Friday, December 21, 2012

Merry Christmas From the Dust!

Merry Christmas! At this special season when there is so much to celebrate, let us all remember the many blessings bestowed upon us from the Creator of the Heavens and the Earth. Let us also remember that Jew, Christian, and Muslim alike believe the Hebrew Bible, or Old Testament, is sacred, and we all trace our heritage back to Abraham. We have far more in common than we have different.

Excerpts from From the Dust #1. Enjoy these two short excerpts of From the Dust #1, coming soon.


Learn Hebrew in From the Dust's unique educational sections.

Nebuchadrezzar King of Babylon overlooks the Holy Temple of Yahweh.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Need an awesome Christmas gift...?

You can still get our collectible First Fan Kit for Christmas. It is hand-signed and numbered and includes playing cards, bookmarks, a poster, and art prints!



Ack! Another Delay! Release is now after Christmas!

From the Dust has been delayed (for the second time!) It will be after Christmas and possibly after New Year's before From the Dust #1 will be released.

What's up with these delays? Great question! From the Dust is a side project of Spider Comics. We're a small boutique animation studio and when we get client work that's what we do. The more client work we get...the more From the Dust gets delayed. We apologize for this but we do have bills to pay. We were really hoping to get From the Dust released in time for Christmas so all our fans could give (or get) it as a Christmas gift. Please be assured we are doing the best we can.

Is this delay thing going to be normal? No. We are learning how to balance our client work with From the Dust. Please be patient with us. We will be more careful with publishing release dates in the future and again, we apologize for any inconvenience these delays may have caused.

Look for From the Dust in the very near future!

Some things are worth the wait!

Lemuel reads his scriptures.


If you simply can't wait you can buy the collectible From the Dust #0 in our First Fan Kit.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Almost here!

Available to order December 15.

Where to buy?!!?! We've been getting a lot of requests for where to get this product! We will be updating the website in just a few days with info with where to buy!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

From the Dust #1 Release Delayed!

From the Dust #1 Release Delayed! I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but the release has been delayed! Our original release date was today, but expect a delay of up to two weeks. We will post the new release as soon as we are able!

Why?!? Great question! First, it's because the book has an additional 10 pages of content! It's now over 107 pages long! Second, it's because it's looking AMAZING! Jam-packed with very high quality artwork. Pictures truly are worth 1000 words...which makes From the Dust #1 worth something like 200,000+ words!

What this means for Christmas. If you want From the Dust #1 as a Christmas present it means you will need to order it online or plan on picking it up the week before Christmas. Donnie Morris of Confetti Antiques and Books can help you out with pre-orders and online orders. 801-798-0137

Here's a few spreads from the character section to tide you over during this short delay. The entire book looks like this! (Except for a sneak peek section that is in black and white.)





Thursday, November 22, 2012

Not long now! Less than one week to go!

There's less than one week until the release of From the Dust #1: Things to Come!
This merchant from Arabia is but one example of From the Dust's unique scriptural world.
What is it?  From the Dust is a comic book series much like Spider-man or Batman, but instead of superheroes it tells the stories of prophets in the Old Testament and the Book of Mormon. See www.bookofmormoncomic.com for more details.

Specs: 

  • 96-page full-color volume jam-packed with over 150 illustrations (over 100 in full-color!) 
  • Contains the 16-page full-color first chapter of the From the Dust storyline!
  • Introduces readers to the new and exciting world of From the Dust, where readers can walk alongside prophets of old and understand more of what it was like to live in their ancient world
  • Quotes over 50 scriptures in its educational section and shows how they directly inspired the From the Dust storyline
  • Gives an overview of the world, empires, and nations of From the Dust (including maps!)
  • Introduces the main cast including Jeremiah, Lehi, Sariah, their family, and some evil kings and priests from the Old Testament that fought against them

Where to buy: Smaller LDS retailers will carry From the Dust #1 starting early December and larger LDS retailers will follow (not yet certain when). We will have an updated list of retailers posted on www.bookofmormoncomic.com.

How much does it cost? $14.99

When does the next one come out? From the Dust #2: Jerusalem's Darkest Hour, which will have over 30 pages of full-color story, will be released in the spring of 2013. To be the first to know about From the Dust product releases and promotions, sign up for our newsletter.


Click the image above to sign up for our newsletter.

What if I own From the Dust #0? Owners of the Special Collector's Edition From the Dust #0: Things to Come will find over 30 pages of all-new content in From the Dust #1, including an additional 7 pages of full-color story!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

200 Likes on Facebook!





200 Facebook likes! Ever since From the Dust's first birthday bash, I haven't been pushing for "likes" on Facebook. But slowly and steadily we've been creeping toward 200 and now we did it! I was just logged on last night and I was like...who we are like just a few away...and now we're there! Thanks for your support!

In honor of the big 2-0-0 I decided to post this panel from From the Dust #1 that will be released later this month! The comic will have more than 50 full-color paintings in the story section with an additional 35 black-and-white storyboard panels in a sneak peek section.

This is Nebuchadrezzar, known as "Lord Drezzar" in From the Dust, about to oust the weakling Jeconiah (also called Jehoiachin in the Old Testament) from the throne of Judah.



Thursday, November 8, 2012

Another review!

This review is just a paragraph but is definitely very positive!

http://timesandseasons.org/index.php/2012/10/book-of-mormon-comics/

I've got a bunch of work to do getting #1 ready for y'all! See you next week!



Tuesday, October 30, 2012

New www.bookofmormoncomic.com!!

New website! A new website has launched with a new commercial! We've completely redesigned everything and have gone for a much simpler, much more professional look to the website. Let us know what you think!

New commercial! And don't forget to watch our commercials! Love you guys and thanks for supporting the project. My deepest gratitude to everyone who has ever said a kind word about the project or helped it in any way! Let's make this the big thing this Christmas season! I'm getting to work on a slew of 20-30 paintings to do in the next few weeks and then I send this baby to the printers!

Happy Holidays!
And yes Halloween counts!
Mike

Click the image to visit the new website!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

ONLINE STORE CLOSING! (Trust me, it's a good thing!)

Online Store CLOSED! I'm pleased to announce the From the Dust Online Store is closed! I have a distributor. Future physical products will be sold at LDS retailers nationwide. We are still progressively breaking into retailers so I will update you weekly as to where From the Dust can be purchased. Currently it is at Confetti Antiques & Books and the BYU Bookstore.

However, it should be everywhere by December 1st, 2012 (except for the big two, Deseret and Seagull as they are suuuuper slow -- we'll have to hit next year.)

Almost sold out! We are almost sold out of our collector's comics (less than 100 left!) as well as our Fan Kits (about the same number). Get'em while they last! They'll be worth more than you paid by next year! Keep'em in good condition!

Sneak peek! In the meantime, here's a sneak peek at From the Dust's first non-promotional product (aka the new face of From the Dust!)

From the Dust #1: Things to Come, coming Christmas 2012

Don't forget! Subscribe to our mailing list here >>

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Review by Jeffrey Needle

Jeffrey Needle of the Association for Mormon Letters (also affiliated with LDSBooklovers.com) kindly wrote this great review of From the Dust #0: Things to Come!

Jeffrey Needle Reviews From the Dust #0


Friday, October 12, 2012

Booksigning and FTD @ BYU Bookstore

Evening with the Artist and Booksigning! I will be at Confetti Antiques & Books next Friday, October 19 from 6pm - 8pm to show people a glimpse into the future of From the Dust, sign From the Dust collectibles, and give free drawing lessons to interested parties (perfect for kids!). I will also be available to provide free drawings either on your From the Dust merchandise or in your sketchbook. Gonna be a party! Come out and see me! I will have the iPad app available for interested parties.

From the Dust in the BYU Bookstore! Starting next week you can purchase From the Dust @ the BYU Bookstore. Look for it!


Thursday, October 4, 2012

From the Dust Hits the Shelves in Spanish Fork, UT!

From the Dust in Spanish Fork! You can now buy From the Dust in retail stores! Well, store, at the moment. Donnie Morris from Confetti Antiques & Books interviewed me last week on Turning the Page, which plays on the local cable station for Spanish Fork. We've been selling quite a few products there at his store. In fact, he's already sold like 1/5 of my stock! Yikes! Better print more before I start selling to more stores!

Confetti Antiques & Books
273 North Main
Spanish Fork, UT
www.confettibooks.com

Price Drop! The prices have also dropped on the comics. Thank you to all of you who purchased it at the Farmer's Market price...you've been supporting a great cause and I hope you feel it was an honest price (it was, just FYI.) I've been working hard to get the price down to that of a standard comic book and I'm pleased to announce:

From the Dust #0 retails for $5.99.
The First Fan Kit (minus poster) retails for $19.99.
The Hope Whispers Poster retails for $4.99.

Also check out this cool commercial!


Friday, September 28, 2012

Episode #2 and From the Dust is goin' retail!

In the Media. From the Dust is getting a lot of attention lately! In addition to Heather Farrell of Women in the Scriptures, Felice, who co-wrote The Gift of Giving Life with Heather and others, posted about From the Dust on their blog!

Also you can read an interesting review of From the Dust by Jeff Needles of The Institute for Mormon Letters (also affiliated with www.LDSBooklovers.com).


TV Interview! I had my first TV interview today with Donnie Morris of Confetti Antiques and Books in Spanish Fork. It will air on local public TV stations and will be up next week on YouTube!

Lastly, here's Episode #2 of my Creator's Commentaries speed paintings!

EPISODE #2: Sariah and Her Land of Inheritance

This episode talks about the land of inheritance and how the kingdom of Judah's geography was much different than what we often imagine the Holy Land as (if you're anything like me, you picture it as a flat, dry, dusty place with few trees, little water, and lots of rocks.) Judah was in fact a mountain country filled with valleys and mountain forests. It was so mountainous, in fact, that they had to terrace the hills in order to farm, just like they do in China and other places in the world.

Learn more and watch the video! (You may want to Subscribe to my YouTube channel as well >> )




Friday, September 21, 2012

Women in the Scriptures

First, watch this video. I made it for my friends that I met at LDSBA Convention in August, Heather and Felice. It is the beginning of a new series of informational speed paintings! This one talks about the Rub al Khali, or Empty Quarter, one of the world's most deadly landscapes. Be sure to watch it in HD!



Now go to this website.   Women in the Scriptures - From the Dust Giveaway

Now read the following:  Special thanks to the women at Women in the Scriptures for putting together such a wonderful article together! If there's one thing I know, it's that women don't get enough credit in the scriptures.

I made the following pieces of artwork for Women in the Scriptures. If you are a follower of theirs (and you should be!) you can use these for your blog buttons on the sidebar.

The challenge is to read the Standard Works focusing on the women in them.
This is a fun badge that Heather had on her website.  It's sized perfect for blog sidebars (200px wide).
If you click on this it will be 2x the size of the others...use it for whatever you want!
Sariah and the Rub al Khali, or Empty Quarter, one of the deadliest deserts in the world.
More artwork coming soon!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Start to Finish!


This digital realm is pretty intimidating. It has so much that you can do! The biggest step for me in the next few weeks and months will be getting acclimatized to producing videos, which is one of the iPad's greatest strengths. To start us off, remember this image from last week?

Original concept, maybe 3 minutes of quick sketching.


I finished it. You can watch the vid, too!

I got some freelance work for the next few weeks, and even though From the Dust has been doing fine financially you can never have too much money! One thing I've learned is that when you are starting out you always take the good opportunities that present themselves to you!

Have fun, y'all! I will try to post another video next week!


Final image: about 5-6 hours.




For those interested, this is a cobra that these archers are riding. The smaller, less athletic Chaldean on top is the driver/reloader for the archer, who obviously gets the best vantage point. Mounted archers are some of ancient warfare's most deadly warriors.

The Babylonian Empire stretched into Persia and across Mespotamia (and ultimately into Egypt as well.) Cobras were a regular danger of the peoples of these lands.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Detours and Course Corrections

Two weeks ago I announced the website's comic story would be updating once a week in countdown for the next comic. However, a lot has happened including the LDSBA Conference, and I'm taking Spider Comics' business model a very different direction -- From the Dust is taking leaps and bounds towards the digital realm, in particular, the iPad. While we will always be publishing print comics, the future of the print industry is tablet devices and their multimedia capabilities.

Any wise business owner will know that when you create a new product you have to craft that product for its distribution medium -- in the last 4 months I've created a beautiful print comic that is being enjoyed by many, but now I'm having to re-envision the entire thing for the iPad.

So far a few of the aspects that the iPad allows me to do:

  • have large introductory material and "extras" sections
  • not have to worry too much about page counts
  • I can now do videos and music
  • all the imagery can be interactive
  • I can now deliver my product to a much broader audience

I think this digital route will be the way to go for From the Dust. It really helps to sell that From the Dust is more like a TV series than a graphic novel.

Just know I'm hard at work making the next big thing! All this is to say we will be holding of on the Tuesday story updates. I'll update the website soon to reflect this -- in the meantime, thanks for your patience as I get From the Dust off the ground and flying!

Lastly, I don't want to leave you hanging with no new artwork! From the Dust will shortly be going to war. Here's a sneak peak at some of the Babylonian armies. Keep in mind that Babylon was a plains city, and Ur (of the Chaldees, this is where Abraham was from) was a swampland/delta city kind of like Egypt, but over in Persia. Yep...Abraham was Persian, y'all! Surprise! Anyway all that happened many thousands of years prior to the time of Jeremiah, but these landscapes are what sculpt the peoples of the of the areas. I've also been researching war tactics so that the armies reflect the actual war tactics of the Babylonians.

Keep in mind these are just quick thumbnail sketches. Most of my art starts in the black-and-white stage.







Tuesday, August 14, 2012

A Serendipitous Convention


This video tells the story better than I can. It was recorded last Wednesday.

The “Al” mentioned in the video is both my neighbor and my surrogate grandfather. He’s a businessman at heart and helps me stay on top of the business side of things.






I had no idea the conference even existed last Wednesday morning, and by Thursday morning I had a booth with a sweet setup and a new video. Needless to say I didn’t sleep much. At all, really.

The booths typically cost $400. Dot’s husband, George, while musing to me while Dot did some paperwork for me, said, “This doesn’t usually happen. You must have a product that somebody really wants out there.”

From the Dust's booth on Wednesday afternoon.

From the Dust's booth on Thursday morning at the start of the convention.
I had many wonderfully fortuitous experiences at the LDSBA (Latter-day Saint Booksellers Association) Convention, the highlight of which is an appointment to present From the Dust to the leaders of Deseret Book in a few weeks.

I made a ton of other friends, many of whom you will meet in the coming weeks as we partner to help get From the Dust into the hands of Latter-day Saints worldwide.


And here's the intro video I made Wednesday night.





Just go to www.bookofmormoncomic.com to see it in action!

Monday, August 6, 2012

The Story Will Continue Each Tuesday Starting Aug 14!

We've been having great success at both the Farmer's Market and in our online store! Thank you everyone for your loyal support! Things are going great! Keeping busy around here, that's for sure.

Time to announce the next big news:

The story will continue each Tuesdays right where it left off in From the Dust #0! I will be posting a new page each Tuesday starting August 14. We will be counting down to the publication of From the Dust #1!

These pages will be hosted on www.bookofmormoncomic.com and we will post links here as well as on Facebook.

Also of note...coming in September...

video

See you next Tuesday!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Grand Opening Sale! Fan Kits Only $24.99!! (through Aug 31)

Huge Sale! To celebrate the Grand Opening of From the Dust's Online Store (and website) we're putting the Fan Kits on Sale! Only $24.99 and you get all of our products in one neat package. It's the perfect gift for anyone that loves comics, games, or the scriptures.



I know it might seem like I've been launching for awhile now, but that's how it goes when you're the only one doing all the work. However, finally I can say that From the Dust, with its parent company Spider Comics, has launched!

To celebrate, we're taking a new and very aggressive price stance. I've dropped the retail price on all my products substantially so that even the most modest of incomes will be able to afford From the Dust products. I also want our readers to know that we are absolutely committed to making our pricing as low as possible and to giving you the best possible value for your money.

I hope when you look at our new prices and read our comics that you'll agree it's a steal!

In addition I'll be giving away a FREE "Hope Whispers" poster to EVERYONE that purchases a From the Dust product (limit one per person).


Let's throw ourselves a party this August!

Monday, July 30, 2012

From the Dust has a website!

The website has easter eggs. See if you can find one!

In addition you can:
  • Order all our products
  • Read 10 pages of Issue #0
  • Read character bios
  • and learn more about the project
Check it out!
www.bookofmormoncomic.com

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

DONE!

I am now officially done with From the Dust #0: Things to Come! I sent the project to the printer last night and I should have the comics by Saturday, July 28.

I am *very* pleased with the product. You're going to love it! To purchase a copy you will have to meet me in person. I can be found each week at the Provo Farmer's Market, Saturdays 9am -2pm @ Pioneer Park (intersection of State and Center, Provo).

Solomon the Wise looks over his kingdom in From the Dust #0: Things to Come
Now, on to cooking up some other recipes you will love...

Like the new website!

Coming Soon: www.bookofmormoncomic.com
Things are really starting to ramp up! The fan kits are going fast! You better pick one up before I launch the website. I have a feeling it will take From the Dust's exposure to the next level, and based on the attention I'm getting at the market I am starting to wonder if I am at all prepared for it.

We'll find out in about two weeks.

See you next Tuesday! (If not at the market this Saturday!)

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Almost there!

As it turns out printing and distributing stuff is a lot of work! I have been busy busy trying to keep up with everything, as well as turn around some of my greatest artwork yet!

I had another awesome day at the Farmer's Market and I will soon be opening up From the Dust to online orders -- on the website www.bookofmormoncomic.com (coming soon!).

But for now, please enjoy this poster that will be available individually or as part of the From the Dust fan kit!
The From the Dust First Fan Poster! 19 x 27 inches


Tuesday, July 3, 2012

First Fan Kits now available for Pre-order! (in-person only)

Dear First Fans,
Last week at the Farmer’s Market was a tremendous success! I almost went hoarse so many people were interested in hearing about From the Dust!

A few highlights:
  • I sold my first comic books and merchandise!
  • I met a friend of my brother’s from Georgia — what a small world!
  • I sometimes had up to 6-8 people crowded around my little booth, listening to stories of Lehi, Sariah, and Jeremiah! Ages ranged from 6-year-olds to grandparents.
  • I gave out lots of bookmarks and character cards! Drop by this week if you want one! I only have character cards left!

Now, time to reveal the new From the Dust! It’s gotten a complete redesign! Now it truly "feels" like the epic it is!

Many of you have been following me for months and some of you since the very beginning. After this long while, I am pleased to announce to you the From the Dust First Fan Kit! These will be available to the general public starting July 21, but pre-order now and not only save, but ensure your spot in this once-in-a-lifetime chance to kickstart From the Dust! 

Click to Enlarge

I have printed 250 special collector’s edition First Fan Kits. In this kit you will get the most complete taste currently possible of the From the Dust universe. You will meet the main characters of the epic, and see a clear vision of where we are headed in the future. See image for product details.

Each comic in each kit will be hand signed and numbered. I am selling them in numerical order, first come first served.

Between my family and close friends, almost 20% of these kits are already spoken for. Act fast and order yours today! They make the perfect gifts!

Pre-orders can only be done in person. I know -- old fashioned! You will have to meet me at the Provo Farmers Market each Saturday from 9am - 2pm, or since most of you are friends, during our daily walks together!

Kit contains all items shown.

Prices:
First Fan Kit: Special Preorder price - $44! (Regular Price: $55, you save 20%!)

Individual items:
Wall Poster: $10
From the Dust #0: $10
Inspire Series Pack: $15
Gaming Deck: $15
Smartmarks: $5

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Provo Farmer's Market THIS SATURDAY - June 30

I will be at the Provo Farmer's Market THIS SATURDAY, June 30, from 9am-2pm. Find me and I will tell you about all the cool stuff happening in July! I will also be selling some of the proofs the printer sent me...



Monday, June 25, 2012

#0

Front

In an effort to raise funds and broaden my fan base, I will be publishing a special collector's edition preview comic, 
From the Dust #0: Things to Come. This is a 48-page full-length comic that compiles much of the work I've done over the last year. It gives a preview of Issue #1: Jerusalem's Darkest Hour and Issue #2: Nephi's First Hunt. It also has more than 10 pages of educational material and concept artwork, including work I have never published!

Back

You will get your first taste of what the From the Dust series will look and feel like, and your purchase will also help to fund the production and printing of subsequent issues.

In addition to this comic, I will be selling collector's editions First Fan Kits, the contents of which will be revealed at a later date -- probably next week. These kits are for the serious collector or the avid fan and include a bundle of new artwork in a variety of product lines, including art prints, playing cards, posters, and more!

Educational Section Excerpt, FTD #0

Both From the Dust #0 and the First Fan Kits will be available for purchase Saturday, July 14, 2012 at the Provo's Farmer's Market, as well as online. I am still working out the pricing on everything so please be patient! 

There are only 250 First Fan Kits being created, so they are very limited edition collector's items. Don't miss out on this opportunity! 



Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Start counting down...

Got these back from the printer yesterday. Each page represents a unique image and a variety of products. Stay tuned for next week! I'll tell you all about it! And if you haven't liked From the Dust on Facebook by June 30 you will want to!

Just sayin'.



Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Big stuff on the horizon....

If you haven't noticed I'm being quiet. Quiet is sometimes good. What would a big splash be without first holding your breath?

Here's another sneak peak:


Only a few more weeks!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Ah-hh-h-hem.

For interested parties, here's a snippet from my morning emails.


I will be spending 1 hour in class each week and 2 hours each week one-on-one with an instructor from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (the same place that defines the rules for Hebrew). In a year's time I imagine I will be the only Hebrew-speaking-cartoon-making-Mormon on the planet. In two year's time, I will be but one of many, I hope.


Interesting fact for the day:

Did you know that Hebrew was not a spoken language 150 years ago? 

It's true! It died as a spoken language a few centuries after the time of Christ. (Coincidentally, it was the same century the Bible was formally organized--4th Century CE). Talk about losing your national identity. It was artificially revived in the 1880s. It has only been in the last 100 years that anyone but Bible scholars knew the language.

Another page down...



Another page down!

A have a ton of news...but it can't be released yet. I know--cruel!! But in the meantime...anyone out there able to take a PSD and turn it into a website? It's not a super complicated process, but to do it clean requires some know-how. Even volunteering to consult and/or review my code would be nice. Thanks in advance for the help!

Hope that doesn't spoil the surprise...  ;)

Take care y'all! See you next week! The next month or so is kind of the calm before the storm--all I have to say is stay tuned! I'm working hard and I think you're gonna love it! This comic is gonna happen!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

New Blog Template

The new header for the blog. This is what I was trying to do a year ago when I started the project but I wasn't good enough!

I just updated the blog template to a different style. As it turns out it wasn't displaying properly for Chrome users and it was also really hard to post/comment/share/subscribe. This new template is equally clean but solves all of those issues. So please feel free to comment now! We have over 11000 page views and I'm hoping to double that by the end of the summer. Help me out if you can! I will do my best to respond to comments and questions promptly.