Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Yoakum Interview on Comic Book Resources

I'm showing up in the press a bit more these days, and here are a few links. Comic Book Resources did a mini-interview that appeared yesterday, along with the cover of The Human Hourglass, which them for including! When I was writing this story and thumbnailing it out in one 7 hour stretch on a plane flight from Paris to Chicago, I don't think that i would have imagined not only having it out int he world, but the cover showing up on CBR's site.

But that's why we create things. To get them out there.

Also a review of Time Bomb #1 & 2, which is the first one to note that I did ink on issue #1 and include me in the review, for which I thank them kindly. Its the first time that I've inked Gulacy in about 10 years outside of some sketches, so doing the work was fun. I'm enjoying the story as well. I have no idea how it all ends, so I'm waiting for issue #3 to show up so that i can find out the ending along with the rest of you.

And lastly, but by no means least, Enter The Dark, Todd Miro's killer short horror film that I co-star in, is up for three awards at the Dark Carnival Film Festival: Best Short, Best Editing and Best Supporting Actor (my co-lead, Rob Sandusky). We had a great California premier at Sacramento's Horror Fest with family and some of the crew in attendance as well, so we had someone to laugh at our jokes during the Q & A.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Robot 6 on APE 2010

JK Parkin of Robot 6/Comic Book Resources just posted some of his thoughts on APE, along with some pics and artwork. Mr Parkin was good enough to pick up the initial issue of The Carnival, which you can see peeking out from the bottom of his stash pile in the final photo. Thanks for coming by JK!

Pic stolen from JK Parkin's post. That's me, in the black hat and white shirt. Man, my sign behind me was falling over. How did i not notice that?

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

APE 2010 Round Up

Got to walk around the Alternative Press Expo on Sunday morning and pick up a few new books, books which I promise I'll be reviewing here soon. I know, its been forever since i was doing reviews, but i promise that i will. I'm kinda curious to see if anyone bothers to review The Human Hourglass online. But I have a likely looking stack of books in the studio to start reading, which is a good thing.

Got to meet Erica Moen, whose Dar webcomic I've enjoyed for a long time. Picked up the second edition of that book and got a little sketch. I'm always happy to tell cartoonists that i enjoy that they're being read and appreciated. We all operate in our own little worlds and sometimes it helps to hear that all those hours are worth it. Erica's work is so open and autobiographical and so damn real that i feel like we're pretty much getting it the way she saw it. And its raw. I wouldn't have the guts to be that open about my relationships. I enjoy her work since it so different that mine. While she's ended Dar, there are still the archives and, happily, she's working on two new graphic novels.

Walking around I was stuck by how I felt like i'd been at this con before, and then i realized that i had, San Diego, 1988. Similar vibe, same number of people, just with superheroes. And it struck me that i hadn't been this happy about being at a con in years. Even without the superheroes I still got sucked into the art porn booth that is Stuart Ng and bought a book (just one!).

Had the chance to meed John Fleskes, who has a number of great art books for sale. My personal favorite is the Steve Rude one. John, who knows my boothmate Alex Sheikman, and I got to artgeek over originals for a while. John has a great eye for this stuff as well, and it was good to share ideas on original art and talk great artists long gone.

Had a discussion with Comic Con Executive Director Fae Desmond. I applaud Fae walking around and chatting with the artists, given that when you are in her position, someone will always find something to "discuss" with you.

Just starting to read True Loves by Jason Turner and Manien Botma. I'll report back when i'm done.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

APE: Day 1 - The Round Up

Home after a day of chatting and selling and NOT walking around and looking at all the other books on the other tables on the first day of the Alternative Press Expo.

It was cool. Sold a decent number of books, considering that pretty much no one knows me, knows my work and certainly isn't anticipating picking up the first issue of The Carnival.

Alex and I had a good time talking comics and storytelling. Its a good pairing since neither of us is Manga, Underground or Mainstream Superhero. We are, I guess, Ground Level. And, perhaps, moderately interesting. But we come from a similar past in terms of artistic influences. Thats Alex in the hat, myself in the red shirt. Table 655.

Next to me: Spain Rodriguez the legendary underground cartoonist. S. Clay Wilson also stopped for a minute to chat with him. It was cool next door company.

The convention reminded me of San Diego 30 years ago, with less superheroes. And thats a good thing since I twice today had the conversation with people who had decided, as i did this year, to stop going to the Mega Fest that is San Diego. There looks like a wealth of interesting ideas and books mixed in among various levels of skill and talent. Tomorrow I hope that pick a few diamonds out of the rough and blog about them.

Come on by if you've been on the fence about going: apparently this year's APE is larger than ever and at a much higher level that ever before. 8th and Brennan, South of Market, 11-7pm. See ya there.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The Human Hourglass wraps up at APE

Finally will be finishing The Human Hourglass and presenting it in Ashcan form at APE this weekend in SF. If you love alternative comics you owe it to yourself to come on by.

Alex Sheikman, of Robotica fame, and myself will be sitting Sat and Sun at booth 655, so swing on by!

Here is a panel from the last two issues of The Human Hourglass as I work on it just to tide you over til the last two pages are done. The final panel is actually in and done, but i never work on the pages in complete sequence, so jumping around allows me to work on a different place while the ink is drying elsewhere. I know that most artists do that. I also know that Jack Kirby didn't. Bastard genius.

Saturday, October 09, 2010

Fiction, Meta-Fiction and Heroes in Grey

I sometimes wonder if other people have the problem that i have: that the stories come too frequently to put down, not in pieces but in whole and complete downloads from elsewhere, well, from somewhere, and then they wait for you to try and figure out what to do with them.

and the best of them need craft to make them better, to sand the rough edges into fitting, making the whole thing make sense. I sometimes wish that i didn't sit at this drawing board working away listening to music and reveling in the direct feedback that comes from hearing a beautifully played chorus. Is there anything in our medium that comes across as succinctly and directly? (current example playing as i right this: Green day's "Holiday") I don't think that there is. We're the medium of quiet comtemplation and hours of lonely work, in direct opposition to the performing arts. our work is to be digested over time and the in the peace and quiet of the reader's mind. If we do our job right then hopefully the scene that we create will play over and over in their head upon subsequent rereadings. We can only hope.

Did any of the writers and artists that were cranking out some of my favorite comics from the 1970s ans 1980s realize that they were creating works that lasted? I doubt it. When i brought up to Alan Weiss just how reverential i was to those issues of Jim Starlin's Captain Marvel, he wasn't surprised, but neither did he betray that Jim had idea that they would be as profound a piece of fiction as they became. I have the idea that Marshall Rogers knew, just fucking knew in his bones that his Batman was practically definitive, at least definitive to him, but as he was a Batman fan down to his DNA, it was work that carried weight of truth to it.

There is fictional truth and then there is TRUTH. This is the same truth that Kirby alluded to in his scattered work in Fourth World series. Jack wanted to create an entire mythology without a master plan spread out over the three books, and he went at it full bore and it was a mess, a glorious mess that contained kernels of greatness like the final fight of Terrible Turnpin, and others like the Black Racer and the hippy nonsense of the Forever People. There was truth in Englehart and Roger's Joker, and chilling horrible nihilistic truth that fueled heath Ledger's performance. (It was here that Englehart and Rogers out Kane'd Kane: In understanding the depths of the Joker as the agent of un-logic, he moves into the realm of myth and terror as the embodiment of horror that cannot be reasoned with. A jewel thief? A man under a Red hood? Are you kidding me? he is the horror of the Un coming to get you and you're never going understand him.)

I tried to explain the idea of what makes good fiction to my 9 year old daughter the other day. The idea that conflict was the necessary content to make the story happen. She understood almost immediately, having read more than enough fiction to realize that perfect people make for a boring story, and that the protagonist has to have obstacles in his/her path to make it interesting. Explaining characters that are shades of grey was a little harder. And while its true, I do still enjoy that idea that there are some heroes left somewhere out there, so that we can occasionally hang our hat on the idea of the morally simple ending rather than the murky grey toned one.

I'm writing the last page of The Human Hourglass and working on the layouts right now. It ends as messily by the next to last panel as i originally thought, with no real winners and only losers and its far more like real life. and I have to keep from making a happy ending. It doesn't deserve it, nor does anyone who's read the first 21 pages. They deserve the ending that is supposed to happen.

McKee was right: you have to be brutal to your characters. And it hurts.