State of Rapid City

Here’s what’s going on with Rapid City comics.

Rapid City comics are being made right now.

Issues 1-4, by Josh and Kav, are complete. They form a complete story called “Objects at Rest”.
Click on the STORE link above if you want to buy them from me.

The “Objects at Rest” collection is in the works.

Kav is currently drawing issue #7. Issues 5-8 are a murder mystery involving Hourglass and Maxwell Murder. These pages are coming along quickly now, but the books themselves might take a little while.

Watch our collaboration live in the Rapid City Open Studio.

Artist Shawn Langley is set to begin working on “Rapid City: Below Zero”. This will be a twelve issue super-villain revenge epic.  We hope issue 1 will be in my hands on time for New York Comic Con.

Josh will be at M.I.C.E. September 28-29 in Cambridge,MA. Stay up to date through their facebook page.

Josh will also be wandering the floor of NYCC, October 10-13. If you are an editor, or press, , or a fellow creator, or just a cool person and want to talk to him there, get in touch.

Josh is also looking into this Harvard Book Store thing, but we will know more in a little while.

You can find us at:
The Rapid City home page.
On Twitter
On Facebook
The Rapid City Open Studio on Facebook

Please contact Josh for review copies, more information, or to set up interviews.

Open Studio 7/22/2013

What is The Open Studio
Shawn has been working on some initial character designs for Rapid City: Below Zero.

Claw Hammer

Claw Hammer

Shawn, I just love this vision of Claw Hammer. I never really pictured him to clearly as I was writing it, but this just nails the character. I can’t wait to see what you do with those claws we talked about.

[I just pictured a man that loves his job. :) The "basher" types always seem to enjoy cutting loose, and I just picture this dude wearing armor/padding so he can move, and looking like he's having fun destroying people/things.]

Funny. That is almost the opposite of who Claw Hammer is in this story. Of all of the villains, he is the one who can see that what they are doing is wrong. He is the only one who feels some remorse over what they are doing, but he feels trapped in the life he has made. What you have drawn here is YOUNG Claw Hammer. Back when he did enjoy it.



Coil is looking great. Maybe thicken up his neck pieces a bit. Also, lots of thin wires squirming around might look good. But, also, be hard to draw.

[He might be the most fun character to draw in this. The wires are gonna suck. :D ]



And Icicle! She is looking great. Her face is looking too cute. She should be pretty, but not cute. Not to be too cliche, but she should be thin-lipped and icy. She should look like a girl who would have been quite pretty, but has spent just a few too many hard years. Not haggard and rough… but certainly with a hard edge.

[Yeah, just ignore the face. I didn't like how that was turning out, so I'm just gonna flesh out the rest and skip the face on this particular pic. ]

Open Studio 7/7/2013

What is the Open Studio?

Cats out of the bag now. Artist Shawn Langley has joined the Rapid City team. He’s going to be working on a 12 issue, all-villains, story arc and has already started some of the sketching. And, as is Rapid City tradition, he is sharing them in the Open Studio.


click to enlarge


This is the first drawing ever of my character Icicle. And I like it. I like that she does not have long hair, but also not a “pixie cut”. My favorite detail is the ice studs on the costume. Cool.


Click to enlarge


Ok, some slight revisions here. We talked about thickening up the costume a bit. I don’t want the silky-thin look that a lot of costumes have. I want something with a little weight to it. I like that you have started to work that in here.
The ice motif as dickie-type thing that hangs down… that looks real cool, but I don’t know how well it suits the character.
I do like the one on the bottom right. I especially like jagged bottom line of the top. If that is like a thicker waist-coat, the the stuff under it could be that thinner silky material, or even bare.
I like it.

[I might put it together, not as a flap hanging down, as I've drawn it, but as one piece, with the "flap section" outlined. i keep thinking leather armor, like any medieval style, i.e. Game of Thrones, with metal rivets/studs, but those rivets actually being the ice buds you suggested. --Shawn]

I like that thinking. Keep the medieval suggestion subtle. Also, the ice buds from which he spikes and ice armor will grow should be like rivet holes, or grommets, when she is powered down. They are holes down to her skin, through which she can grow her ice.

Open Studio 3/23/2013 #5 cover

What is the Open Studio?

Kav has posted this sketch for the cover of Rapid City #5

Kav's first sketch for #5's cover

Kav’s first sketch for #5′s cover

I like it.
The line next to kinetic, is that just a guide for you, or are you seeing that on the actual page?
If on the page, I don’t think we need a divider like that between back and front.
Or, if we do, just to divide the fron t from the back, we could wrap a line pretty tightly around Kinetic. The way Walt Simonson would.
Also, the fight is looking pretty good, but I think it will be more dramatic if Max has his head rocked back a bit so that we can see the rage on his face… Or, if not rage then just cruelty and malice.

Open Studio 2/23/2013

What is the Open Studio?

I am currently focusing my writing on an OGN project that is outside the Rapid City universe, and Kav is still waiting for the published books to catch up to the ones that he has already drawn. So, to keep us active, and to remind readers that we are still here, I have asked Kav to start a series of pin-ups. And here’s how we do it.

Kav had been doing some cheese-cake style pin-ups over at Champion City Comics, and I had the idea to do some cheesy shots of some RC characters, and the balance them out with some beef-calke shots of the dudes of Rapid City.

We looked at some classic pin-ups and talked about how we wanted to keep them “classy” and in character. Though, obviously, have some fun with them.

A little while later, this is what Kav sent me.

Switch Ok, Kav, this one is looking ok, but I think it needs a few adjustments. First off, if this is SwitchBoard, there is no way she is rocking a pony-tail. Short hair. Pixie cut. Or some other, stylish, thing that I don’t know about. Also, the flames on the edge of the shirt can cause some confusion, especially when the very next image is a woman with flame powers. And, I know i have been telling you to crop closer to the figures, but I think that this case will benefit from seeing her surroundings… if we are going with the sea of electronics like we discussed.

I spaced out and drew flamethrower instead!




pin-up 2 Hmmm. Not quite sure to make of this one just yet. I suppose that must be Flamethrower. The completely quilted costume seems odd. I would think strategically placed quilted sections to act as padding would make more sense, and actually look better for this kind of shot (no one looks good, or feels good, in a head-to-toe quilted outfit). Also, at the sketch stage, I can’t quite tell what is going on around her. Whatever it is, it does not look as tough at Flamethrower should look. Yes, do sexy, but make sure that it is also tough.

It’s wreckage around her

Even with wreckage, she still looks very passive. She should look very tough.


Anne Marie pin-up Ok, I guess Anne Marie’s pic just be cute. She is, after all, “the girlfriend”. We will just have to count on the readers to understand that this is just one picture and that she has way more depth and range in the book.

everyone understands that one picture doesn’t equal a thousand words.

That’s true.






Open Studio 10/29/2012 In the previous issue of Rapid City…

Issue 2 is getting ready to the printer, but I forgot to write that “last issue…” blurb. So here goes.

“Last issue…
Brian, a young man who

Frustrated with his…

Taking the name Kinetic, a young man…

No, I should make it past tense

Last issue…
Brian was frustrated… (too passive)

Brian struggled to start a life as a superhero, ultimately choosing the name “Kinetic”. (that is better)
Meanwhile, Law enforcement agents froze Maxwell Murder’s bank accounts, forcing him into ( into what? desperation?)

Meanwhile, frozen bank accounts force Maxwell Murder into a corner. (nope. Not right.)

Meanwhile, frozen bank accounts leave Maxwell Murder in a desperate situation. (Ok, I think that works. Now let’s put them together.)

Brian struggled to start a life as a superhero, ultimately choosing the name “Kinetic”. Meanwhile, frozen bank accounts leave Maxwell Murder in a desperate situation.

I think that’ll do it.

How about:

Brian won his first superhero bout-with himself-by choosing his name ‘Kinetic’.  Maxwell Murder, on the other hand, lost his bout with an ATM as he learned his account had been frozen…making the killer desperate….

Open Studio 9/8/2012 revisions

Issue 2 is already in the hands of Magnus for lettering. In fact, he told me that today he was sitting at an artist’s alley table at a Uruguayan comic con and lettering RC #2.
Well, this spurred Kav to take another look at those pages and consider some revisions. He told me that he is going to go through and re-draw some panels. Mostly faces that he is no longer satisfied with.

Which brings us to this page.
The title and credits you see here are just Kav’s place-holder. He put that in there to show the letterer where to put the actual title and credits.
Since that time, it has occurred to me that we will have title and credits on the inside front cover, so there will be no need for them here.
Once I saw this as an empty panel, it occurred to me how lucky the layout of that second panel is. In this scene, Kinetic is dreaming of getting up over the city, but feeling tied down by his obligations. So, if we filled the top panel with open sky and the tops of buildings, it would show what he was thinking about in a pretty cool way.
Kav, what do you think?


you sold me on your vision- I’m adding the skyline…