Thursday, August 30, 2007

SUPER REAL SPECIAL: VS The Movie Industry / PREVIEW 2 - Dennis Budd / PART 2

Yesterday we started our behind-the-scenes look at the upcoming November releasing SUPER REAL VS THE MOVIE INDUSTRY SPECIAL with a look at the first of our four guest artists, Dennis Budd, and his character design sheets for his section (Holly vs a Tarantino-themed mob).

Today, we'll pick up right where we left off, with the rest of Dennis' designs, this time for the villains.

If you think Tarantino films, no shortage of iconic villains and characters spring to mind... from Samuel L's career launching turn as Jules in Pulp fiction and it's "gimp", or Ving Rhames' Marsellus Wallace, to Kill Bill's Kato inspired Crazy 88's, and Go Go Yabari the mace wielding Japanese school girl, Tarantino knows how to dream up crazy cool bad guys and not so good guys. Mr. Pink anyone? So, it seemed natural to lineup a mob of such goons, all inspired by QT's big screen misfits, and pit them against our number one girl Holly. I won't say any more, but it's going to be a fun ride!

First up we have Dennis' take on our S&M monster, that he calls simply "Pat the gimp".
Next are the made-for-reality-TV versions of the Crazy 88's, the Loco 22's... I thought, hey luchador mask wearing Mexican themed get-ups would make for a great stand-in here, and Dennis ran with it (plus, 88 goons is a lot to ask someone to draw, hell 22 goons is a lot to ask someone to draw!!)...
Next up we have Dennis' stab at some likenesses that might bounce around the scene... recognize anyone?
As you can see, BONUS!, Dennis is proficient with capturing likenesses!!!

And finally, we have the show stopper... My take on Go Go, re-imagined as a cross between Go Go Yabari, and Stuntman Mike... A small Asian girl, but sporting a big facial scar and some old-school skates... that Dennis dubbed, KAGO BAAI (Basket Case), how appropriate!!!
Dennis played around a bit here, trying to work with me to find the right mix...
So there you have it!
Look like fun?!? :)
Well, that's just a small taste of what's to come, in just one section of this massive tale! There's still 4 more artists covering Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Zombie/horror, and much much more!!!!

I'm sure having seen these teases, many questions spring to mind, such as...
Will Holly take out these QT-fueled miscreants?
Will they take out a piece of her first?
Will Dennis be able to juggle so many whacked-out characters?!?

Stay tuned dear reader, for much more behind-the-scenes fun!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

SUPER REAL SPECIAL: VS The Movie Industry / PREVIEW 1 - Dennis Budd / PART 1

After coming up with the idea for the first special, Super Real VS The Comic Book Industry, I quickly knew there was a great opportunity to repeat it's formula. Taking the cast of Super Real and putting them in situations from the theme, different mediums of entertainment, and writing the stories for short sequences to be handled by a lineup of guest artists. Not only do you get fertile ground for action packed stories, but you get to work with, and showcase, a variety of artistic talent that the mainstream may not be aware of (and even work with some bonafide comic book stars; Jim Mahfood, Josh Howard)!!

So, having put together a great book the first time, it didn't take long to start hatching plans for a sequel - Super Real VS The Movie Industry. This time though, everything is bigger, with a story of over 40 pages, all in full color this time out (just like the regular series), and while I'm again working with 4 guest artists (in addition to once more pencilling a section of my own), there's also going to be an artist jam section, and pinup collection. It's going to be spectacular!!

Since my climax was running too long for what the awesome featured artist, Josh Howard (Dead@17, Lost Books of Eve), was gracious enough to sign up for, I've decided to have some special friends help out with the finale - a sequence of splash pages to wrap up the issue, artist jam style (you know, like what Bendis did with the last issue, or was it an annual, on Ultimate Team-up?)!! There were no shortage of talented creators and friends to sign up for pages and pinups this time out, so it's really become a matter of fitting them all in, and getting them material to have fun with (so you the readers and fans can have a blast too). I think we've succeeded, and over the next few weeks, I'll be giving you a peek at this metric ton of crazy cool artwork. Starting now!

I've decided to take the artists, one at a time, and give each of them a week of behind-the-scenes features, showcasing character studies, page layouts/roughs, pencils, and more! (That's the idea anyway, can't promise I won't bend those rules as we go)
First up? Dennis Budd.
Dennis is the co-creator of MODEL OPERANDI, an awesome OGN (that's original graphic novel) released last year from After Hours Press. You might recall I talked the book up here, and featured it as an indy spotlight in the print version of TSL. Dennis is the main artistic force behind the concept, a modeling agency with action-packed extra-curricular activities, along with his co-creator Joe Caramagna (who's also a letterer for just about every-other Marvel comic you might read... no really, check the credits on any Marvel book, and you'll see what I mean). Anyway, Dennis has a really clean animated style, and the book blended sexy girls with comedic action, in a fun tasteful way. If you STILL haven't dug up a copy, check it out!!

Dennis can currently be seen gracing the pages of Platinum Studios' CONSUMED, where he's again joined by Joe, for some of the art chores on a tale that's penned by someone else. A work for hire gig. The book has been a fun read so far, with some great writing from a scribe I've not seen before, Asa Shumskas-Tait. Check it out, you can't miss the Joe Lisner covers!

So anyway, what about his artwork for Super Real?!?
Well, I'm getting to that :)
Dennis stepped in to take on a showcase section of the book, featuring participant number 1 (Holly Hood, our main character) facing off against a never ending mob of Quentin Tarantino inspired goons!! Dennis, being a true pro (he went to the Kubert school kids) started cranking out character designs once I got him the script. And well, since he offered up a character sheet for Holly, I went ahead and made some suggestions, to keep our main gal looking the part. So today I'm sharing those two sheets he created for her.

The first character sheet was his initial take, and the second was with some of my suggestions.
Basically, Holly has a pretty big build for her height (broad shoulders, long legs, etc), and I thought the first one's made her look a little too small, so I suggested he pattern her more after his character Gracie from MO (as she's pretty much a twin of Holly, even also wearing a pink and black shirt). Also, since we were doing this exercise, I could suggest little things like changing the shapes of her eyes, and how he drew the hair. That's pretty cool for an 8 page stint on one book!

Gracie and Holly, seperated at birth?

Tomorrow we'll check back with Dennis, and take a look at the really cool stuff... his character designs for all of the Tarantino inspired bad guys!!!! They're a LOT of fun!

So, be sure and tune in tomorrow!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

SUPER REAL NOTES - New Special in Previews tomorrow!

When you pop into the comic shop tomorrow for your weekly visit, be sure and pick up the current issue of Diamond Comics Distributor's PREVIEWS catalog, September 2007 (volume 17 number 11), as it offers the brand new issue of Super Real - SUPER REAL VS THE MOVIE INDUSTRY SPECIAL in the comics and graphic novels section, page 347, as a spotlight item for release November 2007.

Solicitation copy reads:
It’s time for another over-the-top special featuring our made-for-reality-TV super-powered cast in an over-sized, 48 page, full color book, featuring amazing guest artists (including JOSH HOWARD – Dead@17, Lost Books of Eve), and our 5 reality show participants in situations from popular movies we all know and love! A great way to check out this COMICS BUYER’S GUIDE Indy Pick of the Month title!!

Features: Jason Martin (writer/artist), Josh Howard (Dead@17), Dennis Budd (Consumed, Model Operandi), Dan Mendoza, Jerry Gaylord, and more.

50/50 variant cover by Jonboy Meyers (Danger Girl, Ninja Scroll, Necromancer)

48 pages, full color, $4.99
Diamond Order Code - SEP07 3951

That's right, this is a full color, double-sized issue, and beyond the 4 guest artists, and fab Jonboy cover, there are a slew of other guest artists working on jam and pinup sections (with more surprises I'm not spilling on)!

It's our entire genetically enhanced cast dropped onto Vancouver, Canada studios, where they must survive a gauntlet of challenges based on popular movies... Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Tarantino, zombies, and dare I say more... you name it!! Tune in and find out!

This issue will be incredible!!!

Preorder your copies now!
What's that?
You want the ordering info again?!? :)
Diamond order code SEP07 3951

Tune in tomorrow for the start of our behind-the-scenes peek at everything that goes into this mega-issue!!! (and click the "Super Real Special" label below for past tidbits)

Monday, August 27, 2007

IN CASE U MISSED IT: SDCC 07 attendance

With San Diego Comic-Con International growing larger and larger, and with rumors of numbers being up to around 140-150k at this year's event, along with unprecedented sellouts, the general consensus was that the show had grown again considerably from 06 to 07.
Not so, according to and the show's organizer, David Glanzer...
Let's get to what everybody wants to talk about - the numbers. What was attendance like at Comic-Con in 2007?

We actually just got our numbers in and the number is 125,000 individuals.

Interesting. Considering people were bandying about numbers like 140,000+ over the weekend, I think that number is going to surprise a lot of people.

I think you're right. We're very meticulous about our numbers. We made sure to get rid of duplicates and make sure that the people who are counted are people who actually attend the show. Remember, one person who attends 4 ½ days is only counted once. It's a very large facility and 125,000 people is a lot of people. Last year we had about 123,000, so we saw a little increase this year. We're very meticulous about our numbers.

Do you have any idea how many of those were exhibitors and how many were press?

Exhibitors was about 9,000 and I don't have the break down for press, but the preliminary numbers we had look to be about 3,000 press.

Another prevailing rumor about the con is that, due to the overcrowding, it must be moving, Anaheim, Vegas, somewhere? Soon?
Again, nope...
One of the perennial rumors following the close of a Comic-Con show is how the show is too big for the San Diego Convention Center, it's reached capacity - which you have - and you're fleeing San Diego the following year for another city that can handle your growing needs. So, to put those rumors to rest, remind us again how long you're contracted with the San Diego Convention Center.

We've contracted through 2012.

So there you have it, Comic-Con International will be in San Diego way off into the far flung future. Check out the whole article though, as they address other big questions like panel space, hotel space, and pedestrian traffic to and from the con.
Click HERE for the full scoop.

Friday, August 24, 2007

I SAW IT ON TV: summer roundup

Things have been so busy lately, I haven't had time to blog...
So, I'll try and touch on everything outside the realm of Super Real in the coming weekends (the upcoming weeks are reserved for behind-the-scenes material on the upcoming book)!

First up, here's some of the TV we've been watching this summer...


Now three episodes in, this SCI-FI series is a decidedly vanilla, low budget affair.
The magic of the campy, fairly adult but goofy 80's movie romp that made me a Flash fan is barely found in the TV show. Nor the pure sci-fi action I vaguely recall from the cartoon series of the same era.

This new series settles into an Earth based drama, where "Flash" must try and continuously find portals to Mongo to eventually rescue his long lost father. Cue episodes of things coming to Earth one at a time and wreaking low grade havoc that's wrapped up by show end, and repeat. With questionable casting (most notably Ming and anything that passes for a villain) and horrible sets and costumes.

Yet somehow, I still find it mildly entertaining, certainly more for what it could be than what it is.


Take one aging punk rock icon, apply his ever honest approach to all things real in life, and give him a show where he shares his views, sits down with an interesting and often iconic guest, and then showcases incredible musical acts you've either never heard of, or that no one else has.

Makes for a great counter culture show, that's so real and honest, you wish everything had the same spirit and craft.



Almost set to wrap up it's first season, Concords is the most original and fresh show on TV since Curb Your Enthusiasm, or any other HBO standout. Bret and Jemaine are two Kiwi's (New Zealenders) struggling to make it as a band in NYC. It's a half hour comedy with zany characters and deadpan humor, mixed with musical comedy. Yes, musical comedy skits. The boys break out into song according to the direction of any given episode, aping a style that suits it. Which makes for some often hilarious, and wholly original viewing.

The first couple episodes are gold, then you catch the formula, and the repetitive jokes, and the next couple episodes are a bit flat, but from there they get better and better. It's one of the best things on TV!



Deadwood ended abruptly, and it's creator, David Milch, moved on with this surf-centric San Diego tale, that replaces an old west town and it's grimy cast, with a seedy SD burg and a dysfunctional family and their neighbors. It's often forced, Milch's trademark dialogue is far better suited for an old west saloon, then modern society, at least when everyone is given to spout the trademark cursing flourishes. Some of the actors, actual surfers, can be downright bad, and the whole things a bit out there, but darn if it wasn't mostly fun. (Not to mention, half of the huge ensemble cast were from Deadwood too.)

Too bad it won't be back for season two.


Thursday, August 23, 2007


Things will be kicking into high gear after a spell of con and family travel the past few weeks.

San Diego and Chicago con were best evers, and the next book SUPER REAL VS THE MOVIE INDUSTRY #1 (the sequel special), a double-sized full color outing, hit's the Previews catalog next week!

The Wednesday 8/29 September Diamond Previews catalog for books shipping in November will include solicitation for ordering on the all new issue, as well as a collected set of the previous four issues.

I've talked on here before about the special, and will resume behind-the-scenes previews for that next week, but I haven't talked before about the collected set. Retailers and customers can order all four issues of Super Real (issues 1-3, and the first special - Super Real VS the Comic Book Industry) for the one time low price of $9.99. This set will come with a new wraparound poster and ship at the same time as the new book.
I really wanted to do a collected edition or trade, since we've published the first half of the story, to give new readers a shot at the series, but having printed the regular series in full color, I've had to print beyond Diamond orders on every issue, and still have inventory for every issue. As much as I'd love to print-to-order and announce sellouts for each issue, I instead print well beyond what gets initially distributed in order to afford full color printing, and also have stock for reorders, and direct (con/web) sales. So, instead of rendering my inventory useless by collecting the first issues in a new release, I've offered them all together, at a lower price, to hopefully entice retailers and customers to give them a shot if they haven't. Make sure and tell your friends to pick up the sets if they haven't checked out the book yet!

Both the new Special, which will feature a story written by and illustrated by myself and four guest artists (including featured artist Josh Howard), plus a hot variant cover by Jonboy Meyers, and the new collected set will share a half page ad in the Previews catalog. Additionally, there will be some ads in Comic Shop News (the weekly newspaper that comic shops give away), on, and hopefully some podcasts.

So, like I said, look for things to heat up for Super Real starting next week, and keep building steam as we resume the regular series and get the book back on the stands on a more regular basis!

Check back Monday for the first of many production updates for the new special, sharing character designs, page roughs, pencils and more from what's sure to be the best issue yet!!


Thursday, August 16, 2007

WW Chicago sketches

Just back from Chicago last night, it was a great con, much better than 2 years ago (my first time at the show).

I did quite a few sketches and tried to get some decent pictures, but I really need to get a new camera. So, thought I'd share some of those!

All of these (except Wonder Woman) were done without reference...
As you can see, Cherry Darling is a popular request (there were I think 2 more I didn't get pics of), I also sold out of the copies I had of my print of her...

Some of these I'd like to do as a finished drawing if I get the time!

Thanks to everyone who stopped by the table and said hello, and especially those who picked something up, or commissioned a sketch, I really appreciate it!
See you at the next show!

Friday, August 10, 2007

SUPER REAL NOTES: Wizard World Chicago

Preview night is already in the books, and it was as much of a stinker as the first one (I was there 2 years ago for the first time Wizard added the Thursday night preview and it was a dead zone).
It's only open 3 hours (officially), but they didn't start letting people in til 15 minutes past the open time, that coupled with a 4-7pm time slot and a weekday (and not SDCC) makes for some slow going unless you've got exclusives people are rabid for, or are a "name" artist people want to get on a sketch list of, I suspect (though some friends in with a Small Press booth said business was good, and the crowds did seem bigger than '05).

I'll be in artist alley space 5400 (not in the program) if you're there.
Looking forward to a good show (and more White Castles and some Chicago-style pizza, plus I've family in the area - bonus!)!!

Wednesday, August 08, 2007


Received a couple pinups from San Diego, and another that's been in the works since Pittsburgh, so thought I'd share...

First up we have this digitally painted (and rather risque) piece from Super Real issue 3 variant artist, Hector Sevilla (Lullaby, upcoming Leviticus Cross from Dabel Brothers)...

Next is a sketch that I received from artist Charles Holbert Jr. at the con. Charles had stopped by the table with a friend the day before to check out the book, and dropped this off to me a day or so later, which was really cool...
He had a great portfolio, and you can check out his DeviantArt gallery HERE

This great action shot is from Penelope Rivera whom I met at the recent Pittsburgh Comicon... Pene is engaged to Jerry Gaylord, an artist I'd met the year before at Wizard World Philly, who has done a section of pages in the upcoming Super Real Special (and he actually colored this piece too)...

Pene (or Peng Peng) and Jerry are both great artists, and really cool people, with quite a talented crew of creators working for the their Identity Comics collective... check more out from them HERE

I actually have a few more pinups that came in this week from Dan Mendoza, but I'm holding those back till I showcase what he's been working up as one of the contributing guest artists for the next Special...
So, tune in next week for that!

Sunday, August 05, 2007

SDCC 07 update 5: Final wrap up

With San Diego Comic-Con 07 firmly in the rear view, and Wizard World Chicago only a few more days away, I'm back for a final review.

I've shared shots of the con floor, and some of the better costumes and celebs that passed by, but I haven't shared pics of friends or any highlights from the after hours fun that was had.

Friday night was reserved for the 9PM screening of my friend Javier Hernandez's comic book film adaptation, The Dead One, based on his comic book El Muerto. Javier and I had met as small press neighbors at the con in 2004 (my second year), and have become good friends since. I've followed Jav through his journey from comic to film, and heard many stories of the production and everything in between, so with the film making the festival circuit for months now, I was very excited to get my first look at it at the con. With the show going til 7PM it was a mad dash with some friends to grab some dinner before the screening, but we managed to get back to the hall (and find the right screening room) just in the nick of time!

The movie features Wilmer Valderamma (of that 70's Show fame) in the lead as Diego the Aztec zombie, El Muerto. Tony Plana (from Ugly Betty) plays a supporting role and was onhand with Javier and producer Larry Rattner afterwards for a Q&A...

The Q&A session... Me and the Jav-Man... Jav and my wife Tami...

The film was great (as witnessed by the two-thumbs-up above), a cool mixture of an original character driven story grounded in Hispanic culture, with comic book and horror movie themes! Do yourself a favor and check it out 9/18 on DVD. Rumor has it, I'll even have an El Muerto artwork original in the DVD extras art gallery!!!

After the screening it was off to the Hyatt bar to catch up with more friends, where we had many drinks, got a little rowdy, and closed the place down...

Most of the gang at the Hyatt, makin with the pose... my buddy Dave Dwonch (Special Ed) posin with the one, the only, THE WOLF!!!

Friday and Saturday my buddy from Portland, Randy Kintz (aka Rantz - who's currently working on Jason and the Argonauts for Bluewater Productions) flew in for his first SDCC. Rantz hung at the table Friday and sold the last of his sketchbooks, and also crashed at the suite that evening. He was a bit overwhelmed by the size of the con and the crowds (who isn't)...

Here are some shots of familiar faces from the table...

My neighbors the last 2 years in small press, the creators of GRAVY BOY... me with my buddy Daniel Campos (Stalk) guest artist from the first Super Real Special and current KISS4K artist...

Rantz in action... the man, the one and only, Felipe Smith!! (MBQ) Super Real issue 3 variant cover (pictured) artist...

Rantz with Ray Height (Raheight), upcoming SR pinup artist...

Saturday night it was off to Old Town via trolley (always an adventure) with Javier and his group of friends (a new con tradition) for some Mexican food and pitchers of Margaritas... I didn't get any pictures that evening to share though. I got to catch up with Stan Yan (The Wang), whom I'd met in small press at my first SDCC and was also at last year's outing, and met Shane another fellow comic maker from Portland...

Afterwards I met up with Rantz and Jason Metcalf (my neighbor from the past Emerald City Comicon) for some drinks at the Marriott bar, which was filled with tables of people sketching... like the whole place. Since I didn't have any drawing materials with me, I was kind of out of place, and we all agreed we didn't really get the whole mass communal comic sketch thing...

Sunday, was not only the last day of the show, but also my last chance to get to Filippi's Italian for pizza. Filippi's is widely renowned as the best place for pizza in SD (and indeed some of the best period), and since the wife and I didn't make it the year prior, I was resolved to get there this time. So, after the con closed down and packed up, we met up with good friend Dave Montoya (Dave's out of NYC and the creator of Moho, and was also a former neighbor at the show) and Hector Sevilla (Lullaby) and his friends to throw down on some pizza. I met Hector the year before after he'd done a pinup I used as a variant on issue 3, where we hit it off and hung out, and since we hadn't had a chance to hang out his year, things worked out for dinner this evening. We had a nice relaxed dinner, over many laughs, and many excellent slices of pizza pie! A great finish, to another great year!!

The best pie... the Sunday Filippi's pizza crew; me, my wife, Dave Montoya, ??, Hector's friend, Hector Sevilla (Elsevilla)...

And thus another chapter closes on the massive San Diego Comic Con. I did my best to capture it on film, and share in the shenanigans, but it's nigh impossible to pin down even a fraction of what transpires over the course of these seven crazy days in southern California. The only way to truly get a taste for it, is to experience it for yourself (highly recommended). Word of warning, be prepared to do battle with massive crowds, and allow yourself the maximum amount of time possible. Even if you can't survive 5 days at the convention hall, there are no shortage of things to do in and around the city. It really is a phenomenal place to host the show. Each year my wife and I take a day or two extra and take in another area attraction, and this year we walked Balboa park, the massive park that's host to scores of museums and ornate buildings, nestled just between downtown and the zoo.

I'll be back one last time to share a couple pieces of artwork I received at the show, but otherwise, I'm turning the page on San Diego, and looking forward to Chicago (and White Castles!!!)...