Category Archives: Engen Books

Catching up: Ellen’s Birthday

Ellen’s birthday was, as always, on February 27th! We had a great day this year, topped off by an amazing cupcake cake provided by Sugar MaMa’s! Anyone in the area should head up there. The treats are the best ever and make for an amazing pick-me-up! 🙂

Here are some picks of the cake!

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FYI: Not only does it look amazing, but it tastes better than it looks.

Just saying.

Never Look Back
Matthew LeDrew

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Filed under ducks, Ellen Curtis, Newfoundland, St. Johns

Artist Profile: Ariel Marsh

Okay, so while I was at Hal Con 2011 I met this great artist name Ariel Marsh. She works with my friend Jay Paulin over at Ink’d Well Comics on titles like Infastany and What the Wild Things Read, and has this great kid-friendly, cartoony style that is just amazing in its simplicity and ability to convey story in a great manner. That’s what her art is great for: telling a story. It’s not the hyper-detailed what am I supposed to be looking at -style that dominates a lot of big comics publishers. It serves the story well, and that makes her a great comic book artist.

So as I said, I met her at Hal Con. I don’t get to see Jay and Heidi much, so afterwards the four of us went out for a frate (friend date). Had some great laughs, lots of fun.

Apparently Jay lent Ariel his copy of Black Womb, because a few days later I got this message:

Good Afternoon!

Jay and Heidi lent me their copy of Black Womb #1. I started to read the
book on the train ride home. I’m really enjoying the book!

As soon as I had finished reading the prologue, I had to draw something
from it. It was so intense! It’s a pretty messy sketch but I do want to
properly ink and colour it soon. Working on this has been a lot of fun.
The subject is so different from what I usually draw (bright colours and
cats everywhere haha!).

Hope you dig!

It was great to meet you and Ellen at Hal-Con. What a blast Sunday night was!

~Ariel

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Isn’t that awesome? I think it’s awesome. I was on her website ( http://happyraccoon.com/ )and it says she does commissions. I think this proves she’s got more in her than just cute stuff, though there was nothing wrong with the cute stuff. This just proves she’s a versatile artist.

I can’t wait to see what other images the book might inspire.

Never Look Back
Matthew LeDrew

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Filed under Ariel Marsh, Art, Black Womb, Comics, Engen Books, Infantasy, Ink'd Well Comics, What the Wild Things Read

42 Webs Review

Infinity, Matthew LeDrew & Ellen Curtis, 2010 edition, Engen BooksSometimes I read stuff and it makes me blush. The following is a review of Infinity lifted from 42webs.wordpress.com.

“Quick survey: who wishes that they had a superpower? That’s right – everybody does. We all want to have some supernatural ability. Whether it be the ability to fly, teleport, or even the all powerful brick-vision, we all wish we had some ability that put us above the average person.

But what would the world be like if we actually had them?

This is an issue that was examined in the latest book from Engen Publishing. The book, called Infinity, is penned by the Engen all-star team of Matthew LeDrew and Ellen Curtis. Infinity tells the tale of a small band of seemingly regular people who discover they are in fact nowhere near.

The book begins down a very traditional path, making sure to hit all of the required items on the ‘Urban Meta’ (42 Webs exclusive) genre checklist.

Enigmatic mentor: check

Mysterious School: Of course

Growing conspiracy: You betcha

The difference is in the writing skill of the two authors. Is lesser hands the story could have become bland and uninteresting but with the skill wordmanship (I swear that’s a word) we have a stellar story that doesn’t feel old or rehashed. The building mystery of Victor, Port Haven and the growing conspiracy is touched on in the book just enough to wet your beak and leave you wanting more much like how Lost or Morning Glory would tantalize us.

A crucial scene in the story, and one of my favourite, is a poker scene. Without giving much away our characters are participating in a crucial poker game with the life of an innocent in the balance. The trouble with many card games in books is that they tend to be very dry and drag on, the inevitable importance and tension of the game lost to the details. Infinity manages to keep the tension strong while not letting the game go by the wayside. It felt reminiscent of Ian Flemming’s writing in Casino Royale.

One of the benefits, and strengths of this story, is how the written work was separated. The two authors each had their own character that came together as the story progressed. The benefit was that the characters felt entirely different. Some times when a writer creates multiple characters they have a tendency to blend together, to be similar and to sound identical to each other (Joss Whedon). With the two authors sharing the writing responsibilities we see a stronger variation in the characters.

Another notable plus with Infinity is the smoothness of how the two writing styles fuse with each other. Often with joint projects one person writing style dominates the other but that isn’t found here. LeDrew and Curtis writing styles compliment each other’s perfectly, their individual characters becoming the strength that counteracts the others weaknesses.

All in all a powerful book that tackles more issues then just powers and conspiracies, it also tackles issues like spiritual infinity and the responsibility of those with power. This is a must for fans of X-Men and similar titles.”

For more reviews by the gentleman, visit his blog

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Filed under Ellen Curtis, Engen Books, Infinity, Matthew LeDrew, writing