Indie Cover Spotlight: Airboy #5

I’ve already featured Airboy before, but the Eclipse Comics series had many great covers, so what the heck, let’s go back to that same well this whole week. To kick it off, here’s Airboy #5:

This cover is by the late, great Dave Stevens, applying his trademark good girl style to Airboy’s foil, Valkyrie.

Process: Stan Sakai

Comic Book Resources reprints an 8-page comic by Usagi Yojimbo cartoonist Stan Sakai, showing his process for creating his long-running comic series. It was originally published as part of an interview with Sakai in Amazing Heroes #187 (1991).

I love the presentation of it, the humor, and the concrete examples of such things as the difference between inking with a nib pen versus a technical pen versus a brush. And the fact that this is old school comic book creation, without all the digital work of today’s process.

Indie Cover Spotlight: Roachmill #1

This week, I’m going back to the same well, because…well, because it’s my blog and I can. So get ready for Roachmill week!

Previously featured here, Roachmill is one of my all-time favorite indie comics from the 80s. Here’s issue #1, by creators Rich Hedden and Tom McWeeney, from Blackthorne Publishing, 1986.

Interview with artist Salgood Sam

The Robot 6 blog at Comic Book Resources has a nice, in-depth interview with one of my former collaborators, artist Salgood Sam. He talks a lot about his early days in the industry, as well as his process and philosophical approach to making comics. And he had some nice words to say about working with yours truly:

I’ve seen you do work-for-hire work recently like the recent Ghostbusters comic for IDW, so you’re not completely against work-for-hire. Has the system changed for you, or was that project more on your terms?

Yes. It was a bad time economically so was happy to have paying work of any kind too. But it was Ghostbusters! I loved the original films. I was looking for work, the Great Recession hit me pretty hard. Called them and they suggested I might fit with Dara Naraghi on it and luckily I liked the script a lot. Light stuff, a Valentine’s special. But solid, and Zeddemore gets the girl! Drew the Ecto-1 and designed a new type of proton pack! That was a kick.

Here’s the cover of our comic:

And here’s a sample page:

Funny anecdote: I wanted to write a Winston-centric story, and also give him a love interest. I figured this would be a chance to create a new minority character, even if it’s in a supporting role. Additionally, I wanted her to be very much a “regular” person, not an idealized comic book woman with 40DD boobs and a supermodel physique. After the book came out, I had a fan email me and take me to task for “taking the easy way out” by giving Winston an African American girlfriend. This person said something along the lines of “why not an interracial relationship, after all, it’s the 21st century.”

I guess you can’t win for trying.

Comic book quote of the day: Ivan Brandon

“Now more than ever entertainment is a snake scarfing down its own tail. As the box-office records collapse, the comics are imitating the movies that are imitating the comics. We size our giants down to fit in the world they were built to tower over. We’ve removed the escape from our escapism.” —Ivan Brandon

In the essay linked above, Ivan argues that the one major advantage that comics always had over movies was that they had an unlimited budget, and could do epic, large scale entertainment with very few limits. But even though today’s CG-enabled, blockbuster movies are doing pretty amazing things with comic book characters, they still don’t portray the scale that comics are capable of.

Indie Cover Spotlight: Dark Horse Presents #4

Shameless self-promotion week ends with a look at an anthology book that featured one of my short stories, Dark Horse Presents #4 (vol. 2):

The cover art is by the inimitable Geof Darrow.

I grew up reading the original DHP in the 80s and 90s, with its impressive 162 issue run. When the anthology was restarted last year, as a giant 80-page, full color book, I decided to try my hand at submitting a story to it. Needless to say, it was quite a thrill to have my autobiographical tale appear in the book.

Indie Cover Spotlight: Absurd Adventures of Archibald Aardvark

Shameless self-promotion week continues, with a look at the cover of the trade paperback collection of the Archibald comics, published by Image Comics in 2009:

Artwork is by the immensely talented Grant Bond, whom I first met when we worked together on the Igor Movie Prequel at IDW. He had created this series and started out with a one-shot at Image, written by another writer. But after a couple of issues, he was looking for a different direction for the book and since we worked so well together on Igor, he invited me to writer the book. I wrote issues 3 and 4, which tied together and resolved all the loose plot threads from the first couple of issues. The whole series is collected in this TPB, including a bunch of 1-page gag strips, two of which I wrote and had the pleasure of working with my friends Tom Williams and Brent Bowman on art.

Here’s the original solicitation text:

JUNE 10
112 PAGES / 2C
$14.99

“BULLETS, BOOZE AND BEELZEBUB”
Once the toast of Tinsel Town, faded movie star Archibald Aardvark has been slowly going insane trying to solve the brutal murder of his brother. But despite the hard drinking, womanizing and hallucinations, he’s managed to follow the trail from the dangerous streets of Little China, all the way to the boardroom of Neptune Studios…and finally reveal the TRUE identity of the killer!

FEATURING A BRAND NEW 22-PAGE STORY COMPLETING THE ARCHIBALD SAGA! NOT FOR KIDS!!

If you’re interested, you can get a signed copy of the TPB directly from me (also signed by Tom and Brent), or you can order it through Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

Read my short story “Green-To-Green” online

My fellow PANEL Collective member Matt Kish has updated his blog with one of my favorite collaborations with him, an 8-page silent story called Green-To-Green. We did this story for volume 19 of the PANEL anthology, which all of us in the PANEL group collaborate on and self-publish twice a year. The theme of the book was “green,” and you can read our story on Matt’s blog here.

To whet your appetite, here’s a look at page 1:

I struggled for the longest time to come up with an idea for the book, but inspiration struck on the long drive back to Columbus from Florida last year. We had spent a week swimming and paddleboarding in the keys (Isla Morada), taking in the beautiful sights and gliding around mangrove forests, and it all came together to form the basis of this story.

If you’d like a copy of the 32-page book, which features 4 other stories under a gate-fold cover, contact me via the link in the menu bar above. $4 will get you a signed copy, with free shipping.

Indie Cover Spotlight: Lifelike

This week, in honor of the over-hyped Comic-Con being over, I’m going to turn the spotlight on myself and do a bit of shameless self-promotion. Hey, it’s my blog…why not?

To start off, here’s a look at the cover to my graphic novel, Lifelike:

Lifelike started out as a webcomic, and is a collection of slice of life vignettes. In 2008, IDW published it as a deluxe hardcover with slipcase. It’s a book I’m immensely proud of. I got to collaborate with 11 different artists for the 14 stories in the collection, and I hope there’s enough diversity in the book to appeal to most readers. The cover is a collage of the works of Tom Williams, Irapuan Luiz, mp mann, and Adrian Barbu.

By the way, if you’re interested, you can pick up this 108 page, full-color graphic novel in digital format for a mere $2.99. Read it on your iPad, Kindle, Nook, Android tablet, or computer.