Thursday, January 28, 2010


Axe Cop!

(via) This may be the single greatest thing I've ever seen.

Malachai Nicolle is a five year old kid from Washington who loves Dinosaurs, Ben 10, video games of all kinds, and anything involving bad people getting destroyed.

Ethan Nicolle is a 29 year old comic artist/writer living in Los Angeles. He is the writer/artist/creator of the Eisner Award nominated Chumble Spuzz.

Together, they have created what may be the perfect comic: Axe Cop!

Axe Cop!


Seriously, y'all, check out Axe Cop. I'm not crazy about the Flash interface, but if you click on "Non-Flash" in the upper right corner you'll get a static version (and "Download" just points to the image file, which is also nice). There are five episodes so far, and they're all packed with crazy awesome.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010



They're making a feature film out of MacGruber? How did I not know this?

I'm withholding judgement on this one for the moment. Will Forte's MacGruber bits have been some of the only consistenly funny sketches on SNL for a while. Will it work at feature length? Mmm...

Monday, January 25, 2010


Dynamite's Green Hornet

I've raved before about Dynamite's various reinterpretations of classis pulp and radio characters, like the Lone Ranger and Zorro. Since it was announced that they would be tackling the Green Hornet next, my immediate responses were (1) "Damn, why can't I be writing that?!" and (2) "I can't wait to see it." There'll actually be two Green Hornet projects from Dynamite, as I understand it, a kind of "Year One" approach scripted and masterminded by Matt Wagner with character designs by John Cassaday, and a modern-day reinterpretation based on the screenplay for Kevin Smith's abandoned film version of a few years back, with character designs by Alex Ross.

Yesterday, as part of his ongoing "Pulp Sunday" series, Francesco Francavilla posted a teaser illo he's cooked up for the former, which was too good not to share.

And if you haven't yet seen Ross's redesign for the modern-day book, here's a glimpse.

Both of them promise to be good, pulpy fun (and worthy successors to Ron Fortier's Green Hornet from NOW Comics). Count me in.


Imperial Propaganda

Over on his blog, Cliff Chiang shares this fantastic recruitment poster, one of three he did for the new Star Wars Galaxy 5 trading card set.

About the approach, he had this to say:
This enlistment poster was actually based on an old war bonds poster. While using Nazi propaganda would’ve been appropriate, it was actually more engaging for me to try and create posters that cast the Empire as saviors of the galaxy, especially on the heels of the Death Star 9/11 short.


XKCD's "Children's Fantasy"

XKCD points out the downside for the kid heroes of all those fantastic adventures.

Sunday, January 24, 2010


Tips for Better Ideas

(via) I like this a lot. Directed, designed, and illustrated by Rory O’Sullivan for Langara College'sRethink College project, apparently. Lots of terrific advice, cleverly presented.

Friday, January 22, 2010



Over the New Years weekend, Georgia and her cousins John and Henry find a hole underneath a tree, which John insists is the home of a wizard. Georgia makes clear her stance on the existence of wizards.


Georgia, Up a Tree

This kid? This kid right here? LOVES climbing trees.

Georgia, Up a Tree
Originally uploaded by monkeybrainbooks


What Time Is It?

Soon.... Soon...

More glimpses of the forthcoming awesomeness (sadly not embeddable) can be found here.

Thursday, January 21, 2010


The Book Designs of Jim Tierney

I have a post on Super Punch to thank for pointing out the simply amazing work of Jim Tierney, an illustration student at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. Check out the following images, which were part of his senior thesis at school.

More great stuff at Tierney's site, and some interesting process insight and sketches at his blog. Publishers take note. Hire Tierney NOW, while you can still afford him.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


With One Magic Word...

I've been reading a fair amount of CC Beck Captain Marvel comics lately, and thinking a lot about what makes those old comics work so well. And what has made that character not work in just about every instance since, with isolated exceptions. Jeff Smith's Monster Society of Evil is about the closest that anyone's come in the last few decades, but even that doesn't quite work for me, as gorgeous as it is to look at.

I've flipped through the occasional issue of the new DC kids' title Billy Batson and the Power of Shazam, but they haven't really grabbed me. And then last night I saw this gem on Mike Norton's blog. I knew from his deviantArt page that he was taking over the art on the book, but I think this is the first issue for which he's done the cover, as well, the forthcoming issue #15.

Okay, that I like. I've always felt that the Marvel Family work best in a more iconic, more "cartoony" style, but without venturing too far into "goofy," and I think Norton's style here strikes a nice balance. I'll definitely be checking out the book once he takes over the art reins (with issue 13, I believe?)

In tangentially related news, I was surprised to find the following image on Amazon the other night, while searching around for something else entirely. It appears that the Justice League Unlimited toy line has done well enough that it has continued long after the show went off the air, and now has expanded to include characters who never even appeared on the show. Other DC characters, reimagined in the style Bruce Timm established for the JLU character designs. For example... the Marvel family:

I don't buy action figures, as a rule, but I'm sorely tempted to make an exception for these. It's a shame that the various attempts to get a Marvel Family cartoon off the ground in recent years have all failed.

And if you want to see how Captain Marvel could really work in animation, check out this opening from a recent episode of Batman: Brave and the Bold, which has emerged in the last year and change as the absolute best interpretation of the DC characters in years.


OK Go's "This Too Shall Pass"

I've been a fan of OK Go for a while, and have been meaning to check out their new album. Yesterday a post on Metafilter pointed out an interesting open letter from the band about the reasons why the new video from the album, "This Too Shall Pass," is not embeddable on YouTube. Well worth a look for anyone interested in how large corporations might go about monetizing "free" internet content.

Helpfully, Damian ends the open letter with the embed code for the video from Vimeo. So there.

And the song and video are dandy, too. Check it out.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


Final Season Of 'Lost' Promises To Make Fans More Annoying Than Ever

It's funny, because it's true.


Alex Ross' Super-types

For reasons I can't quite explain, I had an image in my head for most of the last week, and couldn't for the life of me remember where it was from--a series of small sketches by Alex Ross of various Superman-type characters. I've been thinking a lot about superheroes in general, lately, and in particular about books like Kurt Busiek's Astro City that use new versions of superhero archetypes rather than the more familiar corporate brands, and maybe that's what got me thinking about those Ross sketches. But by Saturday, when the image wouldn't leave me alone, I decided to hunt it down.

I'm already rereading KBAC (that's Astro City for the acronymically-disabled), so I knew it wasn't in the back-materials of any of the hardcover or trade collections there. I worked my way through the collections of Marvels, Kingdom Come, Earth-X, et al, and while I found loads of great stuff (and decided to finally sit down and read the whole "Universe-X" series from beginning to end, so on it goes onto the To Read pile), I didn't find the sketch. Likewise in Mythology, the collection of Ross's DC-specific art. Then I started working my way through various magazines and interviews, though I was beginning to lose hope.

Finally I struck gold in issue 223 of The Comics Journal, published in May 2000. This wasn't quite the image I was remembering, but damned if it wasn't pretty close. The following ran along the bottom of a two-page spread in the middle of the Ross interview.

The only explanation given for the sketches is on the following page, where they're described as "Costumed do-gooders galore. Note the inclusion of Chris Ware's God among so-called do-gooders." Not particularly helpful in answering why Ross did these sketches in the first place, but pretty much in keeping with the general tone of the editorial comments accompanying the interview, which seem to go to some length to justify to the TCJ readership why they'd be interviewing Ross in the first place.

As I said, though, this wasn't quite the image I was thinking of. What I was remembering was sketches of the heads of Superman-types. Then I remembered one more place I hadn't thought to look, and hit paydirt. It was in the Wizard's Alex Ross Millennium Edition Special (well, I think that's what it was titled, though from the type-treatment it's pretty hard to tell), published in 1999.

Better still, this one was accompanied by a quote from Ross explaining what the image was for.

The fact that the same characters are included in both the full-body and the headshot sketches seems to indicate that the former probably served the same purpose, helping Ross work out the details of Samaritan's costume.

And, because there's something wrong with me, here are the TCJ sketches reorganized in the order that Ross probably had them in originally, if the Wizard headshots are any indication.

All I can figure is that I'd filed that information away somewhere in my hindbrain, and in the process of rereading the first few years' worth of Kurt Busiek's Astro City the last couple of weeks, I sparked an association.

So what kind of Superman-type did Ross end up designing from scratch, after revisiting the hairstyles and costumes of a host of predecessors? Take a look for yourself.

Friday, January 15, 2010


Ten Years

Ten years ago today, I successfully tricked Allison Baker into marrying me. In the decade since, we've bought a couple of houses (and sold one), started a publishing company, each changed jobs once or twice, and created a human being.

(Photo by the lovely and talented Mike Fitelson)

I realized the other day that ten years is a quarter of my life, so far, and counting the three years we lived together before getting married, Allison and I have been together for a third of my life. It seems both longer than that and all-too-brief, at the same time.

Here's a dandy "trailer" for our wedding video, cut by director and screenwriter George Huang as a gift for our first anniversary. Watch it fast before Sony and/or Lucasfilms has it yanked down from YouTube for its unauthorized use of the music.

It's been a fantastic decade together, and I'm hoping for many more still to come.

(Photo by Ellen Datlow)

Thursday, January 14, 2010


Wes Anderson's stop-motion acceptance speech

(via) Wes Anderson's adaptation of Roald Dahl's The Fantastic Mr. Fox was one of my favorite movies of 2009, and a strong contender for the Oscar for Best Animated Feature. (And for a year that contained gems like Up and The Princess and the Frog, that's saying something.) And it's already started racking up awards, including the National Board of Review's "Special Filmmaking Achievement."

I think it's only fitting that the acceptance speech that Anderson sent to the NBR should be in the same medium of the film the award is recognizing, don't you?

If you haven't seen The Fantastic Mr. Fox yet, by all means do. And pick up the soundtrack, while you're at it, which has been on a continuous loop in our family car for the better part of the last month.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


Pogo's "Skynet Symphonic"

Pogo (aka Nick Bertke), whose "Upular" I linked to over the holidays, is back with another gem of remixing. Here's how he describes it on the original YouTube posting:
Comprising nothing but small sounds recorded from the James Cameron masterpiece 'Terminator 2: Judgement Day', 'Skynet Symphonic' is my tribute to one of the greatest action features of all time!

Each section is composed entirely of sounds from a major scene in the film. For example, the Terminator pounding on the fire escape door is used as a kick drum. Bones breaking play the role of a snare. Electrical disturbance acts as a crash cymbal.
And here's the video.


The First 3 Minutes of Futurama's "Rebirth"

(via) Want to see the first three minutes of "Rebirth," the first episode of the fifth season of Futurama? (Albeit in storyboard animated form?)

Monday, January 11, 2010


Massow Concept Cycle's NightShadow

A post on Super Punch this morning points out a motorcycle that any self-respecting costumed crimefighter would love to park in their garage (provided they had already decided to go with a jaguar-theme).

Built by Massow Concept Cycles, this cycle is referred to in the company's copy as "Jaguar: The Leaper," and "NightShadow." I mean, come on, that sounds like a superhero name already, right?

There's even a video of the bike's "maiden voyage" up on YouTube.

More great stuff, including a charging red bull cycle, at the Massow site.

Friday, January 08, 2010


Attack of the Clones Review Trailer

Towards the end of last year, film-maker Mike Stoklasa set the internet on fire with his hour-plus-long review of Star Wars: The Phantom Menace. An often hilarious, incredibly insightful analysis of a piece of poo that had a lot of interesting things to say about the craft of storytelling. Now he's at it again.

There's a nifty little interview with Stoklasa over at Heeb Magazine, which is well worth checking out. And if you were one of the one or two people who haven't watched his Phantom Menace review yet, what the heck are you waiting for?

Thursday, January 07, 2010


The Mighty Heroes

I've been thinking a lot about Bakshi's The Mighty Heroes lately, even before picking up the new DVD set of Mighty Mouse: The New Adventures. I see that there are several episodes posted to YouTube, so I may have to spend some time watching them sometime soon.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010


Tucker & Dale vs Evil

(via) Just watch it.


Third Grade Wishes

Over the holidays we visited my parents' house in Duncanville, and I started a long-planned project to start scanning in some old family photos with a new USB scanner I bought for the purpose. In the process of digging through cabinets to find photos, I happened upon something I'd completely forgotten existed.

This may have been a typical thing in a kid's life at one point, but I don't think I've seen one recently. It's a little spiral bound book, with a section for each of the grades of primary school, called a "Memory Book." My mother clearly updated the sections for the first couple of years, and by the third grade I'd taken over the annual duties myself. Opposite a profile page with name, age, weight, etc, there is a pouch for all sorts of ephimera. Report cards, ribbons, class pictures, etc.

Here's the profile page for the third grade. Note the sporty silver "pit crew" jacket. I had no interest in racing whatsoever, but loved the silver satiny jackets available then because they looked like something an astronaut would wear. I had many of these jackets over the years.

In the pouch for the third grade I found the following gem, which Allison has insisted I share with the world. This being the 70s, the teachers were clearly trying to get us to think a bit more globally, and to have a social consciousness of sorts. In this year-end assignment, we were asked to make three wishes, one for a friend, one for the world, and one for ourselves.

What sort of selfless wishes did I make for those around me?

I wish Brent was Starbuck and we could fly in Vipers and fight Cylons and work on the Galactaca.

I wish the word was a graet big BatlStar Galactaca.

I wish I was Apalo and I could work in the Galactaca and kill Cylons.
Lest anyone think that I came to this life of geekdom late, you now stand corrected. At least now, thirty-odd years later, I can spell "Battlestar," "Galactica," and "Apollo" correctly...

Monday, January 04, 2010


SF Crowsnest on Book of Secrets

Patrick Mahon has reviewed the forthcoming Book of Secrets for SF Crowsnest, and has some nice things to say about it.
This transformation of 'Book Of Secrets' from mainstream thriller to religious conspiracy story may have echoes of 'The Da Vinci Code'. However, the present book is much better written and takes itself far less seriously. 'Book Of Secrets' has good pace, believable characters and a fascinating plot. The interleaved short stories are brilliantly done. They are authentically written in the right style for each period and are entertaining reads in their own right. The novel's denouement, as Finch tries to stop the bad guys getting their hands on the 'Book Of Secrets', is both exciting and unexpected.



Monday Linkage

One more day of Christmas vacation left before Georgia goes back to school tomorrow, and I'm itching to get back to work. Today will be spent playing Uno and watching cartoons, but here are a few things that cropped up online in the last few days that I wanted to point out.

This page is powered by 

Blogger. Isn't yours?