Wednesday, February 28, 2007

SUPER REAL NOTES - Snubbed again...

This is the second Wizard Edge special since the release of Super Real, and once again, the annual indie spotlight section doesn't include the book. I'm not here to share sour grapes, I'd love to get the book some coverage in the magazine, but realistically it had just come out by the time they were putting last years feature together. This year however, Super Real has been out for a while, received great reviews, lined up some name talent, and even campaigned on their Secret Stash and Wizard Edge forum threads. So what gives? I send every copy to the Secret Stash address, and copy editorial on all press releases, so it's not that I haven't tried, or that they aren't aware of the book, but still no love. Oh well.

As with last year, they spotlighted 40 indie titles, and a quick glance at the list tells you they include everyone outside of Marvel, DC, and Dark Horse. Widely recognized publishers like Image, Dynamite, Virgin are considered indie, and that's fine, because in today's market anything outside the big 2 are truly up against long to longer odds.

Lets go ahead and break down the entire list by publishers (and their number of listings):

Upper tier (one of four upper tier/high profile publishers with Diamond Distribution) -

Back Catalog -
IDW: 2
ONI: 3

And here are the books that are self-published, or not part of a bigger publishing line (and their position in the list) -
1) Strangers In Paradise - Abstract Studio
4) Archaic - Fenickx
18) Stykman - AKA Comics
24) PS238 - Dork Storm
25) Action Philosophers - Evil Twin Comics
28) Living With Zombies
32) Ragmop - Planet Lucy Press
37) Public Enemy - American Mule Entertainment
39) Morbid Myths - Alterna Comics
40) Black Mane - One Time Press

So, that's 10 books total that aren't part of a larger publisher, or exactly 1/4 of the list. However, "indie" is a fairly gray term, especially in terms of comics, and most of the publishers outside these 10 are known as independent publishers, with the possible exception of Image, who happens to make up almost 1/4 of this years list.

In years past, the lists can be littered with books you've never heard of or seen, but oddly enough have advertising in the pages of the feature... this year that's not so much the case. Stykman and After Hours Press' Foxwood Falcons both advertised in the issue and placed on the list (at #'s 18 and 34 respectively), and Archaic is regularly advertised in the magazine (and placed #4), but there were also ads from Lost Girls (by TOP SHELF), Southside Nefertiti, and Return of the Super Pimps with no placing.

So there you have it, for whatever it's worth, that's this year's list of independent titles that receive coveted face time in, like it or not, the industries largest publication. Keep in mind, Wizard also regularly features independent titles in their Secret Stash section, and the result of coverage is negligible, with many previous featured titles seeing no discernible difference from being featured. But for me, it's a personal goal to see my book in Wizard, good or bad, it's just one of those things that many aspiring creators hope to achieve when jumping into publishing. And I'd hope to achieve coverage on the merits of the book itself, and not via paid advertising. I've no disdain for those who've potentially achieved coverage from Wizard by getting advertising, more power to them, it's just not a move I've made yet myself, but will continue to reconsider... especially for what I've got cooking later this year.

So, a big congrats to all those who made the list, I'm sure you're all deserving!
Just watch your backs for next year! ;)


COMIC PICK OF THE WEEK! 2/14 & 2/21/07

Past time for the COMIC PICK OF THE WEEK - My weekly rundown of last week's haul, where I pick my favorite from the stack, and then invite everyone to join in and post their favorites in the comments!

This time we'll catch up on the past 2 weeks!

First we have 2/14/07:
DINOWARS #3 - Great concept, not so great story, but better than issue 2...
OUTLAW SCORN #2 - As with number 1, I like the ambition, the budding style of the artist, but it's just okay (but fun)...
CLAWS #1-3 - Somehow I missed number 1, but picked it up at the recent local con... I love Lisner's art on mainstream books, but the story here (not by Lisner) is very weak. It's full of Wolvie and Black Cat in Lisnerlicious action, so... YAY!
THE PUNISHER PRESENTS: BARRACUDA #1 - Haven't read a Punisher book in a long while, but this is just as fun as those first Ennis issues, only this time we get to follow a new character, and man that art by Parlow is amazing!
NEXTWAVE #12 - Unfortunately this great title, a sugary mash up of Ellis and Immonen wreaking Marvelesque joy, has come to an end, and with a bit of a whimper...
THUNDERBOLTS #111 - Fortunately we have Ellis doing his dark superpowred team magic over here now (and on New Universal)...
NEW X-MEN #35 - 3 issues into the 4 part arc, and my return to the book, I'm hooked. Great pure, young x-team storytelling, with the pretty art of Medina...
GODLAND #16 - Hey look, it's a throwaway "catch-up" issue, where Casey and Scioli riff on all that's come prior... and I still love it! I actually appreciate this unique setup, as opposed to having to re-read the entire series, the creators get me all refreshed and anxious for more, while setting even more plot threads in motion! And it's only 60 cents!! YOWZA!
STORMWATCH POST HUMAN DIVISION #4 - Another remarkably solid issue of one of the best superhero books on the racks...

It's the finale of the first run on this swanky sci-fi spy thriller, and DAMN, it's good comics!!!

Fraction's writing is dense and full of nutty brilliance on every page, while also weaving an epic wacked-out espionage tale, and Ba is simply brilliant with his sparse but oh so sexy lines, and dashes of tone!

One of the best books bar none, and you owe it to yourself to dive into the trade collecting this incredible run!

Now onto 2/21/07:
GEN13 #5 - This book is still floundering big time, which continues to mystify me, between the concept and the writer's track record, I just don't see how things could be this far off... at least Caldwell returned for an issue (if rushed), and I know there's a fill in or two from Udon's remarkable Alvin Lee coming...
LEGION OF MONSTERS: WEREWOLF BY NIGHT #1 - Greg Land is mismatched on a werewolf story, and Skottie Young's Frankenstein is confusing and boring...
OUTER ORBIT #3 - Howard and Murphy should just stick to artwork, cuz this story, plot, and it's characters are just plain flat, but man can they draw...
CIVIL WAR #7 - Holy shit, what a giant turd. Sure it'd read better in one sitting as opposed to delayed release, but Millar can not finish a story, any story, like ever, which is a shame cuz he's brilliant otherwise, and we needed a better artist, McNiven, though way talented, is far too stiff for such a massive cast, action packed blockbuster, and WTF!?!?!?! come on Marvel, your biggest event ever and you can't air things out and give us, and the story, the widescreen throw down decompressed action this book, and issue screams out for!?!? HELLO?!? Fucking fumbled, wasted, and forced a golden opportunity here... How bout some outside the box editing here, or even some halfway decent editing? No, what a cluster fuck...
BATTLESTAR GALACTICA #6 - Another solid issue of comic-style treatment of the best show on TV, Raynor's art really impresses...
THE IMMORTAL IRON FIST #3 - What a good book this turned out to be... Great plot, script, art, characters, GREAT!
WITCHBLADE TAKERU MANGA #1 - Okay, can all of the uptight "comic books with sexy girls are too blah blah blah, panty shots are damaging the industry... blah blah" motherfuckers shut the hell up!?! Yes this book is naughty, so what?! As if comics are not allowed to be sexy anymore, it's too damaging... Don't read it if you don't like that, I'm just really tired of everyone moaning about comic related books, manga, toys, ads, being too overtly sexual... there's room for everything, and geez louise, it's not like there's any great wealth of this material hitting folks over the head. Sure, we want to put a good face forward, but that doesn't mean there's not room for sexy stuff too. So, um, I liked this...

What started out as a strong setup and concept, then developed into a gripping character study and mystery, is finishing as a riveting, rewarding hell of a book. As we edge closer and closer to the finish, the climax is building.

Girls is a superb effort from the unique talents of the Luna Brothers, and another of the best books on the racks (many of my very favorites are indeed Image titles)...

How about you, what's your pick for these weeks???

Monday, February 26, 2007


SUPER REAL SPECIAL #1 in shops 3/7/07

It may be one week late, but things look to have fallen in place for the next issue of Super Real, the first ever special, to hit comic shops Wednesday March 7th.

I worked really hard to get this one out on time folks (or even early), it was solicited for February, but another set of last minute cover promotions, and some bad breaks at the printer have the book due out the first week of March instead. I'm just excited to get this bad boy out! As I've mentioned time and again, I had a kick playing with all the toys of the concept for the first time, as well as sharing the full throttle genetically enhanced combat scripts with some phenomenal artistic talent, and I know it's all going to show when you get the books and see what we have cooked up!

Speaking of the additional cover promotion, the recently announced Josh Howard limited edition, I can tell you the majority of the run have sold via preorders to shops, so don't hesitate if you're looking to score one of those. I've just updated the website, and the store, so all covers of the Special are available for preorder there. My copies are en route from the printer, so I'll be able to start shipping those soon (but likely not til I return from Wondercon this weekend!).

SIDE NOTE: I'm using the same printer that I did with issue number 3. They're domestic and offer great rates for full color, but they're new at comic book printing (and I don't work directly with them, but rather via a broker). So, while I've had some mild delays with this issue, they were much smoother this time, and still quite a bargain for lower run color printing. And although this book is actually black and white, they were still the best price I could find...

SUPER REAL The Pinups Vol1.0

With con season ramping up (I just had my most successful local Portland con yet this past weekend), and with Wondercon this weekend, I've just sent off files to for an all new offering, a book of Super Real pinups.

The first version of the book wound up with 22 pieces total, from 21 different artists (plus my covers, front and back) with a cardstock cover and 40 full color pages for $10! I opted for the extra size, because I wanted to share info on all the artists, and any insights into their pieces, but also didn't want to shrink the art to fit text on the same page, so each pinup has an offsetting page of text, leaving the art at full bleed in most cases!

Can't wait to see how these turn out!

I won't have them in time for Wondercon, but I will have them for Wizard World LA.

You can pick up copies of either new book, both the Special and the Pinup volume, via the website store HERE

SIDE NOTE: I'm doing the pinup book via POD (print on demand) because it gives me flexibility. I can print up a limited number of the book to start with (as POD cost is the same for 1 copy as it is for any amount), and then as I print more copies for future sales, I can update the book with new, additional content, unitl it's time to come out with an entirely new release.
I'm using Ka-Blam ( as I found their service and product were great, and that they met their quoted leadtimes, when I used them last year for SDCC preview books. I'd recommend them to anyone looking to use a POD service, and POD for any kind of limited run convention/online sales.


In case you didn't pick up on it in the rest of the post, I'm going to be in San Francisco this weekend for the big Wondercon event! This will be my second year exhibiting at the show, and my first time in artist alley (table AA61).

Be sure and say hello if you make it to the show, I always love meeting fans of the book!

Next up is Wizard World LA on 3/16-3/18.

SIDE NOTE: I'm opting to display in artist alley at all shows this year (accept
for SDCC), as I've found the additional sketch request sales I tend to recieve
in those locations, as opposed to small press space, help to offset the cost of
doing shows. And while utimately, I'm at the shows to promote Super Real,
they're quite expensive to do, so any additional revenue is helpful.


Wednesday, February 21, 2007


Okay, regardless of all signs pointing to a letdown of a comic book movie, I still wanted to check out Ghost Rider, so I took in a matinee yesterday, and well...
it was okay, I guess.

I really wasn't too moved in one direction or another...
Love it? Hate it?
Just kind of indifferent about it?
I thought it was really by the numbers, nothing special in the story, acting, or directing. In fact, whereas with the Daredevil movie, I thought Mark Steven Johnson's directing and film were great fun, and played well (contrary to popular belief, I know), but here I'd have to say the directing was the biggest flaw. The principal actors are all talented folks, so the fact that they came off poorly, or just plain boring (much like the story), was on the director.

The only thing that stood out for me were the special effects. I thought Ghost Rider himself was handled well, the flame effects of the bike, and the flaming chain action, were well realized and made the character believable whenever he was on the screen. He just wasn't given too much to do, outside the police chase skyscraper scene, he mostly just gave a "penance stare" where they overindulged on pointless effects which were essentially some screen fades with flame effects... wow! Give me more of that action hero staring at people please! You'd think if they were going to build the character around this trademark ability, they'd actually make it, you know, cool? Give me some quick results, some bursting skulls!! But no, it was just okay, like most everything else...

So, I wouldn't recommend anyone rush to the theaters and check it out, but it's worth a watch on DVD, because the penance stare will look just fine on a smaller screen thanks.

Let's hope if there is a sequel, it'll have a different director, and a much better script.

Monday, February 19, 2007


I've accumulated a number of pinups since I started publishing Super Real, and I try to use them in the book, or as cover art when I can, but I simply get too many to publish with the book's format the way it is. So instead of cutting the poster/interview section, the editorial page, or the ad swaps I do with other publishers, I've decided to put together a Super Real pinup book.

With con season at hand, I'm putting the finishing touches on a book to have printed via's print on demand service. Since there've been a number of artists who've mentioned doing a pinup, I shook some trees this past week, and wouldn't ya know, some swanky Super Real guest art pinups showed up!

So, here I am, to share them with you, before they're available in the pinup book... I'm thinking of calling it Super Real Friends, or Super Real Friends: Pinup art and sketches... something along those lines, as it's all friends of the book doing pinups an the like.
It's going to be about 24 pieces, with about 3 by me (2 of which have never before been published), in a comic book size, cardstock cover book, with 2 pages for each piece, one for the art, and the other with notes on the artist, their work, and what (if anything) they've done for Super Real. So, a little something extra, as always. It will be a wide variety of artists, ranging from established creators in the industry, to rising talent.
I'm thinking of selling them for $10 each.

I'll of course, let you know once they're available (unfortunately, barring a miracle, they won't be ready for Wondercon)!

The pinups included here, from top to bottom are:

1) Holly (aka Participant Number 1)
by HC Noel

2) Kityana (aka Participant Number 3)
by Jerry Gaylord

3) Shana (aka Participant Number 5)
by Dan Mendoza


Sunday, February 18, 2007

SUPER REAL NOTES - Portland Comic Book Show today!


If you're local to Portland (OR) don't forget to stop by the PORTLAND COMIC BOOK SHOW today!

I'll be exhibiting and selling copies of all covers for issues 1 thru 3, the last of the 2006 Vol2 Sketchbooks, (a handfull of the 2006 SDCC SR Special preview books), and of course selling and doing sketches!

It's going to be lots of fun as it's a good regional show that brings in a solid 1400 attendance each time out, and has a good offering of exhibitors and guest (check the link above for the lineup).

Of course, if you can't make it to the show, I always offer the books at the website, and just email for sketches/commissions :)


DeviantArtists - Adam Warren

I've been meaning to add some features to TSL for some time, regular series' that highlight various topics on the web, the main one being artists found in the community.

Well, with the addition of one of my all time favorite creators to DeviantArt, it's high time to kick things off. I'll be back on the regular (read: as I get time, weekly, monthly, who knows) to offer artists that have impressive works to view on DA.

This time, we have none other than Adam Warren.

Yes, the godfather of American-Manga, the man at the forefront of the crossover manga hybrid style that's in full force today with millions of pre-teen kids aping their beloved anime/manga influences. Adams had a well informed, natural, and keen taste for Eastern flair since way before it was fashionable, a precursor to Joe Mad and devotees of the 90's, an innovator along with Ben Dunn and other early adaptors, but built on the solid foundation of the Joe Kubert School. Adam's perhaps most known for his Dirty Pair comics that came from Dark Horse through the 90's, and later moving to some high profile gigs on Gen13 and Teen Titans: Rock Paper Scissors. Since then he's taken several projects to Marvel, from Mangaverse Fantastic Four, to his own creation, the brilliant LIVEWIRES series from 2005. Currently Adam can be found rocking Iron Man's world with the visionary Hypervelocity series, and better yet, his March debuting EMPOWERED original graphic novel from Dark Horse.

Adam's not simply content to start a DA page, he's throwing in full speed ahead, by offering regular journal entries and weekly behind the scenes features, but also providing tons of artwork updates. From cover illustrations, convention sketches, commissions, commercial work, roughs, pencils, inks, colors, you name it, he's sharing it. It's paradise for a fan like myself, getting a glimpse at many works you'd otherwise never see, and a peek at the development of the art itself.

From last week's FAILED-PROJECT FRIDAY journal entry, we're treated to 4 pages from a never published KILL BILL comic book pitch...

featuring Adam's take on Tarantino's Bride in a scissor fight against an imaginative adversary!

Or unused illustrations from the SSX video game screen shots...

There's no shortage of things to take in, with 38 deviations, and 22 scraps (and he's only had an account for a little over a week!!)

You can check it all out HERE
Go on! Get Deviant!!

Saturday, February 17, 2007

IN CASE U MISSED IT: Cool stuff!

First up, there's a new Grindhouse trailer HERE
Next, there're 2 new NIN songs HERE
Yes, Nine Inch Nails are on MySpace, and they're pimping the new album, YEAR ZERO, due in April!

An intersting animated webisode thing called AFTERWORLD is HERE or HERE
Story of all tech suddenly going dead, along with 90% of the worlds population...

And a possible peek at Yoda from the STAR WARS CLONE WARS 3D CG TV show...

Friday, February 16, 2007


Time for the COMIC PICK OF THE WEEK - My weekly rundown of last week's haul, where I pick my favorite from the stack, and then invite everyone to join in and post their favorites in the comments!

X-MEN PHOENIX WARSONG #5 - This one ends as ho hum as the rest, again, I think mostly due to the art...
UNCANNY X-MEN #483 - Another solid issue in the space epic from Brub and regular fill-in Henry. Henry's a decent artist, but his style doesn't much suit the subject matter for me...
THE PIRATES OF CONEY ISLAND #4 - Best issue yet of this fun, colorful series. An all action girl on guy gang throw down...
X23 #3 - I'm really liking this series, it's amazing artwork, and the mythos that Kyle and Yost are building for Wolverine's daughter...
THE NEW AVENGERS #27 - Essentially another of the Civil War fill in issues, however, this one actually features a guest appearance from the entire, new, New Avengers...
NEW UNIVERSAL #3 - The New Universe continues to actually shine under Ellis's masterful direction, as the scope widens and takes shape...
IRON MAN HYPERVELOCITY #1 - I'm a huge Adam Warren fan, and as much as I love his art, his writing is some of my favorite too. I also dig that even when he's not doing full artwork on his stuff, he turns in detailed roughs for the artists to work from, so even though it's not his finishes, it's still very much his style and approach. Anyway, issue one was good, decent, a great battle test of both Iron Man's new armor and Warren's trademark smartly informed sci-fi applications, with a nice little twist. Nothing too impressive, but very solid. With issue 2 however, Warren builds on all of that, but starts to add more wrinkles, making last issues setup all the more interesting as things that weren't what they seemed, aren't what they seemed then either... Fun comics, and Iron Man done right. I've said it before, and I'll say it again, Warren deserves a much wider following, the man is on par with Ellis, Morrison, and other creme de le creme writers!

So if I liked IRON MAN HYPERVELOCITY so much, why didn't it make the pick or the week? Well, the beauty of following comics week to week is, it's a big crapshoot, some weeks you get book after book that are just okay, and some weeks you get a stack of greatness. This week I could've made six out of the eight titles my pick for best of the week, it was a great great week, but one book stood above the rest...

Spider-Man Reign got off to a shaky start, but with issue 2 I started to feel strongly pulled in, and suspected it was on the verge of greatness. With issue 3, it's all but realized. Andrews weaves a tightly paced, and masterfully designed plot that builds perfectly through it's four issue arc. With this extra sized issue, you can't help but get swept up into the iconic moments building towards next issues epic climax, with all the various elements crafted together and punctuated by pitch perfect comic book storytelling.

I'm not only eager for the next, final, issue, but to see if Andrews can pull off the amazing story he's set up, and give us the blue and red Spidey returned to form, hero defining moment.

How about you, what's your pick this week???

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

SUPER REAL NOTES - Tales of the Sasquatch 2

UPDATED 2/15 - With link to preview pages!
Well, even though I finished my pages for JOSH HOWARD PRESENTS SASQUATCH last week, it's official today as they were delivered to the fine folks at Viper.

This will be my first published work outside of Super Real, and it's a project I'm excited to be involved with, especially as I see more and more pages from others on the book. To top that off, I've stolen a look at some of Josh's pages for the book, and I think they're some of his best work yet!

You can catch previews and info for the project at it's website HERE

You can order the book now, and it's due in shops around April. I'm not sure about showing any artwork from my section, but I'll go ahead and share this piece that features the "Yeti" from my section... Things aren't quite what they appear here, or in my story either, so keep your eyes peeled for that!

(Check the Sasquatch link below for more details on this project and my involvement)

UPDATE: Viper has now put a preview of the first 4 pages of my section up on the Sasquatch site HERE

Tuesday, February 13, 2007


I posted recently about the new Josh Howard exclusive cover for the upcoming Super Real Special #1 - SUPER REAL VS THE COMIC BOOK INDUSTRY, and explained how Josh turned in a pinup for the book, but I decided to make it cover. So, I thought I'd share the original art, sans the cover graphics, so you could see the full on pinup design (as it differs slightly from what's on the cover). Mainly, I had to drop the word balloons, as Diamond couldn't promote it with the language as it is (and obviously, swapping his pinup title for the books). I thought the idea was fun, and also suited Shana perfectly.

You can check out the cover design in the last Super Real Notes if you missed that (see link below).

I also received another pinup today, from Art Assassin (aka David Harrigan). David is known for his over the top sexy pinups, and when he offered to do something for Super Real, naturally I couldn't refuse! Here's his take on Shana/Participant 5 (again) at the beach (also again), keeping cool!

You can check out more work from Art Assassin at his website HERE

I'm going to compile a book of the many Super Real pinups for the upcoming con season, so keep your eyes peeled for that, Josh and Dave's great pinups will of course be included!!


Sunday, February 11, 2007


Time once again for tales of the overlooked gems from DVDland...

BANDIDAS - Another Netflix rundown, and another recommendation produced by Luc Beson (Transporter, Fifth Element). This time the french production takes on the wild west era Mexico, and the two most notable Spanish/Mexican actresses, Penelope Cruz and Salma Hayek. Yes, it's a movie starring both of the internationally renowned beauties in one one action filled genre flick, packed to the hilt with gorgeous production. Bandidas has a great cast; Hayek, Cruz, Dwight Yoakam (always a treat), Sam Shepard, and Steve Zahn, great directing, great sets pieces, great costumes, great heist escapades, so why have you never heard of it?! Well, the plot and script are the only let down here, we've seen and done this all time and again, but it's done with enough style, and certainly more than enough, ahem, shall we say "star quality" to trump that minor let down.Yes, again, the storyline is completely unoriginal, and most the humor flat, but that doesn't stop Bandidas from being a great vehicle for Hayek and Cruz to make the old west as sexy and fun as it's ever been. The production and cast make it a feast for the eyes, and a darn good time too. This one deserves a better shot at a US audience than it got...

You can check out the official (French) website, and some trailers HERE (if you can get through the "activex" errors I encountered with my browser)

BLACK CHRISTMAS (1975) - As you can tell by the date on this, we're not talking about the recent version to hit theaters, but the original it was based on. Turns out I'd tripped across a recommendation for this months before the remake hit, and just got around to seeing it. BC is touted as the first true slasher flick and has a bit of a cult following (see for more on that). I'd never heard of it before, but was intrigued by the genuine devotion a 30 year old slasher pic could generate. Turns out BC lives up to the buzz, as it's a solid, moody, dark, and shockingly relevant (for being over 3 decades old) work. While you can't escape the era it's from, the directing and story are timeless and stand up with everything that's come since.BC is not a silly, forgettable affair, relying on gore or tricks to move the audience, it captures a menacing spirit and tells a creepy tale of a handful of sorority girls on Christmas break, plagued by darkly desperate crank calls. There are some great characters and moments here that make it fun, without resorting to over the top cheese (like so many imitators have since). The most notable actors here are certainly Margot Kidder (in a slightly deviant role, pre Superman the movie) and John Saxon (instantly recognizable character actor, with scores of TV and film roles through the 70's and 80's, and most recently in Masters of Horror's 'Pelts'), who are both fun to watch in their prime.

IDIOCRACY (2005) - Though this was from '05, it wasn't released until recently, as this directorial follow up to OFFICE SPACE from Mike Judge was shelved by the studio. The concept, with Luke Wilson as a supremely average soldier accidentally cryogenically frozen for 1,000 years to be woken up to a society of complete idiots (making him the smartest man on Earth), sounded delightfully fun, but while the movie doesn't exactly crash and burn it's golden premise, it does trip over itself and ultimately miss the mark.

Seeing the future American idiots would've been a lot more fun, if it didn't feel like the comedy potential was so squandered, with overly simple, unimaginative flourishes. As much as Office Space became a cult smash and recognized for it's genius in capturing cubicle nuances, Idiocracy feels mismanaged by Judge at the helm (and where Office Space had inspired casting, some of the cast here seemed questionable, especially Dax Shepard). It's still fun though, and full of enough mildly entertaining spectacle to make for a decent watch.

THE INVINCIBLE IRON MAN - The latest from the underwhelming Marvel animated direct-to-DVD line, drops the bar completely. With the first two features, Ultimate Avengers 1 and 2, things got more oddly interpreted and disappointing with each release, so I was hopeful that Iron Man would change that trend, instead, it drives it into the ground. This was bad, mind numbingly bad. Stupid plot, ridiculous new characters, and passable animation make for a depressing outing. Why, why on gods green earth, when you're faced with the Marvel comics cannon, do you feel the need to come up with new, completely different takes on it? Sure, reinterpret classic stories for the modern era, but what the fuck is this?!?
I fell asleep, woke up, rewound it, and fell asleep again.

(The more mainstream fair most folks, if not all, have already heard of):

HOLLYWOODLAND - I never really cared to see it, but am glad I did. I thought it was smartly acted (yes, including, and especially Affleck), written, and filmed...
LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE - Another one of those you don't really feel compelled to watch, but are very glad you did outings. This was a great, great movie, and one heck of an emotionally turbulent, but uproariously funny journey...
SAW 3 - Another worthy entry to the (overly gruesome) franchise. Not sure where they go from here though...
SEE NO EVIL - Watch this one if you're a horror completest, it's too dark like so many these days, and of course absurdly pointless, but with just enough twisted creativity to be entertaining, if that's your thing...

Saturday, February 10, 2007


Time for the COMIC PICK OF THE WEEK - My weekly rundown of the books I brought home from the shop the week prior, where I pick my favorite from the stack, and then invite everyone to join in and post their favorites in the comments!

SCARLETT'S CURSE #0 & 1 - This was a polybagged set that made for the debut from new publisher Praxis. Interesting promotion, to include the number 0 with the first issue, but kind of odd, in that it didn't feel like you could use the number 1 without it... Tried this out because the art looked decent, and while it's not bad, it's a bit stiff throughout, and the story very bland and uninspired. We've seen chicks fight demons in comics, with a mystical artifact/blade how many times now? I know, we've seen a lot of other genre/setups too, so ultimately its about the execution. I guess what I'm trying to say is I was left wanting across the board...
DOCTOR STRANGE THE OATH#4 - As I've said on this, it would've made a great one-shot or short, but it feels really stretched at this point (and we've still got another issue)...
X-MEN #195 - Writing this more than a week after reading it, I honestly can't remember anything about it. Thumbing through I'm reminded of the great Ramos art, and cookie cutter X-storyline...
DINO WARS #2 - This has promise, but I felt let down with this issue. Espinosa's art is great, and the story/concept as well, but even though this is an over-sized 33 page issue packed with action, I wasn't very engaged. All the spectacle is lost following one character we've barely met and get no feel for as he survives giant techno-dino battle, you just never care if he eventually makes it out of harms way...
ULTIMATE FANTASTIC FOUR #33-38 - Been anxious to check out Mike Carey's arc on this, as I've really enjoyed the Ultimate version of FF to this point, but while what I've read of his has been solid, it's just all been empty calories to me and he's paired here with a great artist, Pasqual Ferry. This opening arc is six issues, so I had to wait a bit for it to conclude and dig in. At first, aside from a bit of a ham-fisted open, I found it delightfully sci-fi/cosmic immersive, as we meet scores of interesting new interdeminsional characters and flesh out their world when the FF follows them there. However, after all of that setup, we get a bait and switch, and have the FF transport back home and not engage everything we've been waiting for. I can see that possibly it's setup for this storyline to resume down the line, but it felt too calculated and rushed to have me not care there's no real resolution here...
GIRLS #21 - Girls very much plays out like Lost, Heroes, or an HBO series, a great ever unfolding enigmatic concept with the Luna's immpressive and unique production. As we edge closer to the finale, the issues get better and better. Great book!

PICK OF THE WEEK: Deathblow #3
While really, this is another week with no true standout (this/next weeks stack looks to have no shortage of potential though) I had to go with Deathblow...

I've thoroughly enjoyed this new series to this point, and that's in no small part thanks to the incredible artwork provided by Carlos D'Anda, who continues to amaze here. Wildstorm continues to be the best studio in terms of artistic caliber in my eyes. That said, Azzarello's scripts have been interesting and fun, as the title character goes from a blank slate to slowly reestablishing himself in his new world, and this new series. As someone who's never really followed the character before, this approach really works.

How about you, what's your pick this week???

Friday, February 09, 2007


While I roll out the Josh Howard cover promotion for the Super Real Special due out end of the month, dot some t's and cross some i's (or sum such) with con plans (oh San Diego Comic-con, how your dreadful hotel system has smite me again), finish up my 10 page contribution to the Josh Howard Presents Sasquatch TPB anthology (hopefully today), maintain my web presence, and start to gear up for the Super Real Special sequel (yes, sequel, more on that coming), I'm also posting artwork up on my DeviantArt account...

In case you don't watch that space of mine, it's my online gallery, with a good percentage of in process artwork from Super Real making it up there, along with other pursuits. This week I'm posting the majority of my pages from the Super Real Special - SUPER REAL VS THE COMIC BOOK INDUSTRY. Just another angle to whet appetites for the book's imminent release! ;)

So, here's a sample of one of the pages:

Hop on over to DA to check out more, with even more to come over the next couple days!

My section of the special features participants number 1 and 2 in no-holds-barred action. Yes folks, this book actually delivers the genetically enhanced action you've all been waiting for! (With plenty more to come!)


Thursday, February 08, 2007


I think I've mentioned's ALL THE RAGE column here before, it's the long running comics gossip column (original home to industry gossip icon Rich Johnston). Since I've followed it over the last couple years, it's changed hands a number of times. Recently a new columnist stepped in, Steven Saunders, and he's brought along with him a more robust format. Instead of just relying on advance info and straight gossip, Steven has broadened the scope to look at all of the comics landscape, featuring independent comics, webcomics, and UK comics, to name a few, on a regular basis.

Look, there is so much good stuff out there besides the cool books from the big publishers, that it's challenging to find and keep a pulse on all of it, when the majority of what's covered everywhere (print/web/whatever) is from the bigger guys. So I can certainly dig on someone who's of the same mind as me, exploring everything comics have to offer, searching for the good stuff others miss, and then trying to share it with the rest of us!!

Give the column a try, it posts every monday, and besides the usual "guess what I heard" on all things comics, there are tons of links to books and projects worth checking out further. I know I've already discovered serveral things in the few weeks Steven's been onboard!

ALL THE RAGE can be found HERE

Wednesday, February 07, 2007


Okay, officially announced today is the all new third cover for the Super Real Special #1 - SUPER REAL VS The Comic Book Industry, an exclusive from Josh Howard (Dead@17, Lost Books of Eve) that's limited to 500 copies.

When I was finalizing a line up of guest artist contributors for the special, I wanted to get one established/name artist to do a featured spot. So I put out some feelers to the guys I knew and was a fan of, just like with the variant covers, I wanted someone that not only inspired me as an artist and fan, but fit the style of the book. So, Josh was one of those guys, having already done the fabulous cover to the debut issue. His schedule being what it was (the guy is a mad man, he's launched 2 books, has an OGN coming from DC/Minx, and is putting together a giant OGN anthology) he said he'd like to do a pinup instead. So, I graciously obliged, but told him, I'd probably have a hard time not using it for a cover.

The story goes, as you know, I wound up with Jim Mahfood as the featured artist, and that turned out amazing (can't wait till you see his pages with Warren aka The Tool, aka participant 4). Then, again with his schedule bursting, Josh delivered his pinup just at the deadline, right before going to press on the book, but as suspected, the pinup was amazing. Even though it was very pinup in nature, as I've said before, his lines and sytle just pop and make great covers, so I decided to set it up as a new, unplanned, third cover.

After talking with my new, and quite awesome, Diamond rep, we settled on making it an "exclusive - limited to 500 copies edition", and having it be orderable as a seperate item via Diamond, at the regular cover price. "Allocations may occur" and all that. Hopefully this drives more traffic to the book, because with all the kick butt contributions from the cool lineup of creators, it's quite deserving! Not to mention that I happen to think that it's the most fun issue yet, and also a great jumping on point for new readers!!

So, get your order in if you want a copy! :D
Diamond Order Codes:
Josh Howard cover: DEC068112
Regular covers: DEC063864

Here's the spiffy ad with any additional info you might needOr hop on over to the website HERE and check out issue info, or previews, which are newly updated with more pages from the special!


Tuesday, February 06, 2007


Jack Stepp, a local aspiring comic creator from the Eugene Oregon area, sent me this pinup of Shana (aka - participant number 5) in some aqua-fied action!

Jack's working on a sci-fi/super hero series called The Elysian, of which you can see more of at his DeviantArt page HERE

Look's like he's got his firt couple issues coming soon!

Thanks for the awesome pinup Jack!

Saturday, February 03, 2007

SUPER REAL NOTES - Tales of the Sasquatch

If you read my newsletter, than you already know, but in case you don't, the top secret project I've mentioned contributing to is...

The book is due in comic shops this April and is currently available for order from the Diamond PREVIEWS catalog.


It will be over 300 color pages featuring contributions from more than 30 indie talents, for $24.95. While that's a sizeable price, it'll be a massive collection of Sasquatch/Bigfoot/Yeti themed goodness from some amazing creators, that's the equivelant to over 13 comics!!

While I'm not quite ready to share any previews of my story, I can point you to the book's official site, where they're posting many previews on a regular basis...
This is Not a Hoax

As you can see, the variety of talent, and most of all, stories, is quite diverse. I can tell you, with what I'm doing, that's a good thing, as it's really out there, but also a lot of fun! Therefore, the nature of it is such that I can't really share much about it... but I'll have something soon!

I'm really looking forward to this, excited to be a part of it, and even more excited to share a different kind of comic tale from what I do with Super Real!


Friday, February 02, 2007


Time for the COMIC PICK OF THE WEEK (My weekly rundown of the books I brought home from the shop the week prior, where I pick my favorite from the stack, and then invite everyone to join in and post their favorites in the comments!)

It was a light week in which I didn't read much...

NEW X-MEN #33 & 34 - These weren't new last week, but I'd stopped following this relaunch after the first couple issues... I'd been hearing some buzz, noticed that Paco Medina was back on art, and have enjoyed Kyle and Yost's current X-23, so it seemed like a good time to hop back on. These are the first 2 issues of a 4 part story, and the art was strong, and story decent... I'll check out the next 2 and go from there.
OUTER ORBIT #2 - This one continues where the first left off for me, with such strong/stylish artwork and sci-fi themes, I should be loving this, but the story and characters are just pretty pedestrian...
LOW ORBIT #1 - LO is an Image anthology psuedo-GN, you know, bigger than a single, smaller than a trade $6.99-type thing? It's a decent format, and I really like most of the artists here, but... there are problems. As much as I like some of these artists, and want to give their comics a shot (LO is a collective of DeviantArt community artists and friends, who all have striking, acccomplished styles), the majority of stuff here is difficult. The art is confusing or too dense in most cases, and the stories are mostly too short. More than a couple of the 7 stories offered, run too short on pages, and barely get a concept, let alone characters introduced (or moreso, so many concepts and characters for the page count, that you wind up lost). So, more than a couple had me scratching my head as to what and who was happening on any given page. And then, the stories that really need more space, cut short to give us several pages of character designs?!?
I'd like to see these people do more, but to learn from this outing, and expand on their ideas, and make things a bit more digestible, because they make some reallllyy nice art.
The one stand out has to be Jonboy Meyers' RIOT GRRRL, as it's one of the stories that works in the condensed page count, and also builds toward something more. Plus his art is very reminicent of Joe Madureira, and the storytelling is fairly clean.
AVENGERS NEXT #5 - In case, like me, you've missed a lot of the Marvel Next books, Avengers Next is really a fun throwback to Marvel comics gone by, in a fun future setting, with scores of next generation characters. I really enjoyed this sereis, and will look to seek out some of what's come before, and certainly after.

Okay, first let me qualify this, it was a light week, and there was some decent stuff, but not much that stood out, so I went with Drain #2.

I picked Drain mostly because of the sexy painted artwork. Give me two gorgeous vampires dueling with swords, coated in some rich painted tones, and well, I'll like it. Also, this issue was an improvement over the first. Honestly, after seeing samples of this series and reading about it for so long, I was quite dissapointed when the first issue finally came out. This issue seemed to find it's groove though, and my finger's no longer hovering on the eject buttton...

How about you, what's your pick this week???