Archive for December, 2006



Looking back through my DC LEGION ARCHIVES once again, I came upon one collection that is entirely made up of the heart of the Mike Grell era as LEGION artist… and I remember buying those issues way back then. I was initially very disappointed when Grell took over as LEGION artist… because I had been so enamored with Dave Cockrum’s wonderful work on the title. It didn’t take long, though, for Grell’s work to quickly grow on me. There was a very raw energy to his drawing that was appealing– and there was this ‘cool factor’ that his style brought to the title with his long, lithe and dynamic figure-work. One of the things that ALSO marked Grell’s work on that period of LEGION was his design work on the characters’ costumes that showed a lot of skin. A LOT of skin. And that sort of hit its apex with the introduction of the character TYROC in issue 216. His costume has got to be one of the skimpiest costumes for either a male or female character in mainstream superhero comics that I can remember. It’s funny to look back on those costumes with their 70’s sensibilities and lots of exposed flesh. I guess maybe the new redesign of the WHITE QUEEN in X-MEN might be more skimpy… but not by much.

I’ve had a MYSPACE page up for some months now. It’s a phenomenally popular site that has millions and millions of users. So I thought it would be good to get involved with the site to try to use it for self promotion. Well, now there’s a similar site just for comic book enthusiasts called COMICSPACE. I have signed up for a COMICSPACE page as well. If you’re interested in either or both of those kinds of ‘community’ sites, add me to your ‘friends list’.


Yesterday, Marvel released the solicitations for their books shipping in the month of March. I thought I’d nab the cover image for FRIENDLY NEIGHBORHOOD SPIDER-MAN #18 I drew (and was wonderfully inked by my old TELLOS artistic co-hort Rob Stull) and post it here for you to see. I started doing covers for the title again with issue 17.

OK… that’s it for today.

This is Entry 314.



News of the passing of Golden Age artist Martin Nodell hit this past weekend. I saw Marty at almost every show I ever attended… and he was always such a sweet, cheerful man who was very proud of his creation of the Golden Age GREEN LANTERN character. Marty’s wife Carrie was always by his side, cheerleading and sharing in the adoration his fans bestowed on him at shows. They were always so grateful and wonderful to the fans that would get Marty to sign and sketch for them. Carrie passed away back in 2004, and it seemed to me that a large part of Marty died with her. He seemed to have lost some of that spark he had when she was with him– he didn’t seem like his old self at the few events at which I saw him after her death. I spoke with him briefly at many of the shows we were both attending…. but I only had one opportunity to spend a large chunk of time with him. I was lucky enough to be at the same table with Marty and his wife at an after-con dinner party one year quite a while back, and it was a delight to hear him talk about not only his time as a comic book artist in the ‘old days’– but also hear tales about his work as a commercial artist…. and as the guy who designed the PILLSBURY DOUGH BOY. When I heard him talking about that, it blew me away.

Two characters… from two completely different worlds… that have stood the test of time, created by one delightful fella.

Rest in peace, Marty.

This is Entry 313.




There a new trailer up on YAHOO MOVIES for Frank Miller’s 300 film. It looks absolutely amazing. I went to see SIN CITY when it debuted… and I was impressed by the visuals of the movie… it was beautifully done. The dialogue, however, left me cold. I know that it was totally faithful to the comic… and that the comic itself was used as the storyboards for the film. But that was the one problem I had with the film– the dialogue. It was so faithful that what sounded cool in my head when reading the book sounded very hokey when I heard it out load coming from the big screen. I know it was meant to be reminiscent/inspired by the film noire, hard boiled stories that Miller grew up reading… but it just sounded bad to my ears.

300, however, has me very excited. I’ve read the comic… and I think that Miller’s dialogue in this movie is going to work very well… and visually, it’s just mindblowing to see so far. I have very high hopes for this film. I know that the story is rather light in concept– very simple. But that’s fine with me. This movie is based on a singular event in the history of the world… and it’s going to be a high intensity testosterone-filled, bloody film. It’s very exciting to me to see Frank Miller making such inroads with his properties in Hollywood. And that they’re so very faithful to his vision– even when the dialogue sounds odd to my ears as with SIN CITY.

Have a great weekend, all.

This is Entry 312.




STAN LEE MEETS the SILVER SURFER hits the stands at comic shops today. I drew the lead story that was written by Stan “The Man” Lee himself… and it was a unique experience to be able to work on that story. It’s special in that I can say that I worked with Stan Lee on a comic book story (albeit a very short one). Carrying the thread over from Monday’s post– that’s not something I ever envisioned myself doing when I got into this business– if for no other reason than that Stan had, by and large, left comic books for the more star-studded world of Hollywood to represent Marvel there well before I became a pro. It’s also a first for my career in that I got to draw the SILVER SURFER in panel-to-panel continuity. Up to this point, I think the only time I’ve drawn him was for a ghostly flashback image floating above Reed Richards’ head in an issue of FANTASTIC FOUR. That makes yet another major Marvel icon I’ve gotten my grubby pencil on since I started in this business. Stan’s plot was incredibly brief in length… and so I had to do a lot of extrapolation for the 10-page story… but that gave me a little taste of what it must have been like back in the early days of the “HOUSE OF IDEAS” when the stories published then were more often than not the result of a short phone conversation between Stan and his artist about the overall theme of the book they were working on– and the artist would then draw the story in its entirety from that conversation. What a different working world it was then compared to now– where the writers control the everything about the story in stiflingly detailed complete scripts…. the number of panels per page, shot selection, lighting, pacing and even wardrobe. There’s very little left for the artist to contribute beyond bringing the writer’s vision to life on the printed page.

I didn’t do Stan’s likeness in the story much justice, I’m afraid. For some reason, I just couldn’t really get it down. I thought that I did a much better job the first time I had to draw him in a story back a decade ago when Todd and I did our issue of the FLASHBACK stunt on SENSATIONAL SPIDER-MAN. I don’t know what was different this time…. but Stan looks pretty generic in my story.

Let me know what you think if you happen to pick it up and read it.

OK… that’s it for today.

This is Entry 311.




It’s funny… I don’t think I ever would have imagined, all those years ago when I first got into the comics biz as a pro, that I would be working on a portion of a SPIDER-HAM story for Marvel. It’s one of those odd– and very fun– twists that I never could have seen coming my way. That seems to define my career up to this point, though…. things come my way that I never would have predicted would happen. Some artists control their path to the utmost, making calculated jumps to specific projects in an attempt to always be moving forward and upward in status and popularity. Me– I’ve tended to sort of passively go with the flow in the hopes that the kind of upward path others determinately set for themselves would come my way. I have to say that I’ve had more success in my comics career than I ever imagined I ever would up to this point… but the path hasn’t always been a smooth one, by any means. There have been road blocks, missteps and trip-ups…. but I don’t regret any of it. And I CERTAINLY don’t regret working on this portion of the SPIDER-HAM SPECIAL I’m drawing. It’s one of those strange turns that I just have to smile at.

For those of you who may not have seen last week’s JOE FRIDAY’S column over at NEWSARAMA, they posted the full-color cover of the ULTIMATE CIVIL WAR FEATURING SPIDER-HAM special that I was honored to be able to draw. It was a blast to do– I don’t think I’ve had as much fun drawing something as an assignment in, really, as long as I can remember. I hope you like it as much as I enjoyed drawing it.


OK… that’s it for one ham-filled day……

This is Entry 310.