Bad Mask Roll Call 4

Assemble, members of the international mischief coalition!  BAD MASK!  Gosh darn it I love drawing these guys!!  This week we have three members of Bad Mask's magic division; each a master of their own brand of spiritual forces.  All three report directly to Paruda, and remain in constant contact with him through spirit crystals.
 Posso Mask: Posso is the commander of the Controller Staff, a powerful magical item capable of controlling any living or non living thing that bares the same mark as that on the staff.  If Posso can somehow get that mark on you, you're his!

 Mosho Mask: One of the more reserved members of Bad Mask, Mosho has a direct link to the keepers of the Yokurai river, said to be a pathway to the dream world.  Mosho has a number of dream-related powers such as access to dreams, and the ability to cover vast distances using peoples' dreams as conduits.

Spectra Mask: The wife of the late Greggory Mask, one of the oldest members of Bad Mask.  Very late in his life, Greggory realized the secret to becoming a physical specter and left intense instructions for his wife (who was, at the time, not a member of Bad Mask) on how to prepare his remains so that she could summon his physical specter.


Bad Mask Roll Call 3

Assemble, members of the international mischief coalition!  BAD MASK!  Today's three members specialize in breaking and entering.  There is no bank, safe, or fortress that these three rascals can't get into!

Acro Mask: Acro Mask is a master acrobat and commands a physical prowess and sense of balance that is unmatched.  The only thing known about Acro's past is he was a wildly successful cat burglar for many years.  The special belt he wears is fitted with weights that can raise, lower, and redistribute around.  This coupled with his natural balancing ability makes it nearly impossible for Acro to be knocked over or stumble.

Electro Mask: She is a computing and programming whiz that can break any security code, render any defense system useless, and retroactively erase surveillance images.  Her age and advanced skills have made her arrogant and seemingly obsessed with crystals and what she calls, "crystal computing".

Boravo Mask: An ex-mining specialist, Boravo Mask can get though any sort of door, barrier or shield by means of the two drills that he has invented and operates like gloves.  Additionally, Boravo can break through electrical barriers and forcefields.  His drills can create resonance fields that negate such obstacles.


Horora Tagigo

Remember the giant robot poster I made a month or two back?  Well, I was just doodling, and I ended up doing some fanart of said robot, Horora Tagigo (which means "Terrible Dawn" in Esperanto)  Enjoy!

I'm totally not sold on how I've been handling these backgrounds.  I think I either need to fully flesh them out, or leave them blank like the Big Duo image.  I think these gradients that I've been putting in look lame.


Leo Geo Readings!

Good news everyone!  There is not one, but TWO Leo Geo readings/signings coming up in the same amount of weeks!  First up:
Book Signing with Jon Chad
As part of Montshire's annual Shop, Save, Explore event, author Jon Chad will talk about his book "Leo Geo."  I will be signing books, as well as doing an interactive reading for kids and adults alike at 6pm!  I've redone the video for my reading and added sound!  Maybe little ole Jon Chad figured out how to use garage band!?  Maybe there's a song?!

This event is a yearly night where the Montshire opens its doors for FREE!  What's more, there is an opening of a show of nature artwork by Charley Harper, and accompanying comics by the CCS first years!  Super cool!

Friday, November 30, 2012 5:30pm - 7:30pm
More details and information on the Montshire Museum HERE

Book Signing as part of the CCS Holiday Bazaar
On the First Friday of December CCS will  be throwing open the doors of its newest building, the renovated post office.  I will be joined by book titans like Katherine Roy, Sarah Stewart Taylor,  Harry Bliss, James Sturm, and James Kochalka to do signings and sketches.  CCS students will also be on hand churning out some gorgeous holiday cards.

Friday, December 7, 2012 5pm - 8pm
More details and information on the Cartoon Studies website HERE

Two really amazing events!  I hope to see you there!


Bad Mask Roll Call 2

Quickly!  Assemble the agents of evil, BAD MASK!  This week, some of the original members of Bad Mask, as well as some of the most mysterious, are revealed!

Edison Mask: Edison Mask is the oldest member of Bad Mask's scientific department, and the most experienced in chemical solvents.  The super-acids he has created has aided Bad Mask in gaining entry to many secure locations.  Being one of the most senior members, he knows more about Bad Mask's ultimate goal, the completion of Project TenDOE, than any other member, other than Bad Mask himself

Black Mask: Black Mask is the only member of Bad mask that is allowed to not wear the trademark red mask.  Black Mask is not human, but is rather a specter.  Being such, he serves directly under Paruda Mask.  He serves as Paruda's eyes and ears on missions that Paruda Mask cannot be present for.

Maser Mask: An engineering genius, Maser Mask is in charge of weapons development.  However, he is extremely skittish in dangerous situations, so he rarely goes out on missions, or sees his creations actually used in the field.


Bikeman Update!

Hello faithful reader(s)!  I just wanted to check in to let you all know where I am with Bikeman, as well as my other projects!  First of, I know I've been yammering about this all summer, but I have been hard at work on the sequel to Leo Geo, Leo Geo and the Cosmic Crisis.  It's been a long road, but things are finally starting to wrap up! I've submitted my art, and only have a few loose ends.  VERY EXCITING.

In the meantime, I have been starting to do Bikeman pages again!  I've finished 21 pages since I've had the time to do so, and I had forgotten how much I LOVE this story.  Also, I'd forgotten how arduous it is to draw all those little trees and leaves, but I digress.  Now, if you remember, I stopped posting Bikeman pages a long time ago because I was afraid of catching up to myself.  I have 4 issues out right now, which cover the first 200 pages of the story.  Additionally, besides the pages I've been recently doing, I have enough Bikeman pages for 2 more issues.  There will be a new issue coming out this
spring!  Above is a sketch of one of the main baddies, Brasko Ludado, that I colored for fun.

A recent page!  Moving on, here's a quick update on Bobo Backslack...it still exists.  I'm extremely passionate about the book, and have been showing it around to people.  By hook or by crook, it WILL be a book (hey, that rhymes!)!  Trust me, Bobo is a special little guy that requires a special home.  He will have it though, by golly!

Ahhh, now let's talk about pinball.  It warms the recesses of my cold heart to even type those words.  Since Alec has moved to the West Coast, it requires a bit more coordination between us to get our DTZ issues together.  While we didn't have one for the fall shows, we are DEFINITELY going to have one for the spring shows!  Get pumped!  Also, I've been feeling like a rat that Alec has been handling the brunt of the DTZ blog posts, so I've been recommitting myself to getting some rad pinball art up on the BLOG.

What else is going on...well, Alec and I have still been blogging for Stern.  If you look at the listings of ALL the Stern blog posts in the past year, EASILY 98% of them are Alec and I.  We are nearly the only Stern Bloggers,  which is rad.

Phew, well, that seems like that's it.  I've got a lot on the old Jon Chad plate (aside from teaching/staff duties at CCS) but it's a lot of fun.  I've also been kicking around ideas for another Leo Geo book, so I've always got my eyes on the future!  Onwards!



Remember earlier when I said that the idea of three robots being the master of three types of battlefields (earth, water, sky) is not a new idea.  Well, we can look as far back as the Giant Robo series from Mitsuteru Yokoyama.  I'e already talked about how obsessed I am with this series.  Well, the three most powerful robots were set up in this aforementioned fashion.  As far as I've been able to tell, it's the earliest instance of such.  The main character's robot, Giant Robo, or GR-1, is a land, artilary-based robot, GR-2 is best for underwater combat, and GR-3 is a flying robot.  In the 90's anime Giant Robo: The Day the Earth Stood Still, GR-1 is taken from the international terrorist group Big Fire by the creator's son, Daisaku Kusama.  They send GR-2 out in pursuit, and they have an awesome fight.  We never get to see GR-3 in the anime, except briefly in the opening.  I drew some fanart of GR-2!  Enjoy!


More Robots!

I don't think these even need any sort of pretense anymore.  I love robots.  Deal with it.  Here is some fanart from one of my favorite giant robots, Big Duo, from the show Big O.  The three most powerful robots in the Big O series are Big O (a land-based robot), Big Duo (a robot that can sort of transform into a prop plane and fly), and Big Fau (a water-based, submarine-type robot).  This idea of having three robots that are each masters of a different type of battle field is not a new idea, but it's one that I'm completely in love with.  So much so, that the three great monsters from the Bikeman world are modeled in the fashion (the Monster from the Lands Beyond, the Monster from the Skies Above, and the Monsters from the Seas Below).  Any way, here's Big Duo.


Bad Mask Roll Call 1

I've been having a blast recently drawing villains that are part of the International Mischief Coalition, Bad Mask.  Founded by the infamous prankster Cababo Mask, Bad Mask is committed to making the world an uncomfortable place to live in.  Each member of Bad Mask has forsaken their name and their past in the pursuit of evil.  They come from all corners of the globe, and contribute their own unique abilities to Bad Mask.

Rooge Mask- In charge of all money-based crimes and schemes.  Easily one of the best marksmen in Bad Mask, but also, surprisingly, one of the fastest.

Brass Mask- One of the newest and youngest members of Bad Mask.  His impulsiveness and enthusiasm was at first seen as a detriment, but is now treasured in the ranks of Bad Mask.  Although he always seems to be injured, his fast-healing abilities makes him the peak of physical form.

Paruda Mask- Bad Mask's general of the occult.  In recent years, Bad Mask has become increasingly reliant on Paruda's connection to the spirit world and his mastery of mischief magic, meschevermancy. 


5 Years of Bags

When I first printed Leo Geo, I was OBSESSED on putting the minicomic in a bag.  Fate had deemed it so!  The mini measured 4.25" x 13"; almost the EXACT dimensions of a kraft quart liquor bag.  I was living in Savannah at the time, and a real noob when it came to getting my hands on production materials.  So it was perfectly logical to 2007 Jon Chad that the ONLY logical place to get a kraft quart liquor bag was the liquor store.  I rode out to a local store a couple miles from the center of town and found my supplier in a liquor store clerk named Bubba.  He was willing to sell me bags at 5 cents a pop.  I went on buying bags from him in batches of 50 or 100 until I figured that I should just bite the bullet and buy the bags in bulk myself.  I found a paper vendor in town and purchased 500 bags for $15 (3 cents a bag!  you can see that the color of the bags changes!).

In 2009, when Leo Geo got picked up, the first thing I had to do was STOP selling the minicomic Leo Geo IMMEDIATELY.  Since then, my bag production hasn't been as frequent, but I still try to roll out new bags for the new hardcover Leo Geo, as well as use it for other projects such as pinball prints.

Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end.  Tonight I printed my last bag : (  I found myself getting more emotional than the situation probably warranted.  I don't know, it just hit me in a weird place.  I don't buy ink in large bottles or bristol in large pads, so this is the closest thing I have as a watermark of my time in the game.  It's like counting the rings of a tree.
Here's to you, bag bundle!  You won't be the only bundle of bags I'll print, but you'll always be my first!


MICE Workshop

No, unfurtunately I will NOT be conducting a drawing workshop for mice (the animal) this weekend.  I will be conducing a unfolding comics workshop for MICE (the comics fest) this weekend!!

Fold-Out Comics with Jon Chad
If you thought that a book is just made up of a cover, back cover, and all the business in-between, think again! There is a wide variety of folding and book construction techniques that can help create a truly unique reading experience. Jon Chad from the Center for Cartoon Studies will walk through the basics of comic-making and how to make your own unfolding minicomic!

I'm super-duper pumped and ready to go!  Come on down and see some great examples of some unfolding books, as well as make your own!  Also, I'll be selling those new-fangled robot blueprints that I printed earlier this week.  You'll get one FREE with a purchase of my book, Leo Geo, or it's just $5 on its own.  Just please...PLEASE don't sell these blueprints to the forces of evil!!

See you there!!


Operation: Robo No Go

Sorry for the spat of silence from us here at the Fizzmont Institute.  Things got REALLY tense here for a little while.  A Code: Red All Stop was declared on ALL ongoing projects.  Everyone was called into  the Fizzmont HQ in Italy in order to rally all departments for a joint venture.

We were told at HQ that enemies of the Fizzmont Institute were planning something BIG.  We had reliable leads that indicated that the puppet companies Harada Robotics Design Coalition and Qhumlata Energy Drive Systems had been commissioned to design a giant robot for EVIL!  While I can't reveal the details of what went down, but nearly 90% of Fizzmont departments contributed to what is now being called Operation Robo No Go.  I'm happy to report that the operation was a complete success!  Not only did we cripple Qhumlata's ability to fabricate the necessary reactors, but we also obtained all 75 copies of the blueprints of the giant robot from Harada's lab.

Whoever was planning on building this robot is going to be out of luck!  I have to admit, even though the robot in the blueprints was meant for evil, it's a pretty sweet image.  I have been given permission by the Fizzmont Institute to sell off the extra blueprints, with the stipulation that I don't sell them to the forces of evil.  No problem!  I'm going to have these classified documents for sale at the upcoming MICE comics show this weekend in Boston!  You should come by and say hi!  This is my fist time at MICE, and I've heard its a totally awesome show.  


SPX Goodies

For those of you who pick up a copy of Leo Geo at SPX this weekend, you'll receive it in a handsomely printed liquor bag.  Unfortunately, I didn't have the time to screen-print it, but that gave me the ability to have a design with a butt-billion colors.  Was it hard to put through a photocopier? Maybe a little!  It was harder to set up the custom paper size.  I think they came out pretty good!

As I mentioned last post, I will have a copy of the BAD-ventures of Bobo Backslack dummy.  I realized that a lot of people haven't even seen what that looks like, so I thought I'd take a picture, just in case you won't be at SPX : (


SPX or Science Propagation eXperiment

Hello!  This week classes are starting up at the Center for Cartoon Studies.  It's been great to see all those bright-eyed and bushy tailed 1st years jumping into the curriculum.  I can't wait to see what they come up!

Well, things have cooled down with LG2, thankfully, so I've had time to unwind with some pinball and Leo Geo illustrations.  I've got a nice buffer of blog fodder.  In other news, I'm going to be hitting the road this weekend; the road...to Bethesda, MD, for the Small Press Exposition!  This is one of my favorite shows of the year.  I feel like I haven't gotten the chance to be as excited as I could be, but let me tell YOU, once I get in that car, and the rubber hits the road, this Chad is going to be P-U-M-P-E-D.  Naturally, I'll have copies of Leo Geo on me, as well as issues of Bikeman and the Bobo Backslack dummy (if you really want to read about a guy living in a snake, kissing cats).  For the third year in a row (hat trick!) I'll be tabling with the beyond talented Colleen Frakes and Laura Terry!  I can't think of a more deadly 3-headed beast!  "But JON CHAD?!" I hear you cry, "where can I find this majestic amalgamation of talent?"  Ha ha, ASK AND YE SHALL RECIEVE!  I swiped this map from Colleen!
We're right by the entrance at J3!  Pretty choice!  Come by and say hi!!

Anywho, I was combing through some old photos at the Fizzmont Institute and I came across this little gem taken back in 2002:
You can see Leo Geo booting up our supercomputer that was built by his brother, Matt Data.  One of Leo's other siblings, Alan Aqua, is there on the right hand side.  FizzCOM (as he's since been renamed by the Department of Preemptive Legal Action Avoidance) had worked out GREAT ever since.  He manages to keep track of the wide variety of experiments going on here at the Institute.  Since I work mostly by a drawing desk, the only times I interact with him is when I visit the Scanning Division to scan original art.

Well, I hope to see you guys at SPX! 


Atragon: an Intersection in my Venn Diagram of Interests

I’m a HUGE fan of Tokusatsu, especially the Toho franchise.  Godzilla vs. Megalon?  Godzilla vs. Destroyah?  Godzilla vs Bioante?  Are you kidding me?  This stuff is PURE GOLD.  When I heard that Tristar was going to be releasing an AMERICAN Godzilla movie, my adolescent Jon Chad heart leapt for joy.  Well, we all know how THAT turned out… 

As if PLEADING for my forgiveness, Tristar released the Toho Godzilla 2000 movie stateside.  While not the best Godzilla movie ever made, it was the first in the Millennium series of Godzilla movies, and the only one I ever saw in theatres.  It remains on of my favorite movie-going experiences.

Meanwhile, on a different arm of movie interests are submarine movies.  This love is something that my father and me share.  My dad sums it up best:

“It’s got all the attraction of the war genre, with the added pressure of the encompassing ocean.  You’ve got an underwater fortress, manly men that have nowhere to go but straight into danger, and you’re guaranteed that some poor plucky young sailor named after a New York borough is going to have to swim into the flooded engine compartment at some point to close a valve.  What’s not to like!?”

Ahhhh, truer words have never been spoken. 

All of this is merely to set up these two differing cinema interests.  Where they intersect is the 1963 Japanese Tokusatsu film, Atragon.  To sum it up, a race of people living underneath the earth, the Mu Empire, plan to invade the surface.  To accomplish this, the Muians steal the I-403 submarine from WWII veteran, Captain Jinguji.  Even though Captain Jinguji has plans for an even more powerful Undersea Fortress, the Atragon, he is still upset about Japan’s defeat in WWII, and refuses to help.  He eventually comes around and agrees to help the surface humans; launching the Atragon against the Mu Empire.  The final battle pits the Atragon against a kaiju (Japanese giant monster) controlled by the Mu; Manda the sea serpent.

I know that I say this a lot, but this movie HAS IT ALL!  There are freeze rays, submarines that can also fly and have drills on the front, explosions, monsters, you name it!  Is it cheesy?  Most assuredly, but that only adds to the charm.  There’s something really authentic about the conceit of making a submarine fly.  It’s a great combination of two distinct genres that make for a really unique movie.  

In 1995, Phoenix Entertainment released a two-episode anime special based on Atragon named Super Atragon.  The design of the titular craft (which, admittedly, is called the Ra in the anime) is awesome.  While it plays a little fast and loose with the aliens and the story (and there's no Manda) it's pretty fun.  My favorite part of the anime is the cylindrical, almost monolithic alien warships.  They're not particularly inspired, but each comes with an bevy of "gravity lenses;" rings that fly around and redirect lasers.  Super cool.  So cool, in fact, that I drew some fan art.


Crush them, Giant Robo!! pt1

I'm going to take a quick departure from talking/stressing about working on LG2 to talk about something near and dear to my heart: giant robots.  I'm a huge fan of the giant robot genre, but more so a fan of the super robot subsection.  There are two subsections to the giant robot genre: real robot and super robot.  Real robots are defined by having mechanics and operations based on real world physics, as well as limited ammunition.  Perfect examples of real robots would be Mobile Suit Gundam, the Evangelions, Patlabor, Mechwarrior, etc.  The super robot genre I find to be characterized by two things: mechanics or operations based on fictional elements/undiscovered power sources, and a method of control that isn't appropriate for the complexity of the robot.  Let's look at a roster of super robots: Jehuty and Anubis from my favorite robot game of all time, Zone of the Enders, the Megazord, the robots from Robot Alchemic Drive, Red Baron, RahXephon, the Argento Soma Robots, etc.  I could go on and on. 

(Tetsujin 28-go and his archrival Black Ox)

The single robot that started the ENTIRE super robot genre was Tetsujin 28-go, known in america as Gigantor.  Tetsujin 28-go was created by manga artist Mitsuteru Yokoyama in 1956.  Wildly successful when it came out, it has spawned several animes and manga sequels.  The titular robot in the series was controlled by 10-yr old Shotaro Kaneda by means of a hand-held remote control.  Let's take a second and zoom out here.  A gigantic, super-powerful, humanoid robot is controlled by what amounts to an Atari controller.   ?!?!?!  As if.  This is the crux of the super robot genre, though.

In 1967, Yokoyama was asked to write a premise for a Tokusatsu TV show (tokusatsu is a genre of Japanese television that translates out to "special effects" it covers everything from Atragon, to Gojira, to Zuranger [power rangers] I LOVE IT).  Yokoyama wrote a premise for a show that he called Giant Robo; "A robot that can only be controlled by a hero"  In Giant Robo, the titular robot is controlled by Daisaku Kusama.  Daisaku controls Robo by speaking into a watch.  ONLY Daisaku can control Robo (as opposed to Tetsujin, which anyone could use as long as they got the Atari stick).  Giant Robo was constructed by Daisaku's father for the international terrorist group, Big Fire.  Naturally, he has a change of heart at the conclusion of Giant Robo's construction, and hands over control of Giant Robo to his son.  This is a start of a really charming precedent in the giant robo genre of the main robot having been built originally for EVIL!  Giant Robo had a run as a manga and as a live-action TV show (known in the US as Johnny Sokko and his Flying Robot.)

That's it for the Giant Robot history/rant...FOR NOW!  Next time: fanart and Giant Robo: The Day the Earth Stood Still!!!


Adventure Time Finds

Ahhhhhh, we're starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel here at Jon Chad HQ, and no, we aren't referring to the pale flicker of light that reflects off the tear in our eye.  Now that I'm getting my life back in order from crazy-go-nuts-finish-a-book-in-a-month month 2012, I can get to things that I've been criminally neglecting.  They include, but are not limited to:

-Posting on the DTZ Blog
-Posting on the Stern Blog
-Posting HERE!
-Getting back to drawing Bikeman!
-Cleaning out/organizing my computer

I know that I'm in a buttload of trouble from the Fizzmont Correspondence Negligence Coalition, but they'll just have to simmer down while I wrap up a few last things on Leo Geo 2.  I'm not ready to call it yet, but we're getting suuuuuper close.  In the mean time, I've dug up some odds and ends from when I was working on the Adventure Time Minicomic, including some fanart of one of my favorite characters from Adventure Time.  If I get to do another one of the minicomics I will, without hesitation, do it about Xerigok.  LINE UP FER YER SPANKINS, GOBLINSS!

When I was signing the Adventure Time minis I did at Comic Con, I would rotate between doing sketches of Finn, BMO, Choose Goose, and Xerigok.  If someone could recognize Xerigok, they were in my special super-duper cool club.
Oh, and here are some sketches for covers before I settled on the final one.



I know that I'm putting off recapping on SDCC (that happened LAST MONTH, ugh), but I have a couple of robots that I sketched while I was at the SCAD table.  I LOVE ROBOTS!!  Let me draw something with pipes, gears, or circuitry and I'll be a happy Chad!!

LG2 coloring is underway!  


Leo Geo 2 Update

Hello, faithful arbiters of science!  I'm coming up for air VERY BRIEFLY to let you know how Leo Geo 2 is coming along!  In a word: great!  In 5 words: I am SUPER-DUPER busy!!  These past two weeks have been an inking whirlwind, but I finished this past weekend!  Now I just have miles and miles of coloring ahead of me!

Oh boy, oh boy!  Look at all those pages!  All the engine trails and ancillary effects are on separate pages, but those are done too!  Other than the adventures of Leo and Matt, I've been wrapping up summer workshops at CCS with Alec Longstreth.  It's been a long haul, but the students have been producing such a high caliber of work that it's been spurring me on and lighting that fire in my belly! 

I haven't even recapped you guys on how SD Comic Con was!  ugh!  Not enough hours in the day, am I right!  I'll make it up to you guys!  This is busy season, but it's going to be such a rad book when it's out!



Oh my GLOB, you guys, I can finally let this puma out of the sack!  I can let this lion out of the purse!  I can let this catamount out of its backpack!  I was asked, back in April, by the good people at BOOM! studios to design and print a minicomic for Adventure Time!  I am an intense fan of the show, and I was only too pleased to tackle the project!  

I have made a lot of minicomics in my day, but I have never been contracted to make one for someone else.  I can't say how many of these I printed, but rest assured, IT WAS A LOT.  Easily heads and shoulders beyond any print run I have ever dreamed of.  Here's a video that I was asked to make to help explain the minicomic, and the particulars of how it is constructed:

So, as the video indicated, I will be in attendance at Comic Con THIS WEEK to help spread the minicomic gospel.  What I'm most excited about, hands down, is being able to interact with people who aren't used to seeing this kind of work.  I'm not an idiot; I realize that the majority of people have never seen a minicomic, let alone one with unconventional construction.  I am equal parts excited and terrified of Comic Con, so stop on by to let me know everything will be OK.

Here's my signing schedule!
1:30-2:30 Signing at BOOM! table 2743

11:00-12:00 Signing at BOOM! table 2743
3:00-4:00 Signing at MacKids table 1220 (for Leo Geo!)

1:30-2:30 Signing at BOOM! table 2743


Hard at Work

Summer workshops have started up at the Center for Cartoon Studies, and they're going really well!  Alec Longstreth and I are teaching the lion's share of them, with a couple of A-MAZE-ING guest lecturers coming in!  Last week was the Children's Book Workshop!  It was a blast!  Local author DB Johnson gave a great talk about his career and his Photoshop wizardry.  Drawing superpower and all-around great guy Scott C gave a great talk about his work and how he watercolors.  It actually inspired me to pick up a brush (for the first time in YEARS) and try my hand at watercoloring. 

Well, we're getting into the thick of summer here at CCS and the Fizzmont Institute.  The second printing of Leo Geo is due stateside any day now, and I'm hard at work on Leo Geo 2. 
My secret minicomic project is finally DONE and in the mail, so HOPEFULLY, I'll be able to talk about it this week!!  I can't wait to share it with you guys.  In the meantime, I have a nice steady stream of good news to sate your palette.  I was recently lucky enough to go to the Stern Pinball factory in Melrose Park, Il.  You can read the full post on the Stern Blog HERE, but needless to say, it BLEW MY MIND.


17.Bf5 exf5 18.Rxe7 Bxe7 19.c4 1–0

I'm just going to come out and say it...I've been obsessed with human vs. computer chess lately!  I watched the documentary Game Over: Kasparov and the Machine which documents the events leading up to the 1997 chess match between then world champion Garry Kasparov and the then state of the art IBM super computer Deep Blue.  First off, I'm obsessed with super computers.  I think there is a really interesting lineage that you can trace from super computer to super computer.  It's one of our most tangible links to science fiction!  Hal 9000 here we come!

The way that these chess tournaments are handled reminds me, in some fashion, of the Turing tests that are held every year.  In the Turing tests, computers and humans interact anonymously with judges who have to figure out which is the computer and which is the human.  It's pretty cool.

Well, that's all I have for now.  I've been finishing up my secret minicomic project that I hope to be able to talk about sooooooon.


Mid-Wersternly Bound...

...or, "Two Birds with One Stone".  I'm off to Chicago in a couple hours for the CAKE comics convention.  Not only am I prepared to have a whiz-bang of a time with my half-table-mate Colleen Frakes, and old pals Beth Hetland, Josh Kramer, Pranas Naujokaitis, Jeremy Sorese etc etc etc, but I am ALSO going to be participating in the age old tradition of overnight road trips.  Part of me is terrified of a 16-hour drive, and the other part of me is pumped.  There's also the part of me that is a masochist and actually brought work to do during the car ride.

So, for those in the Chicago or nearby areas, why not saunter your beautiful hide down to the CAKE comics convention and hang out with some real cartooning rock stars.

CAKE! - June 16 & 17

Columbia College's Ludington Building
1104 S Wabash, Chicago, Illinois
Saturday & Sunday 11am - 6pm
Free and Open to the Public!

Whoa!  It doesn't get much better than that!  To sweeten the deal, though, I'm going back to my roots...

As you might remember from THIS blog post, Leo Geo used to come in a kraft quart liquor bag.  Keeping the comic in a bag was one of my favorite parts of the presentation.  It invited the reader to open it on their own term and explore into the book.

Well, after some finagling, I've found that the new hardcover Leo Geo ALSO fits into a kraft quart liquor bag.  So I've done a special bag for Leo Geo's picked up at CAKE.  Take a peep:

 Wahoo!  Halftone printing!  See you at CAKE!!


When the well runs dry...

WHOA, that title looks way more depressing than it is supposed to be!  What it is referring to is something I brought up a week ago; the first printing of Leo Geo is gone, kaput, sold out.  I'm not sure as to how big the first print run was, but I'm still pretty pumped.  As we speak, the second printing is being drawn out of the inter-dimensional space between the science fact dimension and the science fiction dimension (to editor: that's where books come from, right?).  In the meantime, I've been working hard on Leo Geo 2 as well as some Leo Geo sketches!
I'm going to come clean and say that I have no idea where this came from.  I mean, I'm pretty tapped into what goes on here at the institute, but even I have no idea why you'd put a perfectly good burger and fries in a radioactive container...UNLESS, this was something that the boys down at the Nutrition Augmentation Program put together to make a GIANT version of burger and fries.  Okay, that makes sense.  I can totally get behind a giant b&f.