Michael's Blog

The end to a long and winding road.

The hardest part about making a comic is how long it takes to get it all put together.

It’s been around 13 years since Adam and I thought up the idea of Blood & Dust. Now with the release of that final story arc just about to happen I can’t help but reflect on the crazy journey this story has taken me on.

When we wrote the first issue, we thought that was the end of the process! Just send our brilliant script to Image Comics, they’d read it, find us an art team and we’d be off to the races!

Yeah it doesn’t quite work that way…

Turns out that new writers that no one had ever heard of have to self publish their way to success. So Adam paid his friend Rudy Vasquez to draw the first issue of Blood & Dust and NOW we were off to the races!


We went to our first Phoenix Comicon in January of 2009 and got our first exposure to the comic book community and met folks who are friends to this day, including our one day illustrator and everyone’s friend Tone Rodriguez.

This was also a big deal because I was still off work recovering from having my left kidney removed due to cancer. In fact, I was still taped together and healing as Adam and I walked around the Mesa Convention Center all weekend hoping my stomach wouldn’t fall out! That’s how important putting this book was to us, and we wouldn’t have missed this for the world. It also got me hooked into the comic book culture and world and the incredible folks involved in it.

Unfortunately no matter how hooked we may have been, life and work get’s in the way and with the expense of putting together a book an insurmountable obstacle, Rudy’s pages sat in Adam’s closet for years while he raised his little girl and my career took me to Idaho and The Life & Undeath of Judd Glenny sat on my hard drive for years.

In 2014 I moved back to Arizona and Adam called me up and said he wanted to do a Kickstarter to get his money back he paid Rudy to draw the first issue. I agreed to do it, as long as we would make it the best we possibly could. So we launched and fulfilled that year and attended our first convention as vendors at Tucson Comic-Con! All we had was our first issue, and an 11×17 print of our cover but man were we proud and excited to be there. Running around to FedEx to print signs and Michaels to buy stands, trying to figure out how to run our table. It was a crazy and exciting mess and we couldn’t have been more excited!

From the beginning the fans were the absolute best, some we still see every year and we consider them the first members of our new family.

Adam offered a free sketch for every purchase and we were so green we didn’t realize that type of offer was done on a small sheet or sketch card, but he killed himself that weekend doing awesome sketches on huge notebook sized paper.

We didn’t make our investment back that weekend (a sad reality for us most of the time) the feedback and love we got for our story made us immediately want to start on issue 2.

We had hoped Rudy could continue, but he wasn’t able to and so Adam found Roy Allan Martinez. His art style matched perfectly with what I loved and wanted so my wife and I figured out how to pay him and he got started drawing issue 2.

After showing his pencils to folks at Phoenix Fan Fest that year, and meeting Roy’s mentor Whilce Portacio I got the feedback that we needed to have it colored and Roy suggested Raymund Lee, another protégé of Whilce’s who used to run his art school in Manilla. Turns out Raymund was not only incredibly talented, but also a great guy who loved our story as much as we did and immediately joined the family.

I showed the completed issue 2 to Dave Dwonch from Action Lab at Phoenix Comicon in 2015 and he flipped out, immediately loving it and letting Adam and I know he’d be suggesting they pick us up for their Danger Zone line. We were thrilled! It felt like all our dreams were coming true and NOW we were off to the races!


Now we had to have Roy draw issue 1 again for continuity’s sake as well as issue 3. Since Blood & Dust was planned on being a 6 issue story and Action Lab wanted a complete arc done before they could put it out, I had to figure out how to pay to make that happen.

You see the dirty secret about comics is how expensive they are to make and how long it takes to get a return on your investment. The truth is it’s likely you’ll never get it back, but that doesn’t stop us from trying. Jack Kirby said it best, “Comic’s will break your heart.” If not your heart, your bank account.

Comics is also like a drug, and we had to get it into our veins. Thankfully my wife and I have pretty good careers and she’s a genius with budgets, so she got to ciphering and I got to learning how to produce a comic.

That’s the other dirty secret, is you have to not only write the comics, but graphic design, create the marketing and product sheets, manage the production team and loads more. Making comics isn’t for the weak, it’s a DIY world and if you don’t really love it it’s not the life for you.

In order to get it going, we decided to break it up into two sections, the first 3 issues would make up Volume 1 The Life & Undeath of Judd Glenny. After the single issues and the trade paper back were released, we’d then put out the last 3 then Volume 2, Glenny Family Values.


When Issue 1 hit the stands it was absolutely amazing! Sales were strong, reviews were incredible and we were even selected as investment picks and top books released! We were so happy and things were looking great, but we ran into some snags in production and in our relationship with our publisher. The book got delayed, we had to change artists and well…

Last year Action Lab and I came to an agreement to part ways and dissolve our contract and relationship. I purchased all the inventory of Blood & Dust Volume 1 from Diamond Distribution, all 1600 copies and started it all over again at square one.

So, with no publisher but a book almost complete I decided to launch our Kickstarter in October of 2017 and my kick ass Kickstartin’ sumbitches came through! We had enough money to go to print and finish this book in the way I always wanted it to be.


There you have it folks, the real story behind the story of Blood & Dust. Just like in a real family, things may happen but they’ll always be family.

While Adam and I started it, there’s been so many down the line who have contributed in some way and I’d like to thank each one of them here.

Adam Orndorf and his wife Paola and little Oli

Megan Martin nee’ Glenny, my ex-wife who passed away before she could see this come to life but was there while Adam and I wrote the first 3 issues.

My wife Jeanne, whom none of this could have been possible without. She’s figured out how to get the team paid and the lights on for the past 6 years and has put up with a lot of crazy like a champ.

Brett Weldele who did our first 3 covers and when I saw his art at Phoenix Comicon in 2015 I immediately knew I wanted him to do our book.

Rudy Vasquez the original artist who got us off to such a great start with his impressive work.

Anthony Bachman who cleaned up our first pages.

Roy Allan Martinez, who’s incredible pencils brought the terror of the swamp to life.

Raymund Lee, master painter and even better friend.

Kel Nuttall who delivers the best graphics and lettering and has spent a lot of long hours with me getting it all just right.

Andrew Mangum is a guy who I wanted to work with from the day I saw his work and he delivered on our Kickstarter cover.

Tone Rodriguez, who answered the call when I needed the best he delivered the best. Not only in art but in friendship and is a guy I’m happy to do a lot of road trips with.

Then there’s you guys. The fans. Holy crap you guys are awesome. When I sit in my office I’m sometimes not sure why I’m doing it and wonder if I’m fooling myself thinking people like my work. Then I do a show and man do you guys make a fella feel good! Each time the day ends I want to rush home and get to work on the next thing that needs done just so I can get it to you guys.

That’s the best part of doing this. I’ve done panels in San Diego, had my book reviewed in Russian, traveled all over and been able to hang out with some crazy awesome comic book creators. But at the end of the day I’ll take the fans all day every day. If it weren’t for you NONE of this would have been possible. So, I hope you guys are ready to celebrate with me and finish out this chapter of the Blood & Dust saga. I hope you enjoy it and I hope I’ll be able to tell you guys more tales soon.

It is as always my greatest pleasure to tell you all a story about a man named Glenny…

Michael R. Martin

March 5th, 2018

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