I’ve neglected my poor blog. What’s crazy is that it’s not because stuff has been slow. I feel like I’ve been running a marathon for the last 8 months. But I wouldn’t have it any other way. I’m just gonna ramble here…
The book got printed, delivered, and read by our awesome backers. I’m so proud of the work we did on this book. It was so cool to see the pics our backers took with their copies:
So we did a release party at the amazing Challengers comics and a signing at the cool Graham Crackers Comics.
But we have one more event coming up where you can see us and get a copy of the book! Come see us on October 24th at Quimby’s Bookstore:
We’ll have the book up for sale soon online in both print and digital formats. I promise to do another post when we get that together.
Man, I can’t wait for you all to see the new issue of Victus. It has been a BEAST to get through, but I think it represents a big step in my work and hopefully some really intriguing turns in the story. I’m neck deep in figuring out printing, but once I’ve found the solutions, I’ll put up a pre-order page (with some cool bonuses). For now, here’s some peeks into the book:
I’ve still been doing some fan art for fun. Here’s some Prophet:
And here’s some fanart from Spread, by Justin Jordan & Kyle Strahm:
Sadly, one of the greatest places in Chicago, HOT DOUG’s, has closed. It’s cool, as he chose to close, rather than being forced to because of low sales or rent or some other nonsense. Doug’s was a special place that I frequented since college and always tried to take Chicago visitors to. Doug said some awesome stuff about it in this interview, so Read It.
STUFF I LOVE
I’ve been really inspired by this stuff lately…
Grim Wilkins is doing some really cool stuff in Prophet, but in general rocks. Check him out.
Liam Cobb. Basically, everything Liam does is breathtaking. He’s one to watch.
I finally started reading (for real) Hayao Miyazaki’s Nausicaa manga that my pal Dan let me borrow. It be goooooood.
Speaking of Daniel Warren Johnson… his current storyline of Space-Mullet is his strongest work to date. Get on board now!
That’s all for now. I have a lot more to tell ya’ll, but my computer at home just had a major malfunction, so I’m sneaking this out at work. Let me know how you’re doing out there!
Things have been busy here. Very busy. Most exciting at the moment: I got the proof for the Speculative Relationships anthology that we Kickstarted last month!
INCREDIBLY excited! The books printed and delivered en masse is the next step!
This issue is taking me a bit longer. But… not to brag… but it’s because this is some of my best work yet. I’m really excited about the new things happening in the book and new techniques I’m exploring. Here are some peeks:
I scanned in some stuff from the Katsuhiro Otomo special issue of Brutus Magazine, which my awesome friend from Japan (Rinko Endo) sent me. Some really cool stuff in there:
So amazing. Everything about Otomo mesmerizes me.
I went to Starved Rock this weekend with my fiance’ (oh yeah, I GOT ENGAGED). Here are a few pics:
And I guess you probly wanna see the ring…
I designed the ring in collaboration with the amazing custom jeweler Heather Oleari. I’ll try to do a post about that design process at some point in the near future.
FAN ART & OTHER STUFF
As usual, I’ve been up to my ol’ fan-arti-ing
No, from The Spread
The main character in Reid Psaltis’s Kingdom/Order
And a Simon piece to promote the awesome Cupcake Award
And finally I’ll leave you with a moment of zen. Barry Windsor-Smith’s beautiful colors, accompanied by a new Run The Jewels Track…
I feel like I’ve gone through a comics ‘right of passage’. I exhibited at the legendary S.P.A.C.E. One of the longest running indie comic conventions in the states. It was one of the most welcoming shows I’ve ever attended and featured a very diverse collection of comics creators. I was tabling with my buddy Scott Kroll. Here’s a our table:
We had a nice time meeting other folks and we even did a couple jam pieces. Here is a Prophet that I pencilled and Scott inked:
One of the big bonus’s of the trip was seeing the Bill Watterson “Exploring Calvin & Hobbes” art exhibit at the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library. It was … almost like a religious experience. I grew up on Calvin & Hobbes and still aspire to create work at the level of Mr. Watterson’s. Here are some shots:
It was amazing. If you are even REMOTELY close to Columbus, OH, you NEED to go to this show.
On top of all that, we saw Nate Powell sing heavy metal at the after-party karaoke.
C2E2 THIS WEEKEND!
Along with our normal stock of awesome comics, we’ll have the new Speculative Relationships postcards and posters:
And I’ll have 1 new print, which is the teaser image for Victus #3, along with the 2 previous Victus prints:
I’ll try to add these to the online store after the show. But C2E2 will be the first place you can get your hands on this new print! Hope to see a lot of you there! Mention the blog and get a special treat!
Well… I’ve been plugging away on Victus #3, inks on Upgrade Soul, and my two scifi romance short comics for Speculative Relationships. And of course some Prophet fan art. Here are some peeks:
Get to C2E2 this weekend and say hi!
Back again for a quick post.
Here are a few more looks at my bookshelf (or ‘shelfie’ I guess it’s called?)
Some of my proudest acquisitions on these shelves would have to be 2 of Katsuhiro Otomo’s short story collections (SOS and Memories), Visions of Arzach, Moebius’ 40 Days Dans Le Desert, In the Studio, the Hellshock collection, Stranger in a Strange Land… ugh.. honestly I love all this stuff!
What’s on YOUR shelf?
So it’s official, I’ve announced the anthology I’ve been putting together with Scott Kroll. It’s is a science fiction romance comics anthology called Speculative Relationships (get it?). We are really excited about it! Here is the cover image:
by the amazing Mike Manomivibul.
It will feature new stories by:
and of course ME.
We are planning to gain funds for printing via Kickstarter! So please keep up with the project on tumblr and twitter:
I’m sure I’ll bug ya’ll about it more as the Kickstarter approaches!
Work work work all the time
So here is what I’ve been up to…
You know I can’t get enough Prophet/Yilala. What I wouldn’t give to just get ONE PAGE in that Prophet: Strikefile book.
Work has been excessively sucky lately. So I put my feet up and watched the Thundercats intro. It helped. A little.
The Raid 2 is one of the best things ever on the planet. Do anything you can to go see it NOW. I’ve been twice so far and count on at least one viewing in the theatre.
Thanks for playing along at home! Is anyone keeping score?
It’s that time when everyone is doing those ‘best of 2012’ lists. I haven’t done something of that sort for quite sometime, so I thought it might be fun. Here are some of my favorite things of 2012 in no particular order:
Left to Right/Top to Bottom: The Cage, DareDevil, Multiple Warheads, Prophet, Space-Mullet, Punisher, Last Train to Old Town, Cycles
The Cage, by Rinko Endo
Although you may not know who Rinko Endo is yet, you will soon. She has been building up a splendid collection of manga based on mental health issues and art therapy. This new personal manga is masterfully drawn and constructed. Rinko shows us a difficult struggle she went through growing up with “the chin cap”. Rinko pulls much insight and inspiration from her art therapy background, helping every reader empathize with this struggle. We all have things in our lives that hold us back, but with inspiring and insightful artworks like this we see that there is hope. Rinko’s actual drawings will blow your mind. She has an eye for detail that knows no limits. There are tons of textures and patterns which make each page pop. She also brings in the rich history of signs and signals present in japanese manga, giving way to some wonderful expression. If you can’t find this book, let me know and I’ll personally HOUND the artist until you get one. Or you can come to Quimby’s this month and beg her for your copy!
Daredevil, by Mark Waid & Paolo Rivera & others
A lot of great things have been said about this book (rightly so). Waid has dug Daredevil out of his dark hole from the early 2000’s and brought him back into a more adventurous-womanizer-swashbuckler kind of scene. There are also fun little one-shot interludes to break up those multi-issue stories. My personal favorite is when he was caught in a snow storm when taking a school bus of blind children on a field trip. Top that off with Rivera’s amazing art and you have a winner.
Multiple Warheads, by Brandon Graham
This book is nuts. Jokey, action-y, sexy, and beautifully drawn. Graham seems to constantly be pushing the ways the medium can be used in this book. His panels, word balloons, and character designs all show him assessing and pushing against the conventions of the medium.
Prophet, by Brandon Graham & Simon Roy & others
I’ve mentioned it multiple times before and pretty much everyone knows this book is amazing. It’s Conan in space. What more could a reader ask for? How about awesome short sci-fi backup stories from the best of the best indy comics artists? That’s in there too. If you don’t have this book on your shelf yet, go get it!
Space-Mullet, by Daniel Warren Johnson
I’ve mentioned Space-Mullet before. But let me be clear: Daniel Warren Johnson is an artist to watch. Jump on board now. Space-Mullet is one of those web-comics that works as individual pages released weekly, but also as an overall story. The characters are a great duo (think Calvin & Hobbs meets Jack Burton & Wang Chi) who seem to find themselves in precarious situations on a regular basis. Daniel is building a tale of intrigue, hinting at a dark past for one of our heroes. The real star here though, is Daniel’s artwork. Dynamic action featuring creative character designs wall to wall. His framing & motion are particularly strong. Tons of fun!
Punisher, by Greg Rucka & Marco Checchetto
Though I LOVE Frank Castle, I resisted this series for the first 5 or so issues. When it began, Marvel had just killed my old friend Frank in Punisher Max and I was still a tad bitter. And the Bryan Hitch covers were aweful. Though it did start slow, the series really picks up steam and builds a fresh look on ol’ Frank. Doing away with Frank’s inner monologue was a stroke of genius. Rucka also found incredible ways to ‘make Punisher work’ in the regular Marvel universe. He basically gives his ‘thesis’ statement around issues 14-15, as Frank explains to his accomplice what it really means to do what he does. It was really exciting to see another writer after Ennis ‘get’ the Punisher. Of course, this series is now canceled.
Last Train to Old Town, by Kenan Rubenstein
Kenan has been building quite a piece of work in this beautiful web-comic. On the technical side, this is the best presentation I’ve seen of a web-comic. The site gives you multiple viewing options, easy places to submit feedback, and creator insight all via a non-intrusive side bar. The comic itself blends form and content beautifully. Each character is given their own hand-written font to ever-so-slightly differentiate their speech. The backgrounds are done with minimal black, until characters directly interact with them. Conversations intersect within panels, making each interaction feel natural, bringing the reader into the characters’ world. If that’s not enough, Rubenstein’s done a print version of the first chapter of the story, which showcases his impeccable craftsmanship. It’s for sale on his website and worth 10 times what he sells it for. This is an artist hitting his stride and I can’t wait to see where the Last Train takes us in 2013.
Cycles, by Beth Hetland & Kyle O’Connell
“Hetland and O’Connell have crafted a comic as funny and thrilling as it is smart and skillful. Cycles is a deftly told tale of whimsical machinations that entertains from the first panel to the thrilling climax. Read this now!” Those were my thoughts upon first reading this book and they still stand. Hetland & O’Connell entertain you while weaving a story that gets better upon repeat readings. Hetland’s art expresses the whimsical and crafty characters that O’Connell has dreamed up. A true joy to read!
I also loved Building Stories by Chris Ware, but do any of us NOT know that he’s amazing at this point?
7 Psychopaths– A fun movie from the director of In Bruges. I generally can’t stand Colin Farrell, but he’s decent in both these films. This also features some of my favorite actors in Walken, Rockwell, and a quick appearance by Michael Stuhlbarg. A fantastic twist on the genre expectations.
The Grey– I have a serious love for Mr. Liam Neeson. From Crossing the Line, to Darkman, to Taken. He’s the man. The Grey is an intense film about group dynamics and man’s struggle with existence. And there are wolves. Really big wolves. Please don’t get upset that the wolves are not realistic. I think it’s fairly obvious they are not supposed to be.
Looper– Rian Johnson has a keen understanding of genre. This film is a prime example of what sci-fi films still have to offer. A slick blend of high concept, curveball plot points, and pitch perfect performances. Of course JGL and Willis are great, but keep your eyes out for Noah Segan & Garreth Dillahunt, who both give big (small) performances.
Dredd– Karl Urban loves comics and sci-fi. Dude didn’t take off his helmut for the whole film! Actors usually aren’t that brave (excluding John Hurt). This is a very stylized adaptation of Dredd. They made smart moves in adapting this by going for grit and keeping the humor dark. The set-up is akin to The Raid: Redemption (compliment) leaving a lot of room for wacky villians and gory action. I even enjoyed the 3-D, especially when the ‘slo-mo’ drug was in use.
The Master– I had a hate/hate relationship with P.T. Anderson until There Will Be Blood. That film blew me away (then tanked in the last 15 minutes). The Master lacks some of the highs & lows of that film, but is a phenomenal character study. Phoenix is completely transformed and steals the show from the usually scene chewing Hoffman. And this film is absolutely gorgeous.
I also enjoyed: Beauty is Embarrassing, Lockout, Cloud Atlas
clockwise: Fiona Apple, El-P, Killer Mike, Deftones
Fiona Apple, The Idler Wheel
I’ve always been a casual Fiona fan. This album really cements her as a fantastic singer and song-writer for me. The album pulls from so many different influences and fuses them wonderfully. The opening and closing of the album are by far the most compelling.
El-P, Cancer 4 Cure
El-P is an un-paralleled producer. This record sounds perfect. He really turns up the sci-fi vibe on this one, bringing us into a dark future similar to what we heard on I’ll Sleep When You’re Dead. However, I think this album sounds more complete, with highs and lows and much better guest spots. The Danny Brown and Nick Diamond contributions are particularly strong. This is one of those rare albums you can listen to front to back and enjoy every track.
Killer Mike, R.A.P. Music
And El-P also contributes here with Atlanta’s Killer Mike. Mike gives us something as aggressive as it is spiritual. He pours a lot of emotion & politics into many of the songs which rally the audience. R.A.P. Music puts me in mind of N.W.A and Ice Cube, while equally conjuring Mos Def and Outkast. I hope El-P and Mike continue to collaborate going forward.
Deftones, Koi No Yokan
Not many bands you like in high school continue to produce good music as you/they get older. Deftones is (for me) the exception to that rule. Koi No Yokan is a varied, but heavy record. Less melodic than Diamond Eyes, but more rhythmically complex. Every track feels dense, while never losing the hook. Chino’s voice and cryptic lyrics are as intriguing as ever.
What did you all enjoy in 2012? Let me know!
I was blessed to have an amazing year full of travel, art, friends, and family. I hope you all had an amazing 2012 and I wish you the best in 2013!
This weekend is the Chicago Comics & Entertainment Expo! This is shaping up to be an awesome show and I’m excited to be a part of it. You can find me at O2B:
If you are in Chicago, please come on down and say hi! I’ll have all my work for sale, plus some new cube prints!
In the meantime, I wanted to share some recommendations for comics you should be reading:
PROPHET by Brandon Graham & Simon Roy: Not much I can say about this one that hasn’t been said already. It’s fantastic. Who knew this terrible terrible character could be used for good? Even better, they have been running back-up stories, featuring some awesome indy guys. Speaking of…
EXPANSION by Matt Sheean & Malachi Ward: I’ve mentioned this book before. It is the best science fiction comic out right now. You get flavors of Twilight Zone, Bradbury, and Kirby in this gorgeous book. I must be onto something, as these gents are contributing a back-up story to the aforementioned Prophet! You can find Expansion on the above linked blogs.
CYCLES by Beth Hetland & Kyle O’Connell: This book is not out yet, but can be pre-ordered through Hetland’s website. Apparently, this is what I think about it: “Hetland and O’Connell have crafted a comic as funny and thrilling as it is smart and skillful. Cycles is a deftly told tale of whimsical machinations that entertains from the first panel to the thrilling climax. Read this now!”
FLEX MENTALLO by Grant Morrison & Frank Quitely: OK this is an older book, but they just released a gorgeous deluxe edition about a week ago. I’m betting it’ll be scarce soon. This book is the wacky-type of Morrison (think Seaguy), with some early Quitely art. Quitely is easily one of the best artists working in mainstream comics in the last ten years and he’s totally free to draw craziness here. Thanks to Sean Dove for putting this book on my radar back in the day.
So I don’t want to hear anyone say “there’s nothing good out right now”! I also guarantee that if you come down to C2E2 this weekend, you’ll discover some more amazing comics!