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!
Archive for the 'Tommy Chicago' Category
This is a comic book crossover born of a convention fever dream and released one year later at said convention. It was co-plotted by myself, BRIAN BASTIAN (Tommy Chicago), and BOB LIPSKI (Uptown Girl). Brian wrote the blasted 40-some page thing, Bob penciled most of it and I inked it. There were a few pages that I penciled and Bob inked and those are maybe my favorites. I didn’t include this tale in the final MANLY TALES trade cause…”legal issues” aside…it’s just plain weird. But it is MANLY TALES canon as far as I’m concerned (so is Brian with TOMMY CHICAGO. Bob…not so much), so bone up, MANLY TALES OF COWARDICE experts…
So here’s the deal with this story (part 2)… The script for the first issue of the TOMMY CHICAGO mini-series I did with BRIAN BASTIAN had a throw-away line that jokingly explained why TC’s sidekick JIMMY never aged–involving lizard men, a magical remote control and a hot dog vendor with a heart of gold. I decided it would be fun to illustrate this line instead of just having Jimmy say it. So I needed a hot dog vendor. And from that Shavonda and her delicious Shavondawgs were born! I told Brian what I had done, and he wasn’t so sure about what he had gotten into with me as a collaborator. He thought the name was a little “Napoleon Dynamite” or whatever (and the hot dog name possibly racist, the worrier). But then he saw the finished art, and he immediately fell head over heels with Shavonda. He madly began schemeing ways to work this one-off joke into the series proper. I suggested “What if she returned to Chilitown with TC from the lizard man dimension and now sells hot dogs–excuse me, Shavondawgs–at the city park (a high-traffic area in the context of the story)?” Brian liked that. So given a chance to write this little freebie story he couldn’t pass up the chance to work Shavonda into the TC cannon proper. After that there was no stopping him, and she even turned up in the 3rd issue of the series. I know for a fact if there is ever anymore TOMMY CHICAGO that she’ll be a major player in it. And to think, it all started cause I didn’t want to just draw a talking head…
So here’s the deal with this story (part 1)… BRIAN BASTIAN and I began collaborating on the second series of TOMMY CHICAGO back in 2008. We did a lot with him that year–a FREE COMIC DAY special, issue #1 of the series, a crossover special with MANLY TALES OF COWARDICE and UPTOWN GIRL, aaaaaand the second issue of the series. (I also did some MANLY TALES, SUPERMARKET VIGILANTE, and a few other short things that year. I’m fairly certain I didn’t sleep.) By the time Fallcon rolled around and issue 2 was printed I was all-about TC. I was very proud of #2 and wanted this comic to be a hit. So the Monday before Fallcon I email Brian and suggested we should crank out a TC freebie to give away and draw people in to BUY the actual comic. He seemed agreeable with that idea and sent me a finished script for the above story the next day. I then penciled the whole thing–AT WORK!–and brought it home to ink. By that Friday I was making it into a mini-comic –again, AT WORK!–on the sly. The next day, Saturday, was Fallcon and we had a brand new giveaway.
Oh, and the freebie idea totally didn’t work, sales wise. I still have a shit-ton of minis of this story. I should probably just burn them or something.
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!!!
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.
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.