Monday, December 31, 2007

So Happy NYE!

I changed the blog's colors with fingers crossed.

Awaiting word on a book whose lead character sort of matches this color scheme.

Could be fun.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Dick Up

Didn't know Newsarama was doing this, but the entire lead story from HAWAIIAN DICK #1 is up on this Boxing Day:


At least click on it so it looks like you care. And, of course, to enjoy Steven Griffin's backup story, you'll need to pony up for the book. Or download it illegally, if that's how your twisted soul rolls.


"Camp is the consistently aesthetic experience of the world. It incarnates
a victory of 'style' over 'content,' 'aesthetics' over 'morality,' of irony over

-Susan Sontag, Notes on Camp

Friday, December 21, 2007

Top Twenty-five (NO....FIFTY!) of the 90s

Or...twenty-five of the top...from the 90s. Twenty-five of my favorites from the 90s. Top Twenty-five. Twenty-five of the Top. The 90s. No order. One album per artist. No comps.

1. If You're Feeling Sinister by Belle & Sebastian
2. Fruit of Life by Wild Colonials
3. Telegraph by Richard Davies
4. Vinyl by Dramarama
5. Grace by Jeff Buckley
6. Whatever by Aimee Mann
7. Wild Wood by Paul Weller
8. Fisherman's Blues by the Waterboys
9. Hymns to the Silence by Van Morrison
10. Moseley Shoals by Ocean Colour Scene
11. Fight Songs by Old 97's
12. Loveless by My Bloody Valentine
13. Definitely Maybe by Oasis
14. The Bends by Radiohead
15. The Holy Bible by the Manic Street Preachers
16. The Missing Years by John Prine
17. Gentlemen by the Afghan Wigs
18. It's Great When You're Straight by Black Grape
19. Check Your Head by the Beastie Boys
20. Little Earthquakes by Tori Amos
21. XO by Elliott Smith
22. Parklife by Blur
23. Pinkerton by Weezer
24. The Soft Bulletin by the Flaming Lips
25. In the Aeroplane Over the Sea by Neutral Milk Hotel.

Probably should expand it to fifty. Missed a bunch of favorites.

Okay. Twenty-five more!

26. A Different Class by Pulp
27. Laid by James
28. Odelay by Beck
29. Girlfriend by Matthew Sweet
30. Feeling Strangely Fine by Semisonic
31. Exile in Guyville by Liz Phair
32. Tuesday Night Music Club by Sheryl Crow
33. The Man Who by Travis
34. Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space by Spiritualized
35. Ben Folds Five by Ben Folds Five
36. Keep it Like a Secret by Built to Spill
37. Cure for Pain by Morphine
38. Tomorrow the Green Grass by The Jayhawks
39. Dog Man Star by Suede
40. August and Everything After by the Counting Crows
41. I Should Coco by Supergrass
42. Amplified Heart by Everything But the Girl
43. I Love My Friends by Stephen Duffy
44. Cracker by Cracker
45. Hot by The Squirrel Nut Zippers
46. White Sky by Archer Prewitt
47. Tindersticks (II) by Tindersticks
48. Vauxhall and I by Morrissey
49. Bandwagonesque by Teenage Fanclub
50. Infamous Angel by Iris DeMent

I still left a few out.


Happy Holidaze

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Superman Confidential #13

Man, I love this cover. By Phil Hester & Ande Parks. Something old school about it, but mainly I love simplicity in design:

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Same Old Lang Syne

Song always gets to me. With the passing of Dan Fogelberg, and the time of year, I thought I'd dig up a video. About the best I could find was this fan-made video that's still pretty heartfelt:

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Music 2007

In no particular order:

Spoon: Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga (each Spoon album is a grower...better and better with each listen)

Dinosaur Jr.: Beyond (great listen...they haven't missed a beat)

The Broken West: I Can't Go On, I'll Go On (beautiful folk pop...or something like that)

The White Stripes: Icky Thump (after a misstep, a return to great)

Radiohead: In Rainbows (best thing since OK Computer)

Bettye LaVette: Scene of the Crime (soul survivor teams up with Drive-By Truckers , tears it up)

Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings: 100 Days 100 Nights (soul neophyte belts it out like the old days)

Field Music: Tones of Town (easily one of my most-listened to discs this year--catchy catchy pop)

Loney, Dear: Loney, Noir (pretty music)

The Clientele: God Save the Clientele (harmonious pop!)

Candie Payne: I Wish I Could Have Loved You More (Bond music for a new generation)

Band of Horses: Cease to Begin (a step up from an impressive debut)

Jens Lekman: Night Falls Over Kortedala (beautiful realization of potential)

Celebration: The Modern Tribe (uplifting dance-punk, soul pop)

Dan Deacon: Spiderman of the Rings (electronic kookiness that hooks)

Stephen Duffy & the Lilac Time: Runout Groove (fucking beautiful work from a guy who's done a lot of beautiful work)

Pale Young Gentlemen: Pale Young Gentlemen (technically a late 2006 release, but I love it...catchy, bittersweet low key pop)

The Lodger: Grown-Ups (classic sounding Brit indie rock)

Tuesday, December 11, 2007


It's going to be different this year. To say the least.

I was in Orlando for Thanksgiving, but I'll head back to Wichita for Christmas. Probably the last time I'll ever spend Christmas in Wichita with my family. I think my father's going to sell his house, and try living down on Grand Lake in Oklahoma for a while. He and Mom sold their condo and bought a house big enough for my sister and I to bring our families down to visit. With Mom gone, there's no real reason to stay in the house in Wichita, so Dad's going to try to sell it and put the money in the bank while he truly retires.

We moved to Wichita (or Andover, if you will) just prior to my eighth grade year, and then into that current house during my second year of college. During high school, and for years after, we'd gather at our house on Christmas Eve with my friends and play games, drink beer, watch a movie. Generally Christmas Eve was more fun than Christmas, although there were some slightly rough Christmas mornings.

Anyway, we'll head back there, and spend Christmas Eve and part of Christmas day together one more time, before Dad drives down to Oklahoma to enjoy the day with some new friends, as the new chapter in his life continues to develop.

Having moved all over the place as a kid, Wichita is the closest thing to "home" I ever really knew. Most of my truly formative growth took place there, and there are a lot of people there I truly love. Those people will still be there, but with my parents and the house gone, it feels like "home" is fading away...

Monday, December 10, 2007

"Moore Gives Good Karma"

CBR interviewed me about '76:

Hawaiian Pee-Pee

Kelly Tindall posted this over on the Image boards, as part of his "Image Babies" concept, and it made me giggle:

Things I can't believe I think about

There's an early episode of the Jeffersons on right now, and it features an intro I can't remember seeing for years. Instead of the familiar intro featuring clips from the show, this one is a grainy film into featuring the Jeffersons following their moving van from their old life to their new high-rise.

I assume that when the show went into reruns or syndication, this intro was axed in favor of the later intro, but I dunno. It would be just like TV Land to dig out the original intro. After all, they resurrected the original intro and bumpers for I Love Lucy, which, from what I can tell, hadn't been aired since the show first entered syndication, when they were replaced by the giant "I Love Lucy" heart. If memory serves, the original animated "stick figure" intro was dumped because it displayed a sponsor's name (which would have been removed by TV Land).

Until these old intros were revived, I had no idea they'd ever existed, but I had always wondered why such a popular, and (one would assume) well funded show would have featured such a static, dull opening and closing.

Along those lines, you can't beat the original "Rock Around the Clock" intro for Happy Days, a show that had one good season, and truly jumped the shark long before Fonzie did.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Contracts! Office!

Got the contracts for the project with Tony Harris sent off.

Pretty jazzed to get rolling on this one.

I've been trying to get my office organized over the past couple of days, and have had very little success. I have way too many copies of my own books lying around, for one thing, and despite dumping countless boxes of old comics, I still seem to have piles of them stacked up all over the place.

I also have a stack of unpaid bills that reaches the ceiling.

In reality, this is what I want my office to look like:

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

God bless readers

This was posted in a Newsarama thread about HAWAIIAN DICK #1 selling out (and after a comment of mine about using more pidgin English in the book):

Ho wow man, I can't wait! I love Hawaiian Dick, I've purchased all the issues of the previous series as well. I'm a Hawaii girl currently living in Florida. I'm old enough to remember old Waikiki Beach before all the high-rises were built, my dad built his own HUGE surfboard (6 feet long) and used to surf Waikiki all the time. We used to live a short walk from the zoo in one of those rinky-dink 2-story apartment buildings back in the '50s. My husband is a local boy, grew up in Kaimuki and Palolo Valley, so we know the old Hawaii. I love Mo and Kahami, and Chinatown ... So few writers and creators "get" Hawaii (that Michener guy - nah, his book junk in my opinion), that we who grew up there get very excited when someone does it right. You guys have been getting it right. I would love to see more pidgin in the local characters' dialogue, but I know you have to balance it with the need for all readers to understand what is being said. So, geev 'um, Mistah Moore!

In this same thread, two Hawaiian readers (who admit knowing each other) had taken us to task for abusing Hawaii for our entertainment purposes, as they had both done on boards in the past.

I've always suspected that those guys were less about dogging our book and more about grabbing a platform from which to pontificate, and that's fine. I understand that.

I've seen the book attacked for some pretty ridiculous things. One "reader" in a forum noted that Byrd dressing in long pants would have immediately outed him as a "stupid haole." Well, you know...that's what he IS. And anyone who tells me no one wore long pants in Hawaii in 1953 is just being stupid. Likewise, people have taken exception to the notion that Hawaii played up its Polynesian culture to lure tourists in the fifties, which is equally absurd. But I try to avoid debates over that stuff. I fully understand that when people who feel they usually get the short end of the stick get an opportunity to make their voices heard, they're going to take it.

So, anyway, while I've never claimed HAWAIIAN DICK was a realistic reflection of 1950s Hawaii (see my earlier post about "Heightened Reality"), we have gone to great lengths not to be condescending or insulting, and to try to somewhat give people a feel for what it might have been like back then.

So, thank you, Librarykat. You've made my day.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

2007 can't end soon enough

Sometimes I feel like a Merle Haggard song:

If we make it through December
Everythings gonna be all right I know
It's the coldest time of winter
And I shivver when I see the fallin' snow
If we make it through December
I got plans of bein' in a warmer town come summer time
Maybe even California
If we make it through December we'll be fine
I got laid off down at the factory
And their timing's not the greatest in the world
Heaven knows I been workin' hard
I wanted Christmas to be right for daddy's girl
Now I don't mean to hate December
It's meant to be the happy time of year
And why my little girl don't understand
Why daddy can't afford no Christmas here
If we make it through December
Everythings gonna be alright I know
It's the coldest time of winter
And I shivver when I see the fallin' snow
If we make it through December
I got plans of bein' in a warmer town come summer time
Maybe even California
If we make it through December we'll be fine

Well, I guess we do have a tree.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Latour's cover

For the second printing of HAWAIIAN DICK #1:

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Dick Bit

One of my favorite pieces of DICK ephemora, whipped up by Steven when we were stumped on covers ideas:

Monday, November 26, 2007


So, after a trip to the Magic Kingdom, I started thinking about the genesis of Disneyland and Walt Disney World. Pretty amazing stuff, really, and probably the greatest testament to whatever vision Walt Disney possessed.

For me, the real appeal of Disney World is the creative thinking and engineering that went into conceiving and building the thing. I find it pretty fascinating, and find myself studying the mechanics, psychology and methodology of the rides as much as anything. Walking around Disney World is, in a lot of ways, like walking around inside a giant comic book.

One of the terms thrown around a lot by Disney's "Imagineers" is "Heightened Reality," and this definition, provided by Imagineer Alex Wright, is also the perfect way to describe the way I think about my comic book work:

Take the things people "know" from the world around them, select the ones
that suit the story you wish to tell, and combine them into something that is
entirely new but that still feels oddly familiar
That's a better way to describe something like Hawaiian Dick than anything I've come up with. Of course, I'd substitute "things from history and pop culture" for "things from the world around them" in the case of Dick.

Nice reviews of the new Hawaiian Dick at Wizard online, Newsarama, Comixtreme, etc.
Be nice to imagine retailers and readers notice.

Monday, November 19, 2007

I'm Leaving on a Jet Plane...

What to listen to on the trip? I'm opting for an mp3 collection featuring:

A selection of My Bloody Valentine eps
What Made Milwaukee Famous's Trying to Never Catch Up
Blue Note Plays Bacharach
David Axelrod's The Edge
And maybe some old Roxy Music

Speaking of MBV, I think I might put together a track-by-track mix of the original Loveless, combined with Japancakes' recent cover disc. (Isn't this fascinating?)

I'm just wrapping up Erik Larson's Thunderstruck, so I'll grab something new to read, too. Maybe The Golden Compass.

Much writing to do, though. Hard to read when you know you've got writing to do.


Suddenly a lot of plot directions are running through my head for HAWAIIAN DICK. Just finishing up a quiet little stand-alone story that introduces a new character I'd like to keep, and re-opens the door to Byrd's past. Also, Byrd has another brother we have yet to meet.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Annual Days

I loved Marvel's annuals as a kid, especially when they were squarebound (which was probably only in my first year or two of childhood comicbuying).

Here are some of the first annuals I remember reading:

I really had no clue who most of the characters were yet, but that was part of the fun. Beautiful Don Newton artwork that really didn't look like anything I'd seen up to that point. I thought Arsenal was a pretty scary bad guy at the time. As I recall, his origin was tied into Avengers backstory one way or another, but that didn't stop me from digging it.

This one featured George Perez and Terry Austin instead of Byrne and Austin, which I barely noticed at the time. The cheesy melodrama grabbed me when I was young, and the Frank Miller/Terry Austin cover gave me a charge. I always loved depictions of Cyclops in action.

Another one that relied on a lot of backstory. Franklin Richards and Agatha Harkness, and Franklin's latent powers...stuff I knew nothing about, but, as usual, those elements gave it an air of mystery that grabbed me. I remember this one being pretty creepy, but I haven't read it in years. One thing I do recall is Pablo Marcos inking George Perez...always gave Perez's pencils a unique look.

This was a two-part story that introduced me to the modern Dr. Octopus/Spider-Man dynamic (previously my only exposure had been in Silver Age reprints of the classic Lee/Ditko stories). Some cool imagery that I can still recall, like Doc Ock being pulled underwater when his tentacles got stuck in a submarine hatch.

Or something like that.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Old Dick New Dick

Chris Brunner is coloring a short DICK story that Shawn Crystal and I did a couple of years ago for NEGATIVE BURN.

It'll appear in one of the first five new HAWAIIAN DICK issues, I think. Brunner's amazing:

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Blues in the Night and Priscilla Lane

I love Turner Classic Movies. This week they've got guest programmers on with Robert Osgood. Last night they had James Ellroy serving up some little seen crime gems. Tonight it's Matt Groening. Right now he's introducing a really fun jazz romp called Blues in the Night that I've been a fan of since I caught it a year or so ago.

For one thing, "Blues in the Night" is one of the greatest songs of all time. For another, the flick stars Priscilla Lane, one of the cutest damn female leads to ever grace the movie screen. For proof, see Arsenic and Old Lace. Hell, just see Arsenic and Old Lace because it's completely awesome.

For more proof, check her out with her sisters:

That gal's got pizzazz, I tell ya! Pizzazz!

Monday, November 12, 2007

iFanboy on the Leading Man

Nice video blog attention from those fine fellows at iFanboy. They also chat up Chantler's Northwest Passage:

Thursday, November 08, 2007!

Here's the Word Balloon interview I did with Siuntres:

Also, you'll find me there engaging in pointless discussion about Hawaiian Dick.


Sunday, November 04, 2007

Warning: Sports Ahead

Sure, it sucks knowing your boys are playing twenty minutes up the road and you're not there.

But watching them win from your living room is almost as good.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Oh, Comics...why?

Here's what's "wrong with comics."

A guy who can do this:

Is appreciated about 1/100th as much as a guy who's worked his whole life learning to draw superheroes half as well as Jim Lee.

Ed Tadem's art on '76 is light years beyond most comics you'll find in stores. I'm holding out hope that Europe will embrace us when the U.S. wonders why Ed bothers with things like learning how to use a brush, impressive storytelling, and creating real environments.

Such a bitter man, eh?

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Kansas City...

...loves to brag about its barbecue. And, you know...there are some great places around here to snag some dandy barbecue.

But whatever the hell I had in St. Louis this weekend was perhaps the best barbecue I've had in my life.

Thanks to Nick from Twilight Comics for the 17th Street hook-up.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Steven Griffin dazzles

Putting the finishing touches on the first issue of the new Hawaiian Dick.

Steven with a very Tropical Noir shot of our lovely Ms. Kahami:

Wednesday, October 24, 2007


Had an artist bail on a project today. A good owned work-for-hire, new launch, new character. I'm not sure he was quite right for the book, but it still kind of bums you out to have someone walk away from something you think could be cool.

John Siuntres called yesterday afternoon to confirm a ten o'clock taping for his Word Balloon podcast. Yep, yep. Sounded good. Wrote it down in big letters on the whiteboard on the fridge. Wife asked about it when she got home, told her. Kicked around what projects I might talk about. So at 9:55 I ran out to the store for some milk and baby grub, completely spacing off the interview, missing his call.

Luckily John's an understanding guy, and I caught him thirty minutes later.

Bob Seger. Come on. What's not to love? Anyway, check out The Distance sometime when you're bored. "Shame On the Moon," "Even Now," "Roll Me Away," and "Coming Home" just get better with age:

Monday, October 22, 2007

Music Pictures

I was going to post a video from one of my two or three favorite bands in the world, The Wild Colonials, but they're insanely hard to find on the web. There's one Colonials video up at YouTube, and very little else online.

They sure are great, though.

So here's my favorite video from my very favorite band:

Sunday, October 21, 2007


Speaking of Kansas politics...digging around my hard drive for old photos, I found this pic of my pops from a couple of years ago, when he was in Cuba discussing Kansas/Cuba trade issues:

Fidel even handed him a box of Cubans.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

The Kansas Krazies in the news

Can't you just see this nutjob in a brownshirt with an armband?

Why couldn't he have gone in wearing a KU sweatshirt?

Kansas is a fairly moderate state, in political terms. The presence of a lot of Right Wing lunatics swings perception to the Right, but we do have a popular Democratic Governor, who swept easily into her second term, and a moderate Democrat in office as the Attorney General.

The guy he replaced, however, is a scum-sucking weasel named Phill Kline. After getting bounced (handily) from statewide office, Kline ended up here in Johnson County as the county prosector. The problem here is that Kline has one single agenda, and that's to eradicate abortion (legal or illegal abortion) by any means necessary...lying, cheating, violating civil rights...whatever it takes. Somehow the wealthiest, best educated county in the state has a single-minded zealot in the District Attorney's chair.

On the other hand, equally crazy Kansan Sam Brownback has finally seen the writing on the wall, and bailed out of the GOP presidential race. He'd shrewdly run on the notion that the nation needed to swing further to the Right...I guess assuming that the Bush administration, with its crazy Liberal leanings, was out of touch with the public. The notion that Brownback could withstand the public scrutiny that would have come with a successful campaign always made me chuckle. This guy has a lot of really weird baggage in his closet (you should hear him explain why he washed the feet of his staffers when they left his employ, or how abortion is a bad thing because it removes future contributors to Social Security), and it would have been fun to see it dragged out. Perhaps he himself would have been dragged out of the closet, as well. Luckily, no one ever noticed he was running in the first place.

Wikipedia notes:

Brownback is most known as a supporter of Christian fundamentalism despite being Catholic.[14] Brownback is a strong supporter of the traditional marriage movement and is an opponent of same-sex marriage. He has refused to state his opposition to adoption of children by gay families.[15] He is also anti-abortion in all cases, except to save the life of the mother.[16] Brownback was a cosponsor of the Constitution Restoration Act, which would have limited the power of federal courts to rule on church/state issues. Brownback told Rolling Stone that he chairs the Senate Values Action Team, an off-the-record weekly meeting of representatives from religious conservative organizations.

A wink and a nod

Memory's a funny thing. Maybe we embrace it because there's some fucked up disconnect in our brains. Like some primal part of us refuses to believe we can't reach back in time and shift things just enough to nudge our lives in slightly different directions, to set us on a better course.

You can play that game on all kinds of levels, right? I mean--maybe you saw a girl in a mall when you were sixteen, and she just drilled you right between the eyes, kicking your heart down into your stomach, if only for an instant. And fifteen, twenty years later, that memory comes to you at the oddest moments. And even though you never looked back or said a word to her, you wonder what would have happened if you had.

Or maybe later in life you rediscovered somoene you missed the first time around. And in some weird way your head convinces your heart that time will one day double back and give you a chance to do it right this time. To go back. To be taken back. To go back and do it right this time. Pay more attention to what you missed the first time around, and rectify things.

Or maybe you've wronged the right one too many times to count, and a part of you recognizes when it all started to go south, and another part of you thinks it can all be reset to zero, and you'll get a second chance.

I dunno. But this one gets to me:

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Monday, October 15, 2007

Superman Confidential #11


Written by B. Clay Moore
Art and cover by Phil Hester & Ande Parks

B. Clay Moore (Hawaiian Dick) teams with Phil Hester & Ande Parks (GREEN ARROW) to shed light on the origins of the Jimmy Olsen/Superman relationship in Part 1 of a 3-part story, in which Superman invents a way for Jimmy to signal him, and Metropolis deals with giant,

On sale January 16 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Sweet Soul Music

I don't know what the fuck happened to soul music, but it used to be something special, right? Soul music all but died in the seventies, but lately I've been on another one of my kicks.

Today (one of those amazing but rare cool, sunny early fall days in Kansas) it's all about the Chi-Lites, the Delfonics and the Stylistics.

Got-DAMN that's good music!

Also? I want to write comic books that read like the Five Stairsteps' "Ooh Child" sounds.

Also also? I want to start dressing like them: