Secret Comics: Dataworks 1997 Annual Report

I've said it before in these pages, but it bears repeating: if you really want to draw comics, don't be picky about where your opportunities come from. When left to our own devices, we draw what we love, whether it's spaceships or horses or monsters. Which is just fine. But there's a limit to what you can learn from what's already inside your own head. And the potential for comics as a learning tool is practically limitless.

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Posted in: Mystery Grab-bag

Ghostworld, 1981

Here's something I figured out as a fantasy/SF/comic book writer: there are certain cliches you have to work out of your system before anyone will take you seriously. See if you can guess which one I got out of my system with this story.

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Posted in: Kids Comics

Roots of Chaser Platoon, 1986

In 1991, I got Malibu Comics to publish a 6-issue series I created, an SF war story titled Chaser Platoon. This article presents the roots of that project for the first time anywhere. You can call it my Fifty Shades of Grey, since it started out as fanfic for something else: Armored Trooper Votoms.

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Posted in: Pro Comics

Chromebook 2, 1992

This was a spinoff of the highly successful Cyberpunk RPG from R Talsorian Games. I was asked to design gadgets, weapons, personal gear, and other trinkets to load out a character for gameplay. What did 2020 look like in 1992? Find out here!

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Posted in: Game Days

Monster High: New Ghoul at School, 2010

It's a pleasure when you can say yes to a job. It can also be a pleasure to say no, because it usually means that you're fully booked. But it's always a good idea to say yes whenever you can, especially if the job is outside your comfort zone. Because those are the jobs that have the most to teach you.

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Posted in: TV Cartoons

Secret Comics: The Wall, 2006

All the way back in 2006, a strange little project fell into my lap via a friend in the comics biz. It was a sort of horror anthology called Tales of The Spooky. the comic never got done for reasons that I never learned, but I still have the materials for the story, so now it can finally see the light of day. And it's still just as creepy.

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Posted in: Mystery Grab-bag

Music collection: Anime theme songs

Theme songs for anime shows have a unique, rarified energy. If you've heard even a few, you won't be surprised to learn that countless compilation albums exist. From straight up reprints to remixes to genre-bending covers to live performances, just about everything can be found in just about any form. And they're essentially limitless. No two collectors will have identical libraries.

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Posted in: Anime World

Yeti graphic novel, 1981

I plunged into this graphic novel at 15 years old, setting out to create the best Abominable Snowman story ever told, direct a horror movie on paper (with no adult relationship experience), and play with a different storytelling format. Did all comic book pages have to have the same kind of panel layouts? I didn't think so. I still don't.

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Posted in: Kids Comics

Lensman: War of the Galaxies, 1990-91

This was the third and last Lensman run I drew for Eternity comics, in which we merged the movie adaptation into the TV anime series and took off in a new direction. The biggest question going in was if it would last long enough to cover all 25 episodes. How far did we get? Spoiler: a lot less than 25. See every issue here!

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Posted in: Pro Comics

Night Brood, 1992

Iron Crown Enterprises (I.C.E.) started out in 1980 with some original game properties, then scored a home run two years later when they became the first company to license a Middle Earth RPG. They added a well-regarded miniatures battle game called Silent Death in 1990. That set the stage for me to cross their path and illustrate this expansion book.

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Posted in: Game Days

Ultimate Spider-Man Season 1, 2011

This was my third outing with our friendly neighborhood wall crawler. My involvement in this series was more significant than the first two; it pushed me through a technological turning point and into Marvel Animation Studio for almost ten years. Fun was had along the way, but also a LOT of pain. Read all about it here.

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Posted in: TV Cartoons

The Vantage Point, 1981-83

When I decided to put some of my earliest works on a website for public view, I knew it would be like disclosing my high school yearbook photos. And now that becomes literally true. The Vantage Point was our school newspaper, and I contributed to it with almost no oversight for two years, which was utter madness. Here's a sample of what happened.

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Posted in: Mystery Grab-bag

Series profile: Space Brothers

If you're like me (and I know I am), you watch every astronaut movie you can get your hands on, and afterward you think, "I wish someone could give us a version of that that lasts longer than two hours." I've got good news for you: a Japanese fella named Chuya Koyama has been doing exactly that since 2007. And he's still at it as I write this.

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Posted in: Anime World

REM graphic novel, 1981

This was a huge, sprawling adventure story with fun, diverse characters thrown together in a chase-quest. It would have all the things that make a kid say "aw, cool": heroes, aliens, monsters, spaceships, battles, robots, and dinosaurs. The kind of story 15-year-old-me would devour. There weren't enough of them around to satisfy me, so (as usual) I had to make my own.

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Posted in: Kids Comics

BROID: the unpublished issues

This right here is the number one reason I wanted to set up ArtValt. There are lots of things from my personal archives nobody else saw until I shared them here, but this one is exceptional: the climax and finale of my first original comic book title. It was shocking and thrilling to feel it rush through me onto the page. It was the reward for my dedication.

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Posted in: Pro Comics

Car Wars game art, 1992

Here's another job that came out of the blue one day. I don't remember how I got it; maybe I contacted Steve Jackson Games, maybe they contacted me. Either way, I got a chance to contribute to one of the most long-lived and enduring role-playing games ever made.

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Posted in: Game Days

The Spectacular Spider-Man, 2007

There were six different Spider-Man cartoons over a stretch of almost twenty years, and I can proudly state that I am the only individual artist who worked on all of them. This is the story of my second outing. Easing into the show was like putting on well-worn shoes. I was back with Peter, Harry, and the rest after parting with them five years earlier.

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Posted in: TV Cartoons

SCREAM: the musical, 1993

I've handled some unusual projects in my time. I've taken a few meetings that would qualify as weird. But this one went to a wild frontier unmatched by the others. It was to be a live theater experience; a musical founded on psychological concepts that would probe different parts of the mind, turning them into a visual feast. My long history of reading and drawing comic books prepared me for anything, it seemed.

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Posted in: Mystery Grab-bag

Book & Music Collection: Lupin the Third

Lupin III first made the scene in 1967, two years after I was born. My first Lupin exposure was the 1978 feature film The Mystery of Mamo, followed by the sublime Castle of Cagliostro. Those twin punches made me a fan for life, and sleuthing out the latest treasures kinda makes you feel like the groovy guy himself.

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Posted in: Anime World

Star Wars: Degree Plus Delta, 1980

Luke Skywalker vs. Boba Fett in a race to find a lost city! My second full-length Star Wars graphic novel, made when I was a high school Sophomore. And it represented a pretty big turning point, due entirely to me getting some actual hands-on education.

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Posted in: Kids Comics