Here’s what’s new and/or exciting:
- “Stuff Said”, my podcast, has been going for one year as of today. A year ago today the first episode, part one of my talk with Chris Giarrusso, took the podcast world by storm. One year later we’re still plugging along. Check it out here.
- The SPONGEBOB COMICS train continues to roll, even faster now as the once bi-monthly comic is now monthly! Issue 10 comes out in comic shops in one week, with a cover and interior story by me. Keep an eye out for it:
- I’ve also for a good spell been doing illustrations for SPIDER-MAN MAGAZINE for Disney Publishing Worldwide. What is that magazine and where can I get it? It’s an international magazine and you can get it in Europe (Italy, France, etc…you know, Europe). Since it’s NOT something us folks stateside can see, here’s some of the stuff I’ve done for the mag:
So, vacation’s the wrong word for it, because it’s very much work-work-work, but who am I to deny the playful flow of a post title?
But yes, Comic-Con 2010 ended on Sunday, 7/25, and as always, it was a whirlwind.
Many sketches were sketched, among them a “Punisher being annoyed by SpongeBob and Patrick”, a series of Batman related head shots (I was particularly pleased with the Clayface; hopefully I’ll get a scan of that soon), and interestingly enough, two separate requests for me to draw people’s dogs.
I’m happy to say a nice number of people picked up copies of the X-BABIES paperback collection, and I got to meet a nice bunch of folks who’d read and enjoyed the series when it came out at the end of last year. On the flip side, there were those two “industry” dudes who in one conversation passively mocked the X-Babies, but the less said about them the better (save for the fact that, if they read X-Babies they’d see that we were taking jabs at them, so ha-ha indeed!).
Tomorrow, June 3, the X-Babies mini-series I wrote gets released in its “graphic novel” collected edition; all four issues, alternate covers, and even some design/development sketches…96 pages under glorious paperback stock covers!
With its release, I wanted to share an e-mail sent to myself and (X-Babies artist) Jacob Chabot shortly after the release of X-BABIES #4 in January. It’s a long one, even edited a bit for content (and be warned, there are spoilers) but worth sticking with it. The sender, Dennis, wrote:
Many years ago, during my time at Marvel Comics, assistant editors (of which I was one) attended semi-weekly “Assistant Editors’ Classes”, something that happened throughout Marvel’s history from time to time. This round of classes were taught alternately by Chris Claremont and Mark Waid, both of whom were (and are) renowned for their work as comics writers. And the classes were less about being assistant editors and more about thinking about comics, characters, etc.
For a series of weeks we were given some homework. The first assignment was to choose either The Avengers or the X-Men, select a roster of six characters to make up that team, and explain why.
The second assignment was to take the team you’d composed and develop a proposal for a year’s worth of stories and what, given the power to do so, you’d do with the team/title you’d chosen – in theory something different than what was, at the time, happening in those series.
As a long-time Avengers fan…and at the time assistant editor of The Avengers, naturally I chose The Avengers. I composed my team and following that developed a proposal that took some glee in the hypothetical nature of it. In a nutshell, I proposed a storyline that would change the very nature of what The Avengers was, how the team functioned, etc. Something different.
In light of recent and not-so-recent goings on with Avengers comics over the past seven years (and for those who don’t follow this sort of thing I did consider taking the long way and explaining it all, but thought that might be…tedious) and more recently the launch of a brand new Avengers series last week, I thought I’d drag out and share the line-up and proposal I’d written way back when.
In reflecting on it I can’t help but notice some of the…similarities to what’s happened over the past seven years. Stylistically, yes, there are huge differences, but thematically, for those who’ve been paying attention, there are definite parallels.
The point of this isn’t to show off in an “I had this idea first!” sort of way…well, maybe a little…but really, it’s more to show how there’s sometimes parallel thinking out there and how similar ideas can be explored or executed differently. As to whether those ideas or stories are worth exploring…or whether the executions worked or didn’t, that’s a whole different discussion and surely a matter of personal taste and opinion.
But, for those who are interested, you can read my “take”, as it was written over 10 years ago, by clicking here.
January 28, 2000 marked my last day working as an assistant editor at Marvel Comics.
I started there, first as an intern in the summer of 1996…followed by my first work as a freelance penciler a year later on WHAT IF? #104…and then joined the staff as Tom Brevoort’s assistant in October 1997.
In the two-plus years I was there I had the joy and honor of working on some of the best titles with some of the greatest talents in the field and an overall amazing crew at Marvel itself, from my fellow editorial staff to the production team in the Marvelous Marvel Bullpen to the folks in manufacturing, accounting, online, advertising and creative services. And I even got to draw a comic book here and there, when the opportunities and time permitted. To this day, so many years later, I think back on great memories of my time at Marvel Comics.
I thought it might be fun, upon reflection, to tell a few stories or make note of things I recall from my time.
Just over a year ago (1/19/09) I sent in a pitch for an X-Babies mini-series. Tomorrow, 1/27/10, the final issue of that mini-series will hit comic book store shelves. And the world will never be the same! That, or it’ll go right back to normal. Hard to say.
But yes, tomorrow you’ll finally see how it all shakes out. Will the X-Babies reclaim their top-spot as stars on Mojo TV? Will Mr. Veech’s Adorable X-Babies outnumber and out-power the real X-Babies? And what of the revived Star Comics characters, what happens to them?
If you’re remotely curious…or just want to see a comic book where Jacob Chabot draws adorable versions of every single X-Man character ever, check out X-BABIES #4!
Meanwhile, I found this out on the internet and thought it, what with my love of cake, too cool not to share:
Yeah, a cake based on the cover art to X-BABIES #4. That’s way cool.
PS – If you haven’t picked it up, G-MAN: CAPE CRISIS #5, co-featuring my finale to the Pix, Teenage American Fairy story “The Most Dangerous Donut”, is out now. Pick it up tomorrow when you race to pick up X-BABIES #4.
X-BABIES #4, the final issue of the the X-Babies mini-series I’ve gone on and on about lo these past many months, won’t be out yet for another 30 days, on 1/27/2010. That’s 30 days on top of the past three weeks since issue three rocked the comic book reading masses to their core*! That’s a long wait. What are you supposed to do then if you want your X-Babies fix?
X-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?
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:
Don’t it just make you want to zigazig ah?