Secret Comics: Mountain Bike magazine, June 1994

Once you cross the line into drawing comics professionally, assignments can come from places you never expected. This is one of those cases. It came from a fella named Dan Koeppel, an editor on Mountain Bike magazine. He wanted to create an article that reviewed tires, and he thought a 6-page comic strip would be a good way to catch some eyeballs.

Continue Reading >

Posted in: Mystery Grab-bag

Book collection: Leiji Matsumoto

Leiji Matsumoto is a legend in his own time, known for a huge range of genres from everyday drama to elevated science-fiction. His began his manga career as a teenager in 1953 and is still going in his 80s. This collection encompasses books on Matsumoto's anime and manga projects, art collections, retrospectives, biography, and other odds and ends. It is by no means the complete catalog, but it's definitely extensive.

Continue Reading >

Posted in: Anime World

The Shoguns part 1, 1977

Looking back now, it’s like my head was secretly invaded and conditioned for everything yet to come. Today, I’m a huge anime and manga fan. Back in 1977, I didn’t know they existed. But evidence was closing in around me. I thought it was my plaything. But I was the one being played. And my strings were pulled by an amazing line of toys called The Shogun Warriors

Continue Reading >

Posted in: Kids Comics

BROID #3, July 1990

In this chapter of the story, the heroes (if we can call them that) have just taken their first lumps, and Broid himself is beginning to see what an impossible task it is to upend a system of government. I wanted to demonstrate how arrogant he could be, wielding his intellect like a cudgel against Sef just as the younger man is beginning to invest in their crusade.

Continue Reading >

Posted in: Pro Comics

Star Wars: Mission to Lianna, 1992

For my third go-round with West End Games, the scenario for the adventure was quite different. Instead of a backwater planet, this one was set on an industrial and cultural center, a busy city planet that we wouldn’t see on film until the prequels and sequels arrived.

Continue Reading >

Posted in: Game Days

Wing Commander Academy, 1996

This was the first TV cartoon I ever worked on, and it was a perfect fit in every way. Based on the famous computer game series, it was loaded with high-octane sci-fi space fighter action. The staff took a chance on me, and it turned into a wild ride that went beyond everyone's expectations, including my own. It was a true right time/right place story with exactly the right amount of luck!

Continue Reading >

Posted in: TV Cartoons

Derp Squad, 1997

They're weird! They're crazy! They're extremely unhygienic! Here's a bunch of dopey characters I invented during goof-off time at an animation studio. Not for the weak-willed or faint of heart.

Continue Reading >

Posted in: Mystery Grab-bag

The 1982 Star Wars Calendar, 1981

Back in the days of the original trilogy, Star Wars was on my mind pretty much every minute of every day. Star Wars calendars were a regular thing by then; 1978, 79, 80, and 81 were covered, but as 1982 approached no new calendar was on the horizon. So I had no choice but to make my own.

Continue Reading >

Posted in: Mystery Grab-bag

Series profile: Giant Gorg, 1984

When anime/manga virtuoso Yoshikazu Yasuhiko began his career as an anime creator, his first project was this 26-episode TV series that occupies a firm middle ground between Jonny Quest and The Iron Giant. Despite an auspicious start, all sorts of external factors dropped obstacles in its path and prevented immediate success. But over the long term, it found its way to classic status. Read all about it here!

Continue Reading >

Posted in: Anime World

Homemade Star Wars, Phase 1: 1978 & 1979

In the years 1978 and 1979, the Star Wars rulebook didn't really exist yet, at least as it is known today. All we had to go on was a 2-hour film and its implications, which were vast. Overlap it with a steady diet of comic books and SF and you could go in practically any direction. I drew 12 homemade Star Wars comics in this time period, ALL of which are presented here.

Continue Reading >

Posted in: Kids Comics

BROID #2, June 1990

BROID #2 was only half the length of #1, but it was a lot denser with more characters and a busy city environment. Drawing the second issue of a series is when you realize that your hobby has become your job, and the calendar now rules your life. So you better REALLY love drawing comics, or you're not gonna last. Fortunately, I did (both).

Continue Reading >

Posted in: Pro Comics

Star Wars: Planet of the Mists, 1992

I was the sole artist assigned to this book, so I was entrusted with the task of designing the characters and environment: a race of amphibians, an Imperial Swamp Trooper, a method of docking for TIE fighters, and a pair of female mercenaries who I subconsciously thought of as the Star Wars version of Japan’s Dirty Pair.

Continue Reading >

Posted in: Game Days

Batman: The Brave and the Bold Season 1, 2008

When I joined the crew of Batman: The Brave and the Bold in 2008, it was the beginning of a hugely enjoyable run that lasted for three seasons. I made it a point to save a lot of the materials from that production, so there's a ton of it to share. In this article, I’ll focus on my contributions to Season 1.

Continue Reading >

Posted in: TV Cartoons

Citizens of Loserville, 1988

To entertain my fellow employees at an ad agency in 1988, I’d crank these out (fast improv freehand style) and pass them around for laughs. I’d never lived anywhere but Michigan at this point, so they all kinda channeled stereotypes of the midwest.

Continue Reading >

Posted in: Mystery Grab-bag

The Phantom movie promo book, 1994

One day I got a call from someone in the promotional department of Paramount Pictures asking if I could come in and talk about doing the art for a Phantom promo project, which was a pretty good gig for someone like me. Movies come and go, but a job like this comes only once.

Continue Reading >

Posted in: Mystery Grab-bag

Book collection: Japanese artists

This collection covers the amazing Japanese artists whose work reached out and grabbed me from print media, model boxes, and TV screens. There is information about each book to help anyone who may be filling a shelf of their own.

Continue Reading >

Posted in: Anime World

My first Star War, 1977

It’s hard to believe now, but in the summer of 1977 there was almost nothing to consume beyond the movie itself. Until that Christmas, the only things within reach were a few magazine clippings, the novelization, and the monthly Marvel comics. That wasn’t nearly enough for me. Records and toys and models and other swag arrived in 1978, but that still wasn’t enough. What I learned in 1977 was that if I wanted more Star Wars, I would have to make it myself.

Continue Reading >

Posted in: Kids Comics

BROID #1, May 1990

A lone man awakens in a dark future of dust and smoke that make it very difficult to tell friend from foe. Life is hell at the end of the world. Only the best survive. Here is the first issue of the my first original, for-real comic book series from cover to cover, a post-apocalyptic SF action epic inspired by some of my favorite stories. Every finished page is accompanied by its corresponding rough and pencilled version.

Continue Reading >

Posted in: Pro Comics

Star Wars: Planets of the Galaxy, 1991

In 1991, I figured out how to turn my Star Wars fandom into freelance income. Planets of the Galaxy, Volume 1 was my first West End Games assignment, and it was a good one to start with. The books in this 3-volume series presented gamers with new planets on which to plot their adventures, none of which had been established in the original trilogy.

Continue Reading >

Posted in: Game Days

Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, 2009-2012

This 2-season series wasn’t the first Marvel cartoon I worked on (that was the MTV Spider-Man series) but it certainly was the busiest up to that point. It was made during what we now call Phase One of the MCU, prior to the arrival of the first Avengers movie in 2012. This made it the last Marvel series before Disney bought the company - in fact, the buyout happened while EMH was in production - so it operated under a different set of rules about which characters could be used.

Continue Reading >

Posted in: TV Cartoons