February 21st, 2007


I Covet The Waterfront

First off, I just caught on that there were some more comments posted on the recent Hectic Planet thread. My apologies for not replying, it's been a rough two weeks, and I haven't been checking the old posts to see if anybody added to them. Anyway, once again, the HP support is appreciated. I am hoping to do something with the characters again someday, but I have a lot to clear off the board and a lot of my time isn't my own these days. So, we'll see what happens.

In the meantime, for those of you who haven't picked up the HP trades, here's a few spot illos from the third collection. So, there's something sort of new for your HP-starved eyeballs. Above, the Trombone Girls (sans Chandra).

Let's see, what else. I'm inking a Fun page while finishing some pin ups for the NYCC this weekend, juggling that with some roughs for a magazine job. I'm slowly getting back to speed after a bad weekend. We're sort of wondering if we'll have another bad news Friday this week for the suck trifecta. Maybe that's when Funimation will finally return our e-mails to let us know we've been booted off the Shin-Chan gig. Cripes. We have absolutely no idea what's going on there, we turned in our last script weeks ago and we can't even get the sound of chirping crickets out of them. And I thought 2007 was going to kick ass. It's just kicking our asses. That's what I get for a smidgen of optimism.

Let's talk about other cartoonists.

Artist Bob Oksner passed away several days ago, you probably read about it as the comic book grim reaper Mark Evanier spread the news and many sites picked up on it. Oksner was mainly known for his work on DC's licensed humor books like Jerry Lewis and Bob Hope, and his knack fro drawing pretty girls, which he also brought to books like Supergirl. He had a terrific way with posture and body language, and could draw decent superhero stuff when called upon. I liked his work quite a bit. Never understood the fan hoopla over his work on Angel and The Ape -- or for the book in particular -- to be honest, I always thought it was some of his most slapped-out  looking work, largely inelegant inking, the Ape character's design is sub-par (imho), and the book itself is unreadable (in any sane person's opinion). But, hey, why quibble, good cartoonist, long life. Can't ask for more. R.I.P.

Some recent and exciting announcements in the newspaper strip reprint game, if you haven't already heard: Fantagraphics will revive their Pogo reprints this year, this time giving the strip the sweet and complete hardcover treatment. The series will be edited and designed by Bone creator and Walt Kelly-enthusiast Jeff Smith. And NBM announced a new series of old strip collections, the first of which will be a hardcover Mutt and Jeff volume featuring a selection of early strips. Start turning in those beer bottles, kids. Dick Tracy volume 2 was just solicited (with equally sad art direction, cripes, why didn't they ask Charles Burns or art Spiegelman or, oh, I dunno, anybody but a robot painting guy with the design sense of a broken xerox machine). I'm still hoping for an announcement on Little Orphan Annie, iirc FBI was restarting that (?). I just wish someone would tackle Moon Mullins and Bringing Up Father, among others. Man, if I had sick money I'd sink it into a reprint project. Maybe King Aroo or Moon Mullins. Hell, I can't even really afford all these books.

Speaking of which, I have decided to pretend I never saw the solicitation for the Oog and Blick Dupuy and Berberian collection. Would everyone calm down and stop flooding the market? How much money do you think we have? Can't you folks at least wait until I find some more work and my kid's got a job or has run away or something? Comics these days. An embarrassment of riches. An embarrassment of bank account. Which is better than what is usually is, which is simply an embarrassment.

Vroom Socko and the Screaming Retina crew. This made me realize that I never showed their pilot in the book, a female alien only referred to once, iirc, in the Vroom Socko special (collected in HP Bk 3). Looking at these drawings make me wonder how the characters would look if I drew them again, these pieces were only done a few years ago, but still, my style has been simplifying since then. I'd probably revert to the old style to some degree.

Sarah just called me into her office to show me the George Takei "PSA" about Tim Hardaway's homophobia, on Youtube (What isn't on Youtube? Oh, right, everything I look for). First time I ever laughed at anything even remotely associated with Jimmy Kimmel. Pretty a-okay.

Finally watched "Eyes Without A Face" (aka The Horror Chamber of Dr. Faustus), which we DVR'd last month and never had a chance to watch. Yeah, this one certainly wasn't Emily-safe, there's a shockola surgery sequence (esp. for 1960) with some very well-done effects, very graphic for 1960. Hell, graphic for today. This was a lot better than I would have imagined with that US "Horror Chamber" title, a French horror/art flick with a downbeat mood, deliberate pacing, haunting imagery and a great ending. I really enjoyed this. It's certainly better than that damned Billy Idol song. Why did anybody buy anything from that little peewee snarling dick Billy Idol? Generation X wasn't that great, but it's miles ahead of his poseur pop/punk. Grrrr. I'm officially way off tangent here. Go find a copy of that movie. Ignore Billy Idol.

I never thought I'd ever draw those two again. From the inside back cover of the third collection, an extra bit from the police precinct 'art fight" sequence in HP #6. The guy on the right was based on a character from an old board game, I forget what it was exactly. Some kind of cuckoo bird creature who players moved around a board, I think he may have flipped his wig or done something kooky at some point in the game. Pop culture memory banks failing.

And finally, another Fibbie shot, from the back cover. 

Good night, all.
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