Thursday, December 31, 2009


January 2nd? Join us.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009



A ramp-up drawing I did while working on Strange Adventures for DC Comics this summer. Here we have the cool, calm, and collected Cap'n Easy floating over the mountains of Afghanistan in a makeshift balloon. Vintage high adventure.

Sunday, December 13, 2009


One of the unpublished cover designs I did for Batman Year 100.

Sunday, December 6, 2009


A number of my recent silkscreen prints will be on display for a month at the Art Director's Club, here in NYC. The opening party: Dec 10th, 2009.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009


The uncut (40"x46") gang proof for the SHAKEDOWN poster. I tried to go for a design which blends elements of the traditional circus poster with a vintage rock gig poster. Producing an illustration intended to represent a live event is always a challenge-- how to capture the energy of dynamic music and kinetic movement in one single, static image-- how to give it a uniqueness all its own while also touching on familiar reference points which indicate just what it is we're looking at before we even need to read the text. Sitting in a circus show a couple of years ago at the Victory Theater on 42nd st, watching a group of Polish acrobats perform on what is called the Russian Beam, I considered the complexities underlying the lithographic work of Toulouse Lautrec. It struck me that one of the only* ways we have any sense or impression of the live circus and cabaret performances from his era is through his pictures and designs. It inspired me to try my hand at the same, in an effort to apply the language of comics to Lautrec's sensibilities. Especially today, in a world where even things we don't want documented are documented, the idea of abstracting an artistic expression from a live, moving medium into a static two-dimentional medium seemed like a good application of dynamic comics energy.

I always liked to see the uncut proof sheets for gang printings and have kept a copy of virtually every one I ever did, going all the way back to 1993's Sin Titulo.

*When I saw the early short films of the Lumiere Brothers, which includes a serpentine dance by Loïe Fuller shot in the 1890s, my first thought was of the image Lautrec did of the same rather than anything having to do with the dancer or the dance. The picture is the document of the live event.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009



My next public gig is not at a book signing or a convention, but at a nightclub with Harvest Moon and a cast of professional circus/burlesque artists. Together, we're throwing a party called SHAKEDOWN at Brooklyn Bowl in Williamsburg, Brooklyn on December 5th. It's circus, striptease, and go-go, set to a rock and roll soundtrack. I am DJing all night plus contributing an exclusive video edit of psychedelic, cosmic imagery for the show (the club has an incredible state-of-the-art sound/visual system set up throughout the huge space) (including a dancefloor for 250+ people, 2 bars, a 7-lane bowling alley and a Blue Ribbon diner, open late). Click here for more about Harvest Moon, and here for more about Brooklyn Bowl. For my part, I am interested in contributing a 21st c. update of the old gel light show bands like Velvet Underground and Pink Floyd used in the '60s. So it is an interesting challenge-- a cartoonist/analog print artist such as myself working in sound and moving pictures--for a live event. If you're in NYC/Brooklyn on December 5th, come by. The Bowl also has a merchandise booth set up for Shakedown-- you can check out my new Homage to Crepax screenprint and T shirt if you want (proceeds of which go to CBLDF).

SHAKEDOWN is on Facebook.

Also-- we're working on a new site re-design for PULPHOPE and PAULPOPE.COM, criminally overdue, launching soon with new content, including a preview of the work for my next major book release, Battling Boy.

Friday, October 30, 2009


The Headless Horseman Pursuing Ichabod Crane-- 1858--by John Quidor. From the Smithsonian Collection.

Personally, I've never been able to finish a novel by Washington Irving. I find his writing lugubrious and dull. But you can't deny his contributions to American literature. Enormously popular in his day, he is generally considered to be the first American writer to earn a living solely from his literary efforts (Jack London is said to be the first American author to become a millionaire from his writing). The alternate name for New York City-- Gotham City-- is said to have found popular root in Irving's works, long before it was famously known as the name of the fictional home of Batman and Robin.

Speaking of cartoons, I never realized until recently it was Bing Crosby who did the voice of Beau Brummel in the old Disney short.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


This has got to be the most bewildering ad I've ever seen, it's incredible. If it's any indication of the mentality of the company's executives, it probably also explains why Tipolet cigarettes no longer exist.

See more old cigarette ads here:

Thursday, October 1, 2009


"It is said of Muad'dib that once when he saw a weed trying to grow between two rocks, he moved one of the rocks. Later, when the weed was seen to be flourishing, he covered it with the remaining rock. 'That was its fate,' he explained." --From The Commentaries Of M'Uad Dib (DUNE, Frank Herbert).

I've always been struck by the taciturn Nietzschean aspects of M'uad Dib's character as a leader. One of Frank Herbert's points in DUNE was a warning-- beware of charismatic heroes. When entrusted with great power, they can do great damage to a civilization. Even a brief sweep of history can illustrate this point.

I wanted to try applying the lessons learned from the Wednesday Comics experience to a different subject, here finding a source which would be difficult to illustrate as a page of comics, given that there is very little suggested action. I find that with the format of Wednesday Comics (which is really the traditional Sunday Comics page), one must condense the plot and action to the briefest yet most vivd bursts of information available-- there is a lot of space on the page for the illustrations to really overwhelm the reader/viewer, but there isn't a lot of space for story development in the sense of how we'd develop a plot or work up dialogue for a typical comic book page. In a comic book, one page may be well drawn or well written, but it is still just a single facet of a larger whole. One page can be preceded or followed by another, but no one page carries the entire weight of the sustained narrative. The Wednesday Comics single page format forces the artist to create a story unit which may well be part of a larger storyline, however it still must be able to stand alone.

This depiction of Paul M'uad Dib and the Fremen Stilgar is based on paintings John Schoenherr did for an illustrated edition of Dune published by Berkley Books in 1977. Frank Herbert said that of all the visual depictions of his ideas, Schoenherr's work was closest to the way Dune's people and things looked in his own mind. The colors here are by Lovern Kindzierski, who worked with me on the second half of the Strange Adventures strip.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009



Baseline magazine's 1990 feature on the comics typography of Will Eisner. Baseline is an excellent design publication, I highly recommend it. They have long championed comics and poster art, every issue is good--some are amazing.

Baseline #12.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009


The cat hides under the corner table and pops out to peer up at you. A sketch I did on an envelope while waiting on some food at a restaurant.

Thursday, August 6, 2009


A secret history of the transforming robot in pop culture: Without those old-fashioned paper dolls, there would be no Bild Lillie. Without Bild Lillie, there would be no Barbie. Without Barbie, there would be no GI Joe. Without GI Joe, there would be no Henshin Cyborg. Without Henshin Cyborg, there would be no Microman. Without Microman, there would be no Micronauts. Without Micronauts, there would be no Transformers.

Steel Jeeg (above), created by Go Nagai and Tatsuo Yasuda. I remember the rare, imported Japanese toys which you could find in the 1970s. The die-cast metal robots seemed so heavy in your hand, more like a power tool than a toy. I made a small color Jeeg screenprint last week, for no reason at all, really, just because he's been on my mind. I wanted have someplace tangible to place the thought so I could stop carrying it around with me, stuck inside my head.

From paper doll back to paper doll.

Thursday, July 2, 2009



Machu Picchu is an archetectural marvel located 8,000 ft above sea level. Often referred to "The Lost City of the Incas", Machu Picchu was constructed around 1462, at the height of the Inca Empire. It is believed the city was originally inhabited for only 100 years then abandoned.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009



FLYING SAUCERS MYSTIFY THE AIR FORCE-- Official investigators can't decide, are they from far out in space-- or simply "far out"?

Alex Hamilton of Woodsen County, Kansas, was awakened at 10:30 one night by the sound of a disturbance in the cow pasture on his farm. Peering into the night, he observed a huge airship, some 300-feet long, hovering just 30-feet over the frightened herd of cattle. A brightly-lighted control compartment under the craft was occupied by six strange beings clearly visible through transparent panels in the walls of their vehicle. Hearing Hamilton and others approaching, the weird creatures revved-up a big 30-foot rotor under the aircraft which lifted it 300 feet up into the air. Air the same time, a spotlight from the hovering vessel played on Hamilton and company, who had succeeded in getting within fifty yards of the craft.

As the startling airship moved off to the northwest, it carried off a two-year old heifer dangling at the end of a cable dropped about the struggling animal's neck. The hide, legs, and head of the unlucky cow were discovered four miles away the next day.

This incident is all the more astonishing because it happened seventy years ago-- in 1897!

Perhaps the same strange aircraft that plucked up farmer Hamilton's cow visited the village of Sisterville, West Virginia, a few days earlier in April, 1897. Luminous red, and shaped like an immense cigar, the airship hovered in the darkness while two brilliant searchlights glared down on the town below.

The townspeople were awakened and alerted to the aerial visitor by the shrilling whistle of the local sawmill. Some observers claimed they distinguished large fins on the sides of the craft, while others noted flashing red, white, and green lights on its sides and ends. Many witnesses estimated it to be about 180-feet in length and 50-feet in diameter.


--From WHAMMO GIANT COMICS, 1967. Illustrator uncredited, art editor: Del Potter.

Sunday, June 14, 2009


My 7 color YOJIMBO screenprint will only be available for the rest of the month of June '09, and I just found out from Nakatomi that over half of the prints have already sold. More info here.

Friday, June 5, 2009


Line art for my latest silkscreen print-- for the classic 1961 Kurosawa film of the same name. Final is 16x36 inches, 7 colors, edition of 250. The central calligraphy reads "Yojimbo" and the banner in the circle device at bottom reads "Toshiro Mifune" with the actor's birth and death dates.

Saturday, May 30, 2009


Watson Robot Industries.
Superior Mek Harvesters.

V-CITY/MMC 26-27

Saturday, May 23, 2009


The first two of twelve weekly episodes of my Adam Strange story for Wednesday Comics, debuting July 2009 from DC Comics. Coloring by Jose Villarrubia.

Sunday, April 26, 2009


There was this guy called Mike. We called him "Medicine Man" because he was always spewing all this razz-ma-tazz that never made any sense, but he said it fast, so you were always caught a bit off guard by the verbiage. And it kind of sounded like it was gospel, but it was just more of the old shuck and jive. He wore an old bone around his neck, which was the real inspiration for his name. Scott-- my best friend-- christened this guy Medicine Man. Scott was always giving people nicknames like that. He had a wicked sense of humor. There was a DJ who would play at a local club called Mekka, who wasn't very good-- Scott gave him a really derogatory nickname, which I won't repeat, but trust me, it was pretty funny.

Anyhow, Scott-- who had (and likely still has) a high tolerance for crazy people and assorted weirdos-- kind of took a shine to Medicine Man Mike, and would invite him over, which was annoying and alarming. Give the guy dinner, let him crash out. The guy stole stuff, and he never knew when to leave. Eventually, he'd get into all this UFO conspiracy stuff and you'd have to kick him out.

Scott lived on the top floor of a 3 story house, and that room was a masterpiece of youth. It was glorious. LP records and paintings and stuff, it was an oasis for a 21 year old. We were in art school then, and did the kinds of things art school kids did. We would crawl up to the roof and light Roman candles and listen to old Bowie records and argue about art theory. Stuff like that.

One time, out of sympathy or something, Scott bought this strange old idol from Medicine Man. It was like an old Tiki idol or an imitation Easter Island carving, about as long as your leg and made out of ebony wood. Medicine Man Mike made his money from selling old junk which he would find or acquisition. Sometimes he would sell pot. He always had a big bag of stuff which was for sale. He told Scott this long story about the history of the idol, where it came from, all this stuff. Told us that it was haunted by the ghost of a tribesman or something. Total BS, but it made for a good story and it somehow added to the purchase, so what's the harm? Mike told us that one day, the spirit of this old tribesman will return to our realm, that he will come back to Earth because his work isn't finished yet, yadda yadda. Standard, stock B movie stuff.

So Scott kept this thing, and it became a regular feature in his room. It was handsome in a garish way, which is how it always is with kitschy stuff. And time went by.

Once in a while, Scott would tell me he heard weird noises in his room, a kind of scratching sound. As if there was a rat in the wall. Which was a real possibility, of course, since the house was an old one. But Scott never found any evidence of pests. Over time, the sound persisted. It began getting louder. Eventually, Scott would say he thought the sound was coming out of the idol which he got from Mike, which seemed ridiculous to me. But Scott would insist that was the case, it was the one and only place where the sound could be coming from-- a kind of scratching, gnawing sound. Scott said it was random and infrequent. We were coming on summertime, and as it got hotter, the sound got louder and more noticeable.

So Scott is in his room one time, one night. It's summer. He says by now, he is certain that the sound is coming from the idol, and it's kind of freaking him out. When it makes that noise, he shakes the thing, and it stops. Only to start again later at some off hour. He puts the idol over by the window.

And sure enough, one night a big greenish beetle gnaws its way out of the wooden idol. Green and irridecent, like the hood of a Cuban convertible. I have no idea how it could have survived over all those months, but I believe it's an absolutely true story, because Scott has never had any reason to lie to me, especially about something as inconsequential as that. The beetle flew out the window and disappeared, and that was that.

For some reason, I am thinking of Medicine Man today. It's the first really nice Spring day in NYC and it reminds me of those times and those days.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009



First page of LOVERMAN for Dargaud's PILOTE magazine, appearing June 2009.

Loverman is an American parody of a French parody of the American comic books the French would've seen in the 1970s.

Friday, March 20, 2009



Following the success of The Watchmen in its online "motion comics" format -- a 12 part series which tells the entire story of The Watchmen through the use of limited animation accompanied by a soundtrack narrative-- DC Comics has subsequently released a series of Batman Black And White Motion Comics. My "Batman Broken Nose" short story is one of them-- in this case, paired with Darwyn Cooke's "Here Be Monsters". To see more, go to:

iTunes/TV Shows/BATMANblackandwhiteMOTIONCOMICSseason#1/"Here Be Monsters/Broken Nose"...

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


1.) That the great affairs of the world, the wars, revolutions, etc., are carried on and affected by political parties.

2.) That the view of these parties is their present general interest, or what they take to be such.

3.) That the different views of these different parties occasion all confusion.

4.) That while a party is carrying on a general design, each man has his particular private interest in view.

5.) That as soon as a party has gained its general point, each member becomes intent upon his particular interest; which, thwarting others, breaks that party into divisions, and occasions more confusion.

6.) That few in public affairs act from a mere view of the good of their country, whatever they may pretend. Although their actions may bring real good to their country, yet men primarily consider that their own and their country's interest are one and the same, and do not act from a principle of benevolence.

7.) That fewer still, in public affairs, act with a view to the good of mankind.

--Benjamin Franklin, writing in August 1788. From Part 6 of his Autobiography.