Monday, February 28, 2011

"End of the Line!" for DC Conspiracy's "Magic Bullet"

Jeff McComsey and I recently worked together on a one page story for the Washington, DC area "Magic Bullet" newspaper from DC Conspiracy.  Magic Bullet is a new newspaper that showcases independent comic creators primarily from the DC area.  Our entry is above, and I'm pretty psyched about it - not only because I think it turned out really well overall, but also because it'll be printed on good old fashioned newsprint (the people's paper stock) like the comics of yesterday.  Really, I love how those comics smell.  Perhaps that's something odd about me.

If the page dimensions look a bit off or there looks to be too many panels, that's because this one page story will be printed on oversized (when compared to standard American comic books, anyway), 11x16 inch paper.

I enjoyed working on this short project, and not just because Jeff's artwork is so fantastic (it is, though).  The story was especially fun because I basically got to write a war story with the primary focus on grammar...two subjects that really couldn't be much further apart.  I'll admit that there are better idioms out there than "end of the line" and "just deserts" (which is spelled correctly with only one "s", in case anyone wants to point that out), like "I've seen the light" or something to that regard, but hey, I'm working with my limited grasp of the English language, here, so cut me a break.  Heck.

This story will be a part of Magic Bullet's second issue, and is given away absolutely for free in the DC metro area.  This means two things: first, if you live in the nation's capital, look for this newspaper and give it a try.  Second, let me know if you find any, because then I may...uh...ask you to mail me one or two.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

It's time this blog went to work for me.

Back when my wife and I were dating, one of the comics I tried to get her hooked on was Spider-Girl, which was an easily accessible, fun book with a strong female lead character.  After she took to the book, I even went as far as to buy her her own copy each month (in addition to the one I was buying for myself, mind you) - so in case she ever thought about ditching me for some other guy, at least I would have the leverage point of "well, I guess you won't know what's happening with Spider-Girl anymore...".  I'm sure that would have worked.

I spent most of last summer organizing my boxes and boxes (AND BOXES) of comics, and I came across those doubles of Spider-Girl, all bagged and boarded and in numerical order.  Since we've been married for over five years now, we decided that there really wasn't any reason to keep two copies of every issue, so...eBay sale!

Perhaps I'm breaking some kind of unwritten blog rule by using this post as a cheap way to advertise books that I'm selling...though I suppose that's what I use this blog for with Teddy and the Yeti every chance I I guess that's not the best example.  In any case, I'm selling a total of 74 issues of Spider-Girl (including a complete run from issue 31 all the way to 90) and HEY, what a great addition they'd make to your collection.  Or perhaps your friend's collection.  Or if you wanted to get a bunch of books for real cheap and then set them on fire.  Once they're yours, what you do with them is up to you. They each start at 99 cents for 10- and 11-issue lots!  And they feature the work of Teddy and the Yeti friends Pat Olliffe and Ron Frenz!  Wow.

Feel free to check 'em out and send me absurd questions through eBay's messaging system.  Perhaps I'll even post the strangest one.  You never know.  Ooh, look!  Here are some links!

Issues 0, 3, 6, 15, 19, 23 and 25-29
Issues 31-40
Issues 41-50
Issues 51-60
Issues 61-70
Issues 71-80
Issues 81-90
Spider-Girl Presents The Buzz issues 1-3

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Justice League #8 letters page

To prove that everything old is new again, DC Comics recently announced that they were bringing back letters pages to their books.  Letters pages were removed several years ago in lieu of a more standard "DC Nation" page, which ended up being exactly what it was destined to become - a full-page in-house ad for other crap the company wanted you to buy.  It followed a pretty predictable formula: at first Dan DiDio wrote the DC Nation page and it was fairly informative; after a while DiDio still wrote it but would mention things like "well, I'm running really late with this, so...who likes Plastic Man?!"; later, Didio passed the torch onto other editors and assistants; even later you'd see full pages of art with "HAPPY THANKSGIVING!" (and similar messages) plastered on them; finally, it settled down to its current form, the Jay Sherman-esque "buy my book!" ads.

The prevailing sentiment from DC a few years ago was that message boards effectively took the place of letters pages, and nostalgia aside they probably did, though comics do run on quite a bit of nostalgia, to be fair.  I imagine that the DC Nation page might stick around even though letters pages are returning, as most DC books are cutting the page count of their books from 22 to 20 in an effort to save costs and keep cover prices at (or roll them back to) $2.99.

In any case, letters pages seem intrinsically tied to comics in many ways, as they have a long publication history together.  For example, last week I mentioned that I had bought a copy of Justice League of America #8 from Greensburg's Pop Culture Connection.  Within its pages is a 50-year-old letter column that was probably as stupid-fun as any could be today.

The first letter in this column is from none other than Roy Thomas, who later went on to become a mainstay creator himself, writing titles like Fantastic Four and Conan (he just took over as the main writer for Dark Horse's Conan: Road of Kings series, as it turns out, after lengthy runs on several of Marvel's series).  This isn't a great surprise, as Thomas is known to have letters published in quite a few series before he began working for comics in a professional capacity, but it still is funny.  He mentions what had to be the first issue of his well-known and long-lived fanzine, Alter Ego.

Writers of most of the other letters do what fans do best - they complain.  Oh, do they complain!  Most of them complain about the overuse of certain characters like Superman and Batman.  It's funny to read how much disdain some fans had for different characters, especially when fans today spend so much time making the same kinds of arguments.

One fan (Ronald Lehr of Cleveland) wrote to yell about the misuse of Superman, saying "I'd rather see him dropped off the JLA than be abused as he is.  He is the most neglected member.  Never (just about) is he in the action."  The best part about Ron's letter is that he calls DC on using Kryptonite on every possible occasion: "The mineral must be on sale at a local candy-store", he muses, "the way you guys scatter it into the hands of every crook that comes along."  The sarcasm!  The vitriol!  It's nice to know that some things withstand the test of time.

There are other interesting entries; one person writes his letter directly to the Flash (and asks the editors to deliver it to him); one counts - panel by panel - the appearances of each Justice League member (except for Snapper Carr and Green Arrow, for some reason) in each of the first six issues of the book!

My favorite letter of all, though, comes from Mrs. John L. Wright from Terre Haute, Indiana, who wrote to prove that smart people read comics, too.  After listing a string of her and her husband's accomplishments (including IQ numbers), she praises the "clean harmlessness of comic books."

The reply from the editor really knocked me over.  I can't tell if it's supposed to be tongue-in-cheek.  I dearly hope it is, because after noting that this woman's husband had an IQ four points higher than hers, the editor replies: "We're curious about what effect your husband's higher I.Q. has on your married life.  Does it mean that you allow him to make all the decisions in your household?"

My goodness.  As I said, these letters are 50 years old, so we're talking about a time when gender roles were a bit different than they are now.  Even so, what a flippant response!  Here's a woman praising the value of your comics (when everyone else is writing in to say how much they hate Batman), and your big response is "does your husband tell you what to do all the time?"  You're a bunch of jerks sometimes, DC.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Karin Rindevall draws Ted

Teddy and the Yeti colorist Karin Rindevall recently undertook an ambition challenge of drawing 365 different characters in one year (at least, I think that was the story).  It was awesome to see that Ted made the list at #302!  I've posted that particular entry above, but do yourself a favor and check out some of Karin's other work over at her website.  In addition to coloring the heck out of Teddy and the Yeti as well as some other related projects, Karin also had a pinup in Teddy and the Yeti #3.  Oh, and she's totally Swedish, which any way you look at it is cool.  It is!  It's a fact.

Check out more of Karin's 365 characters here and visit the homepage here!  Thanks, Karin!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Will Eisner's "The Contract With God Trilogy"

I'm slowly checking off items from my list of "graphic novels I'm ashamed to not have read yet", and my latest mark is from Will Eisner, the creator of the very term "graphic novel" and the book for which it was coined, A Contract With God.  A hardcover collection of all the loosely connected stories that center around life on Dropsie Avenue came out a few years ago, just after Eisner's death; he had written a new introduction and produced several new pieces of art for the collection.

Needless to say, the collection lives up to the significant amount of praise it has gotten over the years; I expected it to be a seminal piece and that's exactly what it was.  After all, Eisner is thought of as one of the great storytellers of the medium, and A Contract With God might be his most highly acclaimed and recognizable work (although The Spirit certainly has its share of fans).

I was surprised, though, that the Contract With God story was as short as it was; as popular as it is, and the fact that the collection takes its name from this entry, led me to believe that it would take up a significant portion of the book.  This doesn't detract away from the emotional impact of it, though, and it was all the more touching and tragic after reading about its real-life corollaries (Eisner, like the main character of the story, lost a daughter).  This entry comes off much like a morality play or one of Aesop's fables...just without the animal intermediaries.  It hits on all the right notes.

The rest of the book, which doesn't get nearly as much attention, is just as brilliant, if in different ways.  A Life Force and Dropsie Avenue cover some brutally honest material as Eisner creates a 100-year timeline for the fictitious neighborhood in the Bronx, from settlement in the 1870s, to the Great Depression, to wars and civil unrest.  As readers, we see time and characters move quickly by as history (frustratingly in many cases) repeats itself over and over again.  It's stark social commentary that we will, hopefully, learn from someday.

Quite obviously, this book is a worthwhile read.  It holds up and is as relevant now as it was when it was published, and its contents give us a perspective into life in the early-to-mid-20th century that few can duplicate.  It's poignant, funny, painful and above all true to itself.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Learn to draw the Thing! RIGHT NOW!

Early on in the Thing's first solo series, written (and sometimes drawn) by John Byrne, the above page of artistic instruction was published.  I always thought that it was a fun little "extra" added into a book that was initially itself a fun and worthwhile book.

Around a year into the series the Thing got involved in the Secret Wars crossover event and, suddenly able to change back to his human persona in Ben Grimm at will, he made the decision to stay on Battleworld, where the Secret Wars took place.  While this storyline was at least a curiosity, the quality of the book soon took a nosedive before a mercy cancellation at a point when the Thing decided to join both a circus and a professional wrestling troupe.  I don't like to think about that half of the book.

The first year of the book, though, was a treat.  It was classic Thing at his best, and extra material like this (and the fact that classic Fantastic Four inker Joe Sinnott worked on many of the issues) made it seem like the creators involved were having fun putting it together.  Regardless of how John Byrne's personality rubs some people the wrong way, his enthusiasm and love for the Fantastic Four has never been in question.

I've often wondered what exactly this page of instructions was really produced for.  Was it produced specifically for the issue in question?  Or were they running one page short at the time, leading Byrne to say "oh, what the hell, I'll toss a page about how to draw the Thing in there"?  In any case, I've always enjoyed his take on the Thing - he comes off a bit more stocky than you'd expect to see today, but I like that he doesn't have just an overexaggerated Mr. Universe build like the Hulk does.

If there's one aspect of Byrne's rendition that I'm not quite fond of, though, it's the arms.  It doesn't look like there are any joints in them.  How does the thing wave hello or flag down a taxi without any elbows or wrists?  Byrne always drew the Thing's arms a bit too rounded for me as a whole.

According to the notation, this guide was based on Kirby and Sinnott's iconic cover to Fantastic Four #51, and the similarity is fairly obvious.  But the arms...the arms!

I also enjoy the speech balloon stating, "Don't gimmie no lips."  This is especially funny to me because regular series penciller Ron Wilson ALWAYS drew lips on the Thing.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

People are People!

A few weeks ago at Greensburg's Pop Culture Connection, I stumbled upon a copy of Justice League of America #8, published in 1961, and bought it for a great price.  As is sometimes the case with comics that are 50 years old, I found the story to be a little goofy (the uncomfortable "Wonder Woman can be rendered powerless if you bind her tight" issue was brought up), but some of the ancillary material was pretty interesting.

Take the above advertisement - apparently purchased by the United Nations, of all places.  In its bold title it proclaims that "People are People!"  Despite sounding a bit redundant and a perhaps a precursor to Charlton Heston's famous line from the movie Soylent Green ("Soylent Green is PEEEEOPLEEE!"), I was impressed with this ad once I began to think about the context in which it was printed.

The 1960s were right in the middle of the Civil Rights movement, a real turning point for this country in reaction to the kind of prejudices that still existed despite the fact that the Civil War had been over for a century at this point.  To print an advertisement like this in a book marketed to millions of kids at a time in which racial tensions were at a boiling point showed savvy and guts on the parts of the UN as well as DC Comics.  While the six-panel comic and its message might seem a little obvious (in a "how can this not be an accepted way of thinking" kind of way) 50 years later, I can only imagine what it took to produce and print something as potentially incendiary at the heart of the struggle for equal rights.

The issue also gives us this gem, brought to you by the makers of Science:

First off, this advertisement makes the abstract concept of science seem rather antagonistic: "What's that, kids?  You think cold water pipes freeze faster than hot water pipes?  Well GUESS WHAT?!  SCIENCE says you're wrong!  Eat it, children."

For more reasons than that, though, this is a strange ad...or whatever it purports to be...because it's difficult for me to believe that there was ever great debate surrounding any of these subjects.  I can't see that one person ever said to another: "The vibrations of a fly's wings alone make its familiar buzzing sound!"  While another replied: "Hogwash!  The buzzing is created by its wings IN ADDITION to the exceedingly rapid vibrations of its thorax!", at which time the two must have decided to settle the dispute by blowing holes in each other.

Beyond this rather flippant observation, I'm not convinced that all of the science reported here is entirely correct - if nothing else, the wording is a little strange.  Science (the bastard) says you're wrong if you believe that the amount of oxygen in the blood controls how often you breathe.  Instead, it's the amount of carbon dioxide!  But...aren't the two amounts inversely connected?  In that a larger percentage of carbon dioxide implies a smaller percentage of oxygen, and vice versa, meaning that the balance of oxygen and carbon dioxide control the number of breaths you take, and not simply one or the other?  Maybe I'm thinking of things improperly, which has been known to happen (if that's the case, perhaps a more science-minded reader can correct me), but it sounds to me like Science is splitting hairs.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Batman in the 'Burgh?

A few days ago, news hit that the Batman movie "The Dark Knight Rises" would be looking to film in Pittsburgh for a significant portion of time.  Because of this, there was much rejoicing.  Just today, though, an update has surfaced that unless the funds in Pennsylvania's Film Tax Credit Program are made available, the production will look for other cities in which to film.  And thus, there was much wailing and moaning.

Here is why this topic is important to me: BECAUSE I WANT TO BE IN THE DAMN MOVIE.  If this Batman sequel films in Pittsburgh over the summer, 2012 will see both Franks and Beans co-stars with extra roles.  Perhaps we could be filmed falling off a building, getting run over by a tank, or being eviscerated by Bane.  My point is, the possibilities are endless, but they will not happen if this film moves elsewhere.

Besides being in the highly regarded and acclaimed Franks and Beans (seriously, watch the videos.  I said do it!), both Larry and I have been extras in a few productions over the last several years (someone even asked for Larry's autograph after he was in "The Dukes of Hazzard" film., it wasn't me).  I was recently in my seventh episode of the WB's "One Tree Hill", and Larry had a relatively large role in the pilot of "Three Rivers".  Here's the thing, though - "One Tree Hill" and "Three Rivers" are awful.  Terrible, terrible stuff, really.  Getting to be in the new Batman movie, though - part of a series of films that have proven to be works of art to be cherished for centuries to come - would make up for all that dreck.

Pittsburgh area Nancy Mosser Casting even sent this panicked e-mail a few hours ago, in all caps and everything, so you know it's serious:


Because of all this, I need to be in this movie.  And thus it needs to film in Pittsburgh.  So wake up, Pennsylvania, and do this.  For me.  The phone number to Governor Tom Corbett's office is (717) 787-2500.  Call them and tell them Franks and Beans sent you.  Or just...whatever you want to say.  You get what I'm saying.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

So...what's next?

It's about time for me to start thinking about the upcoming convention season.  Actually, it's past time for that, but what can I decisions need some time to properly...age?  Like cheese?  Maybe I'm not on top of my metaphor game today.  Oh well.

In any case, as conventions are not only the lifeblood of a small press publisher like Wagon Wheel Comics but are also a lot of fun, I'm going to try to make it to at least two convetions this season.  There are a lot of options, especially on the east coast, so I'm trying to weigh each one and figure out which would be best.  As much fun as the New York Comic Con was in 2010, it was unbelievably expensive and logistically challenging.  I also think I'll skip out on the Pittsburgh Comicon this April as I might not have enough new material out by that time...and I have no intention to exhibit coninuously with just the same old stuff as before (not that there's anything wrong with the old stuff...I just want to give people something new to check out besides my face, aged one year since the last time they saw it).

I'm looking for suggestions - can anyone out there on the Internet(s) suggest a good show at which to present?  I think that maybe I'd prefer to keep it to the mid-range shows this year, and stay on the easern side of North America if at all possible.  That's not to say that if the right opportunity came along that met neither of those criteria I wouldn't jump at it.  I would, I would.

Some shows I'm thinking about as possibilities:

Baltimore Comic-Con (August 20-21) - I've actually applied to this show already (shock!) and, as the folks over there have found it in their hearts to cash my check, I'm going to say that there's a fair chance that this will happen.  I hear lots of good things about this show, especially in regards to the small press guys, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

Motor City Comic Con (May 13-15) - I'm on the fence about this show.  The application fee is very reasonable, the dates would work well with the Baltimore show (it'd be nice to space out these appearances a little over the summer, and the Baltimore con takes place in August), and I have lots of good memories of Detroit from the Steeler victory in Super Bowl XL.  I worry, though, that this might be too small of a show - that I wouldn't stand a chance of making up any of my expenses over this weekend.  Money certainly isn't everything when it comes to conventions, at least not to me, anyway, but it has to be considered.

FanExpo Canada (August 25-28) - I would honestly LOVE to go to this show, but the dates make it pretty difficult.  I'd have to wrap up in Baltimore on Sunday and be in Toronto, ready to go, on Thursday.  I'm not saying it'd be impossible and I would like to go to this show one day (it's a fairly big show - number three or four in North America)...I just don't know if THIS year would work out.

Mid-Ohio Con (October 22-23) - The Mid-Ohio Con, located in Columbus, was actually recently purchased by the Wizard World circuit, and I really don't know if that makes this show more or less enticing to go to.  On one hand, and despite the fact that Wizard recently announced that it would stop publishing the magazine, the name does have some clout in a "you know what to expect" kind of way.  On the other, Wizard Worlds seem to cater more and more to fans of tv shows and movies than to those of comics.  Of course, yes, I would like to get to meet Adam West some day.  I suppose that all of this would be true for Wizard World Philadelphia (July 17-19).

So - what does everybody (anybody?) think?  Are any of these shows more worth it than others?  Anyone with a different con to suggest?  There are lots more - Dragon Con, Emerald City Comic Con, APE...plenty to choose from, but I'm looking for two or three.

Help me out.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Larfleeze's Orange Lantern Cookies recipe (with pictures!)

One of the more pleasant surprises to come out of the Green Lantern title, specifically since there are now power rings for every color of the rainbow, has been the character Larfleeze, the solitary Orange Lantern.  For such an initially one-dimensional character, he's filled out quite nicely in the title lately, in my opinion, providing comic relief to a book that often desperately needs it as well as some pointed social commentary (though I don't get why Hal Jordan thinks he looks like Gonzo from the Muppets.  The snout?  I dunno).

A few months ago, DC published Green Lantern: Larfleeze Christmas Special, which stood out to me for two reasons.  First, I was surprised that the company actually used the word "Christmas" in the title of a book.  Even when they publish books containing stories pertaining to Christmas, DC usually goes the safe route and calls it a Holiday Special or something of the sort in the name of inclusiveness, which I understand.  Why they decided to buck that trend for this issue I don't know, especially when they missed an even better opportunity when a few years ago they changed the title of a book from DCU: Infinite Christmas Special to DCU: Infinite Holiday Special.  "Infinite Christmas" worked SO much better when you consider it was a take-off on "Infinite Crisis", but such is the inner workings of a big company like DC.

Second, the creative team on the book actually managed to tell a good story while mixing in random activities like the one you see at the top of this post: a recipe for Orange Lantern cookies.  I thought that the concept was novel enough that I decided to give it a try (as opposed to the Spider-Man wheatcake recipe I found a while ago), and, well, I took a lot of pictures in the process.  So let's give it a go, shall we?

The recipe first calls for the following ingredients to make the cookies:

- 1/4 cup butter softened
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons of orange juice concentrate, thawed
- 1 teaspoon of orange zest
- 1 egg
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- a dash of salt
- 1/2 cup white chocolate chunks

I left out the salt in this recipe, because...well, I'm not a fan and it's usually for taste, anyway.

After I got the ingredients ready, my first task was to make the orange zest, which is, of course, just the peel shredded.  There's a kitchen tool made specifically for this (called a zester, naturally), but I said, "who needs to buy an extra tool when a cheese grater works just fine?"  If I ever make these again, I might just spring for the zester, because while the grater worked eventually, it was hell to clean.  Pure hell, I say!  So if you're going to use a grater, be warned.

The directions continue:

1) Preheat your Earth-oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit ("Earth-oven"...clever)
2) In a big bowl beat butter, sugar, brown sugar, orange juice concentrate and orange zest.  Then add an egg and vanilla until it looks delicious

3) In a small bowl, stir the flour, baking powder, baking soda and a dash of salt together (again, I left out the salt in my batch)
4) Add the small bowl to the big bowl and stir until smooth.  Mix in the white chocolate chunks
- I also had to add another 1/4 cup of flour at this stage as the dough was a bit sticky for me.

5) Drop small balls of dough across a greased cookie sheet
- I greased the cookie sheets with butter, and also had to slather my hands a few times with it, as the dough was still a little sticky, and I didn't want to just keep adding flour for fear of messing up the recipe.

The batter made 24 cookies, which is exactly how much the recipe calls for, interestingly enough.  And this after I ate a few, uh, spoonfuls of the dough.  If I had to do this again, I'd use three cookie sheets instead of two, as more than a few cookies expanded into a neighbor while baking.  The cookies ended up pretty large.

6) Bake 12-14 minutes or until golden brown
- I had the cookies in for 12 minutes and that was enough for me.

7) Let the cookies cool as you mix the frosting
- As you can see, some of the cookies blobbed right into the one next to them.  Bah!  But overall, they came out well and looked good.

I moved the cookies to cooling racks and moved on to the frosting.  The recipe calls for the following ingredients:

- 2 tablespoons orange concentrate, thawed
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/4 cup butter, softened
- 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

The frosting directions continue:

1) Mix all the above until it looks like frosting!
- This may seem like a facetious remark, but it's true.  Just keep mixing (with a spoon, not an electric mixer as with the cookie ingredients) until it looks right.

2) Spread the frosting across cooled cookies (it will melt otherwise!)

I had just enough frosting to cover all 24 cookies (I'm a bit of an overindulger, though, so this doesn't necessarily have to be the case for everyone).  The instructions, unfortunately, end here without any mention of the Orange Lantern symbol that frankly make the cookie worth baking.  It wasn't difficult to figure that part out, though, as the solution consisted of simply making more icing and adding some food coloring.

I cut the frosting ingredients to a third of what the original recipe called for (because I wouldn't need all that icing just for the decoration) and added food coloring in the following quantities: nine drops yellow, three drops red.

Oh, and then I just went ahead and used the remaining orange concentrate to make orange juice.  "Waste not, want not"...I guess.

Once the new frosting was mixed, I took a small Ziploc bag (or perhaps the generic equivalent) and cut off one of the bottom corners.  The actual cut was very small.  Then I filled the bag with the icing and twisted it, forcing the icing down into the corner with the cut.  It worked pretty well!  While drawing the design on the cookies, I realized how much the Orange Lantern symbol just looks like an angry Larfleeze.

And here's the end result!  Oh, and also a picture of my Mac.  The cookies turned out pretty well, aesthetically, but there was only one test I was concerned with...the taste test:

And the verdict...well, they're okay.  Honestly, my expectations were pretty low to begin with, as I'm not a huge fan of orange flavoring in things other than, uh, oranges.  But the white chocolate is a big hit in my book, so they have something going for them.  I don't know that I'd make these all the time, but I'd be willing to try them again.  Plus the look is really the key, here - getting an excuse to make comic book related cookies is enough of a reason to take the time to fire up the oven and get to work.

I do think that these will be my new convention cookies for this coming season.  Really, regardless of how they taste (like I said, they're okay), it's sure to catch if you wander past the Wagon Wheel Comics booth in 2011, come get a cookie.  They're made with love and oranges.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Teddy and the Yeti logo: a (kind of) step by step process

I was going through some files yesterday looking for a few old page layouts.  As sometimes happens during these searches, I find myself looking at things that have nothing to do with what I'm trying to find.  Such is the case with these logo concepts put together for Teddy and the Yeti a few years back.

These designs are all by the extremely talented Jimmy Vann, who also created the Andromeda Jones logo that I love so very very much.  I've since lost track of Jimmy - I wrote to him one day and it shot right back to me.  Jimmy, come back!!  But before disappearing mysteriously he put together these different logo possibilities that you see below.  The directions I gave mentioned that I wanted the "Teddy" part to be neat and organized while the "Yeti" part should be wild and animalistic:

The first thing I had to do, obviously, was point out that "Yeti" only had one "t".  It should be apparent that I thought option D was the best, though "Teddy" seemed too cute for my liking, almost like it was a logo for some teddy bear-type toy.  Since Ted is a robot, I thought it'd be fitting to have his name look metallic, with rivets and the like.  Jimmy took my comments and came back with the following:

...which is pretty close to the final version.  I wasn't crazy about the claw marks and I wanted to see what the logo would look like if "Teddy" were in all caps, which led to this new sheet of options:

After seeing the results, all caps didn't really do it for me, so I went with #2 on the list.  Looking back on these files, I still think I made the right choice.  Jimmy was so helpful in putting this logo together and he freely came up with so many options out of his own sense of creativity.  The logo work he did is one of the first things people see when they come across the book and the characters, so it's really important in that regard.  I don't know what everyone else thinks of the logo, but I'm pretty sure I struck gold.