Saturday, February 26, 2011

Xombi - The School of Anguish

Ken (LostPhrack) H. at Sequential Ink continues his insightful overview of the original Xombi series published by Milestone Media in the mid-1990s. This is an excellent way for old readers to refresh their memories of what happened in the original series, as well as a great way for new readers  to get a sense of what happened in the series they missed before tackling Xombi #1 on March 16.

Of course, the new Xombi series is designed so that no familiarity with the old one is necessary, but reading what came before may add to your appreciation of what's to come.

Ken tackles the second story arc, The School of Anguish which ran from issues #7-11 and concluded in issue #0 (which was actually the first issue of Xombi published). This storyline featured one of my most popular creations, Manuel Dexterity, who can be seen battling David Kim on the cover above.

Ken's look at the first storyline, Silent Cathedrals, which ran in issues #1-6 can be found here.

Stay tuned for more.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Dwayne McDuffie (1962-2011)

I apologize for my extended absence here. After a week of vacation I returned to move to a new house,  a process I'm still in the middle of, and then on Tuesday I received a phone call to inform me that Dwayne McDuffie, one of my longest and closest friends died from complications that arose during surgery.

The news has hit me particularly hard, and while he deserves a fitting memorial post from me, I'm in no way ready to write one now. There are many, many testimonials to him on the internet now. Just google his name. It's a shame he has no way to see them himself. All I know is that I'm feeling a profound void in his absence and can't believe he is gone.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

More Xombi

Here's the groovy, psychedelic alternate cover to Xombi #1 by Brendan McCarthy which also lets you know who one of the returning supporting cast members, other than Nun of the Above, will be from the original series. If you haven't read the original series, don't worry. Nothing will be lost on you going into the new series. But if you want a hint, you should read the link in the paragraph below.

Ken (LostPhrack) H. at Sequential Ink has been a big supporter of the new Xombi series for which I am grateful. He's just posted a look at Silent Cathedrals, the first story arc of the original Xombi series published by Milestone Media in 1994. It gives a nice overview for any of you old timers who did read the original series, and gives a nice summary of what you missed for you readers who may have missed it as well as an idea of what you can expect from the new series. I also added my two cents in the comments there about my approach to the original series, a method I'm continuing to use now.

Seth Robison has an article at Newsarama that looks at XOMBI and Other Comic Book "Weirdness Magnets". I'm recently reminded by Dan Mishkin that he had referred to Blue Devil as a weirdness magnet long before I thought I'd invented the term, so there's another series that should be on that list.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Xombi #3

Here's DC Comics' solicitation information for XOMBI #3:

Written by JOHN ROZUM; Art and cover by FRAZER IRVING
What happens when you pit a man who cannot die against a raging creature whose only purpose is to destroy? David Kim discovers the answer when he finds himself in combat against the ancient entity Maranatha and finds aid in a most unexpected source.
  • DC Comics
  • 32pg.
  • Color
  • $2.99 US
On Sale May 25, 2011

Remember to pre-order yourself a copy at your local comic book store, and if you haven't already done so, it's not to late to order copies of issue #1 and #2 as well.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

On Vacation

I'm heading off for a technology free week long vacation at Walt Disney World, so there won't be any new updates here until next weekend when I return. In the meantime, check out the interview links on the previous posts for some information on Xombi, and keep an I out for the second half of Park Cooper's interview with me at Comic's Bulletin.

Friday, February 11, 2011

The Road to Shermer: A Tribute to John Hughes Opens Tonight

Just a reminder, The Road to Shermer - A Tribute to John Hughes opens tonight at Gallery 1988:Venice. If you live in the Santa Monica area go check it out. I have three collage pieces in the show. Details on the flyer above. Click to make it larger.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Xombi Interview at Newsarama

Vaneta Rogers interviewed me about the upcoming Xombi series for Newsarama. You can read the interview here.

Xombi Interview at Comics Bulletin

Park Cooper, at his The Park & Barb Show column has just posted part 1 of a two part interview he conducted with me where we discuss everything from my cut paper collages to Xombi, both the original Milestone media series as well as the new, upcoming DC Comics series, as well as a bunch of other stuff. He asks a lot of good questions, and hopefully I provided some worthy answers. You can read it here.

The Road to Shermer - Piece #2

The Road to Shermer - A Tribute to John Hughes opens tomorrow night at Gallery 1988: Venice. I have three collage pieces in the show. Two based on Ferris Beuller's Day off and one based on The Breakfast Club. Above is one of the two Ferris Beuller pieces I did. You can see my third piece by either visiting Gallery 1988: Venice in person while the show runs, or by visiting their website.

If anyone visits the show and can take some photos of my pieces as they appear in the show, I'd greatly appreciate it.


Save the Poe House and Museum in Baltimore

The city of Baltimore has cut funding to the Poe House and Museum and expects to close it to the public in June 2012. They feel that the Poe House should be self-sustaining. However city parks are not closed because they don't bring in revenue to cover their maintenance. State wildlife preserves are maintained despite their inability to fund themselves. Like these two examples, places like the Poe House and Museum should be kept alive by the cities that contain them whether they are profitable, or not. This is part of our cultural heritage, and should be maintained and kept alive simply for the sake of preserving a part of our important history. Imagine how up in arms people would be if important Civil War battle sites were paved over and turned into housing developments simply because they didn't generate income, or if Philadelphia sold off the Liberty Bell because there weren't enough tourists visiting it to cover the cost of displaying it.

Edgar Allan Poe is not only an important figure to genre writing, both horror and detective fiction, but is as quintessential an American writer as Mark Twain, Nathaniel Hawthorne, or Herman Melville. Letting this important site diminish would be a crime.

Actor and Poe enthusiast, Mark Redfield has started a petition to keep the Poe House and Museum alive. Please sign it and let the city of Baltimore know that this historic site belongs to all Americans, and that they should always have access to it.

Thank you.


Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Upcoming Appearance

Just a heads up for the end of March. I will be appearing as a guest at the Southcoast Toy and Comic Show at the Seaport Inn and Marina in Fairhaven, MA on March 27, 2011. Admission is a mere $6.00. Bring your brand new copies of Xombi #1 and anything else you'd like me to sign.

If you own a comic book store in New England and would like to host me for a signing, please let me know. If you shop at a comic book store in New England and would like to see me there, let your store, and me know know as well. This will be my first appearance in the region in almost ten years.

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Happy Birthday, Jules Verne

French author, Jules Verne was born on this date in 1828. Like many people, I first came to know him through the Disney adaptation of his best known novel, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. I first saw it when I was in fourth grade and it aired on the Wonderful World of Disney and the impact it had on me was huge and immediate. It colored everything I did, what I played, what I drew, what I wrote. In a nice bit of timing, the Scholastic book club, offered the novel right afterwards, and that led me to a great number of Verne's books, many of which I own in multiple editions. 

What really stuck with me about Verne's books weren't just the fantastical elements, but that so much of his books were rooted in the real physical world around us (while I haven't read it in decades, Journey to the Center of the Earth is something I remember as having vast passages concerning geology before much really happens) that when the fantastic elements are introduced they seem simultaneously more probable and even more fantastic. 

I still visit and revisit his works periodically and am still captivated by them. 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea will always remain my favorite in any form, whether it's the novel, a comic book adaptation, the Disney movie, or the the Disney World ride based on the movie. Verne's influence has even carried over to my new Xombi series which debuts next month, with Master of the World, and 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea creeping their way onto the pages of issues 4, 5, and 6 in some pretty substantial ways. 

So thank you Jules Verne for all the continuing enjoyment and influence. 


Monday, February 07, 2011

The Road to Shermer - Piece #1

For the upcoming The Road to Shermer: A Tribute to John Hughes show at Gallery 1988: Venice I created three collages. Two were based on Ferris Beuller's Day Off and one was based on The Breakfast Club, which is the piece shown above, Twenty-fifth High Scool Reunion.

This was originally created as a print for my own 25th high school reunion, only I'd changed the coat on Emilio Estevez to reflect the coats worn at my own high school at the time. I replaced the coat with the one from the movie for the show. This piece was fun to do. I essentially had to decide what sort of career paths the various characters would have taken in life, and then I had to age progress the characters twenty-five years. I resisted the urge to see how the actual actors looked twenty-five years later, because Hollywood aging and real life aging are not the same thing.

My decisions:

Ally Sheedy's character, Allison Reynolds ended up as a graphic designer. i toyed with giving her arty glasses, but in the end decided against it.

Judd Nelson's character, John Bender ended up with a job as a manager of some sort of local company's warehouse, or something related where the manager's wear short sleeve dress shirts and ties, and the offices have beat up furniture and filing cabinets.

Anthony Michael Hall's character Brian Johnson wound up as the successful founder of a software company.

Emilio Estevez' s character Andy Clark became a high school gym teacher and after school coach.

Molly Ringwald's character, Claire Standish married a moderately wealthy man and became a housewife.

The choices were all made by using real world analogs and aren't all that surprising.

The show opens February 11 from 7-10 PM and runs through March 4, 2011. Gallery 1988: Venice is located at 214 Pier Avenue in Santa Monica. You can reach the gallery at (424) 238- 5988, or through their website.

Ask Me Anything #6

Welcome to the 5th edition of Ask Me Anything. After taking December off this monthly feature returns and new editions can be found on the first Monday of every month.

Use the comments section to ask me anything you want and I will strive to answer them either in the comments section, or in more elaborate posts throughout the month.

Please take the time to view the previous questions so that we don't wind up with a lot of repetition. You can see the previous questions by visiting Ask Me Anything  #1#2 ,  #3, #4 and #5.  Answers not found following the questions can be found in the archives section for each associated month.

Now ask away.

Friday, February 04, 2011

Comics Without Words

If you haven't stopped by my companion blog for kids that teaches them everything there is to know about what goes into making comics, now's a good time to visit. I just put up a new post on writing comics that don't feature text. Take a kid with you. Tell their teacher. Get the word out so kids will think about visual storytelling as a natural means of communication.

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Xombi update

I've written a few words to give readers a better sense of what they are in for with XOMBI without giving too much away. The brief essay appears in the back of DC titles appearing this week as well as at DC's The Source.