Monday, June 30, 2008

Billy Smoke news is out there...

Woke up today (after rolling in from Chicago in the middle of the night) to see that Variety had a piece on Warner Brothers and Matthew Fox being attached to Billy Smoke, an upcoming graphic novel I'm doing with Eric Kim for Oni.

When Hawaiian Dick was first optioned with Johnny Knoxville attached, it led to a ton of cheesy but entertaining headlines. A Google search reveals the same is the case here.

To whit:

Billy Smoke is Lost
Racer X Ponders Becoming Billy Smoke
"Lost' Star Matthew Fox spots "Smoke"
Fox Lights a Smoke
Where There's 'Smoke' There's Matthew Fox
Matthew Fox Inhales "Smoke"
Matthew Fox Smells WB's "Smoke"
Matthew Fox Spots "Smoke"

My favorite headline, though, is:

Lost Star to Play Unwritten Comic Character

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Chicago is upon us...I shall be in attendance

Haun and I are heading out for Chicago in the morning, along with Hurley and A. Norton.

We'll be setting up shop in Artist's Alley, at tables 5200-5204, along with Jason Latour and Dennis Hopless and Kevin Mellon.

Sounds like I'll also be signing at the DC booth on Friday, from noon until one, and on Saturday, from 1:30 to 2:30.

And I think I'll be on the Wildstorm panel, which is on Saturday at 4:00.

Monday, June 23, 2008

The iFanboy discussion

Josh Flanagan and I discuss reviewers, the state of the industry, my work, and what have you.

I think it was a pretty good discussion. Josh is a good guy. Here's link to the podcast and the ensuing response from some iFanboy board posters:

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Mining the old properties, and more critical chatter

I wonder if anyone holds the rights to the Italian wartime hero Ciclone : l’Uomo d’acciaio (Hurricane : the man of steel).

Something vaguely familiar about the character, but I can't quite put my finger on it.


Timothy Callahan posted a link to the Sequart website's discussion on the role of reviewers, sparked by the earlier post here:

It's interesting discussion. I would like to point out yet again that I was in no way responding to specific reviews of my own work. Hawaiian Dick is generally reviewed favorably, and very often reviewed quite well (with well written reviews), as a lot of the reviews seem to come from non comic reviewers. I was just using that as an example.

In related news, I had a long conversation with Josh Flanagan from the iFanboy podcast, in which we covered a broad range of subject related to the industry, and, of course, my own books. Should be up Sunday, I think.

Friday, June 20, 2008 on Byrd of Paradise

A truly flattering review of HAWAIIAN DICK: BYRD OF PARADISE by author Mel Odom:

Thanks to old friend and voracious reader Chris Miller for passing it along.

Which actually reminds me of something. I've known Chris for about fifteen years, I suppose. We were both members of the Legends APA, which I joined while in college. Not long after finishing the first HAWAIIAN DICK book, I was talking to Chris at a Chicago area cookout during Wizard World, and he gave me his thoughts on the book. He enjoyed it, but noted that Byrd "didn't really do a whole lot." He just sort of fell into things as he went along.

Of course, that's kind of the essence of Byrd.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Father's Day 2008


Father's Day was Sunday. First one alone for my father, and I couldn't connect with him, leaving a message on his cellphone. That's not a completely bad thing, though, since it means he's keeping busy, living down at the lake now.

My wife got me my first iPod for my birthday in March, and it's a dandy. For Father's Day, the family gifted me a nifty Logitech speaker system for use with said iPod. Music is essential, you know.


Uploaded the Bluejacket pages for Boom!'s anthology, and we're quite happy with the first foray into that world. Seth, Chris and I are all pretty devoted to the concept. Hopefully we can make it work. Nice little write-up on CBR:

Friday, June 13, 2008

Bluejacket go Boom!

Despite having plenty of paying work to be doing, I've spent a chunk of the last two weeks focusing on a labor of love, in Bluejacket, which is a co-creation with Seth Peck and Chris Samnee.

Here's a very brief summary of the concept, which I did for a CBR piece to run soon. Make sure you do the clicky-clicky on the links, for more info on the characters:

Bluejacket is a guy who used his fists and the help of some specialized experts (his "Men of Adventure") to battle crime back in the thirties. At some point, he ran into something that turned him blue and seemed to have extended his life well beyond normal (a story yet to be told). His longevity led to the establishment of a Bluejacket "brand," and an operation that was once designed simply to support his fight against evil has blossomed over the decades into a huge corporation, which provides support, but also exists to turn a profit on the Bluejacket name. Bluejacket merchandise (toys, cereal, clothes), Bluejacket-related media (books, comics, movies, cartoons), Bluejacket theme parks...all of these are overseen by Bluejacket, Inc., and their current CEO, former Bluejacket kid sidekick Rusty Haynes. (The first Bluejacket series will examine what happens when business intrudes on adventure)

In recent years, Bluejacket has found himself spending more time on the business end than he'd originally intended, and he's working to get back out in the field with his Men of Adventure. Over the course of seven decades, a lot guys have worn the "Men of Adventure" tag, but his current crew is perhaps the sharpest ever, and includes the very first female Man of Adventure, in Dr. Nicole Shaw.

Bluejacket's Men of Adventure include pilot Ray Wilson, weapons expert Carson Hunt, researcher
Simon Van de Kamp (grandson of former Bluejacket ally Merlin Van de Kamp), mythology expert Sardur Sandhu, and grifter/con man Jimmy Cotton. Their vehicle of choice is the world famous Aeronautical.

Here's a page from the debut story, which, as I've said, is slated for the Boom! Studios Josh Medors fundraising book, PULP TALES. Again, click for a larger view!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

More Critical Chatter....

Chris Neisman passed this along, from the Around Comics forums, where Monster Magnet lead singer Dave Wyndorf is a listener and poster. I highlighted the key line for me:

"On the B.Clay Moore thing, sure he's pissed, can't blame him one bit. In the "no accountability" world of the internet, everybody's a DJ, everybody's a star and everybody's a critic.

As a working creator, it has to be frustrating to see his work "criticised" by amateurs and attention starved, reactionary morons.

Adept criticism is an art in itself. Opinions are just opinions. Sadly,the difference between these two gets fuzzier every day.

I wouldn't mind if he took shots at one idiot a day,every day. Criticise the "critics". See how they like it."


I almost forgot this one existed.

Got the letters on my little Stingray tale today, from Marvel editor Warren Simons. It's a trifle, but the Lee Weeks art is ace.

Here, I cribbed a panel just to prove it to you:

Monday, June 09, 2008


If you're a comic book reviewer, ask yourself a question, and answer honestly: What do I hope to achieve with my criticism?

Do you just want your opinion noted? Do you wish to prove people wrong in their assessments of books? Do you hope to point people toward good work they may have missed? Do you hope to steer people away from books you personally don't like?

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Ten Favorite Covers

Tim Seeley passed along a list he made for the Comic Buyers Guide, so I put together yet another list of covers I dig, and why.

So here it is.

Because I'm an obsessive list maker, here are ten of my favorites (with links). I'll stick to Silver Age and up, so I don't have to try to track down images of Golden Age Mac Raboy or EC covers. I could honestly list dozens of covers that I either love as art, or that hold a special place in my heart, but here are ten:

X-Men #50 (Steranko): This cover grabbed my attention when I was a kid first seeking out X back issues, and I still think it's really effective, especially coming in an era when there wasn't yet a TON of experimentation going on with Marvel cover art (DC was doing lots of cool shit):

Speaking of Mac Raboy, I love this Adam Hughes homage to Raboy's old Captain Marvel, Jr. covers:

Growing up, the Byne/Austin/Claremont X-Men is what gave me the biggest geek woody, so I have to include one cover from that run. Truth is, the best covers from Byrne's run were by Cockrum, but since this (#133) is probably the first "Wolverine unleashed" cover ever, I'm including it. This issue is where Wolverine really became Wolverine:

This is my favorite Kirby Thor cover, and I think he did his best cover work on Thor. Such a shame Vince Colletta inked so much of his run. Thor #142:

I'm a Blackhawk freak (always trying to get DC to let me do *something* with them), and there are a ton of 'Hawk covers I love, but I've always really dug this Pat Boyette cover, From Blackhawk #242. The last two issues of the sixties-era Blackhawk put them back in their black leather (they had been dressed as superheroes for a while before that), and told cool old school Blackhawk stories, with art by Boyette (who did most of his work for Charlton):

Some of my favorite covers of all time are Nick Cardy's Aquaman covers. Kind of ironic that DC had more interesting stuff going on with cover design in the late sixties than they do now.

Jerry Ordway's "painted" covers to the Power of Shazam! were favorites, too, especially in an era where early Image-inspired gritty bullshit was the norm. I love a bunch of 'em, but here's one of the best. Power! #8:

One of my favorite comics of all time is Peter Bagge's HATE! It's the ultimate ode to my generation. The lead character in HATE! was Buddy Bradley, who was introduced in "The Bradleys" stories in NEAT STUFF, and the cover to #15, in which Buddy leaves his family and curls up on a toxic New Jersey beach in his sleeping bag, is one of my favorites:

DC's mystery titles had a pretty great run of covers, including a lot of Neal Adams, Kaluta and Wrightson stuff. I love this Wrightson cover, just because it's the coolest looking zombie head this side of Tony Moore:

Ed Hannigan is one of the more underrated cover artists, doing a lot of really cool work in the late seventies and early eighties. He did some rad Batman covers, but I've always loved his Spec Spidey covers: