Sunday, October 31, 2010

Friday, October 29, 2010

Happy Birthday, Laura!

She's classy....
She's cosmopolitan....
...She's a birthday girl! 

All the best on your big day, and may the good times continue all year long.... 
Lots of love, 

1975 was an interesting year in comics....

1975 was an interesting year in comics....Marvel was publishing stuff like WEREWOLF BY NIGHT and ASTONISHING TALES/DEAHTLOK THE DEMOLISHER The Atlas/Seaboard line came and went....
...meanwhile, Jack Kirby, the King of Comics, was over at DC, squeezing off concept after concept.

Here's one of his throwaways, one of those infamous 1ST ISSUE SPECIALS featuring Manhunter. Crazy stuff.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

This one's for my buddy Javier Hernandez: Ol' Shellhead by Beto!

I thought of Jav the minute I saw this re: Gilbert Hernandez's (no relation) take on one of our favorite comic book characters, the Invincible Iron Man. Adding sugar to the mix: Beto riffed on the Steve Ditko-designed costume. There's more imagery right here!

"Love and Repulsor Rays" indeed!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Peppermint ice cream-flavored PRICKLE preview! Here's the cover art....

Catch a Prickle by his yellow stegosaurus-like tail?

A sneak peak of a work in progress: the second in the GUMBY'S GANG series that I wrote, GUMBY'S GANG STARRING PRICKLE, is on the way. I've seen the finished art, by cartoonist Chris Grine ("Igor"), and it's looking nice 'n' Prickle-licious, on a par with Rafael Navarro's solid art for our GUMBY'S GANG STARRING POKEY book. Different yet compatible, the art in PRICKLE will deliver, and the issue itself will send Prickle on an adventure as ambitious and epic as the one Pokey takes in his solo book. Of course, Gumby and Pokey make appearances.

Here's the official blurbage for the issue:

Prickle heads for England in search of his ancestral roots and finds out more about dragons and dinosaurs than he bargained for! Meanwhile, the Blockheads' evil robot version of Prickle has infiltrated Gumby's rock band and is wreaking havoc on Gumby, Pokey and Goo. Will Toy Town survive the wrath of… The Prickletron 8000?!

Look for GUMBY'S GANG STARRING PRICKLE in comic book shops in February 2011. Of course, stay tuned here for announcements as release time arrives.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

We came, We APE'd, we conquered.....

Back from the Alternative Press Expo 2010. I will report on the thrills, the pageantry, the majesty of APE soon as I get over a little bug I caught on the way home. Till then, enjoy this early footage, courtesy of my buddy, Ghettomation master of cartoons JIM LUJAN.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Off to APE CONVENTION, The Concourse, San Francisco, 10/16-17....

If you're going, stop by the CARTOON FLOPHOUSE booth #109 and pick up my latest comics:

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

A historic meeting: POKEY meets GUMBY!

To get you in the mood for the arrival of my comic book, GUMBY'S GANG STARRING POKEY, on which I collaborated with artists Rafael Navarro and Lance Borde, in comic book shops nationwide in November, here's the Art Clokey short in which Gumby and Pokey meet, it's called THE LITTLE LOST PONY (episode 6)

Movie vs. Graphic Novel: WANTED

If ever there was a case study where the source book was better than the movie, WANTED is that property. 

I finally read the graphic novel WANTED last week, which, once I got past the ultra-cheesy device of modeling the lead characters after celebrities (Halle Berry and Eminem), I pretty much enjoyed. I thought the story was pretty good given that the premise, at first, turned me off. With the crazy villains introduced, it had some of the visual elements of WATCHMEN and the HELLBOY movies going on.

So then I watched the WANTED movie (2008)...well, started to watch it, after half an hour, I yanked it out of my DVD machine and threw it out the window. 

The first problem (set up by the book, actually) was that they didn't get Halle Berry and Eminem to play in the screen version, so the casting was distracting. Instead of Halle Berry they the great African-American actress Angelina Jolie and an actor who resembled Eminem about as much and had an annoying screen presence. Then they replaced the Jewish scientist character with Morgan Freeman (going in a totally different direction with that character). They scrubbed out some of the politically incorrect office-place characters, traded the European vibe of the book for a phony, dumbed-down American tone that didn't ring true. The lead character's voiceover stuff was smarmy and annoying and instantly took me out of the story because it instantly felt like a big, phony put-on of a cartoon. 

They also got rid of the costumes and the super-villain fraternity element, which is a let down in this age of HELLBOY movies and CG effects where there was no reason why they couldn't recreate those elements. And, from what I read online, a key character was killed because the person portraying said character didn't feel it was just to let the character survive. Wow.

So what was left was a shell of the graphic novel, and if you're going to futz with a graphic novel that much, why not just call something else? 

I'm reading KICK-ASS now, by the same writer, and I plan to rent the movie version when I'm done with the comic. Hopefully, that won't be a letdown either. I hear the KICK-ASS movie is pretty good....

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Sal Buscema on fire: IRON MAN #34

Sunday night, I picked up SAL BUSCEMA: FAST & FURIOUS ARTIST ( and it's a fun read about one of Marvel's most underrated artists. Big brother John Buscema gets a lot of deserved acclaim, he was king of the Conan artists, but there's something really fun about Sal's art. Unlike John, who famously despised drawing superheroes, Sal loved working on them, and that probably shows. 

Some of my favorite Sal work is his classic Hulk stuff, his Captain America run with Steve Englehart, and, of course, stuff like MARVEL TEAM UP and PETER PARKER, SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN. 

And then there's this, one of my all-time favorite covers, from IRON MAN #34. If this action-packed cover doesn't make you pick up IRON MAN comics, which will? It's out of control! (It should be worth noting that the Stark vs. Stark leitmotif is straight outta THE DOUBLE MAN starring Yul Brynner....and Yul Brynner, one of my all-time favorite films!)

The Road to APE: Alternative Press Expo (San Francisco)-Booth#109 & 110

There's nothing like a road trip, especially when it's with my pal Javier Hernandez and we're going to APE! The Alternative Press Expo at the Concourse in San Francisco, in many ways, is our favorite of all comic-book conventions to sign comics at. It's a nice break from the mainstream/Hollywood hype and cheesy D-list celebrity autograph shows that you'll find now at SDCC and Wonder Con, it's got the coolest creators in a venue where you can actually talk to people, it's a terrific weekend  socially, and the food around SF/Oakland/Berkeley is off the hook! (We have so many food traditions in this town, they're going to need to expand APE for a week so we can hit them all.) More L.A. posse, such as Bernyce Talley, Rafael Navarro, and Mike Wellman, will be up there. We also enjoy reconnecting with unique to the area friends we have made, such as the Padilla family-----Ricardo, Rosie and Sophia----and my buddy the Art Chemist, Jerry! Not to mention the entire Gumby Comics/WildCard Ink operation, headed by Mr. Mel Smith!

Witness exhibit A) that's Jose Cabrera on the right with superfan Andrew from last month's 3rd Annual San Gabriel Valley Fest:

Jose is one-half of CARTOON FLOPHOUSE, where he rocks his CRYING MACHO MAN magazines. Jose and I will occupy booth #109 and #110 at this week's APE. If you don't believe us, go to booth#111 and ask our buddies Jim Lujan and Gras Rodriguez, who will also be up there. As will GHOULA co-founder Rich Carradine with a new comic book, GHOULA COMIX#1, which many of us have contributed strips to (the anthology's theme: ghosts and Los Angeles). Here's Javier and Jim "The Luge" Lujan, by the way:

I'll be driving up with Jav, and we're already looking forward to returning for another grand-slam breakfast at Ahn's Burgers in Oakland. Ignore all reviews and go there for their eggs and coffee. It's good stuff. Our buddy Rhode Montijo turned us on to this place before he relocated to the East Coast. And speaking of Rhode, he's in the news this morning with his terrific new children's book, HALLOWEEN KID, which all fans of great children's books must own. It's his best one yet! 

He won't be at APE this year but he'll probably be at San Diego Comic-Con, that's always a fun place to catch Rhode with his co-hort Jamie Baker, who will be at APE at the Abismo/Nerve Bomb booth.

If you're in the Bay Area this weekend, come on down to APE and take in the super-creative kinetic energy in action!

Monday, October 11, 2010

GHOULA COMIX#1: Just in time for Halloween, Dia de la Muertos, Ditko's birthday!

Rich Carradine, co-leader of the group GHOULA (GHOST HUNTERS OF URBAN L.A.), has published the very first GHOULA COMIX in time for the creepy holidays and San Francisco's APE convention, where he'll be selling them this weekend. Here is the Amazon listing for it!

The theme of this 64-page anthology is spirits and Los Angeles, and each cartoonist has undertaken a different interpretation of that theme. My piece is called "The Languager" and features Greenblatt the Great! (sort of) in a seven-page piece. 

Other contributors include my CARTOON FLOPHOUSE pisan Jose Cabrera, EL MUERTO AZTEC ZOMBIE creator Javier Hernandez, Rafael "SONAMBULO" Navarro, and cartoonist Lisa Strouss, formerly of GIANT ROBOT and co-founder of GHOULA.

Start your investigation of the paranormal with GHOULA COMIX#1 and, if you live in the L.A. area, set your K-2 EMF meters to the club itself!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Ted Seko is the Master Blaster!

My buddy Ted is at it again, getting into some epic painted giant monster stuff at his website. When it comes to comics, Ted is a true slave to his muse! His personal work is both genre-jacking and personal parable, he's the only guy I know whose autobio comic would be about a monster!

Beautiful work, Ted, can't wait for this project.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

My latest articles in BACK ISSUE #44 (Spectacular Spider-Man) and KIRBY COLLECTOR #55 (Kirby in movies and TV)

Here's the scoop on my latest articles for TWOMORROWS! Out now is BACK ISSUE #44, the all-Spider-Man issue. The article I wrote for this one is truly SPECTACULAR, and before you check my ego at the door, I'm not tooting my own horn here, I wrote about PETER PARKER, SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN! 

Anyone who grew up digging SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN should find plenty to chew on in this article, in which I gathered myriad talent from the book with fresh quotes, including Gerry Conway, Tom DeFalco, Danny Fingeroth, Roger Stern, the artist best associated with the book, Sal Buscema, and, from WEB OF SPIDER-MAN, Steve Butler. If you're a fan of the book, this article is a real party!
Thanks to my BACK ISSUE buddy Jerry Boyd, I've landed work in my second JACK KIRBY COLLECTOR in a row. Here's a FREE PREVIEW! This time, the theme Jerry has come up with is Kirby in other media, primarily movies, TV and cartoons. Jerry, his brother, Dwight Boyd, and myself divide up the Kirby legacy in said media, and we basically review them, highlighting the best and trying to steer people clear of the worst. I personally tackled the two HULK movies, both FANTASTIC FOUR movies, and those old Republic CAPTAIN AMERICA serials, among others. I also tackled my favorite of all Batman cartoons, this one below:

Why BATMAN: BRAVE & THE BOLD? Well, even as evinced by this publicity art, the creators of this cartoon are Kirby crazy. Note on the left-hand side key DC Kirby characters Kamandi, Last Boy on Earth, and The Demon (my personal favorite of Kirby's '70s DC work). They've brought both characters into the BOLD fold more than once, and also tackled OMAC for a full episode. Throw in my friend Tony DeZuniga's character, Jonah Hex, Ditko characters such as Blue Beetle and The Question, random characters like Dr. Fate, B'Wanna Beast, Deadman, Red Tornado, and the Outsiders, and my favorites portrayal of Aquaman anywhere (as a pompous blowhard idiot not unlike Ash from ARMY OF DARKNESS), and you've got yourself a real party. Why, just last night, the entire episode guest-starred the Doom Patrol (after showcasing Batgirl in the teaser). I love the light tone of the show and the Dick Sprang-style clean, graphically dynamic visuals. I can't recommend this cartoon show enough, and I've missed a few episodes, so perhaps they ran it, but I'm looking forward to seeing my two favorite DC characters these days: The Phantom Stranger and the Unknown Soldier. I'll bet they'll do it, too!

But I digress! Visit TWOMORROWS.COM for the deets on BI#44 and TJKC#55 (Thanks, Jerry!)

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Going APE next weekend (OCT. 16-17)

Calling all Flophousers in the Bay Area! ALTERNATIVE PRESS EXPO (APE) is upon us next weekend. 

Just a reminder: come on down to the CARTOON FLOPHOUSE/CRYING MACHO MAN table next weekend where I'll be busting a move with my partner in humor comics crime, JOSE CABRERA. I'll have the above new comics on hand, plus copies of GUMBY'S GANG STARRING POKEY if all goes well.

This year's APE should be an especially magical show as a bunch of homies from LA are going up to sell their wares: Jose will have brand new CRYING MACHO MAN magazines, JAVIER HERNANDEZ of EL MUERTO, AZTEC ZOMBIE legend (LOS COMEX), Ghettomation guy animator JIM LUJAN, GRASIELA RODRIGUEZ, who will debut her LUNATIC FRINGE comic there, RICH CARRADINE of (selling THE PARK AFTER DARK and the brand new GHOULA COMICS #1, which will include stories from Javier, Jose and myself).

Stop by APE, it's still a great convention where you can discover a lot of talented new artists and great new comics, and converse with the cartoonists as well. It's a big show, yet not San Diego big where everything's a big blur. Worth a visit for sure!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Blueballed by COWBOY HENK!

A company called HUDDA HUDDA is putting out a fat-ass collection of my favorite comic strip, COWBOY HENK, by Kamagurka & Seele. The downside: it's in Finnish. Mwa mwaaaaaa....

The other downside is that the samples posted at the publisher's website include a few weak strips that I've seen translated before. I've posted some of the other samples here. Even in Finnish, they're still kind of funny.

Man, there is yet to be a great English-language HENK collection. The strips in that 1994 collection by Fantagraphics were pretty weak. The best strips I've ever read were in French. COWBOY HENK, you've gone Sofia Coppola on us! You are lost in translation!

Saturday, October 2, 2010


I saw THE SOCIAL NETWORK last night and I really enjoyed it. The actors were solid, Jesse Eisenberg's on a roll after his fun performance in ZOMBIELAND (have yet to see ADVENTURELAND), Justin Timberlake essentially plays himself and he's good, too. I have to re-assess my opinion of Andrew Garfield now. He was so good as Eduardo it makes me think that perhaps he could do a good Peter Parker (even if he's not exactly the physical match). Bill Gates actually does play himself and he's brilliant! Oh, and I dug the perfectly moody and sick Trent Reznor soundtrack, but then again, I was a big NINE INCH NAILS fan back in the day (before the last two albums). It kind of sounds like excerpts from THE FRAGILE, my personal favorite NIN album (disk 1). Dark, brooding and slick, Trent Reznor is like the musical equivalent of David Fincher, ain't he, doc?
This is a good follow-up for ZODIAC from Fincher, and in a way, this movie is a companion piece to another movie about a Jewish wiseguy who derails called SHATTERED GLASS (2003), although, IMHO, overall, SHATTERED GLASS is the better of the two. 
If they ever make a movie about the dicks who cooked up Twitter, they'll be lucky if it's as good as SOCIAL NETWORK.
(By the way, I threw in "IMHO" to make it sound more Facebook-y. Did it work?)