In addition to doing a full TOMMY CHICAGO 4-issue series with BRIAN BASTIAN, we also did a side story that came out on three FREE COMIC BOOK DAYs in a row. The first part was actually drawn by BOB LIPSKI, for the sake of this collection I’ve done a 2-page recap of that story. So if you enjoy comics, comic shop humor, monsters and zombies, the TOMMY CHICAGO FCBD COLLECTION is for you!
Archive for the 'Brian Bastian' Category
This is a comic book crossover born of a convention fever dream and released one year later at said convention. It was co-plotted by myself, BRIAN BASTIAN (Tommy Chicago), and BOB LIPSKI (Uptown Girl). Brian wrote the blasted 40-some page thing, Bob penciled most of it and I inked it. There were a few pages that I penciled and Bob inked and those are maybe my favorites. I didn’t include this tale in the final MANLY TALES trade cause…”legal issues” aside…it’s just plain weird. But it is MANLY TALES canon as far as I’m concerned (so is Brian with TOMMY CHICAGO. Bob…not so much), so bone up, MANLY TALES OF COWARDICE experts…
So here’s the deal with this story (part 2)… The script for the first issue of the TOMMY CHICAGO mini-series I did with BRIAN BASTIAN had a throw-away line that jokingly explained why TC’s sidekick JIMMY never aged–involving lizard men, a magical remote control and a hot dog vendor with a heart of gold. I decided it would be fun to illustrate this line instead of just having Jimmy say it. So I needed a hot dog vendor. And from that Shavonda and her delicious Shavondawgs were born! I told Brian what I had done, and he wasn’t so sure about what he had gotten into with me as a collaborator. He thought the name was a little “Napoleon Dynamite” or whatever (and the hot dog name possibly racist, the worrier). But then he saw the finished art, and he immediately fell head over heels with Shavonda. He madly began schemeing ways to work this one-off joke into the series proper. I suggested “What if she returned to Chilitown with TC from the lizard man dimension and now sells hot dogs–excuse me, Shavondawgs–at the city park (a high-traffic area in the context of the story)?” Brian liked that. So given a chance to write this little freebie story he couldn’t pass up the chance to work Shavonda into the TC cannon proper. After that there was no stopping him, and she even turned up in the 3rd issue of the series. I know for a fact if there is ever anymore TOMMY CHICAGO that she’ll be a major player in it. And to think, it all started cause I didn’t want to just draw a talking head…
So here’s the deal with this story (part 1)… BRIAN BASTIAN and I began collaborating on the second series of TOMMY CHICAGO back in 2008. We did a lot with him that year–a FREE COMIC DAY special, issue #1 of the series, a crossover special with MANLY TALES OF COWARDICE and UPTOWN GIRL, aaaaaand the second issue of the series. (I also did some MANLY TALES, SUPERMARKET VIGILANTE, and a few other short things that year. I’m fairly certain I didn’t sleep.) By the time Fallcon rolled around and issue 2 was printed I was all-about TC. I was very proud of #2 and wanted this comic to be a hit. So the Monday before Fallcon I email Brian and suggested we should crank out a TC freebie to give away and draw people in to BUY the actual comic. He seemed agreeable with that idea and sent me a finished script for the above story the next day. I then penciled the whole thing–AT WORK!–and brought it home to ink. By that Friday I was making it into a mini-comic –again, AT WORK!–on the sly. The next day, Saturday, was Fallcon and we had a brand new giveaway.
Oh, and the freebie idea totally didn’t work, sales wise. I still have a shit-ton of minis of this story. I should probably just burn them or something.
There. I sent the bomb from part one back in time. That plot hole is all closed up. Now to open up some more. OH! And I was big fan of MICHAEL CHERKAS art on the ‘SECRET INVASION’ comic growing up, and I think these 3 pages really show that.
ALSO: So right now I should be in Chicago with DANIEL J OLSON at the second annual C2E2 comic convention thingy. We went last year and had a blast being in artists alley and the plan for this year was more of the same. But for me anyway, life got in the way. So Dan is there and I am not. Wah. One of the key reasons for us going and sharing a table this year is that I am the plotting mastermind behind the final 3 issues of Dan’s SUPER MAXI-PAD GIRL series, the first part of which debuts at C2E2 TODAY! So if you’re there–pick it up! Or buy it from Dan at one of the many Minnesota cons he’ll be doing in 2011. Or, you know, I’m sure it’ll be available soon on his website.
FINALLY: I had totally forgotten about this, but BOB LIPSKI and BRIAN BASTIAN kinda sorta not really participated in the 144 Page Graphic Novel Challenge. Here, I’ll let staplegenius.com(ics) regular Brian Bastian explain:
“Bob told me about the 12 page per month thing and asked if I wanted to write for him for it. We decided to combine two story ideas I had come up with for the ill fated uptown girl cartoon. I started just working on it during my downtime at work, seeing as I only had to write 12 pages a month. And then the whole thing just seemed to fall apart, with everyone quitting on it. So it just sat, not just unfinished, but barely started.
Then Bob was stopping the monthly book and wanted to do original graphic novels and he wanted to do the story we had been working on. So I dusted it off and finished it up. I think I ended it at page 140 so as to give him 4 pages to play around with. And let me tell you that script was a piece of shit. The non-plot bits were good, but the story made no sense, had weird leaps of logic and was just shit. Bob started drawing it (even though it was shit. I can’t stress that enough) and he was extending a lot of the pages because I had crammed a lot into each page. And he started asking me plot questions and about clearing some stuff up (I’m sure he knew it was shit too) so then I started rewriting pages, adding some pages, clearing up the plot a lot. So this combined with Bob taking his time drawing it and extending pages added quite a bit.
When he was close to done, he sent me a list of scenes/rewrites/etc he wanted and I worked all that out. Then I also spent an afternoon in a coffee shop looking over the pages, reading it and making sure it made sense, then I went and added more stuff, until we were both happy with it. And it was a whole lot better. I did get to spend a couple days with a proof copy and I made one last run through looking for spelling mistakes and changing and tightening up some more dialogue. And now hopefully it’ll be out at springcon. And also hopefully people won’t think its shit. Although if they do, I’ll be really glad we didn’t go with the first draft. So yeah, that’s what I remember, Bob might have more memories why we didn’t do the 144 challenge, but if he doesn’t say anything about how much the first script sucked, he’s lying.”
FUN FACT #1: Page 8 with Britishworth and Rose** was originally that awful 8-page opening sequence I told you I tried writing a couple of years ago. Does that strike you as a 8-page worthy build-up to a joke about Rose cutting a check? Correct, it doesn’t.
**FUN FACT #1.5: ‘Rose’ is a creation of BRIAN BASTIANs. He was “TOMMY CHICAGO”s main villain for the first 12-issue series BOB LIPKSI drew. You might remember Rose also showed up in MANLY TALES #4 prompting the above exchange. Brian got rid of the Rose with TOMMY CHICAGO series 2 and had no plans of bring him back because of some name or copyright issue something (He was called “The Ugly Rose” but that conflicted with something or other. I dunno. Ask Brian for details.). Upon hearing this news I immediately told Brian I was stealing Rose (or ‘The Evil Rose’ as I like to think of him as) for the Manly Tales realm. Brian shrugged and wished me luck with my new sinking ship.
**FUN FACT #1.75: While Rose’s wife did show up in an issue of TOMMY CHICAGO (vol.1, #8 I believe), Rose’s kid is all my doing. I drew him into a background in MANLY TALES #4, and whether Brian liked it or not I gave Rose a kid. So here is again. If Rose does ever return to the pages of Manly Tales (so far, not scheduled to happen) his kid will definitely be in tow. Oh…and I should mention…the kid is drawn to look EXACTLY the way I did at 14. You’re welcome.
FUN FACT #2: Like I said, I had this issue in mind since the start–the big “SINISTER SEVERAL” team-up of villains to kill Fleming Hazmat. A lot happened from the planning stages in early 2007 to when I finished inking this in October of 2010, but the over-all jist of what this story was going to stayed the same. There are however TWO glaring changes I made from my original concept of the story when I finally sat down to write it. #1) I can’t tell you now. It’ll ruin everything later, but #2) I have touched on before–the unforeseen importance of Sir Leigh Britishworth to the MANLY TALES OF COWARDICE mythos. Like I’ve stated a few times before–Britishworth was SUPPOSED to be a one-issue gag. Even though I knew this issue would include all the villains Fleming had encountered, I made a choice after finishing issue #1 that Britishworth would not be a part of this story. But that damnable Brian Bastian–HIM AGAIN!–brought back Britishworth issue #4, and the rest as you can see is ret-conned history.**
**FUN FACT #2.5: One of the funny things about Britishworth sticking around is how I’ve been sold on my own accidental genius. He is a fun character, after all. But it wasn’t pointed out to my until I was drawing the Britishworth LIL FUNNY that his name is Sir Leigh–SURLY!–Britishworth. He is surly and his name is literally SURLY! I was just making a very stupid Jennifer Jason Leigh play on THE DaVINCI CODE villain when I named Britishworth, but this…this is great! It made me very happy to have Ian Anthrax point the ‘Surly’ out in this issue. And not to ruin anything, but BRIAN BASTIAN–really, again?!–is working on an upcoming MANLY TALES epic featuring Surly, and I can’t wait to draw it…
Sometimes BRIAN BASTIAN emails me stuff–Scripts. Rough ideas. Gags. They all more or less end up becoming reality at some point. The business at the top with “ATLANTIS LAD” was one of those such email bombs. He just had a random image in his head of Fleming trying to dupe someone with a dead fish dressed up as ATLANTIS LAD. He had no other context for it, but knowing full well the characters would one day end up in grocery store in this issue I told him I’d give his gag a good home. And there it is! Thanks, Brian!