Sunday, October 29, 2006

Comic Book Recommendation of the Week

By Richard Dawkins

"If atheism had a pope, it would be Richard Dawkins." - Penn Jillette

Richard Dawkins is an English biologist who has written several books on science and evolution. I've only previously read his book
The Blind Watchmaker, which describes and explains natural selection in a way that a layperson can fully understand. His new book, The God Delusion, is sort of a follow-up and expansion of his BBC documentary on religion entitled The Root of All Evil?*. Keep in mind I can only comment on the first quarter of the book, having read that much so far.

The book goes into the common arguments for belief in god that tend to pop up from theists, and he shoots them down one by one. Points such as "something so complex as life on Earth must have had a designer," "everything can't have started from nothing, so god must have started it," even the transparent Pascal's Wager ("If you believe in god and are right, you go to Heaven. But if you're wrong you lose nothing") are shown to be completely empty arguments. He then shows the arguments for why there almost certainly is no god, and talks about the harm that religion does to the world, and why it's ridiculous that religion should be treated with a kind of respect and honor that makes it taboo to disagree with.

This book was not really meant for me, as an atheist, since its main goal is to show believers why the only really sane choice is nonbelief. But it is fascinating and I would recommend it to everyone, believer or nonbeliever. I started this review with a Penn Jillette quote (who interviewed Dawkins on his radio show recently, which is how I found out about the book), and I'll end it with one from the back cover:

"The God Delusion is smart, compassionate, and true like ice, like fire. If this book doesn't change the world, we're all screwed."

* The Root of All Evil? has not been shown on American television, and probably won't be anytime soon. A DVD release is apparently forthcoming, but if you'd like to watch it now, you can download part one here and part two here.

On a completely unrelated note, make sure not to install iTunes 7.0.1. I had heard from friends that iTunes 7 has been known to delete mp3s from users' computers. Last night my housemate Kyle told me the new version, 7.0.1, had fixed the glitch. I installed it and the first thing it did was to delete every single mp3 from my hard drive and iPod.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

An image from my new webcomic

Inking the first page right now. Here's the first time we see the main character, Kat. I don't want to show any more of the panel because it'll give away some of the story, but you can see the style I'll be working in for this one. A little bit messier than usual, but I'm getting it done faster. I'm also experimenting with stuff I normally would shy away from, like scraping a razor across black ink, black and white ink splatter, and drybrush (which you can see in Kat's shirt and hair).

[EDIT] P.S. I've decided on a day when I'm going to announce the title and full details of the comic: November 13.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Character Design

A sketch of the main character from my new webcomic. Visually she is based on an ex-girlfriend of mine.

You can also see it in the "sketches" section.


Monday, October 23, 2006

Frat House Pumpkin Carvings

Coolest Photo Ever

Shamelessly stolen from Warren Ellis's blog, a shot of a space shuttle launch as seen from the International Space Station.

Click to enlarge, or go to to see more.

Comic Book Recommendation of the Week

By Bill Willingham, et al.

is, without a doubt, the best Vertigo series going on right now. The new graphic novel is a collection of short stories told by Snow White over the course of 1,001 nights that give something of a backstory to the Fables universe. We don't get all 1,001 stories, but the few that we get are terrific, and beautifully illustrated (except for Mark Wheatley, who apparently drew his story entirely in Sharpie). This also contains the first sequential art by James Jean that I've ever seen, and it's just as gorgeous as his covers.

Also contributing are Charles Vess, Michael Kaluda, John Bolton, Mark Buckingham (painted, even!), Derek Kirk Kim (this guy's great. If you haven't seen his stuff, Google him. It's worth it), Tara McPherson (never heard of her before, but I'm going to search for her stuff now. She was my favorite artist in the book), and Jill Thompson, who is great as always.

Also picked up Desolation Jones (nice to have the book back, and this issue's very good. There's even a Philip K. Dick reference!), Other Side #1 (which I also recommend wholeheartedly. If you like the first hour of "Full Metal Jacket," you'll like this one), and the 50c preview of The Absolute Sandman. It's got the whole first issue of Sandman, recolored with modern Photoshop magic. It looks great, although I can't see myself dropping a hundred bucks for the full book, since I already have all these stories.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

New Intelligent Brian strips by me

There are two new Intelligent Brian strips, drawn by me, at Click on "New Strips."

What 'X-Men 3' Should Have Been Like...

Here's an older strip by Studio-Like, done over summer 2006. Click to enlarge.

Pumpkin Coffee

A new "add-a-panel" strip created by the members of Studio-Like, and starring me. Click to enlarge:

Monday, October 16, 2006

New Comic Strip Jam

Since it's been roughly seven centuries since I posted the panel for Steve McBride to add onto with nothing to speak of, I'm starting a new strip. This one's going to Kryin' K. Rian Miller.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Comic Book Recommendation of the Week

By Todd Hignite

This is not really a comic book at all, but it is comic-related. It's a 300-page book of interviews with Ivan Brunetti, Charles Burns, Daniel Clowes, Robert Crumb, Jaime Hernandez, Gary Panter, Seth, Art Spiegelman, and Chris Ware. I'm not familiar with all of the artists in here, but the ones I am familiar with are amazing. There are also tons of sketches and illustrations from the artists, and art that inspired them or that they find interesting. I haven't read all of it yet, but it's worth the cover price ($30) just for the artwork in it.

Runner-up: Sloth by Gilbert Hernandez. Beautifully illustrated, even if it does get really weird about halfway through. Fans of David Lynch movies might enjoy this one.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Comic Announcement

I'm starting a new webcomic, the first installment of which will be released on January 1, 2007. Every Monday I'm putting up a new black-and-white, Manga-sized page here on the site. It's not going to look as slick and clean as my Sundays pages, it's probably going to be quite sketchy and quickly-done. This is a finite series, I've got an ending in mind and it'll probably take me about a year to get there. In fact the entire story takes place over seven continuous hours, so it'll be a fairly short run when I'm totally done with it. Title of the story is forthcoming, it's the sort of title that tells you exactly what the comic is about, so I want to keep it secret until closer to the launch of the webcomic.

Why am I doing this when I've got
The Sundays to work on and two part-time jobs? Partly because I like the story and want to tell it, and I'll be working in a genre that I love and have never done before. But mostly because I want to give myself a small project that I can do in my off-time as sort of a way to loosen up and keep my artistic muscles flexed.

Over the next few weeks I'm going to start putting up sketches and character designs.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Monday, October 09, 2006

Now With Sketches

Sketches page is now up, and there's a new sketch I did for fellow Kubert grad Ron Harrison.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

New Artwork

There's a hilarious webcomic called Intelligent Brian done over at, appropriately enough, It's written by Kevin L. Sheath (who is writing the comic book I'm working on, The Sundays), and Jimi Odell (who wrote a comic called The Bar I'll be tackling after The Sundays). It's usually drawn by Kevin, but every now and again he gets his friends to do some guest strips. This is actually how I met them both, as I was a fan of the webcomic and volunteered to do some guest artwork back in 2002. From there led to more guest strips and eventually to The Sundays. This week, hopefully, two new strips of mine will be going up (the first new strips from me since 2002, I think), and I've got the inks for the first one. No color or dialogue balloons yet, you'll have to wait until Wednesday to see that. There's a chance I won't be able to finish it on time, in which case my strips will get pushed back to next week.

You can see the new strip in the inks section.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Comic Book Recommendation of the Week

By Michael Allred

Not that much came out this week really. All three issues I bought were new series or, in the case of my recommendation this week, a magazine-like collection of artwork, interviews, commentaries, and photos of one of my favorite comic book creators, Mike Allred. Allred is one of the biggest influences in my own comic book work, so it's amazing to be able to sit down and trace his evolution as an artist from his earliest work in the eighties to the point he's at now.

The other two things I picked up were Brian K. Vaughan's Dr. Strange: The Omen #1 and Criminal #1 by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips. I haven't read either one yet.

I just got back into town after four days in New York City. Saw a show at the Laugh Factory, featuring Judah Friedlander and three other guys I'd never heard of, but all were good. I also watched a taping of The Late Show with David Letterman, which had the hilarious Amy Sedaris, and as the musical guest there was Trey Anastasio, who I understand used to host a fishing show or something.

I picked up the third season DVD of Penn & Teller's Bullshit!, which is a wonderful show, and was surprised to see a new Beck CD at the store. The Beck CD, which has been called "The Information," has a four-page booklet of white grid paper. There is no text or pictures, but there is a sheet of stickers, which you can use to create your own cover art, booklet, and back cover for the CD. Later I may post a picture of mine.