Monday, July 30, 2012


Something I'm always fascinated by, is the creative process. And part of the process of writing and drawing is how this is accomplished. What does one do when they finally sit down at the art table or the computer, for the magic to happen? More specifically, what does one listen to? For me it's split, depending on what part I'm doing.

Talia tells Bruce to be quiet, in an upcoming Arkham Unhinged.  My kind of writer!
If I'm writing, I need silence. I'm talking library, dead-of-night, no phones, people, or distractions. No mailman. No tv or movies. No interruptions. I need to get into my head to form my thoughts, whether I'm working off of notes or a draft of what I've previously written. Or if I'm coming up with something from scratch. For some people, they love having music or background noise on to spur their thoughts. But to me, that actually gets in the way of what I'm trying to do as a writer. A lot of the times, I'm reading and rereading what I've already written. Constantly going over drafts and trying to hear the voices of my characters. And if need be…say the dialogue out loud. To hear if it works. So having a vacuum with no sound present is perfect for me.

But when it comes to inking or drawing, it's the opposite. Then I require sound for long periods of time. I might sit at the table inking a page in an 8-10 hour stretch, and rarely do I do that in silence. Inking is a creative task rather than forming thoughts or stories, so it's nice to have something to listen to. I'll toss on podcasts, have music on in rotation, put on the tv, or even better, a dvd or blu-ray commentary of something I've already seen. I imagine books on tape might be a fantastic way to go, but I haven't ventured down that path just yet. I have plenty of other things to listen to and keep me occupied.

I know writers and artists who do the exact opposite and it's fascinating to me. Those that put on musical scores or soundtracks so they can capture a mood to what they're writing. And those that ink in complete silence. Odd to me, but each of us has our own process.

What's yours?

Tuesday, July 17, 2012


With the third issue of Batman Beyond Unlimited, the title got a little more crowded (of course, wait until next issue). The Beyond universe of titles could now expand. Batman Beyond gave way to Justice League Beyond, and now a solo Superman Beyond could continue out of that.

In order to share space having all three under the same print issue, it will be a rotation. One main story will get 20 pages (or two digital issues collected), while the other two titles would get 10 pages each. The feature story will change on a monthly basis.

PAGES 1 & 2

For our Kobra Queen, part of the fun of writing is the research involved. Doing a search for Snake Goddesses resulted in statues and art of a very common deity in Minoan tradition. I sent a couple of these scans as reference to Dustin, who then spun his own take off of them, applying the very cool headdress.

I had only listed a few nondescript guards in her palace chambers, but Dustin went ahead and drew the more dino reptilian inspired versions that were seen in the show. He gave them more of a serpent spin to their appearance here. Always great leaving room for the artist to add their visual interpretive sense to the page.

Watch List:  Batman Beyond episode "The Curse Of The Kobra part 2"


Probably more of an in-joke gag between Dustin and I, but we just thought it would be a fun running theme to associate Micron's appearances linked to that sort of healing human test tube chamber. It was in the show, and now makes its appearance here (as well as his Beyond: Origin story coming up). Due to his special condition, I could see him being monitored this way , especially in his early years.

Watch List:  Batman Beyond episode "The Call part 1"

This is a call back to the Justice League Unlimited episode. An older Amanda Waller mentions needing to take pills for her memory, and I thought it would be a nice way to tie-in exactly what was the cause of that (aside from old age, it would be Kobra and Spellbinder's mind control techniques that damaged her).

Watch List:  Justice League Unlimited episode "Epilogue"


This page goes through a lot of history for the characters throughout the shows as well as setting up some of their Beyond: Origins stories, some still yet to come (Warhawk's parents, how Barda worked with the United Nations, and Aquaman's famous short fuse). And of course this little nugget…a little foreshadowing to Terry and Waller's conversation in "Epilogue".

Watch List:  Justice League Unlimited episode "Epilogue"


Checkmate, or at least Waller's connection to it, I don't think was ever really integrated into the DCAU. But here was a chance to at least reference it. And a chance to have a blink-and-you'll-miss cameo by Professor Emil Hamilton.


This is the issue where you start to feel the Kirby love. Pretty much a love letter to Jack Kirby, throughout this entire arc storyline. And we start with the Challengers Of The Unknown. I wanted Dustin to create an iconic cover type image, where they'd always have the team fighting off some giant monster. Dustin didn't disappoint.

Dustin even fished out a panel from the old comics to include as a black and white photo hanging on the wall…back during their younger days.

"The Genesis War" is first hinted at here. We'll explain more about this in the Beyond: Origin story for Barda, still to come.


Finally we get to see how Aquaman looks in the Beyond timeline. Very Poseidon, "old man of the sea" look to him. Still with the hook hand, as adopted into the DCAU, and his Atlantean soldiers in their familiar armor as well. And even though the Ouroboros awoke and rose from the depths, to devastate the Atlanteans, I never saw it as Aquaman's death. No worries…he lives to fight another day.


What can I say about this page? Pure guilty pleasure. Again keeping with the Kirby love, I wanted to show the giant serpent gaining access to other worlds and realities, to test out it's power. So I took four Kirby creations, and had Dustin recreate some of their famous covers or panels and inserting the snake into them. Featured are Kamandi, Atlas, OMAC, and the Forever People.

Monday, July 9, 2012


As Justice League Beyond continues in Batman Beyond Unlimited, the scope of the stories we wanted was to have them move out of Gotham into other parts of the DC Universe. With Cadmus playing such a large role in the Justice League Unlimited show and in the Beyond timeline, it seemed natural that there would be all sorts of Cadmus compounds scattered around the globe. One such secretive one, as funded by Luthor, would be hidden on Dinosaur Island. And that's where the story continues in this issue before heading over to a secret Kobra base.


The idea was to keep the green & purple color scheme design for the robots, mimicking Lex's own familiar power suit.


Lex's very focused collection of Kryptonian artifacts (as well as other items) would lend itself to a lot of mystery. We already know that Superman has kept his own rocketship from Krypton as part of his collection in the Fortress Of Solitude. But maybe it wasn't the only one to make it off the planet. Superman's vision when touching this ship yields a saying in Kryptonian here.


When coming up with where the Ouroboros would be found by Kobra, I had read and heard from friends about the mysterious "bloop" phenomenon (do a google search for it…it's pretty fascinating and Cthulhu-esque). Where deep sea sonar had picked up this sound many fathoms deep that's been a mystery. Instead of inventing some place on the fly for this giant snake to be called forth from (alternate reality, wormhole, etc.), here was something more grounded in actual fact, right down to it's specific location. Always a happy accident when something like this falls in your lap.


The mind control device that Amanda Waller is being forced to wear, is the same one Kobra has used before in the series finale to Batman Beyond.

Watch List:  Batman Beyond episode "Unmasked"


This is the first mention of Aquaman in the Justice League Beyond comic. He'll also show up in the next issue as well as the Beyond: Origins story for Aquagirl. For the future Justice League's appearance in the Batman Beyond show, there's a fleeting mention of Aquaman on Aquagirl's database entry on the computer. His whereabouts at that time were "unknown". I'm sure there's a backstory there waiting to be told, but we won't be referring back to that anytime soon.

Watch List:  Batman Beyond episodes "The Call parts 1 & 2"

Not a whole lot of surprises or easter eggs for this issue, but still many more to come as we move forward!