Wednesday, July 25, 2007


Sam Hiti's take on HR Watson, from THB. I think Sam is one of the best new American cartoonists to emerge in the past few years, when I look at his drawings I get excited--they have what I call "new comics energy".

The last issue of THB to appear in print was in 2003. Since then, I've been steadily working on it in private, without any concern for a publishing format or schedual-- just doing it in the old style, for myself first and foremost, to amuse myself, to make myself happy--as if I were still a kid in my bedroom, drawing after school and on the weekends, which is how any of us begin.

There will be a big announcement later this week at the San Diego Comics Convention, regarding the future of THB. Something exciting.

See more of Sam's work here and here.

Saturday, July 21, 2007


I just found out from Ruben Procopio that the new film SIMPLICITY: THE LIFE AND ART OF ALEX TOTH will be premiering at the San Diego Comic Con this week! If you have the time--and even a slight interest in the history of cartooning, you really MUST see this film.

SIMPLICITY is a great film, certainly one of the best bio-pics about a cartoonist to date. I've had the good fortune of seeing the entire final cut and was completely bowled over by the production and the narrative thread. It is not only an excellent feature on the life of one of comics' greatest artists-- it is an excellent bio-documentary about the life and times of an incredible, influential artist in its own right, and could easily be shown on PBS, A&E, or the History Channel and not seem at all out of place.

I was able to see the final cut because I am in it-- and so is Ruben. We were interviewed along with a handful of other artists, editors, and friends of Toth, including DC Comics' Art Director, Mark Chiarello, as were Toth's four children. Informative, amusing, emotional, stimulating...this is an excellent film. Please catch it if you can.

Here's the news item as it runs on

Simplicity: The Life and Art of Alex Toth Documentary at Comic-con

Just Announced! At this year's San Diego Comic-Con International on Saturday, July 28 @ 3:30-4:30pm see "Simplicity: The Life and Art of Alex Toth".

"Featured for the first time will be the exclusive screening of the documentary Simplicity: The Life and Art of Alex Toth. The documentary will show what made Alex such a unique and beloved artist. Following the screening will be a brief panel discussion featuring the appearance of Mark Chiarello, Ruben Procopio, Toth’s children as well as documentary producers Alex Gray and Jon Mefford. Room 3"

Eric Toth has let us know that in addition to Mark Chiarello, Rubén Procopio and Jon Mefford, he and his Brother Damon will be there representing the Toth Family.

Eric also mentioned, "I have seen a rough cut (of the documentary) and it will be very good".

Sunday, July 15, 2007


HYPE DEPT: A first look at Battling Boy-- this image is being run as a promo card for the big San Diego Comic Con. So if you're going ask for one.

Variously around Battling Boy, we see a bunch of the monsters whose asses he kicks-- Sadisto, the Wolfman, Muckmouth, Rubber Lips, The Grimmick, Egg Man, The War Pig, and maybe a couple others. There are many other monsters in the story--some of the classics, some new ones. They do what monsters always do--steal things, break things, kill people, kidnap children and eat them. Behind them looming on the epic horizon is Battling Boy's dad.

I started scripting this during the last year I was working on Batman Year 100 and began the principal drawing in September 2006, alongside La Bionica, my upcoming book for Dargaud. The bad news is both won't hit til mid-2008 at the soonest.

PULPHOPE should be in stores this week though.

Saturday, July 14, 2007


"I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practive resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdy and Spartan-like as to put a rout to all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms, and, if it proved mean, why then to get the whole and genuine meanness of it, and publish its meanness to the world; or if it were sublime, to know it by experience, and be able to give a true account of it in my next excursion."

--HD Thoreau, from Walden, 1854

Friday, July 13, 2007


Download the free LVHRD magazine here-- it has an article by me on 3 of my artist/heroes (Tadanori Yokoo, Guido Crepax, and Rene Gruau). MGZN 3 also has the 2 minute animated 100% film trailer embedded in it:


There's also an interview with the inscruitable Mr. Murray Hil.

MGZN amazingly hits half a milion readers worldwide already, and this is the first time the 100% film trailer has ever been shown anywhere--so that's cool. Sometime next week I'll publish the full draft of the article about Yokoo/Crepax/Gruau--it reads well in the magazine, but it did get severely truncated due to space restrictions. The original draft has a lot more information on each artists' life and work.

Hats off to Liz Tan of LVHRD, for the heavy lifting. She's pretty, she's petite, she's tougher than Popeye. And to Lee Lowridge of Xylanol Studios, who's not so petite but he is tougher than Bluto. His team constructed the 100% film using frames from the comic. Lee also did the greytone separations for the 100% graphic novel (which, unlike its "sister" book, Heavy Liquid, is still in print).

LVHRD is a members-only organization based here in NYC, made up of all kinds of people from different creative fields--learn more about them here:

Thursday, July 12, 2007


"Mr. Adams went out swimming the other day into the Potomac, and went near to a boat which was coming down the river. Some rude blackguards were in it, who, not knowing the character of the swimmer, amused themselves with laughing at his bald head as it popped up and down in the water, and, as they drew nearer, threatened to crack open his round pate if he came nigh them. The President of the United States was, I believe, compelled to waive the point of honour and seek a more retired bathing-place."

--RW Emerson, from his journals, May 18th 1828. Emerson was only 23 at the time, visiting Alexandria, Va.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007


Watching my friend Spangler the other night over drinks at the Pegu Club as something occurred to me. We were talking about stuff and all the while he was checking his new iPhone at casual, periodic intervals. While we were sitting there talking, I could tell he was carrying on at least two other conversations via text. It didn't interrupt our flow of conversation at all, and it didn't strike either of us as particularly rude or inappropriate. In my pocket my own phone was vibrating every few minutes, telling me I had a text or two myself. I knew at least one of them was a text from somebody with an address to a place Spangler and I would be hitting later that night. As we talked, I reached into my pocket and tapped the button on the side of the phone-- it wasn't important to read the address yet, or even to reply to it. It could wait. Looking around the room, I noticed there were various people texting, checking their iPhones or Blackberry screens, looking busy or actually being busy. Some of them were streaming video or watching some moving images of some kind. With the possible exception of the bartenders, and even of that I'm not sure, everyone in the room was wired, floating between worlds, half there and half someplace else.

"Texting" is a new word. A handful of years ago no one "texted", the act didn't exist even if the concept did. People didn't text until they had celphones, and celphones with keypads at that. For most of my life, walls and applicances were "wired" but people weren't (and now they aren't either, they're "wireless"). The only wired person was Frankenstein's monster, and he wasn't even real.

Certainly, one of the best possible forms of human activity is the invention of new words-- creating names to contain new ideas. Words are thought-objects, they frame ideas and give them intellectual girth, they define the boundaries of the conceptual forms we hold in the mind. They provide the framework through which we perceive --and grasp-- reality and consider the possible (this is why it's always seemed to me a compliment when somebody says "you have your head in the clouds"). Since the advent of the computer--and our resultant, gradual, sloppy, ongoing process of morphing into machine-men, the need for building new thought-objects is more crucial than ever. Thanks to our thinking machines, the conceptual edges of what is real and what is possible are constantly blurring. Yet it seems to me there are far more people truncating existing words than there are people inventing new ones.

It's entirely possible Webster's English has become an outmoded technology. Maybe it's become a highly specialized tool required only of communications technicians and educators. Maybe it is grammar's diminishing fate to vanish with the generations of people who actually made a practice of sending handwritten letters to one another. I don't know.

I can't even remember the last time I wrote someone an actual letter on a piece of paper, stuck a stamp on it and placed it in a mailbox. I used to do it all the time. Now the only time I ever write using a pen and paper is when I am scripting something or taking notes toward a script. And the only time I ever write something legibly using pen and paper is when I am lettering a page of comics. It's the only time I ever need to.

Is there a word for that unsettling experience of walking by some street corner you've walked by a thousand times before and noticing the building that was always there had been torn down, replaced by some shiny new thing--and now that the old thing is gone, you realize you can't really remember what was there before? I feel like that's happening around us all the time.


Another early piece which didn't make the final cut for PULPHOPE. With the exception of the kid art, I believe this is the only other work considered which didn't fall into the 1996-2006 timeframe. This is an acrylic painting with photo collage, done in 1992.

Sunday, July 8, 2007


Composed of various tin-type clip art from the Victorian days. The fish-face on top of her head is lifted from a William Blake etching.

Thursday, July 5, 2007


French photographer Cedric Delsaux has a remarkable series of Star Wars inspired photos on his site--see them here.