Friday, January 29, 2010

early obsession


our own nic carcieri hooked me up with this sweet link.
a very nice article about a very nice guy!
check it out!


when i was a kid, of course, there was no internets.
when we were interested in something and wanted to look it up, we had to go to this thing called a liberry.

okay, enough of that--i'm not that old.

anyway, people keep asking me when i first became interested in the strange and unusual, the paranormal and especially, for me anyway, the cryptids. and that was a long time ago.
i'm sure i saw something on tv or maybe read it somewhere, but i got hooked on bigfoot real bad back when i was in, like, seventh grade. how old are you in seventh, 11...? ...12? anyway, i was hungry for any and all information i could find on the subject and so eagerly ran to the school library where, though i was usually a very, very shy kid, i knew i had a friend and i knew that she would help me in any way she could. it was our own alison's mother, mrs. thibodeau, who i knew from church and 'cause i was friends with her kids, jeff and alison, and who had grown up in that same small little town and had been best friends with my mom.
when i told her what i was looking for all those years ago, she said "o...kaaaaaaay...." and off we went, looking through the card catalogue (nothing), books on strange creatures (nothing), and eventually the librarian's reference for periodicals (which, i learned, meant magazines). (oh, and bingo!--we found something!)
what we found was an article in a reader's digest from about 6 years earlier and, using my amazing library skills i was able to find it and read it all in the same week!! i was so happy and so appreciative that i must've thanked mrs. thibodeau--aunt mickey-- a hundred times. it was so cool! and she could see i was somewhat obsessed as, since you weren't allowed to sign out or remove the magazines from the library, she (don't tell anybody) broke one of the faculty rules and xeroxed a copy of the article for me--6 pages that i cherished for years and years and years. it was the first item--and my most treasured--in a growing file of weird creatures and happenings that i amassed throughout my teenage years and lost somewhere in a move to one apartment or another sometime later.

funny, isn't it, that i was able to track down exactly which issue of reader's digest that appeared in on google and found a copy for sale on ebay in about three minutes a little while back.
so if you want to know where my own obsession for all this craziness began, here's the best answer i've got!

thank you, aunt mickey--mom--for all of your help and your love!
i know that you were there for each and every student that came through your library doors, always a beacon of kindness and understanding--still are--but, in your own way, your help and encouragement was instrumental in craig and i creating this crazy book!
thanks so much!

and thanks to all of you!
smell ya later!

sketchbook: howard and neal!


i met howard porter in detroit. i think. maybe it was chicago. it wasn't in charlotte.
mike had already met him once or twice before and i was certainly a fan of his work on the ray. i'm pretty sure that he was working on jla by this time, but i could be so wrong here...
anyway, i remember mike walking me over to his table at a show, howard hard at work signing comics. john dell was sitting next to howard and mike introduced us and we chatted for a moment or two when howard looked up and saw mike, a big smile on his face, jumped up to say hey, shake his hand, and mike made the intros for us too. and howard beat me to it. "oh, man--i love your stuff!"
i was gonna say that.
we saw howard and his lovely wife, heather, a few other times that weekend, in passing usually, and it wasn't until quitting time on saturday that i asked if he would sketch something for me in my sketchbook. he gladly grabbed it and off they went.

howard is a shy guy, doesn't really like crowds or the craziness of conventions; the usually rushed travel, the insane schedules, and the sometimes long recuperation period over the next week of trying to get back in to the rhythm of working. (it does take a toll on you...) so he doesn't do many shows. but howard and i became friends over the course of the next couple years out of mutual respect and because of our mutual friend, rich faber. i think we had three or four guys weekends at my house back then, the two of them coming up on a thursday or friday and we'd see a lotta movies and eat and drink and tell stories and brainstorm on projects we could do together. it almost came true on a tellos story that howard did an awesome job on, but rich wasn't able to finish it at the time, so we had someone else ink it.
howard and i have had a couple of other crazy adventures over the years--including a memorable drive down to the baltimore comiccon back in '03 with ron garney...memorable for howard, i'm sure, since ron and i were both heartbroken over our recent respective breakups...howard said, i was just glad for the comp[any. what a trooper!

oh, yeah. the sketch!
here's howard's awesome darkseid! a lotta people tell me when they meet me that they'd been pronouncing my name wrong *, and howard was one of them. so he did this to remind himself and have some fun! i love it!

* by the way, it's pronounced "Deh-ZAY-go", something that even my good pal mark waid, even after all these years, still catches himself on from time to time and a favorite teasing point for matt's dad, cecil wieringo, who loves to tell me that it should be "dee-ZAH-go" 'cause he lived in italy for years and that's how they'd say it. that's not how we say it but there is nothing i love more than when cecil calls and says in his thick southern drawl, "hellooo, mistah dee-ZAH-go--"

It's deh-ZAY-go.

when i was a kid, i loved neal adams.
he was amazing--i couldn't get enough!
what he brought to comics in the late 60s/early seventies was just gold and comics would never be the same.
yes, i still loved the other artists too; jim aparo, dick dillin, and my treasured nick cardy--but neal was the showman! the muhammad ali of comics! floating like a butterfly, stinging like a bee!

i saw neal at the new york show about 6 or 7 years back. i wanted a sketch and i stood in line. when it was my turn, i started chatting him up a bit and he started telling me about his greatest achievement, a massive, mammoth graphic novel that would explain the true origins of the earth and the universe around it, an illustrated compendium of his own personal theory that was going to stand the scientific community on it's ear!
he had my ear for, i'd say, a good forty-five minutes. i listened intently as he, neal adams!, my hero! described the intricacies of how our planet is actually expanding as we speak!! (or was it contracting--? i don't really remember...), and tried to be patient when, every six minutes or so, neal would remember that he was supposed to be doing a sketch. the batman sketch seemed to take about as long as...well, the nascent earth took to form.
we had a table just the next aisle over, craig and i, and brian was there handing out choopie cards and being our boothboy. i had been away for almost and hour and had a line forming of my own over there and so when brian came by to see if and when i was ever coming back, i took that opportunity to excuse myself to get back to my own table, could i pick the book up later (and hoping that maybe without me there listening he'd get it done in the, like, three minutes it was gonna take anyway...) so he says, neal adams says, "oh? you're a professional? what do you do?" and i said--to neal adams--"oh, i've done some spider-man and some impulse and a lotta other stuff. and these creator-owned books, the perhapanauts and tellos."
"TELLOS?!?" he says--neal adams says--"i love tellos! my kids got me hooked on it! that was a great book!"
and now neal adams is gushing over me...and i have to leave. i'm thinking, he loved it, maybe i could get him to do a cover...or a story...? maybe i could...
but i had to go and he had already put his head down to finish my batman sketch, prodded by his wife or girlfriend or whoever
since he had taken far too long telling me his theory and his line had become longer and longer.

when i went back about twenty minutes later, he was gone, on a break, and a kid handed me my book. when i opened it up he said, "oh, yeah. someone bumped the table and his hand slipped so he made it into some blood...oh, and you're name was todd, right? good. we had him fix that."

neal adams though.

have a great weekend!
smell ya later!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

the fate of the haps and christian's nudge!


over on craig's blog he said something the other day that, apparently, got a lot of people concerned.
we are not announcing the end of the perhapanauts, just letting you know that things have slowed down a bit.
mostly 'cause of the holidays.
and work.
it's really great that both craig and i are getting some really nice work from marvel (thank you, nate cosby!!) and it is taking up a lot of our time--craig on his new Her-Oes project--can't wait! can't wait!--me with my Marvel Super Hero Squad!--but we are still working on the haps, always will!

as a matter of fact, we're just putting our upcoming one-shot special--molly's story--to bed and think that scott weinstein and jason copland--not to mention colorist mike thomas--did a phenomenal job on this book and we can't wait for you to see it! it'll be in stores in mid-february and if you haven't seen it, jason's cover looks like this;

and craig's flip-cover on the back looks like:

so, while we appreciate your emails of concern--and in two cases, panic (sorry, you guys--didn't mean to scare ya...)--please know that we are getting back into the rhythm and have absolutely no intention of putting the haps away anytime soon!
we love 'em.


and on a similar note, over on the perhapanauts forum, christian made the very positive and very creative suggestion that, while waiting for the next story arc from craig and i, the next thrilling chapter in the perhapanauts saga, some of you talented perhapa-fans maybe put together your own web-comic featuring the haps. i love the idea and think christian is brilliant for suggesting it.
and, if anyone is actually interested in doing this, i'd like to offer the following as a sort of start up to the project.
a few days ago, while going through some old scripts and documents, i found this little three-page bit that i'd written back in the early days of the perhapanauts. we were gonna throw it into one of the early dark horse issues to fill up the extra back pages and it just never happened. it's mostly just a little talking heads piece with arisa and choopie, but it might be a nice little kinda "perhapanauts try-out page," a chance for artists to show off their artistic talents, their storytelling abilities, and their creativity. if you are one of those artists and would like to take a swing at it, send it in and i'll be thrilled to post it--and, if anyone's interested, maybe i'll post another three pager that features an action sequence in the near future.
either way, here it is.
i call it "brain power."

the perhapanauts
choopie in

“brain power”
3 pages


panel 1
. big panel (archie style) arisa is sitting before computer as a casual choopie saunters by offering his new nickname for her. (he reminds me of the times calvin used to walk right past his mom naked on the way outside.) arisa is “oh-no’-you-ditn’t” incredulous.

choopie: hiya, slappy!
arisa: excuse me…?
arisa: “slappy”?

panel 2. choopie is happy, gesticulating, comically framing arisa with his hands like an artist would. arisa is not havin’ it.

choopie: i’m just tryin’ it out. seein’ if it fits.
arisa: yeah. well. try it out somewhere else. i’m busy here.

panel 3. choopie is now ON her, on her shoulders, looking over her head down at her. arisa is looking frustratedly up at him, irritated but giving him a chance to speak/play.

choopie: oh, don’t do that, ris! the best, most definite guaranteed way to get a nickname that you don’t like is to let them know that you don’t like it. then it’s like…guaranteed. yer stuck fer life! they give it to ya just to see you get mad.
arisa: who is “they”?


panel 1.
In front of her now, standing on the computer keyboard, tugging at her shirt/collar.

choopie: they!! them!! the people who give people nicknames!!
choopie: i’m tellin’ ya--they’re vicious, slappy!

panel 2. silent panel--choopie just staring at her, arisa staring back, her eyes narrowed wondering where this little jerk gets these crazy ideas…

sfx(small): blink. blink.

panel 3. same panel. arisa’s eyes not so intent as she tries to reason around this.

arisa: right. choopie, where did you hear this?
choopie: in a book. it was in one a’ big’s psychololology books.

panel 4. silent panel--same panel as arisa narrows her eyes again. this is a huge waste of time. now she’s getting angry.

sfx(small): blink. blink.


panel 1
. same panel as choopie leans forward, tapping arisa’s forehead with one finger, explaining it to her. her eyes are a little narrower.

choopie: it’s about your braaaaain.

panel 2. pulling back a bit as arisa turns to watch choopie running out of the room, terrified, holding his head between his hands as he goes.

arisa: right. how about if i use my brain to squeeze your brain right out of your tiny little chupacabra head…?

panel 3. as choopie runs hysterically out of the room--

choopie: ahhhhh! no! big! help! she’s usin’ her telepathetic powers on me! i can feel it! she’s squeezin’ my brains out! heeeelp!

panel 4. on arisa as she turns her attention back to her work, a slight smirk on her face indicating that that was fun.

caption: the end.

Monday, January 25, 2010

"i'm mad as hell and i'm not gonna take it anymore!"


certainly i have used this blog in the past to voice my feelings regarding tv and the networks. i love tv--always have--and love, not only the shows that have thrilled and entertained me my entire life, but also have had a warm spot for the actual networks themselves, the ephemeral atmosphere of home that each one seems to project. i love the history of television and have studied it fanatically. and while i'm generally a pretty upbeat and positive person and endeavor to keep this blog from becoming a soapbox for my own personal gripes--man, do the networks hate us or what...?
over the past five years or so (probably more on the "or so" side...), the networks have totally cut the viewers out of the equation. the viewer means absolutely nothing anymore. they focus now on the sponsors and, while i certainly understand the necessity of revenue, i feel that, as their supposed audience, we should have some voice. they continue to gauge their industry on an outdated and antiquated system. they cancel clever, well-written, and incredibly promising shows ( pushing daisies, life, journeyman, my own worst enemy...and let's not forget firefly and wonderfalls and then report astonishment when those very series' show four and fives the projected numbers in dvd sales. they battle with the writers for, in the scheme of things, a ridiculously small amount for actually creating and developing the very programs that are keeping them on the air. and then they rob the viewers by charging them full price for truncated seasons on the dvd package. much like our current government, they cater to the sponsors and special interest group and have left us in their wake.

just as with my representatives in washington, the networks have abandoned me.

it's all about money and sponsors ands commercials and i'm sick and tired and i'm not gonna take it anymore.

oh, sure, i'll never be able to turn it off completely. not yet, anyway.
i still want to see how lost ends, still need the laughs on nbc's thursday night line-up, still need my snl...

but, i'm reading more.
i'm cutting way back on tv. someone said a little while back that only way that we could change things in government would be to come together and simply vote all of the incumbents out. send a message. sure, maybe it would screw things up for a while, but aren't things pretty screwed up now?
same with tv. i'm leaving. i'm turning it off.
back in the mid- to late-80s the networks were terrified because they just couldn't get any viewers. they were panicking, desperate. (book sales, by the way, were way up back then...) somehow they came back, with good entertainment and clever shows--and, they proudly proclaimed at the time, by listening to the viewer.

i'm reading more.

that's one place that they can't get us.



man, after that rant, i hope lauren doesn't get upset that i'm plugging her book in the same post...

okay, shake it off, folks! here's something positive...

with the holidays and work and all kindsa other things coming up, i wasn't able to really sit down and read--well, re-read--the wonderful jaunt which is the slightly askew adventures of inspector ham and eggsby our good friends stephen lindsay and lauren monardo until just this past weekend! lauren was kind enough to send me a copy of the collected trade a few weeks ago and i wanted desperately to show you all and sing it's praises 'cause i really dug when i first read it in comic book form but loved it when i sat down with the whole package! you will too!
plus, the trade is filled with all kindsa cool extras--guest pin-ups, a much too enthusiastic afterword by bryan glass of mouse guard fame (but, of course, bryan does everything much too enthusiastically! : ) a much too short afterword by me--and one of my favorite features is a transcription of the conversation stephen and lauren had in creating ham and eggs and the baron and all the other colorful characters that inhabit new pork city. this unique insight into their creative process is both fun and totally cool! you won't want to miss it!

so if you didn't get the series or are one of those 'wait til the trade' readers, go check it out at


the answers to your
"five for friday"
back-up bands

i think i did this once before--or maybe just had one or two mixed in to a general group of five--but here are the names of some back-up bands for you to provide the headliner...
have fun!

1. the heartbreakers

tom petty

2. the attractions

elvis costello

3. the blue notes

harold melvin

4. the comets

bill haley

5. the crickets

buddy holly

6. the jordanaires

elvis presley

7. the j.b.s

james brown

8. the range

bruce hornsby

9. the black hearts

joan jett

10. the revolution


have a happy monday!
smell ya later!

Friday, January 22, 2010

sketchbook: mike's spidey!


self-explanatory really.
no one drew spidey like mike.

i thought that the cool thing mike had done on the inside front cover of my sketchbook was awesome and certainly more than anyone could ask for--but then, when i flipped the pages, i found this.



this from alison--and her mom (thanks, aunt mickey!)
i love to hear stories about the 30s and 40s--and especially about the incredibly crafty things that were done in the regards to the war effort. check this out...

During WW II
Lockheed During W.W.II (unbelievable 1940s pictures). This is a version of special effects during the 1940's. I have never seen these pictures or knew that we had gone this far to protect ourselves.
During World War II the Army Corps of Engineers needed to hide the Lockheed Burbank Aircraft Plant to protect it from a possible Japanese air attack. They covered it with camouflage netting to make it look like a rural subdivision from the air.

and AFTER...


"five for friday"
back-up bands

i think i did this once before--or maybe just had one or two mixed in to a general group of five--but here are the names of some back-up bands for you to provide the headliner...
have fun!

1. the heartbreakers

2. the attractions

3. the blue notes

4. the comets

5. the crickets

6. the jordanaires

7. the j.b.s

8. the range

9. the black hearts

10. the revolution

have a great weekend, everybody!
sell ya later!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010



if you're a regular reader of craig's blibbity-blobbity blog--and if you're not, you should be--then you prob'ly saw these canson pieces he posted a month or so ago. i'm posting them here again 'cause i just don't think i sing craig's praises enough--man, can this guy DRAW! and not just draw, craig is a well-rounded artist who knows color and composition and storytelling (and he even sculpts from time to time!) and i'm so grateful to've been lucky enough to've worked with such a talented artist.
here, i've always loved the character of ben grimm, the thing--but i especially love the sheer mass of the guy that craig conveys in his depiction of him. that is one solid, lest i say powerful thing!

and i've always loved craig's women. never sexualized, never exaggerated--unless it's called for, in a character like, say, power girl--strong, well-proportioned. and yet they do exude a very subtle sexuality that makes them even stronger. i love this zatanna piece for that reason and especially dig the perspective.

so all that blah-bitty-blah is really kind of a warm-up to congratulate craig on his cool new assignment--cool new book at marvel--Her-Oes!
aimed at marvels younger tween readers--and there seem to be more and more of them everyday!--Her-Oes features characters like wasp, she-hulk, ms, marvel, and namora as high school teenagers dealing with life and boys and acne...and, oh yeah... superpowers.

congrats, partner!
this is gonna be awesome!

you can read more about Her-Oes here...


and here are a few images that i stumbled across over the past week or so and thought i'd share. hope they catch your eye too.

two guys with one thing on their minds...

how to steal the batmobile...

can you name the pixel martial arts stars?

can you name the pixel directors?

should bananas make you feel creepy?

happy wednesday!
smell ya later!

Monday, January 18, 2010

it's true! it's true!


hope y'all had a great weekend!
despite the fact that most oif you have today off--happy martin luther kind day everyone!--i have deadlines spinning all around me and didn't have much time to prepare a post for today and so, as i have in the past, i've gone to my fall-back position and posted a couple of great Your True Tales from over at paranormal at

every month stephen wagner compiles a great assortment of stories sent in by readers from all over the country--all over the world--of some of the strange incidents or adventures they've experienced.
here are two that i read last week and stuck with me...

by S.J.

I was reading the story Phantom Basement from December and remembered a similar story told to me about my grandfather. When he was a young man living in rural Kentucky in the 1940s, his family would go and see the local "witch" whenever something went wrong. When my aunt had croupe, she was taken to the witch and passed through a horse's bridle seven times and got better immediately.

At one time, my grandfather and some other men went to her house for some reason (I cannot remember why), and she took them down to her basement, which was a huge dug-out room beneath the house. It was filled with bottles and shelves and all sorts of things she used for her spells. Not long after this, the old woman died, and my grandfather went back to her house, but there was no basement anywhere! The house was just sitting on the ground. Nothing dug out, no door, nothing. The old house was the same, just no basement. The house wasn't moved or anything, and there was no evidence of any digging or filling in. Very strange.

by Rick T.

I am in a hurry to write something about a thing I saw in plain daylight on Friday, November 20, 2009 in rural Banks County, Georgia a short ways off of State Route 51 and about two miles north of the tiny village of Mount Pleasant, Georgia. What I saw up there in the woods was strange enough to write you here about it. The details are very fresh in my mind.

My job is to sell low-cost homeowner's insurance in rural counties. Usually, these customers only have rough cabins with wood fire heating (which runs up insurance costs) and cannot be insured by the major companies. My own company takes up this slack.

I arrived on a sunny morning at a very modest cabin in Banks County. It was at the end of a dirt road behind a small stand of trees. Much of the area is forested. I was greeted by a very old woman who told me that she lived alone, but would like to take out a policy on her cabin. I needed to inspect the place and take some pictures, as is routine before offering a contract.

I was walking around to the shed outside when I saw a totally hairy and muscular biped of some sort stacking wood. This thing wore no clothes, but had very long hair covering its entire body. It had a black nose and very large eyes and a mouth very much like a human being, but not quite. It was hard at work stacking wood and did not seem to notice me. I should also mention that it was no bigger than around 3-foot, 5-inches tall, if even that. It was, however, very plump and wide. It made a grunting sound as it worked. It seemed very strong.

I asked the lady what on earth it was, and she casually replied that it was a "woods helper" and that many of the county's old-timer residents had one from time to time to help them with tasks that they were too old to handle. These "woods helpers" only asked for food and some drink. The woman also explained to me that they drank only beer and never seemed to be drunk or disorderly. She said they had been a blessing since long ago to many of the older people in the area. She did not know what species they were. In fact, she did not even understand the word "species," which is not unusual for rural people like her. She said that everybody knew about them, but that not many people liked to talk about them.

I got one more look at the thing before I drove off. It was moving rocks into a runoff ditch this time. It looked like something from a sci-fi magazine or even a comic book. But it was real.

if you liked those, head on over to your true tales at

and check out some of the others! you'll be glad you did!

whether you're working or have the day off,
have a great day!
smell ya later~!

Friday, January 15, 2010

sketchbook: erik's dragon and naked fat guy running!


all i really remember is that we were in detroit. i'm not sure what year, maybe '97? mike and i were still doing sensational spider-man...but i do know that motor city con organizer gary bishop had flown us out for his novi show and that erik larsen was one of the other guests. i hadn't met erik before but i had read all of his spider-man stuff and was diggin' on the savage dragon and so when we got a chance to hang together i was still a little star-struck when i asked him if he'd wanna draw me a pitcher. we were all going to be having dinner together (the thing about the novi show was that there was only one hotel near the convention center and only one restaurant--the one in the hotel--so, there ya go...) there were a bunch of us going to dinner--i think that's where i met kelly yates too. kel?--and about 8 or 9 of us sat at this big round table and i sat next to erik. we all gave the waitress our orders and erik turned to me and said, yeah, gimme that sketchbook, and we all watched in awe--and with some curiosity--as erik drew this wonderful dragon piece for me. see, the weird thing about it is that erik holds his pencil like other people hold chopsticks--it's both bizarre and fascinating. the other crazy part of it was that he started this magnificent sketch...with dragon's right forefinger...and worked his way BACK!?!? it was amazing to watch and, considering just how freakin' awesome it turned out, something i just had to share.
it took him, maybe, 10 minutes.
when he handed the book back, this is what i got.
i had to pass it around the table twice, everyone was just in awe.

dinner took forever to come.
we were all telling stories and that helped to pass the time, but finally erik's patience was running out and he said, gimme that book again.
whaddaya gonna do this time, i asked.
a naked fat guy running, he said.
and he did.

this took maybe 5 minutes.

(shortly after he was done, someone at the table mentioned that he'd left out a vital part of the anatomy and so he took the book back and added that bit. oddly enough, when i uploaded these pages for the post, they somehow managed to edit themselves very nicely. so i'm warning you here--if you don't wanna see this guy's thing, don't click that second page! just a warning...)

certainly one of the funnier pages in my book.
more next week!
smell ya later~!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

marvel super hero squad! no.1--on sale today!


here's your mission for today, perhapa-gang!

first go here--

and then go here--

and get your super hero squad on--














(sorry for the delay this morning--the power was out this morning until just now...)
gotta get to work!
smell ya later!

Monday, January 11, 2010

pets, chemicals in comics...and roger's sketchbook!


got this from my friend heather the other day and it is so true...


The following was found posted very low on a refrigerator door.

Dear Dogs and Cats: The dishes with the paw prints are yours and contain your food. The other dishes are mine and contain my food. Placing a paw print in the middle of my plate and food does not stake a claim for it becoming your food and dish, nor do I find that aesthetically pleasing in the slightest.

The stairway was not designed by NASCAR and is not a racetrack. Racing me to the bottom is not the object. Tripping me doesn't help because I fall faster than you can run.

I cannot buy anything bigger than a king sized bed. I am very sorry about this.. Do not think I will continue sleeping on the couch to ensure your comfort, however.. Dogs and cats can actually curl up in a ball when they sleep.. It is not necessary to sleep perpendicular to each other, stretched out to the fullest extent possible. I also know that sticking tails straight out and having tongues hanging out on the other end to maximize space is nothing but sarcasm.

For the last time, there is no secret exit from the bathroom! If, by some miracle, I beat you there and manage to get the door shut, it is not necessary to claw, whine, meow, try to turn the knob or get your paw under the edge in an attempt to open the door. I must exit through the same door I entered. Also, I have been using the bathroom for years - canine/feline attendance is not required..

The proper order for kissing is: Kiss me first, then go smell the other dog or cat's butt. I cannot stress this enough.

Finally, in fairness, dear pets, I have posted the following message on the front door:


(1) They live here. You don't.
(2) If you don't want their hair on your clothes, stay off the furniture. That's why they call it 'fur'-niture.
(3) I like my pets a lot better than I like most people.
(4) To you, they are animals. To me, they are adopted sons/daughters who are short, hairy, walk on all fours and don't speak clearly.

Remember, dogs and cats are better than kids because they:
(1) eat less,
(2) don't ask for money all the time,
(3) are easier to train,
(4) normally come when called,
(5) never ask to drive the car,
(6) don't smoke or drink,
(7) don't want to wear your clothes,
(8) don't have to buy the latest fashions,
(9) don't need a gazillion dollars for college and
(10) if they get pregnant, you can sell their children ....


and on the comic book geek-y side of things, my friend zan sent me this link which, though i was never really that great a chemistry student, i found to actually be kinda cool. check it out!

the periodic table of comics


and, saving the best for last, here's a nice email i got yesterday from my pal, roger ash--

Hi Todd,

Since you asked if anyone wants to share any of their art, I thought I'd send along 3 pieces from my sketchbook.

First is Poison Ivy by Darwyn Cooke.

Next, is Volstagg the Voluminous by Walt Simonson.

Finally, Cowboy Wally as the Shadow, a nice mashup of the books that introduced me to Kyle Baker's work. When I asked for this, Kyle told me he usually gets one strange request at each convention. He was guessing this would be it for this show.

I love what you've been posting from your sketchbook. Great stuff!


thanks for sharing your sketchbook, roger!
these are some fantastic pieces!!

that's it for today!
smell ya later!

Friday, January 08, 2010

sketchbook: fred's four and dick's batman


back to the sketchbook...

when i handed fred the book at volleyball one night, i told him, "just a little something, a doodle, don't go crazy." we had been playing volleyball every week for a year or so by then and had become good friends. and fred is such a nice guy...

when he handed it back to me the following week, i thought the picture that he did--of his own comic book persona--was perfect! just what i wanted! i didn't realize at first that that was just the first page...

so i'm jumping around a bit, not really doing these in the order that they appear in the book, just to mix it up a bit...
i met dick giordano at heroescon in 1999. cully introduced us and acted as interpreter a bit, initially, as dick's hearing was probably a little more than half gone at the time. i had, of course, loved his work for years, and told him so, and he was curious and excited to know what i did (sensational spider-man at the time, so...) i got up to speed quickly and asked him for a sketch, which he very graciously did, as we yelled through a pleasant, but loud, conversation. it didn't help that we were in the basement of a loud and poorly lit bar.


and here are
"five for friday!"

1. in the original superman, what supertramp song is playing on the radio when lois gets swallowed by the san andreas fault?

2. what popular postman plays the role of a nuclear rocket technician?

3. lex luthor hijacks two nuclear missiles so as to make the man of steel choose. one is targeting the san andreas...where is the other one headed?

4. in tim burton's batman, what was the name of the joker's main henchman played by the inimitable tracy walters?

5. along with danny elfman, what 80s rock icon contributed music to the film?

bonus question; what 80s frenetic new wave band did danny elfman head up?

have a great weekend!
smell ya later~!

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

the road


so, just before christmas i started reading "the road" by cormac mccarthy.
i know. what a cheery book to go into the holidays with, right?
that's exactly what sharon said..and i was already a bit down from time to time as the holidays drew nearer, so eager for the season and yet missing absent family and friends more than usual...

for those of you unfamiliar with the book, it's the story of a man trying to survive with his young boy in an absolutely lifeless post-apocalyptic world. the book gives little in the way of details, only to say that somehow all the lights went out and the earth is slowly dying under an ash-choked atmosphere of nuclear winter. no sunlight or moonlight can penetrate the miles of filth that envelops the planet. it is always cold, seemingly always raining or snowing, dirty precipitation from above. what few survivors there are have resorted to killing and cannibalism to gather food and stay alive.
and yet this is a story of love. a father's love. a son's love. i won't say any more.

i finished it saturday morning. i can't say that it's a book you can enjoy--it's even hard to say that i loved it...but i did. no wonder it won the pulitzer prize for literature--it's so wonderfully written, mccarthy showing us that words are magical things and even when describing sadness and despair, they can be beautiful.

we went to see the movie sunday afternoon at upstate films in rhinebeck. it too was well-done, well-acted, the story well-told. again, hard to say we enjoyed it, but i highly recommend it. well, read the book first. paint your own pictures first. the author is so very talented and evocative that you would be cheating yourself of a wonderful reading experience not to read it first. sharon and i talked about it and the questions it brings up all the way home...and are still talking about it today.

let me know what you think...


from the sad to the happy---
got this in an email the other day from my friend, lois--

Can you say "I love you" any better?

What Love means to a 4-8 year old. Slow down for three minutes to read this. It is so worth it.

Touching words from the mouth of babes.

A group of professional people posed this question to a group of 4 to 8 year-olds, 'What does love mean?'
The answers they got were broader and deeper than anyone could have imagined. See what you think:

'When my grandmother got arthritis, she couldn't bend over and paint her toenails anymore.
So my grandfather does it for her all the time, even when his hands got arthritis too. That's love.'
Rebecca- age 8

'When someone loves you, the way they say your name is different.
You just know that your name is safe in their mouth.'
Billy - age 4

'Love is when a girl puts on perfume and a boy puts on shaving cologne and they go out and smell each other.'
Karl - age 5

'Love is when you go out to eat and give somebody most of your French fries without making them give you any of theirs.'
Chrissy - age 6

'Love is what makes you smile when you're tired.'
Terri - age 4

'Love is when my mommy makes coffee for my daddy and she takes a sip before giving it to him, to make sure the taste is OK.'
Danny - age 7

'Love is when you kiss all the time. Then when you get tired of kissing, you still want to be together and you talk more.
My Mommy and Daddy are like that.. They look gross when they kiss'
Emily - age 8

'Love is what's in the room with you at Christmas if you stop opening presents and listen.'
Bobby - age 7 (Wow!)

'If you want to learn to love better, you should start with a friend who you hate,'
Nikka - age 6
(we need a few million more Nikka's on this planet)

'Love is when you tell a guy you like his shirt, then he wears it everyday.'
Noelle - age 7

'Love is like a little old woman and a little old man who are still friends even after they know each other so well.'
Tommy - age 6

'During my piano recital, I was on a stage and I was scared. I looked at all the people watching me and saw my daddy waving and smiling. He was the only one doing that. I wasn't scared anymore.'
Cindy - age 8

'My mommy loves me more than anybody
You don't see anyone else kissing me to sleep at night.'
Clare - age 6

'Love is when Mommy gives Daddy the best piece of chicken.'
Elaine-age 5

'Love is when Mommy sees Daddy smelly and sweaty and still says he is handsomer than Robert Redford.'
Chris - age 7

'Love is when your puppy licks your face even after you left him alone all day.'
Mary Ann - age 4

'I know my older sister loves me because she gives me all her old clothes and has to go out and buy new ones.'
Lauren - age 4

'When you love somebody, your eyelashes go up and down and little stars come out of you.' (what an image)
Karen - age 7

'Love is when Mommy sees Daddy on the toilet and she doesn't think it's gross.'
Mark - age 6

'You really shouldn't say 'I love you' unless you mean it. But if you mean it, you should say it a lot. People forget.'
Jessica - age 8

see ya friday with more sketchbook action!
smell ya later!

Monday, January 04, 2010

northern lights


hope the new year's treatin' ya good...!

alison always gets the good stuff--

Northern Lights Over Teepees
These are spectacular and the teepees are so pretty in the dark but,
check out that thermometer!


talkin' squaddies...!

when i posted a couple of the super hero squad figures i got for christmas last week, i opened the door for anyone--anyone else who might be collecting these, that is--to send in a picture of their hard-to-get acquisitions. here, nic carcieri (portal comics) shared a figure that happens to be very near and dear to my heart--the ben reilly spider-man! nic pointed out that they really should just go ahead and call him by his real name--the scarlett spider!!

have a good monday!
smell ya later!