Archive for the 'Free Comic Book Day' Category


TC: FCBD–part 6(of 12)–by Bastian and Dank, also: Britt Aamodt’s book on MN cartoonists (including myself) debuts Saturday at ‘Book Fest’, and the ‘Geek Report’ and ‘Fallcon’ are Saturday too!

BRIAN BASTIAN:  If you’re too young to remember the Hostess cake ads they used to run in comics back in the day, they were awesome. It was like you were getting a free short story and an advertisement for sugar. I’d like to say that having Tommy Chicago stealing my wallet was a metaphoric statement on how he eats up a lot of my disposable income, but in fact I just thought it would be funny. I was really happy with the ending too. Its a great point to get out of the story, but it left the door open if we wanted to do another story.

DANK:  I remember reading the script for this and getting to this point in the story and realizing there were only two pages left and HOW THE HELL WAS BRIAN GOING TO GET TC AND JIMMY OUT OF THIS IN A SATISFYING MANNER?!?!  And he freekin’ did it.  Oh, and he’s totally right about a writers wallets (same goes for cartoonists).  Anyway, we’ll be back Monday with the third chapter of the TOMMY CHICAGO FREE COMIC BOOK DAY trilogy!  In the meantime…

   Know whats AWESOME about the TWIN CITIES BOOK FEST going on this weekend?  Well, YES, it is a FREE EVENT and that is pretty rad.  But what’s even greater is that  BRITT AAMODT’s “SUPERHEROES, STRIP ARTISTS, and TALKING ANIMALS: ESSAYS ON CONTEMPORARY MN CARTOONISTS” will be debuting nigh-on a month ahead of it’s release date at BOOK FEST this Saturday!!!  The book features both interviews and the art of many of your favorite MN cartoonists including several Conspirators.  The official run-down of artists looks like this:  Kirk Anderson, Ken Avidor, Terry Beatty, Big Time Attic: Zander & Kevin Cannon, Will Dinski, Patrick Gleason, Peter Gross, Christopher Jones & Melissa Kaercher, Dan Jurgens, Ryan Kelly, Reynold Kissling, Danno Klonowski/Dank!, Bob Lipski & Brian Bastian, Roger Lootine, Doug Mahnke, Gordon Purcell, Brittney Sabo, Zak Sally, Barbara Schulz, Tim Sievert, Andy Singer, King Mini/Vincent Stall, andSteven Stwalley.   So come pick a copy this weekend.  Dare I suggest–the perfect stocking stuffer for your loved ones who love comics???

 So yeah–  Tomorrow SATURDAY, OCTOBER 16th I will be at the TWIN CITIES BOOK FESTIVAL at the Minneapolis Community & Technical College.  I’ll be joined by my friends and fellow Conspirators KEVIN CANNON, MIKE TOFT, LUPI McGINTY, BILL PRENDERGAST, and BRITT AAMODT.  The show runs from 10am to 5pm.  Afterwards I’ll be running across town to record the latest episode of THE GEEK REPORT (with special guest RYAN DOW).  Meanwhile, BRIAN BASTIAN (and, uh…everybody else) will be at FALLCON in St Paul.  We’ll be discussing both BOOK FEST and FALLCON at length on the GEEK REPORT, so if you miss either, we’ll give you the recap!   And don’t forget–every issue of FALSE WITNESS: THE MICHELE BACHMANN STORY (including the all-new #4) will be for sale every THURSDAY thru SUNDAY night in OCTOBER at the stagings of MICHELE! A MUSICAL BACHUMANNTARY.  There’s a good chance I’ll be there as well selling’em!


TC: FCBD–part 5(of 12)–by Bastian and Dank, also: ‘False witness’ #4 gets some love, and ‘Book Fest’ and ‘Fallcon’ are this weekend!

BRIAN BASTIAN:  I have one regret about this page, and it’s not my horrifying death by fist. No, I probably should have swapped Bob out for you, since when I wrote the scene he was going to draw it, and then he wasn’t. Lucky for me you had the presence of mind to add youself getting crushed by a bookcase on the next page. And we finally took out that Buffy stand up

DANK:  One of the weirdest things about part 1 of this trilogy was that BRIAN worked himself and then-TC artist BOB LIPSKI into the story.  I really like that he took it one step beyond in part 2 by killing himself off.  And page 10 here is quite simply the best page of not only this story, but probably the whole trilogy.  Maybe one of the best TC pages I’ve ever drawn.  Brian sort of freed me up to go nuts, and go nuts I did.  Haven’t you always wanted to see SOMEONE eat HEROCLIX?  I know I have.


   As I’ve mentioned before, FALSE WITNESS: THE MICHELE BACHMANN STORY #4 is now available for your purchasing delight.  It even got some love from our frienemies at the CITY PAGES this week!  Thanks!

 FINALLY:  Both BRIAN BASTIAN and myself will be IN PUBLIC and SELLING OUR COMICS (including the all-new collection for the TOMMY CHICAGO mini-series we did together) at separate events this SATURDAY, OCTOBER 16th!  I will be at the TWIN CITIES BOOK FESTIVAL in Minneapolis, and Brian will be at FALLCON in St Paul.  Stop by either–or both!


TC: FCBD–part 4(of 12)–by Bastian and Dank, also: More fun with ‘THE GEEK REPORT’, your weekly ‘CONTINUITY GUY’ reminder, and ‘Book Fest’ and ‘Fallcon’ this Saturday!

BRIAN BASTIAN:  This is probably the most realistic moment in the book…well the bowing down part anyway. I’d totally have bowed down if that had happened to me. And then it’s followed by one page of more or less filler. It’s just setting up the next page.

DANK:  As I mentioned before, Brian gave a me a couple of ideas of what he had in mind for AVID READER’s look to be.  I remember one of them was a guy in a book suit, which I did some test drawings of.  They turned out okay, but when I tried drawing the demonized book, it just looked kinda stupid.  My train of thought then focused on creating the DEMON first, and then the ‘safe’ version.  What I decided was that this story was set in a comic shop–and a SUPERHERO-centric one at that.  What I decided was that if super-villains really existed the one you just would NOT want to run into in real life is Venom.  What a creepy fuck Venom would be in real life (and I’m talking the McFarlane-era Venom, not the shitty SPIDER-MAN 3 one).  So I decided the demon would have Venom-ish qualities to fit into the surroundings, and it was from there I came up with making AVID READER an old-fashioned Little Old Lady Librarian.  Plus the joke on page 3 of Avid Reader being a GUY in the suit took on a whole new dimension.  Overall, I like how it turned out (that panel of AVID READER shooting fire-beams from its eyes however…).  FUN FACT!–I was reading a collection of the DARWYN COOKE’s ‘THE SPIRIT’ when I drew this, ergo the SPIRIT poster.   

ALSO:  BUD BURGY has really been hitting the pages for CONTINIUITY GUY: CHRONO CHOAS out of the cosmic park.  Be sure to check in on it as he updates a new page weekly(ish).

ANDSpeaking of Bud, I was with him this weekend co-hosting the latest episode of THE GEEK REPORT (along with LANCE WARD and ATHENA CURRIER).  This week’s guest was KEVIN CANNON and we chatted with him and ran down our personal ‘TOP 5″ lists of geek reverence.

FINALLY:  Both BRIAN BASTIAN and myself will be IN PUBLIC and SELLING OUR COMICS (including the all-new collection for the TOMMY CHICAGO mini-series we did together) at separate events this SATURDAY, OCTOBER 16th!  I will be at the TWIN CITIES BOOK FESTIVAL in Minneapolis, and Brian will be at FALLCON in St Paul.  Stop by either–or both!


TC: FCBD–part 3(of 12)–by Bastian and Dank, also: Meet Some of the “FALSE WITNESS” team and see a show!

BRIAN BASTIAN:  “The Very Real Necronomicon” title was all danno and a really nice touch. I think I just said it was some random evil looking book, but by giving it a specific name it adds to the obviousness that whatever’s happening here isn’t good, and in a 12 page book you don’t want to be too vague. Too vague is exactly how I feel about the references on the page where Mark and TC recap the last fcbd issue. Unless you’re paying attention to the one panel on page 3 with the name of the store, ‘sandwich guy’ makes no sense. Oh well. It’s a free comic.

DANK:  Fun fact!  Like you (yes–YOU!) the crux of my knowledge re: The Necronomicon comes from the EVIL DEAD movies.  Figuring I should probably know SOMETHING more about it before I drew it , I did some actual research.  So…you know…I did a wiki search.  It was with these vast resources I was able to come up with the “Edited by H.P. LOVECRAFT’ gag all on my own.  Also, I really like the black and white balance of page 6.  I remember being really proud of it when I originally drew the page, and I still am.

ALSO:  The latest issue (#4) of FALSE WITNESS: THE MICHELE BACHMANN STORY (written by BILL PRENDERGAST with art by LUPI McGINTY, JAMES POWELL, KEVIN CANNON, and myself) is now available!   So you can either order it online OR if you live in the Minneapolis/St Paul are you have a chance to come purchase it IN PERSON every THURSDAY thru SUNDAY night in OCTOBER before (or after) a staging of MICHELE! THE MUSICAL BACHUMANNTARY at the MINNEAPOLIS THEATRE GARAGE in lovely UPTOWN.  Bill and I will be on-hand to sell books, sign autographs, and be monitored by the FBI and Tea-Baggers alike.  Hope to see you there!


TC: FCBD–part 2(of 12)–by Bastian and Dank, also: “The (nearly) forgotten photos of 24 Hour Comic Day”

BRIAN BASTIAN:  Mark seemed to be ok with us putting him in the first story, so I thought “why not press my luck again.” He’s actually not parodied too much here. He’s a nice, reasonable guy, who ran a great comic store. Which makes him the perfect enemy for Tommy Chicago.  When I knew that I was going to be wrapping up the first volume of Tommy Chicago and starting the new series, I thought it would be a perfect opportunity to use this story to bridge the gap and explain where Tommy Chicago and Jimmy have been for a year. When I decided to do another story set at Jimmy Jams, it became two years. It’s a little vague what they’ve been doing for the whole year, but I really like the birthday joke.  Jimmy looks just the right amount of sad.

DANK:  While I had drawn TC and Co in the pages of MANLY TALES OF COWARDICE #4 a few months previous, this was my first ‘official’ TC book.  So…it was kinda weird opening the book with characters who weren’t TC or Jimmy.  It’s even weirder that they don’t show up until page 4 considering this was only a 12 page special.  But it was fun designing AVID READER.  Brian gave me a few ideas to work from for AVID, but as I recall I tossed them all out the window and went with what you see.

   ALSO:  Some of the 24 Hour Comics made here in Minneapolis are now going up (with links on our official blog), and while I won’t be getting up mine until after the above TOMMY CHICAGO tale is done, I have a few news-ish tidbits.  The first being that I will be using my 24 Hour Book as a part of upcoming international cartoonist art show being set-up by my friend MAXEEM (more on that in the weeks to come).  The second bit of news is that I have pictures from the event…that I nearly forgot I took…cause that’s what happens to your brian when you do 24 Hour Comics.  I didn’t get very many because my digital camera was on a weird setting (again, something I didn’t realize or could fix due to a sleepy brain), but here are some of the keepers:

The MN Center for Book Arts loves us MN cartoonists, and always makes us feel welcome. You rock, Book Arts!

The view from my seat about 3 hours in.  There’s JUSTIN BABB (a 24 Hour virgin who didn’t technically finish–had about 4 pages left to ink–but was there the whole time and did a hilarious tale) and “FALSE WITNESS” collaborator JAMES POWELL (who was just visiting for a few hours).  Also, you should buy a copy of the all-new “FALSE WITNESS” #4 at –it features an amazing story written by BILL PRENDERGAST and drawn as a 3-way James, LUPI McGINTY, and myself.

  That is a packed room full of cartoonists!

  Amazing hugger and cartoonist JESSE GILLESPIE  did his story on a ‘puter this year.  Oh the age of magic boxes!

Some peeps from the table I spent the first 17 hours at:  TED ANDERSON who came to root us on for a few hours, DANIEL J OLSON (who finished his book in about 18 hours), ATHENA CURRIER who pre-did all her panels at home then came to Book Arts and wrote her comic and then disappeared after “breaking-up” with Dan and BUD, and EARL LUCKES who made a triumphant return to 24 Hour Comic Day and finished in about 14 hours!

  There’s “CONTINUITY GUY” artist BUD BURGY tweeting about his heart-break.

  There’s me!  This photo was mostly taken to show off my new INK PANTHERS PODCAST t-shirt.  What?  You don’t listen to the INK PANTHERS PODCAST?!?!  What the fuck is wrong with you?  Errr….sorry about that….tired!   Anyway, I did TRY to document my 24 hours of progess:

   After much hemming and hawing the finished pencils were completed around hour 7.

Lettering and panel borders were done around hour 9.  And then at hour 23:

  DONE!!!  So there’s your tease until November.


TC: FCBD–part 1(of 12)–by Brian Bastian and dank, also: 24 Hour Comic Day recap

    Thoughts on this years 24 HOUR COMIC DAY and what you are about to read of the TOMMY CHICAGO: FREE COMIC BOOK DAY epic by writer/creator BRIAN BASTIAN and myself to follow the pages below, as per our usual. Enjoy!

         THE COVER

BRIAN BASTIAN: I had wanted to see this specific parody cover for a long long time. When I finally saw it, I had it printed up to a giant size and framed and put on my wall.

DANNO KLONOWSKI:  I have 3 thoughts when it comes to the cover.  1) Brian really digs ‘parody/homage’ covers(**see bottom of post).  Me–not so much.  But this MR MIRACLE cover was really fun to do and turned out pretty good.  Also, unless you KNOW covers I don’t think it smacks as being too rip-offy.  2) Prior to doing this I had never read any of the JACK KIRBY ‘FOURTH WORLD’ saga.  Within a few months I would be madly devouring the hardcover collections.  Such amazing stuff.  Consult your local library or comic shop to learn more.  3) Brian was so impressed by the cover he made a couple of POSTER SIZE versions of it, one of which he gave to the REAL Jimmy Jam Comics in Rochester, MN (RIP).  Store manager MARK was equally impressed and the poster hung with love in the front window until such time of the stores closing a couple of years later. 


BRIAN BASTIAN: I really don’t remember if I wrote this story knowing you were going to draw it, or if it was originally meant for Bob and he wasn’t going to be able to do it and you rode in like Robocop on a unicorn to save the script. I do know that is not at all how I imagined Avid Reader looking, but it was so horrifyingly wonderful that now I can’t imagine her looking any other way.

DANK:   Quick breakdown of the posters in the comic shop:  FLYGIRL was the FCBD book Brian and BOB LIPSKI did two years before this one(2006).  WORLD WAR SHE-HULK was an homage to my trip to JIMMY JAM COMICS the previous year(2007) cause they had WW HULK stuff everywhere.  It was right before the book was released and I had never heard of it, but thought it sounded right stupid.  ‘ULTIMATE SPEEDBALL’ by BENDIS and SOMA is a shout-out to both one of my favorite comics of the 80’s–SPEEDBALL–(and 90’s if you count the first 30 or so issues of NEW WARRIORS), but also to TAKI SOMA who drove Brian, Bob, and myself down to JIMMY JAM’s that first fateful year.  As  it happens, Taki ended up moving from MN to marry MICHAEL AVON OEMING a year so after I drew this.  As you may know Oeming draws POWERS which is written by his buddy BRIAN BENDIS.  To this day I am shocked that the Bendis/Soma ULTIMATE SPEEDBALL title has yet to appear.  It just seems like a million dollar idea.


The "Dan" table--myself, Dan Olson and Dan Murphy around 2am.

     24 HOUR COMIC DAY was this weekend, and for the 7th year in a row it was a big success here in MINNEAPOLIS, with nearly 40 cartoonists showing up!  I finished my 7th 24 hour comic and have officially spent a week of my life doing them–crazy!  You can see some HIGHLIGHTS from the night–including a ROCK BAND break I tore it up at–on the official MPLS 24HCD blog.  Many, many thanks once again to DAVID STEINLICHT for all he does to record the day in blog form!  And to SARAH MOREAN for the snazzy 2am photos!  And ROCK BAND runner LEMON for giving us some love!  It was a great day.  I have some PLANS for my 24 Hour book, so you’ll be seeing it in NOVEMBER following the TOMMY CHICAGO story.

        ** So anyway…like I said: BRIAN LOVES PARODY/HOMAGE COVERS! 

DANK:  In the case of the TC: FCBD trilogy the homage covers became a running gag and increasingly more elaborate.  After part 3 was finished we were going to collect the whole thing and repackage it as a very NOT FREE collection for people to ignore at conventions and local stores and the what-not.  This never happened, but I did draw-up a cover for it.  Again–a parody.  Again–Brian picked it. 

BRIAN BASTIAN:  The Captain America parody cover is just amazing. I’m not closing the door on someday collecting all 3 of these issues, but it was Convention talk, and the only thing more unreliable than Convention talk is drunk talk. You just go so excited to be around so many artists and writers and people who do what you do, that you pretty much agree to everything put in front of you.
So here’s the never-before-seen TC:FCBD collection cover which ‘homages’ CAPTAIN AMERICA #1 by Simon and Kirby:


“TOMMY CHICAGO: FCBD”–prologue, also: more cartoonists do their camping homework, and 24 Hour Comic Day

   Soon after I agreed to take over the art chores on TOMMY CHICAGO (after BOB LIPSKI felt he had to bow out due to impending fatherhood), TC writer/creator BRIAN BASTIAN hit me up to do the 2008 FREE COMIC BOOK DAY special.  I agreed as it would give me a chance to refine TC and Jimmy more before we got to work on issue 1 of the regular series.  The 12-page FCBD special would pick up where the previous years special had left off, and be part of TC FCBD trilogy, suitable for re-printing one day as its own 36 page spectacular.  Well, here it is 2010 and still no collected special.  Ah well…that just means I get to take this fun little yarn about comics, demons, and zombies and present it to you all thru October as a precursor to HALLOWEEN! 

      …The only problem is Brian and Bob did the first 12 pages, not Brian and me.  So instead of posting 12 pages of a comic I had nothing to do with, allow me to present this 2 page RECAP of that tale–in GLORIOUS COLOR, no less! 

Writer BRIAN BASTIAN had this to say about that first FCBD special:

   “I wanted to do something special for Free Comic Book Day. The Jimmy Jams store down in Rochester was a really nice store. The employees were nice, the customers were (mostly) nice, the other artists were nice (and talented). My first idea was an interactive comic, but this idea was quickly discarded because of the very real chance of Bob’s arm falling off. So I went with the “Tommy Chicago comes to Rochester” story that is recapped here.  It was also the first real Tommy Chicago parody cover (of Flash #163). I was really happy with how it ended up, and thought it was a nice little story. Little did I know that it was soon to become an epic story…”

    So there you go.  We’ll pick up on Monday with part 2 of the FCBD special.  In the meanwhile…24 HOUR COMIC DAY is this weekend.  I’ll be there for my (*ugh*) SEVENTH YEAR.   If you are so inclined you can check in on me and my equally insane drawing friends via our official MPLS 24 HOUR BLOG.  And if you’re in town you are of course more than welcome to come down to the MN CENTER FOR BOOK ARTS and say ‘hey’ in person.  Just don’t feed us after midnight.  That never ends well.

  FINALLY:  As I posted on Monday, some cartoonist friends of mine and I went “camping”.  We swore an oath to do a comic each about the experience.  So far (myself included), we’re up to 3!  First up, ATHENA CURRIER does a nice over-view of sweet, drunk, campfire talk:

   And BRITT HAMMERBERG does the sadly accurate follow-up:



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