Sunday, November 01, 2009


This is my last blog post here at Blogger.
All my new post will be on my main web site.

I will slowly be moving all that's here on Blogger to my main site.
Everything her will stay here, but you'll have to visit to get the new stuff.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

E and O 19: Work in Progress

Panel from E&O strip 19.

The fight with the zombies has begun, so this and the next few strips are filled with zombies, zombies, and more zombies.

written by Richard Nelson
pencilled by Tyler Richlen
inks and letters by me

The last 2 panels are down, so only the first 3 panels are left.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Previews Blogging: October Edition

Every month, I go through Diamond's Previews to figure out what I want. From now until, I will blog about what I see that catches my attention. Keep in mind that most of my comic buying consist of #1s, collected editions (hardcovers or TPBs), or OGN (original graphic novels). I buy #1s to see if it's something that I will get later in a collected edition

Because Marvel is still outside of the main Previews book, I'll start with them.

Page 8: Captain America: Who Will Wield the Shield?
32 pages for $4 and it's a one shot. It's pricier than I care to spend, and I'm sure it will be collected someone, so I'll pass. However, my money's on Rogers returning as Captain America and Bucky soldiering on in another non-Winter Soldier identity. Maybe Marvel will revive the Captain and let Bucky run around with that nifty blank shield that Rogers used during the era after Captain America #332.

Page 9: Halo: Blood Line #1
I have no interest in Halo, however it's worthy to note that Bendis and Maleev are no longer on this title.

Page 21: Spider-Man and the Secret Wars #1
Marvel seems intent on mining past events with the Spidey Clone title and now this Secret Wars book. I'm not sure there is much interest in revisiting these events, but it's nice to see Patrick Scherberger art again.

Page 25: Daredevil #503
I always happy to see de la Torre on another Marvel book. I think he's an excellent talent and he's made a great (yet quiet) progression from Ms. Marvel to Iron Man and now to Daredevil. I hear that Quesada is quite the fan of de la Torre's work and it's a shame that Quesada doesn't hype it more often.

For that don't know de la Torre did some early work for Warmageddon that directly led to his first Marvel work.

Page 29 Dr: Voodoo: The Origin of Jericho Drumm
With the Dr. Voodoo series on #3, it seems like an odd time to put a reprint of his origins on the market. I think a better time would have been either a week or 2 before his new series hit the shelves would have been a better time with maybe a preview of the upcoming series to whet the appetite. 64 pages for $5, it's too bad a deal.

Page 30: Black Widow & the Marvel Girls #1 and #2
I'm not sure who this book is marketed towards, but I HATE new books that have covers by any one other than the interior artists when they don't show the interior pages. DC usually shows an excerpt of the interior pages, but Marvel is becoming notorious for not showing the interiors. #1 is not a problem, it's #2 (of 4 issues) that drawn by a different artist. I'm also left wondering why the initial artist different complete all 4 issues of the story.

Page 43: Origins of the Siege
This is noted as free to the retailers that distribute it on the 30 Dec 2009. What about the retailers that don't? Due to holidays and the UPS delivery schedules, Diamond is unable to deliver books that last week of the year, I suspect that this book will ship early and retailers will be asked to honor the street date. Those the break the street date may find themselves billed at normal costs for this book.

Page 53: What If? Secret Invasion
I worked with artist, Pow Rodrix, on Fist of Justice #5. Shortly after that he was picked up by Marvel. I assume this is his first Marvel project. I hope to see more of him in the future.

Page 64: X-Force Annual #1
This is written by Robert Kirkman. I thought he gave up on work-for-hire comics after his creator-owned manifesto. Maybe this is an inventory story that he wrote or maybe it's be waiting this long for Pearson and Barberi to draw it. Jason Pearson isn't a creator known for his speed.

Page 80: Ed Hannigan : Covered
There aren't many times when I think Marvel is doing the right thing, but Marvel is stepping up to help Ed Hannigan to cover the cost of his fight against MS. Even at $6 for 48 pages, I gladly support this.

Page 99: Runaways: True Believers Premeire HC
If I didn't already have this in the first hardcover collections of the Runaways (Volumes 1-3), I would be buying it. This is one of the best new superhero series from Marvel and DC.

Page 100: Mini Marvels Ultimate Collection GN-TPB
I think Giarrusso's Mini Marvels are cute and clever. I'm buying this for myself, but I'm sure the kids will enjoy it as well.

Page 108: Fantastic Four: The Master of Doom TPB
After all the hype surrounding Hitch and Millar on FF, they ended with a whimper and they were quickly ushered off stage. I read the first issue of their run and I'm interested in reading the entire run, so I think I'll wait for the hardcover of the entire which Amazon says is coming in February 2010.

And now to the main events... October 2009 Previews!

Dark Horse
Page 23: Hellboy : The Bride of Hell

I'm sure this will be reprinted eventually in the Hellboy Library Editions. However, it's been a while since I've read a new Hellboy story, so I'm slapping down the $3.50 to get this one shot by Mignola and Corben.

Page 24: Conan the Cimmerian : The Weight of the Crown
See the paragraph above? Copy it and replace Hellboy with Conan. Replace Mignola and Corben with Darick Robertson.

Page 26: Empowered
See the paragraph above? Copy it and replace Conan with Empowered . ReplaceDarick Robertson with Adam Warren.

Page 28: Martian Go Home #1
I've been watching the progress of this book on Mike Manley's blog wondering when it would see the light of day. This solicitation of the first issue means that I'm mere months away from the collection of what looks to be a very fun sci-fi mini series.

Page 38: Creepy Archives Volume 6
I eagerly await these Warren magazine collections and wish that someone would honor Vampirella with a similar treatment.

DC Comics
Wow! I went through the entire DC Universe section and not one item caught my fancy. I'm not really interested in Blackest Night and I'm patiently waiting from the Batwoman and Batman and Robin collections.

Page 105: World of Warcraft Special #1
I'm a fan of sword and sorcery and i'm interested in seeing what Pop Mhan will bring artistically to Warcraft.

Page 107: Daytripper #1
I'm not sire what it is about Moon and Ba's story, but for now they ahve me interested enough to check out this first issue.

Page 113: Preacher Book Two HC
I've read and since sold Preacher in single and TPB format. I've been waiting for years for it to be released in HC format, so I eagerly await the release of each book, so I can read this epic once again.

Page 117: The Unwritten Volume 1: Tommy Taylor and the Bogus Identity TP
I've been hooked on this series since the first issue and have been patiently waiting for this TPB. Now my wait is just a few months away.

Page 144: Tank Girl: Dark Nuggets

Rather than a black and white one-shot for $4. I'd rather see quality reprint collections. $4 seems to be a bit much for a 32-paged black and white book from Image. Maybe at $2.50-$3, i would ahve bought this with no problem.

What's funny is I have a Tanl Girl TPB from the library sitting on my right. I picked it up yesterday and it's the first Tank Girl comic, I've ever read.

Page 160: Savage Dragon #155
What's there not to love about an evil army of Dragon's?

and now everything else in the back of the book!

Page 188: Chimichanga #1 (Albatross Exploding Funny Book)
I glad to see Eric Powell do something outside the Goon. It should be interesting and I wholly support it.

Page 194: Artesia Beseiged #5
Artesia's back and I can't wait to get the new HC (whenever it's released)!

Page 195: Mouse Guard Volume 2: Winter 1152 Black and White Edition
I'm sure this will be just as beautiful as the first volume's black and white edition. However, I think it's a mistake to showcase them here side by side. The most glaring thing is the $50 price different for essentially the same book. Petersen says volume 2 had more vellum overlays, but that was my least favorite part of the first edition, so paying $50 more because it on the second decision is not something I plan to do.

Page 269: Tales of the TMNT #65
I'm working the grays for this issue of tales form the TMNT right now, so make sure you order and buy it as Jamal needs a need computer.

And that's it for this month.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Bone Sharps, Cowboys, and Thunder Lizards

I went down to the Durham Public Library and perused the fiction section for graphic novels. Bone Sharps, Cowboys, and Thunder Lizards is one of the many GNs that jumped out me. By writer Jim Ottavani with art by Big Time Attic (Zander Cannon, Kevin Cannon, and Shad Petosky) and a cover by Mark (Xenozoic Tales) Schultz, the full title is Bone Sharps, Cowboys, and Thunder Lizards: A Tale of Edward Drinker Cope, Othniel Charles Marsh, and the Gilded Age of Paleontology.

The story is a highly fascinating account of the rivalry between Cope and Marsh in the early period of paleontology as they jockey for digs, naming rights, and notoriety. As with all GT-Lab books, this story is enhanced history with the facts embellished by Ottavani to move along the plot. However, when you have Cope and Marsh alongside cowboys and the famous PT Barnum, there isn't much embellishing that needs to be done as they plant fossils, usurps digs and otherwise snipe at each other to establish early dominance causing one to burn through and inheritance and the other to die with only his body to donate to science. The reader is left to speculate to what good they might have been able to accomplish if either could set aside ego and grievances to work together.

The art by Big Time Attic is dominated by Zander Cannon so it's the style that we've become familiar with in his other projects. This time it is embellished by being printed entirely in sepia tones with a single half tone shade and is filled with rather colorful historic characters. What stands out most to me is the hand lettering which is finely showcased when PT Barnum shows up in the beginning and the end. PT Barnum's speech is embellished with flourishes of the lettering that you would find on carnival posters.

From beginning to end, this is a fine and entertaining comic book look at 2 fascinating character from a bygone era and comes highly recommended.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Every month, I go through Diamond's Previews to figure out what I want. From now until, I will blog about what I see that catches my attention. Keep in mind that most of my comic buying consist of #1s, collected editions (hardcovers or TPBs), or OGN (original graphic novels). I buy #1s to see if it's something that I will get later in a collected edition

This is the Rest of Previews (not Dark Horse, DC, Image, Marvel) Edition.

page 186: Echo #18 (Abstract)
Terry Moore won me over with Strangers in Paradise and he kept the ball rolling with his Marvel books and now with Echo.

page 188: The Black Coat: Or Give Me Death... #3 (Ape)
Writer Ben Lichus is a local, so my local comic book store carries Black Coat. Even if they didn't support it and even if Ben wasn't local, I'd be interested in this Revolutionary War "super" hero tale.

page 202: Fearless Dawn #1 (Asylum)
Fearless Dawn is one of the many features from the Bomb mini series (and now TPB). I've been following Steve Mannion's career for years and still anxiously await everything that he does.

page 228: The Incredibles: City of Incredibles TP (Boom!)
I hate ... hate ... HATE the Boom! collections. They are too small to be regular size, but not small enough to be digest. However, I love the Incredibles and my kids do as well.

page 229: The Mupper Show: The Treasure of Peg-Leg Wilson TP (Boom!)
see the previous comment.

page 241: Buck Rogers #6 (Dynamite)
Dynamite won me over with the #0 issue of this series. I anxiously await the collected edition.

page 246: The Talisman: The Road of Trials #1 (Del Rey)
The Talisman is one of my favorite King books. I'll be checking out this first issue to see if this series will be worth getting in collected format later.

page 255: Bloodrayne: Revenge of the Butcheress (Digital Webbing)
I buy all Digital Webbing books and you should too as some of the best new talent in the industry comes from Digital Webbing.

page 271: Grimjack: The Manx Cat #4
I already own the ComicMix version of this series, but I'll buy it again when IDW collects it so that it matches my other Grimjack trades. I love Tim Truman and I love his work with Ostrander on Grimjack. That's all it takes for me. I think the greatest strength of Grimjack is that Cynosure can be used to tell a story in any genre.

That's it for me and Previews this month. Catch me next month.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Previews Blogging: September Edition (Dark Horse, DC, Image)

Every month, I go through Diamond's Previews to figure out what I want. From now until, I will blog about what I see that catches my attention. Keep in mind that most of my comic buying consist of #1s, collected editions (hardcovers or TPBs), or OGN (original graphic novels). I buy #1s to see if it's something that I will get later in a collected edition

This is the Dark Horse, DC and Image Edition.

page 26: Age of Reptiles : The Journey #1 (of 4)
If you are a dinosaur fan, then this comic is a must. Delgado draws dinosaurs like few others. There are 2 other Age of Reptiles collections and I recommend them highly. My only regrets are that 1) they are hard to find and 2) they are not available in hardcover. I would love to see this series collected with the other 2 series into one large hardcover colelction.

page 28: Conan the Cimmerian #16

New Conan. Tim Truman. Nuff said. I'm getting it... in hardcover format.

page 29: The Barry Windsor-Smith Conan Archives Vol 1
I'm a huge Conan mark. You can convince me with very little effort to buy anything Conan and this is no different. This BWS Conan is the format it deserves.

page 37: Hellboy : The Wild Hunt #8 (of 8)
I read all Hellboy series and some of the ancillary series. However, it will be a long time before I get to this series as I'm reading Hellboy in the new hardcover editions. That's fine with me as they are well worth the wait.


page 72: Batman and Robin #6
Frank Quitely and Morrison sold me on this series, so I'm along for the ride when the entire run is collected.

page 73: Detective Comics #859
Williams has created and absolutely amazing look for Kate Kane, Batwoman and having read the first issue of this new run on Detective, I'm happily waiting for the collected edition.

page 89: Warlord #8
I'm a sucker for sword and sorcery, so I anxiously await the collected edition for this new Warlord series. Add artist Chad Hardin into the mix with writing and art by Mike Grell and this is definitely on my buy list.

page 108: World of Warcraft #25
The Simonsons working together on a sword and sorcery fantasy book. Sign me up.

Page 121: Unwritten #7
Anxiously waiting for the first TPB. I was sold after the first issue.

page 136-141: Image United #1 (of 6)
Anyone who was a fan of early Image is on board for this series. Now, I'm not a fan of all of early Image. I'm not a fan of crossovers, but I'm vaguely interested in this series.

page 151: Chew Vol 1: Taster's Choice TP
Absolutely can not wait to read this. How can you not love a detective that solves crime by eating parts of the victim. It's sick and twisted and so full of potential. Would prefer a hardcover, but will take what I can get.

page 154: The Walking Dead Book 4 HC
I sat down and rewad books 1 and 2 in a book store. I'm very interested in re-reading those as well as 3 and 4, so it's time to start my Walking Dead collection. If you like zombies and aren't reading this, then you should be. This is one of the best titles that Image produces (alongside Invincible).

page 156: Bomb Queen VI #3 (of 4)
Bomb Queen is a guilty pleasure that just doesn't take itself too seriously. In the wrong hands, this book could be very bad, but Jimmie Robinson walks the fine line between farce and self-parody.

page 158: Elephantmen #23
Elephantmen is the best pure sci-fi comics on the shelf. It's beautifully produced with high production and design values. The hardcovers some of the best looking on the shelves.

page 160: Invincible #68

I collect this only in hardcover format, but Invincible is one of the best and most pure fun superhero concepts being published.

page 162: The Mice Templar : Destiny
I'm a sucker even for sword and sorcery featuring mice as the lead characters.

page 163: Savage Dragon #154
This is one of very few comic book that I continue to collect in single format. Savage Dragon is pure fun and it's always great to see Larsen do his thing. After 150+ issues, I still can not predict where Larsen is headed, but I thoroughly enjoy the ride.

page 165: Underground #3 (of 5)
Jeff Parker is an great storyteller when writing and drawing (see his self-published Interman). He's been doing a lot more writing lately (see Agents of Atlas from Marvel) and it's been all very enjoyable. Steve Lieber is one of my favorite artists.

That's it for me and Dark Horse, DC, and Image Previews this month. Catch me on Tuesday with my picks form the rest of Previews.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Previews Blogging: September Edition (Marvel)

Every month, I go through Diamond's Previews to figure out what I want. From now until, I will blog about what I see that catches my attention. Keep in mind that most of my comic buying consist of #1s, collected editions (hardcovers or TPBs), or OGN (original graphic novels). I buy #1s to see if it's something that I will get later in a collected edition

This is the Marvel Edition.

page 5: Captain Reborn #5 (of 5)
Brubaker's run on Cap is on of the very few books that I continued to get in singles. I've switched to the collected editions shortly before issue 600, so I'm patiently waiting to read Reborn after I re-read the entire Brubaker Cap series.

page 8: The Stand: Soul Survivor #2 (of 5)
The Stand is on of my all time favorite Stephen King books. I've already read the first series (in collected form), I'm waiting to read the second series (in collected form), so I'll patiently wait to read this version (in collected form).

page 9: The Marvelous Land of Oz #1 (of 8)
Just finished reading the Wonderful Wizard of Oz hardcover and I anxiously await the hardcover version of this. I'm skipping the first issue as I know that I will be buying this in hardcover format.

page 14: SOLEIL
Sky Doll: Doll's Factory #1 (of 2)

Kookaburra K #1 (of 3)

I love Marvel's Soleil imprint. I read the first Sky Doll series so I don't need anything other than that to sell me on the next series. Kookaburra is Humerto Ramos. Give me Ramos on anything that's not a superhero title and I'm likely to buy it.

page 15: Ultimate Comics Avengers #4
Read the first issue. Loved it. Waiting for the collected edition.

page 17: Ultimate Comics Spider-Man#4
Read the first issue. Loved it. Waiting for the collected edition. Ultimate Spider-Man has been my lone Spider-Man purchase for years and even with this reboot is remains my lone Spider-Man purchase.

page 18: Amazing Spider-Man #611
Remember what I just said. This issue changes that. Deadpool written by Joe Casey in a Spider-Man book drawn by Eric Canete! If this was Spidey all the time, I'd read Amazing more often.

page 31: Fantastic Four #573
I love the concept of the FF, however, I haven't followed the FF since Ringo and Waid. I try a new issue with every new creative team and I've very much looking forward to Hickman's FF. If Alan Davis was the interior artist, I've be sold.

page 34: Incredible Hulk #604 Son of Hulk #17

Skaar and Sakar are the stars of these titles. How can you go wrong with Hulk as Conan the Barbarian?

page 59: Astonishing X-Men #32
The only X-Men title that I follow. I like to think of this as the modern X-Men without all the crossovers.

page 77: Incognito
I enjoy Brubaker and Phillips as a team. Put them on any thing and I'm there.
page 78: Powers #1
I'm starting over with Powers. I haven't followed it since it left Image. If it's as good as I remember, then I will start new when this collection is published.

page 79: Powers Encylcopedia Vol 1
I'm a sucker for this type of stuff and since I'm a lapsed Powers reader it makes since for me to read this.

and now we enter the bread and butter of my Marvel purchases ... the collected editions!
page 88: The Stand : American Nightmares
I simply can't wait to read more of the Stand in comic format. There is no doubt that this will be on my reading list as soon as it arrives.

page 95: Runaways : Homeschooling Premeire HC
I've been sold on the Runaways since I read the very first volume a few months ago. I'm still catching up, but by November I should be ready to read this next volume in the saga.

page 96: Avengers: The Korvac Saga Premeire HC
I've always been a huge Avengers fan and the Korvac Saga is a classic Avengers tale that I've glad to see collected.

That's it for me and Marvel Previews this month. Catch me on Friday with my Dark Horse, DC, and Image picks.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Fantastic Four #306 Commission

FF #306 is the first comic I ever purchased. I've looked for the cover or even an interior page of the original art for years. Thus far, I've only found one page and it is owned by someone on the same quest as I am.

Finally, I resolved just to recreate the cover.

I contacted Drew Moss to work on this commission. I wanted him to give me his interpretation of the cover. The idea is to do a complete recreation of the cover with Drew doing pencils, Stacie Ponder on inks, and me doing lettering and colors.

Here you see Drew layouts for the cover. He's changed all the poses to make them more close-up and more dramatic. I'm really digging Diablo's pose.

However, there are some minor changes that were made in the pencils.

Before we get to the pencils let's take a look at the head shots for the corner box. Drew pencilled the heads for the corner box on a separate sheet of paper. These are actually quite small (The Thing's head is about 1 in x 1 in).

I will be digitally inking these. Drew's knowledge of the FF shows here with Reed smoking a pipe. No Marvel character smokes at all any more, but Reed did at one point.

Here are the finished pencils by Drew. The only real change is Sue engulfed in flames replaces the golden transmuted Crystal.

I'm not sure why the original cover used Crystal rather than Sue. In the story, Crystal is taken out first (after signaling for the FF) and first battle although 1 panel longer than Sue's is less visual.

Far be it from me to question the great Buscema, but for this recreation, we went for the classic four members of the FF.

Now that I've scanned all the images, I can get to work on laying out the cover and mailing Stacie the pencils to ink.

Stay tuned for more at a later date.

Monday, June 08, 2009

Comic Lettering: How To and How Not To!

Comic book lettering is the art of putting those neat little words that you read into the neat little balloons so that you can read them. It's mostly design and like all design sometimes it's done well and A LOT of the the time it's done poorly. Good lettering should be seen, but not noticed. If something about the lettering or balloons is pulling you away from the story, then the letterer has failed to do his job correctly.

Almost all lettering done today in comics is done digitally using computer fonts. There are 2 major places dedicated to producing high quality comic book related fonts. These 2 places are Comicraft founded by Richard Starkings and Blambot founded by Nate Piekos. Both places provide high quality fonts as well as articles about lettering. Those articles can be augmented by the lettering videos available at If you still find yourself with questions, then head over to the lettering forum at Digital Webbing. Some of the top letterers working in the current industry can be found at Digital Webbing including (but not limited to) Nate Piekos, Clem Robins, Tom Orzechowski.

Now while we can not all be professional letterers, we can all be better than sub standard letterers. Those you SHOULD NOT listen to are those that offer tutorials for lettering using anything other the Illustrator. While you can use other tools, they are undersuited for the job at hand. If you MUST use those tools, then you should do so mimicking the Illustrator method as much as possible.

If you don't think lettering is that important, then contact me and I'll get my youngest to letter for you. Otherwise, learn to letter well (I did) or hire a letterer (I'm generally available).

Monday, June 01, 2009

PVP Awesomology: Truth in Advertising

Scott Kurtz (of PVP fame) posted the following in his blog :

Image wanted to me to let you know that you’re time to nab a signed and numbered edition is running out. We are only printing 300 of our signed and numbered edition. These come with a full color tip-in sheet signed and numbered by ME. We’ve already sold through half of those editions and that’s not including our offline orders. Both editions are being sold at a reduced price online. These will cost more if you wait for them to hit stores or pick one up at a local retailer or book shop, so act now while you can.

The bold area immediately caught my attention and I immediately went to check out the great pricing. Kurtz is offering the $99.99 AWESOMOLOGY for $85. That's a 15% discount. Of course, there is still shipping which turns out to be $10 to me via the cheapest method. So the $99.99 book would cost me a grand total of $95.00. My saving $5 (5%).

Most comic books shops offer some sort of discount. Even a 5% discount is the same as buying it direct from Scott AND it has the added benefit of supporting a local business.

So much for truth in advertising. If you're a student in Durham, stop by any of the Ultimate Comics stores and you receive an automatic 10% discount. Become a subscriber and you can get a 10-25% discount (based on sales).

Furthermore, all Image collections end up on Amazon. Amazon will most likely give you at least a 10% discount AND free shipping. The Awesomology is very similar to the DC Absolutes (in pricing and size). Amazon offers those at 35%+ discounts AND FREE SHIPPING. has it for $61.90 with a best online price match guarantee. If you find it anywhere cheaper before you buy it, they will match the price. If you find it cheaper after you buy, they will give you $500 is in store credit.

Tales of Wonder has it for $69.99

As a comic book creator, I think you should support creators directly as much as possible. However as a creator, I'm not going to say something is such a great deal when in fact it's not. Come on, Scott, you can do better.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


My aunt, May, died today from Cancer.
She once took the time to teach a 6 year-old how to thread a needle and sew a button. He can sew to this day thanks to his aunt and misses her deeply.