Archive for November, 2005



Yesterday MARVEL released their solicitation listings and cover images for books shipping in the month of February. So I nicked the cover image for issue #5 of FRIENDLY NEIGHBORHOOD SPIDER-MAN from COMICBOOKRESOURCES.COM to show you here. CBR’s parent company hosts my web site, so I’m hoping they don’t mind. The story for FRNDSM 5 is a very interesting one. It reminds me in some ways of the vibe I got from reading that now-classic story called ‘THE BOY WHO COLLECTED SPIDER-MAN’. I’ll be very interested to see what the fan reaction is to it when it ships. At the least, it’s a great stand-alone tale that will make for a nice transition from the heavy and dark tones of ‘THE OTHER’ crossover.

On the TV front– ABC has announced that they’re cancelling THE NIGHT STALKER and not airing 3 episodes that they already had ‘in the can’. While the show was never something I absolutely LOVED– it did give me something to watch between JOEY and WILL AND GRACE and ER during the 9 O’clock hour. I can’t stand THE APPRENTICE (mainly because I don’t watch reality TV and I REALLY don’t like Donald Trump). I don’t really know why I still watch JOEY, W&G or ER anymore anyway, since they all have been stagnant shows for a long time…. but I guess it’s out of habit. But then– MOST TV is like that. I love LOST and INVASION these days… but that’s about it as far as good TV shows go. Exept for HBO– but that’s a story for another time.

OK…. just a quicky today….. too much to do.

This is entry 162.




In the issue of FRIENDLY NEIGHBORHOOD SPIDER-MAN I’m working on now, I have a very brief scene in which Logan/Wolverine appears. As usual, even when I’m drawing a character that’s only in one scene…. and sometimes only in one PANEL– I wanted to do a brief sketch to get a feel for him. I’ve drawn LOGAN before– most notably in the X-MEN 1/2 that Todd Dezago and I produced for WIZARD and MARVEL years back (which led us to the realization that we wanted to continue with the fun fantasy-themed type of comics…. and thus TELLOS was born). But it’s been a while– and so I wanted to refresh my ‘drawing memory’. I’ve noticed that over the years… ESPECIALLY since the X-MEN movies have come out… that people are drawing LOGAN much taller and less stocky than he was when he was originally created. He’s always been much shorter than the normal human being… and very thickly muscled. In fact, I can remember– especially during the Claremont/Byrne days of UNCANNY X-MEN– that people often referred to LOGAN as ‘shrimp’, ‘shorty’ and ‘midget’. But since the not-so-short Hugh Jackman played the character, he’s been portrayed more like his movie version than the original comic book version. I think I’ll stick with the short and stocky version for my scene….. although since he’s seated the whole time, it won’t matter much anyway.

The same ‘syndrome’, if you will, has happened to Ben Grimm/THE THING over the years as well. When the FANTASTIC FOUR comic book first began, Ben was actually a tad SHORTER than the rest of the cast. At least, he was shorter than Reed. And when I first started drawing FF myself, I actually started off making him smaller than he had been portrayed in recent years. But as is often the case with me, I read one too many message board posts discussing how ‘wimpy’ I made him look– and I guess I was subconsciously influenced by those comments (I KNOW I was now, looking back… but I don’t think I knew it then)– because as time went on, I made Ben more and more huge and hulking. Go back and check the difference between his appearance in issue #60, and his appearance in issue– say– #520 (back to the original numbering…. I didn’t work on the comic THAT long….). There’s a big change.

OK… that’s it for today.

This is Entry 161.


One to carry you into the weekend….


I just wanted to post a quick sketch of SUPERGIRL I did as a warm-up the other day– and I threw some quick flat colors on it for added measure.

So FRIENDLY NEIGHBORHOOD SPIDER-MAN #2 came out this past Wednesday…. did anyone buy it? What did you think?

Over at NEWSARAMA the OCTOBER 2005 sales chart for comics released that month is up. FRIENDLY #1 was #5 in ranking…. which is the highest ranking for ANY comic book I’ve ever worked on. Of course, the book being a first issue of a brand new SPIDER-MAN title– and being the lead-in/launch point for a major crossover event running through all the SPIDER-MAN titles was the major contributing factor. No matter what your views on these crossover stunts (personally, I don’t like them at all)– you can’t argue with the results in sales. AS LONG as retailers continue to order them in large numbers, and fans continue to buy them in equal numbers… the companies will continue to produce them. But as far as the ranking of the book– this level is a milestone for me.

This is Entry 160.


ATLAS comics


Anybody remember the ATLAS line of comics from the mid-70’s…? It was a line of books started by Martin Goodman, the former publisher of MARVEL Comics from that era. It was a bold thing for him to do at the time with the stranglehold that Marvel and DC had on newsstand distribution in those days (not DISSIMILAR to the situation the comics industry is in THESE days, only with direct sales. Funny how history tends to repeat itself)– and he enlisted the talents of some of the greatest names in the industry like Neal Adams, Steve Ditko, Howard Chaykin, Ernie Colon, Pablo Marcos and Rich Buckler. They had a fun, diverse line of mainstream oriented titles like DESTRUCTOR, THE COUGAR, PHOENIX, IRON JAW, MANHUNTER, TIGER-MAN, PLANET OF THE VAMPIRES…. and my absolute favorite, THE GRIM GHOST. THE GRIM GHOST is the story, set in colonial America, of an infamous highwayman named Matthew Dunsinane who is captured and executed for his crimes. His soul is relegated to Hell, where Satan gives him the choice of burning there for all eternity, or returning to the mortal world as a vengeful spirit, tasked with harvesting evil souls for Hell. Dunsinane chooses to return to our world and carry out Satan’s request. Not only was the book incredibly illustrated by the brilliant Ernie Colon– but the premise and stories were well crafted. It was sort of a precursor to SPAWN. I’d love to find out of these characters are owned by anyone or if they’re public domain. It would be great, in either case, if they were to see publication again with some new adventures.


The weather we’re having here right now is nothing short of gorgeous. The leaves are brightly colored and just beginning to fall….. and the temperatures are at almost 80 degrees….! I love my neighborhood and my home…. it’s very quiet here, and there’s lots of trees still around– even though housing developers are doing their best to build on every square foot they can find not already in use. I know that this weather won’t hold… in fact, the forcasters say this is the last day we’ll have of these temps this week… maybe this season. So, like everything good, it’s got to come to an end. But it certainly is wonderful being able to leave the sliding glass door to the screened in back porch open all day even almost half-way into November.

This is Entry 159.


Weekend sketching


I felt like doing something…. playful… as a way to unwind this past weekend. The subject matter I’ve been dealing with has been so heavy and dark lately that I wanted to do something a little more on the lyrical side. As I’ve stated ad nauseum, I’m very partial to fantasy as well as anthropomorphic characters. So I thought it would be fun to do a sketch with both those aspects in mind. Looking at the piece now, it looks like the owl professor might be a LITTLE off balance. He’s sort of tipping forward just a bit– but hey, owls can fly, so maybe he can lean any which way he chooses and not lose his balance completely.

At least, I’d like to think so.

This is Entry 158.