Thursday, May 29, 2014

Atomic Aftermath XV: Alhambra Rasputin!

Our Story Thus Far: Yarn Man leads a dazed and confused Colonel Turtle away from the shocking horrors of Ground Zero, back to Devengers headquarters in Bayonne, New Jersey. But the friendly cabbie has his own secrets stored across the Hudson River from lower Manhattan...

Part I | II | III | IV | V | VI | VII | VIII | IXX | XI | XII | XIII | XIV
Vintage episodes of the Megaton Man Weekly Serial!

The Terrorist Mastermind!

Self-Stored Secrets!

More than a cabbie?

An Undisclosed Location but not so remote!

Next: Devengers Depleted!

Part I | II | III | IV | V | VI | VII | VIII | IXX | XI | XII | XIII | XIV
Vintage episodes of the Megaton Man Weekly Serial!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Grampa Grizzly: But Is He Friend or Foe?

A new character and potential adversary for Megaton Man, based on Big Bang Comics' Chris Ecker!

Ink on Clearprint Design Vellum 1000HP, May 27, 2014.
Original light blue and graphite pencil, November 18, 2012.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Megaton Man Memorial Day Inks

I inked these poses today. The original sketches date from 2012 (I think). Just thought you might like to see them!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Announcing the Mighty Megaton Man Yellow Envelope Contest!

The once-bulging yellow envelope labeled "Megaton Man 2002 to ink" lies flattened and empty, its rich contents spent in the last few weeks as I've inked up some 20 pages worth of material that had already been laid out and lettered around 2010 (plus drawn several new pages from scratch). Seen here are many of the half-page tiers of this material, forming much of what I've dubbed The New Megaton Man #2 (much of the actual material crafted in 2002 forming #1), and currently being serialized on this blog as Atomic Aftermath.

There is nothing sadder than a well-worn yellow envelope that once held a labor-of-love project, but is now retired from active use! But the more important question is, what to do with this stuff that has emerged from its golden clasps?! Self-publish, kickstart, jumpstart, deep six? I need your feedback!

Reverse: Brass clasp and actual piece of Post-It® tape (used to affix the finished art to the scanner below) on the Columbian® 110 Clasp (12 x 15 1/2) envelope. "Megaton Man 2002 to ink" inscribed in Sharpie® marker by the artist. Materials are guaranteed to utterly disintegrate within a few more decades.

Front: "Megaton Man 2002" carelessly scribbled by comics legend Don Simpson! Fans, archivists, and office supply enthusiasts will cherish adding this priceless piece of Americana to their collections, especially with a ballpoint pen sketch of their favorite Don Simpson character added on the side of your choice!!
Please look at the previous postings on this site (most of which have some relation to this current project), comment, tag, and share your favorites, and give me your two cents on the subject! The best comment posted anywhere on this blog by the end of May 2014 will receive a special gift -- the original empty 12" x 15" envelope shown above, adorned with a sketch of your favorite Don Simpson character in ballpoint pen, mailed anywhere in the world that gets mail! Please include an email address with your comments for notification and delivery instructions. (Offer not valid for members of Vladimir Putin's inner circle, People's Liberation Army officers in Unit 61398 Shanghai, or Boko Haram kidnappers!) Thanks!

Atomic Aftermath XIV: Homeland Security Breach!

Our Story Thus Far: Megaton Man and X-Ray Boy, just arrived in Megatropolis with friends from the Midwest following the 9/11 terrorist attacks, visit Ground Zero, but find their contribution to the rescue and clean up efforts a little less than welcome...

Part I | II | III | IV | V | VI | VII | VIII | IXX | XI | XII | XIII
Vintage episodes of the Megaton Man Weekly Serial!

The Welcoming Committee lays down the law!

Megaton Man is read the Riot Act!

Our heroes have done all they can do!
The homefront gets news of the world!

Rex gives comfort as the Earth Mother tends to the hearth!

Prying into the past!

Loose ends from the end of the millennium!
Next: The Terrorist Mastermind!

Part I | II | III | IV | V | VI | VII | VIII | IXX | XI | XII | XIII
Vintage episodes of the Megaton Man Weekly Serial!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Meanwhile in Megatropolis: The Splash Page!

I've finished inking the remaining page to complete two full issues of The New Megaton Man. This splash is actually not much more than a rehash of the last panel of The Megaton Man Weekly Serial, but it serves as a nice title page and intro of the cast of characters before they embark on a new storyline that involves the 9/11 terrorist attacks and Megaton Man's move back to Megatropolis. These two issues are being serialized on this blog as Atomic Aftermath.

Here is the blue and graphite pencil original drawing, on Bristol board, the old fashioned way compared to the method I employ now (see other recent posts on this blog).
Here is the ink final, again, right on the Bristol board (again a change from my current method. This splash is basically a recap of the last Megaton Man Weekly Serial panel that sets the stage for a new storyline that will see the cast move back to New York.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

2002 Sketchbook: The Origins of the 9/11 Storyline

These thumbnail sketches date from late 2001 and early 2002, in the wake of the September 11 attacks. Finished art was complete sometime by the mid-2000s, and has been serialized on this blog as Atomic Aftermath (what I am also calling The New Megaton Man #1). The sketches utilize Uni-Ball pens, ballpoint, colored pencil, and graphite pencil.

The Defunct Devengers: Preview of New MM #3

The Devengers finally get a groovy logo (and new team member X-Ray Boy), only to bite the Dust of Demise! This came off the drawing board today (Tuesday, May 20, 2014), for what I am currently in the habit of calling The New Megaton Man #3. See previous posts for more.

Left: Light blue and graphite pencil on bond layout; Right: ink on Clearprint vellum.

Why do the best logos always have to be canceled right off the bat? Detail of The New Megaton Man #3, page 1.

Monday, May 19, 2014

New MM #2-3 Splash Pages in Progress

Here is the last page of what I'm calling The New Megaton Man #2 and first page of #3 (currently being serialized as Atomic Aftermath on this blog). I'm using my new method of Clearprint Design Vellum, Elmer's Repositional Picture and Poster Stick, and rough pencil layouts. Both pages were drawn from scratch this morning (Monday, May 19, 2014). The glue-and-vellum combo allows me to ink with less worry about holding the material down as I ink (although you can still see some flubs I will have to correct with Pro White). On the right, you can actually see the pencil layout underneath the vellum fairly clearly.

Spoiler Alert: Big changes that will alter the Megaverse forever! Left: Stella Starlight looks on as Liquid Man floats off from the Megatropolis Quartet headquarters; Right: The Really Dead Angel of Death, Colonel Turtle, and X-Ray Boy video conference with The Lens to determine the destiny of The Devengers. (Hint: The future of both megahero teams are inextricably linked!)

(For more on inking of The Devengers splash, see this subsequent post.)

A closer look at the pencil rough (left) and the inked vellum (right), side by side, of the last page of The New Megaton Man #2. Who the heck are The Doom Defiers?! Stay tuned!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Atomic Aftermath XIII: Clean Up at Ground Zero!

Our Story Thus Far: Megaton Man, Yarn Man, and X-Ray lend a hand to the rescue effort at Ground Zero following the deadly terrorist attacks in lower Megatropolis, but the Colonel is soon overcome by the devastation...

Part I | Part II | Part III | Part IV | Part V | Part VI | Part VII | Part VIII | Part IX |
 Part X | Part XI | Part XII | Vintage episodes of the Megaton Man Weekly Serial!

Yarn Man tends to the walking wounded!

X-Ray Boy is overcome!

Yarn Man and Colonel Turtle grab a cab!

Thinking the unthinkable!

Confrontation at Ground Zero!

Can Megaton Man cool the nuclear reactor of emotions at Ground Zero?

Next: Hearth and Homeland Security Breach!

Part I | Part II | Part III | Part IV | Part V | Part VI | Part VII | Part VIII | Part IX |
 Part X | Part XI | Part XII | Vintage episodes of the Megaton Man Weekly Serial!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

My Feud with Alan Moore Continues: Dr. Megatonmanhattan!

This is so obvious, I don't know why it didn't occur to me nearly 30 years ago (except maybe I was deep into Border Worlds at the time). But here is my latest volley in my ongoing feud with Alan Moore -- Dr. Megatonmanhattan!

Here is the colored cartoon drawing. Watchmen, eat your hearts out!
Here is the original pencil drawing in Col-Erase light blue and graphite, and ink on Clearprint Design Vellum, drawn May 12 and 14, 2014 respectively.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Over Ground Zero: Too Soon No More!

Since there is a new building there now, perhaps its not "too soon" (as it was a decade ago, according to a few discouraging voices) for me to finish up my 9/11 storyline, including this tier I inked today of Megaton Man flying over Ground Zero, before it was even a construction site. This makes a total of some 50 contiguous pages of unpublished (in print form) Megaton Man material, which I have been serializing on this blog, with another dozen pages ready to be inked (roughly two print issues). Will this be collected, printed, published at all? TBD.

Further plotlines I have in mind will see a quickening pace that will bring the character current to today. Needless to say, events therein will change the Megaverse forever! Stay tuned...

Monday, May 12, 2014

Hot Off the Drawing Board: Inking Tier #43

This shows what I'm up to right this very minute without giving away too much of the storyline (see Atomic Aftermath, the 9/11 storyline I am serializing on this blog). Above is the rough layout and below the finished ink, inked today (Monday, May 12, 2014). See previous posts for an explanation of my working process.

Above: A rough layout, approximately legal size. Below: ink on Clearprint vellum.

Friday, May 9, 2014

I Ripped Off Alan Moore!: The Saga of the Swamp Sawdust Dummy!

When I met Alan Moore at the San Diego Comic Con in 1985, I happened to be carrying around photocopies of my latest comic book, Megaton Man #6 (October 1985), which happened to feature a parody of Swamp Thing. Megaton Man's alter ego, reporter Trent Phloog, used to put a sawdust dummy at his desk in the offices of The Manhattan Project while he was away being busy as Megaton Man. In this sequence, the dummy has taken a missile intended for Trent/Megaton Man, and a Swamp Thing parody ensues...

Alan responded, "Brilliant writing!" Later, at an evening beach party gathering (I believe hosted by DC Comics), he confided that he had already returned the compliment, saying, "That's okay, I'm ripping off Megaton Man! Well not really..." See what he did in The Watchmen #4 in "Alan Moore Ripped Me Off!"

Alan Moore Ripped Me Off!: The Megaton Man #4/Watchmen #4 "On Patrol" Connection!

When I met Alan Moore at the San Diego Comic Con in the summer of 1985, he casually informed me that he was "ripping off Megaton Man ... well, not exactly," with a character named Dr. Manhattan (whom Alan described as a "serious" version of Megaton Man) in his forthcoming project, The Watchmen. Sure enough, he did! Here's the original scene, from Megaton Man #4 (June 1985), in which Megaton Man and Stella Starlight go "On Patrol":

This is the cover, brilliantly colored by Kitchen Sink Press art director and Steve Canyon editor Pete Poplaski. It is my favorite of the Megaton Man covers he colored -- except he forgot to paint in star fields in the night sky, obviating the "Starlight" part of the title! Still, it's a great cover. (Note Wall Man in silhouette climbing down a building in the background.)
This is the back cover to the issue, which is really the first page of the sequence. Since it was a splash page, I demoted it because of space limitations, but it really is the beginning of the scene. I can't recall if this scene was colored by Ray Fehrenbach, or by Bill Poplaski (Pete's brother). (Sometimes the experiments failed, but the Kitchen Sink colorists were trying to push comic book coloring beyond the limitations of mechanical overlays in those prehistoric Cel-Vinyl, pre-Photoshop days!)
Stella Starlight (The See-Thru Girl) and Megaton Man go "On Patrol" under the moon and stars.
Here is Alan Moore and Dave Gibbon's riff from The Watchmen #4 (December 1986), in which Dr. Manhattan and The Silk Spectre go "On Patrol":
The "On Patrol" reference in panel one, Silk Spectre and Dr. Manhattan sitting on the ledge in panel three, and the crossword-puzzle treatment of background buildings in panels one, three, and five are pretty unmistakable references to Megaton Man #4 (not to mention the incidental bluish coloration of Doc).
Of course, I had already ripped Alan Moore off in the forthcoming Megaton Man #6 (see "I Ripped Off Alan Moore: The Saga of the Sawdust Dummy!").

(I later collaborated with Alan Moore on "In Pictopia" and 1963, but those are stories for another time!)

For the outcome of my "On Patrol" scene, see Megaton Man: Atomic Aftermath XII: The Headquarters Within!.

You can still get ON PATROL pinback buttons from my ol' publisher, Denis Kitchen (he'll appreciate the business). I got paid off on these a long time ago, so I won't be getting any royalties...