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: Mr. Klaw is the only supporting character from our books to appear in this story. I think when I wrote it I put a big note that it was an optional page, and if we didn’t have room we could drop it. I’m glad we had room, after the Fleming hits on Ruby bit, this was probably my favorite gag.
LIPSKI: This is (obviously) Rocketman’s boss. His name is Mr. Klaw and first appeared in an issue Brian wrote. Rocketman works for Walls Mortgage which many people think is a take off on Wells Fargo Mortgage but the name is actually taken from three different places:
1) one of the worst people I’ve ever worked had the last name of ‘Walls’
2) a little nod to Pink Floyd’s landmark album
3) when I started ‘Uptown Girl’ I worked for a company that had a very lame slogan we had to say at the end of each phone call. I spent a long time trying to think of something equally as lame. After days of pondering I came up with “Walls Mortgage-you can’t have a house without walls”. I still laugh at that.
DANK: Ok…like I said yesterday, this is my FAVORITE PAGE OF THE BOOK! Why? Well cause 1) Bob really did some great layouts, 2) I enjoyed the hell out of inking it, and 3) it features someone who has absolutely nothing to do with the rest of the story. On the COVER to this story we jokingly showed several characters from each series who have nothing to do with the actual story contents (except Mr Klaw). I think if there is any downfall to this crossover is that we went SO OUTSIDE of each series. We really should have had more pages like this one, and more interactions with each books larger casts. Ah well…thats what sequels are for.
ALSO: There is no Daily Goal Sketch today, and it’s all ZANDER CANNON’s fault. As you probably already know Zander wrote a TRANSFORMERS: BUMBLEBEE mini-series for IDW (the last issue of which is out RIGHT NOW!). As you then also know, Zander made ME a character in the story. What you may not know is that despite how the artist CHEE has been drawing ‘Lt. Dan-O Klonowski’, he was SUPPOSED to look EXACTLY like FLEMING HAZMAT…but in a beret. See Zander not only writes the story, but he also does layouts of the story, and thats what the artist gets as a ‘script’. These are easily the coolest scripts I have ever read. Zander essentially draws mini-comics that get turned into highly ‘realistic’ mainstream books. Anyway…like I said CHEE never really got the Hazmat right with ‘Klonowski’. The closest he came to what Zander wanted was this:
…and that was in issue one. And by the end of that issue (and for the rest of the series) CHEE ditched the shades and the beret and Klonowski was just some generic guy with a pencil moustache. Whatever. Now what you REALLY may not know is that when Zander got this writing gig he told me about his plans for Klonowski. My immediate response was: “AWESOME! You do that and I’ll get a tattoo of a panel from one of the issues!” This may have been a bit rash on my part, but I committed to it there and then. So of course when the artwork finally rolled in and Klonowski was not the Hazmat awesomeness Zander and I were hoping for I was a bit crestfallen. But I decided to stay true to my word. So instead of getting some of CHEE’s scribbles put on me permanently I asked Zander for a ‘finished’ version of my favorite panel of his ‘script’:
This panel appears in issue 4 (like I said, go buy it TODAY!), and proceeds the ‘MONEY SHOT’ of the whole series. Anyway, yesterday was my birthday, so I got myself the bestest birthday present ever: