Author Archive: Tyler James

Tyler James is a comics creator residing in Newburyport, Massachusetts.

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#2: Auto-Tune

| November 6, 2013 | 0 Comments


The secret alter-ego of the villanous Auto-Tune is none other than the saccharine sweet teen celebrity Polly Popp!

The starring role on a long-time children’s television show wasn’t enough for Polly, nor were her teen fashion, make-up, or perfume lines. No, what Polly Popp REALLY wanted to do was be on the radio.

The only problem…she couldn’t carry a tune if it had straps!

After exhausting all possible options, her manager hooked Polly up with a revolutionary new prototype…a sentient auto-tuning device that could turn ANYONE into an amazing singer. Unfortunately, once the device bonded with Polly, it didn’t want to let go.

Now, Auto-Tune is in control…armed with 30,000 watt audio-cannons pumping out vicious, over-produced pop riffs, no one is safe from noise pollution.


Creator’s Note: Auto-Tune was created to be the natural nemesis of Boombox, created by Matt Zolman in a past #30characters challenge.  Sooner or later, she’ll show up in the pages of EPIC! 

#1: Fire Gremlin

| November 1, 2013 | 1 Comment


A fire gremlin is an elemental demon with a nasty penchant for mischief and mayhem.

Most wild-fires are either started or made worse by one of these nasty buggers.


2013 Challenger: Tyler James

| October 20, 2013 | 1 Comment


I’m Tyler James, and I struck the first match on this whole 30 Characters Challenge fire five years ago. It’s hard to believe how much has changed in my life since that first challenge.

The ComixTribe Crew at New York Comic Con (Tyler James, Joe Mulvey, John Lees, Sam LeBas, Alex Cormack)

The ComixTribe Crew at New York Comic Con (Tyler James, Joe Mulvey, John Lees, Sam LeBas, Alex Cormack)

In the past five years, I’ve managed to launch, which is both an online resource for comics creators and self-publishers AND a imprint publishing comics and graphic novels with world-wide distribution. Since the first challenge, I’ve gone from a young single dude living on his own to a happily married, slightly older dude, with a step-daughter and a dog named Chuck.

2013-06-13 18.06.41

I just wrapped up a successful Kickstarter campaign for EPIC, a superteen action comedy (featuring many characters created in past 30 Characters Challenges.) And the project I’m working on that has the most buzz is THE RED TEN, a book I’ve co-created with Cesar Feliciano, that is a superhero murder mystery in ten parts. We hit the half-way point of that series this December. And again, the most popular character from that series, the OXYMORON, was also created during a past #30Characters event.

While I’ve successfully completed the challenge twice over the past five years, it’s been a while since I’ve been able to complete it. Working as a full-time game designer and producer and running ComixTribe has made the Challenge exactly that…a challenge. That said, this year, I hope to flesh out more characters for a new book I’m working on with Joe Mulvey during this month.

Best of luck to all challengers!

Register for the 5th Annual 30 Characters Challenge!

| October 1, 2013 | 24 Comments

The 30 Characters Challenge is Back!

The Challenge: Create 30 new characters in 30 days- one for every day of the month of November.

Why: Because the world needs new characters…YOUR characters!

When: Registration runs until 5 pm October 31, 2013. The challenge begins starting November 1st, 2013.

Where: Right here on at 

How to Register: Simply sign up here with your name and email address to be added to the 30 Characters 2013 Challengers Roster.

Returning Challengers: If you participated in the 30 Characters Challenge in either of the past two years, and would like to take part again this year, you’re account is still active! Welcome back!

Stay Connected and Spread the Word:

– Follow the hashtag #30characters on Twitter for the latest information on the 30 Characters Challenge!

– Like the 30 Characters Challenge Facebook page!

– Keep an eye on your inbox for weekly 30 Characters Challenge updates!

– Grab one or more of the approved 30 Characters Challenge Banners, and post on your website.  Or better yet, create your own!

Have questions about the challenge? Be sure to read our FAQ, for everything you could possibly want to know about #30Characters.


The world needs new characters…YOUR characters!


The 30 Characters Challenge is an annual challenge brought to you by:


Register for the 4th Annual #30Characters Challenge!

| September 29, 2012 | 1 Comment

The 30 Characters Challenge is Back!

The Challenge: Create 30 new characters in 30 days- one for every day of the month of November.

Why: Because the world still needs new characters.

When: Starting November 1st, 2012.

Where: Right here on at

New Challengers — How to Register: Simply sign up here with your name and email address to be added to the 30 Characters 2012 Challengers Roster.

Returning Challengers: If you participated in the 30 Characters Challenge last year, you are all set! Your account should still be active, and you should still have authorship privileges.  If you’re having trouble with your account, email [email protected] and he’ll get you sorted.

Stay Connected and Spread the Word:

– Follow the hashtag #30characters on Twitter for the latest information on the 30 Characters Challenge!

– Like the 30 Characters Challenge Facebook page!

– Keep an eye on your inbox for weekly 30 Characters Challenge updates!

– Grab one or more of the approved 30 Characters Challenge Banners, and post on your website.  Or better yet, create your own!

Have questions about the challenge? Be sure to read our FAQ, for everything you could possibly want to know about #30Characters.


Get ready to create!


The 30 Characters Challenge is an annual challenge brought to you by:

Buy #30! THE RED TEN #1 by Tyler James & Cesar Feliciano

| November 22, 2011 | 0 Comments

THE RED TEN is a superhero retelling of Agatha Christie’s classic novel “And Then There Were None.”

When the world’s greatest detective is violently murdered by her nemesis, the world’s foremost super team and her former sidekick band together to bring the villain to justice. However, the mission goes terribly wrong, and before the night is out each of the ten “heroes” will pay dearly for past transgressions.


Format: Single issue, 32 pages, full color

Book Options:

Standard Version (First Printing)– $3.99

Artist Edition (First Printing)
 – $24.99 (featuring original sketch cover by creators Tyler James or Cesar Feliciano.)

Artist Editions are Signed, Number and Limited to 50 Copies.

What’s the website:



| November 21, 2011 | 0 Comments

Killswitch is a super-powered assassin.  He has the ability to absorb ambient energy, usually enough to cause power-outages.  Once charged, he’s been known to electrocute his prey with his own two hands.



#5 – Blood Dragon

| November 6, 2011 | 0 Comments

In the 90’s Blood Dragon was the toughest, meanest, most bad-ass sonofabitch supervillain in the world.  Incredibly strong, skin as tough as dragon’s hide, and the ability to spit flames, Blood Dragon was feared by both the criminal underworld and caped do-gooders everywhere.

But the 90’s were twenty years ago.

Recently released from prison after a 15 year bid, he’s interested in going straight, mending fences with a daughter he’s never known, and living a normal life.

But enemies on both sides of the law have other plans for him.


#4 – The Siamese Pundits

| November 4, 2011 | 0 Comments

When a purple meteor hits the press booth covering the 2012 Presidential debate, two top political pundits (one on the right, one on the left) are miraculously fused.  They may not share the same political opinions, but now they’ll have to share the same pants!

After a rough honeymoon period, The Siamese Pundits have  hit their stride, and their joint cable news show is now ratings gold.

But the question is, who calls the shots when they enter the voting booth?


#2 & #3 – Yin and Yang

| November 3, 2011 | 0 Comments

Brother and sister former Olympic gymnasts turned world class super-thieves.


#1 Poncho Valdez

| November 1, 2011 | 0 Comments

Poncho Valdez is the ultimate South American stereotype.  Donkey not included.

(See also: What happens when you let a ten year old pick out your Halloween costume.)


Tyler James Talking #30Characters on Fantasy Forum LIVE 2:15pm

| November 1, 2011 | 0 Comments

Listen Live today 2:15 pm EDT, as Tyler James talks #30Characters!

Fantastic Forum is your LIVE daily talk show about comic books and the people who love them airing M-F 10am PST on the All Games Radio Network (  Since 2007 Moses Magnum, Jei, Oz and Mayor Young have been serving up their unique brand of commentary and conversation on the comic book industry, geek culture, and beyond.  Fantastic Forum is the first comic related show of its kind, where the fans decide their own level of interaction by posting to our message boards, joining our live chat, or becoming the 5th member of Fantastic Forum by calling into (310) 9FF-LIVE

Buy #30! – Tears of the Dragon, Volume I by Tyler James

| October 25, 2011 | 0 Comments

The 1st Volume of Tears of the Dragon is now available!

To entertain his grandchildren while on a pilgrimage, a well-traveled Old Man spins a grand tale of swords and sorcery, dragons and demons, revenge, regret and redemption, and above all…love. His story begins with a young nobleman with eyes on the crown. To prove his valor, the would-be king sets out to slay a dragon, earning the undying wrath of the mighty Sythic.

Volume I collects the first two chapters of the Tears of the Dragon saga!

Order now and receive:
– FREE Shipping! (US/CA)
– Artist Edition Upgrade! Original sketch in the book by series creator Tyler James.

Artist Edition books take 3-7 days to ship.

Writer – Tyler James
Artist – Koko Amboro
Color Artists – Paul Little, Miguel Marques, Evan Surya Nugraha

56 pages, Full Color
8.5 x 6 Perfect Bound Trade


Full Preview:

2011 Challenger: Cesar Feliciano

| October 25, 2011 | 1 Comment

Hello y’all. You may know me as the artist/co-creator of The Red Ten. I am a creator and loved comics and the medium. I am loking forward to joining you all on this journey. I have illustrated many comics such as Full Moon Craze, The Captains Jolting Tales, The Innovators, Ripperman, Female Forces: Sonia Sotomayor, as well as many various short stories. This will be fun and I can’t wai to get at it!

2011 Challenger: Tyler James

| October 19, 2011 | 3 Comments

Hey everyone.  My name is Tyler James, and I’m the originator of this whole crazy endeavor.  What started as a fun little project to get me out of a creative rut in 2009 has turned into an annual event that many, many people look forward to each year.  So here we go!  #30Characters 2011, I’m ready for you!

Me hanging out at the ComixTribe booth at New York Comic Con last weekend.

A bit more about me, I am a serious/ educational game designer by day, and a comic writer/artist and publisher by night.  (And early morning.  And weekends.)  I’m currently working on the all-ages swords and sorcery fantasy webcomic TEARS of the DRAGON, a story I’m writing with gorgeous art from Koko Amboro and Miguel Marques.  I’m also developing two super hero projects:  a superteen action comedy EPIC with Matt Zolman, and a superhero murder mystery THE RED TEN with Cesar Feliciano.  Fun facts…most of the main characters in THE RED TEN were developed during last year’s 30 Characters Challenge, and several EPIC characters were created during the 2009 Challenge.

I’m also the publisher of, a site with the mission statement of “Creators helping creators make better comics.”  If you’re a writer or artist, I hope you’ll check out ComixTribe, as I think we have a ton to offer you over there.

While I’ve completed the past two Challenges successfully, I have a feeling this year’s will be the most challenging yet.  Still, I have a few series that I’m interested in developing characters for, so I’m really looking forward to seeing what inspiration November brings.

Can’t wait!

The #30Characters Challenge, Six Months Later…

| June 21, 2011 | 1 Comment

Last November, I helped organize the second annual 30 Characters Challenge, where creators attempted to create 30 brand new characters in just 30 days, one for every day of the month. More than 150 creators signed on for the challenge, and last year’s work is archived at It’s been more than half a year since #30Characters 2010 wrapped up, so I decided it would be worthwhile to see what’s been happening with some of the participating creators and their characters since wrapping the challenge.

Mainstream Coverage

Last year, the 30 Characters Challenge saw a huge increase in both participation AND coverage. Just about every major comic news site mentioned the event. But earlier this year, word of #30Characters spread into the mainstream. The 30 Characters Challenge was one of the examples cited in New York Times best-selling author Seth Godin’s book Tales of the Revolution: True Stories of People who are Poking the Box and Making a Difference“, which was in the top 10 of Amazon Kindle downloads for weeks. Here’s an excerpt from the book:

In 2009, in an effort to break out of a creative rut, comic book creator Tyler James challenged himself to create 30 brand new characters in 30 days, one for every day in the month of November. Inspired in no small part by Seth’s book “Tribes: We Need to You to Lead Us,” Tyler decided to do two things:

– Make the challenge public, creating a blog to share his new creations with the world.

– Make the challenge open, inviting other creators to participate.

And thus the 30 Characters Challenge was born.

In its first year, spread mostly through Facebook and Twitter, the Challenge attracted a small group of 20 or so participants. Last year, the challenge grew five-fold, with more than 100 creators signing up to participate on the 30 Characters Challenge site ( The Challenge included writers and artists, hobbyists and pros. The community atmosphere created on the site is one of the most positive and supportive I’ve seen on the internet. To date, more than 2000 new characters have been created during the Challenge. Many of the characters born during the challenge have gone on to appear in comic books, prose, video games, and on T-shirts and other merchandise. More importantly, the challenge created an environment for like-minded creators to connect, resulting in new collaborative partnerships and exposure for participant projects. On a job interview recently, one of the 30 Characters participants pointed to the work he did during the challenge as an example of his creativity, skill, and speed. It became a focal point of the interview…and he got the job!

The 30 Characters Challenge is now an annual event, and the 2011 Challenge looks to bigger than ever. Encouraged by the success of 30 Characters, Tyler has gone on to co-create ComixTribe (, a year-round site with the mission “Creators helping creators make better comics.”

To be included in a book full of inspiring stories is a great honor. Definitely go download Seth’s book to read more great stories. It’s free!

Creator Connections

By November, convention season is pretty much over. One of the great things about #30Characters was that it created a supportive, positive, environment for creators to connect and interact (though virtually) throughout the winter months. It brings me great pleasure to see those connections continue after the challenge is over. 2010 participant Rolando Garcia, for example, has gone on to team up with a fellow #30Characters alum, Michael Powell to create the new webcomic REVENGER, and is writing a story for 30 Characters alum Joe Cook to include in his next Shattered Myth collection. It just so happens that the artist on that project will be Micah Weltsch, another #30Characters alum. Joe was also invited to create a short story for a soon-to-be announced project being developed by Eric White, a two year challenge veteran. “We also became good friends,” reports Joe. “Just this past weekend, Eric and I attended our first convention as exhibitors in Omaha, NE. Being right next to a fellow con newbie was great for the nerves.”

Vito Delsante made headlines at the end of last year’s challenge when he declared that all of the characters he created during the challenge would go directly to the public domain. In an update to that announcement, game designer Sage La Torra incorporated many of those characters into his upcoming game, Powers For Good.

30 Characters As a Job Program?

One of the biggest surprises to come from last year’s challenge was the strong positive impact it had on the career of one participant in particular. 3D artist Tim Rozek writes:

30Characters was huge for me! I pushed myself harder than I ever have before, I got great feedback, I got to see some other great artists, and I got to really increase my skill level with zbrush. Sometimes forced creativity on a self-made deadline works out really well. Pixeldust Studios in Bethesda, MD saw and liked my 30characters ( I also had applied there a few months before), but they specifically brought up that they were impressed by the range and speed at which I was creating characters, so I got the job as their new digital sculptor/3d general artist.

I’ve been there about four and a half months now and it’s been great…I’ve had my work on 3 separate television shows now. I had the distinct, and very strange, honor of creating the 3D Osama bin Laden character model for a show called Killing Bin Laden which aired on Discovery Channel and a few of it’s affiliates where we basically reinacted (via cg) the events that went down during the raid on his compound (promo with model can be viewed here:

…Needless to say, 30 Characters was awesome, and I see it as directly responsible for getting me to the position where I get to work on all of these awesome shows.

While it’s Tim’s years of hard work and talent that landed him this sweet gig, it’s a great feeling to know #30Characters played a small part in helping him achieve his goals. As the Republicans and Democrats argue over how best to create jobs, I think the answer is now clear: Support the #30Characters Challenge!


As I mentioned above, 30 Characters originated with a personal desire to break free of a small creative rut. It’s been interesting to hear how the #30Characters has inspired other creators to continue to challenge themselves creatively. Rolando Garcia had this to say:

At the end of October 2010 I was given the horrible news that I would be laid off at the end of the year. It was disheartening, but it would have been soul crushing without 30Characters. Thanks to the challenge I finally “came out of the closet” with my creative work. I got a lot of positive feedback from friends and people who I never thought would have bothered to read them. I also got to know a few of the other challenge-takers and felt like part of a community. It inspired me to keep at it by starting my own website on which I now write regularly ( Hell, I started drawing again, something I haven’t done since middle school, more than half a lifetime ago.

Melanie Dawn McGreevey was also encouraged to continue to work on creative projects after completing the challenge. The 30 Characters challenge forced me to push my creative side harder than ever, and I am a very creative/active mind,” she told me. Specifically, it lead directly to her working on a new webcomic, Beautiful Tragedy.

And for Vito Delsante, 30 characters just wasn’t enough. As of January 1, he has continued to create characters for a personal 100 Characters Challenge. He’s currently up to #59, and come November 1, will jump back into the 30 Characters Challenge to help him get to 100.

30 Characters in New Projects

Another exciting thing to watch is the development of projects featuring characters created during the challenge. Rolando Garcia wrote a Christmas story featuring some of his #30Characters. Writer Ian Struckoff partnered with several great artists to bring his #30Characters to life last year. His characters the “Nebula Sirens,” created along with Daniel Govar, are showing up in a one-shot comic called “Failsafe.” The artist on the book is Ryan Cody (Icarus, Popgun, Villain Jesus Christ: In the Name of the Gun) and Ian has just launched a Kickstarter to fund the project.

Since November, Joe Cook has introduced about 2/3 of his #30Characters new characters into the Shattered Myth universe, either through cameo’s or larger story arcs. “Forcing myself to create new characters AND create backstory for those characters gave me ideas for dozens of story arcs,” Joe reports.

As for me, I’m moving ahead with THE RED TEN, a story that features 12 of my #30Characters from last year. I’m working with artist Cesar Feliciano to bring this project to life, and it’s really shaping up to be something special.

Looking Ahead to #30Characters 2011

While Summer is just getting started, I’ve been around long enough to know Fall will be here all too soon. The 3rd Annual 30 Characters Challenge will hopefully give us something to look forward to. The 2011 #30Characters Challenge will be sponsored by Comixtribe, so expect more participation, buzz, and a few surprises.

Interested in Participating in the 2011 Challenge?

  • If you’d like to get on the #30Characters 2011 Mailing List to be notified when registration goes live, simply send an email to [email protected], or leave a comment below expressing your interest. (Note, alumni from previous year’s challenges are already on the list.)
  • If you want to find out more about the challenge, check out the official 30Characters site’s FAQ. Note, it’ll be a few months before it updates with 2011 information, but most items will remain the same.
  • Stay connected with #3oCharacters by following it’s hashtag on Twitter and by liking the #30Characters Facebook Page.

That’s it for the six month’s later recap. If you were a #30Characters participant who I haven’t heard from, please sound off in the comments below, and let me know what you and your characters have been up to!


Tyler James is a comics creator, game designer, and educator residing in Newburyport, MA. He is the writer and co-creator of EPIC, a superteen action comedy, and Tears of the Dragon, a swords and sorcery fantasy, and writer of the upcoming superhero murder mystery mini-series THE RED TEN. His past work includes OVER, a romantic comedy graphic novel, and Super Seed, the story of the world’s first super powered fertility clinic. His work has been published by DC and Arcana comics.

Tyler is the publisher and co-creator of ComixTribe, a new website empowering creators to help each other make better comics.

Contact Tyler via email ([email protected]), visit his website, follow him on Twitter, or check him out on Facebook

Tyler James – 30 Characters in 30 Days!

| December 10, 2010 | 0 Comments

Well, I did it!

It wasn’t easy.  An unplanned week-long work trip really threw a monkey wrench in my daily updates (not that I’m complaining…Austrailia = awesome.)  But, I was able to suck it up and get ’em done.  Once again, I was able to do some planned character work, specifically characters for The Red Ten, which I’m really pumped about.  And once again, plenty of zany characters came out of nowhere.  Once you get those creative juices flowing, you never know what you’re gonna produce.

I was completely floored by the level of participation and interest in the challenge this year.  I’m honored to be joined by so much talent in this little endeavor.  Can’t wait to see what’s to come with many of the characters created during this year’s challenge.

‘Til next year!

Discussing #30Characters and More on “The Idiot Engine”

| December 3, 2010 | 0 Comments

The other night, I had a great chat with Ted Seko, host of The Idiot Engine Podcast.  Ted was interested in picking my brain on how I use the internet…for my business, for staying connected with the comics community, and for building an ongoing relationship with readers and other creators.  Despite recording in the wee hours of the night (my time), I think it was a fruitful and interesting discussion.  I talked a lot about the success of The #30Characters Challenge, and offered advice to Ted and anyone else considering organizing something like #30Characters in the future. Shout outs to many challengers contained herein!

I hope you give it a listen. You can play it in the link below (EPISODE 37) or go to the link here.


| November 30, 2010 | 2 Comments

#30 Is a demon who plagues 30 Characters Challengers.  He has a ray gun that shoots obstacles that get in the way of completing the challenge…there are setting for:

– Extra assignments at work.

– Sudden onset of illness

– Computer failure

– Carpal tunnel

And a host of other things that get in the way of completing the challenge.

He’s a real bastard, that guy.

30 Characters: Are you gonna finish?

| November 30, 2010 | 4 Comments

#29 Captain Stache

| November 29, 2010 | 0 Comments

When he hit puberty, Dirk Squarejaw started to manifest powers.  As long as he keeps his mustache extra thick, he’s a force to be reckoned with.

#28 The Oxymoron

| November 29, 2010 | 1 Comment

The OXYMORON is the world’s most notorious psychopath and super-criminal mastermind.  He is the arch-nemesis of RED.

This is another THE RED TEN character concept.  Equal parts The Joker and The Riddler, insanely smart, and obsessed with RED.

#27 The Mold

| November 29, 2010 | 0 Comments

Alien shapeshifter.  Communicates telepathically.  Easily manipulated.  A member of The Alliance.

#26 [War Goddess]

| November 28, 2010 | 0 Comments

Needed a “Wonder Woman” archetype for The Red Ten.  Don’t have a name for her yet, but kind of like the basics of the character design here.

#25 Android

| November 28, 2010 | 0 Comments

ANDROID is the world’s most advanced artificial intelligence.  And she is about to have an existential crisis.

#24 The Goob

| November 28, 2010 | 0 Comments

#23 Crimson

| November 28, 2010 | 0 Comments

Daniel Lawrence, formerly the Crimson Kid, is all grown up now.

He he traded the cape for the badge,and is currently an assistant district attorney. But after his former mentor is murdered, he’ll put on the costume one more time to bring the killer to justice.

More The Red Ten stuff here.

#22 Crimson Kid

| November 27, 2010 | 0 Comments

CRIMSON KID, side kick to RED.

#21 Cyanide

| November 25, 2010 | 1 Comment

That girl is poison (Poison poison)
Never trust a big butt and smile

– Bel Biv Devoe

#20 Master Mage

| November 25, 2010 | 0 Comments

#19 Wind Vixen

| November 24, 2010 | 1 Comment

She will quite literally blow you away.