Archive for the 'Uptown Girl' 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…

MTOC vs UG vs TC



The Young Earth Chronicles–part 6(of 12), also: “I am not at C2E2” and “Lipski and Bastian kinda sorta not really failed the 144 Hour Graphic Novel Challenge too”

    There. I sent the bomb from part one back in time.  That plot hole is all closed up.  Now to open up some more. OH!  And I was big fan of MICHAEL CHERKAS art on the ‘SECRET INVASION’ comic growing up, and I think these 3 pages really show that.


 ALSO: So right now I should be in Chicago with DANIEL J OLSON at the second annual C2E2 comic convention thingy.  We went last year and had a blast being in artists alley and the plan for this year was more of the same.  But for me anyway, life got in the way.  So Dan is there and I am not.  Wah.  One of the key reasons for us going and sharing a table this year is that I am the plotting mastermind behind the final 3 issues of Dan’s SUPER MAXI-PAD GIRL series, the first part of which debuts at C2E2 TODAY!  So if you’re there–pick it up!  Or buy it from Dan at one of the many Minnesota cons he’ll be doing in 2011. Or, you know, I’m sure it’ll be available soon on his website. 

     FINALLY:  I had totally forgotten about this, but BOB LIPSKI and BRIAN BASTIAN kinda sorta not really participated in the 144 Page Graphic Novel Challenge.  Here, I’ll let regular Brian Bastian explain:

     “Bob told me about the 12 page per month thing and asked if I wanted to write for him for it. We decided to combine two story ideas I had come up with for the ill fated uptown girl cartoon. I started just working on it during my downtime at work, seeing as I only had to write 12 pages a month. And then the whole thing just seemed to fall apart, with everyone quitting on it. So it just sat, not just unfinished, but barely started.

     Then Bob was stopping the monthly book and wanted to do original graphic novels and he wanted to do the story we had been working on. So I dusted it off and finished it up. I think I ended it at page 140 so as to give him 4 pages to play around with. And let me tell you that script was a piece of shit. The non-plot bits were good, but the story made no sense, had weird leaps of logic and was just shit. Bob started drawing it (even though it was shit. I can’t stress that enough) and he was extending a lot of the pages because I had crammed a lot into each page. And he started asking me plot questions and about clearing some stuff up (I’m sure he knew it was shit too) so then I started rewriting pages, adding some pages, clearing up the plot a lot. So this combined with Bob taking his time drawing it and extending pages added quite a bit.

     When he was close to done, he sent me a list of scenes/rewrites/etc he wanted and I worked all that out. Then I also spent an afternoon in a coffee shop looking over the pages, reading it and making sure it made sense, then I went and added more stuff, until we were both happy with it. And it was a whole lot better. I did get to spend a couple days with a proof copy and I made one last run through looking for spelling mistakes and changing and tightening up some more dialogue. And now hopefully it’ll be out at springcon. And also hopefully people won’t think its shit. Although if they do, I’ll be really glad we didn’t go with the first draft. So yeah, that’s what I remember, Bob might have more memories why we didn’t do the 144 challenge, but if he doesn’t say anything about how much the first script sucked, he’s lying.”


UPTOWN GIRL vs TOMMY CHICAGO vs MANLY TALES OF COWARDICE–by Brian Bastian, Bob Lipski, Danno Klonowski (and special guest Zander Cannon)–pgs 59 and 60 (The End!), also: “A shit-ton of pin-ups from said crossover”

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, Bob, and special guest ZANDER CANNON are here to join me for some reflections on the end of this god-damned monstrosity:

BASTIAN:  Thank Jebus we’re finally to the end. If there is any true winner to this story it’s Fleming Hazmat. Sure he didn’t get the girl, but he got an awesome flying submarine and dinner. In the end I think that’s all that any of us really want.

LIPSKI:  And that’s the end!  This was a lot of fun to do, and a lot of fun to look back on.  I had been very excited to see my characters interact with Danno’s and Brian’s but the most fun part of this whole thing was working with two of my close friends on a project.  Brian and Danno are both terrific creators and I am lucky to know them and work with them.  They are the two guys who I constantly try to impress.  Thanks guys!  Let’s do it again.

DANK:  Yep.  Over.  While at times tedious, this project was fun to do, and 2+ years later I think I’m ready for round two.  We promise to have a plot (and ACTION!)  next time.  OH–but it’s not over…OH NO!  We had several pin-ups that were included in the print edition, so here they are with some (MORE!!!!) thoughts:

DANK:  This was the very first thing I (and possibly anyone else) did for this crossover (yes, even before Brian wrote it).  It was right after FALLCON 2007 and we agreed to do this book.  We had decided upon a few story elements–the main one being it was going to be a SECRET WARS knock-off–so doing this pin-up seemed glaringly obvious.  Plus, if I was going to be drawing/inking 6 characters I hadn’t drawn a whole lot…well…a WHOLE LOT…I figured I should get some practice in.  I like how it turned out.

DANK:  I did this one not too long after the SECRET WARS pin-up.  I was on a parody tear.  I think my intent was to use this as an ad in MANLY TALES OF COWARDICE #5, which was supposed to come out MONTHS before the crossover.  Instead it came out the same time as the crossover…at least half of it did…so I didn’t get to use it.  But more on that in a couple weeks….

LIPSKI: I love this drawing.  The hardest part of the crossover was trying to think of a title and I thought “World’s Finest Crossover” was the perfect title but I think Danno was the one who named it “Manly Tales vs Tommy Chicago vs Uptown Girl”


LIPSKI: When I did this one I was thinking about doing a calendar parodying famous comic book covers and putting Uptown Girl and her friends in them.  I was spending a lot of time going through books of famous comic book covers and came across a story that told how Superman and Batman discovered each other identities.  It was a pretty lame story but it was the silver age.  The cover to the story portrayed Superman and Batman each trying to save Lois Lane.

ZANDER CANNON: One of the things that always comes to mind when drawing my version of Fleming Hazmat is his perfect design: iconic, idiosyncratic, and cutting a heroic profile all at the same time. Despite his existence in a cartoonish world, when I take a crack at
him, he fits right into the world that I draw, with deep shadows, ludicrous explosions, and the other baggage that being a borderline-mainstream artist brings.

     Tommy Chicago and Uptown Girl are brilliant designs as well, but the drawback to that is that I feel like I can bring very little to an
interpretation of them without taking away their essence.  If you make Uptown Girl without a perfectly spherical head, well then boy, you are missing the point.

BASTIAN:  I love all of these pin-ups. Any of them would have been great to use as the cover. And that back cover pin-up by Zander Cannon is just amazing. I think I peed myself a little bit when I first saw it, that’s how awesome it is.  Hmmm. I probably shouldn’t have typed that.  Oh well.

LIPSKI: Zander is…well a hero to us all.  Proof that you can start by doing indie comics and then work with Alan Moore and still be one of the nicest, most encouraging people in the comics world.  I was honored to see his drawing of Uptown Girl.  It’s a nice contrast to see her with a daisy and Tommy Chicago with a gun.

DANK:  I’ve been a fan of Zanders for a really long time.  The fact I can now call him friend and he’ll do things like the above pin-up for funzies still astounds me on a regular basis.  I remember the day Zander sent me his pin-up I was working at the worst job ever.  Just seeing it not only made my day, but probably made it the best day ever at that shitty place (except for the day I got fired.  That day was pure ecstasy). 

    Ok…so thats that done.  Woo!    Thanks Brian, Bob and Zander.  I would have totally lost my mind if I had to do that all on my own.  I owe ya one…or two months worth…or whatever…. Next week:  COUNTDOWN TO C2E2!!!!


UG v. TC v. MTOC–by Bastian, Lipski, and Dank–pg 57 and 58(of 60), also: “My continued descent into becoming a 2-D being” and “Damn You Specificity!”

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 second to last installment:

BASTIAN:  Tommy Chicago gets the “monkey paw” end of the wishing here. He never totally loses, but never really wins either. The best part about this is how Danno’s been working the sub being stuck in the city in just about every issue of Tommy Chicago we’ve done since this crossover. It’s become a landmark. A big, pointless landmark.

LIPSKI:  As strange as Brian’s comic is, he makes it a point to tie everything into a vert set timeline.  This story takes place after the first Tommy Chicago series (the one I drew) but before the current one (the one Danno is drawing).  Brian works in the sub into the comic and I don’t think he could tell you why he bothers.  But I’m glad he did.

DANK:  Yeah…the sub.  It’s a pain to remember to put in each issue of TOMMY CHICAGO, but fortunately the FINAL issue (probably) comes out next month at SPRINGCON.   That said, I know Brian want to do some TC specials in the future…and we will!.  I think I wrote this at the beginning on the opening TC pages, but I’ll reiterate here:  These pages that I pencilled and Bob inked are my favorite of the book.  So when the time comes to do some more TC, I think they should be done in this way.  Brian writes.  I pencil.  Bob inks.  It just seems like the way TC was meant to be done…..though I could be wrong.

   ALSO: First there was “THE MAN WHO SOLD THE WORLD” in Bob’s 24 Hour UPTOWN GIRL COMIC, then there’s all those hateful Conspiracy jams, then Lt. Klonowski, and now what LANCE WARD has done.  One day I will just be a cartoon and not a real person.

  FINALLY: I’ll admit I had never heard of todays Daily Sketch Goal, despite his 30+ years of comic book history.  My client being the fan of modern superhero cartoons that he is of course wanted THE BATMAN version of the character…of which barely a headshot can be found online.  Damn specificity.


UG v. TC v. MTOC–by Bastian, Lipski, and Dank–pg 55 and 56(of 60), also: “It was around this time my lungs were aching for air”

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 these closing chapters of the book:

BASTIAN:  Because of the differences in..well, logic, tone and physical laws between the Uptown Girl book and the other two, we had this ending for them to give Bob an out to say that it was just some sort of tainted meat fever dream for the gang, and because her wish was nothing solid, there wasn’t anything that would need to be referred to in the future. Although in my mind it really happened, and they’ll all meet again someday.

LIPSKI:  What a shock to come from Danno’s beautiful heavy inks to my weak line weights.  I never look back at what I’ve drawn, I’m always focusing on what I’m working on now or what’s next so it’s kind of…weird to look back on something I did over two years ago that makes me cringe because I probably spent all of 15 minutes on a page…especially when I just finished putting two hours into one page tonight.

DANK:  I’m with Brian.  It happened.  More crossovers are coming, both in the form of at least one more ‘special’ and also in the pages of MANLY TALES OF COWARDICE.  Sorry, Bob.  You’ll just have to accept it.

    ALSO: Have I ever mentioned that as a young kid I developed a love/hate relationship with “SUPER FRIENDS”  and it’s all AQUAMAN’s fault?  Basically, I really dug the superheroes, but one day it hit me the story-telling was TERRIBLE!  Why? Because the characters always THOUGHT OUT LOUD and TOLD the audience what was going to happen seconds before it did (or didn’t, depending on the scenes budget).  This was realized while one day I was watching Aquaman explain to himself what he was going to do.  It just struck me as cheesy and insulting to the viewing audience.  I was probably like 6.


UG v. TC v. MTOC–by Bastian, Lipski, and Dank–pg 53 and 54, also: “A bigger bleeding heart than Paul Wellstone, but less accurate with a bow”

The UPTOWN GIRL vs TOMMY CHICAGO vs MANLY TALES OF COWARDICE crossover from 2008 is finally, nearly done, and 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:

BASTIAN:   In most of the Uptown Girl stories I’ve written, I’ve always felt like there needs to be some sort of moral, or lesson involving the characters. It’s a little sketchy here, I had to sort of make a lot of odd jumps in logic and plot to get to the point where Uptown Girl wishes them all home, but again I think the character interaction was a lot more important to this tale than the plot. And that gagging reaction from the sidekicks was totally worth it.

LIPSKI:  This page really reminds me of the ending to ‘A Game of You’, a storyline from Neil Gaiman’s Sandman series, which I’m sure is exactly what Brian was thinking about when he wrote this. Uptown Girl comes off too sappy sometimes so it’s nice to see Rocketman’s, Jimmy’s and Atlantis Lad’s reaction in the background.

DANK:  Ok, I may be totally wrong here, but I think while the ‘sidekicks’ were in Bobs pencils, I’m the one who made them gagging.  I think it’s a pretty good indication of where I was at mentally while inking this.  There is usually a point in even an average 24 page book where I’m just ‘DONE’ mentally, usually around page 18.  So by page 54 I was ready to kill.

   ALSO:  Green Arrow has always been a pretty namby-pamby hero.  The fact they’ve returned him to his original “Robin Hood” costume roots is pretty sad.  If any one character was served by the grim and gritty era of comics, it was Green Arrow (this is based entirely on the 4 issues of the Kevin Smith run I read and gave up on):


UPTOWN GIRL vs TOMMY CHICAGO vs MANLY TALES OF COWARDICE–by Brian Bastian, Bob Lipski, and Danno Klonowski–pg 51 and 52(of 60), also: “Lots to do before next Thursday” and “He’s no Black Racer, but he’s pretty offensive”

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, the final week of posts for this project.  Woot! :

BASTIAN:  Growing up I always got mad when I’d read a story or see a cartoon or something where people got wishes and either didn’t wish for more wishes, or were told that they couldn’t wish for more wishes. Then I got older and wrote this story, and realized that they couldn’t wish for more wishes, so now I understand. I guess they could have wished that they could wish for more wishes and then wish for more wishes. That would be a loophole right? On page 52, I think “Suck it.” was the most profane thing I’d written in a comic up to that time. I was actually a little worried because I knew Bob’s readership can skew a little younger than mine or Danno’s, but at the same time it was just the perfect moment for Hazmat. And we get another chance for him to hit on, we should just do a book where they go on a blind date. It would write itself.

LIPSKI:  And after 50 pages of nonsensical plot, we discover that there really was no point in the hard work because the guy with money just bends the rules.  It’s the 2000 election all over again.  Tommy Chicago’s wish in panel 1 (of pg 52) was, I think, going to set up the plot for the second crossover but….well, it doesn’t anymore.  Brian’s got the plot for the next one all figured out but he won’t tell me and Danno. Ask him, maybe he’ll tell YOU.

DANK:  While what TC wished for no longer sets up a sequel, what Fleming wishes for became MANLY TALES cannon.  And the Brian asked if he could have it destroyed in a story he wants to write.  So now its a race against time to see if I get to use it before Brian breaks it.  Also, in reference to what Brian wrote, I agree the degrees to which Brian made Fleming a bastard on pg 52 have really helped shape the character in ways I was kind of leery of steering him.  But now I’m glad he’s there.  Dickwads rule.

    ALSO:  Hunh.  C2E2 is next week…I should probably get on that….

   FINALLY:  Of all the late 60s/early 70s racist superheroes, todays Daily Goal Sketch had to have been the most obvious.  Kudos to Marvel for getting there first:



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