Archive for the 'MUSCLES AND FIGHTS' Category


MANLY TALES OF COWARDICE #5–pgs 18 & 19(of 45), also: a new “TOMMY CHICAGO’ mini adventure, and ‘LOST’ jams with Matt Chicorel @ ‘SPRINGCON’–Saturday/Sunday (May 15/16, 2010)

    Prepare yourself!  Although we are about 150 pages into this MANLY TALES OF COWARDICE epic at this point, you are now only one more weekend away from an actual action sequence.  Who says I don’t know how to build suspense?!  Speaking of the weekend…

   SPRINGCON, Minnesota’s premiere ‘mainstream’ comic book convention is this weekend (MAY 15/16 from 10am-5pm both days)! I’ve already previewed the 2 new books I’ll have available (along with the MN convention debut of CONTINUITY GUY and all the usual back issues), but now bear witness to the thing I am probably the most excited for–collaborating with MATT CHICOREL!!!  I picked up a couple of Matt’s books a few years ago and was instantly hooked.  After his work on the MUSCLES AND FIGHT anthology I was a fan for life, and honored to be associated with him.  Matt live in Milwaukee, but the future being what it is Matt and I have become ‘social networking’ pals–and so I was excited to learn he’d be in town for Springcon, giving us a chance to chat it up in person for a change.  But that wasn’t enough for me.  I’ve really, really wanted to collaborate with Matt in some way for a while now, so I preyed upon our mutual love of LOST.  I proposed Matt do a LOST drawing I ink, and I’ll do a LOST drawing he inks–and Matt agreed!  Said drawings will then be a part of the Springcon Lupus Foundation art auction.  Here’s a sneak peek of the pencils for our gentleman’s agreement:

That’s mine, and here’s Matt’s:

   I’ll be sure to get a photo of the finished works and post those next week.  

    But before we go…  Even though there will be a whole new issue of TOMMY CHICAGO available this weekend at SPRINGCON by BRIAN BASTIAN and myself, Brian and BOB LIPSKI went behind my back and and created a fantastic new 3-page web-only TC adventure.  Fine work boys! ….you are now both dead to me…


Uptown Girl vs Tommy Chicago vs Manly Tales of Cowardice–by Brian Bastian, Bob Lipski, and Danno Klonowski–pg 1,2, and 3(of 60), also: “ALWAYS SUNNY IN PHILADELPHIA” is the only thing I’ve ever liked Danny Devito in

  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:

BRIAN BASTIAN: Bob has a very clear vision of the Uptown Girl universe and its served him well. So when we were going to do this crossover, there were a few concerns about how they’d mesh with the Manly Tales and Tommy Chicago gangs, which are slightly more out there.  So I decided to add a couple things here in their intoduction that could be used later to explain away the story. That’s where the weird alien looking canisters came from.  It’s partly a nod to the original Secret Wars from Marvel.  If you’re not familar with that story–it’s about Super Heroes (and villains) running along minding their own business when suddenly a giant alien building/stadium/donut would appear and they’d walk in and vanish!  Then they were transported far far away to take part in some stupid contest.  But we wouldn’t do that.

BOB LIPSKI:  Pencilled and inked by me.  Back when we did this thing, I was cranking out a 24 page (or more) comic every month. I was doing about….4-6 pages a day and man, it showed.  I was proud of the comics I did, but they look rushed to me these days.  I figured I’d have no problem getting my share of the artwork done in a decent time.  My daughter Sophia was born in December 2007, right around the time we all started on this thing.  Looking back, I can’t believe I got anything done at all.   I remember thinking that I’d use this comic as an excuse to try out a new art style….a little more crosshatching, a little more texture. I was really inspired by Kevin Cannon’s art and I thought I’d give it a shot at something a little more stylized. 

DANNO KLONOWSKI:  What I can’t believe is when we tossed around the idea for this at FALLCON 2007  that Brian was able to churn out a script we all liked and agreed on so quickly.  I was even more dumbfounded when a few weeks later at the MUSCLES AND FIGHTS 2: MUSCLIER AND FIGHTIER release party Bob was there with ALL 45 PAGES of pencils for me to start inking on!  So the fact he could churn these 3 out (and 2 other?!  Jesus!) in a single day doesn’t surprise me at all. 

   Also:  This is a nearly all-Batman villain week for the Daily Goal Sketch.  We kick it off with Oswald Cobblepot:


PLUNGER-MAN–by Ryan Dow and myself–pg 1(of 11), also: I-CON is this Saturday

pg 1

    Long ago, BUD BURGY and AMADO RODRIGUEZ unleashed the anthology MUSCLES AND FIGHTS on an unsuspecting public.  Shortly after, they threw a gallery show/release party at DIAMONDS COFFEE SHOPPE (home of the MPLS Cell of the INTERNATIONAL CARTOONIST CONSPIRACY).  At the show RYAN DOW was displaying the originals from his wonderful story of a life both wasted and blessed making comics.  As much as I liked Ryan’s art and the greytone magic he works on it, when I saw those originals I had but one thought:  “MUST…FILL…IN…BLACKS!”   A month or two later we found ourselves at FALLCON 2007, and I asked Ryan to pencil something to see what it would look like if I inked it.  And here that is:


   Some more time went by, some more MUSCLES AND FIGHTS  came out, and we eventually found ourselves chatting seriously about teaming up for what became the story you are about to read in full for MUSCLES AND FRIGHTS (aka MUSCLES AND FIGHTS 4).  In the end the art chores broke down like this:  Ryan wrote and pencilled it.  I lettered and inked it.  Then Ryan went back and glammed it up with his fantastic greytoning skills.   And now, some thoughts on page 1:

RYAN DOW:   This was the most unnecessary page of the whole story.  I was trying to go for a Golden Age-style start with an action splash page from the middle of the story (which then transitions to the beginning of the story).  But it just ended up being a lot of redundant exposition.  Alliteration is always fun, though.  I am kicking myself for not calling this, “The Curse of the Porcelain God,” but it had already been inked by the time I thought of that.  Great inking by the way, Danno!

DANNO KLONOWSKI:  Yeah, the writing may be a bit redundant on this page, but it’s still loads of fun.  I can’t imagine it starting any other way.  Thanks for the compliments on the inks.  Right before I did this story I had inked BOB LIPSKI on a 60+ page crossover story, and when I say ‘inked’ I mean I basically redrew the whole thing with my brush pen (sorry, Bob).  So when it came to Plunger-Man I made a very concerted effort to actually INK what you drew.  Sure I added a few details here and there, but I think I did all right staying true to your original lines.  It was lots of fun.  I also inked this whole thing while “watching” TV at night with my wife and kids as a way to save time.  What this really means is I remember inking this, but couldn’t begin to tell you what was on the TV during these couple weeks.

  Also:  RYAN, DANIEL J OLSON, KEVIN CANNON and myself will be in ALTOONA, IOWA this Saturday (Nov. 7th) for the I-CON comic book convention (it runs 9am to 5pm).  Come on by if you can.

*** BTW: just cause you’re getting the PLUNGER-MAN milk for free, you should still totally buy the MUSCLES AND FRIGHTS cow.  It’s full of a ton of great stuff from some wonderful creators.  But…you don’t have to take my word for it.



pencils by me, inks by RYAN DOW

   HAPPY HALLOWEEN weekend everybody!  The above jam by myself and RYAN DOW was done about a year and a half ago as a part of  our contribution to MUSLCES AND FRIGHTS.  In addition to what you see, we also did an 11 page story starring Ryan’s PLUNGER-MAN in a tale called “THE CURSE OF JABBAGAZULE!”  It was written and pencilled by Ryan, and inked and lettered by me.   As fate would have it, starting MONDAY I’m going to start posting that very tale right here at STAPLEGENIUS.COM(ics)!  As well as getting a fresh new page everyday, you’ll get some steaming hot commentary by Ryan and myself.  Here’s an example featuring todays jam piece:

RYAN DOW:  Danno really wanted me to ink his pencils for some reason.

DANNO KLONOWSKI:  Come on, Ryan!  If I’m going to ink you for 11 pages, it only stands you should ink me at least once, right?!  Plus drawing is fun.

RD:  I’m not really sure why I think inking is one of my weaker skills. 

DK:  Cause you are too hard on yourself.  And frankly your inking has become super tight in the year and a half since we did this.   Also, I think inking is all about finding the tool that suites each artist.  I thought I was a shite inker until I started using a Pentel Pocket Brush.  Then I became a shite inker who could feather.  But I was CONFIDANT! 

RD:   It was a lot of fun, though.  Danno’s pencils are a lot tighter than mine, so it was fun inking clear pencils for a change.

DK:   I love how it turned out.  Maybe we should color it.  It would make a nice print to sell at Fallcon next year.

            *** SEE!  That’s the kind of creator-on-creator gold you can expect over the next couple weeks!  Wooo! ***
     Also, while I’ve got you here…I should point out Ryan just did a great homage to both Halloween and Charles Dickens over at his own webcomic INTROSPECTIVE COMICSWWW.RYANDOW.COM — It updates every Wednesday and Sunday and is a mighty good read. 

Ok, that’s all.   Ryan and I will see you back here Monday for page one of…”THE CURSE OF JABBAGAZULE!” ***


 *** BTW: just cause you’re getting the PLUNGER-MAN milk for free, you should still totally buy the MUSCLES AND FRIGHTS cow.  It’s full of a ton of great stuff from some wonderful creators.  But…you don’t have to take my word for it.


SUPERMARKET VIGILANTE–24 Hour Comic 2009–pg 10(of 24), also: ‘CONTINUITY GUY’ and a pin-up by AMADO RODRIGUEZ

pg 10

pg 10

   OK,  so here we go with another AMAZING STAPLEGENIUS.COM(ics) ORIGIN STORY!!! : 

   As I was “writing” this story in my head on 24 Hour Comic Day, I decided to have SMV fight a Right-Winger who shops at the Godless Communist Co-op.  This stems not from the ridiculousness of such a situation, but rather because my own local godless communist co-op who supports nothing BUT a left-wing lifestyle–including their almost comically leftist magazine racks at the checkout–would not carry copies of FALSE WITNESS: THE MICHELE BACHMANN STORY.  I was told there are evidently some conservatives who shop at my co-op and they don’t want to offend them…with one product…out of the thousands to choose from. 

     Anyway, when I came up with the scenario I decided I would name the character CLAY BERTRAND–which you may recognize as the alias for CLAY SHAW who was one of the conspirators in the JFK assassination (if you believe that kind of thing).  Also cause my  friend Matt Risnes and I always laughed our asses off at Tommy Lee Jones reading of the line “CLAY BERTRAND” during the scene of his arrest in the movie JKF.

   Well as 24 Hour Comic Day wore on, I finally got to the pencilling/actual writing phase of this page (a couple hours in to the event) I completely blanked on what I was going to call him.  My mind raced and raced, but the name CLAY BERTRAND was gone.  So instead I named him REICH after KEVIN REICH, a great progressive fellow who is actually running for City Council here in Northeast Minneapolis. I wish him all the best, and should he somehow not win(unlikely) I will fully take the blame that this very comic was the stake in heart that did him in.  So…don’t forget to vote….whenever it is people do that. **


BUD BURGY will have TWO new pages of our CONTINUITY GUY graphic novella up this week, and they are sweet! 

Also, AMADO RODRIGUEZ of MUSCLES AND FIGHTS fame did this amazing MANLY TALES pin-up:


  Amado also did an equally awesome MANLY TALES pin-up two years ago at FALLCON which will finally see the light of day next month when MANLY TALES OF COWARDICE #6 is printed! (You’ll have to wait awhile until it’s online here)

   Is that enough content for a Wednesday?  See you tomorrow.

**November 3rd.


MANLY TALES OF COWARDICE–Guest Artist Spectacular–pg 12(of 14)–by Ryan Dow and Brian Bastian

pg 12--art: Ryan Dow, words: Brian Bastian

pg 12--art: Ryan Dow, words: Brian Bastian

   BRIAN BASTIAN— Has freedom hair.

   RYAN DOW—  Ryan dow has won my heart–from his consistently solid art and story on his “INTROSPECTIVE COMICS” webcomic, to his introspective thoughts on comics during the ART AND STORY podcasts–my heart Ryan Dow has won.  Ryan is a well-loved fixture of the Mpls/Stpl Cells of the International Cartoonist Conspiracy, taking part in all the usual hoo-hah (like BIG FUNNY and MUSCLES AND FIGHTS), and doing his own great comics along the way (like PLUNGER-MAN, WEEKENDS WITH CARL, and JACK AND ZACK MAKE A COMIC).  He’s even part of the QUORUM OF TWELVE(or so) who are putting together LUTEFISK SUSHI “D”–a highlight of his contribution being the “LSD” podcast he is starting which will have interviewers with fellow QUORUMers and SUSHI “D” contributors (The first episode will be up soon and features some windbag).   You have my heart, Ryan.  Now hold me, you big hunky introspective cartoonist, you!  Hold me and make all the bad men go away.


MANLY TALES OF COWARDICE–Guest Artist Spectacular–pg 7(of 14)–by Daniel J Olson and Brian Bastian

pg 7--art: Daniel J Olson, words: Brian Bastian

pg 7--art: Daniel J Olson, words: Brian Bastian

   BRIAN BASTIAN— was killed last night by enemy fire while imbedded with the Fightin’ 84th just outside of Baghdad, where he was busy writing the script for a comedy version of  Joe Sacco-stlye war reporting  comics.

   DANIEL J OLSON– Daniel J Olson and I are NOT the same person!  Despite the “Parent Trap” style antics we get into all the time–which ARE admittedly  fun–we are frankly dumbfounded at the constant confusion.  I do this website.  Dan does   This is my webcomic,  SHENANIGANS  is Dan’s.  I do stuff like the Guest Artist Spectacular, Dan does stuff like SUPER FANTASTICA COMIX.  I do TOMMY CHICAGO with a writer BRIAN BASTIAN, Dan works on SUPER MAXI-PAD GIRL with a writer who is also his wife (Hi, AJ!).  I have done work for MUSCLES AND FIGHTS, BIG FUNNY, LUTEFISK SUSHI and FALSE WITNESS: THE MICHELE BACHMANN STORY (Issue #2 out soon!), Dan has…uhh…also done that.  I have done a 24 Hour Comic Day Logo Image for the Minneapolis/St Paul 24 Hour Day Event, Dan…oh…he did this years, didn’t he?  WAIT!  This one is difference, for sure: I live in Northeast Minneapolis, and Dan calls St Paul hom–what?….REALLY?!…No way!  That’s like 9 blocks away!  AWESOME!  We should totally get Bud and Ryan to live over here now!……………………..ok, so we’re the same guy.



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