Thursday, February 09, 2006

Has it been a year yet? No? Well I guess it is a new year so I can update my blog.

Some friends of mine have decided to start blogs to help keep each other updated on their lives. Some have moved away, some have gotten married, and some just hermit themselves away in their apartments - nothing but love for ya! I find this recent trend interesting, sometimes sad, but it is practical and a smart way to utilize today's resources and if used properly might provide insight into your friend(s) you might not normally receive from just hanging out because of the reflective nature of blogging.

I sometimes want to use this forum to vent, but feel that is not a wise decision as anyone could access this blog. Why they would access this blog is beyond me, especially considering how infrequently I update it.

I better get back to work, just wanted to pop in and make an entry while I had the opportunity. Life has been hectic with work, school, my upcoming trip to San Francisco, family, friends, church...there just aren't enough hours in the day.

Monday, September 19, 2005

I am a very lucky fanboy. The Bendis Board recently had a charity auction to raise money for the American Red Cross to provide relief for the victims of Hurricane Katrina. I sent out e-mails to some friends in the comic industry and they answered the call with some amazing items that ranged from signed copies of their books to original artwork that raised over $1,500.00 in donations; the Bendis Board wide auction topped over $11K making it our most successful charity auction to date!

I would just like to personally thank:

Jamie S. Rich
Brad Meltzer
J. Torres
Guy Davis
Damon Hurd
Jon Adams
Chynna Clugston
Mark Sable & Paul Azaceta
Scott Chantler
Sean Galloway
Jason Latour
B. Clay Moore
Scott Morse
Todd Nauck
Greg Thompson
Ivan Brandon & Andy MacDonald

for their generosity, friendship, and of course obvious insanity for opening an e-mail from me. Seriously, these are some amazing creators not only because of the talent they possess and comics they create, but for their heart and willingness to help out and take time out of their busy life to make auctions like this so successful. And there were many more creators who took part in the auction that I am fortunate to count as friends; I’ll save everyone the name dropping. I highly recommend people checking out the works of these fine creators, you’ll be glad you did, I know I am. I am truly one lucky fanboy.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005


Okay, I’m still chugging along with my Marvel Comics. I say that like I’m playing with my childhood toys and should be embarrassed by this, please don’t take it that way. I still love my superheroes and they have never been written or illustrated so well.

New Thunderbolts by Fabian Nicieza & Tom Grummett – I enjoyed the first series, but fell away. I decided to give the second volume a shot after hearing good things about it and I have to say it didn’t disappoint, even though a bit formulaic at times. You had to know there’d be the surprise ending, I mean that is a facet of what made the first volume so good; the revelation that Baron Zemo and the Masters of Evil were in fact the Thunderbolts. Well, this volume doesn’t disappoint either as the individual funding the new team is revealed to be…I’m not going to ruin it for you. I wish Busiek and Nicieza would pace the story a little slower at times. Zemo is ousted by issue 12 of the first volume, their financial backer is gone within the first story arc in the second volume. Let me enjoy this, build up the drama and suspense. Also, you know who joins the team before they join the team by reading the recap page, which just didn’t make any sense to me, especially when on the last page you promote who will be the next member. I love that Fabian is using lesser known and underused characters such as Blizzard, Speed Demon, and Radioactive Man and creating three dimensional characters; you get inside their head you understand their fears and motivations. This series also sees the return of the Purple Man, a character Bendis made viable in his Alias series and he is no less formidable in New Thunderbolts. Mark Bagley set the standard for the look of the Thunderbolts and Grummett’s artwork compliments the look and feel of the original series that worked so well, while still having his own distinctive style.

Marvel Knights 4 #13-21 by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, Jim Muniz, and Valentine DeLandro with covers by Steve McNiven – I have to admit I was bummed when McNiven left MK4, but I loved the approach Aguirre-Sacasa was taking with this title that I continued on. Muniz came in and had huge shoes to fill and he did a remarkable job and I soon enjoyed his work…then he left and Valentine DeLandro came on board. I better say I don’t like this guy otherwise he’ll leave the title too. Muniz’s style was similar to McNiven’s, I believe the inker and colorist provided the consistency in appearance with McNiven’s departure, but DeLandro’s style is very different and to my surprise works very well. Enough praise for the artists, it’s the story that keeps me coming back and Roberto clearly shows the importance of the family. The family is the center of every story and each story shows the impact they have on the characters; this series is full of emotion, which is clearly seen in the two-part “Inhumane” storyline, a particularly gut wrenching tale. These are hard stories to tell, but fortunately, he’s working with artists that can convey these emotions masterfully through facial expressions and body language. How’d I get back on the artists? Oh yeah, the writing and the art are completely in sync with one another. This title is a perfect blending of talent creating a product greater than the sum of its parts. Aguirre-Sacasa has given a lot of focus to Sue in this series, but she doesn’t wilt under the scrutiny, she feeds off it, and shows why she is the glue that holds the family together and a formidable opponent against those who would threaten her family. Sue Richards is no damsel in distress and this is one of the best books on the stand!

Saturday, September 10, 2005

I'm like a squirrel. Storing comics for the winter. I joke with my friends that if I stopped buying comics right now the comics I have bought and haven't read would last me at least a year. I catch heat for this fact. I went to my local comic store this past week with my buddy and he commented that it almost seemed like a job or chore for me. He asked if I even read the comics I buy or if I just buy them because that's what I've done every week for twenty years; man I'm old. This is so very far from the truth.

I will admit I buy one or two titles because I've bought those titles for as long as I can remember, but am really not excited about reading them. One being Amazing Spider-Man. I am a huge Spider-Man fan. He is what got me into comics, but after seeing Gwen in the throes of passion with Norman Osborn my rational mind shuts off...I want to vomit because it sickens me so. Amazing how strong an emotional reaction that scene caused, but Peter is my friend. He's been there for me during thick and thin. I haven't read the comic since, but I still get excited over the new issue of Ultimate Spider-Man. And surprisingly Spider-Man Unlimited, the horrible "Fanboyz" story being the exception. I had passed on this title, but after reading Dan Slott's Spider-Man/Human Torch mini-series I remembered how much fun the Marvel Universe Spider-Man could be plus Michael Lark and Tom Beland both had upcoming stories in the series! How can you pass that up?

Anyway, I guess the gist of the matter is I buy more comics than I can keep up with, but I don't see that as a problem. I know what new comics I enjoy reading. I only buy older stuff that interests me and I've heard great things about. I also have to take advantage of deals as they come along. I bought the entire Books of Magic and The Dreaming series for pennies on the dollar when a local store decided to close its second location. I picked up Sandman Mystery Theater that way and I fell in love with the adventures of Wesley Dodds and that era. I like being able to read what I want, when I want, when the mood strikes me.

And I go through phases with my comic reading, sometimes I'm in an indie mood, sometimes I'm all about DC or Marvel, or a particular character. There are times when I devour them, as has been the case the last couple of weeks, and times when I'm busy with life, school (working towards my MBA), or catching up on those Criterions, but I'll get to them. I recently have been catching up on some Marvel comics.

Runaways Volume 2 #1-7 by Brian K. Vaughan & Adrian Alphono - The creators pick right up where they left off on this amazing series. Vaughan has really made a niche in coming up with a nice array of quality, creator owned comics for Marvel and DC. If you haven't tried this series pick up the recently released Runaways hard cover collecting all 18 issues of the first volume. One thing I've noticed recently, and a common thread in some of the comics "reviewed" is that Marvel is breathing new life into its second and third tier characters. In this series we have the creation of Excelsior, a support group who's members include Darkhawk, Chamber, the Phil Urich Green Goblin, and Ricochet of the Slingers.

Shanna the She-Devil by Frank Cho - I think this is a completely different Shanna from the Ka-Zar one...I'm not sure. Maybe this a retelling of her origin, it just seems like Marvel allowed Cho to use her name, but created a completely different character so there were no continuity constraints. If you know please let me know. Anyway, it was a fun read, graphic, a lot of the supporting cast didn't make it through this story, some a little worse for wear, and obviously it is racey at times. Cho did a pretty good job balancing the sexiness with substance.

Spider-Man: Breakout by Bedard & Garcia - I wasn't sure about this one since Bendis wasn't writing it, but in a spur of the moment purchase my interested outweighted my hesitation and I wanted to see how this tied in with New Avengers. I guess you could compare this series to DC's Villains United, but it is different. It has its own flavor. The focus of this book is on the lesser known villains the U-Foes and Crossfire and the fallout of a foiled prison break. Bedard pulls it off.

As mentioned earlier Spider-Man/Human Torch by Dan Slott & Ty Templeton - This book was great! I've only been excited about Bendis' USM since the whole Norman/Gwen page, but Slott really captured the essence, excitement, enthusiasm, humor, and fun that is Spidey! Issue 5 almost made me tear up, I love the family aspect and the brotherly love between Spidey and Human Torch that Slott built on in this book. I highly recommend tracking down the issues or the digest. I think Quesada should give Slott a serious look for one of their main Spidey titles.

GLA by Slott & Pelletier - Slott is the master of the second, third...I'm not sure what tier these guys are on, but Slott created an interesting and entertaining read utilizing these schlubs; and I say that lovingly. Collect this Marvel! And put out a sequel.

X-Men The End Book One: Dreamers & Demons by Claremont & Chen - I may not like everything that goes on in this series, I sometimes think Claremont just picks up where he left off at times, but this is surprisingly not a boring and textbook like read by Claremont. He has actually created a fast paced and interesting story. I'm glad my retailer gave me a good price on these I might have missed out on it. A lot of stuff is going on in this first Book, but Claremont did a superb job weaving the tapestry. Lately his stuff had been dragging for me, but The End is streamlined and tight.

X-Men The End Book Two: Heroes & Martyrs by Claremont & Chen - Book Two is just as good if not better than Book One. Claremont picks right up and provides the reader with more action and more revelations; even faster paced. Geez, I think I'm becoming a fan of Claremont's again. I'm definitely picking up Book Three. I'm honestly surprised by how much I'm enjoying this storyline. As I said I don't like or agree with everything, but overall even the space stuff has kept me interested and Claremont is writing stories that I don't want to put down. Where's my cynicism gone?

Captain America #1-9 by Ed Brubaker, Steve Epting, and Michael Lark - This series is jaw droppingly good! Captain American has never been better! I'd read the first two issues, but decided I should start from the beginning and I'm glad I did because they are even better the second time around. This series is so good I'm buying the hardcover when Marvel releases it (the oversized one collecting the first two story arcs). Buy this book if you aren't already. Readers can easily catch up with the Marvel Premium trade that was recently released collecting the first seven issues.

Age of Apocalypse featuring the X-Men by Yoshida & Bachalo plus the One-Shot - I loved the Age of Apocalypse story Marvel did 10 years ago and Yoshida and Bachalo came up with a great sequel to celebrate its anniversary. I love Bachelo's art, especially the opening pages on the later issues, sometimes it can get so dark it becomes muddy, but you have to love his homage to Eisner's The Spirit lettering design in the first issue. And overall Yoshida wrote a great story. There were one or two bits that were a lame. The whole I'm going to kill you, but I won't because you don't deserve it became redudant. That's the problem sometimes with Wolverine, you don't want to hold him back to show how vicious he is, but you have to otherwise he's become this psycho mass murderer, which is one thing that made Millar's first storyline so cool in Wolverine. Of course then you have Magneto who didn't show as much restraint; one thing I learned is Magneto is ruthless when you harm his family.

MARVEL TEAM-UP #1-12 by Robert Kirkman, Scott Kolins, & Paco Medina - I'd read the first two issues and liked them, but fell behind...issue 12 coming out this week, but I trust Kirkman and that trust was rewarded with twelve fun and entertaining issues. I won't say every thing worked perfectly, but Kirkman brought the humor and levity I loved reading when I was growing up. He has the characters say stuff that I'd have them say - if I could write a comic. He builds on the stories, the first arc playing a role in the second arc, and throughout the 12 issues he's building up Titannus. Great series, pick up the first trade if you missed out on the issues. I like how he's tackling the Team-Up's. He's coordinating everything masterfully.

I also read the Ultimates Volume 1, X4, and Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes hard covers as well as the Claremont & Miller Wolverine mini-series. Whew! That's a lot of comic reading.

Make Mine Marvel!

Well...next time I'll review what I read prior to my recent Marvel Mood:

The King by Rich Koslowski (Top Shelf)
Epileptic by David B. (Pantheon)
Tricked by Alex Robinson (Top Shelf)
Persepolis 2 by Marjane Satrapi (Pantheon)
Embroideries by Marjane Satrapi (Pantheon)
The Originals by Dave Gibbons

Monday, September 13, 2004

Fantastic Voyage

I woke up this morning at 5:10am and decided to get a head start on getting ready before my friend Jason called to go running. After brushing my teeth and going to the bathroom I jumped back in bed until he called, I’m only so motivated. At 5:24am, 9 minutes after he normally calls and debating whether I should or not, I decided I’d call him. He’d hit the snooze button and fell back asleep; so we decided we’d just run tomorrow morning.

Instead of going back to bed I figured get up and start the day, well start the day by continuing my reading of Craig Thompson’s CARNET DE VOYAGE, I should have been reading my textbook. When I got Carnet and started reading it I thought it best to not just rush through it, but savor each diary entry. Next spring, though, I think I’ll pick it back up and reread each daily entry on its corresponding day, just one year later.

Carnet is an amazing travelogue diary of Craig’s 3 month trip and book tour to Morocco, France, Barcelona, and the Alps. While Craig’s illustrations are absolutely gorgeous and breathtaking, his lines and brush stroke are superb, it is the emotion that he puts into every page, every illustration, and every word that really attracts me to his work. It’s guys like Craig and James Kochalka that inspire and motivate me to write down my story, to keep a diary and cherish every moment, but I continually get in the way and think I can’t draw, I can’t write, who would want to read this? Then I remember I’m not writing this for anyone but myself, it also helps to have friends who are smarter than you.

“Discarding the need to answer that question is the first step on the path of being a real writer.” – Jamie S. Rich

One of the entries in Carnet talked about the food in France, meats, cheeses, potatoes, and chocolate, and one person comments that Americans have a problem with obesity because of the guilt associated with it. While I think there are a lot of people in the U.S. who are comfort eaters, heck I’m guilty of this at times, I think a bigger factor is we have no idea about portion sizes and have been trained to gorge ourselves at the buffet to “get our money’s worth” and to super size it. In another entry Craig goes to a four star restaurant and enjoys a 12 course meal, but if you look, the portion sizes of each course is small enough so that one can eat a 12 course meal. Americans on the other hand are given Texas-sized portions, to warrant charging $10-20 a plate, as opposed to halving the quantity and charging less, but food is so cheap that wouldn’t maximize their profit. I also think we don’t feel we have the time to cook a little bit of everything or to cook from scratch. (We get everything out of a box and just heat it up.) And I think since we don’t get that taste of a little bit of everything like Europeans, when we do get that taste we eat too much because “we might not get it again for a while.”

One sign of a great book is that it makes you think about and discuss what you’ve just read, Carnet De Voyage is a great book. Do yourself a favor and pick it up and while you’re at it get Blankets and Goodbye, Chunky Rice too if you haven’t already.

Tuesday, June 01, 2004

Jamie Rich - The Exit Interview

Following are questions that didn't make the Movie Poop Shoot exit interview, while great answers they just didn't "fit" the overall interview. These are Jamie's thoughts on comic prices, Free Comic Book Day, coming up on Saturday, July 3, 2004, and one last parting shot at comic conventions.

Denny Haynes: Fact or Fiction: If comic companies lowered the price of comics more people would purchase them and make up for any loss in profit due to the price decrease?

Jamie S. Rich: I think it's a bit of fiction. I think yes, some folks would buy more titles, but not all. And I think we'd still be stuck with the same amount of buyers, not any real increase in audience, so even if everyone lived up to their word who claimed they'd buy more titles were the comics cheaper, it would still not make up for the change in costs.

I think a lot of fallacies end up in discussions of price point. I am fond of saying comics cost what they cost because that's what they cost to make, and I believe that's true. I think a lot of fans think along the lines that if they pay $3 for an Oni comic, it goes right in my comic. They probably know that isn't right, but when they are complaining about price point, it tends to come down to, "I gave you $3 for this." When in reality, we sell it at a discount to Diamond who then sells it at a discount to the retailer who then goes up to cover price to make his profit. So, we only receive a portion of that cover price, and we share our cut with the creator.

The biggest problem ends up being I end up cutting my cover price, and that means less of a profit yield for my distributor and my retailer--but without any change to any of our operation costs. Let's say, for the sake of argument, I cut my books down in price by 50%. Do you think the printing plant and Fed Ex and all the other companies whose services I am using are going to cut their charges to me in half? Not a chance. Is it fair, then, for me to ask the creative teams to do the same work for half the price, too? In indie comics, that's a pretty big hit. So, it costs me the same to make my product, and I have to sell twice as many just to make the same money I was making. And if I have to build a new audience based on these new prices, I am probably going to go out of business trying to do so. They aren't going to show up out of thin air.

Even if you, as a reader, now buy two Oni books, I still have to sell double what I was selling of those two books or take a big hit on both of them. That doesn't make a lot of business sense, does it?

Trust me. We all want bigger sales and would love to deliver a higher quality product cheaper, but it's not reasonable. And a lot of solutions offered are not really feasible in the brass tacks of publishing. Cheaper paper is a big one. Paper is priced based on bulk, and due to the high demand of newsprint, a small print-run black-and-white is not going to save any money on newsprint. We have to pay through the nose to take stock that has been allocated for much bigger projects.

DMH: Free Comic Book Day is coming up, what are your thoughts on this outreach event?

JSR: I think it's made a good start over the last few years and the people behind it are working to sort out the kinks. I don't think it's been entirely successful as of yet, I worry we're just putting comics into the same hands as get them already. But I tend to back away from this subject because I think it's one where far too many people weigh in and it seems to be a nightmare for the people who are trying to make it a real, breathing thing. Honestly, they should just say, "Shut up and let us do it." Life would be so much better these days if more people said that more often.

DMH: What are your thoughts on comic convention experience?

JSR: What are your thoughts on having a hose shoved up your ass and lemonade sprayed into your body until it squirts out your nose?

DMH: Thanks for the memories, the books, and most importantly that mental picture Jamie.

And visit Jamie's blog at: Confession 123

That's All Folks!

Wednesday, May 26, 2004

Long Forgotten

I have done my fair share of interviews; this is one that never saw the light of day. I always feel badly when an interview I perform never comes out, it has only happened two other times. I find it to be very unprofessional, but sometimes things…well, happen outside of your control. In the case of this interview, well it just wasn’t very good for whatever reasons. The worst part was somehow all the questions were lost, so I had to recreate them.

The interview is with Ken Lashley, who founded Draxhall Jump, and is best known for his work on Excalibur and Age of Apocalpyse. He worked with Christian Zanier at Top Cow on J. Michael Straczynski’s RISING STARS, which at the time was surrounded by some controversy.

So without further adieu, the interview that never was.

DMH: So did you read comics growing up?

Ken Lashley: Yes, I read a ton of comic books. When I was a kid, I used to get $2.00 a month, which seems like a minuscule amount compared to the $30.00 kids get these days. But that was enough to get two comic books, something to drink, and a bag of chips. Sour Cream and Onion Baby.

One of the first comics I ever remembered buying was Spider man #130 something. It's the one where the guy was a football player in school, and when his daughter gets kidnapped he has to save her on the same football field of his greatest failure. This time, with his daughter in his arms, he does it right, but loses his life.

But before that I think I bought was a Spider man/Light Master Issue, with Light Master on the cover, washing out Spider man. Cover was done by a guy named Ernie Chan, if I remember correctly. I think I drew that cover a thousand times growing up.

I used to collect: X-Men, Spider man, The Avengers, Teen Titans, The Hulk, and anything else with a good artist.

DMH: So why did you choose to go into the comic industry?

KL: I don't think anyone chooses to get into this business, I think the business chooses them. There was a time where I probably could have been a pro football player, but my love for drawing was always my first choice. I went to art college and was going to be a story board artist, or commercial illustrator of some sort. I actually started off my career doing marker comps for an advertising agency. At that time I was teaching part-time for the Toronto Board of Education, where I had my own program to teach kids to draw cartoons. There were three kids in that program that are responsible for my comic book career. They brought in comics and showed me what the best ones were, and asked me if I could draw some of the characters form these books. I drew a picture of Wolverine on the board, it was the quietest day I ever had as a teacher up to that point. The kids kinda looked at each other and said, "Holy Crap!". The same three kids asked if I would take them to a Comic Convention, featuring Dale Keown and his smash hit comic, ‘Pitt'. The lineup at the show was enormous. It was easily a four-hour wait. I had brought X-Men samples I had drawn. My intentions were to show them to Mr. Keown. Because of the lineup, I changed that idea and asked one of the Con Volunteers if anyone was looking at portfolios, without such a long line. She led me to the front where a small group of artists were gathered around a table. Sitting at that table was Mark Askwith, at the time I didn't know who he was, but later found out he's a tv producer for countless shows about comics and science fiction. He looked at my portfolio and said nothing for the first three minutes, which felt like eight hours. He told me I had the best portfolio he'd seen in quite some time, and offered to take my work to New York and show Marvel, on a trip he was taking to do some interviews for his show. He did, and Marvel hired me to do Excalibur. Now that's a lucky break!

DMH: Who is your favorite character and storyline?

KL: Colossus is my favorite character by far. Don't ask me why, I don't have a good answer. Somehow, his character speaks to my soul.

The John Byrne X- Men run, like everyone else on the planet.

DMH: What characters would you like to draw?

KL: Other than my own, I would probably say Star Wars. I'm a big-time sucker for all that Jedi stuff. In fact, I shut down the studio the day Phantom Menace came out, and had everyone stay over at my house. I think I saw that movie three times on the first day. I sat next to Marvin Mariano (the Colourist of my book Legends) and he wouldn't shut up. He kept going, "Holy, Wow." every five minutes, it drove me crazy. Maybe because I was doing the exact same thing, just not as loud.

DMH: Who are the creators that inspired you?

KL: My favorite creators are all "OLD SCHOOL": John Buscema, Sal Buscema, John Byrne, Joe Sinnott, Walt Simonson, George Perez, Garcia Lopez, Kevin Nolan, Martin Nodell, and Brian Boland. I've had the honour of meeting some of these guys, and what strikes me is that these guys could draw circles around pretty much everyone, and they're still some of the most humble people I've ever met. Flat out, what I thought a comic artist should be is: able to do it monthly, and have a real understanding of human anatomy. These guys are all artists' artists. I found it amazing how effortless they made stuff look. And if you know anything about comics, what they did, and continue to do, was anything but effortless. Those guys are consummate pros.

DMH: What about non-comic inspirations?

KL: My favorite non-comic creator is Ian McCraig. He's the concept artist for Lucas films. This guy is unbelievable. He's responsible for the beautiful designs of Queen Amidala, Darth Maul, and Jar Jar (but don't hold that against him). I rarely see someone with that much control. Something I strive for every day.

DMH: Is there a specific environment or condition you like or require to work?

KL: I have this weird thing, the guys in the studio think it's hilarious. I can't draw unless I'm clean shaven. Don't ask me how it started, all I know is if I have a beard (or any kind of stubble) it irritates me. I also like to listen to music, the funkier the better (not sure if "funkier" is a word). I also like to have a variety of books around me. I like the visual candy. When I'm restless, sometimes I put on my favorite anime "Giant Robo," in the background. Call me crazy.

DMH: Let’s discuss your experience at Top Cow. What did you learn while there?

KL: My experience at Top Cow? I don't think the question is "What did I learn?",but more so, What did they learn? I could only speculate as to what they really learned, but I would guess it should fall under the category of: Artists should be treated as human beings.

All we wanted from Top Cow is a, "you're Welcome," or a "thank" you for doing issues 3 through 13 on time and with the same artist.

When DHJ decided to leave that job, it was probably the most difficult decision we, as a company had to make. We enjoyed working on Rising Stars, and it was Christian's dream to work at Top Cow. A lot of things have been said since our departure. Renae Gearlings, the "editor" at Top Cow said something to the effect of "We listened, we heard, we acted." In regards to the art change, my official response to that is "whatever." I recently read a remark by the writer of Rising Stars stating the reason it was late was because we left "at the 11th hour." I don't know if he thinks that the people who read comics are stupid, but obviously one artist leaving a book doesn't affect that writer working at another company and being late. I think what the writer is forgetting is that DHJ isn't the first to bale on Rising Stars. We left that book for very real reasons. Christian was treated terribly. I was treated terribly. I employ artists, and I would never treat the people who help build my company that way. But that wasn't enough to have us quit. No artist should find out about their working conditions on a website without ever hearing it from the company themselves. Although it is their right to do so, it is also our right to leave. And that we did.
I never understood Top Cow's position in all this. Their company was founded on creators rights and being in control of their own destiny. But I guess their mandate wasn't for creators to ever feel welcome. Its founding member called our studio and tried to intimidate me. I guess he didn't realize I didn't care. But honestly . . . It was a year ago, good luck to them.

What they do has no bearing on us whatsoever.

DMH: What are you working on now?

KL: My creator owned book, LEGENDS. It's a book that I've been dreaming about doing for the past six years; I put it on hold several times. I even had Image interested in this book at one point, but the situation just didn't feel right. I feel that now is the right time it put my money where my mouth is.

I'm also doing a lot of design work for Hasbro, like G.I. Joe, Transformers and other stuff.

Our web site, www.dhjcomics.com, showcases a number of design and comic book stuff we have done. Also, you can see some finished and in progress pages of LEGENDS. Our publishing schedule begins in May 2002, and for the retailers out there, we will be in the March issue of Diamond.

DMH: Why form your own studio?

KL: When I see the talent around me, it inspired me; it's very obvious why I started a business with these people. A lot of the artists that I'd admire had one thing in common, they all had there own businesses and ownership of the things that they worked on. And that's what I'm trying to do here.
A lot of the experiences that I had in the comic book field had led me to this decision. Ownership.

DMH: What are your plans for the future?

KL: My calendar for the foreseeable future will mainly revolve around LEGENDS. Because of it's epic nature, the story line will run for some time. One of my goals is to go back to my old college and teach comic book illustration. The colleges don't seem to acknowledge that comic book work is a true art form. I'd like to change that.

DMH: What is your dream project?

KL: I am doing my dream project right now. LEGENDS (yet another shameless plug) is something I've wanted to do for so long, and now that I have the team I've been waiting for, everything else we've done will pale in comparison.

DMH: What are your thoughts on Marvel and its publicity stunts?

KL: I think Marvel comics had injected new life into the industry, a new enthusiasm. There was a time when people would look at you funny if you were buying a Marvel book because there were not any good artist there at that time. And I'm part to blame. My first work was god awful. Joe Q, challenging Todd McFarlane and CrossGen and Marvel talking smack it's a good time to be in comics. By nature I love controversy.

DMH: Why do creator-owned projects?

KL: It's freedom, the opportunity to do whatever you want to do. I love the fact that the guy or girl in his or her basement with a computer, photoshop, dream, and an idea, can create a multimillion dollar product, it's total freedom, it's power. The fact that I can have a website and get that product out ten minutes after I've drawn it, is amazing. Being able to be directly in touch with the people who are interested in your work is a phenomenal thing. The first month DHJ's website went live we had over seven hundred thousand hits. Even though that's not a huge number, it is considering we were not on any search engines. For an industry that is so small, it seems to have a long reach in Hollywood. The fact the Tick and Witchblade each had a Television show is proof of the level playing field. I'm not saying that working for the majors cannot be rewarding, it can and it has been for me. It's just that you want to see your dreams come to life, and I'm a total dreamer.

DMH: Do you keep abreast of the current going ons in the comic industry?

KL: Yup, I surf all the comic book sites. And Monday Buzz is my ritual, I wish every day had a Monday Buzz. I know Jim Mclauchlin pretty well, I'll slip him some Dodger Tickets and he tells me any thing I want to know.

DMH: What books do you read?

KL: Ultimates with Brian Hitch, 100 Bullets, and any thing that has interesting art. I've been hassled at my work by these guys that I should read comic books, and not be so concerned by what it looks like. But I don't think so. I've got to have both. If the guy is a crappy artist I don't care how good a writer he or she is. Although I'll probably give it a chance, I'll lose interest faster if the artwork is not that good. But to be honest I buy everything. The guys at the comic stores see me coming and they pull out their Porsche catalogues.

DMH: Serials or trades?

KL: I buy everything. But, I am more partial to trades.

DMH: What’s your favorite food?

KL: My Mom's lasagna and her cheese cake. I'm a momma's boy at heart.

DMH: What are some of your favorite movies?

KL: My favorite movie is the Empire Strikes Back and Run Lola Run. Lets not forget La Femme Nakita
Favorite album is Nyuphonic #3 and Erika Badu Live, and Heavy D and the Boys.

DMH: What movies were you most looking forward to and enjoy the most in 2002?

KL: Attack of the Clones, MIB2, Spider-Man, and LOTR: Two Towers.

DMH: What do you like to do in your spare time?

KL: Video Games, I have a video game room in my house, with all the systems hooked up to one tv with a switcher box. All the kids in the neighborhood think I'm the coolest, although I never show them mercy.

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?