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


One of the things that I have always wanted to do is start a group of cartoonists that meet once a month to talk about comics, do some drawing, and just hang out. There are a number of such groups scattered across the country. If you check out the link to the right of this entry, you will find Wasp Whispers blog. The blog is Matt Dembicki's commentary about drawing comics, but you will also find info about the D.C. Conspiracy. The DCC is a group of cartoonists, writers, and others that gather once a month. Matt Feazell has a group up in Michigan that does the same thing.
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 Now of course I am just about positive that no one will ever read this, but you never know.....

Tuesday, August 02, 2005


If you area StarWar's fan you know that a Jedi Knight can sense a disturbance in the force. Well I am no Jedi Knight, but I do sense a disturbance in the Small Press comics scene. Not so much a disturbance as a lull. Right now it just seems that some of the excitement that small press used to generate is lacking.

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


I have thought for a long time that I should be doing my inking with a brush. Or at least give it a try.
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.