Thursday, 4 August 2011

In Print

I'm getting some preview mock-ups of the story so far... if you come to SPX you can check them out. Also, I will have the first chapter available to download on the site when the second chapter begins. I can't wait to see this in the real world!!!

Monday, 1 August 2011

Little One, Little Something

Have you checked out Symptom of the Universe lately?

I'm pretty much shuttering Toppled Idols for the time being, perhaps to throw a couple things in here, but every week there is a new page, new music and new insights into the wonderful world of comics...

It's time to play the game!

Thursday, 28 July 2011

Please Help

There is a massive famine in Somalia right now, an entire generation could die off. Please if you have any money to spare at this moment, this is crucial.

Wednesday, 13 July 2011


Playing with a scratchboard. Working on the animations and designs for Negro Antichrist... coming to Dixon Place:

Hope you can make it.

Thursday, 30 June 2011

Bleak Bleeps

I really enjoy the way my lettering looks after I photograph it yet before I put it onto the page... like some weird metal zine/comics hybrid. So thought I'd share...

Incidentally, my favorite page is up...

Monday, 6 June 2011

What Have You Linked For Me Lately?

Have you checked out my achingly epic webcomic? It's about high time... you did!


Shine on, black diamonds

Saturday, 4 June 2011

The Ugly Side of Indie Comics

I recently read this article on Gothamist about an anti-circumcision group called Inactivists that created a comic. Yes, it is as creepy, weird and awkwardly drawn as you can imagine (don't take my word for it, see it here:

But the really disturbing thing is not the awkward dialog in computer comics font, the bizarrely inserted cheesecake t&a in 2/3rds of the panels or icky genital fixation of the whole thing; it is the unabashed anti-semitism running through the comic's veins. The description of the villian, Monster Mohel (here quoted): "Nothing excites Monster Mohel more than cutting into the penile flesh of an eight-day-old boy. And after the glorified brit milah is complete, the delicious metzitzah b'peh provides the icing on the cake." He charges in, replete with gun-toting hasidic "goons", with a monstrous grin and clawed fist.

As the blond superman battles him over the fate of a small child, a really cold chill runs through my body. In fact the same cold chill I received while researching Cerebus earlier this year for a paper. The power that comics has is revealed in its caricature which has sometimes (thankfully fading, yet still present) been used in the service of racism (or misogyny, homophobia, etc.). As of my writing of this, there is a large exhibit at NYU called Marvels and Monsters examining Asian stereotypes in comics and Jeet Heer has an ongoing series in The Comics Journal on race as a stylistic choice in comics; just to offer two places to explore this further.

Comics have a power in their exaggeration, which taps into our fantasy and feeds on our fears. As mainstream comics have stayed, well, mainstream, their editors, investors and honestly fans have kept the dial turned way down (sometimes off) on this trend. Indie comics remain a playground where anything can be said, anything done. It is both the blessing and the curse that self-publishers have; freedom. But indy comics do not have the burden of responsibility.

Yes, nobody gives a shit about "Foreskin Man". The comic is a vanity project, I can't imagine anyone who isn't involved in the "inactivist" movement picking it up (unless, maybe they have a wildly different idea of what it's about based on the title). Yet David Heatley and Johnny Ryan have successful careers out of comics hipster racism. This comic exists in an entirely different fringe world... yet it is still an indie comic, still functioning in the exact same way, just sans irony.

I hope that the indie comics community takes notice. It is not time to point fingers, but to open the discussion. No one of us is perfect, and if we are to continue to use the freedom that comes with indie comics, we also need to use the responsibility of comics creators and comics fans to keep the communication open... not resort to name-calling or petty shots, but to help comics creators big and small build a better community and make better comics. We are better than this.

I hope you will add your voice here.

Friday, 15 April 2011

A banner for SotU...

wishin' I was at Stumptown Comics Fest right now.

Thursday, 14 April 2011

Symptom of the Comics Publishing Industry

I wrote this in response to someone on The Beat and thought I'd share it here. Comics are in a hole now, and it is not the artist's nor the consumer's fault. Allow me to share:

...for an artist to be successful they absolutely must draw from a wealth of the world’s knowledge and it is vital to look past the (very young) world of comics.

The problem with doing so is not the artist’s burden but the publisher’s. They do not know how to market anything outside of the nerd multiverse. This is why, say, Sarah Glidden’s How to Understand Israel in 60 Days or Less is criminally unrecognized (not even nominated for an Eisner?!, even with the tons of press it has been getting. It should be getting press outside of the world of comics.

My next big project is a comic done in charcoal and meant to be read as a play, inspired by the work of Jean Genet. I have no illusion that anyone will want to read it in the comics sphere. There is no publisher in comics that I can think of that would touch it (part of why I self-publish) but I can think of some literary publishers that I am going to pitch it to.

We can do better, but are discouraged from doing so. No publishers are willing to risk promoting great books (which is why traditional literature publishers like Pantheon put out books like Persepolis. Would Oni Press? Or Dark Horse? D&Q? It became a deserved success because it was not marketed to the comics world and didn’t pander to the comics world. It is simply a great comic, doing something that no other artform can do. If it only sat in LCBS (local comic book stores) across the country it would be unknown and forgotten right now.

Now that digital distribution is easy and inexpensive, publishers have the opportunity to reach audiences all over the world and actually take risks on books that aren’t about zombies or movie tie-ins or fill-in-the-blank trends.

But I doubt there is anyone willing to risk it when there is a quick buck to be made off comics. Even Fantagraphics has taken to simply reprinting popular, lost greats (or translations) as their bread and butter. This probably allows them to do things like MOME without going broke.

Thursday, 7 April 2011


I wouldn't watch this Sucker Punch movie anyway... but why aren't black girls allowed to kick ass any more? Where is our Gloria Hendry?

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Thursday, 10 March 2011


My Spank-Branding New Webcomic is less than a month away from its April 4th birthday. I am excited about this project and have been working hard on it for over a year at this point. The fruit of this labor will be sweet, my friends!

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Darkness Descended

Thanks to everyone who came out to see Darkness Descend! I am really excited about the show and the support of everyone involved and everyone that came out. I can't tell you how thankful I am to have been a part of this and can't wait to see the future of this piece.

This was my first foray into animation, which was simultaneously heartbreaking, exhilarating, frustrating, awe-inspiring and just plain new. Here's a couple stills.

Again, thanks for coming out and seeing it!!!

Friday, 21 January 2011

Hi, Atus!

This blog is on temporary hiatus due to the fact that I'm finishing my paper, working on animation for Darkness Descend and trying to launch my webcomic in a couple months... among other things.

Sorry for the inconvenience! I will update as soon as I can take a breath.

Until then, why not ponder who would win in a fight; Kid Creole or Morris Day?

Saturday, 8 January 2011

Gabrielle Giffords

Hello, I usually try to keep things light around the Idol, but I really need your help right now.

As you may have heard, Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was meeting the public this morning at a local Tucson Safeway when a crazed gunman shot her in the head and continued to fire into the crowd. 12 people were seriously injured. 6 people are reported dead, including a 9 year old girl.

While this might seem like the act of someone crazy and without any semblance of reason, the fact that Gabrielle Giffords was specifically targeted points to the fact that she has been in the crosshairs of many people who have fanned the fires of hatred and now have blood on their hands. Sarah Palin recently published her name with a crosshair on her "neck of the woods" along with other politicians who voted for the recent health care bill.

From my friend Sean Murphy:

Local businessmen Steve Christy (520-327-5561) and Rich Moret (520-495-5621) were instrumental in funding the hyperbolic and unwarranted demonization of Gabrielle Giffords.

They took out-of-state money from the Koch brothers to mount a campaign against her. They were in large part (but not solely) responsible for the unnecessarily heated rhetoric that, if not directly responsible for this tragedy, certainly fostered an environment where such horrible actions originate. If nothing else, they do not deserve a dime of anyone with any decencies money.

I urge you to call and let these two monsters know that the blood is on their hands, that they have killed to line their pockets.

If you know the history of the Koch brothers, you know that they have been instrumental in pushing political agendas, creating the "tea party" and now inadvertantly, attempted assassination.

I hope you will call and let these monsters know what they have done. Whether or not the man responsible has a political bent one way or another, there have been repeated threats made to her, and continual insinuation that citizens should try "second amendment remedies" if they don't get their way. This is simply irresponsible, and now it has claimed more lives and caused more death and unjustifiable pain and suffering.

Gabrielle Giffords is, from what I've heard from friends, incredibly kind, caring and strong. I am wishing her a full and speedy recovery from this incident. My heart goes out to the families who now have to deal with their loss.

Thanks for checking it out!

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