Monday, December 19, 2005
All of a sudden I find myself hip deep in comic strip projects. Tim Corrigan and I discussed my doing the art work for one of his "Mighty Guy Comics", when we were at S.P.A.C.E. last April. Well, I just received a post card from him telling me he had just about finished the script and it should be about 24 digest size pages. A day or so later I received a letter from Christoph Meyer with a script for 24 panels. He had asked a few months ago if I would be interested in doing a strip for his zine " 28 Pages Lovingly Bound With Twine", and I said sure I would love to. Couple that with the fact that I am trying to complete 32 pages of my own comic "NUT # 3", plus keep up my web comic , "The Propeller Beanie Report" ( about 4 panels a week). I also have to keep up my 2 page strip that runs in "The All Comics APA" bi-monthly. So I think you can see why I say I am hip deep in comics projects.
Knowing that I have all this to do, I usually walk into my studio, ( pictured above) look around, and then head straight for the X-Box and play " Brothers in Arms, Earned in Blood". I wonder why I don't seem to be making a dent in these projects?
Tuesday, December 13, 2005
That said, I hope it is visible to all. The first time I did it, I was the only one that could see it.
The other thing I have noticed is that the color is not showing in the sky of the 3rd panel, and the word "Bonk". I guess I'll never quite understand how the internet works.
Thursday, December 08, 2005
I start out with a visit to Size Matters. After seeing what's new there I head to Wasp Whispers, to see what Matt has to say. Then it's on to the Poopsheet Foundation , Rick Bradford's informative site. Optical Sloth is my next stop to see if I agree with Whitey's take on the comics he reviews. After that I check in at the forum located at Small Press Comics . This site is great for picking up small press related news. And just recently I have started to drop by Tea Krulos site Notes from the Joke Blog. Tea published Riverwurst Comics, and always has something interesting going on. And last but not least I sneak in and lurk around Ian Shires SPA forum.
By the time I finish my rounds the work day is just about over, and I can start thinking about wrapping up another hard day at the office.
Wednesday, November 30, 2005
Standard comic book size/ 24 pages/ full color covers/ $ 2.95
"Nino" continues the adventures of a young man who was forced to drink a soapy mixture by a gang of thugs, turning him into a super hero. In this issue a new hero is born. Once again it's a street gang, this time robbing an unsuspecting older couple, that produces an unlikely hero.
After his wife is killed in the robbery, Unger Thadius Ensile, puts together a costume from discarded hardware and becomes UTENSIL!
Nino, Jose Mesarina is able to blend drama and light comedy in the same story. Although this issue does not have a lot of comedy.
It seems that both Utensil and TUBLDM are both crime fighters, they may not get along with each other that well, and the cops don't like either of them.
It will be interesting to see where Nino takes this story line.
By the way if you are fortunate enough to see Nino at a comic con, he may be sporting his full Laundry Detergent Man costume! That's right he has a full custom made costume!
To send for the comic, the address is Instant Press Studios 5130 Elston Ave Chicago, IL 60630
Thursday, November 17, 2005
If you are not familiar with the term APA it stands for amateur Press association. I don't usually review APA news letters, because they are usually just that, a news letter for the members.
But Tim Corrigan has come up with something different as far as APA's go. He has started an All Comics APA. It works like this; each member submits a minimum of two 8 1/2 x 11 pages of continuing comics every two months. All the pages are assembled and a finished comic with a story by each member is returned to the membership. These comics are also available to the public, and feature some great comics by names such as Larry Blake, Michael Neno, Tim Corrigan, and a number of other great cartoonists. ( including myself...Great cartoonist?)
If you would like information on joining the ACA, or purchasing the comics produced ( they are priced at .12 cents per page to the public. Priced by the page due to varying page counts per issue) Contact Tim Corrigan POB 25 Houghton NY 14744
Monday, November 07, 2005
Eventually I plan to have this site replace my current web page. It is still under construction, but the basics are there. You can take a look at it by clicking above, or over on the right of this page.
Any feedback would be helpful.
Friday, October 28, 2005
I work in the city of ST. Louis, so it's not like I live in the middle of no place. In fact we now have indoor plumbing, and most of the people where I live are starting to wear shoes,so why not DSL?
I just received the new WATUSI THE TALKING DOG from Dale Martin. This little Halloween comic would be a great trick or treat give away. I will get an image of the cover up and do a little review soon.
Monday, October 24, 2005
I would be interested to see Rick Smith's pencil work, before he inks it. Because his panels look like they are inked without any pre-penciled lines. His brush flows fluidly resulting in panels that are both loose and expressive. I find his cartooning fascinating.
With regard to this issue of Temporary, story by Damon Hurd, it is another temporary assignment for Envy the girl who works for a temp agency. This time she is asked by her rather distracted boss to make some pick-ups, and delivery's for a small firm. When she arrives at her employers location she realizes that it is a funeral home. I must admit that this issues story loses me half way through. However if you have been following this series, a little closer than I have, you may find some clues here that I missed.
You can get a copy for $2.95 from : www.origincomics.com
Monday, October 17, 2005
Wednesday, October 12, 2005
I guess there are some cartoonists that come up with a complete story line, covering all the issues they produce, before they begin the very first issue of their series. That must be the case with Jeff Wilson's SAP. I have the very first issue, it is several years old now, but that issue had unexplained things in it such as a brief glimpse of a large worm, and kid wearing a gas mask. They had no connection to the story at the time, or at least did not seem to. The title itself, SAP, had no connection to the first issue.
However as the story unfolded over the now seven issues, all those little hints of things to come finally make sense. Should I tell you what it all means.... I don't think so!. Let me just say the story line involves teenagers, space aliens, giant worms, and of course the end of the world.
If you are a small press fan, you must have heard of USS Catastrophe the distro and group of St. Louis cartoonists Made up of Kevin Huizenga, Ted May, Dan Zettwoch, and yes Jeff Wilson. Jeff May not be quite as well known as some of the others ,but he is, in my opinion the best cartoonist of the bunch. His backgrounds are amazing, his pages are alive with action, and his story telling is fun and original.
SAP # 7 is $2.00 it is magazine size 23 pages, and available from Jeff Wilson PO Box 13233 St. Louis, MO 63157
Friday, October 07, 2005
By the way you can read a review of a couple of my comics over at Size Matters, Shawn Hoke's blog. There is a link on the right of this screen.
Kel Crum's latest issue of Cornelia Cartoonz is something a little different. This time out Kel has collected a bunch of his one page strips and put them all in this issue called " One Page Rage". Not all of the strips have a knock out punch line in the last panel, but the dialog leading up to the final panel is a riot!
Kel continues to be one of the true funny men of small press comics. He is an observer of our goofy society and he finds a way to put Cornelia in the middle of it with hilarious results. The book is half legal size, 12 pages, with a cover price of $ 1.00. Please include a stamp when you order through the mail. Send for it at; Kel Crum 32 W. Goodman Dr Apt. 23 Fairborn OH 45324
Saturday, September 24, 2005
I sent for all of the issues of Matt Dembicki's Mr. Big series, 1 thru 5, I was a bit too late to get issue #1, it is out of print. However I did get 2 thru 5. This series is what makes small press so different and exciting. Matt does something very simple, yet something I would never think of, he takes a walk to a small pond near his home, and comes back with an idea for a whole comic book series based on what he imagines takes place within the animal society that inhabits the pond.
In issue # 2 he does something even more daring than the basic concept, he illustrates the pond at night! The entire issue is black with white highlights, maybe done with a scratch board. This sets the tone, and lets the reader know that this series is going to be innovative both in story line and presentation. And of course the following issues do not disappoint.
Just to give you the basic premise of the story, it revolves around a Snapping Turtle, Mr. Big, that inhabits the pond and will eat any thing that gets in his path. A plot is hatched by the other animals of the pond to get rid of Mr. Big. Now that I have wet your appetite for this excellently illustrated series, get them all. Color cover issues are $1.50, black and white cover issues are $1.00. Get them from Matt Dembicki 3148 Hartwick Lane Fairfax, VA 22031
Jerry Smith's Miracle Force continues to roll along. Issue 15 continues the Twisted Mister story, with the usual twists and turns that make this series fun. I don't want to give away the story, but in my opinion this is not that last we will see of Will Carp A.K.A. Twisted Mister. If you have never seen an issue of MF, then I suggest you contact Jerry at 3344 Horner Dr Morristown TN 37814 ( by the way Jerry misspells his own street in this issue, I love it, I am the not the only one who can't type or spell, ha ha!) This issue is $2.00. The earlier issues are mini size, collect them all!
Monday, September 12, 2005
The new 28 Pages Lovingly Bound With Twine is out! It's number 13, and it has a brand new look. Christoph has gone from digest size to comic book size. Still 28 pages, but this issue includes a bonus zine made from the left over's from trimming the pages to comic book size.
The cover price moves to $4.00 with the new size, however this issue includes a lot of photos, illustrations, and hand made touches that make it well worth the increase in price.
There are about eight stories and othe various ramblings that will have you chuckling out loud.
28plbwt is available at a number of distros and stores or direct from Christoph Meyer at PO Box 106 Danville, OH 43014. No web page or e-mail, those things Christoph considers to be a passing fad.
Tuesday, September 06, 2005
Dylan Williams runs a small press comic book company called " Sparkplug Books" The artists he represents push the limits of sequential art. That is something you just don't find in most mainstream comic book companies. Another thing you may not find in a mainstream comic book company is the fact that Dylan is also an artist and has drawn and published five issues of his comic "Reporter", winning a Xeric award along the way. Along with issue Five of Reporter, Dylan sent me "Christina and Charles" a 6 x 9 76 page full color book by Austin English, and Jeff Levine's " Watching Days Become Years". (44 pages standard comic book size). As I mentioned above these books explore the comic book medium, and touch on comics as art. You can check out Sparkplug Books at www.sparkplugbooks.com or you can e-mail Dylan at email@example.com. Those of us who enjoy small press comics should always support the people who take the risk of pushing the boundries of comic art.
Saturday, August 27, 2005
Half legal size/20 pages/$2.00/ From; Jeff Plotkin 1700 Gough st. # 305 San Francisco CA 94109
This issue features some of Jeff's best artwork. In Wedding Bouquet Blues the story calls for Jeff to draw a complete wedding dance floor in a number of different panels. His rendering of the dance floor at a wedding is perfect, it looks just like any number of weddings that I have attended.
This issue has eight different strips, and as always they are fun and imaginative. Jeff never fails to think of the off-beat yet manages to make it relate to something that has happened in your own life.
You can never go wrong ordering any of the other seven Happy Freak Shows, and this issue is no exception.
Thursday, August 18, 2005
The new issue of Miracle Force is out. With this installment, number 14, Jerry changes from a mini comic to a digest size comic. MF, since the beginning has been a hit. This issue The Force has to do battle with Will Carp, A.K.A. Twisted Mister . The gang calls on Trick Pony to lend a hand, but you will have to wait until issue 15 to find out what Twisted Mister has in store for Miracle Force.
You really can't go wrong with any of the Miracle Force comics.
You can purchase a Digest size collective of the first six issues. it sells for $3.00, and would be a good start for anyone who wants to start a MF collection.
Issue 14 is $2.00 and both items are available from Jerry Smith 3344 Horner Dr. Morristown , TN
Saturday, August 13, 2005
B. Winter has a new Izzy Challenge out. It's 16 pages digest size.
The Izzy challenge is a jam comic featuring Izzy The Mouse. Winter draws the first panel, and then sends it to another cartoonist for the second panel. Whoever draws the third panel returns the jam to Winter for completion of the last panel. He also offers a variation on the same idea.
This issue includes panels by , J. Gonzales, Billy Mckay, and Jeff Plotkin, along with a number of others..... Including myself. Although the one thing that it does not include is an opportunity to draw one of the Izzy Strips that Winter starts. Winter gives credit to Dale Martin who originally came up with this type of a comic jam With his Watusi The Talking Dog jam comics.
Send a $1.00 to Winter PO Box 1814 Columbia MO 65205.
Wednesday, August 10, 2005
I have to confess, I am a doodler! I doodle constantly at work. I doodle while on the phone, or when I am on the computer. I cannot stand to see a blank piece of scratch paper. Every once in a while I bring some doodles home, today I just grabbed some scratch papers off of my desk and decided to scan them in and show them here. Sometimes they give me an idea for a whole comic strip. However nothing in this batch inspired me.
Hey they're just doodles, what did you expect, Rembrandt?
Wednesday, August 03, 2005
There are Groups in Columbia, and Kansas City Missouri.
Well I live in St. Louis, and here is an official call for any Cartoonists, Zinesters, Writers or Whatever's to drop me an e-mail if you have any interest in starting something like I described above. My e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org. Now of course I am just about positive that no one will ever read this, but you never know.....
Tuesday, August 02, 2005
Personally I believe it is due to the fact that small press comics currently do not a review zine in print. This may go back as far as the last issue of Tim Corrigan's Small Press Comics Explosion.
Ian Shires continues to try to put something together, but he seems to encounter one set back after another. I am sure he will get his publication rolling, but for now, we seem to be in limbo. Doing a review zine has proven to be an un-rewarding pile of hard work for anyone who attempts it. Yet it seems to remain the best vehicle for generating interest in small press comics.
At one time Tim Corrigan's SMPCE had 200 subscribers. That may not sound like a lot, but in the world of small press, it is amazing. With a subscriber base like that it is possible to at least break even on the publishing expense. However it does not change the work load, and in fact may increase it.
So have I encouraged anyone to start a review zine?? Boy I hope so!
Monday, August 01, 2005
So not long ago I found my trusty bottle of Higgins India Ink, dug out a pretty good looking brush, and gave it a try. Wow, what the heck was wrong? The lines were almost see through. I thought india ink would give you a smooth black line. Then I started thinking how long have I had this bottle of ink? As a matter of fact it seems as though I have always had the same bottle if India Ink.
It could be 30 years old!.
So I retired my Higgins Ink and bought a brand new bottle of Speedball super Black India Ink. What a difference! Smooth ultra black lines. Now if I could just control those lines a little better I might have something. Line weight has always been a problem in my cartooning. Using a brush does eliminate some of the problem. But it is just not as easy as using a brush for your lines. You have to know which lines to add weight to, and how to taper them to give the drawing that special look.
I have seen some original panels by Chris Ware, his brush work looks like it was done with a machine, and the line are perfectly placed to give the weight at the right place.
Oh well I guess I have to just keep on keeping on. Maybe some day line weight will become second nature.
Wednesday, July 27, 2005
And I was surprised to see a review of Delaine Derry Green's " Not My Small Diary" # 11. Surprised I guess because the two volume comic has been out for quite a long time.
If you are not familiar with NMSD, it is a yearly anthology with a diary type theme. This issue the contributing cartoonists were asked to do a strip about something that happened when they were 11 years old.
I have read some Daniel Holloways reviews when he wrote for " Dogs Body", and I am still not sure that he likes small press comics in general. He writes regarding NMSD # 11 " there is nothing wrong with the concept of NMSD" Presenting autobiographical stories that took place when the authors were 11 years old or younger, and goes on to say if that's the case then "why are most of the strips in its two volumes so bad?" He also remarks that most of the artists in NMSD are bad. "They might not always be bad , but right now they are not good. The one exception he notes is Clutch McBastard.
Well then that means that , according to Mr. Holloway some of the biggest names in small press are bad artists, and cant write. Lets me list just some of the names in NMSD # 11
Joe Marshall, John Miller, Frederick Noland, John Porcellino, Joel Orf, Jesse Reklaw, Androo Robinson,Jim Siergy, Steve Skeats, Ben t. Steckler, and Ben White. And that is just a partial list.
I think that anybody that knows anything about the small press comic scene would agree that these folks are not bad artists! I still have to wonder does Holloway really know anything about small press or is his interest more in the area of "art comics" These are two different things in my opinion.
Tuesday, July 26, 2005
This may be the perfect time to start a blog like this, since I am just starting to put together some ideas for my third issue of NUT, my small press comic. NUT is my version of MAD magazine, but I try to do it without copying Mad. I only want the feel of a MAD, CRACKED, magazine.
As of right now I have two panels drawn for a parody of the old Smokey Stover comic strip. Of course I have no idea at this point where I am going with this idea. So come back and visit soon, and lets see if this idea leads me anyplace at all.
Wednesday, April 27, 2005
Wednesday, April 13, 2005
This Friday, April 15th, I head to Columbus OH for S.P.A.C.E., one of the top small press comic book shows in the country. I expect to return with an arm load of new comics, so I should have quite a bit to review. That is provided I can find the time to sit down at the computer and actual do it. I will be debuting my new comic NUT # 2 at the show, it is 32 pages half legal size with full color cover. It sells for $2.00 plus $1.00 postage and handling.
Did you ever wonder what handling is ?
Here is what I include in handling; The envelope, addressing the envelope, placing the comic in the envelope, licking the envelope, licking the stamp or stamps and sticking them on the envelope, the cost of gas ( now $2.28 per gallon) to drive to the post office and back, and wear and tear on my vehicle to drive to the post office and back, plus various other costs that I can't think of right now.
Monday, March 07, 2005
Nibble # 1 & 2 .25 cents each/ 7 pages each/ from Tom Cherry www.thosefunkyidiots.com
Here are four great little minis. The first by Matt Corrigan should be an incentive for any kids of grade school age that are interested in comics. Matt is in grade school, publishing comics, attending comic cons, and getting his work noticed. These two comics find humor in the classroom. Issue #8 has a great small press comics review section, and I hope Matt continues his reviews they are done quite well.
Tom Cherry's Cherry Flavored comics are always done well. In # 1 Grandma Bev tells a tall tale about a tall man, Abe Lincoln. Personally I think it's a true story. Nibble # 2 is kind of a silent Valentine for everyone to enjoy.
Tuesday, January 25, 2005
Here is a great idea, Rene offers a set of collector cards from his on-going series "Thief The Adventures of John Argent" Each card has a character on the front, and an event that has occurred in Thief on the back. This is an easy way to catch up on the continuing story. If you are already a Thief fan then you will want these for your collection.
Rene also offers the complete thief comic book collection for $15.00 and includes the cards in that price. what a deal!
The Thief story line is too long for me to get into here , but I can tell you it is one of the best small press comics out there, and Rene is an excellent illustrator. You should get into Thief, and John Argent's Adventures.
Tuesday, January 11, 2005
Another long spell in between updates, this one due to phone line being down, and taking forever to get a reair man out!
Anyway back to " Untamed Highway". Just when you think everything has been done in comics, along comes this one with a fresh story idea and super art work. This is about a lodge, kind of like the Moose lodge, or the Elks. However these guys are devoted to the preservation of those roadside attractions you see as you travel across the U.S.. You know, the Elvis Musuem with every thing carved out of soap, or the Authentic Walnut Bowls, The Exotic Pet Zoo, that stuff!
The underlying story is that the lodge needs to find a guy named Barfski who stole one of their artifacts, so they hoodwink a poor slob by the name of Sydney Drake and send him off to recover the artifact. I really don't want to give away the story, and there is a lot more to it than I have indicated. Wild art work with lots of detail and action make this comic grab your interest right away.
This is a good one folks, I can't wait to see issue two
Sunday, January 02, 2005
Jeff admits it has been quite a while since his first issue of SAP. I think the first issue may have been published in 98 or 99. This issue , although it is numbered 5, is the follow up to issue number one. The story involves a group of friends, and of course a group of aliens who live underground. Tarrel, always looking for away to make a buck, discovers the substance called SAP that the aliens produce underground. The street value is around ten bucks, so he is in business.
The first issue of SAP had a much more involved story than this issue. Issue one is where you really get to know the characters. But as far as I can remember the substance known as sap was never mentioned in issue one. So I never understood until now, what the title had to do with the comic.
Jeffs art work is full of great detail, texture , and wonderful cross-hatching. His figures will remind you of Peter Baage. In my opinion he does not copy Baage, but just continues in the style that Baage uses. Jeff is a St. Louis cartoonist, and part of the Catastrophe Comix Group. Other members of that group are Ted May, Dan Zettwoch, and Kevin Huizenga. As a cartoonist Jeff may very well be the most talented of the group.
When you order a copy of SAP # 5, you really should ask for a copy of SAP #1 also.