February 27th, 2004

smokin'

Most Excellent News and Updates

As you must know by now, I wrote and penciled a BIll and Ted's comic book series for Marvel in the early '90's. Over the years, I've received a lot of letters about the series, specifically about the possibility of Marvel collecting those issues and reprinting them. The standard reply to those inquiries was that there was no way in hell it would ever happen. Well, as it turns out, I was right. Sort of. Marvel would never reprint the material, but I'm happy to announce that SLG Publishing has licensed the rights to reprint the Bill and Ted's Excellent Comic Book series. There will be two trade collections, reprinting the adaptation of the Bogus Journey sequel and the eleven issues I worked on of the regular series. Readers of the books might remember that we knew we were getting cancelled before I started issue #12, so the series has a finale, wrapping up all loose plot ends from the movies and the comics. Meaning, the two books will have a complete storyline. The first book will feature the movie adaptation and issues #1-4, the second volume will contain issues #5-7, and #9-12 (I only did the cover for #8, other folks filled in on that issue, which doesn't fit into the continuity). The collections will be in a smaller, digest format, reprinted in black and white, with gray tones. I'll be providing new covers. So, while this isn't anything earth-shattering like the Complete Peanuts or Palomar or anything, I think it's very cool (and wholly unexpected) that SLG will be able to bring these books of mine back into print. The Bill and Ted's comics ended up being a lot more fun to work on than I'd ever imagined, and the series ended up with a small but loyal following as well as an Eisner nomination for best humor comic of 1991. The issues were inked by folks like Stephen DeStefano and Marie Severin, with a secret page inked by David Mazzucchelli, and as we know now, Stuart Immonen and Jimmy Palmiotti also ran the brush across some of the pages. It's a fun book, honest, and supposedly Grant Morrison called me some very nasty names (I mean, very nasty) in a Scottish fanzine over a knock I took at him in one of the issues. Pretty nuts, for a failed kid's comic, huh? So, look for the first book to come out in the Fall, with the second volume following close behind. And no, I still haven't seen the first movie. And yes, I went to N.Y.U. with the guy who played Bill. There's the old F.A.Q. on the book for those that remember.

In other news -- as posted earlier, I was called about drawing a strip for the Bizarro Comics sequel. Coincidence, after I just posted about it? Actually, yes. We'll see where this leads.

The latest Diamond Previews has shipped, and if you peek at the Dark Horse Comics section you'll see the solicitation for the Dark Horse Book of Witchcraft, which will feature the 12-page sequel to "Stray", the haunted doghouse story from the Book of Hauntings) by Jill Thompson and I. I just received copies of Jill's pages and they are, as you might expect, wonderful. The Witchcraft book will also feature a new Hellboy story by Mike Mignola, as well as work by Scott Morse, Gary Gianni, and others. Look for it in May/June. I've also been asked to contribute to the next book in the series, which, if all goes well, will be another supernatural story featuring the cast from "Stray".

Things are gearing up for this year's Free Comic Book Day, and SLG is planning another edition of their FCBD Slave Labor Stories giveaway. I will be represented by two unseen Milk and Cheese one-pagers, an "intro" strip done for the planned 8th issue, and a comic-related page done for a friend. We're also discussing my doing the cover again this year, schedule-allowing.

In just a few weeks the WFMU marathon kicks off, this is the once a year fundraiser that keeps this essential free-form radio station and webcaster (barely) running. Sarah and I will once again be contributing a T-shirt design for the Glen Jones radio program, available to folks who pledge, I believe, $100 or more to the station and the Jones show. Yeah, I know, a C-Note is a lot of scratch, but if you listen regularly, it's worth it, cheaper than cable, and spread over a year a semi-pittance. Of course, WFMU takes pledges of $5, anything helps, honestly. And if you like other shows, they have nifty prizes and gifts for various dollar amount pledges, shirts, stickers, knit caps, trading cards, and specific DJ premiums for each show. Anyway, every buck counts towards making a small difference in an entity that bucks the trends of conformity, corporate greed, and f'ing bad radio. Check out the details at wfmu.org, and if you're new to the station, take a good long look at the site and what FMU offers on their archives and web casts. It's the Station of the Nation.

Finally, it looks like I sold a one-page strip to Mad magazine, which I'll get to write and draw. My rough script/layout was accepted, with a call for some very minor revisions. I'm sending in a script for editing in a few days and unless something goes haywire I'll be drawing it soon. I'm really hopped up over this and hope it goes well. Otherwise, my "Monkeys Are Always Funny" photo concept is still running, which is pretty ridiculous. I thought they'd use it sporadically, but it's been used regularly and continues my involvement with simians and funnybooks. Very important, that.

Otherwise, we're almost finished, always almost finished, with the Hellboy strip. I pretty much crashed last night after several sleepless nights, and so, of course, three hours after we go to sleep a crew starts jackhammering the street outside our house. Gevalt. Sarah's finishing up the colors on everything that's done, I'm racing to finish up page ten so we can wrap this up over the weekend and Sarah can finish some work for Tokypop. Then, we take a day off, hopefully, and jump back into the fray to finish the above work, not to mention the this Metal Men script and the delayed Adult Swim pilot script.

Soon I'll post several NYC-area appearances we have coming up this Spring, I have to lock them down, but it looks like we're definite for the Funnyrama store anniversary event this April 24th, appearing along with Joe Kubert and Amanda Conner.

And if you haven't read the responses to my last post, we now have pictures up on the HOF front page of the toy designs we did for the Subcultures toy/design show opening in Ft Lauderdale today. Just click on the HOF link over on the right and see the news feature for details.

Whew, okay, that's a lot more on our plate. You HOF faithful better start saving your pennies to pick up some of this stuff. In the meantime, I'd better get back to work or risk ending up in the bughouse again.

Later, skaters.
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