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 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

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.


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.