Wednesday, February 13, 2013

older paintings

these are some of my older paintings, when i first started working with sprays

Can you smell the crazy?

I spend time out in bars with some regularity. Since returning to the world of the unattached two and a half years ago, this is something i do with purpose.
I like being out, watching people. Picking up on their little quirks and obsessions. Sometimes I'll talk to them, most of the time i watch and listen.
Avenues for interjecting myself into their world usually present themselves, at this point i must make a determination.
Contact on my part is based primarily on how much of a crazy vibe i am hearing and seeing. I spent a lot of time last year living way over the crazy edge - I feel thankful that i made it out principally unharmed - a few more steps down a couple of the roads might have lead to a less than pleasant result.
time for last night's story.
I had already been to Pullano's. had some beers, just wasn't feeling it. the pace was picking up but it just didn't vibe. headed home, intention was to go straight on. as i rolled up on Marinos i thought i would at least take a look. it was earlier than normal for me to be rolling by and one of my new favorite bartenders is on vacation so i didn't really have high expectations.
Parking lot had enough cars to warrant interest. In i go.
surprise, surprise. their seems to be an okay crowd - important aspect for me is man to woman ration - the first time i stepped into marinos the ration was like three women to every guy - i like those numbers and it set the tone and tempo for a new establishment to visit
i see three separate groups of women and a couple of attractive strays that may or may not be connected to guys - in addition the woman behind the bar is not familiar and looks quite good - a couple of the other bartenders have really not impressed me in looks or skill behind the bar - its a service industry and i do have expectations, i vote with my dollars
i settle in and order - relax and observe
two women to my left are already drunk - they even ask the bartender if they are the only drunk people in the bar - one is bright, perky and very attractive - her friend while not a grenade is not exerting much personality
i catch bits and pieces of a conversation between them and an older gentleman - apparently the attractive one will be a grandmother in september - prejudicial judgement time on my part now, she had to of started early and the cycle continues
the older gentleman departs and the ladies begin conversing with another of the groups of women - the have a round of shots but the conversation dies off after as the attractive one is above the curve for the new woman and very rarely will you see a merger when the looks equation is that far out of balance
at this point the opening is there, i am hesitant - my crazy radar has been buzzing and there are two and i am without a wingman -


test. test

Thursday, June 2, 2011

If I was in charge of the DC Universe Reimagination

This is an idea in progress. I’m trying to stretch out my thinking for fun. Thank you for taking a look.

DC Comics is rebooting and renumbering their entire line in September, 2011. The initial press materials make it appear that the universe is getting a fresh coat of paint, not so much a ground up rebuild.

This has been attempted a few times in the past. The renumbering concept goes back to 1986 when the idea was proposed to follow Crisis on Infinite Earths. It was rejected at that time, although a few titles were renumbered and restructured.

I feel the failing of all reboots to really capture a larger reading demographic comes down to the reboot just lets you tell the same stories again. Comics have a 76 year history that needs to be acknowledged and embraced. Comics don’t always have to tell contemporary stories to maintain a sense of continuity.

With this concept I am proposing that events have run approximately in real time. Characters have aged and died. Sometimes replace by new characters. Truly build a sense of history and not keep trying to relegate your history of stories into a mythical ten year period. That’s just stupid and insulting to your audience.

To capture the imagination, you must not just reboot the status quo, you have to completely re-imagine the core. Keep true to the guiding principle but add depth and possibility for creativity.


1938 - Superman debuts to a world just beginning to be rocked by war. His existence is spread by scattered news reports and word of mouth mythology. He is as he always was and should be, the first.
By Earth calendar he is 24 years old. This puts his year of birth at 1914. Symbolic attachment to World War 1. This puts him growing up in Kansas during the great Depression and the isolationist mentality that still was pervasive after WW1. Possibly tie in an FDR Fireside chat as a source of inspiration for the decision to reveal.

1949 - Marries Lois Lane - He’s been Superman for 11 years. World War 2 has been fought and won. The world has returned to something normal. While not retired, he’s not as active as he once was.

1952 - Clark Jr. is born

1953 - after long being asked to not interfere in the Korean conflict Superman is asked to defend the flag and freedom from the growing Communist threat - circumstances are clouded in mystery, Superman disappears and peace is achieved.

1967 - 1970 - Clark Jr spends most of these years in the 30th Century working with the Legion of Super Heroes. Working with these young heroes, Clark’s powers fully develop.

1971 - Clark Jr. debuts as Superman 2 - Very much speaking to the legacy of his father. Similar to how we have political dynasties, just as his father was the first superhero, he is the first of the dynasties. Clark Jr. is 19, confident and powerful - numerous storytelling opportunities here with new sets of friendships and possible romantic angles. In addition this would be a Superman coming onto the world stage with media really reaching into the lives of public figures. (as we have stepped away from following traditional reboot formula at this point we would be allowed to create another strong female character

1985 - Superman 2 marries

1990 - Clark III born

1993 - Superman 2 is killed in battle with Doomsday (in this world death is real and irrevocable)

2002 - spurred by events of 9/11 Clark III becomes an active and visible Superboy. He is 12

203-2010 - As he grows into the role of hero Clark III spends time with the Teen Titans and the Legion of Superheroes

2011 - Clark III becomes Superman 3

Saturday, October 30, 2010

pushing too much

long days filled with bright brilliant moments - brain is nearly on disconnect - fumbling to attach words that formulate thought - things i currently like - Blitz with Jason Statham and London Boulevard with Colin Farrell, movies based on books by the amazing Ken Bruen - how can you not like a movie that uses the Clash's "London Calling" as it's music - the compliement on my paintings from the pizza delivery girl last night was nice - if she is reading this and would like to see more she can email me at - exhaustion and a touch of frustration

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The Last Ride of The White Man

For the past 7 months I have freely roamed the night cloaked streets of Phoenix on my bike without the aid of a light. Officially this is illegal. Numerous times I have passed by the police without them batting an eye. I have spoken to other cyclists who travel at night, with lights, and they pretty much all have stories of being stopped. Of course these individuals all tend to be not of the caucasian variety or generally quite sketchy. Night after night passed, seeing many officers of the law and rarely so much as a slow down. I felt as though my travels would continue to be uninterrupted by the local constabulary. Of course all good things must come to an end. Tonight I was stopped. Less than a mile from home (my nightly ride is about 16 miles). I was advised that lights are required and the officer requested to search my bag. Everything came up clear and after briefly chatting with the officers (another had stopped to join the first) about the dangers of traffic and seedier neighborhoods I travel through, I was allowed to finish my nightly journey. It's a fun, strange world we live in, you never quite know how things will play out. I guess I'll install a light, though I truly feel safer without one

Thursday, July 29, 2010

A Vertigo Obitutary?

San Diego Comicon International 2010 has come and gone. I didn't attend, haven't since 2003. The size and scale have grown into something I am just not that comfortable with. The last time I seriously looked at going was 2005 and during the few minutes I got up from my chair to chat with my wife about going, the availability of the plane ticket I was considering went away. So too did my interest in attending. It also turns out that was the first time the place sold out and the fire marshall wouldn't let anyone else in. Time and money saved. As years progressed I have quite enjoyed reading all of the online coverage. Up to the minute announcements of stories and projects and certain artists working on favorite titles. It was great, even if some of them never happened. In particular I enjoyed reading about projects from my favorite imprint, Vertigo.

With Vertigo, DC Comics published fiction that interested and entertained me. I had long grown tired of guys and girls in tights beating the shit out of each other for no useful purpose. I looked for something with a little more thought and personality. Books that reflected the interests, intelligence and integrity of the creators. Projects brought forth with a passion, not in desire of a larger royalty check, or aftermarket art sale. Or even god forbid, a movie option. Vertigo provided this, an undiluted, not mixed with rat poison and stepped on seventeen different times fix for my comic habit. I am their target audience and Vertigo has provided what I need time and time again. It's a happy little arrangement.

For the past two months Vertigo has been announcing cancellations of titles. Air, Unknown Soldier, and Greek Street. This is not an uncommon occurrence. Vertigo is a publishing house in the business of making money. If a book doesn't sell, it does get cancelled. We are all adults and this is the way the world works. This time, however, we have a difference. Vertigo has done this before, it's a cycle. Cancel a few titles, announce and launch a few new ones. Wash, rinse and repeat. Except now we seem to be stuck on rinse, as in rinse away. Vertigo has not announced an ongoing title since SDCC 2009. At SDCC 2010 their is no online mention of any new projects. The major announcements are for an anniversary issue of Fables, Vertigo's ranking powerhouse, and Hellblazer, the longest continuously running book that's been launched in the last 22 years (for the record at DC the longest continuously published under a single titles are Detective, Action, Batman, Wonder Woman, Superman and Hellblazer). That's it. No hype for the remaining Vertigo Crime books that are in the pipeline. Or for Original graphic novels like Dark Rain, or the Dean Haspiel illustrated Cuba book. No extra push for The Green Woman by Peter Straub and painted by John Bolton. No mention of the book Janelle Jones is drawing for them that gets mentioned in her bio in the week of con release TroubleMaker (written by Janet Evanovich and published by Dark Horse, so it's going to get seen by more than a few people).

This silence is puzzling. And more than a bit concerning. Here's what I think we will be seeing in the coming two to three months.

1. The Retirement of Karen Berger. The heart and soul and driving force behind Vertigo, she is also the longest standing editor at DC. After more than 25 years it's not unexpected that she would politely step away, either by choice or request.

2. The dissolution of Vertigo as a separate label. I envision the statement going something like this - "Thoughout it's history DC has endeavored to bring a diverse and varied line of visual entertainment all under the legendary DC bullet. Not just Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman and Green Lantern, but Jonah Hex, Sgt Rock, Young Romance, Camelot 3000, Watchmen, Jerry Lewis, Bob Hope, Atari Force and countless others. It is with great pride that we welcome Fables and Unwritten to this ever growing legacy."

3. The burn through of whatever's been commisioned and is too far past the kill fee stage. With the recent announcements for the 2 year old Sean Murphy Hellblazer mini-series and Warren Ellis's "Shoot", I think we are already starting to see this happen.

If I could see the future I doubt I would use that power to look at this particular outcome but it does look like the writings on the wall. I truly hope it does not come to pass. I have very much enjoyed Vertigo's output for the past 20 years. Vertigo has provided topflight work from creators like Brian Azzarello, Eduardo Risso, Jock, Andy Diggle, Peter Milligan, Jaime Delano, Brian Wood, Brian K. Vaughn, Marcelo Frusin, Sean Phillips, Duncan Fegrado, Josh Dysart, James Jean, Paul Pope, Lee Bermejo, Paul Jenkins, Garth Ennis, Steve Dillon, Chris Bachalo, Ted McKeever, Jon J Muth, Dave McKean, Neil Gaiman, Grant Morrison, Frank Quitely, Barron Storey, Becky Cloonan, Steve Seagle, Dave Johnson, Michael Zulli, Clem Robins, Patricial Mulhvill, Todd Klein, Denys Cowan, Kent Williams, Warren Pleece, Danijel Zezelj, Jason Aaron, R.M. Guera and the list goes on and on. Brilliant and dedicated passion from each and everyone of them. And rarely do you see a useless bastard wearing spandex.

I love comics. Vertigo was created to provide a place as I grew and evolved, I do hope it continues.