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Author: Gregg

X-BABIES #3

XB3_CoverX-BABIES #3 is on sale today at better comic shops everywhere.

It’s an issue I’m really proud of and happy with, chock-a-block with all kinds of good comic booky stuff. And the last five pages…oh man…I only hope people dig it as I much as I do.

So check out X-BABIES #3, “Chase, Fight, Snikt!” in comic shops TODAY!

*Special bonus game: in this issue, due to a deadline crunch, I stepped in the help Jacob on the art side by working up layouts for several pages in this issue. Can you tell which six pages I had a hand in, visually?

From the Reject Pile: DEADPOOL/SPICE GIRLS “World Tour”

Deadpool, the Merc with a Mouth, Marvel Comics’ resident maniac gun-for-hire is all the rage these days. But this wasn’t always the case. 11 years ago last month, Marvel had a big Deadpool push with “Deadpool Month”, October 1998, when Marvel put out a series of Deadpool related one-shots and such in addition to his monthly title.

Now coveted on the back issue market as collectors’ items, books like Encyclopedia Deadpoolica, Baby’s First Deadpool Book, and Deadpool Team-Up Starring Widdle Wade all came out that month.

Being in the offices at the time I was aware of the upcoming event and pitched my own idea for a one-shot: DEADPOOL/SPICE GIRLS: WORLD TOUR.

The premise was simple: Deadpool meets The Spice Girls, who, at the time, were HUGE. The movie Spice World was released earlier that year and yeah, they were a big deal. And it seemed to me a perfect pairing.

The story was a simple one: Deadpool, a mercenary, gets hired to off the Spice Girls. He takes the job but when he’s finally got the girls in his sniper scope he’s taken by Scary Spice and instantly falls deeply in love. He cannot kill the woman of his dreams…his soul mate… He confesses his love to Scary Spice and the plot to kill them is revealed, leading to Deadpool and the Spice Girls teaming up to flip the game and take out those who hired Deadpool in the first place. I wrote up the pitch, worked up a piece of art, and, suffice to say, it’s now appearing on my site under the “From the Reject Pile” heading.

I’d be lying if I said I actually thought it would fly (though, courtesy of my intern at the time, Dennis, I do have the address for Spice Girls Limited, who I was prepared to contact should rights need negotiating).

But what could have been has long since passed and all that left is that single piece of pitch art, in pencil, appearing here for the very first (and really, only) time. So, from 1998, please enjoy:

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Don’t it just make you want to zigazig ah?

I just keep talking…

I’m still going on and on about X-Babies out there. And in the event that you don’t regularly do web searches of my name, I’ve gathered a few here so as to share.

First up, an interview on the appropriately named site, Lots of Interviews.

Next, I had a brief chat with Rachelle up in Nova Scotia from the always pleasant and comics-positive blog Living Between Wednesdays.

Thirdly, the audio of my appearance on Comic Book Club (along with Jacob Chabot) is available on iTunes or here, should you care to give that a listen (though for those not familiar with comics and without the visual, it could be…challenging).

Jesse Thorn over at Maximum Fun (PRI’s The Sound of Young America and a series of podcasts) kindly posted the reference I dropped to his “Jordan, Jesse, Go!” podcast in X-Babies #2.

And finally, a couple of video interviews, both from the weekend spent at Acme Comics in Greensboro last month. The first of these is an interview with Dylan O’Connor, a very savvy interviewer despite his age:

And here’s my post-show, wrap-up interview with Julie, who helped out at the event and brought us delicious cookies and brownies.

I can’t explain the color changes to my flesh in the two videos, though it might have something to do with the different cameras used. I can explain, however, my seeming ignoring of the camera in the second video, as I was working on the last sketches of the night and people were waiting on us to get dinner.

Oh, and that fella sitting to my left in the video, that’s Jacob Chabot, artist on X-Babies.

And if all that weren’t enough: G-MAN: CAPE CRISIS #4 is on sale today, 11/17. The penultimate issue (and it’s got not only three more pages of PIX: TEENAGE AMERICAN FAIRY, but an all-new SAFARI JUNIOR HIGH SCHOOL comic in there too). It’s a good one!

X-Babies #2 On Sale Tomorrow.

X-BABIES #2 (of 4) hits comic book shops tomorrow, 11/11/09. It’s a fun issue, chock-full or superhero action, X-Babies bickering, hyper-subtle references to podcasts I listen to, and some characters not seen in Marvel Comics’ history in over 25 years. Check it out!

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Also, I just saw Jacob’s inks for the last page of issue 3 and let me just say, for the record: it’s amazing. More on that in a month, you know, when I can talk about with without spoilers.

Acme Comics Weekend

This past weekend, 10/23-10/25, myself and a handful of other comics creators (Chris Giarrusso, Jacob Chabot, Brian Smith, Art Balthazar, Ian Flynn and Michael Watkins) were the guests of Acme Comics in Greensboro, NC. We were flown in, put up, fed and essentially made to feel like rock stars and all we had to do was sit around and draw and sign comic books. And boy did we ever draw. Holy cow. There were well over 200 sketches done by all of us in total. The crew at Acme scanned as many as they could and posted them on their site.

By my count, based on what’s on their site and what I can remember that wasn’t scanned, clocked in with about 38 sketches. I encourage you to check out the scans of everyone’s sketches here (I encourage you to check out Brian “Smitty” Smith’s takes on E.T. and “The Star Wars”), but for simplicity sake, here are 32 of the sketches I did:

X-BABIES #1 Reviews: “This is not a serious comic…”

So X-BABIES #1 has been out for just over a week and reviews have popped up here and there. Some have been formal reviews, others discussions on newsgroups.

Reviews tend to range from the “this is fun” to “what’s the point of this?”. But overall reviews have been positive, mostly focusing on Jacob’s fantastic art and its uncanny cuteness. Phrases like “oh, and there’s a story too” were usually what followed a thorough heaping of praise upon Jacob (which he deserves). The occasional negative seemed more to question the motivations or reasons for the series less than the content. Hopefully they’ll stick around for the next three issues to find out. Though the other common negative was the cover price of $3.99, to which I cannot disagree. That four dollar price tag tightens my jaw, too.

So to that end, I thank each and every person who bought the first issue and thank in advance anyone who buys the next three.

But if you’re bored and want to follow along, here are links to all kinds of reviews:

Hanley’s Signing: 10/7/2009

For the release of X-BABIES #1, I was invited, along with artist Jacob Chabot, to appear at Jim Hanley’s Universe at their Manahttan location. The good news was we had a great time, met a lot of people interested in X-Babies, did a lot of drawing, and sold the store out of all their copies of X-BABIES #1.

The bad news: they sold out of X-BABIES #1 and some folks weren’t able to get copies. BUT, they might have more copies this Tuesday, the 13th, so not all is lost.

For those of you who couldn’t make it, here are some photos from the event (thanks to Mike for manning the camera):

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Signs outside let passers by know the who and the what.

X-BABIES #1: Official Release Day!

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And so, after many months of preamble and build-up, previews and chatter, X-BABIES #1, my Marvel Comics writing debut, is finally available at comic shops everywhere…and that’s pretty cool.

You’d think having drawn Marvel Comics already…and having written and drawn SpongeBob comics…and having written and drawn my own comics, it shouldn’t be such a big deal. But it’s a different thing now as I’ve not drawn anything this time. I’m the writer, a credit I’ve never really had. Or rather, I’ve never had anything published that I wrote but didn’t draw myself.

It’s generally accepted that in the already difficult task of “breaking in to comics”, it’s harder to do so as writer than as an artist. An editor can assess the skills of an artist, be it pencils, inks, colors, even lettering, very quickly by looking at it. But writing…writing requires more time and attention from an editor, time and attention editors aren’t always able or willing to give. As an assistant editor at Marvel I sometimes didn’t have a chance to read plots and scripts for books I was working on, let alone submissions. Add to that that one writer can write several comics at once, where as typically an artist can work on one book at a time, it means there are fewer opportunities for new writers to find a slot.

So to have somehow gotten to the point now where a comic I’ve written is being released, today and for the next four months, it’s pretty cool. On top of that, for this comic to be drawn by Jacob Chabot, a good friend whose talents as a cartoonist and storyteller are such that I don’t need to sweat it, that’s even cooler. And on top of that…the story we’re telling and the characters we’re using, some of whom haven’t been used or even seen in over 20 years…again, that’s wicked cool.

I guess at this point I can only hope that readers think the comic…the story, the art, the dialogue…that that’s all as cool as we tried to make it.

In the coming days I’ll post links to whatever reviews might pop up wherever they may pop up, be they positive or negative. Hopefully they’ll be positive.

And if you’ve picked up the book and found your way to this site, feel free to leave comments; I dig feedback.

P.S. – If you’re in NY, I’ll be at Jim Hanley’s Universe (4 West 33rd Street)  from 6pm to 8pm tonight, 10/7.

X-BABIES: 5 Page Preview

So October is here, which means X-BABIES #1, long discussed on this news feed, arrives…in just 3 days! Very exciting.

Meanwhile, Marvel Comics has released a six page preview of said comic book, so if you want to read the first six pages of X-BABIES #1 before you can get the whole thing on Wednesday, 10/7, click HERE.