"Planeta Inquietante"

Now Adolfo Rodriguez tells us about "Planeta Inquietante":

Most comic books I have written for Area 51 are set in the fiction universe of Planeta Inquietante, which is a parody and homage at the same time to the Ancient Astronauts theory. It was made popular by Erich Von Däniken in the seventies.

Planeta Inquietante began as a script for a short movie than became a blog where the main character, Patrick Von Steiner, a follower of Däniken's theories, narrated his adventures. Comic books felt like a natural medium as the Ancient Astronaut was a huge influence in author like Jack Kirby; just you check his Eternals or his Fourth World. Besides I love the medium.

I also write about sci-fi movies and shows, a thematic very dear to Planeta Inquietante and Mister Steiner, who sees pop culture as a great tool to uncover the Truth, free from the censorship of the evil Academy.

Our team is composed of José Ramírez (editor of the magazine, letterer and cowriter of the story Two Planets on Danger), Gustavo Rubio, Ángel Bernuy, Jen del Pozo and Conrado Martín (the artists) and me as writer.

Our workflow is pretty straightforward. I write the script and hand it to the artist via e-mail or dropbox, then I get the designs, storyboards and pages the same way. Finally we send the story to the magazine, where the texts, credits and page numbers are added.

I think we are living in a nice time for comic books where they are getting more and more attention, but I wonder if publishers know how to use that attention to get more readers.


Also I think that a printed comic book and a webcomic are compatible and could cross promote. The way we read them is different, the size of the screen, the touch, they are different experiences and that should be taken into account when publishing them. Ideally, a digital comic book should me more than just the PDF you send to the printer and use the possibilities from the devices.

I admire Gustavo Rubio is an artist from Argentina I have had the pleasure to work with and I am looking forward to more collaborations. Also Mike Deodato Jr is a great Brazilian artist who has worked for DC Comics and Marvel, one of the many who became famous in the 90's and who is still around doing great runs in series like Avengers or Amazing Spider-Man.

Cosmic Magazine

Now Paulina Verdejo, editorial director of the magazine, tells us about "Cosmic":

Cosmic is a comic magazine, a compilation of many histories and artists. It was born as an idea many years ago: the mentor of our editor, Fyto, was Maximo Carvajal, a national artist in charge of a generation biased to comic. Before die, Mr. Maximo told Fyto to "never stop fighting for national [chilean] comic", and that was his main motivation. While Fyto (our editor) worked in other people's comics, he developed some on his own and had the idea of making his characters to relate somehow in the same "universe". Later, he called other artists to unite more histories to this, and then we created a "multiverse". Cosmic has 7 different stories running and they are all related, in a subtle way (for now). Most of the characters are kids and teens, and the base of every history is the "bio-acceleration", a special condition that gives their powers.

We develop arguments and then those are divided between the script writers. Once a comic is ready, in written format, it is delivered to designated comic artist and they have to send back a layout. Once layout is approved it turns into the final comic.

We are careful with how to interlock histories, subtly, and to maintain every history in the context of our "CoSmic Universe".

We are a "small" group of people who are using their skills on different roles. We have a director (me, Paulina, electronics engineer and comic amateur), an Editor (Fyto Manga, comic artist and illustrator), our creative support (Juan and Pedro), Script writers (Pedro and Valentina), a Publicist and Counselor (Nell), and comic artists (Jade, Cecy, Crispawn, Rina, Romina, Sergio and Pablo).

For now Cosmic is local, but we send via traditional post service to anyone who wants it and who pays for it (lol). We just had a friend from Italy who received one :).

For comics in general, we think (and this is almost for sure) that the digital era is taking over and comic is not the exception. Fans want to see it fast and online, and if there is some animation involved, even better. Web-comic is the future. But even considering that, there are still people around who looks for the paper version, almost as a treasure. Paper still has something to do for Comic World.

If we consider the distribution, a web comic will reach a lot more people than a printed copy. A lot more. But for that, it must be for free. And that is the most important difference. Either you make people pay to view it, or you add sponsors to it. Both are complex to manage. Some authors take the risk and expect it to become popular (for example, sponsors can come based on number of visitors or views). We took the long way to accomplish our goals :) but it doesn't mean we won't navigate by the digital world!

Area 51 Magazine

Now José Ramírez tells us about his magazine "Area 51":

Area 51 was created with the intention of bringing back the spirit of magazines that were successful during the 80s, in what is known as the boom of the adult comic book in Spain.

Adventure, science-fiction, terror, heroic fantasy are the subject we love, the comic we liked to read and we want to make.

Magazines like 1984, Creepy, Metal Hurlan, Cimoc or Rambla are our references of how good publications where made with great artists as Ortiz Bernet, Fernández, Azpiri, Corben, Maroto...

I am very nostalgic and I still prefer paper over webcomic, picking it, the smell, flip through the pages, touch them, for me it's a better experience than online or e-book.

I admit that the future is more at Internet and computing, in fact we do not reject it, if you visit MBC times.com, you can enjoy our selection of online webcomics, apart from an amazing international digital newpaper with the finest articles you can find, written with rigor.

I think that a book, comic or anthology magazine like ours, that you can keep, collect and reread anytime, should be bought in physical format always.

The charm reading a good story on paper, I don't think web comic will ever get it, it is not the same reading "A midsummer night's dream" by the great William Shakespeare on paper than in an E-Book, the same happens to me with great comics, you have to recognize that it is not the same to read for instance "Metabarons", by the great Alejandro Jodorowsky (writer) and Juan Giménez (artist) as a web comic, that printed, each creation and each reading have its place.

We come out three monthly and our life is I always say in the hands of our dear readers, so we treat them in the best possible way, we try to improve in every issue and give them our best work.

Area 51 is having a very good reception, fans talks very well about it and are asking things like when there will be posters, illustrations,...

An anecdote I can tell you is the first presentation I made of the magazine, it was practically the first time I had the main voice in public, I looked at them, I saw all their eyes focused on me and nervousness took over me, ha ha ha, I began to feel heat, I could not speak, my mouth was dry and I do not think they understood anything, luckily I had a friend next to me and he helped me out.

In the current crisis, everybody has put effort so this industry can keep creating great stories and offering them to all the readers. However, actually, I don't think the way current dealers work is good. They are a scourge that doesn't let comic to be available for the readers at a competitive price, and after readers are the ones who buy comics and feed us all. But I don't see fair that one person whose only task is taking the publication from point A to point B, they only distribute and nothing more, doesn't put ads, doesn't promote sales, don't attend cons,... They take most of the final price, half of what you are paying goes to them.

The responsible team of the creation and development of Area 51 are José Ramírez, Henry Simon, Luis Roldán, Angel Martinez "Anhell", Mari Lastres, Dani Thifa and Diego Rosales. Then there are many people who participate in some way with us, with their art and good doing.

I'll make a special mention to the publisher which helps us nowadays and thanks to whom, Area 51 can exist as you can know it, they have supported us faithfully and give us the needed boost to reach you, and that makes them equally important and you can consider them members of our team, the name of the publisher is Luhu Editorial.

"Styncat" Cacahuetex

Now the Cacahuetex team tell us about their webseries "Styncat":

We grew up with movies, series, TV shows that made our childhoods. It started like a hobby doing sketches and shortfilms and we ended creating our own audiovisual production "Cacahuetex". But we always had the idea of making something bigger like our own movie or series.

We saw a webseries online contest and we decided to participate. We didn't want to do another sitcom like most of the product that you can find online in matter of webseries so we started this crazy idea full of action, comedy and science fiction mixing all the cool things that we've watched in all that movies and series from our lives. Our real motivation wasn't winning, it was make real our idea, so even when we obviously didn't win we decided to carry on and make it happen.

Styncat took us more than a year the entire process so there are lots of anecdotes. It's our first serious project so obviously we had a lot problems, and funny facts to share.

It seemed like one location, where we filmed most of the action scenes of the last episode was cursed, not a single day we were able just to go there and film with normality. It was like an open space but to get in we needed a key and each time we went with the key they changed the lock or when we had the correct key somebody had reserve the space or they were doing a gym class or there was a concert and hundreds of people. Anyway in the end the result was better than expected due to the circumstances.

And other anecdote -just in case you don't know and between other things- Toledo is known for the swords and the steel, so we went to Toledo to buy the swords that we were gonna use in the show.
After looking prices in every shop we bump into this place and we started talking with the owner asking him about a cheap katana due to our budget and he brought this zebra katana. It was possible one of the ugliest things we ever saw but we decided to buy 2 of them for the price. Now we love them and also they give some personality to the weapon of the main character, so now whenever someone sees a zebra katana, it'll be a reminder of Styncat.

We have 3 Canons 550D and the main reason why we used those cameras was our budget. The price-quality of the Canon 550D is really good and It was just what we were looking for in a product for Youtube.

About the type of photography and the look, we wanted this conspiratorial look in the photography and that's why we choose cold and blue colors.

We started with 450 € and we were adding money to that whenever we needed something else, most of our budget went in gas money for the rides in car to the locations.

We can't really say how much money we spend in the entire year but definitely it was less than 1000 €.

Due to the fact that nowadays everybody have a camera even in their cellphones and that everybody can post anything online, the market of webseries has grown a lot in the last few years. This fact is good in the way that It's easier for the people to film what they want and to post it online but just because everybody can do it and there is so many things on the internet it's more difficult to stand out from the others. So even having a good idea, a good realization and all the factors that you need to make your series good that may not be enough this days.

It's true that there are great talents being discovered through the Internet but we still need to do big steps in order to realize that sometimes you can find better products online that on the TV or a cinema screen.

Inside the critic of our series we talk about that, what people watches on the Internet and how randomly is to grow up with a stupid video and how because of this the product realized online is still not being taken seriously.

"Genesis 88" Franc Sellers

Now Franc Sellers tells us about his webseries "Genesis 88":

Our motivation was enjoy doing it, learn and give life to a tale of fiction and characters who end up loving. I did it for motivation and pure pleasure of a creative level. Series consists of thirteen chapters and for now we have a season, but our hope is to continue because at the end of the last chapter is opened specifically for this purpose.

We used a Canon 60D DSLR. The reason was the most simple that we could have, because our resources were zero and we required an acceptable quality. As for the type of photography and the look of the series, we wanted to achieve bright colors inspired by my drawings that appear in the opening credits and some of the scenes giving an air of comic. At the same time I wanted to make a curious combination of the esthetics of a soap opera (telenovela in Spanish), but give some arguments of intrigue, mystery, action, humor, and science fiction so characteristics of this type of genre.

We have not had any subsidy or financial assistance. The costs have been minimal and we have paid our pockets. You have to think that we could only record on weekends. We did all this completely altruistic and we had to combine with our jobs, families and obligations. I don't know the future about movies and web series, but I think that the Internet is a platform that gives you great possibilities of diffusion for creators and is very important, because previously it did not exist.

There are many anecdotes. If I choose one would be: we had that record a scene in a parking lot of a restaurant in the evening, which we had done in several sessions. The last two sessions were more complicated. We started recording at 8:00 p.m. The boss of the restaurant comes back and told us that we should finish in half hour, because a bus arrived with many clients. It was completely incredible! We recorded twelve or thirteen shots with excellent results. It was miraculous almost impossible.

"Tiendita Alienigena" Diego López

Now Diego López tells us about his videocomic "Tiendita Alienígena":

Tiendita Alienigena is a science fiction story with much suspense, terror and some humor. For now, I can advance it is about the adventures of several aliens who, for various reasons and motives, are now on Earth and they will come together to solve various mysteries.

One of the main characters is Dot Ñawi, an alien who survived the crash of his space ship in what is now peruvian territory, several centuries ago. All crew members died, except him. Now, in the present, Dot Ñawi is owner a shop specializing in collectible toys, comics and entertainment items. Life on Earth is not easy! This story is precisely named like Dot's business, ie, Tiendita Alienigena.

Tiendita Alienigena is a videocomic and is narrated with a voiceover. It consists of several episodes that can be viewed on YouTube.

The first episode begins in a forest during a dark and stormy night. A place Immersed in mystery and in which will happen something amazing.

nudist girl
naked girl
nudist comic

"La Parte Ausente" Galel Maidana

Now Alejandro Israel, producer of the film, tells us about "La Parte Ausente":

La Parte Ausente is about Chockler and his quest to find a man dead or alive, in a world on the brink of collapse.

The shooting lasted 5 weeks, almost everything in the cold and dark winter night.

We used the Red Epic camera because the DOP asked us for that one.

The budget of the film was about 400 thousand dollars. The resources were both public and private.

"Black" Julio Acuña Formador

Now Julio Acuña Formador tells us about his comic "Black":

Black was born when I was thirteen years old. I'd dream with a superhero inspired by the Tim Burton's Batman and Carl Macek's Robotech (the mixture is strange but I was a child). But over the years the concept did change and it did discover in me the love to write histories. In 1997 the concept did changes to current version and continues today.

The essence of the comic also changes. In the first I'd only want to draw a modern superhero and I dream to publish in USA. But over the years change this way and now I write over the living of a Chilean teenagers and the mistakes of the youth. In Black these characters live, love, fear, cry and grow. For me, characters of Black are my children, and I think that when I write comics and I think that they feel the readers. And I think that is the reason of their success.

I admire many artists. First, the chileans: Themo Lobos (Ogú and Mampato), Mario igor (Sigfrifo, Mizomba the Untouchable) and Genzoman (Ilustrator). I included Lucho Olivera (Gilgamesh the Inmortal), Ruben Meriggi (Wolf, Crazy Jack), Ariel Olivetti (Cazador), Mandrafina (Savaresse), Toppi (Thalerg), Nik (Gaturro) and Quino (Mafalda).

I am a bit reserved about the future of the distribution of comics, because I am no expert on the subject. But I can give a personal opinion about Chile. Chile still depends of paper. The digital comic progresses, but I do not know the future of it. I know in the USA today the digital dot is the favorite, but Chile still buys printed comics books. Here downloading illegal editions of the fans and then buy the same comic but printed. An editorial in Chile that is publishing Marvel and DC titles has shown. Chile loves the printed comic books.

The printed matter is the real support to comic books but has a cost publish. In Chile there are not many comic book publishers and the Chilean authors use the autofinancing to publish their works independently (I am one of them). The positive side in all this is that with the printed publication will have a faster response from the reader and having your comic and immediately contact the author and the comic is provided to buyer friends. Thus produces a secure distribution network.

The digital format is good to the distribution and it's free publishing. Only needs scanner or inlink, a graphic program and an Internet connection and done. But as I said limits are slow Internet in Chile and it's difficult to work with platforms like HTML5 (Wix, for example) and should work with platforms like Blogger or Wordpress. The rest is advertising on social networks like Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. The upside of this is that work expands to the world faster than print and other countries know of our works.

Anyway, I plan to publish Black in USA. So, this year the English version of the comic will be published to expand so the first step is coming soon.

In these three years of publication there are many anecdotes. The Black's fans have an important place in the collection. They comment and give ideas for the series. For example the problem with the girls. Readers love or hate the protagonist girls (Claudia or Ines) and discuss their interactions or Eric who should stay with him or find another girl who loves him. It is very funny and comforting. Also fans help me with specific things. For example, a fan helps me with scientific information to be used in Black. So from this season that information that appears in comic books.

In the Chilean comics conventions who I did go are repeats the facts I said before: Fans comment and give ideas for the series and they feel good to hear that. It is very important to listen to readers. They are the life of a collection because they read and decide if your work lives or dies.

And yes, the characters are based in real persons. Eric I am in the High School. Alberto, the Boogie Man is based in my friend of High School, Alfredo Santana. Victor is a former bad boy who told me: "Teddyyyyyy...". Claudia is another case. She is based on several girls that I liked in the past. But, Ines is based in a part of me (the Christian side) and Winora Ryder in Lucas, the movie.

In Black works two persons: my fiancee Loredanne and me. I write, draw, ink and apply the screen patterns and Loredanne is the editor in chief.

Really, Black is the work of my life.

"Survivors" Diego López

Now Diego López tells us about his movie "Survivors":

This short film was shot in two days during an intensive weekend. We use the garage into the house of the principal actor. The site was used to recreate a neglected warehouse. My intention was to shoot a short film with a simple camera in video mode, but one of the actresses lent me her Canon T3i and so I accepted.

The story takes place in a post-apocalyptic world and invaded by aliens. Therefore, people hide, but there are betrayals among them by a "special" situation that happens in the story.

The editing did take me a long time. I made it in my spare time.

This short film is part of a collaborative project on the Web to make a feature film called Space-Time Experiment. This is a transmedia. Hopefully people will want to participate.

Watch shortfilm:

"Space-Time Experiment"

This is a collaborative and web project continually evolving. It's about the adventures of a time traveler, the Doctor Vernemov.

Writers, filmmakers, musicians, etc... who want to participate in this project can join here.

"Nova" Ezequiel Romero & Bruno Teixidor

ciencia ficción

Now Ezequiel Romero, one of the directors, tells us about his movie "Nova":

Nova is kind of an experiment: it was shot in 24 hours and all the dialogues are improvisations. I had the idea of a world first celebrating the beauty and later dying because of the effects of arrival of the light of a distant supernova. To be able of shoot one hour in a day, we divided the crew in two teams, each following one of the main characters. We used Canon 5D's, mostly because we had easy and cheap access to them. The photography you can see in Nova is all incidental, born from the efforts of our DOPs of reach a pro or semi-pro look at zero cost and having almost no lightning (remember we had no time to set up the scenes, we only had 24 hours, so we had to shoot fast!)

All the resources, props, permissions, catering... came from the director's pockets. The whole movie is made with about 500 bucks. Nova is an experiment born from our simple and pure love for filmmaking.

post apocalito

(SPOILER ALERT here, don't continue if you haven't seen the film) We only shared the beginning and the end scenes, where we reunited all the characters. As the script changed while we were shooting, pushed by the actor's improvisations, we realized we had no control over the ending. At some time, I called Bruno (the other director) and told him: "mate, we've just killed our main character. I'm afraid you'll have to invent another ending".

For us it's hard to prophetize the future of distribution. We have to educate our audience to make them willing to pay again for watching films, make them understand that they cannot exist without their support, but at the time, we cannot price our films as high as they were before the previous model's crisis, in a time where technology and reproductibility were expensive. Videogames and music indie developers have evolved better, maybe we should put an eye on them.

Watch full movie:

"The 2nd Horseman" Arthur Cross

The 2nd Horseman
As an ultra fan of scifi and action movies, the peruvian director Arthur Cross felt a natural need to create something that combined those two genres, despite the fact that neither of them were often explored in his own country.

Science fiction is a genre that allows to explore the relationship between humanity and the universe. And more often than not, the difference in scale between these two elements. Humanity as mere speck of light in the vast impossible void of time and space.

With that in mind, The 2nd Horseman tells the story of the struggle between two factions vying for control over a single girl, who holds the destiny of mankind in her hands after returning from an alternate dimension.

Though the filming is still in progress, the trailer put together with early footage showed favorable reactions in the public. Proving this blend of genres is something people want, even in Peru.

The 2nd Horseman
Using independent film making techniques and resources such as the popular Canon 5D Mk2 and Mk3, a wheelchair for a dolly and applying lots and lots of post production wizardry, The 2nd Horseman production team strives to optimize resources to crank out the best production value despite the inherent adversity of working a project of this kind.

Luckily, the internet helps breaks down many of these difficulties, such as providing know-how, tips, strategies, information and even expanding the possibilities for independent movies to secure an audience. New means of exhibition are made available through streaming services, and indie films can easily find their way into international festivals via digital transfers.

The 2nd Horseman
It could be said that there is a bright future ahead for indies, and as science fiction becomes science fact, we look forward to the new film-making, post production and network technologies that will even expand our horizons even more.

Watch trailer: