Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Dean Haspiel's Immortal


One of the best comix being produced today can’t be found at your local comic shop but rather on the web.

A web comix site called Ac-Ti-Vate features amazing indy comix available for free. With most web comics about video games it’s sites like this one that will propel web comics beyond the usual, boring Xbox Live jokes.

Dean Haspiel, one of my all-time favorite comic artists just finished his first storyline called: “Immortal”… a Billy Dogma love story with an epic, noir feel. As I’ve recently found myself leaving my comic shop unfulfilled, it’s great to see alternatives like “Immortal” showing up.

So check it out and look around the Ac-Ti-Vate site for more great comix.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

LazyComix Special Editon


I’ve been lettering all day and haven’t been able to fit in a blog… after Randall Month I got pretty used to posting every Wednesday. Being that I work from home with only 3 cats to keep me company (all 3 are sitting on my desk right now for some reason), my main source of human interaction is internet message boards. I’m a pretty avid user of the Bendis Board but I also peruse various Star Wars message boards. (My screen name will stay a secret as I have the death sentence on 12 message board systems) The hottest topic of Star Wars message boards isn’t as much the polarizing Prequel Trilogy as it is the Original Trilogy and its various Special Edition versions.

Now I’m admittedly a Star Wars and George Lucas fan. The flicks inspired me beyond imagination and I admire the flannel-shirt-wearing curmudgeon for doing things his own way, even if people don’t like it and give him endless crap for it.

Sure the Prequels weren’t the originals but I still say they’re better than your average Hollywood studio fare… most of them are focus group tested generic flicks with 8 different screenwriters. I just watched X3 a few weeks back and how they managed to screw that up after 2 successful predecessors and literally volumes of amazing stories already written for them, I never figure out.

Back to the Special Editions topic, there’s a huge group of Star Wars fans that believe that Lucas has no right to go back and tweak the Original films. Some think the movies are so beloved that they no longer belong to him but rather to the fans, while others think that his tampering is ruining the films. Both of these theories I strongly disagree with.

On a much smaller scale when I look back at my old comics there isn’t a page that goes by where I don’t want to redraw or rewrite panels. I’m never happy with my work and I don’t think there are many artists who are. Comic book great Erik Larsen wrote about it in his weekly column over at Comic Book Resources.

Even during Randall month I went back and added captions and tweaked dialogue and I’m sure I will again when I put the mini comic together. Creating is a never-ending process that, hopefully, is constantly evolving and improving. You learn more every time you do it. If a guy who made billions from his creation still thinks he can do better… that’s a pretty healthy thing.

As many great athletes have said when they retired… "once you feel like you’re not getting better it’s time to hang ‘em up."



Anyway, Chapter 2 of Randall is in the penciled stage. I’m not going to go back to weekly updates as originally planned but rather to one huge chapter update. Looking back, I think the story lost something when you could only read it one page per week… with the strip moving into more story I think it’s important to give all the information in one shot.

So, if you have yet to join the LazyComix Mailing List… head on over and sign up. You’re guaranteed not to miss a page if you do.

Thanks for reading,
Randy

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Randall Month Concludes!

So after as much fanfare as I could muster, Randall Month has come to a close and I gotta say, I really enjoyed the weekly updates and I hope all of you that have been reading did as well.

Here’s the link for the last 2 pages of Episode 1. (2 whole pages this week, folks!) Please write back and let me know what you thought of the strip… questions, suggestions, bashes, whatever… I’d love to hear them.

I want to keep this train rolling but I’m going to take one week off so that I can hopefully get 2-3 pages stockpiled and then start this thing over with weekly updates for Episode 2. I’d rather there be a small break between Episodes than between pages. Right now, the whole story is looking to be 5, possibly 6 Episodes… I’m really digging working on the strip right now and I want to finish this thing and have a 25-30 page Randall comic to print-up… so right now, that’s the plan… I will be mixing in one other 2-pager, the second LazyComix Presents... that will be posted on another site…. But that’ll likely be after the holidays and between Episodes of Randall.


I’d also like to take a minute to direct all of you over to this link. CNN picked up on the passing of comic legend Dave Cockrum. Check out the story and go rummage around in the longboxes for some of your old Cockrum X-men… it’s great stuff.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Giant Turkey, Comics and Flicks

It’s been a long time since I’ve posted a Lazy Rambling so in between coloring the last 2 pages of Randall I figured I’d drop a few pics and some recommendations.

The ridiculously huge Gentile Family Turkey was in full-effect this year as the Old Mad dead-lifted home a 47.5-pound bird. The pictures don’t do the thing justice. (Beer Bottle for Scale)





















I threw in a couple of NYC pictures as well, one of the Brooklyn Bridge and the other of the Arch in Washington Square Park at night.




















Now for a couple of recommendations:

FLICKS:
Garden State
I’d heard good things about the movie and Ereisa and I finally got around to watching it this past weekend. After being back in Saugerties right after I saw it, the going-back-home-to-your-small-town storyline really worked for me. A few things were a little weird, but all-in-all and enjoyable flick. Check it out on HBO or whatever random cable channels this movie is sure to populate soon.

V For Vendetta
I probably should’ve read the comic first, but I watched this one while working last week and was incredibly under whelmed. As usual with Wachowski Brothers movies, you’ve got fun action sammiched between a long-winded soliloquy and needless story. This flick only reminded me how they completely effed up the last 2 Matrix movies. Wow did they stink and V was only marginally better than those 2 train wrecks. Wait for this one to come on cable… maybe I missed something with this one as I saw it was like #116 all-time on IMDB’s list… sure 116 isn’t super high, but we’re talking All-Time here folks. This thing beat out movies like Platoon, The Deer Hunter, Dog Day Afternoon, The Exorcist and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.

COMICS:
The last time I was at the comic shop I hadn’t been there for like 3 weeks and I still didn’t come out with a new book. I would’ve picked up the new American Splendor and Savage Dragon, but they were nowhere to be found. Hopefully next time out.

From Hell
After hearing the great interview FbR did with Alan Moore, I had to pick up a Moore book… I’m still in the process of reading it but wow… Moore writing is on a level all it’s own. Having only read Watchmen before, reading this book has made it a sure thing that I’ll be reading a lot more of his work down the line. Not to mention the beautiful Black and White art by Eddie Campbell. Reading it makes me glad I didn’t watch the supposedly horrible movie they made a few years back… I hear that one is worse than V.

Short little Recommended Section… hopefully more after Randall Month comes to a close. I can’t believe the month flew by like that but I just finished coloring one of the last 2 pages that will close out the first chapter. I’m really happy with the way this last page turned out and I think it’ll really hook people in for the upcoming chapters. More on that to come.

Thanks for reading…
Gent

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Randall Month - Week 4

Only one more update to go! Catch the latest bit of action here!

And if you're new to Randall... see the story from the beginning here!

Thanks for reading and have a happy Turkey Day!

--Randy

Friday, November 17, 2006

Wonderlost by C.B. Cebulski


I hardly ever plug stuff I’ve lettered, mainly because stuff I letter doesn’t need help from me… but here’s one that could use a little help via preordering from your local comic shop.

Good friend and Marvel Editor C.B. Cebulski is putting out an autobiographical comic through Image called: Wonderlost.

Being a huge fan of autobio comix and of the Big Cebulski I thought I’d link to a preview that just went up over at Newsarama.com. You can see a nice little 7 page preview I lettered here.

So check it out and ask you comic shop to preorder it… diversity is the spice of life, folks and the more diversity on the comic stands, the better.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Randall Month - Week 3

Randall Month continues! Check out the latest page here!

And if you missed any pages, catch the story from the beginning here!

Thanks for looking and feel free to write me at Randy@LazyComix.com or to leave comments.

--Randy

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Alan Moore on Fanboy Radio


If you’re a fan of comic book Podcasts like I am then you won’t want to miss tomorrow’s episode of Fanboy Radio. (2pm Eastern) My main-man Scott Hinze landed the biggest guest in the biz: Alan Moore.

How he did it I don’t know, as Moore will turn down an interview on David Letterman in a heartbeat.

It really is a testament to the great job Scott and the FbR crew do down there, so tune in for a rare glimpse into the mind of the best writer the comic medium has ever seen.

Plus the show art by Jim Lujan is kick-ass!

And don’t forget tomorrow is Week 3 of Randall Month!

More soon,
Randy

Friday, November 10, 2006

Found Art 3
















Some nice graffiti writing found in the East Village last night…. Between 1st and 2nd Aves, maybe 5th Street?

Found Art 2

Found Art 1

--Randy

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Randall Month Week 2

We’re already halfway home! Check out the latest page of action here! And if you missed week one, catch up from the beginning here!

And don’t forget to join the LazyComix Mailing List so you won’t miss a new comic on the site, ever.

Thanks for looking!
--Randy

Monday, November 06, 2006

More Love for 70's Movies

Ereisa and I went to see “The Departed” last week. But the theater was packed and our only option was sitting up-close, which sucks so bad that we actually walked out during the previews. We’ll be going this weekend but it’s killing me that I haven’t seen it yet. With so many crappy movies you have to take advantage of a Scorsese flick when it comes out.

Anyway, on the way out I checked out the posters for the upcoming movies. The one that caught my eye for Rocky 6… it was a throwback to the original Rocky poster from the 70’s and it looked awesome. It really stuck out to the point that it looked like it didn’t belong.



















But there’s a simplicity in the design of the posters from the past that today’s Photoshoped monstrosities just don’t have. It’s more about the actors faces than the movie itself. Yeah I sound like an old cranky bastard but take a look at this quick li’l 70’s movie poster collage I threw together and tell me they don’t look better than the crap you see now?



















Stay tuned for Randall Month Week 2 and thanks for reading.
--Randy

Friday, November 03, 2006

LazyComix Newsletter

If you checked out the CGS interview you heard us talk about the World of Webcomix and the problems that lie within. On one hand it’s a great thing that enables anyone to make a comic and put it in a place where it can be seen by anyone in the world. On the other hand, once you put it online there’s absolutely no guarantee that anyone in the world will see it. So therein lies the problem.

I guess people in suits call this “marketing”, but being that I’m a guy who literally spends his workdays in sweats, slippers and a robe (but only if it’s cold), marketing isn’t exactly my forte. Nevertheless, if I’m going to make these comix, someone is going to read them.

I wish I could say I don’t care if anyone reads them, but I’d be lying. Hell, how many Indy creators forget their black and white self-published books the second one of the Big 2 come asking them to do an X or Bat Book? I love getting feedback, positive or negative. One of the best parts of my time at Pratt was “Crit Day”… a day when the whole class pinned their Illustrations on the wall and gathered around to praise and sometimes, rip each others work apart. It was nerve wrecking, but impossible not to learn something.

So, back to my ingenious marketing scheme, I’ve added the option allowing people who visit the site to join the “LazyComix Newsletter”… (I know I’m a regular Steve Jobs.) But I think it could solve the problem of me not really having a schedule for getting my comix on the site. It’s hard enough to get people coming back when there are new strips updated daily, so I’m hoping people will check out the comix, join the Newsletter and then whenever I post a new comic, I’ll shoot out the link in the Newsletter and get them to come back.

So head on over and join! It’s right on the homepage, quick and painless.

Thanks for checkin’ out the site.
--Randy

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Randall Month Week 1

So here we are November 1st already! Holy cow.

Today officially kicks-off Randall Month… I went back and George Lucased the first 2 pages made them a little more what I wanted from the beginning and next week the story will be in full-swing with plenty of action... and I promise that 4 weeks from now, the first chapter will leave you wanting to read Chapter 2.

So check it out and give feedback!

Thanks for looking.

--R

Monday, October 30, 2006

Randall Month Kicks off!

Last night I did an interview with the fine folks over at Comic Geek Speak… so head on over here for the interview on Randall, NYComix and lettering comics for Marvel.

Thanks to the guys over at CGS for the help!

--Randy

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Classic Fantastic Four


I go back and forth on my favorite comic storyline all the time. I think it depends on what classic comic I most recently pulled off my bookshelf. Some days it’s the Lee/Ditko/Romita Sr. Amazing Spidey stuff. Some days it’s Gene Colon Iron Man or Lee/Kirby Thor, some days it’s even the Herb Trimpe Hulk stuff. But more often than not, I find it hard to beat the Stan Lee & Jack Kirby Galactus storyline beginning in Fantastic Four #48. Honestly all 100+ issues of Stan and Jack’s FF work could be considered the best superhero comics of all time, but the Galactus story was so grand, so epic and monumental, that it really is the template of the superhero comic book.

The bottom line of every superhero funny book is that there has to be a superhero/supervillain storyline that makes the reader think that THIS is the time our hero cannot possibly defeat this latest threat. There needs to be one event, one panel even, that makes the reader doubt our heroes ability to succeed. If that doesn’t happen, the writer is in trouble. It sounds easy, but 40 years of the hero kicking everyone’s tail issue after issue makes that simple premise tough to keep fresh. You often hear this problem cropping up with a book like Superman. Where Supes is so powerful that no matter what they throw at him, it’s impossible to think that he may lose. They’ve powered him down and even killed him, but eventually this problem rears it’s ugly head every few years with The Man of Steel. I’ve recently gotten into Superman books and when he’s good, he’s a blast to read, but when he’s bad… he’s bad.

The Galactus storyline typified the idea of making the reader think that our heroes don’t stand a chance. This story also debuted the great Silver Surfer character. Galactus’ herald who combs the galaxy in search of fresh planets for his master to feed upon. Armed with the Power Cosmos, the Surfer is so powerful that it’s hard to think that the FF can even defeat him. Now throw in the fact that some all-powerful being created the Surfer? That he’s just a lackey? A toady? Holy crap. There’s a story!

Now before I spoil this for anyone who hasn’t read it, I’ll stop. An honestly, what kind of comic book fan are you if you haven’t read this yet?

What got me thinking about this was a thread on a comic book message board where it was announced that Galactus will be appearing in the next Fantastic Four flick. Sure, the first FF flick wasn’t exactly a classic film in cinema history, but my love of the Galactus storyline has got me excited, and worried, about FF2. Basically it was rumored that when Galactus appears in the movie, he won’t be in the form of Jack Kirby’s amazing design. To my surprise, a lot of fans didn’t see this as a problem. Naturally the most common reasoning was that the design is a silly one that the “general movie-going audience” won’t accept. To me, that makes no sense, whatsoever.

The “general movie-going audience” has been barraged with superhero flicks recently and they seem to have bought most of them just fine. And the one’s they didn’t buy wasn’t because of a silly suit design… it was because the stories sucked.

They bought a kid getting bitten by a radioactive spider and getting spider-powers and a cool suit that he apparently made on his own. I guess Peter Parker could be a contestant on Project Runway. They bought Superman being an alien from a far away planet and he just happens to look, talk, act, and have an “S” in his logo implying that the planet Krypton also uses the same alphabet as Earth. They bought the FF, including a guy in a giant orange booger-suit and they’ll buy a silver guy flying on a surfboard, but don’t you dare try to pass-off Galactus in a purple suit! The “general movie-going audience” is waaaaay to sharp for that stuff!

Ugh.

I find it really pretentious to think that people who read comics today and go to movies today are smarter than people who read comics and went to movies back during 1966… when FF 48 hit the stands.

We are still talking about, and being inspired by, these stories for a reason… because they’re classic, timeless stories. They’ll be around far longer than we will and for good reason.

--R

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Randall Month Update...

No updates in a while, so here’s some cool news and a couple of comic recommendations.

I mentioned the upcoming “Randall Month” and it’s really starting to shape up. It’s going to start on November 1st, where I’ll have a new page (3 pages total) to kick off weekly updates throughout the rest of the month. I’ve got a spot on a really great and popular Comic Podcast to kick it all off (details to come) and hopefully I’ll be able to get a few more promotions shakin’ as well.

I’ve wanted to get more people to the site and I think it’s at a place now where there are plenty of comix to check out and, with the weekly updates, a reason to bookmark and keep coming back. Baring any unforeseen disasters, I’ll hit every update as I’ve got 4 pages inked and ready to be colored, so there won’t be any delays in the strip. So spread the word and stay tuned.

Last Friday, Ereisa and I went out to the amazingly kick-ass comic shop in Brooklyn called: Rocketship. Brian K. Vaughan was signing and as the writer on my favorite Marvel book: Runaways, I went on out to say “Hi” and really thank the guy for being a professional writer. It would boggle your mind how many horrible scripts I get to letter from… spelling errors, grammar mistakes, mis-numbered pages, etc. That stuff never happens with a BKV script and throw in the fact that the book is amazing and you’ve got a happy letterer. Runaways is a book I’m truly proud to be a part of and if any of you haven’t been reading it, pick it up. If you’ve got the cash, pick up the hardcover and if you’re not ready for that commitment, there are neat full-color digest size trades that are like 8 bucks. You can even pick up the monthly comic, as it’s an easy book to jump into. No long, lingering storylines that’ll confuse the hell out of you. Anyway, BKV is hell of a guy and it’ll be sad to see him leave the book. I hear some TV/Movie guy named Whedon is taking over. Whoever he is. J

While there I picked up a copy of “Pride of Baghdad” and the first volume of “Y The Last Man.” A book I’ve been meaning to read but never picked up. Both books were great and well worth the read.

“Pride of Baghdad” is a amazing book, with beautiful art by Niko Henrichon… its one of the best books I’ve read in a while, check it out.

Thanks for readin’ and stay tuned,
Gent

Sunday, October 15, 2006

My Goodness...

I joined the mess that is MySpace....

www.myspace.com/lazycomix

Go over there if you want to be my intraweb friend.

--r

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

NYComix Episode 9


A while back NYComix was a part of Pixelstrips.com… Once a week I was churning out a page of NYComix and by week 20 or so I really felt the work was suffering as a result of the schedule. I wanted to do longer stories with backgrounds and a lot of panels but with the lettering work, it just wasn’t possible. I hated the last few pages and I decided to stop and just use my site as a place to show my webcomix. Sure I have zero schedule and nobody knows when the next strip will hit the site, but I do know that it’ll be a strip that isn’t rushed.

Anyway, I just found out that Pixelstrips is hitting a bit of a rough patch and what was once a subscription site is now a free site. The news made me go back and take a look at some of the stuff I did for the site and I realized that there were some good strips in there. So I decided to post one over at LazyComix.com as a bit of a hold over until “Randall Month” in November.

What’s “Randall Month” you say? Well, this November will be the first ever, regular updates at my site. Every Wednesday you can head on over for 4 consecutive weeks of new Randall comix… That’ll wrap up the first chapter and hopefully leave you with a nice big cliffhanger to bring you into Chapter 2. I’m seriously considering even advertising “Randall Month” around the intraweb, maybe see if I can get on some Podcasts, etc.

I’ve always wanted to start advertising the site, but I haven’t been totally happy with the site design and I wanted there to be a ton of comix for people to check out. Now with over 10 episodes of NYComix, Randall, LazyComix Presents is still taking off, plus the sketchbook section, I think there’s enough there to make it worth the trip.

So stay tuned.

And hey, Issue 2 of American Splendor hit the stands last week… go buy it if you haven’t already.

Thanks for reading,
--Randy

Monday, October 09, 2006

Where Have You Gone, Paul O’Neill?


I’m unabashedly a huge New York Yankee fan. I have been since the days of Mattingly and Winfield during the 1980’s. Those were some lean years, and as a guy born in 1976, I’m part of the only generation that can remember a time when the Yankees really had no chance of winning. If you were a Yankee fan from the 20’s-60’s… you saw so many championships and great players that it’s mind-boggling. The early 70’s were tough, but by the end you had the “Bronx Zoo”, with Billy Martin at the helm, that was as entertaining a team as you can find in the history of baseball. A dysfunctional family that was a perfect a team on the field… a great starter in Guidry, Goose Gossage closing, Munson behind the plate, Nettles catching everything on 3rd and Reggie Jackson hitting 3 home runs on 3 pitches in the World Series.

Then came the 80’s. My generation. Watching Mattingly become a Yankee legend. Dave Winfield walk to the plate seemingly 2 feet taller than everyone else. Ricky Henderson stealing 100 bases. They had a solid offense but their pitching was just atrocious. I would read books about the great teams of the past, Yogi Berra winning 10 rings. I couldn’t even imagine even watching the Yanks in the series let alone winning 10 of them.

In ’94 Yanks were on top and looking to be a playoff team. Then the strike hit and I turned to basketball for a few years. But the Yanks were always around. I still followed the team and by the 1996 championship I back on board. I moved to New York City in 1999 and during the 2001 playoffs, the Yankees were a huge part of New York City during the aftermath of 9-11. They were the perfect form of escapism and the only thing I could cling to after seeing unimaginable horror days earlier. That team, even though it lost to Arizona, solidified my love of the New York Yankees. They’re more than a baseball team to me, they’re part of the fabric of New York City. You can walk into any bodega in the city and talk Yankee baseball with a total stranger for hours. I just talked about trading Arod with a drunk stranger yesterday.

They’re the Yanks. They play in a section of the Bronx that you would never visit if it weren’t for the Stadium, there’s nothing like walking under that elevated subway track, as the 4 Train rumbles overhead, it’s New York. The upper deck is where the real fans sit, no emotionless suits and celebrities, just like NYC it’s a melting pot of different people… hard-working men and women coming out the Bronx after work to see the Yanks, a place where the vendors are lifetime New Yorkers with Yankee tattoos on their arms. It’s where Arod gets booed and Jeter is God. Where thousands of fans wish Melky Cabrera were playing instead of Bobby Abreu and Bernie was in Center instead of that guy from Boston. Where fans won’t wear the number of a Yankee if he’s not “Home Grown”.

After this latest debacle it’s grown blatantly obvious that the Yanks and their fans miss guys that play hard. During the 90’s we passed on high priced free agents, opting instead for guys like Paul O’neill and Scott Brocious. Cast off pitchers like David Cone and Jimmy Key. Today’s Yankee teams don’t have the potential for an unexpected triple from a catcher like Joe Girardi. No surprise big home runs from a Jim Leyritz. Or pitch hit home runs from Tino Martinez, a 100 RBI guy who didn’t start a big playoff game.

I hope the Yankee upper brass sits down and watches some tape of those guys. Guys who had fire and wanted to win more than anything else.

Well, there’s always next year. I only hope the team if far different.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

If I only Had a Pocket Fulla’ Nickels and a Time Machine


Got this photo from fellow New Yorker and Yankee fan Steve Flack over at the Bendis Board….
(click the photo, it's a little tough to see at this size)

Monday, October 02, 2006

Found Art 2



This one was literally right outside my apartment. I’m not sure what room this piece was a part of… possibly the living room or study? Your guess is as good as mine.

Part one of the “Found Art” series.

Friday, September 29, 2006

King Kong


Keeping with the review theme, I just saw Peter Jackson’s King Kong. Yeah, this movie was released forever ago, but whatever…

For some reason I was a bit weary with this flick when it was released… While I loved the Lord of the Rings movies, I always thought they were a bit too long, but after a while, I gave that a pass due to the huge amount of material they had to cover. When I found out that King Kong was over 3 hours… I couldn’t see how they managed to stretch 3 hours out of a movie about a giant monkey. I mean…find the monkey, monkey falls in love, tragic act 3, The End.

But holy cow was this a great flick. Sure they probably could’ve trimmed 20-30 minutes off this thing without batting an eye… the sub plot with the kid from “Nicolas Nickelby” was pretty much useless and Jack Black outrunning anything, especially a raptor, is about as unbelievable as it gets, but by the end of the movie I could care less. From the crazy good Kong vs. T-Rex scenes to the end, I was seriously hooked.

I wish I didn’t take a pass on this when it was in theaters and if any of you haven’t seen it yet… the weekend is as good as any for a flick like King Kong.

--R

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Reviews and Randall News

Been a while since I posted so here’s a quick lil’ comic review and some Randall news.

First for the reviews. I finally got out to the comic shop on Tuesday, (I know that makes no sense, I should’ve waited until Wednesday, but whatever.) I met my main man C.B. Cebulski for a few drinks and he played a little part in my comic selection this week. I was about to drop All Star Superman. I’m always weary of Grant Morrison comics as while they’ll be fun books for a few issues, they seem to turn into esoteric “Grant Morrison Stories” at the drop of a hat. That has to be on it’s way with AS Superman and after the so-so issue 4, I was going to take a pass on issue 5 and just avoid the impending disappointment. C.B. told me that he was also on the fence with dropping this one, but he picked up issue 5 and really enjoyed it. Being that I only was only going to buy 2 comics I figured “what the hell.”

All Star Superman By Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely
An issue with no Superman (at least in his suit) but Morrison writes a pretty darn good Lex Luthor and all in all, I really enjoyed the interplay between Luthor and Clark. I’m looking forward to seeing what’s going to happen with this run, let’s just hope this book doesn’t go into the “Morrison Zone”. Until then, I’m back on board. Thanks, C.B.

Savage Dragon 128 By Erik Larsen.
Another fun ish from Larsen. I’m such a fan of the Dragon that I never worry about dropping the book. As long as he’s making it, I’ll read it. If you haven’t picked up the Dragon in a while, go ahead and pick one up. It’s good ol’ fashioned comic book fun. Plus, if you’re a fan of Mark Millar’s Wanted, it’s a crossover with those characters.

The Goon Noir By various creators
As Erik Powell finishes the “Chinatown” graphic novel, a book I can’t friggin’ wait for, folks like Patton Oswalt, Mike Ploog, Steve Niles and others put together a really fun book full of black and white stories featuring the regular Goon cast. I’ve endlessly praised this book and I’ll continue to do so. In my humble opinion, it’s the best book on the stands. Bar-none.

So that’s my comic “haul”. With all the books on the stands, I can’t believe I walk out of the shop with 3 books. Anyway…

Randall is still rolling along. I’ve gotten caught up in the story and I’m really enjoying drawing the strip, so the plan is to stock up on pages and maybe do a new page every Wednesday type-thing. I’ll see if I can’t put together Randall Month over at LazyComix.com, look for that in October, in the meantime, here’s a sneak peek at the next page.









Thanks for reading!
--Randy

Monday, September 18, 2006

Randall Premiere!

After what has seemed like and eternity, the Randall Relaunch is finally here. As I was uploading the new pages on my site, I was reminded that I did 22 pages of the “old” Randall before deciding to start over. Heck, there was some time there that I was going just bag the whole idea. Nevertheless, I’m glad I didn’t.

So here’s the link, head on over and check out the strip and please shoot me some feedback here or even via email. I’d love to hear it.

Thanks for looking,
Randy

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

American Splendor at Vertigo


Last week the first Vertigo published issue of Harvey Pekar’s American Splendor hit the shelves.

If you didn’t pick it up last week, don’t forget to put it on your list for this week. It’s a book that changed the way I look at comics and it really fell into my lap at the right time in my life. Ereisa bought me an issue of “The Complete Crumb, Volume 12” which happened to contain a huge chunk of the Pekar/Crumb team-ups. That book really got me into the world of alternative comics. And thank god, because without them, I’d surely have dropped comics altogether. There’s only so much late shipping over-written crossover superhero comics I can handle.

So go out and not only support Harvey but also support DC for publishing a book like American Splendor. It’s nice to see a big-time comic publisher put something besides another tights and capes book on the shelves.

Meanwhile, Randall Redux is inching closer and closer every day. It’s really turning into something I’m excited about and after all the trepidation about continuing the Randall comic, I couldn’t be happier that I stuck it out.

Stay tuned and Go Buy American Splendor! There’s gotta be some book you’re about to drop anyway!

--R

Monday, September 11, 2006

5 Years Later...

This is the only comic I’ve done dealing with 9-11.

Someday, I’ll do another one…but here it is, 5 years later and I’m not emotionally ready to sit down and draw the thing.

Someday.

http://www.lazycomix.com/nyc006001.html

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Greatest Movie Decade...

I love movies even more than comics. Nothing gets my creative juices flowing more than watching a great flick… some of my go-to movies when I need an inspirational kick-in-the-pants are Star Wars, The Godfather, Goodfellas, Pulp Fiction, Reservoir Dogs, Kill Bill, Crumb and others.

I’ve got a little 13 inch TV/DVD combo right next to my computer monitor. It’s been a saving grace for me as it has helped me get through many a boring day putting circles around other people’s writing. The movie I just popped in was the original Alien by Ridley Scott. Holy cow, what an amazing movie. For some reason, I forgot when this movie was released, I thought maybe the early 80’s but it’s 1979 release. It didn’t surprise me at all. The 1970’s produced so many great movies that it’s arguably the best decade for movies. If you ask me, it is the best decade by far.

Just off the top of my head you’ve got:

Star Wars
Close Encounters of the Third Kind
Alien
Jaws
Apocalypse Now
Godfather 1 and 2
Rocky
Mean Streets
Taxi Driver
The Exorcist
Superman
Animal House
The French Connection
Annie Hall
Serpico

You’ve got all-time greats in every genre right there and I’m sure I’ve forgotten a ton. I can’t think of a better Sci-Fi flick than the three I named… the Godfather is a good as it gets period…. Great Horror with The Exorcist… some of Scorsese’s best work with Taxi Driver…. I know there’ve been some great superhero flicks recently, but the original Superman is right there with any of the new ones. One of the best Comedies ever made in Animal House. Two of the best Cop movies in French Connection and Serpico. And Rocky is one of the best Sports movies ever made.

Damn, I know I sound old saying this…”but they don’t make ‘em like that anymore.”

C’mon, folks…. Name some more great 1970’s movies.

--Randy

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Randall! Closer Than Ever!

Randall has just become a never-ending saga in my little comic book world. I’ve been revamping the story and character for years now. I’m not even sure when the last page of the original Randall was posted, but even then, I had a feeling it would be the last time I’d work on Randall… at least in that form.

So, after countless rewrites and redesigns, 3 or 4 completed pages that will never see webcomic glory… I finished page one and I’m really, really happy with it. Page 2 is thumb nailed out and ready to go.

With a new “LazyComix Presents” on deck, it looks like there’ll be plenty of new Comix over at the site.

Here’s a lil’ sneak preview… Stay tuned.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Here's a few books that won't be late!

With the recent announcement that every comic made from now until the end of time will probably be late… (and it ain’t the Letterer's fault, folks!) Here’s a couple comics you can pick up and enjoy right now.

Brownsville by Neil Klied and Jake Allen
I’m a bit of a New York City Organized Crime Buff and this is a great little Graphic Novel about the Jewish Gangsters of the 1930’s. Great writing and art and just a fun read. Check it out.

Scott Pilgrim by Bryan Lee O'Malley
Picked this up on the suggestion of about every darn person who posts in the “Indy Book” thread over at the Bendis board. At the same time, this book caused a little riff between folks who’ll read a book like Scott Pilgrim and folks who’ll only read the superhero stuff from the Big 2. Why one would limit themselves to only reading superhero books is beyond me, but whatever, that’s a topic for another time. Anyway, Scott Pilgrim is an absolute blast. Loved every page of it. Laugh out loud funny, great writing and dialogue, and innovative to boot. Get out there and pick it up. I’ve only read Volume 1…. But I can’t wait to get my hands on Volumes 2 and 3. Link

Stay tuned folks and Go Yankees.

--randy

Thursday, August 10, 2006

NYComix Episode Eight


The latest NYComix is finally up at LazyComix.com.

Check it out here and give feedback!

--Randy

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Bolds Bolds Everywhere Bolds

What’s the deal with bold words in comics? I’ve never gotten a straight answer as to what the heck they’re supposed to mean. The best answer I’ve ever gotten, and the one that makes the most sense is that they’re supposed to show you where the speaker would be putting an emphasis in his/her speech. I’ve seen actors circle words in their lines to show where their voice should change to show emotion. Alec Guinness was an actor that did this with his scripts.

The “smash” being where the Green Goliath raised his voice at the height of his anger.

A curse word would be another place where a bold would suffice.

However, being the one responsible for bolding these words as I transfer the script to the comic page, I realize that 99.9% of the bold words I see are completely ridiculous. Words that just make no sense are bolded over and over again. And if you were to read the dialogue with the speech emphasis idea placed on the bolded words, it would sound so silly and absurd that the writing would lose any impact the writer intended. Instead turning into something quite funny. However unintentional it may be.

That’s the kind of stuff I usually see. The only thing I can think of is that the writer is using bold words as a “Hi-Lighter”, emphasizing words he thinks are important and that the reader should notice. In my opinion, you should have confidence in your writing and dialogue, if you did, you wouldn’t need to hi-light an important point. It would come across through your story. It’s like ringing a bell after every important point or hitting your reader over the head as if he/she is incapable of understanding the scene you’re presenting.

I’ve done hand written letters. Complete with paper captions, a hand written font, which was loaded with bold words. When was the last time you sat down to write a letter and used 2 pens? One fine point and the other with a thick point for bold words? Probably never. When’s the last time you used a bold word in a casual email? Maybe once in a while, but I can’t remember getting an email with a bolded word.

Well, that’s it for now. Hope you liked my Andy Rooney-esque Blog. It was a much therapeutic as it was fun to write. Now go read a comic out loud and laugh at what you sound like as you emphasize the bold words.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Mural


Ereisa and I can’t believe we don’t have this mural to work on anymore. Basically everyday for 3 weeks, we worked all day and then headed into Manhattan to work on this. Throw in weekends and you’ve got 2 exhausted artists.

Hopefully this is just the first of many murals to come.

Monday, July 31, 2006

DC Comic Fan?

Back with some comic updates and talk.

The first page of the Randall Relaunch is inked. Two more pages to go, I’ll be coloring this one, so I want to take my time with that. I’m not a huge fan of coloring comics, I find it a little boring and tedious, but I’m hoping to do something fun with this one, something much different than the spotty job I did with the old Randall.

In the meantime, I’m working on the latest NYComix. I’m trying to add as much texture and detail to this NYComix as I can. So, as with Randall, I’m taking my time with it. Stay tuned and thanks for bearing with this rather long drought of no new comix.

And Ereisa and I will finally finish the mural tonight. We went a shade over 3 weeks. At first we planned on finishing in two and we basically did finish the mural in that time, but another piece in the office added the extra week. Look for pictures of the mural later this week.

I picked up a few comics last week as well.

Tricked by Alex Robinson
I absolutely loved Robinson’s last graphic novel, Box Office Poison. So I was really looking forward to Tricked. Unfortunately, I must say I didn’t dig Tricked as much. I had a hard time connecting to the music storyline, I found a lot of the characters unlikable and the characters I did like weren’t in the book enough. But, being that I loved BOP so much, I’m looking forward to Robinson’s next book.

Savage Dragon #0 “The Origin Issue”
One of the best Origin stories I’ve ever read. If Larsen ever decides to end the Dragon comic, he’s got a potential whopper of a storyline if he chooses to connect it to this origin story. It’s only a $1.95 so go pick it up.

The Goon #16.
I finally found this issue. It was sold out at Midtown comics, luckily I found the lone issue sitting on the shelf at Jim Hanley’s. As always, this comic kicks ass. You’re probably sick of me talking about how great it is, so I’ll stop.

Batman #655
The first issue of the Grant Morrison/Andy Kuburt run. I can’t believe where my mainstream comic tastes have gone. I’ve been a lifetime Marvel zombie, only reading DC comics when I got one for free or the art looked interesting. Now I don’t read any Marvel books and my 2 fave mainstream comics are both by Grant Morrison. A writer whose esoteric work used to annoy the crap out of me. All Star Superman and now Batman. This latest issue of Batman was just a fun issue with a great cliffhanger. Throw in some great art by Kuburt and I’m on board with this book for a while. AS Superman is a little different, but I’m digging what Morrison is doing with telling the story really fast, almost making the reader draw conclusions and put the story together as you go. I’ll take that any day over the decompression jazz we’re seeing so much of lately.


That’s it. Stay tuned and thanks for reading.
--Randy

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Howard Chaykin



I’ve never read a Howard Chaykin comic, but I love his art. I just haven’t gotten around to reading any of his stuff. If any of you out there have any suggestions as to where is a good place to start, let me know. I heard American Flagg was great.

Over at Starwars.com they have an original 1977 poster by Chaykin available for download. Cool as hell.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Reviews

I mentioned earlier that Ereisa and I have been working on a mural in Midtown Manhattan. We’ve been working on it for about 6 days now, all this after we work our regular jobs, and we’re about 75% done. I can’t wait to post the pictures of the finished mural. I think it looks pretty damn cool.

On the way to the mural I stopped by the comic shop for the first time in weeks. For those of you who’ve never been to Midtown comics in Times Square, going there on a Wednesday is like entering a total madhouse. You can barely get up to the shelves to grab a book. So as a follow up to my top five all-time comics last Blog, I’ve actually got some comics to review. Here goes…

1. The Goon #18
Far and away my favorite comic on the shelves today. Great writing, amazing art and a hilarious letter’s page. Plus a sweet pin-up by Mike Allred and a fun back-story.

2. The Escapists
A cool comic for a buck. I picked up one issue of the previous Escapist comic, but they were like 6 bucks a pop, so at that price, I dropped it. This relaunch is supposed to be at regular comic price, so with writing by Brian K. Vaughan and cool art by Philip Bond, you can’t go wrong. If you enjoyed by book by Michael Chabon, give this comic a shot.

3. Savage Dragon #127
Constantly one of the best superhero comics on the shelves. Erik Larsen now does all the art chores from writing to hand lettering. The Mr. Glum story has been a blast. If you’re tired of boring, drawn out stories about 2 heroes sipping coffee in a diner for 3 issues, pick up an issue of Dragon, it’s good ol’ superhero fun.

4. Eternals
I gave this a shot because of Romita Jr.’s art and because it’s a story created by Jack Kirby. I’ve never read a Neil Gaiman book… no Sandman, I tried the 1602 (I think that was the name) book he did a while back and I couldn’t get though it… just too darn slow for me. Unfortunately, this one is going the same way for me. The art is fantastic, I loved it, but I just don’t have the patience for a long story-setup. Sounds bad and I know Gaiman is a god among many comic fans, but it’s just not for me.


I’ve come to realize that I’m just into the recent trend in comics. I don’t know if it’s people writing for Trades or the influx of movie/television creators writing comics or whatever, but I grew up on Star Wars and Indiana Jones. Two seconds into Star Wars and we had a space battle and Three minutes later Darth Vader was kicking ass and we didn’t even know his name. Indiana Jones was in a cave after some gold statue and was running away from a giant rock before you settled into your seat. These are the kind of stories I like… give me action and let me put the pieces together as we go. “Hook ‘em early and often” I say. You’re probably reading this, Jared, I’d love to hear what you think of this stuff.

I’ll finish up with a picture I snapped in Soho last Saturday…















Thanks for Readin’.
--Gent

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Random Randomness

One problem I’ve always had with my work is my inability to stick with the same thing for too long. I’ll always come back to it, but I need another project to keep my interest up.

Right now I have 3 scripts written for 3 different comics. Randall, NYComix and a graphic novel. Three panels of the 1st page of Randall are penciled. NYComix is written but needs to be tweaked and ran by my “editor”. I’m writing the graphic novel in script format. I don’t want to worry about panel layouts; they just slow me down, so I’m around 50 pages into the story… with probably another 50 to go. On top of all this, I’m working on my first mural with Ereisa. The mural is in an office in Manhattan and we’re probably halfway done with it. It’s a blast; I’m enjoying it so much.

On top of all this I still have my usually lettering workload. Needless to say, I’m exhausted. My schedule has basically been working from 8-5, then heading into Manhattan to work on the mural from 6 to 9. It’s been that way for a week and it’ll stay that way for at least a week more.

I wish I had some comic reviews to do, but I haven’t bought a new comic in weeks. I’ve been re-reading Sin City on the way into Manhattan and that comic is so insanely good. So if you haven’t read Sin City, go pick some up. They released them in neat little Trade Paperbacks and they’re easily in my Top 5 favorite comics of all-time. Maybe even my in my Top 3… Drumroll...

LazyComix Top 5 Comics of All-Time.

1. Amazing Spider-Man #26-27
The Man in the Crime-Master's Mask
From July of 1965 this is the comic that got me into comics. At 2 issues long and about 40 pages long Stan Lee and Steve Ditko crammed more fun, action, drama and teen angst into this storyline than damn near every comic writer today could thinly spread into a 12 issue run. It’s got classic Peter Parker drama, Spidey Action, a faulty costume, the Green Goblin, mystery, crime noir, and everything you’d expect from a Stan Lee written comic. My brother had a reprint of this storyline and I couldn’t get enough of it.

2. The Goon
The only “mainstream” comic made today that you’ll see on my list. Eric Powell is the best writer/artist working in comics today. The Goon, like the early Spidey stuff, is full of action, fun, great storyline, and laugh out loud humor. Powell is doing comics his own way with his own characters. Great stuff that I read over and over again.

3. Sin City
As I mentioned earlier, this is another comic that I can read again and again and enjoy if more every time. Frank Miller is probably my favorite superhero comic creator ever. For some reason, the fanboys on various message boards like to give him crap, but they seem to forget that he’s responsible for the best Batman comics ever as well as the best Daredevil comics ever. Throw in his own stuff like Sin City and you’ve got a creator with a laundry list of the greatest comics ever. You’d think he’d get a pass for a few splash pages in All-Star Batman and Robin… but that would be asking message board Fanboys to be rational. How they bash Miller while at the same time going on and on about some decompressed story full of bad photo reference is beyond me. Anyway, go pick up any comic by Frank Miller.

4. American Splendor
I’ve mentioned Harvey Pekar many times in the Blog, he’s the biggest influence on my work and anything he writes, I’ll buy. He’s been doing different, autobiographical comics for years and they’re amazing reads. From going to the grocery store to peeling an orange, Pekar makes amazing comics out of the most mundane daily tasks. Look for new Splendor comics out of DC/Vertigo this September.

5. R. Crumb Comix
This isn’t a specific comic, but rather anything done by R. Crumb. There are dozens of Crumb comics out there and they’re all worth picking up. Like Pekar, Crumb makes comics about anything and everything. Shocking to funny. On top of that, he’s such an amazing artist.


So there ya go, my impromptu Top Five Comics of All Time List. That could change tomorrow, though. Some other stuff that almost made the cut were Savage Dragon by Erik Larsen, anything by Jim Mahfood, and the Daredevil run by Miller as well as Dark Knight Returns and Batman: Year One.

I’ll leave you with a couple movie trailers.

Spider-Man 3

And

Rocky Balboa.
Yup. Rocky 6. I’m an unabashed Rocky Movie and Stallone flick aficionado. I’ve even seen and enjoyed Rocky 5 more than once. Yeah, I said it. This trailer actually looks really good.

Thanks for reading,
Gent

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Quick Hits

A couple quick things here before the long holiday weekend.

The Cleveland Arts Prize Organization awarded comic book great, Harvey Pekar with their Lifetime achievement award. It’s well deserved.




















And the ever-evolving saga of Randall is starting to take shape. Here’s a quick shot of what it’s going to look like.



It’s subject to change and obviously there’s been some significant changes to Randall himself… let me know what you think of the new look.

The story is written and ready to go. I have just to iron out a few character designs and get started. I’m playing around with how I’m going to present this comic. It’s going to be purely a web comic. I’ll probably throw it into a mini comic someday, but for now, I’m trying to breakdown each story into 2 page “arcs”… the first page will be sequential and the second page a full-page “cliffhanger” leading into the next sequential page, followed by another full-page cliffhanger. This way I can update quicker and give the book an easier to follow web comic feel plus it’ll be a little different than the usual web comic fare.

We’ll see how that works out and how long I stick to it.

Stay tuned.

--Gent

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Quick Sketches



Just a couple of quick ink sketches of my two fave Jazz artists.... Monk and Coltrane.

Also, go out and pick up Jim Mahfood's Stupid Comics Trade paperback. Awesome stuff from one of the best comic creators out there. You might even learn something after reading this book.

Check him out here...

Thanks,
Gent

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

FBR Promo


There is a ton of comic book Podcasts out there… but Fanboy Radio remains my fave.

My main man Scott Hinze, the Grand Poobah of FBR, asked me to do a piece of promo art for the next episode, featuring Scott Kurtz of PVP fame.

Check it out and tune into Fanboy Radio every Sunday and Wednesday.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Behind the NYComix

It’s been so long since I’ve done a new NYComix, I figured I’d bring something a little extra to the table with the latest comic.

The best part of this “Making Of” is that I’m not sure how it’s going to turn out. I’m experimenting with a few different things, which I’ll get into as we go along.

First a little background on this NYComix “One Shot”.

If you haven’t checked out any of the earlier One Shots, head on over here. The premise behind these comics is that they are one-page, one-panel comics. You could call them splash pages… a full-page a shot… whatever floats your Fanboy-Boat.

As with all my NYComix, they’re all-true comics about my various New York City moments. What separates the One Shots from the longer, sequential NYComix is that every one is a word-by-word account of what happened. Each comic is a real snippet of conversation, and when I’m lucky enough to hear one that piques my interest, I quickly jot it down in my little notebook right on the spot.

The characters and settings are reproduced to the best of my ability. This particular setting is the steps of the St. Patrick’s Cathedral on 5th Avenue, I took some shots of the Cathedral with my digital camera and the characters themselves are represented as I remembered them. I didn’t take a picture of this guy, as I was too disgusted with what he said. Plus, it’s probably not even legal to take a picture of someone for reference for reproduction in a comic without his/her consent. (Blah, blah, blah legal stuff I don’t care about, so I just go by memory to save myself the trouble.)

Now to the actual page.



PENCILS


First step are the pencils. Which are pretty rough. I rely more on my inks to get the shadow, depth and texture I’m looking for. I found that doing that with a pencil, only to ink over it later is a waste of time. I’m also giving all the One Shots a similar composition. This will likely change later on, but for now, I’m kinda digging that idea.





















INKS


Inking is done with the usual suspects. Higgins Black Magic Ink and a Windsor & Newton Sable brush. I use a Size 0 for the small stuff and a Size 3 for the bolder areas. I try to start going left to right, so as to not smudge the inks. This doesn’t always work, however, but I can always fix it in PhotoShop.

I’m still not sure where I’m going on the texture of the Cathedral. I’m going to use a lot of black in the shadows, but the hatching on the stones is still up in the air. I might have to do a little research and find some good pictures of the texture of stone buildings. In the meantime I’ll ink as much of this as I can before I move on to my first hand lettered balloon.




















LETTERING

I’m seriously considering switching to hand lettering. The more I look at the computer lettering on my old stuff, the less I like it. The style works for superhero books, but for what I’m doing, it doesn’t match up. It’s real slick and computer looking while my art is loose inks and crosshatching. Plus I use one of Chris Eliopoulos’ fonts, and while I’m lucky enough to have access to fonts made by the best letterer in the biz. It’s not my work.

While I like to hand letter, it’s a time consuming process and adding more time to an already erratic schedule with my comics is something I don’t want to do. Another option is making a font of my lettering and drawing the balloons in illustrator. That way I can play with them, duplicate and resize as necessary, etc. In the meantime, this is a 2-balloon page so hand lettering takes no time at all. I’ll have to tweak some of the lettering if Photoshop, but only to center the type.




















SHADOWS AND BRUSH FINISHES


With the lettering done I can finish up inking the shadows and bigger areas with the brush. Earlier I mentioned that I was going to try to add more texture to the stones, but as I saw the page coming together, I realized that it would be overkill. I think it works fine as is. Also, after I finished the page, I realized that I left out the “Wait” balloon. So I did that on a separate page and pasted it on the board.




















So there it is, the finished page. I’m going to add a little Title to the top left in Illustrator and that’ll be that.

Head on over here to see the finished product
and please write with any comments, questions and if you’re a fellow comic creator feel free to drop some tips and/or suggestions.

Thanks!
--Randy

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Update and Recommended Stuff

Another huge gap in posts, but what are ya gonna do? Lettering has been kinda crazy, throw a holiday in there and before you know a few weeks have gone by.

Got a few things in the works. There’ll be a new NYComix One-Shot very soon. It’s penciled and ready for inks, but it’s one of the more detailed pages I’ve done. I try to do that on the One-Shot comics. I didn’t on the last one about the Hot Dog salesman and it’s probably the least favorite of the bunch for me. I’m even going to hand letter this one. I’m about as spent on computer lettering as a person can be. Plus I’m not sure if it jives with my art. It seems pasted over (which it basically is)… although it saves a ton of time, I’ll be looking to do more hand lettering in future comix.

I’m also way behind on the Baseball Illustrations for Spikeballparks. I’ve got a thumbnail ready, so I have to work out that piece soon as well.

Got a few Recommended Comics, Books and Flicks too.

Comics

Powers Hardcover.
Finally finished reading this one and I really enjoyed it. I’m pretty down on mainstream comics right now, but Powers really has an independent, crime-noir feel to it. If you get a chance pick up the Hardcover or better yet, pick up the first “Who Killed Retro-Girl?” Trade Paperback. Good stuff.

Invincible
Fellow VC letterer Rus Wooton was nice enough to mail me a trade of Robert Kirkman’s Superhero comic out of Image Comics. This book really made me feel like there’s hope for Superhero comics in today’s industry. While Marvel and DC are the top selling superhero comics, none of them have the fun, the action and the character development that Kirkman is putting into every issue of this book. I’m a huge fan of mid to late 1970’s comics and Invincible is like an updated version of those great books. It takes itself seriously but at the same time it’s not afraid to have a mad scientist with a giant brain, or a one-eyed alien who can fly and kick ass. If you’re tired of the mainstream superhero comics endless babbling and sparse action, pick up an issue of Invincible.

Books

The Man in the High Castle
Philip K. Dick has become one of my favorite writers and this book has really made me think, and the thing is… I’m not even sure what to think. But that’s a good thing. Sounds weird, but I can’t wait to get my hands on another PKD novel.

Flicks

The Good The Bad and the Ugly.

Spaghetti Westerns at their best by Italian director Sergio Leone. An absolutely beautifully shot movie that at 3 hours long left me wanting to see more. It’s an “art film” and a action flick all rolled into one. Gotta move Leone’s Dollars Trilogy to the top of my Netflix Queue.


That’s it. Stay tuned for that NYComix One-shot.

--Gent

Friday, May 12, 2006

Found Art


I took this photo over a year ago in the 7th Avenue subway station in Brooklyn…

There’s a great culture of street art in Brooklyn but this was one of the cooler things I’ve seen in the Park Slope area. Places like Williamsburg are just crawling with artists. The graffiti in that neighborhood is fantastic and there are things like this framed piece all over. I don’t particularly like the art itself in this frame, but the idea of framing something and just leaving it in a subway station is really cool, especially knowing that it will be eventually thrown out by an MTA employee…maybe someone picked it up.

--Gent

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Letterer Without a Crew


So I haven’t posted a new Blog in ages. It’s been a number of things, ranging from that Home Run King illustration I did for Spike ballparks. Which took me much longer than I thought it would. It was tougher to take a jab at Barry Bonds than I thought. I didn’t want to be too blatant and just bash him. It would’ve been easy to do that, but less is more… I think that came across in the illustration.

I’ve also been adjusting to some changes that have come in via my lettering gig. Essentially it adds up to us being dragged into the production wing of comics. We’ve always been lowest on the totem pole, but not far down enough I guess. Because of this I’ve really been searching for more creative outlets…stuff outside of comics. The baseball gig has scratched that itch but I’m still looking for more. I’ve been researching Mini DV cameras and writing a script. I’m kicking around the idea of a live action trailer for a black and white underground comic. Just something, anything that takes the comics I’m doing to a place that I and people reading them wouldn’t expect. Why not a movie that promotes the comic? Flip da script as the kids say.

Quick plug for a movie I checked out the other day. Robert Rodriguez’s Once Upon a Time in Mexico. This guy is making movies is own way… writing, directing, shooting, editing, scoring, production design… he basically does it all. In the 70’s when guys like Lucas, Coppola, Scorsese, DePalma and the rest of the “Movie Brats” where coming up, they make movies from start to finish, the Auteur Theory of filmmaking with one person being the “author” of the film. Today’s Hollywood seems to just churn crap out like an assembly line…. (kinda sounds like some comics) Rodriquez is really one of the few young filmmakers that are outside of Hollywood (in Texas) shooting movies fast, cheap and with high quality. He and Quinten Tarantino are two of the auteur filmmakers that emerged in the 90's.

There’s and energy and just fun and enjoyable aspect to his flicks that really appeal to me. He doesn’t take himself too seriously, his first film, El Mariachi is one of the success stories that young filmmakers look at. He shot the movie for $7000 bucks and caught the attention of Hollywood by doing so. Of course, there are a lot of folks who dispute this budget, most of which seem to be bitter film geeks, but no matter how you look at it the guy literally became a human guinea pig by volunteering for human research studies to earn money to make Mariachi. So in my opinion, split hairs all you want on the 7000 dollars, they guy became a pincushion to make his film.

Mariachi and Mexico are just fun, fast-paced action flicks with great quirky characters. There’s a great DVD extra called “10 minute Flick School” and an even better book about the making of Mariachi called “Rebel Without a Crew”. If you’re in need of an inspiration story to get your work kick-started, check ‘em out.

Stay tuned, I’ve got a new NYComix in the penciled stage…should be ready in a week or so.

--Gent

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Yankee Comics Posted!

A while back I mentioned how I was going to be doing some Yankee Centric comic books for a great sports site www.spikeballparks.com. So far, I have 2 illustrations up there with more to come.

I’m hoping to get some comics going as well as some other illustrations not dealing only with the Yankees, even though they’re the only team that deserves attention. ; )

So go check ‘em out, they're in the "Randy's Comics" section... big thanks to Spike for letting me be a part of the site.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

What To Do About Randall…

I don’t know quite how long ago I posted the last chapter of Randall, my first web comic. It was around 2001 that Randall showed up in my sketchbook and I began to seriously consider getting my work “out there” via this character whom was once so freshly realized in my mind. Now almost 6 years later and 22 pages into a 44-page “origin” story, I’m stuck creatively on a character and story that was once pouring onto the page faster than I could keep up. Beyond the first 44 fully scripted pages are pages and pages of notes for the further adventures of Randall, notes that could easily translate to 100 pages or more of sequential art.

I was going to finish up the 44-page Origin story and then move into a more slick and hopefully professional looking Randal comic. But no matter how good I manage to get the comic to look those first 44 pages will just be that awful 2nd grade class picture that your mother takes out to embarrass you in front of your girlfriend. I can’t flip through Randall without peering at it through my fingers like a horror movie. So what do I do? Just bag it? I’ve thought about it but I just can’t. Randall is this part of me that even if every other person who has ever read it hates it, I’ll still want to do it. He’s a link to a time in my life when everything changed. I first doodled the little guy in my sketchbook around July or August of 2001, then came September 11th and Randall became my way to escape the suddenly immensely changed city and world that I live in. I was also encouraged to make Randall comics by my then new girlfriend and now soon to be wife, Ereisa… so how can I let him go?

So here’s what’s going to happen: Randall Redux. Take what you may have read in the first 22 pages of Randall and forget it. Matter of fact, if you haven’t read it, read it now because its days are numbered. Once the new Randall pages go up, the old will be gone. Only to return in a Randall Retrospective Showcase Hardcover Edition printed years from now by some lucky funny book publisher. :)

My goal is to take those existing Randall pages and boil them down to 10 pages or less. One thing besides the art that is really weak about Randall is the long-winded jokes and exposition that I put into a simple and fun comic book about a kid who gets superpowers but would rather play video games than save the world. Steven Spielberg once said that he wants stories that he can hold in the palm of his hand. “Shark terrorizes a beach town.” Randall needs to be nothing more than just that. A simple fun story that you can hold in the palm of your hand.

Stan Lee did the same thing. “Nerd gets bit by a radioactive spider and becomes a superhero.” It’s just simple fun stuff. I think some of the mainstream comics of today need to get back to that. They seem so desperate for “respectability” that they’re trying to write these adult stories that just seem flat and contrived, meanwhile the genre of movies that their “respectable” stories will be turned into are comic book movies, i.e. “Popcorn Flicks”. Nobody wants to see a serious, thinking man’s Spider-Man flick. Fanboys do, mainly because they tend to take the superhero genre a bit too seriously. Folks want to a superhero movie where our hero flies around and kick super villain ass. Meanwhile pick up any comic and you’re likely to find an out-of-costume hero sitting in a diner for 22 pages as he spouts a long-winded soliloquy about life as a hero. If you’re lucky, maybe he’ll put his mask on for a panel or two, but that’ll be a devise to get you to buy next issue under the false pretense that our hero will do something heroic soon. Don’t be surprised if “Diner Soliloquy: Part 2” sees the return of our street clothed hero ordering desert… for 22 pages.

Randall is going to be the exact opposite of the current mainstream comic trend. Flat out fun, more costume than not, more action that you can take, a comic that you can read on the can and not feel like you just bought Trade Paperback filler.

So get ready for some Randall Redux, whether you like it or not.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Comic Book Removed from Library

http://www.desertdispatch.com

http://www.newsarama.com

I try not to get too political in my work and even on this little blog, but nothing brings out my political side more than the government’s enforcement of their “obscenity laws”… from Howard Stern to cartoon butts on TV, this issue is only gaining steam instead of losing it.

The FCC and any other government official (appointed, or un-appointed as in the case with the FCC) is something that people really need to take issue with. If you’re a comic book fan, a literature fan, a film fan, or a TV fan…. The more people allow the FCC and whoever else the government deems worthy of deciding what we can or can’t see, the more this issue will turn our lives into one big Andy Griffith Show… it’s only a matter of time before they’re sticking their noses into Cable TV, satellite radio and even movies. Which, part of me hopes will happen… as soon as Tony Soprano can’t curse on HBO maybe people will wake up and call the FCC out as the fraud they are.

The minority is beating the hell out of the silent majority in this issue and it has to stop. I mean, look at this line from the articles I linked to:

“The library noted that she was the only person to have complained about the book’s content since it joined the collection in May of last year, and had been checked out over 100 times since.”

So hey, if you love comics and Tony Soprano dropping the F-Bomb every other line, go complain, make your voice heard. Write a letter to your congressman, stop listening to corporate ran “terrestrial radio”…. Anything that shows these “family value” pushing clowns that you don’t want them making decisions for you is a good thing…it’s coming faster than you think and when it does, it’ll probably be too late.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Harvey Pekar in person!


Anyone who has read NYComix sees the immediate influence of Harvey Pekar. Pekar is above and away the most influential writer in my work. His comix with R. Crumb changed my views on comics and knocked me off the one-way Superhero highway that I was speeding down my entire life. (Can I use “superhero” anymore or will one of the giant comic conglomerates sue me?)

Harvey was speaking last night at the Union Square Barnes & Noble, so Ereisa and I took a ride to see it. I rarely take advantage of the daily signings and speakers who visit bookstores throughout NYC, but Pekar is an exception. It was a blast to see him in person and geek out and get his signature.

In other news, I redesigned my site, streamlined it a bit, eliminated a page and replaced it with another. I still have a bit more work to do on it, but it’s getting there. That first page of “LazyComix Presents…” is penciled and I think it’ll work out well. I got the idea from one of Ereisa’s favorite comic artists: Phoebe Glockner… unfortunately I’m not even close to as good an artist as her, so we’ll see if it works out. Feel free to drop me a line about the new site, good or bad and especially if there are any links off.

Stay tuned folks, and thanks for reading.

--Gent

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Getting Closer...

So the upcoming Yankee Baseball comics are on their way… It’s strange how I’m actually wondering where to start, I have a ton of ideas banging around in my head, so hopefully by the end of today I’ll be started down the road toward the first installment.

In the meantime the first wave of my newest LazyComix line of strips “LazyComix Presents” is almost ready. Strangely, I’ve drawn and inked the entire story, but I’ve yet to decide on page 1… I usually start on page 1, but I’ve been holding off on it, unfortunately there’s no way I can wait as the rest of the strip is done. So I’ll have to work this problem out in addition to the first Yankee comic.

When LazyComix Presents debuts, so will the third redesign of the site. It’s not a major overhaul like last time, but it’s just cleaner and to the point. Folks are coming to the site to read comix, not to get a fancy website experience. At least that’s my theory.

So, stay tuned, it’s slow going but with a plethora of comics to letter, who knows when the big debut will come.

--Gent

Thursday, March 30, 2006

New York Yankee Cartoons?


A few weeks ago I left my weekly comic at Pixelstrips. I didn’t want to, but since then, I’ve made a ton of progress on new comics, stories and I’ve even started another redesign of the website.

The new line of comics is going to be called “LazyComix Presents”… and it’s going to cover a bunch of topics ranging from musings and anecdotes to fiction to non-fiction comics dealing with New York City history and whatever else captures my imagination.

Under the “LazyComix Presents” line of comics I was planning on doing few comics based on some of the great Baseball stories of the past. Babe Ruth’s called shot, Jackie Robinson stealing home during the World Series… I did a lot of player portraits during art school and I thought about doing comics back then about baseball, but I knew my drawing wasn’t up-to-par yet.

So here’s where it gets interesting. I was flipping through Craigslist yesterday as I do from time-to-time and I come across a guy looking for a writer to cover the Yankees this season. So, I shoot him and email, tell him that I’d love to give it a shot and I pitch the idea of doing some baseball comics or even some NY Post-style “Political Cartoons” about the Yankee season. We’re still talking at this point, but it’s basically crossing the T’s and dotting the “I’s”.

What makes this a little less stressful at hitting the weekly deadline at Pixelstrips is that there won’t be a weekly deadline. At least not for a full 6-Panel page… and really, I was getting a bit burned out on NYComix day after day, so following the Yanks and doing some fun cartoon, maybe even a article about the ever turbulent Yankee Kingdom seems almost too good to be true for a Lifelong Yankee fan. I mean Ereisa and I watch literally every Yankee game of the season, so it won’t feel like work.

So stay tuned, I’m not ready to give out the specifics at this point, but the new gig is going to be somewhere along those lines.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Recommendation

Quick post today…. After flipping through this book a few times at the comic shop, I finally picked up Chris Ware’s ACME Novelty Datebook.

Amazing. Go buy it.

More stuff to come real soon, including a new line of comic strips coming out of my own LazyComix Studio, and by “studio” I mean me. : )

I’m shooting for the end of next week.

Stay tuned.

--Gent

Thursday, March 16, 2006

NYComix No Longer at PixelStrips.com

As of today, NYComix will no longer be appearing at Pixelstrips. I came to this decision myself as a number of factors contributed to the decision. One: My lettering work has really picked up lately… while the past few days have been the first time in a while I haven’t had a looming deadline, my lettering work has to take precedence. It pays the bills and Chris really helped us out this past year, so when I’m lettering I have to put as much into it as I can. The other things that lead to this decision were the feelings that this last storyline has really lacked the quality that I want NYComix to have. I don’t mind duplicating panels with the story allows, but I don’t want to do it for the sake of saving time. It was hard for me to look at the last few pages, so when that happens, its time to reevaluate what I’m doing. I also really hate missing deadlines. It’s something that I’ve never done with my lettering and I carry that over to my own comics.

And really, I have so many other stories I want to draw. I’ve got around 40 plus pages of NYComix done, and while there’s plenty more to come, I need a little break to recharge my desire to do the comic. In the meantime I’ve got a new line of strips that I want to start. Ultimately, LazyComix is going to be a group of comics that I do… like a one-man comic studio. Somewhere down the line I’d love to bring in other writers and artists, but right now, I’d want to have 3 different comics all under the LazyComix banner. NYComix being the “headliner” with a revamped “Randall” as well as a Third tentatively titled: “In My Head”. There’s also a Fourth waiting in the wings, which will be the most ambitious of the group.

I’m going to really start pushing LazyComix and NYComix around the web in the coming months. With a revamped website, web banners around some popular comics sites, some sponsorships on podcasts and who knows what else. It’s time to start pushing this stuff. “The Squeaky Wheel Gets the Oil” as they say back in Saugerties.

So stay tuned. I apologize to those who’ve been following my work at Pixelstrips. Thanks for you support and please stop by here and LazyComix.com. There’ll be plenty more NYComix and other work in the coming weeks.

In the meantime, keep supporting Pixelstrips.com. It’s a great web comic site with a lot of very talented artists. Where else can you get 20 comics a month for 2 bucks?

Big thanks to Kevin Volo for letting me be a part of the site. Good luck and keep up the great work.

--Randy