Monday, funky Monday April 23, 2007 Posted by Mookie
My personal-life crisis put me in a serious funk at the beginning of this month, which in turn delayed a couple of projects I'd been meaning to work on. One of the more important ones being the next volume of Dominic Deegan. While I'm trying to get it printed in time for A-Kon in June, this may or may not happen and I may end up debuting it in CONNECTICON instead. Either way, I'll keep you all posted.

And don't forget that I'll be at ACEN in a couple of weeks. Do stop by and say "hello" if you're in the area.

And finally, a few weeks ago I told you folks that a filmmaker friend of mine, one Brian Carroll, was raising money for another one of his excellent films. Well, he's at it again, selling producer credits for... well, he says it better in his own words.

If you'd like to help out my pal and get your name in the credits of what will most likely be a stellar piece of film, here's the eBay auction where you can be a movie producer.

That's all from me for now!
Makes Mooks happy April 20, 2007 Posted by Mookie
Instead of trying to list all the comics I bought this week (because there are far too many of them, thanks to World War 3 coming out all four issues at once), I thought I would instead point y'all in the direction of a couple of things that really made me smile over the past couple of weeks.

First up, it's SPWUG. When I received my copy of this brand new magazine, I was really proud to be a part of it. Everything from the writing, to the artwork, to the overall content and even a guest appearance from Captain Space! really made working on this issue worthwhile. I've been asked to contribute to the next issue as well, which makes me extra excited. This is a great fledgling magazine. Let's help it fly.

Back in 2001, when I was a senior in college, I was invited to be a part of a small student film... and by student film, I mean kung-fu movie... and by kung-fu movie, I mean CHOP SAKI JUSTICE! While I only play the role of a recurring thug / henchman, I have the distinct honor of being in every single fight scene. Granted, I get taken out pretty quickly each time, but the only other character that's in every fight scene is the hero, Kung Fu Lou.
This film is funny for all the right reasons and finally seeing it six years later brought back a lot of good memories. So if you have about twenty-two minutes to spare, check out the most fun I ever had acting in college.
Here's hoping he decides to do a sequel before we all hit thirty.

And finally, why the hell did I wait so long to start playing Okami? This is one of the most beautiful and original games I've ever laid eyes on. Much love for the wolf goddess.
Return to headquarters April 16, 2007 Posted by Mookie
So I'm back in Texas and the comic's updating again.
Here's the skinny on some important news.

This week I'll be sending out all the March donation wallpapers to those of you who donated while I was in New York. I should be caught up by either the end of the day today or early tomorrow.

Considering how late in the month it is, I may not do a donation wallpaper for April. If I do, it might just be one and it'll probably be offered up for free download. We shall see.

Thanks again to all of you who sent me kind e-mails during my time away. I cannot express my gratitude enough.

Next month I'll be appearing at Anime Central along with the usual crew of ne'er-do-wells and troublemakers, so be sure to stop by if you're in the area.

That's all from me for now.
Back to work!
Taking the weekend off April 14, 2007 Posted by Mookie
This weekend will be shown completely in filler-vision.

If you're reading this I'm probably on my way back to Mookie HQ in Texas. A number of unexpected family-related events made it difficult to produce enough strips to cover my absence and, in all honesty, my ladyfriend and I just need a weekend to ourselves after all this.

DD returns in full, complete with color Sunday strips, on Monday.
Enjoy the amazing weekend filler-vision Jacob doodles.
The triumphant return April 9, 2007 Posted by Mookie
While things in my personal life have not been sorted out as completely as I would've liked, I'm returning back to Mookie HQ in Texas at the end of this week. I'm going to try and produce enough strips to cover my trip home, since the ladyfriend and I need the weekend to ourselves.

Thank you all so much for your support throughout this little ordeal. You're the greatest readers in the whole frikkin' world.
Intervention April 6, 2007 Posted by Mookie
My Boston friends decided I needed to take the day off yesterday.
The strip returns tomorrow.
I am overwhelmed. April 3, 2007 Posted by Mookie
As the title of this post says, I am overwhelmed... but this time in a good way.

Last week when I arrived in New York I blatantly avoided my e-mail. I needed a break from any sort of internet contact to clear my head and sort through some personal life problems. Yesterday I tried getting my e-mail working from my Dad's computer but experienced some annoying technical problems. This morning I got it working and, after sorting through a crapload of junk mail, I found something that really brightened my day.

I am overwhelmed, touched, and speechless by the concern and understanding you've all shown me, be it by e-mail or posting on the (temporary) livejournal forum. I really don't know what to say except thank you. You really are the greatest readers in the whole world.

I'm visiting some friends in Boston tomorrow and coming back to New York on Friday. I'm going to try and produce enough strips to fill the gap, but don't be surprised if some sketchy filler artwork sneaks its way in there.

Thank you all so very much.
I don't know what I'd do without you folks. :)
Blame my parents April 1, 2007 Posted by Mookie
Okay folks.
I'm going to be completely honest with you.

I spent the day with my parents yesterday.
They saw that I was a personally conflicted mess.

So they got me puking-on-the-side-of-the-road drunk.
Which I did.

It's about quarter to six in the morning here and I just woke up. I'm still a personally conflicted mess, only know I'm wide awake and have no strip for you lovely people, and for that I am sorry.

Dominic Deegan and company will return tomorrow.
On a jet plane March 24, 2007 Posted by Mookie
Okay folks.
Here's the situation.

I'm going to New York for a little while to sort out some of the complicated things that have taken siege of my personal life. This will only affect things around here in a couple of ways...

- Sunday strips won't be in color, since I don't have room for my markers in my luggage. So instead of the big full-page color strips I've been doing lately, Sunday strips will look like every other weekday and Saturday strip.

- It might take me a little longer than usual to answer e-mails about advertising and sending out donation wallpapers.

Otherwise things ought to be pretty much normal around here while I take a lasso to my personal life and try to wrestle it into submission.
Comic books are miso soup for the soul March 22, 2007 Posted by Mookie
Before I get to the comic books, let me spread some love for the comic webs... er, webcomics.

With a slick new layout and the war begun anew, check out Swordwaltzer for some high-quality fantasy warfare.

Mac Hall lives on in Three Panel Soul. Matt Boyd is the voice of his generation. Like a Pepsi. With alcohol.

What else can I say except that Minus is a real gem.

Now then.
On to the comic bookery.

Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane #16 was, like every other issue, a breath of fresh air for Spider-Man. You almost forget that he started doing this whole superhero gig when he was fifteen, and this title really captures the high school drama and gossip that rules everyone at that age. And Firestar is adorable in her "retro duds."

The Flash #10 is continuing to really impress me. The new writer that just started last month has brought a real solid voice to Bart Allen and looks to be setting up one hell of a storyarc. The choice to make him pursue the life of a police officer lends a great detective edge to the character. And who thought the Flash could get stuck in Los Angeles traffic? I guess no one is exempt from that.

Shadowpact #11 brings us the showdown between the second-string Shadowpact and Etrigan. I like this title, I really do, but I'd like to see the whole team work together again like they did in the Day of Vengeance miniseries. Singling out team-members and bringing in new recruits is good every so often, but it seems to be happening a lot lately. Oh well. This was still a quality issue with plenty of demon-butt getting kicked and a particularly pious moment for Ragman... but then again, I'm partial to him because he's my favorite.

The spotlight also shifts in The Spirit #4, where our narrator is the hardened and lovely CIA agent Silk Satin. Man. I love this title so much. It's one of the few books that successfully combines old-fashioned comic bookery with modern appeal. Not to mention that the two-page spread of the title in every issue is just plain awesome. This book is a must-read.

I was really looking forward yo Aquaman #50, what with its new creative team, and I can't help but feel a little disappointed. It's a double-sized issue, so that's cool, and the artwork is really unique, which is another bonus. The writing, unfortunately, felt like it was still trying to get its sea-legs (pun intended). The former artist for this book didn't draw the new Aquaman to look young enough, but the new writer is writing him to be too young. In the middle of an undersea sword-and-sorcery epic, it was a bit jarring to get an internet joke. And Topo is quickly becoming the Jar-Jar Binks of this series. And this was his first appearance! I really hope things look up from this rough start, although Aquaman's oath on the last page was pretty nifty. I'm keeping my fins crossed on this one, because Shadowpact had an equally choppy beginning, and now I love it all over again.

Justice Society of America #4, however, lives up to everything I had hoped for. Wildcat's son is awesome and fuzzy. Cyclone's and Damage's inner monologues are not only well written but genuinely affecting, especially given the big mistake Damage makes. I especially got a shiver up my geekhood when I saw the new team assembled at their table, old vets and rookies alike. I give the JSA a big thumbs-up.

And finally, things were definitely looking bad for the mad scientists of Oolong Island in week forty-six of 52, but their stand against Black Adam was not only surprisingly effective but freaking hilarious. And Lex Luthor? I never knew I could love and hate a villain in the same breath while he eats a sandwich. Only six issues left and I do not want this masterpiece to end. *whimper*
Back from another trip March 20, 2007 Posted by Mookie
Howdy everybody.

Not a whole lot to report today, but there are a couple of groovie things worth mentioning, so I'll go ahead and do that.

For those of you who may not have seen this, Dominic was blessed with a small "cameo" in the Advanced Class section of GIRL GENIUS yesterday! Not only is it a huge rush and honor to be even doodled into the corner of such an excellent comic, but Dominic happens to be surrounded by some very prestigious company. My humblest thanks to Phil and Kaja Foglio for making my freaking day.

Have you pre-ordered your copy of SPWUG yet? If not, you just might make me cry fire monkey tears.

And finally, as a temporary fix to the "no forum" problem, I'm linking the fan-created and run Seer's Fan Community as a forum... for now. The folks here are very nice and often provide some entertaining insight into the comic, so feel free to join in the discussions there.

That's all from me for now.
See you on Thursday when I review this week's new comics.
Comic Bookery Friday! March 16, 2007 Posted by Mookie
Once again a day late, but here they are nonetheless.
These are the new comics I bought this week.

Martian Manhunter #8 of 8 brought this tale of intrigue, conspiracy and race-relations to its conclusion. I loved this series but had mixed feelings about this last issue. Most of the "big reveal" ending, which was a joyously unexpected twist, relies on the reader already knowing a lot about Martian Manhunter's history. There's plenty of exposition to bring you up-to-speed, but it just didn't have the same effect on me, who's only just recently gotten to liking J'onn J'onzz. This series ended on a high note, however, and I'm a sucker for optimistic endings. Overall this was a great mini-series that really showed off just how freaking awesome the Martian Manhunter is. Pick this one up if you get the chance.

Tales of the Unexpected #6 of 8 really disturbed me and made me laugh my ass off. I was disturbed with the subject of the first tale, which always features The Spectre, because it deals with the broad-daylight kidnapping of children by disgusting perverts. I like some reality in my comics, but this was just a little too dark and gritty for me and left me with a chill, even though the ending was both subtle and horrifically brutal. I laughed my ass off, as I usually do, with the adventures of the hapless Doctor Thirteen and the group of DCU rejects. Between the ghost pirates battling Mount Rushmore and a talking vampire gorilla with fascist leanings... man. This is pure gold.

Thunderbolts #112 has, once again, a lot of people talking about what already happened and what's going to happen next. Granted the last issue (which I forgot to review) was an awesome, action-packed, beautifully drawn and ultimately very sad. Poor Jack Flag. Still, while nothing actually happens in this issue, the dialogue is fantastic and the artwork is beautiful. The one page featuring Stan Lee was worth buying this issue alone.

It takes a lot to make the world's biggest pop-culture superhero joke respectable, and it takes a whole lot more to make him downright badass. Robin #160 shows that Tim Drake is a great detective, a smart fighter and a compassionate superhero. I never thought I'd turn a page and say, "Wow, Robin looks pretty intimidating in that picture." It should be noted that Robin doesn't wear the little green shorts anymore. Now he's got a cool red-and-black outfit with a cape resembling Batman's. With solid writing and artwork, this book will seriously surprise you. Give the Boy Wonder a chance.

Ghost Rider #9 was a disappointingly quick read. I guess that happens when an issue is mostly brawling and not much dialogue. The story didn't advance too much here, but the sequences were pretty nifty and the very last page was just plain jaw-dropping. It's nice to see Ghost Rider on the move again.

Moon Knight #8 technically takes place in the past, since it's set during the Civil War and, oh yeah, Captain America's not dead. Again, there's a lot of standing around talking about stuff in this issue. Which is good, because it really established that Moon Knight is a lunatic and a "hero" in the very loosest of terms. I also happen to agree whole-heartedly with Moon Knight's stance on Civil War as a whole. Bad because I wanted something to happen. The rant on the last page about the current state of superhero costumes was hilarious, though.

Mystery in Space #7 of 8 is bringing the conflict over Hardcore Station to a head. The corrupt Eternal Light Corporation ("Praise the Profit!") is out to get Captain Comet by any means necessary, even killing an entire sector of people. Captain Comet is an old-school hero, but this series has made him young again and much more like a tough-guy action-star superhero. He solves everything by beating the bad guys up with his mind. And The Weird always seems to be getting the raw end of the deal, either getting knocked out or brainwashed or psychically tricked, this poor guy deserves a break! His inner monologue is some of my favorite writing in this entire series.

Superman #660 showcases one of the Man of Steel's more colorful opponents, The Prankster. He's an old-fashioned type of villain who's more of an artist and a performer than a badass thug or a lunatic murderer, so I immediately like him. I just wish this issue had more, y'know, Superman in it! He's only got the book named after him! And the "Camelot Falls" story had very little Superman, too! I swear, I'd like to pick up this title one day and actually see the big guy himself in the spotlight. Sheesh. The Prankster is pretty cool, though, so I can't be too upset with this month's issue.

And finally, things just all go straight to hell in week forty-five of 52. Black Adam was doing so well with his own family. He really was. Now he's gone all loony-toony and basically kills everybody in a neighboring country. Literally. Everyone. That's pretty much all that happens in this issue, besides the entire world going "Holy crap!" Still, it's not pleasant to read and it's just sad to see how far he falls and how quickly it happens. I can't wait to see what happens next.

I'm heading off to visit the ladyfriend's family this weekend, and I'm leaving today. I've gotten enough strips finished to cover my absence so hopefully y'all won't notice that I'm gone.

Oh yeah. I guess I didn't get to putting up a new forum this week. Whoops. :(
Meanwhile... March 15, 2007 Posted by Mookie
New comic book reviews will be posted later today since there are lots of them and I'm a bit busy. In the meantime...

Have you ever wanted to be an Executive Producer for an independent film? If the answer is yes and you wanna help out a good buddy of mine with one of his newest projects, click here to bid on the Executive Producer slots for his latest project! Brian's a friend of mine and he does quality work, so show him some love if you can swing it.

There are only a few weeks left to order your advance copy of SPWUG, a new magazine which I am proud to have contributed to, at the pre-sale price. Besides an article and some fiction from me, this magazine has great writing, fantastic artwork and a really slick layout. The founder is also a dear friend of mine and she's really put her heart and soul into this magazine, so show her (and me) some love if you can swing it.

That's all for now.
New comics later!
Newsie news news March 12, 2007 Posted by Mookie
First and foremost, good luck Brian.
He's the only man I'll go topless for at ConnectiCon.

Other than that, I want to thank you all for the feedback and general concern you expressed over the possibility that Dominic and Luna might be broken up. I really had some of you worried! Anyway, feedback like that is always very much appreciated, and I extend my thanks to you.

I'll get to putting up a new forum sometime this week. I promise. Or the beginning of next week, since I'm actually kinda busy this week. I promise.
Comic Book Day, one day late... again. March 9, 2007 Posted by Mookie
The Helmet of Fate makes its final stop across the DCU with an agent of God in The Helmet of Fate: Zauriel #1. Now I know that demons are supposed to be so much cooler than angels because they're all badass rebels and such, but this one-shot really proves that even a "do-gooder" angel can be an interesting and downright funny character to read. It was particularly amusing to watch Zauriel get bamboozled by a horde of ten-year-olds with questions about God. Good stuff.

Outsiders #46 continues its flashback story when Black Lightning was incarcerated and the Outsiders debated breaking him out. There wasn't a whole lot of action in this issue except for Captain Boomerang getting beaten up in prison, but the dialogue was fantastic. The post-sex dialogue between Grace and Thunder about the nature of her bisexuality was great for character development and it was ultimately very touching. No pun intended. Hooray for inter-racial superhero same-sex bisexual romance!

A great mini-series came to an end with Uncle Sam & The Freedom Fighters #8 of 8, and I was really sorry to see it end. It takes some solid writing to make an interesting hero out of an old Army recruitment poster, and this mini-series did just that. Black Condor and Human Bomb have to be my favorite of the new team, even though the busty and often-drunk Phantom Lady's real name makes me giggle every time I read it. Stormy Knight. Hee hee. My only problem with the conclusion to this series was that a huge national conspiracy reaching to the very top levels of the United States government that had been built up for eight issues was basically deconstructed and wiped out in about four pages. I have no problems with tying up all loose ends at the end of a story, but I feel like it could've been stretched out a little longer. Ultimately this was a very enjoyable mini-series with great characters, witty dialogue and awesome artwork. If you haven't been following the single issues, pick up the trade paperback when it comes out. You won't regret it.

It's the showdown with the big baddies in Justice League of America #6, which finally brings together the new roster of this classic superteam. While he's got one hell of a stupid name, Amazo is certainly an impressive supervillain for the entire Justice League. I for one enjoyed the impact of Vixen's entrance, though I found her inner monologue to be a bit corny this issue. This title has some great writing, downright awesome artwork (yay gratuitous butt-shots) and a roster of classic superheroes and newcomers. Pick this one up.

The All-New Atom #9 floored me. It floored me last month and the month before. I don't know how this series keeps getting more enjoyable as it goes, but I'm not going to look a gift horse in the mouth. This issue stands out for me because of the spot-on portrayal of school life as a nerd, outcast, target and lovesick schoolboy. Combine that with the growing cast of extremely unique and likeable characters (the floating alien head roommate and the anagram-dropping taxi driver), fantastic writing and the old-fashioned goodness that comic books are made of, and you have one title that you absolutely cannot afford to miss. I absolutely love this book. Gail Simone, if you're reading, I'd kiss you if you'd let me. Mwah.

The jaw-dropping Planet Hulk saga is nearing its conclusion in The Incredible Hulk #104. This issue makes use of one of the great tricks of writing... build up something absolutely beautiful and good so when you smash it into a million pieces it's that much more affecting. It's been a real treat to watch the Hulk rise up from slave to gladiator to rebel to empire-toppler to King and rebuild a war-torn alien world. Things were looking so good. Really. Until that very last page. Oh man. No wonder World War Hulk is on the horizon.

SHAZAM! & The Monster Society of Evil #2 is a real treat to read. The great thing about Captain Marvel is that he's an honest-to-goodness superhero that represents everything wondrous, fantastic and magical about the superhero genre. While I'm a fan of reality in my comic books, not every freaking superhero story has to be so mired in gritty realism that they lose their, well, superhero-ness. This issue has talking circus monsters, a benevolent tiger mentor, and the discovery of Billy Batson's little sister. It was really enjoyable to watch her embrace her new role without a lot of pesky inner monologue and doubt. Just a simple "Oh cool!" and it's off we go. That's the spirit of this series, and it's a breath of fresh air. Say the magic word already! SHAZAM!

But speaking of dark and gritty stories, week fourty-four of 52 is altogether tragic, foreboding and unfortunately expected. As compelling a character as Black Adam is, I really didn't think his utopian Kahndaq would last. It was still painful to watch everything come crumbling down around him in one freaking day. That's been the most affecting thing about this series... after spending fourty-odd weeks with some of these characters, it's that much more disturbing when they're simply and suddenly killed in the span of one page. Still, as sad as I am for Black Adam, it was a bit nice to see that "I am going to kill everyone in the world" look back on his face again.

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