Watch out Flash. Better take notice, Zoom…

Empyria’s has it’s own Speedster!  (And we think he’s just a wee bit faster).  In this week’s page, we introduce…

The Instant!

Empyria's Speedster

Empyria’s Speedster

Tired of those (“yawn“) buff speedsters with angular jawlines who seem to dominate comics these days?  Then feast your eyes on none other than Empyria’s newly minted speedster–The Instant.

Yes, he is wearing old sneakers.  Yes, he is sporting an ill-fitted polyester track suit.  And yes, he sometimes struggles with saying “no” to the dessert cart, but hey, Issue 4 Page 16 is his first stab at this whole superhero thing.  Give him a break!

He’ll get better at this hero thing.

Actually, he HAS to get better or Augie and the city of Empyria aren’t going to survive the night!

“Charlatan: Homecoming” Begins

Charlatan 4 Cover

About a month ago I posted the ending of the third issue of Charlatan which closed the 3-issue Preludes storyline.  Today, we begin Charlatan #4 which launches into the Homecoming storyline.  Both Preludes and Homecoming are 3 issue “mini-arcs” which, when combined, tell the origin story of the One Defender on the alien homeworld and then bring the action back to Earth where the implications of Lucy being revealed as the next universal champion are beginning to be emerge.

And for Issue 4, I am trying something new.  On this site (my personal one), I will continue to post page updates of Charlatan #4 throughout the year, updating the issue as a regular webcomic.

However, if you would like to download the entire issue 4 now, I am offering DRM-free PDF downloads on allowing you to “NAME THE PRICE” that you think is fair for the issue.   The link to Charlatan #4 can be found here: Charlatan #4

In fact, if you have been a webcomic reader of Charlatan on this site and want to own PDF copies of the book for your digital collection or want to support the book, all 4 issues of Charlatan are available for download and purchase as DRM-free PDFs on

With the Halfords back on Earth we get to explore a whole new universe of heroes and villains who have emerged as a result of the revelation of the new Defuwan.   I couldn’t be more excited to be able to share issue 4 with readers and I sincerely hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it!

Charlatan Gets a Facelift

Hey, if it’s OK for Lucille Bluth then why not the first issue of my comic book?

While getting Charlatan ready to pitch to publishers, my inner critic (hate that guy) kept coming back to a couple of ways in which Issue 1 might have started more effectively.

First off, by trying to start in media res I might have gone too far with that concept.  I started with a robotic Hunter-Seeker unfurling above Earth and then I cut to Lucy clutching her beloved “Toadums”–also known as the Totem of Power–but as time passed I began to worry that I jumped too far into things without enough explanation.   In Issue 1 I tried to bring the reader up to speed on both the robotic space killer and the fact that Lucy basically found the Totem (or more precisely it found her) but those early pages seemed a bit flat to me over the months following our original TPB publication.

Add that to the fact that I needed to devote a decent chunk of the first part of Issue 1 to establishing the characters of Lucy, Augie, and Mary Halford and you end up having an action-packed story that launches with too much whimper and not enough bang.

So in 2013 I tried to fix this in a couple of ways with some new pages.  First off, now readers get to see Lucy digging up the Totem for the first time in her own backyard.  The artifact is established more centrally as an object of focus and power.  That same scene also gives readers and inkling that Augie is maybe not the strong heroic type and that he has a playful loving relationship with his family.  Mary gets the better of Augie both verbally and physically and this will be an important element of our ongoing story.

We also get 3 pages of action early on to help balance out the book.  Readers now see the origin of the Hunter-Seeker from Issue 1 and get some important pieces of the Defuwan mythos that were not present in the first book.  But most importantly we get some ACTION.  An evil villain from the past has been defeated, his planetary stronghold is being destroyed, his bickering minions are strangling and yelling at each other, and as a last spiteful act a thousand deadly robots are launched into space for a 1000 year journey–whew!  I think this delivers a much better set-up for the battle that dominates the second half of Issue 1 and it give the reader a taste of what’s to come.

So, in case you weren’t one of the 12 people who bought a copy of our self-published Charlatan Preludes TPB (I kid, but not by much), I thought it might be fun to show the old beginning and the new beginning so you can see the changes as they played out.

For the new beginning, I removed 2 of the original pages and replaced with 5 new pages.  Would love to hear your thoughts on whether or not you like Charlatan’s facelift.

Charlatan Issue 1’s New Beginning

Click Here:

Charlatan Issue 1’s Old Beginning (See Below):



Charlatan 1 Page 6

Charlatan 1 Page 6

Read Charlatan Online

I will begin posting pages from the first few issues of Charlatan every Tuesday and Friday, beginning with the five new pages that now kick off Issue 1.  The first 2 new pages are up and page 3 will be posted on Tuesday.

You can either read Charlatan here on my site:

Or if you are a Comic-Rocket reader it can also be found here:

I’m also updating Twitter ( @gilbylawson) and Tumblr ( ) when new pages are posted or you can sign up for email notifications on the right side of this page.

Hope you enjoy the story.

Lo, There Shall Come a LOGO!



I had mentioned the other day on Twitter that we had 4 different Stray logo designs to choose from and here is the one that came out on top. Couldn’t be happier with the look and feel of our heroine’s new “marquee.”

I’ll add the logo to Carlos’s cover artwork for Issue 1 and post it so that readers can have a peek at the almost complete cover design for Stray #1.

Guess that means all we have left to add is a publisher’s logo.  Of course, gotta find that publisher first….