Thursday, April 30, 2009

Runny nose, could it be...?

I've been sniffling non-stop since I woke up. I'm sure it's just my allergies, but with all the sensationalistic reports about swine flu, you never can tell. Let me just take a look in the mirror here...OH MY GOD, I...I...I've grown a beard!

Actually, I shouldn't belittle an influenza epidemic. There's already a decent body count in Mexico, and if people start dropping here in the U.S., I'll probably be one of them.

The image is by one of my favorite artists, Daniel Lee

I've still been too busy, and too lazy when not working, do put together any of the posts I've been meaning to, so go take a look at his work in lieu of mine.

In the meantime, hold on, it looks like there's a couple of kids dancing around and squealing with laughter on my front lawn.

"Hey, you girls! Go play somewhere else. I'm trying to work in here!"

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Rustling Husk

I've been alternately too busy and too lazy to put together any new posts. This gives me the excu--opportunity to share with you something from one of my old notebooks.

This is the first sketch I did for the Rustling Husks. These creatures are homonculi hitmen magically created from thefrustrated death throws of flying insects trapped between window panes. This makes them angry and nasty. Their heads are paper wasp nests. They have no eyes. Their body's are likewise hollow, hidden beneath a long tan raincoat. They have metallic six-fingered hands and a blade tipped tail made of vertebrae. They speak in faint whispers lost in a buzzing sound of white noise. Ther movements sound like dry leaves or crackling egg shells. They smell like nutmeg and cloves.

Their weapon is a screaming cannon, a magical handgun made of bone which makes a sound like the distressed noise of screaming rabbits when fired. This gun is formidable because it teleports the hit region of its target someplace else, making it almost always impossible to heal.

These creatures appeared in XOMBI, a supernatural adventure comic book series I wrote in the mid-90s for Milestone Media. I will most likely be posting more about XOMBI in the coming weeks.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Bafflements and Pet Peeves

I came a across a common phrase in a book I was reading earlier, a phrase which drives me nuts whenever I read it, or hear it spoken. This got me thinking about a few other things which boggle my mind or drive me crazy when I encounter them.

1. When you are buying donuts, or some other pastry at, say a big chain coffee merchant, you'll notice that the clerk/barista/baker/whatever thoughtfully uses a piece of wax paper to pick up your selections, protecting you from the germs on their hands, while placing your baked goods in a bag for you. Then you will see them also place the piece of wax paper covered on one side with their germs into the bag with the food. Why bother in the first place? Why not just use their bare hands?

2. On another hygiene note, why do the doors of public restrooms open inward? You enter a bathroom, conduct your transaction, wash your hands and go to leave only to discover that to get out, you must grip a door handle in order to pull the door open. So, even if you wash your hands, as all employees must do, you're putting your clean hands right on a handle covered with the filth left behind by every single person who didn't bother to wash their hands. Wouldn't it be wiser to have a door that pushes outward when leaving the bathroom, so that you could shoulder it open or something?

By the way. I have no phobia of germs.

Those were a couple of things that baffle me. Here's some stuff that really aggravates me.

3. I can't stand it anytime that anything or anyone, even for comic effect, refers to chimps, bonobos, gorillas, or orangutans as monkeys. They are apes. King Kong is an ape. Curious George, "the curious little monkey" is not a monkey. He is an ape. Note the lack of a tail on his behind. I realize that "monkey" is a much funnier word than "ape." It is not funnier then "bonobo." Hearing this drives me absolutely ape$#!+.

4. "You can't have your cake and eat it too." Yes you can. What you can't do is eat your cake and still have it afterwards. You can have your cake and do whatever you want with it. Once you've eaten it, there's only one thing you can do with it which is why whenever I see this phrase written as it is most commonly used, it also drives me ape$#!+.

That's all

for now.

Give me time though and I'm sure I can think of a few others.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

A Day of Mysteries, Monsters and Excitement!

Cryptozoologists rejoice! Today's your day if you visit a comic book store near you.

I have stories out today in two comic books, both of which deal with cryptids.

First up, in CARTOON NETWORK ACTION PACK #36, "The Secret Saturdays" lose a member of their family when V.V. Argost kidnaps Komodo and takes him into the heart of his lair. This story is illustrated by Will Sweeney. In a companion piece to this story, "The Secret Saturdays" creator, Jay Stephens provides the artwork for the cryptipedia entries on the various craetures seen in the main story.

Over in SCOOBY-DOO #143, Velma provides an entertaining look at a sea monster lurking outside of Vancouver; the cadborosaurus. The artwork here is provided by Karen Matchette and Mike DeCarlo.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Kids and Comics - Part2

The second half of Daniel Crown's excellent article on the current state of the comic book industry and its attitude towards children is now up at The first part can be found here. I was pleased to be able to participate in this article so go check it out.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Self Portrait - 3rd Grade

No that's not Ernie from "Sesame Street" with his hair combed for class picture day. That's me!

To follow my earlier post here's a self-portrait I did a few years later. If memory serves me in this case, it was done in third grade. The early 70s plaid pants and orange shirt bothe serve as all the anthropological evidence I need. Of course, I have another clue which comes in later.

For those concerned about my well being, I am not really a club-footed hunchback with no eyebrows. Neither do I have one massive orange and pink nipple and one green nipple. They are both green.

The reason I'm sure this is from third grade is I distinctly remember Mike Simpson, really pissing me off by drawing those nipples on there and ruining this fine piece of art. The orange blob over my pink nipple was actually a failed attempt on my part to cover up the unwelcome additions.

Our New Digs

Almost all of the cardboard boxes have disappeared, and we're pretty settled into our new place.

I don't really have any pictures to show yet except for the handful below. Some of these I took. Others were provided by our realtor. If there are leaves on the trees, then I didn't take it.

Here's the back of the house taken from across a small pond that runs along our driveway. The driveway is almost a mile long. Thankfully there hasn't been much in the way of snow since we've arrived, since shoveling it is out of the question, and I haven't hired a plowing company.

I kept thinking this place will be awesome to decorate for Halloween, but I don't foresee many trick-or-treaters bothering to make the hike even if we take down all the "no trespassing" signs with the images of ferocious guard dogs on them.

This is my poor attempt to photograph the ceiling of the "foyer." It's a little gaudier than I'd like, but the statues and decor remind me a bit of the Lon Chaney version of "Phantom of the Opera."

The reason that photographing the foyer ceiling is so hard is that this guy gets in the way. I've had this guy in storage for years, and finally have a space big enough to accommodate him. It really gets a reaction out of people when they first walk in the front doors and come face to face with him.

For me, the biggest selling point of this house was that it came with a built in library with enough room for all of the books my family owns and even with plenty of room for new acquisitions. This room took us the longest to unpack, and the organization of our books is still haphazard at best.

This was described as a "sitting room." Compared to some of the other rooms, including my wife's dressing room, it is pretty small, but it's central to rooms that we do use more, so it does get its own use. One of the drawbacks to moving into a larger house is discovering that you don't have nearly enough furniture to fill it. I'm sure by the time humans settle Mars we'll finally feel suitably furnished.

When I was a kid the idea of having an indoor swimming pool was an exciting dream of mine. As an adult, I doubt I'll use it much. It doesn't get a lot of light for most of the day, and I grew up swimming in the ocean, so ponds and pools don't hold much attraction for me. My kids are thrilled though.

The gardens are supposed to be amazing when they come in. There's even a hedge maze (which needs some serious attention), a treehouse, a bunch of animal topiaries, and a bunch of "Alice in Wonderland" inspired statues and settings. I haven't really ventured out to see, or photograph them all yet, but I imagine it will be pretty amazing in a few months when everything is blooming.

No photos of my office yet either. It's still a work in progress, but it's in a turret and it has a secret entrance!