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X-BABIES Press Round-Up!

With the announcement of the X-BABIES mini-series coming out October of this year, there was a flurry of press releases and interviews on a number of sites. For easy access, here’s a rundown, complete with links, so you can read a bit more about it and see the way my name has been misspelled (sometimes in the body of the same article).

First up, there’s this piece from Marvel.com, where my name was only misspelled once.

Next, here’s a bit from the Robot 6 blog, short and sweet with a link to the marvel.com piece above.

Newsarama.com posted an interview I did with them. They only got the spelling of my name wrong in the headline.

The article at comicbookresources.com attributed one of my collaborator, Jacob Chabot’s quotes, to me (the one about having read EXCALIBUR: MOJO MAHEM a million times).

Here’s a Q&A up at ign.com…who somehow credit Jacob and I for works we’ve never done (Deathlok for me and 2000AD for Jacob – never happened).

My friends Rob and Craig hipped me to this piece at io9.com, which also reports off the marvel.com release.

Someone even blogged about it at their blog, Full.Body.Transplant.

And here’s a site, superpouvoir.com, translated from French, talking about it (they don’t seem to excited…and apparently Jacob Chabot translates to Jacob Chub, which made me chuckle).

And here are some folks on a newsgroup talking about it, not all of it in glowing terms.

So that’s a whole lot of X-BABIES stuff right there. Soon, I might even talk about some of the other stuff I’m working on…

X-BABIES Announced!

Just back from Heroes Con in Charlotte, NC – a great show to be sure – where finally, the project I mentioned a while back was officially announced.

So now it can be told: Starting in October I will be writing a 4-issue mini-series for Marvel Comics starring the X-Babies.

(for the uninitiated, the X-Babies are kiddie clones of the X-Men who live on a world where (a) virtually everything is a TV show and (b) the X-Babies are the top rated program)

Drawing this series will be the super-talented Jacob Chabot, who, if you’ve been reading, know was with me in our effort to pitch the Marvel Animals/Spider-Ham story that didn’t fly.

All of that said, there are a few articles popping up on various comics news sites…at some point I’ll post a series of links for easy access.

That and a few more updates to come. Lot’s going on these days…

x-babies_lineup

Comics Chatter

RE: COMICS!, a column/conversation about comics with Stephen Mayer over at Acme Comics in Greensboro, NC, is up and rolling, for those who care to read my thoughts on, well, comics. So far there’s been an intro column, a discussion of comics’ prices, and this week, talk of decompressed storytelling. If you’re interested in comics, my blathering, or some combination of both, check ’em out.

With Memorial Day behind us, for all intents and purposes, summer has begun. This means summer conventions, of which there are many. I will be at Heroes Convention in Charlotte, NC from June 19-21 and Comic-Con International in San Diego, CA from July 22-26. I’ll post details as to where I’ll be specifically when I know.

And just following up on some earlier bits and pieces:

The aforementioned project with Marvel Comics is moving along. It looks like we’re shooting for an October release, but more importantly, we’re looking at this being “officially announced” in the next two months…possibly even in Charlotte at HeroesCon (see above). Once that happens we’ll be able to talk about it more openly.

And finally, a recommendation: G-MAN: LEARNING TO FLY is a new collection of the creator-owned work of friend and fellow cartoonist Chris Giarrusso.

gmanltfcvr

It just came out last week and it’s great, funny, and fun for all-ages. You can get it at your local comics shop (if they don’t have it, ask them to order copies), Amazon, or you can save a few bucks here. Either way, check it out. It’ll be a nice warm up for his new mini-series coming later this summer (more on that another time as yes, I might be connected in some capacity).

Dr. Kitchenstein Presents: Brownie-Cookie Pie & Ring Ding Bread Pudding

Sometimes all it takes is a simple question –  “you wanna bring one of your famous desserts?” – to get the brain parts firing (when it comes to food, it doesn’t take much).

I have been known, among those who know, to get experimental in the kitchen…often taking existing foods and re-presenting them in new forms (i.e. Spinach Pie as a Mac ‘n Cheese) or combining two foods that might not otherwise be combined (i.e. Bacon, Lettuce & Mango Sandwich). Some of these experiments are wonderful successes or surprises and others glorious failures (for the record, both of the above: successes). So recently, when asked to bring desserts to a cookout, I got creative.

A handful of ideas popped into my noggin and I settled on two, determining to save the rest for another day. So now I present “the making of” Brownie-Cookie Pie and Ring Ding Bread Pudding.

Brownie-Cookie Pie came first. The concept of baking a brownie in a pie crust isn’t the most novel idea, as a matter of fact, as much as the idea occurred to me one day, I’ve seen it out in the world, so I wasn’t the only one. As a result, I tried to think of a way to re-think it. I was considering a graham cracker or Oreo cookie crust (and with the graham cracker, maybe a marshmallow icing/frosting, essentially making a s’mores pie), but worried the baking time for the brownie filling could lead to a dry or even burnt crust. Talking it out with someone, they misunderstood, thinking I meant a pie crust made out of cookie dough…an actual cookie crust…an idea I’d (surprisingly) not even considered! And with that I was off to the races.

The prep was pretty simple, really. It started with the forming of the crust:

cookiebrowniepie01

Re: Comics!

I met the fine folks from Acme Comics (of Greensboro, NC), last September at the Baltimore Comic Con. At that show we spoke, naturally, of comics. That led to some e-mail exchanges and now, Stephen Mayer (one of the aforementioned fine folks), has invited/asked me to participate in a column over at their site (acmecomics.com), where he and I, in a series of e-mail exchanges, will discuss comics and things relating to comics. The name of this series, RE: COMICS (get it? because it’s regarding comics…and it’s like, via e-mail and stuff).

So, if you’ve been thinking there’s not enough comics talk here…or you want some more “insider/industry” type talk without so much explaining, check that out. It’s gonna be a guy who works in/helps run a comic shop in the south taking to a cartoonist in NYC. Could be interesting. Maybe even fun. The plan, as I understand it, is for weekly postings. Time will tell. The best laid plans and all that.

And if you actually want to hear specific topics discussed, by all means, let me know. Click on that li’l comments button at the bottom of this post and have at it.

Swabby Luke

At some point circa 1999, in the pre-Star Wars: Episode I, The Phantom Menace days, there was a slew of new Star Wars action figures being released. One such figure, Luke Skywalker “Escape from Mos Eisley”, was referred to around the office as “Swabby Luke”, on account of his wearing a “Swabby Hat” (see Fig. 1)

swabbyluke_fig(Fig. 1 – Luke Skywalker “Escape from Mos Eisley” – note “Swabby Hat”)

Credit where credit’s due, the use of “Swabby” was not my doing (credit goes to one Mark Powers who may have picked it up from Mike Rockwitz, if memory serves), but regardless, a good handful of us in the office found it quite entertaining…

The time I got to draw everyone.

My first work in comics, in 1997, was penciling issue #104 of the comic book title WHAT IF? (Vol. 2). The comic starred the Silver Surfer and a character called The Impossible Man, a shape-changing last survivor of the destroyed planet Poppup, a planet of shape-changers. In his appearances, The Impossible Man typically wreaked impish havoc for the heroes he comes across (typically the Fantastic Four).

In this particular comic, the Impossible Man, using newly acquired infinite power, recreates his home planet, Poppup.

The result of this action plays out on the last page of the comic, when a variety of Poppupians appear. The last page of the plot (the text document a comic artist works from to draw the comic) for this story, written by Tom Virkaitis, read as follows:

PAGE TWENTY-SIX

This is an epilogue. We are now back on Thanos’ old altar. The Impossible Man (as Santa Claus) is returning the gems to the Elders of the Universe (who Impy resurrected). The Silver Surfer is also in attendance. The Elders thank Impy who transforms into Captain America and salutes them all. The Elders teleport away as a group. That’s when another Poppupian shows up as the Red Skull and tries to shoot the Impossible Man. Another Poppupian shows up as the Captain America werewolf and yet two others are arguing as to which one is the “real” Bucky (one is the original, the other is the Heroes Reborn Bucky). The Silver Surfer stands silently as all this craziness surrounds him. We pan back as the Surfer tries to convince himself that he made the right choice. “Right?”

Seems simple enough. A good amount of stuff going on, but pretty straightforward.

“IT IS ON! We are approved.”

Remember that story about the “NEW Marvel Tails” project that never happened? (if you don’t, scroll down two entries and learn all about it)

Well, following that second attempt, the editor we spoke to had suggested possibly exploring another Marvel Comics property for any potential story ideas. After a bit of brainstorming, a new proposal was developed and pitched. And today we got word: “IT IS ON!  We are approved.”

It’s still way too early to talk details as this project’s not on any official schedule as of yet (and even then, you never know; more on that another time)…matter of fact I’m not even going to say what the characters or property are. But it should, when it’s all said and done, be a fun, action-packed, and sometimes even funny bit of comics.

I can say that I’ll be writing. Jacob Chabot will be illustrating. And hopefully you all will be buying/reading.

More news as it becomes “safe” to reveal it.

The Attic Sketch

Today is tax day, which means local and national news outlets will undoubtably have a reporter “on the scene” at a post office, commenting on the long lines and waits for people to get their returns out postmarked by the 15th.

Seems to happen every year, despite April 15th falling pretty much on April 15th every year.

Want something different? How about a comedy sketch that is so tangentally related to tax day that one could only call it a stretch to make the connection? Check it out right here.

From the Reject Pile: The NEW Marvel Tails

A couple of years back I submitted a proposal to Marvel Comics for a 4-issues series starring Spider-Ham and the rest of Marvel Comics’ “Funny Animal” characters. Working with me as the artist was the very skilled-in-his-own-right Jacob Chabot.

For those who understood about 8% of that sentence: Peter Porker, the Spectacular Spider-Ham, is a cartoon pig version of Spider-Man. He, and other animal versions of Marvel heroes and villains, first appeared in Marvel Comics’ Marvel Tails, a punny/homonyminous take on their Marvel Tales title. Later, he headlined his own series as part of the Star Comics line which was aimed at younger readers. Since then, this funny animal take on Spider-Man has been a bit of an oddity/fan favorite.

Unfortunately, because a recent attempt at the time to use the character didn’t do very well, sales-wise, the interest in the series I’d conceived was less enthusiastic, regardless of content. The character, essentially, was “radioactive” for the time being.

That was two years ago. Recently, we gave it another shot, figuring enough time had passed for the fallout to have properly dissipated. And it had, because someone else was doing something with Spider-Ham.

A case of bad timing…twice over.

But rather than let it sit on a digital shelf where no one can see it, I’ve decided to share a “what could have been”. So click here and read the pitch as it was submitted…including a wicked piece of art by the aforementioned Jacob Chabot.