty of the award-winning Eye Witness graphic novels as well as my fan-favorite character prints and posters.

 Hope to see 'ya-all out on the road!
RJ Luedke

Monday, July 18, 2011

Christian Creators Represent at Comic Con Int'l

Hey gang,

There going to be a pretty impressive lineup of creators/publishers with spiritual based books/comics/short films at this year's Comic Con International later this week.

My friend Scott Shuford, at Front Gate Media, has put together this very all-inclusive press release of the people and events:

San Diego, CA – Arguably the largest pop-culture, entertainment event in the world, THE COMIC-CON INTERNATIONAL: SAN DIEGO 2011 kicks off this week with sellout attendance of more than 125,000. The CHRISTIAN COMIC ARTS SOCIETY (CCAS) in partnership with CHALICE PRESS will deliver top talent and projects to create impact at the event. Comic-Con International: San Diego (Comic-Con) is the largest comic book convention of its kind in the world.

Christian Comic Arts Society, presented this year in partnership with Chalice Press, is hosting three events as part of the official Comic-Con programming, and will exhibit throughout the convention in a CORNER BOOTH SPACE #P-08.

CCAS will be giving away copies of “MARVELOUS MYTHS: MARVEL SUPERHEROES AND EVERYDAY FAITH,” an outstanding review of the Marvel universe published by Chalice Press. While supplies last, all CCAS event attendees will receive a copy of the book, and booth visitors can sign up to win copies during hourly drawings on the exhibit floor. Events include:

Christian Comic Arts Society Open Meeting. Thursday, 7/21/11, 7:30p.m. – 9:30p.m., Room: 24ABC

Hosted by CCAS members Kevin Yong (Ragged Capes) and Ralph Miley (New Visions Anthology) of, fans and creators alike are invited to join an informal after-hours time of Christian fellowship, networking, laughter and prayer as we “talk shop” about the Christian comics movement.

Spirituality in Comics: Is Mass Media Our New Church? Saturday, 7/23/11, 6:00p.m. – 7:00p.m., Room: 4

In comics, movies, and even Broadway musicals like “The Book Of Mormon”, spiritual themed work seems to be unexpectedly coming from the least religious of sources. Join panelists including SERGIO CARIELLO (The Action Bible), RUSSELL DALTON (Marvelous Myths: Marvel Superheroes and Everyday Faith), BUZZ DIXON (Serenity/Hits & Misses), and MIKE SHIELDS (Blue Blazes) as they discuss how a new generation of comics and pop culture are exploring timeless truths.

Christian Comics: The Calling of the Artist, Sunday, 7/24/11, 2:30p.m. – 3:30p.m., Room: 23ABC

What unique challenges do artists face in developing work for both mainstream and religious audiences? How can “Christian media” avoid becoming just a pale imitation of its secular counterparts? Join panelists SERGIO CARIELLO (The Action Bible), ERIC JANSEN (Missions Press), STEVE BLOUNT (Kingstone Media), ROBERT LUEDKE (Eye Witness), JOHN SHORE (I’m OK–You’re Not), MIKE SHIELDS (Blue Blazes) and moderator BUZZ DIXON (Hits & Misses) as they discuss the challenges and rewards of following the call of personal faith and the creative arts.

“MARVELOUS MYTHS: MARVEL SUPERHEROES AND EVERYDAY FAITH” shows us that Marvel superheroes are more like us than we may think. What really makes someone a hero? In the early 1960’s, the image of a superhero was someone with a square jaw, a muscular build, and a quick smile whose biggest personal problem was trying to keep their girlfriends from guessing their secret identities. Then, writer Stan Lee and artists Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko created a group of superheroes who revolutionized comics. These heroes, including The Fantastic Four, The Incredible Hulk, Spider-Man, The X-men, Iron Man, Captain America and others, were not perfect heroes who lived in a perfect world, but fallible people with physical ailments and personal problems like our own.

Each chapter of Marvelous Myths reflects on the heroes’ most famous adventures and discusses the ways in which we are called to overcome many of the same types of obstacles they face as we strive to carry out the ministries to which God calls us. While the authors and artists who created them did not intend to write explicitly religious stories, their tales of imperfect heroes who try to do the right thing despite the many challenges they face provide us with the opportunity to reflect on our own faith journeys as we strive to live heroic lives in the real world.

CCAS members are creating additional impact through Comic-Con related activities:

Created by The JESUS Film Project in association with Brethren Entertainment, Barry Cook (Director of Disney’s “Mulan”), and Tokyo’s renowned Studio 4°C, “My Last Day” is a short film of regret, repentance and redemption. This 9-minute animé unfolds through the eyes of a criminal who receives the same brutal crucifixion sentence as Christ. The criminal’s own guilt causes him to realize Christ’s innocence. See it at

Kingstone Media, a central Florida publisher with three primary imprints, will be exhibiting at the event in Booth #5531. Kingstone Comics publishes faith based comics and Biblical worldview graphic novels. Galaxy Comics produces sci-fi and action-adventure graphic novels. Bay Forest Books is the cinematic fiction imprimatur with stories that will move you and characters you will never forget. Get more at See Kingstone’s Steve Blount at the Sunday panel event.

Blue Blazes, a 168 Project 2011 Finalist, will screen their short film at the CCI-IFF July 22nd, and 1140a in the San Diego Marriott Marina. Mike Shields, (Producer, Director), Amber Greenlee (Storyboard Artist) and Blue Blazes himself, Robert Adan will be available to answer questions about this unique speed filmmaking competition, as well as the movie itself. Also see Shields at the Saturday and Sunday panel events.

Hitting up Comic-Con for the first time, Lamp Post can be found at Small Press Table Q-08. Creators Jerrell Conner (Revelations: The Prophets), Brett Burner (Hand of the Morning Star), and Dan Conner (Heaven Forbid) will be on hand to sign books, give portfolio reviews, and do sketches throughout the show. New books from the following series will be available at the show: Toned: Comics in Black and White, Revelations: The Prophets (featuring a backup of The Cardinal), Heaven Forbid, Finding Elim, God’s Love is Like a Conjoined Twin, Pakkins’ Land, and Parable. For more, visit Lamp Post, Inc. at

The Red R (also known as Revelations) is a movement of artists who aim to revolutionize how biblically related stories are told to cast a bigger net and reach a wider audience. The Red R Movement brings the highest level of art (and beyond) to present the world with the Hope and True meaning that only the greatest stories every told can deliver. Their post-apocalyptic graphic novel series “REVELATIONS: The Prophets” has released six books and will debut the NEW 7th INSTALLMENT at San Diego Comic-Con along with a new animated short. Visit them in the Small Press area at table Q-08. For more info, visit

He outraged parents, ticked off networks, and delighted young fans with thought-provoking classic episodes of G.I. Joe, Transformers, and Batman. Now Buzz Dixon is launching a line of Young Adult novels based on his bestselling SERENITY Christian manga series as well as brand new tales of faith and courage in a challenging world. “The surest way to get into trouble is to speak the truth, and everyone I’ve ever worked with has found me to be a troublemaker!” said Dixon. Meet Dixon at the Saturday and Sunday panel events. See more at

New from Kingdom Comics, The Kingdom Zone is a 64 page graphic novel anthology that consists of 7 different short stories with a “Twilight Zone” flair coming from a Biblical perspective. Several Christian artists within the industry have contributed their talents to this graphic novel, which will be an ongoing series with new stories every issue. Brian Bradley is the publisher of Kingdom Comics which began in 1999. His first publication, entitled THE ANOINTED 7 has been an ongoing series. Additional titles include “The Lucifer Chronicles”, “Pledge Of Allegiance”, “Code:Evolution”, and various anthologies including “God Works” dealing with prison issues and which is a popular resource within the prison system.

Writer/illustrator, Robert James Luedke, will return to Comic Con International after a two year absence to share his award-winning Eye Witness graphic novel series and be a featured member of the CCAS panel on Christian comics and graphic novels. Luedke will feature his new, limited edition, signed/numbered Eye Witness Slipcase Collection at Comic-Con 2011. Eye Witness, which premiered at Comic Con in 2004, has won five indy book awards and been named a finalist in 5 others, making it one of the most recognized and decorated series in the brief history of Christian themed graphic novels. His book “Unknown God” was named as a finalist in the category of Novella in the 2011 Indie Book Awards. Luedke and the series has been featured in media from coast to coast (both Christian and secular), including: LA Times, Washington Post, AP, Fox News, Publishers Weekly, Christianity Today, World Magazine, Comic Buyers Guide, Wizard Magazine and USA Radio Network. See more at

From Wonder Woman to Green Lantern to Jesus Hates Zombies, HOLLYWOODJESUS.COM covers it all. The action at Comic-Con is naturally a huge shaping force in what the comic-reading world talks about. “We continue to be excited about the spiritual conversation the comics world has with our culture,” said Greg Wright, Editor-In-Chief. “Arnaldo Reyes, our Comics Editor, is always looking for new talent and new product to showcase the spiritual nature of comics.” HJ’s latest comic reviews can be found at


The Christian Comic Arts Society (CCAS) was formed in 1984 to locate and link Christians who are interested or active in the comic book/strip medium. It sponsors Alpha Omega, the APA of Christian comics and Christian comic displays at various comic conventions across the country. The Goal and Purpose of CCAS is to support Christian professionals, hopefuls and enthusiasts within the Comic Book and related industries, accomplishing that by providing opportunities for the following: 1. The sharing of the Christian message and our Christian faith, primarily within and through the comic book industry and art form. 2. Mentoring, training, friendship and networking. 3. The collaboration on and creation of visual storytelling. The CCAS is governed by a volunteer board which includes Eric Jansen (Missions Press,) Scott A. Shuford (FrontGate Media,) Geoff Strout (Artist,) and Kevin Yong (New Creation Now) along with numerous volunteer committee members from the comic industry and the Church.

For more information on the Christian Comic Arts Society, go to: , , or

For more information on the Comic-Con International: San Diego, go to:

For more information, please contact:
Lori Lenz – FrontGate Media


Sunday, July 17, 2011

Odds and Ends...

Hey gang,

Just wanted to share a couple things that have been going on in my world here in the last couple weeks.

A.  After naming the Eye Witness Slipcase collection the top graphic novel for 2010, Family Fiction Magazine has recently published a Q & A with me.  If you've always wanted to understand a bit more about what makes me tick, check it out.

B. It was just brought to my attention, that Eye Witness: Unknown God....was named a finalist for the 2011 Indie Book Awards (in the category of Novella's).   Unknown God has already been a Winner in the category of graphic novels in the 2010 Best Book Awards, sponsored by and the Eye Witness series, as a whole, has now captured 5 indy book awards and been named a finalist for 6 others!

C. I've been very busy creating an eclectic collection of character prints that I'm selling like crazy at my con appearances.  They are also available for purchase on the ever growing BobTheArtist website.

I look forward to seeing all my west coast fans and a lot of old friends at next week's Comic Con International, in San Diego and then next month at the Wizard-Chicago Comic Con!

RJ Luedke &

Monday, July 11, 2011

Eye Witness Arrives on The Nook!

Hey gang,

In our continued attempts to make our Eye Witness available to more and more readers, we announce that the entire award-winning graphic novel series is now available for users of the various Barnes & Noble Nook platforms!

The benefit of this new partnership, is that not only does it make the story available to those with Nook readers, but also to anyone using the Nook reader software on their mobile devices...including: iPad, iPhone, PC, Android and Android tablets.

And as with all our digital versions, purchasing-reading in this format is a great bargin at $5.99 each!

RJ Luedke 

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The Digital Age of Comics Marches On

Hey gang,

As I've promised for some time now, we are continuing in our quest to make Eye Witness available to more readers in more reading formats. 

Our latest breakthrough along these lines are these:

1.  All four books in the award-winning Eye Witness series are now available for viewing/reading/downloading for virtually any electronic device you can mention (from your PC to iPad to smart phone) through through the website!

They have really gone the extra mile with the bells and whistles their site offers indy publishers.  With Eye Witness, each book has 4 pages of previously unpublished content I've put together, that's sort of a "behind the scenes look at the making of the series."  In addition, they offer a FREE preview copy of each book in the series!

To check out our offering on the graphicly site, go to:

2. At long last the revised edition of Eye Witness Book One is available for purchase as a hard copy!  Drivethrucomics, (who have previously offered books 1 and 2 as digital downloads), have now made available a POD (print on demand) version of the revised edition of the first book in the series.

Prior to this, the only way you could read this version was in digital format, but I know there are comic and graphic novel collectors out there that still love the hard copies.  For those of you who are wondering what is different between this edition and the original....well, I went back and remastered the colors on the entire work to better reflect the improved production the series had starting with book two.  In addition, I repaired the editing mis-steps we had made rushing the first book to press without adequate editing (lesson learned) and finally I added some content to make it flow better into the later books (since when I wrote the original manuscript, it was only going to be a one and done).

To order the Revised edition, visit our page on the Drivethrucomics site, at:

There will be more to announce soon, so stay tuned!

RJ Luedke

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Bringing Ghostbuster's to Life (part 3)

Here's the third and final stage of the construction of the Ghostbuster's print...

The illustration of Bill Murray, which was refined in stage 2, is now paired with the Ghostbuster's logo and the I WANT YOU headline with the Illustrator program.  And shazam ...a new print design is created!

Like my other character designs, this one will be available at my convention appearances and soon on the BobTheArtist website.

R.J. Luedke

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Bringing Ghostbuster's to Life (part 2)

Here is the second step in my creating a Ghostbuster's inspired print/poster.

I've taken the base pencil illustrations (did in part one) scanned it into my PC and refined it in photshop.  Here, I'll add to the contrast, deepen the blacks and add highlights.

Now the image is ready for the next step...

Next: Designing the finished look of the print.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Bringing Ghostbuster's To Life

Hey gang,

I received such good feedback on my showing the steps here to creating my Superman/Doomsday print, I decided to do it again.

After 3 con appearances in May, (Nola Con, Dallas Comic Con and Comicpalooza) it became clear to me that there is still a tremendous amount of interest in all things related to Ghostbusters out there!  I do believe at all three events there were fan tables set up there for groups that support and revel in Ghostbuster memorabilia, cosplay and collecting.  So I figured who best to support that interest but the leader of the Ghostbusters, Bill Murray?!

Here's the base illustration in what will become my first Ghostbuster inspired print:

I utilized the icon Murray image from his movie Stripes (which is basically used in the classic "I Want You" for the US Army recruiting poster...seen below) and made it more in step with his look in Ghosterbusters.  Rendered in pencil by Robert Luedke.

Next up: Stage Two, where I take this into photoshop for enhancement.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Busy Weekend in DFW

Hey gang

I'm going to be out and about and pretty busy this weekend around the DFW area.

Beginning Saturday morning (though Sunday) I'll be exhibiting my Eye Witness graphic novel series and my all-new collection of iconic comic and pop culture art prints, at the Bigger-Better Dallas Comic Con (at the state of the art Irving Convention Center).

Saturday night, I'll be one of the featured local artists creating an original piece of artork for auction to benefit Heroes for Heroes.

Come on by and score a one of the kind piece of original art...and help entertain our troops through your efforts!

Hope to see many of my friends and fans sometime this weekend!

R.J. Luedke

6/11/11....Just wanted to share with ya'll, the finished piece of art I rendered for this event:

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

The Readers Have Spoken!

I was pleasantly surprised this last week to learn that my Collected Eye Witness Slipcase Set, was the winner in the category of comics and graphic novels, in Family Fiction Magazine's 2011 Reader's Choice Award!

Given the quality of the competition, including Serigio Cariello's "The Action Bible", I am incredibly honored and humbled by this award!  My thanks to all those "readers" out there whose vote made this possible.

If you have not yet read the Eye Witness series and want to get your hands on the limited edition SIGNED & NUMBERED variant of the Slipcase Collection, go to our order page  at the Head Press Website...and to get a 20% discount....enter COUPON CODE: holiday.

R.J. Luedke

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Creating a Print (Part 3)

Part 3:  Bringing the Composition to Life

In this final stage of this tutorial, we'll take the flat colored version of our Superman/Doomsday design (part 2) and bring it to life and add depth of field by adding highlights and shadows.

You can see how the reflected light from the fires on the characters, along with the shadows on the side facing away from the flames, serves to give them a feeling of weight and 3 dimensions (verses the flat colors).

Another long time colorist tool is the intensity of color.  Notice the colors and outlines in foreground debris stands out from the characters, adding depth to the scene.  Along those same lines, on the debris behind the characters I went with even lighter colors and outlines less intense, to pull those items back in the scene from the characters...adding even more depth of field.  So in essence, what I've tried to do is create a foreground, middle ground and background through the intensity of color.

So there you have it!  I hope this is helpful information.

For those of you interested, this print design and so many others, are now available for purchase at my new website:    ....which should go live sometime today (if you get directed to, try again later, as that means bugs are still being worked out).

R.J. Luedke

Saturday, April 09, 2011

Creating A Print (Part 2)

Part 2: Shoring up the Design and adding the Base Color Scheme

Okay now that we've created the foundation of our pen/brush and ink design (see part 1), we're ready to scan it into the computer and go to work in photoshop, rounding out the design elements and laying down the base color scheme for the entire design.

FYI...I usually work in 400dpi on these so I can get the most detail possible with my colors and because the piece will eventually be blown up to 11 x 17 (from it's approx. 8.5 x 11" size now).
stage two of Superman/Doomsday print design

As you can see I added a few elements to the original design.  But I just felt that the original design was a bit to thin to base a print design from and wanted to really have a bit of fun by adding elements that would elevate the level of carnage of the scene.   For those of you who recall this original battle between these two in the final couple books in the storyline (Superman: Man of Steel # 19 and Superman #75) it was basically a knock-down, drag-out battle with them trashing the city as well as each other.  So I wanted to convey that level of destruction in the design.  In addition, I took away a couple elements....the Superman logo in the background and 60th Anniversary Lettering.  Since the original design was for a Sup's 60th Anniversary spread both seemed appropriate, while here they would serve to draw away from the drama.

Making these kind of additions once the design in scanned is somewhat unusual for me, since I've never really gotten comfortable drawing in photoshop or illustrator.   These are things I'll usually fix or add on the drawing table, but since none of them involved a whole lot of precision I took a shot.

This is the first step of how I do my coloring (in photoshop).  Like you see here I lay down the foundational colors for ALL the elements of the design.  The only one that I did a bit more with, was converting the line work on the flames to orange instead of it's original black.  It's kind of funny, looking back on the Superman series when this story was published (cira: 1993...before the era of digital) this stage represents how most comic coloring looked (very flat).  But as they say..."all you know is what you know" and artists did the best they could with the limits the paper and printing technology had to offer at the time.

My next step is I'll select each color and then go to work adding my shadows and highlights, one by one.  Like almost all of my designs this one has a very obvious and dramatic light source (the burning debris behind the figures) which allows for the colorist (in this case me) to really have a blast bringing the composition to life and adding depth....

...But that will all be covered in the next step:  Bringing the Composition to life!

R.J. Luedke

Friday, April 08, 2011

Creating A Print Design (Part 1)

Hey gang,

While in the process of creating my next print design, it occurred to me that I really should share a few of the steps involved in arriving at the finished product, for those who might have an interest in such things.   So, here we go....

This particular design has a bit of history behind it. 

I originally designed this illustration for the 1998 Comic-Con International (probably known as San Diego Comic-Con back then) souvenir program book.  If you've attended that show before you know that each year in that publication they celebrate a character or character's anniversary, by presenting a whole bunch of renditions that will fall all across the spectrum of styles.  Now, I've got to be frank here...I can't recall if they ended up using my design the in finished product or not (but I'm sure there must be someone out there in comic-dom who collects these gems and can confirm that fact). 

But, that year the theme was Superman's 60th anniversary and since the death of Superman Saga and Doomsday were still pretty fresh in every one's mind, I thought that might make for a dynamic design.

I've always loved this piece, but had forgotten I even still had it till rummaging through an old portfolio looking for another piece of art.  So I decided to put it to good use and use it as the foundation of a print.

Next up:  Shoring up the design and the base color scheme.

till then....

R.J. Luedke

Monday, March 14, 2011

Eye Witness: Unknown God is Book Award Finalist

Head Press Publishing received notification today that the fourth book in our Eye Witness series, Unknown God, has been named a finalist for the 2010 Fore Word Reviews, Book of the Year Awards!

According to ForeWord, "The finalists were drawn from more than 350 publishers and were selected from 1400 entries in 56 categories. These books are examples of independent publishing at its finest."

Eye Witness: Unknown God is a finalist for the 2010 Awards in the graphic novel category.  "Given the quality of the titles and creators also named in this year's finals, I'm quite honored," stated author/illustrator Robert Luedke.   Here is a list of the finalists:

■Beasts of Burden by Evan Dorkin
■Binky to the Rescue by Ashley Spires

■Blacksad by Juan Daz Canales

■Book of Hours by George A Walker

■Days Missing Vol. 1 by Ian Edginton, Phil Hester, David Hine and Matz

Eye Witness by Robert James Luedke

■Gunnerkrigg Court Vol. 2 by Tom Siddell

■Return of the Dapper Men by Jim McCann

■Tumor by Joshua Hale Fialkov

■Wanderlust by Megan Speers

Eye Witness: Unknown God, is the final book in the Eye Witness tetraology and it features a unique and fast paced combination of a modern-day action thriller with an adaptation of the Biblical book of Acts.  Since it's premier in 2004, Luedke's Eye Witness series has garnered four indy book awards and been named a finalist in four others.

ForeWord Reviews' Book of the Year Awards program was established to help publishers shine an additional spotlight on their best titles and bring increased attention to librarians and booksellers of the literary and graphic achievements of independent publishers and their authors.  ForeWord is the only review trade journal devoted exclusively to books from independent houses.

Winners will be determined by a panel of librarians and booksellers selected from the ForeWord readership. Gold, Silver, and Bronze winners, as well as Editor’s Choice Prizes for Fiction and Nonfiction will be announced at a special program at the ALA Annual Conference in New Orleans this June.  The ceremony is open to all ALA attendees and exhibiting publishers.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Ready For Con Season (Updated)

Hey gang,

Been working feverishly to get my act ready for another convention season...which for me will kick off next week at the C2E2 Convention in Chicago.

Besides continuing to promote the award-winning Eye Witness graphic novel series (and the signed and numbered slipcase collection), I been working hard, (and having a blast, I might add), creating an ALL-NEW portfolio of original art and limited edition prints.  And in the spirit of the times, here's the final addition to the initial offerings...which will be premiering next week:

So if you hail from the Chicago land area (or the Midwest) come find me in the artist alley area (I'm at table J7) at C2E2 at the McCormick Place in Downtown Chicago.

.......AND HERE'S AN UPDATE, 3/24/11*******

Totally sold out of the "Winning Duh" print in Chicago and had lots of requests for the image on a T-shirt ('cause I was wearing one that I made as a promotional tool).  So coming up at this weekend's Megacon Convention (in Orlando....Orange Co. Convention Center/West Concourse), I'll have an EXTRA LARGE supply of the prints and about 20 of the T-shirts (so don't wait too long in the week to come find my table).

R.J. Luedke

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Acts of the Spirit Now Available for Digital Media!

Hey gang, I'm proud to announce that the second book in the award-winning Eye Witness graphic novel series (Acts of the Spirit) is now available for reading on your iPad and iPhone Apps, the Android Marketplace Comics well as through the comiXology web store online.

Up until now, only the Revised edition of the first book (A Fictional Tale of Absolute Truth) has been available through Comixology (and these other applications).  The book is divided up into three chapters and each at a very reasonable price point (of $1.99 each chapter)...which makes the digital versions less than 50% off their hard copy counterparts.
And don't forget PDF versions of the first two book in the series are already available for viewing on your computer through DriveThruComics!

In other Eye Witness news....

I've been nominated in a couple categories in this year's Eagle Comic Awards (which will be announced this year at the London Comic Con).

This is one of the longest running (if not thee longest running) awards in the industry and set up to allow the fans to participate by voting for who is chosen as finalists.  I'd love your support (especially if it helps Eye Witness get more exposure in the UK).  If you'd like to help out, here's what you have to do:

-Go to the Eagle Awards Voting page (can cast one vote per computer address) at:

-Of course vote for any and all of your favorites in as many categories as you'd like, but make sure to  cast your vote for, category #4: Writer/artist ....and look for Robert James Luedke on the drop down menu.

-The other category of importance is, category #23: Favorite Graphic Novel...and look for Eye Witness: Unknown God on the drop down menu.

If I understand correctly how the awards work, voting will run through late March '11, and then they'll announce the top 5 finalists in each category.

Thanks in advance for your support!

R.J. Luedke

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Unknown God is Finalist for Book Award!

In 2010, I finished my eight year creative mission and completed the Eye Witness graphic novel series with the release of the fourth book, Eye Witness: Unknown God.  I had just been alerted today that Unknown God is a finalist for the Christian Small Press Publisher Book of the year awards.

Voting is open for any publishers, retailers, authors or readers for these awards. If any of you reading this posting  feel so inclined, I'd appreciate if you could cast your vote and pass this information on to people you know who may have an interest in such things.  Here's the details....


Graphic Novelist, Robert James Luedke's, latest published work, Eye Witness: Unknown God, ( is a finalist in the category of "Young Adult literature" in this year's Christian Small Press Publisher, Book of the Year Awards.

Voting is now open till the end of March for retailers, publishers, authors and readers.

Vote now at:

All Christian book readers are invited to vote for the 2011 Christian Small Publisher Book of the Year Award. Although small publishers are often less well known than larger publishing houses, they produce fresh and innovative books to inspire readers or fill niche needs. The Christian Small Publisher Book of the Year award honors books produced by small publishers for outstanding contribution to Christian life.

You are invited to vote for one book in each category online at Christian Small Publisher Book of the Year Award is offered for books in each of eight categories: Fiction, Biography, Christian Living, Relationships/Family, Bible Study/Theology, Children’s Book 4-8 years, Children’s Book 8-12 years, and Young Adult (12+ years). The winners of this award are determined solely by the votes of Christian retailers and book lovers alike.

The winners of the 2011 Christian Small Publisher Book of the Year Award will be announced on April 15, 2011. The Christian Small Publisher Book of the Year Award is sponsored by Christian Small Publishers Association (CSPA).

Your vote would be greatly appreciated! For more information about me or Eye Witness, visit:

R.J. Luedke

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Kicking Off the '11 Con Season in Style

Looking forward to meeing all my midwestern friends and fans during my first visit to the C2E2 2011convention, (which is one of the nations fastest growing pop culture events) on the shores of lake Michigan in Downtown Chicago, March 18th-20th.

I'll of course have plenty of the limited signed/numbered editions of the Eye Witness slipcase collection and a whole selection of never before seen prints (and original art) of some of the most beloved (and sometimes quirky) pop comic and pop culture characters.

To view more of my commission/print artwork, visit:

...and if you are interested in commissoning me to do a piece of original art based upon a particular character or actor for you, (to pickup at the show), please email me at:, and we'll discuss what you're looking for and pricing.

To find out more about the C2E2 show, visit:

Hope to see many of my midwest friends and fans there!

R.J. Luedke

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Live DFW Art Event Benefiting the Hero Initiative

Hey Gang:

Here's something really cool!!

The ArtLoveMagic crew has asked me to participate in A NATIONWIDE live art event sponsored by the promoters of COMICPALOOZA and benefiting elder comic book creators in serious need through the Heroes Initiative Charity .

This is a large scale problem for the creators of golden and silver age comics (who worked before royalties and fair wages became common practice in the industry and are now struggling just to put food on the table and pay the rent).

Multiple cities across the country will hold live events that will feature artists you can watch creating comic book themed art. Then you can bid on those works in an auction that benefits the Hero Initiative (

Artists I'll be working along side of here at the DFW event are:
Samax Amen (ghettomanga)
James O'Barr (the Crow)
David Rodriguez (bad-azz painter)
Jerod Alexander (street artist)
Isaac Davies (street artist)
Joe Skilz (graff artist)
Michael Lagocki (ghostwerks comics)
Khalid Robertson (Champion of Children)
Trayce Cochran (graff artist)

...and more artists TBA.

To add to the entertainment level, Local Dallas DJs will spin all night long including Hollogram Dagger and Dean Dillenger.

One night only

Saturday, January 22nd
at Arnetic
2826 Elm Street
Dallas, TX

Entry fee is only $3 ...but bring cash to bid on original art!

Rare comic collectibles also available on a buy-it-now table (including a limited edition signed and numbered Eye Witness Slipcase Collection)

For more info? Check the ArtLoveMagic facebook event page here:

R.J. Luedke

...and this just in, here is the finished piece I did at the show, which generated a nice sum for Heroes Initiative.

Saturday, January 01, 2011

2011...the Year of Digital Publishing?

All the signs I am seeing points to 2011 being be the year digital distribution busts loose in the book and comic industry.

The foundation of that belief is based upon the number of companies releasing their own iPad type hardware this year...which was the "missing link" in the chain to mobile-digital comic reading. Amazon already has publicly stated their largest selling item is now the Kindle (outselling Harry Potter), so don't think for a minute that other companies are not taking notice (but of course that one's not yet geared for heavy illustrated product yet...but I'm sure will be in future models).

But I do not think it will spell the end of brick and mortal publishing, rather just a market adjustment on how product is made available to the public. I believe this is a very exciting time to be in publishing, as new outlets will mean that many more small, indy or self published creators will be able to get their product into the hands of potential readers...and for a fraction of the price it took to do a traditional print run, and without having to run the "distributor and/or retailer gauntlet" to reach the reading public.

In addition, I think this development will spawn a new type of potential reader...those who might never had, (or very rarely) ventured into a comic store...because they perceived it as unfriendly or too geeky (see Big-Bang-Theory). Now those reluctant readers can explore the wonderful world of comics and graphic novels in the privacy of their own iPads, without having to "out themselves" to speak.

Along those same lines, it's a huge advantage to those of us creating works with a spiritual foundation...since it allows people with a spiritual curiosity to explore without fear, ridicule or just having to explain to their comic reading peers why they might be buying a comic about God, Jesus etc...


Here a bit of info on the developing digital age:

From Andrew Smith and Brent Frankenhoff in the Comics Buyers Guide #1674: Comic sales in digital form sold an estimated $500,000 to $1 million in 2009. Estimates for 2010 are between $6-8 Million (an increase of a minimum of 600%...when print comic sales are predicted to only increase 1% over that same period). Now that's exciting!

Sales of all eBooks tripled in 2010 (from 2009) to over 100 million copies sold.

Both Marvel and DC announced price drops on their print comics late in 2010 (Marvel's was more wide spread across their line) and though neither have yet to admit it in the press, it's rumored that this step was taken only due to the extra revenue they've both taken in from the digital versions of their catalogs.


From my perspective, we (Head Press Publishing) continue to explore new ways to make Eye Witness available to new potential readers each and every day.

In 2010, we dipped into the digital pool by making the revised edition of Eye Witness Book One our first digital offering through Comixology. Later in the year we added Drivethrucomics to our list of digital partners (as they premiered the digital version of Eye Witness: Acts of the Spirit). In addition, in the end of the year our books went live on the Google Books catalog...which is already led to sales and contacts from the amount of visibility the online giant provides.

In 2011, it looks like will be adding the entire Eye Witness series to their online catalog and we're in the process of converting our books for viewing on Barnes and Noble's Color Nook (Reader) also.

As creators we must embrace these new outlets. Think of each one of them like a retail giant (like a Walmart) with customer reach in the thousands, if not tens or hundreds of thousands annually. And the good news is (excuse the pun) for most of us working in Christian based comics and graphic novels, that we can take our creations way past the niche markets they've been exposed to previously due to market bias (do to the Christian foundation of our works) or our lack of marketing virtually anywhere in the world where the technology and hardware exist to view them!

So 2011 looks like it has the potential to be a very good year for being a comic/graphic novel creator!

For any of you who haven't checked out Eye Witness yet, here's an opportunity to view one of the outlets we've added to our quiver of digital providers (Drivethrucomics) as well as to see what the series is all about with a FREE Eye Witness download.

R.J. Luedke