MANLY TALES OF COWARDICE #4–by Brian Bastian and myself–cover and page 1(of 24)

  OK…back on track with why I started this damn blog in the first place: to post my comic series MANLY TALES OF COWARDICE online.  So here we go with issue 4.  This one is a bit different in that it was not written by me, but rather was the first collaboration(of soon to be many) with BRIAN BASTIAN.  Also, don’t let the cover fool you.  Even though it was my intention when I started this comic-blog to go back and greytone my comics, I was also unemployed then.  I’m not anymore, and between working and making more comics something has to give.  And that something will be the greytones.  But Brian and I will make up for it with lots of insights, history and commentary.  So let’s get on with that…


BRIAN BASTIAN: If I remember correctly, I had absolutely nothing to do with the cover to the issue. You came up with the idea for you and Bob to each draw the characters from your respective books. then you showed it to me and I said “Cool”.

DANNO KLONOWSKI:  That sounds about right.  I drew my half and then gave it to Bob who did his half.  Ok, not too exciting.  Maybe I should get back to greytoning.

BASTIAN:  But this story is, I believe the very first time we collaborated on anything. Bob and I did a back up story for MT #1 and I think from that and our conversations somehow I conned you into letting me write this issue. We call it a crossover, but as people will see, it’s more of a takeover.

KLONOWSKI:   I was wondering how long it would take for our memories to be completely different.  Turns out the answer is two paragraphs.  Here’s how I remember it:  Like you said, when I started MANLY TALES OF COWARDICE I knew I wanted back-up stories and/or pin-ups by my friends in every issue, so the first thing I did was contact BOB “PROLIFIC DEFINED” LIPSKI and ask if you guys wouldn’t mind doing a TOMMY CHICAGO back-up for issue one (since TOMMY CHICAGO was at the time my favorite mini-comic).   Bob said sure and even said he’s do an UPTOWN GIRL story as well if I liked (told ya he was prolific).  Sometime after issue one came out Bob informed me that he was going to become a father.  This meant that he would still be prolific, but have to be choosy about what he prolific with–and he was choosing UPTOWN GIRL.  So even though I had just started doing MANLY TALES, the first thing out of my mouth was “Can I take over drawing TOMMY CHICAGO then?!”  (Oh hey, you were right Brian. It was a ‘take over’.)   So that’s kinda where this issue came from.  Even though I asked Brian to write it as just a one-shot crossover, I always felt it was kind of a test to see how Brian and I worked together, and if it could lead to us working together on TC as well.  (See, Brian wanted Bob to finish out the 12 issue TOMMY CHICAGO series–they were on issue 9 at the time–and I don’t think he was too keen on the idea of some guy he didn’t really know being forced on him.)

Page 1

BASTIAN:  So let’s start with 2 characters that don’t appear on the cover and only 10 people in the world are aware of, The Ugly Rose and Weezer. The Rose is my ineffectual Kingpin type character and Weezer is…well he’s just Weezer.

KLONOWSKI:  Yes, but aside from your hilarious writing, just the very idea of drawing Rose and Weezer is why I wanted to draw this story and TOMMY CHICAGO.  Bob did some great work designing these guys. 

BASTIAN:  This sequence would have been a lot shorter if I hadn’t wanted to work in a “he needs no introduction” gag.

KLONOWSKI:  Also, as it was written Weezer was just a voice on Rose’s intercom and didn’t actually appear in the issue.  But I was so desperate to draw Weezer though that I turned what was written as a four or five panel page into one with nine panels.

BASTIAN:  I remember you asking me if I minded that you were drawing the pages sideways in the tradition of the Spider-Man/X-Force crossover or because that’s how you wanted to draw it. I was just thrilled that you were drawing my script. Heck, you could have drawn it on bologna and smacked it on the side of a bridge and I’d have been happy.

KLONOWSKI:  Yeah, this goes back to the fact when you wrote this only two MANLY TALES comics had been produced–issue one and the Free Comic Book Day 2007 story–and I had yet to debut the “widescreen” look MANLY TALES adopted with issue two.  In fact having you write anything with so little material to work from was kinda a jerky thing for me to have asked you to do–but there will be more on this later.  Finally, can all of comic book culture agree to never speak of the Liefeld/McFarlane X-FORCE/SPIDER-MAN crossover ever again?


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