Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Review | BLADES & LAZERS | When Words Collide

Tim Callahan compares and contrasts BLADES & LAZERS with Justice League #24 in his column When Words Collide this week over at Comic Book Resources. Check it out here. I like this line from the column:
Both offer savagery from beyond the stars and plenty of posturing and threats of violence. They are so fully drenched in the glorious trash of their respective genres that they can be read as ironically detached or as thrillingly sincere. Or both. Or neither. Or maybe.

Hip Hop Family Tree Pin-Up | DMX

Here's my pin-up of DMX for Volume 2 of Ed Piskor's Hip Hop Family Tree. DMX may be my favorite rapper ever.

Monday, October 28, 2013


These were discarded image ideas for my the Bromance album art I did several months ago. I liked the ideas so I made them into final drawings called THE NIGHT SERIES. One was used as artwork for the recent Kaytranada EP.

Saturday, October 19, 2013


The first run of BLADES & LAZERS has sold out, so Ian Harker's Sacred Prism went back to press for a second printing. You can order your copies here at the Sacred Prism online store.

Album Art | Kaytranada EP AT ALL / HILARITY DUFF

I provided album art for the new Kaytranada EP, "AT ALL / HILARITY DUFF." Vinyl copy coming soon. But you can check out the tracks here.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

The Marra Method: Traditional Comics Techniques for Visual Storytelling | 11. Use Thought balloons

An on-going, evolving series collecting my thoughts on the craft of telling stories through comic books. These posts do not document rules; these are the ideas passing through my mind when I'm making comic books.

11. Use Thought balloons

• Use Thought Balloons because they intrinsic to the language of comic books. 

• They are like a letter in the alphabet of the comic book language. 

• Use Caption Boxes to convey information you can't with Thought Balloons or Speech Balloons.

• Use Thought Balloons for internal monologues of characters, for the things you can't convey with Caption Boxes or Speech Balloons.

• A lot of mainstream books don't use Thought Balloons because they want comic books to be more like movies, where thought balloons can't exist. They want comic books to be pitches for movie content. Who can blame them when these movies make billions of dollars? The movie executives they're pitching to don't like thought balloons I guess. (It's also the reason why you see a lot of mainstream comics using "widescreen" panels. This makes it easier for movie executives to envision the comic book panels as storyboard or compositions on a screen).

• They don't use Thought Balloons because they don't want comic books to be hokey, corny or cheesy. They think Thought Balloons are dated. 
- (Side thought: I believe the lack of Thought Balloon usage in mainstream comics is evidence of the medium's inferiority complex in relation to other mainstream media—movies, TV, video games. Mainstream comic books try to forsake what makes them different and unique, like Thought Balloons. Instead they try to emulate other media elements.)

• Thought Balloons are essential.

• To not use Thought Balloons is to deny comic books' true nature and language.

• To not use Thought Balloons is to deny comic books' true power.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Best American Comics: the Notable Comics of 2013

Two comics I helped make made it onto the Best American Comics: the Notable Comics of 2013 list. One was FAUNAMANCER DOMINATION: ASCENDENCY, which I wrote and Michael DeForge drew. It was in an issue of Smoke Signal. The second was also in an issue of smoke signal. It's called TREEANSFORMERS OF LIFE. Matthew Thurber wrote it and I drew it.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

DEATH | ARCANA Show at Telegraph Gallery

Above is my piece for the ARCANA show opening this Friday at Telegraph Gallery in Charlottesville, VA. The show features depictions of the Tarot's Major Arcana from Yuko OtaSimon Hanselmann, Julia Sonmi Heglund, and The Little Friends of Printmaking. I chose DEATH for my own piece. It will be available as a 18x24, limited-edition, 7-color silkscreen poster. I believe it will be available on the Telegraph Store here.