Phillip Buchanon

Phillip Buchanon moves from interceptions to comics

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When a veteran comic book editor learned she would be working with a former NFL player, she looked forward to getting her first impression.

Phillip Buchanon, a 1999 Lehigh Senior High graduate who finished his 11-year NFL career in 2011, gave her a favorable one. He called Shawna Gore not long after he finished his final season on injured reserve with the Washington Redskins.

Buchanon, 33 and living in Miami, began to research the comic book industry in early 2012, hoping to get information and contacts he could use to start a second career. The Fort Myers native contacted Gore, who began connecting him with various comic book writers and artists. Some of them have worked for Marvel Comics, DC Comics and Dark Horse Comics, the three largest comic companies in the country.

Buchanon’s interest in producing comic books reached a peak last weekend when he and some of his collaborators convened for the 45th annual San Diego Comic-Con International, the best-known national convention of comic book aficionados.

There, Buchanon displayed and promoted his first three comics: The Supernals Experiment, The Aquatic Bourne and New Money. New Money will also be a novel to be self-published by Buchanon.

The three comics have rare, print editions. Otherwise, two of them, New Money and The Supernals Experiment, are now available for download for 99 cents each from Comixology.com. The Aquatic Bourne will be available in September.

The Supernals Experiment is a five-part, monthly series that will run through the end of the year.

“I’m working on a lot of different things,” Buchanon said. . “Don’t be surprised if this is just the first of many different things I’ll be doing. It’s crazy how I got started.”

The genesis of the comic storylines began in Fort Myers.

“When I was young, I didn’t go to the Bell Tower,” Buchanon said. “I went to the dollar theater right next to the Edison Mall. I was really into the movies. As I got older, I started to realize how much I enjoyed going to the movies. Then I would start thinking, ‘What if they did this, or what if they did that?’ ”

Buchanon took his movie ideas and transformed them into comics.

The plotline for New Money revolves around a professional boxer, an NFL player, a soccer star and a singer who each sign lucrative contracts and come into money after growing up in low-income environments.

The NFL player in the comic, a cornerback named Broderick McFadden, is loosely based on Buchanon.

“When I first got into the NFL, I had a lot of dollars, but I didn’t have a lot of sense,” said Buchanon, who as the No. 17 overall pick in the 2002 NFL Draft received a five-year, $12 million contract from the Oakland Raiders, which later traded him to the Houston Texans. Buchanon also has played for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Detroit Lions and Redskins. He finished his career with 388 tackles and 20 interceptions, five of which he returned for touchdowns.
“I didn’t know how to manage the money,” Buchanon said of the earlier part of his career. “That’s where this book came from.”

N. Steve Harris, a former Marvel artist who co-created the DC comic character Aztek, drew the cover and artwork for New Money.

“It was interesting subject matter for a comic book,” said Harris, who lives in Brooklyn, N.Y., and met Buchanon for the first time in person at Comic-Con. “These kinds of comic books are expanding even outside of America. Now you have other comic people coming out with their own comics and their own vision. You see totally different ideas being expressed and put out there in the general market.”

Gore, who has collaborated with other celebrities such as rock stars Gene Simmons of Kiss and Rob Zombie, said she wasn’t sure what to expect when she learned she would be working with a former NFL player. Based in Portland, Ore., she is a freelance editor who used to work for Dark Horse Comics.

“I wasn’t sure if he would be a macho guy or if he would respect a woman’s view of telling him what to do,” Gore said. “He’s a really intellectually curious person. I really liked him right off the bat. He didn’t want to just tell me what to do. He wanted to learn what I had to tell him about making comics. He’s very creative. If his ideas are too wild, he’s really willing to listen to what makes sense story-wise. He’s really a stand-up guy. He has treated me well. I think he has learned a lot, too. His story ideas and development have really gotten better.”

Buchanon said he wanted teenaged football players in Southwest Florida to know that if they can’t make it to the NFL that there are plenty of other opportunities for them to be successful in other walks of life.

“Sometimes, when you have an idea, and you’re first trying to do things, you try to find yourself some people who have already had some success,” Buchanon said. “Luckily, I had the resources, having played in the NFL.

“Even if you don’t have the resources, you can still stick to your guns and make something happen.”

Buchanon’s comic books

Here’s a look at the plotlines for two of former NFL player Phillip Buchanon’s three new comic books, available for 99 cents each on Comixology.com. Buchanon graduated from Lehigh Senior High School in 1999.

• The Supernals Experiment: For more than 20 years, a talented but renegade doctor has performed unprecedented medical experiments in an attempt to help the most vulnerable children imaginable. Now those children are growing up and discovering that Dr. Epstein did more than just heal their physical disabilities – he changed them, gave them powers, and made them targets for a ruthless organization bent on controlling their incredible abilities.

• New Money: When professional boxer Kameron Kash, NFL player Broderick McFadden, soccer star Mike Lion and singer/entertainer Marley White get signed to exclusive contracts...they start to make dollars, but not a whole lot of sense.


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(news-press.com)
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Phillip Buchanon: NFL players learn a new skill: Avoid going broke

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Former NFL players are almost infamous for suffering from serious financial troubles after they retire. Now the league is trying to help fix the problem.

In Baltimore recently, two former NFL stars stood huddled next to each other, looking down at a colorful pair of dress socks—the latest from the Plaxico Burress Collection. Former All-Pro Giant linebacker Carl Banks nodded his approval to Burress and marveled at the quality of the socks, something Burress said he has finally perfected after months of testing out samples.

"It's time to expand now," Banks emphasized to Burress, who currently sells his collection in two New York City boutiques.

The two exchanged phone numbers and agreed to be in touch about getting Burress' product in stores catered toward the big and tall, where Banks has significant connections.

The scene? The 2014 NFL Consumer Products Boot Camp where more than 15 past and present players are learning skills they hope will last them long after their playing days.

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Banks is a success story for the NFL. The former linebacker who won two Super Bowls with the Giants has transformed himself off the field into a successful businessman and president of GIII Sports By Carl Banks.

Banks is working with the NFL to help others find success off the field and help NFL players avoid going from millionaire to just another statistic.

In 2009, Sports Illustrated reported that 78 percent of NFL players face bankruptcy or serious financial stresses within two years of leaving the league. The NFL disputes this figure, saying that NFL retirees have higher income than men of similar ages in the general population.

"There's only so much room in the broadcasting booth," Banks emphasizes to the group during one of the many sessions, which teach everything from marketing to copyright patent law.

The NFL has long held boot camps (broadcasting always the most popular) but this is the first one focused on consumer products.

"This is one of a number of experiences we do to expose our players to life after playing football," said Kimberly Fields, vice president of player engagement for the NFL. "We want to arm players with the tools and resources to do wonderful things in the community."

The players attending the boot camp come from all backgrounds and levels of business experience.

"I happen to be a player that has no clue what I want to do once I'm done with football, so I thought this program would be beneficial to me," said Torrey Smith, wide receiver for the 2013 Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens.

For other players, the week is about learning the necessary skills to take their products to the next level.

"A few years ago we came up with an idea to come up with a potty training package," said Mike Leach, a 37-year-old long snapper for the Arizona Cardinals. "Now we're trying to get manufacturing and distribution."

Leach, a 14-year veteran, says he has become more serious about his life off the field as his window in the NFL has shortened. He's attending the boot camp with his wife and business partner Julie, who says it has been great networking and is helping to provide them with resources, ideas and knowledge to move forward with their product.

Ten-year NFL veteran Phillip Buchanon has other motivations for being at boot camp. Several years ago, a bad business deal and pressure from friends and family almost put him in financial ruin.

"I had one deal where I lost $1.6 million," he said.

Today, he's hoping to tell his cautionary tale in a book and board game aimed at players coming into wealth quickly.

"I felt like this was a way for me to give back after long nights of dealing with bad business deals," Buchanon said.

He said the boot camp has taught him about marketing and being able to take his products and brand to the next level.

"I think just being here is very encouraging and motivating for me," said Buchanon.


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(cnbc.com)
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Phillip Buchanon Developing A Board Game

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Longtime NFL cornerback Phillip Buchanon is creating a board game to teach money management and other life skills to kids. Arizona Cardinals long snapper Mike Leach and his wife, Julie, are developing a product to help parents toilet train their toddlers. Pittsburgh Steelers receiver Plaxico Burress has introduced a line of colorful, luxury socks.

The budding entrepreneurs just need a little coaching — and not the sort involving the shriek of whistles — to assist them with such things as marketing, branding and contracts.

This Sunday, the group will join a dozen other current and former National Football League players — including Ravens' wide receiver Torrey Smith — at a four-day conference in Baltimore on getting started in consumer products sales. While the NFL has held "boot camps" on broadcasting and other topics, this is its first focusing on product pitches, and it's the first hosted by Baltimore.

The conference isn't designed only for players — such as Burress —who have already started businesses. The Burress collection includes fancy socks with names like "The Bold Stripe," "the Yacht Club" and the "the Paisley Park," each selling for $24 a pair.

"I'm hoping he brings socks for all of the (conference) participants," said former defensive back Troy Vincent, an executive with NFL Player Engagement, which provides off-the-field resources — such as the seminars — for current and former players.

For years, NFL players were often targeted for ill-advised investments. "It was good money going to bad because they were not informed," Vincent said "We lacked job readiness because we lacked the hands-on experience."

During the conference, the players will split into four teams and prepare and present a product pitch to judges, including Vincent and Henry C. Boyd III, associate chair of the marketing department at Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business.


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(baltimoresun.com)
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Phillip Buchanon Going Hollywood, Learning from ‘Dark Knight’ Producer

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LANHAM, Md. (CBSDC) — A pair of former Washington Redskins are going Hollywood… or at least they’re taking some steps toward it by learning the business from some heavy hitters including the producer of The Dark Knight series.

Shaun Alexander and Phillip Buchanon, both of whom had brief stints in DC, are among 20 current and former players participating in the second annual “NFL Pro Hollywood Boot Camp.”

From March 11-15, the athletes will learn all facets of the industry, including screen writing, directing, producing, and film financing.

The players will be under the tutelage of actor/director Peter Berg (Friday Night Lights, Chicago Hope), producer Thomas Tull (The Dark Knight, The Dark Knight Rises, Inception) and writer/actor/director Robert Townsend (The Five Heartbeats, Hollywood Shuffle). Tull is also a part-owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Among the group of players participating is former Oakland Raiders running back Justin Fargas whose father portrayed the iconic jive-talking pimp Huggy Bear on the cult television classic Starsky and Hutch. The character was later played by rapper Snoop Dogg in the 2004 film revival starring Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson.

Alexander, 35, had a cup of coffee with the Redskins in 2008, but has not played in the NFL since. In 2005, the first-round pick from Alabama was named NFL MVP after rushing for a staggering 1,880 yards and 27 touchdowns.

Buchanon, 32, also ended his 10-year NFL career in Washington where he played in 2010 and briefly in 2011.


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(cbslocal.com)
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