Charles Day and his Evil Little Jester come back to the blog to talk about the very productive year they’ve had.
E: Welcome back Charles! How has life been treating you since the last time you were here?
C: Okay, been real busy, but I guess that’s a good thing. Glad to be back.
E: You had a new book come out a few weeks ago, Deep Within. What can you tell us about it?
C: Yes, I did. I actually wrote this book years ago. I was excited when I finally felt it was ready for publication. It revolves around an ancient evil, reborn in an insane asylum, and now it’s determined to stay alive. My very first NOT YA book.
E: The cover is fantastic. I think you said the building was a former psychiatric hospital. Can you tell us a bit about what went into the design and how you chose the photographer?
C: I came up with the idea of getting the creature, who has these illuminating blue eyes, to somehow show up on the cover, even if just a close-as-I-could-get approach. I wanted to have a large psychiatric institution included so my readers would get an idea where the story is going. As a fledging artist, I tried to do my own cover, and I even had a bunch of my Facebook friends support me, but when it came down to it, I just couldn’t deliver the professional image I envisioned.
That said, I reached out to my two good friends who are also staff with my own publishing company at Grant-Day media Inc., Joseph Sigillo and Lorraine Kappus Correira, and holy jeez, they did an incredible job bringing my cover idea to life with a real photo of a local hospital that closed years ago, and a professional image shot by Lorraine. After joe took the photo and created the creatures’s eyes, and did the title treatment and pulled it all together, we posted the exclusive first look cover and WOW; I had close to 500 likes and a ton of shares on my Facebook page. Hell yeah, I was glad I didn’t publish the cover I tried to do. Yikes! Hehehe.
E: You’ve had some pretty great things happen with your publishing empire. What new changes have you made?
C: Yes, next year we will be breaking ground for the Evil Jester Amusement Park within the loving embrace of Disney World. Hehehehe! Just teasing . . . for now. Well, first and most important, I met an awesome and genuine person, Taylor Grant, who shared my love for the evil jester and the anthology comic I was developing. We continued to talk on the phone for a few months, getting to know each other more, and we just knew we both had SO much in common. We went on to become partners and formed a registered corporation, Grant-Day Media Inc. I pulled in our imprints I founded, Evil Jester Press and Hidden Thoughts Press (non-fiction) and he and I formed Evil Jester Comics, where he’s also the Deaditor-In-Chief. And from there he took over my anthology comic idea that was still in its infancy, and made it so freaking awesome.
The man is beyond talented, fully knowledgeable, and carries a Rolodex of well -established connections he’s made over his 20+ years in the entertainment industry, especially in animation, film, production, and internet business marketing and e-commerce, and he’s an amazingly talented screenwriter who has successfully sold scripts to major movie producers and film companies. In addition, he’s a copy editor, author of many short stories that found homes in successful publishing presses, and he’s also an actor, and owner of close to 60,000 comics. He also worked with Stan Lee in the 90’s to help build his comic book internet company. I’m beyond grateful to have him as a business partner and a great friend. He’s running our Hollywood office with some of his key people, and all of our staff are just beyond excited.
So, now that we have a corporate office out here in New York, and the other in Hollywood, we are able to combine our resources. In other words, my passion for publishing and the publishing background and connections I’m humbled to have made in the industry over the years, and his professional background in comics and movies, we’ve formed our company to take advantage of producing comics and novels that we intend to cross-over to video games, graphic novels, TV and movies, and game apps. We also have some awesome merchandising plans for our evil dude and mascot, the evil Jester. Will there be an evil jester doll that pops out of his Jester box and has a kung-Fu grip? Well, maybe not the grip, but the doll, yes. And even more is in development.
Many successful comic book companies have some of our marketing strategies, and we aim to do even better. We currently have 5 strong projects in development that we are leveraging to take advantage of our business model, and we are excited to be making announcements on these over the next 6 months, or sooner. 2014 is going to rock the evil Jester box. I hope he’s not in it when this happens.
And Evil Jester Press is also positioned to rock in 2014. Thank you to our Executive Editor Peter Giglio and our Acquisitions Editor, Shannon Michaels, we have a great line-up of books forthcoming, many from authors you all know and love. We’ll be changing some things next year, but the end result will always be author and reader priority. Promise you will not be disappointed. We will still have excellent opportunities for authors and artists and other creative types, and we will stay committed to provide top quality, engaging titles.
E: Evil Jester Comics is set to release the premiere issue. What sets this issue apart from other comics?
C: It’s really simple. We have awesome stories we’ve adapted from great talent such as Jonathan Maberry, William F. Nolan, Joe McKinney, and Jack Ketchum. World-class artists who’ve graced the pages of Dark Horse, Marvel, DC, and Image comics. And on the top of all this, we have Taylor Grant, who took the lead developing our first EVIL JESTER PRESENTS series, and put his heart and soul into this alongside Aric Sundquist, Joseph Sigillo, Tamara Cribley, Catherine Matta, and Eduardo Alpuente.
Bottom line, everyone put a 110% into making this a great comic. Not to mention our huge campaign supporters, who helped fund this project. Without them, this would never have happened. We went WAY over budget, but the end result is just worth it to all of us involved. Again, it’s now available for purchase in either ebook or print at
E: What news is there from Hidden Thoughts Press? I think I saw that you have a new title coming out soon from there?
C: Yes we do. We’ve recently released our newest title, AN AMAZING JOURNEY, a memoir by Elizabeth Ann Brechter, which follows our other successful collections and our very first memoir, UNTIL WE MEET AGAIN, by Lauren Panobianco. All of our books are on Amazon and you can also visit our Facebook page to find out more about our open submissions.
E: Do you have any events coming up?
C: Yes, as an author, I’m setting up a book signing tour for DEEP WITHIN for 2014, and for my company, I’m working on the 2nd annual conference for Hidden Thoughts Press and a MAJOR 3-day convention, sort of a mini- version of Comic Con, both to be offered here on Long Island, NY for 2014. We are planning a writers/actors/film-makers/ artists/celebrity guests/panels/movie screenings/ vendors/ event, which is already in the works. This will be under the umbrella of Grant-day Media Inc. and we couldn’t be more excited. I’ll be coordinating with the Suffolk County libraries, independent film professionals, authors and artists, and I also intend to have a Sat & Sunday pitch session/ audition screening set up as well. There are just TOO many untapped resources and a whole bunch of entertainment and publishing professionals here in NY a few who have already agreed that this would be a welcome addition to some of the other established events in NY. More information to come.
E: So, it was great having you back on the blog. Do you notice anything different about me? You know…something about my legs. Well, one leg in particular. Your jester is humping my leg again. I thought we talked about this the last time.
C: Jester dude, back off from Erin. Let go of her leg, you hear? Back inside your Jester box. Now! So sorry about that Erin. He does like ya! But he needs to be more civilized. We’re working on that.
I love having Charles on the blog, but there better be a loofah in my stocking from the Evil Santa.