About Len

Len Peralta’s quirky, offbeat style has become synonymous with geek culture. Len is behind the online viral art projects Monster By Mail, 50 vs 50 and FlipFace. Along with designing a variety of card games, Len has illustrated several books including “There’s A Zombie In My Treehouse” by John “Widgett” Robinson and Ken Plume, “Silly Rhymes For Belligerent Children” written by MST3K/Cinematic Titanic’s Trace Beaulieu and “Super Powered Revenge Christmas” a graphic novel with Bill Corbett of Rifftrax. His new graphic novel series, Exterminite, with Mikey Neumann and Kris Straub is out now. Len is the resident artist every Friday for Tom Merritt’s Daily Tech News Show where he draws an original piece while the show is being recorded. His work has appeared on CNN.com, The New Yorker and at gallery exhibitions in Chicago, Cleveland, New York and San Diego Comic Con. Len was also listed as one of the Top 100 Geeks To Follow on Twitter by Wired Magazine.

Len has also been podcasting for over a decade. He produces a show called Jawbone Radio with his wife Nora, records his Geek A Week podcast on a semi-regular basis and is the co-host of Creature Geek, an SFX/makeup podcast, with Frank Ippolito.

Len resides in a suburb of Cleveland, Ohio with his wife of over 20 years, Nora. Together they have raised (and continue raising) their seven children. He is a hirable art gun and you can ask him to work on your next project. He promises to be really super easy to work with.

My Work

Here are a few projects (new and old) that you may like to know about.

  • Exterminite

    Exterminite is a new graphic novel I am working on with Mike Neumann (Borderlands) and Kris Straub (Broodhollow). Additional coloring by Tim Switalski. You can find out more about Exterminite here.

    Take a Look
  • Super Powered Revenge Christmas

    Super-Powered Revenge Christmas is a graphic novel using classic Christmas characters as the basis for an assembled superteam who fight off a conspiracy of powerful holiday villains. It is written by Bill Corbett (MST3K/Rifftrax) and was funded through the kind contributions of many Kickstarter backers. It was the first graphic novel I ever worked on. You can […]

    Take a Look
  • TenState

    TenState is a Kickstarter funded comic written by Tom Merritt (Sword and Laser/Daily Tech News Show). You can pick up the first five issues as a graphic novel at my online store. Or support the ongoing creation of the comic on Patreon.

    Take a Look
  • Monster by Mail

    In 2007, I started drawing and selling monster drawings to pay for the birth of my daughter.  I sold over 700 monsters for people all over the world and have created a ton more speed drawing videos of the process.  I still draw monsters if anyone wants them. I also have brought guest artists to […]

    Take a Look
  • FlipFace

    Are you looking for a new face for your social media presence?  Don’t want to use any real photos of yourself? Choose me to draw you as a Flipface! I consider these to be disposable pieces of art, something you can switch out quickly and add a little flair to your profile page.

    Take a Look
  • Geek a Week

    Geek A Week was a one year art challenge started in March 2010 to attempt to connect with 52 influential geeks from different disciplines (art, movies, TV, computing, science). A trading card portrait complete with stats was created each week for the featured geek.  By actually connecting with each geek, it completed the requirements for the […]

    Take a Look
  • Silly Rhymes For Belligerent Children

    Trace Beaulieu (MST3K/Cinematic Titanic) literally tapped me on the shoulder and asked me if I wanted to work on a book with him.  Being a card carrying member of the MST3K fan club, I couldn’t resist.  The result was this wonderfully creepy tome with nods to Dr. Suess, Shel Silverstein, Tim Burton and more.

    Take a Look
  • Guardians Fan Art

    Like everyone else, I loved Guardians of the Galaxy. So I went ahead and did some fan art of some of the characters.  You can pick up a the whole art pack at my online store.

    Take a Look
  • D & D Commissions

    Let me draw your D&D or RPG character. Check out a sampling of recent commissions. You can order these commissions at my online store.

    Take a Look

Blog

I made a comic, and exactly eight people downloaded it. I’ve made a total of negative 178 dollars in my comics career so far. How do you look at something that didn’t do good and learn from it to make something better next time?
November 17, 2014

this is the test.  this happens to EVERYONE!  anyone you know in comics, or music or movies or any passion has had punishing failure. and only being 178 in the hole would have been a big win for me in the nineties. 

learn from it, ask yourself what YOU could have done better as a creator or as a marketer of that project and do better next time.  if you quit, well, then you didn’t pass the test. shake it off, do it again, but don’t just do it over again, learn from it, get better.  

but remember that the success comes in the creative.  the commercial thing gets you the next project but the real success is doing honest work.

lots more on the subject here…

http://www.amazon.com/Words-Pictures-Business-Writing-Graphic/dp/0770434355

The long, uphill battle of independent publishing
November 2, 2014

As you may or may not know, Mikey Neumann, Kris Straub, Tim Switalski and I released issue #1 of our independent comic Exterminite this past week. I’ve already made a heartfelt plea surrounding ways to support the comic (Thanks to all of you who purchased the comic on or around my birthday this week, btw.) And now the initial sales numbers are in.

I won’t spoil it for you, as Mikey has written a wonderfully transparent and honest blog post about it already, but the long and short of it is:  success will be a very long and uphill battle.

Mike, Kris and I are evaluating ways to try to make the project financially viable over the four remaining issues. The good news is that we do plan on creating future issues of the comic, which should be music to the ears of the people who bought and enjoyed the comic.  The response I have personally gotten about issue one has been overwhelmingly positive.  Now, I’m smart enough to know that most people won’t tell you to your face if they hate your product. Most people won’t say anything at all.  But here’s the thing.  I know that what Mike, Kris, Tim and I are doing is REALLY GOOD. And I feel very optimistic about what the future may bring for this comic.  Then again, I’ve been wrong about things in the past.  So I’m not so naive to think Exterminite will be the thing that puts me on the map of Comic Kingdom, nor do I (at this point anyway) think that this series will be my key to financial security.

I know a lot of people will read this and think “Wow, you’re gross, Len. Whatever happened to doing the art for the sake of doing the art? Why does everything have to be about financial viability?”  And you know what? You’d be right to think that.  The creative process does get a little bit gross and tainted when you start bringing money into it.   But here’s the thing:  as a father of seven children, many of those children making the transition from adolescence to early adulthood, I have no choice but to think of the creative process as it relates to financial stability. This is how I make my living and in order for me to continue doing this as my full time job, I have to make sure the projects I take on (regardless of size) are projects that will generate a profit or at least create enough of a profit that I can feed my family on a weekly basis, fill my gas tanks and, to a larger extent, pay for my home, my healthcare, college tuition and afford general stability in my household.  

Thankfully, Exterminite has the potential to do that.  It’s a good product that I feel confident enough to invest my limited time into. It just needs more eyes on the project.

Some ways to do that initially are outlined in Mikey’s post, including leaving reviews on Amazon and Comixology and letting people know about it outside of strictly online. There are a ton of metrics and stuff at play in all of this and I don’t claim to be smart enough to know how all of it works. What I do know, however, is that if enough people are sharing something they really love and believe in, then an independent project like Exterminite has a fighting chance in this world. I’ve seen this happen firsthand with my many art projects, including Geek A Week.  And I feel this can happen with our comic. 

Like I said, I don’t have much to add than what Mikey wrote.  But if you can share the good news that is Exterminite with those who haven’t read it yet (recommend it on GoodReads if it allows you to do that; talk about it on comic forums or create an Subreddit for it if that sort of thing may help.  Or even leave us a positive Yelp review for that matter).

Here are the links to the book if you are so inclined to purchase multiple copies for friends:  

AMAZON.  

COMIXOLOGY.

Thanks for letting us bend your collective ear about this process. I can say with a lot of candor that I have not been involved in a project quite like Exterminite.  Mikey, Kris and Tim have been the perfect partners on this and I’ve learned (and am learning) quite a bit about this process, which is always a good thing.

Now back to fighting the nightmare that is indie publishing.

hallublin: The first of five special Halloween-themed…
October 29, 2014


hallublin:

The first of five special Halloween-themed UN-imations is here! Each day this week we’ll unveil a new one, ending on Halloween Day with a special celebrity-inspired UN-imation!

Please subscribe to our channel so you don’t miss the next one, and share this if you enjoy it!

None of the voices from this week are anything you’ve heard me do on Welcome to Night Vale or the Thrilling Adventure Hour…

Happy Birthday To Me
October 27, 2014

This Wednesday is my birthday. For the past few years (online at least), I’ve been keeping quiet about my birthday to a certain extent. It’s part of this weird ritual where I want to see if anyone in my virtual circle of friends remembers my day so I can mentally acknowledge that “Yes Len. No one cares about your birthday except for you and your close significant others”.   Inevitably, because of the magic of Facebook reminders, people do remember my birthday. I always get a bunch of tweets and greetings via the net.  I consider it another one of the “birthday items” that I symbolically get to check off each year. 

I’m strange like that.

This year, I’ve not stayed silent about my birthday for a few reasons. One, I’ve decided that if you want people to know about your birthday, you need to say something about.  So I’ve been dropping big hints online and mentioning it whenever I can.  Two, I just don’t care if anyone knows if it’s my birthday. I want to be noticed and I want to have my ego stroked and get fun gifts and all that stuff.  Sure, it’s egotistical.  But I don’t know how many of these days I have left in me in the grand scheme of things.  And I don’t want to spend my remaining years on earth not celebrating the brief time I have with people - both real and online. Hence this blog post.

Did I mention that Wednesday is my birthday?  That’s the 29th of October. In case you forgot the date.  My daughter’s birthday is the day before mine.  And my dad (who has now passed on) shared her birthday as well. It’s two days before Halloween, which is also one of my favorite holidays.  It also ushers in this time of “INCREDIBLY BUSY-NESS” for my family which includes (among other things) my wedding anniversary, my OTHER daughter’s birthday, a HUGE fundraising event that my wife helps to plan every year, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s.

Phew.

So anyway, back to MY day.

I know my birthday is probably of very little import to you all.  I get it. You probably haven’t shopped for me and weren’t planning on getting me anything. And that’s fine. I don’t expect you to.  

HOWEVER…

If you were thinking of getting me something. I have a GREAT GIFT IDEA.

This Wednesday, my Birthday, I have a new comic coming out that I worked on with some incredibly talented individuals:  Mikey Neumann. Kris Straub. And Tim Switalski.  It’s called Exterminte and we are all wildly excited about it.  We’ve been talking about it online for the past two weeks. When we put it up on Amazon to pre-order, it made it to #1 in Kindle Comics in the category of Fantasy and Horror.  And for a brief time, it was #1 in Comics OVERALL (against established companies like Marvel, DC and IDW).  I had a best-selling comic on my hand and it was still in pre-order. I was flabbergasted.

Please understand: I’m not a young man.  On Wednesday, I turn 44. (Although thanks to my Asian-Pacific Islander DNA and my youthful choice of clothing, I’ve been told I look much younger than that, enough so that I have chosen to believe that. ) The point being is that I’m not a kid in my 20s getting started. I’m not in my 30s really laying down some groundwork for a career in comics.  I’m in my mid-40s and statistically speaking, it’s highly unlikely at the point for me to “hit it big” in comics.  I only started working in comics about 3 years ago (thanks to my friends Bill Corbett allowing me to work on his graphic novel Super Powered Revenge Christmas, Tom Merritt who collaborated with me on TenState and Ramon Gil who has allowed me to do some stories for his SciFies anthology).  I’m definitely a late bloomer. But what I’ve realized is that I really enjoy doing comics. And I want to try and make a living doing this.

I’m not saying that by purchasing my comic it will magically make me respected in the world of comics. But it will legitimize me in some small way and open me up to other opportunities in the future. 

Two years ago, I celebrated my birthday huddling in the darkness of my basement with my family, with no power, listening to Hurricane Sandy howl outside the house, tearing down limbs and trees in it’s wake.  I joked after that night that Sandy not only blew away my power for a week, but also all my clients.  I’ve had a rough couple of years, and I’ve somehow kicked a variety of cans down the road long enough to make ends meet.  During this time,  I’ve somehow been able to work on some incredible comics with some incredible people.  And I’ve been able to work on a  comic series that I am deeply proud of and very excited for people to see.

So, for my birthday, please go and purchase my new comic Exterminite and make it #1 on Amazon and Comixology.  The idea of having a #1 best-selling comic would be an wonderful birthday gift for me.  Not to mention a great shared experience with my partners in crime, Mikey, Kris and Tim.

Please pass this along to anyone you think would be interested in this.  I think you’ll really like the comic and you’ll allow me to tick off something new on my checklist.

Thank you in advance.  Thanks for making this the best birthday ever.

PS:  Here is the Amazon Link.

Superheroes + Christmas = FUN
October 18, 2014

billcorbett:

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My new comic book SUPER-POWERED REVENGE CHRISTMAS wants you to read it!  Available in all sorts of newfangled ways HERE:

SUPER-POWERED REVENGE CHRISTMAS

People have really been enjoying it, and I am very grateful (and relieved). 

You are a people, you may enjoy it too! 

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The more I see of Len Peralta's artwork, the luckier I feel that he did Super-Powered Revenge Christmas with me.

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