Tuesday, February 22, 2011

R.I.P. Dwayne McDuffie

I don't know what to say, except that you will be missed. I grew up on all your DC animation projects, and you are a major reason of why I began writing comics in the first place. I hope all your friends and family can find some time of peace through this difficult time. And I hope that no one forgets about all of the wonderful contributions that you made to this medium and to all of pop culture. R.I.P. 

Monday, February 21, 2011

It's been a long time ;)

Hey Inkbots,

It's been a while since my last blog entry. Fortunately, Randy, and the other members of Speakeasy, have held down the fort. 

New Year, New titles, Same focus
If there's one thing that separates us from the millions of web comic sites out there, its the quality of our titles. No one posts such high quality work, on a consistent basis, as we do. And no one offers such a healthy amount of diversity among their titles. With that said, I'm really happy to have both mallville and Buddha Monkey on board. Both strips bring something new to the site, and both strips have the potential of building as much of a solid fan base as the rest of our top caliber titles (Revolvers, Allen Shrugged, Odessa, and Zomboy). So, I look forward to seeing how much each strip evolves as the year goes by, and I look forward to all of your responses as well, Inkbots ;)

Inkbot Art Corner
A week ago I posted a "feeler" on the Inkbot facebook fan page that was meant to measure just how much of an interest there would be in establishing an art corner here on the site. Well, if the overwhelming amount of comments and like icons, that we received, is of any indication, it seems that having an art corner is more than just a good idea, its a given. So, in a few weeks expect a new page here on the site where not only you can look at several pieces of art, from all of your favorite Inkbot artists, but where you can interact with them and post comments ;)

Inkbot publishing
One of our top priorities for this year is to make our books more accessible to you, the reader. Which means that if you want to purchase our titles through a digital app, or physically hold it in your hands, you should be able to. Luckily, I have been working around the clock to make this a reality. And, as early as this week, I should have a major announcement ;)

Daily Blog
Despite my previous failed attempts at keeping a daily blog, I figured I'd try again. So, expect a slew of announcements, from me, through out the week, as well as a few personal stories and insights. PEACE!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011


GARY COHEN, writer of mallville and editor of Odessa, posted this in our forums and I thought it was hilarious! 

Let me get the ball rolling by saying I thought it was great.  I  ;D and I  :'( and I  :o . But I wrote it and I drew it.  So what did everyone else think?  What? You want a long, rambling, self aggrandizing introduction to the story to put it in the proper context and sufficient gravitas? Why not. 

The road to mallville is not a short one, or a particularly straight one.  It is more like the road in The Wizard of Oz. But it’s not yellow and it’s not made of brick.  But there was plenty of dancing.  Oh, how we danced.  Anyway, it starts when I was in third grade and I sat down and attempted to draw “The Flash”.  I don’t know why I chose to draw him as he wasn’t a particular favorite.  After drawing him I realized that o one but me would recognize him from my crude rendering.  So, I decided that the answer would be to make a completely original superhero.  That way with this being the singular rendering in all existence it would look exactly like him.  So, first I colored him orange as opposed to the traditional red and yellow.  Then I needed a name: Color Man (or perhaps Colorman I don’t know if I wrote it out).  His powers: he would control all colors.  While being able to control colors seems like a pretty good thing I also wanted to add one more ability that would really set him apart from, “The Flash”: the power of flight.  So Very carefully and deliberately I stuck a duck to the top of his head.  

I didn’t add a duck because I thought it would be a good way for a superhero to be able to fly, I added it because I thought it would be a funny way for a superhero to fly.  Even then I thought that superheroes and comedy were a perfect combination.  In fifth grade inspired by the expletive, “You Gunky!” from Bill Cosby’s “Revenge” routine (available on “The Best of Bill Cosby” album) I would take on the superhero name of Captain Gunky.  Now between fifth grade and high school I would read a lot of comicbooks.  Tons of them.  And I would continue to write and to draw.  In eighth grade I won the relay race clinching my team's win of eighth grade track and field day.  It’s not relevant but honestly it was a stunning victory.  

It was in high school that the earliest incarnation of many of the characters in mallville would be put to paper as The South High Supersquad.  Captain Gunky, Mad Dog, Black Vomit Scott, Iron Matt, and Death Burger.  Five fabulous freshmen who protected Framingham South High School from evil.  (We introduce The Projector aka Dickface in the first issue which is useful so we could become six spectacular sophomores.  Damn Stan Lee and his excessive alliteration.)

The comics in my humble opinion were really funny.  Very heavily influenced by Chris Claremont’s run on the X-Men and John Byrne’s run on the Fantastic Four.  They fight Greg VonDoom.  They fight Sloppo the living school lunch and Mayor McDeath (a Mayor McCheese themed supervillain / fast food mascot).  Over the course of five issues they gain powers and lose powers and go through many costume changes.  Black Vomit Scott goes through a Dark Phoenix style transformation into Black Jaw and eats a delicious planet with candy cane forests and gum drop mountains.  It was all heading towards a battle with a Guardians of the Galaxy style group when I put my pencil down and graduated.  Did I mention I went to the Senior Prom with the captain of the cheerleaders?  It’s not relevant but I always like to mention it.  

After College I would meet Bryan J. L. Glass the Eisner award winning writer of The Mice Templar.  At the time he was writing and self publishing a book called Lycra Woman and Spandex Girl.  He had been issued a cease and desist order from Dow Chemical for using the word “Lycra” which apparently was a registered trademark.  They had ordered him not to sell the book so he was giving it away (which I don’t think was what they had in mind.) I showed him something I was working on.  It was awful  It was drawn on notebook paper in ball point pen.  But Bryan saw something and told me I could draw a one page comic to appear in the new comic Spandex Tights: The Adventures of Flex Woman and Spandex Girl.  So my first published comic Cohencide was born which explored familiar superhero tropes through the characters of General Justice, Miss Justice, and L’il Truth.  

Bryan was unbelievably generous because I don’t believe the book was making any money, maybe it was breaking even.  But he gave me pages in almost every issue.  He even gave me a 10 page story where I introduced American Pie: the Just Dessert a character who is an homage to Captain America who wields a giant pie pan for a shield.  He teams up with Spandex Girl and they fight... Sloppo the living school lunch.  I know.  I was already out of ideas.  I would also go on to write Animocity (sic) a story about anthropomorphic animals led by the half mouse / half duck Dickey Muck who are fighting to overthrow his step-father the corrupt King Meek a corrupt mouse king.  A word to the wise.  If your friend has gone on to win an Eisner award for his story about anthropomorphic mice fighting a corrupt mouse king, and makes his living off of this story, don’t tease him that he stole the idea from you.  He will have absolutely no sense of humor about this.  (Contrary to the deliberately skewed way I describe them here for maximum comic effect, the two stories could not be more different.  Obviously my character is based on Mickey Mouse.  Maybe they want to sue Bryan but I don’t.)

Anyway, so Bryan would stop doing Spandex Tights and I would go back into a deeper obscurity.  Years later I would meet Chris Rubiano in a comicbook writing class taught by Andy Schmitt an editor from Marvel Comics.  He would offer me a job as an editor.  Did you think I meant Andy?  No, I meant Chris who would offer me a job editing Odessa for him at Inkbot.  He would also let me write and draw mallville a strip about Captain Gunky, Mad Dog, Black Vomit Scott, and Iron Matt attending a school where everyone has super powers.  The origin of this school owes some debt to Larry Niven’s masterful essay “Man of Steel Woman of Kleenex”.  You can read it here. 


So, it’s not quite the same as South High Supersquad but I’m sure Sloppo the living school lunch will show up soon enough.  

The Beginning

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Unemployment (rock bottom piece)

Just let me break.

Just let me leave.

Just let me die.

Just let me scream.

Just let me fall.

The ground is warm.

My eyes are gone.

Can't hear the storm.

The world is dark.

It hurts my eyes.

It hurts her heart...

Don't watch me cry.

You know I tried.

I did for years.

Its lost its lust.

But you are here.

I need you here.

Don't pull me out.

I need the hurt.

I need the doubt,

It helps me be.

It helps me know.

Don't look at me!

I want to go.

I'm half a man...

or half a brain...

or lots of skin.

I'm so ashamed.