253 – Batman

I felt so awful about the quality of yesterday’s sketch, I needed to retreat to a comfort zone. So here’s Batman.

252 – Vampirella

251 – Red Tornado

I can’t point to any reason or example of why I like Red Tornado, but I do. It’s weird. I don’t think I even own a single comic with him in it. The closest thing I can think of is the episode of Batman: Brave and the Bold where he builds a son who turns evil and then has destroy him. But that’s pretty recent, and my like of R.T. existed long before that.

***

Read some more comics.
Firestorm: I’ve read better from Gail Simone, but I have a nostalgic love for Firestorm that will keep me on board for at least a few more issues. This seems to be one of the hardest reboots from the new DC that I’ve read, but that’s okay.

Justice League Dark: I’ve long held the theory that there are two Peter Milligans. There’s the one who wrote Enigma and X-Statix (who is a genius), and then there’s the one who wrote X-Men and Greek Street (who isn’t good). JLD sort of falls in between those two, leaning slightly closer to the genius side, but still far from it. All pieces are there, they’re just waiting to be placed together in the right order. The art is great, and I love that Milligan is writing Shade again, plus an “alt” version of John Constantine. These factors alone will keep me along for the ride for a while.

I, Vampire: I really wanted to like this book simply for it’s underdog status amongst comic fandom. But I just couldn’t get into it. The art is a pale imitation of Jae Lee, and the story is just… I dunno. Vampires. Boring.

The Flash: Sigh. I liked it. I don’t think the art is as amazing as Francis Manapul’s reputation seems to garner, and there’s some sloppy storytelling, but the story was entertaining, intriguing and fun. Goddammit.

All-Star Western: It was fine. It was not as good as some of the random issues of Jonah Hex I had picked up over the years, but it wasn’t awful by any means. I’m not a huge fan of the premise, but mostly because I read a far superior version of this story in the most recent Billy the Kid’s Old Timey Oddities series. I’ll give this a few more issues. Mostly it just made me want to pick up older issues of Palmiotti and Gray’s Hex series.

Funrama: This is a self-published comic by artist Ryan Kelly, who has worked with Brian Wood on Local and New York Five. It’s basically a superhero comic with a dirty, DIY idealogy. It’s fun, light and gorgeous. I recently read an article about how Kelly has a disease in which he is basically in constant excruciating pain, and is going broke due to the medical bills to treat his condition. The very very least I could do was buy his comic and hope my 3 bucks went to good use. I would have bought this book anyway, but at least it didn’t feel like a frivolous purchase.

***

#2s

Swamp Thing: This issue is pretty heavy on exposition, but all my fears about undoing Alan Moore’s work on the character were pretty much put to rest, and also setting up an even better premise than I had imagined from the first issue. I’m really digging this comic so far.

OMAC: Wow. There are rumors that OMAC is going to be one of the first cancelled of the new DC books, and that makes total sense, because this book is fucking great. I think Invincible is one of the only other comics that can pack as much non-stop action in a book and still tell a dense story complete with character development. Plus, an awesome cliffhanger! I’mma miss you when you’re gone, OMAC. I’ll file you away along with my fond memories of Hourman, Chase, Vext, Chronos, Aztek and The Creeper.

Justice League International: …and I’m out. Maybe I’ll check out the issues digitally when the price drops.

Action Comics: Fuck. It’s just… great. Just great.

Ultimate Spider-Man: See my review for issue 1.

250 – characters

Characters from a graphic novel idea that never fully materialized, but still bug me from time to time.

249 – Cyborg

248 – Puck

Requested by Kurt Dinse. I don’t have a lot to say here…

247 – Sid Haig

By request of Andrew Miller, former co-worker and star of the short movie I wrote called All the Marbles, also the first person whom I ever drank with that resulted in my first hangover.

I’m not good at likenesses, but I hope I got the spirit of Sid Haig down. Andy had requested I draw Sid from one of his appearances in The Dukes of Hazzard, but it was hard to find non-Captain Spaulding references for Haig. Haig is one of only three or four celebrities I’ve ever met, and it’s one of the better experiences I’ve had in doing so.

He was at a horror convention here in Dayton, fresh off of House of 1,000 Corpses, but just before The Devil’s Rejects. I got a picture taken with him (and oddly, he looks a little like my grandpa) and I had him sign a copy of Rob Zombie’s Spookshow International Comic for my girlfriend. As he signed the book, he asked why I wanted that particular issue autographed. I told him because it featured an interview with him in the back, and that it was for my girlfriend, who loved House of 1,000 Corpses. Upon hearing that the book was for a lady, he stopped signing.

“Uh… You probably want me to cross out what I wrote then,” he said. “It’s pretty raunchy.” I told him, nope, raunch it up.

He handed me the book and shook my hand. I read what he wrote over a drawing of Captain Spaulding sitting around with some strippers: “Mmm mmm! Pussy! Better eatin’ than fried chicken!”

My girlfriend loved it.

Sid Haig is fucking awesome.

246 – Ultra Boy

For Jim Purcell. Despite being a really quick sketch, I had fun drawing this, the first Legionnaire I’ve ever drawn. I definitely think I’ll tackle some more LOSH characters in the future (like they’re from, get it?).

245 – Gavriela

Going back to the 24 Hour Comic Day well one more time, this was the main character of that story, though due to the nature of the project, there was never a good shot of her full design.

Basically, I just wanted to create a female character to counter the recent DC Comics kerfuffle of Catwoman, Starfire and Voodoo, and I wanted to do a Kirby-inspired story and character.

244 – 24 Hour Comic Day Failure

So, I totally bombed 24 Hour Comic Day.

It’s a failure, but it’s not one I’m going to beat myself up over. I’m so out of practice on doing sequential pages, plus the time-crunch, and that I really decided last minute that I was going to try at all factored in to the outcome.

I had wanted to participate in 24 Hour Comic Day for years, but I never wanted to do it alone. I’d had friends who either expressed interest, but couldn’t schedule it, or friends with no interest at all. Or, I’d always find out that the official day was THAT day, or had completely passed by. But in the end, there was only one thing that was preventing me from trying, and that’s me.

I made it to 9 pages in 15 hours or so before I gave up. I was losing too much time with each page, my back, neck, and shoulder were starting to hurt, and my wrist and hand were seizing up on me. When that wasn’t happening, I was literally falling asleep with pen or pencil to page.

But, I tried, and in the grand scheme of my life, that’s more than I usually achieve.

If I do this again, I’m definitely taking a prep day to sleep and get my things in order. I’m also going to take a drastically different approach to how I do it. I’m gonna draw smaller, instead of the standard 10 x 15 comic size, and I’m definitely putting less panels per page. Seriously, why in the hell would I decide that 9-panel grids are a good idea for a timed project? I’m an idiot. Also, find the simplest, cartooniest approach to the artwork, and stop noodling. And finally, minimal dialogue. Or find a way to work digital so I don’t have to hand-letter anything. I’m not some sub-human beast. There’s a reason God made fonts and Adobe Illustrator.

So, yeah, it was an experience, and I still don’t feel fully recovered. I am so seriously out of shape, a project where I primarily sit in one place whipped my ass.

Anyhow, these were the only two good panels from all the pages.