Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Ready for Adventure

I'll be appearing this weekend, Friday June 1st through Sunday, June 3, at AdventureCon in Knoxville, Tennessee. Here's the link for all your AdventureCon info...

I'm kind of jazzed that Irvin Kershner, the director of Empire Strikes Back, will be at this convention. You know, a person gets pretty jaded after he sees his millionth Stormtrooper walking around one of these shows. Even the actors that played Chewbacca and Darth Vader are such pretty much standard operating procedure. But it's kind of rare to have one of the actual filmmakers pop up, especially the guy that directed the best of all the Star Wars films. I think that's pretty cool.

I believe I'll be sitting next to Tom "Microscopic Fury" Nguyen and Andy "I shave my head on purpose" Smith. If you have trouble spotting me, I'm the one who looks like Brad Pitt's ugly cousin. So stop in, get a book signed, a commission inked, flip through some artwork, talk some comics, and have a good time at the show.

Friday, May 25, 2007

That Cat Is Wild! MEEEEEEEOWWW!!!

In one of the more counterproductive things I've ever seen, while I was doing my cardio at the gym this morning, there was an obese woman walking on the treadmill while munching on a bag of Skittles.

Strangely, I kind of admire her.

Anyway, I had a nice time at Granite Con last weekend. Thanks to Chris and Scott for taking good care of me while I was there, the hotel they put me up in was one of the nicest I've ever stayed in. Not only did each room have a flat screen, HD TV but the hotel also overlooked a really beautiful minor league baseball field. One could sit out on a patio and watch a game from center field. Pretty neat.

I enjoyed spending some quality time with the roguishly handsome, devilishly sideburned, non-breakfast eating Pat Gleason, who is the only person in the world who will understand what the title of this blog entry refers to. Aside from just being a really nice, easygoing guy to hang out with, I really enjoyed watching Pat sketch at the show. My drawing skills are strong enough where I can make sense of most any pencils I ink but it's always fun to watch someone who can REALLY draw go to town. Pat's one of those guys and it was cool to watch how fast and easily he could bust out some nice sketches. The Michaelangelo of erasing, he is!

Thanks again for the GLC art, Pat...I'll be buying you dinner for life!

I also got to meet Jimmy Tournas, whom I'm acquainted with from an inking list that I used to belong to. It's funny how you can know people for years through the Internet but never even know what they look like until you meet them. Good to meet you in person, Jimmy, and keep working on your inks. You keep getting better!

Speaking of inks, I finished my last page of Nightwing yesterday. It was a really stressful, grueling week but I got the issue done. Today officially marks the first day of my drawing table hiatus to focus on writing for a bit. So far, this blog entry is the only thing I've written. I spent the morning w/ my son, then went to the gym, and then organized my desk into a streamlined station of writerly fury. Now, I'll get to work.

I can't reveal what I'm writing but it will ship in December. If anyone wants a tease, I can say that for reference on this project, sitting on my desk right now are copies of Gotham By Gaslight and Kingdom Come. It's a VERY cool project so long as I don't screw it up.

Next weekend, I'll be appearing at AdventureCon in Knoxville, Tennessee. More on that next week.

Friday, May 18, 2007


It's probably a good time to mention that I'll be appearing this Sunday the 20th at GraniteCon in downtown Manchester, New Hampshire.

I don't know much about GraniteCon, except that there must be something wrong with them if they actually want me to guest there. But from the hours of 10:00-4:00, I'll be appearing w/ Pat Gleason at the Radisson Center on Elm Street. I'll have artwork and trade paperbacks for sale and will be signing and sketching and generally trying to leave a good impression of myself. I'm toying with the idea of inking commissions while I'm there but it seems like a pain in the ass to lug my inking tools around. So I haven't decided on that yet.

Ron Frenz, an artist whom I admire from his work on Spider-Man and Thor during my impressionable teen years, is also appearing and I'm looking forward to meeting him.

If you're relatively close to the area, by all means pop in and say hi.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Fan mail

Yo Keith,
I just read the first issue of WWIII. Q has them in his cubicle. I don’t know anything about most of the characters because I didn’t read a whole lot of comics as a kid, but I loved it. I was like…whoa, wa oh who’s that guy, is he good or bad?! I liked it when he ripped off Time’s face. I hope the little green guys decide to help the earth.

I’ll bet that’s the most basic three year old level critique you’ve ever gotten from a 33 yr old man!!


Friday, May 11, 2007

A bit scary

This week, I arranged my schedule to take a couple of months away from my drawing board, brushes, and pens and to dip my toes into writing full-time, at least for a bit. The project I'm currently writing for DC consists of four 38-page issues, scheduled to ship weekly in December.

It's a lot of work and, while I could ink by day and write these books at night, I don't want to split my attention on this project. It's a big project and I want to give it 100%, as well as have time to finish up Green Lantern: The Corpse and at least get started on my JSA Classified and Superman Confidential work, as well as a couple of other projects on my plate after that.

Also, I'm tired. I've been writing almost every night since January, including most weekends and I need a break from the grind. Now that the weather is nicer, it seems like a good time to have a little more of a life.

I may come back to ink Nightwing in a couple of months or I may not come back to the book (or inking) at all, at least not for a while. I'm going to play things by ear for a bit and see what happens. I do really enjoy working with Jamal and we've talked recently about switching things up and working as writer/penciller and opposed to penciller/inker.

It's a little scary but I've been working towards this point for a long time. So it's time to test the waters and see how it feels.

Wish me luck!

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Civil War

So, now that the hype has died down and all the late shipping books are out of the way, I picked up a copy of the CIVIL WAR trade paperback from Amazon. If you're a comic fan, you know what Civll War was. If you're one of my friends or family reading this, Civil War was a big, multi-part crossover that redefined the Marvel universe.

Mark Millar is a fine writer. I'm a fan of his and have been since he co-wrote a book called Aztek that I inked long ago. His Tangent Superman is a book I remember being really impressed by, I loved his Wolverine run, and I've enjoyed Ultimates. In other words, he's got a good track record as far as I'm concerned and I have a lot of respect for his writing. Which is something I can't honestly say about 90% of the writers working in comics.

But Civil War didn't click for me. Reading the core mini-series over the space of a couple of days, there were just too many beats missing. And yes, I realize that the series acted like a spine, more or less, and that something would be insinuated, and then huge chunks of the story were told in the various spin offs. But you know what? The central book should still tell a complete story. This felt very incomplete.

The art was solid enough but it didn't knock me on my ass. It's nicely drawn and competently inked but without the coloring, it would have been very flat. With the coloring, it was pretty overdone. Digital painting is probably the wave of the future but I felt that, while the coloring gave the book a really distinctive look, it was a little too...worked. Out of all the characters represented, I liked McNiven's Spider-Man the most. He had a lot of movement.

There's a pretty telling line of dialogue in the seventh issue that I think says it all, sort of a read between the lines apology from the writer for the numerous missed shipping dates etc. To paraphrase (because I don't have the book in front of me), Reed Richards is writing a letter to his wife and he makes a point that she'll, "never know the pressure we were under, to create or revamp so many heroes..."

To me, that's a comment that can be read in a lot of ways. I think when the writer takes the time to subtly break the fourth wall and apologize to the reader, that says a lot more than my little blog review ever could. I'll look forward to Mark Millar's next work but this one didn't rock my boat.

If you're looking for a good collection, try "COBB: OFF THE LEASH" by manly man Beau Smith and Eduardo Barretto. More testosterone and character per page than most men can handle. Good, pulpy stuff and I give it a recommendation.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007


First off, here's something that made me laugh. If you do a search on Youtube for Burger boys, you'll find a bunch of these. Chances are, if this makes you laugh, the rest will too.

I had a couple of day trips last week, one to my old stomping grounds at The Joe Kubert School in New Jersey, the other a couple of days later to the DC offices to meet about a new project. I had a lot of fun meeting with the students at the Kubert School as well as catching up with some old classmates and teachers. I have a lot of affection for the school and think fondly of that time in my life where, for three years I was completely dedicated to learning how to create comic books.

I'll be doing a little more travelling than usual over the next couple of months, appearing at GraniteCon in New Hampshire later this month, then down to Knoxville, Tennessee the first weekend of June for the very first Adventure Con. Then it's a family vacation at Disney in the middle of June, followed by the big San Diego convention at the end of July. I'm pretty much a homebody so for me, this is quite a busy schedule. I'll post links to the actual conventions a little closer to the dates of the shows.

Spidey 3 this weekend!