Tuesday, February 28, 2006



GAZIZZA, MY DELNUFESES! I have, in my posession, SEASON 3 of NEWSRADIO!



I have never been to a panel discussion at a comic convention. Does that make me a bad person? I live a halfanhouratmost from the New York Comic-Con's location, but I made no attempt at not getting in. Does that make me a bad person?

Aside from Chris Butcher's great look at the 'State of the Industry' shampanel, this is my favorite recap of NYCC events—all done with a straight face. These two writeups should explain WHY I don't go to panels and WHY I didn't go to the local show.

First of all, the panel was called BEYOND CAPES AND SPANDEX Well, biffbampow, convention organizers. I hate shit like this. The title of the panel is a clear indication of the convention's mentality, "If you're not working on fucking Nightwing and the Battle of Bludhaven, here's the kiddie table you can saddle your special-olympics ass up to, and we're doing it all under the pretense of demonstrating the diversity within comics." HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

If you need a panel demonstrating the 'diversity' within comics, then you're ackowledging the a priori failure of your convention floor. And what 'diversity'!

Why not call this Fred Van Lente and some people the moderator met one time. I think Kleid might be the only one who doesn't publish entirely in the superhero format.

"“Why have we decided not to work in the superhero genre?” Admittedly, some admitted (sic) that they had, but they still held on to there being more to the medium, and to their creative motivation, than just spandex."

“I learned that I don’t have to do superheroes, don’t have to do Superman. Comics can be pretty much anything I want them to be.”

This is New York, not Thumbedass, Alabama. Two-Thousand Mutherfucking 6.

“Why have we decided not to work in the superhero genre?”

Why are we treating the decision to do comics that aren't superheroes a decision to not do superheroes? Shouldn't the question be, "What about your comic's subject matter attracted you in the first place?"

"they still held on to there being more to the medium"

Desperately, one would assume. Fingers bleeding from the strain. The prevailing winds working against them.

"Comics can be pretty much anything I want them to be."

Virgin-raping afternoon-special god in heaven! If I never here this phrase again, it will be too nipple-bleedingly SOON! Am I the only person under the age of 60 who's family had a newspaper kicking about the house? Has no one noticed that THE INDUSTRY AS A WHOLE IS NOT EVEN MARGINALLY DOMINATED BY SUPERHERO COMICS AND HASN'T BEEN FOR TEN YEARS???????? Is it really so puss-filled scrotumly ABSURD for someone interested in the medium of comics to have any derire but the one to work on Sentinel Squad O.N.E.?


I think I may be Manchurian Candidating myself. Kenneth Belasco is the kindest, warmest, gentlest man I know.

Seriously. I woke up this morning feeling like ol' Golden Arm himself, still halfway logged into a Jack Bauer dream with that song—that evil, evil song—echoing off the sides of my skull. Tears of a Clown. When there's no one around, THIS IS ALL I HEAR. This is not a miracle. I'm terrified that if I try to purge that song from my computer, John McLaughlin will show up in my livingroom wearing nothing but a Queen of Hearts costume.

Did very little work on #6 last night. I really needed to step away from the computer for a night. A bottle of red, five episodes of 24, a couple of sandwiches (ham'n'onions) and I just enjoyed a night off. I am closer to working out the ideas for #7, though (doing some writing on the day job).

So, now I'm just one day ahead of the revised schedule. This is good. I feel uncomfortable being too far ahead. Next schedule needs to take fix-the-fuckups time anyway. Technically, I'm still targeting the same day for completion, so I won't be ahead until the fat lady sings.

The phrase of the day is, "Speculative Autobiography."

Monday, February 27, 2006


Fuck. My first blogtrastophe.

I try many tine linking. I'm funny. Blogger say the nay-no.

Checkout Floopie Spurge and Chris Butcher to the right for NYConning reports. My inspiration is gone. I save jokes for next time.

Fuck me.



Gnarles Barkley's St. Elsewhere is the Duece of Mays! Cee-Lo versus Dangermouse! To. The Death. They got my hopes up so high, then they delayed satisfaction many tine. Now, it can only end in disapointment. I can't wait!

I wait so long for Dangermouse to work with someone good (who hadn't already recorded all his tracks with other producers) and I've waited so long for new Cee-Lo (one episode of screetchy daughter's super sweet sixteen does not a Cee-Lo fix fill). Now I only wait two months. TWO MONTHS???

Sunday, February 26, 2006


13 Spreads colored. 12 Days ahead of schedule. Or so I should be. Figuring out some backlog work need be dunz... about two days worth. 10 days ahead. And then there's the part where I never factored in the post-production work. I'm going to need to print all the spreads out and fix all the fuckups. Estimating a day per spread and I'm only two days ahead. Crack a window.

I'd like to work some more today, but I think my heed has had it. Seriously. I'm starting to wonder if Smokey Robinson's Tears of a Clown has popped up on my supposedly random iTunes four out of the past five days for a reason. Shut it, Smokey!

Maybe I should take a break. I'll get everything sorted and then take a day or two before steppin in with the fixin's.

Watched The Unbearable Lightness of Being last night. Awesome.

Saturday, February 25, 2006


Watched Wallace & Grommit: The Curse of the Wererabbit last night. Enjoyable. I think I liked Wrong Trousers and Close Shave better, but this was still quite good. The bonus features include the animated short Stage Fright, by Wererabbit co-director Steve Box (natch). This was a nicely dark little drama set at the time when traditional vaudville acts were being replaced by cinema. This was not only the best part of the disk, but also made me want to film something again...

#6 continues apace. Today was the day I was supposed to hit the computer, and I already find myself with nine pages colored. Hopefully, I can crank through two more this afternoon before watching The Unbearable Lightness of Being.

Only three days until Newsradio Season 3!

Only six weeks until APE!

Really looking forward to seeing hoe the New ork Comic-Con went...

Friday, February 24, 2006


Isaac Brock of Modest Mouse explains his random shuffle. I love it when artists are honest about other artists. When they're talented artists, they are often right.

This makes me want to do the same thing... to the iTunes!


I somehow missed this great little look at an old Basil Wolverton comic. Dial B For Blog is a great source for silver/bronze-age comics and something I check out every day (except one day, apparently). I lovelovelovelovelove Basil Wolverton, one of the few conservative-leaning cartoonists of his age. While his adventure strips can seem a bit lackluster to an eye trained on a certain look, I can't imagine anyone not madly in love with his brilliant grotesqueries. He is probably the greatest monster/freak artist of all time.

Speaking about the reactions of people accustomed to (and appreciative of) only a narrow spectrum of comic-art stylings, Mr. Shawn Hoke reprints a great little article of his about early reactions to the comic that would eventually see print as Sammy Harkham's Crickets #1.


Last night, as I scrounged the apartment 'bar', scraping the paint for just enough alcohol to cap off a not-so-wild Quirthday celebration, Marcos says, "Oh man, Jog loves you!" Obviously, Jog doesn't love me—he doesn't even know me (yes, I realise that means there's a greater chance he does love me than there would be if he did know me), but Jog did write some lovely words about Earth Minds Are Weak #5.

And, while it's fantastic seeing someone sing your praises one drunken night, it can be a bit uncomfortable seeing those praises still sung the morning after. I have some difficulty accepting praise as it is, but suddenly I find myself terrified. Sooner or later, I'll be revealed as a fraud. I'll suffer from insurmountable performance anxiety. Sure, HE'S looking forward to the next time, but I know I'm already developing an immunity to the artistic Viagra I dropped. He'll try to soothe my pain and tell me it happens to everyone, that he still loves me no matter what, that next time will be better—but I know the horrible truth. I'm the one who has to stare deep into his eyes and watch as the magic slowly fades.

Thursday, February 23, 2006


We're gonna have a good time.

So, C-Man has this notion of Mirthdays. The halfway point of your lifeyear. Turn 16? It's your birthday. Turn 16-and-a-half? Celebrate your Mirthday!

I say, take it further, baby girl. Every three months should be a celebration of your parents' sexual misadventures. It's you're fuckin' Quirthday! Let people tell you how damn glad they are to have you in their life. Let them buy you drink, food, drugs, whores, bling or robot vaginas.

Well, today is my Quirthday! Where's my robot vagina???

How do I plan to celebrate? I'm cleaning! I need to do some laundry, clean out the room trash, maybe sweep, definitely scrub the bathroom.

Then, I drink! Maybe watch some dvds! Also, drink! Possibly drink more! I'll drown my happiness if it's the last thing I do.


So, Big Question #8: Gorgeous. I wonder if Dogs & Water is in the same world. What is with the crashed planes?

Tales Designed to Thrizzle #1: Made me laugh all the way home, and I've only made it through the "Adult" section. Nut bra.

Crickets #1: Lovely stuff. Two-color, fine-line. Only one sequence confused me (when the boy falls into the pile of fightmen), and that stands out only because the storytelling is otherwise impeccable. It's so seamless, I didn't even notice it (and this is the sort of thing I consciously look for) until it broke down for all of two panels. Splendid stuff, although what is with the Golem genre? Is it really that evocative a monster? It doesn't really matter, because the humor and sadness and beauty are what's what here; but it does seem like there's a disproportionate number of Golem stories versus it's mythical power—I say this unable to think of another Golem story I've read or seen in the past ten years (never say this isn't the age of unsupportable rhetoric!). But, yes. Beautiful. I won't be surprised when this ends up being better than Poor Sailor.

Showcase Presents: House of Mystery: I'm very curious to know what HoM was like before Joe Orlando took over. This collects over 500 pages from the begining of his run as editor and features comics greats Neal Adams, Bernie Wrightson, Sergio Aragones and Alex Mutha-Fuckin' Toth among others. Some top-notch code horror stories, fantastic art in two thrids of the book (pretty much made for b&W reproduction), some of the funniest stuff I remember seeing from Aragones, some terrible overwriting by Marv Wolfman, off-the-wall drawing by Grandetti and Alex Mutha-Fuckin' Toth pissing greatness into your face with every panel. If you ever wondered why Toth is the artist's artist, pick this up. I love the Showcase books, they're a serious addiction, and this is the Columbian Gold.


Watching 24 Season 1 for the first time. Well, I'd seen some episodes when they first ran (and I remember the big, midseason twist), but I couldn't get into how ridiculous it was. It was too over the top, too contrived, too poorly acted. Later, I'd find out the show was created by Joel Surnow (he who did the Le Femme Nikita show), and I'd give it another try.

"I can't get my job back, I'm an addict."
"You got addicted to heroin... for you country!"
"That doesn't change anything."

Wow. Clearly, this had to be seen from the begining. So, after working 14-hour days, I pour myself a little hwine, light up a smoke, sit back and feel the Gs. I think Marcos was drinking the hwiskey. I can't believe anyone watches this show sober. But it's one of the great drinking shows.

5 days till Newsradio 3.


Well, so much for my blazing trails of aheadedness. Last night, I managed to prep a spread for coloring, but stopped before the actual job. A little burnout. It did take close to four hours just to clean the spread, and I didn't clean it as tight as I have some other spreads. Some of that can be done in coloring, some can be done after I print color tests.

Was willing to work through the wrist pain, but the grey matter started doing Doug H. Nuts in the skull. I don't think I've lost any time, but I didn't grab any, either.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006


Splendid day for the purchase of comics.

Big Questions #8—Anders NIlsen
Now that this is being published by D&Q, it seems likely that a collection will be in the offing once the serial is complete. However, there are some cartoonists putting out work so splendid (see: Chris Ware), that I must buy the work the day it hits. Anders Nilsen is such a cartoonist. I've had madmanlove for his work since I first saw it in Kramer's Ergot 4. Big Questions is lyrical, delicate, disturbing, depressing, funny, thoughtful, engaging, beautiful and dark. If you're reading this and not that, you be crizzee.

Crickets #1—Sammy Harkham
D&Q are sort of stealthily transforming once again, aren't they? All of a sudden, they've become the home of a number of serialized comics from fresh voices, adding to their recent repetoire of little art books and one-offs in addition to their old-school Canadian art comics and niche reprints. I haven't read this yet, but Harkham's Poor Sailor was aces, and his editorial stewardship of Kramer's Ergot is virtually unimpeachable. This should be great.

Tales Designed to Thrizzle #1—Michael Kupperman
#2 was just a dadaist send-up of post-war advertising and mores. I imagine #1 was similar. #2 also made me piss in the toilet, it was so funny. I expect no less from this.


It seems noteworthy that Fantagraphics will not be attending the first New York Comic Con this weekend, instead allowing Mid-Town Comics to act as a proxy. Some of their cartoonists will be there. As a sign of solidarity, Cliff Face Comics will also not be there. No one has stepped up to act as our proxy, however.

Does this mean anything? I'm sure it's a cost issue. Fanta probably has much of their publishing schedule built around the alternative cons and now that there are so frickin' many cons this year, it must be hard to allocate the time, energy and resources to yet another one. Especially one that is going out of its way to court the super crowd.

For us: cost, benefits, energy and the work are keeping us away. I'm almost tempted to check it out, but I have no drugs, so what's the point?

Part of me wonders how we would perform in such an atmosphere. Part of me remembers how much I hated being tabled near alternasuperhero publishers at SPX and MoCCA. Part of me thinks that we should have our faces everywhere we can. Part of me thinks that the money spent to go there could go toward that new monitor I keep telling myself I'll buy.

Actually, that's a great idea. I'll celebrate new York Comic Con by buying a new monitor!


Ever call out of work under the pretense of being sick only to show up for work the next day actually sick? Damn karma chameleon, you come and go.

Celebrate! Okay, it's a little misleading since the schedule doesn't work on an equal page-day ratio, but my day-off gambit has put me about 10 days ahead of schedule on issue 6.

Half the spreads are colored. It's entirely possible that I'll be done with the bulk of the work this weekend. I could wind up being two weeks ahead of schedule barring any unfortunate hapnings. This would be crazy go nuts.

And it means that I need to really stepup my thoughts about Issue 7. And that means I'm in terror mode again.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006


Ah, the sick day. Was pretty pissed at my office yesterday. They made us stay the entire day even though no one had any work to do after noon. And no work was going to come in since our clients all had the day off. I know it's pretty Tom Petty of me, but it was just madness.

Did I mention that Optical Sloth has continued its look at EMAW with a Lincoln review? Marcos comes across pretty good in my review.

So, I took the day to work on #6 well into the wee hours last night and through the day today. All spreads built. Two spreads colored. The book wasn't even supposed to be puter ready until the 25th, so I'm about a week ahead.

Speaking of weeks. One to go before Newsradio S3.

Six and a half weeks before APE. That corner just keeps getting more arounder.


Okay. I think I have the basic color scheme down. Now it should be relatively easy to do the other pages.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Check it out either way, if you want my two cents on it

Those are the words of Whitey himself, the man behind Optical Sloth In his review of Lincoln isn't the Awesome, part of Earth Minds Are Weak #5.

Thanks, Whitey!


In 8 days. Newsradio. Season 3. DVD.


Scroll down for EMAW #5 news.

With EMAW #5 in a bag, work proceeds on Earth Minds Are weak #6
Status: except for the cover and some spirograph work, all pages are inked and scanned. Half the spreads have been built and coloring has begun. #6, titled #6, is to be a 16-page, full-color, 5.5 x 8.5 comic. It's the closest I've come to making a superhero comic. May appeal to fans of Green Lantern, the Atom, Jack Kirby and Grant Morrison. Or it may not. It's my first attempt at making a magic comic (a comic designed to affect life itself) since the late nineties, when my blind stumblings and fumblings nearly crippled me.

When I get home, I may post some work-in-progress crap.

Since I want to get in the habit of churning work out instead of leading a life, I've also begun preliminary work on Issue 7. 'Preliminary work' is, of course, code for, "I've tossed a whole bunch of ideas onto different pieces of paper in the hopes that one will mutate into something workable."


Issue #5 is now available in the online store. It is three minicomics, all bundled together in one bright pink envelope. The packaging idea was stolen from the great Tom Gauld (and Marcos). The three books are:

Lincoln Isn't The Awesome
An attempt to cash in on the runaway success of Carl Is The Awesome. Lincoln, a porcupine, is Carl's neighbor. He is a failure in all aspects of life. Come laugh at his pain.

I Love You
Boy meets girl. Boy falls in love. Boy eviserates himself for girl. Girl destroys boy. Girl falls in love. Girl grows tired of boy. Girl becomes an alcoholic. The gross goings-on of the ickiest emotion. Come laugh at their pain.

Full-color dream comic, detailing my subconcious state after a personal loss.

Preview art is at the main site. Scroll toward the bottom.


President's Day. Day-job client has the day off. We all have to be on the job. Mostly twiddling thumbs.

I should be somewhere celebrating the grand achievements of our presidents. Maybe I am. By working. Thank-you, presidents.

Finally found my way to youtube.com and watched some Daily Show and Colbert Report clips. I live in a stone age, and have no cable. Really, I'd only get cable to watch a handful of shows, so it's not worth it to me.

A wonderful highlight was watching Alberto Gonzales testify to congress about wiretap precedent on Colbert. Apparently, presidents Washington, Lincoln, Wilson and Roosevelt ALL authorized extra-constitutional electronic eavesdropping while in office.

Let that one swim around in your grey matter for a couple of minutes.


Okay! We haven't officially launched the new Cliff Face Comics website, but we're hurtling towards that date like frozen squirrels down a giant water slide.

Right now, we're playing around with some ideas. A multiblog of epic proportions. Hopefully, it will work like this:

The main page will feature the Cliff Face Comics blog. This will be like our old 'NEWS' page, only in blog form. We'll be able to post more often and there will be RSS feeds and whatever other bells and whistles this software comes with. There will also be links to other people's blogs, including our own.

While we want to keep the Cliff Face blog fresh and vibrant, there's too much of a temptation to put lots of crap up on that page and crowd out important Cliff Face new. So, Marcos has his STICK IT MAKE IT ICE blog http://marcosinyourface.blogspot.com/ and I have this.

I'm sure I'll post about the world of ephemera, but this will hopefully primarily be my work journal. My work being the acclaimed Earth Minds Are Weak minicomic. That's 'acclaimed' as in, "Acclaimed that new issue would be out this month, but it won't be ready in time."

More on this after I have a cigarette.
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