Friday, November 30, 2007

Wasn't me...

I was already home so you can stop the finger pointing...

"Gardai in Dublin are on the lookout for 36,000 pints of beer stolen from the Guinness brewery."

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Clarifying an Italian Rumor

It's been brought to my attention that there seems to be some confusion over my having pulled out of attending the Lucca Comics Festival in Italy earlier this month. Someone is spreading rumors that I did so because 1.) I hate Italians, 2.) I didn't want to miss Halloween here in the U.S., and/or 3.) that ChesterQuest is a sham and that all 12 artists positions have already been filled. I can tell you that's all complete bullshit!

Yes, it's true I didn't make it to Lucca as originally planned, and trust me, I'm as disappointed as anyone. I really wanted to go, I mean REALLY, but the trip was abruptly canceled unfortunately. However, not for any of those reasons listed above. It simply came down to my travel schedule and flight logistics/pricing, which got screwed up as everything started coming together a little last minute and became too expensive. The convention organizers were wonderful and did everything to try and accomodate me, and I'm so very sorry I couldn't make it all work out in the end.

Now, as much as I love Halloween, I would have preferred to spend it in Italy, even though the show was after the holiday.

Also, as for the others claims... I cry foul. I was in Portugal the week after Lucca and then in Dublin the following week, where I did portfolio reviews for two days at each show and met many talented artists who I've since added to my ChesterQuest "semi-finalists" list. I have plenty more stops on the tour till it wraps at the end of January in Angouleme. I already have a little over 20 artists on this short list now, but the final 12 won't be decided upon until February when I present them all to Marvel. And if there are more than 12 talented artists who they feel deserve chances, that's even better!

Additionally, I have nothing but respect for the Italian comic book marketplace and the amazing artists who work there, many of whom I call friends. More Italian artists have entered ChesterQuest so far than from any other country in the world, actually. In fact, one Italian artist submitted his samples to ChesterQuest but Marvel felt he was so talented that he's already been given an ongoing monthly gig. And please note, he submitted his samples digitally to, which every other artist is free to do no matter where they live. You don't need to meet me to enter. So the search continues full steam ahead...

Also, to make up for my no-show, I'm trying to make arrangements to attend the Mantova Comic Festival in Italy next year if my schedule allows.

So again, please let me offer my apologies to any Italian friends, fans and artists who were disappointed by my cancellation. I do so hope to get the chance to meet you all soon. Thanks for your understanding.


Monday, November 26, 2007

Bang No More

Quiet Riot lead singer Kevin DuBrow was found dead in his home today. CNN reports the news of his death here.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

The Science of Sleep

My previous dreaming post reminded me on an interesting article I read in the New York Times magazine last week about the science of sleep. It's an informative piece that examines everything from the history of sleep to cultural views on getting ZZZs to medications to mattresses. You can check it out online here.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Dream A Lot Of Dream

I've been dreaming more vividly than ever these past few weeks. It's been extraordinary even for an "experienced" dreamer like me. I've been watching these full movies, with beginnings, middles and ends, play out in my sleeping mind. Sometimes I'm starring in them and other times some of you are are. Friends past and present, family, co-workers, celebrities... they're/you're all walking in and out of my head, starring in these nocturnal adventures. These dreams are coming at me more complete, more... powerful than ever before.

The funny thing is that the dreams now also fade faster. As soon as I wake up, the entire dream is still fresh in my head and I grab my pen and attempt to write it all down, as I usually do. However, the mental motion pictures now bleed from memory so much quicker than they ever have in the past. I can now usually never get past the first act in my scribbles before it's all gone. Maybe it's simply because these new dreams are longer and more complex that anything I've experienced in the past. Maybe my sleep memory just doesn't have the capacity to keep it all saved for that long once I awake. I don't know how to explain it any better than that.

One fact that didn't escape my notice though is that this all started right after my recent trips to Europe. These incredible dreams all started coming to me as soon as I left Portugal, the first one hitting me on my flight back from Lisbon to NYC. They then followed me to Dublin and got even stronger this past week after I got back. I take this as a good sign.

I've been worn down from work recently. Feeling almost a little creatively bankrupt of late, to be honest. But experiencing the cultures of both beautiful countries, hanging out with friends, and running in the creative/artistic circles that I was a part of on both trips, I came back feeling refreshed and invigorated. Inspired, if you will! And inspiration was what I desperately needed. So the trips were well worth it if you ask me... something out of a dream.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Loners 6 - On Sale Now!

Hard to believe it's over... >sob sob<

Saturday, November 17, 2007

The Land Of Guinness

I know I still have to finish posting about Portugal, and I have some great pics to share, but I'm in Dublin now and will try and send out a few updates from here as well. Cheers!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

So Damn Beautiful

I have a story in this year's Marvel's Holiday Special featuring the Loners, and I'm blessed to be working with the amazing Alina Urusov on it. Alina's one of the most talented new artists I have seen come along in years and she blew me away with her work on these pages, which she penciled, inked and colored. Marvel finally gave me to the OK to share in public, and I hope you enjoy these as much as I do!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Forum Fantastico Day One

Headed over to the university yesterday for my first panel, a Marvel panel, a la Cup O' Joe. The panel right before mine was a Q&A with the lead singer/songwriter of Portugal's most popular metal band, Moonspell. I guess he's a very highly educated guy with a few philosophy degrees and the band is known for their intellectual lyrics about Lovecraft, Tolkien, and all kinds of other literary references, which is what he was there discussing. Once I took the stage, I didn't know what to expect, and was actually a little nervous, but it turned into a very interesting panel as the Portuguese fans asked all kinds of questions about art, continuity, characters ages, rumors and Cap's death. Felt just like a panel I would do at a con back home, so I guess wherever you go, fans are fans. I thought it went well and hope the people who came and particpated had as much fun as I did.

After that, it was portfolio review time, and I looked at the work of about maybe 12 Portuguese artists. There was a wide mix of styles and ability, but two people really stood out. It really reinforces my belief that there is so much untapped talent here just waiting to be discovered.

After the con, which ended at about 10PM, we all headed out for dinner and I finally had Bacalhau, traditional Portuguese salted cod fish. It was amazing!! Accompanied by "punched" potatoes and black-eyed peas with onion and cilantro, it was a meal to die for! We also had linguica to start us off, and Sagres beer to wash it all down, which only added to the experience!

About nine of us headed down to Lisbon's party district, Barrio Alto, after that... and when they say party, they mean PARTY! It was unlike anything I've ever seen, just people hanging out and drinking in the streets across three or four blocks. Great caprihnas, cool people, good times! Pics and stories of our late night adventures soon...

Friday, November 09, 2007

Dublin is on!

Just finalized my tickets for the Dublin City Comic Con next weekend! I'll be in town from Friday the 15th to Monday the 18th. I'm not a big Guinness drinker, but I'm assured there will be plenty of other tasty beverage to whet my appetite! You can find all the info you need on the show here.

And yes, my flight is direct this time!

Pics from Home!

C'mon, you know you love these cat pics as much as I do...

Better Late Than Never

Finally made it to Portugal! Arrived in Lisbon at midnight yesterday, 10 hours after I was originally scheduled to touch down. I should have flown direct! Oh, well...

I was met at the airport by Forum organizer Rogerio, as well as my Shiki collaborator Joao Lemos and No Quarter partner-in-crime Ricardo Venancio. It was wonderful to finally put faces to names and meet these guys in person!

Checked into the hotel, too a much-needed shower and joined them for a couple beers down in the hotel bar, where we stayed talking comics and culture till 3AM. Found out I missed the first round of ChesterQuest reviews yesterday due to the flight delays, so I have leave behinds to review now, and have a number of interviews rescheduled for this morning as I missed a press junket as well. Looks like my fat mug will be in more foreign newspapers starting tomorrow.

To anyone interested, this leg of ChesterQuest is being sponsored by the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, which is one of the most important art foundations in the world. You can learn more about them here or here.

No real pics to post yet, but here's a shot from my hotel window. I guess the big Benfica soccer stadium is right around the corner. More soon...

Thursday, November 08, 2007

On The Road Again

ChesterQuest rolls on...

I'm on my way to Lisbon, Portugal for the Forum Fantastico convention this weekend, flying in via Amsterdam. However, the trip did not get off to a good start. We got delayed out of JFK for three hours as they were transporting race horses on the same flight. The horses were so heavy and agitated that they kept shifting the weight balance of the plane so they had to keep adjusting cargo to compensate. And they can't drug them due to doping concerns or some shit. Grrrr... Then we're finally ready to leave the gate and the pilot comes on with this gem of an announcement:

"Well, the horses are settled and the cargo doors are closed, but it seems we're having trouble with our electrical system now, which doesn't look good. But we're not going to worry about that too much. We'll just start the engines and try to get the plane in the air."

Way to instill confidence in your already tired and annoyed passengers! But we made it...

I got my preferred emergency exit window seat and slept most of the way. The few times I did wake up, the plane seemed more like a party than an international flight, with people all standing up, hanging out in the aisles, drinking beer, mingling... I guess they were just getting ready for good times in Amsterdam. One thing I do have to say though, this being the first time I flew KLM, they had a couple of the hottest stewardesses I have ever seen, but also some of the most homely ones as well. And I'm not talking homely as in those old lady flight attendants you see on some flights, I'm talking young women who were just butt ugly! I know that sounds crass, but it's just something I notice as I travel so much. I thought airlines had restrictions about this kind of thing in their hiring policies?! :)

But anyway, six hours later we had made it over the pond and started our descent into the Dutch capital...

I was actually the first person off the plane which also meant I was the first to get the bad news... most of us had missed our connecting flights. KLM was great about the situation though, more professional and prepared than any other airline I have ever flown on, and they had all our new connections and boarding passes ready as soon as we got there. However, I'm now stuck here in Amsterdam Airport for 7 hours!! They gave us nice layover packages with vouchers, phone cards, comps towards our next flight, and 2000 free miles, which ain't bad, but I still had to shell out for wireless internet. Oh, well, I'm here and I'm set up and I'm working...

And compared to what I see out my window back in NYC everyday, the view here is pretty cool...

I'll be updating the blog daily from here on out, so keep checking back!

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Mystic Arcana: Sister Grimm Preview


On sale this Wednesday, November 7th!!

Another Question About Hell

This has been going around the net for a bit now, but I just got it again and it made me laugh, so I thought I'd share...

"The following is an actual question given on a University of Washington chemistry mid-term. The answer by one student was so 'profound', that the professor shared it with his colleagues via the Internet, which is, of course, why we now have the pleasure of enjoying it as well:

Bonus Question: Is Hell exothermic (gives off heat) or endothermic (absorbs heat)?

Most of the students wrote proofs of their beliefs using Boyle's Law (gas cools when it expands and heats when it is compressed) or some variant.

One student, however, wrote the following:

First, we need to know how the mass of Hell is changing in time. So we need to know the rate at which souls are moving into Hell and the rate at which they are leaving I think that we can safely assume that once a soul gets to Hell, it will not leave. Therefore, no souls are leaving. As for how many souls are entering Hell, let's look at the different religions that exist in the world today.

Most of these religions state that if you are not a member of their religion, you will go to Hell. Since there is more than one of these religions and since people do not belong to more than one religion, we can project that all souls go to Hell. With birth and death rates as they are, we can expect the number of souls in Hell to increase exponentially. Now, we look at the rate of change of the volume in Hell because Boyle's Law states that in order for the temperature and pressure in Hell to stay the same, the volume of Hell has to expand proportionately as souls are added.

This gives two possibilities:

1. If Hell is expanding at a slower rate than the rate at which souls enter Hell, then the temperature and pressure in Hell will increase until all Hell breaks loose.

2. If Hell is expanding at a rate faster than the increase of souls in Hell, then the temperature and pressure will drop until Hell freezes over.

So which is it?

If we accept the postulate given to me by Teresa during my Freshman year that, 'It will be a cold day in Hell before I sleep with you,' and take into account the fact that I slept with her last night, then number two must be true, and thus I am sure that Hell is exothermic and has already frozen over. The corollary of this theory is that since Hell has frozen over, it follows that it is not accepting any more souls and is therefore, extinct......leaving only Heaven, thereby proving the existence of a divine being which explains why, last night, Teresa kept shouting 'Oh my God.'"