Friday, October 24, 2008


YO - Mardou and I will be at APE next week.
Look for us around the Buenaventura table.
I'll be doing signings for Kramers 7.
I might bring some preview pages from Injury 3 - I dunno.

This 'n' that

Kevin H. just put out a book that may be of interest to Injury fans. It's a zine of thumbnail sketches from him, me, and Dan Z. Some early injury concepts in there as well as me trying to figure out what I was gonna do for Kramers #7. A very nice little volume for those of you interested in peering into others' sketchbooks. You can get it from KH here. You can also get the compiled "Amazing Facts" strips which features some of my work in it. Anyway, it's got some great strips in it and a very nice silkscreen cover.

Also - I think this is pretty incredible news. Top Shelf to publish japanese "Ax" anthology. Onsmith showed me some of these books a few years ago. I couldn't read 'em, but they looked incredible. More translations from Japan UG is to be applauded, sez me. I'd love to see more stuff from that dude who did Bakune Young.

new Hamer strip

Here's a strip I did for Vice a couple weeks ago (click the image above). I've also been doing this character in Arthur. It's fun writing quasi-political gags but I'm kinda OD'ing on politics at the moment so I may need to give it a rest soon.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Star Clipper 20th Anniversary Art Show

ART SHOW AT COMIC SHOP TONIGHT. Click here for details. Jason Robards and I teamed up for an Injury-style homage to Star Clipper, St. Louis's venerable comics institution. Jason and I drew twenty portraits of amazing comics characters. Naturally, one of the characters I chose is the Creature from Krogarr (see Kirby image above). I can't post a scan of our piece 'cause we turned it in as soon as the ink dried. You'll have to go to the show to check it out, along with a lot of other cool art.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Injury nominated for Ignatz

Our little comic has been nominated for "Best Series" in the Ignatz Award battle. The award will be voted on by attendees to the SPX comics show, so it's unfortunate none of our gang will be there to glad hand, kiss babies, hand out trinkets, etc. But you know - crowds tend to settle for mediocrity, so I think we've got a fair shot. For anyone planning on attending SPX, a preview of our book can be found here.

This year's ballot actually has some great nominees. My old pal Warren Craghead is up for Outstanding Artist for How To Be Everywhere. Also up for three awards is another artist I'm a big fan of: Michel Rabagliatti. Nice to see he's getting the recognition. Not to mention Gabrielle Bell, Onsmith, David King, Trevor Alixopulos and Greg Means - very cool to see such a great group.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Comics Panel at Mizzou this Sunday

Mardou and I are gonna be up in Columbia, Mo. this Sunday (Sept 14th at 2pm) sitting on a panel about "comic artists in the digital age." This is an event sponsored by Mizzou's Comic Art Collection. It's part of the celebration they're doing for Alley Oop's 75th anniversary. Other artists on the panel include Matt Kindt and Jeff Zwirek, and Frank Stack (I think). Should be fun. I just hope they don't quiz me on "Alley Oop" cause I know virtually nothing about him.
More info and other events at the official site.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Comic Books

One of the hot topics that's been kicked around the blogosphere and the messageboardiverse over the last few years is the state and fate of the indie comic book, or "pamphlet" (as opposed to its currently robust sibling, the indie graphic novel). I follow what gets said as it's long been a topic of interest and it accutely pertains to my book, Injury. Here are a few unsubstantiated thoughts.

Just to clarify, by indie comic, I'm referring to books usually created by single artists working outside the superhero genre such as Tales Designed to Thrizzle, Crickets, Lucky, Uptight, etc. The superhero fans have their own set of discussions going about the fate of the comic book as it pertains to them. Some of them, horrifyingly, refer to comic books as "floppies."

I don't think the indie pamphlet comic will ever die (as is often declared/predicted) unless people stop reading and making printed books altogether. They're just too appealing and easy to make. At worst, the disbursal of these things will just maintain a state of moribund decrepitude. Short of some kind of comic-pocalypse there will always at least be self-produced minis as well as genre-defying books from the larger comics companies (just kidding!). As it stands now, it just seems like selling them in general is an uphill climb.

So why are these things still around? Any of this material can be made available in more accessible formats - paperbacks, pdfs, jpegs etc. And that's where many of the indie comics have gone, leaving the pamphlet comic book to fend for itself in mostly hostile comics shops between such titles as Immortal Iron Fist and Invincible Iron Man. The main reason for publishers to put this kind of book out is advertising. Instead of putting out nothing for 3 years, artists continue to get their work out there and stay in circulation, hopefully building anticipation for a forthcoming and more lucrative collection of work.

The thing is, we could put out a PDF or post everything to Flickr and probably get a similar result. I'm sure many of the same places would review it. You'd have the issue of people not wanting to read stuff on screen, but you already have the issue of people saying they don't like hunting for the book in comic shops (or trying and not finding it), or they don't like paying for the pamphlet, or they don't like reading things that are only 40 pages long. Not to mention the difference in price between print and electronic. So, the negative form factors almost cancel each other out.

I've almost actually convinced myself to just make pdfs. But - as far as that goes, I think the on screen reading experience is pretty crummy. I read stuff on screen like old scanned comics or scanlations, and I usually find myself just breezing through them. I've yet to see a screen that I don't mind staring at for very long. And paperbacks are great, but you have to crank out a ton of work before you can collect it all. I guess that's alright if you don't have a day job.

And there's still quite a few of these books being made. The main problem with comic books is distribution. That's where the creativity needs to be applied. It will be interesting to see how the new publisher-owned comic shops (D&Q, Fantagraphics, Picturebox) pan out. Stores like these, as well as forward-thinking traditional comic shops, are friendly markets for indie comic books. That's still a pretty thin market, though. It'd be great if there was a website that specialized in marketing these kinda books. Indie comics, minicomics, etc. I could see that working really well, but there's a lot of expense tied in with that kind of venture. It'd be a huge pain to operate and the profit margins are already razor thin. You'd pretty much have to also be selling porn or weed or right-wing propaganda like the Catastrophe Shop used to do (wink!).

On the other hand, not that long ago bookstores like Borders were pretty harsh climates for graphic novels. Now that those kinds of books are selling, you've got people coming out of the woodwork making graphic novels. The same could become true of indie comic books if next-generation comic shops drum up a market for them. I would also add though, that artists also need to push to make these things (meaning more books out there - a critical mass). And I apologize for using the term next-generation.

You hear reference to the early 90's being a golden age for indie comics, and there were indeed some great books out at the time, but I feel like the shops were much less sympathetic to those types of books than they are now. Most places I went to would dump Eightball or Dirty Plotte in a box or drawer with the porno comics. These days at least some shops and their customers seem to be open to different stuff. There's definitely more indie/arty stuff out there in general. But paper prices and the overall economy is much different now. I guess that's the main difference - I don't know.

Regarding webcomics - man, let's just not go there for now. That's a whole other RGB-soaked ball of wax.

One thing to think about, your larger book companies that are getting into comics don't seem to see any need for the "pamphlet sells the paperback" thinking. Maybe now that non-comics people are more accepting of graphic novels, there's not as much need to drum up business with the comics cognoscenti by cranking out pamphlets. Maybe when artists are producing books that connect with people in ways other than making character-based adventure stories, it's not as necessary to do the song-and-dance of pamphletizing them. Books about growing up in Iran, or loving the band Queen will find their own audiences.

One sad thing about the state of indie comic books, I feel like if they dry up as an option for artists, it hurts the art of comics in general. If these books are out of the equation as a viable way to develop your stuff, you don't have that graduated step between messing around with minicomics and doing a full blown graphic novel. As an artist, I've got much more incentive to work in 30-40 page chunks rather than to grind away at a 200 pager.

I'm not alone in wishing there were more indie comic books out there. I mean, seriously, what would you rather do, pick up a new issue of Injury, or download a PDF of it and "fan" us on Facebook? As much as I like making these books - I'll do whatever makes the most sense getting the stories and art out there. I'm hoping we never have to go straight to squarebound or digital, and at this point I don't see an immediate threat of that happening. However, just to cover our asses, watch this space for news about downloading a sick PDF of Injury #1, I guess!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


Coupla items of interest - I was sick most of July so I never got around to doing these updates. First, the new issue of Arthur is out - that's got my ongoing strip, "Hamer" in it. You can grab it at finer seedy establishments or download it free from their site.

Also, I've got a page in the upcoming comics antho, Kramers Ergot which will debut at the APE comics show in San Francisco in November. As far as anthologies go, this promises to be the Monolith. It's bigger than any comic ever published by man and will house work from pretty much all the top names in comic art (along with myself). If comics in the 21st century was a building on fire, THIS is the book you would wanna grab on your way out. At any rate, I tried to make this the best single page I've ever done, so please watch for it from Buenaventura Press later this year.

Monday, August 11, 2008

rest in peace, Soldy

Our cat Isolde, better known as Soldy, passed away Sunday. She was the best cat I've ever met and she made a lot of friends in the comics community. In fact, she was pretty much loved by everyone she met. She was super social, but had a "take no guff" attitude that was abundantly endearing in a little cat. In fact, she stared down Jason R.'s dog, who is like 50 times bigger than her. I've never seen anything like it! She was at least 18 when she went, and she died of old age, because no illness could keep her down. As crazy as it sounds, she was an inspiration, and a great friend. She died on the same day as Isaac Hayes, so let's hope Black Moses picked her up on his way to Valhalla. Soldy we'll all miss you dearly.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

New Comic in Shop

Just added Jeff Wilson's new comic to our web shop. This is a comic Jeff did in conjunction with punk band Cross Examination. Here's the blurb:

Crazy weed-centric comics from Jeff Worm and the Cross Exam dudes leaves no turn unstoned. Features two stories, "Necroponics" and "The Omen of Prophecy." Approved of and endorsed by the Awesome Party Squad of the USA. (Note: this comic is also available as part of a set with Cross Exam's new LP, Menace II Sobriety).

If you'd like to buy the album/comic set, you can get it from Organized Crime Records.

Friday, June 13, 2008

idle sketching

Doom Dept: I get in these meetings at my work and if I have pen in hand I'll usually draw something like Dr Doom. Actually I've probably drawn like 50 Dr Dooms in the past month. This is a kinda "bring on the bad guys" take on drawing Doom and some other dudes.

Errant Pitch Dept: This is a baseball dude I sketch a lot.

In Case You Care Dept: Here's a thought on the next cover. It'll be kind of like this, but not this. But basically this.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Injury's nomination for next year's eisner

Injury family member Jeff Wilson (aka as Jeff Worm) has been cranking on this wicked and gorgeous comics project for St. Louis punk band, Cross Examination. "Tales from the Keg" is a full-length comic book to be released in July with Cross Exam's first full-length LP, "Menace to Sobriety," on Organized Crime records. Some preview pages located on Jeff's myspace and more info is available on Cross Exam's. Keep your eyes peeled for this release. I guarantee it will rock you and shock you. For further reference and edification, please view the following educational film.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Hot off press: Manhole #3!!

Just posted a new comic by my wife, Mardou, in our little online comic shop. It's the latest issue of Manhole featuring a cool new 40 page story. We'll post a preview soon. It's only $3 - GRAB ONE.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Jason Robards site updated

Injury Comics gang member, Jason Robards, has just updated his website, It's Cool Steve. Check it out and drop him a line.


Here's my strip from the comic section of top youth culture magazine, Arthur. You can download the entire mag at their site (the comics is in section 2), or pick it up at your local record store or meth lab.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

New Leon strip: Cellular Telephones

Here's the latest installment of the Amazing Facts strip. Injury 2 is in stores and available online. Wondering if it's a solid investment? Read this cool Injury review from Ken Parille and another from Rob Clough (CAUTION: reviews may contain SPOILERS).

Lets see, what else? Oh, if you're in St. Louis, that comics art show is next Friday at the Sheldon. And for those of you who enjoy walking around and looking at things, you can do this "Grand Gallery Walk" thing after the Sheldon. Wow, looks like there's might be a lot of action around this exhibit. Guess what I submitted for this show? A Heracles strip that features an elaborate fart joke. I'll never make it in the art scene here now. Ah well, what can you do? The comics rampage continues unabated.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Injury #2 Update

Injury #2 will be in finer comic shops Wednesday, April 30th. I just got a pile of them so they're available online at the shop.

Also, I've got a strip in the upcoming issue of Arthur Magazine. It's available for download on their site (it's in Part 2). It's part of a two page spread of comics curated by Alvin Buenaventura. I'll post the strip here after the mag hits the streets.

Friday, April 11, 2008

St. Louis Cartooning Exhibition

We're not quite New York City when it comes to comics heritage, but St. Louis nevertheless has a lot to be proud of. You've got Harry Tuthill who did "Bungle Family," Lee Falk who wrote "The Phantom," the first costumed superhero (and STILL doesn't have a star on the St. Louis "Walk of Fame"?? Come on!), and of course, today's little gang of upstarts.

Anyway, there's gonna be an exhibition of St. Louis cartoonists on Friday, May 16th at the Sheldon Art Galleries. I'll have a page on display (from Injury #2), as do Dan Zettwoch, Kevin Huizenga, Mardou, and Jeff Wilson. I know virtually nothing about this thing other than what's on the Sheldon site, but it should be worthwhile for comics-minded St. Louisans. Click that link for more details.

The Phantom cover above came from this fantastic Phantom cover gallery. These covers are at turns cool, surreal and disturbing. Anyway, Lee Falk is a fascinating character in his own right. If you have time and inclination, here's a nice primer.

NOTE: Like I said, I have no idea what's in this exhibit, Phantom or otherwise. I just posted these Phantom covers cause they're great.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Injury 2 Preview

ITEM - Injury #2 will be out in comic shops in a couple weeks. In light of that, I've posted a 7-page preview. If you don't think you're local comics stockist is with it with it enough to have ordered it - you can pre-order online here.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Spanish Indie Comics site

Here's a wild online joint to check out. A cool spanish indie comics site:
13 Millones De Naves (that's "13 Million Ships")

It's kinda U.S.-focused. I'd like to see more stuff from the spanish indie scene - but that's not a complaint. I can't read spanish, unfortunately, but there's all kinds of quickie translation options online. Anyway, I did the art for the header currently at the top of their site.

Friday, February 29, 2008

Feel like tranlating something?

We've all been there. You go to a comics show and come back with some gorgeous high-dollar foreign language comic that's great to look at - but who knows how it reads? Whattaya do?

Check out our pal Stephen Betts' new site for comics translation: Comix Influx. The site is a kind of wiki for comics translations. Members find comics from all over the place, translate them, and post the translation to the site (just the words, no scans).

If anyone wants to translate Injury or It Lives, I'd be happy to send a copy.

While I'm on the subject - here's a link to some translated comics on Words Without Borders. The Dupuy strip on here is really good as is the Gipi interview.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

It's BEYOND me

Hey, all - I did a strip for St Louis's "Riverfront Times" which will be appearing in this week's issue. Check it out at the strip blog here.

Friday, February 01, 2008

road to Injury 2

For those of you Injury fanatics who pre-order your comics at your local retailer - you can reserve your copy of issue 2 as of RIGHT NOW. It's in this month's issue of Diamond's "Previews" under Buenaventura Press. While you're at it, order a copy of Johnny Ryan's latest strip collection, also from BP.

For those of you Injury fanatics who have no idea what "pre-order" and "diamond" means: the book will be out in April, so start saving now!

Injury Family news: Buy the Sap paperback! Jeff Wilson just put his collected Sap series up at This volume contains the complete storyline from issues 5 through 8. Check out some pages from that story and other punk art and photos from Jeff at his flickr site.

Finally, in StL Comics news: scope next week's RFT (Feb 6th) for a new comic strip from Kevin H. This strip is kind of a collab thing between KH, Dan Zettwoch and myself. Well, my involvement is kinda minimal at the moment but I'm more or less "involved."

So yeah, if you live in St Louis and you're a complete nerd - go to Star Clipper next week, order Injury 2, pick up a copy of the RFT on your way out, go home and order Sap comics online, and feel secure in the knowledge that the city you live in kicks every other city's ass when it comes to comics.