Archive for December, 2010

Death By Electrocution

I moved a bookcase the other day and found this little guy dangling out of an electric socket. There was no faceplate on the socket opening so the mouse was using it as an entrance and exit into the bowels of the studio. He must have hit the hot lead passing through and been instantly electrocuted. Thankfully he didn’t start a fire!


I think the only Christmas story I’ve ever done is “My Bizarre Christmas Adventure” ; this five pager from the 1980’s. I illustrated and lettered it from a script by Steve Perry, who was murdered earlier this year. I’m not sure if this story is 100% autobiographical, but the despairing tale of raw alienation Steve weaves certainly jives with how he related to the holiday season back when I knew him. This one was from deep inside Steve Perry’s heart.

Scans are from the original art.  Happy holiday, everyone!

Death Fart

Give Veitch and Bissette half a chance and they will make a flatulence joke like no other. A scan from the original art for THE TELL-TALE FART circa 1978.

Heart Of Beef

I want to make mention that one of my central artistic influences passed away yesterday. Don Van Vliet, who recorded under the name Captain Beefheart, died from complications of multiple sclerosis in a Northern California hospital at the age of 69. There are plenty of obituaries on the net that detail the facts and fictions of his life and art. I’m not going to go into that here; instead I want to just try and explain why his work meant so much to me.

Yes I dug his records, his voice, his lyrics, his paintings and poetry; but it was really his central stance that most inspired me. All his art was a reaction to what he saw as the dehumanization of people and the destruction of the natural world by modern society. That’s the way I see it too, and all my art, even the mainstreamy stuff, has been informed by that same observation and belief. The fact that there was someone out there making that uncompromising point through his creative output as I was growing up made a huge difference to me.

Thank you, Don!

Mr. Sketchum’s Head Is In A Weird Place!

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1972: Roots Of Two-Fisted Zombies

When I was working on my first published comic book, TWO-FISTED ZOMBIES, in 1972, I was twenty years old and about as self-trained as you can get. I couldn’t handle a brush yet and was working only with a single rapidograph! This page is from that time; a weird sequence I originally did for my own development, not for TWO-FISTED ZOMBIES.  When I showed it to brother Tom, he liked the GREEN HATE character so much he integrated him into TWO FISTED ZOMBIES with a new name: the SPECTRAL ASSASSIN.

More Primitive Airbrush

Another very early color airbrush exercise; this one done right after the Silver Surfer piece I posted a few days ago. The idea of making a fluid airbrush version of the Kirby Krackle is really taking hold and here I’m creating a mad cosmic structure in the manner Jack might have.

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Rock In Metal

Here’s a curiosity I found. It’s a metal printing plate that was used to print an issue of SGT. ROCK comics, circa 1976. Normally a printing plate such as this is a mirror image of the finished artwork, but I’ve flopped it here so you can read Kanigher’s script.

They often describe Joe Kubert’s faces as “sculpted”. In this context they really become “sculpture”!

Holidays Got You A Little Out Of Focus?

I know the feeling!

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Mr. Sketchums

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