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:

Monday, October 08, 2007


It's a lovely day outside. Trouble on the horizon, still, but good stuff coming from the other direction.

Anyway, one of my timeless obsessions is Blackhawk. Breezy early fall afternoons are perfect for Blackhawk, doncha think?

One thing I dig about the Hawks is all the different phases they've gone through over the years.

The Quality Blackhawks ran from the early forties into the mid-fifties:

Then, DC picked up the ball, and carried it in roughly the same direction for a few years (the most noticable change being the toning down of Chop-Chop, from HOLY SHIT! offensive racist caricature to only slightly offensive racist caricature):

Eventually, DC shook things up slightly by putting the "Black Knights" (who actually wore blue) in new uniforms. This was one of the first issues I ever stumbled across, in a little antique shop in Mt. Vernon, Iowa:

Then, the superhero boom hit, and DC made what could only be called a slight miscalculation by turning the Blackhawks into not just superheroes, but really, really lame superheroes:

After about a year of that stupidity, the long-running book ended on a high note, with two really cool old school Blackhawks stories, featuring art by the tragically underrated Pat Boyette:

After a few years of inactivity, a new version showed up, continuing the numbering from the earlier series, but set in the present (with aging Blackhawks in hip new uniforms):

That lasted roughly a year, and then the Blackhawks disappeared for almost ten years. They finally re-emerged in what a lot of people think is the best version of the group, generally written by Mark Evanier and drawn by Dan Spiegle.

Some pretty cool Howard Chaykin covers foreshadowed his future involvement in the mythos:

The end of that last run signaled the end of the original numbering for good.

In 1988, Howard Chaykin debuted his revisionist Blackhawk prestige format mini-series:

That book was followed by a spot in the short-lived ACTION COMICS WEEKLY, with a post-war Blackhawk, written first by Mike Grell, then by Marty Pasko, and drawn largely by Rick Burchett. Grell's Blackhawk was basically a womanizing drunk, which wasn't quite how Chaykin portrayed him:

The series wrapped up, but was quickly brought back once it became evident it was the most popular of the new ACTION COMICS WEEKLY features. During the thirty-nine issue run of the book, Blackhawk was spotlighted on five covers. An interesting array of artists drew those five covers: Kyle Baker, Alex Toth, Joe Orlando, Joe Quesada(!), and Murphy Anderson.

The success of the ACW feature led to a brand new BLACKHAWK book:

While it was certainly uneven (Pasko was replaced by Doug Moench in the last few issues, and it just got ridiculous), by and large I think the new book was pretty entertaining, and introduced some interesting new characters to the cast. However, it only last sixteen issues (plus an annual).

Finally, out of the blue, in 1992, a BLACKHAWK SPECIAL appeared, written by John Ostrander. I hightly recommend tracking this one down. Good Ostrander espionage stuff as the early sixties Blackhawks track down the motive behind the murder of Andre, who's left the group to work for Kennedy:

So, yeah. Sixty plus years of Blackhawk, but fifteen since we last saw the gang together.

Too sad.

Friday, October 05, 2007


Not to get maudlin, but...a short version of something I put together for my family and friends (many of whom are family):

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Whatever happened to this stuff?

Every now and then I'll run across a vintage ad or recipe featuring some horrific looking concoction, generally foisted on the public by a company attempting to pump up sales of their bananas or cheese or something. Invariably, I'll be tempted to try the recipe to see if I'm missing something.

Remember when Mom used to greet you at the door with a hot plate of ham banana rolls?

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

October of 2007

September and October have had some real challenges for me so far, but I did get some good news today.

A book I don't think I've told anyone about was just approved, and we should be able to get rolling on it pretty quickly. Artist on board and everything.

Waiting on contracts to be worked out for one more book, and approval on two others, with another pitch due this week.

All basically from one of the Big Two, so that's good.

These days I'm not even sure "every little bit" helps, but it can't hurt.