Monday, January 31, 2011

Mr. Massive Saves the Universe!

I rarely write for comics without at least the hope that it'll one day see the light of day in some form or another.  Most of the scripts I write, though, invariably sit virtually on my hard drive for some time while I dream away that those words will one day turn into comics in the truest sense.  The script to the art you see on this page was written, like, a month ago.  I was pretty surprised to see this art in my inbox earlier today - in a good way, of course.

Ever since attending the New York Comic Con, I've had a better appreciation for webcomics and what they can accomplish.  If nothing else, they seem to be a great way to gain attention, and I've seen how that can pay honest-to-goodness dividends in the long run (first hand, at that - the Wagon Wheel Comics booth was directly across the aisle from Dr. McNinja).  It's one of the reasons I wanted to post the "Eye of the Beholder" story on this blog.  So when artist and enigmatic nameholder Artboy_X returned from overseas and wanted to resume working on our co-creation Mr. Massive in some capacity, my thoughts immediately went to webcomics.  Being a comedy/spoof (one that relies on a lot of silly jokes at that), Mr. Massive works pretty well, I think, in short bursts.

What you see in this post is just preliminary work - who knows where this will ultimately go (so, you know, don't get your hopes up just yet) - but I hope you'll agree that it's nice to look at.  The first two pieces of art are not by Artboy_X, and in fact, having just received the art I don't even know the name of the artist who put them together, which, of course, I need to remedy.  But the energy and style strikes me as something fitting for the character and the jokes I ultimately want to tell with and through him.

Naturally, I will keep everyone updated on the progress of this project, whether you want to be kept aware or not.  I will!  It's inevitable.  For now, I hold out hope that someday soon we'll have a Mr. Massive webcomic to promote and another fun writing exercise become a reality.

The image above is by Artboy_X and obviously is the basis for the first panel in the image at the very top of this post.  It's something of a parody of a similar iconic Superman image, hopefully used for obvious effect.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

"Eye of the Beholder" webcomic by Jeff McClelland and Ruben D. Cordero, Jr.

Presented in its entirety, here's "Eye of the Beholder" with art by Ruben Cordero.  It's a pain to click on eight different links to read the entire story, so I wanted to post it all at once (plus it's easier to find on the Google).  I previously posted each individual page with commentary, and I used another post to show extra material such as sketches and other art in progress.  If anyone feels inclined to check those out, just click on the links below:

"Eye of the Beholder" was first published in Strip Search from Dark Horse Entertainment in 2004.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

My favorite comic book convention story - Heroes Con 2008 (featuring Dan DiDio!)

Let me start off by saying that I think that for the most part, comic conventions are great.  They're a vital cog in the machine that connects fans to creators and companies to the people who keep them running - retailers and readers.  Teddy and the Yeti, even though it still occupies such a small area of comic-dom, would be, for all intents and purposes, nonexistent without conventions.  So I recognize their importance.

There are certain aspects of conventions that I'm not fond of or just don't get excited for, and on the top of that list is panels that big companies like Marvel and DC hold at nearly every stop.  I've gone to a few and they all tend to be the same thing - a sales pitch from the company with no "real" information being passed along to fans.  Most convention panels are structured like this: "Hi everyone, welcome to the panel with important people from the company.  Here's some big news - next year, the Fantastic Four will battle...DR. DOOM!!!"

To each his own, of course - if you're up for it, then good for you.  But I don't see the point in sitting though a 90-minute advertisement for stuff I already buy.  Maybe people like q&a panels where they can talk with creators...I dunno.

Anyway, in 2008 I attended the Heroes Con in Charlotte, North Carolina, and I sat in on the DC panel that was taking place on the Saturday of the show.  There was a lot of fluff, of course, mostly centering around recently completed "Sinestro Corps War" storyline and looking forward to what would become the 2009/10 event, "Blackest Night".  In attendance were many creators and staff members, notably Executive Editor Dan DiDio.

After announcements were made, Didio started to ask questions of the fans in attendance, asking what people thought of certain characters and storylines.  The conversation worked its way to the Batman family of characters (as they often do), and Didio began to ask people in the audience about the various iterations of Robin.  "Who's your favorite Robin?", he'd ask.  "Who here likes the book?"

To the second question, a girl sitting about 25 rows deep raised her hand, and Didio called on her.  "What do you like about the book?", he asked her.  The girl stood up and began her answer: "Well, I'm really sad that Chuck Dixon isn't writing the --"

The rest of her answer, the part that wasn't cut off, couldn't be heard, because as soon as he heard the name "Chuck Dixon" pass over the girl's lips, Didio shouted "BraRaRaRaRa...don't worry about it" into his microphone, and quickly went to the next person with his/her hand raised.

I was pretty stunned by all this.  To give a little bit of context here, Dixon, an industry veteran who might be best known for his extended runs on Batman-related titles, had been rather unceremoniously fired from DC, including as the head writer on the Robin title, just a few weeks prior to this convention; it's still not widely known why he was let go.

The rest of the panel went off pretty smoothly: we all got to vote on things like "who's happy to see Hal Jordan back?!" and were able to ask questions ourselves, like "what character do you like to draw the MOST?"  If I have a regret from attending this panel, it's that I didn't use the question and answer session to call attention to this snub once more.  "A little while ago", I should have said, "a girl mentioned the name of a creator who was recently fired from your company, and your response was 'BraRaRaRaRa!'  Do you think that was an appropriate answer to someone who was expressing her opinion - which you in turn solicited in the first place?"  Of course, I chickened out and kept my mouth shut, so I'll never know how something like that would have gone over.

Probably not well.

In any case, anyone who's ever attended a comic convention invariably comes away with some good stories - that's the best one I've got, at least for now.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

I'll see you, Comics Code Authority...IN HELL!

A few days ago, DC Comics announced that they were dropping the Comics Code label from their books in exchange for their own, in-house ratings system.  Archie, otherwise known as "the publisher least likely to ever need anything resembling an oversight committee", followed suit immediately after.  What this means is that after decades of obsolescence, the Comics Code Authority is officially dead.  It also means that Frederic Wertham's "mark of the beast", as it were, has breathed its last after a remarkable run of nearly 60 years, long outliving Wertham and everyone else who gave a crap about the purpose for the Comics Code in the first place.  Marvel Comics dropped the Code from its books nearly 10 years ago.

As I mentioned, this news really means very little regarding the content of new comics.  I've often wondered if, for the last 20 years or so, the Comics Code Authority consisted of one guy at a desk who would flip though all the major monthly comics, check out all the scenes of people getting their heads blown open, make sure that there aren't any pictures of boobs, and hit the "accept" button on...some contraption that consisted mostly of an "accept" button.

The CCA was developed, of course, in response to Wertham's witch hunt that blamed comics for all of society's ills, and looking back at some of the "rules" under the governing influence of the CCA, it's easy to see how worthless it's been for quite some time now.  For example, the Comics Code, as it was designed in 1954, policed comic books to make sure that:

- good would triumph over evil "in every instance"
- scenes dealing with "walking dead, torture, vampires and vampirism, ghouls, cannibalism and werewolfism" were prohibited.  And here I had this great story dealing with ghouls...
- crimes would never be presented in a way in which one might feel sympathy for the criminal or in which evil would be presented "alluringly"
- no comic would use the words "horror" or "terror" in its title
- women would be drawn realistically, "without exaggeration"

So I think we can fairly obviously see that the CCA has been a beacon of light and none of the above points on the list were ever seen in comic books for the last 56 years.

Seriously, though, even if the damage has already been done to the industry, it's nice to get Wertham's stink off of comics in at least one more, highly visible, way.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Rex Ryan looks just like Sgt. Hatred from "The Venture Bros."

It's a shame that the Venture Bros. cartoon isn't more widely known.  For one thing, it's a fantastic program - one of my favorite shows off all time - that's smart, funny, edgy and action-packed like few others can ever aspire to be.  For another, more people would be making the connection that Rex Ryan, former Baltimore Ravens defensive coordinator and current New York Jets head coach, looks EXACTLY like the character Sergeant Hatred.

The similarities between the two don't stop there, though - there's more to it than just looks.  On the cartoon, Sgt. Hatred is a 50-something, overweight loudmouth who loves, well, feet.  Please tell me that statement doesn't describe Ryan as well.

Your friend and mine, Larry, first made the connection and sent me the picture at the very top (he's also the one that pointed out how similar Sarah Palin is to a certain GI Joe villain), and I think it's spot on.  If there is ever a live-action Venture Bros. movie (a cartoon one would suit me just fine), Rex Ryan NEEDS to play Hatred.  It's a match made in heaven.  Or wherever Rex Ryan comes from.

I mean, really.  Just look at it!

Speaking of football, next up on the playoff schedule has the Jets traveling to Pittsburgh to take on the Steelers.  It's greedy of me, but I'm really hoping the Steelers can win two more games this season to capture the Lombardi trophy for a record seventh time.  That way I can be happy and every other fan of every other team can be very, very jealous.  Make it happen, boys.

I had a chance to make it to the last game versus the Ravens, a thrilling beat down that Baltimore has had coming for quite a while.  Seriously, they like to talk.  Pittsburgh Post-Gazette editor Dan Gigler was there with a camera and I just happened to be in the right place in the right time to get my photo snapped with the aforementioned Larry as we celebrated the victory.  Gigler put it up on the PG website with other pictures from the game.  Check out the entire post or, for my fantastic image, look no further than directly below:

Larry and I took a few videos of the game which we promptly uploaded to our YouTube page, each of which now have more views than almost all our Franks and Beans videos.  The Steelers videos took literally minutes to shoot, edit and upload.  Franks and Beans takes hours of our time and thoughtful creativity that involves more thought than just hitting the 'record' button.  And yet the people have spoken, I suppose.  Check out the most popular so far, the playing of the "Renegade" song that the fans and defensive players get so excited to hear:

We also filmed some Franks and Beans while we were there, since we are so crafty and opportunistic.  That footage will be part of episode 52 (or thereabouts), but in the meantime, check out our newly released episode 50, in which we did something strikingly similar by filming a clip at the Pittsburgh Penguins' new stomping grounds, the Consol Energy Arena.  I hate that it's named after a coal company (I'm sure Consol is spending more money on marketing and advertising than, say, researching clean energy solutions or improving employee health benefits), but man, is it a top-shelf arena.

This post had almost nothing to do with comic books, the theme of this blog.  I apologize for that.  Oh, the Fantastic Four "death" issue comes out next week.  I'm sure it'll make me want to vomit.  There we go.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Look familiar?

This month, DC Comics is publishing most of their books with "theme" covers - simple, solitary shots of main characters in front of logos.  It's a cheap event that still manages to catch the attention of readers who might be scanning the shelves - and, if you ask me, it looks pretty neat.  I'd say that this is a win on the behalf of the DC marketing people.  Here's a look at some of the covers to the books, all of which are out now:

I'd be remiss, of course, in not pointing out that these covers looks strikingly similar to something done last year with the New Dimension Comics cover of Teddy and the Yeti #1 (by Alan Gallo and Karin Rindevall), seen here:

This is not to say that I'm trying to make any claim that DC somehow saw this and decided to copy it.  That'd be ridiculous, as it's a fairly simple idea.  I just think it's cool that Teddy and the Yeti #1 fits in with the above group pretty seamlessly.

Oh, can still buy that copy of Teddy and the Yeti directly from the New Dimension Comics website!

Friday, January 14, 2011

...Beast Mode?

As the Steelers get set to take on their rivals from Baltimore on Saturday, I present this oddity from the NFL's homepage last Saturday.

I understand that Marshawn Lynch's nickname is "Beast" or something like that, but the title of the main article here is a little too close to one of the catchier phrases on Beast Wars, one of the greatest cartoons of all time.  This threw me for a loop.

Also, let's go Steelers.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

"Eye of the Beholder" webcomic with Ruben Cordero, extra stuff

Now that the "Eye of the Beholder" story is complete, I thought it'd be fun to show off some of the sketches artist Ruben Cordero did in preparation for the actual pages, as well as some pages in various stages of completion.  This is stuff that has just been collecting virtual dust on a DVD-R in my closet and has never been published, electronically or otherwise.

Here we have some initial sketches of the Hansel and Gretel "demons" that added so much color to the story.  This design work ended up being pretty close to what was actually used.

Some sketches of the main protagonist/antagonist (depending on your point of view) with some more demons.  Now that I'm looking at Ruben's signature on this file I see it has the date "02" next to, we were planning this thing for a while.  Comic work is rarely swift.

This was the reference I found for the pot-belly stove we used in the story.  I can't imagine why I still have this picture.  Did Google Images even exist in 2002?

Ruben started every page out by sketching the rough layouts by hand.  Look at all of the perspective lines on this page!  It's the skeleton of what the page ended up being.

Before computer-designed comic book art was popular, Ruben was working on it with what must now seem like an ancient computer.  These digital inks really tightened things up.

An incomplete page.  The close up on the last two panels is intense...and creepy.

You can see that Ruben did quite a few revisions on the first three panels on this page.  The motion lines are interesting to see.  And hey, check out that stove!

Here's a completed page without all of my words to mess things up.  Ruben colored everything digitally - the colors really work well on this page, with the red and green contrasting nicely.

I'll put up one more post on this subject before putting it to rest at least semi-permanently.  Rather than having to search for each individual post, I'll upload all the pages at once and the whole story will be there to read.  Look for it...whenever I toss it up.  Yes!!!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Q&A with Fubar's Jeff McComsey, part 2

Today I'll finish up my conversation with Jeff McComsey, man of many talents who also has a great looking beard.  Seriously, he must have started growing that thing years ago.

You can read the first part of this question-and-answer session here!

McClelland: As a writer/artist, you might look at the creation process a bit differently than someone who just does one or the other.  Do you ever draw first with the intention of adding dialogue later?  What differences do you notice with your style when drawing from someone else's script as opposed to being in control of the entire process?

McComsey: I like to switch up between working from my own writing to someone else’s finished scripts.  Sitting down and banging out a little short story by myself is very satisfying but I find that good comic writers know how to move a story a lot better than I do when I kind of make it up as I go along.  My stuff tends to meander along when I write my own stuff. 

McClelland : What do you enjoy about working from some else's script?

McComsey: I love different peoples' pacing from panel to panel. I know that working from a script usually has me stretching away from my comfort zone more often than when I just roll with my stuff.

McClelland: Who are some of your artistic influences in the comic industry (or otherwise)?

McComsey: I’m a big fan of British writers and artists. 2000AD is a personal favorite of mine. I love guys like Dave Gibbon, Colin Wilson and Garth Ennis.  I constantly find myself inspired by my small press brothers and sisters who have been turning out some excellent work.

Film is a big influence, particularly when I’m composing a shot. Older films are great sources of reference on how to frame shots and stage lighting.

McClelland: What are your thoughts on sandwich meat?  Do you have a favorite and why?

McComsey: I like a good sandwich. I like deli ham sliced very thin. That’s the key. I feel like the flavor and texture are much nicer when it’s thinly sliced. I find the older I get the spicier I like my Deli meats.  The other key to a good sandwich is good bread/roll.

McClelland: Feel free to use this last question to sell a potential reader on FUBAR.  What should they expect?  Why should they buy it?  Where can they get it?  WILL THERE BE ANOTHER?!

McComsey: FUBAR has something for all comic fans. If you like zombie books, you’ll like FUBAR. If you love World War II comics, you’ll love FUBAR. If you love indie comic art, you’ll love FUBAR. It’s 15 short stories that collect into a 184 page book for $12.00. I feel that FUBAR contains some work from guys and girls who will be prolific creators in the near future worth keeping an eye on.  FUBAR is available at your local comic shops or online via or through Barnes and Noble.  We will be releasing a second volume of FUBAR in the early fall of 2011. Stay tuned!

Many thanks for Jeff for answering all of my weird questions...especially the one about sandwich meat, which was actually pretty interesting now that I read the whole thing again.  I'm more of an oven-roasted turkey guy myself, all things considered.

Be sure to pick up volume one of FUBAR from your local comic shop or from, and check out Jeff's websites here and here!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Ted sketch cover by Ron Frenz!

I got this piece of artwork in the mail a few weeks ago and just got it scanned in - several things are obvious about it.  First, it's a drawing of Ted.  Second, it's in the distinctive Ron Frenz style (another clue is the "Ron Frenz" signature on the bottom right).  Third, it's similar to Joe Sinnot's Yeti cover.  Fourth, IT'S AWESOME.

Ron is an industry pro with too many credits to list, though he might be most well known for designing the "electric blue" Superman costume.  If memory serves, he's also the first to draw Spider-Man in his black costume in the pages of Amazing Spider-Man.  Like Joe Sinnott, Ron has made important contributions to the Fantastic Four over the years.  Unlike Joltin' Joe, Ron's a Pittsburgh guy like me, which makes working with him an extra treat - not to mention he's been one of the nicest guy's I've worked with.

I originally had plans to run Joe Sinnott's Yeti sketch as the "B" cover to issue #4; I might switch that one out with this and move the Yeti to #5 (just because of positioning and because, well, Ted is listed first in the title).  We'll see.  Either way, they make great images and have a "bookend" feel to them.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

"Many Man" sketch card by Danny Cruz

Danny Cruz, while at the Wagon Wheel Comics booth at the New York Comic Con, drew a handful of sketches on sketch cards from the Teddy and the Yeti trading card set.  This is one of 'em, and if I'm remembering correctly, it might be the only one on which he drew an actual character from Teddy and the Yeti (a popular option: "draw me!").

The character on this card...what was his's right there...oh well, I'm sure it'll come to me at some point.  But I finally got a scan of this and I had to share it.  It's a great piece of art and it's awesome to see!

Friday, January 7, 2011

"Eye of the Beholder" webcomic with Ruben Cordero, page 8

Here we are at the end of this particular story.  Yes, it's a sad occasion, but weep not - I write other stuff, too.  Like Teddy and the Yeti.  You should totally buy it.

And speaking of shelling out good money for things with my name attached them, "Eye of the Beholder" is published in the collection Strip Search from Dark Horse Comics.  This book is available at lots of places, like Amazon (click on the links!), Things from Another World, Mile High Comics, Midtown Comics, heck...if you give 'em the ISBN (1593070993), big stores like Barnes and Noble will order it for you!

I'm really lucky to have been a part of this project, and I can't thank talented individuals like editor Adam Gallardo and, of course, artist Ruben Cordero, who is a heck of an artist and a heck of a guy, enough for everything they did to bring this dream to life.  This is the story that convinced me to try to make comics on a semi-regular basis, and I'm thankful for the opportunities it's granted.  May everyone who wants one have their own "Eye of the Beholder".

I'll post some "extra" stuff in a few days - character designs, sketches, pages in progress, etc. - things that haven't been published before.  It should be a fun way to wrap this short story up.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Is "Fred and Barney Meet the Thing" as bad as it looks?

I think it's fairly common knowledge that I love the Thing.  I love him.  I do!  There's so much that's great about a character like Ben Grimm.  Even though this is true, however, I've never seen the 1970s cartoon "Fred and Barney Meet the Thing".  One reason I've never seen it is that I wasn't alive in 1979.  Another is that repeats are aired almost never.  Another is that it looks like one of the most horrible shows ever made.

Despite how funny it is to see a shark bite the Thing then row away on dry land after its teeth fall out, I wonder who thought that it would be a good thing to partner up the Flintstones with a teenage version of Ben Grimm.  The characters never crossed over during the program - the show featured two 11-minute Thing cartoons followed by an 'updated' Flintstones episode - which is strange, seeing how the intro would lead you to believe the characters all went on adventures together.

Was it just because of the rock corollaries?  The fact that the Thing is made of stones and everything in the Flintstone universe obsessively HAD to use some sort of stone reference (James Darren is guest starring in this episode?  CALL HIM JAMES DARROCK!)?  That's the only half reason I can come up with.

Every once in a while, Cartoon Network's "Boomerang" channel will air an episode or two of the Thing cartoon.  I don't get Boomerang, and thus I haven't see the show.  But if it's anything like this, I might be glad that I'm not able:

Why is the Thing a teenager?  Why does he have "Thing rings"?  Why does he lose his Brooklyn accent when he transforms into "Benjy"?  And perhaps most importantly, why the heck doesn't he just move the truck stuck on the tracks rather than running headlong into a speeding train?

...there's still a good chance I'd buy this if it was ever released on DVD.

Monday, January 3, 2011

"Eye of the Beholder" webcomic with Ruben Cordero, page 7

Here we are with page seven of "Eye of the Beholder" - one more page to go and the suspense is at its height.  I certainly went with "religious fury" with this story, didn't I?  There's even a "Kraka-DOOM!" sound effect!

Strip Search isn't only my first comic book publication, but also perhaps my best reviewed work to date. A hundred years ago, I wrote about how reviews are tough to come by for me and what I write (for whatever reason), but Strip Search was reviewed by none other than the American Library Association, which, even if you've never heard of it before, sounds pretty official.  I didn't read the review until several years after the book was released (way to keep up on it, Jeff), but I was still taken back when I did.  Here's what the ALA had to say in their publication, "Booklist":
After the plug was pulled on the anthology series Dark Horse Presents, editor Gallardo found himself griping about where emerging artists were going to get their first exposure. So he started up a Web-based version of DHP, and here he presents the cream, according to site visitors, of what he put up on the site monthly, July 2002-June 2003. Pretty obviously, the genre won't run out of artistic talent any time soon. The Brownlee brothers' faux photographic style and Steve Morris' gorgeously manipulated and photographed models may be the most technically adroit stuff on view, but the other contributors' highly varied drawing styles are just as impressive, whether in color or black and white. The story element is frequently rather thin, however, and many may give best story honors to Jeff McClelland and Ruben D. Cordero Jr.'s straightforward inversion of Hansel and Gretel. All the others beg for more development, which makes the collection's point that each of these newcomers could reward a much longer look at his or her work. -- Ray Olson 
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
 Let me highlight the interesting part of that review, just to make sure no one missed it: "...many may give best story honors to Jeff McClelland and Ruben D. Cordero Jr.'s straightforward inversion of Hansel and Gretel."  Wow.  I have no idea who you are, Ray Olson, but what a nice thing to say.  I'm still not sure what I did to deserve it, but I'll take a compliment where I can get one, without a doubt.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Q&A with Fubar's Jeff McComsey, part 1

How many times have I promoted the WWII/zombie anthology FUBAR (now on sale!) on this blog?  The answer: NOT ENOUGH!  Not only does this collection contain a certain short story by myself and Leonardo Pietro, but it's masterminded by the inimitable Jeff McComsey.  After meeting Jeff at April's Pittsburgh Comicon, it was easy to see that he was a strong voice in the independent comics scene.  It was there that I picked up a copy of his American Terror graphic novel, and I've been impressed by everything he's done since.

Jeff was kind enough to type out some answers to the many questions I recently asked him.  Normally I designate who is speaking during these Q&A sessions with their initials; that's a problem this time around.  I guess I'll write out last names.  That would work.  Whatever.

McClelland: In my opinion, the comics field has changed a great deal in the last 20 years, in that there appears to be greater diversity but a dwindling base of readers.  Maybe I think that because I'm more aware of different books than I was at, oh, age nine, but it seems there's more choice if someone wants to read something different.

How do you react to that as an independent creator?   Do you have more opportunity in today's market with the gradual acceptance of graphic novels in mainstream culture?  Do you still have to worry about reaching potential readers with comic readership declining since the days of the Death of Superman storyline?

McComsey: I do feel like sometimes that I missed the black and white boom that TMNT brought out in the mid 1980s to the early 1990s.  As a guy who does almost exclusively black and white, that would have been nice. It’s still tough to get a book distributed through comic shops with Diamond’s benchmark and the fickleness of most shop owners, though. What I have found is that it seems like conventions are getting better traffic than they used to.

FUBAR, for example, was able to finance its various print runs by selling books at conventions. While the numbers buying from shops are shrinking it seems more folks are willing to shell out for a book they like at a con or to attend them in the first place. It’s similar to what musicians have encountered since downloading/piracy has taken a huge bite out of album sales. If the band wants to make money they have to tour.  

As an indie creator, the con circuit is crucial for turning any profit at all or promoting a project. They’re also a bunch of fun and great opportunities to meet other cool creators like yourself.

McClelland:  What is it about horror comics that appeal to so many readers?  Ten years ago, I don't know if there were more than a half dozen dedicated horror-themed books on the shelves, and now they seem to be all over.

McComsey: Horror comics in particular is a genre that comes and goes.  It, along with stuff like war and romance comics, was there at the birth of the medium and never vanishes for very long.

As a creator, horror/zombie books are extremely fun to draw and write, and I think most creators given the opportunity jump at the chance of testing their mettle in a genre that has had stellar work done by those who came before us.

McClelland: What was the switch that all of sudden turned 'on'?

McComsey: I think one of the reasons for the sudden resurgence of horror books is the fact that most horror tropes are well known amongst readers. You can pick up a stray zombie/horror comic and already know more or less what you need to know to enjoy it, unlike most mainstream comics where there is a built in continuity that either you’re familiar with or you’re not.

McClelland: FUBAR includes over a dozen creators on its various stories.  How difficult is it to coordinate all of the different creators in an effort to form a cohesive project?

McComsey: I think the trick is to take it one step at a time.  Find writers to write stories, then find some artists to draw them.  About a million emails later and you’ve got a book. With the story side of these operations I had help in the form of Jorge Vega.  Jorge is a writer friend who I’ve worked with a bunch and I trust his objective assessment of material.  Along with his organizational skills, Jorge was a huge help in the first stage of FUBAR.

McClelland: What challenges do you face from an editorial standpoint?

McComsey: When it comes to collecting/editing the art, I am very used to that process and understand what it’s like to contribute to a book like FUBAR when there’s no pay and even the book being published can’t be guaranteed.  It was important for me not to “bug” contributors, but to keep people excited for the book and help everybody knock out stellar work that they’ll be proud to show off.

While having so many contributors made it tricky to initially put the book together, it was the biggest help when it came time to promote FUBAR.  That also means over a dozen guys and girls posting to Facebook and their respective blogs spreading the word.

I'll stop there and pick up in a few days.  Check out more of Jeff's work here: and here:  You can buy a copy of FUBAR: Volume 1 at any comic shop or through