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!


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!


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.


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,

Sunday, October 15, 2006

My Goodness...

I joined the mess that is MySpace....

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


Wednesday, October 11, 2006

NYComix Episode 9

A while back NYComix was a part of… 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 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,

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.