Martin Dunn is a comic book Creator/Writer/Artist/Convention Panelist former Podcaster and current frontman for the Punk Rock band "Less Than Expected", hailing from Cleveland, Ohio. He currently acts as President and CCO of Punkhouse Press. He has done work for DC Comics, IDW Publishing, CAE Studios. Punkhouse Press, Hashtag Comics, Creature Entertainment and more. His body of work includes his creator-owned properties 'Joshua Black', 'Project: A.P.E.X.', '#IFightGhosts', and 'FETCH: An Odyssey'. as well as work on the Hashtag Comics series 'Carpe Noctem', and IDW Publishing's 'Revolution', 'Star Mage' and 'White Chapel'.
CAE Studios/Con Artist Entertainment
Martin is the co-owner and founder of 'CAE Studios', an independent creative studio located in Tampa, Florida. It is home to several projects such as the CAE Media channel on Youtube, (#Deathtofanboys and Sidequests in the Breakroom) and Derrick Fish's 'Big Pond Comics' Imprint, which houses such titles as "Dandy and Co." and "The Wellkeeper". The company releases content via webcomics, digitally on platforms such as Comixology, and in physical form with their print-on-demand services. They also host "CAE Weekly" a rotating weekly webcomic that features short stories that are either completely original or spun out of other CAE Studios titles, all written and/or drawn by the studio's many creators.
Martin hosted the #DeathToFanboys podcast on the CAE Network, alongside Shawn Talley, Derrick Fish, and Luis Matos for over 100 episodes. The show went off the air in July of 2014, as the CAE Network shut down and merged with the CAE Media channel on Youtube. In the summer of 2015, Martin brought the show back as a webcast on the CAE Media channel. The show now consists of Dunn and co-hosts running down top stories, giving opinions, or talking shop about random things. It also stands as an interview show, as Dunn captures interviews with the comic industry's biggest names, with a "Question, Statement, Question" format.
The Martin Dunn Show
Martin returned to Podcasting in 2016 with a new show called "The Martin Dunn Show" with fellow comic creator and friend Dustin Holifer and longtime CAE Media podcaster, Josh Fonner. The show also saw the return of Shawn Talley in a lax role as he joins them on and off. The show ran daily for almost 3 months before switching to a 3 days a week schedule, in August, after almost 100 shows, The guys announced they were stepping away to focus on personal projects.
The show featured regular appearances by Shawn Talley and Ruben Romero. It also has recurring guests such as Maurice Joven and Kevin Boyd. It was announced in May that the podcast was becoming syndicated through the IRN as well as on CAE Media channel via Youtube, iTunes, Soundcloud, Google Play, Stitcher, and more. The show covered a large range of topics, from pop culture, comic book creation, and wrestling to the news, celebrity interviews, and more.
IDW Publishing, Hashtag Comics, and more!
Outside of CAE Studios, Martin collaborated with writer JC De La Torre on a book initially planned for release with IDW Publishing called "White Chapel", as it is, a 5-page preview debuted in the back of select IDW titles, but it was later announced the title was cancelled before it even saw an issue 1 release. Martin has also written a short story for IDW Publishing's Star Mage that can be found in the back of the Star Mage collected trade paperback.
In 2016, Martin did cover work for IDW's massive "Revolution" series, which featured characters from the shared "Hasbro" universe. This led to him working on Transformers, GI Joe, ROM, M.A.S.K., Action Man, and Micronauts. Martin continues to do sporadic work with IDW in 2017.
In 2013, Martin joined Hashtag Comics and helped owner and publisher Drew Crowder build the company from the ground up as it's art director/graphic designer, as well as writing and contributing artwork to several of its titles. In that time, Martin helped the company gain national coverage, and saw it obtain distribution through Diamond. In July of 2015, Martin announced he had been laid off as Art Director but would stay on to finish his run on 'Carpe Noctem', as well as any other prior commitments to the company.
His work for Hashtag Comics on its flagship horror title 'Carpe Noctem' has been a huge hit. The series is co-written and drawn by Martin's long-time collaborator, Derrick Fish and features colors by Challenging Studios. The first issue selling out at multiple shops around the country. The first print run of Issue 2 also became hard to find collectors edition and has seen a spike of activity on eBay. Martin released another horror title with the publisher titled "A Time to Die" with artist John Rivett, and Martin's wife', Colorist, Aly Dunn, in September of 2016, He currently is still handling inking duties on 'Tailwands'.
BLIZZARD Entertainment and Project: Overwatch/A.P.E.X.
In the Summer of 2015, CAE Studios and Blizzard Entertainment made a major announcement regarding the comic series Martin Dunn created along with Javier Lugo. The series, 'Project: Overwatch', was to be rebranded after a deal was struck with the studio that brought about 'World of Warcraft'. The announcement originated on Blizzard's social media accounts, and later that day on CAE Studio's website. The story became a hot topic on Bleeding Cool, CBR, and IGN. The announcement also accompanied new promotional art for the Kickstarter-funded series along with its new name. "Project: A.P.E.X.". The series, which has found life through both webcomics, and print mediums would continue on with the new name, an acronym meaning "Advanced Peacekeeping Engagement and Execution". In the statement, Martin was quoted as saying
“Despite the similarities of our titles, our respective intellectual properties are considerably different, and like Blizzard we wanted to avoid market confusion,”
The announcement led CAE Studios right into 2015's Tampa Bay Comic-Con. The studio posted pictures and made claims of the "best single day at a con" in its history on social media. At Tampa Bay Comic Con, Martin made the announcement that he was going to be expanding the title, and would be working on a series of one-shots starring individual characters from the book.
Project: A.P.E.X. the synopsis reads as -
Celebrities. Heroes. Nu-genes. Long-time United America's government allies. A.P.E.X.has stood as the celebrated global police force; fostering a new generation of Teen heroes who have become media darlings. Yet, time, like A.P.E.X.'s allegiances, turns forcing the teen heroes to pick sides and question authority.
The series was created, written, and inked by Martin Dunn.
Martin started Punkhouse Press in early 2017 and made the first major announcement for the company at Megacon on Memorial Day Weekend. PunkHouse Press is an imprint of Dunn's CAE Studios, LLC. Following an interview on Bleeding Cool with Jude Terror, Martin began pushing PunkHouse Press as more than a publisher but instead an open door creative house that produced nationally distributed comic books, a community-driven Zine of the underground music and art subculture, as well as producing and distributing Punk, Ska, Grunge, and Hardcore music. The first release from the new imprint was "Fake News" which featured a who's who of art and articles are written by both underground artists and musicians. Martin followed this with the release of "Wrong Way: An American Punk Story" as well as the debut album of his band "Less Than Expected". Martin was the producer on Punkhouse Records recording artists "The Damnsels" sophomore EP "Family Friendly", and their debut LP "SUCK" as well as writing and co-producing his band Less Than Expected's debut LP "This Machine Kills Scenes!".
Punkhouse has led to Martin working alongside some of the biggest punk rock bands in the world doing tee designs and more with Bad Cop/Bad Cop, Teenage Bottlerocket, New Bomb Turks, NoFX, Fu Manchu, and more. It was recently announced that Martin was working alongside Fat Wreck Chords to release comics for Fat Wreck.
Comic Convention Panelist and Comic rights advocate!
Martin appears regularly on several "Breaking into Independent Comics" panels at conventions around the southeastern US. He also invented the "Comic Creator: Speed Dating" panel, in which he pairs aspiring writers with aspiring artists and lets them go through a series of elevator pitches while answering questions about how to break into the business. His most recent panel innovation is "I MAKE COMICS" in which he gives all his 100% honest opinions and knowledge on all the ups, downs, and pratfalls of breaking into comics. His knack for stirring up controversy due to his abrasive opinions and passionate beliefs has positioned him as a well-known advocate for creator rights, in the indie comic scene. His panels are always a big hit and have featured comic stars such as Jae Lee, Lenil Yu, Dan Parent, Alex Saviuk, Amy Chu, Brian Pulido, Ruben Romero, Mike Perkins, Pat Broderick, Liam Sharp, Bob McCloud, and Mike Foss. Martin also hosts a workshop called #imakecomics at colleges, universities and more, which provides educational resources and tools for aspiring comic creators.
Martin started the #DeathToFanboys movement, which spawned into a podcast, webcast, a social group, clothing brand, and a series of panels at several conventions including Megacon, Tampa Bay Comic Con, Wonderfest, and Florida Supercon.
The movement urges fans of "nerd culture" to be more accepting of new fans, and utilizes the idea that creating new fans helps the industry grow, all the while battling back the offensive and destructive fanboy mentality, that scares off potential fans of all forms of the medium. The movement has gained a ton of popularity among equality rights activists, and #DeathToFanboys t-shirts and wristbands are now becoming a common sighting at comic conventions around the US.
|Joshua Black||CAE Studios||Writer/Creator|
|Wrong Way: American Punk Story||PunkHouse Press|
|Project: A.P.E.X.||CAE Studios|
|Zombie Squad||Big Pond Comics||Writer/Inker/Creator|
|Ordinary (Short Story)||CAE Studios||Writer/Creator|
|Fetch: An Odyssey||Big Pond Comics||Writer/Inker/Creator|
|Old World 50||CAE Studios||Writer/Creator|
|#IFightGhosts (Webcomic)||CAE Studios||Writer/Creator/Artist|
|Distorted Images||Big Pond Comics||Writer/Artist/Editor|
|Dimensions of Labour (Webcomic)||Red Hoodie Productions||Writer/Creator/Artist|
|White Chapel: The Vampire Serial||IDW Publishing||Writer|
|Star Mage||IDW Publishing||Writer|
|Zombie Years (Pin Up)||Creature Entertainment||Artist|
|The Sakai Project||Darkhorse Comics||Artist|
|Carpe Noctem||Hashtag Comics||Writer/Creator|
|Knights Landing||Hashtag Comics|
|A Time to Die||Hashtag Comics|
|In The Dark||IDW Publishing|
|The Purgatorist||CAE Studios|
|30 A.Z.||Kickstarter Comics|
|The Gathering: The Silver Grin||Grayhaven Comics|
|A Noir Story||Vertigo/DC|
|GRITT||Short Fuse Media|
|The Awakened II||Samurai Sheepdog|
Martin lives in Cleveland, Ohio and until 2017 when he married his fiance, comic colorist Aly Dunn, was a single father of 4. On social media, Martin has taken a stance against those who would bash depression and mental illness, and openly admits to being a survivor of a failed Suicide attempt in 2003. He has spoken openly in interviews, on panels, and on his social media of how he has battled clinical depression and ADHD for "the better part of 16 years". He has become an advocate for suicide prevention and has made mention of being a supporter of the .
Martin posted to the "Creators United" forums the inspiration and backstory for how he came up with his creator-owned character "Joshua Black"
I had this idea in high school about a kid who becomes a God and destroys the world. It was bad. When I was 19, I was pursuing my dream of creating comics and became an intern at Crossgen in Tampa. It was going wonderful, but then I fell in love and gave it up to follow my now ex wife to Nevada. Fast forward to 2009, my marriage had fallen apart, my wife had ran off with another man and I was now a single father of 4. I never really wanted kids, I never really wanted to be a family man, I have a hard enough time remembering to feed myself, and now I was literally going to have to do that times 4 and be this "man" that I had to grow up and be. It was a hard pill to swallow, a bunch of responsibility thrust upon me with EVERYONE giving me their opinion of why, and who, and how, and what I should do. I began to fall deeper and deeper into my own depression and so I started writing. I wrote it from the perspective of my 17 year old self, the guy who had all these dreams and now was forced to be something I wasn't prepared to be. That's how Joshua Black was born. The entire story is a metaphor for me growing up and accepting my responsibilities and living with being a single father. Josh having the entire burden of heaven, hell and everything in between and it's up to him to manage it, to be a God and all he wanted to do was be a kid. I also took a lot of stuff from the fact I come from a family split down the middle as one side are very much about theology and the other is very much about Arianism. I decided to flip it on its head and go from there. As the book evolved and Ashley Olien came on to help me with some of the writing, more and more themes were a
dded, but that's where it started. A 25 year old kid who had to grow up and become a father, even when it wasn't his plan.Martin Dunn - From Credit Creators United Group
'Joshua Black' is the critically acclaimed written and created by Martin Dunn. The book follows the life and death of a teenage God known as Joshua Black. The book is a coming of age story in which a High School student inherits the throne of heaven. Along with his new found power, though, comes a great burden. This story follows Joshua as he learns to wield his powers responsibly, and eventually becomes the God that he was meant to be.
Released via a successful Kickstarter campaign, the book is the most popular book from Martin's library of creator-owned works.
In 2017, Martin announced he was ending Joshua Black with issue 8 and doing a soft reboot at new publisher, Source Point Press.