Comicverse: Subspace Chatter #3

The Subspace Chatter #3 Kickstarter is now live, and ends June 24, 2021.

The Comicverse is a sci-fi comedy about a comic book shop on a space station written by Bianca Alu-Marr and illustrated by Steve Peters for the past 10 years. Comicverse: Subspace Chatter is a spinoff series in which the Comicverse characters do a space podcast about comics, sci fi, and nerd culture.

The cover of the new comic, Comicverse: Subspace Chatter #3!

In the latest issue of Comicverse: Subspace Chatter, The space station has been put under lockdown due to an alien virus making the usually jovial and friendly aliens, the Varials, paranoid and hostile. The germ of the idea for the issue came during our own global pandemic. Artist Steve was listening to NPR and heard that it was important for us to write accounts of our experiences of quarantine for future generations to know what it was like. Steve felt that artists especially need to capture the essence of what it’s like, as this is a singular moment in history—we’ve never had a pandemic happen with the technology we currently have at our disposal.

Rei and Ying the dragon spacecasting from their apartment

In the comic, Rei, Ying the dragon, and friends come up with creative ways to pass the time through their spacecast, Subspace Chatter, which they are recording from their apartment instead of at The Comicverse, which is closed due to the quarantine.

Bianca, being a Star Trek fan (Next Gen and DS9 are her favorites), offered the idea of a spacecast about the viruses of Star Trek, which was dubbed “Trek Goes Viral”. She was curious to go back and see how the show handled outbreaks amongst the crew and other alien species. What she didn’t realize is that there would be so very many viruses to choose from between Star Trek the Animated Series, TOS, TNG, DS9, VOY and ENT! It was very labor intensive to comb through each of the episodes, summarize them and pick out some interesting points of interest from the episodes to discuss. Steve helped with some of that too when Bianca came down with virus episode fatigue! But in the end it was well worth it, as Steve drew some detailed, crosshatched illustrations of some of the episodes, along with other depictions by Max Ink, Corey Bechelli, Anthony Casperite, Flor de Canela, Lee Thacker, and Dre Grigoropol.

“Sig City Social Club” is inspired by Star Trek: Deep Space Nine actor Alexander Siddig’s Sid City Social Club, a twice-weekly Zoom meeting in which Sid talks to his fans one on one. The show was created during the quarantine specifically to give fans the chance to reach out to one another, and to give people something to do! Artist Steve was a guest on the show (you can watch it here; Steve is the first guest), and Steve and Bianca got such a kick out of it that they fictionalized it, having Rei go on the Lekru (a species of Comicverse alien) version of Siddig’s show.

Finally, “Sin Kevitch Challenge” is inspired by the Bill Sienkiewicz challenge (check it out here). For laughs, Sienkiewicz posted an old reference photo of himself he had come across in which he’s in the buff and pointing a gun, with a black box strategically covering his posterior. The internet went wild with the image, as hundreds of artists began to using pose as reference and posting the results. As with “Sig City”, “Sin Kevitch” is the Lekru version of the famous comic book artist. Of the three stories in the book, this one is the most loosely related to the real-life quarantine—it happened during that time, and perhaps many of the artists who contributed did so because they found themselves with lots of extra time on their hands.

Some select images from our “Viruses of Trek” and “Sin Kevitch” stories drawn by our mighty guest artists!

For “Sin Kevitch”, Steve drew a number of versions and got friends to draw some as well. Guest participants in the challenge were James Windsor-Smith, Lee Thacker, David Branstetter, Michael Anthony Carroll, Anthony Casperite, Matt Dow, and Corey Bechelli. Steve did drawings in the styles of other artists like Michael Golden, Shannon Wheeler, Brian Payne, Dave Sim, Jim Woodring, and Moebius.

Thanks to all who support our Kickstarters; we couldn’t do it without you!

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The Comicverse #5

THE COMICVERSE #5: LIVE LIKE YOU’RE DYING is the latest issue from Comicverse creators Steve Peters and Bianca Alu-Marr. The Comicverse is a sci-fi comedy about a comic book shop on a space station. At the end of the last issue of The Comicverse, our heroes were returning home after a harrowing ordeal. Issue 5 picks up right where that story left off, with the Comicverse gang arriving and looking for some much needed rest and relaxation.

However, they soon discover that their adventure is far from over. Due to a shocking sci-fi twist, the C-versers discover that it is very likely that they only have 24 hours to live! They set off to live out what could be their final hours to the fullest.

At 72 pages, The Comicverse #5 is the longest issue to date. This new issue is an examination of the fragility of life. We live out our existences never knowing what our appointed hour is, and death can often come unexpectedly. Though this is a poignant tale, it is no somber meditation on mortality. The C-verse characters handle their situation with grace and humor, and they discover new facets of themselves and each other along the way. Ultimately, The Comicverse #5: Live Like You’re Dying is a celebration of life.

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Here’s a review of The Comicverse #5 from one of our readers who backed the new issue ittle feedback. People don’t write letters anymore, so we’ve never had a letters column. It’s reviews like this by people who get it, that come every few years from folks like Adam McGovern and Chris Galvan, that really help keep us going!

MICHAEL HUNT’S NOTES FROM THE TUB

I recently received the latest issue of Steve Peters’ and Bianca Alu-Marr’s Comicverse (#5) and eagerly devoured it this morning

.Comicverse is a romantic-comedy set in a comic shop on a space station. There are two main story threads. The budding romance of Rei, the proprietor of the shop, and Aki, a cargo ship pilot, appears to be the heart of the book, while the unfolding mystery of the origin of Rei’s pet/friend dragon drives the series overarching plot.

For all of its “inside comics” references and science fiction pretensions, this is a comic that celebrates the quiet moments in life, the seemingly inconsequential. Its humor is gentle, warm, and character driven. Simple, clean illustrations belie Peters’ characters’ subtly emotive expressions and body-language. Alu-Marr’s dialogue is natural and she handles the many voices of the diverse cast well.

This issue was surprisingly touching and bittersweet. I was taken somewhat aback by how effective and affecting it was. Comicverse just keeps getting better.

The Comicverse #5, published by Awakening Comics, March 2017.
Black and white, manga-size, 72 pages.

[Read “Live Like You’re Dying” on the Comicverse blog]

[Awakening Home] [Awakening Catalog] [How To Order]

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Yes Fanzine #4

This is issue #4 of YES FANZINE, published by me, Steve Peters of Awakening Comics, it is a zine dedicated to celebrating the band YES in all of its incarnations. It contains photos of the band, interviews, and fan art.

Some of the highlights of issue #4 include:

-Exclusive interviews with Tom Brislin and Michael Sherwood.
-Photos from Trevor Rabin’s first gig with YES.
-Billy Sherwood’s YES Tour Diary.
-Pictures from YES’s 50th anniversary show with Patrick Moraz and Trevor Horn.
-Anderson Rabin Wakeman Tour Photos.
-Payne’s Paper Dolls featuring Rick Wakeman.
-Comics about ‘Journey To The Center of the Earth’ by Bryan Douglas.
-A profile of Steve Howe’s Portuguese 12-string written by his guitar technician.

Summer 2018.
52 pages, full color. $10.00

[Buy it on eBay]

[Samples of the ‘Zine on Facebook] [Yes Fanzine Facebook Page

[Awakening Home] [Awakening Catalog] [How To Order]

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Yes Fanzine #3

This is issue #3 of YES FANZINE, published by Steve Peters of Awakening Comics, the first of hopefully many zines dedicated to celebrating the band YES in all of its incarnations. It contains photos of the band and fan art.

Photos from the 2014 Heaven And Earth Tour, taken by Steve Peters at the NYCB Theatre at Westbury, NY. Featuring Jon Davison, Geoff Downes, Steve Howe, Chris Squire, and Alan White.

Bob Cesca talks about the ideas behind his artwork for the Magnification album.

Payne’s Paper Dolls: A paper doll of Alan White and his drums, drawn by Brian Payne.

Union Tour Rehearsals, taken by Nick Zangari, featuring Chris Squire, with Jon Anderson, Steve Howe, Trevor Rabin, and Alan White.

A remembrance of Chris Squire with the thoughts of his friends and bandmates, and photos of Chris with various fans.

Yes Comics by Steve Peters, featuring Eddie Offord, Jon Anderson, and Bill Bruford.

Summer 2015.
36 pages, full color. $9.00

[Buy it on eBay]

[Samples of the ‘Zine on Facebook] [Yes Fanzine Facebook Page

[Awakening Home] [Awakening Catalog] [How To Order]

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Yes Fanzine #2

This is issue #2 of YES FANZINE, published by Steve Peters of Awakening Comics, a zine dedicated to celebrating the band YES in all of its incarnations. It contains photos of the band and fan art. It features:

A beautiful wraparound cover featuring Yes on their 35th Anniversary Tour as cartoon animals, with a vast audience of cartoon animals, drawn by illustrator Daniel Sponton.

Photos from the 35th Anniversary Tour taken by John Kuehne, featuring Jon Anderson, Steve Howe, Rick Wakeman, Chris Squire, and Alan White.

Photos the Summer 2012 Tour, taken by Steve Peters at the Tower Theatre and at the Warner Theatre, featuring Jon Davison, Geoff Downes, Steve Howe, Chris Squire, and Alan White

Payne’s Paper Dolls: Paper dolls of Steve Howe and two of his costumes/guitars, drawn by Brian Payne. Second in a series.

A humorous illustration of Rick Wakeman reading ‘Journey To The Center of the Earth’ for the first time by Steve Peters

A 1-Page comic adaptation of ‘Journey To The Center of the Earth’ by Bryan Douglas

Photos from the Drama Tour by Joseph Bucker

32 pages, full color.

Spring 2013.
32 pages, full color. $9.00

[Buy it on eBay]

[Samples of the ‘Zine on Facebook] [Yes Fanzine Facebook Page

[Awakening Home] [Awakening Catalog] [How To Order]

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Free Comic Book Day 2020

FCBD

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AWAKENING TIMES Volume 15, Number 1

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AWAKENING TIMES
Volume 15, Number 1
Winter 2015
AwakenCmx@aol.com
http://www.awakeningcomics.com

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********** FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE ***********

After a successful Kickstarter campaign, The Comicverse #4 has been printed and is now available for sale online, in both floppy and digital form.

In the new issue, written as usual by Bianca Alu-Marr and drawn by Steve Peters, the station is destroyed by aliens. The Comicverse manage to escape in life pods, and are eventually picked up by a military peacekeeping vessel and placed in their cargo hold, left to ponder an uncertain future.

The 64-page, manga-size issue made its debut at a signing at Brave New Worlds Comics, Games, and Toys in Willow Grove, PA. Writer Adam McGovern, co-creator of Nightworld for Image Comics, came all the way from New Jersey to pick up a copy, and immediately wrote a nice review of the issue the following day.

The Awakening Comics web site has declared that February is Comicverse month, and there are a number of special offers up in its Featured Items section.

[More info about The Comicverse #4]

[Featured items for sale (including The Comicverse #4) in February 2015]

[Bianca’s writeup of Comiverse #4 signing and launch]

[Photos and sketches from the signing]

[Adam McGovern’s Review of The Comicverse #4]

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Awakening Comics has created a new online digital store. 13 comics, including the new Comicverse #4, are available in .PDF form, as well as MP3s of Steve Peters’ two albums, Paradox and Chemistry. More digital comics will be available soon.

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Bianca and Steve created a 6-page Comicverse comic for Fun-A-Day Philadelphia for the 3rd year in a row. Fun-A-Day is a national event during which artists create something every day during the month of January, then it is displayed at a gallery show in February.

[Read the entire Fun-A-Day Comicverse Comic]

[Photos from the gallery show on Facebook]

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Awakening Comics will be exhibiting at the Camden Comicon in New Jersey.

Camden Comicon
http://camdencomiccon.tumblr.com/
March 7th, 2015
10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Rutgers Camden Athletics & Fitness Center

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The Comicverse #3

Cover_Front CV 3

The Comicverse #3 is an exciting step for us in our development of the series. The main story, “Earth”, is our longest piece to date, and it features several firsts: the first date between main characters Rei and Aki, the first time Ying has ever met another dragon besides himself, shedding some light on the role of dragons in the Comicverse universe, the first view of the Comicverse space station’s ecological ring, which has some interesting and humorous features, our first-ever wordless story in a short piece called “Air”, which shows what happens when the air is sucked out of the Comicverse into space—a very dangerous situation!—and our first guest appearance by a known comics creator.

Since The Comicverse is a celebration of all things comic book-related, we’d like to get people in the comic book industry involved , people who celebrate comics the way we do. That’s why we asked Fred Hembeck to do a commission page for us featuring the Comicverse characters.

We also wanted to use this opportunity support Fred by letting folks know that he still does commissions regularly, and has some very reasonably priced drawings of comic book characters for sale on eBay. His website is http://www.hembeck.com/

[Read “Earth” on the Comicverse blog]

The Comicverse #3, published by Awakening Comics, May 2013.
Black and white, 32 pages.

[Awakening Home] [Awakening Catalog] [How To Order]

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The Comicverse #4

Cover_Front

Written by Bianca Alu-Marr and drawn by Steve Peters, The Comicverse is a sci-fi romantic comedy about a comic book shop on a space station. It is run by a young man named Rei and a teenage dragon called Ying, whom Rei rescued from an asteroid and has no memory of his past. They both have a crush on Aki, a pilot who sometimes visits the shop. In our previous issue, Rei went on a date with Aki behind Ying’s back, but Ying eventually found out and was heartbroken.

Our latest installment, The Comicverse #4, is our most ambitious so far. It features a story called “Cargo Hold“, which is 64 pages long, by far the longest piece we have written for the series. In it, the space station is attacked and destroyed by marauding aliens! The residents of the station manage to get out in escape pods and find themselves adrift in space.

Eventually, they are picked up in a military peacekeeping ship and placed in their cargo hold, hence the title of the story. Ying and the others make the best of a scary situation, trying to bring comfort and lightheartedness to the other refugees.

The main idea for the plot was suggested by Steve; it was inspired by issue #51 of the legendary independent comic Cerebus, and its story which was called “Exodus“. By the time Dave Sim published that issue, he had been saying for quite a while that some of the characters in Cerebus were so easy to write for that he could throw them in a closet and the story would “write itself”. When he finally drew that issue, he put the characters together in the cargo hold of a trading ship.

The Comicverse #4 is a tour de force because Steve’s idea was not just to throw a few characters together in a tight space, but ALL of the characters from the space station who have appeared in the series so far, and see how they bounce off of and react to each other.

Bianca says: “This gave me so much creative freedom as a writer, and the story flowed and transformed on its own, within the framework of Steve’s plot ideas. My writing tends to have no boundaries, and the creativity is flowing everywhere. On my own, I don’t always end up finishing my stories because of this. However, with Steve’s clear vision and ability to help me with endings, we make a great team. “Cargo Hold” is one of the best examples of that dynamic.

“I love to see how all of the main and secondary characters are growing and becoming more layered and complex as time goes on. It’s their personalities that inform what they say and do, which allows me to help them sound natural and dynamic! I was also so excited to have them in a huge ship flying around in true sci-fi-style peril. It is our longest story to date, and I’m so happy to have this be our fourth issue!”

[Read “Cargo Hold” on the Comicverse blog]

[Review of The Comicverse #4 by Adam McGovern (Nightworld)]

The Comicverse #4, published by Awakening Comics, February 2015.
Black and white, manga-size, 64 pages.

[Awakening Home] [Awakening Catalog] [How To Order]

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AWAKENING TIMES Volume 14, Number 2

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AWAKENING TIMES
Volume 14, Number 2
Fall 2014
AwakenCmx@aol.com
http://www.awakeningcomics.com

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CONTENTS: COMICVERSE UNDER FIRE!-A new Kickstarter fundraiser for The Comicverse #4, Comicverse receives and seeks more reader art, Ying does interviews at Philly Zine Fest, Awakening Comics exhibits at Locust Moon Comics Festival, The Comicverse now available at Jay and Silent Bob’s Secret Stash

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: COMICVERSE UNDER FIRE!

Everyone’s favorite comic shop in space is destroyed by aliens! Will Ying the dragon and his friends escape this dire predicament?

Written by Bianca Alu-Marr and drawn by Steve Peters, The Comicverse is a sci-fi romantic comedy about a comic book shop on a space station. It is run by a young man named Rei and a teenage dragon called Ying, whom Rei rescued from an asteroid and has no memory of his past. They both have a crush on Aki, a pilot who sometimes visits the shop. In our previous issue, Rei went on a date with Aki behind Ying’s back, but Ying eventually found out and was heartbroken.

Our latest installment, The Comicverse #4, is our most ambitious so far. It features a story called “Cargo Hold“, which is 64 pages long, by far the longest piece we have written for the series. In it, the space station is attacked and destroyed by marauding aliens! The residents of the station manage to get out in escape pods and find themselves adrift in space.

Eventually, they are picked up in a military peacekeeping ship and placed in their cargo hold, hence the title of the story. Ying and the others make the best of a scary situation, trying to bring comfort and lightheartedness to the other refugees.

The main idea for the plot was suggested by Steve; it was inspired by issue #51 of the legendary independent comic Cerebus, and its story which was called “Exodus“. By the time Dave Sim published that issue, he had been saying for quite a while that some of the characters in Cerebus were so easy to write for that he could throw them in a closet and the story would “write itself”. When he finally drew that issue, he put the characters together in the cargo hold of a trading ship.

The Comicverse #4 is a tour de force because Steve’s idea was not just to throw a few characters together in a tight space, but ALL of the characters from the space station who have appeared in the series so far, and see how they bounce off of and react to each other.

Bianca says: “This gave me so much creative freedom as a writer, and the story flowed and transformed on its own, within the framework of Steve’s plot ideas. My writing tends to have no boundaries, and the creativity is flowing everywhere. On my own, I don’t always end up finishing my stories because of this. However, with Steve’s clear vision and ability to help me with endings, we make a great team. “Cargo Hold” is one of the best examples of that dynamic.

“I love to see how all of the main and secondary characters are growing and becoming more layered and complex as time goes on. It’s their personalities that inform what they say and do, which allows me to help them sound natural and dynamic! I was also so excited to have them in a huge ship flying around in true sci-fi-style peril. It is our longest story to date, and I’m so happy to have this be our fourth issue!”


COMICVERSE: UNDER FIRE Kickstarter

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We’ve received some Comicverse reader art that we posted on the Comicverse Facebook page. We’d love to get some more; when we have enough we’ll put them in a future issue of the comic. Just send them to AwakenCmx@aol.com.

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Bianca exhibited at the Philly Zine Fest on November 8, 2014, and Ying the dragon was also in attendance interviewing some of the exhibitors. This was our first time doing interviews with Ying and we really loved how they came out, so we’ll probably do more in the future. Read Bianca’s report on the show and see Ying’s interviews on the Comicverse blog.

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Awakening Comics was an exhibitor at the Locust Moon Comics Fest in Philadelphia on October 25, 2014. Steve made one of his walkabout videos to give a sense of what it’s like to be at the show, this time following Ying around as he says hello to friends and makes humorous comments. Read Bianca’s report on the show and see Ying’s walkabout on the Comicverse blog.

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Steve and Bianca made a trip to Jay and Silent Bob’s Secret Stash in Red Bank, New Jersey. The manager of the store and star of AMC’s Comic Book Men, Walt Flanagan, was there, and he liked the cut of The Comicverse’s gib and offered to sell copies of the comic there at the store. You can see photos of our visit at the Comicverse Facebook page.

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Steve: “I’ve been receiving steady support from my Patreon patrons. Thanks to them, I’ve been working on some new music. I’ve been planning an epic piece for nearly a year, but have barely done a thing. I promised my Patreon supporters I’d give them a section of music every month as I write them. Turns out it’s a good motivational tool; I might never finish the piece otherwise! As part of one of the rewards tiers, I’ve also been sharing songs from my archives that have never been released. Again, I’m very glad I’ve been motivated to do so by my patrons—all this music is stored in an outdated format, and desperately needed to be converted to mp3 format before it’s lost forever. It’s fascinating and inspiring to rediscover this music that I haven’t listened to in years. I’m amazed to hear how driven and enthusiastic I was back in my 20’s, and it’s helped returned some of that drive and energy to me.

“Also, on November 13th, I did Google hangout for Patreon patron Mucha Smooches; we were joined by Max Ink. Mucha watched and asked questions as I worked on this page drawn by Philly Comix Jam, cleaning it up digitally and adding the gray tones. That was great fun, and I’d love to do more Hangouts with patrons.”

Become a patron here. Donations are as low as $1 a month.

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Steve Peters
http://www.awakeningcomics.com

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