Thursday, November 26, 2015


If it weren't for G.I.JOE, I wouldn't be working in comics…and possibly not even reading them. Such a profound impact it had on my youthful life growing up!

Marvel's Joe comics were the first comics I ever bought and read on a regular basis. It was the '80s and I was in grade school. I'd rush home every day to catch the cartoon, and those beautiful 5-part episodic mini-series events. I was captivated by the toys. And they even ran animated commercials back in the day advertising reading the comic. I'd buy those comics from drugstore spinner racks and magazine shops, back when those were a thing. The monthly wait for each issue was excruciating, stopping by each week to see if the new issue came in. And through a friend, I was introduced to a local shop that sold nothing but comics. A way to dig through the back issue bins and get caught up on issues I had missed. Comics nirvana!

I remember proclaiming quite profoundly that G.I.JOE (and Transformers) were the only comics I'd need. They seemed "realistic" enough for my tastes. No need bothering with any of those spandex superheroes in tights and capes. Of course, that would change, and I'd get hooked on plenty of Marvel, DC, and Image books throughout the years. But those Joes were my first.

It was Larry Hama's writing, those beautiful Mike Zeck covers, and the multiple artists that had runs on the book. The backstories for Snake Eyes and Storm Shadow. The Silent Issue. The characters that died, some that came back and others that didn't. Heroes and villains and patriotism and freedom. And eventually, the title ended at Marvel and that would be it.

After high school, college, and art school, I'd find myself working in the industry that meant so much as I was growing up. And the Joes came back, published by a few companies. But it was Hama's Joes that would always be my version. So it was a pleasant surprise when IDW got the license and picked back up again with Larry writing his Joes.

I was happy it was back. And even more enthused to drop them a line, checking in from time to time, if they ever had an opening to work on it. And with the multi-part "Cobra World Order", I'd get my shot.

In the back of my mind, I always thought it would be one of those full circle moments if I ever got to work on a Joe comic…and it totally is!  But I never would've thought it would be on a Hama Joe comic. The comic that at one time was cancelled. The writer and staff having moved on.

But now my 30 year journey has arrived with my name credited on the cover underneath the writer whose stories gave me so much entertainment, inspiration, and now a career. I've gotten the chance to ink four issues for this story. And hope to do more in the future.



Wednesday, March 25, 2015


In addition to drawing some covers recently on DC's Looney Tunes comic, I also got the chance to write a story. All those years of waking up at the crack of dawn and watching the show on a Saturday morning sugar cereal high, finally have paid off. I pitched a number of different story ideas, but truth be told, DC and WB picked the one I was most interested in doing. Such a huge love for all those great Coyote and Roadrunner cartoons, it was a blast to do my own.

First things first, the cover. Unlike previous covers where they like to see three or more ideas to pick from, I already had a strong idea of what I wanted to do. So with the layout in mind, it was more a manner of trying to find the right expression for Coyote to have. Because it's as much about getting it cleared through WB standards as it is DC. Also why I have the greatest amount of respect for the animators and sequential artists that work on cartoon licensed books. They have to draw these characters "in movement" across the screen or page, multiple times, from multiple angles and situations. Something I'm not entirely comfortable doing. But a one-image cover, I'm always striving to see if I can accomplish that.

For the story itself, it's always a matter of respecting the property. Trying to have an understanding of what's come before and the tropes of the universe it inhabits. So on animation based properties, I always sit down and watch a lot of them and take notes. Break down what works and what doesn't. And it'll always spark the imagination. 

With ACME such a prevailing part of every Roadrunner cartoon, it was pretty easy coming up with a story that involves Coyote running out of funds and going to work for ACME in order to get more items to use in his never ending quest to get the Roadrunner. It was fun playing around with the idea of ACME being sort of another high-tech version of Amazon or Google.

The one sight gag I wanted to put early in the story, and I wasn't sure if it would even be allowed, was to have Coyote and Ralph Wolf pass each other in the same panel. I couldn't for the life of me remember if they'd ever been shown together before. But I liked the idea of finally putting to rest any question that they were the same character (Coyote with his black nose and Wolf with his red one).

When I found out that Dave Alvarez would be drawing my story, I was very excited! I'd followed his work before on his own creation "Yenny", as well as other stories he's drawn for Looney Tunes and Scooby. He's always had a way of faithfully capturing the style of the animation property he's drawing, while making it come to life in his own fun way. And I think the art he did here looks like a lost episode from the show. So clean. Tightly drawn, with solid colors by Candace Schinzler-Bell. Hope to get the chance to work with them again!