Archive for the 'Matt Risnes' Category


I’m still alive, drawing, and making podcasts!

Hey all. It’s been a while, right? But I assure you I am very much alive and hard at work on comics and such. I’m nearly done with a 24 pg mini-comic for this November’s LUTEFISK SUSHI E show at ALTERED ESTHETICS (which, if you are a MN cartoonist, you’re welcome and encouraged to be a part of too!).  The downside to this, of course, is that since its being done special for the show I can’t post any of it here. BUT BUT BUT shortly after I finish that I PROMISE I will get back to posting content–and an ALL NEW STORY–here. I’m going to finish a graphic novel I started in January over the next year or so and will start posting pages here once a week SOOOOON!  Promise!!!  

    I’ve also been slacking on the LUTEFISK SUSHI PODCAST as you may have noticed, but will do my best to get back on track there, too.  As a sign of good faith, there’s a brand new episode up RIGHT NOW!!!

In the twenty-fourth episode host DANNO KLONOWSKI speaks with Matt “SHLOGGS” Risnes . Despite the fact this podcast is the audio sampling of MN Cartoonists, SHLOGGS is in fact NOT a cartoonist, rather Shloggs is one of Danno’s oldest friends on earth.  In addition to that honor, Shloggs is an avid film aficionado, as well as a blogger and frequent and sought after film podcast guest who, rather than filling the internet with nerd rage, fills his blog posts and podcast appearances with eloquent logic and critical thinking about the medium of filmmaking.  That in mind, Danno and Shloggs spend this episode breaking down and discussing their favorite (and least favorite) film adaptations of comic books.  Shloggs provides the insight into the filmmaking and Danno discusses the ways in which being either faithful or disrespectful of the source material can make or break a film (depending on the film, obviously).

SPOILER ALERTS!!! If you have not seen the recent DARK KNIGHT RISES or AMAZING SPIDER-MAN (and good for you on that one), we discuss key plot points. Other films discussed include: SCOTT PILGRIM vs THE WORLD, BATMAN ’89, The HELLBOY series, the recent Marvel films including AVENGERS, THE CROW, and several more.

The Lutefisk Sushi Podcast is sponsored by the INTERNATIONAL CARTOONIST CONSPIRACY, the ALTERED ESTHETICS GALLERY, and the NORDEAST COMICS SUMMIT.  The Lutefisk Sushi podcast is a STAPLEGENIUS.COM(cast) production.


MIX–the Minneapolis Indie Xpo–is this Saturday, and there will be some sweet new stuff by me to purchase; also: “The return of CONTINUITY GUY!”

  So as you SHOULD know, MIX–THE MINNEAPOLIS INDIE XPO–is this Saturday.  I like to go into cons with SOMETHING new, and MIX is no exception:


   So I pitched Erik the idea of doing a team-up of my SUPERMARKET VIGILANTE characters and his WALKABOUT character (which is…well…ERIK!), and he agreed.  So I wrote a story he totally re-wrote and then drew. Its one of the weirdest and funniest things I’ve ever worked on (I did the inking).  We were a page and cover short, so I drew those and Erik inked’em.  The result is a $2 gem you shouldn’t pass up.

The collected TOMMY CHICAGO by BRIAN BASTIAN and myself:

   The 4-issue TOMMY CHICAGO series I did with Brian is now finished and collected in one easy to buy book.  I’ve LITERALLY heard a couple of you say “I’ll wait for the trade.”  You now LITERALLY have no excuse.

   LUTEFISK SUSHI ‘D’ by a bunch of awesome people and myself:

   The new mini-collections of MANLY TALES OF COWARDICE (featuring new covers and introductions by the likes of BRIAN BASTIAN and MATT RISNES) will also be available.  Sadly, I didn’t a chance to finish MANLY TALES OF COWARDICE #8 before the show (though I am inking it!).  At any rate, I hope to see you all and everyone you can tell at the SOAP FACTORY tomorrow!

OH!  And before I go–the sequel that at least a few of you have been waiting for: “CONTINUITY GUY: CHRONO CHAOS” has begun posting!  As before. It was drawn by BUD BURGYU and  written by myself.   A new page of CG:CC will be my new favorite thing to look forward to every week, and I hope yours!


Nostalgia File: “One Dark Nite”, also: ‘LSD’ is in 9 days!

For separate–but equal!–reasons, longest-time collaborator DAN MURPHY and I have recently both gone thru our ‘Nostalgia Files’ and come across some really great (and some really NOT so great…let’s be honest here) stuff.  So as I kill time leading up to LUTEFISK SUSHI ‘D’ (which is in 9 days!), lets take some trips down memory lane.  Today we travel AAAAAALLLLLLLL the way back to 2002 when MATT RISNES and I tried our hand at collaborating on a story.  It was a very dark time for the both of us, and this is what came out of it:

    Aaaaaaannnndddd…..That’s it!  Well, clearly there WAS supposed to be more…but by clearly I mean I have no recollection of having made this story.  That (despite the similar GNATBOY incident of the last post) is pretty rare for me.  I usually remember at least DRAWING something, if I don’t remember the reasoning behind it.  But with this one….???????

    I can tell you this:  At the time it was done Matt’s lady was not only moving out on him, but moving to another state.  I was literally living in the closet of a one bedroom apartment with 2 other people, and more than willing to take up residence in the two-bedroom apartment Matt was sharing with his former lady.  This was going to be FUN!  Matty and Danno!  Living together!  Just like that one other time we did before Matt freaked out and left!  That was FUN!…right?

   Well, a couple DAYS before I was to move in I got FIRED from what was probably the sweetest job a 26 year old stoner could have.  So my shame spiral began…and spun hard.  Matt was in no better of a place.  When asked his thoughts on these pages, Matt replied:

   “My only thought is that it probably isn’t worth sharing.  It seems like the crude, anti-woman Matt of my early 20’s, but I have no recollection of any of that.  Your art looks pretty great though.  Love that last panel!”

  Basically we don’t remember doing this comic because we spent about 2 months enjoying each others company as we destroyed ourselves with alcohol, drugs, and shame.  In that time I did 2 comics.  The one above which Matt co-wrote(? Wrote? Dictated?  Who the hell knows???), and a 20-some page Mullet Clown adventure I ended up hating so much that I never printed it.  Matt would eventually do the freak-out thing again and leave me with a new roommate–A VIOLENT STRANGER, no less!–and we would both eventually recover, grow up, remain friends, and start blogs.  Ahhh, life.


MANLY TALES OF COWARDICE #6–pgs 18 & 19(of 27), also: 25 days until LSD…

  These two pages have some of my favorite business in the whole issue.  If MATT RISNES, KEVIN CANNON, and I all ever hung out together in real life this is exactly how it would go.

   AlsoLUTEFISK SUSHI ‘D’ (or LSD) is in 25 days at ALTERED ESTHETICS GALLERY in NORTHEAST MINNEAPOLIS.  Here’s one of the many ways I have been preparing: 

    I have to reprint MANLY TALES OF COWARDICE mini-comics again so I have copies for LSD and for MIX, but I’m still an issue short of being ready to make one single trade (issue #8–which I’m currently penciling).   But I decided instead of making 7 separate books, I’d just make MINI-TRADES–3 of them, to be exact.  So this is the cover to the first trade.  This trade will feature MANLY TALES OF COWARDICE #’s 2 and 3, the 2007 FREE COMIC BOOK DAY story, the short that first appeared in SUPER FANTASTICA COMIX, an explanation as to why issue #1 wasn’t re-printed, and a couple other things you may or may not have seen before.


MANLY TALES OF COWARDICE #6–pgs 2 & 3(of 27), also: “Mmm….planets….”

   The MATT OBLIVION origin continues… So a couple years ago my old friend MATT RISNES and I decided to celebrate his birthday the old-fashioned way–by seeing a film together.  This might not seem too special, but in this age of family and time commitment, having a few free hours to spend with an old friend is increasingly hard to find.  Anyway, Matt and I decided to take in the then fairly new (and totally awesome!) HELLBOY 2.  I was short on cash (as per my usual) so for Matt’s present I decided to make and frame him an original drawing.  In line with the theme for the day I was going to do him a Hellboy fighting C’thulhu (to me Matt is synonymous with C’thulhu.  That, and I had just finished the PLUNGER-MAN short with RYAN DOW.)  But as I sat down and started drawing out the body shape, I got it in my head that perhaps instead of Hellboy, I should have a Hellboy-ish Matt fighting old ‘hulhu.  So that’s what I did…and I think it turned out pretty sweet (INSERT IMAGE HERE.  …oh…I don’t have that…Matt does….nevermind). 

      Before I handed the drawing off to Matt my brain started racing–how could I work this monster-fighting Matt into the MANLY TALES canon???  Well the first thing he needed was a proper name, and in honor of one of Matt’s favorite films–VIDEODROME–MATT OBLIVION seemed appropriate.  Second, a back story–what about a REVERSE Hellboy (see yesterdays post)?!  And finally, where the heck could I work him in?  Well as it turned out I had finished the script for MANLY TALES #6 several weeks earlier, and to say I was unsatisfied with it was an understatement.  So as I do in these situations I set the script aside and left it up to my subconscious to do the heavy lifting.  AND LIFT IT DID!  Adding MATT OBLIVION to this issue, and making him the opener, was just what this issue needed.  The opening was good–and in fact I lifted it word for word and made it the opening of issue 7–but in line with what the rest of the issue is about I felt it needed more.  And MORE Matt Oblivion provided.  So I hope you enjoy Mr Oblivion in this issue…I have a suspicion he’ll be around for a while.

   ALSO:  Today’s Daily Goal Sketch is GALACTUS.  My client had added Galactus’ name to the ever-growing list of characters to draw pretty early on, and occasionally as he reviewed the list to see what was coming up in the following weeks and months he’d ask me a question of troubled concern:  “HOW ARE YOU GOING TO FIND  A SHEET OF PAPER BIG ENOUGH TO DRAW HIM ON?” I’d assure him it wouldn’t be to scale, and that seemed to both satisfy his worry and disappoint him all at the same time.  I should also note that this was the first DGS I did after both my client and I had returned from our conflicting vacations (it was the first new DGS drawing I had done in 3 weeks).  At this point I knew I was going to be leaving that job in 2 weeks, and made him aware of that.  I also decided F-IT!–  From there on out, these Daily Goal Sketches were going to be super awesome. 


Retrospecticus: Staplegenius #5 (April 2001)

Staplegenius #5: front cover by me, back cover by Nels

    Somehow, even though Nels and I lived together, something like 5 months went by between Staplegenius #4 and 5.  I’d like to think it’s cause we were working at the top of our game and needed time to create the perfect art, but really we were probably just being lazy–and sometimes the winter here in Minnesota kills all ambition.  Either way, #5 came out a month later than it should have, but I think it was worth the wait. 



  Nels and I eventually got back into creating, and we really hammered out some wonderfully goofy shit. 




I think those last two strips really show you where we were at in our emotional maturity when we made these comics.  This sort of mindset would play heavily into the comics I was now going to be creating–longer-form tales featuring a cast of characters.   My favorite comics coming out at the time–stuff like BOX OFFICE POISON and HEY, MISTER–operated under these rules, and I think I kind of hoped all along that STAPLEGENIUS would evolve into this kind of book.  After creating the Mullet Clown months earlier (see issue 4), I finally decided he would be a good character to focus on and start with.  So one day at the old home shopping network jobby-job, while I was doing in-studio duty for 3 hours straight during a Pam and Wes McCoy show, I cranked out the following: 



   Ha-ha!  Funny stuff, huhn?!  …no….kinda sad and desperate, you say?…that sounds about right for where I was at that time in my life.  But I felt like I had really struck a chord in myself with the Mullet Clown and Bitterness and other characters I was creating at the time.  They were the thin veils of my friends and myself that I felt I needed to tell the kind of stories I thought I wanted to tell.  My first step after doing the above strip was so do a more “professional” version of a Mullet Clown story.  So instead of drawing a comic beginning to end during a live TV broadcast on 8.5″x5.5″ scraps, I drew it over the course of a couple days while watching TV at home on 8.5″x14″ peices of copier paper. 



   And the cries for help didn’t stop there! 



  Yikes.  I was in a place then.  A dark, sad place.  But at least I kept up my spirits around all the major holidays: 


   Speaking of keeping up spirits…Man was that hard to do then.  Nels, Pat, the Don and myself were getting screwed over by the rental company which leased our duplex for an out-of-state owner, so we knew at the end of the summer the dream would be over as we all scattered looking for new places to live.  Also, just as the Staplegenius Four had become more or less the Staplegenius Two, I knew once this move hit it would probably become much more of a one-man operation as not living with Nels would make it harder to continue collaborating.  Also, Nels band END TRANSMISSION was picking up steam, and he wanted to focus more on that.   So having already said goodbye to Pat in issue #4, STAPLEGENIUS #5 marked the last time Matt Risnes would contribute to the book as well.  We would eventually work together on another short-lived project 3 or 4 years later, but the following was the last published Matt works under the Staplegenius banner: 


   Finally, the issue ended with what I knew was probably going to be a false promise given the pending circumstances, but I thought it was too great to NOT print–besides, maybe it would guilt Nels into staying on target: 



STAPLEGENIUS #2 cover--by me. Drawn at the then-all new 'Jitters' bar/nightclub, where Pat worked. He still does work there, in fact. Now he runs the dump.

    Welcome back, fans of self-congratulations!   Today we’re going to discuss STAPLEGENIUS #2.  Put out around March/April if 2000, STAPLEGENIUS #2 did what only a second issue could do after the first was made with such energy, excitement, and in-group fanfare–#2 went right into the shitter. 

    See between #1 and #2, the majority of the friend group got evicted from their home at 1902 University Ave NE including Nels and Matt–Pat and I lived together a few blocks away at the corner of 14th and University.  This eviction was NOT their fault.  The new building owner wanted to put in a restaurant downstairs–and move in his friends upstairs.  Anyway… 

    So in part to this scattering, Pat’s new job,  Matt and Nels band (END TRANSMISSION) experiencing growing success, and my own personal laziness STAPLEGENIUS #2 wasn’t nearly as personally gratifying to put together as #1.  Sure, we had some fun new material(or was it stuff I just didn’t fit into #1.  Don’t remember exactly), but the MAJORITY of the issue was made up of filler.  And it was the WORST kind of filler possible–comics I had made when I was in junior high!  Anyway, lets look at some highlights of the issue… 



   As you can see, Pat’s fascination with the male wang continued unfettered. 



   Matt continued to make us all believe one day these drawings, along with his rantings in his many notebooks, would be used as evidence. 



   Oh yeah!  END TRANSMISSION drummer BOBBY DRAKE did a doodle for #2.  It’s mostly an inside joke based on an old Clint Eastwood poster that was up at 1902 University, but Bobby was funny as hell and I was honored to include this.  Bobby, by the way, is now the drummer for a little band you may have heard of called THE HOLD STEADY



   Nels’ great gag strips continued, as his obsession with drawing cats grew and grew.  For example… 



    Even as I was photocopying/reducing old junior high comics for print in #2 I knew it was a BAAAAAAAAD idea, so I won’t bother scanning and posting any of there here.  I WILL however post this: 


    This cover to 14 YEAR OLD GENETICALLY ALTERED SLUGS was drawn in the early 1990’s by once and future collaborator DAN MURPHY.   Wow, this issue was full of talented bastards who’d probably prefer I left them out of this retrospecticus. 


    My contribution to this issue (in addition to a few gag panels) was a short based on MATT’s (and many of my friends) perpetual unemployment at that time in their lives.  It’s topped off by a gag by NELS that more or less is the closing argument on how Matt felt about his place in life at the time.  Enjoy! 




    So that was STAPLEGENIUS #2.  Kind of a downer all around.  But I had made a promise to myself, and I wasn’t about to give up.  Luckily, things quickly changed for all of us and our living situations, making way for STAPLEGENIUS #3.  But that story will have to wait until next time…



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