Properly pushed pens.


Stuff’s been good. I’ve been nicely busy. Making myself draw a lot.

I’m so used to typing about whatever I’m up to I’ve got a bunch of projects that I’m laying low on. A couple will be announced at the Image expo con. but yesss I am so many secrets wrapped in so much mystery.


Here’s a couple drawings I did this earlier this month:

This one was a collaboration with mr Simon Roy and Adam Warren. for The upcoming Emerald city convention. With nods to a couple Cyberpunk novels in it.

monsters-Roy-Graham-Warren-G final

and a print I did for Gosh comics in London:


Here’s a picture from the signing. Me between the nice nice Fiona Staples and Image overlord Eric Stephenson (who is also nice).


While I was in London, I drew the hotel room I was staying in. I started every morning in England watching a music video channel.


I was so confused by the hotel’s Shower that I drew a diagram of it for further study– It had these weird robot nipples on it that were all about shooting water straight out at you no matter what god or demon you prayed to to end it.


I assume it’s that I learned American shower but not the Queens shower proper.


Back in Canada I had a birthday and sketched things in coffee shops in between pages.




Also, I’ve been reading Kaoru Shintani’s Area 88. Who apparently started as an assistant to Captain Harlock/StarBlazer’s Leiji Matsumoto –I feel like you can see it in the hair he draws.

Matsumoto even based The Harlock character Yattaran off of Shintani. Soo flattering.


I like that the series was serialized bi weekly. That seems like a good way to put out an ongoing manga. But it is dense enough that it could be read as just single issues– it’s all 20 page self contained stories for the most part.



In it our hero, Shin is tricked by a rival and forced to join a mercenary army and fight for his life in order to return to Japan to be reunited with his lost love and soo much revenge! DO DO DOOO!

I really like how well the series mixes the serious tone and accurately drawn machinery with cartoony characters.  and the 70’s manga stank on it all is fantastic– like Shin’s disco Unicorn logo on his plane.–and McCoy has a really good nose.

5 88

the serious machinery extends beyond just planes– later on when a photographer shows up his camera gets the same treatment. I like this spread:


Yup. something balances nicely about cartoonish art mixed with a serious subject.

Here’s a scene where a child is being told that his Grandfather/king is dying by his Bloom County eyed-noseless mustached Uncle.


Something interesting is how Shintani plays the character’s ethnicity. Here’s 2 Japanese characters meeting that I would never guess were Japanese unless they said so:


Then when he has this Italian meeting a German — They seem to look much more Italian and German.88ger-ital

He draws a really good crew of dudes.(Mick is the American Nam vet and the#2 best pilot at Area 88)


Deadly serious killers every one.

I like those back ground dudes– what’s up with this guy? Bad dude Raccoon! “Keep your hands clean out there Roberts!”



Something I like a lot in manga–is when they bring you in by teaching you about the focus of the book. I like when reading about Football (eyeshield 21) or the game Go(Hikaru No Go ) they hook you by teaching you about the subject as you read. Here’s a page describing the difference between a Red out and a Black out.


also 88 does something I’ve been trying to teach myself more about– ways to use sound effect lettering as storytelling and panels as story beats.



You can read all the Area 88 manga here. 

another artist who does that sound effect trick well is this dude  (f4u) He did a porn manga about a woman who has sex with a giant penis that has a penis and also feet.

I like how he uses sound lettering almost like they’re part of the action lines.


Or here when the penis monster shows up — how well the sounds along it work– also I like the weird black bars that cover nothing.


and and on this page where the blank panels act like beats– I like the last one on the page that acts like a blank narration box.



Also I was reading about how Kondom (of Bondage faeries fame) has a live action version of his Keyhole short. (that you can read here) 


I was always really impressed with this story –just on the level of what a smart idea for a porn comic I think it is– I dunno how I feel about it going live action. I don’t know how they’ll make the key work.  owch.



also I was just reading how Area 88’s creator went on to make Young miss Holmes, about Sherlock Holmes niece. I might have read that soon. Bad personal space Holmes!


but Watson still approves.


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7 Responses to Properly pushed pens.

  1. darrylayo says:

    Did you succumb to the Queen’s will or did you give your one life for your country?

  2. “We abandoned God, and shook hands with the devil. We are the mercenaries of Hell.”

    I need Area 88 in my life.

  3. ananthymous says:

    Whoa, that thing about SFX is cool.

  4. kelvingreen says:

    Don’t worry, most of our showers are awful, drippy things with no pressure; the one you had must have been an interloper from Japan or something.

  5. fareld says:

    brandon, you give really good posts

  6. MikeG5000 says:

    I have an issue of Area 88, I have no idea where it came from. Probably a grab bag back in the day. I always liked it, but never found or looked for more. Looking forward to Image Expo, it’ll be cool to meet you and see what you announce!

  7. Amelia Saul says:

    Love getting these, Brandon. Are you in NYC anytime soon? Would love to see you! -Amelia

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