Don’t Run Over My (Stupid) Friends!

October 8, 2013 § Leave a comment

Dear Readers, if you are perchance planning on driving in New York City this weekend (Oct 11th through Oct 13th), please be aware that possibly thousands of skateboarders will be descending on New York City for Broadway Bomb 2013, where skateboards from all over the world come to NYC for an unsanctioned push-race down Broadway.  Here’s a small taste of the mayhem you can expect this weekend:

For skaters, please remember, you could die.  (Especially if you bump into me).  For those driving in the city, please don’t kill my (stupid) friends who are participating.

With New York Comic Con also this weekend,  we could see some strange gang war between cosplayers and skaters – or, more likely, some cosplayers on boards.

Yeah. Like that guy.

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How to Draw Comics

October 7, 2013 § 1 Comment

I’ve read a couple books about how to make comics, and I’ve got a couple books up on ComiXology;  but if you think I’m qualified to tell you how to draw comics, you’ve got the wrong guy.   Instead, I’d like to point you to a great, concise lesson on how to draw comics from the genius team of Stan Lee and Steve Ditko.

Included as a three-page gag in The Amazing Spider-Man Annual #1, I wish I’d found “How Stan Lee and Steve Ditko Create Spider-Man!” years ago.  (Of course, I never would’ve been able to afford to The Amazing Spider-Man Annual #1 until it was listed on ComiXology).  It’s very tongue-in-cheek and fun in a juvenile way, but also a very informative behind-the-scenes.  You can see all three pages on Comic Book Collectors Club, but, as with nearly any Ditko comic, reading the actual issue is a master class in comic book language.

(If you want to read more on how to draw/make comics, my favorite is still Will Eisner’s Comics and Sequential Art).

What I’m Reading: Avengers: Endless Wartime

October 3, 2013 § Leave a comment

If Avengers: Endless Wartime had been written by any other comics writer, I would not have been disappointed. We expect over-the-top characters and ideas from Warren Ellis, but instead we got what amounts to an Avengers story arc in hardcover form.

Basic plot:  Captain America leads the Avengers in a fight against tech-monsters.  Ellis has had science fiction ideas just as good or better than this in the monthly issues of Secret Avengers, but his political statements about was and warfare are a little more thorough than we’d find in most of his floppies. But thorough doesn’t equate sophisticated. He simply seems to be saying (in Hulk-speak) “WAR BAD, BUT IT NOT STOP.  GOOD GUYS TRY TO MAKE BETTER.”

The art was also a turn-off for me.  Again, it’s not that it was bad, but I wanted it to be more.  The layouts are pretty unimaginative, and the illustrations aren’t very expressive.  They get the job done, and that’s about it.

All in all, this isn’t a bad book, but it’s not a great book.  That wouldn’t be a valid criticism were the creators not some of the very best in the world.  That said, Avengers: Endless Wartime is ideal for the casual comics reader, and that may be the best reason for it to exist.  It features character you know from the movies, the art and ideas are not intimidating, and the story exists independent of Marvel’s main continuity.

So for someone unfamiliar with comics and Marvel continuity, Endless Wartime is actually a great book.  With this title being the first in a planned series of original graphic novels from Marvel, I think we can see what they plan for the rest of them.

MetaMorphosis on Comixverse!

October 1, 2013 § Leave a comment

Comic critic Zedric Dimalanta (whom I do not know) has included MetaMorphosis in a critical piece on Comixverse!

Manalo brings a sober dose of contemporary personal truth to MetaMorphosis that elevates the work from a basic homage and cuts through the surrealism of the protagonist, US Army veteran Gregor Samsa, waking up one day as a zombie, driven to feed on the flesh of the living…

It’s a good piece of criticism, especially if you take zombies seriously (and who doesn’t after The Walking Dead?) and I’m not just saying that because he mentions MetaMorphosis.  I’m really humbled that my rough-hewn comic should be given such thoughtful attention.

Zedric, if you’re reading this, thank you!  Please contact me through my “about” page, and I’ll send you the next two issues.

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