Monday, December 22, 2008

Two big pieces of news!

Two new and exciting items of interest:

1. The Contingent is briefly discussed on episode two of the podcast, Teenage Wasteland. Check it out here: Teenage Wasteland ep. 2

2. The Contingent now has its very own forum! Hooray! It can be found at The Comic under the Comic section. You can go directly to the forum by clicking here: The Contingent Forum

The Contingent #1 discussed on Rabitt Stew

Heyhey kids!

The first issue of The Contingent was reviewed and discussed on episode 26 of Rabitt Stew! Spoilers abound, however. So consider yourself warned. Stew is a really good show and definitely worth your time to listen to, if you are not already.

Big, big thanks to Brandon for discussing it on the show. I really appreciate it!

You can download the episode here: Rabitt Stew Ep. 26

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Check out The Contingent on Comic Related

Heyhey kids!

Just a quick update. You can now check out previews for The Contingent on Comic They've got daily news, reviews, great columns, and so forth. If you are not someone who frequents their site already, you should really check it out. Lots of very cool resources.

The Contingent #1
on Comic Related

The Contingent #2 on Comic Related

Friday, December 12, 2008

Contingent #2 preview!

Heyhey kids!

Here are a couple preview pages from issue #2 of The Contingent! Issue #2 is in the December Previews and you can order it using order code: DEC084164.

Monday, December 8, 2008

The Contingent #1 in stores now! Contingent #2 available for order!

Heyhey kids!

The Contingent #1 was released last week. Did you go get your pre-order? Did you see it on a shelf? Go get it!

More good news! The Contingent #2 is in the December Previews! It's on page 288 of the December catalog and has the order code

Here's the copy from the catalog: In the wake of the tragic events at the Stephens School, what alarming secrets will be uncovered? What lengths will Miguel go to in order to prevent further tragedy? Lives are forever changed as the consequences of having too much power are revealed. Don't miss out on this action-packed issue!

Sneak peek pages coming shortly!

So get out there! Support it! Buy it!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Random thoughts. Ooohh! Bullet points!

  • Read Guerillas #2. Still an awesome comic...more plot progession in this issue, as opposed to the heavy character stuff in issue #1. There's no reason for people to not buy this book.
  • Bought my oldest daughter a Batman mask today...she insisted on wearing while we were still in the store...awesome.
  • My rewards points cannot come soon enough, so I can get Lego Batman
  • Twitter is destroying my productivity at work. It will pass though and I will return to normal productivity levels
  • I fear for DC when Geoff Johns starts writing fewer books and/or starts leaving certain and point: the current state of The Flash.
  • When I was voting, some dude had to be carted away in an ambulance. Apparently he couldn't handle the pressure and passed out. Weak.
  • I'm looking for an artist who wants to collaborate on a new comic book. Any takers?

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Hey! I was on 11 O'Clock Comics!

I was on the Halloween episode of the 11 O'Clock Comics this week. Tom Katers and I subbed in for the absent David Price. It's good episode and I had a great time talking with the guys. Give 'er a listen: 11 O'Clock Comics episode 28

Really, you should just subscribe to the 11 O'Clock iTunes feed though and visit the forum here: 11 O'Clock Forum

Monday, October 13, 2008

The Contingent #1 Reviewed on 11 O'Clock Comics!


Just wanted to let everyone know that on episode 25 of the 11 O'Clock Comics podcast, co-host VinceB reviewed and discussed The Contingent #1.

"There is a hell of a lot of potential for this series, and I hope it's long running..." said Vince. "Great, great start."

Here is a direct link to episode 25:

You can check out 11 O'Clock home page and forum here:

There you have it! Just one more reason for you to hustle on out and order a copy of The Contingent #1. You can order it from any comic book shop using order code OCT084283.

Don't miss out on this fantastic new title from MindStorm Comics!

Zack Kruse

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

My new research project... here's my research project that I've assigned for myself:

I'm going to study the life and works of Hank Pym. Why, you ask? I won't tell you. That would ruin everything. Don't be a ruiner. Just know that I've developed a new affection for Dr. Pym and he and I are going to be as close as two pym-particles in an Ant-Man suit.


GAH! Here's your unsettling moment of the day...Alan Moore yaoi.


Monday, September 29, 2008


HEY! I am in the October Previews! Hooray! Go out and order a copy of The Contingent #1 today! Seriously! Right now! I need your help!

You can order it from any comic shop, anywhere in the world. If they tell you can't order it, they are not being honest with you and you should shop elsewhere. Or someone else is not being honest with them.

Don't know where to find a local comic shop? No problem. Just go here: It's the Comic Shop Locator Service. All you need to do is enter your zip code and it will bring up a list of comic shops in your area.

OR! You can order a copy through Discount Comic Book Service. If you order through DCBS, then you can also get a free sketch to accompany your copy of the book!

Please pre-order the book. Since it is an independently published comic, it is unlikely that the overwhelming majority of stores will carry enough copies to put on their front shelf. Don't expect to stumble into any old comic shop and just sitting out on the rack, you'll want to pre-order it.

Below is the copy that accompanied the book in this month's catalog, along with the Diamond order code. When you go to pre-order the book, that order code is very important. It will make placing your order much easier for you and the retailer.


by Zack Kruse, Zeu, Javi Laparra & Chris StudabakerForced from his Bolivian home to an America where superpowers, mechanical apes, and genetically altered monsters are the order of the day, will young Miguel Francisco accept the offer of the man who wants to make him a god? Or will he embrace the harder path and the often inevitable costs of doing the right thing? The Contingent explores everything from the nature of heroism, to love, and much more, all accented by big superhero fun!

Item Code: OCT084283
$3.50 (US)

Comments or feedback on the book? You can e-mail me at:

Monday, September 22, 2008

What's the harm?

As a skeptic, frequently my discussion and debates with believers and, indeed, even some non-believers, lead to the question "What's the harm?" Or, "If it works for them, what's the problem?"

First of all, there are a couple of logical fallacies at work there. Secondly, without getting too deep in this particular blog post, I direct your attention to

At they chronicle actual cases where pseudoscience and beliefe in (or being tricked into believing in) the paranormal have caused tangible harm to people. When you look at the number of actual deaths caused it's...frankly, it's absurd.

It's a great resource for skeptics and believers alike. Check it out.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Spider-Man 2099 and binding

I've been thinking about getting some of my comics bound into nice hardcover editions at Library Binding. I had been a bit skeptical of it, but I was over at Bryan Deemer's house at the post Super Show party/unwind and got to see some of his bound editions. Simply put, they're beautiful. Very well done, very professional. So I got to thinking about what I would want to get bound, and what I'm willing to pull out of my collection to have bound.

One of the first books to come to mind was Spider-Man 2099. Spidey 2099 was a book that I was really into when it first came out and, for my money, the best of the 2099 line. Peter David and Rick Leonardi really put together an intriguing story with equally intriguing characters--an uncommon occurance in the early 90's (that is, if you believe all of the scorn many fanboys have for that era in comics). I think it's one of the great unsung books of that era.

Anyway, I pulled out the first couple issues of Spidey 2099 to confirm that this was the book that I wanted to get bound. While I was reading them something occurred to me and really made me think about my progression as a reader/comics fan. When I was a kid, and these issues were first coming out, I loved them because they were "edgy" this new fangled future Spider-Man was a badass and, inadvertantly, gets addicted to drugs (read issue #1 for the full story there).

When I re-read them I appreciate those issues on a newer, and more sophisticated, level. Naturally those other, "less sophisticated", elements are there, and are still enjoyable. But what I appreciate about the story now is the structure of how Miguel O'Hara came to be and how confronts his role as the new Spider-Man. But the thing that really jumped out at me is what's going on in the background. More precisely, New York City. In this future, New York is dirtier than the "current" NYC. It's kind of a grim looking place and has a very noirish feel to it. Add to that the fascist behavior of the police along with some of the other background happenings and you have a very interesting and, at least a little, frightening place. It's a great foil for Peter David and his new Spidey to play against and is, really, my favorite element of the early issues in the series.

So there you have it. Brief, I know. But trust me. Go out and get those Spider-Man 2099 back issues. They're cheap--like quarter and fifty-cent bin cheap. You can get the whole run (52 issues, if you include the variant covers) for less than $30. It's well worth it.

Once I send out my issues to get them bound, I will post pictures here and tell you about breaking my comic binding cherry.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

New blog feature!

At the bottom of this page you will now see the Pin-Up Girl of The Day! Hooray! I love pin-up art it's...well, just look at it. What's not to like? It's sexy, it's well done, it's cheese cakey, it's sexy...

I say Pin-Up Girl of The Day, but, really, it's the Pin-Up Girl of Every Time You Refresh the page.

Enjoy! (I will ;) )

Listen to me on the Comic Book Page podcast!

Last Friday an episode of the Comic Book Page podcast aired discussing the much fabled "event fatigue" that lots of people seem to be talking about, but, in my opinion, not many people seem to truly be afflicted with. It was a really great coversation with some really excellent, well-informed guys.

If you don't already subscribe to CBP, you can download the episode here:

Comic Geek Speak Super Show

So I just got back from the Comic Geek Speak Super Show and it was absolutely incredible. I can’t wait to go back next year. The show was small, but, with the exception of the first con I ever went to, I’ve never been so excited to be at a show or had as much fun.

I got to meet a lot of great people, and get to know people that I only vaguely knew or knew of before. It was just such an incredible experience. My only regret is that I just didn’t take enough pictures. What Bryan and Peter created with CGS is something that is very special and they should be very proud of themselves. Then, when you augment that with the other really amazing guys that they have on the show like Murd, Matt, Pants, Shane, and Kevin, it's even greater.

I have a lot of great stories that I won’t get into here that cover everything from drunken barroom conversations to bat-shit crazy cab drivers to fist fights at local hangouts. Plus! The Contingent sold great! It definitely exceeded my expectations. Big, BIG thanks to everyone who picked it up.

I'll try to get what few photos I have and post them.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Guerillas! Buy it!

As the Vietnam War continues to drag on, the U.S. decides to implement their new secret weapon... Monkeys! GUERILLAS is the first issue of an action-packed miniseries which follows a troop of specially trained chimpanzees and the lone human soldier brought along for the ride.

I just finished reading the very first issue of Guerillas tonight. I had expected it to be good, but it totally blew my expectations out of the water. The cover retail price is $5.99, which seems steep on the surface, but it's a 56 page comic with 48 pages of story--so you're more than getting your money's worth. This is definitely the first chapter of a much larger and greater story, but it's so, SO good.

Image has been knocking it out of the park over the past few years with titles they've been releasing and this is absolutely no exception. You like war comics? Buy this book. If you like monkeys, buy this book. If you like period pieces, buy this book. If you like good comics, buy this book.

I had considered writing a synopsis of what happens in the first issue, but I don't think there is a lot that I could say that could do it justice.

Am I gushing? I think I'm gushing. Buy Guerillas!

....I hope you like it as much as I did.

Great news and less than great news

The great news is that Diamond agreed to offer The Contingent in the October Previews catalog! Hooray! I couldn't be happier. Hopefully we can get this book into a lot of hands and make it a big success.

Thank you so much to everyone who has shown their support! It means a lot!

The less than great news is there will be no Ditko Spotlight podcast. Due to some extenuating circumstances the show has been put on hold indefinitely. Perhaps one day we'll get it going, but not today.

Monday, August 11, 2008

The Contingent #1 3 page preview

Miguel Francisco, a Bolivian boy, has been forced from his home to the Stephens School in America--an institution that is actively recruiting superpowered individuals. What Miguel discovers upon his arrival is that there is something more to the Stephens School than he, or anyone else, has been told. Something troubling. But how deep does it go? And why is he so important to it all?

Will he side with the man who wants to make him a god? Or will he embrace the harder path and the often inevitable costs of doing the right thing?

Set in a world where superpowers, mechanical apes, and genetically altered monsters are the order of the day, The Contingent explores not just the superficial ideas of superheroics and right versus wrong, but the motivations behind them.

Written by Zack Kruse and penciled by Zeu (The Phantom, Cloudburst,Prjoect Elohim). Colors are by Javi Laparra with lettering by Chris Studabaker.

Feedback is always welcome! Thanks for taking a look

Welcome to the new blog!

Hello all,

This is the start of my brand new blog. So, read it.

I am one, Mr. Zack Kruse--as the title of this blog cleverly indicates. I am the writer of The Contingent, a comic book that was released in 2008 by MindStorm Comics and I have at least two other projects forth coming in 2009 and 2010. I am also the co-host of the Ditko Spotlight podcast, a new podcast devoted to the life and works of Steve Ditko.

I have other interests too, but this blog will be primarily dedicated to comics and the those items noted above.

You can also check me out on MySpace and my personal website and art studio: Hardcastle Industries at