I am there


I just woke up with my pal Claire outside the 2 story window yelling “TEEAA TIMEE!” and then dancing off when I stuck my face out the window.

This is my life.

So I’m awake now.

Last week I did the poster for the Stumptown con:

It’s got Claire’s dog in there (who was also in King city) and Marian’s Beast characters and my pal Farel’s Pop gun war character. The kid with the raincoat and word balloon is from a Stumptown poster Craig Thomson did some years back.

 I drew it a big 18×24 and half way through inking it I decided I hated it and had to start over. Here’s the thumbnail and a photo of the restarted thing.

And here’s a T shirt I did for the show. I did a couple of color variations.

I always think of the Joji Manabe comic Happy little work shop when I finish a big drawing.

tra la la

(the manabe comic is up here–https://royalboiler.wordpress.com/2009/01/07/burn-slow/

More on Stumptown here:


I’m going to Stumptown and TCAF and Emerald city this year.


Multiple warheads is puttering along, I get to these scenes I think of as roadblocks or dams blocking up the comic flow. ‘ just gotta push through. Marian is good for grounding me and reminding me that the work being good is all that matters.

Here’s a not quite done page from issue 3.

I’ve got this human, mole, Sasquatch gay group relationship in the comic. I’m trying to show it all cozy. I like it in Heinlein books where he shows different types of relationships for different future or alien environments.

 I wanted to show the photo thing I did in the 4th panel. (Tolstoy/chicken fucker fan fiction) As much as it’s got a bad rap I’m into the idea of photos mixed with comics working in a good way.

I’m thinking something along the lines of how they mix live with the animation in FLCL. Real subtle like–

I really like how Dave Sim used photo covers on Cerebus.

 Showing a real version of a prop in the comic, then when you see it drawn in the book it connects it nicely. It ads some nice truth.

Mr Inkstuds passed a foot tall stack of Cerebus issues to me, such a good argument for how fun issues can be. It’s great to see all the back ups, letters and notes from the presedent.

Here’s a back cover I liked.

Just fucking around and having fun, It’s like getting a comics after party.

I like these photos they put in of them working on pages in a hotel room.

And these ads.– I like the idea of just taking that Guess ad and drawing Cerebus on her arm like–“this is mine now” On some take back the night.

The other thing I really like about old Cerebus issues is when he’d push new comics and artists he was into. I’m always looking for cues on how real adults comic artists should act– That’s it. You make good work and push the culture by showing new stuff.

Warren Ellis is like the Dave sim of this internet age in that sense. It’s nice, That dude has earned my respect over and over. We just need like 10 of him now.


Here’s a sketchbook drawing I did of Miki from Starking’s Elephantmen. I think he’s running this in the back one of the collections.

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25 Responses to I am there

  1. M. Dominic says:

    1. I totally want a friggin locket like that. The chicken being my favourite part.

    2. That group relationship does seem all cozy. Dancing and poetic words. I like it loads.

  2. kim says:

    the round bed and the round window made me think that when they need floor space japanese style maybe they put the bed flush into the window and tada you now have work space. but that took too much thinking, i’d rather go the lazy route and hope the bed is always laid out for its choir of slumber zzz’s.

    when i met dave sim in the exhibit hall/dealer’s room at dragoncon he didn’t have a normal booth or table away from the fans. he had a couch and a coffee table 🙂 i was in such awe i didn’t even check the seams for spare change – fortune always smiles on me the days i find more than a quarter!

  3. mmmmmike says:

    ha. you uploaded EVERYTHING. duuuude, monstrous.

    That page is proper s-f fantasy there man. There was this chick i was living with in bushwick who read your TP trade i lent her and loved it (re: LOOOOVED it), but then was also like, “yeah, but he doesn’t understand girls.” I just wanna be like, “yeah, maybe, you’d have to ask his wife about that, but he sure understands TRI-SPECIES POLYGAMY.”

    love that bit in the FLCL ending there too, where the moped gets ditched by the anime girl and is all “phu…” photos. point.

    • Brandon says:

      Yeah, hopefully I’m getting a better handel on writing women– years ago when I did the girl on girl porn comix my brother would show it to his lesbian housemates and I’d be like “dude, that’s like showing ww2 era bugs bunny cartoons to Japanese dudes. ” So maybe gay polygamisters would think I was way off the mark.

  4. Mark says:

    I love me some alien relationships. Makes me wonder what kinda kids they’d have.

  5. kevinczap says:

    Man, photos in comics! I agree, I like seeing the mix up (the credits for FLCL has always been a favorite, showing the real vespa scooting around). It’s something I’m trying right now actually, and that I want to try more of.

    It looks great on that MW page, and just in general that MW page looks great. Beautiful transition to the two organ hounds.

    Issues of Cerebus are so chock full of stuff, I love it. Gerhard took some really great photos for those covers – I like the ones that are just like an open field or something with the cartooned lettering hovering above in the sky.

    The artist spotlight thing in the back was such a great feature – especially from a historical perspective, looking back and seeing folks who are more established now back when they were cutting teeth. Inspiring.

    Hope the new blog finds you well!

  6. seanvdm says:

    huh, with you jumping ship I decided it was probably time to switch over as well. This is much nicer, and importing LJ posts was easy enough!

    Love those Multiple Warheads pages! any idea on when it’s gonna start getting published? and any word yet on a King City trade?

    • Brandon says:

      Yeah this is king of nice after LJ.

      Thanks, I have to do another issue and a half before it’s ready.
      I’m waiting on TP for the KC trade, I don’t think it’d be until the end of the year.

  7. Dorian says:

    Asterios Polyp has nice, subtle use of photos. There’s a photo of an old Francis of Assisi painting on the wall of Asterios’s mother’s house. Mazzucchelli reduced the color of the photo to just cyan and magenta to match the colors in the rest of the art, so it blends in nicely while still drawing enough attention as a story element.

    Man, I had no idea Dave Sim was so cool! All I really know about him is the whole beef he had with Jeff Smith and how he hates women or something. I think I should actually give Cerebus a shot. It’s pretty intimidating to read from the beginning though. Any recommendations on where to start?

    • Brandon says:

      Man, that was subtle. I didn’t even notice in AP.

      Cerebus is great comics– maybe start with High society and then read the earlier stuff. I still haven’t read anything by him that’s led me to think he hates women. It’s so funny to get that rep in this industry. Glass house mutherfuckers.

      • Egypt Urnash says:

        > I still haven’t read anything by him that’s led me to think he hates women.

        I was like that too. I’d picked up Cerebus intermittently for a long time; there would be phases where I wouldn’t go into a comic shop for like a year. And there’d always be a new Cerebus waiting there when I came back.

        It wasn’t until I started buying the bound collections so I could actually read the whole damn story that I ran into the really poisonous bits coming out of the mouths of very thin masks for the author. Have you read ‘Reads’? And I mean actually read ‘Reads’, instead of vaguely skimming over the text pages? That’s where I found saying ‘wow, this man is kind of a raving loon and I see where his reputation comes from’.

        The man drew a hell of a lot of pages and thought hard about what he was doing; I learnt a lot from some of his endnotes in the individual issues where he was talking about his process.

        But he also has some huge, huge, huge issues with women.

        • Brandon says:

          It definatly puts some weight on Reads when I get to it again.
          I’ve only read it once when I was a teenager and back then I remember being offended when someone acused Manara (as much as I still love manara) of being weird about women. — So I might see it different now.

          And like with Manara I hope that If I end up disagreeing with Sim that I don’t get soured to his work over it. I lost the taste for Hiroaki Samura’s (the Blade of the immortal dude) work after I read his creepy Bradherley’s Coach.

          • Reverend '76 says:

            I started w/ ‘Church & State II’, with -zero- idea what was going on. As I recall, I sold my polybagged ‘Death of Superman’ before the market dropped out & got a paltry $30. No idea what prompted me to grab ‘C&SII’ beyond the size… Maybe it was just real close to the register. Whatever the case, Cerebus ruined me for superhero comix. It was a weird, dream-driven beast– & incomprehensible to 15-year-old me. I must’ve re-read it a dozen times before I searched out other volumes. And, of course, the single issues. Late ’90s Cerebus introduced me to Paul Pope, Rick Veitch & Aleksander Zograf. Fuck a buncha Claremont!

            For all the misogyny, Sim did damn well with Jaka’s Story. Easily still one of the strongest & most moving works in english comix history. Shame it’s overshadowed by the author’s later hubris. The work should always be able to stand independent of the creator(s), instead of being identified with them. Leads to senseless schisms in an audience’s potential for enjoyment– irrespective of the name of the narrator, when you read ‘Journey To The End of Night’ you’re not reading Celine-the-author-&-stylist or Celine-the-fascist,-racist-misanthrope, you’re reading ‘Journey To The End of Night’!

            Kinda how I feel about Cerebus, as a whole. The character’s a li’l bastard and the author’s an intractable ass, but goddamn them’s some cutting-edge comix even today.

            • M Kitchen says:

              Dave Sim, everytime I met him, has been a class act. The first time was with Jeff Smith in 1993 at the Silver Snail in Toronto. The last time was when we invited Dave over for dinner during the Christmas holidays (2010).

              He even took the time to give some invaluable advice on my latest comic (SPY GUY #2). Here are some pics of Dave in the Ultraist Studios Art Bunker: http://www.ultraist.net/journal/2010/12/22/a-dinner-with-dave-sim-at-ultraist-studios/

            • Brandon says:

              I do have a hard time seperating the artist from the work. When someones later work doesn’t jive with me I find myself thinking– I wish I had known them when they were cool.

              • Reverend '76 says:

                Yeah, I remember empathizing w/ yr. disappointment with PeePee over BATMAN: YEAR 100. Now everything he does is purely for dollars, & barely any of it measures up to his (obvious, unvarnished) struggles as an artist prior to 100%. It’s hard not to let that kinda drift into ostensible ‘maturity’ color your perception of an artist– you stop feeling the work because it doesn’t feel like there’s anything to discover anymore.

                Which, again, is part of why I respect (if not always enjoy) Sim. He doesn’t try to smooth out his early, obviously inferior work– he lets it stand, patchy & hamfisted though it might be. Whereas Pope is supposedly ‘redrawing’ all of THB? What’s the point of that? It’s almost as though he wants to iron out his own evolution…

                Early evidence of that in the reprints of THB #1, too– the surreal, whimsical ‘fat bat’ episode was written out, as were the purely pencil parts. Same stuff Sim promoted Pope for initially, as I recall.

                Anyway, tangent. I’ma shush. Much love for talking about Sim’s covers– he didn’t get much notice for that stuff at the time, but it always stood out as among the strongest on the stands.

                • Brandon says:

                  I hadn’t heard that he was redrawing any big chunk of THB, I saw the short he did. I really hope he puts out the origonal pages again– I’d miss that Pig dog too much if he were gone.

          • Ren says:

            Wow, you thought Bradherley’s Coach was creepy? Do your self a favour and stay far way from his art book: “Brute Love”, it does have an interesting post-face though: http://i55.tinypic.com/2qlhje9.jpg

          • Egypt Urnash says:

            It really sucks to find yourself disliking the work of someone whose art makes your eyes happy after they’ve waved their incompatible politics around too loudly! But after a certain point one begins to wonder if it’s worth giving them any time and attention.

            I still look at Sim’s current work now and then because of his mastery of the craft, though I really can’t get into ‘Glamourpuss’ – I’m really just not *interested* in a detailed examination of the history of the photo-ref romance comic strips regardless of my feelings on his politics. It’s clearly a labor of love, but it just doesn’t engage me. On the other hand, finding a post on Doug TenNapel’s message board where he was pointing to *my* website and playing ‘mock the furry/tranny who dares to work in animation’… dude lost me as a fan forever that day.

            • Brandon says:

              Yeah, It does sound amazingly incompatable when the artist you like has weird issues with who you are.

              I thought it was really cool that you talk about being a transsexual on your site ( nice comics too) I assume there’s a danger of that costing you work. but just that it’s there for young artists who might be dealing with the same thing to see is awesome.

              And I could rant forever at the undeserved shit reputation that furry comics get.

              • Egypt Urnash says:

                I’m pretty much trying to be the role model I could’ve used when I was younger of someone who is trans, but not trans to the exclusion of all else.

                Furry fandom as a whole has image problems. Some justified, some not. I would go into detail but I think you’ve probably been close enough to the perimeter of furry fandom to see some of that. I’ll casually wear the ‘trans’ label but am reluctant to self-identify as ‘furry’, interestingly enough.

                And I really gotta get back to my comics. Distractions pile up!

  8. James Lloyd says:

    Your work is always super imaginative and elegant, so I wanted to single out the photo addition (Susan would be much more interested in sasquatch relationships): I think it’s a nice extra touch that doesn’t clash at all with the pen and ink stuff. Your work always has a spontaneous quality where anything could happen, but you know somewhere someone’s tending the light at the end of the tunnel.
    I also appreciate the Sim excerpts. it’s interesting looking back at some of these issues– you forgot how good a draftsman he actually was. There seems to be a bit of a resurrection of interest in, and re-evaluation of, his work right now. Even I got drawn into the debate last week. I hope people will check out the last twenty issues of Cerebus; it contains some his most innovative stuff.
    Anyways, good luck with WordPress. I wonder if this is where I should be.

  9. grantalias says:

    This might be out there somewhere but… when’s Multiple Warheads coming out? I really liked King City and am soooo looking forward to your new book. Thanks for posting the little previews.

  10. KYTE says:

    I’m not big on tutorial posts myself, but I was wondering if you’d ever go into depth on your process of colouring pieces. I’ve read that you do it in Photoshop, but it’d be cool to hear about your techniques, since I think your digital colouring really stands out.

    Really excited to see some (hopefully) more frequent posts! I’d get so excited whenever you put up a new post, grabbing coffee and a snack, setting aside a good hour to really delve into everything you mention, usually spending much more.

    Keep up the good work, man! Really hope the King City collection works out! It’s so hard to find issues. Everywhere I go, they’ve just sold the last few. Seems like it was a real runaway hit. I’ll never forget Brian Lee O’Malley’s comment on the cover of the first issue, “Comics doing backflips”. Definitely.

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