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Comic Book School by Buddy Scalera
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Not sure if I had shared this already, but this is coverage of my Inside the Creator's Studio interview with Mark Waid from C2E2 2104.

#markwaid   #c2e2  
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Pro Interview with comic book legend Jerry Ordway. 

All about #makingcomics  
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Comic Book School Newsletter
1.4 || 3/11/14

The Comic Book School newsletter is a collection of links, inspirations, and resources for people excited about the craft and business of making comics and telling visual stories. To be removed, click reply and include REMOVE in the subject line. 

Brian and Kristy Miller are the dynamic duo of coloring comic books. Their Hi-Fi Studio has brought color and vibrancy to hundreds of comics from DC, Marvel and other top publishers.  They have published multiple books and interactive ebooks on the topic of coloring. If you are hoping to break into comics as a colorist or just want to improve your craft, Hi-Fi studio needs to be one of the places you go for learning and insights. 
     Hi-Fi is running a Kickstarter to launch a new book/ebook combo for aspiring creators. I caught up with Brian for a quick email interview, so you can explore this exciting new project. 
Hi-Fi Website: 

1. First, briefly describe your Kickstarter project:
 BRIAN MILLER: My project is for an art instruction book called Hi-Fi Color for Comics. My goal with this book is to teach you everything I know about coloring comics books. Inside Hi-Fi Color for Comics you will find new tutorials, artwork to color by top comic artists, and techniques to you will want to start using immediately. Right now, I'm working on securing funding via the Kickstarter platform at  
2. You've published two successful books on comic book coloring through a traditional publisher. Why go through Kickstarter to publish this book instead of a traditional publisher?
 BRIAN MILLER: I have enjoyed my collaborations with traditional publishers but I felt like there was an opportunity to connect with my readers in a way that was not possible in the past. With Kickstarter I am in constant communication with the backers of Hi-Fi Color for Comics. The process becomes interactive as backers vote on stretch goals and rewards. Some backers are sharing the project online and blogging about it to help get the word out. We are all participating in the creation of Hi-Fi Color for Comics in different ways.
Another reason I decided to launch Hi-Fi Color for Comics via Kickstarter was due to the poor handling of digital editions by some publishers. When it comes to art-instruction my readers need to have access to the tutorial artwork, color palettes, and other project files for each lesson. The publishers I met with do not have a good solution for digital content delivery in place. I found their attitudes about content delivery old fashioned and unacceptable. I'm thrilled to say that Hi-Fi Color for Comics will be one of the first art-instruction books available as a digital edition from ComiXology on their Comics app for iOS, Android, Kindle, and Win8 devices. After speaking with the team at ComiXology it was clear they understand the needs of my readers and I am excited by what they will be doing with the digital edition of book. ComiXology is applying their Guide View technology to the step-by-step tutorials in Hi-Fi Color for Comics providing readers an easy way to navigate each lesson. The ComiXology edition makes a great companion to the print edition and readers can carry it with them everywhere as a handy resource.
Everyone who backs the print edition or ComiXology digital edition of Hi-Fi Color for Comics will receive free enrollment in Hi-Fi Academy. This online resource will give readers access to all the artwork and other project files they need to complete each tutorial. They will also be able to download Hi-Fi Helpers and Photoshop add-ons like scripts, actions, brushes, and more as well as access exclusive video tutorials and bonus content. I dreamed of creating the best art education experience for Hi-Fi Color for Comics readers and I am thrilled so many people are getting involved via Kickstarter and sharing this dream with me.
3. What will you be teaching in this particular book and who is it targeted to?
 BRIAN MILLER: Hi-Fi Color for Comics will teach you how to transform black and white comic art into full color illustrations using step-by-step tutorials that guide you from start to finish. Learn about scanning, mastering Photoshop tools, creating and using brushes, color rendering, making special effects, and more. Hi-Fi’s creative coloring process eliminates many of the technical roadblocks saving you time and allowing you to focus on being creative. You will learn the tips and tricks used at Hi-Fi to color comic books for Marvel, DC, & Image. As you complete each of the projects in Hi-Fi Color for Comics you will learn valuable new Photoshop skills and achieve results you will be proud to show to friends and family. 
4. What should people know if they are considering a career as a professional colorist?
 BRIAN MILLER: Working in comic books is an exciting career and you collaborate with other creative people daily while chasing after the monthly deadlines. The skills used in coloring can open doors to careers beyond comic books too, like video games, pre-visualization for film & TV, toy packaging, and more. You can also use the lessons from Hi-Fi Color for Comics to color your own artwork and tell your own stories so if you have a web comic, graphic novel, or app you are developing the tutorials in the book can help you make all of your creative projects stronger. The painting and coloring techniques you will learn in Hi-Fi Color for Comics will make you a stronger artist and develop within you new tools to add to your creative toolbox.
Hi-Fi Color for Comics on Kickstarter


The Speech That Got 'Em Talking
If you're an aspiring creator, you probably want to know more about the inner workings of the comic book industry. The ComicPRO conference ( is a trade meeting that brings publishers, creators, and retailers together to talk about issues and opportunities in comic book publishing. I've never attended, but I suspect it's an interesting and engaging meeting that allows the comic book industry to be more effective and profitable. 
     That said, there is one particular speech that has the industry buzzing. Image Publisher Eric Stephenson started a discussion that has challenged publishers to produce more than superhero comics. He points to the success of The Walking Dead and Saga as evidence that readers want more than spandex adventures. 
     Everyone in the publishing ecosystem wants to sell more comic book units, which was a theme Stephenson stressed. He also shared a controversial point of view, which was that comics need to be "real." He took certain licensed comics to task, including Transformers, GI Joe, and Star Wars as comics that "will never be the real thing." 
     So what do you think? Are homegrown ideas like Spider-Man, The Walking Dead, and Sin City the "real thing" while licensed comics are just...something else? Are we nurturing the next generation of readers with superhero comics or are we better served with non-spandex comic book titles?

CBR: Transcript of Eric Stephenson's ComicsPRO Speech:
Bleeding Cool: Dark Horse's Mike Richardson and IDW's Ted Adams respond to Eric Stephenson's ComicsPRO Speech:

Best Practices in Comic Book Retailing
Is your comic shop on the corner the most awesome retail location on the planet? Then maybe they will be eligible for the Best Practice Awards (BPA) from Diamond Comics. There are a variety of awards that recognize excellence in retailing and service. Maybe your local retailer is a future award-winning comic shop. 
Best Practice Awards:

Retailer Contest: Lego Legends of Chima
And if that's not enough excitement, Lego is going to take some lucky retailer to LEGOLand California. Maybe you can work with your retailer on a store display that helps win a trip for four to LEGOLand.

My former Wizard magazine co-worker Mike Fasolo (Robot Chicken) is a successful screenwriter who has provided some useful links for you aspiring writers out there. 

Mike Says:
I found a few interesting contests. This one seemed kind of fun and worth checking out if you want to consider writing for television. 

7th Annual Script Pipeline TV Writing Contest:

About Mike:
Robot Chicken on IMDB:
Das Process Podcast:

My original editor at Comics Values Monthly magazine Neil A. Hansen was a true influence on my career when I was just a young Jimmy Olsen trying to break into comic books. He is a freelance writer, who continues to be an inspiration for me here at Comic Book School. Neil shared a series of links, which I will include in upcoming issues. Here's his first link for the newsletter:

Neil Says:
This link leads to the "Batman: The Animated Series Writer's Guide" which might be helpful to people who may wish to develop their own series.  Review the model sheets and set designs as a guide and inspiration for creating your own comic book universe.

Batman: The Animated Series Writer's Guide:

My own comic book series NECROTIC: DEAD FLESH ON A LIVING BODY is available on It's a 3-issue mini series about love, death, and mummification. (Your $.99 purchase goes directly into the Starbucks-for-Buddy fund.)

Necrotic: Issue #1 of 3:
Necrotic: Issue #2 of 3: (available March 12, 2014)

Thanks for signing up and for the ongoing feedback on the newsletter. I'm making this up as I go, so your input is helpful. We're building an airplane while in flight. Brace for turbulence. 

Quite a few of you enjoyed the inspirational quotes from the last issue, so I'll include more of those and add them to the website. Let me know your thoughts on the guest contributors and what you'd like to see from them.

Buddy Scalera
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Comic Book School Newsletter
Vol. 1 Issue 2 || 2/12/14

Welcome to the second issue of the Comic Book School newsletter, a collection of links and resources for people excited about the craft and business of making comics.

This is a free email from If you want to be removed just click reply and put REMOVE in the subject line.

Over the past year or two, Kickstarter has been a place where many creators have launched (and messed up) their dream comic book projects. Kickstarter has dramatically changed the way many creators are funding self-published projects. 
     One of the early adopters was Jimmy Palmiotti, a well-established creator for Marvel, DC, Image, Dark Horse, and just about every other publisher in the past 20 years. While many creators have struggled to understand the Kickstarter crowdfunding process, Jimmy has been perfecting it. With give projects successfully funded, he is now promoting a new title. Jimmy and longtime partner Justin Gray are promoting DENVER, a post-apocalyptic adventure that's gaining major support. As of this writing, the book has raised over $34,000 (and has funded). 
     I caught up with Jimmy to ask for some advice about running a successful crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter. Here's what he had to say:

1. What's one thing everyone should know about running a Kickstarter campaign to fund their comic book project?

JIMMY PALMIOTTI: The obvious is that I hope what you are doing will be interesting to a decent amount of people because they will be looking at your page and deciding if they want to back it. It is important to be clear, make it easy to read and make sure it contains a great visual. The video is also an important part of the pitch and this should be clear, short and interesting. It should get right to the point of the project.  
     Outside of that, you have to make sure you understand that you are going to have to figure out all your costs ahead of time for the project as well as figuring the cost of shipping the products you are offering. Doing one of these is incredibly time consuming, but if you play it smart, you can do well.
2. Why is social media important to Kickstarter campaigns?

JIMMY PALMIOTTI: Unless you have a thousand friends ready to buy your book, you are going to have to go and reach out to people that might be interested in your project and with social media, it's a great way to try to get them without blowing a ton of cash advertising your Kickstarter. 
     We are all about interacting with like minds, so even if you get a few people interested, they themselves can tell others about your project and it can become viral. Without it, you are shouting in the woods where no one will hear you.
3. Why have you brought projects like DENVER to Kickstarter, rather than going a traditional publishing route?
JIMMY PALMIOTTI: For me, a number of issues, but the main ones are control and ownership. When you work for others, a piece of your property becomes theirs and you are also working within their guidelines, which is fine, but at this point I like to work on projects that are a bit uncensored by others opinions and standards. 
     I also like complete ownership of all the characters and stories in the hope that some of them might be able to make the jump to multimedia.

You may want to check out Jimmy's Kickstarter project to better understand how crowdfunding works. And, if you see a project you like, pledge a few bucks, so you can support your fellow creators.

DENVER Kickstarter Page: 

Jimmy Palmiotti's Kickstarter Projects: 

PaperFilms Website:

And, yes, I also ran a Kickstarter campaign. It wasn't nearly as large as the campaign Jimmy ran, but it did teach me a lot about crowdfunding and self-publishing. I wrote about my experiences on my marketing blog. If you're interested in that sort of thing, you can learn about my experiences running a campaign. 

My (First) Kickstarter Crowdfunding Success Story 

Want to work in comic books? Sure you do. Break into the biz any way you can. 

Caliber Comics Returns:
Caliber Comics was a well-respected publisher of smart independent comic books. Back in the 90s, they published comics by Brian Michael Bendis, David Mack, Guy Davis, and other massively talented creators. However, the market changed the black and white comics lost ground and Caliber Comics stopped publishing comics. They are back, which will probably result in new opportunities for creative talent. 
Discovered on CBR: 
Eagle One Media has revived the imprint:
And the old Caliber website, which hasn't been updated yet:


Alex Segura Returns to Riverdale
Alex Segura returns to Riverdale. Alex is a well-respected industry insider who previously worked at Archie Comics and DC Comics. He'll come back to The House that Archie built as SVP of Publicity & Marketing and the Editor of Red Circle Comics. Archie Comics has been doing a lot of daring and exciting things over the past few years, so it's an encouraging sign to see Alex joining their team. 
Archie's Official Announcement:
More news: Alex' own website:

I'm a big fan of Jerry Ordway's artwork, so I enjoy reading his blog because he posts sketches and concept art. He also offers some insights that reveals his creative process. 
     The example below is from the Shazam comic book series from the mid 1990s. At the time, comics were grim 'n' gritty, so "POWER OF SHAZAM" didn't get quite enough attention. I went back and re-read those Ordway stories and they actually hold up quite well. Wholesome superhero stories that are entertaining from start to finish. 

Power of Shazam #18, Prelim to Finished Cover

Please forgive my shameless plug: My comic "NECROTIC: Dead Flesh on a Living Body" #1 has hit the Comixology web store. This was a comic book that I co-wrote with Mike Marts (yep, that guy from Marvel Comics) back when we were working at Wizard. It included art from Pat Quinn, who was also just getting started in comics. Contributors included Rus Wooton, Chris Eliopoulos, Darren Sanchez, and a variety of other soon-to-be-important comic creators. Ah, we were so young.
     NECROTIC has been out of print since 2001, so we digitized it and published it on If you like classic horror comics with a little bit of gothic romance, you should check it out. 

Necrotic on Comixology
Digital comic on Comixology:
Promo and information on Comic Book School: 

Second issue. So far, so good. Thanks for the feedback and encouragement. Someone mentioned that I didn't include links to my social sites, so here they are:
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Comic Book School Newsletter
Vol. 1 Issue 1

Welcome to the first ever Comic Book School newsletter, a collection of links and resources for people excited about the craft and business of making comics.

To subscribe via email visit: 

I created a list of comic book publishers and their submission guidelines. As expected, many publishers are open to art portfolios, but not writing submissions. That said, you should still click through and explore the guidelines and get to know the published guidelines. 

Comic Publisher Submission Guidelines:
Last updated 1/20/14. 
If you see an error or discover another page that has submission guidelines, please send it to me here at

Want to work in comic books? Sure you do. Break into the biz any way you can. Here are a few opportunities that I've seen out there. 

ReedPOP is Hiring:
This is the company that manages the New York Comicon, C2E2, and a variety of pop culture conventions. They are looking for a Soclai Media Marketing coordinator.
And here:

If you like to draw big robots, maybe you should check out this Transformers art contest. Grand prize is $1,000. 

Transformers Art Design Contest
Co-sponsored by Hot Topic,, and


End of the Line:
I've been enjoying the Tales from the Con strip for a while now. About a year ago, they posted a terrific little strip that shows the "Creative Circle of Life." Enlightening, engaging, and prettymuch true.

Scott Talks TED:
Legendary comic book creator and educator Scott McCloud is most famous for his book "Understanding Comics." In 2005, McCloud gave a TED Talk on "The Visual Magic of Comics." Smart, entertaining discussion of the comic book medium.

Make Mike Marvel
Former DC Comics Group Editor for the Batman books, Mike Marts has returned to Marvel Comics as Executive Editor. If you read my book "Creating Comics from Start to Finish" you probably remember Mike in the section on Editing Comic Books. 
      Mike and I met in the mid-90s when we worked together at Wizard Entertainment. Mike left Wizard, worked for a while at Acclaim Comics, and then worked for almost 10 years at Marvel Comics. He edited the X-Men family of titles, publishing some of the most innovative stories every published at Marvel. He moved across town to DC where he edited some of the most exciting and creative Batman titles ever published. 
     DC recently announced that they'll be moving their offices over to California, which meant a series of career moves in the NYC area. Fortunately, Marvel Comics is bringing Mike back to the House of Ideas, where he has become their Executive Editor. 
     Okay, so this isn't exactly new-news, but this is my first newsletter and Mike is a personal friend, so I reserve the right to share some links. 

Marvel Comics' announcement:
Read more about Mike in "Creating Comics from Start to Finish":


Marvel Opens API for Developers
Marvel has announced an open API for their database. If you are a developer, you'll be able to access and mashup Marvel's content in a variety of creative ways. Sounds like a good opportunity for those of you with strong technical skills to flex your creative muscles.

I've been thinking of creating an educational newsletter for a while now. I feel like there's a lot of smart educational materials out there for people who aspire to be comic book creators or just enjoy the creative process. 
     I hope you enjoy my first newsletter and give me a little time to find my editorial voice. 
     Feedback, links, and ideas are all welcome. 
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NECROTIC: The epic horror story of life, death, mummies, and murder is now back as a digital comic series!

#digitalcomics   #ebook   #amazon   #necrotic   #horror   #comicbooks   #selfpublished  
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In their circles
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Have them in circles
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Bunny-themed comic book characters for those of you who celebrate Easter. 

How is it that in the wide world of superheroes and super-powers, the two most popular characters are based on a spider and a bat? Of all the animals in the world, of all the possible themes and na...
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Comic Book School Newsletter
1.5 || 3/18/14
The Comic Book School newsletter is a collection of links, inspirations, and resources for people excited about the craft and business of making comics and telling visual stories. To be removed, click reply and include REMOVE in the subject line.
If you used my book Comic Artist's Photo Reference: Men and Boys, you will remember a very muscular man named Tony. His rock-solid superhero poses have served as inspiration for countless comic book pages. And let's not ignore the fact that Tony looks like a real-life Superman... 
     So what's Tony been up to since his appearance in my book? Quite a lot, actually. Most recently, Tony has appeared on Dr. Oz to talk about health and fitness.
1. When were you on Dr. Oz?
TONY CATANZARO: I Appeared on Dr Oz March 10th 2014. It was a fun show and I was able to meet Dr Oz and the producers of the show. I made many contacts and friends and it was an overall great day!
2. How did they find you?
TONY CATANZARO: I was selected from my website: I help people all over the world get into shape both mentally and physically and I live to inspire and motivate others to be their very best in life!
3. What kinds of things are you doing to promote health and fitness?
TONY CATANZARO: I have three Facebook pages, a personal page, a fan page and my fitness studio page where I share valuable tips and information with people all over the world. I also own a very successful personal training business called Tony’s Fitness Studio in Ozone park New York.
4. What was it like to pose as a superhero for my books?
TONY CATANZARO: Posing as a superhero for your books was awesome! I’ve always considered myself a superhero actually Superman to be exact so you can say I was right at home!
5. Have you seen any art based on your posing, and if so, what's it like to see yourself drawn as a superhero?
TONY CATANZARO: I believe there are a few drawings of me out there and its definitely amazing to see it come to life like that. It’s truly amazing how the artist can capture the feelings from the model and then turn it into a drawing.
6. How can people find out about what you're doing?
My Facebook pages:  
For additional photos of Tony, check out my gallery of unused photos from the Men & Boys photo book:

And a 1:30 promo video I made for the book that features Tony: 

Protips for Conventions
The CBR website is an amazing resource of constantly updated information about comic books. The ALISON TYPES column recently included a list of useful professional tips for people who want to break into comic books. There are some useful tips here, so you may want to check them out.
Comic Book Industry #Protips:

Stephen King's Top 20 Rules for Writers
Not sure what to even say about this. When Stephen King tells you about writing, you should pay attention. There are some very good tips here. Read them.  

As Kickstarter continues to grow, you may be wondering how you get started. Last week, I featured an interview with Brian Miller regarding his Kickstarter campaign for his HiFi Coloring project. A few weeks earlier, I interviewed Jimmy Palmiotii on his Denver Kickstarter project.
     Of course, if you're an aspiring creator and you're thinking about crowdfunding, you probably don't exactly know how to get started. No problem. I'm going to provide some useful links that will help you kick start your own Kickstarter.
     Warning: Kickstarter is a good way to raise money, but it is not easy. It's more work than you realize and will probably take you more time than you can imagine. I mean, you are asking people for money, and that's never easy. That said, it can raise more money than you need, creating both an audience for your work and an effective profit margin. (Did I mention it's not as easy as you think?)
This is the recap from my Kickstarter campaign. I touch on some of the key issues, including the data analytics that you get through the Kickstarter dashboard.
My (First) Kickstarter Crowdfunding Success:

My interview with Jimmy Palmiotti is here on Google+:

This is another quick recap of a successful Kickstarter posted on the website of my friend Mike Dolce, creator of The Sire. 
Kickstarter for Comics: Omar Morales Of The CruZader Takes Us Through His Successful Campaign  

Anatomy Debated
The web is a wonderful and unrestricted place where you can share you opinion freely. You feel like critiquing artwork? Go ahead, just be prepared for some raw conversation. A recent post on the blog Go Make Me a Sandwich included a detailed review of the artistic interpretation of female anatomy. (I'm trying to put this delicately here.)
     The blogger analyzed the artwork and then critiqued the anatomy. If you create artwork, you should check out this post, which created quite a conversation on the blog, especially when the original artist joined the conversation. You don't have to agree with either artist to appreciate the artwork, the analysis, or the subsequent conversation. It is what it is, as they say.
Anatomy: YOU’RE DOING IT WRONG (GenCon 2013 edition)  
This whole conversation took me back to some pretty intense conversation about Rob Liefeld. While he may not be as active these days, Liefeld was a highly visible and often controversial figure in the 1990s and 2000s. Prior to the Internet-as-we-know-it today, Liefeld was the subject of many discussions about artwork and anatomy. I've included a few links -- positive and not-so-positive -- about Rob Liefeld. You decide.
In Defense of Rob Liefeld:  
Captain America! (By Rob Liefeld)  
Gallery of Rob Liefeld’s Anatomical Abominations  
Rob Liefeld's website:  
News, notes and links from Neil A. Hanson, comic book historian. 
Neil Says: "This is a fantastic link. Kurt Busiek basically instructs writers on how to use the comic book medium to write. This one will really get to the new writers on the best ways to write that full script. This one took a while to find, but it is fabulous."
Kurt Busiek - On Writing for Comics  
Fascinating features from Fasolo, who writes TV stuff and won an Emmy for his work on Robot Chicken.
Fasolo Says: "This is the one that everyone (especially new writers) all try to get into. It's the brass ring of writing programs."
Disney/ABC Writing Program  
At some point in college, I read the book "Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah" by Richard Bach. I haven't read it since then, but it had a big impact on me at the time. It was the right book at the right time, if you know what I mean. 
     I recently found my well-read copy of the paperback. It flipped open to a quote that I have always loved and thought you might find inspirational. I've even maintained the original spacing that appears in the book on Page 100:

for your limitations.
  and sure enough,

Hope that quote helps you the way it helped me when I needed it. Here it is on Amazon:

So what did you think of the interview with Tony? Would you like to know more about the models and actors who have appeared in my books? They have gone on to do some very interesting things. 
I'm still reeling from the past episode of The Walking Dead. That was one of the saddest things I've ever seen on any TV show ever. That said, if someone tells me to "look at the flowers," I'm running away. You should too.
      What do you guys think of The Walking Dead on AMC? Do you also watch The Talking Dead? I'm addicted to the show and would like to hear your thoughts.

As always, thank you for the feedback. Keep your comments coming. I read every email. 

Oh, and if someone wants to sign up for the newsletter, send them here: 
Comic Book School Newsletter Sign Up:

Buddy Scalera
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My horror comic book NECROTIC: Dead Flesh on a Living Body is now available on Comixology!

#comixology   #horror   #mummy   #necrotic  
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Scott McCloud at a TED talk in 2005. Worth watching. 

#makingcomics   #makecomics   #creativity   #visualstorytelling  
Devan Piwek's profile photopaulo sales's profile photoComic Book School by Buddy Scalera's profile photo
He's pretty amazing. His book changed the way I looked at comics. 
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Now that the Super Bowl is over, who's ready for the Walking Dead?


Watch a sneak peek scene from the Midseason Premiere now:
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In their circles
191 people
Have them in circles
721 people
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Comic Book School by Buddy Scalera
Comic Book School - An educational resource by book author Buddy Scalera