Friday, December 30, 2011

Moon Prince Page 93: The Bat-man Speaks!

This week, we hear from the bat-man. But what are we hearing???

Click on the image to read the whole page.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Rough Pearl Page 7

This week, Adam hates on Jersey.

Click on the image to read the whole page.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Moon Prince Page 92: Angry Pirates!

This week: those are some mad pirates!

Click on the image to see the whole page

- and Merry Christmas from Kevin, Melissa, Max and Molly!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Babyheads for Christmas!

Happy Holidays! Just in case you haven't been following things over at;

It's Babyheads Tuesday! The first of two pre-Christmas Babyheads cartoons! What a way to celebrate the holidays! Another Babyheads is coming on Thursday!
What d'ya say to that, fellas?

Monday, December 19, 2011

Rough Pearl Page 6

This week: Adam is self-obsessed.

Click on the image to read the whole page.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

My Ugly Thumbnails

Many cartoonists create beautiful little pages of preparatory drawings for their comics called "thumbnail" pages. My friend Bishakh Som, who is a wonderful cartoonist (you can see his work here) posted some of his thumbnail pages on Facebook last week that were just gorgeous, and suggested to me that I post some for The Moon Prince.

I'm sort of torn about this, because my thumbnail pages are very loose and scribbly. I use them to write the dialogue and plan the sequence, design and layout of the drawings, but the drawings themselves sure aren't much to look at. On the other hand, I guess it's sort of fun to see to see the process that goes into making comics like these, and I like to give visitors to this site something to look at while they're waiting for new pages of comics (stay tuned for more piracy and warfare on the Moon this Friday!).

So, without further ado, here are some of my ugly thumbnails, followed by the finished black and white drawings for the page they're from and the final colored page, with all the water and spooky fog. 

Monday, December 12, 2011

Friday, December 9, 2011

Moon Prince Page 90: Kitko's Revenge!

This week: Kitiko don't play like that!

Click on the image to see the whole page.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Rough Pearl Page 4: Welcome to My Lair!

Here's the latest rough and scribbly page of my Fantastic Life sequel. This week, Adam and a pretty young student are alone in his office.

Click on the image to see the whole page.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Rough Pearl Page 3

This week, Adam gets turned-on.

Click on the image to see the whole page.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Rough Pearl page 2

Here's the second not-yet-inked-or-colored page from my new story, The Rough Pearl.

Click on the image to see the whole page.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Moon Prince Page 87: Where There's Smoke...

Since we've announced that pood will be ceasing publication, I'm going to stop posting the Moon Prince updates on this blog after today. If you've been following it here, please drop by to keep up with the story (there's an RSS feed you can subscribe to there if you like).


This week, ALIENS! No kidding!!!

Click on the image to see the whole page.

Friday, November 11, 2011

That Day is Done

I don't know why this post is suddenly so hard to write. I've been writing it in my head for a couple of months now, ever since it became clear that there wasn't going to be a pood #5.  Yet suddenly I find I'm a bit overcome, and the words that have floated around my head as I made the  four hour drive week-after-week from my home in upstate NY to my job in Long Island escape me now.

There are so many mixed emotions. I realize now that I'd invested a good deal more of my heart than I'd thought-well, pood was always a labor of love, I mean, it's never about money in this game, is it? But that the loss of it might hit me this hard is not something I was prepared for. Deb and I have lost a lot these past few months, the flood in September took away her store, and so many other things; one would think the loss of pood, in the scope of things, wouldn't be quite so difficult. But...

I'm not a publisher. I'm an artist. and pood was an art project. The difference -obviously, is that artists aren't business people. I've never written up a business plan in my life, it's always been on a wing and a prayer-with just enough money to produce the thing, and no more. From an artist's point of view-that's enough. To me-the format was the inspiration; newsprint, man! I love the stuff! And I love great art that comes cheaply--found in the most innocuous places; 12 cents for a masterwork, right? Well, pood was that-and more---it was about the page; the single, canvas scale page-in the tradition of the great comic strips of that Golden Era long gone- there's still no better format than that great, wonderful page.What can we do with that format?  Where can we go with all this space?
Well, the results are there. Four issues.  The idea made manifest. And what's great about comics,the "comics world" as it were, is that you can make that happen. Anyone with the idea and a couple of bucks can go out there and make a comic book, can put their vision out in the world, right up there on the comics shop shelves with the books and characters that you've grown up with and dreamed about your entire life.

Of course, in the "marketplace of ideas"-- the thing isn't enough. "....Build it and they will come...." Well, only in the movies. Advice to those just entering the game, put three times as much dough into promotion as you do the book--and bring on somebody to do PR who isn't embarrassed by the process and has no qualms about shamelessly peppering all the news outlets with info, endlessly. I could only do so much before I began to feel ashamed for being so rude. It's just not in me. And it's necessary- if you're gonna survive.
That was the dream- to create a self-sustaining vehicle for continuous exploration and experimentation, a place for comics of all kinds and comic creators of all stripes--that would entertain as much as it played around with form. In many ways, like the Sunday funnies in the first few decades of the 20th century.  But---in the 21st century---the vehicle wasn't self-sustaining.

I suppose one might be tempted to draw all kinds of conclusions from the end of pood, regarding alternative comics and the state of the market,unique formats, the retail business, etc.etc.  But for now, that's for others to do if they wish. Like I said, I'm not a business person. So....if I ever publish a paper comic book again, will I take these lessons to heart before I send the money to the printer?

I have to laugh. Are you kidding? What am I in this for? For the buzz, man! The buzz of a good idea, an interesting formal play-a twist on an old format! Look at the stuff I've done the past few years, "Monsters", "fandancer","pood" not a  viable  format among them! Retailers hate that shit! But artists love it.  (I'll never forget the reaction to "fandancer" from one owner at a very famous comic shop--famous for their support of alternative comics---"oh christ, we hate oversize". )

Clearly, the stuff that motivates me is antithetical to good comics business! So where do ya go from there? Well, you probably don't print more comics--at least not for distribution to comics shops. Maybe mini-comics-or hand made stuff. I don't know--somehow I've never been torqued by the mini-comics thing. I'm a little guy, but I like my comics BIG! Napoleon thing, I guess. And I don't find enough variation to play with at Kinko's or POD. And when I've tried to be conventional("Nice Work") well, let's just say that I chafe at the restrictions after awhile and find my attention diverted elsewhere. At the moment, I'm all consumed by this damn website. And trying to produce enough content, in enough variety, to make it an I'm enjoying the simple, repetitive nature of the webcomic strip. As much as I love comic books, maybe more, I love comic strips-(pood, again!)-and it was a dream as a kid to do a comic strip. "Babyheads" seems very conventional in format, but from an artist's POV the process of writing in short bursts has a mantra-like characteristic that's very interesting ,almost like minimalist music, in the way one note grows out of the last note, etc. So, "Babyheads"is not only a challenge, in many ways,  but it continues a play with form that's essential to keep my interest active. As far as my future is concerned, I think it will-- for a time anyway--- revolve around more than print. That's the world we live in.

Reading the responses from the "pood artists" to my "farewell pood" letter  of last night has been a  humbling, emotional and joyful experience. The pood artists were hand-picked by Kevin, Alex and myself to be a part of this project, and each and every one of them did it for the love of art and newsprint and the challenge of the big page. To compete with Herriman, Crane, Foster and Raymond! That was enough for them-not a single one of them asked about money, not a single one did it for pay-other than copies. It has been an honor to work with each and every one of them-these are among the best comics artists in the field today--and they worked from their hearts and it shows. Pood was theirs as much as mine-and its because of them it is such an enjoyable package to behold.

I've said this privately many times, and I'm proud to say it publicly now. The best part of pood was working with Kevin Mutch and Alex Rader. They are two of the smartest, nicest guys you'd ever want to meet, and I feel blessed to have become  partners and friends with them both. They are the best, and I've enjoyed every minute of our collaboration. We're still buds,  but I'll use the opportunity to wish them the best of luck, and love. (read "The Moon Prince"!)

This morning was hard. After reading some of the kind and thoughtful replies to last night's letter, and then Skyping from work to my wife  back home, I found myself involuntarily breaking down. Crazy, huh? It's just comics. But that's the point--there's no "just" about it.

Moon Prince Page 86: A Solemn Moment

This week, Mad Billy is laid to rest.

Click on the image to see the whole page.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Fantastic Life in Diamond Previews This Week

My graphic novel Fantastic Life (which won a Xeric Award and was included in The Best American Comics 2011) is in the November 11 issue of Diamond Distribution's Previews catalog, so if you'd like to see it in your comic shop now's the time!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Moon Prince Page 85: Ten or Fifteen Small Steps

This week: Ten or fifteen small steps for a boy, one giant leap if he doesn't use the ladder!

Click on the image to see the whole page.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Moon Prince Page 84: A Sad Realization.

This week, a bit of an emotional roller coaster.

Click on the image to see the whole page.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Moon Prince Page 83: Aughhh! The MOON!

This week, Max and Molly are in dire peril! Still!

Click on the image to see the whole page.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Friday, October 7, 2011

Moon Prince Page 81: Startling Revelations from a couple of Slippery Characters

This week, the Inquisitor and the Captain of the Guard put two and two together.

Click on the image to see the whole page.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Friday, September 23, 2011

Moon Prince Page 79: Dramatic New Evidence

This week, the queen is taken quite aback!

Click on the image to see the whole page.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Moon Prince Page 78: Her Majesty the Queen.

This week: we attend the Royal Court. Dress appropriately and behave yourselves!

(Click on the image to see the whole page)

Friday, September 9, 2011

Moon Prince Page 77: AAAAAAAAHHHHHHHH!!!!

This week, things start to get very extraterrestrial.

Click on the image to see the whole page.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Moon Prince Page 76: TIK!!!

This week, things take a turn for the even worse!

Click on the image to see the whole page.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Fantastic Life Review on TCJ

Sean T. Collins gave my graphic novel Fantastic Life a very positive review yesterday on The Comics Journal. The review is here.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Moon Prince Page 74: What's that Beeping???

This week, Max and Molly get something else to worry about! Those poor kids!

Click on the image to see the whole page.

Friday, August 12, 2011

moon Prince Page 73: A Shocking Discovery!

This week, certain things start to add up.

Click on the image to see the whole page.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Moon Prince Page 72: the Casimir batteries

This week, lots of intricate drawings of mechanical stuff that took forever to draw.

Click on the image to see the whole page.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Rugg's "Rampage"!

"Rampage!" in progress(with assistant!)
OK--if this in-progress photo of Jim Rugg's knock-out double-page centerfold spread for the upcoming pood no.4 doesn't knock your socks off then call a doctor! Get somebody to check your pulse--because, brother you must be gone, GONE from this world! I say-Cold! cold as a stone!
Pood no.4 in July Previews! JUL110903 F POOD #4(MR).)  Featuring Jim Rugg's 2-page centerfold MASTERPIECE--"RAMPAGE"!  CALL YOUR RETAILER! ORDER TODAY--before they're all gone!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Fantastic Life Arrived

42 big heavy boxes of Fantastic Life arrived today from the printer in Quebec while I was at work, so my stalwart wife had to load 'em into the basement (see below) with the help of some chivalrous neighborhood boys.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Friday, July 15, 2011

Moon Prince Page 69: What they were up to....

Click the picture to see the whole page.

By the way, I think I drew that guy in the purple shirt to look a bit like Joe Lieberman.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Pood no.4: the un-DC!

Tired of all the noise about DC's re-launch and the machinations of multi-million dollar media empires? Looking for an indie-alt alternative to
endless re-boots of
corporate media properties?
 Look no further, POOD is the answer!
Pood no. 4 is definitely not DC and definitely not part of the relaunch of 52 different magazines in September--
but it is in the July Previews!
(page 246 under the BIG IF COMICS imprint, order code: JUL110903 F POOD #4(MR).)

Pood is not audience -tested, created by committee comics, it is not part of a grand strategy to dominate all media, it will not generate blockbuster hollywood movies, video-games or multi-media tie-ins; pood will not be licensed to produce pood products or pood merchandise-pood toothpaste or pood soap or pood beach towels--but-----it is some of the most exciting independent creators around doing what they do best--COMICS--on a BIG Canvas!
SO--if you just want comics, big comics, newspaper comics, BIG-like they were when the Sunday comics were great; if you want to support challenging, entertaining alternatives to the industrialized product of  the major corporations, then we offer you pood no.4--comics from the heart, comics that need to be!

here are some details:

Pood no.4 has a number exciting new faces added to the mix!
For example:
the esteemed Eisner -winner Nick Abadzis,  
"Henry and Glenn Forever"'s Tom Neely
and most recently, the dynamic Avi Spivak.

Eisner nominee Jim Rugg has something in special in mind for pood no.4.--special enough that he's got the entire centerfold to work it out on!
and -pood 4 continues to feature the work of some of comicdom's brightest lights!
creators such as:
Hans Rickheit
Andres Vera Martinez
Ines Estrada
Tobias Tak
J.T. Dockery
Adam McGovern
Paolo Leandri
Kevin Mutch
Geoff Grogan

and-- an additional treat:  The legendary Mr. JOE STATON--he of the beloved E-Man, Scooby-Doo, Green Lantern and now one half of the heralded team in charge of revitalizing the legendary-DICK TRACY--- will be joining the pood crew for issue no. 4 of the world's biggest comics newspaper!

Pood no.  4 can be ordered in the July issue of Previews; page 246 under the BIG IF COMICS imprint,
order code: JUL110903 F POOD #4(MR).
July's Previews is available at your local comic shop now!!