Caption Boxes #001 - The Origin Story! / by Frank Gogol

Welcome to the inaugural edition of Caption Boxes. If you’re here, you’re friend, family, fan, or some combination of these things. At least I hope so. My goal is that one day this will be a weekly newsletter, but because I’m just starting out (both in comics and with this newsletter) I don’t want to spam you on a weekly basis with nonsense I’ve concocted just to fill this newsletter. Realistically, these little notes will pop into your inbox once or twice a month, and we’ll go from there.
Over the weekend (really Thursday through Sunday) I woke up before the crack of dawn and headed into the city for New York Comic Con. I’ve been before, but this was the first year I attended with a creator’s mindset, so my focus was much less on the spectacle of the show and more on meeting people and making connections. And I’m happy to say that I did.
Between the show and the Comics Experience event after the show on Saturday, I was able to meet and spend time with guys like Paul Allor (TMNT Universe at IDW) and Rich Doeuk (Gutter Magic at IDW) who broke into comics recently, but also guys like Jim Zub (Thunderbolts at Marvel) and Fred Van Lente (Slapstick at Marvel) who’ve been at it for years. I walked away from the weekend with new friends and lots of good advice for next steps on this journey.
Just before bed last night, I received an email from an editor at Black Ship Books. Not too long ago, I submitted a script to their Horror Haikus comics contest (one-page scripts with exactly 17 lettering elements). The email informed me that my script had been one of those chosen and I was paired with a really cool artist in the UK.
I honestly can’t express how excited I am about this. Up until now, I’ve been self-publishing my comics on my website, but now there’s a new level of validation to what I am doing. Someone who can say, “No, this isn’t good enough,” has told me what I’m doing is good enough, and that’s huge to me. Sure, it’s not Marvel or DC, but it’s the next milestone marker on my journey.
The short story will be completed by and released on Halloween day. When it’s released, I’ll get links out to everyone where I can (Facebook, Twitter, etc.).
I’ve got a new story posted today! It’s called Gravity and the feedback I’ve gotten on it already has been very positive, so I’m excited to finally share it. You can give it a read here. If you do, hop on Facebook or Twitter and let me know what you thought.
I thought I’d end each newsletter with a quick bit about what comics, graphic novels, and other relevant books I’m reading these days. Reading is such an important part of me learning and improving my comic writing craft, and these books are the reason I ended up writing my stories at all, so I thought I’d talk them up a bit.
Remender and Hickman – These two writers are my spirit guides on my comics writing journey and they take up the majority of my comics pull list each month. Either of them could write a book about grass growing and I’d read it and I’m sure it’d be good. Chances are you already are, but if you’re not, check out East of WestBlack Monday MurdersDeadly Class, and Black Science.
Wayward (by Jim Zub and Steve Cummings) – I picked this up after meeting and hanging out with Jim at NYCC. It’s essentially Buffy the Vampire Slayer, but set in Japan. If you know me, you know I love me some Buffy, so I checked it out and, though I’m only one issue in, I’m hooked.   
Joss Whedon: The Biography (by Amy Pascale) – The long and short of it is that Joss is a hero of mine, not only for creating Buffy the Vampire Slayer, but also for being a true role model for young writers and just a hell of a good guy. The books chronicles Joss’ life and it’s just been a pleasure to read. I’m just about done, and I’m sorry to see it end. But he’s still alive, so I’ll hold out hope for an expanded edition in a few years.
All right, that’s it. If you’ve stuck around, thanks for reading. If not, you’re a jerk (I can say that because you won’t see this anyway). But seriously, thank you all for your continued support, for checking out this newsletters, for reading my stories, and for investing in me.