January 23, 2017

Hello again, ACTION FIGURE KINGDOM Fans! In my crusade to post more often, here I am. And I’m not even sure what I’m about to talk about! Let’s see what happens…

I guess, the first thing I should report is, I’ve had to stop all drawing due to a Repetitive Strain Injury which causes pain and severe numbness in my left arm and the fingers on my left hand (yes, I’m a lefty). I’ve been attending Physical Therapy a couple times a week, and that — combined with my suspension of all drawing activity — seems to have helped improved the condition. I will get back to drawing as soon as I can, and I really can’t wait (I was so close to finishing AFK9, and I have some other pieces I’m really looking forward to working on).

Even though I really wanted to keep drawing until AFK9 was completely finished, the injury has forced me to switch gears, and this has actually been a good thing. I am now working on many of the little things — and some big things too — that need to be accomplished to continue to grow ACTION FIGURE KINGDOM. The 2017 “to do list” includes, beginning the coloring process on the interior pages of AFK (beginning with AFK1), making AFK available digitally, planning some con appearances, and brainstorming other ways to get AFK out there. I’ve also used my “no drawing” downtime to organize the ACTION FIGURE KINGDOM finances.

I’ve returned to writing, which I really enjoy. I’ve been working primarily on two scripts, one for the top-secret ACTION FIGURE KINGDOM #11, and one for a Special FREE COMIC BOOK DAY 2017 edition of ACTION FIGURE KINGDOM. The script for the FCBD one is pretty much finished, and I’ve handed it off to AFK Cover Artist, ZIGGY B. who will be illustrating the 12-pager. The FREE COMIC BOOK DAY issue will star every character ever to appear in AFK — and then some!

We’ve posted our first new AFK FAN ART right here at actionfigurekingdom.com. We are always looking for new artwork to post, so if you would like to see your artwork here, start drawing. To be considered, your piece must feature a character — or characters — from ACTION FIGURE KINGDOM. E-Mail finished pieces to actionsteve@optonline.net, with the subject AFK FAN ART, or bring your piece to FUNNYBOOKS and we’ll scan it for you.

Another thing I’ve just wrapped-up is the 2017 edition of ACTION FIGURE KINGDOM #1. I’ve added FOUR pages, (expanding the story to 20 pages), and have also made some minor cosmetic changes, including adding a “RETURN OF THE QUEEN” logo to the cover. The new AFK1 will be available soon, so make sure to put any previous versions in a safe place — They’re collectors’ items now!

Oh yeah… And I’ve also managed to post here twice in eleven days. Not too shabby!

Thanks for reading! – Action Steve

January 12, 2017

In my defense… I’ve been very obsessed with DRAWING — Specifically, drawing the upcoming ACTION FIGURE KINGDOM #9. In fact, the 24-page issue is nearly finished! Expect it this spring!

I was so determined to press-on with the pencils for AFK9, I never even blogged when the 24-page ACTION FIGURE KINGDOM #8 hit the FUNNYBOOKS’ shelves the New Comic Day before Christmas (as promised in my previous post). AFK8 — which takes place entirely on Christmas Eve — arrived just in time to make it the perfect holiday read!

ACTION FIGURE KINGDOM #8 continues the “Blast from the Past” storyline, which began in AFK7. I’ve been billing AFK8 as the “All Talk, No Action” issue, as the entire book is conversational. I guess that’s what happens when TWO ACROBATS and TWO SPARKINATORS meet for the first time! I’m pretty happy with the way AFK8 turned-out, and I’m really looking forward to telling the rest of the story. You can pick up a copy of the new AFK8 at FUNNYBOOKS (our affiliated comic book shop in New Jersey), or, you can purchase one in our online store — along with all other ACTION FIGURE KINGDOM issues — right here at actionfigurekingdom.com.

We have some great ideas for ACTION FIGURE KINGDOM in 2017. Stay tuned!

Thanks for reading! – Action Steve

October 7, 2016

Hello, ACTION FIGURE KINGDOM fans! It’s me — Action Steve — and, yes, I’m back sooner than later this time!

Having just experienced the very first day of New York Comic Con 2016, I have a lot of new information on comic book production and promotion, and many new ideas for the future of AFK!

I attended NYCC with AFK cover colorist, Ziggy B (soon to be interior colorist as well), and together we represented both ACTION FIGURE KINGDOM and FUNNYBOOKS — Didn’t you know, besides being the creator of AFK,  I also own and manage a comic book store in New Jersey called FUNNYBOOKS? We’ve been around for over 24 years, and amazingly, Ziggy was also my very first customer.

Day one was very rewarding. We got in early for a retailer breakfast (organized by our distributor, Diamond Comics) where we sat with Bob Wayne from the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, and two other retailers — one from Mexico, and one from the Philippines!!! Next was the retailer panel where we enjoyed presentations by Diamond, DC, Valiant, and Titan Comics. We then hit the show floor where we spoke with Image and Skybound, and then Marvel, and, of course, checked-out the scene in general — it’s COMIC CON!!! Next it was off to some panels.

Through the course of the day, Ziggy and I attended four panels —  1) Writing comics and pitching ideas. 2) Breaking into Marvel, 3) Using TUMBLR, and 4) Marketing and promoting your self-published comic book. All the panels were worthwhile, and gave us ideas and inspiration — and also some important reality checks. Thank you to anyone involved in putting together and presenting these panels, and thanks to ZIGGY, who was excellent company for the day.

And thanks to YOU for Reading this — Be back soon. – Action Steve

September 26, 2016

Although I haven’t written anything here in almost a year, (which is hard for me to believe), I HAVE been pretty productive with the more important — and MORE challenging — job of writing and drawing ACTION FIGURE KINGDOM! And, for the second post in a row, I’ve come back to the blog after accomplishing what I set out to do in the previous post… Which means ACTION FIGURE KINGDOM Fans can now get their hands on the new AFK#5, AFK#6, and AFK#7 (!) and will also be able to snag the New AFK#8 before the end of 2016, as promised.

The New ACTION FIGURE KINGDOM #5 and #6 were formerly know as ACTION ZOMBIE KINGDOM #1 & #2, and have now been re-branded as part of the ongoing AFK series (so, hang on to those issues with the “ACTION ZOMBIE KINGDOM” logo — there aren’t that many out there!). Meanwhile, the New ACTION FIGURE KINGDOM #7 — which begins a time-travel-themed story — includes bits & pieces of the original AFK#5, along with 13 new pages (combining to make a 24-page story opener). Also, ACTION FIGURE KINGDOM #8 (previously AFK#6) is pretty much finished, but is being held for a Christmas 2016 release — which will not only fit the Christmas theme of the story, but will also make the wait for 2017’s 24-page, ACTION FIGURE KINGDOM #9 less excruciating.

Now, that I’ve accomplished everything on that checklist… let’s see if I can add “posting AFK updates here at actionfigurekingdom.com on a regularly basis” to my routine. …I Also have to work on getting more people to read this (so it isn’t just YOU!).

Thanks for reading! – Action Steve

November 16, 2015

Hi everyone! It’s “Action” Steve Conte here, back on the blog with another informative ACTION FIGURE KINGDOM update. As I mentioned in our previous post, I am now working on ACTION FIGURE KINGDOM #7. This should make sense to longtime AFK fans who may have ACTION FIGURE KINGDOM #1-6 in their collections, (along with ACTION ZOMBIE KINGDOM #1, and #2), and have been looking forward to AFK#7. Newer ACTION FIGURE KINGDOM fans, however, may be thinking… “There’s an ACTION FIGURE KINGDOM #5 AND #6?”

Yes! Both AFK#5 and AFK#6 actually do exist (I’ve included pictures to prove it). Both issues, however, are completely sold-out, and there are no plans to reprint them in their current forms. The 16-page, ACTION FIGURE KINGDOM #5 began an all-new AFK story arc entitled, “Blast From the Past,” in which Tommy’s dad gives Tommy the ACROBOT and SPARKINATOR action figures he had as a child, along with his old GOOD GUYS’ Flying Car. The story then continued into the 24-page, ACTION FIGURE KINGDOM #6, in which ACROBOT and SPARKINATOR meet their “classic” counterparts. After the release of AFK #6 (which ended on a Christmas Eve cliffhanger), I put the “Blast from the Past” storyline on hold, so I could work on the 2-issue, ACTION FIGURE KINGDOM spin-off, ACTION ZOMBIE KINGDOM.

With ACTION ZOMBIE KINGDOM now complete, I am now back to work on “Blast From the Past.” However, instead of picking-up where I left off, I have decided to redo ACTION FIGURE KINGDOM #5 (which I was never really very happy with in the first place). During my time working on ACTION ZOMBIE KINGDOM, I spent a lot of time brainstorming ideas on how to make AFK#5 better, and what I came up with is really cool. I don’t want to reveal too many of the details, but I am pretty excited to be working on it, and am moving pretty quickly.

I know, I know… I started this post saying I was working on AFK#7, and I just explained I am re-doing AFK#5 instead. What gives, right? Well, here’s the plan… in 2016, I will be re-issuing ACTION ZOMBIE KINGDOM #1 and #2, as the new ACTION FIGURE KINGDOM #5, and #6 (making the original ACTION ZOMBIE KINGDOM issues highly collectible!). The old AFK#5 (which begins “Blast from the Past,” and which I am now re-doing) will be the new ACTION FIGURE KINGDOM #7, and the old ACTION FIGURE KINGDOM #6 will become ACTION FIGURE KINGDOM #8.

AFK fans should be able to get their hands on both the new AFK#7, and the new AFK#8 in 2016 — Which reminds me… I better stop blogging and get back to the drawing board!

Thanks for reading! – Action Steve

August 31, 2015

It is slightly embarrassing writing this, when the last time I posted something was way back in March 2013! I had just arrived home from the Emerald City Comic Con in Seattle, and was recapping everything I had experienced there. In that blog I also mentioned a new project I was going to be working on called, “AZK.” Now — more than two years later —I’m back, and the 40-page, ACTION ZOMBIE KINGDOM, two-issue miniseries is literally “in the books.”

It is kind of neat coming back and reading a post saying, “I’m working on an idea,” when the idea is now a real thing — A comic book (actually two) that you can pick-up with your hands and read. But I really should have been updating the blog along the way. Especially when I put out the 16-Page ACTION ZOMBIE KINGDOM #1 back in May of 2014 — I can’t believe I never even did a blog post about that! #derp

Well, at least I did the important work of actually starting and finishing what I set out to do (which turned out to be a 40-page story). I really think ACTION ZOMBIE KINGDOM came out pretty much as good as I could have done it at my current level of craftsmanship. I worked on it very hard, and I am obsessed with many elements of my story. I hope my obsession translates to an enjoyable experience for anyone who reads it, and leaves everyone wanting even more AFK!

Now that ACTION ZOMBIE KINGDOM is finished (and available at FUNNYBOOKS, and here at our online store), I can get back to work on ACTION FIGURE KINGDOM #7 — Although, it won’t be nearly the same AFK#7 it was going to be before I started ACTION ZOMBIE KINGDOM. I have a LOT of new ideas! Stay tuned!

Thanks for reading! – Action Steve

March 17, 2013

The main difficulty I have with ACTION FIGURE KINGDOM blogging is not what to write about, it’s what NOT to write about. The fact that I am moving in many directions at once (promoting the newly re-mastered AFK #1-4, Getting ready to print AFK#6, Working on my new story “AZK,” etc.) combined with my OCDesire to put things in linear order often prevent me from even getting started. But I guess you have to start somewhere and since I just returned from the Emerald City Comic Con (ECCC) in Seattle, that seems like a good topic for this post (plus I have good pics).

Emerald City was a very BIG Comic Con and reminded me very much of NYCC. Most of the weekend was sold-out so it was very well attended. The people that run the show did an excellent job in every capacity. The venue layout was well planned and despite the crowds, it never seemed overly-crowded to me. Most major publishers were there and many smaller publishers were also represented. There were well-known comic book artists and writers everywhere you looked (I even saw Garth Ennis!), and there were lots of great vendors, amazing costumers and cosplayers, talented artisans and many self-publishers like myself. It’s very easy to get lost in — and even overwhelmed by — the abundance of things to see, do, photograph, and buy, and the three days went by very fast.

As for me, I set up my Artists’ Alley table (V13) with a welcoming spread of newly re-mastered and color-covered issues of ACTION FIGURE KINGDOM #1-4 and a portfolio of some recent AFK artwork and then sat in wait. I’m not gonna lie, with all that was going on it was difficult to get attention, but I did what I could to introduce as many people to ACTION FIGURE KINGDOM as possible over the three-day event. I was also able to talk to some publishers (which is something I was there to do). I can’t really say that I sold a lot of AFK comics at the Con, but I can definitely say that I had a great and fun time, and that I met a lot of good people (including my table-neighbors who were very nice) and I learned a LOT that I can apply to future Comic Con appearances (hopefully Baltimore in September will be next). I also was able to come up with some fresh ideas for the future development of ACTION FIGURE KINGDOM.

Special thanks to my buddy, Chris who lives in Seattle with his great family, for helping to make my visit to the Pacific Northwest such a rewarding time. He is just a cool guy.

Check out some of my favorite ECCC Cosplayers below. And..Thanks for reading! – Action Steve

January 27, 2013

Hello ACTION FIGURE KINGDOM fans (and welcome all curious onlookers)! This is the All-New ACTION FIGURE KINGDOM blog (the old one crashed and could not be saved). The New AFK Blog is up and running just in time for a barrage of upcoming ACTION FIGURE KINGDOM announcements and comic book releases as I have been working in many-directions, Re-Mastering AFK#1-4, finishing work on AFK#6, getting ready to start penciling an exciting new ACTION FIGURE KINGDOM adventure (that I can only tell you will be abbreviated “AZK”) and preparing to take ACTION FIGURE KINGDOM to the Pacific Northwest and to Seattle’s great EMERALD CITY COMIC CON on March 1st. I am very stoked about all of the above and will let everyone know more as my blog continues. Thanks for reading! – Action Steve