Tuesday, January 30, 2007


I needed to scan this just to see if I was even on the same planet as a working image. This is the shit that drives crazy.


Been reading Pat Mills and Kevin O'Neill's Complete Nemesis the Warlock. It's fun stuff. At it's best when it's at it's most insane, at it's worst when Mills goes for banal or O'Neill's grotesqueries make his images unreadable.

It's both inspiring and depressing. Inspiring because O'Neill was about the same age as me when he started The Gothic Empire story and all his engines were firing. Up till then, his work was really uneven (if incredibly creative). He was still throwing shit onto the page to see what would stick though. That's reassuring. And it would be 15 years before he found his League of Extraordinary Gentlemen style.

The depressing thing is that Mills and O'Neill were throwing SO much out there that you can't help but get stuck in the tar pit of "Is there anything else left?" Of course there is, but it's hard to see it when you get yourself all immersed.


Hey, how come we're not talking about Hans Rickheit every second of every day? Kevin Bramer discussed him over at Optical Sloth on Friday. The dude might be crazy as fuck.

I'm gonna see if any of the local shoppes have his books, and then I'll order some when they don't have it all.

Monday, January 29, 2007

34th and SECOND

Alright. 34 pages inked. And I'm about 2/3 of the way through 35. 4 & 1/3 pages to go.

It's kind of amazing really, as I've gotten most of the past four days work done today. Crankin'. It helps, I think that these pages had the sort of drawing that was going to lend itself to cruising on high.

I think the next chapter is going to be all closeup panels of people pulling cash from their pockets.

Ok, just to recount the past few days:

Thursday, fell behind when I couldn't get home.
Friday, I decided to weather-proof the windows. I didn't get what I wanted, and the kits I did get, took all night to install. And they installed crappily.
Saturday, I got the weather-proofing I DID want, and spent a good chunk of day putting that up. It's not perfect, but this apartment would probably be a good 10 degrees colder without it.
Saturday night was working, but it wasn't that productive. I had cramped my back up pretty bad doing all the weather-proofing and was trying to work though pain and out-of-shape-related exhaustion.
I really need to News Years up and get less slovenly for MoCCA.
Today, I slept in like there was no today. Then I ate and caffeined and ibuprofinned and got to serious work.

Re: other projects. I've decided to shelve my Blood Lock plans for the time being, as I'm actually having trouble focussing on anything other than Kaiju Jugoruma. I really want to nail this baby, and I can't be distracted. Hopefully, the cartooning will almost start looking the way I want it to by the end of this issue.

The music list continues and I've closed out the big esses with Swordfishtrombones. I really haven't listened to that album as much as, say, Raindogs. I realized tonight that it's because it isn't nearly as good an album. It's still the hots, but Raindogs murders it. And I'm now into Talking Book, part of my long-overdue reacquiantance with Stevie Wonder.

Oh, and I've started figuring out EMAW #9, chapter 4 of Kaiju Jugoruma. The main beats were supposed to be for chapter 2, but then chapter 1 turned into three chapters. That's ok. It's still book two.

Right now, the plan is for the remaining chapters to all come out as separate issues. Let's see how long that plan lasts. The plan is also to finish Kaiju Jugoruma by the end of the year. We'll see how many chapters I add between now and then, beefing the thing into the whirlwind of 2008. Especially since I'm not exactly sure how one of the main guys gets from where he is in Chapter 3 to where he needs to be next. That's going to require at least one more chapter. Probbaly Chapter 5, unless 4 turns out to be more than one chapter. Oy...

And now I have to transfer the past weeks scans onto my laptop for page building/touchups.

Thursday, January 25, 2007


Had a terrible time trying to get home tonight. Needed to do something fun before getting back to the serious.

Who is this? Why, it's Arnim Zola!



The last panel on page 27:

Tuesday, January 23, 2007


Page 24:


Some background work to do to close out Page 24, but I think I'm calling it a knight.

Some computer stuvs to due.

Monday, January 22, 2007


A few weeks ago, I was interviewed by Chris Beckett at Independent Propaganda. Well, he's posted the interview and a very kind review here.

Thanks, Chris.


Well, I'm finishing up the inks on Page 23 and just getting Page 20 up now. Mixing some brush and pen, McCaying the geriatric street thugs.

Should have 23 done tonight, and then I'm heading into 24. Looking to finish ink by end of January. Impossible? I say thee nay!

Sunday, January 21, 2007



Saturday, January 20, 2007


Finished Page 17 on Thursday. Working on pages 18 & 19 now.

Had the wonderfully humbling experience of attending the Masters of American Comics show at the Newark Museum, this afternoon. Will try to collect my thoughts on that for some future posting...

Thursday, January 18, 2007


Was inking away on Page 17 and having a grand olde time. Shotgun Willie was playing in the background.

The Robin S.'s Show Me Love started playing, and I had three inking accidents in the span of 15 seconds. Damn that seductive bloopity bloop beep beat. It made me forget to let the ink dry before I stuck my arm in it. Crap.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007


Inks are finally done on page 16. There'll be some touch-ups and the dropping in of Kaiju Jugoruma billboards, but here's what those panels will basically look like.

Panel 1:

Panels 2 & 3 (deuce!):

Tuesday, January 16, 2007


About 2/3 of the way through inking page 16 (née page 17). It's the last of the ruled out perspective pages. Some nice stuff happening, but I'll be glad to be rid of it.

After that, it's all about the free hands. Was looking at the thick rough line of Bill Watterson and the heavy chiariscuro of Tony De Zuniga earlier, and I think I'm going to have some fun once I crack the brushes and unruled pen again.


Inking has begun! I was a little sidetracked this evening. I decided to watch 24 with my dinner and got caught up in the ridiculousness of it all (not to mention the genre-tv incestuousness of it: President Buffy Principal! Chief of Stiff Ghostbusters 2! Manager Buffy Friend! Terror Kumar! Terror Dr. Bashir! Computer Guy Nikita's Neighbor!).

I didn't realize it was two hours of silly. Then I talked to my mom for the first time since Christmas. That was another good hour and a half.

But now I'm back to the work. In it with the pen. I haven't gotten around to picking up the mythical Japanese T-99 nibs yet, but I'm actually doing some ruled lines, so the Hunt 102 should be fine. It's the stiff reliable.

I haven't given up on my mega list of music, but I've been in the mood to work with a more consistent soundtrack these past two days. I've gone a bit gothy, as I try to transform myself into James O'Barr, I guess. I was asked if Joy Division's "Love Will Tear Us Apart" was ever used in a John Hughes movie (it wasn't). It WAS used in Donnie Darko, that deconstruction of John Hughes movies, though. And, looking at the Division's wiki site, it was noted that James O'Barr was listening to them when he created the Crow.

So, I put the Joy Division on. And then there was The Cure. Then Nine Inch Nails. And then My Bloody Valentine. Now it's Sun 0)))/Boris doing the ambient drone metal.

I even lit a candle. A caribean fruit candle, but it's moody... like voodoo! Sunny voodoo. And I think my finger nails are the only parts of my finger not black with ink. Now, where's my corset?

Bang! Bang!

Monday, January 15, 2007


Blogger, you old so-and-so. Finally letting back on. Thanks, jerk.

Here's the second round of pencils for the top of page 40:

And the third. Looks like I might have to ink this on the light table. The paper reads like braille, there's so much denting. And I went over the Turquoise 8H pencils with a Kimberly 8H. I don't know what's up with the Kimberlys, their 8H is like an HB. Whither the quality control?

Here's the hall of pencils, soon to be reduced to bare wall.


I'm going to bed. I thought I'd be able to post some final images, but haven't been since the last post.

The good news is, the pencils for page 40 are now DONE! That means inks start tomorrow. Maybe I'll even try to get those Lock thumbs up as well.

Inking should be interesting. 25 pages worth. Well, 24. I've decided that what is currently page 16 is going to sleep with the fishes. So long, sucker!

So, 24 pages to ink. Should be interesting.

Sunday, January 14, 2007


Slowin' it downs for the big finale.

The whole ending scene in the eighth issue of EMAW didn't even exist until after Christmas. It was then that I watched and rewatched, respectfully, the two things that would trigger the whole hullabaloo at Rabbits.

The first thing I watched was Lady, Play Your Mandolin, an early, pre-Porky Merry Melodies short starring Foxy — essentially Mickey Mouse with more tail. In it, Foxy goes to a saloon where a (Minnie) Foxy sings the title song. All the characters are drunk off their asses and they all go ga-ga for the singer and their own antics.

The second thing was Blue Velvet, one of my all-time favorite movies. Each time I watch it, something else strikes a different chord with me. This time it was the club scene where Kyle MacLachlan catches Dennis Hopper weeping at the beauty of Isabella Rosellini singing the title song. I used to think that the song was the one thing that soothed the savage, but now I think that the song just makes him crazier differently.

Anyway, working on the last page, I decided to slow things down a bit, especially for the page's first panel. There are a lot of characters in it, and they're all stampeding counter-directionally. The last part is the hardest aspect, as I've internalized left-right momentum to such a degree that going the other way is a bit like writing with the wrong hand.

Here's how it's all breaking down. First, we have the thumbnail (which is where the 'writing' of my comics happens):

Next, there's my initial pencils:

In this case, I felt like I was losing some of the shapes and lines, to the point where I couldn't properly distinguish between positive and negative space. I decided to light table the pencils and do a quick marker markup to better establish what I wanted and where I wanted it:

I'm working on the second round of pencils now, and we'll see how that goes.

Saturday, January 13, 2007


Middle of page 39:


The bottom of page 37:

The bottom of page 38:

Thursday, January 11, 2007


Um, Pencils of page 36 from Tuesday. Last night was hangin' with the boys and trying to record it. We called doovers.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007


Ah, the mystery of image posting continues, like a thickening plot, oozing its way down a volcano of suspense.

Here's the bottom tier of page 34:

And here's the middle tier of page 35:

Man, this guy sure has 'trimmings' issues.

Not sure when I started mislabling jpegs, but it's been going on for a while now. The next Kaiju Jugoruma posting should have proper naming conventions again.

Monday, January 08, 2007


For delay of game.

Back to work on Kaiju Jugoruma. Pencils for pages 34 & 35 are now done. Will upload when blogger lets me.

Might do another thumbnail for The Blood Lock before bed.


Since I don't have quite enough projects on my plate...

I've had it in my mind to do a manga-inspired, high-concept book for a while now (Was it really less than a year ago that I read the first volume of Death Note? It seems like a lifetime...). AND I've been wanting to use these 4"x6" Post-Its for an even longer time.

The problem was, I had nothing I wanted to actually do. Until today. Marcos was making a list of really bad, imaginary, 1990s-style Image/Marvel characters in an email exchange, and included the name 'Blood Lock'. It wasn't bad on the same level as 'Blow Eye', but it was somewhat... evocative? In some way?

Anyway, I began wondering just what a 'Blood Lock' could be. Not a guy named 'Blood Lock', but a lock — related to blood in some way. It took some doing, but I think I figured out what a Blood Lock was. And I realised what the high concept would be.

The plan is to average one page of thumbnails each day, while I work on the projects I've already started. Here's the first one:

I'm kind of surprised that so many details presented themselves to me immediately. I just ran my pen over to central casting, and came up with a gang of teens I should be able to easily play around with. That's the beauty of high-concept. You just plug'n'play.

Hopefully, the play is interesting enough that the plug vanishes into the background.

Thursday, January 04, 2007


Well, I had every intention of going to bed before 2, but I wound up doing a bit of trawling the sidebar and wound up on that olde so-and-so, Floopie Spurge's List of the Top Comics of the Year Lists. And started reading the lists as linked.

A lot of them hit the same beats. But I'm proud/ashamed to say that I haven't read a number of the books that appeared very frequently. Actually, this was such an ENORMOUS year for comics that it would be almost impossible to read all the books that could've easily been on Top Ten lists years past.

Just going off those lists, I started jotting down the things I loved and the things I missed. I figured there'd be about twenty or so that I read that I could shape into a shorter list. And then I could do some catch up on some things I shouldn't've missed.

When the list hit 40, I stopped. And did something dangerous. I started pulling books. Literally. I went first to the ottoman, and then the love seat. Then over to the pile on top of the short boxes. Then I hit the pile in front of the bookcases. Then I went to the bookcases. Then I went to to tupperware bins. Then the laundry pile. Then the other laundry pile. Then the OTHER laundry pile. Then the bags. And the bookshelf for paper storage. And the computer desk. And the knapsacks. Then the books in the knooks. Then the ones in the crannies.

I haven't even hit the bedroom yet... Or the desk at my office.

Anyway, I've now covered the one open sitting space in the livingroom with books from 2006 worth mentioning, including minicomics — an area often left untouched by these sorts of things. This should be quite a list.

But first, here's a list of some notable books I still haven't read:

The new Krazy & Ignatz collections
The Walt & Skeezix books
The Popeye book
The most recent Peanuts books
The most recent Little Lulu books
Batman Year 100
Ghost of Hoppers
Dragon Head
Lost Girls
The Ticking
Absolute New Frontier
Fun Home
Ode to Kirihito
Seven Soldiers #1
Billy Hazelnuts
Japan As Viewed by 17 Creators

That's a top 19+ list already.

It probably is two or three people's Top Ten lists combined into one (Jog's, Dan Nadel's and everyone else's).

And none of them will be on my list! Well, Ninja has been sitting on the ottoman for how long now? I really should get to reading it. That and The Ticking are the ones I'm most embarassed I haven't read yet.

What will be on my list? Well let's just say that I'm thinking about doing a Top 50 list. That doesn't include the above. Unless I read them before I get around to writing it. The list also won't include anything from Marvel. Sorry, Civil War, you just stopped being funny. There will probably be two things from DC. None from Dark Horse. None from Slave Labor. None from Top Shelf. One from Oni. One from Image. The rest? Fantagraphics, D&Q, Bodega, First Second, Viz, Beunaventura and a number of self publishers. There will be two anthologies (I think), neither of which are Mome or Kramer's Ergo.

Okay. Time for beddy-bye. If I keep typing I'll start making the list, and I won't get to sleep.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007


I just realised that it's now been a full year of health. 365 days today. I think that it's been my first full year without so much as a scratchy throat or mild fever. Yay, megadose Vitamin C. 8000 mg, 5 days a week. Here's to another fullon.

And here's the pencils to the middle tier of page 33:

7 more to go. Smoke'em all.


Pencils for the bottom of page 31:

And the bottom of page 32:

The remainder of the pages for this chapter all take place at Rabbits. The District 5 lounge that used to feature the hottest acts in the city. They still draw certain devotees and a new hipster class interested in rekindling out-of-date fads — things that were popular a few months and several fads ago. They go to Rabbits to hear torch singers reimagine the classics while drinking mushroom tea and stroking psychedelic bunny fur.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007


one more time before I go to bed to upload the images. Pages 31 & 32 are now pencilled.


Page 30. Bottom tier. Pencils. Clickums makum bigguns.

Taking some anger out on the page. I might have to ink some of these pages soon. Or dredge some recent shit up again in the next couple weeks. Or get pissed off at something else. Eh, I'm sure I'll be able to do those last two pretty easily.

On to Page 31 and the final 10. Stick a penny in the rear and watch it pop wheelies.


Here are the pencils for the bottom of page 28:

And the pencils for the bottom of page 29:

11 more pages of pencils to go. Cross you're fingers tight enough and I might get them done by the end of the week.

Monday, January 01, 2007


Finished the pencils for pages 28 & 29. I'll see if blogger will let me upload images again before I go to bed.

As it's now 2007, I was supposed to have my big alltime list done, but I've only just gotten through the Rs. The list has 2,138 songs on it so far. I've already edited some earlier stuff out, back when I thought 2007 was too HUGE a number to fill. And once I finish going through my library alphabetically, I'm going to have to go through it again, to grab songs I've picked up since the project started. Which means that it's looking more like a 2008 Greatest Songs list now.

Saw Casinno Royale, breaking my near-year streak of theatre avoidance. Well, three in one year. It was good. It's all been said already, but it was very enjoyable in a Bond-grows-up sort of way. The song sucks, though. It's 2007, can we all finally stop pretending that Chris Cornell is any good? It's been, what, 16 years of this nunsense? And the last half hour is also problematic. It could've been set up better. And paced like the rest of the movie.

But there was a big Parkour scene, with a real freestyle runner. And there was David Craig, being better at all the things he has to do than anyone who ever played the part. And there was Eva Green making me wish I was watching The Dreamers again. And Jeffery Wright was there making me ask, "Why is Jeffery Wright in this movie?" Then I found out, but still felt like I'd like to see him in a movie where he plays an actual role. Caterina Murino made me thankful for spanish-language tv. Giancarlo Giannini is always nice to see in english.

Fun times. Maybe I'll go to the theatre again someday. Maybe soon. Children of Men, Pan' Labyrinth, Inland Empire... probably other stuff. Oscar season brings them out. It's like one of those copias. Of corn.


Of doing business.

The bottom tier of page 27, the first page of chapter 3:

Chapter three has changed a lot since I last worked on the book. With holidays putting ye olde crimp in the business, I got to step away and reconsider things. I also got a chance to re-watch Blue Velvet and some classic Loony Toons. Both have re-awakened certain beasts inside, and chapter 3 looks like it will reflect said beasts. Rowr.

Heightened is the word of the day. This also means that we're looking at a higher pager count. I trashed all but two of the previous subsequent 10 pages. And then beefed the whirlwind up to 14. I've inhaled it, now I'm going to exhale it with Martian super breath and Venusian super breadth. Bigger. Fatter. Major chords.

The first half of the next page will get me out of the olde gameplan and the second half has rabbits.

Rabbits. They change the flavor, blowing in like a noir-easter. Crack the plastic grass and jump in. Use this hole. Don't be late. Doc Wattups.
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