Fragile Prophets

I had dinner tonight with Steve Buell, creator of Video and the new Fragile Prophets. He's one of those guys doing outstanding work that falls under the radar of most comic fans.

So I want to do my part in encouraging y'all to check him out.

Find Out More About Him Here.

Tag, issue 1 is DONE!

OK, not completely done. I've got to color it this week. But the lineart is done and I think it's the best art I've ever done. Hopefully everyone has their pre-orders in, if not, please ask your retailer to try and score a few for your shop.

Here's the blurb from BOOM! Studios:

TAG #1 (of 3)
Written by Keith Giffen
Drawn by Kody Chamberlain

Spine-snapping horror in the tradition of the movie The Ring! When an average joe strolls down the street after a fight with his girlfriend, a random stranger TAGS him, handing off an ancient pagan curse! Now he's literally dead – and rotting – as he sees his body begin to decompose every day before his very eyes. Cursed, he must either surrender, or find the next victim to TAG… A new mini-series from white-hot Wizard Magazine favorite Keith Giffen and 30 Days of Night Bloodsucker Tales artist Kody Chamberlain!

Why I love Dan Boultwood...

Dan Boultwood is a goddamned genius. Not only is he my partner in crime on THE GLOOM and the other half of 'Two Drunk Guys in a Bar Productions', but he's one of the finest men I know.

And now, I can announce another project on the backburner with him - to be done alongside BJORN OF THE DEAD and THE GLOOM Trade -


That's right, not content with raping the childhood memories of fans of 1940's pulp novels for THE GLOOM, or asking questions about who would win fights between Vikings, Ninjas and Zombies for BJORN - We're kicking the shit out of Biggles.

Click on the picture to see a larger version of Captain 'Rather Bonkers' Pennyworth, Royal Flying Corp, flyer of 'The Crimson Todger' - scourge of the Hun!


So I mentioned...

...that there was one more panel for the Bristol Expo, right? Well, Lee 'Budgie' Barnett has now announced it on the Hypotheticals website, so I can announce it here.

On Saturday evening, at approximately 5pm I will be a guest on the ever popular Hypotheticals panel.

This is a big panel - But what is it? Well, to quote directly from the website, "It's a role playing panel wherein comics professionals take a set of interlinked and developing hypothetical scenarios regarding the comic book industry and play them out. There's no audience participation, other than, I hope, the audience getting a lot of enjoyment out of it.

It's simple, great to watch and with the right panel, fascinating to see the ideas get bounced around. And since it is a Hypothetical, there's nothing to stop, say, one panelist being asked what he'd do as, say, a writer faced with an outrageous editorial demand, and then ask him immediately afterwards, what he'd do and say if he was the editor faced with that reaction from an intransigent writer?"

Over the years the Hypotheticals panel has had such comics luminaries as Mike Carlin, Mike Collins, Alan Grant, John McCrea, Steve Conley, Bob Schreck, Mike Carey, Joe Quesada, Jim Lee, Chris Weston, Dez Skinn, Antony Johnston, Marcia Allass, Scott Dunbier, Andy Diggle, Chris Weston, Joe Casey, Mike Oeming and Jim Valentino on it, and this year the guests are -

  • Geoff Johns (JSA, Teen Titans, Infinite Crisis, Green Lantern)
  • Liam Sharp (Mam Tor, Testament, 2000ad, The Possessed)
  • Shelly Bond (Senior editor at VERTIGO)
  • Tony Lee (Midnight Kiss, Shadowmancer, Starship Troopers, Doctor Who)
  • Jamie Boardman (Editor, Titan Books)
  • Retailer (to be announced)
  • Lee "Budgie" Barnett (X-Men, the puppetmaster)
  • with Dave Gibbons (Watchmen, Batman, Superman, tons of stuff) as the moderator

So as you can see, I'm going to be following a hard act, with a superb panel. I can honestly say with my hand on my heart that of all the panels at Bristol, this is the one that scares me the most. Seriously utterly scares me.

I'll do my best not to be drunk by then - but considering the fact this follows directly from my panel with Howard Chaykin - very unlikely.

Working A Con On Death

I am a writer.

What is this dream?

Why has my culture tried so hard to warp it?

I want to write. I have always wanted to write. Comic books have become my chosen medium, for better or worse.

The 9 to 5 march has always torn me to shreds. Even jobs that were only mildly offensive chewed me up and spit me out. I cannot succumb to the 8 hour shift, the pounding clock that steals a glance every other breath, the lurking manager with trustless eyes, the bitter customer satisfied only by the sound of your defeat.

I am a writer.

My culture has tricked me into wanting words to bring me some kind of wealth and/or fame. Trying to separate my desire to write and my desire to make money has become increasingly difficult as the years go by.

Writing a good poem has nothing to do with money. Producing an amazing comic book has nothing to do with money. Except, I cannot attempt either without money getting it’s grubby little hands all over my brain.

Why am I writing? If an idea doesn’t have a financial objective, is it valid to pursue?

These are questions I’d prefer having simple answers for. Trust me, I could give you an impassioned tirade about how important words are to me, how I will write until the day I die whether it makes me money or not. And it would all be TRUE.

It doesn’t change that fact that the desire for financial success is constantly slamming me against brick walls. Quite frankly, I’m sick of cleaning up all the blood.

Which is when I turn to the king of tough for inspiration. Charles Bukowski reminds me that writing IS the goal. Hours spent at the keyboard stringing words together IS the point. Not money, not recognition, not some lousy pat on the back from my fucked up, bankrupt culture.

The work is the reason, and goddamnit, I’m stealing my 5 minutes…and a whole lot more.

death is smoking my cigars
by Charles Bukowski

you know: I’m drunk once again
listening to Tchaikovsky
on the radio.
Jesus, I heard him 47 years
when I was a starving writer
and here he is
and now I am a minor success as
a writer
and death is walking
up and down
this room
smoking my cigars
taking hits of my
as Tchaik is working away
at the Pathetique,
it’s been some journey
and any luck I’ve had was
because I rolled the dice
I starved for my art, I starved to
gain 5 god-damned minutes, 5 hours,
5 days—
I just wanted to get the word
fame, money, didn’t matter:
I wanted the word down
and they wanted me at a punch press,
a factory assembly line
they wanted me to be a stock boy in a department store.

well, death says, as he walks by,
I’m going to get you anyhow
no matter what you’ve been:
writer, cab-driver, pimp, butcher,
sky-diver, I’m going to get

o.k. baby, I tell him.

we drink together now
as one a.m. slides to 2
a.m. and
only he knows the
moment, but I worked a con
on him: I got my
5 god-damned minutes
and much

dished by ty gorton


Want free comics? HAVE free comics!

So anyway, a while back I wrote this amusing little comic with Dan Boultwood, a five or six parter called The Gloom.

'Buy this comic - sell a kidney if you have to.' Exclaimed reviewers. 'A Mel Brooks movie of a comic!' They screamed from the rooftops.

But alas, the dream was not to be. Issues #1 and #2 came out to great response and critical acclaim, but then APC (the publishers) folded. And The Gloom was unfinished.

Yes yes, Markosia Publishing offered to continue, and even went so far to finish a proof copy of issue #3 - but it was never printed - printer issues and troubles and suchlike, I believe.

In November, Dan and I decided that we'd hold off. Work out what to do next.

Give up? HELL no.

Well kids, The Gloom is being collected into a trade. We've honed it down into the equivalent of a 5-issue miniseries, we're finishing off #5 as we speak, and with fingers crossed, it'll be out in the shops by October. Expect an announcement pretty soon over who'll be publishing it.

That's right, children, The Gloom lives again.

But what's this? You've never seen it? The stores were sold out? We can't have that, can we!

I tell you want - why don't you go to www.tonylee.co.uk/thegloom? Why, there you can see online proof versions of both issues #1 and #2! And, what's more, I've even put up the never printed issue #3!

Go read. If it doesn't show, wait a bit for the servers to recover and try again. (Sometimes they go down for half an hour around midnight GMT. No, I don't know either.)

My gift. To you.

No, not you. You.

"Time... Lord..."

The underrated Alan J Porter interviews me on Doctor Who and the writing of my three parter at Revolutions SF.

I also give credit where credit is due, talk about my love for Tom Baker's Doctor stories, why I think David Tennant isn't a pretender to the throne and explain (to my knowledge - there's probably a Mark Gatiss book that disproves this or something) that it is the only Doctor Who story you'll ever see where cowboys on dinosaurs chase ninjas on unicorns.

I also give The Doctor credit for the bevvy of hot babes he's managed to 'travel' with over the years - even when a wrikly old man.

Yes, yes - there's been blokes too - but all male companions are negated due to Adric. Nuff said.

Go clicky on the clicky thing and all that.

Capullo art book

I'm a big fan of Greg Capullo. I've studied his work for years and I've learned a whole lot about page flow and composition from his work. His Spawn run isn't anywhere near the notoriety of Watchmen, far from it, but if Alan Moore were writing the book full time I'm sure Capullo would have gained far more respect than he has now. But I'm really looking forward to this book, and hopefully we'll see more Capullo on the shelf soon. There are rumors about him working on a new Spawn Batman crossover.

art & cover by Greg Capullo
July 12 o 120 pg o $29.95
"The comic artist's artist!" Ask anyone who knows the medium and that is what they'll tell you about GREG CAPULLO. This collection features many never seen before pieces and a behind the scenes tutorial. Containing CAPULLO's very best comics and illustration work, this stunning collection of drawings and paintings finally removes the text and logos from all those covers, and lets you take a good long look at the art itself. A must not just for SPAWN fans, but for anyone with an eye for comics art.


Filed under: Shout Outs, Art Work, News


The colors of Bone!

STEVE'S BLOG: Coloring with Photoshop! Steve Hamaker posted a step by step to his coloring process for Bone. I love the limited color palette and the crisp look of the characters. It's always interesting to see how other artists approach the craft.

Category: Tutorials


The Move

The last week has been crazy. Between updating our address with everyone to coordinating things with the packers and movers, there's been a lot going on. The great thing about moving, though, is that you dig up old things. I found my Avengers Masterwork (which collects the first few issues), and it is hilarious. At one point, the Hulk runs off and joins the circus. Classic.

I have managed to squeeze in a little work. Had a quick meeting at Image today to discuss my book with them, and it looks like the first issue is going to hit on October 25th. They're great people over there, and I'm thrilled to be working with them. Slowly developing a couple of other things, too. Once we get settled in Redmond, I'll get a little more serious about them.

And Operation Mindcrime II is great. I can't wait to see Queensryche at the Moore Theater in Seattle this October. Rock!

Tony Lee Makes Me Feel Like a Slacker

So, if Tony can come here and flaunt all of his 'people want me to write for them' work, I figure I can flaunt my 'nobody pays me shit' work.

Right now, I'm working on: Getting Elk's Run 7&8 polished up and ready to be taken where they're going (which I can't talk about, because nothing is written in stone), Punks 2, the first Punks animated short, doing some creative retooling on World's End, finishing up a spec screenplay, cranking through my novel (the first half of which you can read unedited here), and, I've just started on my next book with Noel "Elk's Run" Tuazon. It's going to be a real humdinger of a time, if it all goes as planned.

I think that's it.

For now.

What about the rest of you guys? Show off. Make Tony and I look like fools. Well, Tony anyways.


How much work?

Someone asked me this weekend what projects I was currently working on, as they couldn't believe I would be able to change from project to project, and would have 2, maybe 3 projects I was playing with at any one time. And so I told them. I told them about EVERY project that I was involved in, in some way, in April.

After about the fifth one they started to twitch. So I thought for posterity's sake, I'd put them all up so you can see what this year (2006) is currently looking like for me, with a high concept for each of my creator owned ones.

And also squash the rumour that us writers just sit on our asses.

NOTE - for this, I'm not going to mention any pitches I have with the big two and/or affiliates - this is either guaranteed and already contracted Work For Hire, or creator owned gubbins.

You can see the list at www.tonylee.co.uk.....


New E-Man, BloodRayne...coming right up!

This is ad is running in the new Comics and Gaming Retaliers Magazine.

Any old-school E-MAN fans out there? I've been blown away by how many people loved this book back in the day. The new full color E-Man comic should be solicited in Diamond Previews soon, so order up!

My new BloodRayne series should also be solicited in Previews by June or so. Ed @ Digital Webbing is trying to swing a full page ad, I believe.

Fingers crossed! C'mon, gimme some good order numbers!

Please allow myself to introduce...myself.


I'm Chris Kirby, writer of the WWII horror book LOST SQUAD from Devil's Due with art by the excellent Alan Robinson. Issue #4 should be hitting the stands in the next few weeks.

I've written for Digital Webbing Presents and self-published my own little horror anthology, FREAKSHOW and the follow-up, BRIDE OF FREAKSHOW .

I've got a few comics projects in the works that I hope to have finalized by San Diego.

I'm a big fan of the crime and horror genres. Click on over to Komikswerks to check out a horror short I wrote, with art by Gil Agudin, that originally appeared in Digital Webbing. It's called THE INTERROGATION. Gil and I are talking about coming up with two more chapters to appear online.

Thanks to Kody and Josh and the rest of the crew for letting me contribute. More thoughts on comics and pop culture and less about me next time. I promise.

If you want more ramblings by me, check out the Lost Squad production blog.


Howard Stern

I've been working on a few magazine style illustrations and I plan to send out portfolios in the next few weeks. I'll be hitting Rolling Stone, Spin, TV Guide, Wall Street Journal, Entertainment Weekly, etc. Hopefully I can score a little editorial illustraion work from time to time and get a little more exposure. I'll post the rest as they're done. Hope you dig it.

Oh, Morrison...is there no end to thy genius?

I tell you what...I never thought the day would come where I'd anticipate a SUPERMAN comic. Superman has always been...well, a little too super for me. I just never could get into the character...everything about his books and mythos just rubs me the wrong way. You get the point--I hate Superman.

Enter Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely. Good Lord, man...The two of them have made All Star Superman a ridiculously entertaining book. In issue 3, Samson and another dickwad roll up in their chronomobile to try and woo Lois over to their side. A fucking chronomobile, okay? This is the EXACT type of gay shit that's always kept me away from Superman comics! But with Morrison at the helm, I'll be damned if this wasn't the most intertaining comic I've read since...All Star Superman #2.

All hail Grant Morrison. I had also never enjoyed an X-MEN book until he redefined the mutants in his NEW X-MEN run. The man can make anything work, be it the industry's top icons or B-listers like the characters seen in SEVEN SOLDIERS.


Frank Miller's 300, video production journal from the set.

I'm a big Frank Miller fan, and 300 is one of my favorites. Powerful storytelling all around and some of the best comic book coloring ever.

The film is in production, and I spotted a video production journal clip today. I'm not really a big fan of seeing comic books turned into movies, but when I hear that it's happening, I always root for it and hope it turns out well. If it does, that could translate into a few more comic book fans, and perhaps a few more sales for projects I'm involved in. Either way, it's an interesting look behind the scenes.

> Here's the clip

Moon Knight

So the new Moon Knight came out today, and I have to say that I really dug it. It's obviously little more than a set-up for the rest of the series, but it got me interested and that's the job of a first issue.

Reading it reminded me that I had been asked to pitch a couple of things to Marvel back in 2003 or so. One of the things I sent was a pitch for Moon Knight. The first one picked up directly from the end of the previous series. They told me they wanted something new and asked me to go back to the drawing board and create the character from "scratch". So I did another pitch. This one basically offered a revamped origin.

As with most of these kinds of things, nothing much came of it other than, "we dig it and we'll get back to you". But I thought it might be cool to have someone else read the pitches. In the meantime, enjoy the new Moon Knight series (I certainly will). Now if they'd just bring back Werewolf by Night...

You Never Lose an Artist...

So of course, while I've been desperately keeping to my deadline dance, I've started to think about projects again.

Like, I haven't already got enough, or anything.

First off, we have Mythlands - the comic that I started writing years and years ago. Jim Sutherns was originally planned to work on it (see the picture) but he had some personal issues to deal with, I moved onto The Gloom. Well yesterday I heard back from jim, he's finally able to get back into comics, he's raring to go and Mythlands is now going to be a graphic novel, possibly even done by end of 2006.

Secondly we have WiCKeRMaN - my Spartacus meets I, Robot in an Amish style setting - I'd backed away from this because again, I knew I'd need to do it as a graphic novel - I just didn't have a right artist to work with on it. And then out of the blue my old compadre Jim Brady appears, having just finished about two years worth of commissions - Jim was one of the first people on board with Starship Troopers, and although he had to drop off to concentrate on a prior gig, we've kept in touch - and he;s perfect for the gig. So that's two prjects that were pretty much in statsis and suddenly brought back to life ikn the space of a day.

And of course I've been overdosing on The Shield for research (among other avenues) for my crime thriller DollarTown - Think West Side Story where the Sharks and the Jets are both police precincts - theres no love story, just adulturous sex and nobody sings a single bloody song.

No artist for that, yet - but as they seem to just keep appearing when I need them, I'm sure someone will turn up at some point...

July Signing News...

Well, I've just had the email confirming it - On Thursday 27th July between 5-7pm I'll be signing copies of STARSHIP TROOPERS, MIDNIGHT KISS and pretty much anything else I've got out at Midtown Comics in New York City. And what's even better, I'll be part of a 'Three Amigos' signing with my good friends Mike Oeming (POWERS, ARES, RED SONJA) and Neil Kleid (BROWNSVILLE, INTIMIDATORS, URSA MINORS)!

Considering the fact that this was originally going to be Neil and Mike showing me around Midtown (and most likley the surrounding bars), I'm pretty stoked. I've loved Midtown since the last time I was in NYC and it's been a 'tick off task' on my list of things to do for a while. Of course, it's going to be hectic - I finish the signing at 7pm, and I'm on a plane back home by 11.30pm...

More news as I get it.


Moleskine-iPod Hack

Moleskine's are amazingly cool, I've got a whole pile of these things around and I fill up a few every year. I'm also a big fan of my iPods (I've got 2). So I figured out a way to combine the two and make it all portable. I'll grab it on my way out the door and I've got everything I need to get some sketching done while I listen to some tunes.

Here's the full walkthrough.

Operation Mindcrime II

I'm a huge fan of the band Queensryche, and their album Operation Mindcrime has had a significant influence on my writing for a long time. Not so much because of its themes, but because it was a different way of looking at and approaching a genre of music (heavy metal) that was very well defined. I always try to remind myself of that when I'm writing--don't go the eaasy route, try something different.

I pre-ordered Operation Mindcrime II from their website (mainly because it came autographed), and I've just started listening to it. So far I dig it, especially the bits with Dio. (I'm such a metal nerd.) Hopefully, it'll have the legs of the original.

I finally got the production schedule for my Image book all ironed out with the book's artists. If things go according to plan, we'll have three issues in the can before the first one hits. That'll definitely give us some breathing room. I'll post a couple of preview pages later this week.


You tell 'em, Mr. Moore...

I might be a little late on this, but here's some good reading in case you missed it like me! An interview with Alan Moore on, of all places, MTV.

This is my favorite part:

"One of the things I don't like about film is its incredible immersive quality. It's kind of bullying — it's very big, it's very flashy, it's got a lot of weight and it throws it around almost to the detriment of the rest of our culture. And I have gotten tired of lazy critics who, when they want to insult a film, they'll say it has "comic book characters" or a "comic book plot" — using "comic book" as code for "illiterate."I'm not going to claim all comic books are literate — there's a lot of rubbish out there. But there have been some very literate comic books done over the last 20 years, some marvelous ones. And to actually read a comic, you do have to be able to read, which is not something you can say about watching a film. So as for which medium is literate, give me comics any day."


P.S. Tony, you need to run over to Alan's house and shave that bastard.


Comics, Covered...Literally

My friend and fellow writer, Kevin Melrose, has a fetish for finely illustrated comic book covers. Yeah, yeah...I know all of us in the comic biz have great appreciation for awesome covers, but Kevin has taken it a step further by dedicating a blog to the disection of them.

Go check it out. Kevin breaks down exactly what it is that makes us drool over a James Jean cover.


Something new from Beau Smith

Today Beau Smith dropped some preview pages for his new book COBB: Off The Leash. As a fan of comics, COBB is the kind of book I'm always on the lookout for.

Superheroes dominate the industry, and I think building other genres up into the comic book mainstream is the single most important thing we can do to help the industry prosper. Great books outside of superheroes tend to go overlooked by fans, and that tends to prevent creators from taking a chance and actually creating new properties and doing something to help us expand and find new fans. Genres like crime, horror, action, thriller, comedy, romance, westerns, etc, really struggle in comics, and if we can get behind these creators that go out on a limb and take chances, it really helps inspire new ideas.

Beau says this about the book, "Speaking of the Secret Service… I just got the lettered, uncorrected pages of COBB: OFF THE LEASH #1 in. In continuing to get the word out on this series I will send an advance Xerox copy of the first issue to any media reviewer that is willing to read it, post it, print or broadcast a review on COBB:OFF THE LEASH #1.

This ain’t a Marvel or DC super hero book, this isn’t a Star Wars comic from Dark Horse, and it ain’t a zombie/monster comic done by a million other publishers. This is an action/thriller. Like I said before, this is “Sam Peckinpah directing 24."

It’s different. That’s why I need the help in getting the word out there. If the word doesn’t get out there then the book could die a slow, unseen death that it does not deserve.

So if you are a media reviewer and want to cover something different from the usual stuff, then email me here at the ranch with your shipping information and who you review for.”

Beau posted more info on the book here.

Brandon Scott's Blog

Just browsing Blogs today and happened upon Brandon Scott's blog. Very unique and fresh. Comics could really benefit from reaching outside the norm and expanding into more experimental art and design.

I think it's very important to study the comic book greats like Kirby, Byrne, Lee, Buscema, etc, but we also need to pay attention to what's happening in the worlds of fine art, street art, graphic design and illustration.


Hey! Tony Lee's on Sci-Fi Wire!

Sci Fi Wire -- The News Service of the Sci Fi Channel

Mr. Big Shot, eh?

Sneak peeks and all of that...

While I'm busily trying to live up to my rep as one of the most 'prolific writers in the business' at the moment, I thought I'd show you a little something I'm quite proud of - the teaser to the upcoming series OF VENGEANCE that's (fingers crossed) coming out this fall.

Click on the image on the side for a better view and all that... Art is by the incredible Rantz Hoseley, and the cover art (which is used here) is by the genius Mike May.

I feel like a hack just being in the room with these guys...