Archive for the 'Free Comic Book Day' Category


The “TOMMY CHICAGO FCBD COLLECTION” by Bastian & Klonowski

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!



TC: FCBD–part 12(of 12–THE END! HAPPY HALLOWEEN, Y’ALL!)–by Bastian and Dank, also: “How to deal with old, useless mini-comics”

BASTIAN:  We couldn’t just get rid of the Zombies, that’s not the Tommy Chicago way. Instead he just makes them someone elses problem. It’s also the Tommy Chicago way to have so much knowledge about Monsters and the states, that you can’t keep the facts straight. Also, just in case you’re wondering, California is the Golden State. Knowledge is power.

DANK:  Not surprisingly, Mark’s ass was not in the script, but rather something I couldn’t stop thinking about adding as a ‘stinger’ as I read the awful ‘WORLD WAR HULK’ trade.  Brian also did not specify WHICH ‘Ghost Rider’ Mark would become, but I grew up in love with the MARK TEXERIA-era 90’s Ghost Rider, so I knew I had to draw that motorcycle.  So I penciled this panel.  Days and days later when I got around to inking it I went onto google to get an actual picture to reference from…and guess what?  I had spent so much time staring at that cover as a kid I had drawn it almost 100% accurately WITHOUT reference

BASTIAN:  Nothing was really resolved in this FREE book, but I like that we have the option of continuing Mark’s adventures in the future. Also this did finally get TC and Jimmy home and answers what happens to them between Tommy Chicago vol 1 #12 and Tommy Chicago vol 2 #1.  And maybe someday we’ll find out what happens with Jimmy’s soul.

DANK:  If we ever do any more TC comics, I’m totally putting Jimmy back in the Earth costume…somehow.  Otherwise, I really, really want to thank Brian for giving me all the great TOMMY CHICAGO yarns to doodle over the years.  It really has been fun, and I really can’t wait to do more.  Thanks, Brian.  You rock more than you are contractually allowed to admit!   HAPPY HALLOWEEN, all!

ALSO:  This Fall has been so far…weird…to say the least.  Anyway, last Sunday I was supposed to take part in the cleaning the garage, instead that turned into lots of beer and a bonfire.  Eventually, I decided I should do SOME cleaning, so I took care of all those pesky mini-comics I did from about 2001-2006 that no one (ESPECIALLY ME) likes or cares about.  So may I present: “HOW TO DEAL WITH YOUR OLD, USELESS MINI-COMICS”:

    Up next on STAPLEGENIUS.COM(ics):  This years 24 Hour Comic!!!  In freaking COLOR, no less!!!


TC: FCBD–part 11(of 12)–by Bastian and Dank, also: “Teenage Choas!”

BASTIAN:  Bob and I had done some give away pieces to Jimmy Jams in the past, where we’d take a Marvel event book and condense it down to 6-8 panels on 1 page. At the risk of being egotistical, they were the most hilarious things ever. It was nice to use that same concept here in the story. Also, I would buy “Iron Fist’s Weekends with Carl” in a second.

DANK:  The ‘CIVIL WAR’ sequence was fun to do.  Neither Brian or I knew many of specifics about the story, so it was all based on a third-hand account Wiki entry Brian read.  I also like coming up with little gags like the ‘star’ on Mark’s Captain America suit. 

BASTIAN:  More scary evil chanting. If we were kids, my mom would have banned me from playing at your house. It’ll be more apparent on the next page, but I love the continuity on the globe, with the western hemisphere on the front, and the eastern on the rear. It really shows your dedication to your craft. Or something.

DANK:   After all my joshing of of WORLD WAR HULK beginning with my one and only trip to JIMMY JAM COMICS in 2007, I did actually READ the ‘WWH’ trade before drawing this for reference material.  It was about as stupid as I thought it would be.  Romita Jr’s art was pretty rad though.

ALSO:  Another fun page of CONTINUITY GUY: CHRONO CHAOS is up!  Guy is in some hot, teenage stew courtesy of myself and BUD BURGY!


TC: FCBD–part 10(of 12)–by Bastian and Dank

BASTIAN:  My enjoyment at Mark’s anger in the first panel is only eclipsed by Jimmy’s enthusiasm in the last panel.

DANK:  Ugh…zombies.  When we came up with the story for this I was pumped to draw zombies.  So pumped I ended up doing a zombie story for my 24 Hour Comic a few months before I did this (REMINDER: I will post my 2010 24 Hour Comic immediately following this TC yarn in November).  Guess what?–Zombies are really tedious to draw, something I learned at the 24 Hour Comic Day in question(2008).  I was just FURIOUS I had to draw lots of zombies in this story.  I think I phoned’em in.  For reasons that should be obvious, the “TC Reading List” is my favorite gag of the story–especially the part where he tosses them aside, which is another unscripted ‘background’ gag I included.

BASTIAN:  Shameless plug in a free comic!  Of course Bob died on page 4, so I guess Manly Tales is your only option now.


TC: FCBD–part 9(of 12)–by Bastian and Dank, also: I go all ‘cross hatchy’ on your ass

BASTIAN:  I just couldn’t figure out what type of evil chanting would work for something like this, so I just wrote “evil chanting” and figured you’d come up with something, and unlike every sports team I support, you didn’t let me down. I’ve always wondered if they actually mean something, but I think if I found out there were, it would creep me out even more. 

DANK:  Actually Brian, I don’t think it’ll creep you out too much.  Like you said, in the script there was no written incantation for Mark to read from the Necronomicon, so I reused the one I had Dick Cheney chant in IT’S WAR 2: THE WAR ON HOMELAND SECURITY(which you can read in its entirety HERE, though God, why would you?).  The devil-wording (or whatever it is) is an actual Satanic verse I got out of a friends book.  It’s from a poem about the beauty and power of nature or something equally UN-evil like that.

BASTIAN:   I’m sure I think the whole Marvel Zombie thing is a lot more hilarious than it probably is. I’m sure back in the day I actually got excited at the concept of Werewolf Captain America too.  Ah to be young and dumb again.

DANK:  Just realized we never answered the question of who would win that fight.  My guess–Werewolf Jonah Jameson’s Kid would sucker-punch’em both.

ALSO:  You probably already know this–since I’m guessing if you’ve read this far you know me all too well–but I wrote a recap of my experience at last weekends TWIN CITIES BOOK FEST for my favorite indie comic news website–THE DAILY CROSS HATCH.  I felt like I was writing an article for the coolest school newspaper ever, and was honored to be asked to be ‘a part of the team’, if only for a day.  Many thanks to SARAH MOREAN for giving me a platform for my rantings.  When I sent Sarah my ‘rehash’ I sent her A LOT of pictures.  Obviously she couldn’t use them all, but here are two of/from my buddy KEVIN CANNON I feel must go somewhere, so why not here:

  I didn’t bring any paper to BOOK FEST, hoping it wouldn’t turn into “that kind of show”.  About an hour in when I looked over and saw Keivn doodling, I was instantly jealous.  Anyway, here’s the awesomeness he made:


TC: FCBD–part 8(of 12)–by Bastian and Dank, also: “False Witness” #4 gets reviewed, and be sure to check in on ‘Continuity Guy: Chrono Choas’

BASTIAN:  Hey kids, do you think that history is boring? Well it’s full of atrocities like cannibalism. You just need to do a little more research than what’s in your school books. Remember that for your next school report. Or find a movie that’s based on a horrible world event and write the report on that. Today’s classes are too crowded for anyone to really check up on your work. 

DANK:  All this flashback business serves two purposes–1) to clue in any “new” readers, and 2)to cram in more of our over-flowing cauldron of story ideas.  Over-all it was fun to draw since I got to work in the murder of BOB LIPSKI and the kid which I’m pretty sure wasn’t in the script. 

BASTIAN:   I love those skeletons. I’ll say when a script calls for death or gore, you don’t dink around. Bravo.

DANK:  FUN FACT!– Brian and Bob would debut these books every year during Free Comic Book Day at JIMMY JAM COMICS in Rochester, MN where Mark worked/managed.  In the time between when we started this issue and when FCBD occurred Jimmy Jam closed up shop, so we had to give this book to Mark when we saw him at Spring(nee Micro)Con.  Wait…that wasn’t that fun of a fact.

   ALSO:  The 4th issue of FALSE WITNESS: THE MICHELE BACHMANN STORY is now out, and some reviews are starting to come in!   CITY PAGES and Comic Book Resources’ ROBOT 6 both did nice little promo things, but the real deal is the review on THE TALKING POINTS MEMO.  The reviewer liked it despite himself!  Nifty!  As for my role in this issue…Well first off the whole issue was drawn by LUPI McGINTY and JAMES POWELL.  James inked all his work on the ‘flashback’ sequence, but I did all the inking on Lupi’s ‘God in the Bar’ sequences:

   Lupi, James, BILL PRENDERGAST (the writer), and I all did the ever-changing backgrounds, though I ended up doing a majority of them.  KEVIN CANNON also did the brilliant opening page (and let me tell you it was AWESOME seeing Kevin’s rendition of Lupi and I’s ‘God in the bar’ sequence).  Finally, I (and my friend Photoshop) did the Wrathful God back cover:

   I have done work on all four issues of FALSE WITNESS, and I can say without a shadow of doubt this is the best issue both in terms of art AND story.  I highly recommend you go BUY IT  TODAY.  Hell, buy all 4.  They are totally worth it!

   AND AS IF THAT WEREN’T ENOUGH:  I honestly can’t believe the outstanding work BUD BURGY has been doing bringing my script for CONTINUITY GUY: CHRONO CHAOS to life.  Seriously.  His best work ever.  Hands down.  So be sure to check in on Continuity Guy and company every week.  I’d say right now is a prefect jumping-on point for new readers, but honestly these stories never make too much sense until about 5 pages to the end.  But it’s a fun ride getting there!


TC: FCBD–part 7(of 12)–by Bastian and Dank

   Here we go with part 3 of the TOMMY CHICAGO: FREE COMIC BOOK DAY trilogy by BRIAN BASTIAN and myself.  Despite the seemingly doomed ending of part 2, this story picks up one year later back in Rochester, MN (commentary to follow)…

BASTIAN:  I never thought I’d love a parody cover more than the previous years FCBD cover, but I was proven wrong with this one. Maybe someday we’ll do another free comic, with a parody cover that tops this…but I highly doubt it.DANK:  Thanks, Brian!  Actually, this cover was probably my favorite to draw.  I did it at one of the Cartoonist Conspiracy “SATURDAY OPEN STUDIOS” meetings.  Not only did drawing around friends help me come up with content for the bevy of cover gags to give them shout-outs in (my favorite being the poster for ‘FINDING OSAMA’ which came from a riff on a drawing MIKE SGIER was doing for his ‘TOBY AND SARA’ comic), but there are also some in-jokes from the day in there like ‘Crunchy Frog’, the meaning of which is now lost to time.

BASTIAN:  When we finished the 2nd FCBD issue, I started thinking about how to do a 3rd one. The first idea centered around TC trying to sell my corpse to bus fare home, but that didn’t really go anywhere. But the corpse thing obviously led me to zombies. Then while planning this story out, tragedy struck again, and the Rochester location of Jimmy Jams was closed due to..reasons that I don’t know if I was ever told about, but I’m assuming it was related to the crappy economy. I wasn’t sure if we should even spend the time doing this story, especially if nobody was ever going to see it.  But Danno was still keen on drawing it, and if I based my decisions on people reading the comic, I’d have stopped a long time ago. So yes, Zombies!  Those are some nice looking Zombies.

DANK:  As for the sudden switch to ‘wide-screen’ format for this story…I dunno.  Maybe I was just in a MANLY TALES OF COWARDICE or something.  I’m sure it would have worked in either the horizontal or vertical format, but for some reason I remember being insistent I do it sideways.  I think one of my rationals for Brian was that we were planning the ill-fated collection and I figured there was such a weird art jump from part 1 to part 2, that we might as well be equally as jarring for part 3.  This is also the first real kind of writing collaboration between Brian and myself.  Going into it we actual SPOKE ON THE PHONE about the direction of this story (we usually reserve our conversations to awkward small-talk at conventions and Kinkos).  We both came into it with a ton of ideas that Brian then had the unlucky chore of sifting thru and making into a cohesive story.  Not everything made it in–like my ideas that the narrator for this should be the zombified, headless corpse of Brian himself–but I think enough did that it’s pretty clearly a jumbled, unfocused mess.



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