Archive for the 'Altered Esthetics Gallery' Category


1: Countdown to C2E2–LIFT-OFF!!!!

C2E2 begins Friday in Chicago, and I’ll be there mooching table space from co-Conspirator DANIEL J OLSONtable C-11 to be precise.  Actually, by the time you read this I’ll be in a car with Dan, his wife/writing partner AJ, and my wife Nichole on our way there.  Please don’t rob our houses. 

   Here’s the new cover for MANLY TALES OF COWARDICE #4, featuring the new streamlined look and KEVIN CANNON’s sweet logo.  You’ll be able to purchase it, the issue it encapsulates, and the 5 other issues of MANLY TALES (all with new covers) in one affordable package at C2E2.  In fact, for a full list of EVERYTHING Dan and I will be selling at C2E2, continue scrolling down.  But first…

   WHAT’LL BE UP WITH STAPLEGENIUS.COM FOR THE NEXT WEEK OR SO:  My guess is that I won’t really be able to post much of anything while in Chicago, so I’ll most likely be maintaining blogio silence until we return.  Hopefully I’ll be back with a shite-ton of pictures I can caption-up with patented and much loved smarm as a wrap-up report of C2E2 sometime early-to-mid next week.  I’ll also be posting a new CAPTAIN CONFEDERACY cover next weekend.  I’ll be back in full force on the 26th as I begin posting MANLY TALES OF COWARDICE #5, the Daily Goal Sketches, and whatever else crosses my path.  Until then: Crass commercialism!!!


** The aforementioned MANLY TALES OF COWARDICE 1-6 pack, and the MANLY TALES specials pack.  I’ll also bring a few other things with “just in case”….oh, unlikelihood….

** All three issues of Dan and AJ’s SUPER MAXI-PAD GIRL, including the ALL-NEW issue #3 which features a story written by me and drawn (as every story is) by Dan.  There will also be a new (and some old) SMPG buttons,  and the rarest of collector items–the hand-made SMPG dolls!!!

** The CONTINUITY GUY graphic novella by BUD BURGY (art) and myself (story).  And don’t forget, while technically table-less, Bud will be around and happy to sign a copy for you!

** FALSE WITNESS: THE MICHELE BACHMANN STORY–including the all-new issue #3.  Every issue is written by BILL PRENDERGAST, and features a ton of great art by LUPI McGINTY, JAMES POWELL, RYAN DOW, DANIEL J OLSON, and myself.

** SUPER FANTASTICA COMIX — Dan’s wonderful four-issue anthology series featuring art and stories by just about everyone I know, and few people I don’t.   Dan will also have some of his 24 Hour Day mini-comics on hand as well.

** BIG FUNNY — Last years collaborative project between the CARTOONIST CONSPIRACY, ALTERED ESTHETICS GALLERY, and about 45 wonderful cartoonists.  An old-fashioned, over-sized comic pages insert like those of yester-year is a STEAL at $5 and must-have collectors item.  Seriously…we really need to unload these…

** SKETCHES!!!  What would a con be without sketches?!  Dan and I will both be doing them.  The sizes will vary based on price, but rest assured while they will all be of the highest quality, they will be relatively dirt cheap.

**  And if there are any weird-o complete-ists out there I’ll be more than happy to sign your copies of TRANSFORMERS: BUMBLEBEE.  I doubt this will happen, but you never know…

   I think that’s it…wish us luck…and if you’re in the Chicago area between Friday and Sunday, Dan and I  hope to see you at C2E2!  Just look for these smiling faces:


retrospecticus: “CONTINUITY GUY” release at AE

   On Friday, April 2nd, 2010 the “CONTINUITY GUY” graphic novella zapped its way into our world, being released at the ALTERED ESTHETICS show “Resident Artists 4: Collaborations”.   To commemorate this event, here are some photos of the night presented in the way only a CONTINUITY GUY release could be–completely out of sequential order and making little sense.  Enjoy!

    CONTINUITY GUY artist BUD BURGY points out to RYAN DOW who the ass is who wrote such a perplexing and commercial-unfriendly story.

   CONTINUITY GUY creator CASEY ‘NELS’ NELSON enjoys what Bud and I have done with his stolen property while Bud explains where nipples are and what they do.

    JESSE GILLESPIE makes a rare sojourn from his Northwoods bunker to see art and stock up on canned goods.  He also gave me the coolest gift imaginable.

   Moments earlier WILL DINSKI and SARAH MOREAN drank from a bottle clearly marked “DO NOT DRINK”.  Almost immediately the walls seemed to get taller and taller to them.  Before you knew it they were nearly invisible to the naked eye.  Later, they were eaten by a spider.  They shall be dearly missed.

    Not to be outdone, VAS LITTLECROW actually travels thru time before our very eyes.

   Those professional models we hired finally show up. 

    The AE crew knew we were coming and so they quite literally baked a cake.

   SEAN TENHOFF and his lady friend make plans for what the AE bathroom will look like at LUTEFISK SUSHI ‘D’.

   DAN “The Frame-Filler” MURPHY shows how he earned his nickname.

    MIKE TOFT then challenges Dan to a ‘Frame Fill-Off’.  Murphy retains his title.

   JAMES POWELL takes a brief moment to do some cleansing, personal introspection.  He then leaves insisting he has to find a nun to punch or the hyenas won’t let him sleep.

   TED ANDERSON also tries for Murphy’s title, but is disqualified when the lab results come back and he had tested positive for juicing.

   LEELOO takes a moment out of her busy day to look adorable.  Awwwww….

   BRITT AAMODT (author of the upcoming essay collection about MN cartoonists ‘OFF COLOR’) takes Bud’s challenge to find all the continuity errors in the CONTINUITY GUY script.  She gives up after 300.

   CASSANDRA MONSON and birthday boy ERIK NELSON (who are to be wed next weekend!) pick the absolute worst time possible to review the MN tax laws for married couples.

    DANIEL J OLSON and AJ NEIHAUS had just picked the spot on the map where they are going to leave me for dead on route to C2E2 and now could barely contain themselves.

   Co-worker CHRIS OESTREICHER makes his patented camera mug.  You’re 9,323 for 9,323, buddy!  Great job!

   Hearing of the challenge to de-throne Dan Murphy, co-worker KATRINA GLAIM makes a valiant (but ultimately losing) effort.

    STEVE STWALLEY finally found that bonfire kindling he was looking for.

   CONTINUITY GUY cover artist KEVIN CANNON insists on being just another face in the crowd…so much so that he causes a scene and becomes the center of attention.  It was very awkward.

  BUD finds his ‘last call’ date for the evening.

   Thinking I had left, everyone had a really good laugh at my expense.  And then the cameras flash went off, and things became uncomfortably quiet.  The night was officially over.

   Many, many thanks to everyone who stopped by whether they were there for us or any of the ‘resident artists’.  Many thanks to everyone who picked up a copy of the book, and many thanks to everyone I didn’t get a (good) picture of.   It was a really fun time!


UG v. TC v. MTOC–by Bastian, Lipski, and Dank–pg 49 and 50(of 60), also: “Come buy a copy of ‘CONTINUITY GUY’ tonight at Altered Esthetics Gallery” and

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 and Bob are here to join me for some reflections on this project:

BASTIAN:  I always felt that Tommy Chicago had just slightly more morals than Fleming Hazmat. So I threw his question about if he thinks the Beanmen feel pain to try to show that. I’d like to think that if there wasn’t a life and/or contest at stake he wouldn’t have participated, whereas Fleming probably went home and looked to see if there were any leagues that did this. Of course I undo this on the next page when Fleming mentions how much they were laughing.  And..OH! A shocking twist! I love the bags with $ signs on them. I’m not dumb enough to walk around in real life with one, but I love when I see them in comics, so I was happy to see it included here.

LIPSKI:  It’s a nice nod to Sean’s characters always getting killed off.  Panel two (of pg 50) has a line spoken by Fleming that still makes me laugh every time I think of it.

DANK:  Panel one of pg 49 was the most fun I had while inking this book.  It was the one panel more than any other I was looking forward to doing from day one, and Bob’s lay-outs were really fun to finish.  As for page 50…I remember in the lay-outs The Irish Beyonder was holding the stew and then in the next panel he was holding Fleming as they negotiated.  From a common sense point I knew I had to do something to alter it just so.  So there’s Fleming standing on his shoulder.  I find this hilarious ’cause it means instead of getting lifted he had to climb the IB.  Maybe its just funny in my head…

   ALSO:  After months of work and waiting tonight is the night!  CONTINUITY GUY: the graphic novella is released at ALTERED ESTHETICS GALLERY!!!  So head on down between 7 and 10pm.  Buy a copy!  Have it signed by Bud, Kevin Cannon, and myself!  Look at the original art (and the other ‘collaborative’ art on display)!  Buy some of that too if you like!  Should be a blast!  Hope to see you there.

   FINALLY:  When I got into Captain America back in the late 80’s THE FALCON immediatly lept to the fore-front as one of my favorite characters.  So getting to do today’s Daily Goal Sketch was a blast.  Also, have you noticed I started doing backgrounds on these? 


UPTOWN GIRL vs TOMMY CHICAGO vs MANLY TALES OF COWARDICE–by Brian Bastian, Bob Lipski, and Danno Klonowski–pg 45(of 60), also: “CONTINUITY GUY” graphic novella released this Friday, and “The Red Skull…Again?!?!”

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 and Bob are here to join me for some reflections on this project.  Only 2 more weeks.  Seriously:

BASTIAN:   The Stella, Betsy, Ruby team is back first, things are starting to wrap up. There’s no way there could be a surprising twist involved. Or could there?

LIPSKI: Panels 2 and 5 featuring those lovely Kirby dots.

DANK:  I totally remember getting to this page while inking and thinking” OH THANK GOD, IT’S ALMOST OVER!”  Then I realized there was like 15 more pages.  And the I wept.

    ALSO:  Lets makes this shampoo simple: The CONTINUITY GUY graphic novella comes out this friday.  Come buy one.

    FINALLY:  When my client asked for THE BLACK MASK I was a bit surprised he wanted an early 2000’s Jet-Li movie character.  Turns out he’s from THE BATMAN cartoon.  So…basically…THE BATMAN creators decided they wanted to incorporate THE RED SKULL into the Batman universe…so they made his skull black.  Shame on you THE BATMAN writers.  Shame on all of you.


“LUTEFISK SUSHI ‘D’ is go! MN Cartoonists–start your brush pens!!!”, also: several pages of the crossover and some other crap

  (LUTEFISK SUSHI ‘D’ site designed with love by BRITT HAMMERBERG. 3-D effects done with gusto by KEVIN CANNON and STEVEN STWALLEY.  Box art phoned in by me.)

   The 4th installment of LUTEFISK SUSHI (vol. D) is now accepting submissions! Lutefisk Sushi D is a silkscreened bento box filled with original mini-comics from Minnesota artists.   The celebration of mini-comics that is ‘LSD’  is in August, but submissions are due JUNE 15th!!!  So what does it take to be a part of LUTEFISK SUSHI ‘D’?  Well it’s shampoo simple:

1)  Be a cartoonist/artist who is a current (or former) resident of Minnesota.

2)  Make a mini-comicThe content and length are up to you.  It just cannot exceed 8.5″x5.5″ to fit in the SUSHI BOX.  Also, the box will be in 3-D and include a pair of 3-D glasses, so if you’ve ever wanted to do a comic with 3-D elements–the time is NOW!

3)  Make 160 copies of said mini-comic.  Sure the economy sucks, but we have a printing sponsor this year and that just rules!  FLAIRE PRINT COMMUNICATIONS has agreed to sponsor LSD by printing  mini’s at a discounted rate!  So why go to an overpriced corporate giant more interested in shipping than printing quality when you could join forces with a neighborhood printer who wants to invest in a project you love?!  WHY?!  WHY I ASK YOU!?!?!

4)  Scan your cover (You will need a jpeg of it for the next step),  Fill out a submission form HERE, and then drop off or mail your mini-comics to: Altered Esthetics, 1224 Quincy St NE, Minneapolis, MN 55413 Comics must be received by JUNE 15, 2010.

5)  Frame some art for show!  So after all the comics are in, we collate them into a fancy, screenprinted box.  Said box then debuts at ALTERED ESTHETICS GALLERY on AUGUST 6th at a corresponding art show featuring original art from the minis.  This is your chance to make some bucks back by selling your art to the teeming masses.   

6) Get the word out!  Blog about Lutefisk Sushi using the jpegs below, follow the show on Twitter, and most importantly… become a FACEBOOK FAN!

7) Finally, toss these dates on your e-calendar:

  1. JUNE 15 — Mini comics due
  2. JULY 31 — Framed artwork due.
  3. JULY 31, 1-3pm — Artists’ Potluck (come and hang out, meet fellow cartoonists, and drop off your artwork).
  4. AUGUST 6, 7-10pm — Show opens at Altered Esthetics.
  5. AUGUST 21, evening — Party at AE with the Sushi crowd and the folks from the Minneapolis Indie Xpo.

   It’s just that simple!  So start scribblin’ today…June 15th will be here before you know it!

   Ok…so back to the usual crap…

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 and Bob are here to join me for some reflections on this project, and a friendly reminder this whole mess will be done 2 weeks from today:

BASTIAN:  This is the most fighting I’ve ever written for Fleming Hazmat or Tommy Chicago. Usually they’re just running away or dodging or just letting events happen around them, but there’s just something about putting the two of them in a room that makes me want to have them fight.

LIPSKI:  Fight scenes can be hard to pull off.  I don’t draw them that often, mostly its endless talk in ‘Uptown Girl’ but the graphic novel I am working on has a ton of fighting in it.  It’s hard!  I think the choreography is the hardest part….like what happens next, what to put in and what to leave out.

DANK:  I can’t believe all the talk about fighting for this page, the last panel is the best one, and the most true to these characters.  Well…it is true they hate each other.

BASTIAN:  I couldn’t have them kill the cow, and I don’t think you find beef just lying on the ground. So I had to have a butcher shop. A butcher shop in a prehistoric land. I’m going to use that guy again someday. Oh wait..I did!  There’s more Ralph in the future. I hope. And I can’t go without mentioning that Awesome T-Rex. It’s awesome.

LIPSKI:  I freaking love this butcher.  The design of him comes from a character called ‘Dave the Butcher’ who appeared in the pilot of the failed ‘Uptown Girl’ animated series. I use a lot of photo references these days, not so much when I was drawing this story….see the cow from a few pages back.  Anyway, dinosaurs can be hard since there really isn’t anything besides fossils and skeletons and stuff.  I love dinosaurs and I have a lot of books on them but the most useful reference I relied on for this was ‘The New Frontier’ by Darwyn Cooke. 

DANK:  Panel one of pg 43 is one of those great panels where I followed Bob’s pencils and it turned out fantabulous.  And despite what Brian says, the dinosaur is TERRIBLE!  Why?  Cause thats a panel where I TOTALLY DIDN’T follow Bob’s pencils and it looks horrible (to me, anyway).  The T-Rex is back in a few pages and I did much better with those.  Also, as much as I don’t know if we could actually fill a whole book with RALPH THE BUTCHER, I’d sure like to see us try.

   ALSO:  Yeah, yeah…I know I mentioned the CONTINUITY GUY graphic novella release on Tuesday.  But its ONE WEEK FROM TODAY (APRIL 2nd) at ALTERED ESTHETICS GALLERY.  See you there (I hope)!

   FINALLY:  Sure I do the Daily Goal Sketches for my disabled client at work, but really…I did this one for Ryan Dow.  Thanks for the awesome Fleming Hazmat shrinky-dink, Ryan!




UG v. TC v. MTOC–by Bastian, Lipski, and Dank–pg 40(of 60), also: “10 days to the ‘CONTINUITY GUY’ book, one day of ‘Cross Hatch’ love” and “I like the Venture Bros version better”

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 and Bob are here to join me for some reflections on this project:

BASTIAN:  I was really slow to figure out that the lightbulb was in the background (it is in the background, right?) but it makes the page 22.3% funnier. Also I don’t think I’d ever have been able to pull of a helmet gag like this in a regular Uptown Girl story, so I was thrilled to include it here.

LIPSKI:  I’m always amazed how Danno can have Atlantis Lad express himself to the point where no dialogue is needed.  My characters talk endlessly to drive home a point, but Danno nails it.

DANK:  Thanks Bob!  And as far as the light bulb gag goes…if I recall correctly Bob had pencilled a lightbulb.  I’ve never been a terribly big fan of the lightbulb cliché so I thought it would be funny to make the lightbulb a part of the scene.  Aparently it worked–at least 22.3% of it did.

  ALSO: Here we are..another Tuesday…and no new CONTINUITY GUY page to post.  Instead I’ll remind you that the PRINT VERSION is at the printers and will debut on APRIL 2nd at ALTERED ESTHETICS GALLERY  (UPDATETHE DAILY CROSS HATCH shares some CONTINUITY GUY love.  Thanks Athena!) .  Not only will it be there, but if you’re in the greater Chicago area between APRIL 16th and 18th it’ll be available at C2E2!  Neither Bud or I have a table, but our good friend DANIEL J OLSON will be giving us some real estate at his table! But more on C2E2 in the days to come…

  FINALLY:  Dr. Strange…add’em to the list of Marvel characters I’ve never wanted to read and learn more about.  Maybe the original Ditko stuff is good, but until my public library carries it I’ll never know.  Ah well, at least DR ORPHEUS rocks:


UG v. TC v. MTOC–by Bastian, Lipski, and Dank–pg 34(of 60), also: “the latest page of ‘CONTINUITY GUY’ is now…ummm…oh”, and “My best worst idea”

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 and Bob are here to join me for some reflections on this project:

BASTIAN: Back to the robot world. It was really hard for me to get any of the sidekicks to step up. Jimmy is the most competent, but Rocketman is the oldest (probably) so I figured that the other two as sidekicks would defer to the ‘adult’ in the room.

LIPSKI: I had the scene from ‘The Phantom Menace’ where the bad guys are trying to get through the door early in the movie in my head when I penciled out the first panel.  Danno really made it work. 

DANK:  I’ve probably already said this like four times, but this is one of my favorite pages of the book.  Tomorrows page which completes this sequence is my ACTUAL FAVORITE page.  The last shot of Rocketman is one of the times I followed Bob’s pencils exactly as draw and it turned out perfect, just showing I should have put more Lipski and less Dank into my inking for this.

  ALSO:  So here’s the part where I should be reminding you that the latest page of CONTINUITY GUY is up.  But I can’t, cause sadly the story is done.  NO WAIT!  That’s not sad!  In fact it’s awesome cause the PRINT VERSION is at the printers and will debut on APRIL 2nd at ALTERED ESTHETICS GALLERYSo since I can’t pimp on of BUD’s great new pages I’ll post this drunken sketch he did a few weeks ago on the other side of the country on a napkin in a bar while likely drunk.  ENJOY:

  FINALLY:  Back in the day my Mom would go shopping at Rosedale, but before that she’d stop at the Shinders across the way and let me load up on comics to read while she spent hours looking at clothes of whatever.  One series I discovered in the quarter bins, fell head over heals for, and purchased every issue of I could find was the 1970/80’s Marvel masterpiece POWER MAN AND IRON FIST.  It’s almost indescribable why I loved the series so.  Was it cause Power Man could “swear” by saying “CHRISTMAS!”?  Maybe.  Was it cause I shared the same a first name with Iron Fist?  Maybe.  Was it cause ROM THE SPACE KNIGHT showed up once?  Maybe.  Either way, I loved it.  All 25 cents worth of each issue.  So here’s my “BEST WORST IDEA EVER”:  Marvel hires me to write a POWER MAN AND IRON FIST mini-series set in the 1970/80’s.  No modern continuity BS.  Just straight-forward old school Marvel storytelling.  What do you think?  (Personally I think ideas like these are why Marvel would never hire me to begin with).  Anyway…here’s Danny Rand:



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