Archive for the 'Zander Cannon' Category



   If you follow DANIEL J OLSON or his co-writer/wife AJ on Facebook you’ve probably already gotten a pretty good idea of how C2E2 went for us…but here’s some of my pictures and thoughts anyway…

  “MMMMYYYYYYY KIND OF TOWN, CHICAGO IS!”  I immediately began singing that as we entered the downtown Chicago area.  Little did I know in only a matter of hours that would be 100% true.  Man, I totally want to be back there right now.

   Part of the whole appeal of going to C2E2 was that many financially crippling aspects that usually prevent me from attending out-of-state of cons were not applicable–like our hotel.  AJ’s dad is a captain of industry (human trafficking, I believe) and was able to procure for us a FREE hotel–a room on the 34th floor of the ‘AVENUE’ hotel, right off Michigan Ave in the heart of downtown Chicago.  Just look at this view we woke up to every day:

   No, no…not THAT view.  THIS one:

  As lovely as the downtown was to gander at and explore, we eventually had to head over to C2E2 proper.   Lemme just check and make sure I’m ready:

   Ok…check, check and check.  Now let’s get that table set up…

   Once that was done, all the fun began. People walked by.  Several bought plenty o’ SUPER MAXI-PAD GIRL, FALSE WITNESS: THE MICHELE BACHMANN STORY, BIG FUNNY, and sketch cards.  The show was massive–MASSIVE!!!  There were of course plenty of cosplayers (or ‘Costumers’, as my wife likes to say), but this one was by far the hands-down BEST:

   After the show on Friday night my wife and I did our own thing while Dan and AJ did theirs, but Saturday night was all about the traditional “after party fun”.  First off Dan, AJ, my wife and myself were joined by some special guests for dinner:

   Look!  There is famed teen trouble-maker KRISKE with Dan!  Now I wonder who Dan is hiding on his left…?

   SUPRISE!  It’s ZANDER CANNONActually, the ‘After Party’ fun would have been nearly impossible without Zander allowing us to handcuff ourselves to his coat-tails.  For instance:

   Our first stop of the night was CHALLENGER COMICS.  They were holding the IDW party.  While there we met several great people and had a wonderful time chatting it up with some Chicago cartoonists and IDWers.  So much so that were all ready to go with everyone to another bar a few blocks over, however…

   Since a gaggle of drunken cartoonists couldn’t figure out how to make Kriske a fake ID on the spot, he, Zander, Dan, STUART MOORE, and myself headed back to the car to drive back across town to the HYATT where the ‘bar party’ was going on.  For as much fun and laughter we had on the way over, Stuart decided to turn in instead and so we dropped him off first.  Nice guy, that Stuart.  Anyway at the Hyatt we met and chatted with several more cartoonists and industry folk.  When we finally got home about 2:30am Dan and I were more than done with the day.  But there was still one more day of C2E2 to go…

  Why did the Empire lose?  ‘Cause Storm Troopers like to take smoke breaks.

  So…I think that’s about it.  There was so much going on at C2E2 and in Chicago this weekend I barely had time to squeak out these pictures (and about only a hand-full more, most of which were kinda blurry).  Overall it wasn’t the most indy-friendly convention in the world, but it was certainly lots of fun.  I really enjoyed meeting a ton of new people and taking in a town I would move to in a second if I could afford to.  I’d certainly do both the town and the con again, and hope to soon!   Anyway…check back here in a day or so for the worlds coolest con “sketch” ever.  See you then!


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 35(of 60), also: “The ‘TRANSFORMERS: BUMBLEBEE’ Commemorative Tattoo”

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:

BASTIAN: Mr. Klaw is the only supporting character from our books to appear in this story. I think when I wrote it I put a big note that it was an optional page, and if we didn’t have room we could drop it. I’m glad we had room, after the Fleming hits on Ruby bit, this was probably my favorite gag.

LIPSKI:  This is (obviously) Rocketman’s boss.  His name is Mr. Klaw and first appeared in an issue Brian wrote.  Rocketman works for Walls Mortgage which many people think is a take off on Wells Fargo Mortgage but the name is actually taken from three different places:
1) one of the worst people I’ve ever worked had the last name of ‘Walls’
2) a little nod to Pink Floyd’s landmark album
3) when I started ‘Uptown Girl’ I worked for a company that had a very lame slogan we had to say at the end of each phone call.  I spent a long time trying to think of something equally as lame.  After days of pondering I came up with “Walls Mortgage-you can’t have a house without walls”.  I still laugh at that.

DANK:  Ok…like I said yesterday, this is my FAVORITE PAGE OF THE BOOK!  Why?  Well cause 1) Bob really did some great layouts, 2) I enjoyed the hell out of inking it, and 3) it features someone who has absolutely nothing to do with the rest of the story.  On the COVER to this story we jokingly showed several characters from each series who have nothing to do with the actual story contents (except Mr Klaw).  I think if there is any downfall to this crossover is that we went SO OUTSIDE of each series.  We really should have had more pages like this one, and more interactions with each books larger casts.  Ah well…thats what sequels are for. 

  ALSO:  There is no Daily Goal Sketch today, and it’s all ZANDER CANNON’s fault.  As you probably already know Zander wrote a TRANSFORMERS: BUMBLEBEE mini-series for IDW (the last issue of which is out RIGHT NOW!).  As you then also know, Zander made ME a character in the story.  What you may not know is that despite how the artist CHEE has been drawing ‘Lt. Dan-O Klonowski’, he was SUPPOSED to look EXACTLY like FLEMING HAZMAT…but in a beret.  See Zander not only writes the story, but he also does layouts of the story, and thats what the artist gets as a ‘script’.  These are easily the coolest scripts I have ever read.  Zander essentially draws mini-comics that get turned into highly ‘realistic’ mainstream books.  Anyway…like I said CHEE never really got the Hazmat right with ‘Klonowski’.  The closest he came to what Zander wanted was this:


…and that was in issue one.  And by the end of that issue (and for the rest of the series) CHEE ditched the shades and the beret and Klonowski was just some generic guy with a pencil moustache.  Whatever.  Now what you REALLY may not know is that when Zander got this writing gig he told me about his plans for Klonowski.  My immediate response was: “AWESOME! You do that and I’ll get a tattoo of a panel from one of the issues!”  This may have been a bit rash on my part, but I committed to it there and then.  So of course when the artwork finally rolled in and Klonowski was not the Hazmat awesomeness Zander and I were hoping for I was a bit crestfallen.  But I decided to stay true to my word.  So instead of getting some of CHEE’s scribbles put on me permanently I asked Zander for a ‘finished’ version of my favorite panel of his ‘script’:

   This panel appears in issue 4 (like I said, go buy it TODAY!), and proceeds the ‘MONEY SHOT’ of the whole series.  Anyway, yesterday was my birthday, so I got myself the bestest birthday present ever:


UPTOWN GIRL vs TOMMY CHICAGO vs MANLY TALES OF COWARDICE–by Brian Bastian, Bob Lipski, and Danno Klonowski–pg 27(of 60), also: “When Zander says ‘draw’, I say ‘How fast?'”

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, and man are we getting tired…

BASTIAN: Ooh! Cosmic!

LIPSKI:  Look at that Kirby Krackle. Nice work Danno. Panel 2 was difficult to draw, but I was pleased at how differently the characters looked from the waist down.

DANK:  Are those Kirby Krackles?  Kirby Krunch Puffs maybe.  I’m pretty sure I was once again pretty liberal with this page.  Bob had drawn the Irish Beyonder in panel one, the feet in panel 2, and the *POOF!* in panel 3.  I pretty much did everything else. 

   ALSO:  D’OH!  I forgot all of last weeks DAILY GOAL SKETCHES at work on Friday, so I don’t have one for you…but I do have something else!  As you probably know, my buddy ZANDER CANNON wrote the still ongoing TRANSFORMERS: BUMBLEBEE mini-series from IDW which just happens to feature a character who has the same name as me.  As a way to thank Zander for that (as well as several pin-ups he’s done for me over the years–including a new one I’ll show you next week–and bringing the joy of the PENTEL POCKET BRUSH to my life) I recently bought Zander a ‘Thank You’ present.  As much as Zander LOVED what i gave him, he asked that I try my own hand at drawing the Transformer who is currently paying his bills.  How could I say no?  So may I know present my first ever attempt at drawing a robot in disguise:


UG v. TC v. MTOC–by Bastian, Lipski, and Dank–pg 19(of 60), also: “BumbleBee #3” for realz this time, and “John Byrne I ain’t”

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:

BASTIAN:  Ok, so when Bob and I created Jimmy he was a master of disguise, and also as bald as Patrick Stewart (he’s the first bald guy I could think of.  Feel free to insert your own favorite bald guy).  His disguise abilities have been sorely under used, and I don’t think I’ve mentioned his baldness before this moment (or since).  But it is a nice way to show that this..uh..guy, has that cosmic awareness stuff that’s so popular in your space beings nowadays.

LIPSKI:  Jimmy is bald??  I knew that.  Brian and I tried to do a ‘Tommy Chicago’ comic about ten years ago and it went nowhere.  But we did have an origin for Jimmy worked out.  His dad “went out for coffee” right after he was born, ashamed and angry at having a perfectly bald child.  Forever scarred by his dad leaving, Jimmy wears a wig to hide his shame.

DANK:  I don’t find it so shocking that Jimmy is bald.  When I saw the color cover to this issue and Jimmy’s wig was BLOND is when I got shocked.  Having never seen a color TC picture before I always assumed it was brown–ergo the heavy inks on it.  Whoops.

  ALSO:  Despite what I (and “new comic books shipping this week” sites on the internet ) may have said last Wednesday, TRANSFORMERS: BUMBLEBEE #3 comes out TODAY!   This ultra “LT. KLONOWSKI”-heavy issue was written by my buddy ZANDER CANNON and drawn by CHEE.  A good thing about this whole mix-up is that I can tease you with another page from the comic in question…

  FINALLY:  Meh.


UG v. TC v. MTOC–by Bastian, Lipski, and Dank–pg 14(of 60), also: “BUMBLEBEE #3”, and “Jim Lee touches lives nearly everywhere”

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:

BASTIAN:  I love that Fleming and TC have this conversation while still fighting. Another thing I love is this is at least the second time I’ve written TC saying “Jimmy, make a note:” and we see Jimmy with a notebook, actually making the note. I never actually imagine him doing that when I’m writing. I just think of him making a mental note or something, not carrying around a notebook. So every time I see it, I think of how awesome it is, and how one day we’ll have to explore the mystery of Jimmy’s notebook.

LIPSKI:  As soon as we finished this gargantuan task of a comic we started thinking about the sequel.  Don’t tell anyone but this story was sort of based on ‘Secret Wars’, another Marvel mini series.  Wasn’t it?  Brian?  I think?  The characters are transported to a distant planet and are given a task by a mysterious entity.  That was the plot of ‘Secret Wars’, right?  Anyway, I had pitched the idea of Tommy Chicago waging war on Atlantis in order to then save the day-against himself-and therefore being able to use Atlantis Lads for disposable sidekicks.  The idea came from panels 2 and 3 on this page.  I had it all worked out when I pitched it Brian.  He politely listened.

DANK– Boy am I sure glad Brian didn’t go for that.  Atlantis Lad provides some of the best gags in MANLY TALES OF COWARDICE and I sure would have hated loosing him to TC.  And about the headlock thing…like I mentioned yesterday I added that.  The original layouts were of TC and Fleming kinda shooting the breeze just panels after fighting (the action of which I had also amped up).  I figured at the very least they’d still be ticked and maybe glove-slapping one another.  But a headlock was easier to draw.  Now you know.

   ALSO:  The almost ridiculously ‘LT. KLONOWSKI’-heavy third issue of TRANSFORMERS: BUMBLEBEE mini-series by ZANDER CANNON and CHEE  is now available at your local comic shop.  Here’s a taste of some Klonowski goodness that awaits:

   FINALLY:  As a kid I always dug Gambit, but I don’t know that I ever drew him since Jim Lee had made his costume too detail-laden for my tastes.  Anyway, thanks to the Daily Goal Sketch I was forced to.  And it was fun.  I have no idea what I was so afraid of:


MANLY TALES OF COWARDICE #0–pg 21(of 23), also: a Go! Go! update, The Pentel Pocket Brush and Avaturd

    Like most cartoonists, my family (wife, kids, parents, etc) don’t really understand my obsession with creating comics, and for the most part don’t really read them much either.  Whatever.  I don’t do this to please them–I do it to please the three-toed gremlin who lives in my right hand and causes pains if I don’t draw for more than two days.  But a print copy of this issue got left lying around a couple months ago and one the kids read it.   Flemings whole nagging to get to Pawn America just killed her.  She was laughing about it for days, and chuckles every time we drive my on now.  So I guess what I’m saying is I’m rebranding my comics and aiming for my target demographic–11 years olds who love Pawn America.  Hells ya!

   Update:  Yesterday I mentioned GO! GO! ILLUSTRATION, and how they do daily sketches that they sell.  I also mentioned that if Jerzy Drozd did a “Tri-Klops” in his “He-Man” series I’d buy it.  Well…

   Best nine bucks I ever spent. 

   Also:  Beloved local art store WET PAINT (and it can be your favorite too since its online as well) has started asking its patrons to pimp out their favorite tools on their blog.  So STEVEN STWALLEY–the Cartoonist Conspiracy poobah and sometimes Staplegenius collaborator–has stepped up to the plate and proclaimed the Conspiracys collective love for the PENTEL POCKET BRUSH.  Simply put: the Pentel Pocket Brush is my favorite drawing tool and has forever changed the way in which I draw, and I highly recommend EVERY cartoonist have one  (or three) in their arsenal.   My favorite part of all this is the ad for the Pocket Brush some of we Conspirators did a few years back for Wet Paint.  It features such Conspiracy luminaries as: Steve, myself, ZANDER CANNON, the much missed ERIC LAPPEGARD and…is that Sean Tenhoff??? 

  Finally….yep.  Avatar.  I really enjoy the podcast WTF with MARC MARON, and for the last few weeks he has been espousing the theory that maybe if people gave a shit about things that REALLY matter, instead of being complacent and supporting quarter billion-dollar jerk-off fests like AVATAR, that maybe–just MAYBE–we’d have socialized medicine.  Now, I really enjoyed my nigh-on three hours of complacency I had during Avatar, but I have to agree.  And frankly, I’d much rather give back that time and money and have socialized medicine.



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