Archive for the 'Issue Zero' Category


MANLY TALES OF COWARDICE–LUTEFISK SUSHI ‘C’–pg 6(of 6) and the back cover, also: “This blog was designed ONLY for killing”

   The end?!  Already?!  Nice!  BRIAN BASTIAN and I will wrap this one up then:

BRIAN BASTIAN:   I don’t know how the heck Betsy is traveling up and down those stairs, but I love it.

DANNO KLONOWSKI:  Uhhh….gyroscopes?  Actually what I think is funny is that more than anything–the Star Wars ‘toys’ Fleming plays with, the political rant against Dick Cheney’s America–is that people were taken with Betsy using the steps.  Like Brian, I got several compliments on the impossibility and silliness of it all.  I was just being lazy, but I’m glad it entertains. 

BASTIAN:  Also, I’m not sure if this counts as killing an Atlantis Lad or not. The Star Wars guys were already dead, and even though you know he’s going to be dead soon, he ends the issue alive.

DANK:  GAH!  I hadn’t even realized that until now!  You duped me, Bastian!

BASTIAN:  Nor do I have Fleming eat him.  I’d understand if you’d think I didn’t write any of this.  But I did.  Honest!

   Also:  Here’s the back cover to the Lutefisk Sushi ‘C’ special this story appeared in…

   The original art for this back cover was purchased by fellow Conspirator ROY T. COOK.  Somehow Roy all but doesn’t exist online.  How odd in this day in age.  Anyway, you can find his work in jams from the ST PAUL Conspiracy Cell, as well as in the MUSCLES AND FIGHTS books.

  Well that was short and sweet.  A refreshing change, no?   This of course can only signal one thing–a BIG-ASS LONG story is up next.  That’s right!  Prepare yourself for the weeks and weeks and weeks of posts that will be the “UPTOWN GIRL vs TOMMY CHICAGO vs MANLY TALES OF COWARDICE” special, by BRIAN BASTIAN, BOB LIPSKI, and myself.  It starts here–MONDAY!

   Speaking of big ass and long, the RETROSPECTICUS for STAPLEGENIUS #6 will also fit that bill.

   FINALLY:   I was impressed as hell when my client knew who todays Daily Goal Sketch was.  Turns out he only knows of the character cause he’s used in a show/toyline aimed at fucking toddlers!  Toddlers are being taught about things ONLY. DESIGNED. FOR KILLING!!!!  What a fucked up world we live in.


MANLY TALES OF COWARDICE–LUTEFISK SUSHI ‘C’–pg 5(of 6), also: Jam Comics Tonight, and “Yeah, he wears ‘bling’ now”

This “one week only”  tale was written by now-frequent collaborator/writer BRIAN BASTIAN.   It was originally the second story featured in MANLY TALES OF COWARDICE #0, but also a part of our submission for LUTEFISK SUSHI ‘C’ .  Brian is here to join us–once again!–for some behind-the-scenes retrospectacizing on this 6 page epic:

BRIAN BASTIAN:  It was the Bush era.  8 years of…well, you know.  You were there.  If you weren’t there, I really don’t think there are words that could really capture it.

DANNO KLONOWSKI:  *bleck* comes to mind.  That or the noise of a really long fart  that ends in all your internal organs shooting out thru your urethra. 

BASTIAN:     Anyway, I try not to bring too much politics into my writing (although that might change in the future) but I was getting really tired of reading article after article, or seeing interview upon interview, where the government would bring up Al-Qaeda and say they have evidence….AND THEN NEVER TELL US WHAT THE EVIDENCE WAS!!  I know there are probably lots of reasons, some of them might even make sense, but it was just killing me.  If even once I could have seen an interview where someone even asked what that evidence was it might have calmed me down.  But they didn’t.  And so I had to write this, or have a stroke.  Time will tell if I made the right choice.

DANK:  Well that “era” was all about keeping us all on the brink of losing our shit.  Everyone ground their teeth.  It was that kind of vibe.  Now we’re treated like children being told “Everything is fine.  Nothing to see here” as Godzilla rapes the Statue of Liberty.  But the iPAD will be out soon and then I can upload my comics to ibooks and make millions, so who cares, right?

   ALSO:  Maybe the iPAD will be a topic of tonight’s MINNEAPOLIS CARTOONIST CONSPIRACY JAM.  Or maybe Godzilla raping the Statue of Liberty.  Who can say?  Stop by DIAMONDS and find out for yourself.

  FINALLY:   Bling-a-ding-ding.  I sure like today’s Daily Goal Sketch–SCARFACE:


MANLY TALES OF COWARDICE–LUTEFISK SUSHI ‘C’–pg 3/4(of 6), also: “CAPTAIN CONFEDERACY” returns, and “I miss your pointy hat”

This “one week only”  tale was written by now-frequent collaborator/writer BRIAN BASTIAN.   It was originally the second story featured in MANLY TALES OF COWARDICE #0, but also a part of our submission for LUTEFISK SUSHI ‘C’ .  Brian is here to join us–once again!–for some behind-the-scenes retrospectacizing on this 6 page epic:

BRIAN BASTIAN:  I don’t know what to say about this page.

DANNO KLONOWSKI:  I do.  It’s about one of my favorite things I’ve ever drawn.

BASTIAN:  My favorite part about writing comics is when I put something in that I have no idea how the artist will pull it off, but I know it’ll be awesome.  Here’s a great example of that. 

DANK:  I feel the same way when I’m writing something for someone else.  It’s a good feeling.

BASTIAN:  I think I just wrote “add any Star Wars characters you want”.  I especially enjoy the Death Star Atlantis Lad.  It would have been tough, but I would have liked to see an Admiral Ackbar.

DANK:  It wouldn’t have been impossible, and now I think I know what to draw you for Xmas.

  ALSO:  A few months ago when this blog started I did a “cover” of the cover to CAPTAIN CONFEDERACY #1.  It was a blast to do, and I think a nice way to say “Thank You” to WILL SHETTERLY and VINCE STONE, whose work on the Cap inspired me ‘lo those many years ago to waste my life drawing comics (and I couldn’t be happier!).   And when I was done with it, I just wanted to keep going and do the covers to all 18 issues.  Time went on.  I got wrapped up in other ventures.  That plan fell by the wayside.   But I’ve been so inspired of late by things like SLOTH FIGHT and GO! GO! ILLUSTRATION that over the weekend I made a challenge to myself: 

    I will–by December 31st, 2010–do every CAPTAIN CONFEDERACY cover.

   It seems like a feasible goal.  So…here we go.  May I present the cover to CAPTAIN CONFEDERACY #1 (special edition), the re-written/re-drawn re-do of issue one that Will and Vince put out towards the run of the series (I think thats the timeline). 

   In addition to being  a blast to draw, I should note I’m also re-reading each issue I do.  Its been fun revisiting these old friends.  And YOU  can read the whole series for yourself over at .

  Finally:  As lame as the ‘classic’ Electro is, I’m still smitten with his ultra-lame costume.  The EGO it would take to wear that in public and commit evil!  Astounding.  And I can see why they revised him quite extensively for a new generation: 


MANLY TALES OF COWARDICE–LUTEFISK SUSHI “C”–pg 2(of 6), also: SEAN TENHOFF returns (kinda), “CONTINUITY GUY” is still around, and no…I don’t know what happened to his hands.

     This “one week only”  tale was written by now-frequent collaborator/writer BRIAN BASTIAN.   It was originally the second story featured in MANLY TALES OF COWARDICE #0, but also a part of our submission for LUTEFISK SUSHI ‘C’ .  Brian is here to join us–once again!–for some behind-the-scenes retrospectacizing on this 6 page epic:

BRIAN BASTIAN:  Here’s element #1 that went into this issue. I had caught like 20 seconds of “Jedi” either on TV or out in the world somewhere, and this dialogue was stuck in my head. I had to do something with it in either the real world or in something written, and people don’t usually accuse me of being overconfident. Probably because I’m not good enough. I would have ended up shoehorning it into Tommy Chicago but then I had a better idea.  This story!

DANNO KLONOWSKI:  And I’m glad you did.  I’m pretty sure I set some things aside to do this short.  Why?  Cause more than anything I wanted to draw what appears tomorrow.   So…uhh, that doesn’t really help in talking about this page, though.  This page was pretty dull to draw though.  It gets us to tomorrow.  And thats all that matters.

   ALSO:  I was going thru the Staplegenius Vaults over the weekend looking for whatnot and stumbled upon the following sweetness…

   So anyway, that was written and pencilled by me one wintery night back in early 2005 at SEAN TENHOFF’s house.   Sean would later ink it and make it not only “look-at-able”, but made it totally amazing.  In fact I dare say you can’t even really tell that I had anything to do with it…and thats a good thing.  Back then I was for shite.  I still think I am, mind you.  But at least now it’s look-at-able shite.  Anyway…I miss Sean Tenhoff.  Both the man and the cartoonist.  Write home soon, Sean.

   Luckily I’ve also made lots of other wonderful cartoonists friends in the years since the above was done, and one of  them is BUD BURGY.  He’s nearly done drawing our book CONTINUITY GUY.  In fact it’ll even be a real book soon too!  And soon enough the iPAD, I’m sure.

    FINALLY:  For as much as I was looking forward to this Daily Goal Sketch, I sure don’t like how it came out.  Ah well, the client loves it.


MANLY TALES OF COWARDICE–LUTEFISK SUSHI ‘C’–by Brian Bastian and myself–cover and pg 1(of 6), also: Sloth Fights Hazmat, and Topher Grace takes one for the team

   The strip this week was originally the second story featured in MANLY TALES OF COWARDICE #0, and also a part of our submission for LUTEFISK SUSHI ‘C’ .  It was written by now-frequent collaborator/writer BRIAN BASTIAN.   And  Brian is here to join us–once again!–for some behind-the-scenes retrospectacizing on this 6 page epic:

BRAIN BASTIAN: Well this should be like a chocolate midget (…short and sweet?…Sorry).

DANNO KLONOWSKI:  Umm….yep.  Moving on…

BASTIAN: Cover and page 1.  I had absolutely nothing to do with either of these.  But this is as good as a point as any to explain #2 of the 3 elements that went towards the creation of this story:  I’m not sure how many issues of Tommy Chicago we had worked on thus far (I’m going to guess two, because it’s in the middle of the 2nd TC free comic book day issue, and there’s an ad for issue 1 at the end) but you had also done countless (I counted twice) pin ups  for me.

DANK:  That sounds about right.  Oh!–and don’t forget MANLY TALES OF COWARDICE #4.

BASTIAN:   So I thought I would do the writing equivalent of a pin up…of course then you’d have to draw it if it was ever to see print. But I would have been ok with you just printing up the script and hanging it on your wall.

DANK:  Putting scripts in art galleries is the next step!  You’ll see.  As paper use declines (thanks, Steve Jobs!), surely a printed script will be a rare and valuable commodity.

BASTIAN: I think the original script was a 2 or 3 page story.

DANK:    I remembered opening the email with that script-bomb on a lunch break and laughing out loud and drawing strange looks from people in offices around me.   Liking it as I did I thought of a few ways to expand it a little so we could print it (plus front and back covers) into a perfect little 8 page package.

BASTIAN:  Of course if you hadn’t expanded it, you would have needed a magnifying glass to see what was going on.  So good call!

DANK:  Thanks Brian.  I should note I think this is probably my favorite cover of the series so far.  Its nearly perfect….damn hand lettered logo…..Thank goodness KEVIN CANNON did a nice version of it.

   Also:  Last week I mentioned my friend BRITT HAMMERBERG‘s wonderful new daily PAINTING(!) blog–SLOTH FIGHT.  As an unexpected–but highly welcome result–Britt did the following last week:

   Don’t forget–Britts SLOTH FIGHT blog has a running competitionto bet on when she quits.  So places your bets and check back every day for some wonderful art (which you can purchase for a measly and self-depricating $5!).

   Finally:  The rumor was that Topher Grace signed onto SPIDER-MAN 3 to play the character from todays Daily Goal Sketch, but at the last minute Marvel forced Sam Raimi to switch the villain to Venom to appeal to the “fans” and they kept Topher to play him.  Whether this was smoke and mirrors, internet speculation, or a true fact, the point remains that no matter who Topher Grace played in SPIDER-MAN 3 it was still going to be a bad movie………stupid Goblin Jr…


MANLY TALES OF COWARDICE #0–pgs 22/23(of 23–THE END!), also: Ryan Reynolds is dreamy

    Ahhh…see, wasn’t that worth it?  I know that’s one of my favorite endings.  Rot in Hell, Atlantis Lad.  Rot in Hell. 

    So I’ll be back next week with more MANLY TALES OF COWARDICE–more of MANLY TALES OF COWARDICE #0, in fact.  Since not only was #0 a showcase for my 2007 24 Hour Comic, but I also put the very short LUTEFISK SUSHI ‘C’ manly tale BRIAN BASTIAN and I did in there as well.  Both stories book-end each other very well (as you’ll see), so be back here for some more thoughts on this issue from myself and good old friend of the blog Brian.  In the meantime, stop by this weekend and get seriously screwed over by this weeks STAPLEGENIUS RETROSPECTICUS.

   Speaking of being screwed over, I understand that’s how viewers of last summers WOLVERINE movie felt.  That’s right, nerds have been waiting for Ryan Reynolds to play DEADPOOL for years, and they finally got it…and it sucked.  Thats life though, right?


MANLY TALES OF COWARDICE #0–pg 21(of 23), also: a Go! Go! update, The Pentel Pocket Brush and Avaturd

    Like most cartoonists, my family (wife, kids, parents, etc) don’t really understand my obsession with creating comics, and for the most part don’t really read them much either.  Whatever.  I don’t do this to please them–I do it to please the three-toed gremlin who lives in my right hand and causes pains if I don’t draw for more than two days.  But a print copy of this issue got left lying around a couple months ago and one the kids read it.   Flemings whole nagging to get to Pawn America just killed her.  She was laughing about it for days, and chuckles every time we drive my on now.  So I guess what I’m saying is I’m rebranding my comics and aiming for my target demographic–11 years olds who love Pawn America.  Hells ya!

   Update:  Yesterday I mentioned GO! GO! ILLUSTRATION, and how they do daily sketches that they sell.  I also mentioned that if Jerzy Drozd did a “Tri-Klops” in his “He-Man” series I’d buy it.  Well…

   Best nine bucks I ever spent. 

   Also:  Beloved local art store WET PAINT (and it can be your favorite too since its online as well) has started asking its patrons to pimp out their favorite tools on their blog.  So STEVEN STWALLEY–the Cartoonist Conspiracy poobah and sometimes Staplegenius collaborator–has stepped up to the plate and proclaimed the Conspiracys collective love for the PENTEL POCKET BRUSH.  Simply put: the Pentel Pocket Brush is my favorite drawing tool and has forever changed the way in which I draw, and I highly recommend EVERY cartoonist have one  (or three) in their arsenal.   My favorite part of all this is the ad for the Pocket Brush some of we Conspirators did a few years back for Wet Paint.  It features such Conspiracy luminaries as: Steve, myself, ZANDER CANNON, the much missed ERIC LAPPEGARD and…is that Sean Tenhoff??? 

  Finally….yep.  Avatar.  I really enjoy the podcast WTF with MARC MARON, and for the last few weeks he has been espousing the theory that maybe if people gave a shit about things that REALLY matter, instead of being complacent and supporting quarter billion-dollar jerk-off fests like AVATAR, that maybe–just MAYBE–we’d have socialized medicine.  Now, I really enjoyed my nigh-on three hours of complacency I had during Avatar, but I have to agree.  And frankly, I’d much rather give back that time and money and have socialized medicine.



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