Archive for the 'Tommy Chicago' Category


TC: FCBD–part 9(of 12)–by Bastian and Dank, also: I go all ‘cross hatchy’ on your ass

BASTIAN:  I just couldn’t figure out what type of evil chanting would work for something like this, so I just wrote “evil chanting” and figured you’d come up with something, and unlike every sports team I support, you didn’t let me down. I’ve always wondered if they actually mean something, but I think if I found out there were, it would creep me out even more. 

DANK:  Actually Brian, I don’t think it’ll creep you out too much.  Like you said, in the script there was no written incantation for Mark to read from the Necronomicon, so I reused the one I had Dick Cheney chant in IT’S WAR 2: THE WAR ON HOMELAND SECURITY(which you can read in its entirety HERE, though God, why would you?).  The devil-wording (or whatever it is) is an actual Satanic verse I got out of a friends book.  It’s from a poem about the beauty and power of nature or something equally UN-evil like that.

BASTIAN:   I’m sure I think the whole Marvel Zombie thing is a lot more hilarious than it probably is. I’m sure back in the day I actually got excited at the concept of Werewolf Captain America too.  Ah to be young and dumb again.

DANK:  Just realized we never answered the question of who would win that fight.  My guess–Werewolf Jonah Jameson’s Kid would sucker-punch’em both.

ALSO:  You probably already know this–since I’m guessing if you’ve read this far you know me all too well–but I wrote a recap of my experience at last weekends TWIN CITIES BOOK FEST for my favorite indie comic news website–THE DAILY CROSS HATCH.  I felt like I was writing an article for the coolest school newspaper ever, and was honored to be asked to be ‘a part of the team’, if only for a day.  Many thanks to SARAH MOREAN for giving me a platform for my rantings.  When I sent Sarah my ‘rehash’ I sent her A LOT of pictures.  Obviously she couldn’t use them all, but here are two of/from my buddy KEVIN CANNON I feel must go somewhere, so why not here:

  I didn’t bring any paper to BOOK FEST, hoping it wouldn’t turn into “that kind of show”.  About an hour in when I looked over and saw Keivn doodling, I was instantly jealous.  Anyway, here’s the awesomeness he made:


TC: FCBD–part 8(of 12)–by Bastian and Dank, also: “False Witness” #4 gets reviewed, and be sure to check in on ‘Continuity Guy: Chrono Choas’

BASTIAN:  Hey kids, do you think that history is boring? Well it’s full of atrocities like cannibalism. You just need to do a little more research than what’s in your school books. Remember that for your next school report. Or find a movie that’s based on a horrible world event and write the report on that. Today’s classes are too crowded for anyone to really check up on your work. 

DANK:  All this flashback business serves two purposes–1) to clue in any “new” readers, and 2)to cram in more of our over-flowing cauldron of story ideas.  Over-all it was fun to draw since I got to work in the murder of BOB LIPSKI and the kid which I’m pretty sure wasn’t in the script. 

BASTIAN:   I love those skeletons. I’ll say when a script calls for death or gore, you don’t dink around. Bravo.

DANK:  FUN FACT!– Brian and Bob would debut these books every year during Free Comic Book Day at JIMMY JAM COMICS in Rochester, MN where Mark worked/managed.  In the time between when we started this issue and when FCBD occurred Jimmy Jam closed up shop, so we had to give this book to Mark when we saw him at Spring(nee Micro)Con.  Wait…that wasn’t that fun of a fact.

   ALSO:  The 4th issue of FALSE WITNESS: THE MICHELE BACHMANN STORY is now out, and some reviews are starting to come in!   CITY PAGES and Comic Book Resources’ ROBOT 6 both did nice little promo things, but the real deal is the review on THE TALKING POINTS MEMO.  The reviewer liked it despite himself!  Nifty!  As for my role in this issue…Well first off the whole issue was drawn by LUPI McGINTY and JAMES POWELL.  James inked all his work on the ‘flashback’ sequence, but I did all the inking on Lupi’s ‘God in the Bar’ sequences:

   Lupi, James, BILL PRENDERGAST (the writer), and I all did the ever-changing backgrounds, though I ended up doing a majority of them.  KEVIN CANNON also did the brilliant opening page (and let me tell you it was AWESOME seeing Kevin’s rendition of Lupi and I’s ‘God in the bar’ sequence).  Finally, I (and my friend Photoshop) did the Wrathful God back cover:

   I have done work on all four issues of FALSE WITNESS, and I can say without a shadow of doubt this is the best issue both in terms of art AND story.  I highly recommend you go BUY IT  TODAY.  Hell, buy all 4.  They are totally worth it!

   AND AS IF THAT WEREN’T ENOUGH:  I honestly can’t believe the outstanding work BUD BURGY has been doing bringing my script for CONTINUITY GUY: CHRONO CHAOS to life.  Seriously.  His best work ever.  Hands down.  So be sure to check in on Continuity Guy and company every week.  I’d say right now is a prefect jumping-on point for new readers, but honestly these stories never make too much sense until about 5 pages to the end.  But it’s a fun ride getting there!


TC: FCBD–part 7(of 12)–by Bastian and Dank

   Here we go with part 3 of the TOMMY CHICAGO: FREE COMIC BOOK DAY trilogy by BRIAN BASTIAN and myself.  Despite the seemingly doomed ending of part 2, this story picks up one year later back in Rochester, MN (commentary to follow)…

BASTIAN:  I never thought I’d love a parody cover more than the previous years FCBD cover, but I was proven wrong with this one. Maybe someday we’ll do another free comic, with a parody cover that tops this…but I highly doubt it.DANK:  Thanks, Brian!  Actually, this cover was probably my favorite to draw.  I did it at one of the Cartoonist Conspiracy “SATURDAY OPEN STUDIOS” meetings.  Not only did drawing around friends help me come up with content for the bevy of cover gags to give them shout-outs in (my favorite being the poster for ‘FINDING OSAMA’ which came from a riff on a drawing MIKE SGIER was doing for his ‘TOBY AND SARA’ comic), but there are also some in-jokes from the day in there like ‘Crunchy Frog’, the meaning of which is now lost to time.

BASTIAN:  When we finished the 2nd FCBD issue, I started thinking about how to do a 3rd one. The first idea centered around TC trying to sell my corpse to bus fare home, but that didn’t really go anywhere. But the corpse thing obviously led me to zombies. Then while planning this story out, tragedy struck again, and the Rochester location of Jimmy Jams was closed due to..reasons that I don’t know if I was ever told about, but I’m assuming it was related to the crappy economy. I wasn’t sure if we should even spend the time doing this story, especially if nobody was ever going to see it.  But Danno was still keen on drawing it, and if I based my decisions on people reading the comic, I’d have stopped a long time ago. So yes, Zombies!  Those are some nice looking Zombies.

DANK:  As for the sudden switch to ‘wide-screen’ format for this story…I dunno.  Maybe I was just in a MANLY TALES OF COWARDICE or something.  I’m sure it would have worked in either the horizontal or vertical format, but for some reason I remember being insistent I do it sideways.  I think one of my rationals for Brian was that we were planning the ill-fated collection and I figured there was such a weird art jump from part 1 to part 2, that we might as well be equally as jarring for part 3.  This is also the first real kind of writing collaboration between Brian and myself.  Going into it we actual SPOKE ON THE PHONE about the direction of this story (we usually reserve our conversations to awkward small-talk at conventions and Kinkos).  We both came into it with a ton of ideas that Brian then had the unlucky chore of sifting thru and making into a cohesive story.  Not everything made it in–like my ideas that the narrator for this should be the zombified, headless corpse of Brian himself–but I think enough did that it’s pretty clearly a jumbled, unfocused mess.


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!



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