30 Days of The Kursk – Day 6

As we approach the 14th Anniversary of The Kursk Submarine Incident, I’d like to take the time to share another Kursk fact with you, as well as page 6 of issue.

Kursk Fact: Over 4 stories high, the Kursk had a top speed of 37 mph submerged and 16 mph when surfaced – #kursk

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30 Days of The Kursk – Day 5

Today’s preview will really allow you to start getting into the story – if you haven’t done so already, now would be a great time to go back and catch up on days 1-4.

The Kursk Fact: The pride of the Northern Fleet, Russia named the Kursk after the 1943 battle that blunted the Nazi offensive. It was the greatest tank battle in history, and after that day, the Germans never attacked again. #kursk

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30 Days of The Kursk – Day 4

Here we are at Day 4 of The Kursk – a Lucha Comics feature to highlight a fantastic comic book.

I will keep this post short, but here is an interesting Kursk fact for Today:

Kursk Fact:
During the 1999 Kosovo War, the Kursk tracked and surfaced against the US Sixth Fleet causing panic on the USS Theodore Roosevelt. The reason? She was built for sinking aircraft carriers. #kursk

Now, here is the preview for Page for of The Kursk #1:

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30 Days of The Kursk – Day 3

So here we are at Day 3 of our 30 Days of The Kursk feature. I really do love this book, and 30 days may not be enough to do justice to the hard work and determination of Sasha Janowicz, Andrea Montano, Slawomir Nietupski and James A. Bretney. I am very proud to be able to make this book available to you, and before the next preview, I would like to share an interesting Kursk fact:

The Kursk Akula (shark) Oscar II class submarine is one of the largest ever constructed. The Kursk was over a football field long and had a double hull which afforded her increased protection in the event of a US torpedo attack.

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30 Days of The Kursk – Day 2

Yesterday, I had the chance to talk a little bit about our most recent title, The Kursk. I’ve read it quite a few times now that we working to translate it into Spanish and Simplified Chinese, and everytime I do read it, I find it to be impactful. While I am a longtime Batman fan, I do find it far easier to connect with more “real” characters, like Yorrick Brown, and of course the crew of the doomed K-141 Kursk.

Named after the Russian City of Kursk, in which the largest tank battle in history took place in 1943. One of the first Russian submarines completed after the end of Cold War, it would soon be integrated into the Northern Fleet.

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Here’s your preview of Page 1, enjoy, and stay tuned for 30 Days of The Kursk !

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30 Days of The Kursk – Day 1

As we approach the anniversary of the highest profile submarine accident in our history, I wanted to take some time to reflect on why I felt this story needed to come back into the limelight.

When James approached me with his latest comic book, The Kursk, I knew that he had something special without even fully reading it. Andrea’s fantastic artwork, Sasha’s mournful tale (guided by James) and Slawomir’s eerie, striking cover, made it clear that this was not an amateur project; this was a group of experts that were clearly passionate about their work.

As we approach August 12th, I hope that you will join me in reliving this key event in our shared history. To help you get started, here is the cover for The Kursk #1. Enjoy, and when sharing with your friends, don’t forget to add #kursk

Rodolfo Martinez
CEO, The Shooting Star Press inc.

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The Kursk #1 – Lucha Comics

The Kursk by Sasha Janowicz is the graphic novel adaptation of The Kursk. K-141 Kursk was an Oscar-II class nuclear-powered cruise missle submarine of the Russian Navy, lost with all hands when it sank in the Barents Sea on 12 August 2000.

Andrea Montano combines her fearless expression in rendering The Kursk by Sasha Janowicz. She contrasts manga and anime with noir, German Expressionism and Chiaroscuro illustration in this macabre political thirller.

In 2010, Australia nominated Sasha Janowicz’s play for the Helpmann Awards for Performing Arts. Sasha won the 2007 Bell Award for Best New Play, and three Matilda Award – Best New Australian Play, Best Direction, and Best Independent Production.

Lucha Comics is proud to be able to bring this fantastic story to yet another powerful medium. Simply click below to purchase The Kursk #1 on your preferred platform:

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*This Comic Book will be available for purchase very soon! Be sure to follow @LuchaComics for updates on this, and our other titles!

An epic, ancient battle, fueled by … the writer’s block of a young man spending too much time on the toilet? Yeah, this is a different story, but one that will have you loving the art, laughing out loud, and questioning some of the challenges we face in everyday life.
Hagong Stay Comic Book
Stay is a great story if you love underdogs, (or if you’ve ever been one!) that really is about a writer that is too scared of facing true love and ultimately, success. If you’ve had writer’s block, had your heart broken, or are just looking for a fun, unique and entertaining read, this one is for you.

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Boom!  – Lucha Comics

Boom! – Lucha Comics

Earlier this year, Lucha Comics established its first international partnership. In collaboration with Bluewolf (a South Korean production house), Lucha is proud to present some true gems of Korea’s comic book industry. I was fortunate to have a large selection of quality content to draw from – but like any startup, I had to choose something to launch with as resources are limited. I decided that Boom! was the best way to introduce some great Korean comics to the rest of the world.

So why Boom!? The incredible art and the unique story really won me over. If this gets a great fan reaction, then I definitely want to turn this into an ongoing series, even though it was originally intended as a 1 shot. As a publisher, I doubt that I will ever receive another book quite like this; to create a dual language book that somehow doesn’t detract from the art seems like quite an accomplishment from the Blue Wolf team. This book will always have a special place in my heart.

Here is the synopsis: Ugly. Old. Douchebag. One lovesick man is about to go over the edge in an odd story of unrequited love. Jee Chang takes real life and turns the volume up to 10 – a place where some of the best stories live. What really blew me away here was his fantastic artwork. There are individual panels which will likely make their way onto posters (even if it’s only for my office!). The way that the art is used to transform the story is unbelievable. Even if we never get a follow up to Boom!, I doubt that this is the last that the comic book world will see of Jee Chang.

While not your typical comic book fare, I believe that our partnership with Bluewolf will lead to a lot of new fans – and quick. I know that you’ll enjoy this one.

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Almost There! Part 2

Ok, so hopefully you read Part 1 of Almost there! and learned how Lucha Comics will be a real thing in a matter of days, so I just wanted to touch on the professional path that brought me here in Almost There! Part 2.

9. Customer Service Guy
It was time to move away from home after being PC Exporter guy didn’t pan out. I left London, Ontario for the big city of Toronto, and my first job was that of Customer Service Representative at Nikon Canada. I worked with some great people, but soon found that the pay wasn’t very competitive, and the IT systems really needed updating. I also learned that Mexican work ethic could outdue the Japanese if it was needed, and I was fortunate enough to learn a bunch about digital photography. I also learned that my gut wasn’t particuarly bad when it came to tech: I remember making the argument for better connectivity, and being told that Digital Cameras would never really be consumer goods, they were more the high-end amateur. I was allowed to borrow some sweet digital cameras (keep in mind that this was over 10 years ago; a D-SLR was probably worth about $20,000 and shot at between 2 and 4 Megapixels). I got to meet pro-photographers, but after being passed up for promotions, I decided to move on. Lesson here: don’t wait to get pushed out of job. Jump – you’ll be far better off.

10. PC Wholesale Guy (Again)
I connected in Toronto with someone from my old gig, and under better leadership I was made Internet Sales Manager, learned a ton about eBaying, and about standing your ground. There was a ton of conflict between the guy that brought me on, and the owners (husband and wife). They also over-expanded. Unfortunately, the razor thin margins in the PC industry really impacted the place, and so I lost my job as the company massively down-sized. Lesson learned: don’t over extend, and don’t let someone else’s personal conflicts drag your career down.

10. ESL Instructor
With nothing left for me in Toronto, and just being fed up with the life that I had, my (future) wife and I decided to go to Korea to be English teachers. Our concerns over North Korea never happened, and overall we had an amazing time! I learned a tiny bit of Korean, learned about Korean and Asian culture, got to work with kids, and just had a great experience. There were definitely some negatives here, but this is something I’ll never forget. Lesson learned: go abroad while you can; I would have hated to look back 20 years from now and say “Gee, I wish I had gone to Korea”

11. Insurance Agent
My wife and I decided to leave Korea early, because she received the opportunity to do a Master’s at Queen’s University on a scholarship. So, time to leave the surreal world of Korea which offered tons of wages, the easiest job I’ve ever had and bizzare little adventures. Now I had to re-enter the real world. I applied to work with a wonderful woman named Mary Quist, who was like a mentor, a mother, and who showed me that I could have a better career then just above minimum wage. I was taught to be professional, to listen to people, and how to really work in a team to achieve results. I knew nothing about insurance going in, but more importantly didn’t know anything about sales. With Mary, Nicole, Melissa and Karen, along with all the other great people that I met, I really had a chance to grow professionally. Leaving this job to move closer to home was heart-breaking. It also killed my love of the insurance industry. My professional development took years to recover from this, because I knew that I was leaving something that couldn’t be re-created. I can’t do this part of my career (like many others, such as Korea or Mexico) justice in one blog post. Lesson learned: it’s tough to let go of a good thing.

12. Insurance Agent (again)
After moving to London, I became an insurance agent again. My heart just wasn’t in it, despite working with some fantastic people. Lesson learned: it’s good to specialize but know when to move one, because after this I decided to move on to…

13. Insurance Agent (yup, again again)
I tried going independent as an insurance guy. I had grandoise visions, but with my kids being young, I was losing their childhood to something that made me little money. But more importantly, I didn’t love the financial industry anymore. It was time to move into the world of consulting, where I took the best of this industry (working with Small Businesses) and got rid of the worst (doing the same thing over and over). Lesson learned: failure isn’t always bad, but know when you have failed.

14. Landlord
I played landlord with our rental property, and all around just got screwed by business partners who pretended to be friends but turned out to be terrible human being. I hate that I wasted time, energy and money with them, and again missed time with my babies. Long-story short, it took nearly 5 years to smarten up and get out, and culminated with my “partners” fleeing the country on fraud charges and their proceeds being paid into the courts. Lesson learned: bad partnerships can’t save an otherwise good project.

15. The Non-Profit Sector
This is what helped me to find my passion again. I focused my efforts on the non-profit world, where I had the opportunity to learn something new, work with great people, do social good, and really take ownership of something and create it. This still is a very important committment for me, and I still love it. Lesson learned: new career paths & industries can revitalize you.

16. Project Manager/Consultant (again/concurrent)
…and this is my night job (which I just finished at about 1:00AM). I am part of a start-up with some friends of mine looking to take EHR functions and data into the cloud. I am learning about software development, MYSQL, HTML5 and some other really cool stuff. It’s a lot of fun, but like a lot of tech startups it doesn’t really pay. I do really enjoy it though, and it doesn’t detract from my day job so it can’t hurt too much. Lesson learned: bootstrapping.

17. Consultant
This has been part of my professional identity for over 10 years, and something that I am proud to be part of thanks to my beautiful wife. She has always pushed me to do better, and through our firm Reimar Group, I have learned how to write effectively, grow businesses, and just work with people to help them reach their goals. For those entrepreneurs getting started, we also developed an inexpensive way to lend them our expertise – BizMula – start-up business plans in about 2 hours for $199.This has been a fun, but long process, with the software taking way longer then anticipated. Lesson(s) learned: software dev takes forever, entrepreneurship is awesome, and most importantly, be professional and always give truthful advice to your clients.

I think that just about does it. I really don’t want to sell any particular aspect of my professional development short. It’s been a long path, and each part has been integral. I’m glad that along the way I have picked up the skills needed to fulfill a boyhood dream: to be involved in the comic book industry.

Rodolfo Martinez
Senior VP of Arms about to fall off after a day full of typing, Lucha Comics