The UPTOWN GIRL vs TOMMY CHICAGO vs MANLY TALES OF COWARDICE crossover from 2008 was written by BRIAN BASTIAN, pencilled (and inked) by BOB LIPSKI, and inked (and pencilled) by me. Brian, Bob, and special guest ZANDER CANNON are here to join me for some reflections on the end of this god-damned monstrosity:
BASTIAN: Thank Jebus we’re finally to the end. If there is any true winner to this story it’s Fleming Hazmat. Sure he didn’t get the girl, but he got an awesome flying submarine and dinner. In the end I think that’s all that any of us really want.
LIPSKI: And that’s the end! This was a lot of fun to do, and a lot of fun to look back on. I had been very excited to see my characters interact with Danno’s and Brian’s but the most fun part of this whole thing was working with two of my close friends on a project. Brian and Danno are both terrific creators and I am lucky to know them and work with them. They are the two guys who I constantly try to impress. Thanks guys! Let’s do it again.
DANK: Yep. Over. While at times tedious, this project was fun to do, and 2+ years later I think I’m ready for round two. We promise to have a plot (and ACTION!) next time. OH–but it’s not over…OH NO! We had several pin-ups that were included in the print edition, so here they are with some (MORE!!!!) thoughts:
DANK: This was the very first thing I (and possibly anyone else) did for this crossover (yes, even before Brian wrote it). It was right after FALLCON 2007 and we agreed to do this book. We had decided upon a few story elements–the main one being it was going to be a SECRET WARS knock-off–so doing this pin-up seemed glaringly obvious. Plus, if I was going to be drawing/inking 6 characters I hadn’t drawn a whole lot…well…a WHOLE LOT…I figured I should get some practice in. I like how it turned out.
DANK: I did this one not too long after the SECRET WARS pin-up. I was on a parody tear. I think my intent was to use this as an ad in MANLY TALES OF COWARDICE #5, which was supposed to come out MONTHS before the crossover. Instead it came out the same time as the crossover…at least half of it did…so I didn’t get to use it. But more on that in a couple weeks….
LIPSKI: I love this drawing. The hardest part of the crossover was trying to think of a title and I thought “World’s Finest Crossover” was the perfect title but I think Danno was the one who named it “Manly Tales vs Tommy Chicago vs Uptown Girl”
LIPSKI: When I did this one I was thinking about doing a calendar parodying famous comic book covers and putting Uptown Girl and her friends in them. I was spending a lot of time going through books of famous comic book covers and came across a story that told how Superman and Batman discovered each other identities. It was a pretty lame story but it was the silver age. The cover to the story portrayed Superman and Batman each trying to save Lois Lane.
ZANDER CANNON: One of the things that always comes to mind when drawing my version of Fleming Hazmat is his perfect design: iconic, idiosyncratic, and cutting a heroic profile all at the same time. Despite his existence in a cartoonish world, when I take a crack at
him, he fits right into the world that I draw, with deep shadows, ludicrous explosions, and the other baggage that being a borderline-mainstream artist brings.
Tommy Chicago and Uptown Girl are brilliant designs as well, but the drawback to that is that I feel like I can bring very little to an
interpretation of them without taking away their essence. If you make Uptown Girl without a perfectly spherical head, well then boy, you are missing the point.
BASTIAN: I love all of these pin-ups. Any of them would have been great to use as the cover. And that back cover pin-up by Zander Cannon is just amazing. I think I peed myself a little bit when I first saw it, that’s how awesome it is. Hmmm. I probably shouldn’t have typed that. Oh well.
LIPSKI: Zander is…well a hero to us all. Proof that you can start by doing indie comics and then work with Alan Moore and still be one of the nicest, most encouraging people in the comics world. I was honored to see his drawing of Uptown Girl. It’s a nice contrast to see her with a daisy and Tommy Chicago with a gun.
DANK: I’ve been a fan of Zanders for a really long time. The fact I can now call him friend and he’ll do things like the above pin-up for funzies still astounds me on a regular basis. I remember the day Zander sent me his pin-up I was working at the worst job ever. Just seeing it not only made my day, but probably made it the best day ever at that shitty place (except for the day I got fired. That day was pure ecstasy).
Ok…so thats that done. Woo! Thanks Brian, Bob and Zander. I would have totally lost my mind if I had to do that all on my own. I owe ya one…or two months worth…or whatever…. Next week: COUNTDOWN TO C2E2!!!!