Tuesday, March 31, 2009


My computer died last night and it's going to take a couple of weeks to get it back. That really sucks because I'm on vacation from my day job this week and was trying to use the time to do some catching up. Sigh.

I'm at the library right now, just shooting off this post and a few emails to let people know what's going on. I don't expect to be able to get back here a lot though. I guess that means I'm on vacation from the blog too. I'll be back as soon as I can.

I'll miss you, Internet!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Adventureblog Gallery: Looks like the "pawns" have revolted

Your 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea Picture of the Day

By Édouard Riou.

The Galaxy Master

By Ed Valigursky.

Writing is Hard: Inspiration and Breaking In


Comics writer Paul Kupperberg gives the most honest answer I've ever heard to the most dishonest question writers get asked: "Where do you get your ideas?" He starts with the notion that "thought is the enemy of art" and goes from there.

Speaking of idea-birthing, I've downloaded the transcript of Stephen Spielberg, George Lucas, and Lawrence Kasdan's creating Indiana Jones, but I haven't read it yet. It's 126 pages, but it's 126 pages of some really imaginative people hashing out the details on one of my favorite characters, so I need to find time to sit down with it.

Breaking into Marvel and DC

Robot 6 helpfully collected some of the advice that Marvel's talent scout CB Cebulski has been dispensing via Twitter about getting your foot in the door at Marvel and DC. Here are the two I found most helpful at this point in my career:
Yes, working in comics is a lot of fun, but it’s still work and has to be approached as such.

...each pitch is ultimately a unique experience. It will change depending on company, character, editor, etc.
Something I'm focusing more on this year is to see writing as work that I want to take seriously. Up until now, I've been enjoying it as a pastime and figuring that if I was any good at it, doors would somehow magically open for me. That's just not the case. I've known for a while that the act of writing is hard, but now I'm getting more savvy about the business of it too.

Something I've learned while pitching Kill All Monsters is that you shouldn't just create a form-letter pitch and send it out to everyone on your list. You can start with a form-letter, but it's far more helpful to customize it for each publisher. And I'm not talking about just changing the editor's name.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Music Meme: 1986

Continuing my list of favorite albums from every year I've been alive.


A-Ha: Scoundrel Days

I resisted picking this one for the year because I didn't want to choose the same band for two years in a row. "Keep it interesting," I thought. I tried plugging Music from the Edge of Heaven and Please into the top spot, but as much as I like those albums and Wham! and Pet Shop Boys in general, I just don't like them as much as this. In fact, song-for-song Scoundrel Days is even a better collection than Hunting High and Low.

Wish I could find the original video for this song, but oh well. Here it is live.

Runners up:
Belinda Carlisle: Belinda
Pet Shop Boys: Please
Pretty in Pink soundtrack
Prince: Parade: Music from the Motion Picture Under the Cherry Moon
Poison: Look What the Cat Dragged In
R.E.M.: Lifes Rich Pageant
David Lee Roth: Eat 'Em and Smile
The Stranglers: Dreamtime
Wham!: Music from the Edge of Heaven

The Bangles: "Walk Like an Egyptian"
Beastie Boys: "Fight for Your Right"
Berlin: "Take My Breath Away"
Blow Monkeys: "Digging Your Scene"
Chris de Burgh: "The Lady in Red"
Duran Duran: "Notorious"
Electric Light Orchestra: "Calling America"
Janet Jackson: "Nasty"
Run DMC featuring Aerosmith: "Walk This Way"

Looking at those runners up and singles, there's a lot of pop, rap, r&b, and glam rock. And the last good song from Duran Duran. I didn't know it yet, but New Wave was dying.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Quote of the Week: The Double-Whammy of Boomer Death

Boomer getting killed = love it. I have no sympathy for that Tyrol-playin' child-stealin' Cavil-humpin' ho bag. I'm an Athena boy all the way. Glad she was the one who got to do Boomer in. It would've been even cooler if Helo had run up to her and punched her in the head at the same time Athena shot her. The double-whammy of Boomer death.
--Grant Gould, with whom I agree on just about everything concerning the Battlestar Galactica finale.


As an experiment, I've turned on AdSense for the blog. If this is at all annoying to you, please let me know. I'm not blogging to make money; mostly I'm just curious about how well the program matches ads to the kind of stuff I talk about around here.


The Management

Friday, March 27, 2009

Jungle Girls in Space!

Your 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea Picture of the Week Day?

By Édouard Riou.

"This Planet is Mine!"

By Ed Valigursky.

Black Canary Gallery, Part 354

Charcoal Canary

By Gene Gonzales.

Canary Costume Cavalcade

At Bam! Kapow!

Holmes & Watson, NYCPI

I don't know anything about this except:

1. It's Kyle Baker.
2. Drawing female versions of Holmes and Watson.
3. And a hot vampire.

But that's all I need to know.

Writing is Hard: Marketing to Indie Bookstores

I'm not anywhere near a place in my career where I need this information, which is exactly why I'm linking to it now so I can refer to it later. I mentioned the IndieBound site before, but not their associates program where you can promote your book to independent booksellers.

Very snazzy.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Call Him Colossus!

I know it probably looks like I'm slacking off a bit on the posting and maybe I am. But what I'm also doing is some behind-the-scenes reorganizing of the way I post. I've got a reason for that, but it's probably way more interesting to me than it is to you. Hope to be back up to speed soon.

In the meantime...

Your 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea Picture of the Week

By Alphonse de Neuville.

And a giant robot stomping San Francisco

By Ed Valigursky.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The fortune cookie says, "DEATH!"

Shang Chi rules.

And so does Brian Ralph. And Robert Goodin's Covered blog.

Jungle Batman vs. the Giant Octopus


Rob Hanes Adventures is probably the most under-appreciated indie adventure comic I know. That's partly due to its irregular publishing schedule, but still, I wish more people knew about it because it's a lot of fun. Each issue is self-contained and the concept is flexible enough that cartoonist Randy Reynaldo is able to jump from genre to genre with every story.

Issue #12 - due in July - will be an island adventure. According to Randy, "Rob is hired to extradite a beautiful felon back to the United States from Japan, but becomes stranded alone with her on a desert island after their plane goes down over the Pacific." You can see a preview at Randy's ComicSpace page.

The Adventures of Gabriel Hunt

Hard Case Crime's Gabriel Hunt adventure series is finally kicking off on April 28 with Hunt at the Well of Eternity. According to the snazzy new website, the book takes Hunt to a dungeon in some Mayan ruins to discover "the legendary secret hidden in the rain forest of Guatemala." Excellente.

Jungle Stories

Art by George Gross.

Sheena statue

Coming July 15 from Dark Horse.

The Jungle Batman

Scans_Daily has the whole, wonderful tale. And yes, Jungle Batman fights a giant octopus.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Aquaman is Awesome. I'm as shocked as you.

I finally picked up Showcase Presents: Aquaman, Volume 1 last week. Decided it was time to stop speculating about the Aquaman Problem and start looking into it myself.

I'm only three stories into it, but so far so good. Left to his own devices, Aquaman has some pretty cool adventures.

My favorite so far is "Aquaman Duels the Animal-Master" from Adventure Comics #261. In it, Aquaman foils a robbery attempt by a circus animal-trainer, so the trainer vows revenge. He lures Aquaman onto an island where he's spent the last year training the local wildlife to obey his commands. The gimmick is that Aquaman controls all sea animals and Gustave the Great controls all land animals. Who will win?

Gustave rigs things to put the sea animals at a disadvantage, but of course Aquaman and his friends overcome every obstacle. We get to see electric eels take out a gorilla, luminous fish blind a charging elephant, an octopus wrestle a lion, and Gustave himself lose a fencing match with a swordfish. It's beautiful, I tells ya.

As a last resort, Gustave has a buffalo bring in a cart full of homemade bombs, but before Gustave can get his hands on them, the buffalo tips over the cart. Aquaman claims that the animal was obeying his commands, not Gustave's. Unbelieving, the animal trainer protests, "He's a land animal!"

"That's where you made your mistake, Gustave! My authority over that buffalo overrides yours!"

That's even more awesome than the next panel in which a flock of flying fish carry Gustave off to jail in a net.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Music Meme: 1985

Continuing my list of favorite albums from every year I've been alive.


a-ha: Hunting High and Low

Okay, guys, you cannot imagine how close this one came between this and Crush by Orchestral Manoeuvers in the Dark. I actually had the word "TIE" written in this post at one point, but decided that a-ha takes it for a couple of reasons.

First, while I really liked all of Crush, my lust for the album is based solely on "So In Love," which was my anthem for most of the year. Second, though I like other OMD albums, I don't love them nearly as much as the body of a-ha's work.

I know. You're surprised that a-ha has a body of work. Most people think of them as a one-hit wonder, but that's because they're not remembering "The Sun Always Shines on TV," "I've Been Losing You," "Cry Wolf," or especially the theme to the James Bond movie The Living Daylights. The band's got eight albums though (the most recent one I just now found out about while writing this) with a ninth one scheduled for this year. I've only got the first seven of them so far, but those are all excellent.

Still, for better or for worse, there's one song that a-ha will always be known for. And probably for very good reason.

Runners up:
Arcadia: So Red the Rose
Dead or Alive: Youthquake
Dire Straits: Brothers in Arms
Heart: Heart
Mr. Mister: Welcome to the Real World
Orchestral Manoeuvers in the Dark: Crush
Prince: Around the World in a Day
Simple Minds: Once Upon a Time
Simply Red: Picture Book
Sting: The Dream of the Blue Turtles
Tears for Fears: Songs from the Big Chair
Thompson Twins: Here's to Future Days
U2: Wide Awake in America
"Weird Al" Yankovic: Dare to Be Stupid

Baltimora: "Tarzan Boy"
Big Audio Dynamite: "The Bottom Line"
Kate Bush: "Running Up That Hill"
Phil Collins: "Take Me Home"
Duran Duran: "A View to a Kill"
Eurythmics: "Would I Lie to You"
Falco: "Rock Me Amadeus"
The Firm: "Radioactive"
Jan Hammer: "Miami Vice Theme"
Elton John: "Nikita"
Elton John: "Wrap Her Up"
Howard Jones: "No One is to Blame"
Howard Jones: "Things Can Only Get Better"
Level 42: "Something About You"
Madonna: "Material Girl"
Eddie Murphy: "Party All the Time"
Simple Minds: "Don't You (Forget About Me)"
Starship: "Sara"

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Quote of the Week: Just because a guy likes to wear kitchen gloves...

Just because a guy likes to wear kitchen gloves and is obsessed with dolphins doesn't mean he's a friend of Judy, Damon Beres! GOD! Can't we just respect the porpoise's majesty while simultaneously waging war on dishpan hands?
-- Julieanne Smolinski, explaining to a reader how Aquaman is not gay.

Barren Rock-Planet of the Week

So, who should be the new Invisible Woman?

20th Century Fox is apparently considering a reboot of the Fantastic Four franchise that's more in keeping with the tone of the other Marvel movies. That's excellent news, especially if it means a CGI Thing and not another rubber suit. And maybe a Doctor Doom that could actually threaten a three-year-old? And as long as we're hoping, how about a Mr. Fantastic and Invisible Woman we can take seriously? In fact, the only thing I liked about the first movies was Chris Evans as the Human Torch. It's a shame to have to give him up.

As long as we're dreaming, who should play the new FF? Who should be the first villain? Doom again or someone new?

Speaking of ill-considered choices for super-hero movies

Anyone remember back in the '80s when there was talk of a She-Hulk movie starring then-popular Brigitte Nielsen? Universal Dork found a publicity photo.

She doesn't look half-bad, but considering how badly Hollywood loved to screw around with the source material back then, I'm thinking we probably still dodged a bullet with that one.

Live-action Star Wars TV show moving forward

Sounds like casting has begun. In spite of my general tiredness of Star Wars, I'm looking forward to seeing this. The reason I can't even get into Clone Wars - though the few episodes I watched had some fun plots - is because I'm so bored with those particular characters and settings. I haven't felt like I was exploring anything new in the Star Wars Universe for a long time. It's just revisiting Coruscant and Tatooine and the Barren Rock-Planet of the Week for the umpteenth time. Hopefully this live-action show will manage to show us some new places and characters.

"Empire of Evil"

By Robert Gibson Jones.

Dinosaurs in Space

By Dick Giordano.

Tula and the Pirate Witch

Here area a couple of character sketches for a new comic Jess Hickman and I are working on. The working title is Tula and the Pirate Witch.

It's going to be a sea fantasy about a crew of bloodthirsty pirates - led by a weird, perhaps supernatural captain - who takes captive a young jungle-girl and her pet gorilla. There's more to it than that of course, but that's all you need to know for these sketches.

Here's Tula the jungle girl.

And here's the Pirate Witch.

More later...

Thursday, March 19, 2009

That'll be the end of Aquaman!

Your 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea Picture of the Week

By Alphonse de Neuville.

Mega Shark versus Giant Octopus

Sounds awesome, right? Fooled you. It's an Asylum movie. If only those guys would spend some money, they'd be the most awesome studio in the world.

Mysterious Travels

New Line and Walden Media are working on a sequel to the Brendan Fraser version of Journey to the Center of the Earth and it sounds a lot better than the first one. I liked Fraser's Journey okay, which is to say that I didn't hate it nearly as much as I thought I would. The characters were all likeable and the story didn't drag as much as a movie based on a Verne novel has a right to.

But for the sequel, they're going with a whole new story in which Fraser and his nephew try to find the island that inspired Verne's Mysterious Island, Jonathan Swift's Gulliver's Travels, and Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island. Sounds Awesome.

Whale House

By Scott Campbell. Click that link to see details that you can't make out here. Details like squid-people, shark-people, skeleton-pirates, and the giant robot that helps you put on your diver's suit.

Professor Calculus’ Shark Sub

What's cooler than the shark-submarine from Tintin comics? That someone made a real one based on it.

Pirate Puppies

By Harry Roundtree.

Aquaman's Weakness

In talking about the Aquaman Problem here, I've been forgetting something that really does contribute to the perception that Aquaman's lame. I don't know if this is still a problem for the character in modern continuity, but back in the day they gave him a lame weakness where he could only be out of the water for an hour at a time. That's dumb.

I understand why Superman needed kryptonite to keep him interesting. When you've got a character that powerful, you need a way for him to be threatened every now and then. Of course, the downside to that is that kryptonite becomes overused. Just like every single Green Lantern story featured some kind of powerful, yellow weapon because Green Lantern's ring doesn't work on yellow. The coincidences became laughable.

But Aquaman was never so powerful that he needed a built-in weakness like that. All it accomplished was making sure that he got sidelined even more often in Justice League adventures. I'm guessing that DC realized a long time ago that they needed to get rid of that. If they haven't, they should.

The future of Aquaman

The Aquaman Shrine picked up on some news that I missed. Apparently, the Aquaman seen in one panel of Final Crisis wasn't the real Aquaman at all, but an alternate universe version. Yawn.

More cool is the report from WonderCon that Brian Azzarello has a continuity-free Aquaman story he's ready to tell.

Where the Wild Things Are movie poster

This makes me so happy I want to cry.

Blood of the Valkyries

I link to Victor Santos' illustrations a lot, but that isn't all he does. He's also written a graphic novel called La Sangre de las Valkirias (The Blood of the Valkyries). Unfortunately for me it's in Spanish, which is only slightly easier for me to read than French. Hopefully it'll get an English translation though, because it looks right up my alley.

It's not the real thing. It's just a fantasy.

Little Ramos Riding Hood

By Humberto Ramos, from his and Paul Jenkins' upcoming FairyQuest.

Éowyn vs. the Witch King

By Rory Hensley. (Found at Art Jumble.)


By Victor Santos.

MM, Zatanna

This would've been a lot cuter if I'd posted it yesterday...

Scans_Daily has the whole Mary Marvel vs. Leprechauns story. (Okay, maybe "versus" is a bit inaccurate.)

I knew Dark Mary Marvel was evil, but...

Cozying up to the Skrulls? For shame.


How about another photo of Zatanna from next week's (3/26) Smallville episode? This one's got the full costume.

Thanks, Major Spoilers.


Meagan Van Burkleo shares a piece of art by Douglas Shuler that was inspired by some of her Zatanna photos.

Uncanny Alpha Flight?

You all know by now to completely ignore any prediction of schedule I may offer, right? Okay, good.

If you've been reading Uncanny X-Men, you know that Alpha Flight's Madison Jeffries (aka Box) has been in the last couple of issues. I'm always happy to see Alphans pop up in comics, even if it's not an Alpha Flight one, but I'd be even happier to see one of the original team members show up.

I missed this at the time, but Matt Fraction gives me hope that I might be seeing something like that. When asked at New York Comic Con if there were any plans for Omega Flight (Alpha's legacy team), Fraction said to keep reading Uncanny. And so I will.

I'd love to see Sasquatch join the X-Men. He rocks.

(Yes, I am truly sorry for that.)

(Not really.)

Monday, March 16, 2009

Rogue: Feminist Icon?

Illustration to the right by J. Scott Campbell.

This week could be another busy week, but for way more exciting reasons than last week. There's some movement on a couple of my projects that's requiring some attention. I'll try to post at least something every day, but I doubt there'll be many multiple-post days.

Today is about an article Miriam Beetle wrote a couple of weeks ago in which she identifies Rogue as her childhood feminist hero.

That surprises me a little. I don't know Miriam beyond what I learned about her in that post, but it surprises me that anyone sees Rogue as a feminist role model. As I discovered when I gave the character some thought a couple of years ago, a big part of the (admittedly unhealthy) attraction I had to her was that she was so broken and needy. And whether those are attractive qualities for anyone else, there's no denying that those qualities are there.

So how can someone as messed up as Rogue be a feminist icon? As Miriam explains it:
...the fact that Rogue had to protect herself against intimacy all the time ... meant that technically, her costume was more in line with a man’s costume ... It meant that no one ever ever got to touch her without her permission, or they’d be sorry ... it would have been nifty if random-ass guys who groped me could have instantly fallen into a coma. How’s that for bodily integrity.
I never would have put that together, but it sort of makes sense the way she puts it.

Miriam's reasoning for holding Rogue up that way is so personal that I wouldn't dare - especially as a man - to argue that she shouldn't do it. I'm glad she found empowerment in a character I also like.

What I don't get though is what she thinks about the part where Rogue intensely dislikes the lack of intimacy her powers force on her. Permission has nothing to do with it. No one's able to touch Rogue whether she wants them to or not. Again, that may not have mattered to young Miriam Beetle and that's absolutely okay, but adult Miriam doesn't address it in her post and I'd love to hear how that element affects her perception of Rogue today.

Roaring '20s Rogue and friends by Clayton Henry.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Music Meme: 1984

Continuing my list of favorite albums from every year I've been alive.


Prince and the Revolution: Purple Rain

This isn't the album from 1984 that I still listen to the most (that would be Unforgettable Fire), but it is the album I wore out. Twice.

Yes, kids, back in the '80s when state-of-the-art music recording technology was cassette tapes you could actually wear out an album just by playing it over and over again every single day. Which is certainly what I did with this one.

I was a late adapter with Prince as I usually am in general. All of my friends were already nutso for him thanks to 1999, but I had to be dragged to his movie in order to fall in love with his stuff. I can't say that I'm still a fan, but I followed him up through Sign o' the Times and was crazy about him during that time. Even though I liked Sign o' the Times, by the time Lovesexy came out I'd figured out that I was mostly a fan of the Revolution-era Prince and didn't so much want to follow the rest of his career.

As usual, I can't embed any video from my top pick, so here are a couple of songs from one of the runner up albums.

Man, my runners up and singles lists are getting long for this period. I was good and truly into music by now. I also had a job and could afford to buy my own stuff. My first stop after cashing my paycheck every week was usually the K-Mart next door to the grocery store where I worked. I'd buy at least one album a week.

Runners up:
The Cars: Heartbeat City
Eurythmics: 1984 (For the Love of Big Brother)
A Flock of Seagulls: The Story of a Young Heart
Frankie Goes to Hollywood: Welcome to the Pleasuredome
Howard Jones: Human's Lib
Cyndi Lauper: She's So Unusual
Talk Talk: It's My Life
Twisted Sister: Stay Hungry
Van Halen: 1984
"Weird Al" Yankovic: "Weird Al" Yankovic in 3D
Wham!: Make It Big
U2: The Unforgettable Fire

Bananarama: "Cruel Summer"
Band Aid: "Do They Know It's Christmas"
David Bowie: "Blue Jean"
Depeche Mode: "People are People"
Foreigner: "I Want to Know What Love Is"
The Go-Gos: "Head Over Heels"
Murray Head: "One Night in Bangkok"
Icicle Works: "Whisper to a Scream"
Nik Kershaw: "Wouldn't It be Good"
Billy Ocean: "Caribbean Queen"
The Pretenders: "Back on the Chain Gang"
Ratt: "Round and Round"
Rockwell: "Somebody's Watching Me"
Sade: "Smooth Operator"
Slade: "Run Runaway"
Thompson Twins: "Hold Me Now"
Thompson Twins: "Doctor! Doctor!"
Matthew Wilder: "Break My Stride"

Saturday, March 14, 2009

H'bleh, my dear Watson

No Quotes of the Week this week. I'm sure people were saying funny and wise things on the Internet, but I was way too busy to read any of them. Hence the sporadic posting too. I'm sorry about that; it just kind of snuck up on me.

In lieu of quotes, how about some monster art?

Monster Holmes

Here's a swell cartoon by Tom Gauld that Chris Mautner found for Robot 6 readers.

If it's a gag, I don't pretend to get it. But I don't have to understand the joke to appreciate seeing Sherlock Holmes as a vampire or a preserved head on a robot body.

Ben Templesmith's Dracula

Ben Templesmith shares some fake covers he made for Dracula and Emma, while also reminding us that he's illustrating a real edition of Dracula for IDW. I can't wait to get that.

In the meantime, I think I'll get me some of those blank cover editions and start taking them to conventions. (Update: Or not, since that's only Penguin UK who sells those and they won't sell them to people in the US.)

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Have I been wrong all this time?

Since Kill All Monsters is about humans and giant robots defending themselves from giant monsters, I usually side with the robots. But maybe I shouldn't be. After all, look at this giant robot I found at Olivia Willyost's blog. He's not helping anyone. (Well, maybe that pretty one at the end is, but he wouldn't have to if the first one wasn't so evil.)

Now, compare that to this giant monster by Colin Jack.

See what I mean? Who's the bad guy here?

Uh oh. I hope this giant robot isn't going to steal some cotton candy!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

MicroCon 2009

Speaking of Jess, I stole this poster from her website. Don't tell.

It's for MicroCon 2009, obviously. The best one-day convention in the world. Jess and I will both be there with some Cownt giveaways if I can get my act together. We'll both be there anyway whether I can get my act together or not.

Okay, that's the last post for today. I had a lot of catching up to do from slacking earlier in the week. Sorry about that.


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