Saturday, August 20, 2016

Okay, So I Ripped Off J.K. Rowling: It's Table-Turning Time!

The "Time Turner," a time-traveling device that figures so prominently in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (1999) and the current Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, was the obvious inspiration for the "Time Turntable," a contraption that first appeared in Megaton Man #1 (1984) and later used as a dimension-hopping device for the Man of Molecules in The Savage Dragon vs. The Savage Megaton Man #1 (1993), admits satirist Don Simpson.

The first appearance of the Time Turntable: Megaton Man #1 (Kitchen Sink Press, December 1984), by Don Simpson.

"Fans are totally right," the cartoonist confesses. "I traveled fifteen years into the future and swiped the idea for the Time Turntable from Jo Rowling, just as I swiped the idea for Megaton Man from Ben Edlund's The Tick -- two or three years ahead of time. No detail is too insignificant to escape the notice of discerning comic book fans!"

Megaton Man uses the Time Turntable to hop dimensions over to the Image Universe in The Savage Dragon vs. The Savage Megaton Man #1 (Image Comics, 1993) by Erik Larsen and Don Simpson.

Despite the discovery of Simpson's blatant "homage," the creator reveals that the Time Turntable still figures prominently in the just-complete Megaton Man graphic novel, Return to Megatropolis, and will play a significant role in the new prose work-in-progress, Megaton Meltdown. "I expect the chronology police to be on my tail even more when I introduce the Time Turnstyle into the narrative," says the cartoonist.

No timetable for publication was divulged.

(Just kidding, JKR fans! See what Don Simpson really thinks of HP and the wonderfully inventive, brilliantly orchestrated Prisoner of Azkaban here!)

See also: Alan Moore Ripped Me Off! | I Ripped Off Alan Moore!

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Random Chromology II: New Megaton Man GN Coloring Continues!

More pages from the all-new graphic novel Megaton Man: Return to Megatropolis, as they roll off the ol' digital drawing board!

The group in Ann Arbor decides to return to Megatropolis in the wake of unthinkable terrorist attacks!

Our heroes run into problems over New York City!

Megaton Man draws fire away from the Q-Mobile!

Megaton Man, Yarn Man, and X-Ray Boy survey Ground Zero with a wobbly Colonel Turtle!

Even the MQ HQ is fraught with security issues!

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Random Chromology: New Megaton Man Coloring!

New colored pages from the graphic novel in progress, Megaton Man: Return to Megatropolis!

Megaton Man and extended family, long exiled to the Midwest, return to New York City in the wake of unthinkable attacks.

Original inked line art for the bottom tier.

Screen shot of Photoshop coloring in progress. Note that smoke and background are still black; they will be knocked to a brown and purple-grey to give the illusion of receding into the distance.

Flying over Ground Zero, the group ponders what has taken place.

Much later, back at the old Megatropolis Quartet headquarters, terror alert systems get a bit out of control!

Megaton Man needs some to get away and think...

...and naturally turns to Lady Liberty!

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Completing the Concordance: Frenzied and Fanatical Footnoting for Megaton Man!

The Simpson Scholarship of Steve Replogle
Megaton Man completist Steve Replogle recently contacted me requesting information on compiling a complete and exhaustive list of every single Megaton Man comic book appearance of the past three decades, so as to organize his own collection. Then he proceeded to compile his own concordance! Herewith are Steve's labors so far, cut and pasted from actual emails! Can you help Steve (and me) with any missing data?! Comment below so that the Complete and Exhaustive List of Megaton Man Comic Book Appearance can live forever online! -- Don Simpson.

Dear Don,
I was lucky enough to be have the very first Megaton Man issue recommended to me by my comic shop guy, lo those many moons ago - and I continue to be a great fan of your work. I am very excited to see your new Border Worlds and Megaton Man material come to fruition.

In anticipation, I have begun currently reorganizing my collection. Sooooo.... I am wondering if there a listing or concordance of the various Megaton Man/Fiascoverse titles, giving their proper and correct order. Is it mostly chronological? I will refer to each comic's indicia, of course, and maybe also use - if you think that is correct. Just wondering if there are other resources out there.
Thanks, and bets of luck -
Steve Replogle

Steve Replogle
Hey Don,

I have found the information I was looking for, mostly from your blog. This is what I have:

1. Megaton Man (Kitchen Sink, November 1984-June 1986), 10 issues
2. The Return of Megaton Man (Kitchen Sink, July-September 1988), 3 issues
3. Megaton Man Meets the Uncategorizable X+Thems" #1 (Kitchen Sink, April 1989)
4. Yarn Man #1 (Kitchen Sink, October 1989)
5. Bizarre Heroes #1 (Kitchen Sink, May 1990)
6. Pteranoman #1 (Kitchen Sink, August 1990)
7. Savage Dragon vs. The Savage Megaton Man #1 (Image, March 1993)
8. The normalman/Megaton Man Special (Image, June 1994)
9. Don Simpson's Bizarre Heroes #0–8 (Fiasco Comics, May-December 1994) and then Bizarre Heroes #9–17 (Fiasco Comics, February 1995-July, 1996) The final two issues (#16 and #17) are alternately titled Megaton Man vs. Forbidden Frankenstein #1 and Megaton Man #0
10. Megaton Man: Hardcopy #1 & 2 (Image, 1999)
11. Megaton Man: Bombshell #1 (Image, 1999)

Further appearances:
Megaton Man Daily Reruns (some episodes reprinted or repurposed into Hardcopy and Bombshell)
Asylum (reprinted and purposed)
Megaton Man blog: The Atomic Aftermath (and more)
Red Anvil Comics' War of the Independents #1 (2013) and #4 (2014)
CBLDF Liberty Annual 2010 ("Megaton Man and the Liberty Alliance in: ''Columbia Rising!''")

And there have been other cameo appearances, too - I think I remember a cameo in 1963 #6.
Well, it will take me a while to catalog or properly list or weed through the "further appearances." In the meantime, thanks!

Hi Steve,
Yes, I think except for a few stray pin-ups and previews (Spirit #8), you have the main works. The Weekly Serials that weren't reprinted in the three Image issues (Hardcopy and Bombshell) ran in the Savage Dragon, something like the #50s through the #80s. Toward the end I skipped a few issues here and there.
I've been working on more so save some space in your collection.
Thanks for this list; I should probably post it, if you don't mind.

Hi again, Don -
Here as promised (or kind of promised) are the rest of my notes on Megaton Man's publishing history. As you'll see, there are lots of gaps and missing bits. Maybe this will help you, or maybe you already have your own much-more-complete chronology somewhere. I hope so.

I guess I am showing my own regressive Marvel genes by sifting through this information with such fan-boy enthusiasm! It takes me back to the days when I was trying to figure out what happened before (and after) Captain America guest-starred in Daredevil #43. Your Fiascoverse is really fun in this way, with all the various #1 issues, crossovers, back-up appearances, and online episodes.

Well, if you do have your own "master list," I'd love to see it! But not as much as the new Megaton Man pages you're working on - that's the real stuff.
Best wishes,

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

Further Frenzied and Fanatical Footnoting for Megaton Man

The Megaton Man Weekly Serial is now only available as "Don Simpson's Megaton Man Daily Reruns" at It offers an Archives page that lists episodes 1 - 103 with titles, but not later episodes.

Publication dates given below are from the

1. Hardcopy #1, February 1999
Contains online episodes 1 - 55

2. Hardcopy #2, April 1999 
Pages 1 - 9: online episodes 56 - 71
Pages 10 - 12: three new (or possibly new?) pages related to Gower Goose's radio show
Pages 13 - 22a: online episodes 72 - 89
Pages 22b - 28: new episodes (or at least not listed in the current "Daily Reruns" archive)

3. Bombshell #1, July 1999
All new episodes (or at least, these are not listed in the current "Daily Reruns" archive)

4. Savage Dragon Back-ups (Erik Larsen, Image Comics)  lists the following issues of Savage Dragon as having Megaton Man back-ups: 52, 54, 55, 58, 60, 61, 62, 63, 64, 65, 66, 67, 73, 80, 86, 87. But wait! This incorrectly excludes at least some Megaton Man appearances. I know for sure that it's missing at least SD 56, 76, 77, 78, 79.

I've verified a few of the episode numbers for the back-ups listed below, but most are not listed at "Daily Reruns" archive. I haven't found any online resources either, so I just had to go by what I found after poking around at my local comic shop! Oh, the irony! Anyway, that's how I also found out the CBDB had made some mistakes.

Finally, I've added the "next issue tag lines" given at the end (or fourth episode) of almost every SD excerpt I could find, because it seems that may be related to the title of the one of the next issue's episodes.

Okay, then...

(Possibly SD 49 or 51?) (Episodes 90 - 93... or are these possibly not reprinted anywhere?)
SD 52, August 1998 - (presumably episodes 94, 95, 96, 97?)
SD 54, October 1998 - (presumably episodes 98, 99, 100, 101?)
SD 55, November 1998 - Episodes 102, 103 (and presumably 104, 105?)
SD 56, December 1998 - not noted by CBDB, but verified at my local comic shop!
SD 58, February 1999 
SD 60, April 1999
SD 61, May 1999 
SD 62, June 1999 
SD 63, June 1999 
SD 64, July 1999 
SD 65, August 1999 - (Next issue tag: Batter Up!)
SD 66, August 1999 
SD 67, September 1999 
SD 73, March 2000 
SD 76, June 2000 - this issue not noted by CBDB
SD 77, July 2000 - (Next issue tag: Bombs Away!) - this issue not noted by CBDB
SD 78, August 2000 - (Next issue tag: Wings of Desire) - this issue not noted by CBDB
SD 79, September 2000 - (Next issue tag: The Ol' Switcheroo!) - this issue not noted by CBDB
SD 80, October 2000 - (Next issue tag: Unmasked, Unleashed!)
SD 86, April 2001 - (Next issue tag : Megs Cops Out)
SD 87, May 2001 - ?

5. Asylum
(These excerpts re-present material from Megaton Man: Bombshell #1)
Issue #7 (August 1996)  - "Megaton Man vs. Unleash"
Issue #8 (September 1996) - "Megaton Man vs. Bombshell" 
Issue #11 (Jan/Feb 1997) - "After Megaton Man"

6. The CBLDF Presents Liberty Annual, October 2010
Megaton Man and the Liberty Alliance in: ''Columbia Rising!''

7. One-Pagers

These were originally printed in "Hero, Illustrated," a magazine about comics . I'm not sure how many MM appearances there were, but three were reprinted in "The Apocalypse Affliction."
A. The Blue Web
B. YarnBlood
C. No title (MM relaxing by the pool with Stella and Yarn Man)
Anyone with further info, please comment! I'm too busy drawing new stuff! Best, Don

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Red Alert: Coloring the Return to Megatropolis Graphic Novel

Preview of the Megaton Man: Return to Megatropolis graphic novel, conceived as five "issues" but planning to release it as a single 160-page book, I have been working on issues #4 and #5 in recent blog posts.

This particular page is from earlier in the book, #2 which I began around 2005, but put aside when industry insiders reacted badly to the 9/11 theme, and didn't ink until 2014. (What did I do in the intervening decade? Long story.)

This page reflects the coloring style I am considering for the graphic novel: flat, bold, with some subtle modulations or "glazing." It recalls the Atlas (Marvel) monster comics (Fing Fang Foom, et al), which was in fact one of the models for the coloring of the early Megaton Man comics at Kitchen Sink Press (colored by Pete and Bill Poplaski and Ray Fehrenbach). While those overlay-cut comics were severely limited in color choices, Photoshop allows for an unlimited range of colors, although I do want to keep them flat. I call it "reinvented retro," and in any case would like to avoid the overly modeled look of airbrushed Photoshop that smothers so much drawing in comics these days. Comments?

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Connie's Cab Ride: Meet Me at the Doomsday Factory!

In this newly-inked sequence from the Megaton Man: Return to Megatropolis graphic novel (now in production, publication details TBD), Megaton Man transports new roomie and sidekick Connie Carlyle to Bayonne, New Jersey to introduce her to the Doom Defiers and the whole blamed extended Megaton Man nuclear family! Connie's status as a semi-pro beach volleyball player will be a boon in the team's upcoming match against the Bronx Bombers, if she doesn't fall asleep during practice! Simon Phloog is just glad be spending time with his dad, although he seems enthusiastic about this sandball ringer in general. At the same time, Kozmik Kat looks on as a mysterious delivery is made to the Doomsday Factory...

(Fun drawing the container cranes of the Port of New York and New Jersey, along with the Statue of Liberty!)

To see the original pencil roughs, go here; to read on, go here!

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Joisey Self-Store: The Inking Continues!

Here is a sequence I am inking for the new graphic novel Megaton Man: Return to Megatropolis, from the fourth "issue" (hence the cryptic numbering at the top of each tier), although I am hoping to release five issues' worth, or 160 pages, in a single volume (publication deatils TBD). In this scene, Megaton Man drops of the trailer he used to move his stuff back into his New York apartment, which is no sublet by Connie Carlyle, his new de facto sidekick. Meanwhile, the menacing cabbie with the penchant for uploading threatening videos resurfaces. Each image shows the pencils (scanned and printed out at the same size they were drawn) and the inked Clearprint Design Vellum final, which will then be scanned and colored.

See the original pencils for this scene here!

Friday, March 11, 2016

Megaton Meltdown: Meet Simon Phloog!

Here is the first colored page-and-a-half of the opening introduction to the graphic novel currently in progress, Megaton Man: Return to Megatropolis. The 160-page all-new adventure is composed of five 32-page issues forming a single, post-9/11 storyline created in 2002, 2005, and 2014-2016 (okay, the creator took a decade off to go back to college!). This new material will transplant the extended Megaton Man family firmly back in New York (or Megatropolis), where the Megaton Man Narrative will have manifold possibilities for future development! Simon Phloog, heir to both the Megaton and Meltdown nuclear family trees, will emerge as a major character (Megaton Meltdown?) in this and subsequent graphic novels. See previous posts on this blog and on Ms. Megaton Man's blog for more preview art, and stay tuned for forthcoming publication details!

Simon flashes back to Megaton Man #1-4 (Kitchen Sink Press, 1984-1985).
The framed photo shows Simon from Return of Megaton Man #3 (1987); Clarissa gains her powers in Megaton Man vs. The Uncategorizable X+Thems #1 and her costume in Yarn Man #1 (1989).

Flashbacks from The Megaton Man Weekly Serial and Bizarre Heroes (1990s).

Sunday, February 28, 2016

The Last Shall Be First: Graphic Novel #1 Pencils Completed!

I've wrapped up principal penciling (is that like principal photography?!) on Megaton Man: Return to Megatropolis, a 160-page story created in five "issues" (I still think in terms of 32-page issues, although any publishing plans for MM: TRM would be for a single volume book). I finished issue #5 a few days ago, and created a new 2-page introduction for the beginning of the story. Below are the pencils.

The flashback here depicts events in Megaton Man #1-5 (Kitchen Sink Press, 1984-1985) and one-shots from the late 1980s including Megaton Man Meets the Uncategorizable X+Thems #1 and Yarn Man #1 (1989).

The framed picture of Simon flying refers to The Return of Megaton Man #3 (September 1988), the issue in which he was born. The flashback in the central panel depicts events from Yarn Man #1 (October 1989). See more on Clarissa James and the origin and evolution of Ms. Megaton Man here!

More on the Phantom Jungle Girl!

For more on how these pencil roughs fit into my current cartooning work flow, check out this post on my inking method!

This framing sequence is intended to negotiate between the Megaton Man Weekly Serial storyline (which I created online eons ago, some which was serialized in early issues of Erik Larsen's Savage Dragon), and the opening scenes of the graphic novel (issues #1-2 were posted previously as Atomic Aftermath), which wrap up a few lingering sub-plots.

There's no disguising the fact that I created issue #1 in 2002, #2 in 2005,  #3 is 2014, and #4 and #5 in 2015-2016. Still, my hope is that the narrative will hang together as a cohesive reading experience. In any case, without some kind of introduction, the early scenes (about ten pages) which deal with some dangling plot threads might come across as non-sequitur. I considered cutting these pages out altogether and beginning the story when the main action of the narrative begins (with Megaton Man and X-Ray Boy in high school), but  where to begin and how to introduce potentially new readers to the Megaton Man mythos still remains a problem.

I think including the early scenes with this intro as a framing device will at least demonstrates how convoluted and aimless Megaton Man's life in the Midwest had become before the jarring events of 9/11 call him and his extended family back to Megatropolis. (Besides, many of the characters in these early scenes who exeunt will either return later or show up again in the second graphic novel, which hopefully won't take as long to complete as this one!). Judge for yourself. Your feedback is welcome!

I'm on track to finally completing the graphic novel this Spring 2016! (For more on my thinking behind it, see here.)

Now, on to March Madness: inking "issues" #4 and #5, and coloring the whole 160 pages! Stay tuned for updates...

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Beach Bots Beaten Back in Bayonne by Bayonette!

Dr. Winnie Wertz left behind a defense system at the beach house on the Bayonne waterfront adjacent to the Doomsday Factory that the newly-constituted Doom Defiers inadvertantly tripped off! In this sequence, our heroes gain the upper hand, but the Bots battle back! From the current work in progress, Megaton Man: Return to Megatropolis (publication of which TBD). More previews of art on this blog as well as Ms. Megaton Man!