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X-BABIES #4 – FINAL ISSUE!

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!

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Meanwhile, I found this out on the internet and thought it, what with my love of cake, too cool not to share:

Mae Makes Cakes!

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.

Imp or Oaf?

If you have an iPhone and/or iPod touch or any other such device wherein you can play iPhone apps and games, I suggest and recommend you check out “Imp or Oaf?”, available now on the iTunes app store.

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Why? First, it’s a fun little game with simple yet addictive game play, distinct and original art, and great music. Second, because the creators of the game, Rob Lemon and Craig Chin, are good friends of mine and since I don’t have an iPhone/iPod Touch, I choose to support them by spreading the word. Third, it’s taking the world by storm if we can base the world on iTunes reviews and the like. Fourth, it’s 99 cents. I have the gall to push a $4 single comic book I’ve written…99 cents, that’s like…that’s not even $1.

“Imp of Oaf?” It’s like the Tickle-Me Elmo of 2009-2010. Check it out.

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“Imp or Oaf?” developed by Gilded Skull Games.

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?

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:

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.

The October Plan – 2009 Edition

As of today, we’re two weeks away from the release of X-BABIES #1. October 7, 2009. If you haven’t marked your calendars, mark ’em now!

But wait, that’s but one piece of the big October ahead. With the release of X-BABIES artist Jacob Chabot an I will be on a whirlwind mini-promotional tour, if you will.

On release day, 10/7, Jacob and I will be appearing at Jim Hanley’s Universe in New York City (4 West 33rd Street) from 6pm – 8pm, signing copies of our first issue. Drop by and say hello and buy a copy; we’ll sign it!

The weekend of 10/16 – 10/18, we, along with Chris Giarrusso and Tim Smith 3, will be in Artist Alley at the Big Apple Comic-Con at Pier 94 on 55th Street at 12 Avenue in NY. Jacob and I will be at Table 24, doing sketches and commissions as well as selling and signing copies of X-BABIES #1.

The weekend of 10/23 – 10/25, a whole mess of us cartoonist folks will be descending on Greensboro, NC for Acme Comics‘ the “G-MAN’S GREENSBORO CAPE CRISIS with Chris Giarrusso, Jacob Chabot, Gregg Schigiel, Brian Smith, and Art Balthazar” event. The folks at Acme have been big supporters of our work and are helping us celebrate and promote X-BABIES #1 as well as Chris Giarrusso’s G-MAN: CAPE CRISIS book (in which I’ve been doing the Pix: Teenage American Fairy back-up story). So if you’re in the vicinity of Greensboro, stop by. AcmeComics.com is also home to the weekly comics discussion column I write with Stephen Mayer, “Re: Comics”, in case you want to read more about what I think of stuff (recent discussions have included collected editions and original graphic novels, superhero cartoons, and Marvel Comics’ Star Comics imprint from the mid ’80s with characters featuring prominently in X-BABIES (see how it’s all connected?)).

And THEN, October’s capped off by an appearance by Jacob and I at The Peoples Improv Theater (The P.I.T.) on Tuesday, 10/27, as guests on Comic Book Club, “a weekly comic book talk show featuring the best comedians in New York talking shop with industry professionals from all corners of the comic book world.” I’d be considered an “industry professional”…not one of “the best comedians in New York”…in case that wasn’t clear. Tickets for that show are $5 and are available at the theater web site.

And that, folks, is October…at least until I have new announcements to make (anything’s possible).

In the meantime, as a prize for patiently getting through all of this self-promotional-promotion, here are some random panels from X-BABIES #1, colored by the very talented Emily Warren (think of this like a movie trailer but without any dialogue, soundtrack, or movement):

And lo, there was a Comic-Con!

San Diego’s Comic-Con International begins Wednesday night, July 22nd, with Preview Night and runs through Sunday, July 26th. When I’m not eating burgers, barbecue and fish tacos, I’ll be stationed in Artist Alley at table GG-12. I’ll be selling sketches, mini-comics, and original art from SpongeBob comics and some animated-style Batman books, as well as doing sketches.

In addition, I’ll have previews of both my PIX: TEENAGE AMERICAN FAIRY story that’ll be serialized in G-MAN: CAPE CRISIS as well as a full set of pencils (all 22 pages + cover art by Skottie Young*) to check out from X-BABIES #1. And speaking of X-BABIES #1, stop by for a FREE promotional bookmark (which’ll also serve as a friendly reminder of when the first issue comes out and how much you’ll want to buy it when it does).

And if that’s not incentive enough, I’ll be sitting, as I often do, with my good friends and fellow comics creators Jacob Chabot (to my right) and Chris Giarrusso (to my left). Three cartoonists in one fell swoop. Something this exciting hasn’t happened in threes since the last time the Ringling Bros. Barnum and Bailey Circus did their thing!

And finally, for those of you wondering, yes, THE MILLION DOLLAR CONAN O’BRIEN will be making its triumphant return to San Diego in recognition of Mr. O’brien’s new position as host of “The Tonight Show”. Come see it with your own eyes!

Sunny San Diego. 7/22-7/26. Artist Alley table GG-12. Let’s go!

*as far as I know this information hasn’t been released, so you can call that a real live “exclusive” for those of you reading this.