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


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.


Thursday, March 16, 2006

NYComix No Longer at

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 There’ll be plenty more NYComix and other work in the coming weeks.

In the meantime, keep supporting 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.


Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Am I the only one who feels like this?

I’ve been insanely busy with lettering the last few weeks, so I haven’t made it to the comic shop in about a month. I finally got a break around 3 o’clock yesterday so I decided to head in the City and visit a shop. I usually go to Jim Hanley’s Universe or Midtown Comics, but I’m in the beginning stages of research for a possible graphic novel so I wanted to see if The Strand Bookstore had some out-of-print books that I’ve been looking for. The Strand is in Union Square so I stopped by Forbidden Planet, hoping to catch up on the comics I’ve missed the past few weeks.

So here’s where I got a real jolt of reality. There wasn’t a single “mainstream” comic that piqued my interest. Four weeks worth of new books and I didn’t buy a single one. I’m pretty sure that working in the industry for the past 5 or 6 years has jaded me a bit, but I didn’t realize that my jadedness had gone this far. It’s just starting to feel like everything has been done before in some form or another. Does mainstream comics need new blood? Maybe it does...I mean it seems like it’s the same fraternity of guys writing all the “important” books. It used to be that the “event” comics were spaced out over time. One every year or two… Secret War and Infinity Gauntlet being two that comes to mind. Now it seems like it’s one after another after another, in my opinion, if you keep bombarding your readers with big event comics over and over with no break in sight, you’re going to lose that excitement that is key in getting people interested in these events. Nobody will care about the event if they know there’s another 2 or 3 coming up right after this one. Killing off a character used to be a big deal. Think of Elektra’s death in Daredevil or Gwen Stacy’s in Spider-Man. They meant something… they shocked people, now when someone dies we’re only a story arc away from the big “Return”. I used to laugh at the storylines of Daytime Soap Opera’s, but mainstream comics aren’t far off at all. They’re so alike that it’s hard for me to even think about it without being embarrassed.

Keep in mind that I’m just a lonely letterer. But first and foremost I love comics. There’s been a lot of talk lately about the influx of Hollywood talent that has come on and started writing books. While this is great, and these guys are talented people, but really what makes a guy who writes a show on the WB more capable of writing a book than a guy who has been writing comics for his entire career? Do the companies think they’re making themselves more legitimate this way? Maybe they do, maybe they don’t.

It goes back to me thinking that the sooner the comic industry stops looking at itself as Hollywood’s bastard little brother, the sooner they’ll get that respect they so desire. How many times have you read a creator interview where he says that he’s trying to make comics more “cinematic”? How about those reviews where the writer has “Tarantino-like” dialogue? Or the penciler who is using wide panels to get that “cinematography-feel” to his art? If people want to feel like they’re at the movies they’ll go to a theater or they’ll pop in a DVD, they’re not going to flip through a 3-dollar comic for it. People buy comics to get a comic experience. They go the movies for the theater experience.

Another thing I notice is how mainstream comics have all but completely counted out their female readership. But every single time I walk through the graphic novel section at Barnes & Noble or Boarders there are as many, if not more, girls reading comics than guys, they’re not reading mainstream books, they’re reading Manga. What is it about Manga that gets the girls to read? Has anyone at the big companies thought about this? Are they doing anything to get in on this market? There’ve been a few attempts, but nothing memorable. I think more can be done. It’s worth it… 50% of the readership is basically ignored.

What about kids? Seems like they’re another group that is being given up on. Marvel has a few books and they’re making an effort, but much more can be done. And really, the plug will be pulled the second the books marketed for kids start losing sales and/or money. DC, with the big Infinite event thing they have going on is not only forgetting about new readers, but they’re forgetting about readers like me. I’m not a DC reader, I’ll check out an occasional book, but I’m more than willing to become a regular reader of one or more of their titles. Thing is, when I read about the present event, I’m completely and totally confused. Earth 1 Superman and Earth 2 Superman, different Flash characters, different Green Lanterns… I don’t know where to start and frankly, I don’t want to. How would an 8 year old kid be able to figure out what is going on there? I’ve heard people say that kids don’t want to read comics; they want to play video games. Part of that may be true, but what about the 1000’s and 1000’s of kids lining up around the block at midnight when the new Harry Potter book comes out? Yeah, Harry Potter is a phenomenon that doesn’t come around often, but if it proves anything it proves that kids will read if given a great product. Comics can’t grab all of that audience, but I’m willing to bet some of those kids would enjoy a comic book.

Wow. I really rambled on there. I should place a disclaimer here. Yes, I work in the industry, but that was written as a fan of comics. I love comics and I want to see them succeed and be more than a fringe fraternity of fans who only leave the shadows when a movie is released. I have no “inside” knowledge of what’s going on behind the scenes and I don’t want any. I just want to see the industry, as a whole, push itself further.


Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Random Musings


There is probably thousands of Oscar blogs out here on the intraweb, but get ready for the LazyComix version. I didn’t see any of the Best Picture nominees, hell, I didn’t see damn near every movie nominated. So Brokeback Mountain, Crash, whatever…. When they hit Netflix, I’ll check them out.

What I did see was Revenge of the Sith…. Which was nominated for best makeup and lost. It was not, however, nominated for Visual Effects. Now, I’m not saying it should’ve won, because there are a few movies that should’ve won and Oscar and haven’t. Orson Welles, Alfred Hitchcock and Martin Scorsese all haven’t won and Oscar… go find me 3 filmmakers who’ve influenced movies more than those three. Meanwhile Kevin Costner has a Best Director statue in his house.

Anyway, I’m just trying to figure out how Sith didn’t even manage a nomination? Sure it had more effects than the other flicks, but volume alone shouldn’t warrant a nomination. But maybe high quality on top of volume should? Love or hate the prequels, your distaste with the acting/story/whatever, has nothing to do with the quality of work the guys at ILM put into that movie. Before it’s all said and done, the techniques used on the Prequels is going to change the way Special Effects are used in the future. Digital Stuntmen, Digital Head replacement that allowed an 84 year old Christopher Lee to fight guys 50 years younger than him, General Grevious was one of the most amazing and technically complex CGI characters ever put on screen. The Clone Troopers were built without the use of a 3-D Model scan. How about using a Digital Camera to make the SFX artist’s job easier? The guys at ILM were doing digital work on the movie hours (and sometimes less) after the scene was shot. With a film camera you’re waiting for the film to be processed and then scanned into a computer. You’re also getting some of the best picture quality on the screen. Do these things contribute to an Academy Awards voter’s consideration? I have no idea. Yeah, I’m biased, but a nomination? That’s all I’m saying.


I’ve succumbed to the coolness that is Hardcover comic books. I’ve never bought one before, but yesterday I picked up the Powers Volume One HC Edition and wow. What a cool volume. I’ve only read Powers after it moved to Marvel and frankly, I’m not completely in love with the book. It’s well written and Oeming’s art is great, but I always feel like I’ve missed out on something when I read it. But I’ve stuck with it. A bit part of that is the fact that it has the best Letters Page in comics. Which is a lost art form. Gotta make room for ads, right?

Anyway, I sat down and read the first 2 issues of the book and it’s amazing. Some of the best reading I’ve had in a long, long time. I’ve heard nothing but praise for the “Who Killed Retro Girl” storyline, and so far I see what they mean.

When I finish up, I’ll give another long-winded review.


Pixelstrips is back on track, folks, I’m 99% sure I’ll hit tomorrow’s deadline.

Thanks for reading.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Pixelstrips Page Posted!

Better late than never, I always say... check it out here and keep NYComix as the #3 strip over at Pixelstrips!


Thursday, March 02, 2006

LazyComix Recommended Reading & More


I’m 2 weeks late on my Pixelstrips page. Between the convention and the lettering workload, I barely have time to post this… but I want to update this Blog more often. Maybe a Monday/Wednesday/Friday deal. We’ll see.

I posted over at my Pixelstrips forum that I’d be late with the new page, and what do I see when I go to the front page? NYComix making its first appearance in the Top 5. Figures, when I finally break the Top 5, I don’t have a new page up for folks to read. So I’ll be up tonight drawing so hopefully I can get the new page up before the weekend is over.

Thanks to those who went over there to see the new page and I apologize for being late. I’ll be back on regular schedule soon.


At the Convention last weekend, I picked up a few Trade Paperbacks for 40% off. As well as a comic by on of my favorite creators, Jim Mahfood.

STUPID COMICS #3 by Jim Mahfood (Image)
Anything by Jim Mahfood I’ll check out. He’s one of the most innovative and amazing creators working in comics today. Stupid comics #3 is a collection of short stories dealing with mostly with the 2004 Presidential Election. They’re hilarious and scary at the same time. Just like the election, actually. If you get a shot, pick it up.

JEW GANGSTER by Joe Kubert (iBooks Graphic Novels)
This little hardcover graphic novel by Joe Kubert is one of the best comic reads I’ve had in a long time. As to be expected, Kubert’s art is incredible, he’s on of the all-time greats in the history of comics and even at his age he’s still making incredible work. What really stands out about his art to me is his storytelling. He’s a master and I wish some of the up-and-coming artists would check this book out. He doesn’t rely on fancy panel layout or even heavy, (often overbearing) Photoshop coloring. He just tells a good story, period. With all the coloring effects and easy to spot movie star photo reference around comics these days, it’s nice to see how it was done, and how it should be done.

JINX by Brian Michael Bendis (Image)
I’ve ready plenty of Bendis Marvel stuff and I’ve always been a big fan of his writing. JINX was my first introduction to his art, which surprised me as not being that bad. He’s using a lot of photo reference, but at least it’s not Ben Affleck shots swiped from Google. You can tell Bendis is trying to push the envelope of comic storytelling and JINX was a good read. Made me want to read some more of his earlier work.