Long ago, BUD BURGY and AMADO RODRIGUEZ unleashed the anthology MUSCLES AND FIGHTS on an unsuspecting public. Shortly after, they threw a gallery show/release party at DIAMONDS COFFEE SHOPPE (home of the MPLS Cell of the INTERNATIONAL CARTOONIST CONSPIRACY). At the show RYAN DOW was displaying the originals from his wonderful story of a life both wasted and blessed making comics. As much as I liked Ryan’s art and the greytone magic he works on it, when I saw those originals I had but one thought: “MUST…FILL…IN…BLACKS!” A month or two later we found ourselves at FALLCON 2007, and I asked Ryan to pencil something to see what it would look like if I inked it. And here that is:
Some more time went by, some more MUSCLES AND FIGHTS came out, and we eventually found ourselves chatting seriously about teaming up for what became the story you are about to read in full for MUSCLES AND FRIGHTS (aka MUSCLES AND FIGHTS 4). In the end the art chores broke down like this: Ryan wrote and pencilled it. I lettered and inked it. Then Ryan went back and glammed it up with his fantastic greytoning skills. And now, some thoughts on page 1:
RYAN DOW: This was the most unnecessary page of the whole story. I was trying to go for a Golden Age-style start with an action splash page from the middle of the story (which then transitions to the beginning of the story). But it just ended up being a lot of redundant exposition. Alliteration is always fun, though. I am kicking myself for not calling this, “The Curse of the Porcelain God,” but it had already been inked by the time I thought of that. Great inking by the way, Danno!
DANNO KLONOWSKI: Yeah, the writing may be a bit redundant on this page, but it’s still loads of fun. I can’t imagine it starting any other way. Thanks for the compliments on the inks. Right before I did this story I had inked BOB LIPSKI on a 60+ page crossover story, and when I say ‘inked’ I mean I basically redrew the whole thing with my brush pen (sorry, Bob). So when it came to Plunger-Man I made a very concerted effort to actually INK what you drew. Sure I added a few details here and there, but I think I did all right staying true to your original lines. It was lots of fun. I also inked this whole thing while “watching” TV at night with my wife and kids as a way to save time. What this really means is I remember inking this, but couldn’t begin to tell you what was on the TV during these couple weeks.
*** BTW: just cause you’re getting the PLUNGER-MAN milk for free, you should still totally buy the MUSCLES AND FRIGHTS cow. It’s full of a ton of great stuff from some wonderful creators. But…you don’t have to take my word for it.