Tuesday, May 27, 2008


First, The Beast at 10,000 Feet is still finished (with a color cover and everything).

Secondly, Swinebread posted an Indiana Jones comic in honor of the new movie. I, however, actually have a chance to out-geek him, perhaps. He put up a 'Further Adventures of Indiana Jones" cover, while I pulled this out of a rather worse for wear poly bag:

For some reason, I have one and two, but not three. Why is that? It is likely one of those unanswerable questions like: I was part of a family of pack-rats, we never threw diddly out, so why do I still have crappy comics like a Whitman Batman and Doctor Solar: Man of the Atom, but my coveted hardcover of Spacecraft: 2000-2100 ad is long AWOL?

It will probably reduce the out-geeking factor, but this was a well-read comic. I devoured it many times and it actually made me attempt very primitive comics. It was so well-read that it is now a... bit below near-mint. Here's the back cover:

Now, I just have to see the new film. A friend said it was more Temple of Doom than Raiders, but I will still probably see it.

Listening to while posting: nothing. I'm just checking email and posting before I turn this off and draw.

Monday, May 26, 2008

It is done

Well, The Beast is complete.

In keeping with my usual personal critiquing style, I now hate it. Not completely, but mostly. There are some things I really like, certain panels, even entire layouts, work really well. But, all I can see are the mistakes, things I need to work on. I won't list them, lest I seem like I'm begging for a compliment. I'm really just looking at this as a sketch, a second draft, or at least just practice.

Quite the opposite, in fact. Please rip this apart. Discussion topics:

1) is this story good enough for me to re-work with better (slower) artwork? If no, why not?
2) are there any pages where the layout just doesn't work; what would make it work?
3) are there any pages/imagery that works well; if so, why?
4) even if the story is worth doing again, should I just move onto the next story
5) who the heck is going to write the next story

So, we left at page twenty-five, so it would be best to start there.

There is also a cover now. I wanted to do a cover, but it was a challenge to create interest without revealing the twist.

I would like to thank Blambot for the free comic fonts. I' debating whether I should actually buy a font from them. If I wait until I complete a work I like when it's done, I might never get one...
Listening to while posting: "Concrete Jungle" by The Specials

Thursday, May 22, 2008

why I prefer small stores

So. I AM working on the comic(pages 26-28 and 30-31 are penciled ready for inking), but a nice thing happened this evening and I want to share it.

Last month when I was splitting up the last of the unused winter wood, I took a swing at a monster piece. The maul head struck and stuck and when I pulled back, the head stayed and I had an empty handle.

On the way home from work tonight, I stopped at the local hardware store where the handle had been put on. I was directed to a rather older man in a faded orange polo shirt and ball cap. I showed him my maul (which he called a "splittin' hammah") and we went outside and around to the store's workshed. After a few pauses (to get a shim and then a hacksaw) the handle was on* and secure.

I asked him if I owed him anything and he replied "Nope. Shoulda wuhked roy-eet the fust toym"**. So, I offered to stop down at Jacobs' (the local general store) and pick him up something for after work, but he again declined. Then, I think I got to repay him.

I casually mentioned that I could have bought a new maul last year (the head is 30 years old), but I really like how this one splits. He replied that he really liked that design and really liked splitting wood, but since his heart attack, he doesn't split anymore.

Then we talked for over a half-hour. Well, I mostly listened. He talked about lots of stuff.

About his heart attack and how he felt bad for the Indian doctor because the doctor spoke softly and with an accent he the old guy who was in pain and slightly deaf to boot had to keep asking the doctor to repeat himself.

About when he was a kid and his dad came stumbling out of the barn and he assumed his dad had been kicked by a feisty horse but, it was, in fact, kidney stones. He was only about ten but had to drive his dad back to the house so they could call the doctor.

About logging and haying with horses instead of tractors.

About working in a mill that ground fine aggregates.

How they used to get spruce oil for medicines. They used a big silo filled with spruce boughs and they pumped steam beneath them to evaporate and re-condense the oil; he said if he had a cold going into the silo, he never had one coming out.

The thing was, this chat wasn't a chore. His talk of his heart attack wasn't 'old man whining'; he made it interesting. We stood there and talked in the sun with the trees and mountains and I wasn't all that anxious to leave. I waited until he was ready to go and we walked back to the store so I could pick up my reel lawnmower that had been sharpened. We said our goodbyes and the german-accented lady that works there went out of her way to hold the door for me and my mower. All in all, a day you wouldn't have at Home Despot.

*When he put on the handle, he did the coolest thing. He wedged the handle in as far as he could by hand. Then he flipped the maul over, held it by the handle end, letting it swing free, head down and then hit the handle end with a mallet. Instead of dropping off, the maul head crept upward and seated itself! What's up with that? Where's Bill Nye when I need him?

** The Vermont farmer accent is hard to describe. It's rather like Midwest farmer + Maine lobsterman + a dash of cockney. If my transliteration didn't work for you: "Nope. Should've worked right the first time"

Listening to while posting: "Cool Change" by The Little River Band (though I'm not sure why I am...)

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

still working

on The Beast.

I may be taking Friday off and work more then.

So, for now, three aphorisms that I've made up over the years and have become part of my personal philosophy.

1) Make one or two very big, very costly mistakes and you get some good stories. Make a lot of tiny mistakes that cost little and you get a reputation

2) Do not dwell on either your victories or your defeats. If you dwell on your defeats, you'll never gain a victory; if you dwell on your victories, you'll never be prepared for defeat

3) Never wear shoes that you wouldn't want to run away from a bear while wearing.

I suppose I could make this a tag and see if anyone else has homemade aphorisms. If Swinebread, The Dean and Snabulus want to do this, go!

Listening to while posting: "Sleep Late" by Honey Barbara

Monday, May 19, 2008


I'm working on the Beast at 10,000 Feet tonight.

Even though it was a work that was largely panned by this thing's readership, my BBWW got posted on the Big Beautiful Wonder Woman Blog!

C'mon! How often does a guy get to be posted on the same blog that a Mike Weiringo was posted on? Not often, I tell ya.

So. back to work.

Listening to while posting: "Human" by Goldfrapp

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

There wolf! There castle!

I just finished up the final layouts for The Beast. Sweet Enemy went over them to see if my pacing was good. Since it took her a minute to go through the last six pages, I've decided that I'm not going to post any more until I've finished it. Trust me, you'll appreciate it; we're getting too close to the end for the cliffhanger syndrome. I'd like to have them up by the middle of next week.

By way of apology, here's a sketch I did while concepting Queeg's final form:

Listening to while posting: "Whispering Wind" by Moby

Thursday, May 8, 2008

The Beast: Updated

The Beast at 10,000 ft

Updated page: 25

Been a while, yes?

I've been working on Sweet Enemy's site for the past couple of days. I have to support her in becoming a full-time painter. Not just because that is what she wants to be, but because she promised to buy me a helicopter after her one-woman show at the Guggenheim.

There is a missing sound effect in this piece. The largest panel should have a juicy, but also subdued sound effect, but I couldn't come up with a good one. The best I could come up with was "RUTCH", but I don't think it works. Suggestions?

Also, would all you who've been following this prefer the page-by-page update notices, or would you like me to wait until the whole thing is done?

Also an update to the 'six questions' post. I'm only doing it because my dad actually emailed me to correct something (and I'm just pretty happily surprised he actually reads my blog). Apparently, I didn't live in Brookline, but in Brighton.

Also, also, met a potential freelance client at the local independent bookstore. Had an espresso. It as 7:30 pm. I loves me my bitter strong coffee, but wayyy too late. It's midnight EDT and I'm not sleepy. No big deal if it were Friday, but...

Listening to while posting: "Mr. State Trooper" by Cowboy Junkies (a cover song made their own in the same way that Jimi made 'Watchtower' and SRV made 'Voodo Chile' their own)

Monday, May 5, 2008

wheeled things and other things

No art tonight. I promised Sweet Enemy that I'd work on her portfolio tonight. With my goading gentle support, she is on the way to becoming a full-time painter and I can do nothing less but lend my skills to her aid.

Also, I spent the weekend in Maine helpling Kickenemymen build his trike. Technically, he was helping me as I have shop experience, but it was DEFINITELY a two-man job. It look silly. It is, however, a whole lot of damned fun to ride. Even so, it still looks silly. We built it in about three hours including first test flight (finishing about dark).

here are some photos of the assmebly process. I'm the one with the bad shoes.

The next day (in the drizzly rain), we went for a 3 or so mile ride around Casco Bay and, of course, neglected to take any photos. The trike ran great; much better than it should have for its maiden flight. A very slight issue with a maladjusted rack, but no real mechanicals.

Mike was then kind enough to take me to see the ocean again. I love Vermont more than any place I've ever lived, but MAN, I miss the ocean. Well, the shore. I don't like being underway, but I love the shore.

Now, even though I wasn't specifically asked, but because I adore talking about myself, I'm considering myself tagged.

Ten Years Ago I Was

In my junior year of art college.

Five things on today's to-do list (I'll do yesterday's as today was WORK)

- Drink coffee and play Mario Kart with Kickenemymen
- Keep trying to convince Kickenemymen to get into mountain biking as much as me and let me build trails on his land
- Drive 200 miles home from Maine
- Eat food before I pass out
- Hug Sweet Enemy for a long time

Things I'd do if I were a Billionaire

- pay off my house, my folks' house, my friends' houses, buy my sister a house and we all go solar and wind, baby
- purchase huge gobs of forest land and manage it for free-use multi-use trails and sustainable logging
- subsidize local farms and aid them in going organic and using methan recovery for heat/electricity
- buy mcmansions and tear them down and plant trees
- take all of my friends to visit Kodiak
- open a comic book shop in Vermont that doesn't suck

Three Bad Habits

- biting my nails
- giving unsolicited advice in a know-it-all voice
- not balancing my checkbook (what the heck does reconciling mean, anyway?)

Five Places I've lived
Just five? Who cares, here they all are:
-Brookline, MA (3 yrs)
-Shrewsybury, MA (14 yrs)
-Kodiak, AK (1.5 yrs)
-Seattle, WA (1.5 yr)
-Kodiak, AK (2yrs)
-Traverse City, MI (3 yrs)
-Portland, ME (5 yrs)
-Essex Junction, VT (6yrs)
-Underhill, VT (2 yrs)

Six Jobs I've had in Life (not in order)
-Search and Rescue Helicopter Crewman (USCG HH-3f)
-multimedia designer
-Tray and feta cheese bucket washer at a spinach pie factory
-bike mechanic and sales person
-boat trailer assembler

I'm actually on the end of the food chain on this. Kickenemymen doesn't blog and Andrezero is too busy training for his 2nd degree black belt in Aikido to be bothered. It ends with me.

Listening to while posting: (She Thinks She's) Edith Head by TMBG