Monday, December 20, 2010

XOMBI #1 Available for Pre-Order

XOMBI #1 will hit comic book stores on March 16, 2011.  A lot of people have expressed excitement over the return of this series. Please show your support and ensure that XOMBI continues by pre-ordering a copy at your local comic book store. Sales do matter. I'm thrilled to have the opportunity to be able to continue with my favorite project, but doubt it will ever be given a third chance, so please make sure it won't need one. You can find your nearest comic book retailer by using this service.

Frazer Irving will be providing the amazing artwork (as seen in the cover to issue #1 above). There will also be a variant cover with artwork provided by Brendan McCarthy which I'm excited about and can't wait to see. You can read DC's solicitation information for XOMBI #1 here.

If you're not familiar with XOMBI and are worried you won't know what's going on when you read the new series, there's no need to fret. I wrote the new series with a brand new readership in mind. You don't have to know anything going into it. However, if you'd still like to know a little something going in, you can always read my little XOMBI tutorial. I'll also be running some annotations such as biographical summaries of any possible returning characters and such here as the series progresses.

Last Minute Christmas Presents

There's still time to have Dr. Quest, or many other animated cartoon characters, reach your door by Christmas. These are one of a kind hand made cut paper collage assemblage portraits and would make a great gift for the animation fan that you know. Or treat yourself.

These pieces are shipped express mail and should reach your home within just a couple days. The shipping cost is the same whether you by one or all of them.

For available characters plus further details on how to order look here.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Now Available

Until loyal Scooby-Doo fan, Shaggydoo informed me I was unaware that the most recent issue of SCOOBY DOO, WHERE ARE YOU? (#4) contained a story of mine. It's not a new story. In fact it's a reprint of a very old one going back to SCOOBY-DOO #17 from December 1998. "The Ghost of Christmas Presents" is actually the first Scooby-Doo story I ever wrote. At the time I thought it was going to be a one time deal. Little did I know that it would lead to more than a decade and well over 100 more stories featuring the Mystery Inc. gang. SCOOBY-DOO, WHERE ARE YOU? #4 actually came out over a week ago, but you should still be able to find it at a comic book store near you or wherever you find comics sold.

Yesterday I received my copy of MAD SCIENTIST #22 which contains a cut paper collage portrait of Boris Karloff as the Mummy which I made as well as a 12 page article I wrote on my favorite Hammer movie, BRIDES OF DRACULA. If that doesn't sell you, this issue also contains artwork by Bernie Wrightson, Don Marquez, and a great Varan cover by award winning artist, Bob Eggleton as well as articles on VARAN THE UNBELIEVABLE, THE LEGEND OF BOGGY CREEK, and a terrific interview with Larry Blamire, the man who brought you THE LOST SKELETON OF CADAVRA and TRAIL OF THE SCREAMING FOREHEAD.

I highly recommend this magazine and would do so even if I were not a contributor. In fact it was because I thought so highly of MAD SCIENTIST that I began contributing to it. Ordering information can be found at the MAD SCIENTIST website. Tell them I sent you.

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Reposted Artwork and Collage Sale Reminder

I just reposted a whole batch of images that needed to be redone. This almost nearly completes the reposts from my "Fun With Scissors" posts from a few years ago.

All of these pieces are done as cut paper collages. many of those listed below, and a whole bunch more are now available for sale at astonishingly low prices. Take a look at what's available by going here.

There's still plenty of time to order in time for Christmas. If you don't see what you're looking for, just ask.

Reposted images:


The Creeper


Multi Man

Duck Amuck


Loopy de Loop

Space Ghost

Ruff and Reddy

Frankenstein Jr.

Dum Dum


Judy Jetson

Simon Bar Sinister


Betty Rubble

Witch Doctor

Big Gruesome

Little Gruesome

Pepé Le Pew

La Femme Skunk Fatale

Freddie Jones

Ralph Wolf

Sam the Sheepdog

Monday, December 06, 2010

XOMBI Artist Announced

For ages, it seems, I've had to keep it a secret, but now I can announce that Frazer Irving will be handling the art for the upcoming XOMBI series which I'm writing. I can't think of anyone better suited to this project and my email exchanges with him only reinforce this. His artwork is gorgeous, but his approach to it, working from the characters and the individual perfomances of the characters outward, is completely in synch with my own approach. This is going to be a gorgeous comic book. Don't miss out.

Frazer's cover for the first issue can be seen above. Click on it to make it larger.

Check out what editor Rachel Gluckstern has to say about the upcoming series at DC's The Source.

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Animated Cartoon Character Collage Portraits for Sale

If you love animation, or know someone who does, then please consider this as a very cheap alternative to animation cells.

I recently came across a box of cut paper collage portraits of various animated cartoon characters which I created back in 2006-2007. Rather than leave them sitting in a box I've decided to sell them at very cheap prices so that they'll, hopefully, end up in the homes of people who will appreciate them more than my box does.

Here's a link to what's on sale.

The link can also be found on the right directly underneath the banner for this blog.

Please contact me for the availability of any pieces you're interested in.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Holiday Gift ideas

Available at a comic book store or book store near you or through (use the link below) is Cartoon Network 2-in-1: Ben10:Alien Force/The Secret Saturdays. This 144 page trade paperback collects a whole bunch of stories from the Cartoon Network Action Pack comic book series published by DC Comics, including almost all of The Secret Saturdays stories, most of which I wrote. If your kid likes  Ben10, The Secret Saturdays, comics featuring great art and storytelling, aliens, action, adventure or cryptozoology, then this very affordable book makes the perfect gift. Front and back covers shown above.

For your young superhero fan, Marvel's Super Hero Squad - Volume 2: Quest For the Infinity Sword is available on DVD from Shout Factory. This DVD contains 6 episodes from the popular animated television series including "Night in the Sanctorum" one of the episodes I wrote for the show. This DVD contains Marvel's most popular characters and plenty of guest stars. You can find it on sale at a retailer near you, or through Amazon using the link below.

For your older superhero fan, I suggest The Brave and the Bold: Milestone published by DC Comics, which collects the three issues of The Brave and the Bold that paired DC characters with characters from Milestone Media, which have now been incorporated into the DC Universe. The stories team Static with Black Lightning, Hardware with Blue Beetle and Xombi with the Spectre. This trade paperback also collects issues of the Milestone comics starring the three characters featured here. I wrote the stories featuring Xombi, who will be returning in his own new series, which I'm also writing, next Spring. Available at a comic book store or book store near you, or through Amazon using the link below.

For your fan of classic horror, I highly recommend Mad Scientist magazine. The newest issue (#22) features artwork and a lengthy article on Brides of Dracula by me. The rest of the contents are outstanding as well. All for $5.00 + $1.00 s&h. You can see the full contents and find order information for this issue as well as back issues of this excellent magazine at the Mad Scientist website. Tell them I sent you. 

If that's not enough, check back tomorrow. I'm putting up a whole bunch of my cut paper collage portraits of various animated cartoon characters, like Sylvester shown above,  for sale at shockingly affordable prices. Think of it as a cheap alternative to animation cells. 


Monday, November 29, 2010

More Reposted Images

I've rescanned and reposted a bunch more of my cut paper collage portraits of various cartoon characters. You can follow the links below to the posts. There are only about two dozen left for me to redo.

Again, I'll be offering most of these up for sale. That list should be up in a couple more days. In the meantime, if anything catches your eye, please let me know if you're interested in purchasing it.

Red Hot Riding Hood

Velma Dinkley


Bubi Bear

Morocco Mole

Gloop and Gleep

Atom Ant

Hong Kong Phooey

Snidely Whiplash

Yakky Doodle


Solomon Grundy

Mighty Mouse

Mr. Spacely



Dr. Benton Quest

Felix the Cat


Magilla Gorilla

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Old Image Files Rescanned and Reposted + Cartoon Collages for Sale

About a year ago I discovered that the images from a whole bunch of posts were gone because I'd stopped using the account that stored them leading to the tedious process of rescanning and reposting those images. Most of these were of cut paper collage portraits I did of various animated cartoon characters which were under the heading of "Fun with Scissors."

Tonight I came across a bunch of these collage portraits which needed rescanning and reposting. They are listed below.

I've also decided that I need to clean house to make room for a large number of new collages that I'll be creating for three group art shows I'll be participating in in 2011. So, I'm putting most of the cartoon character portraits that I have left on sale. Most will be for between $30 --$50, with a few for even less, and a few for a bit more. Shipping will be a uniform $6.00 (in the U.S. only. Over seas will vary by location, but it won't be inflated beyond actual price) no matter how many you buy. The shipping price might seem high, but I find that if I use expedited shipping there tends to be less time for chances of damage to occur.

I'll be putting a price list up in a few days, but if there's anything you're interested in and want to make a claim, or inquiry as to availability and price, please let me know. Most of these collages are on 81/2 x11 inch backgrounds, which in most cases can be matted as 8 x 10. If you check "Fun With Scissors" entries from 2006 in my archives you can see the entire series.


Ant and Aardvark


Captain Caveman

Inch High, Private Eye

The Phantom Shadow


Dino Boy and Bronty

Cindy Bear

Tornado Man

Yankee Doodle Pigeon

Bugs Bunny

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Cartoon Network 2-in-1.

Available today at a comic book store near you (and next week elsewhere) is the Cartoon Network 2-in1: Ben10: Alien Force/ The Secret Saturdays trade paperback collection of stories collected from the Cartoon Network Action Pack comic book series. This book contains all but three or four of the published The Secret Saturdays comic book stories, almost all of which I wrote. 

The book is full of great art, writing,  action, adventure and more monsters than can hide under your bed. It makes a swell gift for that kid you know who loves comics, cartoons, cryptozoology, or any of the elements mentioned above. All for $12.99. You can see the front and back covers at the top of this page. 

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Ingrid Pitt (1937-2010)

While stars Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee were the male faces of Hammer studios, Ingrid Pitt was the female face of the studio even though she'd only starred in two of their movies; The Vampire Lovers and Countess Dracula.

Born in Poland as Ingoushka Petrov, she and her family were imprisoned in a concentration camp. She later embarked on an acting career with a smal role in Dr. Zhivago followed by Where Eagles Dare. It is her body of horror films for which she's best remembered, which included The Wicker Man and The House that Dripped Blood, but particularly her pair of Hammer movies which pushed the boundaries of nudity and eroticism in horror films to new limits.

While she continued to act she focused most of her talents on writing and has published a number of books and articles.

She died today, two days after her 73rd birthday,  from heart failure after collapsing.

Happy Birthday, Boris Karloff!

Today is the birthday of Boris Karloff, who was born in 1887 and has provided me with endless enjoyment and inspiration through his various film and television appearances, vocal recordings, and even comic book series that he lent his name and image to. He's like comfort food for me.

I've posted about him numerous times in the past and will no doubt do so numerous times in the future. Today I'll be celebrating his birthday no doubt by cracking open the new Thriller: The Complete Series DVD set.

Here's to you Boris!


Monday, November 22, 2010

Mad Scientist #22

The excellent classic monster magazine, MAD SCIENTIST has a new issue available to order. Issue #22 has a great cover by Bob Eggleton, articles on Varan the Unbelievable, The Legend of Boggy Creek, Science Fiction LPs, an extensive interview with Larry "Lost Skeleton of Cadavra" Blamire on all of his films, and artwork by Bernie Wrightson, Don Marquez, Jim Garrison and myself. I also contributed a lengthy article on one of my favorite genre films of all time, Brides of Dracula.

All of this and more for $5.00 + $1.00 shipping and well worth every penny. Feel free to tell 'em I sent you. Ordering information as well as the full contents and back issue information can all be found here.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

From the Archives 8

In lieu of any major announcements concerning the forthcoming new XOMBI series from DC Comics, I decided to share a drawing made for me around 1994-1995, when the previous incarnation of XOMBI was in progress. I have a number of sketches of XOMBI characters done by some impressive comic book artists who never worked on the series itself. This drawing of Catholic Girl by Adam Hughes is one of my very favorites. First, it's just an absolutely amazing drawing of her. Nobody in comics is able to depict women like Adam Hughes. Second, it has great attitude and a sense of humor. Third, it is likely the only piece of art by Adam Hughes depicting a flat chested heroine. If Catholic Girl ever gets her own mini-series, I know who I want to handle the cover art.

Regarding the forthcoming XOMBI series, I can offer up a few tidbits. I have now written the scripts for the first two issues. There is an exciting artist working on the series. I can't tell you who it is yet. Because there's been a bit of panic because XOMBI did not appear in the February solicitations as was initially announced, fear not, it's launch has been pushed back to give the artist time to give it his all rather than rush them for a February debut. XOMBI is still coming. You just have to wait a little longer, but it will be worth the wait.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Adam Kadmon

Sean Cloran asked if there was "an actor that provided the spark of inspiration for Adam in Midnight, Mass. (like Famke Janssen for Julia)?"

Midnight, Mass. was my Vertigo comic about a glamorous, famous, married couple of paranormal investigators, Adam and Julia Kadmon who operated out of a mansion in the coastal town of Midnight, Massachusetts. The comic book was published in the early 2000s but went through a number of incarnations going back to about 1988. The earliest versions did not really use any one as models for the characters, but I found as I worked on other projects that using actors, or other known people as approximate stand-ins for characters gave a better sense of what you a writer was looking for from an artist.

When I got to thinking about Midnight, Mass. again shortly before it finally became a reality I had an epiphany of Julia being Famke Janssen which really brought together all of the loose threads and ideas I had for the series and definitely cemented the character of Julia for me.

Her husband, Adam took a bit longer to arrive at.

My initial thoughts were that he should be someone like Peter Weller in his early to mid-thirties. I didn't think he was exactly what I was looking for, but he was close.

I tried a few other people including Bauhaus front man, Peter Murphy, who was also in the ballpark area, but not as close as Peter Weller. He also had some personal style baggage I didn't want imposed on the character. I wanted to stay away from anything Goth, or with any kind of edge that would soon become dated. I wanted a couple that was more akin to Cary Grant and Grace Kelly, but would also be convincing as a couple that could kick the crap out of ghosts and monsters. Peter Murphy was not it.

Then the day came that I was leafing through an issue of TV Guide and came across this page...

I'd never seen Angel (and still haven't) and have never seen Glen Quinn in anything, but this photograph jumped out at me and announced itself as Adama Kadmon. Subsequent photos I've found of Glen Quinn  did not all exude Adam Kadmon like this one did, and I had no idea that in some photos he would seem short, scrawny and kind of weasel-like, which were qualities I definitely did not want Adam to have. This is the photo I passed along as reference.

Below are the initial sketches of Adam Kadmon by Jesus Saiz.

I really like his version of Adam even though it strays from an exact likeness. Because of Jesus's design I would later associate two other actors with Adam Kadmon simply because of the uncanny resemblance, and in imaginary movie casting they'd be my first choices to go to. They would be Jonathan Rhys-Meyers and Cillian Murphy.

Here's Paul Lee's initial sketches for the character which definitely are based on Glen Quinn.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Depicting Speed in Comics

Over at my companion blog for kids interested in comics I've put up some new posts including a link to an informative coloring tutorial, and a lengthy two part post on how the idea of speed can be conveyed in comic books.

If you have kids interested in comics take them over there and encourage them to ask questions. Grown-ups might learn something too.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

The Super Hero Squad volume 2 on DVD Today

The Super Hero Squad volume 2 DVD which contains the first episode I wrote for the show, "Night in the Sanctorum" goes on sale today. You can read more about the DVD here.

You can order the new DVD as well as volume 1 by using the links below.


Sunday, November 07, 2010

Historic Wonder Woman Document

Letters of Note  has a recent post regarding a letter exchanged between artist Harry G. Peter and lie detector and Wonder Woman creator Dr. William Moulton Marston with drawings and notes on costume ideas for the new character. Their is also a transcription of the exchange. The image comes from Heritage Auctions.

This is really exciting letter in that it gives us a great deal of insight into the visual creation of what is now such an iconic character.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Godzilla vs Gamera

In honor of today being Godzilla's 56th birthday, I thought I'd answer a question posed by Michael Jones, "Who'd win in a fight between Godzilla and Gamera?"

My first reaction is to ask why can't they just get along? My second, as a comic book writer, is to point out that while fighting they'd realize they were on the same side and team-up to battle Gyaos and King Ghidorah and the aliens who control them.

There are many factors to take into consideration, size, speed, stamina, agility, powers, intelligence, which incarnation of each character we're talking about, and so on.

My initial reaction would be that Godzilla would win, he's bigger, probably stronger, occasionally cunning, has his radioactive breath, and seems pretty unstoppable. At a few points in his career arc he's even meaner. He is the king of the monsters after all. And it is his birthday.

Working against Godzilla though are his slow, plodding pace of movement and he's a little slow of mind.

However, Gamera is way more agile, especially considering he's a turtle. He can fly, perform gymnastics, he's got those tusks, he always takes a serious beating in his movies with gushing green blood and everything, put never gives up. He's pretty smart. He's also nicer. If it came down to it, the military of Japan would probably back Gamera against Godzilla.

Working against Gamera are his less impressive fireball breath, the fact that if you knock him on his back, he has a hard time getting back up, and he'd probably have to fight while simultaneously protecting small children.

If it's 60s Gamera vs 60s Godzilla it would be pretty even. If it were 90s Gamera vs 90s Godzilla, I vote for Gamera all the way. 90s Godzilla was the dullest, least interesting Godzilla who mostly stood around shooting beams at his enemies while the human characters watched on tv. 90s Gamera was pretty badass for a giant turtle and took on some serious foes, including hundreds of Gyaos at the end of his final movie. Millennium Godzilla, as aggressive as he looks, is a bit smaller and weaker, and would also probably lose. The Godzilla from Godzilla, Mothra, King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack (2001) would destroy every incarnation named above as well as their enemies and never be stopped.

More interesting to contemplate is how they'd do in some other competitions:

Downhill Skiiing - Godzilla. He has that long tail for added balance and steering.

Toboggan - Gamera. He can lie on his back and accelerate with his leg jets.

Tether Ball - Godzilla. Longer more powerful arms and a better jump would allow him to dominate.

Bowling - Godzilla. Again, the arms, the tail for balance and two foreword looking eyes give him the edge.

Chess - Gamera. Godzilla wouldn't have the patience, or temperment to plan his moves ahead.

Battleship - Godzilla. He's shown his skill at destroying the real thing time and again.

Rockem Sockem Robots - Gamera. The controllers are practically built for his stumpy arms.

Duck Duck Goose - Gamera. His flying saucer jets would easily outpace the plodding steps of Godzilla.

Trivial Pursuit -  Neither monster has demonstrated any intellectual pursuits or interest in current events.

I hope this answers your question.


Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Coming Next Tuesday

Next Tuesday, November 9, The Super Hero Squad volume 2 will be available. It contains 6 episodes of the animated television show including "Night in the Sanctorum" which I wrote the script for.

You can pre-order it using the link below.

Monday, November 01, 2010

The Comics That Scared Me

As we slide gently away from the Halloween season (which truly is never over around here) I thought I'd post a link to a Robot 6 article in which myself and a batch of other comic book creators were asked about the comics that scared the $#!@% out of us. Here's  Part 1 and Part 2.

Ask Me Anything #4

After a month off, "Ask Me Anything" returns. 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 here  here and here. Answers not found following the questions can be found in the archives section for each associated month.

"Ask Me Anything" is a regular feature here and appears on the first Monday of every month.

Now ask away.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

31 Days of Halloween - Day 31 - Finale

The yard haunt took most of the afternoon to set up and about an hour to dismantle. There were only two set backs this year. One, a shortage of extension cords and power strips which was a poor thing to discover at the last minute since it was not an issue last year. Two, I have the music and sound effects burned to two separate CDs (just to show you what a backwards, no frills kind of operation I'm running). We were down to one CD player and the one I borrowed wasn't playing CDs either. A laptop in the bedroom window saved the day. Three, my usual nemesis -- the wind. I decided to put up the plastic jack o'lanterns with lit candles in them this year. Last year was too windy, and we're moving in the Spring, so I wanted to have them. During the early part of setting up, there was no wind to speak of. Once the jack o'lanterns were hung from the trees though, the wind started picking up and blowing them out. Most of them were out by the time trick or treaters began to arrive and by the time my kids were ready to go out (with me accompanying them) the wind had died down without any relighting having occurred. 

Things still turned out pretty well. 

I added three new graves this year. The above and two others. All were made from FedEx boxes, using a method similar to Dave Lowe's with hand cut out letters and adornments. 

The second grave, above, was for my son in memory of his dearly departed cockatiel. The third, I neglected to photograph, was an old faded headstone covered in moss.  To make up for it, here are some I didn't get pictures of last year that I reused.

The skull impaled tiki torches made a return, flanking the ends of our curved driveway. Here they are, not so impressive before dark...

And much more effective after dark. There were eight of them in all. 

At the time of the daylight shots above almost all of those plastic jack o'lanterns were still alight. A few hours later and what should have been a sky full of glowing orange orbs looked more like what you see above. 

All of last year's ghosts made it back this year, though Mark (who swam too close to a shark) is going to have to be completely replaced for next year. Cowboy Bob, the decapitated bride and the organ player were all back in fine form. 

New this year was a completely rebuilt Nosferatu. I had originally made him for a store window display, then the following year he migrated to my yard. When I moved from Ann Arbor, there was no way for him to come with me. He simply would have taken up too much valuable space in our shipping containers, so I removed his head and hands and saved those, and over the course of a few days build him a new body which was a vast improvement over the old one. We have a balcony overlooking the front yard that i wanted to station him in, and that's what I did.

You can see him much better in person than in the non flash photo above. The red light is a result of the extension cord shortage. The light was meant to go forward and below, and not visible from the ground, and I forgot to fix that once extension cords were obtained by my wife. You can't tell from the photos but I placed a small battery operated strobe light inside his head, so his eyes flickered. 

No, it's not Jesus risen. I had wanted to test a new concept I had on improving my plastic wrap and packing tape ghosts, but did not have the time this year to implement it. It will have to wait until next year. I did want at least one new ghost though, so I resorted to a scarecrow like figure which was just a big T made of pvc pipe, with a slight curve in the arm bar so the arms are reaching forward a bit. The hands are papier mache, the head is a plain white mask and a blonde wig attached to an empty plastic milk jug (1 gallon) with a sheet and sheer curtain and a hood. The eyes are battery operated rice lights fed into the milk jug. It cost about $8.00 to make, since I got the sheets and curtain at a thrift store on a 50% off day. In person it looked pretty great. You couldn't see the support pole at night, and she billowed and moved a bit in the wind. Kids were pretty creeped out by her and the vampire. 

As a bonus, here are some realistic earthworms I made for dessert for my son's sleepover the night before  and three views of the mask I made for him for his zombie pirate costume. 

I also made both my kids lanterns out of orange juice cartons with battery operated flickering lights that were very convincing. They wanted these because I was told that a pirate corpse and a Gypsy would not be carrying flashlights. 

Overall it was a pretty good Halloween, and a pretty good Halloween season. I hope it was for all of you too. Thanks to everyone who stopped by over the month, and hope you'll stop by out of season too. Everything goes back to normal here starting tomorrow, though it may take a couple days to change my banner. 


I am now going to take a much needed rest.