Friday, January 29, 2010

A Bronze Age Alphabet (Part 4)

Today Trey Causey brings us Part 4 of his Bronze Age Alphabet. Check out Parts One, Two and Three if you missed them.

Q is for Questions: On covers, that is. While never has common as the simple declaration— “Back Off, Batman!” (The Brave and the Bold #122), for instance—questions have been an important part of selling comics to perspective buyers throughout the Silver and Bronze Ages. These range from the quotidian (“Where Are You, Girl?” (Conan #67)), to the highly pertinent (“I Know Kraven is Nearby—Waiting—Lurking—But? Where? Where?” (Daredevil #104) or “Can Anyone Save My Husband Before It’s too Late?” (Avengers #154)), to the quasi-philosophical (“What Is the Fine Line…Between Flesh and Fantasy?” (Weird War Tales #95), or “From Whence Came…The Enemy?” (Avengers #175), or “How Could Primitive Savages Overwhelm the World’s Greatest Super-Heroes?” (Justice League of America #84)), but they always served to make you want to pull issues off spinner-racks.

Now, of course, covers are treated more pieces of art, and very little text is employed (except perhaps to say what part of what massive crossover an issue might be). The hyperbolic entreaties of the Bronze Age are seen as a somewhat cheesy relic of the past. And so I’ll pose one last question: The Lack of Cover Copy! Will It Save Comics—Or Destroy Them?

R is for Religious Overtones: Brothers and sisters, have you ever stopped to consider the way religious imagery, themes, and references emerged in comics of the Bronze Age? Please turn your attention to the gospel of Thomas and Kane found in Marvel Premiere #1 (1972) and eight issues of The Power of Warlock, and reaching its conclusion in The Incredible Hulk (vol. 2) #176-178 (1974). This, dear friends, is the Passion of Adam Warlock, as he strives to deliver Counter-Earth from evil. Also consider the Apocalypse of Jim Starlin, as he takes the erstwhile messiah figure of Warlock through the tribulations of the “Magus Saga,” beginning in Strange Tales #178 (1974). Here Warlock confronted an evil doppelganger of himself who had established an oppressive intergalactic church. Starlin would again prophesize a church gone wrong in the form of the Instrumentality, the antagonists of Dreadstar. Marvel Premiere #13-14 (1974) offer us further revelation with Doctor Strange bearing witness to the "shaggy god" story of the anagramic Sise-Neg. And can not we all take solace in “the friend” who came to that sinner Johnny Blaze in his darkest hour (Ghost Rider #9, 1974)? We must, however, not fall prey to the false message of Ghost Rider #19, which proclaimed the friend to be a demonic lie--in conflict with Brother Tony Isabella’s original intention.

The Distinguished Competition was more on preaching fire and brimstone than longhaired, spiritual friends. The power of good was not as much apparent, but the snares of Satan were revealed in lurid detail in their various horror titles. Even amidst this darkness, however, there are glimmers of hope. Steve Englehart was so moved by the good news of the coming of the celestial messiah that he took the tale of Mantis, an earthwoman who becomes the Celestial Madonna, from the pages of the Avengers, to Justice League of America #142 where she appears under the name Willow! In Christmas-themed, Batman #219, the Dark Knight singing “Silent Night” is shown to have the power to stop crime. Hallelujah!

S is for Swords: Sometimes with sorcery, sometimes without. The pro-(or anti-, I guess)-sorcery pulp adaptation crowd got their roll-call in a previous BAS, but then there are the original comics creations. DC’s Showcase #82 (1969) threw its lot in with the S&S camp with its cover blurb for the debut of Nightmaster. Jim Rook, the titular Nightmaster, basically lived Ronnie James Dio’s fondest dream, as he transformed from rock ‘n’ roll front-man to heroic wielder of the Sword of Night in the world of Myrra. Nightmaster played a new riff on the “fighting man transported to exotic world” Burroughs standard. Heroes to follow would cut closer to the John Carter type. Air Force Captain Travis Morgan was certainly a more likely hero--but not necessarily one you’d expect to wear fur loincloth. Yet that’s exactly what he attached his scabbard to as the Warlord. John Jameson was another military man who became the champion of an Other Realm, only he got a wolf-man makeover and a sword as Stargod (Marvel Premiere #45). Major Christopher Summers, yet another member of the USAF, got abducted by aliens, and became a swashbuckling space-pirate with the Starjammers, debuting in X-Men #104. Arak, Son of Thunder, took a shorter trip that these other guys-- only going from pre-Columbian North America to the Court of Charlemagne--but he was every bit a man in a world not his own—and just as much the sword-swinging hero.

Then, there were the swordsmen (and women) that didn’t have to leave home. Ironwolf’s whole improbable, wooden-spaceship-flying civilization buckled swashes in the pages of Weird Worlds #8-10. Starfire swung her sword for her world’s freedom from the alien Mygorg and Yorg for exactly 8 issues of her self-titled series. Claw the Unconquered had a demon’s hand from another world, but he mostly wandered around his native Pytharia—which turns out to be Starfire’s world in a different era.

Most these of these swords-people, and others I didn’t mentioned, succumbed to a foe swifter than their blades--and deadlier, too. Ever-fickle reader tastes sheathed many a sword, and sent their wielders to the comics Valhalla of back-issue longboxes.

T is for Team-Ups: Throughout politically turbulent Bronze Age seventies, people were coming together for a cause—to beat up super-villains. We’d had social clubs before (the Justice Society), formal teams (the Justice League, the Avengers), and buddies hanging out (Batman and Superman in World’s Finest), but the Bronze Age real perfected the more egalitarian, one-off formula. The Brave and the Bold got the ball rolling pre-Bronze Age with issue 50, and shifted to its “Batman plus one” formula by #67. By the 70s though, Batman was dealing out justice with anybody and everybody, from a dream team-up with Scalphunter, to multiple tours with Sgt. Rock, to brief alliances with members of his rogue’s gallery (the Joker and the Riddler).

Spider-Man, never a team player (well, not until recently) was perfectly willing to get by with a little help from his friends—for 150 issues in Marvel Team-Up. The strangest of these might be issue #74 (1978) where Spidey fought the Silver Samurai with the cast of Saturday Night Live, but I think another strong contender would be issue #79, when he takes on Hyborian Age heavy, Kulan Gath, with Mary Jane Watson—who’s been turned into Red Sonja by a magic sword! After Team-Up, Marvel went team-up crazy. It was clobberin’ time for two with the Thing and a new guest star every month in Marvel Two-in-One. Starting in 1975, Super-Villain Team-Up doubled your pleasure (and your dose of pontification) with Dr. Doom and Sub-Mariner. The first superhero was a little late to the Bronze Age team-up game. DC Comics Presents, featuring Superman, started in 1978 and closed out the era in 1986. In that 97 issue and 4 annual span, Supes joined forces with everybody from Ambush Bug (#81) to Mattel’s He-Man (#47). Leave it to Superman to get little “me” time in a team-up book--with two outings with Clark Kent (#59 and #79) and his Earth-Two counterpart (Annuals #1 and 3)!

In the Bronze Age team-ups like these were a monthly regularity. Now they’re often billed as capital “E” events, and seem more geared to boost sales with a walk-on than catch us up on what Kamandi’s up to in Earth After-Disaster. Team-up comics often didn’t make much sense, but they were always fun.

U is for Underworld: As crime-rates soared in New York and other American cities in the seventies and early eighties, film began to reflect this reality, and so did comics. A greater emphasis was put on somewhat more “realistic” criminal types rather than cackling mad scientist and soliloquizing monarchs. But it took a while. Marvel introduced the Maggia—their version of the mafia (were they afraid of having to pay royalties?)—in 1970, which were mostly Prohibition-era organized crime stereotypes and costumed cronies. Hammerhead, debuting in Spider-Man #113, was the very definition of cartoonish, with his Dick Tracy rogues’ gallery physiognomy. The gritty, Mack Bolan-inspired Punisher first appeared in 1974, but he was initially squaring off against super-villains. In 1976’s Spider-Man #162, though, he took aim at Jigsaw--who was still a little on the Dick Tracy side, but filtered through a smudged, seventies lens. When Frank Miller took over Daredevil in the early eighties, the gritty modern age was almost ready to kick in the door. The Kingpin returned in Daredevil #170, and started acting more like a “realistic” crime boss. In 1982, a little over a year later, the Punisher appeared with more Taxi Driver or Death Wish portrayal, putting Daredevil between his guns and the criminals.

DC had a different approach, but saw similar changes. The Black Spider from Detective Comics #463 (1976) was a former small-time crook and heroin addict that waged a vigilante war against the “Pusher-Man.” Six issues later, Rupert Thorne, a Boss Tweed-style corrupt city boss, became a—uh, well you know—in Batman’s side. Just a month earlier, Black Lightning #1 had introduced DC’s own kingpin of Metropolis, Tobias Whale.

Editor's Note: If you enjoyed that, be sure to check out more of Trey's musings over at the From The Sorceror's Skull.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Justifying the cost of an iPad

So apparently yesterday's iPad Event literally almost broke the internet.

The virtual tremors began at the start of the iPad's world-changing debut, shortly after 10 a.m. PST. Twitter was already at a crawl by that point, with users complaining of missing and long-delayed tweets. Thus far, Twitter has only acknowledged the existence of the problem and said it is "investigating the source...

...And it wasn't just tech sites suffering: Some Internet service providers, such as the UK's Level1 Internet Services, told customers all the iPad attention was putting pretty much the entire Internet in a chokehold. ~ PC World

And for good reason - this is a device a lot of people are excited about. It looks to have the portability of a netbook combined with the ease of use and wide assortment of cool apps of an iPod or iPhone. It also looks like it will be crazy fun to use.

Strangely, there seems to be a large percentage of comic fans who aren't that interested in the device. Over at The Beat, where Heidi has reposted some pics of the device and the prices, the news is met with a lot of grumbling about the price. Over at Bleeding Cool, there is a more even mix of pro and con commenters, but the main sticking point still seems to be the price.

At its cheapest, the iPad is gonna run you (currently) $499 for 16 gigs (that's the non 3G version)

Now, excluding all the other things you can do with this device, how exactly does a comic fan justify the cost of a $500 gadget to read comics? Well, cheaper comics is the answer.

Currently most popular comics cost anywhere from $2.99 to $3.99.

However on comiXology and Robot Comics, comics are priced in the .99 to $1.99 range.
So, imagine saving $2.00 on every comic you buy.
And this doesn't factor in gas savings of going to the comic shop.
Or the Huge amount of FREE comics offered by the many distributors.

So, at $2.00 a pop, you would only have to buy 250 comics before you broke even on the device.
After that, you are actually saving money on every comic you buy.

That sounds pretty simple to me. :)

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

While we wait

Today's post is going to be postpone until later today, as I want to wait until the end of the Apple iTablet announcment and then comment on what we actually SEE as opposed to what we've only been speculating on at this point.

While we wait, you can read my first post on the device which was written over 2 years ago. (I've been waiting on this device for a LONG time!)

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Mister Crimson Episode 55

Mister Crimson Episode 55
Wherein The Leader makes a timely reappearance.

Read it here .:

Monday, January 25, 2010

Do the big publishers use Public Domain characters?

Last weeks posting of Morlock 2001 prompted several comments on the ownership of the character, which got me thinking about what do comics companies think about using public domain characters.

Today, Dynamite seems to be having a good bit of success with their Project Superpowers, but what was the attitude of comics companies 40 years ago? How much consideration was copyright and trademark given back in the 50's and 60's? Is the answer in DC's introduction of their version of Cat-Man?

The DC version first appeared in Detective Comics 311, published in 1963.

Holyoke Publishing, the creators of the original Cat-Man stopped publishing in 1950.

So, really only 13 years had passed before DC felt it was safe to use the name and the character, in a limited fashion, which could be argued as parody.

Today, the DC Cat-Man has gone through a reintroduction into the DC universe courtesy of Brad Meltzer's Green Arrow story and a revitalization under the pen of Gail Simone in Villain's United and Secret Six.

So with that as an example, DC is having some luck reusing Public Domain heroes too, albeit in a round about fashion. ;)

Here are two more issues of the Holyoke version of Cat-Man.

[ Cat-Man 18 ]

[ Cat-Man 25 ]

Friday, January 22, 2010

In Defense of Paper

Editor's Note: We spend a LOT of time here talking about Digital Comics. Today we change it up a bit as Caine presents his thoughts on the merits of Paper comics. - Jim

What is it about paper comics that we love so much? Why isn't the comic book industry all ready fully or largely digital?

I could go on and on, listing items about the experience of sitting down and enjoying a comic book and explaing the digital equivilant to each of those items, but I'm not going too.

The fact is, there are qualities about comics printed on paper that can not be duplicated by their digital counterparts. No matter what.

It's these qualities that keep the paper comic book industry alive and will keep that industry thriving in one capacity or another for the foreseeable future, and more than likely beyond.
What are they?

In a word: Relationships.

Think of your first memory with a comic book, for most of us it will be in our childhood. Children learn,in part, through examining tactile relationships. We touch things. We covet things of great intrest or value (and who doesn't value their copy of Amazing Spiderman 129?). We keep them with us, always handling them so they are handy and easy to get at.

Sure your comics on the iPhone are handy, easy to get at, and handled quite a bit but not in the same way.

There isn't that link between you and the comic, a link you've shared for years (possibly many, many years), with a piece of your childhood. It's relationships like those that are fused with memories that will live a lifetime. When was the last time an iPhone app infused a memory?
In no way could the situation be completely explained here by the likes of a comic blogger like my self but none the less, the tactile relationship we have with our "things" is an important one.

Regardless of how active, how amazing, how easily accessible an online forum may be there isn't one on line that could replace the experience of going down to your local comic shop, hanging out with other comic fans like your self, and discussing comics until your blue in the face.

I look forward to digital comics via Longbox, Robot Comics, Graphic.Ly, ComiXology, et al and more on my gSlate (google's follow up to the iSlate) on a national wireless network some day but it's comforting to know that if I want to I can go somewhere with my best pals (or kids) and go buy a comic that can be shared as a group.

Have a great weekend!

- Caine

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


"Some sort of Celtic Thor."

That is how I was sold to the idea of making a Fionn comic.

Of course.... when mentioning Thor... I had but one name in mind....

I knew I HAD to have some Kirby feel in my Fionn design.

Not copying an already existing Kirby design. But instead.... trying to get some of the essence of a Kirby design in my Fionn design.

I will let you guys judge/decide if I was successful.

The guy who contacted me had already published a few comics already.... so I figured that at the very least.... I could finally get my name in print.

In addition to a share in the profits... he was supposed to pay me back my expenses (art supplies/shipping/etc).

But as soon as I could not get the measly $20 for shipping and about $20 for supplies.... I pretty much suspected that I would never see a single red cent.

I also was supposed to get my artwork back too.... but that too never happened.

But despite that... when I was asked to work on another series.... or another issue of Fionn.... I said "yes".... at the condition that I would at least get paid for my expenses.

But that check never came... so no more comics/issues were done.

But at least.... that one issue of Fionn did see print.

Although I was a little disappointed with the ink job.

Although... in my book.... since I was not willing to ink the book.... since I DID let someone else ink it.... I don't really have the right to complain.

If I wanted the book to be inked my way.... I simply had to ink it myself.

Why did I not do the ink on Fionn?? or the various other projects I penciled??

Essentially... to minimize my losses in case there never was any future profits. Or in the case that even with some sort of future profits... I ended up not being paid for some reasons.

There are enough stories out there of comic creators never being paid that it was safer to minimize the risks as much as possible.

So if I spend a month penciling a book.... and end up not getting paid... I lose only a month of my time.

But if I ink it?? Then I can lose twice as much time. And more if you add up the coloring or the lettering depending on the project.

So for some time.... I decided to focus on penciling only.

Apparently... Fionn sold over 20,000 copies.
At least according to some interview on YouTube (around 4:20...)

[ Note from Jim: Strange, but if I had sold 20,000 issues of a comic, I think I would be inclined to make a second issue - with the artist who drew the first one. But that may be just me...]

No idea if it is true or if it is pure hype... but if it's true... it would mean that I penciled a book that outsold most Image Comics.

Not bad I guess.
At the time... I thought that Fionn was some of my best work.... but too often I think that after a project.... so what do I know. ;)
But I had a good time over all drawing the book and I had some freedom that I did not have on other projects.

Most amateur/beginners writers will write full script. They will be very descriptive in their scripts and they will include all the dialogues. And too often.... a LOT of dialogues. Too often.... too much dialogues. So it is quite a headache trying to fit all that they are asking for on each pages.

But when I did the pencils for Fionn.... the full script was not done.... yet.
So I started working from the plot only.... and finally did the whole book like that. Turns out the plot was more then enough for me to do my job.

Working from the plot only is the best way to work if you ask me.
But I am sure that there are a lot of writers out there who may not agree.
I was pleasantly surprised when I saw the colored cover though.

I thought someone did a great job with that. Although I was surprised by the color choices... I thought it looked great.
But ultimately... that was the first.... and sadly last issue of Fionn I would do.

Although it did serve some purpose.... it showed that I could do a complete comic. It gave me a sample of a full 24 pages comic + cover that I penciled.

It may not seem like much... but when applying for a job to make... let’s say... comics?... or when someone looks at your online portfolio... one question always comes back...

 "Can you make a complete comic?? Do you have some samples of a complete comic??"
Fionn was my first FULL comic.

I had done my "Heroes" comic before which was 3 short stories adding up to about 24 pages... but strangely enough... that doesn't count. Usually... a complete 20 something pages story is asked for.
With Fionn... I finally had one such story.
Although by now, I have Fionn, The Surge, and a bunch of Flashback Universe comics to show around.

But Fionn was the first one.

Until then. ;)

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Mister Crimson Episode 60

Mister Crimson Episode 60
Wherein Mister Crimson reacts as expected to last weeks revelation.

Read it here .:

Monday, January 18, 2010

Free Comics Monday: Morlock 2001

Yeah, so I've always been afraid to post any of the Atlas Seaboard comics, but thanks to an incredibly illuminating set of articles over on Pigs of the Industry Blog, I've decided my concern may have been for nothing. Thanks to RKB's research, I've discovered that the Atlas comic characters have apparently fallen into public domain (per a Beau Smith interview with Comics Bulletin.)

So with the internet as my legal counsel, I am happy to present to you the wonder that is Morlock 2001 - The World's Strangest Super-Hero!

In a totalitarian ruled future, a mad botanical professor is killed while conducting illegal botanical experimentations - experiments which result in the morbid man plant known as Morlock!

How strange is Morlock? Well he spends part of his existence as a confused futuristic superhero who turns people into fungus with a touch - and the other part of his life as a meat eating plant monster.

Speaking of half plant/half beast creatures - as a strange coincidence, just a few minutes after I wrote this post, my wife found an article on a just discovered Sea Slug that can convert sunlight into food!

Let the illegal botanical experiments begin!

[ Morlock 2001 1]

[ Morlock 2001 2 ]

- Enjoy!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Are Paper Comics like 8 Track Tapes?

8 Track TapesA recent discussion on the iTablet had me at odds wth a friend. I proposed that the iTablet is going to be the final nail in the coffin for paper comics with digital comics commercially surplanting paper comics by 2015. My friend however suggested that it would probably take a lot longer than that for paper comics to give up the ghost, if in fact they ever did.

To determine who might be right, we proceeded to compare the lifespans of different media.

The first one I mentioned was how Cassettes killed 8 Track Tapes. Developed in 1964, 8 Track Tapes needed only two years to become successful in America. By 1966, Ford Motor Company was installing them in their cars and people could buy home players.

However this success was shortlived, as cassette tapes and the Sony Walkman made them irrelevant. By the time the first CD's started to arrive in 1982, the 8 Track was well on its way out. The last 8 track tape was Fleetwood Mac's Greatest Hits in 1988.

It's hard to get a real gauge on when the 8 Track tape started to die. Wikipedia marks the first commercially usuable cassette tape as appearing around 1971. So using that as a milestone, we could say 8 tracks lasted 17 years after a superior format appeared.

BetaThe next one we thought of was VCR vs DVDs. VCR Tapes were around for quite some time in the 60's and early 70's, but they really didn't make a commercial impact until Japanese companies began improving and mass producing the Video players in the early 1980's. What killed VCR tapes were DVDs, which were invented in 1995. Once introduced, their smaller size, greater video quality and special features quickly displaced VCR.

In the early 2000s, DVD gradually overtook VHS as the most popular consumer format for playback of prerecorded video ~wikipedia

So while we don't have an exact date, for the sake of arguement, let's extend early 2000's to as far as 1995 - then you could say DVDs killed VCR tapes 10 years after their introduction.

BluRayThe next format to look at would be BluRay vs DVD. The first consumer ready Blu Ray appeared in 2003, with the finalized format appearing in 2004. As of now, DVD sales are plummetting and Blu Ray sales are growing. Pundits are speculating that Blu Ray sales will overtake DVD sales by 2012.

So if that pans out, and one subtracts the unfortunately long HD DVD/Blu Ray Format wars which ended in 2008, we can say that Blu Ray will overtake DVD in 6 years!

So, if we examine the pattern, we see one thing in common. The time it takes for one format to overtake another is shrinking once a truly superior format has been established.

Whether Digital Comics on the iTablet will be that format remains to be seen, but if it is, I am betting paper comics won't last much past 5 years.

Have a great weekend,

- Jim

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Pierre Speaks: The Surge

The Surge was the last project that I did for free.

I was a little dissapointed so far by the results of them free projects... once I would be done with the second issue of Surge... no money... no candy... or something like that. ;)
I did not need that big a page rate... but at least something that would make it worth my while would be required from now on.

Too often... I will see an ad... or I will be contacted and offered a "paying job".
Too often... it turns out that that paying job is something like 5$ per page for full pencil.... sometimes inked and lettered as well. And it is expected to be as detailed as... lets say... what Brian Hitch is doing.
And you have to do all that in one month.
Hitch himself does not do the pencils alone in one month... let alone pencil/ink/letter/and what else someone might ask for... and too often people expect some schmuck that they are paying 5$ per page to do all that??

Not very realistic.
5$ for a page does not even cover the expenses of producing such page.

A rough price for supplies/expenses to produce one page would go like this:
2 ply bristol board- $1
Light-Blue Colerase- $1
Steadler pencil- $1 (yes you can by a pack of 10 cheap pencils for $2 at the pharmacy... but when you are drawing professionally... you need some pencils that will not break every 10 seconds that you will keep on sharpening.... with them cheap pencils.... you spend more time sharpening your pencil then you spend actually drawing.... trust me you don't want to be stuck needing to use them cheap pencils)
Fine marker- $2.50
And shipping... using the cheapest way to ship your package- $1 per page

So a rough price for expenses per page would be around $6.50.

And that can be much more if you use some more expensive supplies or if you use a more expensive mean of shipping the pages to the client.

So when you are discussing your page rate with the client.... try to make sure that you let him know how much it might cost YOU for supplies and shipping, and wether or not it is included in your page rate.
Believe me.... too often... the client will assume that all those costs are included in your page rate. Even when the page rate he is offering you is not even enough to cover for the supplies costs alone. Once again.... many people have unrealistic expectations.
But lets get back to The Surge.

I was asked to pencil the second issue in a series. Since there already was a first issue published... I figured that odds were good that the book would actually see print.
So I agreed to do it on the side.

Anyway... that is always what I usually do with free work. When some paid work comes around... the free work is set aside to do the paid work.

And I mean REAL paid work. Not paid 5$ per page work. That equals to working for free in my book.
But around the time of Surge... I started making sure that the client would understand that since the work he offered me would not pay the bills or groceries... when some REAL work would present itself... it would get the priority over his project.

You HAVE to specify it... because too often some people do not understand that you must pay the rent like everyone else.

They too often seem to think that they have the next Watchmen that will make millions of dollars, and fail to understand that in the meantime you might need to work on REAL paying projects to pay the bills.
So I worked on the Surge on the side for a while. And I was fairly happy with it.

For once... the design work was pretty much done since this was the second issue in a series.

Although I did do some designs (like the EVIL Nazi chick at the end for example), but I was able to do them designs straight on the page.

I was pretty happy with the mood of the first page... or the double spread splash page. Overall.... I thought I had done a good job. It was once compared as a cross between Buscema (not sure which one) and Bagley.... which was a big compliment in my book.

I don`t think it ended up being printed... but I think it was online at some point.

Another example of what happens with `"free" work.
Since the publisher did not pay a single cent for the work.... he can do what he wants with it afterwards.
He does not have to try to recuperate his investment since.... there was no investment.

So it does not cost him anything to decide... like in the case of Abracadavera... to go in another direction artistically... or in this case... to put the comic online as opposed to printing/selling/distributing it.

But those are part of the risks of working for free.

After a while... you realise that if you are going to work for free... you may as well work on your own project.
So at some point... I decided that I would no longer work for free.

Or if I did... it would be on my own stuff.
I would have worked some more on my Heroes project... but I got into a collaboration with a crazy buckaroo going by the name of Jim.
But you guys already know that by now. ;)

More soon.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Mister Crimson Episode 53

Mister Crimson Episode 53
In which we learn the fate of Mister Crimson's family

Read it here .:

Monday, January 11, 2010

Free Comics Monday: Captain Triumph

Today, I present Captain Triumph a Quality character I was first introduced to in the pages of a Superman $1.00 Super Spectacular. I always thought those oversized issues were a great way to read some of the older DC catalogue.

In 1919 twin brothers Michael and Lance Gallant were born in New York City. They were so alike, even to a T-shaped birthmark on their left wrists, that even their mother could not distinguish between them. The two remained close, even for twins, as they grew up.

When America was drawn into the Second World War, Michael enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps, becoming a pilot. However, on his his 23rd birthday, as he brought his plane in to land, the hangar he was entering blew up. His fiancée, Kim Meredith, and his brother Lance witnessed this act of sabotage, and the latter raced into the burning structure, managing to retrieve his badly injured sibling, only for Michael to die in his arms.

Lance swore vengeance on the murderers and those like them. Unknown to him, the Fates, creatures of myth, were watching all this and decided to create a champion. Soon afterwards Lance received a shocking visitation from Michael's ghost, who revealed that they remained linked together, and that if Lance was to touch his birthmark, they would merge, gaining superpowers as a result. Touching the mark a second time would separate them again. Calling himself Captain Triumph, Lance became a crimefighter.

After DC published a few of the Golden Age Quality stories, they never did much with him after that. Roy Thomas intended to use him in the All Star Squadron, but the series was cancelled before he got around to it. Later he appeared in Animal Man and James Robinson's The Golden Age. His last appearance in Teen Titans is probably best forgotten. Currently, DC is used the name for a female character in Uncle Sam and the Freedom Fighters (is that still even being published?)

Friday, January 8, 2010

The PitchBot 3000

If your like me, you probably spend long sleepness nights trying to come up with that perfect story idea to pitch to Zuda, Image or the SyFy channel - well, now you can rest easy as I have automated the process with the creation of the The PitchBox 3000. Click the banner to use the PitchBot to help you today!

NOTE: Just like real writers, PitchBot makes no claims as to the originality of his ideas.

Thanks to Trey Causey for help in coming up with all the cool Pitch ideas!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Thrash Comics

Lobo Highway to HellNow normally I hate it when people talk about music on blogs. I tend to lean with Frank Zappa who said...

Rock journalism is people who can't write interviewing people who can't talk for people who can't read.

And Rock Blog Journalism is worse as any 14 old girl with a Guitar Wolf cd or a Starship Cobra mp3 can post their "This song totally ROCKS!" review on the web (without really ever telling you much about the song itself, you know?)

And that is why, though I am a passionate lover of Heavy, Thrash and Death Metal, you will never see me trying to explain why I think Arch Enemy rule the planet. Music tastes are subjective, and I like to deal with more concrete topics. Like why Woodgod totally Rocks! ;)

But recently, something happened in the world of comics that has made me decide to rescind my vow of musical silence. I am of course talking about the Scott Ian (of Anthrax) penned issue of Lobo Highway To Hell.

Now if you don't know who Anthrax is, you can pretty quit reading here, cuz I ain't about to try and encapsulate the entire history of American Thrash Metal scene in one blog post. That's what Wikipedia is for. Trust me, if you don't know who wrote Reign In Blood, then I suspect you will find the remainder of this article completely unfathomable.

/end disclaimer.

So with that said, I have decided to examine which other Thrash Auteurs might make worthy candidates to write comics:

Dave Mustaine of Megadeth

Why Dave?

As demonstrated on numerous albums, Dave has a preference for left leaning lyrics and morbid introspection. In interviews, he shows he is capable of witty word play and insightful self-reflection.

What we would like to see:

Dave Mustaine's Silver Surfer

If ever there was a guy who could write a character who rants against the inhumanity of mankind, while mooning over an old girlfriend and bitching about his old boss man, it's Dave. Don't believe me? Let's see what happens when I swap out Stan Lee dialogue and replace it with Megadeth lyrics...

Not really that different is it?

BONUS: James Hetfeld kicks out Dave Mustaine - as drawn by Jack Kirby

If not Dave, then who else would be a likely comic scribe? How about...

Tom Araya of Slayer

Why Tom?

With Tom, I don't think you have to worry about decompression. Like his music, I suspect his comics would be fast, violent and exciting. Also, Slayer's fanbase is amazingly devout.

As Rob Zombie once said...

I want to meet the guy who says he was into Slayer for a few months, but grew out of that phase.

Most metal fans move on to new bands. Slayer fans just get new Slayer tattoos. With a fanbase that loyal, Tom might be able to bring a nice influx of new readers.

Skull the SLAYER!What we would like to see:

Skull the SLAYER!

If there is anyone who could pump some effing juice into a such the old Land the Time Forgot idea, it's the man who found a way to turn the phrase Jesus Saves into a insinuative death metal chorus.

Imagine the outrageous carnage and insanity that would ensue in such a story! - It would almost be like a Geoff Johns comic. ;)

Yeah, I know Slayer aren't really known for being great wordsmiths. Actual Slayer lyrics are typically just a few steps above refridgerator magnet poetry.

Deceased in mind decree of Death
Blackened heart baptized in fire
Exertion now need to blitz
Vicious ways brought up in Hell
Draw the line Life or Death
Potent thrust excessive pain
Massive dose adrenalin
Minor threat can not decline

Like I said, lyrics like that should never leave the back of the Mead Spiral notebook from whence they were bourne. Still, on the right project, I think Tom Araya could really shine.

I will cop to one thing - I mostly want to just see this comic produced so I can see a horde of Slayer fans descend upon comic shops and ask for the comic in their typical laidback fashion...

Now THERE is a guy who should be writing comics. ;)

- Jim

Mister Crimson Episode 52

Mister Crimson Episode 52
Wherein Ace explains the nature of time travel

Read it here .:

Monday, January 4, 2010

Free Comics Monday: Super Magician!

One of the things I often find myself regretting is that I don't always have time to track down enough information about some of the comics I offer on Free Comics Monday. This comic featuring Blackstone the Magician is an example. There isn't much on the net about this series other than a passing reference in the wikipedia entry on Blackstone himself.

For those of you not familiar with the real man the title was based on

Harry Blackstone (September 27, 1885 – November 16, 1965) was a famed stage magician and illusionist of the 20th century. Blackstone was born Harry Boughton. He began his career as a magician in his teens and was popular through World War II as a USO entertainer. He was often billed as The Great Blackstone. His son Harry Blackstone, Jr. also became a famous magician. ~wikipedia

[ Super Magician 02 ]

[ Super Magician 08 ]

- Enjoy!


Related Posts with Thumbnails