Saturday, December 24, 2011

Daily Poster: Santa With Muscles.

Santa With Muscles.

Happy birthday Humungus.

Happy birthday and Merry Christmas to the warrior of the wasteland, the ayatollah of rock and rolla, Lord Humungus!
The Road Warrior (Mad Max II) was released in Australia, thirty years ago, today. The Humungus is my favorite character in the film, so I reserve my 'Happy Birthday' for him.
Did you know that within The Humungus' Dogs of War, there are gangs/cults? These are not after-the-fact fan creations, these deliniations are straight from the Mad Max II script.

The Gay Boy Berzerkers seem to be ex-cops.

The Smegma Crazies seem to be ex-military.

The Mohawkers, well, uh, they have mohawks.

The pics come from the most excellent,

Teamwork makes Christmas possible.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Interrogation: Pat Aulisio.

Astronaut, David Bowman, is absorbed by the monolith and becomes the Star Child, in both the book and film, 2001: A Space Odyssey. In Bowman, Pat Aulisio's comic, the astronaut is not absorbed. He adventures on.
Aulisio's art is inspiring, frenetic, and beautiful. Imagine Gary Panter's hands were cut off and transplanted onto Jack Kirby's arms. In other words, cartoony and raw in all the right ways and at the same time structured traditionally both artistically and narratively.
Mini-comics are always hit and miss with me. I keep shelling out the cash, but a lot of mini-comics are so personal, so experimental, and so hard to crack if you are not on the exact wavelength of the artist, that they are not absorb-able. They, often times, just don't translate to anything I can understand. HA. This is not one of those mini-comics. The story gets surrealistic but it is clearly readable. The art is thick; you can float around in it like a hot tub. The flashbacks and flash forward felt important and relevant. They are funny and sad.
Buy Bowman HERE and be sure to cruise around the rest of Pat's site HERE.
Thanks to Pat Aulisio for answering my questions.
1. Who is David Bowman?
david bowman is the main astronaut character in 2001: a space odyssey (frank poole being the guy that dies by the hal controlled space pod, who also makes a 1 page appearance in issue 1 and who i will explore more in issue 2 and 3). the comic, in essence, is 2001 fan-fiction. im taking an already existing character and exploring his life through different flashback and flash forwards. HOWEVER, what i did was start my story right at the point in the movie/book where he confronts the monolith and then ends up becoming the star-child, i erased that part out and instead had him go to an alternate dimension and deal with asshole aliens. ignoring what happens at the end of 2001, all of 2010, 2061, but i will feature references to the book 3001 in future issues.
i should note im a big arthur c. clarke fan.

2. You created an alien language in Bowman, what do you imagine it sounds like?
its hard to describe what it sounds like, i wish i could just send audio. its basically the weird chattering sounds i make to myself while drawing and riding bike. kinda like a fucked up russian, lazer and time travel sounds, lots of tongue rolling, a little bit of mandarin, and whale sounds mixed in.

3. How did you get hooked up with Retrofit and what is their story?
retrofit is amazing. they release an awesome comic every month and sell subscriptions to them! i truly think hes doing some sort of revolutionary new comic business plan with this, i want others to be inspired by him and do the same thing, if there were  5 publishers like retrofit out there today the industry would be a much better place. its run by my friend box brown, who is also a prolific cartoonist in his own right. him being in the comic world to begin with has a great advantage, since he knows whos 'hot' and 'on the rise' so every book retrofit has been releasing is a total knock out read.
i got involved, because like i said before, im friends with box, were both philly dudes, and have been hanging out and doing comic cons together the past few years, so its just kinda natural that he published me, so its kinda some sort of nepotism "im a shoe-in" situation, but if he didnt i wouldve been surly. ive gotten a lot of positive feedback from bowman so i dont think he regrets publishing me...

4. I really like the cover colors on Bowman. Can you talk specifically about how you colored the front and back covers?
thats a great question. i like that you picked up on the colors. i do have a very weird specific way of coloring, which, to me, is the perfect mix of analog and digital. i drew the initial drawing, then using a light box ill draw some more with smaller pens on a different sheet of paper (usually tracing paper or regular copy paper), then 2 more layers both with brushes, i then scan them all in and layer them up and turn the black ink layers into color via photoshop. my teachers in college called it 'digital screenprinting' because its the same idea of having different layers being different colors, except this time no inky mess and all the registration errors are on purpose.
ive started using this technique with josh bayer drawings as well, i colored his retrofit comic cover, RAW POWER amongst other things

5. In 2010, you did Abstracted Comics. Can you talk about the back story to that and the final outcome?
abstracted comics was my best failure. i originally came up with the idea doing some screenprinting, as most printers know, you do practice rolls, usually on newspapers etc. after a while they build up being multi colors and angles. i looked at some of these and thought they were cooler then a lot of the stuff being printed, all these fucked up looking gibberish of drawings overlapping each other. so i just decided to do this in photoshop, overlapping layers, taking elements of the drawings and repeating them over and over until they are indistinguishable, and just adding elements until it looks really weird trippy and colorful. i originally made all the images for an art show i had at a coffee shop and then later turned them into a zine that didnt sell at all. everyone seems to have thought it was boring and pointless since you cant actually read it, however i have had a few people tell me they really truly loved the way it looks, so does it make it worth it? probably not.

6. What is your most prized possession?
most prized possession? well thats a hard question, should i talk about what i use or the most things of actual value  like my bicycle and computer because i simply could not live without those, or things i love like my 2 cats? or just things i think are awesome like my 80's michael jackson 3d comic or my found photo collection?
i honestly dont put much sentimentality towards objects and i dont ever really 'prize' any possession, in fact i always end up throwing out or giving away most of my possessions without a second thought. but yeah im gonna go with my bike, i built it myself over the course of 2 months and the parts cost around 2 grand and i ride it everyday everywhere since i never learned how to drive a car.

7. I am in a spirited debate with my friend. How do you determine what is and is not art? Good vs. bad art? Is it cultural? Can art be made outside of culture, or is it necessarily a product of culture?
He thinks I'm veering into an art as god model. He may be right, I'm afraid. I say fuck the gatekeepers. Art is too personal. Because I think there are cels from The Flintstones more beautiful than the Mona Lisa. I feel like he's veering into culture as church because he believes that culture decides the worth of art and whether something is/is not art.
What says you?
i dont think culture effects all art, but it does effect some, in my comics i use a lot of re-appropriated characters that were brought on by my upbringing on tv, movies and comics. however art can exist outside of cultures, however im coming to a loss in trying to name something that isnt. but most art you can look at and determine when it was made by references seen in techniques and styles.
 a lot of 'fine art' things piss me off.  theres quite a ton of stuff out there thats being sold for thousands and that took 5 minutes to 'make' and what there really selling is the name of the artist and concept of the piece. your friend arguing the church concept i can understand but now-a-days since there arent such a vast difference between educated and uneducated like the middle ages the only way to approach this is to say all art is subjective to the viewer. i may think it sucks, but other people may cry from the sheer beauty of it. so everything in the world is art and nothing is art at the same time. i do agree with the idea that there are things like animation panels that are more 'art' then any renaissance painting though, but again its all subjective to the viewer. however you can argue that people with education background in art and know art history, color theory, composition etc. should be able to determine what is art more so then a naive layman that cant articulate why they think art is good or bad. in the end i just know what i like and what i dont like and i realize no matter what someone somewhere will disagree with me. there will never be a answer to what is 'good' and 'bad' art.

8. Does Bowman have flashbacks or a fleshed out back story in any of the Arthur C. Clarke books? Did you take this information into consideration or toss it?
theres nothing about bowman's past in the books. it dives more into his future and present when he turns into the star child and travels the galaxy etc. my idea was to just show stuff you dont know about this character because we really were just aware he was a specially trained astronaut. i also was inspired by one of my favorite comics 'stray bullets' to do the flashbacks, for those not in the know, most issues of stray bullets jumped around in time and characters a lot, of course its not exactly what ive been doing with bowman but it gave me the initial idea.

9. Why do you have the need to fill up so much of the panel? Why do you want to kill all negative space?
when i was a kid negative space killed my entire family in a drunk driving accident, i promised to kill all negative space from then on.

10. What is Math Fiction?
math fiction is a genre name coined by ian harker that i have been workin in for the past few years. the idea behind it is that math fiction is the science fiction of science fiction worlds a few adjectives to describe it would be jack kirby on acid, ultraviolence without a conscience, cosmic lazer beams, space gods that rule your dreams, and the space you enter between time travel. i edited an anthology featuring ian harker, josh burggraf and will cardini that we titled math fiction and we gave the run down of this new genre that were trying to create, the entire comic was in anaglyph red and cyan 3D and went off without a hitch. since then ive considered all the work ive done math fiction.

11. What are you working on now?
im super busy!
im working on the 2nd issue of bowman right now which will be released in april in time for mocca by the new and upcoming hic and hoc publications. i should note that bowman is a planned 3 issues series that will be collected and expanded into a graphic novel to be released in 2013. the 2nd issue is going to take place 15 years after issue 1 in the year 2016 and shows how bowman has become a badass alien planet snake pliskin type dude. hes a complete loner in this world and will do anything to make his way up to the top. the 3rd issue will of course be his fall from grace.
im also working on another collaborative comic sequel to "the unforgiving blade of conon" with Josh Bayer, except this time also adding our friend Josh Burggraf in the mix. its going to be ultimate fan fiction, featuring a ton of marvel comic characters and weird non-sensical dirty jokes and styles flowing into each other. who knows when that will come out and how long it will be (possibly around 72 pages)
i have another comic collection of my anthology/unpublished work from the past 2 years called F'REAL REAL to be released by Drippy Bone Books, release date has yet to be determined, but look out for news on that, its all done and ready. im really pumped to be working with keenan keller (the publisher behind drippy bone books) i feel my work fits right into the aesthetic that he has been promoting with his releases. this comic will shine a light on the fact i have been using a lot of the same characters building up my 'wastedlands' universe and it will have all these comics back to back with each other, and it will all  make sense finally. its almost a BOWMAN supplementary because it features solo comics on different characters from that universe.
you can see me next in the 2nd issue of suspect device, the josh bayer edited anthology, which im sure youll see being talked about all over the internet come january. it seriously features all the best and brightest alt comic people working today.
and on top of all that im going to be co-editing the next issue of secret prison with Ian Harker which we have some awesome surprises to throw at you. also we do have a rub the blood sequel planned for release next december.
friday january 6th were going to have a Rub The Blood art show at brave new worlds in olde city philadelphia. check it out if your in the area!
oh and i throw the annual Philly Alternative Comic Con, this being the 4th year, thats going to be in august, however i havent started working on it yet, but it will happen.
so i have a lot of stuff cooking right now, 2012 should be a big year for me!

Above is the first promo for Bowman 2016, can't wait.
Thanks to Pat Aulisio for answering my questions.
Here's James Kocholka's feelings on Bowman:

And here's a cool video of Pat Aulisio at work on Bowman:

Monday, December 19, 2011

Daily poster: A Clockwork Orange.

A Clockwork Orange turns 40 today. It opened in the United States on December 19, 1971. It opened in the UK on January 13, 1972. What a fine holiday movie.

I first saw A Clockwork Orange at a friend's house when I was twelve. The summer before 7th grade. I got my own copy when I was in eighth grade and watched it every weekday for over a month. I played it when I got home from school, but before my mom got home from work.

I've been watching all of Stanley Kubrick's films lately and watched A Clockwork Orange a couple of weeks ago. It was shockingly beautiful compared to my old VHS bootleg. I was surprised how I had completely forgotten large parts of the film, but as it was playing out, I could recite the dialog along with the film. It was lodged in the back of my brain.

I was amazed at the dialog. The seventies British slang mixed with the fictitious future slang seamlessly. It turned out that small expressions and patterns of speech that I had quoted for years were expressions of imagination. The writer of the novel, Anthony Burgess, was a linguist and had created his own register of slang for the book, called Nadsat. Nadsat combines the Cockney slang of the day, Russian, some verbiage from the King James Bible, some German words thrown in, and some completely fictitious words.

I remember talking in Mr. Deltoid's voice as a young teen, but not being quite sure that I should. He's a social worker, pervert, home invader. His character is not defined and certainly not two dimensional. You can never exactly grasp who he is, what he does, and what he wants. Like much of the film, the vagueness adds a rich layer of realism to the film. A quick aside, my wife and I watched X-Men: First Class a while back. The film was fine, EXCEPT that, the filmmakers left NO stone unturned. We learn how Beast becomes blue and furry, how and why Mystique joins Magneto, how Professor X gets paralyzed, how/when they get the name X-Men, how Cerebro is created, how Magneto gets his psychic-proof helmet, every single question you ever had about the film version of the X-Men is answered. It is sort of disgusting. It's the new way, I guess. It's everywhere. Look at all of the slasher remakes. Halloween, Friday the 13th (at least they barely showed Jason's face) and as if the remake of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre didn't explain every fucking detail of the family, they had to go and make a prequel as well. The chaotic, lack of explanation or reason was 90% of the beauty of the original. Rant complete.

If ever anyone was born for a role, it is Malcom McDowell to Alex. McDowell's smug attitude, know-it-all smile, annoying voice, and the ability to switch these features off and evoke true and instant sympathy IS Alex. Kubrick was famous for many, many takes. As a  testament to Malcom McDowell's Alex-ness, this from Wikipedia:
"...however per Malcolm McDowell, he usually "got it right" early on, so there were few takes."

The other characters in A Clockwork Orange strike up and down extremes in realism vs. cartoonishness. Watch Chief Barnes' face. If you listen to his voice, with all the screaming and yelling, he appears clownish. But look at his face, especially during Alex's stage performance after being "cured." His feelings read like an open book, but hardly clownish. The priest in the prison is a fine, subtle performance. Patrick Magee as Dr. Frank Alexander is frighteningly crazy. He is so over the top, it's hard not to laugh at his pain. Perhaps this is part of Kubrick's view of the future. I remember coming out of the theater after seeing Pulp Fiction and hearing two people talk about how realistic the characters were. REALISTIC? There is no way you could even imagine those characters off of the screen, interacting in the real world. But perhaps I was wrong. People seem to be in a race to define themselves in two-dimensional terms. The high school clicks of nerd, jock, metaller, pot-head, good girl, bad girl, etc. are now part of adulthood as well. Like films today, nuance is dying and Kubrick's view doesn't seem that far off.

Like some of the characters, the violence in A Clockwork Orange is elevated to cartoonish levels, you could even call it ultraviolence, and they do. Kicking and stabbing folks to death is violence. Smashing in a woman's face with a giant, priceless, penis sculpture is ultraviolence.
My favorite fight scene in any film has always been the brawl in the old theatre in A Clockwork Orange. Alex and his Droogs come across Billyboy and his Droogs raping a lady. The gangs clash in an operatic, over the top, bodies flying, fight that rivals the fight scenes of the finest "action" movies.

David "Darth Vader" Prowse plays Dr. Alexander's bodyguard. He has a face you would play Dungeons and Dragons with and a body you would go to the gym with.

Pauline Taylor plays the purple haired psychiatrist at the end. Very hard not to fall in love with her. She is the closest person to "normal" in the film. You want her to hold your hand and lead you through the callous world of the future.

At the time of the film production, the available edition of A Clockwork Orange novel was missing the last chapter. That last chapter would not be seen by American eyes until the late eighties. I was in high school when it was released. Essentially, the story starts over. Alex sits in the Korova Milk Bar with a new set of Droogs, chewing over, what to do with their night. However, Alex is growing up. He's more likely to watch, rather than participate, when his Droogies partake in the old ultraviolence. He pours out his beer. Finally, he runs into his old Droog, Pete. Pete is married now. His wife laughs at Alex's immature slang. Alex finds himself pining for a child and a wife. His days of youth are numbered.

Through adult/husband/father eyes, it would have been really cool to see Alex with a new set of Droogs, with an all new style, growing disenchanted with the old in-out and committing acts of ultraviolence. However, the film ends with Alex's smirk, assuring us that the old Alex is back, ready to hit the streets. It is a film about youth, in my case, for youth. It's one of the rare films where YOUTH wins in the end! A 'growing up' chapter would have twisted the film into an 'aha, I told you so' for my parents. It would have undermined the anti-authoritarian, fascistic, theme and sapped the venom of the first half of the film. It would be the same as every other film; morality, responsibility, and respect are good things. How many hours of film history are spent ramming these sentiments down out throats?

The music in A Clockwork Orange was wholly original. And when I saw the film for the first time, I knew it. I knew that music. I had just heard it. We had a music teacher, Mr. Stoner, in elementary school. He came into the classroom a couple times a month and attempted to teach us about music. In sixth grade he brought the 1968 album of Switched on Bach. It sounded like nothing I had heard before.

At a Fourth of July party that year, I found an article in a magazine on the woman who had recorded the album, Wendy Carlos. I was 12 and maybe a bit late to the game, but I had no idea there was such a thing as a sex change. Wendy Carlos had been born Walter Carlos. Consider my mind blown. Within a couple of weeks, I saw A Clockwork Orange for the first time.
The film was released in the U.S. with an X rating. Kubrick took out 30 seconds of footage in order to get an R rating. All of the DVD copies are the X-Rated version.
The film was nominated for a Best Picture Academy Award, but lost to The French Connection.

There are a mountain of great "analysis" videos on youtube. This one is my favorite. It is three parts.

Friday, December 16, 2011

American Barbarian trailer.

Tom Scioli's online only comic, American Barbarian is coming to the printed page. A collection of the series is scheduled to be released in February 2012.

American Barbarian is a Thundarr the Barbarian-esque story that takes place in a post-apocalyptic world. Good stuff.

AdHouse Books is releasing the tome.

256 4C pages
6 ” x 9 ” HC
$19.95 US funds
ISBN 978-1-935233-17-6
Shipping early 2012
Diamond Order Code: DEC11 0771

Daily poster: Darkman.

I love this Japanese Darkman poster. It would almost work as a better poster for my favorite slasher film, The Burning.
"There is a light that shines on every human being..... but one."

Your brain will be missed, Mr. Hitchens.

Christopher Hitchens died yesterday. A sad day.

I disagreed with Mr. Hitchens about as much as I agreed with him. However, I believe he was one of the great and original minds of the last century.

If you are not familiar with Christopher Hitchens, these mash-up videos may not be the best introduction to his ideas, watch the In Depth video below.


Thursday, December 15, 2011

Lawrence Lessig on John Stewart.


I rarely get political here, but Lawrence Lessig is one of my heroes and this interview needs to be seen by everyones eyeballs.

Do you know what a baby rhino sounds like?

via Arbroath.

Be Kamala.

The shirt of the year award has to go to this hilarious Kamala, the Ugandan Headhunter, shirt from Off the Top Wrestling Shirts.
The simple design invokes one of those, 'duh, why didn't I think of that?' moments.
The shirt is $20 and $5 goes to Kamala himself, to pay for recent hospital bills. I understand he had his foot amputated.
Order the shirt HERE.

Here's Kamala singing, Have a Little Drink of Wine:

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Louis C.K.'s amazing experiment.

Louis CK released a live performance on his website on December 10th. Louis paid for the video production himself ($170,000+$32,000 for the website, etc.) and released the video exclusively on his website for $5. Yep, five measley bucks. No DRM, no control, no nothing, stream it or download a 1280x720 mpg file that can be copied, put on DVD or shared. Insane idea? Well, Louis reported on the outcome yesterday:

The show went on sale at noon on Saturday, December 10th. 12 hours later, we had over 50,000 purchases and had earned $250,000, breaking even on the cost of production and website. As of Today, we've sold over 110,000 copies for a total of over $500,000. Minus some money for PayPal charges etc, I have a profit around $200,000 (after taxes $75.58). This is less than I would have been paid by a large company to simply perform the show and let them sell it to you, but they would have charged you about $20 for the video. They would have given you an encrypted and regionally restricted video of limited value, and they would have owned your private information for their own use. They would have withheld international availability indefinitely. This way, you only paid $5, you can use the video any way you want, and you can watch it in Dublin, whatever the city is in Belgium, or Dubai. I got paid nice, and I still own the video (as do you). You never have to join anything, and you never have to hear from us again.


While Louis CK's reputation was created in a more traditional way, the experiment drives the point of killing the middle man further into the ground. Distribution of media is effectively free now. The race for eyeballs is what matters now. Distribution is dead and advertising rules. The argument has been made a million times by people with larger brains than me. This is just a great example.

Louis' site for the performance is HERE. I encourage you to cough up the five bucks. It is well worth it, AND unlike most things these days, you're not licensing the video, you own it. Also, be sure to read the entire post on his experiment HERE.

Louis was also on Fresh Air yesterday. Listen HERE.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011


This Christmas short was to appear on Anthony Bourdain's No Reservations show on The Travel Channel. One whiff of the film and The Travel Channel axed it.

"Krampus is Santa Claus' whip-toting Christmas sidekick. According to legend, Krampus joins Santa where he tends to the children on Santa's naughty list. No coal here though. Instead, Krampus whips and licks children into shape or carries them off in his sack."


via Gawker

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The Road Warriors.

This tribute video of The Road Warriors just made me all giddy.

I loved them as bad guys. They were so damn scary. It felt like no one could beat them. When they premiered in the AWA the whole "big man" paradigm changed. The 70's big armed, big bellied strong man that was a symbol of badassitude for many years became laughable, overnight. The Road Warriors ran over them like deer in the headlights. Watching them as a kid, these were the guys that could beat up anyones dad.

I had an old bootleg VHS compliation of their first tour of Japan and it is like a comedy. While the U.S. was going through a cartoonish, WWF infused, trend in the 80's, Japanese wrestling was going through a brutal and hard hitting change. The Road Warriors followed Bruiser Brody and Stan Hansen into Japan and just ran over the Japanese wrestlers. Some of the matches are truly uncomfortable to watch. It's wrestling, the Japanese wrestler is giving his body to you to beat on for entertainment and The Road Warriors took full advantage.

I love Hawk taking the piledriver and then jumping up like it didn't hurt. HA.

Haters say that The Road Warriors were impossible to work with and couldn't actually wrestle their way out of a paper bag. I say, they had a strong gimmick that limited the stories their matches could tell, but if they had a strong opponent or someone willing to tell the right story, their matches were incredible. That is why they were best as heels. No one cares if a good guy defeats someone weaker than him. He needs to defeat a monster!


Great promo after this squash match. "I had a girlfriend once. She tried to break my heart so I broke her jaw." Nice.



I'll make a girl soup out of you.

It's hard to imagine but this hard hitting drama won the 2011 American International Film Festival's 'Best Movie' and the $100,000 prize. Wow.

I love the intensity of the waterboarding scene. I chewed my fingernails to the meat.

Director, C Tom, also won the best script $100,000 prize and the best trailer $10,000 prize as well.

Has anyone ever heard of this festival?

Here's the trailer's YouTube description:
"Song of the Blind Girl" . Story of an Iraq war veteran suffering from PTSD and Psychosis. Serious subject matter. No nudity. No vulgar language. Some violence. Great Actors. A must see for serious movie goers.
Best Picture and Best Actor Awards at American International Film Festival (

Here is C Tom's other film from the 2011 festival:

And one more C Tom treasure.

via Dangerous Minds.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Daily poster: Zombin Laden.

Zombin Laden.
They found a body floating in the ocean.
HA! I love this phony baloney, gore encrusted, trailer and poster for this phony baloney film.
Found the poster HERE.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Interrogation: Jeffrey Brown.

I hated The Transformers as a kid. I think everyone hated the Go-Bots.

The toys were boring.

The Transformers cartoon aired after GI Joe but we didn't watch it. When the "Knowing is half the battle" PSA's would air, the TV would get turned off until 6pm and Good Times would come on.
I was in Comicopolis a couple of weeks ago when I spied a section of what looked like old mini-comics from the 90's. I picked the first Incredible Change-Bots up and didn't look back. It just grabbed me like no comic has in years. I knew I had to own it before I even flipped through it.

The Incredible Change-Bots is Jeffrey Brown's part tribute, part satire of the Go-Bots and Tranformers. There are two volumes, so far. More on the way.
The books are 5x6.5" mini books done in Jeffrey Brown's eyeballed straightline style. The colors are done with Faber-Castell brush markers and the whole package just smells of independent brilliance. When you read them, you feel like you are in on an important secret. The humor doesn't bash your skull in, it is warmer and referential without being reverential. Change-Bots never tries too hard, it machetes out it's own path and stands on it's own.

My favorite part of Jeffrey Brown's work is the pacing. The story moves. The smaller scenes move. There are great reaction panels and emotion is clear and sympathetic, even in the smallest panels of hand drawn robots.

The Change-Bots are divided into two warring factions, the Fantasticons and the Awesomebots. They have destroyed their own planet of Electronocybercircuitron and come to Earth to continue their Change-Bot war.

Thanks to Jeffrey Brown for answering my questions.

1. Can you talk about the future of Change-Bots?
I've already got a collection of B-sides, extras and miscellaneous stories that should come out in 2013 called Incredible Change-Bots Two Point Something Something. Hopefully that will tide people over while I work on Incredible Change-Bots Three. That book will include my parody of G.I.Joe, and I hope I can match my ambition with it - it should have the most complicated Change-Bots plot yet, but my first concern will still be just making it a fun book with plenty of nonsense.
2. Will Siren ever open her hood to Honkeytonk?
I haven't quite decided where Siren and Honkytonk's tumultuous relationship will go yet, but I did write a short story called "Young Rust" which is about how they first started dating. That'll be included in Change-Bots Two Point Something Something.

3. Can you talk about your process in illustrating Change-Bots? I see the originals are 4.5x6" and pen & ink and Faber-Castell Brush Marker.
I start off collecting all the ideas and jokes I want to put in, and start arranging those within a really loose plot I have for the book. Eventually that gets worked over to the point where I can create a page by page script - it's a script where I generally know what's happening each page, and many times joke(s) that are going to happen on those pages, but it's still loose enough that I can make lots of changes as I go. Then I start pencilling the book, which also essentially includes finalizing the writing. I'll pencil about ten pages or so at a time, with the pencils being more like full size thumbnails. It's not quite stick figure drawing, but it's not too much more detailed most of the time. The first two books were drawn straight in a blank sketchbook, although for book three I might switch to drawing each page on illustration board. I draw the line work with the Faber-Castell Pitt pens (superfine tip), erase the pencils, and then color with the Faber-Castell brush pens. After that I use another Pitt pen (this time with the ExtraSuperFine tip) to add a little detail and texture to the drawings. When I finish four or five pages I'll cut them out of the book to scan them.

4. Can you talk a bit about the screenplay your wrote? I read on your blog that the film was just accepted at Sundance.
The screenplay is for a film called Save The Date. I started working on it five years ago, after getting an email from producer Jordan Horowitz, who hadn't really made any movies yet. He got me started and I came up with a semi-autobiographical story idea, which I then had trouble making into a screenplay - I could structure it the way I write my comics, but not film, and I also wasn't too confident in formatting properly for a movie. Jordan brought in Egan Reich, and the two of us developed the screenplay further. The film was almost made a couple years ago with fellow Chicagoan Joe Swanberg directing, but scheduling and financing issues scuttled it at the last minute. In the meantime, Jordan worked on The Kids Are Alright and met director Mike Mohan, who came on and re-wrote the script again. That script was the tightest yet and they managed to bring in an amazing cast. I also ended up drawing a ton of artwork for the film, as one of the characters draws and ends up having an art show. I'm really happy with how the film has turned out, I think everyone that worked on it did an amazing job contributing. I'm still processing the fact that this germ of an idea has turned into an actual film that will be playing at Sundance.

5. In writing Change-Bots do you have extensive back stories for each character?
I kind of write the back stories as I go, although for the third book I'm starting to do a little bit more of that. Usually what I do is write the characters into some situation that sets me up to explore some untold history. Someday I may draw an Incredible Change-Bots Zero, which of course would be the robots' stories back on Electronocybercircuitron.

6. What comics are you reading?
I still read most of what's published by the indie/alternative publishers like Fantagraphics, Drawn & Quarterly and Top Shelf. I've really liked the books coming out from UK publisher Nobrow as well. I still read any Hellboy or B.P.R.D. books, and I've been keeping up with Walking Dead and Fables. I read most of whatever Grant Morrison writes, and pick up a somewhat random assortment of Marvel titles - basically whatever catches my eye or feeds some urge each week. I also try to read as many mini-comics as I kind find, although not as much as I used to, since I no longer live within walking distance of Quimby's, which is basically the best shop for minicomics and zines in Chicago, if not the U.S.

7. What's the next book you have coming out?
The main reason Change-Bots Two Point Something Something isn't coming out in 2012 already is that I've got an official Star Wars book coming out. It's called Darth Vader and son, and basically it's a collection of gags and vignettes about Darth Vader trying to raise a four year old Luke Skywalker - trying to get him to pick up his toys and teaching him how to ride a bike and stuff.

Super duper thanks to Jeffrey Brown for taking the time to answer my questions. I'm a little bummed that there won't be any Change-Bot books until 2013 but I will give his other books a read.
HERE's the page for ordering books.
HERE is Jeffrey Brown's blog.
HERE's a really cool page with original Change-Bots art for sale. The art in this post is from this site. Go buy art NOW.
Hey, someone also did a short video of Incredible Change-Bots. The comic is not as slapstick as this video.

Friday, December 2, 2011

The hands of fate.

Ben Solovey has an amazing story to tell:
I'd been tipped off about an e-bay auction that no one had bid on, probably because the freight was too high. It was boxes upon boxes of 16mm and 35mm film, titles that had lapsed into the public domain, all of which had belonged to a distributor called Emerson Films. Emerson's properties were familiar to anyone that had watched Mystery Science Theater 3000 back in the day, and on the list a few familiars jumped out at me. Six copies of The Atomic Brain in 16mm. Hamlet in 16mm and 35mm. Two copies of Manos: The Hands of Fate (Wikipedia IMDB) in 16mm. "A piece of film history", I had thought only half sarcastically, not intending to do much about it. But the more I thought about it the more I was wanting to get back into 16mm collecting, which is a hobby that can have an enjoyable social side to it. Who doesn't like to host a movie night and show actual film?
I e-mailed the seller and made an offer on a small slice of the collection, about what you'd expect to pay for two or three 16mm prints, and offered to pick them up. I'd decided that I'd like to own The Atomic Brain and Manos, assuming they were in good enough shape. I got a reply the next day:
"You can have all the boxes... if you choose to eliminate some of them, so be it... (we are) moving to Florida on the 27th, and we don't want them to be part of the move."
The following Sunday I was driving back from San Diego with my car completely stuffed, a bill of sale tucked onto my dashboard. In Los Angeles, I knew I could flip and sell the prints I didn't want, and more than break even. I had looked at a few reels on a loupe and found them in great shape, with no acidic odor. The one Manos reel I had been able to inspect was a little faded but otherwise good. Considering its rarity, it was well worth the trouble. I looked forward to checking out the others.
When I got home, I found the other copy of Manos. Immediately I saw the label, which read "WORKPRINT".

Ben has indeed discovered a workprint of Manos: The Hands of Fate. Read the complete story HERE and visit his blog regarding the find HERE. There's a Facebook page HERE.

The footage contains some unseen outtakes, an actual proper opening shot, and due to the cost of getting prints made, low budget films often shot in reversal stock. This film is more than likely the actual film which ran through the camera. The known copies are also significantly cropped compared to this print.
It's an amazing story and encouraging that treasures like this are still being found. Ben Solo is considering the possibility of raising the appropriate funds and getting a proper HD scan of the film.