Friday, February 29, 2008

Fried Green Plantains

I was cleaning up my desktop today, and I came across this picture; It's Pedro Plantain and I at the New York Anime Festival... I was there doing publicity for Mecha Manga Bible Heroes, and I spied Pedro and HAD to have my picture taken with him. WHO is Pedro Plantain? Why, he's one of the main heroes in Kaiju Big Battle, of course! Anything that combines Giant Japanese monsters and live underground pro wrestling is like chocolate in my peanut butter as far as I am concerned! Check them out here for yourself!!!

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Back At The Con Game

I love working comic conventions; I know there are aspects to doing them that can wear on a person, and I realize that there is always that freakish element in every con that kind of kills the buzz, but all in all I find myself enjoying manning tables and meeting the people who have an opinion about what I do.

On Saturday, March 29th, I will be working the Kids Comic Con, at Bronx Community College in The Bronx, New York. It's going to be from 10 AM to 6 PM, and Kids (under 17) are admitted FREE and everyone else can get in for a very inexpensive $5. There is going to be an extensive list of guests attending, and a good time should be had by all. Some of the Mecha Manga Bible Heroes creative team will be there, giving out posters, ashcans and assorted goodies...

Come by & say hi if you can!

Today's image is a shot of our table from the NY Anime Fesival... Good Times!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Teeing Off

Eric Merced, a good friend of Daniel and I, did this nifty design for a Robot 13 T-Shirt; Originally, we were going to have them printed for the Cactus Con but that never happened.

Want to see this made into a Tee?

Let me know. If we get enough interest, we might open a Zazzle store...

Thursday, February 21, 2008

LA LA Land

From March 14th to the 16th, Daniel will be at Wizard World Los Angeles, manning a table in their Artist's Alley. He will have 2 volumes of his art books for sale, as well as Robot 13 & KING! prints, Robot 13 pins, original art and whatever else isn't tied down. He will also be doing sketches- bring some bucks and get him to draw you a lil' sumthin-sumthin.

Today's image is a Batman piece Daniel did... someday, he and I are going to do Detective comics. or Devil Dinosaur. either way, it will be hot...

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

"Diving In With Both Feet"

In the few weeks since the Cactus Con, I have been extremely busy with a variety of things, but I found (as I often do) that the projects which should be taking a backseat are the ones I think about most. Maybe that's the ADD in me, but there is something about the prospect of "wasting time" on a project that doesn't need my attention today over one that really does that sings to me like a siren...

I don't know if that makes any sense, but it's part of the reason that I have been so mentally into Robot 13 lately. I know that it's not the project that Daniel is currently drawing, and it is most likely not the very next on his plate, but it has been running through my mind alot lately. So much so, in fact, that I not only have the whole backstory worked out, but the whole first mini-series as well...

I guess I have to follow inspiration when I find it. That, or I make creative use of goofing off...

Yea- I think that's the ticket.

Hopefully, I can be as industrious with everything that has a much closer deadline...

Today's image is going to be one of the opening pages of the first issue of Robot 13.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Things That Make You Go "Boing!"

Not alot going on today- I have been a little under the weather, pushing myself kind of hard these days to get everything done that needs doing. I did hear that put Mecha Manga Bible Heroes on their radar... nice of them to do that.

I need some rest. See you when I see you...

Today's image is the B&W version of a promo piece that Jeff did... kinda sweet, no?

Friday, February 15, 2008

Graven Images

Whenever I start out doing a new project, my first concern is usually to find some area of it that I am natually drawn and to work from that point outward. I know that many people espouse the idea of "audience" or to focus on commercial asperations or Blah-Blah-Blah... but to me, the thing that keeps me on task is to find that "pearl" within the muck of the story and to bring it out to the point were it's at least noticable to the casual reader.

In saying that, I do realize there is always a strong possibility that other people may or may not like that aspect so much or see things my way. Opinions are like elbows, after all, and they get mushy with too much tomato sauce just the same... or whatever that saying was.

Regardless, because I have a specific focus when I write, and because I tend to move on to new projects somewhat frequently, I am not always connected with all the things that people say about what I do. Usually, when I blog about this or that comment, I found them because someone sends me a gossipy message to tell me something. That's how I found out that, a Christian site, seemed to like the idea of Mecha Manga Bible Heroes, but it's also how I found out that Decently & In Order didn't like it so much and that Bitchspot was even less kind. None of that shocked me, however, because each of those sites pretty much followed suit with the kinds of stands they tend to take on comics in general.

The thing that DID surprise me, however, was that Diamond's Scoop was willing to give somewhat of a spotlight to a book they are also refusing to carry.

Maybe the editor of Scoop didn't get the memo?

Today's image is the original pencil sketch for the MMBH cover, inverted because I liked it that way...

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Less Than Zero

Today I am taking a break to talk about my main partner in crime where comics are concerned- Daniel Bradford. As you read this, Daniel has been working on a story for the group Zeros2Heroes; As I have been told, it's an '80's Post-Apocolyptic type of thing, and the art is shaping up to be pretty snazzy. You can read about it a bit here if you like...

It's ok, I'll be here when you are done.

Kinda cool, no?

I'll be happy to tell you more about the whole thing when I know, but I am psyched for Daniel- it's good to see him working...

Today's image is another one of Daniel's pieces- this one can be purchased as a skateboard at

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Nobody Does It Better

One of the biggest reasons to adapt the Bible, regardless of what Genre or type of story you shoot for, is that the material is just SO cool. The personalities, the situations, the way each story winds itself around the next... there are just some things that can't be topped.

Regardless of what you may believe about the content or Theologies that are expressed within it's pages, there is just something extremely compelling about the way the writers of the Bible tell their stories, and about the people they write about. These aren't the people you would normally bring to the witness stand either- you've got people who have done all sorts of things that would make them seem "tainted" in a court of law today. Liars, thieves, braggarts, prostitutes... even self confessed murderers have their stories documented in the pages of the Bible. What makes the stories work for us even now, however, is that in every case there is an offer of redemption. Some people accepted that second chance and moved on to bigger and better things, while others let their shortcomings define them...

But it's that promise, that there is a chance to redeem even the darkest situation, that draws us back.

What else is there to say?

Some things are just perfect.

Today's image is the pencil version of a pitch piece for MMBH that was never used...

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Bringing Out The Big Guns

When I was writing the first issue of Mecha Manga Bible Heroes with Joey Endres, he and I talked a bit about the feeling that Goliath would have evoked back in the day; Here was one of the largest Human beings on the planet at the time, covered in the largest and most advanced suit of armor available, standing out in plain view of the army of Israel and taunting them.

What would we compare it to?
Joey's suggestion was one I jumped at...

It might sound a little crazy at first, but when you think about how Godzilla is typically introduced in the movies, it makes perfect sense.

We usually start with an every day scene- people are going about their business as they always do, making their plans... unaware that something monsterous is lerking around the corner.

Slowly, the monster moves closer...

At first, it's unclear what is happening, because nobody expects to encounter something THAT huge...

But by the time anyone realizes what is happening...

While Goliath wasn't 50 stories tall, the horror that he must have brought to the party was much the same...

Monday, February 11, 2008

The Wow Factor

Yesterday, I started talking about the reasons behind doing the story of David and Goliath as our first forray into the Mecha Manga Bible Heroes universe. One consideration that was a major factor on my part was the way David is seen as a person and how that one event changed his life forever.

For the early part of his life, David was the youngest and smallest of a large family of herdsmen; Just like today, the closer you got in David's society to "hands on" work, the lower on the totem pole you were... and in David's case, you didn't get much lower. So low was David, in fact, that when Samuel visited David's father and asked to see ALL his sons, Jessie conveniently forgot to even call for David. You get the picture that, had Samuel not pressed him, Jessie would be trotting out the more atheletic and handsome neighbor kids before calling little Dave from his sheep watching duties.

All this is not to say that David didn't do a dangerous and (at times) more exciting than you'd care for job. On more than a few occasions, David was called upon to kill bears and lions that easily had height & weight advantages on him, using nothing more than rocks, sticks and bare hands.

Being out in the wild, beating down fierce animals and doing hard, "manly" work didn't build David a humble and soft spoken disposition either. From all Biblical evidence, David was bold, brash and almost arrogant young man... traits that helped push David into the position of fighting Goliath.

David steps into the situation of both literally and figuratively taking on the single largest problem his country had faced up until that moment, and found an unconventional way to solve it. Yes, God was David's "co-pilot," but David had also been training for this moment for a lifetime.

This one act would define David his entire life, and would be both his greatest and his most pure triumph. One may ask- what happens to someone who has their greatest accomplishment before the age of 18?

Exploring that question and what that one act of defeating Goliath set into motion, not only for David but for every person in David's life, is what makes David so perfect for such a story. Every success and every failure is magnified and filtered by that moment, and David grows into a wiser and more complex person before our eyes... and as in many heroic stories, David's earliest mentor will soon become his greatest adversary...

Sunday, February 10, 2008

"War Machine"

In the past few days, there has been more than quite a few reactions to the upcoming release of Mecha Manga Bible Heroes; Some look forward with anticipation to the first issue, some are critical and still others seem to be holding back judgement until they actually see the finished book in their hands. In any case, the one common aspect that has drawn the most critisim and the most praise is the stated use of the Biblical plots and characters as the Bible presents them rather than looking to produce a fictional plotline using Biblical characters. Since I am the person chiefly responsible for making this our "mission," I thought I would add to the dialogue on the topic by giving you a glimpse as to what prompted this and why I think it's a good idea, at least for this series. Over the next few days, I will try and shed light on some of the thought behind Mecha Manga Bible Heroes...
When I was first approached by my friends at JMG to work on a project with them, several ideas were being kicked around- some using Biblically based characters in new situations and some using Biblical ideas in more modern settings. In my discussions with Paul Castiglia, the mangaging editor for comics at JMG, we talked about how much of the Bible we could include into a story and still make it interesting and exciting to the reader. Paul, rather than pushing one philosophy over another on me, left it up to me to propose a framework for a new series... The one thing I was asked to keep in mind was the desire they had to do something of a Genre piece- meaning we needed to bring things into a Sci-fi or some other setting rather than doing a "Passion of the Christ" Biblical aged epic.
As a writer who really likes to do research, I decided that it would be a great opportunity to open up the Old Testament again and read it for what it was and to inform myself with the original source of the stories I felt I knew well. Rather than starting aimlessly, I chose to read the meat of the Historical books- Judges, the 2 books of Samuel and the 2 books of Kings. (All good stuff, by the way- I'd recommend them to anyone)
What I found was quite eye opening- the stories were nothing like most people make them out to be, and they were fuller and richer from a story perspective than even I had thought before. The character developement of people like David and Saul within those stories was equally as rich; the "villians" weren't as clear cut as you might believe, and the "heroes" had their flaws and made their share of mistakes. The themes of the stories are also mulit dimentional, and I saw that there was really no need to do much to the plot to make anything current... these stories are really timeless.
In saying that, I will admit that not every story in the Bible could be translated into a Sci-Fi setting. Some stories would have to be pushed too far into a weird direction to make them fit such a setting, while others were a little too "adult" for anything that JMG wanted to do...
One that jumped out right away, however, was the story of David. While some people see the cover or hear about this first issue and say, "Goliath as a robot... sounds like a stretch," I would argue that the original text made it's own case to me.
When you read about the account in 1 Samuel about Goliath, the theme of technology and it's use to force submission through warfare is explicitly there. The Philistines are not just seen as a people who believe in a different god than the Israelites, they were depicted as a people with superior technology and a more developed "war machine" which they used to crush their enemies. In fact, the Bible is very clear that the people of Israel upgraded their technologies through beating nations like the Philistines, and that they were at a huge disadvantage in these areas until David and his son Solomon came along.
As the story of David continues, this idea of the gap of technology between David's people and those they are in conflict with will continue to be re-visited.
There are, of course, other aspects to the Biblical story of David which made it ideal for adaptation in this way... But I can't give it all away in one day, now can I?

Friday, February 08, 2008

Getting The Word Out

This week saw the release of the inital press release for Mecha Manga Bible Heroes, and I am happy to report that a great many outlets have decided to talk about it. Here are a few of the notables:

Comics Worth Reading gave the press release some honest critisim...

Ain't It Cool News was more respectful than they are to alot of publications... talked about the book in Spanish, as did ...

Heck, we are even blogged about in Hungarian... at least, I THINK it's Hungarian, because the blog is from Budapest...

ComicMix thinks the whole thing is silly...

New wants to see a Noah adaptation...

And the Sci-Fi Catholic thinks we are a good idea, and his comments were picked up by the blog Holy Heroes...

All this in just a few days.

Exciting, isn't it?

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Der KING! en Deutchland!

I am in the middle of writing the lastest installment of KING!, a 3 issue mini-series that we hope to be able to announce very shortly. As I have been working on the scripts, I have done a bit of research, trying mostly to find things other people have tried in similar comics so I can avoid them and make our new issues as fresh as possible. During my searches, I came across this, an announcement about KING! in Germany of all places!

I don't know what to think about such things- but it is kinda cool...