Friday, December 24, 2010

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Bump fist!!

Did you ever have a really terrible smell just ingrained within the mesh inside your nose? I had that all day yesterday!

Anyway, sometimes people ask me to recommend comics. Going into a comic store for the first time is a bit overwhelming. There's so much stuff! And so much of it is bad! And it's impossible to tell which is which. It's not like the covers are going to help any, when this,

is a comic in which Superman and Green Lantern hang out and discuss things and never fight.

I usually don't know what to recommend, but right now, there are a couple of titles that I honestly think are very good. I will expound on two of them with spoiler-filled reviews!

First up is the DC title, Justice League: Generation Lost. Just look at that nice Dustin Nguyen cover from the most recent issue! Nice, huh? Anyway, this is a year-long bi-weekly crossover series telling a great big, epic story about the reforming of the Justice League International. Now, you may say I'm biased as this features Booster Gold, Blue Beetle and some of my other favorite characters, but typically, I get really annoyed at crossovers, so this has a lot working against it. Then, why is it so good? Here's ten reasons.

  1. THEY EXPLAIN THINGS!! Judd Winick, the writer, doesn't assume that you've read every DC comic ever made. He offers back story and exposition early in the story! And each time a new hero shows up, a little caption tells you his or her name and a short bio. This seems so obvious. I've seen it almost never.
  2. YOU DON'T HAVE TO BUY OTHER BOOKS, TOO!! Let me use last year's Green Lantern-central crossover, Blackest Night, as an example of this not happening. Issue #1 ends with Green Lantern and the Flash fighting a reanimated zombie Martian Manhunter. Issue #2 begins and Martian Manhunter has already been defeated. You had to buy the issue of the regular Green Lantern series to see the fight actually happen! Which already sucks that you have to spend extra money, but they DON'T EVEN TELL YOU! Generation Lost does not do this.
  3. CONTINUITY SCHMONTINUITY. Often, since crossovers feature so many different characters, writers and fans become obsessed with forcing the events of each character within some made-up continuity of is or her life. It doesn't matter. Stop caring. Generation Lost did.
  4. NO POINTLESS CHARACTERS. Judd Winick is also currently writing a the main Power Girl title. He decided to put Power Girl into this story early on. But it wasn't just so that he could feature one of his favorite characters. Wait a couple of issues, and she suddenly has a bigger and bigger role in the series. Cool, huh?
  5. UNPOPULAR CHARCTERS. The main characters of this series are not household names. Winick has quite successfully analyzed each of their backgrounds and written their performances to match this in a sort of more modern interpretation of each character. This is notable because writers are often too scared to change in any way certain more popular characters, like Batman. It often makes their stories booooring.
  6. IT'S FUNNY!! Superhero stories shouldn't take themselves seriously. Not that they can't have serious themes or that they shouldn't be approached professionally. But it's an absurd concept. It's not real. Don't pretend it is. Generation Lost doesn't. And it's got some real LOL moments.
  7. THERE'S MYSTERY!! Um... It's got a mystery in it.
  8. AWESOME ART!! The pencil duties rotate each week among Aaron Lopresti, Joe Bennett, and Fernando Dagnino. They're all really good. The art stays fresh, solid, and dynamic. And they all seem to be quite good at drawing mass carnage. Lopresti is my fave. ;D
  9. OH YEAH, IT'S GOT A GOOD STORY. I probably would have gotten this far if the story started to bore me. So yeah, it's good. And it's paced better than any crossover I've ever read (and I've read my share). There's a strong rhythm of background, dialogue, investigation, and action. Every now and then, there will be a quieter issue discussing the background of one of the characters. They're cool. And all of the artists are really good at drawing exciting action scenes.

Crazy future Plastic Man clone

And one million-year-old J'onn J'onzz

So that's that. The other comic I'm reading is Boom! Studios' Darkwing Duck comic. It's good. I will prove it with some straight-up spoilers from issue #4.

Like this.

And this.

And this.

So yeah, read these! If you feel like it.

"That's cool, Josh, but what have you been up to?"

Hey, thanks for asking! Here's some stuff I did!!

Booster Gold, one of the stars of Generation Lost.

A new creature! He's on fire.

Some sketches for Duck and Cover!! a series I've been working on about explorer ducks. I'm currently working on a comic story about them with some of my very talented storyteller friends. With any luck, there will be a finished product available by next year.

Okay, bye now!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Monster House!!

Hey y'all!

So I'm back home now after another quarter at SCAD, one which I feel was among my most successful. Here's something I did while I was there.
It's a little small and furry here, so I urge you to click on it and see the full-size. It is a depiction of a railing looking down on River Street, the sort of hub of tourism and nightlife in Savannah. Here is it during the day, after these two guys just had a business lunch. The guy on the left is probably laughing like, "A-hee-hee-hee!" There is also a grackle.

I also decided while I was in Savannah that I want to one day make a creature series like Pokemon, or my childhood favorite, Digimon: Digital Monsters. Of course, the key to success in a creature show is that there are at least one hundred million fun, imaginary monsters to memorize and collect.

SO. In my free time, I have taken to designing these creatures. Here's some!

This is Bleeble. I wanted to make something that could possibly act as the partner to one of the main characters (you know, the Pikachu or Agumon), and this was my result. Keep in mind, too, that most of these guys can speak. I definitely prefer taking the "stray, intelligent computer data" approach like Digimon, rather than the "dumb, destructive, real-life animals" approach of Pokemon, because that's way scarier than they act.

Ex. 1

I rest my case.
Though I am a bit taller than that.

I had the idea for this guy waaaay back when I was in elementary school. Until I just recently started thinking about making a creature show again, I totally forgot that back then I wanted to make a cartoon that was like Pokemon but with birdwatchers. And all the birds were these weird monster birds. This is the only one I can remember making up then, and I still like it a lot. In fact, the idea of a monster birdwatching cartoon really isn't too bad. Back then, I just called this guy a pine cone bird, but life experience has taught me that creatures have to be named after clever portmanteaus that grownups have a hard time pronouncing.

So I don't know if this guy would talk. But I DO know that it would hop around and try to steal people's food. AND it can retract its feet and shove its beak into its torso in order to disguise itself as a pine cone.

I'm pretty cool.

By the way, I'll probably forget about this whole thing in a couple months like I forgot the birdwatching idea, so if you think it sound cool, just remind me. I keep imagining that this series would be really Modern-looking, with role-playing video game elements incorporated into the visuals of the cartoon. Like during fights, there'd be text and menus and hp bars and such just visible in the environment.

But yeah, this is just a germ of an idea right now. Soon, I'll have up some more fleshed out ideas and projects I've got in the works right now. Plus, there should be more creatures.

'Kay bye!

Monday, July 26, 2010

It's a-Me! Lanza!

I was just delivered this brochure for a local pizza place. The mascot looks oddly familiar...

He must have gotten the Pizza Dough Flower. Or should I say, Pizza Dough Flour? Eh? Ehh??