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UG v. TC v. MTOC–by Bastian, Lipski, and Dank–pg 31 and 32(of 60), also: “START THINKING SUSHI”, and “Mal…Book…we hardly knew ye…”

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:  Robotworld! You can never have too many robots.  I once wrote a comic about a robot.  Maybe someday it’ll be published.  The 3 sidekicks (I know Rocketman isn’t technically one, but for the purposes of this book he is) were really easy to play off each other, and as long as they’re reacting to their situation it was easy to write them.

LIPSKI:  I intended for these next few pages to look like Cybertron but my limited pencils really lent a lot to Danno’s imagination.  But I think he picked up on this…see panel 2 with Ironhide’s tag.  As much as I like drawing robots, all of my robots tend to look the same.  When I upgraded Mr. Roboto (from UPTOWN GIRL) I asked Danno to lend a hand since I knew he’d really run with it. I’ve said it before but man, my pencils were rough.  Did I mention that my daughter had just been born at the time we started this?

DANK:  These 2 pages (as well as the other ‘Robotworld’ pages) are my favorite sequences in the book.  I think it shows from panel one that I was having a lot of fun adding background gags.  I still one day want to do a whole book that features just these three–no ‘leads’ or ‘ladies’–just the ‘kicks.  They make a great trio.

   ALSO:  As KEVIN CANNON so wisely brought up recently, LUTEFISK SUSHI ‘D’ is just a few scant months away (August).  So if you’re a cartoonist who lives in Minnesota and wants to contribute a mini-comic to this fourth and ever-awesome project/art show, you should get to scribblin’ now.  Also, I happen to know the guy who is designing this years SUSHI box, so that art will debut here SOON!

   FINALLY:  When my client asked me to do FIREFLY for his Daily Goal Sketch I just about plotzed!  I LOVE ‘Firefly’!!!  Even as short-lived as it was with 13 episodes, one movie, and two iffy-comic series’ it is still my favorite thing Joss Whedon has ever produced.  Life being the unfair taint that it is though, my client was referring to some douche from THE BATMAN.  Anyway…on a strictly ‘art’ note:  I usually just do these sketches with Sharpies (one thin/one thick) cause those are the kind of tools we have laying around at work.  I did this one with a PENTEL POCKET BRUSH.  Can you tell a difference?


MANLY TALES OF COWARDICE #4–by Brian Bastian and myself–pg 13(of 24), also: “Bumblebee #1” comes out today!!! (and Clayface makes a brief cameo)

Issue 4 of MANLY TALES OF COWARDICE was drawn by myself, but written by BRIAN BASTIAN (whose characters from his book TOMMY CHICAGO are guest starring).  Now our thoughts on this page:

BRIAN BASTIAN:  This is probably the 2nd biggest action scene in the comic, woo.

DANNO KLONOWSKI:  I think you meant “action”, Brian.  And I know I intentionally designed Fleming so you’d never see his eyes or mouth(which ARE there), but looking at this page right now I can’t help but wonder “How the hell does he eat, anyway?”
BASTIAN:  I really can’t think of anything else to say for this page.  Maybe it’s a side effect from writing out 5 pages of commentary at a time, or maybe the readers deserve a break from my constant whining.
KLONOWSKI:   My friend Matt recently told me he has no idea whats going on with this blog, what with all the “backwards” page order(as you scroll down) and the commentary and the random superhero drawings.  Not that I’m whining, mind you.  I think it’s funny.  We could post chapters from MOBY DICK at this point and I don’t think anyone would be the wiser.
   Also:  Issue #1 of the “TRANSFORMERS: BUMBLEBEE” mini-series from IDW comes out today. 
    To be honest, I don’t read Transformers comics and probably wouldn’t normally recommend you buy them…unless you’re really into Transformers.  IDW also seems to be doing a decent job of making licensed comics–if you forget that whole ANGEL debacle they have going on….and believe you me, I have—so if you’re into reading the furthur adventures of your favorite TV shows and movies (“GALAXY QUEST”, anyone?), this might also be a comic of interest to you.  But here’s the 2 shampoo simple reasons why BUMBLEBEE #1 interests ME:
    1)  It is written by my buddy ZANDER CANNON (who is also writing IDW’s “STAR TREK: TNG: GHOSTS” mini-series), and
    2)  One of the main characters is a military man by the name of LT. KLONOWSKI!!!
   That’s right!  Dear, sweet Zander worked me into the TRANSFORMERS universe **(The Generation:1 universe, that is.  The “good” Transformers universe).  This is basically a childhood dream come true.  And the dream just gets better and better–wait until you see issue 4 in March! 
    So, yes…please go out and buy this mini-series.  I know Zander would appreciate it, and I’m really, really hopeful Lt. Klonowski will be such a hit he’ll get his title.  Who wouldn’t want to read that?
   Finally, I did a Daily Goal Sketch yesterday that totally makes up for (in my mind, anyway) the awful one I did Monday.  So here’s Clayface (THE BATMAN version.  Not my choice.  I always dug the BATMAN: THE ANIMATED SERIES look to him):
  ** Technically, “Dan-o Klonowski” makes his debut in “TRANSFORMERS: ALL HAIL MEGATRON” #16.  So if you’re a Klonowski completist (and who isn’t), you should pick that up.  My favorite irony about that issue is that Decepticon leader Megatron doesn’t actual make an appearance anywhere within the pages of a comic called “ALL HAIL MEGATRON”.  WTF?!

PLUNGER-MAN–by Ryan Dow and myself–pgs 8 and 9(of 11), also: Kevin Cannon, Magnificent Son-Of-A-Bitch


pgs 8 and 9

This story is written, pencilled and greytoned by RYAN DOW, and inked and lettered by myself.  It first appeared in MUSCLES AND FRIGHTS.  I’m giving you two ages today cause to not not would just be wrong.  Anyway,  some thoughts on todays pages…

RYAN DOW:  Page eight–Danno actually asked me if it was okay to have a lot of gore when inking the shredding tentacles.  He didn’t really need to ask.

DANNO KLONOWSKI:  I didn’t want to offend your delicate and introspective sensibilities.

RD:  Also, the last panel was really difficult to draw.  I drew that pose about fifteen times before I got it close to right.  It’s not like I could photo-reference myself jumping off a roof.  Or can I?

DK:  You could have, but thankfully you didn’t cause Single-Payer Health Care is off the table.  The bastards.

RD:  Page nine–This is awesome.  In one version of the script, Jabbagazule swallowed Plunger-Man and Plunger-Man burst through his stomach.

DK:  Now THAT would have offended MY delicate and introspective sensibilities!

RD:  I’m so glad we went with this version.  It has so much more energy.

  Yay!  Two pages!  That was fun.  Anyway, if you don’t already know (and if you are reading these words you probably do), KEVIN CANNON has posted his I-Con wrap-up.  As I mentioned yesterday, Kevin did some amazing drawing last Saturday including the following wonderful FLEMING HAZMAT pin-up:

Kevin Cannon Icon09_fleming_

   Also, in the newest MANLY TALES OF COWARDICE (#6–which you can get from me next time you see me. It’ll also be up here sometime next year), I have a little fun with Kevin’s ARMY SHANKS character.  So Kevin has some back.  And he wins.

Kevin Cannon Icon09_shanks

     In addition to what you see here,  Kevin’s posting over at the BIG TIME ATTIC BLOG also includes Shanks on ice, a self-portrait by your’s truely, and pure horror. 

*** 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.


PLUNGER-MAN–by Ryan Dow and myself–pg 7(of 11), Also: i-con drawings and ‘CONTINUITY GUY’

pg 7

This story is written, pencilled and greytoned by RYAN DOW, and inked and lettered by myself.  It first appeared in MUSCLES AND FRIGHTS.  No some thoughts on todays page…

RYAN DOW:  I was really struggling to come up with a ridiculous boast for Jabbagazule, like, “I am older than atoms!  More powerful than the Sun!”  It popped in my head while shopping at Goodwill.  “Older than God (which became Yaweh)!  More powerful than Jesus!”  Awesome!

DANNO KLONOWSKI:  Yaweh is my favorite silly name for the Judeo-Christian God.  Glad you changed it.

   Also:  The plot is really thickening over at CONTINUITY GUY.  Check our BUD‘s amazing art for this weeks page.

   Finally, as you may know I went to the I-CON comic convention in Iowa over the weekend.  It was a bust in about every way imaginable.  The only few exceptions being spending lots of times with dear friends, and the great drawings that came out it.  Here’s a couple… 


    So if RYAN DOW, DANIEL J OLSON, KEVIN CANNON, and myself took over the chores on Marvel’s “AVENGERS” it would look something like that.  Scoff if you must, but one kid saw that drawing and asked if he could buy from us the issue that this drawing is the cover for.   

    Also, remember when I mentioned CONTINUITY GUY a paragraph or so ago?  Well, one of the things Bud and I want to include in the print edition (due April 2010) is a little back-up feature that lets you in on all the stuff that came before the CONTINUITY GUY graphic novella, specifically info on the IT’S WAR series.  The only real catch here is that I never finished the IT’S WAR series, so I’m going to have to create some original artwork.  Here’ s something I did at I-CON I’ll probably include in that:


     Ok, one more.  Remember good old DOC HEADULON from “PHENOMENAL TANGENTS“?  Well one of the few things I sold at I-CON was a copy of ‘TANGENTS’ to a savvy reader who from the cover alone got that it was a Jack Kirby-esque book.  Once I showed him ‘TANGENTS’ nifty fold-out feature he was, in his own words, “SOLD!”  This got me thinking about Doc.  Then I noticed I was surrounded by Kirby covers.  Now I have a seed of an idea for a follow-up story.  So, enjoy this possible sneak-peek (STEVE…we need to talk):


   That enough for you?  Well, that’s not all!  For I dare say the best is yet to come, as that fellow I-CON survivor KEVIN CANNON did some pretty amazing MANLY TALES OF COWARDICE drawings.  Sadly, I don’t have those to share right now.  But hopefully there will be up either here or over at the BIG TIME ATTIC blog sometime later this week.  Keep your eyes peeled, and I’ll see you tomorrow.

*** 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.


MANLY TALES OF COWARDICE–Guest Artist Spectacular–pg 14(of 14)–by Zander Cannon and Brian Bastian

pg 14--art: Zander Cannon, words: Brian Bastian

pg 14--art: Zander Cannon, words: Brian Bastian

   BRIAN BASTIAN:  Will be giving you a piece of his mind on Mondays post.  For serious.

   ZANDER CANNON:  Once upon a time 9 years ago I showed a very rough and crude mini-comic called STAPLEGENIUS (#2, I believe) to Zander Cannon and he laughed.  Not at it (though he should have), but with it.  This laugh inspired me greatly since I had been one of the eight fans of CHAINSAW VIGILANTE, the TICK spin-off Zander did.  Then, years later, Zander said to me on at least two seperate occasions that MANLY TALES OF COWARDICE is his favorite mini-comic.  Again…inspiring!  But this time not just cause of some silly, short-lived series he did in the early 90’s, but because of his later work on REPLACEMENT GOD, TOP TEN, SMAX, and his many science-based books he’s done with his studio-mate KEVIN CANNON like BONESHARPS, COWBOYS, AND THUNDERLIZARDS.  Also, he’s a Co-Conspiratorand friend who has faith–actual faith!–in my work.  Frankly, I couldn’t see any other way to end this GUEST ARTIST SPECTACULAR then with Zander, cause let’s be honest–this whole website and the comics contained herein are at least 28% his fault.

   All that gushiness aside, the GUEST ARTIST SPECTACULAR doesn’t TECHNICALLY end here…  Come back Monday for the traditional MANLY TALES OF COWARDICE “end of the issue” PIN-UP!  I shall warn you here and now–it’s SPECTACULAR!!!  See you then.



pg 5--art: Kevin Cannon, words: Brian Bastian

pg 5--art: Kevin Cannon, words: Brian Bastian

   Welcome back!  Hope your weekend went well.  And if it didn’t I defy the above page not to melt your heart.  Now lets meet the creators who made that beautiful image possible…

   BRIAN BASTIAN is a writer–a damn funny writer who I love to work with as often as I can.  For instance, he writes TOMMY CHICAGO which I draw, and sometimes we do short stuff like RALPH THE PREHISTORIC BUTCHER.  Brian also wrote MANLY TALES OF COWARDICE #4 which will be posted here soon.  Brian writes other comics as well, like BOB LIPSKI’s UPTOWN GIRL (currently Bob is working on the first several hundred page UPTOWN GIRL original graphic novel that Brian wrote), and he even writes the occassional movie.  You should work with Brian too, if only so I can see his head explode from all the deadline pressure.

   KEVIN CANNON.   Geez, what to say about Kevin Cannon?  Does “local god already on his way to building a global church” about sum it up?  How about we just let his work speak the volumes my limited vocabulary can’t, like his stuff with his BIG TIME ATTIC studio partner ZANDER CANNON (no relation):  T-MINUS.  STUFF OF LIFE.  BONE SHARPS, COWBOYS, and THUNDER LIZARDS.  Then there are his amazing array of mini-comics which can, without even trying, beat up your mini-comics: ELEPHANT BEARTIME TRAVELOUR ENDANGERED CARTOONISTS.  He also does 24 Hour Comics.  Some would say he mastered the 24 hour comic his first time out and then just kept going to out-do himself:  THE NEXT 24 HOURSEXIT STRATEGYA GENERAL THEORY OF LOVESLOTH FORCE SEVENBLOTCHMEN.  He also does co-plots the new TOP TEN series for WILDSTORM, as well as some other upcoming works with his brother Zander.  Kevin was the featured artist for LUTEFISK SUSHI ‘C’, and he pretty much deserves all the credit for making it possible that BIG FUNNY even exists.   Oh yeah, and there’s that 288 page challenge that turned into a 400 page book that’s probably the best thing you’ll read this year: FAR ARDEN .  All this and not only is he one of the nicest guys alive, he doesn’t even require you tithe.



pg 7

pg 7

    Here we go leaving the easy to ink backgrounds of outer space… BAH!

    So a lot happened behind the scenes between pages 6 and 7 during the production of this book.  I was almost done pencilling it and about to hand off the pages to STEVE to letter when good friend DANIEL J OLSON had asked if there was any way that I would be able to contribute anything to his fourth SUPER FANTASTICA COMIX anthology.  I had already drawn the cover for SFC#4, and this I had kind of done knowing that between PHENOMENAL TANGENTS and a few other things there would be no way I’d be able to get anything done for SFC.  But then I realized…the theme for SFC#4 was “SCIENCE FAIR”, and the opening 6 pages for PHENOMENAL TANGETS involved “science” and by only submitting 6 pages of a 26 page story would be totally not “fair” to any SFC readers.  So I pitched this idea at Dan and he said he’d love to run the first 6 pages.

     So Steve and I went immediately into making sure the first 6 pages were done ASAP.  I had them pencilled already, but Steve would be the letterer on PHENOMENAL TANGENTS, and he’s a busy guy so he had to go into personal overtime to get those pages lettered quickly.  Which he did!  And I cranked the inking out in a little over a week.  And despite our time constraints I was still super happy with how those pages turned out.  My buddy ZANDER even told me those pages were the most beautiful he’d ever seen me do.  Aw, shucks!  The SUPER FANTASTICA COMIX anthology turned out pretty beautiful itself, and can be purchased here.

    After all that excitement, Steve and I went back to the previously agreed upon schedule where he would get a pretty liberal amount of time to letter pages, and I would work on other things while he was doing that–like the TOMMY CHICAGO “FREE COMIC BOOK DAY 2009” SPECIAL.  Eventually I finished the TC story and Steve had some pages lettered and ready for me to ink.  The Saturday I was going to go to Steve’s and pick those pages up, a pipe burst in our house.  I quickly scanned the internet for a reliable plumber who wouldn’t screw us over ’cause he had to work on Saturday, and found ERIK NELSON.  Having repairmen in the house has always been weird for me…what to do with myself while they toil?  Usually I sit nervously, but that day I remembered  “Oh yeah–COMICS!”   So I got some pages from Steve and brought them home to work on while Erik put my ancient plumbing back together.  While I was inking page seven Erik walked by and said: “OH! You’re a cartoonist?!  Me too!  Hey…weren’t you at the CARTOONIST CONSPIRACY meeting last month…?” 

    So yes, in the small world we live I had randomly called the only plumber in Minnesota who was also the newest member of the Conspiracy.  Crazy!  We have since become buddies, and his art will appear on this very website next month as a part of a special, secret project (well, slightly less secret now, I guess).  And it’s all thanks to comics….



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