Category Archives: Comics

Lizards Trade

The Lizards trade collecting the first five issues of the comic is finally printed. I can honestly say this was years in the making. But I think it came out really good and am more than pleased with the result. The cover is amazing and by Roman Gubskii.

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The Getaway Driver

A tease from my next comic “The Getaway Driver.” The art is by the wonderful Roman Gubskii. This is going to be a one shot. The page count is not finalized yet as I’m still finishing up the script, but it’s going to be at least 34 pages if not longer.

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The Getaway Driver

While my main goal this year is and has been getting some uncompleted comic storylines completed, the gist being Ayla and Boxie, while continuing to put out new Lizards material, sometimes life throws a few curve balls at you.

The fourth issue of Ayla is being colored and lettered even as I type these words by the wonderfully talented Mr. Tyler Carpenter. Once it’s done I plan to get the fourth issue printed and all four issues collected in one trade.

While I’m still not finished with the script for the third issue, finishing up the first storyline for Boxie my plan is to finish it this year. It’s plotted and I know just about every move in the script, it’s just finding the time to sit down and put such thoughts to paper.

Lizards #6 was the first all-new Lizards comic in a long time. It’s the start of a four-issue storyline, so of course, I plan to continue with it. Plus Lizards is one of my favorite creations and I want to keep working on it for as long as I can.

So that was the plan for this year. Sometime at the end of last year or so I had an idea while driving to the bookstore. By the time I arrived at said bookstore I had the general plot outline for the story complete. The whole story came to me on the drive. Later I’ve added parts to flesh out parts of it, but pretty much the beginning, middle and ending was there. Not a new series, just a single issue stand alone comic. And in a genre I haven’t done much writing in, crime stories.

I haven’t talked much about it until now. Roman Gubskii, my artist collaborator from the most recent issue of Lizards is taking on the art chores. The title of the comic is The Getaway Driver. It features Andy, a getaway driver for hire. And that pretty much sums it up.

Here’s Roman’s first sketch of Andrea, also knows as Andy. And the first page of the script. I’ll be posting a lot more about this and more art over the next few weeks as we move along in the production of the book.

The Getaway Driver page one

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Me and the Movies

A few years ago my comics were featured as the backdrop in a movie. I was going to say a major motion picture, but I don’t know how major the picture was. The movie was Santa Jaws and the title should about say it all. But still, it was cool to see my comics in the racks behind the characters as they talked in the comic book store.

It was due to Stephen Smith of Big Easy Comics, my local comic book store, that I was able to be part of the movie. The movie people were using his store as the comic book store in the movie. In this movie, the main characters are a bunch of kids who when they’re not out hunting for the shark are in the comic book store making plans.

I’m assuming they didn’t want to show anything from any of the bigger comic companies because then they would have had to go through their legal department and pay them a lot more than they paid me. While having my comics in the background was cool, the best part was when the main character was at home reading one of them on his bed. I was never so glad that the back cover of my comics shows my name and home page.

Look! I’m in a movie, lol.
All the comics, except the one on the top row to the left of Boxie are mine.

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Brian Clifton

I’ve written about my friend Brian before and will do so again I’m sure. Brian was the artist on Diebold, the first comic that we self-published many years ago. Sadly Brian passed away a few years ago and I miss him every day. This was one of the drawings he sent me when we first started talking about working together. The two-headed character never did appear in anything we did, but he would have fit in perfectly in Diebold.

This hangs on my wall in my office.

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Comic Work

While I was hoping to appear at more cons this year, I’m definitely not facing the problems a lot of my friends that count on convention appearances for a lot of their income from. I know there are a lot of conventions that are trying to put a bright face on things and say they are going to still move forward. San Diego is probably the biggest that is still listing itself as going forward. I would be thrilled if it was so, but I really think they need to look at it honestly and just admit now that it’s not going to happen. Let every one that was planning to go realize that now, so they can stop trying to figure out if they need to go or still can go. Even if things get better in the next month or so, who’s going to want to be a part of such a huge gathering after so many were just sick? Even some of the local conventions are taking a wait and see approach and while I understand I just don’t think it’s going to happen. Even if it goes forward I don’t think I want to be sitting behind a table in May facing who knows how many people that may be carrying COVID-19.

While the convention season is not a major source of my income, or barely a blip, to be honest, I do try to get what I’m working on done in time for shows so I’ll have something new to push. So I’m taking a different look at what I want to accomplish this year and how I want to get it done.

First off I want to finish the fourth issue of Ayla and collect it all in a trade. This is happening even as I write this. The fourth issue is being lettered and colored and over halfway done. Then I can get the fourth issue, concluding the current storyline printed and move forward with a trade of all four issues.

Where I’m going with Ayla after this is unsure. I’d love to do another four issues. I already have a plot. But this series was such a bear to get finished. I’m not blaming anyone specifically, there’s enough of that to go around to all of us. Just as many times it was my fault as it was anyone else’s. But if I do the next storyline I want it to be quicker and easier to get done. I’m not sure how realistic that is at the moment. Besides any issues I have Javi the artist is being kept busy with coloring work from Marvel and other drawing work from other creators. And I would like to keep him as the artist if I continue it. So we’ll see is the best I can offer so far as future Ayla goes.

Next up is a new one issue stand-alone comic. It’s a crime comic featuring no superheroes and anything science fiction or fantasy. The script is about 3/4’s done and the ending is already plotted out. It’s going to run around 48 pages and the art will be by Roman Gubskii, who’s been working with me on new LIZARDS stories. Roman has the first 1/4 of the script and is planning on starting the art within the next week or so. I’m feeling really good about this story and feel it might be some of my best work. I can’t wait to get it done.

Also online to get finished is the third and final issue of the storyline for Boxie. The delay on this one is completely on me. Tyler Carpenter, the artist, has been patiently waiting on me for the script. I have it pretty much plotted out, I just haven’t found the time to sit down and write it. I want to get this done this year for the same reason I want Ayla done. As well as printing the third issue I want to get all the issues together for a trade. Tyler is just waiting on this, so this is on my list of things to finish this year for sure.

And finally, until I think of something else that I haven’t yet and want to get it knocked out, is more LIZARDS stories. I’m at the start of a four-issue storyline with Roman Gubskii now, that I have to finish the next three issues. And I’m working on more short stories for the series with other artists, like my friend Larry Guidry. LIZARDS is an ongoing thing and what I plan to continue to work on for the foreseeable future.

Andy from new project by Roman Gubskii

Boxie by Tyler Carpenter
Lizards by Roman Gubskii
Ayla by Javi Laparra

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Goodbye to 2018

Well, I can’t say I’ve done a very good job at keeping this up to date.

2018 was a strange year for me.  It followed the previous year where I was left broken and wondered if I was going to recover.  Like most cases of heartbreak, I managed to go on.   As bad as I thought it was I realized I could and would survive.  Still, this wasn’t an easy thing for me, and even into this year, I was affected.  If I’m honest I have to admit that I still share residues of it.  I know it’s over, but sometimes the thought of her still hovers around my conscious like an unwanted ghost.  It’s hard to explain.  I’m not sitting around wallowing in grief, most of that is finally, at long last gone, but there’s something like an old toothache there, the memory of what might have been and what was that intrudes on my thoughts when I least expect it or want it.

My plans were that this year was going to be a big year for me as far as my writing and publishing.  While I can point to some things getting accomplished it was nowhere near what I was hoping for.  Part of it I can blame for the overall malaise I’ve felt all year long, but some of it was for more practical reasons such as money.  2015 I self-published 12 comics.  I went to at least one convention almost every month.  At the end of the year, I realized I had spent a lot of money.  And unfortunately not brought in a lot from my writing.  Now I have a decent job where I can afford to put a certain amount of money towards my writing without having to worry about an immediate return.  But I realized that this year I would need to be a little more frugal.

I have to say that I am proud and happy to get my Lizards series back in print.  I’m more than thrilled to have three issues printed this year and the fourth just missing being printed by a few days, as it should be done by the end of the first week of the new year.  In addition, I’m started new stories with the characters and plan on continuing the series beyond the five issues of reprinted work.  This is a series that I’ve always been very fond of, so I’m happy that if nothing else this year I’ve managed to get it back in print.

So while I can’t say 2018 was a great year, I won’t list it as a complete wreck of a year.

As I mentioned, there was just a certain malaise I’ve felt hanging over me for most of the year.  I’ve felt like I’ve been in a sort of limbo.  Some of it is me trying to adjust to what I see my future being now, something I’ve always thought and not worried about, until Kayla and I saw a different path, something I’ll write about more in a different post.  The good news is that I’m feeling like I’m coming out of the fog and seeing daylight.  I have big plans for the new year and am going to work my best to accomplish them.

I don’t want to make any promises that I’m going to be updating this on a regular basis, every time I’ve tried that this year I’ve failed miserably, but part of my plans for the coming year does involve more involvement with this site.  This is the site that I’m directing readers or anyone that shows even just the slightest interest in my work, so I need to be more timely with what I write here.

This site isnt’ just a what’s coming out and what I’m writing.  This site is meant to be a look at my life as I continue to create new work, so that means you’ll get posts like this where I moan and crap about my life, but hopefully more posts about what I think is good in my life too.

So here’s to seeing 2018 off and looking forward to a new, much better year in 2019.

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The Return of Lizards

One of the things I’ve been working on is the return of Lizards.  Lizards was a series that was first published in CRITTERS published by Fantagraphics a long time ago.  They were short stories drawn in black and white about families.  These families though just happened to be talking lizards and other animals as well as a few humans here and there.  They were some of my favorite writing.  The stories were quiet and slow, dealing with fathers dealing with sons, daughters dealing with their siblings, things like that.  The art was done mostly by Ron Wilber, but later by a bunch of different artists.

I’ve republished a lot of my older work in new versions of comics the last year or two.  I haven’t touched Lizards.  I was thinking of doing a trade paperback of all the stories.  I have over sixty pages of work to republish.  I wanted a trade on my tale to sell at cons.  But I just didn’t feel right about it.  Everytime I started to think about doing this I would put it off.

Finally I decided what I wanted to do was continue the series.  Write new stories.  First though I was going to print the old stuff, in new comics, starring the characters.  Caliber had done a one shot issue LIZARDS SUMMER FUN SPECIAL but otherwise the characters never appeared in a comic with their name on it.  So I decided to change that.

I have enough material to pretty much put out five comics, with a little new material in the last two issued.  And then the plan is to continue the comic with all new stories.

I’ve published the first two issue, the third is about to go the printer.  The first issue cover is a reworking of the special from Caliber with art by Terry Pavlet.  He did the cover to the special and now for the first issue.  The second issue cover is by Larry Guidry.  I also decided to do this comic in black and white.  I know nowdays black and white is just short of the kiss of death as far as comics go, but I like black and white.  This series was first published in black and white and I gave serious though about re coloring it, but I think it works best in black and white.

I love this series.

I hope you check it out.

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Len Wein RIP

I’m not quite old enough to have grown up reading the original Marvel Comics.  They say your Golden Age of comics is when you first start reading them and discovering the thrill of following the monthly adventures.  For me my Golden Age was the 70’s.  For me the writers whose words amazed me and thrilled me and made me come back month after month were Marv Wolfman, Steve Gerber, Steve Englehart and Len Wein.  The 70’s gets knocked by a lot of fans for their comics.  I think it’s because it’s coming off the Lee/Kirby and Lee/Dikto years and people figure they can’t be that good.  But I thought they were awesome.  I loved the stories they were telling.

Today I just read the Len Wein died.  I never met the man but he gave me many hours of reading enjoyment.  Even if you’ve never read a comic but like the movies made of them, you owe Mr. Wein a thank you.  He created Wolverine and the co created the New X-men with Dave Cockrum.  He co created the Swamp Thing.  He had a hand in a lot of characters that we take for granted nowadays.

Rest in peace Mr. Wein and thank you.

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Monster Book

The hardback book Monsters and other Scary Shit from Wannabe Press are out and copies are being shipped to me even as I type these words.  Only four of the 224 pages in this amazing book is written by me, but the rest of the pages are still so wonderful, so great that everyone should want a copy of this book.  Russell Nohelty has done such a fantastic job in putting this book together, that I can’t even begin to thank him enough for letting me a part of it.  I’ve ordered 28 copies of the book to have to sell at upcoming conventions.  Unfortunately, I don’t think I’ll get any copies in time for Memphis Comic Expo, but I should have the book with me in time for Creative Con in October.  Each book will cost $40 and are worth twice that price.  I can’t wait to get my copy in.  Trust me this book is great.

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