Thursday, December 28, 2006

Long Time No Post!

Okay, it's been a long time since I've had the chance to update this lil ol' blog. So long, in fact that Blogger has apparently been consumed by Google and, I guess has a whole bunch of new features I'll have to learn to use. This was news to me. Anyway, since It's been awhile, I figured you good folks out there deserve a update bonanza, so here goes.

Images gallore! That's what it's all about, right? First up is a picture of my incorrigible five-year-old Arlaux and an unsuspecting Santa. When we asked her what she wanted to wear to go see The Man, she immediately decided that the only outfit suitable was her Supergirl outfit. That's my girl!

Next up is my latest obsession. During the 1970s, Marvel Comics published one of the best WWII-era comic books of all time. Roy Thomas and Frank Robins produced some of the most memorable, over-the-top stories I've ever read. My collection of "Invaders" books is only about a dozen, but I plan on filling in the many gaps over the course of the '07 convention season.

Here's something that I almost never do! When a friend at work asked me to do a portrait of a friend of his for a birthday present, I cautiously accepted the challenge. Hey, I'm no Inkslinger. I never know how people are going to react when they see a picture of themselves drawn in my "style." Well, this one went over pretty well, I guess as her whole family wanted copies of it.
No, it's not "Snakes on a Plane," but it is a pretty close likeness to Mr. Samuel Jackson taken from an early issue of "Hero for Hire." I took some time off from drawing comics to actually read a bunch of dusty old comics I've acquired over the past year. I'll be posting images worth sharing, including the "Marvel Two-In-One" WTF panel of all time. Stay tuned. Okay, I altered that last word balloon a bit.

Finally, I managed to get two paintings under my belt, both for my buddy Dwayne's boys for Christmas. Since they were going to be hung in the same house, I decided to try an experiment in light and dark contrast, making Cap the brighter of the two and Hawkeye a little more menacing. I've got two more on the way and you'll be seeing them as soon as they're done.

Well, that about sums things up this time around. I'll be posting more soon, including further installments on "Dollar Store Cinema." I might even post a review of a movie with both Bo Hopkins and Jerry Reed in it! Considering I thought those two were the same guy, it was quite a shock.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Dollar Store Cinema Double Feature!

For those of you wondering, yes, I'm still diligently working on various comic book projects. At this writng, I'm a mere three pages from finishing the pencil work on Salem, AZ#1. Rest assured, there will be plenty on display here very soon. But, in the meantime, I'm watching more bad horror movies than I should admit to.

This time I give you a "Dollar Store Cinema Double Feature," featuring Atom Age Vampire and Dr. Jekyll vs the Werewolf (yeah, you read that right).

Atom Age Vampire is almost too good for this segment and is only a "b" movie as a matter of circumstance.

After the beautiful dancer Janette (played with sultry glamour by Susanna Loret) is dumped by her boyfriend, she, in a fit of restless despair, suffers a horrible car accident, hideously scarring her once beautiful face. Lying in a hospital bed, suffering from the blackest depression, Jeanette is given a glimpse of hope from Monique, a beautiful, mysterious assistant to the sinister Professor Levin. Desperate to repair her mutilated face, Jeanette finds herself the latest experiment of the bizarre doctor, and an accomplice to a series of savage murders committed to maintain the effects of her restored beauty.

There are a few aspects of this film that the box doesn't cover. One of which is more of a misnomer. Jeanette doesn't exactly volunteer for the experiment and there's more to the mad doctor than meets the eye. All things considered, this was a pretty damn cool movie. Find it, buy it, even if it costs you $1.99, which is actually what I paid for it.
I tried to google a decent picture of Susanne Loret, but this is the best I could do.
And that brings us to Dr. Jekyll vs. the Werewolf, not exactly one of Italy's finest exports.

Tired of turning into a wolf, a man seeks a cure from Dr. Jekyll's grandson. RUNTIME: 76 MINUTES.

That's pretty much all the box says. Sounds like a pretty cool plot, right? I don't think the guy that wrote the little synopsis actually watched the movie and I can't say as I blame him. Now, I'll admit I watched this movie over a quart of Miller High-Life, but I don't think that had anything to do with how bad it was. 76 minutes never seemed so long. It reminded me of an Igmar Bergman movie, just not shot as well.
The movie's only saving grace was one Shirley Corrigan (below), which made it a buck well spent.
Next time, a bit of a departure as Dollar Store Cinema brings you Moon of the Wolf, starring the fugitive himself David Janssen (much to his shame, I'm sure).

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Dollar Store Cinema Returns!

Here's the thing about October. I watch a lot of monster movies in October. When else can you get away with it, right? Luckily, dollar stores realize this so there's no short supply of crappy monster movies to be found. I call them "monster movies" instead of "horror movies" because, well, they're just not scary, which would imply horror. At least to me.

Today, I picked up a copy of Atom Age Vampire, which is actually almost too good for my "Dollar Store Cinema" review, but more on it later. Instead, as promised, I give you...Bloody Pit of Horror!

A group of photographers and models arrive at an Italian castle owned by a deranged ex-actor who is the reincarnation of the notorious medieval torturer, the Crimson Executioner. When he discovers that his ex-girlfriend is among the group, the enraged madman subjects them to his dungeon of torture. With scantly clad victims pleading for mercy as they face unendurable tortures, Bloody Pit of Horrors is a titillating over-the-top European horror epic.

The box had me at "titillating." This movie delivers, too, folks and "over-the-top" is putting it lightly. A bevvy of barely-dressed Italian beauties is chased around the creepy, old castle by one mantastic Mickey Hargitay, father (with a little help from Jane Mansfield) of the lovely and talented Marishka Hargitay, whom some of you may recall from previous blogs, is one of the few reasons TV was invented. But I digress.

Bloody Pit of Horror's seemingly inexhaustible supply of screaming cheesecake is only matched by an almost laughable, if not downright disturbing amount of mancake supplied by Hargitay. Perhaps that is the true horror within this bloody pit. It's a "b" movie in its purest form and must be seen to be believed. It might sound like I'm putting this movie down, I'm really not. If you can find it, buy it, but don't pay more than a buck for it and you won't be disappointed.
Next time, as promised, Atom Age Vampire! God bless the Italians...

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Dollar Store Cinema

It's a little known fact that so-called dollar stores are a great place to scout out cheap movies on DVD. We have about a half dozen such stores in my little hometown here and, every chance I get, I scour them for DVDs. My philososphy is simple: if you pay a buck for a movie and it turns out to be crap, you're only out a buck.

In the past, I've managed to find quite a few good movies this way, Kansas City Confidential, Deep Red and Legend of the Eight Samurai are among the good ones. Horrors of Spider Island, however, wasn't. It was, though, worth watching for its pure absurdity and it gave me the idea for a (hopefully) regular segment. I'm calling it "Dollar Store Cinema" and it will feature movies I've found that are so bad I couldn't look away.

A team of girls find themselves caught in a deadly web when they are shipwrecked on a remote South Seas island. The lush, tropical isle seems an ideal place to await their rescue, but hidden in the jungle are giant poisonous spiders. A venomous bite transforms the girls' escort into a disfigured beast, half-man and half-insect. Consumed with lust and craving blood, the monster hunts down the defenseless girls and slaughters them one by one.

At least that's what the box says. What you get are cat fights, cheap special effects, horny broads and bad acting. It's just THAT good. I've actually watched it about a half dozen times and what cracks me up most is, through all the horror going on around them, all these girls want to do is party. Keep in mind this movie was made in the early sixties and when it hit the American shores, it was probably nothing short of shocking for its brazen sexual content, which by today's standards falls short of a Disney movie. I highly recommend this movie on that merit alone.
Next time...Bloody Pit of Horror!

Sunday, September 17, 2006

The Lost Lore of American Life

My dad sent this to me today and ordinarily I don't even open "forewards," but he usually sends me some good ones. I thought I'd share it with you. I don't know who wrote it, but they were dead on when they did:

TO ALL THE KIDS WHO WERE BORN IN THE 1930's 40's, 50's, 60's and 70's !!
First, we survived being born to mothers who smoked and/or drank while they carried us.
They took aspirin, ate blue cheese dressing, tuna from a can, and didn't get tested for diabetes.
Then after that trauma, our baby cribs were covered with bright colored lead-based paints.
We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, doors or cabinets and when we rode our bikes, we had no helmets, not to mention, the risks we took hitchhiking .
As children, we would ride in cars with no seat belts or air bags.
Riding in the back of a pick up on a warm day was always a special treat.
We drank water from the garden hose and NOT from a bottle.
We shared one soft drink with four friends, from one bottle and NO ONE actually died from this.
We ate cupcakes, white bread and real butter and drank soda pop with sugar in it, but we weren't overweight because WE WERE ALWAYS OUTSIDE PLAYING!!
We would leave home in the morning and play all day, as long as we were back when the streetlights came on.
No one was able to reach us all day. And we were O.K.
We would spend hours building our go-carts out of scraps and then ride down the hill, only to find out we forgot the brakes. After running into the bushes a few times, we learned to solve the problem
We did not have Playstations, Nintendo's, X-boxes, no video games at all, no 99 channels on cable, no video tape movies, no surround sound, no cell phones, no personal computers, no Internet or Internet chat rooms. WE HAD FRIENDS and we went outside and found them!
We fell out of trees, got cut, broke bones and teeth and there were no lawsuits from these accidents .
We ate worms and mud pies made from dirt, and the worms did not live in
us forever.
We were given BB guns for our 10th birthdays,
made up games with sticks and tennis balls and although we were told it would happen, we did not put out very many eyes.
We rode bikes or walked to a friend's house and knocked on the door or rang the bell, or just yelled for them!
Little League had tryouts and not everyone made the team. Those who didn't had to learn to deal with disappointment. Imagine that!!
The idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke the law was unheard of. They actually sided with the law!
This generation has produced some of the best risk-takers, problem solvers and inventors ever!
The past 50 years have been an explosion of innovation and new ideas.
We had freedom, failure, success and responsibility, and we learned HOW TO DEAL WITH IT ALL!
And YOU are one of them!
You might want to share this with others who have had the luck to grow up as kids, before the lawyers and the government regulated our lives for our own good.
and while you are at it, forward it to your kids so they will know how brave their parents were.
Kind of makes you want to run through the house with scissors, doesn't it?!

I sent him back this email:

"Kill all the lawyers." --Shakespeare, Henry VI

If I've offended anyone, sue me. It's what we do.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Along Came A Spider...

Project updates this time 'round!

First, a bit of shocking news. Apparently Joe "Madskills" Fuentes had a bit of a setback when his computer crashed, taking with it all the color work he's done for Pickle Press. That includes all 32 pages of Three Keys #2 as well as work on a number of other Pickle Press books. But, he's assured Nik he's working night and day to get caught up. Per angusta ad augusta, I always say. Loosely translated: No pressure no diamonds.
My work on the fist issue of Salem, AZ stalled out for a bit, but I'm back in the swing of things with only about eight more pages to pencil. Bill "Inkinator" Wilkison assured me in an email that his ink work on it is going swimingly. I believe his words were: Who said anything about a dry spell, bitch? I'm rolling in it! You gotta know the guy, I guess.

Below are two panels from page thirty. Awhile back I did this picture of Kerry Connelly and when Nicole McClain saw it, she announced she was afraid of spiders. That little bit of personal information from the big bad deer hunter made drawing page thirty particularly fun for me.
Nik has agreed to letter what is going to be an ashcan version of Up Jumped the Devil in trade for a Lady Blackhawk painting. You gotta know the guy, I guess. More on that later.

Well, that pretty much wraps things up this time 'round.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Fun with "Sneezed."

Okay, the random verb is "sneezed." I may never forgive Nik for introducing me to this damn game.

1. “Every time Paul sneezed, he blew the roof off the bunkhouse.” So they made me sleep outside at camp.

2. “Paul sneezed during class. He was turned into an apple.” And got kicked out of Hogwart’s for it, too!

3. “Paul sneezed. ‘Bollocks,’ he said, ‘I think I have caught a cold.’” Yeah, I can’t add anything to that one. It’s friggin’ perfect.

4. “Paul sneezed two cubes.” Hey, nobody told me not to drink my ice tea through my nose.

5. “Paul sneezed loudly and dabbed his nose with a lace-edged handkerchief.” Okay, it was my grandma’s and we were in church.

6. “Paul sneezed on the Superman comic.” Thus ruining the collector’s value!

7. “Paul sneezed the napkin off the table.” I got nothin’.

8. “Paul sneezed and made faces trying to stop himself from sneezing again and altered his voice which showed some signs of strain.” Emergency hernia surgery immediately followed.

If you have no idea what you just read, try this. "Google" your first name with any verb like "jumped" or "slapped" and read the subtext following the initial headline.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Three Minutes with the Inkslinger

For sometime now, Bill "The Inkslinger" Wilkison has been posting "three minute interviews" with various artists in the field of comics. Now, you're not gonna find these folks listed in the credits of the everyday garden variety comic books you find at your local newstand (do they even have comics at your local newstand anymore?). No, these folks are on a path all their own and all of them are extraordinarily-talented individuals, so it seemed only right to interview the interviewer.

But who is Bill Wilkison? Aside from being the force behind his three-issue comic book series featuring the Amazing Walter, Bill is an artist who knows no limits. I've only known Bill a few years, but it somehow seems longer. You can interpret that however you want, but I credit it to his love of the game of life. Bill has used Sharpies for so many years he should suffer a permanent contact buzz and he's the only guy I've ever met who gave himself his own nickname and it stuck.

Paul Schultz: Bill, you've managed to find a common thread among artists across the board that Dr. Seuss had a big influence on them growing up and that influence continues today. What influence has Dr. Seuss had on your life, work or art?

Inkslinger: He taught me to loosen up. In art and in life. The stories are really all about not being so uptight...about discovery...about taking risks and letting yourself be transformed. This is how you should treat your art as matter what boundaries you think exist, no matter what limitations or expectations you put on yourself, there is always something else in store.

PS: I guess the guy who invented the question should have the best answer. Hey, Bill, art is interpretive. What is this?

Inkslinger: I made this game up, so I'm allowed two answers. At first I thought it was an olive in shadow, but I know this is because I finally broke down yesterday and bought 10 very expensive Olives stuffed with sun-dried tomatoes. But anyone can clearly see that this is the nose and mouth of Boo-boo Bear from the Yogi cartoons.

PS: What's your favorite "secret shame" movie?

Inkslinger: Milk Money starring Melanie Griffith. (In fact all of my "secret shames" invlove Melanie Griffith.)

Monday, August 21, 2006

My Son the Artist

My six-year-old son Ayden drew this the other day and posted it on the 'fridge. I just had to share it.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Meme Alert!

My buddy Nik was right in his latest blog entry when he said: " I think memes exist solely to give bloggers things to post." And in keeping with that declaration, Here's his latest meme, followed by mine:

2. WERE YOU NAMER AFTER ANYONE?: Uh, I'm pretty sure a baby in the hospital was named before me.
3. WHEN DID YOU LAST CRY?: Watching "Benchwarmers." I laughed so hard I cried.
7. IF YOU WERE ANOTHER PERSON WOULD YOU BE FRIENDS WITH YOU?: Probably not as I can be pretty caustic & intimidating (or so I'm told).
8. DO YOU HAVE A JOURNAL?: Only online.
11. WOULD YOU BUNGEE JUMP?: Maybe ten years ago.
12. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CEREAL?: Lucky Charms though I seldom eat cereal
14. DO YOU THINK YOU ARE STRONG?: Stronger than I give myself credit for, I'm told.
15. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE ICE CREAM?: Never touch the stuff.
16. WHAT IS THE FIRST THING YOU NOTICE ABOUT PEOPLE?: Whether they look me in the eye or not. It says a lot.
17. RED OR PINK?: Pink.
18. WHAT IS THE LEAST FAVORITE THING YOU LIKE ABOUT YOURSELF?: Weird question. Who doesn't like something they like about themself?
19. WHO DO YOU MISS THE MOST?: If you know me, you know that answer.
20. DO YOU WANT EVERYONE TO SEND THIS BACK TO YOU?: If I sad "No," that'd be just plain rude.
21.WHAT COLOR PANTS AND SHOES ARE YOU WEARING?: Jeans, no shoes (see #13).
22. THE LAST THING YOU ATE?: A beef chimichanga.
23. WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW?: Well, "Golden Girls" is on in the background...
25. FAVORITE SMELL?: The laundromat on the way to work on Sunday mornings.
27. FAVORITE SPORT TO WATCH?: I hate sports.
28. DO YOU LIKE THE PERSON WHO SENT THIS TO YOU?: Technically, I vamped this meme from Nik's blog and he's a'ight.
29. FAVORITE DRINK?: Non-alcoholic: lemonade; alcoholic: Johnny Red on the rocks.
30. HAIR COLOR?: Brown(ish) .
31. COLOR OF EYES?: Brown(ish).
33. FAVORITE FOOD?: Burritos or egg rolls.
34. SCARY MOVIES OR HAPPY ENDING?: Who doesn't like a happy ending?!
35. LAST MOVIE YOU WATCHED?: "V for Vindetta." It was awesome.
36. WHAT COLOR SHIRT ARE YOU WEARING?: Mostly green leaves with tucans all over it.
37. SUMMER OR WINTER?: Winter.
38. HUGS OR KISSES?: Kisses. Hugs have almonds in 'em and I'm not a fan of almonds.
39. FAVORITE DESSERT?: Black coffee.
42. WHAT BOOK ARE YOU READING?: "All the Pretty Horses" by Cormac MacCarty.
43. WHAT'S ON YOUR MOUSE PAD?: Looks like a jelly stain..
44. WHAT DID YOU WATCH ON TV LAST NIGHT?: The first six episodes of "Weeds." They were pretty good.
45. FAVORITE SOUNDS?: My kids laughing.
46. ROLLING STONES OR BEATLES?: Paint it black, you devils!
48. DO YOU HAVE A SPECIAL TALENT?: I can work and talk at the same time. Turns out a lot of people can't.
49. WHEN WERE YOU BORN?: Exactly seven years to the day before Jenna Jameson.
50. WHERE WERE YOU BORN?: In a hospital.
51. WHO WOULD YOU MOST LIKE TO MEET?: God & He knows why.

And that's pretty much me in 51 questions.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Busy Weekend!

It was a busy weekend! First there was my twenty-year high school reunion. It was actually two reunions in one as a good number of people that I graduated high school with I'd also graduated elementary school with. I think my entire elementary school student body was around three hundred and my high school graduating class was over three hundred. Big change. In a way, seeing some of the old grade school kids was more special. But that's not to say it was great seeing some of my old high school chums, some of whom I literally haven't seen since graduation twenty years ago.

Then there was Wizard World, Chicago. I didn't set up with Nik this year. I've got a love/hate relationship with this show. It's a great convnetion to buy stuff, but they treat us small press guys like leppers when they should be kissing our feet. Artist Alley, the home of small pressers and day-jobbers like myself help keep the show afloat. Some of the finest books you'll ever read can be found in Artist Alley. We put everything we've got into our work and it shows. I'll have reviews soon, I've just a lot more of 'em to read.

I got a lot of really cool stuff, including an autographed picture of Joyce Dewitt, the nicest celebrity I've ever met. My wife Barbi and I met her last year at the Motor City Comicon. It was great seeing her again.

I got to reconnect with a few very talented friends of mine like Ryan "Sarge" Sargeant, Mike Indovina (a fellow OTF conspirator) and Rafael Navarro.

This year the costume themes were (as usual) Storm Troopers & pirates, but I was totally blown away by the girl in the Power Girl outfit. Who the hell dresses up like Power Girl?! I was told by Nik that she's also been known to dress up as Poison Ivy and Shanna the She-Devil. She told me she liked to portray the more obscure characters.

Totally commited. That's how I'd describe the boys at the Ape Entertainment booth, particularly Ben Lichius, co-creator of The Black Coat, A Call to Arms. These guys rock and I wish them every bit of success. Ben was cool enough to do this sketch card of the Black Coat for me and signed it to my good friend Billy, the only guy I know who enjoys the series even more than me!

One of my missions whenever I go to a convention, be it Wizard World or a glorified fleamarket, is to hunt down cheap comics from the 1970s, particularly those drawn/written by Jack "The King" Kirby. Marvel Comics in particular hold particular interest to me due to the characters and the grandeur of their scope and the dynamics of their action. That's not to sell short Kirby's New Gods or Demon, but Kirby's work for Marvel just bursts from the page. The best part about collecting Kirby comics is I could spend my whole life collecting them for a buck a piece and never run out of books. The guy drew dozens of titles and did hundreds of issues of them in some cases. As a burgeoning comic book artist, I can't comprehend doing that big of a body of work!
I talked with Rafael about the artist's role as "director of photography" in a comic book. We'd both agreed that Darwyn Cooke is a master of this philosophy. It's more than just moving a story along, it's dropping the ready smack dab in the middle of a bloody frey. It's making the reader feel all the emotion of the scene. Cooke can do this without a single caption or word balloon. Cooke is a master, but Kirby is a pioneer, a maveric and a legend because of his ability.

And let's not forget his monsters...

Killer androids...

And of course, robots, robots, ROBOTS!

Well, that pretty much wraps things up this time around. See you around the funny books...

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Better Late Than Never

Over a year ago, at the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund auction at the spring Motor City Comicon, Nik bought this original Matt Feazell sketch of comic bookdom's first family, the Fantastic Four. Nik knows what a fan I am of Matt and his work, the guy's a true pioneer in the field of independant comics. If you're ever in my house, you'll see examples of Matt's genius almost everywhere. I can't go on enough about the guy. The Inkslinger shares my "hero worship" as well.

Anyway, about the picture. I'd meant to post it after Nik gave it to me, but as John Lennon once said: Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans. So, here it is, over a year later and I'm finally getting around to posting the Human Torch, the Invisible Girl, Mister Fantastic and the ever-lovin', blue-eyed Thing. Even my kids like this one.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Go Google Yourself!

Wait, it's not as bad as it sounds! I realize it's been awhile since I posted anything. Life, if nothing else, is full of surprises. That's all I'm sayin'. Since I don't have any pictures to post this time 'round, I'll post this:

My pal Nik Harvert brought this little game to my attention. Simply type your name into Google followed by a neutral verb such as "watches," "eats" or, in my example below, "thinks." It's a lot of fun on a night of reruns on TV.

Here's one I just did:

Paul Thinks That We Are The A-Team.
Paul thinks he's Batman.
Paul thinks that people were doing just fine. (Admittedly, this is an abridgement of a boring statement concerning Social Security, but it's damn funny out of context)
Paul thinks of snow.
Paul thinks it's OK transpixel. (Only because it sounds kinda dirty)
Paul thinks of the body as “something like a ganglion in a network of nerves." (Only because it sounds kinda dirty)
Paul thinks about thinking. How fast do people think? Is thinking faster than worrying? (It's true. I do)
Paul thinks the food can be eaten just like any other food. Nothing magical has taken place, no change has occurred, it is still just food. (True, unless it's a spinnach & sausage calzone)
Paul thinks that life couldn't possibly get any worse. But he was wrong.
Paul thinks that computers are evil.

See what I mean? Fun for the whole family! Give it a try.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Something I Wrote

Well, I've decided to take a crack at writing again. It's always been my second passion. While searching for the first draft of a book I wrote nearly a decade ago, which I figure could use a little work, I uncovered a bunch of short stories. To get back into the swing of things, I thought I'd polish 'em up a bit and post 'em for your entertainment and comments. The one I posted below is probably the last short story I ever wrote. It ain't too long & sorry, no pictures.
"A Stray"
By Paul E. Schultz
Two Dobie pups roughhouse noisily in the dust, testing mettle, like all children will. Before Time's march leads them to adulthood. The lucky ones grow up. Some just grow old.
I sit on the unfinished deck, in the thinning shade of the old house, watching idly, remembering what I can't forget. A boy I used to know, a stray who couldn't be house broke. Or broken.
I light a cigarette from my nail apron--a candle in the window--drawing a concerned glance from the screen door. Eyes too old for one so young. I don't even try to figure out the dog years.
"Her's called Sleepy-eyes."
Corn silk hair caught on an invisible breeze. Rabbit eyes stare out from behind taped-up frames.
Popsicle purple drips on new lumber.
"As good a name as any, I suppose."
"Mommy don't like her playin' with them others."
"In this heat, I don't blame her."
"She says them's too mean, but them's just playin'."
Inside the house, a man's voice calls. An echo from a nightmare.
The little girl jumps. "Gotta go now. Bye."
The screen door smacks, echoed from inside a moment later. I hear his voice, remembering the tone if not the words.
How many times do I have to tell you...? Why do you make me do this...? What's wrong with you...?
In the driveway, the playing stops and the pups scatter. Sleepy-eyes continue to stare. I know what she's asking.
I give the butt a flick, pick up my hammer and reach for the door.
If you like what you just read and would like to read more of my stuff, head over to this blog and check it out. Let me know what you think, good or bad. How else am I gonna know, right? I'll be adding new material periodically and will let you know when I do.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

I Should Look So Good.

This picture was presented to me a few days ago by my four-year-old daughter Arlaux. "It's you, dad," she announced.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

I've Never Been More Proud

I'd normally save this post for my daughter Arlaux's blog, but I just had share it here.
The other day, Arlaux (4) and my son Ayden (6) were trying to figure out which presidents were on which coin.
When they reached the penny, Arlaux triumphantly announced, "I know who's on the penny!"
"Who?" asked her brother.
"Johnny Cash!"
Kris Kristofferson was right, I suppose.
I've never been more proud.
Keep it here, boppers.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Motorcity Madhouse!

It was convention time again this weekend & it was off to Detroit, Michigan to the Motorcity Comicon, which is, oddly enough, held in Novi, Michigan. Anyway, this time around it was all for fun. I've not attended a comic book convention just for the "fun of it" since I first started this wacky ride some two years ago.
And this time around, it was a small army of us along for the ride. Barbi, Dwayne, his two boys Alec & Dylan and our friends Larry & Amanda "Sprinkles" Berker and their two boys Tyler & Jeremy all made the trek to geekdom this year. Aside from the radio konking out on us on the way home, the trip was uneventful, which is never the case.

One of our first and most frequented stops was the Inkslinger's table. There's not much more about this guy that I can say that I haven't said before. Since I'm not sure how he might take that, I'll say one more thing: Bill will soon be taking the inking reigns on Salem, AZ. His work on part one of Up Jumped the Devil was so awesome that Nik & I offered him the inking spot on Salem, AZ. It only seemed right as he is the book's #1 fan.

Pirates, Storm Troopers & Caped Crusaders, oh, my! The three seemed to be the preferred costumes this year artist Sherrie Spencer was more than happy to pose with one of my packs of candy cigarettes. Be sure to check her out.
Anybody into Nick Cave, Tom Waits & The Man In Black can't be all bad.

Sympathetic to my crusade as well (yeah, I said it) against the consumption of candy cigarettes, the Caped Crusader and Boy Wonder were more than willing to pose for this picture. I just want to make one thing clear. I'm against banning almost anything, and it's not my intention with candy cigarettes, I merely want the general public to realise that these candies are still being made. Do I have to say more? Knowing me, I probably do, so I'm in the process of putting together another blog to do just that. By the way, these guys were awesome and I owe them a big "thanks."

If you haven't read David Petersen's Mouse Guard, you have no idea what you've been missing. Issue one is currently sold out and issue three is due out in June. I picked up issue two Saturday, read it in the hotel and was blown away! David is also a super nice guy who, in spite of his busy work load of requested sketches, took the time to talk shop with me and pose for this picture. Perched upon this tree stump are all the characters, which he also hand made, in Mouse Guard. Check it out!

No, it's not Bat-Mite, just the best costume I saw all weekend.

Model, bow hunter & arachniphobe Nicole McClain poses behind the curtain of legendary George Perez and strikes a pose for a photo reference for an upcomg Salem, AZ postcard. Postcard supplied by the Inkslinger. Notice the orange t-shirt (if you can stop looking at Nicole for a minute).

The "Kerry" costume is coming together nicely thanks to the tireless efforts of both Nik Havert & Nicole and here's proof. As an artist, it just makes me proud beyond belief and even a bit giddy to see a walking, talking version of my two-dimensional creation. Nicole's willingness and gung-ho enthusiasm towards the whole project just fuels the excitement.

Nik, Nicole & yours truly pose for a group shot. A big "thanks" goes out to the incomperable (and tall) Dave Nestler for snapping this shot.
If the croud response we got while test running what we currently have of the costume is any indication of things to come, this thing's gonna be bigger than anything the three of us can imagine.

Flabbergasted by the Salem, AZ preview the Slinger let us run in Lucius Hears A Wha?, Nicole was more than happy to pose for a final quick flash.
Lucius Hears A Wha? not only wraps up the adventures of the Amazing Walter, but sports some major guest talent. Contributions from the likes of Stephen "Bad Music for Bad People" Blickenstaff, C.J. Filer & Bill "Don't Call It A Comeback" Loebs must be seen to be believed.

Keep it here, boppers...

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Images from SPACE!

And so another trip to SPACE has come and gone!
This convention was a special one for a lot of reasons. It not only marked the second SPACE appearance for Mr. Pickle Press himself, Nik Havert & myself, but it was also the largest gathering of the happy few that make up the Orange Tablecloth Front. Who or what the hell is the OTF? you might ask? Well, I'm glad you asked. Basically a few of us indy guys got together to form a support group to help promote and support each other against the staggering odds against us set up by The Man. We're not out to change the world, just to let comic book fans know that there's a huge chunk of iceberg just below the surface. Why orange? you ask? If you ask fellow OTF conspirator Bill "The Inkslinger" Wilkison, he'll tell you it's because nothing rhymes with "orange."
Above is a picture of myself (left) and Nik at the Pickle Press table just a few hours into the show. Aside from being set up across the aisle from Uko "Mr. Pin-Up" Smith, my only qualm about our area was the lighting. I wasn't the only one who noticed either. A number of artists I talked to had the same complaint.
By the way, Uko is an artist's artist and as humble as they come. More on him later...

For the life of me, I can't remember this guy's name, but he did an awesome picture of Vampirella for Nik. While the guy was working on it, I mentioned to Nik how the guy just had to be in Salem, AZ. Nik agreed and the guy was flattered. The Vampi drawing was awesome and as soon as I can get his name and website, you'll find it here, boppers.

Jay E. Fife (above) is not only a fantastic artist, but a fan as well, or most importantly, his daughter Erin is. After all, what's more important than inspiring the next generation? Jay poses here with a Wonder Woman drawing I did for her.
"What I don't get," I told him while leafing through his pin-up book, "is why does she want me to draw pictures for her?"
"Let me put it to you this way," he said, "she's not asking me to draw Wonder Woman for her."
That's probably the highest praise I've gotten since Steve The Dude Rude said, "I like that you're not afraid to use black."

Corey of Young American Comics was gracious enough to pose with a pack of candy smokes for my upcoming website deticated to the cancerous confectionary. YAC had some of the finest mini comics I've ever read. I particularly enjoyed Pair-O-Normal Investigators #1 in which Bigfoot & the Loch Ness Monster are paranormal investigators in Monstra City. Check out YAC's website, buy some stuff & support indy comics!

"Jam books" were all the rage this year. If you were an artist, it was only a matter of time before someone slipped one under your nose. For those of you not in the know, a jam book is just a piece of drawing paper, sometimes several pieces stapled together, with some form of story going on that you're asked to contribute a panel to. It's a great idea, but after about my fourth jam book, it occured to me that it's also a pretty good racket to garner some free orginal art.
The one you see above was, I believe, a hastily stapled scam to get some free art, so I got greedy and took the whole back cover. I realize it's fuzzy, but it's Nik and me standing at our table:
"Dude," says Nik, "you totally over-committed to that sketch."
"Dude," I reply, "I'm across the aisle from Uko Friggin' Smith!"
Thanks to the Slinger for that bit.
Uko was put back by the compliment.
No this isn't the back cover to a Molley Hatchet or Foghat album. I owe a Big 'Fro-sized thanks to Hollywood for providing me with this group shot of the OTF. With the exception of Joe Fuentes, the OTF were all present and accounted for. From left to right, are Mike "Can't Get Me No Satrysfaction" Indovina, myself, Hollywood, the Inkslinger & Nik. Keep it here, boppers for all the latest news about the OTF, yours truly and anything else that comes to mind. The countdown to SPACE 2007 is on...

Friday, May 12, 2006

Artist in Training

I know I usually reserve the pictures of my daughter Arlaux for her own blog, but I just wanted to share these here. Here's my little four-year-old artist-in-training working diligently at my desk.

For all the latest groovy news in her life, check out her blog: They Call Me "Boo-Boo."