Apr 24 2015

Captain Atom: Armageddon – Will Pfeifer

Let me explain why this comic is a piece of crap. DC comics’ superhero, Captain Atom, sacrifices himself to save the planet (why this was the only option is ignored), but in “dying” he is sent to the Wildstorm comics’ Earth, where all their superheroes are total dicks. For unknown reasons Captain Atom is destined to destroy the universe. Why? How people find this stuff out? Why he’s alive and there and can’t get back to his universe? is ignored (my supercomputer told me). True to form, the Wildstorm guys are dicks to the point that even the good Captain acts like a dick, and the whole thing is for nothing. 

Apr 24 2015

Hey Zeus Fathan!


Apr 23 2015

No Steenkin’ Badges

And as the (basically) final page of the story, a shot of Calimbo’s police badge.


Calimbo’s badge is meant as a contrast to Montressor’s family crest/coat of arms. If M’s motto (no one attacks me with impunity) drives his actions, then C’s motto drives his actions (no one escapes the law).

I originally thought to make it “no one escapes me” but decided at the end that C should be an officer of the law first, not a actor on his own. (And maybe the motto should be in English, but that takes the fun out of it for me….)

And who doesn’t love the EAPD (Edgar Allen Police Department)!


Apr 22 2015

Studio Time 4-19-15

I’ve been thinking for months about how C’s badge should look. I drew it up in Adobe illustrator in order to get the proportions right.image

I decided on a slightly simpler approach when it came time to draw it. Here are the initial penwork.
image Then the brushwork.image ———————————————————–

A freehand mockup of the cover done in Photoshop.

A thumbnail with some slight changes.
image A study for the cover in pencil.image Another pencil study.image

Apr 20 2015

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

Do you love it when mediocre writers think they can improve upon literary masters? If so, then you’ll love this series. The finale of The Hobbit Trilogy is rather long, rather dull, and rather confusing for those who thought it might be true to the book. The original Hobbit is really a children’s story filled with action, adventure, and humor, written beautifully and filled with wonder; this film is an attempt to cash in and get people to watch the director’s cut of The Lord of The Rings. Truly disappointing. Hobbit

Apr 19 2015

He’s Such a Tease

I’m still not sure whether I need this page (but it works better with the overall layout of the book). Here, C once again plays the fool as he lures M into his trap. “For the love of God” is yet another callback to Cask.



Apr 18 2015


The (probably) penultimate page! Montressor has been caught, and he recites the opening lines from Cask.

This page is meant to suggest that M’s own “principles” (i.e., hubris) have gotten him caught. His Motto is his undoing. The eyes in the field of bricks are similar to those the peered out of the cell M walled Fortunato into.


Apr 17 2015

Nailed Ya (or Walled Ya…)

Here’s the closing scene of Calimbo or The Case of Amontillado.

C is completely outside of the the panel: he takes up the entire page; while M is trapped in a little box, looking like the motley fool that Fortunato was.



This page is meant to be somewhat reminiscent of this page from the beginning of the story:


Apr 16 2015

Studio Time 4-12-15

Mark! dragged me away last weekend, so it took me a little while to get back into the rhythm. (Seriously, not blaming Mark!, but man it’s amazing how even missing one week can throw me off my game!)

Initial thumbnails / thoughts for this page:



Led to this mockup:





initial inks:




Apr 16 2015

The Furies – Mike Carey

It is an interesting idea based on Greek mythology: The Titan, Cronus, had been hunted by the Furies–forces of vengeance against those that kill their kin–since around the beginning of time, and comes up with a plan to get rid of them once and for all. Unfortunately, the story is directly tied to The Sandman universe and makes enjoyment of the comic impossible for those disconnected from the title (that had ended long (enough) before). I also wasn’t thrilled with John Bolton’s art. It seems like all the characters where drawn from friends modeling the person/pose and it gives that awkward feeling of pictures that look too close to people but not close enough that is discussed in the art/animation/CGI world. 

Apr 09 2015

Puss in Boots

While this might not have received the best reviews, I strongly believe that it is the best movie that either Antonio Banderas, Salma Hayek, Zach Galifianakis, Billy Bob Thornton, or Amy Sedaris have ever been in. Ok, maybe that doesn’t say much. It is the story of the outlaw cat with his equally notorious boots and how he became a hero. Teaming up with his childhood friend, Humpty Dumpty, and another cat burglar, the trio take on the wicked Jack and Jill in order to get the legendary goose that lays golden eggs. The film was well animated and both exciting and cute enough for kids with little, dirty (maybe a little too dirty) comments to keep the adults entertained.

Apr 02 2015

The Punisher (vol 10): Valley Forge, Valley Forge – Garth Ennis

I liked this collection, probably because it didn’t have Ennis’s  typical Punisher tropes (see here). Instead it is a story that has been building involving a group of generals that have been deep in very shady actions who decide to deal with their vigilante problem by sending Delta force after The Punisher. The tale deals with concepts of honor and loyalty and the decline in American values (and I’m not talking BS like letting gays in the military, although there are a lot more long haired guys in Ennis’s special forces than I would figure). It was a solid tale of deceit and revenge. See what happens, Ennis, when you give up on cliches?

Mar 30 2015

Avengers Assemble & Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H

I’m putting both these Marvel cartoons under one heading which I normally don’t normally do except they don’t deserve their own entry. There isn’t much to say about these cartoons of comic superheroes as the plots are very cut and dry, the art rather mediocre, the characters are 100% archetypes, and at the end of every episode somebody learns a nice lesson. Is there something going on that’s making comic book inspired cartoons so very bland? It doesn’t feel like that long ago that there were amazing, well-written, action-packed, interestingly animated, and nuanced cartoons involving superheroes, but on reflection I guess that was almost a generation ago. Sorry, kids, comic cartoons are just for kids; I wish we could given you more.


Mar 29 2015

Studio Time 3-29-15








Mar 27 2015

All The Wrong Questions: “Who Could That Be At This Hour?” – Lemony Snicket

Snicket attempts to follow his successful A Series of Unfortunate Events (which I did some reviews for but, unfortunately, did not create a series of) by taking his author/narrator character and making him the center piece. So maybe the correct question is: Why isn’t this story nearly as good as the last series? Well, the cast of characters are not as defined, there are less clever references to literature and language, the villain is obfuscated–a word here that means unclear and thus uninteresting–and the plot doesn’t have the same drive for completion: There is nothing here to keep me on edge and hoping for success. The tale gives the early years of Snicket and how he became involved in a bizarre world of crime and deceit and how his cleverness gets him through it. He is teamed with an incompetent adult to recover a stolen statue for its rightful owner, except that it isn’t stolen and the rightful is up to debate. Seth’s art is always fun, but it is rare, with his main picture being of events not depicted in the story. Sadly, there is no reason for me to continue with the series.

Mar 25 2015

Ultimate Spider-Man

Sadly, this cartoon about the nerd who gained superpowers after being bitten by a radioactive spider is nothing special. Lip service is made to being multicultural and tries to play to the generation that loves video games, knows nothing of the 4th wall, and may be willing to buy the toys that are set up on the show, although I don’t know if they actually materialized. Plots are thin, with occasional zingers and lessons to be learned but little to make you feel that you have been presented with quality entertainment. At least give us a theme song!


Mar 23 2015

Quantum of Solace

Perhaps this movie would’ve been better for me if I watched it almost immediately after Casino Royale. Otherwise this rather typical spy thriller action-adventure of good old 007 just didn’t do that much for me. Yes lots of explosions, but the only real take away is that most people who sleep with James Bond die and I don’t mean from some sexual disease. 

Mar 23 2015

Studio Time 3-22-15

From awhile back, the thumbnail. Interestingly, this was at one point intended to be pge 55; now it is 105:image The mockup from last week:
image Additional study on the image:image pencils:image initial inks:image



Mar 21 2015

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

I decided enough time has passed that I could see the Potter movies and try to enjoy them on their own, as opposed to in relation to the books. I figure I’d start from the 3rd installment as that’s when I recall Hollywood making the effort to make them good, and it’s also when I stoped seeing them in the theater. In this film the boy wizard’s life is in danger as the only man to ever escape from the dreaded prison of Azkaban is gunning to kill Harry. This is also–in my opinion–when the story starts to take a darker turn. Horrific ghost creatures who suck the joy from you and a more tangled web of the larger plot begins. As I mentioned once before on this site, I am concerned that kids will watch or read the now completed series in succession as opposed to every year of two as they came out. In the latter case, kids will age with the book and be better prepared for the darker events. In any event, this was a fun movie, certainly no worse than most made, but really only enjoyable for those who are interested in the Potter adventures. 

Mar 19 2015

For Healthy Organs


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