Monday, January 31, 2011

monday morning in mali


tonight's the night--the deadline for the PERHAPANAUTS CLASSIC COMIC COVER CHALLENGE ends tonight at midnight!
i am SO impatient--i CAN'T WAIT to show you what these very talented artists created for our little show!! each and every one of them did an exceptionally awesome job! you will, i KNOW, be blown away!

here's how we're doing this; starting tomorrow, a new entry will be posted both here on the blog and on the Perhapanauts Facebook page each day, presented to you in the order they were submitted. at the time of this writing, we have five entries submitted, with promises of more to come in before zero hour. so that takes us 'til at least next monday! feel free, as the entries unroll, to comment, praise, and encourage. then, once the entire gallery of submissions has been posted, we'll have the wrap-up!

thanks for your incredible contributions, everybody--and keep 'em comin'!!


the title of this post refers to one of the questions (that stumped us) in my little trivia challenge yesterday. geography was never one of my most confident subjects in trivial pursuit, but i can assure that i will now never forget that timbuktu is in mali. which is in africa. (didn't help that i thought it was a city in siam, now thailand. which, y'know, is in asia...)
i have my moments.

i had a great time though and even more enjoyed hanging and playing with the people i was there with. my high school and ghost-hunting pal dave and his wife, christine, put together a great team--we just need someone to cover those geography questions better in the future!

and now, the
answers to your

"five for friday!"

1. liverpool hope university, this week, awarded canadian mary-lu zahalan-kennedy with the first masters degree in the study of what unique subject?

the beatles

2. what is the name of the art of pruning shrubs and bushes into the shapes of animals?


3. in the 1960's what leading toy company produced the rock 'em sock'em robots?


4. what hulk adversary, created in 1973, had two heads, one stacked right on top of the other!!

the bi-beast!

5. red light challenge!!!
name the other leading toy companies from the 1960's that produced these timeless classics--

a. barbie


b. g.i. joe


c. monopoly, clue, sorry

parker bros

d. frisbee


e.mousetrap, battling tops, captain action


tomorrow, the perhapanauts classic comic cover challenge!
get your entries in by midnight tonight!
smell ya later~~!

Friday, January 28, 2011



hey, gang!--only a few days left to work on your PERHAPANAUTS CLASSIC COMIC COVER CHALLENGE!!!
if you haven't started yet, cancel all those weekend plans, unplug the phone and skip all those chores and errands, 'cause the deadline for entries is 12 midnight (est) on monday, january, jones, 2011!

as of right now, i have five solid, completed entries--each one a study in awesomeness--and three "in progress"...but there's still time to get yours in!!
don't delay, start yours today!!


in my search for steampunk images --more on that later-- i stumbled across this awesome piece by eric joyner, an artist who has a lot of fun painting robots and tin toys! you can check out some more of his cool stuff at

i loved these boys when i was a kid! what power! what conditioning! what heart!


another cool challenge going on this weekend is that my friend dave has entered us in a trivia challenge this sunday afternoon here in picturesque red hook! i haven't been in a trivia competition in a long time and i haven't had a chance to hang with dave in a long time either! so it's win-win-win! (the third win is because we'll probably be drinking beer...!)

but of course the prospect of new trivia has put me in the mood, so here are, for your enjoyment, the long-awaited return of your:

"five for friday!"

1. liverpool hope university, this week, awarded canadian mary-lu zahalan-kennedy with the first masters degree in the study of what unique subject?

2. what is the name of the art of pruning shrubs and bushes into the shapes of animals?

3. in the 1960's what leading toy company produced the rock 'em sock'em robots?

4. what hulk adversary, created in 1973, had two heads, one stacked right on top of the other!!

5. red light challenge!!!
name the other leading toy companies from the 1960's that produced these timeless classics--

a. barbie

b. g.i. joe

c. monopoly, clue, sorry

d. frisbee

e.mousetrap, battling tops, captain action

that's all she wrote!
have a great weekend!
smell ya later!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

no.15 and NICK CARDY: The Artist at War


well, first up, thanks so much, everybody, for stepping up and adding your funny, warm, and insightful comments on the other day's post on "life before cell phones"--and especially to eric henson who went at them one by one, giving his own personal take on days gone by.

alison felt we needed a number 15 and said;

"That's #15--No common usage of wet wipes (did they even exist outside of Kentucky Fried Chicken?). Moms just spit on whatever was handy and cleaned your face with it before getting out of the car. (What? Oh? That was only my mom? MOOOOOMMMMM!)"

and my pal, jim, wrote;

" Todd- It's funny, but I was thinking about these very changes just the other day. But I approached the subject from the point of view that our generation has seen some miraculous changes during our lifetimes. We should more thoroughly appreciate these improvements because we've experienced the before and after. Just think, we now have Kirby's Mother Boxes, in the form of our smart phones. I thinks it's been a wild a glorious ride so far. Jim"


wanna take a look at a really great book?

since last spring, publisher/promoter/manager, head honcho at little eva ink! and queen of all she surveys, renee witterstaeter
and nick (and, to some small degree, me) have been putting together a book of my pal, nick cardy's sketches and artwork during his time in WWII. renee did a phenomenal job of designing and laying out the book and nick supplied notes and commentary that follow his sometimes funny, sometimes terrifying tour of duty in war-torn europe.

you will want this book.

check out this link for more illustrations and for an informative interview with nick.


a couple of (uncredited) photos i found on monday morning randomness over at

i don't know what this thing is or where it comes from, but it's cool and crypt-y looking all at the same time!
(i hope it's not some leech-y thing or parasite though. it's not pretty enough for me to let it suck my blood.)

an this is just...

have a great wednesday!
smell ya later!

Monday, January 24, 2011

credit where credit is due...!


as the owner/copyright holder to a handful of comic book characters, and the writer of several intellectual and creative properties, i am always trying to keep my eye on the artistic rights of individuals and protect those people and their rights in any way i can.

whenever i'm putting the blog together, i'm always looking around to find jpegs on the net that i find either beautiful or funny, scary or cool. and i'm especially eager to give credit when i can find it; the thing about this internet thing is that, in many cases, these images are floating around unsupervised, detached from their original posting, and so you don't always know who did what.

several months ago i posted this gorgeous photo uncredited when i found it being used as the avatar of a new friend on facebook. i thought it was just stunning and wanted to share it with everyone. i was thrilled then, the other day, when i was contacted by joe who told me that this was his photo. here, then, is the photo again with credit listed and a link to the site where it was originally posted.

A hawk's perch at the edge of Randleman Lake is framed Wednesday by the Harvest Moon, near Branson Davis Road in Randolph County. The Harvest Moon comes before or soon after the autumnal equinox. It is simply the full moon closest to that equinox. The photo is by Joseph Rodriguez/Greensboro News & Record

thanks, joe, for the info. and the wonderful photo!

and this photo of this baby elephant named uli...

is by Julian Stratenschulte

here's an email i got from a friend who is much older than me and though i, personally, cannot remember a time without cell phones, i found parts of it to be kinda funny...

Growing up without a cell phone

Anyone 40 or older might think this is hilarious!

When I was a kid, adults used to bore me to tears with their tedious diatribes about how hard things were. When they were growing up; what with walking twenty-five miles to school every morning.... Uphill... Barefoot... BOTH ways...yadda, yadda, yadda...

And I remember promising myself that when I grew up, there was no way in hell I was going to lay a bunch of crap like that on my kids about how hard I had it and how easy they've got it!

But now that I'm over the ripe old age of forty, I can't help but look around and notice the youth of today. You've got it so easy! I mean, compared to my childhood, you live in a damn Utopia! And I hate to say it, but you kids today, you don't know how good you've got it!

1) I mean, when I was a kid we didn't have the Internet. If we wanted to know something, we had to go to the damn library and look it up ourselves, in the card catalog!!

2) There was no email!! We had to actually write somebody a letter - with a pen! Then you had to walk all the way across the street and put it in the mailbox, and it would take like a week to get there! Stamps were 10 cents!

3) Child Protective Services didn't care if our parents beat us. As a matter of fact, the parents of all my friends also had permission to kick our ass! Nowhere was safe!

4) There were no MP3's or Napsters or iTunes! If you wanted to steal music, you had to hitchhike to the record store and shoplift it yourself!

5) Or you had to wait around all day to tape it off the radio, and the DJ would usually talk over the beginning and @#*% it all up! There were no CD players! We had tape decks in our car. We'd play our favorite tape and "eject" it when finished, and then the tape would come undone rendering it useless. Cause, hey, that's how we rolled, Baby! Can you dig it?

6) We didn't have fancy crap like Call Waiting! If you were on the phone and somebody else called, they got a busy signal, that's it!

7) There weren't any freakin' cell phones either. If you left the house, you just didn't make a damn call or receive one. You actually had to be out of touch with your "friends". OMG !!! Think of the horror... not being in touch with someone 24/7!!! And then there's TEXTING. Yeah, right. Please! You kids have no idea how annoying you are.

8) And we didn't have fancy Caller ID either! When the phone rang, you had no idea who it was! It could be your school, your parents, your boss, your bookie, your drug dealer, the collection agent... you just didn't know!!! You had to pick it up and take your chances, mister!

9) We didn't have any fancy PlayStation or Xbox video games with high-resolution 3-D graphics! We had the Atari 2600! With games like 'Space Invaders' and 'Asteroids'. Your screen guy was a little square! You actually had to use your imagination!!! And there were no multiple levels or screens, it was just one screen.. Forever! And you could never win. The game just kept getting harder and harder and faster and faster until you died! Just like LIFE!

10) You had to use a little book called a TV Guide to find out what was on! You were screwed when it came to channel surfing! You had to get off your ass and walk over to the TV to change the channel!!! NO REMOTES!!! Oh, no! How was life even worth living?!?!

11) There was no Cartoon Network either! You could only get cartoons on Saturday Morning. Do you hear what I'm saying? We had to wait ALL WEEK for cartoons!

12) And we didn't have microwaves. If we wanted to heat something up, we had to use the stove! Imagine that!

13) And our parents told us to stay outside and play... all day long. Oh, no, no electronics to soothe and comfort. And if you came back inside... you were doing chores!

14) And car seats - oh, please! Mom threw you in the back seat and you hung on. If you were lucky, you got the "safety arm" across the chest at the last moment if she had to stop suddenly, and if your head hit the dashboard, well that was your fault for calling "shot gun" in the first place!

See! That's exactly what I'm talking about! You kids today have got it too easy. You're spoiled rotten! You guys wouldn't have lasted five minutes back in 1970 or any time before!

The Over 40 Crowd

those entries for the PERHAPANAUTS CLASSIC COMICS COVER CHALLENGE are coming in and, MAN, are they awesome!
you have a whole week left--get yours in soon!

have a great week~!
smell ya later!

Friday, January 21, 2011

first class comic review!


it seems like every time i start feeling that comics have gotten too grim and gritty, too sales and marketing driven, too just-not- fun anymore, i receive a copy of FIRST CLASS COMICS REVIEW from my dear friends, Ellie and Lily Egleton, and am reminded that kids do still read comic books--and they love 'em!

FCCR #4 arrived at my house the other day, in the midst of a howling blizzard that made curling up with it by the fire even more relaxing and enjoyable. for those who haven't caught my earlier posts praising this fine publication and the terrific efforts of the girls and their crew of friends/reporters, here's the scoop; First Class Comic Review is the brainchild of the young sisters, encouraged and shepherded through the process by their dad, Tim, and is a full-out celebration of everything fun and cool and wonderful about comics and every time i read it, i'm transported back to the days when I would be so very excited for the next issue of (insert your favorite childhood comic book here!) to come out and what was going to happen and how was it going to effect my world...? because it would!!

like any new publishing venture, FCCR has been struggling, looking for it's audience and the girls have been learning the ropes regarding content and layout, but i have to say that, with issue 4, they have got it nailed! this is the sharpest looking effort to date and i know that this magazine will just keep getting better and better! great job, ladies!

this issue features interviews with artists chris giarrusso and mike deodato jr, articles on the mini-marvels, chris' g-man comic, tiny titans, a focus on comic's christmas classics, a harley quinn retrospective and much, much more! including this stunning christmas cover by chris giarrusso himself!

you can find out more about First Class Comic Review --and ordering information-- at

the girls have been so very nice to me and to the super hero squad since they first started working on FCCR last summer. sadly, for them, i've now got them hooked on the perhapanauts. here's a sketch of choopie that lily sent along with my copy of the magazine. my scan is a little faint, so i hope you can see it.
thanks, lily--he's great!


a few random jpgs i had floating around my desktop...

from a few years back and found in rich woodall's facebook photos album of all places, a very early craig rousseau thing, butsin' heads and bustin' through your wall! (god, i'd love to do a thing mini-series with my boy here...!) (craig, i mean. not ben.) (well, with ben too.)

the crystal palace, a massive greenhouse/exhibition hall constructed in hyde park, london, england in 1851 for The Great Exhibition. featured in the fantastic book, At Home, by bill bryson.

and finally-- i have received several entries now for the PERHAPANAUTS CLASSIC COMIC COVER CHALLENGE and heard from many others saying that they will be sending their submissions in! this is gonna be great fun, so get going! deadline for your entries is monday, january 31, at 12 midnight (est).

have a great weekend!
smell ya later!

Rules for Responsible Dog Owners

a dog’s life is likely to last 10 to 15 years. any separation from you will be very painful.

give him time to understand what you want of him.

place your trust in him--it is crucial for his well-being.

don’t be angry with him for long, and don’t lock him up as punishment. you have your work, your friends, your entertainment. he has only YOU!

talk to him. even if he doesn’t understand your words, he understands your voice when it’s speaking to him.
be aware that however you treat him, he’ll never forget it.

before you hit him, remember that he has teeth in his mouth that could easily crush the bones in your hand, but he chooses not to bite you.

before you scold him for being lazy or uncooperative, ask yourself if something might be bothering him. perhaps he’s not getting the right food, he’s been out in the sun too long, or his heart may be getting old and weak.

take care of him when he gets old. you, too, will grow old.

go with him on difficult journeys. never say, “i can’t bear to watch it” or, “let it happen in my absence.” everything is easier for him if you are there. remember, he loves you.

Zenith Zak’s Rules for Responsible Dog Owners
1996@Pet Planet, Inc.

this list was on a toy i bought for jake about 11 or 12 years ago.
it always makes me cry a little.

Monday, January 17, 2011

the haps triple-c challenge and a tellos piece from bat hilliard


first of all--and very quickly--about the perhapanauts classic comics cover challenge...
oh, it's ON.
got my first entry for the challenge over the weekend from our perhapa-pal warren newsom and let me just say--this is going to be GOOD! if any of the other entries are even a fraction of the smack that warren laid down, this is going to be a fun and fantastic ride! hope you're all working hard on your covers--and having fun, of course!

and on the subject of art, as artist eric henson continues to stun me with each new page of the perhapanauts back-up story that he and i are working on, he hooked me up with this beautiful tellos piece by his friend, bat hilliard. this was a commission and so we wanted to be sure that it was okay to post...uh, and it was. so here it is.

it's always wonderful to see any of our tellos gang again--and a little bittersweet.
hopefully, i'll be able to give you some new tellos news in the not-too-distant future.
thanks, bat!
beautiful job!

have a great monday~!
smell ya later~!

Friday, January 14, 2011

the perhapanauts classic comics cover challenge: update...


though i have 'talked' with many of you interested in jumping into this little challenge via email, i thought that i should let it be known to anyone interested that the race is still on! the perhapanauts classic comics cover challenge challenges YOU to get out your pencils and paper, paints and inks, your favorite classic comics cover and perhapanaut that thing up! prizes will be announced next week and submissions are due in (to me) no later than 12 midnight (EST) january 31, 2011.

(though not based on an actual classic cover, this annual is dressed up with a vintage trade dress and was the closest thing i had to an actual homage...)

(or wait...actually, here's one from my recent casper adventure...)

the challenge is open to any and all artists and can be done in any medium you prefer. please include a jpg of the classic comic cover you are paying perhapanaut-y homage to. send any questions to me at i'll get back to you as soon as i can.

thank you.

and here are a couple other jpgs i had floating around the desktop...

have a great weekend!
smell ya later~!

rules for working in a deli

1. listen to the order.
don't be afraid to ask questions.

2. distribute all items on the sandwich evenly.
cut the sandwich as in half as you can.

3. make sure that you cut the sandwich all the way through.

Monday, January 10, 2011

what i'm up to...


as i mentioned on friday, inspired by something craig does on his blog fairly regularly, i thought i'd let you know what i've been reading/watching/listening to lately and, hopefully, finding out what YOU'RE reading/watching/listening to!
i love hearing about cool things that friends and family have been into and have been enjoying enough to recommend and, like all of us i think, am thrilled when i hear that someone enjoyed something i suggested.
what's with that, anyway? i guess maybe we like to know that our tastes are popular or that we are somehow on the cutting edge of books or music, movies or television. i know that, when i was younger, it seemed that i knew all the cool new bands and heard the cool new songs before everyone else and so was known as the go-to guy for music.
that, of course, fades. but if you're the cat who turned someone on to something--music, tv shows, what have you--then you're the one they associate with it for a long time. and that's kinda nice.

so i think i mentioned once or twice here on the blog that sharon and i, starting back in october during our trip down to richmond to see matt and suzanne, were listening to the millennium trilogy--the girl with the dragon tattoo books--and were liking them very much. we've since finished them and have watched the film version of the first two (awaiting the third to come out on dvd) and are curious to see how our hollywood treats them as well. great books! read them or listen to them--suspenseful and intricately woven.

after that, once again entrenched in a pattern of audio book obsession, i followed scott's advice and downloaded the first entry of the hunger games, another trilogy aimed at the young adult, harry potter, twilight demo, about a non-definite future where the government stages a survivalist reality show where 2 dozen teens are forced to fight to the death. i dug the story and enjoyed all three installments, though, at times, i could definitely tell that i wasn't the target audience and felt that the author relied too many times on the same devices and plot twists. my 15 year old nephew loved the first book (we'll see how he feels about the others...) and we'll be the first ones in line when the movie comes out next year.

for my birthday, my friend beth got me season one of mad men. craig and matt and everyone else had raved about it and i was dying to see it, just hadn't gotten around to picking it up. for christmas she gave me season 2 and so, since new years day, we have been watching them non-stop. yes, obsessed. that's how i get--give me ALL of it, i need to see it all. and right now. we just finished the last of season 2 last night and i am praying that season three is in the mailbox today when i go out to check in a little while. love it! love it!
(and, despite her rather shaky stint as host on SNL, am i the only one who thinks january jones should be playing sue storm in a new FF movie...? she's perfect!)

admittedly, i've only read /listened to one other book by bill bryson and that was his reflections of growing up in 1950s america called the adventures of the thunderbolt kid. but, based on that heartfelt and informative opus, i will say here and now that i'd follow this guy anywhere. his ability to write about history, science, pop culture... just about anything and make it not only interesting, but thought-provoking, makes him a truly unique voice in literature today. i'm listening to his newest offering, at home, a study on the history of the home and all the things around us that we have learned to take for granted. it's fascinating. and read by the author, which i always think is an extra treat.

on the actual reading front, i was recently lucky enough to snag a couple of gently aged copies of the old sci-fi magazine, amazing stories on ebay...

...and i got for christmas stephen king's latest collection of short stories, full dark, no stars, which i can't wait to get to ( i'm almost done with the short story collection christian gave me for my birthday, voices from the night, featuring authors like william f. nolan, rex miller, jack ketchum, and rick hautala, to name few...)

music~? well, there was lots of christmas music on the radio these past months, a few errant downloads from itunes, mostly of a motown/girl group nature, the latest offering from gorillaz, and this lovely disc of righteous rockabilly, the kudzu ranch by southern culture on the skids.

so, that's some of mine--what have YOU been up to?
lemme know and i'll
smell ya later~!

Friday, January 07, 2011

the classics


i was torn about what to do with this; part of me wanted to post some examples of classic comic book covers from down the ages...and the other part of me didn't want to step on any toes or steal anyone's thunder. as the artist, it's your choice to choose a cover that you consider iconic and that you feel would make the transition from classic to...perhapanautical-where you feel it would be fun to swap out the original characters and replace them with the perhapanauts. or 'naut. maybe it's only one.

so, in hopes that i'm not tipping anyone's hand here, here are a few of the most recognizable classic covers to inspire you as you create your own perhapanauts classic comic cover!
have fun!

getting some snow today--
(though i grabbed this from most emailed photos on yahoo)

monday we'll be talking about what you've been watching, reading, listening to, so start thinking about that...

have a great weekend~!
smell ya later~!

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

details, details...the perhapanauts classic comic cover challenge~!


so it seems that we've caught the interest of at least a few talented artists with the announcement/suggestion of
the perhapanauts classic comics cover challenge
( i retroactively threw the word classic in there, 'cause classic is cool. )
( and to maybe class the place up. )

while the loot at the end is still yet to be determined, we did figure out another detail or two so that you can get your perhapanauts classic comics cover started~!

~ "classic" is a subjective turn and each artist is free to define that the way they see it. you think that the cover to teenage mutant ninja turtles #4 is a classic, go to it! ...though the more iconic cover you choose, the wider the audience you appeal to...

~ jpgs of just about every comic book cover ever have been posted somewhere on the internet. please send a image of the cover you are paying homage to with your submission.

~ deadline for submissions is midnight ( 12:00 pm est ) monday january 31, 2011. send a jpg of your cover, plus your inspiration/source to

~ the winner of the perhapanauts classic comic cover challenge will be announced here on the perhapa-blog the following friday morning, february 4, 2011.

~ also, please 'e' me at the above eddress with any questions.

check back for updates!


i love this picture.

not a lightning bug, buddy.

have a great wednesday!
smell ya later~!

Monday, January 03, 2011

perhapanauts comic cover challenge~!


so warren emailed me the other day to tell me about a new artistic group he's become involved in over at and send me the link so that i could see some of his submissions in their monthly superhero redesign contest. not a web surfer (or i'd get nothing done...), i usually rely on others to point me in the right direction when something cool comes along (the other day i just heard about this youtube thing...) and ever since i'd first seen warren's artwork several years ago--and have since posted several pieces here on the blog--i'd asked him to keep me in the loop and let me know what he was up to art-wise.

here, then, is warrens' re-vamp of the ever-agile black cat with some notes about the hows and the whys of his new design.

"My idea is to give Felicia a less dated, classier look. The top is inspired by a couple of movies I watched today; I saw this same kind of neckline in each and thought, 'Well, there’s a timeless look if ever there was one.' The top evolved into a short, short dress, so for practicality’s sake, she needed tights or leggings beneath it. Though I kept the fur around her neckline, I decided to ditch the fur on her legs. Instead, I gave her contemporary boots with white, puffy tassels. If you’ve ever had a cat, you’ll know that cats love tassels. Overall, my strategy was to make her look less like a hootchie-momma, and more like a stylish adventurer."

head on over to and check out some of warren's other entries and what it's all about. similar to our pal, dean trippe's project rooftop, it's a fun way to celebrate the things we love about comics and look into the limitless imaginations of some very talented artists!


and so, with that in mind, and some cool new perhapanauts shwag on the way, i've decided to open the doors on a new contest of our own--a PERHAPANAUTS COMIC COVER CHALLENGE!!

i love comics and i love covers! i am a huge fan of the classic comic cover homage and craig is SO sick and tired of me asking every issue..."can we do an homage cover on this one?!" if i had my way, every single issue of the perhapanauts--NO!...of every comic i wrote--would come with a classic cover variant cover! i love the classics and love the incredible design sense some of the great artists have brought to the covers of our favorites over the years ( ie; my pal, nick, and carmine infantino on all those powerful teen titans and aquaman covers!) !

so here's the deal--find a classic cover, one that you love, one that resonates with you, and re-do it as a perhapanauts cover! any style, any medium--send us a jpeg of both the original and your inspired masterpiece and
as usual, all entries will be posted here and the winner or winners will receive some cool perhapanauts loot (the exact contents of said "loot" to be announced later this week...)

ready to get your art on?! ready to show us what you got?!
it's a new year, baby--bring it!

get thinkin' about it~
smell ya later~!