A piece I did for an ACTOR auction awhile back - The Hulk!
Violet, Chooey and Myra
New Violet photo!
a little ANext tease-
I did a sketch this morning of the gang from Avengers Next- i wanted to post it here, but realized at least 3 of the characters in the book were new to the cast - so I've digitally erased them. I don't want to give too much away - it's a fun book and should remain as fun as possible to everyone reading it - there are a lot of suprises and I'm conscious of wanting to keep them suprises It's still a fun piece, even with the middle row erased. Worked on my "secret project" today, finished reading the script for another project that I want to get off the ground, and took care of a few other things.
Thor v. Hercules
I'm cheating a bit for my sketch of the day - i found it on the back of one of the Thor pages I worked on in 2000 - but it never got put anywhere besides the back of the page and I always liked it when I drew it way back when... it had a lot of energy and it's held up pretty well. Never before seen!
Avengers Next Preview!
Exciting stuff afoot - in less than 2 weeks (and a full 6 days before the national elections!) AVENGERS NEXT #1 comes out - very exciting - it's always a lot of fun to work with Ron Lim and Tom DeFalco. Tom's plots regularly throw me for loops -and I'm working on the book! It's a part and parcel of the Spider-Girl relaunch, fills everyone in on what their favorite MC2 characters have been up to since the end of Last Planet Standing and introduces a number of characters who have never been in the Marvel-Universe-15-years-hence spotlight. Every page is a winner and for 3$ you can't get better entertainment!
Looks like the Senate might go 50/50 again, with the Vice President dropping in to break ties again.
And that's only if Tennessee can get past electing Ford to office (which call me cynical, but it's still the South). There's no way Kean Jr. won't win in Jersey - everyone hates the way that Menedez got the job in the first place. And if Leiberman wins, as an independent, he's free to caucus with whomever he wants -making him the biggest guy to watch in a 50/50 split. He alone could make it a 49/51 just by bolting a party that did it's level best to get rid of him. My prediction is the House with about a 30 member majority for the Democrats and the Senate in Republican hands as a 50/50 or 49/51, with Leiberman a potential wild card. We'll see - 3 weeks is a long time - anything could happen...
Good riddance. CBGB's long ago outlived it's usefullness to New York - if you want to catch up and coming acts in the NY area your best bet is Arlene's Grociery, or Max Fish, or Bowery Ballroom or any of about a half a million bars and musical venues in the 1 mile area with at least a claim to real energy and excitement. Can't remember the last time that venue had anyone I wanted to go see, and you can only live off of the slimey residue of "the good old days" for longer than, oh - say 30 years. T-shirt sales do not a valuable venue for artistic expression make.
Better off going to Vegas where they can live off the name - we'll see how long the owners of CBGBOMFUG can get away without paying the rent to it's new Vegas masters.
An Alphabetical Legacy of Sorts
At the very least I've left behind a body of work that includes artwork on Comic Book titles for nearly every letter of the alphabet -
B (Bloodwulf, Backstreet Boys Project),
C (Captain America, Cable),
D (Deadpool, Doom 2099),
E (Electra, Excalibur)
F (Fantastic Four),
G (Gambit, G.I. Joe)
I (Iron's Fist and Man),
J (Jet Pack Pets),
L (Last Planet/Hero Standing),
M (Mr. Mxylptlk),
P (Punisher) R (Ravage 2099),
S (SK8, Sleepwalker, StarTrek/XMen)
U (Uncanny X-Men - cheating?)
W (Warlock, Webspinners, What-If, Wolverine)
X (X's Factor, Force, Man, Men 2099)
leaving only 5 letters unacounted for - K, O, Q, Y, Z. Guess I'd better make tracks for Youngblood, Ka-Zar, The Outsiders, Quasar and ... anything with a Z out there? Anybody?
Very tired today, just really physically and mentally drained. The last few years have been very different than I expected, and I think about my death almost constantly now, a number of times a day. I think about what I want to leave Violet; an understanding of the world and all of it's pitfalls and joys, and leave her with a deep understanding of how it all works. The 21st Century will be all there for her - U.S. Presdidents 44 through 60, the rise and fall of nations, the advance of technology, Man's arrival on the Moon in a permanent capacity, the collapse of economies, new wars and conflicts, the unexpected and the common in all forms -all hers - and if she lives as long as my grandmother Koblish, she will see the dawn of the next century, a century of which i can only dream and will never share. She is so sweet and so full of joy and wonder, and all I can do recently is think of is a time when I will not be there for her.
A 10 minute break
Difficult week. Blowing off steam with the quick sketch of the day before leaping into the second phase of the workweek - a little work on my longterm super-secret project and a lot of work on ANext that'll take me through to Monday...
Last Planet Standing Trade Paperback out!
The Last Planet Standing Trade Paperback is out - I had so much fun working on this book - I probably would have done it for free, but Marvel worried that the pages would get wet if I had to live in the L.A. sewer system (if there is such a sewer system, I think with 10,000 sewage spills into the L.A. river recorded every year, there isn't much pretense of having a working "system" now, is there?). anyway - go to Amazon or Barnes and Noble or your local Friendly Comic Book Store and get your copy today! The A-Next book that I'm working on dovetails nicely out of the Last Planet series and while you don't need to know what happened before, it increases the fun!
Columbus Day? That Psycho-Freak?
Allright class - repeat after me-
Columbus made four voyages to the "New World", he hit Haiti first (he never made it to the American continent, which was just as well, really) -where he encountered the Arawaks, the early occupants of the what's now Haiti and the Dominican Republic. If you ever sit down and wonder why Haiti is the poorest nation in this hemisphere consider it's history. Around 1 and a half to 3 million Arawak lived on the island in pre- Columbian times. Columbus, once he realized that he had not made it to the Pacific Indies and his route would not open direct trade from the Orient to Spain, set about kidnapping, enslaving, and murdering the Arawak people. Within 20 years the Arawaks were reduced by murder and enslavement to less than 12,000. Seriously - 12,000 down from 1,500,000 - in 20 years - what a sick achievent! Columbus often ordered sick and severe punishments for insubordination- cutting off ears, noses and hands. Like a horrific Potuguese Taliban. It's informative to note that the Spanish Inquisition erupted the year he set sail for the Indies, a purging of the Moors and Jews that was probably made easier by the introduction of the slave labor that Columbus brought back to the Iberian Pennisula.
In 1495, when the Arawaks attempted a coup, Columbus retaliated with hunting dogs, horses, and guns, slaughtering all those who did not flee. Columbus enslaved the remaining Arawaks to work mines in a desperate search for the gold he had promised the Spanish crown. Arawaks who refused to mine for gold had their hands cut off. Mass suicides by the Arawaks were common under his tyrranical rule and Columbus consigned countless Arawak women to rape, rewarding his good men with the youngest girls, ranging in age from 9 to 12. The Arawaks did not know how to cope, and the women would kill their newborn babies rather than have them raised in such murderous and cruel circumstances.
When Columbus' son took over in 1505, he continued the slaughter. By 1555 not a single Arawak remained. Puerto Rico and Cuba were scrubbed clean in the same manner. Way to go.
And yet today we're celebrating... what? Why do we make up weird shit about a psychopathic murderer (everybody knew the wourld was round back then, ok? They just thought it was all water and isolated islands until you reached the Orient, and that unless you found a few new ports of call, you'd take years to get from one end of the planet to the other by sailboat), in the hopes of doing what, exactly? Taking the day off? Why not take a day off for Hitler's birthday, or Andrew Jackson's? I refuse to elevate a mass murdering, child-raping, hand-chopping, butcher-psychotic - let him rot in hell for all Eternity. Shame on everyone who "celebrates" this hideous man's birth.
Sources for historical information on Columbus' genocidal policies can be found in a gazillion sources, not the least in:
History of the Indies by Bartolome de las Casas translated by Andree M. Collard 
Select Letters of Christopher Columbus translated and edited by R. H. Major 
A People s History of the United States by Howard Zinn 
The Log of Christopher Columbus's First Voyage to America in the Year 1492, as copied out in brief by las Casas  ( a real friggin' eye opener, nothing beats primary source material, kiddies)
and where I learned all this stuff first-
Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong by James W. Loewen , a fantastic book that tears the veil off of the bizarre crud that American "teachers" continue to perpetuate on the youth of this country.
Coulumbus Day -What a grand hoax. Yuck.
24 Hour Cranky Day!
It's hard for me to get all worked up for 24 Hour Comic Book Day (kind of redundant the 24 hour/day part, no?). To me, it's the equivalent of a 24 Hour Accounting Day to an Accountant. A little weird that all of a sudden people want to add up numbers all day long, but ok, maybe they'll gain some appreciation for what it takes to accomplish the work. Still, I suppose it's a nice excercise for a lot of folks and I've seen some interesting works resulting from folks' efforts...
More of Violet
Another shot of Violet. Violet and I took a walk this evening, and as it grew dark, she insisted that it was like morning - I'm guessing that she was associating the dissipation of light, as it looked like once the sun set, with what the sky looks like in the mornings (she's a very early riser). She also loved talking about squirrels (or ardia, as she calls them), and imitated what a squirrel does when it's eating - she bent down and ate off the grass. We both agreed that squirrels love nuts, and that Violet herself does not like nuts, but likes licorice, soy milk, bananas, sweet potatoes, apples, mush, Balance bars and egg protein powder. She's a very funny girl and loves to laugh and talk. She's curious and thoughtful and tells a lot of stories.
It's definitely fall in Los Angeles now, and the air is just stunning. Work is going well enough, I'm in the middle of inking an eight page segment for a Marvel book distributed to the troops in combat, as well as finishing another page in a long term project this weekend. I don't rest much - i haven't had a vacation in 3 years and I'm past complaining about it, I just have my rythym of working every day. I don't think I've gone without drawing something or inking something every single day in over 30 years (nearly 11,000 days of drawing). The total of non-drawing days in my life since I was 4 years old might be about 15. It just defines me now. I'll die having left behind a batch of scribbles and ink marks - a vain attempt at some sort of immortality in the face of certain oblivion. I'm assuming I only have inbetween 1 and 18,000 days left, better get cracking on some more artwork.