Monday, October 29, 2007

Figure Of Speech

For us comic book geeks, one of the biggest moments in our creative careers is supposed to be our "Toys R Us" moment; It's the day when we walk into a store (the bigger the better) and we see one of OUR characters forever immortalized in plastic. Having that action figure in hand and walking to the nearest checkout and actually BUYING our own toy... that's bigger to alot of people than actually having your book hit Previews. Bigger, even, than seeing your book in the hands of a fan at a convention... for some, it's THE moment.

That moment may come sooner rather than later for me- I will know more in the coming days- but thinking about this phenomena has made me re-examine it.

Take, for example, the Jesus action figure. That's right- you can actually buy a plastic version of Jesus that's scale with your Star Wars guys and your Justice League figures. Go here if you don't think so... And it's not just sites who think this is a big joke who sell them- alot of "Christian" stores have them too. And on the packaging of some versions of the figure it ACTUALLY says, "...this is NOT a toy..." Really? But his feet have wheels on them! Jesus is wearing wheelie sandals, and he's made of plastic, but you aren't supposed to play with him? But... "there is a disclaimer... it's right there!" So I guess these guys will be off the hook when Jesus comes back for real and asks for his royalty check, right?

And like- kids everywhere who read that will suddenly do... what? You and I both know that "Jesus Vs. The Hulk" and "Jesus Vs. Darth Maul" and even "Jesus Vs. Nakidd Barbie" are not only possible, they are almost mandatory games for any kid who has a Jesus action figure at home...

And WHY do we have a Jesus action figure? Did the Gospel writers think, like I do about my own works, that having that action toy would just be the best thing ever? And will there be accessories? Will I live long enough to see Underwater Jesus, or Deep Space Jesus or Jesus' Dream House? Does Satan also get his own scale figure? And does that Devil figure come with "temptation action?" Will there be short packed figures in the "Gospel" figure line? How hard will it be to find a Judas Iscariot with Cheek Kissing Acton? Or a Pontus Pilot and his Bathtub Biplane? How about the John the Baptist figure- will he come with a removable head that eats locusts? And will that head have action variants? And why not?

The site that sells the plastic action Jesus also sells a "Crazy Cat Lady" action figure... maybe she's his "wacky neighbor" in the "Extreme Jesus Cartoon Hour" or something.

Well, maybe it shouldn't bother me. At least now kids can re-create scenes from that great Biblical epic, "Jesus Christ Vampire Hunter."

Monday, October 22, 2007

What The Future Holds

I have a weird thing for "fortune teller" devices; Magic 8 Balls and vending games of all types make me laugh my butt off. I know that many people have an issue with any method of giving someone their "fortune," but all the stupid devices that are out there are just so open to ridicule that I just love the darn things...

Take, for example, this site someone e-mailed me today. You put in your name and your date of birth and supposedly you find out how you are going to die and who you most devoted mourner will be. In my case, it's all probably 100% accurate, but in most situations it's just a bust. The same site offered to tell me, "How will you be cursed and why?" which I also wanted to know. It told me, "Because you didn't do what Jesus would have done, you'll be cursed with a world without Dick Cheney."

What does this have to do with anything? I'm not sure... but if you have any more goofy stuff like that to send me, please do. It makes my day.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

The Shape Of Things To Come

There will be an official press release for the book soon, but I wanted to share with you the cover for the new Manga book I did with a bunch of very talented people. It's called Mecha Manga Bible Heroes, and our first issue follows the story of David and Goliath. Unlike most versions of the story, however, David is a young kid who has to go toe-to-toe with a giant super robot covered in every conceivable type of weapon. Other than that, the plot and all the characters are basically what the Bible details- down to the small plot points that most versions of the tale gloss over.

If you are able to come to the New York Anime Festival between December 7th and 9th, you'll be able to meet some of the creative team for the book, as well as get posters and sample ashcans of the book before it hits the stores next year. I'll be there, so please stop by and say hi if you can make it out.

I'll have more announcements about the book and such as the days move on, but in the meantime- isn't that cover freakin' cool?

Monday, October 15, 2007

Looking For The Exit

I knew a writer once who would always work out the last line of a poem first- even before deciding exactly what the poem was to be about. He had a small book of endings; Some of which, I am sure, he never wrote the poem for. I asked him once about this strange practice, and he told me of his writing philosophy, which was, "Endings are more important than beginnings, because that's where everything is headed..."

As a writer, I am not sure I agree with that singularity of approach. I do, however, believe that how something ends is critical. There is nothing worse than a slapped on, ill conceived ending to an otherwise gripping story. There is also something about a really great ending which can save even a less-than-stellar plot...

Speaking of endings- we are down to the last 7 copies of KING! & if you haven't bothered to pick one up yet, it's pretty much too late. Your favorite store might have one still, as might the CC.Net store, but the last copies still remaining unsold are being packed up and sent out to Arizona for some appearances that Daniel will be doing.

I'll dish the scoop on where & when those appearances will take place soon...

In the meantime- enjoy a cryptic panel from Enlightenment's 2nd chapter and some musical risk taking by the Violent Femmes.

Friday, October 12, 2007

What's So Funny About Peace Love & Understanding?

It's funny how communication (or a lack thereof) can be the root of so many bad things in life. I know that when 2 people don't really get what the other person is trying to say, the chances are exponential of something explosive happening. It makes loving people hard to do, and even harder to maintain in the long run.

The other side of that is- sometimes another person gets EXACTLY what you meant, and that can lead to heartache too...

I got an unexpected e-mail today from an old friend who wanted to work out our differences. I'm glad, because I don't have the focus to maintain hatred. Call it a flaw, if you must, but I just can't continue to stay angry at anyone.

Does that mean everything will go back to "normal?"

Well, if either one of us were normal to begin with, we might have had a shot at it... But it's totally a step in the right direction.

Today's image is a strip that Erica Well and I did called Billy! and today's music is all Elvis Costello...

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Letting One Go

When it comes to blogging, I am kind of torn; Part of me wants to do it more often- it's fun, and with so many projects in the air right now, there is plenty to talk about. The other part of me doesn't like the whole "look at me! look at me!" side to blogging and the internet in general. I guess I'd rather let the Art do the talking and get out of the way. I was always a shy person, and although I put on a good front, I would much rather be sitting somewhere scribbling in a notebook than drawing attention to myself...

I know some people who do comics who blog almost every day. Some of them post new comics every day too- that's a bit too ambitious for me, but I guess it's a good discipline to be that prolific. Getting everything out, however, isn't all that it's cracked up to be. Make one comment to someone about your displeasure over something they did and you are being honest. Make two, and you are being inflammatory. Three, and you look like a donkey or some similarly equated animal... What happens all too often is people hype themselves so much, they believe everything they write.

As for me- I am waiting on a final cover to show you for the new Manga book I have been working on and there is some news on a few other fronts. In the meantime- enjoy a little bit of The Life of Fred. I'm hoping to collect all his "adventures" in one place at some point, including a few that never saw print for various reasons...

Monday, October 01, 2007

Beat On The Brat

I have always loved The Ramones. I know that's not very "punk" of me- they were, after all, basically a hopped up pop band... but there is something in their music that satisfies that sudden urge to break stuff without actually taking a sledge hammer to my TV or something. I don't know if you can identify with that feeling, but listen to this for a while and see if you feel better like I do.

The reason I'm bringing this up is- everyone needs an outlet that keeps you sane. I am kind of blessed, in that I can work out my feelings and issues in my comics. If I have a doubt or a question, or if something just pisses me off, I can let it play out in positive (or sometimes even negative) ways and feel my way though those emotions and ideas. I can see things from many different sides, and try to understand what drives people who live in a different mental or spiritual space from myself... Creativity, I guess you could say, keeps me grounded.

Today's image is from the third chapter of the Enlightenment: the devil you know Graphic Novel. Who, you may ask, is about to pound that creepy dwarf? That's too good to give away; You'll have to read it and find out...