Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Sorry it's been a while

Jet-Pack Jenny and the Factor of 01 will be going to print early in January. My daughter arriving early tied up my schedule of finishing it off and I sorely underestimated the amount of drawing time I would need to sacrifice in the first few months she's been around. I would totally make the sacrifice again.

Those of you who graciously offered to do but still owe me guest art, I'll be in touch with a refresser on dimensions. If you'd like to contribute some guest art, just e-mail me for dimensions. Meanwhile, here's the cover:

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Mermaid & the Manatee

I did this drawing for Henry Eudy's birthday, and now that I've given it to him, I can share it. I really like how it came out, although I wish I were better at drawing manatees.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Shameless Bits of Commerce

I've decided to give Cafepress another try, after all, it was many, many years ago that I had my problems with their t-shirts. I still use my Cafepress mug, and the bumper sticker I got held up great over a year or more of wear on the metal case I had it on. For the next few days, I'm going to plug a new item every day, with the hopes that some of you reading this will feel inclined to drop some money on the stuff I'm putting my artwork on, thus sending a few bucks my way.

Today I'm highlighting the Oz Large Framed Print. According to Cafepress, all prints are custom manufactured using archival inks and acid-free paper. Framed prints are matted and framed in a stylish black frame with plexiglass cover. Frames include complete backing. The frame size is 19" x 15".

Ever since I completed the Oz drawing, I wanted to offer it in print format. Well, here it is. Cafepress offers prints in two sizes, and the Oz drawing is available in products ranging from greeting cards and magnets, up to the framed prints. There's even a mini poster print available for those on a budget.

To see everything Oz-related, go check out everything.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

A Rant, or How To Get Free Sketches From Me

DC used the passing of someone that had a huge contribution to their great library and history of work by promoting his work in part of a current, controversial project that one could argue a great bit rides on the success of. A lot of fans and artists were appalled at DC's callous action in the passing of a man responsible for so much great comic art, and not just his own, but a legacy of former students.

Comics is a business and that has become painfully apparent lately. A handful of artists can make a living on what they get from comics alone, and they do so without the benefit of health insurance or many of the job security benefits many of us take for granted. Efforts to change the status quo have always fallen flat. Crossgen offered benefits, but folded when the losses the company made could no longer be written off on taxes. (That is an assumption, I have no information as to why Crossgen folded. ) Efforts to unionize have failed, and efforts to secure rights for creators have centered on pay and intellectual property.

It has occurred to me, after talking to a great number of artists at conventions that when we talk of comics, we sometimes mention that we have "a love affair with comics." Taking that analogy further, comics often treats us like we're in a love affair, and we're the mistress. Comics treats us all right most of the time, and when we're with him, we have fun, and when we're not with him we often think about him and how he makes us feel. We're generally happy with the relationship.

Then there are the times that comics treats us bad. We put a lot of effort in the relationship, drawing comics, putting together minis, going to shows to show comics what we have done for him. We make it obvious that all we really want is for comics to dress us up and take us out and show us off. However, we are cruelly reminded that comics doesn't really care about us. Comics cares only about making money, and it does so with any number of the other mistresses he has out there. He takes them out for his New 52 or his Beyond Watchmen. He encourages them to do fan art and yells at them when they make money and don't give him any, like a pimp. We show comics the stuff we worked so hard on and we're told way too often that it isn't good enough. Like the cliche mistress, we hold onto the relationship, convinced that if we just try harder next time, he'll be taking us out for his next big party.

Well, I'm done being walked on by comics. I'm going to do my own thing on my own terms and not worry about putting on my nice clothes and taken out to be shown off. Comics is not loyal and never will be. Even when comics pays attention to its best mistresses, he treats them badly, not caring about their well-being, not-caring that they have enough money to pay their bills, even if they spend all of their time trying to please him.

I'm doing the comics that I want and doing them when I want to do them. You'll see me at conventions, but I'm not hustling any more. I like drawing sketches for people, but I'm never going to rely on doing paid commissions to pay any of my bills. Will I collect any of my comics into print format? I might, since friends seem to enjoy them, but I'm not going to do another Kickstarter, or whatever follows it for crowdsourcing, for a while, I do believe. I reserve the right to change my mind, though.

So, after Jet-Pack Jenny gets printed, I'm working on what I want to work on at the pace I can afford to work on. It's not a career for me, it's a hobby. A career is something that you make a living at, and there's too many creators out there who call comics their career, but not making a living at it. When you don't make a living at something, it's not a career, it's a hobby.

So I'll continue to post where I've been posting, and for the most part, you'll never know that I even posted this rant or came to this decision. The actual changes that I'm making in my practices will not be immediately visible, but you will notice a shift in how I treat my comics and how I produce them.

The major change that people might notice will be at conventions my willingness to do free sketches on 3 x 5 cards. That's right, free, because I enjoy drawing for people and there's nothing more depressing than putting a sign out with prices you charge for sketches and not getting any takers for long periods of time. Whenever I've done free sketches, I've had fun.

I'm not out to convert anyone to my new position, but I do urge you to re-evaluate your own relationship to comics.

Friday, July 6, 2012


Last Night at Sketch Charlotte, I drew this Supergirl. I've cleaned it up and edited out the Sketch Charlotte logo that Brandon puts on the paper for posting on the Sketch Charlotte site. Go over there if you want to it in the original scan.

I really like drawing Supergirl as a teenager, and by that, I mean 16 or younger. While this isn't my favorite Supergirl outfit, My favorite ones make her look too old.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012


The Kickstarter project to publish Jet-Pack Jenny and the Factor of 01 is over, and I'm very happy to say that it was successfully funded. It's gonna take a couple of weeks to get the funds put into a place where I can access them, and at that time, I'm going to go to print. In the next two weeks, I'm tweaking the layout, getting the last of the guest art in, and putting the final touches on the cover. It looks like the final book will be 48 pages, including annotations, preliminary sketches (incorporated into the annotations), and guest art.

If you'd like to contribute guest art, please e-mail it to carpaltunnelpress(at)gmail.com no later than July 11. If I've contacted you individually and asked for it from another e-mail address, please send it there. Please check back here before doing so, though and look for a notice that I have all the guest art I can handle. Once I have enough, I'll post here that I do.

If you still want to contribute financially to the book, please e-mail me for a private commission. My rates are as follows:

  • $25 - 8 1/2" x 11" in black and white. Full backgrounds, unless otherwise specified.
  • $50 - 11" x 17" in black and white. Full backgrounds, unless otherwise specified.
  • $100 - 11" x 17" hand colored.  Full backgrounds, unless otherwise specified.
  • Everything larger, please e-mail me for a quote.
  • No adult material requests, please.
Thanks again to the wonderful 16 people that contributed through Kickstarter!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Yet another incentive drawing

This one actually started out as practice, but ended up coming out really nicely. For those of you that have only read Factor of 01, The guy in the background is known as Skid-Mark, and is a leftover from the creation of Jet-Pack Jenny. He showed up in a four page story drawn by Andrew Franks, back over ten years ago, when we were both in college. He also had a cameo in Flight of the Virginia Dare, but I've never been able to do much with him.

I've got three more of these in the process right now. There's one finished that you haven't seen, just because it won't scan very well, so I'm coming along with these very nicely. After I finish the ones in the process, I'm going to be working on the cover image for the collected Factor of 01. There's still time to get in on getting an original drawing, original art from Factor of 01, just go over to Kickstarter and pledge to contribute to getting the book published. I've already made the goal, so any more pledged adds to the quality, page count, and/or print run for the book. I'm not keeping any of the contributions for myself, because that would just be wrong.

Redrawn strip, but not new.

This is a redrawing of the third Jet-Pack Jenny strip, but it's not new at all. I was going through the original art for Factor of 01, and found it. I immediately recognized that it had not been scanned, maybe being finished during a move somewhere, when my scanner wasn't hooked up.

I still like the robot chiding Jenny for using her phone.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

More Incentive Drawing

This was done for an incentive drawing for the Kickstarter project. It is a little daunting, the amount of drawing that I'm having to do for this project, but I'm thrilled at the response. If you'd like to contribute, you still can up until June 26th. Just click on the link here in the post or the big white box on the right. Any amount that the final contribution goes over the original goal amount will contribute to a higher print run, more pages of extra art, or other enhancements to the project.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Another Incentive Drawing

Here's another incentive drawing I've done to repay contributors to the Kickstarter campaign. It's still not too late to contribute! Just click the link on the right over there and contribute whatever you feel you can afford and is necessary! I have reached my goal, so everything from here on out is contributing to a higher print run, a slicker presentation or more artwork included in addition to the collected story, annotations and guest art!

Again, guest art is welcome, just e-mail me for the dimensions needed.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Dan DiDio is Wrong

I've been hesitant to talk too much about the Watchmen prequels. While the situation irritates me from a creative standpoint (read: no imagination to do a sequel or a prequel), it doesn't really affect me. However, recently, Dan DiDio gave comments about the controversy surrounding it and addressed Watchmen co-creator Alan Moore's complaints about the prequels and the way DC has treated him over the years. The article is at the Guardian's Facebook page.

Let's start at the beginning:
"We knew when we were trying to build these books that there were going to be a lot of questions, concern, and a lot of deep introspection about what we're trying to do here. We wanted to make sure if anything that the books could stand on their own merits and their own creative strengths, which is one of the reasons we assembled the teams we did," said DiDio, who admits that at one point, "even our own internal staff were having problems with it". But "we're not going to shy away from the controversy on this – as a matter of fact we're embracing it because we have belief in the strength of the product and stand behind it."
This is something that I can't dispute the facts on, because Didio doesn't give examples of which DC staff members having problems, but given if the treatment of writers recently that have publicly complained about their treatment by DC, I doubt very seriously that anyone complained to Dan Didio, and the staff members he is talking about are ones he is certain exist, but hasn't been able to identify. As far as having belief in the strength of the project, flooding the market with 35 issues is not demonstrating faith in the strength of the product, it's catering to a collector's mentality in the grand old Pokemon "gotta catch 'em all" mentality DC has exhibited under DiDio. Flashpoint, Final Crisis, Darkest Night are also examples of this strategy.
In the prequels, DiDio revealed, the Silk Spectre comic is a coming-of-age story about a girl in the late 60s who rebels against her mother, the Comedian's back story will take a look at "turbulent times in the government", Nite Owl's is "almost a father and son-style story as one man hands the mantle of Nite Owl to the other" and Dr Manhattan's a time-shifting journey through history. Rorschach's story, predictably, is "extremely violent".
Silk Spectre's mother drove her to the Crimebusters meeting. Her mother pushed her into being a super-hero. If she were rebelling she would have quit the costumed gig like she had in the original story. The Golden Age Nite Owl didn't know who Dan Dreiberg was until well into the near ending of his career by the Keene act, there was no passing of the mantle, and no father and son relationship, not even in the original story. I find the Dr. Manhattan time shifting story as wholly unoriginal, as Alan Moore used it as a plot element in the original story, and as a way to tell the history of the characters. Rorschach was meant as an homage to not only Ditko's Question, but Mr. A as well, a crimefighter that sees the world as black and white. The ultra-violent nature was only a side effect of the perceived insanity created by his failure to save a small child. If an Ultr-violent story was desired, I would propose the Comedian for the venue, but putting out a violent story for the sake of a violent story is not good writing. The violence in Watchmen reinforced the characters, progressed the story and resolved sub-plots. It wasn't there for the sake of being there.
The Ozymandias prequel "is basically the string that ties it all together, from his story of how he first formulates his idea of how to save the world to the moment when he decides to execute that plan", and the Minutemen miniseries will chronicle "the final days of the Minutemen and how that team really came apart". The first book in the series, Minutemen #1, is out on 6 June, with a new issue to follow each week.
This is strictly retelling the same story that got told in much briefer form in the original story, and in a way that revealed the nature of the Ozymandias character. The Minutemen falling apart was not a "final days" story, but a final years as everything slowly deteriorated as society changed. The story was also told already by Alan Moore.
DiDio is hopeful the books might just help save the struggling comics industry. "Honestly, it dates back to when we started the 'New 52' line of books and relaunched the entire DC universe. The industry we saw was fading, for several reasons, whether the strength of the product or the fact there's been so many other distractions taking people away from buying comics. We saw our sales not just in DC but across the industry starting to flag a bit and we knew we had to do something about it, take some dramatic steps in order to reinvigorate our fan base and get people excited about comics again," he said.
The industry is fading for several reasons, competition for entertainment dollars from video games, the Internet, and a distribution system that does not reach out to find new readers in places that they already go. The industry also loses fans when editors like DiDio tell them to buy more every few months. DC has produced good books, but over saturation of pricey collections like the Absolute Editions and leaping from event to event has demonstrated no confidence in those creators. DiDio goes for the fast solution, instead of the slow build. Look how long it took for Sandman to generate it's fan base of people who didn't read comics. DC squandered that by not building another book that people that don't read comics can get behind while that fan base were buying Sandman. The only title to come close has been Fables, which started six years after Sandman ended.
"Once we reintroduced our line it gave us the strength to say we should look at other things that we knew would excite the fans. When you have a product like Watchmen that is as worldwide known as it is, and the fact there are millions of copies in print, we wouldn't be doing our jobs if we didn't go out and say, 'is there other ways we can grow new material from this?' We went out and reached the original creators and they had passed, but we still believed this was the right choice to make. And in doing so we went out with the strongest creators possible, so while you may question the decision you can't question the quality of the product and the quality of the people behind the product."
He's making a straw man argument here, because I don't believe anyone is question the quality of the work that they haven't seen yet or the quality of the creators. They are question DiDio's ethics. He can't defend the later so he creates the former to swat down.
DiDio says he can understand Moore's perspective. "Honestly I can understand why he might feel the way he does because this is a personal project to him. He has such a long and illustrious career and he's been able to stand behind the body of work he's created. But quite honestly the idea of something shameless is a little silly, primarily because I let the material speak for itself and the quality of the material speak for itself."
Then why is he talking so much about it?
As for depending on Moore's ideas, DiDio says that "all the characters in all the universes and all that we do in comics, we're constantly building on other people's lores and legends. Watchmen in some ways fits that bill as we have done in so many series in the past. In this particular case we feel very strong about what we're doing and honestly I'm going to let the product speak for itself."
Again, then why is he talking so much about it?
Even Moore himself has worked with characters he hasn't created, points out DiDio. "Realistically some of Alan's strongest works at DC outside of Watchmen were built off of characters like Swamp Thing which was created by Len Wein, Superman, Batman, so many of our great characters he's worked on and they helped build his career."
However Alan's strongest work has probably been outside of DC. From Hell, America's Best Comics, Miracleman and so many more were done without DC having creative input behind it, either literally or historically. Many of the stories Alan Moore did for DC, outside of Swamp Thing, which was some of his earliest American work in a market that had few outlets for talented, yet relatively unknown creators. DC has also made use of those few stories for some of their biggest projects over and over again, cheapening the impact. 

The majority of characters that Alan Moore has used that he hasn't created have come from the public domain, and in many ways the depth of redefining that he has done with those characters shows Alan Moore's talent for creating something out of whole cloth that no one else thought to try in nearly a century. It also shows Moore as a well-read writer with interest outside of comic books, albeit a genuine love for them, although that love has been deteriorated by his treatment from DC over the years.
DC says Watchmen was "a work for hire agreement at the start", however. And it provides such a rich basis for prequels, according to DiDio. "The stories and ideas are so well defined, and there are so many throwaways in the body of the original work, a one-line mention or a side item or a cameo shot of a character, that were basically great wonderful springboards we could grow the world from," he said. "That's why when everybody says this is a finite story, true if you're looking at the beginning, middle, end of that particular story itself. But when you're talking about the characters, there's nothing finite about them. They have endless possibilities in the types of stories we could tell with them. And like I said we've found the right creators to tell those stories."
Again, we come to the straw man argument, DiDio doesn't address the contract, and the company line is that it was work for hire, although it has been firmly reported that the rights were meant to transfer. However, instead of defending the companies enforcement of its side of the agreement, that it is within their right to keep it in print as long as it makes them a profit, he goes back to the potential that the characters have for more stories.
The artists and writers working on the books – including Brian Azzarello, Darwyn Cooke and Len Wein – have "an incredible résumé of classic stories which have really helped change what comics are today", said DiDio. "From our standpoint we wanted to make sure that regardless of what people feel about how this came about to be, they have no question that this isn't the best people possible to do it. If it was ever going to be done, these are the people that should be handling it."
Again, I don't think anyone has criticized the creators. I certainly wouldn't, because for the most part, I actually think that they're all quite competent in their ability to craft a readable and in most cases, an enjoyable comic. I don't know why DiDio keeps coming back to his straw man after he's already knocked it down. I appreciate that he's standing behind his talent, I just wish he would when they disagree with him publicly.
He has not spoken to Moore about the prequels, but said that if the British author "did get a chance to read them, I hope he looks at them with an open mind and a chance to understand this is a love letter to what he created, and more importantly that the strength of his work is allowing other people to grow and tell other stories which will hopefully inspire other creators along the way. In the way he was inspired by the creators when he was younger, we're hoping these ideas and these books are inspiring new people, so that we continue to grow the comics business as a whole."
Nothing DiDio has done has strengthened the industry. Its shaken down readers for more money from more product. All great stories produced by DC has been in spite of his leadership, not because of it. Grant Morrison can write a good Superman story. Adam Hughes will always produce a cover that will catch the eye on a rack. Bill Willingham can modernize and humanize characters. I can go down the list, but all the great work that DC has put out under Dan DiDIo has not been affiliated with his massive editorially driven events. I remember Final Crisis as anything but interruptive. I remember Darkest Night as annoying, I remember the New DC 52 as forgettable. 
Will there be more Watchmen follow-ups? "Let's wait and see how these work first," said DiDio. "At this point the audience will decide that." So who watches the Watchmen? It's up to you.
I have a well read, stained, first print of the Watchmen TPB. I keep it on my shelf and it remains an example of what a super-hero comic can be. Nothing has come close. It doesn't need anything else to make it complete, I never wondered about what happened in between those scenes because frankly, it never mattered. The story was told, and it was finished.

Now I just wish Dan DiDio would be as well.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Incentive drawing

This is one of the incentive drawings I'm doing for rewards on the Kickstarter project to print the completed Factor of 01. I'm putting a nice border on them so they're good and finished in the odd chance that anyone receiving one wants to frame it.

If you're on the list to get one of these and you have a preference for subject matter, let me know and I'll try to meet the request. I can't make any guarantees, but I'll give it a shot. If you're not on the list, then just contribute $25.00 or more over on Kickstarter, and I'll do a drawing for you. I've met the goal, but more funding means I can spruce up the book with either more printings and/or more room for guest art.

This is actually the second one I've started, but the first still isn't done, as there's one building in the background giving me a fit. I'm resolving to knock it out in the next day or two.

PS- I noticed I mentioned guest art, and I'm going to be contacting people to see if they want to contribute some guest art for the print edition. If you're interested, and I haven't approached you yet, then by all means drop me a line and I'll send you the parameters needed for a drawing. They're a little different than normal comic dimensions, so please don't just send me a drawing and expect that I can work it in.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

New Mini-Comic Available

I've got a new mini-comic that you can buy. The Mall Preview is a 20 page mini-comic following three characters in a small city where chain stores are affecting locally-owned and run businesses. The Mall is a pet project that has been calling to me again recently and Jimmy even showed up in this year's Sketch Charlotte Anthology. While there are always changes that I'd love to make, I'm happy with the end product. I've also managed to make them cheap enough that I hope you'll share them with friends.

50 cents plus the cost of a stamp.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Please Buy Something

I don't like doing these posts, just blatantly selling stuff. However, it's part of the role of an artist. I have a few things that are ways you can show me some love and help my family pay bills, eat food, and the such. I am posting this now mainly because a little extra cash would be really useful right now. Really useful.

Original Artwork

I sell original art and other hand made items on Etsy. I mostly reserve my Etsy shop for selling the original art, and I tend to sell it rather cheap. I'm even selling the jet-pack I made and used to haul around to conventions.

Why do I use Etsy? Well, it's to reach a wider audience. I have sold artwork to people I don't know, and I'm pretty certain they found me through Etsy. There's lots of good stuff there as well, so browse it it if you haven't for a while.

The Art of Stan Ford: The first full-color collection of artwork done in the years spanning the run of Jet-Pack Jenny and the Factor of 01. It sports a dust cover and 36 pages of artwork, commentary, and sketches. Features an introduction by Brandon Padgett of Sketch Charlotte.

$10.00 w/ free shipping!


I’ll do commissioned drawings. These will not be sketches, but fully rendered drawings, detail depending on the subject you request. All drawings will be on 8 1/2″ x 11″ card stock, making them easy to find a frame for. Depending on the subject matter, the medium will be charcoal or ink. Either way, you’ll have a nice darkly rendered drawing to show off. The price for a drawing is $25, as long as you’re not asking for more than three people in it.

I’ll also do 5″ x 8 1/2″ for $10, with the same level of detail as the larger drawings.

I hear you asking, how will this work?

First off, e-mail me at carpaltunnelpress@gmail.com, letting me know what you want. If you want a likeness of someone, send me a photo. I draw comics, but for you, I’ll draw just about anything. When I’m done, I’ll e-mail you a watermarked scan of your drawing, at a resolution of 72 dpi.

How do you get money to me? I prefer PayPal, but you can mail me a check, if you want. Once I have the money, I’ll mail you your drawing in a plastic sleeve and inside a reinforced envelope, clearly marked “DO NOT BEND.” If you have trouble with your mailman bending your large mail to fit, consider having it sent to a work address.

Other books I've done

I have a limited supply of these books. Once I sell out I'll take them out of this post. Until then, there's more here that you can buy and see what else I've done.

Bunkee #4 collects the first part of the Jet-Pack Jenny and the Factor of 01, including a couple of nice, themed parody ads.Just $1.50

Bunkee #3 is a sketchbook special, featuring sneak peeks at upcoming work such as wrestling, Jet-Pack Jenny, and some stuff that’s fallen to the wayside, but has not been forgotten.Just $2.00

The Failure Anthology is an anthology from the five creators that made up Failure in 2003. Each creator gives their tale of a time in their lives when they felt like a failure. Five autobiographical tales in a full-size 32-page comic.

Chris Allen of Movie Poop Shoot said about Failure,”Not a bad book overall, with a good theme, clever design and very funny cover idea; the refrigerator with the failing report card on it,” and had great things to say about the individual creators. He even mentioned it in his “best of 2003″ report.
Steven Grant of Comic Book Resources said about Failure,”It reads pretty well, keeping the entries fairly short and tight, with most participants resisting the urge to explain themselves and demand sympathy. (A big problem with most autobiographical comics; if criticism demands ruthlessness, autobiography demands it in spades.) It’s good.”

Other people love Failure, what are you waiting for?
Just $2.00!

Too Scared To Die
I just stumbled across a print run of my first minicomic, Too Scared To Die. This is the last chance to get the autobiographical comic done as I was exiting the world of art school and setting my sail into the world of comics and all the anxiety that brings. A lot has changed since then, so this is the last chance to get this comic.Just $2.50

That's a lot of ways you can help me out by sending money and getting quality stuff in return.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Thank You, Thank You!

Right before the weekend, The Kickstarter goal was reached! Today, I'm starting on the incentive drawings, and those contributors local to me that pledged $25 or more will get theirs personally from me early, as they get done. I'll post the drawings as I get them done.

While I didn't mention it in the Kickstarter pitch, even on the 8 1/2" x 11" drawings I'll try to accommodate requests, but can't guarantee anything. The (so far) two color pieces I have to do I will accommodate as much to the letter as I can.

Thanks again, everybody!

I can curb back now on the relentless Tweets begging for contributions, but I would be remiss in not mentioning that just because I reached the goal, you can still get in on the incentive drawings by contributing here.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Update on FCBD

I'm sad to say that I will not be at Borderlands for Free Comic Book Day. Things outside of my control have just conspired to make it impossible to make the trip to Greenville.

I am still in the Sketch Charlotte anthology that you can get at Heroes Aren't Hard to Find in Charlotte, NC. I'm proud of my little four-page contribution to this year's effort and hope that you can pick it up. The Mall Preview will soon be available here on a special page for buying comics.

Just a reminder, thanks to a lot of help from a lot of good friends, I'm almost to my goal for getting Factor of 01 printed. If you haven't pledged, please do so! Worse than not getting anywhere near enough contributions would be falling just short. Just click the box over to the right or go here.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

A Fresh Slate

I'm starting over here. A lot of things led to moving my stuff from my own web site to this space. I'll get into those at a later date.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Help Get Jet-Pack Jenny printed

The Kickstarter project to get Jet-Pack Jenny and the Factor of 01 printed has been launched! Go here to contribute at a level that gets you some nice incentives!

It took me five years to finish the story, but I'm very happy with it, and I feel like it's actually worth asking people to contribute to see it happen. I just need $400 contributed in order to meet my printing goals, but if more is contributed, I'll be able to print more copies. No money will go to waste.I will be printing these in July and shipping out as soon as I receive them from the printer.

So what will the printed collection contain? It will be 40 pages, containing all of the strips printed three to a page, with the book measuring  8" x 7 1/4", making every strip so much easier to read than if I tried to print this as a mini-comic and do two to a page. It also frees up lots of room for guest artwork, annotations giving you a behind the scenes peek at the making of the comic and sketches from the making of the comic.

Just in case you need more prompting to donate and make this book a reality, here are the donation incentives:

  • Donate $10 or more and get a copy of the book with a free head sketch of the lead character, Jet-Pack Jenny. This head sketch will be inserted on a separate 5" x 8" card.

  • Donate $25 or more and get a copy of the book and a free full body sketch w/background of Jet-Pack Jenny on 8 1/2" x 11" Bristol.

  • Donate $50 or more and get the $25 reward and a piece of original art from the story. All original art is in strip format. I don't think I need to say that you'll get your choice of which strip, provided it's available. Two are no longer available.

  • Donate $100 or more and you get the $50 reward plus an original drawing of Jet-Pack Jenny done to your requested subject matter, hand colored, drawn on 11" x 17" Bristol. In case you're counting that'll be two drawings and a piece of original art!

Your help in getting this published would be greatly appreciated, and hoping to have to draw a lot to show how much I appreciate it.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Free Comic Book Day

Another Free Comic Book Day has come around, and once again, I'll be at Borderlands Comics and Games in Greenville, SC for their event. Last year was a blast and if you're in the area, then you should make it one of your stops. I'll be doing free sketches along with many other artists.Borderlands

I'll also have copies of the 2012 Sketch Charlotte Anthology that I have a four page story in. It's 24 pages of comics from some of my friends in Sketch Charlotte that are great cartoonists. To the left, you'll find a page of my story that you'll find in the anthology.

I'm also going to have copies of my 20 page Mall Preview for 50 cents each. Because my FCBD anthology story uses characters from it, it just seemed appropriate to offer it for sale. Details will be coming soon if you want to buy a copy from me through the web site.

FCBD looks to be very fun all the way around! I hope I get to see you there!

Friday, March 30, 2012

Got Some Drawing to Do

In the next few days, I've got a deadline to meet and I'm not as close to being done as I'd have liked to be at this stage. I'm starting by setting aside an hour a day to work on it. If that doesn't get me the progress that I need, then I'll stretch it out. Unfortunately, I can't share it as it gets done, but that's the way these things work out sometimes.

Also, I'm finalizing up my appearances schedule for May, and as soon as they're done, I'll let you know.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

"Give Me A Needle And I Could Make It Work"


February 1994

I've made it no secret that I'm a fan of the Legion of Super-Heroes. My absolute favorite incarnation has to the Giffen/Bierbaums era also known as the "Five Years Later" Legion. After they blew up the Earth, the Bierbaums left the writing chores up to colorist Tom McCraw and there seemed to be a struggle to find a direction for the Legion. The idea struck someone to put the team through some major challenges and put them on the run.


The Legion has just defeated Glorith, but at significant cost. Celeste Rockfish has apparently been aged to the point of death, Brainiac 5 has been advanced to a point where his body is riddled with age. Devlyn O'Ryan and Mysa have been reduced in age to teens, and Kent Shakespeare is a child. Jo is raving mad because he's learned that his lost love Tinya is still alive, displaced somewhere in time by Glorith. When Celeste's body vanishes, replaced by a green energy body. Brainiac 5 suggests that the team goes to Quarantine for tests on their changed bodies.

On Quarantine, we learn that for the most part the changes made by Glorith are not harmful, although Devlin and Celeste have trouble adjusting to their new forms. Celeste's new form is the result of her body merging with the Green Lantern energy years ago, and now that Glorith has destroyed her body, that energy is no longer restricted by spending most of its power just to keep Celeste alive. Brainiac 5 is now dependent upon an exoskeleton to remain mobile, but he needs to return for his files at the Legion HQ on Talus. They leave Devlin and Kent behind. Jo wants to go back in time and look for Tinya, Wildfire wants to leave as well for his own personal reasons, and while Rokk and Brainy can't convince them otherwise, they do welcome Spider-Girl to the team, as appreciation for her help.

Rokk's wife and child have been brought to Winath by Garth Ranzz signalling some troubles the Legion is having with the Science Police. When the team get to Talus, they find it guarded by the SP's and the newly enlisted Subs waiting to arrest the Legion for conspiracy against the United Planets. In the battle that follows, they find themselves captured, being taken off guard by the Subs and their new members.

Former Earth President and Legion member Jacques Froccart protests the Legion's innocence despite holos showing the Legion aiding the Khunds. Using his invisibility he discovers that Universo is behind the charges in a plot to take over New Earth. He assists the Legion in escaping while he works to clear the Legion of the charges.  The Legion escape with the help of Loomis, who has operated as their mechanic on Talus, although Violet seems to be taking charge and giving orders during the escape.

After being safely away from Webers World, Rokk argues with Vi and gives leadership over to her. She decides to use one of Jo's hideouts on Rimbor as a base. Vi orders everyone to come up with new uniforms and identities, using what they have on hand.

After arriving on Rimbor, Laurel and Mysa fence unneeded supplies to gain credits, but are getting the short end of negotiations until Mysa uses a little sex appeal to get a better deal. As the Legion finish off their new costumes, Spider-Girl returns hurt badly  and informing them that she and Jo have been attacked.


This was one of those transitional issues of the Legion that took the team in a different direction. With only minimal exception, this has been done to boost sales. Usually it doesn't work.  I'm unapologetic in my love for Giffen's "five years later" Legion, and I find this new direction just a punishment.

Tom McCraw does an adequate job of writing the Legion, and he keeps the voices pretty much the same, with the exception of Mysa and Rokk. Rokk gets explained in later issues, but Mysa never does. The concept of the Legion being framed as traitors is not a new one, and I sigh at the lack of originality in it. Universo's motivation doesn't make sense in that he was practically the hero that masterminded Earth's liberation. If  his desire was to take control of New Earth, he had every opportunity to do so. The new uniforms we see in the story are slight, but the cover does feature them prominently, in a nod to the cover of Giant-Size X-Men #1.

Which transitions me to the art. Stuart Immonen is, in my opinion one of the best comic book artists around today. His style in these early days was very naturalistic, with an excellent use of black in his composition. The colors are adequate for the time, albeit a bit flat and some cutting to denote shading would have helped Immonen's artwork immeasurably. The costume designs are for the most part, forgettable. Wildfire's looks like a bad flame job that you give a car. Laurel's actually reminds me of the cape that Laurel Kent used to use to cover up with around the dorms at Legion academy way back in LOSH #304. it lacks something to make it stand out as Laurel, though. I really like Timber Wolf's outfit, as he really doesn't require a whole lot to discern his personality and identity. Brainiac 5 is the other standout for me, since Brainy has always been rooted to wearing coveralls instead of a formal costume. I can completely do without Ayla and Vi's costumes, though. I do question the logic behind Violet's choice. If the point is to conceal their identities, why isn't she wearing a disguise?

This issue has not been collected to the best of my knowledge. Do not be surprised if you can pick up a copy of this in a bargain bin as most fans completely write off this version of the Legion, as DC practically has.

FINAL RATING: 6.0 (out of a possible 10)

Without Stuart Immonen's art, this would score much lower. If I were reviewing this book as it was a half year later, it would most certainly be almost as low as that Spider-Woman issue I reviewed.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Frequently Asked Question

So are there plans to collect Jet-Pack Jenny in print format?

Yes, yes there is. The delay in doing so and in starting a new comic are that when I started Factor of 01 a few years ago, I drew it two strips to a page of Bristol, because, when that's how it would print anyway. Then I stepped away for a little while. In that span of time I discovered the Bristol board pre-cut to comic strip dimensions, and so I started using that. The only problem is that I could no longer draw the strips at the same height I'd been using which made the proportions completely different.

I dismissed it as something I'd fix later, and promptly forgot about it. Now I started assembling the strips I was very pleased with for the inevitable print version and was horribly reminded about the change in dimensions. That means that the first half of Factor of 01 needs to be re-drawn. That's OK, I tell myself, because I was never really happy with the fight scene, and I still have to get rid of  Tom's glasses.

This also gives me room to play around with format. Whenever strips are assembled in comic form, usually they are either stacked vertically (meaning for really small formatting of each strip, or sideways, which unless you change the way the book is printed and stapled, means awkward flipping of pages. Well, I find it awkward.

Because I'm thinking about printing these myself, and I have a stash of 11" x 17" paper laying around, I have a novel solution. If I trim the paper to be 8.5" x 11", it'll fit through any of my printers, especially my color one. folded over, the book would be 8.5" x 8.5" and be able to fit three strips per page, giving me a very manageable 24 pages, if I remember my math correctly. After a trim, it would come across quite nicely, and not seem like an awkward read.

However, the redrawing is on hold while I work on a contribution for the Sketch Charlotte anthology. It's a story that goes back to some ideas I had when I was doing the Mall, and recently that story kept coming back into my head. I'm holding off of doing a full version of it, because I've promised myself that I'd work on Hanamori's Circus next.

Of course, my time is about to be really taken up. I gotta get this print version of Factor of 01 done.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Same Thing We Do Every Night...

So, there's this sketchbook running around with Heather Peagler of Sketch Charlotte and Exile on Plain Street that is various artists drawing pictures of Cartoon legends Pinky and the Brain. Some time ago, she asked me to contribute a drawing to it, and what we have here is the result.

Every artist puts their own twist on the theme, and since I'm partial to drawing jet-packs, I incorporated that into my sketch. I shaded with a grey Faber Castell brushpen, which I've been partial to for a while. Call me a heretic, but I just can't warm up to Copic markers.

I like drawing in people's sketchbooks, and I've done quite a few, and if you see me somewhere, a convention, Free Comic Book Day event, or some such, and you have a theme sketchbook, just ask me and I may just draw in it. So far, I've done Krypto, Beetlejuice, and Pippi Longstockings.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Oh, Perspective, How's I Eyes Ya

The advantage to re-drawing about half of the Factor of 01 to be consistent in print format means I get to completely rework things I have not been entirely happy with. Originally the first panel, while it worked, wasn't entirely what I wanted. This is closer, and while I don't think I've got the handle on 3 point perspective that it demands, I think it's good enough to serve the purpose.

I also won't be replacing this on the web site until the next strip is redrawn. I've completely changed the beat of the action. That's the worst part of the original artwork. I really do not like staging fight scenes in my comics, so I do it badly. In the first Jet-Pack Jenny comic, there's actually two strips that were all black as a cop-out, albeit done on a dare. That second panel is also the second part of my lesson in how harsh a mistress perspective can be. Never ever say you can fix perspective in Photoshop, it will still not look 100% right.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Wonder Woman

I did this drawing of Wonder Woman in my spare time, just so I could work on that costume. I used to hate this costume; call me a traditionalist. I don’t hate it as much now, but I still feel like it’s more complicated than it needs to be. Wonder Woman has one of those iconic costumes that only a few redesigns have managed to pull off. I could probably have silhouetted Diana in mostly shadow and have her still be recognizable as long as enough of her costume is visible. I wish the metallic elements were gold instead of silver, as that's just part of the color scheme. I still don't like the choker though. It just looks dangerous.

The trickiest part of this drawing  for me was retaining her femininity, but weird things happen to your drawing style when you watch a two day marathon of RuPaul’s Drag Race. Fortunately, Wonder Woman has black hair, so I could fix her face to get her  femininity back. I had to reference the hands so that Diana didn’t end up with man-hands.

By the way, you can buy the original drawing by going over to Etsy and purchasing it there. I also have some other stuff for sale there, but that's going to be another post.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

2011 - It's a meme

It's a meme now for cartoonists and comic artists to do a collage of their 2011 work to represent the year. Well, lots of squares didn't work for me, so I did it in my own way.

Monday, January 2, 2012

My Work Is On Exhibit

From Friday, Jan 6, 2012 - Friday, Jan 27, 2012, I'll be part of an exhibit at the Caldwell Arts Council in Lenoir, NC.Lenoir is located in the foothills of North Carolina just about 20 miles south down US Hwy 321 from Boone, about an hour north of Gastonia, NC on the same Hwy 321. Lenoir is about 2 hours at the most from most parts of Charlotte, NC, and Winston-Salem, NC. Visit this link for more on the Caldwell Arts Council. They are open Tuesday-Friday from 9am - 5pm.

The Opening reception is on Friday, Jan 6 from 5pm-7:30 pm. I'll be there schmoozing since I'm a part of the show, so if you can make it, I'll be glad to see you.  Here's a preview of some of the work you'll see in the show.

Sunday, January 1, 2012


Happy Endings!

Credit for the happy ending goes to my lovely and loving wife, who in seeing the original ending, which was very close to the end of the previous strip, suggested a happier ending. A little rewriting to the courtroom scene got us to the point we have here, where Ione finds Tom and they reunite.

It is a little melancholy in that their son is still gone, but that part of the story was written way before the ending was finalized into its present form.

There is a secret to Factor of 01 that I've only revealed to a few people and if you can break the code, it's actually in the comic itself, three times. I'll give a special gift to the first person to e-mail me with the secret, or to put it into the comments.


Now for the future plans. The detailed plot for Hanamori's Circus is still being finished. I'm still undecided on how to format it, whether to go with horizontal or vertical and if to go with a strip format like I've been doing. I'm leaning away from it, as the only thing pulling me to strip format is that I have about three pads of Bristol cut to the format.

My schedule for the debut of Hanamori's Circus is not set. I want to get five installments in the can before it debuts. My collaborator is really wanting it in color, so we may just see another full color comic. In the meantime, you never know when I may fire off a one-shot strip just to exercise those muscles.