Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Creative Vs. Sensitive.

I had a conversation with a friend of mine, who is an artist/art director.

We were discussing how many “creative” people mistake sensitive for creative.

I think one of the core principles of being an artist is being observant and aware.

Eyes on the prize.

Ear to the ground.

As an artist you need to have your feelers out.

Cataloging thoughts, ideas and emotions…

Ideally so you can filter them through your unconscious and into some original creative endeavor.

Something that has emotion….

If you are lucky something that inspires…

“Channeling the Info/Creative Flow.”

You take in ideas and let new ideas out. Those ideas are taken in by someone else…and than sent out into the ideasphere.

Ideas building on ideas…

so forth and so on…

Until the end of time…

A lil’ too metaphysical for you?

No wonder so many artists drink and self medicate themselves to death.

They need something to stop the voices in their heads.

Yeah buddy..that’s a big part of it…”channeling the flow”

In order to pull so much in you have to open the doors.

This can leave you vulnerable.

This can leave you emotional

This can make you sensitive.

To be a truly great artist you have to be a bit empathetic.

But being sensitive does not mean you are going to be creative.

In fact it can hamper your creative efforts.

It’s a self-created trap that many artists fall into.

The process of taking in ideas out weighs the pursuit of creating new ones.

Washed away…

by the info flow.

I myself have struggled with this.

Taking so much in…putting so little out creatively.

The only thing that has worked for me has been the acceptance that you have to trust your own voice and have the discipline to take the idea and express it.

You have to begin to edit the flow as it comes in.

Slow it down. Give your mind time to process it.

Tame the flow.


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Monday, August 29, 2005

Sleep Exorcist

The more I work in color the more I work straight into Photoshop.

I'm working up some colors schemes for a cover.

I used to do a sketch and scan it in...now I go direct..

here's an example of one of my thumbnails. It's great for fast color and streaming in type.

I'll be posting more later....

Right now I must battle the sleep demons....



Sunday, August 28, 2005

Diet Mt. Dew and Drum and Bass

It’s almost 5am on Sunday morning.

I-Tunes has generously served up Chronic Tronic by Amon Tobin.

I think I've finally found a coloring style I like.

It’s taken me years and terrible fits with Photoshop.

I’ve burned through tons of “painting” in Photoshop tutorials.

All it took was some Diet Mt Dew and some Drum and Bass to set me straight.

I had an aunt who told me Mt. Dew was bear piss...that's why it got you hyped because it was bear juice.

I remember looking at her and taking a big chug of it and thinking "fuck if it's bear piss..this shit rocks!"

I was 12

that's the thing about creativity.... I guess you never know when it’s going to hit you until it does.

I fought myself for years. I was always telling myself I needed to stop working in the middle of the night even though it's my natural most productive creative state.

Now I work a 9-5.

I finally figured something out.


I've graduated to another animal

from MT.Bear Piss to Red Bull.

liquid crack...

I’m not done with the piece yet.

but here’s a sneak peek at something else I’m working on...

which color looks best?


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Friday, August 26, 2005

Comicbook Sucka.

So there is this comic store next to my job.

It’s got a great location and a decent selection.

The place is very crowded.

I often feel like I’m in the comic version of “Das Boot”.

It’s all good except for the feeling if there was an earthquake you might get suffocated under a pile of unsold Transformers and 50 cent comics.

It's for the most part an ok shop…that is..if you don't pay attention to the bastard that runs it.

He is the stereotypical comic clerk that makes the comic guy on Simpsons look like the employee of the month.

I don't hate on comic clerks. I worked as one through my teenage years.

It can be a tough gig...some of the comic customers can be "eccentric" to say the least.

That being said...customer service is still in order.

Back to the bastard's store.

The very fist time I was in there. I picked up an issue of the Star Wars Episode 3 comic.

The motherfucker appeared like he was using some Jedi teleportation shit.

He stood there..

and stared.

and stared

he moved a little too close

I looked over and tried to be polite.

“did you see the movie?” I asked

He said “I hated it! The Jedi would have never been taken out so easily. They would have felt a disturbance in the force and known that something was wrong and kicked those clone troopers asses!”

Long pause as we both searched for what to say next.

He drew first

“I want to kill that fucking Anakin guy. He really is a piece of shit”

So much for first impressions.

My first instinct was to go classic trilogy on his ass and give him a Wampa slap upside his big cranium. Or better yet stick a thermal detonator in his mouth and sarcastically yell…

“May the force be with you Biatch”!

as I bolt for the door. (fire errupts behind me as I leap at the camera!!!WHOOHOO it's Die Hard in a comic store.)

but I put my geek in check and bee lined for the door.

The next time I came to the store I picked up some random comics. This and that...

I don't do monthlies.

As he rang me up he says “I can’t tell what you are going to buy and that concerns me” as he gave me this annoyed look.

I was like ..unless you are moonlighting for the psychic network…what makes you think you can guess my personal comic preferences?

He is notorious amongst my coworkers. His shop is often reffered to as “That asshole guy’s store”

So today I was going to lunch with Gerimi and we decided to pop in and check out the latest issues.

So I come in and he says “good to see you again”..

I was like ok. Maybe the guy is cleaning up his act.

I spotted a graphic novel that was shrink wrapped. I like the artist who drew it.

It’s a 25 buck item.

No way is this kid going to buy a $25 buck comicbook site unseen.

I asked if he had an open copy.

He said “no.”

He said “the art is the same as the cover.”

I said I was interested in buying it but that I would like to see the inside before I buy it.

He proceeded to tell me that it was” a hardcover and that the pages would not fall out.”

Long pause…

I vowed never to return.

As I walked out of the store I noticed something in the corner of my eye.

He had some of my comics for sale.

I guess he’s not all bad.


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Showing the Love

Making comics is a trip.

Most comic artists live in a vacuum.

The work is so labor intensive that they often have to work long hours by themselves.

Some work in studios…but even than..the serious work goes on when they are burning the midnight oil all by their lonesome.

It can be a very personal journey.

Just you vs. the page.

Of course at some point the book gets published and hopefully people buy it and read it.

I get a lot of joy out of meeting the people that read and enjoy any of the books I’ve worked on.

I got an email recently from a reader named Shon Peterson who put a tattoo of one of the covers to my comics on their back.

(please see the picture).

This is not the first person to use art from my comics for tattoos but it’s always something that I think is cool and very humbling.

The idea that someone would commit my artwork permanently to his or her body shows the love for your work like nothing else.

Thanks to Shon for showing the love.

I’ll make a standing offer.

Anyone who tattoos my art on his or her body gets a free piece of original art. A sketch maybe a page. Depends how big the tattoo is..hehehe.


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Thursday, August 25, 2005

Foot Ballers!

Foot Ballers.

I’m not talking about the British term for blokes that play what we in America call Soccer.

I’m talking about a unique style of basketball that I see played by Mexican basketball players here in the LA area.

They play basketball as if they are playing soccer.

They pass a lot.
They don’t dribble very much.
They catch and shoot as fast as possible.

It’s fast paced and fun to watch.

Most of these cats are under 5ft so it’s a trip.

There is often a lot of traveling and double dribbling.

It’s a freestyle fiesta.

I am part Mexican so I know some Spanish.

They talk as much shit to each other as any other b-ball players.

Mostly they scream “PASS!”

Sounds like every other pick up basketball game I have ever played in.

On Sunday night I played three on three with some of these guys.

It was a lot of fun…One heavy set cat was rocking a Kobe Bryant jersey and he played without shoes…

Who needs Jordans right?


Orange Chicken and Pancakes.

Wow! There are certain days when you are just off your game.

I woke up late (still don’t know why my alarm didn’t go off..but I suspect user error is involved!)

I missed my carpool. (and since gas is so cheap that’s no problem)

I sat in traffic (got to work in time..thank Baby Jesus for that!)

Left my phone on my drawing table at home. (Incommunicado!!! Excellente!!!)

The upside is that I feel rested. Maybe that 18 minutes I over slept actually did me some good.

It’s basketball night!!!

The other day I went to this Chinese food/Old Skool Coffee shop called Won's Coffee Shop

14440 Gilmore St, Van Nuys, CA 91401

It’s located behind the Sketchers Outlet.

Where else can you get pancakes with a side of Orange Chicken!!!.

It’s awesome and great prices. Get any of the combos and you will have lunch and dinner.

Back to work….


Friday, August 19, 2005

If the Pocky don't stick...

I’ve been reading different blogs talking about “OEL”. Which stands for “Original English Language”. It refers to the rush of American kids that are doing wannabe Manga in the US. I think this is a good idea. More diverse artists taking a crack at sequential storytelling is a plus no matter what you call it.

It’s all sequential.

It’s all good.

I hear that certain companies pay them dirt wages.

This is a worst case scenario/ perfect storm cum disaster.

It’s raising the next generation of American comic artists to not value their work from a money standpoint. I know they are young and they do it for the love of the game and all that but they are artists who are doing published work. They should be paid fairly for what they create.

It’s similar to how a whole generation of young music fans have grown up on free downloads of music on the web. It’s brought down the value of music and media in general.

The consumer is taking the art and artist for granted.

We love free but most people feel you get what you pay for in terms of enjoyment...

No pay, no respect.

That’s not the biggest issue I see on the horizon for the OEL artist on the come up.

There will never be an American Manga artist that will be popular until one of them “is big in Japan”.

I think part of the allure of Manga is that it is a window into (from an American standpoint) a mysterious culture.

That’s part of the draw.

It’s different. It’s cool.

It’s foreign.

It’s also a question of authenticity. Manga and Anime fans are into what’s cool and unique about the culture of Japan and how Manga and Anime sprang from that. Will they be as enamored with a kid from Ohio writing a parody of the art form they respect and worship so deeply.

I think not.

Like all underground genres that go mainstream it has it’s casual viewers and it’s hardcore folk. The OEL peeps need to start there and hopefully win them over and use them as their ambassadors....but....

Unless there is an American OEL artist that is an Otomo or a Rumiko Takahashi level talent out there. You can bet your last box of Pocky....it’s not going to stick.

I love the energy. I love the revolution. Comics need that. It’s freestyle...but for how long.

The lines between American Super Hero rehash and Manga and it’s American disciples is beginning to look like a map of the US on election night. Red and Blue in the world series of sequentials.

Which style?

Which format?

The size of the eyes?

The themes of the stories.

Personal vs. Corporate.

The problem for the OEL disciples is they are soldiers without a country. Japan and Japanese artists will never accept a non Japanese doing Manga. It’s one of their most treasured art forms. They are not going to turn it over to a bunch of 20 something Americans with a ton of ambition. At least not without a fight.

With the internet putting more artists in contact with each other I see a time when there will be global collaboration on comics in many styles with diverse ideas.

I just don’t think that time is now.

It’s a few years off.

Maybe ten.

I remember seeing Anime in the 80’s. It took almost 20 years for it to go global.

With the internet and the speed it brings. It will be half that...or less.

Comics and their aesthetic are flowing into other media like water from a broken dam. What is created over the next 10-20 years will define if comics are ever going to cross over into the mainstream and be as respected as a novel and or a movie as a stand alone art form. This generation of OELs may not make the splash they want in terms of taking over the Manga market or getting the respect they may deserve from their Japanese influences but I think their generation of comic artists will be the first to create work on their own terms on subjects that are diverse and complex as the norm. New ideas will be the center of the movement not the fringe.

All this will be done without a cape or templated breast in site.

Making it a revolution of sorts.

Or at least that’s what my magic eight-ball tells me.

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Thursday, August 18, 2005

It feels like art 2 me.

I don’t really believe that you can sell comics as a download.

I don’t really enjoy reading a comic on a computer screen.

I’m not sure I would enjoy reading manga on a P2P. I don’t live in Tokyo or London. So I don’t ride the train or the tube. I live in LA. I drive…and sit….a lot….

I hear talk of digital paper…but until I have some in my hands…I’m not sold.

I personally believe in the tactile appeal of comics. I like the feel of the paper.

It feels like art to me.

That’s where I think the problem begins.

I see comics as art.

I can download a jpeg of the Mona Lisa but no matter how close I look at the jpeg.
It was nothing compared to standing in front of it. It meant much more to me to see the actual painting. I felt the presence of it.

I feel comics change once they go through the process of printing. It’s part of the creation of the art. Comics are unique because the printing is where the art and the story really combine. It’s also the mechanism for receiving the content. It’s all in one handy package.

That being said. I think the future holds a place for downloaded comics.

It will not be the same experience as I described above but it will be something new and different.

More disposable perhaps.

It’s like the single you download from I-Tunes. You listen to it for a week or so and move onto the next hot song.

Are comics that disposable. I guess some are. Some are not worth reviewing again and again. They are something you read once and toss. A bitter pill to swallow.

Not everything created in comics is worth saving. Not every monthly deserves a TPB.

I find myself staring at the racks at my local comic store. I look through 100’s of comics. I walk away with one sometimes two on a good week.

The industry is caught between trying to create soap operas on one side and academy award movies on the other.
I think the future of comics is not so much in the technology as much as it is in the development of the content.

I think the model for comics needs to change. I already see signs of this on the horizon.

We need to see comics the way we see movies and novels. I know how many times have you heard that. I’m not referring to the respect they get in the mainstream. I’m talking about the way they are produced.

I think an editor/producer needs to go out and put together a team to create a graphic novel in the same way you make a movie. Find the best artist. Find the best idea. Find the best writer. Put them together for 6 months to 2 years. Build the anticipation. (think of the hype for each Harry Potter novel) Release one or two graphic novels. Sure it’s a bigger risk than a monthly book. Sure there is no advertising but the upside is you push the medium into a larger more respected arena.

No more floppies for a monthly newsstand audience that does not exist anymore.

Look at Manga. They get the idea.

A reader would much rather have a 90 page story for 10 bucks than a 22 page 4 buck ad filled floppy.

What I’m saying is nothing new.

Which one of the big two is finally going to do it?

More on this later.

Time for work.


Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Rock It I will

I woke up in the middle of the night because I had this strange fucking dream.

It was a bunch of Storm Troopers break dancing to “Rock It” by Herbie Handcock.

You know the part of the song where you hear all the scratching…

Yoda was scratching!!!

…but he was not using his hands.

He was kicking some old skool “use the force” no hands scratching bad ass shit!

Ok, ok I made up the Yoda bit..but I did dream of break dancing Storm Troopers.

One of them was doing the Re Run!!!

…and they were doing more of a popping and locking type thing rather than actual break dancing.

Ok I’m a fucking liar..but there was dancing Storm Troopers in my dream and the shit was funky so “Believe DAT”!!!

Too much Diet Mt Dew before bed will “dew” that to you ok.

I will be posting some drawings soon. I actually draw sometimes...



Tuesday, August 16, 2005


I got to thinking about being original with your work and about creativity and making a living at it.

It could be a comic. It could be a screenplay. It could be music.

Pick your poison.

Being that I do comics and art related stuff and I dabble in music I’ll stick to what I know and write from that point of view.

If you are a creative person I have a newsflash for you.



Ok, maybe it’s not such a news flash. Or maybe I’m being naive. Or maybe I’m sick of the status quo.

I find the more I work in the art field the less I am asked for what I think is good. More and more I am asked to copy what someone else thought was good. Or better yet what has been successful for someone else.

It’s as if no idea is valid until it has made someone else money. This is so counter productive to creativity that it can’t be measured. It’s so backwards it’s off the scale.

When talking to Producers, Art Directors and or various money people. I often find myself caught having to “sell” an idea using what I call “Non-Creative Speak”. An example when describing an idea for a new animated TV show I was forced to use. “It’s Harry Potter meets Teen Titans” or it’s “Star Wars meet’s Clueless”.

Using some other media to paint a picture in a non-creative person’s head.

I hate that.

I feel like I have to align my idea up to it’s nearest successful neighbor. No matter how far apart it may be. It glosses over the subtly of what has been created. The devil is in the details when it comes to ideas. It’s the moments and the texture that makes the idea original and brings the heart to it. Rather than have them stretch to understand the idea. I have to simplify it for them.

Fast Food Creative.



Easy to swallow.

God forbid you stray from this and say that you have created something “new”.

Note the fear in their eyes.

Why do Non Creates hate the idea of “new” so much?

Is it a fear of backing something “artsy”? Something untested.

Or maybe they can’t tell if it’s a good idea unless someone else has already deemed it so.

Than why are they in a position to judge an idea when they need to look to someone or somewhere else to decide if it’s a good idea or not?

Where are the instincts?

Where are the gut feelings?

If it makes you feel uncomfortable or if it gets you excited than maybe that’s what an audience might feel.

Don’t fight it. Feel it.

I hear people call ideas “properties”

I will never again use this to describe any other creative person’s work or mine.

It’s not a fucking condo it’s a living, breathing.....


I think part of why Non Creates like to use this term is because it makes it seem like your idea is something that can be bought and sold. A commodity. It’s a way of taking the magic out of it.

Jealousy rears its ugly head.

They can’t create on their own. Yet they work in a creative industry.

Note the fear in their eyes.

I have come to understand that as an artist you need to be true to what you believe in. It is the artist’s job to explore the vastness of what can be created.

If it sells.


If it doesn’t.

Who cares! It’s about getting there and even more importantly where you go from there!

Don’t let others push you into creating something they think is friendly to the greatest amount of people possible because in the end it won’t please anyone.

Is that even a goal worth having? Pleasing the world.

Is it the size of the audience or the quality of what you communicate to them?

I don’t have answers to all this but I know what I believe in.

It’s the sincerity that you create with.
It’s the authenticity of your approach.
It’s the care and craft you put into your work.
It’s the message.
It’s the living, breathing…..




Monday, August 15, 2005

Purple and Gold

This is my first blog and I am beginning to see why people drop off on these…

Some days you just don’t have anything to say. Nothing clever…nothing informative…nothing that will crack the Internet in half.

Today is one of those days.

Random is the name of the game.

I am looking forward to the NBA season. With J Will in Miami. (say what you say..that kid is a baller…) and Kwame in LA. I think it’s going to be one interesting season.

I’m a life long Laker fan. I bleed purple and gold. I love the way Kobe “played”. I don’t love Kobe as a person. It’s not because of what went down in Denver. I don’t think he raped that girl. I think he probably mistreated her or treated her with no respect…but did he rape her…I don’t think so.

I just have this bad view of him.

I see him as almost everything that is on his new Nike ad.

Would I trade him for Le Bron or T-Mac?


I wish he made the players around him better.

I wish he would dime better.

I don’t like his new logo…and I think his new shoes look horrible.

Do I hope he has a great season and Lamar and Kwame become his Pippen and Horace Grant?

Check the color of my blood.


Friday, August 12, 2005

Mr. Macchiato

Drinking a supa dupa big ole' coffee. I went to Star$ucks this morning and when I came up to the counter I had one of those “I drink to much coffee so I think I’m witty” cashiers.

I walked up and the first thing he says is “Carmel Macchiato”

I said “No”

He says, “You look like a Macchiato type of guy.”

I thought, "you look like an asshole" but who’s keeping track.

One triple espresso later….I’m feeling much more Macchiato!!! Ole’

So I play basketball at this park near my crib. I go on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

There is a group of regulars that are all pretty cool guys, they don’t argue much and the games go fast. Not too many ball hogs so it’s good times and good fun.

But there is this one cat I call affectionately “The Coach”. He is not a very skilled player..he mainly tries to run his defender over and calls phantom fouls. He is always there to tell you what you are doing wrong even though he jacks 3-point shots like he’s a rookie Kobe in Utah. So last night I was on his team and my Mr. Macchiato ass was having a dandy of a game.

After we won he comes over and tells me…

“I really like your tempo”

Long pause….


I could see jump shot.

I could see hustle.

I could see passing

But “tempo”?

So I looked over and said.


“I like your tempo also”

It takes all kinds.



Thursday, August 11, 2005

A+ Ass Shaker

I'm dragging my ass today. I guess no Green Tea smoothie makes Karl a dull boy.

I'm in a shit mood so I will be cussing like a sailor throughout.


take it home..

have it for lunch...

Here's a list of the stuff I'm listening to these days.

The Killers. Hot Fuss

Ok stop talking shit!. It's a good fucking album and I got into it late so the shit is fresh to me.

Dj Shadow. Endtroducing the Deluxe edition.

It was so nice I have to listen to it twice. Some interesting extras for the mid 90's classic. It's one of the few electronic albums that has a fresh sound years later. If you have never seen the movie Scratch do yourself a favor and check it out. The Dj Shadow part is awesome..that cat not only digs in the crates he's in the fucking basement looking for shit...bad ass

Sasha. Fundacion

It's a mix disc of Sasha's recent Abelton LIVE set. Interesting stuff. He played Avalon like 6 times and I missed him everytime...what can I say I'm to much of a worker bee these days to go out and play...

Single of the day!!! goes to the punk funksters Basement Jaxx...the track... U DON'T KNOW ME (jaxxhouz mix)

It's on the b-side of the single or on the Basement Jaxx site...A + Ass Shaker

time for my lunch time nap..maybe I will wake up ready for more Blog FU..



If you want to talk shit about anything I blog we can get our virtual beat down on at


San Diego "Media" Con. Manga spits Hip Hop

The last two years I have attended the SD Comic Con working for a large toy company. It’s a lot different than being there as a small publisher which I did for four years. For the most part everything is set up. You have a professional con coordinator and all you really need to do is show up and interact with the con folk and give away free shit. This is where the trouble begins

..but more on that later…

This was the first year where I felt the comics were really kicked to the curb. Over the last bunch of years there has been a noticeable drive to turn the con into a more “kid” friendly show and I think for the most part that’s a swell idea..the unfortunate byproduct is the show has turned into something like Mardi Gra meet’s Halloween via Teen Titans. The kids run around with bags in hand looking for anything free they can get their hands on. Can you blame them? When everyone wants to push their products and get the kids buying which ever game, toy or TV/Movie they are tossing out there.

As I said the trouble starts with the interaction over the free shit. I saw people lie, cheat and steal at the show. I saw adults get mad because kids won an action figure over them. I saw parents demand and kids cry and in the end I felt like we had made a few kids happy and shown off a toy line that is near and dear to our heart.

With all the lights and video screens and free shit we had…people came from far and wide to check us out. That’s what happens when you have something on TV..we are a media driven society and it gives you instant cred. Warranted or not.

In sharp contrast I went by artist alley which had the look of a down on it’s luck flea market. Everyone in that area was over 20 and it was not filled to capacity like the rest of the show. It bummed me out. Why are American comics so beat down…? I know why…but that’s going to be discussed in future blogs.

Jump over to Tokyo Pop. It was filled with kids and teens. It was bubbling over with enthusiasm and energy. I know everyone has heard the debate over American comics vs. Manga and all that BS.

They talk about the style and the format of the books.

In the end it’s all about the stories and the entertainment value of the material. The sad part about a lot of American comic creators is they have forgotten to make what they are working on entertaining. Or better yet personal expression. That’s what turns people on. Knowing that the artwork they are seeing is authentic.

It’s like Rock music. It was once this dangerous art form that could change the world. Than it became cliché’ and all about selling the image…Hip Hop came along and was underground..now it’s the most dominant force in pop music. Manga is the comic book equivalent to Hip Hop. It’s speaks in a language that this generation speaks in. It’s in a style that appeals to them, For every U2 and White Stripes that keeps Rock going …there is a lot of Creed and Puddle of Mud…same old stuff…repackaged…sound like the Superhero genre to you?

Back to work.

I’ll stop being master of the obvious and try and think up some solutions.


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Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Gerimi's thoughts on So Many Questions post

Gerimi read my first post and had some thoughts here they are...!!!

I found your opening salvo very entertaining. Superheroes have never gone out of fashion in the mainstream. I mean, wasn't Moses a superhero in THE TEN COMMANDMENTS? Shit, I've never seen Ororo part a sea before. You're telling me that John McClane from DIE HARD isn't a superhero? Hell, he proves it in UNBREAKABLE. Whether they've got superpowers or not, superheroes are all about people who are able to do extraordinary things that no one else can.

One bad pattern Hollywood is following right now is the Remakes. Much like the Superhero books that are just retelling the same stories over and over, it's at the root of why the film industry is starting to see the same stagnation that's been plaguing the comic industry for almost a decade now. It comes down to the fact that no one is doing anything new anymore.

Just had a thought... what about a magazine format? Something like Heavy Metal, but not necessarily adult themed. I don't know how sales are on Heavy Metal these days, but the biggest thing it's got going for it is that it isn't relegated to the comic book rack ghetto. I know Marvel used to do Punisher magazine and some other magazine formats... did that die out because the format wasn't sucessful? were there other factors? I genuinely want to know if this has already been proven a dead end (maketing-wise). Maybe I'm just ignorant, but I'd glady listen to someone who has the facts. It sounds to me like a great chance to grab some fresh eyeballs that wouldn't ordinarliy browse the graphic novel section or the comic rack. 80-90 odd pages (a 48pg feature, a couple of shorts, and a few articles on a bi-monthly schedule for $4.95... And it's OVERSIZED!!!) to me, totally kicks the crap out of $2.99 for 24 pages of art & 8pgs of ads). Is someone publishing in this format right now and I just don't know? And that old UK mag DEADLINE from the makers of TANK GIRL?

... Of course, this is coming from someone who's sworn off the floppies for OGN and Trades, so my opinions need to be taken w/ a grain of salt.

We've got to get the eyeballs of those outside of comics. They need to be something that people will browse and randomly pick up and not be so expensive to not be a casual purchase. The big question we need to ask is "What makes media browsable?" What makes someone pick up a magazine? What makes you stop on one channel over another when you're channel surfing and nothing's on? What make someone walk into one store over another when you're walking through the mall?

Invincible, Warren Olney..where's my fucking Indian dinner.

I listen to KCRW like a crack head. At work, in the car…at home…

I subscribed three years ago…but I dropped off because I went through a financial restructuring (aka I was as broke as a joke)…but things are much improved at the Hacienda de Altstaetter….not to mention the guilt trip they lay on you over the air kicked in and I broke down and I subscribed yesterday.

I had that I’m stealing art feeling I got when I downloaded music back in the day. I stopped because I had this thought of people downloading my comics for free and tons of people reading them and Papa Karl was not getting his bit of scratch.

...But that’s wishful thinking that people would want my comic so much that they would steal it….as much as they would want to steal the new Ashley Simpson lip sync epic…but a boy can wish right?…back to KCRW…

I tried to get a free dinner at this Indian restaurant as one of the giveaways.

I was so denied. It would have cost me an extra $50 for that…no money honey…

The upside was that Warren Olney said my name on the air!!!

For some reason you don’t know about it…check it out


My pal Gerimi and I are always trading interesting stuff…music, comics, DVDs..if it’s media… he and are mooching from each other.

While in San Diego for the Comic Con. (they need to change the name to San Diego Media Con…Right?!?)

G picked up the Invinsible HC by Robert Kirkman and Cory Walker.


He read it and emailed me his thoughts the next morning.

He said it was as good as Watchman and more enjoyable than Dark Knight.

He even had the brass balls to say it was better than the Dark Phoenix Saga and West Coast Avengers combined.


We are so trapped in the 80’s when it comes to superhero comics…but than again…so is the whole fucking industry!!!

He rounded up the usual classic comic suspects and he picked Invincible from the line up.

After reading his email I had to get my hands on it! I was either going to shit all over it to show my elitist feelings for his cavalier comparison to the holly triumvirate. Or I wanted to see how good this book is. Could there be a new take on superheroes that had not been strip-mined in the 80’s and 90’s? I had to know!

I got the book from G,

… went home

got out a tasty beverage (diet Brisk Iced Tea…love it!!!)

I sat down in my studio and started to read.

Two cans of Brisk tea and a couple hours later I finished the book.

It’s no Dark Knight.

It’s no Watchman.

It’s almost as good as the Dark Phoenix saga.

And it’s more entertaining than almost anything out there…and that’s big…

The thing that makes the book so good is how simple and straightforward the story is. The pacing is some of the best I’ve ever seen in a comic.

It’s the anti Bendis.

Interesting shit happens…the story moves on… more interesting shit happens.

Kirkman has so many ideas that rather than stretch out one idea he moves onto something new and interesting. Twists and turns abound (something borrowed something blue)
and although the art is clean and happy the book sometimes get’s pretty dark but not so dark that you want to stop reading and watch Sponge Bob.
Cory Walker’s art helps so much. It’s how Rizzo makes 100 bullets run so smooth. If you don’t believe me…read 100 bullets with Rizzo doing an Azzarello story and than read one of the Superman comics Jim Lee did with him. The difference is in the expressions. The faces tell the story.

Storytelling has been sidelined in this frantic era in comics. Some say it’s the era of the writer…but let’s face it..it’s a visual medium!!! I don’t care how good of a writer you are..if your artist can’t tell a story than you might we well publish the script by itself..because..it won’t work…

but I degress…

Back to work


Comments..hate mail…love letters…fan mail….Viruses?

Email me!

So many Questions..so very little time

My name is Karl…I’m a comic artist and I make money doing everything else but comics. I love them but I am depressed by the business of them. I’m like most of the creative community of comics.

This is day one of my blog.

Let’s make sweet blog love….

or as I like to call it..Bloggy Style…

I woke up feisty…had a Jamba Juice…try the Green Tea one it’s great even though it tastes like makeup..

or paste..

it’s good tasting paste…

I read an article online about how movies are suffering this year. The usual “Jerry Bruckheimer-like…DreamWorks fiasco (AKA The Island) tanked and the HAL channeled Top Gun wannabe Stealh …crashed landed (pun intended) . I feel the NEED…The NEED for story or character..or something clever…(Screamed in the voice of every ones favorite shit eating grin Scientologist.)

…it got me thinking….

Has Hollywood finally jumped the shark with their over the top “popcorn” no plot mash ups? Has the mall dwelling split a corn dog with your homey youngster finally gotten their fill? Why watch a video game when you can go home and play one? No plot no problem…let’s shoot shit!!!…maybe it’s me..but I feel it’s a lot more fun to control the CGI shooting rather than watch it…much like porn..sure it’s ok to watch sex…but it’s a lot more fun to have sex…but again I’m just thinking out loud…

More thinking… about how the comics industry and the movie industry have accidentally fallen into sync. They are both shooting for that male teenage (in mind if not body..) video game playing teen to 20 something audience. They are chasing them with the same spandex bait.


Whether it's Fantastic Four, Batman, Sin City or remakes of Logan’s Run or the House of Infinite All Star Crisis…,it’s all about the Superhero!!! I wonder if and when the Superhero will give up the ghost? Is the idea so enduring that it is the new dominant fairytale, myth… legendary epic we all refer back to? The Superhero is everywhere…in the comic store..in the movies…on your cereal box..and on your PSP…it shipped with Spiderman the movie..for Galactus sake…how can there be so much love for our spandex compadres yet and still the comics don’t sell to a wider audience…

I think it’s what comic creators have secretly known for years..the aesthetics and the ideas of superheroes are made for wider audience but the format of comic and the business of comics is too small to actually take full advantage of the idea as a whole.

Take it to lunch and chew on that.

So many questions… all on day one.

Time to get back to work.

Come back later…I’ll be discussing OEL Manga , Music, …how to save the comic industry and unite the internet and the Direct Sales market and why you should create your own comic…I will explain the difference between trying to be “fun” and being “entertaining”….and various other ideas I have…

I might even tell a story or two about my years in the comic industry…as long as people don’t sue me…hehehe…

Thanks to Steve for setting up my blog..I know it’s going to get me in trouble..so please blame him for anything I say…


/9:36 am California…

Comments..hate mail…love letters…fan mail….Viruses can all be sent to my blog email addy


Friday, August 05, 2005

A Message From The Webmaster

Hello, and welcome to Karl Altstaetter's Blog and Comiculture Creator's Page! We hope you enjoy the show!