Monday, January 26, 2009


Relaxing a bit from the burst of activity at the Janus of the year. My work opened and closed the year in a flurry of activity that is only now starting to ease into a steadier pace. Issue 12 of Wolverine: First Class is finished, I'm a third of the way through the layouts on 15 and starting to put the pages to the boards, i understand that Issue 3 of Final Crisis: Legion of 3 Worlds is all set to come out, and should be on stands the Wednesday before the New York Comic Book Convention. That'll be very good for George and Geoff, since I think it might take a little pressure off of them when they meet the legion of Legion fans in NY.

FC:Legion #3 is a pretty big issue (well, really, they all are pretty big - a lot of stuff is going on in each issue) and it focuses on another leg of the legacies the 31st Century inherited from the 21st. It was really fun to ink some characters I'd never gotten to ink before. At this point in the story the Zero-Hour Legion and the current Legion are being integrated into the action and it's becoming increasingly complicated. One of the most interesting things for me to watch as the three teams integrate is not where the teams duplicate, but where they diverge. Three Lightning Lads are interesting, but only 2 Cosmic Boys, one Blok, one Andromeda, two Sun Boys, XS, as well as the variations you can get in character concept- the two of Sensor/ Projectra, the Light/Lightning Lasses, etc. It's very interesting to me.

Wolverine: First Class #12 was a tremendous amount of fun for me personally - it's the first time in nearly a year since I've gotten to work with Fred Van Lente, and the story took place immediately after a story I'd completely memorized when I was 11. It was a real kick to circle back in time and be able to draw it. Magneto's island was a tremendous resource, what on earth ever happened to it? Was it ever referenced again after the Belasco story line with Illyana?

Lovin' my work these days.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Diamond woes-

Some news of diamond distributor's woes has crept out. some internet frenzy/complaining has gone on, but I'll take a few pennies extra as a floor for the distribution and a few layoffs to not having the company around entirely. If Diamond went down, this whole comic book thing would collapse. I don't think we could get another distributor up and running fast enough to prevent the whole industry from imploding - best case would be some DC product might wind up distributed newsstand, if they could piggyback on Time Warner, but newsstand distribution sucks, I don't think DC would be able to handle 65% returns on 4 or 5 monthly books.

Instead of scorn, I think it would be best to throw in a prayer for the Diamond people.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

"Zombie Banks"

My favorite phrase I heard over the weekend.
I think the government is going to have to take over the banking system with a similar action they chose with the savings and loan industry in the 80's. i think that's the only way out of this... I hope I'm wrong, but earnings season is upon us and Bank of Scotland dropped 69% in trading today...

Sunday, January 18, 2009

SK8! how it would end!

These two pages are how it was gonna end. I remember drawing the next to last page, but I can't find it. so the next to last page here will be one of those overworked layouts.

the last page- I can only find the color version done by Simon Coleby (he of the Authority). Simon kicked out the jams.

I have some designs and sketches for a relaunch of SK8 Matt and I thought of six years ago, so I'll post those, take a bit of a break (since I'll be done with my most recent script of Wolverine:First Class in the next day or so), and then in February, I'll post the Legends of the Eight Immortals, which was the flip side of the comic alongside SK8.

thanks everybody for reading these - James, thanks for suggesting you wanted to see them, it's been weird unearthing this whole thing, but fun!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

SK8! Extra!!

This is a pinup I did, which showed up in the final printed version of SK8. SK8 would have come to really enjoy skateboarding and I thought this showed the pleasure he'd someday feel. I just thought it was a nice idea, so I drew it.

An extra sort of thing - I found one of the original layouts that I did for SK8. This is from a sequence that never made it into the comic. The layouts i did for the book were impossibly detailed and looking back, very time consuming. i probably could have printed the whole damn thing from the layouts.

It's 2009! Do you know where your money manager has fled?

Are they all on the lam?

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

SK8! The Cover to Issue 3!

Oh, and it was going to get crazier.

The set-up we had for Pennance and the Pontiff were only set-ups for the real enemy, who was the devil incarnate, seen above in his earthly incarnation as a Marlboro Man. Once SK8 fought him to an initial standstill there were to be casualties - a supporting goth girl character was going to be turned into a monkey, the Pontiff would turn into a dragon and would be slain by the revivified Knight (known forevermore as the Knight of the Living Dead - steal my ideas, will you?! I will hunt you down.), whereupon Bucky was, I think, to be murdered and dragged down into Hell. SK8, the Knight and Tzontemoc (the living skateboard) follow Bucky and the devil into hell, where the Knight is faced with all those he killed in the Crusades and the devil grants Tzontemoc, the trickster, his human form and is then torn between helping the devil or helping SK8.

But Noooo, you all had to cut that short by not buying the first issue. Well, I hope you're all happy.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

SK8! The Cover to Issue 2!

I love this cover to this day. It would have been a really fun issue - if I remember right, Penance rides his motorcycle through a church in the attempt to destroy SK8, where they both wind up in a hidden chamber below the pulpit. Sk8 accidentally brushes his hand across an ancient knight from the crusades, a knight who, like Lazarus, remember, SK8 has all the powers of one of the previous messiahs, arises from the dead.

Here he is in all his glory. I drew this in 1999, at the Starbucks on Spring Street and Broadway, they had nice tables there and Jesse and I were driving each other crazy working in the same 210 square foot apartment, we both had different needs for work, I needed music, she was writing, so music was counterproductive. Nowadays I have wireless earphones. I apologize to all my former neighbors.

Another shot of the Knight, this one is my favorite. He really would have been so much fun to draw next to SK8.

He was going to wind up fighting the Deacon from the church, who would turn into this dragon.

Really for no other reason then he'd need a dragon to fight.

Monday, January 12, 2009

SK8! Page Twenty-Six!

As our long national nightmare comes to a close, so too must the web presentation of SK8. Hatched during the Clinton Administration, the drawings began two full years before Clinton left office. Finished before the September 11th attacks, it saw publishing in 2003, as troops were establishing the occupying government in Iraq, around the time of the conception of my daughter Violet, who, in mere days will turn 5. Now it's been uploaded on the web in the last 180 hours of the Bush administration. I'm sure there are better ways of doing this. I'm not sure what my web traffic is, if it's where I think it is, in the low double digits, then as many of you have seen it as read the published work.

My favorite story of selling the book came at an in-store appearance in Santa Monica. I had written on the table that I would do a free sketch if a customer bought the book. A few people were nice enough to buy a copy, and at one point a little boy came up and looked like he'd want one. He picked it up, went to the cash register with his dad, who was buying a few other things. A warm moment, until the cash register clings and the kid goes "What? I thought it was free!"
The dad replies - "You wanted it, you gotta buy it - it's gonna cost you ten of your merit points."
The kid: "Noooo- No! I don't want it then, i thought it was free!"
The father "You're going to buy it - it's going to cost you!"
The kid "No! No! No!"

So, the story part of it is over, and with less pain and agony associated with it for you than that poor kid. I'm knee deep in Wolverine: First Class madness and it's really become very enjoyable for me. As I finish each page, I look forward to the next one. All the layouts are done, so it's just full speed ahead on the last batch of pages. When I first started SK8, it took me a long long time to get each page done, as Matt will attest, but I was always doing the work on the book between the raindrops, now the work of drawing a monthly book is the raindrops and I find that it's ok.

There will be more to post over the next few days - the covers to issue 2 and 3, the original ending, some layouts, some character sketches of SK8 in a different style. Plenty more to go.

Matt sez:
"This project teaches a valuable lesson for creators; writers, artists, musicians, or just anyone who dreams of making something from nothing. Look at the time Scott and I spent on SK8; think about the countless hours of thought, research, and sweat; consider the passion, commitment, and hope we eagerly put into every page; now come to this one, inescapable, maudlin, conclusion—it’s just as hard to make a flop as it is to make a hit. The guy who finished dead last at the Olympics trained just as hard as the gold medalist. In the end, your Muse may lead you to orgasmic triumph or the bitch may just fuck you over. As for me, I’m not sad at all. Skate is my child. Like all of my children he makes me smile. I hope after seeing him you did, too."

SK8! Page Twenty-Five!

Ida Maria rocks- (pronounced Eh-tah Maria). She's coming to New York later in the week, so get out of your tiny cramped apartment and go to see her. She's like a cross between Bjork and Joan Jett, not a bad box to put somebody in.

I won't be coming to the Wizard L.A. Comic Book convention, since it no longer exists. If it existed, then that would be a different story. Instead, I'll probably just get more work done, just like I'll get more work done while not going to the New York Convention. I will try and be at the Baltimore Convention in the fall and I'll make more noise about it as the days get closer.

George W. Bush is a complete asshole and a real failure as a steward of the nation - I hope that the press shuns him, so I never have to think about everything he fucked up over the last 8 years. Worst_ President_ Ever.

Well, getting close to the end of the story part of the internet presentation of SK8. I've got some covers, layouts and some errata that I'll post next, so this will probably go into next week.

I've enjoyed the discipline of putting this thing up on the web, so I think I might cover the flipside of the SK8 comic and put "Legends of the 8 immortals" up next.

Remember, all these are copyright Scott Koblish and Matt Morra 2003, so when your blue skateboarder with a talking skateboard shows up on the convention circuit, so will I.

Matt's final comments will come next time. Gonna make you wait for your daily dose of Morra. You will cry "We want Morr-a Morr-a" i still maintain he should have named his children I. Juan and N.O.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

SK8! Page Twenty-Four!

I just love panel two. It should have been larger, but you can lose something when you're focusing on telling the story...

Matt sez:
"Fans always ask, “Where do you get your ideas?” An odd question because getting ideas is easy, it’s getting RID of ideas that’s hard. On SK8, concepts flowed like pee on St. Patty’s Day. Perhaps that was the books greatest flaw, we tried to do too much. But when you look back at great moments of comic creators; Miller Daredevil, Byrne Fantastic Four, Claremont/Simonson X-Men, Lobdell Generation-X, Stan Lee everything, etc., the one thing they all have in common is a tidal wave of ideas. New characters, new places, new situations, in every single issue. The bad news for those guys is that they all burned out from burning the candle at both ends. The good news for the rest of us is their genius still remains. So shoot for the moon, would be creators, there’s no disgrace in failure, only in failure to try."

Yoda sez:
"There is no try, there is only do."

Thursday, January 08, 2009

SK8! Page Twenty-Three!

OooooOooo- Hal's dad is evil! and rich! Imagine that!
Mat Sez:
"Of course you all recognize the Monopoly Man and Alfred the butler. These exposition pages are painful for the writer but necessary for the reader. Writing them is a very religious experience; you bow your head, you stick your tongue in your check, and pray it’s not TOO clichéd. "

SK8! Page Twenty-Two!

I so remember feeling like I had cheated on this page, but the truth is I did just enough. The design of the panels worked best and the dialogue more than made up for the lack of detail in the windows in panel two. In panel one i scratched the brick detail in after I blacked in the silhouette of the church. Katie had another round of oral surgery today, so I'll post page 23 today and get back to posting on monday. Things're just going to be be too crazy around here to keep up with. I've got a lot of work to do for Wolverine: First Class and I need to focus on that for a few days.
Matt Sez:
"I once joked to a friend, “You know and I know that the whole religion thing is probably made up bullshit but just in case it isn’t, don’t you want to avoid pissing off God? This page proves that I don’t. It’s also about as perfect an example of visual storytelling as you’re ever going to see. Note the camera shots. Up. Down. Close. Establishing. Clean, simple, and perfect. Bravo."

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

SK8! Page Twenty-One!

Matt sez:
"Fun Facts about SK8!
#4) I completely rewrote the story and pitched a revised script to Marvel which included a talking skateboard. Suffice to say they were not amused."

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

SK8! Page Twenty!

Matt Sez:
"Fun Facts about SK8!
#3) Scott drew a concept sketch of Skate as a woman. Dude, you still have that?"

No. I threw it out this past summer...

Monday, January 05, 2009

SK8! Page Nineteen!

Matt sez:
"Fun Facts about SK8!
#2) The day I was to meet with Marvel Executive Editor Mark Gruenwald to discuss my idea, Mark died of a heart attack (he was 42, I used to think that was old). The person who informed me of his passing was famed comics creator Scott Lobdell. I’m certain he does not remember."

I was there that morning.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Jumpin' part 2!

More pages for the Wolverine/Power Pack issue I did that comes out this Wednesday!

i know you can see where Power Pack is in these previews - can you tell where Wolverine is? He's there! I'll give you a hint - he's there in page 8!

Looks like everyone's getting a jump on the week!

Preview pages for the Wolverine/Power Pack issue I did came out tonight, so I'll upload them here.
They posted 8 of them, I'll post the cover and the first four here and then another four in the next post- I'm really, really happy with how they turned out. Marc Sumerak wrote a kickin' script, and Gurihiru did a really spiffy job coloring the book. I felt like I was intruding on their turf, pencilling and inking an issue of their baby, but I'm glad I got the chance to do it - it was a lot of fun! If you have young kids this book is geared for them, so give 'em the gift of reading.

The weekly pimpin'!

This Wednesday will see the publication of The Wolverine/Power Pack issue I drew - issue number 3.
Buy it, enjoy it.
i'll upload some preview pages if Marvel releases them to the public.
In the meantime, I'll be uploading the last third of SK8, working on issue 12 of Wolverine: First Class and Final Crisis: Legion of 3 Worlds! shaping up to be a very exciting next few months!

SK8! Page Eighteen!

Aaaand we're back. If you'll remember, we're deep into the chase scene, still in progress. This page became the centerpiece of the chase scene for me, the complete halting of the race in order to rescue the baby.
I've scanned in the next dozen pieces, so any new interruptions should be slight. There are about 9 pages to go in the main story, I'll drop in the covers for issues 2 and 3 and some extras I found shuffling through the archives.
I'm impatient for the week to begin, there is a lot of work to be done and it's been hard to get a handle on the workweek when Violet is home and every Wednesday and Thursday are subject to the complete closure of all businesses great and small. Could 2009 contain as many maddeningly insane major events as 2008? Only time will tell!

Matt sez:
"Fun Facts about SK8!
#1) I conceived SK8 while riding on horseback in the Canadian Rockies. Originally he was going to be the Silver Surfer’s little, grunge brother."