Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Spam, Spam, Spam, Spam

Hey everyone, if you've been keeping an out out on our comment section you may have noticed a lot of responses that don't make any sense.  Usually there is a line of gibberish and then a link to another website.  Yup, we've been overrun with Spam. 

We try to make it very easy for you to leave us comments.  Putting more restrictions on that would decrease the Spam, but would decrease how easy it is for you to reply.  So for the time being we are keeping things the way they are right now.  If you do see one of these Spam comments before I can delete them, please don't click on them.  It only encourages them.

Monday, January 30, 2012

That F'ing Podcast

We here at That F'ing Monkey have been throwing the word podcast around for a little while now. What we need is some input from you, the Reader.

The show would be split into 3 main parts that fall along the Comics, Games, and Booze tracks. Those being pretty self explanatory as well as integrating things like beer recommendations from you. The show would most likely be about once a month and an hour long. So would you listen to Ken and I ramble on? Do you have any suggestions? As always Let Your F'ing Voice Be Heard in the comments, on our Facebook page, or click on the F'ing Email button.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

New Painting Setup

Today I’m showing off my new painting setup! Let me start today’s entry by saying I am a very mediocre painter. In the coming weeks I’m going to be spotlighting the tips and items that I use to cover up my paint skills. Before we get to them though I have to talk about where I put all of these things together and since I just put together a new space to do all my painting I figured I’d show it off. I just set it last night, so you’ll notice that there aren’t any works in progress on the table.

The desk was something my mother found at a garage sale. It was initially intended for my wife, but she has found something that is more her style. That’s when I got the bright idea to use it as a painting table. On the top shelf is Game Workshop’s painting table. When I was originally just using our kitchen table to paint I needed something that was easy to pick up and put away. On the main desk surface is a really cheap cutting board, a desk lamp, and a portable DVD player. I like watching season sets while painting. Currently I’m on season 3 of Chuck. Before that were Black Sheep Squadron and BJ and the Bear.

Below the desk I have space to store my Battlefoam 720 troop carrier. We will definitely be talking about that in a later entry. The white container with the three drawers is my bits box. I get pretty OCD about bits, inside those drawers all the bits are grouped together in tiny zip lock bags. One bag is full of backpacks, another arms, another heads, etc… Below the Battlefoam are boxes for the two tanks and assault bike that I need to put together. I almost forgot, I use the Converse shoe box when I got to my local store and paint.  It's useful to carry around all my paint supplies.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Flash Friday: What Would You Accept?

Happy Flash Friday everyone! I may have been vocal in the past about wanting DC back the way I liked it, but I will admit that I am enjoying the new Flash series. Of course I would be much happier if Wally West was back, but that idea brings up a number of questions. How exactly could you fit Wally back into the new DC?

The first hurdle we’d have to jump is the age issue. Barry and Iris are younger now. Okay, so Iris really wasn’t looking “older” in the series right before Flashpoint either, but the point still stands. Not only are Barry and Iris younger, but Bart is around as a teen-ager. So if Barry is in his mid-20s and Bart is around 16, where does Wally fit into that picture? So if Iris is 25/26 do we put Wally at 20/21?

Let’s not forget no one can be married in the new 52. The twins never stood a chance did they? Especially with the de-ageing it seems very unlikely that one of the younger tier characters would be married with children. Would Wally go back to being a irresponsible womanizer? DC could make the decision that the Wally West the general public is familiar is the wise cracking Justice League Unlimited version.

Now here is the biggest question. If DC does bring Wally back as a speedster, would you accept him with a different name? I don’t mean changing Wally’s name, I mean making Wally a hero other than the Flash. It is unlikely that Wally would have years of being a sidekick, so why not let him form his own identity? All the pictures I’m using for today’s entry are done by Brett Booth, as you can see in one of them he played with making Wally blue instead of red. If they promise not to use the Cobalt Blue name would you be okay with Wally in blue?

Obviously I have no control over the direction of DC comics, so any suggestions listed here are just me thinking out loud. What kind of changes are you will to allow in order to have Wally West back?

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Hangover Thursday Needs You!

It’s Hangover Thursday, how’s your head? Today is going to be a little different than other Hangover Thursdays, because instead of showing you new alcohol related items I’m going to be asking you for some. Well actually I’m asking you for some beer suggestions. It will all make sense I promise.

I worry a lot about getting new content and readers to the site. Between my real job, the website, my family, and other hobbies I have to juggle some times. Those days the updates may not be as long and well thought out as updates where I’m able to take my time. Hangover Thursday is one of those things I would like to improve. Here is where you, the reader, come in.

I’m looking for new beer. Beer I can drink and review here. If it can be found in Florida and Texas, Brandon will drink and review it too. Sounds like fun doesn’t it? All I need is some of your suggestions. Because it will take some time to find the beer, research, and review it this will probably happen about once a month. If you have something you want us to try, please click on the “F’ing Email, Click Here” button on the right hand side of the site.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Why I Love the Old Republic

It is no surprise at this point that I’m still waste deep in the MMO Star Wars: The Old Republic. When my day has finally wound down I usually jump on for an hour or more before I head to bed. The game isn’t perfect. It does have issues, but there are other things in it that make me smile. I’ve played Star Wars video games before, but there is something about this one that has made me grin numerous times just by including little things.

Tatoonie is a perfect example. The maps are spread out and mostly sand dunes, quite fitting of the planet. I’ve read where other players have complained because it is so spread out, but to me it feels perfect. I want Tatoonie to be spread out. I grinned like an idiot when I saw my first Sandcrawler. I was genuinely excited the first time I saw a herd of Banthas. Hoth was much the same. Wampas, Tauntauns, and Ortolans? I wanted to replace all of my crew with little blue elephant people.

We’ve also discovered a game within the game. No, it’s not Pazaak. If it was Pazaak I wouldn’t be typing updates to the website, I’d be playing Pazaak. It’s Droid Boxing! Robot Fight Club! Summon your ship’s droid, disable its healing powers, duel another player, target the other player’s droid, and then tell your droid to attack the other one. It’s serious fun for the whole family!!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Star Wars Valentines

Since the original Star Wars movies were re-released in theaters there has been a steady stream of Star Wars merchandise. With the continued re-releases and new properties like the cartoons, I don’t know that I’ll ever see a time in my life where Star Wars isn’t represented on the toy aisle. It’s when Star Wars moves away from the toy aisle that things start to get a little stranger.

I had a hard time trying to decided what order to put these in. I wanted to put the strangest thing last, but that is hard to do. In fact the people who have already seen these couldn’t agree which was the strangest. Starting out our look at Star Wars Valentines are these chibi plush versions of Boba and Vader. Both of them are holding a small package of chocolate hearts. This one looks like they just packaged two existing items. The plush probably existed well before this. Someone just bundled them together for the holiday.

Next up are full sized candy boxes, with either Darth Vader or Darth Maul’s face on them. I get the first time. A kid likes the plush and they get a kid sized box of chocolates. These suckers with their strange glitter frosted tops seem like they would be a little big to give to kid. Who exactly is this aimed at? And why Darth Maul? I know Phantom Menace is being rereleased in 3-D but is really the spokes person you want for this? Everyone knows that Kit Fisto is the real Star Wars embodiment of Valentine’s Day.

Frosted glitter wasn’t the only variety of chocolate boxes though. They also had rhinestone. This thing blew me away. Done in a tasteful black, we get a lovely rhinestone version of Darth Vader. I almost bought this. The sheer strangeness of it stopped me in my tracks. Just an all black heart shaped box was enough to stand out. Someone is buying these things though, because there is also a version that has Yoda on it. The Yoda version was already sold out.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning: The Demo

The demo for Kingdoms of Amalur: The Reckoning came out the other day. The game is interesting for a couple of different reasons, but a lot of attention is getting paid to its demo. The game’s executive designer is Ken Rolston, who was lead designer on Morrowind and Oblivion. So right out of the gate the game already has a pretty good bit of hype. Then R.A. Salvatore and Todd McFarlane came aboard. Salvatore created the game universe and lore while McFarlane worked on the artistic duties. While personally those names are more of a deterrent than an incentive, a lot of other people do enjoy their work.

I played through the demo the other morning before I left for work. Much like Fable you can seamlessly switched between casting spells, shooting arrows, or swinging your weapon. I really like the skill trees; they easily let you specialize as a warrior, rogue, or warrior. The game moves quickly, to me, it felt very arcade-y in the way it moved. The other thing I want to say is the demo was surprisingly long. After you finish the tutorial part, the demo gives you 45 minutes to explore and quest in the first area. That is a surprising amount of time for a demo. A very cool move, I really wish they would have told me that before I started though.

The other important thing about the KoA demo is that you can unlock two pieces of DLC for Mass Effect 3. I’m sure as we get closer to ME3’s release date we will be flooded with bits and pieces of DLC offers. I won’t lie, like a pokemon master, I’m going to want to catch them all. I realize how silly that is, especially since I rarely use the items once I’ve collected them. I think after tracking down all those Dr. Pepper codes for ME2 that I only ever used one of the helmets. For starting the demo you unlock the Reckoner Knight Armor. For finishing the demo you unlock the Chakram Launcher.

The Reckoner armor will increase melee and weapon damage. They have not said if the armor is like the Blood Dragon and other promo armors. So at this point I can’t tell you whether or not you’ll be able to disable your helmet. If you finish the entire demo you’re awarded the Chakram Launcher. The Launcher sounds like it would be a heavy weapon, but it is actually an assault rifle. Both of these items were designed by Todd McFarlane.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Flash Friday: Tales from the Brain Jar, #20

Happy Flash Friday everyone! Today we’re going to be crossing Flash Friday with one of my favorite reoccurring features, Tales from the Brain Jar. In case you missed any of the earlier entries, I’ve been having pieces added to my brain jar themed sketchbook since 2004. Today’s entry is posted on Flash Friday because the picture is of Bart Allen back when he was Impulse.

This piece was done during the 2009 Megacon. If you can’t tell just from the looks of it, it was done by the incredible Humberto Ramos. I was very excited about this sketch, when I picture Impulse in my mind it is Ramos’ version that I see. While talking with him that day he said he was embarrassed that so many people come up to him thinking that he designed Impulse with Mark Waid, when Mike Wieringo was actually the artist behind the character.

For those not familiar with Bart when he was still Impulse, one of the things that made him stand out is that he never had text in any of his thought bubbles, it was always pictures. It was very different and one of those little quirks that I knew I had to have included in my sketch. I don’t think it’s bragging to say that the sketch came out amazing. I got to talk a lot about his run on Impulse and his thoughts on the character in general. We also talked about the Dark Horse mini-series Revelations, but that is a topic for another day.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Hangover Thursday: The Waiting

It’s Hangover Thursday, how’s your head? I didn’t actually drink last night. I spent last Sunday at a Highland Games festival, so I had enough excellent beer to keep me going for a few days. I am getting ready to go on a real tear soon though; I’m waiting for a new bar to open. Anticipating a new bar opening is a strange thing; let me try to put it into perspective.

I’ve been considered a regular at probably four bars in my life. When I stationed in North Carolina there was a little bar attached to a Mexican dive that expected me and my friends there every Monday night. When I got back to Florida there were years where my friends and I were known as “the boys” and we were expected every Friday night. When living in Tucson for three months, I spent 4 or 5 nights a week at the Surly Wench pub. Hangover Thursday exists because I used to go to the Copper Rocket pub every Wednesday night. I really need to make it back over to the Rocket; my schedule hasn’t let me do that lately.

So now a World of Beer is about to open close to me. Really close to me. It is literally a 9 minute drive from my house. That many beers that close, I’m excited. I really want to hate World of Beer, but I can’t. I like dives. WoB’s are always well lit and super clean. I love nasty, greasy bar food. WoB lets you bring food from the neighboring restaurants. I like owner/operators. WoB is a chain. I love their dedication to carrying so many kinds of beer that I can’t help but be excited.

I’m sure I’ll have pictures when the new bar opens in February. Until then I really need to go visit some of my old haunts.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012


No update today. I'm not turning the entire site black, but I am asking you to research SOPA and PIPA for yourself. Do some background reading, find something on both sides of the arguement if you can. This is a very serious issue, don't pick a side because your favorite website tells you which one to pick. Go out and educate yourself on it.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Bond 50

Do you like James Bond? No, I mean do you really like James Bond? If you do, then you might want to start saving your pennies. This year marks the 50th anniversary of Dr. No. Don’t think for a second that MGM isn’t jumping for a chance to promote 50 years of the film franchise. They are releasing the Bond 50 boxed set which contains all 22 of the Eon movies on Blu-ray. You’ll get a box full of Connery, Lazenby, Moore, Dalton, Brosnan, and Craig.

Amazon hast the list price for 300 but they are offering it for 200. Considering the sheer number of movies you’re getting, it’s not a bad deal. The set also contains an extra disc that just contains “brand new bonus content” that is supposed to be an hour long. MGM is keeping quiet about the release date on this set, but rumors seem to point to it coming out in October.

As I mentioned, this set only contains the Eon films. So if you were dying to see the original Casino Royale or Never Say Never Again you’re out of luck. Personally I only need about three Bond movies in my collection to be happy, but your mileage may vary .So what about you, are you a diehard Bond fan?

Monday, January 16, 2012

Tales of the Random Lanterns

Welcome to the first Tales of the Random Lanterns. This is much like Tales from the Brain Jar as it has to do with my sketchbook. We all know that Ken has a unique theme for his book, well in 2005 when I started mine it was unique at the time as well. Not so much any more, but c'est la vie. Anyway this is the first page in my book done at Motor City Comic Con in 2005.

Roger the Homunculus from Hellboy by Guy Davis. Roger is one of two of my favorite characters from Hellboy (the other being Lobster Johnson). When I asked for this sketch I got an odd look from Mr. Davis, then his eyes lit up and he proclaimed that he had just the thing. I think it came out amazing and set the bar mighty high for the artists that would follow. All artists, save one, have met that task, but that is a story for another day.

As always Let Your F'ing Voice Be Heard in the comments or on our Facebook page.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Flash Friday: The Wagon

Happy Flash Friday everyone!! After a month off, Flash Friday is back and ready to go. I stumbled on the subject of today’s Flash Friday while I was walking down the decimated toy isles in my local Target. It was about a week after Christmas, so the shelves were still pretty bare looking. They had just installed the new decorations to the shelves, so that was a neat surprise. And then I saw it.

The Hot Wheels DC Comics Original Flash ’70 Chevelle “SS” Wagon. That is a giant name for a tiny toy car. I have a fascination with toy cars that slap a Flash design onto them, but this is the first one I’ve actually purchased. In fact I’ve talked about Flash and cars before; you can go back and read that HERE.

There are some strange choices on the Flash car. I guess they went with a wagon to give them more space to paint the Flash figure. The majority of the car is gold and the top image is done in blue. I was initially confused. Why isn’t it red? Then I thought if the car was red, then the Flash would blend in. So now I’m stuck wondering why they didn’t go with a darker color. The packaging on this line is sharp. I’ll probably never take the car out.

The Flash isn’t alone in this line and after seeing what characters got what vehicles the Flash Wagon doesn’t sound so strange. Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman were obvious editions. Joker and Lex Luther are also pretty normal choices. Bizarro showing up in his truck is a bit of a surprise. Harley Quinn is driving a bread truck. A bread truck. That is strange even for the criminally insane.

That’s it for this week’s Flash Friday.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Hangover Thursday: Beer Diet

It’s Hangover Thursday, how’s your head? I’m nursing an Old Republic headache. Actually it is more just being worn out because Old Republic won’t let me sleep. We are midway through January, the holiday buzz has worn off, and many people are looking at all the weight they packed on during those big holiday meals. Author Joe Konrath (or J.A. Konrath) has decided to start a diet that is very relevant to Hangover Thursday, he is started the 30 Day Beer Diet.

Inspired by monks, Joe is going 30 days on nothing but beer and water. Even I think it sounds crazy and I love beer. The best part about this is that Joe is documenting everything that is happening. Check out his blog HERE. He is currently on Day 11, so you’ll want to jump back to his first post and read on from there. Regardless of whether or not you believe this is a good idea; the journey is fascinating. Joe talks about his energy level, what beers he is drinking, and what it is all doing to his digestive system.

I’m not recommending anyone try this diet. I know I couldn’t, when I drink I get super hungry. I am recommending you go check out Joe’s blog and read about it though.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Dark Horse April Solicits

I don’t normally talk about a company’s solicits. I guess it would be easy. I could stretch it into a couple posts if I did a separate one for each of the big companies. Normally that doesn’t feel right to me though. I generally want to talk a little more about things then, “hey this is coming out.” I’m very excited to talk about one of Dark Horse’s April releases, but as I looked over the other solicits I wanted to talk about them also.

Here is the big one. Dark Horse Presents #11 is the debut of Francesco Francavilla’s Black Beetle. Black Beetle is a character that Francesco created on his own blog, Pulp Sunday. Since this seems to be a big year for the Black Beetle Francesco has also created a blog specifically for the Black Beetle. Trust me; this is a book you’re going to want to read. Besides being one of the nicest people on the planet Francesco is such an amazing storyteller. This is very big stuff and we will be talking about it more in the future.

There is also a Criminal Macabre one shot out in April. We love Steve Niles at That F’ing Monkey and we especially love his pill popping detective. Anything Cal McDonald is an instant buy for me. I’m pointing this one out because of that amazing Fiona Staples cover. I love it.

The last thing I feel like I need to mention is that the Mass Effect line is starting a series of single issue stories. The first is starring James Vega. This is the strangest choice ever. The internet is already pretty much against this douche-y looking new character. The bonus is that the writer of each comic will be the person who wrote the character in game. I look forward to seeing who else gets a one-shot.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Mass Effect Toys Return

Back in 2010 there was a large part of my life consumed by Mass Effect 2. One of the things I was excited about was DC Direct’s line of action figures. I waited, and waited, and waited. The line was delayed and when it finally did come out, it did so very quietly. Months later I finally found the Tali figure at a comic shop I stopped into while on vacation.

Well the line is back and no one should be surprised to hear that DC Direct is not involved this time. The company who has taken the Mass Effect reins it Big Fish Toys. They are re-releasing the first wave of figures and the second wave. The first wave is male Sheppard, Thane, Grunt, and Tali. The second wave is Garrus, Legion, Mordin, and Miranda.

With Mass Effect 3’s release date getting closer and closer you have to wonder if Big Fish is already hard at work getting new lines of figures ready. Sadly, I never play with the default Sheppard, so the figure looks good, he just doesn’t look like Sheppard to me. Still, anyone who missed out on the figures the first time around should be happy.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Random Thoughts Again

As I work the "whores hours" to make up for the fact that I dare to take a vacation, I have a random thought post today.

My beloved Tampa Bay Lightning are the definition of inconsistent so far this year. Currently sitting at 17-20-3 with a pittance of 37 points, 25th in the league, and 9 points outside of the eighth playoff spot. It is a far cry from last year when they were looking good. However with all of the hot and cold the team is rocking, the top three of Lecavalier, St. Louis, and Stamkos are playing great. In fact Stamkos is currently in the lead of the goal race with 28, four points ahead of Phil Kessel of the Maple Leafs. I blame it on the boring generic "modern" jerseys. Fuck those sweaters.

I have not had a chance to play Star Wars: The Old Republic in almost 3 weeks. Nothing else here, that just sucks that I am so busy as to not be able to play.

While I was in town Ken and I had a game of 40k. His Salamanders vs. my Eldar. I was hoping for a win so I could rub it in for a while, but it ended in a draw so no bragging rights to either one of us.

That F'ing Monkey's All Swines Day was a rousing success, as much pork was consumed. There was also a cameo appearance by some crazy tasty butterbeer and bacon cupcakes. Although I may have had one too many Everbeers (sneaky bastards), fun times were had by all.

So how is your Hockey team doing this year? Got any pictures from your own All Swines Day? As always Let Your F'ing Voice Be Heard in the comments or on our Facebook page.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Starman Week: Statues

Today is the last entry in our first ever Starman week. I hope you’ve had a good time. I had a good time. Today we’re talking about some collectables a little nicer then action figures, we’re talking about statues. There aren’t a whole lot of Starman statues, but what is out there is worth tracking down if you’re a fan.

We’re starting off with the Eaglemoss Starman. I’ve already talked about how much I love the Eaglemoss line in my numerous reviews of the Flash related releases. Hand painted lead figures. They aren’t very large, but that makes them affordable and easy to display. They are quickly my favorite way to get a collectable of a character I like. As you can see Jack looks fantastic.

I was even more impressed with the piece when I got a look at the back of his jacket. The Starman symbol is a little more complex than most of the designs I’ve seen recreated on the Eaglemoss stuff so far. I think the picture speaks for itself. Unfortunately there isn’t a Golden Age Starman in this line. The good news is that they are adding a Stargirl though, she was just recently announced.

Then we have the statue DC Direct released in 1999. Sculpted by Tim Buckner and based on Tony Harris’ designs I’ve had this piece in my collection for a long time. The pose makes it an interesting piece. The base on the statue is sized normally but since Jack is kneeling it takes up much less space than if he was standing in some kind of dynamic action shot. It is cold cast porcelain, so it has some heft to it.

The tip of the staff is a separate piece, which makes it much easier to transport. It fits into the staff snuggly though; I’ve never had any issues with it falling out. The Starman zodiac is also nicely painted on the back of Jack’s jacket on this piece too. Despite it being older, you can find this popping up on eBay pretty frequently.

That’s it for Starman week. I’d like to do it again some time. As always there is a “Contact Us” button on the right hand side if you have any suggestions, complaints, etc.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Starman Week: Figures

Starman Week marches on! So far we’ve covered the books, the mini-series, and shared some stories about convention sketches. Now it’s time to talk toys! DC Direct did make a Jack Knight figure but it won’t be in today’s article. When the DC Universe Jack came out I considered it an upgrade and packed up the DC Direct version somewhere in my closet. I suppose there is a certain irony to a character who is a collectables dealer being turned into a collectable himself.

DC Universe Classics did a version of Jack and one of his father, the Golden Age Starman. As you can see by the sticker, they were part of the line that debuted at K-Mart before showing up at other stores. I had looked all over for the Jack figure, but couldn’t find him on the store pegs. I ended up buying him for a little bit of a markup at Heroes last year. The bonus to buying him there was I got the package signed by Tony Harris.

This week is really turning into a love letter to Tony Harris isn’t it? I like to open most of my figures, even if they are just going in a display. That way I can make sure I like the pose they are in and things like that. Well, once you get the packaging signed you’ve pretty much decided to leave the figure in or carefully cut out the back of the packaging. I decided to just leave him in there.

I wasn’t sure I was going to buy the Ted Knight figure. It was one of those situations where buying one item snowballs into buying another just to have a complete set. I found him in a store one day and debated with myself whether or not to pick him up. Obviously the collector in me won out. Just because I already had Jack, Ted stays in his package also.

There is a DC Universe Stargirl figure. I haven’t picked her up yet. I’ve seen her in the stores and had the same debate I had with the Ted Knight, except this time my diminishing display space won out. I do have this fantastic Stargirl and S.T.R.I.P.E. minimates set. I haven’t really covered Stargirl this week; she’ll have to wait until I decide to do another week dedicated to the series. I don’t know why I’ve kept them in package, but most the minimates I’ve purchased remain unopened.

That’s it for the figures, check back tomorrow for even more Starman!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Starman Week: The Shade

Hangover Thursday takes a week off as we continue Starman week! It would be wrong to have a week dedicated to Starman and not mention the Shade. If you haven’t read the series yet that might sound like a strange thing to say. But James Robinson changed a generic villain into one of the most compelling characters in comics. He plays a major role in the Starman series and not just as a cackling criminal. He’s practically a co-star.

Shade moved up to full star for amini-series that came out during Starman’s run. All four of these issues are now in the Starman Omnibus that we talked about Monday. Currently there is a twelve issue Shade mini-series that is only a third of the way through. In fact I think issue number 4 comes out next week. Now I realize that sometimes coming back to a beloved series doesn’t always work. James Robinson has jumped right back into the feeling of the first series though; you’d never know they were written so long after the original end.

I’ve been talking about the writing, but the art is also amazing. Covers have been provided by Tony Harris, we’ve already established that I’m already a fan of his. The interior art for the first three issues were all done by Cully Hammer. Darwyn Cooke and J. Bone worked on the cover and interiors for issue number 4. Javier Pulido takes over art duties on issues 5 and 6. I can only speak for the Cully Hammer issues, since the others aren’t out yet. It’s good, so good that Cully Hammer has been added to my sketchbook wish list.

The last thing I want to mention is that James Robinson has tweeted that DC isn’t happy with the numbers this series is pulling. There is a danger that it may be cut short. If you’ve haven’t jumped onto this series yet, swing by your local shop and grab the first couple issues. You won’t be disappointed.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Starman Week: Tales from the Brain Jar, #19 pt2

Welcome back to Starman week and the second part of my Jack Knight Tales from the Brain Jar. Yesterday I discussed the Heroes convention in 2008 where I met Tony Harris and his unique way of picking what sketches to do. Today’s story is from that very same day, although it was later in the afternoon when he was getting ready to do my sketch.

I was walking past Tony’s table and he called me over. He was getting ready to start my sketch and he wanted to ask me a few questions. So as I walk over he says, “Goat or no goat?” I wasn’t really expecting it, so I was caught a little off guard. I must have gone slack jawed for a split second, but I recovered and realized he was talking about Jack’s facial hair. He nods approvingly and then tells me that he’s going to put something in the sketch that I should get since I’ve read all the books.

I didn’t say this yesterday, but I’ll mention it today. I am intimidated by Tony Harris. It’s just that I admire his work so much, and he just seems so cool, I don’t want to say or do something that would appear dumb in front of him. Is it geeky? Yes, I realize it is. I’ve talked to him numerous times and he is a fantastically nice person, but I’m still nervous that I’m not cool enough when I’m around him. So the fact that he was putting an Easter egg into my sketch was awesome and terrifying at the same time.

My mind was racing, what would happen if it was some obscure reference from the comic and I didn’t catch it? I’d be humiliated. As he worked the two of us talked about tattoos and the series in general. No matter how awesome that conversation was though, I was constantly thinking about that reference that I needed to get. Luckily for me, it was something I easily recognized. You’ll notice the name of the tattoo parlor is a reference to Turk county in the story. I can’t really describe how relieved I was.  Of course besides getting the reference, I also recieved the amazing sketch that we've been talking about.

That’s it for this Tales from the Brain Jar. Check back the rest of the week for more Starman goodness.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Starman Week: Tales from the Brain Jar, #19 pt1

I hadn’t realized it, but it has been months since we’ve ran a Tales from the Brain Jar. Just in time for Starman week comes one of the most impressive sketches in my entire book. It is by Tony Harris and it was done at the Heroes convention in 2008. There are two stories attached to this sketch, so we’ll get right to the first of them. Because this may run a little long, I’ll post the second story tomorrow.

Any time I know I’m going to a convention I keep track of the artist list so I can budget both time and money accordingly. I usually plan for 1 sketch, with the possibility of picking up a second depending on how much I’ve spent already. For Heroes, I knew I wanted a Jack Knight from Tony Harris. I could have left the convention with just that and still called the weekend an amazing success.

Due to someone very awesome that I won’t name right now, I managed to get into Heroes about 10 minutes before the doors were opened. I quickly parted with my benefactor and started for Tony Harris’ table. I found him about 5 minutes before the doors opened and found that I was the third person in his sketch line. I was disappointed I wasn’t first, but I figured there was no way I wouldn’t get a sketch if I was third in line. That’s when the convention opened and Tony explained what he was doing this weekend.

Tony explained that he can do a certain number of sketches during the convention (I forget what that number was). He then went on to tell us that to make it more interesting to him, we would have to write our names down and then write down what we wanted a sketch of. Tony would then to the sketches that he thought were interesting. It made sense, but I was suddenly terrified that Jack Knight getting a brain jar tattoo wouldn’t be interesting enough to make the cut.

The first guy in line writes down his name and then writes “Batman”. Tony looks at the list, arches an eyebrow and pretty much tells the guy. “Hey, Batman is pretty boring. I get tons of Batman requests, there is a good chance I won’t do this one.” The guy sticks to his guns though; he seems indifferent about the whole thing. He doesn’t go into an impassioned speech about how Batman is his favorite character in the world; he just kind of nodded and went on.

Guy number two walks up and writes down “Wonder Woman.” Inside I’m cheering, I’m still worried that my sketch isn’t interesting enough, but if this is what I have to compete against I figure I’m a sure thing. Tony looks at this guy the same way I must be. I honestly don’t believe he thought he would get a Batman and Wonder Woman so quickly after telling people he didn’t want to do generic sketches all day.

Finally it is my turn. I get my first omnibus signed. We both comment on how nice the book is. I joke that after the singles, the trades, and finally the omnibus that the story must be something special because at this point I’ve bought it three times. I write my name, what I want, and I show him the other 18 brain jar sketches in my book. I was relieved to know almost immediately that he would be doing my sketch, but the story isn’t over yet. Check back tomorrow to find out what else happened.


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