I thought I’d mentioned this here, but turns out I completely forgot. Tomorrow, from 1-4PM on Saturday, August 27th, I’ll be doing a signing at Rogues Gallery in Round Rock. But I won’t be alone!
I’ll be signing alongside the stalwart Matthew Sturges and the debonaire Kristian Donaldson. That’s three, three, THREE Vertigo creators for the price of one! (Or, in other words, “free.”) Some come on by, why don’t you?
August 26th, 2011 | Category: Uncategorized | Comments are closed
This coming Friday, August 19th, I’ll be doing a store signing for the good peopel of Captain Blue Hen Comics in Newark, Delaware. Joining me is the lovely and talented Chrissie Zullo, the artist who’s made the covers of both Cinderella miniseries look so fantastic.
Hey, remember when I used to update my blog more than once every two or three months? Yeah, those were good times.
Seems like these days I only post something new here when I’m announcing that I’m going to be at some convention or store signing or something. Sheesh…
Speaking of which, have I mentioned that I’ll be at Baltimore Comic-Con, August 20th and 21st?
I did the Baltimore Comic-Con for the first time last year, and it immediately became one of my favorite conventions. I have every confidence that this year will be just as good. If you’re going to be there, come by and say howdy. And if you’re in the area and aren’t already planning to go, then why the heck not?
I’m doing signings on Saturday and Sunday at the BOOM! Studios booth from 1PM-2PM, and Saturday from 3PM-4PM I’ll be on the Legion of Super-Heroes panel with a bunch of guys who have way more reason to be up there than I do.
August 13th, 2011 | Category: Uncategorized | Comments are closed
I attend a fair number of comic conventions in any given year, but I have to say that HeroesCon is my absolute favorite. And it’s just a few days away! If you’re going to be there, come by and say howdy, why don’t you?
I’ll be set up at table AA-608 (right next to my collaborator on Starborn, Khary Randolph, as it happens!), and I’ll also be doing a panel on Saturday afternoon.
1:30 PM : Heroes Discussion Group #32—Cinderella-From Fabletown with Love Room 207BCD
Please schedule your weekend properly so you will have time to join writer Chris Roberson and cover artist, Charlotte’s own Chrissie Zullo as they discuss everyone’s favorite secret agent and shoe provocateur. At last year’s HeroesCon we discussed Fables: 1001 Nights of Snowfall. This will be the perfect follow-up.
Copies of the book will be available after the discusion for brief signing.
If I’m not at my table or at that panel, I’ll be in line at Starbucks, outside having a cigarette, or having a drink in the hotel bar, so come and try to find me there.
Many apologies for my long silence, everybody. It’s been… sheesh, two months since I last posted to my blog. Oy.
Well, I’ll try to be a bit more timely with the updates in future, and today I’ve got an update that’s especially timely. Tomorrow, May 7th, is Free Comic Book Day, when comic shops all over the place give out scads of new comics for free. Most of the free offerings are introductory issues, “jumping-on points” as they’re called. And there’s one point in particular that I hope you consider jumping on.
This summer sees the launch of a new 12 issue miniseries that represents a dream come true for me, Elric: The Balance Lost. As an ardent fan of the works of Michael Moorcock for the better part of three decades, the chance to add a tiny bit to the continuing story of the Eternal Champion and the Multiverse is, well, it’s a dream come true. And with art by Francesco Biagini and colors by Stephen Downer, the series is going to look amazing.
A 10-page prologue to Elric: The Balance Lost is one of BOOM! Studios offerings for Free Comic Book Day, so if you’re on the fence about picking up the series this summer, you can get the free prologue and try it on or size. Heck, you can even read the first few pages right now online and decide if you want to pick up the free thing tomorrow. What do you have to lose?!
And if you’re in the Austin area and want to get a free copy defaced by me, I’ll be signing at Austin Books & Comics from 10AM to 5PM. Come on by and say howdy, why don’t you?
I don’t think I’ve mentioned it here, but I’ll be in Seattle this weekend for the Emerald City Comic Convention. I went last year for the first time and had a BLAST, so I’m really looking forward to it.
If you’re going to the show and are interested in tracking me down for any reason (unless, you know, I owe you money or something), here’s where I can be found.
The Most Dangerous Island on Earth - North Sentinel Island
Throughout human history a typical theme has been the domination of more technologically advanced societies over “simpler” or “more primitive” ones. In fact in the past 500 years, European societies would come to dominate the world, spreading their culture, often through force of arms or outright genocide. More often than not, the meeting of Old World peoples with New World natives tended to end very badly for the natives. Many cultures were wiped out, many more assimilated or adapted their cultures with European culture. Today there are few places where people living have not in some way been touched by the modern world. One notable exception is North Sentinel Island, located in the Bay of Bengal.
Officially North Sentinel Island is territory of India, part of the Andaman Islands. In reality the people of North Sentinel Island are their own people, free from any known government or modern organization. Apparently, the Sentinelese are very much happy to keep it that way. Throughout their entire known history, the Sentinelese have been known to viciously fight against any trespass or incursion on their small island. Going back to ancient times the Indians called the island “Cannibal Island”, and told many tales of the dangerous and ruthless natives who inhabited it. Those tales were passed on to the ancient Greeks after the invasion of northern India by Alexander the Great, and thus the infamous legends of the island were mention by Ptolemy. Marco Polo recieved word of the island during his travels to China, writing about the islanders, “They are a most violent and cruel generation who seem to eat everybody they catch.”
Since then, every expedition to island has been met with extreme hostility, and as a result the island has been left untouched to this day. Throughout the 16th-18th centuries many an explorer or shipwrecked sailor met their end on the island at the hands of the Sentinelese. In 1867 a British merchant ship shipwrecked on the island, and its surviivg 110 man crew spent several days fighting off the islanders with guns and swords. Many were killed and wounded in the battle before rescue. This prompted an expedition of reprisal by the Royal Navy who landed marines on the island a short time later. Most of the Sentinelese had disappeared into hiding, knowing that they couldn’t fight a battle against such overwhelming force. In the end the British left in frustration with two elderly Sentinelese and four children.
Today the idea of angry natives attacking shipwrecked sailors or explorers might be something you’d only see in a Pirates of the Caribbean movie, however Sentinelese resistance to the outside world continued so that even in the 20th century people tended to steer clear of the island. In 1974 a film crew from National Geographic landed on the island in modern boats in an attempt to make contact with the islanders with peace offerings of a box of coconuts, a baby doll, and a live pig. The Sentinelese met the crew fully armed and ready for war. As a result, a the National Geographic director took an arrow to the knee, the pig was mutilated alive, and the crew was forced to bug out under a hail of arrows and spears.
In 1981 the cargo ship Primrose shipwrecked on the island, and the Sentinelese immediately surrounded the ship, shooting at the crew with bows and several times attempting to board the ship. The crew not only radioed for help, but asked for an urgent airdrop of firearms so they could defend themselves. The drop was delayed by weather but the crew were able to fend off the attacks with a pistol, firefighting axes, and flare guns. They were rescued after a week long siege. The Sentinelese dismantled much of the ship and used the scrap iron for arrow and spearheads. It’s remaining hull can still be seen from google earth.
The only known man to peacefully visit the island was an anthropologist named Trilokinath Prandit in 1991, who several times landed on the island with gifts which he left upon the beach. When he did meet the natives they shot arrows at him and waved their genitals at him. However at one point he was able to make peaceful contact with some of the natives. However as as he left the island, the natives had a change of heart and began shooting arrows at him once more, he hasn’t been back since.
Today North Sentinelese Island is protected by the Indian Government and it is illegal to land there. The reasons for this are to keep the Sentinelese culture intact, and prevent the spread of disease from the island. Note that in history native peoples often suffered deadly diseases after making contact with newcomers. Another reason for creating a 3 mile exclusionary zone around the island is because in 2006 two drunk fisherman landed on the island and were murdered. Thus the Indian Government set up the contact ban to protect outsiders from the Sentinelese as much as protecting the Sentinelese from the outside world. In 2004 an Indian Coast Guard helicopter flew over the island to see if the Setinelese were OK after the 2004 Indian Ocean Earthquake, and to offer help if needed. The helicopter found that the Sentinelese were not only OK after the tsunami, but didn’t want anything any aid at all as they fired arrows at the helicopter.
Today we still no nothing about the language, culture, and ethnicity of the Sentinelese Islanders. The only pictures we have of them are from the occasional illegal drone which buzzes over the island, and is typically met with a hail of arrows. It seems that despite seeing things such as ships, helicopters, and robotic drones, the Sentinelese don’t want fuck all to do with the modern world.
Debbie Reynolds tells the story about how Fred Astaire encouraged her to keep working hard on the dance routines for Singin’ in the Rain. (x)
Okay, we need to talk about this because I haven’t heard near enough about what a freakin’ boss Debbie Reynolds was on Singin in the Rain. Because that was the first dance role she’d had EVER. She had gymnastics training so she knew how to move her body, but she hadn’t danced before, and here she was thrown right into the deep end with Gene Kelly and Donald O’Connor. Kelly in particular was a huge asshole to her and gave her a lot of crap because she wasn’t performing to his standards, even though she was putting on tap shoes for the first time and he was Gene Fucking Kelly. Hence the nervous breakdown under the piano and encouragement from Fred Astaire. (Kelly, to his credit, owned up to the assholeness after the fact and said he was surprised Reynolds was willing to put up with him afterwards.)
And she DID IT. She didn’t give up busted her ass and danced until her feet bled (literally, she had to not be carried off the set after filming “Good Morning”) and she held her own alongside two of the best dancers in Hollywood then or ever and she smiled through what by all accounts was one of the most physically demanding movie musicals ever. She worked through her self-doubts and met the challenge and made history.
Debbie Reynolds. Carrie Fisher. The badass is strong in their family. Never forget it.
Last three “elite cosmopolitan liberal” presidents:
-From Georgia, *actual* peanut farmer
-Raised in Arkansas, poor, by an abusive stepfather
-Raised by single mom and grandparents in Kansas/Hawaii
Last four “everyman, white-working-class conservative” presidents:
-Hollywood actor from IL
-Son of borderline-royal Massachusetts family with banker/politician patriarch
-Literally the previous guy’s son
-NY millionaire at birth and later reality show star who probably owns a bunch of ponies but won’t talk about it or tell us their names
2017 note: Hey, guys. With Black History Month just around the corner, I wanted to repost this so that teachers have a chance to print the (FREE) poster before February so that it can be used as a classroom resource if anyone feels like it might be worthwhile to have on hand. Let your teacher pals know!
2016 edit: a lot of teachers and librarians asked if there was a poster for this that they could buy. Nope! This post was made as an educational aid and teachers oughtn’t have to pay anything to get it in their classroom. So here’s a link to download the poster’s print file to print it yourself: https://gumroad.com/l/Exvau I did include the series in my recent art book 555 Character Drawings, so if you want it in a book with a lot of other stuff, that’s available, too. http://crogan.bigcartel.com/product/555-character-drawings-preorders
My favorite parts of history (as might be obvious from my choice of subject matter when making books) are the ones that fall into easily-categorized genres, genres with associated visual iconographies. This is the sort of stuff I loved as a kid: pirates, knights, cowboys, explorers, romans and Egyptians and flying aces. Stuff you could find featured in a bag of toys or a generic costume.
For Black History Month, I thought I might visit some of these adventure-leaning periods and pick a few historic black people from those eras to draw, just for fun. If you’re doing a project or report in school this month, you could do worse than to tackle one of these toughies. Feel free to share some of these with youngsters that you know. And call them youngsters, they LOVE that.